Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kitchen Countertop Options

If you are building a new home, there are countless options for countertops. Countertops are priced by the lineal or square foot, most often with the template, delivery, and installation included in the price. Prices vary significantly, too, depending on the material, texture, complexity of the edge, the number of holes, the type of sink you are using, and how many seams there will be. You will want to consider the countertop's longevity, durability, maintenance, and installed price.

Laminate $15-$45 per square foot: economical, not scratch or heat resistant; not built to last
Ceramic Tile $10-$30 per square foot: economical, scratch and heat resistant, but high maintenance
Butcher Block $30-$65 per square foot: easy to install and repair, durable but maintenance required

Solid Surface $35-$100 per square foot: seams only visible from the underside; stain and heat resistant but may crack or get scorched from hot pans; scratches can be softened (Corian® solid surface colors by DuPont®, right)

Quartz $50-$100 per square foot: good for busy kitchens; stain and heat resistant, low maintenance
Engineered Stone $50-$100 per square foot: extremely durable, resists heat and stains
Marble $50-$140 per square foot: New England slate, from New York, Vermont, and Maine, is durable, non-porous, and requires no sealing; price varies by color
Limestone $60-$100 per square foot: low-traffic kitchen. It withstands heat very well
Natural Stone / Granite $50-$200 per square foot: density, strength, water absorption, and acid resistance (granite countertop, right)
Concrete $80-$120 per square foot: very popular, but porous and absorbs stains easily, must be sealed regularly

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Construction of New Homes Rebounds in November

New building permits rise more than expected -- a hopeful sign for industry

WASHINGTON - Associated Press, 12/16/09 - Construction of new homes, helped by better weather, rebounded in November following a setback in the previous month.

The gain is a hopeful sign that the housing recovery is continuing, a development viewed as critical to lifting the overall economy out of recession.

Read the whole article here.
Source: MSNBC.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

NH Green Architect Interview

Here is a recent interview with Architect Jeremy Bonin by Kearsarge Valley Magazine after our company Open House. Jeremy describes our architectural firm's design services and how we work with our clients.

Also, check out our architectural fees on our website and browse through our current projects. Questions about building costs? Give us a call or send an email!!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Utlizing Outdoor Spaces

Utilizing outdoor spaces is an important aspect of home design. Whether your site is level, sloping, rocky, or wooded, you can maximize your living area and take advantage of views by considering one or more of these applications and spaces:

Sunrooms and three-season porches
Patios and decks

Terraces and courtyards

Pergolas and Gazebos

Cooking areas and fireplaces

Docks and water access

Walkways and paths

Gardens and landscaping
Outdoor spaces enhance the living areas and interior of the home. Talk to your architect in the beginning stages of your home design to incorporate them into your home plan.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Architect Home Design: The First Step

The very first step in working with Bonin Architects for designing your new energy efficient home is the process of gathering information through a series of questions. Some of the things we want to know can be broken down into categories:

Budget Budget for new home, excluding land and site work (driveway, etc.) costsThe SiteSite location, view, characteristics, and condition
Existing utilities
Snow and wind loads
Special considerations (Shoreland Protection, restrictions, land use, etc.)

The Home LayoutNumber of stories
Ceiling heights and type
Special considerations

Living requirementsNumber of bedrooms and locations
Number of bathrooms and locations
Master bedroom location and features
Kitchen features (pantry, appliances, island, countertops, fixtures)
Dining area (eat-in, separate, nook)
Living area
Fireplaces, wood stoves, etc.
Outdoor spaces
Other rooms and functions
Miscellaneous (basement, garage, mudroom, recreation room)

Building SystemsFrame type (timber frame, SIPs, conventional)
Insulation system
Foundation type
Heating and cooling
Water efficiency

Materials and Green BuildingRecycled and reclaimed materials
Windows and doors
Renewable energy systems (solar, geothermal, wind)
Waste management

These points of discussion, along with others, are the beginning steps in working with Kim and Jeremy Bonin on your new home design. If you are starting to think about building an energy efficient house, give us a call or send an email with your questions!