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Creating Winter Wow In the Garden

Home and Garden December 15, 2016

Winter Wow In the Garden

Even if your garden is buried under a thick layer of ice and snow, it can still shine during the winter!

A garden with solid “bones” will look good all year ‘round. The shape of the hedges, the graceful arching of tree branches, or the pop of color from persistent fruit such as ornamental crabapples or mountain ash, all create a multitude of appealing shapes, forms, and textures. Bark color is important as well: think of the brilliant yellows or reds of dogwoods. Include some conifers in your garden landscape for the texture and year ‘round foliage – and don’t forget that not all conifers are green. Look for yellow junipers, or blue spruce. When selecting trees and shrubs for your garden, don’t simply focus on the beauty they bring during the growing season. When they are dormant, they can lend important structure to the landscape.

Although many gardeners perform a fall clean up before the snow flies, it may be desirable to leave some plants intact. Beautiful seed heads from herbaceous perennials and graceful ornamental grasses look spectacular with a dusting of snow. As an added bonus, trapping some snow in the base of the plants will help insulate the plants from severe weather.

Hardscaping materials are important, too: when shopping or designing pergolas and trellises, consider how they will look in the wintertime, when the rest of the garden is covered in snow and these important elements stand out and make a statement. Even the garden gate and decorative fenceposts can make a difference.

Whether you gaze out at your garden from the inside of your house, or from the driveway or walkway out front, you should enjoy the view in the winter almost as much as you do in the summer. If you notice some way to make an improvement for the following year, jot your ideas down and take your list into the garden centre in the spring.

By Sheryl Normandeau

Winter Wow In the Garden

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Futuristic World Culture Center Springs Up in the Desert

Unusual Dwellings December 8, 2016

Futuristic World Culture Center Springs Up in the Desert

A new building is nearing completion in the desert of Saudi Arabia. It’s the Center for World Culture, a project to promote cultural development within the country. It’s a Saudi Aramco Oil initiative for King Abdulaziz.

The building is designed by Snohetta, and it’s located in Dhahran, in the eastern province. It has an auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum and archive. It’ll seat 930 visitors who come to the World Culture Center for opera, symphony concerts, musicals, and speeches.

Gallery:

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How About A Metal House Ranch Home?

Metal Buildings December 2, 2016

How about a Metal House Ranch Home

This is quite the building and quite the setting, too. In a wide open piece of green farmland sits this newly built traditional style metal barn house. Metal homes as an alternative building method that allows for inexpensive, strong and durable buildings that can also be reused, recycled or modified later on, and barn homes are a traditional style of building people are liking for their own homes.

Here we have a combination of both. The metal barn home here is designed and built by a company we’ve featured a number of times here on our site: Morton metal buildings — they do a number of different building types. And the job they’ve carried off here is one that I think will catch a lot of attention: a totally deep red-clad farm house, with white and black trimmings, that combines residential with equestrian areas, under a forest green shingled roof.

You can see from the photo above and those below (all the photos on our website expand when you click them) that the interior of this metal building home is also a comfortable, traditional style.

Some more information about this metal building:

Project Number: B091005395
Location: Oconomowoc, WI
Dimensions: 42’W x 14’H x 60’L
This horse barn was built for Kari & Stu of Oconomowoc, WI

Special Features:
– Morton’s Hi-Rib Steel
– Shingled Roof
– Cupola
– Dormers
– Porch
– Morton’s Energy Performer Insulation Package

Project Number: B085044663
Location: Lonedell, MO
Dimensions: 36’W x 10’H x 72’L + 30’W x 10’H x 60’L
This stall barn w/ living quarters was built for Don in Lonedell, MO

Special Features:
Morton’s Hi-Rib Steel
Morton Foundation System
Cupolas
Porches
Eyebrow Overhangs
Windows w/ Shutters
Wainscot
Thermax Insulation
Morton’s Energy Performer Insulation Package
Double Dutch Doors
Diamond ‘M’ Sliding Doors

Find more from Morton steel buildings, and the metal and steel design and build companies we’ve indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more metal homes, click here.

How about a Metal House Ranch Home How about a Metal House Ranch Home

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These Self-Assemble Tiny Houses From $3,600

Tiny House November 28, 2016

Most of us have a good idea of how we would like to decorate our home, but how many of us have a good idea of how to transform our backyard from an empty space to a special place for some of our favorite enjoyments? The number is sure to be less. Here’s the good news, this problem is easily solved with the help of the Natural Gardener Company. They are ready to supply you with a home kit for your perfect backyard build! If you can not build it yourself, they even give you the option to purchase a kit that they will put together for you!

Tiny homes starting as low as $3,600.00 can suite your needs and fit your backyard. From a gazebo space enclosed to keep you and your morning paper dry on a rainy day, to a guest house perfect for the in-laws over the holiday season, you are sure to find the build for you! Lets look at one of their structures that is large enough to serve as a guest house among other things. The Byron Summer home has a really unique “L” shape that is accented beautifully with tall windows.

This home could work as guest accommodation, home office, man cave, or entertainment center. Whichever way you choose to use this build it is sure to look good! The Byron Summer home stands 10 ft tall and features two folding front door entrances, a patio area, and many windows to bring in lots of natural light! The structure is made of wood. This means you can leave your build in its natural state, stain the wood, or paint it to match your home!

The Natural Gardener Company makes it possible for you to really use your backyard. It is not limited to a sunny day ,perfect weather, or a nice view. You can have full year round use in any of their structures. You pick your build, maybe build it yourself, and simply enjoy rest! So go get the build perfect for your backyard and start making use of the space behind your home!

For more information of The Natural Gardener Company, find them in our tiny home directory.

By Alison LaPaglia

byron-summer tiny-house-1 tiny-house-2

28569 total views, 5 today

Shipping Container Home Design

Shipping Container Buildings November 28, 2016

Shipping containers

Are you tired of traditional homes? Are you looking for something more unique? Perhaps, a building that offers more than just a roof over your head. Here is a company that exceeds these demands. They use innovative technology to create modular custom commercial and residential spaces. Their name is Bachbox and they are located in New Zealand.

What is a modular space? For Bachbox, it is a shipping container that can be placed top to bottom or side to side with another. This means that Bachbox customers have freedom in any design that fits there budget. They can be very small homes or very large homes. They are low maintenance builds which is good news for any home buyer. They are also transportable, so moving doesn’t need to involve looking for a new home! Maybe this will not be your full time residence, or maybe you live in an area threatened with bad weather. Bachbox has anticipated these situations, and is ready to accommodate them.

These builds are earthquake and cyclone resistant. The innovative technology and design used makes these homes airtight. A Bachbox home has steel flaps. When the home is open and there are no storms, the flaps lay down on the ground and create a patio area. In case of bad weather, or if you are leaving the home vacant for the season, you can close the flaps to cover the windows and lock up the home so it is secure! Don’t worry you do not need to manually close the steel flaps. It is all done with a remote control. Remember, low maintenance!

This company is determined to keep their product at its very best. So much so, that they have taken a temporary production break for research and development effective January, 2017. They plan to return with more innovative designs and even better quality products. Their design team will continue working during productions research break. This is good news because Bachbox has a design team with special expertise in difficult site builds. While we look forward to seeing what the new year might bring us with Bachbox, it is certainly easy to appreciate all the great work the company has done thus far!

For more information about Bachbox, find them in our directory.

By Alison LaPaglia

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Tiny House Completed for $8000. They Did It.

Tiny House November 27, 2016

Tiny House Completed for $8000Tiny House Completed for $8000

We have looked at a variety of tiny homes that come with a range of prices, but this tiny home is far below the price point of any other! Wesley Birch and his wife completed their full time tiny residence for 8,000 dollars! They were tired of the burdens with the standard home market so they went tiny. Wesley says they were overwhelmed by the 25,000 – 60,000 dollar budget range needed for the tiny homes they were finding, so they went even smaller! On the budget that is!

Mr. Birch explains that his tips to going tiny and staying under 10,000 dollars are simple! He says to do your own work, use second hand materials, find free (or much better buys) on Craiglist.org, become friendly with local stores for great bargains, and invest in a truck/trailer. By doing these things Wesley Birch and his wife were able to complete a 24 ft long, 8 ft wide, and 13 ft tall tiny home. Their home features a full kitchen,  7 ft couch, two lofts, king size bed, guest bed area, and a bathroom with a bathtub/shower and composting toilet! They utilized and manipulated every piece of space in their tiny home. This meant that some spaces had more than one use.

The seven foot couch also works for underneath storage and a pull out guest bed. The second loft can fit another twin sized guest bed and works for extra closest space. My personal favorite feature in this home is the staircase. Ladders are very common in tiny homes, but this home has a stylish stair case that looks much easier to manage. Also the lofts do not have railings which is no good if there are kids involved, but are great to keep the tiny space open. Its important to make the most of small spaces and to keep an open floor in order to make the space feel much larger!

They do warn interested parties to be careful if you choose to cut corners. He recommends checking out YouTube “how to” videos to learn how to properly do the work yourself. If you are uncomfortable with work such as the electrical or plumbing, you should ask your friends and family. You may be surprised who is able and willing to help! With only 8,000 dollars spent, Wesley Birch and his wife have a comfortable home that meets all of their needs!

By Alison LaPaglia

For more information on Wesley Birch and his tiny home, find him in our tiny home directory

Tiny House Completed for $8000 Tiny House Completed for $8000Tiny House Completed for $8000Tiny House Completed for $8000 Tiny House Completed for $8000

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Wafflebox House – It’s a Typhoon, Flood, Earthquake Resistant Prefab Home

Prefab November 25, 2016

waffle house

“Location, location, location!”

We have all heard this word strung together to emphasize its importance in terms of housing. For those of us who are more particular we may believe that location has to do with aesthetics or “brand” neighborhoods. In reality, location is more about the safety and security the surrounding area will or will not provide. We look at the weather, local schools, job opportunities, crime rates, and many other things. If we are really in love with the location and are facing a problem in just one of these areas, we may seek alternative options. Here is a great alternative option for housing in locations that deal with extreme weather problems.

These days, the news has provided footage of natural disasters unfolding on innocent towns or cities. It is a tragic case of bad weather that results in the loss of homes, businesses, and lives. There are some countries that are prone to these natural disasters, and the Philippines is one of them. The Philippines is a beautiful place that millions of people call home. Solidcon is a Filipino company that has patented an industrial building system called the WaffleBox. The WaffleBox is a modular system made from concrete that when met with a typhoon, flood, or earthquake, will resist the impact and keep its inhabitants safe. This is an amazing claim so lets look at the structure that makes it possible.

The WaffleBox gets its name from its simple box structure and interior waffle pattern. The small box structure allows you to add as many boxes together as you would like in whatever form you choose. This means that these homes can manifest very differently, creating a unique residence for the owner. The waffle pattern on the interior walls is the reason the building is resistant to force caused by typhoons and earthquakes. The pattern allows for there to be several beams/frames in the structure. Each box has four frames. Each frame works to resist force. So the forces placed on these homes are shared among many beams. This means your Wafflebox home which can be as small as one modular (3 boxes) will have a minimum of twelve beams to resist force. Simply put, each beam takes only one twelfth of the force making it much easier to withstand. A house of the same size built in a typical hollow wall pattern will have only three beams to resist the same force. In these homes, each beam would receive one third of the force. A much larger amount than one twelfth, and could easily result in damages to the structure.

Now you know how it works, lets look at how you can manipulate it to be your perfect home! The Wafflebox is very versatile and there are many ways to adjust your Wafflebox build. First, the Wafflebox can be lifted so that it can better suite an area threatened by floods. Next, you can always expand or relocate your home. This is a good fit for a growing family or indecisive owner. If you live in a cold climate, the waffle pattern on the interior walls is great for facilitating insulation. Also, this build provides a flat roof. This means is you are interested in a roof deck or balcony, you can achieve this very easily on any upper level. Finally, if you choose to build a Wafflebox home, the company finishes construction in half the time of traditional builds. All you have to do is let the company know how you plan to design your home, and Solidcon will make sure that the home is built in a way that ensures that loads put on the home will always be carried by the foundation.

This structure could meet an array of needs and be the perfect home for any individual or family. With the ability to relocate, this home makes for a great idea as well as a great investment!

By Alison LaPaglia

For more information on the WaffleBox by Solidcon, find them in our house designers and builders directory.

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Metal Building Kit Homes by Mueller

Metal Buildings November 22, 2016

Looking at companies for your next build can be overwhelming. Its hard to choose the right one. You want a company who is reliable, has a positive reputation, provides quality work, and doesn’t leave you broke. Don’t lose hope, they do exist. Here is an example.

Mueller, Inc. is a metal building, roofing, and component company born and bred in Texas. The company is eighty five years old and has grown from a small local operation to a total of 33 branches, some of which are outside the longhorn state lines. You can see from the expansion that the company has met success with its endeavors. Here are some reasons why.

Beauty. With Mueller roofs, you can choose from a wide variety of attractive designer colors.

Durability. Metal roofs last much longer than both composition roofs and wooden shingles.

Weather Resistance. Mueller roofs offer superior protection from wind, hail and fire.

Longevity. Mueller offers limited paint warranties up to 30 years. Your roof will look fresh and vibrant for decades.

Energy Efficiency. Because of their high-tech coatings, Mueller roofs may help lower your air conditioning and heating bills.

Insurance Savings. Insurance companies may offer discounts up to 35% for homes with Mueller metal roofs. Check with your insurance agent.

Low Maintenance. Install your metal roof and then forget about it.

Environmentally friendly. The recycled content of steel in metal roofing is much higher than the recycled content in asphalt shingles. Plus, because a metal roof weighs less than shingles, it can often be installed directly over your existing roof, saving the environmental as well as financial costs associated with removal and disposal.

Mueller, Inc. uses these points to show potential clients why they are a good choice. Everyone wants their property to look good, but Mueller, Inc. takes things a step further by providing a structure that is more durable and cost efficient for long lasting customer satisfaction! They even manufacture their own materials so they can ensure that each customer receives quality products. They manufacture 26 gauge steel which is 33% thicker than the industry standard. This is done to decrease the waviness commonly seen in metal roofs, and is also a great way to prevent hail damage!

Overall this company has shown its reliability in its eighty five years of service to it’s community. Its growth is proof that is has a positive reputation that has expanded far beyond its original base. They ensure quality products by manufacturing their materials themselves, and beating the industry standard for steel. They even work in a way that is meant to give you the very most for your money. Energy efficient builds and low maintenance upkeep mean that the money you spend with Mueller, Inc.  is going to last for many years. Insurance savings are even a plus for some customers! Here is proof that the “right” company does, in fact, exist!

By Alison LaPaglia

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These Amish style barn houses start at $5,400 and are built on site from $25,000

Cabins November 21, 2016

amish barn company

If you are familiar with the Amish community in the business world, then you are also probably familiar with their reputation for quality products. I love the craftsmanship of Amish architecture, and the phrase “made with love” comes to mind when admiring their work. They pay close attention to the details which results in an astounding structure. So, if you are in the market for a house, barn, shed, cabin, or garage then keep reading to find out why an Amish build is a great idea!

Details, details, details! They are the key factor to quality work. Of course, the Amish Barn Company understands this very well. They are based in upstate New York and have been providing customers with quality work since 2005. From small dog houses to large two story horse barns, the Amish Barn Company does it all! However, not all us have animals to attend to, so let’s look at one of their structures that we could all use. A home! Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway spot or a full time residence, these cabins are a great choice!

There are several styles of cabins to choose from. I will be highlighting a larger style called the Board and Batten Cabin with Loft! This is an A frame cabin featuring a really great front porch! The first thing you will notice when looking at this cabin are the beams that are used to accentuate the A frame roof and frame the porch.  As a single beam runs horizontally across the porch with three vertical beams connecting it to the top of the roof there is a subtle yet warm resemblance to the sun rise. This may or may not be intentional, either way this detail can certainly give a new appreciation for the design. The next thing you should notice are the windows. Windows are important because they fill homes with natural light and allow for some amazing views! The best part about this feature is that it can be adjusted to fit the clients needs. You will see in the pictures provided that one home has a small circular window on the second floor while the other has two large windows upstairs. It might be fun to do a set of double cross brace doors on this cabin and accent the front porch area with a large triangular window above them!

It’s hard not to notice the beautiful wood that makes this structure. Stain can be a homeowners best friend with this cabin! It will allow you to get the shade you like without sacrificing the grain of the wood used to build it. You will see in the pictures below that two different shades of stain were used. On one cabin, a red tint was paired with unstained porch beams to create more contrast to the home. Inside the cabin you will find a large space with a staircase that leads to the loft area. The interior is dependent upon the client, so there is a lot of room to adjust the space to meet your desires!

Some other details that this company covers can not be seen in the build. The Amish Barn Company works with customers to make owning one of their structures more affordable. This can be seen through their rent to own program. They also cover delivery for free to any locations within one hundred miles of their home base in Oneonta, NY! It seems that it is safe to say, this is a company who cares about their product as well as their clientele!

Here is a message from them to you! Amish Barn Company says, “Our single wide one story cabins start at around $5,400. Our built on site cabins start around $25,000. We custom quote all our projects. Please contact me at info@amishbarnco.com or call 607-432-0527 to design your own and for more information and pricing.”

By Alison LaPaglia

For more information about Amish Barn Company, find them in our home directory.

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Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000

Unusual Dwellings November 11, 2016

Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000

An expanding house? Yes, and it a tiny house as well. This unique garden house set on runners can slide to larger or smaller sizes, and it was built by a fellow for his mother.

It had to meet his mother’s requirements, though: It had to serve as a place to write, to throw large diner parties (for 25-30 people), and serve well for camping and guests who want to stay a night or so.

When collapsed, the tiny house is 20-by-13 feet (6-by-4 meter) structure. The maximum expansion of this house is almost 39 feet (12 meters) in length, so the max total interior space is 484-square-feet (45 square meters). However, each time you expand this house or shrink it, you’re going to have to get up and exercise.

this transforming retreat house built on a budget of 20,000 Euros (just under $22,000 USD). Schols built this house in 4 months, doing a lot of the component work himself.

According to the designer, Dutchman Caspar Sclols:

“Garden House Project. This is a dynamic garden house which I built at my parental house. The house can be easily adjusted to any weather type, mood or occasion. It is mainly built in Douglas wood, fully insulated and heated by a traditional Norwegian wood stove. The wooden floor contains rollaway beds.”

For more tiny home builders, find them in our directory.

Transforming Tiny House Built for Under $22,000

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  • How many of you have looked into these Quonset building kit homes First thing you might notice is that there are a couple of standard types, based mostly on the roof. These are P and S styles. According to SteelMaster, Quonset homes are becoming more and more popular with the DIY crowd; they can be erected quickly and provide a solid, secure, long lasting solution for most housing needs. Quonset buildings were originally developed as a sturdy answer to extreme weather conditions, and are manufactured in two styles best suited for residential applications The P Model is the style most commonly seen in use as a garage, workshop or for Quonset Hut homes. It's straight walls and pitched roof present a more traditional look than other Quonset huts

    These Quonset Inexpensive Kit Homes Start at Less than $8,000

    by on February 1, 2017 - 0 Comments

    How many of you have looked into these Quonset building kit homes? First thing you might notice is that there are a couple of standard types, based mostly on the roof. These are P and S styles. According to SteelMaster, “Quonset homes are becoming more and more popular with the DIY crowd; they can be […]

  • How about a Metal House Ranch Home

    How About A Metal House Ranch Home?

    by on December 2, 2016 - 0 Comments

    This is quite the building and quite the setting, too. In a wide open piece of green farmland sits this newly built traditional style metal barn house. Metal homes as an alternative building method that allows for inexpensive, strong and durable buildings that can also be reused, recycled or modified later on, and barn homes […]

  • Cardboard House

    Prefabs houses are one thing, but would you live in a cardboard house?

    by on December 16, 2016 - 0 Comments

    So you may be familiar with prefabs made of wood, stone, metal, bricks — we have a number of those covered on this websites — and even foam prefab and modular houses, but now in the everexpanding market of home building materials: cardboard. The idea here is that a Dutch house designer thought up cardboard […]

  • Flatpack Homes

    A New Type of Building Style: Flatpack Homes

    by on January 23, 2017 - 0 Comments

    We’ve talked a lot about prefab homes, and they have their strengths to be sure, but now people are also talking about another building style called “flatpack homes.” They’re kit homes — actually they’re considered a type of modular home — that come flat in a box (or without a box), and then they’re set […]

  • Now This Is a Barn House, and It's a Metal Building

    Now This Is a Barn House, and It's a Metal Building

    by on December 30, 2016 - 0 Comments

    Barn houses and metal homes both are seeing something of a surge of interest lately. Metal homes as an alternative building method that allows for inexpensive, strong and durable buildings that can also be reused, recycled or modified later on, and barn homes are a traditional style of building people are liking for their own […]