Contact us today to discuss your next project: 252.633.6452

Contact us today: 252.633.6452

See the Light! Selecting the Right Windows for Your Home

April 23rd, 2015

Windows allow much needed natural light into your home, offer a view of the world outside, and greatly add to the overall character of your home. If you’re thinking about building a new home, or remodeling your existing one, you may wonder how to select the best windows for your project.

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Celebrate Earth Day: Your New Favorite Color Should Be “Green”

April 21st, 2015

Green_April

Earth Day is April 22. Celebrate environmental awareness by choosing the right building materials. Doing so can drastically improve your home’s efficiency—no matter your budget!

First recognized in 1970, Earth Day is now celebrated in 192 countries. Huge events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection, but small changes made at home are a simple way to honor our planet.

Lucien Vaughn of Tarheel Associates, Inc. is designated as a Certified Green Professional (CGP) by the National Association of Home Builders. The CGP designation recognizes builders, remodelers, and other industry professionals who incorporate green building principles into homes—without driving up the cost of construction. Vaughn offers a solid background in green building methods and provides green building solutions to homeowners throughout Eastern North Carolina.

When renovating an existing home or constructing a new one, the choice of materials used is one of the most important factors when thinking of long-term benefits to your wallet says Vaughn. Today’s builders now have a vast array of materials, components, and techniques at their disposal to maximize the efficiency of your home. Tired of paying huge electricity bills? Read on to discover how you and your contractor can implement technologies to improve your home’s efficiency and lower your monthly bills.

Insulation

One of the most important and most cost-effective ways to improve the energy performance of your home is by using the correct insulation. When building a new home, state and local building codes typically include minimum insulation requirements, but an energy-efficient home will more than likely exceed those mandates.

To properly insulate a new home, the builder will need to know where to insulate and the recommended R-values—a measurement for how well the insulation prevents heat loss via conduction—for each of those areas. A knowledgeable builder, familiar with energy-efficient construction, will be able to choose the best insulation for your home.

In an existing home, you should first seek a professional to identify and repair areas in your home where air leaks through unintended gaps and cracks. Air can enter or exit your home via recessed lights; open stud cavities; around windows, doors, flues, and chimneys; and the attic access door. Once this process is complete, a contractor can work with you to add any necessary insulation to greatly improve energy efficiency and drastically improve heating and cooling costs.

Windows

Consider using Low-E windows in your existing home or new construction. The “E” in low-E stands for emissivity. A clear coating of metallic oxide on these windows keeps the heat inside the house in the winter and outside in the summer. These windows typically cost between $60 and $110 each which is 10 to 15% more than clear glass storm windows, but they can reduce heat flow by half—reducing heating costs by 10 to 20% according the NAHB Research Center.

It’s worth noting that proper installation of your windows is crucial. Even the most expensive window unit won’t perform effectively if it’s not installed correctly.

Flooring

The type of flooring you choose to place in your home can also save energy and money. Carpet can trap heat and keep your home much warmer during the cold winter months. Rugs can also trap heat in certain areas. Consider removing carpet in an existing home and replacing it with eco-friendly vinyl flooring—an excellent alternative to linoleum or ceramic tile. It’s easy to install and affordable. This type of flooring is also more hygienic as it prevents the growth of bacteria and does not hold dust mites.

With a new home construction, work with your builder to determine what flooring will work best for you. You may want to consider a hydronic radiant floor heating system as an efficient heat source. These systems use water-filled tubing situated under the floor, delivered by a boiler, to provide an even distribution of heat.

Choosing the right flooring for your home is an inexpensive way to save on climate-control costs, particularly if you think carefully about the flooring you choose to install.

Exterior doors

Choosing the right exterior door for a home should be a carefully thought-out decision. First consider the doors’ energy-performance ratings which let you know how well it does in preserving the energy by trapping heat or cool air inside. In this way, you’ll be able to narrow down your selections and find the door that best matches your wants and needs.

Replacing exterior doors in an existing home is an easy and fast way to immediately improve energy efficiency. Once again, proper installation is key—it’s best to hire a professional to ensure the new doors you’ve purchased deliver maximum efficiency.

“Cool” roofs:

This type of roof is designed to reflect sunlight and lower roofing temperatures. Cool roofs are made from a type of reflective material within roofing materials such as tiles, shingles, paint, or other substances. This energy-saving technique is ideal for houses in warm climates where air conditioning costs are high all year around.

Standard or dark roofs, like those found on most existing homes, can reach temperatures of 150°F or more in the summer sun. A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 50°F cooler according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The good news is that a cool roof does not necessarily cost more than a non-cool roof—especially if you’re installing a new roof or replacing an existing one.

To receive additional information on improving your home’s energy efficiency, or to inquire about reconstruction, renovation, or a new building project, contact the team of experts with over 30 years of experience at Tarheel Associates, Inc. by calling (252) 633-6452.
 

Plan Ahead for a Spectacular Spring

April 20th, 2015

Spring-Cleaning-Prep

The winter months take a toll on your home. Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice are known to cause damage that may not be immediately apparent until warmer weather moves in. Cracks can develop in the foundation of your home, roof shingles can suffer deterioration due to snow and moisture, and walkways can develop small potholes that could later cause injury.

With the start of spring only two weeks away, now is the perfect time to check your home for winter damage and create a plan to clean and prepare your home for the warmer months. Taking a little time to complete this check list now can save you a lot of time later on.

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Spring is Here! Is Your Deck Ready?

April 16th, 2015

North Carolina Deck Patio Design

Can you feel it? Can you feel the pull of warmer weather enticing you to go outside and enjoy your deck or patio? As the weather improves, the days get longer, and plants start to awaken, we all seem to feel the pull: We want to start grilling, eat outside, and add to our landscaping. During this time most of us also start to think about summer entertaining—a backyard full of friends and family enjoying good food and good company.

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Living History: Call in the Experts When Rehabilitating Historic Structures

April 8th, 2015

Tarheel Blog - Historic Homes and Guidelines

New Bern is often referred to as the historic capital of North Carolina and boasts a multitude of historic structures. The more than 160 historic homes and buildings in New Bern have stood witness to the long and fascinating history of the second-oldest city in the nation. Some were here when New Bern was named the capital of the Carolinas in 1747 and many more saw the construction and completion of Tryon Palace in 1770. Union forces occupied much of the city, including homes and buildings, when New Bern served as a North Carolina base and headquarters during the Civil War. One of these beautiful historic homes even sheltered Caleb Bradham, the inventor of “Brad’s Drink” which is now better known as Pepsi Cola.

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Your New Favorite Color Might Be “Green”

March 10th, 2015

green Building, New Bern, North Carolina

Choosing the right building materials can drastically improve your home’s efficiency—no matter your budget!

When renovating an existing home or constructing a new one, the choice of materials used is one of the most important factors when thinking of long-term benefits to your wallet. Today’s builders now have a vast array of materials, components, and techniques at their disposal to maximize the efficiency of your home. Tired of paying huge electricity bills? Read on to discover how you and your contractor can implement technologies to improve your home’s efficiency and lower your monthly bills.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Settle: Build Your Dream Home

March 5th, 2015

 

NewBernNewConstructionHome

Buying a home is a tedious process. You spend hours combing through realtor websites entering your criteria: Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, bonus room, separate dining room, a fenced-in yard—the list can be quite varied. Your search turns up plenty of options, but none of them look like great prospects. The home may be too dated, featuring paneling throughout, a kitchen from the 1960s, or a horrible floor plan. The home could be too much of a “fixer-upper” and require more elbow grease than you’re willing to put into it.

Why settle for a home that doesn’t quite measure up to your standards? Why not consider building the home of your dreams? Tarheel Associates, Inc., with over 150 custom home constructions completed in New Bern, Trent Woods, Pamlico County, and the surrounding area, understands the fine craftsmanship that goes into a new home, including design, structural integrity, and energy-efficient construction policies. Building a new home can offer plenty of other benefits as well:

Energy Efficiency

Past studies have found new homes consume half as much energy as homes built prior to 1980. Ensuring your new home is as efficient as possible is great for the environment, your health, and your wallet. Contractors can install high-efficiency irrigation and plumbing fixtures to lower your water bills in a new home. Installing high-efficiency windows and insulation can dramatically reduce utility bills.

A Clean Slate

You don’t have to put up with that ugly wallpaper and matching border someone else chose for the kitchen (and bathrooms, and bedrooms, and the living room!). There’s no planning to replace the mint green tile in the bathroom that another family selected 20 or 30 years ago. You make all the decisions when building a new home. That means selecting the perfect paint colors, tile, faucets and fixtures, and the type of wood flooring used—you can even incorporate that amazing farmhouse kitchen sink you saw on Pinterest!

Entertaining

Many find it difficult to entertain large groups in older homes. Smaller, cut-off rooms make mingling hard to manage, especially if you get stuck in the kitchen. Most new homes feature better flowing, more open floor plans which mean you can still interact with your guests no matter what room you find yourself in. Party guests can find a comfortable spot on the couch without missing out on a fun conversation happening at the kitchen island.

Low Maintenance

A new home means new everything: Appliances, HVAC system, flooring, tile, wiring, carpet, roofing, and more. You won’t have to worry about replacing the roof just three years after moving in, which might very likely be the case when purchasing an older home. You can be confident you’ll have many maintenance-free years in a newly-constructed home.

Safety

A custom home offers a safer environment for you and your family. Many new windows and patio doors now feature tempered glass, which means less chance of an injury if one should break. Custom builders use better construction materials, including fire-resistant drywall products and improved electrical wiring, to reduce the chance of a dangerous electrical fire.

Making the decision to build instead of purchase an existing home is huge. Once you choose to “take the plunge,” be sure to partner with the premiere custom home builder in the area, Tarheel Associates. You’ll find the building process is a breeze when you’re working with a company that maintains a strong commitment to high standards and the needs and expectations of the client.

To receive additional information on a reconstruction or renovation, or to start a new building project, contact the team of experts with over 30 years of experience at Tarheel Associates, Inc. by calling (252) 633-6452.
 

Before The Snow Melts, Identify Your Winter Home Repairs

March 1st, 2015

Now is the time to make those cold-weather home repairs

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The Polar Vortex has sent a shiver across most of the country, and no homeowners feel the tingle of frostbite and frozen pipes more than owners of older homes. Is it too late to tackle these cold weather issues? Not necessarily. Making some of the actual repairs may pose a challenge when the snow is 4 feet deep, but now is the perfect time to turn your attention to fixing all those cold-hearted problems.

Out Of Snow – Out Of Your Mind:

Winter is hopefully more than halfway over, and yet there’s more freezing temps headed our way. It’s a great time to prioritize those older home winter upgrades while they are still “fresh-frozen” on your mind. Come the warming thaw of Spring, these winter repairs will take a back seat to the great outdoors and backyard of your home. You won’t give them a second thought until next winter – when the snows pile up again.

Winter is hopefully more than halfway over, and yet there’s more freezing temps headed our way. It’s a great time to prioritize those older home winter upgrades while they are still “fresh-frozen” on your mind. Come the warming thaw of Spring, these winter repairs will take a back seat to the great outdoors and backyard of your home. You won’t give them a second thought until next winter – when the snows pile up again.

Driveways and Walkways:

With all this snow, they have surely taken a beating. Shoveling, snow plows and salt to melt the ice can all eat away at your driveway and sidewalks. Once the snow has cleared, walk the exterior and get ready for some resurfacing. And just in time for Spring, when curb appeal is back!

List Now– Tackle Later:

Here’s a hot tip. Put your list of repairs together now. Start testing all your winter systems now and list them for Spring. You never want to try and do any major winter repairs at the height of the season. Why? It’s simple – have you ever tried to get an air conditioning system repaired during a heat wave? Not only is it impossible to get anyone on the phone – but once you do, their prices go up exponentially as the thermometer rises. The same is true for major winter weather. You will want to make the big repairs in the off season.

Heating System:

How has your heating system been operating this season? Is it time for an upgrade to a newer one? There are many new energy efficient systems out there now. Start looking online and asking for recommendations now for local HVAC dealers and heating/air specialists. Mark your calendar to start getting estimates in April.

Heat In The Palm Of Your Hand:

The newest and surprisingly inexpensive way to manage your heating systems and bills is right in the palm of your hand: the new generation of “smart” thermostats. They are totally programmable, have user memory and you can control them from your smart phone or computer at work! There are lots of options on the market. I installed a Ventstar set of thermosets in my home and couldn’t be happier. Nest is also a very popular option. Now, you can turn on the heat downstairs when you first wake up, without ever leaving comfort of your warm bed upstairs!

Ducts:

It’s not only more efficient to have clean heating ducts – it’s healthier too. If you have a forced air system for your heating and air, you’ll want to line up a company to come out and do a big sweep.

Drafts And Cold:

Stand by the window or lean next to the door. Are you getting a blast winter, even though you’re inside? If so, you have drafts. And you have windows and doors that don’t shut properly, aren’t sealed all the way, or have cracked caulking or trim that will need replacing. Now is not the right time to do it, but it is a great time to identify those cold-spot-trouble-spots!

Hidden In The Attic:

Newer homes have much higher standards for insulation than older homes. Chances are the only thing you’ll find in the attic of most older homes are boxes holiday ornaments or discarded yearbooks, toys and clothes. This is the time to put a layer of insulation in between those rafters. Insulating your attic and crawl spaces is critical to keeping you home energy efficient in both the winter freeze and the summer bake.

Roofs And Gutters:

This season has brought record levels of heavy snowfall. Your roof, gutters and spouts are probably strained, cracked, bent and covered in debris. Once you can actually see your roof and gutters again, it’s time for a thorough inspection and any repairs should be done before the end of summer.

“Booming” Population May Require Key Home Upgrades

February 23rd, 2015

CAPS_Tarheel_Associates

Are you one of the 74.6 million baby boomers living in America? If not, you probably know someone who is a member of this group. Baby boomers are special: Experimental, worldly, often free-spirited, and fiercely proud of their independence. Because of this “can do” attitude, more and more senior citizens are rejecting the notion of spending their later years in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Many are opting to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.

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TOP 5 EASY WAYS TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME!

February 16th, 2015

Tarheel Associates Remodeling

Is anyone ever completely satisfied with their home? It seems that we can all find a list of things we’d like to improve or replace—it can be a small change, such as installing a new front door, or a large change like tearing down a wall to open up a small room. But not all changes give a homeowner great return on investment. Read on to discover which home improvements are worth your while.

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