How can a lot walk save trees – and some green?

What’s the best way to save trees when you build your new house? What needs to go? What roles do planning and surveying play in tree preservation? Here’s what you need to know before you clear your lot.

New Home Construction Chapel Hill NC

Never clear your lot before you talk with the county building department and your builder – especially if you will need a septic system.

There are also rules about how much can be cleared due to impervious limits, environmental regulations, government mandated erosion requirements, easements and other imperatives.

Travars Built Homes provide a lot walk and assessment that includes a discussion of tree retention, before any clearing occurs. Your builder will also discuss things like the slope of the lot, possible water routes, the footprint of your home and its build site. You’ll learn a lot about the first stages of the build – as well as ways to save tree trunks and greenbacks.

New Home Construction Chapel Hill NC

The amount of clearing required is based on your house footprint, based on the perimeter of your home with about 15-20′ of clearing on each side of your home, when the lot and setbacks allow for it. That amount of space provides room for sidewalks, parking pads, fences and foot traffic to get around the house.

Unless you request more tree removal – within the parameters of what is allowed for your location – it is our goal to retain every tree possible within the area that we need to safely get your home built. When your desire is to have a wooded lot, we want to preserve that natural beauty for you as much as possible.

If your home needs a septic system, the amount of trees removed in your septic field depend on specific requirements and there are areas that cannot be disturbed, to allow for that critical system to be installed and function properly.

New Home Construction Chapel Hill NC

It is not always possible to save every tree that you would like to retain. Trees have varying root systems, some of which are more extensive than others. White oak, Hickory and Walnut trees have some of the deeper root systems. Pine trees (which there are many of in North Carolina) have shallow root systems that can be less stable. For the most part roots are 12-24″ deep and extend out from the tree in a radius. You can measure tree diameter at chest height and multiple that by 12 to get a good idea of where roots end. The drip line or canopy can also be used as a rough guide, with the furthest branch as your measurement.

Contact Us to schedule your lot walk where your home site determinations will be provided. We will discuss site work for the fit of your home to your lot. This pre-construction meeting on site with your builder will help you envision where your home and driveway can be placed.

Top Places to Eat in Pittsboro - Root Cellar

Top Places to Eat in Pittsboro NC – Penguin Place

At the entrance to Chatham Park, an interactive restaurant trio provides plenty of space and seating indoors and out, to gather with friends and family.

Penguin Place is a great place to get together, in the town of Pittsboro. Located at 15-501 and Hwy 64, there is something for everyone, with a co-op feel between this trio of venues.

Top Places to Eat in Pittsboro - Root Cellar

The Root Cellar offers family dining, from-scratch meals, sandwiches, baked goods and soft drinks. House of Hops, next door, offers over 400 different beers, 24 taps, large screen TVs for sports viewing and even welcomes dogs. Marco’s is just two doors down and offers some of the best pizza in town.

Root Cellar

The Root Cellar offers neighborly greetings from the folks behind the counters and a warm décor that will make you feel right at home. But what is Root Cellar? This already popular restaurant, catering company, bakery, and café combines gourmet food with homespun appeal. Their specialty is scratch-made foods, featuring local products with ingredients from nearly a dozen local farms. Their menu has a wide variety of options. Sodas with home-made appeal are refill yourself which is even more enticing – try the rootbeer! Root Cellar is open every day but Tuesday with breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked goods and local coffee. Some of our favorites on the menu are the Daily Omelet Special with grits, the Triple Decker, BLT chicken Ceasar wrap, and the Cubano.

In addition to using ingredients from nearly a dozen local farms, the Root Cellar also sells many items made in North Carolina, including Cloister Honey, Foster’s Market 7-Pepper Jelly, Big Spoon Roasters Peanut and Almond Butters, The Phantom Bakers Bars, and Carolina Grits.

Too busy to cook during the week? You can get a whole week of meals to go, made fresh for you in about 30 minutes. While you are waiting for your order, check out their market with many specialty items like dry pasta, pancake syrup and mixes, spice rubs, marmalades and jams and a whole lot more.

House of Hops

This is the third House of Hops franchise in the Triangle Region, with the other two located in Raleigh. So if you are familiar with the name you know what to expect. House of Hops has 24 beers on tap, and constantly rotate new ones in. Perfer a bottle? House of Hops stocks over 400 different bottle and can beers. Looking for beer to go and not sure you want to commit to something you haven’t tried before? Create your own 6 pack to go and mix and match – such as a mix of IPA, Sour and a couple of Browns.

Along with other certainties in life, it’s good to know that House of Hops has a bowl of water for your 4 legged friends. Dogs are welcome inside at House of Hops as long as they are on a 6′ leash.

A couple of couches provide a home-like setting to lounge in if you don’t want to sit at the high top tables, and there are plenty of activities for everyone, including ping pong, a weekly run club and regular events like trivia, live music and chili cook-offs – even more reason to visit House of Hops!

House of Hops does not offer food but you can place a order next door at Root Cellar and they will bring it over to you!

Marco’s Pizza

Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco. The authentic Italian quality is still drawing a crowd, with dough, sauce and cheese all made fresh – never frozen.

Feel like a sandwich or salad? Marco’s menu includes lots of choices.

You can place your order at Marco’s and hop next door to drink a beverage, play ping pong or other games, and hang out with friends while you wait. Marcos will bring your pizza to you at House of Hops – and you can eat it there!

Penguin Place is another favorite top place to go to eat in Pittsboro – in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in North Carolina. Travars Built Homes is your local Chatham County custom builder – and we love this place. Check out some other top things to do in Pittsboro:

Let us know what other places you’d like to know more about in the Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham areas and other nearby regions. Thinking about a new home? Browse some floor plan ideas here:

Modern Farmhouse | Chatham County New Homes

How to Modify a Floor Plan

Looking for ways to change your floor planSee 3 examples of how we can modify the Blufton Way, a floor plan by Frank Betz, with some popular floor plan characteristics. Ask us for more information about design-build custom homes in Durham, NC.

Option 1: Looking for ways to open your floor plan? Create a vaulted ceiling in the family room.

How to Modify a Floor Plan | Custom Homes Durham NC
The Bluffton Way floor plan by Frank Betz.

The Bluffton Way is an open floor plan with 2669 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a main floor master, huge kitchen, and open family room.

The modification you see in the rendition above indicates the possibility of going from a flat 12′ ceiling to a vaulted 18′ ceiling with a open rail overlook.

Adding ceiling beams to the family room vault ceiling can provide even more eye appeal and personality.

Option 2: Need another garage stall for a shop, hobby area, or third car – but don’t want to change the front exterior of your floor plan? Consider a carriage garage.

How to Modify a Floor Plan | Custom Homes Durham NC

The Bluffton Way floor plan by Frank Betz.

What is a Carriage Garage?

A carriage style garage floor plan has a third stall set to the side, apart from the main garage. (Attaching a traditional third stall to the existing garage would push the front elevation out another 10-14 feet.)

Option 3: Need a spacious place to gather? Add a cost effective bonus room, game room, theater, kids playroom, homeschool, or flex room.

How to Modify a Floor Plan | Custom Homes Durham NC
The Bluffton Way floor plan by Frank Betz.

One of the most cost effective ways to add square footage to your floor plan is to eliminate the 2 story great room and add a huge bonus room above it. The ceiling in the great room can still feel spacious – simply add a few steps into the bonus room to keep your 11’+ ceiling height.

Get information about building a custom home with Travars Built Homes – including more ways to modify your plan in Durham, NC.

How to Choose a Floor Plan for Your New Home and Where to Find Them

Ready to choose a floor plan? Make a list of everything you think you want. Divide your list into wants versus needs. For example: Do you need the master bedroom on the first floor? Would you like a large island in the kitchen? Is a multi-gen or first floor guest bedroom with a private bathroom a requirement? No matter what your “must haves/ like to haves” are, we can help you find a plan – and then modify it if you need something different.

There are a lot of online sources for architectural designs and custom floor plans. One of our favorites is Architectural Designs . Here’s an example:

The Search

Architectural Designs makes it easy to search on their site, with handy check boxes and filters on the right hand side of the page, so you can quickly focus on elements you need. They also have lots of photos of completed homes, so you can get a better idea of what the finished product can look like – and get ideas for your own custom choices. Take a look at some end results based on their floor plans at their Client Builds tab. Or you can look at what plans they say are trending to see what what other people are building right now.

Choices

This custom floor plan site and others offer plans from lots of architects – you can find just about anything on their sites. Once you have your search narrowed down, you can do pros and cons for your favorites. We’ll help fill in the details, such as what the plan will cost to build on your lot, and why some plans are more cost effective than others. We can make changes, too. Do you really like the layout of one – and the exterior of another? We can modify almost anything. What do homebuyers change most often? Adding a big master shower in place of a tub. Tucking in more pantry space. Adding windows. Expanding the kitchen island. Figuring out where they want to put their mother-in-law. The redlines you see below are changes we made to add more privacy to a guest suite by expanding the bathroom and adding a powder room for everyone else.

Get in touch with the team at Travars Built Homes to learn more about how to modify a floor plan. Request floor plans here. Or start your search by browsing floor plan ideas, here:

Top 4 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal of Your New Home

Love the layout, hate the exterior of the custom floor plan you want to build? Change it! Here are 4 ways to increase curb appeal in
the Chapel Hill area by considering different exterior materials for the build of your new home, with pros and cons.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #1: Vinyl Siding

If you want to save money, vinyl is an exterior material worth considering. Be sure to take your time with your color selection, and take a look at all the options.

Pros: Want a more custom look? You can dress things up with shutters, gable vents, corbels or column wraps. Vinyl can be cleaned with power washing and typically would not be repainted at a later date.

Cons: Some communities do not allow vinyl exteriors. Vinyl siding may fade – with darker colors absorbing more sunlight than lighter colors. It can also expand and shrink with temperatures.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #2: Vinyl Siding and Veneer

All the pro and cons listed above are true here too, but you can see how a small amount of stone veneer and picture frame details around the window ups the anti. The stone water table provides another texture for this home, and won’t break the bank if the amount of stone is kept to just enough for a water table and column base. If you are doing exterior selections, I recommend picking the stone first – the siding color decision becomes easier knowing what you want it to go with. Then choose roofing with a similar color scheme, such as Drift Wood or Weathered Wood shingles will pull everything together for this one!

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #3: Fiber Cement Siding With Stone Accents


The curb appeal of this fiber cement and stone home does a very nice job of blending multiple texture types and materials. The medium blue shakes seen on the face of the garage wall break the patterned straight lines. They also pull the color right out of the stone veneer below. The light blue lap siding on the sides and rear of home and complementing white picture frames around the windows, gable vents and gutters combine to make a well balanced exterior. The Mackenzie seen just below follows this formula and also looks great!

Pros: The mix of materials and colors make this home feel custom and comfortable. Adding stone to the front but keeping the other 3 sides of the home in fiber cement saves on cost.

Cons: Fiber cement costs more than vinyl. Stone veneer costs more than fiber cement.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #4: Full Brick

The classic look of full brick veneer creates curb appeal so compelling that some entire communities require it. This full brick home is even more interesting due to the brick color choice and the stone wrap accent you can see on the foundation below the front windows.

Pros: Bricks are sturdy and durable, typically requiring almost no maintenance other than occasional power washing.

Cons: That low maintenance and solid look comes with a higher price tag than most exterior materials.

Get information about building a custom home with Travars Built Homes – including more ways to create a cost effective new home in North Carolina.