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Start from Scratch? I doubt it.
After spending the weekend trying to come up with a house plan that my wife and I can both agree on, I've decided that starting from scratch to design your home isn't always the best answer. I always thought I had the advantage because I design homes for a living. Problem is, I have designed a lot of home plans, each with neat features of their own. So when I start working on a home for myself, I try to incorporate all the neat stuff in one house plan. Can't be done. You will never have the perfect house. There are somethings you'll just have to settle for and no matter what... when you move into the home, there will always be something that you wished was a little different, a little bigger, etc. Anyway, after starting from scratch a Read more
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Published On : 06-28-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Don't force it
Jake and Jake stood my five year-old son Brock and me to a  9-hole round of golf this morning.  Brock and I had them on the ropes until I decided to force the situation.  I tried to go over a pond, into the wind.  The wind knocked it into the water, not once, but three times.  Not too smart.  We ended up losing the match by two strokes.  I guess that is what can happen when we try to force things. That leads me into my next thought about designing a house plan. I have decided that the problem with any house is you cannot have everything you want in one house.  Even if money were no object, it is impossible to have everything you want in a home plan. If you find a ho Read more
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Published On : 06-29-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
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
Seeking Perfection
Building a new home can be a stressful situation.  It involves a lot of money, takes a lot of time and you are placing a lot of trust in others.  You are asking imperfect people to use imperfect products to build you a perfect house.  Guess what, it won't be perfect.  It should be a great home, but it will not be perfect.  Your new home will have minor flaws, but should not be defective.  Knowing that and reminding yourself of this will help reduce your stress level.  By Seeking excellence, not perfection, in life and in your new home will make you much happier.  This little advice is hard to follow, but if you can't follow it, don't build.  This advice should also be used when choosing a home plan.  We have many excellent house plans, but Read more
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Published On : 07-02-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
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
What's HOT
The Housing Industry is amazing.  I can’t believe all the new designs, the unique ideas, and all the design styles.  There are so many!  As a student of Interior Design and Architecture, and as an employee of one of the top ranked house plan websites in the world, I see all kinds of houses and buildings of every flavor.  One observation I’ve made is that building trends, especially in housing, seem to be regional.  There are several factors that determine what’s going to be hot in your area, and why it’s not always hot 1,000 miles away. Factor 1:  The Classics.  Classic designs and architecture are found everywhere.  They influence every design.  A great example of cl Read more
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Published On : 03-14-2007
Author : Steve Donegan
Character Defines your Dream Home!
Character What is character? Character (kâr' ∂k - t∂r) noun.          1.) The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or           thing from another. (American Heritage Dictionary)   That is one definition of character, but what do you think of when you hear that a home has character? One person might begin to envision steep gables and a tapering stone chimney while another person automatically imagines a large shed dormer and the perfect combination of stone, siding, and shakes.     Everyone seems to want a home with character. Character is part of that "special something" that makes Read more
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Published On : 09-29-2008
Author : Steve Donegan

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