Benefits of Garbage Chutes

If you live or work in a building with multiple levels, it is neither convenient nor sanitary to go down the stairs or elevator carrying a bag of trash. Garbage chutes in these buildings go far beyond convenience – they are beneficial to all involved.

With garbage chutes, residents only need to walk a few steps to their floor’s chute drop off. Garbage goes down the chute, or large tube, to a central location in a building. Typically, the garbage chute has an entrance and is covered with a door for safety.  Residents do not need to worry about taking out the garbage for a certain day or time, and do not need to lug garbage bags to a dumpster.

Building management also benefits from garbage chutes. The Residences at 66 High Street have garbage chutes in the multi-level buildings The Whitfield, The Leete, and The Chittenden. This means management does not need to go around the entire building collecting garbage – it is all in one centralized location. In addition, the garbage collector only needs to go to one place to collect trash each week.

Garbage chutes may seem like a small convenience that can be overlooked when designing a building, but the benefits make it a must-have in commercial and residential buildings with multiple floors.

Countertops: Granite vs. Quartz

In addition to appearance, there are several factors to consider when choosing a material for your countertop. A handful of materials can be used for countertops, which offer various aesthetic qualities and functions. Two of the most popular materials used for countertops are granite and quartz.

Having a general understanding of granite and quartz is important. Granite is a 100% natural material. It is mined from quarries, cut and then polished. Quartz countertops are a 95% natural material; the other five percent is binder and color. With this basic makeup in mind, we can compare qualities of both.

Look of Countertops

Granite is slightly more natural looking due to its 100% natural composition. It can be found in a variety of unique colors and patterns. Though not quite as organic in nature, quartz still provides a stone aesthetic. Since it is engineered, quartz may be more easily found to fit a particular color.

Maintenance

Granite is more porous than quartz. For this reason, it requires more maintenance. It is suggested that granite countertops be resealed annually to ensure longevity, while quartz does not need the same care.

Durability

Both granite and quartz are incredibly durable. Because of granite’s porous nature, spilled liquids can cause staining. While quartz will not stain, it can be damaged by excessive heat.

Price

While the cost of granite and quartz are similar, quartz can run slightly more expensive. Based on estimates from HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to buy quartz without installation fees is $75 per square foot, while slab granite can typically be purchased between $40 and $60 per square foot without installation. We suggest getting quotes from two to three professionals, with installation fees factored in, so that you are able to get what you want for the best price.

In deciding between granite and quartz, there is no right or wrong decision. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, and you cannot go wrong with either.

What is a change order?

During the construction process, it is important to address sensitive subjects to avoid future conflict. Contracts solidify expectations and help to ensure that contractors and customers understand expectations.

Once a contract is in place to specify a scope of work and the budget, change orders are essential for moving forward. A change order is a written document that records alterations made during construction and acknowledges any increase or decrease in the cost and timing of the project.

In short, change orders consist of:

  • Revisions made to the scope of work
  • Updated pricing for revisions made
  • Alterations to the existing contract to accommodate the new scope of work
  • The signatures of the contractor and the customer

For a more in-depth understanding of the subject, check out eSUB’s explanation.

The key to a successful change order is a clear, two-sided understanding of expectations between customer and contractor.

At The Residences at 66 High Street, building allowances provide a clear set of guidelines for both contractors and customers. In the event that a client goes under or over the total budget for the allowance, a change order would be necessary.

General Contractors, Subcontractors, Builders: Who should I hire?

When constructing a new home, deciding who to hire can be a time-consuming process. You want to be sure you hire someone who is trustworthy, does quality work, and sticks to budgets and timelines. But who exactly do you need?

General Contractors

General contractors (GC) can be an individual or an entire company, and oversee the entire construction site. They are hired for both residential and commercial projects. The first responsibility of a GC is to make an estimate of the entire project including the cost of materials, labor, and any subcontractors that will be needed. From there, a project manager will oversee the project, communicate with the homeowner, ensure materials are ordered and delivered on time, and oversee subcontractors. A big benefit to hiring a general contractor is they already have built a pool of subcontractors they trust. In addition, subcontractors will often consider projects for a contractor as a priority over a job for a homeowner. To learn about Horton Group as a general contractor, click here.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are typically skilled in one specific trade, such as tile, drywall, insulation, or roofing. Subcontractors fill their contract directly with the contractor, so you do not need to worry about hiring each different subcontractor if you have a general contractor. If you are only updating one part of a room, such as installing new tile flooring, you may want to hire a subcontractor to complete the job.

Builders

A builder, like a general contractor, will see the project through from start to finish. The difference is that a builder often has a crew to complete the construction work, from foundation to roof, subcontracting only for specialists like electricians and plumbers. They also manage the project and communicate with the homeowner throughout the process.

No matter who you hire, you are entrusting another person or company to carry out your vision. Be sure to communicate your vision, budget, and timeline clearly so the outcome is what you want.

What are the benefits of underground parking?

The arrangements for parking at The Residences at 66 High Street are in large part site-specific. In the three new luxury condominium developments, resident parking is under the buildings. The quasi-underground parking structure mainly stemmed from efforts to raise the building’s living and mechanical spaces out of the 100-year flood zone.

Placing parking below the structure or underground can offer a number of other advantages. These include:

  • More available land. With parking under buildings, residents have more green space to enjoy.  
  • Reduces crime. With easier access control, underground parking reduces crime when compared to large, open parking lots, as a result of easier access control.
  • Unobstructed views. When looking out luxury condominium windows, the last thing residents want to see is a parking lot. With cars out of sight, people can enjoy the beauty of the shoreline.
  • Pollution control. Underground parking improves both liquid and solid waste pollution control.
  • Convenience. Underground parking keeps cars as close to the building as possible while protecting the cars from elements of weather.
  • Reduces artificial cover. Underground parking also reduces artificial impervious cover such as asphalt, concrete, or brick, which is an environmental concern.

The Residences at 66 High Street, combining the freeboard, or an elevated first floor, with parking, is both convenient and beneficial.

Commercial Grade Elevators – What is best for your building?

Horton Group has built and renovated many commercial buildings, including offices, banks, and retail shopping centers. We put an emphasis on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards in all our projects. Commercial buildings with more than one floor generally require an elevator according to ADA standards.

Depending on the size of the commercial building, there are different types of elevators that may work for your building. Passenger elevators and LULA elevators are what you see most often in commercial buildings.

Passenger Elevators

Passenger elevators are what you typically think of in high rise buildings. As the name suggests, these elevators are designed for carrying passengers. Most passenger elevators have up to a 5,000lb weight limit, although they can hold up to 10,000lbs. Passenger elevators can be in-ground hydraulic, hole-less hydraulic, or MRL.

LULA Elevators

LULA stands for Limited Use/Limited Application. LULA elevators are similar to full-size passenger elevators in design, with two sliding doors as an entrance. They can typically hold up to 1,400lbs, travel up to 25 feet high, and have up to 18 square feet of floor space. LULA elevators are a good option in a low rise commercial or residential building, as they save both space and money.

Consider how many floors in the building, as well as the number of people who will utilize the elevators each day when choosing which elevator to use in your commercial project.

What is a Triple Net Lease?

Looking to lease a property? If so, it is vital to understand the difference between a standard (gross) lease and net lease. These two types of leases distinguish between the responsibilities assumed by landlords and tenants.

When leasing a property, expenses typically have to do with property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance. If a landlord chooses a standard lease, that means he/she bears responsibility for all of the aforementioned expenses. A net lease means one or more of the expenses falls on the tenant’s shoulders.

At 350 Goose Lane Office Park, our ongoing commercial development in Guilford, we offer tenants a triple net lease. A triple net lease means that the tenant is responsible for all expenses (property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance). These are also typically signed for a long period of time and have rate increases built in.

Triple net leases offer significant benefits for both landlords and tenants. For landlords, triple net leases can be ideal. A long-term lease agreement without the threat of random expenses allows for a constant and sustainable stream of income. Likewise, tenants can also benefit. It is likely that rent under a net lease agreement will be lower than that of a standard lease as landlords could subtract the estimated expenses from the rent.

In essence, triple net leases are mutually beneficial leasing options for all parties involved. Considering the quality and efficiency with which we continue to build the office park on Goose Lane, tenants can expect extremely low expenses.

OSHA Safety Standards

As part of the United States Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created by Congress to assure safe and healthy working conditions for private sector employers and workers across various industries, such as construction, maritime, and agriculture.

In the construction industry, which includes construction, alteration, and repair, OSHA is essential in identifying and enforcing workers’ rights and protections, while also helping employees to understand their responsibilities to employers.

The list of laws and regulations that caters specifically to the construction industry is broken up into 29 subparts that address a wide array of topics. Topics include:

For the full list of OSHA construction regulations, click here.

What are Common Areas?

Common areas are the areas of a condominium, apartment, or townhouse complex that are shared by all residents.

Some of the most basic common areas include parking lots, hallways, and shared laundry facilities. Depending on the complex, common areas can also include a fitness center, pool, or clubhouse. Because these areas are shared between all residents, the cost of upkeep and repair comes from Condo Association or HOA fees.

When setting our vision for Residences at 66 High Street, we knew we wanted to provide luxury condominiums with luxury common areas. Great care has been given to creating the outdoor environment. The landscaping and underground utilities allow for unobstructed views of the salt marsh and Long Island Sound, with thirty-foot trees strategically placed for privacy. All units face an intimate courtyard to create a sense of unity throughout the community.

In addition, a state of the art Fitness Room is located in the Whitfield Building and features top of the line equipment from Peloton, Life Fitness, and Hammer Strength. Residents will soon be able to enjoy a pool, which has the final approval to be built.

Common areas are also found in office buildings. The professional campus at 350 Goose Lane Office Park features three buildings of office space. The outside common areas include the parking lots, outdoor courtyard, and landscaped property. Formerly home to Wilber & King Nursery, the Horton Group kept the integrity of the grounds for ample green space, complete with a pond. Inside, the common areas of the buildings include the hallways, staircases, elevators, and bathrooms.

Common areas can be as important to residents and business owners as the individual units. By creating common spaces that are both functional and beautiful, people are more apt to feel like they are part of a community.

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