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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!

What Shade of Green Are You?

July 28th, 2017

It seems like a funny question, but what we’re asking is: how environmentally friendly do you want your new home to be? With the array of new technology and differing building options available, deciding how “green” you want to be will affect several key factors in your new home. Deciding what your personal green goals are at the start can ensure your home performs the way you envision. Here are five aspects to help you determine just how green your new home should be:

  1. How green is your builder or contractor?
    There are many types of builders available in our area. Some are the “tried and true” kind who have built good homes for many years, but may be reluctant to explore some of the new environmentally friendly options available. Other builders are committed to a rating system or style of building that can save lots of energy, but comes with lifestyle trade-offs and possible increased costs. At Big Twig Homes, we like to take a position somewhere in the middle — relying on good construction craftsmanship while embracing energy efficiency and other green strategies where they make sense.
  2. What are your goals for your home’s green features?
    Each family is unique and has differing goals for the green aspects they want in their new homes. Some family members have respiratory problems, and want to have their home built with low VOC products to elevate indoor air quality. Other home owners are hoping to have some control over fluctuating energy costs by fixing energy investments with solar or geothermal systems. Still others want to have a comfortable home that will maintain its value and provide a healthy return when it’s time to sell. All these goals can be met with a range of green approaches.
  3. Saving energy is just one facet of a “green” approach to home construction.
    Of the many options to building green, energy efficiency is an important component. On the green building spectrum, there are many other factors that can contribute to a home’s impact on the environment. Many folks focus on improving the overall performance of their homes as systems. A home performance perspective will look at the basics— insulation, windows, doors, heating and cooling— plus ensuring the home’s exterior envelope is well sealed, proper home ventilation is installed. Even greener approaches will consider the proximity of the home’s location to amenities, the fuel expended to bring materials to the site, sustainability of materials and construction waste disposal to minimize the total impact on the environment.
  4. What level of cost versus benefit are you comfortable with?
    Like many life decisions, we often need to examine the costs versus the end benefits that any green feature provides. For example, a net zero house that produces enough energy to operate independently is achieved often with an increased investment in super-efficient windows, added insulation, and design changes that may work for some families but not for others. However, simple upgrades like added insulation or considering solar panels on your roof may provide a quick return and incentives that make the investment worthwhile.
  5. Documenting your new home’s energy rating can increase its value.
    There are a whole alphabet soup of options for measuring your home’s efficiency and environmental impact. Some focus on energy efficiency, while others look at a whole array of factors that can vary in home construction. We like to think that one smart investment is to hire an energy rater to work with us from design though to the final details. RESNET is a national organization that helps homeowners understand their home’s efficiency by training certified energy raters. These trained pros can advise on option to improve your home’s efficiency with small changes that have a big impact. You can find an energy rater in your area by using this tool on RESNET.com. Some studies have shown that having a good RESNET score can increase your home’s value by as much as 8%. Plus, energy efficiency tax incentives and rebates can put money back in your pocket.

No matter how green you want your home to be, we’re ready to walk you through the options and determine which green approaches meet your needs and your budget. Give us a call today at 207-576-5500.