Category Archives: Custom Homes

What Home Floorplan is Right for You?

Every family is unique and their home should be, too. One size fits all just isn’t ideal. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a floor plan for your family.

 

Children

If you have small children, stairs may present a safety concern for a while but once your children are older that changes.  Separate spaces for the kids and adults can be a valuable benefit in your home. For example, kids’ rooms may be upstairs with a game room, while the main floor is reserved for the master suite, living areas and kitchen. Kids value their own space as they enter their teens.

 

Elderly Family Members

As with younger children, stairs can be a challenge for older family members who may visit often, or live with you. If your heart is set on a multi-level home, splitting the bedrooms between levels or installing a small elevator may be ideal for your floorplan. If you have aging parents and anticipate you’ll need a living space for them now or in the future, a guest suite on the first floor can easily become an accessible space for them. Consider including enough space for accessibility options and a walk-in shower to make life easier in the future.

 

Active Lifestyle

Those with active lifestyles are frequently on the go and may prefer a home that is simple, open, and functional. A single level home with an open floor plan is perfect for those who want easy living and upkeep, but still want a beautiful space to enjoy. Remember to plan extra space for storing sports gear and outdoor toys like boats, boards, or bikes.

 

Busy, Big Family

Larger families with active kids have specific needs for sleeping spaces, play space and storage space. When selecting a floorplan for big families, small changes in the floorplans can make a big impact in the function of your home. The location of your laundry room, a mudroom, space for homework, and more storage for toys, games, sporting equipment can all be important things to consider when choosing your floorplan.

 

You know your family best.  Think about your needs today and what you think your family will need in the years to come.  Then talk to your home builder about those special needs that will make your home a dream home for your family.  You’ll have a better idea of which floorplans to start with as you customize your dream home.

Value of a Mudroom

A mudroom is the perfect place to keep extra dirt and clutter from finding its way into the rest of your home. It provides a specific location for dirty shoes to be removed before dirt or mud is tracked onto your living room floor. Backpacks, coats, and sports gear can be stored, instead of tossed on the couch or in the dining room. It can make your life so much easier! Here are 5 valuable benefits of having a mudroom in your home.

 

1. More Useful Storage

Winter gloves? Coats? Rain boots? Extra shoes you don’t want in your closet? Having a mudroom is like having an extra-large coat closet. It’s the perfect place to stash seasonal items, keeping them out of your bedroom or coat closet. They’re available when you need them, but not in your way everyday.  With built-in storage options, your mudroom will stay tidy, too.

 

2. Everything in One Place when it’s Time to Go

Many families can have a hard time getting out the door. Everyone’s shoes are in different places, someone left their backpack in their room, you can’t find your coat, etc. A mudroom makes it easier to get everyone ready to leave in one place and at the same time. All the shoes, bags, car keys, everything you need to leave the house can be safely stored in one place! A little bit of planning can make your morning routine “grab and go.”

 

3. Everything has a Place, too

Giving kids a dedicated place to hang school bags, or sports equipment, means there is less chance that it will end up in the middle of the floor. Everything should have a home, and a mudroom is a great home for a lot of things. And when they are stashed on the way in, life’s a little easier for everyone.

 

4. Functional Space

Many mudrooms have a bench to make putting on shoes a breeze. It’s also right by the door, so the perfect place to take things on and off as soon as you leave or enter the home. No more stomping around the house in your boots! Use this space to create functional storage that fits your family’s lifestyle and needs.

 

5. Keep it Clean!

Rain and mud are part of daily life in eastern North Carolina. Mudrooms help ensure muddy shoes and dripping raincoats don’t make the whole house messy. Consider adding a sink to your mudroom.  It’s a great place to clean muddy shoes, dry umbrellas or soak a stained uniform. Some families even plan for laundry rooms to be near a mud room for easy access. Talk to your builder about your options.

 

A mudroom helps preserve your home’s interior, flooring and well… maybe Mom’s sanity.  We think that’s a great investment.

Best Big-Budget Features to Include in Your Dream Home

When you’re building your forever home, investing in key big-budget features can make all the difference.  Here are a few of the best big-budget features to consider to make your new home a dream for you and your family.  Whether your family loves to entertain, stay in, or be adventurous, there are options for you!

 

Adventures on (or in) the Water

A boat lift is something many eastern North Carolina families dream about. Make your days on the water easier to access with a boat lift.

https://www.shorestation.com/permanent-boat-lifts/boat-house-lifts  https://www.bluehaven.com

 

Prefer chlorine over fresh water? Invest in a pool for hot summer days. Your kids will love it, and so will adults when you entertain.  If you’re planning to spend lots of days on the water or at the pool, an outdoor shower may also be a great addition to your home and lifestyle. Please ask us for a recommendation, as Horizons East currently does not install pools.

 

Coming to a Theater Near You…

A very popular big-budget feature is a state-of-the-art home theater.  Digital entertainment is here to stay and with luxury seating, digital surround sound, snacks and a bar, it’s hard to go wrong.  Everyone in the family will enjoy their favorite movies in style in your own theater.

 

Going Up?

Boat lifts aren’t the only things going up in some new homes.  An elevator can also be a worthwhile investment for some families. They make your home more accessible for aging or differently able friends and family, and they can make life easier for anyone with heavy items to bring upstairs.

 

Ideas Tailored to Your Family’s Lifestyle

Have a budding chef?  A dual kitchen workspace allows for multiple people to cook at once.  Love natural light?  Consider sun tunnels.  Are her feet always freezing?  Perhaps heated floors in the bathroom. The options are virtually infinite.  When considering which features will be best for your home, remember it comes down to what your family will enjoy for years in your dream home.

 

Need help?  We know details make the difference.  Our team is here to help you plan and build your dream home.

Bonus Rooms

Bonus rooms open a lot of possibilities for homebuyers. They’re creative spaces that add to what you might traditionally have planned for your home. Because a bonus room is not limited to a specific function, it can be whatever you want it to be. Here are a few ideas for how you can use the space.

 

Game Room or Movie Theater

Making the bonus room into a space for your kids is a more traditional route for bonus rooms. Adding in comfy seating and a TV for movie nights or video games can create an escape from the rest of the house that is purely fun for the whole family. Making a media room is particularly effective if the room will not get a lot of light.  After all, no one wants to watch a movie with the sun glaring on their screen.

 

Home Office or Library

Setting aside a space for work can be beneficial many who work from home. Whether it’s for daily business, homework, or a late night project brought home from the office, keeping work out of the areas where you relax is good for your mind and health.

If your bonus room has areas with low ceilings or unique nooks and crannies, they make perfect spots to add in built in shelving to utilize the space.

 

Exercise Room

Making a room for workout gear and exercise in a bonus room can be very beneficial for many families. Taking care of your physical health is important for everyone.  For many, that’s easier to do when there is a dedicated space at home for physical training. If you have heavy machines for exercises that require repetitive high impact movements, such as a treadmill, talk to your builder about adding additional support beams. This will help reinforce the flooring of a second floor exercise room and reduce wear and tear overtime. Feeling less active?  Using part of your bonus room for a meditation space can allow you to escape from the rest of the world and refocus.

 

Multipurpose Room

Of course, many families choose to turn their bonus room into a multipurpose room. Some combine guest space and a treadmill.  Others use the space for crafts or a studio but have a space for gaming.  One benefit of a multipurpose approach is that you can modify uses easily over time.  As kids grow, interests change or needs arise. By avoiding a narrowly targeted use, you give yourself freedom to make changes more easily in the future.

 

When planning what to do with your bonus room space, think about what suits your family now but also ask yourself about the future.  How long will a home bowling alley be the favorite activity? How many hours do you want devoted to gaming?  Will the kids still love it in 3-5 years? Your home is your refuge, and you should love every inch of it when you are building your own.

Budgeting for Building Your Home

When it comes to building your dream home, you want to get all the “must have” features and beauty.  You also want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment.  Sometimes, that’s as simple as knowing which features to splurge on and which to keep economical.  Let’s take a look at a few key areas worth investing in as you build your new home.

 

Where should I make premium investments?

 

1. Insulation

Insulation will not only impact how comfortable your home is, but how much you spend on utilities every month of every year.  Remember, summer heat and humidity in Eastern North Carolina is no joke.

It is difficult to add insulation in the future if you need to, but it’s recommended and most cost effective to do so when building.  Investing in high-quality insulation during your build will save you money for years. Ask us about the different types of insulation available for your build.

 

2. Foundation

Anything that is considered permanent, or essentially permanent, merits a good investment. An experienced foundation contractor who uses quality materials is essential. Choose a slab foundation instead of a crawlspace or basement, but don’t skimp on quality materials or workmanship. Any of these can be good options if you use quality materials and contractors. A monolithic slab tends to be more cost effective than a raised foundation, or crawl. However, since you cannot raise your house after pouring the foundation really consider the investment at the beginning of your home build because it cannot be changed later.

 

3. Framing

A highly qualified framing contractor will save you in time, frustration, waste materials and repairs down the road.  If you can, consider 2×6 exterior walls instead of 2×4. This makes walls thicker, allowing more space for more insulation against weather and noise.

 

Where should I skip the splurge?

 

1. Appliances

Don’t panic!  Of course, you want great quality appliances.  But unless you’re a gourmet chef, you probably don’t need to invest in professional grade ovens and a blast chiller.

 

2. Countertops and backsplash

These are important to the aesthetic of your new kitchen. But keep in mind, they are cosmetic.  You can always change out a countertop or backsplash if styles change or you want a makeover in the future.

 

3. Paint Variations

Painters often charge based on the number of colors used throughout your house. Stick with one color for the majority of the home, using accent walls or varying colors sparingly at first.  Keep in mind, walls will be painted again over the years.  You can always add more color later to save a little expense now.

20 Terms Homebuilders Use

Jargon in any industry can be confusing. This is true for the construction industry as well. If you’re interested in building a home, here are 20 terms homebuilders use to help you have a seamless home building experience.

  1. Spec Home – a “speculative” home that a building company constructs without a purchase contract with the hopes of selling once they’ve started. Some spec homes are complete; others can still be personalized with the buyers’ choices for finishes and fixtures.
  2. Lot – a measured amount of property (land) with fixed boundaries.
  3. Survey – a land survey determines the boundaries of a person’s land.
  4. Framing – the process of putting up a house’s frame which is the supporting structure that acts as the skeleton of a house.
  5. Plumbing Rough-In – the stage of construction where plumbing systems are installed before walls and ceilings are closed.
  6. Footings – these are concrete and rebar reinforcements to support a home’s foundation
  7. Punch List – a to-do list created by the general contractor, project manager, or homebuyers of things that need to be fixed by the contractor. A punch list would include things like missing trim or paint touch-ups
  8. Split Level – a house in which various sections of the floor plan have different floor and ceilings heights.
  9. Balusters – The vertical posts in stair railings
  10. Amore edge – a decorative edge of a countertop
  11. Fireplace surround – the structure or decorative finish around a fireplace
  12. Slab Foundation – a concrete “slab” foundation is a flat, level base of a home
  13. Drywall– also called plasterboard, gypsum board, and sheetrock, drywall is a large building material used in the construction of interior walls and ceilings
  14. Tray Ceiling – also called an inverted or recessed ceiling, a tray ceiling is a decorative ceiling design with a raised section that resembles an upside-down tray.
  15. Wainscoting – paneled wooden lining of an interior wall, usually the lower three or four feet, which differs from the top portion of the wall.
  16. Board and Batten – a type of wainscoting with vertical wood boards spaced evenly around a room.
  17. Builder Warranty – many builders offer a one-year warranty on materials and a ten-year warranty on structural issues. New homebuyers will also have warranties provided by manufacturers and other service providers such as roof warranties, pest control warranties, or appliance warranties.
  18. Certificate of Occupancy – a certificate issued after all inspections have been made by the local jurisdiction establishing that a home can be occupied. Until the CO is issued, no one can move into a new home.
  19. Change Order – a written document that modifies the original plans for the home’s features, floor plan, or finishes. Change orders may add to the price of the home and the length of time it takes to build it.
  20. Closing – also called the “settlement”, closing is the final step in the home financing process. Closing day is when all papers are signed and the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the next.

We hope this helps you with your home building journey. If you’d like to learn more about the home building process, you can contact us here.

 

5 Tips for Finding a Home Builder You Can Trust

It seems there’s a builder everywhere you look these days. Everyone knows so-and-so that did some project at the house down the road. But how do you know you’re getting a reputable builder? How do you know the individual you are trusting with your money and, let’s face it, the next several years of your family’s living arrangements is actually to be trusted? Take your time to ask these questions before selecting a builder and you’ll be on your way to a pleasant build with a builder you can trust to take care of your needs both now and along the way. Continue reading