Category Archives: Custom home building tips

Benefits of Building a Custom Home

Westmoreland custom homesIf you know the location where you want to live, it can be frustrating to look at house after house without seeing something that will work for your family. Unless you get the chance to appear on a reality TV show that makes extensive home renovations look like a dream, you might be a little nervous about diving into some costly remodeling or a years-long DIY project.

There are lots of great reasons for building a custom home. Moving into to a brand new space designed just for you is the obvious reason. You can start to enjoy living in your home right away without worrying about knocking down walls or stripping wallpaper. But there are also financial and environmental benefits to building new that you might not have considered. New Home Source has published the following statistics showing how building a new custom home can positively impact resources over the long term.

  • Home insurance, on average, costs 15 percent less for a newly built home compared to an older home.
  • Building a new home with superior insulation and energy efficient windows, appliances and other materials will save both resources and hundred of dollars each year. In a new home, you will be comfortable year-round without taking extra measures for heating and cooling.
  • Newly built homes use 3,449 fewer kilowatt hours, on average, each year.
  • Owners of older homes have spent nearly $1.4 million more, nationwide, than owners of newly built homes on repairs and maintenance in a year’s time.
  • Each day, about 1,000 owners of existing homes spend about $2,000 to replace a hot water heater. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s an example of how smaller items that need to be replaced or repaired in an existing home can cost you unexpected time and money.

With careful planning and a highly qualified builder, you might be surprised to learn that building a unique custom home is not only affordable, but can cost about the same as purchasing an existing home. Want to learn more about the many benefits of building new? We are always happy to share what we know about the latest energy efficient building materials and techniques. Contact us, and let’s meet to talk!

Building a Home in the Winter Months

Westmoreland custom home builderWinters in Westmoreland County and Pittsburgh area have been a mixed bag in recent years, everything from brutal cold and ice to the occasional day of T-shirt weather. Even in a typical, snowy winter, you might be surprised to know that construction crews are still out there building houses. Stored lumber is in good shape as long as any snow is brushed off before melting. It requires some extra preparation and planning, but you can work a winter home build to your advantage.

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Why Westmoreland County is a Great Place to Live

westmoreland county custom home builderIf 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.

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Craftsman 101: Why This Style Is So Popular

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.

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How To Find the Right Builder for Your New Home

How to find the right builder for your new home- Custom Homes BlogYou 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.