Acclimating To Your New Florida Home

Acclimating To Your New Florida HomeFlorida is known as the “Sunshine State” and living there is what many people dream of.  It’s an attractive state, surrounded by ocean, crowned with beaches, amusement parks, golfing, and affordable housing.  Having new Florida home calls for understanding what you’ll be up against so you can prepare.

The Hazards

Florida’s number one danger for new homeowners and builders is the weather. Florida has scorching sun and heat.  It’s also got tons of rain and moisture.  Wind storms that range from tornadoes to hurricanes, and muggy fog that can choke a horse. Building a new home in Florida means weather protection from roof to the basement if you have a basement.  Many Florida homes are elevated to flooding.  Your new home should have the latest in protections including roofing and outdoor paint, windows, and doors. If you’ve shorn up your new home with the materials of the day, then your next hazard is what you’ll need to protect against wildlife.  Florida is like “Jurassic Park”.  It’s got insects and reptiles and mammals that can destroy a home in no time.  Depending on which area your new Florida home is in, it will have its own local wildlife problems.

Wildlife Problems with A New Florida Home

Your first line of defense isn’t against the big animals like bears and pumas and alligators.  No, you worst wildlife enemy in Florida will be insects.  From ants to termites to wasps, Florida’s climate is the age of the dinosaurs weather.  Bugs love it, and especially a fat, juicy house with all the food bugs could want.  Unfortunately, the food humans eat is just some items on the insect menu, the real dangers are the insects that eat up housing materials or compromise them.  Florida has wildlife experts and exterminators who are the toughest in the country.  The only thing they don’t fight is freezing weather.  Before you build or before you buy, get the latest info on insects in the area.  Build or modify your home to prevent invasion and if it does occur, the new home should be easy for an expert exterminator to get at the problem sites and save your home.

Regular Inspections Are a Must

Florida is such a tough environment on a home that more than average inspections by yourself and specific professionals are required.  The reason being is that just one area compromised can develop into an expensive disaster.  Take the occasional time to give your new home a once over and anything out of the ordinary report it to a professional.  That means if you’re looking over your roof and sees a missing tile or tiny hole; you need to call a roofing expert fast.  If windows or doors are ajar, get them fixed immediately.  You might be one of the new homeowners converting to solar.  This means extra time and inspection inside and outside of the home.  Never procrastinate in this responsibility or you could find yourself at your insurance company’s mercy.

Conclusion

Florida is an awesome state that affords many benefits for the new home owner.  Don’t let its glamor overshadow your responsibilities as a homeowner because Florida will make you work for your equity.

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Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure Building a home is a major challenge, to say the least. Rebuilding the home can be an even greater challenge that only hard work and patience can pull off.

In this situation, a complete survey of the potential structure and its original blueprints need to be carefully examined. Looking at what’s left of the original structure will allow contractors to better evaluate what they can keep or throw out. If the foundation is sound and needs no maintenance, the basic infrastructure will be the primary concern. This means checking materials like wood and metal, plumbing and wiring, masonry and more. Careful planning and realistic assessment will enable to a contractor here to estimate the proper costs for materials and labor.

 

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

 

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working with the contractors and following the original plans might also get one to want to make some modifications like adding on a room or two or perhaps removing one. Adding an extra bathroom for a home with a family is always appreciated. The rebuilding will use newer materials and technologies so you’ll need to brush up on them to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on.

 

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

As things progress the homeowner should ask the pertinent questions. This way nothing unforeseen will occur down the road. If the home has been damaged by weather or human error, the insurance companies will send out a representative to assess what is and isn’t covered and where the money is going. This is a good time to buddy up with the insurance rep and ask questions. He or she might have some valuable suggestions to save you considerable amounts of time, money, and headache.

The bottom line here is that you’ll be rebuilding a home, which is like rebuilding a life. You want everything to go right to make the best of your hard earned dollar as your home is probably going to be the biggest investment of your life. Rebuilding a home is a sign that you’re not the kind of person to give up, but start anew all over again which is a sign of good character.

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

Rebuilding A Home Is An Adventure

 

 

Tips for Building a First House in Clearwater

Tips for Building a First House in ClearwaterIf you are looking to build a home in beautiful Clearwater, Florida, here are a few tips to keep in mind to make the process go smoothly and the house the way you want. As any professional home builder will tell you, planning is probably the most vital step of building your own home.You should think about everything you can from how you plan to use the house, what you need to accomplish your goals, and what is realistic given your budget, timeline, and resource availability including space.

The landscape is very important to keep in mind at all times as you have to work with the land that you have as that will often put limitations on what you can and cannot do as well. You typically want to leave a good amount of space around your house so that it does not look cramped and so that you can have some nice landscaping, which you can hopefully also enjoy on beautiful sunny Florida days.

Another important consideration that should be in mind at all times is safety. You want to be safe in your home and so planning for fire exits, exterior lighting, security systems, etc. should be on your mind at all times throughout the process. Along these lines, it is important to make sure that you understand local development codes and requirements so that you can pass any inspections, etc. down the road for the safety of your home.

You likely will also want to consider the energy impact of your design. Green is, of course, the trend right now and it can also translate into great cost savings if you plan properly. Take a look at the Energy Star website to look at different products that can help you be more efficient. You may also want to consider the new Tesla solar panels which look like roof shingles.

The other important consideration that will go with almost all decisions is the cost and how it fits into your broader budget. Every decision is really a cost-benefit analysis of its own for most people. In the larger thought process, you should also remain cognizant of the overall size of the home as that will impact your mortgage payments, taxes, maintenance, insurance costs, utility bills, and more. Living within your means is the best advice to reduce unneeded financial stress.

Once you think through all of these things thoroughly, you should talk to professionals in your area to see who can best execute your vision. You should check out the site often once they start work to make sure that it is going as you want and don’t be afraid to check in with them or ask for updates from time to time. There are many professionals in the Clearwater area with long track records who would be happy to take on your job. They will work with you to draw up something on paper that you are 100% happy with and go from there to execute on your dream to make it a reality.

Picture Credit: mschiffm

Planning A New Home Calls For Good Sense

Planning A New Home Calls For Good SenseToday’s home builder has a lot going for them.  The new materials and technologies that allow for superior planning of the home may look easy, but there are things to look out for or your efforts will end up in misery.

First of all, when planning a new home, what about its size?  If you only need 3600 square feet then don’t get greedy and layout a property that will be 5200 square feet.  It costs more and it takes more time to maintenance.  Sometimes our eyes are too big for our bellies and we end up with a sour stomach in the end.  Sit down with your architect and with real home designers to pinpoint what you’ll need, not only for yourself but if you have an expanding family to look forward to.  Build with just a bit of extra space and not too much.  You can always add a room or two later on, but for now, you want quality control and low overhead.

The second thing to look at is orientation.  Yes, there’s  a great view to the south, but is it going to add to sun exposure and fighting against strong winds.  This is where your weather experts come into play.  If your home is going to be in an area where seasonal storms occur, you want your home-oriented to minimize wind and rain, snow, excess heat.  Orienting your home’s position will save in energy costs as well.  You want a home that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Planning this way avoids lots of maintenance and trouble later.

Keep your own integrity.  Don’t let other people, especially friends and contractors tell you what you want.  Just keep a stiff upper lip and sally forth.  You know what you want, and if you’ve been smart you’ll have asked experts to know what you can get that is safe and efficient as well as aesthetic.  No, you don’t need that gazebo that your mother-in-law insists, you put in and around your home what you want and what you need.  If you let others dictate their desires to override yours, you’ll end up with a final home product that will only disappoint you.

Fourth is to place your key rooms in the best places possible.  Kitchens aren’t a room you just slap up and hope for the best.  A kitchen should be strategically placed to better its efficiency.  The placement of energy for the kitchen is the key.  Gas, electricity lines and pipes can undergo so much twisting and turning.  You don’t want to put your kitchen in an area that requires a circus-like configuration of wires and pipes.  You don’t want the kitchen directly beneath bedrooms.  You’ll need proper ventilation for your kitchen and you don’t want the fumes and aromas flooding the bedrooms.  Living rooms are normally near the front of the home or just recessed.  This being the showcase room, one wants it placed just right.  A structure of the home is important here as the living room should be the biggest room.  It needs support so that its size doesn’t compromise the safety of the home’s structure via stress.  This is where your architect and building inspector come into the issue.  They’ll know what to do and advise you what is wise and not.

Finally, what is your budget?  Do you have enough to achieve your goals?  Are you moving on fumes and hoping to get the cheap deals?  You never go cheap on the home you build and intend to dwell in.  Safety comes first and trying to get quality with a low budget is taking, to say the least.  Instead, work within your budget. Know what you can and cannot afford.  Sometimes you’ll have to be creative but don’t do anything that will compromise efficiency and safety.  That new fancy brick face or decorative siding may look good, but can you afford it now?  You will need capital to keep the home maintained.  Add to that all the excess costs can eat up a budget in no time.  Be careful, yes, try to get the best price for the most quality and keep your eyes on the prize.

Planning as a home builder now means less misery down the road and greater equity in the property overall.

Picture Credit: paulbr75

Master Bathroom Remodeling and Design Project

This master bathroom was very old so the owners wanted to spice it up and add a freestanding tub in addition to the existing shower. We were able to achieve this goal by taking part of a previous linen closet and using the space for the new tub. The top of the bathtub was put against a window with a shelf and a nice and relaxing view to the outside. The shelf is a nice gray granite and matches the new his and her countertops as well as the standup shower.

The two new faucets are rounded and have two separate oval mirrors with white frames matching the décor of the room. The standup shower has the same sort of gray tiling as the rest of the bathroom and it has a marble floor with a little bench as well. The door is all glass and very stylish and modern. Overall, the bathroom is almost a complete makeover from the previous version. This is one of many bathrooms that Build America LLC has worked on and is currently working on and as is usually the case, we were left with a couple of very happy clients. Reach out today to learn more about what we can do for your own remodeling and renovation projects!

Master Bathroom Remodeling and Design Project
Master Bathroom Remodeling and Design Project

Master Bathroom Remodeling and Design Project

Master Bathroom Remodeling and Design Project

 

 

Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen Remodeling Project

Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen Remodeling Project

Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen Remodeling Project This is another condo remodeling project that Build America LLC recently took on. In this particular condo, the kitchen was revamped with the goals of adding additional cabinets and counter space. We went with a beautiful beige countertop which extends around into the dining area. To open up space, a new pass through the window was created which gives a nice view from the kitchen out onto the Gulf. In addition, we added cabinets on the living room side of the kitchen and on the side wall. This ended up more than doubling the storage space we previously had while also opening up the area to make it seem larger and more breathable.

We also designed a coffered ceiling in the kitchen with crown molding as well to give it come more personality in a way that really meshes well with the vintage style of the cabinets that we used. The new space has a rustic vibe but one which has much more class that the previous version. The character of the kitchen really pops and gives this remodeling project a nice outcome. Build America LLC is constantly looking for new renovation projects for our clients in order to improve their homes and lives.

This ended up more than doubling the storage space we previously had while also opening up the area to make it seem larger and more breathable. We also designed a coffered ceiling in the kitchen with crown molding as well to give it come more personality in a way that really meshes well with the vintage style of the cabinets that we used. The new space has a rustic vibe but one which has much more class that the previous version. The character of the kitchen really pops and gives this remodeling project a nice outcome. Build America LLC is constantly looking for new renovation projects for our clients in order to improve their homes and lives.

Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen Remodeling Project

Remodeling Project : Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen

Remodeling Project : Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen

Remodeling Project : Madeira Beach Condo Kitchen

 

 

Condo Kitchen Project – Kitchen Renovation

Condo Kitchen Project – Kitchen renovation

This is a remodeled kitchen in a condo which had some major changes in order to update the living space to be more aesthetically pleasing as well as useful. In this room, we removed the walls to open up space first so that it did not feel as cramped and so that the whole place got a more zen vibe. The new layout had the kitchen open up straight into the living room as is a major trend in today’s new homes. We also added additional counter space at the same time to allow for increased utility and to fill up some of the open floor space which previously existed. In addition, part of the peninsula became a sitting area for breakfast with extended countertops as well.

Condo Kitchen Project – Kitchen renovation

Overall, the new space looks much more modern than the previous version and it is an open layout while adding more counter and other space. The cabinets and island are a matching mahogany wood and the countertops are a beautiful black pattern. The new kitchen looks almost unrecognizable to what it was before. This remodeling project is one is many that Build America LLC has worked on in recent years and yet another example of a happy renovation outcome.

It’s A Big Job For Commercial Building In Clearwater, Florida

It's A Big Job For Commercial Building In Clearwater, FloridaBuilding your own commercial property isn’t an easy deal, it calls for solid procedures that must be adhered to in order for things to go safely and affordable.

It’s the same process almost when building your own home.  A difference being in regulations and so forth.  These can be annoying but they’re established for good reason.  Society doesn’t need people slapping up a commercial building that is in effect, harmful to one and all.  In this regard, one must follow the tried and true approach to commercial building.

The first step in making the purchase of the property is to do some detective work.  You can hire a professional but you should tag along just in case you’ve questioned and can answer some thus clarifying things in the early stages.  You’ll want to know if the ground where the commercial building will go is suited for construction.  It may look solid on the face of it, but having professionals inspect and qualify it, especially in Clearwater, Florida.  Are there weekly covered over work pits or construction pits, natural pits and are there objects that to remove could cause a boost in your budget.  These first steps are crucial and it is wise to apply them and record the data.

Investigating the property also will include toxicology and environmental testing. Make no mistake, missing this procedure could end up costing you incredible amounts of money down the line in fines, penalties, rehabilitation. Remember, this land you’re buying has you, you staff and the public to care for.

You’ll have to tend to roads, paths, and other features. Make comparisons of what professionals charge to make the property sound. Do all this before buying because other things may arise such as proper surveying and platting.  Know how much you’ll be in for before you buy. Your knowledge will allow you to cut costs and control things better.

Your architect should be apprised of every step of the way. This gives them the lead time to know what to design and will it work.  Architects have to apply several sciences at the same time to prevent a structure from being a problem or even dangerous. As all the property data comes in, the architect will be then designing the building so that it looks like what you want and is a stable and secure structure that is in compliance with all zoning laws.  If your commercial building has a unique design, a decorative one, then the architect will work with your suggestions but will not compromise on safety and function. You’ll end up with several mock-ups illustrated as well as blueprints. Your estimate for the costs of architect and construction should be clearer thus allowing you to administer your budget down to the last nail.

Finally, you can now buy the land and it would be good to dicker with the price. Make sure you get several evaluations regarding the worth of the property as one Realtor will differ with another Realtor. The seller of the property will have their own estimates and evaluations so it could take some time for both of you to get into price range both are comfortable for.

Finally, the contractors have to be chosen. Get the best. Triple check their credentials to ensure they’re officially certified and have insurance. There are more issues to deal with when putting up a commercial building but these are the fundamentals. Always go with the best and do your homework.

Multi-tier Renovation Case Study Part 2: Internal Renovations

Multi-tier Renovation Case Study Part 1: Internal Renovations

For the second part of the home renovation project the goal was to open up the living area and enlarge the windows to allow more natural light to come in. We decided to do this because originally the house was very dark with small windows which made it unwelcoming and somewhat grim. The living areas were divided with a mixture of load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls, so we had to work around what we had to make the changes we want. Starting with the living room which used to be a garage, we enlarged the opening by almost 8 feet in total, making it seem completely new and very spacious. We also remodeled the steps which were wood before, but we went with something that was more in turn with the new style we were fostering. An additional step was also added to make it more comfortable to step up and down as there was a large and uncomfortable gap there previously.

To open up the living area, we removed non-load bearing walls, leaving a nice flow throughout all of the living areas. On the floors we removed the old carpets as well as the old tile in the kitchen and installed 24-inch by 24-inch marble tiles throughout the house, giving it an exquisite look in line with the rest of the house. To go with this, we also enlarged the existing Bay windows and opened up the walls for additional windows in the living room, kitchen and dining room.

The kitchen itself was a pretty big project. The new owners wanted a modern kitchen that was also functional. In order to accomplish this, we had to make several major changes. Amongst them, we installed shaker style cabinets with beautiful granite countertops. We also relocated the oven hood and the cooktop on the island. This gave the kitchen a much more modern layout. The new kitchen allows the owners to have plenty of countertops which they were lacking before and allows for inclusion of more appliances for cooking in turn. One of the focal points of the new kitchen is actually the new backsplash we installed. It sports a Mother of Pearl mosaic tile which really stands out in a good way.

Finally, the next part of our remodel was to improve the stairs. Previously, they were very dark and narrow. To enlarge them we removed two side walls halfway down the stairs. This also had the added benefit of allowing more light into the space. The steps of the stairs themselves were stripped down and rebuild with solid oak treads which were then stained to match the hardwood upstairs.

Overall, this stage of our home remodeling project reaped very visible and rewarding updates to our project. The living areas, kitchen, and stairs are amongst the most utilized and most viewed in any house. The new look is much more modern, with a clean layout that allows for ample light and leaves space for whatever the owners want to do with the rooms in terms of utility.

Practical Ways To Finance Home Improvement Projects

Practical Ways To Finance Home Improvement ProjectsOf all the fixed assets you own, your home is by far the most valuable. You kept aside a sum every month from your limited earnings and invested a lifetime of savings in purchasing your dream home. Needless to say, you’d like to hold on to the novelty of your abode and maintain its resale value. And that calls for carrying out home renovation every few years which could either entail repair or replace the rooftop, impart a fresh coat of paint or remodel the kitchen. As a homeowner or property holder, your to-do list of home improvements could include the following: -a new tile backsplash for kitchen, painting the exterior, sealing leaks in the attic and eaves, adding a pergola to the back porch, and updating the bathroom.

However, in order to make your home improvement projects a reality, you’ll be needing money and tons of it, to say the least. Homeowners are painfully aware that most home improvements even it carried out on a modest scale could turn out to be expensive, by present day standards. In case you’ve sufficient disposable cash, you’ll be able to fulfill most of your home renovation wishes but unfortunately, the majority of homeowners don’t have enough cash to spare. So, will you keep on postponing your home refurbishment projects until and unless you arrange for the hard cash to fund the same? Fortunately for most other homeowners there are loan options that they can review before selecting one that best fit their needs and preferences.

Financing home improvements via mortgages or loans

If you’re looking forward to residing in your abode at least for the next two decades, you’ll have to carry out some minimal home renovation for instance, repainting the interiors and exteriors as well as repairing a part or whole of the rooftop. Not having the wherewithal or financial means to fund home improvements could be the biggest impediment. The most practical recourse open to you is applying for a home improvement mortgage or loan. It could be that you’re already reimbursing on a mortgage that you took out a few years back but the same is not working out to your favor. In such a scenario, you could submit an application for a fresh loan just to refinance the first one.

However, you’ll have to do the necessary homework to ensure that the repayment plan for the new loan is not drawn out or protracted. The idea is to complete the total reimbursement well before the paint on the walls starts peeling off or the shingles on the roof begin cracking. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of homeowners chose a refinancing loan whose repayment period or term far exceeds the time any standard home improvement will stay effective. You can consider the above 11 alternatives to fund home renovation schemes.

1. Cash

Funding a home refurbishment plan by paying in cash is undoubtedly the most feasible and convenient option. Footing your invoices in cash means you’ll not have to worry about any outstanding payments or impeding any running mortgage on your home. If you decide to proceed on a project by project basis, you may be able to finance the task using cash.

2. Refinancing

Refinancing could be the next best option and if your present home improvement mortgage is not favorable, you’d be going for a refinance mortgage anyway. Just see to it that the refinancing doesn’t extend beyond the lifetime of the renovation.

3. Home equity credit

You can apply for home equity credit line if you’re having no issues with your first mortgage. With home equity credit, you’ll be able to withdraw and repay money at your convenience.

4. Home equity mortgage

A home equity mortgage is practicable for those who’re not comfortable with adjustable or fluctuating interest rates.

5. Construction or renovation loan

If you’re going for a major overhaul, like replacing the rooftop, then a construction loan comes in handy.

6. Credit cards

Paying via credit cards is another option you can look at, especially when going for small renovation jobs or sourcing materials.

7. 203K or federal housing loan

A 203K FHA loan is recommended if conducting numerous repairs has become imminent.

8. Banking on 401 (k)

Withdrawing from your 401(k) account is an alternative funding option that you can review but you may have to reimburse instantly if you’re sacked or shift to a new job.

9. Title 1 loan of FHA

A FHA Title 1 loan lets you borrow up to a maximum of $25,000 and can be repaid over a period of two decades.

10.Reverse mortgaging

If you’re aged 62 or above, you qualify for a reverse mortgage and the amount you’ll get depends upon the equity proportion remaining on your home.

 11.Financing through contractors     

Some home improvement contractors can help you get a loan from a financing firm but the interest rate might be quite high.

Financing home improvements via mortgages or loans

If you’re looking forward to residing in your abode at least for the next two decades, you’ll have to carry out some minimal home renovation for instance, repainting the interiors and exteriors as well as repairing a part or whole of the rooftop. Not having the wherewithal or financial means to fund home improvements could be the biggest impediment. The most practical recourse open to you is applying for a home improvement mortgage or loan. It could be that you’re already reimbursing on a mortgage that you took out a few years back but the same is not working out to your favor. In such a scenario, you could submit an application for a fresh loan just to refinance the first one.

However, you’ll have to do the necessary homework to ensure that the repayment plan for the new loan is not drawn out or protracted. The idea is to complete the total reimbursement well before the paint on the walls starts peeling off or the shingles on the roof begin cracking. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of homeowners chose a refinancing loan whose repayment period or term far exceeds the time any standard home improvement will stay effective. You can consider the above 11 alternatives to fund home renovation schemes.

Image Credit: Baramee Thaweesombat