calm anxiety in pets during renovations

A Guide to Pet Safety During Remodeling

If you are like many other North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners, your pet is not merely an animal, but a veritable member of your family. This can make the thought of keeping them safe during a home renovation somewhat daunting. “What if something goes wrong?” you might be wondering. This guide is here to help you understand more about keeping pets safe and sound during remodeling projects of all kinds.

Remember, the advice in this guide is general, and all of the tips may or may not work in your unique situation. If, for example, your pet tends to be particularly aggressive with people outside of your household, it may be best to put him or her in a daycare or kennel while workers are present in your house. Hopefully, however, no matter what circumstances you are in, some of these suggestions will help you.

Avoid certain items

There are a number of things you should make sure your pet avoids throughout your residential renovation job. Make sure, for instance, that all toxic chemicals and adhesives are stored out of reach or in locked cabinets and do your best to put small objects, such as nails and screws, in sealed boxes. You should also make sure your family pet is out of the way when any heavy items, like new appliances, boxes of roofing materials, or crates of flooring, are being carried into your home. If he or she gets underfoot, he or she could get injured accidentally.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in many cases, your cat or dog should be kept away from extremely loud noises, including air compressors and jackhammers. Not only can sustained exposure to these noises damage your pet’s hearing, but it may cause them to behave abnormally. Some animals cower in fear, for example, while others lash out in ways they typically wouldn’t.

Let your pet(s) meet the team

If you are having a fairly major renovation done and the team will be present for weeks or months, make sure you allow your pet to get to know them. Cats and dogs should be introduced to general contracting teams, sub-contractors, interior designers, and anyone else who will regularly be in your home for the duration of the job. This will help your animals feel more comfortable on a daily basis.

Have a pet-proofed room prepared

It is wise to prepare a room, preferably as far away from the construction as you can, for your pets to go to when needed. This space should be equipped with your pet’s favorite things, such as toys, his or her bed, food and water dishes, and any necessary medications. If possible, spend time in this room with your pet before your remodeling project begins. This way, he or she will be comfortable there.

If you find that your pet is coping poorly with renovation noise or with strangers in your home, you might want to consider talking to your vet for recommendations. He or she ought to be able to help you figure out how to help your furry friend adjust to the current situation in your house. Remember, in the end, having the home of your dreams will be worth it for everyone in your household, including your pet!

Yard Cleanup

How to Create a Beautiful Fall Yard

Many North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners worry that the appearance of their yards will suffer once summer ends and chillier fall weather sets-in. This does not, however, have to be the case! As a matter of fact, Autumn lawns can be stunning. If you’ve been struggling to figure out how to embrace cooler temperatures and falling leaves, you’re in the right place. As you continue reading this guide, you will discover some great tips and tricks for creating a beautiful fall yard.

    • Rake on a regular basis – If you let the leaves in your yard get out of control, it can make your entire property look unkempt and unappealing. Therefore, raking on a regular basis is key to creating a stunning autumn landscape. The best option is to pick one afternoon or evening per week to spend raking your lawn. You can even turn it into a fun family activity if you have children. Kids love getting involved in outdoor activities and may not even realize they’re helping with your to-do list!
    • Take advantage of the season’s colors – Although it can be difficult to watch the bright colors of spring and summer disappear, fall comes with a stunning palette of its own. Instead of fighting autumnal hues, take advantage of them in your outdoor decorating. Consider, for instance, planting asters in your flower beds and adding mums to your front porch or stoop. You may also want to add other decor, such as hay bales or scarecrows, to add an extra pop.
    • Mow as long as your grass grows – Depending on what part of the Carolinas you reside in; you may need to mow your grass most of the fall. As long as your grass grows, you should keep mowing it regularly. This will increase your home’s curb appeal and prepare the lawn for the winter months.
    • Consider how you’ll use the space – Every family utilizes their outdoor living space differently, so it’s important to give some consideration to how you will use your lawn during the fall season. Some homeowners, for example, enjoy hosting barbeque parties well into the autumn, while others prefer to use their yards for rest and relaxation. The way you live will dictate certain things about your property, such as whether or not you invest in a fire pit.
    • Take a weekend to aerate and reseed – Lawns in the Carolinas can become scorched during the hot summer months. Spending a weekend aerating and re-seeding damaged parts of your lawn is an excellent way to make sure your property is prepared for the coming spring. If you take on this “weekend warrior” project, you should notice a big difference in how well your grass begins growing once warmer weather arrives again.

Hopefully, these tips will help you transform your outdoor space into a fall wonderland not only this year but for many years to come. If you ever find yourself struggling to create a yard your family loves, consider working with a landscape designer who serves your area. These professionals’ fees are often more affordable than homeowners expect, and they can provide exceptional ideas.

Remodel a historic home

Remodeling a Historic Home? This Guide is For You!

North Carolina and South Carolina residents who are looking to renovate historic homes are in luck. These two states are rife with options, some of which need more work than others. Whether you are looking for an old house that needs to be completely gutted and more-or-less started from scratch or a residence that already has great character and just needs to be spruced up, you are sure to find the home of your dreams in the Carolinas.

When you start remodeling a historic home, you join a club of sorts. Historic homeowners often find themselves dealing with things that people who live in newly built houses couldn’t imagine! As you read this article, you will find a collection of tips that are intended to help your upcoming historic home renovation project go as smoothly as possible.

Understand the meaning of restore v. rehab

Frequently, people use the terms “restore” and “rehab” interchangeably in regard to historic home renovations. They actually, however, have two different meanings. Owners who are restoring old houses are planning to return them to their original state. These people typically only use materials and fixtures that would have been available when the structure was originally built. A slight exception to this may be installing indoor plumbing in a home that was built 200 years ago but still purchasing a clawfoot tub from that error.

Those who are rehabbing historic homes, on the other hand, are working to modernize their houses to fit with contemporary lifestyles while preserving as many original features as they are able to. If, for instance, a Victorian home has an extremely small, cramped kitchen, rehabbers may decide to knock down a wall or two to open up the space. Then, though, they are likely to stick with cabinet hardware and appliances that are reminiscent of the era in which the home was built.

Find a contractor and specialists who understand the job

Renovating a historic Carolina home is no easy feat, and it is important to have a great team helping you every step of the way. Make sure the primary contractor you choose has prior experience working on older homes. Some Charlotte, NC area contracting companies even specialize in historic renovations, so make sure you check into their availability and rates. Furthermore, if you have to bring-in third party specialists for certain tasks, such as laying tile or restoring woodwork, make sure they have excellent reviews from past clients.

Know that your budget may fluctuate

Because historic remodeling jobs often come with more than their fair share of unexpected costs, it you need to be okay with the fact that your budget may have to be somewhat fluid. One way to avoid feeling stressed about your finances is to set aside an emergency expenses fund prior to the start of your project. This way, you will already have extra money available when, not if, unanticipated charges arise.

The team at Hatch Homes would love to hear more about your historic Carolina renovation. Our skilled crew offers a variety of services, including roofing and window installation. Contact us today to discuss your plans and to find out if we’re a good fit for your upcoming job. We look forward to learning more about you and your house.

Basement remodel

Key Things to Consider During a Basement Remodel

If your family is like a lot of others, you probably wish you had more usable living space, but you aren’t willing or able to move to a new home for one reason or another. A great way to make your dream of the extra room a reality is to finish your home’s basement. Unfinished basements are nothing more than wasted space, so if you have the money to turn it into a new area for your family to enjoy, there’s no reason not to!

This is not to say, however, that basement renovations aren’t big jobs; most of the time, they are considered major remodels. There are certain things you (and your contractor, for that matter!) should be thinking about as you prepare to get your project underway in the near future. This guide features just a few of the issues that ought to be on your mind.

Determine whether you have a wet or dry basement

Many Carolina homeowners do not have dry basements. As a general rule, it is more-or-less impossible to finish a basement if it has a water seepage issue. Fortunately, wet basements can be dried out, but the technique that is used to do so is quite expensive in most cases. To determine if your home’s basement area is wet or dry, contact a reliable contractor to take a look for mold and other signs of water damage. It is best to use the contractor you plan to hire for your remodeling job. This way, he or she will be completely familiar with the space.

Follow all local regulations and codes

Different Carolina municipalities have various regulations and codes that pertain to basement remodeling jobs. These requirements can vary widely by region, so don’t be surprised if someone you know in Charlotte, NC, has to meet different stipulations than you do in the rural South Carolina Lowcountry. If you are unfamiliar with the basement renovation codes in your city, call your City Hall or have a conversation with your contractor. He or she probably already knows everything you need to adhere to.

Keep safety in mind

During a basement remodeling project, one of the main things you need to keep in mind is that safety is king. Since you are essentially adding a new floor to your home, it will need to be equipped with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, exterior doors, and anything else the rest of your house has to keep your family safe. In some cases, building codes govern basement safety. Your contractor should be able to tell you if there are any features, like windows that can be opened or fire retardant doors, that your newly renovated space is required to have.

Guides like this can sometimes make the idea of a basement remodel seem overwhelming. Although there is a lot to think about, the most important thing for you to keep in mind is how worthwhile the entire job will be in the end. You and your loved ones are sure to have good times in your new space for years to come!

Chimney Inspection

Tips For Keeping Your Chimney in Good Repair

As fall and winter approaches, many people in North Carolina begin to turn their thoughts to the chillier days ahead. If you and your family have a fireplace, one of your favorite parts of cold, snowy evenings is probably curling up to watch a movie or read a book with a roaring fire going. As lovely as fireplaces are, though, they can also be hazardous if all of their components are not kept in good repair. In this particular guide, you will find some useful tips for keeping your chimney in working order. 

    1. Look for blockages – Blockages in chimney flues commonly cause problems, including residential fires, so it is important to make sure your home’s flue is free from any blocks before you begin using your fireplace for the season. Bird’s nests are among the most common sources of blockages. These are usually fairly easy to see, even for homeowners who have no prior experience with chimney cleaning or maintenance. Blockages are most often found in chimneys that aren’t used very often, so be especially wary if your family doesn’t use your fireplace regularly. 
    2. Check for cracking – There are a lot of historic homes with stone and brick chimneys throughout North Carolina. If you happen to live in one of these houses, it is important for you to keep an eye on your chimney to make sure it isn’t developing cracks. Over time, both the mortar on stone and brick chimneys can begin to disintegrate, leading to cracks. Notify a professional of even the smallest crack! Repairing a tiny chimney crack as soon as it becomes evident will prevent bigger cracks from forming, saving you time and money down the road. 
    3. Be aware of leaks – Though it can be challenging to figure out why a chimney is leaking or where the leak is coming from, the fact that a leak exists should be very apparent. In all likelihood, you will notice water pooling around your home’s hearth. This is a sure sign that you need to call a professional to take a look. One common cause of chimney leaks is improperly installed flashing, but there are other potential catalysts as well. This is why it is imperative to get an expert’s opinion. 
    4. Make a note of condensation – Properly functioning chimney flues should be dry. If you take a look at your flue and discover condensation, it is a good idea to contact a professional right away. Over time, a wet flue can cause structural damage to your home’s chimney and even lead to long-term problems with the integrity of your house. 

Even if you haven’t noticed any of the problems outlined in this article, it is still a good idea to have your chimney inspected by a Charlotte, NC chimney expert once per year. This way, you will be made aware of any potential issues before they cause severe damage or lead to an emergency, such as a fire. There are many reputable North Carolina chimney inspectors you can choose from, so you should have no trouble finding someone you trust who services your area. 

board and batten design

Consider Vertical Siding For Your Home to Stand Out

Because siding usually lasts a long time, barring some sort of accident or natural disaster, the majority of homeowners only have to invest in replacement siding once or twice, even if they live in their homes for decades! Since this is the case, choosing new siding is a big deal. Not only is siding replacement a relatively expensive home improvement project, but you are probably going to be coming home to whatever siding style you select for at least two decades. Many of today’s homeowners want their houses to have unique aesthetics without going overboard and just looking odd. Nowhere is this desire to blend tradition with contemporary sensibilities more prevalent than in Southern states like North Carolina and South Carolina.

If you are planning to upgrade your Carolina home’s siding in the near future, consider having it installed vertically instead of in the traditional horizontal fashion. This is an excellent way to make sure your newly remodeled residence stand out in your neighborhood for all the right reasons. As you continue reading this short guide, you will learn more about why you ought to look into vertical siding installation and the benefits it has to offer.

Your house will be eye-catching

As established in the opening paragraphs, vertical siding has a different look than the horizontal siding most American homes have. Vertical boards are at once contemporary and classic, which is a difficult combination to find and one that happens to be ideal for many North Carolina and South Carolina homes. It is worth pointing out that horizontal siding installation is the easier of the two options, so if you choose to have your boards put up vertically, you may have to pay extra labor costs. This will be well worth it once your house is finished and you get to see how fantastic it looks!

Cleaning it is simple

Horizontal siding boards can accumulate dirt and dust in their grooves because there is simply nowhere else for these unwanted items to go. Vertical siding, on the other hand, allows lawn waste and other debris to quickly runoff onto the ground whenever it rains. This means this sort of siding requires virtually no maintenance once it is installed. You might choose to have the exterior of your house power washed once a year, but even that is more of a preference than a necessity when you choose vertical siding.

Any siding material can be used

Regardless of what siding material you’re planning to use on your house, rest assured that it can be installed vertically. Whether you choose fiber cement for its durability, wood for its rustic aesthetic, or vinyl for its affordability, your contractor should be able to put it on your home in any direction you choose. It is, however, a good idea to make your plans known before you sign any paperwork. Certain professionals have never done vertical siding installation in the past and may not be comfortable with it.

The team at Hatch Homes is skilled at installing all sorts of siding. No matter what you have in mind for the exterior of your house, we would love to handle the project for you. There’s nothing our crew enjoys more than completely transforming the look of a home with brand new siding. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our years of experience throughout the Carolinas.

Man Cave Ideas

Take Your Man Cave to the Next Level

Over the past decade or so, the idea of the man cave has pervaded popular culture and interior design. More homes than ever before have one of these spaces. Man caves not only give guys a space to relax and hang out without worrying about maintaining a perfectly put together space, but they allow wives to stash away collections, sports equipment, and other masculine belongings they would rather not have on display in their carefully decorated homes. If you have a man cave, but it could use some sprucing up, this guide will help you take your man cave to the next level without spending a fortune.

Decide what aesthetic you’re going for

One of the problems with many man caves is that they don’t have any sort of cohesive decorating scheme or overarching aesthetic. Instead, they are more like glorified basements; they become the spaces where everything that doesn’t have a “home” elsewhere in the house gets tossed. The first step to creating a man cave you really love is to decide on an aesthetic. The best way to figure this out is to consider what you are most passionate about.

If, for instance, you’re a sports fanatic, you might want to decorate your space with team memorabilia, jerseys, and furnishings reminiscent of a classic sports bar. If, on the other hand, music is your primary hobby, invest in furnishings that would look at home in a recording studio and hang vinyl records, guitars, and other music-related items on the walls.

Put together a refreshment area

One of the hallmarks of any reasonable man cave is easy to access to snacks and beverages. If you don’t currently have an area to store food and drinks, you should quickly remedy that issue when you start remodeling your space. Some man caves are too small for full kitchens but don’t fret. There are plenty of other options. Many guys, for instance, install mini-fridges and curate bar carts in lieu of purchasing full-sized appliances.

The TV is key

Although it is somewhat stereotypical, having a great TV is key to putting together a man cave you can be proud of. If you don’t have the budget to buy a new television, there are things you can do to enhance the set you already own. You might, for example, want to purchase a surround sound system that will make ball games, movies, and anything else you want to watch sound like you are really there. Another option is to mount your TV on the wall if it isn’t already. Wall-mounted flat panel screens have a sleek look that televisions on entertainment centers tend to lack.

These tips are just meant to get you started on your man cave remodel. Remember, you are limited only by your own ideas. If you need inspiration for your space, don’t hesitate to search for pictures online or ask your wife for assistance! Turning a man cave renovation into a couples’ project is a good way to bond and learn more about each other’s decorating styles.

Mudroom Ideas

Ways to Increase Storage During a Renovation

If you are planning a home remodeling job, big or small, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck out of the project. One of the best ways to do this is to create a list of everything you want to have done before your renovation is finished. For many homeowners, more storage is high on the wishlist. As you read this brief guide, you will see some awesome and unexpected ways to increase the amount of storage space in your house without blowing your remodeling budget.

Use awkward nooks to your advantage – Many North Carolina homes, particularly historical ones, have awkward nooks and crannies that may be going completely unused because homeowners like you simply don’t know what to do with them. Turning these spaces into extra storage is the perfect solution. Custom designed shelving is one popular way to convert oddly designed nooks into usable space. Adding coat hooks is another simple option.

Add on a mudroom – If you are doing a fairly extensive renovation project, having a mudroom added onto your home is a wonderful idea that won’t add too much to your overall costs. Once your new mudroom is finished, you will probably wonder just how your family ever got by without it. Mudrooms are the ideal spaces to store shoes, sports equipment, rain gear, and school necessities. They also make a great indoor storage area for outdoor toys and furniture during inclement weather.

Some homeowners are lucky enough to have utility rooms, basements, or other spaces they can simply convert into mudrooms. If, however, you are going to have to pay for a brand new addition, your final price will be a bit higher. Get quotes from multiple Carolina general contractors so you can feel confident you’re getting the best deal.

Finish your basement – Not only is a finished basement sure to increase your property value, but it will add both living space and storage areas to your home. Many homeowners include built-in shelving and cabinetry in their design schemes when they decide to spend the money to finish their basements. This allows DVDs and Blu Rays, board games, toys, and other recreational items to be easily stored without taking up precious space in more formal, public areas of the home. It does bear noting that finishing a basement can be a costly renovation, especially if the room starts out completely unfinished.

Add more shelves – Custom shelving is one of the most budget-friendly ways to increase the amount of storage in your home. Although it is possible to spend a lot of money on built-in units, shelves are typically affordable to construct and can be styled to suit your personal tastes and needs.

These are just a few of the most common ways to give your residence the additional storage space you’ve been craving. There are dozens of other options, as well! If you are having trouble coming up with creative solutions, talk to your contractor about your desire to add storage space. He or she is likely to have excellent ideas that can be adapted from past projects.

Carolina Metal Roofs

Understanding the Downsides of Metal Roofing

If you are thinking about having a new roof installed on your North Carolina home in the near future, you have probably heard glowing reviews of metal roofing. While this roofing material certainly has its share of positive attributes, it is essential for you also to understand its downsides before you decide what type of roof is best for your upcoming exterior renovation. In this guide, you will find out about some of the not-so-great features of metal roofing and discover alternative options you may want to consider.

    • Metal roofing can fade – In regard to fading, metal roofing hasn’t come as far as many other types of materials. As a matter of fact, it’s common to see metal roofs that started out as forest green or bright red look nearly pastel just a few years after installation. Even though one of the selling points of metal roofs is that they typically have 40-year warranties, these do not typically cover fading or discoloration. In fact, in many cases, these lengthy warranties only cover rusting and manufacturer defects.
    • Metal roofing may not hold-up to coastal weather – Since both North Carolina and South Carolina have coastlines, it’s important to consider your home’s proximity to saltwater before you decide to invest in a metal roof. Because metal generally rusts when it comes into close contact with water on a regular basis, choosing this roofing material if you live by the ocean may not bode well in the long run. Even if your warranty covers rust, having an entire roof replaced is a somewhat annoying process that is easy to avoid by choosing a different roofing material.
    • Metal roofs require more maintenance than you think – For many manufacturers, the fact that metal roofs supposedly require very little maintenance is a major selling point. In reality, however, there is regular upkeep associated with metal roofing. For example, the screws and gaskets that hold the roof onto your house will probably need to be tightened or changed altogether every five to eight years. Your warranty probably won’t cover these items, so you will need to purchase them yourself. Furthermore, if your metal roof develops a leak, the cost to fix it could be high.

At this point, you are probably wondering what other roofing options you have. Luckily for you, today’s homeowners can choose from a wide variety of materials. Traditional asphalt shingles, for instance, look better than ever. Some brands even offer architectural shingles that have three-dimensional textures meant to mimic other materials, including wood shakes and ceramic tiles. Shakes and tiles are both more costly than metal roofs, but they are beautiful options that will stand the test of time.

No matter what type of roofing you decide to use on your home, the most important thing is to have a reputable installer do the job for you. As you start researching Carolina roofing contractors, make sure you only consider those professionals who have excellent reviews from past clients. You may also want to ask around for word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family members, and colleagues. Sometimes, the best way to find out about great home improvement experts is to talk to people, you know.

Wallpaper Designs

A Guide to Modern Wallpaper

If you pay any attention whatsoever to home design trends, you have probably realized that wallpaper is having a major moment. While older wallpaper typically featured kitschy motifs and oft-mismatched borders, today’s styles are sleek and modern, making them the perfect way to update any room in your home. As you read this guide, you will discover a few of the factors you ought to evaluate before purchasing wallpaper for your next interior remodeling project.

Learn about the types of wallpaper – Nowadays, wallpaper styles are classified by two features: the material they are made from and the sort of adhesive they have. You need to consider what your wants and needs are before you can figure out which type of wallpaper is right for you.

If, for example, you are restoring a historic South Carolina home, you might want to go with wallpaper made from real fabric. This was popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, so it is historically accurate in many cases. If, however, you’re a parent with young kids whose main concern is durability, non-woven, pre-pasted designs that are engineered with families in mind are a great choice.

Decide what print style you prefer – There are three wallpaper print styles on the market today. The first, which is called “straight match,” has a pattern that runs widthwise across the paper, continuing over the seam onto the next strip. The second, known as “random match,” is arguably the easiest to hang because the pattern doesn’t have to be lined up in any specific fashion. The final style referred to as “drop match,” is the toughest to use, as it requires the pattern to be perfectly lined up both vertically and horizontally in order to look right on the wall.

Consider permanent v. temporary options – Because home decor is big business in this day and age, even people who live in apartments and rental houses typically want to be able to really make their spaces their own. Due to this, more and more wallpaper manufacturers have begun creating temporary styles that simply stick to walls with removable adhesive. Before you purchase any wallpaper, you need to decide whether you want a permanent or temporary option.

Know how much you need – Every roll of wallpaper is intended to cover a certain amount of square footage, usually between 25 and 28 square feet. You can purchase double rolls from some brands. If you’re not sure how many square feet you need to cover during your wallpaper project, some online calculators can help you figure out how many rolls to purchase. Most homeowners buy at least one extra roll of wallpaper just in case they run into any problems.

Overall, wallpaper is a fun, low-maintenance way to completely change the look of a room without spending a fortune. If you’ve never installed wallpaper before, make sure you watch tutorials first or hire a professional to hang your new paper for you. It is also an excellent idea to read reviews of any wallpaper brands you are thinking about purchasing prior to making your final decision. Some manufacturers produce higher-quality products than others, so familiarizing yourself with all of the choices you have is wise.