Advantages of Spray Foam Insulation

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Weighing both the pros and cons of insulation – whether it is fiberglass, cellulose or spray foam insulation – can be a great way to decide which the best choice for your home is. As with anything, if the positives outweigh the negatives, it is a good decision that pays dividends. The advantages of spray foam insulation are a list of strong attributes that can help make your choice a simple and easy one.

Although spray foam insulation does have an initial higher investment, the advantages that spray foam offers far outweigh the upfront cost.  When you factor in the performance advantage of spray foam insulation that allows you to save on monthly heating and cooling bills every month, the return on investment makes up for the initial upfront investment.  This is because spray foam fills all cracks and crevices where it is applied to limit air leakage which drives your heating and cooling equipment to work overtime to compensate for all that lost air. Also consider that spray foam insulation is not a do-it-yourself project. However, the advantage of a spray foam insulation installation is that you can ensure professional work done by an experienced and licensed contractor.

Some other advantages of spray foam insulation include the insulation’s ability to reduce the risk of ice damage in the cold winter months by keeping your attic/ roof at a constant temperature to help limit the chance of snow melting and refreezing on the eaves. Spray foam insulation also reduces the likelihood of mold due to the air barrier it creates upon application. Some other advantages of spray foam insulation include:

  • Open cell spray foam can create a quieter living space with its sound dampening qualities
  • Indoor living environments can be enhanced due to the foam’s ability to limit the infiltration of allergens and pollutants
  • Once cured, spray foam stays where it is sprayed without sagging or settling over time

Lastly, one of the biggest advantages of spray foam insulation is that it helps keep your house at constant temperatures creating a luxurious and comfortable climate within your home all year round.

When you are thinking of insulation and start to think of the advantages of spray foam insulation, think no further than the attributes above and the long-term value Icynene spray foam has to offer.

Contact Us today to discuss the advantages of using spray foam insulation in your new custom home from Legacy Classic Homes.

Dallas, Fort Worth Ranks 2nd in U.S. Housing Markets For 2017

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Dallas and Fort Worth rank as two of the top housing markets in the United States based on current and projected real estate fundamentals, according to Ten-X Research, an online Irvine, California-based firm that tracks the real estate market.

The two North Texas cities ranked as “hot,” markets based on the strength of the single-family market based on current and future expectations, said Ten X Research CMO Rick Sharga.

“Dallas and Fort Worth are sitting in some high-performing real estate markets with some strong economic fundamentals,” Sharga told the Dallas Business Journal.”It shows these markets are getting away from that boom or bust cycle. They are extremely strong job markets and the affordability levels remain healthy even though prices have gone up significantly.”

The research group has named Fort Worth as the No. 3 “hot,” housing market in the United States following Nashville and Orlando, with Dallas ranking as the No. 4 hottest housing market in the country. San Antonio rounds out the top 5.

The list of top markets is compiled by Ten-X Research from the 50 largest U.S. housing metros based on market fundamentals.

“The way we determine the hot markets is from home sales and home price trends,” Sharga said. “We look at the economic fundamentals of the region, such as unemployment rate trends, population growth and wage growth — which all helps us predict where the market is going.”

Fort Worth’s home prices grew to a cyclical high of 11.7 percent year-over-year this quarter, with a 3.4 percent home sales growth, according to their data. Home prices are at an all-time high of 43 percent above their pre-recession peak.

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Choosing a Home Builder

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If you’re in the market for a new home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your home. Whether you are buying a condo, a townhouse, a house in a subdivision or a custom-built house, you want to know that you are buying a good quality home from a reputable builder. Here are some tips to help you choose a builder.

Make a List of Possible Builders

Once you have thought about the type of house you want, you can create a list of potential builders.

  • Look in the real estate section of your local newspaper for builders and projects. Looking through the ads and reading the articles can help you to learn which builders are active in your area, the types of homes they are building and the prices you can expect to pay. Make a list of builders who build the type of home you’re looking for in your price range.
  • Local real estate agents may also be able to help you in your search.
  • Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Ask about builders they have dealt with directly, or ask them for names of acquaintances who have recently had a good experience with a builder.

Do Your Homework

When you have a list of potential builders, it’s time to start asking lots of questions — of both the potential builders and the owners of their homes.

  • Interview potential home builders to get the answers to all the questions you have. Here is a list of questions to ask builders.
  • Then, visit a builder’s recently built homes and subdivisions. Drive by on a Saturday morning when home owners may be outside doing chores or errands. Introduce yourself and say you are considering buying a home from the builder who built their home. Talk to several owners, and try to get a random sample of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of a builder you are likely to get.
  • Some questions to ask home owners include: Are you happy with your home? If you had any problems, were they fixed promptly and properly? Would you buy another home from this builder?
  • Usually, people tell you if they are pleased with their homes. And if they are not, they’ll probably want to tell you why.
  • At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are visually appealing.
  • When you talk to builders and home owners, take along a notebook to record the information you find and your personal impressions about specific builders and homes. Doing so will help you to make comparisons later.

Shop for Quality and Value

Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses sponsored by builders are good opportunities to look at homes. Model homes and houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to give you ideas for using the space. You may also ask a builder to see unfurnished homes.

When examining a home, look at the quality of the construction features. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trimwork and paint. Ask the builder or the builder’s representative a lot of questions. Get as many specifics as possible. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a question. What seems like an insignificant question might yield an important answer.

Advice On Building Your First Home

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Some home building goofs, like spilled paint or a hole in the drywall are easy to fix as things move along. But you’ve got to be careful to avoid major, costly errors when building your first home. No one wants to spend their hard-earned cash, time and energy building a home only to later discover that there’s been a major oversight which needs correcting. Here are a few things to think about to help you avoid builder’s remorse.

It’s all in the Planning

A house is an investment that is meant to last, theoretically forever. So it’s wise to plan well into the future when you build your first home. Is your family growing? Do you want a place to entertain? Is it in a location where you’d consider spending the rest of your life? Your answers to these questions will determine what kind of home you are looking for.

Work with the Landscape

These days, owners of smaller homes are dedicating less time and resources to initially developing and maintaining their landscapes. But a house that simply sits between block walls or fences obviously isn’t going to be very appealing in the long term. So when you’re planning your build, leave ample space around the house for future gardens or outdoor living spaces.

Safety First

It’s extremely important to feel safe and secure in your home. Planning for things like fire exits, exterior lighting and a security system go a long way in improving the safety of your new home.

Green is Key

A big trend in today’s market is the green home. There are a lot of green, water-saving technologies in a range of prices. Take a look at the ENERGY STAR® website to see a wide variety of energy-saving building products and appliances that you can use in your home.

Keep it Affordable

Size is an important consideration when building your first home. If you are building a larger home you can obviously expect to pay more in mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities but you wouldn’t want to build so small that it leaves you without options for redesign or expansion later. Really think about the spaces you’ll need and what you can afford when planning your house and you won’t have regrets later on.

When you are planning to build your first home, you should really plan to allocate half to two-thirds of what you can actually afford towards building it. No house comes in at or under budget, and sometimes quite a bit over. This results from a variety of factors, some of which may be due to your upgrading specifications, fixtures or materials as you go along. Sometimes it’s an oversight, or increase in building materials costs, or even weather delays. You can reduce overages with diligence and planning but some will always sneak by.

In the Details

It’s easy to think about how many bedrooms you need or what you want in your kitchen but don’t forget other details too. For instance, there should be a bathroom on each floor if you are building a multi-story home. You’ll also want to consider amenities like extra closet space for any guests you might periodically have staying with you.

Leave it to the Professionals

The best advice anyone can give you when building your home is to make as many preparations in advance as possible and let the professionals execute your dream. You should visit the site often to observe what your contractor and subcontractors are up to but making lots of changes during construction will hinder the timeline and ultimately cost you more money. So don’t be afraid to hold off on breaking ground until you are really happy with your design on paper.

Building your first home is a rewarding experience but while you are planning take some time to consider these points and make your home something that will stand the test of time. Remember, your home is likely to be the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so planning and doing it right the first time is the way to assured satisfaction in the final result.

Latest Trends in Home Construction

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The Latest Trends in Home Construction and Renovation

The whole point of building a custom home or doing a major renovation is to create a space that is wholly personal, which means you shouldn’t be beholden to trends. But in the interest of education, let’s talk about some things that are happening now.

Step away from the super-dark, hand-scraped floors for a second. Consider engineered woods with a lighter, more natural finish. Our experts say that white, gray, and washed-wood finishes are making a comeback. Think about bleached, limed, or fumed woods with matte finishes or sealed-only floors. Don’t count out engineered products. They aren’t necessarily cheaper, but you can achieve a more exotic look. You might also consider porcelain tiles. Porcelanosa’s Parker line boasts a “wood” look. Stone floors are also showing up in unexpected places, like master bedrooms.

Fun Fact: To get the look of steel windows, your contractor can match wood on the inside of the window to the color of the outside of the window. Steel versus wood could be a $50,000 difference in price!

Our experts say that, on the whole, new construction is going more contemporary. This doesn’t mean that everyone is moving into glorious, Rachofsky-like glass houses. But on the whole, houses have cleaner lines with less focus on turrets and more use of Austin stone and standing-seam roofs. Europhiles, relax. The Mediterranean isn’t going anywhere—this is Italy Dallas, after all.

Even those who choose to stay with more traditional exteriors are going with modern, open concepts on the inside. That means fewer hallways and tiny, wasted rooms. Open floor plans afford more useable space — the kitchen that opens to the den and possibly dining areas. An abundance of glass and lift-and-slide doors, designed to open and disappear, bring the outdoors in. Again, efficiency is key. Homeowners are better understanding that 100 percent of their spaces should be completely usable.

Even the most risk-averse person should have some fun when building their dream home. Maybe you’re not ready to wallpaper all the ceilings. Fine. But get on board with the glass and metal trends and employ both on your staircase. In fact, why not create a fabulous, floating staircase? Too contemporary? Consider patterned woods, intricate wood designs, or an iron-and-steel combination. (On a side note, you might only need to do one staircase. It seems fewer new homes have two sets of stairs because they take up so much square footage.)

The powder bath is also a great place to try a bold wallpaper, daring paint color, or outrageous tile and hardware. There’s nothing better than stepping into an unexpected and divine powder bath. But what if you hate it? That’s a drag, but it’s not the end of the world. “It’s such a small space, so it’s not significant to change it. That’s why it’s a good place to take chances,” Michael Munir says.

There has been a lot of talk about how the formal living and dining rooms have been eradicated from new homes, but that’s simply not true. The rooms still exist; they function differently. The formal living room is now more of a “parlor” or an “away room,” as in, “I have to get away from the televisions that seem to have shown up in every flipping room, including outdoor spaces, in this house.” Many people choose to make it multi-functional — it could be a library and a bar area. It could open to the patio and be more of a party room. The point is, it doesn’t disappear from the floor plan. It just becomes something that you’ll actually use for more than fancy-but-uncomfortable furniture storage.

Likewise, the designated dining room still exists, but it’s more open and casual. It could be the serving space for even more casual parties. Add bookcases, and, it, too could become a library. 

KITCHEN CONVERSATION

We’ve all heard it: Kitchens (and baths) sell homes. Kitchens are the heart of the home. Grandma’s kitchen: Tasters welcome. We get it! Kitchens are important. But they’re also expensive. Jennifer Fordham of Poggenpohl Dallas says she tries to educate her clients from the beginning about what things cost and parse their needs. “I have to tell them that they don’t need drawers in every single inch of the kitchen,” she says. “You have to think about the odd-shaped things that won’t fit in a drawer.” She also says ventilation is key—folks come in the showroom and ask if there’s any way around having it at all. “They think it’s ugly, but you need it, if only to pass code,” she says with a laugh.

We’ve come to expect stainless steel and granite in high-end kitchens, but maybe it’s time to expand your horizons. “Granite used to be a premium, but now it’s everywhere,” Michael Munir says. “Most apartments have granite now.” Consider engineered stone and other countertop options.

As for stainless steel, it’s still a thing. But like granite, it’s pretty standard stuff. You might want to take a chance on some of the new designs that Miele is producing — basically glassed appliances in all black, white, or chocolate. Think how fantastic they’ll look with the tasteful Ann Sacks tile and Waterworks plumbing fixtures you’ve so carefully chosen. 

For cabinets, think about some of the lighter woods or more natural-colored walnuts, or go bold with some matte lacquers. Fordham says white kitchens are coming back, too.

No matter your tastes, we can all agree that the two most important items in your kitchen will be a Hoshizaki ice maker and the Miele Whole Bean/Ground Coffee System. Sonic ice and caffeine always make everything better.

Original article published in DMagazine

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