Kephart Living


Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Boomer Poll

Derek Kravitz of The Associated Press reported on Thursday Oct. 27:

The Associated poll (Oct. 5-12) has a couple of surprises but largely reveals that baby boomers have not been changed too much by this recession. They are more likely to delay retirement, want to stay where they live now, and are interested in smaller homes. One-level homes close to children in a warmer climate are still the priorities when considering a new home purchase.

The surprises include: how far out of favor living on a golf course is, with only 2% of respondents who would choose that location, and maybe most importantly only 9% say they believe they will be able to live comfortably in retirement. Uncertainty has grown in their minds and many are not planning to retire at all.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 2:52 PM 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Can you rely on a green certified professional to design a green home? Is a green certified home less expensive to heat and cool? Who certifies professionals and homes?

I received my certification as a green professional from the National Association of Home Builders in May of 2008. To receive this certification I spent several three-day weekends away from home, plus full day classes taking courses in green design. Every home I design now is designed to be green, however, there is no guarantee that hiring a green professional will produce a green home. Nothing learned about green design must be included in every home and changes to a well designed home can be made during const.

A green certified home, however, must be inspected by a third party inspector (provider) through design, and during and after completion of the home. This costs money (a few hundred dollars) and can also be bypassed by an owner or builder. The difference being the process of inspections must be followed or the home will not receive a certification.

There are many rating systems for certification in addition to the NAHB program. LEED, and Green Globes are the most used national programs but cities, counties and states may have their own rating system. They are mostly point systems covering a wide range of construction practices, energy use, water conservation, indoor air quality and more. Designers and builders must comply with a certain percentage of each of the categories included and achieve a min. total score.

Energy conservation is only one of the areas of concern but the one that most impacts the cost of home operation by reducing fuel and electricity costs. It's generally understood that better insulation, control of air infiltration (leaks) and high quality equipment will result in lower energy costs for the homeowner. Water conservation can also reduce those costs but not as dramatically.

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posted by Custom Blogs @ 7:04 AM 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Space Between

When an Accessory dwelling is added to a lot with an existing home, much attention is given to the new addition; its size, height, materials and details, but a wonderful opportunity also presents itself in the space between the two structures. The courtyard shown here would not exist without the play between the two buildings. What you do with this opportunity can create a special place or outdoor room for family use.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 4:23 PM 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Accessory Suites

After a two-year long struggle to have Accessory Dwelling Units included in the new Denver zoning code, homeowners with properties zoned for these small houses have encountered another serious obstacle, excessive city fees. Fees for water service, sewer connection, and a host of other fees, are assessed on a per house basis regardless of the size of the living space, which unduly burdens small houses. Forgetting for the moment that an ADU is not a single family house and is considered as part of the primary home much like an addition, these fees are dampening the enthusiasm for ADUs as another way to expand living space for families while providing some sense of privacy for those living there. 

To avoid some of these extra costs and avoid the problems people seem to have with ADUs maybe we should just attach them to the main house and add that living space as an addition as we did with this example (seephoto

posted by Custom Blogs @ 3:58 PM 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sidekick Homes

Next week on Friday the 7th from 4PM to 7PM we are holding an open house to introduce a new Sidekick model, The Julian. This is a pre-construction event to showcase the opportunities for neighborhoods and families. Affordable, Accessible, and beautiful are the watchwords for the design and construction of this new ADU. The city of Denver has provided the ability to add to a home in this manner through their new zoning code, and the Board of Water Commissioners has waived some fees to help in the affordable effort. The event is on-site at 1095 Julian St, Denver CO.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 12:33 PM 

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