November 2014

Gingerbread Beach House

How to build this gingerbread house based on a beach house floor plan by architect Peter Brachvogel.

Hurricane Rebuild

Michelle Goodman and her family replaced their Hurricane Sandy-destroyed home with a bungalow by Brooks Ballard.

Spa-like Bathrooms

Ways to make bathrooms feel spacious and seductive as well as efficient.

2015 Design Awards

Call for Entries in the 2015 HOWIEs

Builder Contracts

Three basic ways to contract with a builder -- and which way might be best for you.

Modern Prefab

Meet a young firm specializing in the design of modern houses that combine prefabricated and site-built construction for greater resource efficiency and affordability.

Net-Zero Homes

What you need to know about getting rid of your house's carbon footprint.

October 2014

Marianne Cusato Book

Marianne Cusato's new book is full of good advice for anyone looking to buy, rent, or build a new home.

SALA Architects

SALA Architects designed the Life Dream Houses, now part of our Signature Plan Collection, and continually wins awards for thoughtful, site specific, energy efficient homes.

Sliding Partitions

Add flexibility to open kitchens with sliding partitions.

Building Permits

Why they're necessary, for what types of construction, and how to get them.

Unique Kitchen Islands

Some of the many functions that a well designed kitchen island can perform.

Reading Floor Plans

How to understand the language of home floor plans -- so that the finished home accurately reflects your dreams.

Building On Spec

Dean Gino had no building experience but found he enjoyed the process.

Floor Plan Features

The key elements to look for in a floor plan, from mud room to porch.

September 2014

Design for Disaster

The recent magnitude 6.0 earthquake at American Canyon in Northern California -- which damaged the town of Napa -- prompts this article explaining what you can do to make your new or existing house safer in a quake or weather event.

Future House

Not So Big House author and architect Sarah Susanka describes how she thinks the house of the future will look and function.

Passive Design Principles

What you can learn from so-called Passive House Design -- i.e. houses with very low energy use -- and apply to the building of any home.

All About Solar

How to make going solar a smooth process.

Freegreen Plans

FreeGreen's entire library of energy-efficient plans is now part of the inventory.

Lessons from Old Homes

Key features of older homes that could add character and comfort to the new home you're building.

12 Green Build Essentials

Green design and development experts share what you need to know before breaking ground.

Kitchen Budgets

Architect Bud Dietrich explains how different budgets affect the way you outfit the same kitchen.

Ranch House Revival

More and more, people are starting to crave the practicality of one-story living -- and that's what ranch houses are all about.

August 2014

Farmhouse Story

An Oklahoma couple is building our Farmhouse Plan 888-1 by Nicholas Lee.

Home Building Update

The kitchen is coming together for Sticks + Dirt blogger Laura Fowls, who is building a new home with her husband Mike and other family members.

Craftsman Modern Getaway

An exciting new house by Sarah Susanka and Tina Govan that's designed for relaxation and family gatherings.

House Plans

Scott talks to CEO Jamie Roche about alternatives to cookie cutter home designs.

Remodelista Design Awards

Highlights from the recent award program.

Aging in Place

A geriatrician offers advice for aging in place -- important to consider as you plan your new home.

The Passive House

A new house built to the Passive House Institute US standard.

Shipping Container Homes

Interest in adapting the shipping container esthetic for home design is a growing trend.

Accessory Dwelling Units

Why Building an accessory dwelling unit can be a smart idea -- and tips to navigate the process.

Coolest Driveways

9 ways to boost curb appeal.

July 2014

Porch Revival

The Wall Street Journal says porches are making a comeback -- and our plan sales bear that out.

Remodelista Award Finalists

Browse the finalists in each category and vote for your favorites.

New Modern Plan

4 bedroom 3 bath modern design offers easy indoor-outdoor living and maximum flexibility.

Architect Visit

Architect/Sculptor/Furniture Designer Olle Lundberg's cabin in the Northern California woods.


Stairs can have multiple functions.


Plans with secondary master suites for in-laws or long term guests.

The Gamble House

Appreciating a great Craftsman style landmark: the Gamble House in Pasadena of 1908.

House like an Audi

New modern designs by Arch L. A. B. and what inspired them.

Famous Houses

Landmark houses to consider touring on your vacation.

Garden Pools

A roundup of 10 serene garden pools to inspire the design of your outdoor living space.

BALA Award

Craftsman Style design named Home of the Year in the Best in American Living Awards sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders.

Southern Curb Appeal

What gives this house its strong curb appeal.

Choosing a builder

Tips to help you choose the right builder for your new home.

New Home Locations

Counties that saw an increase in the number of building permits for single family homes.

Treehouse Tub

This outdoor soaking tub is on a balcony in the trees.

Art Glass Windows

Using art glass for windows where you want privacy and daylight at the same time.