March 2013

Did You Know? Granite Edition



There’s no doubt that granite is one of the most popular countertop choices on the market today, but how much do you really know about this popular stone? We have compiled a short list of facts about the granite that we offer here at Ball Homes.
  • Ball Homes currently offers nine different granite selections.  One of the wonderful features about this popular stone is that no two pieces are alike.  As they carve the stone from the mountains, the colors, veining patterns and movement will change.  The samples in the design studio do not begin to show the color, movement, and variation that they will have in a large slab, so there is always the possibility that the actual color of the stone will vary up to a full shade from what is in our Design Studio.  That is part of the innate beauty of the product and what enables our buyers to further personalize the look of their new home.
  • Granite is an incredibly strong and durable option for kitchen countertops, but it is also a porous surface, which means that spills and stains can seep into the stone and discolor it if not treated properly. Be diligent of splashes and spills to avoid deep stains. Avoid letting citrus or alcohol products sit on the granite surface as it can etch and dull it.  Granite surfaces are heat resistant and scratch resistant, but not heat proof or scratch proof. Make sure you use caution when it comes to placing hot items directly on your countertop. For tips on how to clean and maintain your granite surfaces, read our previous blog post here.
  • As added value for our homeowners, Ball Homes will install your granite countertops with a protective sealer already on it. There is no initial maintenance on the countertops in your home, but like any home, there will be upkeep down the road. Homeowners will need to reseal their granite countertops about once a year—an easy project almost anyone can do.  Click here for a tutorial video on how to properly seal your granite countertops.
What do you think about granite countertops? Do you have them in your home? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Giving Back to Our Communities

Here at Ball Homes, our vision is to provide quality communities for the people of Kentucky and Tennessee. For us, that means that not only are we committed to providing our customers with quality-built homes at affordable prices, but we are equally dedicated to being good stewards in our community. Since our founding over 50 years ago, we have made it a priority for our company to support various charitable causes throughout the Central Kentucky, Louisville, and Knoxville communities. We actively and enthusiastically partner with organizations that work to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.
We believe that Ball Homes successes are closely linked with the overall success and health of the communities we serve. That is why we partner with our homeowners to donate money for each customer survey we receive back. For each customer service survey we receive from our recent clients, Ball Homes will donate $10 to the charity specified by the homeowner on the survey. Customers can choose from multiple charities in their local community. Not only does that help us improve our company, our products, and our processes with the feedback we receive, but it also ensures that local charities in our community will receive the money and support they need.
We understand the importance of supporting our local charitable causes through donations and public awareness. We encourage you to join with us in giving back to our communities and our neighborhoods.

How Much Does A New Home Cost?

How much does a new home cost?How Much Will A New Home Cost?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get when it comes to building a new home. Unfortunately, it is also one of the few questions that we can’t answer very specifically. Think of it like this:
·         Can you tell me how much it costs to take a vacation? Well, are you planning a weekend getaway to a cabin in Gatlinburg or a week-long cruise to the Caribbean?
·         How much should I expect to spend on a new car? Are you planning on getting a Kia, a Lamborghini, or something in between?
·         What is the average cost of a dinner for two? If you plan on hitting up the local fast food place, your bill will be a lot less expensive than it would be at Malone’s Steakhouse.
The problem with asking open-ended questions like these is that there are so many variables that go along with each question that it is nearly impossible to give an accurate answer without getting more information first.
The same is true when it comes to calculating the cost to build a new home. Are you looking for a 3-bedroom home, or do you need 4 (or more) bedrooms? Are granite countertops in your kitchen a “must have”, or would laminate countertops work for you? Do you have to have hardwood floors throughout your house, or is carpet your preferred flooring choice? Because everyone’s wants, needs, and wishes for their home are so different, it’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all price for how much a new construction home will cost.
We have found over the years that the typical amount of upgrades people choose for their home are around 15-20% of the base price of the home. That means, if the house you choose has a base price of $200,000, the typical amount of upgrades will be between$30,000- $40,000. Of course, that number could change, depending on the individual preferences of your home. If you and your family decide that a walk-out basement, an upgraded kitchen, and an elegant master suite are on your must-have list, then you can expect to pay more, possibly 25% or higher, than someone who has different desires for their home.
We know that buying a new home can be confusing. We are here to help you plan and design your new Ball Homes home within your budget. If you have questions about the costs for a home you are considering, we would be more than happy to discuss it with you. Contact a Ball Homes Specialist today!

Protect Your Furniture in your New Ball Home

Moving into a new Ball home may also mean getting new furniture. Having new furniture can be really exciting, that is until you spot the first stain or chip and realize that your furniture is no longer brand new. However, if you take care to clean your furniture carefully and regularly, you will find that it stays looking newer for longer. Use these tips to care for your furniture and it will last for years to come.
Leather Furniture
Each item of leather furniture that you buy should come with instructions from the manufacturer on how you should care for the item. However, in general most leather items can be cleaned with the commercial leather cleaning solutions that you can find in your local supermarket. For the occasional sticky finger residue or food spills, a swipe with a slightly damp cloth will do the trick. Just make sure you wipe up any excess liquid to keep the leather from staining or drying out. Leather furniture is also very sensitive to heat and light, so make sure you keep it away from windows, fireplaces, and central heating vents.
Wood Furniture
The most important thing to remember about wood furniture is that it needs to be dusted...quite a lot. This can be annoying but if you get into a regular cycle, then you’ll find it just becomes natural for you to wipe and polish the wooden surfaces a few times a week. Like leather, wood is very sensitive to heat and light, so position your furniture away from heating vents, fireplaces or radiators. Don't store it in attics or garages, where temperature and humidity levels vary widely from summer to winter, day and night. Avoid placing furniture in areas where it will sit in direct sunlight, which can fade or discolor it; use drapes, sheers or protective window films to guard against the sun's rays. Use placemats, tablecloths, or coasters to protect your furniture from the heat and cold of dinner plates and glasses.
Upholstered Furniture
Dust and dirt can cling to upholstered furniture much more easily than wood and leather. Make sure you vacuum on a weekly basis. Lift up couch cushions and pillows and clean the crevices underneath where crumbs love to hide. Flip and rotate loose cushions regularly to distribute wear more evenly. Switch the position of a love seat and a sofa, or swap the positions of a set of chairs as the seasons change. Consider using a spray-on fabric protector as another layer of protection from spills and smudges. You can have your furniture retailer apply a layer of protector, or you can purchase your own commercial product. If you choose to do it at home, make sure you read the instructions thoroughly and carefully.

Lexington Named as Top 25 Places to Retire

Lexington, KY has been named as one of the "Top 25 Places to Retire" by Forbes.

Forbes compared over 400 cities, looking at factors like cost of living, climate, and opportunities for outdoor activities and volunteer work. Lexington was cited for its college-town ambiance, low cost of living, good state tax climate, and high volunteering level.

To see who else made the list, click here.

If you are looking to retire in the Lexington area, check out our luxury townhomes located in The Walnut Hill Club at Chilesburg. The Walnut Hill Club at Chilesburg is a luxury townhome community designed for a maintenance-free, amenity-rich lifestyle. For more information, visit our website to contact a Ball Homes Specialist today.