The Manuel Builders Blog

Category: Community

Retention Pond vs. Detention Pond

Categories: Community | Posted: July 10, 2019

In Louisiana, we are no stranger to the dangers of excessive rain and flooding. Over the past few years, we have experienced tumultuous storms and many families have lost homes because of it. For this reason, it is important to understand what stormwater basins are as well as how they affect your community.

As a builder, we are constantly looking for new areas to build communities in but as communities grow the need for diverting water becomes urgent. Developers do so by adding basins. These basins are meant to collect stormwater and release it at a rate that prevents flooding and erosion. This safety measure is to not only to protect the subdivision you’re developing from flooding but also to protect nearby and adjacent existing communities.

There are two types of basins, dry detention ponds and wet detention ponds, also known as retention ponds. The biggest difference between the two is that a detention pond will remain dry until a storm occurs, and a retention pond will have a constant pool of water. Both dry detention and wet detention can be planned in a good way to provide an added amenity to your community so that they are not just a protection to flooding. For instance, dry detention can act as a grassed soccer park that kids play in under normal conditions and only during heavy rain events will it hold water. In both cases using a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 slope will impede erosion on the embankments of both and allow the banks to easily be maintained long term by mechanical mowing.

Detention Ponds

Detention ponds are best used in areas with plenty of land and usually use a very small slope to divert the water. Water is accumulated in a large collection area and then slowly drains through the outlet. In some cases, concrete blocks are put in place to slow water flow and collect debris. Dry detention basins are great for the surrounding areas because they have a vegetative buffer that can deal with dry or wet conditions. These basins are usually more cost-effective but they also require a large amount of space that could take away property value and attract mosquitoes.

Retention Ponds

Retention ponds are stormwater control structures that help retain the water and treat contaminated storm runoff. Retention ponds remove pollutants and should be surrounded by natural vegetation to improve stability and essentially improve the overall look of the basin. Water is sent to the pool using an underground network of pipes and released through outlets to maintain the desired water level. The biggest advantages to using a retention pond are that they are simple to put in, the water quality is improved, and new habitats are created. On the other hand, these pools can be a drowning hazard and if not designed properly can have a negative effect on the water quality.

Regardless of the basin type, the systems should be maintained and should never become blocked or clogged. Both ponds have their positive and negative attributes but with these helpful hints, you should be a retention/detention pro in no time!

– Written by our Marketing Director, Krista Toussant

Lamplighter Realty

Categories: Community, FAQs | Posted: January 31, 2018

One of the perks when purchasing a home in our developments is the opportunity to work with our in house realtor, Tassie Fonseca of Lamplighter Realty.

Manuel Builders offers two ways to build your home, on your land and in a development. For the development side, it’s important to have someone that knows our product helping to sell it. With Tassie of Lamplighter, she has years of experience on our MB team, giving her all the knowledge she needs to carry our homes to the customer, then to the point of closing. We simply save you a step when shopping for a Manuel Builders’ home by providing you with the best realtor around!

The name Lamplighter stems from the scripture verse “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105); therefore the tagline or motto “Lighting the way home” is often used to represent its mission. A home is much more than a purchase, it’s a place where people do life together. In many times, the way people get to that place is with the help of a realty company that leads them on the path of homeownership. Tassie says, “My personal goal is to respect people in all walks of life, guiding and helping them as much as I can. Buying a home is a huge deal and people should feel like we understand that and are here to help them along that journey.”

Lamplighter Realty proudly serves all Manuel Builders’ development homes in the Lafayette & Lake Charles regions.

Tassie Fonseca, Lamplighter Realty


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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!

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.

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!

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


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!

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:
Contact Tassie Fonseca for more information: 337-501-5011 –