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Home Building Articles presented by OBN Dallas / Ft. Worth

Very Cool: Heat Pump Water Heaters Save Energy and Money

November 30, 2016

A new NRDC study shows that water heaters that use high efficiency heat pump technology—the same process that keeps your refrigerator cold—can cut the amount of electricity used to heat water by half or more, saving significant amounts of energy and money on your household electricity bills.

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Trendy Times: The Top Ten Ceramic Finishes for 2017

November 30, 2016

As we approach the end of another year, designers are thinking about what the most popular trends will be among consumers as they design homes for 2017. When it comes to tile, the hottest trends for 2017 offer buyers a number of unique finish options for any kind of style, from "gritty chic" to "rustic modern."

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Roofing Showdown: Metal vs. Asphalt

November 30, 2016

The roof is one of the most important surfaces in a home, perhaps even more essential than the exterior walls. It must look good, be long-lasting, and protect residents from all types of weather. Still, a roof is one of those things that many consumers don't think about until there is a blizzard, hail storm, or rainstorm.

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The Next Big Thing: Healthy Homes

November 30, 2016

When Meritage Homes began to ask its average buyer, a 36-year-old mother of three, how it could create better value in 2009, the subject of health kept coming up. Moms were worried about kids with allergies and concerned about soaring child asthma rates. They'd read that environmental toxins could disrupt children's hormone development and watched HGTV shows about people building houses that promote wellness. They said they had enough to think about without having to worry about mold, offgassing, and radon.

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Benjamin Moore Selects 'Shadow' as its 2017 Color of the Year

October 21, 2016

On Wednesday, Benjamin Moore revealed its 2017 Color of the Year at an event in the Stephan A. Schwarman Building of the New York Public Library. A bold step south from last year's choice of "Simply White", "Shadow" is a rich amethyst that is anything but neutral.

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Appliance Makers Try to Keep Their Cool...

October 17, 2016

Over the weekend, a treaty was approved that aims to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, which provide the vehicle through which heating and cooling are exchanged, in HVAC equipment and appliances starting in 2019. Makers of this equipment now face the daunting task of finding replacements.

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BuildingGreen: Seven Game-Changing Green Building Products for 2017

October 10, 2016

This selection of products from the 15th annual BuildingGreen Top Products list presented at this week's 2016 Greenbuild Expo highlights the seven that will transform the environmental impact of residential building.

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7 Home Tech Products to Upgrade Right Now

October 4, 2016

Curbed's Daniel Scheffler takes a look at seven new smart home products that are compatible with Apple's new Home app, which was released with Apple's iOs 10 update earlier this month.

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Fewer Middle-Income Households

July 2016

The share of middle-income adult's significantly shrank from 200 to 2014. The Pew Research Center examined 229 of the 381 U.S. metro areas and found that in 203 of them the number of adults living in middle-income households fell over the last 14 years.

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Quality Products to use on Custom Built Homes

July 2016

New products enter the construction market every year. Some stick around and some fall by the wayside. At Owner Builder Network, we are always looking for products that will give our owner/builders the "most bang for their buck" in both money and quality! Here are a few products that we believe do just that...they add value monetarily, structurally and they even add to the comfort factor of our clients' homes.Check out the article below and click here to Contact Us to get your design process started!

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Design Trends in Residential Housing

July 2016

Architects and designers are always challenged to keep up with current design trends in the residential housing market. Family foyer/entries with cubbies, storage areas, benches, centrally located laundry rooms, open concept kitchen/living areas are just a few of the current trends we see in house designs today. Here is an article published by The National Association of Home Builders on their website that highlights many popular design ideas. Check it out! You will definitely find some interesting options! Owner Builder Network has an amazing design staff! Check out the article below and click here to Contact Us to get your design process started!

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Alternative Construction Options

July 2016

From time to time we get questions about alternative types of construction. This term would encompass anything other than traditional stick-built construction and include ICF Walls (Insulated Concrete Forms for walls), Steel Frame construction, SIPs System, Cargo Container construction, Earth Dome construction, Barndominium construction (incorporating a home and barn together...and the list can go on and on and can even be inclusive of discussions of basements and/or walkout basements for our area.

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Products to Ensure a Well-Built Home and Personal Safety

July 2016

At Owner Builder Network we are all about helping our clients to get exactly what they want in the building process. For many of our clients, that means they are looking for ways to save, be in control, and ensure their home is built to the best quality possible.

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The Interior Trends You'll Be Loving in 2017

March 2016

Just splurged on some marble and copper homewares? You may want to stop reading.

While it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the new year, trend forecasters and designers are already thinking well into 2017 – and there's a big shake up of interior trends predicted.

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12 Home Design Trends to Watch in 2016

January 2016

Although the International Builders' Show focused largely on millennial homebuyers, the event also featured several sessions addressing design trends for all levels of the housing market, from starter homes to luxury properties.

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Insulation Choices

August 2015

Insulation...What is the best option?...

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Meet David Winchester with Winchester Home Design

June 2015

These are words that many of us have thought and spoken at one time or another or hope to speak in the near future. Let's assume that you and your family are at this place in your life right now. What are the first steps when you have made the decision to build a new custom home?

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Where can I go to get my legal questions answered about the construction of my new custom built home?

June 2015

There are many times that we need a lawyer and are not sure who to go to. When we opened the doors of Owner Builder Network going on 15 years ago in Arlington, Texas, we knew we needed the services of a dependable title attorney and one that understood our program and could help to relate and explain the closing paperwork in an efficient and understandable way to our clients.

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Meet Your Owner Builder Network® Team

June 2015

Owner Builder Network® has been operating in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex going on 15 years. We have assisted over 1500 families to be their own builder over the years from the Red River to Graham to McKinney to Tyler to Waco and all points in between. Our staff combined has over 60 years of solid construction experience. At OBN, we strive to use our experience to help you address the changing times as they pertain to residential construction.

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Rain, Rain Go Away...

May 2015

Wow! It has been sooo long since we have seen this kind of rain in our north Texas area...

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Spring Concerns for North Texas

April 2015

Spring is definitely in the air! I know this because my car has the perpetual green dust on it, I make sure there is a Kleenex box within reach, and I find myself taking pictures of flowers to make the background on my iPhone lock screen and home screen. The flowers that bloom along the roadsides and at the nurseries after our long gray North Texas winter are such an awesome indication that spring is definitely here!

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No Time like the Present to Set the Ball in Motion to Begin the Process for Your New Custom Home!

March 2015

U.S. home buyers signed more contracts to buy existing homes in January than they have since August of 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors...

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Popular Products with Owner Builder Network Clients

March 16, 2015

One of the main components that our clients appreciate about Owner Builder Network®, is the complete control over what actually goes into their houses from a structural standpoint as well as a finish viewpoint.

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New Home Sales Rise for the Third Straight Month, Prices Jump

December 2014

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose for a third straight month in October.

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Home Affordability Gets Squeezed

November 2014

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), nearly 62% of all homes sold nationwide last quarter could be afforded by a family earning the national median income.

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We Want to Build a House!!

November 2014

Yes! We Want to Build a House!! Now What? Read more to find out!

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Why Choose Owner Builder Network to Help You Be Your Own Builder?

November 2014

These times..."They are a changin'"! This is a saying that has been around for a long time and certainly applies to the construction industry as a whole and for sure to the residential construction industry.

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Bright Ideas to Incorporate into your Kitchen Design

November 2014

We are always looking for creative ways to help clients to keep their designs fresh and innovative and to help them "live" in their home while the home serves their goals and purposes...

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The Outdoor Living Equation - Vital to Home Sale or Resale

November 2014

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2014 Outdoor Design Trends survey found that homeowners remain very serious in their desire for fully finished outdoor living areas...

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Maintenance Schedule

October 2014

Do you need a refresher on what should be maintained annually around your house? Look no further, as we have provided a checklist for you to ensure everything is being kept in tiptop shape.

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Spray Foam Insulation Is Not a Cure-All

November 13, 2013

Spray foam insulation is a great product. Homes insulated with it can be some of the most efficient and comfortable homes built. I've been in plenty of homes insulated with spray foam and can tell you that, when done well, those homes are airtight and comfortable. I've also seen homes where the spray foam was a waste of money.

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National Kitchen & Bath Association Reports Trends for 2010

January 12, 2010

National Kitchen & Bath Association Reports Trends for 2010 Results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association to reveal the key design trends for 2010. The results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the...

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Home Building Articles presented by OBN Houston

Don't Let Vague Plans Derail A Project

March 2017

Don't Let Vague Plans Derail A Project A bid based on incomplete set of drawings spells trouble for everyone. "We know the plans aren't finalized, but we'd like to get some idea of costs. We won't make any decisions based on these numbers; we just want a ballpark figure." So begins all too many problem projects.

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Color Coordinator

December 2016

Owning Cheaper Than Renting, Still Many designers go through a minimalist period, but not usually in the second grade. Brian Patrick Flynn recalls that, as a 6 year-old, anytime he wasn't playing sports he was rearranging furniture in his bedroom. He applied production studies in college, then worked in television after graduation. "I got my first producing gig in 2003 on a remodeling show." Flynn says. "My friends said I should get a job on one of the show's projects, so I did-on 'Property Brothers!"...

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Owning Cheaper Than Renting, Still

December 2016

Owning Cheaper Than Renting, Still Owning a home has earned yet another victory over renting, according to data from Trulia, which shows that it is now 37.7 percent cheaper to buy a home than to rent one in the top 100 U.S. cities. That's the highest mark since 2012, when it was 40.7 cheaper to buy than to rent, and 0.5 percentage points higher than in 2015. Trulia found it is cheaper to buy than to rent in each metro, as well...

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BODYWASH: The custom shower system still rules, but please use some restraint

December 2016

BODYWASH: The custom shower system still rules, but please use some restraint In bathroom designs that promote health and wellness, custom showers have become a must. But if you're thinking human car wash with body sprays aplenty, think again. Perceptions of showering have changed, and satisfaction is no longer based on water volume, says Les Petch, senior product manager for performance showering products at Kohler. With water shortages a growing concern, busy homeowners are finding spa-like bliss in simple setups that provide...

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Four Bedrooms the New Norm

November 2016

Four Bedrooms the New Norm Fewer kids today will know the struggles of sharing a room with a sibling. Or, from another perspective, more child-free adults will have sufficient space for their home spas and man caves. The reason: larger homes. According to data from the U.S. Census Survey of Construction and analysis from the NAHB, 36 percent of U.S. single-family homes started in 2015 have four bedrooms, and 11 increases from previous rates of 29 percent and 6 percent...

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How to Keep Stucco From Cracking

October 14, 2016

How to Keep Stucco From Cracking Construction defect litigation is no joke, and cases citing poor stucco performance have been on court dockets since at least the 1990s. These days, it seems, any fissure might be leveraged into a lawsuit. But delivering a quality three-coat stucco job isn't a mystery. The science behind it is sound, and building codes and industry standards prescribe everything from the right material ratios in the mix to the thickness of each coat...

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Mold: Telling Fact From Fiction

October 13, 2016

Mold: Telling Fact From Fiction A tighter building envelope makes it more important than ever to be informed and vigilant about mold. Back in 2001, a couple living just outside Austin, Texas won a suit against a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group for bad faith in handling what had begun as a water leak and eventually turned into black mold, making the home's occupants sick and rotting out their 22-room mansion...

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What You Need to Know About the New Statewide Energy Code

October 11, 2016

What You Need to Know About the New Statewide Energy Code Beginning with all new homes permitted September 1, the statewide move to the 2015 energy code ushers in some significant changes for single-family and low-rise (three stories and lower) multifamily construction. The catalyst for these changes is HB 1736, a Texas Association of Builders (TAB) priority bill, passed by the legislature last session...

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How to Apply Exterior Wood Stain – Sherwin-Williams

October 2016

House Sherwin-Williams exterior stain can be used for siding and trim, decks and porches, and all other outdoor living spaces. Learn how to apply exterior wood stain with tips from our stain experts. From cedar siding to redwood deck, wood offers a rich, warm welcome to any home. A good house stain not only beautifies your home's exterior, it preserves and protects exterior wood from nature's harshest elements...

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Net Zero Can Equal Net Gains

October 2016

Net Zero Can Equal Net Gains When it comes to a home's capacity to deal with moisture, air flow and heat, isn't high performance simply building better? There are two routes home builders can take to try to engineer their homes to produce as much energy as they consume: one is through the envelope, the other is through the systems...

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Four Hot Kitchen Trends of 2016

September 2016

Four Hot Kitchen Trends of 2016 Open and dynamic kitchens that seamlessly blend with the rest of the home are at the top of homeowners' wish lists for 2016, according to the latest Zillow Digs Home Trend forecast. The analysis of popular photos on the real estate listing website and opinions of interior design experts revealed tuxedo or two-toned painted cabinets in complementary colors, hidden appliances, mixed hardware finishes, and wood paneling...

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50+ Colorful Bedrooms That Will Make You Wake Up Happier

September 7, 2016

50+ Colorful Bedrooms That Will Make You Wake Up Happier These take-notice color schemes are total mood boosters. Because beige is no way to start the day...

The light-filled master bedroom designed by Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham is covered in Sandberg's Raphael wallpaper. A Tilton Fenwick for Target headboard is upholstered in the duo's Jax fabric for Duralee...

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Property taxes may vary significantly within counties

September 2016

Property taxes may vary significantly within counties A recent research report by the NAHB examines effective property tax rates for more than 3,100 counties, including the lowest and highest tract rates within each county, and also compares rates by state...

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Sealing the Shower, Reliably

August 2016

Sealing the Shower, Reliably Keeping water away from where it doesn't belong is all in the details. Every time you drive a large volume of water onto a building surface you run the risk of it penetrating that surface and getting into the structure. It's as true for wind-driven rain on a stucco wall as it is for a multi-head luxury walk-in shower...

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Questions about reverse osmosis

August 2016

Questions about reverse osmosis Certification Action Line features questions and answers typical of those appearing in Water Quality Association certification examinations. Some answers may not satisfy everyone or every condition. Q. When osmotic shock occurs, it does not directly affect the membrane. (True or False)...

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Storm damage: Don't let scams stump you

July 2016

Storm Damage You look outside and see toppled trees and drooping branches caused by ice or a severe thunderstorm. Scammers see the same thing and view it as a chance to swindle. As winter quickly approaches, experts warn that unscrupulous contractors will soon be gearing up to swoop into storm-damaged neighborhoods to offer to clean up every branch, limb and twig. But they typically end up taking their victims' money, often fleeing to another state...

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U.S. siding demand to rise 5.6 percent annually through 2019

June 2016

Siding A new report from Freedonia Group forecasts that U.S. demand for siding will grow 5.6 percent per year to 100.0 million squares in 2019, valued at $10.7 billion. A rebound in building construction activity, in particular double-digit gains in housing completions, will stimulate siding demand in the new residential market, which is expected to become the largest siding market by 2019...

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Home Prices Continue Rising at 5 Percent Annual Rate

June 2016

House S&P Dow Jones indices released the most recent results for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Data released for March 2016 shows home process continued their rise across the country over the past 12 months. Year over year, the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home price Index---covering all nine U.S. census divisions---reports a 5.2 percent annual gain in March...

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Common Soil Issues for Residential Construction in Texas

June 2016

Common Soil Issues for Residential Construction in Texas We offer this document to alert builders, homeowners and policy makers of two concerns that worry us about home build on reclaimed farm and ranchland. The first concern relates to expansive soils that are unsuitable for building and that cause foundation problems and...

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Roofing Company Cautions on Spring Dangers

June 2016

Active Leaks If the wind shifts your shingles, you may notice stains on your ceiling or walls. If this occurs, you must contact a roofing repair company immediately. Several, like roofing companies, will provide free estimates. Loose flashings or siding, corroded fascia boards and dormant chimneys are all opportunities for animals to escape the chilly, wet weather...

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Waivers Should Be Tied to Each Payment

June 2016

Waivers Should Be Tied to Each Payment Lien waivers shouldn't be treated as something to obtain without a set schedule. In order to create a successful lien waiver policy and obtain a maximum amount of protection from potential financial risk, you must create a structured and ordered policy. Each payment should be associated with a lien waiver...

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Outdoor Living Room Elements

June 2016

Cedar Ceiling This ceiling is made with a smooth cedar and stained with a clear finish. It has a vaulted center section with a hand-painted tin ceiling from which the chandelier hangs. A surround system is installed with a large TV over the fireplace. A smaller TV is inside the garage window over the hot tub...

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Outdoor Spaces Take on Many Forms

June 2016

Outdoor Living Across the country, remodelers are creating unique outdoor living spaces for clients that enhance views, provide cooking and entertainment space, and more. Adam M. Heath originally was asked to install a segmental block retaining wall along a more than 120 ft. section of rear yard. After walking the property, talking with the family and seeing more potential...

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Your Spring Water Well News

May 2016

Well Water The safety and purity of your drinking water and the efficient operation of your private well system depends on a well-organized maintenance program. Protect your investment by regularly inspecting your well, testing your water, maintaining any water treatment devices, and your septic system!

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Common Pest and Your Home

May 2016

Household Pest The list of new responsibilities can seem overwhelming when you buy a home or become a first-time homeowner. One responsibility that tends to get overlooked until it becomes a larger issue is that of household pests. A household pest is "a destructive insect or other animal that attacks" your home...

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Planning a Small Bedroom Can Be Fun (Honestly)

May 2016

Planning a Small Bedroom With the right design tips and techniques, you can turn your snug room into a dreamy retreat. From clever storage solutions to multitasking furniture, these great ideas will breathe new life into your compact scheme. If all white isn't for you, bring in your favorite colors, but in a thoughtful way. The brights are limited to reds and oranges - which work beautifully with the brick wall and wooden furniture - and are teamed with plenty of white for an airy feel...

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Frequently Asked Questions

May 2016

AC UnitWhat does SEER mean?Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio. It is the energy efficiency of the condensing unit. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system will be....

I got bids from several A/C contractors and the prices are very different. How should I choose to be sure that I'm getting the best deal?

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The Costs of Staging a Room

May 2016

The Costs of Staging a Room Since every staging job is different, costs vary. For a consultation with a professional stager who will inspect your home and provide a list of suggestions, expect to pay about $350, says Barb Schwarz, founder of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, or IAHSP. Homeowners can do the work themselves, or they can pay the stager to make the changes. If furniture or other supplies need to be rented, the homeowner will also pay the rental fees...

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Staging a Room

May 2016

Staging a Room There are two different types of staging, depending on whether a home is occupied or vacant. "Most of us have too much stuff in our homes," says Shell Brondnax, president of the Real Estate Staging Association, or RESA, a trade group in Valley Springs, Calif. One of the biggest tasks in staging an occupied home is reducing the clutter and depersonalizing the place. You'll want to reduce the number of books on bookshelves, paint rooms in neutral colors...

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Tips for Making a Small Room Look Larger

May 2016

Tips for Making a Small Room Look Larger Creating the illusion of space with mirrors is a classic trick that works every time. Perfect for smaller bedrooms, a mirrored wall will visually double the space. This one does the job in style, its high position keeping the effect subtle and the antiqued surface looking elegant. Having custom furniture made for your space can be a very worthwhile investment. This twin bed has been designed to fit under the eaves perfectly, leaving plenty of space in the rest of the room...

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Quick Tips to Rescue Your Garden & Beds from Water-Logged Soils

April 2016

Quick Tips to Rescue Your Garden & Beds from Water-Logged Soils Working wet soil can do long term damage to the integrity of the bed/garden itself. Allow the soil to dry out for several days. Push a trowel into the soil and wiggle it back and forth, if visible water is in the hole, or the soil looks glossy, wait a few more days...

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Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction

April 2016

Tree Damage As cities and suburbs expand, wooded lands are being developed into commercial and residential sites. Homes are constructed in the midst of trees to take advantage of the aesthetic and environmental value of the wooded lots. Wooded properties can be worth as much as 20 percent more than those without trees, and people value the opportunity to live among trees...

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Spending on Luxury Kitchen and Bath Amenities Picks Up

May 2014

Spending on Luxury Kitchen and Bath Amenities Picks Up Kitchens and baths are getting larger and more upscale, according to a panel of residential architects reporting to the Home Design Trends Survey. The fourth-quarter findings collected by the American institute of Architects (AIA) reflected a stronger market compared with the last quarter of 2012 as projects improved steadily over the past two years...

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Don't Kill the Bugs!

June 27, 2013

Microbe Your Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Plant is a "living" machine that houses a micro-organism "bug colony" that consumes organic waste. These micro-organisms require oxygen & appropriate "food" (organic waste devoid of toxins) to survive.

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HAPPY SPRING!!! It's that time again... for your annual well maintenance that is!

April 25, 2013

Water Well The safety and purity of your drinking water and the efficient operation of your private well system depends on a well-organized maintenance program. Protect your investments through regular inspection, testing and repair. The first step in properly maintaining your water system is creating a well maintenance log.

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The Biggest User: Learn how to estimate your home appliances' energy use.

April 3, 2013

The Biggest User: Learn how to estimate your home appliances' energy use. You've had your fridge forever. With the exception of some crumbling parts of the seal, it's in pretty good shape and keeps your food cold. Why worry about budgeting for an upgrade? When evaluating older appliances, one question emerges...

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Severe Weather! Are You Ready?

November 2012

Severe Weather!More tornadoes strike Texas than any other state. Sophisticated warning systems exist, but they're no substitute for preparedness and smart action.

Tornado Watch: Conditions are right for a tornado. Watch the Sky. Warning: A tornado has been spotted. Take cover immediately...

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New Energy Audit State Code

October 25, 2012

New Energy Audit State Code Energy audit RES Check (2012 State Code) prepared for building permitting of city jurisdiction as required. The energy consultation is a comprehensive analysis of the energy usage in your home. The goal of this analysis is to evaluate your home's energy efficiency.

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Three Texas Towns Tops for Investment

September 25, 2012

Three Texas Towns Tops for Investment Three Texas cities have been named among the ten best small towns for housing investment. According to the rankings by HomeVestors of America and Local Market Monitor, Corpus Christi (No. 4), Tyler, (No. 7) and Longview (No. 8) are considered less risky for investors looking to purchase single-family homes as rental properties.

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Preparing for an Emergency

September 12, 2012

Preparing for an Emergency Storms can form quickly leaving little or no time to prepare. If you have time to prepare before a storm, there are a few items you'll want to gather to keep you and all family members safe. Prepare for a power outage and purchase food that won't perish quickly, pickup batteries (C and D batteries are the most common ones used for flash lights and portable stereo), and most importantly have water and ice ready...

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The Fire Wall

July 8, 2011

The Fire Wall Grimm + Parker Architects, based in Calverton, Maryland, is one of the region's leaders in community-based architecture. Since 1972, the company has applied the ideas that communities are not merely a place to live but a place to thrive in with countless facilities, including community centers, performing arts centers, libraries, educational facilities and more...

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Blown Away

July 8, 2011

Blown Away Along the coast and in hurricane zones, homebuilders have unique concerns about the quality of their building materials, such as the ability of fasteners to stay in place in winds up to 150 miles per hour. These concerns add a new dimension to the age-old debate over which is better, plywood or OSB. The city of Galveston, Texas, recently jumped into the debate, bringing the matter to an official vote before the city council...

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Nucleus with Brillion™

March 21, 2011

Nucleus with Brillion Home Energy Monitor and Management System General Electric anticipates introducing the Nucleus with Brillion technology this year. Designed for areas where utility rates are based on time-of-use, GE states that the product will work in homes with smart meters, plugging into any standard electrical outlet to track electricity use and allow users...

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Not All Radiant Barriers are Created Equal

December 21, 2010

Not All Radiant Barriers are Created Equal The U.S. Department of Energy recognizes radiant barriers as a way to reduce summer heat gain and lower cooling energy usage. An independent study in 2010 by ConSol reinforced this, finding that radiant barrier sheathing is a top energy-efficient technology when building a new home. The study indicated that radiant barrier sheathing is on of the top three energy-efficient...

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EPA Storm Water Rules to Be Redefined

December 21, 2010

EPA Storm Water Rules to Be Redefined The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a pilot program on November 9 designed to make it easier to gage a home's energy efficiency. Home Energy Score compares a home against others in the region and provides custom recommendations on how to reduce energy costs. It evaluates 40 points to generate a score ranging from one to ten...

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Icynene Insulation

April 29, 2010

Icynene Insulation insulation in a unique position as being the only spray foam insulation that can be left as sprayed in the attic assembly. All other Icynene®...

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Debate Over Sprinklers in New Homes Becomes a Hot Issue Across The Nation

April 21, 2010

Debate Over Sprinklers in New Homes Becomes a Hot Issue Across The Nation The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a pilot program on November 9 designed to Debate Over Sprinklers in New Homes Becomes a Hot Issue Across The Nation Georgia lawmakers this week rejected a residential sprinkler mandate. By: John Caulfield. The ongoing battle between builders and fire service officials over building codes that mandate the installation of fire sprinklers into new homes is being played out this spring...

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Make Room For Grandparents and Boomerangs

March 31, 2010

Make Room For Grandparents and Boomerangs Make Room For Grandparents and Boomerangs The number of Americans living in multigenerational households grew by 2.6 million from 2007 to 2008 and continues to rise, according to a Pew Research Study. By: Jenny Sullivan. Does that nifty new floor plan of yours have enough bathrooms? It's a question that may be worth revisiting in...

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Owner Builder Network Receives 2009 Best of Business Award

March 8, 2010

Owner Builder Network Receives 2009 Best of Business Award FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Small Business Commerce Association's Award Honors the Achievement. Owner Builder Network has been selected for the 2009 Best of Business Award in the Single-family housing construction category by the Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) The Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is pleased to announce that Owner...

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Building Your Own Custom Home

February 23, 2010

Building Your Own Custom Home If you're thinking about building your own custom home, there are some simple questions you should ask yourself, and some answers you should get before starting. What are the reasons I should be my on builder? In a word---Money! In another word---Control! Let's talk about money first. There is no better way to build equity than to be an owner builder---but the...

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OBN Receives Proclamation From The City of Houston

February 10, 2010

OBN Receives Proclamation From The City of Houston On January 28,2010 Sheila Kramer, Founder of Owner Builder Network, received a Proclamation from the City of Houston's Mayor Annise Parker for the company's contribution to the City's building...

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Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Announced for 2010

January 12, 2010

Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Announced for 2010 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Announced for 2010 Although the most popular features have remained unchanged, some new trends are gaining traction. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, trends in kitchen and bath design for 2010 won't be much different from the previous year, although...

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Caulking an Undermount Sink in Place

January 12, 2010

Caulking an Undermount Sink in Place Builders' Tip: Caulking an Undermount Sink in Place Click for larger image. I needed to affix a stainless-steel undermount sink to a granite countertop that was already installed on its cabinet bases. One problem I faced in tackling the job was how to get a good silicone-caulk seal between the underside of the counter and...

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Earth Advantage Institute Selects Top 10 Green Building Trends for 2010

January 11, 2010

Earth Advantage Institute Selects Top 10 Green Building Trends for 2010 Earth Advantage Institute Selects Top 10 Green Building Trends For 2010 Trends range from energy scores for homes to web-based displays that track energy usage in real time. Matt Phair, HousingZone Contributing Editor January 8, 2010 HousingZone The Earth Advantage Institute, a leading nonprofit green building resource that has certified more than 11,000 sustainable homes, today...

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No-MaintenanceHome Myth

January 07, 2010

No-MaintenanceHome Myth No-Maintenance Myth Our virtual home designer and building scientist weigh in on defining true sustainability. By: Rich Binsacca. Glimpse the Future: The Home for the New Economy will debut exclusively online, with narrated and photo-realistic virtual tours, at the 2010 International Builders' Show and remain open through June...

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Census Bureau Releases Latest Population Estimates

January 06, 2010

Census Bureau Releases Latest Population Estimates Census Bureau News Release January 4, 2010 HousingZone Texas gained more people than any other state between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009 (478,000), followed by California (381,000), North Carolina (134,000), Georgia (131,000) and Florida (114,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates California remained the most populous state, with a July 1, 2009, population of 37...

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Brick Holds Up as Homeowners' Siding Choice

January 06, 2010

Brick Holds Up as Homeowners' Siding Choice Brick Holds Up as Homeowners' Siding of Choice New poll finds preferences remain highly regional. By: John Caulfield. More than 70% of Americans, and more than half of all homeowners, express a preference for house siding. And a new survey of more than 2,000 people across the country finds that brick is still favored over other types of...

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What Makes A Home Green

November 5, 2009

What Makes A Home Green What measures determine if a home is green? Does using recycled materials make a home green? How about locating the home on reclaimed land? Or, what if the homeowners have energy bills significantly lower than those for a similar-sized conventional home?According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it takes more than using a few sustainable practices to build a...

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Credit Tips That Will Score Lower Interest Rates

November 05, 2009

Credit Tips That Will Score Lower Interest Rates A good credit score translates into lower interest rates for home-shopping borrowers. In a mortgage lender's eyes, the higher your score is, the less risk you are, and the more likely it is you will pay off your debt. For this reason, borrowers with lower scores usually end up paying higher interest rates on their loans. If this is you, don't panic...

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House Votes to Expand Homebuyer Tax Credit

November 05, 2009

House Votes to Expand Homebuyer Tax Credit Buying a home is about to get cheaper for a whole new crop of homebuyers — $6,500 cheaper.First-time homebuyers have been getting tax credits of up to $8,000 since January as part of the economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year. But with the program scheduled to expire at the end of November, the House voted 403-12 Thursday to extend and expand the tax credit to include many...

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Load up Your Washer for Energy Savings – Energy Star Appliances Save Money

November 04, 2009

Load up Your Washer for Energy Savings – Energy Star Appliances Save Money Hardly anyone enjoys doing the laundry, but today the task is much easier than it was a few decades ago. A job that once required a washboard and considerable elbow grease now requires little more than the push of a button. These days, the hard part is picking the right washing machine to buy. Anyone who goes to an appliance store to look at washing machines encounters what...

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New Lead Safety Rules - How the Rules Affect Painters

October 27, 2009

New Lead Safety Rules - How the Rules Affect Painters Effective April, 22, 2010, if you are working for compensation on a project that will disturb paint in a home, school, or childcare facility built prior to 1978, you must comply with the new lead safety regulations, including: Painting and property management firms must be EPA-certified and their employees must be trained in the use of lead-safe work practices...

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Water Saving Toilets

October 27, 2009

Water Saving Toilets Water-saving toilets are now standard on all new construction because of a 1992 federal mandate for plumbing fixture manufacturers. Also known as low-flow toilets, water-saving toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) of water or less, compared with older toilets that use 3.5, 5.0, and up to 7.0 gpf. The 1.6 gpf models significantly reduce the amount of fresh water consumed...

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Water Saving Faucets

October 27, 2009

Water Saving Faucets Low-flow faucets and showerheads sound like they deliver low water pressure, but that's not too appealing to a homeowner who's working at the kitchen sink or trying to start off the day with an invigorating shower. In actuality, good low-flow or water-saving faucets and showerheads deliver what feels like full-volume water. They provide equal or better performance than conventional fixtures...

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Solid Surface Countertops

October 27, 2009

Solid Surface Countertops Solid surface countertops were a revolution of sorts when they were first introduced. Until then most modern countertops were limited to tile or laminate. Solid surface has come a long way however, available in a vast array of colors and patterns, made by numerous manufacturers. The term "solid surface" may seem a bit obvious since all countertops are "solid"...

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Separating Fact From Fiction on Residential Fire Sprinklers

October 27, 2009

Separating Fact From Fiction on Residential Fire Sprinklers Residential fire sprinkler technology has been around for several decades, yet there has never been a strong market demand for these potential life-saving devices. Almost 30 years ago, the idea of installing a system in the home was first developed, and since then manufacturers have done their best to educate consumers and create new markets...

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LED Facts

October 27, 2009

LED Facts Light Emitting Diode, more commonly known as "LED", represents the cutting edge of lighting technology. LEDs operate on a totally different concept than traditional incandescent style lights. Instead of using a brittle metal filament that is susceptible to shock and vibration, LEDs are solid-state devices with no moving parts utilizing an electronic chip that is encapsulated in an epoxy...

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Interior Painting

October 27, 2009

Interior Painting By following some basic guidelines for surface preparation, primer application, and topcoat application, it's possible to avoid the majority of the headaches associated with interior paint. Surface preparation Wall and ceiling surfaces should be completely dry before primer or paint is applied. Use a damp cloth to remove loose dust and dirt created during the drywall installation...

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Insurance Checklist - New Home Construction

October 27, 2009

Insurance Checklist - New Home Construction Check with your bank/Lending Institution as to what amount of insurance you will be required to carry. Determine what policies will have to be issued by your closing date. Determine if your location is in a designated flood zone. If so, flood insurance will be a requirement as opposed to optional. A "pre-construction...

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Benefits of Green Building

October 27, 2009

Benefits of Green Building to Homeowners Green building benefits the environment, the builders, the community at large, and of course the individual homeowner. This article focuses specifically on important benefits to the homeowner—better durability, energy savings, water savings, improved indoor air quality—and the green building practices typically used to achieve these benefits. Durable A green home is a durable home...

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Do It Yourself Landscaping Tips

October 27, 2009

Do It Yourself Landscaping Tips For anyone who intends to go the route of do-it-yourself landscaping, this article will share some really useful tips for you to get started. The very first question that you should probably ask yourself is – "What do you want your landscaping to look like?" This question is best answered by reading home decor and gardening magazines and visiting your neighbors' yards. That should give you...

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Are You Paying Taxes on Multiple Properties?

October 27, 2009

Are You Paying Taxes on Multiple Properties? The Harris County Tax Office has a better idea. Following is a letter from Susan Banks, Director of Property Tax for the City of Houston: For several years, the Harris County Tax Office has had a program used by lenders and tax agents to receive and pay their tax bills electronically. We are now offering this program to any taxpayer with multiple accounts. As a GHBA member, the Tax...

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New Homes vs Foreclosures

August 27, 2009

New Homes vs Foreclosures Apples vs. Oranges Appraisers need regulatory guidelines that acknowledge today's realities. By: Joe Robson Related Articles Save / Share Picture this: For the first time in months a small builder sells a new home. The sales price cuts the builder's profit to the bone, but it's a reasonable price given today's housing market. The buyers are well...

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Lending in our brave new world

August 18, 2009

Lending in our brave new world Everyone has heard of the "credit crisis". No money for anyone. WRONG!! The only change in lending is the rules have tightened up. In too many cases, people who cold not qualify or afford a mortgage before were still approved for loans they could not qualify or afford. That has changed. Monies for construction loans or mortgage are still readily...

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Exterior Brick Applications

July 08, 2009

Exterior Brick Applications A brick Exterior adds value and beauty to a new house, but it can also bring some unexpected problems. Brick is thought of as being extremely weatherproof, so it's often used as the Exterior finish for high-end homes. However, brick is porous, and it absorbs moisture. This can lead to structural damage and mold growth...

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Protecting Homes from Hurricanes

July 08, 2009

Protecting Homes from Hurricanes Hurricanes are one of nature's most destructive forces, as witnessed in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast. FEMA estimates that Katrina killed over 1,300 people, displaced 450,000 people, and wrecked over 300,000 single-family homes throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Most of the havoc caused by Katrina was flood-related...

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Windows 101

July 08, 2009

Windows 101 Window shopping is easy when you know what to look for. You'll find many styles, shapes, features and glass packages when looking for windows and doors. But deciding on the perfect choice for your home and family is simple. Just take your time and assess your needs. Consider which style will best suit your home and your family...

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Soil Quality

July 08, 2009

Soil Quality You may recall the story of the statue built with clay feet. Even though the head, chest, and legs of the statue were made of strong metals, it only took a single stone to bring the statue down. The same concept is true of new homes. All the best practice building in the world won't make a home durable, comfortable, or safe if the soil beneath it is unstable. Poor quality soil is a real issue...

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LED Lighting Saves Electricity

July 08, 2009

LED Lighting Saves Electricity Led lights also generate very little unwanted heat. The energy savings may be doubled in air-conditioned environments where each watt of incandescent lighting can add another watt or more to the power needed for air conditioning. The EPA encourages the use of innovative light source technologies such as led light bulbs...

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Fiber-Cement Siding

July 08, 2009

Fiber-Cement Siding Many times you can judge a book by its cover, at least when it comes to selecting the type of siding for a home. If a siding looks expensive, it probably is. And the same is true if it looks second rate. Is there a good-looking, durable siding that isn't too expensive? Fiber-cement siding has become a popular alternative to many other sidings. It requires very little maintenance and has a very...

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Improved Stucco Systems

July 08, 2009

Improved Stucco Systems Think stucco finish can stop rainwater and moisture in its tracks? Think again. Stucco finished are actually porous, which means that water can get sucked up through the pores and enter into the walls. What's more, stucco can crack over time, practically inviting water to enter the home, damage the building materials, and potentially produce mold...

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Aerobic Septic Systems

July 08, 2009

Aerobic Septic Systems What are Aerobic Systems? Aerobic septic systems are used in situations where standard septic systems are not a viable option. In many cases, they are used to replace failing septic systems. Aerobic systems are similar to septic systems in that they both use natural processes to treat wastewater...

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Spray Foam Insulation: Tips and Best Practices

June 23, 2009

Spray Foam Insulation: Tips and Best Practices A large percentage of heat escapes through the attic and the walls of a home. However, a new approach to insulation can make a big difference.In order to build a better thermal envelope, we need to look at the second law of thermodynamics. This law states that heat flows in one direction, from a warm space to a cold one. For example, warm air inside a home will flow...

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The Log Cabin: A Different Kind of Statement

March 31, 2009

The Log Cabin: A Different Kind of Statement There are many options available for anyone looking to build a new home or vacation residence. While most people opt for a traditional framed structure, it should be noted that it is not the only option available. If you are a person with a desire to live in and with nature, perhaps it's time to consider a more natural way to build...

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Home Building Articles presented by OBN San Antonio

Streamline Homebuilding with a Panelized Home

March 31, 2009

Streamline Homebuilding with a Panelized Home A panelized home is one in which many aspects of the home are pre-cut and assembled in a factory setting before being shipped out to the job site. Roof and floor trusses, as well as wall panels, are the most common parts of a home that are pre-built in this fashion, though other aspects of a home can be addressed with panelized construction. There are a lot of reasons to choose a pre-fabricated...

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Recession-weary consumers still willing to spend on green products

March 30, 2009

Recession-weary consumers still willing to spend on green products Although worried about the economy, consumers are willing to buy energy-efficient products and services - if they see immediate savings, according to a national survey released today. The survey, one of four annual surveys conducted by The Shelton Group, found that 71 percent of consumers cited saving money as a reason to buy energy-efficient products...

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