Archive for the ‘Builder Ideas’ Category

Valley Glass Windows:

Choosing the right window can make or break the appearance of a home. The Valley Glass Aspen 6900 Series has a bold and independent look that, without doubt, sets it apart from all the other vinyl windows on the market. The even, symmetrical lines of the window produce an architecturally sound product that truly stands out.


Most vinyl windows on the market use a thinner glass called Single Strength (3/32″) as their standard glass. Single Strength is more cost-effective for the manufacturer, but isn’t the most durable product. Single Strength is thinner, making it more susceptible to glass breakage. We use a heavier glass called Double Strength or DS Glass (1/8″) as our standard glass. Double Strength Glass adds considerable strength to your windows, making glass breakage much less likely. It also helps reduce noise.

Low E Glass (Energy Efficient Glass)

Energy efficiency has become a focus of every homeowner. We have provided our windows with Solarban 60 Solar Control LowE Glass from PPG. Solarban 60 LowE is an energy-efficient glass that helps keep heat and ultraviolet light out while keeping your furnace heat in. PPG has devoted years of research and testing to develop a number of the most efficient glass types in the industry. Solarban 60 helps each window achieve the necessary U-Value to pass the new energy requirements. You can feel comfortable in your home knowing that even our standard windows provide the energy efficiency many other companies make you pay extra for.

Solarban 70 Glass (Higher Efficiency Glass)

With rising energy costs, finding energy-efficient building materials has become a very popular demand. PPG has responded to these demands by developing a higher-grade LowE called Solarban 70. One of the concerns of homeowners in our climate is heat build-up. Have you ever sat next to large windows in a great room during the afternoon and felt the heat pounding in? Solarban 70 was designed to combat solar heat gain. Solar heat is measured through a term called the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This coefficient measures how much solar heat is actually passing through your windows. To prevent solar heat from entering your home, you would want to choose a window with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. Solarban 70 has one of the lowest Solar Heat Gain Coefficients and still lets in a decent amount of natural light.

Valley Glass windows boast many features that improve window quality and efficiency even more.  These include a long-lasting silicone spacer system, a dual-cam locking system for tighter and more secure seals, and a concealed outside screen…more on Valley Glass windows.

Read Full Post »

At Habitations Home Plans we try to be a bit choosy with what we call out on our plans and the details we show.  Just like with our peanut butter, hopefully you recall “Choosy mom’s choose Jif”  🙂  Anyway, with the big surge in Green Building, energy savings, renewable materials, etc. we have definitely seen some great products but we have also seen some products that are not worth the money and effort and some that are completely false claims and don’t have anything to do with green building.

One thing Habitations has seen and is working to incorporate in our corner of the industry is the Advanced Framing Techniques as well as developing better ways to achieve a thermal break in exterior walls which improves the efficiency of a structure immensely.

Take a look at the following link regarding OVE.  http://blog.builddirect.com/greenbuilding/green-building-advanced-framing/comment-page-1/#comment-1384

If you’re interested in Advanced Framing, lowering the overall lumber bill on your next home along with energy savings every month and how to incorporate it into your next home give us a call at 801.476.1860 or 800.378.0123.

Read Full Post »

At Habitations we have spent a great deal of time working with builders and developers to create the perfect set of small home designs. The goal: keep the design simple (which keeps construction costs low) and give it that bang-for-the-buck feel. These features help accommodate potential clients who want a great looking home with nice room sizes, all while keeping within the budget constraints of the average family income.

In these economic times, many builders have seen the benefits of building smaller homes that are within the purchasing power of the average income.  As a result, the competition has increased in these budget home markets. Below are a couple of secrets we have learned which, if used properly, can really make your product stand out. Using these tips, you can give clients the look and feel of a more expensive home while still remaining price competitive.

1.               Function and flow:  Many small designs try to fit too many rooms into too little space. A small home that tries to incorporate everything ends up creating tiny, ineffective living areas. Instead, design with simplicity in mind–the rooms with the greatest draw should be the largest. Eliminate the formal living room and expand the gathering space (Kitchen, Nook, and Great Room). Consider removing the powder room and creating a nicer laundry. Remember: it’s not a large home—two restrooms should be enough to keep emergencies at bay!

It’s been taboo until now however, removing the tub in the Master Bathroom shouldn’t be out of the question.  Over half of our clients, even on high end homes have seriously discussed removing the tub from the Master Bathroom.  The minimal usage the master tub gets in most cases is not worth the space or the cost.  Larger showers are where the trend is going.

2.              Think outside the box:  Give the outside of “the box” a unique character and feel.  Even though it is a small home, don’t forget that it is still a home someone will purchase, live in and look at day after day. That buyer wants to take pride in the home because it reflects who they are and, no matter how small it is, they want it to have personality and character.

Even a home with the simplest structural design can be unique. Instead of making a box-shaped home look like a box, think about aspects like window size and positioning, exterior materials & placement, a framed pop out to create a window seat, and even low cost decorative items such as corbels, a small cupola, etc. These inexpensive details could easily make your home #1 on the list of the potential buyer.

3.              Add natural light:  If you are searching for ways to make the smaller home feel larger, don’t forget the importance of natural light.  Natural light has the ability to mentally expand spaces helping them feel less cramped and more inviting.  Don’t go overboard and completely eliminate wall space or add unnecessary skylights. If well thought out, the design will provide that special balance of wall space and windows to give the potential client a breath of fresh air as they walk through.

4.              Don’t forget the out of doors:  No matter how large or small the project is, most of our clients ask us for ways to help them take advantage of the rest of their  property and give them some outdoor living options.   Yes, covered decks and patios can get expensive and in many cases cost as much as finished sq. footage, and therefore are not typically feasible with budgets on smaller homes.  However, some worthwhile upfront planning can insure that mere access from the home is provided to areas on the property which can become future outdoor living areas i.e., sun decks patios, lawn areas.  The home is only half of the equation; the rest of the property is the other half.  Making sure both home and landscape (future or not) work together will always equal more than the sum of its parts in the eyes of potential clients.

Joe Sadler

Read Full Post »

Practically any decorative architectural element can be found in a polyurethane form.  Some advantages to polyurethane products are: they are lightweight, easy to work with and install, low maintenance, and inexpensive.  Whether you are looking for decorative faux beams or corbels, there is a large selection of architectural decorative products to choose from.  These details can make a huge difference in customer appeal.

Contact Habitations for more information on these products.Decorative Polyurethane Corbels

Read Full Post »