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Building Your Dream Home

When most people imagine what their dream home will be like, they usually have an idea in their mind of how it will look on the outside. Building a dream home is not only an exciting time in one's life, but it is also a major undertaking. It is easy to imagine the final product, but to get there one has many steps to go through. If you are planning on building a dream home, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind before you plunge into the project.

Budget Planning: It is important to consider how much you can afford to spend on building a new home. You will likely have to get a home loan so research carefully and compare loan options. You should also see what size loan you will actually qualify for. Get an estimate of building costs as well so you will know how much you may be spending. It is important to budget for unexpected expenses. A good way to finance is a 'pay as you go' plan, meaning you pay for each stage of the building process.

Consider the Style and Size of the Home: You should think about what type of home you want such as a rustic log home, Cape Cod, Ranch, Colonial, Modern,etc. This is what you and others will see when you pull up in the driveway so make sure it is exactly what you want. You have to consider how many square feet you want, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of each room, and any additions such as a garage or mudroom.

Lot Considerations: You have to consider such lot features as the size, location such as urban, rural, near an ocean,etc. You should also consider such location aspects as approximation to amenities, schools, work, parks,etc. Make sure that you obtain information on such aspects as drainage, zoning laws, building regulations, weather conditions, and soil conditions.

Choose a Plan Design: You can locate many designs on the internet or you can enlist the services of an architect. Modern homes tend to have specific plans, but the builder can usually make modifications. There are also software packages that can help you design your dream house. It is important to pick a plan that will meet you and your family's current and future needs.

Choose a Contractor/Builder: You will need a contractor who will usually have a building team that is qualified in all areas associated with building a home. You will also require a surveyor, electrician, plumber, and building inspector for the various stages of the building process. Ask the builder to review your design to make there won't be any problems during building. Whoever you choose should have a good reputation so make sure you obtain references. You will also need an excavator for the septic tank installation. You will be required to have a local government official inspect where the septic installation will take place before you receive a permit to install it.

Home Inspector: Make sure you have a home inspector review the home to make sure everything was done correctly and the home is safe and in good condition. A home inspector will be able to identify any errors or poor quality work.

Building a dream home can be a wonderful and exciting time in one's life. In order to ensure that your dream comes true, it is important to have all of the information about building before you start. It will make the project easier, less expensive, and will help ensure that your new home is a dream come true, and not a nightmare.


Vinyl Replacement Windows -- Three Facts You Should Know

Many people have unrealistic expectations when they replace their old outdated windows with new vinyl replacement windows. They think just because they had them installed, all they have to do is keep the glass clean and they'll last a lifetime. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Here are three facts that help you purchase the right windows and some ways to keep that new appearance far longer.

Factors Of Energy Efficiency

You may think you know what's involved in energy efficiency, but you may not know it all. Most people think the U-value is the single determining factor in measuring vinyl replacement window efficiency. Although it does play a role, it isn't the only factor. The U-value only measures the amount of heat that is allowed through the window. You have to include the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC, which measures the amount of light allowed through to the equation as well. If you live in a hot climate, it's usually best to replace your windows with the lowest SHGC rating as you can to keep the most heat out. In colder climates, the opposite would hold true.

Maintenance Free Vinyl Replacement Windows Frames - Think Again

Nothing looks better then the fresh clean appearance of new windows in a home. To make that look last longer, you'll want to keep them clean. It's important that you only use a mild soap and water solution to do this. It may be tempting to use a strong solution or scouring powder, but these products will scratch and ruin the surface of the windows. This allows dirt and grime to become embedded in the micro scratches, making them appear to be dirty.

The tracks that allow the window to slide up and down need attention as well. If they become dirty, it will be difficult to operate the window as it was designed. If left unattended too long, the dirt can build up and actually wear away at the surface, leaving gaps that could allow water to leak in. The dirt attracts moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew. Use you vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any lose dirt and a soft damp cloth to thoroughly clean the track.

Avoid Installation Problems

If you don't feel confident in installing new vinyl replacement windows yourself, you can always ask your dealer to recommend someone that is experienced to do the job. Some homeowners fear the job will overwhelm them or that replacement of drywall on the inside or stucco on the outside will have to be done. This is usually not the case at all. Today, these modern replacements come with their own finishing materials so even the most amateur installer can look like an experienced master in no time. They usually just need to attach to the interior window frame. A little clean up and your new vinyl replacement windows are good to go.

When the time comes to replace windows in your home, do some basic research to know exactly what you need and how it's going to be done before making your purchase. Installation, cleaning instructions, and energy efficiency are just some of the basics you need to be aware of. Once completed, your replacement windows will look great and will continue to save you money.


New Home Buyers 101

Buying a new home is an exciting time in ones life. Because it is such a major purchase, you want to make sure that you have the knowledge to make the right decisions. It will make the home buying process much easier and will ensure that you have provided the best home for you and your family.

The following is a list of a number of tips that will help make your new home buying experience a pleasant one:

1. Make a list of what type of home will meet your current and future needs. This can include: the location, size of the property, number of bedrooms, size of the rooms, and proximity to schools, work, parks, stores, and other amenities. This will help you narrow your search. You should consider enlisting the services of a real estate agent who can help you find the right home at the right price.

2. Before you purchase a new home, you should decide if you can afford to take on such a big investment. You will be required to make a down payment. There are now 5% down payment deals available. Remember, the less money down means the higher your monthly mortgage payments. You will also be responsible for fees such as attorney fees, taxes, registration fees, closing costsetc. You also have to make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage repayments. In order to secure a good mortgage, you must make sure you have a good credit history. Check your credit history to see if there are any errors or outstanding loans that should be paid. It is essential that you purchase a home that you can afford. There are online mortgage calculators that will help you determine how much you can afford. It is also recommended that you get pre-approved for a mortgage before you actually start searching for a home. You will then not waste your time looking at homes you cant afford.

3. If you have children or are planning to have children, research the schools in the area where you are interested in living. You want to make sure your children will get a quality education. As well, living in an area with good schools increases the value of a home.

4. Before you make an offer on a home, make sure you hire a building inspector to inspect the home for any problems. An inspector should look at the foundation, plumbing/septic system, the structural integrity of the home, roofetc. The home inspection fee will can range from $300-650 depending on the type of house and its features.

5. It is important to have an attorney represent you for the closing. You will want to make sure that you are protected. .

Purchasing a new home is a big life investment so it is important to make sure that you are familiar with all that goes into the purchase. This will help make the process run much smoother and less stressful allowing you to focus on starting a new life in your very own home.


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