Get the Good Dirt on Happy Gardening

Sunday, April 1, 2012 6:27:35 PM America/Los_Angeles

As a new homebuilder or homeowner, it is widely recognized that once the furniture is moved in and boxes unpacked, the focus moves to the landscaping and outer finishing touches. Especially with a new home build, the ground surrounding your new home is probably nothing but dirt.

After spending months and even years getting your dream home built, the thought of spending hours digging holes and planting greenery might send you over the edge.  Hang tight! Good news is on the horizon. 

Most of you have probably heard conversations or read articles related to the benefits of gardening. (Enter weird, fluty music) “Be one with the earth,” and, “Connect with Mother Nature,” perhaps you mostly heard, “blah, blah, blah…”  Before you dismiss similar conversations with people you might have labeled as quirky “tree-hugging” friends, stop and listen; they might

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0 Comments | Posted in News By M. Haynes

Home Safe Home

Sunday, February 26, 2012 7:02:59 PM America/Los_Angeles

You finally built or bought the home of your dreams, moved in, decorated to the max, landscaped, and then breathed a sigh of relief. But before that last breath, you need to discuss how you want to go about securing your home and family.

A Rottweiler puppy may not be the answer if you aren’t a dog person. Besides the inevitability of replacing chewed chair legs, table legs, pillows, and shoes, you still have to take the time and money to properly train them. Don’t forget that many homeowners insurance companies will cancel your policy if you have a pet that is on the “dangerous” list.

If you are considering a home security system, a valuable tool to narrow down your choices is word-of-mouth recommendations. Be sure you are calculating all the costs of maintenance, installation, monthly fees, and other hidden costs. The city or county in

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0 Comments | Posted in News By Mary Haynes

Be In the Right Frame of Mind: Choosing Energy Efficient Windows

Sunday, February 5, 2012 6:59:57 PM America/Los_Angeles

Whether you are building a new home or replacing old windows in your existing home, it’s not as simple as just measuring and picking out any kind of window. There are a vast amount of window products on the market. There are different materials, energy efficiency ratings, and styles. There are three important things to keep in mind when choosing your windows.

1. Know how to interpret the labels for the best efficiency you can buy.

- U Value - measures the rate of heat loss for a window. It can measure between about .20 and 1.20, the lower the number the better it’s heat retention.
- R Value - opposite of the U Value. The R Value measures the insulation efficiency.
- VT - the amount of light allowed through the window between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the more light is coming through. You might want a higher VT on Northern-facing windows so allow more light

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0 Comments | Posted in News By M. Haynes

How to Find the Best Appliance Reviews

Sunday, January 22, 2012 7:00:06 PM America/Los_Angeles


Is it time to replace broken or worn-out kitchen appliances? With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one in your price range? These are great questions, but it will require a little bit of  research on your part. You can buy a membership to a popular review site, or there are several free sources you can search for the information you need. 


- Consumer Reports


This is a popular resource for millions of people looking to find out the best product based on real people testing them. The drawback? You have to pay for the information. However, it might be a good investment if you are starting out brand new and need to fill your house with appliances, furniture, linens, and fixtures. If you are just looking to replace a vacuum cleaner, you probably won’t see the benefit in the membership fee. 



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0 Comments | Posted in News By M. Haynes

Snow, Rain, and Interest Rates Are Falling

Monday, January 16, 2012 6:24:23 PM America/Los_Angeles

It’s a little bit mixed up this week. Snow was falling in the South, and it was raining in parts of the North. One thing that is for sure is that mortgage rates have fallen again. This is awesome news for homeowners who haven’t refinanced since the rates were in the 6-7% range. Here are some tips for preparing to check on refinancing options.


  1. Check your credit report.
    Once a year you are able to pull your reports from each of the credit reporting agencies. Find out where you are at with your credit score. If it is “iffy”, take about three to six months to prepare and you can actually improve your credit score enough to get the lowest interest rate possible. Even a couple months will help you out.
    It might require making some very uncomfortable adjustments right now, but if you can save a few hundred dollars a month on your refinanced mortgage, you will reap the benefits soon

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0 Comments | Posted in News By M. Haynes

Alternative Wall Construction

Sunday, September 4, 2011 1:15:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

One of the areas that home construction that continues to evolve with time is the list of available materials to be used in the construction of building frames. In primitive times, homes were framed with sticks and the walls were formed from mud, grass and other naturally available materials. Obviously, today’s homeowner would not want to build their home from sticks and mud. Thus, many other options have been placed in the building materials market for those looking to turn their home plans into a structurally sound living space.

Log cabins were also a type of house used in prior times; however they are once again gaining popularity among those looking to build their dream homes. Many types of home plans utilizing logs as a primary building material are available for consumers who want to return to a rustic lifestyle while utilizing the latest building and design technologies. One of the disadvantages to using logs in the construction of homes is that although

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0 Comments | Posted in News By M. Haynes

Hire The Best Roofer For The Job By Asking The Right Questions

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:25:49 PM America/Los_Angeles

Roofing is a process that you are not likely to be familiar with until it comes time to put a new roof on your own home. Even then, you will need to learn a great deal about what products to use and the procedures that meet your roofing needs.

Therefore, it is crucial to know that you can rely on your roofing contractor to provide you with good advice about such things. The key is to find the best roofer to do the job.

The questions you ask your Oklahoma roofer will help you determine their reputation, experience and reliability, as well as their dedication to provide you with the best roofing system for your money.

The best roofer will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. It just makes good sense to get several bids on your roofing job, to ask several different contractors these important questions. Confidence that you have chosen

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0 Comments | Posted in News By Mary Haynes

The Best Insulation Types to Keep Your Home Comfortable Year Round

Thursday, August 4, 2011 7:07:08 AM America/Los_Angeles

The best insulation types are both energy efficient as well as cost effective. Without proper insulation in your home it will be excessively drafty and cold, which will keep your furnace working overtime all winter long to stay comfortable. The same is true for air conditioning in the summertime.

Adequate insulation will make it possible for your home to keep the temperature you set on your central heating or cooling system, no matter how hot or cold it may be outside of your home.

Selecting the appropriate insulation type, the correct amount of insulation and ensuring it is installed properly in your new or existing home's ceilings, walls, foundations and floors will help keep your home not just comfortable, but energy efficient and economical as well.

The Different Insulation Types

The insulation that you pick for your home is a major decision. You must take a number of factors into consideration, such as:

- the climate in

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0 Comments | Posted in News By M Haynes

Are there advantages to purchasing house plans online?

Friday, July 29, 2011 7:50:30 AM America/Los_Angeles

With recent economic turns, home buyers have discovered that in most cases building a home is just as affordable as purchasing an existing home. While home building is not for everyone, there are some advantages that a homeowner should consider before deciding to build or to buy.
While custom designed homes may truly be beyond the reach of the average consumer, there are many companies out there that provide stock house plans in nearly every style and size of home that a person can imagine.  Stock house plans range in size from small starter homes to luxury mansions.  You can also choose a style ranging anywhere from Spanish and Mediterranean to Colonial.  Even if you are considering building an eco-friendly green home, you can find it in online house plans.  In most cases, you can also choose from several different foundations to match your needs.  Even though the house plan is already designed, a lot of the time you still have the flexibility to make

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0 Comments | Posted in News By M Haynes

Build Now or Regret It Later!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 11:25:04 AM America/Los_Angeles

It may seem obvious, but the opportunity to build your own home has never been more profitable.  And if you are looking to use a custom home plan, then it makes even more sense to jump on the chance to build that dream house you’ve always wanted.  Consider the following when deciding on whether to build or wait:

    * You’ve probably heard it a million times, but interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been.  And not just compared to 20 years ago--even within the last 12 months, 15-year mortgage rates have dropped below what was thought to be the bottom of the rate plunge.

    * Materials costs fluctuate dramatically.  For example: lumber costs are on the rise since they bottomed out in 2009, but are lower now than they’ve been all year.  Even if you can’t take advantage of the immediate savings, the actual cost of building a house is on the incline, so the

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0 Comments | Posted in News By J. Arnold

5 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Building Your Home

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 8:03:34 PM America/Los_Angeles

No matter what the occasion, saving money is always a good thing.  But when it comes to building your dream home, making financially wise choices can really impact your wallet.  Especially in today’s economy, everyone is looking to make their money work harder for them, and with housing construction where it is, you are sure to find some good deals for your American dream.  Here are just 5 ways to make every dollar count when building a new house:

#1.    Plan ahead!
Nothing can ruin your budget more than not having one!  From floor tiles to floor plans, everything from start to finish should be as accurately planned as possible.  Of course, that also means to plan for the unexpected!  Those who have the cold, hard numbers for every nook and cranny can safely say they know how much they are going to spend.  Being thorough on your planning means you can see how much those budget windows will actually save you in

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0 Comments | Posted in News By J. Arnold