The Manuel Builders Blog


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!

Live in Laurel Grove!

Categories: Building Process, Community, Other | Posted: March 7, 2017

Discover what’s waiting for you in Laurel Grove!

Manuel Builders currently has 6 homes under construction with more to come in this beautiful community located in Youngsville, La. All homes in Laurel Grove qualify for 100% financing! When choosing our Preferred Lender and Preferred Title Company, you can save you up to $2,200 in closing cost fees.

“Located in the heart of it all, Laurel Grove is a livable community with a park and walking path. Alley garages bring the focus of its street fronts to the architecture, the people themselves and an engaging way of life.

The neighborhood provides easy access to the surrounding area schools, restaurants, boutiques, ice cream shops, fitness centers and even a European style grocery. Nearby festivals, concerts and holiday events make this a special place that will leave home buyers with lasting memories of Southern hospitality and a unique experience of small town life coupled with big city attributes.”

View the 6 Manuel Builders’ homes in construction below and follow the link here to check out the progress of each one. Find this article in the current magazine issue of The Real Estate Book of Acadiana and check out their Facebook page here. If you are interested in any of these homes in Laurel Grove or any of our communities, please call Tassie Fonseca at 337-501-5011


How do I adjust the ball catch on my door?

Categories: FAQs | Posted: March 3, 2017

In some homes, most of the doors that lead to the closets in all the bedrooms are designed without a normal turning door knob and latch system. Instead, they function with a ball catch system that is used to latch the door closed when you shut it.

If you notice your door is not closing properly or not wanting to close at all, you can adjust the ball catch. You can find the ball catch mechanism at the top corner of each door. To adjust the ball catch on a door, tighten or loosen it by turning it. Turn the ball catch clockwise if it needs to be adjusted to a lower height and counterclockwise to adjust it to a higher height. If you’re having trouble adjusting it with just your fingers, place a quarter in the grooves of the ball catch to help turn the mechanism. Turn and test til you find the perfect height so that your door can close with ease.

4 Tips for Decorating Your New Patio

Categories: Home Design, Lifestyle | Posted: February 22, 2017

You’ve just moved into your brand new home and you’re ready to make your outdoor space a place to feel welcomed and comfortable. A charming patio filled with amenities can be the easy “getaway” you need, right in your backyard.  With these tips below, you’ll have that space you want in no time!

Functional Seating

The seating of your patio is important because it’s ultimately the base. Of course, you want it to be stylish, but you also want it to be comfortable and functional – especially if you often have guests over. If you have ample space on your patio, then your options are a bit wider. You can select a 3-piece furniture set, a sectional couch or a table with chairs around it.

If your space is limited, then you may want to choose furniture that isn’t bulky, making it difficult for your guests to walk around. Also, think about setting up skinny side tables for beverages to rest on versus a large coffee table in the middle of the space. Remember to think about the care of your outdoor furniture. It should be easy to clean on a sunny day, but be able to withstand any tough weather of rain or strong wings.

Pops of Color

Don’t be afraid to show your personality here! Your backyard space is really the best place to “liven it up” by going bold with bright and fun colors. Whether you use throw pillows, chairs, table top accessories or even flowers to add your color, try to keep to a theme so that it flows! Pick out one base color or pattern and then choose 2-3 bold/bright colors that compliment your base to accent in your outdoor space.

Live in Layers

Not only should you enhance your personality and design style by adding pops of color, but you can also spice it up by utilizing different textures and dimensions to the space. Make it feel like your second living room by adding more than just the bare minimum. Don’t go easy on the pillows! Pile them up on furniture, add a throw blanket or two and make sure to get an outdoor rug, too. Decorate your table furniture with figurines, bowls/platters, smaller plants and other table top pieces that will enhance your theme.


“Plantscaping” your patio can help to frame the entire space. Start with a specific style that you like most by perusing Pinterest or magazines for ideas. You may like the rustic look with metal tub pots and reclaimed wood features or you may be drawn to the simplistic look with traditional clay pots and rod iron stands. Depending on the size of your plants, they can create privacy from your backyard neighbors and protect from the weather by giving off some shade when it’s sunny out. Not only do plants bring a natural beauty to our living space, but they help clean the air we breathe by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen. Add the green to keep it clean!

Keep in mind that if your backyard patio is not completely covered, then you will want to be selective with some of the items you choose so that they do not get ruined by the weather conditions. But have fun with it! It’s YOUR outdoor space and you should love living in it.

When Should We Meet With a Bank/Lender?

Categories: Building Process, FAQs | Posted: February 8, 2017

One of the many questions we get asked from customers who are ready to start the building process is when they should meet with a bank or lender.

Meeting with a bank or lender should be the first step on your homebuilding journey. There are multiple benefits to meeting with a lender before you go in for your first appointment with a builder.

A huge benefit would be knowing what price range you will be working within. Once you know that, selecting your floor plan and amenities will be much easier. Another advantage of meeting with a lender early on is that you give yourself the time to explore your lending and loan options. This allows you to make choices that work best for your particular situation.

You can also look into financing with one of your builder’s recommended lenders. There may be perks to financing with them such as their familiarity with the builder’s process and special incentives they can offer.



For more information on our Preferred Lender, give us a call today 337-981-5315


5 Ways to Make Your Guest Room More Comfortable

Categories: Community, Home Design, Lifestyle, Other | Posted: January 29, 2017

Add a Seating Area to the Room

If space is available, consider setting up a small seating area in your guest bedroom. This will give them a place to set their items down and gives them another area other than the bed to relax in private. Try arranging this area by a window so they can enjoy the natural light while reading a book or surfing through social media. If limited on space, one chair or even a chaise lounge can accomplish the same feel.


Have Extra Toiletries Available

Going on a trip can be stressful for anyone. Many times the items we tend to forget are the ones we use every day in our bathroom like tissue, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, etc. Before they arrive, walk down the to-go toiletries aisle at the supermarket to stock up on those needed items. Most times they are only $1-$3 a piece! This will give them the relief they need when they realize that they have forgotten some belongings at home. Even let them know that you have left some extras in their guest bathroom in case they need it, so they don’t have to feel uncomfortable asking you about it.


Learn More About Your Guest Before They Arrive

Sure, you may know what they like to drink or where they like to eat, but it’s a completely different ball game when someone comes to stay with you for a few days. Take the time to learn a little bit more about how they live, especially if you have an itinerary planned for them during their stay. Do they like to do their hair every morning? Do they like to sleep in late? What kind of foods do they love to have in the fridge? Are they a breakfast person? Get to know your guest’s living style so that you can accommodate them better.


Make Sure Everything is Functioning

When your guest room has been vacant for a while, it’s easy to assume that everything is still working properly, but that’s not always the case. Do the lamps need new lightbulbs? Does the toilet flush with no problem? Does the water for the shower get hot enough? Is the TV easy to use? Take the time to check these items before they arrive so that you know they will be comfortable staying in their room from the moment they check in.


Wi-Fi Password

It may seem silly, but this is a common request of many guests who stay with you for a couple of days or who are just there for a couple of hours. Make it easy for them to access by having it on display in your guest room. Print out your Wi-Fi credentials on card stock paper and place it in a frame to set on the dresser. Pick out a cute, stylish one that will add some flair to your room’s decor!

How long before I need to touch up stain or sealer on exterior wood products?

Categories: FAQs, Maintenance | Posted: January 19, 2017

Exterior features such as posts and exterior doors should be re-stained or resealed every 6-12 months.

Tips to remember before re-staining or resealing your exterior wood features.

  • Clean exterior of doors and posts with a damp cloth then come back with a dry cloth to remove any dust and dirt that has accumulated on the surfaces.
  •  If you have glass panes on your doors, be sure to use tape around the edges to protect the glass from the stain or sealer. Blue painters tape is a good tape to use with easy removal. Once you have completed the finish, remove the tape immediately.
  • Do not use razor blades or sharp objects to clean the glass or to remove the tape. These items will scratch the glass.

If the front of your home receives a lot of sun exposure, facing the east or west, the exterior wood features may need to be examined more frequently due to fading from the direct sunlight.

Any changes to the characteristics of your exterior doors and posts are perfectly normal, only reflecting the natural aging process of the wood elements and should not be considered as defects.


5 Tips for the First Time Holiday Host

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: December 20, 2016


What better way to break in your brand new Manuel Builders home than by inviting your friends and family over to celebrate the season with a wonderful holiday meal?  Now, we know what is going through your head right, but there is no need to panic!  We have five simple tips to keep in mind that will make your first Christmas host experience go off without a hitch.


Don’t Attempt to Fly Solo

Every big holiday meal is a group effort and the best ones have multiple people contributing to the success of the event.  So maximize your resources and delegate!  As the host, you will want to take care of the turkey and gravy or whatever your main course may be, but appetizers, sides, and beverages can be brought by others. When everyone pitches in, it takes stress off of you and gives you more time to focus on what’s really important.

Begin Your Food Prep Early

While you may think that the best holiday meal is one that is made fresh the day of, there is something to be said for starting a couple of days in advance.  Items like casseroles, cranberry sauce, and pies can be made a couple of days in advance and still taste amazing on Christmas Day.  In fact, it may even be a good idea to cook the turkey the day before as well!  No one will tell the difference, we promise. By taking these early preparation steps, you will really cut down on your stress.


Begin Your Non-Food Prep Early Too

Not only can you get some of the food out the way early, but there are other details that can be done in advance so you won’t have to worry about them on the day of the event.  Table cloths can be ironed, china can be washed, and extra supplies can be bought.  You will want to do this early so you can focus on the food closer to the big day. Don’t forget about the fun too! Fill your home with festivity by adding those staple decorations like a wreath, garland, bows, tinsel, lights, candles and more.

Master To-Do List

Be organized and start early!  Write down all the tasks that need to be accomplished and set aside times to do them.  Crossing things off the list will give you a huge sense of satisfaction and you will feel less stressed if you can see tasks being accomplished.

Have Fun with It

We completely understand that hosting Christmas lunch or dinner can be quite the undertaking and can stress the host out.  But remember that the holidays are meant to be enjoyed with those you love.  Put some music on, grab a tiny helper, and have a little fun!



Why is my sheetrock cracking?

Categories: FAQs | Posted: December 14, 2016

As you settle into your brand new home, the walls around you will be settling too. You may begin to see thin cracks form on your walls and above door frames. Rest assured that these changes are completely normal in a new build.

Sheetrock cracks are caused by the expansion and contraction of a new home. When lumber is delivered, it needs to acclimate to the temperature of your home. Nail pops and sheetrock cracks will appear as your home is settling.

If you have any questions or concerns about your Manuel Builders home, please call our office to speak to one of our Service Team Members. 337-981-5315