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The New Way of Building: Energy Star Certified New Homes say 'Better is Better'

'Bigger is Better' is a home building mantra of the past. More and more customers of new construction homes know that it's not about the space inside your home, but how effective it is at keeping you and your family safe and healthy. Green building is not only the most economical way to build, but has a ton of lasting benefits. 

Sun, Oct 20, 2019
Brandon Philbrick
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

Home Renovation Checklist: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Many homeowners will undergo a home renovation when they’re trying to boost the value of their home, but there’s no need to wait until you are ready to sell. Instead, find some projects that will boost the quality of life in your living space and try to make it as functional as you can. 

Thu, Oct 10, 2019
Emma B. Joyce

Getting To Know Jarrett Svendsen: Realtor, Advisor & Managing Broker at BrightLeaf

Jarrett Svendsen is the Managing Broker of BrightLeaf’s real estate brokerage. With a background first and foremost in real estate, Jarrett watched as BrightLeaf houses began to go up near his community in Brookfield, Illinois. 

Wed, Oct 2, 2019
Brandon Philbrick

Building a High-Quality Home to Connect with Nature

The past few decades of new home construction have embraced certain design assumptions. Bigger is better. Grandeur is desirable. Luxury means overconsumption. It’s about time we flipped these outdated themes on their head

 

Mon, Sep 30, 2019
Brandon Philbrick
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

Building Your Home With Peace Of Mind? There's An App For That... Buildertrend

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.

Wed, Sep 11, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen

Unwanted Moisture: The Enemy of a Healthy Home

One of the most costly issues facing homeowners and the construction industry today is water and moisture problems. Excess or unwanted moisture buildup leads to mold and mildew growth and can damage your home’s foundation and structural materials. 

 

The cost of building or maintaining your home has the potential to increase if you do not have these issues in mind. Green home solutions and energy-efficient plans are simple enough to undertake, and understanding the root causes of potential problems is the first step.

Tue, Aug 20, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen

What You Need To Know About Energy Performance Labels

 
In September, NPR released a report that many American Households have trouble paying their energy bills. Although homeowners may not think of them as major expenses, Energy performance can have a major impact on your home.  Energy.gov reports, "Heating and cooling account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes."
Sat, Aug 17, 2019
Brandon Philbrick
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

Highlights from the Bright Side: What One Client Had To Say About Her Experience Building A Custom Home

Designing your home and taking the steps in building a new construction home might seem like a mighty task. We recently just finished Kristen’s modern farmhouse style home in La Grange this past week, and proved once again, “You really can build your own custom home, and have some fun while you’re doing it.” As a single mother in Chicagoland, she didn’t think that building a new home would be a possibility, but thanks to a “partnership attitude and an open communication process” we were able to make her dreams a reality.

Tue, Jul 23, 2019
Brandon Philbrick

Indoor Air Quality: Identifying the Sources and Health Risks in Your Home

The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. The air inside the average home can have up to five times as many pollutants than outdoor air - sometimes as high as 100 times more - and you and your family may be completely unaware.

Wed, Jul 17, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen

4 Misconceptions About Building an Eco-Friendly Home

There's a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet and elsewhere about eco-friendly homes. We're going to debunk some of the most commonly held misconceptions about building a new construction, green home.

 

Tue, Jul 2, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

What Stands Between You & Your Custom Dream 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.

Wed, Jun 5, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen

7 Things To Assess When Building A New Home

Building your dream home can be an exercise in compromise. As you work with a builder, you'll run across both practical limitations (it just doesn't make sense to put a bathroom where you want it) and budgetary ones (maybe you can't afford a house of the size you want).

Mon, Jun 3, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen

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." 

Fri, May 31, 2019
Rick Thompson
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

How To Start Planning and Personalizing Your Custom Home Build

 At BrightLeaf Homes, We’re proud to be in the top 1% of builders in the country. We are currently the only housing innovation award winner in Illinois in part because of our mission to create long-lasting, beautiful homes that improve the quality of life and health of those who live in them.

Tue, May 28, 2019
Jarrett Svendsen

The Absolute Pillars of Green Remodeling

What are the purposes of your home remodel? Are you just trying to update the house, fix some lingering issues or is there a more meaningful purpose to the whole project? Every home requires care and you can use these ‘maintenance’ requirements to evolve your home into something greater - an eco-friendly environment that improves your lifestyle and contributes to the global reduction of the energy/carbon footprint. Here are the fundamentals of eco-friendly home remodel.

Thu, Mar 28, 2019
Amelia Atkins

LEED: The Way to a Green Future with Sustainable Building Design

LEED is a Green Building rating system available for nearly any building or renovation project and is one of the most used forms of energy efficiency assessment tools in the world. 

Wed, Mar 20, 2019
Scott Sanders
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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.

 

Fri, Dec 28, 2018
Jarrett Svendsen

Guide to Making Your First Home Build Smooth and Easy

 You have been dreaming of building your own home for years. Once you decide to make your dream a reality, it is important to partner with a builder that understands what you are looking to do and has the right process as well as the people to get the job done right.

Tue, Dec 4, 2018
Amanda Lee

Fresh Design Solutions for a Stylish and Functional Family Kitchen

 A kitchen can be much more than a lab for culinary experiments. It can serve as a social hub of domestic life, where we can spend quality time as a family.  The only problem is that there are so many moving parts to keep a close eye on. Moreover, you need to consider your present and future needs, the age of the children (if any), your stylistic preferences, budget, etc. Through it all, you also must find ways of blending functional and stylish features.  Seems like too much ground to cover? Don’t fret-we got your back.

Fri, Nov 30, 2018
Lillian Connors
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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.

Fri, Nov 9, 2018
Jarrett Svendsen

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.

Wed, Sep 5, 2018
Jarrett Svendsen

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, Aug 15, 2018
Jarrett Svendsen
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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? Energy-efficient green construction 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. 

 

Building a new construction homes in the Chicago area gives you the opportunity to not only design the home of your dreams, but to prove the health of your home and your family while staying on budget and on schedule. 

Tue, May 15, 2018
Scott Sanders

Building a Home Should be Exciting, Not Exhausting

Most Americans 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
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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

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
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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

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

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
Access Our Online Library Of Floor Plans  Utilize our library of floor plans to inspire the design for your very own  custom home. We can build you a unique, eco-friendly home that perfectly suits  your family's needs and dreams. REGISTER TO ACCESS FLOOR PLANS

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

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
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