December 2014 23
Custom home designs are an essential part of building a new custom home, but where do they come from?
Many of the elaborate homes you see on HGTV and other design showcases are created by architects, but going to an architect to get custom floor plans for new homes can be expensive for someone who’s already spending a lot on the building process.
Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to hiring an architect that can run a little cheaper. Let’s outline them here:
- Stock Building Plans
Stock building plans are created by home designers and architects and released for marketing purposes in catalogs, magazines, and on the internet. If you can find a stock plan that looks good to you out of the wide selection, you can skip the cost of hiring an architect. Howeve (more…)
As you trudge outside in January and survey the snow and ice covering your property, you’re probably wondering if there’s any magic formula that can de-ice your driveway and reduce your workload. Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, there are a few facts that can help you be smarter about your choices. Here are some things to keep in mind as you weigh your residential snow removal options:
- Salting Can Harm Soil and Plants
Just throw down a bunch of rock salt, and ice isn’t a problem anymore, right? Actually, you may pay the price for oversalting in the springtime, when you’ll see your plants struggling. This is because salt can cause toxic soil conditions and prevent plants from absorbing vital nutrients. It’s a good idea to keep salt on hand for ex (more…)
Some home building or repair tasks, such as putting on an addition or installing a new roof, take specialized contractors. But there are many others that are less demanding — and yet still out of most homeowners’ comfort zones. In these cases, handyman repair services are often the best option. What is a handyman? This is an experienced person (man or woman, despite the common term) who can help you with tasks such as laying tile, doing simple roofing repairs, fixing leaky plumbing, or even hanging paintings and drapes in hard-to-reach spots. He or she is a “jack of all trades,” and is usually paid by the hour regar (more…)
Custom home building is a great way to get the luxury home you’ve always wanted, designed exactly to fit your lifestyle. But there are many misconceptions that keep people from hiring a custom home builder and seeing their dreams realized. Let’s debunk a few of these myths so you can have a clear picture of the process when you meet with a custom home builder for the first time:
- You Need to Have a Design Already
Custom home builders work with you to create custom home designs and floor plans that suit your needs and wishes. You can also employ architects and designers to help y (more…)
Trees can an integral and beautiful aspect of a home or business’s landscape design, and can serve as insulating barrier against noise and bad weather. On the other hand, trees can also be problematic if not properly maintained, and causing damage and may increase the risk of fire if not trimmed away from exposed electrical wiring.
While many brave DIY-ers may be tempted to tackle the tree removal process or tree branch removal themselves, often times these tasks are best left in the hands of professional tree removal companies or independent tree removal contractors. While these jobs may seem fairly simple, they pose a number of risks both to the tree and the person or persons (more…)
Property management can be difficult and stressful because there are so many responsibilities for the person in charge. A property manager is tasked with taking care of security issues to keep tenants safe, resolving maintenance problems that pose a risk for anyone living at the site and upkeep of the exterior like lawn care. This is a lot for one person to deal with, so many managers choose to hire residential general contractors to help them handle all the aspects of managing a property. For anyone who is interested in hiring a property preservation business, here are some of the services offered by residential general contractors.
1. Lawn care services
A residential general contracting company can be instrumental in providing care for the exterior of a home. Ke (more…)
One of the things that people care most about in their homes is cleanliness. This doesn’t just mean dusting, vacuuming, and keeping things uncluttered. One of the most overlooked things that need to be cleaned in the home are the windows. From weather to fingerprints, windows can quickly become dirty and unsightly. Cleaning them regularly is important, but there are a few common mistakes that people make when they are doing it that should be avoided.
1. Not Cleaning Both Sides of the Glass
One of the biggest window cleaning mistakes that people make is not cleaning both sides of the glass — or not doing it properly. When you’re cleaning a window, spray the glass with your choice of (more…)
Though most custom built homes take anywhere from 10-16 months to build, there are a variety of factors that can influence that time frame. Weather conditions, order changes, material shortages and the quality of the land can all affect the time it takes to complete custom built homes. The design process can add on another three months to half a year.
Fortunately, there are several ways that homebuyers can keep their custom built homes on track and reduce the time it takes to finish them.
Hurricanes are one of the most powerful and devastating forces of nature, causing flooding, extensive property damage, and claiming thousands of lives.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, also known as Superstorm Sandy, claimed the title of second deadliest hurricane United States history (second only to 2005′s Hurricane Katrina which nearly demolished the city of New Orleans) causing nearly $70 billion in damage and claiming 148 lives. Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern shore from Florida to Maine, and traveled west across the Appalachian Mountains into Michigan and Wisconsin. New York City experienced severe damage due to the storm, leaving the city without power and causing extensive flooding. Those who lived inland were also affected.
Hurricane Sandy se (more…)
With less than a week until Christmas, time is running out to get your house looking ship shape for Santa Claus’s arrival. Luckily, there are some quick, simple things homeowners can do with their outside gazebos to make them look like they’re brimming with holiday spirit. Here are just a few ideas to help.
Make a Scene.
One of the cleverest things people can do to make their gazebos look more festive is to build a little, holiday dioarama there. What better place could there be to make a Nativity scene? If that’s not really your style, you could perhaps arrange mannequins, scarecrows, or cardboard cutouts together to make them look like they’re caroling. It doesn’t matter what’s set up there, because it’ll look great. Outdoor gazebos are, after all, excellent little stages.
Do It Yourself Repair
Water usage has significantly increased within the United States. From 1950 to 2000, for example, this amounted to a 200% increase. In 1992, toilet tanks were upgraded to contain 3.5 gallons of water. If this hadn’t been done, it is estimated that the average annual water usage for this essential piece of plumbing would be [...]
Remodeling your kitchen can be costly and time-consuming, but in the long run, it often proves to be a worthwhile investment. Even a minor kitchen remodel averages a return on investment of 82.7%, and that doesn’t take into account all of the time you get to spend with a better kitchen design. So, what minor [...]
Your exterior design needs a little work. Where do you get started transforming your home into something truly impressive? Hardscaping is an art form in of itself. Not only do they require a keen eye for aesthetic, they rely on a careful balance between natural materials and a cautious hand to give you the very [...]