Top Popular Custom Home Customizations

 

Building your home is an exciting and special process to embark on; especially with so much potential for creativity and freedom of choice. Home buyers LOVE personalized items. Why? Personalization makes people feel unique. There a thousand and thousands of home designs available in books, websites, or catalogs. Some of them might come close to your vision! Once you are able to narrow down to a handful of home plan concepts, it’s time to look into the customizable options of homes.

 

Proper House Design.

House design golden rule is that form follows function It’s quite basic, but many people approach home design follows this process the other way around. For tips on customizing homes or designing a floor plan, check our articles: “How to Build Your Custom Home with So Many Options” or  “Create your Dream Home Today“.

Top Popular Home Customizations

 

  1. Large or open kitchen – If you are a parent who enjoys cooking, the kitchen is the heart of your home. If you design your kitchens with generous amounts of space, you can create an inviting atmosphere and a comfortable room to be in.
  2. Master bedroom on the main floor – Every home has a master bedroom. If you build on right on the main floor, you can omit the necessity of a flight of stairs! This is a wonderful benefit for those little ones at home.
  3. Taking out walls – Eliminating walls between rooms can make your floorplan feel breezy and modern; it also allows air and light to flow naturally throughout your home. Adding extras such as high ceilings, can also open space up for your home even more.
  4. Indoor pool that leads outside – If money’s no object but space is, you can convert any internal part of your home, to come up with an indoor pool. Especially the space leads to a balcony.
  5. Home office – Enjoy the convenience and comfort of working from your home with your very own personalized office! Making your home office detached from the rest of your floorplan can help give you the privacy you need when working.
  6. Having a mud room – A mudroom typically stands in the corner of the house where you can install a small shower, water sprayer, storage for shoes, hangers, and so on. This room should made right by a door where you can easily remove dirt and debris; it’s ideal after a long day’s work outdoors.
  7. Utilizing a garage – If you own several cars, you have to plan how to use the garage accordingly. If you don’t own many cars, or any cars, you can use the garage for extra space such as a garden or a room.

 

 

Gardens for Small Spaces

A small garden space doesn’t mean you can’t have the dream garden you’d want. Here are some small garden ideas to help maximize your space.

 

Mailbox Garden. Add a huge impact to a small garden by offering tough plants that stand up to the harsh growing conditions surrounding a mailbox. This type of garden tends to stay low and will not block your views while backing out of your driveway!

 

Herbal Garden. Herbs are relatively self-sufficient, and easy to grow. Watering only once a week should do the trick. Make sure you remember to water gently at the base of the plants to prevent runoffs and allow moisture to reach the roots.

 

 

Woodland Garden. Find a little 6×6 corner of your yard and color it in with a cheery, small garden. It could feature ferns that would look beautiful from spring to autumn.

 

 

Salad Garden. Here, your vegetables can share a four-foot square plot. If your best planting spot gets only four hours of direct sunlight, try to plant more leafy greens such as spinach or lettuce.

 

 

Luscious Flower Garden. Add some spice to your summer with the bold reds, oranges, blue, and yellow tones! Featuring plants such as morning glories, yarrow, daylilies, can count on the border to look good no matter how hot it gets during the summer!

 

 

Romantic Garden. Beautifully scented roses or daisies can make your small garden look more loving and caring. The varieties of flowers such as roses, daisies, and daylilies can hold up to drought and other tough weather conditions.

 

Decorating Tips for an Inviting, Cozy English Cottage Styled Homes

 

English cottages radiate with beautiful floral prints, simple furnitures, and relaxed design. The décor can be casual or formal, but the focus is rather emphasized on function rather than flair. The furnitures are traditional and the rooms are full of colors. English cottage decorations exude warmth, comfort, and family.

 

Furniture

 

Furniture styles are traditional, and the predominant material is wood. The wood can be light or dark, painted, stenciled, or even distressed. Furnitures such as tables, dressers, and bookshelves are usually oak, mahogany or pine. Throw pillows often can soften the look of wooden chairs or window seats.

 

Making a big statement. Even the humblest items can sprout boldness in English cottage designs. An antique item or peeling paint can become an object of intrigue.

 

Antique treasures salvaged. Cottage rooms provide a space for old things to find new life! Repurposed antiques are very popular.

 

 

Keep it basic. The most striking schemes can also be the simplest. With colors stripped out, you can turn your focus on each loving piece. All of it is prim and elegant, like the best English cottage interiors.

 

Colors

 

Colors are important in English cottage decorating. Hues are pulled from natures, much like the pinks and yellows of an English Garden. The colors can be vibrant or natural, and the styles features many different patterns such as floral. For a room to appear cozy, you can use 3 to 4 colors of the color palette.

 

Calming colors. Muted hues are common in an English cottage styled home, as they emphasize a look of elegance and coziness, while also allowing bold pieces to shine. Furnitures and kitchen cabinets are the best places to have muted tones.

 

Wallpaper and fabrics. Toile is the most recognizable pattern for wallpaper and fabric and is characterized through its two-tone color ways and large repeat.

 

Opposites attract. English cottages have a nice balance between informality and elegance. A marble surface crowns on a rustic, shabby island can work really well in a cottage kitchen, thanks to the soothing colors.

 

 

Factors You Should Know About Before Purchasing a Modular Home

 

Owning a modular home with 4 bedrooms is a huge milestone in your life! Making this switch can definitely help you stop worrying about sleeping in your parent’s basement, or being bothered by noisy neighbors; oh, and most definitely the rental payments. Owning one is not cheap – but it can be so rewarding. Once the finances are in order, the question many new homebuyers have is whether to buy a new home or build one themselves. Innovations in the construction as well was real estate had helped caused modular homes to be increasingly popular. This has given new home buyers ideas and choices to browse for homes other than the contemporary or traditional types of housing. Modular homes differ as they are homes built like traditional homes, but in a factory environment.

 

 

Once your home is complete and transported to your desired location; you finally have your complete home! But what factors should you consider before choosing between a traditional home and a modular home? Here are some factors you should contemplate before buying your first modular home.

 

Location

The location or site you choose for your home is EXTREMELY important. Much like any traditional home, you want to occupy your residence to a location that will give you and your family a sense of security and peace, as well as a site that’s large enough to accommodate for what you want in your home. Perhaps you prefer to have a home that leaves you enough space for parking and gardening, or maybe even space for some fun outdoor activities with your friends and family! However, there are other factors such as site topography, the neighborhood, security, utilities, social amenities, and orientation.

 

Site Topography – The site topography is referring to the surface shape of the land. Whether its hilly, steep, flat, or sloping, is all a characteristic of a topography. When choosing a land, a flat landscape is most ideal; however, sloping slides can also be built without much hassle. In some cases, it might result into additional costs.

 

Neighborhood – Settle in a place where you feel most comfortable spending your time in! This is going to be your place of residence, and it’s important to make sure your family and you can feel at peace here. Therefore, choose a location that offers you the ambiance you’d want in your home.

 

Security – Living in an unsafe neighborhood can make you mentally on the edge. Before settling into your location, you should take time to understand the security of the area! It might be a good idea to get to know the neighbors or look into the news of the area you are planning to move into to get a good idea of what it might be like to live there.

 

Utilities – Take time to understand the main utility bills that you will be paying if you’re settling into a home. Outside of the basic amenities, you might need to think about security services, smart home devices, and landscaping if need be.

 

Social Amenities – Be sure to choose a home where social amenities such as hospitals, schools, the mall, or even the library is within a reasonable distance.

 

Orientation – Orientation refers to the how your home is place and getting the optimal sun exposure. This will be a factor when considering the most suitable design for you home, incorporation of views in your home, and the street appeal.

 

 

House Style

Before you buy a modular home, decide on the style you would like for your home. Engage with us to help you come up with a desired style, we have pre-made floorplans, or you could make your own. We advise to find a floorplan and make the changes you need for your desired home. Working on it alongside, we can help deliver the desired finished products. There are a large variety of styles, plans, and customizable options to choose from!

For ideas and information on how to design your home, and what style to choose from, please look at our articles: House Styles and Create Your Dream Home Today.

 

Planning Restriction

Acquiring a permit from a local administration will be of great help. When you buy a modular home, be sure you and the owner of the land sign an agreement. This give you legal protection, should there be a dispute in the future.

 

Budget

Owning a home requires preparation in terms of finances. Your new modular home will require you to get bills of quantities that will tell you the exact amount of money needed to complete your new home. It is advisable that you discuss with us beforehand, to allow you adequate time to prepare your finances. If you don’t have enough money and want to own a modular home, discuss with us and your bank on the possibilities of funding your project through mortgage factors that affect the price.


Remodeling Possibilities

If you decide to invest in the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom of your dreams, there’s nothing holding you back from reconfiguring your home design and layout because it’s a modular build. Much like a stick-built home, you’ll need a structural support and layout. You can contact us, and we can you help you remodel! Be sure to let us know early on, as our contractors need time to prepare for any structural differences regarding beams or other support structures.

 

Lifestyle

Owning a modular home can be bombarding! It requires both mental and financial readiness to find, build, and move into your new home. It’s best to evaluate your readiness. You should find time to understand whether it is the right time for you to own a modular home. You should also evaluate whether your lifestyle can accommodate an extra expense in mortgage deductions.

 

 

Summer Maintenance Tips for Manufactured and Modular Homes

Checking the air conditioner. It is IMPERATIVE that you inspect your air condition unit in your home. During the winter, air conditioners are remained inactive for several months, which can cause malfunctioning and a lack of cooling. So, to avoid this, make sure the filters are clean and free of dust. This can also help in maintaining an energy efficient home.

 

Replenish fuel oil supply. Always refill your home’s fuel supply before the cold seasons approach. The last think you’d want to do is come unprepared to the cold seasons!

 

Smoke detector and carbon monoxide. Fires can start during any season, so it’s important to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms often! The increasing temperatures in the atmosphere can most definitely instigate some fires. Due to this, frequently check if your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed and working properly.

 

Updates for your furnace. Before the fall season starts, it’s vital to keep your furnace in good condition! Just when summer is about to end, check for frequent inspections and maintenance to make sure those furnaces remain in excellent working conditions.

What You Need to Know About an Eco-Friendly Modular Home

Environmentally friendly modular homes offer homeowners options to reduce their expenses while preserving the environment. They are designed with features that has low negative effects on the environment, and combat carbon dioxide emissions and also reduce energy consumption.

 

Insulation

When climate appropriate insulation is installed within the walls, attics, or floors, it will result in even temperatures and reduced energy consumption! While in the manufacturing state, opt for an insulating material that will friendlier to the environment. Perhaps materials such as wool or cotton. These materials are easily recycled, and they will perform just as well as fiber glass! Cellulose is an option for those who live in a colder area; it is not harmful to the environment and it carries more heat resistance properties.

 

Lighting and Appliances

Products much like lights and appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR label provide a much greener feature with energy savings! The sight of a well-illuminated home at night is amazing but will increase your energy bills! You can minimize this cost by using energy saving bulbs within your home. Talk to us about how to incorporate light sensors in the building, which could automatically switch off lighting in an empty room.

 

Windows

An energy-efficient window is an important feature of an eco-friendly home! They can provide protective coatings and frame that helps to keep in heat during the colder months and keep heat out during the warmer months. Perhaps look into solar windows, which are designed to collect and direct natural light, and will convert it to a useable energy around the home.

 

 

The Creative Uses of Spare Rooms

Let’s say that you have an empty, spare room; but how should you utilize it? Here are some ideas!

 

Art Studio

 

Imagine dedicating a spare room to your artistic talent and expression. An art studio doesn’t require a large space, just full of great natural light. Perhaps you don’t have natural light, no problem. The use of full spectrum lighting to mimic natural sunlight can be put to use. The lighting can also give you a better representation of your color palette. Arrange a comfy chair and an easel close to your window and use neutral or light colors for the walls and floor coverings. Include a space to organize or store your supplies, and a sink if possible for a quick clean-up. Whether your hobby is to crochet, quilt, sew, draw, or paint; an art studio is the PERFECT little space to give you the time and location to express yourself.

 

Reading Nook

 

 

Is your idea of a guilty pleasure to sneak away and read your favorite books? To a serious bookwork, they need a spot to curl up with their favorite novel. Arrange your reading room by genre and include the most comfortable seating as possible. Not only can it double as a guest room but it can fit perfectly in a niche carved out of a hallway. It can provide a private, tiny little space at the heart of the house where your imagination can run wild. Plan for a surface or wall lighting, as well as an overhead lighting so you can read during any time of the day.

 

The “Tiny” Bedroom

 

 

If a bedroom is too small, simply elevate the bed onto another platform. Adding flights of steps can open a whole new space-efficient space below. Not only is the space under the bed a clever storage solution, but it provides a whole new level of comfort to your bed.

 

Writer’s Corner

 

Photo by Coastal Living

 

The tight, corner spaces in your home doesn’t have to feel so closed off and isolated. With the right and comfortable furnitures, as well as the clever use of walls, this room can quickly feel much like a place in which to compose some short fiction, poetry, and more. Posture is precious, so be sure to have the best quality ergonomic chair to avoid “writer’s neck.” You’ll be comfortable writing in it long after your novel finishes.

 

Classroom at Home

 

 

This little learning zone has converted from a home office to a designated study room! Not too cramped nor too dark, this space is the perfect spot to retreat into on those drowsy days. To ease mobility among the spaces, organize school supplies in a portable container.

 

 

Morning Routines with Smart Home Automation

 

The whole purpose of a smart home is to make life at home somewhat less demanding, if not more charming. We regularly speak about smart homes without understanding what a smart home can really do. That’s because there’s such a variety in things we can automate or control using smart home devices. One of the best places to start using your smart home is automating your mornings! Perhaps these examples can enable you to easily through your mornings.

 

Waking up in a cozy room with white lights.

After your blasting alarm awakens you, you’d want to hear your favorite songs to start your day on the right foot! Flic button and smart lights can help activate your smart light’s bright white to wake you up, and you can press start with your Flic button to enjoy your morning playlist. On your Flic button, you can press on the Plus button next to one of the three preset commands. From there, you can add either Apple Music, Spotify, or Sonos action to select the playlist you want.

 

Going for a run.

Getting up to go for a run, especially in the cold, can be terrible. If your day consists of going out for a bit of an exercise, you can take care of business with the push of a button before you take off to go running. With a Flic Smart Button, you can play your workout playlist, starts automatically tracking your runs with an application (with Runkeeper or Strava) can start a stopwatch to track your time, and can even donate some money to a goal. Have fun and reward yourself!

 

Overslept? Alert your friends or coworkers that you’ll be late.

Say you overslept. Don’t worry, it happens! Fortunately, you can tell your collaborators or friends you’re on you way when you leave your home without wasting time. With an app called IFTTT, you can send custom voice commands to your Google Assistant that exists in your Google Home voice assistant. You can also set up your IFTTT to your Slack account, so when you say, “Hey Google, I’m running late!” it turns into a message sent to a contact or contacts. The Flic button can also ensure that all your appliances and lights are turned off for the day before you leave.

 

Turn on your lights slowly.

Getting a good night’s rest is IMPERATIVE. However, no one likes to be awoken by an uproarious, unexpected alarm. Try to pursue awakening smoothly to a delicate, graduating light instead! It is more ambient than bright, white light and will prevent you from being ripped out of a deep sleep. Smart bulbs can be programmed to come on at the same time, and you can often choose how long it takes for the bulbs to reach the desired brightness — whether that’d be a few seconds, minutes, or instantly! Make a schedule for the light bulbs overhead or the bedside light to gradually turn on to full brightness around the time you need to wake up. Best products to use are the Phillips White Ambiance Bulbs, LIFX Bulbs, and the Phillips Wake-up Lights.

 

Slowly raise or lower the temperature.

Nobody needs to take off the comfortable sheets early in the day and wake up to a chilly room. To prevent this, you can set your smart thermostat to slowly raise the temperature before you plan to get out of bed! Much like gradually turning on the room lights, this will help you delicately pull you out of rest and make waking up less jolting. Ecobee4 has a perfect touch screen display and remote temperature features that can help you wake up much more gently in the mornings.

 

A fresh cup of coffee without the hassle!

Who doesn’t love waking up to a fresh cup of coffee early in the morning. I know I sure would love that. With your smart home, you have the ability to wake up with a fresh cup of hot coffee every day. While there ARE smart coffee makers that do this, all you need is any coffee maker and a smart plug. The only requirement needed is that the coffee maker needs a power button that can toggle switch that will remain on, even after brewing finishes. The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug by TP-Link, or D-Link Smart Plug is compatible to both Google Home and Alexa, and you can tell your device to start making coffee as soon as you wake up!

 

Monitoring your kids and pets.

With a webcam in a nearby window, you can keep of your pets, but it doesn’t make sense to have that camera on all the time. Adding a tilt sensor can trigger a webcam to power on. The same tactic can be used for kids going out the backdoor. Using a webcam with a magnetic sensor can help make sure that playtime is safe for you kids. Products best for this would be the Zmodo Wireless IP Security Camera or the Vivint Wireless Door Tilt if you already have a webcam!

 

Morning news without touching the remote.

Most importantly, the news. With smart speakers, staying up to date on the news is easier than before. With Alexa Routines, you can have Alexa play “Flash Briefing” every morning by saying “Alexa, play my Flash Briefing. For Google Home speakers, you can automate your news, traffic, or weather by saying “Ok Google, good morning.” However, they have more features. With these smart home gadgets, the options are limitless. Have fun and be creative on how to use it for the mornings!

 

 

Best Home Security Devices of 2018:

Interested in home security automations but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

 

What is a Home Security Device?

 

Thanks to advances in the smart home technology and home security devices, you can now monitor your home from afar, no matter where you are in the world. This includes alarms, cameras, motion sensors and more. There are limitless options when it comes to protecting your loved ones at home.

 

To see the benefits of home security devices or systems, see our previous article, Outsmarting Homes with Home Security.

 

List:

 

  1. Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, which is the voice assistant for Amazon. Alexa works with a number of smart home devices directly, and you can use Alexa to control most gadgets in your home by the sound of your voice.

 

  1. Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. The Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a stylish take on a traditional hockey puck style of a smoke detector. It directs the alerts to your home, has motion activated night light, and many more.

 

  1. Wink Hub 2. Wink Hub 2 works with devices that use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as Z-Wave, Zigbee, Lutron Clear Connect, and Kidde. It is also made for the future; that just about includes everything in the smart home spectrum.

 

  1. Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm. This Touchscreen Deadbolt can make your life a little easier. Not only will your home be protected while you are away, but you no longer have to worry about accidentally locking yourself out of your own house.

 

  1. Logitech Harmony Elite. Prefer controlling things by pushing buttons? The Logitech Harmony Elite is the best universal remote for a reason, it controls more than just the TV or the stereo!

 

  1. Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell. You can answer the door remotely with a smartphone, and it includes motion sensor alert. You can not only see who’s at the door before you answer, but talk to them if you can’t answer!