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Local News and Information Archives for 2022-08

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.