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The growing marketplace for green building depends on you, the homeowner.

Everything seems to be "going green" these days - from cars, to companies, to coffee. However, sometimes it can be hard to tell what that really means, especially when it comes to your current or future home.

Building green means incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process to minimize environmental impact. During the design, construction, and operation of a home, energy and water efficiency, lot… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 10, 2009 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Challenge the Intern

Recent federal scrutiny into hazing and initiation practices has really put a damper on the intern experience here at I started work here a few weeks ago expecting to undergo brutal tests of endurance and fortitude to earn my place, but I was disappointed to find a friendly office environment that has unconditionally accepted me. The epic initiation I had expected never came: no tests, no challenges. That’s why I’m turning to you. Please haze me.

[Hazing is endorsed by… Continue

Added by Nathan Harris on June 10, 2009 at 2:53pm — 4 Comments

Tips on Controlling Your Remodeling Budget

The most important part of any remodeling project is making sure you don't go over your budget. Doing so can lead to settling for unexpected options, disagreements with contractors and worst case, an unfinished room!

This is why the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is providing homeowners with a few simple guidelines to follow when remodeling, especially during National Kitchen & Bath Month this October. Follow the steps below from the NKBA to make sure your remodel… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 10, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

Polypay on the Way

In just two short weeks, we will be adding new spring babies to our farm.

Polypay lambs.

I love having new farm babies.

It fills a deep seated need to mother.…


Added by Sherry Sutherby on June 10, 2009 at 6:00am — No Comments

Home Builders Association Supports Community with Scholarships

The Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area presented scholarships to area students at their General Membership Meeting held on Monday, May 11, 2009 at Gio's Trattoria Grille in Kalkaska. Support of trades and continuing education has been a long standing tradition of the Home Builders Association.

The scholarships granted came from the Home Builders Association Educational Scholarship which was funded by a grant of nearly $30,000 made to the Grand Traverse Regional… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 9, 2009 at 3:57pm — No Comments

Making the Most of a Small Kitchen Space

The kitchen is becoming more than just a food preparation area in today's society. Yet, on average, the kitchen still remains one of the smaller rooms in the house. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) considers any kitchen 150 square feet or smaller to be a small kitchen, but that doesn't mean you can't make it look more spacious with some big ideas.

Use unique storage solutions. Install high pantry cabinets to eliminate extra small cabinets. Add pullout shelves,… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 9, 2009 at 3:11pm — No Comments

Wind vs. View

Yesterday afternoon I was at a gathering about Michigan’s energy options and happened to run into Don Coe, a partner in Black Star Farms, the vineyard and B&B about 15 minutes north of Traverse City, on Leelanau Peninsula. Coe often describes himself as a farmer, which is true, since Black Star Farms grows grapes and orchard fruit, but the title doesn’t fully encompass his experience. Coe also worked in the upper echelons of a major distiller and ran their government relations operation… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on June 9, 2009 at 12:26pm — No Comments

Home Buying Guide

Buying a new home can be a daunting challenge. With such a significant investment, you want to make sure that your money's well spent, which means paying attention to all the little details that make the difference between a good home and a great one.

So where do you start? What should you be looking for? What questions do you need to ask? Lou "Mr. Fix-It" Manfredini has put together the following 10 tips to help you identify the home that's right for you.

Ten Tips for… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 9, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

See what you may be missing

Look over a river after dinner time and you will see nature at it's best. The Mayflies will begin their dance above the water's surface so that next year's mayflies will also continue the tradition. As the dance ends with the mayflies falling exausted to the surface film, they bring another dance below the water. The dance of some of the biggest trout feeding on the spent bugs as they create rings on the top of the river. With what the mayflies have left, the trout will use to help themselves… Continue

Added by Rich Merlino on June 8, 2009 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

How to Control Your Home with your Cell Phone

Home automation is still evolving, and getting it to work requires knowledge of both household electrical wiring and computer networking. But once everything is hooked up correctly, it can change the way you interact with your home. We show you how you can use your smart phone as a remote control for your lights, heat and security in your home.

By Glenn Derene

Published on: January 30, 2009

Home automation exists in… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 8, 2009 at 12:35pm — No Comments

Builders Serving Mature Home Buyer Market See More Consumer Interest

Sales Still Low; Future Expectations Higher, But Modest

June 4, 2009 - Builders of single-family housing for the mature home buyer market reported an increase in traffic of prospective buyers during the first quarter of this year, according to the 55+ Housing Market Index (55+ HMI) released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The component measuring traffic rose to 14, up from nine in the last quarter. The reported sales component, however, dropped five… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 8, 2009 at 11:03am — No Comments

Fish Free All Weekend

Free fishing in Michigan – June 13-14..No license required. The Michigan DNR recently announced plans for the 13th Annual Free Fishing Weekend. All weekend long you can fish throughout the State without a license.

If you need equipment, you can find some great deals on poles and gear at garage sales and thrift stores. So call a friend, family member or someone you would just like an excuse to spend time with and head to the the nearest fishing hole...and by all means don't forget… Continue

Added by Moescorner on June 8, 2009 at 8:16am — No Comments

Sunday Ride

Sundays have rituals.

In the summer months, the ritual includes horses.

And long rides.…


Added by Sherry Sutherby on June 8, 2009 at 6:53am — No Comments

Speaking of Trails

Speaking of trails, there are other few venues in which the weather determines the success or failure of an activity. This has been a disappointingly cool and rainy spring. So how are we doing with our trail events so far? May 16 loop ride from Harbor Springs. Grade F, a total washout. Weather so cold and blustery that we, the ride sponsors, were glad that no one showed up.

May 23 dedication of new segment of the Huron-Sunrise Trail into Forty… Continue

Added by Tom Stanley on June 7, 2009 at 4:11pm — No Comments

Hops Too

Saturday afternoon I accepted an invitation from Graham Kelly to check out his new hops farm about 20 minutes north of Traverse City on Old Mission Peninsula. Kelly was throwing a party to celebrate his second year of hops production and the planting of a new field of the trellised crop.

There has been a good bit of chatter about hops—the bitter flavor and natural preservative in beer—since Kelly and some partners put in their first… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on June 7, 2009 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Mustang Mania

Year 'round, like clockwork, our farrier, Bruce, comes to trim the three horses.

It's a set date.

Every six weeks.

Carved in stone.

And Nauish (pronounced Now-eesh) knows it.…


Added by Sherry Sutherby on June 6, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

A Day at the Dockside

Lots of people know The Dockside—the Torch Lake hot spot packed on any given summer night with boaters, bikers and beach-bums alike. They claim it as their bar, just like it’s the cottager family’s bar, the sports fans’ bar, the golfers’ bar, the locals’ bar, and the bar of anyone who happens upon it by car or boat just to soak up summer. The deck at the Dockside—usually the most coveted spot in summertime—is proof of their Dockside pride. Every inch of every board is carved with patrons… Continue

Added by Lauren Marmion on June 5, 2009 at 2:16pm — 3 Comments

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hiring A Professional Remodeler

The decision to hire a home remodeler can be intimidating. This section will give you the tools and inside information on finding, evaluating, hiring and working with a remodeler. Your home is your biggest investment, and the best way to protect it is by hiring an ethical, professional remodeler. Let’s get started!

Find a Professional

When you hire a remodeler, you are buying a service rather than a product. The quality of the service the remodeler provides will… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 5, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Enjoy the Great Outdoors This Summer with a Deck or Patio

With National Barbecue Month, Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day all falling in May, there are plenty of reasons to gather together with friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors. A new deck or patio can be the perfect gathering place, adding a new dimension to your yard and creating space that you didn’t even know you had. A well-planned outdoor living space can become a home owner’s backyard getaway, but the wrong deck or patio can end up as unused dead space. Keep the following in mind and… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 5, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Saving more than 2,000 acres of working farmland

Bundoran Farm is one of LandChoices' sponsors. And it's a beautiful place. Using conservation subdivision design, what they call "preservation development, a win-win was created for the landowners, developer and the community. And the farm stayed!

From… Continue

Added by Kirt Manecke, Smile book on June 5, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

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