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Choosing a Counter Top for Your Kitchen

Interior Design February 12, 2017

Your kitchen is the hub and main gathering place of your home. And counter tops are a major factor in deciding on the color palette of that room. So the choice of your counter tops is  a very important way to enhance your personal style. With so many options around, choosing your counter tops can be very confusing. Here is a list of 6 types of counter tops that are the most popular among homeowners.

Soapstone

Image: Premier Surfaces

Soapstone is a wonderful, choice for a busy kitchen. Durable, stain and bacteria resistant, it can withstand a lot of use while keeping your counter tops germ-free. At $80-$100 per square foot it may seem like a bit on the pricey side, but it a real investment in your home’s overall value.

Granite

Image: granitecountertops.net

Granite is a real go-to option because of its versatility, durability, wide variety of grains and colors. If it is well sealed it is more durable than most other surfaces. It can be very cost-efficient running as low as $50 per square foot, but the price can go up depending on how customized the stone is.

Quartz

Image: mikeguss.com

If your home is very customized, quarts may be just for you. It comes in almost every hue imaginable, and is engineered of quartz, resins and color pigments. Non-porous, and great if your home is “green”, quartz counter tops come at a price though. They can run anywhere from $95-$105 per square foot.

Concrete

Image: Abington Concrete

Concrete may not be as cost-effective as other surfaces but it is very easily customized to your specifications. Different, colors, textures and stains, can make this surface your own very easily, and properly sealed this might be worth the investment. It can cost from $100-$150.

Laminate

Image: Classic Cabinets and Interiors

Laminate is a very popular alternative for many who swear by it. It can simulate many more expensive surfaces, and with a price tag of $8-$20 per square foot it seems very cost-effective. But it is not a very durable surface so it would not be recommended for very busy cooks and heavily trafficked kitchens.

Marble

Image: MSI Stone

Not being the most durable counter top surface, marble is still considered the surface to choose. It develops a brilliant patina as it’s used, and comes in a wide variety of designs on its surface. The other down side is that marble can scratch and stain more than other stones. At a cost of $70-$100, it is a classic choice for many.

Source: houzz.com

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Tall Gambrel: Fast Becoming One of the Most Popular

Sheds February 6, 2017

Tall Gambrel A Big Space for You

These little sheds, which, when we look at them, we’re also considering using them as cabins, backyard cottages, guest houses, and even perhaps tiny homes, is called the “Gambrel” and it’s by Social Sheds, who we’ve featured here a couple times before, because they have a range of small sheds in various types.

From the builder about this particular design, the 10′ x 12′ Tall Gambrel:

“This shed is rapidly becoming one of our most popular models. With standard 8′ sidewall height (most of our competitors charge extra for this) and a classic barn profile that means a high ceiling and lots of storage volume. This model also allows for the addition of storage lofts up high for added storage area without using up all your valuable floor space. With a modified floor system you can even park a tractor or other vehicle inside!”

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from Quality Sheds and Garages, and other unusual dwellling builders 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 unusual dwellings,click here.

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Paint Colors for a Calming Bedroom

Uncategorized February 2, 2017

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of peace, calm, and renewal. It is a place where you unwind and shed the stress of the day. Studies have shown that colors have a huge effect on mood, and the color that you paint your bedroom can influence the kind of sleep you have. Here are five painting options  that can enrich and aid in a restful night.

Lavender

Image Bedroom Design Ideas

Soft purple colors are considered to have the ability to be stress-reducing, and this lavender is both cool and sophisticated. It is perfect for a master bedroom. You can counter the cool nature of the paint color with warmer colors on your floors, head board, and accents.

Dark Grey-Blue

Image Pinterest

Darker colors can provide a cozy ambiance in a bedroom. And they need not make a small room seem smaller. Break up the grey with lighter colors in artwork. furniture, and flooring. This is both a sophisticated and romantic color scheme, and can help provide  a peaceful, calm feeling. If you prefer a bit more light in your bedroom, use a pale, soft grey on the walls and complimentary colors in pillows, accents and bed linens.

Image Houzz

Nature inspires with this color. Think of a cool autumn day with a crisp blue sky. This is a very relaxing way to make your bedroom your sanctuary. Counter the cool feeling of the blue with warm accent colors in pillows and cushions, and bed covers. A warm area rug or other floor covering will also be a compliment to the blue walls.

Neutral Green

Image Pinterest

A soft green hue with a touch a grey is also nature-inspired. Bring the outside in with a pistachio, or sage green, and use other colors of nature in accents and bed linens. This is a warmer option than the cooler colors mentioned above, but is still clean, fresh, and relaxing.

Bedrooms are the most sacred room in the house. They should offer you a chance to shed the activities of the day, to find some solace, and soothe your soul. The colors you use in your bedroom should enhance this and promote peace.

Source: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/56675610/list/set-the-mood-5-colors-for-a-calming-bedroom

Featured image courtesy of Visi Build

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Garage Living: An Alternative Way of Life

Garage February 2, 2017

Well-Made Hi-Rib Steel Hobby Garage w/ Porch

One might say that living in a garage is for teenagers who have been banned from the rest of the house or a slacker back from college whose bedroom was turned into the home entertainment center. That used to be true, but nowadays people are making a conscious choice to live in garages. Its like the next best thing to buying a tiny home. Often you can buy a stand alone garage for a much cheaper price, than you can purchase a tiny home, and it really works for those who like their location and want to stay there for a while. Garage living is great for dwellers who choose not to be mobile.

The ideas for remodeling and decorating a garage is endless. Below there are some suggestions for garage apartment floor plans:

These plans are examples of elaborate garage apartment floor plans. Your plan doesn’t necessarily need to be elaborate. It just needs to be what suits your style of living.

Most people have concerns about the kitchen area and the bedrooms. Where will these spaces fit and will they end up living without life’s normal modern amenities. This isn’t true unless you choose to live very frugally, you can have most of the modern amenities you want in your garage space. Whether you rent or purchase a stand alone garage or rent a garage space in someone’s home, if you look around for ideas you can make it happen.

Kitchen Ideas

The long galley kitchens work well in garage apartments and kitchens that stand against one of the garage walls work as well. Here are some examples of galley kitchens and kitchens that stand against walls.

Whether you desire a traditional bedroom surrounded by walls or one out in the open space, there are many ways you can construct a beautiful bedroom in your garage apartment.  Here are two examples, one with walls and one in open space.

Bedroom Ideas

When you do your research on floor plan choices and interior design for garage apartments, you will see that you are not limited as to what you can have when you live in a small space. It’s not about eliminating everything you need, it’s about being smart as to where you put them.

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

Metal Buildings February 1, 2017

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

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 such as the typical cylindrical Q-Model style building.

“The “S” Model has a domed roof with straight sidewalls. This is a stronger design than the “P” model, and an excellent choice for use as a barn or workshop in areas with heavy wind and snow.

“Both P & S Models are ideally suited to residential homes as they have straight sides resulting in the maximum amount of livable space. Both can easily be tailored to your aesthetic requirements with custom end walls. These can be made of steel, hardy board or even finished with stucco or brick. It is also important to note that the buildings can be insulated and that a mezzanine-type second floor can be added to larger buildings over 30 feet in width. End walls can also be fitted with windows and the roof structure can easily be fitted with skylight panels for additional natural light.”

One thing about this building style is that it is easy to set up, and another point is that it is inexpensive. We priced out the residential models, and didn’t even pick the smallest possible size. We picked a 20X40, 10 foot high unit (they go lower and higher is size and cost), and the estimate was $8,000. So they start at less than that, even for residential ones. We also priced out a smaller one for garage purposing, and the estimate was $1,200. Of course, you do have to think about other building costs, such as transportation, laying foundation, and other expenses. Anyway, we’ve included photos of a variety of completed SteelMaster ones in the gallery you can check out (link below), from little plain garage-style ones to elaborate multi-floor houses.

One of the biggest companies for these Quonset style homes is SteelMaster. I recently saw a couple who had built a 40X40 home with their product, an S model, made from 22-gauge Galvalume steel, with an 18-foot peak at the center, and they spend less than $35,000 on the building, they said. And the SteelMaster metal home materials were guaranteed for 30 years (so long as the building was secured to the earth).

Here is our gallery of Quonset style cabins, homes and other structures. These photographs were taken by Elizabeth Anderson for SteelMaster Buildings. To see more about SteelMaster and other house builders 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.

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured images at the top of most articles).

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This Comfortable Tiny House Design (with Plans)

Houses February 1, 2017

Chill and Relax in a Comfy House

All of us, I think it would be fair to say, want to own a house of some sort, and some of us want a small or even a tiny home. Well, here is a nice smaller-sized house (with plans) we recently came across, and thought we’d share. It’s one that comes in several models, including a single-pitched roof and a standard two-pitch.

They use a lot of wood finishing for the interior, and it looks snappy when painted white (or probably any other color as well). Check out the one with the patio built around it in the woods.

They also seem to all incorporate a lot of glazing — look at those big window areas in the main rooms. And patios as well. Overall, a very simple, clean design for a small house, or tiny house, depending on how you look at things.

THE GUY

The guy 1
Alk. 19 769 –

Floor area 20.0 m²
Porch 34.5 m²
In total 54.5 m²

The guy 2
Alk. 21 077, –

Floor area 25.0 m²
Porch 34.5 m²
In total 59.5 m²

CRESCENT

Prices vary according to the selected timber strength.

Crescent-30 1A
Alk. 31 600, –

Floor area 30.0 m²
Porch 11.0 m²
In total 41.0 m²

Prices vary according to the selected timber strength.

BUOY

Buoy 10

Alk. 14 659 –

Floor area 19.5 m²
Porch 24.0 m²
In total 43.5 m²

Buoy 20
Alk. 16 529 –

Floor area 23.5 m²
Porch 25.5 m²
In total 49.0 m²

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from Honka, and other 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 houses, click here.

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IKEA’s Better Shelter Wins Design of the Year 2016

Prefab January 30, 2017

IKEA Better Shelter flat pack house

Just an update on IKEA’s prefab venture, which we covered in detail a while ago. The flat-pack shipped tiny house has now won a big design award: the Beazley Design of the Year 2016.

The flat-pack IKEA “Better Shelter,” as it’s called, is mainly a refugee housing solution in conception, but many people are now thinking about it as a possible tiny house option. Certainly, it’s very portable and ship-able, and very inexpensive (read about that here).

The award it won was for the project that best meets the criteria of design that “promotes or delivers change,” “captures the spirit of the year,” “enables access,” and “work that has extended design practice.”

There are other architecture categories as well involved in the awards, but the IKEA “Better Shelter” beat out Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport, for the top honor of Design of the Year.

“Innovative, humanitarian and implemented, Better Shelter has everything that a Beazley Design of the Year should have,” stated on of the judges, Dr. Jana Scholze of Kingston University.

IKEA flat packThis IKEA flat pack house was originally developed in 2013 and has taken some big volume orders from the UN. Those who worked on it include: Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, UNHCR.

To date, almost 65 million of these IKEA flatpack homes have been distributed around the globe.

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A San Francisco Based Startup Has Developed a Robot that 3D Prints Micro Homes. Cost Savings Are Estimated at 70% Compared to Traditional Methods

Tiny House January 27, 2017

San Francisco-based start-up Apis Cor have been working for a solution to homelessness and a lack of affordable homes – and they appear to have come up with an answer.

The Apis Cor team hit headlines recently as they achieved a world first by creating an entire house using a 3D printer – living up to their simple slogan “we print buildings.” More impressively still, the 400 foot square home was completed in just 24 hours.

 

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A New Type of Building Style: Flatpack Homes

Prehab Home January 23, 2017

Flatpack Homes

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 up.

This one here is one built by a company who knows cold temperature. Their flatpack modular home is Scandinavian in design and thought. It’s called the “Next House” and it’s out of Stockholm. According to the company:

“Next House is a Stockholm based company, active in architecture and construction industries, with a clear and simple vision: creating and delivering beautiful designed homes created by award winning architects.

“Next House was started on the basis that there is a need for a well constructed, elegant and functional designed home at a reasonable price. Our goal is to harmonize Swedish leading building know-how with optimal timing and low impact to the environment.

“Since Sweden is one of the premier low-impact countries in the world, Next House has followed a long tradition of environmentally friendly thinking. An important issue when putting the resources of the planet in focus is how to use energy responsibly.

“Regardless of whether you use energy to heat up or cool down your house you will use less if you house is compact. Next House models have a maximum net need of energy less than 75 kWh/m3, in Sweden this is classified as a low-energy- house.”

Their model homes start with a cabin of 15 sqm to a villa of 400 sqm. Their modular wood construction technology provides our customers with multitude of living area options.

The small XXS Next House is 150 sq. ft. with kitchen. Cost: $21,500 (you assemble).  The Large Next House is just 148 square meters (approximately 1,500 square feet).

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from Next House, and other farmhouse builders 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 modular homes, click here.

 

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Tack Barn Shelters from $2,610

Barns January 17, 2017

Tack Barn Shelters from $2,610

There is always a need for extra space on a ranch or any home that cares for large animals like horses and cattle. The Tack barn is built for storing all of their needs. You can use this space to store food, supplies, medication, and supplements, whatever your horse or cattle need. If you don’t care for animals, you can use the space for storage to keep the house uncluttered. Store extra furniture and family keepsakes in this very convenient space.

The Tack barn could be an extra living space as well, be creative and keep a library inside of your favorite books and entertainment equipment. Garage bands can use this space as a practice area, and keep the loud noises away from the house. You can count on the Amish to build a structure that is durable and will last through generations.

BUILT BY M.B., DISTRIBUTED BY AMISH BUILDINGS

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

Find more from Amish Buildings, and other barn builders 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 barn,click here.

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    by on April 25, 2017 - 0 Comments

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    by on April 25, 2017 - 0 Comments

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    by on April 25, 2017 - 0 Comments

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