The Highland Park town hall features cut stone from Continental Cut Stone (photos: Continental Cut Stone)

Thirty years ago, a young 27-year-old alumnus of Highland Park High School and Vanderbilt University with an engineering management degree found himself in the cut stone business. With the help of family members, Rob Teel, was able to purchase a foreclosed stone mill in Florence, Texas, and turn it into Continental Cut Stone, one of the best and most sought-after stone facilitators in Texas.

So what is cut stone and why should CandysDirt.com readers care?  Because we not only tell you about homes, but we want you to learn something new about them.

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This green roof in Germany is a perfect example of how more buildings are becoming sustainable.

Matt Smith
Special Contributor

As in fashion, there are also some popular trends in the roofing industry. Sustainability is one, and in the next year, homeowners across the planet will be building new homes, and each will need a well-constructed, functional, aesthetically correct roof. If the roof is made of eco-friendly material – even better!

Sustainability went from the margins to the mainstream big time during past few years. It is nothing new, yet it is growing more popular. The idea of being energy independent, spending less on electricity, and reducing the level of carbon emission seems like a triple win situation.

You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see that when building roofs, constructors will be inspired by nature in 2018. The emphasis will be on the green building materials and the style which imitates the artwork of one of the world’s top designers – Mother Nature. Solar panels and living green roofs will become a much more common sight.

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This live Thermador kitchen in the Capital Distributing showroom is one of the multiple areas that you can “try before you buy.” (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

You never know where the research for an article idea will take you. When the CandysDirt.com editorial team started talking about doing some myth busting on how long your appliances should last and the difference in longevity between American and European appliances, it sounded right up my alley. What I didn’t expect was to be talking about technology that looked like science fiction.

When I watched The Jetsons on Saturday mornings, no one dreamed we could actually have cooking in our home be so automated, but a connected kitchen is probably in a home near you. After seeing these new trends, you will never look at kitchen design the same way again, and you’ll be wishing it was time to change out all of your appliances! (more…)

USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact report found that the residential green construction market is expected to grow from $55 million in 2015 to $100.4 million in 2018, representing a year-over-year growth of 24.5 percent.

If you’re passing off eco-friendly home building as a trend that’s not worth the up-front investment, you might need to think again.

The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council released a report finding that, not only are green homes worth more in resale, new homes in Texas built to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) command an 8 percent premium. Homes built to other green standards also sell at higher prices – 6 percent higher than conventional homes.

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Less than half of Dallas-Fort Worth residents can afford new homes in the region, according to the Dallas Builders Association.

Recent data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University paints a pretty bleak picture for housing affordability in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 100,000 new jobs regionwide netted just 30,000 new homes by the end of last year, according to stats from Meyers Research and the Dallas Builders Association. The median home price, thanks to the scarcity of new builds, jumped from $149,900 in 2011 to $232,000 in 2016. 

The end of the affordable new home is nigh, it seems. 

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Confidence among home improvement professionals is booming. After a quarterly survey of thousands of remodelers, carpenters, painters, plumbers and roofers, the HomeAdvisor Farnsworth Index reports that over three-quarters of those home improvement professionals feel highly confident in their business prospects over the coming year. The survey was administered between May 11 and May 26 to professionals in 13 categories. According to the survey, 77.5 percent of professionals expressed confidence that their businesses will grow in the next 12 months. Landscaping and mechanical companies foresee the most revenue growth.

The report tells us what we already know about this time of year. The number of home improvement projects rose this quarter, and professionals are busier than ever for spring and summer. According to HomeAdvisor, both the number and size of projects has increased in the first half of 2017. (more…)

It’s a sobering piece of data. In the last century, the average American home has grown by 74 percent, according to a recently released report by Property Shark. Furthermore, while the size of American families has decreased, our homes have only gotten bigger. Personal living space has increased 211 percent in the last 100 years. And as homes grew, our consumption and pollution grew, too. As a result, it’s putting a tremendous strain on the environment.

And wouldn’t you know it, Texas is leading the pack.

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KJ Custom Screens & Designs added 360 bug-free square feet to our house. We have another whole room, with solid floors and a hose.

“I think this is the smartest thing you have ever done,” he said to me.

This from my husband of 37 years. I have had two babies, raised them, helped him open countless medical offices, started a successful company, and run for Dallas City Council. Yet my husband swears that my idea to turn our porch into a screened-in paradise is the most brilliant idea I have ever had!

He is right. It is a screened-in paradise now, and a bug free paradise as well, all thanks to KJ Custom Screens & Designs. We built our house in 2000, and screened in porches were on my mind, but the technology was not there yet. We did build an expansive, covered porch off the breakfast room, complete with a real fireplace and grill. That porch has been the most used and probably most loved room in this house. It has held countless parties, and many late nights of memories for our kids as they conversed with friends, enjoyed the fireplace, and hung out. With a slate floor, I didn’t care about messes because they could be hosed down the next day. Research now shows that outdoor living is the highest priority on a home-owner’s list when they build a custom home. 

It’s just that nobody thinks about the mosquitoes.

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