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Designing Your Home for Entertaining

November 28th, 2017

As we enter the holiday season, entertaining friends and family takes center stage. It’s also a great time to think about how your home design can make holiday entertaining easier and more enjoyable.


Kitchens are Entertaining HQ
If you’re hosting the family holiday dinner, you already understand that the kitchen is often the central gathering place for everyone. That said, many modern home designs are based on an open concept kitchen and great room concept. These open kitchen layouts focus on center islands with seating on one side and adjacent dining room areas that allow for expanded table seating. Cooks who enjoy preparing grand meals will often include more than one prep area—some with a small sink— away from the main counters to allow for more than one cook in the kitchen.

Double Duty Appliances
For couples who cook for just the two of them, and then on occasion host a dozen guests may find dual ovens to be an efficient way to go. Use the smaller oven space for smaller portions and reserve the larger oven space for the turkey or ham. Having a double oven set-up also allows for easier preparation of multiple dishes at different temperatures. KitchenAid has a great option in their Dual Fuel Double Oven Convection Range.


Multifunctional Guest Rooms
If company is coming for a visit, include some planning for your guest’s bedrooms to maximize the space. Many homeowners position the master on one side of the common living area and arrange guest bedrooms in another “wing.” Positioning a full bath with equal access between two bedrooms makes the most of a second bath. If you’re like many folks, a home office will often do double duty as a guest room. Once great way to convert an office into an extra guest room is to install a murphy bed, which folds up into a wall when not in use. The Original Murphy Bed store has a great selection. They’re so much more comfortable than the pull-out sleeper couch!


Maximize Your Garage and Basement
The space over your garage or an area in a walkout basement can also provide expansion areas where guests can stay. Over the garage, one solution might be to set up a kid’s getaway with bunk beds and open spaces. Minimize heating and cooling expenses for this over garage area by installing a ductless heat pump to efficiently cool and heat when in use. Walkout basements are also great areas to maximize with guest bedroom spaces. Make sure that there’s plenty of good lighting to compensate for fewer windows.


Create Outdoor Spaces to Entertain
Expand entertaining areas to porches, decks and terraces to increase the space where your friends may gather. These spaces are not necessarily limited to summer activities: a cozy fire pit or hot tub can provide venues for winter time outdoor fun. For summertime, consider keeping one area of your porch or deck screened off for times when insects can be bothersome. Planning for an outdoor kitchen can get you out of the house in the summer and keep your grill master happy, too!


Shine a Light
Lighting is also an essential component of many celebrations. If your December decorations are over the top. make sure that the area where you plan to put the tree has enough convenience outlets nearby. Outside lighting needs grounded exterior switches in strategic locations. If your new home is located in a rural area, make sure that your guest can see the driveway, parking areas and walkways with good lighting. Opt for long-lasting, energy efficient LED lighting for low-maintenance lighting.

However, you entertain, there are great options to make family gatherings easy and fun for everyone!


Choosing the Perfect Type of Home

September 26th, 2017

House building technology and advanced techniques offer our customers so many choices for the type of home to build. Your perfect home type can depend on many factors, including:

  • your lifestyle
  • your budget
  • energy efficiency
  • time frame
  • building style
  • your land

Step One: Understanding Your Lifestyle
Understanding your lifestyle and location in life’s progression can help determine what kind of home you choose to build. For example, young families with children may choose a multiple bedroom home with plenty of space to spread out. Families with high school-aged children will enter an “empty nest” transition period in a few short years, and may not need as many bedrooms as a young family. If your home is the center of big family gatherings or you enjoy entertaining, larger common areas, kitchens and outdoor spaces may be the answer for your dream home. If you’re approaching retirement, consider building to accommodate one-floor living with a first-floor master and guest rooms on the second floor.

Pick a Style, Any Style!
At Big Twig Homes, we’ve embraced the best quality manufacturers for our customers, based on our 30+ years of experience in delivering homes that our customers love. We represent several home options, with each one offering pluses and minuses. Here’s a quick overview of the types of homes we build.

Katahdin Cedar Log Homes are Maine-based manufacturers of log home packages. Katahdin has developed a reputation for quality design, energy efficiency and rustic good looks. We work closely with Katahdin’s in-house design team to ensure your log home is laid out just the way you imagined it. Often customers with land located near recreational areas select a log home as a vacation home, but just as many opt for a contemporary log home for year-round living. Katahdin’s manufacturing technique blends cutting edge design technology that is interfaced with the mill.  As a result, each log is precisely cut, notched and drilled, ready for assembly on-site. Selecting cedar as the primary building material offers tremendous performance for both energy efficiency and sustainability. Cedar’s natural oils protect the logs from insects so that logs don’t require chemical treatment. Log homes can be as large or as small as you desire, and can include custom design options for no additional cost.

  • Customized plans available
  • High energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Appealing rustic style
  • Timeframe of 12-18+ months

EPS Buildings offer quality SIP constructed buildings for residential commercial and agricultural purposes. SIPs or Structural Insulated Panels provide excellent energy efficiency and performance. They are made of insulation sandwiched between two sheets of high grade plywood, which is then pressure sealed to complete the panel. We’ve used EPS Buildings for customer homes, equine facilities and commercial operations. EPS Buildings are 15 times more airtight than conventional framed construction and can be custom designed to fit any style and specifications. The SIP panels that comprise the walls and roof systems in EPS Buildings are manufactured in climate controlled facilities to ensure consistent performance for years to come. EPS Building exteriors can be finished with steel, clapboard or any other traditional exterior trim desired.

  • Custom plans for any type of construction
  • Highly energy efficient and Energy Star® rated
  • Quick timeframe for construction, depending on the structure

Goscobec Pre-Fabricated Homes are constructed in modules in their climate-controlled manufacturing facility. The completed modules are then assembled on the building site. Their years of experience in designing and delivering high quality homes made Goscobec an easy choice for Big Twig Homes. In addition to well-crafted components or their traditional modular homes, Gocobec has added their Eco-Logis Program as a building option. This offers an a la carte menu of “green” and sustainable options for design and construction that is based on the US Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard and Canada’s Novoclimat.

  • 100 Standard Plans and Customized Plans available
  • Streamlined construction for short timeframes.
  • Homes to meet any size budget

[hom] by Habitaflex provide a fast and elegant solution for complete housing in a short timeframe. They fall into the tiny home category, but offer plenty of well-used space packed into their small area. They are available in 1- or 2-bedroom configurations and arrive on your building site ready to assembly in a very short time! For more information please see this story about [hom] cottages.


Davis Frame Company Timber Frame Homes offer a distinctive look and style that boasts great energy efficiency with combination of large timber or post-and-beam constructed frames with high tech structural insulated panels (SIPs) to complete the home’s exterior shell or envelope. Timber frame and post and beam style homes can be rustic or more contemporary in style, and may feature multiple story common spaces, like great rooms. Using the tools and techniques of craftsmen who built sturdy barns for farming families in New England, this “big boned” homes offer a great deal of individual personality and options.

  • Custom design
  • More labor-intensive on-site construction
  • High energy efficiency
  • Traditional timbered style

Traditional Home Construction is the type of home building we cut our teeth on! We can provide design and building experience for your traditional “stick frame” home, with top quality construction techniques that we’ve honed over the years. Whether your style is a traditional cape, classic New Englander or cozy dormered cottages, we can help you realize your dream home on time and on budget.

  • Custom design
  • Infinite variables on energy efficiency
  • More labor-intensive construction
  • Construction timing is more weather dependent.

No doubt you’ve still got specific questions about your new home plans and the best approach to achieve them. We’re here to help walk you through the options and help you decide on a home that meets all your criteria!

Habitaflex [hôm] Tiny Homes are Fast, Affordable & Fun!

August 30th, 2017

If you’re considering a tiny home, Big Twig Homes is now offering Habitaflex [hôm] cottages in New England. Measuring in at 955 square feet, [hôm] was designed from the ground up to be simple, affordable and 100% constructed in controlled factory settings. We love these cottages because they are designed to include everything you need! Plus, the clean contemporary design is easy to decorate and make your own.

[hôm] is a very economical solution that goes up fast. Big Twig Homes can assemble these tiny homes with just three men, five days and you’re home—at [hôm]! The structure is designed to include everything you’ll need to move right in:

  • Complete Kitchen— cabinets, sink, tap and hood
  • Complete Bathroom— Shower, vanity, sink and toilet
  • One or Two Bedroom Configurations
  • Efficient Electric Baseboard Heat
  • Hot Water Tank
  • HRV Air Exchanger
  • Loft can accommodate two beds (235 sq. ft.) or study/office
  • Washer-Dryer set-up
  • Closet space
  • Flooring
  • Stairs to loft
  • 200–amp circuit panel

Constructed in Canada for Year-round Comfort
[hôm] cottages are constructed to serve as four-season homes— and are insulated to meet tough U.S. standards for efficiency. The building envelope is insulated to meet your state requirements. [hôm] is completed with a steeply pitched metal roof for durability and to handle snow loads efficiently. The cottage components are designed to be tightly sealed together during the assembly process to avoid air leaks. Each cottage is equipped with Energy Star® rated windows and doors for extra energy savings. Owners can opt for more efficient triple pane windows for an added charge.

Keeping Costs Down
According to Habitaflex’s Sylvie Raymond, the [hôm] development team had to make some conscious choices to keep their sale price competitive. As such, the customization is limited to one- or two bedroom configurations and four color combinations. However, homeowners can customize the exterior of their [hôm] with added porches or decking to extend the cottage’s outdoor living space.

Quality Controls & U.S. Testing
With a defined plan to market [hôm] in the US, the Habitaflex designers had their building prototypes tested and inspected in a testing facility by QAI Laboratories in Los Angeles, Calif. In the manufacturing facility located just south of Quebec City, each component is tested and calibrated for accurate reproduction. Prior to packaging for shipment each component, plumbing and electrical systems are inspected by a third-party inspector. Habitaflex has been designing and manufacturing modern housing options for 15 years in their high-tech manufacturing facility.

Advance Preparations for Construction
The [hôm] cottage is designed for flexibility on-site when preparing a foundation— it can be set on pilings, posts, a crawlspace or full basement. This offers more options when siting the cottage on lakeside property or in remote locations. Once the preferred foundation or base is complete, the [hôm] truck will deliver the components, where they will be offloaded with lifting equipment. Then the three-man crew at Big Twig Homes gets started positioning the components and assembling and sealing the floors, walls and roof of the cottage. Once assembled, licensed tradesmen will be on hand to connect and test the plumbing and electrical systems. All that’s needed are your appliances, furniture and accessories to make it your own. No painting, no finish work and best of all, no waiting!

To learn more about Habitaflex and their [hôm] tiny home, just give us a call at (207) 576-5500 and we’ll be delighted to answer your questions!

Habitaflex Hom

Introducing Habitaflex [hôm] in Maine!

If you are looking to simplify your life, and enjoy a lifestyle of freedom, our new Habitaflex homes may be the perfect fit for you – at an incredibly affordable price point.

Welcome hôm, to the lifestyle of your dreams.

Habitaflex [hôm] contains everything you could wish for in a clean, simplistic, and affordable package. Simple, functional, and affordable.[hôm] is 100% factory-built, and can be installed virtually anywhere your heart desires, with no construction required on-site. No need for costly foundations. Quick for you to move-in to the home that fits perfectly in the lifestyle of your dreams.

Let us help you decide if a Habitaflex [hôm] modular home would be a good fit for you.

Fill out the form below, and we will be happy to talk with you about available options and pricing.

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