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5 Home Decor Ideas to Get Your House Ready for Fall

There are plenty of reasons to decorate your home for fall. With cooler weather around the corner, we’ll be spending more and more time inside, and the holidays will bring family and friends over to catch up and share a meal. We’ve put together some home decor ideas for fall to help you bring the spirit of the season into your house.

Autumn Home Decor Ideas

fall home decor ideas

Go Natural

If your goal is to create a warm, cozy atmosphere in your home this fall, natural is the way to go. Choose decorations with earth tones and natural materials, such as unpainted wood and soft linens. At this time of year you’ll find plenty of pumpkins, dried corn, and other beautifully colored fruits and vegetables that can be used to create a stunning centerpiece or a welcoming front porch decoration.

Bring in the Outdoors

As it gets colder, most of us will be spending more and more time indoors. Bring the beauty of nature into the comforts of your home with your decorations this fall. Pinecones, colorful leaves, and bright red berries can be used to add pops of color to any room.

fall home decor ideas

Spring isn’t the only time for flowers

Don’t put away your flowerpots for the season just yet! Many flowers and bushes are preparing to go dormant for the year, but some plants are just getting started. Flowers like mums and pansies come in a variety of colors, and they’re hearty enough to stand up to frosty mornings! Add some to your home’s landscaping or create a beautiful centerpiece for your family’s table. Pansy blossoms can even be used to decorate cakes and other foods as an edible garnish!

Delight all the senses

What’s better about fall and winter than the smells? Cold air, pine cones, and of course the food! Dried fruits, fresh pumpkin pie, and other delightful scents make a house a home. Look for scented candles that bring all the best scents and colors of fall and light them in your home to create a rich and inviting atmosphere.

Get creative!

Tired of all the red, orange, and yellow? There’s always a way to fit the season to your style! Try spray painting pumpkins to fit your home’s color scheme, or go crazy with metallics for a more modern look. Capturing your personality and style is the most important thing when it comes to decorating, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

pumpkin decoration ideas

Need some more inspiration? Here are more Fall Decoration Tips!

Hoping to have a new home to decorate for the upcoming new year?

Learn how you can buy land and build your dream home in our FREE guide!

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7 Ways to Prepare Your House for Winter

Fall is here in North Carolina, which means the weather might get a bit chilly soon (or not…). Before winter gets here in a few months (or not…), it’s a good idea to start prepping your house for cold weather. With the right preparation, you can save money on energy bills, be prepared for potential winter storms, and prevent expensive repairs to your HVAC systems or water pipes. Follow these steps to winterize your house and stay cozy all winter.

How to Winterize Your House

  1. Do some end-of-summer yard maintenance

    No one misses their lawn mower during the off-season, but before you lock up your shed for the year, take a weekend to do some preventative maintenance around your yard. Trim away dead or oversized branches that could threaten your home during an ice storm, rake up the excess leaf mulch, and clean out your gutters to allow snow and ice to melt and drain away safely.

  2. Get a snow day kit.

    Snow days aren’t exactly the norm in North Carolina, but it never hurts to be prepared. Make sure you’re stocked up on road salt, snow shovels, and ice scrapers before the hardware stores run out. If you have a fireplace, make sure you’re well stocked on natural gas or extra firewood, and don’t forget the hot chocolate supply!

  3. Check your house for drafts.

    A drafty house will drive up your energy bills all winter as you struggle to keep your house warm. Windows, chimneys, and doorways are the most common areas to find drafts. One easy test is to light an incense stick and hold it in places where you suspect a draft. If the smoke is suddenly pushed or pulled, you’ve found a place where heat can escape.

  4. Insulate your pipes.

    Frozen pipes occur when temperatures drop sharply, often at night. These pipes can burst as they defrost, causing flooding, water damage, and thousands in plumbing repairs. Insulation foam is inexpensive and easy to install; check your local hardware store for pipe insulation.

  5. Winterize your windows.

    Even if your window is closed, you could still be losing heat through the glass. Hang curtains and install plastic window film to keep the heat from escaping your home.

  6. Take your plants inside.

    Potted plants and plants that don’t go dormant during the winter are at risk of turning to mush during even the slightest overnight freeze. Protect your plants by bringing them inside during the winter, and leave them near a window so they can stay happy all season long.

  7. Get an HVAC tune-up.

    Regular HVAC maintenance will increase the lifespan of your unit and save you money on your energy bills all year round. Make sure your heater is working efficiently by scheduling a tune-up.

Interested in finding your dream home this winter? Consider building instead! Download our FREE guide to learn about the quality standards of a modular home!

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8 Things to Consider When Looking for a House

Looking for a House?

Are you looking for a new house? There’s plenty to think about before you make a decision. We’ve put together a checklist of 8 things you might not have considered when house hunting. If you’d rather get exactly what you want in a new home, consider building instead! These tips are even helpful as you are deciding on a floor plan for your custom home. Some of these tips are easy to forget, but they make a world of difference in the flow and efficiency of your home!

  • Location, location, location.

Are you close enough to work and school? Is there a busy street nearby? Any noisy venues that could keep you from relaxing at home?

  • How is the floor plan?

Make sure the house’s layout works for you. If you like to entertain, look for an open floor plan. If you have kids, consider how close you’d like the master bedroom to be to their rooms. Get the floorplan you want when you build rather than buy!

  • Is there going to be enough space?

Look at the size of the rooms as well as the number. Will there be enough space for you, your family, and your furniture?

  • What’s the lot grading like?

A big yard is a plus when looking for a new house, but it’s useless if the entire yard is too steep to enjoy.

  • Is there enough natural light?

Natural light can brighten up a house and make it feel like a home. Pay attention to the house’s location on the lot and think about how the light will change throughout the day.

looking for a house
  • What’s the parking situation?

Is the driveway large enough for all your vehicles? Is there street parking? Your car is probably your second largest investment, so think about where you’ll leave it every evening!

  • How is the neighborhood?

Location aside, consider the neighborhood itself. Is it safe for your kids? Are there parks and facilities nearby? Do your neighbors take their trash cans in? Try doing a drive-by at different times throughout the week to see what it’s really like.

  • What’s in store for your family’s future?

What are your goals for yourself and your family? Will those goals require more space, such as an extra bedroom for a new baby, or a big garage to house your future workshop? Think ahead to figure out if a house will still work for you in 5-10 years or more.

Rather than spending money renovating a house that doesn’t work for you or your family, consider building instead! A modular home costs less to build than a traditional stick built home, and can be fully customized to get the style and function you’re looking for.

Browse our floor plans and learn how Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington can help you build your dream home!

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Top 10 Countertop Options for Your Kitchen Design

Building a home comes with plenty of options to choose from and decisions to be made, and that includes choosing the material for your kitchen countertop. With so many options out there, it’s easy to get the look you want for your kitchen and still stick to your budget, but looks aren’t everything!

It’s just as important to look for something that’s durable enough to outlast all the meal prep, parties, and holiday dinners you’ll have in your new home. In this post we’ll list some of the most popular countertop options and how they stand up to heat, stains, and scratches. We’ll even tell you how to get a free granite countertop from Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington!

Top 10 Kitchen Countertop Materials

kitchen countertop material

Granite

Perhaps the most popular countertop material, granite is valued for its durability as well as its beauty. Cut from igneous rock into slabs, granite comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and is resistant to scratches, heat, and heavy impact.

Marble

Marble is quickly becoming a popular choice for high-end kitchen designs due to its natural beauty. Although not as durable as granite or quartz, marble is heat-resistant and can be buffed to remove minor scratches and nicks.

Quartz

Practical yet stylish, quartz countertops are extremely durable and require very little maintenance to keep it looking like new. Quartz is resistant to stains, heat, scratching, and impact.

Soapstone

Soapstone countertops have been used in scientific labs for years due to being nearly impervious against chemicals. In the kitchen, soapstone resists stains, acids, and high heat from pots and pans.

Laminate

Starting at around $5 per square foot, laminate countertops are much more affordable than other materials. Laminate is available in a variety of finishes that can mimic almost any material such as granite or wood, but isn’t heat resistant and can be prone to scratching.

Glass

Sleek and modern, glass is becoming popular in kitchen design. The non-porous surface is heat and stain resistant, and one of the most sanitary countertop options available.

Concrete

Perfect for a kitchen designed with a more industrial look in mind, concrete is another durable countertop material. It can be poured directly in place so you won’t have to worry about broken slabs or mismatched patterns. Concrete can even be dyed for a gorgeous finish!

kitchen countertop material

Stainless Steel

Following the popularity of stainless steel appliances, these countertops are especially popular for kitchens where heavy prep and hot pots and pans are common.

Recycled Materials

“Going green” has never looked better! Countertops made with recycled materials tend to be budget-friendly. Made with reclaimed glass, wood, or even paper, recycled material countertops are typically bound with a heat-resistant resin.

Butcher’s Block

Add some warmth to your kitchen design with a natural wood or butcher’s block countertop. When properly sealed, this durable material is safe for food prep and highly heat resistant.

Everyone wants a kitchen that looks great, but it’s just as important to pick a countertop that will continue to look great no matter how you use it!

When you choose to build a modular home with Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington, we’ll include a FREE granite countertop upgrade as part of your design! Learn more about it by clicking the button below!

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How Much Does a Modular Home Cost?

Most people will tell you that a modular home costs considerably less to build than a traditional lumber or “stick built” home, but how does the cost of building really compare?

Here’s the average price per square foot for building a modular home vs. stick built:

  • Modular Home: $85/ sq ft
  • Stick Built Home: $100/ sq ft

The key difference between a modular home and a stick built home is how they are assembled. Stick built homes are constructed on site from the ground up, while modular homes are built in a controlled environment off site and then transported to your land for assembly.

Here’s the breakdown of your overall costs when you build a modular home:

Modular Home Costs

Base Home Price

Any modular home floor plan you choose will have a base price for the home. These prices normally don’t include the costs of freight, site work, taxes and fees, or any customizations you want.

Customizations

Every modular home can be customized with additional features that allow you to get your dream home. Don’t underestimate the value of adding customizations to your modular home, as they can greatly increase your resale value!

Site Prep Work

The land you’ve purchased will likely need to be prepped for building. This includes grading, tree and brush removal, and stump grinding.

Foundation

Your modular home’s base price may or may not include the price of the foundation. You can also consider adding a basement to your house plan, which can be an added cost but will also add valuable living space.

Taxes, Fees, and Permits

Every state has different taxes, fees, and permits required when building a home. Your modular home builder will know what to apply for and add them to your overall cost.

Delivery and Assembly

Once the modules have been constructed at the factory, they will need to be delivered to your house site and assembled (also called the “button up” phase.)

Utilities

You’ll need to have your new home hooked up to your city’s utilities.

On-Site Build

Some additional features, such as a porch or carport, must be built on site rather than in a factory. These are usually the finishing touches that ground your home.

Your Savings

There are some costs you don’t have to worry about with a modular home that you’ll most likely face if you choose a stick-built home.

  • Paying top dollar for materials. Modular home materials are purchased in bulk and stored in a controlled environment, saving you money.
  • Higher construction costs. A stick built home takes much longer to build than a modular home, meaning labor costs will add up.
  • In general, a stick built home requires more on site labor than a modular home.

Building a modular home instead of a stick built home allows you to enjoy significant savings without sacrificing the quality of customization options you’re looking for. Click here to see how modular homes compare to stick built homes.

If you’re ready to get started building your dream home, contact Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington or browse our floor plans.

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Should I Buy or Build My Next House?

Whether you’re ready to purchase your first house or you’ve outgrown your current home, it’s time to decide: should you buy a pre-built house, or customize and build a new house on your own land?

Building a new modular home with Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington will allow you to get your dream house for less than the cost of a traditional stick built home, and save you from the hassle and expense of renovating an older home.  

Whether you choose to build or buy, below you’ll find some of the pros and cons of each to help you make a decision.

Buying a House

Pros

  • Convenience is an important factor to many home buyers. Buying a house rather than building comes with fewer decisions to make.
  • You can move in sooner when buying a home. Timing may or may not be an important factor in your decision to buy or build. If you are relocating to start a new job or school, you probably won’t have the time to wait for your new home to be built.
  • There is no need to locate or purchase land if you buy a house that is already built.
  • Buying a house usually has lower upfront costs when compared to building a traditional stick-built house.

Cons

  • Older houses can have hidden problems that can mean costly fixes, either upfront or over time. Toxic building materials such as asbestos, outdated plumbing or electrical systems that don’t meet building codes, and evidence of underlying structural damage are all potential problems that come with buying a home. Hiring a building inspector to look through the house can help, but an inspection won’t catch every issue.
  • An older, outdated house will have a lower resale value than a newer, more updated home. New home-based technologies and advances in energy efficiency are highly desired features for home buyers.
  • Your new home will likely be less energy efficient than any house that you build. Not only does an energy efficient home help the environment, it also saves you money on your utility bills. Upgrading a home to become more energy efficient can be costly.

Building a House

Pros

  • Customization is one of the best advantages of building a home. While you can always renovate an existing house, building a house allows you to customize every aspect of your home from start to finish.
  • Newly built houses are going to be much more energy efficient than an older house that you buy. This will save you money on energy bills, and prevent expensive HVAC repairs or replacements.
  • Building codes and regulations on materials are always changing. When you build a house, you’ll know everything in your home is up to date, follows the most current building codes, and won’t contain any toxic building materials, structural issues, water damage, pests, or mold.
  • New houses are more likely to have the updated features and finishes that provide a greater resale value. When you’re ready to sell, you won’t need to spend much on upgrades.
  • It can actually be cheaper to build a house if you choose a modular home over a stick built house. A modular home allows for the same level of customization with lower overall costs and a shorter timeline.

Cons

  • Building a home has a longer timeframe than simply buying a house that’s already built. Modular homes take on average 3-4 months to build, and a stick built house can take 6-12 months on average. However, the customization you get out of it will make your home more likely to fit your family for longer.
  • You’ll need land before you can start the planning and construction for your new home. When you build a modular home with Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington, all you need to do is pick out the land you want, and we’ll take care of the rest!
  • Building a home is a more involved process than simply buying one, especially if you want customized options. That means more decision making on your part. Your builder or housing consultant can help guide you through the decisions of building a home

When deciding whether to build or buy your next house, it often comes down to key factors such as cost, time, and your own wishlist. If you want a home that’s energy efficient, meets quality standards, and is customized to fit your style, consider building a modular home.

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The Benefits of Granite Countertops and Laminate Floors

Should You Upgrade?

The Benefits of Granite Countertops and Laminate Floors


Does your vision of your dream home include high-end upgrades such as beautiful granite countertops and sleek laminate flooring? In this post, we’ll explain the benefits of both, and tell you how you can get one of these upgrades for free when you build your next home with Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington!

granite countertops

Benefits of Granite Countertops


What is granite?

By definition, granite is an igneous rock that contains a quartz content of 20% or more. This durable rock can be cut and polished until smooth and contains unique and beautiful patterns based on its individual mineral content.

Below are some of the reasons why people choose granite countertops:

  • It’s durable enough to resist chips, scratches, and cracks.
  • Granite is a naturally occurring stone that has a variety of colors and patterns
  • The non-porous surface resists bacteria and dirt, making it a safe and healthy choice for your family’s kitchen
  • It’s easy to maintain and keep clean, and resists staining
  • The heat resistant surface means you can move pots from the stove or baking sheets from the oven directly to your countertop without having to worry!
granite countertops

Most importantly, granite countertops add value to your home. Everyone knows granite as one of the preferred countertop materials for a kitchen, so hearing that a kitchen already contains granite is a huge selling point!

granite countertops

Benefits of Laminate Floors


What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a synthetic floor surface, meaning it’s man-made. Laminate flooring is made by pressing layers of materials together into a single, durable board that resists moisture and warping, and can be designed to look like any material, including wood.

People choose laminate floors because…

  • The strong external layer of laminate flooring is resistant to scratching and perfect for high traffic areas.
  • The colors won’t fade in sunlight, unlike hardwood finishes
  • The stain resistant surface makes cleaning spills a breeze
  • It comes in a wide range of styles and colors to mimic stone, tile, and wood
  • Airtight, moisture-resistant seal prevents warping and mold
  • Laminate sustainable and can be made to look like expensive hardwood while still using recycled materials
  • Resistant to the accumulation of both dust and mold, it’s a great choice for people with allergies
granite countertops

Best of all, laminate is affordable! Get the look of any finish you want, including those expensive hardwood floors, for a fraction of the cost.

Ready to upgrade? Contact Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington today and we’ll add a free granite countertop or laminate flooring upgrade to your house floor plan. Click below to learn more about how our housing experts can build your dream home!

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Modular Homes Versus Manufactured Homes

Driving down the road you see a home for sale that you absolutely love and it fits your budget. Excited, you reach into the brochure box to look over the details when your eyes fall upon the type of home: modular. You look from the brochure to the house, confused as to how this beautiful two-story home of your dreams is a modular home when it looks like it was built right there on the lot.

kitchen-modular

Modular homes often look similar to site-built homes but can cost less while still offering the appearance buyers want.

Many modular homes offer hardwood floors, dining rooms, spacious bedroom, and other positive attributes offered by site-built homes; however, modular homes are built in factories off-site then assembled by local contractors on-site. The homes still meet all code requirements for the site location, as the sections of the home are built according to the codes then put on semi-trailers and delivered to the home-site.

Modular homes, like site built homes, will grow their value over time, but, as with all homes, this is dependent upon the care and maintenance put into the home.

Manufactured homes are what people typically refer to as mobile homes or trailers and are solely built in a factory.

The standards by which manufactured homes are built are federal in nature, not local, and the homes do not maintain their value as easily over time. Built on steel chassis and delivered to the desired location, manufactured homes are delivered on their own wheels with multipart homes being joined onsite at the final location. While the name itself may be a turnoff for potential buyers, manufactured homes offer several newer styles than in the past; many do not resemble the trailers of old.

Ultimately, whether you invest your money in a modular or manufactured home depends upon a few factors, such as budget and personal preference. For a home with many rooms, multiple levels, and other aesthetically pleasing factors; you may want to look into building a modular home. However, for a smaller budget but a home that still has a lot to offer; a manufactured home may be more your style. Whatever the case, both types have a lot to offer potential buyers.

If you want a completely custom home, built in a controlled environment, that is also more energy efficient, then you want a modular home. And, we promise, you won’t be able to tell the difference between your modular home and a site built home!

Give us a call today at 336-226-9066 so we can begin building your dream home!

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Going Camping? Taking a Trip to the Beach? Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Home!

You and your family are leaving in a few days to enjoy your annual vacation. The suitcases are stuffed with clothing, shoes, and outdoor gear; while your car has been cleaned out and prepared to be jam-packed with the suitcases, coolers, and oversized pool floats. Thinking through your to-do list, you realize you need to prepare your home, but other than turning off electronics and locking up is there anything else you should do?

The answer is overwhelmingly, “yes!”

Preventing Break-Ins

Statistics show most break-ins happen within a two-mile radius of the burglar’s home; meaning, the burglar knows your routine and will be able to tell when you are away for an extended period of time.

Making your home look lived-in while you’re away is the top method for preventing burglaries.

Utilizing timers for a few lights and a radio or a television will help make your home look like you haven’t gone anywhere. You could even have a trusted friend come over to turn different lights on for a few nights during your trip. Ensure all your doors and windows are securely locked, as many break-ins occur through unlocked windows and doors. If you do not have a home security system, and even if you do, install a few motion-activated flood lights outside your home for additional lighting that may catch burglars off-guard. If you’re going to be out of town longer than a few days, have a lawn mowing service or friend maintain your lawn so it looks like you have been home to do it.

prepare-home-security

In-Home Safety

Aside from trying to prevent burglaries in your home, you will also want to take steps to prevent fires and other mishaps. Unplug all unnecessary electronics (i.e.: televisions, computers, other small appliances…) to cut down on your electric bill and help prevent electrical fires.

If you can, try to turn water valves for things like your dishwasher off and put your water heater on “vacation” mode for your trip. Rather than turning your thermostat off completely, set it higher than normal (summertime) so it continues to prevent moisture build-up but doesn’t use as much electricity.

What you need to know before building a Modular Home example

Additional Preparation Measures

Taking steps to prevent burglaries, fires, and indoor flooding are the top priorities to prepare for a vacation, but, to ensure you return home to a pleasant house, there are a few more steps to take.

Go through your refrigerator and throw out any items that may expire before you return home; removing all trash and placing it in outdoor garbage cans to prevent unpleasant odors. If your garbage disposal is prone to smelling, run white vinegar and water through the system prior to leaving to help prevent the disposal stench. Finally, give your hotel contact information to a neighbor or trusted friend so they can alert you in the event of an emergency.

Following these steps may help ease anxiety while you are away, so load up the car and prepare to relax and enjoy your trip knowing you prepared your home is fully prepared!

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First Steps to Buying a New Modular Home

You’re finally ready to purchase a new home. You’ve been renting all your life and you just started a new job that will finally allow you to realize the American Dream – owning your very own place! You’ve started looking up homes for sale online, have scouted some builders and have found a few that even look promising. It might feel like you’re well on your way – and you are – but there a few more steps to go through before you send in your first offer!

Step 1: Take stock of your finances.

Purchasing your first home is going to cost a few bucks. From packing supplies to closing costs, you will rarely get by without spending some money. Make sure you have some funds saved up before embarking on this process.

Finances are about more than just how much money you have saved up. They’re about your entire financial picture.

  • How does your credit look?
  • Are there collections?
  • How long have you had your accounts?

These are all questions that are going to come up, especially once you move on to step two…

Step 2: Decide on a mortgage lender.

Picking a lender shouldn’t be something you decide lightly. Mortgage lending is a fairly standardized process at this point, however, not all lenders are created equal. The best way to decide on a lender is to ask around. Your experience can vary greatly even between lenders that work for the same company, so word of mouth is key here. Most of us know someone who has bought a home recently. Take some time, call up that friend or relative, and ask how their experience was.

As a side note – be prepared for the lender to ask for a lot of documentation. Guidelines are strict, but they are that way for your protection.

Step 3: Choose the right real estate agent.

Your real estate agent is your cheerleader and boxing manager, guidance counselor, and coach. Just like selecting a lender, you should use word of mouth when choosing your real estate agent. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this individual, and they will be doing the heavy lifting during negotiations. Their expertise can be invaluable and you want to make sure you’re on the same page with them at all times.

Step 4: Decide on your location – while remaining flexible.

You know what they say – location, location, location! While we don’t know who ‘they’ are, we do understand ‘location.’ Access to highways and shopping centers, the time it takes for you to get to work, neighborhoods, and school districts. These are all factors you must take into account when deciding on where to build your new home. This, for many, is a bigger decision than the type of home itself. Choose an approximate location – but remain flexible. Availability might be limited and it might push you outside your limits a bit. Talk to your newly found realtor to get a good feel for the market in different locations.

Step 5: Pull the trigger!

Once you have the other four pieces in place – you’re almost ready! Selecting a builder to build your dream modular home is the final major decision. You want someone with vision, options, and a perfected process. And, lucky for you, we know just the one!

The First Stages on Buying New Modular Home

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