Custom Homes in Lake Orion MI – Mazza Building & Development Company (248) 625-3305
Mazza Building & Development Company prides itself in offering the latest styles and trends of custom homes. Please call our experienced team at (248) 625-3305 for more information about custom homes in Lake Orion MI. Click here to see photos of our custom homes or Follow Us on Facebook!
Green Building Concern for the environment is growing among U.S. households—and so are energy costs. Because of this, many custom builders are embracing green building techniques. Features like solar panels, water-saving appliances, insulation to improve heating efficiency and the use of renewable or recycled building materials are all popular techniques to improve a home’s efficiency. Custom builders allow buyers to include a wide range of green products and give them the opportunity to weigh each cost and benefit to create a home that is stylish, comfortable, but also eco-friendly.
New Amenities Specialized amenities really set custom homes apart. Today home owners like to see features that will improve their lifestyle through health, entertainment or comfort. Yoga studios, swimming pools and fitness rooms can be added to encourage healthy living; game rooms, theaters and even a bowling alley can be added for fun; and for comfort, breezy, screened-in porches or warm hearths can make your home feel cozy and welcoming.
Custom amenities are also taking a turn to the world of tech. In world where there’s an app for everything, buyers are beginning to expect a custom home to do more and be “smart.” Nowadays you can control many features in your home using a phone, controlling energy usage, security systems, lighting and even the music playing in each room.
The Atkinson Residence in Berlin, Md. won a silver award in the 2012 Best in American Living Awards for its use of layered balconies and porches that make the most of the home’s spectacular view of the water. This nook is an example of the unique architectural details often included in custom homes.
Multigenerational Living Whether it’s aging parents moving in with their adult children or young adults living back with Mom and Dad, multigenerational households have specific needs when it comes to a home.
Custom builders are seeing an increasing need to tailor homes to this lifestyle. According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center, 39% of adults ages 18 to 34 have had to move in with their parents in recent years. In the same year, the U.S. Census reported that 4.3 out of 76 million households were made up of at least three generations.
Multigenerational families often build homes that include the traditional “mother-in-law suite” or even feature a locked-off living space within the home. These apartment-style spaces can have their own kitchenette, full bathroom and living areas to provide a sense of privacy and independence.
Universal Design As the country grows older and many baby boomers look to retirement, Universal Design (UD) features are an ever-growing priority for many custom buyers and builders. UD is used to ensure that features like wider doors, lower countertops and fewer stairs are used to create a home that everyone can enjoy comfortably. An accessible home allows owners to age in place, prolonging their ability to stay in the house independently and can also increase value by opening the market to any future buyer, despite age, stature or ability.
If you are interested in a custom home in Lake Orion MI and nearby areas, please call the custom home building experts at Mazza Building & Development Company (248) 625-3305 for more information today!
Rochester MI Custom Home Builder – Mazza Building & Development Company (248) 625-3305
If you are in need of a top rated Rochester MI Custom Home Builder, please contact Mazza Building & Development Company at (248) 625-3305 for more information. Click here to see photos of our custom homes or Follow Us on Facebook!
If you’re planning to buy your dream home, you can either hunt with a real estate agent among a variety of pre-existing homes, choose an existing new construction or work with a trusted home builder to design your home with the features you want. While any of these options might work for you, there are a number of advantages to working with a custom home builder — someone who can guide you through the process of building a home tailored to your needs.
Designed To Your Specifications
House hunting in many ways can be akin to the “needle in a haystack” approach to finding the perfect home. You might find what you need and want, but chances are you’ll have to make modifications to make it the home perfect for you. With a custom home builder, you can make all the decisions about your wants and needs even before breaking ground, so the home is built exactly to your specifications. By the time the home is finished, it’s already exactly what you were looking for.
Special Design Options
Do you need a special space designed in your home that others might not want or need? Do you need a music studio, or perhaps want a theater room? These features may or may not be available in an existing home, but your builder can work these options into a new home construction much more easily so the home works for your specific needs.
Buying your home directly from the builder offers a number of economic advantages as well. A good builder will help you make informed choices about your home building budget, advising you on which options make your home either more expensive or more affordable. In this way, your money will stretch further because you aren’t wasting it on features you don’t need and won’t use. Finally, building a new construction home helps the local economy because it puts more people to work.
Bottom line — by working with a builder, you can put your budget toward the features and extras that matter most to you and your family, all without breaking the bank.
Low Maintenance Means Long-Term Savings
Existing or older homes, even those in good condition, generally involve a fair amount of maintenance and repair costs. One of the best advantages of selecting a custom home builder is that you are starting with all-new paint, flooring, siding, appliances, etc., which means it will be awhile before these maintenance costs kick in. In addition, you’ll enjoy the benefit of a new home warranty, which will cover any defects with appliances, materials or workmanship. This adds up to better value and long-term savings for you.
For an experienced and trusted Rochester MI Custom Home Builder, call Mazza Building & Development Company at (248) 625-3305 for a consultation.
Are you looking for a custom home developer in West Bloomfield MI or nearby areas? If so, call the top rated West Bloomfield MI custom home developer – Mazza Building & Development Company at (248) 625-3305 today!
Select Customized Housing Style
There may be a wealth of home design tips and ideas to consider, but not all are compatible. So keep focused when making customized housing design choices. Opt for one style. For instance, typical mansion, contemporary, southwestern, urban chic, Tuscan villa, French revival, Hollywood vogue, sophisticated, globally exotic, tranquil retreat, or simply comfortable. When harvesting custom home design tips and ideas, keep to one selected style, whether for a single room, select areas of your luxury custom home, or for the entire customized housing design. While new home floor plan trends include mixed styles throughout the house, one design per area will make luxury custom home design more harmonious.
Energy Efficient Home Design Tips and Ideas
When contemplating West Bloomfield MI custom home design tips, be prudent. Invest in cost effective building solutions; energy efficient home design features like high-insulation products. Protective custom home construction shell materials, structural insulating panels, insulating concrete forms, and between wall foam insulation. Keeping heat and cold extremes outside, conditioned air inside; conserving energy and reducing utility bills. Homeowners who choose eco-friendly cost effective building solutions enjoy a better quality of life in their homes. With the peace of mind that environmentally responsible custom home development decisions were made. Ask energy efficient home design contractors and NAHB green building professionals for other cost effective building solutions and innovative custom home design tips. For an energy-saving eco custom home, and more resource conscious, and cost-efficient lifestyle.
If you would like to hire a professional custom home developer in West Bloomfield MI and surrounding areas, call the experienced team at Mazza Building & Development Company (248) 625-3305 today.
If you are looking for a custom home in Oakland Twp, Michigan, please call Mazza Building & Development Company at (248) 625-3305 to schedule a consultation. We would love to design and build the custom home of your dreams!
Today’s New Homes: Engineered to Perform
Your new home consists of a surprising number of components and systems, each designed to work in concert with each other.
New homes may look similar to their predecessors, but behind the walls is a different story. They’re engineered and optimized for a high level of performance and energy efficiency.
Regardless of architectural style, on the outside a new home doesn’t look much different than its older counterparts. But beneath the surface is a finely tuned piece of machinery — a building that offers unprecedented levels of comfort, durability, indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
There’s no question that new homes are built to last longer and operate more efficiently and less expensively than their older counterparts. To put it another way, new homes are engineered to perform. They’re consistently comfortable with no cold or hot spots; constantly circulate fresh air for a healthy indoor environment; and provide energy for heating, cooling and hot water at monthly rates that won’t bankrupt homeowners. Thanks to the use of engineered lumber, prefabricated components and advanced framing techniques, new homes are sturdier and have a longer shelf life.
As you shop for a new home, you’re going to hear a lot of terminology, including “smart,” “green,” “sustainable,” “energy efficient” and “high performance.” You might see the familiar blue Energy Star label on the circuit-breaker box or the home may be certified under another third-party, green-building program such as LEED, Built Green or EarthCraft.
Older homes tend to have problems such as air leakage, damp insulation and ineffective drainage, which results in high operating costs and an uncomfortable living environment. That’s why there’s such a keen focus on the building envelope — the roof, exterior walls and floor of the house. The building envelope determines how much energy will be needed to maintain a comfortable indoor environment relative to outdoor conditions. In new homes, it’s designed to substantially reduce heating and cooling costs.
Another term often used in conjunction with building envelope is building science: the study of the interaction between occupants, building components/systems and the surrounding environment. Building science focuses on the flow of heat, air and moisture. A home’s systems must all work together to achieve optimum energy performance and comfort.
Top builders such as Pardee Homes in Los Angeles, Calif., view a home as a collection of related systems and build it so that all the components perform well. “The time invested in analyzing building science has paid important dividends, helping us grow and strengthen our program incrementally; master the green building blocks; and incorporate them in a feasible and practical way,” says Joyce Mason, vice president of marketing for Pardee.
More bang for the buck
Thanks to changes in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Model Energy Code, new homes are 30 percent more energy efficient than those built just a decade ago. The latest code revisions will go even further and call for better air-sealing techniques to reduce heating and cooling losses; improved efficiency in windows and skylights; increased insulation in ceilings, walls and foundations; less wasted energy from leaky heating and cooling ducts; improved hot-water distribution systems that reduce wasted energy and water in piping; and heightened lighting efficiency.
Three of the most critical components affecting a home’s energy efficiency and comfort are: the heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) equipment, ductwork and insulation. Because these components are highly engineered to work together, they must be selected and planned out well in advance of construction.
A best practice is for the builder or HVAC contractor to conduct a comprehensive analysis based on the square footage of the home; the type of insulation; the entry-door materials; the amount of glass; and the orientation of the home to select the right size heating and cooling unit. The size of HVAC equipment is usually expressed in BTUs (British thermal units) or tons. Keep in mind that larger homes may require more than one unit.
Once the house is framed and the mechanical system is roughed in, the HVAC contractor installs the furnace and runs the ductwork. When the home is almost completed, the outdoor condensing unit for the air conditioning is installed.
“The HVAC contractor visits the home at least twice — the first time to set the indoor equipment such as a furnace and lay out the ductwork and the second time to set the outdoor equipment, complete the connections and start the system,” says Steven Ross, business development manager in Dallas, Texas for Ingersoll Rand, the parent company of Trane, Schlage Locks and Nexia Home Intelligence.
The efficiency of an HVAC system is expressed in terms of its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings. SEER relates primarily to the air-conditioning system, whereas AFUE is more applicable to furnaces.
“An 80-percent AFUE rating means that for every dollar you spend, you get 80 cents worth of heat,” says Ross. A system with a 95-percent AFUE rating will obviously give you more bang for your buck, though it costs more upfront due to enhancements such as an extra heat exchanger to circulate the hot air longer to increase the efficiency. However, if you live in a cold climate and run the furnace frequently, it usually makes sense to pay for the added efficiency of a higher AFUE rating.
“Typically you’ll see 90 percent or 95 percent furnaces in the north and 80 percent furnaces in the south, although current Energy Star 3.0 and upcoming 4.0 guidelines both require minimums of 95 percent AFUE for North Region states and 90 percent AFUE for south region states,” Ross says. Energy Star program requirements list the states that fall into each region.
The Model Energy Code requires new homes to have HVAC equipment with a minimum 13 SEER rating. In more expensive homes, some builders now include 15 and 16 SEER equipment as a standard feature. Some builders are taking energy efficiency to the next level with net-zero energy homes, which produce as much power as they use due to a combination of technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels, solar thermal collectors and geothermal heating and cooling systems. It may sound like an expensive proposition, but in the last few years the price tag of a net-zero home has decreased considerably.
The technological revolution
Prior to the computer age, architects and designers produced plans and construction drawings by hand. Today they use computer-aided design (CAD) software. CAD programs let the designer switch between two-dimensional and three-dimensional views; zoom in and out; and manipulate, rotate and change the scale of images. CAD software speeds up the design process and results in fewer errors, which translates into a better-designed home.
Home technology has grown in leaps and bounds since the National Association of Home Builders formed the Smart House Limited Partnership in 1984. Smart House L.P., a consortium of building-product manufacturers, no longer exists. But the concept of an intelligent house where a single, unified wiring system (known as structured or integrated wiring) connects the HVAC, security, lighting and entertainment systems has become quite sophisticated. This so-called home automation technology allows homeowners to monitor all of their key systems from a centralized control panel.
Today it’s also possible to monitor a home remotely using a mobile phone or tablet computer — a great convenience for homeowners when they’re out of town or want to keep tabs on a vacation home.
Now that many people no longer have landlines, the most intelligent home is a wireless one. “We’re seeing a lot more builders use wireless systems because they have limitless capabilities,” Ross says. “There’s no need to install structured wiring in advance before the drywall goes in and the builder or home buyer knows what they need and where.”
Wireless automation allows many of a home’s systems to be controlled remotely, from thermostats and window blinds to entry doors and HVAC systems. If you leave the house and forget to reset the thermostat, just pull up an app on your cell phone, tablet or computer and change it. If you’re on vacation in Florida and you get a text message reporting that the temperature in your New England home has dropped 5 degrees below the desired set point, you can have it checked out without cutting your trip short. From any location, you can unlock the front door to let in a service technician to fix the washing machine.
Not your grandfather’s windows
The products and materials that go into new homes have been upgraded and improved, with often dramatic results. Take windows, for example. Over the last 25 years, what used to be panes of glass in a hole in the wall are now crucial elements in the overall energy efficiency of a home. There are so many styles, frames and glass options available that builders can easily zero in on exactly the right window for a home’s energy-performance requirements, price point and style.
Most new homes come standard with dual-pane windows, which have space between two panes of glass that is filled either with air or a gas such as argon or krypton. This provides more insulation than a single-pane window. Energy Star-rated windows have three or more panes for greater energy savings.
To allow airflow between panes and reduce or prevent condensation, good-quality windows have warm-edge spacers made either of fiberglass, vinyl, foam or steel. They also have a low-emissivity, or low-e, coating that blocks out infrared rays from the sun, which can make a home hotter in the summer and fade flooring, carpeting and furniture over time.
Vinyl and fiberglass window frames reduce heat transfer and improve the insulation factor of the home and building envelope.
You may not recognize them as such, but it’s become common for new-home builders to use “fabulous fakes” — products and materials that look like the real thing, but in many cases are less expensive, more durable and easier to maintain. These include fiber-cement siding, polyurethane moldings and stone veneer.
Green certification programs: what they mean to you
Today many builders certify their homes under a third-party national or local green-building program. Green builders don’t always seek certification, but knowing that a new home is certified is one way for a buyer to ensure that it’s energy efficient and will last a long time.
“Buyers looking at new construction are seeking a higher-performing home,” says Pardee Homes’ Joyce Mason. “Green building is integral to that performance and quality.”
Mason points out that a decade ago, green products and practices were just getting started when it came to production homes. “Now manufacturers have stepped up the choices in green products,” she says. “They’re more tuned in to building practices, so today’s products fit more smoothly into building processes and cost less. That makes it easier for builders to offer green homes more affordably.”
In recent years, consumers have become more familiar with LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center certifies homes to the National Green Building Standard, the only residential green-building rating system approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Energy Star is arguably the country’s best-known green program. When the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started it in 1992, Energy Star was a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 1996, the DOE began partnering with the EPA on such product categories as major appliances, lighting and home electronics. The EPA also extended the Energy Star label to cover new homes.
Builders who choose to partner with Energy Star must meet a rigorous set of guidelines that include:
• A high-efficiency HVAC system;
• Building practices and materials that protect the roof, wall and foundation from water damage and that reduce the risk of indoor air quality problems; and
• Comprehensive air sealing, properly installed insulation and high-performance windows.
Energy Star builders are required to work with certified Home Energy Raters, who use the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), a standardized measurement of a home’s energy efficiency. The HERS index ranges from zero to 150. The lower a home’s HERS score, the more energy efficient it is. Home Energy Raters evaluate the builder’s architectural plans to help choose the best combination of energy-efficient features for the home and perform a number of inspections and diagnostic tests during construction. Once its energy efficiency has been verified, the home receives the Energy Star label.
Remember that not every home built by an Energy Star partner is necessarily Energy Star certified – check with your builder to make sure the specific home you want is certified.
Better building practices and materials
Home builders have at their disposal an array of techniques, products and materials that reduce construction time, labor and waste and result in a better-performing house. Four of the most widely used products are:
• Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are made in the factory with an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB);
• Spray polyurethane foam is used to seal the entire building envelope and prevent air and moisture infiltration;
• Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are interlocking modular units, similar to Lego bricks, that are dry-stacked and filled with concrete to form the foundation; and
• Engineered lumber is the generic term for a group of products that includes plywood, OSB and hardboard. The products are made by gluing strands or pieces of scrap hardwood or softwood together. Both structural and finish products are made with engineered lumber, from I-beam joists and roof trusses to flooring.
Under the DOE’s Building America program, the NAHB Research Center has done field work with builders across the country and developed recommended building practices to create a tight, efficient building envelope. For example, optimized framing (also called advanced framing or optimum value engineering) allows more space for insulation and minimizes the amount of lumber used to build a house, without compromising its structural integrity.
The Research Center also established the National Housing Quality (NHQ) Awards program in 1993 to recognize management excellence in the home-building industry. Entrants are evaluated in eight categories including leadership, customer satisfaction and construction quality. As the winners will attest, the NHQ Awards program is setting the bar very high for their peers — and that’s a good thing for new-home buyers.
Mazza Building & Development Company provides unique custom homes in Oakland Twp, Michigan and surrounding areas. Call the top rated Oakland Twp, MI custom home builders at (248) 625-3305 to schedule a consultation.