Before I begin, I have to give a shout-out to my Chicago brethren who have upped the bar for project location mapping. Usually we’re treated to a line drawing or a Google Maps image with various shaded boxes. The above map was supplied for Ari Rastegar’s project at 1900 McKinney Avenue. We have an earthquake-like epicenter where the project will go and well-labeled, shaded city neighborhoods.

If that wasn’t enough, they placed the building in situ to show its relationship to Klyde Warren and the heights of adjacent buildings and their proposal’s impacts (pretty minimal from this angle).

Dallas developers and architects, take note.

Anyway.

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This New Leaf build at 7015 Pasadena in Lakewood is the perfect testament to their in-house design services.

Melissa Powell will be the first to admit building a custom home can be a mind-boggling experience. The New Leaf Custom Homes co-founder who runs the business with her husband, Scott, understands the challenges: You get the design you want, but it can’t be built within budget. Or the lot you’ve chosen doesn’t mesh with the architectural plan.

The good news is, this CandysDirt.com Approved Builder has found a better way. With the recent launch of its full-service New Leaf Design Studio, everything a client needs is now under a single roof.

“It’s how we avoid what we call the Builder’s Bermuda Triangle,” says Melissa. “Bringing everything in-house makes it a seamless process for the customer.”

With construction and architecture services already in place, adding interior design completed the trifecta. “It eliminates the go-betweens, so nothing is left to chance.“

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Photo: Rick Davis/Flux Media

Back at the turn of the millennium, the City of Dallas adopted our time-of-day watering restrictions in an effort to curb the incredible amount of water that irrigates Dallas lawns and landscapes. Since 2001, through education and smart watering restrictions, Dallas has conserved 398 billion gallons of water, cutting gallons per capita per day consumption by 30 percent. However, there’s still room for improvement, and the 25th annual City of Dallas Water Utilities Water Wise Landscape Tour is just the kind of inspiration we need to make better choices for our homes and Dallas’ future. 

Conserving water by smart landscaping has come a long day since the era of gravel, yucca, and cactus. Not all water-wise landscapes have to look like a desert! Do you have a landscape that looks incredible without requiring a big gulp of water when the temperatures climb? Have you installed rainwater recapture systems to keep your grass green without draining Lake Lavon? Want to show it off? Find out how to submit your home for the 25th annual Water Wise Landscape Tour now. The deadline to submit is Aug. 9!

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Lake Park Estates is such a cool neighborhood, which is why I’m not really shocked to see how much asking prices have skyrocketed in the past few years. This increasingly desirable White Rock Lake enclave offers pretty much everything people move to East Dallas for, notes David Griffin & Company Realtor Lori Ericsson

That’s why we think that this remodeled midcentury ranch in Lake Park Estates is worthy of our High Caliber Home of the Week title, presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. Not only does it have some impeccably planned additions that make the most of the arboreal environment that puts the “park” in Lake Park Estates, but it’s also another kind of green.

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green

Keller Williams Realtor Beth Johnson (far right) helped bring the “green home” market to North Texas. Recently she spoke about the innovations and disruptions environmentally-friendly building has brought to the industry at a panel hosted by the Dallas Builders Association.

Beth Johnson has been championing environmental causes for decades. The Keller Williams agent was the first Realtor in the nation to achieve the green “Quadruple Crown.” She’s been certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), EcoBroker, NAR Green, and Certified Green Professionals.

In layman’s terms, that means she’s been trained and certified by the country’s major green accreditation programs, and knows a thing or two about building an eco-friendly home.

Before starting her real estate career in 2005, Johnson spent nearly three decades working in environmental advocacy for area nonprofits. During that time, she lobbied for clean air, clean water, and wilderness protection. When it came time to build her own custom home, she wanted to make it as green as possible.

However, she soon discovered that Realtors in the field literally didn’t know what she was talking about. She began to think that maybe there was a business model there. People like her needed someone who understood the issues and could match environmentally inclined buyers and sellers together. (more…)

No nightmares here

5149 Byers Avenue is one of the “3-Sisters” on Byers Avenue from Ferrier Custom Homes (photos: Mark Perry)

What gives you nightmares? I’m not referring to the nightmares you had as an 11-year-old from watching The Shining at Jason Gorden’s birthday party in 1985. I’m talking about real nightmares … the ones related to your home!

For many Texan homeowners, a nightmare can be in high energy bills, the cost of replacing a roof after a ghoulish hail storm, or breathing unclean air as it circulates through the home.

With local Fort Worth builder Don Ferrrier, home-related nightmares are replaced by pleasant dreams for happy homeowners.

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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?

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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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