Top 20 Landscape Architecture Designs and Costs

Are you planning on selling your house in the near future and are worrying about not getting a fair price? If that’s the case, you should start considering some creative staging ideas. A surefire way to improve the curb appeal of your house is to add some “make-up” to your yard. 😉 Now, what if you are not interested in selling? Well, you are about to find 20 landscape designs that will make your neighbors jealous of how good your home and your backyard look! […]

By | February 23rd, 2018|Design, Landscape Architecture|0 Comments

Top 20 Greenhouse Designs and Costs

Growing your own vegetables becomes more and more popular nowadays considering all the people who are against GMOs. Setting up a greenhouse can often be done by a handy DIY homeowner. Having a greenhouse in your own backyard (or anywhere else on your property or ranch) will allow you to grow your own food and thus make you and your family less dependent on traditional food supply approaches such as going to the supermarket for fresh groceries. […]

By | February 22nd, 2018|Design, Landscape Architecture|1 Comment

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Green Home?

Building green is no longer just an environmentally responsible approach. It is now a cost-effective approach too. This is a critical point in the green building movement that will likely lead to more rapid growth than we’ve seen. Environmental and Economic Reasons to Build Green How much does it cost to build a green home? Zero energy ready homes cost more to build/buy, but far less to operate. Here’s a look at the trade-off. Depending on the size of the home, the capacity of the PV system and other key components, recent studies have found: 12% to 20% | Green home/zero energy home building cost above homes built to minimum code, before rebates and tax incentives About 5% | Green home/zero home building costs above code, after current rebates and incentives $1,500-$1,800 per year | Total cost savings when reducing/eliminating energy costs is balanced with paying a slightly higher mortgage (assuming there’s a loan on the home) A comprehensive study by Efficiency Vermont concluded an impressive list of annual energy savings above code for net zero ready construction: Single family: 67% Duplex: 61% Quadplex: 57% Office, open floor plan: 72% Office, closed floor plan: 74% The bottom line for long-term housing costs is that lower energy costs for a green home allow homeowners to recoup the higher purchase price in four to eight years. — That’s a very short payback time. From that point forward, homeowners get the best of both – a green home and lower total expenses for mortgage and operating the home. And if they do put their home on the market, it will likely sell in a shorter time and at a higher price. Itemized Planning and Permitting Costs for a Green Home Here are common fees and what they cover. If you’re working with a building contractor on a lot that is part of a neighborhood development, these costs might be included in the sale price of the lot or home. Site plan: $100+ | A site plan is a scale, computer drawing of the lot you intend to build upon. It shows existing natural features plus placement of applicable features such as the house, driveway, walkways, deck or patio, outbuildings, well and septic. […]

By | February 20th, 2018|Home Construction|0 Comments

Top 15 Home Design & Interior Decor Upgrades, Plus Costs

Having a modern, cozy, comfortable, and beautifully-designed home is a dream of many Americans. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them! So, if you would like some ideas on how to transform your home in terms of interior design, decor, and exterior remodeling upgrades into something that you love seeing and enjoying every day, then this is your lucky day, because we’re going to present the top 15 home design, decor, and improvement ideas and remodeling upgrades, along with the expected costs of these home improvements, whether you hire a pro or choose to go the DIY route. Outdoor fabric used indoors Image via Dermavalife If you are feeling a bit nostalgic about the summer being over so fast, you can bring some of it into your own home by choosing outdoor fabric for your indoor furniture. The line between fabrics made for outdoors and those for indoors is slowly fading away as more and more people choose the so called indoor-outdoor fabric made of synthetic materials like acrylic and polyolefin. This year’s interior design trends allow you to display woven fabric and prints in your own living room. Colors are a matter of taste. You are free to choose bold colors like red and orange or more neutral shades like beige and light blue. Prints and patterns are quite popular for armchairs, sofas, pet beds and even sheers. Speaking of sheers, the conventional types made of polyester tend to become yellowish and break down after prolonged sun exposure. Outdoor fabric on the other hand is fade resistant and easy to clean. As for prices, a furniture set comprising a polyester sofa, a wooden coffee table and a lovely painting is sold for $600 on eBay. This is just an example of what you find through a simple Google search. […]

By | February 16th, 2018|Design, Home Designs, House Design, Remodeling Ideas|0 Comments

Top 10 Home Addition Ideas, Plus their Costs: PV Solar Power Systems, In-ground Swimming Pools, Dormers, Kitchen Extensions & More!

Are you in the process of planning a home addition or major remodeling project for your home? If so, it’s imperative to know ahead of time just how much a new addition or a particular remodeling upgrade will cost and what value/property appreciation it will contribute to your home. By RNB Design Group Here is a list of the top 10 ideas/inspirations to make your home feel newer and more comfy by adding space and amenities that you and your family are sure to love! 🙂 […]

By | February 15th, 2018|Design, Going Solar, Home Additions, Remodeling Ideas|6 Comments

Do I Need a Plot Plan or Site Plan for Real Estate Closing?

Every real estate transaction produces thick ream of documents completed beforehand or signed at closing. Is a plot plan one of the required docs? Will a plot plan satisfy the mortgage lender about the property’s size and features and that there are no encroachments that could lead to costly liability later? Are there other uses that make a plot plan attractive? To answer these questions, this guide discusses: What a plot plan is and what information it includes How a plot plan and land survey differ Plot plan pros and cons Where to get a plot plan A plot plan might be necessary and will certainly be useful when selling property or getting a mortgage. The benefits come at an affordable price. Plat Plan Basics: For this discussion, it’s helpful to know that a plot plan is the same thing as a mortgage inspection plan. In other words, the plot plan gives the lender an accurate view and understanding of the property it is providing a mortgage for. A third common term for the document is site plan. A plot plan is a drawing of your property made with CAD or similar software. It serves as a general description of the property. Depending on its specific purpose and level of detail needed, a plot plan might include: Information: True-north arrow, property boundaries and dimensions, the legal description, setback distance requirements, easements and flood zone (if applicable) Man-made structures: The footprint of the home and detached buildings, deck or patio, pool, driveway and sidewalks, fences, a well and septic drain field location Natural structures: Ponds, streams or dry beds, wetlands, large trees and slopes Because of the important information included on site plan drawings, they are accepted by banks and other lending institutions and by municipalities everywhere for approving development plans and issuing building permits. Plot Plan vs. Land Survey A legal land survey is prepared using complex and precisely accurate equipment such as a Theodolite total station for measuring angles and distances, GPS/GNSS scanner and similarly sophisticated tools. A plot plan is developed more simply using visual estimations (eyeballing distances) or distances determined with a tape measure or measuring wheel. If aerial or drone images are available, they can be useful in creating a site plan. The information obtained is merged with details available on the recorded deed at the Register of Deeds office and the legal property description. This enhances the plot plan’s accuracy and usefulness. A land survey is meant to be precise to the inch; a plot plan is considered usable when accurate to within a foot or two for most distances other than setbacks, which need to be very precise. Note: A setback is the distance off the property line that a dwelling or other structure must be. Pros and Cons of Getting a Plot Plan for Real Estate Transactions: These pros and cons will help you decide if a plot plan, aka mortgage inspection plan, is sufficient for your purposes or whether a legal survey would be better. Pros: Accepted by most lenders when providing clients with a mortgage on a home or piece of property Before the sale, gives potential buyers an accurate understanding of the property and its elements Shows that all structures meet local building code setback requirements Can show easements, flood zones, wetlands and other areas of the property off limits to development May assist buyers in locating additional information about the property recorded with the city or county Accepted by municipalities for most development and permitting purposes, and that’s important should the property’s buyer want to make alterations to the property in the future such as adding a deck, building an addition or installing a pool Costs 3% to 10% of what a legal survey costs, depending on the size and complexity of the property The only negative: Uncertified plot plan cannot be used to identify, prove or dispute legal property boundaries […]

By | February 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Landscape Architecture Site Planning and Permitting Requirements

A smart landscape design transforms a dull lot into an extraordinary setting you’ll love. However, before the first shovel full of dirt is turned, you’ve got to get a permit from your community. Your HOA might want to approve the project too. This post guides you through the process, so you’ll stay out of trouble with the local “powers that be” and ensure your project is the success you planned. Step 1: Develop a Site Plan The local planning/development/building department wants to know the current lay of the land before it approves changes. That’s the purpose of a site plan. A site plan is a scale drawing of your property that shows all the important features: North arrow Property lines Lot line dimensions Dimensions between structures Graphical scale showing the scale ratio of the drawing Trees […]

By | January 17th, 2018|Landscape Architecture|0 Comments

Site Plans for Geothermal Heating and Cooling – Ground Digging Permits

Your home’s property sits above a vast field of renewable, inexpensive heat, and the soil or water below is also an efficient place to discharge heat when cooling your home. Digging the Ground horizontally or drilling a well for Geothermal Heating and Cooling – Planning Phase via It will take significant site planning, permitting, dirt work and possibly drilling to tap into the earth’s sustainable geothermal heating and cooling potential. While the process varies slightly among municipalities, you’ll have to take these or similar steps to meet development and building code requirements: Submit a site plan to the planning/development office for approval Obtain approval from state and/or federal environmental agencies for wells that use surface bodies of water Use the approval(s) to obtain permits for excavation, well drilling and geothermal system installation The geothermal heating and cooling contractor you use will work with you on obtaining the necessary approvals and permits, but when you know what steps must be taken, you’ll be sure the project is handled properly from planning to installation of the ground source heat pump (GSHP) system. Here’s more detail on each step: […]

By | January 11th, 2018|Geothermal Heating and Cooling|0 Comments

Changing a Roof Line Cost, Permits & Site Planning

Are you planning to elevate or raise the roof, add a dormer, or change the existing roof line on your property? If so, then read on to explore the costs, planning, and ROI on changing your existing roof architecture and design. via Deforest Architects This guide covers the cost of raising a roof, adding a dormer or changing a roof line on your home when you want to: Raise the roof to create more cubic feet of space beneath it Raise the pitch of a roof from flat or low slope to something steeper for aesthetic and practical reasons Add a second floor (new top story) covering part or all the home Add a dormer to an existing top floor to change the look of your home, add light and gain headroom inside the dormer We give brief details about how each project is pursued. Costs are itemized for those of you that like to know exactly where your remodeling dollars are going. If you prefer the “big picture,” total costs are included after the detailed summary. […]

By | October 31st, 2017|Building Up, Roof Architecture, Roof Design|2 Comments

House Septic System Installation Cost, Planning & Permitting

A septic system is an essential but costly part of building a home. The upside is you won’t have monthly sewer fees or the initial cost of tapping into the municipal sewer, which averages more than $2,000 and can, in many cases, cost more than a sewer connection. via Choice Home Warranty This information in this guide is about septic system planning and installation. We include septic system cost for common septic and drain field systems. A leach field, the term used in many areas, is the same as a drain field. Septic System Planning and Installation Overview Here is an overview for this part of your land development and building process. Then, we’ll break down the steps with itemized costs and timeframes for each part of the process. […]

By | October 1st, 2017|Septic Tank Systems|0 Comments