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Local News and Information

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.

What Do Home Buyers Want in Their Next Home?

New Homes Month in April is an excellent time to think about what you want in your next new home. Most Americans have a vision of their dream home or envy amazing renovation makeovers seen on television shows or social media. But how does your dream home compare to what home buyers across the country are looking for in their new home?

There was a brief uptick in new home sizes in 2021. However, the average size of a new home dropped slightly from 2,525 square feet to 2,480 square feet in 2022. The findings are based on an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) of U.S. Census Bureau data that tracks new single-family home characteristics.

It’s not the size of the home that matters, it’s what you can do with the space. The data revealed that the percentage of new homes with four or more bedrooms rose to nearly half (48%). Builders have found that buyers are seeking more lifestyle flexibility in their new homes and more bedrooms are part of that solution. For example, home offices, recently appeared on the list of buyers’ most-wanted features for the first time, according to an NAHB survey of home buyer preferences.

Flexible spaces inside the home are key, but exterior features also pique the interest of new home buyers. In a recent survey of builders conducted by NAHB, builders saw a large jump in demand for exterior amenities, such as patios, decks and porches in 2022. In response, many new homes include walking paths and outdoor living spaces connected to the home, contributing to buyers' overall sense of comfort and enjoyment of their space. Cheryl Moore with Core Homes shares, “Over the last three years, many of our home buyers discovered the convenience and freedom of working from home. However, living 24/7 within the same four walls quickly highlighted the need for dedicated rooms for work and play. Plus the desire to stay connected to fresh air and sunlight was tantamount. Home offices and outdoor living spaces went to the top of the list of our buyers’ must-haves.”

The latest new home design trends that support modern lifestyles are just one of the many reasons to buy a newly constructed home. In addition, new home buyers can choose the finishes, fixtures, flooring, paint colors and more that suit their preferences and are often more durable, without the hassle or cost of changing the previous owner’s tastes. “New construction homes offer up-to-date layouts and efficiencies over older, used homes,” says Moore. “If our home buyers decide to build from the ground up - they work in tandem with a nationally recognized designer in choosing every finish and fixture to make their home truly unique and a perfect fit for them.”
To learn about new homes in the Tennessee Valley and to connect with builders in our area, contact us here at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga or visit our member directory.

Easy Projects to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal

Spring is the perfect time to make the outside of your home look like the best on the block. Outdoor upgrades will enhance your house’s curb appeal and deliver a more substantial return on investment if you’re trying to sell. Some exterior projects may require the help of a professional, but many solutions are simple and affordable.


First, review your home’s appearance as if you’re a potential buyer, taking note of what you see. What features of your home’s exterior can benefit from a simple touch-up? To help get you started, consider these makeover suggestions:

Grass. Real estate experts say a lush lawn makes all the difference in appealing to neighbors and buyers alike. Fortunately, keeping up with your yard throughout the year can be easier than you think. Before you mow your lawn, inspect the height of your mower blade and adjust as needed to ensure the grass is at least 3-4 inches tall after mowing. Taller grass will help keep the soil cooler and allow the roots to grow longer to retain moisture better and reach nutrients.

Lighting. Landscape lighting can enhance your safety and make your house dazzle at night. A well-planned setup can transform an ordinary porch into your new favorite hangout spot. Another option is to brighten your walkways with pathway lighting. If you’re worried about installing electrical wires, there is a wide range of solar lighting options.

Paint. A fresh coat of paint can enhance your front door, garage door and window trim. However, if your front door is worn and showing age, it might be time to replace it. A new door is one of the easiest home improvement projects to tackle with a high return on investment.

Grime. A thorough cleaning of a home’s exterior can have a major impact on curb appeal. Invest in a high-powered pressure washer or hire a local professional to give your driveway, front steps, walkways and siding a once-over. You’ll be amazed by how much cleaner they can get.

Extra Greenery. Planters with vibrant spring colors can make a big impression on the any-sized porch. While homeowners with covered porches may seek out hanging planter options, those with uncovered porches can explore using planters of all sizes. A creative presentation can make your home memorable if you experiment with arrangements.

For more suggestions about improving your home’s curb appeal and for a list of local professionals to tackle the projects top on your list, visit our member directory.

Homes are Growing Older. Is it Time for a Remodel?

Professional home builders construct homes to last. However, over the decades homeowner needs and preferences evolve. If you’re a homeowner who has recently purchased an older home or spent decades making memories in your current home, you’re not alone. The median age of owner-occupied homes is 40 years, according to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis of America Community Survey estimates.

A closer look at the nation’s housing stock data reveals that many properties may be due for an upgrade. A little less than half of the owner-occupied homes in the nation were built before 1980, with around 35% built before 1970, according to NAHB. In contrast, new construction added nearly 8.3 million units to the national housing stock from 2010 to 2021, accounting for only 10% of owner-occupied housing stock in 2021. Chattanoogan homes skew even older than the national average with the median age of homes being 1974 and over 58% being built before 1980, according to the latest Census data.

Taking steps to modernize your home isn’t only about interior design changes like removing shag carpeting. Any improvement project, big or small, can make your home more enjoyable and increase your comfort level. Updating your property also has the potential to add value to your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2022 Report, upgrades such as a siding replacement, a small kitchen remodel, and windows or entry door replacement provide a great return on investment and add to a home’s resale price.

It might be challenging to know where to start if your home needs significant upgrades. A professional remodeler can provide a wealth of experience and solve any design challenges you may encounter during your project. Home remodeling frequently involves problem solving, such as maximizing existing space, strategically building additions, or navigating limited budgets. Professional remodelers help homeowners manage such challenges and meet their needs while staying within the budget. To find a professional remodeler in our community, visit our member directory.

5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Spring

Those first daffodils and the layer of pollen on your vehicles signal that spring will be here before you know it. As mother nature continues to play her yearly game of highs and lows, inspecting and cleaning your home during the transition to warmer weather can make any household easier to manage. By dedicating just a few days to completing these simple tasks, you will keep your home running smoothly and protect your investment at the same time. To get started, here are five ideas to help you spruce up your home for spring.

Refresh Your Windows. As the weather gets warmer, it’s vital to ensure your windows are in good working condition. First, inspect all windows for proper operation and a tight fit. Next, clean the window tracks with a handheld vacuum or microfiber dusting cloth. If you have window screens, gently wash them with mild soap and water. Next, check that the weatherstripping hasn’t cracked or torn. You can reduce your energy bills by up to 10% by sealing leaks in windows and doors.

Schedule an Air Conditioning Tune-up. Have your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned. If your system has a filter, replace it. A good rule of thumb is to change your air filter every three months to keep your unit working efficiently, more often if you own pets. If your HVAC system is in good shape, consider other ways to keep your home cool as the weather turns warmer, like adding curtains, shades or blinds to windows.

Prepare for Unwanted Pests. Warmer weather also means that pests – including ants, roaches, rats, and termites – will be looking to join your household. Keep them out by sealing cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks, and around pipes and windows. 

Inspect Your Roof. Severe weather can take a toll on your roof. Experts recommend checking your roof for any signs of winter damage from ice, snow, or debris. Remember to take special care when using a ladder to inspect your roof. Read and follow directions carefully.

Clean Your Gutters. Long winters bring a mix of storms and heavy winds that can carry a lot of debris to your gutters. Leaves, small branches and twigs can clog up your gutters and downspouts which can lead to damage and leaks over time. Cleaning gutters in the spring and then again late fall is recommended to keep your gutters in the best condition.

To find an industry professional to help with spring cleaning and home maintenance tasks, visit the HBAGC member directory.

Should You Buy a New or Existing Home?

A home is one of the most significant purchases a person will make in their lifetime. There is no question that the cost of purchasing a home has been challenging recently. Yet, despite some affordability hurdles, many individuals continue to buy a house to invest in their future. According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, in the fourth quarter of 2022, nearly half (46%) of prospective home buyers were actively engaged in the purchasing process. Additionally, Realtor.com recently ranked Chattanooga in the top 10 housing markets positioned for growth in 2023.

As Chattanoogans begin their search for homes, one of the buyers' first decisions is if they should purchase a new or existing home. Older homes may offer charm or might be in a preferred location, but existing homes generally need upgrades, costing homeowners more money in the long run.

An NAHB analysis of recent census data found that a third (35%) of owner-occupied homes were built before 1970. Building standards have changed a great deal over the decades, almost as fast as technology has evolved.  Due to this evolution, new homes can accommodate today’s advanced technology and be customized to meet an individual homeowner’s needs. And knowing that the house was built by a qualified professional to adhere to the latest safety codes gives the owner added assurance.

In addition to being built to the most recent safety codes, today’s homes are more energy efficient than ever. With innovative materials and construction techniques, new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than homes constructed a generation ago. As a result, not only can they be more affordable to operate, but new homes also are significantly more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.

New homes also have adapted to modern homeowner’s needs. The pandemic changed the way most individuals live, work and play. And new homes available on the market today are designed to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, from busy on-the-go families to flexible spaces ideal for spending more time at home.


For more information on purchasing a new home and to connect with home builders in our community, contact us here at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga. 

How to Modernize Your Home with Light and Dark Colors

Giving your home a more modern style may be more attainable than you think. One common approach is to use light and dark color combinations throughout your interior design, from paint colors to light and dark wood choices (usually on cabinets or floors), furniture, and even carpets or other décor items. If you’re interested in creating a fresh look for your home, consider the following approaches to using dark and light hues to modernize your living spaces.

Take a Walk on the Dark Side
Dark bold pieces or accents give any space depth and a traditional feel. For example, painting walls with dark colors allows art and other objects to stand out. Generally, dark colors like black thrive when paired with neutral tones. Together, these combinations can create a more inviting and comfortable space. Having darker colors in homes is elegant, moody, chic, and sophisticated; most importantly, they always stay in style.

Bring on the Brights
Adding white or light-colored furniture can make a room look more spacious, open, and airy. Painting walls or cabinets white allows for a blank canvas, which can then be the base for creativity to shine through. Using white as a base gives leniency to play with other colors to stand out.

Combine Color like a Pro
Combining dark and light colors can also create an appealing space with a sense of organization and order by following the 80/20 rule. According to the American Institute of Interior Design, “As long as 80% of your interior is unified by the same style, period, or philosophy, you can deviate with the other 20%.” Using this rule, combining dark and light colors creates a contrasting design and allows for substantial flexibility for accessorizing or accenting with a mix of colors to tell a story. 


Find more inspiration to modernize your home design at the 56th Annual Tri-State Home Show coming to the Chattanooga Convention Center February 24th-26th. For more information about the event, visit homeshowchattanooga.com

What Builders are Featuring in Today's Homes

America’s home builders closely follow the preferences of today’s home buyers to ensure they enjoy their new homes. For example, builders responded at the height of the pandemic by adding square footage in new homes since people were spending more time at home. Now the trend is shifting, partly due to housing affordability factors. Here are a few notable trends in the residential construction industry based on recent U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 


Home Size is Trending Lower 
An expected impact of the pandemic was a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes, including work. The housing boom after covid led to a new single-family home size rise. However, this trend is reversing due to housing market conditions, namely affordability. According to  2022 third-quarter U.S. Census data and NAHB analysis, the median single-family square floor area declined to 2,276 square feet, compared to 2,326 in the third quarter of 2021.


“We work closely with Chattanooga builders and developers and have seen the incredible ways they have worked to meet the challenges and needs of homebuilders through the pandemic, supply shortages and other stressors. Our builders’ answers to the ever-changing housing market are one of the reasons why Chattanooga remains a top place to move in the U.S,” notes Carrie Brisendine, Assistant Vice President of Southern Heritage Bank.  


New Homes Have More Bedrooms and Bathrooms 
According to the most recent data available, only a small percentage of new single-family homes have two bedrooms or less (9.2%), while nearly half (44%) of new homes had three bedrooms and more than a third (36%) had four bedrooms. Moreover, 2021 marked the second year that the share of four-bedroom homes increased.


In addition, a majority (62%) of new single-family homes have two full bathrooms. According to an NAHB analysis, since 2005, most new homes tend to have two full bathrooms. And it is no surprise that an overwhelming majority (93%) of homes that were 5,000 square feet or more had three or more full bathrooms.


Patios are Preferred to Decks 
Homeowners treasure their outdoor space. For the sixth consecutive year, 2021 showed that the share of new homes with patios increased. In contrast, the share of new homes with decks is trending in the opposite direction. However, decks remain relatively popular in certain parts of the country, according to NAHB. For example, more than half (60%) of new homes in New England came with decks in 2021. 

Interest in Two-story Foyers Declines 
In 2021, most new single-family homes were built without a two-story foyer nationally and regionally. According to the Census Bureau, a two-story foyer is an entranceway inside a house's front door and has a ceiling at the second-floor ceiling level. In the United States, the share of new homes with two-story foyers fell from 29% to 25% in 2021, the lowest level in the last five years. A two-story foyer has been an unwanted feature for many home buyers since 2012, as many consider two-story foyers energy inefficient.


For more information on new home trends or how to find a home builder in the Chattanooga area, visit www.HBAGC.net.

Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

The beginning of 2023 is the perfect time to start planning for a home project. To keep your space comfortable and functional, it’s essential to keep up with home maintenance. You’ll be surprised by how a refresh or clean-up can be fun and personally rewarding. So here are a few new year’s resolutions for your home.

Add Space to Increase Your Comfort. After spending more time at home during the pandemic, many homeowners are reevaluating their living spaces and want more of it. According to the National Association of Home Builders recent analysis of U.S. Census data, the average size of a new single-family home is 2,506 square feet. If you’re ready to expand your space, visit the HBAGC member directory to find an experienced builder or remodeler. A residential construction industry professional can guide the feasibility of your project, estimates, zoning, building codes and the permitting process.

Refresh Your Floors. Taking steps to refresh your home in the new year doesn’t always require major renovation. One way to liven up your living space is to replace your flooring. Style and décor aren’t the only factors to consider when selecting new floors. Other features you’ll want to consider when replacing the floors in your home are durability, maintenance, and the amount of moisture in the specific area of your home. Connect with a professional remodeler to help you evaluate what will work best for your home.

Spruce Up Your Lawn. A well-manicured front lawn can make all the difference in curb appeal. If your yard needs attention, start with a basic clean-up. Try pruning trees, trimming shrubs, and removing weeds. Once your yard is cleared, consider planting a tree or adding flowers for a fresh look this year.

Increase Your Energy Efficiency. There are a variety of ways to reduce energy consumption in your home. One step is replacing heating, cooling, or water heaters with more energy-efficient units. If your appliances are new or energy-efficient, remember to do regular maintenance so your units can run optimally. Installing drapes and shades on windows are also easy and low-cost ways to regulate the temperatures in your home.

Declutter Your Home. Another year has gone by, so you may have accumulated more items in your home. By decluttering your home, you may find that you have the space you need. Experts recommend clearing your home room by room to avoid feeling overwhelmed. To help manage what stays and what goes, sort items by type: toss, keep, reuse/repair, recycle and donate.

For more information about home repairs or renovations, check out our other blog articles and publications or contact us here at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga. 

Is Your Home Healthy?

Every January, the gyms and trails of Chattanooga are packed with those making changes in their routines to live healthier. One area you may not be considering as you make changes is your home. Creating a clean-living environment is crucial to not just your physical but your mental well-being as well. Here are a few simple changes that can make your home healthier for the new year.


Eliminate pollutants at the front door. Simply adding double door mats can reduce the amount of dirt and pollen tracked into your home by 80 percent.   Place a quality outdoor mat outside to wipe dirt off shoes and another inside the entryway. Removing shoes when you enter can decrease dirt tracked inside even more. Adding shoe storage and slippers near the door can help you and your family adopt and stick to this new habit. 


Go green by including plants in your home design. Studies show that bringing nature indoors not only reduces toxins but is also proven to reduce stress. Choose air-purifying house plants such as English ivy, aloe vera or peace lilies. If you have pets, opt for Boston ferns, bamboo palms or spider plants which are non-toxic for cats and dogs.


Look for natural, organic cleaners in lieu of chemical-laden ones. When purchasing household cleaners, shop for 100% plant-based cleaners without harsh ingredients. You may also be surprised at how many cleaners you can make yourself with ingredients you already have at home such as vinegar and essential oils. 


Air flow is vital to creating a healthy home. Resist the urge to shut off unused rooms, as this can increase the chances of mold growth and reduce air circulation. Keeping ceiling fans on low can also help with air flow. Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades in the winter to force warm air down. 


And finally, don’t forget to change your HVAC filters regularly. Most air filters should be changed every few months, but more often if you have furry family members. Check to see if your system will accommodate HEPA filters, which offer the best filtration for common allergens. If you suffer from severe allergies, consider adding air purifiers to your home or contacting one of our local HVAC members to inquire about HVAC systems that include air purification.


For more information on creating a healthy, happy home in 2023, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s website at www.HBAGC.net.

Keeping An Eye On Home Security For The Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, along with trips to visit family and winter vacations, it’s important for everyone to take stock of their home security. Each year there are over 2.5 million burglaries across the US, with Tennessee reporting 22,517 and Georgia 18,452 burglaries in 2021. 


To protect your home, today’s technology allows for a large variety of customizable options from doorbell and outdoor cameras to motion detectors that you can monitor easily from your smartphone. Full home security systems are more affordable than ever, with local companies offering the peace of mind of professional installation and monitoring with pricing similar to self-installed systems. 


Additionally, security systems are not just an option for homeowners anymore. Wireless home security systems offer protection for renters without any damage to leased property and the convenience of being able to move the system with you. 


Proper outdoor lighting is also especially important in deterring potential theft. If your home does not have adequate lighting, some of the options you may want to consider include motion-detecting flood lights around your home, and solar-powered pathway lights and spotlights to keep entrances well-lit and less enticing to criminals. 


“According to the FBI -2/3 of thefts and burglaries are decided randomly and on the spot.   They want ease and no detection.  A lit entryway, path or home will most likely make them move on and search for an easier target. Light it right through the night,” says Joe Bozich, president of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Chattanooga. “Studies suggest that lighting not only acts as a deterrent of crime, but also improves community cohesion and pride in home ownership.”


As always, make it a habit to lock any vehicles in your driveway or parked at your home and remove any valuables. Theft of personal property from vehicles is the most common type of larceny theft, with over one million reported in 2020 by police. And motor vehicle thefts numbered over 20,000 in Tennessee and over 18,000 in Georgia in 2021. 


If you’ll be away during the holidays, put a hold on your mail and ask a friend to watch for any deliveries. Mail and packages piling up at your door or in your mailbox can alert criminals that you are out of town. It’s also a good idea to leave a light on in the home or use timers to switch lights in the evening, and ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. 


After you have installed a security system, proper lighting, or other safety actions in place, be sure to notify your insurance company. Many insurance policies offer discounts for these preventative measures.


To find out more about home security and outdoor lighting, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s member directory at www.HBAGC.net to find a list of qualified, local professionals to help with your needs.


How Are Building Costs Affecting Us?

Rising mortgage rates approaching 7% along with declining builder sentiment stemming from stubbornly high construction costs and weakening consumer demand pushed new-home sales down at a double-digit rate in September.

Following a brief uptick in August, sales of newly built, single-family homes in September fell 10.9% to a 603,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Builders continue to face lower buyer traffic due to declining affordability conditions as the housing downturn continues,” said Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Builder sentiment has declined for 10 consecutive months. The entry-level market in high-cost areas has been particularly affected, with growing numbers of first-time and first-generation buyers priced out of the market.”

“New home sales are down 14.3% on a year-to-date basis compared to 2021,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Moreover, sales are now down 1.9% on the same basis compared to 2019 levels that were prior to the Covid-related changes to interest rates.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the September reading of 603,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months. Notably, the new home sales data do not incorporate cancellations, which according to NAHB survey data have more than doubled compared to a year ago.

Here in the South, new home sales fell 12.1%, but all regions dropped including an 8.1% decrease in the Northeast, 21.2% in the Midwest and 17.6% in the West.

However, some local builders in the Chattanooga area are reporting positive stories. “There is a very compelling financial benefit to buyers purchasing a new GreenTech home today in a high inflation/appreciation environment. GreenTech is focused on buying down interest rates and locking rates to help buyer monthly payments remain cheaper than market rental rates. Additionally, the total cost of ownership of a new GreenTech home is lower than an older home when you include maintenance costs,” says Chad Tyler, CEO of GreenTech Homes. 

If you’re ready to start a new home journey or remodeling project, visit the membership directory at www.HBAGC.net for a list of professionals to help you.  

Upcoming Events Sponsored by Our HBAGC Members

Looking for fun events in the Chattanooga area? Here are some upcoming happenings sponsored by members of your local Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga.  


EPB is proud to sponsor Reindeer on the Riverfront & Lighted Boat Parade on Friday, November 25. The Tennessee River will be filled with lighted boats, and onshore people can get into the holiday spirit with live music, reindeer and photos with Santa! This event is free for everyone.  


TVFCU has several upcoming events starting with sponsoring Ice on the Landing from November 18-January 29. Enjoy ice skating on the landing in the gardens of the historic Chattanooga Choo-Choo. Visit https://www.iceonthelanding.com/ for tickets and information. TVFCU will sponsor the CHI Lung bus with lung screenings at their Southside branch 125 West 20th Street on November 22.  

TVFCU will also host three Idea Leap Grant Pitch Competitions awarding $175,000 to entrepreneurs in 2023. These events will take place in Chattanooga, Cleveland and Dalton next year during National Small Business Week – the second week in May. Applications open on November 16 are available to small business owners within TVFCU’s 17-county service area. Visit tvfcu.com/idealeap for rules, more information and to apply.


Absolute Stone Design is hosting a holiday open house through November 25 in their showroom on West 25th Street, with notable deals including a free sink. Call 423-531-8185 for more details.


Finally, businesses can reserve their booths now for the 56th Annual Tri-State Home Show at the Chattanooga Convention Center Feb. 24-26. Thousand of current and potential homeowners attend every year! Call  (423) 624-9992 for more information. 

Why You Should Consider a Career in Construction

In 2022, the amount of building permits filed in the South has more than doubled the amount of permits in the Northeast, Midwest and West combined, according to NAHB housing data. These statistics show there has never been a better time for people in Tennessee and North Georgia to choose a career in construction. 


“Construction can be a great and fun career. It gives you the opportunity to work with your hands, be creative in many cases and learn many different trades if you so desire. The opportunities can be endless and the sky can be the limit if that's what you want to make of it, ” says Brent Mercer with Brent Mercer Homes and Construction Services. 

With October being Careers in Construction Month, here are more benefits for choosing a construction career path: 


Job Security- The housing demand is still high, particularly so in the South. And there’s a shortage of skilled workers, meaning higher pay opportunities and benefits packages. Additionally, with a skills gap and upcoming wave of retirees, there will be a demand for one million craft professionals by 2023, according to byf.org.  


Helping Your Community- Skilled workers build the homes and apartments we live in, the businesses we frequent in Chattanooga and the surrounding communities, the highways we travel and more. There’s a sense of pride in knowing that you’re helping your neighbors and fellow Chattanoogans.  


Earn a Good Salary- Construction laborers can earn as much as $50,000 per year, with foremen earning up to $83,000 annually. Electricians can earn on average up to $88,000 per year. Many companies also offer sign-on bonuses to recruit new employees as the need for good skilled workers continues to grow. That also means more opportunities for great career growth.  


Easy to Get Started- There are numerous skilled labor jobs that require little or no experience or formal education. Construction companies are always looking for new hard working people to train. Many offer an “earn as you learn” model that means you get a paycheck while gaining valuable skills for your future. 


Travel Flexibility- If you choose to travel outside the beautiful Tennessee valley, the possible destinations for jobs in construction are endless. Construction happens in every U.S. state and every country around the world. And your office views could be ever changing as you work on building an amusement park, houses in different areas, restaurants and more. 


If you’d like to discuss career opportunities with reputable companies in the Chattanooga area, be sure to visit our membership directory at www.HBAGC.net for contact information for businesses in hundreds of construction and building categories.  

5 Easy Fall Maintenance Tasks for Your Home

With schools back in session and temperatures starting to cool slightly, now is the time to focus on a few simple home maintenance projects to prepare for the fall weather. Not all maintenance projects require a significant amount of time or money. Instead, seasonal projects are low or no-cost DIY projects that can also help you save money on your energy bills. Incorporating these home maintenance tasks will help increase the longevity of your home. Here are a few projects to check off your to-do list this September:


Fill in Air Gaps

Often undetected, air escapes your home through gaps and cracks. With fall months ahead, air can enter your home on cold and windy days. Checking your home for air leaks can prevent this from happening. In addition, heated air can escape from gaps that develop where building materials meet. Experts recommend inspecting areas where building materials may have pulled apart and caulk or seal any cracks that have formed. The best place to start is by checking around roof and foundation lines, chimneys and where pipes protrude through walls or roofs.


Add Heat-Absorbing Insulation

During the cooler months, you will want to keep the heat inside. Unfortunately, heat rises, which means it can also escape through vulnerable roof areas. The most efficient way to stop that heat loss is by ensuring your ceiling and roof are properly insulated. This is a job that is best left to professionals, and you can find many great Chattanooga area insulation specialists in the membership directory at HBAGC.net.


Weatherstrip Your Windows

Weatherstripping your windows allows you to stay warm and cozy in your home during the winter months. Inspect your windows by looking for cracks around glass, sashes, and window frames. Experts recommend repairing any broken windows before applying any weatherstripping materials. Consider replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR-certified windows, which could lower your household energy bills by an average of 12%. A professional remodeler can help you install and replace new windows and recommend keeping your home more energy efficient.


Clean Gutters and Clear Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are easy traps for leaves and pine needles, and squirrels often use them to store food. Be sure to clean gutters thoroughly and pay special attention to elbows and bends in the downspouts. Keep hangers fastened securely and plug any holes and cracks. Touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint. Finally, touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint.


Inspect Your Heating Unit

Make sure ducts and pipes located in unheated spaces are insulated. Dirt streaks around your ductwork, especially near the seams, are evidence of leaks. To keep your heater functioning at an optimal level, have your unit checked and cleaned by a professional. Ashley Loprinzo with Rivertech Heating and Air shares, “Regular maintenance not only helps prolong the life of your system, but it also helps us find smaller problems before they cause system failure and more costly repairs.” Loprinzo continues, “We offer preventative maintenance contracts and recommend service in the spring and fall to keep your A/C and heat working at its best year-round.”

Performing routine home maintenance is essential and well worth the time and effort to keep energy bills low, protect your investment, keep your family safe and prolong the life of your home. A wonderful place to get more ideas and connect with local area professionals to help with all your fall maintenance needs is the upcoming HBAGC Fall Home Show. Be sure to join us on September 24 and 25 at the Chattanooga Convention Center or check out more info at homeshowchattanooga.com.

Construction Industry Offers Rewarding Career Paths

Individuals across the country are reimagining their career paths following the height of the pandemic. One industry worth exploring is residential construction. Even as the United States is entering a period of economic easing, all projections show continued strong demand for new housing, making home building a stable and lucrative career choice. According to a recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, there were 440,000 open construction jobs in May 2022.


Pivoting to a career in construction has many benefits; consider the following:


The Industry is Hiring

Since the Great Recession, the United States has had a significant shortage of qualified professionals in the construction industry. As a result, home builders across the country and here in the Chattanooga area are seeking skilled workers — such as carpenters, framers, and roofers — to help them build the American Dream.


A recent NAHB survey found that home builders reported widespread shortages of various construction-related occupations. For example, home builders said framing crews, carpenters, bricklayers, and concrete workers were among the top labor shortages. Therefore, many builders in our area seek qualified professionals to fill those positions. Nicole Gosciniak with the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga shares, “The Chattanooga building market has exploded in recent years, and many of our members are paying top dollar and benefits to attract and keep good employees. Skilled laborers will always be needed. It is a great time to start a construction career.”

Compensation is Competitive

Many jobs in residential construction pay the equivalent – if not more – than jobs requiring similar experience levels and a college degree. Residential electricians, for example, earn an average of more than $61,000. And these careers begin with no or minimal student loan debt.


Management Opportunities Abound

Careers in construction are not limited to what some may perceive as traditional roles of plumbers, framers, etc. A variety of management positions are available. This challenging role requires critical thinking, technical skills, academic knowledge, and leadership skills. According to an NAHB analysis, out of the 13 highest paid trades in construction, 12 are management roles. The highest-paid managers in construction are architectural and engineering managers, with half making over $135,900 and the top 25 percent on the pay scale earning over $170,940 annually.


Training is Available

There are numerous opportunities to gain experience and training in the skilled trades. The Home Builders Institute (HBI), a national leader in career training and NAHB’s workforce development arm, offers educational programs in forty-six states. Through the organization’s industry-recognized curriculum utilized in nearly 400 programs, HBI trains in various skills, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, building construction technology, HVAC, and masonry.


HBI Job Corps programs are located in 118 job centers and offer pre-apprenticeship training in ten residential construction trades. The training programs are national in scope but implemented locally using proven models that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the nation. Those who graduate from the program enjoy a 92 percent job placement rate.


To learn more about training and job opportunities in the Tennessee Valley, visit the Home Builders of Great Chattanooga’s website at www.HBAGC.net

It's Time for the 2022 Annual Fall Home Show

While we are still experiencing record high temperatures as summer wanes on, schools are getting back to the books and all things pumpkin spice are already appearing in stores around Chattanooga. And with those first hints of fall, we are excited that the 2022 Annual Fall Home Show is just around the corner, scheduled for September 24-25. The Annual Fall Home Show is the premier event for the local home industry with hundreds of booths featuring products and services for new home construction, whole house renovations, kitchens, bathrooms, landscaping, and more. If your business has not registered for a vendor booth just yet, here are some reasons you should book now.


There is no better way to reach your target customers and garner awareness for your business than the Annual Fall Home Show. You will meet with thousands of homeowners who are currently shopping for products and services, and you can sell products and provide quotes directly on site. You also have the opportunity to collect high quality leads for future sales, meaning a continued return on your investment.


“The main reason we come back every year to the Annual Fall Home Show is we always get quality leads for new window, door and siding customers,” shares Trey Moon, owner of Window Works of Chattanooga. Moon continues, “As a local and family-owned business, we find this is one of the best ways to connect personally with both our customers and other local businesses.”


On top of meeting directly with your target audience, you will also be able to network with other home industry professionals. This is a wonderful way to spread the word about your business, as well as secure projects with complementary businesses.


The Annual Fall Home Show also offers a straightforward way to learn about your direct competition. Browsing the show floor not only allows you to get an idea of what other businesses are offering but can also help you find new ways to better reach your customers. Being a vendor at the show helps you stay on top of the best marketing practices and top home industry trends. 


And lastly, you may be surprised to hear that you do not have to be an HBAGC member to join the show. Booths are available to all local home industry businesses and professionals. However, if you choose to become a member, you can receive a discounted rate on your booth space when registering.


For more information and to sign up for the 2022 Annual Fall Home Show, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s Home Show website at www.homeshowchattanooga.com.

Is a New Home Worth the Investment?

Despite the news headlines, individuals continue to buy and sell homes. According to an National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, in May 2022, 88% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month. For many Americans, owning their own home is worth the time and investment. Loni Marcus with Lake Homes Realty shares, “Even as interest rates increase, they are still relatively low compared to previous decades. As a lake real estate specialist, I continue to see a strong demand for lake homes in the Chattanooga area.” Marcus continues, “These homes are good investments in addition to providing a gathering place for family and friends. For those looking to sell or buy, now is a good time before interest rates increase even more. Lake homes and housing in general are great investments and buyer activity remains strong but is less chaotic. Today, we may see four or five offers on a house as opposed to 20 or more a year ago.”


The benefits of buying a home are numerous. New homes available on the market today are designed to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, from busy on-the-go families to flexible spaces ideal for spending more time at home. In addition, many new homes feature a variety of floor plans and amenities to complement everyday family activities.


And today’s homes are more energy efficient than ever. With innovative materials and construction techniques, new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than homes constructed a generation ago. As a result, not only can they be more affordable to operate, but new homes also are significantly more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.


Building standards have changed a great deal over the decades, almost as fast as technology has evolved. Due to this evolution, new homes can accommodate today’s advanced technology and can be customized to meet the individual homeowner’s needs. And knowing that the house was built by a qualified professional to adhere to the latest safety codes gives the owner added assurance.


Many benefits are not tangible but similarly valuable. For example, one of the built-in benefits of many new homes is the forming of a new neighborhood. When families move into a new community at the same time, lasting bonds of friendship and neighborliness 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 many people, a home is the single best long-term investment and a primary source of wealth and financial security. The contrast of wealth-building opportunities between homeowners and renters is striking. On average, someone who owns their home has a household wealth of $255,000 compared to a renter with an average household wealth of $6,300. Americans count on their homes for their children’s education, retirement, and overall personal sense of well-being.


For more information on the benefits of home ownership and local real estate professionals in our community, contact the Home Builders of Great Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net.

Simple Repairs to Help Sell Your Home

If you are ready to put your home on the market, you’ll likely want to sell it quickly and secure the best price. Most homes have general wear and tear, and potential home buyers will take notice. At the same time, you may not have a large budget to spend on your current home, especially if you’re trying to buy a new home. To help you focus on the areas of your home that will attract buyers, consider the following simple home repairs.


Refresh Your Home Exterior: Once you put your home on the market, you want your home to stand out and make a good first impression. Leatha Eaves with Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty shares, “Evaluating your home’s curb appeal is the best place to start, but an exterior refresh doesn’t need to involve a complete landscape redesign. Do a quick clean-up to remove dead or dying plants and add new blooming ones. Always ensure your front entry and porches are clean. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and replace the doorknob if needed. These things can give your home an instant inviting look.”


Once your front yard and entryway is tidy, check your home’s exterior for wear and tear. Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the outside of your home and repair any cracked or chipped siding.


Inspect Your HVAC unit: Home buyers do not want to be faced with a repair bill immediately after purchasing a home. If you have a central air conditioning unit in your home, make sure it’s working optimally. If cool air isn’t filling the entire home when the unit is turned on or if your unit makes loud noises, it’s a sign your unit needs to be repaired. It is best practice to have the HVAC unit inspected before your home is put on the market. Future buyers can rest assured their new cooling system will work properly.

Ensure Your Flooring is Acceptable. Snagged carpet, broken tiles and stains on flooring detract home buyers. The floors in your home should be in good condition. Dirty carpet should be cleaned or replaced. Make sure any new flooring is consistent with the style and color of existing flooring to avoid a patchwork design. Buyers want to be able to visualize the space they will live in, so a neutral/tan colored carpet works best. If you find wood flooring in good condition under the carpet you are replacing, you should consider keeping it in place. Wood flooring is much more attractive for many home buyers.


Spruce Up Your Bathrooms: You will be surprised by how much a small repair, such as caulking around the sink or tub, can provide big results. Taking time to remove the dirt and grime from the bathroom in your home can make a positive impression on buyers. The flooring condition is as important as it is in the other areas of your home. Fix any broken or chipped tile and steam clean the floors.


Investing in these small home repairs before selling your home can potentially increase your sell price and help ensure your listing doesn’t last long. For more information on home buying, selling or new home construction visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s website at www.HBAGC.net.

Summer Home Maintenance Tips that Lower Energy Costs

The record temperatures this summer come with their own set of challenges for your home, from higher utility costs to extra stress on your HVAC system.  However, a few simple improvements can help you avoid significant home repairs and costly utility bills, while increasing the value of your home.


Temperature Check: Installing a programmable thermostat can help you save on heating and cooling costs. This device allows you to customize your indoor temperature throughout the day, which could lead to utility bill savings. Many smart thermostats also alert you to ways you could save more and if there are any issues with your HVAC system.


HVAC Tune-up: Check the condition of your air conditioner and replace your filter regularly. Dirty filters are one of the leading causes of HVAC system failures. When the summer heat is especially intense, keep in mind that most systems are only able to cool homes approximately 20 degrees below the outside temperatures. However, if your system doesn’t seem to be keeping up, you can check with a professional to make sure it's working properly. Additionally, installing ceiling fans if you don’t already have them and adding curtains or shades to windows will keep your home cool and decrease the stress on your HVAC system.


Replace Windows: If you own an older home with original windows, new windows can increase your energy efficiency significantly and provide a return on investment. If old windows are replaced now, the new ones will help prevent heat loss during the winter months as well and provide more indoor comfort. Kim Anderson, owner of Window World of Chattanooga, shares, “When deciding to replace windows in an older home, homeowners need to look for energy-efficient products to improve the value of their home. Window World offers energy efficient windows, siding, doors, and roofs. Not only will the products help with a homeowner’s energy bills but can enhance the appearance of an older home.”


Inspect and Clean Your Dryer Vents: Dryer vents get clogged with lint, which can keep your dryer from functioning well. If your vents are not clean, not only will it take longer for your clothes to dry, but your utility bill may also increase along with the risk of a house fire. A professional can inspect and clean your vent and ensure your exhaust system is working properly.


For a list of qualified professionals to help with your summer home improvements, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga member directory at www.HBAGC.net.