Remodeling Budget

A Guide to Remodeling Without Spending a Fortune

If you’re like most homeowners, there are things about your house you would love to change or update, but you aren’t sure if you have the money to do so. While renovations can be quite costly, there are ways to remodel your home without breaking the bank. In this guide, you will see several suggestions that will help you create the home you’ve always wanted while staying within the budget you’ve set for your household.

Make cosmetic changes that have a major impact

One way to dramatically alter the appearance of your house without spending a fortune is to focus on cosmetic changes that will have a major visual impact. Changing the hardware on interior doors, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom vanities is an easy, inexpensive way to alter the style of a space, for instance, totally. Another idea is to paint your kitchen cabinets. While this requires some elbow grease and effort, the payoff will absolutely be worthwhile; you’ll feel like you have a brand new kitchen!

Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint is another excellent idea, especially if you didn’t do any painting when you moved into your current residence. Up-to-date paint colors that work cohesively with one another can go a long way toward making a house into a dream home. Although paint isn’t expensive in the grand scheme of things, it can be time-consuming to paint every room, so make sure you know exactly what you want before you get started!

Consider your return-on-investment

This point is especially important for those who are intending to sell their homes soon. Before you start any renovation, even a relatively inexpensive one, you should take the overall return-on-investment into consideration. Bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects, for example, have some of the highest ROIs, with many homeowners recouping upwards of 80% of their original expenditures. Another project with an excellent ROI is ripping out wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of hardwood flooring. Today’s prospective homeowners want wood and aren’t likely to consider houses with too much carpet.

Have a strategic plan

Another way to save money on home renovations is to prepare for your projects before you get started strategically. If, for example, you know you have the skills to do some jobs yourself, tackle them first because they are likely to cost the least. You should also spend some time scouring second-hand stores for great finds; sometimes beautiful bathroom fixtures, including popular standalone slipper tubs, countertops, and even cabinetry can be found for a fraction of its retail price.

Remodeling is simultaneously exciting and stressful, but if you follow these tips, your budget should not become a major issue. Depending on how long you plan to keep living in your home, remember to focus on things that will either improve your life on a daily basis, or make your house easier to sell. Furthermore, if you’re going to be hiring a contractor to complete any of your interior renovation projects, do plenty of research and make sure you pick someone who is trusted by people in your area of the Carolinas.

Privacy Options in backyards

A Guide to Creating a More Private Yard

If your home has a lovely backyard, but you don’t feel like you and your family can properly enjoy it due to how exposed it is, making the area more private is probably at the top of your home renovation priority list. There are a wide variety of options when it comes to creating a more private lawn, some of which you might have never considered previously. As you read this guide, you will see several ideas for keeping you and your family safe from potentially prying eyes.

  1. Fencing – Building a fence is the most obvious choice for maintaining a sense of privacy in one’s yard, but some homeowners aren’t sold on the idea. This is especially true for people who live in cities with restrictive building codes or for those who find the notion of fencing too traditional for their tastes. At least for those in the latter group, the good news is that not all modern fences are of the white picket variety. Fences made from reclaimed pallets, natural cedarwood, and even concrete are all gaining popularity. If, however, you are dealing with municipal building code restrictions, your only options are to petition against them or adhere to them for the time being.
  2. Hedgerows – Classic and refined, hedgerows rarely break building codes in Carolina counties and have a traditional look that won’t go out of style. If you’re not sure what types of evergreen hedges will work best, consult with a landscape designer who is well-versed in plants that are native to your area. It is important to note that hedgerows are far from maintenance-free and must be clipped regularly to maintain their manicured aesthetic.
  3. Lattice screens – Lattice panels are the ideal choice for homeowners who are looking for privacy but do not want to feel utterly closed in. You may also want to seriously consider lattice screens if you intend to utilize grapevines, ivy, or a similar plant as decoration. Because lattice panels can be purchased one at a time, they work well not only as a fence substitute but on the edges of decks and porches.
  4. Bamboo – Bamboo hedges are a great way to create privacy in a yard for a few key reasons. They are sustainable, grow quickly, and have an appealing aesthetic. They are particularly attractive in yards that have an eclectic, global look, but can work well in a variety of situations. Hardy and clumping bamboo species are the best choices for creating privacy screens. These have rhizomes that grow in a dense U-shape, effectively blocking people from seeing into your backyard.

These are just a few of the options available to homeowners who are planning to update their outdoor spaces to make them more private. If you can’t decide which option is the best fit for your property, don’t hesitate to talk to a reputable contractor or landscape designer. These professionals will be able to help you figure out a creative solution that fits your personal style and your family’s needs.

Roof Damage from Hail

How to Handle Roof Hail Damage

No matter where in the United States you live, including Southeastern states like North Carolina and South Carolina, there is the potential for hail damage to cause problems with your home’s roof. If your area recently experienced a hail storm, or if you just want to know exactly what to do next time you find yourself dealing with roof hail damage, the information in the following guide will be useful to you. Below, you’ll see common questions that pertain to handling roof hail damage after the fact. This should help you make efficient steps next time you need roofing repairs due to a hailstorm.

How will I know there is hail damage? 

The most obvious way to determine whether or not your home’s roof has sustained hail damage is to take a look at it with your own eyes. Severe damage is likely to be readily apparent, typically in the form of completely missing shingles, severely damaged gutters, or shingles that have clearly moved out of place. It is, however, possible for roof hail damage to be more subtle and virtually invisible until an expert takes a look. This is why it is important to have a professional assessment if you believe there is even a chance your roof has been damaged.

It is important to bear in mind that reliable contractors and hail damage inspectors often fill their calendars quickly following a hail storm, so if you’re interested in booking one of these specialists, you should call as soon as possible to schedule your appointment. You can also, though, opt to let your insurance company’s adjuster do your only inspection; as long as there is obvious damage, having a second opinion isn’t likely to matter when it comes to your claim being settled.

What steps should I take right away?

Once the storm clears, the very first thing you should do is walk outside and look at your roof as best you can. Remember to take pictures of noticeable damage; you can upload them if you plan to file your insurance claim online, which is a standard method today. Do not. However, risk injuring yourself to get a good look at your roof’s condition! If you feel like you aren’t up to spotting damage on your own, hire a professional inspector or contact your insurance agent immediately.

If you decide to file a homeowner’s insurance claim without having another inspector or contractor assess your roof first, you can expect an adjuster to visit your house, typically within a few days. This individual will make copious notes regarding any damage and, as long as issues are found, will make sure your claim is assessed and paid as rapidly as possible. If you have questions about your policy, such as whether or not you can choose any local contractor to repair your roof, make sure you contact your insurance agent for clarification. This way, there won’t be any surprises!

At Hatch Homes, we believe that the roof is an overlooked, but extremely important, part of every home. If your roof needs to be replaced or repaired following a hailstorm, we sincerely hope you will consider us first. We have satisfied clients throughout North Carolina and South Carolina and look forward to adding you to this group soon. Give our office a call to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the numerous roofing products we can install.

Hvac Cover

3 Steps to Better Curb Appeal

Some homeowners are under the mistaken impression that curb appeal really only matters if they are planning to list their homes in the near future. This could not, however, be further from the truth. Curb appeal matters for a variety of reasons, only one of which is selling a home. For one thing, it is more pleasant to drive up to a house you love every day when you come home; aesthetically pleasing houses inherently bolster people’s moods. Secondarily, the better your property’s curb appeal is, the higher your property value is likely to be.

Figuring out how to boost your home’s curb appeal without spending an arm and a leg, though, can be tough. That’s where this guide comes in. As you read the next few sections, you will discover three things you can do to achieve better curb appeal through landscaping alone. It is truly amazing what the right landscaping can do for a property, as you’ll come to understand here.

Use appropriate foliage to hide eyesores

Nearly every homeowner has something he or she would like to change about his or her yard, even in naturally beautiful states like North Carolina and South Carolina. Maybe, for example, you have an unsightly electrical box on the front of your house or, perhaps, your neighbors have an unappealing fence that is an eyesore on an entire side of your property line. Cover these sorts of unsightly features with appropriate plants, such as hedges and large, green ferns. Do not, though, try to hide them with brightly colored blooms or eye-catching, tropical plants. That will only serve to draw attention to the problem, rather than detract from it.

Play-up your home’s best features

Even the most modest houses have at least one impressive feature. The right landscaping can be used to accentuate the very best things about your property without adding a great deal of maintenance. If, for example, you have large windows that line the front of your house, plant flowering shrubs that will only grow to the height of the windowsill. A row of these will instantly draw the eye. Or, if your house features a winding walkway to the front entry, play it up with stunning seasonal plants. Curved paths can add significant visual impact to a lawn.

Don’t over-complicate the design

If you’re looking to enhance your home’s curb appeal with landscaping, keeping things as simple as possible should be your goal. Not only will this make it easier for you to maintain the look of your front yard over time, but it will be more affordable both upfront and down the road. Remember, though, uncomplicated doesn’t have to mean boring! English gardens that are filled with colorful wildflowers native to your region, for instance, are colorful, aesthetically pleasing, and relatively low-maintenance.

Before you start doing any major projects to boost your home’s curb appeal, make a point of consulting with a landscape designer who works in your area of the Carolinas. He or she will have good ideas for how to update your yard without blowing your budget and will know precisely what plants are going to work best on your property. Many landscapers offer hourly consultation services, so you should be able to find someone who will work with you, even if you are on a tight budget.

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

How to Create the Outdoor Kitchen You’ve Always Wanted

In most areas of North Carolina and South Carolina, spring, summer, and fall are all ideal seasons for outdoor living. The fact that the weather tends to be suitable for quite a bit of the year means that Carolina homeowners usually want to have nice outdoor living areas for their friends and relatives to enjoy. Outdoor kitchens are among the most popular trends right now, but figuring out exactly how to create the outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted can be something of a challenge. After all, there are so many ideas online and in-home decor magazines that it’s easy to get overwhelmed! Here, you will find several tips that will help you curate your dream outdoor kitchen space.

Although you may be tempted to start thinking about furnishings and finishes right off the bat, it’s important to remember that outdoor kitchens are still kitchens and appliances matter most. Therefore, the best plan is to decide what types of appliances you need and want, then start planning the rest of your new outdoor kitchen. Many Carolina homeowners choose to splurge on their grills, selecting high-end options that include both traditional charcoal, gas, or propane grilling surfaces and smoker units. It’s also becoming popular to have full-size stainless steel refrigerators and ranges in outdoor cooking areas.

Consider seating

If you thought your loved ones liked hanging out in your outdoor living space before you added an upscale kitchen, you haven’t seen nothin’ yet! It is important to make sure you have plenty of space for your immediate family members and all of your potential guests to sit, eat, and relax in your new outdoor living area. Comfortable seating in an outside kitchen can take-on many forms; it’s up to you to figure out what the best option is for your crew. If, for instance, most of your friends and relatives have young children at this stage of their lives, including a kids’ table or two is a great idea. Or, if you’re a retiree, you might want to consider adding a tiki bar for the would-be snowbirds in your group. The choices are nearly limitless!

Always put safety first

Having an outdoor kitchen is incredibly enjoyable, but it is also crucial to remember that safety should always come first. Make certain, for example, that any hot surfaces are in an area where little ones can’t get to them. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to lock refrigerators and cabinets that contain anything kids shouldn’t have. You also need to evaluate the overall safety of your backyard, including the pool area if you have one before you begin having to get-togethers in your newly renovated space. A professional home inspector can perform an assessment if you aren’t sure where to start.

The final key component to creating the outdoor kitchen of your dreams is to find the right contractor to handle the job. There are dozens of independent residential contractors and contracting companies who serve clients throughout the Carolinas. Doing your research is key to finding the perfect person to oversee your upcoming project. Get recommendations from people you trust and read lots of online reviews. Then, spend time meeting with several professionals before you make your final decision.

Pergola Ideas

Modern Backyard Decorating Ideas

If you’ve been thinking about giving your backyard a makeover, but you aren’t sure where to start, you’ve opened the right guide! Here, you’ll discover several backyard design tips that will give your family’s outdoor space a modern look that is still classic enough to withstand the test of time. After all, nobody wants to renovate their outside living spaces every year or two. It’s best to stick with styles that you know will last for years into the future, giving you and your loved ones more time to make memories.

Ditch your lawn

Ditching your lawn is a bold move, but one you may find you really love, particularly if you don’t have a lawn care service and you hate spending all of your free time mowing, weeding, and otherwise caring for the grass on your property. There are a number of options for landscaping without grass; it’s a good idea to work with a local Carolina landscaper who can help you figure out what is best for your specific space. Many homeowners, for instance, choose to use gravel or oyster shells, but these materials can be problematic if you reside in a region where you’ll have to shovel snow all winter. This is why working with a professional is the best call.

Consider uniquely shaped beds

If you’re looking to add more garden beds to your backyard, considering unique shapes for them is a great way to help your lawn stand out without doing anything too drastic. You could, for example, choose to install a flower bed in the shape of the first letter of your family’s last name. Or, you could decide to let your landscape designer have free reign and create organically shaped beds that will work well with plants that naturally flourish in your region of the Carolinas.

Build an upscale outdoor living area

People in the Southeast tend to spend a lot of time outdoors. This is largely because of the region’s temperate weather. If you and your family haven’t been spending as much time as you’d like to in your outdoor space, adding an upscale outdoor living area is sure to motivate you! Outside living areas are big business these days, with gourmet kitchen appliances, fireplaces and mantels, and entire sets of furniture all being designed with the outdoors in mind. Even if you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on your upcoming renovation, you can still create a beautiful outdoor living area on a budget. Start looking for deals now so you’ll be prepared!

Install a permanent pergola.

Pergolas have been enjoying a major design moment. Professional decorators, contractors, and homeowners alike are enamored of them and the trend shows no sign of going away. If you would like to add a pergola to your yard, but you want it to be a permanent fixture, contact a trustworthy local contractor to discuss your options. Remember, the more high-end the materials you choose, the more expensive the project is going to be. Using treated lumber and staining it, for instance, is a significantly more budget-friendly option than investing in ipe wood.

Everyone at Hatch Homes is as passionate about outdoor living as you and your family are. That’s why exterior remodeling projects are some of our favorites! If you’re interested in learning more about the services we offer and seeing how they line-up with the ideas you have for your backyard, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, we are here to answer any questions you may have about who we are and what we do.

Hail Damage

How to Handle Siding Hail Damage

Throughout most parts of the United States, including North Carolina and South Carolina, hail storms are a viable possibility. As a matter of fact, very few homeowners will go through life without experiencing hail damage at least a few times. Whether you have recently experienced hail damage to your siding or you simply want to be prepared for what to do next time it happens, this guide will help you. The following paragraphs contain some great tips that will make it as easy as possible for you to get your siding fixed fast.

How will I know there is hail damage? 

This is a great question, particularly because siding hail damage isn’t always visible to the naked eye. Many people are most accustomed to looking for hail damage on their cars, in which case dents are typically easy to see. Popular vinyl siding, however, doesn’t usually sustain dents. It is much more likely to crack, particularly if it is at least a few years old and the hailstones hitting it are at least 1 ¼” in diameter. Wood and metal siding, on the other hand, do typically have dents if they are hit by hail. The paint on wood siding boards will also start cracking most of the time.

Regardless of what sort of siding you currently have on your home, the very best way to know if there is hail damage is to hire a professional inspector to assess the situation. These experts will be able to tell if damage has occurred, even if you can’t see any issues yourself. Sometimes, reputable inspectors and contractors quickly book-up following a hail storm, so you may have to be patient. You can also opt to wait for your insurance company to send an adjuster to look at the situation, which you will learn more about below.

What steps should I take right away?

Immediately following a hail storm in your area of North Carolina or South Carolina, there are a few things you should do. The first is to take a look at your home’s siding on your own. If you see noticeable damage, take photographs you can send to your insurance company; the more proof of damage you have, the better off you will be in regard to your claim! Next, if you are going to hire an inspector to examine your house, you should do so as quickly as possible. If, however, you find that it will take longer than you’d like to have an expert come to your property, you can opt to file your insurance claim right away instead.

Generally, homeowner’s insurance companies send adjusters to the sites of all claims. Your report of hail damage should not be an exception. If the adjuster spots problems with your siding, he or she will make a note of the affected areas and take pictures that will be attached to your claim. It is important for you to stay on top of the status of your siding hail damage claim, as there may be certain stipulations, such as which contractors you can ultimately have fix the damage. Make sure you contact your insurance agent if you have any questions regarding your policy.

The team at Hatch Homes has been siding houses for North Carolina and South Carolina families for years. We would love to be given the opportunity to work with you if you are dealing with hail damage. Our crew is skilled at installing a wide variety of siding types, including up-and-coming fiber cement boards. Simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.

Popular Siding Options

The 4 Most Popular Siding Styles Right Now

Siding is an essential component of any home exterior. In addition to providing protection from the elements, siding gives houses a finished appearance, and, in many cases, serves as a harbinger of the homeowners’ personal style. If you’ve been thinking about changing the siding on your house, it is important to research all of the options that are available to you prior to committing to a specific option. Some homeowners don’t even realize just how many siding materials are currently on the market! As you read this article, you will learn about four popular types of siding you should consider before making your final decision.

    1. Vinyl siding – Even with the rise of other siding options, vinyl siding remains the most popular choice in the United States. There are a few significant reasons for this. The first is the cost. Basic vinyl siding is extremely affordable for most families; it is worth noting, though, that some companies have more costly, high-end styles as well these days. Secondarily, vinyl siding is incredibly versatile and comes in a wide range of colors, so it’s perfect for all home styles. Finally, this type of siding is both durable and easily accessible. It generally doesn’t have to be special ordered and, most of the time is rated to last for a minimum of two decades.
    2. Wood siding – Before the rise of modern materials, including vinyl, wood siding was one of the only options for homeowners. If you reside in a historic house, in fact, you might still have painted wood siding boards on the exterior of your home. In recent years, wood siding has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence, but today’s iterations are often left natural for a look that can be either rustic or coastal depending on how it is styled; Carolina homeowners who reside near the ocean, for instance, often select wood shakes instead of traditional siding boards. Left in its natural form, wood siding doesn’t require a lot of maintenance unless it sustains water damage. If, however, you paint or stain it, you can expect it to require a fresh coat about once a year.
    3. Fiber cement siding – The James Hardie manufacture crafts a relative newcomer to the siding game, fiber cement siding boards. This sort of siding has a number of perks, including fire-resistance, the ability to withstand hurricane-force winds, and an aesthetically pleasing look. Many fiber cement siding styles are designed to look like authentic wood, but without the upkeep. Furthermore, this sort of siding is more affordable than most homeowners expect it to be, making it an excellent option for those who are looking for something innovative.
    4. Stucco siding – Homes with stucco exteriors are most popular in the Southwest, but can also be found in various southeastern states. Conventional stucco is made from a mixture of sand, cement, lime, and water. It has a textured look that is popular for homes that are inspired by Mediterranean architecture. Stucco, many homeowners are surprised to learn, is incredibly durable and can actually last the entire lifespan of a house if adequately cared for.

At Hatch Homes, we love helping families throughout North Carolina and South Carolina transform the outsides of their houses. If you have been thinking about doing a major exterior overhaul, give our office a call to schedule a consultation with someone from our team. We look forward to finding out what plans you have for your house and to help you turn your dream into a reality.

Financing Options

Questions to Ask Before Financing a Renovation

Sometimes, residential renovations seem like a great idea until you start thinking about how much they are going to cost. If you don’t have enough money saved for the project (or multiple projects) you are thinking about doing, you’ll have to get creative from a fiscal standpoint. One option, of course, is to simply wait until you’ve saved enough to pay cash for your remodeling job. The other is to finance the project in some way. Here, you will uncover some key questions you ought to answer before applying for any kind of financing option.

Is the project worth the expense?

Although you obviously wouldn’t be considering a project that wasn’t worthwhile to you in some way, even if you think the end result will be more visually appealing than what you currently have, you need to spend some time evaluating the financial sense of a renovation job too. If, for instance, you are thinking about adding a kitchen to your finished basement space so you can rent it as an apartment for $500 a month, you’ll have to determine whether or not that extra $500 is worth the $10,000-$25,000 you are likely to spend on a kitchen renovation, particularly if you’re going to have to take out a loan to make it happen.

Is home equity an option for me?

In some instances, homeowners opt to use home equity lines of credit or home equity loans to make renovations. Going this route is usually only a good choice for homeowners who know the projects they are undertaking will add significant value to their houses. It is, however, essential for you to know the difference between a line of credit and a loan when it comes to utilizing the home equity you’ve built.

A home equity line of credit functions similarly to a credit card. You will have access to a certain amount of money through your lender, but you are under no obligation to spend it all. You will have the freedom to take out the sums you need when you need them. Typically, once the “draw period” closes (this timeframe will differ from one situation to another), the line of credit is converted into a standard loan, and whatever money was used will have to be paid back.

A home equity loan, on the other hand, functions as a standard loan in that you will receive all of the funds at once and will have to pay the entire amount back to your lender. It is important to note that there are certain tax benefits that can come with taking out a home equity loan, but you should look into whether or not you will qualify for them prior to applying. Furthermore, be aware that home equity loans involve closing costs, just like mortgages; they are typically between two and five percent of the overall loan amount.

Does my preferred contractor offer financing? 

Some general contractors find that it is lucrative for them to offer financing options to clients. If you aren’t interested in other financing options, including loans, but you also aren’t happy about putting your project off for a later date, this might be the right decision for you. Have a conversation with your preferred contractor regarding the options that are available. You might, for instance, be able to make small monthly payments over a period of time instead of paying a lump sum upfront for your renovation work.

The Hatch Homes team takes pride in not only providing our clients with amazing results but in offering exceptional service to everyone who hires us. Next time you are thinking about doing an exterior remodeling project, but you aren’t sure you can afford it, give us a call. We will walk you through the financing choices we offer and will help you find something that works with your budget.

Green Living

A Guide to Keeping Potential Home Buyers Happy Today

Over the decades, the things prospective home buyers want in their new houses has changed significantly. In the 1970s, for instance, people looked for bright colors and wood paneling, which were the pinnacle of style then. In the 1990s, everyone wanted a McMansion in a brand new subdivision. Now, in 2019, trends are shifting again, and would-be homeowners are looking for another set of features. If you are thinking about listing your home soon, you must understand what the people who come to view your residence are interested in. This guide will help you.

Storage, storage, storage

Even though many Americans are minimizing the number of belongings they have, most families still require a great deal of storage space. The more storage a house has, the better. As a matter of fact, some prospective buyers won’t even consider residences that don’t have full pantries and walk-in clothes closets. If your house lacks storage space as it is right now, it might be worth consulting with a professional organizer to see if any simple solutions could make your current space more appealing to the masses.

Outdoor space is key

While people all over the country love getting outside, nowhere is functional outdoor living space more desirable than in temperate Southeastern states like the Carolinas. If your home currently lacks a nice, exterior living area, consider adding one before you put your property on the market. Remember, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to create a high-end outdoor living room. Simply adding a well-decorated patio or a pergola will help would-be buyers see the potential that exists.

Go green

Modern homeowners want their spaces to be as energy-efficient as possible. If your home is currently lacking in eco-friendly features, consider making some changes before you officially list it for sale. Some affordable things you can do include making sure all interior light bulbs are LEDs, switching your current outdoor lighting for solar-powered fixtures, and installing a smart thermostat that will help the house use as little energy as possible. If you are interested in putting additional money into going green before you move, consider updating all of the windows and investing in Energy Star-rated appliances.

Focus on quality over quantity

If the house you are planning to sell is on the smaller side, that might actually be a good thing in today’s market. People are beginning to prefer homes with less square footage, but more amenities and high-end features. Consider upgrading the hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms before selling. You should also think about installing upscale features, such as heated floors.

If you’re going to be doing any serious remodeling projects prior to selling your current house, it’s a good idea to allow a contractor to handle the work. This way, it will get done as quickly and correctly as possible. Doing renovations yourself when you’re preparing to move is not typically a great idea. If you aren’t sure who to hire, talk to friends and family members you trust to give you excellent recommendations and look for online reviews on highly-rated consumer safety websites.