April 2015

how & why to build green

Joyanna explains why building green makes dollars and sense.

Popular Green Home Features

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

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.

Installing a Shower

Contractor Kenny Grono explains the six steps to installing the perfect shower.

Design Flaws & Fixes

Twelve common design flaws that mar the experience of living in a home -- and how to fix them.

Tiny House Styles

There is more variety in tiny houses and micro cottages than you might expect.

February 2015

New Laminates

Laminates are hot again, with new colors and realistic wood patterns. Long used for counters and backsplashes, it's now a flooring choice as well.

12 Storage Tips

An interior design expert explains how to organize and store everything.

Barn Doors

Brightly hued hardware and a wide variety of new and recycled woods are options for today's sliding barn doors.

People's Choice 2015

Meet the winning plan in the People's Choice category, voted on by social media.

Outdoor Living Winner

The Outdoor Living winner in the 2015 Houseplans.com Design Awards (the Howies) is by architects Sarah Susanka and Tina Govan.

Energy-Efficient Winner

Meet the house plan that won the energy-efficient category in the 2015 HOWIEs.

Kitchen, Bath Winners

Meet the winners in the Kitchen, Bath, & Outdoor Living categories of the 2015 Houseplans.com Design Awards Program -- the HOWIEs.

HOWIE Winners 2015

Six winning designs in the 2015 HOWIEs: Small, Medium, and Large Traditional style; and Small, Medium, and Large Modern style.

Two Master Suites

House plans with two master suites are becoming more popular.

Laundry Room Primer

13 Ways to make It more functional, efficient, and fun.

January 2015

Kitchen Islands

How to create the right island for your kitchen.

Top 5 Home Features for 2015

A recent National Association of Home Builders survey asked home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year.

Howie Finalists 2015

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

2015 New American Home

Ideas from the 2015 New American Home.

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.