Fair Time!

As much as I love Summer, it sure feels great to have a little bit cooler weather and know that fair season is almost here. I am a fair junkie – I had met my husband at the Erie County Fair in Buffalo, NY when we were both showing horses, and now The State Fair of Texas is my home away from home when September comes.

Patriot retailers also are fair lovers, and love to use that opportunity to show the public what great houses Patriot builds and what a value they are. I’ve just finished working on a house with Woodlund Homes in Minnesota, and I can’t wait to hear how it all turns out!

Woodlund will be exhibiting at The Minnesota State Fair which is held in St Paul, MN from August 21 – Labor Day this year. The fair attracts over 1 million visitors each year and besides getting to go and see this beautiful home you’ll be able to see The Backstreet Boys in concert, and eat to your hearts content!

This is Woodlund’s 10th year to exhibit, and this year they are taking a beautiful modular home that features an Evolution stainless steel kitchen, amazing master suite, tile, and a beautiful corner fireplace to keep you warm on those chilly Minnesota evenings.

Be sure to make a point to visit this great fair and tour this beautiful home – it’s one you won’t want to miss!

Brenco Homes will also be taking a Patriot Home to the Heart of Texas Fair which will be October 2 – 11, 2008. I have been involved in merchandising their fair home for the last 4 years and can’t wait to get started on this one! Gary and the guys always do things right, and if you can’t wait until October to see what they have to offer be sure to stop by their retail center which is located at the front of the Patriot Homes of Texas location.

Vacationing at Home

With gas prices what they are, why not invest your vacation dollars into your own backyard? Prices have dropped on many items that can make your own home into a resort, and it’s a vacation your family can then enjoy all year long.

porch-068.jpgThis home features a spectacular indoor / outdoor fireplace that is beautiful as well as functional. By screening in the porch area and using pavers for the flooring this will end up being one of the most used rooms in the house. The furniture was a vintage set that was taken to an auto body company and painted using auto paint. The result is one that will last for years and is very cost-effective. To tie into current color trends we went to Pier1 Imports and found some great colorful cushions and an outdoor area rug to complete the look.

patriot-porch-069.jpgManufactured Housing is also tapping into the outdoor living trend, and Patriot Homes now offers some new models that come complete with outdoor areas that are ready to go as soon as the homes are delivered. Patriot Homes of Alabama showcased two homes at the Tunica show this year – one with a screened porch area that was large enough to house a bar and seating area, and another with a built-in sink and prep area, covered porch and optional grill. This area could have an additional deck area added on-site, but as offered there is lots of room for even the largest parties.

When considering an outdoor oasis of your own, keep in mind the following considerations:
*Utilities: Be sure that you have adequate water, electrical and gas if you’ll need it for your new area. If this is something you’ll have to add it can really drive up the costs.
*Screening: If you are in an area that tends to have lots of bugs you may want to think about screening in your new area to make it more comfortable all year long.
*Size Matters: Be sure when you are planing your space that there is room for whatever seating you plan on using as well as room to walk around. One of the mistakes I see the most is porches that aren’t wide enough when you add traditional seating.

Sadly traveling especially flying is no longer the enjoyable experience it used to be, so relieve the stress and enjoy your own back yard.

Flower Power

Summer is here, and with it come all of the housekeeping that has been neglected that can’t be ignored anymore. My garden is in, the windows have been washed, and finally the pool is painted (again). I can’t wait to take advantage of all of the outdoor areas here at The Home Idea Factory and continue my quest to have my home live up to it’s potential. One of the things that attracted me to my home is that it needed so much work I knew I’d never run out of projects!

hostas-010.jpgAfter living in Tucson for 10 years I was anxious to give my green thumb a try and see if I could replicate some of the gardens that my grandmother was known for. She was a huge influence on me, and some of my fondest memories are of Silva working on our vegetable gardens at the lake that we planted Memorial Day weekend or her cutting gardens that were as unconventional as she was. On some of my visits back to the family farm in Erie, Pennsylvania I dug up some roots of her plants and brought them back to Texas to see if they would grow, and some of them have done well. Unfortunately the raspberry bushes that we used to spend hours in the middle of eating to our hearts content didn’t like the clay soil in this area and didn’t make it. But the hostas are thriving and the seeds that I gathered from her hollyhocks have helped me establish the garden that I’ve always hoped for.

lifetiles-pot-011.jpgThe front garden that used to be a weed patch now boasts a riot of colors and includes hollyhocks and sunflowers that reach to the sky. Our latest patch of feral kittens uses it as a safe haven and I love watching them play hide and seek in the hostas.

I hope that you all are enjoying a beautiful Memorial Day!F

What the Heck is a Lifestylist® ?

One of the questions I always get asked is exactly what is a Lifestylist, and what is unique about the Lifestylist Lifestyle. The second most asked question is what makes me a Trailer Diva!

The Lifestylist philosophy is that “It’s all about You” – the clients life and style is what dictates how a Lifestylist works with you. My favorite example is I had a client in Phoenix, Arizona that was a major Phoenix Suns fan, and their team colors are orange and purple. The client wanted their entire home done in these colors. What they wanted is what they got, complete with a child’s room with a hardwood floor striped like a basketball court.

I just spoke to a friend who’s dog had just dug up her entire garden and her daughter slammed the door on the neighbor’s hand – all in about 30 minutes time. Her needs and lifestyle are completely different from my Son – no kids, no dogs, and lives in front of his computer. What my style is wouldn’t work well for either of them which is why I need to understand the client and what their “hot buttons” are. It’s takes extra time and sleuthing to achieve this – many times the client has trouble putting into words exactly what they are looking for but they know it when they see it. I take the responsibility very seriously – a person’s environment can truly change their lives in a positive or negative way. If someone is happy in their home their quality of life improves.

Next to being a mother, becoming a Lifestylist is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m looking forward to expanding the concept and what it offers in the years to come.

De-Constructing Construction

The great news about deciding to build a new home these days is that you have options and choices like never before.

Current technology has made it possible to build “Factory Built” housing that not only meets the quality that site built housing offers, but in many cases can exceed the quality and value that is available.

For the next few weeks I’m going to go more in-depth about the different choices, and how they compare. The building types that I’m going to review are the following:

Trailers
Mobile Homes
Manufactured Homes
Park Models
Double Wides
Modular Homes
PreFab Homes
Panelized Kit Homes
SIPS Homes (Structural Insulated Panels)

Please let me know if you have interest in other building processes and I’ll be happy to do the research and share it here.

Defining FEMA Trailer

It seems like FEMA trailer is a term that won’t be missing from our vocabularies for quite awhile, but what truly is a FEMA trailer?

When the media discusses FEMA trailers it seems to be trying to lead the public into believing that that the manufactured homes built to house survivors of Katrina and Rita are the issue, but the facts are showing that the issues coming to light are with the RV’s that most survivors were housed in, not the manufactured homes.

This Lifestylist® has visited the affected areas and has seen how many RVs are housing people vs manufactured homes, it’s hard to believe that people are still being housed in recreational vehicles that were never meant (or tested) to be used as long term housing.

One of the great things about Manufactured Housing is that besides the homes being built in climate controlled,under roof facilities, they are also built to very strict national codes dictated by HUD.

Patriot Homes is a great example of a home builder doing the right thing, and offers great design, quality and value quickly and efficiently. Check them out and be prepared to change your opinion of manufactured housing!