Posts Tagged ‘custom builders’

What do Millennials seek in their homes?

January 25th, 2016

What do Millennials seek in their homes? The millennial generation is becoming an increasingly important part of the housing market. According to a 2015 National Association of Realtors study that looked at generational housing trends, Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, comprise the largest segment of the buyer market.

They’re young professionals who prefer a turnkey home that needs little or no work. They are creative, romantic buyers who want to investWhat do Millenials Seek in their homes by Connaughton Construction sweat equity and money over time. They want to put their personal stamp on the property, to add value for the future. Research shows they want sustainable construction, energy efficient homes, smart technology, updated kitchens and baths, open floor plans and home offices.

Sustainable Construction

Millennials seek to have homes that are higher energy efficient than the standard construction methods. A sustainable construction for a millennial combines an integration of the ecological, economical and social balance. These components create cost-shifting opportunities to benefit both the efficiency of the home and the builder’s bottom line.  See Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture.

Millennials seek Energy Efficiency

With energy costs on the rise and growing interest in protecting the environment, young buyers are conscious of buying homes that are green.

Today’s buyers are looking for energy-efficient homes. If the home is not already set up for energy efficiency, the Millenial buyer will factor those costs into their budgets so they can do it after they buy. Millennials are savvy on insulation levels, seasonal energy-efficiency ratios and other energy-efficiency factors.

Smart Technology

Today, buyers want to know about the home’s technology. They want to hear about the local cell service and Internet speed capability.

In some cases, a house’s appeal can be increased or diminished because of the strength of a mobile carrier’s signal or its Internet service provider options. Internet and cell service matters a lot to this generation. They’re going to ask how well the cell signal and internet service is at this location.

Updated Kitchens and Baths

They want to buy a home with new kitchen and new bath fixtures and design. New fixtures are especially important for today’s young, budget-conscious buyers.

The primary reason younger buyers seek updated kitchens and baths is because they have limited budgets. Most of their savings will go toward the down payment and furnishings. Kitchens and bathrooms are also the most expensive parts of a home to update. Young homeowners cannot afford to sink a lot of money into those areas.

While updated kitchens and bathrooms may bring in a younger crowd, remodeling costs should give a seller pause. After all, if those updates aren’t in a young buyer’s budget, they probably aren’t in a seller’s budget either.

Open Floor Plan

The kitchen has become the hangout room along with the family room. An open space that can easily transition from kitchen to TV room is high on the list of the perfect home for young buyers. In essence, the kitchen is the new living room.

Millennials are attracted to an open floor plan, rather than a layout with many small rooms dividing the home, because the younger homeowners entertain. They want people to flow through the home during gatherings, rather than be sectioned off in rooms.

Home Office

More than 13 million Americans work from home. All signs point to that trend continuing, which makes a home office important for many buyers. Home offices have vast appeal and are not just for those who work from home full time. As technology continues to make us more mobile, young buyers have more options than ever to work from home, depending on their job. Having a dedicated space is important because it will help keep them focused and concentrated on work while they are at home on a call, planning a presentation, setting up their workday or simply paying bills.

Connaughton Construction, has over 30 experience implementing many sustainable construction, energy efficiency, smart technology, updated kitchens and baths, open floor plans and home offices.

 Request a FREE Consultation with Connaughton Construction and let the new custom home project begin. Design your story with Connaughton Construction.

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Do you have your own project and need the hand of an experienced custom home builder?

Contact Connaughton Construction to discuss your sustainable construction, energy efficient home, open floor plan, kitchen and bath update, home office design project.

Set up your personal Design Consultation.

If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone, please call John with Connaughton Construction at 781-899-1438 x 14 or  Ellen at x13.

Construction Manager We build from the Ground up

January 10th, 2016

How does Connaughton Construction help you get your dream home to reality? From  the ground up.

The construction process is definitely an art. There are many factors that contribute to the construction of a building. Architects and Construction managers play a vital role in the construction process, and work closely with the building owner. Let’s take a look at the role of the construction manager in the building creation process.

Preconstruction. In the preconstruction phase, the construction manager oversees the building process and works directly with the building owner. We oversee a team of builders, engineers and suppliers or tradesmen.

Three Phases of Design

While the Architect creates the first 2 phases of Design; Schematic Design and Design Development, the third phase where the Construction Drawings are finalized is where the Construction Manager gets involved in the project. We review the final specifications and materials that are detailed in the final drawings and provide estimates of time and cost of the project. Then we build the project.

Meetings. A pre-construction meeting is held with the owner, architect, construction manager, project manager, inspectors, contractors, sub-contractors to plan for the construction process. Here a plan is set for meetings, schedule control, processes, and reports.

Construction. And so it begins. As the ground breaking begins the round of construction, the Construction Manager will be onsite and is responsible for the transport of heavy equipment. We oversee the contract documentation to ensure the contractors have all the necessary permissions, tools and equipment. We make sure everything is of expected quality, on schedule and on budget.

Out of Ground. We begin clearing the site, moving the soil and ground cover and begin construction of the foundation. Again, we continue responsibility for ensuring everything is of expected quality, on time and on budget.

Topping Out.  During this phase the building frame is complete, windows are installed, roof, interior framing, and rough plumbing and electrical begin. We collect all documentation and ensure expected overall project quality, on time and on budget.

Weather Tight. Exterior siding, all doors and windows are installed, lighting, masonry, and the structure is weather and waterproof. Again, we are ensuring everything is of expected quality, on time and on budget.

Ready to Close in. The frame is inspected and the rough electrical is complete. During this stage, as the construction manager we coordinate the work of the interior contractors, furniture deliveries and equipment installers. We also review the documentation for the facility managers to prepare for occupancy.

Finish Stage. We prepare for the drywall, cabinets, carpet and fixtures. We compile all the documentation for the facility manager on behalf of the owner.

In review, Connaughton Construction, as the Construction Manager, we are the organizer and planner who manages the resources to make sure the labor, materials and equipment necessary for the construction process runs as planned.

Our best referrals are from real estate agents and architects. We’ve been building and reconstructing properties from the ground up for over 30 years. Our expertise is in the city of Boston where we know the land, the building requirements, the departments of people who need to get involved in the approval process. We work closely with architects and property owners and with them we have built our reputation as a top quality construction management custom builder. Many satisfied clients are in the heart of the city with high expectations of quality luxury buildings. We’re always ready for the next challenge.

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Connaughton Collection of Custom Kitchens

November 25th, 2015

We are proud to share with you the Connaughton Collection of Custom Kitchens. The kitchen is the heart of any home. It is a room where the family congregates. It’s a space to entertain guests.

The kitchens with marble counters, wood floors, specialized cabinets and clever automation are taking form. There are plenty of kitchen remodeling trends taking shape that will surely be in style come 2016.

Our goal with these projects, as with all our work, is to bring our clients dreams to life.  We invite you to watch the video below to see the collection of Custom Kitchens.

Beauty. Elegance. A sense of Style. These are the words our clients hear from friends and family when they see their new kitchens.

Kitchen Lighting

Good lighting design in a kitchen is a must, as is adequate counter space and rollout shelves. In fact, LED lighting has climbed to the top of kitchen wish lists. Introducing LED lights into your kitchen is a good start, but you also need to create layers of light to make your kitchen feel warm and welcoming while also providing functional task lighting. The best way to do that is to use different types of lights. Connaughton uses recessed lighting over stove areas that take up real estate on an inner most wall of the kitchen where less natural light reaches. Cabinet lights highlight countertops with under cabinet lighting. Pendant lighting over the island add color and style and direct lighting.

White & Gray Kitchen Cabinets

With more and more homeowners going the transitional or modern route, white kitchen cabinets have started to take shape. White is the dominant color for kitchen cabinets in 2015 and most likely, will remain so next year.

Gray is quickly climbing the color ranks as some opt for a more neutral look that can match the rest of the home.

Custom Countertops

One of the more popular kitchen countertop options for 2015 and 2016 is the marble counters. The light color custom cabinets, seen in the image below, and new hardwood flooring are perfectly accented by the white italian, with subtle grey and gold veining, marble countertops by Calacatta.

Many homeowners have taken classic tradition to heart and stuck with the classic black and white look in their kitchen remodels.

Black and white kitchens tend to offset each other and give the kitchen a clean, sleek and visually appealing design. It also benefits from the tension between country and modern. In fact, hardwood floors, offer black and white kitchens an effective counterpoint to sleek cabinet materials.


Connaughton Collection of Custom KitchensFind inspiration for a contemporary kitchen with stainless steel appliances by Thermador and Viking; appliances selected as used by executive chefs around the globe. Oversized side-by-side refrigerator,  a double oven, and a stove with ductless ventilation. The ductless ventilated stove was a solution Connaughton provided as a solution on a building renovation where luxury spaces exist above and below.





One trend that continues to be seen in luxury kitchens is the use of radiant heat. Cold marble and tile floors can be made more inviting with Radiant Floor heating.

Many luxury condominium owners are now designing their custom kitchens with Reclaimed Wood Flooring.


Connaughton Construction has brought the flat screen TV into more kitchens recently. A TV that can be neatly concealed when not in use offers both practicality and elegance.

Custom Kitchen Experts

For homeowners seeking a fresh look, our Bostonian custom kitchen design and build remodeling experts can get you started on the path to create a space with a whole new feel. Transform your kitchen into your dream kitchen and embrace a modern design that will provide efficiency and style for many years to come.

You won’t regret putting in these must-have features, but you’ll probably regret leaving them out, once it’s all finished. Let Connaughton Construction bring your imagination to life! Remodeling your kitchen not only makes one of the most used rooms in the house more lovely, it adds value to your property.

Contact Connaughton Construction today! or Call 781-899-1438, ext. 14 for John.

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About the Author. “Lover of all things digital – writing, SEO, websites – Carol Scalzo is the founder of Hit-the-Web Marketing where she helps businesses create significant, consistent, and valuable pieces of content. You can see more of her work at The Retail Factor, follow her on Twitter, or join her email list for businesses who want to turn their websites into lead generating machines.”

Ten Steps to Zero Energy Home

September 21st, 2015

Ten Steps to Zero Energy Home - Inside a Zero Energy Home - Connaughton ConstructionThe ten steps to zero energy home is a lifestyle change.

1. Energy Audit

After you conduct an energy audit, you are ready for an architect or engineer that can put the plans on paper. The  architect or engineer takes all of the specifications from the energy audit and integrates them into a complete design document. This helps the contractors and subcontractors in making their estimates and completing the work.

From the very beginning, and throughout the retrofitting process, the homeowner, energy consultant, the contractor and the architect or engineer work as a team to make the transition possible.

2. Super Seal the Building

Create an air tight barrier on all six sides of the home. Air tightening the shell of your home; the floors, ceilings, windows, doors, outlets and walls. A blower door test will identify air leaks during the testing. Use transparent caulking while a blower door is running to seal all air leaks. Lowering the Air Changes per Hour to near 2 ACH is a common goal for a full zero net energy remodel.

3. Super Insulate

The building envelope of a house consists of its roof, sub floor, exterior doors, windows and of course the exterior walls. A tight building is preferable in cooler climates.

Adding blown-in ceiling insulation,  floor insulation and basement wall insulation is an easy and relatively inexpensive measure. This is where the R-value matters.

How well insulation works is expressed by its R-value, which measures resistance to the flow of heat. The higher the R-value, the better it insulates per inch of thickness. How much is enough?

The Attic Insulation: The amount of insulation recommended for homes in the northeast is a minimum of R-50 in the attic, which is equivalent to approximately 16″ of fiberglass insulation. Warmer climates only require an R-38 or higher, or about 12″.

Wall Insulation: While wall insulation is limited by the width of the studs, different materials provide higher or lower R-values. Fiberglass batts for standard 2×4 walls are now available in low, medium, and high density products that range from R-11 to R-15. Sprayed foam insulation in the same wall cavity can range from an R-14 to an R-28 depending on the product that is used.

Floor Insulation: While there are additional considerations—such as venting and moisture problems—to take into account when you insulate under floors, the United States Department of Energy recommends an R-25 rating in cold climates and an R-11 in warmer parts of the country.

4. Use Highly Insulated Windows and Doors

Installing U-value storm windows can save up to 20% of the heat lost through the windows. The U-value of a window is the insulation value or measurement. The lower the u-value the better the insulation value of that window.

Low U-value windows for energy efficiency in zero energy homes - Connaughton ConstructionSelecting windows for energy efficiency is easier with the new window technologies available to homeowners, architects and builders. There are three major types of energy flow that occur through windows: (1) non solar heat losses and gains in the form of conduction, convection, and radiation; (2) solar heat gains in the form of radiation; and (3) airflow, both intentional (ventilation) and unintentional (infiltration). The U-value is a measure of the rate of non-solar heat flow through a window or skylight.  Buy lower U-factors windows for reducing heat flow.

5. Use the Sun for Electricity and Hot Water

Installing a solar hot water system or a heat pump hot water heater will reduce hot water costs. Adding low flow showerheads and faucets will help reduce hot water use.

Turning off and unplugging all electronics when not in use. Using energy strips for all electronics will make it easy to disconnect them when not in use.

6. Create an Energy Efficient, Fresh Air Supply and Manage Humidity

Plan for and manage moisture. As you seal up the holes, or insulate crawl spaces you also need to manage the moisture that goes along with insulating. Installing a highly efficient Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) or Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system will help provide fresh filtered air.

In most homes, especially airtight homes, indoor winter humidity should be 30% or below, to avoid possible condensation problems. An HRV helps lower indoor humidity more effectively, when the outside humidity is low. The use of vapor barrier paint on the interior of the sheet rock will help prevent moisture from penetrating the wall assembly. Moving the air regularly with either type of ventilation system will help prevent mold.

7. Use an Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling System

Installing a ductless heat pump mini-split heating and air conditioning system, is very energy efficient and easy to install.

Install programmable thermostats that reduce the heat when you are away and increase heat when you return.

8. Install Energy Efficient Lighting.

For lighting, high efficiency LEDs lightbulbs in light fixtures that get the most use.

9. Select Energy Efficient Appliances and Electronics

All appliances having the Energy Star label have been deemed energy efficient by government standards.

10. Install Smart Meter

A smart meter is the communication gateway between the utility company and the home.

Request a Consultation with Connaughton Construction for your project. Call 781-899-1438, ext. 14 for John. There never was a better time to enjoy your outdoor space.

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Current Project 310 Marlborough Street

September 11th, 2015

Boston’s Back Bay

310 Marlborough St,  formerly a multi-family home with approximately 4,704 square feet, built in 1899. The average list price for Back Bay today is $2,429,400. This is one sought after neighborhood in Boston, ranking as Boston’s Luxury Properties. The panoramic views and exceptional location in the trendy and sophisticated Boston’s Back Bay make residences on Marlborough Street one of the most desirable.

What was once a 7 unit brownstone is under renovation into a single family of four. It’s getting a total overhaul. In this five story frame, we’re reframing all the walls, leveling the floors, new insulation, new lighting and new wiring throughout. We’re implementing new heating, new plumbing, new fire sprinkler system independent of the plumbing system, and new electric. A three-phase electrical is in for the new elevator and electric heat pumps; requiring a new tie-in at the street. Rock wool insulation is going into the entire place; ceiling, walls, stairs, floors. Rock wool insulation is safer, having no formaldehyde, makes it more green, eco-friendly and resistant to fires. In addition to the rock wool insulation, we are installing polyicynene closed cell spray foam at the top floor ceiling and roof and at the front mansard roof; an energy efficient rating of R38.

We are renovating 5 fireplaces with choice of stone, marble and wood, gracing the garden level, the master bedroom, the music room, second floor, and dining room.

Garden Level

Current Project 310 Marlborough - Front and Back Entrances - Connaughton Construction

Garden Level – Radiant Floor Heating Back Garden

At garden level we have a bedroom, bath, storage, 2 large closets, a wet bar, family room with a fireplace, an entrance at the front and back.

Back Entrance (left image) the outside Back Entrance Parking court will have a heated brick driveway versed with an electric radiant floor heating system automatically clearing the snow. The cinder-block dividing wall will be all brick.

Music Room Makeover Inside and Outside

Current Project 310 Marlborough Street - Music Room Main Level - Connaughton Construction

Main Floor – First Level – Music Room

Front Entrance above will take you up the brownstone steps, through mahogany french doors, pass the parlor room, the mahogany library and a music room.

For the music room (top image) makeover we are refinishing the mahogany fireplace, retrimming the bay window and reframing the walls. To bring the fireplace up to code, the chimney flue is getting a new stainless steel liner.

The Bay window is the music room overlooking the parking court.

From the outside (left image) the bay window is getting restored with a new base. The white base is weather resistant PVC trim, soon to be black to match the top.

Hyper Heat Heating and Cooling System

Current Project 310 Marlborough Street - New Sprinkler System - Connaughton Construction

Second Level – New Sprinkler System

The second level houses the gourmet kitchen, a big family room and a dining room with gas log fireplace.

Building closets left and right, installing ductwork shared by the AC and new HVAC with Hyper Heat Heating and Cooling System.

Getting up-to-code with the city requires installation of the new sprinkler system. With the new sprinkler system we’re installing 2″ fire lines from the street separate from the domestic water system.

On-Demand Tankless Hot Water Heater

Cast Iron Plumbing used Throughout - Current Project 310 Marlborough Street - Connaughton Construction

Third Level – Cast Iron Plumbing Throughout

Master suite with separate study at the front with a laundry room.

Plumbing The new plumbing is black cast iron. Water flowing through cast iron piping is quieter than water running through pvc piping.

We are installing 3 new energy efficient gas fired on demand tankless hot water heaters. No tanks means no space needed.

Tankless hot water heaters provide the comfort and convenience of having a continuous supply of hot water. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. Sometimes, even the largest, gas-fired tankless water heater cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. To overcome this problem, we are installing three tankless water heaters.

Fourth Level

Current Project 310 Marlborough Street - Hanging Blueboard on Stilts-Connaughton Construction

Fourth Level – Professionals use stilts to hang blueboard.

The fourth level has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and 3 large closets, 1 of which is cedar.

Professionals use stilts to hang blueboard on the ceiling and walls.

Roof Deck

Current Project 310 Marlborough Street - Roof Deck View of Prudential - Connaughton Construction

Roof Deck – View of Prudential

A new glass roof hatch (middle image) provides access to new outdoor space; the roof deck. Breath-taking view of the Prudential building and eco-friendly Green Roofs. We’re framing with pressure treated wood and high quality, no maintenance Trex composite decking for the flooring.

The large white unit (far left image) is the energy efficient hyper-heat pump(HHP) condenser for heating and cooling. An air handler units is installed on every floor, small enough to fit in the ceiling, and connected to an HHP Condenser. For cooling, the unit blows air across freon cooled pipes, sending out cool air. For heating, the unit blows air across heated coils. The white pipes on the roof top are vent pipes for the water heaters. One is a fresh air in-take, and one exhausts air.

New Elevator with 3 Phase Electrical System

Current Project 310 Marlborough Street - Elevator Shaft - Connaughton Construction

New Elevator

The new elevator shaft is under way. How’s that for making life easy carting groceries, moving furniture, and carrying belongings between levels. A new 3 phase electrical system is in place due to the addition of the elevator and to bring the electrical up to code.

Private elevators is becoming a necessity in residential suburban living where the best use of vertical space is a must.

Current Project 310 Marlborough Street

Request a Consultation with Connaughton Construction for your project. Call 781-899-1438, ext. 14 for John. There never was a better time to enjoy your outdoor space.

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Net Zero Energy Home

July 24th, 2015

Is there a Net Zero Energy Home in your future?

Net Zero Energy Home by Connaughton ConstructionAre you thinking about buying or building a new home? Would you consider buying a home that comes with zero energy bills and zero carbon emissions? A Net Zero Energy Home is so energy-efficient. The sun provides all the energy you will ever need each year. You could be pocketing thousands of dollars in energy savings, while you’re protecting the environment.

What is a Net Zero Energy Home?

A Net Zero Energy Home is a home that produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.

Is a Net Zero Energy Home more expensive?

A Net Zero Energy Home costs about 5-6% more when you utilize all the energy incentives that are available today. They are market comparable and you can get all the luxuries that you normally would expect in a conventional home  as well as having zero energy bills. There are tax incentives and rebates.
A Net Zero Energy Home appraise for more than a conventional home. You’ll want to use a green certified appraiser.
How much does it cost to be connected to the heat grid? There is a $10 a month cost to be connected to the energy grid. At the end of the month, your energy bill is zero. How’s that for those of us who struggle to pay our energy bills every month? A home owner with Net Zero Energy homes are producing more energy then they’re using so they have energy to give folks who are struggling with their winter heating bill. This is an opportunity to help others.

Aside from the Energy Savings What makes a Net Zero Energy Home so desirable?

When you build a Net Zero Energy Home  you integrate a lot of things into the shell and into the interior of the home. It’s well lit. It’s healthy living. It’s well ventilated with fresh air. And at the end of the year your energy bill is zero.
From designers and builders of Net Zero Energy Homes, they will tell you these homes are, from the outside, the same as many other homes. You’ll see the solar thermal collectors, the solar electric collectors on the roof. Once you get inside the home, the exterior walls are quite a bit thicker. The heating and cooling systems are a lot more efficient than your typical system of other homes. Many of the other parts and pieces; the appliances have been specifically chosen for these homes to lower the energy bill to zero as best possible.
To potential buyers of Net Zero Energy Homes. You are insulating yourself from the rise of energy costs. You are protecting your investment. The home will sell for more and it will sell faster on the market. Home owners of Net Zero Energy Homes state they love it because there are no drafts in the middle of winter. Fresh filtered air is circulated continuously. Best of all having zero carbon emissions is healthier for the planet and healthier for future generations.
Conventional homes consume close to 30% of the nation’s energy. That’s a lot of carbon emissions. A Net Zero Energy Home is so achievable. Why not? Why not do this for the environment and our grandchildren? Zero energy bills. Zero carbon emissions and a healthier home.

Zero Energy Homes Raise the Bar for Home Construction

Find a Net Zero Energy Home Builder in the Boston area by Contact Connaughton Construction about Net Zero Energy Homes today! or Call 781-899-1438, ext. 14 for John. There never was a better time for all of us to “think global and act local.”

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