Archive for the 'Dream' Category
By Vivian Martin
So, you’ve finally decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy your own home… how exciting! You are ready to fulfill your dream of having a place to call your own.
Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you’ll ever make. Prepare by learning about the process of homebuying and the responsibilities of homeownership. The differences between renting and buying a home are vast, and there’s a long list of pros and cons for both options. And, remember — there is no one best decision for everyone. Before moving forward, though, here are some questions to consider.
- Do you have the necessary financial management skills?
- How financially stable are you?
- Are you ready to take on the responsibility of all the costs involved in homeownership, including mortgage payments, repairs, and maintenance?
- Are you able to devote the time required for home maintenance?
There are pros and cons for both renting and buying. Everyone must make his or her own best decision. Buying a home is not for everyone. Take a moment to think through the advantages and disadvantages of both owning and renting. Use this CHMC worksheet to guide you and then visit the CHMC website for further information and the next steps to homeownership.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. Established as a government-owned corporation in 1946 to address Canada’s post-war housing shortage, the agency has grown into a major national institution. CMHC is Canada’s premier provider of mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research.
By Vivian Martin
I love to hear about building material innovations. With that being said, I also tend to wait until the pros have had a chance to work with and evaluate the pros and cons of new materials. In 2010, a new tile substrate called Kerdi-Board from Schluter Systems was introduced to the North American market. This product may very well change the way ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles are installed, especially in high-moisture areas.
Kerdi-Board consists of a core of rigid structural foam sandwiched with a waterproof and felted membrane. When combined with the system adhesives, seam tapes and drain systems, potential water damage to the underlying structure is virtually eliminated. Available in thicknesses from 3/16” to 2”, it cuts with a knife, is light in weight, impervious to water and insulative. The 2” thick Kerdi-Board can even be used to build partitions, benches and tub surrounds. It almost seems too good to be true and if it did not come from a company with a strong loyalty in the tilesetter world, I would be skeptical.
New materials only become mainstream when they boost installation efficiency and cut down on installation costs. A lot of DIY folks get sticker shock when they see the price of Schluter products but the pros know that they can be confident with their installation and long-term performance. The product is light, strong, cuts quietly and dustlessly, prevents movement of water and water vapour and provides thermal insulation (great for steam showers).
At this time, I could not find Kerdi-Board in any of the big box stores in Canada but tile specialty shops carrying Schluter products can have it ordered in if they do not already stock it.
If you have any comments on this product or if you have pictures of this product in use, we would love to share it with our readers.
Thanks for visiting the DrummondHousePlans Blog!
By Vivian Martin
Dream the dream – customize your Drummond House Plan and save!
Have you found a Drummond House Plan that is perfect… almost? Part of the joy of building your own home is the option to customize it.
For a limited time, Drummond House Plans is offering a 30% discount on the cost of the base plan set when you use our professional modification service.
Perhaps you are still looking for a plan. Drummond House Plans has been a source of Canadian-designed house plans since 1973 and a popular choice for Canadians and internationally! Craftsman house plans, Bungalow house plans, Multi-generational house plans, Country-style house plans and many more collections are conveniently grouped on our website.
Stock plans are far more affordable than starting from scratch. With nearly a thousand ready-to-build designs on our website, you have a lot to choose from. Still, we often hear that “this plan would be perfect if the garage were bigger, there was another bathroom, the windows took in a special view, etc. A great number of our customers choose to personalize their house plan to fit their unique needs or building site conditions. With our limited time customization discount program, the cost of your base set of plans is discounted by 30%. Simple changes to the plan may result in a cost no higher than the original plan!
Prior to modifying any plan, we provide a FREE estimate of the requested changes. You will work with our expert architectural professionals – the original creators and copyright holders of the designs, so you can be confident that we know the plans inside out. Options for modification are nearly endless, from simple (changing a door or window location, for example) to complex (increasing or decreasing the width or depth of a plan, rearranging rooms). Details about the modification process and examples of modification costs can be found on the Drummond House Plans website.
This promotional offer is available on all of the plans on the Drummond House Plans website. For full details on the offer, click here.
We hope you’ll enjoy the variety of Canadian-designed house plans on our website and working with us to make your dream your reality!
By Vivian Martin
Paul Anater, a designer and blogger of impeccable taste had the great fortune of attending the IMM in Cologne, Germany. Thanks to Houzz for providing an excellent forum for “idea books” for all of our inspiration!
Last week I was one of 100,000 design fans from around the world who descended on Cologne, Germany for the Internationale Möbelmesse, or IMM. Along with the Salone di Mobile which is held every year in Milan, the IMM is considered to be the world’s premiere furniture and design trade show.
IMM is a massive show, much larger and better organized than its counterparts in the US. It was a trend watcher’s amusement park, and although much of what I saw may never cross the Atlantic, many of the overriding themes and trends I saw will.
I was one of six U.S.-based design bloggers brought to IMM by Blanco, a German sink and faucet manufacturer. I took these photos as I walked around the show on Thursday and Friday last week. Can you see any of the trends I’ll identify here working their way into your design? If you’re a member of Houzz’s international community, are any of these trends already part of your country’s design scene?
By Vivian Martin
While away the summer days on your wraparound veranda!
This home is a celebration of exterior and interior spaces. A generous covered entry transitions to a covered social deck and then lures one all the way to the back. This veranda allows for sheltered enjoyment and conversation areas as well as providing the main floor protection from the midday sun. Contrasting siding and trim accentuate the lines of the house including a stately double chimney. The double garage is discreetly accessed from the side.
Inside one is greeted by a generous foyer. To the right one discovers a comfortable lifestyle room that can be used as a sitting room, office or guest room. Beyond this is an open concept living/dining room which is warmed by a central fireplace. At the rear of the house is a kitchen with ample counter and cabinet space plus a bright breakfast area with direct access to the veranda. To finish off the main-floor necessities, one finds a good-sized laundry room and a discreetly located powder room.
On the upper level, we find a master suite, two additional bedrooms and a full bathroom, activity area plus a bonus space over the garage. The master retreat is noteworthy for its size, fireplace, large walk-in closet and generous master bathroom plus direct access to an open-sky terrace.
For more details on this and related plans, click here…
By Vivian Martin
You’ve told your Facebook friends, your banker and your mom: You’ve found the house of your dreams. But have you told your insurance agent?
Henry Blumenthal thinks you should, even before you buy. The vice-president and chief underwriter of TD Insurance has seen homes with problems so bad they would have increased the buyer’s insurance premiums or even invalidated their home insurance.
“I was working on a file where a home inspection revealed that the basement had experienced water damage several times and it would cost over $75,000 to fix. After speaking to us, the potential buyer learned that the home was in a zone where we receive frequent water damage claims and, because of its location, would be susceptible to water damage even after the repairs,” Mr. Blumenthal says. “This is a perfect example of how an insurer’s unique insight helped a buyer make his decision. In this case, he decided not to purchase the home.”
Insurers are primarily looking at two factors when assessing risk: the frequency with which a particular problem occurs and the potential magnitude of the loss associated with the problem.
If you’re in the market for a new home, here’s some advice from Mr. Blumenthal that could help you make your buying decision:
Water is no friend to a home. Water damage is the most common home insurance claim. For a better understanding of how water can get in and what it can mean for your insurance and your wallet, show your home inspection report to your insurer.
An alarm system will save you in more ways than one. Looking at a house with an alarm system in it? Not only will you and your home have added protection, but it can save you money with discounts on your home insurance premiums.
Accidents do happen. Consider your liability exposure in a home. Is there a pool that isn’t properly fenced? What about uneven concrete that could cause someone to trip and fall? The more hazards there are on a property, the more your liability protection will cost.
Location, location, location. Depending on the location of the home, your insurer can identify whether additional riders will be necessary to make sure you are adequately protected.
It needs a little work. If you’re buying a fixer-upper, flag this for your insurer. When you add value to your home, your insurance policy needs to reflect the increased replacement coverage cost.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. If your insurer isn’t comfortable with an item after reviewing the home inspection report, you should take a closer look before you buy.
Just a phone call away. When you’re making a purchase of this magnitude, take the time to do your research and speak to your insurance expert. You will have peace of mind knowing you are making a fully informed decision.
By Vivian Martin
As we continue our father-inspired topics this week, we visit one of Dad’s favourite back yard features - the hot tub. It does not seem to matter whether we are vibrant zoomers, broken boomers, or young and fit – hot tubs are a luxury that more and more households are opting to include in homes for reasons of comfort, therapy and recreation. As home designers, we know that these units may be placed in various locations from the master bath to indoor/outdoor rooms that spotlight the hot tub as a social centre or hub of backyard recreation.
Julie Ann-Amos of Hot Tubs ‘N Home Spas.com, provides an excellent article on the history and health benefits of hot tubs.
For many years, hot tubs and home spas were the exclusive luxuries of the wealthy. They were expensive to buy, expensive to operate and not very reliable. With the onset of better manufacturing and better materials, and lower prices, however, the popularity of hot tubs and home spas began to soar.
Spas Throughout History
History gives us many examples of spas being used as integral parts of life for many civilizations. The Romans are perhaps the most famous for their bathhouses, which became centers of social life and a common daily activity for the elite classes. Other cultures made use of spa-like hot baths as well, including the ancient peoples of China and Japan.
What did these civilizations know that others didn’t? Setting aside technological differences, some of the earliest spa enthusiasts appreciated the health benefits of using hot water to relax the body, open the pores of the skin, and generally promote better health. Cleanliness was considered healthful and a sign of prosperity – after all, you had to be pretty well off to afford the bath facilities themselves and to have the leisure time to partake of their benefits.
Plus, For other information on hot tubs, follow our Twitter posts of today’s date.
By Vivian Martin
While away the hours in the delights of DrummondHousePlans Model #3616-V1. This home provides pleasant comfort and luxury touches at every turn!
The front of the house boasts a generous covered porch to beckon guests in or to linger on while in conversation.
On the main floor one finds an office/den beside the foyer. The gourmet kitchen includes an oversized island and walk-in pantry. The soaring living room is customized with a fireplace and built-ins. Finally, the master retreat includes a generous walk-in closet and luxurious master bath.
On the second floor one finds a generous bedroom with private bath, plus two more bedrooms and another full bathroom.
The final delight is a generous covered deck from which to enjoy the back yard, complete with access from the dining room and master bedroom.
This plan is designed with a crawlspace foundation but could easily be adapted to a full basement if additional flexible space is desired.
It will be hard to choose a favourite part of this home! Click here for more details.
By Vivian Martin
This inviting beauty would be equally at home on a country property or a generous city lot!
With a home office overlooking the front porch, and rear deck for taking breaks, the work-at-home professional can easily mix work with pleasure. Within, one discovers the kitchen with both a casual lunch counter and dining area. The family room is warmed by a fireplace and the living room opens beneath cathedral ceiling.
On the second level, the master suite includes a private bathroom and walk-in closet. Two secondary bedrooms share a full bath with laundry chute and a light-filled mezzanine study area. Total: 2283 sq.ft.!
For more information on this plan, visit #2888.
Related plan #3813, is a slightly larger version of this house from the Drummond Country Collection.
The Drummond Country Collection includes plans which are infused with architectural elements that make country styling so appealing, from quaint dormers and balconies to gabled roofs, and other rustic New England touches.
By Vivian Martin
Results from our recent poll are in and the House Doctor orders ”say sp-ahhhhh”!
In our recent poll, we asked: “In your next home, what type of master bathroom suite will you plan for?” The results from strongest to weakest preferences are as follows:
– Luxurious suite with spa tub and shower (68.42%)
– Large shower but no bath (23.68%)
– No master bath – shared family bathroom (5.26%)
– Powder room only (2.63%)
– With soaker tub , no shower (0%)
Our realtor friends constantly stress that the best areas to recoup investment in a home are kitchens and bathrooms. Even beyond these spaces giving you joy, they will also help build the value of your home. Ideas for your next bathroom are readily available with dedicated magazines, websites and specialty showrooms. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we regularly share articles from designers who inspire us.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our poll and we want to hear from you again. Our new question to ponder is the home office. Visit the DrummondHousePlans website and share your feelings about home workspace.