So you’ve built your custom, dream home. All the months of prepping, planning, construction, and inevitable stress are finally going to prove worth it, because the big moment is finally here: moving day.

Moving into your home is exciting, and exhausting. However, don’t let the stress and lengthy to-do list get the best of you. Stay organized with these tips so you can focus on how wonderful your new home is, how lucky you are to have this opportunity and all the memories you will be creating in your custom home.

  1. Hire movers- Yep, it’s worth the money to hire a properly licensed and insured mover.This will allow you to focus on everything else, and leave the physical moving to the experts.
  2. Donate, donate, donate- You will certainly feel overwhelmed as you begin packing, wondering when you accumulated all this stuff. Save time packing, and help others, by donating everything you no longer need, want or use. Or, if you want to earn some extra cash, consider having a garage sell to make back some of the expenses that come with moving.
  3. Don’t skimp on packing materials- It is devastating to start unpacking only to find that valuable or sentimental items have been destroyed due to poor packing. Invest in bubble wrap, proper boxes and tape to ensure this doesn’t happen.One tip- you can usually visit local stores to give you their boxes for free!
  4. Do the packing yourself- This is one way to save a lot of money. Plus, by you packing, you can organize exactly how you want. Be sure to clearly label boxes, marking the room and some of the main objects that are in the box. That was, when you are unpacking, you can have an idea of where you want to start. Set aside, or box together, items you would need immediately, such as toilet paper, paper towels, bath towels, soap, cleaning materials, silverware, plates, etc.
  5. Switch utilities- You don’t want to get to your new home, only to discover there is no water or electric. Contact the company to switch the bills and have everything up and running for when you arrive.
  6. Change your address- The USPS offers a checklist for moving on their website. To set up certain utilities and bills, as well as updating your drivers license, you will need mail with your new address, so it’s important to get this set up sooner than later.

Staying organized, will help you be able to enjoy this exciting time in your life.  What are your go-to moving tips? Comment below!

As you prepare to move into your new home, you will inevitably ask yourself, should we just hire movers? The idea of having one less thing to worry about it is appealing, but perhaps the (loveable,) likes-to-be-in-control part of you worries they won’t do as good of a job as you would. We get it!

Ultimately, that decision is up to you, but here are a few things to take into consideration as you make your final decision.

Moving distance-
When moving locally, you can bribe family and friends with food and drinks to help you with your move. Additionally, it is pretty affordable to rent a big truck to move the larger items of your home in a day. However, long distance is another story, and items are traveling longer, increasing the risk of breaking.

Pressed for time –
There is a lot of extra work that comes with moving. Professionals are trained to work around the clock to move items quickly and effectively. If you won’t have the time to properly organize, it might be worth it to hire movers and make your life a million times easier before and after the move.  

Specialty items-
If you have a lot of large items; hot tub, pool table, piano, grandfather clocks, etc., hiring movers becomes an easy decision to make. Not only are these items heavy, but they are super tricky to move in and out of doorways.

Cost-
Make sure you talk to a few different companies to get multiple quotes. After speaking with a few, and ensuring they are legit, decide if it’s something you can afford, and where you could cut down on the costs. Some companies charge less if you pack everything yourself, for example. Check to see if they are offering any specials, or try negotiating the price with them.

Reputation-
It’s very important that if you do decide to hire a moving company, you pick one that is reputable. Check Google, Facebook, or Yelp. Ask friends and family for companies they recommend.

Insurance –
After their reputation checks out, it’s important you confirm they have proper insurance. You can check U.S. Department of Transportation, or the 
Better Business Bureau, to ensure they are reputable and insured.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever used movers? If so, how was the experience?

If you can’t decide between granite and marble for your countertops, take a look at this list of differences from our friends at Better Homes and Gardens to help you choose the material that’s right for your needs. Here’s what they have to say.

When choosing countertops for the kitchen or bathroom, many homeowners prefer the look of natural stone, which offers a nearly endless array of unique colors and patterns. Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials on the market and a popular choice for modern or traditional houses. Marble is synonymous with luxury and is a classic choice for high-end homes. Use this simple guide to discover which of these beautiful materials is right for you.

Appearance

As with any material, the aesthetic differences between granite and marble are a matter of taste. Some people prefer the natural look of granite, which comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Others like the elegance and veining of marble, which is easily recognizable and most commonly available in black or white.

Durability

Granite is often cited as the most durable natural countertop material available, and is known for resisting cracks and chips well. Hot pots can be placed directly on the countertop, you can cut right on the surface without damage, and spills wipe away easily. Like granite, marble is very strong and resistant to damage. However, it is much more porous and will stain easier than granite.

Maintenance/Repairs

With proper annual re-sealing, granite is very resistant to stains, though well-used kitchens may need to be sealed as often as monthly. Minor scratches or dings in granite can be filled in with color-matching epoxy or resin from the home improvement store, but professional installers should repair cracks larger than an ice cube. Minor damage to marble can be repaired similarly to granite, but bigger problems also require professional help.

Installation/Price

Both granite and marble should be installed by a professional. They are extremely heavy and difficult to handle. Also, cutting holes for a sink is no easy task. Granite prices have started to go down, making it quite a bit more affordable than marble. To save money on marble, choose tiles instead of pricier slabs. 

Maybe these tips will help you decide between granite and marble. If not, feel free to give us a call with any of your questions.


The cost to install a home solar energy system has fallen rapidly over the past few years, and prices continue to decline. If you’re thinking about going solar, there’s no better time than during the design process for your new home. When you incorporate solar into your new home’s construction, you take advantage of solar’s environmental and financial benefits without having to retrofit your home with a solar installation later down the road.

In addition, owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes thanks to the investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit.

If you think you want to install home solar energy, here are a few things you’ll need to consider:

Orient the home for solar panels
It is important to have a large south-facing roof. If your home has a rectangular shape, one of the long sides should face south. This provides more roof space for your solar panels. You’ll need plenty of space if you want your solar system to produce all the electricity your house will consume throughout the year. A small south-facing roof will limit your space for panels, decreasing the possible size of the array.

Have a roof pitch of 30 to 45 degrees
The angle of the solar panels impacts the solar energy production. Mounting your solar panels at an ideal angle will increase the solar electricity output throughout the year. If solar panels are placed at a steep angle, they produce more electricity in the winter because the sun is lower in the sky. When panels are installed at a 0-degree angle, they produce more electricity in the summer because the sun is higher in the summer sky.

Strategically place dormers, vents, and chimneys
Solar systems generate the most electricity when they are completely unshaded, especially in the middle of the day. Even vents, dormers, and chimneys can create shadows on the panels, decreasing your energy output. It is important to strategically place these building features to maximize the energy production of your system and available space for mounting solar panels.Avoid trees and building obstructions
Trees and buildings can shade your solar panels, causing a significant reduction in your solar energy production. When building a new home, locate the home clear from obstructions that will shade your solar panels. Even deciduous trees create branch shade during the winter months, significantly decreasing your energy production. If some shade is unavoidable, select solar equipment that is specifically designed for shaded conditions.