Home Design | Home Plans


HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite Review

Advanced technology allows us to have more convenient. It gives us more opportunities to explore things, even in the area of home remodeling, redesigning and landscaping.

Many have the misconception that one has to be a professional to come up with great house plans that conforms to architectural rules and interior law of mix and match. But with the right software, you can turn any rugged home into a dream house, or a worn down landscape. One such software program is the HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite.

Complex yet complete

Those who have not encountered CAD (computer-aided design) may have a hard time using the program, but then investing time to learn this technology will be useful if you are planning to remodel your home. Unlike the other versions of CAD, this one is a simplified one.

This software has a 698-page manual, and if you are having a hard time online tutorials might do you some good. You will at least need 2-3 hours before you can get a good grasp of the program.

Mixed reviews are written regarding this software. Some claim that the mappings are vague and that it takes too long to adapt to the program. While some say that the software is just a waste of money, others claim that the programs installed are good for those who are learning to use computer-assisted designs (CAD) programs.

For those who have done it before, the program comes relatively easy and complete. It is also programmed for those who are already familiar with the way Ipod applications work. Basically, you will have to put some amount of time before you can get a good feel of the software.

Features and program requirements

You may visualize a brand new kitchen as it shows you how to set it up with cost-efficient appliances. You may also create your own digital images with easy editing options.

Its interface is wizard driven which makes it easy to learn. The software has both video and online tutorials that can teach you how to use the program with much ease. It also comes with a printed manual that basically tells you how to operate the software.

This program is capable of 3D rendering that makes images that you create more realistic. You can also have a virtual walk-through of your plan with all fixtures, appliances and furniture's that you drag and drop from its database.

The software will work with Windows Vista and XP operating systems. Software costs around $50. You may buy online or directly from HGTV store.

Solid yet Disappointing

Many of those who have tried the program claim that while it has complete options, the program is very hard to use. Most customers are complaining that the software only leads to frustration and disappointment due to its complicated set up.

Many others have found out from personal experience that it was very limited. Like other home design program, HGTV Home Design & Remodeling Suite does not have adequate support to verify conformity with national land and local building codes.


The History of Spanish Colonial Home Plans

Historically speaking, the area now comprising the U.S. had two types of colonial home plans styles: the English colonial typical of the north Atlantic coast, and the Spanish colonial typical of the Gulf coast and the southwest. There has been a great deal written about the English colonial architectural style, but relatively little about the Spanish. The territory in which Spanish colonial architecture dominated extends from the Mexican border northward, including the part of California south of Sonoma County, the whole of New Mexico and Arizona, most of Texas and Florida, and parts of the Gulf states.

The Spanish conquest of America began in 1519 with the defeat of the Aztecs. Soon thereafter missionaries arrived to convert the heathen. By the mid-seventeenth century there were three dozen missions in northern Mexico; and by 1800 missions had been established as far north as Baja California and Arizona. By this time also the viceroys who ruled Mexico were expanding their political hegemony into what is now American California, and settlers were moving in - some of whom became wealthy and built dwellings similar in style to the old country. By the mid-eighteenth century the chain of mission churches, which was the backbone of Spanish civilization in North America and the chief agency of colonization, had been established (reaching San Francisco by 1776, and reaching its northern limit in Sonoma by 1823).

Because of the influence of the structural forms developed by the pueblo Indians before the Spanish arrived, the Spanish style house plans of New Mexico are very different from those which arose in other states. This style may be considered equally Spanish and Indian in character - Spanish in idea, form and plan but Indian in detail and methods of construction. As a result, this architecture has a quaint, primitive interest.

In Texas, the Franciscan style of architecture prevailed. Franciscan missions consisted of the following buildings, laid out for convenience and easy defense: the church, priests' house (usually there were two priests - one in charge of temporal affairs and the other spiritual matters), shops for trades and crafts taught to the Indians, storehouses, kitchen and dining areas, guard rooms for military, hospital, young men's and young women's quarters, school rooms, barns and other agricultural structures, and a village for Indian families. The trades and crafts taught included carpentry, basketry, shoemaking, pottery, fruit growing, stock raising and butchering. Usually Spanish house plans were arranged around an open courtyard flanked by cloister-like arcades, which afforded communication between rooms and buildings. The church was at one side, and often was constructed with an open chapel (three-sided, in order to hasten construction and permit more people to enter). Most of the buildings, including the church, were designed with military purposes in mind and thus tended to be plain and massive. Although as time went on an intricate and elaborate style of ornamentation was often used, still the simple, solid construction as exemplified by the California missions held sway.


Small House Plans – Ten Quick Tips on Home Design For That Smaller House Plan


Picking and designing home plans is a blast. One of the nice things about my work in building and remodeling is the chance to learn from various industry professionals. And working with architects to design homes is one of the most fun.
I'd like to share some things I've learned when designing or selecting a smaller home. Smaller house plans require a little more scrutiny and creativity so they feel larger when lived in.
If you're thinking of building a smaller home, pay attention to these factors and your home will feel and be more livable.

  • One or more rooms should extend wall to exterior wall where possible.
  • Keep the interior open and flowing, not cut up.
  • Eat in a bigger kitchen and eliminate the formal Dining Room.
  • Have French doors open to a screened in or sun room.
  • Have plenty of windows in main living areas.
  • Try a shared, larger bathroom with a separate toilet room.
  • Reduce or eliminate hallways.
  • Try a detached garage with plenty of storage in the attic.
  • Use vaulted ceilings where possible with a loft.
  • Instead of 8 foot ceilings, increase to 10 foot.

Home Plan Design Requires Scrutiny
Use these tips to select pre-made plans or when using an architect. Either way, you should make decisions on what is most important to you in a home. For most, small homes need to feel large and inviting.
The goal is to make the best use of the available space in every place possible. Finding spaces for storage is vital. Combined rooms is a big help. Good design will all but eliminate hallways. This gives more space to popular areas.
Small doesn't have to be cramped. If you list your priorities and put your emphasis on what's most important, you'll get what you really want despite the size. Happy homebuilding!

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