New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Standard kitchen counter height for Raleigh new homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 @ 14:09 PM

How to Measure Counter Top Heights:

Looking for new home standards for kitchen counter top and bar heights? Here are a couple basics: 

  • Kitchen counter tops, including islands, are approximately 36 inches tall.
  • Kitchen bars are approximately 40 to 42 inches tall.
  • The height between counter tops and upper cabinets - generally the tile back splash area - is usually 18 inches.

Browse custom home photos - and get a better idea of what typical height differences look like:

Standard Kitchen Countertop Height:

Here are Raleigh custom home photos with standard kitchen counter top and bar top dimensions:

1. Counter Top Height

How tall are kitchen counter tops? 36''


What's the distance between a counter top and upper cabinets? The upper cabinets are typically 18'' above the counter tops.

An 18'' gap leave plenty of room for countertop appliances, without placing the cabinets above easy reach.

2. Island Height

How tall are kitchen islands? About 36'' for a countertop height island, though many islands also include raised eating bars.

Your kitchen island will match the counter top height, at a standard 36 inches tall.

3. Raised Eating Bar Height

The distance between your island and raised eating bar is typically 6 inches. Several factors go into creating the ideal bar height:

First, there are typically no upper cabinets above an island or eating bar, so appliances and other items don't need the same clearance space.

Second, your eating bar should be at an easy-to-use height, a total of about 42 inches from the ground.

From another angle of this Raleigh new home kitchen, here is the total raised eating bar height:

4. Breakfast and Dining Room Table Height

The standard height for most tables, whether in the breakfast room or formal dining, is about 30 inches tall.

You can gauge the height of your table alongside popular chair rail and wainscoting heights.

There is no standard wainscoting height - wainscoting and specialty trim depend on the ceiling height, room proportions, and stylistic appeal you're wanting to create.

Typically, chair rail is installed between 28 and 32'' from the floor.

Here are some Houzz Ideabooks with more kitchen counter top and cabinet photos:

New Home Builders in North Carolina:

What does a "standard" custom home cost to build in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina? Tell us about the home site and floor plan you're interested in, and Stanton Homes will provide an initial cost estimate for your new home.


Tags: 2015 home design trends, kitchen design, new homes raleigh

House Designs for First Time Home Buyers

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 @ 07:06 AM

How To Choose a Floor Plan that Makes Sense - and will sell later too!

Looking to build your first home? We've put together a list of common features - and recommended floor plans - for first time home buyers in North Carolina.

2014 house designs for first time home buyers tend to have a few common features:

Design Trend #1: No formal dining room or formal living room

Home buyers are often hot or cold about formal dining rooms - it is either a "must have" room or a easy space conversion.

First time buyers, however, say they would rather use that space in other rooms - especially the kitchen or great room.

House Designs for First Time Home Buyers

Design Trend #2: Flex rooms 

First time home buyers also want to build in flexible spaces. A common flex room style is one that can convert from a bedroom into a home office (with closet for storage). 

In this floor plan - The Beaufort by Frank Betz - the "Guest Bedroom" can also serve as an office or nursery room.

House Designs for First Time Home Buyers


Design Trend #3: Outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living spaces, even small ones, are on the minds of 2014 new home buyers. A small investment in the backyard space can go a long way in personal use and entertainment value.

House Designs for First Time Home Buyers

Design Trend #4: Square footage

How large should my first home be?

You will want to consider a balance between builing a home with room for growth with the current cost of additional square footage or features.

Every home buyer - and family - is different. As a very general rule of thumb, you may want to look at floor plans from 2,000 to 2,500 sq ft with 3 or 4 bedrooms. Here are a few popular floor plans in this range:

House Designs for First Time Home Buyers

The Beaufort: 2,300 sq ft with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths

The Azalea Park: 2,100 sq ft with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

The Bostwick: 2,400 sq ft with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths

The Brogan: 2,600 sq ft with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

The Kessler: 2,200 sq ft with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths



At Stanton Homes, our design team works with your to meet your budget and lifestyle preferences - keeping long-term family growth and change in mind. Call 919-278-8070 to learn more, or contact us here.


More 2014 Raleigh New Home Trends

11 Kitchen Island Layout Ideas

10 Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes

2014 Kitchen Design Trends - Is Stainless Steel on its Way Out?

Open Concept Kitchens

90 Photos of Custom Home Kitchen

Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina.  

Tags: first time home buyer, north carolina home builder, new homes raleigh

How to Choose Types of Hardwood Flooring | Custom Home Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 20:05 PM

Top 6 Types of Hardwood Floors for Your New Home 

Until recently, hardwood floors were found only in high-end homes. 

Now, hardwood flooring is one of the most popular upgrades in any new home in the Raleigh area.

Advances in wood flooring during the past few years means that you can now have wood anywhere in your home.  Here are the top 6 different types of wood and hardwood floors. 


1. Solid Flooring

Solid wood flooring refers to anything that consists of one piece of wood from top to bottom.  Most often 3/4" inch thick, a solid wood floor can be sanded and refinished, making this an extremely long-lasting flooring.Hardwood Flooring

Oak is the most common natural hardwood flooring, in white or red.  A white oak is usually just a little more expensive, but red oak tends to pick up and reflect red tones in cabinetry and other nearby features. 

Maple, ash, hickory, and a variety of exotic woods are also available as solid flooring.

Custom builders often include at least several rooms with solid or engineered hardwood floors. 


2. Engineered Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Custom Homes

Still most often referred to as hardwood or wood flooring, this wood flooring product consists of layers of wood pressed together. Because grains run in different directions, it is more dimensionally solid wood.

 If the top layer is thick enough, it is possible for the flooring to be sanded and refinished. 



3. Site Finish

Solid or engineered wood floors can have stain and varnish applied in several ways. 

Custom Home Flooring

The most premium is "site finish".  Unfinished hardwood is installed in the home.  The buyer or builder chooses a stain color, which can be customized at the time of application by mixing one or more standard colors together.  This stain and a final coat of varnish is then applied to the floor over a period of 3-5 days.   




4. Prefinish

Individual pieces are pre-stained and varnisheTypes of Hardwood Flooringd, then installed in the home.  This process is quicker and less expensive than site-finished stain, but can be higher quality. 

Some manufacturers offer a 50 year warranty, and apply up to 12 coats of verathane.  


5. Wood Laminates

Wood laminates consist of a plywood base covered with a layer of veneer.  Plies and thicknesses vary, but three-ply, 3/8 inch flooring is most common (compared to 3/4 inch for solid hardwood). New Home Hardwood Floors

The veneer topping of wood laminate floors (commonly 1/8 inch thick) can be sanded and refinished 3 times, at most. 

Most manufacturers have 5-year finish warranties.   Laminate wood flooring can be a great way for a first time home buyer to experience the benefits of a wood floor.  It's a low-maintenance alternative to carpet, and great for pets. 


6. Synthetic Plastic Laminates

Usually 1/2 inch thick, plastic laminate flooring consists of a fiberboard center wrapped in top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate - a tougher version of the same material used in many kitchen countertops. 

Hardwood Flooring in New Homes


These floors cannot be sanded or refinished. They usually come with 10 or 15 year manufacturer warranties. 

These laminate floors are very tough - they hold up very well, even under heavy traffic and pet claws.  Because they are inexpensive and last 10-15 years, even if they eventually need to be replaced the long term cost is low. 


Choosing Your Hardwood Floors

There are many colors, types, and styles of flooring within each of these categories.

Buyers should choose wood flooring based on both asthetic quality and cost (over the life of the home). 

Solid or engineered hardwood floors cost mCustom Hardwood Flooringore upfront, but are likely to last the lifetime of the home with proper care. 

Laminates will most likely need to be replaced at least several times over the life of the home, but can be lower cost and allow buyers a low-maintenence alternative to carpet.  


Talk to Your Builder

Buyers should ask their builder and/or real estate agent exactly what kind of flooring is standard in their new construction home, and which styles of flooring would be an upgrade.


You may also be interested in these popular articles:

2011 Kitchen Trends | Butler's Pantry

2011 Market Trends: What are Homeowners Giving Up to Stay on Budget?

Today's Ceilings Make Statements - Types of Ceilings and Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Home

New Home Trends and Ideas - What's the Latest?

5 Steps to Buying a Lot

What is a Barrel Vault Foyer? Pictures of Barrel Vault Foyers by Custom Home Builders

Tags: hardwoods, flooring, custom home tips, new homes raleigh, raleigh custom homes, custom homes raleigh nc

How Much Do Septic Systems Cost?

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 15:05 PM

How Much Do Septic Systems Cost? Building a Custom Home in the Raleigh area.

Septic System Cost

Whether you already own a lot, or need help finding the perfection location for your new home, you may be considering the cost of installing a septic system.

Septic systems are extremely common in the Raleigh area. In fact, most lots larger than 1/2 acre will require a septic system. 


Septic System Cost Can Vary 

Septic systems can also be one of the biggest variables in cost for building on your lot, depending on soil conditions, size of system, type of system, county requirements, and more.  

An experienced home builder like Stanton Homes can look at your septic permit and plot map and give you at least a good idea of what the system is going to cost


Typical Septic System Cost in the Raleigh Area

Septic System Cost Raleigh

A typical septic system in the Raleigh area can be anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000, with most conventional or pump systems falling in the middle range. 

Is a septic system more expensive than sewer?  The alternative to a septic system, connection to a city or county sewer system (if available), can be more or less than a typical septic system, depending on the jurisdiction and how close the connection is to the proposed homesite.

Make sure to speak with your builder about the septic system allowance for the unique requirements of your lot and floor plan. The number of bedrooms allowed is determined by a Perk Test.

A special system can run many tens of thousands more - particularly if your lot is rated "No Perk" (i.e. unsuitable for a conventional septic system). 

Make sure your lot is a great choice - talk to your builder about getting a free lot inspection to avoid unexpected costs.


Building a Custom Home is Easier Than You Think

Free Lot Inspection

 Building a new custom home on your lot (or ours) does not have to be complicated or expensive.

Contact Stanton Homes to receive a free building cost estimate and free lot inspection.



Tags: buying a lot, new homes raleigh, building a home, raleigh new home, septic systems, build on your lot

Craftsman Floor Plans | Where to Find Great Craftsman Style Floor Plans

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jan 04, 2011 @ 12:01 PM

How to Find Craftsman Style Floor Plans

Choosing a New Craftsman Style Home

Craftsman floor plans | Craftsman new homes in RaleighFirst, what is a Craftsman style home?  In the Raleigh area, a Craftsman style home usually evokes visions of stone accents or square, tapered front porch columns, exposed rafters or decorative brackets, low pitched rooflines with overhanging eaves, and deep covered porches.  Inside, Craftsman elements can include simpler trim styles, built in details, hardwood flooring, and lots of windows.

Here are some great places to browse Craftsman style floor plans:

Craftsman Floor Plans by Don Gardner

Donald A. Gardner has been designing great homes, including Craftsman style floor plans, since 1978.  This architectural firm is based in Greenville, SC.

Craftsman Floor Plans by Milwaukee Craftsman LLC

Some great, unique Craftsman floor plans that include well-planned use of space and lots of surprises.  The Sussex is one of my favorite plans on this site. 

Craftsman floor plans | Craftsman new homes in RaleighCraftsman Floor Plans by Designs for Living

This 1612 sq ft one story Craftsman style home includes many traditional elements.  You'll enjoy browsing these Craftsman style floor plans from this Oregon designer.

Craftsman Floor Plans by AVID Design Group

AVID Design Group is an NC based architectural firm, offering many different Craftsman style homes with more ornate rooflines and a liberal use of stone.  This 2678 sq ft one story Craftsman is an example of a more modern Craftsman home.  

Craftsman Floor Plans by Alan Mascord

This is one of my favorite collections of Craftsman style floor plans.  The Morecambe has many great elements, including an open floor plan, wonderful porch, and unique angles.

Found a Craftsman style floor plan you're interested in?  Ask for a free building cost estimate, and get exact costs for your new Craftsman home in NC. 


Tags: craftsman style homes, raleigh craftsman homes, craftsman floor plans, nc custom homes, new homes raleigh, custom floor plans