Category Archives: New Home Design

Start Planning Your New Home

Build Your Dream Home This Year

There is no better time to start planning your new home construction project. Whether you need more space for your family, custom features so family members can age in place, or want to put down roots in a new neighborhood, you can get things underway now and move into a house designed just how you want it by summer. Continue reading

A New House For Your New Family

Keep Children in Mind When Looking For a New Home

Tuesday Tips from a Pittsburgh Custom Home BuilderA new baby brings overwhelming feelings of joy — and sometimes an immediate yearning for more space. Whether you have already welcomed a new family member or are planning to have kids a few years down the road, there are lots of things to consider if you have decided to buy or build a new house.

Overall house size is usually tops on everyone’s list, and there is no question that it’s a biggie.  An extra bedroom or two will be helpful when grandparents come to visit or if one parent is working from home and needs extra office space.  But you should weigh more than just the number of bedrooms and total square footage in a house. Pay attention to features in the house that could affect your ability to keep an eye on your little one or make it harder for you to keep a fast-moving toddler out of trouble.

When you are searching for or designing a house, new or expectant parents might want to look for or include the following:

 

  • An enclosed room or another area on the first floor that can be used as a playroom when your kids are younger and a den or media room when they are older. Open floor plans are appealing as far as giving toddlers room to move around, but it’s good to have a safe spot for them if you need to step away for a moment.
  • Roomy garage or other storage space that makes it easy to store/hide larger kid toys and bikes.
  • Fenced in outdoor space that is free of safety hazards such as standing water and retaining walls that young children could climb.
  • Lots of flexible indoor storage for kids’ toys and other gear. Large closets are essential, but don’t forget about entryway closets and cubbies, laundry room storage, and window seats and other built-ins for fast clean-up in each room.
  • Placement of inside staircases, railings and loft spaces. Look at interior home design through the eyes of a crawling baby. Architectural features that are impossible to baby proof might not be worth the headache and worry, even though the baby/toddler phase seems to fly by.

Whether you are looking at an existing new home or shopping for a lot to build on, one of the best things to consider as far as suitability for your young family is how many other young families you see in the neighborhood. Seeing kids outside in strollers or on bikes means you and your children will not only enjoy the new house, but could make a lot of new friends.

What is a Custom Home?

What is a custom home? Paragon Pittsburgh BuildersCustom Does Not Always Mean “Custom”

Does it seem like everyone has artisan bread these days? Or artisan something. If you are looking to build your own home, you might find that the term “custom home” has become the artisan bread of the construction world – it is used very broadly and could mean any number of things.

Generally, there are three different types of new home building.

Production Homes

Also called tract houses, this type of development offers the least amount of choice for homebuyers. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you are easily overwhelmed. These builders may let you make minor changes to a set list of floor plans, but your house will end up looking very similar to others in the neighborhood.

Semi-Custom Homes

These homes also begin with a basic floor plan from the builder, and these builders allow you more flexibility to add a room or change a little bit. Buyers in these neighborhoods often appreciate the added choices they get, but these homes fall short of providing the truly unique neighborhood many buyers are looking for.

Custom Homes

A true custom home is all about choice, from the ground up.  A custom builder may show you some floorplans to get the creative juices flowing, but always lets you make as many changes as you like or start fresh with their architect and a clean sheet of paper. Many buyers choose a popular design and fully customize certain areas of the home but not others.  Either way, the Paragon process is designed to make buying a new home as easy and enjoyable as possible so that you can get the new home that has every little feature and detail that you dreamed about.  Working with a custom Pittsburgh home builder also gives you the opportunity to incorporate Energy Efficient or Green Building techniques, create accessible design elements or custom spaces to suit your religion, family size or even your favorite hobby, and with a good builder, design all of that in a way that is flexible so you home can adapt to your family’s needs in the future just as it does now.

Steps to New Home Construction

Steps to New Home ConstructionBuilding Your Dream Home?

Prepare for your new home build with these 6 steps

Building a new home can be exciting, exhilarating, overwhelming, and at times, unpredictable. You’ll need vision, focus and planning as well as a hefty dose of fortitude.

Thinking about building a house and need some tips to get started? Let’s go over some of the steps to help give you a general understanding of the process. Talk to your builder when it’s time to discuss specific processes for your custom build. Most of these steps can be handled by your builder, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your dream home. Be sure to choose your builder wisely.

Step 1 – Determine your budget

How much house can you afford? Financial and lender websites offer online calculators that do the math around monthly income versus expense and debt. But what is your personal preference? For personal, investment or lifestyle reasons – some opt to live beneath their means instead of within their means. No matter how you work the margins, discuss loan options and qualifying requirements with a custom home builder that will allow you to choose from multiple lenders.

Step 2 – Find a location and pick your lot

Location is so important! Not only does it determine property values, your family will most appreciate a home site that is close to work, favorite amenities, and the most desired school districts. You will also want to investigate zoning issues to uncover any proposed developments or upcoming projects in the area, as well as determine any restrictions you may face during the construction phase.

Step 3 – Enlist a team

Constructing a home takes a team of professionals. The ‘who’s who’ in home construction will likely include a developer (land), architect (plan), builder (construct), design consultant (stylize), construction manager (project manage), contractor (install), and inspector (approve). Select professionals that understand your goals and have a portfolio of work that complements your own needs and wants. Research custom home builders in your area, there are many that serve as a one point of contact that will help you through the process, often working with a list of architects and other professionals local to your area.

Step 4 – Decide on a blueprint

Start from scratch and sit down with an architect, purchase a pre-drawn plan from a reputable design firm, or opt for something in between the two and modify an existing plan to better suit your unique and specific needs. Consider your must-haves and don’t wants in advance, and make a list. The more you plan, the smoother the process will be once you break ground.

Step 5 – Stay sane through the build process

Building a new home is an involved process that can take 6 months to a year – sometimes longer, depending on the home size, design complexity, and even weather conditions. Having choices leads to the custom home that you love, but sometimes the decisions can feel overwhelming. Choose a custom home builder that can help you through the process every step of the way and help alleviate some of the stress.

Step 6 – Enjoy your new home!

Congratulations! Starting with an idea and the turn of a shovel, you created a home of your dreams. The new home build endeavor gave you stories to tell before you even moved in. You already have a special sentimental connection to this space. Settle in, enjoy and continue to make memories in only the way you can.

Bringing Home Baby

Baby Nursery Design Idea | Paragon Homes

Even if yours is only a “Royal Baby” in your own eyes, bringing home a new bundle of joy means making some modifications to your home. Preparing your home for a baby needn’t be too difficult or expensive, but there is planning and cost involved.

You’ll want to start thinking ahead – even if you aren’t pregnant yet, if you plan to be, you should consider your future kids when purchasing a new home. Will you have enough room in your house for children? Which room will be the nursery? Are you planning on more than one child? These are all things to think about when buying a home and starting a family.

Once you’ve chosen your home – and don’t worry, we can help you to custom-build one to suit your preferences and specifications — and picked out a room for your baby, get used to where the room is located within your home. You’ll be shuffling there half-asleep on many nights for feedings and other parental duties.

You’ll also get to do the fun stuff, like decorate! Pinterest has a lot of great ideas when it comes to DIY nurseries, from wall stencils to fun, unique themes and more. You’ll want to be sure not to overcrowd the nursery and have plenty of room for the essentials such a crib, changing table, bassinet, and rocking chair.  Another neat idea is to replace the regular door of the baby’s room with a screen door, to prevent pets and other kids from entering the nursery uninvited. A window shade will help to keep the light out.

You’ll need to have baby monitors and also baby-proof your home. Safety is of utmost importance when dealing with a baby or a young child, and there are many books out there to help you baby-proof your house.

Don’t forget about feeding time and diapers – all of these necessities from bottles to diapers are going to need to be there the second you arrive home with your newborn – and as you stock up, all of these items are going to need a place to live within your home. When building your Paragon home, be sure to consider lots of extra closets and storage space, especially if you plan on having a family!

Even though babies are tiny, they are a big undertaking…but one that reaps huge rewards for a lifetime to come.

 

~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

The Benefits Of Buying a New Custom-Built Home

Why should you consider buying a new home over an already lived-in house?

There are many benefits. With Paragon Homes, custom builders, you can design your dream home, the way you want it! You can choose based on your personal tastes and preferences, so that it will all be your own style. From hardware, to flooring, countertops, cabinets, and more, it will definitely reflect YOU.

In addition to decorative touches, you can choose the kind of floor plan that will suit you and your family. Moving into a pre-existing home means that you are stuck with whatever floor plan and layout is already in place – unless you want to invest time and money into doing home renovations, some of which can become major undertakings.

New homes – especially those built by Paragon – are more energy-efficient than older homes, so you’ll be saving on energy costs, up to 40% or more depending on the homes you are comparing. This can be especially important as we approach another Pittsburgh winter.

Appliances and air conditioning, heat, and windows will not need replaced as soon when buying brand-new. New houses have better indoor air quality, lower maintenance, and advanced designs. They also often feature the latest technology and the utmost in safety.

A brand-new house also means that your home will be under warranty, and will be fresh, clean, and all yours! You’ll have that new-home feel for much longer, and it will all reflect your dreams and your choices. The comfort, quality, and style will be a collaborative effort between you and Paragon – you won’t be living in someone ELSE’S dream home.

So why not create your dream luxury home today? Call Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com


~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations.

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Mild winter has Pittsburgh homeowners looking to synthetic ice

With area ski resorts closing early and Spring clearly here, many homeowners are considering synthetic ice to enjoy their winter activities year-round, especially in the Pittsburgh area. Paragon Homes checks out the hottest new thing in home sales, without melting the ice.

Synthetic Ice

In over 25 years as one of Pittsburgh’s best new home builders we have put some wild custom features in our luxury homes. There were 20 seat movie theaters complete with concessions stands and ticket booths, in Peters Township, homes overlooking the fairways of Nevillewood in Collier and multi story hot tub decks in Robinson but even in our homes that housed future Penguin coaches we never had the opportunity to install a skating rink.

Although synthetic ice has been in existence for 50 years, recent breakthroughs have now made it mimic natural ice better than ever before, up to 90% the glide factor of regular ice! Imagine lacing up the skates to get some extra stick work or sure up your form in goal regardless of the temperature outside.

So how does it work? Synthetic ice is made in individual panels made of a plastic polymer that link together to make a court. This way, an arena can be placed in a backyard or basement to suit any size. Now your son or daughter can practice their moves all year without time consuming and expensive trips to the ice rink.

Synthetic ice recently made headlines at the 31st Annual Duquesne Light Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show where a 2,000 square foot display was set up to show off the non-melting wonder. It created the most buzz out of the entire show and is clearly something this burgeoning hockey town is interested in bringing to their homes.

Custom homes as extravagant as these might not be for everyone and you don’t need to spend like a millionaire to afford a Paragon Home. Our new homes are designed to meet the needs of each and every home buyer that comes to one of our communities whether they are looking for the height of luxury or simply a well built energy efficient home at a great price. Each home buyer has the chance to meet with us and custom design their dream home be it modeled after a home from our vast library, a sketch of their own or an idea they saw in a new home magazine. You can have a new Paragon home starting as low as $300,000 in one of our communities or on you lot.

Whether you’re contacting us about synthetic ice rinks or just the best custom homes in Pittsburgh, the only place to go is Paragon Homes.

Paragon Homes has been building new homes in the Pittsburgh area for over 25 years. In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa. In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. Communities are currently available in Robinson, Collier, South Fayette and Peters as well as offsite or your lot.

 

“Greening” Your Custom Built Pittsburgh Home!

We are a builder who focuses on details. We make sure that your home is as efficient as it is marketed to be. At Paragon Homes, we only build a few homes per year and have a thorough system in place to ensure that your home is constructed as it is supposed to be, providing a level of supervision and customer service you just can’t find at a big builder. So if you’ve purchased one of our custom built homes, no worries – you’re already on your way to saving money and helping to green your home and the environment.

So, you’ve settled into your new custom built house in Pittsburgh.  You’ve decorated each room with your personal style, customized your outdoor living space, and even put up some seasonal décor. You and your family are settled in to your lovely new place of residence, and you start thinking: what else can you do to help make your home a “green” one?

No, we’re not talking about a paint job already! We are talking about simple tips to make your household an eco-friendly one!

  • Save water! Don’t waste water – monitor showers and other water-guzzling activities.
  • Recycle!  Many communities offer recycling pick-up, and if not, you can always gather recyclable goods to take to your local recycling facility on your own.
  • Clean green! Many cleaning product lines now carry “green” product selections – Green Works, Simple Green, Bio Green Clean, and  Martha Stewart Clean are just some examples of eco-friendly brands.
  • Try Upcycling! Pennsylvania native Danny Seo is a green living expert who comes up with crafty ideas for everyday living, including up-cycling, which involves restoring old products into chic new home accessories and housewares instead of throwing them away.
  • Watch the temperature! How high do you really need the heat? How low does that AC have to go? Not only will it save you on utility bills, but it is also a plus for the environment! In fact, Paragon Homes is proud to be an ENERGYSTAR partner. In fact, our most recent ENERGYSTAR home was rated as 15% more efficient than ENERGYSTAR standards, making it more that 30% more efficient than other homes.
  • Buy recycled paper and other recycled goods when possible.
  • Buy produce from local farmers and aim for all organic when possible.
  • Consider utilizing reusable shopping bags for your grocery runs.
  • Plant a tree! Or a few!

“Going green” doesn’t have to be an extreme lifestyle makeover. But, with a few tweaks, any home can be eco-friendly!

Energy efficient and green building technologies have progressed so significantly in recent years that our typical new homes can be 30 to 50 percent more efficient than homes built even a few years ago. Even better? Today, a net-zero home (one where your home literally makes as much or more energy than it consumes where you could actually have no utility bills) are a real – and affordable – possibility.

So, with Paragon, not only will you be doing the environment some good by “living green,” but you’ll also have the potential to save money on heating as the winter months grow cooler, with our energy-efficient homes.

 ~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

 

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations.



Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a blogger, aspiring author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh, Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, and one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011. She lives happily with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Invest in the Luxury of a Custom-Built Pittsburgh Area Home

Luxury.

By definition, luxury is

  1. Something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort, 
  2. Something expensive or hard to obtain, or 
  3. Sumptuous living or surroundings.

But luxury is more than that. It doesn’t have to be expensive or hard to obtain. It’s more than a dollar sign or a price tag – luxury is about living your best life, living your dream, being comfortable and content, and doing it YOUR way.

You can achieve all of this with Paragon Homes! We offer customizable choices – so whether your taste is high-end or a little more subdued, we have the home, and the options, for you.

Is your idea of “luxury” a walk-in closet? A granite countertop? A lush garden? Modern light fixtures? A winding staircase, a steam bath, or a bay window? Is your concept of luxury 1,500 square feet, or 8,000 square feet? Is it traditional and classic, chic and modern, or nostalgic and homey with a touch of whimsy? Whatever it is, luxury is what you want it to be. What makes you feel your best?

Comfort is luxury. Being true to yourself and your vision is luxury. Defining your own personal tastes in a cooperative fashion that allows you to be yourself and have the home of your dreams – now THAT is luxury….and that is something that Paragon is prepared to offer you.

Why choose Paragon Homes? It’s simple. Paragon gives you choices. We have a reputation to uphold and are proud of that fact. As Pittsburgh’s premier custom home builders, we can promise you that you’ll be getting unparalleled levels of craftsmanship, quality materials, great customer service, and outstanding attention to detail. We’ll work with you to achieve YOUR idea of luxury….no matter what it is!

Contact Paragon today, and let us help you obtain your dream home!

 

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years. Founded on the basis of outstanding customer service before, during and most importantly after construction they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in the region. In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations.

 


Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a blogger, aspiring author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010 and happily lives with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers! Ashley was recently honored as one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40.