Welcome Homes plans to revolutionize the way people buy homes.
Much like how car buyers can buy and customize their vehicle online, Welcome Homes aims to simplify the process of creating a custom home online. Buyers can select a lot, choose from a carefully curated list of interior and exterior design options, and get a guaranteed all-inclusive price to build their new home.
“Basically, we’re trying to produce the home so people can make their choices without being overwhelmed,” says Anthony Carrino, vice president of design for Welcome Homes, which operates in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, with more expected locations. This year. “They get a really good design and have their house built for them within six months.”
In his role, Carrino seeks to specify building products that will not only stand the test of time for his customers, but also fit functionally and aesthetically. That’s why many of the products he selects are the ones he uses at home. After using them day after day, he knows he can trust their quality. His experience remodeling his vacation home in the Catskills area of New York has given him the confidence to specify propane systems for the vast majority of Welcome Homes projects.
Energy for homes on rural land
To provide customers with a selection of lots to choose from if they don’t own their own land, Welcome Homes uses technology to screen potential lots and display them on the website’s plot viewer. Most of these parcels of land do not already have services such as sewer, water, and natural gas, so builder designs often include septic systems, well drilling, and propane tanks.
Carrino, a self-taught designer, builder and project manager with 25 years of experience in residential design and restoration, gained a lot of experience with propane while renovating his vacation home. The 1960s stone farmhouse had been gutted but left unfinished by a previous owner. “Where most people see a problem in a house, I see value because of my skills,” he says. “I basically finished the demolition on my own and then put absolutely everything back together.”
It was clear that the basement had once contained an oil tank, leaving a stain on the concrete and a rusty old oil furnace. “There was no world I was going to burn oil in that house,” Carrino says. “It’s expensive. It’s dirty. And it’s just not as efficient as a propane house. From the moment we closed the property, I knew I was putting propane in the ground.
Carrino had a 1,000 gallon propane tank buried in his yard to power the new systems and appliances he installed throughout the house. The house is now heated by a hybrid system with an electric heat pump and a propane furnace. “As temperatures drop and electric heat becomes more expensive to run, propane kicks in and does the heavy lifting for you,” he says. “So it really uses your utilities at the most efficient time with the most efficient fuel for your needs.”
Visit propane.com to learn more about Carrino’s renovation, including a deluxe propane cooktop, outdoor kitchen, heated pool and propane backup generator.