Planting ahead

Posted on Mar 10, 2016 |

As a new homeowner, you face many decisions. They include choosing kitchen cabinetry, selecting European-style shower doors and evaluating whether to carpet the master suite. So you might not have given a lot of thought to the landscape surrounding your emerging dream home.

But the ideal time to start sketching out your yard is right now, while your house in the planning stages.

You have a blank canvas on which to announce sight lines, mark off family recreation areas and come up with curb appeal that makes your house stand out.

It’s also the perfect time to keep everything in proportion. Don’t allow the gardening bug to overpower your house or vice versa.

For starters, look around the lot for a mature tree. If you’re lucky enough to find one, give it a big hug. These things don’t pop up overnight, so you’ll want to make the most of it.

From there, some experts recommend a yard mix of 50 percent evergreens such as trees, shrubs and hedges to have a little color throughout each season. Go to your local horticulture expert and learn about plants and trees native to your area. It will give you a big step up in sustainability.

Also check out points of view. Stand where you expect windows to be installed and look into the yard. What are you going to see as you sit in the breakfast nook sipping your morning tea?

Style is important, too. An English cottage front yard might not sit well with a contemporary ranch. Head to the street to see what gives you the curb appeal you crave.

Once you’ve plotted out the general landscape, including places for the eventual pool or hot tub and plants that make your heart sing, seek out a professional planner to guide you into the perfect placement.

See why the time to start is now?

Fifty-seven percent of new home buyers wouldn’t buy a house without a separate laundry room, @NAHBhome says.

Posted on Feb 16, 2016 |

Cookies, anyone?

Posted on Feb 15, 2016 |

Want to make your new house feel like home? Pull a pan of these simply sensational cookies out of the oven and see if you don’t feel the love.

Tips for organizing your bedroom

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 |

Does your bedroom look like a tornado just went through it? Keep it organized with these tips.

Calling the shots

Posted on Feb 11, 2016 |

It’s really happening. You’ve signed the contract and your dream home is rising from the ground, filled with all the fittings that will make it uniquely your own.

And while you probably came into the project with a clear idea of what you wanted, it’s not unusual to second-guess yourself when faced with a vast array of choices.

If you’ve done your homework and hired a reputable builder such as Rainey Homes, this is when you put your heads together with your loved ones and a team of professionals and sort through the various options and upgrades.

As soon as possible, begin with any structural adjustments you have in mind. It’s much easier (and less expensive) to open a room or extend a garage in the framing stages rather than knocking out finished walls and pouring new foundations.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the added cost of your proposed changes and whether it affects other systems such as plumbing, wiring and support beams.

As the work progresses, fine-tune your finishing touches from paint and crown molding to appliances. Remember: The granite countertops you saw in the builder’s model home might have been an option that doesn’t fit into your proposed budget.

Consider, too, what you might be able to add yourself after closing at a lower price. The advantage of getting that beautiful new stove with two ovens and a grill insert through your builder is that the cost could be rolled into the mortgage.

Ideally, you and the builder discussed all of these options in the beginning, when you met with the design team. At the same time, you’re free to change your mind as work progresses. That’s why it’s important to visit the construction site often. Make sure the hand-hewn fireplace mantel looks as good in person as it did on paper.

Speaking of staying on budget, carefully weigh which options you need versus those you simply want. That’s not to say you can’t indulge your whims. After all, how often do you have the chance to build your dream home? Just keep in mind you have the ability to add timeless décor after you move in.

The bottom line: Work with someone you trust, go in with a realistic budget and keep the lines of communication open. That will transform your house into the home of your dreams for years to come.

When doing renovations, don’t neglect landscaping

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 |

When doing renovations, don’t neglect landscaping. All the work done on your home will be pointless if you have to hack through overgrown weeds and ugly shrubs to get there!

Feel like something is missing in your bedroom? Make it complete with this checklist.

Posted on Feb 9, 2016 |

Having a shower and separate tub in your bathroom

Posted on Feb 8, 2016 |

Are you dreaming of a bathroom with a separate shower and tub? We can help make it a reality.

Spring cleaning is just around the corner. See how to transform your bathroom into a spa resort.

Posted on Feb 5, 2016 |

How to childproof your home

Posted on Feb 5, 2016 |

Moving into a new home is exciting, but could present some interesting challenges to keeping your child safe. This guide can help you incorporate the proper safety measures to prevent injury.