Your Home Could Help You Save With Energy Tax Credits

November 15th, 2010

We have been talking a lot lately about energy efficiency and environmentally smart choices you can make as a homeowner to reduce your impact on our earth’s resources and cut back on the expenses in heating and cooling your home. Even if you don’t purchase new, there are many things you can do to an existing home that will help you take advantage of up to $1500 in tax credits for your 2010 income tax returns if you complete the work before Dec. 31st. In an article recently published by the National Association of Homebuilders, they mentioned some of the things you can do to qualify for the tax credit from windows to water heaters. With the recent storms in Kansas City, many people had to replace their roofs, windows and siding which may already entitle them to a tax credit.  To view a list of all the products that qualify, you can visit the NAHB website or read more at the federal government’s Energy Star page.

Whether you are in the market to retrofit your existing home to make it more energy efficient and weather proof before winter sets in or interested in buying a new home that will save you money on energy costs, we hope you’ll think of Joseph Lane first.We are an Energy Star partner and our new homes are built with your pocketbook in mind. You can read about some of the things we do from helping you conserve water to cutting back on your energy bill right here in our blog!  We are a full service builder, using our years of experience to not only build new but improve older homes.

Our handyman services give you the option to update and upgrade your current home with a homebuilder you can trust. From remodeling to retrofitting, we have the experience and know-how to help you get the job done right the first time. Contact us to schedule an appointment and see how we can help you take advantage of the energy tax credits before it’s too late!

Don’t Throw Your Money Down The Drain. An Easy Way To Save!

November 5th, 2010

Saving Money Is Easier Than You Think!

Conservation is the name of the game these days for all things that lead back to your pocketbook. Whether it’s gas for your car, or heat for your home we all seem to be thinking twice about how and where we spend our hard earned cash. In order to save money, however, we have to be aware of our choices in order to decide whether it is in our best interests to go the less expensive route or the more costly one. It’s no different when you look at your home and all the costs involved in maintaining it from utilities to appliances. The biggest issue is how can you tell if you are making the smart choice for you AND your wallet?

When it comes to saving water, the good news is that it has become easier than ever to be able to tell at a glance which products will save precious resources and in turn, have less impact on your budget. The Environmental Protection Agency has a voluntary program called WaterSense which was developed to address and work toward protecting the our future water supply. Because it is not a mandatory program, builders and homeowners have to be informed in order to choose products for their homes that are WaterSense tested and labeled. In order to use the WaterSense logo on products, manufacturers have to go through a process developed by the EPA to show their product meets the water conservation specifications of the program. If their product is found to be compliant, they are allowed to use the WaterSense logo in conjunction with the labeling and marketing of the product which makes it easy for everyone to see at a glance which products do or don’t conserve water for everything from toilets to faucets.  Knowing about the difference between WaterSense and non-WaterSense fixtures is helpful if you are in the market for a new home. It’s one of those questions you should be asking and if you’re building a new home, it’s something you should plan to incorporate into your home as it can mean big savings down the road for your pocketbook but also for the planet!WaterSense logo

Go With The Flow!

For instance, did you know that faucets account for over 15% of water use in the home? The EPA states that by using WaterSense faucets in the home, the average household will save over 500 gallons of water per year! WaterSense labeled faucets control and reduce the flow of water without affecting performance, in fact you probably won’t notice a difference when you use the sink- the only difference you will see is a dent in your water and energy bills! Even if you don’t use an entire WaterSense faucet, you can inexpensively retrofit existing faucets with aerators that give you many of the same benefits without major impact on your budget for new fixtures. The EPA estimates that if every household in the US used WaterSense bathroom sink faucets/accessories, we could save more than 60 billion gallons of water and over $350 million in water utility bills.  It’s clearly something worth thinking about. At Joseph Lane Homes, all of our bathrooms feature Delta WS (WaterSense) labeled faucets. It’s just another one of those details we are thinking about so that you don’t have to. Conservation of energy and resources is important for everyone and we are doing everything we can to bring you the latest innovations and products that will help you live better, enjoy your home AND save money!  To learn more about WaterSense, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website or come by and visit us at one of our models. We would love to take you around and show you all of the things we do to keep our new homes in Kansas City both energy and resource efficient!

A Green You’ll Envy

October 28th, 2010

Kermit the Frog made a hit out of the song “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Now Kermit may prefer the comfort of a cozy swap to a house in the suburbs, but even he would agree the green benefits of today’s newly constructed homes equal more superior quality, comfort and affordability than homes built just a few years ago.

energy star logoYou’ve most likely seen the Energy Star logo on any number of products; from refrigerators and televisions to printers. That same Energy Star logo is showing up more frequently on new homes that are built to the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Homes that meet their guidelines will typically have the Energy Star seal on the home’s breaker box. The government-backed Energy Star label identifies homes that are truly energy efficient. Joseph Lane is leading the way in the Kansas City as one of the few builders with certified Energy Star homes already on the market.  Because it’s so new, we want to share with you what makes these Energy Star homes so incredible and how they benefit the people who live in them.

4205 NE 84th Terrace Barry Brooke Joseph Lanes Energy Star Home

Energy Star home at 4205 NE 84th Terrace in Barry Brooke

Many older homes and even some new ones can have a number of energy problems; poor insulation, windows that let in too much cold air, air leaks between where basement or crawl spaces connect to the house, duct work that leaks or isn’t installed properly, rooms that are too hot or too cold compared to the rest of the house. These and a multitude of other problems are clues that a home is not as energy efficient as it should be. If you were to combine the number of leaks and gaps in a typical home it would be like leaving a window open year round.

When Joseph Lane builds an Energy Star home we always go the extra mile. Great care is taken to make sure the home is designed to be energy efficient for our often unpredictable mid-west climate. Obviously a house built in Florida would have different needs then a house built in Kansas City. From the right windows to the best insulation to the most efficient light fixtures and appliances, no stone is left unturned in the design of a Joseph Lane Energy Star Home.

IT MAKES DOLLARS AND SENSE.

If you’re thinking an Energy Star home is going to save you money in maintenance costs you would be one-hundred percent right! Since these homes are better built and properly insulated it allows your heating and cooling systems to work more efficiently, saving you around 20 % on your energy bills. In addition to that, Energy Star rated heating systems are 15% more efficient then standard models. Some of the keys to better heating and air performance included tighter construction as well as proper equipment placement.  Joseph Lanes ensures that your heating equipment and ducts are located inside the conditioned space of your home (not in an unconditioned garage or attic) to minimize exposure to harsh elements, which can make your system use more energy to keep the home comfortable. Sophisticated computer software calculates how much heating your home really needs so we can install the right equipment to meet those needs. Joseph Lane installs a well-designed mechanical ventilation system in our Energy Star qualified homes to provide consistent fresh air flow through all seasons of the year.

So, how does a Joseph Lane home earn that popular Energy Star seal?  Third party independent inspectors test the home during and after construction. They run several tests to make sure the structure will meet the strict guidelines of the EPA. If it passes the test it earns that familiar blue seal. Energy Star standards are typically stricter then code built homes.  Not only is an Energy Star home going to save you money it will also help in saving the environment. Homes contribute to 16% on the world’s air pollution, that’s more then your car. Energy Star homes greatly reduce the level of air pollution a home produces.

MORE GREEN IN YOUR HOME = MORE GREEN IN YOUR POCKET!

At BarryBrooke, you can tour the latest Joseph Lane Energy Star Rated home at 4205 NE 84th Terrace in Kansas City’s beautiful Northland. Certified by Mary English of Small Step Energy Solutions, LLC, the home is expected to save homeowners an average of around $300.00 at current energy rates (not including KCP&L’s planned increases next year).  The breakdown in projected Energy Cost Savings per year (from Remrate reporting) is as follows:

Barry Brooke Energy Star rated home in Kansas City

Inside our Energy Star home at Barry Brooke

Heating: $130.00
Cooling: $165.00
Water Heating: $9.00

That’s extra money in the bank that you won’t have to spend on energy bills. As an added benefit, on an Energy Star home you keep more of the elements out which means improved air quality indoors. This is big news for those who suffer from athsma and allergies! Healthier living for you AND the planet! If you want to learn more about Energy Star homes, visit online at www.energystar.gov
At Joseph Lane, we are dedicated to continuing to improve the quality of homes we build to improve the quality of life for the people who live in them. We have several more homes under construction that are slated for an Energy Star certification in the following popular Northland neighborhoods:

·        Barry Brooke (Antigua) 3 Car – 4219 NE 84th Terr

·        Estates of Willow Brooke  ­(Barbados) – 9416 N Wayne Ct

·        Staley Hills (­ Barbados) – ­ 1805 NE 11th Terr

·        Hawksbury ­ (Barbados) -  ­ Lot 95

It’s true building a “green” Energy Star home is a little more work, but like Kermit you’ll see “It’s beautiful, and I think it’s where you want to be.” Check us out and say hi at any of our model homes or visit with us online on Facebook and Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

Fall Parade of Homes – Come Tour our Parade Entry!

October 8th, 2010

2010 Fall Parade of homes Reverse 1.5 Story from Joseph LaneThe seasons are changing and while it’s cool outside, in Kansas City’s housing industry we have tours going on that are Hot Hot Hot right now! With the pending approach of winter just around the corner, it’s time for the Fall Parade of Homes sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Homebuilders Association! We hope you’ll take the time to come tour our parade entry located at Barry Brooke in Kansas City’s beautiful Northland.

Our entry this year is an award-winning reverse 1.5 story plan that is loaded with extras. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 living rooms, and a stunning list of details that you might not expect to find in this price range.  An oversized walk-in tiled shower, jacuzzi tub in the master, walk in pantry in the kitchen plus hardwoods and oiled bronze fixtures are just a few of the surprises you’ll find. At Joseph Lane we pride ourselves on building homes in Kansas City of exceptional quality and we think you’ll agree that this a whole lot of house for the money.

8422 N Elmwood Avenue Kansas City,MO 64156

We even made it easy for you to get driving directions.  Just enter your address into the box below and you’ll get a map that takes you right to us!


With the location at Barry Brooke you’ll find most of our homesites back to green space which means no neighbors living behind you, plus we have trees galore and easy access to MO152 and the interstate. Come out and see us, we will be open daily during the parade from 11am – 6pm through October 17th.  There’s no better time to buy and you owe it to yourself to research your investment before you purchase a home. We hope you’ll come and see the homes we build, there isn’t anyone in Kansas City who can build a home quite like a Joesph Lane Home!

Kitchen detail Joseph Lane Homes in Kansas City's Barry Brooke Living Area detail - Joseph Lane Homes in Kansas City's Barry Brooke

Hardwood flooring detail- Joseph Lane Homes in Barry BrookeLiving area detail- Joseph Lane Homes at Barry Brooke

A Harvest of Honey-DO Home Projects

September 29th, 2010

 

For many of us Fall is our favorite time of year. You can open the windows breakout the sweaters and spend a little more time sitting around that backyard fire pit.
But before you get too comfortable with that cup of hot chocolate lets make sure your biggest investment is ready for the change in seasons.

For many of us Fall is our favorite time of year. You can open the windows breakout the sweaters and spend a little more time sitting around that backyard fire pit.Repairing drafty windows cant save you big bucks on energy billsYou put up with it last year, but do you really want to go through another winter with those drafty windows. Fall is the perfect time to treat your home to new energy efficient windows. But unwanted drafts can find multiple ways to sneak into your house, doors, dryer vents, mail slots, electric and gas service entrances and outdoor water faucets.  If you want to see if a draft is coming into your house light an incense stick and pass it along the cracks where you think there might be a leak.   Wherever the smoke blows in or gets sucked out there’s a draft. Fixing many of these issues can be relatively inexpensive, and the money you save on your energy bills could just blow you over.

Nothing is prettier then the colors of autumn. The changing of the leaves makes every yard look like a postcard.  Unfortunately when those colors fade and the leaves take that last free fall many end up on the roof, the gutters and anyplace where they are impossible to get at.  Cleaning gutters ranks pretty much last on most people’s to-do list. Chances are you’ve broken a few OSHA rules yourself while balancing on that old ladder trying to get those gutters spotless. The only scares you should experience this Fall should come around Halloween, safety first.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fire place in your home, you know how the heat of a real fire can drive away the coldest of chills.  But this past summer the heat and rain and other elements can cause cracking and leaks in your chimney. Get it taken care of now and you can enjoy all the warmth and romance your fireplace was meant for.

Last but not least don’t overlook the water heater. There is nothing worse then waking up to no hot water. Draining your hot water heater can remove the sediment that can sit in your tank and damage your unit.

Now is the time to prepare for next spring.  When the temperature starts to drop this fall you’re not going to want to spend much time in the garage or work shed.  So, get all those garden tools cleaned up now. If you’re really ambitious you can polish the rust off those tools and spray paint the metal for extra protection.

Did you know that Joseph Lane can help you with many of your Fall fix-ups?  Whether you have a honey-do list or a handful of small repairs we can help with our Handyman Service. We take care of the things you need done to keep your house in great shape throughout the seasons and you don’t have to lift a finger.

When you work with Joseph Lane, our experienced professionals will ensure that the job is done right the first time.  From protecting your home from cold drafts to any number of indoor and outdoor home fixes, yes even cleaning out those nasty gutters. Contact Joseph Lane today. Let us help with that honey-do list, so you can enjoy the beauty of the season. Call us at (816) 547-8300 or go to devinfrisbie@josephlane.com

What are some of your favorite and least favorite Fall home projects? We’d love to hear from you. Visit us  on Facebook and Twitter

Shhhhhhh. Floors should be seen not heard!

July 22nd, 2010

Have you ever been in a house that you just loved but every time you took a step, you were accompanied by a noise? Step. Squeak. Step. Squeak. While squeaky floors can be traced to a number of causes, the fact remains that squeaky floors can be a great nuisance. At Joseph Lane Homes we have a “No Squeak Guarantee” in the homes we build.  It means exactly what it says, your floor simply won’t squeak!  How do we do it?  It’s pretty simple really, we are awfully meticulous about the way we build homes and that goes down to the tiniest of details like making sure the floors are secured properly to ensure that they look great and don’t make a sound. If you’re a fan of quiet floors, you should check out the squeak-free new homes that we build in Kansas City.  We have a feeling you might just fall in love!

Speaking of floors, have you seen some of the wonderful options that are out there for your flooring choices? We know a lot of the things that have been making the news lately are tied into green building and eco friendly resources in everything from the floors to the ceiling. So we decided to have a look around and share with you an idea for flooring that is earth friendly but also practical for the pocketbook in case you are trying to decide what to do about your floors in a new or existing home in Kansas City.  One material we don’t see a lot of in Kansas City’s new homes thus far is cork.  Most people think of cork as something you use for message boards or wine bottles but it’s actually a wonderful material that can be used in everything from furniture to flooring.  It makes a room look so warm and it’s easy on the feet.  Perfect for a kitchen where you might spend more time standing!  Would you consider a cork floor in your home?  Chime in and tell us what you think on our facebook page at Facebook.com/josephlanehomes.

cork flooring is a great option for kansas city homes

Cork flooring featured at Carpet and Tile Warehouse - click image for link

Harnessing Energy from the Elements

July 13th, 2010

As we focus more and more on energy efficiency in the homes we build and live in, it’s astonishing to see the progress of products that were once considered impractical that are now going mainstream. For many homeowners in Kansas City, reducing dependence on the energy grid and saving money are big concerns, so we thought we’d share a couple tidbits we were intrigued about and expect to be seeing in the news with more frequency in upcoming weeks.

A Mighty Wind
Don’t you love those really windy days in Kansas City? If you don’t now, you probably would if you could harness the power from the wind to significantly offset the costs of powering your home air conditioner and appliances. Wind energy and residential wind turbines are starting to go mainstream and is definitely something you should watch for.  According to the American Wind Energy Association you could potentially cut your home electricity bill by as much as 50-90%. They have a great article online about the basics of wind energy and the practical answers for what it takes to build and install a wind turbine at a residential property. A residential wind turbine from SkyStream We happen to love the idea of a way to create energy without pollution that is easily sustainable and great for the environment and you. While it may not be the right answer if you live in a densely populated area, for those of you with enough land to support a personal wind tower we think it’s an investment you may want to keep your eye on.  As it goes more mainstream we expect to see the costs involved installation to go down and for the products to improve which ultimately makes the quality of life for everyone so much better!

Let the Sun Shine On!
Solar energy is not new by any means but with new innovations in ways to incorporate solar cells into the structure of your home, we think this is another trend to keep an eye on if you are looking to be kind to the planet and your pocketbook by using natural and sustainable resources to power your home and your lifestyle.

Tegolasolare solar roof tiles

While the solar roof tiles of the past left a bit to be desired in the design and aesthetics department, we always hoped someone would come up with a solution that combined the ability to capture solar energy while still looking good.  These new roof tiles with integrated solar cells seem to fit the bill and what a refreshing alternative to the traditional panels we’ve seen. Of course there are lots of ways to tap into the power of the sun even if you’re not ready for a rooftop installation.  There are several companies offering outdoor accent lighting and even fountains that are solar powered.  It’s a great way to ease yourself into using sustainable resources in your home and we think that being earth conscious is an important facet of everyday life which is why we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for the latest innovations that make our lives and our planet a better place to live!

Getting to know Joseph Lane Homes

July 1st, 2010

We know there are a lot of builders who claim to include plenty of extras in the homes that they build, but at Joseph Lane we are a big believer in making sure our homes go above and beyond your expectations for the price you pay.  In Kansas City’s Northland we have a wonderful neighborhood called BarryBrooke which is tucked just off of MO 152 Highway and North Brighton with homes that start in the upper $100′s. Typically in this price point you can expect to find a great house but without a lot of upgrades, or if there are any upgrades you’ll definitely see that reflected in the price.  We aren’t really fans of making things complicated, we simply want to build really good homes for really good people which is why we go the extra mile to include so many extras.

Our company takes pride in the homes we build and making them extra special is part of how we do business. For instance, our homes at BarryBrooke have a pretty fantastic list of features that come standard including deep sinks, rubbed bronze fixtures, granite countertops, garage door openers, 90% efficient furnace, Huge walk-in tiled showers in the master, 14SEER air conditioning units, free humidifier, 6″ furnace filters, deadbolt locks on exterior doors. One of the most surprising things is that the only flooring you’ll find in our homes is either wood, tile, carpet etc. but the one thing you won’t find is vinyl.  Those are just some of the details we pay attention to so that you can move into your new home knowing that everything is all ready to go. You don’t have to spend time and money a year or two later to upgrade your kitchen countertops to granite or tile that vinyl floor because we have already taken care of it for you!

In Kansas City’s recovering housing market, most people are shocked when we tell them at BarryBrooke alone we have sold 46 houses in a little over two years and we’re still going strong. It’s a testament to solid foundation that we’ve built our company upon. We are still going strong, still building and we plan to be around for years to come simply because we love what we do and we stand by our work. We know you’ve probably heard it a thousand times but we truly are a builder you can count on. If you take some time and browse our website, you can learn more about how we do business, what our follow up is like and if you’re in the market for a new home in Kansas City, we hope you’ll check out our homes and see for yourself why a Joseph Lane Home would be perfect for you!

Some Tips to Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

June 25th, 2010

Summer has definitely arrived in the midwest and for the past several days it seems you can’t go anywhere in Kansas City without hearing someone comment about the heat. It’s what we get every year but somehow it seems even hotter, stickier and more miserable than we can remember when we have to actually suffer through it! Of course with the increased temperatures, come higher energy bills to keep our homes cool in the hot summer months.  We thought it would be fun to give you some quick tips on how to save energy and money and keep your home cooler during the summer!

1.  CONSERVE: Everything from your lightbulbs to your dishwasher generate heat. By turning off lights when  you don’t need them or letting the dishwasher run in the evening (and letting your dishes air dry) when your a/c doesn’t have to work as hard to cool the house help keep the interior of your home from getting too hot. Turn the lights off

2. COVER UP: We love looking out at sunny days, but the sad reality of having the windows open is that it lets heat in and once heat is in, it’s not so easy to get it back outdoors. There are a wealth of great window coverings that suit any design style that will help keep the heat and light out, and the cool air in. If you still want some natural light, check out some of these high tech solar roller shades from Smith & Noble Solar Roller Shades to block out the sun Smith and Noble

3. LET AIR FLOW: If it’s cool in the evenings, give your a/c a break and open the windows to let the house cool off naturally. In the mornings close the windows early to keep the cool air in and the hot air out! An added benefit is that you can get rid of that stale recirculated air and smell the great outdoors! Let fresh air in!

There are a number of things you can do with your home to make sure that you’re saving energy and staying cool. At Joseph Lane Homes, we build our homes to be energy efficient from top to bottom and all of our homes come with these features included as standard in every home: 14 SEER a/c units, 6″ Furnace Filters on a 92% efficient furnace (with a FREE humidifier!), Low E windows. If you’re in the market for a new home in Kansas City, you should talk to a Joesph Lane representative today to discover how you can cut your energy costs and live comfortably in a Joseph Lane Home. We have lots of ideas on ways you can customize your home to take advantage of the latest in Energy Efficient standards as well as incorporating the things you need to maintain your level of comfort in living and in your pocketbook!  Feel free to browse our selection of move-in ready homes in Kansas City’s northland or Contact Us to talk about building a your new custom home.  We look forward to hearing from you and hope you’ll come say hello to us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think of our homes!

To Build or Not to Build in Kansas City?

June 17th, 2010

That may be the question in the minds of many as everyone sits back to watch what happens in the housing market since the tax credit expired. While the tax incentives we had were key in helping the housing market get back it’s footing, the fact remains that many are skeptical of exactly how sound our foundation truly is. With several media outlets reporting that builder sentiment is down since the tax incentives expired, at Joseph Lane, we choose to remain optimistic. During the last two years, which were undoubtedly among the toughest we’ve faced in the industry, we have been going strong and were one of the few builders still building in the Kansas City metro.

Steady as she goes…
In a little over two years we have built and sold over 46 homes in Barrybrooke alone! It’s quite the accomplishment considering the challenges we had with the economy and the impact it had on the Kansas City housing market. While we don’t see an overnight recovery, we do see good things coming and are happy to have not only weathered the storm, but managed to do so without compromising our promise to our customers whom we build homes for. In a time when we’ve sadly seen competition and colleagues disappear, Joseph Lane Home managed to forge ahead which we hope you’ll view as a testament to the kind of builder we are. We aren’t the kind of builder who disappears and we believe very strongly in being able to stand behind our product and being available to the people who purchase our homes through good times and bad.

There will always be a need for housing in some way, shape or form. I was reading an article yesterday that speculates that we may be facing an actual housing shortage! While I may not agree, the fact remains that there is still a market out there and there are still people buying new homes in Kansas City despite what you see on the news.  I truly believe that it will be the consumers who will determine where we go from here and how fast we get there regardless of what you hear in the media. My hope is that if you are one of the people who is considering a home purchase or to possibly build a new home, that you’ll consider Joseph Lane Homes. We have been around for years, building exceptional new homes in the Kansas City metro and we plan to be here for many more to come!