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

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best? | Kitchen Design Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

How to choose the best Kitchen Countertops for your lifestyle

Kitchen Design Trends for New Custom Homes 

Stone, stone-look laminate, marble, concrete, tile or solid surface – here’s what you need to know before you tell your NC custom home builder what kind of kitchen countertops to install: 

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder TrendsLaminate Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Modern laminate is durable and stain resistant. It comes in a variety of colors and textures, including a look that imitates more expensive materials like granite and marble. 

Laminate is one of the least expensive countertops because it can be shaped and molded fairly easily to match the dimensions of your kitchen cupboards. Laminate can also be customized, with hardwood for the backsplash and front edge, without a lot of additional cost.

One downside to laminate is that it can be scratched or burned, and the colors may fade with time. However, mold or bacteria growth isn’t a problem with laminate, so bleach and harsh cleansers aren’t needed for cleanup. 

Ceramic Tile Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Ceramic tile costs more than laminate, but just how much you pay depends on type of tile, pattern, and decorative accents.

The versatility of tile can add personality to countertops, but the way the tiles are laid out can also make a difference in terms of how much labor is involved. A horizontal pattern is standard, but other patterns require extra cutting and skill. 

Another aspect of tile that makes it stand out is the grout that is used to hold the tile in place. Grout is available in a wide variety of colors that can accent the tiles, and is more stable and longer lasting than in the past. 

Tile is scratch and heat resistant, but grout must be sealed regularly to protect it from stains. Grout seal comes in aerosol cans and dries quickly, so it’s easy to apply. When properly sealed, the grout is almost as easy to clean as the tiles, which require only soap and water.

Solid Surface Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder TrendsSolid surface countertops are made of materials like resin, an acrylic or modified polyester, color pigments, a fire rating filler, and added particles to give the appearance of veins or textures. Corian is a good example of a solid surface countertop.  One nice feature of Corian is an option for an integrated, seamless sink.

These kinds of countertops are a mid-priced option, lately higher than granite but lower than quartz, and come in hundreds of colors and finishes that have varying rates of glossiness. Although they are generally resistant to scratching and are typically heat and stain resistant, solid surface countertops such as Corian can be scorched. 

Solid surface countertops can be wiped down with a soft cloth. Special cleaners are available that can restore glossiness, and many of these materials can be lightly sanded when scratches appear.

Read Best Kitchen Countertops Part II Here

 

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder Trends

More Kitchen Trends and Ideas - Building Your New Custom Home:

Kitchen Color Schemes for 2011 - This Year's Color Trends

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas - Behind the Cooktop

Storage Solutions: Top 5 Options for Kitchen Base Cabinets

Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes, new home trends, kitchen trends, kitchen tile ideas

Craftsman Floor Plans | Where to Find Great Craftsman Style Floor Plans

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jan 04, 2011 @ 12:01 PM

How to Find Craftsman Style Floor Plans

Choosing a New Craftsman Style Home

Craftsman floor plans | Craftsman new homes in RaleighFirst, what is a Craftsman style home?  In the Raleigh area, a Craftsman style home usually evokes visions of stone accents or square, tapered front porch columns, exposed rafters or decorative brackets, low pitched rooflines with overhanging eaves, and deep covered porches.  Inside, Craftsman elements can include simpler trim styles, built in details, hardwood flooring, and lots of windows.

Here are some great places to browse Craftsman style floor plans:

Craftsman Floor Plans by Don Gardner

Donald A. Gardner has been designing great homes, including Craftsman style floor plans, since 1978.  This architectural firm is based in Greenville, SC.

Craftsman Floor Plans by Milwaukee Craftsman LLC

Some great, unique Craftsman floor plans that include well-planned use of space and lots of surprises.  The Sussex is one of my favorite plans on this site. 

Craftsman floor plans | Craftsman new homes in RaleighCraftsman Floor Plans by Designs for Living

This 1612 sq ft one story Craftsman style home includes many traditional elements.  You'll enjoy browsing these Craftsman style floor plans from this Oregon designer.

Craftsman Floor Plans by AVID Design Group

AVID Design Group is an NC based architectural firm, offering many different Craftsman style homes with more ornate rooflines and a liberal use of stone.  This 2678 sq ft one story Craftsman is an example of a more modern Craftsman home.  

Craftsman Floor Plans by Alan Mascord

This is one of my favorite collections of Craftsman style floor plans.  The Morecambe has many great elements, including an open floor plan, wonderful porch, and unique angles.

Found a Craftsman style floor plan you're interested in?  Ask for a free building cost estimate, and get exact costs for your new Craftsman home in NC. 

 

Tags: craftsman style homes, raleigh craftsman homes, craftsman floor plans, nc custom homes, new homes raleigh, custom floor plans

Top 10 Articles of 2010: Custom Homes Tips & Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 03, 2011 @ 16:01 PM

Top 10 Most Viewed NC New Custom Homes Articles of 2010

New Home Design Tips, Trends, and Photos that Stood Out

The Top 10 MOST INTERESTING new home tips and trends articles in 2010 ranged from bubbles to building. Here’s what rated the most clicks:

Top 10 New Home Trends of 2010 | NC New Custom Home Builders1.  Tub Surrounds - Secondary Baths that WOW Your Guests with Tile

Tile is the biggest trend in tub surrounds. Some of the least expensive styles are making the biggest splash with a whole new twist that’s surprisingly simple – and elegant.

2.  How to Save Money in Your New Home:  Focus on the Family Room

Your family is going to gather here. Make the most of the room you’ll want to fill with warmth, with features that make everyone want to linger a little longer.

Top 10 New Home Trends of 2010 | NC New Custom Home Builders3.  Built In Bookcases - Design a Bookcase that Feels Like Home

A trend toward smaller homes is making home buyers hungry for built-in storage that tucks right in. Organization has never been so essential – or worked so well.

4.  Behind the Cooktop - Kitchen Tile Backsplashes that Sizzle

Kitchens in NC new custom homes take on designer looks with tile that makes a statement – without breaking the bank.

5.  Closets That Care: Designing Closet Space That Really Works

Sorting, hanging, folding and storing are easier than ever, with closet designs your builder can create for you based on what you have to put away.

Top 10 New Home Trends of 2010 | NC New Custom Home Builders6. Green Features that Homebuyers Actually Want - Top Choices for Green in New Homes

The best part about going green is the tremendous savings on heating and cooling costs. But don’t go for broke until you read how to choose what you need – and what you don’t.

7.  This Isn't Grandmother's Bathroom, or How to Build a Beautiful, Easy to Use Shower using Accessible Design

Make sure bathing time is as relaxing as it’s intended, with a shower that takes all the stress out with all the accessible features you need.

8.  Trey Ceiling Trends: The Five Most Popular Custom Home Trey Ceiling Treatments

NC new custom homes are looking up, with trey ceilings that expand your rooms with a whole new look.

9. Accessible Homes: Choose the Features that Really Matter

Room-by-room, accessible homes are designed with the things that make it easy to maneuver, reach, and enjoy. Planning ahead ensures you have what you need, right from the start, when you build your NC new custom homes.

10. Build On Your Lot - How to Get Started in Four Easy Steps

Want to build a new home but not sure how to get started? Ready, set, go with these four easy steps that help prevent the biggest blunders in building.

Top 10 New Home Trends of 2010 | NC New Custom Home Builders

Top 10 New Home Articles of 2010

Check out all of our articles for easy inspiration for your NC new custom homes.

Tags: top 10, nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, new home trends, raleigh new homes, new home ideas

Roof Styles: How to Keep Costs Down in your New Custom Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 @ 06:12 AM

Roof styles, lines, pitch and personality for new custom homes

How to Keep Costs Down with Roofing Options:  What You See Impacts What You Pay 

If there’s a certain type of roof you like, you can ask your custom Roof Styles | How to Cut Cost | Raleigh Custom Home Buildersbuilder how it can work with the floor plan you have in mind. You may be surprised at how much a roofline can affect the personality of your new home. But knowing a few basic facts can help you from being surprised by the price.  

Some changes are easy to implement, with very little difference to the bottom line. Others will incur accompanying costs that are in line with the complexity. Here’s how to tell the difference:

Roof Styles

Today's new custom homes often have variations that maintain the integrity of the intended design, while accommodating different layouts and budgets.

Your custom home builder can show you how a style with a mid-level pitch and several gables and valleys can add a lot of sophistication, but still be at the mid to lower end of the cost spectrum.

The more complex the roof, the higher the cost. But when you determine the roof line for your new custom home, be aware that it isn’t like flooring, cabinets or even walls that can be updated later. The roofline and architectural design extremely difficult to revise once your new home is built - so find the best fit before you start.

Roof Lines

Roof lines are a huge factor in the overall curb appeal of your new custom home.

Roof Styles | How to Cut Cost | Raleigh Custom Home BuildersThe number of gables, hips, and valleys in a roof can affect aesthetic appeal as well as cost.

  • A gable is a triangular section of wall formed by the intersection of two sections of roof.
  • A valley is where two sections of roof meet and connect on the downward slope.
  • A hip is where two rooflines meet at the top. This example shows nine different hips on the front of the home, counting the small dormer window.

Roof Pitch

The pitch of a roof is the steepness.

Roof Styles | How to Cut Cost | Raleigh Custom Home BuildersAn 8/12 roof climbs 8 inches in height for every 12 inches in width.

The shallower the roof pitch, the lower the cost. Construction entails less roofing, less framing materials and less framing labor both for the roofing as well as the roof’s support system.

For example, lower cost homes are often constructed with a simpler 4/12 or 5/12 roof pitch. However, this can limit attic space, particularly on a smaller home.

The sample here shows a 6/12 roof pitch. 

Roof personality

Shallow roof pitches are usually not as interesting as a steeper roof pitch, so pitch that is based on price should be balanced against the overall appeal you’re looking for.

Pitch lines can also make a huge difference in the way your new home is viewed. “Box homes” that have virtually no intricate roof lines or pitch emphasize the ability to offer more floor space. But your new home builder or designer can show you how to make the best of both.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a New Custom Home in Raleigh, NC?

Cost depends on size, amenities, and other less known aspects, including the condition of your lot and the requirements of your development. For a free building cost estimate, click here or call 919-278-8070.

Other Custom Home Trends and Tips:

Wrap Around Front Porches - Styles and Trends

Superior Wall System for Basements - Video

Septic System Questions to Ask Before Buying a Lot

Finding a Lot | What to Think About

What are Green Home Certification Levels?

Tags: nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, raleigh new homes, roof styles, new custom home

Making Your Kitchen Work Better: Top 5 Cabinet Ideas for New Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:12 AM

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Cabinets Work Better

Most Popular Base Cabinet Storage Options

Designing your new kitchen cabinet layout can involve more decision making than meets the eye. When a professional designer works with you to determine your ideal layout, one of most important everyday usage items you’ll discuss is what goes on inside your cabinets. 

Here are five of the most popular base cabinet storage options, selected in our new NC custom homes.  

Top 5 Most Wanted Base Kitchen Cabinet Ideas #1:  Base Recycling Center

Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas | NC Custom Home BuildersA pull-out garbage/recycle center makes sorting and saving so easy. 

The emphasis is on durability and usability, with a sturdy pull-out recycling center that has plenty of support.  The model pictured above features a natural maple frame, with full access glides. 

Hardy plastic trash bins are easily removed for emptying and cleaning. 

 

 

Top 5 Most Wanted Base Kitchen Cabinet Ideas #2: Base Pot and Pan Organizer

Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas | NC Custom Home BuildersThis pull-out Base Pot and Pan Organizer makes it easy to keep pans and lids organized. It takes the effort out of getting down to see what’s at the back of the cabinet, with a big pull-out drawer that lets you reach and see everything inside

The most popular width for the base pot and pan organizer is 36", but the organizer is also available in 24", 30", and 33" widths.

Top 5 Most Wanted Base Kitchen Cabinet Ideas #3:  Roll-Out Tray Divider

Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas | NC Custom Home BuildersTrays, cookie sheets and cutting boards all fit into slots designed to make them easy to find in this roll-out tray divider. 

The Roll-Out Tray Divider keeps everything organized, and it extends for ease-of-use. The Tray Divider is available in 12" and 15" widths, making this a versatile option.

A 9" version without the drawer is also available, for tight areas with small cabinets. It also includes a tray divider

Top 5 Most Wanted Base Kitchen Cabinet Ideas #4: Bag Storage Unit

Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas | NC Custom Home BuildersA Plastic Bag Storage Unit keeps plastic bags in one place, so they’re right-at-hand for reuse.  Plastic bags are a snap to grab from this solid wood storage unit. 

The plastic lined upper tray is perfect for sponges and other kitchen clean-up items.

Top 5 Most Wanted Base Kitchen Cabinet Ideas #5:  Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan’s remain one of the most popular requests for base cabinets.  These spin units can be constructed from wood, metal or plastic, and are usually 28" or 32" in diameter. 

Your cabinets will be one of your most important decisions when you build your new home.

Bring a diagram of the layout for your kitchen when you work with your kitchen designer, along with your budget and a list of features that are “must have” and “nice to have.”

Your kitchen designer will show you what it would take to add an island, eating bar, or other feature that can add more usable space – and more places to put cabinets!

Check back for other kitchen ideas!

More NC Custom Home Builder Questions and Tips:

Kitchen Tile Ideas | Top 5 Kitchen Tile Backsplash Design Trends

Top 10 Most Wanted New Home Design Features

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

Tags: cabinet ideas, kitchen, kitchen design, nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, new home trends, raleigh new homes

Top 10 Most Wanted New Home Design Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 @ 09:11 AM

Most Wanted: Top 10 Most Desired New Home Features

Raleigh Custom Home Builder Tips

What are today's most requested new home design features?

According to over 11,000 homeowners, these are today's must-haves when purchasing a new home.

Top 10 New Home Features | Raleigh Custom Home Builders1.  Walk In Closets

Today's custom homes are better designed for efficiency, with one or more walk in closets.  Organized storage spaces can make even a small home feel much more spacious.

2.  Energy Efficient Appliances

Why not save a little wear and tear on the planet while cooking for the family?  Homebuyers are planning to eat at home more often, and want their appliances to be efficient.

3.  Overall Energy Efficient Home

In NC, about 58% of our power is supplied by coal, while another 32% is supplied by nuclear power.  An energy efficient home not only reduces monthly costs, it also reduces dependency on coal and nuclear power. 

4.  Linen Closets

Linen closets are number 4 on the list...organization continues to be a huge focus for today's homebuyer.

5.  Large Kitchen

For anyone who's ever had an apartment, a large kitchen is a treasured feature.  It doesn't have to be huge, but should be well planned with several work areas and plenty of storage.

6.  High-Efficiency Insulation

This ties back to an energy efficient home, and is actually the biggest factor in overall efficiency.

7.  High Efficiency Windows

Four of the top 10 most wanted features are very specifically energy efficiency!  The building science available for today's new custom homes can make a very significant difference versus a home built even ten years ago. 

Top 10 New Home Ideas | Raleigh Custom Home BUilders8.  Kitchen Island

The kitchen continues to be both a gathering place and an informal eating area.  Kitchen islands are often designed to allow both food preparation and cozy get togethers. 

9.  Large Windows

Well placed windows can make a big difference, allowing plenty of natural light.  Just keep in mind that those huge, arched specialty windows architects love to draw will have a hefty price tag attached.

10.  Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are essential, particularly in the Master Bedroom and the main living areas. 

Top 10 Most Wanted Custom Home Features

Top 10 New Home Features | Raleigh Custom Home BuildersThese "Top 10 Most Desired Home Design Features" were the results of the 2010 AVID Home Design Driver Report, conducted by AVID Ratings. 

The study surveyed over 11,000 homeowners who purchased a new home within the last nine years, but asked respondants to answer questions as if they were planning to purchase a new home again tomorrow. 

As a Raleigh custom home builder, we too have seen a very strong focus on energy efficient homes with well-planned space and organized storage areas.  These Top 10 New Home Features can be found in Stanton Homes throughout the Raleigh area!

Other Top NC Custom Home Builder Questions:

What Ceiling Height Should I Choose?

What are the Top 5 Most Popular Trey Ceiling Styles?

Top 5 Closet Ideas | Walk In Closet Space Designed Just for You

What to Ask Before Buying a Mother in Law Suite Home

How to Get a Bigger Pantry for Less | Custom Home Builder

Formal Dining Room - yes or no?

Woodburning or Gas Fireplace? | Custom Homebuilder Questions

Construction Loans: What Kind of Down Payment is Needed?

 

Tags: Raleigh Custom Home Builders, nc custom homes, raleigh custom homes, top 10 new home features, top 10 design ideas

Designing Your Kitchen Island for the Cook | NC Custom Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Kitchen Island Layout and Design Tips

Kitchen Design Tips for NC Custom Homes

Chances are good you'll spend more time in the kitchen than anywhere else in your NC custom home. 

Kitchen Island Design | NC Custom HomesBut have you really thought about the layout and design of your island countertop space?

Here's the top things to consider:

What Kind of Island should your kitchen have:

  • Will the island have a cooktop, wall oven, or microwave?
  • Will the island have a sink and dishwasher?
  • Should there be seating?
  • Will the seating area be lower or higher than standard countertop height?
  • Should there be a prep sink?

What Kind of Peninsula should your kitchen have:

  • Will the peninsula have a cooktop, wall oven, or microwave?
  • Will the peninsula have a sink and dishwasher?
  • Should there be seating or a serving bar?

Planning Sufficient Countertop Space:

Once you have an idea of what you'd like to see where in your new custom home kitchen, you'll want to ensure that the islands and peninsulas are functional. 

Islands and peninsulas should provide additional prep space, and should move traffic away from the traditional work triangle.

Minimum Work Aisles Around Islands:

Does your island or peninsula have enough "floor space" around it for cooks and guests to move comfortably?

  • Minimum 42" recommended around an island for one cook.
  • Minimum 48" recommended around an island for two cooks.
  • Measure between countertop fronts, as this is true space available.
  • Minimum 36" between wall and island/peninsula
  • Minimum 44" recommended if this area is a passageway.
  • Minimum 60" recommended for wheelchair access.

Kitchen Island Design Ideas | NC Custom HomesNC custom homes can be designed to your specifications, but make sure to ask your custom home builder for recommendations before finalizing the design.  They've seen thousands of homes built, and might just have some terrific ideas for your new kitchen too!

Top NC Custom Homes Questions:

What Ceiling Height Should I Choose?

What are the Top 5 Most Popular Trey Ceiling Styles?

Top 5 Closet Ideas | Walk In Closet Space Designed Just for You

What to Ask Before Buying a Mother in Law Suite Home

How to Get a Bigger Pantry for Less | Custom Home Builder

Formal Dining Room - yes or no?

Woodburning or Gas Fireplace? | Custom Homebuilder Questions

Construction Loans: What Kind of Down Payment is Needed?

Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, Kitchen Islands, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes