<![CDATA[AmazingPlans.com Blog]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/ Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:01:02 +0000 http://amazingplans.com/skin/frontend/default/theme216/images/rss_48.png <![CDATA[AmazingPlans.com Blog]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/ Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Get the Good Dirt on Happy Gardening]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/happy-gardening/ As a new homebuilder or homeowner, it is widely recognized that once the furniture is moved in and boxes unpacked, the focus moves to the landscaping and outer finishing touches. Especially with a new home build, the ground surrounding your new home is probably nothing but dirt.


After spending months and even years getting your dream home built, the thought of spending hours digging holes and planting greenery might send you over the edge.  Hang tight! Good news is on the horizon. 

Most of you have probably heard conversations or read articles related to the benefits of gardening. (Enter weird, fluty music) “Be one with the earth,” and, “Connect with Mother Nature,” perhaps you mostly heard, “blah, blah, blah…”  Before you dismiss similar conversations with people you might have labeled as quirky “tree-hugging” friends, stop and listen; they might be on to something. After you read this article you can add to the discussion, amazing and enthralling your friends who had nearly given up on your green thumb.  As reported in BBC News, research has unearthed (sorry, pun intended) Mycobacterium vaccae, which is present in soil. M. vaccae for short (pronounced “vah-kay”), is a strain of bacteria that triggers serotonin production in the body.  If you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t read any of the thousands of articles extolling the virtues of serotonin, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: Seratonin is a chemical that transmits signals to the brain related to mood, appetite, sleep, and memory.  Depressed people have low levels of serotonin; happy people have higher levels of serotonin.  So playing in the dirt might make one happier?

In the mice studied, those treated with the M. vaccae bacteria were less anxious and showed more concentration towards learning than the mice that were not given the bacteria.  Additionally, BBC News cites a study by UK and Dutch scientists to recreate an enzyme similar to another bacterium found in soil named Clostridium sporogenes. The bacterium has shown to destroy cancer cells in a tumor without killing healthy tissue.


The news for dirt digging just keeps getting better.  If you just built a house or you have a yard that needs some TLC, grab the whole family and have them help you dig in the dirt. Your kids might turn into honor students, your spouse might be in such a good mood you’ll get that fishing pole or sapphire necklace you’ve been eyeing, and maybe you’ll even hit the lottery! That last one was wishful thinking.  Make the outside of your home as warm and inviting as the inside all while building a foundation of a healthy family!

]]>
Mon, 02 Apr 2012 01:27:35 +0000
<![CDATA[Home Safe Home]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/home-safe-home/ You finally built or bought the home of your dreams, moved in, decorated to the max, landscaped, and then breathed a sigh of relief. But before that last breath, you need to discuss how you want to go about securing your home and family.

A Rottweiler puppy may not be the answer if you aren’t a dog person. Besides the inevitability of replacing chewed chair legs, table legs, pillows, and shoes, you still have to take the time and money to properly train them. Don’t forget that many homeowners insurance companies will cancel your policy if you have a pet that is on the “dangerous” list.

If you are considering a home security system, a valuable tool to narrow down your choices is word-of-mouth recommendations. Be sure you are calculating all the costs of maintenance, installation, monthly fees, and other hidden costs. The city or county in which you live may charge a fee for a permit for emergency services. In addition, there may be fees charged for your alarm going off accidentally.

If you have already determined that a fancy home alarm system is not in your budget, you need to consider other deterrents. The biggest assets you and your neighbors have on the fight against crime are each other. According to CNN, the neighborhood watch system can be more helpful than any alarm system you can buy.  The bad economy has had a two-fold impact on home safety: Crime is up and so are budget cuts for emergency personnel. There is more crime to fight and less people to fight it. This is the most compelling reason to revive or begin a community watch group keeping the neighborhood under watchful surveillance.

Here are other important precautionary measures anyone can take:

- Timed or sound activated interior lighting.

- Motion sensor exterior lighting focused on high-traffic and dark areas.

- Individual window alarms that chirp when opened.

- Install chain locks to allow safe visual identification.

- Install shatterproof film on your windows.

- Prevent sliding glass doors from opening on the outside by placing a wood dowel the length of the sliding track to the door.

Enjoy your new home without fear. Taking these protective measures will ensure you and your family’s safety, and bring your neighborhood together in keeping crime away from your street.

]]>
Mon, 27 Feb 2012 03:02:59 +0000
<![CDATA[Be In the Right Frame of Mind: Choosing Energy Efficient Windows]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/enery-efficient-windows/ Whether you are building a new home or replacing old windows in your existing home, it’s not as simple as just measuring and picking out any kind of window. There are a vast amount of window products on the market. There are different materials, energy efficiency ratings, and styles. There are three important things to keep in mind when choosing your windows.

1. Know how to interpret the labels for the best efficiency you can buy.


- U Value - measures the rate of heat loss for a window. It can measure between about .20 and 1.20, the lower the number the better it’s heat retention.
- R Value - opposite of the U Value. The R Value measures the insulation efficiency.
- VT - the amount of light allowed through the window between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the more light is coming through. You might want a higher VT on Northern-facing windows so allow more light in, and perhaps a lower number window in Southern-facing windows to provide a little more filtering.
- AL- the amount of air leakage the window has. The lower the number the better it is against leakage. This is an optional rating and some manufacturers may not disclose this.
- CR - compensation resistance. It measures how well the glass resists condensation. The higher the CR on a scale of 0-100, the better. This is also an optional rating manufacturers do not have to use. You may want to go with one who rates all the factors so that you know exactly what you can expect for performance. After all, your windows will probably last most of your lifetime.

2. Learn different styles and find the one that fits your home and your tastes.


Styles of windows are nearly limitless. There are all different kinds of shapes, styles, and decorative elements to consider. A few basic options to consider:

- Casement: Hinged on one side and swings open.
- Double Hung: Upper and lower halves both operable to slide up and down.
- Single Hung: Upper half is fixed and the lower half is moveable.
- Circle Top: Usually see on tall windows, it has a half moon shape top. Provides architectural interest to a basic double hung window.
- Bay Window: Provides a large middle picture window with either side having a double hung or casement window. It comes out from the wall so that it provides a large window shelf.

3. There are four primary window materials.

The most common materials used in making the frames of windows are aluminum, wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. It all comes down to your tastes preferences and the amount of upkeep you are willing to provide.

There are many options for your windows and they can be great fun picking them out. They can really make a difference and either have your home blend in or stand out.

]]>
Mon, 06 Feb 2012 02:59:57 +0000
<![CDATA[How to Find the Best Appliance Reviews]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/find-best-appliance-reviews/  

Is it time to replace broken or worn-out kitchen appliances? With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one in your price range? These are great questions, but it will require a little bit of  research on your part. You can buy a membership to a popular review site, or there are several free sources you can search for the information you need. 

 

- Consumer Reports

 

This is a popular resource for millions of people looking to find out the best product based on real people testing them. The drawback? You have to pay for the information. However, it might be a good investment if you are starting out brand new and need to fill your house with appliances, furniture, linens, and fixtures. If you are just looking to replace a vacuum cleaner, you probably won’t see the benefit in the membership fee. 

 

- Blogs

 

There are so many blogs on the Internet that specialize in product reviews. Most are pretty specific, so you won’t want to search “product review blog”.  The results will be too broad.  If you are looking for a new coffee pot, search “coffee maker review blog”. You want to be as specific as possible.  If you already have a brand name or model number in mind, include that in your search query. 

 

- Customer Reviews on Web Stores

 

Consumers who buy from major online stores like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, will often leave comments about their purchase. You can check the star rating initially from these websites for your specific product, and when you have narrowed down your top three, go back and read some specific details about what works and what doesn’t.  This information can be very valuable in making final decisions.  Remember, these are real people that are using the product and they certainly aren't shy about sharing the opinions, good or bad.

 

These are just a few of the ways you can find product reviews for items in your household that need replacing, updating, or purchased for your new home. Spend a little time checking results and sources on reputable websites, and it will help you make an informed decision on which brand and style would best suit your needs and your budget.

]]>
Mon, 23 Jan 2012 03:00:06 +0000
<![CDATA[Snow, Rain, and Interest Rates Are Falling]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/snow-rain-interest-rates-falling/ It’s a little bit mixed up this week. Snow was falling in the South, and it was raining in parts of the North. One thing that is for sure is that mortgage rates have fallen again. This is awesome news for homeowners who haven’t refinanced since the rates were in the 6-7% range. Here are some tips for preparing to check on refinancing options.

 

  1. Check your credit report.
    Once a year you are able to pull your reports from each of the credit reporting agencies. Find out where you are at with your credit score. If it is “iffy”, take about three to six months to prepare and you can actually improve your credit score enough to get the lowest interest rate possible. Even a couple months will help you out.
    It might require making some very uncomfortable adjustments right now, but if you can save a few hundred dollars a month on your refinanced mortgage, you will reap the benefits soon enough.

  2. Don’t overlook other fees.
    Interest rates are not the only thing to consider. Lenders have their own fees so be sure you are getting a complete picture of your options with the lenders you are considering. Avoid shopping with only one lender. If you can, get two or three quotes and find out what’s out there.

     
  3. Refinance only the portion of the mortgage that is due.
    Some people get themselves in more debt and restart themselves back at a brand new 30 year mortgage, using the additional value in the refinance to purchase more possessions or pay off some debt.

    Keep in mind that even if you use it to pay off debt, you are taking, for example, a credit card that would normally take you three to five years to pay off and putting it in your mortgage to pay off in 30 years.

    You may want to seek help of a financial advisor to help you with some of your refinancing decisions.

  4. Know the true value of your home.
    If nothing else, the last ten years of an extremely volatile home market has taught us to pay attention to values of homes versus loan financing. If you are one of the lucky few whose home has increased in value, you are in a good position to refinance and even pay your home off much quicker than originally planned. This is why financing only your remaining mortgage is important. Imagine having absolutely no mortgage in ten or fifteen years! That is definitely worth not trying to finance a new boat or car in with a new big mortgage.

 With recent interest rates falling below 4%, homeowners who have been careful with their credit can realize some significant savings. If you do not have financial goals in place, now is a great time to do that so you can make the best refinancing decision possible.

]]>
Tue, 17 Jan 2012 02:24:23 +0000
<![CDATA[Alternative Wall Construction ]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/alternative_wall_construction/ One of the areas that home construction that continues to evolve with time is the list of available materials to be used in the construction of building frames. In primitive times, homes were framed with sticks and the walls were formed from mud, grass and other naturally available materials. Obviously, today’s homeowner would not want to build their home from sticks and mud. Thus, many other options have been placed in the building materials market for those looking to turn their home plans into a structurally sound living space.

Log cabins were also a type of house used in prior times; however they are once again gaining popularity among those looking to build their dream homes. Many types of home plans utilizing logs as a primary building material are available for consumers who want to return to a rustic lifestyle while utilizing the latest building and design technologies. One of the disadvantages to using logs in the construction of homes is that although logs come from trees, which are renewable natural resources, they do not replenish as quickly as other natural building products.
In the early twentieth century, steel gained popularity in the construction of commercial buildings. However, more recently steel has gone from being a material used in the commercial building field to a commonly used material in the residential building field. Some of the advantages of constructing the walls of your newly built home from steel products include the longevity of the materials, and its resistance to water and pests.

The strength of steel framing used in houses enables a home-builder to eliminate some of the other structural walls noted on their house plans and to open space that might otherwise be taken up by wall construction. Steel beams ordered from the specification sheet of your home plans will generally arrive pre-cut into the appropriate necessary sizes, with fastener holes pre-drilled in the appropriate locations.

There are disadvantages of using steel as a framing material for residential construction as well; those include the cost of the specially trained professional builders who can assemble steel frames when building your home. The cost of steel is significantly higher than wood materials used for home construction. However, if you are a homebuilder looking for quality and longevity in realizing a set of house plans into the home of your dreams, then steel is the right framing material for you.
Wood materials are still the most commonly used for framing in residential home construction. House plans are generally designed with the assumption that the builder will be using wood-framing at least for the upper floors of the house. Technological improvements have given building materials producers the ability to extend the life of wood framing, and to increase the wood’s resistance to fire, water and insects.

In conclusion, after purchasing home design plans, the builder will need to determine the specific materials to be used in building a custom designed home. The three options presented above are just some of the options for materials used for framing your home. Keep in mind that if you plan to use a material like steel in the construction of your framing, it is advisable to discuss this with the provider of your floor plans and other home plan documents, since reducing the amount of material required on the plans may enable you, the new homeowner to significantly reduce your building and framing costs.

]]>
Sun, 04 Sep 2011 20:15:10 +0000
<![CDATA[Hire The Best Roofer For The Job By Asking The Right Questions]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/best_roofer/ Roofing is a process that you are not likely to be familiar with until it comes time to put a new roof on your own home. Even then, you will need to learn a great deal about what products to use and the procedures that meet your roofing needs.

Therefore, it is crucial to know that you can rely on your roofing contractor to provide you with good advice about such things. The key is to find the best roofer to do the job.

The questions you ask your Oklahoma roofer will help you determine their reputation, experience and reliability, as well as their dedication to provide you with the best roofing system for your money.

The best roofer will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. It just makes good sense to get several bids on your roofing job, to ask several different contractors these important questions. Confidence that you have chosen the best will help make sure that you get a quality roof and your hard-earned money is spent wisely.

Knowing Which Questions To Ask

It is not only important to find a roofing contractor that is willing to answer your questions, it is also imperative that you know which questions to ask. The following questions should help you to easily determine the reliability, reputation and experience of a contractor and appraise their dedication to job performance.

What is the complete name and address of your company?

Having the full name and address of the roofing company can be an important factor. In addition to other details, you will be able to learn how long the company has been in business. If you are given a post office box for an address, be sure to ask for the full street address. Look for the best roofer with an office near you because a company near your home is likely to provide better service and quicker a quicker response time.

Do you have insurance?

A roofer should carry comprehensive liability insurance in addition to workers’ compensation insurance in order to protect their customers in the event of an accident. Ask to see the certificates of insurance before the job is started.

Can you provide referrals or references from previous jobs?

Ask to see photos of completed work, if possible. However, that many of the best roofers may not have photos. Ask for a list of at least ten names and phone numbers for previous customers, preferably within the past year. You do not have to call all ten, but picking a couple at random will get you the information you need.

The majority of homeowners know very little when it comes to choosing the best roofer. After all, it is not something that many people concern themselves with on a regular basis. However, it is important to make an informed choice when the time comes to replace your roof. You need to be able to find the right roofer, one who is able to advise you on the best procedures and products for your roofing job.

About the Author: Scott Gray is currently an handyman expert and web publisher who enjoys providing tips to consumers and homeowners. For more information about home repairs in Richmond BC be sure to visit everydayhandyman.com.

]]>
Wed, 17 Aug 2011 02:25:49 +0000
<![CDATA[The Best Insulation Types to Keep Your Home Comfortable Year Round]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/best_insulation_types/ The best insulation types are both energy efficient as well as cost effective. Without proper insulation in your home it will be excessively drafty and cold, which will keep your furnace working overtime all winter long to stay comfortable. The same is true for air conditioning in the summertime.

Adequate insulation will make it possible for your home to keep the temperature you set on your central heating or cooling system, no matter how hot or cold it may be outside of your home.

Selecting the appropriate insulation type, the correct amount of insulation and ensuring it is installed properly in your new or existing home's ceilings, walls, foundations and floors will help keep your home not just comfortable, but energy efficient and economical as well.

The Different Insulation Types

The insulation that you pick for your home is a major decision. You must take a number of factors into consideration, such as:

- the climate in your region

- your way of life

- the size and shape of your home

- the type of heating system in your home

Choosing the best insulation for your home is an important issue in determining the level of comfort inside of your home, not just now but for several years after the insulation is installed. Insulation will also determine energy efficiently, which of course will determine the amount of money you spend keeping you home comfortable throughout the seasons.

There are a number of different insulation types. Some types are more efficient than others are; in addition, some are also much healthier.

The age of your home usually determines the insulation type that the builder used. New insulation types are being developed and researched in order to improve the energy rating of newly constructed homes continuously.

Blanket: batts and rolls
This type is made from fiberglass, plastic fibers, natural fibers or mineral wood, such as rock or slag. You would use this insulation on unfinished walls, including floors, ceilings and foundation walls. It is installed by fitting in in between the joists, beams and studs. The great thing about pink fiberglass insulation and other insulation types in this category, is the ability to get the job done on your own.

Concrete block
This insulation type comes in the form of foam beads or liquid foam, which is made from polystyrene, such as Styrofoam, as well as polyisocyanurate or polyurethane. It can also be found in perlite or vermiculite pellets. This insulation is used on unfinished walls, such as foundation walls for major renovations and new construction. Skills in masonry are required for working with this insulation type.

Rigid foam or foam board
This insulation type, although made from the same materials as concrete block insulation, can be used in the same areas as blanket insulation. However, it must be covered with building-code approved material, such as gypsum board when used for interior application for fire safety. Likewise, exterior applications much be covered with weatherproofing.

Insulating concrete forms, or ICFs
These are foam blocks or boards that can be used on unfinished walls, such as foundation walls, as part of the building structure.

Loose-fill
This insulation type is made from fiberglass, mineral wool or cellulose. It can be used on existing walls or open wall cavities. In addition, it can also be used as attic insulation and in other hard-to-reach places. This insulation can be blown into place with special equipment, or poured in some cases.

Reflective system
You can use this insulation type in your floors, ceilings and unfinished walls. It comes in the form of cardboard, polyethylene bubbles, plastic film or foil-faced kraft paper.

Rigid fibrous or fiber
Made from mineral wool or fiberglass, this insulation type is used in ducts and other places where temperatures are high.

Spray insulation
This insulation type is made from cementitious, phenolic, polyisocyanurate or polyurethane and works well on enclosed existing walls, open wall cavities as well as unfinished attic floors.

Structural insulated panels, or SIPs
Straw core insulation, liquid foam insulation core or foam board, this insulation type works no new roofs, as well as unfinished ceilings, floors and walls.

As you can see, the options are in abundance when it comes to insulation types. No matter if you need basement insulation for a new home or attic insulation for an existing home, one of these insulation types is sure to get the job done.

About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently an expert handyman and web publisher who enjoys providing tips to consumers and homeowners. For more information about home repairs in Richmond BC, and what the best insulation types are be sure to visit everydayhandyman.com.

]]>
Thu, 04 Aug 2011 14:07:08 +0000
<![CDATA[Are there advantages to purchasing house plans online?]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/advantages_purchasing_plans_online/ With recent economic turns, home buyers have discovered that in most cases building a home is just as affordable as purchasing an existing home. While home building is not for everyone, there are some advantages that a homeowner should consider before deciding to build or to buy.
While custom designed homes may truly be beyond the reach of the average consumer, there are many companies out there that provide stock house plans in nearly every style and size of home that a person can imagine.  Stock house plans range in size from small starter homes to luxury mansions.  You can also choose a style ranging anywhere from Spanish and Mediterranean to Colonial.  Even if you are considering building an eco-friendly green home, you can find it in online house plans.  In most cases, you can also choose from several different foundations to match your needs.  Even though the house plan is already designed, a lot of the time you still have the flexibility to make minor changes that do no affect the structure of the house.  For instance, window sizes or kitchen layouts can easily be changed on site with the help of your builder without necessarily changing the actual house plan.
Immediate availability is another advantage of purchasing a house plan online.  Typically plans are printed and shipped within 48 hours after your order, which means you have your plans in hand within a few days.  Some plans are even available to be emailed, which further streamlines the process.  This is a huge time saver if you are looking to get your house plan project under way quickly.  Hiring an architect to design a custom home can add approximately three months and thousands of dollars onto your home construction project.   Most house plan designers are also happy to help you make custom changes to your plan.  All you have to do is make a list of changes that you want to make.  The designer will review the changes and get back to you with a quote for the modifications.  This process is normally one to two days, and you then have the option to keep the plan as is or make custom changes to your house plan.  Keep in mind that a sketch of the plan with changes made really helps them give a more accurate quote!
One thing to keep in mind is that when you purchase a set of house plans from an online house plan broker, it may be necessary to make minor changes to meet your local building codes or have the plan stamped by a local engineer or architect.  If you are required to have your house plans stamped by a local engineer, this will be required whether you purchase a stock house plan or have your plans custom designed.  You can contact your local authorities to see what requirements will need to be met before purchasing your plans.  Also plan to call your neighborhood home owners association to make sure that the exterior and size of your home meets their requirements.
As you can see, there are many advantages to purchasing a set of home building plans online.  Having a wide variety of house plans available to you within days and the ability to make small customizations in a short time frame, really do make purchasing a stock house plan a sensible option.  The lower upfront costs are certainly appealing as well!  Choosing to purchase home plan sets from a reputable company is a great decision for someone who is unfamiliar with home building or homebuyers who just aren't finding the house of their dreams through their realtor!

]]>
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 14:50:30 +0000
<![CDATA[Facebook page is up!]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/facebook/ Our Facebook page is up and running!  In the very near future, we will be posting exclusive savings and contests for our Facebook fans.  Make sure you "Like" us to  have access to the great deals!

 

]]>
Fri, 22 Jul 2011 11:52:18 +0000
<![CDATA[Angie's List Review]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/angies_list/ Try Angie's List!

 

When you are starting your house plan search, you may wonder how in the world it will all come together. How will you choose the right floor plan, the right colors, the right lot? What about your contractor?! If you haven't already begun to think about it, you may want to start. Some people are fortunate to have friends or family in the business, but those of us who aren't so lucky, have to rely on a yellow page ad or a referral from Uncle Joe's neighbor's first cousin. Truth is that we all want to make sure the job is done right. Building a house is definitely not something you can easily redo! If you don't have a contractor or don't have a referral from a reliable source, you may want to check out Angie's List. Angie's List is a consumer driven service where consumers, like you, review local service companies. The only way a company gets listed is by a member of Angie's List submitting a review! What you get is the low down on local service companies, everything from contractors to doctors, from people just like you. MSN Money had this to say - "Need a good contractor, a reliable handyman, an honest plumber, or a warm-hearted pediatrician, you'll find them and more on this consumer review site..." This service really is the best investment a homeowner can make! Right now Angie's List is offering a nice deal where you can save 15% on their services by using the promo code LOCAL!

]]>
Mon, 18 Jul 2011 19:21:25 +0000
<![CDATA[Build Now or Regret It Later!]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/build_now_regret_later/ It may seem obvious, but the opportunity to build your own home has never been more profitable.  And if you are looking to use a custom home plan, then it makes even more sense to jump on the chance to build that dream house you’ve always wanted.  Consider the following when deciding on whether to build or wait:


    * You’ve probably heard it a million times, but interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been.  And not just compared to 20 years ago--even within the last 12 months, 15-year mortgage rates have dropped below what was thought to be the bottom of the rate plunge.


    * Materials costs fluctuate dramatically.  For example: lumber costs are on the rise since they bottomed out in 2009, but are lower now than they’ve been all year.  Even if you can’t take advantage of the immediate savings, the actual cost of building a house is on the incline, so the sooner, the better.


    * New home prices are an average of 14% lower than they were just 4 years ago.  That translates into more house for your money!  You can pocket the savings, or use them to upgrade your home (extra bedroom, vaulted ceilings, jacuzzi, etc.).


    * Consequently, prices for real property (where you’ll build your house!) are also down.  If you are looking to build on a new lot, you can take advantage of the buyers’ market and snag a deal on 3 of the most important factors of your new home: location, location, location!


    * Finally, with home construction down, contractors are looking for work.  Again, the buyer has the power for negotiating discounts and upgrades.  You can get a bargain on the builder fees or labor costs, or perhaps the contractor will throw in a little something extra when you choose them over the competition.



In each case, the homeowner comes out on top.  It make clear financial sense, not to mention the opportunities that may not even exist in the near future.  So what are you waiting for?  Take this once-in-a-lifetime chance, and build now......or regret it later!                    


]]>
Wed, 06 Jul 2011 18:25:04 +0000
<![CDATA[Customer Favorites & Bookmarks]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/customer-favorites/ Favorite Plans

For anyone who had lists of favorites stored in the old website have no fear, they are not lost. We are working on getting them all imported within the next few days. To access them, you will need to visit the My Account page and request a password reset. Enter the email address you used previously when saving favorites and request a password reset. If you are unable to get access to your account, or not all of your favorites transfer over automatically, please send an email to sales@amazingplans.com with your name, email address or login name you used and approximate number of favorites and we will email you new links to the plans you had saved.

 

Bookmarks

If you had previously bookmarked a plan in your browser, or have an old link to a specific plan that is not working, please send us an email with the link in it, so we can send you the new link and update the routing of the old plan links to the new links.

 

Thank you,

AmazingPlans.com
Customer Support Team
800-250-4505

]]>
Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:47:57 +0000
<![CDATA[New site is up!]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/new_site/ Our new site is finally up!  We are still in the process of working out any bugs that may be hiding.  You can expect the same great service and excellent selection as before but now with a new and improved look! Hang in there with us as we work out all the kinks.  If you need immediate assistance with anything or can't seem to find what you are looking for, please call our customer service team at 1-800-250-4505.

]]>
Fri, 24 Jun 2011 11:53:43 +0000
<![CDATA[5 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Building Your Home]]> http://amazingplans.com/news/5-tips-for-saving-money/ No matter what the occasion, saving money is always a good thing.  But when it comes to building your dream home, making financially wise choices can really impact your wallet.  Especially in today’s economy, everyone is looking to make their money work harder for them, and with housing construction where it is, you are sure to find some good deals for your American dream.  Here are just 5 ways to make every dollar count when building a new house:

#1.    Plan ahead!
Nothing can ruin your budget more than not having one!  From floor tiles to floor plans, everything from start to finish should be as accurately planned as possible.  Of course, that also means to plan for the unexpected!  Those who have the cold, hard numbers for every nook and cranny can safely say they know how much they are going to spend.  Being thorough on your planning means you can see how much those budget windows will actually save you in the long run.  Even if you go all out for that three-car garage, the double fireplace, or the granite counter-tops with beveled edge, knowing your financial boundaries before you even break ground will prevent your dream home from becoming a nightmare.

#2.    Shop around!
Whether you are looking for a builder or just someone to hang curtains, do not hesitate to look around and see what kind of prices you are offered.  It is a buyer’s market, my friend, so remember that people will compete for your business!  Often you may even be able to negotiate prices, or get some pretty sweet upgrades, just to lock in the deal.  One word of caution: do not decide on price alone!  Sometimes things are cheap for that very reason---they are cheap!  Do your homework and find the best bang for your buck.

#3.    Save the earth, save some money!
Nowadays, everyone is “going green.”  And while doing your part to protect the planet is a noble cause in and of itself, it's nice to have the added bonus that being environmentally-friendly can save you some green in the process.  Check out specials from manufacturers and installers.  Everyone from high-efficiency air-conditioner salesmen to roofers installing heat-reflective shingles are offering discounts, not to mention the tax credits associated with many energy-efficient solutions.  Sure, some things may cost a little more up front, but the long-term savings will outweigh the initial cost.

#4.    That’s what friends are for!
Know a plumber?  Someone who does drywall?  Don't hesitate to call in a favor from a friend in the business.  They will appreciate the work, and they are less likely to cut corners for someone they know personally.  You can even take this step further and do some of the work yourself.  You may not be Bob Vila, and you don’t want to jeopardize the inspections (or your safety!), but you may be able to put on some finishing touches at a fraction of the cost.  Have a painting party, and you will have great memories to go with those savings!

#5.    Know your territory!
After the fact, it's amazing what people notice and would like to change about their homes that never crossed their minds before construction started.  Think of things you can take advantage of now, to save some big bucks later.  Consider the sunlight, rain, humidity, and wind to which your home will be exposed.  Moving some windows, changing roof pitches, or raising the doorstep may not be immediate thoughts, but will pay off big time when Mother Nature comes knocking.  Colors, building materials, all sorts of factors can come in to play depending on the climate and location of your house.  You can protect your investment and your wallet by thinking of those factors you cannot control!

This is just a small list of money-saving strategies for those wishing to pinch their pennies.  Regardless of your location, style of home, square-footage, or taste for decor, there is always a way to save some dough, without sacrificing your custom-planned home.

]]>
Wed, 22 Jun 2011 03:03:34 +0000