Home Remodeling

Why Green Your Home Remodel?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010 | Green Building, Home Remodeling | No Comments
Brock HealthyBuilt Home

Brock Builders HealthyBuilt Home

While remodeling your existing home as opposed to buying a new one may save you money and produce exactly what you want, incorporating green features and practices into the process may generate an even higher ROI.

A great place to start is to consult a custom home builder who also has experience in building green and HealthyBuilt Homes.  At Brock Builders we are often able to incorporate green features with little change to the budget, but that also save the homeowner money over time.

Popularity Means Better Pricing

Many home remodeling fads cycle out rather quickly, but “greening” a remodel is a trend that’s here to stay.  Popularity is so widespread in fact, that incorporating green features into your home will cost you less today than ever.  Plus added incentives like government tax credits, longer product life-spans and long-term reductions in energy use are converting more homeowners every day.

Greater Availability and Design Options

With increased availability also comes a wider range of design options.  In the past, green home features may have been thought of as “thrifty” or aesthetically unappealing, but today green home features can be luxurious, stylish, even cutting edge.  And in the Asheville area, all levels of green remodels are taking place.

Community Benefit

If you are still unsure of whether or not your home remodel should be a little greener, consider the community impact.  Using greener practices doesn’t just benefit your family, but also the builders, painters and all contractors who are hired to help make your dream home a reality.

Brock Builders has green home building and remodeling experience, plus the Certification to remodel older homes that may contain lead paint that became required by law earlier this year.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss the options for “greening” your home.

Tags: ,

Tips for a Successful Remodel

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 | Home Remodeling | 2 Comments
Raised Ceiling With Spray Foam Insulation Remodel

Raised Ceiling Remodel With Spray Foam Insulation

Working with an experienced and well-respected builder can help ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.  But before the work begins on your home remodel there are still a few points to clarify with your custom home builder to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Weekly Check-Ins

Establishing the expectation of holding weekly meetings will keep you up-to-date.  Your home builder has eyes on every aspect of your home remodel.  Spending just a few minutes together each week will keep you in the loop on all progress.

Nominate a Decision Maker

In cases where a critical decision must be made without notice, your builder needs to know which of you to approach, and how to reach you.  Typically, one member of the family has final say in matters of design or even price.  Knowing who that is, will save valuable time and help things to get done right the first time.

Photograph Everything Beforehand

Taking pictures of your entire home’s existing condition before a remodel can ensure that everyone is on the same page after completion.  While going back over things after the fact could uncover a crack or flaw that may or may not have been there previously, the pictures will give everyone a reference point.

Map Things Out

Messes are made when things have no place to go.  The same goes for a construction site.  Designate where delivery trucks should park, where tools can be stored and which areas are off-limits to workers.

Set Standards for Cleanliness

Reputable home builders like Brock will take careful measure to protect areas of the property you may not have considered, like the landscaping.  They will also have end-of-day clean-up procedures and take care in practicing dust-containment procedures.

Keep Children and Pets Safe

A construction site is not where you want to find your child or pet.  Make arrangements to keep entrances to construction zones off-limits for your little loved ones.

Tags: ,

Top Five Reasons for a Bathroom Remodel

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 | Home Remodeling | No Comments
Natural Stone Shower

Natural Stone Shower

If you’re considering renovating your home, you may want to include that master bath remodel you’ve been dreaming of for years.  Bathroom remodels don’t just deliver the calming, relaxing space you always wanted; they are also surefire ways to add equity to your home.

Smart Investment

Though the housing market is continuing to the mend, bathroom remodels still prove smart investments.  Many homeowners are even choosing to add or remodel bathrooms to their existing home in favor of selling.  After all, the average bathroom remodel can produce a 71% ROI.

Smaller is Better

Smaller homes with smarter use of space are becoming all the rage in home design, making the incorporation of extra bathrooms in your current home an easier feat, as there will be fewer square feet acquired by the new bathrooms.  Even renovating your master bath can be much less stressful if you are less concerned about square footage and more concerned about the use of natural materials and addition of smart storage.

Smaller is Sustainable

Smaller bathrooms require simpler sinks, tubs and fixtures so as not to overwhelm the space.  In terms of tubs, simpler tends to also mean smaller, which will save money and water.  There is also more emphasis on the use of eco-friendly toilets, showerheads and faucets.

Sharing is Caring

Another popular bathroom trend is isolating the toilet in a separate water closet.  This makes the bath and vanity space useful even when the toilet is occupied.

Earth Tones Add Warmth

With the incorporation of more eco-friendly materials throughout the home, earth toned stone flooring is becoming an increasingly popular choice in bathrooms.  Small, sterile bathrooms can feel cold and uninviting, but the use of warm hues and natural stone can make the space feel warm and spa-like, no matter the size.

Tags: ,

Get Tax Credits for Solar Hot Water Heaters

Tax Credits for Solar Hot Water Heaters

Tax Credits for Solar Hot Water Heaters

Long, hot baths don’t have to be a waste of energy.  Solar hot water systems can heat the water for your kitchen or bath without running up your electric or gas bill.

In fact, many homeowners are now replacing traditional hot water heaters with solar powered systems, proving to be a revolution in green building.  Solar water heaters use collection plates and highly insulated storage tanks to harness the power of the sun, thereby reducing carbon footprints and saving money on energy bills.

Systems are categorized as either active or passive.  Active systems circulate the water within the tank using pumps or coils.  While passive systems rely on gravity and the water’s natural temperature based circulation.  An experienced green builder can advise you as to which system fits with your solar water heating needs.  Some factors to be considered include your home site, local building codes, and the size of your family.

Whichever system you choose, the benefits can be astounding.  According to some statistics, solar water heating systems can reduce your monthly utility bill, essentially paying for itself in less than five years.  Your home builder can also help you to comply with federal tax credit regulations regarding a new solar hot water heating system to further help in covering the costs of the unit and installation.  Federal tax credits will pay for up to 30% of the cost of installation of an energy star solar water heating system, but only if the system is installed before the deadline of December 31, 2016.

It’s important to contact your green building specialist as soon as possible to discuss the solar heating options for your home to start saving money and energy.  Whether you’re building a new construction or updating the system in your existing homes, it’s a win-win situation for all homeowners.

Tags: , , ,

Smart Home Automation Systems

Custom home by Brock Builders

Custom home by Brock Builders

Do you like the idea of coming home to the lights properly illuminated, a favorite song playing and the air or heat turned to a desirable temperature? What about the ability to open the front door with a keypad lock or fingerprint and no longer needing to fumble for keys? Home automation, better known as smart homes, make this and much more, possible.

Smart homes have the ability to simplify our daily lives into one of freedom and convenience. When building a custom home or undergoing a home remodel, it is important to work with a qualified general contractor who understands home automation. While you may only have the need for a basic package, such as a lighting system, it is still recommended to use a general contractor to assist with the wiring and installation.

What exactly is smart home automation?

A smart home is not just a home of the future, but rather an integrated way to wire a home to a network that controls all of the functions at once. Whether you prefer to use a remote control or wireless access is dependent upon the amount of home automation you wish to have. The heart of the smart home system is the network, which feeds from one main source of wiring and eliminates the need for several components, such as DVD, CD player and lights that are individually controlled.

Home automation systems are available in easy-to-use kits that allow the homeowner the freedom to install timers and wireless gadgets with the ease of a remote. The remote often controls appliances such as lighting, HVAC, and stereos. True home automation, however, is a much more complex system yet features many benefits and simplifies day-to-day activities.

Energy savings are just one of the many benefits of having an automated home, as the homes are typically more efficient. Some home automation systems heat and cool based on the time of day, while others adjust the temperature when someone is physically in the home. The networks can also automatically tell appliances to reduce function levels or go to “sleep,” thus lowering electric bills.

For those only wanting to program the home’s lights and HVAC, smart home technology is not as expensive as one may think. But for those looking for a more complex automated home, there are several exciting advances in wireless home automation and home automation electronics. A few new examples include:

  • Programming your thermostat, oven and music from the Internet when not even in the home
  • Illuminating the home with light before pulling in the driveway, or out of town to simulate someone is home
  • A set of security cameras tied into the lighting system and doorbell
  • Having a video feed of your favorite television station and making it visible in every room of the home you enter…and more!

Whatever you envision in a home of the future, chances are likely that it can be done. As technology and imagination continue to grow, smart homes will hopefully one day work in complete harmony to improve our daily functions.