The First Step to Planning New Home Construction

The First Step to Planning New Home Construction

Many families dream about building a new home for years before they actually do it. It is not unusual for families to research building new homes for several years. It’s never too early to start thinking about the type of house you want to build; the earlier you start your research, the more you will know what you want at home when the time comes to move forward.

Here are some tips on how to start your journey to build a new home:

Finding Land

One of the first steps to building a new home is finding land. It is highly recommended by many building professionals that you find your land before starting the design process. Your land can influence the overall design of your new home. For example, your land can influence the way you position your new home and what views you want to maximize. Maximizing natural lighting is important for the energy efficiency of your new home. Also, your lot size can affect how much you can build your house, especially if you have small lots with restrictions. If you decide to build a garage right away, where you position your garage depends on the layout of your land as well. When the time comes, your land will play an important role in how you design your home.

Finding Mold

If you want to build a wooden frame house, paneled house, or another prefab house, the next step is to find mold. With so many types of building styles and manufacturers out there, it can feel amazing. It is important to discuss and perhaps make arrangements to see samples at home directly. There are many online tools today to help you build connections if you live far from the manufacturer.

Design Process

The next step is to start the design process. Many mold manufacturers offer design services or you can work with an independent architect or designer. Once you own the land, starting the design process is one step closer to building your new home.

The Timeline

To help you know the timeline, you must allow at least one year from start to finish to build your new home. The design process can take three months or nine months, depending on the number of changes you make and the complexity of the design. The construction process can last an average of 9-12 months. Your timeline can be less or more depending on the size and complexity of your design. Also, some construction methods are a faster and more efficient way to build like prefab houses made in several sections rather than sent to your site and assembled.

Updating the kitchen and/or bathrooms

Anyone who has been in the real estate market for a few years knows that the best way to increase the value of your home is updating the kitchen and/or bathrooms. The reverse is also true if your intention is to decrease building costs. New home-builders have begun to scale back the size of kitchens. Bathrooms are losing square footage as well, but they are also decreasing in numbers. Homes, previously having two or three bathrooms, will now have one or two depending on the number of bedrooms. The kids’ exclusive bathroom or a downstairs’ powder room is no longer the trend. Most often there … READ MORE ...

General Home Maintenance

General Home Maintenance

A house is where you seek refuge in. Your house, no matter how it is furnished, means the world to you. Building a house for yourself may be a dream for you. Your builder or real estate manager may advise you on a proper construction plan. Moreover, for a good looking house, you need to have proper home construction plans. Once you are done with building your house and start residing in it, you might notice the need to maintain your house after some time. A beautiful house is the one that is beautifully maintained. Of course, a place as huge as a house is not a piece of cake to maintain. However, time after time, the need keeps growing.

There are many different areas that will require your attention and maintenance with the passage of time.

• The most important and fragile part of your house is wood material

Be it flooring, furniture, doors, cabinets or windowpanes, wood has to be the very first thing to be monitored. Ignorance towards the wood may lead to the growth of termites leaving you with a hollow object. On an annual basis, it is important that you get fumigation done. When you inspect doors and windows, check for caulking. Get it done timely to save expenses that may pile up if the problem pertains.

• Inspect your attic and the roof

Due to the direct heat and moisture (depending on your climate) the roof area is subject to most of the fissures. Look for any leakages and fix them up. It is better to check for shingles and fix them up promptly. Moisture tends to ruin all the construction and layout of the house. If unattended, moisture can lead to the growth of fungi. Also, this will increase the chance of rodents sneaking in your house and you wouldn’t like that of course!

• Check for dysfunctional wires and electronics

Faulty wires if left unattended may have the risk of hazards that can cost you your life. Get hold of a good electrician and allow him to mend all your wiring and electronics. Also do not forget to check the batteries of the fire alarms and security checks.

• Plumbing

Plumbing is yet another area if left unattended may cause leakages, and moisture can ruin all the beauty of your house. Look for leaking pipes from top to bottom of your house and remove any debris accumulated in the pipes or gutters.

• HVAC

It is also advisable to call your HVAC manager annually to provide you with yearly maintenance of your house.

• Maintaining appliances will take most of your time and attention

Especially the water heating systems, refrigerators, air conditioning systems, heating, and other electrical systems. It is feasible to move step by step from one appliance to the other. This way your whole concern will be at one of them at a time.

• The maintenance

Now that you have done the maintenance, it doesn’t mean it’s over and you can now relax for the rest of your life. Each year your house would require maintenance and you’ll have to abide by it to make your house look beautiful.… READ MORE ...

Why Need To Buy a Cow Hide Rug for Your Home?

Why Need To Buy a Cow Hide Rug for Your Home?

If you’re decorating this year to freshen up your home d?cor prior to the autumn and the colder darker days and are wondering how to invest your hard earned money on pieces which will really last as well as create a massive difference for your home interior and style, then you should think about buying new cow hide rug. In recent years these wonderful, natural and hard wearing home style accent pieces have been making a dramatic comeback for contemporary home style choices.

Most people don’t even think about these rugs for their houses simply because they believe that they only really belong on the floors of enormous old-style country mansions which have deer antlers about the wall and a trophy room and library but they couldn’t be more wrong!

Cow hide rugs are a fantastic accent piece for your home d?cor that suits well many different types of houses and apartments plus they are just as complimentary in your own home – which is probably a trendy and modern studio apartment because they are in a more traditional old style farmhouse. In addition, they combine heavy old Victorian furniture and also complement modern minimalist furniture that is very popular with those who are looking for a more contemporary, contemporary ‘chrome chic’ look. For those who have a home filled with IKEA flat pack furniture you’ll be amazed how a cow hide rug will accent this minimalist style approach whilst not subverting it.

Cow hide rugs are by their very nature unique because of where they come from – the skin of a cow. No two skins are identical so no two cow hide rugs are ever the same which means your very own rug will be unique. Similar to leather you may also have a cow hide dyed to any colour you wish – red is currently very popular (as it always has been!). You may also want to consider a rug that’s dyed to resemble a Zebra skin rug if that takes your fancy.

Another great factor about cow hide rugs is they wear incredibly well. They appear at their finest once they’ve been used and as they age and are worn in, they develop much more of a distinct personality. As a result they’re a home style piece that you’ll want to keep around for a long time – they’ll grow old with you! These cow hide rugs are therefore well worth the cost to purchase and with so many importers and retailers they have never been more cost effective in real terms than ever before.… READ MORE ...

Why Black and White Will Work For Your Bathroom

Why Black and White Will Work For Your Bathroom

The clinical gleam of the leading interior design trends over the last decade has left something of a mark on the state of the average household. The walls are left out of color, left with a little more than the color of soft eggshells to warm the room. Damage is very bad in the bathroom. The general rule seems to have been, for a long time: ‘If it’s white, it’s sparkling.’ And God forbid anyone to visit your bathroom without seeing the sparkle.

The newest injection of life goes back to the black bathroom design. Some homeowners are now removing old white tiles in return for hotter ebony. Black is a good color for the bathroom, because it maintains the same clean feel as white while providing a touch of extra wealth, but problems arise when the room sinks in black just for the sake of it.

One word of warning: a completely black room can feel very small. But how can you make a bathroom look spacious without using white too often?

The best way to overcome this puzzle is to use the use of black and white. The black interior bathroom tiles look fantastic in contrast to the white color of the entire room, along with the sink and towel rack.

It’s important not to beat white, so in general, have a little less than black, and this is the focus of the room. This is why it is a good idea to decorate the main features of black, rather than walls, ceilings and floors (although in some cases, black marble floors can bring subtle grandeur to the room, but if you want to go for that type of repair, keep the rest the room remains white.)

If you’re interested in going a little further than just a black-and-white set-up, a small splash of color can really make the difference between a good interior and a beautiful one. I’m partial to a small amount of violet to accompany a black-and-white backdrop, but really any color can work as long as it doesn’t oversaturate the space. It’s best to stick with things like towels and rugs to add this extra colour, as they soak up the light and add a nicer texture to the view.

So give it a thought. If you’re looking for a way to spruce up the bathroom in your home, black-and-white could be the way to go.… READ MORE ...

What Sustainable Materials Are Fit to Be Used For Home Construction?

What Sustainable Materials Are Fit to Be Used For Home Construction?

Due to massive calls for worldwide action towards improving environmental conditions, the production of sustainable building materials became an active factor to boost the green movement. The concept of such materials incorporates the methods and tools used in acquiring and manufacturing the eco-friendly supplies. Utilizing various green building materials offers a multitude of benefits, thus you might as well consider having these as the main components of your new home.

Such materials come in many forms through different natural sources that have the ability to endure via their own biological means. Some natural sources on the other hand have been contained in a regulated environment. A few of the popular green materials today are:

1. Limestone – used as cladding material, and the main ingredient in making concrete and plaster. It is also sometimes used in steel and glass production.

2. Aluminum – has high energy content, light weight, corrosion resistance and low maintenance requirements. It is commonly used where its attributes are the main advantages, such as in a modern industrial-like kitchen

3. Clay and adobe – both are used to form hard, waterproof and permanent bricks or tiles. The difference between them is that the former needs to undergo multiple firing process in order to put out such brick or tile. The other one can last 350 years or more even without going through fire.

4. Wheatboard – regarded to be better than plyboards or standard particle boards because of its being made from recycled wheat chaff and a non-formaldehyde binder. It is dubbed to be more moisture resistant, stronger, stiffer, lighter and even ideal to hold screws and nails better and for painting.

5. Bamboo – flexible reed coming from very tall trees. This has been used in so many ways from cutting boards and countertops to floor panels and furniture pieces.

6. Reclaimed lumber – this is usually salvaged from timbers and decking in abandoned old barns, factories and other old structures. It is often used for siding, detailing, cabinetry, furniture and flooring of homes typically inclined to have an antique feel.

7. Dimension stones – these are selected natural stones or rocks typically found in rivers or streams. They undergo various fabrication processes such as trimming, cutting, drilling or grinding in order to achieve particular sizes or shapes. They are used as pathways, flooring for outdoor spaces, tiles or even countertops.

While all these materials have their unique admirable qualities, you still have to be further thorough in screening which material or product fits your home. Take into account the resource and energy efficiencies and affordability of the product. Gauge whether it can improve indoor air quality or water conservation. Prioritize getting materials that are reusable or recyclable, manufactured using methods with minimal waste and greenhouse gases, locally available, durable, non-toxic, or low in maintenance requirements.

Homeowners with properties built with sustainable materials get to benefit from minimized maintenance and replacement costs during the life of the structure, reduced energy consumption, improved living conditions, and even better and more interesting design flexibility. In addition upon incorporating the use of green materials into a home construction or renovation project, the environmental impacts connected to transporting, installing and disposing building materials are reduced massively.… READ MORE ...

What Are Fruit Flies?

What Are Fruit Flies?

For many home owners around the world, there has been one pest that has consistently managed to create a nuisance in their day-to-day activities. Fruit flies have been constantly pestering home owners who have come to their wits end about not knowing what to do when these scurry little creatures attack ones food materials and renders them unfit for consumption. Fruit flies are not a new problem that many home owners are facing. In fact their existence has been a problem for many years where people have been reported of falling terribly ill due to the consumption of these flies.

Fruit Flies are small 3m flies that are a terrible nuisance and thrive on food as their source of nutrition. They attack any open food material and set themselves within them. Upon their setting within the food material, they convert the molecules of the food into alcohol and thereby render the food spoilt or unfit for human consumption. They truly are a menace and can lead to serious health complications if they are not dealt with immediately.

Homemakers and Housekeeping workers try their level best to keep their kitchens clean from any infection or environment that may pose as a breeding ground for these flies. They have resorted to pest control, home remedies as well as seeking the aid of professionals. However, with no avail of their ceasing to pester, homemakers are at their wits end. While it may seem that all hope is lost, there are a few ways that individuals can use towards combating this menace. Most of these tips are available on blogs and information portals that can be found upon a simple search.… READ MORE ...

Building a Fireplace: 5 Key Design Elements to Building A Fireplace

When you consider design elements, you get to play with the rules and mix it up a little bit and have some fun. Most designers will tell you that good design is all about the mix not the match. The components that go into the art of building a fireplace is no exception. When building almost anything the rules to consider are form and function. The architect’s point of view is definitely function and how everything works or is engineered. However, the design is what makes it pleasing to the eye and comforting to live in.

There are 5 main design elements that form the formula for building a fireplace.

Building a Fireplace: 5 Key Design Elements to Building A Fireplace

The first element is the type of fire itself.

The consideration of wood or gas is most relevant in the final stage – lighting the fire. With real wood fire you will never be short of crackling wood fire and real burning light. The alternative is to enter gas. There are many new and different designs for gas fires and their own insert models.

The second element to consider is facing the structure.

This is where there are the most trends, even regionally. Traditionally, brick has been the first choice among homeowners. With the advent of artificial stone, cost and availability make it a popular choice. A coat of stucco has always been popular in the southwest regions. We even see a modern trend of poured concrete or even fabricated metals in very contemporary structures.

The third element is choice of mantle.

This is where the fun really starts. How much mixing and matching do you feel comfortable? Something to keep in mind is balance and proportion. Mixing ingredients and even style is smart and sexy, making sure your coat doesn’t exceed your fireplace or vice versa.

The fourth element is the hearth.

Functionality can be taken into consideration when choosing a material for a fireplace. The added value is that it will capture heat from the fire and release radiant heat for some time after the fire has extinguished. Will this also provide additional seating if it is long and wide enough? Besides, will cleaning be a problem if you burn real wood and have wood and ash left over?

The fifth element is add-ons.

These can include a wood box, shelving for books, a niche for art or for components like TV’s and audio/video equipment. Wherever these add-ons may be incorporated within your design, remember the heat that your fireplace can produce.

As with other home design style areas, fireplaces both indoors and outdoors can follow trends. Masonry supply yards and shops that sell gas fireplace inserts are great places to start looking for ideas and attending every home show in your area. New or renovated fireplaces can become a gathering place for homes!… READ MORE ...

How to Select a Green Architect

Selecting a green architect is no easy task. You need to be weary of inexperienced contractors who may want to take you for a ride and will create a ton of needless obstacles for you during your project. By selecting the proper architect for your green project, you’ll rest assured they will build the essentials needed to ensure you have every element successfully fulfilled for the best green living.

How to Select a Green Architect

Conventional building need not apply…

Green building is the least conventional style available today. Not only does it integrate features you may have never thought of, but it will require your immediate attention to many facets of the project that you may not encounter with traditional building practices. While you may be spending more up front for an investment, you will reap the benefits of a green dwelling for years to come by just doing a bit of homework before diving in to the project. First, search the web for LEED certified builders as well as creating search for green architects in or near your zip code. You can search the EcoBuilding Guild for these architects as well as research them on your own. You may want to take a few classes of your own so you’re able to talk with the architect about the project.

Compare the Cost

When searching for a green architect, ask many questions about the project. Ask about the utilization of energy efficient products, salvaged materials and reuse of land materials that will be extracted during the demolition. Find an architect that has a focus that aligns with your own whether it is strictly on building with green materials, or healthy building and living in general.

Experience is key…

Once you’ve decided on a few architects you would like to receive quotes from, make sure you interview them. Ask about their experience with green building-have them show you their portfolio. Make sure your architect is enduring continuing education, as this aspect of the construction industry is on the boom and new products (as well as issues) arise each day. Ask about the disposal of waste, and the health and safety of the workers who will be completing your project.

Green Contracting

After you’ve decided on the green architect you will be using, make sure you have the specifications down to a science. Keep an open line of communication, as your architect may need to ask you questions on the spot, or when making a decision on your behalf. Create the specs that you will accept, everything from how you would like the paint applied, to materials that are unacceptable. Once you’ve established the fundamentals with your architect, you’ll be creating a green project that will outlast and out energize any standard project of today.… READ MORE ...

Outdoor Fountains in Your Backyard

If you’re looking for a great water feature to install in a home you have just bought or built, then consider outdoor fountains as one of your potential options. Outdoor fountains can look really great on any home and depending on whether you have it installed in the front yard, the back yard or any other part of the garden, it will give off a certain atmosphere that is hard to beat. The benefits to having an outdoor fountain in your home far outweigh the disadvantages and for a little bit of extra maintenance every year, you can have something that is truly beautiful to behold and that will captivate your family, guests and friends.

Private and intimate fountains in the back garden

A lot of people will prefer to have their outdoor fountains installed in the back yard for reasons of privacy and intimacy. Without a doubt, one of the most soothing and relaxing ways to enjoy your garden is in the presence of a fountain. You can set up garden parties and barbecues in the back and have the added enjoyment of a beautiful fountain with running water.

Front yard fountains for displaying grandeur

Outdoor fountains which are installed in your front yard give off a different character and are more for display and creating an air of grandeur about your property that can be seen from the street. Generally, people don’t have barbecues and garden parties in their front yards, so outdoor fountains around the front tend to be more imposing, graceful and elegant. They can be in classical, gothic or baroque style and will be the ultimate centerpiece to your front garden, looking best when they are in the presence of neatly trimmed hedges or bushes, beautiful flowers and shaped trees.

Maintaining your outdoor fountains

It’s important to maintain your outdoor fountains and keep them in top shape. This extends not just to the fountain and the pipes, but also to the water quality. You will need to decide whether you want the water to be drinkable or not, even if it’s just for animals or birds. If so, you will need to use municipal water and regularly clean and filter the fountain. If you don’t care too much about it being used as drinking water, you can install your own tank that recycles the water (this is much better for the environment and doesn’t waste water at all).… READ MORE ...

Coloring the Dream Home With Top Down Bottom Up Shades

Are you looking for a home make over? Want to impress your friends with a stylish home decor? Or you really want to protect your privacy in some meaningful ways?

So here we are with the ultimate solution for the above problems. The top down bottom up shades will help in getting rid of all the worries and will relax your mind from the privacy related worries. It is a finest way to make your home stylish with a proper flow of sunlight. These shades are unique as you can not only raise the shade from the bottom but also lower it from the top. Just because of this extra ordinary feature you can control the amount of sunlight you need. The excess light causes glare while watching television or computer screens and creates several other problems.

This is a kind of window treatment where in you can alter the size, color, style of the window. You can place a wall size top down bottom up shade and make the make the wall more lively and enchanting. The key benefits of having these shades can be summed up as –

1. The shades assist in creating partition in rooms, passages and the old fashioned window make over.

2. This is really helpful in maintaining privacy with in the apartments, bed rooms and bathrooms.

3. It prevents the extra sunlight causing glaring problem.

4. With the help of this window you can enhance the beauty of the home.

5. It is a very innovative concept in which a window can work as a door also with the help of shades.

6. These are available in numerous colors, prints and wide selection of materials and offer various combinations to match with your furniture.

7. There is a variety of shades available in the market so a buyer is free to pick and choose the color and design of their own.

8. It is a very cost and time saving technique which can create miracles in the least possible time.

9. This arrangement is really simple as it can be opened from top as well as bottom.

Types of top down bottom up shades

1. Cellular Shades

2. Pleated Shades

3. Roman Shades

4. Woven Shades

Finally do not forget to do proper ground work before choosing the appropriate shade. A wrong selection of color, pattern, design or size may result in a cluttered and horrible house. So it is advisable to keep the above stuff in mind.… READ MORE ...