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Granite vs Quartz

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: January 27, 2015

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Among the several decisions you make when building your William Ryan Home, is the choice between granite and quartz. This is not an easy decision, as the distinction between the two countertop materials isn’t directly apparent. So we’ve compared the two products to help you decide.

  1.  Natural or Man-Made? Both countertop materials are overwhelmingly made of natural product:
    • Granite: 100% natural. Granite counter are literally sliced from quarries, cut to the desired size and then honed until smooth.
    • Quartz: 95% natural. Natural quartz aggregates are mixed with polymer resins (to bind the particles) and pigments (to color the stone). It’s made of natural materials, but manipulated to suite our color needs.
  2. Cost. Prices of both materials continually shift because they are sourced overseas and are container-shipped across the oceans, so prices are highly dependent on petroleum prices. William Ryan Homes is proud to include granite countertops in all their kitchens.
    • Granite: 2cm granite countertops included; upgraded thickness and color choices available.
    • Quartz: An upgrade with several color choices in two price levels.
  3. Maintenance. Both require some maintenance, but one much more than the other.
    • Granite: Needs to be sealed upon installation, and then again on a regular basis. Granite should be wiped dry after cleaning. Avoid using anything acidic or containing vinegar, as both will eat away at the sealant.
    • Quartz: No initial or continued sealing; just wipe with soapy water for daily upkeep. But avoid scouring pads which could dull the surface, and harsh chemicals that could break down the bonds between the quartz and resins.
  4. Durability. Stone, whether natural or engineered, seems like it should be invincible. However, there are some major tolerance variations.
    • Granite: Natural slab granite, all though knows for its beauty, still has flaws and imperfections. Homeowners either love, hate or accept these, as they cannot be completely avoided. Granite is naturally porous, so it can be permanently stained. It is particularly sensitive to red wine.
    • Quartz: Engineered stone means flaws have been removed. You will not find invisible striations waiting to crack open as you do with granite. Quartz is highly stain-resistant, as it is a nonporous material.
  5. Carbon Footprint. Neither one emits significant amounts of radon or volatile organic compounds, but there are some difference.
    • Granite: Produces fewer carbon emissions during production than quartz countertops. It is not a renewable resource, in that colors are limited to the quarry and quantities available.
    • Quartz: Uses waste materials to create rather than quarrying new materials. Because it is non-porous, bacteria will not grow on it.

So which material is better for you? This dilemma can best be tackled by a discussion of the key features of each type of countertop and how each fits your needs and budget. Both types of countertops have their advantages and disadvantages, and different people have different preferences. Your decision to buy a granite or quartz countertop will largely depend on your preference and the basic features each type of countertop has to offer.

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, including both quartz and granite. Visit our models today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home.

US Home Sales Rise in December

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: January 23, 2015

Home sales were higher in December, but the total sales slipped in 2014 as first-time buyers struggled to find houses.

Only 29 percent of sales went to first-time buyers last month, compared to a historic average of 40 percent. With relatively few homes on the market, William Ryan Homes says “if you can’t find a home, build it!”

Read full article here.

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 Sheridan model in Sun Prairie or our Jericho model in Verona. Discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home.

Farewell to 2014, Cheers to 2015!

Categories: New Homes Chicago, New Homes Madison, New Homes Milwaukee, New Homes Phoenix, New Homes Tampa | Posted: December 30, 2014

Happy New Year from William Ryan Homes

Have a safe and joyful 2015 from your friends at William Ryan Homes!

Seasons Greetings!

Categories: New Homes Chicago, New Homes Madison, New Homes Milwaukee, New Homes Phoenix, New Homes Tampa | Posted: December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays from William Ryan Homes

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

 

Snow Blower Safety

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: December 12, 2014

Snow Blower Safety from William Ryan Homes

Winter in Wisconsin means snow…and lots of it! Many find snow blowers to be very advantageous to dealing with the several inches of accumulation, but they do come with risks. Here are some tips to keep you safe when using a snow blower.

 

  • Follow all manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Always turn off the engine before clearing a clog at the auger or discharge chute. Use a clearing tool, never your hand or foot, to remove the clog.
  • Protect yourself from carbon-monoxide poisoning by starting and running any gas powered machine outside instead of in your garage, shed or warehouse.
  • Don’t wear loose pants, jackets, scarves or other clothing which could get caught in the various moving parts.
  •  Never refuel while the snow blower is running. If you have an electric model, use an outdoor extension cord and outlet with a ground-fault circuit interrupter protection. Be sure to keep the cord safely away from the spinning auger while working.
  • Take precautions for cold weather activities like stay hydrated, keep warm, dress in layers, cover your face and hands, take frequent breaks, and wear slip protection.

 

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. Right now, sign a contract by January 1 and receive a free fireplace to keep you warm throughout these chilly Wisconsin winters.*

*Free fireplace includes Level 1 corner, side or rear fireplace with painted white OSB mantle and your color choice of granite facing.

Shoveling Snow Safely

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: December 5, 2014

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In addition to the other safety considerations winter in Wisconsin creates, surprisingly shoveling snow has its own risks as well. Slips, exposure, muscle strain and heart attacks are just some of what we hear about every year. Whether at work or at home, if you have to clear snow, these tips may help you prevent injuries.

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a stress to the heart. If you typically shovel in the morning, drink a couple glasses of water about 30 minutes before you start. Avoid caffeine and smoking right before shoveling which place stress on your heart.
  • Warm up. Shoveling is exercise. Stretch your muscles prior, as warm muscles work more efficiently and are less prone to injury. Dress in layers and strip off layers as you warm up.
  • Exposure. Frostbite can easily occur in sub-zero temps, especially to the extremities. Make sure your fingertips are fully covered with gloves, wear layered socks under your boots, and cover your nose and ears. Use sunscreen if the sun is out. Snow is very reflective and indirect exposure can cause sunburn.
  • Know your limits. In the cold, your body has to work hard to stay warm, so be careful not to work too hard outside. Some people are at more risk that others (smokers, those with a history of heart disease or high blood pressure, etc) so check with your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Alternatives. Shoveling can be good exercise, but if you typically live an inactive lifestyle or possesses certain risk factors, consider using a snow blower or hiring a service company.
  • Proper technique. Lift with your legs, not your back. Keep the shovel close to your body and try to avoid any twisting motion. Invest in ergonomic shovels.
  • Snow is heavy. Only lift what you can with your capabilities. Use a small shovel to avoid lifting large amounts at one time.
  • Take a break. Don’t let your heart rate exceed 85% of its maximum. Take a break every 10 minutes and monitor your rate. Pace yourself.
  • Don’t ignore pain. If you feel tightness or pain in your chest, call for help immediately.

 

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. Right now, sign a contract by January 1 and receive a free fireplace to keep you warm throughout these chilly Wisconsin winters.*

*Free fireplace includes Level 1 corner, side or rear fireplace with painted white OSB mantle and your color choice of granite facing.

Winter Maintenance for Your Home

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: December 2, 2014

12.2

Like it or not, Old Man Winter is here to stay for the next 5 months. Here are some maintenance tips to consider before you hibernate for the winter.

  • Most new homes are equipped with fans vented to the outside. While bathing, showering or cooking, use the fan to dilute the excess water vapor produced.
  • Condensation on glass during winter months is usually a cause of high humidity. Using your bath and kitchen fans help reduce this. Make sure there is enough space behind drapes for air to circulate. If you have blinds, keep them raised. Running a dehumidifier in your basement will help control humidity as well.
  • Make sure all air intake and exhaust ports are clear of obstructions including built up snow or ice.
  • Shut down your air conditioner by turning off the breaker in the main breaker box.
  • Make sure your lower air return is open.
  • Check the batteries in your thermostat.
  • Check gutters and roof for excessive ice/snow build up. Ice damming can cause roof leaks and may cause damage. Be careful when removing ice and snow with a broom or snow rake.

 

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. Right now, sign a contract by January 1 and receive a free fireplace to keep you warm throughout these chilly Wisconsin winters.*

*Free fireplace includes Level 1 corner, side or rear fireplace with painted white OSB mantle and your color choice of granite facing.

Livability.com Names Madison the Best Place to Live in 2015

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 25, 2014

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Look at this! Madison ranks #1 on Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live.

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 in and around this great city. Visit our new model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home in the Best Place to Live!

Most Talked About Centerpieces

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 21, 2014

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Falling leaves and falling temperatures means winter is fast approaching and entertaining has moved indoors. Before the appetizer is even served, make a great first impression with these harvest inspired ideas for the dinner table.


  • Natural elements. Vases made from squash and pumpkins are simple to make and decorate beautifully. Attach acorn caps to a basic napkin ring. Pair sunflowers with warm autumnal colors. Create a runner made of twigs.
  • The vibrant color creates a rick backdrop for pumpkins, gourds and pinecones. Accent with mercury glass votives and gold-rimmed plates.
  • Pair high and low elements. Prop tea lights on birch bark coasters. Intertwine grape branches around tall candlestick holders. Create a runner made out of twigs.
  • Impressive place setting. It’s easier than you think! Start with a charger, followed by a dinner plate, top with a folder napkin and salad plate. Finish with a small trinket your guests can take home or a pinecone name holder. Knife and spoon on the right; fork on the left. Above the plate, wine and water glass to the right; bread plate on the left; dessert fork and spoon directly above.
  • Kids table. Set up a separate kids table to keep the little ones occupied with the adults enjoy conversation. Cover the table with brown craft paper (or use brown grocery bags!) and provide small containers with art supplies like crayons, wood beads and leather cording.
  • Rule of 3. Easiest decorating rule of all when creating balance. Pick an element (or color or shape or object) and repeat it three times.

 

Set the stage for your dining experience by starting with elegant granite countertops. Sign a contract with William Ryan Homes by December 1 to receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 

*Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.

Winterize Your Lawnmower

Categories: New Homes Madison | Posted: November 17, 2014

11.17

The snowflakes have already started flying and it’s time to rotate from the lawnmower to the snow blower. Here are five things you should pay attention to before you store the mower for the next five months.

  1. Fuel. If possible, empty fuel from mower. This might be more difficult with a rider, so one option is to add a fuel stabilizer then top off the tank so there is no room for condensation.
  2. Battery. Most mowers do not have a charging system capable of fully recharging a low battery, so keep it fully charged, or at least periodically recharge it.
  3. Oil. Depending on how much you used your mower, at least check the oil and fill to “full” mark. If you can’t recall when you last changed the oil, change it now and replace any filters.
  4. Deck. Ideally, you would clean clippings from the deck after every mow. But if you have not done this all season, the clippings are probably heavily packed. Scrape them off by hand with a plastic putty knife. Remove blades and get them sharpened.
  5. Tires. Check the pressure and inflate if necessary. Inevitably, there will be some loss of tire pressure over the winter, so it won’t hurt to overinflate by a couple pounds.

Not enough room in your garage for all your yard tools and toys? Madison home builder, William Ryan Homes is proud to build energy efficient homes from 13 flexible and timeless home designs with 2-car, 3-car, 4-car, even 5-car garages, and over 1,000,000 different finish options. Visit the new model today to discover why at William Ryan Homes “We Make it Easy” to build your new home. Right now, sign a contract by December 1 and receive a free upgrade to granite countertops for the kitchen.*

 *Granite countertop replaces laminate countertop in kitchen only. Free upgrade includes granite for any added island, morning room or chef kitchen structural option as well.
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