3 New Construction Services to Search for in Orlando Builders

Choosing a builder for your new construction home is challenging. An ideal builder values your investment and guarantees quality craftsmanship. So, research is necessary if you’re thinking about moving into a new construction home in the Orlando area. According to Zillow, Orlando’s median list price per square foot is $112, indicating a solid baseline cost for your new construction dream home. Begin your search for a builder by first comparing construction bids to this local price point.

Next, weigh builders by researching and matching their services with the needs of your ideal home. What does the builder specialize in and how do they provide the service? All homebuilders must follow new construction building codes, but not all builders provide special features such as green craftsmanship, buyer personalization and in-house lending services.

If you’re considering moving to the Orlando area, start your new home search by pursuing Orlando builders who provide all of the following services.

Green Craftsmanship

Eco-friendly homebuilding is an essential service to look for in a builder. Builders can save you utility expenses and reduce your home’s carbon footprint by using local, environmentally-friendly materials that minimize heating costs and electricity usage. Double pane windows and large volumes of insulation are only small-scale improvements. Search a builder’s website to see if their construction materials meet the national standard for energy efficiency, commonly referred to as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Eliminate builders from your search who don’t understand the need for sustainable home construction.


Locate builders who can help turn your dream home into a reality. A new construction home is no small investment, so take ownership and hire builders who encourage personalization. Experienced builders often have entire design services available to make a home distinctively yours. Focus your home search by talking with builders about the freedom you have in your home’s design. It’s your home, so explore available customization services to complete your vision.

Mortgage Service

Buying a new construction home is a lengthy process, and financing the home is a rather meticulous task for homebuyers. Well-established builders often have in-house mortgage services or strong ties to the best lenders in the area. Seek out builders who consider your financial needs so the final property isn’t over budget. Trusted builders understand your vision and financial situation and their partnered lenders are more likely to work with you on financing options.

Sift through Orlando’s many homebuilders by eliminating companies that don’t offer these three features in their new home construction. Each is an essential service to attaining a quality home built to last and remain efficient for both the environment and your wallet.

In a hurry to move to the Orlando area and can’t find the right builder? Consider available rentals in the Orlando area to give yourself more time to find the right builder to create your dream home.


*M/I Homes is proud to build all of our homes with our Whole Home standards.  All of our homes receive a HERS score and our homes are built with energy efficiency processes and products to help you save money and live comfortably.  You’ll love having the ability to personalize your home with the available options through our Design Center, with so many amazing choices.  We also make sure that you have a great experience by having M/I Financial available to help you with the financing of your home.  We work to get you the best rates while offering you the best service, or as some refer to is ias, a one stop shop for purchasing a new home!

**Guest Blogger Nick Elam of Zillow.  Nick is a Marketing Content Coordinator at Zillow.  He writes about local data topics, real estate, home improvements and interior design for the ZIllow blog and other Zillow partners.

Stepping into Spring: Spring Home Maintenance Tips!

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring (finally!).  If you’re like a lot of our homeowners, you’re probably wondering how you could be getting your home prepared for Spring?

Here is a quick list of recommendations that we have compiled to check off your list as you prepare your home for Spring!


Home Maintenance Tips:

1.  Replace smoke and fire alarm batteries, as well as carbon monoxide batteries

2.  Reinstall the freeze plug on your sump pump

3.  Inspect and touch-up interior and exterior paint.  Caulk to keep your home looking fresh and prevent any uninvited water intrusion

4.  Check drainage around the exterior of your home to ensure runoff of water

5.  Inspect your homes foundation for any water penetration

6.  Oil garage door(s)

7.  Check drain and flush the hot water tank to prevent any sediment from building up in the tank

8.  Maintain 3′ between your foundation of your home and tree shrubs, bushes, etc.

9.  Clean and adjust the humidifier on your furnace

10.  Inspect your A/C unit to ensure it is clean from any debris.  If needed – have someone come out to clean and service your unit.

11.  Check your hose faucets outside for any freeze damage.

12.  Fertilize your lawn to get it ready for the Spring and Summer seasons

13.  Clean out your gutters to ensure proper drainage

14.  Clean and repair your window screens to allow you to keep windows open in the Spring and Summer

15.  Clean decks, fences, driveways and any other outdoor surfaces from debris.  Use a power washer to make this job easier

These are just some recommendations that we have collected throughout the years!  Please feel free to share any suggestions that you have with us as well!


Smart Door Lock: A State-of-the-Art Security Feature for Your New Home

M/I Homes is proud to offer different Smart Door lock capabilities. One of our options is the Schlage Keypad Lock enabled by Nexia Home Intelligence. These locks allow you to control the locks directly from your phone. You can see what time the door is locked and unlocked using specific use codes. Need a neighbor to go let the dogs out? You can even give them their own specific code! This gives you the peace of mind to know exactly when family members are entering and exiting your home!

Aren’t familiar with Smart Locks? Check out the information written by Lillian Connors below to learn more about what to keep in mind when looking for Smart Door Locks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Smart Door Lock: A State-of-the-Art Security Feature for Your New Home

It has been years since we have been given a card instead of a traditional key in a city hotel. I still remember the moment of awkwardness when we could not make the elevator go to our floor even though we pushed each and every button, until someone noticed a card slot next to the floor digits. We quickly took on and easily opened the room door, but it took some time to figure out how to turn the lights on. Our laughter is something we remember even more, and the how we felt as a part of a Sci-Fi movie.

Nowadays, this is nothing unusual, innovations occur on a daily basis, we have a wide choice of electronic and smart door locks available and the market is ever growing. If this topic is still somewhat unfamiliar to you, you are at the right place. We prepared the essential information about smart door locks, to help you start your research and choose the right security feature for your new home.

Digital Technology

This is something you have to be familiar with if you wish to keep in touch with the latest developments happening around you. Naturally, the same applies to smart door locks. Knowing how to operate them and how to keep your privacy is a necessary precondition for fully functional use and safety. There are also locks that can be remotely controlled, as well as those that support WIFI network. Before getting a smart door lock, make sure you look into the digital technology that you need to support this system.

Operating Systems

Being digital, smart door locks work under operating systems, which, unfortunately do not have to be compatible and usually are quite the opposite. Therefore, if you wish to use your mobile or smart phone as a controller for the lock, make sure they use the same operating system, Android, Windows or Symbian, for example. The last thing you want is an installed lock you cannot use.


Basically, there are two types of installation. Usually, smart door locks are installed separately from the traditional locks; still, there are some that can be mounted on the existing door locks. Both are perfectly functional and the choice lays only in your preferences. Additionally, some of them even have digital display, allowing you to customize the welcoming note or even take pictures of your visitors.


Smart door locks are battery powered, which can sometimes be a downside, so you’ll want to make sure to pick a system that is easily charged or has additional external batteries.  You’d hate to have a situation where you had been away on business for a week; you have just arrived back home and find yourself outside your front door, unable to enter since the batteries on your Smart Lock had died out.  Not all of the systems are easy to deal with in such situations, and are not rare at all, claim the people who run a trusted 24hr locksmith service, so ensuring that you have a back up plan for the batteries dying will have you prepared for this type of situation.


**Lillian Connors is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast ever so keen on doing various DIY projects around her house and passionately writing about them. She is also an online marketing consultant, closely collaborating with a number of companies from all over the globe. You can check her out on G+Facebook and Twitter.


Top 10 Ways to Make Your Move Stress Free!

Moving is fun and exciting, but it can also be extremely stressful! There are so many moving pieces with getting your home and family ready to move, that it can often take the excitement out of moving.  However, there are always ways to help make your move stress free (or at least a bit less stressful).  Here are our top 10 suggestions to make your move “stress free”!

  1. Clean out –  Prior to packing, start going through your things and getting rid of anything you haven’t used in months (or scarier – years!). Don’t pack items that you know you’re going to get rid of once you move!  Start a box that can go to Godwill as soon as you know you’re going to be moving!
  2. Collect boxes –  Who said you should have to pay a fortune for moving boxes? Start collecting boxes from family and friends, the office, grocery stores, etc. Check your local websites (places like Craigslist, Facebook groups, etc) to see if people are giving away boxes or selling them for cheap. You’ll be happy you did when you start looking at the prices of boxes in your local stores.
  3. First Day Essentials –  Create a box of first day essentials (trust us you will thank us later). Make sure that this box gets put in your car, or is the first box that is unloaded off of the moving truck. Items such as: glass cleaner, antibacterial wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, scissors, markers, hammers, a shower curtain, paper plates, napkins, cups, first aid kid, etc. are all great items to put into your first day essentials. (You’re most likely going to sweat and there is nothing worse than wanting to go take a shower and realizing you don’t have a shower curtain – take our word for it!)
  4. Color code your rooms –  Assign each room in your new home a color. Utilize stickers to put on each box with those colors, helping you and your movers know where items need to be delivered come moving day. Put a list of all of the rooms and their associated color on the front door or garage door so that your moving team can know exactly where to drop them!
  5. Change of address -  As you receive mail at your current address, call companies to start switching your address information upon moving day. Make sure to leave forwarding information for neighbors and the new owners, just in case!
  6. Keep your clothes on hangers -  Take garage bags and cut holes in the bottom of them to put your hangers through. This will allow you to keep your clothes protected in the move, but organized as well. All you have to do is hang them up in your new closet!
  7. Use what you have -  Wrap your dishes and breakables in towels, blankets, sheets etc. You have to move those items anyways, why not save money from having to buy extra tissue paper or newspaper?
  8. Save your Receipts - Keep all of your moving receipts. Depending on your move (relocating for work) you might be able to write off some of those items on your tax returns!
  9. Arrange for Daycare / Childcare -  Arrange childcare the day of the move if you have children.  If you have pets check to see see if there is a local pet daycare that you might be able to use while moving your items in. With everyone coming and going from your home, it might be easy for someone to accidentally let your dog or cat out of the house.
  10. Label your electronics -  Don’t just start unplugging your computer cords and stuffing them in a box. Utilize labels to properly identify which cords go to what items. You can even use color coded labels (blue for the TV, green for your desktop computer, etc).

Have other suggestions for a stress free move? We would love to hear them!

3 Reasons to Replace Your Entry Door

Selling your home is a huge undertaking and let’s face it, with all of the possible updates and upgrades you can make to increase its value, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. For example, a simple facelift for your kitchen can spiral into a full-on remodel quicker than you can say “backsplash.”

There is, however, one project that all homeowners should consider before putting their house on the market: front door replacement. Well-chosen entry doors not only add crucial curb appeal and an added level of security, but they also provide the highest return on investment come selling time.

Here’s why you need to replace your front door:

Add Curb Appeal Curb appeal, or what potential buyers see when they first pull up to your house, is extremely important. It’s the first impression, and just like your appearance during a job interview, can make or break the deal immediately. There are hundreds of things you can do to enhance your home’s curb appeal, including landscaping, adding fencing, and upgrading your mailbox, but the biggest game-changer is replacing your front door, especially with one that is prefinished in an attractive wood grain print or vibrant, welcoming color.

You can add an exotic, high-end look to your home’s façade with a fiberglass door printed with wood grain, or modernize your home with an entry door in a rich shade of red or bright lime green.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Increase Security & Durability Aside from aesthetic appeal, one of the most important factors for homeowners in choosing a new front door is safety. While solid wood and steel doors are high on this list, there is a new option you should consider: prefinished fiberglass. One example is Masonite’s strong, five-layer AvantGuard® finish, which makes these doors high performance and low maintenance because they do not rot, they have UV-resistant topcoats, and each has a five year warranty.

Best Return on Investment Looks and security are great, but let’s get down to business. How much is replacing your front door going to cost and how much will you get back upon the sale of your home? According to Remodeling’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of entry door replacement is $1162 and homeowners recoup nearly all of the costs with an average return of 96.6%. This project outranks deck additions and minor kitchen remodels, which cost significantly more and only have returns of 87.4% and 82.7%, respectively.

Now that we’ve taken the guesswork out of entry door replacement, make sure you add it to your home selling to-do list!

**Sarah Kellner is a writer for The Home Depot. With a background in art and design, she writes on a wide variety of home improvement and real estate topics. To find the fiberglass entry doors mentioned in this article, visit the front doors pages at HomeDepot.com.



@mihomes via twitter

© Copyright 2012, M/I Homes, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 155 other followers