Archive for the 'Housing Trends' Category

March 21st, 2013
By Deb Villeneuve

Plan 3507-V2 offers a more comfortable first level by increasing its depth by two feet. The progressive design offers a floor plan that can grow as your needs change because the living space upstairs can accommodate bedrooms or be left unfinished according to the owner’s needs.
Following the example of plan 3507, this plan offers the open living area complete with generous fenestration in front and a comfortable bedroom with a 10′ x 2′ closet. Private access to the bathroom, with its laundry area, and a 5′ x 2′ closet at the service entrance along with a second access to the bathroom permit the owners to enjoy all of the conveniences on the same floor.
The progressive approach of this home permits initial construction on a budget as the staircase accesses the second floor through an insulated door. The second floor can accommodate the addition of extra bedrooms bathroom if required at a later date


July 12th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Homeowners in 2011 are becoming more and more savvy at reading the signs of the times. Things aren’t great right now when you consider the state of the U.S housing market, and the increasing awareness that nothing can be considered business as usual.

But, in many ways, this shift in paradigm can be considered something of a catalyst to creativity, and with homeowner self-education when it comes to home improvement trends. Homeowners are seeking to change the status quo more so than ever. To do this, they’re using their creative brains, and their increasing awareness of staying to budget.

They are more likely to put an emphasis on efficiency and cost savings. They are more inclined to work in greater detail with each other, with home improvement specialists, and with building materials retailers, to get the visual effects they’re after with long-term savings built right in.

Key focus points of this article:

  • Home improvements: “smart” not “more”
  • The angel is in the details
  • A hopeful 2012

Read full article from our friends at BuildDirect.

May 27th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

The state of the housing industry in the United States is dire in 2011, with debt loads mounting and home values plummeting. Some of the details of just how bad the home buying market is in America are nothing short of astounding, and some would say downright disheartening.

But, is there hope for those of us who want to enjoy homeownership without the worries of crushing debt-load and the bleak forecasts of a future where recovery seems so remote?

The fact is this; Americans view homeownership as a part of their cultural inheritance. This stands to reason in general, as the idea of a home of one’s own is an important part of what it means to be secure, and to have some control over how stable that security actually is. Arguably, of course, this sense of cultural inheritance is part of what started the problem in the first place, with unregulated banks riding the wave of unrealistic buyer expectations and the associated unsustainable payment plans to support them. Yet, the impulse to own a home is a pure one.

Homeownership is still a goal

Even though pundits are saying that an end to the home buying slump is some distance away, people are still looking to buy. Owning a home is still an ideal to which people in the U.S, and really all over the world, aspire. Homeownership is a cardinal life-goal that people are willing to defend, and  to secure the possibility that their children can be homeowners, too.

The next step is discovering ways to do this in concert with governement, with private industry and commerce, and with fellow citizens to find a way through the storm and into the bright light of a sustainable economy as a whole. And even in this dire time, I think there’s hope; because the building industry is evolving.

Housing bust and the green building movement

Tied to a recovering housing market is the burgeoning green building movement, with houses being built smarter, not bigger. Green building practices represent a growth market with the built in dividends of energy efficiency savings, and with a smarter approach to how resources and their associated costs are managed when building sturdy, long-lasting, and (most importantly) affordable housing.  Add to that the rising alternative energy and green inspections job sectors, and a glimmer of hope in the shadows of economic downturn can certainly be seen.

Of course, I don’t think that this means that things will return to the way things were before the bust. I think home buyers and the agencies that support the purchase of a home need to re-think strategy.

Housing market recovery: short-term wins

Unlike the instant pay-off impulses that fueled the bust, I think the keys to recovery are likely to come in the form of a series of short-term wins, as we learn more about how to build, how to finance, and how to buy smarter. To attain these wins, North American culture will need to re-define expectations around home buying and selling at all levels…(Read full original article here…)

April 12th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Now that the weather is getting nicer, all ideas of outdoor leisure home activities come flooding back to your mind. From playing out in the yard with the kids, to enjoying neighbors over for a barbecue on the back patio, it’s never too early to start planning. Adding a summer kitchen to your outdoor patio maybe just the piece that is missing from yours! Portable grills are nice, but summer kitchens allow you to plan an entire area for relaxing, preparing and serving food, and it can add value onto your home.

When choosing your amenties, the following considerations come into play:

  • Determine you entertainment style
  • Assess what you enjoy cooking
  • Comfortable lounging area
  • Know your budget

The addition of a summer kitchen can be a wonderful addition to your home, which you can use for years into the future. When you finally decide to sell your home, a summer kitchen is a well sought after amenity that homebuyers will be eager to see.  Don’t forget to plan for outdoor lighting around your summer kitchen to ensure your evening entertaining is just as enjoyable as the daytime.

(Read the full article and enjoy more images at the freshome blog)

January 31st, 2011
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!

Paul’s post…

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?

January 26th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Bathroom and kitchen fans are an important part of your home’s ventilation system. They remove odours from your house, which improves indoor air quality. They also remove moisture, which decreases the level of humidity in your house. High humidity can damage building materials and can cause mold growth. Mold may affect your family’s health.

Common Fan and Exhaust Systems

The two most common types of fans are impeller fans and blower fans.

Impeller fans move air with blades similar to airplane propellers.

Blower fans look like hamster wheels — they are often called squirrel cages — and generally do a better job of moving air than impeller fans.

Most exhaust systems consist of an exhaust fan, ducting and an exterior hood. Some houses have a central exhaust system, in which one fan draws moisture and odours from several rooms of the house using a network of ducts.

Kitchen exhaust systems usually have the fan and fan motor in the exhaust hood. Other systems use an in-line fan, which is in the exhaust duct, or a fan outside the house. In-line and outdoor exhaust fans are usually quieter than systems with the fan in the room.

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) also exhausts moisture and odours. An HRV is a self-contained ventilation system that provides balanced air intake and exhaust. Like a central exhaust fan, it can be connected to several rooms by ducting.

How Good Is the Fan I Have Now?

CMHC’s research shows that many houses have exhaust fans that:

  • are too noisy
  • move very little air
  • are not energy efficient
  • may cause backdrafting of combustion appliances
  • use high-wattage lighting

Are There Better Fans?

Yes. There’s a new generation of effective, quiet, energy-efficient exhaust fans and controls.

How Do I Choose the Best System?

First, choose the quietest, most energy-efficient fan in the size range required. Most fan labels have Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) ratings so you can compare noise and energy efficiency. Look for a fan with replaceable parts and permanent lubrication. A fan suitable for continuous use is preferable. Be prepared to pay more for a quality fan.

Second, select low-resistance (smooth) exhaust ducting. Seal the joints and insulate sections that run through unheated spaces.

Third, place the exhaust hood where it will not cause moisture damage on exterior surfaces.

Fourth, if you have heating appliances with chimneys, make sure that fans won’t cause the appliances to backdraft.

Fifth, install the proper controls.

To read the full CMHC fact sheet, click here…

January 17th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

The new rules being introduced by the Canadian Real Estate Association could be just the incentive for young home-buyers to get off the fence, as indicated in today’s Globe and Mail…

The Canadian Real Estate Association is concerned that changes to mortgage rules will force Canadians to buy homes through the traditionally slow winter market rather than waiting until the spring.

The federal government said that in 60 days, Canadians will no longer be able to obtain mortgages that have an amortization period of longer than 30 years. This will raise mortgage payments on a typical resale home by some $1,400 a year compared to the 35 year amortization rate available today.

With interest rates expected to move higher by the summer, CREA vice-president of government relations Randall McCauley said many would-be buyers could be tempted to jump into the market early to secure lower payments.

For full article and related stories, read more…

January 3rd, 2011
By Vivian Martin

It’s the time of year when forecasters announce trends for the upcoming year. Several interesting trends for home design have recently caught my eye, and whether or not they are the trends that are being talked about, they are ones that I’d love to see more of in 2011 and beyond.

November 22nd, 2010
By Vivian Martin

Canadian designers tell us what’s cooking in kitchens in 2011.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Indeed, no matter how lovely the living room, how comfortable the dining room chairs, you’re sure to find a coterie of friends and family hovering around the kitchen whenever they’re over. And no one can argue that having an up-to-date space will fill you with pride when you’re entertaining, not to mention cooking.

Advertisement Advertisment asked Canadian designers for their forecasts on what’s cooking in the kitchen in 2011.

Kitchens will be gray
“We’ll see warm gray neutrals, natural limestone colours and textures, paired with sleek white cabinets or dark woods.”
Amy Kent and Ryan Martin, Croma Design, Toronto

“Gray will continue to be a prevalent colour in paint and in kitchen cabinets. It can be used in a traditional way with a Shaker-style front, or in very modern high-gloss applications. Gray is definitely here to stay, commonly paired with brown and white.”
Lisa Canning, Lisa Canning Interiors, Toronto

“Lots of gray though [the kitchen] and painted cabinetry. Martha Stewart just launched a new line of kitchens for the Home Depot – again lots of neutral painted cabinets in colours like Ocean Floor (gray), Beach Sand, Sharkey Gray for [longtime creative collaborator] Kevin Sharkey.”
Samantha Pynn, Contributing Design Editor, Style at Home; host and principal designer, Pure Design

Bright colours in the kitchen
“We’re also going to see dynamic pops of colour. In Canada, this will be reserved to neon or jewel-tone colours in fun accessories or small appliances (unlike our neighbours across the pond who may do their major appliances and cabinets in neons and jewel tones).
Lisa Canning

“Inspired by exotic destinations like Africa, India, Peru and Turkey we are seeing bold colours and prints in pinks, oranges, turquoise and greens. Bright colours and bold patterns paired with the classic earthy and neutral accessories create a well-balanced combination of colour for a visual feast in your home.”
The residential team of Sizeland Evans Interior Design, Calgary

Colour may not be for everyone
“We will not see striking change in colour or design direction from 2010 moving into 2011, but rather a continuation and strengthening of several trends that have been around or emerging over the last year.”
Sizeland Evans Interior Design

“For the most part [kitchens] are staying classic because it’s a kitchen and you want it to last.”
Samantha Pynn

Kitchen cabinetry will conceal nearly everything

“I think more and more, especially in small homes and condos, people are opting for as clean a look as possible – fridges with fronts to match their cabinetry, garbage/recycling/compost stations concealed in a pull-out cabinet. Economy of space also applies to our eyes; especially in a small space, it helps to make everything as seamless as possible.
Lisa Canning

“For 2011, there’ll be hidden equipment and appliances. Everything is in drawers: fridge drawers, dishwasher drawers and microwave drawers.”
Céline Pitre, Céline Interiors, Vancouver

“Microwave drawers – they hide microwaves and free up counter space.”
Sizeland Evans Interior Design

“Using pantries and drawers for storage and forgoing the uppers will allow a small kitchen to feel airy and open while still maximizing storage.”
Amy Kent and Ryan Martin

Sleeker and more streamlined
“Kitchens will be more contemporary – with a cleaner vocabulary. For example, less visible hardware – all doors looking like panelling.”
Céline Pitre

“Integrated appliances, meaning appliances built into the cabinetry of your kitchen will continue to be popular. Also, look for shallow-depth fridges – fridges now flush with counters resulting in cleaner lines in the kitchen.”
Sizeland Evans Interior Design

A move toward better organization
Organized cabinet interiors will be important. IKEA is following the lead of high-end kitchen manufacturers like Boffi and Poliform by offering drawer and cabinet inserts to organize everything from bowls to spatulas. There should be a place for everything. Keeping your countertops clear of appliances lets them be a display for a unique sculptural piece or to lean a work of art.”
Amy Kent and Martin Ryan

Natural materials will be all the rage in the kitchen
“Let your backsplash be the art. Beautiful natural stone veining or texture may be all the focal point your kitchen needs. Full-height stone backsplashes lets a dramatic appliance like a sleek hood fan take centre stage.”
Amy Kent and Ryan Martin

“Martha Stewart for Home Depot also has horizontal wood grain cabinets. The trend toward the unfinished wood look is still going strong. This cabinet is called the Weston and it’s in a soft gray, called Persian Gray.”
Samantha Pynn

How can you make your kitchen stand out in 2011?
“A built-in cappuccino machine.”
Céline Pitre

“Coming on strong from 2010′s top picks list is poured glass countertops. Countertops have new additions created by LED lights and decorative interlayers. And matte black sinks and faucets”
Sizeland Evans Interior Design

Fast and slow cooking
“‘Speed ovens’ or ‘convenience ovens’ are being added to kitchens in addition to conventional ovens.”
Sizeland Evans Interior Design

“Cooking ‘en famille’ –  with friends – will be important. It’ll be a shared experience.”
Céline Pitre

Source: Style at Home

Read more in Kitchen & Bath and Trends

November 2nd, 2010
By Vivian Martin

Times are changing. Single women, whether career-first, single parents, or widowed are making up an ever-increasing portion of home buyers. We women tend to have different housing priorities than men and settle on nothing less than what is right for us. True to the female stereo-type, we will shop until we find exactly what we want.

An article in MSN Real Estate addresses this trend:

When it comes to house hunting, Kim Sliney is the first to admit she can be picky. After visiting — and vetoing — 37 houses, the single mom from Exeter, R.I., chanced upon her just-right fit: a newly built, $350,000 home that boasted a spacious  layout, killer walk-in closets and custom details such as crown molding, granite countertops and a gas fireplace — for no extra charge. How did she stumble upon this particular property? She was driving around in the area and saw a woman-centric sign by the entrance. “It was very intriguing,” Sliney says.

Men may think they run the world, but it’s women who are now getting the royal treatment from the housing industry. Indeed, housing-market watchers say that builders are working strenuously to win the hearts — and checkbooks — of female buyers. And with the economy punishing the sexes unevenly, single women have become an especially important force to be reckoned with in real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, they now sign on the dotted line in nearly a quarter of all U.S. home deals — up from 14% in 1995.

Read full article here…

Of course, one of the best ways of getting exactly what you are looking for is to start from the ground up! No concessions, no compromises, no need to change or renovate. If a plan needs to be tweaked, you can do this before the first piece of sod is turned. Browse through the Drummond House Plans to find the home that is perfect for you. Plus, if it needs to be changed to make it perfect, our modification service can customize your plans to your exact taste.

When house plan shopping please note that Drummond House Plans kitchens and bathrooms are presented as a suggested layout. Of course, you will work with a kitchen designer and/or bathroom designer to make these personal spaces suit your needs.

Thanks for visiting the DrummondHousePlans Blog!


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