January 2015

Howie Finalists 2015

A Selection of Finalists in the 2015 Houseplans.com Design Awards (the Howies).

Kit Homes

Options for energy-efficient, panelized, kit-built houses.

Faucet, Shower, Counter News

From a handsfree eco faucet to a blackboard laminate you can draw on: imaginative new products are shown at the 2015 Kitchen & Bath/International HomeBuilder Show in Las Vegas.

Cabins by Cathy Schwabe

Ideas for getaway cabins -- they could also be in-law or granny units -- from architect Cathy Schwabe.

Fireplace Options

Wood burning? Gas? Vented? Ventless? All questions to answer before selecting a fireplace for your new home.

Perfect Great Room

Where do you relax at home and what makes that space so compelling? What to consider as you plan the great room in your new house.

December 2014

New Year's Green

The top five ways to go green from a Sustainability expert.

6 Most Famous Houses

The top landmark houses to tour as you think about building your dream house.

Energy Efficient Hot Water

The 5 types of resource-efficient water heaters now available and how they can save you energy, water, and money.

Gingerbread Tiny House

Plans for building our Gingerbread house based on Plan 896-2, The Gifford, by Jay Shafer and his Four Lights Tiny House Company.

Contemporary Craftsman

The Wall Street Journal reports on the growing popularity of "Contemporary Craftsman" style -- which we can corroborate.

Smaller Luxury Home

Smaller homes of roughly 2,600 sq. ft. or less can have mansion-like luxury with amenities like window walls, walk-in closets and pantries, mud rooms, laundries, and the use of high-end materials and finishes.

Green Houses in New Orleans

Thanks to a successful public-private partnership to rebuild New Orelans after Hurricane Katrina, the city offers lessons in energy efficient home building.

November 2014

Daylighting Options

Strategies for maximizing daylight in your home.

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.

House Plan Sales Data

The most popular house sizes and design styles in the third quarter of 2014 for Houseplans.com.

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 Houseplans.com 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 Houseplans.com 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.

Accessory Dwelling Units

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

Shipping Container Homes

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

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.