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Local News and Information

Find Your Inspiration the 57th Annual Tri-State Home Show

We’re just one week away from the Tri-State Home Show, Feb 16-18 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Celebrating 57 years, the Home Show is the perfect opportunity to plan your dream home, shop for furnishings or get quotes for your next remodeling project. Sponsored by EPB Fiber Optics and J103 Radio, this year’s event is also featuring an all new Tiny Community featuring the latest innovations and inspiration, along with hundreds of local vendors. "It's the easiest way for homebuyers or homeowners to go and see all the products available in the home industry and local community, with over 300 local businesses in one room," shares Raquel Schrumf, HBAGC Executive Officer. "If you like to multitask, there's no better place."

 

Homeowners are always amazed with the abundance of ideas and valuable resources offered by a diverse array of local experts in home interior and exterior design. Instead of investing endless hours in the search for ideal products or services, the opportunity to engage directly with numerous local companies and explore product displays all within a single venue proves to be a time and cost-saving advantage. Brian Gray with J103 Radio shares, “In one weekend you can accomplish what can take months if not more to do…. interview local businesses, get pricing and test products. “ 

 

Wandering through the aisles not only allows homeowners to unearth the latest trends in design and home improvement, but also provides insights ranging from adding a "wow" factor to your home to discovering strategies for reducing utility bills through energy-efficient solutions. Prospective homeowners can also benefit by connecting with new home builders and gain invaluable advice from financial advisors, loan officers and contractors. 

 

With interactive displays, multiple giveaways and concessions, the 57th Annual Tri-State Home show is a great event for the whole family. For ticket information, vendor map and all the details to plan your weekend, explore homeshowchattanooga.com

 

Young Adults Embracing Change: Tri-State Home Show Offers Path to Homeownership

In a challenging economic landscape marked by record-high inflation rates, rising interest rates, and increasing housing costs, young adults are defying the odds and stepping into the realm of homeownership. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the share of young adults aged 25-34 living with their parents has decreased to 19.1%, reaching a decade low. This shift indicates a positive post-pandemic trend of young adults embracing independent living despite economic challenges.

 

Customarily, young adults up to age 35 compose approximately half of first-time home buyers, making their choices pivotal for household formation, housing demand, and the overall housing market. The recent decline in the percentage of young adults residing with parents is a promising sign for the real estate landscape. The present 19.1% translates to 8.5 million young adults seeking independent living arrangements.

Interestingly, historical data from NAHB/Wells Fargo’s Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) suggests that, pre-pandemic, the rising share of young adults living with parents correlated with worsening housing affordability. Conversely, improving affordability was associated with a declining share of young adults continuing to reside in parental homes. However, the post-pandemic world has disrupted this correlation, with young adults forging ahead into independent living despite challenges in housing affordability and the rising cost of living.

 

For young adults aspiring to purchase a home, several key considerations can pave the way for a successful venture. Financial preparedness is paramount. Establishing a budget, saving for a down payment, and maintaining a good credit score are crucial steps. Exploring first-time homebuyer programs, whether at the government or local level, can also provide valuable assistance through down payment support or favorable loan terms. Understanding diverse mortgage options and aligning them with individual financial goals is another vital aspect, requiring consultation with mortgage professionals for optimal insights.

 

Affordability should take precedence over the allure of a dream home. Considering factors such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs ensures a realistic and sustainable investment. Prior to finalizing a purchase, a comprehensive home inspection is critical to identify potential issues, safeguarding against unforeseen expenses in the future. Additionally, building an emergency savings fund is wise, considering the unexpected expenses that may accompany homeownership.

 

For those eager to delve into homeownership or enhance their current living situation, the upcoming 57th Annual Tri-State Home Show offers an invaluable opportunity. Scheduled for February 16-18 at the Chattanooga Trade Center, this event unites industry experts, real estate professionals, and home improvement specialists, providing attendees with insights into the housing market, information on financing options, and practical tips for home maintenance and improvement.

 

Whether embarking on the journey of purchasing a first home or seeking ways to enhance an existing living space, the Tri-State Home Show, sponsored by EPB Fiber Optics and J103 Radio, presents a comprehensive platform for navigating the complexities of homeownership. For more information on the upcoming Home Show and links to help you navigate your first steps into home ownership, visit homeshowchattanooga.com.

Unleash Your Business's Potential at the Tri-State Home Show

Excitement is building as we approach the highly anticipated 57th Annual Tri-State Home Show, set to take place from Feb 16-18 at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center. Proudly sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, EPB Fiber Optics, and J103, this premier event is a cornerstone for the local home industry, boasting over 200 booths featuring an array of products and services catering to new home construction, whole house renovations, flooring, bathrooms, kitchens, landscaping, remodeling, and more. If you haven't secured your vendor booth yet, here are compelling reasons to act now.


Direct Access to Your Target Audience:
The Tri-State Home Show provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect face-to-face with thousands of customers actively seeking home industry products and services. Secure on-the-spot sales, offer quotes, and gather high-quality leads for future sales, ensuring a sustained return on your investment.


Networking Opportunities:
A booth at the Home Show allows you the opportunity to engage with other prominent companies in the home industry, fostering valuable connections that can elevate your brand within the sector. You can also explore potential partnership projects with complementary businesses, expanding your reach and influence.


Insight into Competition:
Walking the show floor offers an insightful glimpse into your direct competition. Discover what other businesses are offering and gain valuable insights to enhance your approach to reaching your target audience. Stay abreast of the latest home industry trends and marketing practices, positioning your business at the forefront of innovation.


Open to All Industry Professionals:
You may be surprised to hear that participation in the Tri-State Home Show is not exclusive to HBAGC members; it is available to all local industry professionals. However, if you choose to become a member, you can enjoy a discounted rate on booth space, providing added value to your registration.


Don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to showcase your products and services to a captivated audience. For more details and to secure your spot at the 2024 Tri-State Home Show, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s Home Show website at www.homeshowchattanooga.com. Join us as we set the stage for a dynamic convergence of industry professionals and home enthusiasts alike.

Tailored Havens: Crafting Homes for the Modern Pet-Owner Duo

The influence of pets on home buying decisions is more significant than ever. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2021 reveals that nearly half of the 128.5 million occupied housing units (about 63.8 million) have at least one pet. The impact goes beyond just occupancy, with consumers spending a staggering $100 billion on pet-related expenses in 2021, surpassing expenditures in categories like women's clothing or alcoholic beverages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys.


In the realm of home buying, the National Association of Realtors' 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 19% of homebuyers consider their pets when choosing a neighborhood. Factors like pet-friendly communities and amenities, such as proximity to vet services, dog parks, or pet-friendly businesses, significantly influence consumer decisions.


The preferences of pet owners extend to home features, playing a pivotal role in shaping their buying decisions:


Outdoor Functionality:
Homes with secure, fenced yards are a priority for pet owners, providing a safe space for their animals. Additionally, attractive landscaping, including well-maintained lawns or gardens, is an appealing feature for pet owners who will be spending more time outdoors with their furry friends.


Interior Layout & Design:
Durable, easy-to-clean flooring materials like hardwood, tile, or laminate are preferred. Homes with features like built-in pet beds and pet washing or feeding stations are attractive to pet owners. Mudrooms or side entrances that facilitate convenient pet care are also highly valued.


Neighborhood Amenities:
Homes near parks, walking trails, or pet-friendly greens are desirable for daily walks and exercise. Proximity to pet services like grooming salons, veterinary clinics, or pet supply stores is considered a plus.


Smart Home Technology:
Integration of smart home technology, including pet monitoring systems or automated pet doors, appeals to tech-savvy pet owners.


As pet ownership continues to rise, the demand for homes that cater to the unique needs of our furry friends is on the upswing. From fenced yards to pet-friendly interiors, the emphasis on creating a harmonious living space for both homeowners and their pets is reshaping the concept of an ideal home. The integration of pet-friendly features not only enhances the quality of life for homeowners but also opens new opportunities for builders to meet the diverse needs of today's homebuyers. For a full list of local professionals to add some of these pet-friendly design options to your home in the new year, visit the member directory on our website. 

5 Tips to Improve Water Savings at Home

We all know water is an essential resource for daily living, however, many homeowners may not realize how much water they waste at home. There are a number of measures you can take to improve your water savings, and many of them are easy and affordable. Here are five tips you can follow to get started:


Install water-efficient fixtures and appliances. Low-flow showerheads and faucets, WaterSense-certified toilets, and high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines can make a substantial difference in your home. These appliances can save you hundreds of gallons of water per year. Look for fixtures and appliances that have earned the EPA WaterSense label, these products are certified to use less water than standard models without sacrificing performance. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a standard-sized certified dishwasher costs about $35 per year to run and can save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime.


Fix any leaks. Even a small leak can waste a lot of water over time. Check your faucets, pipes, and toilets regularly for leaks, and fix them promptly. A single leaky faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water yearly, and a leaky toilet can waste even more. You can check for leaks by inspecting your faucets, pipes, and toilets regularly. If you see any drips or signs of a leak, call a plumber as soon as possible.

Take shorter showers. Showers account for a sizable portion of indoor water use. If you shorten your showers by just a few minutes a day, it will compound over time, and you can save a lot of water and money.


Water your lawn and garden less often. Most lawns and gardens only need to be watered once or twice a week. Watering more often can be a waste of water and lead to runoff.


Collect rainwater. Rainwater can be used to water your lawn, wash your car, or even flush your toilet. There are several rainwater collection systems available, from simple barrels to more complex systems that can be integrated into your home's plumbing.

 

In addition to these tips, there are multiple new water technologies that can help you save water. For example, smart irrigation systems can adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels. There are also smart leak detectors, which notify you about leaks early on before they cause damage. And lastly, atmospheric water generators are useful because they can produce water from the surrounding air, however they can be quite costly.


By following these tips, you can make a significant difference in your water consumption and help to conserve this precious resource. To find more tips to help you save on home improvements visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s website at hbagc.net or visit nahb.org.

How to Reduce Your Home Winter Fuel Costs

It is that time of year when temperatures drop, and home heating bills go up. As a homeowner, you can reduce your winter fuel costs in several ways, ranging from simple, inexpensive changes to significant home modifications. Here are some straightforward tips to stay cozy, comfortable and keep your winter fuel costs down this winter.


Thermostat Settings
You should not have to wear your coat inside your home to lower your heating bills. During the winter months, experts recommend strategically adjusting your thermostat. You can adjust your thermostat manually or install a smart thermostat to do it automatically on your chosen schedule. Adjusting the thermostat to be as low and comfortable as possible when you are at home and awake can help save on home energy consumption.


According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), it pays to think in eight-hour segments. You can save as much as 10 percent a year on your home heating and cooling costs by turning back your thermostat seven to 10 degrees from its standard setting for eight hours daily. Setting the temperature slightly lower when you are asleep or away from your home can also generate savings, so an extra blanket can help you save on your heating bill. Experts also recommend taking advantage of the heat from the sun during the day, which allows sunlight to heat your home naturally.


Reduce Air Leaks
One of the first steps to keeping your home warm is to not allow heat to escape the inside of your home. By sealing uncontrolled air leaks in your home, an average household can save 10%-20% on heating bills. Two easy ways to prevent air from leaking in your home are by using weatherstripping and caulking. Weatherstripping works best for movable components in your home, such as doors or windows. The best place to start is by checking your exterior door frames. Replace any weatherstripping that is deteriorated or cracked. If you have drafty windows, install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades.


Another way to reduce air leaks in your home is to seal cracks and gaps. It is best to use caulk, a flexible material that works best on non-moving surfaces. For example, caulk can help seal cracks in areas when window frames meet the house structure.

 
Beyond DIY
Hiring a professional energy auditor is the best way to pinpoint what will reduce your home’s overall energy consumption is to hire a professional energy auditor to evaluate your home and identify all the inefficiencies. Many energy companies offer a free home audit program that can also help you identify inefficiencies and lower your costs, such as EPB’s Home Energy Checkup.


In addition to showing where to tape, caulk and seal areas in your home, the audit may suggest improvements that require a significant investment and a professional to address. Adding insulation or upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and products such as new HVAC systems and high-performance windows will also help lower your heating bills.


To find local professionals to help lower your energy costs, visit the member directory right here on our website.

How to Stay Safe at Home During the Holiday Season

With the Halloween candy bowl empty, many homeowners are focusing on the upcoming holiday season with visions of the perfect Thanksgiving turkey and outdoor light displays. The holidays are definitely a time for celebration and joy, but it's important to be mindful of safety during this busy season. With plenty of distractions, you may leave the kitchen while cooking or be in a rush to hang your holiday décor, and both instances can lead to an injury or accident. Everyone loves National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but no one wants to play out those classic Clark disaster scenes in real life. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and enjoy the holidays at home with your loved ones.


Holiday Décor. Decking the halls in your home can be a memorable and fun activity for your family. As you unpack your holiday decorations, inspect them for frayed wires, loose connections and discard broken bulbs. And while you’re placing decorations in your home, experts recommend being mindful of their location. More than two of every five decoration fires happen because they are placed too close to a heat source, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).


Meal Prep and Cooking. The holidays are a popular time to prepare dishes and bake treats that create inviting aromas in your home. With the season’s demands, it’s easy to become distracted while your favorite dishes cook, which can endanger you and your loved ones. According to NFPA, one of the leading causes of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. And while cooking at home can be a cherished family activity, experts recommend having a “kid-free” zone of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.


Fireplace Safety. Before you relax and enjoy your fireplace this holiday season, have it professionally cleaned and inspected. A professional chimney sweeper can ensure your fireplace is in the ideal condition for use and thoroughly inspect your unit for any tar-like build-up known as creosote. A creosote build-up can catch fire and spread to your home's attic and other parts. And if you choose to hang stockings or other holiday decorations from your mantle, it's best to remove them when your fireplace is in use as a precaution.


Ladder Safety. If you’re hanging decorations in and around your home, you might find yourself using a ladder. Before you climb that first rung, read and follow all the manufacturers’ instructions on the ladder and then place it on a stable and level surface. And while it may be tempting, do not overreach. Safety experts recommend stepping down from the ladder and moving it closer to prevent falls.


Check Security Systems and Detectors. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to check your home security system and circuit breakers to ensure they are in working order. Generally, homeowners should check the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year to ensure they are operable. And experts recommend replacing hard-wired and battery-powered detectors every 10 years. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly in a house fire.


Taking these extra precautions, you can help create a safe and enjoyable holiday season for your family and friends. And if you need a local professional to help prepare your home for the holidays, from chimney sweepers to security system installation, visit the member directory right here on our website.

Today's Homebuyer Post-Pandemic

How has today’s homebuyer changed post-pandemic? Using the 2021 American Housing Survey (AHS), NAHB researched the characteristics of recent home buyers — defined as households who purchased homes in the two years before the 2021 AHS was conducted — in a new study. During this period, approximately 10.2 million households bought and moved into a new home.


The NAHB study focused on two important groups of home buyers: Those who purchased a home for the first time (first-time home buyers) and those who bought a brand-new home (new home buyers). Findings of the study included a higher median income compared to pre-pandemic as well as steadily rising family size.


Income
 In the 2021 AHS, the median household income for all recent home buyers was $97,700. Median household income among all home buyers grew 13% from $60,000 in 2001 to $68,000 in 2007 and then fell 4% to $64,998 in 2011. After the Great Recession, household income accelerated, jumping by around 50% from $64,998 in 2011 to $97,700 in 2021. Not surprisingly, new home buyers consistently show higher median income than first-time home buyers ($112,100 vs $90,000 in 2021).


Age
 According to the 2021 AHS, the median age of all home buyers was 41. The median age of first-time buyers stayed steady at 33 compared to 2017, while the median age of new home buyers decreased from 46 to 45 compared to the 2017 statistics.


Size
 Household size also plays a factor in the post-pandemic housing market, as a growing family is one of the main factors for home purchases. The average household size for recent home buyers was 2.70 in the 2021 AHS. While it declined from 2001 to 2011 (2.84 to 2.61), it has been growing steadily since. Meanwhile, the average household size among non-moving homeowners was 2.57 in 2021.


Financing
 The 2021 AHS found that more than half of recent buyers put no more than 20% down on the homes they purchased. Less than 18% of all buyers purchased a home without a down payment in 2021, while 50% had a down payment of 0 to 20%, and only 16% put more than 20% down.


Among all recent home buyers, first-time buyers had smaller down payments. Roughly 82% of first-time home buyers put no more than 20% down, including 18% with zero down payment. In comparison, only 63% of buyers purchased new homes with no more than 20% down.
The median value of the homes purchased was $318,185 overall in the study. The median value of homes purchased by a first-time buyer was $271,445, with the median value of new homes coming in considerably higher at $429,205.


Types of Homes Purchased
 In the 2021 AHS, 91.2%, of new homes purchased were single-family detached, while 6.9% were single-family attached and 2% were multifamily condos. Meanwhile, 83.8% of first-time home buyers purchased a single-family detached home. The remaining 16.2% are split evenly between single-family attached homes and multifamily condos.


Reasons for Purchasing a Home
 Not surprisingly, the top reason for purchasing among all buyers was for “moving to a better home(60%),” followed by “a better neighborhood(49%)” and to “form a household(38%).” First-time home buyers ranked forming a household much higher at 60% than new home buyers who ranked this reason at 32%.


The full AHS report, which includes additional statistics and charts illustrating trends over time, is available on nahb.org. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, continue reading for more valuable information or visit our member directory for a list of local professionals to help in the process.
 

What Type of New Home Builder Should You Hire?

Choosing to build the home of your dreams can be an overwhelming task with many decisions from where to build to the layout and type of home you desire. Selecting the right builder for your home is paramount to making the process go smoothly. To help you decide on the builder that works for you, here’s a brief explanation of the types of home builders and some of the differences in working with each.
 
Custom Home Builders
A custom home is generally a single-family home that is built to a buyer’s specifications on land that the buyer owns. With a custom home, you’ll be starting with a new design, so you must make many decisions, from the floor plan type to the final finishes. Therefore, you’ll have to work closely with the builder and architect to design and construct a home with all your desired features and elements. A custom home is truly one-of-a-kind and won’t look like any other house in the neighborhood.
 
Given the number of decisions you’ll make related to crafting your dream house, it could take longer to build and be costly. However, a key benefit of working with a custom home builder is that you can make alterations during the building process, although it may increase the overall price of the home.
 
Semi-custom Home Builders
A semi-custom home is constructed based on existing blueprints and can be built on the builders’ land or land you own. As a semi-custom home buyer, you can review the plans before construction and conform them to your personal preferences. However, unlike a custom home, once construction begins, there is less flexibility to make changes. And since the house is not being designed from scratch, it often costs less and is completed in a faster timeframe than an entire custom home.

 

Production Home Builders
Production homes are built in developments on land the builder owns and there will likely be multiple homes in the neighborhood that look similar. Production builders use standard plans, but often offer a variety of plan choices and options, such as different floor plans and elevations. You can choose from various feature options, from cabinets to countertops, which may or may not increase the base home price.
 
In general, production homes are built in a fast time frame since the builder has already obtained the necessary permits for the plans. However, alterations to structural elements, such as the foundation walls, will require reengineering the plans and resubmitting them for new permits, which could lengthen the completion date.


For more information to help you design your dream home, including a list of local professional builders, visit our member directory.

How to Be Prepared if Disaster Strikes

Severe weather that damages homes and displaces residents can happen at any time. Planning before disaster strikes helps people stay safe and limit property damage. Don’t wait until the forecast calls for severe weather because you may not have enough time to prepare.


Each September, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes National Preparedness Month to encourage and remind Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. Here are several tips to help you and your family plan for emergencies.


Know the Type of Risk in Your Area. Most communities face specific types of hazards. While the Tennessee Valley is not in a coastal hurricane-prone area, we do unfortunately experience many severe thunderstorms and tornado threats. It is essential to learn the risks specific to your home and how to assess them if you are away from home. Visit ready.gov/alerts to learn more about and sign up for notifications from multiple sources.


Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy. It’s a good idea to take time every year to review your insurance policy. This can not only ensure you are covered for losses incurred due to a natural disaster or brutal storm, but also gives you the opportunity to update based on any recent lifestyle changes or large purchases. Additionally, damage caused by flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes is generally not covered by your regular homeowner’s policy but can be purchased separately.

 

Create a Family Emergency Plan. When harsh weather hits, you should have a plan to stay connected with your family or loved ones. Ready.gov recommends putting a communication plan together with your family to know how to contact one another and reconnect if separated. Experts suggest choosing a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find.


Assemble a Disaster Kit. An emergency supply kit will help you and your family with natural disasters. You may lose power or need to evacuate your area, so it is vital to have essential items on hand. Your kit should contain basic items such as water, nonperishable food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a whistle to signal for help. It would be best to consider what unique items you may need for your family, such as supplies for seniors or pets. For additional ideas on creating an emergency supply kit, visit tn.gov/tema/prepare.


Taking these steps can help keep you and your family safe. National Preparedness Month is a time to ensure you prepare for the unexpected. You can read more at ready.gov/september

5 Reasons for Women to Consider a Career in Construction

In the United States, women make up about half of the workforce. However, only a small percentage of women work in the residential construction industry. Among those women who are working in the industry, a majority have a fulfilling career with opportunities for advancement and competitive pay. Women in construction also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are building homes that make a difference in people’s lives.


Leslie Gower, CEO of AGC East Tennessee shares, "A growing number of women are entering the construction industry, excelling, and shattering stereotypes as they crush it on the job. Their innate qualities of precision, collaboration, problem-solving and attention to detail are the qualities that elevate construction projects to the next level."


This month, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) celebrates Professional Women in Building Week (Sept. 11-15) to raise awareness and recognize the essential role of women in the construction industry. Here are some reasons why women should consider creating a career path in construction:


Numerous Job Opportunities. The number of unfilled construction jobs was more than 300,000 in June 2023. An NAHB survey found labor shortages in various construction jobs, including framers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and bricklayers. In addition, the residential construction industry is one of the few sectors where demand for new workers rose during the pandemic.


Competitive Salary. A pay gap exists between men and women across most industries. On average, women in the United States earn approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. However, the gap is much smaller in the construction trades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in the construction industry earn 95 cents for every dollar a man earns. 


Scholarships and Education Opportunities. Funding is available through numerous programs for students interested in or pursuing residential construction opportunities. For example, NAHB Professional Women in Building and the National Housing Endowment have scholarships and grants available for students seeking to further their education in housing industry related programs.


Chattanooga is also home to the Hamilton County Construction Career Center. Opening in the Fall of 2022, this 28,000 square-foot hands-on vocational workforce center offers education and training to area high school students and TCAT adult learners with the goal of 100% career placement for graduates.


Vast Professional Network. There is a growing community of women in construction willing to mentor and share insights with women entering the field. The Home Builders of Greater Chattanooga is a great place to get connected to other women in the industry with multiple educational and networking opportunities for members. Additionally, AGC East Tennessee is another amazing resource for women in the career field, offering continuing education courses, peer networking events and more.


A Sense of Achievement. A career in the trades brings a sense of satisfaction for completing high-quality work that contributes to home building and ultimately helping to fulfill the American Dream.


If you are a woman with a passion for creating, problem-solving and life-long learning, consider pursuing a career in construction. The industry is open and welcoming, with many opportunities for gaining career success. For more information on career opportunities in our area, contact us here at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga or visit AGC East Tennessee.

Simple Strategies to Help Sell Your Home This Fall

Spring gets all the attention when it comes to home buying, however, homes sell year-round. Despite the headlines, millions of existing homes are sold monthly. So, if you need to quickly sell your home this fall so you can enjoy your new home, consider the following tips.


Minimize Holiday Décor
One of the joys of homeownership is personalizing your space. Homeowners tend to liven up their spaces at or around October in preparation for Halloween. However, dramatic outdoor displays, loads of fake cobwebs or collections of pumpkins crowding the entryway may scare off potential buyers. The same general principle applies to fall décor.


Maintain Curb Appeal
You’ll want to ensure your house looks inviting as soon as potential buyers catch a glimpse of your home. Make sure your house number can be read from the street and remember to keep your sidewalks clear, with all fall leaves raked up.


Light it Up
As winter approaches, it starts getting darker outside earlier. If prospective buyers tour your home in the early evening hours, ensure there is as much light as possible, so the house looks warm and inviting. Consider adding floor lamps in the darker areas of your home or ask your realtor for staging recommendations.


Prepare for Cooler Temperatures
With colder temperatures outside, buyers will notice immediately if your heating unit isn’t working correctly. Not only will a cold or drafty house make your home uncomfortable for buyers, but they may also be wary of purchasing a new heating system. To ensure your unit is running smoothly and provides optimal comfort, schedule a maintenance tune-up with a professional HVAC technician.


Keep Your Home Clean
A clean home is an inviting one, so experts recommend a thorough cleaning. In addition to tidying up and putting things away, wash your windows inside and out. Now is the best time to make home repairs you may have been putting off. Before showing your home, consider hanging fresh towels in the bathrooms and kitchen. Set the dining room table and buy fresh flowers for vases throughout the home. 

 

Selling your home in the fall doesn’t have to be a headache. With a bit of preparation, you’ll soon be settling into your new home.  For help with buying and selling a home, visit our membership directory for a list of local professionals.

5 Benefits of New Home Construction

The first step for new home buyers is deciding if they want a new or existing home. Choosing a structure that best fits your needs is essential because a home is one of the most significant investments you’ll likely make in your lifetime. There are plenty of existing homes on the market, but owning a newly constructed home has many advantages. Before you talk to a real estate agent, consider the following reasons why a new home might be right for you.


1. High-Quality Construction. Professional home builders take pride in the quality of their work. Ask any builder for references and they’ll be happy to get you connected to clients who recently purchased a new build. Not only are beautiful new homes lovely to admire, but buyers also have peace of mind knowing that the home is safe for their families. Qualified home builders ensure each new build passes inspections and conforms to current building codes. A new home is also under warranty, and any issues that arise during the warranty term will be fixed at no cost to the homeowner. 


2. Features That Fit Your Family Needs. New homes can be personalized with appliances, cabinets, countertops, carpets, floor coverings, paint color and other design elements to meet your family’s needs and preferences. They also come designed for modern lifestyles, with open floor plans, walk-in closets, and creative storage solutions. New home buyers do not have to make any renovations to change a previous owner’s taste to their own.


3. Built for Efficiency. Newly built homes are highly energy efficient, saving buyers money and helping the environment. New windows, doors and insulation better control the home’s interior climate, and ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and other modern components will help save costs on utility bills. New buyers don’t have to spend time shopping to replace aging appliances.

    
4. Wired for the Latest Technology. New homes come outfitted with the latest home automation and wiring components that provide state-of-the-art technology to accommodate modern home appliances and entertainment resources such as high-definition televisions, full-house sound systems, hard-wired fire and security alarms, and more.


5. Opportunities to Build a Strong Sense of Community. One of the additional benefits of many new homes is a great new neighborhood. When families move into a new community at the same time, lasting bonds of friendship often form right away. Many home builders will host community block parties in these developments to help neighbors of all ages meet and connect.


For more information on the benefits of new homes or to find qualified builders in our area, visit our membership directory.

Top 10 End-of-Summer Home Maintenance Tips

It’s that time of year again, school buses are starting to appear in the neighborhood and cooler temperatures are not too far off in the distance. Before the summer season ends, there are some routine maintenance steps you can take to ensure your home looks good and functions optimally year-round. The best time to pay attention to your home needs is now. Procrastinating on home maintenance could result in future costly repairs. Here are the top common issues to check before the summer season ends.


Exterior Maintenance

  • Clean your gutters. Use a sturdy ladder to inspect your gutters safely and remove any leaves or debris. Consider hiring a professional from our list of skilled local HBAGC members to make sure the job is done properly and safely.
  • Fix cracks in your driveway or walkway. Small cracks can quickly worsen if left untreated as water collects and temperatures fluctuate.
  • Inspect your home’s siding. Look for anything loose or rotting. Then, consider power washing to remove dust, bird droppings, dirt, abandoned wasp nests or tree sap. You may want to repair or repaint the siding to protect it from harsh weather and to increase curb appeal.
  • Prevent bugs from entering your home. Use sprays or re-caulk doors and windows if necessary. A minor pest problem could become a larger issue when not addressed quickly.
  • Wash your windows (both inside and outside). Look for any leaks and re-caulk as needed. Fixing any gaps will help with energy efficiency, and cleaning the windows will allow more natural light to enter your home. Your window screens may need to be replaced, too.

Interior Maintenance

  • Check safety devices. Evaluations include, but are not limited to, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and any child safety devices. These should be tested twice annually, and the end of the summer is a great time to inspect.
  • Clean your air conditioner. If you use an in-window unit, clear out debris. If you use an HVAC system, call the pros to keep up with maintenance.
  • Plan for winter weather. Winter storms can be unforgiving. Power can go out for extended periods. Stay prepared by creating an emergency kit with flashlights, clean water to drink, a battery-powered fan, and non-perishable foods. Protect your expensive electronics with surge protectors year-round as well. 
  • Survey your basement. A variety of problems can go unnoticed in the basement. Call a contractor if you find any cracks in the foundation or leaks in the plumbing.
  • Clean your dryer vent. Clogged vents can pose problems at any point in the year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 16,000 fires are caused every year due to laundry facilities in the home, with 92% attributed to dryers. Lint and dust build-up is the leading cause of fires in dryers and can easily be prevented with regular cleaning.

 
For a list of skilled professionals to help with everything from gutter cleaning to home repairs, visit our membership directory.

Is it Time to Remodel or Relocate?

There is always something on a homeowner’s to-do list, from changing air filters to finally repairing that leaky faucet. You may be looking at tackling a big project on your to-do list, such as a kitchen renovation or adding a new addition. Modernizing your home can come with a hefty price tag. Depending on the scope of your project, it might be time to move on to a house that better suits your needs. To help you evaluate if you should invest in a home project or start saving for a new house, start by asking yourself the following questions.


1.     What’s my budget? Crunch some numbers to determine what you’re financially ready to spend. Remodeling can be an excellent investment and save you the hassle of moving. But it requires a great deal of patience and flexibility. On the other hand, buying a home can be instantly gratifying, but the actual costs of buying (and selling) – such as commissions, closing costs and moving fees – need to be part of the equation, as that is money you won’t get back. 


2.     Is the layout of your current home conducive to a remodel? Do you like your kitchen, but a load-bearing wall prevents you from making it your dream space? Or would your perfect bathroom be attainable except for space constraints? A professional remodeler can provide you with creative solutions to your layout needs and help you determine if a dramatic remodel is attainable. Another consideration is zoning laws. If you’re planning a large project, a professional remodeler can tell you if any zoning restrictions would affect the remodeling project you envision.
 
3.     What is the current value of your home compared to similar homes in your neighborhood? If your home is already the most expensive in the area, you might see a small return on your investment if you remodel. But if comparable home values are more significant than your home, you are much more likely to see a strong return by making improvements.


4.     How might your needs change in the next three, five or 10 years? A growing family, kids going off to college, an aging family member moving in – all are factors that can significantly impact your future requirements for a home. According to the National Association of Home Builders, more than a third (39%) of buyers prefer a multigenerational home.


5.     How do you feel about your current location? Even if you change everything about your home, there are many things outside of your home that you have no control over. Have you resumed a lengthy commute to work, or taken up a hobby or activity farther away from your home? Other lifestyle factors to consider are the school district, parks and shopping centers, and the overall look and feel of the community. 


To find more information to help you make the decision as well as a directory filled with skilled remodelers, real estate agents, visit our membership directory.

How to Spend Your Golden Years Safely at Home

Homeowners are increasingly interested in living out their golden years in their own home. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than three-fourths of remodelers (76%) indicated that requests for aging-in-place features have significantly or somewhat increased over the past five years. The “age in place” approach affords homeowners the ability to live comfortably and independently in the safety of their own home regardless of their age or ability.
 
To help make a smooth transition into this stage of their lives, many baby boomers are searching for builders and remodelers who can help turn their home into a more convenient place to live as they age. Building professionals who have earned the NAHB Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and healthcare professionals.
 
NAHB found that the two most common reasons homeowners request aging-in-place projects are planning ahead for future needs (88%) and living with older parents (50%). Many existing or older homes are simply not equipped to meet the needs of the baby boomer generation.
 
There are many projects that homeowners can request to better accommodate their current or future needs. Grab bars are the most common aging-in-place project, with 93% of remodelers reporting this job in the last year. They are followed by curb-less showers (83%), higher toilets (77%), wider doorways (63%), and added lighting/task lighting (49%). 


CAPS professionals are helping homeowners find aging-in-place solutions that fit their specific needs and budget. CAPS remodelers and builders are trained to understand the unique needs of aging adults without sacrificing the aesthetic value of the home.


Aging homeowners looking to renovate need to be able to find a remodeler they can trust completely, and the CAPS designation helps give homeowners a guarantee that they’re collaborating with a trustworthy professional who’s an expert in aging-in place renovation. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care consultants.


CAPS designees pledge to uphold a strict code of conduct, so you can be sure that they will listen closely to your specific needs and will never push you to add any renovations you don't need. In addition, CAPS professionals also commit to attending continuing education programs, so they are always up to date on the latest aging-in-place technologies and strategies.


If you’d like to find a builder or remodeler in your area with a CAPS or other designation, contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga. You can also search the online directory at nahb.org/capsdirectory.

How to Plan for a Deck Remodel

A deck extends the living space of the home and provides an outdoor space to relax and socialize. If your deck could use a refresh, you should consider remodeling to improve both your home’s value and your everyday enjoyment of your home. A wood deck with an average construction cost of $17,051 has an estimated resale value of $8,553, which garners a healthy 50.2% percent in recouped costs, according to the 2023 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.


To help you plan for a deck remodel, consider hiring a professional contractor and start making a list of your preferences for size, materials, and personalized features.


Determine the Scope of Your Project. If you are adding to your existing deck, remember that the finishes may look newer than your old decking. If you are completely overhauling or building a new deck, think about the overall flow of the area from the inside to the outside of your home. Will you need a staircase and railing? These details will help you determine the size and scope of your project.
Consider Special Features. Modern decks include more than outdoor furniture. If your deck is multifunctional, talk to your contractor about customizable features such as built-in planters, seating or a firepit. Another popular addition to decks is rail and/or built-in deck lightening to create an inviting ambiance to your outdoor space.


Hire a Professional Remodeler. Building a deck requires more than wood planks and tools. A professional contractor will ensure you have the correct materials and will build your deck to code. If you need a construction permit, an experienced contractor will know how to secure one from the local building department or municipal office. Another benefit of hiring a professional is that if a problem arises, they will troubleshoot problems on the jobsite and help keep your project on schedule.


Research Deck Material Options. Modern deck materials are available in a range of styles, colors, and patterns. Composite material, made of recycled plastics and wood fiber, is a low-maintenance option that does not need staining or sealing. Another popular deck material is fiberglass, due to its longevity and resistance to mildew or rust. There also are distinct types of wood, from pressure-treated to redwood and cedar that can offer durability for decks. A professional remodeler can recommend materials for future maintenance related to sealing, staining, and repairing.


Select a Time that Fits Your Schedule. Remodelers install decks throughout the year. Spring and summer are popular times for homeowners to enjoy the space during the warmer months. Winter can make the excavation easier for remodelers since the ground is firm due to the freezing weather. Before your project starts, you must be available to clear the space so the remodeler can start as scheduled. You may also need to find a cool, dry area for your remodeler to store materials while your project is underway.


To find a professional remodeler near you to build a deck for your home, visit the membership directory of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga.

Simple Ways to Transform Your Home Office

Is working from home a trend, or is it here to stay? According to a recent nationwide poll by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 30% of American adults work from home at least two days a week. In response, homeowners are seizing the opportunity to reorganize their space to make it more functional, enjoyable, and productive during the workday.


If you already have a designated home office space, there are many simple ways to set up your area to boost your productivity. For example, experts recommend adding greenery. Plants are not only decorative but they also generally make people happy. Incorporating common household plants such as ferns or spider plants is an effortless way to bring the outdoors in.


Another way to increase comfort in your existing space is to reduce factors that contribute to physical discomfort. In general, spending a full day sitting at your desk without an ergonomic setup can lead to back, neck or wrist strain. An ergonomic workspace is designed to increase comfort and efficiency. To help you stay comfortable in your home office, make sure your computer monitor is at least an arm’s length away. And experts recommend utilizing a desk chair with an adjustable height so that your knees support your spine.


Reducing strain through an ergonomic setup and adding greenery is a start, but there are additional ways to enhance your home office. You can exponentially transform your space with a budget for significant improvements. Lighting is one area that is often overlooked. Floor and desk lamps can brighten up your workspace, but a mix of natural and artificial lights is preferred in most home office settings. If your home office space doesn’t have a natural light source, consider adding a window to your home office to potentially boost your mood and productivity. Tiffany Moon from Window Works of Chattanooga shares, “We specialize in custom windows and truly enjoy helping homeowners explore designer options to best capture and bring in natural light with new windows.”


Another option that requires some design work is adding built-in shelving units. An unkept workstation can be distracting and reduce efficiency if you spend time trying to look for items in and around your desk. The cost of built-in cabinets depends on the materials used, the space’s size and the design’s complexity. Still, because built-ins often negate the need to purchase additional furniture, they can be economical.  Given the variety of styles, finishes, and uses, built-ins can be a smart storage solution for your home office.


Adding a window, storage solutions or a splash of color on the walls to liven up your home office can be done with the help of a professional remodeler. A qualified contractor can recommend the best approach to elevate your work from home space, help you stay on budget and provide a high-quality service. To find a professional remodeler to transform your home office, visit the member directory here on our website.

Homeownership Rates Increase Across Generations

As the home building industry celebrates National Homeownership Month in June, new data shows that homeownership rates among adults in all age groups increased over the last year.
 
The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (CPS/HVS) reported the U.S. homeownership rate at 66% in the first quarter of 2023, amid a persistently tight housing supply. A closer look at the data shows that homeownership rates among households aged 55-54 registered the largest gains among all groups, followed by households aged 45-54. Adults 35 years old or younger also experienced a modest increase in homeownership.

 

It is no surprise that all age groups are making homeownership a priority. Homes are a primary source of net worth for many Americans. The most recent edition of the Survey of Consumer Finances showed that a primary residence is the largest asset for households.
 
One of the barriers to homeownership is affordability. Home builders recognize the increasing demand for affordable entry-level homes. However, rising construction costs and limited lot availability create significant challenges to building smaller, single-family detached homes that are affordable to first-time buyers and cost-effective for builders.

 

To help overcome these challenges, home builders, many of which are small businesses and live in our community, continue to advocate for housing affordability so all families can achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Buyers also may find that some home builders have arranged favorable financing for their customers or offer financial incentives.

 
When it comes to affordability, qualifying for a mortgage and saving up for a down payment is another obstacle to homeownership. To help address these concerns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) — offer low down payment mortgage programs geared primarily toward the first-time home buyer market. These lenders offer mortgages with 3% down payments, allowing more creditworthy borrowers who lack the funds for a large down payment to obtain a home mortgage. However, to ensure that the financing process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having a financing commitment in place before shopping for a new home.


Jessica Upshaw with The J Lending Team at Highlands Residential Mortgage shares, “Whether it's your first time or fifth time buying, we specialize in helping home buyers find the best loan option for their budget, making the dream of home ownership attainable and affordable.”


To learn more about the benefits of homeownership or find local professionals to help purchase your new home, visit our member directory.
 

Residential Construction Offers High Paying Career Paths

As the caps and gowns are cast aside and graduates contemplate their futures, quite a few may be eager to enter the workforce right away. A career in residential construction is one pathway that offers multiple trade options along with on-the-job training. The construction industry in our state is growing at a high pace, with an expected 315,000 job opportunities in skilled trades through 2026, according to Go Build Tennessee. Skilled trades such as carpentry or plumbing do not require a four-year degree and apprentice opportunities allow students to earn while they learn. Once training is complete, skilled trades professionals have strong earning potential.

 

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, half of the payroll workers in construction earn more than $54,540 and the top 25% make at least $77,030. The BLS publishes wages for more than 400 occupations in construction. Here is a closer look at the median salaries among the highest-paid wages in construction based on the most recent data available (2022). 

 

Plumbers. The median wage for plumbers was $60,070 in 2022. Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes in residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings. In general, plumbers are excellent listeners and problem-solvers. As long as there are complex water systems in and outside of homes, there will be a need for reliable plumbers.

 

Electricians. Qualified electricians are always in demand. The median wage for electricians was $59,300. Electricians have excellent analytical skills, are adept at diagnosing problems and work with a variety of tools and technology.

 

Brick Masons. Laying brick is one of the oldest and most respected trades in the construction industry. Masonry construction uses brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, concrete block, glass block, stucco, and tile. The median wage for brick masons is $59,130 annually.

 

Carpenters. Carpenters are needed in all construction areas and are often employed throughout the entire construction process. Thus, it is one of the most secure jobs in the industry. The best carpenters are critical thinkers who are detail oriented. Skilled carpenters earn $52,400 annually.

 

First-Line Supervisors. Seasoned tradespeople have the opportunity to manage people and projects. First-line supervisors play a key role in making sure projects are completed on time and within budget. The median wage for an employee in this role is $74,330

 

For more information on skilled trade training programs, apprenticeships, and career opportunities visit Go Build Tennessee or Home Builders Association of Chattanooga.

Increase Your Home's Value with Renovations

Remodeling projects are an excellent way for homeowners to increase functionality and add beauty to their homes. Additionally, if you intend to sell your current home soon, the projects you tackle today can pay off in the future. Depending on the type of remodeling project, improvements can add to your home resale value. However, not all remodeling projects are equal when generating the greatest resale value for homeowners.

 

Zonda, a housing market research firm, recently released their annual Cost vs. Value Report, which tracks the value ratio over the cost for 23 common remodeling projects. According to Zonda, the value figures are derived from a survey of more than 6,000 real estate agents. As in previous years, exterior projects deliver the best return on investment. Why? Curb appeal has an outsized influence on potential buyers and a home’s exterior that is well-maintained leaves a positive impression.

 

One essential home exterior feature is an attractive garage door. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners can recoup 102% of the garage door replacement cost. There are numerous types of garage doors to choose from. However, the best place to start is focusing on function and design. Experts recommend purchasing a new garage door that seamlessly fits your existing exterior style.

 

Jesse Cox, CEO of Access Garage Doors shares, “Year after year, garage doors stay at the top of the list when it comes to return on investment for homeowners. Not only do you recoup your investment, but garage door installation is also one of the quickest remodeling projects to tackle to improve your home’s value. As a local Chattanooga business for over 18 years that has now evolved into headquarters for our national franchise program, we are proud to serve the community that has always supported us in our mission to provide the highest quality in garage door systems, along with repairs and service.”

 

A garage door isn’t the only entryway feature that reaps rewards. In addition, homeowners recoup 100% of their investment of an entry door replacement. When selecting a front door, you’ll also want to ensure the style and materials complement your overall home aesthetic.

 

Another exterior project that topped the list was manufactured stone veneer. Homeowners that tackle this remodeling project are estimated to recover 102% of their investment. Manufactured stone veneer exhibits the look of natural stone and is available in various colors and sizes.

 

A couple of interior projects also generate a generous return on investment. For example, according to the report, homeowners who invest in a minor kitchen remodel will likely recoup more than 71 percent of their investment. This type of remodeling is generally smaller and involves replacing dated materials and fixtures instead of knocking down walls or reconfiguring plumbing and electrical. Similarly, with a mid-range bathroom remodel homeowners can expect to recoup 66% of their investment.

 

To learn more about remodeling projects that prove their value or to find a local remodeler in Chattanooga, visit our member directory

Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Remodeler

Are you among the growing number of homeowners who would prefer to remodel than try to purchase a new property? As you request estimates, you’ll soon learn that even simple remodels can cost a significant amount of money. With that type of investment on the line, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust.


As the home building and remodeling industry celebrates National Home Remodeling Month in May, here are the top five tips to ensure you make the right decisions when you find and hire a remodeler.


Utilize a Directory. A simple Google search will provide you with endless pages of remodelers. To help narrow down your search to find a qualified remodeler, utilize a directory from a professional organization like the one available here on our website. A professional remodeler will uphold the industry's highest professional and ethical standards. These sources can also help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling if you need it, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help modify your home to suit you better as you age.


Narrow Down Your List. Once you have generated a list of professional remodelers, closely examine their services. The best place to start is by visiting the company website or social media accounts to see photos of their work. Home renovation websites like HomeAdvisor or Houzz also have pictures and reviews of remodeling companies. When reading online reviews, try to focus on the descriptions of experiences and qualities that are most important to you as a customer. Another avenue is to ask for referrals from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and others who have had remodeling work done on comparable homes under similar schedules.


Conduct Background Research. Once you have a list of potential home remodelers for your project, do some background research to verify that they are appropriately licensed and have a good business track record. Look them up with your local or state office of consumer protection.


Make a List of Interview Questions. When you begin meeting with remodelers, you want to find out information such as:

 

  • How long have they been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?
  • Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
  • What is their working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area, and what issues could arise?
  • Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and liable for the work). Do they comply with all local, state, and federal laws?
  • Do they provide a written estimate before beginning the work? Do they offer a contract detailing the work that will and will not be performed and provide a fair payment schedule?
  • Verifying smart business practices and remodeling expertise will ensure your home remodel is completed successfully.


Trust Your Instincts. Make sure you are compatible with the contractor you select. Beginning your project with mutual expectations and good communication will go a long way toward a smooth remodel. You’ll spend a significant amount of time with your remodeler, so having a good rapport and trust in them is essential.


For more detailed checklists for finding, evaluating, and working with a remodeler and other information about remodeling your home, check out our other helpful articles on the blog or visit 

How to Recycle Unwanted Household Items

For many of us, springtime comes with renewed energy to declutter and tackle home improvement projects. As the dust settles and renovations are complete, you may find you are left with multiple items that are no longer useful to you. Before tossing everything in the garbage, check out this list to find ways to recycle unwanted items and dispose of hazardous materials properly. Not only will donating and recycling help declutter your home, but it can also help reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve natural resources and create jobs in recycling and manufacturing industries in our local community.


Furniture & Household Items: Gently used furniture and general household items including lighting fixtures, cabinets, appliances, lawn equipment and more are always welcome at the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga ReStore. Jens Christensen, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga shares, “In the past year alone, we’ve kept over 1.2 million pounds of reusable materials out of local landfills. Not only will your items find an appreciative new home at the ReStore but proceeds also go to building and repairing homes in the Chattanooga community.”


Broken or Worn Appliances: Many older or broken household appliances such as stoves, washing machines, refrigerators or dishwashers are eligible for recycling. Appliances contain metal that can be reclaimed. If you’re purchasing a new appliance, check with the company installing regarding their recycling options. Local scrap metal recyclers may be interested in your old appliances as well.


Glass: While bottles, jars, and non-food glass containers such as perfume or face creams are recyclable, these items should be taken to local recycling centers and not placed in your curbside recycling bin. You can find a list of local recycling centers at Chattanooga.gov and hamiltontn.gov.  It is important to clean and dry items before recycling them as leftover particles or liquids can contaminate other recyclables. Lids and corks should be removed prior to recycling. Larger glass items such as vases, glass drinking cups, window glass and glass cookware cannot be recycled.


Paper: Beyond documents, many types of paper can be recycled. Mixed paper is a common household item and can include discarded mail, magazines, and cardboard. Your home office may contain recyclable content such as letterhead, files, phone books, copier paper or envelopes. Do not recycle paper that is wet, greasy, or soiled.


Plastic: Jugs, jars and bottles that are plastic can be recycled. Like glass, plastic items must be clean and dry before they can be recycled. Keep in mind that plastic cannot only be found in the kitchen. Your bathroom may have items that can be recycled as well such as shampoo, liquid soap, or mouthwash. Empty plastic detergent or cleaning bottles in your laundry room or utility closet are also ideal for recycling.


Hazardous Materials: Toxic materials should be carefully disposed of to prevent harm to people or the environment. Older materials found in your home, garage or shed can be considered dangerous, such as paint strippers with the newly banned toxic chemical methylene chloride. This type of toxic substance should be removed from your home with the appropriate personal protective clothing such as gloves. Empty containers may have hazardous residual chemicals. All hazardous waste for both Chattanooga and Hamilton County can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at 4063 North Hawthorne Street.


For more helpful information on anything related to home improvement, check out the publications section here at hbagc.net. 

Home Design Trends to Watch in 2023

The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) – a prestigious awards program recognizing excellence in designs that will influence the entire residential building industry. 
Award recipients are distinguished as the nation’s most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers.
Below are some of the newest trends in home design that buyers throughout the Chattanooga area will see in the coming months and years, based on submissions from this year’s BALA winners. Some of these elements are sure to inspire your next design project.


Outdoor Living. From single-family to multifamily and community amenities, outdoor living continues to be a huge focus in home design. Even in colder climates, designers are incorporating great indoor/outdoor spaces that could be utilized differently depending on the time of year.


Wine in Design. These dazzling features provide not only a great focal point for entertainment spaces, but also highlight the celebratory nature of wine by making it a design element.


Luxurious Bathrooms. Large showers and standalone soaking tubs are making a splash in today’s bathrooms, especially where larger square footage allows. Great bathroom designs also focus on the ability to bring in lots of natural light while still maintaining privacy, whether through frosted panes or outdoor privacy walls.


Colorful Kitchens. From eye-catching backsplashes to ceiling details, kitchens today are expanding beyond the basic white and wood palettes in years prior through thoughtful touches and clean-line designs. Even hood designs are getting more creative as designers work to blend them more seamlessly with the overall space.
Kitchen islands also remain prominent, including creative insets and add-ons, such as beverage coolers for greater functionality. Larger kitchens may feature not one, but two of these entertainment workhorses.


Fantastic Foyers. Rich materials, strong contrasts and sweeping staircases made great first impressions in several standout entryways.


Exteriors with Style. Details add a level of richness to create stunning homes across the country. From traditional to contemporary to modern farmhouse, rich regional materials can be balanced with contrasting colors to create strong curb appeal.


To find an industry professional who is ready to bring these exciting new trends to your new home or remodeling project, visit our member directory or go to nahb.org.
 

Multigenerational Households Grow in Popularity

The popularity of multigenerational homes continues to grow, with more families choosing to live together under one roof. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans living in a family household of three or more generations is about four times larger today than in the 1970s.


The Pew data also reveals that 59.7 million U.S. residents live with multiple generations under one roof. Several factors contribute to this trend. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic increased multigenerational living arrangements as families came together for health-related or financial reasons. Other recent factors include rising housing costs and adult children staying home longer.


Multigenerational households also form so that grandparents can help care for their grandchildren, and their adult children can care for them as they age. This type of arrangement can also reduce financial burdens, with several generations contributing to the mortgage payment and eliminating expenses of childcare, retirement housing or professional caregiving environments.


Home builders and remodelers are building and renovating homes to meet the needs of multigenerational households. These designs allow many generations of the same family to live together under one roof yet have private areas and combined living space.


Features of multigenerational home plans can include in-law suites within the main home with separate areas for independent living. These often have kitchenettes, ensuite bathrooms, and sometimes private entrances from the street. In addition, they frequently include "universal design" features, which focus on maximum usability by people of all ages and abilities. Examples include walk-in showers, smooth flooring transitions, and cabinets with pull-out drawers.


Building professionals who have earned the NAHB Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received in-depth training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely and independently, regardless of their age or ability level. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and healthcare professionals.


To learn more about multigenerational home plans or to find a CAPS professional in our area contact The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga or visit nahb.org/capsdirectory.