Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bonin Architects Hires Architectural Designer / Landscape Architect

NEW LONDON, NH – The architectural firm of Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC, New London is pleased to announce the hiring of Architectural Designer / Landscape Architect Gregory Rusnica, of Newbury, New Hampshire.

Greg graduated sum cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 2005.  After graduating, he joined a Rhode Island architectural firm where he worked on residential design projects, the I-195 relocation project, urban planning, transportation planning, and streetscape, park and waterfront design.  Greg has also worked on many Lake Sunapee properties relating to wetland planning and permitting in compliance with the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act.

Greg has a well rounded knowledge of architectural and landscape science and practice and takes a sustainable design approach to every project. He is comfortable working independently and with the team in every phase of design and construction.

Greg lives in Newbury with his girlfriend, Pam, and his German shorthaired pointer, Wellington.  He is an avid snowboarder and also likes hiking, kayaking, gardening, and cooking. He enjoys New England history and following the progress on environmental protection and preservation.

About Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC:
Bonin Architects & Associates creates innovative, energy efficient home designs and specializes in green, energy efficient homes incorporating recycled and energy efficient building materials and sustainable (green) energy practices.  Construction Administration is offered as a separate service and includes working with clients to determine budget requirements, material choices and product specifications for quotes, and working with the contractor throughout the construction process.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CNN Money Reports Home Building Spikes Higher

CNN reports this morning that home building has spiked to its strongest level in almost two years.  Contributing factors are record-low mortgage rates and a surge in construction of apartments and condominiums.

Housing starts shot up to an annual rate of 685,000 in the month, up 9.3% from October and 24.3% higher than a year earlier. Building activity easily topped predictions of 627,000 starts economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting.

Building permits, a closely-watched reading that is less affected by weather than actual starts, also shot up, rising 5.7% from October and 20.7% from the year before to 681,000 homes annually.

"By historical standards, homebuilding activity is still very depressed, but at least it appears to be on an established upward trend," said Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics.

Read the full article here.

New Hampshire home building activity has increased, too, as Bonin Architects & Associates have noticed in the Lake Sunapee area.  Many homeowners are getting a head start on the spring building season by starting the home design of their cottage remodel and cabins with Bonin Architects over the winter months. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Popular Home Features in 2015

The NAHB’s Economics and Housing Policy surveyed over 3,000 builders, designers, architects, manufacturers, and housing marketing specialists to forecast the characteristics of the average single-family detached home in 2015.

Can you guess the results?  Take this quiz and see how well you do (answers posted at the bottom).

1.       Size:  The average new single-family home will be:
a.       Larger, between 2800 and 3000 square feet
b.      Stay the same (2496 square feet)
c.       Smaller between 2000 and 2,400 square feet

2.                                                        will be a top priority in a home built in 2015.
a.       Landscaping
b.      Technology
c.       Appliances

3.       New home will have more green features, low-E windows, engineered wood products, and:
a.       Use water efficiently
b.      Solar energy
c.       Radiant heat

4.    True or False:     Two-car garages remain high on homeowners’ priority lists.

5.    True or False:     The formal living room will be either combined with another room or completely disappear.

6.   True or False:      First-floor master bedrooms with walk-in closets will be a priority.

How did you do?  BoninArchitects has various architectural services to help you design, build, or remodel a home that fits your priorities – now, in 2011 or in the future.  Call or stop by to set up a free consultation!

Answers:  1.c;  2.b;  3.a.;  4.True;  5.True;  6.True.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Home Energy Credits Still Available for 2011

IRS Tax Tips:

There is still time this year to make energy-saving and green-energy home improvements and qualify for either of two home energy credits.

The Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit is aimed at homeowners installing energy efficient improvements such as insulation, new windows and furnaces. The credit is more limited than in the past years, but can still provide substantial tax savings.

• The 2011 credit rate is 10 percent of the cost of qualified energy efficiency improvements. Energy efficiency improvements include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors and certain roofs. The cost of installing these items does not count.

• The credit can also be claimed for the cost of residential energy property, including labor costs for installation. Residential energy property includes certain high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and stoves that burn biomass fuel.

• The credit has a lifetime limit of $500, of which only $200 may be used for windows. If the total of nonbusiness energy property credits taken in prior years since 2005 is more than $500, the credit may not be claimed in 2011.

• Qualifying improvements must be placed into service to the taxpayer’s principal residence located in the United States before January 1, 2012.

Homeowners going green should also check out the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, designed to spur investment in alternative energy equipment.

• The credit equals 30 percent of what a homeowner spends on qualifying property such as solar electric systems, solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and fuel cell property.

• No cap exists on the amount of credit available except for fuel cell property.

• Generally, labor costs are included when figuring this credit.

Not all energy-efficient improvements qualify for these tax credits, so homeowners should check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement before they purchase. Taxpayers can normally rely on this certification statement which can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website or with the product packaging.
Eligible homeowners can claim both of these credits on Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits. Read more at www.irs.gov.