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Radon reduction systems

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

radon

Radon gas is in the North Georgia mountains! Did you know that 8 out of 10 homes in North Georgia tested for radon gas have high results? First to get a better understanding of radon reduction systems lets talk a little about radon. Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally occurs in the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Because the pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation your home will act like a vacuum, sucking radon in through cracks and other openings. Radon can also be present in well water and can be released into the air when water is used for showering and other household uses. In most cases the radon entering your home through water is only a small risk compared with radon entering your home from the soil.

 

Radon is the estimated cause of tens of thousands of lung cancer deaths each year. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Smoking is number one. So if you smoke and your home has high radon levels your risk of lung cancer is incredibly high.

 

The Surgeon General and the EPA recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. Fix your home immediately if your radon level is confirmed to be 4 picocuries per liter, pCi/L, or higher. However, radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still can pose a risk, and in many cases may still be reduced.

*Note- Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the radon level in your home, the lower your family’s risk of lung cancer.

 

Having a radon reduction system installed can work wonders. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%! Below we will examine the different types of radon reduction systems:

 

Exterior Installed Radon Reduction Systems

When a radon reduction system is installed on on the exterior of your home, the pressurized components of the radon system are located outside while the interior components are under suction. This system “sucks” the radon out from inside your home and safely dispenses it into the air outside.

 
Attic Installed Radon Reduction Systems

A radon reduction system installed through the attic space will hide the radon system from view and offer better protection from freezing outdoor temperatures. In most situations the attic installed radon reduction system is routed through the garage to the attic space above it. If the garage/attic option is unavailable the pipes can, in some cases, be routed through multiple closets to rise to the attic space above the home. This system just like the exterior installed one takes the radon out from inside your home and safely dispenses it into the air outside.

 
Passive Radon Reduction Systems

Radon resistant new construction techniques can be used to prevent radon gas entry in new construction homes. Most radon resistant designs consist of a gas permeable layer of gravel under the concrete slab, a soil gas collection pipe buried within the gravel layer, a suction pipe that extends through an interior wall, and the exhaust point above the roof of the home. A correctly installed passive radon reduction system should also include the sealing of cracks in the concrete foundation. The passive radon systems work by creating a vacuum through natural stack effect in the suction pipes and can be converted to active radon systems by installing a radon vent fan.

 

Radon Mitigation For Crawlspaces

Crawlspaces can be a major radon entry point. Radon gas can enter the areas above crawlspaces and through the floorboards. To properly prevent this radon entry a crawlspace should be sealed using a durable vapor barrier that is air tight. When combined with a radon reduction system it will stop radon gas, plus reduce odors and make your crawlspace a cleaner area for storing items

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.

Concrete Floors

Posted by on Aug 16, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

concrete floor

Concrete is the new and exciting flooring material choice for both designers and homeowners! Concrete is a very stylish choice for indoor floors in your home and is infinitely versatile. It’s surface can be finished in various ways with colors, stains, and aggregates, plus you can also give it a textured surface or buff it until it’s glossy. Below you will find the pros and cons of having a concrete floor in your home:

 
Pros:

1) Durability

To say that concrete is durable is definitely an understatement. Once it is poured you could drive a tank over it! That is why you typically see this type of flooring in places like warehouses, stores and garages. The only thing that will scratch a concrete floor is a jackhammer. Pet claws, furniture, heavy items, etc that would ruin a hardwood floor won’t hurt a concrete floor.

 
2) Price

The only reason you will have to replace a concrete floor is if you get tired of the look. Since it will most likely never need to be replaced, your savings will come in the form of a long-term investment. This is the upside of the pricing. The downside is that you will have to pay more for installation.

 
3) Energy And The Environment

Concrete floors are an investment that has the potential to save you money on your energy bills. In the winter months they absorb the heat from the sun and in the summer you will feel a few degrees cooler. Most of the time there’s already a concrete subfloor under the flooring that you currently have. Think about it. All you should need to do is remove the stuff that’s covering it! No new materials will have to be created, so it has a zero carbon footprint plus concrete floors do not contain harmful Volatile Organic Compounds. Did you know that most synthetic carpets do in fact contain VOC’s? Carpets are also notorious for dust mites. Concrete floors are virtually incapable of harboring any kind of pest. Plus concrete can be recycled!

 
Cons:

1)  Moisture

You need to make sure that both the bottom and the top of the surfaces are sealed. If this doesn’t happen moisture will seep into the concrete. Even a little bit of wetness can harbor mold and mildew. If the temperature happens to dip below freezing with moisture in it, it will expand causing a serious crack in the slab. However, some people actually love the rustic, organic look that can be achieved by leaving minor random cracks exposed. Plus if cracks are perceived as an eyesore, micro-toppings offer the ability to hide them under a smooth, new surface that can accept a wide array of decorative treatments, including staining, stamping, and stenciling.

 
2) Hardness

Durability also means that a concrete floor is really hard! If you fall on a rug you may suffer a carpet burn, but if you fall on a concrete floor you may end up in the emergency room. Because of the hardness factor it is not recommended if you have elderly people or children living in the house.

 
3) Other Considerations

Here are some other things you might want to take into account before you make your final decision:

• High traffic areas will need to be resealed about 5-times a year.

• This is not a DIY project and even with a professional expect a major mess while it is being finished.
In short concrete is great! It’s durable, stain proof, waterproof, chic, and it gives your room a sleek and contemporary look. When properly sealed concrete withstands water, and bacteria. It’s resistant to fire, stains, and odors. It won’t scratch, it’s easy to clean, and the design is customizable. Concrete also contributes to good air quality, and it can help reduce energy bills when used properly. Keep in mind though that fragile objects can break if dropped on concrete, and standing on it for long periods of time can be uncomfortable. Hairline cracks can appear over time on concrete floors with heavy traffic and concrete floors will need to be resealed regularly.

 

 
Feel free to contact us about any questions you may have about concrete flooring.

 

 
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.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino opening in Murphy NC!

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

slots

This spectacular casino will be located approximately 2 hours away from Knoxville TN, Chattanooga TN, and Atlanta GA; And approximately 30 min from downtown Blue Ridge GA! The project is expected to finish within its $110 million budget and meet its deadline of late summer 2015. The process of recruiting and hiring the 900 employees needed to run the casino started back in April 2015, but is still going on.

 
Harrah’s which will open it’s doors in late August or September 2015 will include a 300 room, full service hotel, a variety of dining options, and 60,000 square feet of gaming space featuring 1,200 slot machines and 40-50 live table games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Craps and more!

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.

Cabinet hardware

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

cabinet hardware

Have you seen the endless supply of cabinet hardware? How do you even begin to choose? What is a cabinet pull? What is a catch? What is a cup? This information will help to clear up some of confusion so you can buy with confidence.

There are lots of different types of cabinet hardware. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. However, they can be broken down into very basic categories such as cabinet knobs, cabinet pulls and handles, cup handles and bin pulls, cabinet latches and catches, and cabinet hinges.

 

Cabinet Knobs

Cabinet knobs are the most simple and basic type of cabinet hardware to install. Generally, a knob is attached to the cabinet door or drawer front by a single screw.

Knobs can be made in a wide variety of materials such as: brass, zinc also known as die cast, stainless steel, bronze, crystal, marble, natural stone, etc. Solid brass knobs are proven to be one of the most durable and high quality materials in the industry and will provide the most value over a long time period. In fact finishes that are applied to solid brass hardware are over 200% more durable than those applied to items made from zinc. Materials such as stainless steel and blended bronzes are also quite popular and are very effective at maintaining their finish and color over a long period of use.

Cabinet knobs also come in a wide variety of styles such as: traditional, transitional, contemporary, rustic, etc. Because cabinet knobs come in different sizes and shapes they can also be used in a variety of different applications. For example, small knobs are perfect for pull out bread boards and butcher blocks. Oblong knobs are a great choice for doors with narrow moldings, or for long and  thin doors. If you want to cover up weathering on a cabinet left by another knob a knob with a wide base or attached backplate will be a good option.

 

Cabinet Pulls and Handles

Cabinet pulls and handles are available in many different styles and sizes. However, in contrast to knobs which are attached with just one screw, a cabinet pull or handle is attached to the cabinet door or drawer front by two or more screws. Because they have multiple screw holes, one of the most important factors in choosing handles is the center-to-center measurement. This is the difference from the center of one screw hole to the center of the next.
For large cabinets, tall doors, and oversized drawers, there is often a question of what size pull or handle to use. A good rule of thumb is that, when using a single pull on a drawer, the length of the hardware should be between 1/4 and 3/8 of the width of the drawer front, with one-third being a good middle ground. However, there is no “wrong” size. The choice of cabinet hardware is nearly always an aesthetic decision, and you should choose what works best for you.

 

Cup Handles and Bin Pulls

Cup handles (also known as bin pulls) are a special type of cabinet pull that is made especially for use on drawers. The mounting method and the shape of the pull is what makes them special. Because of their unique design, cup handles and bin pulls can only be opened from the open side of the pull, rather than from the top and bottom like a regular handle. Usually bin pulls are installed with the open end facing downward. Therefore, after installation you pull open the drawer from beneath the pull.  Sometimes you will see a single cup handle mounted in the center of a drawer, even on a wide drawer. However, some manufacturers will mount two pulls toward the left and the right sides of the drawers to add a visual contrast. However, you must pull both handles to open the drawer. If you pull only one of the two handles, the drawer will open off balance and over time this can damage the drawer slides or even your cabinetry. This applies not only to cup pulls, but to standard drawer handles as well. However, the cup handle offers a unique look and feel compared to traditional pulls.

 

Cabinet Latches and Catches

These two cabinet hardware types are often confused. This is due in part for two reasons: first is that the names for the parts of a latch also include the word catch; and second both latches and catches serve similar functions, in that they hold cabinet doors closed. On the latch there is a mechanism with a turn, lever, or other manual activating device. This operates the tongue of the latch which is a small, triangular piece of metal that protrudes from one end of the casing. On the catch there is a small metal cup or shell with an open cavity. This is the receiver. The tongue of the latch when installed goes inside of this second, smaller piece.

Cabinet latches come in many styles, from traditional and classic to decoratively ornate. They also come in a variety of operative designs. Two of the most common designs are rotational latches (sometimes called “turn” latches), and lever latches.

Rotational latches have a knob on the top of the housing that is turned to operate the tongue. Some latches operate only while turning in one direction and some are omnidirectional, meaning that they operate when the knob is turned clockwise or counterclockwise.

Lever latches use an extension attached to the internal spring to push the tongue open. Lever latches come in two directions. Perpendicular and Parallel.

Cabinet catches are used throughout the kitchen and bath industry, many examples of this type of catch can be seen, using a variety of clip styles, ball designs, and magnets.

 
Cabinet Hinges

Without the use of cabinet hinges, a cabinet would simply be a box and a piece of wood. It is with hinges that the cabinet becomes so much more: a place for dishes, a storage area for food, or a place for your personal accessories. One of the factors that can determine the type of hinge you need is the type of door you have, such as inset cabinets, partial offset cabinets, or full overlay cabinets. The world of hinges can be a complicated one so luckily C&H Construction can help take the confusion out of it for you.

 

 
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about purchasing or installing cabinet hardware.

 

 
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.

Cabinets

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

cabinate
Are you looking to install new cabinets? Are you confused about what type to get and what material to use? If you answered yes to any of these questions then this article is for you. Below you will find a helpful guide on the types of cabinets as well as the most common materials used.
Cabinet types:

 

Ready to Assemble-

These cabinets are readily available and constructed with cost in mind. They are purchased already boxed, the selection is narrow in style, size and material, and they require assembly. You can save a significant amount of money on ready to assemble cabinetry. However, these cabinets don’t have very good long term durability. If you are considering purchasing ready to assemble cabinetry and installing it yourself make sure you are well versed in constructing and installing cabinetry which can be very tricky, even for a skilled professional.

 

Stock-

Stock cabinets are purchased pre-sized from their manufacturer. These cabinets are a basic and economical option. They are mass produced, available in fixed sizes and cannot be altered. However this also makes them less versatile for existing spaces because they are size specific and measured in 3 inch increments. Stock cabinet materials range from plastic laminates or melamime to solid wood, depending on the manufacturer. Thoughtfully purchased stock cabinets can offer attractive and affordable style without sacrificing quality.

 
Semi-Custom-

These cabinets offer a broader selection in both style and material, and semi-custom cabinetry generally marks the mid range option in terms of price point. Semi-custom cabinetry allows for some size adjustments and usually offers better quality cabinet construction. Semi-custom cabinetry has an extensive selection of styles, finishes, storage solutions and decorative enhancements. They consist of everything from stock cabinets fitted with custom doors to made to order cabinets selected from a catalogue of featured styles, materials and finishes.

 

Custom-

On the high end custom cabinets  are completely made to order. They offer the most diversity when it comes to style, material, finishes and accessories. Custom cabinets are one of a kind with tailored sizes and innovative design to fit even the most unique spaces. While the design options are endless, these high price cabinets can quickly exhaust a budget.

 

 

Primary cabinet materials:

 
Solid wood –
Solid wood cabinets are solid homogeneous wood all the way through. The only variation might be boards or panels that are several pieces of solid wood joined together.

 

Medium density fiberboard (MDF) –
MDF cabinets are a engineered wood product that is made up of wood fibers. The fibers are combined with an adhesive under pressure and formed into boards and panels. It’s used in cabinet doors, shelves and cabinet boxes.

 

Stainless steel –
Stainless steel is used to make complete cabinets although it is much less common than wood cabinetry. There are whole cabinets made from stainless steel and there are also some manufacturers that will produce stainless steel doors for wood cabinets.

 

Plastic laminate –
Plastic laminate cabinets virtually use the same material that’s used on laminate countertops although it is usually thinner when used on cabinets. It is basically a plastic product that is formed by fusing paper and plastic resin together under heat and pressure. Laminate is used for covering cabinet boxes and cabinet doors to provide a easy to clean surface.

 

Melamine –
Melamine is another plastic based product that’s also used to cover cabinet surfaces. It is a popular material for covering particle board panels that are used in making cabinet boxes. One type of construction you may see involves cabinet boxes made with melamine and wood veneer over particle board. The melamine is on the inside part of the cabinet and the wood veneer is on the outside of the cabinet box.

 

Thermofoil –
Thermofoil cabinets have a very thin vinyl film covering the boxes, doors and drawer fronts. The vinyl usually starts as a rigid film that is heated and formed over the substrate material. Thermofoil  simply implies that the cabinets are covered with the thermofoil material. The base material will usually be one of the engineered wood products.

 

 

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about purchasing or installing cabinets.

 

 
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.

Adding curb appeal

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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Are you looking to upgrade the outside of your home or add some curb appeal without a complete remodel? If so check out these simple improvements:

 

– Restore your front door.

A new front door can look impressive, plus it might be able to pay for itself in added resale value.

 
– Renew siding and trim.

Although it can be expensive updating siding is one of the best ways to add value to your home. An exterior facelift automatically transforms the look of a home. Periodic maintenance of the exterior surface is the best way to keep your house looking its best. Any obvious defects such as cracked or rotting material can downgrade your home.

 
– Freshen up the front porch.

A front porch is a key point on your home. Keep the porch floor and railings in good condition and add comfortable furniture to make the porch inviting.

 
– Consider outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting is an effective security feature. Plus exterior lights can also give your home a dramatic and attractive look at night. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees, the house, or can illuminate a pathway. If you aren’t able to use lighting that requires wiring, install solar fixtures instead.

 
– Fix what’s broken.

Repair cracks in sidewalks and the driveway. Patching is an affordable alternative to a complete resurfacing job.

 

– Replace old hardware.

House numbers, a exterior lockset, a wall-mounted mailbox, exterior door handles, and an overhead light fixture can add style and interest to your home’s exterior. If they’re out of date or dingy your home may not be as aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function together rather than as mix-and-match pieces. For example bronze finishes should not be combined with brushed nickel, etc.

 
– Add shutters and replace windows.

Shutters and windows add a welcoming layer of beauty and appeal to your home’s exterior. Shutters and windows can also control the light and indoor temperature. Exterior shutters can be made of wood, aluminum, vinyl, composite, or fiberglass.

 
– Replace gutters and downspouts.

If your home has an old gutter system odds are it’s also suffering from peeling paint, rust spots, and other problems that can convey a sense of neglect.

 
– Tile your doorstep.

Create a permanent welcome mat by installing tile or painting a design that contrasts with the porch or front stoop. Not only will you not have to worry about replacing the mat when it gets dingy but you can also impress your visitors with your creativity.

 
– Dress up the driveway.

– If your driveway is cracked, stained, or has vegetation sprouting from it you can upgrade it without doing a complete redo. First repair the cracks and stains, and kill the weeds. Dress it up by staining the concrete or affixing flagstones. If you need more room to move your car or park you can add stone, brick, or pavers to the sides of the drive to widen it with flair.

 
– Build a walkway

A well designed walkway can make your home feel inviting. For a dramatic improvement to a straight concrete path replace it with a contoured one made of stone or brick. For a less dramatic upgrade you can apply a colored concrete resurfacer to the old walkway, then edge with brick or stone borders.

 

 
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about upgrading your homes exterior.

 
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.

Exterior door locks

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

door lock

Are you trying to decide on the best type of exterior door lock for your home? Protecting your home is extremely important and when it comes to locks there are lots of different options. By following this breakdown of the different types of door locks you can choose from will help you better understand what’s right for your home.

 
– Entry lock set

This is for two doorknobs that can be locked from both the inside and the outside. One type locks from the inside by turning or pressing a small button or knob, while a key must unlock the outside. Some models must be locked with a key on both the inside and the outside and in other models only the inside knob can lock or unlock both sides of the door. Lock sets provide medium security and some may come with a quality feature of a dead-latch.

 
– Deadbolt lock

Deadbolt locks provide maximum security on a door. They are called “dead” bolt because there are no springs to operate the bolt. It is only operated manually from the inside. The bolt locks the door to the frame and helps prevent someone from prying the door open. A single cylinder deadbolt is operated with a key from the outside and a turn button on the inside. It is mostly used with solid metal or wood doors. A double cylinder deadbolt is operated with a key on both the inside and the outside. This is best used with a door that had glass in or around it as it prevents someone from breaking the glass, reaching in and unlocking the door. However, double cylinder deadbolts can pose a danger during an emergency. If the key is missing or not available people could be trapped inside a locked house. In some areas codes may also not permit this style of deadbolt.

 
– Surface mounted deadbolt

This type of deadbolt is squarish in shape and mounted on the surface inside the door. The bolt may be turned with a key or a turn knob and instead of sliding into the door frame the bolt slides into a surface mounted strike. Surface mounted deadbolts are easier to install but they are not quite as secure as internal deadbolts are.

 
– Mortise lock

This lock consists of a flat, rectangular box that fits into a recess in the door. It also has two faceplates that include the knobs and keyholes. It is available in right or left handed styles. The latch can operate from either side except when the outside knob is locked and the deadbolt operates by a turn of the inside knob. This type of lock is very common and is used on many types of doors, ranging from heavy entrance doors to apartment buildings.

 
– Night latch

A night latch is installed on the inside surface of the door and has an automatic locking feature. The large spring loaded latch automatically locks whenever the door is closed. This latch is for light security and is usually used in combination with another lock.

 
– Keyless entry system

A keyless entry system is for advanced home security. Audio and visual indicators confirm the lockset is activated. Some models will even sound an alarm after the incorrect code has been entered more than three consecutive times. Anti theft rolling code feature ensures the same code is never used twice and some systems are compatible with garage door openers so the homeowner only needs one remote.

 
– Handle set

A handle set combines a lockset with a deadbolt. The deadbolt is located just above the knob or handle and can be a one or two piece unit. It’s available with both single and double cylinder deadbolts. Styles of lock sets are also available in a variety of styles and finishes.

 

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about purchasing or installing front door locks.

 
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.

Interior doors

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

interior door

Are you building a new home, remodeling a room, or replacing an old or damaged interior door? There are several options available for interior doors and choosing the right one can sometimes be difficult. Below  you will find some information to help you decide which door style and material will help you add to the existing charm of your home.

 

Interior Door Style

To start it’s good to understand your options when it comes to door styles. Interior doors come in hinged panel, flush, bi-fold, French, sliding, pocket, and other styles. Below you will find a description of the most popular door styles so you can start to become familiar with the options that are out there.

– Panel Doors

Panel doors are the most commonly used interior doors for homes. They have square or rectangular patterns that can range from one single large panel, to eight or more small panels. The patterns can also include rounded tops, decorative finishes, and glass inserts. Selecting a door from this category simply comes down to personal taste. Panel door styles that are currently trending in new homes include: the three panel mission, the five panel equal and the standard whole panel door.

– Flush Doors

Flush interior doors offer a clean and classic look for your home. This door is completely flat and offers an affordable price tag for most home owners.

– Bifold Doors

Bifold doors are a set of interior doors that are hinged together, fold into each other, and are mounted and hung from a track. Bifold doors are most commonly found in areas like bedroom closets, laundry rooms and pantries. You should use this type of door in small spaces or in areas where you’re hesitant to place a full swinging door.

– French Doors

French doors add a dramatic touch to any entryway. This door configuration contains two hinge-hung doors mounted on either side of the opening that swing towards one another. French doors commonly use glass inserts or decorative panels to add a touch glamour. These doors are commonly used in areas that you want to put on display, such as music rooms, offices, living rooms, master bedrooms, etc.

– Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are a less commonly used door. Hung by two or more interior doors mounted to a track. They do not swing so they are useful in areas without much floor space, however they do require space to either the left or right of each door to ensure the doors can move freely back and forth.  While these doors are not extremely common they can be used to provide a unique option for rooms that may originally have been constructed for a French door opening.

– Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are a old style style that has recently come back with a bang. These interior doors are similar to a sliding door, but are usually just a single door mounted to a rolling overhead track.  New versions of the pocket door now allow double doors to be stored in spaces on either side of the doorway. An added benefit to the pocket door is that the wall basically hides any door part, making it a great option for rooms where the door rarely needs to be closed. Pocket doors are great to use in small spaces such as toilet rooms, closets, music rooms, etc.

 

 
Interior Door Material

Selecting a door material usually comes down to two factors: personal taste and budget. There are three common materials for interior doors. They are wood, solid core and hollow core.

– Solid Wood Doors

Solid wood doors have the most weight to them. They are extremely sturdy, have resistance to cracking and chipping, and have a aesthetic appeal. While they are generally the most expensive option, many buyers consider solid wood to be a good value due to their long lasting ability. Solid wood interior doors also offer great insulation and provide a natural sound barrier.

– Solid-Core Doors

Solid-core doors are made from plywood or molded composite exterior, with a filled-wood-fiber interior. Solid-core doors generally look and feel similar to that of a solid wood door and maintain the same feel. They offer good insulation and a quality sound barrier between rooms. These doors like solid wood are heavy and may contract with heat and moisture levels which may cause issues if extreme weather conditions are a factor in your home.

– Hollow-Core Doors

Hollow-core is usually the least expensive of the three materials. These doors are constructed from a wood frame, plywood or hardwood surface and filled with rigid cardboard to maintain their shape. While lighter and less expensive than solid wood or solid-core doors, hollow-core doors are not as durable or fire-resistant. The sound barrier is also weaker due to the door’s composition. However if heat and humidity in your home is a concern these doors are a great option as they do not warp from these conditions.

 

 
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about purchasing or installing an interior  door.

 
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.

Exterior doors

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

door

Are you considering installing a new exterior door? Did you know that replacing your front door can pay for itself by increasing your home’s value, plus if you choose an energy efficient door you can reduce your energy bills by as much as 10%. If you have an annual utility bill of $2,000 that’s a savings of as much as $200 a year.

So how do you know which door is right for your home? Select a door by comparing the three main materials available for exterior doors which are steel, fiberglass, and wood.

 

– Steel

Steel offers the strongest barrier against intruders, although its advantage over fiberglass and wood is only slight.
Steel’s typical life span under stress is shorter than both fiberglass and wood. A steel door exposed to salt air or heavy rain may only last about 5-7 years. Despite steel’s reputation for toughness it actually didn’t perform very well in “Consumer Report’s” testing against wood and fiberglass for normal wear and tear.
With heavy use it can dent and the damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. If your door will be heavily exposed to traffic or the elements you may be better off choosing a different material.

 

– Fiberglass

Fiberglass doors come in a wide variety of styles many of which have the look of real wood. Plus if limited maintenance is your ideal fiberglass may be your best bet. Fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract as the weather changes. In a reasonably protected location a fiberglass door can last 15-20 years. Although fiberglass feels light to the touch it has a very tough coating that’s difficult for an intruder to breach plus its foam core offers a good amount of insulation.

 
– Wood

Wood is considered the go to choice for high end projects. It’s luxurious look and substantial weight can’t be flawlessly duplicated. If your looking for for a stunning entry way with a handcrafted touch, wood may be the best bet for you. Wood is usually the most expensive choice and requires the most maintenance, although it’s easier to repair scratches on a wood door than dents in steel or fiberglass. Wood doors should be repainted or refinished every 1-2 years to prevent splitting and warping. If you would like a wood door but are concerned about the environmental impact as well as its energy efficiency, you can purchase a solid wood door certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which assures you that the wood was sustainably grown and harvested.

 

*Note
Choosing a energy efficient door depends on several factors besides the material a door is made of. Make sure you look for the Energy Star label when comparing doors.

 

 
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about purchasing or installing an exterior door.
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.

Shopping for a new water heater?

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

water heater

Trying to find the right water heater can be a bit over whelming these days. When you are trying to decide on a new water heater for your home you will want to choose one that not only provides you with enough hot water but also does so as energy efficiently as possible saving you money. This task includes considering the different types of water heaters that are available and determining the right size and the fuel source for your home.
When you are selecting the best type water heater for your home make sure you consider the following:

– Fuel type, availability and cost.

The fuel type or energy source that you use for heating your water will not only affect the water heater’s annual operation costs but also the size you need and it’s energy efficiency.

– Size.

To make sure you provide your household with enough hot water and to maximize efficiency you need a properly sized water heater.

– Energy efficiency.

To maximize your energy and your cost savings you will want to know how energy efficient a water heater is before you purchase it.

– Cost.

Before you purchase a water heater it’s also a good idea to estimate its annual operating costs and compare those costs with others that are less or more energy efficient

It is also important to consider what fuel type or energy source you will use. This also includes the availability and the cost. The fuel that is used by a water heating system will not only affect annual operation costs but also the water heater’s size and energy efficiency. The following is a list of water heater options by fuel or energy source:

– Electricity

As you may already know electricity is widely  available in the United States to fuel conventional storage, tankless or demand-type, and heat pump water heaters. It also can be used with combination water and space heating systems which include tankless coil and indirect water heaters.

– Fuel oil

Fuel oil is available in some areas of the United States to fuel conventional storage water heaters, and indirect combination water and space heating systems.

– Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is available throughout the United States to those who will have or already have a geothermal heat pump installed in their homes for space heating and cooling.

– Natural gas

Natural gas is available in many areas of the United States to fuel conventional storage, tankless or instantaneous water heaters, and combination water and space heating systems.

– Propane

Propane is available in many areas of the United States to fuel conventional storage, tankless or instantaneous water heaters, and indirect combination water and space heating systems.

– Solar energy

Solar energy is available throughout the United States but is most abundantly available in the Southwest for solar water heaters.

 

Last you need to consider the type of water heater that is best for your home. The following is a list of each water heater type:

 

– Conventional storage water heaters

This is a single family storage water heater that offers a tank from 20 to 80 gallons of hot water. It operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap. To replace that hot water that was released cold water enters the bottom of the tank making sure that the tank is always full.

Since water is constantly heated in the tank energy can be wasted even when a hot water tap isn’t running. This is called standby heat loss. Only tankless water heaters such as demand type and tankless coil avoid standby heat losses. Some storage water heater models have a heavily insulated tank which will significantly reduce standby heat losses and lower annual operating costs. Look for models with tanks that have a thermal resistance or R-Value of R-12 to R-25.

 
– Tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters also known as demand type or instantaneous water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When the hot water tap is turned on cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element will heat the water. As a result tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water and you don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. However, a tankless water heater’s output limits the flow rate. A tankless water heater provides hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons per minute. Gas fired tankless water heaters can produce higher flow rates than electric ones but sometimes even the largest gas fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous multiple uses in a large household. For example taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a tankless water heater to its limit. To overcome this problem you will need to install two or more tankless water heaters connected in parallel for simultaneous use of hot water. You could also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances such as a washing machine or dishwasher which use a lot of hot water.

Tankless water heaters can save you a good bit of money though. For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily it is 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water about 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet. ENERGY STAR estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

The initial cost of a tankless water heater is greater than that of a conventional storage water heater, but tankless water heaters will typically last longer and have lower operating and energy costs which can offset the higher purchase price. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast storage water heaters only  last about 10–15 years.

 
– Heat pump water heaters

These water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. Therefore they can be 2-3 times more energy efficient than conventional water heaters. To move the heat, heat pumps work like a refrigerator in reverse. While a refrigerator pulls heat from inside a box and dispenses it into the surrounding room, a heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and dispenses it at a higher temperature into a tank to heat the water.

Heat pump water heaters require installation in locations that remain in the 40º–90ºF (4.4º–32.2ºC) range year round and provide at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space around the water heater. Cool exhaust air can be exhausted to the room or outdoors. Heat pump water heaters will not operate efficiently in a cold space and because they remove heat from the air any type of heat pump system works better in a warm climate.

You can also install a geothermal heat pump  which draws heat from the ground during the winter and from the indoor air during the summer for heating and cooling your home. For water heating, you can add a desuperheater to a geothermal heat pump system. A desuperheater is a small auxiliary heat exchanger that uses superheated gases from the heat pump’s compressor to heat water. This hot water then circulates through a pipe to the home’s storage water heater tank.

 
– Solar water heaters

There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don’t.

There are two types of active solar water heating systems:

– Direct circulation systems

Pumps household water through the collectors and into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes.

– Indirect circulation systems

Pumps a non-freezing, heat transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home. They are popular in climates prone to freezing temperatures.

Passive solar water heating systems are typically less expensive than active systems, but they’re usually not as efficient. However, passive systems can be more reliable and may last longer.

There are two basic types of passive systems:

– Integral collector-storage passive systems

These work best in areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. They also work well in households with significant daytime and evening hot water needs.

– Thermosyphon systems

Warm water rises as cooler water sinks as it flows through the system. The collector must be installed below the storage tank so that warm water will rise into the tank. These systems are reliable, but are usually more expensive than integral collector-storage passive systems.

 

– Tankless coil and indirect water heaters

Tankless coil water heaters provides hot water on demand without a tank. When a hot water faucet is turned on water is heated as it flows through a heating coil or heat exchanger. Tankless coil water heaters are most efficient during cold months when the heating system is used regularly but can be an inefficient choice for many homes especially for those in warmer climates.

Indirect water heaters are a more efficient choice even though they require a storage tank. An indirect water heater uses the main furnace or boiler to heat a fluid that’s circulated through a heat exchanger in the storage tank. The energy stored by the water tank allows the furnace to turn off and on less often which in turn saves energy. An indirect water heater if used with a high efficiency boiler and well insulated tank, can be the least expensive means of providing hot water.

 

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about purchasing or installing a water heater.

 

 

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.