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Wallpaper Designs to Adorn Your Dream House

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Purple and White Modern Wallpaper Design on Section of Bedroom

Wallpaper is a creative way to bring color and texture into your home. The best custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN, goes beyond construction. What truly makes a home one-of-a-kind is its décor....

Purple and White Modern Wallpaper Design on Section of Bedroom

Wallpaper is a creative way to bring color and texture into your home. The best custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN, goes beyond construction. What truly makes a home one-of-a-kind is its décor.

Once the construction of your dream home is complete, it's time to turn your attention to decorating, and what better way to customize your bedroom, bathroom, or living room space than papering the walls. Today's wallpaper collections are available in vintage and classic designs, joyful and colorful palettes, and some even mimic natural stone, wood walls, and more.

Keep reading to learn more about the best wallpaper choices for the rooms in your new home.

Bedroom Wallpaper Designs

The bedroom is a place where you go to unwind and leave behind the chaos of the day. Although some people prefer bold, splashy wallpaper in their bedrooms, it's recommended by interior designers to choose subtle wallpaper designs. Shimmering lilac paper with hints of gray or a calming blue ombre damask design is a great choice for what should be the most peaceful room in your house.

Kid's Room Wallpaper Designs

A kid's bedroom is a lot of fun to wallpaper because you can choose wild, colorful designs and not feel like it's over the top. If your custom home design for the kid's rooms included alcoves, consider covering this area with a different wallpaper that complements the wallpaper on the other walls. Favorite wallpaper designs for a kid's room include animal prints, nursery rhyme images, and space-themed wall coverings. When selecting wallpaper for a child's room, make sure it's washable to keep it looking like new for a long time.

Hallway Wallpaper Designs

Many custom-built home designs don't include windows in hallways. If you have a dark hallway in your home, why not cover it with paper that's bright and airy? You can't go wrong with a light, neutral color, which will instantly brighten the space. However, if you like bold design, consider choosing a wallpaper design that's a neon pink or green with white accents. It's a surprising color choice that will make the darkest hallway cheerful and less gloomy.

Bathroom Wallpaper Designs

The bathroom is a great place to experiment with textured wallpaper. Papers with woven textures work well in big and small bathrooms, adding dimension and visual interest. Textured wallpaper also gives off a spa-like vibe that's soothing and relaxing.

Installing Your New Wallpaper

You might be wary of wallpapering your new home because you've heard it's not an easy job. What many people find helpful is hiring a professional to complete the install. You have peace of mind that your wallpaper is applied correctly, and you get professional advice on how to care for it.

Trendy Gray and White Geometric Wallpaper in Living Room

Wallpaper makes the best custom home designs in Fort Wayne, IN, standout, and gives your home that unique touch. Are you still looking for a local builder who offers the best custom home design plans? Contact Lancia Homes today at (260) 489-4433 to get your dream home started.

The Differences between a Living Room and Great Room

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Formal living room in a single family home for sale in allen county in

If you’re looking at a listing of a home for sale in Allen County, IN, you might see the words “great room” and “living room” listed in the description. But what exactly is the di...

Formal living room in a single family home for sale in allen county in

If you’re looking at a listing of a home for sale in Allen County, IN, you might see the words “great room” and “living room” listed in the description. But what exactly is the difference between these two rooms? Is “great room” an outdated term? Does it just mean that you’re looking at a home with another living room? Keep reading to find out what the differences are between these two types of rooms so that you can better understand what you’re looking at when browsing home listings.

Size

First, let’s talk about size. A living room is generally somewhat smaller, while the great room, as the name implies, is greater in size. The larger space is intended for more consistent use as well as more varied use. It’s the primary gathering space on a day-to-day basis for your family.

Use

As already mentioned, the great room’s primary use is for the residents to live in and use however they see fit. This is generally the room where you’ll relax and watch TV together at the end of the day or where your kids will gather and play. It’s a more casual space and one that you’ll be using every day.

The living room, on the other hand, is a space designed for hosting. As such, it’s intended as a bit more of a formal gathering space. This is where you receive guests who you aren’t extremely close to, or where you’ll primarily gather when having a party at your house. In many homes, the living room is kept cleaner and tidier than the great room, since it’s meant to be ready to receive guests at any time. Some homeowners choose to keep kids and pets out of the living room for this reason.

Layout

The great room in a home is typically integrated into the overall flow of the home’s layout. It will often be open to the kitchen and dining areas or other primary living spaces for the family. The people you accept into your great room are the people that you allow to see all aspects of your day-to-day life—the good, the bad, and the ugly. They’ll see your kids’ toys on the floor, the dishes in your kitchen sink, and your work papers strewn across the dining table.

But, as it’s intended for more formal gatherings, the living room tends to be somewhat separated from the rest of the home. You might refer to it as the “front room” in a home’s design because it’s typically located closest to the doorway, slightly separated from the rest of the home layout. This allows you to receive guests directly into your living room. And, since it’s a bit more separate from the other rooms in the home, it conveniently keeps your more formal guests from seeing any messes you have yet to clean up.

Changing Terms

Most homeowners don’t feel the need for a more formal living room in their homes, which is why many buyers have a hard time sorting out the differences between a living room and a great room. In fact, many people now refer to the great room as the “family room,” which more clearly denotes its purpose—the room for the family and close friends—while referring to the living room as a sitting room or a front room, as already mentioned.

Whatever you choose to call it, you will now know the differences between a great room and a living room when you see them listed on a single-family home for sale in Allen County, IN. If you need assistance finding the perfect home for your family, contact Lancia Homes today!

Preparing for a Design Process Meeting with a Homebuilder

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You’ve looked at the local housing market, and because none of the homes met your expectations, you’ve decided to build a new home. You’ve chosen a builder, and now it’s time to sit down and determine a design for your new abode. The costliest mistake people make when building a ...

Color palette ideas

You’ve looked at the local housing market, and because none of the homes met your expectations, you’ve decided to build a new home. You’ve chosen a builder, and now it’s time to sit down and determine a design for your new abode. The costliest mistake people make when building a new home is poor planning. Another is miscommunication with their homebuilder. You may have selected the most affordable homebuilder in Fort Wayne, IN, but you must be able to clearly convey what type of home you want. Before meeting with your builder to decide on your home’s specific design elements, take the time to prepare for the consultation with these tips.

Stick to Your Budget

It’s easy to get carried away with the available personalization and architectural choices of your new home design. Before meeting with your homebuilder, understand the limits of your budget. If new ideas are presented during the meeting that appeal to you, yet they push the cost outside of your budget, be prepared to make concessions in other areas of the design, if needed. New homebuilders are experienced professionals who are accustomed to working within a budget. They’ll help you come up with ways to personalize and create an amazing home space and still stay within your financial means.

Explore Ideas and Color Palettes

Research is the best way to determine what design features you like and which ones just don’t work for you. View home and room designs online or in magazines to inspire ideas. Established builders may provide a virtual home design studio app on their websites. Choose a floor plan design, then try out an array of roof and siding colors, kitchen backsplashes, cabinets, counter materials, etc. This visual presentation helps you see options that you may not have considered before.

Understand the Limits of Your Floor Plan

Depending on the type of home you decide on, there may be limits to the changes you can make. Production homes generally have a set amount of square footage available, depending upon the design. However, in many cases, the outside of the home can be constructed with a variety of exterior types, colors, and elevation levels. If you’ve chosen a floor plan but you aren’t thrilled with the proposed exterior, for example, be prepared to provide the builder with options that you do like.

Visit the Builder’s Show Homes

Reputable homebuilders are proud of their completed projects and usually offer a lineup of show homes or open houses. Before meeting with the builder to determine your design options, visit a few of their show homes. Built-in desks, coffered ceilings, full basements, and angled kitchens are just a few of the options available in modern floor plans. Take pictures of features you like and share your ideas with the builder at the meeting.

Viewing show home

When you’re ready to begin building the home of your dreams, contact the affordable homebuilders in Fort Wayne, IN, at Lancia Homes by calling (260) 489-4433.

Top Reasons to Buy a Multifamily Home

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Duplex

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. Right now, there are several benefits to choosing to invest in one of the multifamily homes for sale in Fort Wayne, IN. Here are five of the top re...

Duplex

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. Right now, there are several benefits to choosing to invest in one of the multifamily homes for sale in Fort Wayne, IN. Here are five of the top reasons to buy a multifamily home.

What Is a Multifamily Home?

A multifamily home refers to a single property that contains multiple living spaces. Each space must include a kitchen, bathrooms, utilities, etc. that allow a family to live there comfortably. There are several types of multifamily homes that can be constructed by a trained new home builder. You could, with the help of the best home builders, construct a main home for yourself and attach an apartment or suite. Another option is to build one from a few large old houses that got subdivided into two or more living spaces. A multifamily home can also include apartment buildings and other properties with residences for multiple people.

Renting Out Additional Units

A great reason for new home builders like yourself to buy a multifamily home is that you can rent out the units you and your family don't occupy. The monthly income you can generate by collecting rent from tenants can help you pay off your mortgage and other housing expenses quickly. This will save interest on your home loan. Rental income is also an excellent source of steady income for you and your family to live off of for years and years.

Multigenerational Living

More family members from multiple generations live together under one roof today than ever before. Multigeneration living helps drastically lower overall housing costs, allowing families to keep more of the money they make individually and collectively. Plus, multifamily homes allow your family to live together yet separately. This means that each family within your family will have separate "homes" to live in that is connected to the main "home" on the property. This arrangement gives everyone more privacy and creates a more harmonious atmosphere.

Additional Tax Breaks

When you own a home, you get certain tax breaks, like deductions from mortgage rates and property tax write offs. If you buy a multifamily home, built by an affordable home builder, with rentable units, you might be eligible for additional tax breaks like expense deductions on units you rent out. Deductions can include maintenance or upgrades to said units and depreciation of the property. Overall, these additional tax breaks help you save money in the long run.

Easy to Management

Another reason to buy a multifamily home is how easy they are to manage. Each living space in each unit needs to be managed. Managerial duties include marketing the space, choosing tenants, collecting rent every month, and repairing damaged items in the spaces. This can be too much work for one person. Fortunately, there are residential and HOA management services available online to help you manage each living space on your property.

Orange Beige Duplex

Better Financing Choices

Multifamily homes, whether bought used or recently constructed by home builders in Fort Wayne, IN, are relatively easy to finance. The income you make from monthly renters can be added to your overall income. You can use this to purchase the property. You will still need to provide a down payment, good credit score, and a low debt-to-income ratio to qualify for the purchase. Still, lenders are more often willing to apply a large portion of your tenant's monthly rent toward buyer income.

If you live on the property as well, you might get a better interest rate and more beneficial lending terms because lenders tend to believe that multifamily homes are maintained better than other kinds of rental residences. Other perks include lower down payments and higher finance percentages.

If you’re looking for a multifamily home or any home, contact Lancia Homes in Fort Wayne, IN. Call us at 260-489-4433. 

How to Determine the Perfect House Plan

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With so many available plans from new home builders, it can be difficult to figure out which house plan is right for you and your family. To get the home you want, it’s important to communicate with custom home builders, and this requires having a good idea of what features you want in your new home. Ke...

 

With so many available plans from new home builders, it can be difficult to figure out which house plan is right for you and your family. To get the home you want, it’s important to communicate with custom home builders, and this requires having a good idea of what features you want in your new home. Keep reading for tips on how to choose the perfect house plan.

Decide on the Square Footage

This is the best place to start when choosing a house plan. If you’re not sure what size home you want, tour a few model homes or ask friends. You can also ask friends or family for the approximate square footage of their homes, especially if you like the amount of space they have.

Decide on an Open or Segmented Floor Plan

It’s important to decide on the floor plan as soon as possible because this is something that’s not always easy to change during the building process. Free-flowing spaces can make smaller homes appear larger, but some buyers prefer segmented areas for privacy. If you’re not sure which floor plan suits your tastes, ask your new-home builder if they have model homes you can tour.

Decide on an Open or Segmented Floor Plan

Homes come in many styles from your traditional farmhouse style to modern homes. Your home’s elevation sets the tone and has a huge effect on curb appeal. Some neighborhoods only let you have specific architectural styles. So, when considering the style of your new custom-built home, also consider the area where it’s being built. Make sure you’re aware of any architectural restrictions or requirements.

Make a List of Important Features

Ideally, you want the house plan you select to include all the features you want. For example, do you want a mudroom? If it’s not in the plans, it can be hard to add this room later. The same stands true for any outdoor features you want such as a covered porch or a deck. When your budget allows, it’s always better to choose the features you want now instead of trying to come up with the money to add them to the house years down the line.

Consider the Future

How you use your house the day you move in might not be how you use your house in the future. For example, are you planning on having children or adding more children to your existing family? Are you nearing retirement and planning on aging in place in your home? These are examples of important questions you must ask yourself. You don’t want to build a beautiful home that doesn’t meet your current and future needs.

Selecting Your Builder

Selecting Your Builder

When you’re ready to choose a new-home builder in Fort Wayne, IN, the best home builder is one who has longevity in the business and enjoys helping their clients put their personal touch on their new homes. You want to choose a builder who stands behind their craftsmanship and emphasizes quality over quantity. You need a builder who takes their time building your new home. For affordable home builders in Fort Wayne, contact Lancia Homes at (260) 489-4433.

How Long Does It Take to Design a New Home?

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House Blueprint

You’ve waited years to begin building your dream home. Now that the time has come, you can’t wait to move in! While you may be anxious to get your family settled, it can take some time to get the design of your house right before your builder even breaks ground. How long can you expect your

House Blueprint

You’ve waited years to begin building your dream home. Now that the time has come, you can’t wait to move in! While you may be anxious to get your family settled, it can take some time to get the design of your house right before your builder even breaks ground. How long can you expect your custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN, to take? Let’s break it down.  

Initial Consultation

Before any other design elements can happen, your builder will sit down with you to determine exactly what you want out of your home. They’ll gather information regarding your lot, budget, and expectations. This is the meeting when you’ll speak to them about what you want out of your home. You’ll likely choose a floor plan and make any necessary changes during this consultation. Based on this meeting, your builder will come up with estimates and determine the feasibility of your vision. Typically, this takes anywhere from four to six weeks.

Design Development

After the estimate is returned to you, you’ll meet with the builder again to make any necessary changes to your building plan. The first draft of your floor plan will be presented to you. You can request adjustments as needed. This is also the phase when permits will be requested from your city.

Your plans will most likely be sent to a structural engineer to ensure that the plans you’ve drafted are solid. They’ll ensure that your foundation is structurally sound and make any adjustments to the framing plans. Working together, your builder and their team will troubleshoot any necessary issues before construction even begins, ensuring that the job flows smoothly. The amount of time this phase takes will depend greatly on the number of revisions necessary to create your house’s final plans.

Finishes and Interior Design

Once you’ve chosen your floor plan and finalized the structural plans, it’s time to design the interior. Not only will your interior designer help to place practical items like light fixtures and electrical sockets, but they’ll also help you to choose the finishes that will make your house feel more like home. This is when you can expect to choose flooring, cabinets, paint, and molding. Many builders try to compact this appointment into one day, making it easier to nail down choices and get the ball rolling. For some, though, it can take a few appointments to finalize all of the finishes.

Wooden Beams of House being Constructed

It typically takes anywhere from six to nine months to build a home. With the right expertise and builder on your side, the process will be enjoyable, and you’ll be in your new home before you know it. If you’re in the market for custom home plans in Fort Wayne, IN, Lancia Homes is here to help. Learn more about our custom floor plans by visiting www.lanciahomes.com today.

How to Read New Floor Plans: Essential Tips

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If you ever want to build your own custom home, you will probably find yourself taking a long, hard look at the new home construction plans drafted by your builder. These plans provide a blueprint for what your home will look like when constructed, and they can give you an opportunity to approve the floor plans and request changes to bri...

how-to-read-new-floor-plans

If you ever want to build your own custom home, you will probably find yourself taking a long, hard look at the new home construction plans drafted by your builder. These plans provide a blueprint for what your home will look like when constructed, and they can give you an opportunity to approve the floor plans and request changes to bring the proposed home even closer to the home of your dreams.

If your builder is going to send you drafts of custom floor plans to be reviewed and approved, you'll need to know how to read these plans, evaluate the proposed build and make sure every element of the plans are consistent with what you want as the buyer. Read on for an overview of how to read home construction plans, as well as how to use these plans to support a better construction process.

How to Read Floor Plans: The Basics

While the specific styles used to draft floor plans can vary from one builder to the next, there are some standard elements of floor plans that will be consistent no matter who drafts your plans.

  • Exterior Walls: Outside walls are illustrated by a thick black boundary separating your home's indoors from the outdoor space on your property.
  • Walls, Windows and Doors: Interior walls are designated by thick black lines that aren't as thick as your home's exterior walls. Windows and doors are illustrated as breaks between these walls. With most doors, a curving line will be drawn onto the floor plans to indicate which direction that door opens—which is important for planning purposes, as well as evaluating the functionality of your indoor spaces.
  • Stairs and Open Areas: Stairs will be marked by their own unique graphic, and the floor plan should indicate via an arrow or text description whether those stairs are going to an upstairs or downstairs level. In stairwell spaces, it's common for the ceiling area above and around the stairwell to be open—this should be indicated on the plan.
  • Room Dimensions: Each room's dimensions should be written in feet and inches. This is important when understanding the scale of these rooms and when evaluating their size to make sure they suit your preferences.
  • Kitchen, Bathroom and Laundry: All of these rooms make use of large plumbing installations and/or appliances that need to be accounted for. These appliances should be depicted to scale in these spaces to verify that they're large enough to suit your needs.
  • Ceiling Height: In any room where the ceiling height is different than the standard height (usually nine feet), this height should be clearly printed on the floor plans.
  • Furniture Plan: A furniture plan helps you understand how your furniture will fit into the new home. This is important when evaluating dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, among other parts of the home. Make sure the floor plan incorporates a basic furniture plan to illustrate how large pieces of furniture will work in your space.

In addition to these basic features, ask your builder if there are other design elements you should be aware of. In some cases, designers may add certain details related to the ceiling, exterior home design, or other construction elements that you will want to be aware of when reading these plans.

Tips When Evaluating Custom Home Floor Plans

When your builder supplies you with a floor plan to review, take the following steps to make sure you properly evaluate and understand the proposed construction:

  • Ask to see a model home if the builder offers one. If you're buying a home in a larger development project, you might be able to find a model home that offers similar features and a similar or identical floor plan as your proposed construction. There’s also the option to use a virtual design studio with Lancia Homes!
  • Compare the dimensions of your home's rooms to the dimensions of those rooms in your current home. By using your existing home's floor plan as a comparison, you can review new plans to determine if additional space needs to be created or reallocated to other parts of the house.
  • If you see a symbol you don't understand, ask the builder to explain it. Many floor plans feature a legend to help you understand the markings on the plan, but some builders may have their own style and symbols that require explanation.

Where can I find floor plans for my house?

Those looking to build homes will usually get customized floor plans from the company in question.

In some cases, homeowners may be working with a builder to perform significant renovations on an existing home. When this happens, your builder will first want to review the original building plans for your home to understand the underlying structure supporting the home—and to make sure their building plans are feasible given the home's current construction.

These plans may be held in several different locations. If the home was recently built or if the builder is still in operation, they may have the original plans on file in their office. Alternatively, your municipal office that issues residential construction permits may have these plans on file and available upon request. The same is true for your local building inspector's office, especially if the home was recently built. Check with these sources first, and if you come up empty-handed, ask those organizations if they have any suggestions of where you might look.

Who creates house plans near me?

For most residential home construction, one will start the planning process by working directly with a builder. Many residential building companies offer in-house drafting services for house plans. When you contact local Fort Wayne builders, floor plans are a standard part of their planning and design process, saving you the cost and hassle of finding an outside planner or architect.

Your home's floor plan is the blueprint to building the home of your dreams. Take an active role in evaluating and guiding the creation of these floor plans, and you'll end up with a home that offers everything you're looking for.

What Is a Home Builders' Association?

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If you're looking for a home construction company to build your next dream home, it's helpful to start your search with your local home builders' association—especially if you want to work with a contractor whose workmanship and business practices you can trust.

Many consumers looking to build a home may be co...

what-is-homebuilders-association

If you're looking for a home construction company to build your next dream home, it's helpful to start your search with your local home builders' association—especially if you want to work with a contractor whose workmanship and business practices you can trust.

Many consumers looking to build a home may be completely unfamiliar with home builders' associations and what they can offer in terms of credibility and trust, but these organizations should be a top point of consideration when vetting potential builders to work on your next project. Here's an in-depth look at the purpose of home builders' associations, and how they can benefit your custom home construction.

What is a Home Builders' Association?

A home builders' association (HBA) is a professional membership organization that provides a number of benefits and services to professional home builders. Through those membership services, the association also passes on valuable benefits to customers of those companies.

Typically, an HBA performs a number of functions and services for its members, including lobbying and advocacy on certain issues relevant to the home construction industry. It can also help builders get access to bulk discounts on materials, along with more affordable insurance that can help keep overall building costs lower.

An HBA can also improve a builders' access to local talent and provide networking opportunities with specialists who may be called in to assist on your construction project. Some HBAs also offer support with advertising and other business practices to support local builders and give them the resources they need to build and sustain success.

What are the benefits of a Home Builders' Association?

For consumers interested in building their own custom homes, the biggest benefit of a home builders' association is the legitimacy and trust that comes with membership. As you search for a local builder to construct your new custom home, their membership with a local HBA provides a stamp of approval in terms of their reputation.

Membership in a local professional organization demonstrates their commitment to their work, reveals their active participation in the local construction community and makes it easier to trust the quality and professionalism you can expect from that service provider. And, if you're trying to find a builder and don't have any strong leads, your local HBA may be a great option for exploring your options and finding the right builder.

Who regulates home builders?

Home builders are regulated and monitored through several different governmental and private organizations. The most authoritative of these organizations is your state's department of labor and commerce and/or your state's office of the attorney general. Either of these government organizations may have options where you can submit complaints or seek counsel if you believe your builder has breached the terms of your agreed-upon construction contract.

In addition to support from the government, you can also use organizations like the Better Business Bureau to vet a builder's reputation and to file a complaint if you believe you were the victim of unfair business practices. If you're stuck in a dispute with a builder, your local HBA doesn't have strict regulatory authority over that company, but it can help point you toward resources and support that will help you in your dispute.

How can I find custom home builders near me?

If you're on the hunt for a new home builder, your local home builders' association is a great place to start. Or, if you're currently narrowing down your list of potential candidates to build your next home, check their membership in the local HBA to make sure they're credible and a part of this important professional organization. Asking, “Are there reputable or recommended home builders near me?" on a phone call or checking the local HBA membership list is a great way to start.

For those seeking a new home builder in Fort Wayne, IN, Lancia Homes is listed as a trusted builder by the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne. We’re important members of the community, with recognition from both the local HBA and the statewide Indiana Builders Association.

Even if you're inclined to work with a builder you already know and trust, it's worth taking a minute to check their membership status in the local HBA. If they're listed, you can move forward with even greater confidence in their services. If they aren't listed, you might want to do some more investigative work.

When you're taking on a major project like new home construction, you want to make sure your project is in good hands with a builder you can trust. Do your homework when researching potential builders, and make sure they're in good standing with the local HBA.

Interior Design Trends to Include in Your New Home

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County chic decor

New home construction continues to boom this year with plenty of people recognizing the countless benefits of moving into a custom-built property that’s modern and made to last. With some fantastic single- and multifamily homes for sale in Fort...

County chic decor

New home construction continues to boom this year with plenty of people recognizing the countless benefits of moving into a custom-built property that’s modern and made to last. With some fantastic single- and multifamily homes for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, now is the time to be thinking about design ideas and some great ways to dress up your new home. After all, the more prepared you are to design and decorate your home, the more fun you will have once you move in. Here are a few of the top interior design trends for this year that you should keep in mind for your nice new home.

Countryside Chic

A cozy and comfortable home can be achieved by sticking with the country chic trend that’s sweeping across the interior design industry. Many of the homes for sale that you may see will showcase this fun farmhouse style. There’s a mix of antique patterns with whimsical décor as well as botanicals and muted primary colors. Homemade signs, chalkboards, and outdoor-inspired fireplaces are just a few of the country chic style elements to get excited about.

Bold Lighting Features<

Something else you may see in homes for sale is lovely lighting fixtures. Chandeliers, lamps, and every lighting fixture in between gets the job done while also showcasing a sophisticated sense of style. While table and floor lamps are still in, statement ceiling fixtures are on the rise too. There’s no lighting fixture too big or too bold for interior design in 2020, so it’s all about which accent pieces you find attractive and what lighting you could realistically see yourself living with for a long time to come.

Pretty Patterns

It wouldn’t be a list of interior design trends without talking about patterns. Today’s top design elements incorporate fun and playful patterns that add a sense of depth and dimension to many homes. If you’re hiring a custom home builder, and you want to put your personal touch on your bedroom, for example, then adding a statement wall with a beautiful pattern is one way to do so. Patterned rugs and tabletop features are just a few of the high-quality products that can elevate your interior design to the next level.

Patterned rug in living room

Confident Colors

While it’s unlikely that neutrals will ever go completely out of style, it’s safe to say that bright bursts of color are really trending this year. Interior designers are labeling saturated hues, such as mustard yellow or forest green, as go-to shades for this year. Warm colors and jewel tones are also high on the list of in-demand colors. What’s so great about this trend is that it all depends on how creative and colorful you want to be. You can take on this trend slowly but surely with small pops of color, or you can go all-in with bold paint colors on every wall.

Are you feeling inspired by these trends and ready to turn these ideas into a reality? You’re in luck as Lancia Homes has single-family homes for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, where you can try out these trends for yourself. Get in touch today to get started on finding and designing your dream home.

Best Practices to Winterize Your Home

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The first signs of cold weather will get you thinking about preparing your house for the winter. Once the temperatures begin to fall, your energy costs will start to rise as you use more of it to maintain a warm and comfortable indoor climate.

Winterizing best practices can be money savers....

Woman Re-Caulking Window

The first signs of cold weather will get you thinking about preparing your house for the winter. Once the temperatures begin to fall, your energy costs will start to rise as you use more of it to maintain a warm and comfortable indoor climate.

Winterizing best practices can be money savers. You’ll reduce sources of heat loss that can cause your electricity bill to soar, and you’ll protect vulnerable areas of your home that frigid temperatures can damage. Many winterizing tasks are do-it-yourself jobs, so you’re protecting your home at little or no cost. 

You may live in an older yet cozy ranch or a split-level built from one of the latest custom home design plans in Fort Wayne, IN, and equipped with the latest plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems. Now is the time to prepare your house for the winter, and here are some tasks to perform. 

Plug Cracks and Holes

One of the simplest of winterizing best practices is to seal cracks, holes, and open gaps around doors and windows to stop the warm air in your home from escaping. An application of acrylic or latex caulking or expanding foam sealant around the outside of windows, doors, and areas where the siding meets the foundation is a relatively inexpensive solution to draftiness in your home. 

Insulating your windows is another energy saver. A roll-on window insulation kit is a cost-effective option that attaches to window casings and creates a barrier that traps warm air from escaping. The window insulation can be removed at the end of winter. 

Finally, seal the gaps around and under your exterior doors. You’ll want to check the weatherstripping for rips or to see if it is missing, then replace it if needed. 

Replace the Filters

The air filter in your air heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit will be pretty dirty by the time winter arrives. A clean air filter improves airflow and the efficiency of the unit. The air filters of the HVAC units should be replaced before winter. If possible, swap them with electrostatic filters that can remove dust, pollen, carpet fibers, and other large particles in the air. Also, have a professional HVAC technician service your unit for the winter.

Insulate the Pipes

Another standard winterizing best practice is insulating hot and cold water pipes located in exposed spaces in your home. Water lines exposed to exterior walls, floor cavities, or unheated garages could freeze and burst, resulting in flooding to your home and a lengthy cleanup and restoration job during winter. That will be the last thing you would want after investing in the best custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN. Insulating water pipes where you have access to them saves you money by reducing heat loss and lowering the cost of heating the water. Speak with a home improvement retailer about which insulation options – pipe wrap, foam sleeves, and so forth – are best for your home.

Replace Filter

Lancia Homes is your destination when it is time to talk about building your dream home. The custom home design plans in Fort Wayne, IN, emphasize energy efficiency, architectural stylishness, aesthetic quality, and overall luxury. Call Lancia Homes today at 260-489-4433 and schedule a time to talk with them about their single-story or two-story house plan that would be perfect for you.

Details That Define a Luxury Home

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Inside Luxurious Home with Foyer and Curved Staircase

It’s fun to bask in the lap of luxury, and that’s a definite possibility with custom built home designs in Fort Wayne, IN.

While you could buy an existing home and make it your own, you could also elevate your lifestyle to the next level by looking at ...

Inside Luxurious Home with Foyer and Curved Staircase

It’s fun to bask in the lap of luxury, and that’s a definite possibility with custom built home designs in Fort Wayne, IN.

While you could buy an existing home and make it your own, you could also elevate your lifestyle to the next level by looking at custom home layouts and making your dream home a reality. If that sounds like something you want to do, then it’s important to consider all the little things that set luxury custom home design apart. Here’s what you need to know about luxury homes and everything you can look forward to with your custom home plans.

In-Demand Location

One of the main qualities of a luxury home is where it’s located. Many luxurious homes are situated in high-demand locations that are highly sought-after and hard to get into. A luxury location often comes with a higher price tag, but it’s well worth every penny when you have stunning views and spacious yards. Homes in the most coveted area of a community would certainly fit the bill for luxury properties. These homes are also often located within a reasonable distance of city resources such as town centers and schools. If you have an ideal area where you would like to live, and you recognize that it’s a desirable location, then chances are it’s the right spot for your new luxury home.

Amazing Amenities

Another aspect of a luxury home is all the amenities that take your lifestyle up a notch. These custom-built homes have high-end, state-of-the-art amenities that make your residence more comfortable, inviting, and accessible. There are so many examples of excellent amenities that a lot of homeowners want, such as natural stone countertops, sliding glass doors, and spacious showers. Some luxury homes even have extra entertainment space such as in-home movie theaters, playrooms, and dens. If these amenities sound like something you would like to see in your new house, then it’s a no-brainer that you need a luxurious home builder to help you realize your dream home desires. Any ideas you have for additional amenities may quickly turn into a reality when you have the right custom home builder by your side.

Luxury Kitchen with Marble Countertops

Privacy and Personal Space

Last but certainly not least, luxury homes emphasize both privacy and personal space. Large square footage, considerable outdoor space, and added security features make these homes very attractive for homeowners. There are a variety of ways to make these homes more secure, especially as technology keeps improving year in and year out. Entry gates, visual doorbells, and innovative security systems are just a few of the privacy solutions that set luxury homes apart from the rest. At the end of the day, when you have a luxury home, there are endless possibilities for you to customize your residence and make your house more suitable for you and your family.

If you’re ready to invest in a luxurious custom home plan in Fort Wayne, IN, contact Lancia Homes for beautiful, high-end homes with exceptional finishes.

New Construction Home Trends

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Homes are in ...

Homes are in high demand across the country, and builders are racing to meet that demand with a wide variety of new developments. First-time homebuyers are particularly willing to purchase new home construction these days, especially if they can save a little money. This has led to a number of new home trends and design plans focused on new buyers. Let's take a look at some of the most interesting choices so you have an idea what to expect.

Layered Kitchens

The rise of layered kitchens solves a problem that home dwellers have been facing for years now. An open floor plan for the kitchen and connected areas is an effective way to make a home feel larger and roomier…but it also means that guests and everyone else can see your dirty dishes and the messes that come with cooking.

A layered kitchen is one of the new home ideas designed to fix this unsightly issue when you don't have quite enough time to clean. The idea is that low walls, columns, screens, and even converted spaces behind doors serve as prep areas where all messy parts of cooking can occur. Then the front of the kitchen is used for basic display and serving, so guests end up seeing only the best parts – and you get to create food how you like without any guilt.

More Versatile Spaces in the Home

Design trends are always looking for ways to maximize space and make sure everything has a purpose. Modern homeowners, however, tend to want a little of everything depending on widely varying life/work balances. Some may need a home office for remote work, while others want a baby's room, playroom, or gaming room. Still others may be more interested in a guest room they can rent out, or a home gym room. And then some owners may want all these things at different periods of their lives!

One of the trendy house solutions is a greater focus on versatile rooms in the home that aren't specifically designed for any one purpose, but rather made to accommodate a wide variety of purposes as needed. This provides more options for placing and spacing rooms while giving homeowners what they want.

The Indoors and Outdoors Continue to Merge

More and more, backyard spaces are being adopted as parts of the house with extensions like sunrooms, outdoor kitchens, outdoor theater areas, and more. These architecture trends are well-suited for homes with planned-out patios and decks, and lend themselves to many innovative approaches. Weather considerations may be an issue in some seasons, but there are few other downsides.

At the same time, people are bringing more touches of the outdoors inside their homes. Modern home decor styles are focusing more than ever on natural materials like natural wood finishes, stone or concrete substitutes, weaves, and earthy colors that invoke nature found outside the windows.

Reinventing the Suburbs

Suburbia is seeing interesting changes. Young professionals have seen an increased desire to move into the suburbs to find bigger, cheaper housing something made even easier with the remote work trends we've seen in recent years. They may not necessarily be interested in starting families yet, but they do want to bring as many urban amenities with them as they can.

That has led to a new approach to residential developments with greater density, and careful planning that makes room for more affordable, even multi-family housing – along with more shops, parks, and restaurants within easy walking or biking distance.

This type of planning has a variety of names, such as "gentle density," and is seen in many new developments across the country. For example, one popular strategy, sometimes called transect urbanism, is to build a dense core in the center of a development with commercial areas plus smaller housing options or apartments, then progress to less dense sections until the largest lots and homes are found on the outskirts of the area.

Sustainability Continues to Evolve

What does residential sustainability look like these days? It's a lot more than just making sure that appliances have an Energy Star rating: Instead, green developers are moving toward bolder sustainability choices as homeowners become more willing to adopt new ways of living. You may see more trendy house designs embrace pre-installed smart meters for energy regulation, tankless water heaters to save on energy, greater reliance on water-saving xeroscaping, and more. Just take a look at California, which recently passed a mandate requiring all new residential construction to include solar panels.

Bigger, Better Windows

After more than a year of lockdowns and work-from-home situations, it's not surprising that homebuyers want more natural light in their spaces than ever before. Future home design ideas are focusing on how to position large windows for maximum sunlight, while avoiding heavy window treatments that block out the light. It's also no surprise that skylights and other innovative types of windows remain a popular solution.

More Smart Technology

Developers have noted how popular certain kinds of home automation are, and we're seeing more and more smart devices appear on brand new construction. This can vary from smart thermostats to help save energy to video doorbells for security. These devices have high value for new buyers that want some of the latest tech solutions without needing to install them personally.

Final Note

Are you looking for a partner that can provide the (latest house design) and help you find open houses to see before you make a decision? Contact Lancia Homes today: Our home specialists can arrange safe meetings and virtual home guides with the information you need.

Ten Reasons That Homeowners Love Open Floor Plans

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If you've been looking at new home designs and potential floor plans, you've no doubt come across a few open concept houses. It's a popular option that combine...

If you've been looking at new home designs and potential floor plans, you've no doubt come across a few open concept houses. It's a popular option that combines several important areas into one central location undivided by walls and doorways, such as an open kitchen and living room. This allows for more freedom of movement – but there are many other reasons that homebuyers look for open floor plans. Let's take a look at the advantages!

1. Open Floor Homes Feel Bigger

One issue with closed floor plans that have lots of walls is that the spaces can sometimes feel closed in, claustrophobic, and generally just smaller. An open floor looks and feels larger, which can make living in the home more comfortable. This is also why higher, vaulted ceilings are such a good fit for open floor plans and can add even more dimension to the area.

2. There's More Light and Airflow

When homeowners describe their modern open-concept kitchens and living rooms, they often use words like "airy" and "lighter." Without walls closing in different spaces, there is literally more room for light from windows to reflect and air to move around. That's why these spaces can feel freer, more friendly – and easier to control with a central thermostat. That brings us to another important benefit of open floor plans…

3. You Can Save Money on Energy Bills

These central, open locations are easier for HVAC systems to heat and cool compared to closed-off spaces where air can't move as freely. That means your heating and cooling units don't have to work as hard or as long to reach your desired temperature. Since heating and cooling take up the lion's share of your monthly energy bills, this can lead to savings compared to a more enclosed home.

4. There Are Many Open Floor Options

You aren't stuck with just one type of combined room open floor plan: Home designs allow for many different approaches. For example, a small open concept kitchen, dining, and living room plan may open up all these rooms so everyone can easily walk between them. However, those who prefer the kitchen to be more enclosed while they cook can choose plans that open up the living room and dining room in the same space but keep the kitchen more enclosed. Others that like a separate space for eating and entertaining can find plans that only open the kitchen and living room. Plus, there are many compromises like using counters, half-walls, and archways to add some space separation while still keeping things open!

5. It's a Great Space for Entertaining

Designs like ranch style house plans with open floor plan are also perfect spots for entertaining larger groups. With the kitchen so available, it's easy to create and serve snacks or get additional supplies. Groups of people can easily find each other, communicate across larger distances, and move around to spots they like, too.

6. It's Easier to Keep an Eye on the Kids

Parents often love floor plans with an open kitchen and living room because it allows them to watch over kid-related activity while they are busy working on dinner or having conversations with other adults. That makes an open floor plan a great home for hosting playdates or letting kids play in the living room. In fact, this is one of the often-cited reasons that open floor plans became popular during the mid-20th century.

7. Homes Become More Multifunctional

So far, we've been talking about specific room types that are combined under open floor plans, like kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. But it isn't necessary to define spaces like this with an open plan. For example, typical open concept ranch floor plans have spaces that can be used as recreation "rooms," corners that can serve as home offices, spaces that can be dedicated to gaming or sports, and so on. This inherent flexibility also allows owners to switch the purpose of spaces on the fly, like moving the dining area for a party.

8. You Can Enjoy More of Your Home's Assets

Open floor plans draw the eye to beams, wall colors, floor materials, and other assets around the home. That's very rewarding for homeowners that have chosen stone tiles, wood tones, specific wall colors, or other beautiful materials. It also makes it easier to plan specific focal points when you are making décor choices.

9. It Works Better with Outdoor Spaces

Do you like the idea of a home with decks or patios that you can use for hosting events, playing games, or just enjoying a sunny afternoon? Open floor concepts pair particularly well with frequently-used outdoor spaces. It makes it much easier to move from indoors to outside – like from the kitchen to an outdoor area to serve food or collect plates, or to bring toys back to the living room after playing.

10. Better Real Estate Values

Finally, open floor plans have been proven to add value to a home if the time ever comes to think about selling. They may a great first impression for potential homebuyers and are easier for people to plan around when thinking about purchasing a house. They're also associated with more modern designs that people may be looking for. That's why an open floor plan can increase a home's market value by more than 7%.

At Lancia Homes, we have plenty of experience designing open floor plans for all kinds of houses. Contact us today to learn more about these concepts, find open house models to explore, or set up a Zoom meeting to discuss your plans in more detail!

How To Choose the Best Neighborhood for Your Family

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If your family is considering a big move, you may be wondering how to tell if a neighborhood is good or not – for all of you. The best method is by asking the ...

If your family is considering a big move, you may be wondering how to tell if a neighborhood is good or not – for all of you. The best method is by asking the right questions. Let's take a look at what every family should consider as they start visiting neighborhoods and new developments.

Cost of Living and Real Estate Realities

First things first: Cost of living can vary significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood, even if they are only a couple of miles from each other. Start any new home search by considering your budget, means to purchase, and what you can afford when it comes to monthly fees. This is especially true for families who are looking at rental opportunities, but is also helpful when calculating a mortgage, etc.

Look at Local School Options

If you are wondering how to choose the right neighborhood for your growing family, start with looking at school options. If your children are on the younger side, look at elementary schools, what features and academic options they offer, and where they are: The perfect neighborhood for your family may be just a safe walk or bike ride away from an elementary school that you love.

As kids grow older, they are generally automatically assigned a high school based on their school district and the specific zone they live in. It's important to check what high school that would be, what features it has, and where it sits in rankings and performance metrics like graduation percentages, test scores, etc.

Nearby Recreation and Entertainment

Always take a minute and ask, "What are the good things in my neighborhood that everyone enjoys? Which of these fun features would we miss the most when moving?"

If your family loves playing in the park, take a drive around to nearby parks and see how they fit with your plans. If they prefer skateboarding, basketball, or other sports, look for the appropriate parks with these amenities. Or perhaps a home close to a river or lake is important to you. You may also want to consider what kind of grocery stores or gas stations are nearby.

Don't forget about entertainment, too: Is there the sort of dining and cuisine nearby that you enjoy? How close is the nearest movie theater? Are there fun shopping experiences nearby? If you have a dog, you'll want to find things to do in the neighborhood for your furry friend too, like visiting local dog parks or walking routes.

This is always a good time to consider neighborhood safety: you can find a variety of safety tools online to look up specific neighborhoods and get ideas about crime rates and more.

Commuting Factors

Many families look for a new home after they already have a new job set up – in this case, you know where you'll be working, so take time to think about the commute if necessary. Do you mind driving a certain distance to your job? Are there public transportation options for easy access to the workplace? If you're a cyclist, think about whether you'd like a neighborhood that's close enough to bike to work.

If you are working from home, you can think about if you'd like any cafes or collaborative spaces within a short distance to help you find additional pleasant work environments.

Know the Noise Levels of the Area

Almost everyone seems to have a horror story about a noise issue in places they once lived, from overhead planes at all hours to partying college kids on the other side of the street. One issue that homebuyers have is that it's difficult to diagnose any noise issues with a single visit to a property – but there are alternative ways to find out.

If you find a property or neighborhood you are particularly interested in, make an effort to visit several times at different times of the day – something noise levels at the early morning or late at night can be very different than the middle of the day. Look for any signs that noise may pick up at certain times, such as nearby bars and pubs, sport venues, and similar places. When in doubt, you can always look for a friendly neighbor to ask, or see if you can hop on a social app like Nextdoor to ask for more information on types of neighborhoods.

Remember to Consider HOAs

HOAs, or Homeowners Associations, are a divisive topic! But they are also a common feature of neighborhoods and need to be considered when finding the right community for your family. For some people, the idea of the perfect neighbor is someone who leaves them alone and allows them to landscape, decorate, and modify as they see fit – which means it's a good idea to look for a neighborhood without an HOA or with an HOA that has been recently disbanded.

Others may prefer an Association that maintains a certain amount of order and control over how houses look, where trailers can be parked, and a variety of other details. Check if there is an HOA, and carefully read its guidelines if there is one.

Find the Perfect House

Finally, what makes a perfect community is often the perfect house: We encourage you to explore new developments with the latest home designs, and ongoing lot construction that allows you to make plans for the future if you prefer to take things slow. Think about how much yard space you need, whether you like a one-story or two-story home, and what sort of amenities are must-haves for your family.

Lancia Home offers a variety of options for seeing our newest developments, designing a home, and buying a house once you've found the right spot. We also offer Zoom Meetings and tours for those who prefer to do remote research at this time!

How to Decorate With Pantone's 2021 Colors of the Year

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Whether inside or outside, choosing paint colors for your home is a decision that will affect not only your home's appearance, but also how you approach interior de...

Whether inside or outside, choosing paint colors for your home is a decision that will affect not only your home's appearance, but also how you approach interior decorating. When you're building a custom home or renovating a house that has already been built, it's important to decide on a color scheme that you can use to choose furniture, wall hangings, rugs, and other interior decorating elements that complement these colors and add cohesion to your home.

For more than 20 years, Pantone's "Color of the Year" announcement has been a hallmark event that helps define color trends for interior design and other design processes. When you choose your color scheme using the colors and tints from a single paint manufacturer, you can use their matching tools and other resources to make sure your paint colors, contrast walls, and other visual elements are a visual and aesthetic fit with one another.

With the announcement of Pantone's Colors of the Year for 2021, here's a guide to using these colors—or other colors and tints of your choice—to beautify your home and brighten your living space.

Traditional Living Room Ideas for Choosing a Color Scheme

When choosing the colors to paint in your home's interior, you can base your decisions on a few different concepts or source of inspiration. Common approaches to choosing a color scheme include:

  • Picking colors that complement your furniture. If you already have furniture you love and plan to keep, you will want to choose interior paint colors to complement these pieces, rather than creating a color clash.
  • Creating contrast between multiple visual elements. Whether you choose an accent wall or want interior paint colors that complement and enhance the appearance of a fireplace, wainscoting or other design element, the paint colors you choose can help add structure and contrast to a room.
  • Making a room feel larger—or smaller. In general, brighter colors reflect more light and create the appearance of a larger room, while darker colors can create a stronger sense of intimacy. Choosing lights and darks can also help create stunning contrasts with other interior design elements in your home.
  • Picking colors that evoke a specific emotional response. Your color choices affect the aesthetic of a room, which can affect your mood and how you choose to spend time in that room. There's a big difference between a room painted cornflower blue and one painted burnt orange. Although this criteria can seem abstract, it's important to paint your home in colors that evoke the emotions or "feel" you want for those interior spaces.

Top Pantone Color Trends of 2021

While Pantone has made a tradition out of naming a trend-setting color of the year for more than 20 years, the company's 2021 distinction has been given to two colors that each make a bold statement independently, but also work beautifully as a two-color scheme.

Pantone's Illuminating color 13-0647 and Ultimate Gray color 17-5104 have been selected to share the distinction as the 2021 Color of the Year from the Pantone color collection. Illuminating was chosen for its bright, cheery yellow hue, which graces interior spaces with warmth and energy without overwhelming your visual senses. Ultimate Gray, meanwhile, harnesses the versatility and dependability of gray color hues while evoking natural textures and objects such as pebbles from the beach.

Together, these colors provide consistency in their tinting and a soft, elegant color scheme that can beautify a number of different interior spaces. Whether you use Illuminating to complement Ultimate Gray or vice versa, this color scheme's versatility is perfect for homes in 2021.

Pantone's Color of the Year History

Every year, Pantone chooses a Color of the Year that becomes highly influential across numerous industries, including not just interior design but also fashion, graphic design, and industrial design. Each color is chosen through a qualitative process that involves trend analysis across a number of different artistic and entertainment fields.

From seasonal trends forecasts to color psychology to social media, the process of choosing Pantone's Color of the Year is both rigorous and globe-spanning. The end result is a dynamic color choice that helps shape fashion, design and art in the year ahead.

Incorporating Pantone's Color of the Year Into Your Home Décor

If you're interested in using Pantone's Colors of the Year in your own interior design scheme, you have several options for incorporating these colors and creating cohesion in your design scheme. When building your own custom home, for example, you can identify these colors as your preferred base color scheme when designing your new home. An interior designer, if you choose to work with one, can help you align your furniture and home décor with these colors.

If you want to decorate with bright Pantone colors that aren't a good match with the company's Colors of the Year, you can use the company's swatch cards, color guides, and even its color consulting services to identify the perfect color scheme to create the interior living spaces you've always dreamed of.

Pantone's Color of the Year isn't just a trend-setting design event worth following. It can also help influence important design decisions as you plan or renovate your home's interior spaces, bringing you comfort and joy for years to come.

 

10 Ways to Add Instant Curb Appeal

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Are you interested in curb appeal that adds instant value to your house? Are you wondering how to add depth to a flat front house? These curb upgrade ideas are the ...

Are you interested in curb appeal that adds instant value to your house? Are you wondering how to add depth to a flat front house? These curb upgrade ideas are the effective solutions you need – take a look and see what front-home upgrades will work best with your plans.

1. Make Sure the Roof is Clean and Stain-Free

When potential buyers pull up to your house, what's one of the first things they notice? Your roof is large, very visible, and easy to see at a distance before other details become clear. That's why it's an important focal point for house fronts, and deserves plenty of attention.

If your roof has any moss growing on it, it's time to clean it off – moss, needle piles, and similar growths can make a roof look worn down and in need of repair, plus raising the potential for moisture damage. If there are any shingles missing, arrange to have them replaced. If there are stains on your roof caused by spreading algae or other problems, talk to a roofer about cleaning these spots as well: Roof cleaning formulas are designed to help remove stains like these and restore your rooftop's appearance for an instant curb appeal upgrade.

2. Clean Up Shrubs and Tree Branches to Reveal Your House

Overgrown shrubs, bushes, and trees could be hiding your house. Trim those shrubs down and clean up your trees to help improve the view and give your front yard new life.

Sometimes, trees or shrubs could be blocking important aspects of your house, like beautiful windows, a welcoming view of the backyard, or a porch feature. If they are too close to the walls or roof of the house, they could also be fire hazards.

In these cases, it may be a smart move to remove the shrub or tree altogether. If you are looking for colonial home landscaping ideas, this is an even better idea, as it really helps those beautiful white columns to stand out on their own.

3. Choose Vivid Colors for Your Front Door and Accents

One of the best ways of adding character to a plain house exterior is to rethink your door and trim. Modern curb appeal favors doors with bold, bright colors like red, orange, pink, and blue. This highlights the entrance to your home while complementing nearby colors – plus, it's a very affordable project compared to the impact it has. Once you have picked a color, think about using that for other accents around your entrance, too.

4. Add Planters, Pots, and Décor to Your Porch

Looking for landscaping ideas for the front of your house with a porch? Give it some life with hanging planters, flower boxes, pots, and more. This provides plenty of opportunities to plant flowers, vines, or potted shrubs that can transform the entrance of the house. Pick plants according to your climate, and don't be afraid to stick to evergreens if you don't want to wait for perennials to go into bloom.

If your porch is largely empty, brighten it up with outdoor seating like a wicker sofa or other seating. From there, it's much easier to add other décor like a weather-resistant throw, wall art for a blank space by your door, a welcoming wreath, a charming doormat…and more. Before you know it, you'll have turned your porch into one of the most inviting areas in your home!

5. Install Cozy Landscape Lighting

Decorating the front of your house isn't just about plants and colors – lighting is also an important factor, especially for anyone seeing your house as evening sets in. Look for beautiful low-voltage or solar-powered lighting options for your porch, the patio in front of your house, your walkway, and nearby flower bds. There are some stunning lantern-style landscape lights that will really help wow visitors, along with more subtle lights for accents or safety.

6. Tidy Up Those Flower Beds

We've mentioned front yard flower beds a couple of times, but now we want to emphasize them: These eye-catching flower beds are another important focal point and deserve plenty of care. Clean out deadheads, take out any weeds, and sharpen up the borders to ensure they look stunning. A new layer of mulch, bark, or soil can also drastically improve flower bed appearance, as can new borders of brick or stone.

7. Reinvent Your Mailbox

Your mailbox may be one of the first things newcomers see. If your mailbox feels a little boring, it's time to spruce it up: Look for a charming new mailbox, or give your old box a new coat of paint that matches your home. Decorate it with a small garden, water feature, or other simple landscaping. This is also a great time to think about upgrading your house number materials if you have the time!

8. Clean Your Exterior Walls and Walkways

Over time, dust and grime can build up on walls, pavement, and stones around your house. A pressure-washing session is a great way to clean and brighten all these areas, removing years of dirt while providing a fresh, clean look.

9. Add Fencing to Unsightly Areas

Sometimes the front of a home has problem spots, like an outdoor AC unit, or the place where you keep trash cans, etc. Affordable fencing, panels, and even fake hedges are easy ways to hide these zones while still giving them the clearance they need.

10. Install Smart Security

Not all curb appeal is just about decoration. Visitors especially homebuyers will also be impressed by technology – if they see a video doorbell installed or a smart security cam on the porch, they'll know the home is protected with the latest tech. That counts for a lot to those looking for value-adding features!

Looking for new ideas, or considering home designs? Take a minute to chat with us at Lancia Homes! We are happy to answer questions and help you find the right plans.

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Dream Kitchen

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Do you want to make sure a new home has the perfect kitchen? Then it's time to start planning. Our quick guide will help you think about your dream kitchen and what features are an a...

Do you want to make sure a new home has the perfect kitchen? Then it's time to start planning. Our quick guide will help you think about your dream kitchen and what features are an absolute must: Then we can help you make it a reality! Here's where to begin.

Starting Steps

Begin with the basics! Find some excellent kitchen inspo online or from houses that you love, and make plans for your own kitchen remodel. This is the time to form clear ideas about what you want. Are there particular colors or accents you want in your new kitchen? Is there a particularly important goal, like an open kitchen or the perfect cabinets? Note your priorities and you'll have a place to begin! If you aren't sure where to start, try visiting model kitchens to get some inspiration.

Islands, Peninsulas, and More

Full kitchen plans start by considering your layout. How do you want to move around the kitchen? Where do you want key points like the oven range, sink, or a seating area? Traditional kitchen ideas includes several very common layouts, including "U" and "L" shaped kitchens with pleasantly open layouts. There are also Island kitchens with a block in the middle for seating, storage, or other dedicated tasks, as well as Peninsula designs where the seating area is connected to the kitchen as a whole.

It can be helpful to make some sketches, carefully measure your kitchen space, and even use virtual kitchen tools to help find the right layout for you. Later in the process, a designer can help you make more detailed plans about how layout changes will work.

Choosing Cabinets

Many traditional kitchen remodel ideas include rethinking your cabinets. Fortunately, there are many different cabinet designs and you have all kinds of options. Nearly any kind of wood tone can work for cabinets in the kitchen, including dark woods that can be offset by brighter walls and counters. Glass cabinets are an option in specific places for showing off décor as well! Others may prefer to paint their cabinets to add more color to the room or follow a color scheme that carries over to the rest of the house. Stripping and refinishing cabinets is a popular choice for all kinds of kitchen makeovers, or you can choose new designer cabinets with all the features and space you want.

Whatever you decide, we do recommend a durable finish, as kitchen cabinets see a lot of use over time. The kitchen cabinets design layout should also address issues like easy access, handles that match your other kitchen accents, and any important childproofing measures.

Countertops

Much like cabinets, you have a host of countertop options to explore. In general, popular counters are easy to clean, pair well with cabinets, and aren't too "busy" but rather offer a clean appearance that makes it easy to spot any dirt. Tiles of all kinds are popular, including ceramic, granite, and quartz marble is also an option but can stain more easily. Slab countertops are a beautiful, albeit more expensive, option that requires professional installation. Butcher block, concrete, and stainless steel counters are also becoming more common, so there are many ways to get creative!

When thinking about counters, plan out your backsplash as well, whether you want it to be the same material or offer a different look. Backsplashes should pair well with both cabinets and counters.

Dream Kitchen Designs for Flooring

Does your kitchen deserve a flooring upgrade? Tile floors offer many beautiful natural stone options and are easy to clean, while vinyl floors come in many design options and are an easy way to save money – it's no wonder these are the two common choices. Sometimes wood flooring can also help create a warm, inviting kitchen, but it's important to avoid the possibility of water damage.

Always talk with a designer or remodeler about your flooring plans. Sometimes subflooring changes need to be made when switching to a new floor material.

Finding a Sink You Love

The sink is a core part of your kitchen: Is this fixture everything you want it to be? Would you prefer a larger sink, an extra basin, a built-in soap station, or a faucet that does a little more? Maybe it's time for a garbage disposal, or a smarter faucet with touch controls? If you're interested, start looking at new sink models to find what you like.

The Right Lighting

Lighting should always be present over where people in the kitchen are working or eating. Both hanging pendant lighting and recessed floodlights are popular for this reason. New pendant lighting may be an important part of your remodel if you are changing your kitchen layout! Also consider adding under-counter lighting for extra visibility if that's something you'd appreciate.

Working with a Remodel Expert

Whether you are planning a total overhaul for your kitchen or looking for a new home that gets the kitchen just right, you need a remodeler that can help you make the right decisions and complete the project in a way that works for you. Lancia Homes is happy to work with you from design to the final steps: If you are planning your dream kitchen on a new home, we'll help you get it just right! We also offer virtual meetings and online resources you can use when making your decisions.

How Home Automation Works

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If you take a walk through a recently built home, you'll likely see a number of built-in appliances and devices that feature intelligent home technology. Smart...

If you take a walk through a recently built home, you'll likely see a number of built-in appliances and devices that feature intelligent home technology. Smart home solutions have soared in popularity as consumers discover the benefits of having thermostats, washing machines, garage doors, light switches, and even window blinds connected to, and controlled through, Bluetooth and WiFi connections to your smartphone.

If you're currently building a custom home, you have an opportunity to outfit your residence with all the latest smart home technology—and to save on installation costs by adding these features during the construction phase. Curious about the benefits of integrating automation products into your home? Here's a quick guide to

What Does a Modern Smart Home Look Like?

As you customize your home with smart home devices, the smart home design you choose will be the product of your own preferences and sensibilities when it comes to smart technology. You might value certain automation devices more than others, which can affect where and how smart technology is integrated into your home.

In some cases, you might also have reservations about implementing certain types of smart technology out of a fear that this technology might create privacy issues. While the decision is ultimately on the shoulders of each homeowner, common smart devices found in modern homes include:

  • Smart thermostats.
  • Smart locks.
  • Video doorbells.
  • Smart lights.
  • Virtual assistants.
  • Window blinds.
  • Garage door openers.
  • Security systems.
  • Smart appliances.

Whether you choose some of these smart devices, all of the above, or additional devices not featured on this list, the most important thing is that you invest in smart solutions that will improve the quality of your in-home living.

Smart Home Essentials: Where to Start

Rather than outfitting your home with the full range of smart devices just for the sake of embracing modern upgrades, it's sometimes helpful to identify the most attractive automation solutions based on the perceived value they offer to your living experience.

For example, smart garage door openers may be particularly valued by homeowners with a habit of leaving their garage door open, which can serve as an open invitation for burglars. With a mobile-connected garage door, you can check your phone to see if you closed the door when leaving—and even close it with the push of a button.

Similarly, smart key locks—including pin-pad locks and/or door locks that you can turn on and off remotely—can be particularly valuable for homes with a lot of people coming and going. You can provide custom PIN codes to different individuals to track who is coming and going from your house, or even unlock your doors remotely if someone beats you home.

If you simply aren't familiar with the different smart home devices and the benefits they bring, it might help to visit a local retailer selling smart technology—or you can consult a home designer to learn more about these features.

How to Find the Best Home Automation Solutions

Since many smart home devices are relative newcomers to the retail space, some homeowners may be wary of investing in smart products they aren't familiar with—especially when accounting for security, performance features, and/or integrations with other technology. Here are some tips to help you choose home automation solutions that will deliver on their promised value:

  • Give preference to brands with a history in the smart home space. Established brands with a number of different smart home products have a longer track record of service, which can offer quality assurance when choosing the specific devices for your home.
  • Be mindful of tech integrations. Certain types of software may not integrate as easily with the software and devices from competing brands. Consumers who own and enjoy products from Amazon or Google, for example, may prefer to stick with these brands when possible, rather than buying across a number of brands and having to juggle multiple apps.
  • Consider the long-term costs of each device. In addition to buying the hardware, many automation devices will charge monthly or annual subscription fees for services such as live-streamed video, data storage, and other features that enhance the value of these devices. You will want to budget for these costs so you aren't surprised when the bills start to come.

Combining Home Automation and Security Solutions

One of the most significant types of smart home technology is the advent of WiFi-connected security solutions. These security systems offer a number of benefits to homeowners, such as the ability to fully customize security systems to a home's needs, and the ease of checking security cameras and sensor activity through your mobile device.

At the same time, WiFi-connected security systems could potentially be used to infiltrate your home and compromise your privacy. While these instances are rare, you should pay close attention to the security safeguards in place with any security system you choose. Encrypted data connections, two-factor authentication, and other security layers can significantly reduce the risk of a security breach, and giving you peace of mind as you take advantage of modern security systems equipped with smart technology.

While smart home living may be an adjustment for some, the ease of these automation tools can make it even easier to manage your home, improving your comfort and quality of living across many different aspects of day-to-day life.

Tips on How to Be a Good Neighbor

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When you buy a home, you're also investing yourself into the community where you live. Great schools, parks, roads, and nearby businesses aren't just good for resal...

When you buy a home, you're also investing yourself into the community where you live. Great schools, parks, roads, and nearby businesses aren't just good for resale value—they're also important to your quality of life.

The same is true for good neighbors. Even if you end up buying your dream home, your experience at your residence can become much more uncomfortable when you aren't on good terms with your neighbors. While you can't control who lives next to your home, you can control whether or not you're a good neighbor to those around you—and this can help foster a more friendly, welcoming, and community-minded environment.

Take an active role in cultivating the community you want to live in: read on for tips on how to become a good neighbor.

What Does it Mean to Be a Good Neighbor?

While every homeowner might have their own ideas about what makes a good, or even great, neighbor, certain characteristics are widely valued by most homeowners and residents no matter where you live.

In general, a good neighbor is considered to be someone who is mindful that they share a living space and a community with others. This means they make an effort to:

  • Keep their property clean. One of the chief responsibilities of a good neighbor is to make sure their lifestyle and property aren't infringing on the living experiences of those around them. Overflowing trash, littered front yards, debris spilling onto other properties and into the streets, and other messes that can attract rodents are some of the biggest no-nos when keeping your property tidy and respecting those around you.
  • Keep noise from their property to a respectable level, especially at night. Some neighborhoods have rules about when noisy gatherings can be held. But whether you're playing music or hosting a party, be mindful of the noise you're creating and how it might affect your neighbors.
  • Check in with neighbors before hosting parties or large gatherings. Parties bring noise, traffic congestion, and other disruptions to your neighborhood. While it's your right to host parties and gatherings within the limits of local ordinances, it doesn't hurt to give neighbors a heads-up so they can plan their own lives with those events in mind—especially in case your neighbors want to make plans to be away at that time.
  • Maintain a watchful eye for safety concerns that might affect other neighbors. Notifying neighbors of suspicious activity, including unknown individuals on a neighbors' property or even a wild animal that has been spotted in the area, helps keep your neighbors safe. While neighbors don't necessarily want you spying on their house, it's often appreciated when you notify neighbors that you've noticed something out of the ordinary—even if it's as simple as a garage door left over.

Importance of Having Good Neighbors

A friendly relationship with neighbors will make your life easier in your neighborhood. Strong relationships with neighbors offer much more than nearby friends to hang out with: it also gives you a resource you can lean on when you need your plants watered, your dog sat, or your house monitored while you're away.

Good relationships with neighbors can also help you settle disputes related to noise, parties, lawn care, and a number of other issues that can drive a wedge between neighbors with poor relationships. If you have kids, strong relationships with neighbors can expand your network of support and monitoring of your children, improving their safety in your community. And, if you ever decide to sell, you can brag about the great neighbors in your area—which may persuade some buyers to increase their bidding.

New Neighbor Etiquette: Tips to Welcome Recent Arrivals

When new neighbors move into your area, you have a great opportunity to demonstrate how to be respectful of your neighbors, and to impress upon those new arrivals the value of maintaining good relationships with other members of the community.

Here are some tips to successfully welcome new neighbors:

  • Make an effort to introduce yourself. New neighbors are likely bogged down with the demands of home ownership, and they might be overwhelmed with the prospect of making their own introductions. By taking the initiative and introducing yourself, you can help them integrate while showing your interest in building a good relationship.
  • Gather and share neighborhood contact info. New neighbors will be eager to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood. If possible, collect the names, numbers, email addresses and other key info of nearby neighbors, making it easy for them to reach out as needed.
  • Host an informal welcome party. Give your new neighbors time to settle in their home, but offer to host a casual outdoor get-together with some of the neighbors. This can help everyone break the ice, and it will reinforce the strong neighborhood bonds you've worked to build.

By modeling the kind of neighborly behavior you seek from others, you can help foster a stronger sense of community, and even demonstrate how those living around you can be a good neighbor in return. Adopt a positive mindset, and you may be surprised how your own behavior can shape the behavior of others.

Choosing the Best Front Door for Your New Home

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The joy of buying a custom-built home is getting to choose every feature and finish that goes into that house. But that can also be the struggle of

The joy of buying a custom-built home is getting to choose every feature and finish that goes into that house. But that can also be the struggle of custom-building a home: When you get to pick and choose everything you want, it's easy to get decision fatigue, or to become overwhelmed by your abundance of choices.

If you run into this problem when choosing a front door for your home, the best thing you can do is simplify your decision by choosing your door one feature at a time. To help you navigate this tough choice, we've broken down the process to help you narrow down your front door options.

Common Types of Front Doors

If your home is already built and you're only looking to replace your front door, you probably aren't looking to change your front entry with a dramatically different type of door. But when you're building a custom home, you're working with a clean slate—and a number of types of entry doors may be on the table.

Common front door designs include:

  • Traditional front door. While you have a lot of options regarding the material and design of the front door, a traditional door is the most common choice for a front entry, offering both convenience and affordability.
  • Oversized front doorway. Oversized front doors may be preferred for a number of reasons, especially if you want your home to be wheelchair accessible. Oversized doors also make a stronger impression from the street—particularly when they feature a bold paint color.
  • Double-door entries. A double-door approach is much more grand and won't leave people cramming themselves inside your front entry. This type of door can be very striking visually, and with proper installation it can still offer excellent insulation against extreme temps.
  • Custom designed doors. If your front entry is going to feature an unorthodox shape, such as an archway, you will likely need your front doors to be custom-made to fit the opening.

What's the Best Material for a Front Door?

After choosing the style of your front door, the next step is figuring out what that door will be made of. Each material option brings its own advantages and drawbacks to be considered when you make your decision. While the "best" material is often in the eye of the beholder, materials you may want to consider include:

  • Fiberglass. Fiberglass doors are durable and moderately priced, and they can be painted or stained. They also require minimal maintenance compared to other doors, although their practicality may cost you any fancy design flair.
  • Wood. Wood doors offer a quality of appearance that other materials can't match, and they're more easily repaired than fiberglass and steel when they become dented. However, they're also the most expensive type of door material, and wood doors require a lot more maintenance than other front door options for your home.
  • Steel. As the cheapest option, and one that offers great security and durability, steel is a very popular material for your front door. But their durability against weather tends to be less than other types of doors, and small dents and scratches are difficult to fix—and can lead to rust if they aren't touched up.
  • Glass. While glass is combined with one of the aforementioned materials, and typically functions as an accent material more than the primary front door coverage, you should decide whether you're comfortable with a front door that uses glass, and what your preferences are in terms of clear glass vs. frosted or other decorative glass types.

What are the Best Front Doors for Security?

If security matters a lot to you, you'll want to take this point of emphasis into account when choosing front door styles and materials. For example, glass-front doors are rarely the preferred option when home buyers and builders place a premium on security: the glass is too easy to break and gain entry into the home.

While steel and wood are typically viewed as the more secure materials, and a traditional front door is more secure than a double-door entry, keep in mind that a lot of different factors affect how secure your front door is, including the door frame itself and the door handles, bolts, locks and hinges used on your door. When prioritizing security, make sure all of these elements are supporting the security and structural integrity of whatever door you choose.

How to Choose a Door for Your Home

Ultimately, the choice of which quality front doors are right for your home comes down to a personal decision. Each homeowner must balance their personal style preferences with their budget, their existing door frame, and other criteria and constraints to choose the best entry doors for their situation.

Keep in mind, too, that the door itself is just one aspect of your front door's curb appeal. Paint color and front door decor also play key roles in beautifying your front entry.

If you're struggling to choose a front door for your new home, consult with a home designer to review your options, weigh the pros and cons of different doors you're considering, and settle on the best option that suits both your needs and your personal style.