Tag Archives: green building

The Changing “Shape” of New Homes. . .

Home sizes in the U.S. are declining. Is it because of recession, energy conservation or an aging population that wants to spend less time caring for homes?

The average square footage for new homes in the United States dropped signficantly in 2009 for the first time in nearly 30 years, according to figures just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

New homes in 2009 averaged 2,438 square feet, down from 2,519 square feet in 2008. The average peaked in 2007 at 2,521 square feet. American house sizes have been trending upward since averages were first calculated in 1973, when homes were an average of 1,660 square feet.

The Census figures show the trend in smaller homes visible in other ways. Only 36 percent of new homes in 2009 had four or more bedrooms, down from 40 percent the previous years and the lowest percentage since 1997. And, the number of single-story homes increased from 44 percent to 47 percent.

These trends seem to be confirmed at our Newport Cove waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes near Antioch where customer “hot buttons” are moving toward the quality rather than quantity of space, fewer bedrooms, ranch-style homes or – at minimum – first-floor masters, easy-care materials and energy-conserving construction.

The Rhino Challenge

How long would your carpet last in a rhinoceros cage?

If you like light-colored carpet, you may want to check into something new (and remarkable) in the carpet world: Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer. This stain-resistant carpet was used in a rhinoceros cage at the Birmingham Zoo for two weeks and – guess what – it survived!! As a custom home builder with decades of construction experience, we are quite skeptical when it comes to the many stain-resistant claims surrounding today’s carpets, but the Rhino Challenge convinced us.
At Newport Cove, our boating and watersport centered community on the Chain O’ Lakes, we are constantly on the lookout for easy-living products for our cottages and waterfront homes – products that will make your indoor/outdoor lifestyle more enjoyable. Who wants to come off your boat with a group of friends, go into your house and be anxious about – of all things – someone ruining the carpet?
So, red wine, sodas, barbeque sauce and all the other banes of white carpet beware: There now is a carpet that even a rhinoceros didn’t ruin. . . (And, incidentally, it is a “green” product, too.)