Here we are again, January, when many of us make new commitments to get healthy. Some of the biggest obstacles to working out on a regular basis are time and motivation. Working gym or yoga time into your daily schedule can be tough, especially on dark winter mornings and evenings. That’s why so many people carve out space in their home for a treadmill, weight bench or other exercise equipment.
When you design a new custom home, it’s easy to plan for a home fitness area. Not only can you add a room or configure your lower level to include a home gym, you can figure out the type of windows, flooring, HVAC and technological features that will make your workout space a place that the whole family wants to spend time in. Continue reading
Cozying up to a crackling fire is one of the most enjoyable things about winter. Whether you have a wood burning, electric, or modern gas fireplace, take precautions to keep your family — and house — safe around the hearth. Continue reading
There’s nothing like gleaming new hardwood floors. Hardwood can take a lot of abuse, but it’s also susceptible to scratches and damage from pets, furniture, and all of that holiday foot traffic. Experts often recommend that everyone remove their shoes in the house to reduce dirt and allergens indoors. But that’s not always a practical option. Here are some care tips to keep your hardwood in good shape for years to come. Continue reading
Darkness comes early these days, and how you light your home can make a big difference in both the mood and function of your interior spaces. You want to be able to create a cozy vibe, but also feel energized in the evening to cook or get work done. Continue reading
If you have decided to build a custom home in the Pittsburgh area, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing where you want to live. Proximity to family and work are two of the most important things that people consider when deciding on a neighborhood.
But for anyone relocating to Western Pennsylvania for a job or other opportunity in Pittsburgh or the surrounding area, Westmoreland County has much to offer. From communities such as Murrysville and Penn Township, you can commute to downtown Pittsburgh in under an hour, and still enjoy the lower property taxes and gorgeous scenery that Westmoreland County offers.
At the end of the Victorian era, a growing middle class meant more and more families were becoming homeowners. Between 1905 and 1930, Craftsman-style architecture became hugely popular for its emphasis on natural light, earthy colors and materials, charming scale and open floor plans. It was, in part, a reaction to the oversized, ornate and very formal Victorian home.
You don’t need to choose a builder for your new home, you need to choose the right builder. Depending on your budget and the style of home you want to build, not every builder will be good fit. Here’s a very broad checklist of things to do to make sure find the perfect builder for you.
Be Clear About Your Needs
Before you start researching builders, spell out exactly what you want in a new home project, including the specific size and type of house, location, and your price range and timeline. This information can help to narrow down your potential builders list right away.
Get Recommendations and Reviews
Getting word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends you trust is a great place to start when looking for a custom home builder. If you don’t personally know anyone who has recently built a home, the National Association of Home Builders suggests visiting existing neighborhoods of builders you are interested in on a Saturday morning. You’ll be more likely to see people out and about, and you can ask them how they like their home and their experience working with the builder.
Look at Their Work
Most builders have photo galleries of their work available for viewing. Take advantage of online research, but also make an effort to visit the builder’s model home to get a closer look at and feel for for the quality of their work.
Ask About the Fine Print
Make sure the builder has a current license. Also make note of the warranty program and service plans offered by each builder, and any specific fine print they might have regarding the building process.
Research Resale Values
Browse realtor ads for homes in the area where you’d like to build and look for for listings that feature a builder’s name. A little research into the age of the home and its location can give you some idea of how that builder’s work maintains its value.
Once you start narrowing down your list of preferred builders, definitely arrange to meet with them in person. Not just to ask questions, but to get a feel for individual personalities. Your new home will be an enormous investment of time and money, and you want to make sure that you end up with a builder who makes the process enjoyable.
Even though most of us still have the central air running, it’s time to get started on some fall home maintenance. If you’ve been living in the Pittsburgh area for any length of time, you know that winter weather can sneak up when you aren’t looking and cause exterior damage to your house. Here are 10 things to check off of your list while the weather is fair. Then you can rest easy, knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.