March 31, 2010
Often the kitchen is the focal point for socializing and living in a home. The aroma of tasty food simmering on the stove invites people in to chat, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It’s common to see a family gathered around a kitchen island preparing meals together, or friends catching up over a glass of wine. If you walk into a kitchen showroom in a Home Depot or Lowes, you probably feel like you’ve walked into heaven. Long granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, never-ending cabinet and storage space. The same holds true if you flip through the pages of a kitchen remodeling magazine. The designs are gorgeous and the photographers make it look so easy to design your dream kitchen.
But when reality sets in, what is the real starting point for designing a kitchen in your new home?
• Determine your budget. Talk to a few designers and your builder about the range of expenses that people are investing in their kitchens.
• Identify your priorities. What are the most important features for you? How will you use your kitchen for “living”?
• Sketch a rough design that provides flow for both work and socializing. Is your space large enough for an island, or will it cut the room in half making it hard to work around? Collaborate with your builder in the initial stages of your home design to determine what is realistic within the overall home plan.
• Consult a kitchen designer and builder to determine the functionality of your ideas. They can offer alternatives that can improve the productivity, save you money, or both!
Your kitchen must work as a system, with each component complementing the next. Consider style, function, plumbing needs, and what will work aesthetically with all the mechanical needs of the space. Scheduling, budgeting and planning are at the backbone of great kitchen design. To skip these steps and simply buy what you like at your home service store is a recipe for disaster.
March 24, 2010
Beautiful 3/2 that includes all of the features you come to expect from a Stylecraft Builders home, without the cost of the competition! Features include granite countertops, laminate flooring, ceramic tile in wet areas, and oak cabinetry!
Online Sales Consultant
March 17, 2010
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina became the costliest hurricane in the history of the United States and one of the most deadly. Not only did it immediately affect the lives of thousands of people in the Gulf of Mexico, but it also created a trickle-down effect in many industries worldwide, including the construction and new home building industry. Building materials became more scarce and, as a result, more expensive. With the recent devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, we’re seeing a similar trend again. In the past six weeks alone, lumber for one average home has increased more than $1,200 and the price for sheetrock is expected to rise quickly by 20 percent or about $300 per house. Again, the natural tragedies are pushing demand for all commodities. Copper’s price is starting to experience a similar increase as well.
In addition to the demand created by the natural disasters overseas, the extension of the Federal Tax Credit for new home buyers, which expires April 30, has provided a boost to the construction industry. Since lumber mills had cut back their production when the recession curtailed building, mills don’t have the supply to meet the upsurge in demand. The mills can now increase pricing, with builders and, ultimately, buyers bearing the brunt.
We can’t predict natural disasters or what the government will do. But new home buyers can take control of their plans to build by being aggressive now, in order to secure the best pricing for materials.
March 10, 2010
While leveling your home in order to create your dream home may seem a bit extreme, millions of Americans each week tune in to many of the home makeover reality TV shows in hopes of finding that perfect idea or unique architectural layout in order to begin the designs and plans of their new home. Before and after photos and video can provide instant motivation for homeowners who are looking to work with builders to create one-of-a-kind bathrooms, kitchens, or entire floors.
Shows like HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” also provide ideas on how to craft the exterior appeal of your new home, in order to increase the property’s value for future resale as well. However, there are some good lessons to be learned from these shows, and they aren’t as simple as deciding what rooms need dormer windows or buying a new vanity on sale at your local hardware store and handling the installation yourself after your builder has completed the framework. Here are a few takeaways that these shows don’t share:
Building your new home requires planning. Beautiful pictures and a remodel of a bathroom in an hour-long TV show may look simple, but what you see on TV and the reality of building that gorgeous bathroom are much different. Unless you have a motivated crew and a flexible schedule, don’t expect such rapid and smooth progress.
Size does matter. If you’re looking to build a larger home on your existing lot, think what that larger home will look like aesthetically within your existing neighborhood. Also consider your home’s resale value. Will a larger home be harder to sell in the future if it’s in a neighborhood with homes of less value? Perhaps having a larger home isn’t as important as having a new home, with up-to-date features and framework.
Tips and tricks from home makeover shows are great for smaller projects, but if you’re truly looking for an extreme makeover, stop and look at the big picture of what you want, build a plan that works, and decide how your ideas will affect a future resale. Then collaborate with your builders and designers to create your dream home.
March 3, 2010
Finally, we are seeing positive reports that the economy is truly getting better and recovering from one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from -6.4% in the first quarter to 5.7% in the last quarter of 2009, yet another indication that economic woes are slowly fading. With Congress passing new legislation that extends the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010 and granting up to $6,500 in credit to current home owners who purchase a new or existing home by that same date, consumers are starting to feel the effects of two rising trends: home prices will continue to rise and it will be more difficult for home buyers to negotiate the selling price.
A healthy economy means healthy competition. Sellers are banking on taking advantage of an increased pool of buyers created by the extension of the Home Buyer Tax Credit. They’ll hold firm on asking prices, and possibly increase them a bit. If you’re a buyer thinking you’re going to find your dream home for a steal in the months ahead, think again. A buyer must act quickly before someone else swoops in and makes a better offer. Sellers aren’t “hoping” to sell their homes in the next six months; they are confident that they will. And with that confidence comes a new attitude among sellers, who won’t be as quick to drop asking prices or sign a purchase and sales to the first person who shows interest in their home. As the economy recovers, buyers beware—the days of rock bottom home prices could very well be over.
March 2, 2010
On Friday, February 26, 2010, Stylecraft employees teamed up with Ruffino Meats and cooked over 500 hamburgers, to be served at the Home & Garden Products Show. I want to send out a special thanks to Joe Fazzino and everyone who was able to help out.
Online Sales Consultant
Stylecraft Builders ~ has built its reputation based on integrity, honesty, value and style