New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Why do smaller homes cost more? [Top 12 Reasons]

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 12:07 PM

Why is it more expensive to build a smaller home?

Home buyers often wonder why it costs more per square foot to build a small home. 

Below are 12 reasons why small homes cost more to build, along with cost-cutting suggestions from a Raleigh custom home builder.  Each of these factors contributes to the overall cost per sq ft of your new home.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #1

"Footprint" space is expensive.

Build up, not out - bonus room space is often the cheapest sq ft in the house. 

See how your builder can add a bonus room to a one story plan, here.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

There are two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, across from this bonus room - an example from a version of The Scottsdale.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #2

Size of kitchen.

Kitchens are the most expensive room of the home - with cabinets, counter tops, hardwood or tile flooring, plumbing, faucets, appliances, and so much more - that makes your kitchen also the most useful room of the home.

If your floor plan has an oversized kitchen, consider balancing out your square footage allocation to reduce the overall cost per sq ft.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Peninsula kitchens are generally smaller than island kitchens, but packed full of usable space - like the efficient kitchen design in this version of The Gershwin.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #3

Size and layout of baths.

Do you need a separate tub shower in the master, or is it better to have a shower in the master and a tub/shower in the secondary bath?  (See pictures of master bathrooms without a tub, here.)

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

More home buyers are requesting shower-only bathrooms, like in this version of The Smokey Ridge.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #4


We're seeing more home buyers opt out of the living room fireplace. If a fireplace is on your must-have list, ask your builder to locate it on an outside wall.  

Exterior wall fireplaces are more cost effective to build than interior wall fireplaces.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #5

2 baths vs. 2.5 or 3 baths.

Bathrooms cost more per square foot than any other room in your home (besides the kitchen).

Depending on the sq ft and selections, a powder room can start in the $2K range. A full bath with tile and nice fixtures generally starts closer to $4K.  

To reduce the cost of your home, make sure you're getting the right number of bathrooms. How many bathrooms do I need? Find out here.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

There are many ways to build small, efficient bathrooms. Get more ideas from these 10 powder rooms for small spaces.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #6

Stay angular.  Cut those corners. 

The more corners on the exterior, the higher the cost. To get a visual example, compare these two floor plans:

The rectangle footprint of The Silverwood makes it a more cost effective plan to build. With only a 200 sq ft difference in size, each plan has three bedrooms, two baths, and a two car garage.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

The Silverwood is copyright Plans, Inc.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #7

Keep the roofline a little simpler.  Soaring rooflines can add expense without necessarily adding livable space.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #8

Specialty windows and rooms filled with windows.

Large window designs are a top custom home request. To reduce the cost of your home, ask your builder how to cut out specialty windows, and plan windows carefully throughout the home.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

This version of The Bostwick has the best of both worlds - the design incorporates lots of windows for tons of natural light, but with lower-cost standard window sizes and shapes.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #9

Size of laundry room.

Similar to bathrooms and kitchens, laundry rooms are more costly to build than other rooms, especially when a larger laundry is filled with cabinetry and countertops.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

See 10 small laundry room layouts, with completed home pictures, here.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #10

Add built ins later.

Popular floor plans often include built ins throughout the home. Adding built ins down the road can save cost up front, and give your family weekend projects to complete together.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #11

Two car, not three car.

When finding ways to cut the cost of your home, one of the first things to consider is removing the third car garage.

Most families find ample space in more standard two car garages, especially when nailing down true "must-haves" versus "really wants."

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

For this version of The Dinsmore, the home owners reduced their home's footprint - and saved on building costs - by removing the third car garage.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #12

Limit the size and quantity of covered porches.

The cost of porches and other outdoor living areas adds up quickly. 

Consider a front OR back porch, but not both, if you're looking to save money by building a smaller home. Which would you use more? That's the one you should build.

Often, homebuyers decide on outdoor living spaces after buying a lot - to maximize the use of their land.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Remember - patios and decks are much more cost expensive than porches, and offer great outdoor living options.

How to Build a Custom Home:

These cost-cutting tips should help your family stay on-budget when narrowing down your favorite floor plans.

Ultimately, building a custom home is about quality, creativity, and personality. Ask Stanton Homes how we build custom homes - in budget - without sacrificing what matters most to YOU.

Raleigh New Homes 



Tags: new home cost, custom home builder, cost to build, custom home cost, cost per sq ft, new home prices

75 Photos of Trey Ceiling Ideas

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

75 Photos of Trey Ceiling Ideas

Trey Ceiling Photo Gallery

Trey ceilings can be designed as a centerpiece or subtle accent in your new home.

While some of the most popular trey ceiling styles - such as step, shallow step, vaulted, octagonal, angled, or single box - are often placed in the formal dining room or master suite, more home buyers are adding a specialty ceiling to their home office, great room and kitchen.

See over 75 different trey ceiling photos and get ideas for your trey ceiling design in this trey ceiling ideabook.

Trey Ceiling Designs | Photos of Trey CeilingsIn this design build contemporary style kitchen, a single box trey was added to the kitchen and breakfast nook ceiling. This trey ceiling creates continuity between the kitchen and nook - and gives subtle room division in an otherwise open concept design.


Trey Ceiling Design | Photos of Trey CeilingsIn this Raleigh custom home, an octagonal trey ceiling was included in the first floor home office, located just off the foyer. This office is perfect for at-home work and visitor reception with a complex ceiling, tranquil green walls, and tons of natural light. 


Trey Ceiling Designs | Photos of Trey CeilingsIn this accessible custom home, a trey ceiling was incorporated into the living room. Here, a shallow vault draws the eye upwards, making the two-sided fireplace feel taller and more dramatic when entering the home.

See More Photos of Custom Home Specialty Ceiling Treatments:

Trey Ceiling Ideabook on Houzz - 75 Photos

Trey Ceiling Treatments - Master Bedrooms with Trey Ceilings

Vaulted Ceilings - Custom Home Vaulted Ceiling Styles

Coffered Ceilings - What is a Coffered Ceiling?

Barrel Vaults - Pictures of Two Story Barrel Vault Foyers

What Ceiling Height Should I Choose?

Contact Stanton Homes

Tags: trey ceilings, trey ceiling designs, 2014 new home design, custom home builder

15 Common Misconceptions About Building a Custom Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

15 Scary Misconceptions (set straight) about building Custom Homes in NC


Misconception #1: One story homes are the least expensive home to build.

Custom Home Builder | Raleigh Custom Homes

The more square footage there is on the first floor, the higher the cost for typical plans.

The bigger the footprint, the higher the costs are for foundation, roofing, and even framing to support that big roof.  It's most cost effective to go up, rather than out.  A Main Floor Master home can be a good compromise between budget and lifestyle.


Misconception #2: I can save money by using other countertop types in place of granite.

Custom Home Builder | Raleigh Custom Homes

If you're happy with today's premium laminate options, these remain the most cost effective countertops. 

Want to step up your game?  Granite countertops offer beautiful natural stone that are extremely long lasting.

Butcher block, recycled glass, and stainless steel countertops can cost double or more the cost of granite. 

Quartz is usually about a 50% increase over the cost of granite.

Misconception #3: There’s nothing I can do to change the floor plan other than choosing another floor plan - and I can't find a plan I like.  

If your builder is truly a custom builder, you can make almost endless changes to the floor plan.  Often we solve problems by adding additional rooms, widening hallways, rearranging kitchens and master suites, and even completely redesigning just about anything about the home.

Misconception #4: The exterior of my home will need to look just like the picture.

Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom HomesA truly custom home can have a totally different exterior than the one in the photos.

Start by choosing a floor plan you love - and ignore the exterior, if you don't like it!  Stanton Homes can make your home have any design from Craftsman, Traditional, Transitional, Victorian, to Country and many other architectural styles you like best.


Misconception #5: I have to buy a lot before I can build a custom home.

Financial institutions will work with you to wrap your lot loan into your construction loan, so it’s all one easy payment that will roll over into a mortgage.  In many cases, it may be much more beneficial to contract the home and lot together, as some lenders require that a lot be owned for 12 months before equity can be counted.  Talk to your builder and your lender BEFORE you purchase that lot. 

Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom Homes

Misconception #6: The home I want to build is too big for the lot I like, so I’ll have to look for another neighborhood.


Maybe… but we’ll take a look at the lot you like before you make any decisions.

It’s possible that we can redesign your floor plan to fit a lot you love.


Misconception #7: It’s really hard to find a lot for my new home.

Start with the links on our website to some of the communities all over central North Carolina where we can build your custom home. Any unrestricted lot available on MLS can be available for a custom home – and we’ll help you choose one that’s a good fit.


Misconception #8: As long as there are other homes in a neighborhood, the lots that are left should be good to build on.Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom Homes

Ask for a builder lot inspection.

Things such as easements, lot characteristics and topography and other factors could impact what and where you can build.

Never buy a lot without knowing (and understanding) the details regarding sewer or septic and water or well.  If the lot has not been "perked" or there is no septic permit on file, discuss with your builder BEFORE you purchase the lot.  And if there is a septic permit on file, show it to your builder - he'll let you know if the system is typical, or more expensive. 


Misconception #9: If I choose a floor plan with less square feet, it should be cheaper to build.

Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom HomesCosts are dependent on a great deal of factors, not just square footage.

The number of windows, size and complexity of the kitchen and baths, number of baths, architectural complexity, and even the number of "corners" all affect cost. 

Ask your builder for a full, comprehensive estimate for the home you're interested in - and ask for suggestions for alternate designs that fit your budget.      

Misconception #10: A bigger home costs more per square feet than a smaller home.

The bigger the home, the less it typically costs per square feet.  A lot of factors stay the same no matter what size the home is, especially site costs, permits, and impact fees, among others.  Of course the complexity and style of home still factors in too!  

Misconception #11: Engineered hardwoods are better than site finished hardwoods.

Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom HomesThis is a personal decision.

Although engineered hardwoods can start out with a tougher finish, they cannot be sanded down multiple times over the years ahead should you choose to refinish your floors.

Stanton Homes gives you the choice, and we will detail all of the differences to you when you make your selections.

The choice that is selected most often is site finished.

Do be wary though - some builders offer "hardwoods" that are merely laminates, and don't stand up to either engineered or site finished standards!  

Misconception #12: If I add a lot of windows to my home that will make it less expensive, because glass costs less than other materials.

Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom HomesWindows can add extra light and personality to a home.

But the more windows, and the more complex the windows are, the higher the overall cost of the home.

Keep in mind too - glass does not keep heat in or out nearly as well as an insulated wall, no matter how good the windows are.   A home with a lot of glass will be more expensive to heat and cool (and likely require a larger and more expensive HVAC unit too). 

Ask your builder for the best ways to get more light into your home, without breaking the bank.   

Misconception #13: I do not have the time or expertise to select good features and finishes  in a custom home.

Custom Home Builders | Raleigh Custom Homes

With Stanton Homes, a professional designer will work with you to choose your selections with eight extensive design sessions. You will be accompanied to all of the warehouse visits so that every aspect of your home is coordinated.   You can be involved as much, or as little, as you'd like to be in the process - we'll coordinate everything for you if you'd like, or give advice every step of the way.

Misconception #14: It’s really hard to get a construction loan.

New home construction is booming and the banks are backing it. We work with dozens of financial institutions that offer a wide variety of programs, with everything from 5 – 20% down, so we suggest that you call several to see what works best for you.  We'll be happy to provide a full list of lenders! 

Misconception #15: I'm going to need to walk through a home that's exactly like what I want, so I can be sure I'm going to like it.

The only way to walk through a home that's exactly like the one you want to build is to have a home just like everybody else has. But usually that means you're looking at a manufactured model, that's loaded up with high end extras that add a tremendous amount of cost to the "base plan" you won't be able to visualize, anyway. You can get a pretty good idea of how beautiful your custom home will be by taking a look at other homes your builder is creating. Look at lots of photos and ask to take a tour of homes in progress. Ask a lot of questions, and find out what your builder team will do to weave your influence into your new home. If you've chosen a great builder, you'll be excited. 

Raleigh Custom Home Resources

Custom home builder lot inspection

New home warranty information

Top 10 reasons to build a Stanton Home

How to build on your lot

Contact Stanton Homes

Raleigh Custom Home Trends

17 Master bath surrounds

What you should think twice about putting in your master bathroom

Top 10 mistakes home buyers make | How to build a new home

2014 Home Design Trends | 11 things your neighbors will wish they had

Custom Staircase Designs

 White, Black, and Gray Bathrooms

Tags: raleigh custom homes, custom home builder

Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 @ 14:07 PM

Homes under construction in Chapel Hill

Custom home builder

Can't find it? Design it!

It’s still a little dusty, and we’re still doing final touches: What a great time to see how we design and build real homes for real people.

Here’s a sneak peek at a Stanton Home we’re completing right now, to give you more ideas fresh from the building site.

Tell us what you like best, and we’ll show you how to build it into your favorite floor plan.

Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom home builder


Snapshot #1

Design with detail – and the pleasure of formal dining.








Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom home builder

Snapshot #2

A carefully chosen color palette for archways and trey offer a natural flow.









Snapshot #3Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom home builder

Add depth to your foyer with a barrel vault ceiling.















Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom home builder

Snapshot #4

Add dimension in every direction with open corridors and natural light.









Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom home builder

Snapshot #5

Create a retreat that’s open to possibilities (check out the see-through fireplace)







Homes under construction in Chapel Hill | Custom home builder

Snapshot #6

Build a master bathroom that feels like a spa.










Create some excitement - design and build your custom home with everything just the way you want it.

Tags: chapel hill custom builder, Homes under construction in Chapel Hill, homebuilders chapel hill, custom home builder

Cumberland County Property Tax Rates | New Homes Cumberland County NC

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 @ 09:12 AM

Click here for 2017 Property Tax Rates in NC


Cumberland County NC 2011 Property Tax Guide

How much are property taxes for Cumberland County NC new homes? 


Whether you're considering relocating from the other side of the country or the other side of the Triangle, you've probably wondered what the yearly property taxes might be for your new home.

2011 Cumberland County Property Taxes | Cumberland County NC Property Tax Rates

Where is Cumberland County located? Cumberland County sits below Harnett County, about an hour south of Raleigh.

Towns within Cumberland County are particularly popular with families looking to stay near Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, or to have affordable country living just a short hop from big city life in the Triangle

Cumberland County encompasses Falcon, Fayetteville, Eastover, Godwin, Manchester, Spring Lake, and Wade.

How Much are 2011 Property Taxes in Cumberland County, NC?

Here are the 2011 rates, by town within Cumberland County.  To get the total property tax rate for a town, simply add the county tax to the town tax.  For example, Hope Mills has a town rate of 0.42, and the Cumberland County rate is 0.74.  Add the two together - the total tax rate for Hope Mills, NC is 1.160.

 2011 Cumberland County Property Taxes | Cumberland County NC Property Tax Rates

The Cumberland County property tax chart is not as confusing as it looks.  The tax rates are always based on the assessed value of the home, not the asking price, so you'll want to look up the assessed value, or ask your agent for it. 

  1. 1. Take the assessed value of the property.

  2. 2. Divide by 100.

  3. 3. Multiply by the combined 2011 tax rate.

  4. 4. This will give you the yearly tax amount, per 2011 fiscal year rates.




And just to give you an idea, here's a table of sample yearly tax payments for different sample assessed home values.

 2011 Cumberland County Property Taxes | Cumberland County NC Property Tax Rates 
















This table gives sample property tax bills for all the cities in Cumberland County, such as Falcon, Fayetteville, Eastover, Godwin, Manchester, Spring Lake, and Wade.

There is no guarantee that tax rates will remain the same - check the Cumberland County Property Tax Page for most recent information.

Where Should I Live to Get the Lowest Property Tax Rate?

Your tax bill can be lower if your home or property is not actually within a municipality, or town.  If this is the case, you'll pay just the County rate, plus most likely a fire district tax and/or the special district tax. 

Check the Address of Your New Cumberland County Home

If there's a particular home that you're considering, you can go directly to the Cumberland County Tax Records Site, type in the address, and see the assessed value of the property.   If there is a discrepancy, don't be afraid to ask your real estate agent to pull comps for you!


Want to Compare Property Tax Rates?

Compare property tax rates in Cumberland County to other counties in the area here:

Alamance County Property Tax Rates 2011NC Property Tax Rates | How Much are Property Taxes in North Carolina?

Chatham County NC Property Tax Rates 2011

Durham County NC Property Tax Rates 2011

Franklin County NC Property Tax Rates 2011

Granville County NC Property Tax Rates 2011

Johnston County NC Property Tax Rates 2011

Harnett County NC Property Tax Rates 2011


Tags: new custom built homes, new home builders in nc, Cumberland County property taxes, nc new home builders, how much are property taxes, property tax rates, custom home builder

Beadboard Ceiling Treatments - Raleigh New Home Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 @ 09:06 AM

Raleigh New Home Trends: Beadboard Ceiling Treatments

What Are Beadboard Ceiling Treatments?


Check out these Raleigh custom homes with beadboard ceiling treatments. Beadboard treatments are a classic feature - and they are being added to more transitional (not just traditional) style new homes.


Front Porch Beadboard Ceiling Treatment

What is a Beadboard treatment?

Beadboard, also referred to as "tongue and groove," is a treatment (usually a ceiling treatment) that gives a routed design to previously flat panels or flat wood coverings.  

Beadboard treatments give the home a traditional, classic look.

A Beadboard design is incorporated into this covered front porch.


What is Beadboard made out of? 

Screen Porch Beadboard Ceiling

A Beadboard Treatment can be created using individual wooden planks (commonly pine, cedar, or even plywood), beadboard panels, or even vinyl.

Generally, individual tongue and groove boards will be more costly than full panels, and stain grade beadboard will be more costly than paint grade beadboard.

Beadboard can be either painted or stained, depending on the materials used. Beadboard is commonly painted white, stained a natural tone, or left in its natural wooden state. 

Where can Beadboard be used in a home? 

Beadboard is not limited to porch ceilings.

In fact, it can be used throughout the home, including on foyer and sunroom ceilings, on kitchen cabinet doors, and as on wainscoating for hallways, dining rooms, mudrooms, and bathrooms. 

Barrel Vault Beadboard Foyer

Check out this Barrel Vault Foyer with natural wood Beadboard Ceiling.

This custom home foyer incorporates two elegant features into one area, creating a personal style and dramatic entranceway. 


What's your goal? 

Whether you are building a new home, or looking to make some changes to your current home, Beadboard ceiling treatments and wainscoating designs can be a unique addition to any room.

Want to read about other popular Custom Home Trends?

How to Choose Types of Hardwood Flooring | Custom Home Tips

Butler's Pantry Ideas and Pictures

Are Stainless Steel Appliances Going Out of Style

Top 5 Trey Ceiling Treatments

Wrap Around Front Porches - Styles and Trends

What is a Barrel Vault Foyer? Pictures of Barrel Vault Foyers by Custom Home Builders 

Tags: custom home ideas, custom home builder, wood porches, new home ideas, What is a Barrel Vault Foyer

Fireplace Trends in New Homes: Disappearing Act

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

New Home Trends - Are Fireplaces Disappearing?

Number of New Homes with Fireplaces Hits 23 Year Low

Wondering if fireplaces are going the way of the formal dining room?

The number of new homes that include fireplaces is decreasing.   According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace reached 49% in 2009, the highest percentage since 1975. 

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

According to data from the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace in 2009 hit 49%, following a steady trend over the past 15 years.NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

The year 1990 saw the most new homes with fireplaces since the Census Bureau started tracking in 1973 - only 34% of new homes built in 1990 did not include a fireplace.  Since then, the number of homes with fireplaces has been on the decline. 

The years 1980-1983 saw another increase in the number of homes without fireplaces, after which the number homes with  fireplaces steadily grew until to their peak in 1990.

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

What could be causing the decline in the number of fireplaces?

Just a few factors that could be impacting the "fireplace decision" could include:

- Cost effectiveness

- Fireplaces no longer used as a heat source

- Entertainment centers as focal points instead of fireplace

- Changing restrictions on woodburning fireplaces

- Low maintanence lifestyle choices

Will your new home include a fireplace? 

As an NC custom home builder, we'll work with you to make the decision that's right for you, and can design a home that includes the features that will make your lifestyle exceptional. 

Want to get started?

Browse Floor Plans

More Custom Home Tips and Trends:

NC Custom Home Builders | Build on Your Lot | How Many Bathrooms

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Craftsman Floor Plans: Our Favorite Craftsman Architects

Small Changes Make Big Differences - Floor Plan Modifications

Tile Tub Surround Design Trends and Ideas

Cabinet Wood Types: Compare and Contrast


Tags: fireplace trends, nc custom homes, building a home, certified green home builders, nc custom homebuilders, build on your lot, custom home builder

How to Keep Countertops Looking Great | Custom Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 06, 2010 @ 06:12 AM

How To Keep Kitchen Countertops Looking Their Best

Custom Home Builder Tips for the Kitchen

No matter what kitchen countertop style and material you find most appealing, you'll want to consider durability and maintanence before making a decision.  Here's how to take care of some of today's most popular countertops, with top tips from your NC custom home builder.

Kitchen Countertop Tips | Custom Home BuilderFormica® Laminate Countertop Cleaning Tips

In most cases, all that is needed is a clean, damp, nonabrasive cotton cloth and a mild liquid detergent or household cleaner. Do not flood the countertop.  A nylon bristled hand or vegetable brush can be used, especially on sculpture and dimensional finish laminates.  Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads should not be used.  As for nearly all countertop surfaces, use a trivet or pot holder, and don't place hot containers directly on the surface.

Granite Countertop Cleaning Tips

According to custom home builders, one of the most popular countertop selections is natural granite, which is a tough and durable stone.  Granite countertops should last a lifetime if cared for properly.  Granite countertops should be sealed at installation, and resealed by the homeowner once or twice a year to stay looking their best.

Use warm, soapy water for everyday cleaning, and do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.

Kitchen Countertop Tips | Custom Home BuilderStainless Steel Countertop Cleaning Tips

Stainless steel countertops can scratch easily, so consider purchasing special maintenance powders, which are rubbed in the direction of the grain.  As for most countertops, use warm, soapy water and avoid harsh cleaners. 

Especially for stainless steel, remember not to leave food directly on the surface, because acidic foods can stain a stainless steel countertop.

Quartz Countertop Cleaning Tips

The extra expense of a quartz countertop can be somewhat justified by the ease of care.  No polishing, buffing, sealing, or reconditioning should be needed - just wipe clean with warm, soapy water.  Be careful, though, about allowing high levels of heat to come in contact with your quartz countertop.

Wood Countertop Cleaning Tips

Wood countertops should ideally have a monthly layer of oil rubbed into the wood to keep looking it's best.  Be wary of flooding the surface to help avoid cracking and warping.  To clean, use a steel scraper to remove hardened food or other substances, then use warm, soapy water.


New Home Trends - Custom Home Builder Tips and Trends

Kitchen Tile Ideas | Top 5 Kitchen Tile Backsplash Design Trends

Top 10 Most Wanted New Home Design Features

Kitchen Tile IdeasTop 10 Dos and Donts for Kitchen Cabinets

Tub Surround Tile Ideas - Photos and Tips

Top 5 Ways to Save Money - Family Room

Built in Bookcases - Ideas and Trends

Formal Dining Rooms - Disappearing, or Here to Stay?

Virtual Tours - See This Week's Most Exceptional Homes

*Photos represent current new home trends. Not all photos represent Stanton Homes. Stanton Homes discusses current new home trends across a wide variety of topics.


Tags: kitchen design, kitchen countertops, nc custom home builder, new home trends, custom home builder

How Many Green Points Do You Need? | Green Home Builders Raleigh

Posted by Penn Hull on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 @ 08:11 AM

How does Green Home Certification Work?

Green Home Builders Raleigh

If you're considering building or buying a new green certified home in the Raleigh area, you'll want to have a basic understanding of what, exactly, a "certified green home" means!

Certified green homes must meet specific guidelines, and must be inspected by third party verifiers. 

There are four basic levels of certification through the NAHB Green Building program: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald.

If you choose to have a certified green home, your green home builder will be able to provide a physical certificate showing which level your new Raleigh green home has been certified at.

Green Homes Raleigh NC

Green Home Certificate Basics:

Each certified green home must meet minimum standards in six different aspects of construction: Lot Design, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence. 

Green Home Certification - What Color is Your Home?

Your new NAHB certified green home should meet one of the following standards:

Bronze Level - this is the most basic green home certification through the NAHB Green Building program.  A total of 222 points are required.

Silver Level - a Silver Level home must "earn" an additional 184 points to meet this higher certification level.  A Silver Level green certified home has significantly more features throughout the home that meet higher standards.

Gold Level - a Gold Level green certified home must earn nearly 2.5 times the number of points that a Bronze Level green certified home is required to earn.   Gold Level green certified homes are very rare, and are usually at the very high end of the budget.

Emerald Level - an Emerald Level green certified home has maximum green technology.  An Emerald Level home requires very specific planning throughout every step of the process, and this certification can only be obtained on certain sites, depending on the site requirements.

Buying a Raleigh Green Home?

Ask the seller to provide you with the green home certificate.  This certificate is issued upon completion of the home, and will specify the level of the certification.

Building a Raleigh Green Home?

Discuss your green building priorities with your green home builder.  They will help you determine which level of green building certification best meets your budget and desires.  If you opt for a certified green home, you'll receive an official certificate from a third party verifier like the NAHB upon completion of your new Raleigh green home.

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.


Tags: custom homes, green home builders raleigh, green homes, custom home builder, green homes raleigh, certified green homes

Apex New Homes | Finding a New Home in Apex NC

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Nov 05, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Apex Custom Homes | Finding New Homes in Apex

Apex NC is a suburb of Raleigh, and one of the most popular destinations in the Triangle area.  Apex is centrally located just southwest of Cary, south of Morrisville and the Research Triangle Park, and just east of Jordan Lake.

Money Magazine awarded Apex #14 Best Place to Live, with a great combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community.   For more information about living in and visiting Apex NC, click here.

Considering new homes in Apex?

Apex custom homes are available in a wide variety of communities, on cozy homesites or wooded acreage.

New Homes in Apex - Available Communities

Apex Custom Homes

Custom homes in Apex are beautiful, with many different new home options available!

Browse through some of our favorite available floor plans here.  Ask us about thousands of additional options, or even design/build ideas.

One Story Homes in Apex

Main Floor Master Suite Homes in Apex

Two Story Homes in Apex

Check out this virtual tour, and see just one idea of what your new Apex custom home can look like!

The Sullivan as built by Stanton Homes

Apex New Homes Virtual Tour 

(click photo or here for tour)

Apex New Homes

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Stanton Homes offers new homes in Apex NC - and we look forward to providing you with an exceptional living experience! 

Tags: apex new homes, custom homes, custom home builder