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Adding curb appeal

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 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 If they’re out of date or dingy your home may not be as aesthetic you think it is.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.

Steps to take before you build a new home

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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So your thinking about building a new home? What do you do first? When you first starting thinking about building a home it might be tempting to just start designing your dream house. There are however some key steps that you need to take before you start designing.

1) Know your budget.

Your budget will determine all of your decisions. It is essential to understand what you can afford and to be honest when it comes to the numbers. In addition to figuring out the mortgage payments you can afford and qualify for you also need to include, home owners insurance, property tax, and HOA fees if any. Also consider any down payment funds that you have and any other money that you’ll get during the time the house is being built.

2) Select a location.

Selecting the general area where want to live is just the start to finding the perfect location for your new home. Make a list of all the facilities that you need to have access to, such as schools, shopping and public transport, and check the list against each location you’re interested in. If you want to build in a older neighborhood make sure you check the local municipal guidelines about knocking down old houses and building new ones. If you’re looking at a new subdivision make sure you know the architectural guidelines you will have to abide by. Also consider the shape of the of land you want. Do you want a corner lot, a pie-shaped lot with a large backyard or one with a large front garden space? If you have a young children or are planning to have children then look for a location that attracts people with children and have green spaces or playgrounds. One important consideration that also links to your budget decision is how much the taxes in each location are.

3) Buy land.

Buying the land with a land loan or cash allows you to take the land off the market so others cannot buy it before you do. It also allows you to have plenty of time to pick out house plans, submit the plans to the county for approval and obtain a building permit all while obtaining the best construction loan. Construction loans can also include the land into the loan but only if you already own the land and have a balance to add into the construction loan.

4) Create a plan for your house or hire an architect.

There have some great house plan resources on the internet. Just go to Google and type in “house plans” for your local area and you will have more sources than you can handle. If you choose go with a house plan from the internet you will probably still need to make some small modifications for your local building codes and type of land plot. To do this it is best that you hire a local architect.

5) Hire a general contractor.

You can hire a contractor who will organize everything for you and deliver a completed house, or if you choose to you can run everything yourself. However this involves all stages of the house building process from the initial budget and schedule through design to the actual building of the house. You will also have to schedule and interact with all the trades, buy the materials at the right time and perform quality control of adherence to building standards.

6) Know what goes into the estimated cost.

This is the breakdown of each particular cost of construction of the home. The foundation, lumber, framing, plumbing, heating, electrical, painting, etc. The builder usually completes this form to show you exactly what it will cost to build your new home. The most important thing to remember here is that you do not want to underbid any line item and you do not want to overbid any line item. You want accurate numbers from real bids. A Good builder will send out the house plans to their contractors for specific bidding on each main item or can estimate the home themselves. When all the numbers come in the builder will fill out the cost breakdown and come up with a total cost to build your new home.
7) Get construction insurance.

There are three types of insurance needed to build. All banks require the first two types, course of construction and general liability. Workman’s compensation is only required if your contractor has employees.

– Course of Construction Insurance. This policy is an all risk policy to include, fire, extended coverage, builder’s risk, replacement cost, vandalism and malicious mischief insurance coverage.

– General Liability Insurance. You or your contractor can provide this policy. This policy is a comprehensive general policy or a broad form liability endorsement. The minimum amount of $300,000 for each occurrence is required. If the builder provides the insurance a general policy of $1,000,000 or a broad form liability endorsement is required.

– Workman’s Compensation Insurance. If your builder owns his own company and has employees that are helping to build your home, workman’s compensation is required. If the builder simply subcontracts out the work and does not have employees per se, they will need to write a letter acknowledging that they do not have employees and are not required to have workman’s compensation.

 

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about building a new home.

 

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.

Carpenter bee damage

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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Spring is fast approaching which also means carpenter bees will be coming out. Carpenter bees are large black and yellow bees. They can frequently be seen in spring hovering around the eaves of your home or the underside of a deck or porch rail. The carpenter bee got its name from its habit of excavating tunnels in wood with its strong jaws. Carpenter bee holes are usually found on the underside of a board and about a 1/2 inch in diameter.  The tunnels typically run 6-7 inches but can exceed 1 foot! Wooden decks, overhangs and other exposed wood on houses are prime targets. Painted or treated wood are less preferred but they are by no means immune to an attack. Unpainted or stained cedar, cypress and redwood shingles and siding can also be attacked despite of their pest resistant reputations.

If you have damage from carpenter bees 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.

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

 

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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

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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

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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