Construction

Home Office Design Tips

Home Office Design Tips

Every room in your home should be designed for functionality. But, other than the kitchen, your home office might be the most important. Whether you need the space for a home-based business, the occasional work-from-home day, studying, creative endeavors or simply catching up on emails and bills, it has to be a place where you FEEL like doing what needs to be done. If your home office is dark and cramped or cluttered with overwhelming piles, it’s more likely to inspire anxiety than brilliance. For a beautiful and functional workspace, follow these home office design tips. Devote the space Many new Colorado Springs homes include a designated office space that’s not tucked away with the bedrooms. While that’s ideal, you might not have that option or you might need more than one home office. Don’t stuff your desk in a closet or in a high-traffic corridor with lots of distractions to maintain a guest room. Guest rooms are rarely used in most homes. While it might seem unlikely, guest rooms and offices can coexist. Try adding a daybed or even a funky murphy bed that doubles as a desk when the bed is tucked into the wall. Give yourself the surface space you need Sharing an office area with your spouse is a good way to create a designated work area without sacrificing another room or compromising on location. But it also could get tight. While you might be tempted to squeeze a tiny little desk into the corner for one of you, the lack of surface space could become an overwhelming issue if papers start piling up. Make...
5 Ways to Reduce Home Energy Use and Lower Utility Bills

5 Ways to Reduce Home Energy Use and Lower Utility Bills

Even though gas prices fell this winter, home energy costs did not. Natural gas and electricity prices have even climbed in Colorado Springs recently. So, how do you keep your bills low even as overall costs increase? Here are five tried and true tricks for reducing your home energy use: Get a home energy audit.  Having an expert evaluate your home and let you know where you’re losing heat and which electronics are draining your checking account is the best way to identify the savings that will matter most. Without an evaluation, you can guess at what’s costing the most, but you might be missing some obvious solutions to big issues you never knew your home had. Insulate.  Whether heating or cooling, losing that perfect air to the outdoors is painful. Many homes in Colorado Springs are not properly insulated, especially older homes. That’s why most energy experts suggest starting with added insulation. It can make dramatic decreases in utility costs and home comfort without a huge upfront investment. Lighten up.  Changing your light bulbs might not seem like it would do much, but the new condensed fluorescent light bulbs and the LEDs often use less than half as much energy as their traditional incandescent cousins. On top of saving power, the new bulbs can run for a decade or two without needing to be replaced. Talk about long-term savings! Unplug.  It’s true that most of the things you plug in don’t draw that much power. But some are energy hogs, and you would be so surprised to find out just how much energy they consume even when they’re...
2015 US Housing Outlook

2015 US Housing Outlook

The year is off to a good start, and it looks like 2015 will continue to see US home sales prices climb while new home construction maintains its highest level since its peak in 2006. CoreLogic, a real estate data company, broadcast very strong predictions in its 2015 US Housing Outlook at the beginning of this year. Crediting strong economic growth and those young millennials coming of home-buying age, CoreLogic predicts that home sales will increase by 9 percent in 2015 and that new home construction will go up by a staggering 14 percent. Millennials While employment increased 2 percent nationally in 2014, the employment rate for millennials, who were born between 1980 and 2000, climbed 3 percent. That means more of the young generation are coming of employment age, but also that recent college grads, who struggled entering the job market during the recession, are finding careers and moving out of their parents’ basements. Since the millennials are an even larger generation than the Baby Boomers, household formation is likely to continue with some gusto as long as the economy continues growing. New home construction More households mean there is a need for more housing. However, that’s not the only factor driving growth of new construction. Styles and tastes have changed over the decades and the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home of the 1980s and earlier isn’t acceptable anymore. New homes have big closets, tall ceilings, nice natural light and functional floor plans designed to make life at home as convenient and comfortable as possible. That’s desirable, especially to the younger generations that largely grew up with a little more...
Heating Bills are as Comfy as Your Home When You Buy New

Heating Bills are as Comfy as Your Home When You Buy New

New homes are more energy efficient than older homes. New construction comes with more insulation and more efficient appliances. All of that means a new home provides a lower overall cost of ownership than an existing house. The facts about energy efficiency The US Energy Information Administration released a study in 2013 finding that homes built between 2000 and 2009 use about the same amount of energy as houses built before 2000. But newer houses are about 30 percent bigger older houses, according to the study. Logically they should use much more energy than the smaller and older homes. So why the variance? New houses are easier to heat While new homes use about 18 percent more energy than older homes for their electronics and appliances, the EIA study found that new homes, even though they’re 30 percent bigger than old homes, use 21 percent less energy for home heating. That’s huge! That means that, on average, you can heat your brand new, big new home comfortably for 21 percent less than it would cost you to heat the existing home you’re living in now. Efficiency is comfortable If you run your furnace in your older home, not only does it cost more than running one in a new home, it also doesn’t seem to work as well. If you live in a home built before 2000 or have spent time in one, you’re probably familiar with patchy heating and cooling. One room is always much warmer than the rest, or there’s a 10-degree difference between the upstairs and the downstairs temperature. It’s only warm when the heat is...
How Long Does It Take to Build a New Home in Colorado Springs?

How Long Does It Take to Build a New Home in Colorado Springs?

One fantastic thing about building a new home is that it’s all yours, and you get to make the decisions that will make it unique to you and your taste. One of the hardest parts for many who decide to build a brand new house is waiting for moving day. Excitement and anticipation run high during the months it takes for your builder to construct your new home. How long does it take to build new? There are some different answers to this question. We’ll start with the most straightforward. If you choose your floor plan and work with the builder from the very beginning to pick out your lot, design and build, the average build time is about five to eight months in Colorado Springs. That’s a little better than the national average where it takes seven to nine months. Some builders can work faster and some are slower. It depends a lot on how many homes they’re building in the area and how strong their crews are. It also depends on how many buyers they have had. If builders are flooded with new buyers, as they were this past summer, it will typically lengthen the build time. But builders in Colorado Springs have also had a couple strong years that allowed them to hire and retain good teams of people who can handle bigger workloads faster. The advantage of building in a master planned community If you’re choosing a floor plan from a menu of options your builder has already designed, which is the case in most new Colorado Springs communities, your house will go up faster...
Selecting a Home Floor Plan for Your Lifestyle

Selecting a Home Floor Plan for Your Lifestyle

One of the biggest decisions to make when building or purchasing a new home is the type of floor plan you are looking for: ranch style or colonial style. Both one story and two story homes offer numerous benefits to the homeowner, and the one you choose depends on your preference. Consider the following benefits of both types of homes when making your decision. Ranch Style Homes Safety and Accessibility – Stairs can be inconvenient for some, and living in a ranch style home allows residents to easily access rooms and belongings on a single level. Efficient Use of Space – While a ranch style home can certainly be sprawling and large, they are limited by the size of the land on which they are built. Generally, ranch houses are conservative in size, and homeowners do not have less incentive to purchase unnecessary property to fill empty rooms. Efficient Heating and Cooling – Heat always rises. A ranch style home keeps everything at one level, which makes it easy to both heat and cool a single level with a single heater and air conditioning unit. Contained Sound – A one story home usually has more hallways and fewer shared walls, floors and ceilings, so sound does not travel as well from one room to another. Easy Maintenance – Chandeliers with light bulbs are all on one level, which means that ladders do not need to go up and down stairs. You won’t need to hire a window washer for your home because you can reach them all yourself. Two-Story Homes Customized Design – If you like the elegance of a two story open foyer, or...
The Best Home Tech Toys of 2015

The Best Home Tech Toys of 2015

Home tech and ‘smart’ appliances are becoming increasingly advanced. They can listen to your voice, blend into their surroundings, learn your behaviors and be controlled from your smartphone. So, what tech toys and innovations will be the hottest in 2015? The most anticipated technological toys of 2015 are eco-friendly, energy efficient, remotely controlled, and can function based off of previous data and activities. If you’re looking to modernize your home, keep these options in mind. Smart Thermostats and Energy Efficiency Rather than manually adjusting your thermostat, a smart thermostat can be programmed, and will learn from your habits, adjusting itself accordingly. Many smart thermostats have motion sensors that can detect whether you are home or not, and regulate temperature based on occupancy. They also collect data regarding the temperature, humidity, and outside influences, like turning the oven on. The intent is to save the user energy and money. The Orbital Washing Machine This washing machine uses a removable sphere basket, with a ring round it that fits into the washing machine. Load your clothes into the basket, and put the basket in the washing machine to clean the load. The design of the basket allows the clothes to rotate in all directions rather than around one central axis. Floor Plan Light Switch A master light switch that matches the floor plan of your home or the lights in a specific room is designed to help you remember which switches control which room, or which light. The light switch is touch activated, and can be set to dim or brighten various rooms from one or several locations. Self-Sterilizing Door Handle...
4 New Commercial Developments Near Cordera

4 New Commercial Developments Near Cordera

Since families started building beautiful homes in Cordera, businesses have grown up around us. That’s part of what makes a master-planned community so successful. Living in Cordera isn’t just about great housing, nice views and good schools. It’s also about convenience. There are so many amenities around Cordera, making it easy to shop, work and live well without having to drive long distances.   Super Target Super Target opened at the corner of Powers and Briargate boulevards shortly after home building started in Cordera. The major retailer has provided Cordera residents with convenient access to everything they could need – from groceries to digital cameras to outdoor equipment – from the very beginning. The shopping is so convenient that Cordera residents can even walk to it if they want. Our neighboring shopping center isn’t just home to Target anymore. Over the years, more and more retail businesses and restaurants have moved into the development, which is now home to Petco, several banks, a locally owned frozen yogurt shop, Carlos Miguel’s Mexican restaurant and soon a new Arby’s. Lowes has even moved in across Powers Boulevard. While the shopping center is already strong, it continues to grow and Cordera residents can anticipate more development in the near future. Promenade Shops At Briargate Fewer than 10 minutes down Briargate Boulevard from Cordera, the Promenade Shops at Briargate is expanding. The luxury lifestyle center is already home to exclusive retail storefronts such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Apple, Coldwater Creek, Pottery Barn, Europtics, J.Crew, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Williams-Sonoma – just to name a few. Popular restaurants P.F. Chang’s, Ted’s Montana Grill...
4 Tips For Picking A New Colorado Springs Home Builder

4 Tips For Picking A New Colorado Springs Home Builder

If you have decided to build a house instead of buying an existing home, congratulations! It’s a good choice and you’re about to head down an exciting road. One of the most important choices you have in front of you now is selecting a Colorado Springs home builder. We hope these 4 tips for picking a new home builder will help. Choose your neighborhood first Not all builders work in every neighborhood. So, if you start by picking a builder, you could be disappointed when you realize you can’t build where you want to live. The best way to start is to visit new Colorado Springs communities to see which one best fits your lifestyle. Once you decide on where you want to live, you can begin your search for the right home builder. Visit all the model homes Once you decide on the neighborhood, visit all the model homes in the development. Talk to the builders and their representatives about the features of the home you like and the features you don’t like. Ask plenty of questions. Find out what is included in the base price of the home and what’s extra. What decisions do you get to make about the home during the building process. Can you make small changes to the floor plan? How long will it take the builder to finish your new home? Look for quality with a critical eye As you move around a model home, you’ll get a good sense of how it’s constructed. Pay attention to the little things – like how the trim is installed and whether or not the...