If you’ve been just about anywhere in the U.S. besides Miami this week, you’ve probably experienced the frigid temperatures and snow/ice meteorologists are referring to as the “Polar Vortex.” Prolonged exposure to these types of temperatures is not only unpleasant, but can wreak havoc on our homes if we’re not prepared. Here are some useful cold weather tips to protect your home to ensure you’re ready for the bitter temperatures:
- Insulate your pipes and use a water heater blanket/ insulation wrap if your main water supply is in the garage.
- Remove ice blockages from gutters and downspouts to help prevent back-up and potential roof leaks from accumulated moisture.
- Never leave your home without any heat during cold weather. Most experts recommend that the heat is set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid damage to pipes, systems, etc.
- Use kitty litter to improve traction on ice formed over walk and driveways instead of salt. Repeated use of salt in these areas can kill surrounding grass, shrubs, and trees.
For more useful home winterization tips you can also visit the Bob Vila blog and start planning for the things you may have missed this year. Have any tips we might have missed? Comment and share with other readers.
Beazer Homes is excited to announce the grand openings of the Valencia at Orchards and Sorrento at Orchards communities in Orange County, California. Valencia at Orchards will showcase single family, new homes starting at $240,000. The Sorrento at Orchards community will be built by Beazer Homes and feature single family homes starting at $280,000.
Join the Beazer Homes sales teams at these communities Saturday, January 11th from 11 am until 3pm for delicious barbeque and a live country band to enjoy while you learn more about these communities. Like the other Beazer Homes communities across the nation, these new communities will feature ENERGY STAR Certified homes and offer buyers the Beazer benefits of flexible home plans, personalization, and more mortgage choices for homebuyers.
Those interested in new homes are invited to visit the community sites and speak with a sales agent or visit the Beazer website and chat instantly with a New Home Information Counselor to learn more about these brand new planned communities. For the latest new home news from Orange County connect with Beazer on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
It’s a new year and possibly the right time for a new home. While new home financing is often the deciding factor in making a move, it’s important to consider all of the other tangible benefits that come with building a new home compared to purchasing an existing home. For many Beazer homebuyers, benefits of building a new home include a lower cost of home ownership and design advantages.
1.) Lower Operating Cost
Any sort of housing change involves money; however, what isn’t always as obvious are the long-term savings that new construction can provide over existing. National homebuilders like Beazer Homes adhere to the latest construction methods and use the most advanced materials to save on utility costs over the life of the home.
All Beazer homes are ENERGY STAR® Certified which means they not only adhere to local and state energy efficiency requirements, but also voluntarily meet or exceed those set forth by the EPA for this distinction. The warranty provided by many homebuilders also helps offset any repair or remodeling costs that are typically associated with existing homes.
2.) Design Advantages
When you build a new home you can get space where you want and need it. Instead of being tied to someone else’s vision of a “dream home,” you select the floorplan that meets your needs best. Additionally, Beazer Homes is the only national homebuilder to offer Choice Plans which enable homeowners to choose structural and design options in main living spaces at no additional cost.
New homes also typically offer much more storage and living space than existing homes. According to New Home Source, new homes offer 3x the closet space and 2x the bathroom space compared to most existing homes.
In the comments below, tell us some advantages you’ve experienced with buying new.
Tonight we will say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014. While New Year festivities typically include a night out, (or in many cases a night in at home!) and making resolutions involve restricting certain sugary snacks, picking out an exercise program to attempt for a couple weeks or saving more cash, we’d like to take the New Year as an opportunity to say thank you. We are grateful to all of the homeowners and their families who have allowed Beazer Homes to plan and construct their dream home.
Happy New Year; may the next 365 days be prosperous and full of great things for you and your family.
By Gwynne Liebl
The end of 2013 brings about a plethora of lists from style makers on what the home design treands for 2014 will be. Whether or not you believe in their validity, the lists are actually a telegraph to consumers of what items they will be seeing in stores, advertising and in pretty much any item you can buy. Here at Beazer Homes, we’re interested in trends relating to your home and one of the important trends is that of color. Our trade partners, PPG and Sherwin-Williams, have announced that their 2014 Colors of the Year are Turning Oak ATC- 38 and Exclusive Plum 6263, respectively.
From PPG: “Like a buttercream, this color (Turning Oak) has a fullness to it, while remaining light enough to act as a neutral. It’s mellow and stable, providing the calm we all seek before embarking on new journeys. “
From Sherwin-Williams’ Jackie Jordan: “This dusky, filtered violet is refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential. Exclusive Plum has an amazing quality and can be adapted for nearly any space, whether used as an accent or for an entire room.”
Be prepared to see these colors and various tones of them in paint, furniture and home accessories. If either of these colors scares you, use them as accents with basic, neutral colors such as tans & whites for a casual feeling or, for a stronger look pair with other citrus colors. In addition, blues are coming back very strong and would pair with either color perfectly.
Beazer Homes offers clients the ability to select their own paint colors during the design and personalization stage of building a new home. To learn more about interior design trends for the New Year, stay tuned to Beazer Home’s new house blog for more expert articles.
About Gwynne Liebl: Gwynne brings more than 25 years of design experience to her current role at Beazer Homes as the Design Studio Manager in Atlanta. She allows her passion for home design and decorating to show as she assists home buyers when they begin personalizing their new home. She consults with the architecture and construction teams at Beazer to help on floor plan and exterior elevation designs, and works with purchasing on specifications and materials selections. Gwynne loves what she does and gets true satisfaction knowing she is helping a family achieve their dream of owning a home.
You read a lot about the financial benefits of energy efficient new homes, but what isn’t often explained are the construction factors that influence these savings. For new home buyers, understanding what hallmarks to look for can help them determine how energy efficient a new home is truly going to be. Energy efficiency is one of the three pillars composing the Beazer Difference; one of the primary ways Beazer Homes measures energy efficiency is with new home HERS® scores and energy audits.
HERS® is the new construction industry’s standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency and calculating a home’s energy performance. Because the cost of energy varies from region to region, a standardized measure like a HERS ® score helps homeowners know how efficiently their new home will perform long term.
On average, most new homes receive a HERS® score of 100. Because of Beazer Homes’ attention to selecting energy efficient building materials and employing the latest ENERGY STAR standards, the average Beazer Home receives a HERS® score of 65 (35% more energy efficient than other newly constructed homes). All HERS® scores must be compiled by a certified Resnet Home Energy Rater. This person is trained in evaluating things like living spaces over unconditioned areas, seals over openings, water heating systems, and thermostats for efficiency.
Existing homes typically receive a HERS® score around 130 (30% less energy efficient than typical new construction). Beazer builds safe, energy efficient new homes that provide not only comfort, but tangible savings over the costs required to heat and cool existing homes. Stay tuned to our new home blog for more energy savings tips and ways to further decrease your energy spending over the life of your Beazer Home.
Are you home for the holidays this year? If so, there are a few home safety tips to make sure that your family and your Beazer home are protected from the potential pitfalls of all that holiday excitement. Around 12,500 people typically end up in the hospital every year with holiday decorating or cooking related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. While accidents do happen, you can help minimize your risk by following these easy steps and utilizing the features available in most Beazer Homes communities:
- Timers on lights/ remote security features: Schedules get busy this time of year and thieves know it. Use easy to program timers on select interior lights and motion activated exterior lights so it’s not so obvious when someone is or isn’t home. Some Beazer communities also offer remote security options so that you can monitor your house even while you’re away. Ask the sales representative in your respective community about your remote security options.
- Decorate with caution: Check your holiday lights before you deck the halls to make sure they’re in working order. Throw out those strands with any exposed or frayed wiring and don’t string more than three standard mini-light strands together. This will reduce the likelihood of overheating and potential fire. Better yet, opt for LED bulbs. They use 90% less energy and don’t produce heat buildup.
- Program your thermostat: Because all Beazer Homes are ENERGY STAR® certified homeowners are going to use less energy to heat and cool their new houses than existing homes. To maximize your energy savings and further reduce the risk of electrical system issues, program your thermostat so you’re not heating your house unnecessarily while at work or visiting family.
Do you have any useful holiday safety tips? Comment below to share with other readers. Wishing you all a happy, safe holiday season!
December is flying by and so is our Food for Thoughts Campaign. We are so appreciative of the individuals who have submitted their traditions and allowed Beazer Homes to donate meals to hungry kids through Oxfam America. We still have one week left in the campaign and need your help to reach our goal of donating 10,000 meals.
If you haven’t already, make sure to tweet us @BeazerHomes, write on our Facebook wall, or even comment on one of our Google+ posts to share your favorite holiday tradition. Just a reminder, for each tradition shared, Beazer Homes will donate five meals to hungry school kids in America.
Don’t overthink it, share what you love every year about the holidays and help a child in need. We look forward to reading your traditions soon!
Here’s a sample of what others love about the holidays from the Beazer Facebook page:
Join us for an open house event at the Curtis Commons community in Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, January 11th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. These new homes in Goodyear will start at $212,900. Open house attendees will get the first look at two fully furnished model homes featuring Beazer Homes’ Choice Plans. The community will also offer residents a 3-acre park and a bike path throughout to enjoy the picturesque southwestern vistas of Arizona.
Make sure to stop by for some savory hot cocoa, treats, giveaways and tour of Curtis Commons’ models. Stay tuned to the Beazer blog to learn more about our new Choice Plan floorplan options and for the latest new home construction news. The Phoenix team looks forward to seeing you January 11th!
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American homeowner’s electric bill has increased to over $107 per month, with those in the South Central region of the U.S. paying the most per kilowatt hour. The average power bill in South Carolina, for instance is $131.64 per month. These numbers point to the continued importance of an energy efficient new homes and how to tell if a home is being constructed with energy savings in mind.
It’s no surprise then with the increased popularity of energy efficient building practices, along with the advancement of product technology, that new homes are more energy efficient than existing homes. It’s important to understand, however, that not all newly built homes are as efficient as they could be. One good indicator to the level of a home’s energy efficiency is its HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score.
The HERS score is the homebuilding industry standard measuring the energy efficiency of your home compared to a control house of the same size and shape. This number must be measured by a certified HERS Rater; the lower the HERS score, the more efficient the home. On average, most existing homes receive a HERS score of 130 and a standard newly built home has an average HERS score of 100 (30% more energy efficient than an existing home). Many of our homes score well below 100, achieving an average HERS score of 65.
We hear a lot of positive feedback from Beazer homeowners pleasantly surprised by the significant decrease in their utility bills after they move into their new ENERGY STAR certified Beazer Home. We are an ENERGY STAR new homes partner meaning, we not only meet and exceed state energy efficiency requirements, but we voluntarily build 100 percent of our homes to meet the strict standards from the EPA.
Homeowner Anne shared on the Beazer Homes Facebook wall, “We have a new Beazer home in Southern California. We have NEVER had utility bills as low as we do in this home of 2100 square feet!”
To learn more about the energy efficiency measures Beazer takes to increase the value of homes and save you money, visit our website and continue to read our blog section dedicated to energy efficiency in new homes.