New Hanover County, NC luxury home builder would like to share an article from Wilmington’s WECT news station. Gavin Johnson reported that the Animal Planet network will feature Wilmington Fire Station Number Seven for their life-saving efforts for pets in house fires. Below is an excerpt and to read more, click here!

“Last September, firefighters rescued a cat from a burning house. They used an animal oxygen mask to save the cat’s life.

Producers with Powderhouse Productions heard about the story and felt it was important to share it with the world.

‘We found the story through an online search,’ said producer Ann MacMullan. ‘Often we’re searching and searching for these wonderful stories and they could land us anywhere.’

More than 40,000 pets a year die from smoke related causes. Wilmington’s Fire Department is one of the few fire stations in the country with oxygen masks for dogs and cats.”

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New Hanover County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share a press release from the US Department of Labor announcing $100 million in Green jobs training grants will be given through the Recovery Act. Below is an excerpt from the press release and to read more, click here!

“Washington, D.C. — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants, as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The grants will support job training programs to help dislocated workers and others, including veterans, women, African Americans and Latinos, find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations. Approximately $28 million of the total funds will support projects in communities impacted by auto industry restructuring.

Through the Energy Training Partnership Grants being administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, 25 projects ranging from approximately $1.4 to $5 million each will receive grants. These grants are built on strategic partnerships — requiring labor and business to work together.

‘Today’s announcement is part of the administration’s long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic revitalization and a clean energy future. It’s an investment that will help American workers succeed while doing good,’ said Secretary Solis. ‘Our outstanding award recipients were selected because their proposed projects will connect workers to career pathways in green industries and occupations through critical, diverse partnerships.’”

New Hanover County, NC home remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an article from the Kitchen and Bath Association emphasizing that today’s market is ideal for home remodeling projects to be done! Below is an excerpt from Victoria Hale’s article and to read more click here. If you are looking to do a home remodel or addition in New Hanover, Pender or Brunswick County, we encourage you to contact us!

“A recession provides a unique opportunity to remodel your home. Labor is cheap, commodities are 60 percent less expensive, and there’s significant promotional pricing being offered in an effort to move product. These factors, when taken together, can reduce the overall cost of the remodeling project by 25 to 30 percent. The bottom line is that there are plenty of opportunities to increase the value of your home over time.

It’s also the perfect time to include floor heating in your bath or kitchen remodeling project. Floor heating was among the top 10 features most wanted by homeowners in a 2008 study by Residential Design & Build magazine. Floor heating can be the extra feature that helps close the deal if you’re selling your home in this buyer’s market. Even if you aren’t in the market to sell your home, you can reap the daily benefits of warm floors in your kitchen or bathroom while increasing your property value. Many families congregate in the kitchen, and heated floors keep those gathered comfy and cozy. There’s also nothing like a warm bathroom floor on a chilly autumn morning to start the day off on a positive note…

Make this recession work for you by improving your home and your quality of life.”

Courtesy of: Victoria Hale, the Loyalty Marketing Manager for WarmlyYours, a radiant electric floor heating manufacturer based in Long Grove, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. WarmlyYours has been featured on both HGTV and in the New York Times. For more information, call (800) 875-5285 or visit

The Wilmington Concert Association will be hosting the Band of the Irish Guards and the Drum, Pipes and Dancers of the Royal Regiment of Scotland this month! This is the first year they will tour the United States and New Hanover County, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes encourages those in the Cape Fear area to attend the concert at the Kenan Auditorium at UNC-Wilmington. Visit the Wilmington Concert Association’s website for more information on the Band, watch a video, and order tickets!

New Hanover County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to introduce our readers to the Phoenix Employment Ministry, located in downtown Wilmington, NC. The organization’s vision is “to be the ministry to which sheltered homeless and nearly homeless people will come or be sent to find satisfying, long-term employment.” Their program includes intense one-on-one coaching, which consists of a staff member being a teacher, care giver, personal coach and cheerleader to those in need of it. Their ultimate goal is for everyone to be self-sufficient and empowering the homeless in the process. If you are interested in being a volunteer, making a donation, or just learning more about the Phoenix Employment Ministry, visit their website!

New Hanover County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share that Wilmington will host an antique show this month. WECT reporter Bob Townsend posted the following article today and stay tuned to WECT for more information on the antique show that will come to downtown Wilmington!

“WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – While the beach draws visitors to southeastern North Carolina when it’s warm, the cold month of January brings in people looking for treasure.

A huge antique show will take place in Wilmington at the end of the month, but the antique business is prominent in the area year round.

Wilmington’s history dates back into the sixteen hundreds, but it is antique items much older than that which brings many antique lovers into the port city.

Most of the city’s antique dealers had their shops on Front Street for many years, but many have moved out of the downtown area, to just a few blocks away, here on Castle Street, and have transformed that part of the city into a true antique district.

In all, there are about 20 antique stores spread across Wilmington with about 250 thousand square feet of display area. 

Each has it’s own special niche, some specializing in large furniture items and other in small trinkets. Moore says right now, he is seeing a lot of customers looking for the small collectibles.

Bettie Biggagi has been in the antique business for years, mostly in New Hampshire, where she ran a collectible business and small store. She feels the antique business in the South is far ahead of Northern States.

Whether you are looking for a small item or something bigger to fill up a room, January is a great month to buy, because store operators say they are ready to deal.”

Courtesy of:

New Hanover County, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share a report by WECT’s Max Winitz. The U.S. Navy has chosen Wilmington, NC to host the Navy destroyer, the U.S.S. Gravely. Below is an excerpt from the WECT posting and to read more, click here!

“The Gravely is a 510 foot destroyer named after the late Vice Admiral Samuel Lee Gravely, Junior. He was the first African-American Admiral in naval history.

Last May, the ship was christened in Mississippi with Gravely’s wife, Alma, breaking the champagne bottle over the vessel.

‘She’s beautiful — just beautiful,’ says Alma about the vessel. ‘My husband would have loved it.’

The navy spokesperson we talked to says the ceremony is tentatively scheduled for either September or October.”

New Hanover County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes’ LEED Platinum rated home was featured on last month. Jennifer Goodman highlighted our first venture into building with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s) and how it led to the highest Green rating for a home by the U.S. Green Building Council. Below is an excerpt from Goodman’s report and to read the complete article, click here!

“Last September, builder Mark Johnson was looking for an innovative way to generate customer interest for a spec home he was planning in Wilmington, N.C.

Nine months later—after a crash course in high-performance building techniques—Johnson not only had produced an innovative home, but an award-winning LEED-H Platinum dwelling constructed with insulated concrete forms (ICFs) that will save $2,200 on utility bills and more than 100,000 gallons of water a year.

‘We weren’t initially planning to build a green home,’ says his brother, Kevin Johnson, director of business development for Mark Johnson Custom Homes. ‘But we knew it needed to be something a bit different, because the market was starting to slide.’

The brothers’ leap into green building began at a concrete symposium in Charlotte, N.C., where they learned of the environmental and storm-resistant benefits of concrete-built homes. They felt that building with ICFs, which boast a wind rating of up to 250 mph, would be just the thing to get buyers in their coastal city to take notice.”

New Hanover County, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes encourages fellow New Hanover County residents to take advantage of the Cape Fear Museum’s free admission the first Sunday of every month! The next available opportunity is Sunday, January 3rd, 2010. Featured exhibits include “Conservation Matters”, “Going to the Movies” and “Cape Fear Treasures: Drink”. Ongoing exhibits include the “Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery” and “Cape Fear Stories”. For more information, visit their website!

New Hanover County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes has recently completed a fire restoration for a home in Marsh Landing Place in Wilmington, NC. We were selected based on our jobsite efficiencies and outstanding client relations. We enjoyed the chance to develop a relationship with the local Wilmington Fire Department and learn about the benefits of having a sprinkler system in your home. 
Restoration - BeforeAssistant Chief Frank Blackley, of the Wilmington Fire Department, had this to say about MJCH: “We are extremely pleased Mark Johnson Custom Homes has taken the initiative to learn more about residential fire sprinklers and is willing to educate future homeowners. This makes our job much easier too, as we try to reduce community risks. We see having residential fire sprinklers installed in a home as comparable to ‘having a firefighter in your home 24/7’. Not only do fire sprinklers protect the home and its owner, they also protect our firefighters.” 

SprinklersThe damage was not only extensive, but rendered the home unlivable for 90 days. Our team was successfully able to work with the insurance agency and the homeowner who lived across the country.

We would like to take this opportunity to explain the benefits of having a sprinkler system installed in your home, courtesy of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. For more information on each of the points below, click here!
Residential Sprinklers– Installing both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82%, relative to having neither.
– Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire.
Fire hoses, on average, use more than 8 1/2 times the water that sprinklers do to contain a fire.
– The likelihood that sprinklers will accidently discharge because of a manufacturing defect is extremely rare.