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Archive for the ‘Home Features’ Category
Doing your homework will help you have a more successful experience.
Use this checklist to help you select a home builder or home remodeler to work on or build your home.
- Contact your local home builders’ association for the names of member builders and remodelers: Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky (click). You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations.
- Make sure the builder or home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.
- Find out how long they have been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.
- Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau (click). Make sure the builder/remodeler has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.
- Ask the builder/remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won’t, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
- Ask if you can see the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.
- Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder/remodeler? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new home.
- Make sure the builder/remodeler provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.
- Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!
- Verify that your remodeler is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator if you are planning work in a pre-1978 home that will disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces inside the home or 20 square feet on the exterior of the home. Learn more about the EPA’s lead paint rule.
Itâ€™s the weekend and you have a whole list of household chores to do. Oh, we know youâ€™d rather be golfing or playing tennis or watching TV, but keeping your home in good shape is important. Your home may be the biggest investment you will ever make. Taking good care of it with regular maintenance is necessary to maintain its value and ensure it will provide a comfortable, safe shelter for you and your family for a long time.
Here is a home maintenance quiz that will test your maintenance knowledge. While this quiz does not address every home maintenance project, it does provide helpful tips and reminders for chores you may have overlooked.
1. How often do forced-air furnace filters need to be changed?
At least every three months during the heating season.
2. What part of the faucet usually needs to be replaced when you have a water leak?
3. Should you run hot or cold water through your garbage disposal?
4. How often should the moving parts of garage doors be oiled?
Every three months.
5. What tools can you use to unclog your drains?
A plunger and a plumberâ€™s snake.
6. What tool can be used to unclog a toilet?
Coil spring-steel auger.
7. What faucet part needs to be cleaned every three to four months?
Aeratorâ€”the screen inside the end of the faucet.
8. What can you use for traction on icy sidewalks, steps and driveways?
Cat litter or sandâ€”never use salt because it damages the pavement.
9. Where should the fire in your fireplace be built?
On the andirons or grate, never on the fireplace floor.
10. What will prevent soot and add color to the fire in your fireplace?
Throw in a handful of salt.
11. Where should your firewood be stored?
Outside, away from your house and not directly on the ground.
12. What helps keep unpainted concrete floors easy to keep clean?
13. What should you use to clean unpainted concrete floors?
A solution of 4 to 6 tablespoons of washing soda in a gallon of hot water. Mix scouring powder to the solution for tough jobs.
14. When can you clean hardwood floors with water?
When the floors have a polyurethane finish.
15. Do hardwood floors need to be waxed?
Hardwood floors that do not have a polyurethane finish probably will need to be waxed periodically. Use liquid or paste â€œspiritâ€ wax.
16. What is the best polish for vinyl floors?
Water emulsion wax.
17. When is basement condensation at its maximum?
In new homes because gallons of water went into the concrete of basement walls.
18. Why should noisy water pipes be fixed promptly?
The condition that causes noisy pipes may be accompanied by vibration that can cause fittings to loosen and leak.
19. Why should frozen pipes be thawed slowly?
Frozen pipes should be thawed slowly to prevent the formation of steam, which could cause the pipe to burst.
20. How often should your roof be inspected?
A qualified roofer should inspect your roof every three years.
21. What should be regularly checked on your security system?
The alarms and circuit breakers should be checked to make sure they are in working order and the sensors should be inspected one by one.
22. To ensure your safety, what household equipment uses batteries that must be checked regularly to make sure they are operable?
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
23. What do you use to fill nail holes and cracks in plaster walls and gypsum wallboard?
24. What is the white powdery substance that develops on masonry walls?
Efflorescence sometimes appears on masonry walls. It is crystallized soluble salts that can be removed by scrubbing with water and a stiff brush.
25. At what temperature should your water heater be set?
120 degrees Fahrenheit
26. How often do skylights need to be inspected?
Skylights should be inspected each time your roof is inspected so leaks donâ€™t develop from cracks and interruptions around its seals, caulking and flashings.
27. What is a simple solution you can use to wash extremely dirty exterior windows?
A solution of equal parts vinegar and water or 3 tablespoons of denatured alcohol per quart of warm water. Use a piece of crumpled newspaper to wash the glass to avoid lint left behind by paper towels.
28. What can you use to help a window slide easily?
Rub the channel with a piece of paraffin.
29. What should you look for when you inspect your siding yearly?
Determine if wood-sided homes need to be repainted; check to see if the caulking around the windows and doors has split and cracked, and replace the caulk; clean the mildew; trim shrubbery away so it does not touch the siding.
The green building sector is offering some hope for the homebuilding industry, which has battled sluggish sales in recent years that has practically brought new-home construction to a halt.
But home builders that have opted for green construction are beating the odds and have even seen their market share rise slightly, according to panelists at a Standard & Poorâ€™s housing summit this week in New York.
Home owners are being lured to green, seeing it as the greatest potential for appreciation of their home, panelists note. Green remodeling has also increased, partially due to federal tax credits available to home owners for energy-efficiency improvements.
In 2010, a third of all commercial real estate construction was green, as was 16 percent of residential construction. Jeff Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home, says one challenge is introducing more â€œgreenâ€ products for the starter and move-up markets that wonâ€™t increase costs.
Also, some consumers are still not sold on green building, lacking information about energy savings and finding a qualified person to do the upgrade work, panelists noted.
Source: â€œHousing Panelists See Opportunity in Green Building,â€ HousingWire (June 9, 2011)
Published on Housing Zone (http://www.housingzone.com)
Byline: Jonathan Sweet, Editor in Chief
Publication Date: Wed, 2011-04-13 10:27
Despite the housing bubble and subsequent crash, more than 80 percent of remodelers still think buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make. That’s according to a recent Pew Research Center study , which found that 37 percent strongly agreed with that idea and 44 percent somewhat agreed with it. About half of homeowners in the survey said they believe their home has dropped in value since the recession began, while 31 percent said it worth about the same. Seventeen percent said they though their home had increased in value over the last few years. Of the renters in the survey, 81 percent said they intend to buy a house at some point. Only 17 percent they plan on continuing to rent.
On February 9th, 2011, Mike Kegley on behalf of the 160,000 members of the National Association of Homes Builders, testified in front of the Small Business Committee of the U S House of Representatives. The witness list, his oral and written presentation as to the costs of the new 1099 reporting requirements included as part of the Health Care Bill follows:
CLICK TO READ OFFICIAL WITNESS LIST
CLICK TO READ ORAL TESTIMONY
CLICK TO READ WRITTEN TESTIMONY
Most home owners opt to add some upgrades to a new home, which can be rolled into the mortgage opposed to paying for them later on their own. But the choices of what flooring, lighting, or other upgrades to choose can be overwhelming.
Designer Candice Olson, author and host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All,” says lighting and extra wiring are key upgrades new home buyers should consider.
“Adding lighting — or at least the wiring for it — means you’ll be able to have bathroom sconces instead of that one overhead light the builder gives you,â€ Olson says. â€œYour flat-screen TV can be where you want it. You’ll have a floor outlet for the lamp in middle of the open room. And you won’t be ripping out walls later to do all this.”
Also, she says home owners shouldnâ€™t forget about the exterior lighting either. “Outside lighting, plus landscaping, will set apart your house from the others in the neighborhood where buyers chose from plans A, B and C,” Olson says.
As for flooring, Olson recommends hardwood floors for the main living areas, and cork floors for the basement, since thereâ€™s potential for water leakage in basements.
She also says the addition of taller baseboards, chair rails, crown molding, coffered ceilings, built-ins or a banquette also are smart investments for upgrades.
Source: â€œDecisions, Decisions: Add Character to Your Home With a Few Choice Upgrades,â€ Chicago Tribune (Feb. 4, 2011)
2011 Home & Remodeling Showcase February 4-6, 2011
Northern Kentucky Convention Center
Tickets are $10 with Free Parking
Your Dream Homeâ€¦Alive.
Presented by Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky
Includes hundreds of local and regional vendors, celebrities and events. Dream Street, an exhibit of six exclusive exhibitors displaying their best products and offerings. Cooking demonstrations with Remke-bigg’s and chefs from local restaurants and bakeries. Value City Furniture Face-Off with interior design students of Antonelli College-vote for your favorite room design.
In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, we’ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.
This week, we look at the installation of the systems that are “hidden” inside the walls:
Once the framing and roofing are completed, the “insides” of the home can be installed:
*The electrician begins to run the electrical wiring, including setting the outlets and switches
*The plumber runs pipes and also installs plumbing fixtures and tubs and shower bases
*The HVAC technician installs the air ducts and air returns and prepares to install the furnace, air conditioner, and humidifier
*The home electronics specialist begins wiring for security alarm systems, stereo and surround sound systems, intercom systems, and central vacuum systems
As the homeowner / home purchaser, if at all possible, it is important to coordinate with your builder to be able to get in and see the home at this stage of construction. Soon after these systems are wired and installed, all the wiring and piping will be covered up with insulation and then with drywall. There is only a brief period of time in which the homeowner can lay eyes on the “guts” of the home.
This is why The B.O.L.D. Company schedules a rough-in walkthrough with each and every homeowner at this stage of construction. We are proud to show off the quality of our work. During the rough-in walkthrough, we will point out to our customers the features and details that make our homes unique in regards to quality, design, and efficiency. We will go over the blueprints, selection sheets, and change-orders with the customers, so they can see and confirm that their specifications have been met and that we have followed-through on their requests and changes. When performing a rough-in walkthrough at your new home construction project, pay special attention to:
While correcting errors or making changes to these items is fairly simple up to this point, once the drywall is installed, changes will no longer be possible without time delays and extra charges!
B.O.L.D. Homes, a B.O.L.D. company, has been established as among the premiere Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky custom home builders since 1986. We have well over 500 customer designed homes to our credit. Work one-on-one with the owners of the company – including a licensed real estate broker, a licensed real estate agent, a licensed professional engineer, and a CAD draftsman/designer – to design your dream home full of the features important to you. We can help you find a balance between luxury and budget.
In this series, the professionals at the B.O.L.D. Company will take you through the process of building a custom home in the Greater Cincinnati â€“ Northern Kentucky area. From plan and lot selection, to mortgage approval, to the actual construction, weâ€™ll take you behind-the-scenes each week for an inside look at a different part of the process.
This week, we look at exterior doors:
As with windows, choices abound for exterior doors. Typically, customers will be choosing from wood, fiberglass, steel, and glass doors.
Wood is the conventional choice for building doors. Besides the natural and traditional look of wood, it is also more customizable and decorative. However, wood doors also tend to be more expensive, and will require more maintenance (painting, etc) to protect against and/or repair rot, warping, and deterioration from the elements.
Steel doors are durable, secure, and tend to be considerably more affordable than wood. Steel doors also require very little maintenance. They are more energy-efficient than wood doors, they provide better security against intrusion, and they are fire-proof. They are subject to denting, paint chipping, and rust.
Fiberglass doors are often considered a more environmentally-friendly option than either wood or steel. They are also energy-efficient and very durable. While fiberglass doors tend to be a little pricier than steel doors, they typically come with longer warranties, and they are resistant to scratches, dents, rot, deterioration, and rust. Perhaps best of all, fiberglass doors are paintable and stainable, and many do a good imitation of wood grain, especially when stained.
Glass doors are, obviously, the least secure, provide the least privacy, and are the least energy-efficient. (Glass is a much better conductor than insulator, as anyone who has sat by a window on a cold day will attest!) The advantages of glass doors, if strategically-placed, are the light they bring in and the view of the outside they allow. While many exterior doors made of wood, steel, or fiberglass will have glass panels as part of their structure and style, when we talk about glass doors, we are referring to patio doors, french doors, and sliding doors. Often, these doors will have a wood, steel, or fiberglass frame, even though the majority of the surface of the door is composed of glass.
Many homes will contain a combination of door types: a wood or fiberglass imitation-wood front entry door, where elegance or style is desired, perhaps a steel entry door in the garage, where security is preferred over style, a glass french door or sliding door from the back of the house to the patio. Ask a BOLD professional to help you weigh the pros and cons for your own new construction or remodeling project!
The B.O.L.D. Company is uniquely situated to help you through each and every step of the custom home building process, from financing and design/selections to construction and warranty service. We are available to build on your lot in Northern Kentucky, or let our licensed real estate agents help you find the perfect home site! Our in-house drafting and design team, together with our on-staff licensed Professional Engineer, can help you find or design the plan of your dreams! And of course, B.O.L.D. combines quality products and craftsmanship with unsurpassed customer service, so that the finished home is everything you expect and more. Find out why 400+ other new home customers have trusted The B.O.L.D. Company since 1986!