Monthly Archives: November 2016

A Guide On Duplex House Plans

A duplex is a structure where two house units share the same central wall. In some cases the duplexes are designed to share a vertical wall. Although, the house is designed to accommodate two households, its size is that of a regular house.

During the design stage, each housing unit has its own driveway, garden, entry and all the other features that a house needs to be self sufficient.

Building plans

There are two main plans that you can go for:

Two stories: it’s also known as the full duplex design. Here you have a structure that is two stories in height. The plan has entrances on both the front and back of the building. Inside, the first floor will have the common rooms such as kitchen, den, dining room, bathroom and living room. The second floor is designed to serve as the area for bath and bedrooms.

Half duplex: from its name, this is plan that doesn’t have a second floor. Just like the full duplex, there are two entrances: back and front. There are some creative architects who design the house to have side entrances instead of the traditional back entrances.

Getting the duplex house

You can buy an already constructed house or construct one yourself. To make the decision on the best plan to go with you need to know your needs. For example, if you are single or only living with your spouse you don’t need to have a large house-the half duplex is enough for you. On the other hand if you are living as a large family you need to have a large house and the full duplex is a good choice.

If you are constructing your house you should hire an architect to design it for you. The cool thing with constructing your house is that you can customize it to be different from the traditional duplex houses. You should do your research and ensure that the architect you are working with is experienced and has worked on other related projects before.

You should note that duplexes aren’t allowed in all areas. If you are interested in only constructing a duplex house you need to consult with the local authorities to find out if duplexes are allowed in the area.


Duplex houses are great investments and if you have some money there is no reason you shouldn’t invest in them. To give your houses a unique look you should work with an architect with the ability of coming up with interesting designs.

Everything You Need To Know About South Facing House Design

A south facing house plan is believed to make you feel relaxed and be financially strong. When designing this house you should ensure that the door is situated in the south or at the 4th Pada of the south direction. The reason for this is because there is a strong believe that when the door faces south, it’s a sign of good omen.

You should ensure that the master bedroom and the over-head tank are located on south west corner. When designing the master bedroom you should be cautious that you don’t compromise the space for the front elevation design.

You should leave enough open space in the east and north sides. You should avoid leaving a lot of space in the south as it’s a sign of bad things. You should also avoid constructing a septic tank, water sump, garden or porch in the southwest direction.

Some of the best things to construct in the southwest direction is the office or shop. Locating the two in this direction is a sign that you will prosper and improve your financial situation as a proprietor. When designing the shop or office you should ensure that the south wall is much taller than the north wall. This is to bring in better results.

When it comes to the septic tank, you should construct it on the northern side of your house. To avoid contamination you should ensure that the septic tank is 15 feet away from water sump or borehole.

To avoid bad luck, the staircase should face south, west, southeast or northwest corner of your house. It should never be in the northeast corner of the house.

More things you need to do

If you are yet to buy a plot you should buy one that slopes from south to north. If you don’t know the directions of the area you should ask your architect to help you out.

You should locate the kitchen in the south-east or north-west corner. When cooking, you should face towards east or west.

If you like having a garden you should locate it in the southwest corner. You can plant trees in this direction, but you should ensure that they aren’t too tall covering your house.


As you have seen, there are many tips you need to consider when designing a south facing house. To get ideal results you should work with a certified and experienced architect.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Residential House Plans

A residential house is any facility that is designed for living-not business. The house ranges from a one bedroom house to an apartment building with hundreds of units. While the houses are of different sizes and come in different designs, there are a number of common factors that you should consider when coming up with the right design for your property. Here are some of the factors:


Your lifestyle is your way of living. Before you choose a given plan you need to consider the size of your family, occupation, presence of handicapped people, and the number of people you expect to be visiting you. For example, if you have a large family and you like working from home, you will not only need to have a large house with large rooms, you will also need to have many rooms that you can convert into an office.


How much are you planning on spending on the house? You should sit down with your architect and come up with designs that won’t cost you a lot of money. The design of the house greatly determines the amount of money that you will spend in the long run. Complex designs are by default more costly.

Government regulations

It’s not uncommon to find regulated residences. The regulations limit you on the size and type of house that you can construct in an area. The cool thing is that many architects will let you know of any regulations in the area. If the professional is unsure of the regulations, it’s upon you to research and find out.


This is the physical appearance of the natural and artificial features of an area. These features include: soil, rocks and other features. The architect should guide you on the design of the house after visiting the construction site. From observation and tests, the professional should know how deep the foundation can be and how important features such as drainage systems will work.


To have a good design of your residential house you need to pay a lot of attention to the architect you hire. As rule of thumb you should ensure that the professional has a degree or Masters degree in architecture. You should also ensure that the professional is certified by the relevant regulatory body.

While you can find good architects by doing local online searches, the best and easiest way of finding a great professional is through referrals from friends and relatives. This way you not only know the professional side of the architect, you will also know his/her character.

Make Sure You’re Hiring Trustworthy Builders to Work on Your Home

Your house is the most important space to you. Your builders and project planners should know and respect that when they enter your home to work on it for you, and should make every effort to make you feel secure in what they are doing to create a high quality end product.

A Cowboy builder doing a botched job is every home owner’s nightmare, leading to disruption leaking into every part of your life. Keep your home and family safe and coy with reputable builders, here are some tips in choosing and checking a builder’s reputation.

Before you hire a Builder

Be wary of unrealistically low or fast estimates – an attractive price will grab anyone’s interest, but if you’ve planned your build properly you’ll have a rough idea of how much the work should cost, incorporating materials and labour. An estimate too much lower than this should definitely be looked into, where is the saving being made? Is it true that some smaller companies who don’t earn over the yearly threshold don’t have to pay tax, so some smaller quotes may be accounted for by that, though an honest smaller company will always be forthcoming with information of this kind. Don’t be afraid to ask about quotes too far above your original plan too – were your original plans not inclusive of certain aspects of the build? Or are there some parts of the budget that are unaccounted for?

A Reluctance to write down a Quote or Schedule – Having a quote in writing is a contract between you and the builders, outlining an intention to keep to the planned works. Of course, if the build comes across some issues that are not the builders’ fault and you discuss any additional or reduced amounts of work with them, this can change, but make sure to have the changes written and signed too. If a builder or contractor refuses any written confirmation of estimates, it’s an opportunity to mess you around. You are well within your rights to insist on a written estimate from anyone you are employing to work on your house. Make sure that all materials and jobs are listed on a broken down quote that covers all work you want done.

Look out for an unwillingness to disclose contact details – Refusing to give a last name and contact number, or the information of their project manager is not reassuring but some disreputable builders will dodge the question by insisting that they do not have to disclose this information. This is not true, you have the right to request enough information to check the builder or building company’s history including any declarations of bankruptcy and court cases. Withholding contact details and open information about the company points to a reluctance to be looked up.

Beware of paying upfront or in cash – Again, some builders who work a limited number of hours and have a yearly income of less than the taxable threshold may not need to pay tax and so are able to ask for payment in cash. However, builders and companies should be forthcoming with this information, and any larger companies should be paying tax. Asking for a cash payment may be a sign that they are dodging tax, and could point to them cutting corners elsewhere. Paying upfront requires a huge amount of trust, money is needed to buy materials to carry out the building work of course, so be prepared to be asked for money early in the process for that, but paying in full before any work has begun isn’t a practice attributed to most trustworthy builders, beware of construction workers and companies who ask for this.

Can you always get in touch with them? – If you’re having trouble contacting the builder or company before work begins, what’s to stop them disappearing during the job? This is a common complaint from victims of cowboy builders, that the work begins and then stops, leaving the site in a disruptive state of disarray that has a tremendous effect on both lives and bank balances. Look for a company with a website showcasing previous work that checks out under investigation, testimonials and references, full contact details and, above all, a company or builders who are easy to get in touch with and trace.

Be wary of unnecessary changes to your planned work – Experienced and creative teams with ideas for home improvement that fits in with your own vision is a wonderful addition to your project. However, if every aspect of the planned work is not up for debate and your contracted builders are changing your designs, this could be a method of trying to upsell you something you don’t want. Another method of scamming more money out of you is finding mysterious problems with the house, materials or designs and asking for more payment to fix these ghostly issues. This is a fine line to tread, as there may indeed be issues that were unknown to you before now, so if you are unsure about advice you’re being given, don’t be afraid to get a building surveyor in to take a look and a second opinion.

If you are unsure about the builders or contractors working in your home at any point, trading standards are easy to contact and quick to respond to queries, do not hesitate to call them.

Advantages of Natural Stone Cladding

Stone cladding is a method of covering the walls using synthetic or natural stone veneers. Everyone wants the latest happening thing, whether it is a smartphone or natural stone veneers! Trends never die as new products are invented pushing older ones to oblivion. People tear down old looks and install hyped products, bringing luxury to their homes forcing others to follow the trend to avoid looking out of touch. For those with budget constraints natural stone cladding is the smart renovation option that saves money and beautifies homes too.

Stones are not only beautiful construction materials, but also investments as they enhance the resale value of your home. You may be surprised that even tenants look for homes with modern amenities and trendy designs. However, using natural stone veneers excessively is also not advised as they make your home look crowded. Installing only where they are required is a sensible option which saves time, money, and also makes your home look exquisite.

Stone claddings help you access luxury at lesser cost and keep up with the times. Here are some advantages that go along with these revamping materials.

Protection from weather

Constructions made of concrete are vulnerable to the action of environmental agents such water, heat, and microorganisms. Covering the walls using stone veneers shields your wall from degrading agents and makes it look exquisite.

Beautify walls affordable

Numerous color combinations and features make stone veneers the attractive choices for homes. Stone wall clads are an inexpensive way to give your walls, the most beautiful revamp.

Heat resistance

Natural stones absorb radiation and release them gradually, keeping the room temperature constant, helping you avoid dependence on room heaters. When used outdoors, they resist temperature well and remain strong for years.


Stone cladding are non-porous materials which protect your walls against attacks of environmental agents, thus enhancing the life of your walls.


Stone cladding are composites of stone pieces glued together as tiles. Stone claddings can also be man-made, usually of concrete, resembling the looks of materials such as wood, stones, ceramic, etc.

Easy customizable

Unlike stone, tiles are easier to cut and customize, saving you of troubles of heavy cutting work.

Light on walls

Stone tiles are heavy and many times not viable options for old buildings. In earthquake prone zones they are not advisable the construction becomes vulnerable to damage and are lighter with look good as well.

Enhances life

By protecting your wall against moisture and degrading agents, natural stone veneers add years to your construction.

Low cost

Cheaper compared to stones, but they are in no way less attractive.

Stone cladding is the latest trend among home owners that is sure to stay for some time. These are cost-effective ways to transform your home with little efforts and money. They enhance the life of your home and are safe options for constructions in vulnerable zones.