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2014 Color Theme Trends

May 2014
Get inspired with these enticing color palates from Behr paint.
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Flood Insurance Law Will Boost Housing Activity

May 2014
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 will provide a significant boost for home building and remodeling and add financial stability to the Nation...
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Spending on Luxury Kitchen and Bath Amenities Picks Up

May 2014
Kitchens and baths are getting larger and more upscale...
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2013 Execution Rates

January, 2014
Despite the steep rise in rates in 2013, the average rate for the entire year (4.25%) is the second lowest on record next to 2012's 3.75%...
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Information for you about Well Maintenance

March 27, 2012
The safety and purity of your drinking water and the efficient operation of your private well system depends on a well-organized maintenance program. Protect your investment in a quality water supply through regular inspection, testing and repair or treatment...
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Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows

January 12, 2012
Fixed Mortgage rates fell once again to a record low, offering a great opportunity for those who can afford to buy or refinance homes. But few are able to take advantage of the historic rates...
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Nucleus with Brillion

March 21, 2011
Engineered Wood No. 05 GE Nucleus Home Energy Monitor and Management System General Electric anticipates introducing the Nucleus with Brillion technology this year. Designed for areas where utility rates are based on time-of-use, GE states that the product will work in homes with smart meters, plugging into any standard electrical outlet to track electricity use and allow users...
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What's New Trends & Technology

March 9, 2011
Enngineered Wood No. 05 GE Nucleus Home Energy Monitor and Management System General Electric anticipates introducing the Nucleus with Brillion™ technology this year. Designed for areas where utility rates are based on time-of-use, GE states that the product will work in homes with smart meters, plugging into any standard electrical outlet to track electricity use and allow users...
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Not All Radiant Barries are Created Equal

NOT ALL RADIANT BARRIES ARE CREATED EQUAL

December 21, 2010
The U.S. Department of Energy recognizes radiant barriers as a way to reduce summer heat gain and lower cooling energy usage. An independent study in 2010 by ConSol reinforced this, finding that radiant barrier sheathing is a top energy-efficient technology when building a new home. The study indicated that radiant barrier sheathing is on of the top three energy-efficient technologies in new...
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EPA Storm Water Rules to Be Redefined

December 21, 2010
The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a pilot program on November 9 designed to make it easier to gage a home's energy efficiency. Home Energy Score compares a home against others in the region and provides custom recommendations on how to reduce energy costs. It evaluates 40 points to generate a score ranging from one to ten, with ten representing excellent energy efficiency. The evaluation...
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Icynene Insulation

Icynene Insulation

April 29, 2010
We are very pleased to report that as of yesterday, April 21, 2010, a revised and improved ICC Evaluation Services Report for ICYNENE LD-C-50 has been posted on the ICC-ES website. The newly revised report puts ICYNENE LD-C-50 insulation in a unique position as being the only spray foam insulation that can be left as sprayed in the attic assembly. All other Icynene®...
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Debate Over Sprinklers in New Homes Becomes a Hot Issue Across The Nation

April 21, 2010
The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a pilot program on November 9 designed to Debate Over Sprinklers in New Homes Becomes a Hot Issue Across The Nation Georgia lawmakers this week rejected a residential sprinkler mandate. By: John Caulfield Related Articles Save / Share The ongoing battle between builders and fire service officials over building codes that mandate the installation of fire sprinklers into new homes is being played out this spring....
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Make Room For Grandparents and Boomerangs

March 31, 2010
Make Room For Grandparents and Boomerangs The number of Americans living in multigenerational households grew by 2.6 million from 2007 to 2008 and continues to rise, according to a Pew Research Study. By: Jenny Sullivan Related Articles Save / Share Does that nifty new floor plan of yours have enough bathrooms? It's a question that may be worth revisiting in...
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Owner Builder Network Receives 2009 Best of Business Award

Owner Builder Network Receives 2009 Best of Business Award

March 8, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Small Business Commerce Association's Award Honors the Achievement SAN FRANCISCO, November 7, 2009, Owner Builder Network has been selected for the 2009 Best of Business Award in the Single-family housing construction category by the Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) The Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is pleased to announce that Owner...
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Building Your Own Custom Home

Building Your Own Custom Home

February 23, 2010
If you're thinking about building your own custom home, there are some simple questions you should ask yourself, and some answers you should get before starting. What are the reasons I should be my on builder? In a word---Money! In another word---Control! Let's talk about money first. There is no better way to build equity than to be an owner builder---but the...
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OBN Receives Proclamation From The City of Houston

OBN Receives Proclamation From The City of Houston

February 10, 2010
On January 28,2010 Sheila Kramer, Founder of Owner Builder Network, received a Proclamation from the City of Houston's Mayor Annise Parker for the company's contribution to the City's building....
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National Kitchen & Bath Association Reports Trends for 2010

January 20, 2010
National Kitchen & Bath Association Reports Trends for 2010 Results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association to reveal the key design trends for 2010 NKBA News Release January 13, 2010 HousingZone Hackettstown, N.J., Jan. 12, 2010 — The results are in from a recent survey of designers conducted by the...
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Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Announced for 2010

January 12, 2010
Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Announced for 2010 Although the most popular features have remained unchanged, some new trends are gaining traction Mark Crawford, HousingZone Contributing Editor January 12, 2010 HousingZone According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, trends in kitchen and bath design for 2010 won't be much different from the previous year, although....
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Caulking an Undermount Sink in Place

January 12, 2010
Builders' Tip: Caulking an Undermount Sink in Place Click for larger image. I needed to affix a stainless-steel undermount sink to a granite countertop that was already installed on its cabinet bases. One problem I faced in tackling the job was how to get a good silicone-caulk seal between the underside of the counter and....
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Earth Advantage Institute Selects Top 10 Green Building Trends for 2010

January 11, 2010
Earth Advantage Institute Selects Top 10 Green Building Trends For 2010 Trends range from energy scores for homes to web-based displays that track energy usage in real time. Matt Phair, HousingZone Contributing Editor January 8, 2010 HousingZone The Earth Advantage Institute, a leading nonprofit green building resource that has certified more than 11,000 sustainable homes, today...
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No-MaintenanceHome Myth

January 07, 2010
No-Maintenance Myth Our virtual home designer and building scientist weigh in on defining true sustainability. By: Rich Binsacca Related Articles Save / Share Glimpse the Future: The Home for the New Economy will debut exclusively online, with narrated and photo-realistic virtual tours, at the 2010 International Builders' Show and remain open through June...
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Census Bureau Releases Latest Population Estimates

January 06, 2010
Census Bureau News Release January 4, 2010 HousingZone Texas gained more people than any other state between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009 (478,000), followed by California (381,000), North Carolina (134,000), Georgia (131,000) and Florida (114,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates California remained the most populous state, with a July 1, 2009, population of 37...
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Brick Holds Up as Homeowners' Siding Choice

January 06, 2010
Brick Holds Up as Homeowners' Siding of Choice New poll finds preferences remain highly regional. By: John Caulfield Related Articles Save / Share More than 70% of Americans, and more than half of all homeowners, express a preference for house siding. And a new survey of more than 2,000 people across the country finds that brick is still favored over other types of...
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What Makes A Home Green

What Makes A Home Green

November 5, 2009
What measures determine if a home is green? Does using recycled materials make a home green? How about locating the home on reclaimed land? Or, what if the homeowners have energy bills significantly lower than those for a similar-sized conventional home?According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it takes more than using a few sustainable practices to build a...
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Credit Tips That Will Score Lower Interest Rates

Credit Tips That Will Score Lower Interest Rates

November 05, 2009
A good credit score translates into lower interest rates for home-shopping borrowers. In a mortgage lender's eyes, the higher your score is, the less risk you are, and the more likely it is you will pay off your debt. For this reason, borrowers with lower scores usually end up paying higher interest rates on their loans. If this is you, don't panic. There are a number of things you can do to...
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Benefits of Green Building to Homeowners

Benefits of Green Building to Homeowners

November 05, 2009
Green building benefits the environment, the builders, the community at large, and of course the individual homeowner. This article focuses specifically on important benefits to the homeowner—better durability, energy savings, water savings, improved indoor air quality—and the green building practices typically used to achieve these benefits. Durable A green home is a durable home...
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House Votes to Expand Homebuyer Tax Credit

House Votes to Expand Homebuyer Tax Credit

November 05, 2009
Buying a home is about to get cheaper for a whole new crop of homebuyers — $6,500 cheaper.First-time homebuyers have been getting tax credits of up to $8,000 since January as part of the economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year. But with the program scheduled to expire at the end of November, the House voted 403-12 Thursday to extend and expand the tax credit to include many...
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Load up Your Washer for Energy Savings – Energy Star Appliances Save Money

Load up Your Washer for Energy Savings – Energy Star Appliances Save Money

November 04, 2009
Hardly anyone enjoys doing the laundry, but today the task is much easier than it was a few decades ago. A job that once required a washboard and considerable elbow grease now requires little more than the push of a button. These days, the hard part is picking the right washing machine to buy. Anyone who goes to an appliance store to look at washing machines encounters what...
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New Lead Safety Rules - How the Rules Affect Painters

New Lead Safety Rules - How the Rules Affect Painters

October 27, 2009
Effective April, 22, 2010, if you are working for compensation on a project that will disturb paint in a home, school, or childcare facility built prior to 1978, you must comply with the new lead safety regulations, including: Painting and property management firms must be EPA-certified and their employees must be trained in the use of lead-safe work practices. Painting and maintenance...
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Water Saving Toilets

Water Saving Toilets

October 27, 2009
Water-saving toilets are now standard on all new construction because of a 1992 federal mandate for plumbing fixture manufacturers. Also known as low-flow toilets, water-saving toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) of water or less, compared with older toilets that use 3.5, 5.0, and up to 7.0 gpf. The 1.6 gpf models significantly reduce the amount of fresh water consumed and the corresponding...
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Water Saving Faucets

Water Saving Faucets

October 27, 2009
Low-flow faucets and showerheads sound like they deliver low water pressure, but that's not too appealing to a homeowner who's working at the kitchen sink or trying to start off the day with an invigorating shower. In actuality, good low-flow or water-saving faucets and showerheads deliver what feels like full-volume water. They provide equal or better performance than conventional fixtures...
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Solid Surface Countertops

Solid Surface Countertops

October 27, 2009
Solid surface countertops were a revolution of sorts when they were first introduced. Until then most modern countertops were limited to tile or laminate. Solid surface has come a long way however, available in a vast array of colors and patterns, made by numerous manufacturers. The term "solid surface" may seem a bit obvious since all countertops are "solid". But...
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Separating Fact From Fiction on Residential Fire Sprinklers

Separating Fact From Fiction on Residential Fire Sprinklers

October 27, 2009
Residential fire sprinkler technology has been around for several decades, yet there has never been a strong market demand for these potential life-saving devices. Almost 30 years ago, the idea of installing a system in the home was first developed, and since then manufacturers have done their best to educate consumers and create new markets. Even with all this educational material on...
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LED Facts

LED Facts

October 27, 2009
Light Emitting Diode, more commonly known as "LED", represents the cutting edge of lighting technology. LEDs operate on a totally different concept than traditional incandescent style lights. Instead of using a brittle metal filament that is susceptible to shock and vibration, LEDs are solid-state devices with no moving parts utilizing an electronic chip that is encapsulated in an epoxy...
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Interior Painting

Interior Painting

October 27, 2009
By following some basic guidelines for surface preparation, primer application, and topcoat application, it's possible to avoid the majority of the headaches associated with interior paint. Surface preparation Wall and ceiling surfaces should be completely dry before primer or paint is applied. Use a damp cloth to remove loose dust and dirt created during the drywall installation. If the...
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Insurance Checklist - New Home Construction

Insurance Checklist - New Home Construction

October 27, 2009
Check with your bank/Lending Institution as to what amount of insurance you will be required to carry. Determine what policies will have to be issued by your closing date.• Determine if your location is in a designated flood zone. If so, flood insurance will be a requirement as opposed to optional. A "pre-construction...
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Benefits of Green Building to Homeowners

Benefits of Green Building

October 27, 2009
Green building benefits the environment, the builders, the community at large, and of course the individual homeowner. This article focuses specifically on important benefits to the homeowner—better durability, energy savings, water savings, improved indoor air quality—and the green building practices typically used to achieve these benefits. Durable A green home is a durable home...
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Do It Yourself Landscaping Tips

Do It Yourself Landscaping Tips

October 27, 2009
For anyone who intends to go the route of do-it-yourself landscaping, this article will share some really useful tips for you to get started. The very first question that you should probably ask yourself is - "What do you want your landscaping to look like?" This question is best answered by reading home decor and gardening magazines and visiting your neighbors' yards. That should give you ...
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Are You Paying Taxes on Multiple Properties?

Are You Paying Taxes on Multiple Properties?

October 27, 2009
The Harris County Tax Office has a better idea. Following is a letter from Susan Banks, Director of Property Tax for the City of Houston: For several years, the Harris County Tax Office has had a program used by lenders and tax agents to receive and pay their tax bills electronically. We are now offering this program to any taxpayer with multiple accounts. As a GHBA member, the Tax...
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New Homes vs Foreclosures

August 27, 2009
Apples vs. Oranges Appraisers need regulatory guidelines that acknowledge today's realities. By: Joe Robson Related Articles Save / Share Picture this: For the first time in months a small builder sells a new home. The sales price cuts the builder's profit to the bone, but it's a reasonable price given today's housing market. The buyers are well...
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Lending in our brave new world

Lending in our brave new world

August 18, 2009
Everyone has heard of the "credit crisis". No money for anyone. WRONG!! The only change in lending is the rules have tightened up. In too many cases, people who cold not qualify or afford a mortgage before were still approved for loans they could not qualify or afford. That has changed. Monies for construction loans or mortgage are still readily...
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Red tape is strangling closings on homes

Red tape is strangling closings on homes

August 06, 2009
Mortgage firms' increased scrutiny is killing deals, delaying the sales processThe days of being able to sign a contract on a house and then pick up the keys in a matter of weeks — or even days — are fading.From start to finish, the time it takes to close a home has gone from less than 30 days to upward of 45, according to real estate brokers, who blame the delays on more rigid...
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Exterior Brick Applications

Exterior Brick Applications

July 08, 2009
A brick Exterior adds value and beauty to a new house, but it can also bring some unexpected problems. Brick is thought of as being extremely weatherproof, so it's often used as the Exterior finish for high-end homes. However, brick is porous, and it absorbs moisture. This can lead to structural damage and mold growth.Builders typically do not include a drainage plane or weep holes to drain and...
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Protecting Homes from Hurricanes

Protecting Homes from Hurricanes

July 08, 2009
Hurricanes are one of nature's most destructive forces, as witnessed in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast. FEMA estimates that Katrina killed over 1,300 people, displaced 450,000 people, and wrecked over 300,000 single-family homes throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Most of the havoc caused by Katrina was flood-related, due to levee failures in New Orleans. Storm surges...
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Windows 101

Windows 101

July 08, 2009
Window shopping is easy when you know what to look for. You’ll find many styles, shapes, features and glass packages when looking for windows and doors. But deciding on the perfect choice for your home and family is simple. Just take your time and assess your needs. Consider which style will best suit your home and your family, what thermal performance features will be ideal for your...
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Soil Quality

Soil Quality

July 08, 2009
You may recall the story of the statue built with clay feet. Even though the head, chest, and legs of the statue were made of strong metals, it only took a single stone to bring the statue down. The same concept is true of new homes. All the best practice building in the world won't make a home durable, comfortable, or safe if the soil beneath it is unstable. Poor quality soil is a real issue...
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LED Lighting Saves Electricity

LED Lighting Saves Electricity

July 08, 2009
Led lights also generate very little unwanted heat. The energy savings may be doubled in air-conditioned environments where each watt of incandescent lighting can add another watt or more to the power needed for air conditioning. The EPA encourages the use of innovative light source technologies such as led light bulbs. Led lighting instantly achieves full brightness with no warm up time...
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Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-Cement Siding

July 08, 2009
Many times you can judge a book by its cover, at least when it comes to selecting the type of siding for a home. If a siding looks expensive, it probably is. And the same is true if it looks second rate. Is there a good-looking, durable siding that isn't too expensive? Fiber-cement siding has become a popular alternative to many other sidings. It requires very little maintenance and has a very...
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Improved Stucco Systems

Improved Stucco Systems

July 08, 2009
Think stucco finish can stop rainwater and moisture in its tracks? Think again. Stucco finished are actually porous, which means that water can get sucked up through the pores and enter into the walls. What’s more, stucco can crack over time, practically inviting water to enter the home, damage the building materials, and potentially produce mold. When designing a stucco wall system...
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Aerobic Septic Systems

Aerobic Septic Systems

July 08, 2009
What are Aerobic Systems? Aerobic septic systems are used in situations where standard septic systems are not a viable option. In many cases, they are used to replace failing septic systems. Aerobic systems are similar to septic systems in that they both use natural processes to treat wastewater. But unlike septic (anaerobic) treatment, the aerobic treatment process requires oxygen. There...
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Spray Foam Insulation: Tips and Best Practices

Spray Foam Insulation: Tips and Best Practices

June 23, 2009
A large percentage of heat escapes through the attic and the walls of a home. However, a new approach to insulation can make a big difference.In order to build a better thermal envelope, we need to look at the second law of thermodynamics. This law states that heat flows in one direction, from a warm space to a cold one. For example, warm air inside a home will flow to the...
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What Makes a Home Green

What Makes a Home Green

June 19, 2009
What measures determine if a home is green? Does using recycled materials make a home green? How about locating the home on reclaimed land? Or, what if the homeowners have energy bills significantly lower than those for a similar-sized conventional home? According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it takes more than using a few sustainable practices to build a...
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The Log Cabin: A Different Kind of Statement

The Log Cabin: A Different Kind of Statement

March 31, 2009
There are many options available for anyone looking to build a new home or vacation residence. While most people opt for a traditional framed structure, it should be noted that it is not the only option available. If you are a person with a desire to live in and with nature, perhaps it's time to consider a more natural way to build. We've all heard the horror story of the pig who built a house...
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