What Should I Ask Before Deciding on a Home Plan?

If you decide to get a home plan, there are certain questions you need to ask. Make sure that everything is clear before you make your purchase.

You should know all of the following before deciding on a home plan:

1. Do the plans or blueprints include the electrical and the plumbing? – The rough plumbing should be included in the plans. It should have a detailed presentation of the pipes and where they come into the house. The electrical lightings and outlets should be included.

2. How will I customize my plans? If you want to customize your plans, you can buy a reproducible master copy printed on erasable paper. This erasable paper will allow you to make changes. You can ask your local draftsman or engineer to make changes for the plan and layout. This will also allow you to reproduce copies of the plan after the changes have been made. Customizing your plan is often necessary to make your plan perfect for your individual tastes.

3. What are the things included in the blueprints? – Of course a blueprint should be well detailed. It should include:

a. Foundation plan – a foundation plan shows how the foundations are built. This is where the thickness of the foundation walls are emphasized including the spacing, floor joint sizes, column locations, furnace, water and heater locations, plumbing, windows, doors and other miscellaneous details that are related to the basement and foundation.

b. Coversheet – a coversheet is a representation of the house when it is built. A coversheet may not be compulsory for a home plan but it would be better if it is presented. The purpose of a coversheet is to give the owner a perspective of how the home will look after it has been constructed. This may contain the front, top, rear and side view of the house. This is important so that the owner can give suggestions.

c. Floor plans- the floor plans indicate the construction and layout of each part or floor of the house. The ones naturally included are wall sizes, room dimensions, plumbing and electrical locations, doors, windows, flooring and the structural information and the special conditions related to the floor plan.

d. Elevations- this is a representation of the exterior of the house, its size, shape of the doors and windows, size of the trim, the dimensions and the height, the depth of the foundation, shingle types and moldings, replacement of materials, the pitch of the roof, and the gutters and downspouts.

4. Are the blueprints signed and approved by the architect? – This is very important to ensure that an architect has reviewed the blueprint and it has passed all the requirements of a home plan. You can also ask about the background of the architect who signed your home plan.
These questions are essential in choosing a home plan. Take the time to get the answers, this is your home after all.

Home Improvement: Design and Materials Are Necessary

When building a new home or renovating an old one, there are innumerable choices in commercially produced building and finishing materials; but when you want to restore an old home, particularly one built before standardized building materials were widely available, you may need help from a custom millworks. Stairways in old houses are narrow and steep, rooms are off square, and dimensions vary tremendously from home to home. How do you incorporate a modern, functional kitchen, for instance, into the design of a home restored to its original 1850s design?

You may have the expertise or the research capability to make the design decisions yourself; otherwise, hiring an architect who specializes in the restoration of antique buildings is a must. Many antique buildings, particularly in New England, were built and renovated over a period of centuries, with additions in different styles (sometimes compatible, sometimes not) tacked on to the original building. You probably don’t want to remove the additions, particularly if they’re a substantial part of the building; but do you restore them to their original state, or do you impose the style of the original building onto the addition? If embellishments were added to the original structure, do you keep them or get rid of them? If your house is a hodge-podge of different styles from different eras, can your architect incorporate a new design which will blend the warring styles together? And do you want him or her to do that, or are you enough of a restoration purist not to want to add modern elements to the design?

Antique buildings were most often created using materials locally available at the time of its construction; but some materials may have been imported from far away; by the nineteenth century, New England ruled the seas, importing goods, including exotic woods, from places as scattered as Ireland and Southeast Asia. Whether originating locally or abroad, these antique materials may or may not be readily available from local sources now. Maple, oak, walnut, cherry, ash, hickory, mahogany – all may be found in an antique home, and all may need to be specially purchased. You or your architect will probably need to communicate with manufacturers of custom building materials; so be sure to choose a millworks company which has experts on staff who can provide design and specification assistance. These millworks companies should be able to provide custom milled wide plank flooring, individually designed stairs, historically accurate reproduction moldings, and special lengths and widths of lumber.

Antique homes offer a fascinating look into the history of a region and the lives of people who lived through various eras. The story of a particular house may span centuries of building, rebuilding, and renovations, making each home a unique connection to the past. Restoring one of these gems to its original beauty can not only extend its life to another generation of residents, it can contribute to the legacy of a region.

Home Improvement Practices and Pointers for Everyone

Home improvement does not necessarily mean completing an upgrade inside of the home. Repairs to the driveway or grooming your lawn can also be considered home improvement. There are a lot of things under this umbrella, and there is a lot you should learn before attempting to handle improvements. Check out these great tips.

Avoid hiring an architect for minor home improvements and small renovations. Check your local building codes; in most areas architects are unnecessary for jobs below a certain size. Working with a competent contractor on these small-scale projects makes an architect unnecessary. When an architect is unnecessary and not required by local ordinances, save yourself some money by working without one.

Consider installing eavestrough covers to keep leaves and other guck out of your water drainage system, preventing damage and flooding. A great product approved by Mike Holmes is Smart Screen Gutter Protection, which fits over existing eavestroughs so you don’t have to pay to have your entire drainage system replaced.

Attaching two PVC pipes is a simple process that requires PVC primer and PVC cement. It is important that you use these specific products as your pipe will not hold with any other glues or cements (since PVC cement melts the PVC slightly to create a more firm bind) and it may be prone to leaking if you avoid a coat of PVC primer. Additionally, there should be no water on the surfaces of the pipes.

When thinking about doing a home improvement project, consider upgrading your appliances. Get rid of your old appliances. Nothing looks worse than having dated appliances in a home that also cost a considerable amount of money because they are not energy efficient. Sleek new appliances add value to the home and will help save energy too.

If you are going to be changing plumbing, such as a sink or pipe, always give yourself extra time in case you need it. If you plan for extra time, you will have backup plans for if you are not able to use the plumbing for longer than expected. You do not want to have to go for extra time without a plan on how to use the water.

To really take the hassle out of home improvement, if you have young ones at home, have your kids help with some of the projects. If they do a project from start to finish with minimal supervision or assistance, they may take ownership of their work. This may free you of the responsibility of cleaning and maintenance of it. Another benefit of using your children is that it will save you a lot of money.

Create space with cabinets. Building new cabinets in your home is a simple home improvement project that has multiple uses. Not only are handmade cabinets useful space-makers, they can also be beautifully stained to match any home’s decor. Adding your own unique viewpoint can give your home a personal touch without harming any value it may have.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to throw on some new wallpaper or pull up an old rug, your home improvements will not go as planned unless you’re properly prepared and knowledgeable about what you’re attempting to do. Be sure that you’re taking this information seriously and working to implement what you have read above.