Top Reasons For Investing On A Vacation Home

A yearly out-of-town vacation is a short, but worthy break from your very hectic lifestyle. Even if some people can afford to go abroad with their own families, there are those who choose to stay just visit other local tourist spots. Apart from conservation money, there is also the possibility of finding a permanent vacation…

A yearly out-of-town vacation is a short, but worthy break from your very hectic lifestyle. Even if some people can afford to go abroad with their own families, there are those who choose to stay just visit other local tourist spots. Apart from conservation money, there is also the possibility of finding a permanent vacation destination where you can stay overnight or for a few days.

This may sound expensive for most people, but investing in your own vacation house can be affordable and more reasonable way to spend your vacation. Just think if you live in a colder region because your work and most of your relatives are situated there permanently. You can either find a forever home in a different location or invest on a second house for the purpose of summer holidays and vacations with the kids.

What Are Your Options?

Basically, you only have two options when it comes to building the vacation house you've always wanted. It's either you go for traditional construction were the house is build onsite from the ground up. This involves hiring a contractor, architect, and their crews to help achieve the style you want.

The other option is to go for pre-built kit homes which are more affordable than the latter. These are planned, designed, cut, and pre-built in a manufacturing setting. Onsite, the completion of this type of housing is done with or without the help of a contractor. If you have a builder's know-how or there are family members who can help you as a builder-owner, then, you must go for it to minimize the overall costs.

However, before any construction or assembly begins, you will need a parcel of land. You may be able to invest this piece of property within a year or two before finally building and completing your vacation house. A few hundred thousand dollars may hurt your wallet in the process of paying off your land, but choosing the more affordable kit home can help cut costs. If you worry about the type of material to choose, you'll find timber kit homes more popular because of their style and overall feel. For a country or beachfront vacation house, timber is the way to go. It is earthy, reasonably priced, and often treated with eco-friendly products to maintain their quality and durability over time.

As a final note, it is still up to you to choose the best option. Just remember that a pricey property does not always mean it is the better choice. Always consider your family's needs and factors such as affordability, safety, and quality of the materials used.

Top Reasons To Build A Secondary Home

A family home is often the center of gatherings, reunions with relatives, and hang-outs for teenagers and their friends. It can also be the home of your elderly parents because they refuse to live in a retirement community. There is nothing wrong with opening your home to these folks since they are all part of…

A family home is often the center of gatherings, reunions with relatives, and hang-outs for teenagers and their friends. It can also be the home of your elderly parents because they refuse to live in a retirement community. There is nothing wrong with opening your home to these folks since they are all part of your life.

But what if you can provide a space that's just meant for them to stay in during such situations?

One of the best options you can have for this purpose is a granite flat. Provided that you have a big parcel of land which can fit in two to three average-sized homes, it is possible to have a secondary home. Kit granny flats are perfect for this project because it is often smaller than the primary house. It may have one to two bedrooms or a loft as sleeping quarters. Finding the design and size can determine the space that the secondary home will occupy within your residential lot.

Major Considerations

If it is meant to be your elders' home, it is important to provide furniture that is safe and secure. Your parents should be able to move with efficiency and without obstruction, and facilities should also be very accessible. Many families choose single storey kit granny flats with one to two rooms to prevent their elders from accidents, injuries, and other staircase-related dilemmas.

For visiting relatives, an average-sized vacation flat with two bedrooms is enough to accommodate them. Not only can they save money during their stay, but they'll be able to relax and feel more comfortable. Comparatively, a stay in a lavish hotel can cost up to a few thousand dollars for just a couple of days. And since they are staying in a real house, they can use the kitchen to cook their meals, the laundry facilities to wash and dry their clothes, and do other chores.

The secondary home can be a private nook for the avid reader and a residence-based office area for the entrepreneur in the family. Having privacy is among the top considerations, so you can never go wrong with this type of housing option for both members of the family. They can use any room in the flat to set their favorite desks and chairs, as well as other furniture.

As an extra accommodation for returning college students in the family, you can provide them larger space through kit granny flats. Remember that not all teenagers are thrilled about spring break, so make sure you always have room for your adolescent kids. This is also another way way for them to enjoy their breaks with their friends without you being worried. They can have their own space without disabling the main house and you can also delegate chores since they're using the flat regularly.

There are more reasons to get kit granny flats these days. The first thing to do if you want one is to know if there are regulations or policies in building a secondary home. So, make sure to discuss this with your municipal officer.

Important Points To Keep In Mind While Designing Your Own Home

People often explore options to optimize the look and feel of their living space. All homeowners even prefer custom home plans to build a house that fulfills all their needs. The advancement in communication technology has further made it easier for modern people to design their own home in a quick and hassle-free way. There…

People often explore options to optimize the look and feel of their living space. All homeowners even prefer custom home plans to build a house that fulfills all their needs. The advancement in communication technology has further made it easier for modern people to design their own home in a quick and hassle-free way. There are a number of free software programs that will help you in creating a virtual house within a few minutes. But most online house designing tools require users to provide certain ideas and basic guidelines to design the home plan online. So it becomes essential for you do some initial research before making the custom home designs.

List down Your Requirements:

While designing a house, you must keep in mind the requirements of each member of your family. For instance, you have to decide the number of bedrooms your family needs. Normally, a house consist of both larger and smaller rooms. So you have to decide the size of each room. Also, you need to concentrate on choosing the floor plan for the bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. At the same time, you also need to explore options to extend your living space by designing the basement in a proper way.

Gather Home Designing Ideas:

The trends in house plans also change at frequent intervals. If you are not familiar with the latest home structure designs and styles, it is time to brush up your knowledge. You can gather the latest home designing ideas from both online and offline sources. Along with reading books and magazines on home designing, you can also gather innovative ideas by reading the online articles and blogs. It is also a good idea to observe the houses in your neighborhood to decide the details that you will like to incorporate in your custom home designs.

Choose the Home Design Software:

You have several options to design your home. You can still make the blueprint for your house in a traditional way by using paper, pencil or eraser. But the online home planning software applications will make it easier for you to create a virtual home without putting any extra time and effort. You also have options to choose from a variety of house design software applications. A simple web search will get you information about the free house design software. But you have to evaluate the features and functionality of the software before deciding which one complements your requirements perfectly.

Evaluate the Online Home Designs:

After selecting the free building design software, you can use it to design your virtual home in 2D or 3D. The software will further provide you templates to design the floor layouts. Also, you can use the easy-to-use designing tool to experiment with different layouts by dragging and dropping lighting devices, appliances, furniture, cabinets and countertops. Similarly, you can experiment with different bathroom layouts by adding shower, bathtub, sink, mirror and toilet. After designing the virtual home, get it evaluated by each member of your family. Their feedback and suggestion will help you in optimizing the impact of the house plan.

It is also a good idea to design your own home using multiple software application. By comparing different versions of the virtual home, you can easily pick the best custom home designs that complete all your requirements.

What Are Your Basic Real Estate Options?

In what may be one of the largest decisions you make in your life, and one of the largest debts you freely agree to, have you taken time to check out all of your options? In what situation is it better to buy than to sell? In an unstable economy and job market it's important…

In what may be one of the largest decisions you make in your life, and one of the largest debts you freely agree to, have you taken time to check out all of your options? In what situation is it better to buy than to sell? In an unstable economy and job market it's important that one is well informed on the possible good and bad consequences of such a decision. Let's start by discussing buying, renting, a renting-to-own option, and then dabble into cash flow.

Buying a home sees to convey the most commitment. This person tends to have interests in staying with this property for more than a couple years. The location may be ideal for a family and allow for a comfortable home life. This individual will get the entire home-buying experience, from the hefty down payment of about 20% (depending on your credit score), to the small details like home repairs and upkeep of the home and yard. Interesting thought: Some claim that owning a home may increase one's chances of stress-induced mental / health problems. Others of us may attribute such issues to a spouse or children, while we love em ', they do not always make it easy.

Renting a home may be a more affordable option depending on the location. Renting does not require the same investment as buying does, so if your continuing education or considering a career change, renting might be a better option for you. This individual may choose to rent a smaller property to save money for a future home purchase. As a renter, choose what best satisfies your needs. If you need to move, move, you can. Buy only things necessary to make it home, for now, the larger the rental property the more money wasted on furniture or goods that may not be of use to you in the future. Sometimes there's an added bonus to being a renter, many rental properties can be found furnished and require little maintenance and financial investment.

An alternative to buying / renting might be renting to own. Instead of initially purchasing a property, a potential buyer and seller agree on a contract, in which monthly rental payments are made based on the home's value. These payments are often above the going rates and can count toward the future sale, if the renter decides to exercise the pre-paid option-typically 1% of the sale price-, to buy. After about 2-5 years (see seller / buyer contract), the renter can choose to buy the home at the original price minus the equity he / she has built, or move.

If none of the above options sound like something of interest to you maybe initially buying a property and then leasing it out is a better option for you. This option may entail taking out a loan to put a downpayment on a home, but if years later, you decide it's not a property you want to stay in, you have the option to move somewhere else and simply find tenants for your vacated property. You may think of this as being both the buyer and the seller, but you have someone else making payments for you, otherwise known as the renter. With this option, there are now cashflow options and an ability to actually make money off of the property.

Before any serious research consider a location. This small, but incredibly important detail will influence the price substantively in all cases. Then consider how long you plan to stay at this location. If this location will be a place you and your family choose to stay for at least 5 years, do not hesitate to look into home-buying options (there may even be a sweet tax deduction just for buying a house). Do not simply make a decision based on a “possible” tax break, or just to say you own a home. You want to be absolutely positive that you are getting the best possible value out of your investment. Remember, there will always be hidden costs. Make sure to do your homework and check the vacancy rates in the area you are looking to buy or rent. Good luck!

Searching For a Lot to Build a Home On

In many parts of the country, there just are not enough homes currently for sale. This shortage leads to pricing and bidding wars for the few good homes that are available. A great way to avoid this potentially cost situation is to find a lot to build on and create the home you want. Here…

In many parts of the country, there just are not enough homes currently for sale. This shortage leads to pricing and bidding wars for the few good homes that are available. A great way to avoid this potentially cost situation is to find a lot to build on and create the home you want. Here are some tips for avoiding hassles and getting the right piece of land that meets your budget.

Access

It probably goes without saying that you will need access to your new lot by car and foot. What you may not know is that some real estate available for sale does not have access. Meaning, these properties are surrounded by other property and they do not front a road or other access point. If you purchase a piece of property with this issue, you will need to get an easement from surrounding property owners to install a driveway and this can get expensive. Make sure any piece of property you are considering has the proper access.

Costs

Every piece of property has reoccurring costs that go along with it. These costs can include real estate taxes, homeowners association dues, insurance, and sewer availability fees. For budget purposes, be sure to investigate all holding costs prior to purchase.

Fees

Typically when you build a new home there are local fees required. These are sometimes called impact fees to cover the extra burden that more residents put on the system. These fees cover expansion and operating costs for water, sewer, schools, roads and emergency services. Because these fees can cost tens of thousands of dollars when building new, be sure to fully understand them for the location of any property you are considering.

Building Codes

Each municipality enforces its own building codes to protect citizens. Because these are local, it's possible for requirements to be drastically different from one community to the next. For example, there are some communities that require fire sprinkler systems to be installed in new homes which can add thousands of dollars to the cost of your home. So, be sure to talk to the local building department prior to purchasing a building to find out what codes would increase your costs.

There are some great deals out there for building lots. Just make sure you do your diligence to prevent hassles and unexpected costs.

Don’t Be A Slave To Your Big House, Consider Building A Small House

If you are thinking about building a small house, hooray for you! Building a small house has many advantages. For starters, small houses cost less. First, there is the expense of construction. Building costs are typically measured by the square foot. If construction costs in your area are $ 200 per square foot, a 1,200…

If you are thinking about building a small house, hooray for you!

Building a small house has many advantages. For starters, small houses cost less. First, there is the expense of construction. Building costs are typically measured by the square foot. If construction costs in your area are $ 200 per square foot, a 1,200 square foot home will cost $ 240,000. A 1,500 square foot home will cost $ 300,000. Just a small increase in area, adds quite a substantial amount to the construction cost. Money saved = fewer hours working to pay off that mortgage!

Small houses also cost less over time. If you pay property tax, your annual tax bill will be smaller because just like construction costs, property taxes are derived from the home's square footage. Maintenance ?, it will be less. With less volume to heat and cool, lower utility bills.

Small houses are easier to clean. I mean really, who wants to spend all weekend cleaning their house? Clutter is not a pretty thing in a small house, there just is not room for it. If you are moving into a small home from a larger one, you really have to spend some time thinking about what is of value to you and what is not. It may be hard at first, imagining your life without all the things that you've become accustomed to, but living with less can be a rather freeing experience. You learn what works and what does not and you do not spend time on the things that do not work.

Small houses are perfect for those small or unusual urban lots. In many cities there are not big lots available, never mind that big lots are more expensive. A lot that is always overlooked because it is small or oddly shaped might be just perfect for you, especially if it has great views and is within walking distance of the things you love.

Small homes are not as attractive to thieves. Maybe it's because it's obvious that you can not fit too many large screen TV's into your house.

With fewer TV's and physical abundance to each other, it's likely that your family may develop a closeness that you would not otherwise enjoy. Parents may also appreciate knowing what the kids are doing and knowing where they are.

It's possible to pack more quality into a smaller home. Covering every square inch of a big kitchen with granite and tile is a lot more expensive and difficult than doing the same thing in a smaller kitchen. Same holds true for all the other rooms.

I encourage you to consider building the smallest house that will work for you. There really is not a reason to build big if you do not need it. A big house may impress the neighbors, but the question is worth asking is do you really need all of that space and what is it going to cost you in terms of time, money and quality of life?

Building a home is a huge endeavor, the more thought you can put into it up front, the happier you will be in the end.

How to Save Energy the No-Brainer Way

The most energy-efficient home in the world will not perform well if it's humans are not paying attention. Like it or not, we have a dramatic effect on the energy use of our homes and no amount of good design can fix poor occupant habits. No Brainer tips for saving energy: The US Department of…

The most energy-efficient home in the world will not perform well if it's humans are not paying attention. Like it or not, we have a dramatic effect on the energy use of our homes and no amount of good design can fix poor occupant habits.

No Brainer tips for saving energy:

  • The US Department of energy recommends setting your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees and setting it to 78 degrees in summer. Of course, that is just a recommendation, if you are comfortable at greater setbacks you will save more money. Additionally, they recommend greater setbacks when you are not home or when you are sleeping. The less you use your heating and cooling system, the lower your costs will be.
  • Program your programmable thermostat to help you manage your temperatures. This will help you “remember” to turn down the heat when you are gone or when you are sleep.
  • When your heating or air conditioning is running, keep your doors and windows closed. Leaks are the fastest way to lose the conditioned air that you just paid for.
  • If you have cool summer nights, open your windows at night and close up during the day. This is a way to get free cooling and will reduce your cooling expenses.
  • If you have ceiling fans, use them. The feeling of a breeze dramatically affects our feeling of being cool. Fans are much less expensive to use than air conditioning.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. When it is cold outside, wear a sweater, when it is hot wear lighter clothing. This will help reduce the need to heat or cool your home.
  • Limit the amount of hot water you use by doing your laundry in cold water, each load done in hot water costs about 70 cents, while each load done in cold water costs about 5 cents. There are some great cold water detergents available now.
  • Take shorter showers and use a low flow shower head. This will help to keep your hot water use to a minimum.
  • Point your faucet to cold when you turn it off, so that when you turn it on next you do not draw hot water and cause your water heater to start producing hot water. This will help to limit the amount of hot water you use.
  • Use a clothesline, not the dryer. Each dryer load costs about 75 cents. Your clothesline is free.
  • Wait until you have a full load to do laundry or dishes. Fewer loads means less energy use.
  • Turn off your lights, computers, battery chargers, televisions etc., when not in use. Just like your mom told you to.
  • Change out your lighting to LED's, they are even more efficient than compact fluorescents.
  • Keep your refrigerator between 37 and 40 degrees and your freezer at 5 degrees. Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.

Good habits are easy if you understand how a home uses energy. In the US, the average energy use breaks out as listed below.

  • Space Heating: 43%
  • Space Cooling: 9.7%
  • Water Heating: 17.10%
  • Lighting: 6.2%
  • Refrigeration (your fridge and freezer): 3.9%
  • Electronics: 3.0%
  • Wet Cleaning (washing machine and dishwasher): 3.2%
  • Cooking: 3.10%
  • Computers: 1.6%
  • Other: 9.3%

Whether your home is existing or you are planning to build a new home, your habits will affect your energy use.

How Much Insulation Do You Need in Your New Home?

Every building needs insulation. How much is a question that has largely been answered by the space available. In a “6-inch” stud wall, the cavities are filled with 5 1/2 “of insulation. This works well enough, but, it could be better. The function of insulation is to keep us warm in winter and cool in…

Every building needs insulation. How much is a question that has largely been answered by the space available. In a “6-inch” stud wall, the cavities are filled with 5 1/2 “of insulation.

This works well enough, but, it could be better. The function of insulation is to keep us warm in winter and cool in summer, but most of us are not that comfortable in our homes. We've got to really crank the heat or a / c to help us feel comfortable, and even then it can be spotty.

For insulation, there is typically a point of diminishing returns. This is true when you are talking about increasing the R-value by a few points, the extra insulation will not improve efficiency dramatically enough to make the added insulation cost-effective.

However, if you add more than just a few points, and think in terms of doubling or even tripling the R-value , then there are some real returns on efficiency, cost-effectiveness and comfort. This is the arena of super-insulation and high performance homes. Super-insulation, together with air sealing, thermal bridge free design and balanced ventilation can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 90%.

Super-insulation is best completed in new construction. If you are thinking about building, it's a no-brainer that you should super-isolate your home. However, do not go willy nilly installing a bunch of insulation without a plan. This is one area where professional help is advisable.

There are several types of insulation on the market and all can be used in a high performance home. A quick round-up of the most commonly used insulation types including Batt insulation, Blown in Fiberglass Batt insulation (BIBS), Cellulose, Spray foam, Rock wool and Rigid foam boards. There are other types like cotton and wool, but they are less readily available. Insulation effectiveness varies, but with the exception of a few foams, R-values ​​are generally in the vicinity of R 3.0 to R4.0 per inch.

Do not believe the claims of higher R-values ​​marketed by certain insulation manufacturers. They refer to “effective R-value” and it is misleading. They are combining the air sealing properties of their insulation and the R-value. While it is true that insulation will perform better in an airtight structure, it is false advertising to suggest that the actual R-value is higher than it really is.

Insulation R-Value per inch of thickness (average)

Fiberglass Batt

3.1.4.3

Blown in Batt System (BIBS) – loose fill

3.0

BIBS – dense pack

4.2

Cellulose – wet spray

3.0-3.8

Cellulose – loose fill

3.0-3.8

Spray Foam – open cell

3.6

Spray Foam – closed cell

6.5

Rock Wool – Loose fill

2.5 – 3.7

Rock Wool – batt

4.2

Rock Wool – board

4.0

Rigid Board – XPS – high density

5.0-5.4

Rigid Board – EPS – high density

4.2

Rigid Board – polyisocyanurate

6.0

Cotton (blue jeans)

3.7

Because each house and climate is unique, having an experienced energy modeler to determine the right amount of insulation for your home and climate can help you realize the benefits of super-insulation.

Low Energy Use Buildings

It's crazy, but we know more about the efficiency of our cars than of our homes. Think about it, you probably know what kind of mileage your car gets but you without you are especially geeky, it's very likely that you do not know how your home energy use compares to other homes in your…

It's crazy, but we know more about the efficiency of our cars than of our homes. Think about it, you probably know what kind of mileage your car gets but you without you are especially geeky, it's very likely that you do not know how your home energy use compares to other homes in your community. You may be asking yourself why should I care?

Off the top of my head, here are three reasons to care:

1. A more energy-efficient home costs you less.

2. It's good for the planet, really really.

3. Energy efficient homes are more comfortable.

According to the most recent statistics from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), the average annual energy expenditure across all types of residential structures in the US is $ 1.03 per square foot. In a 2,000 square foot house, that is an average cost of $ 2,060. annually or $ 171 per month. That is much higher than it needs to be and it is possible to reduce the amount of energy used by 50% and more. Just a 50% reduction results in a potential energy savings of $ 1,030 annually. Instead of paying the utility company, it's money that you can park in savings or use for other things. In any case, the interesting thing is that there is quite a bit of money to be saved just by improving the energy efficiency of your home.

According to architecture 2030 buildings were responsible for 47.6% of the CO2 emissions in the US in 2010. The other two chunks were transportation at 33.4% and industry at 19.9%. Buildings are the largest culprit, and while we need to tackle all three sectors, reducing CO2 emissions from buildings will have an immediate and significant impact. That is a sobering fact. It's also a kick in the pants fact because we CAN build better buildings right now, and clearly we need to!

When buildings are built to improve energy efficiency, an often overlooked benefit is comfort. Not comfort as in luxurious spa kind of experience, but comfort as in thermal comfort, no need for long johns kind of experience. The factors that improve energy efficiency and comfort are better insulation, fewer leaks and fewer thermal bridges. Building this way takes extra attention on both the design and construction side, but it is certainly not rocket science, more than anything it is common sense and attention to detail.

If there were an MPG ratings for houses, it would be the Home Energy Rating System or HERS, the most widely recognized rating system for home energy use in the US. HERS is exceeded by RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network. A building with a score of 100 is considered to be the average new standard home, the lower the HERS score the better the performance. The ultimate energy efficiency goal is a score of ZERO, which is a zero energy home, one that makes as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.

There are two paths to get to zero. Both are legitimate and have their place. For existing buildings, often the most practical method of getting to zero is to match the energy use over the course of a year with an equivalent amount of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or wind power.

The other path to zero is to limit the energy use of a building before adding the renewable energy source. This is most easily accomplished with new construction and buildings with a HERS score of 50 and below are ideally suited to becoming zero energy buildings.

Low energy use buildings help limit the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, they are comfortable to live in and they save you money! We can build this way today, it takes a little extra effort, but once you know how to build right, there is no going back!

A Few Good Reasons To Invest On A Luxury/Vacation Home

In this day and age, it is always a challenge to invest on huge properties and costs items. Homes and vehicles are often considered luxuries and may not be the best investments for families with growing needs. At this point in time, many people are selling their homes because they can not pay their mortgage…

In this day and age, it is always a challenge to invest on huge properties and costs items. Homes and vehicles are often considered luxuries and may not be the best investments for families with growing needs. At this point in time, many people are selling their homes because they can not pay their mortgage fees regularly. But how come some people are still able to save and invest on homes and smaller properties such as parcels of lands in the countryside?

The possibilities of investing on large properties are not too difficult for those who know how to save money and where to find those types of investments. There are people who go for alternative options when it comes to choosing houses and parcels of lands. For some folks who were able to secure themselves with a few thousand dollars, they usually look for inexpensive homes in the market. They have the option to re-sell or capitalize on the possible profit they can get from renting it out.

If you have been looking for an investment that can be rented to other people, luxury kit homes is one of the options you can choose. These are not very expensive and you can assemble one right at your own backyard if there is sufficient space. Some families in the Pacific region and North America know the policies regarding kit homes that can used as source of extra income.

You can plan ahead and see how you can come up with the budget for paying off an additional property. If you wish to build a new house on a new lot, the cost is heavier compared to other options. But if you go for luxury kit homes, even if you have paid or will still pay for a parcel of land, you can still minimize your expenses in the long run. Some families do this to also add value to their existing properties. They may not be renting the other home to other people, but they will be able to add value once they have it appraised.

There will also be a few risks involved especially if you are on the verge of paying off the main house you live in. A luxury or vacation house you can rent out can alleviate your financial burdens only if you have saved enough for another property or you have extra cash in case of emergency. Some families take this risk and do double jobs to finance their payments, but not everyone is destined to succeed. What you can do is plan for this future endeavor and save some cash. While you are at it, you can search the web for options and websites that specialize in kit homes if this is the route you are going for. You can look for plans or packages, as well as financial assistance that some companies are providing.

Earth Sheltering to Reduce Windstorm Damage in High Risk Areas

In the US there are areas where every year Tornadoes, Hurricanes and the other natural disasters cause wind damage and even death. There are benefits to living below ground with proper drain and ventilation. Earth sheltering is still at this time viewed as unconventional by the general public. There are three types of Earth type…

In the US there are areas where every year Tornadoes, Hurricanes and the other natural disasters cause wind damage and even death. There are benefits to living below ground with proper drain and ventilation. Earth sheltering is still at this time viewed as unconventional by the general public.

There are three types of Earth type construction. Fully Underground: The house is built below grade. A courtyard is constructed in the center of the house to give all the rooms adequate light and ventilation. Side of the hill: The house is built into a hill side. There is one wall that is facing out, toward the equator. In the northern hemisphere toward the south and in the southern hemisphere toward the north. This gives maximum exposure to warm sun and air to the exposed wall. All of the other three walls are buried in the hill. Berm: The house is built above ground and the earth is piled against it sloping away from the house. The roof may covered with dirt or left exposed. Windows can be built on any side of the exposed walls. There are less drainage and ventilation problems with this type of construction since the berm house is built above ground.

Underground housing is environmentally friendly. There are cost savings in both construction and energy. The usual method of construction is cut and fill. Cutting into the slope of a hill and filling in around the walls. The roof is completely covered and can be mowed. This saves land area. As the roof can also have a garden or be used for recreation. The cut and fill method saves construction costs because soil does not have to be transported from another location.

Passive solar design helps heat the earth sheltered house. The exposed wall in the cut and fill construction design faces southward getting the warm air. Passive cooling is accomplished with a fan which draws air from the outside through underground cooling tubes and then into the house. This also provides for ventilation.

Basically an underground house can take advantage of the stabilizing effects of the earth's mass. The average underground temperature is 55 degrees f year round. This makes the house easier to cool and also easier to heat. The DOE (Dept. of Energy) states that the earth sheltered home is less intolerable to the impact of extreme outside air temperature. The occupants do not have to feel the effects of adverse weather as much as in a conventional house. The temperatures inside the house is more stable than in a conventional house. There is less temperature volatility and the occupants of the rooms feel more comfortable.

Earth sheltering can play a part in making hurricane soil areas more safe from natural disasters.

Choosing a Building Site for Your Custom Home Design

Once someone has come to the decision to build a new home the next step is often choosing a building site. There are many factors in choosing a building site. Consider asking yourself a question regarding the location of your new home: is it in good procurement to work, shopping and schools, or does recreation,…

Once someone has come to the decision to build a new home the next step is often choosing a building site. There are many factors in choosing a building site. Consider asking yourself a question regarding the location of your new home: is it in good procurement to work, shopping and schools, or does recreation, a scenic view or an ideal setting outweigh the demands of a daily routine? This is where your selection process should start, and it's important. Our homes are the place that we come back to at the end of each and every day. They need to be a place that we want to come back to at the end of our daily activities and a place to be proud to call our own.

Contacting a professional at this stage of the home design process can be key to the fulfillment of your dreams. The advice of an architect or a residential designer can also help you avoid unforeseen difficulties with a potential site. A good designer knows where to go to investigate property easements, riparian setbacks, soils reports and zoning bylaw information. Can you even build the intended home on the subject property? Are there going to be unforeseen development costs? Residential designers can provide the answers to many of these questions.

Years of wisdom also help designers work with you as you consider sight-lines, seasonal weather patterns, wind direction, sun angles and site grading to develop a schematic site analysis. Other distinct site attributes will also be noticed by your designer including existing vegetation, either to be retained or removed. Some municipals even have tree bylaws that imposes heavy fines for the removal of certain trees. Looking at these and other factors lays the proper groundwork for a home that will have every room in it's proper place with it's intended function.

Recently a potential client contacted me and asked to interview me. I suggested meeting at the site and they agreed that it would be a good idea to do so. While on site I asked if they were aware of the current zoning restrictions and that the front triangle of the property belonged to the city. Although they had contacted other designers about the planning of the home, no-one had mentioned these issues to them. Further, they were due to close on the property the very next day! I accompanied them to city hall to have the issues clarified. In the end they backed out of the purchase of the lot and are looking for another building site, avoiding an additional $ 120,000 in land acquisition and development permit costs plus 8 months of legal process. Surely, there is value in the advice of a multitude of councilors!

A Few Housing Options For Cash-Strapped Families

Buying a home is considered a huge investment. No matter where you are, this fact is among many families' concerns simply because of the amount of money needed in order to purchase one. There are real estate companies that offer low-cost housing options and packages for families with low to average incomes. But still, not…

Buying a home is considered a huge investment. No matter where you are, this fact is among many families' concerns simply because of the amount of money needed in order to purchase one. There are real estate companies that offer low-cost housing options and packages for families with low to average incomes. But still, not everyone is capable of paying monthly mortgage especially with the current global economic status.

But having a home is a necessity for every family. One can not live under the roof of his parents forever. The elders need their own homes and independence as well. They too can not just live with any member of their family. Even if they get offers from relatives and their own children, many elders prefer to stay in their old homes or transfer to retirement centers with other individuals.

What you can do:

If you and your folks can not just let this problem take over your lives and relationship as a family, you can look into a variety of options to obtain a home that's affordable and reasonable for all. One of the options you can look into is townhouses which usually have less lot and floor areas. These are similar to condominiums, but most of them are sold together with the lot.

Another way is to search for duplex houses or a larger house which you can share with your folks. It is possible to build a separating wall to divide the house into two sections, giving both families the privacy and independence they deserve.

But for those who have existing homes, you can check your property if it still has sufficient space for a new structure. If this is the home of your parents, you can talk to them about sharing the small piece of available land and paying it off with a small interest. You will need to get their approval and of the city council if you wish to build another house adjacent to your parents' home.

One of the options you can go for with regards to adding another building in a residential lot is a granny flat. This type of housing is not just for the elderly and these are not your ordinary cottage house either. Finding cheap granny flats on the web from various sellers is one way to save money, so you'll be able to pay your parents for the small parcel of land you will receive from them.

It may be a good idea to just live your parents. But this is not always the right way to live especially if you are starting your own family. You can keep the peaceful relationship you have with your folks while investing on a more reasonable property. And both parties will still have their own privacy even if you are just a few steps away from each other.

Home Building Project: Hiring The Best Builder For Your New Home Project

Are You Building A New Home? When building your dream home, the most important task is to get the right house plans and then find a reliable and trustworthy building contractor who can help you with the construction process. While looking for a reputed home builder, you should always take your time and do a…

Are You Building A New Home?

When building your dream home, the most important task is to get the right house plans and then find a reliable and trustworthy building contractor who can help you with the construction process. While looking for a reputed home builder, you should always take your time and do a thorough research of the builder before hiring them for the task.

Remember that this people will be working on your project and so you should always hire someone who can assure you with quality services. Put the same time and effort into finding a home builder that you did to choose a real estate agent to get the desired results.

How Can You Find The Best Builders For Your Project?

  • Visit The National Association Of Home Builders Website

Once you visit the website, you can then find a long list of building contractors operating in your area. Make sure that the builder you have hired for the project is a member of a reputed building association.

  • Get References / Recommendation From Your Near And Dear Ones

Have a talk with everyone you know who has recently built a home and happy with the services provided by the builder. Ask them wherever the builder completed the work within budget, and on time.

Inspect the home on your own. Focus on all the small details to get an idea of ​​the work.

Make a list of the top building contractors and then start with the interview process. Prepare your questions and ask them on the interview.

Have a look at some of the most common questions asked on the interview: –

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you work on both the residential and commercial projects?
  • Do you give insurance coverage?
  • Can you explain a little bit about the insurance coverage you give to clients?
  • How many sub-contractors you have? How long have you worked with them? They are experienced
  • How do you deal with a project?
  • Do you offer a guarantee?

Remember, questioning them is very important. Even a simple question can help you to know a lot about them.

Quick Tips To Find The Best Home Builder

  • Get a list of the completed projects in the past one or two years, not just a list of testimonials from customers. If you have time, visit the home and do a quick inspection of the work.
  • Ask for a copy of the warranty and get it checked by a professional lawyer.
  • Discuss the details of your project with the prospective builder. Does he understand the needs and requirements of your project?

Finally, never ever sign in a contract unless you have read all the points carefully.

Conclusion

Living in a beautiful and appealing home with your loved ones is one of the greatest pleasures. With just a little bit of research and patience, you can find the best builders who can carry out the work of your new home project in a peaceful and hassle free way.

New Home Builders and You – Deciding Where to Build

You have decided to hire new home builders to build the house that will satisfy all of your family's needs. You need to choose a style and plan for your place, while at the same time you need to select a lot. Which one of these should you choose first? Both approaches can be good.…

You have decided to hire new home builders to build the house that will satisfy all of your family's needs. You need to choose a style and plan for your place, while at the same time you need to select a lot. Which one of these should you choose first?

Both approaches can be good. It is up to you which way you wish to go. You may have your heart set on a particular kind of house and have a specific floor plan in mind. In this case, the lot required may not seem as important in the beginning. Having an awareness of the architectural style that suits you will play a vital role in the characteristics and size of the building site.

There could be issues that develop however, if you select a floor plan too soon. This is something that you should talk over with the new home builders. A house can be designed to suit a particular landscape, but the problem is that the landscape may not be able to be modified to accommodate the specifications of the predetermined plans for the residence. The land that the new home builders construct your dwelling on will affect all of the design elements including where the driveway will be located, the room configuration and the window placement, among other things.

Taking into consideration the type of house you want to have built and the site for it to be built on is thoughtful planning from the start. Whatever your home will be perched on a hill, built in a subdivision or will be located overlooking the ocean, you need to think about all of these important aspects of planning for a great home, before other plans are put into action. You want the contracting and design teams to construct a house for you that will live up to all of your high expectations.

Once you have found a promising piece of land to build on, take some time to visit it before any of the work gets underway. Walk the full length of the property by yourself, with your family members and with the new home builders who will be doing the construction of the dwelling. Go to the site at different times of the day and early evening to get a feel for it. Do your own version of a homeowner's evaluation. Think about the ways in which the site will play a role in the style and shape of residence that you choose.

Pay attention to the general characteristics of the land as you do your numerous walkabouts. Concentrate on every aspect of the landscape. You will also want to consider if the size of your proposed house will be proportional to the lot size that you have chosen. You do not want to build a tiny home on a huge lot or a mansion on a minuscule piece of land! This is something you may wish to talk over with your contractor.