Kitchen Renovations: Where to Splurge

A well-designed kitchen can make an entire house feel more luxurious. The heart of the home, the kitchen is where families and friends gather to prepare food, discuss their days, enjoy meals, and unwind with a drink.

The Horton Group knows how important the kitchen is to most people, which is why we incorporate the best quality and design into the homes we build. For the luxury condominium units at The Residences at 66 High Street, we called on Bender to design the kitchen cabinetry with designer Daryl Zorn.

Bender has six Connecticut locations, with national recognition for their award-winning showrooms. For the model units of the Whitfield and Leete buildings, Zorn worked closely with our interior designer and Nicole White from One + Company Real Estate, the listing company for 66 High Street, to make selections.

“The rest were custom units where I worked directly with the buyers and got a feel of the styling they liked. The styles range from traditional to somewhat farmhouse with distressed cabinets to transitional,” Zorn said.

Kitchens continue to be the most desired room to renovate. The average kitchen renovation costs over $20,000, according to Home Advisor, and can easily go much higher. Because Bender focuses on function, budget, and innovative design, we reached out to them to determine which items are worth the splurge in the kitchen.

1. Cabinet Box Construction

A quality-built cabinet is essential for new kitchens. Pay attention to both the material of the cabinet box and the way it is built. Some manufacturers claim all plywood construction, but with poor assembly. Paying more for the build of the cabinets will go a long way in your kitchen.

2. Qualified Contractor or Installer

Spending money on the quality of the cabinets will go to waste if not installed correctly, and it is not the best time to try out your DIY skills. Find a contractor or installer who is an expert with cabinetry. They know what screws to use, how to level cabinetry, and how to adjust drawers and hinges. A quality installation job will last a lifetime and makes it easier for other contractors in your kitchen, including plumbers, electricians, and countertop installers.

3. Appliances

High-quality appliances not only add to the design of your kitchen but, more importantly, better your cooking experience and the food you eat. With advanced technology, high-end appliances give you more control over how you cook and make cleanup easier.

4. Cabinet Hardware

Hardware allows for endless customization options in the kitchen. Mixed metals, including brushed brass, chrome, and matte black, are trending in kitchen designs. Bender recommends choosing two or three metals that complement each other and play off of one another in cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and faucets. The “jewelry” of the kitchen, cabinet knobs and pulls can make the difference between a nice kitchen and a fabulous kitchen.

No matter what you decide to spend your budget on in the kitchen, you cannot go wrong with quality products installed by a professional.

Leete Condo sells at the Highest Price Per Square Foot in New Haven County

With sweeping views of the salt marsh and Long Island Sound, the stately Leete is one of the newly constructed buildings in the luxury development at the Residences at 66 High Street. While this award-winning development continues to grow, The Horton Group remains dedicated to providing residents with luxurious amenities and masterful craftsmanship in the heart of historic Guilford.

Two closings in the Leete building took place in the past month, including Unit 39, which became the highest price per square foot in New Haven County this year when it sold for $1,985,275. With more units under contract, we can’t help but reflect on the history, work, and community that has made this possible.

The History

The Horton Group took on the development of the Residences at 66 High Street, beginning with the transformation of the historic Mill building. Originally built in 1884, the building served many purposes, including a factory in World War II era. During this time, women were employed to assemble ball bearings for military vehicles, while the rear portion of the building doubled as a school for the children of factory workers. When renovating the building into 15 luxury condominiums, many original features were left intact, with units showcasing antique brick, steel, and exposed beams, paired with high-end finishes and modern day amenities.

The three new buildings on site, including the Leete, feature Type II-B construction with reinforced concrete and steel, which is high above the standard for new construction in the area. Each unit is thoughtfully laid out and designed to capture the most breathtaking views on the Connecticut shoreline.

The Work

As each year passes, the Residences at 66 High Street continue to showcase some of our best work. The development has received Home Building Industry Awards, or HOBIs, every year since 2016, including Project of the Year, Best Condominium Community, Best Historic Rehab, and Best Luxury Townhouse. As each new building goes up, we continue to pay attention to every detail, choose top quality products, and work with the best industry professionals. This work has allowed us to build a development we are proud of.

The Community

While the accolades are a perk, the community at 66 High Street is why we really love this work. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, and the Green, it is easy to enjoy all that downtown Guilford has to offer. Residents often gather together to walk their dogs, complete a workout in the fitness room, or enjoy an evening sharing laughs over a meal. When we first started this project, we envisioned a neighborhood feel, but never expected such a strong and welcoming community.

The community, combined with Guilford’s rich history and the quality work put into every unit, allows us to continue to create and sell luxury homes on the Connecticut shoreline. We are honored to have our work recognized, both by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut and by the people who chose to call 66 High Street home.

The recent closings and the units under contract, exclusively listed with One + Company at William Raveis Real Estate, speak to the work we have put in, and we are excited to watch as this community continues to grow.

Car Charging Stations at 66 High Street

Tesla has experienced massive growth in the past six years. The plug-in electric car models allow people to charge their cars rather than fill up at a gas station. Not only are these luxury cars cheaper to run, but they are also better for the environment.

With the increase in sales, more charging stations are being opened throughout the country. People need to be able to charge their cars, and charging stations at home or work are the most convenient option, as it can take between 1 and 12 hours to charge, depending on the charger (Supercharger Stations the fastest option, though not available for home use). Being able to get home, plug in your car, and charge overnight is most convenient for Tesla cars.

Connecticut is one of the states where Tesla has installation services, making it possible for residents at 66 High Street to have home chargers installed through Tesla or an independent electrician. The quickest home charging option is the Tesla Wall Connector, although owners can also use the Mobile Connector included when purchasing a new model.

In a multi-unit dwelling, Tesla owners need to speak with either the board, manager, or owner of the complex before installation. Tesla provides a template letter if you need approval to install a charging station. At 66 High Street, some of our residents already have charging installed in the underground parking garage.

As more charging stations appear in New England, Tesla automobiles are becoming an option for more people every day. The Horton Group strives to make the communities we work with both luxurious and sustainable, and are available to help residents who own a Tesla set up a home charging station.

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.

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.

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 Makes a Property Energy Efficient?

Inefficient energy consumption is harmful to the environment and causes energy bills to skyrocket. At Horton Group, we aim to provide high-quality products that are economically and environmentally sustainable. We strive for energy efficiency, which saves future buyers and tenants money, while doing our part to save the environment.

While the term is often thrown around, people seldom understand the many factors that go into making a structure truly energy efficient. From the early stages of design and construction, to the appliances and systems set in place near completion, our projects like The Residences at 66 High Street implement building technologies to ensure energy efficiency. These include:

Using the above building techniques and appliances, along with those available on the Department of Energy website, developers, homeowners, and business owners can play a major role in reducing emissions for the sake of the environment and their savings. Energy efficient building techniques can reduce energy costs to a fraction of the overall average.

Energy efficiency in both new and old buildings is a low-risk investment. Occupants are sure to save substantial sums of money as a result of drastically lower energy costs. For investors, developers, and builders, any extra time and money spent on energy efficiency will pay off.

 

What’s it like living at 66 High Street?

Kathy Moniello, a resident at The Residences at 66 High Street, shares her experience of living in one of the luxury condominiums in Guilford. 

After selling an oceanfront home in Westbrook, Kathy moved to High Street in December 2017. “Because I was leaving something so beautiful, I knew I couldn’t settle,” she said. The Residences at 66 High Street have not disappointed.

“Everytime I pull in and see the beautiful grounds and walk to my unit, I feel joy and pride in ownership.” 

From the high-end units, to the friendly and supportive residents, to the helpful team at The Horton Group, Kathy has settled in to a new life in Guilford.

The high-end look and feel of 66 High Street, including the property, amenities, and individual units, is something Kathy appreciates. Within her unit, she loves the top of the line appliances, ample storage, and ability to customize to her needs and style. With the fitness room being completed, residents are bringing in a personal trainer for group classes a few times a week. Kathy is also looking forward to the proposed pool.

It’s easy to be captivated by a luxurious unit, but when paired with incredible neighbors, that unit becomes home. “I don’t know how we have attracted so many wonderful people,” says Kathy. The residents help each other out, spend time with each other, and have created a strong bond. “Last week,” she says, “we were all out with our dogs, then before you know it everyone went to get a bottle of wine. Someone got the pizza they were making, and we were all over at my unit having a little party.”

The Horton Group has spared no expense building the Residences at 66 High Street.

“They have been amazing throughout the entire process,” Kathy explained. “Whether it is Earl, Kenny, or Jason, they want the very best outcome.”

Kathy’s unit was completely finished when she bought it, but she wanted to make some changes, including switching to a stackable washer dryer and installing a central vac system. “This can be difficult to do post construction, but instead of saying, ‘It can’t be done,’ Jason came in, looked at what I wanted and said, ‘This is how we can make it happen.’”

By paying attention to every detail during the development, building, and marketing of 66 High Street, The Horton Group built more than luxury condominiums. They built an unparalleled community. And it was just what Kathy was searching for.

 

Interested in the Residences at 66 High Street? Schedule a showing today.

Condo Associations: What do they do?

Living in a condominium can be filled with perks, including the use of a fitness room or pool, lawn maintenance, and snow removal. In order to keep common areas maintained and unit owners happy, Condo Associations set rules, regulations, and fees for condominium and townhouse owners. The Condo Association’s board of directors, voted in by unit owners, oversees this work and handles disputes that may arise.

Condo Association Fees

In addition to paying a mortgage, unit owners pay condo association fees or dues. The board of directors determines how much members pay for the upkeep of the association. Fees can vary greatly depending on what amenities are available to unit owners. Condo association fees are used for the general upkeep of the property, such as landscaping, as well as repairs for common areas, such as new roofing.

Common Areas

Common Areas in condominium associations can include parking areas, sidewalks, lobbies, hallways, lawns, fitness rooms, pools, and recreational areas. These areas are for the use of all unit owners. Maintenance and repairs in common areas are paid from Condo Association dues. Condo Associations also have their own insurance policy for common areas. To learn more about what may be covered by your association vs. what your personal unit policy should cover, head to Allstate’s article on the topic.

Rules and Disputes

Condo Associations do not just pay for the upkeep of common areas, they also work to build an enjoyable living community for all members. This requires rules and regulations for unit owners. These rules can cover broader topics such as pet and noise regulations, down to color options for your front door. When disputes arise between members or rules are not followed, the board of directors is in charge of settling these cases, whether it is through warning letters, fines, or other means.

Condo associations can be very beneficial for members, but only if it’s regulations, fees, and perks are fitting with your lifestyle. Learn as much as you can about the association before buying a new unit. Laws for condo living vary state to state, so also look into State Condo Laws.

 

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