custom home builder: Modular Construction is a Hurricane, Not a Tornado - 08/26/19 04:15 AM
Modular construction is not a new concept. The first documented prefabricated home was the Manning Portable Cottage built in the 1830’s by a carpenter in London. Fast forward to the present day. Disruption in construction by the off-site modular method has been coming. Modular construction’s impact on today’s home building industry is more like a hurricane than a tornado. We have seen it coming. But now it is happening more rapidly. It is a great time for today’s home buyer to learn about the advantages and act now. What typically happens is that those familiar with the old methods fail to … (1 comments)

custom home builder: Decoding Today's Home Technology: It's more than Google vs Amazon - 08/05/19 03:17 AM
The field of home technology is exploding! For most, it is just plain overwhelming. Are you Team Amazon, Team Google or Team Apple? Doing your homework to figure out what devices to install in your home can be intimidating. There are lots of factors at play. It can start with the device you are carrying in your pocket and then go from there. Smart home products run the gamut from sophisticated speakers and web-enabled displays to simple countertop toaster ovens and coffee makers. It’s the Internet of Things (IoT). Let’s cover some of your options in today’s world of home technology.
PICKING A TEAMWhen … (2 comments)

custom home builder: 6 Great Pet Friendly Ideas for Your Home - 07/22/19 03:50 AM
Each year the American Pet Products Association produces a survey of pet owners. This year, the Survey shows that 67 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet; an estimated 84.9 million homes.  Millennials represent the largest segment of pet owners for all pet types owned. And for the first time, The Survey assesses members of the emerging Generation Z (Gen Z).  Other interesting findings show more than 80 percent of Gen Z and Millennial pet owners report owning dogs, while 50 percent or less own cats. (Source: APPA’s 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey). What does all of this mean? It means … (2 comments)

custom home builder: A Zero Energy Ready Home is an Investment that Pays Big Returns - 07/08/19 04:09 AM
If you can afford a new home, then you can afford a zero energy ready home. There are simple, low cost, steps you can take to significantly reduce your energy use on the path to zero net energy use. The technology exists, coupled with good design, to reduce the energy footprint of your new home. A zero energy home is not just a “green home” or a home with solar panels. A zero energy home combines advanced design and superior building systems with energy efficiency and on-site solar panels to produce a better home. Zero energy homes are ultra-comfortable, healthy, quiet, sustainable homes … (3 comments)

custom home builder: The 20 Year Regret - 07/01/19 02:51 AM
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
– Chinese Proverb
This is a great quote because… everyone wishes they started something earlier.
I wish I had started exercising back in my 20s. I wish I had discovered being a YouTuber before it got saturated. I wish I had invested $1,000 in Amazon in 1997. You get the idea. But here’s the thing. You DIDN’T do those things 20 years ago. Opportunities that are lost seldom present themselves again. But, you have the chance right now to change the way you will live for … (1 comments)

custom home builder: Don't Be a Lemming! - 06/17/19 03:27 AM
Lemmings are small rodents that have been known to follow each other as they charge to their deaths off the edge of cliffs. This is actually an unsubstantiated myth about Lemmings, but they’ve become a metaphor for people who go along unquestioningly with a group with potentially dangerous consequences. Buying a home has become much the same way over the years. There are lots of homes built using the traditional method of construction; that means building outside, using the cheapest products available, rushing to get the job done, and using unskilled labor in skilled positions because of the current labor shortage. … (2 comments)

custom home builder: We've Got You Covered! - 06/03/19 03:10 AM
You see it on the news and hear about it on the weather reports. Rain, rain, rain. It seems like we have felt its impacts more than ever over the last 18 months. When building a new home, the first thing that has to be done is to build a foundation. Whether it is a slab, a crawlspace foundation, or a full basement, it needs to be placed in the ground. But Mother Nature is unrelenting. Construction is being delayed in all regions because excavation can’t be done and foundations can’t be built because of the rain. And this is just … (1 comments)

custom home builder: Off-site Construction-Are You in the Know? Take this Quiz to find Out! - 05/28/19 03:53 AM
Off-site construction is in the news! For residential construction, you may hear terms like modular, prefabricated, panelized, ICF’s, etc. The need to find a better way to build is being driven by severe labor shortages in the construction industry, a housing affordability crisis, and a lack of new home availability in the market. Off-site construction offers an opportunity to address all of these issues. The U.S. home construction industry is in transition. It is transforming itself from residential construction methods that have been in place for almost 200 years to automated, manufacturing processes to build the next generation of homes. During this transition, … (11 comments)

custom home builder: Constructuring: The Future of Home Building? - 05/20/19 03:52 AM
Custom homes are one-off creations. Home buyers, architects, and even traditional home builders have (incorrectly) thought that building homes using modular construction limited their design. That may have been the case 30 years ago. Today’s modern modular construction takes advantage of the innovations in engineering, structural materials, and design software to efficiently design and constructs a home in virtually any style and in any size. Modular turns home building from an inefficient site construction process into an efficient manufacturing process- introducing Constructuring. 
MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AND MASS CUSTOMIZATION  U.S. housing marketing is unique in the world. Americans have a strong sense of individuality and want to express that through the … (0 comments)

custom home builder: Your Credit Score and Construction Loans - 05/13/19 03:41 AM
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CREDIT SCORE WHEN APPLYING FOR A CONSTRUCTION LOANIn today’s world, your credit score has a substantial impact on your ability to finance almost any large purchase. This is especially true when it comes to building a custom, on-your-lot home. A new custom home is fulfilling a dream that not everyone can achieve. You are one of the few people that has set a goal to find that special piece of land and then dedicating yourself to designing and building a home that reflects your tastes, your style, and your specific needs. A few people … (2 comments)

custom home builder: On the Path to a Zero Energy Home: What is Solar Tempering? - 05/06/19 03:35 AM
You may have heard of passive house design. Passive house (or, German: Passivhaus) comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level. It exploits the sun’s energy for heating and uses the thermal mass of the home and its building materials to store that heat in the heating season. Applying these principles to a home can increase its cost by 10% or more. There are techniques you can use when building your home to take advantage of the benefits derived from passive house design without incurring many of the additional costs. … (2 comments)

custom home builder: The Difference Between a Green Home and an Energy Efficient Home - 04/29/19 03:15 AM
Many people use the terms “green” and “energy efficient” interchangeably. However, they aren’t necessarily the same. Even builders use them interchangeably which just adds to the confusion for home buyers researching building a new home. A green home is built from environmentally friendly materials. Being green doesn’t necessarily mean that a home is energy efficient. It can be, but this is where the confusion begins. Let’s examine what the two terms really mean and see how they can impact that home you think you are getting. 
WHAT IS A GREEN HOME?  No government standard defines what makes a green home green. There are many organizations that have created “green standards” … (7 comments)

custom home builder: Building Science For Dummies - 04/22/19 03:08 AM
When it comes to building a custom home, the fun part is choosing the building site, designing the home, and selecting colors. What most home buyers don’t think about is how the construction of their home will impact their comfort and affect their health. That’s where building science comes in. A house is much more than four walls and a roof. It is an interactive system made up of many parts (e.g. the structure itself, ventilation systems, heating, and cooling systems, etc.). Each component influences the performance of the entire system. 
Home building materials and home building techniques have improved substantially over the years. While this is good … (10 comments)

custom home builder: How Can Modular Construction Mitigate Home Building Delays? - 04/15/19 03:37 AM
Building a custom home is not for the faint of heart. It is a process that will take time, effort, and patience. A custom home is unique. It has never been built before. Add to that the process of constructing it on an individual building site with its own unique characteristics. And then you are doing all of this outdoors in the weather. To build a custom home successfully is a process that takes patience, knowledge and excellent project management skills.  
Avoiding construction delays starts with recognizing their most common causes and working to mitigate those factors before they can impact the home building project. Planning is crucial, but it also … (1 comments)

custom home builder: On the Path to a Zero Energy Home:Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling - 04/08/19 03:55 AM
Reducing the energy required for heating and cooling is an essential element in meeting a net zero energy goal for a home.  An air-source heat pump is one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems currently available. There are many variations of this technology on the market. An air-source heat pump works by taking the heat out of the air, even when outdoor temperatures fall below zero, and then moves it as hot refrigerant through a small pipe to one or more indoor units that deliver heat into the house. In the summer the process is reversed. An air-source heat pump removes heat from the home (even when temperatures get above 100˚) and delivers cold refrigerant to the indoor units. Let’s explore several variations of air-source … (1 comments)

custom home builder: What is Your Home Purchasing Power? - 03/25/19 02:55 AM
When you plan to build a home, it usually isn’t an impulse purchase. It is a big decision. Many think about building their new home for years. They dream and plan for the day they will be able to build the home they want for them and their family. Planning for how to fund the purchase of a new home should be thought about in the same timeframe.  
If you will need a mortgage to achieve your new home goal, there are things you can start doing today to help make you successful. While you won’t go to a lender and get pre-approved for … (0 comments)

custom home builder: What's the Difference Between a Modular and Manufactured Home? - 03/18/19 05:40 AM
Today, there is still much confusion. In fact, we fight it every day. The terms “modular home” and “manufactured home” are used interchangeably by many people today. Home buyers, as well as industry professionals such as Realtors, Home Inspectors, and even building code officials, don’t know the difference. As an industry, we haven’t done ourselves any favors. They both start with “m” so they are easily confused. While they are both factory built cousins, there are key differences that make them two completely different types of housing. Let’s compare the two. 
WHAT IS A MANUFACTURED HOME?  Manufactured homes are constructed with a permanent chassis designed … (0 comments)

custom home builder: Fact or Fake: The Truth About Today's Modular Home Construction - 03/11/19 03:38 AM
The home construction industry is changing. The way we have built homes in the past won’t continue to be the way we build homes in the future. With the shrinking construction labor force, the constant improvements in construction technology, and the constant march towards zero energy homes that are healthy to live in – something has to give. For most, everything you purchase is built in a factory today… except for one thing, your home. Modular is a method of construction, not a type of home. Over the years modular construction has become the superior way to build a new home. … (1 comments)

custom home builder: Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of Home Lending - 02/12/19 04:27 AM
Let’s face it, home lending can be complicated to understand. Every industry has its own jargon but the home mortgage industry can be particularly perplexing. Some of this comes from the fact that two large entities are involved in the process; banks and the government. When these two entities combine, you just know there are going to be lots of letters flying around. Let’s try to decipher some of the many terms you will hear when applying to get your new home loan. 
SOME OF THE MORE COMMON ACRONYMS  HUD – The Department of Housing and Urban Development was established in 1965. Its purpose is to provide housing and … (0 comments)

custom home builder: Ready for a Construction Loan? Get Your Credit Card House In Order - 02/04/19 03:57 AM
When you decide to build a new home, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Most home buyers that are thinking about building a home have been contemplating it for six months or even years. It’s the same with getting a construction loan. You should start thinking about getting your financial house in order well before you apply for a construction loan. While reviewing house plans, looking at home elevations, and picking colors are the exciting part of building a new home, one of the first things you should do is understand your current credit standing. A large part of most home buyer’s credit picture is their credit card debt. Credit card utilization is one … (0 comments)

 
Ken Semler, Nationwide Custom Home Builder (ExpressModular.com) Rainmaker large

Ken Semler

Nationwide Custom Home Builder

Martinsburg, WV

More about me…

ExpressModular.com

Address: 1586 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg, WV, 25405

Office: (800) 275-7532

Mobile: (304) 676-4321

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