Category: Home Improvement

Ways To Take Care Of Your Home Builder

Tips for Choosing a Home Builder

You are in good company if you are dreaming of owning a new construction home.  The current real estate market has driven many home buyers to consider new construction instead of an existing home. New construction has several advantages

You don’t have to compete with other buyers. Springs still has a low home inventory and a growing economy. Buyers continue to push into the market. Builders have adjusted to the market demands by building homes on smaller lots or without basements, while offering lower rates to accommodate buyers’ affordability issues.

You can pick your own style. You have more options than you would with an existing home. Builders offer several styles and layouts, and you can pick your own lot. Note: if you are hoping to buy in an older, established neighborhood, buying an existing home is typically the only way to go unless you find a fill in construction.

You have a full year guarantee for nearly everything in the home. Most builders provide a one-year warranty. Usually appliances are excluded from this warranty, but everything else will be repaired or replaced if there are issues

You will probably get a high-performance home. This can keep the cost of owning your home to a minimum. Even homes built 5 years ago are not as efficient as homes built in the last 12 months. Regional building standards have recently been updated and this can make a big difference in your utility bills.


Tips To Follow When Building A New Home

There are lots of options when it comes to finding your own special place to call home. Some people love the history and the feel of old homes. Others prefer apartment or condo life. And still others desire to create something of their very own. If you’re still on the fence about which direction to take, this list of beginning steps in the home building process may enlighten you.

Do some soul searching

Building a home from scratch isn’t for everyone. It can be a long and arduous journey. It can also be incredibly rewarding. Before you commit to the process, make sure that you (and your partner or kids) are cut out for what lies ahead. Money, patience, and time may be stretched thin. Perseverance and kindness will be required, as will a sense of stability in your life, relationship, and family.

Assess your wants and needs

Your new home will be a reflection of you and your family. Therefore, it’s important to figure out where you most want to live, and what you most value in a home. A family of introverts? Better make sure everyone has their own room. A family of socialites? Better create a huge kitchen with adjacent mudroom for all the visitors traipsing through the house.

Gather information

Talk to people who have built their own homes. Talk to architects. Talk to general contractors. Talk to house builders. Talk to modular home specialists. Cast your net wide and gather as much information as you possibly can on the topic of home building. This will aid in all your future decisions

Choose a location

Deciding where you want to build your house and buying a lot will be one of your first concrete steps toward the home of your dreams. There are many factors involved in choosing a plot of land and there can be many hidden costs. Don’t forget to get a “site prep” estimate for your piece of land. This will detail what kind of preparation the lot needs before your build begins. Also, make sure you find out how close the utilities are and how much it will cost to connect them to your new home. Many people have been surprised by these extra costs and many a house-building project has been derailed.


Home Builder Success And Branding Guide

In today’s complex landscape of social media, Internet, television, and growing global communities, building a successful brand is no small feat. Building a home is simple compared to laying the foundation for a strong brand for a home builder. This guide will help you hone all the parts and pieces that make up a successful brand with a special focus on the needs and challenges of home builders.

Understand What a Brand Is

Follow the history of the brand and you’ll find yourself on a long and, at times, confusing journey. It began as a way to distinguish your goods from the contractor next door, but it has since evolved to the point where branding your product is more about customer relations and social media management than slapping a logo on the side of your truck. If you’re going to succeed at building a strong image in today’s consumer culture, it is absolutely essential that you grasp everything a brand really is.

Strengthen Your Brand: Narrow Your Focus

It’s easier to have a winning brand when you’re in a narrow market. Instead of hoping to present your company as the very best home home building contractor, step back and take an honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Now highlight your strong points and build a niche brand from that.

Tailor Your Image to Your Market

Defining your market is one of the most important parts of brand building. Everything from your logo to your writing style should cater to your ideal home buyer. Retirees and young mothers are looking for very different experiences when they buy a home. Identify the market that you want to focus on and tailor your business identity appropriately.

Define Yourself with a Simple Mission Statement

Help your company stand out by avoiding broad generalities like “quality homes.” Do you source materials and supplies locally to support small businesses and local economies? Do you offer customizations that your competitors don’t? Do you keep on the cutting edge of green building practices? Turn your most distinctive features into a strong yet simple statement.


Free self-build-home-planning guide

The guide will help you on your way to build your dream home, and:

understand how to build a house from the ground

help you make the right decisions when choosing to self-build

provide help when choosing a house plan

work out how much space you need

estimate the per square footage cost to build a house

learn about the home building process

put you in touch with a mortgage provider

assess if your site meets planning policy

If you are choosing to build your own customised home this guide is invaluable to help you assess all your needs and options for your house build.

When buying land and designing your dream home from the ground up there are hidden costs, and this guide will help you to make the right decisions earlier in the process, to avoid making costly mistakes, or worse, not achieve all your needs

If you are purchasing a piece of land to build your own house this guide gets you to ask the right questions before you start and helps you to understand your needs and options in more detail, before parting with cash to purchase the plot of land, and before obtaining a construction loan.

Understanding your needs and options will make sure your buy the right plot and avoid investing in the wrong area. Too many self-build homes fail to consider daylight paths, overhanging trees, ground conditions and many other site issues that will influence how your home design will turn out. Who wants a home that is at odds with its surroundings, or worse, is costly to maintain


New-Construction Tips From Experts Who Know Better

Buying a home can be a tricky process. Buying a home that doesn’t exist yet can be trickier. But that doesn’t mean you have to go into it blind. To help you, we took to the streets and gathered the best advice we could find from experts who have built a house or two.

“Homebuilders follow your lead — not the other way around.” So unless you give them some direction, you’ll end up with the same generic house that everybody else has. Yet “the whole joy of building new is that you can actually customize it,”

Now that you have an idea of what you want, it’s time to make your first big decision: the floor plan. Chinburg Properties, a large builder on the upper East Coast, calls this “the baseline for your project,” since it will determine the size, style, quality and features of your new building.

Why am I doing this? I don’t even have a builder yet.

You can do the same for similar, newly constructed homes and commercial buildings in your area. Take the price of the building, subtract the price of the land it stands on, and divide the result by the number of square feet you want to have.

observes that “people plan with a budget in mind. But they build with their heart.” Our rational brains know that shiny things are expensive, but that doesn’t keep the shiny things from being irresistible.

Start Your Residential Home Remodeling Now

Things to Consider Before a Home Remodel

Construction / Remodels

A home remodel can be one of the most rewarding and stressful events a home owner will go through. There are numerous considerations to go over before making a decision to remodel–event down to considering whether the project is worth taking on at all

Do you love the area? Even if you only plan to stay in a house for a short time, it’s important to like where you live, and it’s even better if you adore your neighborhood. Don’t worry what your parents or friends think — does the area work for you and your family? Neighborhood vibe, friendliness, local attractions and restaurants, noise level, schools, weather, history – what matters to you is what matters most.

Will the area love your ideas? Are you planning to fit an edgy, slick design into a folksy ranch neighborhood? You could be risking your new neighbors hating you before you even move in! Blending an extensive remodel into a well-established neighborhood while incorporating fresh ideas is not for the do-it-yourselfer. Hiring experts, like our team at A.C.T. Builders ensures we get it right the first time.

Don’t overbuild, but don’t underbuild either. Updating an older home is a rewarding process, but if your ideas go beyond what a future buyer will appreciate, you’ll pay for it when you go to sell. On the other hand, choosing shortcuts and inferior building supplies is readily evident as well.

Does the house have “good bones”? Tearing out walls is not the time to discover an original structure was so poorly built that major changes, and expensive renovations, need to be made. Our experienced team of builders are honest and upfront, so we are not afraid to tell you a certain design won’t work in the hopes of netting a larger fee when the “worst” is discovered. We are also great at making the good bones of a house into a stunning place to live — the home your house was always meant to be


What you can do now to plan and manage a home renovation once conditions are right

Contractors are more likely to take outdoor rather than indoor projects during the coronavirus pandemic. But you should plan your remodeling job and sign your contract now so that you’ll be at the top of the list when conditions improve

Like everyone else, you’ve been spending lots of time at home during the past several weeks. And you’ve probably become more acquainted with all the flaws in your home: the outdated kitchen cabinets, the frayed carpeting in the family room that needs to be replaced by hardwood, the spare bedroom that needs to be converted into a dedicated office

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, home construction — including remodeling — had been deemed an essential business under the original stay-at-home orders in the District, Maryland and Virginia. But whether a specific project is considered appropriate is a matter largely determined by homeowners and contractors.

Merrick, who also serves as chairman of the government affairs committee for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), said contractors are more likely to take on outside rather than inside projects. In the case of a customer seeking to renovate the basement of her D.C. rowhouse, the decision was made to wait until the late spring or early summer when everyone would feel more comfortable.

The slump in activity may work to your advantage, experts say. Because work has dried up, some contractors may be more willing to give you a better deal on the pricing than they would have several months ago when demand for their services was high.


Home Improvement

Spend an hour with a pro.

Invite a realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home

Inspect it.

Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems — you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don’t normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home’s value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.

Paint, paint, paint.

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!

Find inspiration.

An alternative to hiring a designer is to search for remodeling and decorating inspiration in design-oriented magazines, books, TV shows and websites. Simply tear out or print off the ideas you want to try and start your to-do list. Keep it simple — when remodeling on a tight budget, do-it-yourself projects are best.

Cut energy costs.

The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers’ homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run.


Things to Consider While Planning a Budget for Your Kitchen Remodel Costs

The kitchen is a popular place for families and friends to congregate. Family members grab a quick breakfast before rushing out the door, kids work on  homework and chat about their day while a parent prepares dinner and friends  gather around sipping drinks and tasting appetizers during a dinner party. The  kitchen really is the heart and soul of what a home is.

Two big reasons to remodel your kitchen

A kitchen remodel is one of the most popular ways to spruce up a home in order  to make it more comfortable. A remodel can also make the house more appealing prior to getting an appraisal. It is second only to remodeling a bathroom as the most common home remodeling project.

Home buyers want nice kitchens, so kitchen updates are likely to cause an increase in value during the appraisal process, and buyers may favor your home over others that have outdated kitchens. Having an updated kitchen will likely result in improving your equity and overall home value.

With predicted home value increases, you will eventually recover part of the money you spend on a home improvement – here are some facts:

Remodeling Magazine research indicates that homeowners typically recover 83% of their costs for minor kitchen remodel projects (average of $20,000) and 65% of their costs for major remodels (average of $60,000).

An upscale major kitchen remodel, with an average cost of $120,000, provides an estimated 62% return on a home’s selling price.

With a kitchen remodel, you get the immediate benefit of living in a nicer space with the added benefit of a higher sale price and a faster sale when you go to sell your home in the future.

Setting up your kitchen remodel and expense budget

Kitchen remodels that may add value typically include new appliances, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and fixtures


Home Improvement Ideas For Those On A Budget

Need to do some updates around the house but think you lack the funds for any worthwhile home improvement projects? It is true that home repair and renovation can be expensive, but there are also some cool things you can do on the cheap

Check out these step by step tutorials for some inexpensive ways to update and improve your home, but on a budget. From DIY kitchen decor ideas to ways to update your bathroom on a budget, cheap living room decor to bedroom furniture, you are sure to find one or more projects to try out this weekend. Recently, I updated my bathroom vanity using the concrete countertop suggestion, and it looks so amazing

Trying to decide which easy home improvement project to tackle next, and super excited knowing I have some affordable options. Cheap home renovation projects and home improvement ideas that are sure to fit your budget, there is now no excuse for not having the home of your dreams.

Paint Your Cabinets

Are you thinking about updating your kitchen, namely your kitchen cabinets? Repainting them is easy, but only if you know what you are doing. Proper surface prep is crucial if you want this home improvement project to turn out right. Learn how with this step by step tutorial with this DIY idea for kitchen cabinets.

Faux Shiplap Backsplash With Peel ‘N Stick Flooring

Another easy home improvement project idea that you can make without spending a ton of money or time, this faux shiplap backsplash tutorial uses adhesive flooring to create an easy backsplash. No serious woodworking or carpentry skills required and of course, no tile cutter needed. If you love the look of a pretty tile backsplash, but can’t exactly lay tile yourself or afford it, try this cool tutorial. For DIY countertops you’ll love, look no further than this cool home improvement hack.

Tips To Change Your Bathroom With Bathroom Remodelling

Bathroom Remodeling: Things to Consider Before You Remodel Your Bathroom

There are various, sometimes unexpected, factors that go into bathroom remodeling planning. A bathroom remodeling project is no small undertaking in terms of both money and time spent on the job. The average mid-range bathroom remodel costs $19,134, according to the 2018 Cost vs. Value report. That’s a significant financial investment that requires thoughtful consideration and research before diving in.

Before you start your bathroom remodeling checklist, there are several aspects to consider: budget, design, plumbing, and contractors. Read more of these considerations before moving forward and taking the first step in building your dream bathroom.

Evaluate Your Finances

Although you can research the average bathroom remodeling cost for your area, every remodeling project is unique. How much a homeowner actually spends will vary depending on the size of the space, the intensity of the project, and the quality of materials used. Before starting your remodel, examine what you think you can spend and then ask for an estimate from several contractors. Set realistic expectations for yourself.


Warm up your floors

To avoid a cold tile floor, consider adding radiant heat, which is simply an electric heating element that the tile installer puts underneath your finished floor. Set it on a programmable thermostat, and it’ll have the floor warm to the toe when your alarm goes off in the morning. That adds about $500 to $1,000 to your project costs, depending on the room size, but it’ll make your new bathroom a comforting and peaceful place.


Plumbing fixtures and features

No renovation is complete without remodeling or repairing fixtures and features, which could very well make a separate checklist themselves: shower, bathtub, toilet, bidet, sink, faucets and shower heads. You should also update or repair your mirrors and shower doors. You can also change the look of your bathroom very easily by changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware for your shower doors. If you have the budget a new set of shower doors can completely change the look of your room.

Cabinets, storage and shelving

Planning cabinets, shelving and storing solutions is a tricky problem in most cases. In small, irregular shaped rooms like the bathroom, it is even more so. They need to be functional and accomodate all your stuff while keeping everything easily reachable, they must fit into the available space and make the most of it and on top of it all, they need to look stylish.

Final clean

The final clean should include a thorough cleaning of all cabinetry, inside and out, ductwork, walls, floor, windows, and light fixtures. Although often overlook in the planning phase, in the case of a major renovation you may want to consider contracting a cleaning service which means additional costs that impact your budget. If you feel up to doing it yourself, you may need to add a day or two to your initial timing.


Don’t forget about ventilation and lighting. 

Make sure the space is properly ventilated as moisture breeds mold and mildew and can take its tool on finishes and surfaces. In addition, you’ll want to ensure your bathroom has plenty of light. Install a ceiling fixture for general light, but depending on the layout of your bathroom, you may want to add sconces near the vanity and task lighting in a shower.

Don’t be too distracted by trends. When planning your bathroom remodel, think about the long term. While you may be tempted to add a trendy mirror, lighting or tile, don’t go overboard when bringing your bathroom up-to-date, as trends come and go. Opt for practical fixtures that won’t lose their appeal in the next few years.



Unless your bathroom is unusually large, you can DIY most of the smaller tasks within this overall project. For core-level bath remodels, many DIYers still hire out electricians and plumbers but do the rest of the work themselves. For surface-level remodels that require no major wiring and plumbing changes, the entire project is within the reach of a DIYer.

But do remember that professional contractors may do the job better and faster than you can. Weigh cost savings against these advantages when making your decision.