Archive for New Homes for Sale in Charles County MD

Caring for kitchen Countertops Charles County

Caring for kitchen countertops

A Southern MD Builders Guide

Builder kitchens in Charels County MD Kitchen remodels are a popular home improvement project that help Southern MD homeowners recoup large percentages of their initial investments at resale. A kitchen remodel can invigorate a home and make the most popular room in the house more functional.

According to HomeAdvisor, a home-improvement informational guide, homeowners spend an average of $22,000 on kitchen remodels. However, lavish projects can cost more than $50,000. Protecting such investments is important and requires that homeowners understand how to properly maintain kitchen features so they have the longest life possible. This includes the new countertops that make the kitchen look complete.

Countertops come in various materials, not all of which should be treated the same way. Quartz, granite, marble, laminate, and tile countertops require different types of maintenance.

 

Quartz

Engineered quartz countertops are popular. Quartz countertops are nearly maintenance-free and resistant to stains, scratches and even heat. Quartz will not need to be sealed like natural stone and can be cleaned using just a damp cloth with a mild, nonabrasive soap.

 

Granite

Polished or honed granite countertops offer a high-end look that adds instant value to a kitchen. Natural variations in granite give each kitchen a custom look. To keep granite countertops clean, avoid abrasive cleansers that can scratch, and opt for warm, soapy water instead. Stains are possible, but can be remedied with a baking soda paste left to sit for a couple of hours, advises Angie’s List. Wipe up oils, acids and soda promptly to avoid stains, and follow advised sealing routines.

 

Marble

Marble is a natural stone that is porous and will need to be resealed periodically. Because marble has high levels of the mineral calcite, it can be reactive when acids come in contact with it, and etch marks may appear. Promptly wipe away tomato juice, lemon juice, perfume, or toothpaste. Marble is softer than granite and will wear at a faster rate. Avoid scratching and exercise caution when using knives or sharp objects around marble.

 

Laminate

One of the more budget-friendly materials, laminate countertops can be fabricated to mimic the look of natural stone, wood or even quartz. Laminate is less resistant to damage than other materials and will need a gentle touch. Formica® says to never use abrasive cleansers, scouring pads or steel wool when cleaning laminate countertops. For tough stains, an all-purpose cleaner should suffice when applied with a nylon-bristled brush. Test any cleanser in a discreet area first.

 

Tile

Cleaning tile countertops requires getting into crevices along the grout lines. A toothbrush and a mildew-fighting cleaner or bleach diluted with water is advised. Also, unglazed tiles need to be sealed yearly. Some soap may leave residue, which can be removed with a solution of vinegar and water.

 

Check with the manufacturer or installer of the countertops to learn more about the ways to clean and maintain new counters.

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The problem with hard water in Southern MD

Dos and don’ts for second-floor laundry rooms

Dos and don’ts for second-floor laundry rooms

Laundry can be a cumbersome chore. In homes with more than one story, clothes are put in a hamper, carried down to the washer and dryer, where they are then cleaned, dried, folded, and taken back upstairs to be put away. The entire process can be inefficient, which may contribute to why so many people delay doing laundry for as long as possible.

A Laundry Room Is A Necessity

As unenjoyable as it can be, doing laundry is a necessity. Fresh clothing not only looks and smells good, it is essential to personal hygiene. One way to make the process of doing laundry go more smoothly is to consider moving the location of the laundry area. According to the National Association of Home Builders, more homeowners are moving their laundry rooms upstairs so they don’t have to transport laundry baskets up and down the stairs.

Before moving their laundry rooms, homeowners should take steps to safeguard their homes, and that may involve finding the ideal location for the new room. Find space for an upstairs laundry room and then consult with an engineer to be sure that the plan is feasible. An engineer and an architect can assess if a home is structurally sound enough to handle the weight and vibration of an upstairs laundry.

One of the biggest concerns with regard to moving a laundry room upstairs is the fear of flooding or leaks. There are certain steps to take to minimize these risks. Experts advise installing an easily accessible water shut-off valve. Turn off the valve when the washer is not in use. Also, steel-braided washer hoses are more sturdy than standard hoses and are less likely to burst. Homeowners also can place the washer in a drain pan, which will catch overflowing water and drain it through a pipe. Some areas may require a floor drain as an alternative.

Homeowners also must recognize that noise can be a problem with upstairs laundry rooms. Front-loading appliances may cause more vibration and movement than top-loaders. However, some front-loaders are designed to be quiet. Antivibration pads may help with vibration issues.

Before moving their laundry rooms, homeowners should consult with contractors to ensure things go smoothly.

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How to recognize and prevent CO poisoning

How to recognize and prevent CO poisoning

Brought to you by a Charles County MD Builder

co poisoningInfants are among those most likely to get sick from exposure to carbon monoxide.

Many people are aware of the threat posed by carbon monoxide, or CO. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 430 people die from accidental CO poisoning in the United States each year, while the Canada Safety Council notes that carbon monoxide is the leading cause of fatal poisonings throughout North America.

The CDC points out that instances of CO poisoning are entirely preventable, which might surprise many of the estimated tens of thousands of people in the United States who visit emergency rooms to be treated for CO poisoning each year. Learning to recognize signs of CO poisoning and how to prevent it can help people avoid its harmful effects and potentially save lives.

Recognizing CO poisoning

The National Center for Environmental Health says that breathing CO can cause a variety of symptoms, including headache, dizziness, vomiting, or nausea. Infants, the elderly and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO exposure than children, adults and people without the aforementioned conditions.

How can I prevent CO poisoning?

Even those people who do not lose their lives to moderate or severe CO poisoning can suffer long-term health consequences, including an increased risk of heart disease, as a result of their exposure. So it behooves everyone to take steps to prevent CO poisoning from occurring.

  • Do not run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer or any gasoline-powered engine within 20 feet of an open window, door or vent. The exhaust from such items can vent into enclosed areas, increasing the risk of CO exposure.
  • Do not leave motor vehicles running in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, such as a garage.
  • Do not run generators, pressure washers or gasoline-powered inside basements, garages or other enclosed structures, even if windows are open.
  • Do not operate charcoal grills, hibachis, lanterns or portable camping stoves indoors or insides tents or campers.

CO poisoning can cause very serious consequences, including death. Fortunately, all instances of CO poisoning can be prevented.

How to choose the right window treatments for your Southern MD home

How to choose the right window treatments for your Southern MD home

southern md window treatmentsBrought to you by a Premium Builder in Charles County MD

Plantation shutters? Mini-blinds? Cafe curtains? Formal draperies? Homeowners’ options in regard to window treatments for their homes are extensive, which can make outfitting home interiors challenging for novice decorators.

Some people do not pay a lot of attention to window treatments, failing to realize just how great an impact the right window treatments can have on a space. According to the design experts at Hunter Douglas, window treatments are often an afterthought because residents may not consider them necessities. As a result, homeowners may install whatever is on hand or accept window treatments that came with a house or apartment. But ignoring window treatments, especially when they can fulfill certain needs, is a missed design opportunity.

Determine the design goals for your home in Charles County

One of the first steps to choosing window treatments is determining your end goal. Is privacy your main goal? Are you seeking more natural light in a room? Is there too much light and you need to darken the room? Window treatments can serve multiple functions, and some treatments may make better fits depending on homeowners’ ultimate goals.

Semi-sheer window treatments

Semi-sheer window treatments are often fabric and can help brighten rooms with natural light but offer little privacy. They’re usually appropriate for spaces where people gather, such as living rooms, dens or dining rooms. Semi-sheer curtains may be paired with another complementary window treatment so privacy can be customized as needed. For example, sheer curtains let light into a bedroom, but shades can be drawn at night.

Maximum privacy

Bedrooms, work spaces or bathrooms can benefit from extra privacy. While some people may think that privacy comes at the cost of light, that’s not always the case.

Functional curtain panels can be drawn closed when privacy is desired and then opened to let in light. The thickness of the fabric will also dictate the amount of privacy the panels create.

Tiers are hung on a short rod-pocket panel and usually cover the lower one-third of a window. They’re popular choices to let light in from the top, but obscure views from the bottom portion of the window.

Cellular shades are another option that provide privacy but still let light in. Cellular shades come in hard and fabric varieties and their use depends on the room. Many cellular shades are constructed with a honeycomb design, offers the design resource Houzz, so they can insulate as well as decorate windows.

Blackout shades/shutters

Perfect for rooms where babies nap,  shift workers rest during daylight hours or external lights, such as that from a street lamp, need to be blocked out, blackout shades do just what their name implies. A dense fabric lining helps keep light out entirely.

Shutters also can block out light but add to the character of the room. They can be painted a bright color to make a statement or match wall colors to blend in seamlessly.

When selecting window treatments, shoppers can choose retail options or custom treatments. Many designers recommend custom window treatments because they are measured, manufacturered and installed specifically for  homeowners’ windows. However, there are many DIY options available at budget-friendly retailers.

Call Wilkerson Builders for all your construction needs in Charles County MD.

4 Ways a building permits protect homeowners

4 Ways a building permits protect homeowners

Professional Builders in Southern MDYou are thinking of making a major renovation to your home in Waldorf MD. Perhaps it’s time to create that master bedroom suite you long have admired or install that wrap-around porch? What is the first thing that should be done before getting down to business?

Construction Tips From Professional Builders in Southern MD

The correct way to begin a home remodeling project is to obtain the necessary permits for the job . Many municipalities request individuals obtain permits for a range of work on homes or other structures, such as office buildings. Permits are generally required for all new construction as well as specific modifications that will affect structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. It’s important to check with the local building office prior to beginning work to see which permits you will need before the project can begin. Permits are necessary whether a homeowner is doing the work or hiring an outside contractor.

Due to the cost and time involved with securing permits, some homeowners skip this step so they can begin a project promptly. However, this can end up being a costly mistake. Permits might seem like a nuisance, but they actually protect homeowners in various ways.

1. Permits ensure safe workmanship

Permits provide a blueprint by which contractors and do-it-yourselfers must complete renovations. Because inspections will take place, there is no wiggle room. Shortcuts often translate into subpar work that may lead to malfunction and injury in the long run. Safeguarding against poor workmanship means homeowners can feel confident in the work being done.

2. Permits reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes

As inspectors go through their checklists, they may notice things that were done incorrectly and will offer advice about how to mend the problem before it becomes a larger headache. If left unchecked, an electrical error could lead to a fire or another dangerous situation. Repairs that are not structurally sound may pose problems or deteriorate more quickly than structures that are constructed correctly. Furthermore, catching improper technique early on eliminates having to tear down and redo work, which can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

3. Permits protect against fines

Sometimes work goes as planned even for homeowners who did not obtain the necessary permits. However, years later, when other work needs to be done, inspectors may discover homeowners never secured proper permits and inspections years earlier, leading to fines.

4. Furthermore, if work is done without a permit and an accident occurs, any damages or injuries may not be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Permits are an important part of the home improvement process. Homeowners should not skirt the responsibility because the permit and inspection process is in place to provide protection to occupants

For all your building needs in Southern MD contact the professional at Wilkerson Builders.

Learn the 4 ways building permits protect our homeowners.

5 ways to make Southern MD homes safer

Stairs should be free of clutter and have sturdy railings.

Southern MD Custom Home StaircaseWilkerson Homes, a Southern MD Home builder, shares information to keep your home safe. Injuries that occur around the home contribute to millions of medical visits and tens of thousands of fatalities each year. Falls account for the largest percentage of home accidents, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that around 30,000 fall-related fatalities occur each year in the United States. Many home accidents are entirely preventable when proper caution is exercised.

Southern MD  homeowners prepare for home-improvement projects.

Improving safety inside and outside of the home should be a priority.

  1. Improve lighting

One of the easiest ways to reduce the risk of falls is to improve lighting around the home. The National Institutes of Health state that adequate lighting is important at entrances to the home, stairways, hallways, and other frequently traversed areas. Make sure lighting fixtures are using the highest wattage light bulb allowed. Artificial lighting sources become even more vital in fall and autumn, when natural light is less abundant in a home. In addition, install lighting outdoors by the front door, over the garage and where garbage pails are stored to facilitate safe passage.

  1. Eliminate slick surfaces

Improving traction around the house also can minimize falls. Throw rugs and runners can be made more secure with nonslip rubber backings. Bath rugs can reduce slipping on wet surfaces in the bathroom. Also, nonslip mats can be used inside of showers and bathtubs.

Use shoe trays to reduce puddling from melting snow or rain runoff in entryways. Mop up spills quickly, and consider the use of matte- or textured-finished flooring to improve stability underfoot.

Promptly remove snow and ice from driveways and walkways. For those who live in cold climates, heated concrete can help melt precipitation before it accumulates.

  1. Make needed repairs

Repair loose floorboards and pull carpet taut if it has started to stretch out. Address cracks outdoors and ensure that patio stones, bricks and pavers are secure and level to reduce tripping hazards. Fix areas of the landscape where water may pool and freeze, creating potential hazards.

  1. Declutter all spaces

Remove unnecessary items and furniture from rooms to free up more space to get around. Be sure there are no obstructions in walkways, entryways and near doors. Keep staircases clear at all times.

  1. Invest in assistive devices

Handrails, grab bars, nonslip stair treads, and many other devices can make homes safer for people of all ages and abilities. Outfit cabinets and closets with organizers that put frequently used items within easy reach. A sturdy step stool can reduce the risk of injury while reaching for items stored on high shelves.

Taking measures to reduce the risk of falling around the home is a worthwhile home improvement project in Southern MD.

Call Wilkerson Homes for all your custom home needs.

Read how to keep your Southern MD Home Safe

 

Trends in Southern MD Homes

Mortgage Advice for New Home Buyers in La Plata MD

New Homes in La Plata MD are selling quickly.  When it comes to owning property many people in Southern MD will tell you that this is a lifelong dream. While once an opportunity that seemed to be reserved for either the wealthiest or the most miserly among the general population home ownership is now something that is accessible to a larger segment of the population than ever before.

This is good news for many but for some can lead to confusing encounters with mortgage brokers in Maryland and serious sharks along the way. The best advice that anyone can give someone attempting to embrace the dream of  buying a home in La Plata is to deal with a reputable company when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. Even when dealing with reputable lending companies you must watch out for those who do not have your best interest at heart.

If you would like some very practical advice when it comes to getting a mortgage, then you are at the right place.

Wayne Wilkerson of Wilkerson Homes wants to help you out with this information.

First of all, avoid lenders that are encouraging you to take a loan for more money than you are comfortable repaying. Foreclosures are at a record high when it comes to the mortgage industry at the moment because of predatory lending practice on behalf of some mortgage brokers. These practices include convincing people to borrow more money than they could realistically hope to pay over time and have any quality of life as well as convincing homebuyers to take out adjustable rate mortgages in the beginning in order to procure lower rates.

Shop around before you decide to buy when it comes to mortgages. This doesn’t mean to actually apply for mortgages all over town but do the research and compare rates before applying with any one company. Talk to several different brokers and find out what they have to offer you that the other company down the road cannot or will not offer. Keep in mind that mortgage companies will offer everything under the sun from free toasters to free vacations in order to get you to go with their company. The proof is in the terms however. It is simply not worth that free toaster if you are going to end up paying a 6.9% interest rate instead of a 5.9% rate. You will have paid for that toaster many times over in the process of paying the mortgage.

Even after you’ve applied for a mortgage, if the deal seems to be going south check out your other options. There are all kinds of problems that crop up along the way. You are not marrying the mortgage broker. Nine times out of ten you aren’t even making any sort of commitment at all to your mortgage broker. You will however be living in the house you select. If there is a problem with the mortgage company for the specific home you want do not hesitate to change in order to get the home you desire for your family rather than allowing the mortgage company to dictate what kind of home you can buy.

In all honesty, it is nearly impossible to buy a home in La Plata in this day and age without taking out a mortgage. It is best however if you see the process as a learning experience rather than an abject lesson in intimidation. This is your home and your money that will be spent in order to purchase the home. You are asking them for a loan but quite frankly, they need your business. Do not hesitate to shop around for the best deal with a mortgage just as you did when finding your home.

Wilkerson Homes invites you to check out our latest models and homes that are ready for you to move into today.

Growing Home trends | Charles County | MD Construction Company

Growing trends in today’s homes from Charles County Construction Company

New Homes Charles County MD

Houses are shrinking, selling faster and getting smarter upgrades according to industry statistics.

In Southern MD, houses are shrinking, selling faster and getting smarter upgrades according to industry statistics.

Although the heydays of the real estate boom of the early 2000s have not quite returned, things look positive. In the United States, 1,226,000 new homes were built in 2016, according to data from Consumer Reports. That was the most since 2007.

Resales also have been more promising. The National Association of Realtors® says the median number of days a home was on the market in April 2017 reached a new low of 29 days. However, low supply levels did stanch existing home sales  somewhat. By mid-2017, the market was a seller’s market, with more people in the market for homes than properties available. But sales during that time were still outpacing sales figures from a year prior. In fact, in May 2017, home sales in Canada increased to their highest level in more than five years, according to the Canadian MLS® Systems.

As is typical, the things homeowners are looking for in 2017 have evolved from years past. The following are some trends that are helping to steer the real estate market further.

  • Smaller homes: Home sizes in the United States steadily increased for decades, eventually leading to an average of 2,453 square feet in 2014, according to U.S. Census figures. However, Realtor.com reported in 2015 that new construction homes have already begun to shrink by 40 square feet. There seems to be a slight trend toward more modest homes as people consider affordability and maintenance on larger properties. The National Association of Home Builders states buyers are now looking for smaller, more livable homes with flexible floor plans, energy-efficient appliances and plenty of storage space.
  • Matte finishes: Stainless steel and luster have been popular for years. However, the next big thing is matte finishes on faucets, appliances and even in countertops. These less flashy finishes are prized for their warmth and elegance. While some high-end models with matte finishes have been available for several years, even less expensive models are now available.
  • Smarter technology: Many homeowners are embracing smart technology throughout their homes, but it’s not just lights that turn on with voice command or more efficient thermostats. Innovative technology includes toilets that can autonomously stay clean and sanitized, refrigerators equipped with cameras so homeowners can see the contents inside and indoor food recyclers that can turn food waste into fertilizer.

Real Estate Updates:

Staying abreast of the ever-changing trends in home improvement and real estate can help consumers make the best choices with regard to buying and building their homes.

Looking for a new home call Charles County Construction Professionals Wilkerson Homes.

How building permits protect homeowners

How building permits protect homeowners

Professional Builders in Southern MDYou are thinking of making a major renovation to your home. Perhaps it’s time to create that master bedroom suite you long have admired or install that wrap-around porch? What is the first thing that should be done before getting down to business?

The correct way to begin a home remodeling project is to obtain the necessary permits for the job. Many municipalities request individuals obtain permits for a range of work on homes or other structures, such as office buildings. Permits are generally required for all new construction as well as specific modifications that will affect structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. It’s important to check with the local building office prior to beginning work to see which permits you will need before the project can begin. Permits are necessary whether a homeowner is doing the work or hiring an outside contractor.

Due to the cost and time involved with securing permits, some homeowners skip this step so they can begin a project promptly. However, this can end up being a costly mistake. Permits might seem like a nuisance, but they actually protect homeowners in various ways.

Building Permits ensure safe workmanship

Permits provide a blueprint by which contractors and do-it-yourselfers must complete renovations. Because inspections will take place, there is no wiggle room. Shortcuts often translate into subpar work that may lead to malfunction and injury in the long run. Safeguarding against poor workmanship means homeowners can feel confident in the work being done.

Permits reduce the

likelihood of costly mistakes

As inspectors go through their checklists, they may notice things that were done incorrectly and will offer advice about how to mend the problem before it becomes a larger headache. If left unchecked, an electrical error could lead to a fire or another dangerous situation. Repairs that are not structurally sound may pose problems or deteriorate more quickly than structures that are constructed correctly. Furthermore, catching improper technique early on eliminates having to tear down and redo work, which can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Permits protect against fines

Sometimes work goes as planned even for homeowners who did not obtain the necessary permits. However, years later, when other work needs to be done, inspectors may discover homeowners never secured proper permits and inspections years earlier, leading to fines.

Furthermore, if work is done without a permit and an accident occurs, any damages or injuries may not be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Permits are an important part of the home improvement process. Homeowners should not skirt the responsibility because the permit and inspection process is in place to provide protection to occupants.

 

This article has been brought to you by Wilkerson Builders. Enjoy timeless architectural design combined with the latest in modern-day convenience and eco-friendly efficiency. Surrounded by natural beauty, yet just minutes from everything you need. Let Wilkerson Homes show you the home of your dreams.

Call Wilkerson Builders Today.

Saving for a new home

A Charles County Builder Offers information On: How to save enough for a down payment on a house

Builder Wayne Wilkerson giving keys to new homeownersAccording to Charles County New Home Builder, Wilkerson Construction, a home is the most costly thing many people will ever buy. The process of buying a home in Southern Maryland can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. One way to make the process of buying a home go more smoothly is to save enough money to put down a substantial down payment.

Saving for a down payment on a home is similar to saving for other items, only on a far grander scale. Many financial planners and real estate professionals recommend prospective home buyers put down no less than 20 percent of the total cost of the home they’re buying. Down payments short of 20 percent will require private mortgage insurance or PMI. The cost of PMI depends on a host of variables but is generally between 0.3 and 1.5 percent of the original loan amount. While plenty of homeowners pay PMI, buyers who can afford to put down 20 percent can save themselves a considerable amount of money by doing so.

Down payments on a home tend to be substantial, but the following are a few proven strategies prospective home buyers can employ to grow their savings with an eye toward making a down payment on their next home.

· Decide when you want to buy. The first step to buying a home begins when buyers save their first dollar for a down payment. Deciding when to buy can help buyers develop a saving strategy. If buyers decide they want to buy in five years away, they will have more time to build their savings. If buyers want to buy within a year, they will need to save more each month, and those whose existing savings fall far short of the 20 percent threshold may have to accept paying PMI.

· Prequalify for a mortgage. Before buyers even look for their new homes, they should first sit down with a mortgage lender to determine how much a mortgage they will qualify for. Prequalifying for a mortgage can make the home buying process a lot easier, and it also can give first-time buyers an idea of how much they can spend. Once lenders prequalify prospective buyers, the buyers can then do the simple math to determine how much they will need to put down. For example, preapproval for a $300,000 loan means buyers will have to put down $60,000 to meet the 20 percent down payment threshold. In that example, buyers can put down less than $60,000, but they will then have to pay PMI. It’s important for buyers to understand that a down payment is not the only costs they will have to come up with when buying a home. Closing costs and other fees will also need to be paid by the buyers.

· Examine monthly expenses. Once buyers learn how much mortgage they will qualify for, they will then see how close they are to buying a home. But prospective buyers of all means can save more each month by examining their monthly expenses and looking for ways to save. Buyers can begin by looking over their recent spending habits and then seeing where they can spend less. Cutting back on luxuries and other unnecessary spending can help buyers get closer to buying their next home.

· Avoid risky investments. Some times it’s great to take risks when investing, but risk should be avoided when saving for a down payment on a home. Traditional vehicles like certificates of deposit, or CDs, and savings accounts can ensure the money buyers are saving for their homes is protected and not subject to market fluctuations.

Saving enough to make a down payment on a home can be accomplished if buyers stay disciplined with regard to saving and make sound financial decisions.  When looking for a new home in Southern Maryland contact Custom Home Builder, Wilkerson Construction.