Jacksonville metro area among top U.S. markets for residential construction permits in 2019

Jacksonville ranks among the top 20 metros for the number of residential building permits issued to developers, according to a recent report by Apartment Guide.

The Sunshine State is red hot for building permits as all four of the state’s major metro areas made the top 20. Tampa Bay led Florida at the No. 11 spot, but Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach and Jacksonville landed at Nos. 12, 13 and 18, respectively.

The South also led all regions for the most housing units authorized with 401,814, over 51 percent of all units authorized this year. The next closest region, the West, had 196,610, which accounted for just over 25 percent.

By Jeff Jeffrey and Brendan Ward  –  Jacksonville Business Journal


5 Benefits to Building a Custom Home

  • 5 Benefits of Building a New Custom Home
    1. Energy efficiency: Custom built homes can allow for updated technologies for energy efficiency. So, you’ll not only save some trees, you’ll save some money!
    2. Custom Layouts: Being able to design the floor plan and features of your home will allow you to make sure that it not only looks great but lives and functions well.
    3. Privacy: Building your custom home to your specifications can be built to maximize the amount of privacy that you need.
    4. Saving money: When you purchase an existing home, which is usually several years old, it will cost you more money when you need to fix, update or upgrade certain aspects of it. Plus there’s also the inevitable toenails in the carpet left behind by the former owner….yuck!
    5. Peace of mind: When you build a new home that adheres to the latest Building Codes and that comes with an industry leading Warranty, you can rest assured that there won’t be any costly surprises in your near future .

Awesome Holiday Cookie Recipe

Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies

These little cookies have a nutty undercurrent of brown butter. Their artfully crinkled surfaces are the result of rolling the dough in two kinds of sugar before baking. Granulated sugar helps the powdered sugar cling to the surface. As the cooking bake and spread, their surface cracks, creating a zigzag of sugar and dough.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon coarse saltTravel Solo, Make Friends Ad by The New York Times See More

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high. When it boils, reduce heat to medium; simmer until foamy. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pan, until foam subsides, butter turns golden brown with a nutty aroma, and milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to bottom, 2 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a large heatproof bowl and let cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the brown sugar into brown butter until combined, then stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place powdered sugar and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in 2 separate bowls. Scoop 1 tablespoon dough and roll into a ball; roll in granulated sugar, then coat with powdered sugar (do not shake off excess). Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough and sugars.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies spread slightly, crackle, and are set at edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to racks; let cool completely. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature in a single layer up to 2 days.) Makes 3 dozen cookies

— From “Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection: 100+ Recipes to Take Your Sweet Treats to the Next Level: A Baking Book” by Editors of Martha Stewart Living

8 Home Design Trends That We’re Looking Forward to in 2020

As the year winds down and fall begins its slow descent into winter, many Southerners are bracing for the cold. In the design world, however, things are just heating up. Not only are the new year’s hottest hues making their grand debut, but trend experts are also gearing up to make their anticipated predictions for home interiors in 2020.

From the hottest kitchen palette to the home’s newest statement room.

And good news for those who want to get a head start on their remodeling plans: The first of these forecasts is here. Home remodeling site Houzz, a database where millions of professionals and homeowners go to share decorating ideas, recently pulled together a list of eight home design trends poised to make it big in 2020—and there are more than a few ideas we’d like to steal. Read on for a glimpse into your decorating future.

Trend: Anything-But-White Kitchens

In the kitchen, an all-white palette has reigned supreme since, well, forever—and for good reason. They’re timeless, classic, clean, and work well with almost any style. But next year, homeowners just may be itching for change. According to Houzz, while white cabinets are still popular with remodelers (with 40 percent of renovating homeowners installing them), there’s also more of an uptick in those searching for alternatives. Houzz points to soft hues, like light grays and blues, as on-the-rise replacements for the all-white kitchen. Another option for those who can’t part with their white cabinets? Pops of wood, which can be introduced through open shelving, countertops, drawers, and pull-outs.

Trend: The Return of the Formal Dining Room

Whether it’s a casual weeknight supper or a Saturday dinner party, meals these days tend to be shared over informal arrangements, often within or near the kitchen. But your formal dining room can offer much more than mere storage space for your finest china. Next year, Houzz expects homeowners to treat their dining rooms as the “wow” spaces they have the potential to be, with bold colors, patterns, eye-catching light fixtures and artwork that might not fit elsewhere within the style of the home. Talk about dressing to impress.

Trend: A Bathroom With Somewhere to Sit (Other Than a Toilet)

Hear this one out. With bathrooms becoming more like spa-like wellness retreats in the home, benches, stools, and window seats are becoming much more common. Keep one near the vanity as a place to perch during your nighttime skincare routine, or by the bath as a catch-all for towels, candles, books, and face masks.

Trend: Tiled Bathtub Aprons

In a bathroom, tile is often one of those tricks designers use to yield big results at little cost. But while you might expect to see it cladding a floor or shower surround, tile can also totally transform a bath. According to Houzz, this versatile material is increasingly being used to dress up a tub apron, which adds style in addition to giving the appearance of a fixture that’s entirely built-in.

Trend: Double Floating Vanities

Speaking of bathrooms, homeowners are also looking to spruce up their sink areas with floating vanities. Beloved for their clean, minimalistic look, these contemporary faves are practical for their ability to free up floor space, which can create an illusion of size in a room with minimal square footage.

Trend: Statement-Making Laundry Rooms

It used to be that, if a homeowner wanted to have a little design fun, the default location would be the powder room. (The pint-sized space is small enough to handle big ideas and feels separate enough to work with little cohesion from the rest of the home.) But, these days, homeowners are seeking excitement in another hardworking space: the laundry room. According to Houzz, designers are increasingly using the workhorse to experiment with cheerful colors, playful patterns, and quirky design ideas, including chalkboard walls, themed wallpapers, and creative storage solutions. Anything to make the task at hand a little more enjoyable, right?

Trend: Fully Wrapped Powder Rooms

Just because homeowners are expanding their creative footprint to the laundry room doesn’t mean they’re neglecting the original statement maker. On the contrary, powder rooms seem to be going even bolder. According to Houzz, wallpapers are still the stars of tiny powder rooms, with designers now opting to fully surround the small space with a single eye-catcher, be it a large-print pattern or textural grasscloth.

Trend: Wood Range Hoods

The bathroom isn’t the only space being taken over by texture. In the kitchen, warm woods are making their way to unconventional places, including over cooktops as decorative range hoods. Along with the ubiquitous farmhouse sink, warm wood accents are perfect accompaniments for classic farmhouse-style kitchens.

So, which of these up-and-comers are you planning on bringing to your home next year?

-Marisa Spyker

Southern Living

5 Great Spots for Saltwater Fishing in North Florida

Saltwater fishing in North Florida takes advantage of one of the richest, and most diverse areas for fishing in the world. The list of available species includes tarpon, cobia, sea trout, redfish, flounder, sailfish, snapper and grouper, bluefish, jack crevalle, an occasional snook, and many others. There is really no bad time to fish this area, although some species are more available on a seasonal basis than others whether they are inshore, near shore, or offshore game fish.


This shallow waterway comes alive with the first hint of fall.  “With the tail end of the hurricane season we normally have slightly higher water levels, and those first little bumps of north wind get the reds bunched up and heading to the tidal creeks,” said Capt. Scott Tripp. Tripp’s favorite creeks are those on the northern end of Mosquito Lagoon from Shotgun Pass to the Three Sisters. His favorite pattern is simple.

“Follow the creeks in, fishing the deeper bends as you go,” he advised. “Look for the smaller open bays inside. Some may not be more than 25-yards wide, and those that have grass in them are normally best. In the cool morning the reds tend to hang in the deeper bends, but as the sun gets up they fan out and tail in those shallow bays just off the channels.”

There is little tide movement in this area, but even a 6- to 8-inch falling tide moves the fish off of the extremely shallow flats and makes them accessible to boating anglers. Tripp prefers the falling tide and notes that a key to look for in these bays are deeper white sand holes in the grass.

“The reds find these on a falling tide,” he said. “But don’t be surprised to find a 6- to 10-pound trout parked in the middle of one.”


Moving north on the First Coast, the area from State Route 206 south to the Pellicer Creek flats also gets a boost from both cooling temperatures and masses of mullet.

“There is a major mullet run this month” said Capt. Tommy Derringer “and the reds are keyed to it. This is the forage they’re after and they climb as shallow onto the flats as the mullet run to get to it.”

The normal tide in this area is about 3-feet, although a hard east wind raises it. Derringer’s approach is simple.

“A high tide pushes mullet and reds right up onto any flat along the ICW,” he said. “The ones I want to fish are those with Spartina grass lines on them that have a two to three-foot depth at high tide.”

Catch those conditions on a high tide and Derringer recommends topwater plugs, and notes that while dim light is an asset, anglers can stay with them throughout the high tide this time of year


The next stop northward is the Intra-Coastal Waterway from the St. Augustine Inlet, north to Pine Island.

“The mullet run is in full swing and they’re heading south along the ICW until they dump out of the St. Augustine Inlet,” said Capt. Larry Miniard. “Trout are keyed on this mass of bait, and they are going to be where they can feed on them most easily. The striking activity we get this month is some of the best we see all year.”

Normal tides in this area run 4 1/2 feet, but with northeast wind they can run to 6 feet. That is a lot of water moving through this area, and the baitfish follow that water. Miniard plans his day accordingly.

“On the early rising tide I want to be along the main ICW where a shallow flat abuts a Spartina grass line and has a sharp drop to deeper water right next to it. Big trout, and we catch fish over 8-pounds every October, move into just a couple of feet of water if they can corral baitfish and shrimp against a solid wall like Spartina grass. But, they don’t want to be more than a tail flip or two away from a deeper water haven “.

The rising tide can be a hunt and peck affair, since many such depth and cover situations dot the ICW. When the tide falls, the game changes.

“Those trout follow the tide and the baitfish up into every creek along the ICW and then into the feeder creeks that lead to the flats,” Miniard said. “When the tide falls and the flats go dry, they have to come out.”

One of the quickest ways to tie into serious trout fishing this month is to enter the main creeks on the last half of the falling tide, and hit the mouth of every small intersecting creek that leads from the flats. Among those creeks that are invariably productive are Casa Cola, Sombrero, the Guana River, Pancho, Robinson, Stokes Creek, and the Seaplane Basin. If the bait is there, and the tide is dropping, you can count on trout.


Further north this area has a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the heaviest spotted sea trout in the state, and October is one of the premier months to target them.

“All of the mullet and shrimp that have spent the summer months down river are now heading north to pour out of the Mayport Inlet,” Capt. Tony Bozzella said, “and those big trout are right behind them.”

Eight- to 10-pound trout are not uncommon in this area, but they can be widely scattered during warmer weather. The fall mullet migration tends to concentrate them into several productive areas.

Among those that are traditionally productive is the back end of Mill Cove after the tide has risen several feet. Those big trout push into the shallow grass and oyster cover, where topwater plugs can provide exciting action.

Another is the sharply dropping coast along the dock-laden Fort Caroline shore. On a rising tide the trout push right up to the shoreline bulk heads to corral mullet. When the tide falls, and it moves fast along this stretch, they slip into the eddy behind dock pilings where they can nail any passing mullet. Topwater plugs and jerkbaits can be deadly on the rising tide, while jerkbaits and plastic-tailed jigs get the nod on the ebb.

The Fort George area is another excellent bet.


The massive October movement of mullet makes for hot action on trout and reds in the ICW. But, it also fires up the tarpon around the St. Augustine Inlet.

“You’ve got mullet pouring out the Inlet, and you also have big schools migrating south along the beaches,” Capt. Dennis Goldstein said. “There have been tarpon feeding behind the shrimp boats in 35 to 60 feet of water all summer, and if the water temperature stays in the mid-to-upper 70s — which it usually does this month — they are now exploding on those beach mullet pods.”

The migrating mullet schools normally run 200 to 400 feet off the beach and can be found within four or five miles north or south of the Inlet. They’re not hard to find.

“I normally kick my boat up onto a slow plane and run the beach,” Goldstein said. “You can see the mullet schools rippling right along the surface and the ones that have tarpon working them aren’t hard to spot. You see massive surface strikes and even tarpon cartwheeling in the air. It’s a very visual thing.”

Getting in on the action is easy. The first step is to cast-net a dozen mullet and get them into the livewell. Goldstein prefers those in the eight to ten inch range. His preferred rig is a heavy action 7 1/2-foot spinning rod spooled with several hundred yards of 65-pound braided line. A Cajun Thunder rattling cork is tied onto the braid and a 4- or 5-foot, 80-pound fluorocarbon leader runs off of that with a 6/0 circle hook forming the business end, with a live mullet hooked through the nose.

“Sometimes,” Goldstein noted, “when a tarpon blows up in the middle of a mullet pod they leave a big ‘hole.’ If you can get your bait into that hole, you probably hook up. But, there is almost more than one tarpon in a mullet pod. You can even have schools of them, so just get your bait into the middle of the pod and let that Cajun Thunder cork work for you.”

-Chris Christian

Why we use the Zip System

HOW DOES IT WORK? The technology behind ZIP System sheathing helps eliminate gaps in what is known as the ‘building envelope’, reducing air leakage from areas such as wall joints. ZIP System Wall sheathing is so advanced; it eliminates the need for conventional housewrap, once and for all.
FOR A HOMEOWNER, A TIGHTER HOME MEANS: • Energy savings- Homeowners with ZIP System sheathing save an average of 10.5% on their utility bills. • Increased comfort inside the homeProtecting against air leakage and drafts leads to a more comfortable living space where it counts the most. • Improved air quality- Air barrier systems such as ZIP System Wall sheathing keep families safe by protecting them against harmful pollutants.
WHAT IS THE R-VALUE AND HOW DO WE PROTECT IT? R-value (also known as the resistance value) is the way the building industry measures the inherent thermal resistance of insulation. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance to heat flowing through the wall cavity. Air leakage lessens the ability of insulation to do its job, namely to resist heat flow. The solution is an efficient wall system that creates a tight seal and allows insulation to perform at its intended level. ZIP System Wall sheathing is one of the easiest, most efficient ways to seal the wall system and prevent air leakage from degrading the R-value.

14 Best Things to do in North Florida

Featuring a mix of white sand beaches, natural springs and state parks, North Florida is home to some of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful, untouched landscapes. Aside from its natural beauty, it also boasts historic landmarks and family-friendly attractions without the crowds of tourists you’re used to in other parts of the state. From outdoor adventures to world-class cultural institutions, here are the best things to do in North Florida.

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island

Explore Amelia Island and Downtown Fernandina Beach.  Amelia Island is a treasure trove of history and heritage, with plenty of exciting things to do for the entire family. Walk along the brick streets of Fernandina Beach and admire buildings listed on the National Register, or go beachcombing for seashell treasures. Hop on the Amelia Island Trolley for a tour of the town, stop by the Palace Saloon for a drink at Florida’s longest-operating saloon and head out for a sunset sail along the waterfront.

Foliage at Washington Oaks State Gardens

See the unique shoreline at Washington Oaks State Park.  Home to one of Florida’s most famous shorelines, Washington Oaks State Park in Palm Coast is known for its picturesque coquina rock formations that line its beach. Aside from its 400 acres of coastal scenery that sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Matanzas River, you can walk along the footpaths to discover beautiful floral displays and citrus trees in the garden or go fishing along the seawall.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Meet wildlife at the Jacksonville Zoo.  The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens stretches out across 117 acres and features over 2,000 animals. Take the entire family to this top attraction in Jacksonville, where you can get up close to a range of exotic animals, from jaguars to giraffes and tigers, in its collection of exhibits. You can also feed stingrays, admire curious elephants and cool off in the on-site Play Park and Splash Ground.

Wakulla Springs

Go swimming at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.  You’ll find one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, where its 6,000 acres of natural surroundings offer a tranquil escape throughout the year. Its swimming area is the perfect place to cool off in Florida’s heat, while the popular glass-bottom boat tours and hiking trails are a haven for nature lovers.

Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens

Admire artwork in Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens.  Home to one of the finest art collections in the Southeast, the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens in Jacksonville holds nearly 5,000 objects in its permanent collection. There are interactive features that the kids will enjoy, while history enthusiasts will be impressed with the American and European paintings that date back to 2100 BC. Outside you’ll find a collection of beautifully manicured gardens with reflecting pools and ornate fountains.

Devil’s Millhopper

See the ancient sinkhole at Devil’s Millhopper.  Devil’s Millhopper boasts one of Florida’s most unique geological wonders. A National Natural Landmark, visitors who come here will discover a 120-foot deep, 500-foot wide and 10,000-year-old limestone sinkhole. Located in Gainesville, this 71-acre park features an observation deck where you can see its half-mile bowl-shaped cavity that sits amongst a miniature rainforest filled with towering live oaks.

Henderson Beach State Park

Bask in the sunshine at Henderson Beach State Park.  Home to one of the best beaches in Florida, the shoreline at Henderson Beach State Park has Appalachian quartz sand. Its sugar white sand lines its 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline, where you can soak up the sunshine on a towel or take a dip in the emerald Gulf of Mexico waters. Rent a bike and cruise the area, pack a picnic, or spend the afternoon exploring the walking trails.

Ginnie Springs

Enjoy outdoor adventures at Ginnie Springs.  Ginnie Springs really puts on a show with its mesmerizing natural landscapes, boasting one of the clearest springs in the state. You’ll find a plethora of outdoor recreation on offer here, from canoeing up the river to tubing, snorkeling and diving excursions. It’s 72-degree water temperatures are ideal for an afternoon swim, while cave divers will find plenty to explore in its unique underwater cave system.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Smell the roses at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.  Gainesville is home to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, where you’ll find 26 unique gardens and Florida’s largest display of bamboos. Spread out across 62 acres, you can take a stroll through the picturesque ginger garden, water garden, hummingbird garden then visit the herb garden to see a range of exotic flora and fauna and cascading waterfalls.

Florida Theatre

Catch a live performance at Florida Theatre.  Open since 1927, the opulent Florida Theatre is an iconic piece of Florida history, standing as one of only four remaining high-style movie palaces in the state. A premier destination for arts and culture in Jacksonville, you can see the stage where Elvis once played, catch captivating ballet and opera performances or see a live music show.

Castillo de San Marcos

Walk the walls of Castillo de San Marcos.  St. Augustine is full of charm with its centuries-old buildings and historic downtown area, and the Castillo De San Marcos is a must see. Constructed in 1672, it is the oldest masonry structure of its kind in the United States. After you explore this National Monument, see cannon firing demonstrations and musket drills in the Colonial Quarter, then sample the water from the famous Fountain of Youth.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Paddle through Ichetucknee Springs State Park. One of the most beloved state parks in North Florida for paddlers and tubers, Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White is a hotspot for outdoor adventures. It’s six miles of cool, crystalline spring-fed waters and nine crystal clear springs will melt your stress away, where you can float or paddle under the canopy of shaded hammocks of live oak and cypress trees.

National Naval Aviation Museum

Admire historic aircraft at National Naval Aviation Museum.  The world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in Florida, the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola features 150 beautifully restored aircraft. Explore the Pensacola’s rich history, and browse through exhibits and more than 4,000 artifacts that highlight the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation.

Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History

See the Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History.  Visit the Florida Museum of Natural History to see live butterflies from around the world in its Butterfly Rainforest exhibit. There are other animals to see here, including turtles and fish, while the colorful flowers and waterfalls create a tranquil ambiance. You can learn something new about Florida’s unique habitats, and browse through its exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area.By Charity De Souza

Saint Augustine, FL is the best place to live in Florida

St. Augustine was chosen as the overall best city in Florida to live in by Money magazine. That kind of recognition has led tens of thousands of people to move near St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra in the last several decades. St. Augustine is a viable place and is also a pretty place with a wonderful quality of life and abundance of natural amenities like parks and beaches. One of the other positive aspects of St. Augustine is its walkability — which is particularly important considering the scarcity of parking in some places. Money said St. Augustine has an “average commute time of 18 minutes, with more than 14 percent of residents walking or biking to work regularly.
-Stuart Korfhage

A Custom Home for around $100/ft !

Yes! You read that correctly. At Coast Homes, we pride ourselves on offering a great built home for an unbeatable value. We are able to accomplish this by taking advantage of the fantastic relationships that we have developed with our trade partners. The savings that we earn are second to the leverage that we have generated by building as many homes as we do. These savings are passed on to our Clients via an “open-book”, cost- plus build. What that means is that you see what we pay for materials and labor and you pay that amount plus a small fixed percentage. You always know where you are in relation to your budget and are free to make changes all along the way as you see fit. Give us a call and let’s build the home that you’ve always wanted.