Built In Window Blind Perks

Are Windows With Integral Blinds Worth the Cost?

If you are thinking about making updates to your Carolina residence, one of the things you may be considering is investing in windows with integral blinds. Not only do these windows have a high-end appearance, but they provide other benefits, including minimal upkeep. Windows with integral blinds are, however, usually much pricier than their traditional counterparts, so it’s important to make sure they are worth the extra money before you take the plunge.

The goal of this guide is to introduce you to the pros and cons of windows with built-in blinds. Understanding both sides of this product will make it easier for you to figure out if the investment is worthwhile for your family. By the time you’re done reading, you should have a much better understanding of integral blinds.

Pros:
      • Less care – As mentioned above, one of the perks of integral blinds is that they require very little maintenance. They never have to be dusted or cleaned like traditional, external blinds. This saves time. Furthermore, since these blinds don’t attract dust particles, they are ideal for those who suffer from allergies.
      • Safer for kids and pets – One of the major hazards of conventional blinds is that their cords can get tangled around the necks of small children and pets. This can, of course, lead to serious injury or even death. Integral blinds completely eliminate this risk because they do not have cords. If you’re a parent, you will probably find that your peace of mind is well worth the added cost associated with this window treatment option.
      • Unlikely to break – Because integral blinds are located between two pieces of glass, they are extremely unlikely to break. Traditional blinds, however, can get broken in a variety of ways; this is especially true of inexpensive vinyl styles, which often start cracking within a year or two. If you’re looking for a long-term solution for your home’s windows, integral blinds are sure to last for years into the future.
Cons:
      • Cost – As you’ve already learned, integral blinds are more expensive than the majority of conventional options. You are probably curious, however, to learn exactly how much more money you’ll have to pay. In many cases, the price of a window or door with integral blinds is nearly double that of a standard, off-the-rack style. That said, Carolina consumers can often find sales or financing options that meet their needs.
      • Lack of design choices – External blinds are available in hundreds, if not thousands, of different mass-produced styles and can even be custom designed at a homeowner’s request. Integral blinds, though, are not nearly so versatile. There are a relatively limited number of design choices on the market. You will find that many of them are chic, but they are not necessarily one-of-a-kind or even unique.
      • No argon – Frequently, argon gas is pumped between the panes of double- and triple-paned windows to make them more energy-efficient. In windows that have integral blinds, however, there is usually no argon, which can make the windows less eco-conscious overall.

Now that you are better informed about both the benefits and downsides of selecting windows with integral blinds, you can make an educated decision that suits your lifestyle. If you would like to see this type of blind in action before you order windows or doors for your home, there are dozens of Carolina showrooms and home improvement stores you can visit. Simply get online to find a retailer near you.

Roof System Break Down

What Are Roofs Actually Comprised Of?

Although almost all Carolina homeowners understand the importance of having a properly installed roof on their houses, it’s not uncommon for people to be unaware of all of the layers and materials that are required for a roof to function correctly. The purpose of this brief guide is to teach you about the various components of a standard residential roof. By the time you reach the end, you should have a much better understanding of how your roof is put together and, therefore, should be able to have educated conversations with contractors regarding repairs and even total replacements. 

      1. The roof ridge – The ridge of a roof, as you might have anticipated, is the point where the left and right plane meet, culminating in the apex of the roof. There is generally a visible horizontal line that runs the full length of the roof ridge. Special shingles, known as “hip and ridge shingles” are crafted for use on roof ridges. 
      2. The ridge vent – Generally, ridge vents run the entire length of a roof ridge. These exhaust vents help keep attics free from unwanted moisture and, if you have an especially humid attic space, can prevent major problems like mold growth and even wood rot. Talk to your contractor if you have questions about your existing ridge vent or having one put in. 
      3. The flashing – Flashing is one of the most crucial components of any roof. Whether or not flashing is properly installed is more important than the material it is made from; flashing can be manufactured using rubber, steel, aluminum, or even fiberglass. The purpose of flashing is to prevent water from seeping into edges along chimneys and exterior walls. 
      4. The roof deck – In this case, this term doesn’t refer to a literal deck like restaurants often have. Instead, it is used to describe the structural base of a roof. Most of the time, this is built using wood, but it can also be crafted from steel beams. 
      5. The roof underlayment – A roof’s underlayment is a thin layer of felt or synthetic material that is designed to simultaneously provide extra insulation and repel water. Nowadays, almost all contractors use synthetic underlayment because it performs significantly better than felt over time. 
      6. The eaves – A roof’s eaves are the sections that hang over a home’s walls, protecting them from damage. Generally, eaves begin in the lower 36-inches of a roof, but different roof styles have different types of eaves. 
      7. The drip edge – The drip edge is a metal strip that lines the eaves of a roof, stopping dripping water from damaging the exterior walls beneath it. Any noncorrosive metal can be used to make a drip edge. 

Now that you know more about how your roof is put together, it will be easier for you to understand what is wrong with it when it starts having problems. Rest assured that the reputable team at Hatch Homes will be able to handle your roofing project, regardless of how major or minor it is. We work with clients throughout North Carolina and South Carolina to make sure their roofs are in exceptional condition. 

Pet Friendly Ice Melts

A Guide to Eco-Conscious De-Icers

Although certain regions of North Carolina and South Carolina don’t deal with much winter weather, other parts of these states typically get snow and ice on a regular basis. If, for instance, you reside in a mountainous area of North Carolina, you are no stranger to snow. One of the more challenging aspects of living in an area that has all four seasons is properly handling ice so your loved ones don’t slip and get injured. 

If you’re like most Carolina homeowners, you’ve probably been using conventional de-icing options, available at big-box retailers and home improvement stores, for years. There are, however, several reasons to stop using the majority of these products. Many of them contain ingredients, including urea, potassium nitrate, and table salt, that are potentially harmful to the environment. Furthermore, if you have pets, these chemicals can cause paw pain and irritation. 

Fortunately, there are several great eco-conscious, pet-friendly de-icing choices on the market today. As you continue reading this guide, you will discover a few brands that you and your family will be able to trust for years to come. Remember, it is important to research all of the options available to you in order to select the best de-icing product for your household’s needs. 

      1. SafePaw Ice Melter – The Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-profit organization, along with numerous veterinarians and animal shelters nationwide recommends the SafePaw Ice Melter solution. This product is completely safe for pets and offers a unique benefit; it’s dark green color absorbs sunlight, encouraging ice to melt as quickly as possible during daylight hours.
      2. Snow Joe Melt – Snow Joe Melt’s active ingredient is magnesium acetate. This is safe for pets, unlike sodium chloride or potassium nitrate. It is also engineered to require less product to melt the same amount of ice as mainstream options. This is a great perk for those who are concerned about the environmental impact of potential run-off. 
      3. Natural Alternative Ice Melt – Produced by the organic, eco-friendly lawn care brand NaturaLawn of America, Natural Alternative Ice Melt contains just four safe, biodegradable ingredients. One of the major selling points of this product is that it will not lead to additional algae growth in watersheds. 

Although these ice melting options are safe alternatives to many of the brands with which you are probably familiar, the best way to avoid needing too much de-icer is to do everything you can to keep your Carolina home’s walkways clear of snow and ice. This means you need to shovel snow regularly. It is also wise to make sure your entire family wears appropriate footwear every time they go outside. A person is much less likely to slip while wearing winter boots than thin-soled sneakers or dress shoes, for example. 

One of these options should suit your needs, no matter what part of the Carolinas you reside in. If you have specific questions regarding any eco-conscious de-icers, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer. These brands are proud of the products they offer and are generally extremely helpful when they are contacted about their composition and benefits. 

Holiday Lights

A Guide to Safely Recycling Unwanted Christmas Lights

As the holiday season has once again drawn to a close, many North Carolina and South Carolina families are inevitably discovering that they have Christmas lights they no longer want or need. Perhaps, for example, your family invested in new LED strands during a post-Christmas sale, so you don’t need your older lights anymore. Or, maybe you’ve decided to downsize your holiday decorations and you have extra strands you don’t want to store.

No matter what your situation is, the most important thing is to safely recycle any unwanted Christmas lights you have laying around. Throwing them in the trash to go to your local landfill isn’t a good idea. Not only can the lights pose a hazard to sanitary department workers if they break, but they can harm wildlife and have other negative effects on the environment. Here, you’ll learn how to get rid of your lights the right way.

Contact your municipal solid waste department

Different cities and counties throughout the Carolinas have unique rules and regulations regarding Christmas light disposal. You may find, for instance, that your town’s solid waste department has a drop-off day specifically set aside for unwanted Christmas lights. Solid waste departments across both North Carolina and South Carolina will make sure light strands are disposed of in a proper and safe fashion.

Ship unwanted lights to Holiday LEDs

Holiday LEDs is a purveyor of Christmas lights that offers a mail-in recycling program. They will appropriately dispose of any lights that are shipped to them and, in return, send coupons for 15% off the purchase of any lights from their e-commerce website. The address for Holiday LEDs is 13400 Watertown Plank Rd., Suite 34, Elm Grove, WI 53122.

Ship unwanted lights to Christmas Light Source

Christmas Light Source is another seller that offers a mail-in recycling program. The Dallas-based company receives a small sum of money in exchange for the lights they provide to a local recycling company; the process is similar to turning-in aluminum cans to your local recycling department. One perk of choosing to send your unwanted lights to Christmas Light Source is that they donate all proceeds to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. Your lights should be shipped to 4313 Elmwood Drive, Benbrook, TX 76116.

Contact local women’s shelters

Domestic violence shelters are often in need of donations, including Christmas lights and other holiday decorations. These allow the staff members and volunteers who work in shelters to make their spaces look cheerful and festive for the holidays without digging into their limited budgets. If you aren’t sure how to get in-touch with any of the women’s shelters in your Carolina region, do some online research, contact your religious organization, or call the Chamber of Commerce for assistance.

Hopefully one of these recycling methods will appeal to you if you have unwanted Christmas lights in your household. Remember that throwing light strands away is never the best option. We wish you and your family the happiest of holiday seasons for years to come!

Inside Of A Triple Pane Window

A Basic Guide to Triple Paned Windows

In the Carolinas, and all over the United States, homeowners are becoming increasingly concerned about the energy efficiency of their houses. Due to this, more and more people are taking matters into their own hands and doing upgrades that will decrease their overall energy usage at home. Windows are among the biggest air leakage culprits in any building, so investing in “greener” windows is one of the best things you can do to lower your bills and make your residence more efficient. Here, you will find FAQs about triple-paned windows.

What is the average cost of triple-paned windows?

As a general rule, triple-paned windows are priced between $550 and $1,100. This is a wide range and accounts for things like brand name, window frame material, and type of glass. If you ultimately choose triple-paned windows for your remodeling project, you can expect to spend at least 10% more than you would on double-paned windows.

Certain estimates indicate it could take three decades for triple-paned windows to pay for themselves! They do, however, provide numerous benefits, including better insulation and interior climate control. Furthermore, this cost accounts for just the window; labor is not included. It is, therefore, important to get several quotes prior to blindly hiring a local Carolina window installer.

How are triple-paned windows constructed?

Triple paned windows, as you probably expected, have three panes of glass. These windows all feature spacers that allow the panes to sit exactly the same distance apart from one another. This ensures that the view is not rippled or warped in any way. Triple paned windows also have airtight seals between every piece of glass. This improves insulation, giving them a higher U-factor than single or double-paned windows.

What are the key benefits of triple-paned windows?

As mentioned earlier in this guide, there are some great perks that come with having triple-paned windows. Perhaps the most major benefit is the fact that you and your family will be more comfortable in your home. Triple paned windows provide better insulation than nearly any other sort of window on the market. If, for instance, you have a favorite reading nook that has been getting chilly with your current double-paned windows, triple-paned windows should make it much more temperate all year long.

In addition to assisting with climate control, triple-paned windows can decrease your monthly energy bills no matter what season it is. Although it will take time for them to pay for themselves in utility savings, this fact is worth taking into consideration, especially if your current residence is your “forever home.”

Another notable perk is that triple-paned windows provide exceptional sound protection. Some high-end models are even classified as soundproof. This is a particularly important benefit for those who live in urban Carolina regions, such as Charlotte, and for residents of rural areas where trains frequently run by.

At Hatch Homes, we perform window installations all over the Carolinas. If you are thinking about having triple-paned windows put in your home in the near future, there’s no time like the present to give us a call and schedule a free consultation. Our experts look forward to meeting you and answering any questions you may have about investing in triple-paned windows.

cross gable roof

6 Roof Options You Should Be Aware Of

If you are thinking about doing a major exterior renovation or if you are preparing to build a new North Carolina or South Carolina home, there are dozens of decisions you will have to make regarding the project before it even gets started. One thing you might not have thought a lot about to this point is the type of roof you want to have installed. There are numerous roof styles in existence, but in this guide, you will discover six options you should absolutely be aware of. Some of these are familiar to Carolina residents, but others are unique and rarely used.

    1. The Frame Gable Style – Think for a moment of how small children draw houses. The triangular roof they typically sketch is essentially what a frame gable roof looks like. It’s steep pitch is ideal for water drainage, making it a great choice for people who live in wet regions of the Carolinas. Furthermore, homes with this type of roof almost always have space for usable attics or spare bedrooms. 
    2. The Cross Gable Style – Cross gable roofs are in many ways the same as conventional gable roofs. The major difference is that the cross gable style typically features two or three additional gabled sections that join the primary gable at a 90-degree angle. This allows for additional interior space. 
    3. The Flat Style – Flat roofs are not particularly popular in the Carolinas, largely due to the fact that they aren’t great for rain runoff. In the United States, they are most commonly used for residential projects in the arid southwestern region of the country. If, however, you are building an ultramodern home in North Carolina or South Carolina, a flat roof may suit your design needs. 
    4. The Inverted Curve Style – Traditionally, curved roofs go down, toward the ground. Inverted curve roofs, though, go upward, with the top of the curve pointing at the sky. This is a unique roof style that is sure to help your home stand out. Be aware that it may result in slightly curved interior ceilings, as well. 
    5. The Mansard Style – Especially popular in France, the Mansard roof style involves all four sides merging in a low pitched design. Generally, buildings that feature Mansard roofs have dormers to make room for interior living space. This roof style, as a matter of fact, gave rise the “Parisian starving artist in a garrett” stereotype. 
    6. The Shed Style – Beloved by mid-century modern enthusiasts, the shed roof style features an asymmetrical pitch that runs the entire width of a house. It originally became popular during the 1960s and 1970s and is now enjoying something of a resurgence as that era’s architecture makes a comeback. 

The team at Hatch Homes can handle any roofing project you can throw at us. Serving families throughout the Carolinas, we offer professional, high-quality services. We are extremely proud of the work we do and we can’t wait to get to know you as we discuss your upcoming project. We’re here for you every step of the way, whether you know exactly what sort of roof you want or you are just beginning to explore your options. 

New French Door Unit

Costs Associated With French Door Installation

You’re not alone if you have long been dreaming of having French doors installed somewhere in your house. You are also, however, not alone if you have found yourself concerned about the cost of this project. Homeowners are often under the impression that having French doors put in is immensely pricey, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

The more you know about the French door installation process, the easier it will be for you to determine if it’s a wise renovation for you to undertake at this time. In this guide, you’ll discover all sorts of helpful information.

What is the average cost of French doors?

French doors are typically priced at a minimum of $400 per door, with installation ranging anywhere from $75 to $200. Keep in mind, though, that the cost of these doors can differ dramatically based on the type of material used to make them, whether or not they have intricate glasswork, and the sort of hardware you select. As a general rule, $400 French doors are usually basic models.

What plays into the price of French doors?

As you learned in the previous paragraph, there are a number of factors that play a role in the total cost of any set of French doors. Here, you’ll discover more about a selection of these factors.

Material – There are a number of different materials that can be used to construct French doors. Mass-manufactured steel doors, for instance, usually range between $400 and $2,000. Off-the-rack wooden French doors, however, usually start at about $1,200 and go up from there depending on the type of wood that is used. Finally, custom-made French doors of any kind can be priced anywhere from about $2,000 to five-figure numbers.

Roof design – If your North Carolina or South Carolina home was built fairly recently, it probably has two-foot overhangs where windows are. If you are having your new French doors installed where a window currently exists, these overhangs will need to be extended to properly protect the doors over time. Talk to your contractor about how much this will cost. In some cases, it is more budget-friendly to invest in an awning, which are usually priced between $100 and $2,500 depending on their features and whether or not they are motorized.

Trim – In order for your French doors to look finished, trim will have to be installed both inside and outside. This is a project you can handle on your own for a few hundred dollars if you choose. If, however, you don’t have the time or inclination for do-it-yourself jobs, you will need to get an installation quote from a qualified contractor.

Steps, a porch, a patio, or a deck – If you are installing a door where there has never been one before, the odds are good that there’s no surface to actually step onto the outside. In this situation, adding steps, a porch, a patio, or a deck will also be part of your French door remodeling project. Depending on which route you go, this could add several thousand dollars to your overall expenses. If you aren’t sure which option is the best fit for you, have a conversation with your contractor.

Whether you’re ready to have French doors installed as soon as possible or you are just vaguely considering the possibility, the team at Hatch Homes can assist you. We take pride in all of the exterior renovation jobs we do throughout the Carolinas and we are excited to help you transform the look of your home in the near future!

Stucco Application

Top Stucco Finish Options For Homeowners

If your Carolina home has a stucco exterior, you might not know much about the options you have when it comes to refinishing it. Many homeowners are under the impression that stucco finishes have to look pretty much the same for their entire lifespans, but this isn’t necessarily the case. It is possible to make fairly major changes to stucco whenever you feel like taking on a renovation project. As you read the remainder of this guide, you will learn more about stucco styles and finish options.

How is stucco refinished?

There are several steps involved in properly refinishing stucco exteriors. The steps differ slightly depending on what your house is constructed from. When homes have stone, brick, or concrete walls, Carolina contractors can apply stucco directly to the surface. When, however, wood studs are present, metal lathe will have to be installed before the stucco can be put on. Generally, three layers of stucco are applied before the textured finish coat is completed. One of the biggest perks of stucco is that it can last for half a century or more before it needs to be replaced!

What are the most popular stucco textures?

There are several different stucco textures that homeowners can choose from. Don’t fret if you aren’t familiar with specific stucco styles yet. That’s where this guide comes in. The next section will help you figure out which texture is the perfect fit for your personal taste.

California texture – This type of texture, which can also be referred to as Montalvo, involves letting a very rough layer of stucco dry, then covering it with a smooth layer. The textured underlayment pokes through the surface, giving a unique appearance.

Combed texture – This texture style is relatively modern and features thin, closely-spaced lines that make it appear that a comb has been drug through the stucco. The combed pattern may also have fancy swirls. If you are interested in this texture, make sure you talk to your contractor ahead of time to discuss the exact look you want.

Dash texture – This texture involves the use of a special tool called a “dash brush.” Your Carolina contractor will fling stucco onto your home’s walls with the brush, creating a rough appearance. If you suspect your stucco will need to be repaired fairly often like if you live in a hurricane-prone area, the dash texture is relatively easy to fix.

Lace texture – This texture option is among the most traditional choices for stucco residences. To achieve this look, stucco is sprayed onto a wall, then smoothed with a trowel. The final aesthetic features areas that look very much like lacework, which gives the texture its name. This style is perfect for camouflaging walls that have noticeable imperfections.

To learn more about the stucco services Hatch Homes offers, contact our office at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you soon and are excited to hear more about your stucco home. Our team enjoys exterior remodeling projects of all kinds!

Floor Sealers

How to Choose a Non-Toxic Hardwood Floor Sealer or Stain

Hardwood floors are undeniably beautiful. They are also versatile, which makes them appealing to homeowners throughout not only the Carolinas but the entire world. Whether you live in an Asheville, NC cabin, a historic Charleston, SC residence, or a beach bungalow on the coast, hardwood floors can work for you. It is, however, sometimes challenging to figure out which sealer or stain is the best non-toxic choice for your flooring. In this guide, you’ll learn more about several of the options that are available to consumers like you today.

Traditional hardwood sealers and stains

Most of the hardwood sealer and stain brands that immediately come to mind are polyurethane-based and come in oil or water varieties. It does bear noting that oil-based polyurethane sealers and stains generally contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde. In addition to having a potentially toxic effect on your health, VOCs are terrible for the environment as a whole. Oil-based options, though, provide richer color and last longer than their water-based counterparts.

Water-based sealers and stains may not cover as well as oil-based options, but they typically do not have VOCs. This does not, however, mean they are completely free of chemicals. If you do decide to go with a mainstream sealer or stain, though, water-based is certainly the less toxic of the two options.

Natural oil sealers and stains

Some brands offer sealers and stains that are manufactured using natural oils. Tung oil and linseed oil are both popular options. As a general rule, natural oil-based sealers and stains seep into wood grain, enhancing its natural look, but not adding overt shine. One major perk of natural oils is that they tend to protect hardwood from scratches, keeping it looking new for longer than it otherwise would. When natural oil sealer or stain is applied, it will have an odor, but you can rest assured it isn’t laden with VOCs like synthetic products.

In the next section of this guide, you will discover a few brands that make high-quality sealers and stains that won’t harm your family’s health or the environment. If you can’t find these at home improvement retailers in your region of North Carolina or South Carolina, you can order them online from a number of websites.

    • Safecoat Polyureseal – Safecoat Polyureseal has extremely low VOC content and meets the standards set forth by every state, even California where standards are quite stringent. This product is free of formaldehyde and is safe for use around those who are sensitive to chemicals.
    • Ecos Wood Shield Stain – Ecos Wood Shield Stain is a water-based option that is made with no VOCs, glycols, or other undesirable chemicals. It is important to note that this particular product needs to be used with a non-VOC finish. It will not last well on its own.
    • OSMO Polyx Oil – OSMO’s Polyx Oil is a non-VOC option that repels water, making it ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms. It is also easy to clean spills off of this finish, so it is incredibly popular among families with pets and small children.

Hopefully, the information in this guide has helped you understand some of the non-toxic sealer and stain options that you can choose from today. If you have questions regarding any of the products outlined in this guide, contact a home improvement store in your Carolina town or call a qualified local contractor.

Roofing Prices

A Guide to Unexpected Roofing Expenses

As a homeowner, the odds that you’ll have to pay for a roof replacement at some point are extremely high. Very few people manage to keep a single roof for their entire time they live in any given house. Whether the roof simply gets too old or it is damaged as the result of a natural disaster, you’ll probably find yourself calling a roofing contractor at least once. If the time has come for you to get a new roof, the information in this guide will help you understand some of the unexpected expenses you might find yourself facing over the course of the project.

The better prepared you are for unanticipated costs, the easier it will be for you to create a solid budget. As you read the remainder of this guide, you will discover a few of the things you might find yourself paying for as your roofing job progresses. Remember, not every homeowner faces all of these situations, but this is certainly a case in which it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have extra money set aside when your roof installation is finished, you can simply put it back in your bank account.

The dimensions of the roof – Many homeowners don’t initially consider how the dimensions of their roofs will impact their final bills. The simpler the design of your roof is, though, the less costly it is likely to be. Roofs that have a number of angles, multiple dormers, and other features require the roofing team to do more work and, therefore, typically cost more money. Roofing materials are measured in a unit called squares (10 ft x 10 ft). You are likely to be charged by the number of squares your roof requires.

The material you select – There are a wide variety of materials that can be used on roofs. Depending on what option you go with, you could find that it greatly impacts your final cost. Slate tiles, for example, can cost tens of thousands of dollars but are expected to last for well over a century. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are significantly more affordable, but generally don’t last more than 25 years. Shingles are the most popular choice among American homeowners, but there are many other options, such as wood shakes and ceramic tiles, on the market too.

The crew’s rate – Labor costs can vary widely from one Carolina roofing company to another, so it is important to get a few quotes prior to making your final decision. A crew’s rate will vary based on a number of factors, including what season it is, how large your roof is, and how difficult your chosen material is to install. Many installers, for instance, charge less in the winter than they do during the busy summer season and may give discounts if you order your materials through them instead of buying them on your own.

At Hatch Homes, we handle all types of roofing projects all over North Carolina and South Carolina. No matter how big or small your upcoming job is, a member of our team will be happy to provide you with a no-obligation quote and help you understand our full range of services. We look forward to working with you as soon as you are ready to get started!