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Building a custom home is a once in a lifetime endeavor for most. Knowing the right questions to ask will help you choose the custom builder that can most effectively meet your expectations in producing the custom home you envision. This article provides a list of 15 relevant questions that you should ask a prospective home builder before you make your decision. Be prepared and informed and you will enjoy the construction process!

With the onset of spring, it is time for your home’s annual spring-cleaning.  It’s also a good time to give your home a check-up and do a little home maintenance to protect the value of your home and keep it operating efficiently.

Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves and other debris and are firmly attached with no newly sprung leaks.  Check to see that downspouts direct water away from the house's foundation and that underground drainage systems are flowing freely.  (Running water from a garden hose through the underground piping is a good method to test for blockage).

Inspect your foundation before the spring rains. Look for low areas where dirt may have settled near the foundation.  These areas might pool water during a heavy rain and direct water toward rather than away from the foundation.  Level any depressions by filling them with compacted soil. Tend to any other "ponding" areas around the yard, too, because after a hard rain, standing water can develop and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Check patio decking for, any sharp edges, splintered wood, or rotting wood and for rusting nails or nails that have become loose.  Be sure to check railings and stairs to confirm that they are structurally secure.  Inspect the wood for stains, discolorations, or warping and consider resealing the deck if necessary. Most deck-sealer manufacturers recommend resealing annually.   Check the finish of your deck and it’s resistance to moisture by pouring a little water on it; if the water beads up, you can probably wait until next spring to reseal your deck.

To help lower your energy bills and ensure that your HVAC system is running at its manufacturer-rated efficiency, schedule your HVAC contractor to give your air-conditioning system a tune-up.  He should inspect your system's condensate hose to make sure that it is draining properly and has not become clogged with mold and sediment.

Test your sump pump to make sure it is in good working order, and has a battery backup in place if necessary.  It is also a good time to look around the base of your water heater for evidence of rusting or leaking.  If water leakage or rust is found, the water heater should be replaced.  The average lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years.
Check your attic for any potential “critter” invasions during the cold winter months.  Also, inspect the underside of the roof and the attic insulation closely for any discoloration, deterioration or dirt stains, or other signs of leaking.

Your home is your greatest investment.  Routine maintenance is essential in protecting that investment.  While you’re into your spring cleaning, check for maintenance issues.  Detecting  possible problems early will minimize potential damages and save on the cost of repairs.

Have a wonderful spring!

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A custom home remodeling could provide you with that extra living space.  
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There are three major variables that must be considered when planning your custom home: budget, architectural style, and size. You may choose any two of these three variables, but the third variable will always be determined by the other two. If you need to adhere to a strict budget and you have a strong preference as to the architectural style, then the size of your home will be determined by the parameters these variables impose. If the architectural style is important to you and your needs dictate a minimum number of square feet, then your budget must be flexible enough to meet the requirements demanded by these choices. And, if your life style requirements dictate a minimum size for your home but you must adhere to a certain pre-determined budget, then you will need to be flexible as to the architectural style.

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For most, building a custom home is your greatest investment.  To keep your custom home in top condition, routine maintenance is essential.  It may have turned cold earlier than expected this year, but just a few days of warm weather before the holidays may still allow you time to prep your home for winter.  This article offers some great suggestions. 

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We strive to provide our homeowner's with a rewarding building experience while furnishing them with the custom home that meets all of their expectations.  Take a look and see what our homeowners have to say about us. 

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While unpacking boxes at our new location, I came across my old 1997 edition of the Uniform Residential Building Code.  It was a total of 74 pages in length.  The 2012 edition, which most municipalities are currently using, is 903 pages.  Can't wait for the new 2015 edition which will be adopted by most municipalities next year.  In addition to the new 2015 edition, there is reportedly a 300+ page supplemental book to explain the changes between the 2012 edition and the 2015 edition.
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Green building has become routine at Robert Montgomery Homes where we place emphasis on high-density insulation and sealing for air-infiltration, high efficiency HVAC systems, energy efficient lighting systems, Energy Star appliances and equipment, and, of course, the appropriate disposal of construction refuse. One of the most important aspects of being a “green” builder, however, has nothing to do with R-ratings, geothermal systems, or PV panels. A Robert Montgomery home is truly “green” due to the solid construction, enduring appeal and timeless character that insure it will be enjoyed for generations to come.

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Building a new custom home should be an exciting and fulfilling experience.  There's nothing like the feeling of seeing your ideas take form!
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