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December 2019 - Perry Hood Properties, Inc.
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The Pros & Cons of Bamboo Countertops

(3-min read)

On the heels of our recycled paper countertop piece, now we dive into another little-known countertop material — bamboo! Let’s get an idea of what we’re dealing with as well as the pros and cons of the material.

How Bamboo Countertops are Manufactured

Bamboo countertops are manufactured in a very similar fashion to certain varieties of butcher block or plywood countertops. Thin sheets of bamboo are bound together using specially formulated resins and heat to make a tough and durable surface that is fashioned into any style.

The Pros of Bamboo Countertops

  • Relatively inexpensive: Due to the short amount of time it takes to grow and the relatively straight-forward manufacturing process, bamboo countertops are among the more affordable options for those looking for unique countertop material.
  • Environmentally friendly: Bamboo is an extremely fast-growing material that requires few resources to grow. Unlike regular wood, bamboo can be ready to harvest very quickly and literally grows like a weed.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: Bamboo is a reasonably attractive material. This is heightened by the availability of intricate layerings of sheets of bamboo for a single countertop.
  • Antibacterial: Bamboo is naturally non-porous and doesn’t facilitate bacterial growth.
  • Very hard and sturdy: Bamboo is known as an extremely hard material with some varieties found to be harder than even oak or maple.

The Cons of Bamboo Countertops

  • Not stain or water-resistant: Though very strong, bamboo by itself is not as resistant to water damage or stains from various solutions. While combatted with sealants, dents in the resin can expose bamboo to moisture that can lead to damage.
  • Not heat resistant: For as hard as it is, bamboo is a natural material, making it susceptible to scorching at high temperatures.
  • Visible seams: Because bamboo is often provided in a plywood or composite material, any single board of bamboo will contain many visible seams.
  • Not a large variety of color options: The composition of bamboo limits the color options for consumers. While most will select bamboo for its natural aesthetic, this may inhibit one’s ability to match tones across various kitchen color schemes consistently.
  • Susceptible to denting and chipping: Though hard, bamboo is not impervious to dents or chips from very hard kitchen elements. These can damage the sealant coating, but this is frequently easily repaired even by those with limited wood maintenance know-how.
  • Occasional maintenance: Over time, bamboo countertops will require upkeep in the way any such wood table top would. This usually involves sanding and resealing the surface of the countertop. Though somewhat of a hassle, this is not nearly as labor-intensive as some other countertop material options. When maintenance is performed, it is crucial that food-safe sealants and coating are used.

When properly cared for, bamboo countertops can be an attractive option for a variety of household furniture applications.

What are your thoughts on bamboo countertops? Would you consider installing them in your kitchen or bathroom?

Why buy when you can build?

If you’re interested in building the home of your dreams in the greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area, you’re invited to learn more about your friends at Perry Hood Properties.

A Countertop Made of…Paper? The Pros & Cons of Recycled Paper Countertops

Photograph credit to Seattle kitchen company Viola Park (a subdivision of Henrybuilt).

(4-min read)

When building a new home, the material possibilities are endless. Moving into the kitchen doesn’t simplify things. Ceramic tile, butcher block, granite, quartz — these are the usual countertop suspects these days. What would you say about a countertop made of…paper? Yep, recycled paper is now a countertop material option coming to a kitchen near you.

But, Just…How?

The idea of a countertop made of paper sounds downright zany. Before you image your counters wrapped in brown paper grocery bags like textbooks were in the ’80s and ’90s, let’s help you understand what these paper countertops are actually like. The recycled paper is heavily, heavily processed before it becomes anything resembling a surface worthy of your cutting board or mixing bowl. The paper is combined with a series of resins, heated, and shaped to any configuration imaginable. The material manufacturing process was originally developed for marine applications as well as skateboard parks, science labs, and the like. All of this equates to a material that is built to last.

What’s it Like?

“Well, if it isn’t like the paper I’m used to, what is it like?” Good question, voice in my head. Recycled paper countertop material takes on the look and feel of a mono-tone stone. Many styles have a matte-like aesthetic that comes in a variety of shades.

The Advantages of Recycled Paper Countertops

There’s no doubt that recycled paper countertop manufacturers are going to need to make a good case for their product before it is expected to compete with the likes of granite or quartz. So far, they have some bragging rights.

  • Easy Installation: The paper composite is much lighter in comparison to its stone competitors, making it easier to heft around, shape, cut, and attach to wherever it needs to be.
  • Eco-friendly: Most of the materials for countertops is either made of recycled paper or acquired via sustainably harvested woodlands.
  • Tough: While no one is saying that recycled paper composite countertops are as hard as stone, their hardness is somewhere between stone and wood.
  • Water-resistant: Because they were originally designed for marine environments and skateboard parks, you can rest assured that a paper countertop can handle water. They’re sealed with a robust resin that is impervious to moisture. It can take all of the spills you can throw at it and won’t harbor bacteria. This also means that they’re easy to clean, but not with bleach.
  • Indoor or outdoor use tested: Whether you’d like to use it for the countertops in your kitchen or your outside dining area, recycled paper countertops can take a beating from outdoor elements.

The Disadvantages to Recycled Countertops

For all of their perks, recycled countertops do have a handful of drawbacks.

  • Limited colors (for now): There aren’t tons of recycled paper countertop companies at the moment, meaning the color options for this material are limited at present.
  • Scorchability (that’s a word, right?): Yes, they’re still made of, what is essentially wood. This means that they scorch. However, their heat rating is around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Patina-prone: Over time, the color of these countertops may fade slightly and develop a slight patina. Some consider this a perk, but we’re going to be safe and consider it a con.
  • Not recyclable: Though made from recycled materials, recycled paper countertops are not, themselves, recyclable. This is due to the sturdy resin used to bind the material together. The sections can be repurposed, though.

So, what do you think about recycled paper countertops? Would you consider installing some in your home?

Ready to build your dream home?

If you’re looking to build your dream home in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area or merely have questions, you’re invited to learn more about Perry Hood Properties.

The Perks of Building a Home Over Buying

(3-min read)

Whether you’re ready to expand, downsize, or merely stop paying rent, the decision to buy a home is one that should not be taken lightly. While you may assume that this is the only path to homeownership, building a home is becoming more accessible than ever. In this piece, we’re going to look at a handful of reasons why building a home can be a better option than buying an existing one.

No Settling & No Compromises

Shopping for a new home essentially means choosing the best house that is on the market in the area where you want to move at the time you’re looking to buy. Because you’re selecting the best of a handful of homes, trade-offs and compromises are unavoidable. Even if you’re sold on 99% of the house, there are going to be aspects of an existing home that you don’t care for. On the other hand, when you opt to build a house, there’s really no need to compromise. You can feel better about fully committing to a home you’re going to love for decades to come.

Less Pressure in the Buying Process

When buying a home, you’re also participating in a competition—you versus everyone else who may want to purchase this house. Once you find a home that seems to meet your requirements, the race is on to make the most significant investment of your life before other home buyers beat you to the punch. When you build a new home, however, there’s no such hourglass that has been flipped over. You can take your time to make a fully informed decision in regards to your new home.

Increased Peace of Mind

A good deal of home buying is crossing your fingers, hoping that nothing breaks for a good while. The house may have hidden issues that may decide to rear their ugly head at the most inopportune time. Building a new home removes this mystery-induced anxiety. When all materials and components are brand new, the possibility of a significant maintenance issue creeping up is very low. Even if it does occur, many home builders provide extended warranties on their projects.

Modern Efficiency Upgrades

When people say, “they don’t make them like they used to” in regards to houses, they mean to say that they’re made better than they were in the past. Modern home design and residential construction mean an unmatched dedication to energy efficiency. Different construction styles, newer insulation materials, and specialized windows mean that you will pay significantly less in utilities than you otherwise would in an older, previously existing home. Even the way newer homes are wired can lead to increased energy efficiency and lower utility rates for you going forward.

Getting Precisely What You Want

Playing off the first perk of building a home over buying, one of the most significant benefits is the amount of control you have over virtually every aspect of the house. You get to select the floor plan, materials, colors, the light fixtures, the doors, and even the doorknobs. Building a new home means that you get to decide how every inch looks and operates.

Have additional questions about building your dream home? We have answers! Feel free to learn more about new home construction from Perry Hood Properties.

5 Tips to Saving for a Down Payment on a Home (+ Bonus Savings Game)

(4-min read)

A down payment on a house is one of the most substantial sums of money many will save at one time in their life. Needing to save up such a large chunk of change can be anxiety-inducing. To make the process less stressful, here are a few tips to help you to save for your down payment.

1. Set Up a Separate “Down Payment” Savings Account

Even if you’re setting aside a certain amount of money into your primary savings account each month for your down payment, it’s best if you have a separate savings account dedicated to your down payment. There are a few different reasons why this is a good idea.

A. Clarity. By making a separate savings account, you won’t have to do the mental math necessary to see just how much you have saved for your down payment. It will be as clear as day how far you’ve come.

B. No dipping. Having a separate savings account for your down payment goal will decrease your likelihood of dipping into it for purposes other than a down payment. In fact, make a rule that you’ll never touch that account for any reason other than finally providing your down payment.

2. Set Goals & Timelines

One of the most challenging aspects of saving large sums of money is visualizing the process. Though you’re making a dent, simply throwing amounts of money into a savings account over time may feel like you’re throwing it down a bottomless hole. To help you stay motivated, a little bit of math may be in order. Calculate not only how much you need to save, but also how long it will take to do so. When you can put a number on your finish line, you will be able to see how far you’ve come at any step in the process. Seeing your success may be the motivation you need to keep chipping away at that final amount.

3. Automate Your Savings Transfers

Even though moving money from your checking account to your savings account is relatively easy to do, it can be fraught with emotional difficulties. It’s easy to justify why, maybe this pay period, you need to hold onto a little more of your paycheck rather than move it to savings. When you set up automatic transfers from checking to savings following paycheck deposits, you reduce a great deal of friction in the saving process. In fact, you may not even notice that it’s happening until you look at your savings account balance several months later. 

“Where did all this money come from? Oh, yeah — from me!”

4. Reassess Your Luxuries vs. Your Needs

One of your most significant hurdles to saving for a down payment on a home may be your current lifestyle. A step to overcoming that hurdle is assessing needs versus niceties. Look at your spending habits for areas where you can cut back. It may be the unnecessary restaurant and take-out spending, monthly entertainment subscription services, or truly needing the latest phone when your current phone works fine. Take what you normally would have spent on frivolous purchases and throw them into your down payment savings account.

Make a game out of determining how little you truly need to be happy. Spoiler alert: It’s usually much less than you thought.

Bonus Tip: The “Below Your Means” Game

Many of us think we’re living within our means we’re actually not. One reason this is so is due to spending money from other paychecks outside of our most current one or unsustainable credit card transactions. Just because you’re not overdrawing your checking account doesn’t mean you’re not spending more than you make. If you’re not living below your means, saving toward a down payment will be virtually impossible.

The “Below Your Means” Game: The next time you receive a paycheck, transfer any remaining sum out of your checking account into savings or to investments. For example, if you have $400 in your checking account the night before payday and then were paid $1,500 through automatic deposit, move that $400 to savings. Not only will this help you quickly start to build your savings, but it will force you to live below your means.

Why buy when you can build?

Building a home customized to your needs has never been easier than it is with the help of Perry Hood Properties. Learn more about how to get started building your dream home in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area today.



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