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Recent Project: Exterior Face Lift

Customer’s Needs:  The Smith’s hired us to do several home improvement projects to the exterior of their house, which were inspired by two other homes in the neighborhood.  To start, they were looking to add a front porch with a more prominent entrance, as well as a garage eyebrow.  In addition, since they were also not happy with the color of their home’s stucco or brick, we were asked to design a new color palette which would utilize the new window color, while also reducing the focus of the stucco.

 

With that, since the homeowners were concerned about efficiency and making sure the house was properly maintained, they requested new windows, as well as new gutters, downspouts, and covers.  Their siding was also an issue since a large portion of it had started to rot and since the rear sunroom and deck had sunk 4+ inches, structural issues were also a problem.

 

Our Process: In an effort to create the pleasing exterior that was requested, we reached out to an architectural team member who helped us envision a four color paint palette.  We installed a rustic cedar porch post, craftsman-style shutters, and metal roof details for a very pleasing result.

 

As requested, we also installed all-new windows throughout the home and replaced their gutters, downspouts, and covers, as well as the siding that had rotted away.

 

Since their deck was improperly installed, we removed the old sun room and deck footings, and poured new ones.  However, I was not comfortable fixing the issue without knowing the cause, so upon closer inspection, we discovered that water from the neighbor’s house, the driveway, and the Smith’s roof was causing drainage issues.  To fix the problem, we installed two main underground drainage lines which would divert water away from the home.  From there, we were able to bring both structures to level heights where they could be properly secured and as a finishing touch, we added new tile to the sunroom to give it a more rustic feel.

 

As a result of the drainage issues, a large section of the driveway had sunk as well, so we removed the concrete and poured it with proper underlayment, rebar, stronger concrete, and a proper pitch.

 

Extras: While working at the home, the owners asked us to install a new wood-burning fireplace, as well as a new front door and an exhaust fan in the master bathroom.  In addition, since we overheard the homeowner say that they wanted to be able to park their car in the garage, we made a point to organize it for them so there was adequate space for a vehicle.

 

Result: After being referred by a friend who had contracted us to replace their roof several years ago, the Smith’s were so pleased with our work that they agreed to serve as a reference for one of our current customers who found us on Houzz.com.

 

When we completed their project, hugs were given out.  It was a great day.

 

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698

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Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

While it may not completely feel like it on a daily basis, if you’ve stepped outside the last few mornings, you may have noticed that a tinge of fall is in the air.  Here in Georgia, autumn is a relative idea, especially if you take into account the fact that truly cold, blustery weather tends to miss this part of the country.  Even so, as temperatures begin to dip, it’s important to keep a mental checklist of fall home maintenance tasks that will help keep your property in tip-top shape throughout the winter.

1. PREP YOUR MOWER.  Most lawns in Georgia are planted with bermudagrass, which becomes dormant during the cool winter season.  Therefore, since you won’t need to mow your lawn for several months, it’s important to remember that leftover gas in your sitting mower may slowly deteriorate and damage its engine.

To combat this, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to your mower’s tank, which can keep spare gas in good condition.  Additionally, make a point to run the engine for five minutes so that the stabilizer reaches the carburetor before it gets put away.

2. SEAL THOSE CRACKS.  This is by far one of the most important tasks on any fall maintenance checklist.  In order to prevent moisture from getting inside your walls, go around your home’s exterior with a few tubes of color-matched exterior caulk and seal any cracks between the trim and siding, window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house.

3. CLEAN THOSE GUTTERS.  While we miss a lot of the snow, Georgia is known to get a lot of ice, which can lead to expensive future repairs if proactive maintenance steps are not taken.  Clogged gutters can cause ice dams, so make a point to clean your gutters of leaves, twigs, and gunk after the trees have shed their foliage.

Make a point to tighten any lose gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn or damaged gutters.

4. CHECK FURNACE FUNCTION.  Furnace checkups are relatively cheap and can be completed by a heating and cooling pro within 30-45 minutes.  If you don’t already have one, you may even want to consider signing an annual maintenance contract which will not only save you money, but help you catch any pressing issues before you’re left without heat in mid-December.

5. PRUNE YOUR YARD.  The summer growth cycle ends mid-fall, which makes it a fantastic time to prune plants and trees throughout your yard—especially those close to your home.  Overgrown limbs can allow moisture to drip onto roofing and siding, and can also cause damage during high winds, so make a point to keep them at least three feet from your house.

If you’re new to yard maintenance or are not sure whether too much pruning will harm the integrity of your plants, consider checking information listed on the UGA Extension Service’s website.

Home maintenance is something that needs to be done year-round in order to avoid greater issues, so consider setting aside a weekend or two to complete the above tasks.  For more tips and tricks, please do not hesitate to contact me for more information.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698

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Selecting the Right Color Granite Countertop

Unlike selecting the right paint color, which can be changed with relative ease, settling upon the most suitable granite countertop can be an extremely personal—and generally long-lasting—decision which may cause some homeowners a bit of undue stress.

While serious thought certainly needs to be paid to what you like, as well as what works best in the space, it doesn’t have to be something that you lose sleep over.  Plain and simple, choosing the right color often starts with having a general understanding of not only what you want your space to look like, but how you want it to feel like as well.

For example, if you’re going for a vibe that’s a bit more modern and elegant, opt for a darker color which can be paired with lighter cabinets.  This is also a good choice if you’re dealing with a room that features large windows that can provide a steady supply of natural light.  In rooms that are already somewhat dim to begin with, dark countertops may make things feel a bit too heavy; however, if everything else in the room has a light feeling, a deeper-colored counter will not only add a clean line to break up the room, but will also add some depth as well.

On the other hand, lighter countertops work particularly well if you have light-colored tiles on the floor, as they can produce a very welcoming, somewhat rustic feel.  If you’re going for a summery or beach-like vibe, this should definitely be a consideration as a cream or light-brown granite will bring an open feel into the room.

With this, pay attention to what types of lighting fixtures or hardware will also be in the space since you’ll want to make sure the design has a smooth flow.  If your hardware or lighting is extremely loud or unique, you might want to think about selecting a more neutral granite color to create some semblance of balance in the room.

Still, it’s important to note that granite countertops are similar to an expansive centerpiece, in that they’re not meant to blend into their surroundings.  Yes, you’ll want to make sure that the color fits with the general style of the room; however, don’t be afraid to select something that speaks to you and makes the space feel alive.

If you’d like to learn more about how to select the right granite color or you’d like to be referred to one of our vendors for further assistance, please feel free to contact me.  I’d love to be of service.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698