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    What $400,000 will buy you in Pittsburgh right now – NEXTpittsburgh - November 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Pittsburghs housing market will stay strong through the end of this year, with low interest rates. And with the election behind us, people are focusing on the future, says Lori Hummel of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

    It is busy, Hummel says. While there is still an inventory problem we need more inventory there are good options out there for people. And if someone is thinking about listing a house, nows the perfect time to do it. Your house never looks better than it does around the holidays when its decorated for people to come visit.

    There are apartments, townhomes and some spec homes for those wanting new construction, as often is the case with people moving here from out of state, Hummel says.

    Were seeing a lot of that people moving in from other areas as a result of Covid. Someone who will be working from home might say, Why am I staying here in D.C., in an expensive rental, when I can move back to Pittsburgh and be near family?

    The higher-end market can be a little more challenging, but even at the $400,000 price mark there are options in and around the city. Just be prepared: Homes are still selling quickly. Heres a sampling across the region to see what this price point gets you in different neighborhoods.


    752 North Meadowcroft Avenue in Mount Lebanon.

    Neighborhood: 752 N. Meadowcroft Ave., Mt. Lebanon

    Asking price: $399,000

    Style: Colonial

    Description: Built in 1940, this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath brick home has a 1-car garage, fenced backyard and hardwood floors throughout. The living room has a fireplace and access to a slate patio; the kitchen has a pantry and breakfast bar. There are touches of character throughout, such as a window seat at the top of the stairs and a built-in bookshelf in the family room.

    1800 McMillan Road in Upper St. Clair.

    Neighborhood: 1800 McMillan Road, Upper St. Clair

    Asking price: $399,900

    Style: Colonial

    Description: This brick home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a large landscaped yard and a 2-car garage. The central hall with an open staircase and the main floors hardwood floors speak to formality, but the family room with a gas fireplace and the eat-in kitchen make this a welcoming home. Theres a finished basement with a wet bar and full bath. A park is within walking distance.


    6332 Burchfield Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

    Neighborhood: 6332 Burchfield Ave., Squirrel Hill South

    Asking price: $399,900

    Style: Three-story

    Description: This 4-bedroom, 2-bath home on a tree-lined street is located near Frick Park and all the amenities of Squirrel Hill. Beyond the front porch is a well-kept interior with hardwood floors and good-sized rooms. The bedrooms have large closets and the third-floor bedroom could be an office or play space. There is a back porch, fenced yard and a detached garage.

    458 44th Street in Lawrenceville.

    Neighborhood: 458-44th St., Lawrenceville

    Asking price: $395,000

    Style: Townhome

    Description: This remodeled townhome is indicative of what makes Lawrenceville so popular. Built in 1900, the 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath property is move-in ready. The hardwood floors, kitchen and baths have been completely redone; an enclosed porch could be a four-season room. The attached garage with parking for 2-3 vehicles is an unusual bonus for this neighborhood.


    113 Charterwood Drive in Ross.

    Neighborhood: 113 Charterwood Dr., Ross

    Asking price: $395,000

    Style: Multi-level

    Description: This 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in the North Hills School District has an open floor plan and a spacious yard made for families. The master bedroom has two walk-in closets; an office/den on the main floor could be a fifth bedroom. The kitchen has been remodeled, with an island, and the family room has a decorative fireplace. Theres a 2-car integral garage.

    2394 Bellwood Drive in Franklin Park.

    Neighborhood: 2394 Bellwood Dr., Franklin Park

    Asking price: $405,000Style: Colonial

    Description: Built in 1979, this stately 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home has mature landscaping and wooded views. The kitchen opens to the family room, with a wood-burning fireplace. Bedrooms are large, with double closets, and the bathrooms have been updated. The 2-car garage has cabinets and a work bench. Theres a back porch and a covered patio.


    403 Patriot Drive in Carnegie.

    Neighborhood: 403 Patriot Dr., Carnegie

    Asking price: $399,100

    Style: Two-story

    Description: Built just four years ago, this 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home has an open floor plan and 4-car garage. The main floor includes a bonus room and sunroom; the laundry room is on the second floor. In the finished basement, theres a multi-purpose room with a kitchenette and media/theatre area. Theres a large backyard, and the neighborhood has a swimming pool.

    200 Church Drive in Coraopolis.

    Neighborhood: 200 Church Dr., Coraopolis

    Asking price: $399,924

    Style: 1.5-Story

    Description: This home, built is 1987, is well-appointed inside and out. Custom built, it has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an oversized 3.5-car garage and a covered deck. Design details include vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces, built-ins and a 14-by-16 closet in the master suite. The first floor has a laundry room and computer room. Gardens with a stone waterfall surround the house.


    2512 Penn Avenue in the Strip District.

    Neighborhood: 2512 Penn Ave., Strip District

    Asking price: $399,900

    Style: Two-story

    Description: This beautiful remodel in the heart of the Strip District features exposed brick walls, laminate flooring, a basement game room, a main-level laundry room and a fenced backyard. Built in 1890, the home has two bedrooms and 1.5 baths and an easy, open floor plan. Its close to Pittsburgh Opera and DiAnoias Eatery.

    16 Greenbush Street in Mt Washington.

    Neighborhood: 16 Greenbush St., Mt. Washington

    Asking price: $399,000

    Style: Multi-family Victorian

    Description: Built in 1920, this home has a great floor plan and outstanding views from all floors. The high ceilings and detailed woodwork show off its Victorian design. The first floor could be a 1-bedroom apartment; the second floor has a living room, dining room, kitchen, den and laundry room. The third floor has a master suite and two more bedrooms.

    Looking for more real estate? ReadWhat $350,000 will buy you in Pittsburgh right now.

    Pittsburgh housing marketPittsburgh real estate

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    What $400,000 will buy you in Pittsburgh right now - NEXTpittsburgh

    Flipping it around: Local spends time flipping houses all over the county – The Reflector - November 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    At 16 years old, Shawna Huston found herself homeless after her mother died in a car accident. At 21, she remodeled and fixed up a rental she was occupying in exchange for lower rent. Three decades later, Huston would continue to spruce up and update living spaces and homes all around the county, finding her home in many.

    There is something that my friends call a quintessential Shawna House, Huston said about homes she chooses to remodel. Generally, the home will have a big, beautiful front porch, be a beautiful farmhouse style with a lot of character. Those are signs of what people would call a Shawna House.

    Huston got her start in remodeling homes not long after she fixed up her rental, and her inspiration to work in real estate goes back even further. When she was a child, she would ride in the back of her parents car as they looked at real estate. While she might not have understood everything her parents were talking about she knew one thing: real estate was exciting and there were opportunities everywhere. Following her rental fixup at 21, Huston bought a 10-acre parcel of land in La Center and divided the property into two separate 5-acre plots. She sold one of the 5-acre plots and used the funds to put in a well, septic system and build her first spec-house, a house you build for profit. Once she was finished, a career was born, and for the next 30 years, Huston would see, do and participate in every part of the remodeling process.

    Buying, selling, designing, flipping. After 30 years, there isnt much I havent seen or done, she said, mentioning that she has worked on everything from tiny houses to homes with more than five bedrooms.

    While there are a few aspects that make up a typical Shawna House, Huston said she has done everything from a small remodel that required just a new paint job, to completely renovating a house from the ground up.

    When looking at homes to fix up, Huston uses a two-step process. First, she decides whether or not the project will pencil out, a phrase she uses to describe whether or not the project will work out financially. To decide whether or not it's worth it, Huston takes into account finances and how much work she is going to need to put into the house. Because Huston does nearly every part of the remodel on her own accord without contractors, some homes can take years to complete. Secondly, Huston takes into account what the house needs and where she is at personally.

    I ask myself, do I want to bust my butt right now or just make this a quick flip? she said.

    Instead of living in a permanent residence and flipping homes on the side, Huston moves into the house she is working on so she is always there. The home shes currently residing in with her husband Joshua, who is helping he with the project, was built around the time of the Great Depression and is a four-square with a big solid porch and has six bedrooms. According to Huston, the Woodland home was built to house workers building the railway that runs through the town in the early 1900s. Huston said it was in terrible condition when she bought it a year ago as the home lacked heating as well as having both porches caved it when she bought it. She finally moved into the home in July.

    Its starting to get very cozy now, she said, mentioning that while she's doing the remodeling work, she does everything she can to not get emotionally attached to the home.

    The home Shawna Huston is currently living in was built around the time of the Great Depression and housed people building the railroad. Huston said the home was in terrible condition when she bought it and is hopeful for its future.

    Another unique thing Huston adds to her builds and remodels is the presence of a real wood fireplace or wood stove. Many places Huston chooses to remodel have them already installed, but if they dont, Huston makes sure they do. As to why she does it, Huston said she grew up with wood-fired heating in her home and went to bed with a potato at her feet to keep the bed warm. She wanted those memories in every house.

    I just love a home that oozes comfort and joy, she said. I want everyone to feel welcome.

    Huston does nearly every single part of the remodeling project on her own. If a house needs tile, shes there to install it. Fresh coats of paint and primer are applied by her as well. Everything down to the foundation is touched by Huston to ensure the final product is perfect.

    Ive knocked down so many walls you wouldnt believe, she said.

    Even though she does most of the heavy lifting, Huston said her favorite part of working on homes is the design process. She said houses and real estate are her art form and compared a piece of real estate to a blank canvas. She said many people will look at a house and think what a piece of crap, but Huston said she can see the end product in her mind, no matter the current situation.

    People will come back a year later and see the work Ive done and just be blown away, she explained. In my mind, all I ever see is the end product.

    After completing 24 homes in the Clark and Cowlitz county areas, Huston said she isnt done fixing up houses yet, but does hope to eventually retire to a piece of land with property. For now, she is the self-described queen of the five-year plan and said she always plans out five years in the future. The five-year plan keeps her on her toes and holds her accountable for her projects. Some of her favorite projects of years past were an older farmhouse in the Hockinson Area she dubbed the Original Hockinson Farmhouse and a project where she worked on a cottage near Lake Merwin with her daughter.

    As Huston looks at prospects of retiring from the business, she continues to make a mark in her family. Her daughter, currently abroad in the United Kingdom, seems to have found the same love of real estate as her mother. Huston said her daughter's love of house flipping was inspired by growing up in it. Because the family never had a permanent residence, her kids were used to moving into a house and seeing every aspect of the remodel process.

    They see value in something that no one else wants, Huston said of her children.

    As far as permanently settling down in the future, Huston said her dream is to own a large plot of land to stay on with a beautiful house and landscaping. Because she gardens in her free time, she wants her permanent residence to have a place for garden and landscaping work. Most of all, she wants a place where she can enjoy life and create a place where a family can thrive.

    Shawna Huston holds her son, Sean Haug, on the porch in front of one of her favorite projects that she dubs the Battle Ground Parkway House in 1999.

    Coming where I came from at 16 and not having those things, its extremely important to me, she said. Im looking for a place where I can enjoy my grandkids and a life well lived.

    See the original post here:
    Flipping it around: Local spends time flipping houses all over the county - The Reflector

    Peek inside this Dallas spec house on Strait Lane and marvel at the modern details – The Dallas Morning News - July 9, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    This 6,616-square-foot new build on Strait Lane fits the streets reputation for large, elaborately designed homes. The design is open, modern and minimalistic.

    Listing agent Janelle Alcantara said the home has a unique design.

    This is really dramatically different from any other house thats out there, Alcantara said.

    The home was built by architect Doug Guiling, who has worked primarily in commercial architecture but wanted to build a speculative home. This is the second home he has built on Strait Lane. The other is next door.

    The home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and three half-bathrooms. The open concept in the living areas is magnified by large windows and natural light.

    Neutral tones flow throughout the home with varying colors of wood throughout.

    The living, kitchen and breakfast area are in a large room that is open to the second level. The room overlooks the natural backyard and the pool on the back porch through a wall of windows. A secondary kitchen (or catering kitchen) sits behind a wall in the primary kitchen, making more room for entertaining and preparation. Wood cabinets in the kitchen match the paneling details throughout the living room and on the stairway that leads to the second level.

    The grand stairway is accented by a large, round window of glass that looks between the stairs and the living room.

    A formal dining area, living area and wine room are also on the first floor.

    The primary suite, a first-floor room, overlooks the backyard and porch. It has an attached sitting room with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows.

    The remaining four bedrooms are on the second floor, each with their own en suite bathroom. An upstairs living area, study and a play room with patio access add to the homes living space.

    Outside, there is a covered pool adjacent to the back patio of the home with a nearby sitting area. The remainder of the back yard is open and has a natural feel.

    11468 Strait Lane is listed for $3,695,000 by Janelle Alcantara of Briggs Freeman Sothebys International Realty.

    1/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    2/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    3/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    4/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    5/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    6/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    7/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    8/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    9/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    10/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    11/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    12/12A look at the property at 11468 Strait Lane in Dallas.(Shoot2Sell Photography)

    Read more from the original source:
    Peek inside this Dallas spec house on Strait Lane and marvel at the modern details - The Dallas Morning News

    How Period Restoration borrowed from the past to make a kitchen for today – St. Louis Magazine - July 9, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Randy Renner and his son, Randy Renner Jr., specialize in restoring old homes, but thats not what they did at 7635 Westmoreland, just north of downtown Clayton. Rather, the Renners, co-founders of Period Restoration, built a new house on that lot, one that would be in harmony with the historic residences nearby.

    When we do infill, we go to great lengths to make it fit, says the younger Renner. In this case, they werent enacting any specific clients vision. They were constructing a spec home, and relied on their own instincts for the design and build.

    They wanted the kitchen to have ample natural light, so they installed three large windows in the main wall. That decision shrank the space available for upper cabinets, but theres plenty of room for storage elsewhere: inside the island, which is 4 feet deep, and on the adjacent wall, which holds lighted cabinets that stretch up to the ceiling.

    That ceiling is a showstopper. Its molding is a nod to the coffered plaster ceilings found in many architecturally significant homes in the St. Louis area. Its fine, angular shapes jell visually with the trapezoidal range hood of stainless steel and polished nickeland with the biconical light fixtures and sconces by Visual Comfort.

    The Renners wanted the future homeowners to be equipped to entertain, so they installed two sinks and two dishwashers. The island features a niche offering enough legroom for guests wishing to sidle up to it on stools and rest their cocktails on the Carrara marble countertop. Adjacent to the kitchen is a wet bar outfitted in handsome dark wood. Renner Jr. says he and his father prefer to feel their way through projects like these rather than follow a meticulous blueprint.

    We dont ever have plans, he says. We just do it as we go. After they finished this project, late last year, the COVID-19 crisis gained steam in St. Louis, forcing them to remove the house from the real estate listingsbut they plan to put it back on the market soon.

    Standout Feature:The refrigerator and freezer are concealed by quartersawn oak panels. The latches, from Locks & Pulls Design Elements, are made to mimic the look of a 1920s icebox.

    Read more here:
    How Period Restoration borrowed from the past to make a kitchen for today - St. Louis Magazine

    Expanding business in a new location – Pamplin Media Group - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Blaine Noland Construction has moved to a new location on Third Street, and has also begun building new, custom residential homes

    Blaine Noland Construction and Painting has moved to a new location.

    Blaine Noland moved his office in November 2019 to 896 NE Third in Prineville, a site formerly occupied by Jay Porter CPA. Noland's construction skills are evident throughout Crook County, including the remodel of Club Pioneer, the paint job on the Associates Real Estate building, several new shop constructions and countless paint jobs and remodels. In addition, Noland also builds custom, new residential stick-built homes.

    Noland said that he remodeled the Stafford Inn (now Country Inn and Suites), which included 60 rooms and 10,000 square feet of tile. He has remodeled a number of offices in Prineville as well.

    Noland provides services as a general contractor in construction remodeling and additions, interior and exterior painting for both residential and commercial jobs, and handyman work. Recently, Noland has added residential construction.

    "I started off just myself, and then I brought on a painter," Noland indicated of his beginnings as a contractor.

    He started his business six years ago. Prior to beginning his own business, he worked for his father doing construction. They were partners for four years. Noland grew up around construction. His first remodel was the "Roundup" building on Northeast Harwood Street.

    "I was scared to death and got my license and was on my own, and next thing I knew I needed employees."

    Noland has expanded to the current level of 15 employees. His wife, Ali, works in the office. He has resolved to not have partners in his business.

    "I am here in a wonderful new location, and I have great employees, great painting side, handyman and construction side," Noland exclaimed of his current location.

    He indicated that their business does 300 to 400 estimates for jobs per year, and lands about 250 jobs per year.

    "It ranges from a 20-minute fix-it to building houses," he noted. "I build my own spec houses."

    He also started flipping houses approximately three years ago. Since then, he has done a number of houses. He added that when he began doing new constructions, he started with custom shops and that has grown to building custom residences.

    Noland did his first custom shop in Powell Butte about four years ago. Since that time, he has built several similar custom shops, which include apartments.

    "My motto is, we have moved a few times. However, we are not moving out of town. We are just moving on up," he said.

    Noland also supports Crook County sports and he supports sponsorships in Prineville. His company does an annual paint give-away. He also donated the labor and paint for the CC signs on the hill on the south side of Crook County High School.

    He commented that he specializes in designing spaces and helping people reconstruct spaces.

    "I just love doing that," Noland said. "That is definitely what I specialize in; helping people understand their space and understanding how to fix something anything."


    Blaine Noland Construction and Painting

    Owner: Blaine Noland

    Business Address: 896 NE Third St., Prineville 97754

    Phone: 541-233-9619

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Hours: Monday through Friday: 8:30 to 4:30 (lunch 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

    Call for free estimates

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    Expanding business in a new location - Pamplin Media Group

    Norm Applebaum, architect as friend and artist, 80 – The San Diego Union-Tribune - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Some architects design monuments, even entire cities. Others build custom homes for private clients. One requires assistants, political acumen, lots of money. The other can require an extra dose of empathy and patience when dealing with finicky clients and lots of money, too.

    Norm Applebaum focused on private residences.

    My clients become my family, he once said. Their homes, and the architecture I create for them, are my children. They can never be duplicated, and the bond we share lasts a lifetime.

    Applebaum designed and remodeled dozens of homes in more than 50 years and gave names to some of them, like Wings in Escondido and Sun Catch in Rancho Santa Fe. And unlike some architects who become frustrated with finicky clients, he befriended his clients for life.

    Applebaum, a Chicago native and San Diego resident since the late 1960s, died March 25 of leukemia. He was 80.

    He was a passionate guy, said his widow, Barbara Roper. He loved everything with depth.

    Keith York, founder and curator of the Modern San Diego website on local architecture, said Appleton was one of those weird, unique bridges to the past to San Diegos post-World War II generation of architects who started their careers in the 1940s and 50s.

    A member of the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects since 1974, Applebaum received its highest honor in 2018, the Robert Mosher Lifetime Achievement Award.

    His abilities and passion as an architect, artist and master craftsman are impressive, and they are readily reflected in his work, the citation read.

    Norman Martin Applebaum was born in Chicago on Dec. 28, 1939, and moved with his family five years later to Los Angeles, where his mother was a mezzo-soprano and his father, a violinist.

    Norm took up the trombone and studied at the Los Angeles Music Conservatory. He played jazz with the likes of Stan Kenton, Dick Shearer and Peter Sprague.

    My background as a musician strengthens my creative process, he once said, and as a jazz musician, more so, because of improvisation.

    Applebaum attended the Merchandising Institute in Los Angeles and took an aptitude test at LA City College to see if he was suited to be an architect. The test didnt say so, but he ignored the results and earned an architectural degree in 1968 from Arizona State University. He soon moved to San Diego, worked for several firms before earning his architectural license and started his one-man firm in 1972.

    All my homes are done artistically, Applebaum said. I dont do any development or tract work or spec work. All my individual custom homes are art.

    Applebaum took his cues from Southern Californias pre-World War II architectural heritage, drawing on both its Hispanic traditions and contemporary styles.

    It began in the 1930s, he told The San Diego Unions architecture critic Kay Kaiser in 1984. So we should keep using it, whatever the contemporary ideas may be.

    Roper, Applebaums third wife, said contemporary styles went only so far with her husband.

    He hated the downtown area with all the Vancouver-like buildings with all the balconies, she said.

    Applebaum never wanted to visit the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park, home of many Old Masters, she said, because the 1960s modern building clashes with the Spanish Colonial revival buildings around it.

    One of Applebaums biggest and most contemporary homes was what he called Sun Catch, the Rancho Santa Fe residence completed in 2006 for investment company executive Charles Brandes and his wife Tanya.

    Among its many features are 27-inch-thick steel beams, covered in wood, that extend the roof as much as 85 feet beyond the walls and act like sun catchers.

    When you start defying gravity, you create a mystique, Applebaum told a Union-Tribune interviewer at the time. (People will wonder) how did he do it.

    One of Applebaums many clients who became a devoted friend was Richard Matheron, a retired U.S. ambassador to several African countries. In 1988 Applebaum designed a home he called Wings, overlooking the San Diego Zoos Safari Park, and a replacement when it was lost in the 2007 Witch Creek-Guejito Fire.

    He was my best male friend over the years, Matheron said. He used to say frequently that he must have done something right if clients continue to invite him back to dinner.

    Applebaum would typically interview clients about their goals for a new or remodeled home and then build intricate models out of corrugated cardboard that were works of art in themselves.

    Both Kay (his late wife) and I always enjoyed the process, Matheron said. We never felt we were in a hurry.

    When the first house was lost, Applebaum met the couple shortly afterward and began planning a replacement, this time with photovoltaic cells and other sustainable architectural features.

    The first house had much of a zen quality, he said. This house is, in a way, more monumental. The fireplace is massive.

    In recent years Applebaum joined Matheron and other buddies at the AMC Mira Mesa multiplexs live simulcasts of New York Metropolitan Opera productions. They then would walk to Mimis Cafe for lunch. Applebaum insisted that Matheron order the French pot roast.

    Youll want that, Applebaum said, but Matheron judged it Frenchish not French. It became a running joke.

    Roper said Applebaum did not travel in San Diego society circles, where architects sometimes find their best clients.

    He was hungry for work at times but he never complained about it, she said.

    Roper said Applebaum arranged to have his drawings and other works donated to the UC Santa Barbara Art, Design & Architecture Museum with more than 275 collections include papers and drawings by leading California architects.

    Norm said hes in good company, she said.

    Besides Roper, Applebaum is survived by his two sons, Anthony and Jeffrey, who both live in San Diego, and five grandchildren. The family requests friends make donations in his memory to the San Diego Blood Bank or a charity of their choice.

    Roger Showley, a freelance writer, can be reached at and (619) 787-5714.

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    Norm Applebaum, architect as friend and artist, 80 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

    Howie Carr: Welcome to the commonwealth of micro-managing – Boston Herald - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will now be micro-managing everything in your life, including your health and your job, and what could possibly go wrong, comrade?

    After all, this is the same state government that has done such an incredible job regulating the states nursing homes that only 3,574 of MAs 5,862 deaths have occurred in them.

    Its the same state government that presided over the fiasco at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, which due to state governments complete incompetence was allowed to kill at least 64 people.

    Its the same state government that manages the Department of Children & Families, which didnt turn over 118 cases of sexual abuse of children to law enforcement because they didnt think it was particularly significant.

    They also run the MBTA.

    Not to mention the very honest Massachusetts State Police, with too many scandals to even list, and where embezzlers are allowed to continue collecting $100,000-a-year state pensions.

    These same state bureaucrats who now imperiously order you around like a dog also run the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which killed seven people in New Hampshire last year when the hacks couldnt be bothered pulling the license of a foreign career criminal.

    Lets check in with Lt. Gov. Karyn Pay to Play Polito as she explains the phase-in process to being the process of phasing in the phase-ins, after the meeting to plan the next phase-in meeting.

    We have established a new restaurant accommodations and tourism work group consisting of industry representatives and municipal leaders that we will continue to have discussions with to help us determine the industry-specific protocols for meeting our safety standards. This group will help us shape the guidance that will allow these industries to reopen and when the data allows for it they will do so safely and in within mind the need to continue to fight the virus.

    That would be the COVID-19 virus, or as its now known, the COVID-1984 virus.

    So far its killed exactly 76 Massachusetts residents under the age of 50. If you are a woman under 30, you have a better chance of being allegedly assaulted by Gov. Charlie Parkers son on a commercial airliner than you do of getting sick, let alone dying from, COVID-1984.

    By the way, many of the Reichs draconian requirements will be policed by the Department of Public Health. Which is very reassuring this would be the same DPH with the state labs in Jamaica Plain and Amherst where for a decade chemists were either fabricating or ingesting evidence in drug cases, leading to the tossing of 38,000 criminal convictions.

    You read that right 38,000. And now your business will be answering to that very same DPH.

    Can you imagine just how corrupt this entire reopening scam is going to be? Think marijuana licenses in Fall River. Or building permits in Boston. Or selling jobs in the Probation department. Or MSP overtime at Logan or the Mass Pike. Then multiply by 100, or maybe 1,000.

    If I were U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, I would be impaneling a federal grand jury right now on spec. This is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Just tell us all how much is it going to cost me to get you greedy hacks off my back?

    We already know that if you pay off the right people, you can open up, its as simple as that. Look at the golf courses. They hired a lobbyist and fore! Or you can sue look at the gun shops, and the churches. But courts are unpredictable, so its easier to, uh, retain the right person and somehow you are Open for Business.

    Just do the right thing, as we say in the hackerama, and let the good times roll. Who did the marijuana shops use as their lobbyist?

    Now more than ever, the three rules of life at the State House will apply: Nothing on the level, everything is a deal, no deal too small.

    Do you remember how King George IIIs government was described in the Declaration of Independence?

    He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    If that doesnt describe the m.o. of these power-mad little petty tyrants, what does?

    Lets face it, New England is now the modern Warsaw Pact. All six states are behind an Iron Curtain. In the old Eastern bloc, some dictatorships were less onerous than others. After all, theres only so far you can take this gag when you have only 53 fatalities (Vermont) or 70 (Maine). Not that they dont try.

    But I think that after Mondays press conference, its pretty clear which Warsaw Pact nation Tall Deval and Pay to Play are aiming to turn Massachusetts into East Germany, the most oppressive of em all.

    Thats why they keep talking about sectors just like in Cold War Berlin. And theres only one way out of Massachusetts now. You have to get through Checkpoint Charlie.

    Continue reading here:
    Howie Carr: Welcome to the commonwealth of micro-managing - Boston Herald

    Apple Unveils 13-inch MacBook Pro: New Keyboard, Faster CPUs, and Up to 32GB of RAM – PetaPixel - May 6, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Ever since Apple unveiled the impressive 16-inch MacBook Pro, weve been waiting for a 14-inch variant that brought similar improvements to the smaller size. Today, Apple (sort of) delivered that updateand although its till a 13-inch computer, it benefits from a lot of important updates under the hood.

    The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro come with several key updates, but none more anticipated than the updated keyboard. Now featuring the new and improved Magic Keyboard and a physical escape key, owners no longer have to deal with frustratingly shallow and unfortunately breakable butterfly switches.

    Thats it for aesthetic tweaksunlike the 16-inch model, youre not getting smaller bezels and more screen in a nearly identical chassisbut for many people, the keyboard is reason enough to upgrade.

    For photographers, the most important updates have nothing to do with the keyboard. Under the hood, Apple is giving us all a LOT more bang for your buck.

    The new 13-inch MBP uses quad-core Intel chips across the lineup, and can be configured with 10th-gen CPUs that offer up to 2.3GHz per core and TurboBoost speeds of up to 4.1GHz. Apple is also increasing storage across the lineup by 2xstarting at 256GB on the base model and offering up to 4TB if youre feeling spendyand for the first time ever, you can configure the 13-inch MBP with up to 32GB of 3733MHz RAM.

    The display, while not a significant update like we saw in the 16-inch variant, is still one of the best on the market for color-critical work, with 500 nits peak brightness and support for the P3 color gamut.

    Finally, that CPU spec comes with one other important caveat for creatives: much-improved Intel Iris Plus Graphics.

    You need to step up to the $1,799 model with the 10th-gen chips to take advantagethe first two tiers still use 8th-gen CPUsbut once you do, Apple promises up to an 80% performance boost over the previous generation. For photographers and video editors who want a thin-and-light Mac that is powerful enough to handle their workflow, this is a big step in the right direction.

    It also means that the computer can now run a Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

    The new and improved 13-inch MacBook Pro is available today, and should begin arriving in customers homes later this week.

    The base model costs $1,299 for a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB or RAM, 256GB of storage, but we would definitely recommend you upgrade that spec at least a little bit. The bump to 16GB of RAM costs just $100 (it used to cost $200) and you can upgrade to a 1.7GHz quad-core Core i7 with a much beefier TurboBoost for $300 more.

    If you really want to take advantage of what this laptop can do, youll want to step up to the $1,800 variant, which will get you a 2.0GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU (TurboBoost up to 3.8GHz), 512GB of storage, and 16GB of RAM, with the option to upgrade even further from there.

    To learn more about this compute or spec out your own, head over to the Apple website.

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    Apple Unveils 13-inch MacBook Pro: New Keyboard, Faster CPUs, and Up to 32GB of RAM - PetaPixel

    NREL, U.S. Air Force Collaborate on Growing Portfolio of Resiliency Work – Transmission & Distribution World - May 6, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    As the U.S. Air Force (AF) continues to bolster its resilience efforts, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) continues to grow its capabilities and expertise in this same area. The NREL's partnership with the AF has led to smarter, stronger, and more flexible base infrastructure, strengthening the AF's ability to execute its missions worldwide.

    In 2018, a team from the NREL worked with the AF to identify vulnerabilities at Florida's coastal-located Tyndall Air Force Base and put together a risk mitigation strategy. With its 40-plus years of renewable energy expertise, the NREL presented the AF with a strategy that included the supplementation of traditional energy sources with renewable sources in a variety of ways. The strategy was designed to boost resiliency, but it also uncovered a critical need to consider the interdependency of the energy system and other systems, such as communications, transportation, food, and water. It effectively places a greater importance on the surrounding community, where many of the base personnel have a vested interest.

    "Right after we did that assessment, Tyndall was hit with a Category 5 hurricane," saidSherry Stout, NREL engineer. "We were able to validate how close we were. After a hurricane is a vulnerable time to go into any community of people. To have that level of trust in us, to be able to sit down and talk about the base and some of their homes that collaboration taught us a lot about which stakeholders to engage and how to engage them. Tyndall was so collaborative and helped us work through the process."

    Hurricane Michael ripped through the Southeast, leaving a torn-up Tyndall Air Force Base in its path, before the AF could implement any of the mitigation strategies. While Tyndall considered the mitigation strategies provided by the NREL for its ongoing rebuilding effort, the AF continued to focus on strengthening the community. As a result, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recognized a growing need to address severe weather and its potential impact on national security.

    Mark Jacobson, NREL senior project leader and liaison to the AF, said the relationship between the NREL and the AF is growing. Jacobson said he sees the NREL as more of a strategic partner to the AF in matters of increasing resiliency microgrids being one area of specific interest across all of the DoD.

    "We've supported a number of bases in the preliminary design and/or evaluation of microgrids and that number is increasing because of the positive feedback we've received from previous projects," Jacobson said. "We can combine that engineering analysis with providing actual testing facilities where we can test hardware-in-the-loop. Microgrids are becoming ever so important as a solution to resiliency at individual bases and we have our own microgrid at our Flatirons campus. We're not just running a computer model. We actually have physical equipment that can be tested to replicate real work problems on the base. That's just the kind of support the AF is looking for."

    The NREL and the AF have been partnering on energy projects for many decades. In the past, these collaborations have been on more of a project-by-project basis, but certain requirements have pushed the NREL into an integral position to the planning stages, as well as execution. One driver, set forth by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is a requirement for each base to develop an installation energy plan.

    "They look at the installations from a high-level perspective and understand the missions the base has and make sure the energy plans support the missions," saidJacobson. "We are starting to provide support for some of the projects resulting from these plans and are looking to increase that level as needed."

    The NREL is uniquely positioned to provide the kind of support the AF prefers.

    "We've got a reputation of being an honest broker and providing independent analysis that isn't pushing one technology or another or one brand or another," Jacobson said. "We can combine our engineering analysis with actual testing facilities. Marry these strengths to our high-performance computing facilities and dozens of specialty energy labs that make up the Energy Systems Integration Facility, and it gives the NREL a unique set of capabilities to offer not only the AF, but all of the DoD."

    The NREL has nearly 900 active partnership agreements spanning industry; academia; and federal, state, and local governments. It can draw on those partnerships as required to pull in even more expertise and address even the most challenging specific requirements the AF can present.

    "We have great relationships with the private sector, collaborating on near-term problem solving," Jacobson said. "We may propose certain ideas and outline a particular spec or high-level overview of a design solution, but the final specs and design are determined by iterating with the private sector and listening to their real-world operational and maintenance concerns. We have a lot of relationships with manufacturers, and there is a host of examples where we worked with the top manufacturers and engineering firms across the country to collaborate on a final implementable design solution."

    Read theTyndall Air Force Base project case studyhere. For more information on theNREL's partnership with the DoD, visithere.

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    NREL, U.S. Air Force Collaborate on Growing Portfolio of Resiliency Work - Transmission & Distribution World

    Brentwood house burned for training exercise, and to make way for new construction – Tennessean - April 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Bill Lewis, Special to Nashville Tennessean, USA TODAY NETWORK newsrooms in Tennessee Published 5:00 a.m. CT April 22, 2020

    With extended school closures due to Coronavirus outbreak, Williamson County Schools with nonprofits like One Generation Away and Graceworks Ministries are providing various food distribution opportunities around the county. Nashville Tennessean

    A home engulfed in flames is usually a frightening sight, but a recent house fire in Brentwood was a welcome event. It enhanced public safety by providing a training opportunity for the citys fire and police departments and set the stage for construction of three new homes.

    It was a great opportunity for them to hone their skills, said Realtor Lisa Culp Taylor, who leads the LCT Team at Parks.

    Williamson County home builder Doug Majors acquired the house and the surrounding 7 acres at 935 Edmondson Pike with plans to construct three new homes on the property. Instead of tearing down the house, an older ranch-style building, and hauling the debris to a landfill, he made it available to the citys first responders for realistic training.

    They accepted the offer, but first Majors had to remove any potentially hazardous materials. He took out carpets and other items that might release toxic fumes. He also removed the water heater and anything else that would not burn.

    The Brentwood Fire Department and firefighters from Nolensville and other jurisdictions then made plans to burn the structure and practice their firefighting procedures.

    Majors credits Taylor, his Realtor, with having the idea of making the house available for police and firefighter training.

    It was a good one, Major said of the idea. It seemed like a good opportunity to give back.

    GET THE LATEST UPDATES:Download the free Tennessean app on your mobile device

    The Brentwood fire department used a home donated by builder Doug Majors for a controlled burn training. The house was prepped first by the builder for safety and health precautions.(Photo: Submitted)

    Over several days before the fire, the Brentwood Police Departments SWAT team held training exercises. Later, as smoke and flames rose over the structure, firefighters went into action.

    Before the blaze was set, the city issued a statement so the fire wouldnt scare anyone or attract a crowd of curious onlookers.

    You will notice smoke in the area from 9 a.m. to around noon when the heaviest of the smoke will occur. We do not encourage the public to try and attend, the statement said.

    Even so, a small crowd gathered to watch as the house was burned over several hours.

    They would burn a part of the house, put it out and light additional fires, said Majors.

    After doing that several times, firefighters ignited the entire house.

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

    Brentwood Fire & Rescue Training used a home donated by builder Doug Majors for safety training.(Photo: Geinger Hill)

    Majors is preparing to begin work on the first new home on the property. The house is being built on spec, but he expects that buyers will seek out the property.

    Architect Michael Katsaitis, principal with MK Studio in Brentwood, designed the house to resemble a home that has been in a family for generations.

    It looks like it has evolved over the years, with the homeowner adding on, he said.

    The site of a Brentwood Fire Department controlled burn is the future location of three new homes being built by Doug Majors, Majors Construction.(Photo: Plat Rendering, LCT Team Parks Realty)

    The result will be a home that looks like it has been part of the landscape for years, but inside it will have all of the features of a new home.

    The house will have 4,600 square feet of living space, with two bedrooms on the main level and three bedrooms and a playroom upstairs. A stairway will be showcased at the front of the house, but there will also be an elevator. Each bedroom will have a private bath. There will be a powder room on both floors.

    The interior will have a modern, open floor plan with 12-foot ceilings on the main level and 10-foot ceilings upstairs, said Katsaitis.

    The main-level master bedroom will form its own wing detached from the rest of the house, creating a private retreat, he said.

    Majors hopes to pre-sell the other two homes he plans to build on the property. Katsaitis said one will be a rustic cottage and the other will be a more contemporary design. Each house will be on more than 2 acres. The rear of the property is wooded.

    The location, which is inside the Williamson County school district and close to offices, shopping and dining, adds to the sites appeal, said Taylor.

    There is easy, convenient access to Brentwood. Its a middle point on Concord Road. You could run to Brentwood or its just as close to run to Nolensville. Easy access to Cool Springs for restaurants and dining, she said.

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    Brentwood house burned for training exercise, and to make way for new construction - Tennessean

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