by CustomHomes on Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanksgiving is a time when we spend time with friends and family as we feast on delicious food. We all know what comes next, perhaps the most beloved holiday season in the western world: Christmas. Don’t be surprised if you already see homes decked out with Christmas decorations. After all, it’s hard to resist a holiday that brings so much cheer and goodwill.
There will be many exciting events throughout the year in the lovely city of Lancaster, but we are particularly excited about Holiday Homes on Parade hosted by The Building Industry Association of Lancaster County (BIA).
What is the BIA?
The Building Industry Association of Lancaster County was formed in 1956. Since then, they have worked towards a “balanced smart-growth approach to development in Lancaster County”. They work in a number of developmental areas, for example: economic development, environmental protection, education, and more. They have a strong code of ethics that adheres to honesty, fairness, safety, and professionalism and demand the same of their builders.
What is Holiday Homes on Parade?
Holiday Homes on Parade is a tour hosted by the BIA in which beautiful, recently constructed and remodeled homes are put on display.
These homes have been lovingly decorated for the holiday season. Also, they will feature the best of the best to get everyone in the Christmas mood. Not to mention glowing inspiration for others’ homes.
The event spans two days – December 1st and 2nd. It runs from 5 – 8pm on the 1st, and 2 – 8pm on the 2nd. Tickets are $15 and proceeds will be donated to the Salvation Army Coats for Kids program. Reserve your tickets for this exciting event today!
Reasons to Attend
Touring other homes is a great way to learn more about home design and to get ideas for your own custom home. Not only that, but it’s also a great place to meet other people who share the same passion and dedication to decor. They can share their own knowledge and experiences that can help you along the way–and you can share yours! What better place to make a new circle of friends than at an event dedicated to a shared hobby?
To top it all off, you can do this while helping a good cause. The Holiday Homes on Parade will help keep children in need warm throughout the winter season. Too often, these children go without the proper attire to keep them in good health, but the Salvation Army helps to remedy that.
Make sure to get your tickets to this year’s Holiday Homes on Parade!
by CustomHomes on Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Purchasing a piece of land for a new home can be incredibly exciting. At each lot, you may envision nights in the backyard hosting cookouts, campfires, and pool parties. You may also imagine a beautiful porch or patio for your family to enjoy. Or possibly a state-of-the-art kitchen to explore all of your culinary endeavors.
After you have taken in the possibilities of each piece of land, you will need to come to a decision. Here are a few aspects to look for, their benefits, and process recommendations.
Where to Start
Research lots online before visiting them or talking to a contractor. This will help you understand what you want, and what you will need before making major choices about potential custom homes.
Prepare a List
It’s a good idea to prepare a list of needs, and wants, for your future home. Once completed, you will want to talk to contractors to confirm what will be best for you. You could also consider a custom home builder that has pre-purchased and prepared land before. This will avoid a few steps on installing sewage, plumbing, and electricity. They may also take care of certain paperwork and obtain permits that need to be submitted – saving you plenty of stress and time in the long run.
While working with a home building company or a contractor, remember your loved ones! Their opinions on land can tip the balance for you. Plus, you will have different perspectives to consider that may help you make your final decision.
Visit Each Lot
If possible, visit each lot you’re interested in. Seeing them first-hand will be exceedingly beneficial to the decision-making process. Feeling the grass, looking at the soil, and imagining the home already built and ready are fundamental.
What to Look For
Sewage and Plumbing
If you decide to purchase land, make sure it can have sewage and plumbing constructed on the property. This is one of the most important aspects of each lot to ensure you, and your loved ones, will be comfortable in your new home. After you have learned about these from the realtor or your contractor you should take a look at drainage.
Ensuring the lot is well-drained is paramount before you begin building the home’s foundation. If a lot’s natural drainage is not suitable for home building, you will need to find a different lot or design and construct the land to your home’s needs. Otherwise the home will become susceptible to mold, cracking, sinking, and other foundational issues. These can be difficult, and costly, to fix. Once you have found land you love, contact a contractor so you can plan your home accurately and safely.
Municipalities across the region are being forced to increase regulations on stormwater management for new residential construction projects. When you find a lot you’re interested in, make sure you contact the local township or county municipality to get an idea what their requirements and ordinances call for in regards to stormwater management. If you’re partnered with a custom home builder at this point, they can help walk you through the regulations.
Test the Soil
Testing soil will also be an important step when building your custom home. If the soil on the lot could damage your home’s foundation, or create possible strife for the construction of the home, you may want to consider another lot. Then, you will be able to build your home with ease.
You should also test the soil if you plan to landscape the exterior or grow a garden. If there are harmful chemicals or materials in the ground, it’s critical to know beforehand; landscaping and gardening should never be dangerous. Testing the soil will save you stress and money in the long run.
The climate may also affect the foundation of a home. The climate can cause moisture and chemicals to eat away at materials, or even contribute to deterioration that can cost you dearly for years. Depending on the overall climate, you should work with a contractor to create a home that will thrive. Then, you won’t have to worry about your home remaining safe for you and your family.
Humidity can cause mold to grow and attach itself to your home. This may become an issue if it begins to deteriorate your foundation or construction. If you plan to live in a humid environment, be sure to hire a contractor that has plenty of experience with building in the area. Then your home will not crack or wear down over the years.
Finding land for your future custom home is a fun and educational experience. It does, however, require a lot of research on your part to make sure it’s the best place for you to build a home. Always visit the lot, and be sure your contractor knows exactly what you want and how to make it happen. Then, you can rest easy knowing your home is secure, stable, and safe.
by CustomHomes on Friday, August 25, 2017
Custom Home Group was ecstatic to win the Parade of Homes “Best in Show” award for our Single Family Home and Townhouse submissions.
What is the “Best in Show” Award?
The “Best in Show” award is for single family homes. It focuses on free-standing residential buildings; specifically those featuring beautiful architecture that seamlessly works with the environment and culture around it. Winning “Best in Show” demonstrates everything the clients, community, and builders believe is important in home construction.
Notable Features of Our Award-Winning Home
Our home in Millcreek does just that. This farmhouse-style home harkens to Lancaster’s farm roots that many hold dear in this community. With simple, but thoughtful, touches this spacious home could make any Lancaster native feel at home. It includes a claw-foot tub in the master suite, glazed cabinets, and an extra-large island in the kitchen.
Along with the Millcreek’s homage to all things Lancaster, we also made a point to design the home with an open concept. Doing so created plenty of space to sit and relax. With a gorgeous deck by the creek, and a sunroom leading to the rear deck, there are many places to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
The 4,000 square foot home also contains bedrooms on the first and second floors. This means that a family has plenty of room to grow. For example, grandparents could live on the first floor while parents and children stay on the second floor. This layout is perfect for families that are tight-knit or want to care for their loved ones.
Receiving the “Best in Show” award for our single family home was a humbling – and fantastic – experience. We were thrilled and superbly honored to have our work showcased in the Parade of Homes. We cannot wait to see what beautiful homes and opportunities the spring 2017 Parade of Homes will bring!
by CustomHomes on Friday, August 18, 2017
Buying a home can be an intimidating endeavor involving plenty of research, considerations, and expenses. Home build loan pre-approval bypasses many of these headaches and puts you on the path to your dream home!
Here are a few reasons to consider being pre-approved for a home build loan:
Shows the Builder You’re Serious
Many builders find themselves compromising by juggling clients’ desires and budget. However familiar, the task is still difficult. Having pre-approval for a loan will provide guidelines for the builder. For example, a fixed budget, a financial plan, and a potentially flexible construction timeline. These steps will save you and the contractor time, and frustration, in the weeks to come. It will also make room for possible hiccups down the road.
If you would like the process to be positive, you should apply to be pre-approved for a home. You’ll be glad you did.
Increases Chances You Will Get First Pick on Competitive Plots
When you are pre-approved for a home-build loan, you may have more opportunities for land. For instance, finding or bidding on competitive plots for your new house. Then, you won’t be at the mercy of the market! You’ll have to go through fewer steps, and you’ll have a much lower risk for disappointment.
Having more control over your plot opens an array of possibilities. You can avoid plots near highways, for example. Being pre-approved may help you get the plot you need to have the life you want to have. Be sure to visit every plot offered to you, if possible, and consider the pros and cons of each. Your decision will be more well-informed by having this chance.
Gives You a Firmer Idea of Budget
By being pre-approved, you will have a financial target to aim for. Knowing what amount of money you will need to spend allows you to allocate funds as necessary. Once you are pre-approved, you can work with your builder to create reasonable expectations for the next steps.
Moves Through the Process Faster
Since you have been pre-approved, the building process may move more quickly. Especially as opposed to if you were paying out of pocket, or with any other payment plan.
You should still keep track of all your purchases and payments, and have a general plan for repaying the loan after the home is built. Then you will not have any surprises, hidden fees, or issues that cannot be fixed quickly and effectively.
Going through the process of an official pre-approval for a home loan for new construction may feel like an unnecessary step at first. However, with benefits like these, you’ll be glad you took the time to plan ahead.
If you’re interested in a custom home, contact Custom Home Group today. We’ll be glad to help you along the journey to your dream home!
by Kuhrich on Tuesday, June 14, 2016
This past weekend our parade home entry on 6 Alans Green in Mill Creek in Lancaster became our second straight first place winner in the Lancaster Parade of Homes competition! Thanks to all of you who came out to support us and for the wonderful custom home owners we have served and continue to serve.
We submitted the Mill Creek home in the Single Family Category, which is one of the most desirable awards on the PA Parade of Homes. The Building Industry Association stated that we won the Single Family Home Category for creating spacious and beautiful living space. They further stated that because of our eye for detail and craftsmanship the home is able to house a single family comfortably in style and beauty. Humbling compliments, for sure, and a lot of credit has to go to our contractors who take so much pride and care in their work.
The home itself has many amenities worth mentioning.
- There are four bedrooms with three and a half baths and first-floor master suite
- 580-sq. ft. finished basement area, finished three-car garage, sunroom and rear deck
- Nine foot first-floor ceilings, Ten foot basement walls, two-story foyer and Great Room
- Upgraded trim package with coffered ceilings, tray ceilings and cathedral ceilings
- Gas fireplace in Great Room, built-in bench in mudroom, and walk-in pantry
- Master bath with clawfoot tub, large walk-in tile shower and separate vanities with quartz countertops
- Painted and glazed kitchen cabinets, painted accent at island, granite countertops and tile backsplash
- Hand-scraped hardwood floors
- Interior design services and furnishings by InteriorsHome
When Custom Home Group was founded and began building in 2002 we held onto founder Daniel Siegrist’s belief that well-made materials and thorough planning were paramount when building a home. While we have definitely changed the list of supplies from Siegrist’s day, we continue to use only the best raw materials and hire experienced and educated contractors. This belief is what created the award winning home on Alans Green as well as hundreds of others. If you’re interested in building your new home with Custom Home Group go to their site for a contact request or simply give them a call. From there you can sit down, discuss plans, and be on your way to the perfect home for you and your family.
by Kuhrich on Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Crime can happen even in the safest neighborhoods. If your neighborhood already does not have one, you should think about starting a neighborhood watch program. A neighborhood watch program is an organized group of neighbors who are dedicated to preventing crime in the neighborhood. Here are some of the benefits of a neighborhood watch program.
It Will Make the Neighborhood Safer
One of the main benefits of a neighborhood watch program is that it will make the neighborhood a lot safer. If there are always neighborhood watchmen watching over the neighborhood, there will be less home burglaries and other criminal activity. Members will pay closer attention to their neigborhood and watch over their neighbors’ homes when they are away.
It Will Raise Awareness
Another benefit of a neighborhood watch program is that it will help raise awareness in the neighborhood. Neighborhood watch programs have close relationships with local law enforcement, so they have accurate information about crime in the area. They can educate local citizens about crime trends in the area so that they can be more careful when they are outside and in their custom homes.
It Will Create Cohesiveness Between Community Members
The great thing about a neighborhood watch program is that it will create cohesiveness between community members. They will start to appreciate their community more and feel a great responsibility for their neighbors. When they attend neighborhood watch meetings, they will get to know their neighbors better and possibly become great friends.
As you can see, it is very beneficial to have a neighborhood watch in your area. The good news is that a neighborhood watch program is not difficult to start. The person who wants to start the group should get interested members together and contact their local law enforcement agency to register them. At least once police officer should attend the first couple of meetings to explain how a neighborhood watch program works and provide guidance. The members should ask the police officers a lot of questions during the meetings so that they can operate the neighborhood watch program effectively.
by Kuhrich on Thursday, November 19, 2015
The Shingle-Style Home
Art is often a matter of revisiting and going back to previous movements and innovations and renewing them – to “make it new,” so to speak. This is true whether we’re talking about the postmodernists of today going back to the modernists of the turn of the century and the pre-war years, or the romantics looking back on and reacting both to the Enlightenment works of the era immediately preceding them and the ancients long before them. This is true in every form of artistic expression, even the more “practical” ones, such as architecture. The fruits of this reflection and meditation can be seen all around you in the various styles of housing that you encounter, and likely in many of the designs you are considering for your own home. One such style that is very uniquely American in its origins is the “Shingle-style” home.
The Shingle-style of architecture rose to prominence in the United States when the so-called New England school of architecture became ascendant among home-builders in the latter part of the 19th century. Turning away from Eastlake-style, Queen Anne architecture owing to its ornamental and overwrought style, architects combined a quintessentially English aesthetic with a revived interest in the architecture of the American Colonies that arose following the 1876 Centennial. The style was characterized by its very plain, un-ornamented shingled surfaces, as taken from colonial buildings.
Shingle-style homes also focused on their horizontal space, spreading out and becoming one long, continuous “mass,” so to speak – building outward rather than upward, more often than not. The style became incredibly popular in its time, and continues to be quite popular today.. You can visit several neighborhoods around the nation to see how the style was approached in its heyday, such as in Bay Head, New Jersey and in the Montauk Association Historic District in Long Island.
What About Your House?
Were you to build a Shingle-style house today, it would likely work towards sharing as many similarities as is reasonable with colonial houses, including their plain, shingled surfaces. More modern flourishes, such as simple gables, low designs, and complex massing are all very likely as well in a Shingle-style house. If you wish to attain that “colonial-style” mystique, you might create a weathered appearance for your home – as opposed to that “new home look” – by having the cedar shakes treated, tried, and then installed to seem somewhat faded to gray.
Of course, it is not uncommon to incorporate other aesthetic preferences into such a home – don’t feel restricted by one school of architecture! This is your home, and you’ll be living in it for some time to come: so be certain that it is truly yours and what you want!
by CustomHomes on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
What would you say to a HVAC system that doesn’t take up space in your home, will keep your home comfortable all year round, uses very little electricity and has been around for over sixty years? Most people wouldn’t be able to name such a system. Even fewer would think something like this exists. Yet many custom home owners are enjoying this unique feature called geothermal HVAC.
What Is Geothermal HVAC?
Geothermal HVAC uses the steady ground temperature to heat your home during the winter, cool your home during the summer, and provide hot water for daily uses. While outdoor weather temperatures fluctuate constantly, underground temperatures will stay a normal temperature from 45-degrees Fahrenheit to 75-degrees Fahrenheit depending on your latitude.
Geothermal HVAC systems consist of a heat pump and a loop system (closed-loop or open loop). The heat pump and adjoining ductwork become placed inside your home while the loop system is filled with water or an antifreeze solution and buried underground. Some geothermal systems can also be placed in water such as a pond or lake, or where there is a natural aquifer.
How Does The Geothermal HVAC System Work?
When you want to cool your home during the summer, the geothermal HVAC system draws the heat out of the rooms. It will disperse the heat into the ground or use the hot air to heat the water in your hot water tank (based on the system you have).
When you want to heat your home during the winter, the underground loops absorb heat from the ground into the water or antifreeze mixture. Then the indoor heat pump compresses the heat to an even higher temperature to disperse it through ductwork in your home.
Custom Homes Taking Advantage Of Geothermal HVAC Systems
When installed correctly by a qualified contractor and HVAC installer, these geothermal heating and cooling systems can last a lifetime. The HVAC system uses very little electricity to operate the heat pump, runs quietly, requires little maintenance and emits no greenhouse gases.
For people interested in building a new home and have the sufficient amount of land, getting a geothermal HVAC system should be considered. You will be making a cost-effective choice while enjoy a more controlled air temperature inside your home no matter what the temperature is outside.
Sources: http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/17/10-myths-about-geothermal-heating-and-cooling/, http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/geothermal-heat-pumps, http://www.climatemaster.com/residential/how-geothermal-works/, http://www.hvac-for-beginners.com/geothermal.html
by Kuhrich on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Not every drop of water that falls from the sky ends up seeping into the ground and re-hydrating plants and the soil. Sometimes it runs off the ground, creating a threat to water quality and the environment. You see, rain doesn’t always do well with manmade ecosystems like the suburbs and urban spaces covered in concrete and brick. Consequently, rather than being absorbed into the ground, the water simply pools, finding the path of least resistance. This can create a rush of water not unlike a flood or a small creek suddenly forming, and this is a fairly dangerous situation. Additionally, water that pools in this manner can form a dangerous pool of standing water, which breeds disease and other unpleasantries, while also being incredibly unsightly and holding chemicals and other substances that the water picked up on the way, as it does!
How to Handle Storm Water
When you identify a lot to build your home on, storm water runoff is something that you’ll have to consider. How are you going to deal with it? The truth is, handling and preventing excessive storm water runoff is rather simple and straight-forward; there are several time-tested techniques for dealing with the matter.
First, you should make sure that you have as little in the way of impervious surfaces on your property as possible. This means that you should provide plenty of opportunities for rain to be absorbed by the ground wherever it falls. The more concrete you’re working with, the less likely this is to happen, so be sparing with your placement of stone and concrete! What impervious terrain you do have should be lined with gravel trenches, and you should provide plenty of water drains off your roof and away from impervious terrain.
Ensure that soil isn’t exposed, feed that soil with organic matter, and replace your lawn areas with native plants, and you’ll see a definite change in how storm water drains off your property! In fact, you probably won’t see much of that storm water at all in the future!
by Kuhrich on Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Most bathrooms are purely utilitarian in nature and design. They have a few simple but essential functions to perform in your home, and beyond that, your bathroom probably sees little in the way of love or attention. Clean it, keep it tidy, and keep it aerated, and you should be fine, right? Except that your bathroom is as much a part of your home as any other room, and it is also a part of your home that many of your guests will see. Not only that, but by keeping your bathroom as bare and unexciting as possible, you’re actually missing out on a great bathroom experience, not to mention some awesome bathroom design opportunities!
Rub a Dub Dub
Let’s start with one of the most important parts of your bathroom: the shower/tub area. You need to wash up regularly, but doing so in a small, cramped area can be uncomfortable and just plain old not fun. You can really liven up your showers by expanding the area that they take up, creating a walk-in shower that you can enter like you would a waterfall in a cave. Using tile across the area, you can reduce the amount of clean-up to nil while creating a very classical look for your bathroom.
Those tiles can do more than just serve as a great surface for your walk-in shower. They can also be made into mosaics, much as the ancient Romans would have done with their baths as well. The mosaics can depict just about anything you’d like, from abstract patterns and shapes to beautiful images and scenes; the limit is your imagination and the skill of the tile-layer that you are working with!
So Much to Do
Another great improvement for a beautiful shower is to add glass shower walls. These transparent or translucent (at your discretion, of course) walls allow light to more easily fill the room, including the showering area of the room, making everything seem brighter, more airy, and more pleasant. Consequently, your bathroom will feel larger owing to this “optical illusion,” or at the very least, it won’t feel closed off and claustrophobic as most bathrooms do.
Moving from the shower area, you can also spruce up your sinks and storage by using a continuous vanity in the bathroom. Split sinks for you and your spouse, and install a drawer base and wall cabinet between the sinks for the storage of toiletries and all manner of bathroom-appropriate accessories. This is far better than a few drawers crammed full of doodads and knick-knacks, you have to agree! Indeed, there’s so much you can do with your bathroom, the possibilities are endless!
by Kuhrich on Tuesday, May 6, 2014
(Note: The 2014 Parade of homes is June 14 – 22, with more info coming in late May. Check out our Parade homes here.)
As cities grow and expand and increasingly become more important to how we do business, more and more of our jobs and businesses will be located in major metropolises like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. This presents a dilemma, however, for even as more and more of us work in the city, that doesn’t mean we all want to live in the city. In fact, city-living can lock you out of certain lifestyle choices that you may otherwise have always dreamed of choosing.
What You Can Expect
For example, what about a lawn? A big dog or other pets? A large garden in which to grow flowers along with fruits and vegetables, and of course you’d want a compost heap to go with it – what about that? There are so many things that you really can’t do in the limited space the city affords, which is why more and more professionals are living in communities like Lancaster and simply commuting – and increasingly, telecommuting! – to their place of business every day. The trip isn’t as far as you’d think, and it’s made worth it when you get to return to your own private castle in Lancaster.
As a result of all of these professionals living in Lancaster, we’ve been treated to a number of very beautiful and originally-designed houses across the county. These homes do more than offer a beautiful structure that adds to the landscape; they also inspire us in the designs of our own homes, providing new blood and fresh ideas for the architectural landscape of Lancaster County.
How the Parade Helps Lancaster
That’s why the Lancaster Parade of Homes is such a huge event that draws so many participants every year. The event provides an opportunity not just for homeowners to show off the work and love they have put into their homes, but they are also an opportunity for other county residents – and residents-to-be – to see some of the home designs that can now be seen in Lancaster county. These in turn inspire us to build our homes with some of the features and designs we see in the Parade of Homes, spreading good building and design principles across the region!
The Parade of Homes offers a number of features and amenities in homes, including a range of architectural and trim styles, including craftsman, cottage, arts and crafts, shaker, colonial, and other stylish, modern, traditional, and high-quality styles. In addition, spacious gourmet kitchens, unique fireplaces, wrap-around porches, home automation, patios and balconies, and more. Regardless of what your taste is as far as luxury homes are considered, you will find what you are looking for.
by Kuhrich on Thursday, April 3, 2014
Radon is a very real issue for homeowners to keep in mind both when first purchasing a home and maintaining one over the years. There are a few different issues that can affect the overall radon levels in your home and weather and weathering is one. There are two distinct types of weather that can affect the levels of radon in your home and the first has to do directly with the heating and cooling systems in your home.
The first type of weather that affects radon levels is of course cold weather. The colder it is the more likely you are to turn on the heater and therefore turn on your furnace. Now when a home has radon gas, using your furnace can encourage something called the stacking effect. This means that when the home heats, the hot air is pushed up and out and the cold air in the foundation is drawn up. When the air is drawn up from the foundations, it is far more likely that radon gasses will be pulled up from the foundation space along with the cold air. This means that when it gets cold, your radon levels in your home are far more likely to be higher and should be monitored closely.
Wind/ Rain/ AM and PM
The next few issues are things that you cannot your self control making them even more important to pay attention to. Wind can also cause the stack effect causing radon levels to rise. Wind can increase the outward pressure on the house making radon gasses rise and become dangerous. Another issue to contend with is rain. This can also cause the stack effect and can cause radon gasses to rise up from the saturated soil causing them to be drawn into the home. The last thing to consider is of course time of day. During the day, radon levels are likely to be lower than late at night. With any of these issues, if you feel that your home has radon gasses that can be potentially dangerous, it is important to watch closely and monitor levels to keep you and your family safe. Take the time to have your home routinely checked for radon levels.
by Kuhrich on Thursday, March 13, 2014
Building your custom home and contemplating creating a panic room? Here are three tips for creating the perfect one for you:
1) First, make sure you have proper construction, from the right latches to the correct hinges to the perfect framing, your panic room must be safe, in order to keep you and your family safe.
While there is no actual ‘code’ for creating a panic room, FEMA has developed some guidelines. For example, they advise that builders use a three locking-pin or deadbolt latch, mounted with wood deck screws. Another option that they list is the slide bolt latch. Any of these is quite safe and secure.
Additionally, FEMA says the hinges should be heavy duty, suggesting that builders use 4-inch 5-knuckle hinges. These should be secured with full head screws and offset from the deadbolts.
Finally, FEMA advise that you use 2X4 framing and sheath your walls with 3/4 inch plywood, in two layers, over 14-gauge steel sheathing.
Following these tips will keep your panic room strong and secure.
2) The second tip is to go high tech. Today manufacturers are creating infrared technology for panic rooms that allow owners to read heat signatures from anything and everything within radius, no matter the time of day or night.
In fact, these new devices can pick someone out from their hiding place, from as far away as nine miles! Many of today’s panic rooms use a fingerprint scan to allow family members in, but the technology has actually moved far past that. Today, you can install scanners that use facial and voice recognition. In the event that something does happen, this could save your family valuable time.
Installing these high tech options could really keep your family safe in the long run.
3) And finally, really think about what you will need and want inside your panic room, in the event that you ever need use it. Lighting? There will be no windows, so ensure that you have adequate light and are not sitting in the dark. Make sure this emergency light source is on a separate circuit, too.
Air, water and food are key, too. Prepare the panic room as if it were a shelter, storing non-perishables, bottles of water and an air filtration system.
Following these tips when you create your panic room in your custom home will go a long way towards keeping your family safe in the event of a crisis.
by Kuhrich on Thursday, March 6, 2014
A custom home is the best way to get every feature your heart desires in a new house; however, design flaws create some huge headaches after the home is complete. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a degree in architecture or interior design to avoid the following three disastrous design mistakes.
1. Inconvenient room placement
A master suite that sits right next to the living room may not offer suitable privacy. A kitchen that’s too far from the garage will feel like a hassle every time someone has to haul groceries from the car. Don’t allow your design sense to trample over common sense.
These placement recommendations have stood the test of time and abiding by them will never result in a bad floor plan. Don’t buy into the myth that traditional room placement is boring. You’ll be glad your kitchen is next to the garage when you lug in that heavy gallon of milk each week.
2. Crazy or futuristic homes
Don’t try to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright with your futuristic space pod of a home. You might adore the idea of a home constructed entirely of concrete, but selling the home in the future might be difficult. Plenty of fun, modern styles exist which appeal to buyers.
You might plan to live in your home forever, but you may decide to move someday. Also, consider that your new home might be just the beginning of your involvement in real estate. Your first custom home might be a jumping-off point for future designs.
3. Too many or too few rooms
Budget and location often dictate square footage. A spacious house might feel vacuous and empty if the design is too open. Conversely, a small home will feel cramped with too many walls and rooms crammed into the design.
Create a list of the rooms that are most necessary for your family’s needs like bedrooms and bathrooms. Add extra rooms or walls only if necessary. If you’ve got 1,000 square feet with which to work, don’t try to stuff five bedrooms and six baths into your new home.
Designing a home is exciting, but it’s easy to get carried away with delusions of grandeur. Focus on comfort and livability over strange and unusual and you’ll love your future home.
by Kuhrich on Thursday, November 21, 2013
There are 5 top rated school districts in Lancaster County, PA that are on my list, Agora Cyber Cs School District, Conestoga Valley School District, Manheim Township School District, La Academia-The Partnership Charter School District and Lancaster School District. Such ranking is based on school district’s Academic programs and positive influences on student’s for future education.
Top 5 Rated School Districts in Lancaster County, PA based on high school
- Agora Cyber Cs School District – 1 School – Grades k-12 – award winning curriculum, advanced learning program, block scheduling, extracurricular activities.
- Conestoga Valley School District – 4 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school – awarded silver-medal status from U.S. News & World Report, advanced placement course work, above state average in math and reading scores.
- Manheim Township School District – 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 1 high school – Awarded silver-medal status from U.S. News & World Report, High math and reading advanced student percentage and high AP test passing percentage.
- La Academia-The Partnership Charter School District (92% Hispanic) – 1 school, grades 6-12 – Individual education programs, college prep programs and advanced placement courses
- Lancaster School District – 13 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 alternative schools and 1 high school – 4 out of 5 stars (Greatestschools.org), sufficient extracurricular activities and advanced placement courses
These 5 schools have been reviewed by both the students who have attended or are attending these schools, and the parents. Ratings have been good and reviews emphasizes, good curriculum and education programs that meets or exceeds acceptable nationwide testing standards. In addition, reviews emphasize, positive educational influences on kids to pursue college.
If you are planning to build a custom home in Lancaster County, PA, below you will find addresses of each Top 5 Rated School Districts in Lancaster County, PA.
Addresses of Top 5 Rated School Districts in Lancaster County, PA
Agora Cyber Cs School District (High School) – 995 Old Eagle Sch Rd Ste 315. Wayne, PA 19087
Conestoga Valley School District (High School) – 2110 Horseshoe Rd Lancaster, PA 17601
Manheim Township School District (High School) – 115 Blue Streak Blvd Lancaster, PA 17601
La Academia-The Partnership Charter School District – 30 N Ann St Lancaster, PA 17602
Lancaster School District (McCaskey Campus) – 445 N Reservoir St, Lancaster, PA 17602
Education is an important factor in determining where you want to build a home for you and your family.
by Kuhrich on Thursday, October 31, 2013
Between business dinners, soccer practice, homework, school projects and long work hours, modern families are cramming their schedules full of every activity imaginable. With families living such full lives, meal times have transformed from sit-down events into dine-and-dash moments. When families do make sitting down for a meal together a priority, they typically gather around a kitchen table rather than in the traditional dining room. At best, most dining rooms only see any action on the large holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
There is no reason to let a traditional dining room gather cobwebs. Dining rooms are usually large, open spaces that occupy prime real estate within the home. This makes them perfect candidates for transformation into whatever functional space you need. With a little creativity, your dining room can keep pace with the changing needs of your family.
Large spaces for little people
It’s no secret that children need a lot of things. Large toys such as play kitchens, train tables and block collections will quickly overwhelm a child’s bedroom. With ample floor space, a dining room easily converts into a play space. Dining rooms are also generally located near the kitchen and living room, with makes supervision a breeze. To make the switch, try covering the floor with easily washable rugs, or even squares of artificial grass for an outdoor feel. Replace the formal table with a low table for art projects. Low shelves with fabric bins will help to keep clutter at bay. Also, don’t over pack the space. Open floor space is idea for building with blocks, racing toy cars and twirling around in a princess dress.
As toys give way to textbooks, the dining room offers another opportunity for transformation. Older children need a space to learn, study and complete homework. Adding a few small desks, or small table, to the area provides a space for learning that is distraction-free. Setting up a computer station in a transformed dining area allows for easy supervision of Internet activities. Also, consider adding a few floor pillows to the space to provide a comfortable spot for reading.
For teens, life revolves around their friends. Once again, the dining room provides the perfect space to transform into a teen hangout. Toss in a comfy couch and television set and teens will be able to play video games, watch movies or gossip with girlfriends without monopolizing the living room. You can also put in a small fridge for snacks and drinks.
No matter what stage your family is in, a dining room easily transforms into the space you need. Perhaps the memories you make in the dining room won’t be of carving a turkey or lingering over meals. Instead, they might be of learning, laughing and learning. Whatever you use it for, the dining room still has a place in the modern home.
by CustomHomes on Tuesday, October 22, 2013
When it comes to the bathroom, functionality and aesthetics are the two factors that every homeowner strives for. Besides the kitchen and the bedroom, the bathroom is one of the most trafficked rooms in the home. While the main purpose of such a space is to aid in hygienic applications, the room is often also used as an area of solace and retreat. It really doesn’t matter the size of the room; as long as the space reflects you style and suits your family’s needs while also being beautiful to look at, it can become your dream bathroom.
Tips for Designing Your Dream Bathroom:
- Choose your Colors Wisely: Colors are so emotive; tones have the ability to change your mood while also altering the ambiance of the space. When designing your bathroom choose the colors that will create the atmosphere that you are seeking. Earthy tones promote feelings of warmth and comfort, while pastel colors invite softness and calm and more vibrant colors exude strength and confidence.
- Minimize Clutter: Clutter is a no-no in a dream bathroom, you shouldn’t be tripping over toys or housing your lotions and potions on the sink. Minimize clutter by only keeping the things that you are using presently in the bathroom. Store all of the extra towels and supplies in hideaway closets or in another room, and keep all toiletries in drawers and cabinets.
- Create Unison: Choose towels, rugs, accent pieces and a shower drapery that complements the color on your walls. This will create uniformity and appeal.
- Light it Up: No one likes a dull looking bathroom, options such as track lighting or beautiful wall scones work wonders in the bathroom, also, take advantage of outside light if you can.
- Place Mirrors Strategically: If your bathroom is on the small side, you can create the illusion of bigness by strategically placing a small collection of mirrors on the wall.
To create your dream bathroom, you will have to determine the floor plan of the space and work with it. Whether it’s a matter of home improvement or you’re designing from scratch for a new home, with careful planning, a clear vision and an eye for design, any bathroom can be transformed into a functional oasis.
by CustomHomes on Monday, October 7, 2013
It has become common for interior designers and homeowners to use color psychology to assist in determining the color scheme in a home. Color psychology has been used for years as a form of therapy in treating patients with depression and mood instability. It has been proven that colors have a direct impact on the balance and stimulation of emotions.
The times in which home décor and color were considered a simple matter of aesthetics are a thing of the past. Careful consideration is given to what colors are used in specific rooms. Depending on the mood that you are attempting to set in a particular room as well as how much time will be spent in that room will determine the color scheme you want to use in that room.
This article will briefly focus on the impact and uses of earth tone colors in the home.
Colors are a universal language that is nonverbal, but extremely powerful.
Earth tone colors are usually considered to be friendly, contemporary and inviting. They are a mixture or tonalities of more bold and brassier colors such as orange, red, green, yellow, purple, and blue. Earth tones are also considered to be more appeasing and functional.
Earth tones are warm, reassuring and settling.
Earth tones are most commonly used in common areas that are frequented a lot, such as living rooms and family rooms. It provides a warming and inviting mood that does not place individuals on an extremely high keel, and it does not make the room somber.
The right mixture of earth tones has the power to create a utopian environment. Colors such as orange and yellows, as well as different shades of brown have the best impact on a room.
Earth tones vary a great deal, and finding the right combination for your home may require a bit of experimentation, but you will definitely want to include earth tones in some of the areas in your home. The key is not to become too rigid in making your selection; allow the color to move you and set your mood, then make a decision from there.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Keeping your bathroom clean is something that you must do. There are several ways that you can keep your bathroom clean without spending countless hours on your hands and knees scrubbing and applying elbow grease. Many people choose to clean their bathroom various ways to create a custom home look.
Bathroom surfaces can cause several different problems. For bathroom surfaces, you can use several different cleaning methods to get your bathroom sparkling clean. As far as the bathroom surfaces are concerned, using liquid cleansers, such as Clorox and Fabuloso will get the job done in a matter of seconds. If you would like, PineSol will work just as well. When you are cleaning the sink, tub and toilet, use a damp rag and use the cleaning liquid of your choice. Pour a generous amount of cleaning liquid on the rag and gently scrub and wipe away any stains and residue.
When people think of custom homes, they think about several different things but flooring is one factor that stands out in the minds of many. The way a bathroom floor appears is more essential than many people realize. Depending on the type of flooring you have, you will be able to soak the floor without damaging the material. For most bathroom floors, 1/3 cup of vinegar and water will leave your bathroom tiles looking brand new.
Contrary to popular belief, soap and water is great for cleaning just about everything, except mirrors. Using soap on mirrors will leave a film or residue that makes the glass appear foggy. To clean your bathroom mirror successfully, you can create your own cleaning solution. All you need is 1/3 cup of clear ammonia and warm water. Mix the ammonia and warm water to clean the bathroom mirrors.
Cleaning your bathroom windows is usually one of the easiest cleaning tasks that you can perform. All you need is regular window cleaning solution. Use a paper towel to clean the window section by section. Make sure that you use even motions in direction to clean the window.
Shower Curtains and Bath Mats
Whether you decide to spot clean or deep clean your bathroom, the most common forgotten factors are the shower curtains and the bath mats. You can use your older shower curtain as a liner. Cleaning shower curtains and bath mats are simple and easy because they are washing machine safe.
by CustomHomes on Wednesday, August 21, 2013
One of the requested additions to a custom home is often a screened-in porch. Most customers know they want a bug-free place to sit in the summer, but they may not realize you can give them more than a box with screens on the sides.
Here are five improvements you can make for a better screened-in porch:
- Overhead fans make a huge difference when there are no breezes around. They also help keep any bugs that got past the screens off the occupants.
- More than one outlet gives more than one option for any electronic use, from accent lighting to computer or tv to crockpot and more. It can also power tip #3.
- A water feature adds coolness, the soothing sound of trickling water, and perhaps fish or plants. Some folks even try aquaponics on their porch if it is big enough.
- Easy access to the kitchen and room for a table with seating makes dining al fresco a regular luxury. Very few homeowners wish their screened-in porch was smaller, but lots of homeowners would like it to be larger once they see how cramped it feels with the picnic table plus the people and the food.
- Optional window panels can be planned for and turn a screened-in porch into a three-season activity space. With a southern exposure, it even becomes a place to sit in the pale winter sunshine.
Help your customer see what their porch will be like:
When you are discussing plans for a screened-in porch with your clients, ask them how they anticipate using that space, what furnishings they expect to fit into it, and how they may wish to improve it later. It can be helpful to have the floor plan of the porch on graph paper with templates of porch swings, table options, porch rockers, and various seating choices as well as plant stands, clotheslines, or any other furnishing they are thinking of. The reality of the templates helps plan the size of the porch, even if they have to wait for features.
Make it easier to do your next job:
Wiring can be run for the ceiling fan to be installed next year, or the screens built to hold future window panels. The custom home builder who helps the homeowner envision their future renovation and plan for it often is the one that homeowner calls when they are ready to have more work done.
by CustomHomes on Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Whether you have a custom home or have moved into a older home, you may not have thought about how to use your garage space on a more practical basis. If looking for additional storage or a way to organize the mess, consider the following to help you on the way to creating a more usable garage:
Start with cleaning out the mess
A disorganized garage can make things difficult to find or use, so:
- Go through everything. If you haven’t used an item in a year or more, consider giving it to a donation center or having a yard sale.
- For the keep items, start putting like items together. ie. all tools, sports equipment, car cleaning supplies, yard equipment, etc.
Consider what space you can use
Besides the space your car would need to fit into the garage, figure out what space you can use to work and organize.
Consider the best ways to organize
Now that you have everything together and know how much space you have to work with, what kind of organizational things can you use to make your garage practical? The following are some ideas to help:
- Basic shelves can be purchased to line your garage and organize most large items.
- Metal bins, peg board or other wall organizers can be attached to the walls and used to organize your tools and/or yard equipment.
- Need a work space, but don’t have room when the car is in the garage? Consider a table hinged at the wall so it can fold away when you need to pull the car inside.
- Make use of the overhead space by installing overhead storage. This can hold large items like animal crates or luggage.
- Wheeled baskets also are great for organizing things you use often, like sports equipment.
So, maybe it’s time to get that garage in shape!
by CustomHomes on Monday, August 12, 2013
When it comes to designing the perfect “man cave” it really doesn’t take much. Having a room with a pool table and a big screen TV (52″ or larger) will work. A wet bar won’t hurt. And a wife who doesn’t mind serving more than drinks isn’t bad either. So what does it take to make the perfect man-cave? A place where the boys can get together to watch the big game or the huge race and you’re good to go.
Granted, having an extra room in the basement to build this man-cave doesn’t hurt. And having a wife who wants to serve helps too. Whether you’re looking for the perfect game room, the best place to watch a football game or a race or the room to have friends over to visit, your man-cave needs to be comfortable and ready to provide. What does it need to provided? Everything. Drinks, Munchies. A place to sit, Sexuality; Everything.
OK so maybe your wife isn’t ready to be the ultimate cheerleader. But that doesn’t mean your man-cave isn’t ready to be the local Hooters for your next party, Having a great TV and an excellent bar means you’re ready to give a great party and that your man-cave, decorated with all the great football stuff and even with Dale Earnhardt’s race stuff is ready to be the best place to relax and watch a sporting event may not be the ultimate place to be, but it may be the ultimate place to have fun;
TV, bar, couches, EZ chairs. ESPN. Peace. Quiet. Bunnies. What more could you ask for? When it comes to the ultimate game room, not much. Even Pam Anderson or Meredith Viera couldn’t make things more perfect. When making a great game room, don’t look at second best.
by CustomHomes on Wednesday, August 7, 2013
In the height of the summer, having a home swimming pool sounds like the ideal situation. However, in the winter when you are out in the cold, cleaning the pool or continuing to pay for its’ upkeep, you might change your mind. With cost, safety, recreation and the resale value of the home to consider, there are many pros and cons of having a home swimming pool.
First and foremost, having a pool is fun. It can be used for recreation and exercise for kids and adults alike. A backyard pool makes your outdoor living space a retreat, a spa and a getaway. It is the perfect setting for a summer BBQ or a teenager’s birthday party.
Pools also add to the resale value of a home. When designing a custom home or recreating your home to match your dream plans, consider adding a pool to increase your property’s value. Homes with pools are more likely to sell than similar properties without pools.
Even though having a pool can be a total blast, it can also be a lot of work. Owning a pool requires responsibility and care. You will either have to spend some time on your own maintaining chemical levels and cleaning your pool weekly or you will add the expense of having a pool professional come weekly to clean and check on your pool. Regardless, this will cost you some time and money.
Another con about owning a pool is the safety factor, especially if you have young children. If you have little ones, you may have to go to the added expense of installing a gate to keep the kids out when you are not supervising. Additionally, you are liable for any person that may get injured while they are in your swimming pool regardless of why the accident happened.
Whether you decide to install a pool in your custom home or you are thinking of getting rid of your existing pool, there are many benefits and many downsides of owning a home swimming pool. You will just have to decide if you would rather spend the summer splashing in the water with friends and family, or relaxing without safety concerns in a grassy backyard.
by Kuhrich on Monday, July 29, 2013
As a do-it-yourself builder I understand the need for individuality and creativity when choosing to build a home of your own. With so many architectural companies to select and personal architects to plan with getting right down to it may seem daunting. The first thing to do is decide on a positive plan with written details to get you started.
Custom Designing from Scratch
This is a custom home plan you chose with getting an architect’s advice and help. To give him an idea of what you want, first select photos from magazine, newspapers, online etc., or take pictures of homes already built.If it means taking a roof off here and a bay window there from different designs then go with that. If you have limited or no artistic ability yourself then this is your best option. Your architect will get your design done much faster with these starters.
Designing from Online House plan
Many house planning websites offer you the option to custom design plans that are already made. With this system there are several options to choose from. You can select a ready-made plan close to the design you want and pay a little extra for the company to make the changes. You can purchase a CAD file which allows your architect to make the changes on the plan via computer with the software, or, you can buy what is known as a reproducible house plan that allows you to make changes on the plan itself while still remaining within the copyright law of the house plan website you are purchasing from.
Designing on Your Own
If you have exceptional artistic ability, you can cut the cost of the architectural fee by drawing your plan. Once you stick to the scale (one foot equaling one inch, centimeter, etc,), everything be aligned properly. I did this myself with very good results. This will give your architect a precise idea of what you want while cutting the hassle of buying through a company, or purchasing a house plan book which you will only use once.
by Kuhrich on Monday, July 22, 2013
Having a basement in your home can be a very good thing. It gives you a place to store stuff that you rarely use such as Christmas decorations or that trunk full of high school memorabilia, but it also gives you a space you can have a work bench for craft projects. However, most basements are usually chilly, damp and not very well lit and there are so many more things you can do with a finished basement that you can’t with one that isn’t. If you have a basement, are you thinking about finishing it?
Here are some great things you can do with a finished basement:
– Game Room/Man Cave: Why not make a room downstairs devoted to fun? Once the basement is finished, the environment is right to put in a pool table, arcade games, a foosball table or even couches and chairs surrounding a big screen TV so the guys can go downstairs and watch sports.
– Guest Room/Extra Bedroom: Having a finished basement means you’ve got the additional space to have relatives visit or to provide an extra bedroom for a growing family.
– Reduce Utility Bills: Finishing your basement means you’ll have additional insulation in the walls, in the ceiling and on the floor. You’ll have also taken steps to ensure the basement is sealed against seepage and dampness. Between these factors, your overall heating and cooling bills should decrease, and in some cases, that decrease is dramatic.
– Increase Home Value: Having your basement finished also adds to the overall value of your home. A $10,000 investment in your basement can add tens of thousands of dollars to the overall value of your home which, in today’s housing market, could make the difference between breaking even and making a huge profit.
Finishing your basement is an investment, any way you look at it. If it’s an investment in your home, you’ll come out ahead. If it’s an investment in life enjoyment, you may come out further ahead than mere financial profit. Enjoy your life even more when you have a finished basement in your home.
by Kuhrich on Monday, July 1, 2013
When it comes to your home, especially if you’re a homeowner or are building a home, you want every aspect of it to be exactly the way you want it. You’re chasing that ultimate dream home and, as a part of that process, the paint job you put on it and in it can have a definite impact on how you feel about the home and what your ultimate plans for the home are. So, should you go with neutral colors or can you let your creative side flow free?
There are a couple of key elements that will help define how you should consider paint for your interior and exterior walls:
First, you have to consider what your ultimate goal for the home is. If this is your ‘starter home’ or if you definitely plan to resell the home as part of a upgrade process, or you have a large family and plan to sell the home for a retirement place later as the children grow up and leave, going with neutral colors may be your best option as neutral colors leaves a “canvas” for prospective homeowners who may potentially buy your home.
Second, keep in mind your decorating scheme. If you’re into artwork, whether it be paintings or sculpture, having neutral colors adds focus to your subjects instead of pulling the eye away from it to the paint on the walls. if how you decorate your home is your main focus, neutral colors may be your best option as well.
However, if you’re in your ‘final home’ and have plans to incorporate your decorating style into your rooms, you can go with any colors you wish. If you prefer bold, bright colors, muted colors and bold lighting or want to make a statement with the paint on your walls, essentially making them into wall art, then there isn’t any reason you can’t do so. Basically, the bottom line comes down to where you’re at and what you expect out of your home. If you plan to resell or decorate boldly, neutral colors are best. If you’re in your home for good, the sky’s the limit!
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Before applying grass seed in your new yard, evaluate the climate where you live. Depending on the hardiness zone where you build your custom home, certain types of grass will work better than others. For example, in zones 8 through 11, warm- season grasses are usually the most successful. In zones 2 through 8, cool-season grasses thrive. If you are in zone 8 or are close to the border of the zone, you may find that a mix of both helps you keep a beautiful green blanket of grass all year long.
Cool Weather Climates
Cooler climates, like the lower hardiness zones, do well with grass seed such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue or perennial rye grass. As an alternative, you can create a blend of any of these for the yard of your custom home. In most cases, in this climate, it is best to plant your seed in the fall or early spring. If you are in an area that sees extreme cold temperatures, fescue grasses are more tolerant than other cool-climate grass seeds.
Warm Weather Zones
In warmer areas, such as hardiness zones of 8 or above, there are other grass options that tolerate the sun, heat and drought risks much better. Bermuda grass is a common selection in the southern region, but does not tolerate shade very well. St. Augustine and Centipede grass are also viable options in these regions.
A stretch of land that crosses the country, from southern California all the way across to North and South Carolina, is essentially a mid-point in which the climate is a blend of both warm and cool weather environments. If you are in this band, tall Fescue may be the most viable option. If you are on the Carolina coastline, it will not grow, so check with a garden center for the best grass in this area.
Consider the time that you have to groom your grass as well. If you have a demanding schedule and are rarely home, a grass that requires frequent cutting, regular watering and other maintenance may not be the most viable option.
by CustomHomes on Monday, June 10, 2013
Custom homes often get built with screened-in porches. As an extension of the home, many people enjoy having a screened-in porch because it allows them to experience the positive aspects of sitting outside and relaxing without having to experience the negative aspects of it, such as high winds and scorching sun. If one lives in a mild enough climate, they can enjoy this type of porch all year long, not just in the warmer months.
Decor And Furniture Options
Many people choose to furnish their screened porch with items such as sofas, dining tables and coffee tables. A small area rug is a great way to make a porch feel cozy and relaxing. It also enhances the style of the room. Wicker furniture is often used on screened porches because wicker is lightweight and easy to move around. Some people even choose to have a fireplace installed on their porch. Plants can be used to decorate a porch and flowers can add color to the room. Outdoor lamps and ceiling fans also help make a screened-in porch feel like home. Those looking to relax on their porch will often mount a flat screen TV to the wall of the porch.
Custom railings help to give the porch an outdoor feeling, aso do rafters in the ceiling. A beautiful porch ceiling can add to the ambience of a room.
Using big, fluffy pillows and cushions on a porch is another great way to make it a relaxing environment. Couches and lounge chairs can be a welcome site for the tired, weary homeowner who just wants to relax after a hard day, or week, at work.
A chest can be used on the porch to hold blankets for chilly nights, board games for family game nights, or even napkins and coasters.
Great For Entertaining
Having friends and family over for a quiet evening at home is even better when everyone can sit on the screened-in porch and enjoy themselves. Screened-in porches are the perfect place to have a small gathering on weekends, holidays or any other special occasion one can think of.
An Alternate Bedroom
When the weather cooperates, spending a night sleeping in a screened-in porch can be the perfect escape. Anyone that has trouble sleeping due to bad air quality or a room that is consistantly too hot or too cold may sleep much better when they can feel the breeze of the night and perhaps even look at the stars. This is especially appealing to nature lovers.
There are so many different ideas that can be incorporated into a screened-in porch. It is one of the best ways to personalize a house and turn it into one’s sanctuary. Everyone wants to be able to relax and enjoy themselves in their home and for some people, a screened-in porch is just what they need.
Taking an open porch and screening it in, or replacing a torn or worn out screen is much easier than it used to be.
by Kuhrich on Saturday, June 8, 2013
Part of fulfilling that American Dream is to have your very own home. Granted, you may be making a mortgage payment to the bank but you have a piece of paper that states that yes, this is your house and you own it. For many, owning a home is one thing but having the ultimate dream home is their goal and nothing else will do. While you can buy an existing home and make modifications, remodels and upgrades to your heart’s content, it won’t be your dream home. That’s where building a custom home can make a real difference.
Here are 3 reasons building a custom home is better than remodeling:
1. You choose everything. From the floor plan, the heating and cooling, the flooring and carpets, wall colors and materials, drapery, furnishings, bathroom fixtures, tub/shower/commode/cabinetry, kitchen sink/fixtures/cabinetry/appliances. You can specify every single detail all the way down to the color and style of the light switches and plugs in the wall. No one else has made any decisions about where anything goes so you can literally create your own house.
2. No one has lived there but you. You’ll be the first occupants of that house which means you don’t inherit any problems because everything is new. Warranties and guarantees apply to just about everything in the home which means if it breaks, you don’t have to fix it as long as those warranties apply.
3. You will have created a legacy. Even if you sell the home at some point in time, this home was something you created. You succeeded in creating a dream home that you will have lived in and enjoyed and when you move out, someone else will come in and enjoy the benefits of what you’ve created. Your home could even outlive you by hundreds of years.
A house is a house but when you build your own custom house, you’re creating far more than just a place to live. You’re creating a custom home for you and your family. There are few things in life that can compete with that.
by Kuhrich on Monday, June 3, 2013
Light Fixtures are only in some homes to serve the job of lighting a room but custom homes make lighting a special event. Chandeliers, wall lighting, Ceiling fans and small lamps are placed around a home to give it lighted access. Lighting makes a custom home look as inviting in the dark as it does in daylight. Light fixtures are stationed in every facet of these special homes. Stairs are lighted, basements, patios and indoor settings. Light fixtures in these homes have a plan and light is used wisely. Ceiling fans are favorites of home owners used in bedrooms kitchens and on patios. They are designed with remotes, can be traditional or contemporary and are energy efficient.
Lighting ideas are easy for custom homes. Schonbek’s, Trilliane line of chandeliers are lovely and John Richards has very nice lamps. These lighting elements are at your disposal when the home is of particular quality. Chandeliers vary in design but hanging them is standard. Center these lovely light fixtures in the center of the room to show them off and the room. Average ceilings only need a yard stick of a lift but if you have a Cathedral ceiling go about three inches per foot to get the best balance. If creative is what you choose there are endless possibilities. Some home owners are uniquely creative with light fixtures using unusual containers to develop a look.
Light fixtures can also be done with technology in mind. Light is reflective on materials. But nothing catches light the same way. Technology looks at the materials you use in your home and lights your home accordingly. This is a fun way to play with light fixtures. Many people do this with kitchen light fixtures and skylights. Creating a lighting system on a cloudy day is as important as sunlight. Solariums with lighting needs use light fixtures that do a different job. Decorate with track lighting, bath and landscape lighting and fill your home with light.
Lighting dictates whether a room will feel quiet or whether it is ready for a big bash. Give your custom home a real treat with a collection of chandeliers in the bath and kitchen. This is one of the fun things about custom homes. You can really get creative with decorating. Things an average home design might avoid a custom home design can embrace.
Fixtures that stay cool yet give adequate lighting are an important part of home design. Use beautiful overhead lighting in your kitchen while getting close up food prep lighting. Lighting can be placed anywhere but a home that is designed carefully makes use of cabinet lighting, staircase lighting and garden fixtures. Create rooms that glitter when the lights are turned on; capture the twinkle in every corner. Light fixtures can soften the shadows in a home, giving security to its inhabitants.
Get the diversity in style and size when buying light fixtures. Some are small and do the job without notice while others are grand. With a home designed especially for your family you get to decide on many of its lighting features, pool and garage lighting ranks as home fixtures too and they can be eye catching. Light fixtures make a statement on your interest and your style. Whether you collect fixtures from your travels or reach into the early designs of history, a custom home will give you the input you need to be creative with light fixtures.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
When designing your custom home or contemplating an addition, take a few minutes to consider a mud room. Mud rooms are the perfect places to keep the outdoors out and the indoors clean. Usually combined with a laundry room it is used in regions with inclement weather but don’t let that stop you from having one. It’s a terrific place for a pet to stay when muddy as well as a good spot for everyone to keep their coats and shoes.
When thinking of what to include in a mud room, most would need coat racks for coats and sweaters as well as bins or drawers for hats and gloves with maybe a rack for the dog leashes. Linoleum, tile or concrete can be used for flooring and it is not unheard of to incorporate a drain in the floor to further aid in the cleaning process. A side entrance is preferable so that your family is comfortable going in and out yet your guests won’t view it upon their arrival. A door leading into the main part of the house also helps create boundaries for the pets. Just think how nice to come in full of mud and deposit your dirty, wet clothes directly into the washer. Another terrific idea would be to have a bathroom adjoin your mud room so that you can also step quickly into the shower if necessary. Enough space for a dog kennel is also a thought. Another good idea is open space under your bench to store and organize shoes. Also try to partition your hanging sections; one for each household member. It gives everyone a place to keep what’s important to them. Kids can store their backpacks and lunch boxes and adults can use theirs for briefcases and such.
In custom homes, built in cabinets, drawers and benches would be ideal to keep the room tidy and organized. Make sure you include enough square footage to grow into if necessary. Try to incorporate natural lighting if at all possible for that light and airy look. Many mud rooms are located just off the kitchen making a more natural transgression into the house.
And get creative, if you have kids or an active lifestyle, design space for sports equipment. Store your baseball, football, basketball or hockey equipment into bins, cabinets or hooks. Store your gym bag and a key rack and your mud room becomes the automatic place to rid yourself of your outdoor gear or get ready to set off for your next adventure. Really, why trip all over all that stuff in your closet? And surely you have a much better use for your garage space?
The perfect mud rooms have a country feel to them with plenty of space, light and versatility. Make it a room that’s pleasant to be in with lots of storage and convenience and you will wonder why you never thought of this before!
Call your custom home builder for Lancaster county – us – for more home improvement ideas to make yours the perfect home!
by Kuhrich on Monday, May 27, 2013
Customizing your living space to work well takes a keen awareness of how you like to live. It also takes an eye for space, color, size, and most of all function. The time you spend defining your needs and experimenting with different layouts can be a lot of fun and very worthwhile.
In the case of the great room (living room) layout of your custom home, the end result will be visible to visitors. If they like it you will get double benefits from taking the time to customize.
If you live alone and don’t have many visitors, your house will generally be smaller and you may have multiple functions for the great room of your custom house, but the principles of design will remain the same. Here are some things to consider:
- What uses do you require from this room?
- If you live with others, what are your common needs?
- What will be your focus of attention?
- When people walk through the room, where will they be going?
Living With Others
If you live with others, it’s a good idea to include them in your planning. If they aren’t, you may inadvertently create a room in which they feel uncomfortable and therefore won’t use. Living with others will also generate more visitors. The great room therefore becomes both a place to relax and converse for inhabitants, and a primary greeting place for visitors.
Characteristics: A room is easier to design when you define qualities to focus on. Some key characteristics living with others evokes are “welcoming,” “comfortable,” and “inclusive.” What kinds of furniture embody these three characteristics? What colors or combinations embody these characteristics? For example, what would happen if you chose your favorite color for the primary one, someone else’s for secondary, and an accent color that the most divisive of your cohabitants likes?
Focal point: Where does the eye travel when you first enter the room? Where does it linger? That’s your natural focal point. Design the layout to emphasize it. If there isn’t one, create one. A fireplace is a natural focal point; so is a bank of windows. You can lay out a seating arrangement around the fireplace that encompasses it or one that faces the windows. If there isn’t a natural focal point, walk into the room and see where you automatically want to stop. Try arranging seating in that area and let the rest of the room flow around it.
Traffic paths: Hosting visitors also generally requires feeding them. Whether you do that in the great room or serve in the kitchen, you will want to place furniture so there is a direct path open to the kitchen. You will also want a direct path open to the nearest restroom. Design your layout so there is a seating arrangement that traffic flows around (rather than through) to both of those places.
There is more, but including just these three design elements in your initial layout will produce a satisfying, effective living space.
by Kuhrich on Monday, May 20, 2013
Kitchens have always been more than a place to cook your meals. It’s the gathering hub for your family to spend time together as they finish up work documents and classroom assignments. It’s the socializing place as you host dinner parties for friends. Kitchens have become a favorite meeting spot for many reasons. Yet sometimes the layout isn’t suited for us to entertain guests and family while still being able to cook great meals.
Kitchen islands have started to become a popular trend for custom homes. The island allows you to still prepare meals without having your back facing family and guests. It gives extra storage space and counter room to prepare meals, while still allowing you to be entertaining when hosting parties.
Level or Raised Island Counter
If you decide that a kitchen island will work great in your space, you need to figure out the type of island to have. Some people banish their kitchen table from the room and instead get two islands: one for preparing meals and the other for seating. You may also place bar stools at the island to allow people to sit and eat while watching you prepare meals. There are two basic island counters to choose from: a level surface and a raised surface.
Level Surface Counters: Level surface counters allow people to sit at the same level as the person who is cooking meals. Level countertop surfaces can have many benefits. Seating will be lower for those individuals such as children and elderly people who may have trouble climbing up into high bar stools. Also, level surfaces give you the largest amount of space to work with when preparing large meals. You must be careful if you have burners on a level surface where a small child can reach over and touch the hot surfaces.
Raised Island Counters: Raised island counters can separate the cooking space from the sitting space by having part of the counter raised. This prevents children’s fingers from reaching out to the cutting board as you are chopping up vegetables. Take into consideration the people who will be sitting at the raised counter, because elderly people who have limited movement may find it hard to sit at high bar stools. For some raised counter designs in a custom home, the lower section of the counter is for people to sit at in lower chairs as you cook along the raised part of the counter that is at a comfortable height.
Pick The Kitchen Island That Works For You
Kitchen islands are truly a versatile place that you can customize to your desires so that it is both a functional and aesthetic in your space. You can incorporate cutting boards, special bins, cabinets, stoves, grills, burners and even the sink into a kitchen island. Choose the type of island counter that will be beneficial to your cooking needs as well as safe for members of your family so everyone can enjoy being in the kitchen.
by Kuhrich on Monday, May 13, 2013
Where does everybody shed their coats, leave their book bag, and stash their stuff when they come into the house? That’s your ‘drop zone’ and it usually is a source of irritation and complaint. Every home has one, but some people have figured out how to set up their drop zone so that it is an efficient area, one that is welcoming and functional. A drop zone should be the place you put your things neatly so you can find everything when it is time to run out the door.
These areas should be designed to fit the family that uses them:
- Coats, jackets, gloves, hats, etc. need hooks or cubbies to put them in. How many people come in this door? Have a place for what they need to remove. Custom cubbies or lockers are popular with families, a coat closet is a classic area that can work if you use it right, and hooks are faster than hangers.
- Boots, cleats, and shoes often are shed right here. Have a bench for sitting to remove them and a logical place to put them.
- A landing counter is great for bringing groceries in, particularly since most grocery trips end with products in different places in the house. You can get them all in on the counter and sort to stash from there.
- A charging station can have multiple outlets and get everyone’s device good to go. This can be custom-built into the landing counter as part of the cabinetry, with storage space underneath for what you decide is needed.
- A mail station — with a shredder and waste can — and a spot for each person’s correspondence lets you deal with the day’s mail in one place. Some folks like to add a bill paying feature here, with files and a place for your laptop, but it is up to you!
- Sports fans have equipment. If there isn’t a place somewhere else, you may want to think about corralling it here.
A custom home builder can help you take your irritations at the mess in your current drop zones and come up with solutions in the new house. They can also do a remodel of your current place that solves the drop zone problems. You could get an entire new mud room, with the washer and dryer included, right off the garage so the soccer players come in from the game and shed all the uniforms and equipment right there. One wall could have bulk storage behind nice doors, and the grocery-landing counter can also be where clothes are folded.
Other families don’t need a whole new room but could really use an elegant cabinet that holds the charging station, mail sorting station, and keys with space for book bags and a tray to put papers that MUST be signed. The key to a well-designed drop zone is working with the way we naturally function. If it isn’t easy to do it right, the coat will go on the chair or the floor.
by Kuhrich on Monday, April 29, 2013
Tray ceilings are good looking and help to make a room appear more spacious than it actually is. By painting the “tray” part of the ceiling a lighter color than the rest of the ceiling, a person can also brighten up a room that may not get a lot of natural lighting. These ceilings are particularly ideal for the living room, dining room, bedroom and hallway. They can also be a good option for the kitchen.
What are the Options?
A tray ceiling can be either recessed or inverted. A recessed ceiling works from the outer edges of the room, meaning that the highest part of the ceiling will be located in the center of the room. Inverted ceilings work in the opposite manner. Instead of making a room appear larger and more spacious, inverted ceilings are made to put an emphasis on ornamental decorative objects.
Both recessed and inverted ceilings use crown molding to create both depth and height. A home builder making a custom homecan use various faces and finishes to emphasize various levels of the ceiling. On the other hand, a homeowner can make his or her own tray ceiling and add the desired crown molding options.
Choosing the right lighting will help to beautify the new ceiling. Chandeliers, rope lighting and pendant lights are some of the most popular options for a tray ceiling.
A low hanging chandelier is an ideal option for a recessed ceiling. The fact that the highest part of the ceiling is located in the center of the room enables a homeowner to install a larger, more decorative chandelier than would have otherwise been possible. Pendant lighting also looks good with a tray ceiling and can be used to further emphasize wall decorations or provide direct lighting to a particular area of the room.
Rope lighting is one of the most popular features for homes with tray ceilings. While this form of lighting is not sufficient to brighten up a room for regular use, it is ideal for parties, evening events or a romantic time with your significant other. Rope lighting can be installed on any tray ceiling and is commonly used in the bedroom, living room, dining room and even kitchen.
Rope lighting consists of a resin tube with various small lights. The crown molding on the ceiling conceals the light fixtures, thus emphasizing the ceiling itself and giving a room a soft, romantic glow. This type of lighting comes in various colors and is easy to purchase and install.
Adding a tray ceiling to the roof is a great yet simple way to beautify the room. It is not hard to build such a ceiling and there are various style options to choose from. Once the ceiling is built, adding the right type of lighting will emphasize the ceiling or one or more decorative objects in the room. Suitable lighting will also help to provide the type of ambiance desired by the homeowner at any given time.
by CustomHomes on Monday, April 22, 2013
Pennsylvania is a beautiful state with many scenic areas, urban development, and small towns. The central and northern areas of the state are great for nature and small town lovers, the western and eastern areas are home to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the south central area has Harrisburg and Lancaster, and there’s plenty in between these main regions.
Pennsylvania is also home to stunning mountain ranges in the western and eastern parts of the state. You have plenty of opportunities for skiing and other winter sports. The spring and fall seasons are temperate, with some of the prettiest foliage you’ve ever seen. The winter sees a lot of snow, so if you’re looking for a winter wonderland you’re going to get it. The summers are warm and sunny, so if you’re into camping and other outdoors activities you have a wide range of parks to enjoy.
Pennsylvania is a great location for custom homes. The regions are very different from each other, so you can determine what areas you’d like to settle down in. You also get to encounter many different cultural backgrounds, particularly the Amish. Many areas in Pennsylvania have land available at good prices, especially in the northern and central areas of the state. You aren’t limited on your options.
Another advantage to Pennsylvania is how close it’s located to big cities such as Washington DC and New York City. It’s a great central location to all of these areas, so if you’re a business traveler you might want to settle down with your custom home here.
Once you’ve decided on a region for your home, you get to figure out the type of home you’d like. You’ll see many different types of houses in Pennsylvania, from townhomes to Victorian style homes. You can have basements in Pennsylvania, so if you’re looking for a full house you have that option. The only natural disasters you’re going to have to worry about outside of blizzards are some flooding if you’re on a flooding risk area, and the occasional tornado. No significant earthquakes have been recorded in quite some time in this state.
by CustomHomes on Friday, April 5, 2013
When it comes to decorating and designing your home, guest bathrooms are of the utmost importance. They make a statement about the kind of treatment you want to provide your guests with. They look at things like how clean the restroom is, the size of it, and the general condition of the facility. These, of course, are all things that you can and will control, but you can also control the overall design of your guest bathroom should you choose to.
Choosing a Design
You can choose the design of you bathroom by deciding whether or not you want a shower that is separate from the bathtub. Do you even want a bathtub in the guest bathroom at all? The answer to that question might depend upon the type of guests that stay in your home. For instance, a man might not take notice to whether there is a bathtub or not, but women tend to find the appeal of a bathtub relaxing. Also consider whether your guests are immediate family members or people you need to impress with luxury.
Second, consider how far you want to go in impressing your guests, meaning how much customization work do you want to do for your guest bathroom. Do you want the toilet in a different part of the bathroom space, with a door to separate it from the rest of the bathroom? Do you want his and her sinks or just one? Also, consider what kind of flooring you want to have in the guest bathroom.
Decorating your Guest Bathroom
Decorating a guest bathroom can be a tricky thing. You want to show off your individual style, while at the same time impressing your guests, unless maybe they are immediate family members that do not care much whether or not your towels are color coordinated with the walls and your bath mats.
However, if your guests do care about such things, you can potentially custom design you bathroom further by choosing non traditional colors for your sink, bathtub, and toilet. Keep in mind, non traditional colors do cost more because they are often custom made. But, if you want something unique to present you guests with, this may be the route you should take. Perhaps then you can have a vibrant colored bathroom set apart from others while still saving money by using plain white paint for the walls.
Whatever you choose for your guest bathroom designs, remember to stay true to your own style and budget. After all, you can have the most luxurious bathroom layout in the world, but if you do not make your guests feel like they are welcome it will not matter. The true key is to provide your guests with the niceties like soap and shampoo they need. Make them feel like you have a luxury bathroom even if you do not.
by CustomHomes on Wednesday, April 3, 2013
When you see news stories about the housing market, many times you see dozens of homes in a development area sitting there unsold. Development companies and contractors have purchased blocks of land and use a standard set of home templates to build home after home after home in hopes of making their fortunes. Even exclusive development areas work off of this same business plan to build upscale development communities. However, even for multi-million dollar properties, these aren’t custom designs built by a custom home builder. They are little more than pretty cracker boxes.
A custom home means a lot more than picking a floor plan from stock designs, adding special wall paint and paper and picking out the bathroom fixtures. Truly custom homes are designed from the basement up to be exactly what you want it to be instead of what someone expects you to want. Working with a custom home designer enables you to not only have your home laid out the way you want, have your home look the way you want but also have the functionality you need for your home office, your kitchen and even your garage area.
There’s a lot more to being a custom home builder than simply hanging wall board and laying sub floors. A truly custom builder knows how to take the designs from design firms, plans from an architect and specs from an engineer and convert all of that into the home of your dreams. You’ll have made a million different decisions as a part of your design process from window placement to where you want the electrical outlets and the home builder you want will be able to turn each of those design decisions into a reality.
Simply because a company can build a house doesn’t make them a good choice as a custom home builder. With so many special ideas, unique designs and custom concepts, choosing a home builder that understands how all of those combine into a gestalt for your dream home design will be the home builders you want to consider. It takes a lot more than being able to pick a floor plan out of a book to design a custom home and it takes a lot more than being able to drive a nail to build a custom home.
by CustomHomes on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
For some, all that’s needed for a home office is one end of the kitchen table so you can pay bills. However, for many, a home office serves many uses. It isn’t only a place to work, it’s a place to have some alone time, a place to focus and concentrate and, at times, even a place to relax. When it comes to designing your custom home office, tailoring it to your needs will be the primary goal as for virtually anyone with a home office, function trumps form. But not by much.
If you work from home or spend as much time working at home as you do either on the road or in a real office, then you’ll need a home office that provides you with every bit of function that your job requires. Computers, internet access, printers, possibly a fax machine, even though email is far more popular, desk space, shelf space, filing cabinets, a great desk chair and possibly chairs for visitors are all definite necessities in a modern office.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to be trapped in corporate chrome and glass unless that’s your particular style since that does make for a light and airy office area. Since this is your dream office, having it done completely in hardwoods and leather or even period luxury such as the 20’s or 50’s can be the environment you find most conductive to efficient progress.
While designing your home office is easy when you’re building a new home, it isn’t much more difficult when remodeling since the only real requirement for most home offices is electrical connectivity. With wireless internet connections, wireless TV connections and the proliferation of cell phones as the main phone, no other special wiring is necessary with the possible exception of a hardwired landline. This means placing lighting, power for equipment and other needs is relatively straightforward.
This means building in the functionality of your home office is easy so creating the rest of your office around your main work area becomes more a matter of form. You can bring in the styling cues you want and still have the functionality you need, giving you a home office design that will be the best of both worlds. When designing your home office, you don’t have to settle or cut corners anymore.
by CustomHomes on Monday, March 25, 2013
So you have decided to get your own custom home built, but you may miss out on one key aspect of your new home if you are not careful. The one aspect you should be thinking about more then most of the other rooms inside of the house is your master bathroom. This is the chance you have for you to finally get everything laid out in the manner you want to have it, instead of having to get the same as everyone else or get what the builder thinks you want to have. The problem is you may not know why you should be using a custom bathroom, instead of the normal ones and here are three reasons to get a custom bath.
The first reason you should be using a custom master bathroom is you will have a chance to put in features you want to have. For example, you may be able to put in a shower which you can walk into and have it spray you from all directions. This is a great feature and makes getting cleaned up easier then what you imagine. However, if you stick with the normal bathrooms this is a feature which you may not get because of how unique and different this is.
The second reason you need to think about getting a custom master bathroom is you can have it laid out like you want to have it. Some of the stock bathrooms will have the toilet right next to the shower or bathtub, which is great depending on the size you have. However, you may find it is more acceptable to have this tucked away from the shower and bathtub so you can feel like you are getting cleaned up properly without this area being contaminated by the toilet.
The third reason you need to have your custom bathroom is you are getting a custom home. With the stock bathrooms they would not look right compared to the other features your home has. So you should easily get this changed around to know for certain it is going to match up to what you want to have.
Getting to have your custom home built can be a dream, but filling it with a stock bathroom is not a dream. Once you know about the custom bathroom and why you should get this, it is easy for you to understand just how valuable this can be to your home and your dream.
by CustomHomes on Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Let’s face it. There are websites all over the internet where you can look at floor plans and home designs until you’re drowning in concepts. There are home builders out there who build hundreds, if not thousands of homes every year based on a standard block of designs and plans. Having a custom home built means working with more than a contractor with a house full of construction workers. It means working with custom home designers who are experts.
You can go to the bookstores in your local mall and buy tomes filled with design plan after design plan. The problem with that is all of those designs, whether from a book, a magazine, from an internet site or a stock plan selection, they all have one thing in common. They’re not custom. A custom design is a design you come up with either on your own or with the help of a designer who understands what you want your home to be.
A “custom home” isn’t simply picking out a floor plan then picking your own carpet, paint and bathroom fixtures. It’s a truly custom plan with your needs and your desires taken into account. A true custom home designer will work with you, with engineers and architects to create a truly custom home that not only includes all of the styling cues you want but all of the design nuances you hope for.
Picking a home from a batch of standard designs not only limits your choices but the choices you’re limited to are the same choices everyone else chooses from.Working with a designer who understands your aesthetic ideals and values as well as taking into account the functional needs you want from your home office, your kitchen, your living areas and even your master bath will enable you to design the custom home of your dreams.
There’s a lot more to designing a custom home than picking options off of a list like you do when buying a new car. A good custom home designer understands this as a matter of course. If you just want a house with customization, you can settle for any designer. For a house that’s truly a custom designed home, you want a true custom home designer.
by Kuhrich on Monday, March 11, 2013
The prospect of finding and buying a new house is very exciting for most families. Maybe you are newly married or engaged and are itching to find that dream home in which to start a family. Maybe you are looking to move out of that “starter home” because Baby Number 2 is on the way. Maybe you’ve just retired or sent the last kid away to college and it’s time for yourself and The Hubby to downsize. In any case, why spend your time house hunting when you can always just build the house of your dreams with the help of custom home builders? The following are just several reasons why a custom home, built from scratch with your dreams and needs in mind is the best way to go about buying a new house.
* It does not have to be expensive to build a house from scratch.
At first glance, you might think that only very affluent families can afford to hire a custom builder for an alternative home experience. This is not true. Buying land in a development or a custom home community can cost no more than buying an already-built house. In most places, if you are interested in becoming a home owner you have to shell out upwards from $200000 to meet that goal. Well, many properties don’t cost more than just over $200000 themselves, so why not oversee your dream home while it is erected from scratch?
* Building an alternative home is more financially sound in the long run.
You might say that a fixer-upper is all you need. You might gladly close on a quaint little home that looks perfect on the exterior but has many flaws that need fixing before you can safely move in. If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars to remodel a kitchen, a bathroom or to fix a leaky roof, why not invest just a little more money to build a home that fits your unique style and individual needs? Roofing jobs and remodeling can be extremely expensive in today’s economy, so why patch up a home that can’t completely conform to your specific wishes?
* A custom builder alternative home can be more energy efficient.
If you care about the environment, you will want your home to be as green as possible. No, painting your exterior green is not going to cut it. Green living, or living with the good of the environment in mind is in style right now, and you can customize your home to live up to the standards. Your water system, wiring and even your floors can be customized to impact the environment minimally. You can’t always do that with older homes.
If you have a dream house in mind, don’t settle for a stand-in. Don’t forego the specifics because they can’t be found in a generic home. Build your alternative home with yourself and your family in mind. After all, if you are the one who will live there, you should be in love with it and it should suit your needs to the tee. Look into building your custom homes. Your dreams are closer to reality than you might think.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Building your dream house can easily turn into a nightmare without proper planning and preparation. While you may have visions of elaborately decorated trees during the holidays or walls covered in artwork created by your favorite artist, first you need to address the bare bones of your new home. Here are three tips to get you started with the planning process, which can make or break a new home according to Better Homes and Gardens.
Start with the Basics
Grab a notebook and pencil for the earliest planning stages of a custom home in PA. Draw out a rough sketch of the layout as this will be professionally drafted by your custom builder. As for amenities and premium features, such as stainless steel appliances or heated floors, write lists in your notebook. Use a separate sheet of paper for each room, and prioritize the list with features you cannot live without.
Plan for the Future
Evaluate the future as you decide how your house will need to grow along with your life. Do you have plans to expand your family? Perhaps you have a child away at college who could possibly return to the nest one day. Maybe you have an aging parent who may eventually need to move into your home. Consider the possibilities of your occupation. Have you ever considered working from home, in which case you would want a private home office? If you are nearing retirement, having a separate crafting or woodworking area might be ideal.
Color, light and flow of a home play a major role in physical and physiological issues. For instance, each winter millions of Americans struggle with SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, because of a lack of natural light. Having plenty of well-positioned windows can remedy this issue. Room colors play an essential role in a person’s mood. While certain colors illicit feelings of happiness and peace, such as green and yellow, other colors excite and energize including red and orange. The flow of a room can have real consequences in the case of a physical impairment, such as if you have an accident that requires you to be wheelchair bound. You’ll quickly discover that your master suite on the third floor will be unused if you depend on a spiraling staircase to reach it.
by Kuhrich on Monday, March 4, 2013
Custom Home Group is the unique choice for home buyers. Introduce yourself to built in ovens, stove top grilling and large kitchen islands. Custom homes PA is all about building quality homes. A home is a functional place with garbage disposals and refrigerators with ice makers. These things may be in many kitchens but in a Custom Group home they are expertly installed to add to the beauty of the kitchen and the rest of the home; not to just sit there.
Designers and builders are searched out the world over for their unique way of building a product; this too is the case with Custom Home Group. With Custom Homes communities located throughout the Lancaster, PA area buyers will purchase a home they can be proud of and know the product will last. Get custom cabinetry, stove hoods, and a wealth of other decorative yet, functional amenities in one of Custom Home Groups properties. The home packages are built with the buyer in mind and a relationship that will last for years. If a deck is the thing you enjoy in a home this is a part of the Custom Homes process; all about getting the things in a home you want and need.
The quiet elegance of these homes is disarming catching one off guard as they are welcomed into the foyer. The grandeur is clear in Custom Homes. Custom Home Group has the electricians, builders and other craftsmen qualified to build the best homes possible. In Custom Homes outdoor living is appreciated as much as the inside environment. Windows, lighting and colors all affect the way you feel, all of this is considered when designing luxury residences. Windows are a designer fabric in beautiful homes, custom creations allow the world to come in with the push of a button and close it out as quickly. Technology is very much a part of the Custom Home Group.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Buying Custom Homes in Lancaster, PA gives a family an opportunity to live in an elegant environment, both inside and outside of the home. These homes offer the best of everything, landscaping and natural environment, home fixtures with classic sinks and spacious closets. The structure of Custom Homes PA is a work of art.
Getting the best for the money is a practical concern for any buyer and with a PA fine homes the beat is never a worry. The job Custom Homes does for its home buyers is to build them quality home. A bathroom is a utility in the average home but Custom Homes takes it a step further. The powder room in these homes is luxurious. Attractive tiles and sleekly styled sink and tub fixtures. A bath room is far more that a utility and Custom Homes offers luxury by giving you the newest of materials, lighting and decorating your home into total comfort, both for mind and body.
Designers are experienced in all phases of home building including land excavation. Sites are carefully chosen before your home is constructed. Water drainage on property is considered, whether the foundation is solid. Much goes into building a solid home long before a brick touches the soil and Custom Homes PA are experts in the field offering customers the best product. Imagine yourself sitting on a patio with a brick fireplace or a built in outdoor kitchen, Custom Homes hold many possibilities. Appliances and other items are a part of the creative process of the home building scene. This knowledge of giving the customer both quality and luxury is training and experience and the ability to let no detail go unchecked. Quality is Custom Home’s goal at every turn, looking out for the best interest of our customers.
by Kuhrich on Monday, February 25, 2013
When it comes to buying custom homes Pennsylvania has some of the best. The key, however, to shopping for a custom home in Pennsylvania or any other state is to be prepared. Anyone can purchase a home, but doing so without at least considering a few things can lead to an unhappy homeowner somewhere down the road. So, when buying your Pennsylvania custom home, consider some of the following things.
What neighborhood is your custom home being built in? Will there be a homeowners association present in the neighborhood? A homeowners association serves to keep things in order within a particular community; however, they can also be quite limiting. For instance, some associations will dictate the style of your home or what kind of fencing may be used. While these may seem like trivial issues, following someone else’s rules in regards to how you live on your own property can become cumbersome.
Another thing to consider is the kind of amenities that come with your custom home package. Obviously, there are certain amenities that are standard. These will automatically come with the home. But, what kinds of upgrades are available that might suit your life style better? If you find that there are certain upgrades you prefer to the standard version then maybe upgrading is the best option for you.
Two of the most important rooms to think about amenity upgrades are the bathroom and the kitchen. These are the rooms with the most appliances and water fixtures. While it may not be necessary to have the best of everything, it is necessary to think about which upgrades might be useful in the future. Consider how living with the upgrade will better your life style and if you will be okay about your decision down the line if you choose to forego the upgrade.
These are just a few of the things to think about when looking at custom homes. Pennsylvania is an excellent state to live in, but shopping around a bit before buying is a wise idea. Make sure you settle in a neighborhood that suits you and your family, that you are getting the best deal for your price, and that you are happy with the way your new home is built.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, February 20, 2013
For anyone contemplating buying their first home, purchasing that home is their American dream realized.
The search for just the right home can sometimes be an exhausting, and annoying exercise when you’re looking at homes that other people have owned.
Sometimes it’s almost impossible to imagine yourself in another person’s home.
Taking a walk through someone else’s dwelling usually involves taking a hard look for all the things that need repair, and then envisioning the changes you’d want to make for that home to suit your individual style and tastes.
There is another option to consider when purchasing that first home, and that’s the option of buying a custom built home.
If you’re considering the purchase of a custom home, finding a quality builder is a very important consideration. Finding a home builder with a proven track record is very important, and of course the location of your home is another important consideration.
In Pennsylvania, Lancaster County is known for more than just its Amish community.
There are beautiful custom built homes that can be found in several communities in the Lancaster area and these homes are designed and built by a company called The Custom Home Group.
The Custom Home Group has six different communities, all featuring beautifully designed, custom built homes.
The Custom Home Group has as many as fifteen different model designs for a prospective home buyer to fall in love with.
For anyone considering purchasing a custom built home for the first time, there are several advantages that are inherent to owning one of these homes over a home that’s been owned by another party including:
- Selecting the home of your choice
- Having total control over the construction of your home
- Home design that reflects your style
- You make the decisions over what products and features are a part of your home
These are just a few of the advantages that come with purchasing a custom built home, but the other thing to consider is your home’s location.
With six different communities in the Lancaster area to choose from, there is no wrong choice.
Any home buyer considering first time home ownership in one of the group homes in Pennsylvania that The Custom Home Group has to offer, is taking the first important step to not only owning a home, but making an investment that can that only increase in value over time.
by Kuhrich on Monday, February 18, 2013
Building a home is not simply a place to live. Custom homes are about your lifestyle and making a statement. Your home is usually the largest investment you will have, so you want a home that has been designed with your dreams in mind, yet falls within a manageable budget. A spec home is typically built in a tight area with very little scenic landscaping and cookie cutter homes. The Custom Home Group builds homes in the Lancaster, PA so you can rest assured that not only will you have the home of your dreams, but it will be surrounded by scenic views and natural landscaping.
Instead of wasting your time, money and dreams on a home that was designed and built for someone else, it’s time to consider the benefit of custom homes that are built with you in mind. When you work with a builder for a custom home, you have input on the design you would be comfortable with, such as an energy efficient floor plan. A custom home will have high performance heating and cooling systems, energy designed windows and doors and other unique design elements that will help you save on energy bills. Custom homes are built to include a wide range of otherwise overlooked details including granite countertops, custom lighting and beautiful wood crafted cabinetry.
Building your custom dream home should be a time of anticipation and excitement, but without the right builder it can become a stressful and overwhelming situation. It is important to hire a builder that is committed to gently guiding through the process and ensuring you that all of your expectations will be met. The first step to investing in your dream is to hire a builder that specializes in custom homes. The builder should have a good reputation in the community, such as the Custom Home Group who not only has an impeccable reputation, but builds each home with quality materials and high standards and they will help you be confident in your choices from beginning to end.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Custom Homes are for people particular about their residence and how it measures up in the scheme of comfortable home ownership. Buyers have the opportunity to select lovely cabinetry, lighting, and kitchen design for a special home that is suited especially for them. Windows and hardware all affect the look of a property, creating the physical appeal of your home. Every individual has requirements, therefore homes are different. The Custom Homes model available are lovely and the locations of communities has a property for every taste. Choose homes with porches, lovely gardens and tree lined views. Trims and colors introduce a number of options for personalized styling in a home, offering buyers the chance to mix their personal style into buying a home.
Custom homes are energy efficient and built for years of use. A home is quite an investment and holds the potential of offering owners great returns on the investment. Drive through a neighborhood and get a feel for custom homes, large walk in closets, state of the art thermostats and heating systems efficient hot water heaters and kitchen appliances. A custom home is filled with space, family rooms, large windows and kitchen islands. Custom Homes vary in size and have adequate bath facilities with large tubs. Beautiful counter space and lovely tiled showers also increase the desirability of these homes. Recessed lighting and lovely fixtures set homes in an elevated category.
Custom homes are equipped with utility closets, foyers. Some are designed with full basements for added space and large garage areas. A custom home is special missing no necessity or luxury available. Residences are located near all the comforts of suburban living yet have the feeling of a quiet get away. Communities are beautifully landscaped and close to good school systems and productive environments. Eco friendly materials are a part of the custom home package yielding to energy efficiency saving the environment wherever possible. Transportation routes are important to good home locations; this is never overlooked when establishing sites for custom home designs.
by Kuhrich on Monday, February 11, 2013
When building group homes in Pennsylvania, contractors understand that a home needs to fit the needs of the people who live within its walls. Unlike purchasing an existing home, an individual who chooses to purchase a custom built home can create their own perfect dwelling. Homes are made to order with the appropriate number of bedrooms and baths to fit the needs of every family, large or small.
Homes can be made with hallways wide enough to allow for wheelchairs to pass through easily. Ramps can be installed to allow residents easy access to and from porches and into doorways. Handrails can be installed in bathrooms and along stairways to aid residents who may need assistance in that manner.
Homeowners who are conscious about their impact on the environment can have earth friendly heating and cooling systems can be installed as the home is being built. Energy saving materials can be used in the building process in addition to solar panels or small wind turbines to help create energy the home can use to sustain its needs.
Custom built group homes in Pennsylvania are designed according to the specifications of the customer and future homeowner. The homeowner is able to choose the layout and floor plan of the home, as well as any amenities they wish to have included. They also are allowed to set a budget for the project. By setting a budget, the new homeowner can eliminate the risk of overspending on frivolous purchases.
New homes are large financial investments. When a homeowner decides to have their new home custom built, they are choosing how to secure their own investment. Most homeowners purchase a residence with the hopes of remaining their for several years to come. When buying a custom built home, the owner is ensured they get exactly what they want, as well as positive benefits from their investment.
by Kuhrich on Friday, February 8, 2013
Ever drive through a community and see every house looking the same? It’s like staring at mirror images in every aspect from the size of the house, the same floor plan, and even the same boring outer siding painted the exact same color on every building.
While some people don’t mind seeing and living in the same houses as other residents in their community, there are other people who need to show off their uniqueness. They need their house to be an embodiment of who they are, as it represents their personalities and tastes.
Custom home design done by Custom Home Group allows you to design the home that you want in several available communities where present home building is underway. From luxury homes to houses that fit into your budget, you will be able to create the house that would be perfect for you and then watch that dream become built as you look over the rural hills in Lancaster County.
Advantages Of Custom Home Design
You may be wondering why you should go with custom design home builders or whether a custom design home is even right for you in the first place. But think about it. Many people who buy existing homes first spend large amounts of money to purchase the house, then spend equally large amounts of money renovating the home to their liking.
But if you start from scratch, or from the foundation up, you can decide how your home will be designed. It will be to your liking the very first time without costly remodels that may never get the house to your perfection. You decide where the house will be built. You pick the location in the community where you want to live. You decide how the home will look from the inside to the outside. Why pass up the opportunity to have the custom home you always dreamed about?
In addition, when you are working with a builder you can get important information regarding alternative ways in designing your home. Do you want to go more green? Would you like to find a cheaper alternative in building materials for certain aspects of your home? The perfect builder will offer those alternatives that work for you and your budget.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Your home should be everything that you desire. It should be in a location that is most beneficial to you and your family as you can easily commute to work, get the kids to school, and enjoy the fun activities in the area. Lancaster county builders such as Custom Home Builders seek to give you the home of your dreams in the price range that fits your budget. With 6 different communities in the Lancaster area where homes are currently being built at, you can choose the community that most captures your interests.
When deciding on the community, keep in mind the starting price range that homes are being built at. The higher the price range, the more luxuries you will find in your home. This may be perfect for your needs, or you may want a simpler design that works with your finances. Whichever you decide, be rest assured the home you are getting will be built using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship.
Why Choose A Home In Lancaster County?
The communities available in Lancaster County give you a rural setting while still being close to the shopping centers, business districts and other school districts that are perfect for you and your family. Many of the communities have easy access to major throughways leading to Harrisburg, surrounding counties and places in Maryland.
Lancaster county also has many tourist attractions for your family to visit and have fun. Counties in the surrounding area hold annual fairs, festivals and parades year-round. So you are bound to find something for entertainment. There are also a number of parks, including the famous Hershey Park, “The Sweetest Place On Earth,” to satisfy your sweet tooth while enjoying the park’s many rides and amenities in neighboring Hershey County.
Contact Lancaster County builders today to find out your options in the home you want to build and the community where you would like to live. You are sure to find the perfect home offering you everything you could possibly want for an easy commute to work, great school districts for your kids to attend, and fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
by Kuhrich on Monday, February 4, 2013
Custom Homes Pennsylvania is a custom home building group that provides homes throughout the Lancaster community. Whether you are looking for a luxury home or one that fits perfectly into your budget, get the community home you are looking for designed to perfection and to your tastes.
Communities Where You May Want To Live
Most of the custom homes in Pennsylvania are located in Lancaster County, only a short distance away from the state capital of Harrisburg. You can enjoy the rural atmosphere yet still be a part of a community along with the perks. Places where you may be interested in a custom-built home include:
- Steele Ridge
- Willow Bend Farm
- Quail Creek
- Cameron’s Knoll
- Farview Farm Estates
- Black Rock Estates
Unlike other community areas where the homes are built side-by-side with very little property space, Custom Home Group builds houses on an acre or more of property that oversees rolling hills and pastures in scenic Lancaster County. You can design your own home, or use one of the available site plans as you add those desired touches to make your house unique.
Why Choose To Build A Home In A Community Setting?
Many people hold mixed emotions concerning community settings. But the areas in Lancaster combine that community setting where you know your neighbors while still giving people their own piece of privacy. Benefits of living in the community include:
1: Community Perks
Some communities offer perks to their residents that include parks, trails, sport facilities and community centers. If you are interested in such activities, then look at the community areas where Custom Home Group is creating homes to find the perfect area that offers the perks you want.
2: Ideal Settings
When it comes to community living, you enjoy the clean look without the litter and pollution so many urban settings have. In addition, the acre or more of property allows you to have the privacy you desire, but you are still within easy walking distance to your neighbors.
3: Retains Value
Homes in community areas fare well despite the fluctuating real estate market. They hold on to their value better than homes outside of the community, which is an advantage to many homeowners.
by Kuhrich on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Custom homes in Lancaster, PA provide a homeowner with the exact dwelling they are looking for that fits perfectly into their particular tastes and decor. Custom homes are built from the foundation up, allowing the homeowner to see the actual building of the structure as it takes on shape and form.
Keep in mind that a custom home is different from a production home, which you may have also heard of and considered in your home-buying purchase. While custom home building allows you to have a say in the overall design of the building, production homes basically come from stock plans that only allow a limited choice in options.
Custom home building has many advantages for the homeowner. Below is a list of the many benefits you will find when purchasing a custom home.
Advantages With Working With Custom Home builders
One-Of-A Kind House
Custom-built homes are one of a kind. They aren’t massed-produced to look a certain way and have the same design inside as all the other neighboring homes. Instead, you are working with the builder and architect to create a home that is exactly to your choosing. You know that the home you are getting will be unlike any other person’s home.
There is nothing worse than walking in a potential home you want to purchase and seeing high-end luxuries mixed in with cheap building materials. When paying for the best, you want the best. You don’t want beautiful custom cabinets hanging over cheap formica countertops. When you have a high-end washbasin, you don’t want to see linoleum bathroom flooring. With a custom home, you are getting the high-end home that you desire.
Build On Ideal Land
The land owned by the builder is always located in a prime location where you have easy access to major roadways so that the homeowner can have an easy commute. The home may also be built near local school districts and other community places so while you will have the privacy you want to your home, you will still be located near civilization.
by Kuhrich on Monday, January 28, 2013
There are many great reasons to purchase a home in the southern Lancaster area, such as Peach Bottom and Quarryville. You get out of the congestion of the cities without leaving civilization. A big advantage for parents is that they can send their kids to the Solanco public school district.
Get a home made by Lancaster County builders in Bart, Colerain, Fulton, Eden, Drumor, East Drumore, Little Britain or Providence townships and Quarryville Borough and your kids are eligible to go to one of these Solanco district schools:
- Solanco High School
- George A. Smith Middle School
- Swift Middle School
- Quarryville Elementary School
- Providence Elementary School
- Bart-Colerain Elementary School
- Clermont Elementary School
The Solanco School District’s webpage states that “The mission of the Solanco School District is to develop responsible citizens and life-long learners by providing opportunities to maximize student academic performance in a safe and secure environment.”
How does Solanco do this? They challenge their students to help others, such as their recent drive to help replenish local food banks Justin time for Thanksgiving. In order to help kids recognize bullying, Solanco showed a film about a bullied girl in Manheim as part of their recent anti-bullying forum.
This excellent school district ranked 141 out of Pennsylvania’s 553 school districts. SchoolDigger.com gave Solanco a respectable four out of five stars and rated Bart-Colerain Elementary School with five out of five stars.
Educators can also take advantage of the great benefits of working for the Solanco School District including health care benefits, life insurance, travel reimbursement and a 403(b) retirement plan. There is a smaller student to teacher ratio than in other Pennsylvania counties such as Delaware County, Chester County and Philadelphia.
There are many 1-acre custom homes now available by Lancaster County builders in the Solanco School District by the Custom Home Group. Contact them today for available homes and relocation assistance.