Custom Built Home Foundation

Why a Solid Foundation is Important to Any Custom Built Home

Building a solid foundation for a new home is important to the process. Footings and foundations are to homes what feet and legs are to a human being. Footings anchor the home and support the foundation. Learn more about why the three main foundation types (full basement, crawlspace and slab-on grade) are significant when creating a solid foundation.

 

Full Basement

Full basements can be found in many places and consist of footings placed deep below the region’s frost depth and eight-foot-high walls enclosed with a four-inch-thick poured concrete slab. An underground room can be used as a storage and mechanical space or finished to create a living room. Basement finishing is a growing trend: homeowners are turning spaces into recreational rooms, gyms and entertainment centers. It takes planning to prepare a basement for what a family will want in the future. Basements with insulation under the slab creates a great atmosphere for keeping dampness out and making sure quality and comfort are at the fore.

 

Crawlspaces

Crawlspaces are more common in the Southeast than the Midwest. Footings are placed below the frost line but only enough headroom exists between the ground and floor frame for someone to crawl around. Open crawlspaces and become breeding grounds for mold and moisture. Moisture can ruin a home’s frame, leading to rot and structural failure. For this reason, it is recommended:

  • To seal and insulate a crawlspace
  • Cover ground with polyethylene vapor barrier or concrete slab
  • Lowers pace conditioning bills, mold and mildew

 

Slab-on-Grade

Slab-on-grade foundation is a concrete slab poured at grade level that serves as a subfloor for the home’s main living area. Shallow footing around the edges of slabs transfer weight of home walls to the ground. Slab foundations are most common in warm regions and where high water tables exist.

 

 

Soil Considerations

Foundation walls and footings are designed to work as a unit, supporting the weight of the home and transferring weight of the surrounding ground. How well this happens depends in part on what type of ground the footing rests on. Dense, dry soil will be stable, forgiving of less-than-perfect construction and less likely to settle after the house is built.

 

Keeping Dry

Concrete is not waterproof so water outside the foundation will make its way inside. Surface water which seeps into the ground near the house will become an interior moisture issue. Prevention tips include:

  • Waterproofing coating brushed on outside of foundation
  • Perforated pipe placed around perimeter of footing
  • Landscaping helps keep home dry

 

Brookstone Homes employs best practices for all our custom homes to ensure less issues arise. If you are seeking a builder who knows how to get the job done with excellence, call us to find out how to get started.

Home builders Tips Cincinnati

Tips for Selecting the Best Upgrades from your Cincinnati Home Builder

Once a contract is signed to purchase a new home, there are some tips for selecting best upgrades to make the home even more special. Selecting features and finishes can personalize a space. Find out some helpful tips to get started.

 

Structural Changes

Structural additions or changes should be done when the contract is signed. Buyers can easily get overwhelmed.  Fireplaces, recessed lighting, rooms or garages need to be changed early as it may impact the building permit pulled by the builder.

 

Post-Purchase Upgrades

It may make sense to make certain changes after the home is purchased. Cosmetic features such as paint, landscape, lighting and plumbing fixtures can often be made after the closing. Purchasing upgrades through the builder may help to roll cost into the mortgage rather than paying out of pocket.

 

Builder Timeline

About two to three weeks after the contract is signed and approved, the builder will arrange a meeting at the design center. Some things may be able to be changed after the meeting so it helps to be prepared with the list of items desired. Photos of what is desired is perfectly acceptable.

 

Model Look

The model home a person falls in love with may have thousands of options which cost varying amounts. Many builders include a number of standard features in the base price while others may not. Be sure to check before moving ahead.

 

Budget Wisely

Prepare a budget and stick to it. Cabinets, granite and top-of-the-line flooring can all be tempting but it is easy to overspend and overextend. Prepare a budget before the design meeting and stick with it.

 

Needs vs. Wants

Remain flexible. A budget will not allow for all the extras a person wants so prepare a list of must-haves and want-to-haves. Some things can be done more cheaply and others can be put off until another time if it can be done later.

 

Resale Value

Do not over-customize. New home buyers want homes to reflect personal style and taste. It is important to consider resale value. Sometimes things such as wall color are better off being neutral colors than lavender or other color so if a person moves, the appeal to potential home buyers will increase.

 

Deal with a builder you can trust. Brookstone Homes create custom homes to fit all your needs. With so many options and upgrades to choose from, you will only deal with the best when building the home of your dreams with us. Call us to find out how to get started.

 

Building a home in Cincinnati

Why Build a Home in Cincinnati?

Cincinnati is a city that is situated on the north bank of the Ohio River, bordering Ohio and Kentucky. Known for outstanding architecture and cultural attractions, Cincinnati is home to many nationally-recognized universities, making it a great place to pursue education. It is also a prime destination for individuals and families looking to start a career and build a home. Find out some of the reasons people are moving to Cincinnati.

 

Big Business

The diverse economy is a huge strength for Cincinnati. Kroger Co. and Procter & Gamble both have stakes in the city along with other industries including American Financial Corp. and Cincinnati Milacron, just to name a few.

 

Higher Education

Employers have plenty of talent to choose from thanks to a plethora of universities, colleges and technical schools dotting the Cincinnati landscape. The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University both call the city home, enrolling thousands of students annually.

 

Sports

The University of Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier University Musketeers are among the best-recognized Division I collegiate programs. Cincinnati Bengals play for the NFL along with the MLB Reds who keep the sports scene exciting and vibrant for enthusiasts near and far.

 

Museums

Museums are an exciting way to enjoy all the city has to offer in a historical and artistic context. The Cincinnati Art Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum all play an important role in engaging people’s interests in history, science, architecture and more.

 

Theatre and Arts Scene

Professional companies in all five arts, including ballet, opera, symphony and theater, make Cincinnati unique among its counterparts. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Co., Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Taft Theatre and Cincinnati Opera all bring the vibrant arts scene to life.

 

Breweries and Wineries

Students and tourists are not the only ones who love to take in a good beer or other beverage in one of the many breweries and wineries situated in Cincinnati. The fledgling micro and craft brewery scene is going strong with the likes of Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. and Blank Slate Brewing Co., among others, making a name for themselves.

 

Parks

Cincinnati boasts green space galore with a park system that includes more than a hundred parks and greenspaces throughout the city including Eden Park (Central) and Mt. Airy Arboretum (West), part of the largest municipal park in the country.

 

Northside

Countless neighborhoods are inviting individuals and families to come explore all there is to offer in this great city. The funky Northside neighborhood is among the most interesting, home to distinctive retail shops, eateries and a fun, artistic scene including Word Play, a creative writing and learning center supporting a strong, diverse community.

 

Custom homes are the way to go when you want to build a dream home. With customized features to fit your specifications and decades of industry experience, Brookstone Homes will help you make your dream home a reality.

 

These Beautiful Custom Home Upgrades are Totally Worth It!

Some upgrades are worth the investment while others are easily forgettable. The key is to know the upgrade options that will serve a family best every day now and in the future. Learn about the beautiful custom home upgrades that make it all worthwhile.

 

Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any home, where people spend the majority of time cooking, chatting and making memories. There is never a kitchen that can be overly well equipped. Pay special attention to some of the nuances such as cabinets and appliances. Many people may forego energy-efficient, higher-end appliances but that is almost always more expensive. A quality fridge and freezer can keep food fresher longer and hold savings up while keeping costs down. The best upgrades include:

  • Quality dishwashers
  • Microwave drawers
  • Stand-alone hoods
  • Under-counter beverage centers
  • Upgrade to semi-custom variety of cabinets
  • Pull-out pantries over open shelving to provide more storage, access and less space

 

Lighting

Many people overlook lighting but it can make or break a room. The atmosphere of a space is often driven by how well the lighting is within a given room. Key rooms to make note of lighting in may include kitchen and bathroom. Baths are overlooked when it comes to lighting. It is best to have light coming at a person from above and around the head. Opt for overhead and task lighting. Kitchens can have under-cabinet lights for cooking and brighten spaces for entertaining.

 

Flooring

The key to a well maintained home is the look and feel of a home’s floors. Wood floors seem to always be in style. If money is tight, focus on the living and kitchen areas. Radiant heat flooring is important in cooler climates to support homeowners and potential buyers in the future.

 

Energy Savers

Many ways exist to save on energy bills beyond buying the right kitchen appliances. Tankless water heaters along with plumbing and air conditioning units with high efficiency ratings provide huge savings and are always worth the upgrade.

 

Home Electric

Not all upgrades need be expensive but adding extra outlets and ceiling fans can really make life more comfortable without a high cost. Many people stress about upgrades when it is not in a plan or budget. Earmark a budgeted amount of money towards home improvements to avoid the overwhelm when things are desired (or needed) in a home. This also brings focus to where expenditures can go for best resale value and aesthetic quality.

 

Don’t compromise your desires for that beautiful home of your dreams. Call Brookstone Homes to help you design and create the space you want to live in for a long time to come. We will help you make it happen. Call us to find out how to get started.

 

Most Popular Cincinnati Custom Home

The Most Popular Cincinnati Custom Home Upgrades

Custom homes take a lot of time, energy and resources. All that said, personalizing one’s own home is highly rewarding. Brookstone Homes walks with customers every step of the way in designing a home that fits all the specifications along with beautiful features that do not sacrifice either craftsmanship or quality. Find out what customers are looking for on the market for custom home upgrades to seek inspiration for that dream home.

 

Custom Home Design

Many projects done by Brookstone Homes end with a dream coming to life. The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing the home a person has envisioned with lots of options for custom upgrades. Custom options are anything non-standard which includes thousands of options. Pinterest often inspires many customers to bring in ideas and Brookstone Homes strives to make it happen.

 

Custom Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Kitchens are the heart of a home where families, friends and people gather to share food, drinks and lots of memories. Custom cabinets in a home can create benefits such as matching cabinet style to a home’s design along with additional storage and space. Glass-pane doors and internal lights can showcase areas people want to highlight in the space.

 

Flooring

Hardwood flooring is all the rage. Many customers dream of adding comfort and class in a home with flooring. A variety of options ranging from solid wood to engineered wood floors personalize a home’s design like no other. Lately, laminate flooring and ceramic tiles are becoming popular in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and foyers. Classic and easy to maintain, these options are perfect for families with children and pets.

 

Master Bathroom

No home is complete without a beautiful master bath. Bathrooms have many small pieces which create an indulgent experience for the home buyer. Upgrade options are available for every part of the bathroom. This includes:

  • Changing a tub-shower combo to roll-in shower and walk-in tub. Custom bathrooms with handicap-accessible bath fixtures can be great features for elderly or disabled customers.
  • Luxury shower spa and jacuzzi tub features are great upgrades which enhance a world-class spa experience right at home
  • Water fixtures are smaller pieces of a bigger puzzle but customers love water reducing, energy efficient toilets, faucets and sinks
  • Advanced showers include new showerheads, steam showers and digital technologies to create the perfect shower experience

 

Brookstone Homes is an expert in the field of custom home design with over 75 years experience in the industry. We design, plan and build luxury dream homes to fit your needs and specifications. Call us to find out how to get started.

Cincinnati Custom Home

5 Signs You’re Ready for Home Ownership

The American Dream is owning a home. Many first-time buyers have a decision to make about how to make the dream come true. Before hitting the house market, think about the following considerations to decide if now is a good time to own a home and the steps to get there.

 

Good Renter

Paying rent on time along with other utilities is an important part of owning one’s own home. Internet, television and paying the mortgage are all a part of the process of becoming a good potential home owner. There are additional monthly costs associated with homeownership. It is important to understand the cost of it all up front.

 

Job Security

Nothing says potential homeowner like job security. It is best to have a secure position that will be there for the long haul when looking to secure a property in the future. Uncertainty can ruin any prospects of buying a home. Before making a 30-year commitment to mortgage premiums, make sure to be secure at the job first.

 

Know What to Look For

Know what kind of home to look for and that it is going in the right direction and right market. Understanding what is desirable will help make the process easier. Start with the following in mind:

  • Know what is important to all family members now and in the future
  • Know how many bedrooms are needed to accommodate a growing family
  • Figure out what type of neighborhood the family wants to live in
  • Think about the work commute

 

Look at the budget and compare options to the market of interest. Certain markets may not have homes that match criteria and budget but there may be many options to consider on the flip side.

 

Good Credit

Keep an eye on credit scores. A strong FICO score of over 700 without excessive debt is likely to help the cause. If a borrower’s lifestyle is only sustainable through huge debt, it is likely he or she will get into financial trouble when owning a home. Check periodically in the 12 months leading up to a home purchase as the credit score is foundational to the entire homebuying process.

 

Get Educated

Learn the homebuying process. Get on the right track by looking at a few key points and do the research:

  • Find a trusted lender for mortgage approval process
  • Read up on down payments to know what is doable
  • Know the debt-to-income ratio and lending rules which cap at 43 percent of debt-to-income ratio to qualify for a conventional mortgage. Borrowers need to aim for spending 28 to 33 percent of net income on housing
  • Have cash reserves which account for the down payment including on-hand savings of three to six months living expenses in case of unexpected emergencies

 

Never jump blindly into the process of homebuying. Take time to speak with a builder, financial experts and advisors then be prepared for an exciting adventure.

 

Get prepared to build a beautiful, custom home with Brookstone Homes. We will help you create and build the home you have always wanted. If you are ready to get started, call us to find out how we can help.

 

 

Custom Home in Cincinnati

Benefits of Building a Custom Home in Cincinnati

Homebuyers make many decisions when deciding to build a custom home. The first is whether to select an existing home or go with a new construction. An already-established home will have a long history, in an established neighborhood, but new constructions open a world of possibilities. Customization is easier and many other benefits go along with choosing to buy a custom built home that cannot be created within an existing structure.

 

Style   

Shopping for a home in a certain area can create a challenge when seeking the exact specifications a person desires. The developments may be more traditional while a person wants classic colonial. The best thing about a new construction is the style of home can be created to a style and which suits the individual’s taste.

 

Fully Custom

A custom home has everything a person wants (which is, of course, the point). Tailoring a home to specific tastes and requirements makes a home one that will last through the ages. Few things will be changed. A custom home is built from the ground up, just for the individual.

 

Materials

A home that is built one year ago may not show what materials were used. A custom home means building a relationship with the company that created the property and every brick, piece of carpeting and cabinetry is hand picked. It is easy to know what a home is made of when every piece is hand selected.

 

Lawn

Lawns provide tremendous value to a property. Established homes have impacted soil and other problems can make a lawn devalue a property. With a custom build, a custom lawn can be created with an irrigation system, landscaping and outdoor designed space.

 

Interior Trim and Paint

Paint colors and trim selected by choice provide the best opportunity to frame a room and treat windows in a way that best suits an individual’s tastes.

 

If you’re ready to build a custom home of your dreams, call Brookstone Homes. We will work with you to customize any feature in your home and work with your specific needs and designs in mind.

Best Cincinnati Home Builder

How to Choose the Best Cincinnati Home Builder

Finding the right home building company to suit all your personal goals and wishes is one, if not the, most important decision to make in the home buying process. Success at this level can really make a difference for the entire project going forward. Take the following proven ways to speed up the selection process and help ensure a quality builder will be a good match for that dream home.

 

10 Things to Know

The following ten points are the keys to the kingdom of home building. When setting out to do initial research, keep these in mind along the way.

 

Specify needs: some builders specialize in a specific type of home, price range or style. Building materials, trade contractors and even the building process can differ between builders. Not all criteria may be met but if sacrifices are made, often homeownership can be a breeze and a dream with the right team.

 

Go with experience: new firms can have a lot to offer in the marketplace, particularly with seasoned pros on staff. Go for the builder with strong experience and a long history of excellence in the staff.

 

Read reviews: if past home buyers were satisfied, chances are you will be, too. Some questions to ask include whether an individual would buy another home from the builder, recommend them to family or friends and why the individual would choose (or not) to go with their company again.

 

Licensure: builders do not have to be licensed in every state so it pays to make sure the builders are covered throughout the building process.

 

Warranties: new constructions come automatically with many warranties on service and products. Look instead for structural warranty of ten years or longer, ideally transferrable in the event of sale. Check into builders who provide prompt and courteous service under warranty and explain required maintenance.

 

Resale: look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain the value for several years.

 

Tour model homes: once the list is narrowed own, this step is crucial to a successful build. Home tours can speak volumes to the style and indicate factors which may play into building that dream home. Pay close attention to the look, feel and quality throughout.

 

Construction quality: Look at homes under construction by the builder. Notice signs of care and attention. Also look for building products used and whether the builder has a well-earned reputation for quality.

 

The quality of people who work for the builder are also critical markers of success moving forward. If the builder is courteous, prompt, helpful in answering questions, provides good responses and is engaged in the process these are all great signs. With the tips above and a keen eye for that right fit, it is a good indicator that new home is just on the horizon.

 

Brookstone Homes strives to be a home builder focused on quality and expertise unsurpassed anywhere else. With over 75 years of experience, Brookstone Homes will construct your quality dream home that is built to last from the foundation up. Call us to get started.

 

Cincinnati Home Builder

Preparing for the Final Inspection Walk-Through with Your Cincinnati Home Builder

A builder will take homebuyers through a property on a final ‘walk through’ to conduct an inspection. The walk-through provides an opportunity to learn how the new home works and spot any items in need of adjustment. Learn some tips to prepare for the final inspection.

 

Getting Started

When a new appliance or piece of equipment is purchased, the instructions must be read prior to understanding all the features. A new home is no different. A stack of instruction books come with a how-to guide on operations for all appliances, heating and cooling systems, water heater and other features. An orientation is useful to get acclimated to the new space.

 

Know the Warranties

Maintenance and upkeep responsibilities are very important. Most new homes come with a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials. Such warranties do not cover problems that develop due to failure to perform required maintenance. Many builders provide a booklet to explain common upkeep responsibilities and the best way to perform those responsibilities.

 

If a warrantied problem comes up after move-in, the builder is likely to have a set of warranty service procedures. Except in emergency cases, requests for service should be in writing. This helps ensure everyone understands the service to be performed. The person receiving the service request is not likely to be the person performing the work. Do not just rely on word of mouth for transmission of the service order.

 

Scheduling Visits

Builders sometimes wish to schedule two visits during the first year. One at the beginning and one near the end to make any adjustments and perform non-emergency work. If a home has been moved from a nearby area, this will probably result in not much time spent at a walk-through talking about the larger community where the home is located. If moving to a new community, a builder may provide a packet of material to help become acclimated. The most effective way to deal with this is through writing a checklist. The list should include whatever needs attention discussed between the home buyer and the builder.

 

Final Inspection

Builders like to remedy any problems prior to move in as it is easier to work inside an empty house. Some items may need to be corrected after move-in. The builder may want to delay landscaping adjustments until spring if a walk-through occurs in winter. It is very important to be thorough and observant during the walk-through by doing the following:

  • Examine all surfaces of counters, fixtures, floors and walls for damage
  • Ask a lot of questions during walk-through and take notes on answers
  • Take the opportunity to engage the walk-through in a positive way to make sure all is well

 

The final inspection is key to feeling safe and secure in the new home with less worry about anything that might be wrong or need fixing. Be sure to take a proactive approach to finally be able to enjoy that dream home.

 

When you are ready to custom build your new home, call Brookstone Homes. We will make sure everything is done to perfection for your dream home. Contact us to get started.