Tag Archives: house plans

CREATING LUXURIOUS OUTDOOR LIVING AREAS…

Outdoor Living… Changing Styles

 http://www.woodridgecustombuilders.com

Outdoor furniture has gone through a revolution in the past few years.  Outdated is the PVC furniture and vinyl strap seating.  Frosted glass patio tabletops now have a certain “retro” look. Not only has outdoor furniture changed in the past several years, outdoor spaces have evolved beyond dining patios and poolside lounging areas.  Welcome are seating arrangements that are not just designed for outside dining, but outside living.  Many popular outdoor furnishings include sofas, oversized chairs, end tables and cocktail tables designed for comfort and relaxation.  Add large potted plants, accent pillows, area rugs, and outdoor lighting and a patio suddenly becomes a true outdoor living area.

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, helping a customer design and build a custom home doesn’t end with the house and the interior elements.  The outside of the home, its courtyards, patios, yard and landscape are all design elements that pull the custom home project together in the end.  It is important to know how an outdoor space will be used.  Will the family primarily use the space for private family gatherings?  Will the patio be used to host barbecues and neighborhood gatherings?  How much dining area will be necessary for its intended purpose?  Is there an area where a luxurious seating arrangement can be established, covered and protected from the harsh Arizona sun and elements?  There are many other questions to ask regarding patio lighting, ceiling fans, music systems, and camera systems over the pool area, for example.  Whatever a custom home buyer selects for their patio, courtyard, backyard or outdoor living space, planning for the space is best done during the house plan and home design stage.  How wide should a patio extend from the house?  Should it be completely covered, or should some of the patio extend past the roofline of the house?  These are all questions a custom home buyer might ask in the planning phase of their custom home.  

Decisions made in the floor plan stage of a custom home truly pay off in the end.  Enjoying the family pool, lounging on an outdoor sofa, sitting back appreciating a mountain view, or sitting quietly reading the newspaper with a morning cup of joe; planning pays off. 

In the first set of photos, this custom home owner designed the back yard with kids in mind.  The pool area is great for pool parties.  The trampoline in the back of the yard has been built into the ground to minimize fall injuries.  Most fall injuries occur from falling from one level to another, in this case the trampoline is flush with the ground.  The yard is large enough for activities so when the kids are not in the pool, or on the trampoline, setting up the lacrosse cage for a little one-on-one, or a game of volleyball are always other options.

In the second set of photos, this custom homeowner designed the patio area as a relaxing outdoor living area.  Outdoor sofa, love seat, and a side chair just beckon one to settle in and relax.  The end tables and cocktail table accented with candles, plants and accessories further enhances the feel of outdoor living.  Cllick on each photo below to enlarge.

CUSTOM HOME AND THE HOME OFFICE

The Home Office… More Than A Den

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Most homes today have some type of space for the home office.  It may be a bedroom converted to an office or a dedicated space such as a den.  A specific place to pay the bills, work at the computer, do that extra work brought home from the office, or for those that work at home, space for everything a home office requires.  The needs of a person who works from home may be totally different from those that need an office area for paying the bills, making a grocery list or taking notes while talking on the phone.  Obviously, different people have different needs.  To some, a home office is a place to quietly work at a desk or computer.  To others, it is an absolute retreat, a place to work, quietly read, or watch television.  In a recent presentation on 2009 home trends conducted by Nancy Hugo, CKD, a certified kitchen designer in the Scottsdale area, http://www.nancyhugo.com/ a new home office trend has become to replace rented office space for working space at home.  According to Nancy, in these economic times, many people are asking themselves if it makes sense to rent office space in a business complex when they can work at home?  It is Nancy’s belief that as the economy turns around many people will remain working from home offices more than ever, even more reason to design and accent the home office to a customer’s specific needs. 

Office1

Photo 1

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, helping our custom home buyers create a great house plan and home design incorporating the features of their perfect home office pays dividends in the end.  The old saying, “failure to plan means planning to fail” is often true for the home office.  The home office shown in the photo 1 is a home office for custom home buyers that are retired.  The office has beautiful upper and lower cabinets with a built-out desk area.  Bottom drawers in the lower cabinets are designed to hold files.  The upper cabinets include exposed bookcases as well as closed cabinets.  The office is functional in design, not overly large, included a double door entry and located off the formal areas of the house.

The next two photos highlight a beautiful home office in a Tuscan style home.  The office includes two walls of floor to ceiling bookshelves with lower cabinets.  The lower cabinets include drawers for storing files as well closed storage areas.  This custom home buyer enjoyed reading classic literature and enjoyed displaying the book collection.  The desk designed to sit freely in this home office, required the electrical, CATV, and telephone outlets be placed in the floor before the concrete slab was completed.  This takes great planning since incorrect placement can put these outlets in a walking path rather than near the desk where they were intended.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we help our custom home buyers make these decisions before the house is completed and impacts furniture placement.  This office also included a wall-mounted television; again, placement of the television was pre-planned so the CATV outlets could be placed correctly.  The office included a sofa so the family could use this as a quiet reading area.  Since this office was designed as a home office, the architect included a full-size closet for storing business files, records, etc.  The dark stained alder wood cabinets, richness of the bookcases, classic furniture style mixed with contemporary pieces gives the look and feel of a very worldly office.  Adding to the worldly look are the multiple clocks displaying various times from around the world. 

Photo 2

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 3

The contractors at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, enjoy working with customers to design and deliver the home office its custom home buyers are looking for.  Planning ahead adds to that success!

CUSTOM HOME KITCHENS… WHAT’S HOT, WHAT’S NOT!

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, it’s our business to know what is popular for custom homes.  Some styles come and go quickly while other trends seem to have more staying power.  It is amazing how long the faux finishing craze has lasted, in fact, the finishes seem to get better and better the longer the style sticks around.  Current kitchen styles are particularly important since the kitchen is a predominant area of the house. To get it right it begins with a good set of house plans and home design.  Outlined below are features designed and built into some of the homes constructed by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC.  For the most part… by the lists below, anything goes!

 What’s Hot for the New Custom Home!

  • Kitchen islands rather than kitchen peninsulas
  • Cabinets and islands that look like stand-alone furniture
  • Cabinets made of a variety of materials from traditional stained cabinets to distressed, painted and glazed cabinets
  • Multiple cook kitchen designs
  • Mixing cabinet colors
  • Dark alder wood with a glaze-finished on cabinets
  • Granite countertops
  • French doors
  • Outdoor kitchens including a grill, sink and refrigerator
  • Kitchen-like spaces in the master bedroom for coffee-making areas and under-counter refrigerators for morning juices and bottled water
  • Wine storage, from shelving to niches to wine refrigerators
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Commercial grade ranges
  • High kitchen ceilings
  • Large windows, no longer reserved for the space above the kitchen sink
  • Large islands.  Really large islands
  • Pendant lighting
  • White cabinets
  • Under counter icemakers
  • Useful pantries
  • Natural stone flooring
  • European Apron front sinks
  • Multiple ovens, sometimes a full-range and wall oven/microwave combination
  • Cabinets with corner posts and/or hand-carved corbels
  • Oversized range hoods, designed with mass and constructed with mantels, and niche
  • Stylish stone backsplashes with decorative elements scattered throughout
  • Hand painted scenes or still life tiles located behind the cook top or range
  • A fireplace in the kitchen or dining nook
  • Under counter refreshment refrigerators located on an island, just for bottled water, or sodas.  No need to open the full-size refrigerator just for water or have a water dispenser in the refrigerator door
  • Round kitchen tables
  • Soft under cabinet lighting
  • Two dishwashers
  • Sofa and chairs in the dining area so family and guests can comfortably hang out with the cook
  • Great kitchen lay-outs ergonomically designed with form and function in mind
  • Tuscan style kitchen themes
  • Modern style kitchen themes

 What You’re Not Likely to Find in a New Custom Home!

  • Whitewashed oak cabinets
  • Blond cabinets
  • White appliances
  • Cathedral arched cabinet doors
  • Laminated counter surfaces
  • Low ceilings
  • Soffits
  • Ceramic tile counter tops
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Sliding doors
  • Kitchen desk areas
  • Wallpaper borders
  • Dining chairs with wheels

TWO ENERGY-EFFICIENCY TECHNIQUES FOR A 5000 Sq. Ft. CUSTOM HOME

TechShield® And Time-of-Use Plans

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In a 5,000 square foot home with three, zoned, 13-SEER heat pumps the highest electric bill of the year barely exceeded $313 for an August in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  How is that possible?  One of the strategies used at Woodridge Custom Builders, LLC to increase energy efficiency in the homes we build includes using TechShield® Radiant Heat Barrier.  

TechShield® Radiant Barrier Sheathing is manufactured by the Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and represents the best in energy-efficient building technology. TechShield is a thin aluminum foil barrier installed on roof sheathing materials.  With TechShield® on the roof deck, attics stay cooler, cooling loads are reduced, and energy consumption goes down.  TechShield® radiant barrier sheathing is an energy saving upgrade that consumers at Woodridge Custom Builders, LLC are willing to pay for. With its thin, laminated, aluminum layer, TechShield® prevents up to 97% of the radiant heat in the panel from radiating into the attic – passing on to the homeowners energy savings of up to 20%, and usually around 17% according to the manufacturer’s website, www.Lpcorp.com

In summer when radiant heat is the most intense, the sun’s rays penetrate the roof and walls of a house, but the TechShield® radiant barrier blocks this heat from penetrating the home into attic spaces.  Conversely, when temperatures cool off in the winter months, the radiant barrier prevents indoor heated air from escaping through the attic spaces and reflects it back into the house.  The house stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

In addition to the TechShield®, these homeowners used Phoenix-based Salt River Project’s (SRP) Time-of- Use-Plan.  This plan rewards consumers for using less electricity during peak times.  Consumers use programmable thermostats to set lower temperatures in the house when electricity is cheap.  During peak usage times, thermostats are programmed to a much higher temperature.  If the house is cooled sufficiently when electricity is cheaper, the air-conditioning units need to run very little during the daily peak periods.  The peak times change for winter and summer.  By cooling the home when energy is off-peak it costs approximately 25% per kilowatt than during on-peak times.  One-quarter as much per kilowatt than during on-peak times may be enough to try the plan in the Phoenix metropolitan area, other utility companies through-out the nation have similar plans.