As the summer season kicks into full swing, now is the perfect time to plan out the garden of your dreams. If you have ever been interested in gardening, you are in luck for a few reasons! Middle Tennessee offers a very welcoming climate to a wide variety of gardening options, from ample rainfall to copious amounts of sunshine. The end of May, specifically the 29th and 30th, serves as a great kick-off to the gardening season for another reason, as there are two days devoted to raising awareness and interest in gardening activities.

Learn more about these two days and get inspired to add a garden to your custom home!

May 29th ­– Learn About Composting Day

There is no greater time to learn about the benefits of composting than right at the beginning of summer. It’s not uncommon to have leftover food after gatherings and holiday celebrations, and you might be surprised to find out there is a place for those leftovers to be tossed than the trash can. In a nutshell, composting is allowing uneaten or unused food to decompose and become nutrient rich soil, called compost! The benefits of composting are almost too hard to count, but include

So join the masses and learn about composting your own unused food this summer!

May 30th – Water a Flower Day

Can you imagine the world without flowers?

Yikes!

Most people, even those that are active gardeners, aren’t fully aware of how much we benefit from flowering plants. However, everyone knows that flowers need water. Water a Flower Day is more than just a reminder to keep your garden watered, it is meant to spark interest in gardening by reminding everyone of how easy it is to maintain a garden! Summer in Middle Tennessee means that sunshine will be in no short supply and the frequent rain means that nature is essentially doing most of the heavy lifting for you, all it takes is the planting and monitoring and the garden of your dreams can be yours!

Is your current home and garden not inspiring a green thumb? Contact us to get started on your custom home and garden of your dreams today!

Larger Home vs. More Property: Which Is Right For You?

As a potential homeowner, you probably have a million questions running through your mind. You have done your research: what kind of mortgage is best to get, loan programs for first time homebuyers, what to look for in a house and location, and questions to ask the sellers. But, one of the biggest questions to consider is, should you purchase a large lot of land and a quaint house or a expansive house on a small plot of land? There are pros and cons to each choice, and it all depends on your personal living preference.

Figure Out How Much Space You’ll Need

The first step is determining how much space, in square feet, you’ll need for your custom home. Pay attention to how it feels and the way you currently utilize each part of your current home. Measure the spaces and write down if they feel too big or too small to you. Next, think about how your life may change in the future and consider how it will affect that number. Tweak the size of each space until it fits your current and future self. Add up the numbers and this will tell you how much square feet you desire in a home.

Be Flexible

Now that you have figured out how big or small of a house you want, it’s time to consider if having a big yard is important to you. To an elderly couple who are living by themselves, it’s an inconvenience to have a large yard because they not not be able to take care of it as much as they may like. On the other hand, if a pair of newlyweds are considering starting a family, they may want enough land for their future children and pets to play in. From the aspect of flexibility, the logical choice is to go for the most land you can get. After all, you can change the size of your home anytime but you can’t alter the size of your lot. However, from an economical standpoint it is much less expensive to initially build your home larger rather than expand later with remodeling projects.

Reasons Why You May Love A Small House

There are quite a few reasons why small houses beat out large houses. They are typically more budget friendly. Small spaces are much more cost effective to heat and cool plus they generally cost less which results in being able to afford more land. To some, land is more of a priority than an expansive home. After all, maybe we aren’t meant to spend all of our time inside a climate controlled box. Fresh air and sunshine are proven ways to improve your mood and make you happier. Plus, if you or your family spends a great deal of time outside, a large amount of land will make up for the lack of space inside your home.

You Might Enjoy a Larger House!

For those who regularly host large family gatherings or other types of events, a larger home could be more appealing. Having a large kitchen and dining area can make cooking for a large group much more manageable. Also, guests are more likely to enjoy their stay if there is ample room to walk around and engage in private discussions without the entire family or group of friends having to overhear. Do you have family members or friends that currently live in another city? Invite them over for a free place to stay the next time that they visit or just happen to be passing through the area.

Find Balance

You may not have to sacrifice one for another. There is always the chance that you could find the perfect size house on the ideal piece of land just waiting for you. If you don’t, you should consider having a custom home built which would allow you to choose every single feature of your home including the size of the lot and size of the house.
Contact our custom home building professionals today to learn more about our custom home building services!

How to Create the Perfect Man Cave for Your Custom Home

Chances are at some point in your life you have wanted to come home to a room dedicated to your relaxation and entertainment needs. A place that serves as an escape in your own home. For men, this space has been known for years as a man cave. When building a custom home and/or a retrofit-remodel, you have the opportunity to incorporate a man cave right into your floor plans. Once your home is built and ready for you to enjoy, it’s time to start decorating your man cave with the top essentials listed below.

Go For Comfortable Furniture

It’s already expected that you’ll be taking plenty of naps in your man cave. Not that we blame you. In addition, you’ll probably be watching your fair share of movies and television in the room. Therefore, you’ll need some awesome furniture to accompany your man cave. When choosing the perfect fit, make sure pieces like the sofa, recliner, or chair match your color scheme and passes the ultimate comfort test.

Include the Ultimate Bar and Fridge

A man cave isn’t complete without a bar and fridge to help you refuel after a long day. When designing your bar, think about the layout of your man cave and how the bar will add to the overall atmosphere. Do you want the bar to be a nice addition or the main focus? How big should the bar table be? Do you need a mini fridge or a full-size fridge? The answers to all of these questions will help you make your man cave a masterpiece.

Have A Jaw-Dropping Entertainment Center

From a flat-screen TV to the game console of your choice, your entertainment center will very likely be the main focus of your man cave. Make sure your entertainment center has organized bookshelves, drawers, and other features that will help and add to the overall feel of your man cave. Many entertainment centers now offer a variety of styles, textures, and appearances, so you’re sure to find one that matches the style of your man cave.

Add Your Interests

Whether you’re passionate about sports, movies, music, or the arts, be sure to add your personal touch to your man cave. From posters to pool tables to whichever musical interest you enjoy, add all of these aspects to your man cave for a complete experience.

Looking to add a man cave to your custom house? Give Heritage Custom Homes a call! We can get it designed and built for you!

5 Tips for Decorating Your First Home

Moving into your first home is an exciting time. Whether you previously lived in an apartment or in your parent’s house, nothing was ever really yours to call home. Now that you have a place of your own, here are some tips on how to transform it from an empty shell to a place that looks like home.

Get Rid of the Old

Before you move, start going through everything you have to get rid of some things such as clothes you haven’t worn in years and broken furniture that you should really replace. Your goal should be to bring as little junk as possible into your new home as this is your chance to start fresh. Once you gather everything you don’t need, either donate it all or have a yard sale if you have enough.

Start with the Room You’ll Spend the Most Time In

Since you won’t be able to accessorize your entire home all upfront, it’s best to start with the rooms you’ll be spending the most time in. If you know you’ll be in your bedroom the most, spend your efforts on making that the best and comfiest room in the house. If you plan to have guests over a lot, you may want to focus your early attention on your living room. Pick out some key items you’ll want for each space and work your way up to creating your dream living space.

Wait Before Making Large Purchases

Even though you really want to start buying coffee tables and renovating the kitchen and other pricey changes, wait at least a month or two to get a feel for your home. People often mistake how they want to use their home and how they actually use their home. Once you know your home, you’ll have a better idea of your priorities and how you will want to divide out your money.

Avoid Buying Decor in Sets

You know those home decor stores that try to sell you a collection for every room in the house? While purchasing a few items out of the collection is fine, buying the whole set will make your home feel like a showroom rather than a real home. You’ll want to make sure you pick out pieces unique to you so that your home reflects your personal style.

Have a Unifying Color

Everything you own may not seem to go together well. To create some unity, find a color that will coordinate with the majority of your possessions. Then bring that color out in your walls, curtains, rugs, and lamps. By sticking to one color palette, over time, you will be able to have a home that feels complete.

Interested in purchasing your first home? Make it one you will love for a lifetime by having it custom designed by you. Give us a call today to get started.

8 Steps to Making Your Move to a New City Stress-Free

With a new year comes a time for a fresh start and sometimes that means making the ultimate change: moving to a new city. Maybe you need to relocate for a job promotion or maybe you just want a different view. Whatever your reason, it can be an overwhelming process if not prepared. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our eight steps to help make your move stress-free.

Do Your Research (Then Do It Again)

When settling for the right home, location means everything. You will be spending most of your time there so it would be wise to do research on the place to ensure you are comfortable. Once you think you’ve found which city you are moving to, immediately start investigating as much you possibly can. What grocery stores are nearby? Is it close to work? How safe is the neighborhood? Go above and beyond by answering every possible scenario to make certain that you truly feel like you are at home.

Visit the Place

After you have researched online, go visit the home in person to get a better feel for the place. Online can tell you only so much, but when you visit the location and get a first-hand look, you might notice things that you were not made aware of before. When visiting, try to think of how you can apply your daily life to the location. Feel free to envision what your daily schedule would look like. Along with looking at your home/neighborhood, visit stores around your neighborhood as if you already lived there. Pretend you are a local and try to get used to the area so that if you do decide to make the move, you are more than ready.

View Job Listings in the Area

If you are not moving because of job relocation, you will still need to find a job in the area. Take the time to see if there is a position at a local company you can fill before moving. Even better, fill the position before moving so you know you will be financially stable.

Be Absolutely Sure

Take a step back and reflect on your experience from visiting the location. If anything feels off or if you have doubts, don’t make the move. Moving into a new home and city is a major investment that is not easy to back out of once you’ve made the commitment. Regardless of what your reasoning may be for moving to a new place, be cautious so you know you have made the right decision. Talk to your loved ones, your realtor, anybody that will give you solid advice on the matter. If you are absolutely sure this is where you want to go, then move on to the next step.

Create a Budget

This step is especially important if you move to a location that has a higher cost of living. You need to make sure you can handle the move even once you are settled in. Create a spreadsheet of all your monthly expenses to see if your income can cover the costs. Also consider taking the time to add in enough “cushion” money for the just-in-case moments.

Get Prepared

Once you have all the previous steps completed, it’s time to really get the ball rolling. If you can, allow for plenty of time to get your things in order before moving out. That way when moving day comes, you won’t have to stress about anything. Start with collecting as many moving boxes as you can, then place your items in each box by either category or room. Schedule time to find movers to help you or just ask your loved ones. Even after you have your things unpacked and moved in, you should give yourself time to adjust to the new space. A new area, location, and home is a lot to take in. Don’t feel bad for not jumping right in just yet.

Get Involved

When you feel settled into your home, consider getting involved in events around your neighborhood or community. This is one of the best ways to meet people, which is incredibly beneficial for the change you are going through. You should have already discovered any clubs, groups, or classes offered around the area when doing your research previously. Now is the time to take advantage of them!

Stay Positive

It’s common to feel flustered or overwhelmed when you first move into your new place. Don’t feel bad if it takes time to adjust. Instead, remain positive throughout the experience and know that change can be a great thing. Moving to a new city brings in a ton of opportunities you may not have had before. So make the most of everything, be positive, and remember that your loved ones are still there for you.

5 Christmas Treats You Can Leave For Santa

Every year, most children in America leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk to refresh Santa when he visits their home on Christmas Eve. Like most things that are done repeatedly, milk and chocolate chip/sugar cookies may be getting a little boring. If you’re looking for a new idea for a treat to leave Santa this year, check out these ideas below.

Raspberry Jam Thumbprints

Raspberry Jam Thumbprints
The most typical treat to leave out for Santa are cookies. And the most popular flavors: sugar or chocolate chip. This year, try a more unique cookie recipe such as this delicious thumbprint cookie.

What you need:

If you don’t care for raspberry, you can also choose a different flavor filling for the center. To see how to make these cookies, check out the full recipe here.

Melted Snowman Cookies

Melted Snowman Cookies
If you prefer a more classic cookie but still want something that’s unique, get creative with these melted snowman cookies, which are fitting for mild Tennessee winters.

What you’ll need:

To whip up these yummy treats, view the full cookie recipe here.

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men
Another classic Christmas treat is a gingerbread man. Whether you eat them or not, these are always fun to decorate and create a fun time for you and your kids.

What you’ll need:

For the gingerbread men

For the icing

Click here to read the full recipe.

Magic Reindeer Food

 
Magic Reindeer Food

Santa isn’t the only one who needs a refreshment. His reindeer get hungry too from flying all around the world to deliver presents. To spread some Christmas magic and help the reindeer, mix up these oats with some edible glitter.

What you’ll need:

(Serves 9 reindeer)

You can also add a half cup of granulated sugar to make the treat sweet if you plan to taste some of it. For a healthier treat for them to enjoy, you can also leave some carrots and apples outside. Check out how to make this special reindeer food here.

Hot Chocolate

 
Hot Chocolate
Every treat needs something good to wash it down with. If milk isn’t your thing, try pairing your cookie with some steaming hot chocolate. You can either do a simple packet of mix or go for a richer flavor by creating your own.

What you’ll need:

Check out this hot chocolate recipe for instructions on how to prepare this delicious drink.

These are just a few recipe ideas, but there are so many more, especially amongst other cultures. Do you have a unique Christmas tradition you do for Santa each year? Let us know in the comments below!  

How to Make Your New Home More Energy-Efficient

When moving into a new home, you have enough to pay for as it is. If you are looking to cut costs so you don’t have to spend any unnecessary money, consider making your home more energy efficient. By following these simple tips and tricks below, you could save more than you think.

Lower Your Thermostat

For many, people typically do not stay at home all the time. They are out and about whether for leisurely purposes or for work purposes. When you are away, bump your thermostat down (or up in the summer) a few degrees to reduce your monthly utility bill as well as your energy usage. By getting into this simple habit, you could be looking at a lower bill.

Seal All Your Windows

It may not be the first energy saving idea on your mind, but by sealing off all your windows, you could definitely have a more efficient home. Consider adding weathering strips or a sheet of shrink film to your window to prevent any unwanted drafts settling in your home. Both additions are easy to apply and are cheap as well so you will be saving money in all sorts of ways.

Turn Off Unnecessary Water

There are several different ways you can be more energy efficient when it comes to water. It’s easy to run water and not think about turning it off. Especially when brushing your teeth or shaving. Make the effort to be aware of turning off your faucet in order to save money and energy instead of letting it flow the entire time. You can also save by switching from bathing to showering which uses less water. And when you are doing the laundry, try washing a bulk of clothing at once rather than several small loads which actually use more water. You will be thankful you did these easy changes when you see your water bill go down.

Replace Your Bulbs

Although incandescent lighting were once very popular and can be found in several homes to this day, it would be wise to make the switch to halogen bulbs. Incandescent bulbs use a lot more energy than necessary and do not last for a long time. On the other hand, halogen lights, fluorescent bulbs, and LED lights all do not use a lot of energy and offer long lasting light. Make the switch today and start saving tomorrow.

Unplug Any Unused Electronics

Sometimes it may seem convenient to have your electronics plugged up and ready for you when you need it. However, this not true. While some believe that their items such as chargers, televisions, or other electronic devices are not using energy if not turned on, this is not the case. Whenever any electronic item is plugged into an outlet, it is using energy whether it is turned on or not. Take a few minutes by going around to unplug anything that you are not currently using so you don’t have to pay the price for it.

Buy Energy Star Products

If you want to take energy saving a step further, start using Energy Star appliances that are known to use less energy than standard appliances. Energy Star creates refrigerators, televisions, stoves, and more that all save you energy and money. Update your current appliances by finding these energy-efficient products at your local depot store.

Schedule an Energy Audit

To really save on energy (and overall money), schedule a professional to come in and perform an energy audit. By doing this, you can really see where energy is being wasted and where you can start saving. With their expertise on your side, you will be in good hands.

At Heritage Custom Homes, we are dedicated to providing you the home of your dreams. If you are ready to get started on planning your new home, give us a call at 615-379-7226. We can help you design the home you’ve always wanted.

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Planning a Custom Built Home

Deciding to go with a custom built home comes with its own set of unique challenges. While you’ll have a great deal of freedom during the process, there’s also more to think about, and ultimately, more to forget. Be sure you’re prepared for the process by considering the following, which are often forgotten and can make the custom home process more difficult.  

Going in Without a Plan

We don’t know why anyone would consider going into a custom built home project without a plan, but it’s happened time and time again. Even though you might not have all of the answers when you start (or even in the middle of your project), you need at least some type of overarching idea for your home builders to work off of. You’ll never get the home you’ve dreamed of if you aren’t able to articulate what it is that you are imagining. Before embarking on a custom built home journey, be sure you create a general plan and acknowledge the work it will take from you as well as your builder. 

Unsure About the Location of Your Rooms

Do you prefer bedrooms to be on the main floor or upper level? What about the laundry room? Perhaps none of this pertains to you because you prefer a single-story home. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to consider how you will move throughout your home and what will make this easiest for you and your family’s lifestyle. Individuals have different preferences when it comes to a home’s layout and it’s important to think about how you’d like your space to flow.

Forgetting to Take Light Into Consideration

When building a home, don’t forget about incorporating natural light throughout your rooms with ample window placement and other design elements. You wouldn’t want to move into your new home only to realize that it’s terribly dark. No one wants to live in a house that’s poorly lit, plus natural light has a number of benefits; it can make you happier and healthier, save you money on energy costs, and improve the look of your home’s interior. Be sure to think about how many windows a room will have, and open up spaces so light can more easily reach them. 

Neglecting to Include Pet-Friendly Elements 

In some cases, your home won’t be just for humans. If you have pets that are a part of the family, you may decide to include some design elements that will be beneficial to both you and them. If you have cats, consider where a litter box (or boxes) will go. With dogs, think about incorporating a place where they can easily be bathed. Additionally, they’ll need space to run around so be sure to include this too. For any animal, create a space where they can be fed that’s out of the way of other things. Thinking about these small details can really improve your home. 

Heritage Custom Homes  

Are you interested in a custom built home? Be sure to consider the above and then reach out to us to learn more about our floor plans, home building process, and more. Give us a call at 615-379-7226 to get started. 

Ways to Transform Your Home for Fall

Cooler weather and changing leaves are on the horizon, and you may find yourself itching to transform your home along with the seasons. With the transition from summer to fall, most are ready to celebrate new cooler temperatures, color palettes, tastes, and scents. Have your home match the season with a few of the following simple, decorative home additions and tasks.

Decorate with Glamorous Pumpkins

One easy way to spruce up your yard, patio, or front door area is to include a beautiful pumpkin or squash as they always set the tone for fall. While carving pumpkins is a great activity, and definitely one you should partake in this October, there are so many other ways to decorate the popular fall gourd.

One wonderful tutorial we’ve seen is Glittering Leaf Pumpkins. With some white paint, copper-colored glitter, and a few more items, you can create this pretty decoration to last throughout the season. Visit the link above for a picture and the complete instructions.

Add Seasonal Candle Holders (and Scents) to Your Home

A favorite way to decorate for fall is with candles. Not only do they provide visual and actual warmth, but can also be arranged in many different ways. A candle can stand alone or be an integral part of a beautiful centerpiece or mantle display.

One amazing thing you can do to amp up your candles in fall is to create seasonal holders for them from mini pumpkins and other gourds. Similar to carving a pumpkin, you’ll scoop out the flesh of these small gourds making just enough room for a tea light. They look absolutely lovely — check out this pumpkin holder tutorial for more details.

Another thing you can do to make your home match the season is to add popular fall scents with candles. Whether you choose pumpkin, coffee, or apple cinnamon spice, there’s sure to be a scent you associate with fall and would love to have wafting through your home. If scented candles come on a bit too strong, try making one of your own, or getting seasonal whole coffee beans and creating this DIY “scented candle.”

Include Rich Colors Outside

Just because the seasons are changing doesn’t mean yard work is through. Fall is actually a time when outside your home could use a little more TLC in preparation for winter. Rake the leaves and other debris such as bark and twigs, make sure to continually mow the lawn as you would in summer, and consider adding new plants (the rich colors mentioned above) for fall. From the seemingly endless colors of Mums to the dusty purple of Russian Sage and different types of grasses that add texture and interest, fall landscaping offers many possibilities.

Heritage Custom Homes

Are you ready for a home that you can make Autumn memories in? Heritage Custom Homes can get you started on the home building process this fall. Contact us today at 615-379-7226 to learn more.

Important Questions to Ask Your Potential Home Builder

If you’re deciding to purchase a custom built home, you’ll want to do a great deal of research before choosing your builder. There are so many options out there, and they aren’t all created equal when it comes to the quality of home they’ll be building.  

There are some essential questions you should ask your home builder to make sure that you’re choosing someone who will do a quality job of building a home and working with you. You’ll learn a lot by asking these questions — they will tell you all about a builders flexibility, communication style, and more. Take a look at some important questions you should ask your home builder before they begin creating your dream home and think about what else you should ask to get the home agreement you’ve been looking for. 

Do you offer flexible floor plans where things can be changed and/or added on?

You’ll want to make sure that your custom built home can actually be customized. Be sure you have a number of different choices when it comes to floor plans, and that you also have the ability to make the home your own, based on you and your families’ specific needs. 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. Since a home is such a large investment, be sure that you’re getting the floor plan you like. 

Can certain rooms be left unfinished? 

When getting a custom built home, you might not want every room to be finished for various reasons. 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. 

Do I have a choice of appliances?

Some custom built homes will come with appliances, but what if you don’t like the ones that are offered from your builder? You don’t want to invest in a number of appliances you ultimately won’t be happy with. Be sure to ask your builder if you’re able to get older appliance models in order to save money, or if you’re able to upgrade the appliances for the latest and greatest technology. 

Do you have a warranty program?

Purchasing a home without a warranty is a risky decision. You never know what could go wrong with a home that you buy — and not having a warranty could end up costing you more than expected in the long run. Make sure you’re covered should anything go wrong soon after the purchase.  

Ask about the surrounding area — where’s the nearest school, grocery store, hospital, fire and police departments, etc.? 

If you’re building a home, you’ll probably want to be nearby places that are necessary for health, safety, and living in general. Asking about these things is also a good way to test the builder’s knowledge of the area. Hopefully, they’ve chosen to build homes in a place they enjoy and believe in. 

How will we be staying in contact throughout the home building process? 

Communication is key, and this is especially true throughout the home building process. Be sure you’re able to come up with a solid communication arrangement between yourself and your home builder. Staying informed and making sure that everything is going as planned is necessary and will give you peace of mind as the buyer. If communication is not important to them, that’s a red flag. 

Heritage Custom Homes  

Heritage Custom Homes in Murfreesboro, TN, invites you to stop by and discuss these talking points and more. Give us a call at 615-379-7226 if you’re interested in purchasing a custom built home.