Reduce the Spread of Germs with Touch-Activated

Reduce the Spread of Germs with Touch-Activated

It’s just common sense, there’s a reason every time you wash your hands. Yet prior to each wash, you’re grabbing the faucet handle – that collector for all of the previous bacteria and germs you needed to wash off! Auto grease…raw fish and poultry…chemicals…what residue has built up on your bathroom and kitchen faucet handles? Touch-activated faucets to the rescue, such as Delta’s models with their Touch20® Technology. Simply touch anywhere on the faucet spout or handle to turn on and off. The faucet will deliver the same settings (flow rate and temperature) as the previous use. Powered by six AA or six C batteries, LEDs around the base flash red to indicate low battery; or choose the optional AC adaptor.

For more information on touch-free faucets, visit:

Note: Product spotlights are for informational purposes; we do not formally endorse any product or service.

From Features to Benefits to Emotions

From Features to Benefits to Emotions

Eureka! You’ve just stumbled upon one of the most obvious advantages your homes offer that’s not found in other builders’ homes. Once they know, customers will beat a path to your door! But before you commit to that advertising campaign, let’s see what we can learn from Apple.

In the age of Sony Walkman personal CD players, Apple introduced the iPod, which could hold a lot more music than a single CD-Rom. Apple capitalized on that benefit with their slogan, “1000 songs in your pocket.” The advantage was obvious…and enormous!

Yet, according to marketing/branding guru Alessandra Ghini who was working for Apple on the iPod at that time, “the tagline failed to take the iPod mainstream.” Apparently, storage space wasn’t the point. As reported in Fast Company, Ghini’s team asked owners, “Why do you enjoy the iPod?” Consumer feedback centered around the emotions music can evoke from each listener. Ghini’s team refocused iPod advertising on the now ubiquitous human silhouettes enjoying their music, and another chapter in the annals of Apple’s success was written.

Holding 1000 songs was a factual benefit of the iPod. Yet, in that context, the appeal was limited. Apple’s home run came with tapping into buyers’ emotions surrounding using the product, specifically music’s ability to affect/enhance our mood.

Now, let’s return to that new amenity offered in your homes. We’ll use the Travel Center in the owner’s suite closet as an example. Properly staged, a Travel Center is obvious and easily understood by your model home visitors. But will it actually sell more homes? That depends on how those model home visitors feel.

Stories are a powerful way to tap into buyer’s emotions. “You know, I nearly broke my ankle when I tripped over the suitcase in my closet.” Or, “I love the travel center because everything’s ready, right there, for an unexpected trip.” Asking, “How do you see yourself using the Travel Center?” or to the frequent traveler “How would it make you feel to have everything for your next trip right here at your fingertips?” can help prospects envision living in the home and using the travel center.

Remember, buyers buy on emotion!

Most any plans with a walk-in closet can incorporate a Travel Center into the design, but here is a selection of plans with Travel Centers already designed:

Your Car will Thank You

Streets meander through the neighborhood. Curbs and sewers are already in place, as are young saplings hinting at the promise of beautiful tree-lined streets. This, the neighborhood you’re buying into. You’ve been planning this new home for years. Everything’s been selected, from the floor coverings to the lighting fixtures. No detail has been overlooked. Or so you thought. In the excitement of your dream home becoming a reality you didn’t notice. But your car did. That significant bump when you pull into your drive. In fact, low-slung cars can’t turn into your drive without bottoming out. It’s called a curb grind.

You just assumed that the end of your driveway would slope gently to the street level. But that costs extra money, and if it’s not in the specifications, it likely isn’t going to happen. The time to talk about a curb grind is not after the driveway has been poured—it’s too late at that point. The time is before your purchase agreement is signed!

The Air We Breathe

Most whole-home air purification systems utilize high-performance air filters installed in the home’s heating ductwork, which can be very effective at trapping airborne pollutants and allergens. Some systems go further, adding UV germicidal lights that can kill bacteria and germs in the air as that air passes by those lights. The limitation of such systems is that they are passive, treating only the air that passes through your heating/air conditioning system.

The next generation of indoor air purification is active rather than passive, neutralizing bacteria, mold, viruses, mildew, smoke, odors, and other contaminants throughout your home, even in air that doesn’t pass through the HVAC system. One such system is MicroPure® from Dust Free®. While this system also installs in the home’s HVAC system, MicroPure utilizes NASA-developed technology to naturally produce airborne “scrubbers,” circulated throughout the home through your ductwork that actively seek out and destroy pollutants in the air while also reducing contaminants on surfaces such as countertops and flooring. The MicroPure system comes in three sizes, 5″ (for 2-2.5 ton A/C systems), 9″ (for 3-5 ton A/C systems), and 14″ (for 5-ton and larger systems).

To learn more, visit:

Separate Owner’s Bedrooms

Separate Owner’s Bedrooms

Design Basics Bryndle OTB mlHaving separate owner’s bedrooms doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t get along. It could be your spouse has a job with frequent “on-call” sleep interruptions, you work different shifts, or a medical condition, sleep apnea/CPAP machine, or even loud snoring.

When you are designing your home is a great time to take this into consideration. We hear all the time, “My husband snores so loudly, he usually sleeps on the sofa,” or “I often sleep in the guest bedroom.” No one gets a good night’s sleep frequenting the sofa. And, wouldn’t it be nice to have a room that is your own and not have to trek to the guest room all the time, making sure it stays nice for guests?

For a myriad of reasons, separate owner’s bedrooms with a shared bathroom is a design concept that works for numerous households. The reasoning is simple:

“We need separate bedrooms but I don’t want to have to clean two bathrooms!”

Our Bryndle (#42320) home plan presents a dual owner’s bedroom “wing” with a common bathroom and closet.

Vital Signs

Vital Signs

Have you ever spent the night in a hospital room with a loved one? Oh, they may have a recliner that folds out almost flat, but you’re not going to get much sleep. The nurses are going to be coming in at all hours to check vital signs, just to make sure everything’s okay; at least once or twice there’ll be a loud disturbance in an adjoining room; and, inevitably some machine that’s hooked up to your loved one is going to start beeping. Those annoyances then become increasingly problematic as you retell the story of that night.

Sadly, the same holds true for home design. Overlooked design aspects that can quickly become annoyances for your new homeowners can become a major part of their story. While lot characteristics and the size of the home may dictate certain design compromises, here are some annoying design faux pas we’ve heard recently, and some Design Basics’ plan solutions!

8160Coming in from the garage and stepping right into the kitchen, eating area, or family room. You’ve been working in your garden or perhaps it’s been snowing. Your shoes/boots are messy. A transition space such as a rear foyer will be sorely missed in such a layout.

5180Coming in from the garage and having to walk thru the kitchen. While kitchens may have evolved from functional workplaces to now also being an integral part of your home’s entertaining area, they are not a thoroughfare! Even worse are such designs that require you (and the kids or the grandkids) to walk right by the cook top that may still be hot.

6651Front entry views of a toilet. From the annals of “A guy must have designed this – no woman would have,” comes this design no-no. Since bathroom doors are usually left open to signal the bathroom is not in use, if there’s a bathroom off the entry foyer, make sure the toilet is not visible.

And, in this same design, front door swing blocks staircase access. If you can’t access your staircase when the front door is open, keep working to relocate the front door or the staircase! 

The Salem - Plan 3842Door swings that make you move from vanity. Some bathroom arrangements position a vanity right as you enter the bathroom, which can be an issue when shaving or putting on makeup and your spouse needs to come into the bathroom. Design Basics’ Salem plan (3842) solves this potential problem by having bathroom doors that swing into the bedroom rather than swinging into the bathroom.

6725Having to walk thru one room to get to another. While hallways have been referred to by some as “a waste of space,” having to walk through one room to get to another may disrupt conversations or block TV views.

2316Tiny coat closets. Even in the warmest climates, closet storage is essential – and nothing beats the convenience of storage located near the front door. In the example shown, the tiny twin coat closets flanking the entry door are inadequate in terms of storage, and they’re expensive to trim out compared to a decent size single closet.

56110aLong grocery traffic.
When you think about how people actually live in their homes, it’s amazing there are so many home designs with the kitchen positioned far from the garage entry into the home. Having to carry heavy grocery sacks clear across the house becomes a real pain.

Find your ideal floor plan with Design Basics’ plan search tool. Or, contact us for assistance.

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