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More casual introduction from the Home Designer.
Well, some of my collegues here on the blog have given a little more freindly intro to who they are. So I guess I'll do the same. I'm Jake England. I've been married for about 7 yrs. I started dating my wife about 11 or twelve years ago, still love her like nothin' else. We have three cute little girls. Yes three. Its quite a handful, and my home is overwhelmingly feminine at times. Can't wait until they are teenagers. I'm so glad to be their dad though, we sure have a lot of fun. My family and I enjoy the outdoors a lot, and my little girls love to ride in Daddy's '79 Landcruiser. I have to admit, I may have had some influence on Jake Smith's addiction to the classic car he mentioned in his intro. I have sentimental ties to Read more
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Published On : 06-24-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1706 Views
New Designer to The Plan Collection family
Here is one of the plans I entered in today.     This designer does an amazing array of Bungalow,Craftsman, French and Country style homes. If you would like to view other home plans by this designer click on HERE. Read more
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Published On : 06-25-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2253 Views
 
A light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes when I am working on a home plan I have what I call "designers block." Kinda like writers block, except I'm not writing anything. I've been working on a home plan for weeks, late nights when I get time, trying to figure out a layout that I am unhappy with. I was pretty frustrated with it late last night, but finally tried something I hadn't previously thought about. Within minutes, I was pretty pleased with it. Jaren was right when he said in his previous post, 'you just can't get a home plan you are 100% happy with.' If you're 90% pleased, it's pretty great. There are just so many neat things you can do in a home to make it a fun and comfotable place to live. The trick is, prioritizing what is most important, in relatio Read more
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Published On : 06-29-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1537 Views
Listen to your wife
I recently spent a lot of time designing a plan for our home remodeling.  When I showed my wife, she told me how much she liked it.  However, a few days later she showed me a couple of pencil sketches of some her own ideas. I was a little confused because she seemed so content before.  I mean I know what I am doing.  I have designed over a hundred home plans and built them too.  Nevertheless I entertained her wishes.  After I really listened to my wife and considered her suggestions, I actually liked her suggestions.  She had some ideas that I hadn’t even thought of.  Some of them won’t work, but the majority will. We changed the house plan and we are both excited about doing it together.& Read more
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Published On : 07-07-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1505 Views
Build a Home with Architectural Appeal
I have designed a lot of homes over the years and I find it interesting what is important to people. Sometimes people are set on a huge master suite and bath, but don't give as much importance to other rooms in the house that may be used more. They forget that they generally entertain in their great room, not their bathroom (of course I'm making assumptions here). Others don't give enough consideration to their master suite or other rooms but have a monsterous garage. And then there are those more concerned with looking successful than just having a nice home.   I recently designed a home for some people that was over 8,000 Sq. Ft. It was huge, with no architectural appeal. Just a big box with a grand e Read more
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Published On : 07-12-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2106 Views
How much can you tell about a designer by the vehicle he drives?
After reading my post about the similarities between buying a car and designing or choosing a home plan, Jaren wrote “Maybe you can tell a lot about a designer by looking at the vehicle he or she drives. “ He might be right. A designer that drives a hummer may not be too concerned with cost or energy efficency. But, you have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Just cause a guy drives a little Metro or something doesn't mean his only concern is saving costs. He might just enjoy the feel of a really small car. Or maybe he scored on some wheelbarrow wheels at a case lot sale and figured he's use them up by driving a tin can. Or, the guy driving the Metro drives the hummer at night. He just can't afford to drive it all t Read more
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Published On : 07-22-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1595 Views
Homes with Gyms inside.
As requested by our resident homebuilder here at The Plan Collection... Here are some great house plans with Gyms inside. One of these homes was designed specifically for a lot that had a tremendous slope to it. It was a good example of creating a design that took advantage of the conditions of a lot that generally would make it very hard to build on. Jaren and I worked on this design together and came up with a great plan that takes full advantage of mountain views, made a steep lot functional for gatherings and even got a gym in the home out of it. Take a look at the plans: Read more
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Published On : 07-28-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
4616 Views
House Plans
Jake is a great guy.  He has spent the past few weeks dealing with our obnoxious home plan changes.  An enormous amount of effort is required to get everything just right.  It amazes me how someone who understands architecture can finesse a home plan into something that is perfect.  I am glad that I don’t have to do all this myself.  I don’t have the vision to turn this: Into this: Thanks Jake Read more
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Published On : 08-12-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2919 Views
Home Plans - How to Use Space
One of the trickiest things about designing a home is being able to take advantage of and/or eliminate extra space. Many home plans are quickly drawn to get the home in the ground, without giving much thought about how to use the space, and make it not only appealing but functional to live in. For example, when designing the home I currently live in I tried to consider the placement of furniture and traffic patterns, but also the lifestyle of my family. As a result I have a great room area that I feel is not only architecturally pleasing, but also meets the needs of my family. We have a nice built in entertainment center that can easily be hidden behind cherry cabinet doors when guests arrive, but is centrally located so that when we'r Read more
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Published On : 08-16-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2083 Views
window wells
Window wells are one of those things that a lot of people don't really think about during the design phase of a home plan. I personally don't like having deep window wells right next to the front porch, they aren't usually pretty and they are a hazard for visiting kids. When laying out the basement I try to place the window wells away from the porch and if possible none on the front of the home at all. This allows you to build up the grade around the front porch and have unobstructed flower beds. This doesn't always work as easily as I might make it sound, but if you can lay out the floor plan so that the window wells are on the sides of the home (the sideyard is generally least commonly used) it works out great. The other thing to conside Read more
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Published On : 09-28-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2130 Views
Nice Additions to The Plan Collection!
It is always exciting to view new, recently designed home plans. This designer just sent us a CD full of beautiful home plans in all sorts of home styles. This designer has a wide selection of beach, contemporary, modern and country home plans. But, I highly recommend browsing through this designer’s gallery of home plans. To access this, click HERE. These homes have been very popular. The designer offers very unique house plans with extraordinary elevations and floor plans. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service department (866-787-2023). We are looking forward to helping you find your dream home. Read more
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Published On : 09-30-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2955 Views
Right Reading Reverse Option, At No Additional Cost!
Right Reading Reverse Option This is an option that is sometimes misunderstood in the house plan world. Let me explain what it is. The "Mirror Option" just mirrors the plan so that it is an exact mirror of the original floor plan. This puts the right side of the home on the left side and the left on the right. But when they do the mirror option the designer does not take the time to make all of the letters and numbers readable. This is why the option is usually free or at a very low cost. Now to use these mirrored plans you have to purchase at least one set that is not mirrored, just so you can refer to the readable version to understand the plans. This gets a little old and tedious fast. If you ask anyone who has built a home using the mi Read more
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Published On : 12-14-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
4517 Views
Saving Space by Creating a Space
Here's another design idea as you think about your new home. In a homeplan I recently designed, we incorporated a computer nook adjacent to the greatroom and kitchen area. This great little space has been a huge benefit in our home as we no longer have to dedicate an entire room to the family computer. We can also keep tabs on what our kids are doing, and whoever is using the computer when paying bills or surfing the web, can still be a part of the family activities in the room. In this particular homeplan, it worked out to have an extra deep cabinet above the computer desk where a printer and other equipment can be stored. Messy cords are tucked away inside the wall, hidden from view. I am now building another home and this computer n Read more
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Published On : 12-29-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
3493 Views
Home Design Idea for the Kitchen
Here is a picture of a home design idea. In this home the kitchen was in a large open room along with the dining and great room. The advantage of this type of house plan is that when entertaining or just hanging out as a family, those that are in the kitchen are a part of whats going on in the family room and visa versa. Generally if the host or hostess of a get-together is in the kitchen cooking, friends and family tend to congregate around the kitchen. The disadvatage to a home plan with the combined rooms, is that not everyone is really good at keeping the kitchen spotless. With a raised bar like the kitchen below, dishes and the sink are somewhat hidden from view so its easier to keep a presentable kitchen area. It also keeps things fro Read more
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Published On : 01-04-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
3307 Views
Great New Plans, For A Great New Year!!
#GMLD-577-B and plan #GMLE-836 Click Here to see this New Designer's Gallery of Gorgeous House Plans We at The Plan Collection want to keep you up-to-date on all the newest and most innovative plans on our site. Just recently we added a new and very popular designer to our Plan Collection family. We thought it would be nice if all of you could have a look at this amazing gallery of house plans. Already we have been amazed at the incredible response we have received from these plans. So, take a look at these impressive homes by one of the nation's top designers. Thanks, and have a great time browsing The Plan Collection for your dream home. Click Here to see this new gallery of homes. Read more
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Published On : 01-06-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
2487 Views
Snow, snow and more snow.
Yesterday we woke up to about 18” of snow in our driveway and spent most of the morning shoveling out ours and other driveways in the neighborhood. I felt bad for my neighbor, who was given a snowblower by a family member. He tried it out for the first time yesterday and a part broke right off. So he borrowed some bolts and whatnot from me to get it fixed. Once it was all back together, he couldn't get it started. So another neighbor helped him dismantle the carburator, clean it out and get it all in working order again. He finally got it started as his wife and I were finishing up shoveling his driveway. I told him the way things work out, we probably won't get any more snow now that he has his machine fixed. But, I wa Read more
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Published On : 01-10-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
1748 Views
Country Porches and Harbor Town Homes!
Click Here to view this New Gallery! This last year we added some great house plans of a nationally renowned home designer. In this collection is featured all sorts of house plans in all different styles and looks. We have only finshed adding 2 of his 5 collections, but we are very impressed witht the detail and creativity put into each and every sq foot. The first collection that we have added of his is the Harbor Town Collection. This colleciton has some great Colonial, and Seaside looks to the house plans. The second is the Country Porches Collection. You have never seen country homes like this! He has done all sorts of looks in this collection, from simple front porches to full wrap around Read more
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Published On : 01-13-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
4916 Views
Dream Homes
House Plan #PDI-412 and Home Plan #PDI-407 Are you looking for the home of your dreams? This talented designer is a new, exciting addition to The Plan Collection family. He offers an impressive selection of over 650 models, which will be added to our website over the next month.. His collection is made of models for bungalows, two-story homes, multi-level houses, semi-detached houses, multiple-dwelling houses and vacation homes. They have models for all tastes to fit all budgets. We are very excited to have yet another fancy, and innovative designer sharing his house plans and dream homes with us Here at The Plan Collection. Just go ahead and click HERE, and check out his beautiful plan Read more
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Published On : 02-28-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
4950 Views
New Home Designer Added to The Plan Collection
New home designer Added to The Plan Collection home plan # AHP-9340 We always enjoy adding new designers to The Plan Collection. It seems to add all new depth and character to our home plan gallery when we add new house plans. This design firm has devoted itself to creating designs that express everyone's dream home. Their designs with open warm spacious interiors and elegant classic proportions detailed exteriors, are favorites of homeowners and builders. Simple structures and the use of standard materials make their designs easier to build at a smaller cost. We are always very excited to add a new designer to The Plan Collection Team. We now that you will enjoy the unique yet practical floor plans that Read more
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Published On : 06-24-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
2733 Views
Creative and Practical Home Plans
Plan #KA27-3 and #KA34-31 This designer creates stock home plans that bring out amazing creativity that define each home individually. The plan library that they bring to The Plan Collection consists of plans of traditional styles with efficient space usage. This design firm has been with The Plan Collection for some time now and has always been very popular. For over 20 years this designer has created homes which reflect current trends and respect timeless traditions. Please feel free to check out this design firm's gallery by clicking HERE. These home plans above are two of the best selling plans that this designer offers. Plan #KA27-3 is a very unique, yet practical, European Read more
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Published On : 07-28-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
10026 Views
Traditional Home Design with a Modern Twist!
We've recently added a new home designer to The Plan Collection Team. With over 60 designers and more than 18,000 house plans, you might expect that we've seen it all. Well, not quite! This new home designer offers over one-hundred different home plans, and each one sports a style all its own. Each houseplan seems to have a traditional Old World style, but there is always an attractive and modern twist to make it unique. Take, for instance, The Cadillac. Here is a wonderfully refreshing home design that displays the perfect combination of several architectural styles. The Cadillac mixes design principles from the Tudor style with a somewhat traditional country shell and the effect is amazing! The result is like a breath of f Read more
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Published On : 06-06-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
7846 Views
Everybody Loves a Happy Ending
We at The Plan Collection just received an email from one of our past customers, and with his permission, I'd like to share a little bit about his experiences. It's a success story that will show you just how enjoyable an adventure building your own home can be -- especially if you get things started off on the right foot. I'd just like to highlight a few key points that helped give this project a happy ending: CHOOSE THE RIGHT HOUSE PLANS Like most people, Garry had considered building a home for quite some time, but he had a few concerns: "I had been thinking about building but wasn't sure how it would work on such a narrow lot. I went to Google and just typed 'House Plans '. Your site came up. This plan was the th Read more
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Published On : 09-10-2010
Author : Steve Donegan
2490 Views

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