Category: New Home Design

June 1st, 2016

6 Year of Home Building Code Progress

Categories: Construction Industry News, Maplewood Homes, New Home Design |


Michigan Building Codes

New 2015 Michigan Building Codes


Congratulations to the code officials.  You win again – at the expense of the Michigan Home Buyer and the Michigan Economy.

The New 2015 Building Codes went into effect this year in February (2016).  As you can see, the new code book is roughly 1/2″ taller.

Raise your hand if you think this will make it easier or more affordable to build homes in Michigan.

These changes will make all new homes slightly better, and substantially costlier.  It doesn’t really hurt us too much because we’ve already been incorporating all of the new energy efficiency requirements.  It’s just another example of the over regulation of our economy, making it harder for young families and lower income families to own a home.

March 29th, 2016

6514 Alward Drive, Hudsonville Michigan

Categories: Grand Rapids Area New Homes, Hudsonville Michigan New Homes, Maplewood Homes, New Home Design |

6514 Alward Drive New Home Hudsonville


Currently under construction in Hudsonville, this 2-story home is our new “Jamestown” plan.  It features 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 3-car garage, plus a flex space on the main floor.  There is a daylight basement in the back.

July 6th, 2015

The Jamestown, New 2-Story Home Plan

Categories: Maplewood Homes, New Home Design, Uncategorized |

Maplewood New Home For Sale Jamestown 4-3-800

We have just added The Jamestown to our portfolio of home plans.  The Jamestown is 2-story, 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath new home plan.  Is features 2,285 sq ft of finished living space.  We can add a 3rd stall to the garage or make other changes to accommodate your lifestyle.  We would love to build one for you!

April 7th, 2015

Holland Home Expo is In The Books

Categories: Holland MI News and Notes, Holland MI Real Estate News, Maplewood Homes, New Home Design |

Our Booth at the Holland Michigan Home and garden Expo

Our Booth at the Holland Michigan Home and garden Expo

We broke out the old “Affordable Custom Builder” display for the recent Home and Garden Expo in Holland.  For years, this was our slogan and we still try to build the most value into our homes vs. other builders.  For 2015, we are refocusing on housing value and have launched a series of more affordable homes similar to what we used to build.  Not as fancy, but still great homes and more accessible to more west Michigan families!  Learn more about our new “Classic Series” homes here.

March 18th, 2015

Finding the Perfect Lot for Your New Home

Categories: Holland MI Real Estate News, Home Builder FAQ, Ludington Real Estate News, Maplewood Homes, New Home Design |

Which Lot is Right for You?

Which Lot is Right for You?

One area where we can add a lot of value as a home builder is by helping our clients find a good building site.  As a licensed real estate broker, I have full access to the Multiple Listing Service and all the vacant land currently for sale.  I also meet a lot of people and often hear about property that is not yet on the market.   Most builders are not real estate agents and most real estate agents are not builders.  By providing both, we can help you find a lot that works good from a builder’s viewpoint.  If you are looking to build a home in the Holland/Grand Rapids area, the Ludington area, or anywhere in between, we can help you find the perfect homesite.

June 9th, 2014

Another Advantage of New Homes – No Lead Based Paint Worries

Categories: Construction Industry News, Ludington Real Estate News, New Home Design |

Learned some interesting stats on Lead Based Paint at my most recent Builder’s Continuing Education Class.

  • Lead-based paint was banned in 1978.
  • 24% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 contain lead based paint.
  • 69% of homes built between 1940 and 1959 contain lead based paint.
  • And 87% of all homes built before 1940 contain lead based paint.


February 26th, 2014

Building a New Home: Gas vs. Wood Fireplace

Categories: New Home Design |

Gas Fireplace

One popular option in new homes is a fireplace, and often my clients will wonder if they’d rather have a real wood or gas.  I’ve lived in homes with both and there are advantages and draw backs to each.

Let’s start with gas or “gas-log” fireplace:  This is the most popular option because it offers so much simplicity in operation.  It will turn on with the flick of a switch and requires no wood pile.  It is clean and easy to operate and offers a great ambiance to the home.  You will find yourself using the fireplace more often because it is so convenient.  It is also less expensive and will have less code-related concerns during construction.

Now let’s look with a real wood fireplace:  The real wood fireplace is still preferred by many homeowners because of the look, smell, and sound of a real fire.  The gas fireplaces come close, but nothing can match the real thing.  Of course, this points out one of the drawbacks – you have a real fire inside your home!  When we build, we need to be careful to ensure proper shielding and spacing to combustible materials.  Also, you will need to start the fire each time, which makes having a fire a bigger project and typically less often enjoyed if you have a busy lifestyle.  You will also need to cut or buy firewood, and bringing the firewood into your home, which can bring in some mess and sometimes a few bugs.

I don’t actually have a recommendation for my new home building clients because it comes down to your own personal preferences.  I like to explain the advantages and disadvantages and let you decide.

January 21st, 2014

Building a New Home: Built In Appliances

Categories: New Home Design |

One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of builders and homeowners (especially on nicer homes) like to design the kitchen with built-in, high-end appliances.  I see this frequently during the parade of homes and other home tours I’ve taken.  Double wall ovens are especially popular right now!  I, of course, have a different opinion and I believe in using standard-sized appliances.  The reason is that the home and the kitchen will typically outlive the appliances.  Also, appliance preferences can be trendy with styles that come and go over the years.  If you plan to stay in your home, you will eventually be replacing the appliances and it will be much easier with standard-sized openings in the kitchen cabinetry.  I have seen homes where the appliance replacement required an entire kitchen remodel.

As always, though, it’s your home not mine!  And we would be delighted to design your kitchen exactly how you want it!

December 30th, 2013

Building a New Home: Lever Handle Door Knobs

Categories: New Home Design |

Lever Handle

We builders are always learning and I think that part of the value I bring to our clients is sharing my own personal experiences in the home building process.  I never thought that something as simple as a lever handle door knob would make me so happy. While moving into our new home, I couldn’t help but grin as I carried a heavy box up to the front door and nudged it open with my elbow.  Wow, that was easy – wish that I would thought of that sooner!  This is the fourth home I have build for myself and the first time I’ve lived with lever handles.  They are a little more expensive then regular knobs, so I don’t typically recommend them unless my homeowners specifically ask.  That is likely to change – just think how often you’re returning home with a carload of groceries to haul inside!  But for me, just moving in justified the investment.

October 7th, 2013

Water / Moisture Management in New Homes

Categories: New Home Design |

When you build a new home, you have a one-time, unique opportunity to ensure a dry basement and healthy indoor air.  By properly managing moisture, you will prevent mold, mildew, rot, and decay in the home for generations to come.

This topic could fill a book – and there are books on the subject – but I can simplify it here.

There are two main issues:  1) Keeping out water that is trying to get in; and 2) Removing water (usually water vapor) that is introduced into the home.

Maplewood Homes included features that keep water out of the homes we build:

Rubberized waterproof membrane on the foundation walls
4″ pea stone under concrete basement floor
Perimeter footing drain with sump crock
6 mil vapor barrier under concrete basement floor
Rain gutters with 5′ downspout extensions
30lb roof felt and 2 rows of ice and water shield at eaves
Special flashing at all windows
Sill pans under all entry doors

Maplewood Homes included features to manage water vapor inside the home:

Rigid foam insulation in foundation walls prevent moisture condensation on basement walls
Spray foam insulation in the band joist prevents moisture condensation at the floor system perimeter
Bath fans with insulated exhaust pipes
Range vent extends to outside of home
Mechanical air exchanger prevents moisture build-up of indoor air
Soffit and ridge vents prevent moisture build-up in attic spaces

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