July 2015

Patio Lighting

8 cool outdoor lighting ideas, including do-it-yourself examples, for summer entertaining.

Driveway Gates

Opening the world of gate possibilities in materials and styles, ready-made and custom.

Ranch House Revival

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports on how architects and homeowners are reinventing the low-slung ranch house with high ceilings and luxury amenities.

Moving-In Advice

How to prepare for the big day when you start living in your new home.

Courtyard Houses

A well executed courtyard makes a house memorable as well as more livable. The strong indoor-outdoor connection is a powerful lure but also the geometry of the space, its openings and wall surfaces, and paving materials play important roles. Here are some strong examples, past and present.

Interior Doors

How to select the right interior doors for your new home.

Farmhouse Modern

A new house near Sonoma, California shows how to enjoy living in the landscape.

New Home Products

Boyce reports on new home products at the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

Home Trends

Boyce lists the top home trends apparent at this year's Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in San Diego.

Garage Organization

Expert organizers tell how to make your garage efficient & uncluttered.

June 2015

Wrap-Around Porches

Describing the functionality and romance of porches that run around at least two sides of a house.

Home Automation

The newly launched Brillo home automation system from Google prompts some practical advice for selecting the right device or system for your needs.

Reclaimed Wood

What you need to know about reclaimed and recycled wood for new and remodeled homes, and where to find it.

Vacation Home Ideas

Ways to fire up the vacation imagination.

Patio Ideas

Patios help the house expand. Here's a range of cool outdoor living spaces and hot amenities to help you celebrate the beginning of summer.

Home Ideas from Camp

Ways to bring home a summer camp vibe.


The teardown market is heating up again.

Design Chat: Laurie Clark

The architect talks about how she works.

Sharing Economy

How planning for the sharing economy can give your new home flexibility as needs change.

Small Modern Houses

Meet the innovative new Signature Plans by architect David Holowka.

Extreme Weather Design

Extra things you can do to defend against flooding and high winds.

May 2015

House of Clicks

Reacting to the Swedish House of Clicks

Chrysalis Remodel Awards

Winners in the 2015 program show innovation and diversity.

Casitas & Flex Rooms

Flexible designs include spaces that can work as home offices and/or guest suites. Here's a sampling.

Tesla Home Battery

Considering Tesla’s new Powerwall for Your Green Home? Here’s what you need to know.

Narrow Lots

How to make the most out of limited space on skinny lots.

Plans with Pergolas

The trellised outdoor space often identified with sun-splashed Italian villas and Craftsman bungalows is making a comeback.

Special Feature Kitchens

What does your dream kitchen include? Here's a collection of kitchens with special features to spark your imagination.

Top Green Materials

Sustainable builders and architects share their go-to green products and ways of working.

Inside-Out Ranch House

The latest plan by Nicholas Lee is organized around what he calls an "Inside-Out Room," with roots in Mid-Century Modern home design.

3 Ways to Build

Bud explains the three basic approaches to building: Design-Bid-Build; Design-Build; and Integrated Project Delivery.

Architect David Wiggins

Texas architect David Wiggins talks about his approach to design.

April 2015

Top Plan Features

From BBQ porches to Jack-and-Jill bathrooms, here are the top selling plan features.

Urban Farmhouse

The story of a Farmhouse style house in Austin, Texas.

House for Millenials

Boyce explains how Builder Magazine developed a show house for Gen Y buyers in 2012.


Bunkrooms aren't just for dormitories at college or camp -- they're an efficient way to pack more beds into smaller spaces.

Popular Green Home Features

Colorado architects and builders offer insights and experience on building energy-efficient homes.

Beyond Katrina Cottage

Marianne Cusato, designer of the Katrina Cottage, discusses the home of the future.

how & why to build green

Joyanna explains why building green makes dollars and sense.

Interior Design Tips

Edit, simplify, work with what you have -- and maybe add a rug or pillow to freshen the look.

Ranch House Revival

A new one story farmhouse design by architect Nicholas Lee shows connections to ranch house history while bringing this classic home style up to date for modern living.

Search by Rooms

Now you can explore house plans by browsing photos of key rooms like kitchens, great rooms and master baths.

Increase Property Value

10 ways to add value to your home without spending too much.

American-Made Materials

Sourcing locally-made home products makes for a lower carbon footprint as well as easier support if needed.

March 2015

Builder-Architect Team

How builders and architects can work together for a successful project.

New Cottage Plans

Live small with style! These appealing little houses by The Homestead Partners show how.

6 New App-Driven Home Products

Six new tech-oriented home products received an enthusiastic response at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show.

Best Selling Plans

Building expert Boyce Thompson tells what home plan buyers are looking for.


How architects and designers are making the backsplash an essential eye-catching feature of today's open kitchen.

Home Staging

Designer and home stager Cary Nowell offers tips on making a home more appealing to prospective buyers. It's also good interior design advice for anyone wanting a less cluttered and more spacious home.