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Energy Efficiency: Is it Worth it?

It seems like the whole world is on a big “Go Green” kick these days and you may be wondering what all the hype is about, especially when it comes to your home. Is it worth it to transition all your home appliances over to “green,” energy efficient models? The answer is yes. Energy efficiency basically means doing more with less energy. When you use less energy, you save money on these costs. In the long run, by installing and implementing more energy efficient appliances and tools, you can cut your energy spendings by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year. As your custom home builder in New Jersey, Distinctive Domain is excited to show you a few ways you can begin transitioning to a more energy efficient lifestyle.

Energy Star Appliances

If you’ve seen the “Energy Star” emblem on some of the newer appliance models, this means that that product is just as good, if not better, than the standard models, but the energy they require is significantly less and can save you a bundle on energy costs. Upgrading old appliances may seem expensive, but the money an energy efficient model saves you may eventually pay for itself.

LED Light Bulbs

While these light bulbs are more expensive than iridescent and fluorescent light bulbs, the energy savings, in the end, is worth it. To give you an idea of the cost savings of one LED light bulb, by replacing a regular 60-watt bulb with an LED, you can save $130 in energy costs over the lifetime of that LED bulb. So while the initial cost of the LED bulb is more than a cheap fluorescent bulb, you will gain that cost back exponentially over time.

Insulation


Adding insulation to your walls and attic can help cut costs in your heating and cooling bills each month. Much of your home’s warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer escapes through thin walls and the roof of your home. By having insulation blown into these spaces, it seals air leaks and your heating and cooling units have to work less.

Energy Efficient Windows

Having old, leaky or single paned windows can decrease the energy efficiency of your home greatly. Newer windows with double panes, weather stripping, and even storm windows can ensure that minimal heat is lost through the windows during the winter.

Programmable Thermostats

If your home has a programmable thermostat, you can reduce heating and cooling costs during times of the day you don’t need it. For instance, when you are at work, asleep or away from home, by programming your thermostat to drop the temperature down 10 degrees, your heater or A/C units are not working to heat or cool the home unnecessarily when you are not there.

Let Distinctive Domain Help You Build Your Energy Efficient Home in New Jersey

Distinctive Domain is your design build experts when it comes to building energy efficient homes. Our team is a “green builder” and by implementing the most innovative energy efficient appliances and products, we can save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over the years. When you are looking for a custom home builder in New Jersey, look no further than Distinctive Domain to build the home of your dreams.

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Options for Your Kitchen Countertops

Your kitchen is one of the most trafficked rooms in your house. Why? The answer is simple. We like to eat, we like to cook and we like to socialize while we eat. Because eating is essential to living, a huge part of our culture and thus a large percentage of our daily time is spent in the kitchen either preparing food, cleaning up the food or eating food. Upgrading your kitchen is 100% worth it since it is one of the rooms most Americans spend the most time in. It may be difficult to select which countertops in your New Jersey kitchen remodel to use. The type of countertops you choose should be carefully considered as each has its pros and cons. Below are some of the most popular choices in countertop materials.

Laminate

Laminate is a popular option for countertops and usually the basic builder’s grade selection. It can be found in many colors and at a low cost, which gives it appeal if you are on a tight budget for your New Jersey kitchen remodel. The downside of laminate is that the seams are difficult to hide, it scratches easily and chips are impossible to repair.

Granite

Granite countertops are one of the most popular types of countertops and a great way to add value to your home. By replacing old laminate countertops, you instantly add value since granite is so durable and is scratch and heat resistant. It is a natural stone so because of that, it can be porous. Care should be taken with light colored granite as dark colored juices can stain it. A drawback to granite is it is expensive and can cost as much as $200 a square foot.

Quartz or Engineered Stone

This type of countertop is made of 93% quartz and 7% resin materials, making it non-porous and scratch resistant. It is not as heat resistant as granite however and trivets and hot pads are recommended for hot pans. This type of countertop, similar to granite, is also expensive but the long lasting durability can be seen as more of a home investment.

Tile

Tile countertops are unique, eclectic and add character to a kitchen. Depending on the type of tile, this can be an inexpensive option and easily done by resourceful homeowners who would like a challenging DIY project. Though it is heat-resistant, it is prone to chipping and the grout lines can be difficult to keep clean.

Soapstone

This rich, gray stone adds a homey feeling to any kitchen. It has a nice, smooth texture and handles scratches and heat well. It does require maintenance of mineral oil regularly and through the years the soapstone will darken. However, for those who appreciate this material, that only adds to the appeal. This countertop type can be a little pricey but is a beautiful addition to your New Jersey kitchen remodel.

The Perfect Countertop for Your New Jersey Custom Home

Distinctive Domain is excited to work with you on your new kitchen product and help you choose the perfect countertop for your lifestyle. As a design build team, we are there for every aspect of your home building experience. Contact us today to see how our design build team can help you get the home and kitchen of your dreams.

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How is Design-Build Different?

When you are looking to create the perfect home in Warren New Jersey, you need to contact us at Distinctive Domain. When you are looking for a Custom Home Builder in Warren New Jersey, we can help you create exactly what you want and need. In order to keep the costs low and create the home you want, we use an amazing process that we call design-build. With design-build, you have the flexibility to create your home the way you want.

The Design Build-Process

The first thing you will notice about our design-build process is that we are with you every step of the home building process. With Distinctive Domain, you only sign one contract. We take care of everything from the steps before your home is built to the last bit of touch up paint. Since you only sign one contract, we save you money. Other contractors make you sign a contract with the electricians, plumbers, carpet and tile installers, the HVAC technicians, and the drywall installers. Every time you sign a contract, you are paying someone to administer the contract. That is how we save you money. We use our team to build your home, and you only sign one contract with us.

We start with the design itself. You get to decide on a custom home design. Your new home revolves around your decisions. If you want a private bathroom for each bedroom or your own private library room, we can help you put it in your custom home design plan. During the design process, you get to choose everything you want for your new dream home. While you focus on the design, our team of experts goes to work getting all the necessary permits in place to build your home. We make certain to work with the city and inspectors. We make certain that everything is ready when construction starts.

When construction starts, we coordinate the time frames. We make certain that everything is in order and advances smoothly. This means that we can build your new home in less time than our competitors. With Distinctive Domain, your home will be built like clockwork. In addition, we use high-quality materials that will add value to your home and transform your home into something you can rely upon. Our work ethic will speak for itself.

You can Count on Your New Jersey Design-Build Team

When you are looking for a Warren, NJ Custom Home Builder that has your best interests in mind, you need the professionals with Distinctive Domain. You can count on us to deliver a custom home that meets your needs and fulfills your desires. The start of your dream home is only a phone call away. Call Distinctive Domain at 732-469-3227.

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Five Reasons to Use a Custom Home Builder

If you are in the market for a new home, you have probably spent time looking into neighborhoods of cookie cutter homes that were made in large tracts of production building. The idea of having a home that looks exactly most of the other homes on the street is not something you want. You want a custom home that has all of the things that you want in a home. Instead of spending you precious time looking through tons of used homes, you can have your new custom home built to your expectations, at an affordable cost. Here at Distinctive Domain we use our New Jersey design-build process that allows you to help design your perfect home, and then we build it. Here are five reasons why a custom home is right for you.

Home Building Versatility

  1. Customizable
    If you want a salon built into your home, we can do that. If you want a third car garage, walk in closets in all your bedrooms, or a mud room with a connected quarter bathroom, we can do it. Our design-build process allows you to make the changes to your floor plan that you want. Distinctive Domain can help you get the home of your dreams.
  2. Privacy
    In production home neighborhoods, you have probably noticed how many windows look into the windows of neighboring homes. When you build a custom, you can move windows away from neighbor sightlines. If you like more natural light, but don’t want you neighbors staring at you, we can install skylights. That is the nice thing about a custom home; you can design your home to your needs and desires.
  3. Affordability
    Our design-build method means we work with you from the design phase to the last bit of touch up paint. We save you money, because you only have to sign one contract with us. Because you don’t have sign multiple contracts with all the different contractors, we significantly reduce the administration costs. In addition, your home will keep its value because we use high quality materials. Building a custom home through us can be less expensive than buying a used home. Especially when you take repairs and maintenance into consideration.
  4. Lifestyle
    If you do a lot of entertaining, you can make certain your home has a lot of open space. Or maybe you have a large extended family and you need a dining room big enough to fit all of them. Perhaps you want a covered balcony where you can have a hammock and an amazing outdoor barbecue area. With Distinctive Domain, you are able to make any modification to the design of your home.
  5. Location
    Instead of settling on a used home, because you like the location, you can build the custom home of your dreams in the location you want. When you want the home of your dreams, you need Distinctive Domain.

Ready to Build Your New Jersey Custom Home?

The experienced design-build team at Distinctive Domain is ready to help! Our design-build process cuts out all of the middle-men so that you have a beautiful home that is completed in half the time at a fraction of the cost! We’ve been building homes for over 20 years and are always up to date on industry standards. We will be sure to help you achieve the home of your dreams through our relentless pursuit of excellence through design and top-rated materials. Your dream home is just a call away! 732-469-3227.

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Carpet and Hardwood: Where to Use Them

Picking out flooring for your home is an important decision. You want the flooring to match your color schemes and tastes, but it is important to install the right kinds of flooring in specific areas of your home. Carpet and hardwood are two very popular choices of flooring and when you are working with experienced Chatham, NJ custom home builders, we will carefully go over the types of flooring options, the cost, the quality and where they will go best.

Best Places for Carpet

Carpet is soft, warm and a great for sound absorption. Many homeowners love carpet in places such as bedrooms and TV rooms because it makes a room cozier and keeps the heat in. Getting out of bed and putting your feet on a cold, hard surface is a rude awakening in the morning. Carpet is comfy and also perfect for noise reduction, cutting the echo and noise in rooms. Choosing high-end carpet is in your best interest because though the initial cost is higher, it can last many years more. Low-end carpet has a 2-4 year life while high-end carpet if maintained well,l can last 10-15 years.

Worst Places for Carpet

One of the major drawbacks of carpet is keeping it clean. It soaks up fluids, accumulates bacteria and dirt and hangs onto odors. Cleaning carpets is a major job in compared to hard surface flooring that wipes up easily. That being said, kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms and laundry areas are the worst places you can put carpet. Anywhere there is water is a recipe for disaster when it comes to carpet. If carpets cannot dry out when water is spilled, they begin to mildew and mold.

Best Places for Hardwood

Hardwood is popular amongst homeowners and is a major selling point because of its luxuriousness. The expense can be a hard bite to chew, but its long lasting durability is worth it. It cleans well and does not harbor dust and allergens like carpet can. Hardwood is perfect for living rooms, dining rooms, hallways and many people like hardwood in the master bedroom for the elegant effect it has. A few throw rugs tastefully placed adds noise reduction and the necessary warmth to the room that hardwood lacks.

Worst Places for Hardwood

Hardwood is not suitable for every place in the house. Wood does not do well with water or liquids. Moisture can warp, discolor or damage hardwood thus it is not recommended for bathrooms or laundry areas. If you choose to put it in the kitchen, take great care. Hardwood is beautiful and classy in a kitchen but if a dishwasher or refrigerator were to leak, the repairs on that beautiful wood flooring could be costly. While tile is recommended most for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas, hardwood is possible in the kitchen with care.

Choosing the Best Flooring for Your Custom New Jersey Home

When looking for Chatham, NJ custom home builders, Distinctive Domain is excited to build your custom New Jersey home the way you want it. We help you select the perfect flooring for every area of your home and because we are a design build team, we also install it exactly the way you want. Let Distinctive Domain help you build your perfect New Jersey dream home!

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How to Childproof Your Home

Having a baby is one of the most joyous experiences in life and you would do anything in your power to protect that sweet, little one from harm. Unfortunately, many accidents and deaths involving children each year happen right in the home. Many of these potential accidents can be avoided by carefully childproofing your home. Childproofing basically means that you go through your home and remove or protect anything that could be hazardous. Figuring out what needs to be childproofed can be tricky however. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Cabinets Locks

When children are small, learning to crawl and figuring out that all these amazing cupboards and drawers open up at their level, this fascinates them. They want to get into these cabinets and pull everything out. Yet inside these cabinets house a variety of possible harm and danger such as household cleaners, sharp kitchen tools and things that could fall out and injure them. Cabinet locks on all drawers and cupboards prevents little fingers from finding toxic, sharp things.

Door Locks

Toddlers look at their parents and want to do everything they do and one of them includes opening doors. This can be a big problem when they get into rooms you don’t want them in, such as the bathroom. An even bigger problem is if they figure out how to open the door to the home. All it takes is a few seconds unnoticed and your toddler could escape.

Toilet Locks

For some strange reason, babies and toddlers love the toilet. Not only is it disgusting if they were to make a splash, it’s dangerous. The toilet is a drowning hazard. It only takes a few inches of water for a drowning accident to occur.

Electrical Cords and Outlets

220 volts of electricity within a child’s reach is terrifying. Putting plastic outlet covers on all outlets and keeping electrical cords out of your toddler’s reach will keep them safe. Never leave out electrical tools, electric hair tools, irons or any other electric item. Babies like to yank on those cords and if those items fall on the child, a grave injury could take place.

Secure Tall and Heavy Furniture

Securing heavy furniture to the wall with wall straps will prevent these items from falling on the child. Kids turn into monkeys when you are not looking and these straps keep the heavy furniture from hurting them.

Keep Cords to Window Blinds Out of Reach

Cord strangulation happens every year and to prevent this, never place a child’s bed or crib near a window, keep the cords short or use cordless blinds.

Building a Safer Home

When you have children, you want them to live in the safest environment possible. With Distinctive Domain, we build homes with children in mind and will assist you in designing and building a safe home for your children. Along with keeping choking hazards out of reach and gating off stairs, as a parent, there is much you can do to keep your children safe and that can start with the home you choose to build. When you are in search of a New Jersey custom home builder, Distinctive Domain is the best choice for the most beautiful, design build experience.

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