What Are Solar-powered Roofs?

solar powered roofSolar power is a big topic for many people concerned with their carbon footprint and use (or misuse) of energy in their homes. Some people have opted to have solar panels installed in their homes to combat the energy crisis and virtually eliminate their power bill every month. A popular spot for these solar panels is on the rooftops of houses. So what exactly are solar-powered roofs, and what does one get from having them installed?

When we think of solar panels, it's almost guaranteed that we think of those big flashy metal looking panels that take up a ton of space. In some movies, they're even shown to take up acres and acres of field land, just with some large, gray panels! Well, when it comes to having solar-powered roofing, it's not quite the same. Having large solar panels installed on the top of a home's roof could easily lead to problems with the roof supporting their weight, so solar shingles were introduced. These shingles are specifically designed to look just like any ordinary roofing material, but they hide a superpower. That superpower is solar energy!

One of the best parts of these solar shingles is that you don't need to cover your entire roof with them for it to be effective. It's been reported that roughly 350 solar shingles on one roof can cut the home's energy bill between 40-60%! The shingles have also become more affordable since being introduced back in 2005. Now they're even more improved and come with a more consumer-friendly price-tag. There are also quite a few states that offer incentives in having these solar shingles installed, which can significantly cut the installation cost.

Once all is said and done and installed, your new solar-powered roof brings you literal light into your life. A lower energy bill that will be noticeable immediately and throughout the years you live under your solar-powered roof. It also comes with the peace of mind that your home mostly runs on a renewable source of energy, and your carbon footprint is decreasing by the day.



The Scoop on 3d Printed Homes

3D printing has created a buzz since the mid-2000s, but 3D printed homes may be the future of architecture thanks to low costs, high quality, unlimited customizations, and an unbelievable amount of time-saving. 

3d printed homes florida

How It Works

The printer starts building from the ground up, creating the walls and floors by churning out layers of concrete, which is completed in a day or less. A conventional roof, doors, windows, and utilities can be installed a day later. Most of the process is automated, including mixing the materials, and there’s almost zero waste. Houses are printed for under $10,000, safe and built up to code.

The Sky’s the Limit

If you take a look at some of the 3D printed houses, you'll see a range of uniquely modern buildings. 3D printing has fewer structural limitations which allow for more creativity in design. They can create any shape and combine any number of materials. You could print around home or Dali inspired spiral staircase-shaped casa if you so desire. 

A large, futuristic office building was erected in Dubai for $140,000, which is quite a bit less than the average price tag for a basic home in America. It only took 17 days to print. It also eliminated the notorious labor abuse, which is prevalent in the UAE.

Saving the World

For those living in areas that have been affected by or leveled due to storms, 3D home printing is nothing short of a miracle. The home’s cement mixture can be made to withstand extreme weather conditions and endure power loss. Instead of being relegated to tents and lean-to’s, people have access to real, quality housing for under $4000. 

3D printing for homes is the housing of tomorrow – today.


3 Smart Home Devices for a New Home

smart home floridaWe are five months into the new year, and there are already many lists for the "Best Of ____ in 2019". This one is going to be no different besides the fact that it might be beneficial to you! Have you recently moved into a new place or purchased a new home? Is everything up to modern standards? How would you like to make your home life just a little bit easier? Maybe now is the time for you to upgrade your new home with some new smart home devices! But with so many gadgets to choose from, how do you know which ones are the best? Look no further because here you will find the top 3 smart home devices for your new home in 2019!

  1. Everyone knows her by name, just a simple first name and you can get so much accomplished. Of course, we're talking about Alexa by Amazon. This ultra-efficient A.I. can help with the simplest of tasks such as changing a song on a playlist to ordering dinner for a family of 4 in a matter of seconds. With the Amazon Echo, you can talk to Alexa and do the tasks mentioned and more all with just the sound of your voice. 
  2. Smart home surveillance cameras are another great addition to add to your home to make sure everything stays as it should when you're away. Whether you want to check up on your pets to make sure they're not up to any mischief, or you're worried about a possible break-in while away longer than usual; a security system such as those available from iSmartAlarm DIY Security System will keep you updated in live time of what's happening. Besides just the cameras, having a smart security system in your home could save you a lot of hassle in the long run. 
  3. Having issues with your power bill? Maybe one month it's pretty low and, and the next month it skyrockets, and you don't know why. With a smart heating and cooling system, these issues can quickly become one of the past. Companies like Nest have created thermostats that read their owners and adapt their settings to their needs over a learned period. It can also be controlled wirelessly from a phone, tablet, or PC. 

With these smart additions in your new home, you're sure to continue the trend of smart home living. You should feel at ease and get the most out of your relaxation time at home. As smart home devices advance, so will the comfort level in your home. Get upgrading those devices today!



What is a Florida General Contractor?

Florida is a trendy spot for all kinds of people looking to live out their best lives. What is a Florida General Contractor? Part of what makes Florida so popular is all the different things to do and experience here. A lot of what goes into that is the people that help bring it from an idea to a physical building or structure, turning someone's dreams into a reality. To make those dreams happen, the use of a general contractor is more than likely going to be needed in some way, shape, or form. So what exactly is a Florida general contractor and what do they do? Find the answer to that and a few other inquiries of what it takes to be a general contractor in the Sunshine State.

To take it from the literal definition; a general contractor is someone who provides all their own materials, crew, equipment, etc. for a construction job. Florida offers two options for general contractors licenses: a certified license, which is one that covers the entire state or a registered license, which is one that includes their general jurisdiction. Whichever one it is, it will be reviewed by the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board and overseen by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

There is a lot that goes into becoming a general contractor in the state of Florida. It's not just setting up an appointment with the DBPR and signing a few papers. Here is a list of requirements of potential contractors looking to be fully licensed in Florida:

  • Be of legal age, 18+.
  • Provide proof of credit score (must be 660 or over). If the score is lower, the applicant must purchase a surety bond.
  • Comply with electronic fingerprint scanning. This aids in a background check upon hiring for various jobs throughout the county or state.
  • Must pass a Florida State Construction Examination.
  • Has to provide proof of general liability and property damage insurance.
  • Must also provide proof of workers' compensation insurance.

Whether it's building, residential, or general contracting, Florida has the same license validation process for them all. Keep in mind that it takes years for contractors to get to the point of becoming a business owner themselves and taking on even bigger jobs. It is safe to say that those properly licensed as general contractors in the state of Florida, like RJ Builders, know what they are doing and should be proud of their craft.


3 Big Questions When Building in Florida.

Starting the path to being in your dream home can be a long one. Building a home in Florida.  It's best to be prepared and know what you want when you start, rather than to pick up pieces along the way. Building a new home can raise a lot of questions too, and it's important to figure out the essentials right away. When it comes to building a house in Florida, what are some of the most pressing questions you should have before breaking ground? Here we will go over the top 3 things you should ask before putting those blueprints into reality.

1. What can you afford?
This is probably one of the most important questions to start the building process. Going over your plans with various contractors and home builders before you decide is critical. You shouldn't go to one and be done unless you know for sure it's exactly what you want. It's a better idea to get quotes and get a feel for the person(s) that will be the ones constructing your dream home. Because remember, you have to live where - they only have to build it. The cost plays a big factor because constructing a new house from the ground up is a lot different than purchasing a pre-built model and setting it on the property. Also, credit scores and loans will come into play here, so it's best to have those things in order before getting started.

2. Where/What can you build?
Since Florida is a pretty wet state thanks to rain, many lakes, and the beaches; it's essential to know about the land you'll be building on. If you have dreams of a large basement, this can be impossible in almost all of Florida. This is because, during construction, it doesn't take long to hit water or in some cases, natural minerals like limestone. The water table is too high to have anything more than a small crawl space in Florida, especially in South Florida. It would create too much moisture and eventually leave you with more repairs to fix than anything.

3. How much time are you allowing?
If your blueprints are large and extravagant, prepare to be waiting some time to have that dream home entirely constructed. As stated before, it's a much different process than to purchase an already built house. You are working from the ground up which means everything will be new and you'll be the first to use it, but it also means it will take a lot more time to make sure everything is perfect and to your liking. Throughout Florida are, various codes and regulations that need to be met that vary from county to county. Wherever you are building, be sure to do your homework as to how long it takes permits and the like to be approved and pushed through. That way you're not in a pickle because the process is a few months past what you thought it would be. This allows you to make sure you're still living in a comfortable state before finally moving into your dream home.

Florida is a beautiful place to build a home and live peacefully. Making sure your priorities are in order before breaking ground will ensure you have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming construction months. Keeping these main questions in the back of your head will put you on that path to making your dream home a reality.

RJ Builders can help you with every aspect of building your home in Florida, contact our team today. 

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