With all the dire headlines and uncertainty relating to interest rates, inflation and energy costs, why would anyone start planning to build a new home now? As builders of high performance homes, we at Unity have been pondering that question. We’ve come up with a few reasons why now is as good a time as any to plan for your new home. […]
Who needs a garage? Most Unity clients, it turns out.
Of the last 50 homes that Unity has built, 40 had garages, and most of them were attached directly to the house.
While it may seem like a relatively simple matter to add a garage to a house design, doing it well – so that the garage works with the site, the house and the project budget – requires careful consideration. […]
Ten years ago, the average home buyer or builder probably hadn’t heard of the Passive House standard – and they certainly couldn’t describe it. But during the past decade, this standard has gone from being an “extreme” on the fringes of homebuilding, to being commonly discussed – and increasingly achieved – in the world of high-performance homes.
Although Unity doesn’t build Passive House certified homes, our approach is very similar, and the performance of our homes typically matches that of Passive Houses in certain key aspects. […]
If you’ve looked into buying a new cooking stove recently, you’ve probably come across options with induction cooktops. They’ve been popular in Europe and Asia for years, but have only recently begun to gain a foothold in the US. At Unity, we recommend induction ranges to all our clients, because of the benefits they provide for cooking, for indoor air quality and for the planet. […]
We’ve recently visited several Unity projects where the owners have done much of the work, and that has us thinking about owner-builders: clients who either general contract the construction of their own home, or perform much of the hands-on work themselves.
Is Unity a good fit for owner-builders? The answer, as with so much in life, is “it depends.” While it’s easy to see the advantages of being an owner-builder, there are also significant pitfalls, some of which may not be apparent to an inexperienced owner who “doesn’t know what he/she doesn’t know.” […]
Siting a home properly on the building lot is one of the first and most important tasks of building a new home. Because the siting of the home will affect construction costs, the appearance and performance of the home, and even its resale value, we strongly encourage all of our clients to engage a professional site designer to assist with the process.
One of the more common questions we’re asked by prospective clients is whether Unity can send someone to help evaluate potential building sites. Generally our answer is “no,” because we simply don’t have the bandwidth, but we do have practical suggestions for assessing land on which you’re considering building. […]
A good local builder is critical to the success of Unity Shell and Tempo projects. If you’re looking to have a new home built within the next year and you don’t already have a builder on board, how can you find a conscientious local builder with whom to work?
Until Covid arrived, in-person events were a mainstay of Unity’s marketing. During the warm months we’d host open houses that would allow visitors to experience our homes firsthand, and chat with the homeowner about what it’s like to work with Unity and live in the home. We’d also host gatherings that would combine education about Unity’s design-build process with tours of our production facilities and show home.
Covid changed all that. […]
The housing industry has been dramatically affected—in both negative and positive ways—by the Covid maelstrom that has been upending every aspect of our lives. Back […]
Although Unity is continually striving to make the design-build process simpler and easier for our clients, there are certain aspects of each project that are outside of our control. Project financing is one such aspect. It can be a complex and time-consuming process even for conventionally built homes. […]
With most Americans being impacted by stay-at-home orders in the past two months, our ideas about what homes should be and how they should serve us are evolving rapidly. In general, new homes will have to be more resilient, more flexible and more efficient to better accommodate crises like the one we’re living through. Fortunately, we build these qualities into every Unity Home. […]
Responding to the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but fortunately at Unity we have strong leadership and a team that is dedicated, resourceful and creative. As COO Andrew Dey said recently of the Unity team, “If I’m going to be working through a pandemic, there’s no team I’d rather be working with!” […]
Anyone who follows national housing trends knows that insufficient affordable housing and a lack of skilled labor are two of the industry’s biggest challenges. These issues are related because without enough workers to build new homes, housing starts have lagged behind historical norms and current needs. Given the limited options for getting homes built, builders and developers have understandably been focused on more profitable higher-end projects, as opposed to affordable housing. […]
Yes, it’s the holiday season, and you’d have to be a Grinch not to like the idea of cozying up to a fireplace or woodstove with a cup of hot chocolate while snow drifts outside. More than a few prospective Unity clients have this image in mind when they come to us. We try to let them down easy! Fireplaces simply don’t make sense in a high performance home, and woodstoves have their own particular set of considerations. […]