• Construction
  • 5 Easy Ideas For Decorating Your Dining Room

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    If your dining room gives off a dull and boring feel, it might be time to change the room’s style. You can do plenty of things to bring more life to the dining room, tie the room together and make it more stylish. These are great tips that will help you style any dining room.

    1. The dining room should have an area rug that pulls all the colors together. Your table and chairs should be able to fit on the area rug. There should be space between the rug and walls, so your area rug shouldn’t be too big.
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    As a rule, you should probably measure the perimeter of the table and then add about four feet in each direction for your rug. If you are going for a totally new look go for something different with your rug and redecorate the room based on the new rug.

    2. Include a centerpiece on your dining room table. Using a flower arrangement will add some color to the room. You can add light to the room with candles, while using a glass bowl or vase filled with fruit will add an earthy atmosphere to the room. When it comes to your centerpieces get creative. Depending on the season, or just your mood, you should change the centerpiece.

    3. A new piece of artwork or set of shelves can add style to the room. Look around the walls to check if you have nothing on the walls. You can go with one large piece of artwork or multiple smaller pieces of artwork that you can hang on the walls that are tied together. You can also choose to decorate your walls with pictures, candles and other items if you hang on or two shelves on the wall.

    4. Add style to the room with the dining room table. China sets, along with a placemat or stylish tablecloth set out on the table, will add a finished look to the room. It helps to make the room feel inviting instead of cold and uninviting to guests.
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    Changing things up a bit is as easy as changing the place settings on the table, that way you can keep your main setting without having to grow tired of your table’s look.

    5. Go with a new light fixture to further add new style to the room. Add new lighting to the room with chandeliers above the table or tall standing lights in the corners of the room. The style of the room and the chandelier should fit together. You can give the room the right amount of light by simply adjusting the height of the chandelier.

    There are other ways to add style to your dining room, these are just some of the many choices. When it comes to your dining room be creative, think about what you want and make just make it happen.

  • Uncategorized
  • Buying vs Building Your House The 5 Factors You Should Consider

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    This article aims to guide buyers in the decision making process by discussing some of the factors that they have to take into account as they choose whether to buy an existing house or to build their own.Time Frame

    This is arguably one of the most important factors that you have to take into consideration. Building a home will take a lot of time since there are several phases. You have to buy a parcel of land, hire an architect to design your home, get the necessary permits, hire a construction crew and then start the actual building. It might take you at least six months to a year before you can move into the house.

    Buying an existing home shortens that time exponentially. If it is a brand new house, you can probably move in as soon as escrow closes on it. Older homes might need some refurbishment, but it usually doesn’t take very long. As long as it is not a structural problem, you can probably move in and do the repairs gradually.

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    Design

    Of course, if you build your own home, you will be in control of every design aspect. Working with an architect will enable you to customize every nook and cranny of your home. This can become expensive, especially if you have a lot of elements in mind or are going with a very unique look. Buying a home, even if it’s a brand new house, means that there is already an existing design, and you will probably have to compromise with some aspects. Some subdivisions have cookie cutter homes while others may have variable designs that fit around a central theme. Even if you buy a house, you could remodel some parts of the house.

    Energy Efficiency

    With the rising costs of energy, energy efficiency is always a very desirable feature in a home. Building your own home means that you can ensure that every aspect of the house is energy efficient. Some newer house can also incorporate green energy sources such as solar panels. Buying an older home, even if it is still in a good state, may be draining in terms of electricity consumption. You could always modify the house to be more energy efficient, but it might end up costing you a pretty penny.

    Level of Involvement

    How much of an effort are you willing to make when deciding on a home that you will be living in for the next 20 years or so? Buying a new home basically means just working with a realtor, looking over at the listed properties that you are interested in, negotiating, and closing on your deal. It can be painless, especially if you are working with a very professional realtor. If you are building a home of your own, you will be responsible for calling the shots on all aspects. From picking out the location where you want to build until making on the decisions on the paint color, you will need to set aside long hours every week to visit your construction site. It will probably take up all your free time and then some.

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    Budget

    Everyone thinks about money when buying or building a house. As much as you want to live in mansion, you have to be able to stick to your budget. When buying a home, the price is already reflective of the value of the house and lot. It’s easy to tell your realtor to give you options within a certain price range. However, you must never forget to add in the cost of any refurbishments that you might need to make. If you are planning on expensive upgrades, then it would probably end up costing you a lot. Building a home means that you have to constantly juggle a budget over the construction time. It is quite easy to spend more than your originally intended. Labor is expensive nowadays, and you might end up paying for overtime if there are any unforeseeable delays.

    Building versus buying has various pros and cons and you must weigh each one before coming up with a decision.

    How about you? Did you buy or build you home?

  • Construction
  • How We Found a Place to Build Our House

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    Some time ago we have finally moved to a new house. It was a very exiting experience in my life and I would like to share it on this blog. So, why did we decided to move? The lot. This was actually the main reason we wanted to move and ultimately decided to build. What we want is very specific and wasn’t very easy to find.

    I grew up in a neighborhood and knew the advantage of growing up with lots of kids to play with. I lived on a dead-end street where we could ride our bikes and play with little fear of cars and I really wanted the same for my kids. Location was also a big factor. We currently live close to where Kirk grew up. Although living close to his family is very convenient, our current location is not located near the major highway that goes through our area. This makes getting to shops and attractions in some parts of the city, plus my drive to work, long and difficult.

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    Since we have two kids, living in an area with good schools was very important to both of us.Large, private lot (2+ acres?)

    • Ability to build a barn
    • Part of a neighborhood
    • Close to work/shops
    • Good schools

    After years of casually looking for homes or land that met this criteria, we came across two good options.Lot #1

    This lot has actually been available for several years, but it wasn’t something Kirk or I noticed earlier because of it’s location. It was farther away than either of us were initially looking. One day Kirk expanded the online search he was doing and found it.Pros:

    • 6.5 acres
    • Located in a neighborhood
    • Good schools
    • Barn-friendly

    At 6.5 acres, this piece of land was large and it was surrounded by other large lots. All the lots on the street were 5-7 acres, meaning we would definitely get the privacy we wanted. Also, we knew an outbuilding was a possibility because a couple of the other houses on the street had them on their property.Drawbacks:

    • Unfamiliar area
    • 30 miles from both of our jobs
    • Not all of the neighborhood was new
    • Private water

    Probably the biggest drawback of this lot was the location. It was in a far away location that we weren’t familiar with. Everything we could find online gave the school district good ratings, but since we had never heard of the schools before, it was an unknown. The location also meant both of us would be driving farther to work. Although the lot was located in a neighborhood, the set-up was a little unconventional. The neighborhood consisted of the street we were looking at which had new houses and 3 other streets that had small lots with older homes. Even though we knew this wasn’t a huge negative, we wondered how having to drive through an older neighborhood to get to our new house would affect the house’s value. On the lot’s listing, the realtor listed the water as “private, public not available”. Usually the two options for water were public or well. Having private water may not really be a drawback, but it was something we would need to look into if we decided to buy this lot.
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    Lot #2

    The second option also had been available for awhile, but we never really considered it because it was only an acre. Since our current house is on 2 acres, that became the minimum we were initially looking for. After someone I know told me about a neighborhood that consisted of all 1 acre lots, we decided to drive by to see if it was a possibility for us.Pros:

    • Located in a neighborhood
    • Good schools
    • Desirable location
    • Barn-friendly

    This neighborhood is located in a still rural part of the city that has been growing a lot over the last couple of years. Lots of new housing developments and shopping areas, including a new mall, has been built recently. The schools are known for being very good and we know people who live in this area and they all seem to love living there. Outbuildings are allowed in the neighborhood as along as the plan is approved. Living here would cut my drive time to work in half and would only add a couple of minutes to Kirk’s commute because of it’s location near the highway.

    Drawbacks:

    Since we like the privacy of our current lot, that became a minimum requirement for our new house. When we really stepped back to think about it though, we realized we love the fact we don’t have neighbors on top of us, but we only actually use about half of our yard. Although all of the lots in this neighborhood are 1 acre, there is only one available lot that interested us. It backs up to other lots that are 5 acres, giving us the privacy we want without actually having to own the land. This lot is also located on a cul-de-sac which we think will increase the distance between us and our neighbors.

    The county recently redrew the flood plain lines, and this lot is now considered to be in a flood zone. Although we know this is something that would immediately turn off some buyers (the realtor even told us that happened with a few people who called about the lot) we are not that worried about it. There is so much to say about this subject, so I will leave most of it for another post, but basically, we don’t think the lot will flood and we think it can be removed from the flood zone. We drove by the lot after receiving a lot of rain that melted a couple of feet of snow that had accumulated. There was sitting water in several areas of the city (including our backyard) but not a drop of water on the lot. As for removing the lot from the flood zone, we have a letter from an engineer that estimates bringing in 6 inches of fill dirt would be enough to get it removed from the flood zone.
    So… Which option did we pick?
    We actually drove by both lots for the first time on the same day. We went to lot #1 first and left happy because we knew it was a good possibility for us. Then we drove to lot #2 and fell in love. Really. We are both very excited about this lot because we think it will be perfect for our family. Now just to buy it…