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What is a Sealed Crawl Space?

At Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington, we build all of our custom modular homes with a sealed crawl space to provide better protection and air quality. Unlike vented crawl spaces, a sealed crawl space offers a number of benefits to your house and your family. But what is a sealed crawl space and how can it benefit your home?

What is a Sealed Crawl Space?

Traditionally, crawl spaces beneath a house are vented to allow air to pass beneath the house freely. Unfortunately, if you live in a humid area your crawl space might not be able to keep moisture out, which can lead to problems. Common issues associated with a vented crawl space are mold, mildew, wood rot, and poor air quality. Even worse, open crawl spaces can provide a home to pests and local wildlife.

A closed or “sealed” crawl space has no wall vents, meaning air cannot pass into the crawl space from outside your home. The ground in a sealed crawl space is covered with a moisture barrier which is sealed against the foundation walls. All gaps are sealed to create an air- and watertight sealed space. A sloped exterior grading around the foundation pulls water away from the house.

If you live in an area with a lot of moisture in the air such as the Southeastern United States, your home is at greater risk of developing mold and mildew. Having a sealed crawl space will prevent the buildup of moisture which can lead to mold and provides a number of additional benefits to your home.

young family under a blanket

The Benefits of a Sealed Crawl Space

  • Improved air quality, making it a great option for anyone with allergies or respiratory issues.
  • Saves you up to 18% on your heating and cooling costs each year.
  • The moisture-free crawl space reduces the chance of mold and mildew.
  • Moisture control also helps to reduce the chance of buckling underneath hardwood floors and protects your subfloors.
  • Keeps your floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  • The dry air prevents frozen pipes in the winter.
  • The sealed area help to deter termites, pests, and wildlife from entering your home.

Having a sealed crawl space offers numerous benefits to you, your family, and your home, and can even save you money on your energy bills. When you build a home with Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington, your custom modular home will come with a sealed crawl space built standard.

Not sure if you can afford to build a custom home with a sealed crawl space? Download our free guide below!

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Snow Day! How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and Other Winter Weather Preparation Tips

Anyone who’s lived in North Carolina for long enough knows that anything is possible when it comes to the weather, from 70-degree days to frozen pipes. Winter weather preparation isn’t always at the top of our list, especially when some of us are enjoying springtime temperatures in mid-December! But those nice balmy days could turn into ice and snow faster than you think.

If snowy weather is in the forecast, don’t just run to the store for bread and milk! Make sure you’re prepared for anything with our winter weather preparation tips. Following them will save you from costly repairs and keep you warm and cozy all winter long!

Be Prepared

Don’t risk waiting until the last minute to get what you need. Be prepared by stocking up on supplies you’ll need to stay warm and safe in and around your house.

  • Keep road salt and a snow shovel on hand so you can clear your driveway and sidewalks on cold, icy mornings.
  • Frozen locks are possible, especially on your car. Keep some de-icer on hand so you can open your locks in freezing weather.
  • In case the power goes out, keep batteries, a flashlight, candles, and matches on hand. If you have a generator, make sure you have enough fuel to keep it running.
Man removing snow with a shovel

Protect Your Home Inside and Out

Extreme winter weather can wreak havoc on your home. Before heavy snows, ice storms, and hard freezes, take some time to prepare your house. Trim any branches that might fall on your house or car, and clean out your gutters to allow snow and ice to melt and move away from your roof easily.

If the weather forecast is calling for extremely low temperatures 15℉ and below, your home may be at risk of frozen pipes. When pipes freeze, the water in the pipes turns to ice and expands, which can cause the pipe to crack and burst. Once that frozen water thaws the cracks remain, which means leaks, flooding, and water damage in your house.

Prevent frozen pipes by taking these steps:

  • Insulate your pipes using pipe insulation kits found at your local hardware store. These kits are inexpensive but can save you thousands in repairs.
  • Leave your indoor faucets dripping slightly overnight. Keeping water moving in your pipes can help to prevent freezing.
  • If you have outdoor water faucets, turn off the water source and turn all of your faucets to the “on” position. This will drain out any remaining water in your outdoor pipes and allow water to escape before it freezes.
  • In case a pipe does burst, learn where your water shut-off valves are located ahead of time.
frozen stone with an open water pipe

By following these winter preparation tips, you and your family will be able to enjoy that winter weather while staying warm and cozy indoors! Click here to learn more about winterizing your home so you can save money on your energy bills all season.  

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DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas

With our busy lives, there’s a lot on our minds, and it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit. If you’ve been craving some Christmas cheer in your home but can’t seem to find the time or budget to go all-out, here are some quick, easy, and low-budget Christmas decoration ideas for your home!

DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas

Make a bow wreath

Do you always find yourself with tons of leftover bows after Christmas? Using them for next year’s gifts is always an option, but you can also use them to make a fun and easy DIY Christmas wreath. Get a floral wreath form from your local craft store, then attach those holiday bows all around it using thumb tacks or a hot glue gun. Unlike traditional fir wreaths, this one won’t make a mess and can be used again and again!

Red and gold bows

Candy cane placeholders

Are you hosting Christmas dinner this year? Give everyone a sweet treat by turning candy canes into cute card holders for name tags. Using tape and ribbon, tie three candy canes together (short side down) to make a small easel. Add a name card or use them to label food if you’re serving dinner buffet-style. Festive and delicious!

Wrap gifts early

What’s more festive than a Christmas tree with a few wrapped gifts underneath waiting to be opened on Christmas day? Get the chore of wrapping your gifts out of the way early, and those wrapped gifts can serve as decorations all month long!

Christmas decoration ideas

Bring the outdoors in

Take a nature hike and collect pinecones, mistletoe, ivy, and fir tree branches to decorate your home. Arrange decorative centerpieces using candles or decorate your stair railing using festive ribbon and string lights. When buying your Christmas tree, ask the seller to save some of the trimmed branches and use them as a wreath or for other decorations.

Put your Christmas cards on display

Are you expecting a handful of beautiful Christmas cards from friends and family this year? Turn them into a beautiful display on your mantle or side table. Arrange them with some fir tree cuttings or let them hang from a string of Christmas tree lights.

Hang paper snowflakes

Remember making paper snowflakes when you were in school? Get some squares of white paper and a pair of scissors and get creative! It’s always fun to see what sort of design you can get with random cuts into a folded triangle. Once you’ve made your paper blizzard, hang them in front of a window or against a wall using string or fishing line. This DIY Christmas decoration is also a great family activity!

Paper snowflakes

Stay warm and cozy this winter! Click here to learn how to winterize your home and save money on your energy bills!

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Can I Afford to Build a House? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer who wants to get the most out of your purchase, or a homeowner looking for the perfect new home for your family, building a house is a great option. Many people assume that building a house is more expensive than buying, but that isn’t actually the case. The cost of building a house is comparable to buying, but you’ll get much more for your money.

Building a house is more affordable than you think! When calculating how much house you can afford to build, ask yourself these five questions:

How much down payment can I provide?

The cost of building a house will largely depend on your down payment. Before you talk to your bank, decide on the amount you can afford. The higher your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage fees will be.

What’s my monthly budget?

Your bank or lender will pre-qualify you for a home loan based on your income, your credit, your down payment, and other factors for you and your spouse. The amount may be higher than you expect, but remember that what you qualify for might not necessarily be what you can afford!

How much will it cost to buy land?

Land purchase is a unique cost of building a house. Be sure to factor the cost of your property into your overall budget. To learn more about buying land, click here to check out our free land buying guide and checklist!

What upgrades can I afford?

Are you hoping for a house with wall-to-wall hardwood floors or maybe an updated spa-like master bathroom? Your builder will work with you to make adjustments and upgrades to your house plan. Keep in mind that the cost of upgrades can add up quickly. It’s a good idea to sit down and make a “must have” and a “want” list so you can prioritize the most important upgrades.

Will I have other costs?

Permits, taxes, utility connections, homeowner’s association fees, and other costs can bite into your monthly budget. Be sure to research your property before you buy to learn about costs associated with the land. Your builder will be able to tell you what permits and other fees need to be taken care of before you build

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What to expect when you meet with Carolina Custom Homes.

First: Tell us when you’d like to come see us.

Then: Chat with us about your unique needs and vision. We’d recommend considering the following so we can cover a lot of ground in our meeting and better serve you.

  • How did you hear about us?
  • How much space and how many bedrooms and bathrooms would be ideal?
  • Would you prefer a one-story home or multi-story home?
  • Do you already have land and if so what’s it like and where is it located
  • Budget! How much are you looking to spend? Will you be financing your home or paying cash?

The rest is really just showing them the model homes and finding out what is important to them in their new home.

Finally: Walk through some of our most popular floor plans. We swap these out occasionally, so keep an eye out for anything new you’d like to see. Keep in mind while your wandering that any of our floor plans can be customized to better fit your lifestyle.

Not Ready To Meet?

During the tour of our homes, you will see a wide variety of features that are available to you for your custom project. Of course, any home you build with us, can be completely customized with an open concept floor plan, 9′ ceilings, granite countertops, hardwood flooring, atrium doors, transom windows, etc.

Touring Our Floor Plans