South Carolina’s premier builder of Healthy, HighPerformance Homes

Why Smart Home Technology is a Wise Investment

Why Smart Home Technology is a Wise Investment

Simple, affordable wireless is making the long-predicted smart home a must-have. PC Magazine calls 2016 “The Year of the Smart Home” – designated as such due to the proliferation of new wireless devices designed to make home life easier, healthier, safer and, yes, more fun. Research certainly bolsters this view: a Coldwell Banker survey conducted earlier this year finds that nearly half of homeowners either already own or are planning to buy smart home technology, and IT forecaster Gartner Inc. foresees 500 connected devices in the average home by 2022. This growth is thanks mostly to affordable wireless technology. Smart home tech devices now cost a fraction of what they did a decade ago, and most offer a simple smart phone or tablet control interface. Today’s devices offer tangible lifestyle benefits. For instance, whole-house automation systems such as those from HomeControl manage lighting, security, temperature and energy consumption — all from a single app. Low-cost, entry-level alarm systems like those from SimpliSafe start with basic security and are easily expanded as budgets permit. Automation systems like these are designed to be consumer-friendly, but professional builders often work with technology integrators to install and configure them so everything is ready to use on move-in day. Rather than a system, some people prefer to choose from the growing array of stand-alone wireless devices. Many start with home security, such as a wireless shade that automatically closes at night, a camera that can be checked from a phone, or an expandable security kit that costs just a few hundred dollars. The fastest-growing security device category is probably the electronic lock, and there are...
Fall Lawn Care Now Makes the Grass Greener on Your Side of the Fence Next Spring

Fall Lawn Care Now Makes the Grass Greener on Your Side of the Fence Next Spring

Fall is (finally) in the air! As seasons change, we need to change our lawn care strategies, too. When it comes to yard work, the decisions we make now determine the grass we’re going to get next spring. Many of us adore the look and even the feel of autumn leaves, but the season that involves beautiful multi-colored leaves is very much a fleeting one. So whilst the leaves are falling, keep in mind the following fall lawn care tips from our friends at Yard Day. Fertilize in the Fall Many people never fertilize their lawns at all, and their grass suffers the consequences. Autumn is the absolute best time of year to fertilize your lawn. The growth rate for grass starts to slow down as everything gets cooler in the fall, but the growth rate of the grass roots themselves will usually stay the same. They’re underground, so they’re going to be less responsive to changes in temperature. If we fertilize our lawns when the grass is at this stage in its development, the grass roots will be deep and full of the nutrients that will help it grow beautifully when the weather starts getting warmer. Fertilizing the lawn should be done during the middle or late days of autumn. Rake Leaves Early … and Often Raking leaves is the quintessential fall lawn care task, but many people don’t do it according to the right schedule. It seems to make some sense to wait until all the leaves have fallen before taking out the rake; some of us might feel that all of our efforts will be undone when new leaves fall and...
Earth Day is Every Day at Addison Homes

Earth Day is Every Day at Addison Homes

Happy Earth Day! This eco-friendly occasion – celebrated every April 22 since 1970 – is designed to raise environmental awareness. An estimated 1 billion people across the globe participate in Earth Day-related activities, making this annual observance the largest civic event in the world with an emphasis on recycling, energy-efficiency, water conservation and more. Addison Homes builds upon the belief that every day is Earth Day. We build all of our new homes to rigorous environmental standards such as Energy Star® and the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program. These energy-smart homes are beautiful – and beautifully sustainable, too – meeting strict guidelines for resource-efficiency via effective insulation, tight construction and ducts, efficient HVAC equipment, and high-performance products such as windows, lighting fixtures, fans and appliances. These tried-and-true features increase homeowner comfort while decreasing energy consumption and reducing air pollution. Simply put, an Addison-built home provides higher performance at a lower total cost of home ownership, with the added benefit of protecting the environment. Whether or not you’re building a new home, you can celebrate Earth Day – today and every day – by becoming more energy-efficient, thus lowering your energy bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing function, style or comfort. Here are some tips from our partners at ENERGY STAR:   AT HOME LIGHTEN UP. Change out the bulbs in your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures to bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR label, and save $70 per year in energy costs. GET UNPLUGGED. Remember to unplug electronics such as cell phones and MP3 players once they are charged. Don’t leave the adapters plugged into outlets...
Get Out … and Stay Out! Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Spaces All Year Long

Get Out … and Stay Out! Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Spaces All Year Long

This glorious fall weather makes us want to get out … and stay out! Homeowners have grown accustomed to the many delightful benefits outdoor living spaces have to offer. With cooler, shorter days just around the corner, now is the time to prepare your home’s exterior spaces for relaxing and entertaining that can transcend the seasons. Don’t let the darkness chase you indoors; with the right tools and techniques, you can extend the outdoor living season all year round. Our partners at Progress Lighting share the following tips for making outdoor spaces more “livable” from season to season. Illuminating your living spaces keeps your home’s exterior warm and welcoming. Areas that are frequently used after nightfall, such as a deck or patio, should be appropriately lit with fixtures that complement the structure. Choose fixtures that further the unique architectural elements of your home. Decorative posts, hanging and wall lanterns can be easily installed to brighten outdoor areas. LED lighting is a highly energy-efficient solution that offers many benefits for outdoor living. Installing LED fixtures lowers your energy bill – and the longevity of LED technology makes them a very low-maintenance addition. No need to go through the hassle of changing bulbs when these sources last for decades. Plus, improved color temperature options provide a warm, inviting glow to illuminated outdoor living areas. Brighten your pathways with landscape lights to improve safety and security. Path lights can also make your yard visually appear larger. Position lights on alternate sides for even illumination. Avoid shadows when used at steps, and be sure plants don’t interfere with light distribution. Use accent lighting techniques to...
Baby, it’s cold outside! Take precautions in your Greenville SC home … or you might be singing the blues!

Baby, it’s cold outside! Take precautions in your Greenville SC home … or you might be singing the blues!

The weatherman predicts unseasonably cold temperatures over the next couple days – lows into the teens! – so we’d like to share a few simple suggestions on how to take precautions in your Greenville SC home. Protect Your Pipes One of the most common problems during cold snaps is freezing pipes. If you live in an Addison-built house with a central shutoff for the exterior faucets or “hose bibs,” turn the valve to the “off” position (handle should be perpendicular to the direction of flow) and open all of the faucets on the outside of your home. This will prevent outside faucets from freezing. Also, Addison homes are built with PEX plumbing piping, which will expand if frozen, minimizing the likelihood of bursting. All homeowners should take the following steps prevent extreme weather from harming pipes: * A trickle of water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. * Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes. * Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls. If your pipes do freeze, the first step is to not panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do: * If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave...
Home SWEET Home for the Holidays

Home SWEET Home for the Holidays

In our home sweet home, chocolate and peanut butter are the yin and yang of holiday baking. So we especially love making – and sharing – Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. With just five ingredients, this kid-friendly recipe yields 55 balls. It is simple … and simply delicious. A perfect treat for holiday gatherings and gift-giving. You’ll need: 2 C. creamy peanut butter 3/4 C. salted butter (softened) 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 3 3/4 C. powdered sugar 2 packages (1 lb each) chocolate candy coating Instructions: Mix peanut butter, softened butter and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, until mixture holds together well in a giant ball. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 15-25 minutes, until firm. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate again, for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate candy coating according to package directions. Dip the peanut butter balls one at a time into the melted chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place dipped peanut butter chocolate balls onto wax paper and allow them to harden. Chill until ready to serve or prior to packaging them up for gifts. What’s your favorite holiday treat? Let us know and we’ll share it,...