Five Important Considerations when Customizing a Floor Plan

One the of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when designing your prefab home will be deciding the perfect layout of your floor plan. There are more than twenty floor plans in the Stillwater Dwellings library to start from, but making sure the one you choose is right for you takes some thought and planning.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when choosing and customizing a floor plan to fit your family. Read on to learn more!

 

1. Consider your family size

An important thing to consider   when choosing your a plan is your family size. If your family is growing, be sure to include enough floor space to accommodate future family members. A den or office with an attached bath can be converted into a bedroom later.

 

2.  Working from home

If you often work from home, or may in the future,    remember to include space for a home office in your new layout.  The location of this room should be away from busy rooms where there might be a lot of activity such as the family room or kitchen.

 

3.  Entertaining

Do you love to entertain?  If so, a kitchen/great room combination can allow space to    comfortably accommodate a large group.  . If you don’t entertain much, a more intimate space might be right for you.

 

4. Open space or privacy

If you’d like having the family together in one room consider a floor plan with a great-room concept.  If you cherish privacy more, a smaller family room but separate media/game room, and formal den/office may provide more solitude when you need it.

Another thing to consider is the location of the master bedroom and how it relates to the kids rooms. Children’s rooms might be best close when they’re young and further away when older.  An important consideration to make early on.

 

5. The size of your lot

The size and shape of your lot has a big influence on your home’s design. If you have a large lot, a sprawling single floor might work well,    but if you want a large house on a small lot then you’ll need  multiple floors. Be sure to pay attention to any zoning restrictions or CC&R’s that may effect the size and height of home you can build.

Energy Efficiency & Sustainability in Prefab Homes

Prefab Home in Portland, OR

One of the primary advantages of purchasing a prefabricated home is that they are more eco-friendly, energy efficient, and sustainable than the majority of traditionally constructed homes. There are many reasons why prefab houses are better for both the environment and your energy bills. Here at Stillwater Dwellings, our commitment to helping the environment has a huge impact on the way we build our homes. Here are some of the ways that prefab homes are built to be better for the planet.

Insulation 

First of all, prefab homes are much better insulated than homes built with traditional on-site construction. Building some or all of a home within a factory means that insulation can be installed more easily and more efficiently. Better insulation goes a long way in improving energy usage. Joints are tighter and air infiltration and escape are both minimized. You’ll see the great insulation of a prefab home reflected in much lower energy bills.

Less Waste 

Prefabricated homes also generate less waste during construction, which is helpful for the environment. For homes built using traditional construction, having leftover materials is inevitable. In fact, from a contractor’s point of view this makes sense, because having to re-order a material holds up construction. However, this extra waste is bad for the environment.

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4 Benefits of Building a Prefab Home

4 Important Advantages of Building a Prefab Home

People sometimes have misconceptions when it comes to prefabricated homes. Opinions tend to take on one of two extremes – the low-end, mass produced “manufactured homes” or the impossibly expensive custom home. In reality, prefabricated homes are becoming more and more common, as well as more accessible to many different budget levels. There are several advantages to choosing a custom prefab home over one made with traditional construction processes.

Here are four of our big-ticket benefits of prefab homes:

  • Quality Control –  Because custom prefab homes are built in a controlled environment, according to specific standards, you can be confident that your home will be built with uniform quality.  Site built homes are subject to the schedules and often varied skill levels of independent contractors—not to mention the effects of inclement weather.     On the other hand, prefab homes are built by an experience crew in a protected factory   and the homes are inspected many times throughout the construction process.
  • Energy Efficient – Prefab homes are also applauded for their energy efficiency and sustainability. In traditional construction, extra materials often lead to extra waste. However, because prefab homes are made (at least partly) in a factory, any extra materials are recycled in-house. This is a huge improvement over the traditional construction strategy of sending the waste to a landfill. The controlled environment in which prefab homes are fabricated makes it easier to assure construction is accurate, joints are tight and that air infiltration and escape is minimized.  This allows prefabricated homes to be insulated to a higher level than site built homes, and subsequently, often more energy efficient.  Continue Reading →

Stillwater Newsletter – March 2014

The Journey From Midcentury Modern to Twenty-first Century Contemporary

All art forms are influenced by current social and political forces and what came before. Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in the evolution of residential architecture from the post-World War II Midcentury Modern trend, to today’s contemporary home designs.
After the war there was pent-up demand for housing and a cadre of talented young architects—particularly in Southern California—waiting for the opportunity. What became known as Midcentury Modern architecture was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement of the 1920’s and the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe and Le Cobusier. Defined by open floor plans, clean lines, generous use of glass, a blending of inside and outside living spaces, and the use of new materials, the Midcentury Modern aesthetic set the tone for today’s contemporary homes.
Stillwater Dwellings embraces this heritage and brings contemporary prefab residential design to a new level of sophistication and practical livability.
To learn more about Stillwater Dwellings prefab homes, call 800-691-7302 or contact kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com
Click here or here to learn more about Midcentury Modern design.

Online Design Seminar, April 23, 4 pm & 7 pm (PDT)

Stillwater Dwellings Online Design Seminar takes the mystery out of building a custom home. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder, will introduce his design philosophy and the process used to assure plans meet each each clients personal preferences.  Kaveh Khatabloo, Chief Sales Officer, will detail Stillwater’s three phase planning and production process.
The formal presentations will be followed by time for questions and answers.
RSVP via email to 4PM (PDT) Webinar
RSVP via email to 7PM (PDT) Webinar

Establishing a Successful Builder/Homeowner Partnership

How to select a builder who will build you a great house and not drive you crazy (and visa versa)

One of the most important decisions you will make in the home planning process is the selection of a builder, the individual who will be primarily responsible for transforming your house plans into a wonderful three-dimensional reality.  Building a custom house is a blend of craft and organization; having the proper people to do excellent work and orchestrating their activity so that the process moves along smoothly.
Look ahead….When your new home is completed and you move in, how would you like to describe the building process and the relationship you enjoyed with your builder?  Chances are it would sound something like this:  “Our building process was successful because the house was done on time, our builder was responsive to our needs; his billings and change orders were clear, fair, and timely; and the house is very well built.”
How do you go about selecting a builder to assure that kind of a positive review of your relationship?

Continue Reading →

Stillwater Newsletter – February 2014

 

At Stillwater—We Encourage Customization.


To Stillwater Dwellings clients, smart contemporary design, intelligent use of materials, and the ability to customize are more than important—they are requirements.   Having a home that meets your family’s unique needs and sensibilities is why you decided to build a custom home.   We understand this and have developed a process to help make the home your own.
We encourage you to review the library of more than 20 custom Stillwater prefab designs and floor plans.  Select one or two that have the design and flow you like best and we’ll work with you to fine tune a plan to fit your lifestyle and preferences.
The recently introduced panelized prefab building system allows for greater customization options than Stillwater’s traditional modular building system.  The panelized option is more flexible and often more cost effective, particularly when building on a difficult lot, or when site accessibility may be an issue.
In the coming months Stillwater will be introducing a series of new designs and new floor plans.   Check our website regularly to see the latest.
We look forward to beginning the discussion.  Give us a call and let’s get started.
800-691-7302  |  
kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com
See all 20+ floor plans

Online Design Seminar March 5, 7-8pm

Stillwater Dwellings Online Design Seminar takes the mystery out of building a custom home. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder, will introduce his design philosophy and the process used to assure plans meet each each clients personal preferences.  Kaveh Khatabloo, Chief Sales Officer, will detail Stillwater’s three phase planning and production process.
The formal presentations will be followed by time for questions and answers.
More information and RSVP
(Webinar hosted by GoToMeeting)

Introducing “Monthly Home Planning” Feature

October and November were busy months at Stillwater. More than 75 people attended Design Seminars in Seattle and San Francisco and over 100 visited Stillwater open houses in Napa and Portland. Thanks to all!
More Seminars and Open Houses are being planned for the first quarter of 2014. Dates and locations are being finalized, and will be posted when set.

How Site Restrictions May Affect Your New Home Design

Regulatory and other site restrictions that you should be aware of before you buy a building site and before you begin the design process
Nearly every building site has restrictions that dictate a great deal about where you can build on the site and even what you can build. Commonly, people who sell land are not totally familiar with all of these restrictions, which leaves you with some homework. We suggest you tackle this, if at all possible, before you purchase a building site (since the information you glean from your research might make you want to reconsider) and certainly before you begin any design work. Gather up all the information and keep it together in one easy refer to file.
Here are some of the most common types of regulatory restrictions to research:
Zoning Restrictions:
A trip to your local zoning department will enable you to get a copy of the zoning bylaws that affect your site. Those that you should look for are:
  • Setback requirements: how far from the front, side and rear lots lines the structure can be built. Will the remaining building envelope be large enough for what you want to build?
  • Lot coverage restrictions: How much of the site area can be covered with the structure and with impervious (e.g. asphalt drive, tennis courts) surfaces.
  • House size limitations: some local zoning restrictions limit the size of houses or the height of houses.

Continue Reading →

Stillwater Newsletter – January 2014

 

Stillwater Introduces Choice of Two Building Systems  


Clients tell us they’re attracted to Stillwater because of fresh contemporary design, the abundance of natural light, the spacious feel of our floor plans, and the ability to customize.  Of course, many are also attracted by the numerous benefits of prefabricated construction.
Stillwater homes are now available in your choice of two “prefab” building systems—modular and panelized.  The look of the finished home is identical, only the method of construction differs.
Our traditional modular home is fabricated and finished in a climate controlled factory and shipped to your building site in “modules” ready for quick assembly.  In the panelized system all major framing components are fabricated and assembled in a factory and shipped to the building site.  Finishing work is done onsite by a local contractor.
The modular choice provides a nearly completed home shipped to your accessible site.  The panelized system offers more flexibility in shipping, design modifications, and finishing options, plus,  generally, lower total cost.
All Stillwater designs are available in either system.

We look forward to continuing the discussion. Please give us a call or email today.
800-691-7302  |  
kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com

Attend a Design Seminar

October and November were busy months at Stillwater. More than 75 people attended Design Seminars in Seattle and San Francisco and over 100 visited Stillwater open houses in Napa and Portland. Thanks to all!
More Seminars and Open Houses are being planned for the first quarter of 2014. Dates and locations are being finalized, and will be posted when set.

Stillwater Newsletter – Fall 2013

How Large a Home Do You Really Need?

Everyone contemplating a custom home asks “how big a house do I need?” There are multiple considerations that go into answering this question, besides the most obvious—the budget.
Important elements to consider:
  • The physical limitations of the building site
  • Family members living in the home (small children, teenagers, extended family, etc.)
  • Long term use of the home—now and in the future (family events, aging in place & accessibility)
  • Alternative uses for the space (home office, craft room)
  • The cost of energy in your area
  • Your personal philosophy
At Stillwater we believe your home should compliment your lifestyle–now and in the future. Too large a space wastes materials, resources and money. Too small and reduced scale increases costs. According to architect Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s CEO “All of our 20+ plans are designed to maximize livability and efficiency without adding expensive extra square footage. Many homes feature 12 foot high ceilings and floor to ceiling glass. Innovative and efficient design can make even smaller spaces feel spacious.”
We love to talk about home planning. Call or email us today.
800-691-7302 kaveh@stillwaterdwellings.com
Want to read more about how big is big enough? Below are some helpful links.
How Much Home Do You Really Need?
10 Tips for Smart Home Design

Attend a Design Seminar

Stillwater Design Seminars take the mystery out of building a custom home. Matthew Stannard, Stillwater’s founder, will introduce you to his design philosophy and the process to assure plans meet each client’s individual preferences. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers and Stillwater staff will be on hand to meet with you personally.
Western Washington
Bellevue
Saturday, October 19, 2013
12:00 – 2:00PM
San Francisco Area
Burlingame
Saturday, November 2, 2013
10:00AM – 12:00 PM
Locations details and registration
Please call 800-691-7302 with any questions.