Category Archives: General Questions

Choosing the Right Floorplan for your Custom Home.

The devil is in the details. When designing your custom home, make sure you take your time and put a lot of thought and planning into what I consider to be one of, if not THE most critical design decision… the floor plan.

Sure we all get caught up in seeing the “elevations” or how the house will look from the street. But let’s face it, you spend more time inside your house than you do walking around the outside of it. The ease to which you can live within your house is going to have the most influence on how much enjoyment you get out of your custom home.

There are some pitfalls that are easy to avoid and also some very easy ones to miss. Let me give you my top ten floor plan considerations:
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Filed under General Questions, Home Plans, Popular Home Styles and Features

Preparing Your Home for Winter – Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, now is the time to prepare for winter and fix those items that can help you have a more secure, warm and better insulated winter. Doing these repairs and improvements now in the “off-season” will help ensure that you can not only find the right talented professionals to do it, but take advantage of non emergency pricing.

In this segment of the article, they talk about everything from proper insulation, windows, insulating your pipes, gutter, lawn care etc… Continue reading

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Prepare Your Home for Winter – Part 1

Summer greetings!

I hope you are all enjoying the few actual days of legitimate summer that graces us here in Upstate NY. As someone once told me, summer in Upstate NY is really just three days of really bad sledding.

Oops. Guess a little winter preparation was in order.

With that said, I hate to bring up the “W” word. No, not our previous commander-in-chief, but something equally disturbing… Winter. It will come, and quite frankly so will the inevitable winter problems of leaky roofs, ice dams, frost heaves on the driveway and poor insulation. If you wait to fix these until the white stuff starts falling, you may find that there is no one to do it, it is too cold to do it, or quite frankly you may end up paying exorbitant rush charges to get it done.

With that in mind, I came across a great article from doityourself.com on preparing for winter, in the summer. Check it out by clicking right here

It contains some great information about taking advantage of the nice weather to get these issues fixed in the “off-season”. I will post the second part as well next week. Let me know if you have any comments.

– Jim

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Protect Yourself With A Builder’s Contract

Before you jump headlong into any substantial building project, it is important that you and your builder agree to several key points upfront. Items such as budgeting, project scheduling, fees and the parameters around up-charges or upgrades should be clearly agreed upon prior to the start of your project. What you need is a Builder’s Contract.

If you are going to be financing your new home or renovation, this contract will likely be required by your lender. Even if it is not, it is an important document to help protect both parties’ financial interests and will help head off any common misunderstandings.

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Filed under Construction Loans, General Questions

Recommended Summer Reading

I hope you are all having a great summer. If you have the opportunity to take vacation this summer and have some time for a little light reading, why not read up on home building and renovations? One of the best ways to ensure that you have a positive experience building your new home or with your major renovation is to make sure that you are educated about the process. In past articles I have talked about finding a builder you can trust. Once you find that builder, you still need to make sure that you maintain a level of oversight to make sure you do not get overcharged or ask for things outside your contract.

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How do you find a General Contractor you can trust?

So you want to build a new home, or make a large renovation to your existing one. Congratulations, this is an exciting time, but it can also be a nerve-wracking one. Who are you going to get to oversee the building construction? Who is going to make sure you are not being overcharged? Who is going to make sure that your house meets building codes and is of high quality? Well the answer to those questions are easy… you need a General Contractor (GC).

Talk about an honest face. Not every GC is as those at Kelly Custom Homes

What is the more troubling question, and a far harder one to answer is: How do you find a general contractor you can trust?

Sadly, there are some bad apples in every batch. Not every used car salesman is a crook, not every mechanic takes advantage of his customer’s lack of knowledge and certainly not every general contractor is out to overcharge you. However, you need to be prepared to separate the wheat from the chaff and find a GC that has your best interests at heart. To do this is not very hard.

What follows are three great resources for you to help find the right GC for your project. You should do all three.

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Financing Your Custom Home Part 4: The Builder Contract

Make him your new best friend. A Builder's contract will make sure both of you are in agreement on all the details.

Continuing on in our series on financing your new home, I would like to share with you an additional step you can be working on while you await the result of your loan application. If you haven’t already, be sure to read blog posts 1-3 of the series on how to begin the construction loan process

Now that you have applied for your loan, you need to identify your builder and begin contract negotiations. Having a contract in place is a requirement of most construction loans. It is also an important way to protect yourselves and your future investment. What follows is an excerpt from an article on construction loans that I often refer to clients of Kelly Custom Homes.

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Filed under Construction Loans, Custom Home Building Costs, General Questions