Custom Homes Deserve Custom Landscapes

When it comes to your new custom home you’ve sweated over every detail, down to the tiniest concern. But what about your landscaping and curb appeal?

The grass, pathways, accents, and plants that surround your home are truly what can help set it off, complement the architecture, and make it an inviting oasis to come back to each day. Learn how to choose your landscape for your custom build home and make it happen.

A truly beautiful landscape that works for you and your family’s needs will take cues from your house design, your lifestyle, and your aesthetic.

1. Think Green

The amount of open green space you have on your landscape should connect to your style and habits. Do you have children who enjoy playing in the yard? Do you have pets that need a place to run and romp? Or maybe you enjoy hosting parties in your yard and playing lawn games.

Plan for the amount of open grass you need accordingly, and keep in mind amount of upkeep that a lawn requires for regular mowing, trimming, and occasional watering.

2. Plant Your Way to Beauty and Peace

Plants and trees can take your landscape from boring to lush in an instant. If you don’t have a green thumb, though, be careful about the plants you choose for your exterior. They should be low-maintenance and sprout annually, so you won’t have to do any replanting. You may consider plants that are native to Central PA.

If enjoy gardening, you can definitely go big on plants, flowers, shrubs, vines, and anything else you desire. Just make sure the garden is manageable for the amount of time you’ll have to put into it.

3. Walkways to Beauty

There could be a sidewalk nearby for foot traffic near your home, but what about an inviting walkway leading to your front door or one that leads to the backyard? If you have separate buildings on the property, like a freestanding garage, storage shed, or guesthouse, you may consider adding walkways there, too.

Remember that during Kentuckiana winters, walkways around your house become indispensable when snow is on the ground.

4. Kick it up a Notch with Added Touches

Take your yard to the next level with accents like fencing, lighting, fountains, and sculpture. If you really want to wow visitors, you’ll include all four. Make sure the styles you choose blend well with the style and architecture of your home. For example, you may not want to choose a white picket fence with a kissing gate if your house is sleek and modern – unless that’s what you really want, of course.

5. All Work and No Play  is No Way To Live

Last but not least, don’t forget to choose fun elements for your custom home landscape. A small playground, set of swings, or a sandbox are great for keeping the kids occupied in the warmer months. If your family loves to eat in the open air, think about a patio or a deck. If you like growing things, consider vegetable plots with fencing to keep out critters. Finally, if you really want to create a fun yard, invest in a swimming pool for your custom build home.

Whatever you end up choosing for your landscape, attention to detail will ensure you love it just as much as your custom house.

Key Questions When Selecting a Custom Builder

You’re ready to build the house of your dreams, but you’re maybe a little nervous about whether you’ve done your homework—especially now that it’s time to select a custom home builder. It’s understandable. Going off the well-beaten path to design and create a home that’s yours alone creates a lot of excitement, but also some anxiety if you don’t feel well-prepared. Interviewing builders to find the right one is an important task and there are some key questions you should ask to make sure that you’re choosing someone who will do the job right and work with you the entire way.

Here are some questions that will help ease that anxiety and tell you plenty about your builder’s ability to communicate, be flexible, and considerate of your hopes and dreams.

Do you offer a home warranty?

One clear way to calm your nerves and bring a true sense of assurance is to ask about what happens after the project is done. Purchasing a home without a warranty is a risky decision. Knowing that a builder has a plan to stand behind his construction and remain ready to help will give you confidence not only in your home, but also that you hired the right person. Leaving a warranty off to save a few dollars, or going forward with a builder that doesn’t offer one, could lead to sleepless nights in your new home.

How flexible is your builder? Especially when it comes to floor plans and levels of completion?

What’s a custom home if you can’t…customize it? It might seem simple, but making sure that your builder will allow you to change your floor plans to match your needs and desires. If you’re wanting to add a deck, another bedroom, or to remove a room that would go unused, make sure your home builder is willing to create the home as you’re picturing it. It’s a big investment, so make sure you are getting exactly what you paid for and led you down this path in the first place.

Depending on your needs, you might not want every room to be fully finished. Not sure how that man cave should look just yet? Wondering if you will actually need another kid’s bedroom? Ask your builder if you’ll have flexibility when it comes to this matter. If some rooms are left unfinished, you may be able to save money. A room being finished won’t matter if you only intend on using it for a storage space.

What about the appliances?

Most custom homes will include appliances in the quote, but not all builders are flexible when it comes to what goes inside. Make sure to ask what appliances they suggest or recommend and then see if they are flexible if you have different ideas about what you would like to see inside. It’s your house and you should be able to make the final touches and convenience features that you always wanted, not just accept a standard package that the builder insists upon.

What’s your availability? What’s their preferred method of communication?

It’s probably one of the biggest or most important projects of your life and how you get along with the person spearheading the project is more important than you might think. So the answers to the questions above should be questions your custom home builder is asking you, not dictating to you. It will be an unpleasant surprise if you find out that it’s really hard to grab 30 minutes with the person in charge of the operation after your initial consultation or that you’re always redirected to the desk jockey in the office. Make sure your builder is interested in a real two-way relationship and is reasonably available to answer questions you might have throughout the process. It’s a custom home so don’t settle for a cookie cutter approach to communication.



5 Great Reasons to Build a Custom Home

There are a lot of choices to make when looking for a new home and none are more essential than deciding whether to buy an existing home or build a home. Custom homes in particular bring some truly unique advantages to the table and it’s important to consider them when you are in the market for a new home.

1. Reap the benefits of the latest innovations in home health

It’s never been more important to live in a home that makes your lifestyle healthier. Long gone are the days of asbestos and lead paint in home construction, but there are many more benefits you will receive when building a new custom home. Among them:

  • Avoid mold and rot thanks to improved building methods and better materials. Advances in construction have happened from foundation to your roof to prevent water damage and the mold it breeds.
  • Greatly reduced exposure to harmful chemicals thanks to the utilization of non-toxic building materials and products. Substances like formaldehyde in insulation, harmful organic compounds in adhesives and sealants, and debilitating elements in paint are now avoided at all costs protecting your health far more than homes built even 20 years ago.
  • Custom home builders work to create improved passive airflow and fresh air exchange through appropriate placement of windows and doors in your home. Removing stale, static air is key to your comfort and health.
  • Improved safety protocols and design concepts throughout the building process make you far safer than many existing homes. By locating areas of high toxicity and combustible materials (such as the garage and utility room) away from bedrooms and primary living spaces, not to mention improved smoke alarm location and attention to carbon monoxide levels.

Safer homes require less maintenance and are naturally more energy efficient, making them better for your family and your pocketbook!

2. A home designed just for you and your family

With custom homes you’re the decision maker for every step of the process. You choose the type of flooring, paint and hardware finishes, and have as much input as you desire. The ability to design and have input in the building process will help you create a home that is suited to your individual tastes and style. Your custom home builder will work with you to help you figure out what you truly want and what’s best for your family’s unique lifestyle. Whether it’s frequently entertaining guests, cooking in a big league way, or making sure you age comfortably in place; your builder will make sure your home matches your lifestyle and unique wishes! It starts at making sure you pick the perfect lot by consulting with you on the shape and topography of the home site to maximize views, space, and natural features.

3. Advanced technology improvements save you MONEY

There have been a lot of improvements in home construction recently, many of them geared towards saving you money over the long haul. Newly constructed homes are much more energy efficient thanks to incorporating the latest technological advances in green systems and energy efficient appliances like high efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning units, and more. Newly constructed homes also take advantage of improvements in creating a tighter-sealed build envelope, keeping cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter from escaping your home inadvertently. High efficiency doors, insulation, windows, and appliances will save you thousands of dollars over time.

4. Your home appreciates in value faster

A new home appreciates quicker during the first 5 years you own it than an existing home. The limited supply of custom homes provides stable and increasing prices for them as opposed to an existing home over that same five year span.

5. New homes cost less to run and maintain

By avoiding the years of wear and tear that existing homes have already went through, you will save money. You’ve heard of the proverbial “Money Pit” home, something that may look beautiful from the outside but is a hidden trap of surprise costs all over, but really any existing home is likelier to be more expensive to maintain and maintenance. That’s because today’s newly built homes are engineered and designed specifically to minimize maintenance cost and be energy efficient, saving you money and time.