Streets meander through the neighborhood. Curbs and sewers are already in place, as are young saplings hinting at the promise of beautiful tree-lined streets. This, the neighborhood you’re buying into. You’ve been planning this new home for years. Everything’s been selected, from the floor coverings to the lighting fixtures. No detail has been overlooked. Or so you thought. In the excitement of your dream home becoming a reality you didn’t notice. But your car did. That significant bump when you pull into your drive. In fact, low-slung cars can’t turn into your drive without bottoming out. It’s called a curb grind.
You just assumed that the end of your driveway would slope gently to the street level. But that costs extra money, and if it’s not in the specifications, it likely isn’t going to happen. The time to talk about a curb grind is not after the driveway has been poured—it’s too late at that point. The time is before your purchase agreement is signed!
Most whole-home air purification systems utilize high-performance air filters installed in the home’s heating ductwork, which can be very effective at trapping airborne pollutants and allergens. Some systems go further, adding UV germicidal lights that can kill bacteria and germs in the air as that air passes by those lights. The limitation of such systems is that they are passive, treating only the air that passes through your heating/air conditioning system.
The next generation of indoor air purification is active rather than passive, neutralizing bacteria, mold, viruses, mildew, smoke, odors, and other contaminants throughout your home, even in air that doesn’t pass through the HVAC system. One such system is MicroPure® from Dust Free®. While this system also installs in the home’s HVAC system, MicroPure utilizes NASA-developed technology to naturally produce airborne “scrubbers,” circulated throughout the home through your ductwork that actively seek out and destroy pollutants in the air while also reducing contaminants on surfaces such as countertops and flooring. The MicroPure system comes in three sizes, 5″ (for 2-2.5 ton A/C systems), 9″ (for 3-5 ton A/C systems), and 14″ (for 5-ton and larger systems).
To learn more, visit: www.dustfree.com
Having separate owner’s bedrooms doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t get along. It could be your spouse has a job with frequent “on-call” sleep interruptions, you work different shifts, or a medical condition, sleep apnea/CPAP machine, or even loud snoring.
When you are designing your home is a great time to take this into consideration. We hear all the time, “My husband snores so loudly, he usually sleeps on the sofa,” or “I often sleep in the guest bedroom.” No one gets a good night’s sleep frequenting the sofa. And, wouldn’t it be nice to have a room that is your own and not have to trek to the guest room all the time, making sure it stays nice for guests?
For a myriad of reasons, separate owner’s bedrooms with a shared bathroom is a design concept that works for numerous households. The reasoning is simple:
“We need separate bedrooms but I don’t want to have to clean two bathrooms!”
Our Bryndle (#42320) home plan presents a dual owner’s bedroom “wing” with a common bathroom and closet.
Have you ever spent the night in a hospital room with a loved one? Oh, they may have a recliner that folds out almost flat, but you’re not going to get much sleep. The nurses are going to be coming in at all hours to check vital signs, just to make sure everything’s okay; at least once or twice there’ll be a loud disturbance in an adjoining room; and, inevitably some machine that’s hooked up to your loved one is going to start beeping. Those annoyances then become increasingly problematic as you retell the story of that night.
Sadly, the same holds true for home design. Overlooked design aspects that can quickly become annoyances for your new homeowners can become a major part of their story. While lot characteristics and the size of the home may dictate certain design compromises, here are some annoying design faux pas we’ve heard recently, and some Design Basics’ plan solutions!
Coming in from the garage and stepping right into the kitchen, eating area, or family room. You’ve been working in your garden or perhaps it’s been snowing. Your shoes/boots are messy. A transition space such as a rear foyer will be sorely missed in such a layout.
Coming in from the garage and having to walk thru the kitchen. While kitchens may have evolved from functional workplaces to now also being an integral part of your home’s entertaining area, they are not a thoroughfare! Even worse are such designs that require you (and the kids or the grandkids) to walk right by the cook top that may still be hot.
Front entry views of a toilet. From the annals of “A guy must have designed this – no woman would have,” comes this design no-no. Since bathroom doors are usually left open to signal the bathroom is not in use, if there’s a bathroom off the entry foyer, make sure the toilet is not visible.
And, in this same design, front door swing blocks staircase access. If you can’t access your staircase when the front door is open, keep working to relocate the front door or the staircase!
Door swings that make you move from vanity. Some bathroom arrangements position a vanity right as you enter the bathroom, which can be an issue when shaving or putting on makeup and your spouse needs to come into the bathroom. Design Basics’ Salem plan (3842) solves this potential problem by having bathroom doors that swing into the bedroom rather than swinging into the bathroom.
Having to walk thru one room to get to another. While hallways have been referred to by some as “a waste of space,” having to walk through one room to get to another may disrupt conversations or block TV views.
Tiny coat closets. Even in the warmest climates, closet storage is essential – and nothing beats the convenience of storage located near the front door. In the example shown, the tiny twin coat closets flanking the entry door are inadequate in terms of storage, and they’re expensive to trim out compared to a decent size single closet.
Long grocery traffic. When you think about how people actually live in their homes, it’s amazing there are so many home designs with the kitchen positioned far from the garage entry into the home. Having to carry heavy grocery sacks clear across the house becomes a real pain.
Find your ideal floor plan with Design Basics’ plan search tool. Or, contact us for assistance.
“Mudrooms” have transformed into “rear foyers,” reflecting buyer’s preferences and the reality that many of us use the entry from the garage much more often than the front door. Seats with shoe storage under, coat hooks above, and a shelf or cubbies for additional storage help organize the family and reduce stress when trying to get out the door on time.
In an effort to control clutter and focus on aesthetics, creative builders and designers are taking the rear foyer concept to new heights with discrete amenities such as hidden message centers, concealed key storage, and other examples of private storage!
Where do you keep the family calendar with everybody’s schedules? Where do you leave notes and pin up reminders (yes, some of us still do that offline!).
Planning for a message center is something you’re sure to appreciate after the remodel or once you’re moved in. Many people integrate the message center into a planning center or other area where they’ve a desk or modest work space. We’ve also seen them on the back side of wide cabinet or pantry doors, and in rear foyers (remember we’ve eliminated the term mudroom from our vocabularies!).
Cell Phone…laptop…iPod…Kindle…our lives are run on batteries!
Fortunately, these are rechargeable batteries. That’s great for the environment and avoiding battery replacement costs, but there is the hassle of keeping all of those batteries charged.
Recharging center to the rescue! One convenient location for a multitude of devices. One place where recharging is a snap and there’s no spaghetti-tangle of power cords, adapters, etc. One place where you know you’ll find that item you’re looking for–no more “Honey, have you seen my_____?” If the recharging center is for your entire household, locating it in the rear foyer entry from the garage works well.
Learn more about rear foyer design here.
“After a long day, I arrive home, open the door from the garage only to be greeted by piles of laundry. It’s like I’m starting my second job when I get home and find dirty clothes taking over the laundry/mudroom!”
Studies report for homes with an attached garage, the door from the garage into the home has become our primary entrance. In fact, we rarely use the front door. Designers have typically concentrated on front door entry foyer design, but the entryway from the garage was kind of an afterthought and often defaulted to a little space where the clothes washer and dryer could be placed.
“If you don’t get the sweaty workout clothes or kids’ sports uniforms washed right away, the stench is awful!”
A Woman-Centric™ approach to home design elevates rear foyer design for both practical and aesthetic considerations. And it doesn’t double as the laundry room–keeping your blood pressure in check. “Getting the family out the door on time in the morning with everything they need,” was the inspiration for cubbies and lockers for the kids…and adults. “Having a place to take off muddy shoes,” pointed out the need for a seat.
Maybe your family pet needs his own cubby with toys, treats, and a leash to head out for a walk. Or, your teenager’s friends are over often to practice for their garage band or to shoot hoops–rather than have them coming in and out of the kitchen for beverages and snacks, set up a mini fridge and snack basket for their convenience (and your own sanity!).
At Design Basics, we know that each person/family has their own unique needs and wants. Let our plan alterations specialists help you create that perfect design.
Contact us today by calling 800.947.7526 or Search for a Plan.