Archive for Home Building

Homeownership: A New Year’s Resolution That Lasts

Posted in Homeownership, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Manors of Deerwood, New Homes with tags , , , , , , , on February 12, 2014 by Pat Hansen

Why not make this year’s resolution one that will last long into the future — long after you’ve stopped bothering to set the alarm an hour early to go for a run. Deciding to become a home owner is possibly the best resolution you can make.

According to a 2012 nationwide poll, 96 percent of home owners are happy with their decision to own, and 74 percent say that owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make.

Lot 389DW (Manors of Deerwood | Clarkston, Michigan)
Here are some tips
to help you make good decisions for your homeownership resolution:

  • First, figure out how much you can afford. This depends on factors including your credit rating, your current expenses, cost of a down payment and interest rates. Don’t forget that you will need a down payment up front and money to make monthly mortgage payments.
  • Check your credit report carefully. Inaccurate information on your credit report could result in lenders offering you loans with higher-than-market interest rates or denying your application altogether.
  • Then find a lender you trust and work well with. Ask your friends, family and neighbors who own their homes for recommendations. Work with a qualified lender on getting together a budget and collecting helpful advice before buying a home.
  • When shopping for a mortgage, consider all of your options. There are many choices in terms of a loan and not everyone is right for every buyer. Don’t forget to research Federal Housing Administration (www.fha.com) programs that offer loans with lower down payments. They are often a good option for first-time buyers.
  • Keep in mind that there are tax advantages to being a home owner that can help offset costs. Depending on your specific situation, often the closing costs and some other first year costs of purchasing a home are deductible. And the mortgage interest deduction (MID) enables many home owners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of interest paid on their mortgage loan each year. More than 70 percent of home owners with a mortgage are able to claim the MID in a given year.
  • The U.S. Housing and Urban Development website (portal.hud.gov) has loads of information for home buyers, including tools to help you figure out how much you can afford, how to shop for a loan, information on how to avoid predatory lending and an explanation of the settlement process.
  • Finally, learn about the neighborhoods where you are interested in buying. Visit areas you are interested in at different hours, talk to people who live there, and find a real estate agent that you trust and knows the neighborhoods you like.

With careful and thorough planning, you will be moving into your new home before you know it. If you have questions about the home buying process, visit nahb.org/timetobuy.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Easy Ways to Green Your Home

Posted in Green Building, New Homes, Renovation, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on July 24, 2013 by Pat Hansen

Green building, where new homes are built using materials that conserve energy and environmental resources, is one of the fastest-growing segments of the home building industry today. But for the owners of the millions of existing homes in the United States, remodeling is the only way to incorporate green.

The National Association of Home Builders Remodelers offers the following suggestions to home owners who want to increase their home’s efficiency, decrease costs, and take advantage of the other benefits that green offers:

1. InInsulationstall maximum insulation. Forty percent of the energy consumed in a typical house goes to heating and cooling. Adding insulation is an easy way to increase efficiency. Insulation is rated by its ability to resist heat flow, known as “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the more effectively the insulation resists heat flow. Adding insulation will help save energy costs, increase comfort by better controlling temperature, and improve indoor air quality by eliminating gaps through which dirt, dust, and other impurities can enter.

2. Seal exterior penetrations. You can reduce cold air drafts and heat loss by inspecting your home from the inside and outside and plugging cracks or openings. Be sure to check the areas where window frames meet the structure or siding of the house. Use caulking to seal small cracks on non-moving surfaces and install weather stripping on windows, doors and other movable parts of the home.

3. Purchase ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, ranging from dishwashers and refrigerators to computers and televisions, meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy. Qualified refrigerators, dishwashers and vent fans incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models – more than making up for the slightly higher cost of these products.

4. Install low-flow water plumbing fixtures. In the average home, flushing toilets accounts for some 30 percent of water usage. By using low-flow plumbing fixtures such as toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads, you can save up to 25 percent of that water compared to conventional fixtures while providing the same utility.

5. Install high-efficiency windows. New-WindowOrdinary window glass transmits ultraviolet heat rays from the sun, which can increase your air conditioning bill dramatically. ENERGY STAR windows can help control this effect. These windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the panes, improved framing materials, and microscopically thin metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on windows to reduce radiative heat flow.

6. Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR-rated or tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand at a preset temperature rather than storing it. Replacing an electric water heater with a solar model can reduce costs by up to 80 percent a year. Over its 20-year lifespan, a solar heater will prevent more than 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. A low-cost option is to wrap insulation around your heater, which can reduce standby heat loss by 25 to 45 percent.

7. Purchase the highest efficiency HVAC system you can afford. Over a ten year period, the average home owner spends more than $10,000 for heating and cooling. Installing high efficiency HVAC equipment can reduce costs on average by 10 to 30 percent over minimum efficiency equipment. It also can improve home comfort with better heating and cooling and a quieter operation, and often features higher quality components that result in longer equipment life.

For more information on green remodeling, visit nahb.org/remodel
or RobertRJonesHomes.com/Remodeling.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Beware Being Your Own Home Builder

Posted in Homeownership, Housing News, I Wish I'd Thought About That, New Homes with tags , , on July 10, 2013 by Pat Hansen

Homeownership is the foundation of the American Dream, and in today’s “do-it-yourself” culture where “how-to advice” for just about anything can be found on the internet, many people think they could save a lot of money by building their own home. But your home is likely the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime, and not hiring a professional home builder could be a costly mistake for many reasons—financial, emotional and physical.

Plan-SketchGetting financing is an important consideration. As a self-contractor, lenders have strict guidelines and limits on how much money they will give you, and they will require that you provide house plans, specifications and an itemized list of documented costs and bids beforehand.

Even if you feel that you have enough cash to do the job, it is wise to get a loan to cover material or labor cost increases, upgrades or material overruns. Many mortgage companies will not lend money to cover unanticipated costs on a home when construction has already begun.

There is a huge amount of bookkeeping if you act as your own general contractor. The IRS requires that you send anyone you hired to work on your home—subcontractors—who earned over a certain amount a 1099 form at the end of the year. You’ll have to be on-site to document delivery slips, check for inaccurate billing and track material returns in order to stay on budget.

Professional home builders are experts at the logistics and timing of building a home. It is an exact science to make sure permits are applied for, materials are ordered and delivered, subcontractors are hired, utility deposits are paid, and inspections are scheduled at exactly the right time. Even if you’re very organized, it is a process where many things can go wrong and a delay could cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress.

5DIMG_2430Building your own home is a risky proposition from a legal standpoint as well. Home builders carry Builder’s Risk, General Liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance on their building projects. As a self-contractor, you will have to assume most, if not all, of the same liabilities. You may want to consult with an attorney regarding potential liability issues, and with an insurance agent concerning appropriate insurance coverage.

Home builders have staff to take care of all the details of building a home, and established relationships with other professionals to complete the job, which is why they can build a home in a relatively quick timeframe. To build an average 1,500 square foot home, you need to be prepared to spend at least 35 hours per week for at least five or six months, and most people don’t have jobs with that kind of flexibility. You will also need the time to determine and order the materials, evaluate bids, and hire and schedule qualified, licensed, insured and/or certified subcontractors.

Finally, if you sell the home you’ve built, you may be responsible for any defects that are discovered afterwards. As the home’s builder, you or your estate will be responsible for claims brought by subsequent owners of the home.

These are just a few of the things you need to think about before building your own home. By hiring a professional home builder, you will get quality of workmanship, building code compliance and an outstanding level of knowledge.

For a free consultation, contact our Sales Manager, Pat Hansen at 248-895-1115, or visit www.RobertRJonesHomes.com.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

The Economic and Emotional Value of Homeownership

Posted in Homeownership, Housing News, Lifestyle, Local News, New Homes, Sell your Home with tags , , , , , on July 2, 2013 by Pat Hansen

In good times or bad, there is one constant: Homeownership remains the American Dream for millions of American families. And there are many reasons why, both economic and emotional.

Robert R. Jones HomesMost Americans consider homeownership to be their single best long-term investment and a primary source of their wealth and financial security. Generations of families have counted on and used the equity in their homes for their children’s education, their own retirement and other milestone expenses.

Individual household budgets are helped by tax incentives that are designed to make owning a home more affordable. Deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes can result in thousands of dollars of tax savings, especially in the early years of the mortgage when interest makes up most of the payment. Home owners save nearly $100 billion annually on mortgage interest and property deductions alone.

And when home owners sell their primary residence, they get an enormous tax break. A couple who owns and lives in their home for two years and then decides to sell can keep up to $500,000 of the profit tax-free, and a single owner can keep $250,000.

A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger U.S. economy. In fact, fully 15 percent of the U.S. economy relies on housing.

Most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured in the United States. Constructing 100 new homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue. New home owners spend money on decorations and furnishings, to enhance the landscaping and to become members of the community by patronizing local businesses and service providers.

Robert R. Jones Homes (interior photo)Yet a home is so much more than an investment. In good times and in bad, the opportunity to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, accomplishment, social stability and peace of mind.  Homeownership strengthens communities as well as families.

Home building increases the property tax base that supports local schools and communities. When a family owns their home, it is an asset that has a direct impact on their financial security and future. People are more likely to take care of things they own so they remain valuable. And a home’s value is determined by how well it is maintained as well as by the condition of the neighborhood it is located in. So home owners have incentive to spend their time and resources improving their neighborhood, even if it is just to protect the value of their investment.

Homeownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement and improves the quality of life for millions of people. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission has said that homeownership can “produce powerful economic, social, and civic benefits that serve the individual home owner, the larger community and the nation.”

Keys in DoorIt is important to know that despite the fact that housing and homeownership policies over the last century have contributed to the growth of the middle class and helped the United States become the most dynamic economy the world has ever seen, homeownership is under attack. Policymakers are proposing radical changes, including ending the mortgage interest deduction and mandating minimum 20 percent downpayments, that would threaten the dream of homeownership for millions of Americans.

The National Association of Home Builders’ website, www.ProtectHomeownership.com, has more information about the threats to homeownership and how to take action to protect it.

To learn more about homeownership in the metropolitan Detroit area, visit www.RobertRJonesHomes.com.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

It’s Almost Spring . . . Time To Think About Building

Posted in Construction, Manors of Deerwood with tags , , , on March 14, 2013 by Pat Hansen

With inventories of existing homes dwindling, many buyers are considering building a home, to the delight of many home builders. Recently, we at Robert R. Jones Homes, have received several calls from prospective buyers who have discovered our prestigious community in The Manors of Deerwood in Clarkston. They say they are attracted to the large, treed homesites – each over a half acre in size and several larger than one acre.

Manors of Deerwood Lot (New Home) | Clarkston, Michigan | Robert R. Jones HomesThe property was formerly farmland, but is now nicely wooded. We are bordered on the east by Independence Oaks County Park and on the west by privately owned parcels, large enough to keep horses. To the north are 30 acres of privately owned land, yet to be developed, and to the south are earlier phases of The Manors of Deerwood community.

The terrain is rolling and will accommodate both walk-out and daylight basement sites. When visitors wind their way back to our property, they are pleased by what they see. Every site has a variety of trees, and during the spring, summer and fall, a variety of wild flowers color the landscape. The atmosphere is very quiet and peaceful.

Galleria Home Plan | Clarkston, MichiganThere are 15 remaining homesites to choose from. Our homes start in the high $400,000’s. There are numerous home plans to choose from, as well as the in-house capability to design a custom plan to suit individual needs. We are available for a personal consultation to help you plan your new home. You may call us at 248-895-1115 to schedule a consultation.

The Manors of Deerwood is located approximately 2 miles north of the charming Village of Clarkston, just minutes from I-75 and M-15.

Pre-Finished vs. Site-Finished Hardwood Flooring

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation with tags , , on December 6, 2012 by Pat Hansen

As builders of luxury homes, we usually find that our buyers prefer to have site-finished flooring installed in their homes. But when someone is considering remodeling, they will often ask about the pros and cons of both pre-finished and site-finished flooring.

Wood flooringPre-finished hardwood flooring definitely has its advantages such as:

  • Ease of installation. Installers usually only need a day, depending on the floor area size, to complete the job with no sanding and no finishes used onsite.
  • Because the pre-finished floor already has been coated, usually multiple times at the factory and therefore does not have to be sanded and finished onsite, it is more convenient to install.
  • Since the multiple coats of finish are applied at the factory, pre-finished wood flooring has a very durable wear layer and the finish itself is under warranty by the manufacturer. Pre-finished flooring is accomplished with 3-9 coats plus an ultra-violet cured urethane finish.
  • No drying or curing time is required. Floors are ready to walk on immediately after installation.
  • No toxic fumes or strong odors are produced during installation, nor is dust from sanding.
  • No need to relocate family and pets during the finishing step.

Even with these strong advantages, pre-finished flooring has it disadvantages such as:

  • Pre-finished floors can be dirt traps and very hard to clean between the cracks since the cracks are not sealed at the job site.
  • When refinishing pre-finished flooring, it is necessary to remove a lot more wood to get a level floor, so in effect, you are losing more wood and more life of the floor in the very first refinish than with a solid ¾” hardwood floor.
  • Although pre-finished floors are convenient in that they install without sanding and finishing, most have a beveled edge on the wood strips which some people find unattractive. A custom, sanded, hardwood floor has a table-top appearance and is perfectly flat looking.
  • A pre-finished floor will maintain height irregularities of the substrate. In short, a bump in the subfloor means a bump in the pre-finished floor unless the subfloor is fixed first. Site-finished flooring is sanded flat, so it is more forgiving of slight irregularities or slight height variations.
  • If your pre-finished floor gets damaged, it means ripping out a whole section of flooring and completely replacing it to correct it. Whereas, site-finished hardwood flooring can, and in most cases, be easily fixed with a quick sanding and finish.
  • When installing hardwood flooring, it is necessary to top nail the boards along the perimeter, near walls or cabinets, to start the floor.  In site-finished flooring, these small nail holes are filled, then sanded and finished and are usually not very visible. In pre-finished flooring, these small nail holes are filled, but not sanded, so they may be a bit more visible.
  • Over time, and possibly over homeowner changes, many people don’t know or forget the actual manufacturer of their pre-finished flooring product, which makes it much more difficult to get an exact match if board replacements are necessary at some point, or if they want to add additional flooring to other rooms of the home and want an exact match. Additionally, some of the flooring may be discontinued in time, eliminating the availability of ordering more if it becomes necessary to match.

In the end, only you, the homeowner, can make the decision about which flooring is right for you.

We Will Build On Your Lot

Posted in Housing News, Manors of Deerwood, Renovation with tags , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Pat Hansen

In addition to building in our Manors of Deerwood community in Clarkston, MI, we will also build on customer-owned sites.  We often receive inquiries from people who own or are looking to own acreage or lake properties. While we currently do not have lake property, we can assist you in your search for a suitable lake lot.  There are lake lots available in Oakland County in areas where large, luxury homes have been built. There are also existing homes on lake properties suitable for tear-down.  It is not unusual to see new homes, both large and small, built on lake properties that at one time housed small cottages.  Orchard Lake, Commerce Twp., Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor and West Bloomfield Twp. are all examples of this trend.

In addition to lake properties, there are also communities throughout Oakland County where older homes, built in the 50’s and 60’s, have been torn down and large, new homes have been built. Many of the tear-downs have been ranch-style homes. Many of the homes that have not been torn down have been remodeled with attractive, functional additions. These homes blend in well with the newly constructed homes giving the neighborhood an appealing presence.

If you are interested in building a new home or remodeling your present home, Robert R. Jones Homes can make your experience a pleasurable one. We have been building luxury homes for 33 years in our new home communities and also on customer-owned lots in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland Counties.

We have the in-house capability to design, engineer, coordinate and supervise the construction of your new home. We will provide you with guidance during the selection process for the exterior and interior finishes. Our customers are delighted with the color renderings we provide them at the beginning of the planning process. The color rendering, suitable for framing, enables you to envision the final outcome. From start to finish, our goal is to make the entire building process an enjoyable venture.

What our customers have to say…

“With Robert R. Jones Homes, everything was upfront…there were no surprises. The crew was friendly, the subcontractors were terrific and our sales associate was outstanding.” Carole & Gary Dimitry

“In the past 25 years, we have built three new homes.  Thus, we knew the challenges that were ahead of us. However, working with the Jones Team, each phase went smooth, and was rewarding.” Elaine & Fred Burger

If you have been considering building a home on your lot or ours, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. You may reach Pat Hansen at (248) 895-1115.

Our Last Bloomfield Lot >>> SOLD

Posted in Housing News, Local News, The Drawing Board with tags , , , on June 21, 2012 by Pat Hansen

UPDATE: This beautiful lot in Bloomfield Twp. has been sold. However, we do have lots available in Clarkston, Michigan. For more information, please click here.

Robert R. Jones Homes has one home site remaining in the desirable “Devonshire Downs” area in Bloomfield Twp. It is located at 2540 Wendover Rd (Lot 24) and is in the Bloomfield Hills School District.

We have designed a very unique plan for the site that incorporates “Multi-Generational” living. “Multi-Generational” designs provide comfortable and separate living areas for more than one generation. Whether it is living space for aging parents, young adults moving back home after college or live-in help, the need for well-designed additional living space is emerging.

The 0.60 ac home site allows us to be flexible with square footage necessary to provide for the needs of “Multi-Generational” families. The plan features a separate, private entry to the “one-bedroom apartment” area above the attached 2-1/2 car garage and a covered veranda leading to an additional 5-car garage.  A “Must See” to be sure.

The appealing, classic front elevation, an all-brick, low maintenance exterior, accented with bays and limestone surrounds, is detailed to perfection.  The Basement will have daylight windows and has the potential for creating a small walkout area through the use of retaining walls.

The floor plan features:

  • First floor Master Suite #1 with 2 generous walk-in closets and large master bath
  • Large Library or Home Office adjacent to Master Suite
  • Great Room with studio ceiling
  • Large Formal Dining Room
  • Large Kitchen with cathedral ceiling
  • First floor Utility Room
  • Separate entrance and staircase leading to the “Apartment”
  • Second Floor Master Suite #2 with dual closets and large bath
  • 2 additional secondary bedrooms; each with its own bath and walk-in closet

We are available to meet with you at the home site to review the plans and discuss your needs. Modifications to the plans are possible if made before the Building Agreement is executed. All Robert R. Jones Homes plans are copyrighted.

Please feel free to call Pat Hansen at (248) 895-1115 for a consultation.

Transforming New into Timeless

Posted in I Wish I'd Thought About That, Lifestyle, The Drawing Board with tags , , , , on May 4, 2012 by Pat Hansen

As a builder and remodeler, we at Robert R. Jones Homes often hear the comment that buyers want a new home for energy efficiency, low maintenance, state of the art gourmet kitchens, opulent Master Baths and large closets, but really prefer the charm and character in older homes.  They often state they want a new home that is “Timeless”. In further discussion, what they are often saying is they want a home that reflects a certain period in American or European history, often stated as “Old World” It’s what they feel comfortable with and will enjoy living in.

We typically start with a floor plan that suits their family’s lifestyle. Since form follows function, it is equally important to consider the interior of the home and what is important to their daily living. Here are some considerations:

  • Size and square footage
  • 2-story ceilings in selected areas
  • 9-10 ft ceilings in selected areas
  • 1 or 2 staircases
  • Type of main staircase; circular or dual
  • Great Room vs Living Room/ Family Room
  • First or 2nd floor Master Suite
  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Number of Bathrooms incl. 1/2 baths
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Size of Kitchen and Informal Eating Area
  • Butler’s Pantry
  • Walk-in Pantry
  • Pocket Office/ Bill Paying Area
  • Library/Office
  • Laundry
  • Number of fireplaces

Before going further, look closely at your list and convert your “list of rooms” into a list of functions.  Instead of Living Room, Family Room or Library, think in terms of TV watching, reading, doing homework, working on the computer, managing your home-based business and so forth.  Then scrutinize your list with an eye toward combining as many functions as you can.  For example, can you combine the functions of formal and informal dining?  Do you really need a separate space for each?

Combining multiple functions into a single space, saves space and allows you to allocate just the right amount of space for each function.  Instead of several smaller rooms, each with a bit of wasted space, you can have a single larger space.  The dollars saved by eliminating wasted space can be targeted at providing a higher level of finish, the kind of finish that helps create the charm and character that we to achieve.

The photo above illustrates this concept in practice.  The functions of food preparation (Kitchen), informal eating (snack bar), formal or holiday dining and reading are combined into a single large space.  Each function borrows space, both functionally and visually, from the adjacent function.  Dollars saved by eliminating unnecessary square footage have been directed at upgrading the finish on the fireplace, light fixtures and adding crown moldings to the room.  Another benefit is that the fireplace can be enjoyed by those busy with food preparation.

Often when it comes to the exterior elevation or appearance of the front of the home, our buyers have some idea of what they want and often have photos of what they like. Here are examples of exterior features we ask them to take into consideration:

  • Roof style
  • Siding if any
  • Brick/Stone; stone accents
  • Window styles; bays
  • Entry door(s)
  • Porch
  • Columns; size and details
  • Chimney style and caps
  • Garage size and style; side or courtyard entry; Porte Cochere
  • Balustrades or other decorative stone details
  • Courtyard entry to main entrance

Initially we do a sketch to give them for their approval. When they are satisfied with the sketch, we present them with a large, color rendering as a keepsake. This makes it easy for them to envision what their home will look like.

We at Robert R. Jones Homes have the in-house capability and expertise to design your “Timeless” new home, thus saving our buyers time and the expense of hiring an architect.  With our 30 years experience in the building and remodeling industry, we have been privileged to build more than one home for our buyers.

Furnaces: to Two-stage or not? That is the Question

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation with tags , , , , on April 4, 2012 by Pat Hansen

If you have been shopping for a new gas furnace you are probably wondering whether or not it is important to spend the extra money for a two-stage model. What are the advantages of a two-stage furnace?

There are several benefits of a two-stage furnace that make them a popular choice for many homeowners.

  • They use energy more efficiently, reducing your energy consumption and your energy bills. A two-stage has 2 settings, low heat and high heat. On low heat, the gas burner runs at 65%-70% capacity, depending on the brand and the model. So, if you have a 100,000 Btu furnace, it will produce 65,000 to 70,000 Btu per hour on low heat. On many days, this is enough to meet the heating demands of the house.  If the furnace cannot heat effectively on low heat, the gas valve will open to 100% and bring the house up to the desired temperature. Running on low heat most of the time means less fuel is used in the long run. A single stage furnace runs full blast and then stops, and does this repeatedly, like a car in stop and go traffic. It will use fuel less efficiently.
  • Two-stage gas furnaces offer more balanced heating, with temperature fluctuations of only 2-3 degrees. Because a two-stage furnace runs at a lower capacity (65-70%), it runs more consistently, and that leads to more even heating. A single stage furnace runs full capacity every time it fires, so temperature fluctuations tend to be more pronounced.
  • Two-stage furnaces are quieter. Combustion makes noise, so 65%-70% combustion will be quieter than 100% combustion. The difference may be noticeable if the furnace is located near living areas.
  • Better air filtration is offered by a two-stage furnace. Two-stage furnaces run more, and that means that air is more consistently circulating through the furnace filters, where more allergens and pollutants are removed. If you choose an advanced air purification system for your furnace, two-stage operation will enhance its functionality.
  • Humidification is improved with a two-stage furnace. If you plan to include a humidifier with your furnace, two-stage operation will improve its performance. The humidifier only does its job when the furnace is running, and since a two-stage furnace runs more often, it will add more humidity to your home during the heating season.

Now that you know the advantages of a two-stage furnace, the decision becomes easier. As you price single stage and two-stage models, you have to ask yourself if the above advantages are worth the extra expense. If you want greater comfort from your furnace, then you should spend the extra money and get a two-stage furnace. If your needs for a furnace are more basic, then a single stage furnace may be perfectly adequate to heat your home.

Which Air Conditioner?

A single stage air conditioner is what you probably already have and if it is still in good working order, you can use it even though you may have chosen a two-stage furnace.  However, if you live in a warm, humid climate or are in need of a new air conditioner, you may want to consider a two-stage air conditioner.

Two-stage air conditioners run at 67% and 100% of capacity. The thermostat controls which speed is used based on the home temperature. Comfort is increased because cool air circulates almost all of the time between noon and 8 pm. This reduces room “heat up” that occurs during the off cycle of conventional, single-speed air conditioners.

The end result of using a two-stage air conditioner is that you will receive a relatively continuous flow of cool air throughout your home.  A two-stage air conditioner will send in a steady but smaller stream of cooled air as opposed to the large blast of cold air you would get from a single stage system.

This results in a more consistent and comfortable environment overall, and it also makes it possible for the air conditioning system to de-humidify your house more effectively. When the air is cooled too quickly, the de-humidification system does not always have time to do its job. With the longer cooling cycles of the two-stage system, there is plenty of time to make sure the right amount of humidity is removed from the air.

Savings are substantial in hot, humid areas of the country. A two-stage air conditioner can save 15 to 30% on a cooling bill. Economic evaluations of two-stage air conditioners have shown that the investment has a greater than 10% Return-on-Investment (ROI) and a 4 to 5 year payout.

Whether you are remodeling, building a new home or just need to replace your furnace or air conditioner, it pays to research your options.

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