Unity Blog

A Zum in Waterbury, VT

For twenty-five years, Cindy and Bob ran adventure travel companies that brought groups of clients on walking, hiking and biking trips all over the world. Ten years ago they decided to dial back on their traveling, and settle more fully […]

A Healthier Way to Cook

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.  […]

A Tradd in Hollis, NH

Finding Unity When Danielle (Dani) and Adam were researching options for building a new energy-efficient high performance home, she began looking online, and he followed up with […]

Does Unity Work with Owner-Builders?

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.” […]

A Zum in Hanover, NH

Jill’s “romance” with Hanover began in the late 1950’s at a Dartmouth Glee Club concert. That young man standing front row center whom she’d never […]

Siting Your New Home

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.
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Evaluating Potential Building Sites

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. […]

May I talk with a homeowner? Visit a house?

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 View from Inside the Covid-Jolted Housing Industry

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 […]

Choosing the Right Foundation

Installing wall panels for a Xyla on a slab foundation The choice of foundation type—slab-on-grade, full basement or walkout (“daylight”) basement—is critical to the design […]

Financing Your Unity Home

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. […]

How Will COVID Change Home Design?

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. […]

Unity From A Distance

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!” […]

A Tradd in Lumberton, NJ

After growing up in New England and then moving away for school and work, Laura dreamed of returning and having a farm. She didn’t make […]

Build More Walls – that Store Carbon!

In combating climate change, reducing carbon emissions from building operations is critical, because they represent such a large percentage of global CO2 emissions. […]

A Värm in Norwich, VT

Chris and Sue were living and working in the Boston area when they began considering the possibility of moving to the Upper Valley area of […]

The Affordable Housing Crisis Hits Home

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. […]

Wood Stoves In High Performance Homes

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. […]