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Easy tips to maintain energy efficiency in your home

Categories: New Homes Chicago, New Homes Madison, New Homes Milwaukee, New Homes Phoenix, New Homes Tampa, Uncategorized, Why Buy New | Posted: April 22, 2015

energy efficient homes

High energy use not only has environmental impacts but it can hit you personally in the pocketbook. Here is a list of helpful suggestions that can help you reduce energy consumption in your household. You’ll also find water conservation and recycling tips.
•Heating System
•Air Conditioning
•Smart Appliance Use
•Water Heater
•Fireplace
•Conserving Water
•Recycling

Heating System

•Clean or replace heater and air conditioner filters regularly. Keep outside vents free of leaves or debris that may clog vents.
•When the heat is on, set your thermostat at as low a level as you feel comfortable. You save for each degree you lower the average temperature of your home.
•Close doors to seldom used rooms and turn off heat or air conditioning in these areas.Lowering thermostat
•Keep windows near your thermostat tightly closed; otherwise it will keep your furnace working after the rest of the house is heated to the desired temperature.
•If you have oil heat, have the firing rate checked periodically.
•Dust and vacuum radiator surfaces frequently. Dust and grime impede the flow of heat.
•Keep draperies and shades open in sunny windows; close them at night.
•For comfort in cooler indoor temperatures, use the best insulation of all — warm clothing.
•Use kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans sparingly. These fans can blow away a house full of heated or cooled air in an hour.

Air Conditioning
•Keep your cooling system well-tuned by a professional service person.
•Clean or replace air conditioner filters regularly.
•Set your air conditioner thermostat as high as you still feel reasonably comfortable.
•Don’t set the thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. Your house will not cool any faster.
•If you have window air conditioners, turn them off when a room will be vacant for a few hours. You’ll use less energy cooling the room down later than if you had left the unit running.
•Use a fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner.
•Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. Heat from these items is sensed by the thermostat and could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
•Keep out daytime sun with blinds or shades.
•Dress appropriately for the warmer indoor temperatures.
•Open the windows and use a fan on warmer days.

Smart Appliance Use
•Use large appliances in the early morning and late evening.
•Use cold water rather than hot when running the garbage disposal.Air-drying clothes in the sun saves energy
•Keep range top burners and reflectors clean so your stove operates at peak efficiency.
•When using an oven or an electric burner, turn it off a little while before the cooking is done. The oven or element will stay hot after you turn it off.
•When you have a choice, use the range top instead of the oven.
•Use your dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
•Scrape dishes before loading them into the dishwasher so you won’t have to rinse them.
•Let your dishes air dry.
•Don’t use the “rinse hold” on your dishwasher for just a few soiled dishes.
•Dry clothes in the sun (check your covenants, clotheslines are prohibited in some communities).

Water Heater
•Minimize hot water use by taking shorter showers and washing your clothes in cold water.
•Try setting your water heater at 120 degrees.

Fireplace
•Keep your fireplace damper closed unless you have a fire going. An open damper can let as much as 8% of your heat go out the chimney. The warmth from a fire on the hearth generally doesn’t radiate through the house; the heat gain is confined to the room with the fireplace. In fact, a considerable amount of heated air from other parts of the house can go wastefully up the chimney when a fire is going.
•To lessen heat loss when you use your fireplace and the furnace is on, lower the thermostat setting to 50 or 55 degrees. Some warmed air will still be lost, but the furnace won’t have to use as much fuel to keep the rest of the house at its usual temperature.
•Close all doors and warm air ducts to the room with the fireplace, and open a window near the fireplace half an inch to an inch. Air needed by the fire will be provided through the open window, and the amount of heated air drawn from the rest of the house will be reduced.

Conserving Water
•Take showers rather than baths. Showers use about a third as much water.
•Take shorter showers.
•Avoid leaving the water running while shaving and brushing teeth.
•Don’t use the toilet as a trash can.
•Use the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
•Don’t run water continuously for vegetable and dish washing.
•Water lawns in the morning to avoid evaporation.
•Keep grass at least two inches high to shade roots.
•Use mulch or ground covering plants to prevent excessive evaporation.
•Use waste water from the house to water your garden.
•Plant native or drought tolerant plants.
•Water trees slowly, deeply and infrequently to encourage deep rooting. A slow drip for an hour once a week should be sufficient for most trees.
•Use a broom rather than the hose to clean off walkways, patios and other outdoor areas.
•When washing your car, use a bucket of water or a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle instead of letting the hose run.

Recycling saves energy, natural resources and landfill spaceRecycling

Reduce the amount of garbage you generate by buying and using products wisely:
•”Precycle” by purchasing products in recyclable containers.
•Purchase foods in bulk or concentrate.
•Avoid products that are neither reusable nor easily recyclable.
•At work, make two-sided photocopies.
•Use cloth towels in the kitchen rather than paper towels.
•Stop unwanted junk mail by removing your name from mailing lists.

Reuse product whenever possible:
•Start a compost pile with your leaves and grass clippings.
•Leave a coffee mug or two at work and avoid using disposable cups.
•Use blank back sides of used paper for scratch work.
•Look into purchasing quality used items instead of new ones.
•Take your grocery bags back to the market and reuse them.
•Mend clothes and repair broken items.
•Take care of your belongings to help them last longer. In particular, try to keep your car on a regular maintenance schedule.
•Use products that are made to be reused, such as cloth towels, sponges, glass dishes and metal eating utensils (rather than paper and plastic), rechargeable batteries, etc.
•Drop off your used motor oil, antifreeze, and car batteries at places that recycle automotive wastes.
•Donate clothing, books, toys, appliances and furniture to charitable organizations.

Source: National Association of Home Builders, April 2015

SPRING VALUES HEAT UPTHE HOUSING MARKET

Categories: New Homes Chicago | Posted: March 31, 2015

William Ryan brings the Perri family to Kainer Court in Barrington
perri

Illinois natives, Amy and Rob Perri, moved quite a bit in the past few years due to Rob’s job, most recently living in Connecticut. When the time came to come back to Illinois, however, Rob, who grew up in Hanover Park, and Amy, in Rockford, knew exactly where they wanted their children to put down roots. “We targeted the Barrington schools when we knew we were coming back to Illinois,” Amy Perri said. “They’ve always been some of the best in the country and wanted our children to benefit from them.” Of the 19,400 public high schools in the United States, U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Barrington High School #539 nationally and #22 in the state with District 220 ranked #49 of the 747 school districts in Illinois. Both Arnett C. Lines Elementary School and Barrington Middle School are within walking distance of Kainer Court. “Family life is very important to us and the lifestyle we have at Kainer Court, well, it just doesn’t get any better than this,” Amy continued. “We can ride our bikes to Starbucks, the Farmer’s Market, to get ice cream, to the library and parks. My children love being so close to everything. When Rob was commuting downtown he was less than a ten minute walk to the train station which meant more time for us to spend as a family and less commute time for him.” Kainer Court is a William Ryan Homes’ neighborhood just east of Route 59 and north of Main Street in Barrington, offering
executive-style two-story homes ranging from 2,658 to 4,200 square feet in size and priced from $599,000 to $799,900. “We spent a lot of time looking at existing homes in Barrington and South Barrington but there was no comparison to the new homes at Kainer Court,” Amy said. “The older homes have short ceilings, dated interiors and are very compartmentalized. The homes at Kainer Court have tall ceilings, open floor plans and are extremely energy-efficient. We spend 90% of our time as a family in our family room and open kitchen. Our home is cozy and comfortable not like the drafty older homes.” The Perri’s purchased the Jefferson floor plan at Kainer Court offering over 3,500 square feet of living space with four bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, full basement and three-car garage. Highlights include a spacious two-story family room open to the gourmet kitchen with large island and walk-in pantry, formal living and dining room, study, owner’s suite with private luxury bath and abundant walk-in closet space, three generously-sized secondary bedrooms and convenient second-floor laundry. “We moved in two days before Thanksgiving and hosted 18 people,” Amy said. “The openness made entertaining easy we look forward to many more gatherings in the future.” William Ryan Homes’ distinctive architecture, caring craftsmanship, deluxe inclusions and extensive options have earned the national company a highly respected reputation for quality throughout the Chicagoland area as well as in other markets. William Ryan Homes was established in 1992 in suburban Chicago, and has since expanded to markets in Arizona, Florida and Wisconsin. The company is presently the #1 privately owned builder of single-family homes in the Chicago area. As a national company, William Ryan Homes offers quality on every level with science-based building systems, national purchasing power and operational efficiencies that enhance the value received. Every home is Green-built to exceed Energy Star guidelines and with an outstanding 1-2-10 Transferable Warranty. A state-of-the-art waterproofing process guarantees dry basements for 10 years. Other company innovations include a “My Home 24-7”personal customer website, a thorough customer orientation program and partnership with Wintrust Mortgage Company for financing needs. The sales center and model home are open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments are also available after hours or on Tuesday and Wednesday by calling (888) 351-7186 or contacting ChicagoOnline@wmryan.com. Please visit www.WilliamRyanHomes.com for more information on Kainer Court or any other William Ryan Homes’ community in
Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida or Arizona. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Source: Chicago Tribune Special Advertising Section, March 27, 2015

Design trends revealed in local model homes

Categories: New Homes Chicago, Uncategorized | Posted: March 21, 2015

the jensen model kitchen and morning room
When purchasing a new home, one of the most important decisions buyers make is choosing a good floor plan.

Today’s best floor plans reflect how buyers have moved to interactive lifestyles with open designs and the kitchen being the center of the action. This has led to fewer or no hallways in the house, as the larger rooms themselves become passageways.

Buyers can see how well a design fits their lifestyle by walking through local model homes to experience the feel of the home before they make a purchase. The arrangement of rooms, the flow from one room to another and the use of space helps them see how the floor plan will live.

Buyers might envision their family living in the house — cooking and eating in the kitchen, relaxing in the living space and entertaining family and friends. Will your family live comfortably in the home?

Builders weigh in on what they see happening with floor plans today.

William Ryan Homes recently redesigned all its floor plans after doing research and receiving feedback from customers and prospects, said Debbie Beaver, vice president of operations for the Chicago division.

“We wanted to make sure our homes reflect how people live in their homes today,” she said.

As a result, the builder introduced the “ergonomic kitchen” that fits a person’s body well, which means the refrigerator is not too far from the landing space or the stove.

“We worked with national kitchen and bath guidelines as far as the work triangle and the right depth between the stove and the counter behind it. We also put more room around appliances that need to be opened,” Beaver said.

Because people are expanding their living space into the basement more today, the builder also started offering finished basements. This has also been a popular feature with buyers at Shodeen Homes, said Nate Amidon, director of sales and marketing.

For William Ryan Homes, larger mudrooms were on buyers’ wish lists. For kids coming in with backpacks and sports bags, the builder created mudrooms as a drop zone with space for lockers, built-ins, cubbies or coat racks.

D.R. Horton Homes too offers an owner’s entry that often features a key drop or electronics charging station, large storage closets and/or cabinets. This area may include locker-like spaces and more storage space, said Christopher Naatz, vice president of sales and marketing.

Brian Hoffman, vice president of finance for Red Seal Homes, sees three floor plan trends right now.

“Open is in,” Hoffman said. “Floor plans with the kitchen, dining and great room open to each other are definitely attracting buyers. In all our products — single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses — we have some substantial open dimension, and they’re outselling everything else by a lot.”

Hoffman also sees that square footage is back. “Gracious open plans need some size. And with this, there is a need for an office on the first floor where work can be done in a quiet space.”

Another trend is the death of the bathtub, Hoffman said. In most of its product lines, the builder is doing larger stand up or walk-in showers with a tile base and surround rather than a tub.

Luxury showers in the owners’ suite are also big for D.R. Horton, Naatz said.

“People are choosing large, walk-in tile showers in lieu of a smaller shower and separate tub.”

For Shodeen Homes, Amidon sees floor plans focused around “maximizing space.” For example, bonus rooms instead of two-story family rooms have become popular, as well as second-level laundry rooms. People also want planning rooms on the main level of the home where children can do their homework and engage in other activities, he said.

“We’re also seeing gourmet kitchens with double wall ovens and cook tops,” Amidon said. “The vent hood in place of a space-saver microwave has become popular in our custom lineup.”

Naatz sees several kitchen trends in new homes for D.R. Horton. Islands have flush tops where lower stools can be used, making the island more conducive to conversation. The flush-height tops also add to the feeling of open space because they don’t create a visual barrier. Buyers prefer the flush tops rather than the stepped-up tops and overhangs that require higher bar stools, he said.

Islands are large and often uniquely shaped. They are larger to create a generous workspace as well as a secondary dining space. Multifunctional islands are integral to daily living; they may be the breakfast bar, party gathering space, cooking area and so much more, Naatz said.

Buyers like walk-in pantries as they allow for ample storage of food and small kitchen appliances that are not used regularly.

Also at D.R. Horton, flex spaces are still popular with buyers because they are easily adaptable to how people live in their homes. It’s a space that can serve many purposes; it could be used as a formal dining room, home office, music room or whatever fits the needs of the buyer.

Is there a perfect floor plan? Kim Meier, president of KLM Builders, says his company has built a ranch home that he believes is the perfect size, perfect layout and perfect price for the average buyer.

“It’s a very efficient plan from a design standpoint, which helps keep the cost down, and it’s a plan that everyone likes to live in,” Meier said.

The Harrison, the new model at Sunset Ridge in Richmond, features about 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage.

In this design, the kitchen is open to the breakfast nook and great room with the sink overlooking the great room and the outdoors.

“Buyers want informal dining spaces, which we offer with the angled island and breakfast nook. Those who still want a formal dining room have that option with the flex room in the front of the home,” Meier said.

Buyers like that the home offers split bedrooms with the master suite and guest room on opposite sides of the house. The layout well accommodates buyers with school-age children or empty nesters who have overnight guests.

The design offers a swing, or flex, room that people can use as a formal dining room, den or home office. And the home includes amenities such as hardwood floors, granite countertops, furniture-quality cabinetry and high ceilings.

In the full basement, which is as big as the entire house, the builder keeps the mechanicals to one end. That makes it a more livable space as many people finish the basement either when they purchase the home or in the future.

3/22/15 By Sherry Giewald
Daily Herald Correspondent

Hampshire Park District receives OSLAD Grant to re-develop Bruce Ream Park

Categories: New Homes Chicago, Uncategorized | Posted: March 19, 2015

hampshire park district hampshire park district2

We are excited to announce that we are the recipient of an OSLAD (Open Space Land Acquisition & Development) Grant from IDNR (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) for the Bruce Ream Park re-development!!! IDNR has awarded the Park District $375,400 towards the development of the new playground, splash pad, shared-use path with fitness stations, sand volleyball court, sled/exercise hill, basketball/bankshot/pickelball court, soccer turf improvements, parking lot improvements, and ADA repairs to the existing restrooms.

We will begin to work on this project by designing a playground (also funded in part through a Kane County Riverboat Grant) and hosting a community build early this summer where we install the playground in just ONE day. Please contact Laura at 847-683-2690 or laura@hampshireparkdistrict.org if you are interested in participating or donating to the build day. Sponsorship opportunities will also be available. Come be a part of history as we make this community park an exciting destination for you and your family!

Submitted by sweber 1/13/2015

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: March 17, 2015

William Ryan Homes 

 

Color Yourself Happy!

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: March 10, 2015

William Ryan Homes William Ryan Homes William Ryan Homes  William Ryan Homes

Believe it or not, color has a massive impact on how you feel, including your productivity, energy levels, creativity and overall happiness. If you chose the wrong colors for your home’s interior, you may be stunting your potential in multiple facets of your life. Get the paint swatches out, it’s time to make some big decisions, as we’ve broken down six principal colors and why you do or don’t want them in your house.

 

Red: The Color of Success and Productivity

Red is the most energetic color there is. It has been known to not only raise your heart rate and thereby increase your energy levels, but also pump adrenaline through you. It’s a fiery, aggressive color that has an immediate impact on your entire nervous system, which means it’s very important that you carefully choose where you use it.

Do – Red is the perfect color choice for a productive, energized work environment. Red promotes circulation and speeds respiration; you should be firing on all cylinders when surrounded by it.

Don’t – Use red in your bedroom. Red is aggressive and will stimulate your system, which conflicts with relaxing after a hard day’s work.

 

Yellow: The Color of Happiness

Yellow is known to be a very uplifting color – it’s the color most often associated with happiness, energy and togetherness. When chosen in the right hue, it is both soothing and cheer inducing, which makes it perfect as an interior color.

Do – Use yellow in a communal environment, such as the living room or kitchen. It promotes a feeling of togetherness and comfort, and due to its energizing effects, it’s perfect for stimulating conversation and promoting community.

Don’t – Use yellow in a toddler’s room. Yellow is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, and can therefore prove overwhelming. The last thing you want is for your baby’s room to make her cry.

 

Orange – The Color of Energy and Excitement 

Orange has been known to increase energy levels and excitement. Orange is for go-getting and energy-pumping.

Do – Use orange in a home gym. Orange promotes an enthusiastic demeanor and will inspire, invigorate and energize you – exactly what you want when headed into a work-out.

Don’t – Use orange if you’re easily stressed out or spend your days in a stressful environment and want to come home to tranquility. It is best contained to areas in which you want to raise your energy levels. If you work in an environment that already does that, you may want to skip it in your home.

 

Blue – The Color of a Rested, Beautiful You

Blue is the color of the sea and the sky – it is calming, soothing and fundamentally slows you down. Blue calms your nerves and lets you breathe more easily, which is something we probably all crave at one point in our day. It lowers your blood pressure, which means it has an almost medicinal effect on your mood and temperament. Think of blue as a glass of red wine for your home.

Do – Use blue in your bedroom and bathroom. It’s the answer to your search for beauty sleep and peaceful repose.

Don’t – Use in an office environment. Using blue in an environment that is intended to be productive and invigorating is counterproductive.

 

Green – The Color That’s Sexier Than You Think

Green is a symbol of fertility and new beginnings. It is lush and vibrant, while maintaing a soothing and comforting feel.

Do – Use green in your bedroom. Many commonly perceive red as the raciest of colors and the ultimate in sexy decor, but we firmly believe that green takes the ‘bedroom-color-cake.’ It’s restful to the eye and calming, but also subliminally puts you in the mood for love.

Don’t – Use green for motivation. Much like blue, green is counterproductive in an environment that is meant to be energetic.

 

Purple – The Color of Creativity 

Purple is luxurious and inspiring. It is a color that is known to inspire creativity and thought, leading to wealth and comfort. It is royal and velvety and it makes you feel like you can achieve. Though purple is a color you don’t see quite as often in interior design, it is one that should definitely be incorporated into the home of the fun and creative or those aspiring to be such.

Do – Use purple in the kitchen, a playroom or an art studio. It will inspire you to work with your hands and think outside the box. From extravagant meals, to creative playtime for the kids, to picking up the brush and paints, purple is sure to set the tone for hours of inspiration.

Don’t – Use purple in your child’s bedroom. Although it’s ideal for a children’s playroom, it is not quite as great a fit for where your little one sleeps. A well-rested child needs a sleeping environment that calms the brain, not one that revs it up. ‘Light’s out’ means no purple.


It’s clear that color can have a great impact on how we feel, so next time you head to the paint store, ask yourself what tone you’d like to set in your home. It’s more important than you may have thought!


Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home.

Smart Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: February 17, 2015

Increase Home Value

Trying to sell that tired, outgrown house so you can begin building your new William Ryan Home?  Remodeling Magazine released its annual Cost vs. Value Report that examines the most popular remodel projects. Here are the top items to update when trying to sell your home. (Read full article here.)

  1. Replace your front door.
  2. Add stone veneer to the front façade.
  3. Install a new garage door.
  4. Install new siding.
  5. Build a wood deck.
  6. Give your kitchen a facelift.
  7. Replace your windows.
  8. Renew your roof.

 

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home.

Sign a contract before March 31 and receive a free upgrade from Level 1 laminate flooring to Level 2!

Homebuilders Adapt to a Different Time

Categories: New Homes Chicago, Why Buy New | Posted: February 9, 2015

sheridan model kitchen 2

Housing starts in the Chicago metropolitan area during 2014 increased 17 percent over 2013 by one measure and 19 percent by another, making builders optimistic that 2015 will be an even better year for this industry, which creates jobs and stimulates local economies.

“The Chicago area was somewhat unique. During 2014 we saw a decline in new-home construction in many markets around the country but the Chicago area’s numbers were up pretty significantly,” said Chris Huecksteadt, regional director for Metrostudy, a housing market research firm based in Elgin. “We recorded 5,708 housing starts in the 12-counties we monitor, compared to 4,865 starts during 2013.”

Dodge Data and Analytics, based in New York, quantifies the increase differently, by dollar volume. It recorded more than $4.29 billion in residential building contracts in a 13-county area around Chicago during 2014, up from $3.6 billion the previous year.

“Much of this is due to the national builders constructing homes on lots that have been written down to a price point that is below their replacement value in places like Pingree Grove, Oswego and Huntley,” Huecksteadt said. “You could not buy a parcel of land and develop it into lots at the price they are selling these lots. They are giving them away in the communities on the fringes of the metropolitan area so that they can redirect their efforts to smaller, infill parcels closer to the city where they can sell homes at a better profit.

“The recession we just experienced, in effect, halted the urban sprawl here — at least for the present time,” he said.

The large, national builders have decided huge developments, which might take ten years to complete, are too risky and are generally redirecting to smaller communities of 50 to 75 houses where they can build and be out in a year or two, Huecksteadt said.

“Caution” is the watchword with buyers, too. The millennial generation, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, are also slow to become first-time buyers.

“There is lots of fence-sitting still going on,” he said. “Many millennials saw what happened to their parents and hesitate to buy a home because of that experience. They are also marrying later and changing jobs every few years, so they seem less inclined to get tied down. Buyers also seem less willing to commit to a long commute in order to get a bigger house.”

Huecksteadt said the industry had gotten away from the old “location-location-location” mantra for awhile and now it is back, with builders “taking another look at the old suburbs and even watching for teardown possibilities, feeling that that option is better than buying a cornfield on the fringes and then hoping the buyers will come.”

So builders are concentrating on buying land in closer-in suburbs like Glen Ellyn, Hawthorn Woods, Naperville, Elgin and Lisle, Huecksteadt said. They believe there’s more demand to build 20 homes in Hawthorn Woods than to build 100 homes in Marengo.

“You need ‘rooftops,’ as they call them, in order to encourage national stores like Walmart and Starbucks to build stores in a community. So when a community attracts new-home construction, the national chains take notice and consider locating there, too. That is one of the ways new homes add to a municipality’s bottom line,” Huecksteadt said.

National Association of Home Builders statistics agree. They indicate that for every 100 new single-family homes built, in the first year alone, $21.1 million in local income is generated, as well as $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 324 local jobs.

The annual recurring benefit from building those 100 homes is $3.1 million in local income, $743,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 53 local jobs.

“The bigger, better concept of housing is no longer leading the charge,” Airhart said. “Size is no longer our buyers’ first question like it was back in 2002 and 2003. Now they are more concerned with amenities, flexibility and if the home is designed to make their lives easier.”

For instance, it used to be that the laundry room and mud room were the same space. Today, buyers are willing to sacrifice bedroom space to get a second-floor laundry room and they want a true mudroom with benches, hooks and charging stations, Airhart said.

“The ergonomics of a house is of primary concern to buyers today. They also aren’t willing to put in a luxury tub that they will never use. They would prefer a nicer shower. Similarly, buyers are no longer willing to drive further west to pick up 1,000 more square feet that they don’t need. They know they will just have to spend more to heat and cool that additional space. Instead, they would rather put in more amenities like hardwood floors throughout the first floor,” he said.

Ryland Homes has always been careful not to put all of its eggs in one basket, said Division President John Carroll. It makes sure it is both geographically diverse and market diverse in terms of whom it tries to attract.

“The reasons those communities were started are still solid. The economy is different and the marketing is different, but the locations will still attract buyers. They are places with good value and good schools where buyers are not pioneering in any way,” Carroll said.

William Ryan Homes “only does what buyers want us to do,” said Debbie Beaver, vice president of operations. “They no longer want to drive a great distance. They want to live in the closer suburbs because their lifestyles are more important to them than their homes are now. Living in the middle of nowhere is no longer appealing,” she said.

In 2015, William Ryan Homes plans to open communities in Hawthorn Woods, Addison, Bartlett, Volo and Romeoville and it recently opened a community in Hampshire. The largest of the communities features 75 lots on which homes remain to be built.

“William Ryan has never taken on huge projects. We never want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Beaver said. “We gain efficiencies by using the same 13 plans in all of our communities but tailoring our amenities to the location. The same house might have hardwood floors and granite countertops in Barrington, for instance, but vinyl floors and laminate countertops in Elgin. Our core construction is the same everywhere and it is phenomenal.

“We are expecting 2015 to be good and we are budgeting for growth, not through selling more houses per community but through selling a consistent number of homes in more communities,” she said.

By Jean Murphy

Daily Herald  2/7/15

Builder tailors plans for each location

Categories: New Homes Chicago | Posted: February 7, 2015
Deb Beaver, VP of Operations for William Ryan Homes says the builder will be opening 5 new suburban communities this year

Deb Beaver, VP of Operations for William Ryan Homes says the builder will be opening 5 new suburban communities this year

The executives at William Ryan Homes believe in finding a niche market where they do well and remaining in that niche. But they are constantly refining, improving and becoming more efficient within that area of expertise.

For William Ryan Homes, that niche is architecturally exciting single-family homes in a variety of styles, prices and locations in desirable communities.

The builder also offers innovative features and programs to maximize the value homebuyers receive, whether they are first-time purchasers or those seeking to move up to a larger home. There are flexible floor plans, science-based building systems and reasonable prices, thanks to operational efficiencies the company has developed over the years, said Debbie Beaver, vice president of operations.

“We gain efficiencies by using the same 13 plans in all of our communities but tailoring our amenities to the location,” Beaver said. “The same house might have hardwood floors and granite countertops in Barrington, for instance, but vinyl floors and laminate countertops in Elgin. Our core construction is the same everywhere and it is phenomenal.”

The homebuilder is now working in Barrington, Elgin, Cary, Naperville, Hampshire and Plainfield. Later this year it plans to open communities in Hawthorn Woods, Addison, Bartlett, Volo and Romeoville.

“Buyers no longer want to drive a great distance. They want to live in the closer suburbs because their lifestyles are more important to them than their homes are now. Living in the middle of nowhere is no longer appealing,” Beaver said.

Wonderful locations were part of the reason the Ryan Building Group, the holding company of William Ryan Homes, started North Shore Builders in 2007. This division caters to a different client with a higher end product and specification levels than offered by William Ryan Homes, Beaver said.

“Bill Ryan started North Shore Builders after he saw his friends wanting to move home to the North Shore, but not being able to find anything under $2 million,” Beaver said. “Yet there were all kinds of teardown lots for which people couldn’t get financing because of the recession. We got the financing, bought the lots when no one else could, and were able to use our plans to build highly upgraded homes in Winnetka and sell them for only $999,990. It was a perfect time.”

While most of the homes that North Shore Builders has built have been on scattered sites around the North Shore communities, it currently is developing a 19-home subdivision on the former site of Kendall College in Evanston. In order to preserve Evanston’s unique character, North Shore Builders is replicating historic homes found elsewhere in Evanston, using modern techniques and materials. Home styles include French Provincials, Tudors and other historic styles.

“We have worked with Evanston’s historic committee to develop these homes that are brand new, but look old,” she said. “We only have seven or eight lots left and it has turned out really well.”

What do you like best about being a builder?

“I enjoy helping people realize the type of home that they want. It is a huge kick to help people achieve the American dream. I particularly enjoy watching them see the colors and floors and other amenities they picked come together to become a home — and then handing them the keys.

“When people build a home, they are experiencing a lifestyle change and, as a builder, you are a part of that. I also enjoy running the operations side of this business because I am a problem-solver.”

What are the biggest changes you have seen in the business over the years?

“Of course, homes have become much more energy-efficient and the energy codes are now starting to mandate things that we have been doing for years. But we are always looking at all sides of building science. Even during the recession we were looking for added value for our buyers. We weren’t necessarily dropping prices, but we were getting our suppliers to add more value for the same price and explaining that to our buyers.”

Can you offer any glimpses into the future of William Ryan Homes in the Chicago area?

“I really feel we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel good about 2015 and expect to see a healthy market. We are budgeting for growth, not through selling more houses per community but through selling a consistent number of homes in more communities.

“Our goal is to be in the top ten builders in every market in which we do business around the country: Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison (Wisconsin), Phoenix and Tampa (Florida).”

For more information about William Ryan Homes or North Shore Builders, visit www.WilliamRyanHomes.com.

Source: Jean Murphy; The Daily Herald  February 7th 2015

 

Building in Top Ranked School Districts

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: February 6, 2015

West Prairie Village in Sun Prairie, Westbridge in Waunakee, Bishops Bay in Middleton and Scenic Ridge in Verona all are within the top 15 Best Public School Districts in Wisconsin!

Click here for full list and rankings.

Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home.

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