Posts made in June, 2008

What do they have in common? Not a lot. But what we have discovered at Schiavi Home Builders is that they make a perfect complement to one another. Timber framing is a beautiful building process that has been in use since Medieval times, and was used in building many of the great cathedrals throughout Europe. Gorgeous exposed beams add grandeur to the interior of any building and allow for an interior design like no other building process. While timber framing is strong enough to support the largest buildings, as with everything today, cost is a factor. That’s where the complement comes in. One of the ways to keep cost manageable, yet still incorporate the beauty of timber frame construction is to do a combination of modular and timber frame. One idea is to start with a timber frame great room and add other rooms in a modular building process. That way you can incorporate the timber frame aesthetics into a shared area where you spend a lot of time, yet keep the cost down by using modular building on the other areas of your home.

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Building is more than “Pick up a hammer and nails and let’s have at it!”  Modular Home building is becoming more and more specialized with detailed carpentry added to customize your home just as you envision it. To help you communicate with your builder, here is a quick guide to a list of building terms. Referencing the correct terms can help insure that you and your builder are talking about the same thing. As far as I know gusset, mullion and lintel could all be part of tonight’s dinner recipe – yet there they are on this list of building terms. Check it out for yourself.

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Legislated Green

Posted By on Jun 7, 2008

Should green building be mandated by the federal government? The state government? Any government? Advisors for both presidential campaigns attended the 2008 Energy Efficiency Forum last week. Jason Grumet, speaking for Senator Obama said, “We have to invest in our infrastructure.” Sounds good, but I’m not sure exactly what that means. George Allen, on behalf of Senator McCain, “emphasized government’s responsibility to ensure it’s own facilities are energy efficient.” I agree, but I don’t think there was any follow up on just how that might happen. As the presidential candidates start to debate on the hot topic of “green”, a lot of ideas are being thrown around, without a lot of specifics on how to achieve the desired results. Read the article posted on the U.S. Green Building Council site that summarizes the two positions. Energy Efficiency Forum. After reading it, I wasn’t really all that clear on what each party proposes, however, it was fairly evident that the government, whether local, state or federal, wants to begin to legislate how we do the “green thing.” Makes me wonder who is profiting the most from building green?

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Here are a list of 10 very important questions to ask your builder and/or contractor – courtesy of HBAA – part of the National Home Builders Association. If you are uncomfortable with any of their answers, dig a little deeper, or find a different builder.

  1. What types of projects do you do?
  2. Can I see some of your projects?
  3. Can I talk to some of your favorite clients?
  4. Are you licensed and insured?
  5. How long have you been in business?
  6. How do you handle call backs?
  7. How much do you charge?
  8. What is your payment schedule?
  9. With whom will I be working on the jobsite?
  10. Do you belong to any type of professional organization?

It is important that you, your builder and contractor can all work together. If your builder is not willing to take the time to answer your questions, ask yourself why? You will be working with them for several months before your project is finished, so make sure you have the right person for the job.

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Smooth Move

Posted By on Jun 7, 2008

Moving – there’s so much to think about. Here’s a good guide to getting organized and making it a smooth move. (summarized from


6-8 weeks before the move:

  • Start accumulating moving and packing supplies
  • Think about your new home layout – create a floor plan
  • Create a folder for all moving expense receipts
  • Start transferring medical and dental records

4 weeks before the move:

  • Start filling out change of address forms
  • Contact utility companies at the new and old locations with disconnect and connect dates.
  • Open new bank accounts if necessary.

3 weeks before the move:

  • Make any special arrangements for transporting your pets.
  • Return any borrowed items.
  • Organize any valuable items that will need special transportation.

2 weeks before the move:

  • Transfer prescriptions to a drugstore near your new home.
  • Cancel newspapers.
  • Drain fluids out of your lawn mower, snow blower, etc. for easier moving.
  • Back up all your computer files.

1 week before the move:

  • Empty, defrost and clean your freezer.
  • Return videos and library books
  • Gather keys.

Moving Day:

  • Make sure all items are packed.
  • Give a last cleaning to your home.
  • Make sure children and pets are supervised.

Doing a few things each week will lead to a less stressful moving day. A little organizing can go a long way.

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