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Interior lighting is easy to forget about when you’re involved in the custom home building process, but the fact is, it’s an essential element in having a functional home.

Lighting is so essential to interior design that it can sometimes be overlooked—it’s such a simple necessity that we can quickly forget about what makes for good lighting. This is in part because interior lighting is so multifaceted: it’s used as a decoration but also for practical reasons that allow us to better engage with our homes. Certain lamps and fixtures may look great but little to no real value beyond that. A good designer will understand what layering light looks like—taking advantage of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a full spectrum of light that covers all your needs. Better understanding what interior lighting can do for you helps you advocate for yourself during the custom home building process so let’s take a look at the basics of interior lighting.  

Accent Lights

Think of accent lighting as the little details that are meant to make something stand out. If you have a collection of something on display, you may want to bring that to attention by using lights that help make that collection stand out. This can be used to help highlight something like a fireplace or a nice piece of artwork. If you really want to go the extra mile for lighting, this is the way to do it.

Ambient Lights

If accent lighting covers the little details, ambient lighting is the meat and potatoes of lighting: the absolute basics. These are the kinds of lights that illuminate large spaces like entire room lights, walkway lights, or staircase lights. Common options include recessed lights, sconces, hanging fixtures, and standing lamps. Making sure to balance ambient lights along with natural lights from windows is always a priority.

Task Lights

Task lights are meant to illuminate work-specific areas. In your kitchen, this might mean small LED lights under your cabinets to help you prepare food at night. Bathroom task lighting might include vanity lights that help you get ready in the mirror. A home office may have a light specifically for the desk area to help with productivity. There are a lot of ways to think about how task lighting can improve your custom home.

General Considerations

Finally, you want to consider things like switches and dimmers as well as where those elements are placed. Having as much control over your lighting as possible, meaning that switches are accessible and dimmers are installed on lights you may want to turn down, is the best way to design your home’s lighting.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program –Robin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post The Basics of Interior Lighting appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Set up your custom home for the future by thinking about multigenerational living and what it can do for you.

As the days go on, more and more Americans are living in multigenerational households. Whether this means building a custom home that is prepared for aging in place and supporting multiple generations or just weathering the storm in a home that isn’t prepared, there’s no denying that it’s an advancing tide and a space that is becoming increasingly essential within the market. Custom home builders have been at the forefront in giving consumers the control over design decisions that make multigenerational living in a home possible, and it’s important that homeowners get what they want from a home whether that accounts for the long term or short-term. Here are the major reasons that multigenerational living has become so important in recent times.

Single-Level Residing

Elderly people have a difficult time navigating traditional homes which weren’t built with their needs in consideration. Essential stairways that act as a barrier between communal areas and private spaces like bedrooms have long acted as a difficulty between elderly homeowners and their own homes. If you want to live in a home even after you’ve aged, it’s important that all of the spaces in that home remain accessible. Single-level living is a big part of that.

Distinct Living Spaces

For a home to accommodate multiple generations properly, it must include a floor plan that has separate living spaces for multiple sets of people. For many, this means a custom home equipped with an apartment suite, including its own bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and even a smaller living room space.  (Consult with your builder regarding your area zoning and building regulations for “in-law-suites”.) These are a fantastic option for letting children fly from the coop, but still have an independent space they can return to after graduating college, for instance, where they may need a place to stay until they can truly head out for good.

Open Floor Designs

Having an accessible home where people can interact and integrate with one another is a big part of multigenerational living. Making a space feel like it encourages the ability to host large groups of people, including large family gatherings, is incredibly important on a practical level for many homeowners interested in multigenerational living.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program –Robin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post Why is Multigenerational Living So Important to Homeowners? appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Just moved into your custom home and are trying to remember everything you need to take care of? Try out these four ideas.

Getting ready to move into your all new custom home? There’s a lot to consider—everything from getting all of your belongings moved in to figuring out the new neighborhood. Moving is often an overwhelming process, especially if you’re moving into a custom home, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you lay out everything that needs to be done, it can help keep you organized and lessen the stress of the situation. Here are four things you’ll want to remember to do when moving into your new custom home.

1. Remember to Change Your Address

By law, you’re required to update your law with a few places, including your bank and the DMV. It only takes a moment to update your mailing address and request mail forwarding and most of the time, the process can be done entirely online. While you’re at it, you may want to preemptively update your address on a few of your favorite online shopping websites so you don’t have to worry about it later.

2. Get a Stud Sensor

Most people want to decorate their homes as soon as they move in but because it’s a brand new custom home, you don’t want to cause any damage either. For anyone who has an interest in art and decorating their own home, a stud sensor is absolutely necessary. This will prevent you from causing damage to cables, ductwork, or studs that are hidden in your walls.

3.Contact Utility Providers

There’s a lot of utilities out there—from gas, electric, and water, to internet, telephone services, and cable. It’s best to set these services up in advance so you don’t have to worry about it on move-in day and aren’t left in the cold after moving all your belongings in. This is an area your custom home builder may also be able to help with, as they can provide some direction on what you will need.

4. Going Over the Details

After your home is finished, your home builder will provide you with a personalized Homeowner Binder with loads of useful information regarding everything from appliances to how to care for your countertops to ENERGY STAR and Indoor AirPLUS maintenance tips. Take some time to skim through all of your documentation and be sure you don’t have any questions. If you do, reach out to your home builder and make sure you get on the right page.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program –Robin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post 4 Tips for Settling Into a Custom Home appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Investing in an Indoor AirPLUS certified home is an investment in your family’s health and well-being.

Here at Robin Ford Building, we pride ourselves on crafting custom homes with your wellbeing in mind—and that includes having quality air within those homes. As a qualified Indoor AirPLUS builder, one of only six in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area, we’re happy to say that 100% of our homes are built to that standard. With that said, we feel that it’s important to highlight what goes into being qualified as an Indoor AirPLUS builder partner and how the homes we build are unique as a result.

What Are Indoor AirPLUS Certified Homes?

Indoor AirPLUS is a voluntary partnership and labeling program that has specific construction practices, product specifications, and other requirements aimed at reducing exposure to any airborne pollutants. Having clean air is essential for growth and health, which for many families investing in a custom home is a priority. These requirements involve the selection and installation of moisture control systems, HVAC systems, combustion-venting systems, radon resistant construction, and low-emitting building materials—all aimed at giving you a custom home better equipped for healthy living.

How Did Robin Ford Become Indoor AirPLUS Certified?

Indoor AirPLUS certified builders must first get their ENERGY STAR certification, which is a government-backed symbol related to energy efficiency. This is a sign that a home exceeds the minimum build requirements and aims to reduce greenhouse gases. Additionally, the builder then must add additional design and construction features to protect a home from moisture, mold, pests, and combustion gases, as well as other airborne pollutants that you may not even know are within many homes. To be qualified, the homes are then inspected by an independent third-party that verifies the home was built in compliance with the EPA’s rigorous standards.

Why Should It Matter to Homeowners?

To understand why making this difference matters, let’s break down some stats:

  • Around 46% of homes have high allergen levels, causing stuffiness and sneezing.
  • Humid homes are much more likely to suffer from dust mites and mold once a home’s humidity level is over 50%.
  • Roughly 1 in 10 homes report evidence of either rodents or cockroaches in their homes.
  • One out of 15 homes has high radon levels: a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.
  • Volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde are between 2-5 times higher indoors compared to outdoors. Some of these cause adverse health effects, from allergies and asthma to cancer.

There are just a few reasons that having an Indoor AirPLUS certified home matters. To ensure good health for you and your family, invest in your air quality.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program –Robin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post What Makes Indoor AirPLUS Certified Homes So Unique? appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Creating an organized kitchen is all about making what you need accessible.

Having an organized kitchen is a necessity for any busy family. There’s a whole host of tips on there on how you can keep your kitchen organized once you move in—everything from using clear storage containers to taking advantage of drawer dividers. When designing a custom home, you have the opportunity to actually build organization into the design of the home. Make your kitchen far more organized with these kitchen design tips.

1. Smart Dish Drying

If you want your dishes to have the perfect space for dying out, even if they’ve been handwashed, consider adding a cabinet just above your sink that doesn’t have a solid bottom. Instead, make the shelves in that cabinet racks that you can load your dishware in and have the water drip down straight into the sink. This is somewhat common in Europe as it means you don’t have to waste any space on drying racks for all of your plates, cups, and bowls.

2. Accessible Knives

For anyone serious about cooking, you may have 4 or 5 kitchen knives, including a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a slicing knife, a utility knife, and a boning knife. All of these have their individual uses and can really transform your cooking experience. It’s always good to have a nice place to store them, and while traditionally most people use knife blocks, installing a magnetic strip is also a great option. Find a place where you do most of your cutting and prep work and install a magnetic strip to stick your knives to for easy access.

3. Hanging From Hooks

Having all of your pots, pans, larger cooking utensils, cutting boards and so on within drawers and cabinets can actually make things pretty frustrating. You might not know where something is when you need it or getting to it can become a challenge. Try installing hooks on walls, or even have hanging hooks above your kitchen’s island, to offer a much easier way to organize your space and know where everything you need is.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder ProgramRobin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post 3 Tips for Designing an Organized Kitchen appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Adding an accent wall to a room within your custom home may be the perfect way to add some life to the space.

For a while, accent walls fell out of grace and weren’t used nearly as much by interior designers. These days, accent walls have made a big comeback and are known for their ability to add a splash of fun to an otherwise drab space. If you’re looking for ways to make your custom home more bright and inviting, accent walls may just be the answer. Still on the fence about whether or not an accent wall is right for your space? Let’s break it down and see what the advantages may be.

Add Some Color

In spaces where you don’t want everything to feel too uniform, accent walls are a fantastic option for your custom home. It lets you take advantage of colors that would otherwise be considered too bold for your home—a striking red or a cooling blue that wouldn’t work if the entire room was painted that color, but when used sparingly and appropriately, adds some life to your room. Mix in some neutral tones with something that has more character to give your room the character you’re looking for.

Easy, Budget-Friendly Design

While you can always ask your custom home builder to include an accent wall in the original design of your custom home, it isn’t as hard as one may think to do the job yourself. All you really need is basic painting skills, a can of the paint of your choice, and some free time. The benefit of this is that you can always change it out whenever you want, so if you get bored of a particular color, you can repaint over it and go with something new and exciting.

Versatility For Any Home

Accent walls aren’t the only way to use paint to accent your home. Consider painting a bookshelf that’s up against that wall as well, or even tables or other furniture. Think about what accent walls do: they create a focal point that has a pop of color. Expand that idea to other elements of your custom home and you can find some really creative ways to spice up the look of every room in your house.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder ProgramRobin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post Why Take Advantage of Accent Walls in Your Custom Home? appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Here at Robin Ford Building, we pride ourselves on crafting custom homes with your wellbeing in mind—and that includes having quality air within those homes. As a qualified Indoor AirPLUS builder, one of only six in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area, we’re happy to say that 100% of our homes are built to that standard. With that said, we feel that it’s important to highlight what goes into being qualified as an Indoor AirPLUS builder partner and how the homes we build are unique as a result.

What Are Indoor AirPLUS Certified Homes?

Indoor AirPLUS is a voluntary partnership and labeling program that has specific construction practices, product specifications, and other requirements aimed at reducing exposure to any airborne pollutants. Having clean air is essential for growth and health, which for many families investing in a custom home is a priority. These requirements involve the selection and installation of moisture control systems, HVAC systems, combustion-venting systems, radon resistant construction, and low-emitting building materials—all aimed at giving you a custom home better equipped for healthy living.

How Did Robin Ford Become Indoor AirPLUS Certified?

Indoor AirPLUS certified builders must first get their ENERGY STAR certification, which is a government-backed symbol related to energy efficiency. This is a sign that a home exceeds the minimum build requirements and aims to reduce greenhouse gases. Additionally, the builder then must add additional design and construction features to protect a home from moisture, mold, pests, and combustion gases, as well as other airborne pollutants that you may not even know are within many homes. To be qualified, the homes are then inspected by an independent third-party that verifies the home was built in compliance with the EPA’s rigorous standards.

Why Should It Matter to Homeowners?

To understand why making this difference matters, let’s break down some stats:

  • Around 46% of homes have high allergen levels, causing stuffiness and sneezing.
  • Humid homes are much more likely to suffer from dust mites and mold once a home’s humidity level is over 50%.
  • Roughly 1 in 10 homes report evidence of either rodents or cockroaches in their homes.
  • One out of 15 homes has high radon levels: a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.
  • Volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde are between 2-5 times higher indoors compared to outdoors. Some of these cause adverse health effects, from allergies and asthma to cancer.

There are just a few reasons that having an Indoor AirPLUS certified home matters. To ensure good health for you and your family, invest in your air quality.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program –Robin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post What Makes Indoor AirPLUS Certified Homes So Unique? appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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Creating your ideal custom home means choosing the perfect kitchen cooktop for you.

Choosing a cooktop for your kitchen is a question of type and style. The answers to these questions depend mainly on your style and cooking preferences. In general, choosing a cooktop increases the flexibility of the way your kitchen functions by giving you a greater variety of placement options. Read on for more information about what kind of cooktop is right for your kitchen.

Cooking with Gas

Many at-home cooks prefer the precise heat output and control of gas cooktops. The most common type of gas cooktop is called a drop-in cooktop. They feature sealed burners and sit on top of the counter. The controls are top-mounted, and it often comes with a fifth burner for more cooking convenience. For an even higher quality experience, gas range tops are also available. They have more of an appearance of a commercial range, but without the attached oven at the bottom. Gas range tops are also bigger than cooktops with wider widths and therefore, up to six burners. Gas range tops are a great option for bigger families as they also often have grill or griddle options.

It’s Electric

The advantages that come from electric cooktops include advanced heating technology and the sleek, ultramodern appearance. The options available are induction and radiant heat. Induction electric cooktops use electromagnetic energy. You’ll experience quick heating and precise temperatures. With electric cooktops, many people are concerned about having a dangerously hot surface after it’s been turned off, but induction cooktops feature immediate cooling when cookware is removed. Induction heat does require special induction-compatible cookware. Radiant cooktops heat and cool gradually. They feature coiled burners with a glass surface for better energy efficiency. Radiant heat doesn’t require any specialized cookware and is known for its affordability. Electric cooktops in general have the reputation of being easy to clean as spills don’t easily adhere to the surface.

Robin Ford can help you to build the custom home of your dreams!

With over 30 years of award-winning custom home building experience, Robin Ford and his team of expert craftsmen have earned a stellar reputation for their commitment to quality. Click here to learn more about financing options and how we can help you build a home within your budget.

As an Indoor airPLUS Partner, ENERGY STAR® Partner, Certified Green Professional, and Maryland’s only proud member of the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program –Robin Ford Building and Remodeling, Inc. is equipped to build you a home that your children’s children will want to own.

Call 410-239-8850 or contact us here to start experiencing The Robin Ford Difference today. You can also connect with us onTwitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

The post What Kind of Cooktop is Right for Your Kitchen? appeared first on Robin Ford Building & Remodeling, Inc. • Custom Home Builder.

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