Should I Build or Should I Buy?

As much as I hate to say it, for most people, buying is the way to go.  Right now, in my region, you can almost always buy something for less than it would cost to build exactly the same thing.  There are many reasons for that situation including increasingly high labor and material costs (not to mention a shortage of builders), changes in the code and zoning requirements, higher utility connections and impact fees and the natural inclination to include many upgrades in your new dream house.  I always recommend...

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Fire Safe, Fire Resistive, Fire Proof, What Does It All Mean?

I sit here breathing our smokey air and continuing to count my lucky stars that our local Cal-Fire folks have been doing an extraordinary job of putting out local fires.  As I meet with clients, the subject of how to make their new homes as safe from wildfires as possible always comes up.  Is it really possible to make your new home completely fire safe? I suppose it would be possible but it's not likely to be the home you want to live in the rest of the time.  Most of...

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How to Prepare For Your First Meeting With Your Designer

So you've found someone you'd like to work with on your new home design or remodeling project and you are going to meet to get started on the design. Now what? You may have already met with your designer just to get a feel for each other or you may have already provided some of these things, but let's pretend you're starting from scratch. Some of the items listed below may only apply to new homes while others may be more appropriate to remodeling projects so don't worry if something seems...

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What Does an Architect Do … and Do I Need One?

Everybody has an idea of what an architect does but most people aren't sure if they really need one for their new home or home renovation project. The answer, of course, is it depends. You are going to see that answer a lot in these blog posts. Since I'm located in California, my answers are based on what's required or typical in California but the answers will apply, in general, in most places. In California, only architects and engineers are considered licensed design professionals and only a licensed architect may use...

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