Thursday, December 27, 2012
The floor plan is the heart of constructional drawings. From the type of house to the size of the house, a floor plan reveals area, structure, stair location, door and window locations, room layout and so much more. Floor plans can be confusing at first glance, so here are a few pointers to help you understand what you’re seeing.
For starters, look at the floor plan as a whole. The floor plan is drawn from a perspective view, which means that it’s as if the roof has been lifted off and you’re looking down into the house from a bird’s eye view.
Next, locate the front entrance to the house. Visualize opening the front door and walking through the house. Follow the flow down the halls and walk spaces. Go to each room on the floor plan. The living area, kitchen, dining area, bathrooms and bedrooms are all marked, as well as any special rooms such as the utility room or office, like this example shown of the Manhattan Expanded floor plan. Below the room label is the room dimensions. It is listed in feet and inches with the width first and the length second.
Doors and windows are two of the most important elements shown on a floor plan. Each door and window is given a location and size. Windows are shown with three parallel lines in a wall and doors are typically shown as a straight line perpendicular to a wall and an arc that connects this line to the wall. The great thing about showing a door like this is that you’ll know which side has the hinges and which room the door opens into. This is good to keep in mind as you think about furniture placement.
The next thing to look for is ceiling height. Some plans will have the ceiling dimensions on the plan itself, underneath the room dimensions. Other plans will have symbols on them. For example, in the Cavanaugh II floor plan, the master bedroom has a double trey ceiling marked with two squares of dotted lines. Other plans, like the Monroe plan, have vaulted ceilings marked by crossed dotted lines.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Smart Buyers can save money in energy and maintenance costs by choosing newly constructed homes, even over homes that are just a few years old.
Today’s new can peform as much as 50% better than the average existing home, which means lower monthly utility bills. Energy Smart Ball Homes are better insulated, more tightly constructed, and more efficiently heated and cooled than older homes.
New Ball Homes include warranties that protect the buyer from unexpected maintenance bills. Existing homes can come with hidden costs, like a roof or furnace replacement in the first few years of ownership, or a major appliance replacement.
These days, good design is value-conscious. New Ball Homes offer better use of space, with more finished area over the garage, less empty second story space, and better overall value than designs from just a few years ago.
Buyers who choose a newly constructed Ball home get the advantage of the most popular floorplans and options on the market today, and a professionally selected décor. Buyers of existing homes get the colors and products chosen to suit the taste of the previous owners.
Newly constructed Ball Homes have a brand new, never-been-lived in kind of clean and freshness (especially in the tubs, showers, appliances, and carpet) that a home that has been lived for years can’t match.
Colors and design trends come and go, and newly constructed Ball Homes offer the benefits of today’s preferences in colors, textures, and design. Older homes often have dated color schemes, designs that have gone out of style, or a mismatch of styles from being updated over time.
The luxury options available in all price ranges of new homes far exceed what was being built even ten years ago, especially when it comes to kitchens and master baths.
Extra storage, flexible use rooms, and downstairs guest suite options are all on the list of preferred features these days. Kitchen islands and breakfast counters are popular, as are built-ins like bookcases, desks, and TV connections above fireplaces. Outdoor living spaces like covered porches and patios are in high demand. New Ball Homes have the advantage of these preferred features, which most older homes just can’t offer.
Buyers of new Ball Homes have the advantage of being able to move into a home that is just the way they want it. By contrast, buyers of existing homes often face a long process of updating an older home while trying to live in it, which can be time-consuming, inconvenient, and full of unknown expenses.
* Based on comparison of an actual 2586sf home built to 2012 Energy Smart standards with a HERS score of 83 and estimated annual energy costs of $1477. Compared to a simulated 2586sf home built to typical 2000 standards with a HERS score of 138, with an estimated annual energy cost of $2185. Annual savings of $708 over 5 years total $3,540. **Material and labor estimate for shingled roof replacement on a 2500sf home as estimated by area building professional. ***Based on estimate by area HVAC professional for a 2500sf home with two units, using existing ductwork and efficiency standards comparable to new homes.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
At Ball Homes, we are committed to increasing the energy performance of each of the homes we build. That is why we are one of the first builders in the nation to adopt the RESNET Energy Smart program. As a member of the program, each of our homes is individually inspected by a member of a national network of independent energy raters and given a score based on its energy efficiency. For more information on the program, read this previous blog post.
It is important for us to give our customers a quality, energy efficient home that is more affordable to maintain, more comfortable, and have a higher value than other homes. A more energy efficient home allows homeowners to have a lower cost of ownership and could allow them to get a higher resale price when it comes time to sell.
In order to pass important information onto our customers, we have to make sure our Ball Homes Specialists have up-to-date information on the construction processes of our homes. On Monday morning, Lexington Ball Homes Specialists met with Alex Carter, an independent Energy Rater, to go through one of our new construction homes and educate them on what a rater looks for in a home. Agents were able to ask questions and physically see what Ball Homes is doing to be a leader in the Energy Smart program. Alex was able to give great information to our Sales Team that we can pass on to our customers. For more information on the Energy Smart Program, contact a Ball Homes Specialist today!
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Monday, September 24, 2012
A cold front has moved into the area, just in time for the beginning of Fall. We’re just two days into the new season and already we’re starting to see the leaves fall and the temperatures drop. Kick off this new season by taking the time now to prepare your home for the cooler temperatures ahead. Taking the time to complete these tasks now will ensure that you and your home will have an easy transition into the coming months.
1. Inspect the roof, gutters and drainpipes. You may want to hold off until later in the fall (when most leaves have dropped) before cleaning the gutters, but doing a visual inspection now is a good idea. If any branches and leaves fell during summer storms, remove them so they don't cause blockages during autumn rains. Inspecting your roof now will leave ample time to have repairs or a replacement made before winter.
2. Have your chimney cleaned before you light the first fire. Check your fireplace for residual soot, blockage, or creosote. Schedule to have a professional come out and clean your fireplace before you strike up a match. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, move your firewood to a covered area for easy access. Make sure you inspect for insects before moving the wood, otherwise you’ll run the risk of bringing them into your home.
3. Tidy up the porch. Falling leaves means lots of yard debris to pick up. Sweep away any dead leaves or branches to create a warm and inviting area to welcome your guests to your home. Add some brightly colored flowers, like mums, to planters by the front stoop, or hang a seasonal wreath on your door.
4. Prepare your doorways with rugs and mud trays for dirty shoes. When the wet weather strikes, make sure your flooring is protected by large rugs and boot trays by entrances. Add a basket or small bins for papers and cold-weather accessories to help keep entrances organized and clutter-free.
5. Clean, repair, and put away all lawn furniture and equipment. Close down and drain all lawn fountains, sprinklers and hoses before the freezing weather hits. Clean and put away all lawn care tools. After the last use of the year, prep your lawn mower for the winter.
Do you have any other tips to prepare your house for colder weather?
Friday, September 7, 2012
New homes mean more options, newer designs, smarter energy usage, and that special brand-new, only-for-you feeling. They also mean lower maintenance, and fewer surprises.
Here are ten reasons that we believe that NEW is the way to go:
1. Choosing a new home means getting exactly what you want—not the finishes, colors, fixtures, and options chosen by the previous owners of an existing home. Everything’s brand new, from the tubs, showers, appliances, carpet, fixtures, and so forth, inside and out. It’s all new, fresh, and clean, and it’s never been lived in by anyone else.
2. Newly constructed homes offer the benefits of current preferences in colors, textures, and design, like warm earth tones, highly textured flooring finishes, and luxury surfaces like granite and wrought iron.
3. Building new means getting the benefit of choosing everything at once, resulting in a smooth and cohesive décor, rather than the mixture of styles and colors that can result from updating an older home over time.
4. Buyers of new homes get more modern conveniences without retrofitting an existing home. Phone and cable jacks in just the right places--including above the fireplace for that big TV— and options like home theater and even home automation systems that control lighting, security, entertainment systems, and more.
5. Its all ready when you turn the key in the front door for the first time. Sure, you can buy an older home and fix it up, but the time and hassle of arranging all that work, finding the right people and products, and working out budgets, schedules, and priorities can take all the joy out of owning a home— and take all your time and money. And that doesn’t even include living with the daily interruptions of life in a remodeling zone.
6. With a new home, you get exactly what you expect— no hidden repairs or surprises. Even better, new Ball Homes include warranties that protect the buyer from unexpected maintenance costs.
7. Today’s new homes are much more energy-efficient than even those built five or six years ago, which means you pay less for monthly utilities, and the environment benefits as well. Our Energy Smart Homes are better insulated, more tightly constructed, and more efficiently heated and cooled than older homes. In fact, they are independently rated to assure that they perform 15% better than the current building code requires.
8. Like everything else, evolutions in lifestyle and family mean that homebuyers need a home that keeps up with their needs. Flexible spaces are important features of new designs, like lofts and bonus rooms, and multi-purpose rooms like a downstairs study that can be configured as a guest suite with private bath. Even secondary bedrooms are much more comfortably sized, and storage and closet space are a priority in new floor plans. Check out our newest and most popular floor plans to see examples of what today's buyers are after.
9. Let’s face it, some days it’s tough out there, and we want our homes to be a place to relax, retreat, and recreate ourselves as individuals and as families. Covered decks and patios are in style, as more and more homeowners relax and entertain outdoors. Luxurious master baths with bigger and better fixtures, like 4 and 5 foot showers, and six foot tubs, are increasingly popular in new homes of all sizes and prices. Master suites are more spacious in modern designs, and often include a sitting area. Kitchens are made for serious cooking, with upscale cabinets, drop-in cooktop options, and even wine centers and butler’s pantries. The luxury options available in even a modestly priced new home far exceed what was being built even ten years ago.
10. Today’s homebuyers expect more than ever for their home-buying dollar, and great price-per-square-foot values are in high demand. Newly constructed homes from today’s floor plans mean better use of space, with more finished area over the garage, less empty second story space, and better overall value.