7 Ways to Create a Spa Bathroom

Light the candles, plug in some aromatherapy, tell Alexa or Siri to play soft ocean sounds and just relax. No, not at your local spa, but in your very own bathroom. You might think you need to own a luxury-sized bathroom in order to pull off the luxury look, but even the tiniest of bathrooms can provide the perfect spa-like atmosphere.


Here are 7 tips to pull it off:

  1. Paint with Soothing Colors

Coastal House Plan 207-00020

Coastal House Plan 207-00020
Research has shown that colors truly play a huge part in directing your mood. In order to create a spa bathroom, you’ll need to stick to neutral colors that bring about tranquility and serenity. Think of soft grays, blue, white, beige, or brown. These colors have been proven to invoke feelings of stillness, calmness, and composure. Installing a light dimmer would definitely play off these colors nicely, enhancing the spa feel.


  1. Declutter


Luxury House Plan 5445-00234

Luxury House Plan 5445-00234 
This one speaks for itself. If your bathroom is drowning in makeup, hair products, cleaning products, etc. you need to cut the clutter by only keeping your essentials at hand (i.e. hand soap, lotion, body wash). Storing away your personal items under the sink, drawers, or organizing it in a basket will help maintain a relaxing atmosphere.

  1. Add in Nature


Mediterranean House Plan 5445-00276

Mediterranean House Plan 5445-00276  
Lush greenery promotes a healthy environment for your spa bathroom. Potted plants like bamboo, aloe vera, orchids or lilies do well in moist habitats like a bathroom and add soothing decorative accents.

  1. Upgrade your Shower Head and Tub


Craftsman House Plan 963-00304 Craftsman House Plan 963-00304
Inside your shower or bathtub is really where the spa experience takes place. Pamper yourself daily with either a massage, rainfall, handheld showerhead, a jetted tub, or both! Who knows, the relaxation may even inspire some off-key singing!


  1. Add Seating in Your Shower


Early American House Plan 286-00006

Craftsman House Plan 963-00304
The tub isn’t the only place you can sink and soak. Grab some extra towels and drape them over your shoulders as you sit and allow the steam from the shower to engulf you.


  1. Surround Yourself in Softness


Craftsman House Plan 5631-00098

Craftsman House Plan 5631-00098  
You could just melt in the white robes and towels at the spa. Bring that softness into your bathroom. Have extra fluffy towels lying around, place luxurious mats at the foot of your shower or tub, and don’t forget to slip your feet into some soft slippers.


  1. Accessories, Accessories, and more Accessories!


Florida House Plan 1018-00177

Florida House Plan 1018-00177   
Accessories will set the right mood for your spa bathroom. Get the aromatherapy going with scented candles, essential oils, or potpourri. Pour some bath salts into the tub and balance your favorite book on a wooden bathtub tray, or cut up some cucumbers and throw on a sheet mask while you soak. Lay down a cedar or teak bath mat at the foot of your shower or tub. However you decide to accessorize your spa bathroom, you want these extra touches to encourage prolonged relaxation.


The great thing about designing a spa bathroom is that it can be done in all size bathrooms, and on a budget. As you create your dream bathroom, use this guide to help inspire you throughout the process.


Posted in Architectural Elements, Bathroom, Cabinets, Countertops, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Living on the Water: Cape Cod and Coastal House Plans

Whether you’re building your first, second, or retirement home, putting down roots on or near the shoreline offers a lifestyle that reflects a mindset rather than just simply a home style. The reason for your waterfront build could be for 24/7 access to fishing, sand, and surfing; or it could fulfill a yearning to be connected with nature. Whatever the reason may be, there are two house styles to consider when choosing to build near the water.


Cape Cod House Plans:

Cape Cod House Plan 7922-00186

Cape Cod House Plan 7922-00186
Defined by its traditional American colonial exterior of shingle siding and steep roofs, Cape Cod-inspired homes are a great style choice because they are built to offer protection against harsh elements of coastal weather. These home designs offer a classic charm that could range from traditionally small and quaint to a more modern lavish and striking appearance.

Small House Plan 1785-00130

Small House Plan 1785-00130
Coastal House Plans:

Nothing says surf’s up more than a coastal style home. These beachfront-styled house plans reflect your mood and make you feel like you’re on a 24/7 vacation. Their design features include a lanai, roomy wraparound porches, sun decks, verandas, and more. Coastal house plans are fun because they can also adopt the style of any other plan – cottage, traditional, modern, or contemporary.


Coastal House Plan 963-00235

Coastal House Plan 963-00235

Benefits to Waterfront Living:
The benefits of waterfront living are immense and truly go without saying. Research has proven that the benefits to waterfront living can help to achieve “an elevated and sustained happiness.” Furthermore, research shows that living on the water helps:

  • lower stress, anxiety, and heart rate
  • increase creativity
  • people sleep better

Building your dream home in view of stunning sunsets, nature scented breezes, and daily experiences of total peace and tranquility, doesn’t really need much more convincing, right?


Contemporary House Plan 207-00055

Contemporary House Plan 207-00055

Cons of Living on the Water:
Though it’s hard to imagine that there could be any cons to waterfront living, here are some things to consider when building a home on the water:

  • Natural risks – erosion, wind damage, and the rise of sea level are all reasons for a more costly insurance premium. You want to protect the beautiful home you’ve built, so it’s best to be prepared to spend a little to ensure your house will last a lifetime.
  • Nature itself – living on water means you’re closer to its natural inhabitants. The water can be a breeding ground for disturbing insects, lizards, and snakes.
  • Maintainance – simply put, waterfront living costs more to maintain than other homes. The mist, erosion, and humidity are major factors in causing an increase in home maintenance fees, so with all things considered, budget accordingly.


We offer a wide range of Coastal and Cape Cod house plans — over 400, in fact — in various sizes and styles. These plans are specific to waterfront living, giving you relaxed seclusion, and family togetherness. Explore our almost 200 Cape Cod house plans or our over 300 Coastal house plans to find the right one for you.


Posted in Architectural Elements, Featured House Plans, Featured Styles, Stock House Plans | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why your new house plan needs a theater room

Who wouldn’t want a cozy theater room in their home? These unique rooms are used solely to view movies and TV shows on a big screen projector. There are tons of benefits to building a dedicated theater room but there are also many elements to consider in order to build the best possible theater room.

Mediterranean House Plan 5445-00253

Mediterranean House Plan 5445-00253

Reasons to build a theater room:


  • Entertainment: Having a dedicated space to watch movies, TV, and sports eliminates the inevitable fighting over the living room TV. Creating a well thought out theater room gives your family the comfort and ability to enjoy quality entertainment.


  • Family Time: Speaking of family, a theater room also increases the likelihood of spending quality time with your family.


  • Resale Value: A theater room not only increases the value of your home but it also improves the likelihood that you will easily resell it in the future.



Lake Front House Plan 699-00086

Lake Front House Plan 699-00086

Elements to keep in mind to create the perfect theater room:


  • Space: A large space is necessary for a well thought out theater room. Because the area needs to be dark and quiet, the theater room is usually just the theater room and not a multipurpose space used for other reasons.


  • Shape: In order to view the screen without straining, the theater room needs to be a longer room than a normal bedroom might be. The majority of theater rooms are created in basements and those spaces are usually longer rather than wider, giving you the right shape for a theater room.


  • Light: Or lack thereof. Being able to eliminate all incoming light is essential for a media room, so look into blackout curtains and other barriers to light infiltrating your theater room.


  • Sound: Whether to keep sound out or to make the theater sound high quality, the sound is a very important element of a theater room. Investing in high-quality surround sound is just as important as installing insulation and sound barriers.


  • Comfort: Include large, comfortable seating to create the perfect cozy environment for movie watching and quality family time

Luxury House Plan 699-00098

Luxury House Plan 699-00098
Theater rooms create a comfortable area for the entire family to enjoy movies, TV shows, and sports games all while spending quality time together. We offer over 300 house plans with theater rooms, so start exploring today.
If you would prefer to have a more multipurpose room for family entertainment, perhaps a media room might be the right option for you. You can explore our house plans with media rooms here.

Posted in Featured House Plans, Main | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

10 Details That Make a Home Expensive to Build

 When building your dream home, some elements make the home more expensive to build than others. Determining which aspects are worth the price for you and which aren’t will help you choose the right house plan for you and your family.
From the land to the construction to the design details, every little aspect of house building can end up costing a fortune. These areas can either make or break the budget when building your dream home:
1. The shape of the home: If the house plan has an unusual shape or lots of corners, it will be more expensive to build. The more corners, the more expensive.
2. Outdoor elements: If you’re longing for a pool, a lanai, an outdoor kitchen area, or even a large deck, you’re going to pay more for those features and continue to pay for the upkeep of those areas.

Traditional 9401-00018

Traditional House Plan 9401-00018

3. Square Footage: Obviously, the bigger the home, the more expensive it will be to build and to maintain. The same goes for homes that are two stories.

Craftsman 341-00276

Craftsman House Plan 341-00276

4. Exteriors: If you long for a brick clad home, you’re going to pay more than if it was covered in siding but the upkeep of a brick home is less expensive in the long run.
5. Foundations: The location and the type of foundation both contribute to the price. A slab foundation is the cheapest choice while adding a basement can substantially increase the price of the home.

Modern 5631-00079

Modern House Plan 5631-00079

6. Design Features: From windows to doors, the more elaborate the exterior details can cause the price to skyrocket! 
7. Framing: The bigger the home, the more framing needed which increases costs. The type of framing you choose is also an indicator of price because stick framing is cheaper than timber framing.
8. Location: Some states/cities are more expensive to build in than others because costs vary for local materials and labor.
9. Materials: The quality of the materials you use will have a significant impact on your final price. There is nothing wrong with using standard construction materials but some people choose to upgrade to the more expensive versions for a variety of reasons. From roofing to bricks to siding, every detail can be upgraded.
10. Ceiling Heights: The higher the ceiling, the more it will cost to build and to maintain. Vaulted ceilings are for aesthetic purposes only and for some, the extra costs aren’t worth the open, airy feeling.

Mountain 5631-00084

Mountain House Plan 5631-00084
As you search for your favorite house plan and design your future home, help keep costs down by remembering these costly elements. You can explore our over 16,000 house plans to find the perfect home for you.  

Posted in Architectural Elements, Cost to Build, Featured House Plans, Foundations, Main, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Is A Porte-Cochere?

Northwest House Plan 699-00073

Do you have any idea what a porte-cochere is or where you might see one? Originally seen in large homes and public buildings in the late 18th and 19th century, porte-cocheres is a French term meaning door carriage that essentially makes it easier to avoid unsightly weather and enter a home or building unscathed. Porte Cocheres can still be seen in luxury private homes and some public buildings such as churches, hotels, and schools. A prime example of a porte-cochere is Buckingham Palace in London.

French Country House Plan 8318-00113

Located on the side or front of a home, these covered structures differ from carports because no vehicles are parked beneath a porte-cochere. Instead, used as a covered way to enter the home from the car, a porte-cochere is not for parking but for driving under to enter the home and then continue to the garage to park the car.


Reasons why you might want a porte-cochere in your new house plan:

  • For convenience: The ability to enter the home unnerved by the weather
  • For curb appeal: Create a more interesting and dimensional exterior with this covered structure
  • For resale value: This elegant addition can appeal to buyers when you sell your home.
French Country House Plan 4195-00007

If you love the uniqueness and convenience of a porte-cochere, visit our website to explore the over 120 house plans with porte-cocheres. You can also modify any of our house plans to include a porte-cochere.  

Posted in Architectural Elements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do You Need A Basement In Your New House Plan?

Basements don’t have to be the scary, dark wastes of space that we know from the movies. If designed and used correctly, basements can create very useful living areas, perfect for entertaining guests, gathering together for family game nights, and so much more.


Craftsman House Plan 1020-00340
Besides additional living space, basements can also provide extra storage, a separate bedroom/bathroom, and even a safe room. How would you use a basement?


As you search through our over 16,000 house plans, review these reasons why you might need a basement in your new home:


  • If you have a larger family or a growing one, a basement can give you the extra space you need to give everyone their own private areas. Whether you have kids now or you plan to in the future, the basement can provide much-needed space. This area could also be used as an in-law suite for elderly relatives!

Modern Farmhouse House Plan 098-00305


  • If you love to have get-togethers and having a large party area is important, a basement might be the best option. If you don’t want to mess up your kitchen and living room every time friends gather at your home, make the basement the party place and create an entire entertaining area for your guests.


  • If you have hobbies or activities that require extra space, having a large area like a basement can be very helpful. From crafting to exercising, a basement can provide the area needed for these space-consuming activities.

Lake Front House Plan 3323-00340


  • If you have a lot of stuff you need to store, a basement is perfect for storage. Whether it’s holiday decor or your grandma’s vintage record table, you can use the basement to store and/or display these extra items.


  • If the lot you’re building on is narrow, you can always create a basement to give you the square footage you desire. If you can’t build out, build down and create a basement that can double your home’s square footage.


Craftsman House Plan 5631-00078
There are, of course, some cons to building a house plan with a basement. These underground areas are more vulnerable to moisture and water damage than the rest of the home so taking the precautions and keeping up with maintenance is the best way to avoid these moisture problems.


Sometimes basements aren’t used nearly as much as the family thinks they will be and if this large space isn’t utilized frequently or consistently, the basement ends up being a costly, unused area. Don’t build a basement unless you know you’ll use it!

Craftsman House Plan 1020-00337
As you search for the perfect home, consider a house plan with a basement (or modify a plan to include one) and give your family the extra space they need to use in whatever way they desire. We have over 3,700 house plans with basements so start searching today!


Posted in Architectural Elements, Featured House Plans, Featured Styles, Main, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Benefits of 1 Bedroom House Plans

Sometimes smaller is better! Bigger doesn’t always equal better and if you are one of the millions of Americans searching for the perfect one bedroom house plan, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of a smaller home and explore some of our favorite and most popular one bedroom house plans.

Vacation House Plan 4177-00001
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Americans are craving more and more space in their homes. The average American house in 1973 was around 1,660 square feet and in 2010, the average U.S. home soared to almost 2,400 sq. ft. (2010 U.S. Census). However, there are specific reasons why choosing a smaller, one bedroom home is more beneficial than a larger house. 

Country House Plan 7806-00010
Some of the benefits of a 1 bedroom house plan are:


    • Better Locations – If a big house in a prime location is out of your budget, consider a smaller home. If the location is perfect for your lifestyle, think small!


    • Less to clean and furnish – Less square footage means less to clean and fewer rooms to furnish. Spend your free time enjoying your home rather than cleaning it.


    • Easier to maintain – Having a smaller home allows for less maintenance which saves time and money!


    • Cheaper – Because these 1 bedroom homes are usually smaller square footage, they cost less to build from the ground up. Insurance, taxes, and utilities are also cheaper in a small home.


  • A small environmental impact – Each home built causes an impact on the environment and the smaller the home, the less of an impact it makes.


Cottage House Plan 2559-00225
Essentially, one bedroom house plans offer convenience, save money and time, and leave a smaller impact on the environment, making them the best choice for those wanting a smaller living space. Break the concept of bigger is better and search our 1 bedroom house plans to find the perfect home for you.


Modern House Plan 940-00065

Posted in Architectural Elements, Main, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Are Craftsman House Plans So Popular?

Craftsman style homes emerged in the late 19th century and remain popular today among homebuilders looking for charming details, unique style, and an undeniably “homey” feel.


The Origins of the Craftsman House Plan

Created by William Morris, Craftsman architecture was created in response to the Arts and Crafts movement that started around the mid-19th century. Early Craftsman homes emphasized handwork instead of mass-produced designs and focused on simplicity of form, the visibility of handicraft, originality, and the use of local natural materials. In essence, Craftsman style homes are well-designed with an emphasis on function, charm, and quality.


Craftsman House Plan 041-00188

Since Craftsman homes were first introduced, this unique house style has topped the charts as the most popular style of house plans. Because the Craftsman style offers high-quality workmanship and unique design details, Craftsman homes tend to be simple yet elegant with the delicate combination of functionality and originality to create the classic Craftsman style.
Common Characteristics of Craftsman House Plans


  • Stucco, lapped or shingle siding
  • Casement windows or multiple windows arranged in banks
  • Spacious covered, front porches
  • Low-pitched roofs that are sometimes gabled or hipped
  • Unique custom features, such as window seats
  • Tapered columns
  • Knee braces
  • Wide, overhanging eaves
  • Built-in, handcrafted cabinetry, such as buffets or bookcases
  • Fireplaces made of native stone or brick
  • Open floor plans
  • Single dormers
  • Exposed rafter beams and tales
  • Natural materials from the location- like wood and stained glass
  • Large, noticeable chimneys
  • Triangular pitches
  • Front doors with 3+ windows

Craftsman House Plan 699-00129
According to a Trulia survey of 2,000+ American adults, the top American home styles are:

  • Craftsman house plans at 43%
  • Ranch homes at 41%
  • Colonial style at 36%

Interestingly, these preferences change by age group: Millennials, age 18–34, prefer craftsman-style homes while older adults over 55+ were more likely to build ranch house plans.


Craftsman House Plan 4771-00013
Since the inception in the late 19th century, homeowners continue to love the charming details, open floor plans, and large front porches of Craftsman style homes. Do YOU love the Craftsman style? Comment and let us know what you love the most about Craftsman house plans.

Craftsman House Plan 041-00161



Posted in Architectural Elements, Featured House Plans, Featured Styles, Main, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why would you need a house plan with two master bedrooms?

      When you read “two master bedrooms”, do you immediately think WHY? Or YES! If you’re part of the WHY group, keep reading to learn the pros surrounding this unique layout. Two master suites may sound bizarre but having two large bedrooms with private bathrooms has more positives than negatives.
Northwest House Plan 699-00057

Northwest House Plan 699-00057

      One of the reasons this unique trend is growing is households are changing and starting to include more than just parents and children. Homes are now being designed to fit expanding households that may include grandparents, friends, and even a second family. Having room for extra guests or housemates is a top reason for building a house plan with two masters. Guests would also love to have their own master bedroom with a convenient bathroom and all the privacy they need. Just imagine staying at a family member’s house and finding out that you get an entire master bedroom all to yourself.

Mountain Rustic House Plan 5829-00026
 Mountain Rustic House Plan 5829-00026

Contemporary House Plan 5829-00015 Contemporary House Plan 5829-00015

       Another reason some families choose to have dual master suites is for the flexibility this layout offers. More and more couples are sleeping apart for two specific reasons: different schedules and sleep issues. Everyone has different sleep preferences whether that means you prefer it to be dark and quiet when you sleep or if you need to have the TV on. In order for everyone to have their ideal sleep preferences, some couples choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. If your spouse is a snorer, you might find your sleep interrupted frequently and a separate bedroom could solve that problem. Some couples also have different schedules. If one of you works evenings, sleeping separately might make sense. If one of you is a night owl and the other is an early riser, this can disrupt the other person’s sleep. Having two master bedrooms keeps everyone comfortable and in their preferred setting.

Coastal House Plan 028-00118
 Coastal House Plan 028-00118

      Whether the extra master is for guests or for the comfort of the homeowners, there’s been a significant increase in the number of double master suite house plans sold in recent years. With over 15,000 house plans, we have every style, size, and shape imaginable and that includes 156 house plans with two masters! Explore our house plans to find the perfect home with two master suites.

Posted in Architectural Elements, Featured Styles, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Porches – What are your options?

There are so many options and choices to be made when it comes to designing your dream house plan. We’ve talked about the many garage choices and we’ve helped you determine how many bedrooms you need. But today, we’re talking about porches and the many options that come with these lovely additions to any home.


When you explore our website, you’ll find 5 different options for porches:

  • Front
  • Rear
  • Screened
  • Stacked
  • Wrap Around

FrontThe curb appeal of your home can be enhanced by a well designed front porch. Not only does a front porch add style to your home but it also gives you an outdoor area to relax on a rocking chair, enjoy a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, or feature unique home decor that welcomes visitors to your home.

Northwest House Plan 699-00121


RearWith less visibility, a rear porch can be used in any way you desire. With this flexible option, a back porch can link to your kitchen, keeping room, or even a living room, creating an indoor-outdoor living space. A rear porch tends to be larger than front porches and gives you the ability to relax outdoors, enjoy nature, and keep an eye on children and pets playing in the backyard. A rear porch is truly an outdoor extension of the home.

Cape Cod House Plan 2559-00785
Screened-In-These unique porches are essentially rear porches that are encased with screens, creating a more weather-friendly area that eliminates most bugs from invading you. A screened in porch gives you the ability to enjoy the outdoors while fully indoors. These areas can be enjoyed for at least 3 seasons depending on what part of the country you live in. Add a fireplace and you can enjoy a screened in porch year round!  

Cottage House Plan 3323-00339
Stacked-This option makes quite a statement by providing two porches -one for the 1st floor and one for the 2nd. These two porches can be in the front of a home or in the back, giving you even more options with this choice. If located in the front of the home, the stacked porch option creates amazing curb appeal with its dynamic presence and in the back, you can enjoy the expansive yard to its fullest, getting amazing views from the top porch.  

Craftsman House Plan 699-00118

Southern House Plan 7922-00007


Wrap around- The option that everyone desires! Perfect for a country location, a wrap around porch extends your living area and creates a covered porch that can be accessed and enjoyed around the outside of the home. Sometimes these porches wrap around the entire home and other times, they wrap around one or two corners but either way, these porches offer more space than the other options. With a wrap around porch, you can thoroughly enjoy your yard. Grab a rocking chair, a small table, or even a chaise lounge and enjoy!

Vacation House Plan 4177-00009


As you search for your future home, explore all your porch options and see which one speaks to you and fits your family’s needs. Are you building on a large lot? Perhaps a wrap around porch would be best or an expansive back porch. Is your lot more narrow thus requiring you build up instead of out? Look into the stacked porch option to give you the views and outdoor space you desire. The possibilities are endless! Explore our website to find the perfect house plan for you and message our team with any questions.

Posted in Architectural Elements, Featured House Plans, Featured Styles, Outdoor Space, Porches, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment