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Regulations and Home Design

Your nearby town or county authority might have the power to dictate what your new home can look like. Many areas across the country have ordinances that designate what functions a home must have. A few include height restrictions, placement and access to the garage, the minimum setback distances, but a few regulations are even more particular. Luxury Home Solutions (LHS) has an overview of Regulations and Home Design for you.

It is not unusual for brand spanking new homes in current neighborhoods to be required to fit the size, shade and architectural style of the houses around it. Even existing homes can be required to get approval on things like the shade of the front door. This is all because of zoning guidelines. The first comprehensive zoning ordinance became adopted by New York City back in 1916. Through the years zoning ordinances were used to govern improvement and help craft an area’s usage as well as its visible enchantment.

Most of the time zoning ordinances are an amazing thing. From time to time some of the rules go a bit far. There are many guidelines that at the surface sound trivial, however, they have a strong base in improving or keeping the standard of life. The problem is, many rules adjust what most of us might consider a matter of flavor or style.

When you are searching for a home plan, specifically if you plan on constructing inside a gated community, you need to examine the community’s deed restrictions as well as neighborhood regulations and codes. Oftentimes clients will purchase a house plan they like and find out that some component of the plan violates a regulation in the location they chose. Sometimes an architect can make adjustments to the home plan, but knowing the regulations before you start your home plan search or design will prevent this from happening.

Do policies hinder or help home plans?

Have you ever walked through a home constructed back in the 1800s? If so then you’ll respect guidelines a little more. Houses built in that time had little or no regulations and concerns with safety. For Instance, stair treads are often very small and stair cases very steep. Safety issues, like ensuring there are good and enough exits from each room, were over looked back then.

Home Regulations hindrance comes down to mindset and the way you approach the design of your home. When you have your mind set that guidelines and ordinances are a drawback and a bad component, then your designs may be very static. Then again, if you embrace the policies and consider them as layout situations, your designs could be more organic and alluring.

Luxury Home Solutions works hard with our architects to embrace these regulations and community rules. Doing so can make for beautiful, useful and really energy efficient neighborhoods. There is no reason why design cannot work harmoniously with zoning rules and neighborhood ordinances.

LHS works with the best architects in Southwest Florida to create home plans that work in our region. You can view our home plans here! If you cannot find a home plan that you like and that works with the regulations of your location then reach out to us now to create a custom home plan. Are you ready to create a home plan? Click here or call 239-728-2143 to get started with LHS today. LHS builds homes in Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Sanibel, Estero, and Marco Island!

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Top Tips for Hiring a Remodeler

Have you made the decision to remodel your home to fit your family’s needs instead of selling and buying new?  If that is the case, then you need to protect this huge financial investment from unlicensed unprofessional contractors. With your home on the line, it is imperative to find a contractor you can trust. As a top remodeler in Southwest Florida, Luxury Home Solutions (LHS), has the top tips to guarantee you make the right choice when you find, assess, and hire a remodeler.

Make Sure You Hire a Pro!

The best place to start is to contact your local building departments and associations to obtain a Directory of members. You can go to the Collier County Building Association, CBIA, website at https://www.cbia.net/membership/member-directory/ and Lee Building Industry Association, LBIA, at http://www.bia.net/members where you can download local remodelers through the online directory.

A professional remodeler will uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. Using the above Building Industry Association Directories can help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling that you might need, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help change your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler (CGP) to create a more energy-efficient home.

Research, Then Research Again!

Start your research by viewing the prospective remodeler’s company website and social media accounts to see photos of their work. Visit review sites like Houzz to see more pictures and to read reviews of remodeling companies. Take the best with the worst whilst reading online evaluations and reflect on the descriptions of experiences and qualities which can be most vital to you as a patron. Ask for referrals from friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, and others who’ve had remodeling work performed on similar homes with comparable schedules.

Cut the List Down!

Once you have an index of prospective remodelers for your home renovation, do a little more investigating to confirm that they’re licensed and have a terrific business record. You can check their license on the State of Florida Department of Professional Regulation website. Look them up with your local or state office of consumer protection. You can also get actively licensed contractor lists from Lee County Building Department here and Collier Building Department here!

Ask All the Right Questions!

When you first meet with the top three remodelers on your narrowed down list, you want to ask these important questions:

  • How long have they been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?
  • Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
  • What is their working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area, and what sort of issues could arise?
  • Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work.)
  • Do they provide a written estimate before beginning the work, and a detailed contract that spells out the work that will and will not be performed, protects both of you, provides a fair payment schedule contract and complies with local, state, and federal laws?

Listen to Your Gut!

Make sure you are compatible with the contractor you select. Beginning your project with mutual expectations will go a long way towards a smooth remodel. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust with them.

When going through the above steps to find the right remodeler for you please keep an eye out for these most significate Early Warning Signs of an Unlicensed Contractor:

  • You are asked to obtain the permit. A licensed contractor who is in good standing will always obtain the permit; unlicensed contractors cannot pull permits.
  • The verbal contract only; contractor is not willing to put all terms in writing. This is always a sign of potential trouble.
  • The contractor does not have proof of insurance. All licensed contractors must have current general liability and workers’ compensation insurance at all times.
  • You are informed that the job does not require a permit or an inspection. Check with your local building official. Almost all projects that involve installing a pool or pool cage, building an addition, have mechanical, electrical or plumbing work require a permit!
  • For jobs requiring a permit, make sure the contractor asks you to sign the “Notice of Commencement”.
  • Someone other than the person or company contracting to do the work obtains the permit. As previously stated, a licensed contractor who is in good standing will obtain the permit.
  • You are asked to make your check payable to an individual’s name (it should be made payable to a company), or asked to make payment in cash or to make the check payable to “cash”. Licensed contractors will almost always have a separate business account.

Finding a licensed reputable remodeler can be difficult and many are duped, but if you stick with the tips above you will find the right remodeler for your home renovation project! When you’re searching for a remodeler or custom home builder in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, and Naples Florida, look no further than LHS. We’ve been remodeling and building custom homes for more than 35 years, so you can sit back and relax knowing we have the experience and devotion to remodel or build you a wonderful, custom home. We are the remodeler and custom home builder you can trust! To learn more about our home remodeling work, click here. To get started click here or call 239-728-2143 to get a hold of our team today!

Sources:

CBIA

More Warning Signs of an Unlicensed Contractor here!

Checklist: DIY Home Energy Audit

Your home can lose you money without you even knowing it! Luxury Home Solutions (LHS) has a checklist for homeowners on how to conduct a DIY home energy audit. The average household wastes $150 per year in energy costs just from holes and cracks in their homes. If these damages are detected and fixed, homeowners can save a lot of money in the long run. You can review the home energy audit checklist below:

 Checklist DIY Home Energy Audit
Checklist Source

After reading through the checklist and examining your home do you need help fixing everything? The number of repairs and updates on an older home can add up and turn into a larger repair project. LHS specializes in complicated repairs and remodels throughout Southwest Florida. LHS is your home solution for remodels and even new custom home builds. Contact LHS today by calling 239-728-2143 or tell us about your home project here!

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Seasonal Maintenance Guide for Southwest Florida

On the off chance that you live in the Southwest Florida, here are important maintenance tasks you ought to finish in spring and summer to counteract exorbitant repairs and keep your home in top condition. Certain home upkeep tasks ought to be finished each season to avert severe damage and keep all your home’s frameworks running appropriately. These maintenance projects are most critical for Southwest Florida in spring and summer.

Spring and Summer Maintenance Checklist:

  • Vacuum the lint from the hose of your clothes dryer.
  • Remove showerheads and clean them to remove any sediment buildup.
  • Replace flashlight batteries.
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and replace batteries or devices if necessary.
  • Test any surge protected outlets: plug in a lamp, hit the test button and then the reset button to see if it turns the light off and then on again.
  • Change A/C filters and have a service man check it out.
  • Clean windows and repair any ripped screens. If a screen has a large hole in it, it’s time to replace it.
  • Check gutters and downspouts for clogs. Clean out any rubbish and make sure they are secure.
  • Check the ground around the foundation of your house and re-grade it if necessary. (The ground around the foundation should slope away from the house!).
  • Check your attic fan to make sure it is working correctly before the summer heat. If you need one to keep your home cool and costs down, call LHS we sell solar powered attic fans from Solaro Energy!
  • Check and safely trim back branches, before the windy rainy weather begins. This will protect your home from falling/swinging branches.
  • Check the roof. If you find holes, crumbling, blistering or rotting roofing, repair or replace it?? (Again, this may be a job for an expert.).
  • Clean or power-wash your home’s siding. It is common in Florida for algae growth and mildew frequently appears on the siding.
  • Check your home’s crawlspace for water damage, animals, or other foreign matter and then clean out.
  • Prepare for hurricanes. If you live on the coast check the shutters and bracing that protect your home. If you do not have hurricane roll shutters for the windows make sure you have plywood and fasteners on hand to cover them.

Additionally, spring is a decent time to renew your crisis supply kit. The pack ought to contain seven days of water, non-perishable nourishment, and toiletries. Keep in mind you might need medicines and pet supplies depending on your situation.

Spending a couple of hours on home maintenance projects prevents your home issues rapidly developing into exorbitant repairs. For best outcomes, finish the all the maintenance tasks above. Luxury Home Solutions is a home remodeler and builder throughout Southwest Florida including; Fort Myers, Naples, Estero, Bonita Sprints, Marco and Sanibel Island. If your home needs to be updated or has major repairs give LHS a call at 239-963-4093 or contact us here! We are your trusted resource for building and remodeling luxury homes in Southwest Florida!

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Do I Need to Have a Home Design Prior to Finding a Builder?

The simple answer to the above question is no! When people first decide to build a home they immediately start thinking about the home design and layout. They might even go as far as contacting an architect and paying them to design their dream home right away. There are a couple of steps you should do before designing your home that could ultimately affect the home you want. These are the 3 major things you need to know before finalizing your home plans.

Location:

When you look to buy a new home you keep in mind the commute to work, the school system, and amenities nearby. The same rules apply to new construction. Find a location that works best for you and your family. Alternatively, your current home location might work for a teardown and rebuild, so keep that in mind too. Finding your location first determines what size and type home you can build, so always take this step first.

Budget:

You do not want to dream too big and fall in love with a home you cannot afford. That is why it’s important to know how much you have for a new home. You should always go through a lender to find out how much home you can afford. Even if you have a lot of cash from a lottery win working with a lender can protect you and your money during the home build process. Once you know your budget ask your builder if your budget works with your desired square footage.

Home Necessities:

Most do not know what square footage they want or need. On the other hand, they do know how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage space is required. If you know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need then a builder can help you figure out the square footage that works for you. If you have a preference for single or two story homes then let your builder and architect know. They will work together to design your dream custom home.

Part of the luxury of working with a custom homebuilder like Luxury Home Solutions (LHS), is having the capability to customize, plot, and review your new home plan.  You certainly do not need to know the design of your new home, because LHS and some of the best Architects in Southwest Florida can help you get exactly what you want. LHS very own Norman R. Bloxham has built over 40 homes in Southwest Florida in the last 36 years. You can trust LHS to build your home! Let us know about your project by calling 239-728-2143 or filling out this form here. We hope this article helps you along in the new home construction process.

 

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How to Create a Gallery Wall!

A lot of homeowners like gallery walls to artfully display their pictures and collections. Luxury Home Solutions has the pleasure of working with Southwest Florida’s finest home designers to achieve stunning gallery walls for our customers. From this experience, we have some ideas, as well as preparation and design tips, for you on how to hang a gallery wall that will create the look you want.

We’re here to inspire and help you from start to finish; from secrets to forming a gallery wall to selecting style options and organizing the project, as well as techniques to hang the collection.

Planning Your Gallery Wall:

Usually, gallery walls look as if they formed naturally over time, but this effortless look actually requires some planning to get the appearance aesthetically correct.

  • First, find a wall that is bare or needs an upgrade. Look for a larger wall or an awkwardly shaped area where customary artwork doesn’t fit right, which could include a stairwell or entry alcove. These awkward spaces can accommodate a collection of items or pictures while showcasing your style.
  • Second, decide what aesthetic you want your gallery wall to showcase. Check out the room your gallery wall is in, the style of the room can determine if simple black pictures frames, a more eclectic arrangement of items, or a mixture of pictures and objects would work best with the design. If the gallery wall is going to be the new feature of the room, you might need to change the design of the room to go with this feature.
  • Lastly, how much space do you have to work with? Do you have the whole wall to work with or a smaller area? Is the space narrow or wide? Knowing the space you have to work with for your gallery wall will determine the number of items you can hang.

Choosing Your Collection:

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Now that you have the space selected and a style objective set decide what to hang. There are standardly two methods of a gallery wall collection.

  • Unified: An assembly of similar objects such as pictures, mirrors, or collectibles.
  • Eclectic: A mixture of objects such as pictures, items, and paintings. You can use various objects like; baskets, vinyl album covers, framed wallpaper or patterned fabric, empty antique frames on a contrasting color wall, mirrors in different shapes and sizes, and even smaller antiques.

Your Gallery Wall Layout:

Get your collection organized and plan the layout. There are three ways to design the arrangement:

  • Arrange the items on the floor using approximately the same size space of the wall. This will allow you to visualize what the gallery wall will look like as well as provide you the opportunity to rearrange until you are happy with the layout.
  • You can use tape or chalk to create outlines of your gallery objects on the wall. With this method, you can make sure you are using the wall space right. It is easy to move the tape or chalk marks too.
  • Use a wall gallery kit – Wait they have those? There are a couple of companies online where you can order prebuilt gallery layouts that come with frames, mats, and a wall pattern. If you have absolutely no design skills then this might be the option for you!

Hanging Your Collection:

You no longer have to use nails that can be destructive to your house and you (depending on your skills with a hammer). Instead here are some other options you can use to hang a gallery wall:

  • Command Picture Hanging Strips. The easiest option and they come in many sizes and styles, so you can find the right ones for your collection.
  • Floating shelves. This option is for those who like to rotate and add to their collections often. The exchange and addition of items are quick and simple.
  • Museum gallery hanging system. This is a modern look but can be a little complicated to install. The museum hanging system is made up of steel hardware and cables that suspend from a track on the ceiling or wall.

 

The greatest part of building your gallery wall is the numerous ways you can fashion your photos and objects. Make sure you use items that reflect you and your style so it truly matches the design of your home. Looking to remodel your home? LHS is a top home remodeling contractor throughout Southwest Florida. Norman Bloxham, LHS President, has remodeled and built homes for over 30 years in Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco and Sanibel Island. Let us know about your project by filling out this form or calling us at 239-728-2143.

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With a Custom Home Build Do You Need A Real Estate Agent?

Constructing a new custom home is entirely different from working with an agent to buy an already built home. If you’re buying a lot and building a custom home you have to deal with everything from zoning, permits, and builders, and if that’s too overwhelming for you, then solicit a real estate agent to help. In most situations, it will benefit you to partner with an agent. An agent helps you find and purchase a lot in your perfect neighborhood, so keep them with you when you begin the construction process. They will help you find the right builder and do so much more for you throughout the new custom home build process.

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What a Real Estate Agent can do for you:

Real Estate Agents work with builders all the time and know which builders have a good reputation. You can use your agent to find and broker a deal with a builder for you. The agent’s commission comes from the builder, so it will not cost you to have them find you a builder. Keep in mind that real estate agents have the expertise to negotiate on your behalf too.

You can work directly with the custom builder, but an agent can assist with the builder’s contract. If you do not have an agent you will have to work with a builder on your own, which leaves you to review the builder’s contract on your own. A real estate agent can keep you on track too when you go over what you need in your new home with the builder. That way you do not exceed your original budget and still get the home of your dreams.

Agents know what documentation is required for your home build, from inspection to permits, and can help you sort through it all. Although, when you select a builder with experience (like LHS), they will do this work for you and provide you with the correct documentation for your records. There are other responsibilities of building a home that can be very methodological, so if you’re not confident in the custom home building process, it would be in your greatest interest to hire a real estate agent.

If you want to know whether you should find an agent, reach out to one of our professionals at Luxury Home Solutions. We can help get you started on the right path, and put you in touch with the best real estate team possible. Norman R. Bloxham has built over 1,000 homes in Southwest Florida over the last 35 years. He is the custom home builder you can trust! Call 239-728-2143 to speak with LHS or tell us about your home project here!

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Start Your Custom Home Build With a Solid Foundation

The foundation of your house is essential to its structure. Foundation building is one of the utmost vital elements of construction when building a custom home. At Luxury Home Solutions (LHS), our custom home builders in Southwest Florida know all you can about foundations. There are two distinct kinds of foundations that we tend to concentrate on. To grasp the two methods behind constructing a solid foundation, there are a couple of things you ought to understand about this essential platform for your home.

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Monolithic Slabs

Monolithic slabs are created by employing one concrete pour. Normally, this is often a four-inch thick block of concrete. It’s thicker wherever there are supporting walls or on the outside edges. Monolithic slabs have a variety of advantages. For one factor, they’re quicker to make. Another reason is they’re sturdy. Correct construction includes reinforcement of steel and fiber mesh. This makes them even stronger. They will be strengthened even more with post-tensioning.

Post-tensioning is often employed in environments wherever there are poor soil conditions. Since soil is a main support of foundations, the behavior of underlying soils is often important to the foundation system. To strengthen the slab so soil conditions don’t cause moisture vacillations or settlement, a checker-like structure is built. This method is formed from stiffening ribs with reinforced steel and post tension cables created from high strength steel enclosed in plastic sheathing. The method referred to as post-tensioning greatly boosts the strength of the foundation.

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Stem-Wall Foundations

There are precisely three elements to the Stem-Wall Foundation method. The primary part is a spread footing that transfers the load onto the underlying soil. The second element is a masonry foundation wall. Finally, a poured block is added as the top part. These foundations are very sturdy and have several advantages for home foundations. For one, there’s less fill needed for slanting or uneven land. This is often a result of the foundation wall engineered at completely different heights, effortlessly accommodating slanting land and reducing the obligation to level the land.

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Now that you know the basics of a solid foundation start your home build by calling LHS at 239‑728-2143. We are a custom home builder in southwest Florida including; Fort Myers, Naples, Estero, Alva, Sanibel and Marco Island. View our homes we have built on our New Construction page, then you can get started on your home project by letting us know what you want here.

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What Is a Home Construction Loan (Qualifications & Process)?

Building your own house will be a beautiful and fun experience – however, it can even be an extended and high-priced operation. Most cannot afford to pay money for the price of home construction up front, and obtaining a mortgage will be tough. After all, you’re asking a bank or a mortgage loaner to grant you cash for something that doesn’t even exist yet. A standard mortgage loan is not going to cut it – though you could be eligible for a special kind of loan referred to as a home construction loan. Luxury Home Solutions has an overview of what a home construction loan is, how to qualify, and the process.

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What is a Home Construction Loan?

A home construction loan is usually a short-run loan accustomed pay for the cost of building a home. It’s going to be offered for a set term (usually around a year) to permit you the time to build your home. At the end of the construction process, once the home is done, you’ll need to get a brand new loan to pay off the construction loan – this is often generally referred to as the “end loan.”

Essentially, this means you want to refinance at the end of the term and enter into a spanking new loan of your selecting (such as a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage) that’s a more standard finance choice for your freshly completed house.

Qualifying for a Home Construction Loan

The bank or lender is loaning cash for one thing that’s to be made, with the belief that it’ll have a definite worth once it’s finished. If things fail – for example, if the builder does a poor job or if property values fall – then it might end up that the bank has created a bad investment and that the property value isn’t the maximum amount of the loan.

To try to safeguard themselves from this problematic outcome, banks typically impose strict qualifying necessities for a construction loan. These typically include the subsequent provisions:

  1. A Qualified Professional Builder Should be Involved. A professional builder is a licensed general contractor with a longtime reputation for building quality homes. This means that you just might have a particularly arduous time finding an establishment to finance your project if you’re aspiring to act as your own general contractor, or if you’re engaged in an owner/builder scenario.
  2. The Loaner Requires Detailed Specifications. This includes floor plans, additionally details regarding the materials that are about to be employed in the home build. Builders usually put together a comprehensive product list. Details typically include everything from ceiling heights to the kind of home insulation to be used.
  3. The House Worth Should be Estimated by an Appraiser. Though it will appear tough to appraise something that doesn’t exist, the lender must have an appraiser contemplate the Product list and specs of the house, as well as the price of the land that the house is being built on. These calculations are then compared to other similar homes with similar locations, similar options, and similar size. These different homes are referred to as “comps,” and an appraised price is decided based on the comps.
  4. You’ll have to Place Down an Oversized Payment. Typically, 20% is the minimum you need to put down for a construction loan – some lenders need the maximum amount of 25% down. This ensures that you are invested in the project and won’t just walk off if things get difficult. This conjointly protects the bank or loaner just in case the house doesn’t turn out to be worth as much as they expected.

Providing that you meet all these standards and have decent credit, you would qualify for a construction loan. Normally, lenders require information regarding your income and your current home, just as they would with any regular mortgage loan.

How Home Construction Loans Work

Once you have qualified for and been approved for a construction loan, the loaner begins paying out the cash they agreed to loan to you. However, they’re not just about to provide the builder the money right away. Instead, a schedule of draws is set up.

Draws are selected intervals at which the builder will receive the funds to continue with the project. There could also be many draws throughout the period of the build. As an example, the builder could get the primary 10% once the loan closes, and the next 10% when the lot is cleared and also the foundation is poured. The consecutive influx of cash could come when the home is framed, and so on till the house is complete. The number of draws and the amount of everyone is negotiated between the builder, the buyer, and the bank. This helps make sure that everything is heading in the right direction and that the cash is being spent as it ought to.

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If you want a custom home a construction loan may be the right choice so you get your dream home. Ready to create the luxurious and beautiful home of your dreams? Our team at Luxury Home Solutions will work with you to create your perfect house. We are a luxury, custom home builder in Southwest Florida. To start creating your dream home today, call us at 239-728-2143 or click here for more information.

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Common Misconceptions about Custom Home Building

Building a custom home is a wonderful experience- once you get started. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions that surround custom home building in Southwest Florida which will discourage people from ever exploring it as a possible option. Luxury Home Solutions (LHS) is here to explain these misconceptions, why they exist, and the truth behind them. Continue on to read about the foremost common misconceptions about custom home building.

Custom Home BUild

It’s Not Low-priced:

Custom desirable homes can be low-priced. This ‘expensive’ fallacy comes from the idea that building something will cost more than buying something “as-is”. It’s all about planning for the monetary future, and it all depends on what you go after. Finding the right lot and working with a custom home builder who is aware, kind, and thoughtful of your budget has a lot to do with what you’ll spend on your custom home. You also want to think about the long-term cost. You’ll be getting a brand new home, which uses the latest in energy proficient building methods. You’ll be able to plan for the future with the help of a professional home architect and builder. This means you will have your custom home for a long time, if not for the rest of your life. The chance of expensive maintenance or repairs also drops enormously.

Construction Loans are Unattainable:

This myth, to some extent, used to be true. However, construction is on the upswing, and banks have started to truly back the custom home industry. It can actually be very inexpensive and simple to get a construction loan, and occasionally you can include the land acquisition in the loan. This means you can get the construction loan before you obtain the land, including both the land and home within one loan and allowing for a better cost-effective option.

The Time to it Takes to Build a New Home:

Of course, your custom home will not be as move-in ready as a home that is already standing. That’s why it’s imperative to work with a professional and qualified custom home builder. Not only will they be on time with your home build, they will be able to help you plan every stage of the project. They’ll aid you to figure out when a good time to start the process and begin building would be. You’ll know ahead of time how long your home will take to build, so you can make suitable arrangements. Upon completion, the wait will be worthwhile, and you should be in your custom home right on schedule!

LHS hopes we’ve helped you understand at least some of these misconceptions a little better. Do you have any more questions about custom home builds? What misconceptions or scary facts have you heard? Contact LHS to receive the correct information at 239-728-2143. You can also inquire about a custom home by filling out this form.