Tag: home design

The FAQs of Choosing a New House Plan

You’ve heard there’s no place like home, but the truth is, there’s no place like YOUR home, and you want to learn as much as possible before you begin building one. If you’re thinking of purchasing a house plan, or are about to start the process, you’ve probably got questions. Because we want to provide you with as much information as possible, we compiled the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. 

 

We see a plan we love but want to make changes. Can we modify a plan? 

 

Yes, it is common for customers to choose a stock house plan and modify it to suit their needs. Purchasing a pre-designed stock house plan saves you money while still getting the design expertise and knowledge you would from a custom plan. The choice of a stock house plan saves time and money because most of the work is already complete. To modify a plan, come up with a “wish list” of changes and email it to us at modify@frankbetz.com and we’ll send a quote to you.

 

What if I need the plan flipped and the garage on the opposite side?

 

With modern CADD (computer-aided design) systems, producing drawings and documents either right-reading or reversed is a very simple task and is readily available.

 

Do you design custom homes, too?

 

The design process is what we do best! Our vast knowledge and experience makes Frank Betz Associates the best choice for conceptual design whether it’s a one-of-a-kind custom design or a speculative design. Even if you have drafting or CADD capabilities, we would really like to produce the design concepts. Floor plan design, elevation design — we do it all.

 

How much does it cost to build a house plan?

 

The price of building a plan varies greatly based on the location and materials used. We recommend consulting with a local builder or real estate professional about the cost-per-square-foot in your area. 

 

How much does it cost to buy a house plan?

 

Pricing for stock plans is at the discretion of the plan owner; however, within the industry, pricing for similar products from one designer source to another is fairly consistent.

 

How is the square footage calculated on a house plan? 

 

Designers and architects all calculate square footage differently. Some include exterior materials and volume space; others do not. Different architects may have differing square footage totals for the same plan. Also, certain tradesmen and sub-contractors will have their own method of calculating square footage related to their individual trade and scope of work. Our square footage calculations are made from outside the exterior frame wall and only include heated spaces. 

 

I love the floor plan but do not like the front of the home. Is there anything we can do?

 

It is relatively easy to change the exterior style of a particular design, within reason. Not all styles are architecturally correct for every plan, but that is typically left up to the discretion of the designer or architect to decide. We encourage our customers to find a floor plan that suits their needs, and if the exterior is not to their liking we will work with them to create a pleasing exterior.

 

Do you post pictures of your finished house plans?

 

Photography legitimizes our house plans. It is comforting to prospective buyers to know that someone else has experienced using the plans and has built a house based upon them. Graphically, it is so important to see pictures because some people cannot easily visualize the final structure. It is a huge benefit to work with someone who can see/think in “three dimensions” and visualize what the outcome will be. It is a must for someone wanting a career in this business!

 

We depend on our customers to send in pictures of our finished house plans. If we have pictures available for any house plan, they will be on our website! Make sure you check our Gallery for extra pictures as well! 

 

Do your plans meet local building codes?

 

Building codes change from one area to another. It is of utmost importance to check with the permitting department or code enforcement officers in your area before starting a project. When a customer is purchasing a stock house plan, it may need to be modified to meet your local building code.

 

How expensive is it to modify a plan?

 

Modifications are strictly a “time spent” issue — the more involved the request for changes are, the more they will cost. When you begin to make a change to the plans —  no matter how involved — you introduce the need for human assessment, which adds to the expense. 

 

Still have questions? Contact us  — we’d love to help!

 

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.

Thanksgiving

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in Your New Home

Before long, family and friends will gather to share laughs, recount stories, and of course, indulge in Thanksgiving fare. With an abundance of room to relax, a new Frank Betz Associates home is the perfect space to host the big meal. Can you smell those festive flavors floating through your gourmet kitchen yet? 

 

If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving in your beautiful new home, all you need is a little preparation and you’re on your way to your best holiday yet. Take a look at our recipe for a smooth, easy dinner party:

 

Plan Out the Meal

 

We all know that organization is key, so a concrete plan will help you visualize your evening. Grab your computer or a notebook and make notes about the following: 

 

  1. How many people will you be serving?
  2. Are there any dietary restrictions? 
  3. Which recipes can you make ahead? 
  4. Which recipes should be prepared the day of? 
  5. Which dishes will family members or friends prepare?
  6. Is there something new you particularly want to serve?

 

Pro Tip: If you’re a first-timer, start off slow (especially if you’re not a veteran chef). Enlist your family and friends to help out with cooking and choose easy-to-follow recipes. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with buying components of your dinner from a restaurant or market. If this is the best option for you, you can always bake a simple dessert or put together a cheese board appetizer

 

Getting a clear idea of what you want your meal to be like helps to alleviate stress. After all, Thanksgiving is about family, graciousness, and relaxing, so take the time to enjoy it!

 

Freshen Up Your Home

 

From seasonal table settings and a beautiful, festive centerpiece, to flowers and hors d’oeuvres in your spacious living room before the meal, there are so many ways to get creative. Freshen up your open interior by dusting, vacuuming, polishing silverware, fluffing cushions and pillows, and wiping down tables.

 

Most importantly, you don’t have to bend over backwards to fill your abundant space with festive flair. In fact, little touches (like painted pumpkins on your front step or entryway table) sometimes make the biggest impact. Scented candles are a timeless go-to — whether you opt for aromas like pumpkin chai or cedarwood and mahogany, this simple addition spreads happiness throughout your entire home.

 

Prepare For Post-Dinner

Of course, your focus will be on the fun of the big meal, but a few simple touches here and there will ensure that post-dinner will be just as easy and enjoyable as the dinner itself. Empty the dishwasher and trash bins to prepare for cleanup, and line your trash bins with more than one bag so that you have a fresh one ready to go when the first becomes full. Finally, stow any fragile items that children might get to.


Start the Party in a New Home


Last but not least, give your guests something to smile about as soon as they walk in with a festive drink. Whether you love warm, cider-based drinks, something fruity and fizzy, or classic wine with a kick, there’s a holiday cocktail out there to start the fun.

This Cranberry Champagne Cocktail is easy to make, fun to sip, and absolutely beautiful. All you need is cranberry juice, lime wedges, frozen cranberries, and Champagne or sparkling wine. Chill the flutes, add a squeeze of lime and cranberry juice, fill the flutes with your desired amount of alcohol, and finish off with 3-4 cranberries. Prepare these drinks ahead of time so everyone receives a “party favor” when they walk in.

From all of us at Frank Betz Associates, happy early Thanksgiving!

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.

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING YOUR MASTER SUITE

Besides the kitchen, the master suite is considered one of the most important areas of a home. It’s where you’ll be spending a good portion of your life, not only because it’s where you and your significant other sleep, but where you get ready for the day ahead. Taking the time to design a master suite that best fits your needs is well worth the effort. With a few design tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on the right path to creating a well-planned master suite.

The matter of privacy
Because your master suite will act as a retreat from the hectic world, a sense of privacy should be woven into the design. Positioning these rooms near the back of the home and/or on the upper story is recommended. The privacy issue also comes in to play when locating windows and doors. Yes, you can add curtains or blinds, but it’s comforting to be able to dress and undress freely without having to worry about putting on a show for the neighbors.

The size is right
The master suite most commonly consists of the largest bedroom and bathroom in the house.
Larger walk-in closets and sitting rooms are also popular features for these areas. When designing your home’s floorplan, assigning a generous percentage of the square footage for the master suite is advised. One should also consider the furniture that will go in these rooms. The size of the bed, dressers and sitting room chairs can help determine the amount of space needed.

Closet space. More is more.
One of the most attractive features of a well-designed master suite is ample closet space. If the square footage is available, including two walk-in closets is the best course. This allows enough room for both occupants to keep their individual wardrobes. A master suite with two walk-in closets is also a huge advantage when selling your home.

Bathroom zen
While the rest of your home’s bathrooms are purely functional in nature, the master suite bathroom can be extraordinary. Beyond function, this bathroom can be a place of relaxation.
Double sink vanities, spa tubs and steam showers are just a few examples of luxurious master suite amenities.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

Laundry convenience
Since the master suite is usually inhabited by two people, it will generate a significant amount of clothing and bedding. To conveniently handle the cleaning and upkeep of these items, designing easy access to the laundry is suggested. If the master suite is on the second floor and the laundry room on the first, a laundry shoot is a feature that can aid the accessibility and save time.

Hedgerow House Plan- Frank Betz

Every great home should have a master suite to match. As your own personal escape from the busy world, it should include the space and amenities that will enable both functionality and relaxation. As much if not more than any room in your home, the master suite should be a reflection of your style with the space and features that will complement the home as a whole.

Stick-Built Homes vs. Prefab – What’s the Difference?

There are two main options when deciding to build a new home. These are stick-built and prefab construction. This article will help to clearly illustrate some pros and cons of both. By explaining the differences between stick-built homes and prefab, you will be able to make a better informed decision as you plan the next big step in building your new home.

Chestnut Springs Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Quality

Prefab stands for prefabricated. With these homes, machines are doing most of the initial work. Without the human factor, the structural components are often more precise. Everything is measured, cut, and assembled by computers and machines, so the occurrence of errors is drastically reduced. Like stick-built homes, the craftsmanship during the assembly of a prefab home directly affects the end result. Attention to high building standards should be the same for both methods. One point of difference with a stick-built home, is that it allows the new owner to view all steps and materials used.

Gramercy House Plan- Frank Betz

Your home will be up more quickly with prefab modules

With prefab modular homes, time is not an issue. Once the panels are delivered on site, the basic frame of the home can be put together in under a day. And weather is not a factor when building a prefab home. This enables other teams can get to work on the interior more quickly. However, the foundation measurements must be exact for the prefabricated panels to fit correctly. Unlike stick-built homes, it is very difficult to make in-field adjustments to the panels. Overall, a prefab home can be completed up to a month shorter than a stick-built home.

Wellstone Place- Frank Betz Associates

Costs are actually similar

Often associated with lower quality and cost, modern prefab homes are in line with stick-built homes in both aspects. Initial costs are lower for prefab homes as much of the construction happens in a factory, instead of using manual labor to build on site. One must account for shipping the panels and the costs of special materials.

Variety of design options

This is where the prefab option falls behind stick-built. While there are an ever growing number of prefab design options, a stick-built home design can be completely original. Prefab homes floor plans are often modular in scope, but many allow for highly customized interior and exterior appearances. That may work for most, but there is no comparison to the customizable possibilities when starting a home design from scratch.

Amelia House Plan- Frank Betz

The best decision on your new home direction will come from carefully weighing both options. Explore the prefab design options from different manufacturers. If you find one that truly hits the mark, make sure your builder is experienced with this building process. A builder accomplished in prefab building methods can help you feel confident the quality will be on par with a stick-built home. But for true originality, a stick-built home is the way to go. It may take a bit longer, but a one-of-a-kind dream home will be yours.

 

Should I have a Design in Mind Before I Find a Builder?

To have, or not to have a home design in mind before finding a builder. That is the question. Regardless of the correct answer, as a person or persons about to take the bold step of building a house, you are probably going to have an idea of what type of house design you’d like. Given those preferences, it is very unlikely that you will approach a builder without at least some of those ideas in mind. That said, there are reasons for and against how defined your home design desires should be when looking for a builder. Here’s a few of them.

Gentry House Plan- Frank Betz

Pros

Having a definite design idea for your new home can be an asset when looking for a builder. It will allow you to focus your search only on builders who are accustomed to building that type of home. For example, you would not want to hire a builder who specializes in building modern homes, if you have your heart set on a farmhouse style. Builders typically have a select range of styles they are familiar with working on. You will want to make sure your style is in that range and preferably go and see examples first hand.

Additionally, with a house design in mind it’s easier to get competitive bids from builders. Having built that style before, they know what to expect from a time and materials perspective. This will provide more accurate bids for your new home to compare with other builders.

Summergrove Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Cons

There are a few downsides to having a predetermined house design, however. For one, your pre-selected house plan may not fit your lot. That may mean working with an architect to create another house plan design or adjusting the present one. This will require more time and expense in the long run.

Some builders tend to have better offers if you use one of their home designs. If your design is much different, you may not benefit from these discounts. Working outside their parameters tends to drive up the cost.

You might also encounter the fact that your desired plan does not fit your future neighborhood’s Home Owner’s Association requirements. Most of the time, an HOA will have its own pre-requisites for home designs. That’s especially true if you want to build in a neighborhood that has a set style. Your design just might not fit in.

Wellstone Place- Frank Betz Associates

Conclusion

Taking into account all the pros and cons, getting bids using your new home design and with builders’ options may be an optimal solution. Either way, being flexible with your design expectations is always suggested. Building a new home is a process. And if you stay fluid, your home’s design will evolve for the better.  Above all, take your time on the front end. Figuring out what you want design-wise, in the middle of a build can not only lead to longer build times, but could negatively effect the end result. In the end, it’s quality that matters the most. So whatever home design you and your builder pursue, attention to craftsmanship should be the ultimate priority.

 

What do I need to ask a Potential Home Builder?

 

So you’re ready to build a new home. One of the first steps should be to pick a builder. If you live in a decent sized town or city, there is a good chance you will have a lot of potential options. There are many things to consider when making the choice, but by asking the right questions of the candidates, you should end up with the best builder for you. Here are some question topics to keep in mind:

References

Besides being licensed, the best builders will always have a wide array of references. It’s a good idea to meet the builders past clients to not only view the builder’s craftsmanship but also get an insight into their customer service. Industry websites can also be a reference source for the local area. A builder who is not forthcoming with references is a major red flag.

Catawba Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Do they allow customization or do you have to agree with standard finishes?

A good home builder will always offer the ability to customize your design. You probably want your home to be a reflection of your taste and style. Standard finishes may work for a car, but you shouldn’t have to settle when building a home. A qualified builder will use standard finishes as a starting point, and be open to customization from there.

What warranty does the builder supply?

Builder home warranties are a must. When interviewing each builder, be sure to get the length and coverage of their warranties. Your new home’s products, systems and components should all come with extensive warranties. Make sure your builder will honor the warranties and provide ample service if needed.

Beaufort House Plan- Frank Betz

Pricing

Builders price building a new home a number of different ways. Do they calculate everything per square foot, do they have a flat fee? If you customize, will there be additional costs? Will they keep you up to date on the costs as you go through the building process? It is important to have a thorough understanding of a builder’s pricing before you commit to working with them.

Frank Betz Material Workbook

Estimated time length for the project

A building time frame is another piece of information you should have before choosing the builder. You don’t want a builder who will take too much time, but on the other hand, you don’t want someone who will rush through your job. A fast build often means reduced craftsmanship and lower quality. If your builder has his hands full with a bunch of other homes, that may mean less time and attention to your home build. Finding a good balance between the two is a solid choice.

Bucknell Place House Plan- Frank Betz

Overall, it is a good idea to interview as many builders as possible. The more questions you ask, the better. The answers will help you make a better informed decision. With the right questions you will find a builder that fits your style, temperament and budget. If possible, spending a bit more for the right builder will pay off in the long run. After all, this is your new home we’re talking about.

Getting reference for New home construction through online industry reports and home shows

As you approach the new home building process, there a number of ways to gain a base knowledge of construction that will help in the long run. A quick search online can lead you to applicable reference materials and various industry reports. Visiting local home shows are another beneficial method. Gathering as much information about the industry will help increase your building knowledge and thus be better prepared to start this quite big undertaking. You’ll get a broader, non-biased view of home building trends in your desired area, find information on credentialed builders and know what questions to ask going forward.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hemlock Falls

Before you get the keys to your dream home, there’s a long road ahead. As a first step, it is advised to research the topic on various online construction reporting websites. These sites include www.contructionmonitor.com, www.rakenapp.com, www.nahb.org. While these sites are directed toward industry professionals, the content can be useful to someone looking to build a new home for the first time. By familiarizing yourself with industry terminology and processes, you’ll better understand what’s going on, as it’s going on. You’ll also get to see the major players, popular vendors and construction techniques in your area.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Tanglewood

Most of these sites focus on building permit data as the key resource to gauge market trends and activity.
Building professionals use this information to find new business opportunities, source general contractors, subcontractors and vendors, but you’ll be able to get a feel for who’s doing what and where, as well. Because these are sites for professionals, you’ll also be able to verify the credentials of your perspective builder and vendors. Additionally, they frequently have updates on the latest happenings in the building industry like vendor expos and home shows.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hickory Flat

Home shows feature exhibits, product demonstrations and seminars on a variety of home building topics.
Anything and everything having to do with the home can be found at a decent sized home show. Here you’ll find info on house plans, building materials, landscaping and lawn care, kitchen appliances, fixtures, flooring, roofing, siding, concrete, windows, heating and air conditioning, patios, insulation, and more. If you’re interested in building a green home, there are many shows that travel the U.S., specifically geared to that topic. There you’ll learn about green building methods and products that include the latest insulation, radiant floor heating, energy efficient appliances, zero VOC paint and green roofs. And no green home show would be complete without clean energy alternatives like solar panels and wind power.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Gulfport

Doing your new home, homework ahead of time, will get you better prepared for your building adventure. Knowing the process, the players and building language, will be a major advantage as you move forward. Spend some time online and attending a home show or two. It’s a great way to get ideas, get inspired and most importantly, get educated.