What the Amish Can Teach You About Decorating

Amish Farmhouse Decor To say that Pinterest is dominating home design trends would be an understatement. The once little known image sharing site has exploded in recent years and is redefining home design trends today. And while all those ideas may help get you on your way with decorating a new home, they can do some serious damage to your wallet.

Among the most popular trends found on Pinterest are barn doors, reclaimed wood shelving, farmhouse tables, distressed window frames and metal baskets….are you noticing a trend? Yes, many of today’s most popular decorating ideas are simply about repurposing older pieces and creating something new with them.

This trend may be a relatively recent phenomena amongst the Pinterest set but for the Amish who populate many of the small towns in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, these trends are not exactly fads. Barn doors, wood shelving and farmhouse tables have been a cornerstone of many of their businesses for decades. And for those who aren’t taking advantage of their skill and expertise…well, let’s just say you are missing out. Read More


S&A Homes to Host Preview Party at Newbury Community

S&A Homes to Host Preview Party at Newbury CommunityBuyers will not want to miss the upcoming Preview Party at Newbury featuring exclusive incentives, introductory pricing, and the unveiling of eight brand new floor plans on Thursday, February 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Newbury, located in South Fayette Township, Pennsylvania, is a unique and innovative community that features high quality, energy efficient single-family homes in the heart of the top ranked South Fayette School District.  Families and busy professionals enjoy spending time on the community green space while younger family members like to take advantage of the designated sled-riding hill when the snow piles up.

This charming community will also offer walking trails to the nearby Newbury Market where residents can enjoy on-site shopping,S&A Homes to Host Preview Party at Newbury Community restaurants, community activities and a whole lot more. Some of the planned amenities feature a grocery store, hotel, locally owned boutiques, office space, public square and fountain. The Gateway Shops at Newbury Market are among the first to open at this innovative master-planned town center and currently feature vendors that include Noodles & Co., Five Guys and YoFresh to name a few.

Next week’s preview party provides attendees with a one-time opportunity to receive access to event-only incentives and the ability to take advantage of preliminary pricing on brand new S&A Homes floor plans at Newbury. RSVP to this exclusive event by calling 1-855-SAHOME1 or emailing NewHomeSales@SAHomebuilder.com.

S&A Homes to Host Preview Party at Newbury CommunityFor more information on Newbury Market, visit NewburyMarket.com. To learn more about quality homes from S&A Homes, visit SAHomeBuilder.com.


7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Get in the Valentine’s Day spirit by spreading the love throughout your home this month! Here are some of our favorite do-it-yourself (DIY) craft ideas.

Paper Heart Chain

Not particularly skilled with crafting? All who claim to be clumsy can rest easy with this pretty paper decoration. All this project requires is strips of construction paper, a stapler and the ability to fold paper. Figure out how to do it here.

7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Heart Wall Art

For those not inspired by pink hues, try this accent-inspired wall art that is perfect in any season or holiday. This project is inexpensive and you might have most of these supplies at home already! Learn how it works here.

7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Flower Monogram

If you prefer flowers to solid colors, then this DIY is for you! You will need glue sticks, a hot glue gun, scissors, fake flowers, a can of white spray paint, a paper mâché letter, and a craft knife. Learn how to make it here.

7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Love Tree

This DIY can be done by gathering a few twigs from the backyard, spray painting them and finishing the look with construction paper! Find out how to make it here. To add your own personal touch to this fun creation, have guests write something they love on the individual hearts.

7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Sweater Heart Pillows

Snuggle up with one of these this Valentine’s Day! If you can sew or use a sewing machine, this heartwarming DIY is for you! You will need a sewing kit or machine, an old or thrift store-bought sweater and fiberfill. Learn how to create this comfy accent here.

7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Ombré February Calendar

Already finding it difficult to stay on track in 2017? Never forget Valentine’s Day again with this DIY Ombré calendar for the month of February! This is a fun craft that can be re-created every month. For example, a shamrock for March and St. Patrick’s Day or an American flag for July and the Fourth of July. Read the tutorial here.

7 Valentine’s Day DIYs to Spread the Love at Home

Edible Gold Lip Print Glasses

Having a Valentine’s Day party? Add a little bit of easy Valentine’s Day spirit to your glasses with this temporary and quick DIY! Find out how to do it here.

Have some fun this Valentine’s Day by trying one of these easy crafts – you just might fall in love with one of your creations.


3 New Plans Coming this January to S&A Homes

3 New Plans Coming this January to S&A HomesNothing is more exciting than the upcoming holiday break and the New Year, but here at S&A Homes we have something else up our sleeves that we are pretty excited about these days.  We have spent the last few months diligently pouring over customer feedback to create the perfect plan. Well, three perfect plans actually.

By taking a few of our best sellers – the Winterberry, the Folkstone and Pembrooke – and finessing the heck out of them, we were able to produce three brand new homes, all of which we predict will be our top three selling homes for the upcoming 2017 calendar year.

And while we will break each one down for you (in detail) in some of our upcoming blogs, we thought it was only appropriate to give you a little taste of what’s to come.

The first new floor plan that will be introduced in January is the Newport. Based on our top-selling plan, The Winterberry, the Newport takes all that is great about the Winterberry and builds on that base to create the ultimate home. The home retains its gorgeous Craftsman style exterior but we have also added an exclusive new prairie-style exterior option that features a more modern look with large windows, low-profile roof and modern stacked stone features. Inside, the home still welcomes with the same, 2-story foyer but in the back of the home and enhanced mudroom design and optional keeping room allows homeowners to easily create a gourmet kitchen that is well suited to entertaining family and friends.  Upstairs, the home now offers an optional Jack & Jill bath, larger walk-in closets, an updated luxury owners and special details that help it stand out from the crowd.

The second home we will be welcoming to the portfolio is our Dartmouth. Like the Winterberry, this plan now features a new Keeping Room3 New Plans Coming this January to S&A Homes option that features a wall of cabinetry and built-ins that make for the perfect hutch, storage area or wine bar. The home was also reconfigured to accommodate walk-in closets in the guest bedrooms, an optional oversized walk-in closet for the owner’s suite or optional third full bath. This brand new plan takes its cue from the Pembrooke, a top seller in our existing line up thanks to its thoughtful details such as a spacious second floor laundry room and open-concept family room and kitchen. These popular design elements were retained to ensure that the Dartmouth is simply a new and improved version of the Pembrooke.

Lastly, the Avalon will be the last of the three plans to round out the newest lineup. This stately home may seem traditional at a first glance but this plan really proves that attention to detail pays off. Although the home starts at just over 2,500 sq. ft., it already includes a massive garage that is built to fit two cars and an ample amount of work space as well. Have a Suburban? No problem fitting into this 29’ depth garage.  The home also includes an oversized mudroom, a large walk-in pantry, second floor laundry, large walk-in closets for every bedroom and an array of structural add-ons that can be used to customize the home.

Stay tuned – these plans will be released just after the New Year!


Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5

Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5For those seeking first dibs on the incredible new phase about to break ground at Venango Trails, the upcoming preview party slated for January 5, 2017 is not to be missed. This one-time event held at North Pittsburgh’s premiere neighborhood was created to release the community’s newest floor plans, pricing and homesite availability before the new phase officially opens for sales on January 14, 2017.  Anyone interested in Venango Trails should plan to attend this special event being held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Venango Trails model home located at 239 Venango Trail in Mars, Pennsylvania.

Not only will attendees have one-on-one time with the community’s representatives, they will also receive an in-depth look at the final site-plan, new floor plan pricing and exclusive VIP discounts that will only be offered to VIP list members who are present at the event.Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5

Venango Trails is a lifestyle-driven community that is located in the highly-ranked North Allegheny School District, minutes from Cranberry Township.  A plethora of activities abound both in and out of the community so that residents never have to wander far from home.

Within the community, a state-of-the-art clubhouse plays home to a fitness center, lounge with flat-screen TVs, community rooms, fire pit and outdoor patios that overlook the neighborhood’s scenic lake and two miles of walking trails.  There is even a convenient 1,500 square foot bistro planned to open so that those living at Venango Trails can enjoy fresh-brewed coffee and snacks throughout the day.

Those looking to venture outside of the community will find there is no shortage of shopping and entertainment options as Venango Trails is located around the corner from Route 19 and the area’s most popular shopping destinations such as The Streets of Cranberry.  Those Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5commuting will appreciate the easy access they will have to some of the area’s main roadways such as I-79 and I-76, both of which are situated less than two miles from Venango Trails.

Even the homes built at Venango Trails are built to stringent quality standards and include an array of upgrades such as 10-foot ceilings, hardie-plank exteriors, covered porches, Craftsman-styling, stone to grade, granite countertops and so much more. And the homesites offered in this newest (and final) phase are among the largest and most private in the neighborhood, some backing to established, wooded treeline to provide the ultimate backyard.

Call us at 1-855-SAHOME1 or email us at NewHomeSales@SAHomebuilder.com today to reserve your spot at this one-time preview party that is slated for January 5, 2017.   Click here to learn more about Venango Trails and to view photos of the community.

Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5 Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5Venango Trails VIP Preview Party Slated for January 5


5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying in Pittsburgh

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying in PittsburghBuying a new home is an intimidating experience in itself, especially when considering the many factors that can affect a home’s value such as location, available jobs, school district, amenities, and even local taxes. Here are some tips from S&A Homes to help make the process less overwhelming:

  1. The More You Know, the Smarter You Grow

Dr. Seuss might not have been talking about buying a new home in his popular children’s book, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut, but the essence certainly applies. Information is available right at your fingertips – use it! Don’t dive straight in and have to ask what closing costs or a loan disclosure are (you would be expected to understand them by that point in the process).

  1. Failing to Research The Builder’s Reputation

Purchasing and building a home is not a project for a builder with a negative reputation. Reviews are available to the public on a variety of sites such as Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor, to name a few. Utilize these free tools that offer honest, organic feedback about local businesses. Keep in mind, asking a builder questions before hiring them is also an option. Some possible questions to cover might be years in business, homes sold, industry recognitions and warranties, to name a few.

  1. Settling for Curb Appeal vs. Family Matters

Of course curb appeal is important – both for the integrity of your home, but also resale value, but do not settle for a home that looks nice on the outside, but doesn’t really accommodate your family’s specific needs. S&A Homes believes homes should be built with the client in mind and we understand that a house is not a home until you add the finishing touches that make it your own. We do not tell you what’s possible, you tell us what you want and we make it a reality. Custom homes are affordable with S&A Homes.  Do not settle for a builder who will not adjust a floor plan to fit the needs of you and your family when it’s so easy to do with S&A.

  1. Choosing a Poor Location

Of course, there are the obvious factors that warrant a prime home location such as convenience to shops, dining and major highways, privacy, school district, etc., but what about other factors that would simply be considered nuisances? If living close to the local fire department and hearing their sirens bothers you now, don’t expect those feelings to change. Building your new home is one of the few places where it truly pays to be meticulous. For this reason, S&A Homes builds in some of the most sought-after areas throughout Pennsylvania and in West Virginia. Find your new home today and let S&A Homes make your vision a reality.

  1. Waiting

When it comes to homebuying, there is no time like the present. Houses will always be costly and there will always be an argument for interest rates, but truth-be-told, you never know the best time to buy a house until it’s in 20/20 hindsight. The most important factor to consider when purchasing a new home is current job security. If the concern lies in interest rates – you can always refinance if/when interest rates lower!  Go ahead and make a home you can call your own, exactly the way you imagined it and reap the benefits of home ownership that include gaining equity and tax deductions.

S&A Homes has the experience and the passion to create a custom affordable home to last you and your family for years to come. Visit SAHomebuilder.com for more information on S&A communities or building one of our quality custom homes on your own homesite.


How to Choose the Right Home Builder by S&A Homes

How to Choose the Right Home Builder by S&A HomesWhen it comes to building a new home, selecting your builder is just as important as selecting the new home. You deserve peace of mind, knowing that your new investment is being built to the highest of standards with a builder you can trust. Here are some tips from S&A Homes to make the process easier:

Your local home builders’ association should be able to provide a list of builders who construct homes in your area. Search for your local HBA by clicking here. Other builders can be found in your local newspaper in the real estate section or by asking local real estate agents and friends for builder recommendations.

To get an idea of what makes a builder right for you and your project, make sure to look at these sources for information in your research:

  • Testimonials

Look for testimonials on their webpage. These are typically exceptionally happy customers who agreed to spend their own personal time describing their experience with the builder, which is something to consider.

  • Social Media: Not Just for Selfies and Food Pictures

Check out the builder’s social media pages for reviews, comments and posts. Social media is growing in popularity as a review source for customers to provide unfiltered, honest opinions. The most popular are Facebook and Twitter, but Google+ and Yelp also serve as excellent resources.

  • Check their Better Business Bureau rating

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is available as a source for verified, unbiased information regarding a local business. Be sure to check out S&A Homes’ BBB Accredited Business Profile here.

  • Included Features

Explore what features are included in their homes and what costs extra. Is the builder willing to change a floor plan to accommodate your needs and desires or is the product sold “as is?” With CustoMe from S&A Homes, clients are not limited to our well-thought plans, but are encouraged to be imaginative and add their own touches to create the home of their dreams. With S&A Homes, home building is a personal experience from start to finish.

The home building process is certainly easier with a home builder that works with you as a partner and includes you throughout, that’s why S&A Homes has a Buying Process: Getting Started guide available online. Our process is tested and true – let us create your perfect customized home today. Visit SAHomebuilder.com for information about communities, building on your own lot and more.


New Plans and Homesites Coming Soon to Venango Trails

Venango Trails HomeNo matter if you are a family, professional, newlywed or empty-nester, Venango Trails in Mars, PA is the place for you. With a variety of unique homes, every buyer is sure to find a home here that fits their needs, wants and personality. That’s why those seeking an affordable custom home close to Cranberry Township will be excited to hear that we will soon be rolling out brand new homesites and brand new plans at this popular neighborhood.

Venango Trails is a community of craftsman architecture and natural beauty that offers a refuge in the heart of all the action. All of the homes in this community offer stunning designs and unique included features such as 10-foot first floor ceilings, upgraded 42-inch cabinetry, premium granite countertops, upgraded Whirlpool appliances and exterior HardiePlank siding. Read More


Featured Floor Plan: The Buchanan by S&A Homes

Featured Floor Plan: The Buchanan by S&A HomesThe Buchanan floor plan, a part of our Signature Series, can range from four to six bedrooms and four-and-a-half to six-and-a-half baths. Buyers will love the number of options and available customizations that make this open-concept floor plan truly their own.

The Buchanan welcomes guests with an elegant two-story foyer with open staircase and cozy study with optional trey ceiling. The spacious kitchen features stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, functional island and wrap-around cabinetry as well as access to convenient butler’s pantry leading to the formal dining room, perfect for entertaining. The kitchen flows seamlessly from the breakfast room to the oversized family room with optional built-ins, fireplace and coffered ceiling.

Three secondary bedrooms accompany the owner’s suite on the upper level with their own bathroom and closet. The elegant owner’s suite offers a luxurious bath Featured Floor Plan: The Buchanan by S&A Homeswith ceramic tile floors, site-built ceramic shower, ceramic tub deck with wood apron and framed shower door with glass return panel. To top it off, the owner’s suite also boasts a 14-by-18 walk-in closet with island.

Other customizable options offered with the Buchanan plan include a first-floor guest room, finished basement with wet bar, three-car side-entry garage and more.

Take a virtual tour of the Buchanan by clicking here. To learn more about the Buchanan or other customizable S&A Homes floor plans, visit SAHomebuilder.com or call 1-855-SAHOMES1. At S&A Homes we don’t tell you what’s possible, you tell us what you want and we make it a reality.


An Easy Guide to Holiday Decorating

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