Category: Features

Small House Plans that Pack a Punch

For many of us, our dream home is a grand house with more than enough space for everyone in our lives to spread out. There are rooms to accommodate every person, guest, hobby, and pet, and a large outdoor space where our kids can run free. It’s a beautiful dream that can easily become a reality with the right house plan.

And then, there are those of us who relish in the small and cozy, in spaces that bring family members together, and places we can clean in under an hour on a Saturday morning. That’s the beauty of living small.

In this article, we’ll share some of the top reasons people choose to build small (under 2,000 square feet), and a few of our coziest house plans from our extensive design collection.

 

1) More Affordable

Not only are smaller homes more affordable to build, they are much more economical in terms of energy usage. The smaller footprint combined with modern, energy-saving systems and appliances can lower your utility bills significantly. That means more money in your pocket to save, travel, or upgrade your home (more on that in a moment).

A smaller home is also less expensive to maintain. There is less square footage inside, and not as much surface space (like roof and siding) outside, so when it comes to repairing or replacing worn out materials, it will cost much less.

2) Faster Build Time

The smaller the home, the faster the build. The build time for an average-sized new home (about 2,657 square feet, according to U.S. Census Bureau data), is about one year. In that case, homes under 2,000 square feet could take as little as 6-9 months to build, all depending on your builder partner. No matter the exact number of days, the smaller, the faster, which is perfect if you have time constraints that cannot be changed.

3) Build in More Places

When you’re small, you can be nimble. The same is true for homes. When you build small, your home can fit in more places, including the most desirable neighborhoods with the most amenities. If there’s an area that you’ve fallen in love with, but it’s densely populated and existing homes or even condos are priced too high, consider grabbing a small plot of land and building new.

4) More Money for Upgrades

When you have a smaller space, you can deck it out with top-of-the-line finishes and materials. Tap into the money you saved building a smaller home and use it for upgrades such as marble countertops, solid hardwood floors, trendy wallpaper for accent walls, and anything else you wish.

5) Bring Family Together

In a cozier home, you can feel more connected to those you live with. See and hear your kids playing in the great room while you make dinner, gather round the fireplace for game nights or cups of cocoa, and never be too far that you can’t hear a baby crying. Keep in mind though, that in a home under 2,000 square feet, you don’t have to sacrifice space or style. The plan just has to be well-designed enough to make great use of every square foot.

Here are a few of our smaller house plans that hit the mark:

Around 2,000 Square Feet

Huntington Ridge (b)

3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 1,982 Sq Ft
Plan Features:

  • Front Porch
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Large Fireplace
  • Bonus Room
  • Mud Room

 

Blantons Trace

4 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths | 2,073 Sq Ft
Plan Features:

  • Front Porch
  • Rear Porch
  • Split Bedrooms
  • Bonus Room
  • Mud Room

 

Around 1,500 Square Feet

Abbotts Pond

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 1,406 Sq Ft
Plan Features:

  • Front Porch
  • Rear Porch
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Breakfast Area

 

Quebec

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 1,342 Sq Ft
Plan Features:

  • Bonus Room
  • 14′ Ceiling in Great Room
  • Tray Ceiling in Owner’s Suite
  • Additional Space Available to Build 4th Bedroom

 

If you’re interested in building a smaller home for any of the reasons mentioned above, we’d be happy to help you find the perfect plan. Contact us to get started.

Bellmoore Plan

Trend Spotlight: Laundry Access From Master Bathroom

Have you ever browsed a house plan that seemed contemporary and stylish… but not quite the right fit for you? At Frank Betz Associates, we don’t just hold our new home design plans to the highest standards of construction and design — we hold our knowledge of what you want to the highest standards as well. 

 

No matter how small, a desirable home trend can make all the difference in the look and feel of a living space. This week, we want to highlight a home feature that we’re proud to incorporate into our plans: laundry access from the master bathroom. Take a look at how this unique shift in design enhances the way you live every day:

 

 

 

In a house plan like Lavista Park, you and your partner don’t have to lug laundry up the stairs to get it done. With a laundry room conveniently placed off of your gorgeous master bathroom, you can simply throw your clothes into the wash in the morning after getting ready or in the evenings while unwinding. Imagine: after soaking in that luxurious tub, you would only have to walk a few steps to get your laundry… not up the stairs.

 

 

 

Having your laundry close to your bedroom, as opposed to on a separate floor or near the kitchen, makes a lot of sense. Easy access means less hassle — and who wouldn’t want to take the hassle out of doing laundry? After a load is finished, all you have to do is fold is up and take it right into your bedroom. And if you’re not a fan of laundry baskets, no problem; taking “trips” to and from your laundry room is as easy as can be.

 

 

 

If you have a growing family or are planning to start one, laundry days become more frequent than ever before. With your laundry room an entire floor away from your children’s rooms upstairs, you never have to worry about a late-night load of laundry waking anyone up. Especially when you have a newborn, you’ll want as much sleep as possible, which means keeping them far from your washer and dryer will work wonders for everyone.

At Frank Betz Associates, we pride ourselves on creating house plans that live the way that you do. If you’re ready to move into a home that caters to your modern design preferences and personal needs, we’re right behind you. For more information about our house plans, please call 888-717-3003. We can’t wait to meet you!

Tuxedo Park

Featured House Plan: Meet Tuxedo Park

That excitement when you see your new home for the very first time? We believe you should feel this every time you return home, whether from a getaway vacation or a work day. A house may be purchased, but home is priceless — so you deserve a modern plan that lives just the way that you do. 

 

Meet Tuxedo Park, an innovative plan that combines contemporary features with timeless charm to create a home you can’t help but fall in love with. With 3,306 total square feet, you’ll have all the room you need to enjoy life’s little moments — from your charming porch to your gorgeous master suite and everything in between. 

 

This one-of-a-kind house plan also comes complete with a flex room, a vaulted porch, and an optional bonus room on the second floor, which can be turned into another bedroom for family or guests, or a specialized space for whatever you wish, whether a movie room, a home office, or your own personal art studio. 

 

Built with a mix of classic and modern charm, Tuxedo Park first catches your eye with an old-world English elevation with Cotswold elements. Past a beautiful front porch with classic dormers that break the cornice line, you’ll walk inside and feel the warmth of a wide open interior — and immediately know you’re home.

 

The first floor provides an abundant, open-concept living area with a kitchen, dining, and living room. The family room is expertly designed with a beamed ceiling and beautiful fireplace, perfect for get-togethers, celebrations, and weeknight dinners. You’ll also find a spectacular master suite with a spa-like bathroom that’s specifically created to make you feel your best, day or night. 

 

On the second floor, there are three spacious bedrooms, each with walk-in closets and access to a bathroom. There’s also a large loft space that can become anything you want, from an entertainment area to a quiet place to read, relax, and recharge. Up here, you and your family will always embrace your most comfortable state.

 

When you come back to a home that fits you perfectly, every day suddenly feels wide open. You won’t believe all of the experiences and opportunities that are waiting for you in a home like this… For more information about Tuxedo Park, please call 888-717-3003. All of us at Frank Betz Associates can’t wait to meet you!

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR HOMES’ CURB APPEAL

Walk down any residential street and it’s the homes that make up most of the scenery. How your home looks from the curb point of view makes a statement. It’s a first impression that conveys a lot about who and what lives inside. Whether you’re looking to maximize your home’s curb appeal because it’s going on the market or you just want a great looking home, this article can help you get there.

Aspen Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Knock Knock

The front door is most often the centerpiece of a home’s front exterior. As people approach your home, they’re headed for the front door. As a major focal point, you should create a front doorway that is both strong and welcoming. Depending on your door type, this can be achieved with a fresh coat of paint or stain. While well-crafted hardware that includes the door knob, knocker and even the doorbell can dramatically contribute to the overall look of your front entry way. Long story short, a great front door is a must for curb appeal.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

A porch that says, “come on up.”

If your home has a front porch, it already has a head start in the curb appeal department.

Nothing says “come on up for a visit” like a well-appointed front porch. Taking into consideration the style of your home, furnish your front porch with comfortable chairs or even porch swing. Potted and hanging plants and other attractive ornaments like windchimes, a door mat and sculpture are additional ways to turn up the welcome factor in this out-in-front space.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Frank Betz

Landscaping matters.

Attractive landscaping means more than just freshly cut grass. From the curb, is there a path leading to the door? Make sure this path is well kept and even. Trimmed bushes, flowering plants and carefully pruned trees all add up to create a beautiful landscape. And remember, it all starts at the curb. The sidewalk and driveway are also important areas to keep looking neat.

Maplegrove Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

A detailed approach.

Another step in increasing your home’s curb appeal is sprucing up the architectural details. These include any elements that can be seen from the curb. Make sure that any fencing is in order, the roofing and gutters look good and light fixtures and hardware are working and clean.

Even a neat mailbox can help. These items may seem insignificant alone, but together they have a substantial visual effect.

 

New Albany House Plan- Frank Betz

What a difference a color makes.

Finally, and quite important, is your home’s paint. Freshening up the exterior of your home with a shiny new coat of paint is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to boost its curb appeal. Shades of green and brown blend well with most landscapes. Light and dark tones of blue also work well to instill a look of calmness. And if your home is modern or traditional, white is a nice way to emphasize clean lines.

 

There are many simple ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Start by standing on the curb and observing your home from an objective perspective. You’ll be able to identify key issues that can be easily addressed. With a little time and elbow grease, your home can be looking its best to you and anyone who happens by.

 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MUDROOM DESIGN

Similar to an airlock on a space station, the mudroom is a vital transition area between the outdoors and indoors. Coming in from outside, it’s a place to take off and store your outerwear and other daily belongings. When leaving your home, it’s the last stop to gear up with the needed essentials. Coming or going, a well-designed mudroom is an essential part of any home.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Frank Betz

A heavy traffic area

One of the keys to a properly designed mudroom is making sure it’s located adjacent to the most used entry way. Consider what door your family will be using the most often and that is the place for the mudroom. This is probably the area where everyone’s shoes, boots, gloves, coats, backpacks, keys and hats will live. So, it should be designed into the floorplan according to convenience and easy access to your home’s most popular doorway.

Barrington Hills House Plan- Frank Betz

Everything in its place and a place for everything

Accessibility and organization are two very important components to a functional mudroom design.
Built-in shelving and cabinets are nice for storage. While racks and hooks to hang coats and hats make getting in and out of the house more efficient. If there is room for a bench, not only will it provide a comfortable place to sit while removing shoes and boots, but with the right design, the area under the bench can be utilized for storage, as well. Installing a small mirror is also a nice amenity, for a last-minute look before you head out the door.

Ingrams Mill Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Size is relative

Beyond location, the size of your mudroom should be determined by the number of people and pets in your home. Remember, with each person comes at least one set of shoes, a coat and hat. And for our
four-legged family members, you’ll need room for a leash and outdoor toys. If there’s space for its own room great, but a mudroom can be designed into a hallway, laundry room or larger closet.

 

Pine Meadow House Plan- Frank Betz

Durable materials

The very definition of a mudroom describes a place where muddy and wet clothing is taken off before entering the rest of the home. It’s there to protect the rest of your home from the outdoor elements. With that, a mudroom should be designed using materials that can handle dirt and moisture. Tile flooring or an easy to clean rug will help keep things tidy. Metal hooks and wire baskets are also moisture resistant features that make for durable storage and organization.

Wellstone Place Floor Plan- Frank Betz

All told, the mudroom should be designed for function. It is a place to keep outdoor clothing and any other daily items used outside the home. But just because the mudroom is designed for utility, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attractive and complement your home. Incorporating the same color pallet and material styles will help weave this room into your home’s established décor. Yes, it is a mudroom, but it can be a beautiful room, as well.

DESIGNING A CRAFTSMAN STYLE HOME – IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

 

Gaining popularity in the early twentieth century, the Craftsman style house is easy to identify. Its distinct design characteristics set it apart from most other home styles. From its iconic front porch, exposed beams and grand fireplace, the Craftsman home has a character all its own. If you’re planning to build a new Craftsman home, this article will highlight a number of its classic design features.

A welcome like no other

Of all the defining features of a Craftsman home, the covered front porch is one of the most recognizable.

Anchored with brick or stone footers, Craftsman porch columns start wide at the bottom and taper toward the top. The front porch has deep overhanging eaves, visible knee braces and exposed rafter tails that extend beyond the roof line. Shingled eaves and handcrafted trim are also a notable detail found on examples of the style.

Castle Rock Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Definitive scale

Balanced proportion and scale are very important qualities of a Craftsman home. Standing vertical but solid, most Craftsman’s are only one or two stories. Their low-pitched roofs provide a squat facade which works proportionately with their wide floorplans. Intersecting roof lines also help to convey a textured dimension to the home when viewed from every angle.

 

Palo Alto Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Creature Comforts

Another hallmark of the Craftsman style is a large fireplace usually located in the living room. Working as the home’s centerpiece, it often uses the same stone and wood detailing found throughout the home.
As with other elements pulled from the Arts and Crafts movement, built-in cabinetry and shelving can a be found in the living spaces beyond the kitchen. More tell-tale interior details include multi-pane windows with wide trim wainscoting or chair rails, period light fixtures and paned doors. Intricate metal hardware on doors and windows add to the Craftsman charm.

Ventura House Plan- Frank Betz

Show the bones

Craftsman homes are known for shamelessly showing off their structural components. Exposed beams on the interior and exterior of the home act as signature architectural details. As mentioned above, the ends of the beams, called rafter tails notably extend outside of the roof line. Inside, natural wood rafters accent the ceilings in most every room. This treatment brings an element interest to an otherwise overlooked aspect of the home.

 

Palo Alto Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Naturally designed

With locally sourced wood and stone as the go-to materials, the Craftsman home exudes an earthy ambiance. The color palette of this style reflects the natural world, as well. Earth tones like browns and greens are most often used. While handcrafted dark wood detailing and accents add to rustic influence.

Altamonte Floor Plan- Frank Betz

There are many reasons the Craftsman style home is one of the most popular across the country. It’s iconic style fits in nicely from coastal to mountainous regions. And in addition to its historic architectural beauty, the style is still quite functional in our modern world. Featuring a deep-rooted essence of comfort and hand-crafted elegance, the Craftsman home has earned its illustrative name while standing the test of time for more than a century.

 

 

 

 

 

DESIGN TIPS FOR YOUR NEW LAKE HOUSE OR MOUNTAIN HOME

Building a home where your family spends most of its time can be a project of a lifetime. Building a second, vacation centered home on the water or in the mountains is an adventure on a whole other level. A vacation home is just that, for a vacation. With that means every facet of the home’s design should be geared to comfort and relaxation. This article will help illustrate some of the best practices when designing your dream vacation home.

Kensington Park Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Rooms with a view

 

Whether it’s on the water or in the mountains, the positioning of your vacation home should always be oriented to achieve the maximum view of the natural surroundings. When designing a floor plan, locate the most frequently used rooms toward the back of the home. This includes the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery by installing as many large windows and glass doors as possible. Not only will this expansive glass optimize your view, but the natural light can reduce electricity bills. Less used rooms like the garage, laundry and bedrooms should be situated toward the front of the home.

Summerlake Floor Plan- Frank Betz

The positives of a sloping lot

 

Due to their remote locations, vacation homes are often set on rougher terrain. This usually means the lot will be located on a hill or mountain. These slopes can work in your favor if planned correctly. By putting the foundation into the slope and building upwards, you’ll have at least two stories that are open to the views and sunlight. A proper retaining wall will be needed to address water drainage from the downward slope.

Tillman Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Make every square foot count
Because it’s a vacation home you’ll want to maximize every inch of space. If you like to entertain, friends and family will probably be visiting and staying overnight. Designing a terraced home with multiple levels will allow you to pack in as many sleeping quarters as possible. Basement bedrooms are also a less expensive way to make room for guests.

Blue Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Outside is the new inside

Your vacation home will hopefully be located smack dab in the middle of nature’s beauty. To best enjoy the surroundings, try to include as many exterior spaces as possible. Porches, decks and even outside kitchens and fireplaces are great ways to enjoy nature in functional comfort. An abundance of fresh air and sunlight are the keys to relaxation. A true vacation home will take these resources into account and blur the line between the indoors and outdoors.

Summerlyn Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Designing a vacation home is a perfect opportunity to push the bounds of creating a dwelling that embraces the tranquility of the natural world. A home with expansive views of the surroundings, cozy and ample sleeping quarters, as well as generous outdoor amenities should all be cornerstones of the design. Again, this home should be a place of serenity and outdoor fun. So, design with nature in mind.

5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

 

Most of us spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. In the last few decades, the kitchen has evolved from a purely utilitarian space to a central gathering area for the whole family. Having a better organized kitchen will enhance not only the efficiency of the room, but also its livability factor. As the workhorse of your home, maximizing the use of every inch of its space is important. Below you will find a list with 5 effective ways that will easily make your kitchen more enjoyable.

Hanover Pointe Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Organization Is Key

A great kitchen and an organized kitchen are one in the same. With so many items from food to flatware, having a defined place for each is a must. Beyond typical cabinetry and drawers, including a pantry for dry goods, open shelving for plates, bowls and glassware, and hanging racks for cooking utensils can bring needed order to the kitchen. Wine and spice racks are other examples of how you can increase organization, where everything is easy to find.

Ansley Cottage Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Space to Work

Kitchen storage is one thing, but you’ll also need room to work. When it comes to preparing meals, the more surface areas to cut, chop, peel, dice, and clean, the better. There are many countertop options that are very durable and easy to clean. Depending on the square footage of your kitchen, a central island can provide more room to work, as well as to dine. Small desks are also a common feature in the modern kitchen.

Aspen Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Dedicated Spaces for Small Appliances

A kitchen can easily look cramped and cluttered if small appliances end up in the wrong places. While it’s nice to have coffee machines, blenders, choppers, mixers, etc., they can take up valuable countertop space. This will reduce your workspace and make the kitchen appear smaller. Establishing dedicated spaces for these appliances and storage for less commonly used machines is a recommended solution.

Saint Denis Floor Plan- Frank Betz

 

An Open Floor Plan Will Expand the Size of Your Kitchen

If you want to make your kitchen appear larger, take advantage of an open floor plan. This will connect your kitchen with other living areas in your home. An open kitchen enables better interaction with family members in adjacent areas, like the living room or den. As stated before, the kitchen, especially an open kitchen, has become the heart of the modern home.

 

The importance of proper appliances

Modern technology has seen incredible advances in the common kitchen appliances. Items like in-counter dishwashers, convection ovens, gas stove tops, microwaves and smart refrigerators are just a few of the must haves for any new kitchen. It’s better to spend more for high-quality kitchen appliances. They will not only last longer, but offer a broader spectrum of features that will help you save time and effort.

Northfield Manor Floor Plan- Frank Betz

If there’s any room in your new home that desires more thought and attention to detail, it’s the kitchen. As the most popular space in most home designs, effort should be made to create a comfortable and easily workable environment.  The right kitchen can make your home. And if you ever opt to sell, a great kitchen is always a winning feature.

DESIGN TIPS FOR THE BEST FINISHED BASEMENTS

For the home owner that needs more space and amenities, finishing out the basement is a great solution. The basement is already part of your home’s structure, so from a cost perspective it’s usually less expensive than adding to the footprint of the house. As you begin to plan the renovation, there a number of key design factors to consider. This article will highlight these ideas to help you get the most out of this exciting endeavor.

Ambrose Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Planning before all else

Even if you just want to build out a room or two, a comprehensive plan for the whole basement is advised. Not only will it give you a full view of what you have to work with, it will make the future renovations much easier. As with any home renovation work, be sure to get the proper permits before the first hammer is swung.

Falkirk Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

A dry basement is a happy basement

First and foremost, when planning a basement renovation make sure there are no water issues. Because most basements are below grade, moisture is often a factor. Solve any moisture problems before the renovation, or there’s a high probability you’ll see continuous damage to the finishes of your new space. When finishing out the walls, using insulation with a vapor barrier will aid in moisture protection.

Gastonia Floor Plan- Frank Betz Associates

The purpose

Another part of the basement renovation planning process should be a careful assessment of how each room is going to be used. Will there be bedrooms, a kitchen, theatre or a wine-cellar? Each kind of room will need the appropriate amenities. Bedrooms will need an egress window or door, closets and bathrooms, while media rooms call for special lighting and other electrical nuances. Even a small kitchen will need the appropriate plumbing. As for the utility areas like the water heater and HVAC units, leave those unfinished. These spaces need ample access for inspection and/or repairs.

Kenthurst Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Let there be light

Since most basements are below ground, proper lighting is always an issue. Whenever possible, open areas up to natural light. This can be achieved by large windows or sliding glass doors. Recessed lighting in a drop ceiling, positioned near the outer perimeter of rooms, will provide ample light and make the rooms appear larger. Lighter color paint will also create the illusion of more light and space.

Custom Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Drop that ceiling

Often acquainted with commercial properties, there are many drop ceiling options that look very nice in a residential setting. This design method will enable you to hide HVAC ductwork, electrical and plumbing lines. And as stated above, it’s the go-to method for recessing lights.

Boulder Summit Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Finishing out the basement is an efficient and cost-effective way to add much needed space and features to your home. Be sure to plan the renovation as you would the rest of your home. The extra time and planning taken up front will make all the difference in the end result. Soon you’ll be enjoying your new basement and reflecting on a job well done.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES

Your living space doesn’t have to end once you step out of your home. Taking advantage of your little slice of the great outdoors is part of what homeownership is all about. With the right approach you can dramatically extend your home’s living space. Outside living areas add so much to a home not only from a value standpoint, but as a unique gathering space for family and friends.

Falkirk Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

A true extension of your home
The best outdoor living spaces can create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. By utilizing colors and other tonal accents from your home’s interior, you’ll be able to subtly tie the two together. Whether it’s a stone patio, terraced deck or well kept grass area, these outdoor spaces can be great for dining, play and just to hang out. Dinner with the whole family is nice. Dinner with the whole family at a table under the stars can be extra nice.

 

Woodlawn Floor Plan- Frank Betz

The great outdoors
Spending time outdoors, whatever the season, is good for you both mentally and physically.
Fresh air and sunshine can positively affect mood and overall happiness. So why not create an outdoor living space that your family wants to be a part of? Getting out of the house and away from the TV and other screens promotes a healthy lifestyle. Not only is your family more apt to take part in beneficial outdoor activities, but they’ll be more engaged and present.

Summerlake House Plan- Frank Betz

Room with a view
If your home is lucky enough to be located in an area of natural beauty, creating a comfortable outdoor living space is a great way to immerse yourself in that surrounding. Taking in the view of a mountain, ocean, lake, golf course or even a stand of trees is an added bonus for your outdoor living space. And in the evening, sitting around a fire pit or stone fireplace with friends or family can be a great bonding experience.

Summerlyn Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Exterior design
Just like the interior of your home, there are many ways to design your outdoor living space for maximum comfort and usability. Weather proof seating, pillows and rugs can help bring a softness to these areas. While dining tables and umbrellas can help you enjoy these outdoor rooms with protection from the weather. Adding potted plants and a small water feature are further methods of enhancing the space.

Sweetwater Floor Plan- Frank Betz

With the arrival of air conditioning in the home, families tended to move their lives inside. While this provided a modern level of comfort, it led to a disconnect with the outdoor world and its associated benefits. Nothing inside a home can replace the nourishing experience of spending time in the fresh air, sunshine and beauty of the natural world. By creating an outdoor living space on your property, you can bring back that inherent connection with the nature while adding to the value and comfort of your home at the same time.