10 Ways to Lower Your AC Bill This Summer

Tired of sky-high energy bills every summer? Since all Stanley Martin Homes are high performance, energy efficient, and earth friendly, we have some tips for you to better cool your house without breaking the bank or being uncomfortable.

1. Turn up the AC during the day when no one is home (try for 72), and turn it back down just a few degrees before bed, to save money and energy. Worried you’ll be too hot at night? Get a fan for your room and stay cool the whole night through.

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2. Make sure your air filter is clean;be sure to change it every three months. A dirty filter can cost you energy and unnecessary money.

3. Close your windows and pull your blinds down during the day. The house can heat up from direct light and while open windows can help cool during the night, they add an energy drain during the day.

blinds

4. Turn off your lights when you’re not home, as they can add heat to the home and are a drain on energy. Stay cool by turning off appliances that add heat.

5. Prepare cold meals. Salads, ceviche, gazpacho, and beef tar tar are all your friends. By reducing the heat from the stove and oven, you’re keeping your house cool and comfortable.

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6. Use Energy efficient doors, such as Energy Star exterior doors to help insulate, and thus, save money on energy bills.

7. Nix hot showers at night. When the temperature is 90+ degrees outside you don’t want to be cooling off from a hot shower. Take a cool shower to lower your body temperature and how you won’t need to turn up the AC to compensate for a hot shower.

8. If your home has a window-unit AC, make sure it fits snugly so air can’t escape around the unit.

9. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances. Once you upgrade your house, you’ll see a drastic cut in your overall energy costs and longer life for appliances.

Green Lightbulb

10. In tandem with turning off your electronics, unplug them, too. This is an energy saver which, along with the above tips for better cooling, will help lower your monthly bill.

By adhering to these ten rules, you can stay cool and also save money during the summer. Say goodbye to unnecessary energy costs and see how much money you can save!

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New Home Designs With Options You Will Love in Henrico County

Many have daydreamed of living in a community with great neighbors and a true community feel. Sure it wouldn’t hurt to have a pool, clubhouse and fitness center down the road and be in the best school district for your kids. Luckily – there is such a place! Not only can our homes at Liesfeld Farm offer the above, but we now have new features in our homes that give you everything you want and more.

We are excited to introduce 3 brand new home designs at Liesfeld Farm at Bacova: The Hamel II, The McKenzie II and The Caterham II.

The Hamel II

This spacious new home comes with the option of a loft on the 3rd floor along with 4 bedrooms on the 2nd floor. You also have the option of adding a bedroom with full bath on the main level giving your guests ultimate convenience! There are also tons of options to choose from in this home including a screened porch and sunroom. Think about how many summer nights you could spend on your porch NOT getting bit by mosquitoes!

SMC-1608 Hamell II 855 EL E 284 HR
The McKenzie II

Options in this home include a loft, covered porch, 3 car side load garage and gourmet kitchen. What else could you want? This home also has the option to add a guest suite on the first floor! Imagine your guests not having to drag their suitcases up the stairs and lug them back down when it is time to leave!

SMC-1610 McKenzie II EL G 411 HR
The Caterham II

Unlike many of our other designs, The Caterham II offers generous flex space that can transform into a bedroom that your in-laws will love! On our standard main level floor plan, the 8 foot rear extension provides a beautiful opportunity for a desired deck or covered/screen porch for all those who love to host outside gatherings in the summer time and for all year round use! The study in this home provides a peaceful get away allowing you to focus on your responsibilities; work related or not.

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10 Things You Need to Know for a Quick and Easy Move

Does anyone actually like moving? Well no, but soon you’ll have the excitement of moving into your new home. However, packing and moving your boxes is a pain. If you have a lot of items, you will need a lot of manpower. Here are 10 quick and easy tips to help you move into your new home smoothly!

1. Start by getting rid of unused and old items. The fewer items you have to move, the quicker you can move them!

2. Begin to collect boxes, bubble wrap and old newspapers to cushion your valuable belongings.

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3. Think about what perishable food you have and start eating it so you aren’t carting around fresh and frozen items.

4. Pack your non-essential items first such as books, non-season clothing, DVDs, etc.

5. Arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address.

6. Use the bigger boxes for the lightest objects which will prevent the boxes from becoming too heavy to lift.

7. Label your boxes for each room. You can use markers, colored tabs with a key sheet, or smart move packing tape!

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8. Put moving essentials in clear plastic containers or bags for easy access, including nails, screws and other parts for objects to assemble items in your new home.

9. Label all electronic cords with a small piece of duct tape and wrap them so they don’t get tangled.

10. Last but not least – thank those who helped you move!

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For more great moving suggestions – check out our Tips and Helpful Hints Pinterest Board!

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Ambrose Hills: Abundant in Improvements

Work began more than a year ago to transform what used to be a couple of auto body shops into a vibrant 76 lot townhouse neighborhood inside the beltway in Falls Church called Ambrose Hills. Land development has progressed at a slower pace than usual due to the challenging topography of the site and the additional upgrades needed to the public infrastructure. As part of the development we are excited to be improving the storm water and sanitary infrastructure in a private-public agreement with Fairfax County.

The additional storm sewer work will solve some the flooding issues that have plagued this stretch of Columbia Pike over the years. The new sanitary and storm lines run along a steep hill and through a section of Park Authority land. Our efforts in protecting the natural resources during the land development process made Ambrose Hills win the Best Protected Environmentally Sensitive Site award of the 2015 Fairfax County Land Conservation Award Program. When the work is complete close to 4 acres of land will be dedicated as open space.

February 2015 Infrastructure Work

February 2015

December 2015

December 2015

Some of the infrastructure work also involves improvements along Columbia Pike. We are widening and improving a section of the paved trail that runs along the frontage of our site which will link to the new sidewalk running along Powell Lane, improving the connectivity between neighborhoods. Phase 1 of the trail work is complete and the trail is currently open in an interim condition. We are also thrilled to be installing a new traffic light on Powell Lane which will make it a much safer intersection for both pedestrians and drivers.

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Ambrose Hills is being built in 4 sections. Section 3 is currently complete and the first homeowners moved in a couple of months ago, how exciting! There is nothing more rewarding than to see years of planning slowly transforming into a neighborhood wHere families make their lives.

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Ladysmith lo res_09

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Marlboro Riding: Beautiful New Homes, Close to Everywhere You Want to Be!

The rural feel of this neighborhood charms and surprises many, especially because it’s only six miles from the Capital Beltway. Located to the east of Washington, DC, it is popular among federal government employees and with personnel at Joint Base Andrews which is only about 6.5 miles away!

Monument

The Town of Upper Marlboro has a historic downtown area along Main Street, which is home to a variety of local businesses, as well as the Prince George’s County Courthouse, County Administration Building, the Board of Education and has a lake with walking paths that you can enjoy with your family in the springtime.

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Just to the south of town is the Show Place Arena and Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The Show Place Arena will host the CAA 2016 Women’s Basketball Championship, concerts, boxing and professional wrestling events, trade shows, county fair and equestrian events. Woodmore Towne Center, anchored by Wegmans, is nearby. The area will get a boost in conveniences with the planned Westphalia Town Center which will offer abundant retail shops, restaurants, and cinema.

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If you are looking for amazing function as well as style, look no further than Stanley Martin’s floorplans and home styles at Marlboro Riding. Traditional exterior architecture combined with contemporary open and airy floor plans are designed to comfortably host all your friends and family.

The Crosby

The Crosby

The Crosby

The Crosby

Marlboro riding has gorgeous homesites situated amidst trees and open green spaces are generously sized allowing you to maximize your space inside and out. There is an exquisite clubhouse in the heart of the community. Host a game night with family and friends, elegant private functions or exercise class to keep you in shape. Enjoy the quaint walking trails or watch the kids make new friends while playing on the playground. A great family lifestyle is just one of the benefits you’ll receive living in Marlboro Riding.

The  Crosby

The Crosby

Visit our website for more information on these homes!

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5 Steps for the Perfect Bath

Everyone tries to find ways to relax in the evenings or after a long work week. Everything in life seems to stress us out these days. Some find it in working out or going for a long walk, some even find it in music or a hobby of theirs, but you could find it in taking a nice long bath and have some alone time. We want to give you some tips for the perfect bath so you can fully relax after a stressful day!

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The Travis at Westlake at Foothill Crossing in Charlottesville

1. Get rid of harsh lighting
When you are trying to relax do you want to do it with all of the lights on shining bright in your face? No. If you have a dimmer in your bathroom, turn the lights down. If not, turn them completely off.

2. Light a few candles
If you just turned off the lights, you may need some dim light to enjoy a good book or simply to make sure you don’t fall asleep. Candles are wonderful for any situation but especially when you’re taking a bath. Use certain scents that will help you de-stress and relax such as including baby powder, vanilla or lavender. Lavender has been shown to reduce anxiety levels which should help you fully let go of your stress.

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3. Who doesn’t like a little salt?
Epsom salts will do wonders for the body especially in a bath. They sooth aches and pains, relax the nervous system and draw toxins from the body. They are said to create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and help muscles function properly. I would recommend lavender or green tea salts.

4. Wine down
Have a glass of wine! Relax and take a load off. It’s been a long day you and deserve a treat. Pick your favorite red or white and pour a glass to enjoy while soaking. Try these cute wine glass holders that will keep your wine within an arm’s reach and out of the bathtub! https://www.etsy.com/listing/222663637/bathtub-shower-wine-glass-holder-pick

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5. Turn on some tunes
If you’re the type who likes to zone out to music when you’re trying to relax check out Spotify for a ton of playlists to listen to. Try the “Bubble Bath and Wine” playlist or the “Bubble Bath” playlist. They are full of relaxing songs that will allow you to sit back and enjoy!

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The Morgan at Glenmore in Charlottesville

For those of you who live in a Stanley Martin home – we have Kohler to thank for their amazing bathtubs!

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Preparation and Snow Removal Tips for Winterstorm Jonas

As the forecast continues to call for a significant amount of snow across the region, we wanted to share some tips for staying ahead of the weather. These will help with preparation and during the storm.

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• Make sure all garden hoses are removed from hose bibs. Be sure to shut off and drain all hose bibs.

• Keep your garage overhead doors closed. Open them only as necessary to allow the automobiles in and out of the garage. It is also advisable to shovel snow away from your garage door.

• Plan for incremental removal of snow every two to four hours. This will help make the significant amount of snow more manageable.

• Don’t forget your decks when clearing off snow. These should also be cleared every two to four hours depending on snowfall.

• Be sure to keep snow clear from all exterior doors.

• Keep exterior heat pump units clear from significant snow buildup to prevent freezing of the unit.

• Remember that the plowing companies will have a hard time keeping up with the snowfall they are predicting. Be patient, they will get to your streets.

• If any power outages occur, please make sure to contact your electric utility company for updates.

• As the snow starts to melt, make sure to keep areaway drains and window wells clear of debris

Stay safe and warm!

Stanley Martin Homes Warranty Department

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Olive Chapel Park: Raleigh’s Pride and Joy

With only 10 new single family homes remaining, Olive Chapel Park offers an intimate community with excellent amenities for families of all sizes. Summer is still a few months away, but when it is finally here, there is one of many reasons you will wish you lived at Olive Chapel Park: the amenities!

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Along with the clubhouse and adjacent meeting rooms, homeowners will enjoy other amenities such as a movie room with theater style seating, and exercise gym.

Clubhouse OCP 032

Clubhouse OCP 031

Homeowners can also head outside to enjoy an outdoor pool and tennis courts. At Olive Chapel Park, you can spend your summer days relaxing without even leaving the neighborhood – how amazing is that?

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Clubhouse OCP 039

Olive Chapel Park is in an incredible location in the heart of Apex, NC. It is within just a few miles of the best shopping and dining of the city including the popular Beaver Creek Crossings.

Olive Chapel Park is just minutes from Apex Jaycee Park (insert link), where you can stroll through the park, hit some balls at the batting cages, or grill out with your friends and family. With this 23 acre park just down the road, you will not run short of fun, outdoor things to do with the family.

jayceepark

Just a few miles away, homeowners will enjoy the ambiance of historic Apex. In addition to its year-round shopping and dining, Downtown Apex hosts many unique events and programs throughout the year. They host a farmer’s market in the spring and summer along with different festivals throughout the year that include dancing, music, art and food. You can find a list of their year round events here.

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Visit our website for more information on Olive Chapel Park.

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50 Years and Counting: New Stanley Martin Communities for 2016

Thinking about purchasing a new home in 2016? You’re in luck – Stanley Martin Homes has many great communities that are planned to open this year. Stanley Martin Homes has been building new homes and neighborhoods for 50 years and is excited to offer some of our best homes and locations in 2016. Here is an exclusive sneak peek at this year’s projects. Stay tuned to our website to learn more about these communities and to join our VIP lists.

Embrey Mill

Located in Stafford County, Embrey Mill will be comprised of 56 Single Family Homes. This community will be located across the street from one of our communities that is currently open for sale, Westgate, on Austin Ridge Drive. Embrey Mill will be opening this month and will include two brand new single family home floor plans: The Middleton and The Clayton. The Middleton will feature a large open floor plan on the main floor with four additional bedrooms on the upper level. With a pool, clubhouse, cafe, walking trails, fitness center, playgrounds and more, there are amenities for everyone to enjoy.

From EmbreyMill.com

From EmbreyMill.com

Read More about this community.

William Square

William Square is also scheduled to open this month. William Square is a community of 30 condominiums and will sport 2 new floorplans: The Beekman and Gramercy. Each condo has 3 bedrooms and a 1 car garage. These new homes in Prince William County are in a great location! William Square is in close proximity to I-95 and many shopping centers including: Crossing West Shopping Center, Crossing East Shopping Center, Prince William Shopping Center and Potomac Mills.

From simon.com

From simon.com


Chesterfield Landing

We will be opening Chesterfield Landing for sale in February. Located off of Crozet Avenue just outside of Charlottesville, this new home community is comprised of 25 single family homes. We will be offering 4 of our most popular home designs: The Carey, The Pennington, The Farmville, and The Travis. These homes include both craftsman style facades and first floor living. The both of best worlds are offered at Chesterfield Landing.

Free State Run

Free State Run is scheduled to open in March and will be located in Charlottesville, VA. This community will consist of 26 single family villa style homes. We will be featuring a brand new floor plan at this community, The Gardiner. This new home features a first floor master, 2 car garage and 2 additional bedrooms upstairs. Located near Rio Road, homeowners will experience the luxuries of new construction amidst the charm and conveniences of Downtown Charlottesville.

Gardiner Elevation B

Gardiner Elevation B


Parkside

Approximately 1 mile from I-495 and Andrews Air Force Base, Parkside is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016, and will be a very attractive location for many! Located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Parkside is made up of condos, townhomes and single family homes. This community of new homes in Prince George’s County allows homebuyers to enjoy a convenient lifestyle near shopping, dining and major commuting roads. Parkside also offers numerous amenities such as a community center, swimming pool, baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts and an outdoor amphitheater! Parkside will have everything you want and more.

Windsor Hill

Windsor Hill is going to include 27 single family homes in Prince William County and will be open for sales in July this year. This neighborhood is located in Triangle near the intersection of Fuller Heights Road and Windsor Road. Home designs offered in this neighborhood include The Harrison, The Carey, and The Westover. With I-95 less than 3 miles away, residents will enjoy a commute that allows for more time spent shopping and dining at popular destinations such as Dumfries Shopping Center and Dumfries Plaza Shopping Center.

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Icing on the Cake: Finishes That Make Your New Home Shine

We have some exciting news! We have just built our first ever Travis home design in Charlottesville. The Travis was built in Westlake at Foothill Crossing which resides in Crozet, Virginia – just outside of Charlottesville.

Not only is the outside of this home gorgeous, but the inside is just as phenomenal. We worked with Reico Kitchen and Bath to design our kitchen and bathrooms and their finishes came out amazing!

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In the Travis kitchen, there is a combination of two finishes – the darker finish is a stain called Dusk on Maple and the painted finish is Cotton on Maple. Kristol Faucheux, a Design Consultant at Reico told us that both finishes are very popular right now, but the Cotton has always been a classic.

She said, “With grey tones being so trendy right now in home décor and elsewhere, the Dusk finish is definitely becoming more and more desired.”

In the master bathroom, the finish is a stain called Kona on Maple. This finish, which is an Espresso/Wenge looking color, along with the Dusk is also very popular. According to Kristol, new homebuyers are loving the rich look these two darker tones provide.

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As Andre Morrison said from L&L Flooring, “What is demonstrated in the model is the new wave of what homebuyers envision in their homes.”

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L&L Flooring created this gorgeous accent wall in the bathroom seen above. The product is Daltile stacked stone Dynasty Mountain to the ceiling – gorgeous!

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The most amazing area to me in that house was the Wet Bar, with that Gorgeous Woodstone Leather granite for the countertop and full height backsplash. The different colors and patterns will really wow your guests!

Visit our website to find out more about our new homes for sale in Charlottesville and tour our new decorated model homes.

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