Must Haves in Utah New Homes

A broker for Re/Max Overland brought me a copy of the current Salt Lake Realtor magazine, which includes an article listing buyers’ top 10 must have features in a Utah new homes.  Are these items on your list?

  1. Bigger Great Rooms.  No surprise here!  Utah’s well earned reputation of large families and extended families translates into home buyers looking for a larger great room for the clan and friends to gather in.Herriman custom home great room with fireplace
  2. Grand Master Bath. A must have for custom home-buyers, the master bath should include double sinks, separate shower and tub, and up-graded shower and rain heads. They are also looking for a door separating the master bath from the bedroom and large, well-organized, and well-lit master closets.  Custom home buyers are looking for luxury and a spa-like feel in the master bath.shutterstock_171368168
  3. Technology and Green Features. Whether it’s home automation or energy saving features, Salt Lakes Home buyers are increasingly asking for these and are willing to pay for any additional up-front costs in order to save time, money and resources long term.
  4. Walk-Out Basement. Basements offer living space at a lower cost per square foot than above-ground space and can accommodate many uses from storage to elaborate theater rooms to a mother-in-law apartment.  But buyers want the convenience and comfort of having direct access to the outdoors from their basements.
  5. Higher Ceilings. This is one area where new homes can outshine many older houses.  Higher ceilings make a home feel more spacious and buyers want at least 9’ ceilings on the main floor.  Vaulted, tray, and 2 story ceilings, along with 9’ basement walls, are popular with most custom home buyers.
  6. Three Car Garage. A 3 car garage is a must have with custom home buyers.  That extra space can accommodate a vehicle, storage, or workshop space.
  7. Kitchen Pantry. A kitchen can never have too much storage, and new home buyers look for a kitchen pantry to give them that.  A custom home gives you the opportunity to design a pantry just the way you need it.
  8. Central Air. If you live in Utah, you already know this.  Enough said.
  9. Outdoor Entertainment Space. Utah is known for its outdoor activities and today’s home buyers look to their outdoor space as an extension of their indoor living space.   Building a custom home gives you the opportunity to thoughtfully plan how to use and design that space.shutterstock_149475347
  10. The “Newness” Factor. According to the Realtor Magazine, “Home buyers enjoy being the first in an up-and-coming neighborhood.  They love new appliances and the lack of maintenance required compared to buying an older home.”  What better way to get that new “wow” factor than to build a custom home with DaVinci Homes.  Take a look at The Karina that DaVinci Homes is currently building in Eagle Mountain and give us a call at 801-355-1111 if you would like more information about it or building a custom home for yourself!Karina rendering

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dreams.

What are Construction Allowances?

If you are planning to build a new home, a concept you will want to understand is Construction Allowances.  As a custom and semi-custom home builder, DaVinci Homes often includes Construction Allowances and Contract Limits in their estimates and fixed-price construction contracts.  A Construction Allowance is a sum included in the contract for construction that covers required items not specifically described.  For example, we may offer a dollar amount for appliances rather than list specific products to be included in a new home.  When you select your appliances and pricing is determined, you are responsible for any cost overages, or, alternately, receive any credit for any costs that come in less than the allowance amount. This differs from a Contract Limit, which is also a budget amount, but is a cap to the dollar amount allowed for an item.  You, as the home buyer, are again responsible for any overages, but do not receive a credit if you select a product that is less expensive than the contract limit.

The advantage of using construction allowances and contract limits is two-fold.  First, as the buyer of a custom home, you will want the flexibility to choose products and finishes that meet your needs and tastes.  And second, since the design selection process can take several weeks to complete, it allows construction to move forward while design choices are being finalized.

To avoid confusion or misunderstanding, it is important that you are aware of these differences and how these allowances and limits function within the construction contract and process.

  1. All allowances and limits are identified by category and amount in an addendum to the construction contract.
  2. DaVinci Homes will provide you with an extensive Custom Workbook, identifying the dollar amount for each of your allowances and other information you will need to make informed selections in each category for your new home. We realize that a successful home building experience depends on clear expectations and open communication between you and DaVinci Homes.  This workbook is created for you based on pre-contract discussions about your wants, needs, and budget, and shows you standard and alternative choices that your allowances accommodate.  You are free to choose options given or use it as a starting place for your own custom choices.  The intent of this workbook is to give you the necessary tools for making design selections and give you a transparent and realistic understanding of what your budget allows, which, in turn, will help eliminate disappointment or unexpected, additional costs.
  3. Please be aware that each allowance or contract limit will be defined specifically. While one allowance may include only the cost of the item, others may include delivery and installation.  The Custom Workbook will clearly outline each of these definitions.
  4. When you make your final selections for items that are covered by construction allowances or contract limits, you will need to submit them in writing to DaVinci Homes. This will give DaVinci Homes an opportunity to review the selection for possible concerns and confirm the actual cost.  We will also let you know of any cost overages or credits at that time.
  5. Once the selections are reviewed by DaVinci Homes and approved by you, these selections will be formalized as an addendum to the contract. We ask that you pay for 50% of any net overages at the time the addendum is signed.  Overages include the cost difference between the allowance and the actual price, plus a standard percentage to cover profit and overhead for DaVinci Homes.
  6. Selections for allowances or limits need to be made according to a time table based on the construction schedule of your new home. Delays in selections can cause delays in construction or additional costs.

Building a custom home, by definition, allows you the flexibility to create your unique home–one that reflects your needs, lifestyle, and tastes.  The transparent and reasonable use of Construction Allowances and Contract Limits provides a way for you to select the design elements that are right for your new home.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dreams.

BBQ Grilling Safety Tips

Who doesn’t love BBQ grilling?  But according to the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak month for grill fires.  So here are some common sense safety tips for BBQ grilling.

  1. Always use grills outside, away from anything flammable, and away from children and pets.  And never leave it unattended.
  2. To reduce the risk of fire, clean the grills and trays below the grills to remove food debris, grease and fat buildup.
  3. When using a charcoal grill, a great way to light the charcoal is to use a charcoal chimney. This eliminates the use of lighter fluid.  If you don’t use a charcoal chimney, be sure to use only charcoal starter fluid.  Store lighter fluid away from heat and the reach of children.  After you have finished grilling, let the coals cool completely and dispose in a metal container.
  4. Propane grills are quick and convenient but pose their own risks. Check for leaks in the gas tank hose before using it for the first time each year.  Do this by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose.  If there is a gas leak, it will release bubbles in the soapy water.  If this occurs, turn off the gas tank and the grill until it can be repaired.  If you smell gas, move away from the grill immediately and call the fire department.
  5. If the flame goes out while you are grilling, turn the gas and grill off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

So with a few precautions, you can enjoy grilling your favorite foods this summer.  Here is one of my favorite BBQ recipes.  It’s great for a summer crowd and most of the work is done before the party starts.

BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs

6-9 lbs. pork baby back ribs, cut in to portions of 3-5 ribs

Brown Sugar

Ground Red Pepper

BBQ Sauce:

1 28-oz bottle Kraft Original BBQ Sauce

Juice from 2 lemon

2-2 ½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

¾ c. brown sugar

½ cup grape jelly

¾ teaspoon ground red pepper

Pat the ribs with brown sugar and sprinkle with ground red pepper to taste.  Bake at 225 degrees for 3 hours or at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.  While the ribs are cooking, prepare the BBQ Sauce.  When ribs are done cooking and tender, place them on a hot grill, meat side down, to sear the meat.  Then flip over them over so the bone side is down.  Brush the tops of the ribs with the BBQ sauce and turn the grill down to low to medium with the cover down.  Cook until the ribs are bubbly and heated through-about 10-20 minutes.  Watch the bottom of the ribs to make sure they don’t burn.  Makes 12-15 servings.

Not only is summer the perfect time to grill, but it is also a great time to build a new home with Utah homebuilder, DaVinci Homes.  Whether you are looking for a new home with the perfect place to put that grill or planning to build a new home with a fabulous kitchen, DaVinci Homes can help.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dreams.

Preparing Your Home for a Vacation

School is out, summer is here, and it’s time to start thinking about preparing your home for a vacation.  But no matter what season you plan to travel, here is Davinci Homes’ checklist of things to do to help protect your home while you are gone.

  1. First, and maybe most important, don’t announce your vacation plans on social media.  This is an invitation to criminals that says your home is empty.  Wait to post photos until after you arrive home.
  2. If you are leaving a car home, park it in a locked garage.
  3. Enlist the help of a trusted neighbor or friend. Ask them to check on your home at intervals while you are away, bring in mail and newspapers each day, and if possible, park a car in your driveway on occasion.
  4. If no one is available to collect your mail and newspaper, cancel delivery until you return.
  5. Remove keys that may be hidden under the door mat, in a flower pot, or other places that criminals are likely to find.
  6. A dark home is a sure sign that no one is there. Put at least one indoor light on a timer and use motion-sensor outdoor lighting to help give the appearance that your home is being lived in.
  7. Leave your curtains or blinds open or shut, just as you would normally keep them when you are home.
  8. Avoid wasting energy on an empty house. In the summer, raise the temperature on your thermostat, In the winter, lower it, while making sure that you keep the heat at a level that pipes do not freeze.
  9. Keep your yard and landscape maintained while you are gone. Not only will it help give your home a lived-in look, but no one wants to come home to over-grown grass and dead plants.  Make sure your lawn is trimmed and plants are watered.  Give special consideration to plantings in containers that may not be watered by an automatic sprinkler system.  Give those helping with maintenance the location and schedule of plants that need to be watered.  And if you travel in winter, arrange for someone to shovel sidewalks and driveways in the event of a winter storm.
  10. Clean out any perishables from your kitchen and fridge. And consider placing a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to help absorb any odors that may develop before your return.

Following this checklist will help ensure that your home will be safe and welcoming when you return.  As with vacations, proper preparation can help ensure that building a new home can be an exciting and successful experience.  If you would like to find out more about DaVinci Homes and their home-building process, contact Dave at 801-971-6650.

Framed or Frameless Cabinets?

Cabinets represent a major investment in a new custom home and one of the first cabinet decisions you will need to make is whether to use “framed or frameless cabinets. Don’t know the difference? You’re not alone. All cabinets are made up of boxes with door or drawer fronts. The terms “framed” and “frameless” refer to the way the front edge of the box is constructed. Here’s a quick overview of the differences and advantages of each.framestyle vs framed cabinets

Framed cabinets, sometimes called face frame or American style, are the style of cabinets that have been traditionally constructed in the United States up until the last 30 years and are still popular today. The front opening of the cabinet box is framed with a 1 ½” to 2” border (made up of horizontal “rails” and vertical “stiles”) to hide the edge of the box. The doors of the cabinets are attached to the frame in different ways. 1. It can be attached on the front of the frame so that the door covers the opening and part of the frame, known as standard overlay. 2. A second option is to attach the door on the inside of the frame so that the door is flush with the face frame opening. This leaves the entire frame exposed and is called an inset door. 3. A variation of the standard overlay is to use a larger door (or drawer front) so that it covers the frame almost entirely, which is called full overlay. The full overlay uses more material and usually increases the cost of your cabinets. cabinet door styles

Framed inset cabinets-medallioncabinetry.com

Framed cabinets are often used when a more traditional look is desired. However, the options of standard or full overlay, and inset doors give you many design possibilities for creating a customized look. The frame may also add strength and sturdiness to your cabinets, although different cabinet manufacturers disagree on this point.

Frameless cabinets–rsics.com

Frameless cabinets, as the name implies, do not have any frames on the front face of the cabinet and have been used in Europe for many years. Instead, the doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet box, and doors and drawers cover the entire cavity. Because there are no rails or stiles, frameless cabinets, also known as Euro style, offer greater access to the inside and maximize the use of space. This is particularly evident in double door cabinets where frame style cabinets will have a center vertical stile down the middle of the opening, whereas frameless cabinets do not. Another reason frameless cabinets appeal to buyers is they offer a clean, more contemporary look.

When you build with Utah builder DaVinci Homes, the decision to use framed or frameless cabinets is entirely up to you as the buyer. We have suppliers that offer both box styles, plus many other options to make your cabinets, and your new home, the ones that you have been dreaming of.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dream.

Borrowing 401(k) Money for a Down Payment

My husband Ken, President of the National Association of Real Estate Advisors, recently introduced me to the intriguing idea of borrowing 401(k) money for a down-payment on a new home.  While taking early withdrawals from your 401(k) is generally discouraged, many people do not know they can borrow up to $50,000 or 50% of the balance (whichever is less) from their accounts.  When used for a down payment on their new home, the homeowners then pay the loan back with interest in an agreed amount of time, generally 5 years.  This concept is not for everyone, so individuals should check with their plan administrator and consult professionals before borrowing the money.  But here are some things to consider:

  1. Borrowing from your 401(k) and paying back interest allows you to increase the amount you are putting in to your account above the annual legal limit during the term of the loan.  Currently, an individual is limited by law to an annual contribution of $17,500.  When you borrow money from your 401(k), you are borrowing money from yourself and then paying the principle and interest back to yourself.  So the interest you pay on the loan is in addition to annual contributions, maximizing your savings for future retirement.
  2. Remember there are different variations on 401(k) plans. If you are considering taking out a loan, review your plan to see if loans are permitted and what terms are allowed.
  3. This concept may be good for individuals who have been in the workforce for a number of years, have built up their retirement savings, and have a good cash flow. Home-buyers whose monthly income barely supports their mortgage payment should not consider taking on a 5-year loan payment for a 401(k) loan.
  4. As long as you pay the money back, the loan shouldn’t be taxable. If you fail to pay it back, then it will be considered an early withdrawal and you may be obligated to pay taxes and penalties on it.
  5. Even though you are paying interest on the loan into your 401(k) account, it may be offset by the lost interest it would have earned if you had not borrowed it. The interest rate on a loan right now is 4.25%.  If you would earn 7% interest on money left in your account, borrowing against it may not be a good idea.
  6. According to a Kiplinger report, because a 401(k) loan is secured by money in your 401(k) plan, it won’t count in your debt-to-income ratio when you apply for a mortgage.   Also, 401(k) loans shouldn’t won’t affect your credit score because they are not reported to the credit bureaus.
  7. Borrowing from your 401(k) to use for a down-payment can help eliminate the need for mortgage insurance.

Regardless of whether this concept works for you, Utah custom home builder, DaVinci Homes, can help you through the process of building a new home—from pre-construction planning  to moving into the home you’ve been dreaming of.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dream.

Outdoor Rooms

Outdoor living space is gaining in popularity in both new and existing homes.  Whether you have a balcony or an acre of land, think of your outdoor living space in terms of an extension of your home and increase your home’s living area by creating beautiful, low-maintenance outdoor “rooms.”  DaVinci Homes, a Utah custom home builder, offers these suggestions to help you create livable and beautiful outdoor spaces.

  1. Make a master plan.  If you are building a new home this is the perfect time to plan your outdoor space.  Even if you cannot implement the entire thing at once, having a master plan helps you avoid having the space look like an afterthought.  Consider your needs and how you currently use or would like to use your outdoor space.  Is it for relaxation, recreation, dining, entertaining, gardening, etc.?  Do you want a place to cook S’mores around a firepit or a quiet bench to read a book?  Like designing a new home, planning your outdoor space should meet your unique needs and personality.  Begin with a site plan of your yard or outdoor space, and then draw bubbles to conceptualize possible uses in different areas of your yard.  Remember to design your exterior space just as you would design a floor plan, keeping in mind views, flow of traffic, access to the house, noise, focal points and other factors as you decide where the best location for each use is.
  2. Create outdoor “rooms” for each use.  Just as rooms in a house have borders, it’s helpful to think of outdoor rooms in terms of walls, ceilings and floors.  Some rooms may be multi-functional (think of the open concept great room).  But dividing an open yard into various “rooms” can help create more intimate, interesting spaces to be enjoyed while also accommodating larger groups of people.  You can define rooms visually by changes in elevation or materials or by architectural features. Walls can be fences, a trellis, walls, railings, plants or hedges.  A ceiling may be an arbor, pergola, awning, an extension of your home’s roof, or even tree canopies.  And floors may be grass or groundcovers, pavers, concrete, gravel, flagstone, or decking materials.  For example, in my small back yard, I have a raised deck (wood “floors,” roof extension “ceiling,” and wood rail “walls”) transitioning from the house to the rest of the outdoors.  The ground level space is more like an open concept great room, with fence and shrub “walls”, and tree canopy “ceilings.”  However, there are two different “floors” (flagstones and grass) which define different uses within that space.  I also have a grass “hallway” bordered by flower beds and shrubs leading around to the side yard where I have another room for vegetable gardening.    What rooms you create depend on your own needs and uses.
  3. Choose materials. As much as possible, pick good quality and maintenance-free finishes for the architectural elements and furnishings of your outdoor rooms.  The most common outdoor rooms, patios and decks, provide a transition between indoor space and the rest of nature.  They provide a sense of shelter but are still connected to nature.  Patios can be made of concrete, gravel, pavers or flagstone.  Options for decks, traditionally made of wood, also include composite (a blend of plastic and recycled wood fiber), plastic, and aluminum decking.  To make your outdoor space feel like an extension of our home, select materials and finishes that complement your home’s exterior style and feel.

Outdoor rooms are created to enhance your life and to help you use and enjoy your valuable exterior real estate.  And Utah home builder DaVinci Homes can help you design and create a beautiful home that you can enjoy for years to come.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dream.

Sell Your Existing Home

You have decided to build a new home and now you need to sell your existing house.  Whether it’s a high-rise condo or a large, family home, most of us need to take a fresh look to see it as a potential buyer does.  Here are some suggestions from Utah home builder DaVinci Homes to help you get your present home in marketable condition.

  1. Check Curb Appeal.  A potential buyer’s first impression is determined by a home’s curb appeal.  Clean up any leaves, debris, and clutter around your home’s exterior.  Make sure your lawn is in good condition and trim over-grown plants.  Plant colorful flowers or place pre-planted containers in visible areas.  Clean and paint the front door, if necessary, and make the entry warm and inviting.
  2. Make Repairs. Examine your home for any needed repairs which could concern a buyer.  Repair drywall and repaint walls as needed.  Check to make sure that doors and windows are functional, carpet and flooring is in good shape, and plumbing operates correctly.  Check for any signs of water damage.
  3. De-clutter and De-Personalize Your Home. Buyers want to be able to “see” themselves in a home before they make an offer to purchase it.  Clutter and overly-personalized belongings block that vision for many buyers.  And over-flowing cabinets and closets make a space look smaller.  So now is a good time to go through your possessions and pack up seasonal and seldom-used items, personal collectibles, family photos, and other individualized items.
  4. Stage the Rooms. Even if you don’t want to hire a staging professional, there is much you can do to enhance your home by removing extra and overly-large furniture, and arranging your existing furniture to help increase the feel of spaciousness and flow of your home.  Try to highlight specific uses for each space.
  5. Make it Clean. It may sound obvious, but buyers don’t want to move in to a dirty home.  Hiring professional house cleaners is a great way to go.  If that is unrealistic, make sure floors, windows, bathrooms, appliances, and walls are scrubbed.  Dust cobwebs from ceilings and clean light fixtures.  And if you have pets, hire a professional to clean and deodorize carpets.

A good real estate professional can also make specific suggestions on how to sell your existing home.  And a good custom builder, like DaVinci Homes, can turn your dream of a new home into a reality.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dream.

WHAT DOES A TITLE COMPANY DO?

If you are like me, you probably know that a title company has something to do with buying or selling real estate.  You may have gone to a title company to sign all the paperwork for a real estate closing.  And you may also know that there are charges on your real estate settlement statement for title services.  But do you know what the title company does and what you are paying them for?

First, what exactly is a title?  A TITLE is a legal document that shows the right to own, possess, use, control, enjoy, and dispose of real estate.  So when you contract to buy or sell a home or other real estate, a title company is contracted with to do a TITLE SEARCH of the property.   According to http://www.homeclosing101.org, after your sales contract has been accepted, a title professional will conduct a search of public records to help you be sure that there are no problems with the home’s title and that the seller really owns the property.   “This search typically involves a review of land records going back many years. More than 1/3 of all title searches reveal a title problem that title professionals fix before you go to closing. For instance, a previous owner may have had minor construction done on the property, but never fully paid the contractor. Or the previous owner may have failed to pay local or state taxes. Title professionals seek to resolve problems like these before you go to closing.”  If not resolved, these and other circumstances could limit your use or ability to sell the property, or cause financial loss.

Once any potential title problems have been researched and resolved, the title company will also issue a TITLE INSURANCE policy for the real estate.  While other types of insurance cover possible future events, a title policy insures against past title problems that could not be found in the public record or are missed in the title search process.  There are two types of title insurance which are obtained.

  1. The Owners Title Policy is issued in the amount of the purchase price of the real estate and is paid as a one-time fee paid at closing.  It protects the buyer should a covered problem arise with the title that was not found during the title search.  It lasts as long as you own the property and is typically paid for by the seller.  There are different levels of protection, so always check with the title company or a real estate professional about what coverage you are getting.
  2. The Loan Title Policy is usually required by your lender and is based on the amount of your loan. It only protects the lenders interest in the property, but is usually paid for by the buyer.  If a buyer is paying cash, this policy is not required.

Lastly, it is the title company which prepares the SETTLEMENT STATEMENT which you sign at the closing of a real estate transaction.  This standardized form itemizes all the fees and charges that both the buyer and seller incur during the transaction.

Title professionals provide behind-the-scene, but important services that help you through real estate transactions.  And if you are looking for the services of a great Utah home builder to help you through the home building process, consider home builder DaVinci Homes, http://builddavinci.wpengine.com.  We would love to help you build a home that reflects your unique style and needs.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dream.

Earthquake Safety for Your Home

The next Great Utah ShakeOut will be held this year on April 16.  This day of action is a great reminder to help Utah residents prepare to survive and recover from a large earthquake.  While there is no way to completely protect yourself from natural disasters, this seems like a good time for Utah home builder, DaVinci Homes, to review a few things you can do to help protect one of your biggest investments, your home.

  1. If you live near a fault, and many of us in Utah do, you need to understand that standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage from earthquakes. Check with your insurance agent to see what coverage, if any, that you have.  Earthquake insurance is normally covered in a “named perils” policy for an additional cost.
  2. Do a home inspection and identify any potential structural hazards, including any inadequate foundations, cracked chimneys, or improperly supported walls. Also inspect for termites, mice, mold and rot that could compromise the structural integrity of your home.  In addition, keep your plumbing in good repair, replacing old, rusted, or loose pipes.  Check  local ordinances and make sure your home is up to current earthquake building codes.  Many existing homes pre-date current standards.
  3. A general rule is to secure as many moveable items that you can. While it is not realistic to bolt everything in your house in place, consider securing bookcases to walls with L-brackets, using closed hooks in studs to hang mirrors, artwork, and photographs on walls to keep them from falling, and using child-proof latches on cabinet doors to help prevent valuable contents from falling to the floor in the event of an earthquake.  Move heavy items nearer to the floor and brace ceiling fans and large light fixtures.  And don’t forget to check your garage for things that could fall on people or cars.  A more comprehensive list of ways to secure these and other items in your home can be found at http://earthquakecountry.org/step1.
  4. Make sure your gas appliances have flexible fittings, allowing the equipment some room to move around without breaking the connection and reducing the risk of fire.
  5. Strap your hot water heater to the wall.

A little preparation can provide peace of mind that you’ve done what you can to protect your home in the event of an earthquake.  If you want more information about the Utah ShakeOut, go to http://www.shakeout.org/utah.  And if you want to find out more about how to build a new home with Utah home builder DaVinci Homes,  check out our website www.builddavinci.com.  DaVinci Homes will not only help you build a new home that fits your needs and expresses your unique style, but also provides peace of mind, knowing that you are compliant with the most up-to-date building codes.

DaVinci Homes Mission Statement

Our mission is to be Utah’s premier custom and semi-custom home builder through superior customer satisfaction and exceptional building practices.  We strive to make the home building process clear and enjoyable.  We believe in helping our clients enhance their lives by helping create the home of their dreams.