Winning the War on Home Entertainment

Winning the War on Home Entertainment

Two battles continue: the sanctity of the owner/s bedroom (it’s not your “home office”); and whether or not there’s going to be a TV in the great room. For those willing to compromise on the latter issue, Seura offers their “Vanishing Entertainment TV Mirrors” that look and function as a framed mirror until powered on–that’s when these LED TVs literally shine through. Savor the big game with the TV on, and save your marriage with the TV off!

Read about more products for the home in our HER HOME™ technology issue.

Learn more about Seura products for the home.

When Pets Rule!

When Pets Rule!

We have a retriever that loves to run around a nearby lake made by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. She especially loves to roll around in the bait and any dead fish left on the banks of the water. The smell…

When we get her home, it’s bath time—no big deal if the temperature’s above 40 degrees—but when it’s cold, we bathe her in one of the bathtubs or showers. Unfortunately, we have a two-story home and all of the tubs and showers are upstairs on the second floor with the bedrooms, which means picking up the stinky, wet, dirty dog and carrying her to an upstairs bathroom. The struggle and the mess!

Oh how I wish we had designed a rear foyer with a pet center, complete with storage for pet food and other supplies AND a doggie shower! What a convenience to have everything right there and not have to traipse through the house. When it comes to pet centers, there are many ways to design. The photo above shows a pet bath, while the photo at left shows a pet shower. With a larger pet, the shower may be more ideal than an elevated shower for getting her in and out. Also, think about storage needs – bathing, brushing, food, treats, leashes, etc.

Keep in mind, a pet center isn’t just designed for a dog, a cat or other pet needs a place for their stuff, too. And, that shower is handy for rinsing off after working in the garage/yard or dirty kids or equipment/toys!

For more on designing with your pet in mind, visit our resources library for “Home Design Dogma, Creating a Pet-Friendly Home.”

Curb the #1 Energy Loss in Homes

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 ductsAeroseal® 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.

 

Custom Home Builder: Flint Custom Homes

Custom Home Builder: Flint Custom Homes

Flint Custom Homes EntryNestled 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.”

Flint Custom Homes KitchenThe 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.

Why You Need Better Home Designs – Part 2

Why You Need Better Home Designs – Part 2

It’s uncanny how prospective home buyers equate better design with better homes, and buyers want to buy the best!

Hidden Asset CirclesOf 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!”

Hidden Asset Circle - EntertainingOne 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.

 

Why You Need ‘Better’ Home Designs

Why You Need ‘Better’ Home Designs

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 _______?”

DBLLC Plan #42027Livability 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)

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