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Vented vs Vent less fireplaces

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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There’s something comforting about having a fire crackling on a cool evening in the North Georgia mountains. Not everyone has a chimney though or wants to renovate their home to add one, especially when traditional fireplaces use more energy and release fumes harmful to the environment. That’s where gas fireplaces come in! They’re easier to use, more straightforward to install, and better for the environment. If you do choose to install a gas fireplace the next thing you need to decide is whether you want a vented or a ventless fireplace. There are advantages and disadvantages to using both. Understanding the differences between the two can help you determine what’s best for your home.

 

 

Vented Fireplaces

As the name suggests vented fireplaces require a flue or ventilation pipe to keep combustion by products out of your home. Traditional vented fireplaces have ductwork routed through your chimney. However, if your house doesn’t have a chimney you can install a direct vent fireplace that routes combustion by products out of your home through ducts in your wall.

 

Pros- The biggest advantage of a vented fireplace is safety. You don’t have to worry about sparks, hazardous particles, or combustion by products getting into your home as all exhaust fumes are removed. The flames look natural and realistic and certain direct vent models can be great heaters having efficiency ratings up to 80% plus.

 

Cons- Vented fireplaces are more expensive to install than unvented ones, and installing a vented fireplace in the lower level of a two story house can sometimes be a difficult task because there’s not always a convenient place to run the venting. If your considering a vented fireplace in the lower level of your home C&H Construction can help you determine if it is possible.

 

 

Ventless Fireplaces

 

Pros- Ventless fireplaces are less expensive than vented fireplaces, and sometimes there the only option if you want to add a fireplace to an existing two story home. With a ventless fireplace heat can not escape through a chimney or duct so they also make very effective heaters.

 

Cons- Ventless fireplaces have caused some controversy because of the fear that they release harmful combustion by products into the home if they aren’t installed and maintained correctly. Since they don’t have a vent they can release measurable levels of carbon monoxide and other chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide into your home as well as large amounts of water vapor. To be safe manufacturers recommend keeping a window partially open when a ventless fireplace is in use or even installing separate ductwork if you don’t have enough cubic feet of space compared to the amount of BTU’s. If you are unsure if you have the proper amount of cubic feet for the fireplace that you want C&H Construction can help you determine if you will need to install separate ductwork.

 

 

 

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville,Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding installing vented and ventless fireplaces.

The importance of cleaning and changing your air filters

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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Your air filter is dirty but it still does the job right? Wrong! Not only does a dirty air filter not clean the air but it can cause major problems in your home leading to costly repairs.

 
Did you know that dirt and neglect are one of the leading causes of heating and cooling systems failing? A clogged air filter can cause major damage to your heating and cooling system possibly costing thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs. By simply changing the air filter in your system you are ensuring that it stays working properly and that you are getting cleaner and healthier air. This is particularly important for children, the elderly, and those suffering from allergies and asthma.

 
A clean air filter means you are not circulating dust, dust mites, pollen and other small particles throughout your home. With a clean filter your system will be able to purify the air leaving it clean and healthy.

 
Aside from unnecessary damage to your heating and cooling system and cleaner air cleaning out or changing a clogged air filter will also save you a significant amount of money on operating costs! Did you know a dirty air filter uses much more energy than a clean air filter? This means if you have a dirty air filter you also have a higher electricity bill. By keeping your air filter clean and in good condition you can save up to 15% on utility costs!

 

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains.

Keep mold and mildew out of your home

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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Winter is here and your home is probably closed up a lot more. Did you know that the winter time is the best time for mold to grow? This is because it is darker longer, and things are closed up more leading to prime conditions for mold and mildew to grow!

 
Moist conditions combined with the Georgia humidity (yes, even in the winter) can make for a pretty damp home. The moisture in turn can create mold and mildew which is a hazard to your family and pets. Did you know that breathing in mold spores can cause a variety of Heath issues including mold growth in your sinuses! Below you will find some helpful tips to keep your home mold free and your family healthy:

 
• Wash your shower liner.

Remove the liner from your shower rod and wash in the washing machine with your normal detergent and a few towels. The towels will scrub the shower curtain while it washes. When it’s done throw it in the dryer for a few minutes to get most of the water off.

 
•Remove the mold and mildew from your shower stall.

In a spray bottle combine 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup of water or equal parts bleach and water. Spray the surface of your shower.

 

•Spray your shower every day.

After you shower spray a daily shower spray to help prevent mold and mildew.

 

•Hang your wet towels.

Hanging towels allows them to dry properly and prevents mildew from forming.

 
•Let the light shine in.

Light helps reduce mold growth. If you don’t have a window leave the lights on for a little while after you shower or in very dark and damp places such as the basement.

 
•Run the fan.

The fan will help the air circulate and keep things dry. Mold and mildew need water to grow so the dryer your home is the less chance it will have to form.

 
•Check your home for leaks and repair them.

This includes checking under the sink, by the water heater, around the bathtub, the attic, and basement. If you find a leak be sure to repair it immediately to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

 
•Clean your home regularly.

A clean home is a mold free home.

 

 

If you find a leak and need it repaired contact us immediately to keep your home mold and mildew free all winter long!

 

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains.

 

 

Winterizing your home

Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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Winter is fast approaching up here in the North Georgia Mountains. Have you winterized your home yet? Did you know that by winterizing your home it will help keep the heat in, the cold out and unnecessary damage from happening! Below you will find some helpful tips to protect your home and stay warm and cozy this winter:

 
Heating system:
•Make sure everything is working properly! If you haven’t done so already turn the heat on to test it. You should hear the furnace kick on and feel the heat blowing out. Keep the heat set at a minimum of 50.
•Replace your air filters if they are dirty.
•Make sure your heating vents are free and clear of dust and debris.
•Check for Carbon Monoxide (Inexpensive tests are available as well as battery operated alarms)

 
Air conditioning:
•Clean the unit by removing all dirt debris.

 
Chimney and fireplace:
•Make sure the chimney is free of all animals including birds and squirrels before lighting a fire.
•Check to make sure the flue is working properly.
•Make sure there is not a draft coming from the chimney. To check this light some paper in the fire place with the flue open. The smoke should rise up, if it doesn’t you could have an obstruction and need to call a professional to clean the chimney.

 
Plumbing:

•Insulate all exposed piping that is in non insulated spaces such as attics, crawlspaces, outside etc. Make sure you insulate them at minimum with foam insulation.
•Insulate your hot water tank with an insulating blanket.
•Turn off all water to exterior water faucets and disconnect the hose.
•If you will be away from your property for a length of time make sure all water is shut off to prevent pipes from freezing, drain the water from the pipes by letting the water run out of your lowest spigot, and consider turning the breaker off on your water heater.

 
Doors and windows:
•Check for drafts around windows and outside doors. If you feel air coming in install weather stripping.

 
Roof and gutters:
•Make sure your shingles are not damaged or missing.
•Be sure your gutters are free and clear of debris. Wet leaves in the winter can add weight to the gutter and cause damage. (See the Complete Home Services blog for more on gutter cleaning)

 
Sprinklers:
•If you have a sprinkler system make sure the water supply is turned off and air is blown through the system to prevent freezing.

 

 

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains.

Cold weather home maintenance

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

 

cold

The weather is getting cold up in the North Georgia Mountains and now is the perfect time to prepare your house for the winter ahead. Did you know that by doing a little cold weather home maintenance you could prevent costly repairs and even lower your heating bill? Below are some helpful tips to get you started:

 

•Seal any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
•Replace worn out weatherstripping around your windows or doors.
•Make sure your attic is insulated. You should have at least 12″-16″ of insulation.
•Replace windows with double pane glass or cover single pane windows with plastic window insulation kits.
•Have your heating system inspected and serviced by a HVAC professional in order to make sure your furnace and blower are working properly.
•If your heating system is over 12 years old consider replacing it with a new and more energy efficient system.
•Replace your furnace filter regularly (every 1-3 months) with a quality filter. This improves indoor air quality and allows your heater to run more efficiently.

 

 
C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains

Fireplaces

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

fireplaces

 

Now that the weather is getting a bit chilly you might want to curl up and light a fire in the fireplace. How do you know which type is right for you though? Choosing the right fireplace can be a challenge. Below we will discuss each type of fireplace to help you take the guess work out of choosing one.

 

Wood-burning

A wood-burning fireplace is the oldest and most traditional fireplace option there is. You can’t match the look, smell and sound of a wood burning fire. However, wood-burning fireplaces do require either storing logs or going to the store periodically for a supply. This type of fireplace also has the most upkeep. It requires maintenance of the chimney as well as cleaning ash out of the fireplace.

When wood is burning in the fireplace it spits out burning embers, so screens are also needed to ensure safe use. Finally, wood-burning fireplaces can lose more heat up the chimney than they create. This can be altered though with elements added to the fireplace to reduce air flow up the flue.

If the fireplace has a gas starter, you can easily convert it from wood to gas by adding gas logs as well.

 

Gas

Gas fireplaces burn natural gas instead of wood. Vented gas fireplaces are constructed much like traditional wood-burning fireplaces, with a firebox that is vented through the chimney. These vented fireplaces allow for the largest variety of burning elements, which can range from ceramic logs that have the appearance of real burning logs and embers to more of a modern look with flames that come up through glass beads.

There are two other types of gas fireplaces as well, direct vent fireplaces and ventless fireplaces. Direct vent fireplaces don’t require chimneys and the flame is kept behind glass. Direct vent fireplaces also emit a large amount of heat and don’t lose warm air up the flue.

Ventless fireplaces have no venting, which means they can be placed against internal walls as long as gas can be brought to the location. Plus all the heat from ventless fireplaces remain inside the home.

 

Electric

Electric fireplaces are easy to incorporate into any space. All you have to do is follow the instructions regarding placement and plug one into an outlet. This type of fireplace is all about function. Electric fireplaces come in a range of designs to fit any decor and are also a great way to add ambience in your home without breaking the bank.

 

Ethanol

Ethanol fireplaces are one of the newest additions to fireplace technology today!

The flame requires no venting, which means that ethanol fireplaces can be used almost anywhere in the house. These fireplaces do require refilling and when used properly they are safe, but ethanol is very flammable so you must be careful refilling this type of fireplace.

 

 

Feel free to contact C&H construction to discuss the best option for you.
C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

bats

How to keep bats from roosting on your home.

 

 
Your home can be a prime spot for bats to hibernate as it’s a safe and warm place. Hibernation time is from November till the mid of March. During this time you can find colonies of bats. There are a few things you can do now to keep them away from your home for the winter:
•Get rid of standing water. If you have an area that always has water sitting in it such as bird baths, rain catchers, or clogged gutters you are attracting bats with a consistent source of water. Be sure to drain the bird baths and rain catchers and keep your gutters clean and free of leaves and debris.
•Keep your home pest free. The main food source for bats are insects. Be sure to resolve any insect issues around your home to reduce the chances of bats coming near it.
•Place fake owls near your home. Owls are a predator for bats. When you place the fake owls near by the bats will take notice and stay away.

 

 
Do you already have bats on your porch or in your home? If so you can follow these tips to get rid of them:
•Inspect all entry and exit areas for the bats on the porch or home. Also note the primary areas of entry and exit.
•Seal all the entries except the primary ones.
•Install screen mesh around the primary holes and ensure that the sides and the top of the mesh are fitted tightly, but bottom side is left free, so that the bats can go out but cannot fly back in.
•Wait for a week or two and ensure that all the bats are out.
•Seal the primary areas of entry.

 

 

Do you have damage to your home from bats? If so we can help. Give us a call today to schedule a free estimate.

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains

Don’t forget to repair your roof and gutters

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

roof-repair

Fall has arrived in the North Georgia mountains! This means the leaves will begin piling up in your yard, on your roof and in your gutters! Roof and gutter problems can cause major damage to your home if left untreated! Some of these problems are:

  • Water can flow onto wood surfaces which will eventually lead to rot and can also cause puddling around the foundation which can lead to damp or leaky basements. 
  • Water can back up into the walls or be rerouted and come in through the roof which can lead to very expensive repair costs. 
  • If you have major leek in the roof the excess weight from leaves and debris can actually cause the roof to cave in. 

If you need your roof repaired don’t wait! Fix it immediately to avoid unnecessary and expensive repair costs. 

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains

Extra Extra Read All About It!!!!

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

 
C&H Construction will be at the North GA Western Carolina Home and Garden Show in Hiawassee! We would love for you to come out and see us.

 
North Georgia Western Carolina Home and Garden Show

983 Main St., Suite 204

P.O. Box 667

Andrews, NC 28901

 
Hours:

October 15 & 16, 2016

Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Sunday: Noon – 5pm

 
– See more at: http://members.visitblairsvillega.com/list/member/northeast-georgia-western-north-carolina-home-garden-show-andrews-1617#sthash.EqxGizGt.dpuf

 

 

C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains

Bathtub material

Posted by on Oct 1, 2016 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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Last week we discussed some of the different types of bathtubs. Once you have decided which type of bathtub you might like in your home it’s time to choose a material. It’s important to note though that not all types of bathtubs come in every material. Below we will discuss some of the different materials and which types of bathtubs are suited for that type:

 
Cast Iron
Cast iron is a extremely long lasting and durable material and it is usually covered with a porcelain coating making it able to last for decades. Cast iron is usually found on alcove or free standing tubs. Their finish is very strong and easily cleaned. However, the porcelain that does eventually wear away or chip will reveal the cast iron which can rust. Cast iron tubs are also extremely heavy and a need good support system.

 
Enamel On Steel
Enamel on steel bathtubs or porcelain on steel have a very similar look to that of cast iron except they are much lighter. Just like cast iron their surface is easily cleaned and maintained and are also susceptible to rusting if the porcelain chips or gets scratched exposing the steel underneath. However, their lighter weight means that they’re easier to install into a remodeled bathroom and it doesn’t require as much support as the cast iron tub.

 
Acrylic
Acrylic is a high gloss material very similar to the look on cast iron and steel tubs, but it’s a much lighter weight than both cast iron and steel. It can be scratched more easily but these scratches can also be repaired easier than a porcelain enamel surface. Because acrylic is an easily formed material it is often found on whirlpool bathtubs.

 
Fiberglass

Fiberglass reinforced plastic is covered in something called gelcoat. The gelcoat provides a smooth and glass like surface for the tub and can be easily cleaned as well. It is very similar to acrylic but it’s usually not as durable. You can usually find some whirlpool bathtubs made from this material because it can be shaped very easily.

 
Composite
Composite tubs are made with engineered composite materials and the outside surface is finished in enamel. The purpose of composite tubs is to try to achieve the benefits of cast iron, such as heat retention and a strong surface finish without the weight associated with cast iron tubs. Some people report a slight bend and/or creaking with composite tubs but sometimes this can be related to the technique used to install it.

 
Cultured Marble
Cultured marble is actually a type of engineered stone where crushed marble is combined with resin to produce a solid product. You could say it’s very similar to quartz countertops (see our article on counter top material). Once made cultured marble is usually covered with a clear gelcoat in order to provide a durable yet easy to clean and stain resistant surface. However, cultured marble is a brittle material and it isn’t very forgiving of overly tightened faucet and/or water spout fixtures that can crack the surface. While any surface scratches can usually be buffed out cracks are usually unrepairable.

 
Wood
Wood is definitely a different style choice and can look extremely beautiful but it does comes with some issues. Wood tubs need a very good surface sealer in order to prevent deterioration and bathtubs that are constructed out of several pieces of wood must have those seams tightly joined and sealed so it doesn’t leak. Long term durability as well as maintaining a leak proof tub are things you’ll need to consider before deciding to go with wood.

 
Be sure to check back next week for the last part on bathtubs as we will be discussing bathtub installation techniques.

 

 
Are you looking to install a new bathtub or replace an existing one? If so we can help. Give us a call today.

 
C&H Construction is a licensed general contractor and Custom Home builder located in Blairsville, Union County Georgia serving Towns County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia, Gilmer County Georgia and the North Georgia Mountains