The Simmons Homes Blog

The Simmons Homes Blog

Earth, Wind & Sun – Which Direction Should Your New Home Face?

Categories: Homebuying | Posted: July 20, 2017 | No Comments »

Once you’ve decided to build on your lot, it’s time to decide how to position your home on the property. Siting is critical to making the most of the homesite’s positive features. Factor in these considerations when siting your home.

Sun

A lot that faces north-to-south in relation to the street enables you to site your home facing the road and capture the desirable southern light. If your home will be located in a region of warm climates, you might prefer more windows on the north side, to avoid too much heat from the sun.

With an east-west facing lot, you’ll position your home to get the more abundant southern light. With the front of your home not facing the street, you’ll have some choices to make about the entry.

By carefully planning the window placement, you can harness the sunlight to conserve energy.

Soil

What type of earth will you be excavating? The difference between solid rock and sandy soil (and everything in the middle) will affect your bottom line for excavation, foundation, and drainage. The type of soil can vary from neighboring homesites, and even within your own property lines. Even an experienced builder can unearth surprises when the excavation begins, so keep this in mind when estimating your construction budget.

Slope

Is your homesite flat or sloped? Property with an incline is beneficial if you plan on including a walk-out basement, but it comes with a cost, depending on the steepness of the slope. When you site a home on a slope, you will need to determine how the drainage will be engineered. Pumping sewage and drainage uphill is more costly than the other direction; however, if you live in an area with heavy rains, you don’t want the water rushing to your basement.

Wind

How does the wind impact your property? Where does it hit with the most strength? Winter winds normally come from the north. Position your home to avoid the strongest gusts—particularly with relation to outdoor living spaces and structures—and plan to add trees and tall hedges as windbreakers.

Your architect and engineer work with you to achieve energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, and curb appeal.

Save BIG on a new home during the Summer Sales Event!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 13, 2017 | No Comments »

Take advantage of THE best prices of the year during the Simmons Homes Summer Sales Event!

Through July 31, save $14,000 on select Move-In Ready Homes in Bixby. Featured designer-selected homes in THREE popular Bixby communities are eligible: Providence Hills, White Hawk Golf Villas and Willow Creek. All homes are complete and available for quick move-in.

Buyers can also receive an incentive package up to $8,000 when they build a new home in ANY Simmons community, when financing with our preferred lender.

Don’t wait, with prices like this – these limited opportunities are sure to go fast. Call 918-212-8797 today to schedule a tour or for additional details.

Qualifying Homes for $14,000 Incentive are listed below. Click on the neighborhood name to view more pictures and home information for each property.

Providence Hills | 131st St. S. and Harvard

  • 13234 S. 20th St. | 3 Bed, 2.5 Bath, 2,827 sq. ft. | $289,950 now $275,950!
  • 2004 E. 132nd Pl. S. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,004 sq. ft. | $246,038 now $232,038!
  • 2024 E. 132nd Pl. S. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,177 sq. ft. | $256,639 now $242,639!
  • 2023 E. 132nd Pl. S. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,300 sq. ft. | $277,877 now $263,877!
  • 13238 S. 20th St. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,435 sq. ft. | $262,316 now $248,316!
  • 2022 E. 132nd St. S. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,300 sq. ft. | $267,808 now $253,808!
  • 13114 S. 20th St. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,435 sq. ft. | $277,971 now $263,971!
  • 13210 S. 20th St. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,020 sq. ft. | $256,151 now $242,151!
  • 2012 E. 132nd Pl. S. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,435 sq. ft. | $278,976 now $264,976!
  • 13310 S. 20th St. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,207 sq. ft. | $259,708 now $245,708!
  • 13306 S. 20th St. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,020 sq. ft. | $258,241 now $244,241!

White Hawk Golf Villas | 148th St. S. and Yale Ave.

  • 14745 S. Urbana Ave. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,435 sq. ft. | $272,496 now $258,496!
  • 14734 S. Urbana Ave. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,020 sq. ft. | $247,435 now $233,435!
  • 14746 S. Urbana Ave. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,207 sq. ft. | $250,468 now $236,468!
  • 4880 E. 148th Pl. S. | 3 Beds, 2 Bath, 2,177 sq. ft. | $254,551 now $240,551!
  • 14727 S. Urbana Ave. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,170 sq. ft. | $245,776 now $231,776!
  • 14733 S. Urbana Ave. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,300 sq. ft. | $261,784 now $247,784!
  • 14752 S. Urbana Ave. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,015 sq. ft. | $245,720 now $231,720!
  • 4892 E. 148th Pl. S. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1,920 sq. ft. | $229,156 now $215,156!
  • 14739 S. Urbana Ave. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,383 sq. ft. | $268,709 now $254,709!
  • 4868 E. 148th Pl. S. | 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 2,015 sq. ft. | $243,534 now $229,534!

Willow Creek | 131st St. S. and Mingo

  • 9288 E. 132nd St. S. | 4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2,300 sq. ft. | $270,685 now $256,685!

5 Outdoor kitchen trends for 2017

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: July 13, 2017 | No Comments »

Outdoor living spaces have evolved dramatically in the past decade. The backyard grill has transformed to an outdoor kitchen, complete with everything you need to prepare, serve, and clean up after full-course meals.

Thinking of updating your al fresco culinary space? Here are the latest outdoor kitchen trends for 2017.

Expand the function. A kitchen requires more than a grill and a prep area. This year, homeowners are adding refrigerators, ice makers, sinks, dishwashers, side burners, smokers, and pizza ovens, so they can handle all the kitchen tasks outdoors, and avoid running in and out of the house. They’re installing more elaborate cabinetry for the added storage they need in the expanded outdoor kitchen (powder-coated metal cabinets offer style with durability). They’re adding or upgrading countertops, with materials like granite, soapstone, concrete, and stainless steel. Quartz, although a popular choice for the indoor kitchen, doesn’t stand up to direct sunlight.

Hatch an egg. The Kamado-style grill—like the Big Green Egg—has caught on in recent years, but the concept has been in use for thousands of years. These versatile ceramic grills can be used as a smoker, grill, and even a pizza oven. The design enables a broad range of cooking temperatures, from low (for smoking) all the way up to 800°.

Entertainment is a bigger priority than ever. You’ll be spending more time in your upgraded space, so your outdoor kitchen might include a separate bar or drink station, a large-screen television, wine cooler, and keg.

Fan the flames. An outdoor fireplace or fire pit add form and function to your outdoor living space. Cook over the open flame. Cozy up by the crackling fire. Mount your outdoor TV above the fireplace mantle. What better place to enjoy football games in the fall?

Chandeliers have stepped outside. While you’re installing or expanding the electrical wiring in your outdoor living space, now is a great time to change your exterior lighting. Chandeliers have found their way outdoors, and enhance the aesthetics.

Most commonly overlooked home maintenance chores

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: July 6, 2017 | No Comments »

Owning a home comes with lots of responsibilities. In addition to paying the bills, you also need to keep up with the upkeep. There are some basic, routine maintenance chores that will increase your peace of mind while also decreasing the repair bills that come with neglect.

Here are the most commonly overlooked home maintenance chores.

CLEAN…

Gutters. Dirt and debris builds up in your gutters and prohibits the flow of rain and melted snow. If the water backs up, it can cause damage to your home. Clean your gutters in both the spring and the fall.

Exterior dryer vent. You might remember to clean the dryer’s lint trap after every load, but don’t forget that lint is also collecting in the exterior vent. A clogged dryer vent is a fire hazard. Have your exterior vent checked and cleaned once a year, or when you notice that your laundry isn’t drying properly.

Refrigerator coils. Dust collects on the coils on the back of your refrigerator, reducing the appliance’s efficiency. Twice a year, summon up your courage and go where very few people ever venture.

REPLACE…

Curled or damaged roof shingles. Twice a year, inspect your roof as a proactive measure. Replace any shingles that aren’t in stellar condition, because ignoring this task could lead to leaks.

HVAC filters. A dirty filter makes your air conditioner and furnace work harder, which not only boosts your energy bill but reduces the air quality and the life of your HVAC system. Replace the air filtert monthly.

 

DRAIN

Water heaters. Sediment—sand, grit, and other minerals that haven’t dissolved into your water—collect at the bottom of your water heater. By flushing the water heater once a year, you enable your system to function at its best.

Outdoor faucets. Water expands when it freezes, and this ice can lead to burst pipes. Before the cold winter arrives, turn off the shut-off valve and drain any water remaining in the line.

CHECK…

Water pressure. Excess water pressure can burst hoses (e.g., washing machine). Low water pressure causes that rush of cold water in the shower when someone flushes a toilet. Use a simple pressure gauge to check your water pressure once or twice a year, or when you’re experiencing water flow issues.

Invest a little time in your home to keep everything working safely and efficiently. After all, you’ve invested so much in it already.

Best plants for container gardens

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: June 29, 2017 | No Comments »

Container gardens provide a great way to add natural color wherever you want it. Perk up your curb appeal by placing colorful container gardens by your front door, along the walkway, or around the yard. Dress up your outdoor living spaces. Add a dash of seasonal color.

The container can be anything that will hold soil and plants, and provide sufficient drainage. From a ceramic pot to a watering can, birdbath, wheelbarrow, and even an old chair, you can get creative with your container garden ideas.

Now, what do you plant in it?

For a pleasing blend of colorful blooms and foliage fillers, here are ideas for the best plants for container gardens.

Begonias are hardy plants that produce colorful blooms, and require only partial sun without much watering.

Coleus is a favorite among gardeners because of the wide variety of colorful foliage. Depending on your choice, it can range from drought-tolerant to needing shade.

Osteospermum is also known as a “Cape Daisy”, and it does indeed look like a daisy. You can choose from a spectrum of bloom colors, from white and pale yellow to vibrant orange, pink, and purple.

Pansies and violas produce perky splashes of color and they will continue to bloom into the fall.

Pentas—aka “Egyptian star flowers”—are a great addition to a container garden. Pentas don’t require much care, other than the occasional feeding and good drainage, and the tiny flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Petunias thrive in containers, from hanging baskets to pots. They beautifully cascade down the side of the container. Their big blooms do well with sunshine as long as they can escape to a little afternoon shade.

Verbena produces dense clusters of flowers throughout the summer and into the early fall. This annual doesn’t require a lot of water.

Yucca has long, sword-like leaves that add height and interest to your garden. The plant welcomes sunlight, and this perennial has a long life.

Flowering vines, like the moon flower, morning glory, and passion flower are a natural choice for a container garden because they add color, volume, and shape.

If you want to attract butterflies, plant cosmos, bachelor’s buttons, and dahlias.

No matter what you plant in your container garden, start with good soil and drainage. If necessary, add more drainage holes to ensure the soil doesn’t stay so wet that it leads to root rot. Blend in fertilizer and feed your garden regularly. Also, be sure your plant choices can thrive with the amount of sun and shade you’ll be offering them.

Pergola particulars: How to pick yours perfectly

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: June 22, 2017 | No Comments »


A pergola creates an outdoor room without walls, the perfect addition for the back yard. The feature—constructed of pillars, beams, and cross-beams—can provide a cozy oasis or a place to host your outdoor party. Before you start building your pergola (or having a professional builder do it for you), consider the pergola particulars, so you know how to pick yours perfectly.

How will you use it?

Will your pergola be a garden feature, something to add vertical interest with trailing vines along the beams and pillars? Are you thinking about this space as a peaceful oasis where you can escape with a good book, a cup of coffee, or just your thoughts? Or will your pergola be entertainment central, with an outdoor kitchen, furniture, and lighting? Determine how you need your backyard pergola to “perform”. This will help you determine the size and other features.

What style do you like?

Pergola design ranges from rustic to traditional to contemporary. Decide on the style that suits you. An arched pergola is ideal for a garden feature, where the flowers and vines grow along the curves in a naturally-looking way. Choosing straight lines gives a clean style that can be adapted to your taste by choosing the wood type and stain you like, or opting for maintenance-free vinyl in white or black.

How much shelter do you want?

A pergola is an open space, but if you’re leaning toward more shade or shelter, you have options. Install roof cladding for the most protection from the elements, or acrylic panels to keep out the rain. A pergola canopy or shade cloth adds color and the soft draping of fabric. You can also construct your pergola with the beams placed more closely together, which can provide a surprising amount of shade.

Do you need lighting?

Picture your pergola lit up at night, a place to enjoy stargazing or extend your entertainment into the evening hours. Solar lighting will offer soft illumination, or you can hire an electrician to wire your pergola for lighting and other electrical uses.

How big should your pergola be?

Size is relative. A pergola should be sized to scale with other outdoor structures. If you’re placing it near your pool, make sure that the pergola isn’t dwarfed by the size of the pool, and vice versa. Consider future uses for your pergola. If you plan to eventually add an outdoor kitchen, build a pergola that will grow with your vision.

See the best in new home building at the 2017 Parade of Homes

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 15, 2017 | No Comments »


Explore. Discover. Own!

The Greater Tulsa Parade of Homes runs June 17 through the 25! This annual new home showcase is your opportunity to see the latest and greatest in new homes, including 21 designer-selected Simmons Homes in 10 communities throughout Tulsa.

In addition to viewing the latest trends, don’t miss these Special Parade Promotions:

  • Get up to $8,000 toward the purchase of a new Simmons Home through July 16 when you use our preferred lender.
  • Visit any Simmons Parade Location and register to WIN one of 2 Shopping Trips to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, including a one-night stay at the Grandview Inn!
  • Follow us on Facebook for Pioneer Woman Kitchen Accessory Giveaways during the event.
  • NINE Designer-Selected Parade Showcase Homes are For Sale and available for quick-delivery.

Homes are available to view in Bixby, Broken Arrow, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, and Owasso. Our talented team of home building pros will also be on hand in each community to answer your questions and show you around.

Stop by from 1-7 p.m. daily or contact Robin to schedule a tour at your convenience at 918-212-8797 or robin@simmonshomes.com. Homes will open early at 10am on Saturday, June 17.

Featured Communities:

Click below to explore all of our Parade of Homes locations.
http://www.simmonshomes.com/parade-of-homes

Color me sold! How paint color impacts your home’s sale price

Categories: Homebuying | Posted: June 15, 2017 | No Comments »

You’re getting your home ready to put on the market. You clean out the clutter and the personal items. You boosted the curb appeal. You put a fresh coat of white paint on your bathroom walls.

Which one of these actions will actually reduce the amount you get for your home?

The white paint is going to cost you.

According to Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis, the choice of light blue or periwinkle for your bathroom walls could increase your home’s sales price as much as $5,4440, while your white wall could lower the price by up to $4,035.

Zillow studied 32,000 photos of homes that sold between 2010 and February 2017, and compared the price to the Zillow estimate, when compared to similar homes with white walls. They analyzed color combinations for various rooms and the exterior paint color to determine the best color choices.

The right shades of blue and gray in certain living areas will fetch you a better price, too: $1,809 for the kitchen and $1,926 for the bedroom (light cerulean to cadet blue), but cost you $820 in your living room!

Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, explains, “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space. Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms.”

Homes with the exterior paint color of “greige” (gray and beige) added $1,526, while medium brown, taupe, and stucco seemed to cut the selling price by almost $2,000.

Even the color on your front door can increase your home’s sales value to a buyer. The choice of navy blue or dark gray could boost the selling price by $1,526.

Here are some other room color choices to avoid:

  • Pink bedrooms = -$208
  • Yellow kitchen = -$820
  • Red dining room = -$2,031

For a minimal investment in the right paint colors, you can easily brush up the sale price of your home.

10 ideas for a pet-friendly home

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: June 8, 2017 | No Comments »

Your pet is part of your family, so make sure your furry friends feel like they’re also part of your home. Here are 10 ideas for pet-friendly home.

  1. Remove temptation. Dogs and cats have a powerful sense of smell, so they’re drawn to fragrant items and places, which could include your garbage, pantry, and countertops. Keep a strong lid on your trash can and keep food out of the reach of pets. Remember, certain foods are toxic to dogs and cats, like grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, mushrooms, and xylitol (artificial sweetener). In addition, a dog can choke on small bones discovered in a trash can.
  2. Get rid of dangerous plants for pets. Some common house plants present a risk to pets, who often can’t resist chewing on foliage. English ivy, lilies, azaleas, mums, tulips, and oleander should be removed from any areas where your pets roam freely. Click here to browse the ASPCA’s complete list of toxic plants.
  3. Another reason to put down the toilet lid. The toilet bowl is a curious place for animals. Dogs and cats may go there for a drink, and end up ingesting chemicals. Small animals—hamsters, kittens, guinea pigs, gerbils—have been known to fall in and drown. For safety sake, make sure everyone in your family closes the toilet lid.
  4. Tuck strings, cords, and wires out of reach. Animals may chew or become tangled in the cords from your electronics or window treatments. Protect your animals and your home by keeping those pet hazards out of reach.
  5. Put a latch on cabinets. Cabinet doors can be easily opened with the nudge of a nose or paw. Prevent your pet from getting into your stash of cleaning supplies by putting a child-safe latch on your lower cabinet doors.
  6. Secure your screens. Cats and dogs love to look out windows. They might get a little too excited when they spot a squirrel or bird. If your window screen isn’t firmly secured, your cat or small dog can push the screen and fall out the window. Check your window screens to make sure they are tightly secured.
  7. Provide safe chew toys and scratching posts. It’s natural for dogs to chew and cats to scratch. Cats mark territory with scent from glands in their paws and also scratch to sharpen their claws and stretch their muscles. You can prevent them from taking out their natural instincts on your furniture, flooring, door trim, and windowsills by presenting palatable alternatives. Put healthy chew toys in various places for your dog. Place scratching posts and boards (preferably with coarse surfaces, like sisal rope) near the areas where you cat likes to scratch. Rub catnip oil on the scratching surface to entice the cat.
  8. Give them their own space. You have your bedroom, so why not give your dog or cat their personal space? A dog bed with toys and perhaps a blanket with your scent on it is perfect for your canine companion. Cats prefer to hide away in a secluded space, so a quiet retreat away from bustling activity will be ideal. A perch on a windowsill is also a welcomed space for a cat to relax.
  9. Shop wisely for home furnishings. Be sure your upholstery and carpets are stain-resistant and sturdy. Avoid anything with a thick nap or pile because pet hair will find its way in there and become difficult to remove. You might also consider purchasing furniture that blends in with your pet’s fur color!
  10. Top your bed with washable duvet covers. A majority of homeowners welcome their pets into their beds. A duvet cover is easy to remove and wash—and far less bulky that a comforter.

When you create a safe environment for your pet, you’re less likely to have those “oh no!” moments.

House-hunting tips for successful online home searches

Categories: Homebuying | Posted: June 1, 2017 | No Comments »

Nine out of ten people who search for a new home use the Web at some point. According to Google, the number of real-estate related searches appearing on this browser increased 253% in four years.

We rely on our mobile devices for all sorts of research and purchases, so why not use this power tool when tackling the hunt for the perfect home? But, like any other online research, make sure you’re using the right resources that will give you accurate and useful information. Here are some tips for successful online home searches

  1. Use a reliable real estate search site. Realtor, Zillow, and Trulia are the most common sites for browsing listings. Realtor is the most up-to-date of the three, but you probably won’t find “For Sale By Owner” listings there. The site is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors, so it feels no obligation to list properties that aren’t represented by one of its members. Zillow is useful for gauging home values (although the numbers are calculated using an algorithm, so don’t count on them as a negotiating tool). Trulia has some valuable features, like using map overlays to learn more about a neighborhood’s schools, crime statistics, and amenities.
  2. Know your priorities and deal-breakers. To avoid wasting your time with homes that just don’t meet your needs, make a list of your criteria—location, size, age, and maximum price of the home, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, and home style (e.g., single-family, duplex, condo, townhome). Enter those into your home search, as well as any other important features, like a swimming pool, attached garage, basement, fireplace, central air, handicap accessible, hardwood floors, or water view. You can specify new construction or look only for homes within communities. Start with the “must have” list so you don’t exclude a possible winner that is only lacking a feature that you could honestly live without.
  3. Research the school system. If you have school-age children, you can easily learn about the quality of the schools in the district. Go to org to review the ratings of each school, including private, charter, and magnet schools.
  4. Check out the neighborhood. If you’re new to the area you’re searching, it’s important to learn about the neighborhoods. Sites like Neighborhood Scout show you statistics on crime, average income levels, public school test scores, and home value trends. HomeFair has a tool that lets you compare the population’s demographics, including cost of living, between two cities. Go to Google Maps to get a satellite view of the area, with locations of nearby schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other services. If you’re unsure about the weather in the new area, visit The Weather Channel’s website.
  5. Check out the social, cultural, and recreation scenes. The city or regional Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for identifying popular local attractions, historical sites, and activities. Visit Facebook pages for those areas, and also search in to see what’s happening.

Of course, there’s only one way to truly get the feel for a home, a street, a neighborhood, and a town. Go for a drive, look around, stop and talk to people—you know, the old-fashioned, “manual” method.