Author Archives: nhardin

Top 10 Reasons Home Buyers Prefer New Homes vs. Used

Here’s a quick list of the Top 10 reasons why so many home buyers prefer new homes to used houses:

1) Design Your Dream Home Your Way: Why settle for someone else’s choices when you can select your favorite cabinets, countertops, appliances, carpets and flooring? While you’re at it, you can choose gorgeous bath and kitchen fixtures, lighting and other options that you love. Your new home will reflect your style, not someone else’s taste.

2) Choose a Floor Plan and Room Layout that Meets Your Needs: Want a master bedroom on the first floor? It’s yours. With massive his and her’s walk-in closets? Done! Want high ceilings and a luxurious, resort-style master bath? Perhaps you’d like a sitting room with a fireplace in your owner’s suite or French doors that open to your private patio or the pool? It’s easy, when you build your master suite your way.

3) All New, Under Warranty: A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances, countertops or a water heater on a used home? Those components of your new home feature the latest designs and building materials and should offer you years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.

4) Energy and Cost Savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago. Versus homes built ten or 20 years ago, it’s game over, advantage new.Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double or even triple-pane windows. Special window coatings and inert gases between the layers of glass are often available, saving you even more energy and money in both heating and cooling season.

5) Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, draft-free comfort and higher indoor air quality.

6) Low Maintenance: New cars today are computer-designed and computer-equipped. That’s why they perform much more reliably than a car that’s 15 or 20 years old. Homes are the same. Today’s new homes have open floor plans and high ceilings that reflect the way we live today. They’re also made of cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance. Another plus? The latest building systems and components are designed and engineered to work together.

7) Community Amenities: Many new homes are built in lavish master-planned communities with resort-style community centers, pools and clubhouses. Many new home communities also feature hiking trails, protected open lands and some of the best new schools and shopping near (or even within) your new home community.

8) Advanced Technology and Design: It’s possible to replace all of the single-pane windows in a resale home with today’s high-performance windows. It’s also possible to add insulation to a used home. However, it’s very expensive to replace dated appliances, cabinets and countertops in a used home — and you still won’t have the high ceilings you dream of on the first floor of an older two-story home. All are reasons to build your new home your way, to reflect the way you live today.

9) Safety: State-of-the-art circuit breakers. Electric garage door openers with infrared beams that stop if a tricycle or child is too near. High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners that use the latest environmentally-friendly coolants. Cabinets, carpets and paints that use fewer volatile organic compounds, so that you and your family can breathe easier.

10) That New Home Feel: A used home was someone else’s dream, not yours. It reflects their choices and family memories. You may learn to love avocado-green appliances (and you may be willing to scrub stained countertops or grease-encrusted ovens and cooktops) but more and more people prefer that never lived-in feel.

After all, when was the last time you went to a department store and selected used clothes? Or visited a car dealer and paid more for a used car than a new car?

New homes offer the latest designs, style, comfort and quality. They provide a care-free lifestyle so that you can enjoy your home, not work on it. Start shopping now on, the world’s largest and most complete new home website. You’ll be glad you did.

Source: Jay McKenzie via

Chicago’s Iconic Skyscrapers

The cradle of modern architectureChicago is known for its spectacular skyline. In the United States, it’s second only to New York City in the number of buildings rising taller than 500 feet. Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City graces the cover of Wilco’sYankee Hotel Foxtrot; the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Building)was the tallest in the world until the Petronas towers were built in 1998; the Crain Communications Building was a set in the 1980s cult-classic Adventures in Babysitting. British artist Al Boardman recently created an animated film celebrating the city’s most-iconic buildings. “Creating a short video about just five great buildings is doing this city a massive disservice, as there are many and this is simply my thoughts,” writes Boardman on his site. Catch the video below.

Chicago – Five Great Buildings from Al Boardman on Vimeo.

For more adventures in residential architecture. – The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust presents Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago—a new bus tour featuring exterior interpretations and interior tours of the world-renowned architect’s most famous Chicago designs. Get more information here.

Main Story Credits: Diana Budds via DWELL

DIY or Hire a Professional?

Reality home improvement shows and publications are making Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects quite popular. For some, a small DIY project can be rewarding and fun – if you are prepared and have the proper skills. For others, the “reality” may be far from entertaining and may lead to frustration and inconvenience.

    Before you start knocking down walls and buying books about wiring, let’s explore the
    following questions:

  • Do you have a clear idea of what you want your project to look like?
  • Do you have the time to complete this project?
  • Do you know everything you will need (materials, tools, etc.) to complete the project?
  • Are you familiar with building codes and the permit process?
  • Do you enjoy physical labor?
  • Do you have all the tools you will need?
  • Do you have the necessary skills for this project? If not, do you have the time and
    resources to learn these skills?
  • Do you know where to purchase the necessary materials?
  • What if the project takes longer than originally expected? Are you (and your family) prepared to handle the resulting inconvenience?
  • Will you need assistance with this project? If so, who will assist you?
  • Do they have the time and skills required for this project?
  • What about safety? Do you understand all the safety issues associated with this project?
  • Are you familiar with the architecture and structural makeup of your home (i.e., which walls are load bearing and how knocking down one wall will affect the rest of the

    • Consider the hidden costs in the time and tools associated with doing it yourself. It is
      possible that you may actually decrease the value of your house if the result isn’t up to
      professional standards.

      It’s easy to look at the cost of hiring a professional remodeler thinking only about labor and materials. But remember that a professional remodeler offers an important service – years of experience, the right tools, a network of suppliers and subcontractors, an in-depth
      understanding of building codes, regulations, cost estimating, scheduling, and the latest
      construction techniques.

      Hardin Builders, Inc. has delighted homeowners who have entrusted us to build or remodel their dream home. Our passion is to create distinctive luxury homes that reflect the
      individual character and lifestyle of each owner. We are committed to making your home-building and remodeling experience rewarding and flawless. It is our goal to be your
      homebuilder for life.

      Have more questions? We’re here to help. Leave a comment or Contact Us.

Hardin Builders Website Wins SAMMY Award

Hardin Builders has an award-winning website!

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago – HBAGC hosts an annual event to present the Key Awards and SAMMY Awards, honoring the best in the Chicago real estate business. The event was held on November 15, 2013, in Rolling Meadows, IL. The HBAGC presented the Key Awards of GOLD, SILVER and CRYSTAL to builders who have shown excellence in home building or remodeling. These awards, in their 41st year, are the highest honor industry participants can receive.

The board also presented SAMMY Awards for excellence in real estate marketing and website design, one of them to Brandit360, the designer and web developer of Hardin Builders, Inc., website!

Brandit360 won two awards for website design for two Chicago area home builders this year. Congrats to all Key and SAMMY Award winners! Special thanks to Brandit360 for our great website!

Architecture in Chicago

Hardin Builders, Inc. invites you to check out a local event.

How many times have you driven by “that” house, and wondered what’s inside? Find out on Saturday October 5, 2013, when some of Chicago’s most creative homeowners, architects and designers are opening their doors to you as part of the 2013 Modern Home Tour!

What’s a MODERN home? They’ve scoured the area and had creative homeowners, designers, architects and builders submit some of the most interesting Chicago residences. They’ve curated them to ensure a well-balanced tour featuring the most cutting-edge contemporary design that takes advantage of the
stunning landscape.

WHEN: Saturday October 5, 2013 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Purchase advance tickets for $30 to get into all of the homes on the tour. Advance tickets are on sale until 8:00 pm on Friday October 4. Day of event tickets will be available at any of the tour properties beginning at 11:00 am on October 5 for $40 each. Advance tickets may be picked up at specified will call locations (3 of the homes on the tour) beginning at 11:00 am on October 5.

For information click here!

After the tour,  contact Hardin Builders, Inc. to start building your dream home today!

Construction News

Rebound in commercial construction should lift up steel industry

Steel gets put into ship hulls, wind turbines and paint cans, but one of its biggest end uses is in construction.

Construction accounted for 40 percent of the market for steel last year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

But the construction industry’s demand for steel has been soft lately. The economic downturn caused construction projects to screech to a halt and bankers to get stingy with financing for new development over the last few years. Cash-strapped governments cut back on road and bridge construction. Few banks, strip malls and warehouses were built.

New construction is finally picking back up, at least in Northwest Indiana and Chicago’s south suburbs. More than 700,000 square feet of new industrial space is under construction in Lake and Porter counties, which is the highest amount since 2007, when about 1.2 million square feet was being built, said Craig Hurvitz, director of research for real estate firm NAI Hiffman.

Nearly 380,000 square feet of new retail space was under construction in Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs at the end of last year, as compared to about 37,000 square feet just six months earlier, according to Colliers International.

The steel industry needs construction to turn around to get out of its slump, said Charles Bradford, a New York-based steel analyst.

“The biggest market for steel is non-residential construction,” Bradford said. “That’s highways, schools and shopping centers.”

Nationally, non-residential construction reached $560 billion in July, up from $543 billion in January, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That spending has fallen off sharply from a recent peak of $719 billion in October 2008.

Local steel mills, including U.S. Steel Gary Works and ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago, serve the construction industry, as well as the automotive, appliance and canning sectors.

Construction projects have started to pick up in Northwest Indiana and in the south suburbs, said William Hasse III, president of Hasse Construction in Calumet City.

More road construction is taking place, and the commercial activity is the strongest it has been since 2007, Hasse said. Retail, health care and senior housing projects are coming back.

“It’s probably at 75 percent of what it had been in 2006 and 2007, when it was running at a record pace,” he said.

Businesses again are looking at growing or updating older facilities, Hasse said. Developers also have brought back projects that were mothballed during the downturn, including the $112 million Shops on Main in Schererville.

Crown Point-based Scott Steel Services will install about 350 tons of structural steel in the new shopping center, or about seven times as much as goes into the average strip mall.

“It’s a good-sized specialty center,” President Robert Scott said. “It’s big, especially since retail dropped off dramatically.”

Other major construction projects that are underway include a new 350,000-square-foot cutting-equipment facility Urschel Laboratories is building in Chesterton and a 115,000-square-foot distribution center Dawn Food Products is constructing in Merrillville. Heavy-equipment parts distributor ITR America LLC is pursuing a $6.4 million expansion of its Hobart headquarters, and cold-storage distributor Hanson Logistics is pumping $11 million into its Hobart warehouse.

Visit Hardin Builders, Inc on Twitter, chat with Neil Hardin about your next commercial project.

Source – Joseph S. Pete