American Classic Homes | Seattle Custom Homes Blog
American Classic Homes is an award-winning, Seattle-based new home builder with new homes in Seattle, Sammamish, Renton, Issaquah and the surrounding areas. Their goal is to provide more for less, while making the home buying process as easy as possible. Follow this blog to get priority updates on new communities, home designs, events, and more!
American Classic Homes is thrilled to invite you to join us this weekend at the on-site Information Center at Tanglewood in Renton. The Tanglewood onsite agents will go over floor plans and lots with you, review community specs and selections, and they can place you on a waiting list for upcoming lots. We invite you to see what amazing community living is all about and find your perfect home at the Information Center Event This Weekend at Tanglewood!
We look forward to seeing you at our Information Center Tanglewood Event this weekend, feel free to grab some family or friends and take a tour of this beautiful and spacious new home community. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own private community tour before or after the weekend event, please give us a call at (206) 899.0702 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.
We look forward to seeing you at our brand new Mercer Island Open House Event this weekend, feel free to grab some friends and be inspired by the latest in home design, functionality, and style. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own private tour before or after the weekend event, please give us a call at (206) 557-6308 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.
Moving to a new place is exciting, whether you’re moving into your first home across town or a bigger home across the country. But moving can also be stressful, and it can seem like there are a million things to do before you pack. One of the most important things to plan is the cost of moving. More importantly, how much will it cost to hire movers? We put together a short guide to help you understand what goes into the high cost of moving, how much to budget for professional movers, and how other considerations.
Overview of All Moving Costs
Deciding whether you’re going to DIY it or hire a professional mover is only one of the considerations that go into the high cost of moving. There are many other factors to moving costs, including:
Cost of living changes, if moving to another state or city (Use this handy tool to compare costs of utilities, groceries, transportation, and more)
Paying double rent or mortgage if move-in dates don’t line up
Renting a moving truck (fees generally run $20 a day, not including gas and mileage costs)
Storage units if you need to store furniture or belongings before moving
You can reduce some of these costs by moving into your new place quickly. Taking too long to move from one place to another can rack up costs surprisingly fast.
Cost of Hiring Professional Movers
According toHome Advisor, hiring a local professional mover costs between $80 and $100 an hour. You may be charged additional fees if movers need to take items down stairs or a considerable distance.
For long-distance moves, companies charge by weight and distance rather than time. With this type of move, you may be charged a flat rate as high as $10,000, not including gas and mileage costs. These costs do not factor in additional movers or truck fees.
Booking Professional Movers in Advance
For local moves (under 100 miles), book movers between 2 and 4 weeks ahead of time. When you book early, you’re more likely to get a time and date that best fits your moving schedule. For local moves during the busy season – between May and September – consider booking at least 4 weeks early.
For cross-country moves (over 100 miles), book as soon as possible! Try to book at least six to eight weeks ahead of time. Moving can be stressful, so book ahead of time and save yourself the worry.
How Many Movers Do You Need?
Depending on the size of your home, you may need to hire up to four movers. Moving Labor’s chart below shows roughly the amount of movers and time it will take to move for each home type:
Studio Apartment: 2 Movers / 3-4 Hours
1-2 Bedroom Apartment: 2 Movers / 4-5 hours
2-3 Bedroom Home: 3 Movers / 5-7 hours
3-4 Bedroom Home: 3 Movers / 7-9 hours
4+ Bedroom Home: 4 Movers / 7-10 hours
You will need to factor in the additional cost of movers ($25 to $25 per mover) and moving time into your schedule.
Make Preparations in Advance and Move ASAP
Moving doesn’t have to be stressful, and with a little preparation, you can put your mind at ease. To limit moving costs, book movers as soon as possible. Check the company’s rates and reviews online before hiring and try to move quickly. Storing items, paying double rent or mortgage, and renting supplies is expensive. The sooner you get to your new house or apartment, the less outgoing costs you will have!
After the cold, dark months of winter, is there anything more exciting than Spring? These warmer months bring vibrant colors, cool breezes, and sunshine. What better way to usher out the snow and welcome the season with an indoor makeover? Celebrate Spring with these budget-friendly indoor decorating tips.
De-clutter your home. During the winter, homes tend to accumulate a lot of extra stuff. Holiday decorations, cold-weather gear like boots and hats, and extra blankets can make your home feel small and cluttered. Now that Spring has arrived, it’s time to de-clutter these spaces and simplify things. You can also try for a monochromatic feel with soft whites and light colors. Your home will feel bigger and brighter with that extra space.
Fresh flowers. Flowers add a pop of color and life to any room. But not everyone has a green thumb or the garden space to plant a variety of flowers. Visit your local supermarket for fresh and pre-arranged bouquets to liven up any room in your home. To keep flowers looking fresh longer, use room temperature water and cut the stems (about 1 to 2 inches) before putting them in a vase. Look for flowers at your local grocery store, co-op, or farmer’s market.
Create an edible centerpiece. Spring brings with it a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This produce is beautiful on its own, so why not use it as a centerpiece? Find your favorite serving bowl, or go shopping for one, and fill it with bright oranges and fresh apples. The best part about this decorating tip? You can eat it!
Swap out or put away throw blankets. In the fall and winter, there’s nothing better than curling up under a fuzzy blanket. But we’re saying goodbye to cold weather, so it’s time to put away or swap out those thick, dark-colored blankets. Look for thinner blankets in vibrant colors, like pastel blues or yellows, to give a spring-y look to your living room. For an even more budget-friendly option, repurpose leftover light-colored fabric and drape it over your couch. You’ll be surprised how much this simple action changes the entire feeling of a room.
Buy or make pillow covers. Pillows are an excellent way to decorate on a budget. You can instantly change a room by switching up a pillow cover, which is an easy cost to manage. This has to be one of the easiest ways to decorate a room – no fussy arrangement needed. Just throw a few pillows onto your couch, chair, or bed for a new look. These covers aren’t expensive to buy or make, and storing them takes almost no room at all.
Faux plants or flowers. Fresh flowers are relatively affordable, but maintaining the look can be a hassle. Faux plants or flowers have only an upfront cost and can add a nice natural look to your home. You can change the pot or vase for a fresh décor and never have to worry about cleaning up wilting or dead flowers left out too long. Craft stores often carry these plants and flowers at an affordable rate.
These easy options help your home look brighter and more vibrant without breaking the bank. Preparing your house for Spring will help you bring in the new season and transition from the darker months with ease. Brighten up your home with flowers and new fabrics, and enjoy the sunshine.
The process of choosing the design for building a new home is exciting but can also be overwhelming. There are lots of decisions to make that will have a lasting impact. As you browse the home designs, here are some tips for choosing the right floor plan.
Make sure it measures up. You might have a certain square footage figure in mind as you look at homes. However, some floor plans are smartly designed and can make better use of the space. You might be able to “live large” in a home that’s slightly smaller than you expected.
Follow the flow. When you’re looking at a floor plan, imagine yourself walking through the home. Go from the laundry room to putting the clothes away. Is it convenient? Does the flow of the kitchen to the dining area feel right? Will the bedrooms afford privacy for the occupants? When you’re coming in with an armload of groceries, will you have an easy path to the kitchen?
Level it out. How many levels will suit your lifestyle? Do you need a two-story home to accommodate everyone in your household, or is a single-level ranch more to your liking? A single-level home certainly fits the household that doesn’t want to deal with stairs. You can also integrate a first-floor owner’s suite if you need more space but want to do most of your living on the first floor.
Consider the wide, open spaces. Many floor plans feature the open concept. It’s a popular layout because the lack of walls between the kitchen, living room, and dining area allow for more socializing. The cook is no longer cut off from the activity outside the kitchen. As you look at the open floor plan in the home designs, think about how the rooms connect. It might be one big space—long, square, or rectangular—or an L-shape with the kitchen as the pivotal point. Do you prefer one style over the other? How will your furniture fit in the layout? With an open floor plan, you can create separate spaces, like a reading area or study space. Envision how you will use the main living area so you choose a floor plan that fits your family’s lifestyle.
Don’t underemphasize the functional places. Features like a mudroom and the design and placement of the laundry room might not seem as important in the big picture, but small details often spark a big change. The mudroom, for example, is a threshold that protects your home from the great outdoors and keeps the clutter under control, if you plan it that way. Cubbies or cabinets are a smart choice here. Establish a system for organizing shoes, backpacks, school stuff, leashes, and everything else that often gets lost when it’s allowed to meander into the main living area.
Some homeowners prefer to have the laundry room closer to the master suite, while others want it near the kitchen. Which location do you prefer?
Do you need more function for your laundry room, like storage or a utility sink? Maybe you’d like a space to bathe and groom the family pet. Or possibly you would like a laundry room with a countertop to fold laundry and cabinets to store more supplies.
Explore the undiscovered needs. As you browse the floor plans, think of alternative uses for rooms that might seem like a “bonus” right now. A formal dining room or living room could seem extraneous but you consider repurposing it for a playroom, hobby studio, game room, library, or other function. A bonus or flex room can work as a guest room or home office, too.
Ask a lot of questions—of yourself and your builder—when reviewing home designs to be sure you’re choosing the right floor plan!
Winter is finally slipping away and we’re starting to feel refreshed, and ready for the change that spring brings. One of the most popular rites of spring is doing an overhaul of your home’s interior—cleaning, purging, reorganizing, and perhaps redecorating. But before you launch into a full-scale attack, here are some helpful spring cleaning tips for your home.
Make a plan. If you just dive into spring cleaning without a plan, you’ll waste time and probably miss certain areas that you’ll regret later—after your energy has been depleted. Decide where you need to purge—closets, attics, and basements are a great start. Determine how you’re going to approach each task. Set aside boxes or bags for “Keep”, “Donate”, and “Toss” in the area you’re purging so you don’t have to carry out piles.
Include the tiny places that seem to get ignored during normal housecleaning, like sliding door tracks, baseboards, door frames, behind the kitchen appliances, and cabinet doors.
Next, prioritize the spaces that need your attention. If you have a dreaded area, put it at the top of the list. Don’t procrastinate. Tackle it first. You’ll feel better about getting it out of the way.
Organize your supplies. Now that you have your spring cleaning plan all ready, gather up the supplies, like rags, paper towels, various solvents, sponges, brushes, squeegies, gloves, drawer liners, and replacement batteries and light bulbs. Sort them into categories. Make a bucket for window washing, use another container for dusting supplies, and so on. Then you can just grab the right bucket and head off to tackle the cleaning.
Make a checklist. Keep a clipboard with you and make notes of things you need to get, replace, clean, or fix as you move from room to room. Don’t stop during your cleaning frenzy to run to the home store because you’ve decided you need to change your cabinet hardware or bathroom accessories. The distraction will slow down your progress. Instead, at the end of the day, review your clipboard and make a shopping and errand list to tackle all at once.
Start at the top. In every area of your house, start your spring cleaning from the top. Sweep away cobwebs and dust the light fixtures. Then move to the windows and walls. All the dirt, dust, and debris will fall to the floor, to be cleaned away last.
Hand out the assignments. Spring cleaning should be a shared challenge for everyone in the household. Once you have your plan, share it with your “helpers” and decide who will do what and when (yes, make sure there are deadlines).
Plan to be tired. At the end of your spring cleaning day, reward your hard work by putting your feet up, letting someone else make or deliver dinner, and kicking back to enjoy your fully refreshed surroundings!
Your new home floor plans are finalized, and now it’s time to choose the details—colors, flooring, countertops, cabinetry hardware, lighting, and so much more. It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re unprepared, so follow these tips for working with your home builder’s design center to get the look you’re going to love for many years.
Set a budget for upgrades. You can select choices among the standard features that American Classic Homes offers—type of color of flooring, cabinet colors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, to name just a few. These are included in the price of your home. However, you will also be presented with some choices for upgrades. Maybe you want granite over quartz countertops, or more hardwood in your home. Before you walk into your home selections meeting where you will should aim to determine how much you want to spend fpr adding upgrades to your new home. Be sure your selections professional understands you have a limit and then they should work with you to provide you with cost of each custom request.
Determine your priorities. Along with coming to the selections meeting with a budget, be clear about how you want to use those funds. Think in advance—before all those shiny choices are staring you in the face—what’s more important. For example, can you live with certain fixtures in your powder room in order to upgrade the light fixture in the foyer? Consider which details will deliver more satisfaction in the long run—and stick with that decision.
Bring pictures and swatches. You probably have ideas in mind for your interiors. Maybe you’ve pinned photos on Pinterest, torn pages out of magazines, and collected fabric and paint swatches. Bring everything you’ve gathered so you can share it with the designer. Snap photos of furniture you’ll have in your new home, with measurements, too. You’ll be able to better envision your new space when you have all these details together.
Describe your lifestyle. When you meet with your selections professional talk about the way you’re going to live in your new home. Offer details like how often you entertain, the age of your children (and whether your home is the “fun place”) if you have any, and where you like to eat your daily meals. Are there bottleneck places in your home, like the bathroom or kitchen? How often do you do laundry, and do you fold it in the laundry room? The more you share, the better this pro can guide you toward smart choices.
Take your time. The decisions you make at the selections meeting will have a lasting impact on your new home. Photograph swatches and samples you need, look at them at different times of the day (bearing in mind it might be different in your new home), and then return to finalize the design details on your new home.
We look forward to seeing you at our brand new Model Home Preview Event this weekend! Feel free to grab some friends and be inspired by the latest in home design, functionality, and style. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own private tour before or after the weekend event, please give us a call at (206) 557-6400 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.
There’s no need to postpone the search for a new home just because it’s winter. While you’re hibernating, you could be missing out on the home of your dreams. You probably start your new home search online, browsing real estate listings in the warmth of your cozy home. Once you have narrowed down your list of homes to see, follow these tips for house-hunting in the winter.
Consider the accessibility. Seeing a home in the winter gives you valuable insight into features like the way the roads are maintained. Are the streets and driveway plowed well? Think about coming home here on a wintry night. Will you be able to access drive up your street and driveway to get home? As you walk to the front entry, do you find slippery spots?
Look at the curb appeal when it’s not pristine. When the garden, shrubs, and trees are in full bloom, you might not get the true picture of the home’s exterior. Without the leaves on the trees, will you have privacy here? How does the foundation look? Seeing the home in the dead of winter is like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning.
Check for leaks and drafts. You’ll feel the cold air seeping in from the outside a lot more in the winter than on a spring day when the windows or open or during the summer with the air conditioning running. As you walk through the home, place your hand on the window sills and frames, the door jamb, and wall outlets. Do you feel drafts? These issues are tips about the home’s maintenance as well as the leaks. If you find drafts, you should also look into frozen pipes, roof leaks, and the quality of the insulation.
Gauge the natural light. The days are shorter in the winter. By touring a new home during the afternoon, you will see how much sunlight streams into your home. Is it sun-drenched or dark and dreary? Sunlight provides vitamin D, which is essential to maintaining a happy mood through the short days. Will this home replenish you?
Sniff out odors. When a home is closed up, you’re more likely to notice odors, like mold and mildew or pet odors. If the home has carpet, take a deep breath.
Get an accurate figure for the heating bill. It’s easy to forget how much you paid to heat your home when you’re enjoying the low bills of summertime. During a winter viewing, those heating costs are fresh in the memory of the homeowner, so you’re more likely to gauge more correctly what it will cost to heat this home.
Ask for a spring inspection. You might need to check features like the sprinkler system and swimming pool for yourself, and it’s not possible during winter. If you have time to wait, make your purchase contingent on an inspection after the snow has melted and the ground has thawed. You can also ask for escrowed funds to cover possible repair of specific items that are unable to be inspected during the winter.
Give yourself a break from the winter doldrums and start looking for a new home during the winter, when there is less competition and motivated sellers.
Are you thinking about updating your bathroom? The new year brings new design trends for every room in your home, from the colors to the fixtures to the style. Bathroom vanity design trends for 2018 can show you how to make a big difference here with the focal point of the room.
What will we see more of this year?
Quartz is replacing granite countertops. Granite has dominated the countertop industry for most of this century. It’s natural, durable, and available in so many colors and patterns that you can easily find one to match your taste. Quartz is an engineered stone, a combination of about 95 percent ground quartz stone and 5 percent polymer resin. Quartz looks and feels like stone, but, because it’s manufactured, you can order the pattern and color and get the consistency you want. Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t need to be resealed. Finally, quartz isn’t porous like granite, so bacteria isn’t absorbed, an important factor in a bathroom countertop!
Brass is back in the bathroom. Polished brass has returned from its exile. Designers are trending toward warmer metals, like brass, bronze, and copper. Even rose gold is making a play for bathroom presence. With trends toward richer colors in the bathroom—like navy blue and plum—the warmer hues of other metals will gain prominence in plumbing fixtures.
Sinks are taking a cue from nature. Homeowners have shifted toward natural looks throughout the home, and the bathroom is reflecting this preference. Stone sinks are popular choices, using granite, marble, and onyx that take advantage of the one-of-a-kind patterns created by nature. Wooden basins—like oak, cedar, teak, and bamboo (which is a grass but largely considered wood)—share the same natural beauty as stone.
The all-white bathroom is fading to black. Vanities are going to the dark side with designers moving away from light cabinetry in the bathroom, in favor of matte black and darker stains, like deep chestnut and espresso. The richness of these deeper hues creates a completely different look that transforms the room.
Bathroom storage gets smarter. Vanities are no longer about vanity. They have beauty, of course, but you should expect more. Manufacturers have recognized the way we use bathrooms and vanities today. Drawer organizers present a custom storage solution, along with a tall cabinet that separates the dual sinks. New vanities are incorporating electrical outlets inside drawers. Keep your hair dryer plugged in yet out of sight.
Sinks will have a splash of color. If you love color, you can get more of it in your bathroom. New ceramic and metal sinks reflect the trend toward vibrant statements, like orange and turquoise.
Every year brings more options to customize your home to the place and space you want it to be. Are you ready to make some changes?
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