2010 Parade of Homes

April 22nd, 2010

You’re Invited!

Waterford of the Carolinas

1010 Natural Springs Way

Leland, NC

April 24 & 25, May 1 & 2

12pm – 5pm 

Normally, you just feel the effects of GREEN building in comfort and lower energy bills. This year, at the Parade of Homes, you will be able to see some of the components that make up an Energy Star home. 

Brunswick County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes invites you to join us at the home in Waterford of the Carolinas, where we will take you “Behind the Walls”. It has intentionally been left in the construction phase to illustrate the Energy Star framing requirements. Other features on display will be an eighteen hundred gallon underground cistern for gathering rain water, and a completely underground drip irrigation system that uses up to 70% less water to maintain than the same size lawn using sprinklers.

The Amberview

2289 Square Feet

1010 Natural Springs Way

Leland, NC

Waterford of the Carolinas

Brunswick County

Directions from Wilmington:                                                                                                                                                                                Head south on S 3rd St/US-17-BR toward Dock St.
Turn right at US-17-BR S/US-421 N/US-76 W.
Continue to follow US-76 W.
Merge onto Ocean Hwy E/US-17 S via the ramp to Myrtle Beach/Shallotte.
Turn right onto Olde Waterford Way.                                                                                                                                                               
Turn left onto Palm Ridge Dr.                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter next roundabout and take 1st exit onto Royal Palm Way.                                                                                                         Enter next roundabout and take 1st exit onto Reserve Drive.                                                                                            Turn left onto Natural Springs Way.                                                                                                                                                                 1010 Natural Springs Way is on the right.

We look forward to seing you!  

For information on all of these Energy Star and GREEN Building features, visit our website at www.markjohnsoncustomhomes.com and be sure to experience it for yourself during our Parade of Homes presentations.

How to Build a Compost Bin

March 15th, 2010

Waterford Leland, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an informative article about how to build your own compost bin courtesy of Jennifer Stimpson, This Old House magazine.

If you love to garden, nothing feeds your plants better than compost from your very own backyard, and its priceman pouring compost into his compost bin (free!) is impossible to beat. But the pile itself isn’t exactly an eye-catching feature. Though you can buy a compost bin made from budget-friendly plastic or even chicken wire, a wood bin, typically made of rot-resistant cedar, will conceal those yard clippings and kitchen leftovers without sticking out like a sore thumb on your landscape. The gaps between the wood slats let air circulate around the pile to keep odors at bay and ensure that wastes are breaking down; removable slats, front panels, or doors make it easy to turn the pile and remove compost when it’s ready to spread. Click here and follow the directions to make a rustic little structure that will help you keep your yard thriving year-round.

Brunswick County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article that was released on January 20, during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV.

Kohler, Marvin Windows and Doors and Whirlpool are three manufacturers ready with new lines of green and sustainable products for today’s new homes, company representatives said today at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

But until lenders and appraisers learn to recognize the value of green innovation and the money it can save new home buyers, there is not enough incentive in the marketplace for large-scale implementation, said Bill Nolan, the Florida home building consultant who moderated the first of three press conferences in commemoration of Green Day at the Builders’ Show.

 Kohler’s water-saving toilets use an average of 39,000 fewer gallons of water per year for a family of four – a lifetime of drinking water for three people, said Shane Judd, senior marketing manager of water conservation for the company. New products will incorporate rainwater reuse and gray water – using the water draining from the shower stall to fill the washing machine, for example.

 Marvin emphasizes long-term sustainability rather than first-time costs and also pays close attention to green practices during the production process, said Brett Boyum, director of marketing. Each year, 8,500 tons of shavings and other wood waste are used to heat the company’s manufacturing plant.

 Ed Linder, division director, Whirlpool Corporation, said his company is manufacturing ranges that use 40 percent less energy and appliances that are “smart-grid” ready and is exploring shared-power technologies: for example, using the energy generated from a refrigerator condenser coil to heat the water in the dishwasher.

 For innovation to leap forward, it must be cost-effective, and that can’t happen until the additional first-time costs and long-term savings of most green technologies are appreciated by appraisers and bankers in the underwriting process, Nolan said.

 “We can’t get lenders to appreciate the value of the net costs, and if we can’t get the values recognized, [manufacturers] can’t justify moving these products forward,” he said, noting that NAHB is working to educate appraisers and lenders. “The goal should be long-term energy efficiency.”

Courtesy of: NAHB.org

St. James, NC luxury home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share that the town of St. James will be breaking ground on a new town hall and community center expected to be completed in August 2010. Teresa A. McLamb of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal covered the story last week; below is an excerpt from her article and to read more, click here!

 “[Walt] Madsen said the town purchased the 13-acre tract from Brunswick County in 2007 for $490,000. About six acres of the tract is wetland. The remaining seven acres will be home to an 8,200-square-foot town hall and a 13,560-square-foot community center. Standing side-by-side, the single story buildings will be connected by a 30’ x 50’ pavilion that can be used for outdoor events.

The town hall layout includes a lobby, council chambers, town offices and separate offices that will be leased to the St. James POA.

The community center will have a large assembly room that can seat 385 for dinner or 730 people in theater style. It will also house a craft room, three meeting rooms, a catering kitchen and the director’s office. Madsen said the town plans to hire a director at the beginning of summer ‘to come on board in the final stages of construction.’ The director will coordinate classes and events in the building.”

Courtesy of: WilmingtonBiz.com

Brunswick County, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share that Bosch Appliances has unveiled the Vision, an Energy Star qualified full-size front-load laundry line. Vision washers and dryers use advanced EcoSmart™ technology, a network of sensors and intelligent controls, to deliver the most efficient performance without compromising cleaning results. In Vision washers, EcoSmart continuously analyzes the wash cycle and automatically adjusts water level, temperature and suds level. EcoSmart’s water savings are amplified with ActiveWater™, a system that uses 70% less water per load than the industry average. In Vision dryers, EcoSmart senses remaining moisture throughout the cycle to lower the energy usage. Below are just some of the outstanding features from the Vision line and for more information visit www.bosch-home.com/us, call 800.921.9622 to request a catalog or follow Bosch on Twitter at @BoschAppliances


  • The ActiveWater™ system multiplies the cleaning power of each gallon of water. Combined with advanced EcoSmart technology, Vision uses just 13 gallons of water per load while delivering the cleaning power of 400 gallons.
  • The dryer’s EcoSensor® measures the moisture level of the clothes and adjusts cycle length and heat level automatically for efficient and gentle drying.
  • The Bosch exclusive EcoAction® feature is available on all Vision washers and dryers. With just the simple push of a button, consumers can reduce energy use by up to 20% per wash load and 10% per dry cycle.

Cleaning Performance

  • The washer’s ActiveClean™ system adjusts the number of rinse cycles for custom cleaning results.
  • The exclusive Stain Removal option tackles all stain types in one convenient wash cycle.
  • New specialized wash cycles such as Baby Care and Allergy Rinse are ideal for family members with sensitive skin or detergent allergies.
  • The Vision Steam Dryer offers three steam cycles (Steam Touch-up, Steam Refresh and Steam Wrinkle Relax) to efficiently and quickly reduce wrinkles and remove odors from clothes – without a wash cycle.
  • The Bosch Vision ActiveDry™ system utilizes the moisture sensor and intelligent controls to deliver the exact level of dryness selected by the user.
  • The DynamicAir™ dryer technology provides the gentlest environment for drying your clothes by delivering a high volume of air at a moderate temperature.
  • Vision features the industry’s only one-piece stainless steel drum – a breakthrough that prevents corrosion, lowers friction, and in turn, reduces wear on clothes and fabrics.

Keeping Warm for Less

January 11th, 2010

Brunswick County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide and ThisOldHouse.com. The tips listed below are aimed to be quick and easy; to read them each in complete detail, click here!

  • Lower the Thermostat
  • Install a Programmable Thermostat
  • It’s Closed-Flue Season: Minimize Those Romantic Fires
  • The Spin on Ceiling Fans
  • Move Furniture Away From Vents, Registers, and Radiators
  • Stop the Draft; Close the Door
  • Quick-Seal Windows
  • Install a Door Sweep
  • Work the Drapes
  • Change Your Furnace Filter
  • Adjust Your Water Heater
  • Defeat Rapid Cycling

Free Energy-Saving Info: Need more guidance on saving energy? An online publication called “Energy Savers” is available free from the U.S. Department of Energy. It features more than 100 easy and practical energy-saving tips.”

Brunswick County, NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share a helpful article from OrganizedHome.com by Cynthia Ewer. Ewer outlines some very beneficial ideas on how to start the New Year with a clean, clutter-free home! Below is just one of her tips and to read more, click here!

“Get One, Toss Two: Try this simple idea to pack a powerful clutter-cutting punch as you put away new holiday gifts: for each gift received, toss two counterparts.

As you put away holiday gifts, take time to make extra room throughout the house. For example, for every new Christmas DVD you add to the shelves, remove two older titles. Did Nana gift the children with new holiday pajamas? Find two outgrown sets to add to the donation bag. If craft supplies made it into your stocking, be sure to remove double their number from your stash before adding them to the craft closet.

Whether you recycle, donate or sell the tossers, each gift will reduce clutter in your organized home–and the excitement of new possessions helps cut the ties to old, outworn items.

Get One, Toss Two: short, sweet and painless way to declutter for the New Year.”

Brunswick County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an exciting article by Amy Hotz of the Wilmington Star-News. With the growth of local ecotourism, several Brunswick County town officials are considering creating new paddling and biking trails. Below is an excerpt and to read Hotz’s complete article, click here!

“In North Carolina, a 2006 survey by the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation found that 3.4 million of the state’s residents and nonresidents, 16 years and older fished, hunted or watched wildlife in North Carolina.

Of the total number of participants, 1.3 million fished, 304,000 hunted and 2.6 million participated in wildlife-watching activities, which include observing, feeding and photographing wildlife.

All that adds up to money.

That same survey also indicated that 87.5 million Americans spent more than $122 billion in 2006 on wildlife-related recreation.”

Photo courtesy of: Sarracenia.com

Brunswick County, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share some helpful tips from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide. Below are the five helpful tips to choose a low-flow toilet for your home courtesy of author Willem Maas and to read more detail on each, click here!

1. While the technologies vary, what really matters is performance.

2. You’ll need a tool beside your toilet: do you prefer a plunger or a brush?
3. Look for models that meet the new High Efficiency Toilet (HET) standard to maximize water and money savings.

4. In general, more expensive does not mean better.

5. To ensure comfort, try out a variety of toilets with different heights, seat shapes and rim designs.

Home Maintenance Quiz

December 30th, 2009

Brunswick County, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share a Home Maintenance Quiz from the National Association of Home Builders. This helpful quiz offers tips and reminders for typical household chores you may have overlooked. Below are 10 of the 29 tips and to read the complete quiz, click here!

1. How often do forced-air furnace filters need to be changed?
At least every three months during the heating season.

2. What part of the faucet usually needs to be replaced when you have a water leak?
The washer.

3. Should you run hot or cold water through your garbage disposal?
Cold water.

4. How often should the moving parts of garage doors be oiled?
Every three months.

5. What tools can you use to unclog your drains?
A plunger and a plumber’s snake.

6. What tool can be used to unclog a toilet?
Coil spring-steel auger.

7. What faucet part needs to be cleaned every three to four months?
Aerator—the screen inside the end of the faucet.

8. What can you use for traction on icy sidewalks, steps and driveways?
Cat litter or sand—never use salt because it damages the pavement.

9. Where should the fire in your fireplace be built?
On the andirons or grate, never on the fireplace floor.

10. What will prevent soot and add color to the fire in your fireplace?
Throw in a handful of salt.