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.

2010 Parade of Homes

April 24 & 25, May 1 & 2

12:00pm – 5:00pm

Have you ever wondered what components make an Energy Star home? All new homes look great from the outside, but to make sure your next new home is truely energy efficient, it’s important to look “behind the walls”. Homes that earn the Energy Star include “must have” features that will make you more comfortable, reduce utility bills, and help protect the environment.
Brunswick County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes invites you to join us in Waterford of the Carolinas to see behind the walls of an Energy Star home that is 29% more efficient than a minimum code home. Highlights of the home designed by Sullivan Design Company include:
  • 1800 Gallon Underground Cistern
  • Invisible Drip Irrigation
  • Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing
  • Blown Cellulose Walls
  • Daylighting from Skylight Tube
Lot 14
2289 Square Feet
The Amberview
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 at Olde Waterford Way.
Turn slight left toward Palm Ridge Dr.
Continue straight onto Palm Ridge Dr.
At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit.
At the next traffic circle, take the 1st exit.
Turn right onto Natural Springs Way.
House will be on the left.
We look forward to seeing you!

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.

St. James Plantation, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes knows that energy bills can get pricy in the winter months.  These cold-weather tips, courtesy of Progress Energy, are great ways to keep energy costs down:

Keep the thermostat on your heating system at the lowest comfortable setting. Progress Energy recommends a setting of 68 to 70 during the day and 60 to 65 at night.

Check filters at least monthly and clean or change them as needed. Dirty filters can increase operating costs by 20 percent and can damage equipment.

Use insulated or heavy curtains on windows facing the north side of the house. Keep curtains and shades closed at night and on cloudy days.

Caulk any space around windows and other places where air leaks to prevent cold drafts and heat escape.

If your home has a fireplace, be sure the damper fits tightly, and close it when the fireplace is not in use. Add a glass fireplace screen.

Use microwave ovens whenever possible. They use less than half the power of a conventional oven.

Whenever possible, wash full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washing machine, rather than partial loads.

Take short showers instead of tub baths and install a flow restrictor or energy-saving shower head.

Look for EnergyGuide labels on most major home appliances. The more efficient models save you money in the long run.

Courtesy of: Progress Energy

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

Chocolate DrizzleSt James Plantation NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes recommends those in the Cape Fear area to attend the Wilmington Chocolate Festival, which kicks off Friday, February 5th, 2010 with the annual Chocolate Gala. This promises to be one of the area’s most fun Galas of the year. It’s also a great value at only $25 in advance. Friday’s Chocolate Gala features wonderful appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, free wine tastings, artisan beers, live music, and of course the “Unlimited Chocolates and Desserts”!  The following Saturday and Sunday will be a business showcase of proprietors in our area who make or sell chocolates and other sweet treats. The Festival also includes “Spotlights,” exhibitor’s demonstrations of their techniques involved in creating their chocolate delights! Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $5 in advance or $8 at the door. The weekend’s events will be at the Senior Center on 2222 S. College Road in Wilmington, NC. For more information, call 910-798-6402 or 910-264-9379 or visit www.WilmingtonChocolateFestival.com.

Earlier this month, Brunswick County NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes blogged on the Brunswick Stew Cook-Off in Shallotte, NC. While the event was planned for January 30th, 2010, we’d like to notify our readers that the event has been postponed to February 6th, 2010. The Brunswick Beacon reported yesterday that due to harsh weather conditions projected for this weekend, the Cook-Off will be held next weekend at the same location, Rourk Woods in Shallotte, NC. For more information click here or call the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce at (910) 754-6644.

Courtesy of: BrunswickBeacon.com

Brunswick County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes has previously shared RealtyTimes.com’s Kenneth R. Harney’s “Real Estate Outlook” articles with our readers and would like to share his latest, published January 19, 2010. Below is an excerpt and to read the complete article, click here!

 “Nothing is absolute in the predictions business, but there are solid indications that, yes, housing is likely to rebound more energetically than the overall economy.

Here’s why: Even the most bearish Wall Street analysts now concede that home sales are up in many areas from year-earlier levels — sometimes by extraordinary percentages.

For example, MDA DataQuick reports that sales in the greater Phoenix market in November were 62 percent higher than the year before.

Prices either have bottomed out in dozens of these markets or are close to it. That’s because the distressed sales component of local volume – short sales, REOs and foreclosures – has been declining slowly but steadily.”

Brunswick County, NC builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes introduced our readers to the Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry last year and encourage those in the area to help them in their fundraising and volunteer efforts. WARM will be having a Pancake Breakfast next month to raise money and hope you can attend!

WARM volunteers repair an average of five homes per month for those in need, including the elderly, in our area. Locations and schedules change frequently and volunteers are always needed. For more information, call 910.399.7563 or visit their website!

Previously, Brunswick County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes wrote about the current investigation on the adverse health effects of Chinese made drywall. Now we’d like to share an update on the investigation from Nick Bajzek, the Products Editor of Professional Remodeler. Below is an excerpt from his article and to read more, click here!

“Massachusetts-based Environmental Health & Engineering recently concluded a five-month indoor air quality study for the U.S. government and the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The study found a strong association between the presence of Chinese drywall, low-level concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and corrosion of metals in homes. (For updates on the Chinese drywall situation, check www.housingzone.com/chinesedrywall.)

The EH&E study included 51 homes in five southern states. Of that group, 41 homes where property owners had reported corrosion of wiring or piping, and there were 10 similar homes about which no complaints had been filed. The findings were presented to a Congressional briefing at the U.S. Capitol just before Thanksgiving.

‘Not all drywall is alike,’ says Jack McCarthy, president of Environmental Health & Engineering. ‘Not all Chinese drywall is alike. It depends on what it’s made of, not the country it came from.’”