The Manuel Builders Blog

 


How to Prepare for the First Freeze in Louisiana

Categories: Home Safety, Maintenance | Posted: December 8, 2016

winterize-your-home-cropped

Here in the south, our winter season is quite different from northern states where there are blizzards and a lot of snow. The southern states might get an inch or two of snow every now and then, or maybe freezing temperatures, but we do not have to stock up on groceries every winter!  It is still very important to know helpful tips to prepare you and your household if there might be a cold front or a chance of snow in the upcoming winter months!

 

Check on your heater

It is very important before the winter months to get your heater checked before use.  Inspection of your heater system can ensure that it is clean, in good condition, and does not leak carbon monoxide.  For you as the homeowner, this means assurance that the heater system is in tip-top shape and savings on your energy bill.

 

Make sure there is no damage to your roof

Take notice of any damages, such as loose or missing shingles, that would compromise the insulation of your house.  Not replacing or repairing them can lead to higher energy bills and openings for little critters to get into your warm home.

 

Turn off outside faucets and hoses

Water in pipes can freeze if left on during the winter months.  If you do not own frost-proof faucets, begin to disconnect your hoses and cover the faucet with an insulated covering.

 

Seal exterior windows and doors

Inspect your windows and doors for any drafts or openings before the winter season arrives.  Use weather-stripping for your doors and use caulk to seal your windows.  The benefit for sealing crevices is to maximize on energy savings by preventing cold drafts that might come in.

 

Cover or protect outdoor potted plants

Don’t lose your potted plants to an overnight freeze!  If you have the space, bring the plants into a garage or outdoor shop where they can be removed from outdoor freezing temperatures.  If they cannot be moved, cover them so the freezing winds combined with the humidity do not cut the lifespan of the plant short.

 

With these tips, you can expect to have a warm, cozy winter with your family and friends!

Why do some rooms feel hotter or colder than others?

Categories: FAQs, Maintenance | Posted: November 23, 2016

 

If you’re feeling a drastic temperature change from room to room, this means the damper in the A/C needs to be balanced. This situation requires help from your warranty team or HVAC subcontractor.

 

thermostatPlease note that it is recommended that you do not drop your A/C more than 2 degrees at a time to ensure that your unit does not freeze. In warmer months, consider turning on your ceiling fan to help balance out the change in temperature as you lower the thermostat a little at a time. On the contrary, in colder months, investing in a couple space heaters/towers can easily help warm up your home especially the most used areas; bedrooms, and living spaces. This may help suppress the amount on your utility bill by not messing with the heater too much on thermostat and just using these space heaters instead. Remember to turn them off before you leave the home or some brands even come equipped with timers to help in case you forget. You surely don’t want it to become too stuffy!

*Please adhere to the instructions of the space heaters you purchase on the recommended usage time due to safety hazards for your home.

Why use a Preferred Lender?

Categories: Building Process, FAQs | Posted: November 14, 2016

One of the important steps you make when buying or building a home is finding a lender for your mortgage. Although it’s ultimately your choice on whom you select, many building companies such as Manuel Builders partner with a local mortgage company that they trust to become their Preferred Lender. Choosing your building company’s Preferred Lender can come with many benefits.

 

Up to $2,000 Preferred Lender Incentive

We will give you up to $2,000 towards your closing costs without raising your rate.

Same Day Keys

You get your keys the very same day you sign your closing documents! This may not seem like a big deal, but it can take up to 48 hours to receive your keys if you use a different lender. No need to wait to move into the home of your dreams.

Steller Customer Service

Our preferred lenders are committed to providing a stress-free experience that focuses on communication every step of the way. If you have questions, call or email anytime.

Up Front Approval

Your earnest money and construction deposit are non- refundable. However, our preferred lenders will issue an underwritten approval up front. That means, when you put a down payment on your new home, you can be 100% confident that you can close on your home when it is ready.

Smooth Process

Our lenders are very familiar with the Manuel Builders building process. They strive to make the experience as seamless as possible, so you feel less stress and more excitement about your new home purchase.


screenshot-2016-11-13-19-00-46

acadiana-home-mortgage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking to buy? View our homes available here. For more information on our Preferred Lender, give us a call today 337-981-5315


 

How do I reset my GFCIs?

Categories: FAQs | Posted: November 4, 2016

 

 

Occasionally, an electrical outlet in your home may quit working. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a major electrical problem. When this happens, our first recommendation would be to find and reset the GFCI. The GFCI is the outlet that has the reset/test button.

gfciAll GFCIs are designed to protect people from electrocution.  They also reduce the risk of house fires caused by electrical problems, and any damage to your appliances.

All exterior outlets are on the same GFCI. If one exterior outlet trips, they’ll all go out. Locate the GFCI on the circuit and reset it. You’ll normally find the exterior GFCI on the exterior of the home like your porch area(s) or in the garage.

Both the interior and exterior GFCIs can be reset the same way. Simply press in the test button, then press in the reset button. Your outlet should then be back in normal working order.

Live in La Cour Beausoleil!

Categories: Community, Lifestyle | Posted: October 23, 2016

La Cour Beausoleil is a community exclusive to Manuel Builders with homes starting in the $170,000s. Located in the highly sought-after Milton school district, this community features a variety of home sizes and amenities that are sure to impress. It’s all about location with this up and coming subdivision. Simply pick your lot, then pick your plan and get started on building the home of your dreams!

View our plans for La Cour Beausoleil Community here: http://bit.ly/2dPyLFc
Contact Tassie Fonseca for more information: 337-501-5011 – tassie@manuelbuilders.com

la-cour-beausoleil-logo

Top Interior Design Trends of 2016!

Categories: Home Design, Lifestyle | Posted: October 21, 2016
fall-2016-trends-header-blog

Looking for some new design concepts for the Manuel Builders home you want to build? Take a look at these interior design trends that have really stood out in 2016.

 

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

Contrasting two tones really brings out your furniture choices in your kitchen.  Try light colored upper cabinets and dark colored base cabinets!  Or you could also try light colored cabinets with a contrasting dark island.  Make it unique and make it you!

8115-alpha-rd-23

 

Deep Kitchen Drawers

These drawers are definitely more than just practical.  Not only are they spacious and accommodate kitchenware of various sizes, but they are also very modern looking!

 

Lighter Color Pallets

While classic and regal, dark reds and gold are no longer the icon in interior design choices.  Stick to light greys and whites to make your room pop with beautiful lighting choices!

 

Dark Appliances

Nothing shouts elegance than matching dark colored appliances!  You can even select a matte finish to keep finger prints and smudges away. Look modern, look clean!101_2320_isadore_mb

 

Statement Bathroom Mirrors

Make a statement with your bathroom and “wow” your guests!  Unique mirrors with features that really pop are sure to leave a good impression.  Also, combine glass front cabinets with mullions to add an extra flair to an already beautiful room.

 

Find more inspiring ideas from our gallery of homes here.

How often should I change my air filter?

Categories: FAQs | Posted: October 20, 2016

All homeowners should check their air filter monthly to ensure there isn’t any build up. Air conditioning filters are needed because they keep dust out of the home and provide clean, cool air. Old and dirty air filters in an air conditioner will have a negative impact on the performance of the system, causing it to cool ineffectively and affect the quality of air inside the room or house. We suggest to buy filters in bulk to save time, cost and effort. This way you have your new filter easily accessible to replace every month. Tip: Set a calendar reminder in your phone the 1st of every month to stay on top of this important task!

The Game is on Sunday and We’re Coming Over!

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: September 27, 2016

tailgate

Fall is here and you know what that means in South Louisiana: Football and tailgating season is upon us!  Now is the time to start getting ready to show off your beautiful home by hosting a tailgate and getting your friends to cheer on your favorite team.  We compiled a list of simple ideas and reminders that are sure to make your party stand out and be remembered as the tailgate of the season!

Keep It Simple

No need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to simple tailgate snacks.  Pick up easy items, such as marinated olives or unique vegetables, and dress them up on nice platters.  Another option is to stop by your local baker and order themed cookies and cupcakes served on a tiered tray.  While shockingly simple, these tasty treats will surely impress and add interest to your serving table!

Presentation is Key

Anyone can put trays of food out on a table and call it a day.  But the best tailgating experiences have memorable presentations.  Add table accents, such as footballs, pom-poms, and team memorabilia!  Make a mobile cooler by adding ice to a wheel-barrow!  Have a basket of team-related koozies!  Little things like these can turn your one-day party to an experience talked about all season long!

Game Day is Game Day

The players on the field aren’t the only ones that can have an awesome game day!  Spend some time before the game having a friendly competition with your guests.  Get some corn-hole boards, horse-shoes, or ring-toss bottles!  Winner gets dibs on the best seats for the game.

What’s Your Signature?

The last thing you will want to think about is how you will stamp your own personal touch to this party.  What do you want your guests to remember?  Do you have a rockin’ signature dish that party-goers will be craving for weeks?  Do you have awesome party favors that are the perfect mementos to bring home?  Do you have a home-made game that your friends will get into as much as the actual game?  Whatever it is, make it unique and make it you!

Have a safe and fun tailgating season and enjoy some time with your friends!

5 Rooms That Can Be Cleaned with $5

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: August 19, 2016

Cleaning

You would be surprised with what you can clean with so little.  Just buying a bottle of vinegar from the store, you can clean your house at a fraction of the price you would pay for chemical cleaners!  It’s cheap and it’s natural so you won’t have to worry about what those chemicals will do to you or your home.  Here are 5 areas in your home you can effectively rid of bacteria, mildew, and dirt with using vinegar as your main cleaner!

Bedroom

Use vinegar as a mattress disinfectant!  First purchase a spray bottle or you can utilize an empty or used windex/409 bottle to save money. Mix together vinegar, a pour or two of rubbing alcohol and a couple drops of tea tree oil in the the bottle. Spray your mattress with the mixture to help fight off dust mites, mildew and any odors. Don’t be too generous with the amount sprayed, you want to refrain from soiling your mattress with the mixture. Less is more! If you find that it’s not enough, try following up with a shake of baking soda across the mattress. Wait til it dries, then pass the vacuum to clean it up.

Laundry Room

Replace fabric softeners with vinegar when doing your laundry! It will create the same results but at a much lower price. Add a cup of vinegar to the final wash or rinse in the cycle. It will remove the static and soften the fabric just like you’ll expect. Plus, you’ll be surprised at how the smell is no longer present!

Living Room

For this space, focus on the areas that have glass, i.e. tabletops, media center doors, lamps, picture frames, etc. Mix together half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle to give them all a nice clean and sparkle!

Kitchen

It’s definitely a good idea to skip using the chemicals in the places you store your food, like your refrigerator!  Just clean with a 50-50 water-vinegar solution and you can even store the bottle in the refrigerator too!

You can also rid your plastic containers of food stains by letting them sit with a coat of vinegar applied.  Then you just wash as normal and they are good as new!

Bathroom

Using straight or diluted vinegar is very handy when battling stains and odors.  You can even pour a cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight to remove any toilet rings.

These are just a couple of ideas, but the possibilities are endless!  Why pay all that money on household chemicals?  Just pick up a bottle of vinegar and you can clean your whole house with a natural cleaner that won’t hurt your wallet.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Yard Healthy by Beating the Summer Heat!

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: July 5, 2016

Manuel blog photo collage

The Louisiana summer heat is no joke! Instead of letting your yard succumb to the sizzle, follow these helpful tips to create the most appealing outdoor hangout for your friends and family this sunny season. But more importantly, these tips can save you from any trouble once the summer comes to a close!

 

Grass Length Perfection

Mowing the lawn at a higher height insulates the grass from the summer sun and reduces water loss from the soil. Lucky for you, most lawn mowers have easy-to-adjust blade heights so simply adjust the blade height on your mower to 3 inches and you’re all set!

Keep Your Grass Hydrated

Sadly, more plants are killed through over-watering than under-watering. You may not ever need to water your lawn if Mother Nature is on your side, but if you notice the growth is beginning to brown, water for 30 minutes (no more than ½ inch) once or twice a week. The best time to water is between 6-10 am or 4-7 pm, avoiding 11am-3pm which is the hottest part of the day.  Also, refrain from watering overnight as this provides the perfect conditions for mildew and fungus to grow, which no one wants to hassle with!

Save Your Grass!

Don’t make the mistake of over fertilizing your grass or gardens. Doing this can create flush of tender growth that will struggle in the hot summer weather. It’s best to avoid fertilizing during the hottest months of summer, and to wait until fall when the greenery starts thriving on its own. When you do start to use fertilizer, use discretion. Some liquid fertilizers feed the greenery and make it thrive, but they do not appropriately enhance the soil like granular fertilizers most often do.

Clean up Spring Growth and Keep Weeds at Bay

Keep your shrubbery and garden well-manicured by trimming dead or obtrusive branches from last season, including tackling those unwanted weeds. Everyone dreads weeding a garden, but it could mean the difference between a beautiful thriving garden and one that is way overgrown in weeds. To make this task easier, consider investing in a stainless steel claw weeder.

Let it Bloom

Get the color your yard needs by planting flowers that thrive even through the summer heat. Be sure to research each flower before planting; some require some shade, or more water. Understand the flowers you’re planting to help them prosper.

And don’t forget to take before and after pictures of your yard to document all the hard work you put in!