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.

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.

How Secure is a Multi-Home Building?

Despite the advantages of moving into a multi-home community, it is natural for residents to have concerns about security. With a steady flow of residents, visitors, workers, or mail and delivery services in close proximity to your home and belongings, it is important to be sure you and your belongings are safe.

In condominiums and apartment buildings, there are various ways to ensure a true sense of security. As listed on the Peace of Mind Technologies (POM) website, these might include:

  • Establishing a cooperative culture of security: All residents should establish clear expectations regarding security measures and take responsibility for the health and safety of the entire residential community. Cooperation is key.
  • Landscaping: Carefully manicured landscapes and green space help signal to visitors that the property is cared for and monitored.
  • Access control: POM suggests that key cards, rather than keys, are a great security measure as they can digitally log entry and exit into a given building.
  • Remote monitoring and remote access for deliveries: Security personnel can manage the flow of vendors or package deliveries and grant them access to a designated room for deliveries. Separating delivery traffic from residential traffic improves overall security.
  • Motion detectors: Similar to security measures like cameras and lights, motion detectors can be monitored remotely and sense intruders.

Our ongoing luxury condominium project – The Residences at 66 High Street – has adopted similar methods for enhancing security.

For one, current and future residents at High Street make up an unbelievably caring and trustworthy community. The landscaping is also constantly maintained. As far as the building is concerned, there are cameras throughout the buildings to monitor all points of entry. In order to enter the building, residents are given a unit-specific code to enter on a keypad. Additionally, each residence comes equipped with cameras in the foyer and security systems.

The opportunity to live at The Residence at 66 High Street and be within walking distance of historic downtown Guilford and the train station is one to be enjoyed. As it is our job to ensure this enjoyment, we want to do all we can to give residents peace of mind and make them feel safe in and away from home.

 

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 Historic District Commissions?

Connecticut is full of historic towns and sightings. With modern advances and population growth, it is important to preserve a sense of history and character, paying homage to the roots of each town. Settled in 1639, the town of Guilford is a testament to a place holding onto its small-town New England charm while the area continues to grow in popularity.   

Historic District Commissions enhance the town’s deep-rooted history and identity while carefully accommodating growth. They work to preserve and protect historically significant architecture, buildings, homes, and landscapes. Historic District Commissions are responsible for the following:

  • Making periodic reports to the legislative body
  • Initiating planning and zoning proposals
  • Commenting on applications for zoning variances
  • Assisting with any capital improvement program involving historic
  • Providing information to property owners involving the preservation of the district

Within Guilford’s downtown, there are two historic districts, the Guilford Town Center Historic District and the Whitfield Street Historic District. Guilford’s Historic District Commission is charged with monitoring these areas. For the full list of rules and regulations, click here.

The site for The Residences at 66 High Street falls within the Whitfield Historic District. Abiding by various rules and regulations set forth by the town, the project needed to fit with the fabric of historic Guilford. In the end, the renovated industrial Mill Building and the three new modern colonial buildings do just that.

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 Does a Real Estate Developer Do? Why?

If you have seen Caddyshack, you may remember Al Czervik. An obnoxious man of ample wealth and few morals, Czervik threatens to buy Bushwood Country Club and convert the land into condominiums. His character and ambitions reinforce a stigma that clouds the way people think about real estate developers and development. While there are bad apples in every industry, few people truly understand what developers do and what their motives are.

What does a real estate developer do?

In short, real estate developers are individuals and companies that are responsible for taking a vision for a site and making it come to fruition. This is easier said than done. Bringing a building project to life involves a great deal of risk, time, patience, and collaboration. The overall process of development may look something like this:

  1. Purchase land or an existing property.
  2. Establish a building program and design.  First, establish a purpose for  the building. Should it be residential? Commercial? Then, collaborate with the architects, planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, etc. to establish a design.
  3. Obtain the necessary public approval and financing.
  4. Build.
  5. Rent, Lease or Sell.

What are a developer’s motives?

Al Czervik and unethical real estate developers in the news may lead people to believe that developers are money-hungry and heartless, but these ideas are ill-founded. It is true that if done correctly, real estate development can be highly profitable. However, in order to be successful in the industry, developers must understand that investing wholeheartedly in a project means also investing in future users and the surrounding community. Developers must be motivated by money, as they too need to make ends meet and turn a profit, but the best developers must be equally as motivated by making the world a better, more beautiful place.

At Horton Group, in the acquisition and development of a property, our vision extends beyond property lines. While we are invested in what we do, we are equally as invested in the people and communities we do it for.

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