The Benefits of Landscaping

Landscaping does more than just create beautiful curb appeal. Taking care of your property, whether a single-family residence, a condominium community, or a commercial development, has environmental, economic, and health benefits.

Environmental Benefits

Maintaining your lawn or property helps to protect you and the environment. Here are some of the ways landscaping helps the environment:

  • A lawn helps to control temperature extremes. In summer months, grass is cooler than pavement or cement, and trees that provide shade help cool down the property and home even more.
  • Grass helps to capture dust and pollutants and produces oxygen, keeping the air we breathe cleaner.
  • Pollutants and storm runoff are reduced when healthy lawns absorb water, which reduces local flooding and keeps polluted water out of larger bodies of water.

Economic Benefits

Along with helping the environment, a well-cared for property has economic benefits for homeowners and business owners alike:

  • Curb appeal is the first thing people notice when looking to buy a home. A beautiful property can increase the value of your home and reduce the time your property is on the market.
  • Residents of apartment complexes or condominiums are likely to pay more to live in a complex with grounds that are well cared for. HOA fees generally take care of landscaping, which means residents can enjoy the benefits of the property without having to care for it themselves.
  • In commercial spaces, green space encourages shoppers to spend more time at the development and increases property values.

Health Benefits

Landscaping also positively impacts health, both at home and work environments.

  • By filtering pollutants, landscaping helps to clean to the air.
  • In workplaces, landscaped areas help to decrease stress and increase positive mood, even if just looking out a window.
  • A well-planned property can provide privacy and a beautiful environment where you can spend time with loved ones.

With warmer weather approaching, now is the time to get started on your landscaping, so that you can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors for the next several months.

What type of insulation do I need?

Insulation is needed in homes for many reasons: cost and energy savings, comfort, and even noise reduction. Depending on the climate where you live, the amount or type of insulation you need varies.

Insulation materials slow the flow of heat. In winter, it will slow the flow of heat from inside the home moving out, and in summer it slows the flow of heat from the outside in. The better insulation you have, the slower that flow will be, saving you on heating and cooling costs.

Insulation R-values refers to how much insulating power you need or have in your home. The higher the R-value, the more heat the material resists. The R-value is determined by the type of material used, the density, and the thickness.

The map and table below, from Insulation Institute, shows the insulation R-value needed based on location in the United States.

Zone Attic Wall Cavity Floor
1 R30 to R49 R13 to R15 R13
2 R30 to R60 R13 to R15 R13 to R25
3 R30 to R60 R13 to R15 R25
4 R38 to R60 R13 to R15 R25 to R30
5 R38 to R60 R13 to R21 R25 to R30
6 R49 to R60 R13 to R21 R25 to R30
7 R49 to R60 R13 to R21 R25 to R30
8 R49 to R60 R13 to R21 R25 to R30

 

“This map shows thermal recommended levels of insulation for various climate zones, based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The IECC is the model building code for the United States.” (insulationinstitute.org)

When building or renovating, consult with your contractor to determine what type of insulation is best for your home and location.

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.

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.

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 is Radiant Heat?

Stepping out of a relaxing hot shower or bath onto a cold tile floor can send chills up anybody’s spine. Imagine, instead, of stepping onto heated tile that keeps your feet and toes warm and comfortable. With radiant heated floors, this is possible.

Radiant heating systems lie under tile or stone, allowing heat to be directly supplied to the floor you walk on. This is the ultimate way to give your bathroom a spa-like feel. In our luxury condo units at 66 High Street, every bathroom has radiant heat under tile from Tile America.

There are three types of radiant heat systems: hydronic-based, forced air, and electric radiant heating. Hydronic based is the most popular and efficient and works by carrying hot water through tubes installed under floors. One nice feature about radiant heat is that it can be installed in a portion of a room, for instance, just in front of the bathroom vanity.

Although radiant heat can be pricey to install, the benefits may outweigh the cost. Benefits include:

Evenly Distributed Heat

With radiant floors, heat is more evenly distributed throughout the room. With typical forced hot air, the heat quickly rises, leaving the bottom of the room and floors cold. With radiant heated floors, the heat begins at the ground and naturally rises to heat the rest of the room, which keeps your feet and toes warm.

No Noise

Radiant heat is completely silent. No sounds are coming from the radiator or forced air vents. You feel the warmth, without hearing the heating system.

You Can Install in a Portion of the Room

You can choose to install radiant heat in an entire room or just a portion with a pre-sized heating mat. If you want heated floors when you step out of the shower, you can opt for a rectangular space of radiant heat right in that spot. You could choose a different tile to highlight this heated area for a visual cue. This will also allow you to repair without ripping up the entire floor, since the heating system is permanently under the flooring.

Radiant heat adds a luxurious feel to any space. With options for installation and pre-selected sizes, it becomes an affordable addition.

What room do you want to install radiant heated floors in? Let us know in the comments!

2018 HOBI Awards

The 2018 HOBI Awards Dinner at the Aqua Turf Club was full of laughs, celebration, and a welcomed chance for us to connect with others in the Home Building Industry.

The Horton Group is honored to receive four new HOBI Awards, bringing the total up to 11 in three years.

Horton Group’s 2018 HOBI Awards:

  • BEST CONDOMINIUM COMMUNITY for The Residences at 66 High Street
  • BEST CONDOMINIUM UNIT for The Residences at 66 High Street
  • OUTSTANDING NEW HAVEN COUNTY NEW COMMERCIAL for 350 Goose Lane
  • OUTSTANDING VACATION REMODEL for 21 Palms, Marathon, FL

We are proud of all our work at The Horton Group, and are thrilled that these three projects have been recognized by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut.  

The Residences at 66 High Street

Residences at 66 High StreetThe Residences at 66 High Street is a luxury condominium community in Guilford, CT. Each unique residence features an open floor plan highlighted by high ceilings, a gourmet kitchen, finely appointed baths, and high-end finishes. Not only does this development provide an unparalleled level of opulence and sophistication, residents love the sense of community and inclusiveness at 66 High Street.

350 Goose Lane Office Park

350 Goose Lane Office Park combines the renovation of a 4,200 square foot post and beam building, two new buildings, and ample green space. Former home to Wilber & King Nursery, The Horton Group preserved the beautiful landscaping and pond for a commercial space with incredible benefits.

21 Palms

21 PalmsLocated in Marathon, a city set on 13 islands in the Florida Keys, is 21 Palms. After Hurricane Irma in 2017, The Horton Group had an unexpected rebuild to complete – one that made the beachfront vacation home even more pristine. 21 Palms is equipped with everything you want while on vacation, including luxurious amenities, a pool, boat dock, and epic ocean views.

We are so grateful to do this work. And to be recognized with HOBI Awards? That lets us know we are doing it right.

What are the HOBI Awards?

The HOBI’s, or Home Building Industry Awards, are prestigious awards given by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut. For 24 years, awards have been given to builders, developers, architects, and construction companies for outstanding work. In 2017, 137 awards were given in the following categories:

  • Custom Homes
  • Spec homes
  • Communities
  • Remodeling
  • Commercial
  • Special Focus
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Home Financing
  • Community Service

Horton Group is proud to be an HOBI award winner. The Residences at 66 High Street, our luxury condominium development in Guilford, CT, earned the following awards:

2017 HOBI Awards:

  • Best Luxury Condominium Community
  • Outstanding Luxury Condominium
  • Best Luxury Townhouse

2016 HOBI Awards:

  • 2016 Project of the Year
  • Best Condominium Community
  • Best Luxury Condominium Unit
  • Best Historic Rehab Overall

The 25th annual HOBI Awards are taking place November 13th, 2018, where the Horton Group is up for more awards. For more information, click here.

What are the benefits of underground electric?

The initial monetary cost of placing power lines underground can be steep for developers and builders, but this price ensures high quality and value.

Compared to overhead electrical lines, underground electric is far less susceptible to power outages caused by inclement weather. Especially in the northeast and along the shoreline, where there are occasional blizzards and tropical storms, underground electric significantly reduces the risk of power outages caused by falling trees or high winds.

Eliminating eyesores like overhead power lines also provides homeowners and tenants with the best quality product and enhances property values. At The Residences at 66 High Street, we made sure members of the community can enjoy the picturesque views of Long Island Sound without any obstructions. Likewise, by placing power lines underground at 350 Goose Lane Office Park, tenants can better experience the beautiful grounds.

At Horton Group, we believe that, in order to guarantee overall quality, it is essential to preserve the natural environments on which we build. By choosing underground electrical lines, we avoid compromising the aesthetic quality of nature that is so vital to our vision.

 

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