Should You Build a Passive-Inspired Home?

passive-inspired homeMore homebuyers around the Pacific Northwest are opting for passive-inspired house construction. This is a growing trend. Many people have a general idea of what constitutes a passive-inspired home. However, few people really understand the details of such a building.

What Is a Passive-Inspired House?

A passive-inspired home is very similar to a passive-certified home. Never heard of the latter? This is a house that employs the latest technological advancements for promoting the highest possible energy efficiency. To meet certification requirements, builders must construct homes according to standards set by the Passive House Institute United States (PHIUS).

A passive-inspired home is nearly identical to its passive-certified counterpart minus the certification. In some ways, this is a plus. Buyers don’t have to go through the cost and time of certifying their home. Continue Reading →

Home Construction Considerations for a Fireproof Home

fireproof homeCalifornia is usually the first state to come to mind when one thinks of wildfires. However, Washington, and especially parts of the greater Spokane area, is also prone to these disasters. This is why custom home construction projects should include fire-resistant material. We’ll outline what is essential for building a fireproof home.

Solutions for a Fireproof Dwelling

Homeowners have multiple options for consideration. One option is the inclusion of insulated concrete forms (ICFs). These consist of Lego-like blocks made from polystyrene that form a building’s outer wall. Installers fill the blocks with concrete, which gives the material high fire-resistant capabilities. ICFs can withstand a burning blaze for up to four hours. They also have the secondary benefit of acting as a sound barrier to reduce noise. Continue Reading →

Common Home Construction Financial Mistakes

home construction financial mistakesYou have more financial considerations when building a house vs buying a pre-existing home. Without the right financial planning, you can find yourself making investments that you may regret later down the line. To help your custom home construction, we’ll outline the most common home construction financial mistakes.

Avoid These Home Construction Financial Mistakes

Building too Big—A spacious 6,000 square-feet home is nice, but do you really need all that living space? Homeowners have lamented how they regret building a bigger home. With a larger living unit comes more maintenance issues and costs. The average home construction also costs about $105 per square-foot. That means you can save $105,000 by downsizing the construction by 1,000-feet.

Adding Every Possible Feature—Do you really need that granite kitchen counter or built-in mahogany cabinet? Decide what you need, and make that a priority. Don’t be afraid to scale back on the nice-to-haves. You can always add them in a future custom home remodel a few years down the road. Continue Reading →

Three Best Smart Home Devices for 2018

smart home devicesA newly constructed custom home might as well be a smart home. After all, this is 2018. Make your new dwelling more conveniently accessible than ever with the best smart home devices. We’ll identify and review the top gadgets that you can use to streamline your residence to achieve convenience and security.

Must-Have Smart Home Devices

1. Surveillance Cameras

Spokane is a city, so burglaries can, and do, occur. Surveillance cameras equal peace of mind. The cool aspect about smart cameras is that you can see in real time from your phone what the lens is capturing. If someone is at your doorstep, you can see who is there, even if you’re at work or in your car. Some systems even allow you to converse with someone at the door as if you were home.

2. Smart Garage

Open your garage door with your smartphone. This saves you the hassle of having to carry a bulky garage door opener. The opener, by the way, is vulnerable to theft if you clip it in the visor. A stolen opener leaves your home vulnerable. Our custom home remodeling includes new garage door installation, which is compatible with devices like Amazon Alexa. Continue Reading →

What Is the Lifespan of a Modern House?

lifespan of a modern houseClients often ask us during a custom home construction project how long a new home will last. What is the average lifespan of a modern house, anyways? Will your dwelling last for 50 years? A century? A Lifetime? This answer to these question is actually quite complex.

The Typical Lifespan of a Modern House

Homes can last for hundreds of years. In the U.S., homes from colonial times still stand erect. In Europe, homes from the middle ages are still around after more than half a millennium. However, while the structure itself can last for centuries, the individual components (e.g. roofing, foundation, etc.) may only last for several decades. Even historical homes that are hundreds of years old contain many relatively new and renovated parts.

For a home that can retain most of its original components, we recommend incorporating brick, concrete, and iron where possible. These can last upwards of 100 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Continue Reading →

What You Need to Know About Construction Insurance When Building a New Home

Construction InsuranceBuilding a new home is one heck of a way to kickstart 2018. You have much to tackle, though, beyond the custom home construction itself. Clients often ask us if they need construction insurance when building a new home. We will do our best to answer this complex question.

Do You Need Construction Insurance for Building a New Home?

The short answer is “yes.” You do need construction insurance, though the process is a lot more complex than just applying with a property insurance provider.

1. Make Sure the Insurer Will Cover You

A common mistake is holding off on the insurance until AFTER beginning the home construction. You need to take care of the insurance well beforehand. Many people assume their current home insurance policy will cover them. This may not be the case. Underwriters may not sign off for a number of reasons, such as if you’re building the home in a “high-risk” location. Continue Reading →

Should You Buy a Home or Build a New Home?

buy or buildShould you buy or build a new home? Which option provides more cost-savings benefits? This is a tough question. Both have their pros and cons; we’ll identify the good and bad of each. This way, you can make an informed choice in what will probably be your biggest life investment.

A New Home: Buy or Build?

Buying a Home

The median value of a home in Spokane is $177,800, according to Zillow. This is expected to increase by 4.8% in 2018. Of course, the is just a ballpark figure since multiple factors affect the cost per square-foot. Continue Reading →

What Is the Ideal Home Size?

Ideal home sizeHow big does a house have to be for a family to live modestly yet comfortably? In other words, what is the ideal home size? This question naturally comes to mind during custom home construction. Obviously, budget is a consideration; otherwise people would choose to build a mansion. We’ll discuss the average square feet of a home and whether that is sufficient for a modern family.

Average Square-Feet of a Modern Home

The average home for a middle-class family is 2,491 square feet. This is nearly a 1,000-square-feet increase from homes built in the 1970s. Here is something else to consider: Even though homes are now bigger, the average household size has actually decreased. The average house today has 2.54 occupants, compared to 3.01 in the 1970s.

We are definitely living more comfortably today in our homes with more available square feet of space. Continue Reading →

Construction Financing of a New Home

construction financingIn some ways, the construction financing of a new home is similar to buying a resale home. Quite a few differences exist as well, though. We’ll explain the options and types of loans for a custom home construction.

New Home Construction Financing Options

The process is not unlike buying an existing property. You look for the best rates, speak with banks and mortgage brokers, etc. When financing a new home construction, you actually have a few more options. For one, the contractor’s company may offer its own program or one through an affiliated mortgage subsidiary.

You also have a few nifty resources at your disposal. This includes construction financing and bridge loans. Other options to explore include:

  • FHA Loans: This government-backed loan is ideal for homebuyers with a few blemishes on their credit score. The loan has some generous credit underwriting, and down payments may be as low as 3.5%.
  • VA Loans: This is an excellent loan option with zero down payment. To be eligible, though, you have to be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Conventional Loans: This may be your best bet if you are able to afford a 10% to 20% down payment.

Continue Reading →

Invest in Your Property with Infill Houses

infill housesInfill development is on the rise in urban areas. This includes major metropolitans like Seattle. In fact, the city eased restrictions on height limits on custom home remodeling in 2014. The move allows for greater flexibility in the construction of infill houses.

What Are Infill Houses?

The term ‘infill houses’ refers to homes constructed on vacant land interspersed among existing structures. Due to the tight space, the homes typically have a smaller footprint, but may compensate by being several floors taller.

More homeowners are building a secondary infill house on an existing property. The same goes for businesses using their existing acreage to build an infill warehouse or secondary facility. Continue Reading →