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February 17, 2017

Home Builders Association Presents The 48th Annual Home Sweet Home & Garden Show! Johnson City – The Johnson City Area HBA will present the 48th Annual Home Sweet Home and Garden Show February 17 – 19, 2017 at the MSHA Athletic Center (ETSU Mini Dome). This year’s sponsors include Elite Sponsor - Rockingham Marina and Silver Sponsors - The Honey Do Service, Hicks Construction, and Garland Farm Estates. The Johnson City Area Home Builders Association Annual Home & Garden Show is the place for you to find what’s new in building, remodeling, landscaping and most anything related to your home and garden. Need information about a new loan or refinance? Looking to update the kitchen cabinets or do something new with the master bathroom? Want the opportunity to speak with landscape architects about that area in your yard? You’ll find the resources to answer your questions all in one place. This year’s show will feature building and renovation professionals that specialize in room additions, kitchen and bath remodeling, roofing, windows and doors along with an array of products and services to help you turn your home or yard into the home sweet home you have always wanted. HAVE A DIY QUESTION OR WANT TO KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME? COME ASK A PROFESSIONAL in our new featured

area. Local contractors and sub/specialty contractors will be there to answer your questions and help troubleshoot your projects. Show hours are: Friday, February 17 Saturday, February 18 Sunday, February 19

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Don’t miss it – mark your calendar now to attend the 48th Annual Home Sweet Home & Garden Show presented by Johnson City Area Home Builders Association at the ETSU Mini Dome and sponsored by Rockingham Marina! Tickets for this event will be General Admission and will be available on the days of the show. Tickets are $5 per person per day. Children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by paying adult. Advance tickets are available by going to A Grand Prize Door Prize drawing of a $500 shopping spree will be awarded at the close of the show on Sunday. You do not have to be present to win. Don’t miss it!

Home & Garden Show Committee Michael Garland, Chairman Garland Farm Estates Andy Benton, Sherwin Williams Nikki Frazier, Eastman Credit Union Keri Hicks, Hicks Construction Tim Hicks, Hicks Construction David Isaacs, Isaacs Pools & Spas Aaron Jamerson, Sherwin Williams Rick Keen, Xtreme Painting Sharon Little, Johnson City Press Filomena Moran, Filomena’s Florals Richard Peters, The Honey Do Service Daniel Rowe, Rowe Construction Abby Ulloa, Appalachian Stone Works Paul Walton, Positive Environments Pat Weber III, Ingenuity, LLC Edwin Williams, PerSerBid

February 17, 2017

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Welcome to our 48th Annual Home & Garden Show! As President of the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association, I would like to welcome you to our 48th Annual Home & Garden Show. This year our show has expanded, adding new and exciting exhibits for our guests to enjoy. We have added new sponsors this year, so come check out all that the show has to offer for your housing, remodeling, financing and construction needs. Also new this year will be the addition of an “Ask the Professionals” area, where guests can speak with local contractors on an informal basis about any housing related question or concern that they may have. We have assembled a group of contractors who have been in the business for many

years, who are outstanding in their field, and who are knowledgeable on a wide range of construction, remodeling, and home improvement topics. Please come get your questions answered so that you will be better prepared to hire the right professional, the first time, to handle your project. Locally, our economy is vibrant and the housing market is exceptionally strong. Businesses are hiring, communities are investing in infrastructure, and the real estate market is nothing short of hot. With this activity, and spring just around the corner, comes an air of excitement for investing in your home. The diverse list of exhibitors for this show will allow most anyone to find what they are looking for. We anticipate large crowds to fill the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center this weekend, eager to find the product or service that meets their needs. Beyond the Home & Garden Show this

weekend, please allow the members and staff of the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association to help you with your investment. As an affiliate association of both the Home Builders Association of Tennessee ( and the National Association of Home Builders (, we are your go-to resource for all things housing. We will be happy to answer questions, make recommendations, and guide you on the right path to a sound investment in your home and a successful project for your home. JCAHBA is building the foundation for a stronger community. Respectfully, Michael T Garland President, Johnson City Area Home Builders Association

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February 17, 2017

Rockingham Marina on Boone Lake By Zach Vance As an entrepreneur, Doug Sams, owner of Rockingham Marina on Boone Lake, saw an opportunity for this year’s Home Sweet Home and Garden Show. “What we saw was when the Johnson City

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Home and Garden Show moved from Freedom Hall to the Mini Dome, they had a lot of extra space. And when the boat show moved from Meadowview to the Mini Dome, all of a sudden we had a lot of extra space,” Sams explained. “So we’re trying to put both of them together, utilize all the space and hopefully catch folks from both boating prospects and folks that need things for their home, as well.” From Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, Rockingham Marina will be the premiere sponsor of the 48th annual Home Sweet Home and Garden Show inside the MSHA Athletic Center, which is presented by the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association. This will be the first time the Tri-Cities Boat Show will be merged with the home and garden exhibit. Sams purchased Rockingham Marina in 2006, and a few years later launched the Carefree Boat Club, a private club that provides members access to wide spectrum of boats. “It is an alternative to boat ownership,” Sams said about the Carefree Boat Club. “You don’t have to have a boat to be in the club. It basically gives unlimited access to 17

boats on the three local lakes, Boone Lake, Watauga Lake and South Holston Lake.” Sams said his local chapter of the club currently has between 70 and 80 members. “When they decide to go boating, they just pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey, I’m coming down to get a boat at South Holston or Watauga or Boone,’” Sams said “Or they can actually reserve boats weeks in advance.” Since it was created, Sams’ unique club has expanded to 57 other locations across the United States and Canada. “It’s not a franchise, it’s just an affiliation of clubs that share reciprocity at their locations,” Sams said. “So the folks that are members here in Tennessee, they can go boating anywhere else in the United States where there is a Carefree Boat (Club) location. It’s very similar, in both respects, to a golf country club,” Sams said.  To learn more about the Carefree Boat Club, visit Or see Sams at this year’s upcoming Home Sweet Home and Garden Show.

February 17, 2017

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February 17, 2017

What to expect when you’re building a home Contributed by Johnson City Area Home Builders Association

Johnson City Area HBA understands that once you make the decision to build, you look forward with great anticipation to the date you can move into your new home! It is natural to want to see immediate and frequent progress, but it is important for you to have realistic expectations.   Be flexible and avoid making arrangements that might cause you to worry if the move-in date changes slightly.

BEFORE CONSTRUCTION In the initial stage of the project, there are several factors beyond the builder’s control including: Weather, building permits, community covenants for design review and structural changes. DURING CONSTRUCTION The builder creates a construction schedule based on experience and

input from the building trades and subcontractors. At several points during construction, nothing appears to be happening...don’t panic! Builders are experienced in handling many issues that affect the progress of the home. Working with sub-contractors, trad contractors schedules, building inspection as well as material delivery and delays all are part of building a new home.

February 17, 2017

SITE VISITS When you visit the site, remember that your safety, satisfaction, and the smooth flow of work are the builder’s prime concerns. Always contact the builder if you have a question or concern instead of giving instructions to trade contractors. When you have a degree of urgency with any issue, consider whether it can wait until the next planned conversation with the builder or whether you should contact the builder immediately; try to resist pointing out items the builder will address in the normal sequence of construction. If you are in doubt about how urgent your concern is, contact the builder. Also always put it in writing to reduce the possibility of miscommunication and keep a copy for your records. CHECKLIST FOR GETTING STARTED Determine what you can afford Update your financial situation and research what you can borrow. Understand construction draws. Review your housing needs Create a wish list or scrapbook of ideas, requirements and people you want to be involved in the process.

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Your final plan and specifications should reflect what you can afford and should incorporate your scrapbook ideas along with the designer’s creativity. Building Programs A little research will reveal many valuable building related programs that can save money. Check with your builder to see if the programs will work for you. Choosing a Building Site With the help of a construction professional, select a lot that meets your financial and building requirements. Selecting a Builder Your final choice should be someone that you can trust, depend on and get along with. His or her opinions, knowledge and leadership will be invaluable throughout the rest of the home building process. Contact your local Home Builders Association for instructions on how to choose a builder but most importantly, how to protect yourself and the investment in your new home. Determine the Building Method Choose whether you are interested in a stick built, manufactured, modular, component/ panelized, or insulated concrete form home. FINALIZING YOUR PLANNING

Working with a Designer / Architect If you need to have a building plan drawn or an existing plan revised, select your designer according to the detail, quality. A good designer can visualize your building needs and transfer them into a workable plan that will require fewer changes.

Building Cost Estimates If you are comparing bids make sure they are “apples to apples.” When bids include allowances, check to see if they are adequate. Then you are ready for a good contract that will protect the interests of both the builder and the home owner.

Develop a Building Plan and Specifications


There is a great deal of satisfaction and excitement when you move into a new home; however, be sure to relate imperfections in writing to avoid them becoming your responsibility. To learn more or to find out about a Consumer Education Class held at the Johnson City Area HBA office, call 423.282.2561 or email

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February 17, 2017


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Beware being your own home builder Contributed by Johnson City Area Home Builders Association

Your home is likely the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime, and not hiring a professional home builder could be a costly mistake for many reasons financial, emotional, and physical. Homeownership is the foundation of the American Dream, and in today’s do-ityourself culture where how-to advice for just about anything can be found on the internet, many people think they could save a lot of money by building their own home. Getting financing is an important consideration. As a self-contractor, lenders have strict guidelines and limits on how much money they will give you, and they will require that you provide house plans, specifications and an itemized list of documented costs and bids beforehand. Even if you feel that you have enough cash to do the job, it is wise to get a loan to cover material or labor cost increases, upgrades or material overruns. Many mortgage companies will not lend money to cover unanticipated costs on a home when construction has already begun. There is a huge amount of bookkeeping if you act as your own general contractor. The IRS requires that you send anyone you hired to work on your home—subcontractors—

who earned over a certain amount a 1099 form at the end of the year. You’ll have to be on site to document delivery slips, check for inaccurate billing and track material returns in order to stay on budget. Professional home builders are experts at the logistics and timing of building a home. It is an exact science to make sure permits are applied for, materials are ordered and delivered, subcontractors are hired, utility deposits are paid, and inspections are scheduled at exactly the right time. Even if you’re very organized, it is a process where many things can go wrong and a delay could cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress. Building your own home is a risky proposition from a legal standpoint, as well. Home builders carry Builder’s Risk, General Liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance on their building projects. As a self-contractor, you will have to assume most, if not all, of the same liabilities. You may want to consult with an attorney regarding potential liability issues, and with an insurance agent concerning appropriate insurance coverage. Home builders have staff to take care of all the details of building a home, and

established relationships with other professionals to complete the job, which is why they can build a home in a relatively quick timeframe. To build an average 1,500 sq. ft. home, you need to be prepared to spend at least 35 hours per week for at least five or six months, and most people don’t have jobs with that kind of flexibility. You will also need the time to determine and order the materials, evaluate bids, and hire and schedule qualified, licensed, insured and/or certified subcontractors. Finally, if you sell the home you’ve built, you may be responsible for any defects that are discovered afterwards. As the home’s builder, you or your estate will be responsible for claims brought by subsequent owners of the home. These are just a few of the things you need to think about before building your own home. By hiring a professional home builder, you will get quality of workmanship, building code compliance and an outstanding level of knowledge. To find a home builder in Johnson City, Jonesborough, Carter, Johnson, Unicoi or Washington Counties, contact the Johnson City Area HBA at (423) 282-2561

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February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017

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INDEX OF 2017 HOME SHOW VENDORS A-1 Concrete Leveling & Foundation Repair A-Team Realtors Admiral Propane American Foundation & Basement Repairs American Home Appalachia Service Project, Inc Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union Appalachian Decorative Concrete Appalachian Stoneworks Barnes Exterminating Company Bath Fitter Bluegreen Vacations Bobcat of the Mountain Empire Bracken Paving & Asphalt Maintenance Buckingham Development Builders First Source Carefree Boat Club City of Elizabethton Building Department City of JC Development Service Dept Cord Cutter Culligan of Tri Cities Cutco Cutlery Decorating Den Interiors Diversified Enclosure and Screen Eastman Credit Union EcoLogical Energy Systems Edens Carpet One Floor & Home Edward Jones Financial Energy Savers Evans & Evans Real Estate Ferguson Firm Foundation Construction, LLC Fleenor Security Systems, Inc. Food City Fuller Paving Group General Shale General Shale - Showcase GutterDome Mid-Atlantic Harp Legacy Construction Holston Habitat for Humanity ReStore Holston Valley Hardscapes House Doctors Incredible Tiny Homes Isaacs Pools & Spas, LLC Johnson City Power Board

306 541 609 223,224 617 152 218 311 128,129 547 144,145 112,113 401 544 541 SH3 104 221 222 109 606,607 135 149 535,536,537 153 212,213 137,138 148 309 550 214,215 552,553 313,320 Food Vendor 117 316,317 402 139 314,315 647,648,649,650 400 622 SH1 SH4, SH5 307

423-913-0510 423-647-4003 423-323-3520 865-982-0250 865-909-0440 423-854-8800 423-378-3778 423-895-0537 423-477-4020 423-477-7982 423-952-2284 423-365-2572 423-282-3221 423-323-8726 423-647-4003 423-929-3186 423-737-2444 423-542-1502 423-434-5955 850-424-1688 423-323-4195 716-790-7181 423-788-3919 865-453-6780 423-578-3527 423-573-4361 423-542-2191 423-926-0025 423-292-8279 423-282-1817 423-282-4955 423-612-2394 423-282-3755 423-928-2661 423-245-6176 423-538-3332 423-538-3332 704-393-8330 423-646-9375 423-239-7689 423-328-4409 423-283-8800 423-438-0696 423-542-2391 423-952-5037

Johnson City Stone Supply Joseph ReConstruction Kettle-licious Kettlecorn Kitchen Tune-Up Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union Landmark Corporation LeafFilter North of North Carolina, Inc Leinbach Services, Inc Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories Lowe’s Home Improvements Mary Kay Cosmetics Master Dry Mayes Brothers Tool Mountain View Pure Water Myers Chiropractic Northeast TN Master Gardeners Nu-Tech Kitchens Olive Oil Divine Pampered Chef Parasol Solar Perserbid Phil’s Safe-Way Pest Control Pinnacle Home Improvements Pool Source TN Precision Electrical Company, Inc. Premier Equipment, LLC Kubota Prendergast Construction Co, Inc Property Experts Renewal by Andersen Rockingham Marina Rogers Custom Construction, Inc Rogers Development Servpro of Kingsport/Bristol Sherwin Williams Signature Stonecraft & Cabinetry, Inc Softub The Honey Do Service Johnson City Thirty-one - Nora Haynes Transit Mix Concrete Tri City Door & Window Tupperware - Melody Henson Two Squirrels Cabinets & More Wildtree - Angie Grant WIN Home Inspection Xtreme Painting


102,103 146 608 542 125 116 217 107,108 SH2 219,220 304 121,222 540 114 147 118,119,120 620 615 305 308 310 623,624 100,101 318,319 140,141,142 209,210,211 548,611 SH6 110 SH7 SH6 206 208 207 539 126,127 136 301,312 651,652 545,546 302 111 303 551 150,151

423-232-2993 423-753-8843 423-323-4815 423-323-5171 423-794-5101 423-926-7137 330-655-7950 423 282 4083 423-282-8617 423-547-1340 423-863-8178 865-622-3165 423-926-6171 423-218-9361 423-610-0005 423-612-4785 423-943-7452 423-707-7087 423-676-1006 423-956-1531 423-454-1545 423-283-4522 865-272-0330 423-638-3631 423-288-6924 423-378-6100 423-239-3117 423-631-0400 865-310-9281 423-408-3215 423-817-5576 423-283-4999 423-245-5552 423-282-3499 423-378-3730 251-377-0828 423-928-9304 423-943-6383 423-928-2128 423-217-1022 423-573-4942 423-552-5696 865-604-4182 423-767-2946 423-967-2925

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Johnson City Real Estate Market by Paul Esajian Johnson City, Tennessee is growing by leaps and bounds. Voted as one of the top five most affordable cities to live, the Johnson City real estate market has always held local appeal. Over the past few years, the local economy has started to heat up and housing has reaped the rewards. Home and list prices are on the rise, and the market is ripe with investing opportunities. The area is not without some concern though, however. Foreclosure figures still need to be monitored, as well as the moderately high unemployment rate. All and all, the Johnson City real estate market is stable, strong and on the rise. suggests that home prices in the Johnson City real estate market are $208,502. This figure is over 20.6 percent higher than the current median sales price ($172,886). This reflects the growing real estate market and increased equity positions held by local homeowners. This has also increased the local Johnson City real estate investing appetite. With foreclosure list prices well below local median numbers, there is great investment opportunity. Increased equity gives buyers greater confidence to delve into the housing market. The more prospective buyers, the

February 17, 2017 higher the demand and the higher home prices will go. The amount of equity gained in Johnson City real estate is a direct reflection to the current strength of the market. Much of the Johnson City economy is based on revenue created by Eastern Tennessee University. Johnson City also ranked thirty-fifth on the “Best Small Place for Business and Careers” lost. This has, in part, help the economy recover from any post-recession doldrums. While the economy has stabilized and is on the right track, there are still concerns regarding unemployment. The current local unemployment rate is 5.8 percent. This is just above the national average (5.4%) and statewide average (5.3%). The unemployment number being just above average, in and of itself, is not cause for alarm. However, it is something that bears watching over the coming months. If the local unemployment doesn’t drop by years end, or at least fall in line with national numbers, it will be a red flag. Believe it or not, but unemployment can have a big impact on the Johnson city housing market. The Johnson City real estate market is considered extremely affordable, which is one of its major draws. Johnson City real estate investing, for example, should see more activity. Kiplinger even ranked Johnson City number five in the “Top 10 Least Expensive Cities to live in the USA.” The low median sales price number, in addition to below average utility, transportation and health care costs, all contribute to the level of affordability. It is this affordability that help make it a popular destination in the local area. With increased affordability comes increased demand, which contributes to the growing demand. Johnson City is the ninth largest city in Tennessee. With a great local school system and an affordable real estate market, that number should only continue to rise. New housing permits hit a 10 year low in 2011, with only 190 new permits being applied for. Since that low, new housing demand bounced back in a big way. Over the

next two years, the number soared to 530 permits in 2013. Additionally, the number of multifamily permits jumped from a low of 27 all the way to 368 in just two years. This was when most of the rest of the country was in the midst of trying to stabilize, and not in a growth pattern. The fact that new permits were created in a flat market indicates just how strong the appetite for new housing is. According to RealtyTrac, there are only about 50 homes in the Johnson City housing market in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank-owned). For as low as that number may sound, it is actually up from the last month, and even up over the course of 12 months. The increase is mainly the result of bank-owned foreclosures, which increased an impressive 200 percent in the last year. Of course, with 50 total foreclosures, that rate sounds larger than it really is. Regardless, bank-owned foreclosures now make up 20.9 percent of the distressed property market in Johnson City. The majority of distressed properties in the Johnson City housing market are of the auction variety. The Johnson City real estate market is in Carter, Sullivan and Washington counties, with most of the city in Washington County. According to Trulia, the areas – or zip codes that saw the most activity – were 37604, 37601, 37659, 37615 and 37681. Of those neighborhoods, 37659 saw its listing price rise the most in a period of one week (3.1%). Johnson City is an example of a steady, consistent real estate market that is only getting better. Home prices are on the rise and equity appreciation is growing every day. Foreclosures are up, but the overall number is not weighing the market down. New housing permits have increased and the economy is strong. If the mortgage collapse couldn’t cause a dent in the local market, there is no reason to think anything else will either. Johnson City real estate is getting stronger every day and real estate investors are starting to take notice.

February 17, 2017

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February 17, 2017

How to hire a contractor Contributed by Johnson City Area Home Builders Association Your home is one of the most important investments that you will make in your life. Planning and taking preventative measures will help to ensure a pleasant experience. When selecting a contractor – whether you are hiring one for home improvement, remodeling or new construction, there are important steps to follow. If you make sure the contractor you are considering is licensed, insured and reputable you will avoid a lot of problems. In Tennessee a contractor’s license is required for projects in excess of $25,000. Home improvement contractors are required to be licensed for projects from $3,000 to less than $25,000. Always check to see if the contractor is licensed and in good standing. The Board for Licensing Contractors can be reached at 1-800-5447563 or you can use the website at http:// The license search website also provides license information for other regulated professions such as Real Estate Brokers, Home Inspectors and Real Estate Appraisers. GET IT IN WRITING A written contract, spelling out all the details, should be used, even on small projects. Keep in mind, any promises that the contractor makes will be difficult to enforce unless they are in writing. The contract should contain the full name, street address and phone number of the contractor as well as the home owner. It should also have an agreed upon price, complete description of the work to be done, and materials (grades and type) to be used, the starting and completion dates, clean up after the work is finished and the payment schedule. Never sign a contract with blanks to be filled in later. Never pay a remodeler or contractor

the entire cost of the work up front. On remodeling projects, never pay more than one-third down. Never release the final payment until the project is completed according to the contract. You should also have proof that all suppliers, employees and subcontractors have been paid by the contractor. Remember that changes, no matter the size, cost money, especially the ones you make after the work has begun. To avoid misunderstandings, make sure that your agreement with the contractor, concerning both the changes and costs, are put in writing and added to the original contract. STEPS TO SELECTING A CONTRACTOR • Ask to see the contractor’s license and write down the number. A pocket card is provided to all licensed contractors. To check for complaints against the contractor on the “Problem Contractor List” go to boards/contractors/. • Get recommendations from friends, neighbors, and the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association. Use a local, well established contractor. Ask the contractor for references then call the references, ask questions and look at the work. • Ask the contractor if the company is insured against claims covering worker’s compensation, property damage and general liability. Document the conversation with date, time and outcome. • Get it in writing. Estimates should be very specific and should include exactly what you’re getting for the price. Make sure all bids are based on the same set of specifications and include a completion date. Get a written contract for ALL work.

Avoid “fly-by-night” operations and be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. • Be sure to see the building permit before work starts, and make sure it is not in your name. Never obtain the building permit yourself for work being done by a contractor. By doing so, you assume all risks and it will be difficult to recoup any money for inferior work. Projects completed without a permit might hurt a home’s resale value, and such projects are often not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies, meaning damage to areas of the home where an illegal project was conducted won’t be covered. • Payment; do not pay cash. Never pay entire cost up front or make final payment until the job is complete. If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep a file and tally of all payments. • Take time to talk to your contractor about your project and any concerns you may have. Frequent, effective communication is the best tool to prevent misunderstandings or resolve most difficulties. The Johnson City Area HBA is a nonprofit trade organization representing Carter, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington counties that is dedicated to helping the local building industry and building professionals. We encourage consumers to use JCAHBA as a resource. Please contact us, (423) 282-2561, for more information or visit our directory of building professionals.

February 17, 2017

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Interviewing and selecting a contractor Contributed by Johnson City Area Home Builders Association Just because a company has a bunch of employees, advertises all-the-time, or “has done 10 projects in your neighborhood” doesn’t mean that they have quality service or are proficient at the trades. On the other hand, smaller companies are not necessarily more detail-oriented or faster to respond just because they have fewer customers. There are good large companies and good small companies. You must determine which is right for you. As a rule, contractors who are constantly improving themselves and their businesses through continual education, training, and networking often make the best contractors (and their businesses come in all sizes). Let their credentials, experience, and expertise be your guide, not the size of their company. Education is paramount. Would you want a teacher teaching your children if she had never been to school herself? Or, an accountant without an accounting degree and the letters CPA (Certified Public Accountant) after his name advising you on your finances? Contractors have certifications, designations, and education as well. Give continuing education weight in your decision-making process. How Do You Interview the Candidates? Treat your research seriously and prepare for the process. After you build a list of potential contractor candidates, spend time organizing your thoughts & preparing your questions before meeting with the first contractor candidate. At each interview, observe how each candidate reacts and responds. Don’t be afraid to take notes. Some suggestions to get you thinking:

• When you discuss what you’d like to do, does the contractor show enthusiasm for your ideas and suggest ways to make them work better? • Is customer service emphasized? • Will they work within your budget constraints? Will they be honest when your budget is way less than the project will require? • Do they seem organized when you discuss the job with them? • Are their business materials neat, professional, and complete (business cards, flyers, website, etc.)? • Do they carry insurance to protect you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries (get a copy of their insurance certificate, don’t just ask the question)? • Do they offer a warranty? • Will they arrange for the construction permit? • Do they specialize in particular types of projects? • How to Decide? You probably have a budget already in mind and know how much you are willing to pay. If not, maybe you are planning to “get three quotations and pick the lowest.” DO NOT LET PRICE be the main reason you choose one contractor over another! Often the lowest bidder is cutting corners somewhere they shouldn’t. Would you want the lowest paid doctor operating on your child? ...or the cheapest lawyer defending you in court? Make your choice based on service, knowledge, ability, and communication; not based solely on price. If you can’t afford to do it right, how can you afford to do it over? When you hire a contractor, you are

buying a service and expertise rather than a product. The quality of service the contractor provides will determine the quality of the finished product and your satisfaction with it. Only choose a contractor who returns your phone calls, answers your questions, and has a trustworthy reputation. This is not a decision that should be solely based on whom you “like” the most or whom was the “nicest” or had the “best personality.” However, you will be working with the contractor and their team for an extended period of time; so, how you emotionally feel about them should have some weight in your decision-making process. Use your emotions, use your gut... just make sure your research and intellect have a bigger say in your final decision. If you put as much time, or more, into selecting a contractor as you did in selecting & planning your last vacation or in choosing if and where you or your children should go to college, you’ll make a good decision in the end. Plan for it. Spend time on it. Debate it out with your loved ones. Then trust yourself that you made the right the decision. Moreover, trust your contractor and their expert advice.

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February 17, 2017


Talk to Your

Local Specialists

“Your Lender for Life”

Bob Hefty Sr. Loan Officer/Branch Manager

Connecting Homeowners to local contractors

Bob has been serving the mortgage needs of the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas for over 14 years.

Looking to start a new project on your home? Perserbid allows you to find, compare, and securely pay local contractors to do the work. Visit to find out more.

A veteran of the United States Army, who proudly served our great country for 5 years. NMLS Unique Identifier # 186694 TN License # 102525

Loan Programs  Conventional  FHA  VA  THDA  USDA 423.454.1545

508 Princeton Rd., Suite 201 Johnson City, TN 37601 423.283.4702 423.943.0410

February 17, 2017

Page 17

Ask A Professional! Saturday from 11am – 4pm Sunday 12pm – 3pm

Builders and remodelers from Johnson City Area Home Builders Association will be available at the Home & Garden show to answer your questions or help with projects! Participants include: Allen Smith, Firm Foundation Construction John Deakins, II, Deakins Enterprises Scott Henley, Henley Construction Jeff Rogers, Rogers Development Eric Ward, Ward Brothers Construction Daniel Rowe, Rowe Construction Richard Peters, The Honey Do Service Paul Walton, CAPS, CGP, Positive Environments Pat Weber, III, Ingenuity, LLC Tim Hicks, Hicks Construction Ethan Buckingham, Buckingham Development Jeff Spear, Jeff Spear Homes

Seminars / Workshops Saturday & Sunday

Eastman Credit Union and Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union along with other exhibitors will hold seminars on first time home buyers, financing your next home improvement, painting for dummies, and more!




Serving the Tri-Cities & Surrounding Areas

Giv� Your Famil� th� Gift of Water The� Ca� B� Confiden� I�

learn Visit us at booth 114 to in View more about how Mounta Pure Water is Different.

Free In-Home Water Testing


We provide and service:

At JOSEPH’s RECON & DCR divisions our goal is to help families and businesses quickly repair property damage due to water, fire, wind, and vandalism.

423-218-9361 

3760 W. Market Street | Johnson City | 423.202.6434

 Whole House Water Filters  Water Softeners Ultra Violet  Reverse Osmosis

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February 17, 2017

Steps to a more organized, functional garage Metro Creative Services


rganization can help homeowners transform their homes into less cramped, more spacious oases without forcing them to finance potentially expensive expansion projects. Homeowners who park in their driveways may find that their garages have become crowded, cluttered spaces in which searching for tools can feel like scouring a haystack in search of a needle. Organizing a garage can create extra room in a home while affording homeowners the chance to protect their vehicles from the elements. Homeowners who want to turn their garages into something more than cluttered storage units can employ the following strategies to transform these largely overlooked areas into more valuable spaces. Choose the right day. Garages tend to be separate from the rest of the homes they’re a part of, meaning the only way to organize a garage is to first remove all items from the garage and into the driveway. Because items removed from the garage will be exposed to the elements, homeowners should choose a day that’s temperate and sunny to clean their garages. If possible, homeowners should opt to organize their garages in late spring, summer or early fall when there are additional hours of daylight.

This protects homeowners from having to work in the dark should the job take longer than they initially anticipated. Discard or donate duplicate items. Duplicate items are some of the main culprits behind cluttered garages. As garages gradually become more cluttered, homeowners may buy tools they already have simply because they cannot find their original tools. When organizing the garage, create separate piles for duplicate tools, placing still-useful items in a pile that can be donated to neighbors, local charities or organizations and another pile for old tools that are no longer useful. Host a garage sale. Homeowners who want to organize their garages and make a buck at the same time can host garage sales. Make only those items that are still functional available for purchase, and let neighbors and bargain hunters do the bulk of your organization work for you. Designate areas of the garage for certain items. Once the items that won’t be going

back into the garage have been sold, donated or discarded, organize the garage by designating areas for certain items, making sure to separate items that can pose safety risks. For example, store kids’ bicycles and outdoor toys in a corner of the garage that is opposite the corner where potentially dangerous items such as power tools and gas cans will be stored. Keep the center of the garage open for vehicles. Periodically park cars in the garage. Homeowners who are comfortable parking their vehicles in their driveways can improve their chances of maintaining organized garages over the long haul by periodically parking in the garage. Doing so not only prevents the gradual buildup of clutter that can slowly take over a garage, but also protects homeowners’ automotive investments. Maintaining an organized garage can help homeowners make more practical use of the space in their homes.

February 17, 2017

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Home improvements that increase home value Metro Creative Services


hen granite countertops or shiny, stainless steel appliances beckon homeowners from the display areas of home improvement stores, it’s tempting to gear remodeling thoughts toward the items that will add flair and decorative appeal to a home. Even though most improvements add some measure of value, deciding which are the best investments can be difficult. Return on investment, often referred to as “ROI,” varies depending on the project. Frequently, the projects that seem like the best investments don’t bring the greatest rate of return, while those that seem like smaller projects bring substantial returns. Real estate professionals routinely weigh in with their expert advice, and homeowners can couple that advice with Remodeling magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Index” to reap the greatest financial impact from their renovations. The following were some of the projects that garnered the greatest ROI in 2015. • Open the door to improvement. Region

by region across the United States, installation of a new steel door on the front of a home can have a large impact on the resale value of a property. The ROI ranges from 123 percent at the highest, to 86 percent at the lowest — which is still a considerable investment return for such a simple project. Match the door’s style with the style of the house for the best value. • Turn up the kitchen heat. An attractive kitchen can encourage buyers to overlook some of a home’s less attractive components. In the kitchen, replacement countertops, wall color changes, new cabinetry and flooring offer the biggest ROI. • Dreaming of a new bedroom. Remodeling magazine also points to creating an attic bedroom to increase home value. The ROI of an attic remodel that adheres to code can garner an 83 percent ROI. • Home maintenance projects. There’s little good to improving the aesthetic

appeal and functionality of a home if there are existing structural or maintenance issues, warn experts. Siding replacement, HVAC system repair or replacement, a new roof, and basement dampness prevention solutions can be smarter investments before other flashy remodels. Many buyers have a strict budget for a house, and those buyers may be more likely to buy a house with little or no maintenance issues. Such buyers will then upgrade the kitchen or baths themselves, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. • Worthy window replacement. Angie’s List, a home services review and referral resource, has found that the average ROI of new windows is 77 percent. The cost of installation and energy savings tend to offset at around the 10-year point. If remodeling is on the horizon, homeowners should give strong consideration to ROI before choosing a project.

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February 17, 2017

Lock Today& Shop Tomorrow

When mortgage rates start rising, you can still shop with confidence! Apply within 75-days of pre-qualifying to receive your locked rate or the current rate, whichever is lower. Limited time offer.

Learn more details or pre-qualify online today at Nikki Frazier

Mortgage Relationship Manager NMLS#415398 office: 423.467.4466 cell: 423.444.6918

423.578.7398 800.999.2328 Must apply for a new ECU mortgage loan within 75 days of pre-qualification approval to receive the lower of the locked rate or current rate. Must be a new ECU loan and not a refinance. Eligible for home purchase transactions only. Limited time offer. Loans subject to credit approval.

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