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Go Green Without Spending Much Green

Cathy Green Building

There’s a lot of talk these days about Going Green but how much of it is reasonable and useful to do?  Can we be kinder to the environment and reduce our utility bills without spending too much green to go green?! Due to industry innovation many green technologies have improved in efficiency and come down in price in the last …

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Five Trends We’re Seeing in New Home Design

Cathy Home Design

What are our clients are asking for these days? Here’s a sampling – Lighting Incandescents are going the way of the dinosaurs. CFLs have mercury issues and are, frankly, weird looking. LED is here to stay and it’s getting better every day. We recommend recessed lights that are discreet, provide a choice of warm or cool lighting, are dimmable, and …

A Personal Interest in Every Detail

Cathy Accolades

Fairhaven Homes built our retirement home. From beginning to end, they took a personal interest in every detail of the project. Charlie Little’s experience, attention to detail, and determination to create a quality product made a huge difference. His tradesmen were first class, and Charlie personally oversaw their work. Our house is now completed, and we could not be happier. …

The Journey and the Destination

Cathy Accolades

Our new home was recently completed by Fairhaven Homes and the journey was as enjoyable as the destination. Charlie was receptive and responsive to our concerns and ideas. He holds his contractors to the same high standards he demands of himself and focuses on all the details. He always shared his experience with us and also researched any new ideas …

Best of Loudoun!

Cathy Accolades

Out of dozens of Loudoun County builders, Fairhaven Homes has been named runner-up two years in a row in the Best of Loudoun Leesburg Today poll! Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

A Great Deal of Experience

Cathy Accolades

Charlie has been a dream to work with so far. He has a great deal of experience and builds very “tight” and energy-conservative homes. Prior to hiring him, he personally toured with us several of his most recently finished homes. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the workmanship, and the attention to detail. He also stays abreast of …

Period-Piece Windows

Cathy Custom Home Building, Home Design, The Builder's Wife

The most difficult part for me in this homebuilding process, is pulling the trigger. The recession delayed our building plans, and in the interim our house design has been tweaked and shuffled over and over again. When Charlie asked for my final blessing a few months ago, I panicked. What?! What if we forgot something? What if we change our …

On Time and On Budget

Cathy Accolades

It is a privilege to write a recommendation for Charlie Little and Fairhaven Homes. Charlie was there to help us from the beginning as we were deciding whether to buy our plot of land. We had never custom built a home before, and we had the added complexity of living in Houston but building in Loudoun County, Virginia. From the …

When Do You Need a Home Inspector?

Cathy Custom Home Building, Home Design, Purchasing Property

When one thinks of an inspector, one might picture a private detective unearthing clues that lead to the scene of the crime.  When you hire a home inspector, you’re probably hoping that they will reveal any hidden “crimes” before you invest your money in that just-right home you finally found.  The home inspector cannot guarantee that they will find every …

Advocate and Partner

Cathy Accolades

We built our first house ourselves 33 years ago and I had been dreaming of building another house ever since. Finally, we were going to build our dream house after collecting notes for all those years and working with an architect for the last four years. Since I manage programs for a living and I am a detail-oriented person, my …

Go Green Without Spending Much Green

Cathy Green Building

There’s a lot of talk these days about Going Green but how much of it is reasonable and useful to do?  Can we be kinder to the environment and reduce our utility bills without spending too much green to go green?! Due to industry innovation many green technologies have improved in efficiency and come down in price in the last …

Workmanship and Integrity

Cathy Accolades

“The instant we walked into what is now our new home, we knew that it was the one for us. The quality of the workmanship was incredible! The home inspector we hired said he’d been in the business for almost 30 years and that this house was, if not the best, one of the top five he’d ever inspected. “We …

Satisfied Commercial Partners

Cathy Accolades

“I want to again thank you for all the work that you and your team did in the completion of our organization’s Guest House.” “You were extremely patient with the changes we made during the project. Your team ensured the work area remained clean with limited disruptions to our staff and visitors. You had our best interests in mind, as …

Experience and Pride of Workmanship

Cathy Accolades

“It is a privilege to write a recommendation for Charlie Little and Fairhaven Homes. Our home was completed on budget, several months ahead of schedule, and with a level of quality that exceeded our high expectations. “We explored many options and interviewed many builders over a two year period before choosing Charlie to build our dream home. We couldn’t be …

Excellent Quality, Tireless Effort

Cathy Accolades

“I am very impressed with the incredible attention to detail and quality in my new home. Charlie Little worked tirelessly with me to accommodate everything I wanted, and was a pleasure to work with during the construction process. There have been amazingly few problems during my first year of ownership, and those that did arise were promptly and courteously addressed. …

Attention to Detail, Excellent Customer Service

Cathy Accolades

“We absolutely love our Fairhaven Home. From the wonderful floor plan to all the extra touches that are put into this home – there’s nothing out there we have discovered that comes close to our Fairhaven Home. “Charlie Little’s attention to detail and customer service have made the purchase of our new home one of the most enjoyable experiences. Charlie …

Home Staging

Cathy The Builder's Wife

In the midst of traveling to the builders’ show, and constantly tweaking our new home’s design, we have been continually preparing our current home for the market. In October, we brought in a home staging expert to advise us on making our home more marketable. This gave us plenty of time to schedule painters, carpet cleaners, etc., as well as …

Smart Home Technology

Cathy The Builder's Wife

Some of our favorite attractions at the Builders’ Show were the “smart” home displays. The capabilities they promise cause me to envision a house that the Jetson’s would be at home in – integrated control of lighting, heating, sound, security, etc. Add to that what the future will bring in terms of smart grid technology and green automation capabilities and …

Will the Furniture Fit?

Cathy Custom Home Building, Home Design, The Builder's Wife

We were ready to add furniture to the CAD floor plan to see whether it would fit and how well the rooms would flow. Today, after a short lesson, I was off and running. I went around the house measuring the furniture I wanted, then sat in front of the computer and started plopping pieces into place. Chief Architect is …

Landscaping Thoughts

Cathy The Builder's Wife

Now it’s time to start selecting plants from my current home that I want to take with me. I have many flowers that were given to me by friends and I want to be sure to take samples of each to continue the legacy. When we fixed up the rental we cleaned out and tilled some old flower beds (once …

Dreaming Up a Design

Cathy Custom Home Building, Home Design, The Builder's Wife

It’s time to start devising a plan. We’ve looked at lots of stock plans to get ideas. When we built our current home we used a stock plan but expanded it and rearranged some rooms to better suit our needs. Oftentimes, builders will have a handful of models to choose from, which can also be modified and rearranged. Or, of …

Stone Study

Cathy Home Design, Landscaping, The Builder's Wife

You have probably never had this experience: discussing something with your significant other and assuming that you’re both on the same page, then finding out you each have a very different picture in your head. It was time to build the waterfall for our pond and Charlie asked me what kind of rock I liked. I wanted something with greys, …

Winnowing the Wishlist

Cathy Home Design, The Builder's Wife

We’re starting to consolidate all of our big, new-home ideas to see which ones are really going to work for us. It’s a lot of fun to wish for the moon but we all can’t live in the Biltmore. Time to start setting some reasonable parameters and implementing a little value engineering so we can get the biggest bang for …

A Pond Renovation

Cathy Landscaping, The Builder's Wife

Along with renovating the rental house, we took on the challenge of renovating the aforementioned pond, which was in very bad health when we purchased our property. It didn’t look too bad in the winter but when the weather is warm it becomes thick with green, mucky algae. All the fish actually died last summer because it was so poorly …

A Good Diversion

Cathy Custom Home Building, Home Design, The Builder's Wife

Well, Princess is now settled in her dorm and beginning her college adventure. I’m glad you can’t see tear stains on a computer screen. I’m also glad that I have a wise husband who encouraged me to immerse myself in building our next house in order to take my mind off this empty nest. So I will immerse myself into …

Life’s Little Challenges

Cathy The Builder's Wife

June was a tough month. Have I told you about our renters? Well, they decided that they couldn’t keep up with the rent so they moved out rather suddenly. They left behind them a pig sty. When we bought the property we took a tour of the house, but they did a pretty good job of covering up a lot …

Diamond in the Rough

Cathy The Builder's Wife

The reason our new property was such a bargain is that it’s hard at first glance to realize its value. There are numerous outbuildings of all shapes and sizes scattered about the property as well as an old split foyer rental home, not to mention a lot of trash and a sickly pond. The easements call for a road down …

The Property Hunt

Cathy Purchasing Property, The Builder's Wife

So, how do we get started on this new endeavor? Well, we asked our realtor to provide us with property listings with the parameters we were looking for. We’re familiar with most of the available land in western Loudoun County so it was easy to winnow the list and to know what properties we might be interested in. We searched …

The Builder’s Wife – A Day in the Life

Cathy The Builder's Wife

So the builder and his wife (me) want to put our skills to use on our own new home. We’ve had 15 lovely years in our current home (that we built) but it’s time to downsize now that the girls are heading off to college, and for that same reason I need a project to hold empty nest syndrome at …

End of Incandescence Part 2

Cathy Green Building

Not long ago while in the midst of a million-dollar custom-home-building project, it was time to address questions of wiring and lighting with my clients and time to consult with my master electrician about the options available. I assumed that I would continue working with the same lighting supplier I had always done business with—and that I would, by now, …

End of Incandescence Part 1

Cathy Green Building

by Maureen Hannan Adams and Charlie Little The incandescent light bulb is as familiar to us all as the yellow number-two pencil. Or as the chrome pop-up toaster.toaster The familiar shape of the light bulb is burned into our brains: the icon for bright new ideas, the symbol of innovation and sudden awareness. As a home builder, though, I suddenly …

How Much Green?

Cathy Green Building

WHAT LEVEL OF GREEN DO YOU WANT TO BE? I recently attended a Green conference offered by one of my suppliers. The speakers ranged from environmental groups all the way to a lumber supplier trying to rebrand themselves as a renewable resource. One of the speakers was an architect out of Texas. He talked about the three levels of Green …