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Design Tips For A Home’s Exterior - 08/31/11 06:10 AM
As I look at the custom homes in Tampa and St. Petersburg that we’ve completed over the last couple of years, I really need to hand it to our design team. They’ve done a great job with outdoor spaces. Here are some items that turned a few heads that you might want to incorporate into your custom home or renovation. Porch Swing: There’s something relaxing about just looking at a front porch swing. It makes me want to lie down on it and take a snooze on a nice fall day.
Pathways and Stepping Stones: Whether it’s through a garden or (4 comments)
Preventing Termites in New Florida Homes - 08/30/11 05:42 AM
Termites thrive in Florida’s warm, wet climate. They are a nuisance that causes more damage to homes each year than fires. There are several preventative steps your builder can do when building a custom home to lessen the chances of termites in your new home.
Termites have been around for millions of years. The nasty critters actually play an important role in breaking down dead wood in forests to speed nutrients into the soil, but when they attack our homes, none of us cares how beneficial they are. We just want to know how to prevent them and there’s no (2 comments)
Storm Proofing a New Home - 08/29/11 05:52 AM
With Hurricane Irene battering the east coast, I thought it would be timely to provide our perspective on the best ways to storm proof a new home. For custom homes in Tampa and St. Petersburg, it really comes down to the exterior walls, roof, windows and exterior doors. Here are our recommendations.
Exterior Walls: Recent studies have shown that homes built with exterior walls of concrete can withstand wind born missiles far better than frame exterior walls, so we recommend using concrete block for as much of the 1st and 2nd floor walls as possible. Roof: The design of the (3 comments)
Solar Smolar – What’s The Big Fuss About? - 08/26/11 05:51 AM
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of decades, you’ve probably heard that the sun has this unique ability to provide energy and heating for homes. To be fair, it's not a recent discovery. The ancient Greeks and Chinese took advantage of the sun centuries ago by orienting their buildings to the south to provide light and warmth. Of course, that isn’t what gets people excited today when they talk about solar.
So how can the sun really benefit a custom home in Tampa? There are two primary ways that the sun is used. So here (5 comments)
Don't Tax Me Bro - 08/25/11 05:50 AM
Right about the time my kids were getting all excited to go back to school, we received our annual property tax notice. Talk about your highs and lows. The first thing I noticed is that it is VERY colorful. My daughter was the first to comment, “Oooo, how pretty!” You have to love the innocence. But with its blue, green and yellow colors, it was kind of...soothing.
I think that’s the idea - to calm you down a bit with some nice pastel colors. And then BAM! Here’s what you owe us this year. Frankly, I’m never really surprised by (6 comments)
Problems With Monolithic Foundations - 08/24/11 05:59 AM
We have avoided this topic for some time. Let’s face it, home foundations are as exciting as talking about your car’s tires. You may recall that old tire advertisement slogan, “Tires ain’t pretty!” Well, the same is true for a home’s foundation. Just like your tires, there’s a lot riding on them both. When it comes to custom homes in Florida, there are two types of foundations – Monolithic and Stem-wall. Some folks will call the monolithic, a floating foundation, while others will call the stem-wall, a footer foundation. Regardless, here’s the quick definition of both. Monolithic slabs (Photo Below) are foundation (3 comments)
Home Demolition Day – A Great Way To Start A Custom Home - 08/23/11 05:41 AM
Unlike building in a planned community where there are no old homes, the custom homes we build in Tampa and St. Petersburg are located in mature neighborhoods. That means we typically have to demolish an existing home before we begin construction. Demolition Day can be quite an event. The homeowners are excited, since it’s the beginning of their new home. The neighbors are excited, since the home that’s being torn down has been an eyesore due to lack of maintenance and a variety of issues. And of course, we are excited, since it’s the start of a new home for us (0 comments)
Going Back To School Can Be Easier - 08/22/11 05:53 AM
It’s been a great summer, but it’s back to school time for many of us. As we’ve eased our kids back into an earlier bedtime routine, I realized several things about our custom homes that really make this back to school time easier.
One of the primary reasons many people choose to build a new home is to be in a school district that they feel is best for their kids. By default then, we tend to build our custom homes in the best school districts within Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. But how about the home itself? How does a custom home (0 comments)
It’s National Hug Your Boss Day - 08/19/11 05:45 AM
Will you hug your boss today? I said boss, not bass. Today’s the day to let your boss know exactly how you feel. Stop laughing. Even if you hate him or her, it’s time to suck it up for five seconds and give your boss a big bear hug. At least that’s what the job recruitment website that started this holiday says.
I’m okay with this day’s goal to raise the importance of working relationships, but I’m going to have to take a rain check on the hugging thing. I’m just not the hugging type. Note to the folks that (5 comments)
National Cupcake Day - 08/18/11 05:42 AM
For many people, cupcakes are just a nice tasty treat for kid’s birthday parties, but they are so much more to my family. Unfortunately, we completely lack self-control. Our car regularly steers itself into the local bakery or Publix for a 6-pack. No special occasion. Just gotta have one.
So when I saw that there was a holiday for cupcakes, I knew that I wasn’t alone with this vice. There must be more people with this wonderful affliction. What I didn’t realize was that there was some confusion on when and what to celebrate. There is a Chocolate Cupcake Day (1 comments)
Video Interview with Javic Homes Construction Manager - 08/17/11 05:48 AM
We've had a chance over the last few months to introduce several members of our great team. Below is a brief video interivew with our Construction Manager, Chris Berg. I doubt it will elevate him to rock star status. More likely he'll be embarrassed by it. Chris has been with Javic Homes for over four years as our Construction Manager. Our customers praise him regularly. He's out in the field full-time, which means that he loves our black Javic shirts during this hot time of the year. He is exceptionally knowledgeable about custom home and renovation construction. We posed some of the more frequently asked questions that he (0 comments)
What Type Of Insulation Is Best For My Custom Home? - 08/16/11 06:26 AM
There are many different types of insulation for custom homes in Florida. What’s important is the area of the home that you’re insulating and the R-Value. The way that all insulation is measured is with a rating called R-Value. You may have heard people talking about R-30 or R-19 insulation. R-value is simply insulation’s resistance to heat flow. R-Value tells us how effective each type of insulation is at slowing down heat. So the higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation is. Custom homes in Florida require insulation for Exterior Masonry Walls, as well as Attics & Frame Walls. Here are the options (2 comments)
How Does Insulation Work? - 08/15/11 05:47 AM
People ask me all the time how insulation works. Ok, I've NEVER been asked that, but they do ask how they can get a more energy-efficient home. Insulation is critical to understanding how to build an energy-efficient custom home in Tampa. So like it or not, here's how insulation works. Very simply, insulation slows the movement of heat. That's it in a nutshell, but unfortunately we can’t stop this story there. Here’s where this topic gets a little unexciting, but I know my high school science teachers would be proud.
Heat moves in three ways: radiation, conduction and convection. Radiation is (0 comments)
We are very fortunate to have great customers. Once again, the owners of a custom home that we are completing have agreed to allow us to show the home prior to their move in. Please join us at 2516 W. Watrous Avenue this Sunday, the 14th, from 1-4pm. The brief video below provides a sneak peek of the home. If you'd like to see more, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
How Do I Compare Bids On A Custom Home? - 08/11/11 05:45 AM
So you’ve contacted three builders and each one of them has given you a proposal to build your custom home in Tampa, but each of them is different. Now what do you do?
It’s time to compare your proposals and select your builder. It may seem easiest to toss out the expensive ones and keep the cheap one, but that’s typically not an effective way to hire a builder. What you really need to focus on is comparing apples to apples. By this I mean comparing each proposal to each other and looking for irregularities. The first thing you should (3 comments)
S'mores Day - 08/10/11 05:25 AM
More mindless holidays? You bet. It’s August 10th, so it’s gotta be S’mores Day. If you’ve ever been to a campfire, s’mores are bound to bring back to some great memories. Hard to believe anyone would not know what s’mores are, but they are the sticky, gooey treat of marshmallow and chocolate that is sandwiched between graham crackers. I have no idea who invented them, but sure am glad they did.
The rumor is that s’mores were created by the Campfire Girls and soon Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and campers everywhere were loving them. The nice thing these days is that you (3 comments)
What's The Difference Between Vinyl & Aluminum Windows? - 08/09/11 05:47 AM
Windows are more than glass. The material used to frame, or case, the glass comes in a couple of options. The most popular choices are vinyl and aluminum. So what are the differences between the two and which is best for your Tampa custom home?
Here are some of the things that are different between them from our perspective. Material - Vinyl windows are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), the same plastic that is used to make pipes. Aluminum is metal that we are all likely familiar with from soda and beer cans. Price - While the prices vary depending (3 comments)
Should You Be Your Own Contractor On Your Custom Home? - 08/08/11 05:53 AM
From time to time, we are asked whether it makes sense for a homeowner to be their own general contractor for their custom home. The real question I think they’d like answered is whether being your own general contractor will save them money and time, while providing a better quality home?
That’s actually the question I asked myself years ago when I built my first home for my family. I was working as a business consultant doing real exciting work, but was spending 5 days a week away from home. I decided to pursue a new career path as a homebuilder, but it started (0 comments)
Top 5 Things That Many Builders Won’t Tell You - 08/05/11 05:41 AM
I’m not one to beat up my own industry, but I’m fully aware that there are a lot of “bad apples” in the home construction business. I’d like to be clear that the builders that I consider my friends and colleagues, the ones that have been successful and in business for some time, don’t fall into this “bad apple” category.
Here’s a list of our Top 5 things that those “bad apples” won’t tell you. 1) “I’ll build your house on a marshmallow.” – I’ve seen several custom homes in Tampa and St. Petersburg with large foundation and wall cracks. (4 comments)
International Beer Day - 08/04/11 06:01 AM
Let the countdown begin. Tomorrow, August 5th, is International Beer Day. Like we need an excuse to drink beer?! In pubs, breweries, beer gardens and backyards throughout the world, people will be raising their glasses to celebrate this event.
It got me thinking that we’ve never installed a beer dispenser or kegerator in the Tampa and St. Petersburg custom homes that we’ve built over the years. We’ve been close a few times. Once it got shot down at about the same time the stand-up urinal got tossed out of the design. Pretty certain that the last time I installed one (7 comments)
The Value of Technology Pre-Wiring - 08/03/11 05:48 AM
Don’t you love our local phone and cable operators? I’m always torn about which I enjoy more – wading my way through their chaotic phone systems only to stay on hold forever OR waiting at my home for the service technician that may or may not show up between 8am-noon. So how can pre-wiring a home help minimize this aggravation?
Before I get started, a little disclaimer. I’m still outsourcing my TV remote control operations to my 10-year old son. So although I’m pretty comfortable talking about pre-wiring technology, I’m by no means a home automation expert. For those that (0 comments)
August Newsletter - 08/02/11 05:49 AM
CLICK HERE to access our August Newsletter, which contains the updated South Tampa Available Lot Report and information about our next Open House. If you are not on our email distribution of the newslettter and would like to receive it each month via email, please provide us with your email address through our CONTACT US page. Thank you! (0 comments)
Simplify Your Life Week - 08/01/11 05:53 AM
Now who’s not ready to simplify their life?! Finally, a holiday that we can all get on board with. But wait a minute – What does it mean to SIMPLIFY? Do we have to give up all our worldly possessions and move to a hut in the woods? Not quite.
A little research and we learned this event is celebrated the first week of every August. Guess its not simple enough for a day, so it gets a full week. Being a simpleton myself, I believe that simplifying is all about having enough without having too much – cutting back (2 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.