2002 - 2012 the Decade of Change! Part III

by Greg Dodge 9. October 2012 10:39

 

In the last decade, home design has undergone amazing change and innovation! Entertaining has taken on a new priority, but entertaining preferences are highly individualized.  Builders need to  understand your entertaining style.  And you need to make sure your builder gets your style.

 

We've refer to homeowners who enjoy formal entertaining as "Claires". Sophisticated finishes and open layouts are preferred, but Claires look for a sense of room definition. Outdoor spaces are often considered an extension of the indoor socializing, so the indoor/outdoor connection is key.

 

"Elise" is the name we've given to traditional buyers whose entertaining style tends to focus on family get-togethers or having a few close friends over. Conversation is key, as is getting everyone together. Flexible, free-flowing eating areas which can expand by adding another table are favored (think big, family Thanksgiving dinner gatherings.)

 

Fun-loving, "Maggie's" entertaining style revolves around "doing". It could be movie night at her home, or cards or pool. It could be a scrapbooking party or other type of "girls' night out". Maggies may have trouble seeing themselves in your home until they know where the big TV goes. Then there's her kids' entertaining space to consider. When she's got friends over, where will her kids go if their friends are over, too?

From lighting to soundproofing issues, entertaining influences design more than most people realize.

To learn more about the buyer profile described in this post, read about Finally About Me and take the quiz to learn your buyer profile.

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Finally About Me | General | Decade of Change

2002 - 2012 the Decade of Change! Part II

by Greg Dodge 20. September 2012 14:18

 

2002 - 2012 the Decade of Change! Part II

 

In the last decade, home design has undergone amazing change and innovation. Vist Booth 1042 at the Sunbelt Builders Show,Just as you wouldn't get too excited over going to purchase a brand new car and being shown a new 2002 Pontiac Aztek, how excited should prospective buyers be touring a model home from a design that's 10 years old?


So what's different in home design today?

 

Example--Rear Foyers! As the most often used entrance into the home, coming in from the garage can no longer be viewed primarily as "utilitarian". The front entry foyer is designed to be something special, as much (or more!) attention should be paid to the rear foyer.

  • Storage. Beyond the expected coat closet, what about all the "stuff" you carry in with you? A "drop zone" is ideal for liberating your kitchen from such clutter! So what's a 'Drop Zone'?

  • Convenience. A seat or bench for removing shoes. Insignificant? Buyers don't think so!

  • Special amenities. Do you have pets - cats or dogs? Think about adding a pet zone to the rear foyer.

 

See examples of drop zones, pet centers, and rear entry foyers.  No longer should you bring people through the laundry room to get to your kitchen.  The rear entry foyer changes the experience when you bring family and friends in from the garage!

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Destressing | Plannng | Rear entry foyer | Storage

2002 - 2012 the Decade of Change!

by Greg Dodge 6. September 2012 13:03

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at what has changed over the last 10 years in home design.  Topics will explore the lessons we've learned as well as newer design trends and popular product choices.

In the last decade, home design has undergone amazing change and innovation! Homebuyers want bigger garages, yet the average home being built has gotten smaller.

Narrower lots continue to dominate in many markets. Alley loaded garages are not applicable in most situations. So, how can you keep the garage from overpowering the front elevation?

 

Garage Placement: Bringing the garage flush with or even recessed from other elements of the front elevation de-emphasize the garage's impact on the home.

 

Garage Door: Why does everyone default to the same raised 32 panel garage door? An aesthetically pleasing garage door can be a focal point, rather than an eyesore!

 

Garage Access: Building lots may permit, or even dictate, entering the garage from the side. A newer trend is to combine front- and side-entry garages, minimizing their effect on the home's curb appeal.

 

Focal points: Adding horizontal fascia lines or a shed roof in a front facing gable over a garage minimizes the visual effect of that gable. Changing the siding pattern and/or the addition of louvers breaks up the massing of a front-facing gable over the garage. The addition of a dormer in a gable roof over the garage takes the eye to the dormer and away from the garage.

Next time, we'll talk about the idea of "flex" spaces.

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Garage Design | Products for the Home

FINALLY ABOUT ME® What is your new home personality?

by Greg Dodge 28. August 2012 14:07

You and your friends walk into a model home with a gorgeous fireplace flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows at the back of a tall great room. “Wow!” remarks one of your friends. Another (who actually thinks the room is a bit predictable) is trying to envision a more contemporary fireplace and window grouping. Your best friend is thinking about all of the natural gas it takes to heat that space. And you’re wondering how you would ever clean those 17-foot high windows!

 

The example illustrates how your personality influences your perception of a home. As the Her Home and Woman-Centric Matters! teams at Design Basics identified, women tend to exhibit one of four primary home buyer personas. What’s amazing is just how much of our core personality is shows up in our homes! Once you’ve identified your strongest personality type, you, your builder, or your remodeling contractor can focus on things that will likely be very meaningful to you and avoid wasting time with things that probably aren’t very important. It’s fun…and more than a little revealing into why you like what you like!

We have several articles and a short 5-minute quiz elaborating on Finally About Me and your new home personality.  Read more . . .


 

Tags:

Design Trends | Finally About Me

How many people does it take to change a light bulb...

by Greg Dodge 19. July 2012 08:12

 

How many people does it take to change a light bulb...
Phillips Warm White 8w LED

 


When the bulb you are changing is at the top of a 17-foot-high ceiling in your great room?  While a few people have mastered the extension pole bulb replacement method, most of us have to get out an extension ladder so it takes at least 2 people to change a light bulb!

 

 

 

Therefore, it only makes sense to specify LED light bulbs that last 20 years or longer on average, for those hard-to-reach light fixtures.  Though more expensive to buy, they'll save money on electricity.  Plus, you won't have to get out the spackle and touch-up paint to repair the drywall nicks from carrying that extension ladder through the house!



 

RESOURCES 

 

The Advantages & Benefits of LED Lighting

 

Phillips LED Lighting

 

 

Tags:

Lighting, Products for the Home | Products for the Home

10 Things to Consider Before Signing the Dotted Line!

by Greg Dodge 20. June 2012 10:30

Making the decision to build a new home is a thrilling prospect. For many, it is the realization of a dream. But many potential new home owners don’t realize that some of the decisions made after signing a contract would be less expensive and better negotiated if they researched their needs before inking the deal. We spoke to one woman who, in the process of considering her building project, took extra steps to research what she wanted. She ultimately saved thousands of dollars in “up charges” – changes or additions made by the builder once a contract is signed. Here are the ten items she considered before signing, and what she learned in the process:

 

Pre-qualify for a mortgage. Get credit information in order. Check out several lenders. Review needs for a construction loan or a bridge loan. Understand mortgage products. Review your present home and situation. Are room sizes adequate? What  special needs do you have, such as a blended family or the need for a workshop? What furniture will you keep?

 

Find a lot. Is it close to schools, church, shopping, health care, pizza delivery? What direction does the lot face? Do you want morning sun? A special view? Do you want a sloping lot for a walkout basement? Study covenant and community restrictions. What is the tax levy? Look around the neighborhood. What do you like? What bothers you?

 

Find a home plan by asking the following questions:

 

How do I want to entertain?

 

How much storage will I need? What kind?

 

Does the plan have flexibility for special rooms or situations (exercise room, craft area, etc.)?

 

How does the home help me de-stress? A quiet area for me? Built-in organization like drop zones? Whirpool bath? Sunroom? Porches?

 

Where do I want the master bedroom?

 

Is a healthy home important to me?

 

Select a builder.  Is there a builder attached to the lot you want? If so, interview him/her extensively. If not, interview several builders. Try to find someone with whom you’ll have good chemistry.  Check references of the builder’s former home buyers, subcontractors and vendors. 

 

Consult with an interior designer for a couple of hours.  Make sure everything flows; coordinate colors, flooring and countertops; and plan placement of outlets. 

 

Meet with an electrician and electronic specialists to pre-wire the house properly.  Consider Christmas lights, other outdoor lighting, accent lighting, security, stereo surround sound, telephones, ample outlets and their placements, Internet and media rooms.

 

Talk to people.  Talk to as many people as you can who have been through the building process. Be sure to ask what they would do differently.

 

Customize your home plan.  Make sure the working drawings are clear and exactly how you want them.

 

Pack Your Survival Kit. 

 

Bring a sense of humor

 

A 12-pack of patience

 

Drawers of chocolate

 

Bottles of aspirin

 

A jump rope for de-stressing

 

 

 

After considering these items you should be ready to sign on the bottom line and get started!

 

Tags: ,

Plannng

Tandem Garages - the new flex space?

by Greg Dodge 7. June 2012 14:36

While the debate rages on over garage size and placement (see this month's White Paper for solutions), an emerging concept is to design a tandem 3rd stall and show an option for finishing off that space. That way, buyers can understand the trade-offs: more storage or additional living space!

 

We would love to hear your feedback on a new plan we're developing, the Windsor Cottage, which illustrates this very concept.


Please send your comments to  otb@designbasics.com or post them here!

 

Without moving exterior walls, what would you design differently (for example, add window(s) in the dining/living room)?



 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends | General

How many times a week do you use the bath tub in your master bath?

by Greg Dodge 24. May 2012 12:36

Whether building a new home or remodeling, we spend a lot of money in our master baths. Most of them include a shower and a tub and many other amenities. For how we use the space, is having a shower and tub a wise use of our money? Several years ago we asked the question -

 

"How many times a week do you use the bath tub in your master bath?".

 

We were surprised by the responses. As we are curious about the answer today, we are re-asking the question.

 

Take our poll and let us know how many times a week you use the bath tub in your master bath?

 

 

Please share the poll with your friends and family via facebook and twitter. We will share the responses from our previous poll and the results from this poll in about a month!

 

Tell your your friends and check back!

Tags:

Master Bath Design | Poll

Save your back and knees!

by Greg Dodge 9. May 2012 07:40

As I've aged my knees and back seem to be complaining more and more.  You'll be thankful if you look again at your dishwasher placement and the size & height of your toilets in new construction and remodeling.

Van Singel Lake traditional kitchenRaising your dishwasher

Raising the dishwasher has numerous appeals, which all end with "...and your back will thank you!" It may be to add storage under the dishwasher for infrequently needed items. Or, it may be to make the dishwasher more convenient and easier to load and unload for individuals of all ages and abilities.

If a raised dishwasher is in your future plans, think also about what goes atop the dishwasher. Set within an island, the countertop over the dishwasher may be flush with a raised eating bar (unless the entire island work surface has been raised.) Situated the dishwasher against a wall, other options, including additional storage, come more clearly into view.  Raised dishwasher ideas.


Different size bowls

It’s surprising how many people overlook the issue of the toilet size for their home.  Okay, maybe it’s not as fun as selecting lighting fixtures, but comfort is too important of an issue to forget.  As compared with standard round toilets, elongated toilets are about two inches longer, which many adults feel is a more comfortable size.  Petite individuals and children sometimes feel elongated bowls are too big.

 

There’s also the issue of hygiene, and men strongly prefer the elongated toilets.  Finally, consider space.  Some baths are designed with a little “room” within the bathroom for the toilet, and the extra length of the elongated toilet may interrupt the door swing into that toilet space. 

 

See Kohler's Highline Classic Comfort Height Toilet
  

Keep these things in mind and your knees and back with thank you!

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Kitchen Design | Master Bath Design

What's your cost per square foot...

by Greg Dodge 27. April 2012 08:51

 

...is common in resale homes, but can be a very misleading question in new construction!  Why?

 

 

 

Different builders calculate square footage differently.  An identical home with brick exterior walls will measure more square feet than the identical home with traditional siding.

 

What square footage was included in the sq. ft. figure?  Basements?  Attics?  Were staircases counted once or twice?  Porches/decks/patios?  The garage?

 

 

 

What's included in the square footage price you were told?  Builder's included features vary widely.  Wood floors and stone countertops make a home cost more per square foot than the same design with vinyl flooring and laminate tops.

 

 

 

Your choices have a huge impact on your cost per square foot.  You will probably make many selections for your home.  Iron staircase spindles and expensive appliances don't add to a home's square footage but do add to it's cost per square foot.

 

 

 

Land costs are a BIG component in a cost per square foot number.  Was the homesite included in the cost per sq. ft. price quoted?  A "premium" homesite will increase the cost per square foot (if land costs are included) compared with a "standard" lot.


When evaluating potential home builders, be sure you are comparing bids based on similar grounds.  Don't get fooled by a low cost per square foot up front.  And then pay for it later when you close on your new home.

 

Tags:

General