International Builders’ Show 2019

What a week! In February, we all took a week off to go to the NAHB International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. A first for the Buena Vista Builders Team, this convention was one we won’t soon forget! Hundreds of expos and tons of educational series, we left feeling like we didn’t even see half of what was there!

The International Builder Show (IBS) celebrated its 75th year this year in Las Vegas, Nevada. The trade show takes place every year in either Las Vegas, San Antonio, or Orlando. “With more than 100,000 people attending Design & Construction Week® the exhibit halls were jammed and the energy was palpable. The IBS exhibit floor alone spanned more than 600,000 net square feet and featured more than 1,500 exhibitors. Attendees saw the latest in home technology products, watched live building demos, participated in hammer contests and craft brew tastings and networked with the best of best in our industry and collecting IBS swag along the way,” (Know the Show: IBS Blog).

Last week, the Buena Vista Builders team took the week off and traveled to Vegas to enjoy the trade show, sit in on education sessions and visit the Vegas attractions. The Las Vegas Convention Center is home to the three exhibit halls that were filled to the brim with vendors from all over the country. Some of the vendors that BVB visited were: Artis Wall System, BuilderTrend, Builders Lighting, Floor & Décor, Keene Building Products, Lab Design Laminate, Little Giant Ladder Systems, and Wedi.

It wasn’t all work and no play for the BVB team. We went site seeing, as well as indulged our palates with wonderful food. One of our favorite restaurants was Gordon Ramsey Burger on the Vegas main street.

The BVB Team plans to attend the 2020 International Builder Show and they hope to see you there!

For more information on the IBS 2019 Show, you can read more here.

You can check out some of our photos and videos on our Facebook.

We’ve been busy!

What a winter we’ve had so far with a custom home in the works! If you’re not following us on Facebook, make sure you do so you can see all the times we will go live with our current home over at 161 Salt Brush out in Three Springs Durango.

This open-concept home is now for sale and you can view more of the details listed under our Current Projects.

Grand Opening at Kaiut Yoga Studio in Three Springs!

We loved working with this client and being able to bring a new yoga studio to the Three Springs/Durango area! Cheers to a very successful grand opening! We had the Durango Diplomats from the Chamber of Commerce come and help with a ribbon cutting. Check out the video below that our lovely Sarah took of the event and make sure you’re following us on Facebook to see more upcoming videos of our current projects!

Builder of the Year!

We are so pleased to announce that Bob, President of Buena Vista Builders and incoming president of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado, won the Builder of the Year award last night! 

Guess who received the HBASC Builder of the Year award… Incoming Mr. President Bob Smith

Posted by Buena Vista Builders, Inc. on Thursday, December 13, 2018

Day Off for the Buena Vista Builders Team

A few weeks ago, the Buena Vista Builders team took the day off to go romp in the woods together. We were lucky enough to see a couple deer, a bear, and a moose. It doesn’t get much better than taking an ATV into the woods for some team building fun!

Check out the video below for some action shots and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more behind-the-scenes videos!

A Word from the Owner

As seen in the Local Level Newsletter from the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado’s Board of Directors.

As the Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado I would first like to give a big shout out to the U.S. Forest Service, Firefighters, Helicopter and Air Tanker Pilots, Durango Fire & Rescue, Durango Police Dept, La Plata County Sheriff Dept. and all the many volunteers for everything they have done in the last three weeks. Enough cannot be said for everything these men and women have done.

It never seems to fail that all our local agencies and citizens come together in a time of crisis to work so well with agencies from outside our community such as the National Forest Service’s Interagency Hotshot Crews.

In the world of wildland/forest fires, the Hotshot crews are comparable to the military’s Special Forces. These men and women are the most highly trained firefighters in the country. Fresh meals, soft beds, and regular showers are not a part of their job description and yet these people spend as many as 48hour per shift to protect our homes and businesses. In a busy wildfire season, these men and women spend an average of 100 days away from home and families. When I meet these brave people, I shake their hands and make sure that they know we are thankful for all they are doing.

“Firefighters are some of the most selfless public servants you will ever encounter,” – Denis Leary.

It has been heartwarming to see all the signs that have been posted supporting and thanking these exceptional professionals. In addition, we cannot forget to thank all our local agencies and volunteers that have also done an outstanding job during the past three weeks in assisting the firefighters, protecting our families, homes, and answering our many questions.

There is also another side to this unfortunate crisis. The costs of the impact on the local economy, public health, property, ecosystems, and livelihoods, are significant and can far exceed the cost of fighting the fire. The cost of fighting the 416 and Burro fire is as much as 1 million dollars a day. The long-term costs of wildfires continue long after the fire is put out. Damage to property, infrastructure, watersheds, and local economies are often an expensive legacy. Smoke from the fire can have a significant impact on health. Flood risks increase in a post-fire landscape. Revenue from tourism and other area businesses may decline not to mention the possible decrease in property values.

Depending on insurance coverage, a business may recover some of the cost of evacuation when it comes to a Civil Authority order. Policy permitting, because it is an elective coverage, a business may be able to make a make a claim for wages or income lost on a job in the evacuation areas. It is worth a call to your insurance agent. Homeowners that have evacuated should save track all expenses related to their hardship or displacement and contact their insurance agent. Depending on the policy coverage they may be able to make a loss of use claim.

In closing, I would like to mention how uplifting it is to live in a community that comes together in a time of crisis where people set their differences aside to support their neighbors and local businesses.

Thanks again to all the Firefighters, Emergency Services personnel, and our local volunteers.

— Bob Smith, Vice President of the HBASC Board, Owner of Buena Vista Builders, INC.

Make the Most Out of Your Tiny Kitchen

Making the most out of a tiny kitchen starts by searching the room for space on the walls, floors, ceiling, countertops, appliances, even the insides and outsides of cabinetry. When you can start seeing the storage potential in everything, you can squeeze every square inch out of it.  Let us share our best tips for making the most of your small kitchen!

Hang It Up
Using your cabinets, ceiling and walls, hang up everything you can!  Anything that you can hang up saves valuable counter space.   While a lot of people think to use the outside of their cabinets to hang items, few think of using the space inside the cabinet doors.  Think of the drawer space you’ll save by using the inside of the cabinet door to hang up your measuring spoons and cups.  Mount a magnetic strip to the inside to hold all of your cutting knives.  Attach a few single wire spice racks to the inside of your doors and save the rest of your cupboard space for your groceries, dishes, and appliances. By installing shelves, rods or pegboard, you can move utensils off the counter and onto the walls.  You could probably rescue entire cupboards by hanging up anything and everything that has a handle attached.

Go Vertical
If your cabinets stop short of the ceiling you’re missing out on valuable storage space so consider adding another foot or two of storage by replacing them with cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. That much-needed space will hold those rarely used items perfectly.   If you can’t add to or replace your cabinetry then simply set baskets on top of your cabinets for that additional storage space.

Making sure your cabinets go all the way to the ceiling will help you capitalize on more space. You can also add in glass fronts to make your kitchen seem more light and airy!


Go Horizontal

Gaining another foot or even more counter space is a big victory and can be accomplished with a minor remodel to replace your counter and sink by substituting your dual bowl sink with a beautiful (and compact!) farmhouse sink.  Another trick is to find a simple cutting board wide enough to cover your sink when you’re doing your prep work.

Small Tips and Tricks for Big Impact

  • Add the illusion of more space by using mirrors to replace, or make, your backsplash.  Mirrored backsplashes are interesting, they reflect light, extend the view, really open a space and they’re super easy to clean.
  • Bulky hardware on drawers and cupboards in a tight space is a recipe for bruises, the occasional profanity and wrestling your shirt from a handle’s grip.  To keep your kitchen and children’s innocence safe, choose slim pulls or replace cabinet doors and drawer fronts with inset grips and avoid the hardware completely.  It may seem inconsequential, but the streamlined look of your space will make a difference.
  • If you need a shoe-horn and grease to fit appliances into place, think about replacing them with small-scale versions. Many appliance manufacturers are now offering a variety of compact models designed specifically for small spaces freeing up precious space for other uses.
  • Play with color!  An all-white kitchen can create the illusion of space and vary the textures and shades of white will create not only the impression of space but will also add interest.  Using a high-gloss finish on your cabinetry will reflect more light and brighten up the whole area.  A light, bright room immediately feels more spacious and adding under-cabinet lighting will eliminate those shadowy countertops.’

Adding pops of color help make a tiny kitchen seem bigger.

  • You can also make your tiny kitchen look bigger with glass.  By replacing your solid cabinet doors with glass, you create depth and dimension and the contents provide color, interest, and variety. This will make your small kitchen seem bigger than it really is.
  • Go for a portable rolling cart that can do double duty as a prep area, add extra storage space and even a duty as a buffet area. Simply put it away when not in use and because it’s portable you’ll be saving on the precious square footage.
  • When it comes to storage and space-saving needs, there are a number of stores now who specialize in smart, efficient storage solutions that make the most of any space in the house. Kitchen cabinet manufacturers are now offering space-saving filler cabinets, as narrow as three inches, to help store baking pans, utensils, and smaller items.
  • Your kitchen cabinets may be another way to free up space by replacing them with open shelving.  By comparison, upper cabinets are far bulkier and, more often than not, you have to rummage through them to get to the contents in the back. Once again, the hallmark to creating space is an illusion – your eye isn’t stopping at a solid door.  It’s a streamlined look and everything is easily visible and accessible.It’s easier than you think to give that vertically, horizontally and dimensionally-challenged kitchen of yours the impact of more space with these simple fixes and make your time there much more enjoyable.

 

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8 Ways to Make Your Open Floor Plan Cozy

Is your open floor plan lacking…something? Are you wanting to ramp up the coziness during the cold winter months? Conventionally, creating defined areas in a home meant building walls and hallways. Today, the open concept trend can lack the intimacy that people prefer.  The good news is that with an open floor plan you have the refreshing feeling of a large space.  That freedom allows you to transform an open floor plan into as much coziness as you can handle.

You can create winter coziness by making architectural changes, but also in other ways such as using color, texture, textiles, rugs, lighting, furniture placement and accessories.

Color
Warm reds, yellows, oranges are the colors that instantly create warmth in a space… even outdoor spaces. Warm shades paired with earth-tone neutrals are a recipe for coziness.  Generally, the darker the color, the smaller a large space will appear.  You can create focus by just painting one wall a deep, warm shade.  And don’t think you need to limit color just to the paint.  Rich, warm, bold colors can be incorporated into your window treatments, upholstery, and rug choices as well.

Texture and Textiles
Layers of texture are a sure-fire way to add warmth and snuggle-ability to any large space.  Natural materials like exposed brick, reclaimed wood, natural grasses and reeds like sisal or rattan provide immediate warmth and a comfortable feel.  Accessories like personal comforters and throw pillows covered with satin, faux fur, velvet, silk or cashmere will be a welcome treat.  A small woven basket full of these luxurious friends should do the trick.

Layering textures can make any space seem cozy!

Rugs
Nothing divides or unifies a room quite as quickly as a rug.  It’s a perfect, quick and very affordable way to instantly define separate areas in an open floor plan with a living area, dining area, or conversation area.  When everything is placed, each newly separated area is immediately unified.  Cold, snowy days outside make area rugs a pleasure to relax on while you contemplate the glow emanating from your beautifully redesigned fireplace (more about that in a moment).

Lighting
After you have designed your spaces, your lighting choices will add another layer of warmth. Interiors will magically look cozier with dim, subdued lighting.  You and your friends will love it.  It gives everything a soft, warm glow and is largely flattering to the room and your guests.  Light from floor lamps or table lamps provides softer options than bright overhead light fixtures.  You could also opt for canned lighting that has a dimmer switch.  Soft lighting always makes large spaces appear warmer.  Try different levels or heights of lighting to add interest.

Adding layered lighting can make any open floor plan warmer.

Furniture Placement
Open floor plans give furniture the power to define a space and create zones.  It also offers the flexibility to change a room on a whim for every season, event, gathering or holiday.  Create a variety of intimate seating areas that call for people to enjoy personal conversations.  It will make the room that much more inviting.  Try changing it up from angling all your chairs and couches in the direction of the nearest television and instead towards each other.  The more areas you define, the cozier it will feel.  You can make these zones more functional by creating nook, personal library or a working area that houses a beautiful antique desk and chair.

Accessories

While open floor plans offer fewer walls, a well-thought-out grouping of your favorite paintings can also define areas, create conversation and add warmth.  If you have acquired more art than you have walls, rotate your favorites throughout the year.   So often people think of bringing beautiful fresh, aromatic flowers into the home during the summer but winter is also a perfect time.  They are an easy and affordable way to create intimacy and warmth and showcase the season’s surprising beauty.

Architecture
Have you thought of using wainscoting in your interior design to create texture, focus, charm, and warmth?  Not only is it beautiful, but it is a wonderful way to add both interest and elegance.  Paneled wood isn’t just beautiful, but functional.  It can disguise uneven walls and even increase insulation!

Revamping your fireplace with a natural stone veneer is another way to create an instant focal point without losing any of the natural ambiances.

Personal Touch

Lastly, integrate your interests.  Personal touches are a very thoughtful way of making your large space intimate and cozy.  Are you a reader? Nothing says cozy like stacks of well-read books. Are you a star watcher? Add a beautiful telescope for not only your own enjoyment but your guests as well.  If you’re a painter, you can create a small area for your beloved work in progress by leaving them on the easel (a definite conversation piece!).

Open concept homes give you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.  They may initially present some decorating obstacles, but implementing a few of these tips and tricks can turn that open space into a cozy, warm and very inviting home to enjoy all winter long.
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Why Tiny House Living Goes Beyond Being Trendy

They say good things come in small packages – tiny homes are no exception!  Perhaps one of the more obvious reasons tiny house living is the best is that everything costs less!  But there’s more!

Tiny homes range in size from as small as 9 sq. ft. (no kidding) to upwards of 800 sq. ft. and designs that range from ultra-modern to typically traditional. Designs can also incorporate off-the-grid features including setups for alternative power like solar or wind, harvesting rainwater, and composting toilets.

Tiny houses require a new way of thinking: Utilitarian.  Space is a premium and you’ll want to get the most functionality out of a tiny home that you can.  Think ladder, not stairs.  Think furniture that converts, like a dining table for eating and later converts to a desk for working or to a bed frame at night.  Think about furniture that folds flat or up against a wall or retracts.  Many amenities are stored vertically to maximize not only the floor space but the wall and ceiling space as well.  Think about how much you have and how much you’re willing to part with as it really is a commitment when you choose to live tiny.  And don’t forget to consider if you can live with cleaning that composting toilet!

Before you expect to save on utilities, taxes, maintenance, and remodeling, know that some tiny homes can surprisingly cost more per square foot to fabricate or outfit than a typical large house.  Custom designs are generally more complex therefore more expensive. Built-in furniture, multi-purpose furniture, and space that transforms to take advantage of every inch of space can require custom building and custom installation.  You can save money by designing and building your own tiny home or opt for kits or consider buying used.  Even though the tiny home may initially cost more “per square foot,” the good news is it will be far less than a typical large house.

Tiny house in Oregon.

Utility costs

Let’s face it, the costs associated with heating and cooling smaller spaces is much less.  While other factors like the size of the lot, the type of construction, the location, etc. can affect taxes and insurance, you can expect utilities to be a big source of savings in a smaller home.

Maintenance

Even normal big-ticket items like the roof, windows, and reapplication of exterior paint will now be significantly less time-consuming.  And if you are the primary person responsible for cleaning and maintaining the home then you know the time and energy it takes to keep it a home running at its peak.  So beyond saving money, you save loads of another one of your valuable resources – time.

Remodeling and Redecorating

Larger homes require you to buy more furniture and accessories in order to fill the space. With a small home there are already built-in limits and if you decide to remodel those costs are also lower too.  Less space means fewer materials and less labor.

Mortgage

Tiny homes are less expensive all-around so it’s not surprising the mortgage would be too. Unless the home is located on a unique lot or has some incredibly special features, you can expect a significantly smaller monthly payment.  That goes to taxes and insurance too!

Less Stress, Less Clutter and More Time

Less money required to buy and maintain your new home means less stress.  A smaller space means less clutter and less maintenance.  All this means there’s more time freed up for you and yours and who doesn’t want that?

Footprint

For the environmentally-savvy, you already know that a tiny home leaves a smaller carbon footprint.  In addition to using fewer utilities to maintain it, it demands even fewer resources to build it!

Tiny house in France.

Selling

A more affordable home is going to appeal to a larger audience.  The bigger and more expensive the home, the smaller the buying pool.  When it comes time to sell your tiny home, your price point will surely cast a wide net for potential buyers.  And you might reconsider selling your home when to relocate if your tiny home is able tow-ready.

Bonding

Families are physically close to each other in a tiny home.  Since everyone can’t scramble to different rooms at different ends of the house, families are literally forced to spend more time together.  In this day and age, that might very well be the best reason of all to opt for a smaller home.

A home that might be some people’s version of a walk-in closet is definitely not for the faint of heart!  If you like the idea of simplifying your life and reaping the benefits of less space (and less stress!), then you might just love making the transition to a tiny home.
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Plumbing Upgrades to Save you Money

custom home construction, new bathroom

Looking to find ways to save money on a custom home build or even your current home? Have you thought of upgrading or replacing plumbing fixtures as a way to add immediate value to your home, save money, provide ease of use, keep the kitchen and bathroom more sanitary, and reduce your impact on the environment? The latest advances in water-saving technologies can do all of this and more.

There is no need to wait for Cal Tech’s award-winning solar-powered toilet design that can “turn human waste into hydrogen, water, and electricity” to come on the market before you can build your new home or retrofit your existing home with innovative plumbing designs that are available today including:

  • Hands-free technology
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Low flow toilets
  • High-efficiency faucets
  • Gray water systems

Hands-free technology
A healthy home can be accomplished in a variety of ways, especially with hands-free fixtures. Hands-free faucets are designed for both bathrooms and kitchens, significantly reduce germ contamination and are very well-loved by parents with children who’ve been known to get distracted while the water’s running.  In the bathroom, the installation of a touchless toilet kit enables the user to wave their hand above the toilet tank to flush it. With some kits, the toilet lid will automatically close without slamming shut.  You can round out your kitchen and bath décor with soap or lotion dispensers that are also hands-free.

Tankless Water Heaters

The Best of 2017: Tankless Water Heaters

More and more homeowners are replacing their hot water storage tanks with the newest tankless water heaters.  Tankless water heaters supply hot water on demand and save the homeowner both the time and expense of storing hot water and constantly reheating it.  Unlike a storage tank with a limited supply of available hot water, the heat exchanger technology can provide you with an endless supply of hot water no matter the number of tasks.

Low Flow Toilets
High-efficiency, low-flow toilets are one of the easiest ways to cut down on household water consumption.  All home improvement stores and plumbing suppliers stock these high-efficiency toilets.  If the toilets in your household were installed before 1994 or if they use more than 1.6 gallons of water with each flush, there are better options today with toilets using about 1.28 gallons per flush.  Dual Flush toilets using even less water for liquid waste!  A family of four could save more than 15,000 gallons of water per year by replacing an inefficient toilet with a 1.6 gpf (gallon per flush unit) and even more with a toilet rated 1.28 gpf.

High-Efficiency Faucets
To save the average family more than 700 gallons of water year, simply replace old fixtures for new high-efficiency WaterSense labeled fixtures.  High-efficiency faucets and showerheads not only reduce water use but save energy by reducing the demand for water heaters.  WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories reduce water use without reducing performance. They are not the low flow products of a generation ago.  Today’s high-efficiency showerheads combine water savings with high performance.

Gray Water Systems

Not everything requires potable water.  Being able to reuse water is important to not only the environment but your budget and since no one can recall the last time the cost of water ever decreased, reducing water use is even more important.  You can reduce your non-potable water use with the implementation of a gray water system.  The State of Colorado allows water from bathtubs, showers, washing machines, as well as water from bathroom and laundry room sinks to be harvested for gray water systems.   If you are considering a new home, please talk to your Builder about integrating a gray water system into your design and make the most of every drop of water.

What is WaterSense?

The Federal Government EPA’s WaterSense program labels plumbing fixtures for efficiency and performance.  The labels indicate whether low-flow fixtures perform as well or better than similar counterparts.   Their website has tools that allow you to search for WaterSense labeled products.  WaterSense labeled products are certified to meet EPA criteria for water efficiency and performance.  Ask your local plumber or homebuilder about WaterSense labeled products.

WaterSense logos will show up on certified WaterSense products.

Plumbing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about technology and its impact but these innovations can immediately impact your home’s aesthetic and impact and your budget and comfort.  Talk to your local plumber or homebuilder today.  And best of all, updating your plumbing fixtures or building with the latest technology provides you the opportunity to take advantage of multiple rebates that may be available from your local utility companies and local and state government.

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