What You Need to Know

Build a Deck

A simple deck designed to make an easy transition from house to garden.

Essential Dimensions

Room-by-room guide takes the guesswork out of where to hang that towel rack or how long a curtain rod to buy.

Energy Efficient Building

Building an energy efficient house begins with orientation to the sun and taking advantage of thermal mass.

Kitchen Island Tips

A veteran architect shares his strategies for marrying function and style.

Contemporary Getaway

A new plan by architect Peter Brachvogel celebrates living in touch with nature.

Contractor Checklist

Key questions to ask before you hire a builder or remodeler.


New firepits from a partnership between Eco Smart Fire and Brown Jordan Furniture.

Plan Variations

Showing ways to customize one plan with variations in exterior treatment.

Spring Plan Sale

Showing the wide range of house plans on sale -- including many HOWIE Award Finalists -- through March 30, 2014.

Home Trends

Experts at the 2014 Home Builder Show listed new home buyer trends, including rising interest in sound proofing, matte finishes, maximizing storage, and more.

Engineered Wood Floors

An introduction to engineered wood floors.

Bricks and Stones

Six new brick and stone products to consider for your new home, from pavers to walls.

Multi-Generation Living

Demand for multigenerational housing shows no signs of abating. Builders in the West were first out of the gate with targeted designs, but the rest of the country is catching up.

Oscar Worthy Plans

Nominees for Best Kitchens & Baths in Supporting Roles! (More Finalists in our HOWIE Design Awards...)

Passive Soar Strategies

Cost-effective ways to use passive solar heating to warm your new home.

Radiant Heat Options

Explaining how electric and hydronic radiant heat in floors works, and the basic ways to use it.

Green Product Questions

Debunking some myths about green products.

Colonial Style Trim

Explaining the exterior trim pieces that express Colonial style for houses.

Luxury House Plans

Luxury Finalists in the Houseplans Design Awards offer special twists -- double axels? -- to compete for dream house gold.

LED Bulb News

Newsflash: 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs are no more.The new LED replacements last much much longer.

Tall Doors

What you need to know about large tall sliding glass doors: materials, cost, energy-efficiency and more.

Adaptable Home Ideas

Home design ideas that work for young families and for aging in place.

Home Building Tips

Three important points to consider as you think about building your dream home.

Not So Big Houses

Sarah Susanka's secrets to a Goldilocks house that's not too big, not too small, but just right for you.

Heath Tile Seconds

An architect explains how he used seconds from Heath Tile to achieve beauty on a budget in his kitchen.

More 2014 Products

More news from the Home Builder/KBIS show, from sliding cabinet doors to new color palettes.

Downsize Plans

What to look for in floor plans that fit the Boomer downsizing trend

New Kitchen Products

New kitchen products and prototypes launched at the 2014 Home Builder/Kitchen & Bath Show in Las Vegas include "Freedom Induction" cooktops from Thermador and wireless charging counters from Dupont Corian.

Top Ten Plans

The Top ten best selling plans for 2013.

Shared Baths

Shared bathrooms -- also called Jack and Jill bathrooms -- connect two bedrooms for an efficient use of space.

Scale & Proportion

Explaining the age-old rules governing the dimensions of interior trim pieces -- for function and beauty.

Interior Trim Styles

An introduction to the most common styles of interior trim, from Colonial to Modern.