Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hot Weather Home Maintenance Tips


The heat is tough on everyone – scorching sun and high temperatures can take their toll not only on you and your family but also your home.  Here are a few ways to protect your home from the effects of summer.
-        Your air conditioner is working over time during the summer so do what you can to help it out. Keep landscaping from encroaching onto your outdoor unit. Also keep inside filters clean and replaced regularly.
-        Clean around windowsills to remove debris and ensure a tighter seal keeping warm air out and cool air in.
-        If your area is prone to summer storms check trees for loose or dead limbs that may be thrown during high winds.
-        Inspect your yard regularly for standing water and fill in as necessary to prevent mosquito habitats.
-        Keep your cool inside by utilizing ceiling fans and curtains.
-        Now is a good time to ensure all of your home ventilations is working properly and efficiently. Be sure to clean the fan over your range to remove grease and dust.  Use a vacuum hose to clean refrigerator coils and keep it running effectively.
-        Remove the lid on the outdoor dryer vent and clean out any lint to prevent fires and keep your dryer running smoothly.
-        Summer heat and moisture can cause mildew to build up on the exterior of your home. Pressure wash or clean regularly to keep it at bay.
What summer maintenance tips do you have to protect your home and keep it in peak condition during those long hot days?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Natural Remedies to Keep Away Pests This Summer


Enjoying time outdoors is one of the hallmarks of summer vacation. Picnics, pool parties, BBQ’s or just blowing bubbles in the front yard.  Unfortunately the presence of unwanted insects can put a real damper on these occasions.  This year, forgo the chemical-laden options and try some of these natural alternatives to keep bugs away from your summer get together.
Landscape with natural repellant.  Some plants are natural insect repellants and may be worth planting around the areas you spend the most time in.  For example, to keep mosquitoes at bay try planting Marigolds, Peppermint, Lavender or Basil.
To keep wasps from building nests around your home hang a paper bag in overhangs or corners.  This will make the wasps think the area is already occupied.
Spread Epsom salts around your garden plants to deter slugs and snails.
Mix equal portions of baking soda and powdered sugar and place them in shallow dishes outside when you want to get rid of ants.
Slice a fresh cucumber and put the pieces around your party area to keep bees from joining the group. 
Fill plastic bags with water and add in a few pennies. Hang them around outside to scare flies away.
What tried and true bug remedies do you use to enjoy your summer outdoors?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Choosing the Right Front Door


Gone are the days when a boring black door welcomed friends and family into your home. There are so many new styles and options available to choose from.  Don’t wait till you get inside to let your personal decorating style shine.
Here are a few of the more popular choices.
Wood doors are a popular option and can be customized with glass panels or designs.  Note that overtime wood doors can warp and may need to be replaced more frequently than other man-made materials.
Fiberglass doors can be made to look like wood but will hold up better against the elements. Their insulated core also lends to better energy savings in the long run.
Steel doors are expensive but the safest option available in terms of preventing break-ins.  Take care to prevent dents as they may not be able to be repaired and will require the whole door being replaced.
Glass doors are admired for their atheistic appeal as well as the natural light they let into the home.  If you have privacy concerns choose a film or textured glass to distort the view.
Other front door options include:
-        Color.  Choose an inviting or bold color that really pops and brings attention to the entrance of the home.
-        Add sidelites or transoms for more natural light.
-        Consider adding a storm door for more flexibility and weather protection.
What do you look for in a front door? What statement are you trying to make?
http://candcbuilders.com/

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What Size Home is Right for Me?


When choosing a new home there are so many things to consider.  Location, price, style and size are just a few of the decisions that need to be made.
How do you decide on the size of your home?
Ask yourself several questions:
First – determine your budget before hand. Be sure to include the mortgage, interest, insurance and down payment amounts.   Your budget should be the most pressing factor in your decision process. No house is worth putting your family at risk financially.
Then, think about how your family uses the space.  Do you entertain a lot? Do you need guest rooms for out-of-town family? Is your family going to be growing in the future?
Do you need space for hobbies? An outdoor workshop or craft room?
Also consider the upkeep of your home. A larger home means more maintenance – interior and exterior.  Be aware of the extra time a larger home may require.
If you’re concerned about not having enough space – think about flexibility. Can rooms be used for multiple purposes? Is there opportunity to change a room’s function in the future?  You may not need more space just more versatility.
What are you looking for in a new home? What rooms are most important to you?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kitchen Countertop Options


A new home is a great opportunity to personalize for both style and function.  Let’s start in the kitchen! Here are a few options for kitchen counters!
Quartz
Quartz is a great low maintenance option. Countertops are stain, scratch and heat resistant. They are available in a range of colors and don’t require sealing like many natural stone countertops.
Granite
Granite has been a traditional stand by for most new homes.  It offers an upscale look and durable workspace. It’s important to clean up spills quickly and maintain a sealing routine about once a year.
Laminate
Laminate countertops are the most affordable option and now come in a wide variety of patterns that look more like natural stone. 
Wood
Butcher block countertops offer a farmhouse chic alternative to traditional stone.  They are highly heat resistant but need to be properly sealed before using for prep work.
Marble
Marble countertops are an up and coming option in the design world. The cost is similar to granite and their look is clean and timeless. Marble is porous though so be careful about stains.
Which look or option is your favorite? What factors do you need to consider before making a decision?

Friday, May 4, 2018

Keeping Home Safe While You’re Away


Counting down to that summer vacation?   While you’re planning what to pack and where to eat, don’t forget to plan ahead for keeping your home and belongings safe while you’re away.
If possible, arrange for a trusted friend or family member to come by and check on the house.  Water plants, pick up any packages or deliveries and take out the garbage.  They can help the home look lived in by turning lights on and off and opening blinds.
Make sure to stop your mail before you leave. This can be done online and is a free service offered by the Postal Service.
If you’ll be away for a long time arrange for lawn service to keep your home looking maintained.
So what shouldn’t you do?
Don’t announce your upcoming trip on social media.
Don’t leave a window or door unlocked just in case.
Don’t leave your lights on to make the home look like someone is inside.
And last? Do let the police know you’ll be gone. They can drive by to check on your home to make sure that nothing looks out of place.
A little extra planning and you can enjoy your vacation with no worries about what is happening back home.
http://candcbuilders.com/

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Appeal of Open Floor Plans


Flip on most any home shopping or design program and you’re likely to hear a similar request – the need for an open floor plan.  What exactly does this mean? Why has it become so popular? Is it here to stay?
Homes are considered to have an open floor plan if the overall layout is spacious and blends several spaces together – typically the living, dining and kitchen areas.
Open floor plans are great for families. They allow for easy opportunities to watch the kids while working in the kitchen and prepping the night’s dinner.  This means more multi-tasking opportunities and less stress wondering what the kids are doing while you aren’t around!
A spacious open layout is great for entertaining and allowing guests to mingle in and out of the living and dining areas.  Guest are encouraged to talk across rooms and spaces with no place to feel left out or overlooked.
Open floor plans allow for more natural light from the windows without being blocked by additional interior walls. This combination makes even a smaller square foot home feel larger.
The trend towards open floor plan designs doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.  Changes in how the family functions, design norms and home construction support the ongoing popularity of open concept homes.  What are your thoughts on open floor plans? Pros, cons?  
Visit us online at http://candcbuilders.com/

Friday, April 20, 2018

Where to Upgrade Your Home’s Features






Buying a new home allows for a lot of freedom when it comes to personalizing the look and feel of your home.  You can choose to build your home with the standard finishes and options that your builder offers or you may want to add in some upgraded items.

Which upgrades make the most sense?  To answer this question you need to think about two things – home functionality and possible resale value.  Will the upgrade make living in your home more enjoyable? And will it add to the overall value of your home should you choose to sell in the future.
Particularly in the master bathroom – a separate shower and bath are preferred.  A more luxurious shower option such as a tiled stall makes a big impression.
Many homebuyers expect granite countertops in the kitchen and stainless steel appliances.  These features offer both visual appeal and added functionality.
Other popular upgrades include lighting fixtures, stone accents on the exterior of the home and hardwood flooring.
Some options are important to work out in the beginning stages of home design or construction because they affect the layout and build of the home.  Plan in advance if you are interested in a kitchen island, gas fireplace, additional attic space or increased insulation.
What are some of your wish list items you want in a new home? What trends do you think are here to stay?

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Making Use of Your Tax Refund


If you’re fortunate enough to get a tax refund from the government this year – there are many ways you can put it to good use when it comes to buying a new home.  A little planning ahead and you can trade that refund in for a key to your brand new home!
-        Use the refund toward your down payment. Most loans require a 20% down payment to avoid extra points or penalties.

-        Apply it toward closing costs to keep your out of pocket expenses down.

-        Take the refund and fix up part of your current home to make it more appealing to interested buyers. Put it into the big ticket rooms such as the kitchen and master bath.

-        Save it to help cover the cost of moving into your new home – from movers and truck rentals to boxes and pizza for friends who help out on the big day.

-        Put the money towards a home upgrade that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Think about upgrading your flooring, countertops or appliances.

-        Save it for that new piece of furniture, décor or area rug that will make your new home feel complete!

-        Invest in some landscaping items such as additional plants, flowers or trees. Maybe it’s time to purchase some new yard equipment or a playset for the kids.

However you choose to use it put your tax refund to good use by planning ahead and thinking about your new home goals.  A quick impulse buy may seem fun, but your new home will be a place to make treasured memories for years to come.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Container Gardening Basics


When you’ve recently moved into a new home there are so many things to think about and set up. From placing furniture to hanging pictures and meeting the neighbors, there might not be time to set up an elaborate garden in time for the Spring planting season.  However, this doesn’t mean you need to forgo the delicious flavors of home grown veggies!  A container garden is a quick and simple set up that allows for fresh produce on a time crunch.
Start with choosing containers – this can be anything from large gardening pots to reusable shopping bags or specially designed fabric garden pots. Use your imagination! A larger container allows for more soil that will be less likely to dry out as quickly as a small pot.
No matter what container you choose there needs to be a way for water to drain out. Otherwise your plants may die. Drill a series of small drainage holes if there are not some already. Put a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the container to prevent the soil from draining out of the holes as well.
Place the containers where you want them and begin adding your soil. A planting mix or houseplant soil is the preferred option over plain garden soil.  Don’t fill the pots too high so that there is room for watering.
Choose what you want to plant and be creative! You can plant several things together or just focus on one large plant.  Here are some crops that do well in containers. (This is just a sample – there are many to choose from!)
-        Basil
-        Tomatoes
-        Squash
-        Strawberries
-        Rosemary
-        Peppers
-        Spinach
-        Cucumbers
-        Lettuce
Water containers thoroughly and don’t allow the soil to dry out.  A top layer of mulch can help keep moisture from evaporating too quickly.  Fertilize container gardens and be sure to prune back plants to keep from overcrowding.
With minimal space and set up you can still enjoy a wonderful summer harvest with container gardens!

www.candcbuilders.com

Friday, March 30, 2018

Housing Market Overview

Just a few months into 2018 and the housing market is already heating up.  According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes are up over 3% and new construction is being purchased almost as soon as construction begins.
The majority of sales were in the South where numbers were up 6.6% according to economists at Reuters.
Homes are not on the market long! In February, the average days on market was 37. Forty-six percent of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days.
The Federal Reserve increased interest rates with an expected two more increases by the end of the year. Buyers looking to enter the market are trying to do so before the other mortgage rate increases.
Inventory remains low with new construction being snapped up quickly! The number of new home starts in February increased dramatically – up from its previous high in 2008.
Tight inventory and increasing interest rates can make the cost of entering the housing market higher.  However buyers with a home to sell are often getting higher prices on their existing properties.  Entering the market before inventory decreases and interest rates rise is a great way to get ahead of higher costs! The time to buy is now! 
Contact us today! candcbuilders.com (803) 736 5008


Friday, March 23, 2018

The Basics of Window Treatments

One of the first things you’ll want to do when moving into your new home is putting up window treatments for privacy and décor.

There are many options when it comes to how you dress your windows. Here are just a few you may want to consider.

Blinds:
There are several types of blinds. Some of the most popular are:
Roman Blinds (Or Shades) – A more upscale window dressing made of folds of fabric. Perfect for bedrooms or living rooms.

Wood or Faux-Wood Blinds – Horizontal slats that pull up and down. Great for privacy and light control. Different widths to choose from to create different looks.

Shutters – Interior shutters that fit inside the window frame. Creates a luxurious look with a southern flair! Perfect for dining rooms or kitchens.

Curtains Vs. Drapes
Drapes are similar to curtains but are typically more formal. They are often lined and come with a string or rod pull for easy opening and closing.
Blackout curtains are a great addition to any bedroom – especially kids rooms when daytime naps are still needed.

If you love to DIY your home décor, drop cloths provide a blank canvas for your artistic expression. There are many no-sew tutorials online including this one:
https://www.thedesigntwins.com/how-to-make-no-sew-drop-cloth-curtains/

Whatever you choose – window treatments provide privacy, energy efficiency and style for your new home!

http://candcbuilders.com/

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring Lawn Prep


Warmer weather and longer days may be beckoning you back outside after a long winter.  It’s time to start thinking about spring lawn care and how to prepare your yard for the upcoming growing season. Here are a few things you can be doing now to encourage a lush, green lawn.
1.     Though there may not be leaves on the ground this time around, get the rake back out and start raking your lawn again. This will remove any thatch which is dead grass or leaves that may have compacted over the winter.
2.     Now is a good time to put down a weed killer – before the weeds have really had a chance to start growing.
3.     It may be tempting to fertilize as well but don’t start too early. It’s better to wait until April or May for warm season grasses.
4.     Address bare spots in your yard by putting down seed. Be sure to choose the right type of seed for your weather and amount of sunlight. Once the seed is down, water thoroughly to ensure growth.
5.     Time to tune up the lawn mower! Now is the time to clean your lawn mower, sharpen the blades and replace the oil. Having a properly working lawn mower will make the mowing season much easier!
Following these lawn care steps in the Spring will help create a lush and healthy lawn this summer.  For more information consult a local landscaping company with expertise in your local lawn care.
http://www.candcbuilders.com/

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Moving With Pets


When you’re planning a move into your new home – there’s so much to think about.  From hiring movers to clearing out clutter, changing your address to thinking about furniture placement.  It’s understandable that you might not think about moving one of your most prized treasures – your pet!
Pets are perceptive and understand that changes are taking place in their home.  Here are a few ways to ease the stress during the transition and plan for the big day.
Try to pack up the pet’s things last. If they typically spend time in one room of the house, leave that one to be packed up last and don’t keep boxes in their usual hang out spaces.
If a move will require your pet to spend some time in a crate – get them familiar with that space again if they don’t spend much time there. Have occasional meals in the crate or go for short road trips in the crate so the moving day won’t come as a complete shock.
On moving day – try to find someone who can keep your pets. This will prevent concerns about them running away while doors are open and furniture is being moved. If it’s not possible to have the pets at a different home, keep them in a locked room and peek in for frequent checks.
Once you’re in your new home, your pet will need to investigate the new surroundings to get comfortable. Ease this transition by introducing your pets to one room at a time.  Have their food and toys in that one room and use this as a home base they can become easily comfortable with.  When they are ready to explore more, leave some doors shut so that your pet doesn’t become overwhelmed in a completely new space. Introduce just a few rooms at a time.
With a little understanding and patience, the whole family will be adjusting to the move in no time!
http://candcbuilders.com/

Monday, March 5, 2018

Visit Our Booth at The Carolina Classic Home and Garden Show


The 52nd Annual Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show will be held at the SC State Fairgrounds Friday, March 9 through Sunday, March 11, 2018. The show is hosted by the Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina (BIA) and presented by Clyde Nettles Roofing.
The Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show is the largest and only locally-produced home and garden exhibition in the Midlands. Over 200 construction, home improvement, and outdoor product and service exhibits fill the Cantey, Goodman and Ellison buildings plus outdoor areas. Come see a Tiny Home, enjoy fair-style foods and craft beer each day of the show. Learn more.... http://www.biaofcentralsc.com/calendar-and-events/home-and-garden-show.html

http://candcbuilders.com/

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tools Every Homeowner Needs

Owning a home begins when you sign the papers at closing – and never ends. There is always work to do and projects to tackle. This sort of personalization is what makes home ownership so much fun! You get to make your home your own.  You just need the right tools to do it.
So whether you consider yourself a regular handyman or you know just enough to be dangerous, here are some tools that every homeowner needs to have in their toolbox.
-        Ladder: For those hard to reach places, light bulb changes and paint jobs
-        Drill and Drill Bits: A must have for most home improvement projects
-        Tape Measure: Know how big the room is before you buy that new sofa
-        Level: Hang pictures just right!
-        Screwdrivers: For all types of DIY furniture projects or new purchases
-        Stud Finder: Hanging a heavy piece of art? This is a must have.
-        Extension Cord: Don’t get caught trying to work without one.
-        Utility Knife: Open and breakdown boxes.
-        Misc Hardware: Get yourself an assortment of nails and screws.
Of course there are other tools you’ll want to add over the years but this should get you started.
Did we miss anything? What would you include in your homeowner tool box?

Don't forget to check us out at http://candcbuilders.com