Use this land buying checklist before signing on the dotted line

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” —Mark Twain

Thinking about taking Mr. Twain’s advice? Been wondering, “What kind of land can I build on?” If you’re considering buying a little piece of heaven on the Ridge or in Butte County, make sure you check out Trilogy’s helpful parcel checklist first. 

Land Research Checklist

Some acreage comes with expensive or unexpected challenges. So before you sign the deed to a new property, it’s important to do your homework in advance. Otherwise, you could end up purchasing a problematic parcel with lots of extra costs or get stuck with unbuildable land.

Before you buy, find out what you’re up against by asking yourself these questions:

Challenges for developing sloped land

While it’s not impossible to build on sloped land, it requires a lot of planning. If the property is on an incline, you’ll need to either “grade” it or even it out with fill. Buying infill to add to the existing land can get costly, depending on the amount needed. Or you may need to build the house on stilts instead of a traditional foundation. If the house will be located at the base of an incline, be sure to investigate issues with potential water run-off, flooding, and mudslides.

Learn about building on WUI

There’s a lot of land in Paradise and the surrounding areas bordering Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) zones. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, WUI zones are where wildlands like parks or forests meet human development, like a town. In the event of a wildfire, fire can spread quickly to homes, so residences in these areas require special windows, home hardening, and other fire-resistant safety precautions.

Building fire-resistant homes in Butte County

Wildfires are a reality of life in Butte County. Many future residents wonder, “What kind of land can I build on and still stay safe?” The answer lies in being prepared, no matter where you live. You can do a self-assessment from CAL FIRE to see what your residence needs to withstand wildfires. To make your future home more fire-resistant, include items like in-house sprinklers, non-combustible siding, metal flashing, and firewise landscaping in the design of your future home.

Neighbors helping neighbors 

For over 50 years, Trilogy has been a good neighbor to our neighbors in Paradise. We’re proud to have helped so many members of our community build their dream homes. And after five decades of experience in the industry, we’re eager to share what we’ve learned with the next generation of homeowners. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

“What’s the cost per square foot?”

If we had a penny for every time a potential client asked this, we’d have filled a whole lot of piggy banks by now. And while we’re always happy to answer this question, it’s not always a simple figure. Below, we walk you through the considerations behind “cost per square foot” and some of the most important factors behind the numbers. We hope this helps you make more confident decisions for your new home!

You Asked, Trilogy Answered!

Q: How do you calculate the price per square foot to build a home?

A: A lot of things play into price per square foot. First off, the price per square foot is based on the conditioned square footage of the house. When you hear stats about a 1500-square-foot house, 1500 is the conditioned square footage. If you add a two-car garage, the house is still considered 1500 square feet, but now it comes with additional costs for concrete, walls, drywall, electrical, roofing, etc. on top of the 1500 square feet of the actual house. So suddenly your price per square foot just increased because you're including a two-car garage and/or a covered porch.

Q: Does the location play a role in the price?

A: Absolutely. Price per square foot is also dependent on the terrain of the property—if it slopes quite a bit, for example, it’ll affect the foundation and how much it costs to lay it. Ditto if you’re putting in a septic system and a well. All of these factors can influence the cost.

Q: How about amenities? 

A: It’s equally important to factor amenities into the price. For example, a lot of people want the back patio to be covered so they can barbecue and sit outside. Some folks want a waterfall, custom high-end kitchen cabinets, or other selections that can widely vary in price. If you want a fancy built-in pantry or marble shower, for example, that would raise the cost per square foot.

Q: How does Trilogy determine costs?

A: It’s no secret material and labor costs have gone up not just in the Ridge, but all over California and the country. So when people ask us about the price per square foot, we want to make sure we’re honest with them. Then when the job is completely done with the house, the client can look back at us and say we were fair and told them upfront about what the process will look like, any potential issues we might run into, and what we have to do to get to completion. Our True Quote process, which gives our clients a firm number they can count on. It gives a level of detail not all contractors do.

Q: It sounds like “cost per square foot” might not be the most comprehensive question to ask if I want to build a home. What should I ask instead?

A: While price per square foot is a common starting question in the construction industry, it’s vague, inconsistent across contractors, and most likely won’t get you the exact answer you need. A better question is: “can you build [your dream house] for [this budget]?" Share your wishlist and your entire building budget with your contractor. If you need to stay within that budget, be sure your contractor can build you a home that sticks to it—without any surprises.

Q: So how can I find a contractor who will build within my budget and style? 

A: Consider what kind of builder you want to work with in the coming years. Make sure you choose somebody you’re going to be happily married to for a minimum of 10 years. Especially right out of the gate, you might have questions or structural issues you’ll need to work with them on. 

Q: What questions should you ask when interviewing contractors?

A: Start with, “What’s your relationship like with your subcontractors and vendors?” A good contractor has stable, reliable subcontractors and vendors they trust—not a list of whoever’s available at the moment. Then ask, “How do you communicate?” This is key to the whole project, so make sure they communicate the same way you do. Some people prefer to communicate in a phone call, email, or just job site visits. Know what your preferences are and be upfront about them.

Q: Any final advice?

A: It’s really important to talk about scheduling with both your builder and contractor. Construction loans are typically a higher rate than regular loans, so make sure you understand the terms and if it works with the schedule for the build. If you're going to get a construction loan, the last thing you want to be doing is paying interest on it longer than necessary because of a lax schedule.

At Trilogy, we value the relationships we have with our clients. It’s why we’re always honest about the building process from start to finish. Transparency and trustworthiness are key in our business, and they’re just some of the reasons we’re not just good builders, but good neighbors. Contact us to find out how we can help with your new home!

Surefire ways to get started—even when you feel overwhelmed

Decision paralysis is a real thing, especially when it comes to making important choices about a new home. Over the years, Trilogy has seen it time and time again. We’ve watched clients get overwhelmed by all the selections they need to make, from bathroom tiles to kitchen countertops and everything in between. 

Luckily, we can help. So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices for your new house, you’ve come to the right place! 

We’ve compiled a list of suggestions on how to beat the decision-making blues from Trilogy experts Speri and Deana. And if you’re building a Palisades Home or a custom home with us and still need extra words of wisdom or Kleenex, we’re here for you. (Including our canine co-worker Ruger, who sometimes subs as an emotional support dog.)

Trilogy’s Tried-and-True Tips

Want to find out more about building a home with Trilogy? Contact us today. 

Join us as we reminisce about another successful year!

Deck the halls (of Trilogy) with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and we sure do love to be merry here at our HQ! As 2023 draws to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on the last 12 months. And while some of us had high hopes our VIP (Very Important Pup) Ruger might take pen to paw again after his last blog about Trilogy, he’s more interested in keeping an eye on the door for the arrival of reindeer. (Or the UPS guy. Whoever gets here first with treats, honestly.) 

Trilogy’s 12 Days of Christmas

Since we love carols, it’s our inspiration for the Trilogy 2023 Year in Review. We’re taking it waaaay back to this ditty published in 1780, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Except instead of Ye Olde English flavor, we’re giving it a Paradise spin. Feel free to sing along! 

…On the 12 days of Christmas, Trilogy tallied up some fun facts from 2023…

  1. 1 lunch from Meehos (at least two times a week)!
  2. 2 site visits per day to every project site.
  3. 3 Palisades Homes sold this year!
  4. 4 different home design styles from Palisades Homes
  5. 5 decades of experience from the Bolin Family.
  6. 346 Trilogy hats given out
  7. 64 times Ruger greeted the UPS guy this year. (64!)
  8. 17 different fixtures in the sample room.
  9. 243 biscuits eaten by Ruger
  10. 14,300 waves given out in the truck: Greg (6240) + Shawn (4160) + Rod (3900)
  11. 53.07 tons of debris diverted from landfills this year (that’s 106,140 lbs, or 5,307 20 lb turkeys…and counting!)
  12. 78 photos on average when we photograph a Trilogy home 

P.S. Let’s add on a thirteenth day of Christmas just for fun, since 13 is the number of community events Trilogy participated in during 2023!

Okay, okay, maybe songwriting isn’t our thing. But we still had fun looking back on another successful year—and maybe next year’s recap will make for better lyrics! At the end of the day, the best stat of all is our most impressive: one incredible community giving us the honor each day of building the places you call home.

Happy Holidays from Trilogy
Our clients and the community of Paradise are everything to us. Because at Trilogy, we’re more than just a business. We’re family. So whether you want to spread some of the season’s joy or ask us about building a new home, we’re here for you. Contact us to see how Trilogy can help. Until then, wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

No matter your budget, Trilogy has a style for you!

‘Tis the season! Are you ready to deck your halls and be jolly? While some folks are already feeling the festive spirit of the season and have been finished decorating since September, others are just getting started. 

Whether you’re looking for fresh inspiration or just haven’t yet found the right style, budget, and firewise items, we’ve got ideas for you. Follow us in merry measure as Trilogy shares some of our top tips for decorating your home this winter. 

Pick a theme or a color scheme

The first thing to do is to solidify your style for the season. Not sure where to start? Take a look at your existing architecture, and identify the type of design. For example, if you have a farmhouse interior, consider a country Christmas theme with quaint table runners, rustic wooden bowls, and fresh fruit centerpieces. If your home is ultra-modern, you can mix and match eras and opt for a uniform color scheme instead. Go classic with hues of red, white, and green, or mix metallic hues with icy blues to fit the frosty weather. 

Find a focal point

The next step is to determine your home’s best feature and turn it into the main attraction. Got a great mantle? Make it the star of the show by decorating it with a fresh holiday-themed painting, garlands, stockings, stars, or a line of lanterns. How about a striking staircase? Let it be the showstopper, complete with weaving garlands or strings of beads. 

Decorate on a budget

If you’re looking for frugal festivities this year, it’s still possible to have great decor without breaking the bank. Vintage items are very on-trend, so hang up grandma’s elf-printed tea towels. Repurpose previous year’s items, like taking an artificial door wreath and turning it into a table centerpiece surrounded by votives. Go old-school and thread popcorn on a string for garlands, or use a brass bowl filled with pinecones as coffee table decor. Grab a roll of velvet ribbon in a holiday hue and tie it around chairs, staircase rungs, and other items. Your festive spirit can shine no matter what you use!

Choose firewise decor

To tree, or not to tree? It’s often the question when thinking of fire safety around the holidays. If you’re going for an artificial tree, choose ones labeled fire-resistant. If you’re choosing a natural one, opt for a fresh, green tree kept well-watered. And remember: keep both fresh and artificial trees away from heat sources like fireplaces, wood stoves, heating vents, etc. Use lights instead of candles, and make sure they’ve been tested and inspected before you plug them in. If you’re hanging lights outside, be sure to keep them away from dry foliage and have them complement a firewise landscaping design. Finally, if you’re buying paper decorations like cut-out snowflakes, choose those labeled non-combustible or flame-resistant, and keep them away from warm lights, candles and other heat sources.

No matter what style of decor you choose, Trilogy ho-ho-hopes you have a wonderful holiday filled with all the joy and magic of the season. And if you need us for custom or semi-custom home construction, we’re happy to help. Contact us here and we’ll get started on making your dreams a reality.

Let there be light! When choosing lighting for a home, where do you even start? With so many options available, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Luckily, Trilogy can help you find the right fit. We’ve rounded up some of the most common questions about lighting right here and have provided “illuminating” answers below. 

Q: How many different types of lights are there?

A: Lighting can fall into three categories: general lighting, task-based, and decorative. 

There are some options that fit into more than one category—such as cabinet lighting, which is both task-based and decorative. Additionally, most lights can be converted to dimmers to fit your exact needs or preferences, giving them even more functionality and allowing you to fine-tune your room aesthetics.

Q: How do you know what kind of lights are best for what types of rooms? 

A: The answer starts with one simple word: function. For example, kitchens usually need both general lighting and task-based lighting so you can prepare food safely. Hallways and other low-light areas might benefit most from general and safety lighting. In a bedroom, you might want less lighting to create a cozier mood conducive to sleeping, and focus on general and decorative lights. 

Q: Are there different colors of white light?

A: Absolutely! There are: 

Q: Are there different styles of lights?

A: Yes. Here’s a short list:

Image courtesy of Vecteezy.

Q: What are the most current styles popular today?

A: According to our trusted local lighting experts, current favorites are: transitional, farmhouse, and modern. 

Q: If you don’t know what kind of lighting to choose or feel overwhelmed with options, what’s a safe choice?

A: Our experts say: “Transitional. It goes with most styles and fits a lot of people's needs.”

Although we covered a lot, this isn’t the end all be all of lighting design – just a way to get started. There are even more lighting options out there we didn’t get a chance to touch on, so whatever your need, style, or preference, we’ll work together to choose lighting that makes your house a home We hope this helps get you started! If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!