A new custom home in Lancaster PA

4 Hidden Benefits of a Custom Home Build

If you’re stuck deciding whether or not to go through with building your own custom home, we thought we’d share five more reasons you likely have not considered yet in choosing to build a new custom home with the experts here at Norman L. Graham. By now we’re sure you’ve compiled a list of pros and cons outlining some of the most common reasons people decide whether to build new or go with a resale. Your “pros” list likely mirrors some of the thoughts we introduced in our first blog on our website as to why you should choose a new home. This is a great list to get started with, but we’d be willing to bet you haven’t considered a few of these lesser-known benefits below. Be sure to add these as well if any are missing from your list. Continue reading

The Basic Bathroom Remodel (Tier 1)

The nature of a custom project means that the price can range greatly depending on what you are expecting to get out of it. We’ve put together a series of blogs to show several different ways you can go about a bathroom remodel and included a cost range for each. We’ve broken them into three tiers based on their cost, and will describe some of the typical features of each renovation.


Do you have a scary looking bathroom?

The first part of our series features the basic bathroom remodel. This looks at a lower cost renovation which typically would cost less than $10,000. Depending whether or not you choose to do some or all of it yourself, and the extent of your renovations, you can get the cost down to several hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Unless you are knowledgeable in the area of home design however, we recommend consulting with a designer or contractor to help you plan and manage the project. Continue reading

Top 5 Reasons to Remodel

Are you looking to convince yourself or your spouse that your home is in need of a remodeling job? Being the home remodeling experts that we are, we thought we’d help you come up with a list of some practical reasons to update your home. The list used in our blog here is of course backed by a survey, as it comes from the National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index that was released this spring. This means you won’t even need to feel guilty about using the helpful information in this blog! Check out the top five reasons below, and feel free to share any of your own on our social pages.

  1. Basement Reading NookYou need newer and/or better amenities – Who wouldn’t love a walk-in closet, an island addition to the kitchen, a reading nook, or even smart technology that helps you save money?
  2. The old components are wearing out – You may decide it’s a good time to remodel if you need to repair or replace components in your home that have worn out, nd want to get everything done at once to save both time and money.

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Summer Home Preparation Tips

barbecueEven though certain points this year may have made it seem that summer was already here, we’re still a few weeks away from the pool parties, BBQs, and camp-outs that accompany the summer season. Just as you would likely put a lot of time and effort into the preparation of your summer plans and gatherings, you want to do the same for your home.

We put together a list of some of the best home preparedness tips for the summer months, and encourage you to put some of these to use at your own home. This list will not only save you time, but also some money that you could use to put towards your next home renovation, remodel, or addition! Continue reading

Choosing the Right Custom Home Builder or Remodeler

There are a lot of options when it comes to building your custom home or remodeling your bathroom, kitchen, dining room, or other area of the house. How can you be assured the company you select is the right fit for you, and will they give you the results you demand? Building a custom home or remodeling your existing property can be one of the largest investments you’ll make, so you want to be sure you’re making the right choice.

Fortunately we’ve been in the business for over 60 years and can offer some helpful advice when you’re shopping for your next custom home builder or remodeling company. Use this guide as a way to help choose the right company for you, and perhaps save you from a very costly mistake. Continue reading

Energy Efficiency – The Homeowner’s Guide to Cutting Costs

As new homes are being built and existing homes are being upgraded to segue out of the 19th century, there is one feature of our homes that tends to be outdated. This problem isn’t being ignored either. In fact, the Demand Institute’s survey of the Housing Satisfaction Gap which surveyed over 10,000 households, found that while over 70% of homeowners find energy efficiency and low utility costs important, only 35% were satisfied with their current homes.

These numbers are staggering, but it’s not surprising since upgrading your home’s energy can save you significant money. This is only amplified over time, as the newer appliances, bulbs, and other features outlast their outdated counterparts. Continue reading

Winterize Your Home with These 4 Cost-Efficient Tips

groundhogFans of Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day already know that our esteemed weather prognosticator foresees six more weeks of winter. This likely isn’t good news for your wallet, especially if you use electricity to generate your heat. Following last year’s brutally cold winter, you’ve hopefully taken some additional steps to winterize your home, as even small, inexpensive projects can make a significant difference in your heating bill. If you haven’t taken steps already there’s still time and even if you have been proactive in winterizing your home, there may be some additional ways to save money with minimal investment. Continue reading

Looking to Buy: Six Things Home Buyers Want

Mortgage rates are still low and the jobs market has made marked improvements. This has led forecasters to predict 2015 to be a good year for selling your home. Knowing what buyers want and how to market can therefore give you a distinct advantage on actually closing a deal. We’ve come up with a list of six common demands home buyers have that can help you gain a distinct advantage over your competition.

  • Affordability – As rent continues to climb, the prospects of investing in a home rises as the pricing gap between the two narrows. Home costs obviously need to fit in the buyer’s budget. Study and price your home appropriately according to your local market.
  • Kitchen RemodelA Good Investment – It is crucial to make the best investment for the future. Many people agree that a home is a good long-term investment, and there’s plenty you can do to emphasize this point. Prepare a list of investments that boost your home’s value and perform some of the work beforehand. All the other items below will help convince your potential buyer that your home would be a great investment.
  • Renovations/Remodels We’ve already told you how to increase the value of your home through remodeling or renovating. Few people want to put in a lot of work on their new home. A home with minimal remodeling or renovation requirements is more likely to sell. Even small improvements can make a big difference, including door replacements, painted walls, and new windows. Modern kitchens are in high demand.

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Home Repainting Tips & Tricks

Room remodelRepainting rooms in your home is typically recommended every five to 15 years depending on a few variables. These can include the quality of the current paint, how much traffic the room gets, whether or not there’s smoke from fireplaces or inhabitants, and even personal preference. It’s amazing how a simple paint job can transform the look and feel of a room. It’s so paramount that it’s even worth delaying a home renovation or remodel until there’s more flexibility in the budget.

Achieving a quality finish to your painting project isn’t always easy due to the number of obstacles you can run into. Everything from windows and doors to furniture an d fixtures can hinder your ability to perform the job to the level of your satisfaction. Fortunately for those who are looking for some help in their painting project, we’ve created a short list of some of our favorite painting tips and tricks for any room in your house. Continue reading

Beyond Reality: The Home Improvement Show Myths

A homebuilding team on a reality show may consist of much more than they show you.We have some breaking news for everyone who has fallen in love with the recent “reality” show oversaturation:  it’s not really reality! Alright, you probably already knew this, but it is worth repeating as new shows continue to pop up and offer a different spin on “reality.” One of the most popular themes for these shows is home renovations or buying and selling a home. We wanted to set the record straight on some of the common misconceptions and expectations that these shows can perpetuate and prepare you to use discernment when viewing them. Continue reading