Tanen Homes



A wonderful concrete block foam insulation called Core-Fill 500™ Masonry Foam Insulation, by Tailored Foam of Florida is a product that Tanen Homes has offered for a number of years. We include this product as standard item with our Aruba series homes.

What is concrete block insulation? During the building stage after interior framing, rough plumbing, A/C, and Electrical roughs are complete, we have Tailored Foam of Florida drill holes in the block walls for the entire house and then inject under pressure, spray liquid foam into the block walls. The foam fills all the voids in the block walls.

Concrete has no insulation value. It’s primary function is a strong building. Combined with steel and concrete, block walls are very strong. “Core-Fill 500™ fills every joint, crack and gap in a masonry wall, providing the best possible sealing system against moisture, airborne dust and pollutants, and sound” (tailoredfoaminc.com). Another product Tailored Foam offers and Tanen Homes has used is Icynene® Spray Foam Insulation. This product replaces Batt and blown in fiberglass insulation which is recycled paper, mostly from newsprint. Fiberglass is tiny strands of glass.

Icynene® Spray Foam insulation is applied to the underside of the plywood roof between the trusses. When applied, all the foam expands to fill any space, regardless of dimensions, shape or surface irregularity. The result is a roof that is air tight and a major reduction of heat penetration resulting in an energy efficient home. Icynene® Spray Foam combined with Core-Fill 500™ will make air conditioning significantly more efficient and electric bills much lower than a home with traditional insulation products.

Another nice feature of Icynene® is that it is applied to the underside of the roof plywood. In addition to superior R values, this product eliminates batt insulation or blown in insulation that compresses over time and becomes less efficient.

Icynene® Spray Foam according to roofing manufactures of cement tile roofs approve and will warranty the concrete tiles. To date, Tanen Homes has not found an asphalt shingle manufacturer that will warranty their shingle with this type of insulation. This doesn’t mean the product can’t be used with shingle roofs, however there may be shingle manufacturing warranty issues. This is not the case with concrete roof tile.

Tanen Homes does not include Icynene® Spray Foam insulation as a standard product. The product is not initially inexpensive but over time the savings in energy expenses is greatly reduced and well worth the investment. This is true for not only saving money on electricity but the efficiency of your home will be greatly enhanced.

To learn more about Tailored Foam of Florida and the comparison and benefits over conventional insulation products, we encourage you to visit their web site, tailoredfoaminc.com.



Years ago before we used computers to draw construction documents, we did them by hand. One of the founders of Tanen Homes, Nathan Tanen would work in the field by day overseeing construction and then sit down after dinner and hand draw house plans. If someone wanted the house flipped, the plans had to be redrawn and this process took many hours to complete.

Today, we have the wonderful tool of CAD (computer aided design) to do the hard work for us. This still takes hours of work, however mouse clicks are easy to change as opposed to pencil. There are many programs available to contractors and some homebuyers purchase inexpensive versions to draw what they would like in a new home. Inexpensive programs are generally limited and we end up drawing the plans anyway. This is a good starting point for those home buyers that know what they want. Our job is to make sure it works. It is one thing to draw a pretty picture and another thing to build it.

At Tanen Homes, we use a program called Softplan. When home buyers come to us, we offer modifications to our set plans so each home buyer is involved in the building process. It is actually unusual for a home buyer to walk in, see a floor plan and go to contract without any modifications. For that reason, we at Tanen Homes work with you the home buyer to make sure you get exactly what you want. This is generally a back and forth process and we do not charge to change plans regardless of how long it takes prior to contract to ensure that you are satisfied.

There are instances where home buyers bring in a set of plans drawn by a plan designer or architect. In that instance, you the home buyer will have to acquire 3 full sets of signed and sealed engineered plan documents for submittal to the building department. We do make every effort prior to contract to make sure the set of plans will work in the field. There have been occasions where plans were brought to us and we discovered errors such as door openings that were wrong, etc., or other things that could have been designed better. When we build from plans draws by others, any errors found or changes that need to me made are put back in the hands of the home owner to get done with the plan designer or architect. We certainly take charge and work with the parties involved in plan drafting but any expenditure derived from changes or corrections to owner supplied plans fall back on the home buyer.

Plans are also available for purchase online. Caution should be taken as one needs to make sure that those plans meet code for local municipalities. Most of our homes are built in Palm Beach County and plans for those homes must meet code. There are no shortcuts when it comes to code whether it be local or state codes.  Before spending money on plans online, you should make sure you know exactly what you are getting.

Whether you purchase plans online, have plans draw by a plan designer or architect, you will need the following signed and sealed plan sheets.

  • Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Front and Rear Elevation Plan
  • Left and Right Elevation Plan
  • Lintel Plan
  • Details Sheet Plan
  • Truss Plan
  • Electrical Plan.

When Tanen Homes does the set of plans, everything is included in the price to build. No matter which direction you the home buyer decide to go as far as plans, we are happy to work with you to make sure you get the home you want.


New home construction Palm Beach County

If you the home buyer do not own a lot and are working with a realtor or if you decide to use the professional real estate staff at Tanen Homes, there are factors to keep in mind while looking for a lot to build on. A good starting place would be to look at areas in your price range for a combined lot and house together that you can qualify on for your loan.

In Palm Beach County, the majority of available lots for home building are located in the Royal Palm Beach – Loxahatchee Acreage, Palm Beach Country Estates and Jupiter Farms. There are lots available in other areas such as Palm Beach Little Ranchettes, Sherbrooke Estates, etc.but the choices are more limited in those areas.

Once an area is decided on, it is time to research lots. The easiest way to get started is with a realtor who can search the multiple listing service for available lots. Based on home buyer parameters, real estate agents can narrow their search. Specifics such as corner lots and paved roads only are more challenging to locate and being more flexible will yield more to choose from.  At Tanen Homes, our real estate professionals will travel to the available lots for sale before escorting prospective home buyers. This way we can weed out lots that may be undesirable due to an eyesore home next door or a lot that may hold water.

If you decide to look for lots without a real estate agent, the task will be more difficult as you will have to do all the leg work in finding the right lot. One tool may be the property appraiser site of Palm Beach County. If you are driving around an area you would like to live in, you should make note of the streets and then go to the property appraiser site and find the lots on the map. You can then write to the property owners and inquire about purchasing their lot. If you are not in a hurry to find a lot, and don’t want to use a real estate agent, this may be the way to go. The best way to find a lot however is with a professional real estate agent that knows what they are looking at in lots and will direct you in the right path. Our real estate agents at Tanen Homes know what to look for in a good lot and they know the market.

In Palm Beach County, lots with exotic vegetation (non-native vegetation) must be removed before certificate of occupancy will be issued. There basically are no lots that are completely free of non-native vegetation but some lots that have Melaleuca or Cypress trees in great quantities should be considered carefully as those lots are generally low and may contain non-buildable soils such as muck. In that case the muck has to be removed and clean compactable fill brought in for the house pad. Low lots need more fill dirt and fill dirt is not inexpensive.

To make sure your money is safe, we recommend that preliminary soil boring test are conducted on a prospective lot to make sure it is a buildable lot. On a vacant lot contract, there is a clause for a feasibility study. This is where you the lot purchaser have leverage to protect your deposit. If the soil boring test come back and no problems are found with the lot, you are good to go. If problems such as muck are discovered, you can cancel the contract within the time frame agreed upon in the contract.

We at Tanen Homes want you the purchaser to be informed and make good decisions. We are here to help and guide you through the process.


(Choosing a Builder)Upon qualifying for a construction perm loan (construction loan that modifies to a mortgage upon completion of the home) researching and visiting home builders is your next step. Once you research builders online, you should visit them and be prepared to ask questions. There are a number of questions you should ask prospective home builders. You could start off by asking questions you already know the answers to from your online research. This will keep the builders and their staff honest. Don’t be afraid to ask and keep in mind that you are making a big decision in trusting a builder to construct your new home. This is your money you are spending and you need to be comfortable with your decision. We at Tanen Homes prefer that you know everything you can before you spend any money.

Asking basic questions like how long have you been in business and do you have a list of previous home buyers and current home buyers that I can call. Tanen Homes is proud to be able to provide those lists.  Ask how long the building process takes. Our contract provides up to 8 months building time from pouring of the building slab. Do you provide lien releases for NTO (Notice To Owner)? NTO is part of the Florida Lien Law. Lenders require lien releases from builders and home buyers should request copies as well. What does an NTO mean to you the home buyer? It basically means that a subcontractor such as a roofer or block mason for example purchases materials for your home, and the subcontractor and or materialmen file an NTO. If a contractor fails to pay for goods or services, you the home buyer may be on the hook for payment. At Tanen Homes, we know who will be filing NTO’s and we scan the payment check to our subcontractors and they are required to produce either a partial or final release of lien depending on the situation. For example, a plumber or electrician will have several stages of construction and they will provide partial releases and then upon completion of the project, they will supply a final release of lien. Once we receive the release of lien, we mail the check to the subcontractor. This way everyone is protected. NTO’s are sent many times by certified mail and they are mailed to you the home owner, we the builder and also to the lender. Lenders will require the builder to produce releases of lien from the NTO before payment is disbursed to the builder for work in process.

Another important question to ask is if the builder will alter the plans from their brochure. Tanen Homes offers in house plans and will make changes to our plans prior to home buyers entering into contract. You the home buyer meet with our sales staff and make changes to the floor plans and elevations. We then make the changes on our CAD drawing system and show you the changes. It is also not uncommon to make changes to the changed plans. We at Tanen Homes will change the plans as many times at takes to make sure you get exactly what you want and we do not change to do this.

Make your list is questions and visit builders in the areas you are considering building in. Our travel area is from Boynton Beach to Jupiter, Florida.



Part 1

(NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION PROCESS) Buying a new home made to order can be a daunting task if you let it be so. This can also be a rewarding and exciting process as you will have many decisions to make.

At Tanen Homes, we believe that home buyers should be made aware of the building process and what is involved before spending any money on the project. If a home buyer is not in a position of unlimited cash which most home buyers are not, finding a lender and qualifying for a construction loan that modifies to a mortgage (construction perm loan) should be the first step made before visiting and interviewing home builders. Being qualified will let you know what you can afford to build and lets a prospective builder will know what to show you based on your financial qualification.

The next step is to decide where you want to live. Tract building is easy as PUD’s (Planned Urban Developments) are located in many areas but tract building has many limitations. They have set models and generally tract builders do not alter their plans or offer many selections other than the standard items that are included. This is easier than custom building as tract builders offer the lot and house together and there are not many options to choose from.

If you choose a custom builder such as Tanen Homes, you will need to purchase your own lot and then build your dream home. We have professional real estate agents that can locate buildable lots or many times home buyers own a lot and are looking to build. As opposed to tract builders, we at Tanen Homes work with our home buyers and design their home the way they want it to be. Home buyers will pick everything for example, cabinets, doors, paint colors, roofing, wall outlets, lighting  and many other items before we break ground on the project.

If you want it your way and want some control on how your home gets built, custom as opposed to tract building is the way to go.

Clip System Tile Installation

Clip System Tile Installation

We used to think that the only way to install long plank tile or oversize tile was to mudset them. This ended up costing the customer more money and took longer to install. Starting in 2016,  Tanen Homes starting using the clip system for tile installation on oversize tile.

The clip system is composed of two parts; one is the actual spacer that locks in below adjacent tiles, and the other is a wedge that slides into the top sandwiching the tiles between the two parts. They essentially “pull” the tiles from below, and “push” the tiles from the top so that they are all on the same plane. This reduces the amount of lippage (toe kickers) from one tile to the next. This is a revolution in the world of tiling. When used correctly, this system improves the overall quality of the install.

After much discussion with our tile installer, he tried the clip system and agreed that it is a very good alternative to mudset installation. Mudset installation still has a lot of value and is an excellent method for marble floor.

The clip system is good for large tile format such as 6” x 36” and longer. Long tile will bend and the clips will level it out. The clips are placed in the same general areas for each tile laid but may be placed to conform where they are needed.

Tile stores generally have examples of tile installed with the clip system. We at Tanen Homes can determine which installation is the best choice based on tile selection.


new homes Jupiter

Light Fixtures That Impress

When building your dream home the one important element to consider is lighting. It can change a mood or setting with a flip of a switch.

There are many types of lighting that will give your home the perfect look or place the focus on a specific element in a room. Using the proper light will allow you to bring out the beauty and allow you to use each room in the manner in which it is meant to be used.

Lets talk lighting!


* General lighting allows you to use a room and have enough light so that you and yours can function properly by being able to see with no problem. Often times home owners will use lower voltage bulbs and the lower the voltage the lower the light and of course the harder it is to see.

Rooms that people do a lot of reading or writing, cooking and shaving should have brighter light.

Who wants to overcook rice because you could not read the directions or cut your face because you did not have the proper lighting in the bathroom.

Modern Bedroom in Light Tones --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

* Accent lighting allows you to focus on the most beautiful spots in a home.

Accent lighting allows you to place the light on a focal point of a room such as knickknacks, collectibles and artwork. Items on display will always appear much more beautiful with accent lighting! Accent lighting can be spotlights, lighting in your ceiling or built into cabinetry. Always check to see the best voltage for accent lighting.


Let’s face it sometimes you need additional light and since more than one person is using each room, a lamp or lights directly on the stove, sink and counters will provide enough direct light to read instructions.

Always remember that lighting should be in front of you vs. behind you for the best use, affect and lighting!

We hope you found this article useful. When looking for a custom home builder in West Palm Beach, contact Tanen Homes today!

custom kitchen

How to cook up a hot kitchen in 2013

One of the few places in the heart of the home, that brings the whole family together is the kitchen. It is not really much fun when you cook alone, so having an expansive island that gives enough space will enable family members to lend a hand in the cooking and make it more exciting.

The island can be used for various purposes,  from preparing and serving the food to a place where you can have a casual dinner or homework. Over the years, the island which is a part of the kitchen that is always in use, has transformed into a piece of art that is constantly evolving.

Today’s islands come with designs that offer endless possibility while incorporating shelving, storage and clean up. There are some islands that are as long as a room, showcase glass or stone counter tops, compliment the design of the main cabinetry and mimic pieces of furniture.

The goal of a kitchen design is to provide stylish flexibility with comfort and openness at the same time. A well designed kitchen is a multifunctional space that is beautiful and able to accommodate the need of a household with multiple children, empty nesters, visiting family and friends. To make your kitchen more welcoming and warm, you need to arrange stashed away bills, keep all charging devices and media cords out of sight and keep all built in appliances hidden behind stylish cabinet faces. To enable your guests and ‘sous chef ‘ close enough to converse and also assist you, get a butler’s pantry with mini that is neatly out of the work triangle.

Rooms were joined with small openings in kitchen designs of the past decade. This maze of rooms made it difficult for guests to locate the kitchen. Most of the time the kitchen is out of sight because it is used for a particular purpose. But the recent trend has been casual kitchens that are relaxed and open to dining room, family room, breakfast nook and covered lanais. These are just some of the designs used by homeowners and designers in place of more formal spaces.

 If you want to make clean up very easy, use a backsplash because it also adds color and texture. You can repeat the colors in your furniture, accessories and accents, there is also the choice of using vibrant or muted colors. Also to add a more graceful appearance to the backsplash, use metal in various finishes in your gadgets and appliances. The creative use of metal tiles as backlash feature wall or in small accent is a common practice these days, the options are numerous from bronze fleur-de-lis inserts to pewter rope braids or stainless steel. This trend is not going away any soon even though glass tiles have been in used in the design of modern kitchen for years. To get a unique twist that is sometime unexpected and colorful, recent designs even come with a mixture of glass and tiles.

 Most 2013 Kitchen Palettes are inspired by mother nature, much like the modern bath. Outdoor inspired designs like garden and beach can be found everywhere these days. All over the world they can be found in varying tones of dark to warmer colored wood, and you can even consider the classic white. It is very easy to use gorgeous white cabinetry to create contemporary, farmhouse or cottage architecture. There are also other parts of this design such as tiles that imitate wood , a casual elegance reinforced with stone or wide plank flooring.

 As you may have observed, most kitchens are getting more equipped and hi tech. A huge number of smart storage options are available, such as warming drawers, custom designed hoods, convection ovens and even stainless steel appliances that can talk to your phone. To ensure that no space is left unused and every item is neatly stored at the point of use, the drawers and cabinet are customized to meet this need. The pantry which has often been described as mundane has been infused with a touch of sophistication and integrated wood shelving, wine storage, a second sink, coffee system and much more.

Professional designers and kitchen savvy homeowners select the features that appeal the most , thereby making the most of the kitchen design, even if a modern-day kitchen sounds really expensive. If you think about your everyday needs, designing a kitchen with smart placement and excellent function does not have to be an expensive project. Also if you want to drastically increase function and fun without exceeding your budget, create spaces for the centerpieces, island and open walls.

houses for sale

What Home Size is Right For You?

What Home Size Do You Need?

For most homeowners,  the size of the home is a very important factor. The need for more space is one of the main reasons why people go hunting for a house. Even though you may not stay in your new home forever, it is possible that you will stay there for a couple of years. It is important that you don’t just consider the current space you need, but also think about the kind of space you will be needing in the near future.  Experts even advise that you act like your current home purchase will be the last one.


One of the key reasons (as noted by Realtors) people look for a large home is a growing family. When you think about a home size, it is important that you plan for growing children or the ones you intend to have in the future. The children will need space to sleep and also need play areas, such as  a playroom and nice sized back yard. Reserving an extra room, even if you don’t have the need for a child’s bedroom at the moment, is a wise decision.  It can serve many other purposes, for example – a guest room, indoor mini gym or a home office, until you start to have children.

Empty Nesters

If your children have reached adulthood or have moved out of the house, you might want to consider buying a smaller home. Instead of caring for a room used occasionally when your children visit, you could add a futon to your home office since your kids no longer stay with you. You will save enough needed cash by reducing the number of room by one (money you can even use to enjoy many awesome trips).


At home, how often do you need to entertain guests? You will need more space to accommodate the guests, especially if you have a dinner party every week. But if for the  most part, you have only immediate family in your house, then having less space for entertainment shouldn’t be a problem.

You’ll need to calculate the price of booking a hotel room compared to buying a home that comes with an extra guest room, when guests like grandma, other family members and friends visit for the week or summer. It is wise to go for a smaller home size if your budget is tight (the amount of money you will pay monthly is even smaller) instead of being disturbed about how you are going to accommodate house guests that visit occasionally.

Special Needs

When thinking about the size of home you want to get, it is important to consider your special needs or hobbies, if you have any. Some of the special needs that may require a specially designed room or dedicated spaces include the following :


  •    Family member with a disability. Special accommodations may be needed, in order to make their stay comfortable.
  •    Over sized furniture, such as pool table or a piano.
  •    You might need a home office with additional space for setting up.
  •    Dance and/or art studio.


When buying a home and money is not an issue, many of us would just buy a mansion, once and for all. However, during the  home buying process, a major concern for most people is the price. There are some sacrifices you need to make when choosing your new home. Square footage is the second most important feature, after price. When a price is quoted, make sure you choose the biggest home size in that price category that you can afford. You can start adding other accessories to the home later. You may have remorse later of you do the opposite and buy a home with a lot of great features but not enough space. Doing an expansion in a home is an expensive and long process. But bit-by-bit over time it is easy to add upgrades like hardwood floor or granite counter tops .

The design of the home is another factor that needs to be considered. Square footage is not the only thing that you need to focus on. The right home feels ultra-flexible and larger based on floor plan design, and this is because home floor plans can be laid out differently.

Some home plans may not suit your needs because they are more confining, even though they both share similarities in square footage, size and looks. Instead of focusing on the square foot number, consider the space been offered, the homes ability to meet your needs and the flexibility it offers.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When considering home size, your kind of lifestyle is another important factor that you need to consider. You might want to opt for buying a smaller house if you are not always at home. You can easily upgrade later when your lifestyle has changed and your family begins to grow.

You also have to consider pets to if they are a part of your life. You need to consider home size needs if you are with your pets most of the time. For example, a big yard is needed by large dogs. But if the options available in your city does not include owning or you have a tight budget, buying a larger home with more square footage for pets to play indoors is an option you may need to consider.

Be Proactive and Think Long Term

If you want to know the size of a home, an easy way to do it is to study the floor plan of the place you are staying currently. Get a photocopy of the floor plan diagram and on it indicate spaces reserved for different activities. You may need a bigger home if you feel the urge to draw extra rooms into the floor plan. Going through this process will give you an idea of the size of square footage you will need and also help you as you start making your future plan.

As a custom builder, Tanen Homes understands the importance of every detail that concerns you, including choosing the right size of home to suit your lifestyle. We have a portfolio of beautiful homes that we’re proud to offer – have a look and contact us for more information.

7 Vital Questions You Need To Ask Before Choosing A Builder

Details are a very important factor.

How do you know if the Home Builder you are about to hire has the right qualifications?

There are some important factors that you need to consider when choosing the best Home Builder for your new home.

These would include location, competitive pricing and construction quality.

Making the right choice after narrowing down your selection based on location, floor plan, amenities and overall investment, all depends on the details.

Even if you are buying your first home or moving into the third, at Tanen Homes we understand that this is not just a simple purchase.

Nowadays consumers need to gather a lot of information and do quite an amount of research before making considerably smaller purchases, such as clothing, coffee maker, electronics and automobiles. Gathering as much information as possible before buying a house is a very important step that it wise decision you cannot overlook.

Before you hire the Home Builder you are considering, we advise you ask the following questions:

  • Compared to other builders, what makes the services that your company offer unique?

  •  Do you provide a home warranty to your home owner, and if so, what type is it?

  •  In your home financing program, is there only one lending choice for homeowners?

  •  In the entire home building process, how do you intend to keep me informed and to what degree will I be involved?

  •  Does your company possess a written Customer Satisfaction Rating?

  •  Previous clients and testimonials of your company; what do they say about your overall home building experience?

Although these questions may seem common,most of them are very important.

Buying a home as we have discovered is an experience that can be very emotional. There is certain information that cannot be found in brochures, but by asking these questions you will receive very valuable information. Knowing the overall value and business practices of your home builder is of great importance when you want to build your home.

The exciting process of building your dream house is an investment of emotions, time and expectation, it is not just an investment of cents and dollars. We hope to assist you with helpful advice that will guide you in making the right decision, whether you choose Tanen Homes as your home builder or not.

 Tanen Homes has designed and built many beautiful custom homes throughout South Florida, and we would love the opportunity to help you build your dream home! Check out our portfolio and if you have any questions please contact us!