Category Archives: Homeownership

New Trends in Outdoor Furniture and Fabrics

Creating outdoor rooms remains a popular design trend with home owners across the country. It’s a simple, budget-friendly way to increase your home’s square footage and to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you have a large patio or a small porch, your outdoor room can easily reflect your style and become a treasured gathering spot in your home.  Archival Designs offers a large collection of home plans  across all architectural styles that offer on outdoor living you will adore.

Aspen Creek | Ranch Floor Plans | Archival Designs
Aspen Creek House Plan | Archival Designs

Many home owners quickly become frustrated when the beautiful furniture and fabrics they select do not survive the outdoor elements. Fortunately, manufacturers are now creating more durable outdoor furnishings to help your decorating dollars go even further.

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Fire Prevention: Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP

As you prepare to build your dream home plan it is important to make a list of items your builder should install to keep your new home and family safe.

One of the most important keys to keeping your family safe is installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom within the home.  In addition, an alarm should be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level.

Check the date! Smoke alarms are designed to last 10 years from the manufacture date and should be tested regularly.

Fire Prevention Safety


  • Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button
  • Replace all fire alarms every 10 years
  • When an alarm sounds get outside immediately and call 911.

To learn more about smoke alarms and fire safety visit and

3 Questions to Ask When Choosing the Right Builder

Archival Designs | Luxury Floor Plans | Ranch Floor Plans

Though builders might generally use similar tools and materials when building custom home plans, not all are alike when it comes to things like technique, training and customer service. Finding the right builder whose business approach aligns well with your personal preferences is essential to a pleasant home-building experience.

Keowee Lake Cottage | Rustic House Plans | Luxury Floor Plans
Keowee Lake Cottage | Under Construction

The builder will be asking you plenty of questions during your initial meeting to discuss the home you envision. But the questions you ask the builder are equally important to determine if it’s going to be a positive partnership. Consider asking the builder about the following:

  1. Work Experience – You will want to find a builder with extensive experience building small or large luxury homes from plans similar to the one you want. Ask to see examples of floor plans and designs they’ve done before to ensure their company can deliver what you need. You should also ask if they have or are working toward any professional designations, which show that the builder has advanced training in a particular area. A few examples of such designations include a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), a Graduate Master Builder (CMB), and a Certified Green Professional (CGP).
  2. References – Any high-quality builder should be ready to provide you with several names and phone numbers of satisfied customers. If they can’t, consider that a red flag and walk away. When reaching out to those former clients, ask about how well the builder followed through on the initial plans, and if the builder met their expectations regarding budget and timing. Don’t forget the most telling question of them all: If they could do it all over, would they hire that builder again?
  3. Communication Style – Many builders will do their best to accommodate your communication preferences. But it’s always best to establish expectations as early as possible. The frequency (weekly, monthly, as-needed, etc.) and method (phone, text, email) of how you communicate early on with each other is something that will set the tone throughout the whole building process.

For more information about how to find the right builder to create your dream home contact the National Association of Home Builders.

The Time to Build is Now!

As the economy continues to move in the right direct, homeowner and builder confidence is on the rise.  The time to build the home you’ve been dreaming about is now!  The last decade has taken the economy and housing industry on a roller-coaster ride.  Fortunately, builder confidence is the highest we have seen since November 2005 (NAHB ).

Dalmany House Plan - Ranch - Front View
Dalmany House: This plan is 2,275 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The Dalmany is a stunning addition to any sub-division, and with all that room for growth and entertainment, no wonder it’s one of our best-selling house plans!

As we approach 2016, homeowners across the nation are feeling financial stability.  Archival Designs is committed to providing quality designs at an affordable price.

Old Wesley House

This ranch house plan is 2,365 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. This plans traditional style allows for an easy and fast build, a pleasant experience for you and the builder.

Old Wesley House Plan - House Plan - Ranch - Front
Old Wesley House Plan: This ranch house plan is 2,365 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms.

Lady La Salette House Plan:

The Lady La Salette is a ranch style house plan with 2,315 sq. ft. This house plan boasts 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, with an optional bonus room on the second floor.  This house will be easy to grow into as your family’s need change over the years.

Lady La Salette House Plan - Country Style House Plans - Ranch Home Plans
The Lady La Salette is 2,315 sq. ft. This house plan has 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, with optional bonus room on the second floor  offers a plethora of distinct house plans ranging in style and size to fit your needs! We are proud to share with you our customer’s most popular house plan picks of 2014-2015.

Tres Le Fleur House Plan:

This best-selling house plan offers 2,499 sq. ft. of comfort. This ranch style home has 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms and an open floor plan, perfect for entertaining guest.

Tres Le Fleur House Plan - Tres Le Fleur House Plan - Archival Designs - Ranch Home Style
Tres Le Fleur House Plan: This best-selling house plan is 2,499 sq. ft. and has 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms

The Pontarion II House Plan:

This Award winning house plan can be the home of your dreams. The Pontarion II house plan offers 4,041 sq. ft. of elegance and comfort. The striking grand room and oversized chef’s kitchen will give you plenty of space for entertaining.

Pontarion II House Plan - Luxury Home Plans - 3000 sq ft house
The Pontarion II House Plan: This award winning house plan has 4,041 Sq. Ft, 4 bedrooms, and 4 1/2 bathrooms

The Salem House Plan:

This 2-Story house plan has 2979 Sq. Ft. with a plethora of wonderful amenities. The Salem House has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms and a glorious 2 story family room, which is sure to leave any guest in awe.

Salem House Plan - Castle Style House Plan - Archival Designs - Salem - Stone Pond
The Salem House Plan This 2-Story house plan has 2,979 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms


We invite you to view our best-selling collection []          and learn about how you can modify your new home.

Learn more about Builders Confidence and how it works here (

NAHB Federation Honors America’s Military Heroes

Monday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, and the NAHB federation salutes the sacrifices made by our nation’s military heroes as they risk their lives to preserve the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens.

NAHB’s members and HBAs around the country are making sure that these military heroes have homes to come back to by working with military support groups such as Homes for Our TroopsOperation Finally Home, theMilitary Warriors Support FoundationOperation Coming Home and other organizations. They are helping these military heroes realize their own American Dream of homeownership by renovating, building and donating accessible homes designed specifically for the needs of a combat veteran. Two new videos show how NAHB members provide homes for injured veterans and how the Building Systems Council provided one veteran with a mortgage-free home. Contact: Gwyn Donohue (800-368-5242 x8447).

Builder Confidence in the 55+ Market Continues to Improve

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market showed continued improvement in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter of last year, according to the most recent NAHB 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) analysis, which was released on Nov. 7. All segments of the market – single-family homes, multifamily condos and multifamily rental – recorded strong increases.

There are separate 55+ HMIs for two of the three market segments. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, traffic of prospective buyers and anticipated sales for the next six months are good, fair or poor. An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good.

The single-family 55+ HMI increased 14 points to a level of 50, the highest third-quarter number since the inception of the index in 2008 and the eighth consecutive quarter of year over year improvements. The multifamily condo 55+ HMI rose 14 points to 37, also the highest level since the inception of the index. Additionally, all of the 55+ multifamily rental components showed strong gains in the third quarter.

“We have seen steady improvement in the 55+ housing sector as buyers and renters are attracted to new homes and communities that offer the lifestyle they desire,” said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “Although the market is significantly stronger than it has been in recent years, we still have a ways to go to get back to full production.”

According to NAHB Chief Economist Dave Crowe, “right now, the positive year over year increase in confidence by builders for the 55+ market is tracking right along with other segments of the home building industry. And like other segments of the industry, the 55+ market is improving in part because consumers are more likely to be able to sell their current homes, which allows them to buy a new home or move into an apartment that suits their specific needs.

Today’s photos are those of Archival Designs‘ Luxury Estate Plan, Essex House.


Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes.  Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 to 14,814 sf, and Newport classic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house desgins offered.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one could be just for you!