Why Cellulose Insulation is a Smart Choice

  • By Blog Owner
  • 03 Mar, 2016
Cellulose insulation in Newport, Vermont is a smart alternative to fiberglass. It provides a green, efficient, non-toxic, affordable thermal solution that’s worth considering.
The thermal protection of a home is essential; controlling durability, cost of operation and homeowner comfort. Fiberglass insulation is the standard bearer. The ubiquitous bales of pink and yellow fiberglass insulate more than 90% of the new homes built in the United States. But homeowners have many good choices. Plastic foams, rock wool, cellulose and even cotton insulation are readily available. Insulation materials come in many forms. They are sprayed, stapled, blown, nailed or simply laid in place. The choices can be difficult to sift, but cellulose insulation passes as a strong contender.

The common standard by which insulation is measured, R-value , is the level of resistance to heat flow. R-value measures conductive resistance – the ability of a material to impede the flow of heat along the continuous chain of matter that makes up a solid material. Most of a home’s heat is typically lost through conduction. Cellulose Insulation is not unusual in this regard. Like many insulation materials, it provides an R-value of approximately R-3.5 per inch of thickness. But, air leakage through cracks, voids, and gaps is important, responsible for approximately one-third of an average home’s heat loss. Cellulose is a superb air-blocker. Heat and comfort are also lost through convection; when drafty currents of air within the house, wall cavities or attics, move heat to other locations. This is technically different from air leakage where the heated air mass is actually expelled from the home. Tightly packed cellulose provides a thermally efficient, cost effective, and comfortable solution.

The Material

Cellulose insulation is safe. It is made of paper, but the chemical treatment provides it with permanent fire resistance. There’s been static generated by the fiberglass industry warning that cellulose could burn. But independent testing confirms it’s safe and cellulose is approved by all building codes. In fact, many professionals consider cellulose to be more fire-safe than fiberglass. This claim rests on the fact that cellulose fibers are more tightly packed, effectively choking wall cavities of combustion air, preventing the spread of fire through framing cavities.

Cellulose is “green.” It’s made of 80% post-consumer recycled newsprint. The fiber is chemically treated with non-toxic borate compounds (20% by weight) to resist fire, insects and mold. The Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association (CIMA) claims that insulating a 1500 ft2 house with cellulose will recycle as much newspaper as an individual will consume in 40 years. If all new homes were insulated with cellulose this would remove 3.2 million tons of newsprint from the nation’s waste stream each year. There’s room to grow. Fewer than 10% of the homes built today use cellulose. Cellulose earns “green” points because it requires less energy than fiberglass to manufacture. Disciples claim 200 times less petro-energy than fiberglass. More realistically, Environmental Building News reports that fiberglass requires approximately 8 times more energy to make when adjusted to reflect energy cost per installed R-value unit.

Wet insulation of any stripe is bad. But cellulose is hygroscopic. It’s able to soak and hold liquid water. Undetected leaks can wet cellulose causing it to sag within framing cavities. Water leaks can compress the blanket of fiber and in extreme cases, can create a void space, degrading its thermal value. Another concern is that chemicals used to protect cellulose from fire make it potentially corrosive in wet environments. Tests conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory show chemical treatments used to treat cellulose can cause metal fasteners, plumbing pipes and electrical wires to corrode if left in contact with wet, treated cellulose insulation for extended periods of time.

The fact that R-value of cellulose is slightly better than fiberglass is perhaps a minor issue. Fiberglass batts and cellulose used in walls earn similar conductive ratings between R-3 and R-4 per inch depending on density. And while the low-density fiberglass insulation used in attics rates a much lower R-2.0 per inch – there is typically very little space restriction in attics. So you can simply pile fiberglass deeper to achieve the R-value you need.

Cellulose Insulation provides greater resistance to air leakage and for me this is a biggie. The fiberglass industry points to tests demonstrating air leakage can be controlled with dedicated air-barrier systems. True. Install perfectly continuous sheathing, caulks, gaskets and sealants and you will block air leakage effectively with fiberglass or cellulose. But the simple fact remains: densely packed cellulose blocks air better than fiberglass. Fiberglass relies on trapped air for its insulation value. Cellulose is made from wood fiber and the cellular structure of wood is naturally more resistant to the conduction of heat. When dedicated air-barrier systems are not installed perfectly (which they seldom are), cellulose wins.

The Application

Choosing the right insulation material is important. However, the quality of the installation is critical. Efficient insulation systems need thoughtful preparation. Armed with a trusty caulk gun and spray container of insulating foam, seal all penetrations in the structural envelope prior to insulation.

The greatest opportunities for air sealing exist at the top and bottom of the house because the greatest stack pressures exist there. Warm air rises and exhausts most vigorously high in the house. Replacement air infiltrates most forcefully at the lowest levels. Start by sealing air leaks in the attic. Seal around electrical lights, junction boxes, fan housings, pipes, and wires. Be sure to seal where wall plates intersect the attic floor. Seal duct connections and penetrations through the ceiling. Be careful around chimneys. Use a non-flammable sealing material there. Install baffles in each rafter bay at the eaves so you don’t block soffit vents. Leave enough room above the baffles for vent air to pass from soffit vents up into the attic where it can exhaust through the ridge vent system. Repeat this air-sealing strategy in the basement ceiling to block infiltration points. And lastly, when possible, seal the walls.

Seal all gaps in the wall sheathing and framing. Fill narrowly spaced studs and headers. Seal around window, electrical, and plumbing penetrations. Once all leakage points are sealed you are ready to install the cellulose insulation. Cellulose comes in two basic varieties: dry fiber that is blown into open attics and enclosed cavities; damp fiber that is sprayed into open wall cavities.

Blown Cellulose
Blown cellulose insulation can be installed in new or existing structures. It is popular in retrofit applications because existing wall finishes are not removed to install the insulation. It is favored in attic applications because you can blow unrestricted depths of fiber to achieve deep coverage with very little labor.

Blown cellulose is shredded newsprint that is installed with special equipment. Construction-savvy homeowners might be able to install blown cellulose in open attics; not walls or cathedral roofs. You can use blowing machines from rental centers and building material dealers that sell cellulose insulation. But in general, this is a job for pros. On paper the application is simple. Dry cellulose fiber is blown through a hose into open attics or into enclosed wall, floor or cathedral-roof framing cavities.

Two people are required to run the equipment. One person feeds dry fiber into a hopper; breaking up clumps of cellulose as it is passes into the blowing system. The hopper and blower can be located inside or outside the house. The other person operates a hose that is attached to the blower and extends to the locations where insulation will be deposited. The ratio of air to fiber is adjustable and with some experimenting the right balance is struck. A 3-inch diameter flexible hose is typically used to blow fiber into open attics. If an attic floor is already installed, remove some of the boards or drill holes at strategic locations to fill the floor cavities with insulation. If the floor cavities are already filled, blow an additional layer of cellulose directly over the floor sheathing to improve the level of protection. The job is dusty and wearing a mask is required.

Blowing fiber into enclosed wall and cathedral framing cavities is different. Here a smaller 1- or 2-inch diameter fill tube is attached to the end of the larger hose. The fill tube is inserted into enclosed cavities through a series of strategically placed holes. The general idea is to drill a series of 2-inch holes horizontally across the structural surface so that the holes are centered in each framing cavity. One or more holes per framing bay are required depending on the length of the framing cavity and the applicator’s fill technique.

Filling walls and cathedral roofs from the outside is the typical practice. Pieces of siding or roofing are removed, holes drilled and insulation fill tubes inserted. Air pressure is cranked up for cavity-fill applications to provide a more densely packed injection called dense-pack cellulose. The narrow fill tube is inserted into the holes and pushed to within a foot of the far end of the enclosed cavity as the blowing begins. When the packed insulation becomes dense enough to stall the blower, the hose is backed out a bit. The blower gears up and filling resumes. The process is repeated until the framing cavity is filled. Then jump over to the hole(s) in the adjacent cavity. The injected fiber compacts tightly around wires, plumbing, and other penetrations providing an airtight insulating blanket with a slightly elevated R-value approaching R-4 per inch. The holes are plugged and the siding and roof covering is patched or reinstalled when the blowing is completed.

Cellulose Insulation can be blown into wall or cathedral roof cavities from the inside as well. Remove interior trim, drill – or simply drill holes through the interior drywall surface – and blow. Replace trim and patch the holes after the cavities are filled. In new construction, walls must be enclosed with fiber-reinforced plastic sheeting or drywall before cellulose can be blown into the framing. The plastic sheeting doubles as a vapor barrier. Choose whichever strategy makes the most sense for your situation.

If you have a home that was insulated years ago with inadequate levels of insulation, you are not out of luck. Skilled cellulose professionals can snake fill tubes into a wall already filled with fiberglass batts. The installer fills the cavities with dense-pack cellulose in a way that crushes the existing insulation without balling up the batts, achieving a full uniform application of the new cellulose fiber. The goal on any application is to assure complete coverage that is installed at a density that will not settle over time.

Sprayed CelluloseBlown cellulose is a great option for attics and retrofit applications where the dry fiber can be supported by an attic floor or enclosed wall cavity. But damp-sprayed cellulose provides an effective solution for open wall cavities in new construction.

Dampened cellulose is a sticky material. It is sprayed directly into open wall cavities between the studs, right against the exterior sheathing, where it stays put. It provides a solid, airtight and completely filled wall cavity. The basic cellulose fiber used in the sprayed application is the same as that used in the blown application: recycled newsprint with chemical additives. The difference is that sprayed cellulose is dampened with water and sometimes a little adhesive is blended into the mix.

Dry cellulose fiber is blown from a machine through a 2 1/2-inch hose much like its dry-blown counterpart. However, a water hose with high-pressure nozzle resembling a pressure washer is attached to the end of the fill hose. It sprays the fiber with a mist of water as it is fired from the hose. The spray dampens the surface of wall cavity at the same time to provide a sticky contact bond between the framing materials and the insulating fiber. The flow of water is adjusted by the applicator to establish an important balance. The fiber must be damp enough to stick permanently to the wall, yet not so wet to cause moisture problems. The damp fiber is shot until the wall cavities are overfilled, just proud of the wall thickness. The overfilled walls are then scraped flat to match the exact thickness of the wall framing using a rotating brush called a scrubber.

Adding moisture to the wall cavity of homes is a touchy subject. One the fiberglass industry likes to promote as dangerous to structural and human health. The truth is a bad application can be dangerous and ineffective. An inexperienced applicator can introduce an unsafe level of water into a wall system. Mold, mildew and even rot can result. On the other hand, skilled applicators achieve an effective and safe balance of moisture-to-fiber and provide a superb insulation system. A target of approximately 30% moisture content by weight is appropriate. Freshly sprayed cellulose should feel damp, but you should not be able to squeeze water out of a handful if you tried.

As the sprayed cellulose insulation dries it stiffens and is very resistant to settling. Sprayed walls should be left open until the Moisture Content (MC) of the fiber drops below 25%. This normally requires a 2-day drying out period depending on the climatic conditions. The installer should check the MC using a moisture meter to assure the fiber is dry before authorizing a close-in of the walls.

Sprayed cellulose is not all roses. An entire house can be insulated in one day, but it will be a very messy day. The inside of the house will resemble a combination of mid-winter blizzard and coastal fog. Windows, doors, and electrical boxes must be protected with plastic sheeting and tape prior to installation. Blowing fibers irritate the respiratory tract and eyes so a protective mask and goggles are a must. A sea of waste fiber must be vacuumed and shoveled on an ongoing basis. Spraying damp cellulose during freezing conditions is rough on equipment and drying time can drag to a crawl. And while priced competitively, it will cost a few hundred dollars more than fiberglass batt insulation. But the upside is worthy.

Sprayed cellulose is an eco-friendly material that is installed at a high density. Coverage is complete. There are no voids in the walls. All wire and plumbing penetrations are automatically and completely sealed. A professionally installed application is airtight, comfortable, energy efficient, and safe. There are fewer thermal short circuits and virtually no convective currents within the wall cavities. On the whole, customers report a less drafty, more comfortable living experience. As a bonus, many people think the superior air-tightness and absorptive qualities of sprayed cellulose provides a quieter indoor environment.
By Paul Fisette – © 2005

* Dense-pack cellulose R-value provided by US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ToolBase Services
Information found at:   http://bct.eco.umass.edu

By Blog Owner 02 Aug, 2017
As drones are becoming more and more popular, people are finding more ways to use this technology. The presence of drones in construction means significant changes within the industry. Drones have already begun to change the way construction industries operate. Here is a look at some of the ways drones are now used in the construction industry.

1. Surveying Land
Drones are rapidly replacing many traditional land surveillance methods. Drones eliminate much of the human error involved in the land surveillance process and now have the ability to capture necessary data in much less time than traditional methods would take.

2. Improvements to Infrastructure
Drones help to provide superior endurance and intelligence on job sites. They have the ability to collect and report data which allows work to be completed at a faster rate.

3. Communication and Management
Drones are now being used more and more as a means of maintaining communication at work sites. Drones that have cameras mounted on them are able to provide video footage which helps facilitate communication and surveillance. Drones allow companies to keep track of employees and workers and are considered an increasingly valuable tool for superintendents and investors.

4. Improved Overall Security
Drones are creating an increase in security efficiency as they can be used to maintain the safety of employees or to protect the job site from theft or vandalism.

5. Accurate Surveillance
Drones have the ability to be basically everywhere at all at one time. They don't just reduce the chances of theft and keep workers more safe; they also create around-the-clock real-time monitoring system. This has already been adopted by a number of construction companies. They uphold onsite security and safety by a great amount.

6. Transportation and Inspection
Using drones to transport goods allows companies to execute difficult inspections and keep track of all the things that enter and leave a job site. This saves time and money while keeping the job site secure.

For more information about the ways in which drones help optimize construction, https://www.thebalance.com/drones-affecting-construction-industry-845293
By Blog Owner 19 Jul, 2017
Increasing the value of your home seems like a long and expensive task. Although it can be costly for certain things, it is actually easier that you would think. Follow these tips, and your home will be worth more before you know it!

Plan your remodel:
Whether you just bought your more or you have lived in it for a while, the fastest way to increase your home's value is by making a plan by making a list of the things you would like to change and the updates you would like to make. Once your list is created, prioritize what is a "must have" and what is more like a dream. Try to come away with a reasonable balance.

Tackle one room at a time:
Make the commitment to tackle one room at a time. Whether it's as simple as a coat of paint or knocking down a wall, by tackling one room at a time you can keep projects achievable.

Small improvements can really pay off:
Whether the improvement be fixing a couple electric plugs, or re-decorating the living room ; stick to one upgrade per month and you will be happy with what you see.

Clean your house now for profits later:
If your house is currently on the market, you will attract more potential buyers if your house is clean. By making a clean house a priority, there are several things you can do. First, you should stay on top of maintenance issues, such as spotting potential problems before they become expensive ones. Secondly, you don't want to allow dirt and junk to build up over time because it will be more difficult to clean and potentially cause mold.

Curb appeal counts:
If a potential buyer comes to look at the house, they will often ask themselves, does this home look attractive, welcoming and structurally sound at first glance? Make sure your home looks good on the outside before putting it on the market as this will increase the chances of it being sold quickly.

Upgrade the kitchen:
There are several ways in which one could upgrade a kitchen , here are a few examples:
  • Do a mini-remodel. Change the paint. It sounds simple, but it works. You can also paint a faux-wood finish onto your cabinets. This looks just like cherry.
  • Add a splash of color with a new back-splash. New tile is attractive. Home improvement stores teach classes on this.
  • Go stainless steel. The cold feel of steel is a hot ticket item for buyers. Transition your appliances as they wear out and go with a similar metallic look in your light switches.
  • Make your kitchen rock with a rolling island.
  • Hang a pot rack with fresh new pots, pans and a hanging wine bottle holder. 
  • With the rolling island, your kitchen will catch every buyer's eye. 
Note: You can take some of these things with you to your new home.

Beautify your bathroom:
There are several ways in which one could beautify their bathroom, here are a few examples:
  • Focus on your faucet. Bathrooms are not utilitarian anymore. People like to feel relaxed, like they are in a spa. Drop-sinks are old news, people want the under-mount sinks.
  • Go granite or marble with your counter tops. If you are toying with the granite idea, your bathroom counter is most likely smaller than your kitchen counter and less expensive. This is a great place to start your first granite project.
  • Nix the overhead lighting in favor of wall mounts to add warmth and value to your bathroom. Make sure that around your mirror you have even lighting with no side shadows.
  • Heated floors attract buyers like bees to honey.
  • Upgrade your bath area. With an 85 percent return, install a shower with body sprays and stone surround tile. If you are not selling right away, you will feel like you are in a Zen garden every time you step into your bathroom.
  •  Keep it clean. Dirt and grime can become embedded in bathroom surfaces very quickly and then freshen it up with new grout.

Weigh the benefits of upgrading versus selling:
First, you will want to estimate your costs to buy a new home. Add up the realtor and home selling costs (packing, moving and the new loan financing). Don't forget hidden items! The buyer may ask you to replace the carpet before you sell. Or, what if you have to replace appliances? Try making your best effort to include everything it will cost in time and money to sell your home and buy a new place. Then you will want to estimate what you may get for your house and how much cash you will leave with to put down on a new home. Also, if you like your neighborhood and the people you live nearby, consider remodeling instead of moving.

Hire a certified home inspector:
By hiring a certified home inspector, you will be able to see what could potentially be wrong with the house and then know which upgrades to make before putting the house on the market. This could avoid having a contract on the table, only to hear the inspector has found dry rot or something else wrong with the house.

Pay down the principal on your loan:
Remember not to overdo your down payment. If you spend all your money in a down payment, you may not have enough to do the improvements you want.
Note: The rule of thumb is if you are moving into a fixer upper, go for 10 percent down.

For more information about this article, check out: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/10-tips-to-increase-your-homes-value
By Blog Owner 11 Jul, 2017
Today green home construction techniques are becoming more and more popular as well as cost efficient. Many techniques have been adopted as standard construction procedures. Here are five examples of green construction techniques that are being used today.

1. Localized Sourcing- To minimize the environmental impact of shipping construction materials long distances, green building practices now call for the use of locally sourced construction materials whenever possible. Of course this cannot always happen, due to the few items that cannot be tracked down locally at a competitive cost; but when it can happen contractors try to do so.

2. Product and Material Selection- Another step many contractors now go through in order to be more environmentally friendly includes using materials and products, such as energy-efficient LED lighting or low-VOC paint, sealant, adhesives and coatings. 

3. Preventing Construction Activity Pollution- One of the most effective ways contractors can minimize a project’s environmental impact is to prevent construction pollution. 

4. Construction Site Recycling- Due to standards set by municipalities, contractors are now required to recycle debris. As a result, most waste haulers have implemented systems to help contractors comply with these requirements and have now made recycling on job sites standard operating procedures.

5. Re-purpose and Reuse- Green construction techniques such as reusing existing systems or utilizing reclaimed materials are considered to be one of best green construction techniques. It is also a great step to save our clients time and money. 

For more information on this article, check out: http://commercialconstructionblog.com/5-green-construction-practices-that-are-becoming-standard-comm...
By Blog Owner 21 Jun, 2017

Insulation is rated by its R-value, which measures its thermal resistance or how well it holds back heat. The higher the R-value, the better. Bare concrete walls are about R-1, while attic insulation in newly-built Midwestern homes usually measures about R-44.

R-value is proportional to the insulation's thickness, but it also depends on the type of material and its density. The more air pockets an insulating product has, the higher the R-value. For example, R-38 attic insulation may be 12 inches of fiberglass batts, 10 inches of rock wool loose-fill or seven inches of expanding foam.

To read more from this article about R-value and for some more examples, please visit  http://powerhousetv.com/Energy-EfficientLiving/Insulating/026759 .

By Blog Owner 21 Jun, 2017

It may seem like a strange question, why build an energy efficient home, but there are some people out there who are still asking this question. The case for energy efficient homes is pretty straightforward. They provide their owners with these following benefits:

1. Energy efficiency saves you money.
The average U.S. household spends $5,550 each year on energy costs. By buying energy-efficient appliances, making energy-efficient home improvements, and taking energy-efficient actions every day you can save hundreds of dollars on energy costs.

2. Energy efficiency is good for the environment.
When we use less energy, we save valuable natural resources and cut down on pollution.

3. Energy efficiency improves national security.
Energy efficiency preserves our nation by decreasing the overall demand for energy, as well as the need to import and transport fossil fuels.

4. Energy efficiency enhances quality of life.
Notice how your insulated home keeps AC inside during the summer, and heat in during the winter? Or how you rarely need to change your energy-efficient light bulbs? That’s energy efficiency making your environment more enjoyable.

5.  Energy efficient homes provide higher resale values .
When it comes time to sell your house, you will be much better off selling a house that is energy efficient because that is a huge benefit for people who are looking to buy a house due to all of the overall savings that happen when your home is energy efficient.  

Before you design a new home or remodel an existing one, consider investing in energy efficiency. You'll save energy and money, and your home will be more comfortable and durable.

For more information check out: http://www.ase.org/resources/top-5-reasons-be-energy-efficient
By Blog Owner 19 May, 2017
How to find a leak in a roof may be the hardest part of fixing a leaky roof. Finding the actual spot where the roof leaks is difficult because water can enter the roof in one place and run down to another before it starts soaking into the ceiling.
You know the roof is bad if shingles are missing or obviously damaged, or when water stains the ceiling or walls. The goal is to find the leak before the entire roof goes bad. 

If you have an attic, the easiest way to spot the leak is to up there on a rainy day. Water will reflect light, so bring a flashlight along. Once you locate the source of the water, mark the area. On a nice day, have a helper tap on the mark while you’re on the roof. After you pinpoint the location on the exterior of the roof, apply roofing cement or new shingles as needed.

If you don’t have an attic or just can’t find the source of the leak, you can check several places for problems with moisture or damage:

  • Boots, the rubber seals that are around the electric service and plumbing vent pipes, air vents, and exhaust fan flashing.
  • Ridge cap
  • Flashing
  • Gaskets around pipes
  • Shingles
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Dormer valleys

This article is brought to you by  http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/exteriors/roofing/how-to-find-a-leak-in-a-roof/

By Blog Owner 09 May, 2017

1.) Sales potential

The external appearance of your home is important for raising the value and sales potential. Fresh paint, clean shutters, a new roof and neat landscaping are simple ways you can enhance curb appeal if you're looking to sell.

2.) Preparing for retirement

If you're planning on staying in your home thorough your senior years, it's important to upgrade your home with age-in-place features, including replacing your bathtubs with easy step-in showers with bars and installing toilets for people with limited mobility or in wheelchairs.

3.) Go green

Paying too much for your utilities? Replace your single-panel windows with energy-efficient windows and you can save hundreds in monthly bills.

4.) Home is where the heart is

And the kitchen is the heart of the home. Family and friends gather and spend most of their time here. Women think men fall in love with them because of the bedroom, but the reality is it's the kitchen. So consider installing a new stove, replacing your refrigerator or putting in new cabinets to make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing.

5.) Make it right

Your bathroom might function just fine, but it's always a good time to put in new plumbing, and get rid of that boring plain mirror and replace it with a beautiful framed one. Don't forget the  lighting  -- lighting is everything, especially for us ladies who spend so much time checking our make-up and changing our outfits.

6.) Your kids aren't going anywhere

Don't want to leave your neighborhood because your children have friends on the block? Do you dread the idea of having your children change schools? This is a common sentiment and probably means that you and your family won't be going anywhere until your kids are grown. So why wait 10 or 15 years to remodel? Make your home suitable for the future  now .

7.) Embarrassment no more

Don't waste another day looking at those avocado countertops! Are you embarrassed to invite your friends over because they might laugh at the hideous, outdated colors in your kitchen and bathroom behind your back? Putting in new countertops is easy and not very costly, so go ahead and change them! Of course your friends don't really care, but  you  will feel better the next time they come over for dinner.

8.) Your home feels stale

Your home is almost perfect but it needs a minor facelift. Paint your walls and baseboards and it will instantly feel fresh and clean. This is a great alternative for anyone on a budget.

9.) Make your basement usable

Are you tired of using your basement as one big storage unit? Convert it into a living space, such as a media room, or even add a closet and a window for an extra bedroom, which will add square footage and increase the overall value of your home.

10.) Avoid the stress of buying a new home

Searching for a new home can be stressful and time-consuming. Instead of spending months looking for that perfect home, upgrading your bathrooms and kitchen or removing that wall that's been bugging you just might be the solution.

These tips were brought to you by  http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/818864/10-Reasons-to-remodel-your-home

By Blog Owner 24 Apr, 2017
10 Ways to Choose the Right Home Builder

1. Define your needs . What size, type and price range of home do you need?
2. Experience counts. While every builder was once a new builder, experience matters.
3. Are past buyers satisfied? Ask for – and check – references from past home buyers.
4. Verify the builder is licensed (where required) and adequately insured.
5. Is there a design fit? Does this builder have expertise in the style of home you seek?
6. Warranty and service. How does this builder stack up for each?
7. Resale value. Have past homes from this builder maintained or increased value?
8. Industry involvement. Is the builder a member of the local Home Builder’s Association?
9. Tour model homes or customer homes. There’s absolutely no substitute for this step.
10. Look for signs of quality. In workmanship, materials and practices when you tour these homes.

Define your needs: While some builders construct a broad range of homes, many builders also specialize in a specific type of home, price range, or style. For example, not many firms build starter homes for first-time buyers and also multi-million dollar homes for affluent custom home buyers. The building materials, trade contractors and even the building process itself can differ greatly by type and price of home. Look for a fit here. Then, be ready to make sacrifices, as it isn't always easy finding a home that meets all the criteria to be your dream home. In fact, a 2016 report from Bank of America found that 95 percent of first-time buyers are already willing to make sacrifices in order to make homeownership a reality.

Experience counts: Every home building firm (including the most experienced and well-regarded companies today) once built their first home. And many new home building firms were started by experienced veterans of other builders. Don’t overly discount a new firm – especially if their team includes seasoned pros – but do look for strong experience overall and in the type of home you seek.

Are past home buyers satisfied? Many builders offer customer references and referrals. If not, ask. And in either case, follow up. A few great questions to ask: Would you buy another home from this builder? Or recommend them to close friends or family? And don’t forget to ask for the key reasons why a past home buyer would or would not recommend a builder.

Is the builder licensed and insured? Not every state or area requires builders to be licensed, but make sure that you work with a licensed builder in such areas. Ask about the insurance that the builder and his or her trade contractors carry. Make sure that they and you are covered during the building process.

Is there a design fit? A builder whose entire portfolio consists of contemporary homes may not be the best fit for that highly traditional home you seek – and vice-versa. While many builders have expertise in a variety of design styles and architectural details, in general, look for a builder whose work includes at least some examples of the style of home you want.

Warranty and service: One of the top advantages of new construction is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components it contains are brand-new and under warranty. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away is important. In addition, look for a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, ideally transferable to a new owner should you sell. Also look for a builder who provides prompt and courteous service under warranty and who takes time to explain the proper maintenance and care that any home needs.

Resale Value: Good reputations follow good builders, among homeowners and Realtors. Look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value. Look for Realtor ads that specifically mention the name of a builder for a home for sale that’s now five or seven years old. That Realtor clearly sees the builder’s brand name as a big plus.

Industry Involvement: Not every good builder chooses to join their local Home Builder Association, so don’t place too much emphasis on this. However, such membership does tend to show that a builder is committed for the long-term to the area. It’s also a sign of commitment to new home community developers, building product suppliers and trade contractors that work in your city or town.

Tour model homes and/or homes this builder built for past buyers: Once you’ve narrowed down a list of prospective builders using the criteria above, this is the most important step. Nothing substitutes for touring a home built by a builder on your short list. It can be a furnished and decorated model home that’s open to the public. Or, it can be a home the builder constructed for a past buyer that you visit by appointment. In either case, pay careful attention to the look, feel and quality of the home.

Look for signs of quality: Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit the homes above. Also consider the building products that a builder uses. Are they brands with well-earned reputations for quality? What about the homes under construction you passed on the way to the completed model home? Were there signs of care and attention there, as well?

For this article and additional information, please visit  https://www.newhomesource.com/resourcecenter/articles/ten-steps-to-select-the-right-home-builder
By Blog Owner 17 Apr, 2017
  1. Get rid of Extra Furniture - This means that any furniture that doesn’t have a functional purpose needs to go. It can be sold, or just put in a self storage unit , but it needs to get out of the house. You want as much square footage shown as you can.
  2. Hide the Toys and Clutter - Before taking any listing photos or showing your house, hide toys and get rid of the clutter! Unless there is a designated area used as a playroom, toys need to be hidden. Buyers want the spaces to feel fresh and clean.
  3. Open Doors - Be sure to open all of your interior doors before taking photos and showing your house. In photos, it helps the photos flow together so that the potential buyers can understand the layout of the home. The potential buyers need to be able to easily walk from one room to the next to imagine themselves living in the home.
  4. Turn on Lights - When showing your home, turn on all of the lights before you leave. This is especially the case if your house has light switches in strange places. The last thing you want the potential buyers to do, is search for your light switches.It will make the home feel brighter and cozier.
  5. Good Smells - The smell of your home will be one of the very first things that the potential buyers register in their brains when looking at your home. Be sure it is a good smell! You can always try baking something that smells delicious or putting some sent warmers in each space.
  6. Take Great Photos - Chances are, the first impression of your house will be by the photos that potential buyers will see on your listing. Make sure they are good! Potential buyers want to look at photos of a clean house. Pay attention to detail when taking photo or hire a professional photographer. 
  7. Fix up the Yard - This doesn’t mean that your front yard needs an entire makeover, but make sure that it looks warm and inviting. Plant some flowers, fix your fence, and mow your lawn.
  8. Clear off Counter Tops - Nobody wants to look at clutter. You want potential buyers to feel like there is plenty of counter space and take the cutter off of your fridge to make your kitchen feel fresh and clean. You can also brighten up the space with flowers!
  9. Clean Doors – You don’t realize just how dirty your doors are until you start scrubbing them down! Clean the doorknobs to make sure they aren’t sticky and make sure there aren’t dirty fingerprints all over the door. It is a small detail that most people won’t notice unless they are dirty.
  10. Clean your Windows and Mirrors - Clean your windows inside and out. It is amazing to see how much more light comes through when the windows are clean. By cleaning your windows and mirrors in your home it will make the spaces look and feel brighter.
If you need to sell your house fast because of a death in the family , or because of a job transfer and need to relocate or a divorce , or if you are retiring and need to downsize or even if you are facing foreclosure , Tanguay Homes Buys Homes! We can help you by purchasing your home even if you are going through bankruptcy or if you inherited a house or property and need to sell it fast. Contact Tanguay Buys Homes Today !
By Blog Owner 17 Apr, 2017
Staging means furnishing your rooms to show how they can be utilized. It can cost a little extra to bring it people who know how to stage a home but sometimes the costs can be worth it.

If you don't want to pay extra money to stage your entire home consider just staging the living and dining rooms. This will help potential buyers imagine what their lives could be like if they lived there.

Part of staging your home is to eliminate your personal effects from the home. You may want to think about renting a self storage unit to store your personal items while you are in the process of selling your home.

By removing personal items suck as family photos, kids artwork, heirlooms and collectibles it help the potential buyers imagine themselves living in the home, this may help sell your house faster .
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