Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
I can not tell you how grateful I am that spring is here. For some reason winter just seemed to drag on too long. I've been outside weeding, planting and enjoying the warm weather. The Midwest is still in a drought, but we seem to be getting lots of rain and I am hopeful that we will be out of the drought by summer. The spring also brings strong storms to the Midwest. Keep an eye on the storms for our area this weekend and pray everyone stays safe. Posting a few pictures to bring a smile to your face.
My daughters horse enjoying the green grass.
Sunset with our canoe
One of our roosters
The lunar eclipse on 4/14/14
Monday, April 21, 2014
Spring is here and CH Construction is very busy! They have a crew working on a ornamental mill work installation. The project is projected to last 4 weeks. Follow their progress on the "Our Current Project" slide show next to their blogs. They have another crew working on re-decking a deck in Johnson County, Kansas. They will keep you posted on the progress of the job as well. To keep up with the latest projects CH Construction is doing stop by their blog page on a regular basis.
Framing for beam work installation.
Taylor Hall framing for beam work installation.
Taylor framing for the beam work installation.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Recently I've come across sites promoting smaller living spaces. It seems to be a popular trend these days and then my sister in law suggested I write a blog about it to share the information with those who may not be informed about small living spaces.
Small living spaces are a trend with those committed to sustainable living and focusing on off the grid living as well. Empty nester's are interested in downsizing and debt free living. For those of us growing up in the 80's and 90's and even into early 2000, we were use to everything being big. Big hair, big cars and big houses. For many reasons people began to downsize and there are a lot of benefits to a more simplistic lifestyle.
Small living spaces have a positive effect ecologically. The estimated size to a small living space is approximately 500 square feet. With less heating and cooling that small spaces require many people choose solar energy. Small living space cost less to build and use less building materials which is another bonus to our ecology.
With the high cost of living and for those who are tired of paying too much for rent. These tiny homes would solve those problems. The cost to build a small home can be built for less than what a new car cost. Investing in a small home can create a debt free lifestyle for those trying to make ends meet.
As I mentioned before empty nester's are looking to downsize and simplify their lives. Others are purchasing movable small living spaces. These tiny houses on wheels are replacing motor homes and travel trailers. The homes are typically 8' x 20' and have a living space of 120 feet for easy towing and to exempt it from building permits. Some people are choosing small living spaces as a second home for vacations.
As I have browsed information pertaining to small living spaces I would have to say that the multi-purpose features and furniture are a highlight to me. The space saving concept and vertical optimization appeal to my practical mind. If you have the chance, look into small living spaces. If you choose to pursue building a small living space, give CH Construction a call to help you fulfill your tiny living lifestyle.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
People who live in the Midwest understand spring weather can come in any form; snow or ice storms, severe thunderstorms with hail, tornadoes or flooding. Some people even joke saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes it will change.” As a homeowner we should prepare our homes for these types of weather conditions. We’d like to offer some suggestions that can help you avoid possible damage to your home and property.
On these beautiful days that have us outside enjoying the warmth of the sun, take the time to complete these easy tasks. Walk around your property and evaluate potential problems. Strong winds can take up objects in your yard and these objects can damage your home. Our friend’s trampoline became an object of destruction to their home. After the storm they had roof and siding damage as well as some dents and scratches to the family truck. In the time that it took insurance adjusters to come and evaluate the damage the rains had left moisture damage and mold as additional damage. They had to move out of their home while the damage was repaired. You can avoid these possible damages by securing all play equipment to the ground. Do you have BBQ grills or furniture on your deck or patio? Consider finding a place to store them if you are aware of strong storms predicted for your area. The winds can move these items damaging siding and windows. If you do not have a place to store them you could possibly secure them to the railings of a deck.
Don’t forget to check the roof for loose shingles that can fly off in strong storms. Clean out the gutters of any debris will also help avoid gutter damage. If you have trees on your property check for loose or dead limbs. These limbs can become damaging flying objects in a storm or fall and damage a roof or siding.
Check the fencing on your property. If you have a wood privacy fence, make sure the all the boards are secure. Check your deck for loose boards and railings. Securing these items can help prevent further damage to your deck or home. Don’t forget to check your basements sump pump and make sure that it is in working order. If you do not have one you might want to consider installing a sump pump. Water damage to your basement can be costly
If a storm is approaching remember to secure or remove all items that could become projectiles: wind chimes, trashcans, bug zappers or hanging plants. Review your family’s disaster preparedness plan. If you do not have a disaster preparedness plan this is the time to consider one. CH Construction hopes that you have a wonderful spring and that these suggestions help you avoid any damage to your home.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
If you are considering adding a new deck system or replacing an existing one, you will want to do a little research on different types of decking materials and fastening systems available on the market today. It wasn’t that long ago that the only choice of materials was limited types of wood. Now composite wood, plastics and imported hardwood are also available. With this being said, the homeowner has a larger selection of materials to research and meet their family’s needs.
The most economical choice is pressure treated (PT) wood. Pressure treated wood is widely available, affordable, and chemically treated to resist wear. The PT wood resists rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs giving it a longer life than untreated wood. Previous to 2003, PT wood was treated with chromate copper arsenate (CCA) some say a known carcinogen. Since 2003 the wood is treated with less toxic chemicals, alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azoles. The CCA product was far superior to decay than what is available today, however.
If you are more interested in woods that have natural materials that help them prevent rot, decay and wood boring bugs, consider redwood or red cedar for your deck material. These woods have a natural color that adds to the beauty of the material. When considering these types of wood it is best to understand the level of heartwood in the material. Heartwood is the wood nearest the center of the tree. It is the most resistant to damage from decay. Sapwood grows on the outer part of the tree closer to the bark and is softer. Thus being more vulnerable to decay. If you are considering redwood or red cedar wood discuss the wood grades with your contractor. He will help you choose a grade of wood that will compliment your deck and fit your families needs.
Another wood choice is exotic woods. There are several choices of these exotic hardwoods; the most common is ipe (ee-pay). Ipe is also known as ironwood or Pau lope. These woods are very hard, difficult to cut, nail or screw into and are more expensive. They are also more difficult to stain, as they do not accept stain well. Builders charge more to install the exotic wood, as they are more difficult to work with. The pros to exotic wood are their beauty and they are more resilient to decay and bugs than other woods. As with all the woods mentioned so far using wood materials requires power washing, staining and sealing every few years to preserve their beauty and integrity.
The most commonly used materials CH Construction deals with are cedar, composite and plastic decking material. Composite material is made with wood fibers and recycled plastic. Plastic decking is made with 100% plastic (recycled and new). These crack free and splinter free materials are popular because they are more resistant to weather decay and bugs. They come in a variety of colors, giving the homeowner a larger selection of choices. Although, mold and mildew can develop in damp areas on the deck, composites are a good choice for those who want a low maintenance material.
With any home improvement project you will want to do research on every aspect of the project. Choosing the best decking material for you and your family will benefit you in the years to come. CH Construction is available to help you with any of your questions and can meet with you for a free consult.
Have you heard of the term Sustainable? Often time’s people use it interchangeably with the term “Green”. Although they are similar they are not the same. “Green” is defined as concerned with or supporting environmentalism. Sustainability covers a broader spectrum. When considering sustainability in your home it usually means energy or water efficiency or improving the quality of air in your home. By making sustainable changes you are benefiting the home and the environment.
Check for drafts around window and doors. You can use an incense stick (remove all drapery to avoid a fire) to check for window or door leaks. If you discover a draft you can seal it with caulk or weather stripping. These items can be found at a local home improvement store. Check with your electric company to see if they do a free energy efficiency check of homes.
Check the furnace and air conditioner to make sure it is running efficiently. Furnace filters should be checked and changed if needed. A clogged and dirty filter will make your furnace work harder, costing you more money. Also check the furnace duct junctions. The easiest way to check this is set your thermostat 10 degrees higher then the room temperature and let your furnace run for ten minutes. Check for any warm spots in the duct junctions. If it is excessively warm, there is a good chance you have a leak. You can remove the insulation, reseal the area with industrial grade duct tape and place the insulation. Having your furnace checked once a year can prevent problems and ultimately save you money in the long run. Late summer or fall are the best times to have your furnace checked, as the rates tend to be higher in the winter. Maintaining your central air is as important. Annual checks are recommended for it also. Spring, before the weather becomes too warm, is the best time to have your air conditioning unit serviced. One other thing you can do is make sure that the area surrounding the unit is clear of grass, weeds or debris and keeping it clean with a garden hose. All of these things can prevent your air condition unit from working properly. Planting shrubs or trees that will shade your air conditioner from direct sunlight will help the unit in the heat of the summer. To keep your air conditioner from working so hard in the heat of the summer, do the chores that heat up your home after the heat of the day. Another easy way to cut your electric bill is programmable thermostats and running your heat producing appliances (stove, oven, clothes dryer, dish washer, etc.) after the sun goes down can really help reduce your utility bills.
Installing an attic fan can also be more energy efficient as it draws cool air in through the windows and removes the warm air through the attic. People who have attic fans installed use their air conditioner less during the spring and fall. Checking the insulation in your attic is another way to save energy. If you have R-19 or less insulation you might want to consider R-30 insulation to help with heating and cooling your home.
The U.S. Geological Survey suggests that a faulty faucet wastes 3 gallons of water a day. Check all your faucets for leaks on a regular basis. Replacing or repairing faucets, shower heads, and toilets that have become leaky will not only save you money but also will prevent mold and mildew from developing. Choosing low flow to replace shower heads and toilets will ultimate save water and money. These items are relatively easy to install yourself.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
I would like to share our support with other companies that are looking out for our environment. The Heartland Habitat Humanity ReStore is one of those companies. They are located in Wyandotte County, Kansas at 1270 Merriam Lane, Kansas City and in Johnson County, Kansas at 9850 W. 87th Street, Overland Park, KS.
The Restore sells new and used surplus building materials and occasionally will have appliances and furniture. All items in the store are donated and they help fund the building of Heartland Habitat homes. These building projects are in Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Johnson Counties in Kansas, and Clay and Platte Counties in Missouri.
Habitat for Humanity International was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller and is a non-profit Christian housing ministry. Their mission is to make adequate and affordable housing and to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness. Volunteers have built and renovated 200,000 houses since 1976. In 1987, a merger of Kaw Valley Habitat and Northland Habitat for Humanity formed Heartland Habitat for Humanity.
When you are looking to remodel, renovate, start new construction or need to update appliances and furniture you may want to consider stopping by the Habitat Humanity ReStore. You could be saving as much as 20% – 80% on you material and supporting an organization that is giving back to the community.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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