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Smart lighting

Posted by on Mar 31, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

In the past we have discussed smart garage door openers, smart door locks, and smart thermostats, but what about smart lighting? A smart home platform can power your devices from lights to thermostats, and even your alarm system.

 

Smart lighting has several benefits:

 

1.When you’re not at home you can use smart lighting to create the illusion that someone is in the house.
2.You can remotely control your lights via a smart phone or tablet.
3.You can set your lights to any schedule.
◾Set your lights to turn off and on at sunrise and sunset.
◾Turn lights on when motion is detected.
◾Set the lights to come on automatically when you walk in the door.
◾Set the lights to turn on or off whenever you disarm or arm your security system.

4.You can reduce your monthly energy costs with smart lighting to automatically control the lights as you come and go.

 

 

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about smart lighting and home automation.

 

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.

Wood trim vs. composite trim

Posted by on Mar 31, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

When you start looking at trim for your home how do you know which one to choose? There are so many options! Today we will take the confusion out of some of these options by discussing wood trim vs composite trim:

 

Wood trim-

Wood trim has been a long time favorite since it is easy to work with and takes paint very well. However, wood trim is definitely not what it used to be. Wood that is used for homes is no longer naturally harvested like it used to be. Now we are getting fast growing, farm raised, lumber that is far less dense and has a wider grain pattern. Basically this means that the wood typically doesn’t hold up like it use to in the past.

 

Composite trim-

There are so many types of products out there that mimic the look and feel of real wood. One product worth taking a look at is composite trim. Composite trim is manufactured from a combination of recycled wood fiber and plastic. It basically puts together the good parts of both wood and polyethylene to produce a trim that will not crack, rot, or absorb moisture. Plus with composite trim you don’t have to worry about termites! Another pro is that several composite products are 100% resistant to moisture, require no pressure treatment, chemical dipping, preservative treatments, water sealing or staining.

 

For more information on wood or composite trim feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

 

 

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.

Have you pressure washed lately?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

When was the last time you pressure washed your home? Pressure washing can be a pretty confusing task. If you pressure wash too often you could run the risk of damaging your siding, however if you wash too little it could cause the exterior to degrade, not to mention your home can look dirty and unkept. So how often should you pressure wash your home? Well the answer depends on a few different factors. Let’s discuss some of them:

 

1.The humidity level.

Living in Georgia I’m sure you have experienced high humidity. Did you know that humidity can attract mold and mildew to the exterior of your home? This can cause your home to look dirty, ruin your siding and it can also cause allergies. If you spot mold or mildew on your home it is crucial that you pressure wash immediately and ensure that all traces of mold and mildew are gone!

2.When your home looks dirty.

One of the easiest signs to know when your home’s exterior needs to be pressure washed is simply whenever it looks dirty. Now that it’s spring time and pollen is out it is very important that you pay close attention to your home. Pollen and dirt can build up on your home especially in between the cracks of log siding causing damage. If you can run your finger on your home’s exterior and you notice a substantial amount of dirt or pollen on it, then it’s time to pressure wash!

3.The amount of rainfall.

We usually think of rainfall as a good way to clean our dirty vehicles and the exterior of the home. While it is true that rain can clean the excessive dirt off, it will still make your home’s exterior dirty. The rain can actually make the dirt stick together caking it on to your siding and in between the panels. Since we have experienced so much rainfall up here in the North Georgia Mountains your home’s exterior is probably dirtier than it appears.

 

 

If you are going to pressure wash your home yourself there are some general cleaning tips you will want to follow as using a pressure washer incorrectly can damage your homes exterior!

 

•Always follow the instructions that came with your pressure washer and check the manual to find information on the spray settings and how far the spray tip should be from the surface you’re cleaning.
•Test the high-pressure spray on an inconspicuous area before cleaning to make sure the setting does not damage the exterior surface.
•Only use detergents intended for pressure washers.

Regardless of the type of exterior you’re cleaning make sure to avoid getting detergent or water behind the outer surface and be sure to repair or replace all damaged siding before pressure washing!

 

If you have damaged siding that needs to be repaired or replaced feel free to give us a call!

 

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

The importance of hiring a licensed and insured contractor

Posted by on Jan 30, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

Are you thinking about or have you hired a contractor to work on your home? If so is that contractor licensed and insured? You might think that just hiring any contractor will do. If this is the case you are very mistaken. It is extremely important that the contractor you hire is licensed and insured! Below we will discuss the importance of contractor insurance and licensing:

Contractor’s insurance
There are two types of insurance that a reputable contractor should have. Those are liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.
Liability insurance along with a bond covers certain situations such as unexpected damage to your property or work that was done incorrectly.
Workers compensation insurance provides  a payment to workers injured on your property for lost wages and medical care regardless of who was at fault. You wouldn’t want a worker to try to sue you because they were injured.
Making sure a contractor is insured is also insurance that you will be satisfied with your project in the long run. Make sure you ask the contractor for certificates of insurance and check to make sure their policies are current.

 

 

Contractor licensing
When you’re hiring a contractor it is also very important that you check to see if they are licensed. In many states if a contractor is not licensed they may not be able to be insured or bonded. On top of that a building inspector may stop work on a project if it’s being done by a improperly licensed contractor.
In short making sure you hire a licensed, insured and bonded contractor may seem like a lot of work, but in the end it all helps to ensure that you are protected, and working with reliable, reputable professionals.

 

 

 

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 Jan 30, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

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.

Ground Fault vs. Arc Fault

Posted by on Jan 30, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

The world of electricity can be quite confusing sometimes.  How do you know what breaker does what? What do all the abbreviations mean? Well today we will start taking some of the confusion out of it by discussing the difference between Ground fault and Arc fault breakers.

 

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) was designed in order to protect both people and equipment from electrical shock. When a ground fault occurs there is a transformer inside of the breaker that senses a current imbalance and generates a small current output that is electronically amplified to trip the circuit breaker. This type of breaker is used for any application that is near near water or wet locations, such as bathrooms, unfinished basements, garages, etc.

 

AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) was designed in order to detect arcing faults in wiring, appliances and equipment, in order to prevent electrical fires. The AFCI circuit breaker contains an integrated processor that recognizes the unique current and/or voltage signatures associated with arcing faults. This type of breaker is required for all 120V, single-phase, 15 and 20A circuits such as bedrooms, family rooms, living rooms, sun rooms, etc.

 

There is also a dual purpose circuit breaker (arc fault/ground fault). This breaker is required for 120V, single-phase, 15 and 20A circuits in kitchen and laundry areas.

 

 

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

Hardie siding pros and cons

Posted by on Jan 30, 2021 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

Hardie board siding, created by James Hardie is the world leader in cement board siding. Some of the options include plank lap siding, shingle siding, panel vertical siding, trim boards, and much more. It’s usually advertised as low maintenance and long lasting, but how can you be sure it’s the right option for you? Below are the pros and cons to help you decide:

 

Pros:
Most hardie siding comes with a 50 year, limited transferable warranty. It is also completely rot and insect resistant. Hardie siding can be made to look like just about any other siding material you can think of including wood, cedar shingles, wood shake, etc. The color options are extensive and are typically accompanied by a 10-15 year warranty on the finish. Hardie board siding is also 90% sand and cement which makes it a fire resistant choice.

 

Cons:
Hardie siding weighs about 300 lbs (100 square feet) compared to 60-70 lbs for vinyl siding. This means that it generally takes longer to install then other siding plus it increases labor and installation costs. While Hardie siding is pretty low maintenance, it’s not completely maintenance free. It does have to be periodically painted. The warranty for the siding is usually for 50 years, but the finishes are only guaranteed for a maximum of 15 years.

 

 

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

House site and erosion control

Posted by on Oct 2, 2019 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

Do you have a damp basement, musty smells in your home or even mold or mildew on the walls? These are all indications of moisture getting into your home! The cause of this is likely poor drainage around your home allowing moisture to build up and remain in the soil around your foundation eventually working its way into your home. Fixing drainage problems around your home can be relatively inexpensive as it often comes down to a couple of issues: how rainwater is handled and the grading or slope of your property.

Rainwater

Gutters are a extremely important part of the drainage system around your house. If your gutters are nonexistent, in poor condition, or if the downspout empties right beside your house they could be causing the problem. Gutters need to be installed properly so they will catch the water coming off your roof and direct it away from your house and foundation. Gutters should have a downward slope of 1 inch for every 2 feet of run to ensure they drain completely. They also need to be firmly attached. Screws are best for this as they wont come out as easily over time. If you have seems in your gutters make sure they are well sealed and water doesn’t leak through. Gutters that leak are a problem because the drips land close to the foundation. A downspout diverter directs water from the downspout onto the driveway where it can’t seep into the ground around the foundation. The minimum size for a downspout should be 2×3 inches, but a larger size such as 3×4 inches is better. The larger size makes it less likely that anything will be able to block the downspout. At ground level the water from your downspout should be directed at a minimum of 5 feet away from your house. It’s best to have the water flowing onto a hard surface like a driveway or a splashguard designed to spread the water and stop it from forming puddles on the ground.

Grading

How your house sits on a lot and how the land slopes around it is key in keeping your home dry. Improper grading that doesn’t correctly slope away from the foundation can allow excessive amounts of groundwater to collect in the soil around basement walls. The ground should slope away from the foundation of your house for several feet at a grade of at least 1 inch per foot. It is improperly graded if it is level or angles toward the house. All of the following can easily affect grade around your home.

– Improper landscaping.

Foundation beds should follow the original grade of the site, not slope toward the house.

– Compacted soil.

The soil used to back fill around foundations settles over the years. As it does grading can flatten or even begin to slope toward the foundation.

– Soil erosion.

Wind and water can cause erosion resulting in flat or negative grades.

It’s very easy to check the grade around your house. All you need a level and a flat, thin, straight piece of wood or metal that won’t sag. This is what you do:

1. Remove any decorative rock or mulch from near your house as you want to take the measurement on bare ground.

2. Put the piece of wood or metal on the ground next to the house.

3. Place a level on the wood or metal perpendicular to the house. Raise the lower end of the level until the bubble centers on the indicator.

4. Measure the height between the end of the level furthest from the house and the ground. This will tell you how many inches of drop there is from the house.

As mentioned earlier the ground should slope away from the house for several feet at a grade of at least 1 inch per foot. For example if you’re using a 3 foot level, there should be a 3 inch difference between the two ends of the level. This may not seem like much but it’s all you need to keep water away from your house.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about grading or installing new gutters.

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.

How to use a two way mirror to conceal your TV

Posted by on Oct 2, 2019 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

Are you tired of seeing your TV when it’s not in use? Do you want a TV in places like the bathroom but think you don’t have the space? That’s where two-way mirrors come in! TVs can be concealed behind two-way mirrors and only show through the mirror when the TV is on. The only downside to using a two-way mirror though is that when the TV is off the mirror isn’t quite as reflective as a traditional mirror would be and when the TV is on it is behind the glass so it might not have quite as clear of a picture.

Below you will find the necessary steps to take in order to conceal your TV behind a two-way mirror:

1) Find a place to hide your TV which should be a flat screen model. The best place is a wall that has enough depth to hold your TV.

2) Cut a hole in the wall that is large and deep enough for your TV and place the television inside. Make sure the inside of the hole is completely dark. It is recommended to add venting before sealing the TV inside the wall. This will add ventilation and keep the TV from over heating.

3) Run the wire from your TV off to the side through another hole or cut a hole through the back of the wall and run the wires out there. How you hide the wires depends on how your room is situated and how neat you want it to look.

4) Install an ordinary two-way mirror or a specially made television mirror. (Companies such as HiddenTelevision.com have mirrors made specifically for TVs.) Put the mirror inside a frame and mount it over the hole.

5) Make sure you take extra care that the TV can be seen through the reflective part of the mirror. Turn on the TV and make sure the light from it will pass through the mirror. When you turn off the TV the mirror will bounce light off of it again becoming reflective and hiding the TV from the rest of the world.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about mounting TVs and installing two-way mirrors.

 
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.

Remodeling projects that pay for themselves

Posted by on Oct 2, 2019 in blog_commentary | 0 comments

Have you been considering upgrades to your home but aren’t sure which projects will pay off the most in the long run? Below you will find several remodeling projects that yield the highest rate of return on your investment.
Toilets and Bathtubs

Toilets and bathtubs can fit over present plumbing, and are fairly easy to install.
You just simply remove the old one and replace it. A midrange bathroom upgrade like this will typically recoup about 78% of the cost when you sell your home.

*Note- When considering a new toilet, shop for a modern unit that conserves water.
Bathroom Sinks

Bathrooms sinks and vanities have become home fashion statements especially with the rising popularity of sleek stand alone sinks or vanities. If you can afford the extra cost with a higher priced sink consider going for it. When you sell your home your upscale bathroom remodel should return around 70% of your investment.
Kitchen Cabinets
Instead of redoing the entire kitchen  resurfacing your cabinets is an easy, cost effective upgrade. You can refurbish your wood cabinets with a new look, giving them a darker finish or lightening them up. You can also consider painting them if you would like to have some color. While you’re at it, also upgrade the cabinet hardware. Small kitchen upgrades like these can recoup about 83% of the cost when its time to sell.
Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sinks sure do get a lot of use. Sinks have come a very long way in terms of design and function. If you replace a sink, you will probably want to spring for a new kitchen faucet as well. Luxury sinks and high neck faucets can be pretty expensive but the investment will likely pay off when you go to sell.
Kitchen Countertops

Are your countertops looking old and worn out? Natural stone counter tops like granite, have dominated the market for some time, but cheaper and traditional materials are now making a comeback! Improved laminate countertops are the more affordable option, but for a more expensive designer look, concrete or recycled glass might be good options.
Roofing

Roofing is very labor intensive, so it is not cheep and slate and tin roof installation costs even more then average. However,
most roofing shingles now come with a 20-year warranty, and upgraded shingles often come with a 30-50 year warranty. A new roof can make a big difference in the curbside appeal of your home and roofing upgrades will recoup around 63% of their cost when you sell.
Siding

Vinyl siding usually comes with a 20-year durability guarantee and it’s quick and easy to install, while fiber cement is more expensive, but usually has a 59 year durability guarantee. Siding comes in numerous colors and textures and by replacing your siding you can expect to recoup up to 87% of the project’s cost!

 

Windows

The energy efficiency of modern windows has dramatically increased compared to the windows of the 1990s. Besides keeping you warmer new windows can be a major selling point. You can expect to recoup around 78% of an investment in window replacement.

*Note- Depending on your window choice, you might have to replace the window frame as well as the trim, and that will cost you 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.