Understanding Cost Per Square Foot Pricing From Your Custom Home Builder

We often get asked what our price per square foot is and our answer is “it depends”. This is not a cop-out, it’s the truth. With our model of working towards a fixed price agreement through our integrated design approach, the price per square foot truly depends on what kind of home you want, where you’re building it, when you’re building it, and what the interior and exterior finishes are like, to name a few of the key, often overlooked factors.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018
Rick Thompson

Homeowner Horrors... Don't be the victim of an old home

What’s the best thing about a new home? That it’s new. You know what you’re getting. No previous use, no unknown and worn out elements that you can’t see. What’s the 2nd best thing about building/purchasing a brand new home? The warranty! Nothing is perfect, and yes, even new things break. But the warranty removes the “jump scare” factor of having to deal with a multi-thousand dollar repair.

As Halloween approaches and the zombies and goblins crawl out of their coffins and holes in the earth we are reminded of the imaginary horrors that fascinate so many of us. But what is just as scary, if not more terrifying, is the unseen. What we can’t see, can often be more horrifying than what we can. Think about how many things there are in your home that could go wrong, that you can’t see when walking through it. We’d like to take a moment to share some “Homeowner Horror” scenarios that have left family and friends with clenched fists, mouths agape, and in fear of the damage to their home and bank account.

Fri, Oct 26, 2018
Brandon Philbrick

Eco Friendly Upgrades TO IMPLEMENT in Your Home

We all need to think about taking care of our surroundings, and our homes are the perfect places to start. The two main reasons are saving money on bills and adding more value to your home. No matter what inspired you to think about making a change, here are some helpful tricks to get you going.

Wed, Oct 24, 2018
Emma B. Joyce
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

Meet the team: Your Quality Control Crew aka the Construction Guys

To build the best and build it better and different than anyone else is not a simple undertaking. Planning, coordinating, and scheduling dozens of crew members, to execute every aspect of a new construction home build, takes grit, perseverance, and a positive attitude. Three traits these three embody on a daily basis. Here's a quick introduction to our field team. Making ideas, sketches and dreams, into reality. 

Thu, Sep 27, 2018
Brandon Philbrick

Reasons to Build A Custom Home [infographic]

 

Buying an older, ready-made house is an excellent option for people like you who are finally in a position to acquire their dream home. However, you might want to consider building a custom home instead. Many would-be homeowners are now leaning towards custom homes for the following reasons:

 
Thu, Aug 23, 2018
Rick Thompson

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT LOT FOR YOUR GREEN HOME

What is your ideal property? You know you’d like 2 floors and a basement, facing the sunset, with high windows for natural ventilation. But do you have the knowledge and tools to pick the right lot for your green dream home? Building a green home starts with choosing a preferred neighborhood that has all the essential elements of a good home, like a peaceful and safe environment, adequate space, availability of natural resources, sufficient access to water, electricity and communication lines and a collaborative team to survey and prepare your lot for construction.

Tue, Aug 14, 2018
Amanda Shaffer
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

Financing Your Forever Home: A Primer on New Construction Home Loans

When deciding between buying or building a new home, one question we hear often is, How do we finance it? Often people assume that they need a mortgage for their new-build home, and are surprised when we tell them about new home construction loans instead.  We asked the experts at Chicago Construction Loans (Associated Bank) to give a primer on everything you need to know about new home construction loans.

Tue, May 15, 2018
Rick Thompson

The Health Benefits of a Certified-Green Custom Home

The home is where the heart is, so it's best to make sure your home is healthy. How so? Green construction, or energy-efficient home building, is more than just being environmentally conscious and eco-friendly. The materials, technology, and practices used to build green is also healthier for your mind, your body, and your family. 

Tue, May 15, 2018
Scott Sanders

Understanding the True Cost of Home Ownership

Have you been thinking about buying or building a new home? When you do, what factors are you taking into consideration?

Tue, May 15, 2018
Scott Sanders
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

Choosing Your Neighborhood in Chicagoland: Western Suburbs

As the third largest city in the country, Chicago covers 234 square miles. But Chicagoland—the sprawling suburbs and towns surrounding the city—clocks in at 10,857 square miles. That’s a lot of space to cover, and if you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and turned around by the range and difference of suburbs.

Wed, Apr 18, 2018
Scott Sanders

Black Hole Sun: What Recent Solar Panel Tariffs Mean for Green Building

Politics and home construction aren’t often in the same conversation but the latest news of the US enacting steep tariffs on China—where many construction materials and products are manufactured—is affecting all industries, especially solar product companies.

Thu, Apr 12, 2018
Scott Sanders

HOME ENERGY IMPROVEMENT CHECKLIST

Maximizing your energy-efficient space can go a long way in creating and maintaining a long-lasting high performance home. The checklist below offers tips for reducing costly bills and easy ways to get the most out of your energy-efficient home, as well as good guideposts for detecting and addressing at-risk spots, such as under-insulated attics or drafty windows and doors. Use this checklist to help guide your home-building process and maintenance plan, and to help avoid potential issues in the future. Remember, double-checking will save you time, money, and most importantly, your sanity. 

Fri, Apr 6, 2018
Rick Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

There’s an App for That: How Buildertrend  Delivers Project Management & Peace of Mind

When building the custom home of your dreams, you know what you want, and what you don’t. That’s why it’s so important to be sure that everyone involved—from contractor and client manager to construction crew and designer, and of course, you, the client—is on the same page. One miscommunication can lead to an expensive delay, so you want to be sure that your home builder is using the best technology available to stay on task and on budget.

Sat, Mar 17, 2018
Alex Thompson

How a New Construction Home Can Improve Your Family's Health

If you're considering building a new home in the future, consider building a certified healthy home. What exactly does “healthy” mean when talking about new construction and eco-friendly homes? Let's take a closer look. 

"A whole-building approach to energy efficiency—including improving insulation, heating and cooling systems, lighting and energy-using equipmentcan reduce energy costs and support warmer, drier, more comfortable indoor environments. Both outcomes have been linked with direct impacts such as lowered risk of illness and with indirect physical health benefits." 

Tue, Mar 13, 2018
Rick Thompson

Illinois' only 2017 Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award Winner

On October 10th, Scott Sanders, our CEO, flew down to Atlanta for the High Performance Home Summit 2017 to accept BrightLeaf’s third Housing Innovation Award from the Department of Energy.  

Thu, Feb 22, 2018
Rick Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Sustainable Houses

When you think of “going green” you’re probably thinking about reducing your impact on the planet. This is a very noble and necessary thing to consider when you know how much our planet has already endured. But if you decide to build yourself an eco-friendly house, you will not only help preserve the environment but will be able to save time and improve your quality of life quite significantly.

Thu, Jan 25, 2018
Rick Thompson

THE REIMAGINED EASY BUILD HOME BUILDING PROCESS

Building a home that fits who you are and lets you live your life the way you want to is easier than you could imagine. BrightLeaf homes are designed to save you time, money, and energy. Pick the area you want to live in, choose the right size for you, then customize your home to reflect your personal style for a perfect fit.

Thu, Dec 14, 2017
Rick Thompson

How to Make Sure Your Home is Green and Healthy

A green and healthy home is the first step towards a happier and better life, but it’s also something you need to work on constantly. Nobody can just wake up and find themselves surrounded by eco-friendliness and sustainability, which is why you must take action and do something to achieve these things. Here are some of the ways to ensure your home is as green and healthy as possible.

Fri, Dec 8, 2017
Catherine Collins
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

The Real Costs of Building a Green Home in Chicago

A lot of people are attracted by the idea of building an eco-friendly home but believe the green construction costs just don't make it a practical option for them. If you hold such beliefs, it's time to re-examine them.

Sat, Dec 2, 2017
Scott Sanders

Building a Home Should be Exciting, Not Exhausting

Most American's today associate the process of building a new home with feeling overwhelmed and spending more money than they intended, often leading them to scour the real estate market for pre-existing homes. It could take a long time to find the home you're dreaming of, or even worse, settling for one that isn't all you wanted.

Fri, Dec 1, 2017
Rick Thompson

What Does Green Actually Mean & What Are the Certifications All About?

Building a house is an exciting and emotional process – as well as one of the biggest decisions in a family’s life. The decisions to be made require both expertise and foresight – something a reputable and industry-leading builder will have no problem providing clients through the building process. The problem lies in builders who cloud the green, sustainable building industry with “greenwashing” a term used to describe when a company, government, or other group promotes green-based environmental issues but operates in an opposite and often more endangering way. Today’s consumers are more aware of sustainable green practices than ever before, but how can people looking to build or buy a “green” house be assured they get what they pay for?

Wed, Nov 29, 2017
Rick Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

The Pre-Close Building Process With BrightLeaf (Infographic)

There are many steps associated with becoming a homeowner and it undoubtedly can seem overwhelming. At BrightLeaf, we focused on our building process specifically from the client experience point of view. We wanted to provide a concise, easily-communicated pre-close process to highlight the necessary steps that take our families from securing a construction loan to breaking ground at the job site. Below is a visual narrative of our pre-close process.

Fri, Nov 24, 2017
Rick Thompson

The 150 Day Build Process with BrightLeaf (Infographic)

At BrightLeaf , our build process focuses on simplicity - but an intentional and effective simplicity. Our processes are intended to be transparent and straight forward with communication being the common theme woven through each thread of every step. Once the pre-close process is completed, it's time to get the home built. Our four distinct build phases provide clients with comfort and clear understanding of what they can expect once their project is up and running.

Wed, Nov 22, 2017
Alex Thompson

Seven Creative Ways to Save for a Down Payment

Real estate and buying a home comes with a lot of uncertainty, advice, and general … fear. It will likely be the largest purchase and decision of your life, so those feelings are completely founded. You’ve probably heard most about the cost associated with becoming a homeowner – and just how large of a process (and seemingly impossible) it is to secure the down payment. I’m here to tell you it’s not impossible. Here are some creative ways to save for your forever home’s down payment.

Mon, Nov 20, 2017
Rick Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

Green Terminology: What Is 'Comfort' & How Does It Relate To A Home?

Everyone wants their home to be comfortable. Comfort is walking around your home in bare feet no matter what season it is. Comfort is never needing to plug in a space heater because of an awful cold spot in the home. Comfort is not having to avoid sleeping in that one hot room all summer because it's stuffy temperature is unbearable. Comfort is each level of your home being a consistent temperature, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Comfort is not constantly adjusting of the thermostat just to make sure everyone in the family is cozy. When it comes to green home solutions, comfort has significance.

You may not be aware that green homes and comfort go hand in hand. Here are just a few environmentally friendly features that can enhance the comfort of any home.

Wed, Nov 15, 2017
Rick Thompson

Understanding HOME ENERGY RATING SYSTEMS (HERS) INDEX & Home Energy Savings

Energy savings from your home can mean an extra night out, a family vacation, or a new toy in your garage. Quality materials, high performance features, and attention to every single detail play a huge role in passing along energy savings to homeowners. Here’s what that means to you.

Mon, Nov 13, 2017
Rick Thompson

How Building with BrightLeaf is Different (Infographic)

A big part of what our team does at BrightLeaf  is the general education of not only the homebuilding industry overall but how our company and process is different from standard builders. There's a lot of misconception about building houses because people have either had poor experiences or heard horror stories from someone who did. We see this as an opportunity to share our remedies to what commonly ails  people during the homebuilding process. Here's a quick visual of the areas of concern people typically have, and how we alleviate the pain for our clients.

Sun, Nov 12, 2017
Rick Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

7 Elements of a Modern Farmhouse Home Build

Farmhouses are a picturesque and iconic type of home in American culture that bring about feelings of wholesome comfort. However, the old non-energy efficient construction and high costs associated with upkeep often leave prospective home buyers looking for newer alternatives. Urban or modern farmhouse builds have sprung onto the housing scene as that perfect substitute, combining updated yet classic farmhouse design elements with the energy efficiency of a Zero Energy Ready Home.

Thu, Nov 9, 2017
Alex Thompson

A Guide to a Greener Chicago

Everyone wants to do what they can for the environment. Green choices are often fiscally sound – they save you money by decreasing energy usage – and they let you do your part in preserving a healthy environment for future generations.

Mon, Nov 6, 2017
Scott Sanders

THE MANY BENEFITS OF GOING SOLAR AT HOME

The good people over at the Renewable Energy Corporation have made it simple to understand how solar power technology has advanced and the cost has plummeted. If you haven't started considering the benefits of solar energy for your home, maybe it's time you did? Learn about the economic benefits of going solar at home, the performance benefits, and the global benefits. 

Thu, Oct 26, 2017
Rick Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

Who's Buying Houses Now? A Look at Chicago's Generations of Buyers

If you are a millennial, home buying and settling into a mortgage may not have been a dream in the past. Now, as you grow older, statistics show that you are finally ready to nest and find the perfect home. When is the right time to act on that impulse? According to experts, both nationally and in the Chicago area, you shouldn't wait too long to fulfill your dream.

Mon, Oct 23, 2017
Scott Sanders

Green Terminology: What Is 'Durable' & How Does It Relate To A Home?

These days, just about everybody is doing what they can to be more environmentally friendly. Sales of electric cars that use less fossil fuel are on the rise, and everyone's looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Wed, Oct 4, 2017
Rick Thompson

What Stands Between You & Your Forever Home

Many things can stand between you and the home you plan to live in for the rest of your life (and perhaps pass on to your children). But, over time, BrightLeaf Homes has found that the most common thing holding people back is themselves.

Fri, Sep 22, 2017
Alex Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

How a Shortage of Homes for Sale in Chicago Benefits You

Look through the Chicago real estate listings and you'll find pockets of homes that are old and battered down, a handful of over-priced houses in undesirable neighborhoods, and if you're lucky, a few houses that you feel okay about. But when you're looking to buy your forever home, you're not looking for a home that makes you feel “okay.” You want a spectacular home that makes you feel great every time you walk through the door - it's what you and your family deserve.

Fri, Jun 23, 2017
Rick Thompson

Chicago Community of the Month: La Grange

The Chicago area boasts many outstanding neighborhoods and suburbs, each with its own character and appeal. Today, we are going to take a closer look at La Grange, the community we call home.

Mon, Jun 19, 2017
Scott Sanders

What is a Gut Rehab & Should You Consider One?

You may discover a property in an excellent location, or that it's the size you always dreamed of. There's only one problem - everything else about the house needs to be changed. A gut rehab removes everything but the "bones" of the house. You end up with an empty canvas for your home, allowing you to modernize older buildings or fix widespread problems. This type of rehab can be worth it, but you have a few things to keep in mind. 
Thu, Jun 15, 2017
Alex Thompson
Ask Us Anything About Building Your New Home  Building a new home is time consuming and intimidating (well, that's what we  hear) but it doesn't have to be. Contact our team of experts and find out how  we do it different, and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

2017: How to Buy a House in a Seller's Market

If you're searching for a home in Chicago this summer, you're going to run into competition. It's a seller's market around here, with Curbed reporting a 9.3 percent increase in houses sold and the prices going up by 12.4 percent compared to last year. Here's what to look for and know about buying a house in the current market.
Mon, Jun 5, 2017
Rick Thompson
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