Archives: Construction and Home Improvement

A Contour Map and Site Plan

When it’s necessary to design a building for a site that’s not level, the designer needs to know just how high each point is above the lowest part of the site. This information is obtained by the surveyor and delivered in the form of contours on a property boundary, and is called a contour map. • Read More »


Vintage House Plans Download

Designing a home that’s truly classic in nature seems to be a lost art in most architectural circles. Middle to late 19th and early 20th century homes represented a true beauty that’s been lost in a modern society, yet many prospective homeowners would love the idea of having such a classic styled home designed for • Read More »


Wood-One Of Nature’s Best Insulators

An advantage of solid wood structures that log cabin owners are pleased to acknowledge, is the energy performance of a properly constructed log cabin. The inherent ability of solid log walls to “store” heat helps to guarantee less fluctuation in your homes inside temperature, leading to lower energy bills and reduced consumption of fuel. Both • Read More »


Did You Overlook Something In Your New Home Design

There are quite a few details involved in designing a new house and it’s very easy to overlook certain aspects of what will make that house a home. I have been a home designer for over three decades now and have come up with a list of things that are often forgotten in the layout. • Read More »



Beginner’s Guide to Understanding a Set of House Plans

Depending on how much detail your builder or local building inspector requires, the minimum set of plans should include the floor plan, exterior elevations, foundation or basement plan, and a roof plan drawn to scale. Just so you’ll know, a scale is nothing more than a shrunken ruler so that 1′ -0″ (12 inches) is • Read More »


As Built Remodeling Drawings

When we need to make alterations or additions to an existing building, the drafter finds that they need an accurate drawing of the structure as it stands. This is called an As-Built drawing. If the original drawings of the building aren’t available, it is then necessary that we measure and recorded it in some quick • Read More »


Finding a Suitable Barn to Convert Into a Home

There is a trend lately to find unique and affordable housing and many have turned to converting a barn into a home. In my area of East Tennessee, there are some fine examples of this including the one I converted. It’s needless to say that there are many barns in various shapes and sizes all • Read More »



How to Build an Architectural Model

There are several methods of building a model of a house or building. When I designed modular homes in the early nineties, they had to be built quickly so that the client could get a better feel for their proposed home. The method I used was to take a 1/4″ scale plan view of the • Read More »