Summer fun

Posted on Jun 9, 2016 |

With Memorial Day comes the unofficial launch of summer, and we’re hopeful you are ready to make the most of it.

Whether you’ll be entertaining at your new Rainey home or hitting the road for some summer fun, you’ll find plenty in Utah to keep you hopping. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Invite everyone over for the Fourth of July. It’s a great way to show off that gourmet kitchen and the sprawling deck that takes living outdoors. And when dusk falls, make a caravan to the nearest fireworks, packing along a sweet close to the day’s celebration.
  • Head for Jordanelle State Park for a day of fishing at the reservoir or simply taking in the view. There are plenty of activities open through the summer, and if you’re so inclined, pack a tent and make a weekend of it.
  • Visit Central Utah Gardens. If you have a new home in progress, you can tour it with a fresh eye. Take notes, ask questions and come prepared to be inspired. If you time it right, you can catch a free summer concert under the stars.

That’s simply a sampling of what’s ahead. Go out and explore your new community, and make the most of your new move.

Signs of summer

Posted on May 26, 2016 |

The calendar tells us summer’s near, but there are a few more reliable signs above and beyond the traditional robin.

Let us know if you’ve seen these tried-and-true indicators. And if the mood strikes, jump in yourself and enjoy. We’ve waited too long to let this moment pass without celebration!

  • Laundry is on the line. Although you might think of clotheslines and clothespins as museum pieces, there’s nothing as fresh and naturally sanitized as cool linen sheets brought in from outdoors. As for energy efficiency, it’s the original solar power. But a word of warning: It is forbidden in certain communities, so check with your neighborhood association before investing in rope and pins.
  • Tongues are stained purple. Or red, or orange. No matter the color, you know they’ve come in contact with a Popsicle. Summer preparation lists say to clear out your freezer for Popsicles. Dating back to 1905, when an 11-year-old boy left his soda on the porch and it froze around the stirring stick, Popsicles are still a favorite way to beat the heat. And the most popular flavor? Cherry, of course!
  • Tulips are in bloom. If you’ve ever wondered how red tulips came to symbolize true love, you’ll be interested to know the tradition dates back to a Turkish prince who, after discovering the maiden he loved had died, rode his horse over a cliff. Legend says a scarlet tulip rose from each drop of blood.
  • Families spend Sunday afternoon dreamily driving by beautiful new Rainey homes. Was that you passing by? Stop in when you’re ready to make the move and we can talk. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

Homeowners are happy building green real estate

Posted on May 25, 2016 |

One of the major trends shifting the types of residential real estate being built by custom home builders today in the U.S. is the trend toward going green. That means real estate is constructed to meet the National Green Building Standard. To meet this standard, a custom home builder must use sustainable, durable building materials; construct buildings that consume less energy and water; and produce fewer health-affecting emissions than standard buildings.

Although it's true there are incentives for going green as a custom home builder, it's reasonable to ask why a homeowner would be persuaded to focus on green real estate.

A few data points offer some clarity on the issue of buyer motivation. According to a recent study, for example, two-thirds of homeowners who own residential real estate that meets the National Green Building Standard express strong satisfaction with the improved air quality, durability, energy efficiency and water consumption of their green homes.

Lower energy consumption by real estate

The green certification requires better insulation, leak-free ductwork, sealed doors and windows, and energy-efficient lighting, appliances and heating and air-conditioning systems. These all pay for themselves over time in the form of lower annual energy bills. Homeowners can also be confident in their decision to pursue a green home because chances are good it will feature added benefits such as:

  • Cooler rooms in the summertime, thanks to improved doors and windows as well as insulation that keeps the sun's rays at bay
  • Cozier rooms in the wintertime, as fewer drafts will occur thanks to better insulation
  • Longer-lasting light bulbs and appliances that draw less power and require fewer energy reserves to operate
  • Leadership in the community, enabling friends and neighbors to see the positive benefits of adopting energy-efficient materials and technology

Greater durability

Green-certified buildings are constructed of materials that last longer, meaning lower costs for maintenance and replacement—not to mention greater peace of mind for the homeowner. For example, some green roofing materials have 40- or 50-year warranties—more than double the lifespan of standard shingles. Even though these items cost more early on in the construction process, they end up saving the homeowner money over the lifetime of the real estate. An extensive roof repair or replacement can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, but homeowners who work to develop green-certified real estate can take comfort knowing they've invested important and lasting work on the front end of the construction project.

Better indoor air quality

Green certification requires paints, caulking, adhesive, sealants and finishes that have low volatile organic compound (VOC) content and low emissions. This means those living in green homes should experience fewer odors and fewer reactions and health issues.

It also means that the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems bring fresh air into the home and filter recirculated air.
Mold prevention, non-toxic pest control and non-toxic cleansers also add up to much better indoor air quality.

Reduced water use

Green certification also requires builders to install efficient water-supply systems, low-flow faucets and shower heads, dual-flush toilets, and methods to manage rain runoff for minimal water waste and optimal use of available water.

Rainey's commitment to green building practices

As a leading builder of custom homes in North Salt Lake Utah, Rainey Homes has always been committed to exceeding standards of energy efficiency and green building practices. Our home buyers enjoy the benefits of higher quality real estate, a healthier home environment and lower ownership costs. Longer-lasting materials, and reduced energy and water consumption save families a lot of money over the years. When added up across the country, these precious resources can be directed where we need them most.

To bathe or not to bathe

Posted on May 10, 2016 |

As you sit down with your builders to plot out your dream retreat from Rainey Homes, one question is sure to come up: Do you want a bathtub?

Before you take that as an unwarranted attack on your personal hygiene, consider the statistics. About half of today’s homebuyers don’t really care if their new home has one or not, and with good reason.

Two of the biggest population groups, millennials and Baby Boomers, really have no use for them. The younger set grew up on showers, and the older set fears slipping in the tub and breaking something.

If you’re into soaking away the day’s stresses, chances are you have hot tub in the backyard. You have to admit, showers are holding their own in the home décor market with frameless European doors, stone-covered walls and even the occasional bench.

But there’s surely some reason to still hang onto the tub, which could otherwise turn into an antiquity. A few come immediately to mind:

  • Where will you wash your dog? Sure, you can wash him outdoors. But what if he encounters a skunk in the dead of winter? Are you going to wait until next spring to rid him of his, um, eau de Pepe le Pew?
  • Ditto with your little ones. A newborn can bathe in the kitchen sink, and you might stretch out the experience a little if you install one of those trendy new farmhouse sinks. But c’mon: Doesn’t every kid deserve a childhood picture sharing a bubbly bath with his brothers and sisters? It’s like a toddler rite-of-passage—or, at the very least, a fun thing to pull out when she goes on her first date a few years later.
  • If you want to sell your house someday, you’re going to turn away a lot of people who still believe a house isn’t a home without a bathtub. The general consensus is that you should have at least one, in the children’s bathroom, to play it safe on the resale front.

But even that comes with a string attached: Make it a clawfoot tub, a nod to its legacy, or an otherwise mobile style to increase its flexibility. Frankly, we’re betting homeowners who have one of these are readying it for the curb!

Let the sunshine in!

Posted on Apr 28, 2016 |

What does natural lighting mean to you? Maybe it’s a window with a view. Or perhaps it’s a must if you experience seasonal affective disorder. Or maybe natural lighting is fine and good, as long as it comes in from the south.

As homeowners, we’ve toyed with the idea of natural light for generations. Remember when skylights in the master bath were all the rage? More recently, natural light has become more of a science in the world of home design. It is often as utilitarian as it is aesthetic.

Consider this: Electric lighting consumes more than 15 percent of all electricity generated in this country, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

If you are able to do your part by cutting back on how much light you use, it can add up to substantial savings on your utility bills. That only compounds the good feeling that comes from basking in natural light. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, lighting consumption drops 50 to 80 percent with properly planned windows and skylights.

The natural progression of the day, from daybreak to dusk, also puts our circadian rhythms in sync with the 24-hour cycle of light and dark.

It’s not enough to just throw a bunch of energy-efficient windows in the house, though. There is an art to placement, one that goes all the way back to Roman days. South-facing windows do bring in the most heat, while east- and west-facing windows glow with morning and afternoon light.

For a balanced effect without dark shadows, bring the light into the room from at least two directions. You can also use well-placed mirrors to reflect light through the room or high-placed windows to bounce it off a white ceiling.

Here at Rainey Homes, we take all of this into consideration while working with you in designing your dream Energy Star home. When you’re ready to make your move, come for a visit and we’ll talk.

Why work with a custom home builder?

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 |

Real estate in Bountiful, Utah, is some of the most beautiful and desirable in the U.S., and its pool of custom home builder expertise is among the most innovative. So why should you turn to a custom home builder as you plan your new home?

Building your own custom home can be the most exciting and rewarding adventure you ever undertake. Imagine creating a home that suits your own individual lifestyle, needs and desires, and that matches your taste in style, color and fashion. Then imagine a quality and professional custom home builder turning it into reality with quality that will last.

Choose the right real estate

It’s something you’ve heard many times: location, location, location. The perfect home starts with the right location. Real estate is the one thing about a custom home you cannot change.

Consider your needs as you visit with your custom home builder. If you have a young family, for example, you will probably want to be near schools, recreational activities and shopping. If you commute to work daily, you'll want to keep an eye out for real estate near public transportation systems.

Check to see whether there are any local or neighborhood restrictions on home design. In many newer communities, new homes must fit into an overall design or look. A custom home builder will be able to help you navigate any existing rules on construction.

Even if you want the kind of home that’s very private and situated away from neighbors, or one that features an unobstructed view, consider whether the lot is serviced by electricity, water, sewer, telephone and Internet connections. If not, you might face a high price for investing in these services.

Before you build on remote real estate, you might also have to pay for environmental evaluation or rezoning fees. Consider the natural lay of the land, as well. If you’re thinking of a lot with many trees, you can incorporate them into the landscape design, saving the cost of clearing them.

Make a budget

To avoid nasty surprises after construction is finished, make a budget beforehand. Consider how much money you have and how much you want to borrow, and talk to your architect and custom home builder, setting out the design, features, schedule and costs. Remember that changes to the design or features added after construction begins usually cost more.

Green building can save you money

Going green isn’t just about being trendy or nature-friendly. Green home-building practices don’t usually cost more than traditional approaches, and environmentally friendly choices reduce energy consumption and improve indoor air quality. Such practices include:

  • placing windows to capture maximum daylight
  • installing quality insulation in ceilings and around windows
  • employing efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
  • upgrading to low-flow toilets, faucets and shower heads,as well as low-emitting paint, caulk, sealers and flooring that are energy-efficient
  • using recycled materials in broadloom, siding and driveways.

Choose a floor plan that suits you

The questions you'll want to discuss with your custom home builder are numerous: How big is your family? How many vehicles do you need? What about space for sports equipment or even a home gym? Do you like to cook? Do you often entertain overnight guests?

With a budget and real estate in mind, you can choose a design for your home that meets your needs, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, living and storage space. Beyond the floor plan, a color and design scheme that you love will make activities such as cooking that much more enjoyable.

You can adapt a preset floor plan to take advantage of your lot's topography, capitalizing on the views and other natural beauty.

Work with a quality builder

Creating your dream home requires planning as well as dreaming, plus a quality custom home builder who pays attention to detail and cares about quality. Contact us at Rainey Homes to make the best of your real estate in Bountiful Utah.

Getting out and about

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 |

Moving into your new Rainey Homes abode promises to keep you on a short leash, at least for the first few months.

With boxes to unpack, children to settle in and new routines to learn, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room to get out and explore the new neighborhood.

But sooner or later, you’ll want to embrace this new place you’re calling home, and we’re here with a few low- and no-cost ways to test the waters that are as fun as they are family friendly.

  • Begin with camera in hand and capture what makes your new community great. Hike into the mountains and capture some of Utah’s awesome landscapes. Take a side trip to the historic Mormon Temple. Get pictures of the kids enjoying an animal encounter at the local zoo. Gather the best shots in a snapshot gallery and give family back home a taste of your surroundings.
  • Look for a good source of event listings and head out to a free concert, an opening exhibit or the activities scheduled at the local farmers market. Gather a picnic meal from the food you purchase and end the day at a favorite park.
  • Find a place to volunteer. That might be a nearby soup kitchen, a local school or an animal shelter. Teach a senior how to text.
  • Join a local church. Take a class. Learn a new hobby.

In other words, get out and about. It’s a great way to feel at home, inside and out.

Home-building advice from a custom home builder

Posted on Mar 29, 2016 |

If you’re considering a house from a custom home builder, consider some tips from a custom home builder that has led the region in quality and design for two decades.

Finding a qualified custom home builder requires the proper research and consultation with others who have built homes in the region. Yet doing the advance preparation to work with a great builder can yield dividends in the form of an outstanding home-building and home-buying experience.

Plan your space

When choosing a layout from a custom home builder, choose a floor plan that suits your lifestyle. For many in Utah, a comfortable and beautiful home means open spaces. But it also means spacious garages because we need our cars. Make sure these are in your floor plan.

Your custom home builder should be able to accommodate your family’s needs with enough bedrooms for the children. Consider whether you need an in-law apartment or separate areas for grandparents.

Do you need a recreation room, a game room or a home gym? These might sound good, but if they don’t actually get used, they can represent a waste of resources and might not easily be converted to other uses.

Be creative with storage space

Utah’s climate demands adequate storage space in our homes to accommodate clothing, recreational gear, tools and accessories for four very different seasons. Make sure your floor plan has adequate closets in each bedroom, plus in the front and back entrances, and in each hallway. Storage doesn’t have to mean a closet. Your custom home builder should be able to provide cubbies and other creative options.

But don’t overdo storage, either. An oversized walk-in closet could take away space that would be better used in the bedroom or ensuite bath.

Placement of bedrooms

Where has your custom home builder placed bedrooms relative to living areas, recreation rooms and the kitchen? It’s usually better to have the master bedroom as far as possible from the main entrance of the house, especially for larger families. Also, the master bedroom should not share a wall with the kitchen or main living area.

Where do you want the laundry room? For some, it’s best close to the bedrooms, which often means on the upper floor. But this doesn’t suit everyone. It’s a question you need to answer for yourself.

Where is the kitchen?

Many home designs place the kitchen at the back of the house. Yet this can mean you have to walk through the whole house to carry in groceries. The kitchen is one of the busiest places in any home, with a lot of traffic in and out. Consider a layout where the kitchen is close to the main entry point, such as the door to the garage. A walk-out or other exit from the kitchen directly to the outdoor deck or patio is almost always a welcome feature.

The garage

An attached garage can be located beside the house, behind it or in front of it. Each placement has its own advantages, but the connection between the garage and the main house should be a mudroom or another secondary entrance close to the kitchen. Allowing people to enter from the garage directly into the front entrance is a feature you will probably regret, as it means all the dirt from muddy shoes and winter slush might end up in  the main entrance.

Bright enough

Make sure your builder includes adequate lighting from windows, skylights and fixtures. A dark house can appear dingy and depressing.

Heating and cooling

Utah’s climate also makes some pretty significant demands on your heating and air-conditioning systems. A large house will suffer from an undersized furnace, air-conditioner and ductwork. Consult a professional to make sure your builder has put in adequate heating and cooling capacity.

A house that becomes your home

A custom house should fit your desires and lifestyle perfectly, but that doesn’t mean you need to make all the decisions on your own. Take a look at our custom home layouts and talk to us about our open-door collaboration process to make your dream home a reality. At Rainey Homes, we are proud to be your preferred custom home builder in North Salt Lake Utah.

Make your house a home

Posted on Mar 24, 2016 |

You’re moving into the house that you’ve dreamed about for as long as you can remember. Yet there’s something foreign about what is waiting behind the red front door.

Everything is exactly as you planned it. You’ve worked hand in hand with reputable builders such as Rainey Homes. But it’s not “home” yet.

So how do you bring that lived-in feel to a house that only months ago was an architect’s sketch? It will take time, but there are a few moves you can make right now, no pun intended, to ease it along.

For starters, begin unpacking your go-to spots first. Most of us naturally gravitate to major rooms, but try starting instead with closets. Give family members a place to hang their coats and a clear path to their clothes when it’s time to go to work.

Closets are also a great place to secure purses, keys and other small items that easily could get lost in the shuffle.

Take the same approach to unloading your kitchen basics. Unpacking the kitchen is a necessity if you want to take the next step toward normalcy. Instead of heading for the nearest drive-through, cook up a family favorite and enjoy it together around the table.

Take a break to reconnect. Numerous studies point out the benefits of sharing a meal. And the familiar smell of a favorite dish can only help, too.

When it comes to focusing on rooms, head first to the kids’ bedrooms. Create a familiar haven, a place where they can arrange favorite toys, hang a poster and just chill.

Keep in mind that this is a new home, and you’re probably going to play a little with the furniture and décor making the move with you. Instead of immediately hanging art, set it out around the house and lean it against the walls while you get a feel for the new vibe.

Give the house a chance to talk to you. With the necessities in place, clothes in the closet, pots in the cupboard and towels in the bathroom, you can give yourself space to decide if the floral loveseat belongs in the sitting room or in your massive master bedroom.

In time, you’ll be home, comfortable in your new surroundings, realizing that dreams do come true.

Home maintenance in the spring: Lessons from a home builder

Posted on Mar 11, 2016 |

Every home builder will tell you maintenance keeps small problems from turning into catastrophes. Now that winter is over and the snow is going, a good home builder would advise checking on and repairing the damage that the harsh, cold and dark months have done.

A home builder will tell you spring is the time to start with a walk-around outside your house to check for any damage or wear to bricks, mortar, foundations, window trim and siding.

The walk-around

Check the foundation for cracks in the masonry, and have them repaired by a qualified specialist before they get worse and allow water into your basement. Look for low areas next to the foundation. When the ground has thawed, fill in those low spots with compacted soil to prevent leaks.

Look for water stains on exterior walls, which can indicate your gutters are not draining properly from your roof.

Windows are critical for home maintenance. Check for any spaces or openings around the frames. Make sure the weather-stripping and caulking are intact. If your window frames are made of wood or you have any other exterior wood surfaces, press into them with a flathead screwdriver to check for rot. Replace any rotten wood.

While you are on the ground, look for damaged shingles, which will be made worse by intense summer sun. Often after winter, you’ll notice roof tacks or nails are pushing the edges of the shingles up. This can lead to leaks in your attic.

Don’t let outdoor faucets slip past your home maintenance inspection. Make sure the water runs freely. Look for heaving, cracks or changes to what the home builder left on your driveway, paved walkways and decks. Make certain they’re still draining away from the foundation.

Look for discoloration or warping in any wooden decks. Check the railings and stairs to ensure they’re secure.

Check the indoors

Move your home maintenance indoors, too. Check basement walls, floor and ceiling for water stains or any sign of seepage.

Inspect the caulking around windows. Check under windows for wall stains that indicate water infiltration from the outside. If your double-paned windows appear fogged between the panes, you have a crack in the seal.

Inspect weather-stripping around all doors and windows. If you discover caulking from a home builder that is cracked, frayed or out of place, replace it. Don’t forget the sweeps under the doors.

Common springtime repairs

With the inspection over, it’s time to put home maintenance into action. Clear debris from the gutters and downspouts. Make sure that the gutters are tight and flush with the roof and that the downspouts drain away from the foundation.

Have a certified chimney sweep clean the flue.

Hire certified experts to inspect and maintain the air-conditioning system. Make sure to change your furnace filters, too—you’ll still be using heat for a couple of months!

Have the roofer of your home builder or another qualified professional repair any damaged or lifting shingles and any damage to flashing.

Inspect vent covers on your walls, such as the one from the dryer or range hood, and repair or replace them if necessary. Birds, squirrels and other critters love to make nests in these if they can get in.

Replace any cracked caulking around windows and doors, and repaint any peeling areas.

Spring cleaning

Often, cleaning out the dryer vent is an overlooked part of home maintenance. A dirty vent can be a fire hazard and will cause your dryer to use more electricity than necessary.

Clean window screens with soapy water so you can open your windows on cool summer nights. Not only will this make you more comfortable, it will save money on air conditioning.

Trees, shrubs and other vegetation have a habit of growing around and over air-conditioners installed by your home builder.Trim back trees and shrubs around your air-conditioner and clean up any loose branches, leaves or other debris that has fallen on, into and around it. This will help keep it running efficiently.

Attending to small home-maintenance tasks early in the spring allows you to prevent major costly projects. Look for real estate in Bountiful Utah with these details in mind. Our team at Rainey Homes would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the process.