Monthly Archives: August 2018

Changing the Home Design Trends of Today

Whether you are considering a home renovation or exploring designs for a new house, one of the common suggestions that you will get both from architects and engineers is to make it adaptive and earth-friendly. For those who may not be too inclined on the technical details of home designs, “adaptive” and “earth-friendly” are just words, that also often appeal to be expensive and complicated to achieve.

However, with the ever changing trends in home designs, we need to start equipping ourselves with knowledge on economical yet safe home design choices. With this, we will try to look into the basic concepts of earth-friendly and adaptive homes – two concepts that are closely interrelated.

Earth-friendly Home Designs

These designs are born out of the campaigns of several countries for an environment-friendly lifestyle or sustainable living, which of course includes house designs. Along with this, professionals in home construction and design have also innovated their skill set to meeting these new standards.

When we speak of environment-friendly home designs, this has a lot to do with the materials used to build or renovate the house. For instance, some architects have been practicing the use of biodegradable materials in house interiors.

These design techniques closely resemble that of the ancient times, when majority of the house materials come from natural sources. Even the paint products for the house have to be eco-friendly, which is not only safer for the walls, but for the occupants’ health, as well.

Other strategies being applied by architects is the creation of outdoor rooms in the house.

This means using natural light and air to save on energy for the room. All these, along with eco-friendly household practices easily contribute to having an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Adaptive Home Designs

This type of home design deals with two major things:

1) the ability of the house to adapt to the changing lifestyle of its residents, and 2) ability of the house to adapt and withstand the various environmental changes.

Also operating around the concept of sustainable living, these designs are meant to make the house last longer and the family living in it safer. Common feature of these homes are sturdy lumber and concrete, insulated panels, and dome-shaped ceilings. These type of house built has been proven to be more resistant to storms, tornadoes, and even earthquakes by the Wind Engineering Research Center. With natural calamities hitting the country almost every year, it pays to be keener in the construction materials used for your house.

When it comes to adaptive spaces for home, this is where secret rooms and sliding door comes in. This is also an innovative trend that architects and interior designers are looking into, in order to make a house with limited floor area still spacious enough for a growing family. Aside from choosing space-saver and multi-purpose furniture, it is also important to choose a house design that is easier to renovate in case the need for expansion arises. And this is exactly what your architect mean when they speak of adaptive home design.

Using a Free Home Design Service

There are two reasons for using a home design service: either to select the best furniture design and fabrics to suit a room’s existing decor, or to furnish a room from scratch using new furniture and furnishings, including carpets, drapes and wall coverings. The latter is the less common, due largely to the costs involved, although there are still many people that furnish a room, if not an entire home, from top to bottom.

This is particularly the case if you have purchased a new home and want to decorate it to your own tastes. In such cases you can choose your style, begin with the wall-coverings and carpet, and then seek furniture to suit – or do it the other way around. Would it not be best to combine the two and use a furniture design service to select your furniture and home furnishings so that the results looks natural, well matched and balanced?

Sure it would, and what could be better than using a free home design service offered by one of the top home furniture firms in the country? There are many furniture companies that offer a design service, and can also provide the furniture, fabrics, accessories and accent pieces to meet the requirements of their designs.

Benefits of a Free Home Design Service

Each design they offered would be focused on your specific needs, whether it is for one room or your entire home. Even if you want to furnish a room with your own major pieces, a furnishing design service such as this can recommend the occasional furniture such as individual rockers or coffee tables, and even offer help with the accent pieces such as mirrors, vases and so on. In fact, you can make use of a free home design service even if only to choose the most appropriate fabric for your sofas and chairs to match your existing room décor.

Yes, you could do it yourself, and you would likely do a good job in your own eyes, but are you sure that your taste would impress your visitors – or your neighbors? Of course, not everyone bothers what the neighbors and in-laws think, but surely it is best to have a look at what professional designers can come up with before going your own way? You are under no obligation to take their free advice – and it is a free service that many furniture stores offer.

A clash of floral designs in the drapes and the furniture fabrics can look very discordant, while a fabulous plain fabric for your sofa that matches your carpet and drapes – an even the wall-covering – could make all the difference between a beautifully designed and furnished room and a disaster!

Using a Free Floor Planner

Not that you would ever make disastrous decisions, but why not see what is possible before making your mind up? ‘Act in haste, repent at leisure’ is what they say, and nothing was ever truer. You might be surprised if you take advantage of one of the many furnishing design services available online. In fact, you could combine that with a floor planner that allows you to fit furniture thumbnails into a scale diagram of your floor.

Measure up your room and enter the measurements into the floor planner, also known as a room planner. You then get a scale plan of the floor, into which you can fit your choice of furniture. Most furniture websites that offer this form of room planning also provide scale thumbnails of each piece of furniture. So if you choose a sofa, for example, you can place it where you want it to go, and then add coffee tables and other pieces of furniture to check how they fit in.

This type of design system is brilliant for sectionals: you can choose your sectionals to make the best possible use of the space in your room, including these awkward alcoves, corners and L-shapes. You will know in advance that your choice of furniture will fit perfectly, so you have no need to return anything that you cannot fit in! You can be certain that the correct traffic space is available between individual pieces – this is particularly important if a wheelchair is involved.

If you use that service with a free home design service to select your home furnishings, you have the best of both worlds: professional designers helping you with the style and the fabrics, and the online free floor planner making sure that your choices will fit nicely into your home. Not all online furniture suppliers or outlets will offer you both of these options free of charge of course, but it sure helps if you can find those that do.

Designing a Hangar Home

There are few more unique lifestyles than living in an airport community. The designing of a hangar home is a unique skill and one best handled by professional designer well experienced in the subject. In this article we will cover a few specific points that you will value as suggestions to consider.

1. As in most residential developments usually there are the restrictions. These restrictions can govern the size of the home, the size of the hangars, architectural factors such as whether or not the hangar must blend in with home, taxiway clearance issues and the like. As with any design it is important to become familiar with these covenants prior to beginning any design.

2. Because lot sizes vary from large to small, setbacks may be an issue. Another factor is whether or not the site is level or has a slope. Sloped sites are quite workable but present unique challenges that must be considered. Generally on sloped lots the hangars are placed on the lower section and the home on the higher section which allows the home and hangar to blend with one another nicely.

3. A key question is to consider how large to make the hangar. The first thing to consider is the 2000 square foot question. Most codes in the United States differentiate between hangars less than 2000 ft. and those that are larger. In general, commercial codes apply to larger hangars whereby easier residential codes will apply to the smaller hangars. This can affect the pricing.

4. Another common point to consider is whether or not to connect the hangar in the home. Connecting or not connecting each has its advantages and disadvantages. Connecting the hangar to the home is considered by most pilots to be quite advantageous. It allows one to stay out of the weather. It makes for some very interesting architecture. But if you’re looking to build projects then you need to consider the impact made by these projects such as sounds and smells which you may not want to enter into the home. In such instances building the hangar and home separately may be the way to go.

5. How do you intend to use your hangar? Obviously, one intends to put an airplane in the hangars but many folks user hangars for other functions as well. Hangars usually become storage bins. Like everything else this can be controlled. But common uses of hangars include workshops, storing boats, storing cars – especially if you’re looking not to build a separate garage, and storing motorhomes. Regarding motorhomes, modern motorhomes are generally greater than 13 feet in height above the floor when you consider their air-conditioner. That and the height of your airplane may be the determining factors as to how tall to make your hangar ceiling. These also affect the height of the door. When considering your hangar make certain that you predict, as well as possible, its ultimate uses.

6. Another important decision is to determine what type of the door you want. Hangar doors come, basically, in three types: hydraulic, accordion and bifold. There may be others but those are the most common. Hydraulic doors are usually hinged at the top and are opened as one single slab and in the open positions act as separate roof shielding the area just outside the hangar. These tend to be expensive but are very popular. Another common door is the bifold door. Bifold hangar doors normally have horizontal hinges, usually only one horizontally in the center. They are raised with belts or chains and tend to raise from the bottom up. Accordion doors are less common but are extremely practical. They require a track both at the top and the bottom and can be simply pushed to the side to open up the space. One advantage to accordion doors is that they do not require electricity to operate. Looking at various doors types is a good idea so that you can make an educated choice as to what type of door to select.

7. The structure over the hangar door is an important consideration. Hangar doors are usually quite wide varying from a minimum of 40 feet on up to greater than 55 feet wide. The header or beam spanning across the top of the door needs to be considered structurally. One way to handle this is by placing a steel I-beam across the door which will hold the weight of the roof. There are several disadvantages to this including higher construction costs due to the steel fabrication issues. Another disadvantage is that the beam bottom will usually fall well below the ceiling of the hangar causing the hangar door to be shorter than the ceiling height. Another, perhaps better, way to handle this is to use some sort of a gable roof or a modified gable roof over the hangar door. This allows the truss system of the roof to act as its own beam. Often the truss that spans over the door is a multi-ply truss and its bottom can be even with the ceiling height of the hangar. This allows the door to be higher and nearly the same height as the ceiling of the hangar. When designing the hangar discuss this aspect with the designer engineer who will work with you to determine the best solution.

8. Another thing to consider is fuel. Do you want to keep fuel in a fuel tank that you will keep inside your hangar? Perhaps there is fuel on the property that is maintained by the Association; this can be an excellent way when available. Of course, one can always fly out for fuel and this is workable most of the time but it does require careful organization of one’s flights and fuel stops.

Things to Think About When Planning for Your Home Design

Planning for your home requires a more extensive approach and a lot of decision making to do compare to when buying one. Finding the perfect building lot is already a challenge, designing how your future abode will look like is another challenge. Putting together your dream home design on the current lot that you have as well as balancing the act of planning and budgeting can be quite difficult and may require professional help.

Here are some of the ways that can help you on your way.

Research for your dream home design

One must decide on what type of home they are about to build before actually designing how it looks like. It would be advisable to have a list of the things that you want your home to have prior to creating the blueprint. House styles today have different offerings, so it would be wise to browse for ideas before actually putting all these ideas into paper.

A quick sketch would also help in conceptualizing your dream home. Since you do not have to implement this design yet, you can still get ideas and mix and match the things that you want to have inside and outside your home. However, it is important to know the basics that would be included in your home such as the number of rooms, family areas, dining rooms, garage, kitchen features and bathroom features that you would want to have. Planning for internet connections as well as the cable and phone connections is also advisable.

Check local zoning laws and building permits

Upon the completion of your blueprint, the next step necessary would be getting the necessary permits and existing zoning laws and standards in your area. Be sure to implement structural specifications required for buildings that are constructed in your area. This can save you many headaches that you may experience during the actual construction of your home.

Designing within your budget

No matter how stunning you may want your home to look and feel like, you still need to shell out a certain amount of money to be able to execute your plan. Compare your current plan with the budget that you have and willing to spare for your dream home and adjust accordingly to fit. Take note that spending too much may lead you not having enough to buy furnishings for your dream home. Plot where your current budget can get you through with the construction of your home and budget accordingly on what you can really acquire as your budget during the actual construction. It is better to adjust now with your plan rather than having to sacrifice the quality of the construction of your home once your budget starts to hurt.

Design to fit your plot

Consider the actual lot area that you have prior to implementing your house plans. Do you want to have a large lawn and a backyard? Do you want to locate your home just a few meters away from the street to maximize the area of the plot that you have? Slopes should also be taken into consideration to be able to control backfilling and excavation costs that may be required to execute the design that you want for your home.

Locate bedrooms in areas where you get to enjoy the privacy that you require and place windows in areas that will help in making your homes more energy efficient.

Maximize your space efficiency

Make sure that you have a logical flow on your home design. The kitchen and laundry areas should be located near each other to conserve on plumbing installations. Design areas like the kitchen with access to areas like the garage or areas where you require such accessibility. Be sure that your actual furniture would fit in the layout that you have created.

The Secrets of a Good Home Design

This article is not your basic primer on selecting your “dream home”. Nor does it contain the list of “items to ask your designer” – these things can be found on any designer’s website or Google search. As important as those items are, what we are going to do here is drill-down into the design a little, bypass the fan-fare and talk about some specific concepts that will really make a difference in your life.

Matching your house to your lifestyle begins with an exploration of your needs and wants. Most home designers will have some type of “discovery process” that will help identify the basics for your home design. It will start with the configuration of your lot and proceed through items such as privacy requirements, work areas, outdoor spaces, etc. Although this process is critical to your project, it rarely drills down enough to transform your design into a home that will serve your needs for a lifetime.

Here are two keys of good home design that must be addressed up-front: a) assessing the homeowner’s current needs; and, b) anticipating the future needs of people living in the home. Before you say “Yeah, yeah…I’ve heard this all before!” let’s take a closer look at what “current needs” entail.

Almost all “discovery processes” used by home designers focus on the use and space requirements of the rooms in the house. This is good, but too little attention is given to the personal needs of the people actually living in the home. Without performing a comprehensive assessment of the client’s functional abilities, identifying areas of the home where modifications are necessary is often overlooked.

For example, the needs of a child and his / her ability to live comfortably in the home are rarely addressed at the design stage. It’s necessary to evaluate the child’s current abilities and design an environment that works and grows with the child. Some easy adaptive design elements would include adjustable shelves and rods in the closet. As the child grows, the shelves and rods can be moved to better accommodate their reach. Appliances present a similar situation as it is necessary for the controls to be accessible. Front mounted controls on washing machines and dryers enable their use. Safety also comes into play. A child trying to use a microwave placed overhead is a recipe for disaster!

Of course, the above example is very simple, but it illustrates the point that design needs to be done from the perspective of the individual and his / her ability to carry out daily routines in the home. This is why a good designer will perform an assessment of the client and specify the needed design modifications.

There are a couple of tools that a designer can use to evaluate the needs of their clients. One of those tools is the Comprehensive Assessment and Solution Process for Aging Residents (CASPAR). CASPAR was designed for healthcare professionals to evaluate their client’s ability to carry out routine activities in the home. This is also useful in determining the requirements of people who have disabilities.

Anticipating the future needs of individuals may prove a little trickier, but we can start by understanding the process of aging. Whether we like to think about growing old or not, it is inevitable, and people’s functional abilities diminish over time. A well designed home will easily adapt to these changing needs and allow people to stay in their homes longer.

Fortunately, “universal design” is beginning to take root in modern home design. Ron Mace, Founder and Program Director of the Center for Universal Design (NCSU), give us the following definition of UD: “The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities.” Because the principles of universal design are inclusive for people with disabilities, the application of UD in home design is appropriate and addresses many of the needs of people who wish to “age in place”.

Adaptable design is different in concept from universal design. Where universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities, adaptable design allows the home to be modified for a specific need. An example of adaptable design would be designing a two-story home with “stacked closets” (a closet on the first floor directly below and aligned with a closet on the second floor) so that a residential elevator or lift could easily be installed in the future. In contrast, a universal design item might be the installation of lever door handles that are easier to use for people who have lost the ability to grip a standard round door knob. These lever handles also benefit anyone who may have their hands full with groceries and want to release the door latch by using their forearm or elbow, for example. Children also have an easier time using lever door handles.

Distinguishing between universal and adaptable design may seem difficult at first, but when one realizes that these principles have less to do about the installation of specific items and are more about a designer’s perspective, it all begins to make better sense. And the designer’s perspective is heavily influenced by a thorough client assessment.

Does this level of service cost more? Yes, probably. But a couple hundred dollars up front to hire a qualified designer who will accurately assess your lifestyle and evaluate your future needs, pales in comparison to leaving your design to chance. The number one secret to good home design is to avoid cutting costs at this stage of your project and find a home designer who is an expert in assessing your needs and applying the design criteria that will make your house a home for a lifetime.

What is a Home Designer and How to Choose One

A home designer specifies design, materials, stylishness, as well as details for residential building projects. In lots of states in the US home designers aren’t mandated to have an architectural diploma or architectural license. Many people may evaluate these kinds of home designers not having these qualifications to be an undesirable factor. Basically that is definitely not even close to the truth. A professional within the field of non commercial design a “home designer” is the most suitable choice that will lead you through the design and building undertaking.

A great home designer generally possesses years of expertise not only designing and drafting the construction docs in addition will often have put in many years on actual construction sites performing the actual job themselves. Now this isn’t at all times the situation however, these people with this kind of knowledge are usually best to design your home. Not just because of their experience and expertise in the profession but their rates tend to be more affordable when compared to a registered architect’s charges will be.

The rates a home designer, as well as an architect command has proven to be completely different. Architects attain four years or more of college getting an education and studying the particulars on architect home design as well as architectural design of almost everything else all varying from little homes to large high-rise buildings. Architects are registered to approve numerous facets of building not employed for individual houses. Because of these two details architects demand very high service fees to create an architectural design in addition to a set of construction drawings for houses. The majority of architect’s charges vary from 7% to 15% (sometimes greater) for his or her services on a housing project. Almost all home designers’ rates for this exact same service vary from 3% to 8%. This particular large variation in rates combined with the undeniable fact that each commonly possess the identical or the same level of expertise in residential design is actually the reason why the majority will probably select a home designer above an architect for their housing project.

Even though design capacity can virtually, be trained, the most effective jobs are the effect of a mix of skill and knowledge, therefore your choice in who to employ shouldn’t be exclusively selected simply for their reduced rates or education. A home designer needs to be selected as due to their outstanding results of their labor.

Home designers make use of numerous sources and instruments accessible to them to assist in communicating their architectural designs as well as the construction documents into the completed product. Many home designers continue to utilize pencil and paper in addition to numerous types of color goods to symbolize and express their design to their clientele. Even though this can be a great method of communicating a design to a customer it really is outdated and doesn’t consistently accomplish the job the home designer developed it for, to help the customer to fully grasp and picture the design. Nowadays there’s a large amount of computer programs that enable a great house designer to provide their house design to their clientele. These types of graphic tools as I prefer to refer to them include things like 3D colored renderings, walk-a-rounds, as well as walk-throughs.

Therefore, when you’re looking to select a designer it’s also advisable to consider exactly how they show their designs to their clientele. Not everybody can easily figure out a conceptual drawing of a 2D floor plan. In fact ultimately it will come right down to what home designer you sense you might have more suitable connection with and you feel the most confident with.

Building a residence signifies one of the biggest monetary assets the majority of people is likely to make within their lifetime and very few comprehend just how complicated the procedure will be till they’re involved with a lot of restricted covenants, construction requirements, zoning ordinances, design and style choices, material options, suppliers as well as builder options and so forth. Do your family as well as your bank account a favor and locate a home designer to partner with and to who you’re confident with.