Come learn, see examples, and sip some holiday treats from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 for an informative panel discussion on right-sizing your home.

We don’t just want to show you 31 Abbey Creek Way in North Dallas, Hawkins-Welwood Homes’ brand new, easy-living model at the beautiful Lawns of Glen Abbey. We want to show you how to right-size — how to build a home with everything you want and need on a tighter footprint— at a CandysDirt exclusive expert panel discussion from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.

You can get your tickets here.

We have put our heads together to assemble a panel of right-sizing (or, if you prefer the old-fashioned word, downsizing) experts including builder John Hawkins of Hawkins-Welwood Homes, Allan Ross of WaaL.Architecture, and certified professional organizer Nancy Peham.


Here’s more on the panel: (more…)

Staff Reports

Growing housing affordability concerns resulted in builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes falling eight points to 60 in November on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Despite the sharp drop, builder sentiment still remains in positive territory.

“Builders report that they continue to see signs of consumer demand for new homes but that customers are taking a pause due to concerns over rising interest rates and home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La.

“For the past several years, shortages of labor and lots along with rising regulatory costs have led to a slow recovery in single-family construction,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While home price growth accommodated increasing construction costs during this period, rising mortgage interest rates in recent months coupled with the cumulative run-up in pricing has caused housing demand to stall.”

With the prospect of future interest rate hikes in store, Dietz said that builders have adopted a more cautious approach to market conditions and urged policymakers to take note.

(more…)

Remember when this was how you controlled glare and solar gain?

The 1960s birthed the era of astronauts, free love, and me (no connection that I’m aware of). It was also the decade that saw the invention of self-darkening glass, first seen in sunglasses. Last month I wrote about glass capable of generating electricity. But since the US Department of Energy reports 30 percent of heating and cooling energy is lost through windows, I’m going to continue to explore.  This time I’ve looked into types of films that can cut electricity costs while making interiors cooler and possibly window treatment-free.

(more…)

solar power

The sunlight falling on an area this size would power the USA.

No, it’s not April Fools’ Day, it’s the future.

When you look at the types of renewable power available – hydro, geothermic, wind, etc. – only one has the potential to completely supply the world’s energy needs — solar power. Did you know that harnessing just 0.02 percent of the solar energy that reaches the Earth would power the world? The map above shows how much surface area is required to power the entire U.S. using solar power.

Like a bad boyfriend, we’ve heard solar’s unmet promises for decades. But unlike that boyfriend, solar has worked to meet those promises. It’s cheaper, thinner, less obtrusive and now, transparent.

As you can imagine, one of the impediments of traditional solar is the space it requires coupled with its typical unattractive industrial appearance. Tesla has created slim-profile solar panels and most recently solar shingles that blend into residential rooftops. These types of rooftop solar collectors have the ability to fulfill a home’s electrical needs.  But what about multi-story residential or commercial?

(more…)

The luxurious kitchen of the future?

Realtors will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. What happens if there is no kitchen?  Investment bank UBS recently issued an investment note to customers titled, “The End of the Kitchen?” Not being a UBS-caliber customer, I’ve only been able to glean snippets from the private report from across the internet.

In a nutshell, UBS is taking note of the fast rise in food delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and yet to enter the US, Deliveroo and Foodora. The report postulates what happens to the food distribution and preparation market as food delivery grows in popularity. It’s all part of the larger trend of people outsourcing tedious tasks to those willing to do them for pennies.

(more…)

Now why didn’t I get THIS for Mother’s Day? In the kitchen at 3624 Dartmouth stay tuned for more details… 

You may recall that I told you, last year, about the Screenfest we have had on our porch ever since we screened it in with retractable screens by KJ Custom Screens. Teresa Staggs, who owns KJ Custom Screens & Outdoor Living, the premier North Texas distributor and installer of the world’s top exterior motorized screens, personally installed them. The screens gave us a whole new wonderful living space. KJ Custom Screens & Outdoor Living contracts with the top luxury home builders in North Texas, installing amazing retractable screens into the bones of a patio that creates true year-round living in the great outdoors. Many builders choose to install the screens during the building process. We know demand for outdoor living areas that are comfortable year-round tops most luxury homebuyer’s lists.

I just never realized how much screens could contribute to keeping a patio warm, and protected. Not warm just in the winter, but in a super chilly spring.

Case in point: we had Supper Club at our home Saturday, and needed to have at least six outside to eat. Turns out the outside tables were in hotter demand than those inside: people naturally love dining al fresco, and KJ’s retractable screens make it all the more do-able. 
(more…)

Mount Auburn

Gentrification is washing over Dallas like a wave. Neighborhoods that were once working class and affordable are vanishing faster than you can say “tear down.” One such neighborhood is directly behind me, so it has hit home (literally) in a big way. I have lived on Valencia Street in Hollywood Heights since 1990 and the Mount Auburn neighborhood starts at my back fence, and it’s changing by leaps and bounds.

(more…)