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A person on a roof

Why Residential Solar Panels Are Great Choice


If you’re looking for a home upgrade that can add resale value to your home while paying itself off over time, look no further than a solar panel setup. In the past few years, the cost of installing residential solar has declined while the efficiency of the panels has increased. This combination has made home solar one of the best investments that a homeowner can make – provided they live in an area that receives a good deal of sunshine.

DIY Outdoor Sofa

This DIY sofa is gorgeous!  Shoutout to HomeMadeModern  who featured this lovely project! They made this sofa with basic power tools and did it just under 5 hours. Couch was made with 4x8s, 2x8s, and some outdoor sofa cushions which they bought from their local outlet store. Made from solid wood with a grey Minwax wood stain finish this piece will fit any outdoor patio! Give it a shot today and click the link above to watch the complete project from start to finish.  Good luck.

A printed floor plan

The Best Way to Find the Right Home Builder and House Plan for Your New Home Build


We’ve been asked on several occasions what’s the best way to find the right house plan for our needs? What an excellent question! From our experience and expertise over the last 30+ years we’ve got some key points to help you narrow down what you actually need to focus on for picking a successful house plan and creating that perfect new home build.  

A room with brick walls

To Buy and Renovate an Existing Home or To Build….What’s Your Vision


To renovate or to build is a burning question for most people looking to make the right investment move for their future. This question really comes down to where you currently are in life and where you want to be.  Some people are seeing their money going out the door by renting and this is exactly what will happen, but if you do some soul-searching about what your true life goals are map out your vision you will easily come to a definitive answer as to which way you should go.

We all know a home is the single largest investment that a person makes.  Location, price, market trends, property specifics and the condition of the property are all factors to consider when deciding to dump more money into the home you own or when buying one on the market to renovate. In this case you will not only have to be practical and realistic as to your end-goal keeping in mind to think like an end-buyer and plan to upgrade to a market-friendly, breathtaking finished product that will last for years to come. Weighing all the costs and all of the soon to be future replacements that you may incur while you are still in the home like possibly a new roof, water tank or upgrade to air conditioning on the furnace…etc. compare these costs to a new build that will have essentially no headaches for years to come.

Yes, this seems a little overwhelming but let us help you break this down a little further so you can make an educated decision:

Custom Homes by Togo

Here at Togo Custom Homes you will only get top-notch, exceptional quality craftsmanship!  Our homes are tailor made to suit your needs, lifestyle and the area in which you find your lot.  One of the most important things in Custom Home Building is planning.  Without proper planning execution will not go well. You will be frustrated and you will waste a lot of money.  So do your due diligence when you are looking for a Home Builder. If we happen to service your area don't hesitate to give us a call and learn more about our services. You will be extremely pleased with our process and the finished product, guaranteed!
A Marmoleum surface

The Primary Benefits of Using Marmoleum Flooring


Marmoleum is true Linoleum that is all natural – providing a healthy indoor environment. Marmoleum is a natural flooring material made with natural ingredients. It’s one of the few flooring products made almost entirely from natural raw materials – it’s composed of linseed oil (from flax seed), rosins (from pine) and wood flour (a waste produced by the lumber industry), all calendered onto a natural jute backing. The colors are made

Are you a homeowner who is searching for ways to make your home a bit more eco-friendly? Equipping your home with “green” improvements can save a substantial amount of energy and money, especially over the long term. In today’s post we’ll explore a few projects that handy do-it-yourselfers can undertake in order to make a home a bit friendlier to the local environment.
#1: Focus on the Windows

Depending upon the time of year, windows have an impact on both heating and cooling costs. In the summer, older windows can drastically heat up a home causing cooling costs to skyrocket. In the winter, older windows can leak cold air within the home and let out the heat, which causes the heating costs to rise as well.

A simple replacement of older windows can save a homeowner as much as 30 percent on annual energy costs, as newer windows are more efficient at insulating the home against the weather conditions outside. Combining a window upgrade with other energy-related changes can lead to even greater savings. For example, consider installing a ceiling fan in rooms that are generally occupied – such as the living room or family room – as these can circulate cool and warm air and help to reduce energy use.

During the colder months, use as much solar heating as possible. Open up curtains, and trim trees to allow for natural light to enter the home. The sun heats up the home through radiant heating, which is an effective and essentially free source of energy.

#2: Improve Your Insulation

A home that is properly insulated will help to preserve its heat and cool air. Heat can leak out from the home through cracks, but it can also occur through convection heating. The air within the home will eventually cool down from a steady decline of heat when the heat is transferred outside through the walls.

Beyond hot and cool air leaking out from the home, each room within the home can indirectly influence the temperature in adjoining rooms. This is especially true for the garage and any room that shares common walls. By using insulation in the garage, the home may cool down by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

#3: Install Smart Thermostats

Some green options simply mean a change in which type of appliances are used. In terms of a thermostat, a “smart” one like the Nest Thermostat can be installed. Use of one can cut energy costs by 20 percent, at minimum, by simply adjusting to the homeowners’ schedule.

We hope these little tips help you as you consider making your home a little more eco-friendly.  Check back with us here at Togo Custom Homes for ongoing energy-efficient tips, DIY projects and be sure to take a look at our new home build projects.  When you are ready to build or even renovate let us help create for you an eco-friendly home that reduces your carbon footprint, helps sustain our natural resources, and saves money on your energy bills…..a complete Win-Win for us all! Live life naturally!

A living room next to a dining area

Kitchen Remodel Must Do’s


When tackling a kitchen remodel it can be very overwhelming without the professionals to guide you through the steps needed for success. With all of the material choices and layout options possible many get burnt out on figuring out the best concept for the kitchen space before they even get truly started. A kitchen is the major heart of the home where family gatherings take place and entertaining is key!

Here are 7 Must Do’s for a Kitchen Remodel:


During any major remodel be sure to take care of any problems with the infrastructure issues within your electrical and plumbing areas. Add more outlets or change from a single fan layout to recessed lighting for additional lights. Fix the leaky pipes or even ready to go outdated piping systems to be sure you don’t have to deal with problems down the road giving you peace of mind and better resell value and inspection passing down the road at a resell.


Open up the space if you can with your layout making the area a more practical and functioning space. Many older homes feel claustrophobic and are very uninviting. Be sure to take advantage of the remodel process and be sure to make the layout flow work best for any size family, adding more light, space and functionality.


Flooring in a kitchen remodel is key, especially since the kitchen is where most people congregate and preparing meals can be long and tedious where your legs will definitely feel it! When picking a flooring we highly suggest you consider flooring designed to provide cushioning and comfort for standing, easing the strain on backs and joints.

Cork, linoleum, bamboo and even rubber are surprising choices that will provide stylish looks as well as a softer, more resilient surface on which to stand and work.


Renovating a kitchen couldn’t be more fun when it comes to shopping for appliances. Although this task can be exhausting if doing alone, you will be able to make it through by simply mapping out a plan and narrowing down what you are truly looking for. When getting started you will want to ask your Contractor what sizes you have to work with within the layout plan of your design. After you map out the sizes I highly suggest you consider the energy efficiency of the appliances. You will want to get those that are energy star rated, have the space capacity that you are in need of for your family and those that look like they will stand the test of time within a resell value market. I tend to love the stainless steel appliances…they are a beautiful eye-catching piece that will stand the test of time.


The choice of styles, materials and finishes in faucets are nearly unlimited and what a blessing that is for homeowners wanting to put a little sizzle and style into their kitchen. Newer features such as high arc design, no touch operation and pull out spray add convenience and practicality to the kitchen sink that make a huge difference. Love the new styles that are out there with the Nickel finish. You can’t go wrong with Nickel for it tends to always be in style.


Lighting, I can’t say enough about the importance of lighting in a kitchen! When deciding upon your lighting you want to make sure all of your counter spaces and eating area over the table offer a great deal of light. This is one of the things people tend to not plan for enough and they find themselves calling in an Electrician after the fact to install more lighting down the road. I suggest 5 to 6 recessed lights minimum on the ceiling on an average kitchen (10×10) along with pendent lights over any island or sink area space and under cabinet lights to easily display lighting on your work areas.


Counters and cabinets in a kitchen remodel are key to really showing off the space. You will want to choose solid wood cabinets with a color choice that brightens up your kitchen as opposed to darkening it further, especially in tight spaces. With all of the choices out there you will be sure to find the right one for your taste. As to countertops granite is a choice to highly consider if your budget allows. The rich natural look and feel of granite make a major difference in any kitchen space. If your budget doesn’t allow for granite another nice option that is easy to clean and take care of is Quartz and/or Laminate. Be sure to choose the color scheme that brightens up the kitchen and doesn’t dull it down.

Even though a kitchen remodel can be overwhelming be sure to rely on the professionals you hire to help walk you through the choices. Here at Togo Custom Homes we can assist you in this area as we build your home or remodel your existing kitchen. We will help you make your space more functional and increase the marketability and value of your home.

A house under construction

Tips for Picking a Lot To Build Your New Home


When selecting a lot to build on for your new home many things come into play.  The key, however to stay focused on is location, location, location!  You should focus on a lot that is close to great amenities like grocery stores, malls and civilization! I had to throw that one in there because believe it or not I have come across many people trying to resell a home years down the road that did not think things through when building or buying their house….and this is exactly why it sits on the market for a very long time. Again, location, location, location is key!

Since picking a lot is a bit overwhelming and difficult at times let me layout 7 great tips to help you chose the best lot to build your new home on.

7 Tips for Picking a Lot to Build Your New House On

  • Run from choosing a lot on or near a busy road.  It will cause you great headaches with noise distractions, resell value and getting in and out of your home safely.
  • Choose the direction the front of your house will face wisely.  Consider weather conditions, snow, drainage, icy driveways, direct sunlight heat..etc.  All of these items can have costly consequences such as more sun means more high air conditioning bills, improper drainage of snowy weather conditions or icy driveways means hiring snow removal company or fighting it yourself every winter causing you not just money but time.
  • Stay away from strange shaped lots.
  • Be careful buying a house that’s next to a vacant lot outside of a development plan. You may get your dream home and get settled in, enjoy the view and then the vacant lot is sold and a crazy build plan is set right next to yours covering your beautiful view and moving in with 10 dogs, 25 kids and a pet snake…just saying!
  • Don’t by a lot with a steep slope.
  • Take a hard look at corner lots or cul-de-sacs.  Although these type of lot locations can be nice because you can obtain a bigger backyard and a side yard, only one neighbor on one side, and possibly spectacular views you’ll need to consider heavy traffic use, noise and safety for you pulling out of your home and for your kids playing.
  • Take a look at the history of the lot and make sure there are no environmental concerns cost you in setbacks and money.
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