Grayson Homes is a custom home builder in Raleigh. Our speciality is building energy efficient homes that are quiet and comfortable. Every home is equipped with energy saving heating and cooling systems and indoor air quality standards where minimal maintenance is required. Live in a safe, clean environment. Follow this blog to check out their portfolio.
In the world of construction, you may have heard the term green home. These homes are environmentally friendly and energy efficient. With global warming and other issues in the current world, green homes have become incredibly popular and relevant. But what exactly makes it a green home?
When building a home, you can choose from a large variety of materials. It can be overwhelming. Bamboo floors and cotton insulation are just two examples of materials that are considered green. Both of these materials are easily sustainable, and they function as well as their non-green counterparts.
One of the biggest drains to the environment is the excessive use of electricity and water. Installing methods in a home to reduce the utility impact will help to make a home green. Rainwater catch basins and grey water collection are two examples.
Heating is a big consumer of electricity, but in many areas, it is also a necessity. People need to stay warm. But there are efficient and eco-friendly ways to heat a home. Proper design and using geothermal heating, pellet stoves, solar heating, or masonry heaters can help make a home green.
Building Process and Methods
How you build a home can also affect whether or not your home is green. The building process should use the absolute minimum resources and material possible. Construction equipment also can easily damage the environment so caution should be used. No project should use more resources than required, a green home demands that.
Green Building Certifications
Green homes are not a new idea. People have been creating homes with the concept of green building for years. A variety of agencies and states have come out with different environmental certifications programs. One green building certification has come to be a standard for all.
The US Green Building Council created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. LEED rates a building (or home) based on four criteria: design, construction, operation, and maintenance. A different system exists for measuring the various types of design. That includes a LEED measurement specifically for homes or residential buildings.
Building a green home is a great way to do your part for the environment. It is also an excellent way to lower your bills. A green home can maintain climate control better and uses resources more efficiently. Why wouldn’t you want either of those benefits?
If you want to build a green home, Grayson Homes are the experts. Contact them at 919-578-6222.
At the beginning of the year, home maintenance tasks aren’t always easy. It comes after the bustle of the December holidays, the weather is blustery and cold, and there is a lot of work you need to accomplish. Still, the home needs to be maintained, and January happens to be the perfect time for some home maintenance tasks. Add these tasks to your list this coming January.
Prevent Freezing and Leaking Pipes
January is in the dead of winter and in many places that means cold temperatures. It is the time when you need to protect and prevent water pipes from any damage that can cause leaks and dampness. Exposed pipes are prone to freezing. If this happens, use a hair dryer or wrap a heating pad to help unfreeze the pipe. If these attempts are not successful, shut the main valve and call a plumber.
Check for Signs of Dampness
Finding any signs of moisture should be on your January home maintenance list. Identify sources like:
– Leaky pipes
– Pipes that burst because of thawing and freezing
– Rain and groundwater entering your home
Check pipes that might be damaged, exposed in the winter cold, garden sprinklers and any other pipe to see if they are leaking. Seal any leaks to keep the house free from water damage.
Change Icemaker Water Filters
The icemaker water filters can become clogged after months of use. As part of home maintenance, these filters should be changed every six months. January happens to be the perfect time for changing them before life gets busy again. Follow the directions for your refrigerator on locating and removing the water filter. Always take the old filter when buying a new one to make sure you have the correct replacement.
Check the Furnace Filter and replace it if needed.
Clean Under the Laundry Appliances, the dryer vent lint filter, and the pipes.
Check Electrical Switches and circuit breaker panel to make sure they are functioning well.
Tighten Loose Handles and knobs that need to be tightened.
Keep an inventory of things to be done at a later date.
January makes the best time for in-home maintenance chores. Spring will find you and your home ready for it. Maintenance should be about saving money and time.
For more information about building a custom home contact Grayson Homes at 919-578-6222.
While it may seem that the spring and summer months are the optimal times to build a house, that is not always the case. Building a house in January, for example, can be a better option. From greater contractor availability to easier-to-handle weather conditions, building a home during the fall and winter has a surprising number of benefits. If everything else is in order, the weather is not a prohibiting factor. It may help make the process of building a house easier.
First and foremost is time. By building a house during the winter, one can avoid the seasonal rush of spring and summer and can, therefore, get the necessary permits processed quickly. Additionally, because fall and winter are typically thought of as off season for building a house, it will be easier to hire a contractor and crew. Contractor availability will also expedite the process and help to get the home completed faster. It is true what they say, that time is money, and so getting a house constructed quickly is more cost effective.
A second factor to consider is the weather. In some cases, it is easier to prepare for a snowstorm than a rainstorm, which can help to keep the project on schedule and mitigate any weather damage that may occur should a storm hit. And, when it comes to sturdy foundations, the extra time that a concrete foundation will take to cure in the cold can lead to a stronger foundation in the long term. Even though the weather might seem to be a prohibiting factor, a little creativity will go a long way and turn what appears to be a significant obstacle into an asset.
Ultimately, the decision of when to build a house comes down to a personal choice. There are plenty of factors to consider, from looking at one’s finances, available time, work schedule, and, of course, accounting for any upcoming life changes. But weather and time of year do not need to be a prohibiting factor in this decision. If the opportunity to build a house presents itself in January, one can rest assured that January is an excellent time to build a house.
Many people dream about living in their own home. When it comes to owning a home, there are several options to consider for any potential buyer. Buying a townhouse, a condo or a custom home are some of those popular options. Regardless of choice a home buyer selects, it is advised that they look for homes that were built by a reliable home builder. That is to assure the quality of the house and its durability. With that said, here are some essential things any home buyer should consider when choosing a home builder.
Choosing the Right Home Builder
Let’s take a look at the most important aspects you should consider when looking for a custom home builder.
Prepare a List of Custom Home Builders
Decide the type of the custom home you exactly need as the first step. Then, you should consider contacting all the potential custom home builders in your locale. You can consider contacting Local Home Builder’s Association and getting a list of builders with reputation. Also, you may go through local newspapers and get an idea about reputed builders in your locale. Besides, you can consider contacting your friends and relatives and ask for some references.
Filter the List of Builders
Now that you have a long list of potential custom home builders, you should start filtering it. You can prepare a list of questions based on the type of the home you need and present it to potential builders. Talk to homeowners in your locale and learn their honest opinion about the respective builders. In general, homeowners tend to express their honest feelings about the builder. So, their view is precious.
Go Through Their Portfolio
Every business has gone online these days. You can find your potential home builder’s website and go through the portfolio to get a general idea about their work. In addition to that, you can read the reviews left by the clients. Their official social media profile is another excellent source of information when it comes to customer feedback.
Home Shows and Open Houses
You should visit home shows and open houses. The model homes presented will give you an idea about the overall quality of the homes. You can talk to the representative of the builder and ask all the questions you have and evaluate how they are answered.
Last but not least, don’t ever choose a custom home builder just because they offer the cheapest estimate. Instead, analyze the other features as well.
Fall is here, and winter is just around the corner, which means it is getting dark earlier and the weather will be getting colder. This time of year means that people will keep lights on longer and start using their heaters more. Plus, with all the holidays coming up, people will be decorating their houses with lighting displays. So, how can someone make their home or plan their custom home to be more energy efficient, and perhaps save themselves some money?
Use the Sun and Turn Down the Thermostat
Having curtains open during the day to let in natural light can help to heat rooms. Turning down the thermostat a few degrees during daytime hours when no one is home will help lower electricity and gas bills. A programmable thermostat can do this automatically. Doing these things together will help to heat a house with less energy, thereby saving on electricity and gas bills.
Fix Leaks and Drafts
Seal up any areas where cold outside air can make its way into the house, or warm inside air inside can escape. Places to check include fireplaces, windows, doors, and any walls that are poorly insulated. Closing up these leaks can help lower utility costs, and the house will stay much warmer with less effort.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting
Another way to save on utility bills and make a home more energy efficient is to have high-efficiency versions of appliances such as washers, dryers, and tankless water heaters installed. The water temperature on the water heater should be lowered to the “warm” setting instead of the “hot” setting. And, when putting up holiday lights, opt for LEDs because they are more energy efficient and will help to lower electricity bills through the holiday season.
Phantom energy stealers are devices that are on all the time even though you think they are off. Televisions and computers are prime examples. Set these devices to energy saving mode. Your TV will take a few more seconds to turn on, but you will be saving energy. Have devices plugged in only when necessary. In the case of lights, place them on on a timers to reduce the load on the wiring as well.
Get Heating Systems Serviced
A heating system that has been recently serviced will be more energy efficient. Small malfunctions can cause the system to waste energy when running or even expedite a breakdown. Get an annual tune-up to keep the system running smoothly. Many companies service HVAC systems, so make an appointment before the winter season hits.
Following these tips will help to keep any house running smoothly during the fall and winter months and will make sure that it is more energy efficient.
Building acustom home is the most significant investment that people make in their lifetime. It’s natural to want to hire a home builder you know, but the key to a beautiful home is finding the right home builder. Asking this set of core questions is the key to hiring the right builder and getting your dream home.
How many years have they been in business? The question should also include the number of homes they have built and their experience.
What kind of customer homes warranty do they offer? Know the new home warranty they offer and how you can claim if anything goes wrong.
Are they licensed and insured? Make sure you see the license and check if they are insured too.
How do they rate compared to their competitors? How the home builder rates are crucial. It will tell you the kind of person you are working with and what to expect.
Do they have any references? If there are homes your new home builder has built, ask for references. Make appointments and tour some of the houses.
Can I provide my own plan set? Home builders come with their own plan set. You should know if you can provide your own or do they only use their supplied plans.
What are the standard features included in customer home? Know all the features and characteristics. They should also provide upgrade options that you can select.
Who oversees the construction? Know who among them oversees the construction, who to contact with further questions, and who will contact you for decisions about unforeseen issues.
How and when can upgrades and changes be made? Changes can be done before or after the home is complete. Knowing when to make the upgrades will be easier for you and them.
How often can you access the home? Always makes sure they tell you when to access and how often you can access your custom home when under construction.
How long will it take to complete the home? Know the time frame your custom home builder is going to take to build your home.
What is their inspection procedure? Know the inspection procedure, critical points of construction and the final inspection.
If you think there are other high-priority questions to ask, make sure you get the answers before the builder starts your project. Building a custom home is an investment that should be taken seriously and asking questions is the best way to start.
Building the perfect custom home is something everyone dreams of, and the process can be both rewarding and exciting for first-time and experienced homeowners alike. If you want to know how to build the perfect custom home, you can get started using the following tips.
Consider a Closed Kitchen Space
It’s tempting for customized homeowners to create vast open spaces in their floor plan, but there’s one room you should close off as much as possible: the kitchen. The reason for this is that kitchens tend to make a lot of noise—whether it’s frying up food for dinner or running the dishwasher in the evening—which can noisily interfere with activities in the rest of the house.
Have One Room That Could Be Converted Later
One of the great things about a custom home is that you can prepare for conversions pretty easily. It would help if you had at least one room in the house that could be converted to a bedroom later on should you decide to expand your family with another child, bring in an elderly parent, or create a guest room. Easily converted rooms can be “extra” living spaces at first, such as dens or toy rooms that may not be needed in the future.
Always Include a Master Suite
It can be tempting to ditch the master bedroom suite, or at least downsize it, in favor of additional bedrooms on the same floor or bedrooms for children that are closer to their parent’s space. But you will notice the lack of a suite later on, once your children no longer need close supervision. Instead of downsizing your master bedroom suite, install security cameras so you can keep an eye on your young children from your room—instead of requiring them to move in next door.
Keep Expansion and Additions in Mind
This tip is the most important thing to keep in mind when building a custom home. You may want to alter your home in the future, either by expanding bedrooms, taking down walls, adding a basement or attic, and everything in between. The best way to make these additions and alterations easier in the future is to plan for them now—which is thankfully painless with a custom home. You can have the rough-ins for plumbing, electrical and other components built into the walls during construction, which will make it much easier to get these elements installed in the future.
It is tempting to look at an HVAC unit and think that it is a simple appliance, but that is far from the truth. HVAC systems are intricate pieces of equipment and have a lot of aspects to consider. For example, merely heating and cooling your home often does not result in the desired comfort level.
Humidity can play a significant role in how comfortable you feel in your own home. Too much or too little moisture at any time of the year can affect you. Finding the right balance will help you to get the most out of HVAC system and prevent you from overworking it. It’ll also prevent you from having a hefty electricity bill.
What humidity level is right? Somewhere around, or just above, the 40% range is optimum for most homes. Below 30% humidity leads to dry skin and dry nasal passages which can aggravate sinusitis or cause laryngitis. When humidity is above 50%, there can be condensation on windows and increased mold.
While your AC unit will function as a dehumidifier during the summer, the HVAC will not work as a humidifier in the winter when the air is dryer. During the winter, if your home is not feeling the right level of humidity, you can get a stand alone humidifier. These units can be moved from room to room to add a little more moisture to the air. The problem is that they won’t function in more than one room.
Another option is to have a whole house humidifier connected to your HVAC system. This unit allows you to fine-tune the humidity of your home. There are a variety of different humidifiers from which to choose, having a professional consultation will help you to get the system that is right for your home. A whole house humidifier won’t just increase the comfort of your home either. It will help to protect your home from damage that could result from having incorrect humidity levels. That includes protecting against mold, cracks, and drying out.
For those who don’t feel comfortable with the humidity in their home, or feel that their home isn’t maintaining the desired temperature, it is probably time to call in an expert. An expert can conduct an energy audit and inspect your HVAC unit to make sure everything is running optimally. They will also take a look at the humidity level of your home, the door and window seals, and the attic to make sure you aren’t losing energy somewhere.
For more information on designing a green home, contact Grayson Homes at 919-578-6222.
“Home Sweet Home” is a saying that we all love to hear. The saying is even more special when you’re buying a new house. Perhaps there are images in your head of you and your family cozying up in the living room on a winter night. Or maybe you’re planning to turn that currently extra empty room into your first born’s bedroom.
Dream far and dream wide! But as you’re dreaming, one of the things you’ll want to keep in mind when moving into your new house is the importance of good air quality within your home. Here are five tips for getting higher quality air into your home.
Consider Buying a Monitor
Keeping new homeowners in mind, the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor or similar device will check the air quality for you. Boasting a simple setup, and a noise-less presence, the Foobot notifies you of the current indoor air quality of your house.
Reconsider Your Cleaning Products
Believe it or not, those chemical-based air fresheners may be doing more harm than good to your indoor air quality. They may smell good, but when you spray them in the air, the chemicals linger, and you breathe them in. The same goes for your cleaning supplies. A healthier alternative is to use natural air fresheners and cleaning products made with natural ingredients.
Invest in Plants
There’s a wide variety of different plant types that you can get for your house that will improve the air quality. Some of them even have the bonus of adding a pleasant naturally occurring scent to your house! Besides looking beautiful, having plants in your home will help freshen your house through the natural human and plant symbiotic relationship.
Keep the Humidity at a Low Level
Humid spaces are where many different airborne bacteria and dust mites love to congregate. To prevent this, you can activate your central air conditioning unit during the warmer seasons or invest in a dehumidifier.
Open the Windows
When first moving into a new home, many things may lower the air quality, such as new paint and new carpet. Those new paint and new carpet scents may seem romantic and make you smile, but they’re also full of the chemicals, which means they’re floating about the space! So, as you’re dreaming and planning out your new home and the latest chapter in life, open a window and let in some fresh air!
For more information on building a custom home contact Grayson Homes at 919-578-6222.
One of the most plentiful resources on the planet is also one of the most wasted, water. In just one day, the average American alone uses anywhere between 100 and 175 gallons. A good portion of the water we use every day could be saved. One of the best places to start saving that water is in the bathroom. In the bathroom, we can take some of the following measures to conserve water.
Go Low Flow
Low flow fixtures can be installed in the bathroom as water-saving methods. These fixtures reduce the amount of water that can flow through the faucet decreasing usage 25-60%. You can increase your water saving with this one simple measure but not lose the enjoyability of your bathroom.
Reducing the time in your shower is another excellent method for water saving. Many people take showers until the hot water runs out, but only 6-10 minutes is needed. Try to reduce your showers as much as possible. A fun way to track your shower time is to play music while you shower and limit the shower to the length of your favorite songs.
Limit Your Baths
Baths, on average, use 10 gallons more than a 10-minute shower. Now you are already reducing your showers, so the tub will use even more when compared to your new quick shower. Try to make a bath a reward item or something you only do occasionally. This approach will significantly increase your water savings.
Reduce The Need To Flush
A lot of people will use toilet paper to wipe their noses or wipe off surfaces in the bathroom. When you do this, don’t flush it down the toilet. Either let the paper sit in the toilet bowl until the next time you flush or throw it away. Preferably, let it sit until you need to use the restroom. That way you aren’t throwing away paper.
Brushing Your Teeth
When you are brushing your teeth, you need water to get the bristles wet, but you don’t need it after that. Shut off the water until you are once again ready to rinse off your toothbrush or you need to rinse out the sink. This routine will reduce the water that you use.
Recycle Cold Bathwater/Shower Water
The cold water that comes out of your shower or bathtub can be reused. By placing a bucket under the faucet and collecting the water, you are storing water that could water plants, flush the toilet, or otherwise be used around the home. This water is also great to use for cleaning around the house.
Try to take these water saving tips to mind so that you can cut back on the water that you use around the bathroom. Remember though; this is just one room in the house. You can make a difference by implementing water saving methods in each room. Thanks for doing your part to make this world a better place!
For more information on building a environmentally efficient custom home contact Grayson Homes at 919-578-6222.