By focusing on energy efficiency, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, sulfer dioxide, and nitrogen oxides) by thousands of pounds per year. Great strides have been made in insulating walls, window quality, and furnace efficiency. But, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, air duct leakage is the #1 home energy loss.
Aeroseal® manufactures an aerosol sealant that is sprayed into your ductwork to seal leaks from the inside. Safe and nontoxic, Aeroseal has actually been shown to enhance indoor air quality. Improved delivery of conditioned air means rooms that were hard to keep warm in the winter/cool in the summer are usually more comfortable while saving you money every month on your utility bills.
According to Aeroseal, “On average, 30 cents of every $1 you spend on heating and cooling your home or building disappears into thin air due to duct leaks.” With more of the air you paid to heat or cool reaching the registers, you may find yourself actually lowering the thermostat.
Another benefit can be noise reduction—with the furnace and/or air conditioner running less.
Learn more about Aeroseal products.
Nestled between the Wasatch Mountain Range to the east and the Great Salt Lake to the west, and stretching from Salt Lake City north to Ogden, Utah, Flint Custom Homes builds homes on some of the most picturesque homesites anywhere in the country. This area, known as the Wasatch Front, is home to 80% of Utah’s growing population and has attracted numerous production home builders, whose viability depends on volume of homes built. With a graduate degree in accounting, owner Steve Flint recognized a different business model could work—delivering one-of-a-kind custom homes to home buyers who would not be satisfied with tract housing. According to Flint, “We rarely build the same home twice.”
Those production builders now own or control most of the available land, Flint reported; therefore, Flint usually builds his $500,000-$2,500,000 homes on homesites his clients already own. More recently, that has meant building on the backside of the Wasatch Mountains as well.
A second-generation builder, Flint learned construction firsthand on jobsites from his dad. Then, when he was old enough, he went to work for their framing and finish carpenter. Steve loves construction and is proud of the craftsmanship that shows in every home he builds. That was evident early on, which caught the eye of Scott and Michelle Blain, who purchased one of Flint’s homes that had been built on a “spec” basis. A few years later, the Blains had Flint build them a custom home, which went so well that Michelle went to work for Flint in 2004.
“I’m a walking testimonial for Flint Custom Homes,” Blain said, continuing, “That’s so important in my working with each of our clients.” Blain understands custom home building from the client’s perspective and essentially sees her role as the client’s advocate, educating and guiding buyers through the entire purchase and home building processes. According to Steve, “Michelle’s got their backs.”
The team of Steve Flint and Michelle Blain introduced a Woman-Centric approach to home building along the Wasatch Front. Flint remarked, “Men don’t think like ladies. For example, our sub-contractors are guys and our women clients appreciate a strong female voice that can direct the subs.” Flint Custom Homes embraced Design Basics’ Woman-Centric Matters!® program, which provides keen insights into women’s preferences in the home. “I talk with every one of our clients about our Woman-Centric approach, and our buyers ‘get it,’” said Blain. “For example, I introduce the drop zone idea with its storage and convenience when coming in from the garage, explaining to our prospective buyers that they already have one, but it’s probably their kitchen island!”
Click here for more about Flint Custom Homes and see beautiful photos of their custom designs!
Learn more about our Woman-Centric Matters!® program.
It’s uncanny how prospective home buyers equate better design with better homes, and buyers want to buy the best!
Of course, how would-be buyers experience your home needs to be better, too. We use the term ‘Hidden Assets’ to describe amenities that may be over-looked or under-appreciated. Soft-close cabinet hardware is a big advantage – if buyers know about it. Quiet bathroom exhaust fans are hidden assets unless people turn them on. A doorless walk-in shower may be impressive, but explaining there’s no door to clean elevates the desirability of this amenity.
Nothing tops well-trained salespeople who are as eager to listen to the customers as they are to demonstrate the home. Akin to a pull-out kitchen wastebasket drawer, pull-out recycling bins will be appreciated; but explaining to buyers that the location of those recycling bins, next to the kitchen sink, is ultra-convenient because most recyclables need to be rinsed out first is better than a recycling bin in the garage. This location also eliminates water spots that would otherwise show en route to a recycling bin elsewhere in the home.
A large glass block window over a soaking tub is aesthetically pleasing, but calling attention to glass block’s inherent privacy, eliminating the need to add window coverings and the associated hassles of reaching over the tub to close the blinds, makes you ‘the builder who really understands how people actually live in their homes’.
Great Designs + Great Customer Experiences = More Referrals
According to sales strategist and author Tom Hopkins, “Referred leads are six times more likely to buy from you than non-qualified leads!”
One way to address bringing attention to the hidden assets is by using tasteful signage; especially if your home will be shown by agents who are not familiar with the home. Builders that are members of Design Basics’ Woman-Centric Matters!® or Builder-Centric℠ GOLD program have access to hundreds of different Hidden Asset Circles to effectively point out and communicate such amenities. Find out more about these two proven programs by clicking on the links above.
It’s uncanny how prospective home buyers marry better design with better homes. And, other things being relatively equal, buyers almost always choose better. Now, there is no single definition for better design – it’s personal, decided by one buyer at a time. Still, we can influence buyers to identify and appreciate our definitions of better design and sell more homes.
That’s the foundation for Design Basics’ focus on a home’s “livability.” Aesthetic aspects of design (i.e., views inside and out) are important, and people can fall in love with those. But how the home lives is even more important to closing a sale. Traffic patterns can be ruined by door conflicts. Well-thought-out storage and organization amenities are located right where they’re needed. Rear foyer drop zones and master bath make-up ledges can eliminate cluttered countertops.
Delightful amenities prospective buyers discover in your home solidify the idea they’re getting a better home. Pocket offices…dual owner’s suites…work-in pantries…pass-through laundry rooms…Chill-N-Grill™ stations…travel centers…coffee bars…when your innovations “connect” with buyers, you’re likely to hear “You’ve thought of everything!” and “Why don’t all builders offer _______?”
Livability at a Glance™
This understanding was also the genesis for Design Basics’ Livability at a Glance™ (LAAG), including the color-coded floorplans that highlight areas for entertaining, de-stressing, storing, and flexible living. Consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive, as LAAG helps prospective home buyers better appreciate the home’s design and makes it easier for them to imagine living in the home. Plus, the colorized floorplans stand apart from the competition.
Buyers want to buy the best, from the best. And it all starts with offering the best home plans!
NOTE: Builders that are members of Design Basics’ Woman-Centric Matters!® or Builder-Centric℠ GOLD programs have the right to feature LAAG colorized floorplans in their marketing. Find out more about these two proven programs by clicking on the links above.
(Cover image: plan 9267 Menlo Park)
While more and more of our digital life is becoming wireless, wireless solutions continue to be plagued by signal strength issues and download/upload speeds. In a room over a garage finished off as a home office space, a Design Basics customer recently reported intermittent signal losses and average download speeds of only 2-4 Mbps, compared with 50 Mbps throughout the rest of the home. The solution was wiring an Ethernet connection in that space – not an easy task after the home was built.
Whether it’s HD video or the latest multi-player online games, for stationary applications, hardwired Ethernet is preferable to wireless connectivity for dependable performance and to get the most from your entertainment and computer systems. Ethernet provides another important advantage, low voltage power for your device can be run over the same Ethernet cable so you can eliminate additional electrical wiring and those bulky AC transformers.
For more helpful building tips, visit our Resource Center.
More and more products for the home can be monitored and controlled by an App. Some are for convenience, such as an app for your coffee maker; while others are for your piece of mind, like Roost’s family of products.
Roost’s Smart Smoke Alarm has advanced features, such as a Wi-Fi connection. Powered by a Smart Battery (see below), alerts are sent to your smartphone via the Roost App. Depending on which model of smoke alarm you choose, alerts for smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and/or natural gas detection are in the palm of your hand!
Water and Freeze Detection Alerts
Toilets, bathtubs, and sinks that overflow…water heater tanks that rupture…washing machine hoses burst…such “contained water leaks” in homes (as opposed to flooding due to heavy rains) cost insurance companies more than residential fire damage. Sure, insurance can help with repairs and replacement costs, but you’re responsible for the deductible and then there’s all the disruption and the associated hassles. Roost’s Wi-Fi enabled Smart Sensor detects water leaks and sends an alert to your smartphone (and family and friends’ phones) so you can address the problem before it becomes catastrophic. In addition, should temperature and/or humidity in your home fall outside predetermined levels, the battery-powered Roost Smart Sensor will alert you to these dangers as well, helping you avoid damage from freeze or excess humidity.
Wi-Fi Battery and Alerts
If you’re tired of being startled awake to smoke detector “chirps,” the Roost 9 volt Wi-Fi battery is great technology for standard smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Roost sends “low battery” alerts to your smartphone to call attention to the need for changing the battery. But you won’t get those alerts very often, as the Roost battery lasts five years (then just replace the lithium battery pack). Everyone at work/school? Roost sends emergency alerts to your smartphone as well as family and friends’ phones.
To learn more, visit: www.getroost.com
(Note: Product spotlights are for informational purposes only; we do not formally endorse any product or service.)