Green Building Elements

One decision you will be faced with when designing your new home is whether or not to use green building principles and green building elements to enhance and enrich your home. The cost of building a green home is higher than a traditional home, but the reward and long-term savings will definitely be worth the original investment.

You may be thinking “What does green building involve?” Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency of buildings’ use of material, water, and energy. It also includes reducing building impact on the environment through better design, construction, maintenance, and waste removal.

You can effectively build a green home by increasing your energy efficiency, selecting the best materials for building, increase the efficiency of water usage inside and outside of the home, and improving the air quality which will also improve the health of your family. Let’s break this down into steps to easily determine the best way for you to plan your home’s Green building principles:

Step 1: Increasing Energy Efficiency

  • Advanced framing- if you plan to build your home using these principles, an easy starting place is with the frame of your home. Creating a structurally sound home with improved efficiency will lower your material and labor costs. This step actually reduces the cost of your home because it reduces the amount of lumber (more expensive) used and replaces it with insulation (cheaper option).
  • Hot Water Heater- strategically placing your hot water heater can help reduce the amount of energy consumed by your home. Place the heater near the points of your home that use the most water like the main shower and the washing machine.
  • Household Appliances- when you head to your local home appliance store to choose your new refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, and oven, be sure to look for the Energy Star The machine will also include an Energy Guide that suggests an estimated yearly cost for operation. This information can help you select the best appliance that fits your needs and eliminates wasted energy costs.
  • Lighting- when selecting lights for your home, we recommend that you select high-efficiency lighting systems with advanced lighting controls. This will allow you to adjust the lighting in your home to meet your needs instead of having full-powered lights all the time.
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From Lincoln Log Houses to Real Log Homes

Many people dream of owning a log home whether they want to live deep in the country or stick out with great curb appeal in the city. Because of this dream, the log home industry has been increasing production by 15% over the last ten years.

What are some of the things you should consider before building a log home?

  • Log homes cost at least 20% more than a traditional home.
  • Log homes are 30-40% more than a traditional home.
  • Log homes sell much quicker.
  • Log homes are more challenging to build than normal homes.

Since log homes cost more to build, it is important to consider these costs when planning and designing your home. We have compiled a list of things to keep in mind as you design your dream log home:

  • Keep the exterior of the structure as simple as possible. Each corner will add additional cost to your building project so something like a rectangle, “L,” or “T,” shape will work best.
  • Select an A-Frame roof or something similar.
  • Consider building the front of your home with log and the rest of your home in the traditional manner.
  • Plan for your plumbing to be on the interior walls because carving out space on the exterior (or the log) is not recommended. We don’t want frozen pipes come winter!

The list of additional decisions homeowners have to make when considering a log home is endless. You can have the feeling of a log home without an actual log structure by adding log accents to a traditional home.

Nobody knows what it is about log homes that make them so comfortable and calm; however, these homes offer a sense of peace. If a log home is your dream, contact UBuildIt today and one of our consultants will help make your dream a reality.

Best Practices for Staying Organized as a Project Manager

Being your own project manager can be a daunting idea especially without any experience in the construction field; however, with the help of UBuildIt and these simple organization tips, everything will work out in the end.

Keeping yourself organized and prepared for questions will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.

Keep Everything in One Place: We recommend purchasing a notebook with pockets to keep all paperwork, ideas, notes, and lists in one place. Always keep it with you so you can track phone calls, take notes, and jot down questions when they arise.

Important Things to Keep in your Notebook:

  • Lists such as:
    • Things to Do
    • Telephone Log showing who called, when they called, and what was discussed
    • List of all subcontractors and suppliers including their best contact number and availability.
  • General Notes
  • Copies of all bids
  • Copy of all specifications
  • Change Order Notifications

Keep a copy of all blueprints: Always keep these with you and bring them to the job site when you visit.

Keep a file of Financial Documents: If you are using a construction loan, it is imperative that you remain organized and keep a copy of your original budget along with copies of all draw sheets. Eventually, your lender will ask for this information.

Track your Actual Expense versus Projected Budget: Sometimes your construction loan documents will be all that is required of you; however, sometimes additional information is requested. If you keep everything in one place, you will be prepared at the end.

Keep a Construction Calendar: Keeping track of when subcontractors will be on site will help with scheduling additional people and knowing when to order materials. People have been most successful at this step when they purchase various colored pens and a calendar (you can print one online that way you won’t waste half a year worth of paper). Use a different pen for each subcontractor and another for your appointments with your UBuildIt Consultant.

Communicate Regularly: This tip may seem obvious; however, people often forget how important communication is in a project of this size. Remember to be in contact with your consultant, suppliers, and subcontractors to ensure there are no mistakes made in your orders, schedule, or project in general.

Being your own Project Manager is not easy; however, taking control of your project with the help of UBuildIt’s experienced staff, you will come out of the tunnel with your dream home.

Which UBuildIt Program is Right for You?

You have made the decision, made lists of ideas, and researched your options… Now what? If you are looking to either build a house or remodel your home as well as maintain control of your project, avoid contractor pressure, save money, and enjoy consulting with someone who has your best interest in mind, UBuildIt is the right solution. So, how do you choose which of our programs is the right one for your project?

UBuildIt-Custom Home

This program is a great option for someone looking to build a brand new custom home that has no idea where to begin. Many of our clients who select this option have not even purchased land yet, which is ideal anyway because our extraordinary consultants can help with that too.

UBuildIt prides itself on offering a two-fold saving advantage. The first savings will come from choosing to build your dream home instead of buying it. We have been able to recreate homes for clients at retail price when their dream house was sold before they could purchase it. Take that extra savings and install a swimming pool, upgrade your appliances, or take a family vacation. The second half of the savings deal comes from choosing UBuildIt to help you build your home. Our program and services consistently save clients up to 25% over what they would spend with a contractor.

Save money. Stay in control. Choose UBuildIt.

UBuildIt Plus

This option takes the administrative duties of building a home out of your hands and places it into ours. You will maintain control and always have the final decision; however, the amount of time you will have to invest in your project using this program is significantly less.

UBuildIt Plus handles the planning and construction phases slightly different than the custom option. Your consultant will collect your ideas and perform a lot of the research for you rather than guiding you through the planning stage. Then during construction, we will make hiring recommendations and we will guide scheduling and material orders. This program significantly decreases the time investment on your part.

UBuildIt-Remodel

Anybody looking to remodel their home should consider this program. Remodeling can be a good idea for those looking to update their home for the housing market, expand for a growing family, or simply to make your home into your dream home. Remodeling can be quite the project because even though you are not starting from the ground up, remodels still require permits, subcontractors, and construction knowledge. This program offers the suppliers, subcontractors, and an expert consultant to guide you through this process.

We offer the UBuildit Class package which allows you to keep the reins and do most of the legwork in the planning stage and construction stage with our help. We also offer the UBuildit Plus package for remodels. It is essentially the same as what was discussed above.

Three Common Questions Answered about UBuildIt

Deciding to build a new custom home or remodel your current living space is a big step. Questions are bound to arise about whether or not this is the right decision at the right time, how much will it cost, and even where to start? UBuildIt is more than just a company striving for success, it is a service centered on ensuring that clients receive the home of their dreams. Our consulting services are designed around customer experience; therefore, our main objective is to create a “team mentality,” where we work together to find the best solutions for each project.

Do not worry! We understand that this is a daunting process and the questions are probably making their way into your mind quicker than you can comprehend them. Let us put your mind at ease with these answers to commonly asked questions.

  • Do I have time to use UBuildIt rather than hiring a general contractor?

Any construction project will require a certain amount of time from the homeowner whether they have hired UBuildIt or a general contractor. Generally, UBuildIt clients spend an average of 6-8 hours per week with administrative duties. This amount of time fluctuates throughout the process. From our experience, this amount of time will also be required of you if you hire a general contractor.

If you select the UBuildIt Plus package, your time will shrink from 6-8 hours per week to 1-3 hours per week. During this time you will do a general overview of your construction project, control your checkbook, and communicate with your UBuildIt Consultant. Your consultant will be able to handle daily scheduling and you will remain completely in control of what is happening.

  • Does UBuildIt really cost less than a builder?

A general contractor typically quotes between 10-15% of the total cost of the project plus a 15-25% markup that they bury within their construction labor and material cost. With UBuildIt, every dollar that leaves your bank account is spent on your project with no hidden fees or markups. UBuildIt clients purchase construction materials at wholesale price and pay a set labor price as well.

Your consultant will establish a flat-fixed consulting fee up front that will be paid in progress to consult your project. The fee typically averages between 8-10% of wholesale for new construction projects and for remodels between 10-15%. Remember, these are with no markups and no hidden fees on labor or materials.

UBuildIt clients normally spend 20-30% less on their projects than people who hire a general contractor.

  • How do I control a construction project when I do not know anything about building?

With UBuildIt’s consulting services, you will not be required to pick up a hammer, draw a blueprint, or operate heavy machinery. Our experienced consultants take your ideas and turn them into plans before finally translating them into a logistical schedule. All you have to do is decide what you want in your home, the style of your home, and what materials you prefer. With our expertise throughout your home-building journey, you will have a customized plan that specifies what to expect along the way.

Take the plunge! Call your local UBuildIt office today to schedule a one-on-one meeting. Come prepared with questions, ideas, and an open mind.

Tip #5- Partner with UBuildIt!

Tip #5- Partner with UBuildIt!

Now that you have designed your home (or remodel) from the ground up, it will be hard to pass the reins to someone with a mild understanding of your vision, right? With UBuildIt, the reins will remain in your hands throughout the entire process. UBuildIt gives you control over your entire planning and design process. Take advantage of the experience your consultant has.

With our company, you will be able to connect with qualified and competitive plan resources and professionals. With our help, your simple sketches will turn into a beautiful home. Your consultant will sit down with you and determine your budget and your financing options. They will evaluate your property, suggest any changes to your pre-planning, then they will assist you in specifying your material choices and establish realistic project costs.

With UBuildIt, you will experience the utmost best in customer service. Our consultants will use their expertise to ensure your project is completely correct, on time, and within budget. Your consultant will be there 24/7 to alleviate fear, stifle strife, and will aid in bringing your vision to life.

Only you can decide what is right for you in your dream home. Taking the time to plan ahead, define your style, determine your budget to balance your goals, and directing your design professional are 4 beginning steps to making your dream home a reality; however, with UBuildIt, you will not be alone in this daunting process. Contact our office today!

Tip #4: Direct Your UBuildIt Consult & Design Professional—It will Save you Money!

Now that you have developed a game plan for your new custom home, you will need to begin researching professional assistance. UBuildIt can help you select a professional designer, architect, and other various custom home professionals. We are also equipped to work with those you may have selected prior to finding our service. Custom homes require engineering and this step will help convert your dream into a reality.

Partner with a Design Professional

  • Will you use an architect or a designer? Do you know the difference?
  • Will you select a stock plan that fits your needs or will you want a completely custom design?

Prepare for Clear Communication

  • Will you communicate with your consultant/architect/designer by phone, email, or in person? Creating a clear communication model will relieve stress throughout the process of building your home.

Plan together

  • It is essential to remain on the same page through this step of the process. Miscommunication can do a lot of damage to a home design.
  • Communication is key—keep all lines of communication open.