What You Need to Know

Siding Choices

Siding choices can help you customize a plan. Often they relate to the design and style of your house, as demonstrated in these examples.

Interior Finish Costs

The way to control the costs of interior finishes is to do your homework and plan ahead.

Metal Roofs

Rising popularity for this long lasting alternative to typical roofing materials.

Home Features

Designs that successfully avoid common design flaws.

Shade Structures

From awnings to sails: ways to provide shelter from the summer sun.

Sandi Erdman Designer

Sandi explains how she designs and what she feels makes a good house plan.

Modern Tile

Tile advice for counters, floors, walls, and more from Heath Ceramics, the famous Mid-Century Modern manufacturer.

Architect Janet Hobbs

Austin building designer Janet Hobbs explains how she works and what influences her house plans.

Narrow Lot Plan

Many house plans -- from Craftsman to Modern to something in between -- will fit an infill lot. Here's an example of a first-time builder with some advice from his own experience.

Siting Advice

Pointers for situating your new house on your lot from architect, author, and teacher Donlyn Lyndon, who was one of the original designers of the internationally famous community on California's north coast, known as The Sea Ranch.

Cost To Build a Plan

Ordering a Cost To Build Report (CTB) on a house plan is a good way to start assessing a project's affordability. Key features will have a major impact on the bottom line.

Subdivision Trends

Boyce explores a new community in Florida with a fresh approach to residential design.

Rainwater Harvesting

Cisterns above ground or below and other matters related to storing and using rainwater in and around the house.

Accessory Dwelling Units

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

Garden Wish List

A recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects lists the garden/outdoor living features that homeowners desire.

Roof Trusses

What you need to know about prefabricated roof trusses, exposed or hidden.