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.
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.
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.
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.
Purchasing a custom home is an investment in many ways, particularly in energy efficiency. By designing your own home, you have the opportunity to create a living space that will save money and natural resources for years to come. If you’re wondering how new homes are able to make a significant positive impact on your wallet and the environment, keep reading.
New homes are capable of staying warm or cool by using far less energy than old homes because insulation standards have greatly improved over the last few decades. Insulation technology gives builders and homeowners a wide variety of products to choose from depending on the type of building and materials used. From reflective panels that block the sun’s rays to spray insulators that fill in even the smallest gaps to prevent any airflow, modern insulation techniques are better at keeping your house at a steady temperature.
Many older homes have single-pane windows with metal frames that let in a lot of air from the outside. A few decades ago, when electricity was cheaper and most people didn’t think of being “green,” adjusting the thermostat to make up for excess airflow wasn’t a big deal. Now, modern homes are built with multi-pane vinyl windows with sturdy seals to keep any air from going in or out — saving the thermostat from constant adjustments.
Appliances That Save
Over the years, more energy-efficient home appliances have been hitting the market. In fact, it’s hard to find many appliances that don’t cut down on electricity, gas, or water usage in some way. This includes refrigerators, water heaters, light bulbs — even thermostats, that you can schedule to turn off and on at any time. Almost all the basic appliances in new homes will be more efficient than the ones used in homes built decades ago.
Construction Went Green
When the green movement came along, there was a big push from home buyers for construction companies to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint. Now, there are energy efficiency codes in place across all areas of construction. So whether it’s an office mall or your custom home, a new building is guaranteed to be more energy efficient than a structure that was built years ago.
Your new home will already be saving energy in many ways, but as a custom home owner, you can take your efficiency a step further by installing source alternatives that drastically cut down on energy and water usage. Solar panels, wind generators, and rainwater-harvesting systems are just three of multiple green inventions you can take advantage of in your custom home. They range in terms of pricing, but all of them pay themselves off in the long run. Ask your representative at Heritage Custom Homes about green energy installations to find which options work best for your home and budget.
So your new custom home is finally finished here in Murfreesboro, TN, and it looks amazing… on the inside. The outside landscape probably isn’t anything great. Construction can take its toll on the landscape, and if you’re building in a new neighborhood on new lot, hopefully you’re lucky enough to have some fresh sod and not just dirt. But don’t fret. There are great landscaping companies here in Murfreesboro that can help you make your landscape pop to improve the overall look of your custom home, and here is how you can do it.
Choose Complementary Colors
Just like you chose the perfect colors for the interior of your home, you want to do the same for your landscape by choosing colors that complement each other and aren’t overwhelming. You’ll have a wider variety of colors to choose from, but remember not to overdo it. Choose flowers that work well together, such as yellows and purples. Also take into consideration the color of your home’s exterior. If your home is a dark shaded brick, you might want to use a light shade of brown for mulching.
Shrubbery usually requires more thought than people give it. When choosing shrubs for your landscape, keep in mind their maintenance needs. Any shrubs placed under windows should be easy to maintain. You don’t want a fast growing, tall shrub, else it’ll lead to constant maintenance to prevent it from blocking windows. Save taller shrubs for spots that do not obstruct windows. These shrubs can be very effective at improving the look of large homes that have areas with no windows.
Custom Landscape for Your Custom Home
Just as you designed your own home, your landscape is ultimately up to you to customize. You don’t have to be a landscaper to accomplish this, just like you weren’t a contractor when you designed your home. Work with your landscaping company, tell them what you want, and they will know how to accomplish it. Your custom home deserves a landscape that complements it.
When it comes to getting a new home, homebuyers are presented with the option between buying an old home, buying a new home, or building a home. All three have their pros and cons. Since home building is what we do, we’ll point out a few benefits to having your home custom built.
If you love to entertain guests and host parties, a home bar would make a perfect addition to your custom home. You can choose to add one to your kitchen, bonus room, library, office, rec room, or even outdoors! Here are a few benefits to having your own personal bar in your home as well as some basics of what it will need.
Drinks are Cheaper
By buying your drinks from the store and mixing them at home, you’ll be able to save a lot of money on your favorite drinks. No more overspending as you keep ordering a refill. Your stocked home bar will let you enjoy yourself without the guilt of a high bill the next morning.
Drink Mixes are to Your Liking
With control over what goes into your drink, you’ll be able to mix the perfect drink to suit your tastes. Whether you prefer more or lighter ice or extra or less soda, you can love your drink every time!
Your Home is More Valuable
Adding a bar to your home adds aesthetic value as well as monetary value. So if you should you ever want to sell, you can be sure your bar will add to your home’s appeal.
Friends Can be More Frequent
With a bar in your home, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing friends that your home is the best place to hang out on the weekends. Friends will be begging you to throw more parties and get-togethers!
The Atmosphere is Ideal
Unlike going out to a bar for drinks, you can set the ideal atmosphere for your home bar. From the music to the volume to the types of drinks served, everything is under your control.
Some Basics for Your Home Bar
A sink to wash out glasses
Shelves to display glasses and drinks
Cabinet to store extra supplies
Refrigerator to keep drinks cold
Ice maker (as well as an ice bucket)
Stem glass holders to hang glasses
Wine rack to store wine bottles
Bar tray to serve drinks or small snacks
Coasters to keep rings off tables
Supply of your favorite drinks
Glassware for you and your guests
Music player and speakers to set the mood
Once you have your own bar in your home, you may find that you never go back out for drinks again! The convenience and other benefits of a home bar are enough reason for any drink or socialization lover to seriously consider installing one in their home. And if you are building a custom home, now would be the time to make plans to add a bar!
Kitchens are an exciting area of most homes. Kitchens and the extensions of them tend to be warm and inviting; it’s where meals are made and time is spent together with family and friends. In 2017, you can plan to make your kitchen even more enjoyable by deciding to give it one of the following updates.
Add a Bar
Go bigger than a bar cart with an actual bar in 2017. This sort of addition is great for frequent entertainers and those who love crafting up cocktails at home. It can add a unique look to your kitchen, as well as make it more inviting. A bar doesn’t have to be about drinks 24/7. Bar seating offers more room for everyone to sit and enjoy a snack, or even a meal in a less formal setting.
Go Retro With Your Appliances
If you’re struggling to find a way to add color to your kitchen, consider an appliance update. A retro stove or refrigerator in a refreshingly bright and unexpected color have the potential to work wonders in less traditional kitchens. This is a way to make a bold change without a large amount of work.
Give in to Tile
Tile has become increasingly popular in kitchens today. Whether chosen for a backsplash or to cover an entire wall, tile creates a bold accent. Within this trend there are many different options to choose from — you can go with the classic white tile or choose something with different visual interest, such as tiles with a hexagonal shape. There are many ways to add tile in order to make it fit with the current look of your kitchen.
Include a Popular Color
If you’re not quite ready to make the commitment to tile, you can turn to color to make an impact on your kitchen for less. For those wanting to go bold, consider “Greenery,” Pantone’s color of 2017.
The start of a new year always brings new ambitions and goals, in hopes that these things will get accomplished or become healthy habits for the future. While we’re typically focused on resolutions for ourselves, why not commit to a few that are extensions of ourselves — resolutions for our home.
You probably spend the majority of your time at home, following work. Does the new year have you thinking about new projects to take on or ways to make your time spent at home more enjoyable? Below are a few great home resolutions to make for 2017.
Create a Cleaning Routine
It’s easy to fall out of habit with your home cleaning routine — that is, if you’ve ever created one before. For many, cleaning ends up happening when things start to look dirty… which isn’t a routine at all. 2017 could be the year you figure out how to keep your home clean without it becoming a daunting and time-consuming process. In order to do this, you’ll need to set some daily rules, such as:
All dirty dishes get loaded into the dishwasher by the end of the day
All dirty clothes are put into a hamper while others are hung up or put away where they belong
And any other applicable daily tasks
When it comes to keeping dirt at bay, schedule a time to clean your house once a week. Some tips for a cleaner home include keeping all of your cleaning products in one place, as well as in a caddy so they’re easily transported from room to room. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should only focus on one cleaning task at a time.
Ditch the Clutter
Most of us start the new year with an accumulation of stuff. And more stuff than we had before. While the cliche saying goes “out with the old and in with the new,” we sometimes forget about the first part. It’s time-consuming to sort, and parting with that old tee shirt we never wear anymore can be harder than anticipated. With that being said, a clutter-free home makes room for the new and provides a much more relaxing atmosphere.
Plan a Renovation
Is there a room in your home that you’ve always wanted to change? In order to make the most of the space, it might be time for a renovation. Whether it’s a bathroom, laundry area, or entryway, start by crafting a plan for how you envision the renovated space to look. A renovated space can bring new life into your home.