Entryway Impressions

March 19th, 2012

We all know that it only takes a few seconds to make a long lasting impression. Wilmington new home builder, Mark Johnson Custom Homes, would like to share with our readers and article courtesy of RealtyTimes.com that gives tips on how to make the entryway of your home one that will leave a positive impression on your guests.

Homeowners who have decided to stay put as well as sellers looking for ways to impress should pay close attention to the look and feel of their entryways.

We all know the power first impressions has over our society. We make snap-judgements of books, homes, and people in the first few moments of meeting. This makes it even more important for homeowners to get entry-ways looking their best.

According to a recent national home valuation study conducted by Therma-Tru, even the simple update of installing a new entryway door can increase the perceived value of a home by more than $24,000 on average!

When it comes to entry doors, the sky is the limit these days. Manufacturers know the power of a showstopping door. This is why, according to Therma-Tru, “manufacturers offer a wide array of choices for entryways incorporating decorative glass doorlites, sidelites and transoms. These choices allow homeowners to create a custom look for the home while making a statement about the homeowner’s personal sense of style.”

More and more homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes to wait out the down market. Home prices have fallen across much of the nation. This has amped up remodeling across the nation.

Decorative glass entry doors are a great way to bring light into your entryway as well as add a spark of class to the exterior of your home.

Aside from updating your front door, a great tip for your entryway is to keep it organized. If you’re not careful, your entryway can be come a dumping ground for keys, phones, paperwork, bags, coats, and other often used items. The key it to have a place for everything.

Invest in a suitable entry table that can house a docking port for phones as well as a hidden area for keys.

If your entryway has a coat closet be sure that it is cleared out to make room for daily use and for guest coats. Put in a shoe rack or bin for shoes, boots, and umbrellas. There shouldn’t be anything cluttering up your space.

Add a few warm touches to this space by including an entry rug, which can also reduce slippage on tile floors. Place a warm lamp and some simple artwork on top of the entry table. Think about first impressions when you choose colors and styles. This space should make guests or prospective buyers feel warm and welcome!

If you’re looking for a simple way to capitalize on your home’s first impression, then consider adding a touch of class with some decorative glass as well as organizing your space.

Article written by: Carla Hill, RealtyTimes.com

Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share a video of a custom home we recently built for a client in the Birkdale Community of Landfall.

Simply click “Birkdale at Landfall” below to view the video,

Birkdale at Landfall

Wilmington builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes recently completed The Savona Cove Plan by Sater Design Collection. To experience the complete building process from foundation to interior finishes and landscaping, click The Savona Cove Plan – Bald Eagle Lane.

We encourage our readers to view recently uploaded photos of our projects, both past and present, on our Flickr page.

Wilmington Builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes

Architect Sarah Susanka on designing houses that feel spacious but don’t waste space.

Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers a helpful article written by Evelyn Royer in ECOHOME Magazine that gives tips for “rightsizing” your home.

Dream homes designed by noted architect Sarah Susanka used to include grand foyers and formal dining rooms-spaces often vacant but for the dusting of the cleaning lady and the rush of air conditioning. But as the author of the Not So Big House book series, Susanka now advocates for “rightsizing” the American home.

“Oftentimes, when people hear the words ‘not so big,’ they assume I mean we should all be squeezed into little shoeboxes,” said Susanka during a webinar she recently conducted for the Journal of Light Construction, a sister publication of EcoHome. “Far from it.”

In her equation, homes built one-third smaller than the homeowner’s original design scheme routes square footage dollars into more purposeful space. For example, combining the dining room with the kitchen omits an entire room, while installing proper lighting can transform the space into an elegant dining area for entertaining.

Susanka shared several other simple tricks for building and remodeling a right-sized house:

Make it feel spacious. Walls make homes feel smaller but removing them is not the only answer for creating a spacious feel. To avoid a large, amorphous area, differentiate ceiling and floor levels, and add a column, a beam, or an arch.

Ceilings are like commas in a sentence, she said. “The commas break up the phrases into segments so you can understand the meaning; a lot of times architects will use ceiling height in the same way.”

A lower ceiling over a bed adds charm and character and a heightened one in the center of a living room makes the space feel larger. But don’t make it too high: “A 40-foot-high ceiling is wonderful for a state capital but it’s not exactly what you want in the evenings in which to watch television,” she notes.

Light it right. Adding a window at the end of a dark hallway or a lighted painting in a basement stairway transforms the experience for as little as it takes to install a recessed can.

Build to scale. A smaller room, designed to the scale of its occupants, is more comfortable and saves square footage, money, and wasted space.

Make it personal. Small touches such as beautiful tiles in a kitchen backsplash turn a generic space built for resale value into one that feels like home. And people stay in “homes” far longer than “houses,” the architect says. “If you don’t allow yourself to make your home personal, you’re actually going to want to move,” which isn’t as green of an option as staying put, says Susanka.

Remodel it small. Instead of adding a standard 20-foot-by-30-foot addition out back, “you may well be able to solve the problems of your existing house by staying within the footprint,” says Susanka. Look for places to redistribute space, remove a wall, or alter traffic flow.

If eliminating obstacles in the original design does not solve the problem, build a small bump-out to accommodate a necessary space, such as a shelf for shoes instead of entire mud room. And if there’s no way around it, build the smallest addition possible and make every square foot count.

Make it green. Green retrofits impact the environment more than most people assume, according to a study by the DOE’s Energy Information Administration. “A very little known fact is over 20 percent of all carbon emissions from all sources in this country come from existing housing stock,” Susanka quoted.

Evelyn Royer is assistant editor of Building Products magazine.

Article Courtesy of customhomeonline.com.


Waterproofing Your Deck

November 1st, 2010

With all the rain we have had in the past month, Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers our method of waterproofing a second story floating deck that has a finished ceiling beneath it. 

 After framing the upper deck subfloor with a slope, we install a rubber membrane on the subfloor that wraps up and over any doorways leading to the second story floating deck.

Waterproofing 2

The rubber membrane is then installed to completely cover the subfloor.

Waterproofing 4

Any penetrations coming through the deck floor (such as handrail posts) need to be wrapped with the membrane.

Waterproofing 3

Next, we install the floating deck system. This involves placing (but not fastening) treated 2×6 boards flat on the membrane. The reason it is called a floating deck is because it isn’t fastened to the framing beneath. We then cut treated 2×4 boards down to basically form a wedge. The purpose of this is to keep the finished decking where you stand flat and level. Remember that the subfloor decking still slopes under the membrane so the water that drips through the deck boards will still run down the membrane and away from the house.

Waterproofing 5

The picture below is the finished floating deck before paint and handrails are installed.

Waterproofing 6

This view (before paint and handrails) shows the finished ceiling beneath the second story floating deck.

Waterproofing

Wilmington, NC Green builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes understands the importance of recycling and would like to share the following information about recycling paper, courtesy of NCGreenPower.org.

  • Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees compared to paper made from virgin materials.
  • Instead of using a new piece of paper for rough work, turn over a used copy and write on the other side.
  • Junk mail is more than an annoyance. It clogs landfills as well as your mailbox, and costs millions of trees and tax dollars every year.
  • 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in U.S. landfills annually.
  • The average U.S. household receives unsolicited junk mail equal to 1.5 trees each year—That’s more than 100 million trees for all households combined.
  • 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (33 percent) is recycled.
  • Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that doesn’t get recycled.
  • On average, Americans spend 8 months opening junk mail in the course of their lives.
  • Start by registering with the Mail Preference Service of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). It won’t guarantee you a life free of junk mail, but it can help.
  • You can also go to OptOutPreScreen.com, which can enable you to remove your name from lists that mortgage, credit card and insurance companies use to mail you offers and solicitations.
  • One option is to use the Stop the Junk Mail Kit developed by the Consumer Research Institute.
  • The website JunkBusters.com provides further guidelines for reducing junk mail and other intrusions, from unwanted e-mail (Spam) to telemarketing.
  • Pay your bills online! Eliminate your paper trail as well as the energy used to transport paper bills.
  • Go digital. If only 10 million people in the US change Mon-Fri newspapers to online, we could save almost 50,000 trees each year!
  • Manufacturing products from recycled materials requires substantially less energy and natural resources than products from virgin materials.
  • You may think that a lot of paper gets recycled, but according to the National Recycling Coalition, Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 13-foot-high wall of paper from New York to Seattle.
  • Do your part – recycle!

Wilmington, NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share an article written by Gareth McGrath of StarNewsOnline.com regarding protecting sea turtles in our area.

A traditional way of fishing in North Carolina’s extensive inland and near-shore waters is under threat because of its impacts on an already endangered species.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has proposed a temporary closure of large-mesh gill net fishing from May 15 through Dec. 15 for most areas south of Orgeon Inlet – including the Cape Fear River south of Snow’s Cut – as it struggles to balance the popular and economically important fishing practice with federal rules protecting sea turtles.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has called the growing number of interactions between sea turtles and fishermen in the state’s inshore waters “excessive and unacceptable,” and the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Beach could soon move the matter into federal court.

“We haven’t seen or heard anything that meets or addresses our needs and concerns,” said Executive Director Jean Beasley, adding that the filing of a suit could be imminent.

Gill nets, used up and down the coast in a number of fisheries, are stretched from the water bottom to the surface. They are effective fishing tools in the state’s extensive estuaries and sounds.

But the nets, which are often left out overnight, catch everything that swims into them – and that includes sea turtles. The animal’s head or flippers can get caught in the net, and the air-breathing turtles eventually drown.

That has incensed environmentalists, who consider the nets among the biggest controllable threats to sea turtles. They also note that North Carolina and Mississippi are the last states still allowing the fishing practice. To read the complete article, click here!

Courtesy of: StarNewsOnline.com

Custom Home in Wilmington, NC

Landfall custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes encourages our readers to view recently uploaded photos of our projects, both past and present, on our Flickr and Facebook Fan pages. View our Photo Sets on Flickr and Facebook, including our luxury homes in Wilmington and Hampstead, NC. For more detailed information on these homes and available lots in Wilmington, NC visit our Inventory Page!

Figure Eight Harbor Remodel

January 28th, 2010

Figure Eight Harbor RemodelWilmington, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share that we are currently preparing for demolition work on our latest contract to remodel a condominium in Figure Eight Harbor in Wilmington, NC. The contract includes a full kitchen upgrade along with two additional bath renovations, removing all popcorn ceilings and replacing the lower floor with hardwoods. The scope of work is schedule for a 60 day completion.
If you are considering a large or small scale remodel, contact
Mark Johnson Custom Homes at 910-409-2421  or e-mail Mark directly!

As both a proud member of the National Association of Home Builder and a Green home builder, Wilmington, NC luxury home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers a recent press release from the NAHB. Below is the complete press release on “Project ReEnergize”, a program that was addressed at the NAHB’s International Builders’ Show aimed to generate Green jobs and weatherize homes.

“January 21, 2010 – A weatherization program that created jobs while it made homes more energy-efficient worked in Minnesota – and can be one model for successful programs in other states.

A remodeler, a window manufacturer and the executive officer for the Builders Association of Minnesota explained how ‘Project ReEnergize’ worked during a press conference on Wednesday at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show.

As part of its economic stimulus package, the Obama Administration made money available to state agencies for the purpose of weatherizing homes and generating jobs.

When some Minnesota agencies could not disburse the funding quickly enough, the state turned to the home builders association, which quickly trained and certified contractors and insulation installers to make improvements to 1,400 homes, said Pam Perri Weaver, BAMN’s executive officer.

Consumers were eligible for rebates when they hired certified contractors to replace windows, but they received even more money if their home’s insulation was upgraded as well. That was an important incentive because it’s hard to convince home owners to make improvements that in the end, they can’t see, said Minnesota remodeler Shawn Nelson, a Project ReEnergize participant. ‘Air sealing is not a visual upgrade,’ he said.

About 90 percent of the windows in today’s homes are older, single-pane glass styles – much less efficient than modern double-pane, triple-pane and argon-filled products, noted Maureen McDonough of Andersen Windows. A new federal energy-efficiency tax credit and supplying windows for Project ReEnergize contractors were important factors in enabling the manufacturer to call back 600 employees who had been laid off, she added.

Participating home owners had no income limits, but the homes could be no larger than 3,000 square feet and had to be built before the year 2000, when more stringent state energy codes were mandated. The average size of each home was 1,800 square feet and the average age was about 45 years old, Weaver said.

The home builders association stands ready to funnel more money to consumers to make upgrades should additional federal funding become available. ‘We have a list of people who are waiting,’ because most consumers are unwilling to make the upgrades without the financial incentives, Nelson said.”

Courtesy of: www.nahb.org