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    Category: Custom Home Builders

    Sleek, custom built contemporary home hidden in the mountains of rural Harrisburg: Cool Spaces – PennLive - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Inspired by mid-century modern architecture, this custom-designed-and-built home sits in a wooded part of Dauphin County.

    The home at 2331 Spruce Drive in Middle Paxton Township off Fishing Creek Valley Road was built in 2018 by Duff Builders in Lancaster County. The owners wanted a space that was seamless and sleek with elements of natural mountain living.

    The home at the former Homes of Felicita subdivision is listed for $540,000 by Ellie Flamini, an agent with Weichert, Realtors-First Choice.

    In keeping with the contemporary theme, the entire first floor has polished concrete flooring. A two-story great room features contemporary light fixtures and exposed ductwork.

    An open kitchen has solid quartz countertops, an oversized island, lighted European-style frameless cabinetry, soft close cabinets and drawers and contemporary exposed range hood venting. A large pantry is located off the side of the kitchen.

    On the other side of the kitchen is an office room with abundant natural light, integrated desk and shelving system and a storage loft area.

    From the great room, a custom, floating solid steel staircase leads to the second floor, with engineered hardwood floors, oversized hallway and high ceilings with window light.

    Two of the three bedrooms each have a closet system with mirrored sliding door for storage. The two bedrooms share a double vanity full bathroom.

    A second floor laundry area has high ceilings with natural window light and oversized washer and dryer.

    The master bedroom overlooks the backyard with spectacular views from a sliding glass door, which connects to an area that has been prepared for deck installation.

    The bedroom includes a walk-in closet with a high ceiling, natural window light and a closet system with ample storage. The maters bathroom has floating vanities with dual sinks and a mirrored storage cabinet in between. A pocket door conceals the toilet room. The shower walls are slate subway tile with dual rain shower heads.

    The oversized garage is perfect for a car enthusiast. Black metal wall-mounted cabinets provide storage. Hot and cold water, including in the mess sink, is available. The floor has drains and is epoxy-coated. The garage is wired for an electric car charger.

    There is also an area of the garage that is outfitted for a two-post car lift. That area has 4,000 psi concrete 6-inches thick with rebar reinforcement. The ceiling in that area is also notched out for a brand-specific lift (the exact brand and model can be provided).

    The home is fully wired and networked for the latest in internet connectivity. The entire home is wired for category 6 networking. Outside, the home is wired for security cameras (ready to install). The great room has hidden A/V cabling in the wall and the floor for HDMI speakers.

    Want more Cool Spaces? See all of our stories showcasing the neatest homes, businesses and museums in Pennsylvania by clicking here. Know of any Cool Spaces? Submit ideas to

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    Sleek, custom built contemporary home hidden in the mountains of rural Harrisburg: Cool Spaces - PennLive

    Custom homes without the premium price – The Seattle Times - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Manufactured homes offer two things buyers find very appealing the ability to customize and a cost-per-square-foot that is much lower than other new construction.

    Ordering a prefab home may seem leading edge, but manufactured homes already make up 10% of new construction in the U.S. Buyers place orders at local retailers where they can tour model houses (often from several manufacturers), look at floor plans and pick out cabinets, trim, flooring and other options. And, if a homeowner wants to remove a wall from the floor plan, have 9-foot ceilings, or turn their bath into a spa they can.

    Consumers want homes truly customized to their lifestyle and taste and builders have responded with new flexibility in design, says Joan Brown of the Northwest Housing Association.

    More house for the money

    Along with custom features, house buyers also want value. Factory construction means homebuilders dont have to wait on weather delays, overbooked subcontractors and lost materials. Streamlined manufacturing delivers significant savings, reducing the cost of constructing manufactured homes to $50 to $75 per square foot or half the cost of site-built homes. This is without land and site prep costs, which vary by location.

    Money that might be lost to delays and waste can go to home upgrades or stay in the buyers pocket, Brown adds, noting that factory construction also offers reliable project management, inspections and timely delivery.

    Adding long-term value

    Brown suggests that homebuyers add custom features that increase their homes value in the long run. After all, for most people, their home is their largest investment. Adding a garage or upgrading your energy package will make your home more enjoyable, add resale value and save money over time, Brown says.

    Comparison shopping helps buyers make smart choices. Different manufacturers and sales centers offer different home features and services. Buyers should plan on visiting several manufactured home retailers and asking about standard and custom features before making a decision.

    The Northwest Housing Association is the official representative of the systems-built housing industry in the state of Washington. Members include manufactured and modular homebuilders, retail centers, brokers, developers, financial institutions and suppliers of goods and services.

    Northwest Housing Association

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    Custom homes without the premium price - The Seattle Times

    Pioneer Meadows brings affordable new homes to the Grand Valley – The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Home prices have consistently risen across the Grand Valley in the last five years, from a median price of $171,000 in January, 2015, to $260,000 in January, 2020, according to the Bray Real Estate Report. Land prices have also risen, as have both labor and materials for new home construction, so it should come to no surprise that new home prices have also risen dramatically.

    In some parts of the Grand Valley, buying a new home may now be out of the reach for many residents. That doesnt mean, however, that those who want to buy a new home, but who arent comfortable with a $400,000 price tag, have to give up on their dream of a brand new home in other parts of the Grand Valley.

    Pioneer Meadows is 47-home subdivision near E and 31 1/2 Road that features multiple builders who are all committed to bringing affordable new homes to the market. The infrastructure for the neighborhood was finished in May, 2019, and lot prices were set at around $52,000.

    The lots sold so fast, said Kim Kerk, the land consultant who worked on the project to bring it from raw dirt to a neighborhood full of homes, streets and residents.

    I liked the price point, said Corey Bendette with Next Generation Homes, who built a 1,500-square foot home with a two-car garage and an asking price of $275,000. Homes are moving lightning quick. The second you put it on the MLS, its snatched up.

    There are 12 different builders who are working in the subdivision, and although theyre all working to keep home prices under $300,000, theyre all bringing something unique to the neighborhood. Some builders are putting covered front porches on their homes or three-car garages, while others are building two-car garages and positioning the homes on the lot to allow for RV parking.

    Some of the builders are including interior upgrades like granite countertops and upgraded cabinetry, while others are trying to keep the homes at a lower price point. Some are building ranch-style homes and others are building two-story homes. Most of the homes in the neighborhood are three-bedroom, but there are a few four-bedroom homes available, as well.

    The diversity of builders gives the neighborhood a custom look even though the majority of the builders are building small spec homes. The homes dont look like four different versions of the same floor plan, and the interior colors and finishes also offer a huge variety for buyers.

    This is the first time Id worked with so many different builders, said Kerk. Its nice to see their personality come out in the in the homes they build.

    In addition to Next Generation Homes, other builders include BOA Builders, High Altitude Construction, Pruett Homes, RG 18 Road LLC, Mike Roberts, New Beginnings New Homes and others.

    Homeowners are responsible for landscaping, and per the HOA, back and side yards must be fenced within eight months of purchasing their home. Lot sizes generally run on the small side, however, so homeowners dont have to spend a small fortune to landscape or fence. They also wont require a huge chunk of weekend time to maintain.

    Most of the homes in the neighborhood are between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet. Prices generally run from the $270s to just under $300,000, depending on the size and the finishes.

    The neighborhood is on the north side of E Road, just west of 31 1/2 Road.

    Pioneer Meadows brings affordable new homes to the Grand Valley - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

    Why is the new home permit situation looking anemic? – - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Drive around the region and you can see increased levels of new home construction. DR Horton the nations largest homebuilder has moved into the area. Theres also chatter about a second national builder poised to set up shop in Sullivan County. And local builders say theyre busier than theyve been in a long time.

    But only a 3% increase in permits?

    If you look at just the numbers, the regions new home permits have been flat for three years. The permit level has been slightly over a 1,000 a year since 2017. And its the best performance since 2008. Last years total was about 29% off the 2008 pace. But four years ago, the new home sector was performing at about half of its pre-recession capacity.

    And if you step back and look at regional patterns, new home construction has also plateaued in the Chattanooga and Asheville metro areas. Only Knoxville is seeing an increasing growth rate.

    Whats going on has several drivers.

    Theres also the standard material cost increases and a construction labor shortage headwind.

    And then theres the weather.

    The weather is killing us, said Kelly Wolfe of Wolfe Development while being interviewed on a rainy afternoon. When you work outside, moving dirt, laying brick youre heavily dependent on good weather to accomplish your sales quotas. And, weve had a couple of the rainiest years in history. You simply cant get enough work done with this weather pattern. There are lots of good things going on. But the weathers not one of them.

    Some of the fundamentals for continue new home gains are in place. The secession of lot development that occurred during the Great Recession has ended. While it has returned, it has not gotten ahead of immediate demand, Wolfe said. A similar dynamic exists with spec home construction. Wolfe said he doesnt see any slack at least in the area where he builds where theres more building that what the market will bear.

    The distribution of 2019 permits also says a lot about how the region is developing.

    Last years biggest new home permit gain came in Carter County were permit pulls were up 18%. Combined with Washington Countys 9% gain, you can see the geographic preference the market is setting. Together the two accounted for a little better than half of the new home permits in the seven counties included in the Market Edges 2019 year-end residential building permit trend report.

    Sullivan County had 276 new permits last year a 5% increase. It has been in the 200 plus new permits range for eight years. Its the most stable permit pattern in the region. The 2019 count was the highest in those eight years by one permit. But its not leading the pack and the counties in its sphere of influence didnt see the same stability last year. Hawkins Co. permits declined by 41%, Scott Co. VA was down 30% and Washington Co. VA was down 20%.

    Greene County is another example of a slow, steady new home permit pattern. Last years permit total was down by 3%, down four from the previous year. Greene Co. permits have been in the 100 a plus new permits a year for four years.

    The permit data begs the question. If the soggy weather pattern is a major headwind, how much new home growth is being bogged down?

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    Nature Coast Builders Association Parade of Homes kicks off on Leap Day 2020 – Hernando Sun - March 5, 2020 by admin

    By MEGAN HUSSEY[emailprotected]

    For about 30 years, the Nature Coast Builders Association has hosted the Parade of Homes for the Nature Coast; a tour of some of the most beautiful and stylish modern homes in Hernando County. And while the home tour, hosted by an organization that represents the interests of the building industry and the general public in Floridas Hernando and Citrus counties, always has been a showcase of virtual radiance and excellence in the art of homebuilding, this year's tour is 'virtual' in a second important sense.

    This year's parade, co-sponsored by Sunrise Propane and scheduled February 29 - March 15 10am 5pm Monday thru Saturday, 12noon 5pm on Sundays throughout the duration of the Parade, features a total of 13 homes from seven area builders. And while you can visit 10 of these models at their tour locations, three of the models are presented in virtual tours, online at Also at the site, you can see high definition photo galleries and detailed floor plans of every home featured, and access pertinent facts such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, address, maps, directions, and contact info.

    This new way of presenting model homes to the public seems very much in line with the theme of this year's Parade of Homes.

    "The tour starts on Leap Day," said Nita Beckwith-MeLaugh, Certified Executive Officer, NCBA. "We can leap into the New Year and a new decade with a new home."

    Since its inception, the Parade of Homes--a partnership and collaboration of builders association members and community sponsors--has served a dual purpose in the community.

    "For builders, the Parade is an opportunity to show the community their new homes, the top of their game. " said Beckwith-MeLaugh. "For the public, this is the chance to find their dream home."

    Although no set criteria is established for model entries, parade organizers pride themselves on presenting beautiful and affordable homes. Many of this year's models boast a two-bedroom, three-bathroom floor plan and approximately 2,000 square feet or more of living space.

    "This is a showcase of new and existing models with many different features," said Beckwith-MeLaugh. "In many models, we see more open spaces for family gatherings and entertaining, and full and very convenient spaces and electrical outlets available for home offices."

    Many models also feature accents such as fashionable, tropically influenced home designs, innovative home products, elegant decor, technology, energy efficiency, modern gourmet kitchens, relaxing owners' suites that include spa like baths, broad sparkling swimming pools, fireplaces, vaulting ceilings and marble countertops, etc.

    Many of these features are customizable; and whether taking a self-guided tour of the parade on foot, or taking a virtual tour online, those interested can request the changes that they need to turn a parade model home into a dream home.

    "Some prospective buyers like to customize options, like the number of bedrooms or other aspects of the floor plan," said Beckwith-MeLaugh. "Others walk into their dream home and buy on the spot."

    As an added bonus, those who complete the parade on foot and visit all entries can qualify for a drawing to win a $300 Visa gift card.

    Robin Pastore, Chairwoman of Parade of Homes and Owner, Pastore Custom Builders, Inc., says that today's home market is showing renewed signs of promise and growth.

    "There is a real excitement in the building industry," she said. "The market is strong again, and it's good for everybody."

    And so, says Pastore, is the parade itself.

    "We have homes for everyone here, from starter homes to retirement homes," she said. "All the work of great builders."

    This year's Parade of Homes features St. Martens by Pastore Custom Builders, Ocho Rios by Pastore Custom Builders, Camilla by ProBuilt U.S., Cabana Key by Palmwood Construction, Cabana Cay by Palmwood Construction, The Verona by Hartland Homes, Don Calais by Dream Custom Homes, Don Crystal by Dream Custom Homes, Don Valencia by Dream Custom Homes, Grand Floridian by Artistic Homes, Grand Bahama by Artistic Homes, Grand Cayman by Artistic Homes, and Goya by Alexander Custom Homes.

    Andrew L Carr, vice president of Growth and Development at Sunrise Propane in Hudson, says that Sunrise Propane is proud to be sponsoring the Nature Coast Builders Association's Parade of Homes.

    "This is our fourth year being the Platinum Presenting Sponsor," he said, "and we're looking forward to a great event this year."

    Carr says that the parade provides a prime showcase, not only for his company's product, but for some amazing homes in this area.

    "Being involved in the Parade of Homes gives us the opportunity to introduce the many efficient money saving features of using propane for residential use," said Carr. "The builders we work with take great pride in the homes they build, and we enjoy working with them on a daily basis."

    And ultimately, said Carr, the Nature Coast Builders Association's Parade of Homes serves as a beautiful showcase for the Hernando community."We hope everyone who's interested in a new home will come out and take a look at what's available in our beautiful community."


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    Nature Coast Builders Association Parade of Homes kicks off on Leap Day 2020 - Hernando Sun

    Home: Where cats rule, dogs drool and pet pigs have room to roam – Tennessean - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Bill Lewis, Special to Nashville Tennessean, USA TODAY NETWORK newsrooms in Tennessee Published 5:00 a.m. CT Feb. 28, 2020


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    Aaron and Rich Hardison loved living in Westhaven, the master planned community in Williamson County, except for one thing. They needed a bigger yard for Dolly, their pet pig.

    The neighbors would bring her carrots. She was very popular in Westhaven, but the homes are pretty tight, said Rich Hardison.

    They built a modern farmhouse with a two-and-a-half-acre yard large enough for Dolly and Tinker Bell, their second pig, two rescue dogs and some chickens. There may be a llama in their future if the HOA is willing.

    Its one of those things you discuss over a martini and then it ends up happening, Rich Hardison said of the decision to have not just one but two pigs.

    Before beginning construction of their new Williamson County home in the Southern Preserve neighborhood near Interstate 840, the couple had their builder, Carbine & Associates, completely redraw the floor plan. They moved the kitchen and the great room to the rear so they can watch Dolly and Tinker Bell grazing on the lawn.

    We flipped it, he said.

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    Aaron and Rich Hardison, left to right, pictured with their pet pigs Dolly and Tinkerbell, worked with Carbine & Associates in building a custom farmhouse on a larger home site in Southern Preserve.(Photo: Sarah Rodriquez)

    Growing numbers of home buyers like the Hardisons are keeping their pets in mind when buying or building a house.

    Pets are a big focus in life. Im building a house where the cats are a big part of the bedroom, a multi-floor cat condo area, room to play, said Daryl Walny, vice president of Carbine & Associates.

    Doggyshowers in the mud room are becoming a thing so youre not tracking mud all over the house, he said.

    Bitsy can still peek over the Dutch door and be part of the activity. The space was carved out under the staircase by Carbine, creating a great dog space.(Photo: Leslie Brown)

    Its not unusual for buyers to say no to a house that wont accommodate their pet.

    Many times over the years, I have had people rule out a home with too many steps due to older pets who are no longer able to climb. Houses have also been ruled out if the home did not have a big enough yard for their pets to enjoy and exercise, said Vickie Freas, a Realtor with the LCT Team at Parks.

    Others are adding doggydens in the space under the stairs.

    Its a clever use of space that would otherwise be drywalled in, said Freas.

    Thats one of the features Aaron and Rich Hardison included while they were customizing the interior of their home. A Dutch door with a top and bottom that open separately adds a bit of elegance while keeping the dogs, Stella and Bitsy, in their room without isolating them.

    We customized the house to make it what we wanted, and for them, said Aaron Hardison.

    Stay up to date on real estate and development news: Sign up forTheTennessean's business newsletterto get updates right in your inbox.

    The home office in the farmhouse overlooks the farmyard and "barn" tucked into the Southern Preserve neighborhood.(Photo: Leslie Brown)

    A barn out back will have an office, a western saloon in honor of Aarons grandfather and swinging doors so the pigs can come and go.

    Its called a garage because the HOA says you cant have a barn, he said.

    The five chickens will be named Reba, Loretta, Tammy and well have to come up with two more county music names to go along with Dolly, he said.

    The name of the future llama, Tina, was inspired by the movie "Napoleon Dynamite."

    The Hardisons are turning their love of animals into a career. They are opening a cage-free doggydaycare, boarding and grooming business, Camp Run-A-Mutt. It will be in a quickly developing area of Murfreesboro close to 840 less than half an hour from their home.

    Both of the Hardisons have always had dogs, but the idea of non-traditional pets was appealing. Dolly and Tinker Bell are Juliana pigs, smaller than farm pigs but not miniatures.

    I remember watching 'Green Acres' and watching Arnold Ziffel, the bovine character on the popular situation comedy that originally aired from 1965 to 1971, said Rich Hardison.

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    Home: Where cats rule, dogs drool and pet pigs have room to roam - Tennessean

    Save the dates: Spring design calendar filled with home tours – Houston Chronicle - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Spring weekends in Houston are filled with home-related events, from home and garden shows to architecture and history tours and shopping events.

    Design in Bloom brings a panel of national speakers to talk about architecture, design and, of course, floral design March 24. The following weekend is filled with home tours, ranging from modern homes to downtown lofts and more historic homes in Woodland Heights. Texas Antiques Week in Round Top is a shoppers delight, and the April and May bring more home tours.

    Get your calendar out; its time to save a few dates.

    The TexWoods series of home and outdoor living shows is underway, with a new HTown event at Silver Street Studios in First Ward. Hours are 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Sundays. (Note: Ill be a speaker at the HTown and Lake Houston shows, speaking about design styles each day at 12:30 p.m.) At all shows, admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children 12 and under are free. Heres the spring lineup:

    HTown: March 7-8 at Silver Street Studios at Sawyer Yards, 2000 Edwards. Speakers include Laura Dowling, who was the chief White House floral designer for six years of the Obama administration.

    Cy-Fair: March 21-22 at the Berry Center, 8877 Barker Cypress. Events include floral design workshops by Ashley Wallace of The Tallest Tulip.

    Lake Houston: March 28-29 at the Humble Civic Center, 8233 Will Clayton Parkway. Speakers include Dr. Loris Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show.

    This years Design in Bloom event, in conjunction with Texas Design Week, brings Flower magazine editor-in-chief Margot Shaw, Nashville interior designer Ray Booth, Atlanta architect Bobby McAlpine, Lexington, Ky., landscape architect Jon Carloftis and New York floral designer Lewis Miller together for panel discussions, book signings and floral demonstrations.

    When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. March 24

    Where: Houston Design Center, 7026 Old Katy Road (in various showrooms)

    Tickets: $10-$100;

    The Houston Downtown Management District will hold its second annual home tour on March 28. The self-guided tour takes you into residences in Bayou Lofts, Commerce Towers, Camden Downtown, Franklin Lofts, Kirby Lofts on Main, St. Germain Lofts and Condos at The Star. Park at One Market Square Garage (800 Preston) for $5 and a courtesy shuttle will take you to participating properties. There will be live music 11 a.m.-2 Market Square Park, a lobby tour of the Niels and Mellie Esperson Buildings from noon to 3 p.m. and pop-up art shows by Rachel Schwind Gardner and Felipe Lopez all day at Franklin Lofts.

    When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 28

    Where: Start from Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in the W.L. Foley Building, 214 Travis

    Tickets: $25 in advance, $35 tour day;

    While theres plenty of traditional home construction under way, contemporary and modern homes are increasing in popularity and the Modern Architecture + Design Societys annual tour will open six new examples of cutting-edge residential architecture to the public. Showcased architects include 2Scale Architects, studioMET, Intexure Architects and Boxprefab, On Point Custom Homes and Fifty Seventh + 7th by Carnegie Homes. Its a great chance to meet the architects and designers who worked on the homes.

    When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 28

    Where: 1129 W. Pierce (2Scale Architects); 4038 Falkirk (studioMET architects); 5612 Blossom (Intexure + Boxprefab); 2514 Avalon Place (Fifty Seventh + 7th by Carnegie Homes); 2300 South Boulevard (On Point Custom Homes); and 2235 Colquitt (Scott Ballard Architect)

    Tickets: $15-40 in advance, $50 at the door on tour day;

    Homes built from the 1910s through the 1920s plus a few more current construction will be among the eight open to the public on the annual Woodland Heights Home Tour. The neighborhood began in 1907 as a streetcar suburb to Houstons downtown and was valued for its easy access to Highland Park now called Woodland Park. The neighborhood is busier now, but retains much of its century-old charm.

    When: noon-6 p.m. March 28-29

    Where: 619 Bayland, 505 Byrne, 3324 Morrison, 628 Omar, 3524 Pineridge, 715 Ridge, 1611 Sage and 621 Wendel

    Tickets: $10 for single homes, $25 in advance, $30 starting March 26;

    Round Top and surrounding small towns fill with visitors for Texas Antiques Week shopping that now lasts much longer than a week. Stalwarts such as the Original Round Top Antiques Fair and Marburger Farm Antique Show stagger their dates from March 30-April 4, but other shops, Excess Fields and pop-up tents open at least a couple of weeks prior. Head there early to avoid long lines of cars on Texas 237. Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes and take cash since WiFi there is sketchy and vendors credit card apps dont always work.

    The Original Round Top Antiques Fair: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. VIP admission, 1-6 p.m. general admission March 30; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. March 31; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 1-4. VIP early shopping pass, $20, general admission $10; includes entry to the Big Red Barn Event Center and the Continental Tent;; 475 S. Texas 237, Carmine

    Marburger Farm Antique Show: Early buying 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and general admission 2-6 p.m. March 31; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 1-3; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 4. Early buying $25; general admission $10;; 2248 Texas 237, Round Top

    The Compound Antique Show: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. 2550 S. Texas 237, Round Top; admission is free;

    Rice Design Alliance is still firming up its roster for the 2020 Architecture Tour, themed Upwards. This tour is always highly anticipated, featuring some of the most interesting homes in the city on timely topics. The alliance will share more information on homes and tickets soon, but for now you can set these dates aside.

    When: 1-6 p.m. April 25-26

    Tickets: Information coming soon.

    Milieu magazine is hosting its first Designer Showhouse, a 7,400-square-foot Edwin Lutyens-style home built by Jennifer Hamelet Mirador Builders. Top designers from the U.S., Canada and Europe including Kathryn Ireland, Lisa Fine, Carol Glasser and Jennifer Vaughn Miller will design the interiors. Milieu, a luxury shelter and lifestyle magazine, was founded in 2013 by Houston interior designer Pamela Pierce. The showhome event will benefit Clayton Dabney for Kids with Cancer, a group that provides assistance to families with children who have cancer.

    When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 25-26 and May 2-3

    Where: 3736 Del Monte

    Tickets: $200 in advance ($250 day of); tour admission $35; or at the door

    The Galveston Historical Foundations annual home tour is must for history buffs and for newcomers to the area who want to learn more about the Gulf Coasts architectural history. Galveston is a tourism city now, but it was once a thriving port city where merchants built beautiful Victorian and Queen Anne-style homes, grand examples and bungalows, too. The 2019 tour had eight homes and the 2020 lineup should be announced soon.

    When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 2-3 and May 9-10

    Where: Tour homes to be announced

    Tickets: $30;

    Originally posted here:
    Save the dates: Spring design calendar filled with home tours - Houston Chronicle

    Tomlinson: Tech entrepreneur tries to disrupt construction industry with a better wall – Houston Chronicle - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Real estate customers of all stripes are demanding structures built to reduce energy costs, resist natural disasters and fit into tight budgets, but innovation comes hard to the construction industry.

    Too often walls come in only two choices: concrete-filled masonry blocks or framed walls stuffed with insulation and clad with sheetrock. Neither method is especially efficient, in terms of labor or energy, but builders usually stick to what they know. Luckily, innovators are making new choices available.

    A new concrete-and-foam wall system can better deaden sound, defend against fire, stand up to floodwater, insulate against Texas heat and, most importantly, costs about the same as conventional methods. Entrepreneur Paul Brown co-founded Bautex after failing to find better building materials for a construction project.

    Most contractors, most architects really have the same palette. Its the same palette theyve had over 100 years, he said. People were struggling just to meet code, and these buildings that were being released were barely legal. They were struggling to get those done within budget.

    Tomlinsons Take: Middle-class Texans are facing a housing crisis

    Unlike other industries where prices go down, construction costs have only gone up. Brown saw an opportunity if he could create high-performance products with lower costs, something he learned in the tech industry.

    They have to fundamentally simplify construction to the point that they save time, save money, save labor. At the end of the day, its all about dollars, Brown said. We absolutely want to see superior performance in every product.

    The Bautex block is based on a technology developed in Austria in the 1930s, improved upon in the 1970s and then brought to United States in the late 1990s. Each block is about the size of four cinder blocks and have similar channels for poured-concrete reinforcement.

    Brown and his team developed a patented manufacturing process at Bautexs San Marcos factory to mass produce the blocks at a low cost. Italian-made machines mold the blocks from a mix of cement, fly ash, foam pellets, water and a chemical additive. Three workers can produce enough blocks top build a big-box store in 16 hours.

    Once at the building site, a group of workers stack the blocks, glue them together, thread rebar through the channels, and pour concrete in the channels to create walls that are stronger and more insulated than either framed or masonry walls. The process is quicker, cheaper and better insulated than competing systems.

    Similar cement and polystyrene walls are commonplace in Europe and the Middle East, where lumber is either scarce or expensive and energy efficiency demands are high. The blocks exceed international building codes, and the owner treats them the same as a standard wall.

    In the United States, Brown said the construction industry has resisted change, largely because convincing the architect, engineer, contractor and owner to all try a new technology is difficult. Bautex has used persistent marketing and white-glove customer service to win acceptance, he added.

    If we can walk them through step by step and get them comfortable that we can get them to the finish line, theyre absolutely onboard, Brown said.

    More customers are contacting Bautex as resiliency becomes the byword in residential and commercial construction. The blocks will resist fire for four hours and exceed standards for windstorms, flooding and mold. Post-disaster remediation is simpler than with conventional wall systems. The company has established a foothold with commercial contractors with some custom homebuilders.

    Bautex blocks make up the walls of Sea Star Base Galveston, a LEED Platinum-certified youth center that city officials used as their command center during Hurricane Harvey. The company is currently working on a new structure at Brighton Center, a private school in San Antonio.

    Tomlinsons Take: Millennials pose challenge to real estate values

    The company has dozens of project across Texas and six other states. The founders chose San Marcos because nine of the 10 busiest construction markets are within 500 miles.

    I reported in a recent column on how developers and builders believe only tougher building codes will lead to better, more innovative buildings. Bautex is just one example of suppliers trying to compete on price and quality until cities pass tougher codes. More power to them.

    Companies like Bautex, and there are many, are trying to offer better ways of building that will make our lives easier. Too often, though, builders focus more on quantity and routine because profit margins are thin, and change is hard.

    If you are involved in construction, take a moment to question whether the old ways are still the best. Open your mind to alternatives techniques that are better for the customer and the environment. Building owners and society will thank you.

    Tomlinson writes commentary about business, economics and policy.

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    Tomlinson: Tech entrepreneur tries to disrupt construction industry with a better wall - Houston Chronicle

    Fiddlers Creek named top 100 best residential golf courses for 15th consecutive year – Naples Daily News - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, Special to Naples Daily News Published 6:05 a.m. ET Feb. 29, 2020

    The Creek Course at Fiddler's Creek is ranked among Golfweek Magazine's top 100 best residential golf courses in the country.(Photo: Rick Betehem)

    For the 15th consecutive year, The Creek Course at Fiddlers Creek is ranked among Golfweek Magazines Top 100 Best Residential Golf Courses in the country.

    The signature 18-hole, par-72 Creek Course, designed by acclaimed course designer Arthur Hills, is woven into the communitys lush natural surroundings and features a series of strategic and challenging holes. The course offers seven tee placements to accommodate golf enthusiasts of all skill levels and includes 7,157 yards, broad fairways and elevated greens.

    Since beginning its rating system in 1997, Golfweek has developed the most respected ranking structure in the industry. The design excellence-based criterion includes overall strength of routing, feature shaping, natural setting, greens, variety and memorability of holes, conditioning and maintenance, landscape management and other statistical data.

    We are honored to be recognized in Golfweeks Top 100 for the 15th consecutive year and to offer a world-class golf experience for our members and their guests, said Michael Saccameno, head golf professional at The Golf Club at Fiddlers Creek.

    The Creek Course at Fiddlers Creek, which opened in February 2002, also has received recognition in Links Magazine as one of Americas 100 Premier Properties, Travel + Leisure Golf magazines Americas Top 100 Golf Communities List, and GolfCourseRealty.coms Top 10 Best Residential Courses in the Sunshine State. Golfweek also named The Creek Course 12th Best Residential Golf Course in Florida in its residential statewide ranking system.

    Located on Collier Boulevard on the way to Marco Island, Fiddlers Creek is an award-winning residential community in Naples, Florida developed by Gulf Bay Group of Companies. Fiddlers Creek has been named a Distinguished Club by BoardRoom magazine, a prestigious honor reserved for the top private clubs in the world.

    Residents of Fiddlers Creek enjoy amenities that include the 54,000-square-foot Club & Spa at Fiddlers Creek, featuring a resort-style multi-pool complex, state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis and pickleball facility and both casual and fine dining restaurants. The Club & Spa at Fiddlers Creek offers a luxurious resort lifestyle and hosts numerous community-wide parties, signature events, clubs, classes and a variety of activities for residents of all ages.

    In addition to The Golf Club at Fiddlers Creek, residents have the opportunity to join The Tarpon Club, which offers a beach and boating experience that includes beach access at Marco Beach Ocean Resort, ranked among the Top Resorts in the U.S. by Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Awards and by Conde Nast Traveler.

    Preconstruction and move-in ready homes at Fiddlers Creek are priced from the $400,000s to over $2 million and are offered by six preferred homebuilders Gulf Bay Homes, Stock Signature Homes, Taylor Morrison, Pulte Homes, Harbourside Custom Homes and Ashton Woods Homes.

    For membership details and more information about Fiddlers Creek, call 239-732-9300, stop by the Fiddlers Creek Information Center at 8152 Fiddlers Creek Parkway in Naples, or visit

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    Fiddlers Creek named top 100 best residential golf courses for 15th consecutive year - Naples Daily News

    19 of the Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Northwest Indiana – - February 24, 2020 by admin

    Check out this gorgeous, LUXURY MODEL HOME in the North Gate Development of The Gates of Saint John, brought to you by TG Development! The beauty is in the DETAILS. This model home features 4 beds, 2.5 baths, and 2400 square feet with a full unfinished basement. The grand entry offers tall ceilings, custom wood beams, beautiful wainscoting, and a high-end lighting fixture which leads into the grand, OPEN CONCEPT Kitchen/Living/Dining area. The kitchen offers a MASSIVE island, floor-to-ceiling white cabinetry, SS appliances, stainless farm style sink, oiled rubbed bronze hardware, LUXURY granite counters, and much more. There is also an in-eat in dining area. The great room features a gorgeous fireplace, amazing BUILT-INS, and double trey ceiling. The MASTER SUITE offers double walk-ins, and a HIGH END PRIVATE BATH. The bath has a double vanity, white marble finishes, FREE STANDING TUB, and glass shower. There are too many features of this home to mention. It is a MUST SEE.

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    19 of the Most Expensive Homes for Sale in Northwest Indiana -

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