Archive for March, 2010

Wood Flooring Options for Custom Homes

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Custom Home Construction, Green Building | No Comments

Wood Flooring OptionsWood flooring is a long running favorite among home owners.  But with choices ranging in price, look and eco-friendliness, it helps to understand the basics.  The first step you should take is consulting your custom home builder who will already have a strong understanding of what fits your home and budget.

Cost

While lower priced wood flooring materials have gained popularity in these economic times, it’s important to understand not only what you’re paying up front, but how a material will handle the test of time.

Some homeowners may want a flooring choice that has a low up-front cost and are not concerned with how it will wear in 10 years, like a low grade number one or two oak.  However, most homeowners prefer to invest a little more up front for a product that’s going last, such as a Brazilian cherry.

Green Factor

Green wood flooring like bamboo is appealing, but for it to truly be eco-friendly, this renewable wood source must be local, not shipped across an ocean from Thailand.  If you want a green wood flooring option, talk to your certified green builder who can help you find out what’s available locally.

Use

In newer homes, the floor plans are typically more open, making wood throughout a great choice.  But wood flooring in kitchens and bathrooms will likely be damaged by water and wear over time, making cork and engineered wood products may be a better choice.

Again, this is where your home builder may be able to help, as he will have a greater understanding of a room’s use matched with an aesthetically appealing floor.

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: ,

Wood Frame Homes Win

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 | Custom Home Construction | No Comments
A Brock Builders Wood Frame

Brock Wood Frame Home

The surge of innovative new materials to the home building market may have you wondering whether a wood frame is the best choice for your new custom built home.  The experts agree, wood frames win.

Natural and engineered wood products provide unmatched structural strength and safety.  Even after its long reign at the top, wood is still considered the primary choice for residential and even commercial building structures.

Here are some of the top benefits to using a wood frame for your new home build:

Wood is Affordable

Wood is one of the most affordable and available choices for your home’s frame.  While lower-priced prefabricated wood products are growing in popularity, framing wood is available in a wide range of types and price points.

Wood is Available

Wood and wood based products are in great supply and easy to find.

Wood is Adjustable

Wood products can also be easily cut down to meet a job’s specifications, while other materials may be more difficult to alter.

Wood is Strong

Innovations in wood products and in the way that wood is used in framing a structure mean greater strength than ever.  Wood framed houses have even been shown to survive hurricane winds and earthquakes.

The facts are in; wood materials make great home frames, but be sure to consult an experienced home builder to help select the best products for your new home.

We at Brock Builders have the experience and expertise to help you select the best products for your home build.

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: ,

Green Landscaping Adds Great Value

Thursday, March 4th, 2010 | Green Building | No Comments
Native Rhododendron Calendulaceum

Native Rhododendron Calendulaceum

One of the easiest and too often overlooked ways to add green-value to your HealthyBuilt home build is through the incorporation of native and organic landscaping.  The use of native, drought-resistant plants is quickly becoming a best-practice for saving money and doing your part for saving the planet.

Better Plants

The shift from reliance upon chemicals for healthy, beautiful greenery towards the use of processes that more closely resemble what nature intended will actually help to harness the plants’ naturally defenses and result in stronger, healthier plants.

Better Value

The use of native species and good planning to incorporate the plants into the space you’re working with can help cut down on unnecessary time and financial expenditure for maintenance.

You may even wind up saving money in ways you never expected—proper placement of the right trees can actually help reduce cooling and heating costs!  So in short, well thought out landscaping means less work, less money and less waste winding up on its way to the landfill.

Better ROI

Another great reason to invest in a healthy, green landscape is the ROI you will see in the form of added value to the home.  Typically, the full cost of landscaping, if not more, can be recouped at resale.  As a rule of thumb in the real estate market, the right landscaping can easily translate into a 10% increase in property value.

Tags: ,