FAQs: General Questions

FAQs: General Questions


I see the name Nova Designs Builds on your website, what is the relationship of Nova Designs to Red Apple Ranch?

What is the difference between a custom home and a typical subdivision tract home?

Are there HOA (home owner association) fees and, if so, how much?

What are the green features?

Do you require all houses to have green features?

Does Red Apple Ranch get snow?

 
 
I see the name Nova Designs Builds on your website, what is the relationship of Nova Designs to Red Apple Ranch?
The name of the development company is Red Apple Ranch Development Co. LLC. John Schrader is the managing partner of the company. John is also a general contractor and owns a design/build company in San Francisco called Nova Designs Builds Inc. Nova is one of the premier design build companies in San Francisco, has been in business for over 20 years and has designed, remodeled and built over 1,000 projects.

What is the difference between a custom home and a typical subdivision tract home?
Most subdivisions are built with typical plans mixed with a few exterior finish options. These generic plans are designed for flat lots and do not take any of their site characteristics into consideration.

The beauty and unique character of each lot of the Red Apple Ranch subdivision and the expertise of Nova Designs Builds lead us to tailor each home to its site. Topography, views, orientation, and privacy are all taken into consideration. Each home is designed with these site-specific criteria, developing a unique, local architecture inspired by barns and other local buildings. We use efficient material combinations and maximize spaces to create contemporary houses unique to each site.

Are there HOA (home owner association) fees and, if so, how much?
Yes, the first 9 lots developed are being subsidized by Red Apple Ranch Development Co. LLC. At this time the fees are $100 per month. When the first phase is completed the HOA fees will be approximately $251.96.

What are the green features?
Currently we are and have been using integrated photovoltaic panels that are attached to the metal roofs. Although the systems are relatively small they have been extremely successful with the first three homes, enjoying reduced electric bills though out the year.

  • Radiant heat (we are evaluating its efficiency, though it has been used)
  • Cool roof systems
  • Designs that allow extra insulation
  • Whole house fans
  • Low VOC interiors
  • High efficiency windows
  • On demand water heaters
  • Passive solar design due to house positioning for optimal site

Do you require all houses to have green features?
Our philosophy is this: if it saves you money to operate, if it creates better indoor air quality or if it uses renewable material sources then these are commonsense choices to make. We don’t question whether a house should have a kitchen or not, and if we can generate our own electrical power efficiently we probably shouldn’t question that either.

We approach each home and homeowner as an individual with its own unique requirements and opportunities, so no there are no preconceived requirements.

Does Red Apple Ranch get snow?
A typical snowstorm can drop down to this elevation and a typical storm is usually 2-3 inches. The elevation of Red Apple Ranch is right at the snow level, so any amount of snow that we get tends to melt rather quickly.

This past year, 2010-2011, had an unusually high number of storms with unusual intensity. Some storms dropped 6-12 inches of snow on the site. All homes are engineered for snow load and wind load for homes at a much higher elevation.

Red Apple Ranch is right at the transition point for engineering requirements of snow loads between moderate and heavy. We have elected to engineer all of our homes for heavy snow loads and, if we are the builder for any other architect or engineer, we would insist the homes be engineered for heavy snow loads.