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Winterizing Your Home

Categories: Homeowner Tips | Posted: October 5, 2010

Weep Holes-NEVER seal these up!

It’s that time of year again!  The heat has been turned down outside and your dog’s coat starts to thicken up and all of a sudden you can sleep with your windows open.  Most people start to think about winterizing their homes as the weather stops being brutal for a minute.  Since this is Central Texas and not the Midwest or any other clime which has snow for ages, winterizing here is a little less intensive.  The main areas to worry about are the places that cold air and rain can cause problems. 

  • You want to check around your doors and replace any weather stripping that is worn or has come loose. 
  • Check around your windows and caulk in spots where your caulking is damaged.  In a newer home, you may not need to do this for several years, but it is a good idea to check this every season. 
  • If you have a fireplace and it hasn’t been used since January, it is a good idea to call a chimney sweep in to inspect your chimney and remove any bird nests or other pests such as bees or wasps that may have decided your chimney is a great place to live. 
  • Be careful not to stack firewood against your home.  This can cause a couple of problems, one of which is giving termites access to your home and the other is excessive moisture against the slab and siding.  Also, rake and clear away any debris that has accumulated against the slab and siding over the summer months. 
  • Another thing to plan for is having an HVAC professional come to your home to inspect your unit and clean the ducts if necessary.  If you burn candles often or have pets living in the home you should change the filters every month even if you buy the three month filters.
  • Buy some rock salt and keep it in the garage for those surprise ice days.
  • Cut away tree branches that have grown up against your home.
  • Make sure your rain gutters are clear and downspouts have splash blocks positioned so that water is siphoned away from your slab.
  • Disconnect water hoses and, even though we have the frost proof hose bibs, I suggest installing an inexpensive insulated cover once the weather is threatening to freeze.

 

As you are inspecting the exterior of your home for things to seal up, make sure to NEVER seal up the weep holes in your brick.  Those spaces at the bottom of your brick area on top of the slab are there on purpose for drainage and you can void your brick warranty and other warranties on your new home if you seal them.  Any moisture that gets behind the brick needs a way out and that is provided by those weep holes.  Happy Winterizing and enjoy the cooler weather!

Can I change the Floor Plan?

Categories: Featured, Home Building 101 | Posted: September 30, 2010

Yes, but there are limits based on the price of the home.  In the first time or first time move up homes, the limits are more restrictive to keep the price low and the construction time and delivery date fixed.  In custom and higher priced homes, there are sometime no limits because the price includes the right to make large changes and there are very few limits as to the time or delivery schedule.  Make sure to ask the sales person as to what is allowed or not allowed.

-Ron Formby

This is a very frequent topic of conversation in our sales offices.  One of the items we will never change is the elevation–the look of the front of the home–which includes not only brick placement and front porches but also the roof lines.  Something that would seem very simple like adding or removing a window can have a huge ripple effect in the materials needed for the roof line, the framing and the load of the home. One other thing in a home we will not change is the plumbing.  When looking at a floor plan in one of our brochures, you might see a perfect place to bump a bathroom back into an adjoining bedroom or closet and move the sinks or showers around.  Our value pricing is based on building the same home the same way every time.  Plumbing is a major expense in a home and it runs throughout the slab.  To change the plumbing in a home, we have to re-engineer the layout of the plumbing in the slab and this is expensive.  We will, however, exchange a tub for a shower if you choose, since that plumbing is already there.  We do have a few framing changes as options on a few of our plans.  These typically involve changing a bedroom or formal dining room into an office with double doors.  Sometimes our buyers want something a little different that is not requested as often.  These framing changes that we do allow inside the home are called non-standard options.  These items will be discussed with your salesperson and your change requests will be submitted with a signed contract.

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