The Manuel Builders Blog

 


Warranty Software

Categories: FAQs, Warranty | Posted: July 31, 2017

Your experience with our team at Manuel Builders does not end when you close on your home. We offer warranty services and a helpful online warranty software to aid in this process. Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to login to your homeowner portal and submit a new request.

  • First, open your internet browser and enter manuelbuilders.punchlistmanager.net
  • Here, you will be asked for a username and password. Your username will be the email address you have submitted to Manuel Builders.
    1. Homeowners logging in for the first time will need to create a password. To do this, enter your username, and then click the “Forgot your password” button located under the “Sign In” button.
    2. You will again be asked to enter your username, then click “Email reset link”. You will then need to open your email, find the reset password link sent to you, and follow the instructions on resetting your password.
    3. Once reset, use this new password in combination with your username to log into your homeowner portal.
  • This is the Dashboard of your homeowner service software portal. From here, you can do several things such as submit new warranty requests, view old requests, or even change your personal contact information.
  • To submit a new request, click the “Add New Request” to the left of the page.
  • Next, click the “Add new record” button.
    1. This will open up several drop down menus, in which you can pinpoint the area of your home, and category in which your problem lies.
    2. After selecting your drop down options, there is a text box in which you can add a brief description of your problem.
    3. After adding a brief description, you also have the option to attach a photo to your request. This button is located directly beneath the text box. This can be especially helpful if your request includes any physical damage to your home.
  • Once you have entered all of the necessary information, you will need to click “Save” in order to create this record of your warranty request.
  • The final step, once your warranty request is saved, is to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Submit your requests to be processed.” **If you forget this final step, your warranty request will stay saved in your portal, but not be sent to a Manuel Builders warranty representative.**
  • After you click submit, it may take several minutes to process your submission. There is no need to click submit again. Once clicked, simply let the software process for a few minutes, and your submission will be sent.
  • Once you have successfully submitted your request, you will be contacted by a Manuel Builders representative either by phone or email, within 48 hours of your request.

Every builder warrants the following to the owner (exclusions can apply):

  1. One year following the warranty commencement date, the home will be free from any defect due to noncompliance with the building standards or due to other defects in materials or workmanship not regulated by building standards.
  2.  Two years following the warranty commencement date, the plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling, and ventilating systems exclusive of any appliance, fixture, and equipment will be free from any defect due to noncompliance with the building standards or due to other defects in materials or workmanship not regulated by building standards.
  3. Five years following the warranty commencement date, the home will be free from major structural defects due to noncompliance with the building

If you have any further questions about how to use your warranty software or specific concerns of the warranty details listed in your New Home Warranty Act, please contact us so that we can better assist you!

 

Summertime Switch Up!

Categories: Community, Lifestyle | Posted: July 20, 2017

While the kids are out of school for the summer time, take the opportunity to put your heads together and switch up their bedrooms a bit with a fresh & updated look. They are growing which means their personalities and styles are evolving too! Whether they want a decked out Super Hero themed room or maybe something more sophisticated than what they had before, check out these helpful tips on how to accomplish it without spending all of your vacation money!

Add Some Color!

The easiest way to update your kids’ bedroom would be to add a splash of color to spruce up their space. Find out your kids’ favorite color(s) and shop for things that would be easy to switch out depending on what your child likes and what’s on-trend. One fun way to add color and personality into a room would be to print out photographic prints of your family. If you want the photos to compliment a certain color scheme – look for a background that would go well with the theme of your child’s room like a large colored wall, a park or beach, take a few pictures of your family and kids then hang them on the walls for instant fun and personalization!

Let Kids Express Their Style

Whether your child is just now getting into the toddler stages or if they’re not so little anymore, your child’s room should truly feel like their own space. If your little man is an adventurer, then hit the discount stores for a world globe and a fun tent for him to play in. For the bookworm in your family, display their favorite collection of books by installing easy shelving or hanging a wire magazine rack.  If your children love drawing and painting, you can hang a framed chalkboard on their wall so they can create new artwork to display every day!

Timeless Sophistication

In addition to letting your kids have their say in the design of their room, it’s just not practical to over-haul their entire room after they’ve grown out of a stage. Start your design with a general theme that can grow with your child. Go wild with themed accessories, frame and hang artwork, display favorite superheroes but the general design and the furniture should remain the same so you can avoid having to buy expensive furnishings every time your kiddo jumps from one stage to another.

Find Pieces Over Time

The day where kids’ furniture sets absolutely have to match are in the past. The trend today is to mix & match complimentary pieces with one another. Decorate their room with a doll your grandmother played with as a child or a chair that your father bought for you. Scour the antique shops for quality items that would go well with modern décor. Not only is it a great way to save, but it also develops a colorful and eclectic look, layering in the modern with the old. Yes, it takes time and patience but finding meaningful and beautiful pieces gives kids’ rooms character.

While your kids are growing, it’s important to find pieces that are going to grow with your children so you’re not always finding yourself back at the drawing board, revamping their space. Remember to keep it fun and share ideas with your children to create the perfect space!

Building a Home by Yourself

Categories: Building Process, FAQs | Posted: July 20, 2017

 

The first question that comes to mind when you have your own property is whether to self-build or choose to go with a professional home builder. It’s possible to be your own contractor and save money, but you need to first evaluate if you have the time, organizational skills, business expertise, and technical knowledge to get the job done. Or you need to be able and willing to hire the people you need to fill in the gaps in your knowledge to have full confidence that the work is done correctly, the first time.

Pros of being your own contractor

+If all goes according to plan, it can save you money.
+You maintain full control of the project which gives you a better chance of achieving your vision.
+If you hire excellent subcontractors, overall job quality will be great even if you are relatively inexperienced in the field.
+You have pride and satisfaction of designing and building your own home.

Cons of being your own contractor

+Actual savings are usually less than expected due to unanticipated expenses and cost overruns.
+The project will probably take more time and energy than you expect.
+The job will likely have more unexpected problems due to lack of experience.
+Quality of construction may suffer.
+You will be absorbing most of the risk for cost overruns, and for construction problems that occur during the job and after you move in. (In most cases, there will be no one to blame but yourself).
+Obtaining a construction loan may be difficult. 

Interested in being your own contractor, visit here to better understand what it takes and professional advice to help guide you through the process.

What are your hidden costs to build?

Categories: Building Process, FAQs | Posted: July 14, 2017

The “hidden costs to build a new home can be broken down into three basic categories: lot, loan, and living expenses.

The primary hidden costs when building your home come from lot situations or circumstances…How much driveway you need? How much underground utilities? Do you need a sewer plant, culvert, or dirt pad? Things like that. A site evaluation  by your builder can generally clear up a lot of the guesswork on these things!

For financing, most people know about closing costs (which will include things like your appraisal fee, an origination fee, filing expenses, inspection fees, title searches and examinations & a No Work Affidavit). this is the bulk of expenses for both mortgage and construction loans, but there are a few other costs you might want to keep in mind. For construction loans, once you make your first draw you will need to begin making the “interest payment” on the amount you’ve used to dat. This means you will be paying a “mini-house note” during the actual construction. There’s also generally a smaller closing fee that needs to be paid in order to roll your construction loan into your permanent mortgage. Additionally, if you put down less than 20% on your home, you will have to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance) which protects your lender if you were to default on your payments.

After closing, aside from the basic set-up needs like blinds, furniture, and any moving expenses, i.e. truck rental, moving crew, etc.), you will also need to have all of your utilities set up and turned on. Water, electrical, gas and sewer companies all charge a “connection fee” and can even ask for your first month’s payment in advance. Depending on our home location and personal preferences, you might also need to arrange for trash service, alarm installation and landscaping.

Like with all big like changes, moving into a new home comes down to “wants” and “needs.” Just figure out what absolutely needs to be done and then add the rest gradually as you can! At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, will you really mind waiting to get that perfect patio furniture for the first couple months when you’re in your brand new, gorgeous home??

Top 5 Home Decor Trends in 2017

Categories: Community, Home Design, Lifestyle, Other | Posted: June 5, 2017

Ready for a home décor refresh? Don’t run to the shops before you’ve done your research and identified the top emerging trends. As we look to Summer 2017 in home design, we’re seeing more organic patterns, textures, and styles with a simplistic approach to living. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 Home Décor Trends that you’ll love to include in your home this year.

Bring On The Green

Greenery is Pantone’s color of the year so there’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing many shades of the earthy tone this summer. In addition to the obvious ways of incorporating this trendy color into your home, i.e. Repurposing old furniture, wall hangings, throw pillows, etc., you can also accent with bold plant prints in your décor. Take it one step further by bringing in on-trend live plants such as succulents or cacti for bohemian/desert decor, a monstera plant for a tropical feel and climbing plants like English ivy to hang from your ceiling. Luckily, you don’t need the greenest of thumbs to keep these plants alive around your house. They’ve even been proven to lighten your mood and encourage better sleep, so we hope you’re inspired to let these greenies flourish in your home!

Don’t Be Afraid To Mix Styles

There was a time when you could only use furniture pieces that were from the same era, or at least the same style but home décor has officially evolved and we’re not tied to these restrictions anymore. Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper has made the farmhouse-inspired interior popular and this summer we’re seeing the ripples from her creativity but with a modern twist. If you’re looking for a change to your style this year, consider Modern Farmhouse. This look takes the inviting and relaxed feel of rustic, the sophistication of minimalism, and just a touch of industrial to create the most inviting and elegant style to date! An example of mixing styles in your dining room would be to pick up a wooden farm table from a local antique shop and place industrial metal chairs around it then decorate the walls with modern art pieces like a geometric mirror or abstract art. The great thing about this style, is that it’s very flexible and can be unique to you and your family: It can be as rustic or modern as you decide it to be.

Try Faux Marble Finishes

Are you looking to add glamourous and luxurious details to your home? Look no further than Faux Marble. There’s no surprise as to why this lovely stone pattern is making an extended appearance in the trends over the past few years. By adding a few marble decorations, you can incorporate a contemporary and minimalistic feel to your home. From side tables and accent walls to coasters and picture frames, marble is making an impression on the décor scene. Decorate your kitchen with a marble serving platter, cutting board, or even a clock with this modern finish. If you’re looking to modernize your home on a budget, faux marble is your go-to decoration.

Get Cozy With Hygge

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a quality of coziness and comfortable living that creates a feeling of contentment or well-being. This Danish way of life pursues happier living and focuses on comfort, connection and simplicity. The first thing you should do when trying to achieve the Hygge feeling is to tidy up your space: your home is your retreat, it’s where you should center your attention on what makes you happy. That’s why clearing clutter will simplify your life and make you feel more at ease. As for décor, you can incorporate Hygge into your space by adding comforting textures like a heavy-knit throw blanket, velvet pillows, a faux fur rug, or linen curtains. Lighting has a lot to do with how we feel throughout the day: Change out your harsh, bright lights with a lower wattage bulb and when you can, light a few candles to create a warm flickering glow in your home. And lastly but the greatest of them all, we encourage you to invite those closest to you for a casual outdoor get-together, complete with fresh flowers, string lights, and comfort food because Hygge is best experienced with loved ones.

Give Your Walls Some Love

It’s true what they say, everything old is new again, including wall art. This decade, it comes with an upgrade. If you’re looking for a quick makeover for your walls, look into removable wall art: geometric patterns, murals, small decals that are all easily applied and removed. Create an accent wall with adhesive stripes that you can easily manipulate, change up, and remove whenever you’ve decided that you’re ready for a change. Do you have a little princess that insists she needs flowers on her walls? Done and done. You can get adhesive wall art that is easily modified as your child grows into new styles.

 

Whether you choose to try all of these trends or stick with just one, it’s always a great idea to refresh your home décor with something new and innovative that doesn’t require an entire room over-haul.

How do I adjust a loose door knob?

Categories: FAQs, Maintenance, Warranty | Posted: May 26, 2017

A loose door knob on your interior doors may occur over time with normal use. Just grab a flat-head and Phillips-head screwdriver for an easy fix! First, find the small lip at the base of the door knob cap. Place the flat-screwdriver in the lip and pull off the cap. You will now see an arrow that will need to be pushed down to allow the removal of one side of the door knob. Remove the knob to uncover the plate where the screws are located. The screws can be tightened with a Philips-head screwdriver or drill. Once the screws are tightened, push the door handle back into place, twist it and push the cap back on. You’ll hear a click or popping sound that indicates the plate is securely back in it’s place and ready to use again.

Where to Buy?

Categories: Community, FAQs, Other | Posted: May 13, 2017

 

Looking for a new home?  We understand the process may be overwhelming and you may not even know where to start.  However, the decision on where to search for that future dream home is very crucial, so it’s important to ask the right questions and really think about what you are looking for and what’s important.  By making the right decision, you not only have the perfect home for you, but you also have a great future investment!  Make sure to ask these questions when looking for that perfect place to move to.

Where do I want to live?

Knowing the geographic location of where you want to live is probably the most important question on this list.  Considerations under this question include home value, cost of living, job opportunities in your field, and climate.

Do I want to live in a city, suburb or rural area?

The answer to this question will really have an impact on your lifestyle.  The amount of peace and quiet, the size of land, and the proximity to certain services are all impacted by this question.

What kind of neighborhood do I want to be a part of?

Every neighborhood is different and has different characteristics.  Make sure you will get along with the neighbors in the area and that it is relatively close to places you will want to frequent.

How is the school district in the area I am looking at?

Regardless on if you have kids, finding a good school system to live in is a smart choice.  By finding that amazing school system, you could save thousands of dollars on money you would otherwise spend on private schools.  Alternatively, even if you don’t have kids, living in a good school district will maximize your home investment and give you better home value should you choose to sell.

How close do I want to live from workplace?

The length of your daily commute is something important to consider.  The further from home that you work, the more money that will be spent on commuting every day, which has an impact on your disposable income, quality of life, and amount of time you get to spend with your family.

How safe is the area I want to live in?

The safety of you and your family is likely a number one priority.  No discount sale is worth moving to an unsafe area and will also make it difficult to sell should you choose to move.

How close are my friends and family?

Home is not simply the roof over your head.  It’s the relationships with the people you have in your life.  If you are too far from your friends and family, even the nicest house may not feel like home.

Remember that the most important thing is to find a home you and your family love; one that you know will provide shelter & safety and will be the host of many lasting memories. Good luck and happy house hunting!

5 Ways to Personalize Your New Home

Categories: Home Design, Lifestyle | Posted: April 30, 2017

You’ve just moved into your brand new house; you’ve got all your furniture arranged, dishes in cabinets and clothes in drawers. What’s next? It’s time to make this house a HOME. Add your personal touch that encapsulates the essence of how you and your family like to live. Maybe you are a minimalist with design and lean towards the clean, contemporary look or you’re charmed by the vintage, rustic design with warm colors and smells. Either way you prefer, it’s best to make it personal to you! Checkout these 5 ways to accomplish that in your home.

Bring out the paint brushes

Adding splashes of color in your home is the best way to incorporate your unique personality to your space. Repurpose a thrift store dresser or an old chair that you already have by painting them bright colors that you love. If you’re feeling even more creative, you can paint a toy chest in your child’s playroom with chalk paint. Your kids will love having their own artwork display to doodle on and explore their creativity.

Decorate in a way that tells a story

What other way to personalize your home than to display personal photos of you and your loved ones? Frame pictures from fun trips and fond memories you’ve shared with special people, allowing your guests to learn more about you and your family as they take the home tour. If you’d rather not mark up your walls with nail holes, choose to do a layering technique instead that requires no tools at all. On your mantle, bookshelves or foyer piece, you can stagger different pieces of artwork by leaning them against the wall. For example, showcase your grandmother’s vintage mirror, then place different sized canvas portraits of your family in front of it. This unique collection of your favorite memories and décor adds a personal touch to any space and is easy to switch up when you’re wanting a design change.

Create an entryway that’s inviting

First impressions are everything! Your guests can get a sense of your personality as soon as they walk in the door. Do you love the minimalist design and have a tight entryway? Then mirrors are the way to go. They create the look of more space all while attracting natural light, which can open up any room. Prefer the rustic look? Pick up a gorgeous antique sign or vintage bench and create your own DIY projects to show off your personal style. This creates a warm, welcoming experience for any first-time or revisiting guest.

Customize organization spaces

Organizing your home doesn’t have to be a daunting, boring task! Incorporate a more humanistic approach to your organization methods. Fuse some shelves into your laundry room, throw some baskets or containers into the mix for your pantry, or even add drawers and extra racks into your closet. Limited on pantry space? Consider designing with open shelving. You can customize yours by placing labeled jars, crates, or vintage china to show off your style. Not only does this make it easier for a guest to navigate through your home, but it also adds more charm around the house.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur, create your own station by finding a functional piece of furniture and stock up on your favorite coffee, creamers, and drizzles. Dress it up with a fun sign to label the station and add hooks for your coffee cups!

Fill your home with scents you love

This is an easy one! Find your favorite scented candles, oils, or plugins and start placing them around your new home. This creates a relaxing mood and makes your home smell amazing! Try to limit the scents to just one or two in your home at a time so the smells do not become overwhelming. Place candles inside fun holders like lanterns, hanging jars or create your own. For example, wrap a glass candle holder with burlap and lace or if you have your own herb garden, tie greenery around the base of your candle for a simplistic look. It will add to your home’s design and it could easily be a fun project for the family to work on together!

What type of builder should I choose?

Categories: FAQs | Posted: April 21, 2017

More than a specific “type” of builder, you’re looking for the builder that is the right “fit” for you and your family. What are you looking for?  There are really three main options depending on your particular situation.

First, if you don’t have property and don’t want the stress of having to think about the whole build process and all the options available, then a builder who offers pre-built land/home packages is your top of the list option. Here you can walk through and choose a home that’s available and ready to move-in.

Second, if you don’t have property and you want to live in a subdivision, but would like the option to choose your own selections, then working with a builder that offers what’s called a “Pick Your Lot, Pick Your Plan” home is what you’re looking for. This builder will provide different land/home packages to choose from, you’ll be able to customize some areas, then you’ll purchase the home and property together upon completion. In this option, you’ll have that custom feel you desire without the hassle of finding and purchasing your own property.

Finally, if you do have property or are looking land to purchase, then finding a plan you can fall in love with and customize to build into the home of your dreams with a builder who can understand your lifestyle . . . well, that’s the way you want to go.

But even more than all of that, finding a builder who has processes in place for customizing your home, for getting permits, for helping you choose all your interior and exterior selections, who already understands how to fulfill and pass inspections . . . find someone who isn’t riding their first rodeo. It’s about finding a builder you can trust! No one wants to be the first patient a doctor operates on, right?

Am I ready to build?

Categories: FAQs | Posted: March 24, 2017

Building a new home is a huge endeavor.  It is extremely important to make sure you have considered certain matters ahead of time to avoid potential shortfalls during and after the build.  Ask yourself these 5 questions to determine if you’re ready to get started!

What is my credit score?

Knowing your credit score will assist in determining your eligibility for a new mortgage.  The higher the credit score, the more options with lower interest rates will be available. Consult with your lender for recommendations on how to improve your credit score.

Can I afford the monthly mortgage note?

Lay your budget out with the money you earn compared to your monthly expenses.  Determine what impact a new mortgage will have on your monthly spending.  Insurance and tax payments will most likely be added to your monthly mortgage payment so don’t forget to include these.

Do I have enough saved for my down payment?

Consulting a mortgage lender in advance will allow you to assess if you’ve saved enough funds that will be needed to close your loan.  In addition to the down payment, they can estimate the amount of funds needed for closing costs, such as origination points and title fees.

Do I know where I want to build?

When looking for property to build on, location is usually at the top of the list of important items to consider.  School district, proximity to or from your city, and type of neighborhood community need to be contemplated prior to making your decision.

I’m ready, so what do I do next?

Now comes the exciting part!  By browsing the internet, you can determine what home styles are most appealing to you.  When researching builders, look for a reputable, local builder that will partner with you to build the home of your dreams!