Blog Archive for December, 2017

It’s a Tie! Announcing 2017’s Most Popular Home Designs from Tuskes

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: December 22, 2017

Color of the Year, Song of the Year, Person of the Year… As we come to a close on 2017, with the strongest housing market in over a decade, what better time to announce the Home of the Year? We put together a list of our best-selling home designs in 2017, and found ourselves with a three-way tie! The top floorplans chosen by our 2017 homeowners were the Alstonthe Meridian, and the Preakness. Read on to learn more about what makes these plans so popular, and check out our prediction for the most popular home design of 2018.

The Alston

Featuring a coveted first-floor owner’s suite, a vaulted great room, and an open-space living area, the Alston blends traditional style with a modern layout. Alston homeowners enjoy the convenience of a garage with storage space and a large space to do laundry in the mud room entrance. There’s an island with an overhang and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen. A breakfast nook adjoins the kitchen to the outside lanai through a French door. The two-story great room has a gas fireplace, and is the centerpiece of this open-concept plan connecting both the kitchen and dining room, perfect for entertaining. The spacious first-floor owner’s suite features a large walk-in closet and private bath. Two additional bedrooms upstairs and plenty of extra storage space rounds this charming single-family home design, which is offered at several of our communities, including two of our newest communities: Northwood Farms in Palmer Township and Stone Harvest Estates in Coopersburg.

The Meridian

Recently awarded the Best Model Home Over $350,000 by the Lehigh Valley Builders Association, it’s no wonder the Meridian made our own list of “bests” this year. A personal Tuskes favorite, the Meridian was introduced in early 2017 with the opening of our Hanover Oaks model home. From the sleek curved staircase, to the partially finished basement (complete with wet baryoga loft, and additional half bath), to the four spacious bedrooms upstairs, the Meridian checks off all the boxes on the new home wishlist. The large owner’s suite features two walk-in closets and two vanities in the private bath. A second-floor laundry room will save you precious time and trips down to the washer and dryer. The brightly lit, open-concept kitchen and great room makes up an ideal space for family time, home-cooked meals, entertaining, or a quiet night of relaxing at home. The Meridian is available at our Hanover Oaks and Stone Harvest Estates communities, as well as on our last remaining home site in Eagles Landing; to schedule a visit to see the Meridian model for yourself, click here.

The Preakness

Favored by our Saratoga Farms homeowners, the Preakness is a stunning 3,700-square foot floorplan with three available exterior elevation styles: Farmhouse, Traditional, and Tuscan. This estate-style home has four bedrooms, with an optional five-bedroom layout in place of the two-story great room. The massive owner’s suite features a large walk-in closet, a dressing area, and a private bath that includes two vanities, a makeup counter, a large tile shower, linen closet, and soaking tub. A second bedroom with a private bath makes the perfect in-law suite or guest room, and a third full bath upstairs connects remaining two bedrooms on the second floor. Two separate staircases connect the first and second floors, where you’ll find the large two-story great roomgourmet cook’s kitchen, study, living room, dining room, and more. Arched doorways give an elegant touch connecting the different areas of the home, while the kitchen has an exciting array of amenities to offer, including room for an optional butler’s pantry or wine bar, a corner pantry, plenty of counter space, a kitchen island with overhang, top-rated stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast nook connecting the kitchen to the great room. The Preakness is only available at our Saratoga Farms community in Lower Nazareth, now in its final phase with over 70 percent of homes already sold.

Our 2018 Prediction

With such a wide variety of home designs to choose from, it’s hard to say what our most popular plan of 2018 will be for sure, but we’re in love with the BellwoodThe Bellwood is modern classic that’s never going out of style. Four bedrooms, tons of closet space, and an expansive open-space great room and kitchen… the Bellwood is the definition of functionality-meets-style.

The Bellwood model is available to see at our closeout Maple Shade community, and, because of its versatility, is offered at all of our Lehigh Valley communities. Wherever you’re looking for a new Lehigh Valley home in 2018, this plan might just be for you.


Follow us on FacebookInstagram, or YouTube to see our homes as they are built, to help us welcome new families to our communities, and to be the first to hear about new community announcements. If one of your 2018 goals is a new home, check out our full list of home designs or contact us to discuss which floorplans will work best for your lifestyle!

‘Tis the Season: Top 5 Holiday Happenings in the Lehigh Valley

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: December 13, 2017

We know we’re biased, but there really is no better place to spend the holidays than the Lehigh Valley. Whether you’re in the little, ol’ town of Bethlehem (also known as the one and only “Christmas City USA”), visiting our very own town of Nazareth, or viewing the “spectacular” light displays of Allentown, you can’t avoid the magic of living in the Lehigh Valley during the holiday season.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite events around the Lehigh Valley this December. So bundle up and get ready for some Instagrammable memory-making and holiday cheer!


1. 2017 Holiday Train Exhibit

When? Now through December 30th

Where? America on Wheels Museum (5 North Front Street, Allentown)

What is it? Action-packed exhibits full of model trains, cars from the “cast” of the Transformers movies, and unrestored, classic cars in original condition. There’s something for everyone at the America on Wheels Museum this holiday season, and if you visit between now and December 30th, you can donate new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots at the same time. So you can check two things of your list: donating to kids in need, and having some automotive fun with your family as well!


2. Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

When? Now through December 31st

Where? Bethlehem Historic District (505 Main Street, Bethlehem)

What is it? Ride through town in style in a horse-drawn carriage that will take you around the beautifully decorated streets and shops in the picturesque Christmas City. And while you’re in town, don’t forget to check out the dozens of other Christmas-themed events, from nativity reenactments to shops with handcrafted holiday gifts.


3. Winter Light Spectacular

When? Now through December 31st

Where? Lehigh Valley Zoo (5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville)

What is it? The Lehigh Valley Zoo’s biggest fundraiser of the year is a can’t-miss sight to see! The Winter Light Spectacular features everything from Toy Story lights, to light tunnels, to the Crystal Cave, to the Grinch at Whoville, not to mention Disney Princesses singing live performances, plus special appearances by Woody from Toy Story, Despicable Me‘s funniest Minions, and Olaf, Anna, and Kristof from Frozen. This is a “spectacular” event that you don’t want to miss!


4. Chriskindlmarkt

When? Open Thursdays-Sundays now through December 23rd

Where? Bethlehem SteelStacks (711 East First Street, Bethlehem)

What is it? A German-style market featuring 100 different crafters, retailers, and artisans. There are different vendors every weekend, not to mention ice sculptures and glassblowing demonstrations and delicious food vendors to warm you up when you’re done shopping.


5. Lights in the Parkway

When? Now through December 31st

Where? Lehigh Parkway (1601 Park Drive, Allentown)

What is it? Cruise through this dazzling display of hundreds of thousands of brilliant lights. You even get to enjoy this holiday spectacular from the comfort of your own car.
So let your holiday spirit fly in the one place on Earth where no one can blame you for singing along to Christmas music day and night! It’s the most wonderful time of year to get outside, meet your neighbors, and see the snow-covered magic that the Lehigh Valley has to offer.

If we missed an event that you think everyone should know about, e-mail and let us know! As you celebrate this holiday season, may your home be filled with love, warmth, and comfort. Happy Holidays from Tuskes Homes!

Understanding home insulation

Categories: Blog | Posted: December 7, 2017

Every homeowner knows that insulating a home is important for comfort and energy efficiency. But it’s equally important to understand how home insulation works so you ensure you’re taking the right steps to effectively prevent the swap of interior and exterior temperatures.

Insulation provides resistance to heat flow. Heat flow is the movement of warm or hot air to cooler air. The flow continues until there is a balance of temperatures. For example, hot air will continue to flow into your home on a hot day until the inside temperature is equal to the outside. On a pleasant spring or fall day, you might open up the windows to take advantage of the ideal temperature. When the weather is more extreme, however, you need to manage the heat flow.

When you buy a new home, insulation is installed to slow down the movement of heat. Now, heat flow moves in three ways:

  • Conduction: Heat moves through a material, like a metal pot absorbing heat.
  • Convection: Heat circulates through liquids and gases, and since hot air is lighter, it rises above cold air.
  • Radiation: Heat travels along a straight path and absorbs energy from anything along that route.

So, your home insulation is installed in any place with exposure to heat flow: exterior walls, around the foundation, and in the roof, to name a few. Without insulation, the heat will move through the walls, floors, and ceilings—up from the basement, down from the attic, and in through the walls, doors, and windows. The goal of insulation is to produce resistant to the natural flow of heat.

R-value: The resistance factor

Home insulation products are rated for their thermal resistance factor, commonly known as R-value. This measurement is determined by the insulation type, thickness, and density. To determine how much home insulation you need, refer to a map that shows the R-value zones, rated on a scale from 1 to 7, with colder climates on the high end. Southern Florida and Hawaii score a 1 rating, while Alaska and northern Minnesota earn a 7.

You probably hear about radiant barriers. This reflective material doesn’t absorb heat, like insulation does. Instead, it reflects the heat. Radiant barriers are commonly installed on roofs to deflect the heat away from the roof (where it can be absorbed and potentially pass into the main part of the home). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a radiant barrier on a home in a sunny climate (e.g., Zones 1-3) can reduce cooling costs by 5% to 10%.

Retrofitting an existing home with the correct amount of insulation could require a professional, depending on where and what type of insulation you need. New homes incorporate the standards for home insulation. They also improve the comfort and energy efficiency in a new home by installing moisture control and air sealing.

Spend a little time learning about your home’s insulation and you’ll spend much less later on the energy costs.

Tuskes Homes Wins Big at the 27th Annual LV Builders Awards

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: December 5, 2017

The team at Tuskes Homes took home three awards at the 2017 Lehigh Valley Builders Awards on Monday night. Celebrating with the Lehigh Valley Builders Association (LVBA) at historic Hotel Bethlehem, Tuskes Homes won awards for Community of the Year Over 50 Units for its popular Bethlehem-based Hanover Oaks community, Community of the Year Under 50 Units for the luxurious estate-style new home community at Saratoga Farms in Lower Nazareth, and Model Over $350,000 for the brand-new Meridian model home design located at Hanover Oaks.

Both of the winning communities feature numerous amenities and are located in scenic neighborhoods with convenient proximity to the best the Lehigh Valley has to offer. Hanover Oaks, which opened at the end of 2016, has only 17 home sites remaining in the community, while Saratoga Farms is selling in the final phase of the community, with 70 percent of home sites already sold.

The Meridian home design was awarded for its spectacular open-concept floorplan, which features a spacious kitchen with modern amenities and classic white color scheme. The kitchen is a cook’s favorite thanks to the granite countertops, overhanging kitchen island, morning room, breakfast bar, and stainless steel appliances. Leading from the kitchen is a well-lit great room with a gas fireplace. Up the curved wooden staircase, you’ll find three bedrooms and an owner’s suite with a double-door entry and two walk-in closets. Back down in the partially finished basement, this home features a wet bar and entertainment room, finished bathroom, and a yoga loft or meditation room, along with plenty of additional room for storage and utility needs.

Since 1950, the Lehigh Valley Builders Association has represented builders and professionals in the homebuilding industry in Lehigh and Northampton counties. As one of the largest trade associations in the area, the LVBA is the authority for homebuilding in the Lehigh Valley, serving the region through the mission of enhancing industry professionalism standards and promoting its members’ abilities to meet the needs of the community for quality housing. Tuskes Homes is proud to partner with LVBA in providing excellent craftsmanship and customer service to the Greater Lehigh Valley.



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