5 Signs a Home is Going to be a Money Pit

(3-min read)

For most people, buying a home is the most significant investment of their life. This makes the buying process something not to be entered into lightly. Even though the scariest houses have been transformed into dream homes, you don’t want to end up trapped in a money pit. There are a handful of signs that the house you’re looking to buy is going to be a third-degree migraine. 

1. The Electric System is Outdated or Downright Scary

While the electrical infrastructure of a house can be upgraded, fixed, or totally replaced, it’s definitely not going to be cheap. When touring a house that you’re considering buying, pay close attention to fixtures and outlets. Are the electrical outlets grounded (two holes vs. three)? If they’re not, this is just a telltale sign that the rest of the house’s electric system is in near shambles. Ask to see the electrical service panel. If the sight of it makes you uncomfortable, this does not bode well for its future. 

2. Telltale Signs of Structure Issues

The wise man built his house upon the rock, but if the home you’re looking at is crumbing, your bank balance will be too by the time you fix the home’s foundation. Look around the outside of the house and especially the basement. Take special note of any cracks you find and their placement. Walking through the home, check to see how easily doors open and close. A door that sticks or doesn’t close completely is an indicator that the foundation likely has significant issues. 

3. Old or Substandard Plumbing

When looking at a house you’re considering buying, ask about the plumbing. When was the last time the pipes were changed? What are they made of? If the water is turned on, you may be able to conduct some tests of your own. Find the bathroom most distant from the water heater. Crank the bathtub water on thoroughly followed by the bathroom sink and then flush the toilet. Look to see if the bathtub water slows down. If so, you’re likely looking at needing new plumbing. 

4. Signs of Water Damage

While you’re in the basement or walking along the outside of the house inspecting the foundation, keep an eye out of signs of water damage. Warped materials, watermarks, and other signs of moisture may indicate water damage. This damage may be insignificant, but could also spell expensive mold removal. 

5. The Roof is in Rough Shape

Remember to inquire about the roof. If the roof looks rough, you may have more than just a new roof to pay for. A leaky roof can lead to water damage that may not be visible until it’s too late. 

If you don’t want to take your chances with a potential money pit, perhaps a new custom home build is what the doctor ordered. The home building professionals from Perry Hood Properties are excited to work with you to help you build the home of your dreams. 

Tell me more about building a new home with Perry Hood Properties.

4 Ways to Dampen Sound in Your Home

(2-min read)

Your home should be a place for peace and quiet. With that being said, sometimes quiet can be harder to maintain from room to room. Whether your kids like to crank their stereos to 11 or you don’t want to wake the baby sleeping during a dinner party, managing sound can be tricky. Let’s take a look at four simple techniques you can use to dampen sound within the home. 

Dampening Sound with Soft Elements

An uncluttered space can feel great, but sparsely-furnished rooms can end up being filled with echoes. To keep echoes to a minimum, consider incorporating softer elements into a room. Longer cloth drapes, throw pillows, and area rugs can absorb rogue sound waves without cluttering the space or breaking the bank. 

Ceiling-Mounted Acoustic Tiles

For as unsightly as it may be, popcorn ceiling insulation dramatically reduced sounds from bouncing around the room. For the same effect without the unsettling texture, acoustic ceiling tiles can help achieve the same desired dampening effect. Acoustic ceiling tiles aren’t costly, and you can usually install them yourself over the weekend. 

Seal Up Sound Leaks from Doors

One of the main culprits of sound leakage are gaps under and above doors — especially in spaces where wood or tiles floors exist. To cozy up the sound in a particular area, you can use weather stripping made of foam rubber under doors and along doorjambs. Most weather stripping can be found for relatively little cash in rolls at your local hardware store. This stripping comes with an adhesive strip on the back. Cut it to size, pull back the stripping, slap under your doors, and enjoy the quiet. 

Professional Acoustic Insulation

Just because you want to watch Transformers in surround sound doesn’t mean that the rest of your house wants to hear it. For those with home theatre systems, consider installing professional acoustic insulation. Designed for theater spaces and recording studios, this insulation comes in panels that can be strategically attached to the walls of wherever you want to kill excess noise in your home. 

Is your old home just naturally noisy? Maybe it’s time to upgrade. Enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with a newly constructed custom home from your friends at Perry Hood Properties. 

Tell me more about custom homes from Perry Hood Properties.

How to Easily Plot Your Furniture Layout (+3 Tool Recommendations)

(4-min read)

So, you’re moving into a new place. Congratulations! Whether you’ve purchased a new house or you’re renting a new home or apartment, there is a lot of planning to do. One task is determining your furniture layout. While you can do it the hard way — eyeballing it and moving things where you think they’ll make sense — you can save your back with these methods for designing the furniture layout of your new space. 

Method 1: Sketch Your Furniture Layout

This method is probably one of the most popular ways of designing your furniture layout. Why? Simplicity. For a rough idea of where to put things, all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. If you want to be more exact, you’ll also need a tape measure. 

  • Start by measuring the rooms in your new home as well as your furniture. 
  • Sketch an outline of your floorplan. The easiest way to adjust for size is by making 1 foot = 1 inch.
  • Keeping the sizing in mind, very lightly sketch a bird’s-eye view of the furniture in places where you feel it may fit best. Keep the sketching light so you can erase to draw various placement ideas. 

Method 2: Use to-scale furniture cut-outs. 

Enjoy arts and crafts? Even if you’re not that crafty, this method of furniture layout is still within your grasp. All you’ll need is a few pieces of paper, a pencil, a tape measure, and some scissors. 

  • Like method 1, measure the floorplan of your new home to make a 1 foot = 1-inch rendering. 
  • On a separate sheet of paper, draw a bird’s eye view rendering of your furniture to scale. Write what each piece of furniture is and which room it belongs within for easy recollection — for instance, “Sofa, Living Room.” 
  • Once you have your above-view furniture drawn, cut them out of the piece of paper. 
  • Using the cut-out furniture pieces, lay them out on the floorplan. Move them into different places to determine which furniture layout design is best. Don’t forget to account for the direction doors will open. 
  • Use your phone camera to snap images of your favorite layout ideas — not just the one you like the most. These second and third choices will come in handy in case your ideal layout doesn’t end up being possible. 

Method 3: Use of mobile apps or computer programs. 

Many different applications allow you to forgo using paper and retain a digital version of your ideas. Most of these applications will even include various furniture choices that may closely resemble your items. Other applications may be able to provide a three-dimensional preview of how the room will look with the furniture in place. 

There are a handful of downsides to using computer programs and mobile applications. 

  • Cost: Many of these applications are free, but some with advanced features may cost a few dollars. 
  • Learning curve: While most of the apps are relatively intuitive, figuring out how to use them may take a few minutes. 
  • Not to scale: Even though the furniture options available in these applications vary, you will rarely find options that are precise to scale with your furniture. For smaller homes or apartments, this may become an issue when it comes to positioning your furniture following the layout you’ve designed in the application. 

Here are a few furniture layout design options to consider: 

Haverty’s 2D Room Planner
This web-based room designer tool is free and reasonably straight forward for use on a computer. 

Just as the web address states, this no-frills room designer gives you the tools you need to design the furniture layout for your home. 

Magic Plan.
This mobile application available on iOS (iPhone/iPad) or Android allows those with minimal room-designing experience to design their room layout quickly. While the main app is free to use, it does contain in-app purchase options for additional features. 

Why settle for someone else’s floor plan when you can make your own?
If you’re tired of conforming to the layouts of others, perhaps a custom-made home is the right choice for you. 

“Yes, I’d like to speak with a Perry Hood Properties representative.” 

How to Transform a Bedroom into a Home Office

(4.5- min read)
Becoming an empty nester can be emotionally challenging. While you may enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with fewer people living in your house, it can be tempting to keep grown children’s bedrooms just as they left them. Wouldn’t it be nice to turn this space into a functional office? Today, we’re going to discuss how to transform a bedroom into a dedicated home office. 

Start from Scratch

Many make the mistake of merely throwing a desk in the corner of an existing bedroom and calling it an office. Keeping elements of a bedroom in your new office space will hamper your ability to think of the area as an office as long as it still feels like a cozy bedroom. To make the space as functional as possible, both functionally and mentally, start from scratch. Treat the space not what it is but rather what it could be. 

An excellent way to start fresh is to strip it bare. Completely empty the room of furniture, decorations, and anything that identifies what it once was. Consider painting the walls a color that inspires focus and productivity. Take measurements and build a floorplan to scale. When planning what furniture and other elements to bring into the space, only add items that will facilitate focused work. 

Dedicate the Space

One of the most challenging aspects of getting work done from home is getting into the proper mindset. While the prospect of working from home on the couch in your pajamas sounds nice, few remote workers do so. Blurring the lines of home and work be detrimental to focus. To combat this, dedicate the space to getting work done. Here are a few more tips for setting the area apart for work: 

  • Make sure the space has a door, possibly even one that locks. Consider adding a “do not disturb” door hanger to use when trying to maintain focus.
  • Only bring in items that inspire rather than tranquilize. Hang up your certifications, degrees, or achievements on the walls while keeping scented candles away.
  • Assign duties to your furniture. Have a chair that’s only for sitting in to do business. Keep home-like items off of your desk. Stock a bookshelf with books related to your industry. 
  • Keep TVs out of your office. You probably wouldn’t have a TV in your office at work. Don’t include them in your home office. 

Keep the Utilities in Mind

When setting up your home office, keep in mind the location of electrical outlets and HVAC vents. Keeping wiring around the room to a minimal will allow you to remain more focused. Noisey vents or papers being blown off of your desk will only distract you.

Plan for Home Noise

Because this office is within your home and not in a business park designed for work, keep residential noises in mind. It may not be a bad idea to look into some sound-dampening if your office is near a noisier living room or entertainment room. If there’s no way around noise, consider installing a stereo system in your office or invest in noise-canceling headphones. 

Consider Your Light Sources

If you like to work in the sunlight, consider positioning your desk or other workspaces near a window. If this isn’t possible, consider installing a light fixture above your desk that will do the trick. Being able to tweak the lighting to your liking is just one of the many perks of a home office. 

Keep Additional Furniture Multifunctional

If your office needs to double as guest quarters from time to time, make sure to keep the guest-related furniture multifunctional. Determine what percentage of time the space will be used for what purpose and plan the layout of the room accordingly. No sense in keeping a king-sized bed in a room will only be used five days a year. Consider using Murphy beds or sofa beds that can fold out at a moment’s notice rather than a permanent bed. 

Warn Your Kids

You may be gung-ho to turn your grown child’s bedroom into your personal business center, and that’s your prerogative, but keep them updated on your intent and the progress. It can be somewhat jarring for a child in college to come home for a visit only to find their childhood bedroom wholly transformed into your command center.

Not enough room for a home office? Perhaps it’s time for a new space.

If a new home makes the most sense for your current life situation, the home building experts from Perry Hood Properties would love to help. 

Schedule an appointment with a Perry Hood Properties home builder today.

Clutter & Cortisol: Using Home Design To Eliminate the Stress of Stuff

(4.5-min read)

The following scenario may sound familiar to many of us. You come home from a long day at work or from driving the kids to their various activities. The home is a wreck. More than untidy, it feels like items have begun to accumulate all over the house over the past several weeks or even months. A feeling of disappointment or even anxiety may flare up inside as you walk through the door. You’re definitely not alone in this feeling. In this piece, we’re going to look at how clutter has been linked to heightened stress as well as how to control your collection of assorted stuff before it controls your emotions.

Clutter Linked To Stress

It may seem like the build-up of clutter in your house is only dangerous if you trip on it in the middle of the night or early morning. We wish this were true, but it isn’t. According to a study by the UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), women who consider their homes to be overly cluttered and filled with unnecessary or misplaced items had higher levels of cortisol — the hormone associated with stress. Extended periods of stress can result in heart conditions, impaired cognitive abilities, and digestive issues. Ever just feel off? Part of the reason could be your cluttered house.

Practical Clutter Reduction Tips

Reducing the amount of clutter in your home isn’t rocket science, but rather just requires being more intentional about the items you bring into your home and what to do with them once they’re there.

  • Disregard “might use” items. If you’re holding onto items simply because you “might use” them one day, they’re likely just taking up space in your house as well as your mind. This goes for items that you have already upgraded. That box or drawer full of old phones and random cables likely isn’t helping out your mental state at all.
  • Assign places for your things. It sounds overly simplistic, but simply having an assigned spot in your house for your items can take a load off of your mind. This process not only reduces clutter-induced stress but has two other benefits. Firstly, you will always know where this item is when you need it. Secondly, this will gauge whether or not you need to keep this item. If you don’t have space for it, think hard about whether or not you need to keep it.
  • Gravitate towards multifunction or multi-use items. Instead of buying an item you will only use once or only has one function, consider purchasing items you can use time and time again as well as items that have multiple functions. This is especially true when it comes to kitchen gadgets, which can quickly clutter kitchen drawers.
  • Tidy your garage as though it is another room. It is pretty rare to have a tidy garage as most people simply consider it a space for overflow. If an item has been residing in your garage for years without use, the likelihood that it will be used in the next few years is slim. A tidied garage can have a surprising effect on stress levels and your mental state.

Using Home Design To Reduce Clutter

Organizing and decluttering can greatly help relieve stress you didn’t know you were experiencing. However, in order to make your home less likely to build up clutter in the first place, some elements of custom home design can help.

  • Tame clutter with built-in storage. Once you have a good idea of how a space will be used, you can start to design custom storage solutions to organize the necessary items that the room contains. Built-in cabinets can hide unsightly items. Built-in bookshelves can help organize and tame book collections. Built-in display cases can revive the usefulness of cherished items once taking up space in your closet or attic.
  • Utilize recessed storage. Bulky cabinets can stick out and make a space feel cramped. However, recessed storage elements flush with a wall can increase the feeling of openness in a living room, kitchen, or even bedroom. Consider recessed built-in storage options when designing or remodeling your home.
  • Take advantage of vertical headspace. Most homes today have heightened ceilings. Take advantage of this increased verticle space to store items in higher areas where they are out of your eye-level. Keep the items you need within eye level and easy to access. Less often used items can afford to be kept up higher with a step-stool nearby. If you find yourself needing to store something you rarely use, consider selling, donating, or throwing it away.

For help designing a new home with clutter-reduction built-in, feel free to learn more about and connect with the custom home builder professionals from Perry Hood Properties.

Building a Home Gym You’ll Want To Use

(7-min read)

We’ve all been there — you tell yourself that you’re going to make strides to get into shape via exercise…and then proceed to fail. Whether you just never get started or you over-buy and underuse, it’s easy to fall victim to your own fleeting drive. In this piece, we’re going to look at building a home gym space that you will actually want to use.

The Psychology of Your Workout Space

“Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” – James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

We’ve used that quote in pieces before, but we wouldn’t if it wasn’t so true. When it comes to your home gym, if your mind isn’t in it, it will be nothing more than a storage room for your exercise equipment. It’s for this reason that we need to change the dynamic and rethink how we see the space.

This isn’t your home gym. This is the place where exercise happens.

If you assume that exercise will happen in your home gym once you fill it full of expensive exercise equipment, you’re likely to fall victim to what is known as a “false start.” If you’ve ever purchased that expensive set of golf clubs in hopes that they will motivate you to hit the greens, only to never make it out there, you understand this concept completely. A false start in the realm of your home gym can happen just as easily. If you don’t think of the space itself as an area of your home where exercise happens, even the fanciest equipment won’t help. It’s crazy how quickly treadmill can become a $3,000 towel rack when we’re not serious about facing our workout goals.

Trick to try:

Before you place a single barbell or piece of exercise equipment in your home gym, clear out the room completely and use the space solely for solo exercise. Run in place. Do jumping jacks, push-ups, planking, and other exercises that don’t require any equipment whatsoever. After a few days or weeks, this space will become your home gym in your mind before it ever materializes physically. After a while, doing jumping jacks in an empty room will start to feel somewhat silly. Still, this space will feel more like a gym and less like a closet for your workout gear.

Add Equipment Piece By Piece

Once you’ve mentally dedicated the space as the location of your physical exercise, you may begin adding exercise equipment piece by piece. Start small and work one at a time depending on your actual workout routine. Maybe start with a set of hand weights or a jump rope. A few weeks or months later, if you feel up to it, install a pull-up bar. Take baby steps to make your gym customized to exercises you actually do.

Only Buy the Equipment You’ll Use

It can feel tempting that, just because a transaction went through on some new sneakers, you’ll start to see gains on new equipment. If you’re not ready for it, it will likely collect dust. Don’t buy a treadmill just because you feel like a gym isn’t a gym without one. Instead, buy a treadmill because you’re tired of running in place. Don’t buy a benchpress set because that’s what a gym has. Buy it because you’re tired of doing bench-presses laying on the floor, pushing your hand weights towards the ceiling.

Trick to try:

If you’re thinking about buying a piece of equipment, put that piece of equipment on your calendar a month away. In the meantime, start doing exercises that the piece of equipment would help you with. Before you buy a rowing machine, replicate the movement with elastic bands in a sitting position on the floor. Before you buy a punching bag, try shadow boxing. By delaying purchases and trying out their benefits, you may find that you wouldn’t actually enjoy the kind of exercise the equipment offers or that you don’t actually need it to achieve similar results.

By only buying what you need once you’re ready to incorporate it into your workout, your home gym won’t be cluttered with unnecessary equipment.

Organize Your Gym In a Transparent, Inspiring Nature

If a plate of cookies were sitting on your kitchen table, you would probably grab one every time you went to get a glass of water. Over time, you’d probably want to consider changing out the plate of cookies with a bowl of apples. Your gym should have the same kind of environmental cues associated with it.

Your home gym is a place to get work done. Like any other workplace, it should be tidy. With that being said, don’t hide pieces of equipment in drawers where you’re likely to forget they exist. Organize your gym equipment where you easily see everything you have. Install a hook on the wall for your jump rope. Keep your weights on a rack where they are visible. Also, keep your equipment organized in accordance with your workout. If you start your workout stretching, leave an open space by the door that allows you to do so. If you then move on to jumping rope, keep that located on a wall hook just outside of that space, followed by weights just beyond that. Allow the flow of your gym to take you on a journey through your workout.

You May Start With No Mirrors

As you start building up your home gym, you may be tempted to copy the look and feel of a regular, subscription-based gym — including installing huge mirrors. If you’re just starting your workout journey, you may hold off on the mirrors for a while. According to an article in Psychology Today, those with body issues may be deterred from continuing their exercise routine if they can see themselves in mirrors all the time. Even if you know that you’re not quite in the best shape yet, you know that you don’t look your best when you’re struggling through a workout. While you may be on your way to six-pack abs and toned limbs, mirrors may make you feel hopeless at first.

Make Appointments For Your Home Gym Use

When you schedule time on your calendar to use your own home gym, you’re more likely to keep the agreement you’ve made with yourself. Treat it like you’ve paid for a membership and you don’t want your money to go to waste. This is actually pretty spot-on as you’ve definitely paid for the use of this gym.

Don’t Break The Chain

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld attributes much of his success to never “breaking the chain.” By this, he’s referring to a habit he developed of writing one joke every day. It could be great, it could be terrible, but just the act of doing this act is what led to notebook after notebook filled with jokes. On every day that he wrote a joke, he would draw a huge red “X” on the calendar date of a calendar that hung on his wall. His goal was to never “break the chain” of Xs. In a similar way, you may consider hanging a generic calendar on your gym wall with a red pen or marker hanging next to it on a string. For every day you work out, X out the date. See how long you can go without breaking the chain.

If you’d like help designing your ideal home gym space, you may consider factoring this into your new home build with help from Perry Hood Properties.

Learn more about the experienced home building professionals from Perry Hood Properties today.

Transforming Your Guest Room into a Serene Old-Fashioned Study

(3.5-min read)

As a society, we’ve never been more connected. Personal computers with access to every person we know (and don’t know) fit in the palm of our hands. Open-concept floorplans are great for parties but provide no space for private contemplation. Perhaps it is time to put down the screens from time to time and reconnect to the stoic contemplation that our grandparents enjoyed. Perhaps it is time to consider transforming your guest room into a multifunctional study.

Making Use of the Unused Guest Room

home library reading nook studyMany homes today enjoy the luxury of a guest room. However, many of us don’t set foot in our guest rooms when they’re not used for their intended purpose. Even worse, when these spaces are not utilized, they often fill with unnecessary clutter and may even become unusable for their intended purpose. In order to give your guest room a sense of utility as well giving yourself a place to retire in quiet contemplation, transforming your guest room into a multifunctional study has never felt more appealing.

Using a Murphy Bed or Hide-A-Bed Sofa

murphy bedYour guest room may not feel like anything more than an unoccupied bedroom. This is due largely in part to the large bed that occupies the entire room when not in use (which is most of the time). In order to be able to make great use of your guest room when not occupied, an easily concealable Murphy bed or hide-a-bed sofa is a great choice. Murphy beds allow any unused bed to fold into the wall. Hide-a-bed sofas provide great seating for enjoying a coffee on a rainy morning or a cocktail with a novel after hours.

Warming Up Your Study Space

A study can feel like an oasis from the busy world or even a busy home. In order to maximize this warm and cozy feel, there are a few easy methods.

  • Consider removing or concealing TVs and computer monitors. Sometimes, we simply need a break from screens. By removing these screens from sight, you will feel less drawn to be mindlessly carried into the busyness of the outside world and instead settle into that book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Stocked bookshelves provide instant warmth and escape. There are few things more simultaneously appealing and calming than the sight of a fully-stocked bookshelf. Your study can act as the library of your home. After a while, it will feel like the books are begging to be read.
  • Keep your study’s lighting warm and muted. Bright or sterile lighting can feel harsh and irritating. Instead, consider lighting your study with lamps or wall-mounted fixtures with warmer color temperatures.
  • Keep the color palate natural. Bright colors can add energy to any space. For this reason, intentionally mute the colors of your study with warm and natural colors. Wood-grain furniture, leather tones, and brass accents can add an old-world warmth to any modern space.

Studies Make For Relaxing Guest Spaces

One of the biggest advantages of a study/guest room is how much your guests will enjoy their temporary accommodations. Because they will likely not be spending a large duration of their visit in their room, when they finally do retire to the quarters, the warm study will embrace them like a welcoming hug at the end of the day. The muted lighting will help them settle their minds before bed. The stocked bookshelves will not only be aesthetically pleasing and not offensive but will also help muffle outside noise from interfering with their slumber.

If you would like additional help designing your ideal guest room/study, consider including such a space in your custom home build with help from Perry Hood Properties.

Learn more about the homebuilding professionals at Perry Hood Properties today.

7 Signs You Hired a Bad Contractor to Build Your House

(4.5-min read)

Building a house is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make. When doing so, it pays to be diligent in determining which contractor will help you achieve that goal without breaking the bank. You have received a great quote from a contractor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best home building contractor for you. In this piece, we’re going to investigate some of the telltale signs that you shouldn’t be working with a certain home building contractor.

1. They Don’t Get the Proper Building Permits

You’re not expected to know everything about the home-building process — that’s why you hired a home building contractor in the first place. However, if your contractor begins work before securing the proper legal building permits, this could be a terrible sign of what to expect in the future. This denotes that they are hasty, irresponsible, and possibly not even legitimate. Do your homework to determine what building permits are necessary for which stage of your home’s construction and make sure that your contractor has these at the appropriate time. If not, it may be time to have a word with them.

2. They Aren’t Punctual

We all have a lot on our plates, but if your contractor is habitually late to meetings or cancels frequently, this shows their lack of professionalism and dedication to the building of your home. While you need to be professional as well, don’t forget that these people are essentially working for you. If you were the manager of a business and they were your employee, how much would you let a perpetually tardy employee get away with this? Expect this of your contractor as well.

3. They Change the Price Repeatedly

A great deal out of the gate is great, but it can sometimes be too good to be true. A contractor that changes the price is likely either not professional or could be taking you for an expensive ride. When your price is established, discuss the likelihood of price changes in the future. Ask about everything that could happen that may end up changing your prices, down from material upgrades, unforeseen issues, down to even natural disasters. You and your contractor should know precisely how much you’re willing to pay and not exceed this level.

4. They Avoid Contracts and Written Agreements

If someone with the word “contract” in their job title avoids written agreements, they’re likely someone with whom you don’t want to do business. If your contractor avoids written agreements and contracts whenever possible, consider this a bad omen. When you stress that you’d like written agreements for absolutely every bit of work or material purchased, frame it in a way that says, “I’m trying to protect you as well.” If even this doesn’t change their attitude, don’t walk — run!  

5. They Are Often Out of Reach

You should have your contractor’s phone number handy. If they don’t give it to you, ask them for it and what the best hours are for you to reach them. If they always seem out of reach during the agreed-upon hours, this means that (a.) they’re going through a personal crisis or family emergency, (b.) they are unprofessional, or (c.) they are avoiding you. Any of these means that they are likely not the contractor to work on your home at this time. Apply the rule from #2 here as well — if they were your employee at a company, would you tolerate this behavior?

6. They Don’t Provide Examples of Work

If a contractor you’ve found can’t provide you with examples of their work or past clients willing to provide a testimonial/reference for them, this is not the contractor you want building your home. This lack of demonstrated experience provides too many variables for your tremendous investment.

7. Their Prices Seem Too Good to Be True

A great deal can feel like God-send during the stressful time of building you house. Still, if the price is too good to be true, it likely is. An inordinately low price quote can mean that your contractor may not be on the up-and-up. Either they’re not paying for the proper insurance, training, management, registration, personnel, or they will expect you to budge a bit in your expectations of them in the future (“be happy I’m giving you a great deal”). Just like in other parts of life, when it comes to a cheap contractor, you often get what you pay for.

Don’t get stuck with an unprofessional home-building contractor. Perry Hood Properties has a proven track record of building the highest quality home on time and on budget.

Learn more about the home-building professionals from Perry Hood Properties today.

Opening Windows During Tornado To Relieve Pressure?

There is a belief that reemerges around tornado season most years about opening windows in your house during a tornado in order to protect them. While you may be scratching your head, let us examine the science behind this as well as whether or not this is a worthwhile practice.

Why Some Say To Open Your Windows

During weather conditions that are ripe for tornados, there are a lot of changes in barometric pressure. When this pressure happens quickly, the pressure inside of your house may not be equal to the pressure outside. There is a belief that this dramatic shift in pressure can cause your damage to your windows. Another school of thought says that this imbalance in pressure can even cause an upward pressure in your home, causing your roof to be more readily lifted off by storm-force winds.

Why You Shouldn’t

While it is true that there are changes in pressure during a storm, these changes in pressure do not merit the effort of opening your windows to relieve the pressure in your house.

Firstly, the pressure is not different enough to make any real difference in your home. The pressure isn’t strong enough to break modern glass windows alone.

Secondly, if your home was built in such a way that upward draft would pull the roof off of the house, a few open windows will not change this. This is more attributed to the load path of the construction of your home and less about the pressure levels in your house.

Another factor to consider is what you should be doing in the event of a tornado — seeking shelter. Not only is running around to open windows turning tornadic conditions a waste of time, but it is also bringing you closer to where you don’t want to be — anywhere near any windows. If you hear that a tornado may be approaching, your best bet is to immediately move to a safe space.

Whether or not your windows or roof will be damaged in a tornado will have nothing to do with whether or not you open windows. All you would be doing is putting yourself at risk of injury by being near windows in a storm.

If you fear that the load path of the construction of your home is inadequate to withstand a storm, you may consider speaking with a home building professional about building a home that is more storm resistant.

Best Construction Practices Against Severe Weather

We all know that there’s no such thing as a house that is “tornado-proof” outside of living in a bunker. However, if you’re building a house in tornado-prone places such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or other Midwestern states, there some building practices to keep in mind to minimize the potential damage to your home.

The Last Building Standing

There was an architect out of Waco, Texas at the beginning of the 20th century who claimed that his buildings were tornado-proof. (This man, Roy E. Lane, happens to be the great-grandfather of his article’s author.) He designed what is now the ALICO Building located in Downtown Waco. Upon claiming that his building was tornado-proof, most people scoffed at the idea. After a while, a tornado swept through the center of Waco, wiping out most everything in its path…aside from the ALICO Building. To this day, the ALICO Building is the only remaining high-rise building in all of Waco, Texas.

Is this because the building was truly tornado-proof? We may never know. What we do know is that there are designs, building styles, and materials that may decrease storm-related damage to your home — many of which were involved in the building of the ALICO Building. Here are some that you may consider instituting in the construction of a new home.

Continuous Load Path Structures

We all know that a house can fall down, but did you also know that a house can fall up? When a pressure imbalance from a storm approaches a house, it can literally use this imbalance to lift the building’s roof from the rest of the structure. A house can also fall sideways, usually resulting in either from a strong side wind or an earthquake that puts intense sideways pressure on the supports of the house. A continuous load path is a construction style that seeks to remove weak points from a home’s structural supports. This makes homes more resistant against upward drafts, pressure imbalances, and lateral movement. When speaking with your home-building professional, ask if your home design and construction include a continuous load path to ensure the stability of your house.

The Use of Insulated Concrete Blocks

Where some traditional construction materials for homes may fail in the event of a tornado, insulated concrete blocks have proven quite strong — withstanding winds of over 200 mph. Concrete construction means fewer lateral shifts from high winds in comparison to steel or wood construction. On a side note, insulated concrete blocks are also to be tremendously energy efficient and can result in a reduction in utility costs.

The Importance of a Safe Zone

If you’re building a new home in Oklahoma, you should know which location in the house is the safest to occupy in the event of a tornado. For help identifying this, we’ve created another resource to help you. In order to determine this space, we recommend asking your home building professional. This experienced professional will know precisely which space is best suited for weathering a violent storm.