New homes feature customs closets to organize your life your way.

Buyers who are attracted to custom-built homes want to express their individuality, are looking for efficiency and want a clutter-free environment. Fortunately, new homes feature all of these requirements.

A distinct advantage for a custom home is designing your own closet space. Not so long ago, closets were an afterthought, if thought of at all. Just being able to shove some shoes, coats, suits and dresses into a space was considered a plus. That mindset has changed considerably.

Now, spacious walk-in closets, not only off the master bedroom and bath, but also near the entryway or mudroom, are part of the custom home experience. Even empty-nesters who no longer need a large home expect the storage space to stash away all the possessions they have accumulated through the years. Here are some reasons that closets in custom-built homes are important.

  • When you purchase a new home, you choose design and living features to fit your lifestyle. In the same way, you can adapt closet space for your needs. In existing homes, you’re stuck with a storage space that may not be right for you.
  • Large closets and storage spaces aren’t a luxury any longer, but a requirement. Buyers who have a 24/7 lifestyle want to find items quickly and consider well-organized closets in their new homes an asset.
  • While you intend to stay in your new home for the foreseeable future, built-in closets with lots of storage space will add value down the line.

Being able to customize your closet space in your home is just one of the many advantages in purchasing a newly built home. Interest rates are still low–there’s no better time to move into your new space.

Get your new lawn in shape for a strong start next spring

You’re about to spend your first fall and winter in your new Paragon home and you have a new lawn to go with it. This summer was a long hot one that challenged homeowners and their lawns alike. Brown spots popped up and the grass looked thin and unhealthy. How do you revitalize the grass so it will look like new again next spring?

Here are some important steps that you should do in September and October, the prime months for putting your lawn to bed for the winter.

Fertilize. Lawns need nitrogen to flourish. Choose a winterizing fertilizer that will help your lawn to develop a deep root system. You’re not growing grass now, but strengthening the system under the soil, which also helps control weeds and insects.

Aerate. Fall is a good time to do this and you can rent an aerator for a day at a reasonable price. Aeration improves the water movement, especially with our Missouri clay, and allows the roots to breathe.

Water sparingly. We’ve had some rain lately and that should be sufficient for the time being. Over watering a lawn causes more damage than under watering and can cause mildew.

De-thatch. For this job on a total lawn, you’ll need a dethatching rake. A good brisk raking will remove most of the worn-out grass and thatch so it won’t smother existing grass and roots. Depending on how much thatch you remove, it may be too much to leave for decomposition. Raking and composting the material may be a better way to go.

Brown spots. This past summer was a killer on lawns. Brown spots appeared and the grass looked dead. Sometimes that’s the way grass will try to protect the roots, and it goes into dormancy. If the brown spots haven’t greened up by now, the spots need a bit of help.

If the spots are small, use a rake to loosen the brown grass and work up the soil so the new grass seed can take root. This is called over-seeding, or applying grass seed to an existing lawn.

Larger patches may need a lot more work. Those areas should be re-seeded. There’s not much difference between over-seeding and re-seeding, except for the amount of ground covered. If you need to re-seed, consider having a professional lawn service come and do the job for you. They may cost a bit more, but re-seeding a huge patch of lawn is very intensive work.

Because of all the care you gave your lawn this fall, it will look spectacular next spring and just the right touch to show off your new home.

New homes stimulate our economy, create jobs for many

News about the economy is everywhere and seems to change daily. One constant though is the correlation between job creation and home buying. People need good, stable jobs with regular income to feel secure enough to buy a home.

In that regard, did you know that purchasing a newly built home not only creates jobs, but more sales for local merchants, more restaurants staying open with bigger tips for your wait person, more cars sold in your community and more gas pumped into those cars from the local gas station. Your purchase also adds tax revenue to local, state and federal governments. That’s a very positive effect for your community.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates that for each new home built, three jobs are created. And, the study shows the one-year local impact of building 100 single family homes generates $21.1 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and local government revenue and 324 local jobs.

When you purchase a new home, you help build a community that fits your needs and those of your family. Right now housing affordability during the second quarter of 2011 is near its highest level in more than 20 years.

Affordability, community, economic and job stimulation–all great reasons to purchase a new home now.

What you don’t see in your Paragon custom home makes all the difference in your lifestyle

When you enter your custom built home for the first time, you see the results of all the hard work and the multitude of decisions you made. The hardwood floors are perfect, the paint is soothing and just right, the kitchen is a dream come true and the patio welcomes outdoor living. The next thing on the to-do list is a party for friends, new neighbors and family.

But what’s on the inside of your new home, behind the walls, in the basement and in the attic and on the roof? Here lie important advantages to a new home; top-notch construction and materials used by skilled craftspeople whom are proud of their work.

While R-30, vapor locks, Tyvek, flashing wrap, structural rebar, fiber mesh and bearing walls may not bring as much of a song to your heart as eco hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, these “features” are what make your home strong, stable and ready to withstand more than a lifetime of use.

We believe high quality building materials and professional, talented craftspeople make all the difference in your home’s livability, from the basement to the top of the roof. There’s not much point to hardwood floors if they buckle because of a plumbing leak, or the wind whistles through your windows next winter.

The only approach we will take is having all the building functions working properly, including those behind the scenes. Settling into a new home is an experience, a lifestyle change, and it takes time to automatically remember where the light switches are and how to lock the patio doors. You don’t need to be concerned with how your home works on the inside.

That’s why you chose Paragon Custom Homes for your home.

Paragon House Bill 25/National Homeownership Month

Celebrate home ownership in June and your representatives who support continuing mortgage tax deductions

June is National Homeownership Month, a time to educate potential buyers about the benefits of home ownership and to celebrate families who have purchased homes. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, home ownership month highlights how ownership improves economic opportunities, creates jobs and strengthens neighborhood.

So what better time is there to get involved in one of the most important aspects of homeownership­–mortgage interest deductions. As Congress looks for ways to cut the federal budget and increase revenue, the idea of ending or reducing deductions has surfaced.

Now, a resolution supporting the mortgage interest deduction is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Resolution 25 was introduced by Rep. Gary Miller of California, and co-sponsored by six Missouri representatives, including Todd Akin (MO-2), Russ Carnahan (MO-3) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9).

The interest deduction has been in the U. S. tax code since 1913 and helped homeowners to buy property and build on a growing housing market. The deductions encourage families to buy new homes; help owners to stay in their homes; and create jobs for the local community.

A strong housing market and full employment are the two keys for a recovering economy. Please thank you representatives for co-sponsoring this resolution and their continuing efforts to save this important component of home ownership.

If you would like to know more about mortgage deductions for new homes, just give us a call at 636.336.2822. We’d also like to show you our model homes. We’re proud of the workmanship, done by local contractors who care about their work.

No worries. Custom home warranties provide protection so you can enjoy your new lifestyle

It’s closing day and the keys to your new custom-built home are yours. After all those months of planning, decision-making and anticipation, you’re ready to begin you new life. What could possibly go wrong?

Even with new homes, sometimes there are glitches. To protect you, we offer the 2-10 HBW New Construction Warranty, which is approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We believe this warranty is the best protection available for our homeowners.

Warranties offer you a sense of security so you can enjoy your new home and neighborhood. In our experience, most homeowners never have to use the warranty protection because of the high quality of workmanship. However, should something happen, here’s a brief run-down for the 2-10HBW Warranty.

The first level is a one-year workmanship surety coverage, which covers such items as deflects in building materials and, well, workmanship. Some items include carpentry, fireplaces, drywall, doors and windows, site work and masonry.

The Two-Year Systems Warranty protects the electrical system, plumbing and other mechanical distribution systems.

The 10-Year Structural Coverage includes actual physical damage to load-bearing elements, such as walls, partitions, floor framing, beams, columns footings and foundations.

Another plus for the new home warranty is service. Should you need service, you don’t have to go through the process of getting bids, calling contractors or repair people. Just a call to an 800 number is all it takes to have a qualified professional at your door to solve the problem in a timely manner.

Because warranties can seem complicated and overwhelming, we carefully explain to our homebuyers exactly what is covered and what is not. We want you to be perfectly happy with your new custom home for years to come.

Custom homes offer self-expression, energy efficiency and an easier lifestyle

A blank palette–that’s how many homebuyers look at a custom home. They have the freedom to design a home that perfectly suits their lifestyle with all the amenities that will serve them well for years to come.

If you are in the market, a custom home could be the best way to express yourself. Of course, custom floor plans, counter tops, bathrooms and kitchens are benefits, but there are other real plusses to a new home.

It’s all new to you. Your custom-built home includes all new systems, such as heating and air conditioning, lighting, plumbing, appliances and more. You won’t have to cajole the owner of an existing home to replace a dishwasher or have the furnace reconditioned. In a new home, those items will not be on your worry list.

Warranties provide peace of mind. No piecing together warranties here and there. The 2-10 HBW New Construction Warranty protection plan includes one-year workmanship coverage, a two-year systems coverage and a 10-year structural coverage clause. Appliances are also covered.

A safe haven. Your new custom-built home keeps your family safe from the ground up. Homes are constructed in strict compliance with local building codes using the most up-to-date materials. Safety glass, more smoke detectors, the latest wiring, circuit boxes and drainage design are all standard.

Make a connection. Most of us are online these days. In a custom home, the connections to get there are all there. Plug in your computer, your television, your Internet-ready DVD player, and off you go. In older homes, jerry-rigging Internet connections can be frustrating. Not so in your custom home.

Save with energy efficient products. Custom homes naturally include energy efficient appliances, Low E-2 windows, automatically controlled heating and cooling and efficient water heaters. Our homes feature a Tyvek wrap and vapor barrier insulation to keep your energy in. You will see a significant decrease in utility bills.

Buying a home, whether an existing structure or a custom built home, is a big financial commitment. As you move toward that decision, consider the advantages of the custom home that will be a perfect fit for a long time to come.

February Calendar of Events

Through February
Black History Exhibit
Frenchtown Heritage Museum
For more info and hours, call 636.724.2106.

Winter Classic sponsored by the Ice Skating Institute
Friday, February 11-Sunday, February 13
Various times
St. Peters Rec-Plex
More than 1,000 skaters from across the country compete in the Winter Classic. See a record performance that will feature 140-plus people from the community on the ice all at once.
For more information, call 636.939.2386

ART by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hamptons
Thursday, February 17-Saturday, February 19
Riverside Shakespeare Theatre
Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 18 and 19, 6 and 9 p.m.
Foundry Art Center
What is art? That’s a question most people don’t have an answer for. The Tony award winning play, ART, explores that question and the true meaning of friendship. In this comedy drama, three friends come to realize that even though they have been friends, their differences don’t stop with artistic opinion. Much laughter and insight abound.
$15 at the door, or go to the Riverside Theatre Company website. Are you a member of The Foundry Centre? Get a discount for the show by calling 636.255.0270.

Lindenwood University Speaker Series
7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 10
Anheuser-Busch Leadership Room
Dr. Robert George discusses Natural Law: God and Human Rights
For info, go to the University website.

Percussion Discussion, Crescendo Concert Series, A Free Children’s Concert
Saturday, February 12
10 a.m.
First United Methodist Church
This concert is designed for children. Matt Henry and member of the UM St. Louis Percussion Ensemble will have a hands-on display of making music with percussive instruments. Please bring a canned good or one dry-packaged food item. For more info, go to the Crescendo Concert Series website or call 636.946.0310.

Shiver Fest
Saturday, February 19
Noon-9 p.m.
Augusta Brewing Company
Enjoy a day of fun winter activities in Augusta, including live music, toasty fires, hayrides and a very special beer release.

From Tragedy to Miraculous Rescue
Friday, February 25
6:30 p.m.
St. Charles County Library Middendorf-Kredell Branch
Sponsored by OASIS
Dagoberto Pinto, a U.S. citizen born in Chile, shares his fascinating story of his visit to the San Jose Mine in Chile, where 33 miners endured 69 agonizing days underground. Pinto took an American flag and a card signed by 150 co-workers at O’Fallon Casting. For more information, call 314.539.4556 or visit the OASIS website.

Mardi Gras Parade
Saturday, February 26
3 p.m.
Frenchtown District
North Second and Clark Streets
Family friendly parade, children’s activities and music.
For info, call 800.366.2427

Beggin’ Pet Parade and PetSmart Wiener Dog Derby
Sunday, February 27
11 a.m.
Soulard at Allen and Menard Streets, St. Louis
Bring your party animal to Soulard’s Beggin’ Pet Parade and show off his outrageous finery. Thousands of pets party on and attend the “Tail”gating Party too. It’s a $10 donation to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary to enter your pet, and free if you just want to watch and fun. Got a doxie? Enter her in the PetSmart Wiener Dog Derby on Saturday after the parade. Dachshunds race in three divisions, depending on age: Cocktail Wienies, Ballpark Franks and Hot Dogs. Trophies, medals, race pictures and local radio talent announce the race. There’s a $10 fee to register your Dachshund. Fun is free.