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Southern Home Complimentary

number 1, issue 5


Homes, Yards and Gardens of Lake Norman

Cedar Grove House 178 years of local history

Backyard Birds Attracting Those Beautiful Singers

Organic Gardening Getting the Basics is Easy

Hope House New Foundation for Women & Kids June 2009 Southern Home June 2009 Southern Home

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Recreating Recreating Homes. Homes. Redefining Redefining Lives. Lives.

Before Before Kitchen Kitchen Remodel Remodel

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Kitchen & Bath Renovations Kitchen & Bath Renovations Room Additions Room Additions Outdoor Kitchens & Living Spaces Outdoor Kitchens & Living Spaces Attic & Bonus Room Finishing Attic & Bonus Room Finishing Sunrooms Sunrooms Basement Finishing & Renovation Basement Finishing & Renovation Media Rooms Media Rooms Custom Contracting Custom Contracting A Licensed General Contractor A Licensed General Contractor

Outdoor Spaces Outdoor Spaces


Residential Design/Build Design/Build Specialists Specialists Residential A Turn-Key Approach A Turn-Key Approach To Designing And To Designing And Remodeling Your Home. Remodeling Your Home.

Phone Us At: 704.307.4606 Phone Us At: 704.307.4606 Email Email Room Additions Room Additions

Southern Home NARI June 2009 ®




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From our Backyard to Yours since 1995


Largest selection of plants in Lake Norman ! We pride ourselves on carrying a variety of interesting and unusual plant materials. Japanese Maples and conifers are some of our many specialties.

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With ener With energy gy ccosts osts tak taking ing such a huge bit bite e out of the mon monthly thly budget, budget, energy efficiency iit’s t’s llittle ittle ssurprise urprise tthat hat iinsulation nsulation aand nd e nergy e fficiency aare re tthe he ttop op homeowners are cconsiderations onsiderations among homeo wners who ar e thinking thinking of remodeling. remodeling. help IICYNENE® CYNENE® insulates insulates aand nd air-seals air-seals yyour our aattic ttic sspace pace tto oh elp minimize minimize drafts HVAC operate more optimal d rafts aand nd aallow llow yyour our H VAC ssystem ystem tto oo perate iin nam ore o ptimal environment, monthly energy e nvironment, ssignificantly ignificantly rreducing educing yyour our m onthly e nergy ccosts. osts. And And Now homeowners qualify up tthe he ssavings avings don’t don’t stop stop tthere. here. N ow h omeowners can can q ualify ffor or u p to to a credit $1500 ffederal ederal tax cr edit due to to the new EEconomic conomic SStimulus timulus Package. Package.

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There's a little something special for everyone who visits us, so plan to spend some time exploring the lush gardens, stone paths, and soothing water features. When you visit, a friendly staff member will be glad to chat with you and help you find exactly what you're looking for.

Plus, Unique Gifts, Decor & so much more! Be sure to say, Hi to Myrtle! Open 7 Days a Week!!! Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5, Sun 1-5 13501 Old Statesville Road Huntersville, NC 28078 •704-875-8234 • fax 704-875-8694 •  email:

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Number 1, Issue 5

Bethany Hauf

Southern Home Magazine


Clyde Owens

Attracting Seed Eaters


beautiful backyard birds Clyde Owens

Justine DiMauro Marta Carlson Kristi Linauer Clyde Owens Joe Kaestner

Organic Gardening


understanding the basics

Organic Dan



organic goes local Lori Dalton

Energy Efficiency Dennis Rossello Kathy Bryan Wendy Valdivieso

and the tax savings it brings

Cedar Grove House We welcome your comments, questions, article ideas, or any suggestions to make Southern Home Magazine even better. Write us at 20111 Washam Street Cornelius, NC 28031 or email to To contact any associate you may email them directly by typing their first or call 843-453-4556 and speak with a live representative. This magazine is published by Southern Home Magazine LLC. and distributed twelve times a year to selected households in the Lake Norman area. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent by the publisher. Southern Home Magazine does not necessarily endorse the views or perceptions of contributors or advertisers. Southern Home Magazine has the right to refuse any content based on the publisher’s sole discretion. Our office is located at 20915 E. Catawba Ave. Cornelius NC 28031 Publisher Southern Home Magazine LLC

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Huntersville’s 178 year old home




“Walk About” save thousands on your home

Hope House


new hope for women & children

5 food mysteries



solving myths

Southern Home


attracting seed eaters Backyard Nature B ackyard birds can be divided into three basic categories based on their primary food source: seed eaters, insect eaters, and birds of prey. This month, I’d like to talk about a few of the more popular species of seed eaters here in the Lake Norman Area and how to attract them to your yard.

A common favorite of most backyard birders, is the Northern Cardinal. North Carolina designated the cardinal as the official state bird in 1943. Male cardinals are a brilliant scarlet red, females a buffy brown with reddish wings. Both have a jet-black mask, pronounced crest, and a heavy bill. After reaching adulthood, cardinals maintain their coloring throughout the year. Cardinals do not migrate, so we can enjoy them year-round. Unlike many of our backyard songbirds, female cardinals will join the males in singing. Cardinals sing frequently during the months of February through August, and only intermit-


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By Joe Kaestner, Owner Wild Birds Unlimited of Huntersville

tently the rest of the year. A male cardinal will aggressively defend his territory and many have been seen attacking small red objects, mistaken as other males, or even their own reflections. Cardinals love sunflower and safflower seeds. An open tray feeder or a seed tube feeder that has a tray added to the bottom will be the best way to feed cardinals. They love to eat facing forward and, therefore, don’t adapt too well to small perches on bird feeders. Another favorite feeder visitor is the Carolina Chickadee. These precocious, acrobatic little marvels provide hours of entertainment to backyard

bird watchers. Chickadees are highly energetic. So much so, that it is remarkable that they don’t expend more energy in their eating habits than their food intake can supply. Chickadees will fly to a feeder, grab a single seed (often after weighing several to find one that seems heavy enough), and zip back up into tree, where it will hold the

seed in its feet and peck it open to uncover the nutritional nut meat inside. This seems to me to be a bit like motoring into a fast-food drive-thru, ordering one French fry, pulling into a parking space to eat it, and then repeating the process. Chickadees can often be seen hanging upside down from a tree branch, sometimes while eating, but often for no apparent reason. They are also highly adaptable to the humans around them. My chickadees will often visit my feeders even if I am standing only a few feet away. They will bounce around the feeders, find a suitable seed, and fly off without an apparent second thought about my presence. Chickadees love to eat sunflower seeds, and are especially fond of the version of these seeds where the shell has been removed, often referred to as sunflower chips or hearts. Another highly regarded, but often elu-

The female Indigo Bunting is a nondescript brown, a little darker on the upper parts and a little lighter below. In fall and winter, the male will molt to mostly brown, but will maintain some blue on its back and wings.

sive, feeder visitor is the Indigo Bunting. There is no mistaking the male Indigo Bunting in spring and summer with its bright blue plumage. However, the blue appearance is really a trick of nature, as their feathers contain no blue pigment. It is an interesting quality of most “blue” birds that they merely reflect light in a way to make us think they are blue. When viewed with back-lighting only, a male Indigo Bunting will appear black or dark gray.

If you’re lucky enough to have them in your backyard, Indigo Buntings will gladly come to a tube feeder filled with millet, which is a tiny, round, light yellow seed. However, you may want to avoid using a seed blend that contains millet because most other birds will toss the millet on to the ground, where it will grow into a grassy weed. It is best to offer millet by itself in a feeder. Other popular seed eaters are House Finches, American Goldfinches, Tufted Titmice, Purple Finches, Northern Juncos, Pine Siskins, and various types of native sparrows. Next month, we’ll look at some insect-eating birds and how to attract them to your backyard.n

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By Christine M. Lisiewski of Dearness Gardens in Huntersville. I imagine some people may still have certain preconceived notions about organic gardeners—that we are a bunch of tree-hugging, ex-hippies that attend protest rallies and eat tofu (not that I think these are bad things, by the way!). In reality, organic gardening has become much more mainstream and for a variety of very valid reasons. Some gardeners are concerned about pesticide residues on their foods, others worry about using potent toxins in the same yard in which their children and pets play and still others might want to garden in a manner that safely attracts birds and butterflies, utilizes native plants and conserves water. Whatever the reason, organic gardening is becoming more widespread as people become more concerned about their health, the safety and protecting the environment.

organic gardening

So What Is Organic Gardening? Strictly defined, organic gardening is a horticultural practice that does not implement the use of any synthetic (man made) pesticides or fertilizers. However, there is much more to it than just that-- organic gardening embodies the concept that your plants are part of a whole ecosystem that begins with the soil and includes the water supply, native plant and wildlife species, insect populations, climate and even peo-

ple. It is about working in harmony with the natural processes in the environment while conserving and replenishing the resources your garden consumes. So how does one begin gardening organically? Excellent question. Building the Soil The place to begin your journey is building healthy soil. The unfortunate practice of commercial builders removing the topsoil (decades worth of organic matter!) when the land is cleared for development poses a challenge for the organic gardener, but nothing that cannot be overcome. Organic matter must be added to the soil in the form of manures, amendments (e.g. bone meal, dried blood, kelp meal) and, of course, compost. The building blocks of compost are easily obtained around your home in the form of grass clippings, fallen leaves, shredded newspaper and kitchen vegetable scraps. A simple compost pile can be created using chicken wire to form a 3’x3’ enclosure where you will then layer “brown” (dry leaves, newspaper, straw) with “green” (grass clippings, veggie scraps) in roughly a 3:1 ratio. Add a little soil to the layers, keep the pile moist and turn it every few weeks with a shovel or pitchfork. Soon you will have dark, crumbly, rich, sweet-smelling compost crawling with earthworms—the ideal soil additive. Celebrate this milestone by throwing out all your Miracle Grow products—they are harsh and unnecessary in healthy amended soil. Right Plant, Right Location The concept of plant selection and site location may seem intuitive, but often this is the first mistake made by new organic gardeners. Since we

are trying to work in harmony with the environment, it is imperative that we choose plants that do well in our climate (hot, humid summers, mild winters, zone 7b) and then choose an appropriate site for those plants. For example, a sun-andmoisture-loving Weeping Willow will require very little maintenance when planted in a sunny, low spot

their maximum adult size. Ever see a full grown Southern Wax Myrtle planted two feet from the side of a house? That is some bad site location, my friends. Also consider purchasing heirloom plants (especially vegetables) which are old varieties that have been passed down through the generations and tend to be unusual, prolific and flavorful.

in the yard that collects water. The same tree planted in a dry and shady part of the yard will require supplemental water and cause the tree unwanted stress that can lead to disease and insect infestation. Often native plants are used in the organic garden because they are already adapted to our climate and soil. However, even native plants must be located in the appropriate site in the landscape—do some research on your selections so you know whether your plants prefer sun/shade/moist/dry areas and also keep in mind

What About All Those Bugs? First of all, not all “bugs” are bad (repeat that to yourself several times until it feels comfortable). Ladybugs and praying mantises are easy to identify and are your loyal allies in the garden. Lesser known are the lacewings—take the time to Google them so you can identify the adults and larvae—who will happily devour any soft-bodied insect that dares to cross their path. Also take the time to learn the difference between the “bad worms” (e.g. tomato hornworm) and butterfly larvae Southern Home


Now granted, some insects do cause trouble but not all of them require chemical intervention. Aphids can be blasted off with a strong spray of water, and many bad buggers can be controlled with a homemade insecticidal soap (1-2 tablespoons mild soap, a few drops of canola oil and some cayenne pepper in a gallon of water). If you have to resort to chemical controls, look for the OMRI (Organic Materi-

soil. Try companion planting, the ancient practice of inter-planting herbs and flowers in the vegetable garden to attract beneficial insects while repelling less desirable critters. Sweet basil is the quintessential companion plant, especially with tomatoes. Finally, hang up bird houses, bird feeders and add a bird bath. Songbirds are only too happy to patrol your garden for deA Few More Tidbits Don’t forget to mulch the garden! 2- lectable worms and beetles--they 3 inches of mulch will help lock in are fun to watch and they work for moisture, prevent weeds and help free (well, for seed anyway).n stop the spread of fungal spores that cause dis• Custom Framing eases like black spot. Natural • Limited Edition Prints mulch also has • Fine Gifts an added bene• Home Accents fit; it slowly breaks down, adding organic Tropical Connections matter to make 230 N. Main St. Mooresville, NC 28115 healthier, richer Gicle'e print available (704) 664-0236 als Review Institute) designation on the label. This means the product is suitable for organic gardening and had passed a rigorous review for safety and efficacy. Many of these products are multi-use such as Neem oil, which can be used as an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide.

" Torch Ginger" by Carol Garvin

(e.g. Swallowtails and Monarchs). I’ll never forget the time a customer at the nursery brought me a handful of “worms� that she picked off our parsley plants thinking she was doing us a favor. Imagine my horror when I realized she had plucked all the Swallowtail Butterfly larvae that we had watched hatch from tiny eggs and had been patiently studying for days, watching their metamorphosis into adults!

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organic dan Huntersville native creates an pesticide free garden of abundance for his family, friends and neighbors Photos and article by Clyde Owens Thomas Jefferson’s Montecello in Charlottesville. VA with its raised, organized beds a couple of years back, and that sparked the idea of creating his own organic garden. Daniel is in the construction business, but after he laid out the diagrams and plans for his garden, he hired a professional garden installer. “I didn’t want to have it take years for me to get it done.” says Dan.

Daniel Austin has created quite a garden for himself. The impression when you come upon the West Huntersville farmhouse is that of a working farm, but Daniel told me “It was a dairy farm, but we are out of that business now. Along Jim Kidd Road the family had 700+ acres. The farm has been divided among family, I have kin up and down this road.” says Dan. And Daniel’s garden is actually located on The raised beds are quite extensiveabout a dozen raised beds, framed in his sister’s farm. with pressure-treated 6 x 6” wood. Daniel’s family has always had gar- The soil in amended with rich humus dens, and it was natural for him to soil and compost. “I can get a whole have one as an adult. He visited lot more per square foot in a raised 12

Southern Home

bed,” Daniel tells me. “The raised beds allow for easy access for planting, weeding, watering, etc.” And that’s a good thing-during our conversation Daniel was stepping into beds to pull a weed here, strip some yellowing leaves there, or dead-heading flowers. Another nice feature of the garden is that it is sodded in the wide paths between the raised beds and has pebbles layered into the narrower paths of beds, It has an unusually organized and manicured feel for a working garden. The garden is not only for vegetables, but also flowers. Some flowers are mixed among the vegetables, while other beds are designated solely for flowers. “We grow a variety of flow-

ers suitable for cutting and I bring some home, but give away a lot. Daniel rotates all the flowers and vegetables to keep from depleting the soil. He keeps a journal of what works and what didn’t, so he can make good decisions when planning for the next season. Dan’s garden is pesticide free. He uses basic products, plus homemade recipes and remedies. “It takes a little more work, but it’s worth it. We eat a lot of vegetables straight out of the garden, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and I wanted it to be all natural,” says Daniel. But all organic does not mean pale or small yields for Daniel. “We have gotten way more than expected from these beds. I give away lots of vegetables and flowers. I love the sharing with friends and family. I’m getting phone calls now asking when the tomatoes, squash and okra will be ready.” he says with a smile.

Some of Dan’s Favorite Garden Solutions: Tomato Blight: 1-tbsp baking soda, 1-tbsp of horticulture oil, 1-gal of water. Mix ingredients and use in a sprayer. Daniel also notes that you need to keep the yellow leaves that start at the bottom of tomato plants stripped in order to keep the blight from “running up the plant” Manure Tea Fertilizer: In a cloth bag, hang the manure (Dan gets it from the field-you can get dehydrated manure from a supply store) in a plastic trash can in a corner of the garden. “Let cure” You can use the brown solution for watering plants, on leaves or a transplant solution. Make sure if applying on leaves that it is adequately diluted. Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insect's protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are either dusted. Diatomaceous Earth may be used as a barrier to control adult flea beetles, sawfly, coddling moth, twig borer, thrips, mites, cockroach, slugs, snails and many other insects such as: Aphids, thrips, earwigs, silverfish, and ants. Can be used for bedbugs, cabbage root flies, carrot root flies, fleas, pillbugs, ticks and is helpful in dealing with fungus gnats Tomato Leaf Tonic: Keeps flea beetles away... 2 cups of tomato leaves, chopped continued page 20

We have gotten way more than expected from these beds. I give away lots of vegetables and flowers.

energy efficiency tax savings

• Gas/Propane Water Heaters • Biomass Stove The following products have a tax credit of up to 30% of the improvement cost, with no limit. • Solar Water Heating • Solar Electrical System • Wind Turbines • Geothermal heat pump Other products or services with varying tax credits • Fuel Cell (Home/Auto) • Hybrid/Electric Cars

It is important to get started this fall so time doesn’t run out on completing your project during the current tax By Pete Villari, President year. Energy Doctors of the Carolinas TAX Note: Contact your tax professional to determine your actual


he 2009 ARRA (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act) was signed into law in February of 2009. It offers a variety of tax credits to promote energy efficiency. As you consider making improvements or remodeling your home, consider which improvements can also provide a tax credit. As you read through the legislation there are multiple conditions, stipulations, and requirements for each category of improvement. Before you move forward you need to read through all the information provided at the Department of Energy website. Some of the credits listed below have very particular product requirements related to the level of the products energy efficiency, so be sure to read through the information on the websites provided before you make an investment. The improvement must also be completed in 2009. The following products carry a tax credit of 30% of the cost, up to $1,500 • Insulation • Energy Efficient Exterior Windows, Doors • Metal/Asphalt Roofs • Central AC • Some Heat Pumps • Gas/Propane/Oil Furnaces 14

Southern Home

benefit. Generally a tax credit is better than a tax deduction because it comes straight off your tax liability versus figured within your tax liability formula, along with other more common deductions. For more info see: recovery/taxbreaks.htm n

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Cedar Grove House article & photos by Clyde Owens

At 178 years old, this Huntersville gem is one of the finest examples of piedmont plantations in North Carolina

The charm started from the minute the door opened to the beautiful 178-year-old home on Gilead Road, Huntersville. As Mrs. Belle Banks answers, she is explaining she doesn’t wear shoes much in the summer, so you find her mostly barefoot from May to September. Her husband Richard Banks passed about 10 years ago. But the house is still her private home and is kept by herself, a son, and daughter. We sit down, including her dog Millie, and hear the story of how she and far between”.

came to be there. Mrs. Banks explains, “ The house was in my husband’s family. We arrived in Charlotte when Richard was discharged from the military after World War Two. So many soldiers were coming home, there was no place for them all. So, like many couples, we stayed in barracks converted to apartments. Richard told me his family had a farm house in Huntersville. Charlotte to Huntersville, at that time, was a world away. I was a city girl and knew nothing about country living. There was no close grocery and neighbors, although great, were few

Mrs. Banks recalls her first look; “When Richard brought me out here for the first time it was in horrible shape. Sharecroppers tending the farm had occupied it. The family had not thought the tenants would loot the furniture and valuables locked in the third-story attic rooms, but that’s exactly what happened. Most the furniture and all the small valuables like china and silver were gone. The house had deteriorated in to an awful state, with holes in the walls, plaster and wall paper falling down, just a sad mess. I thought it was an impossible task.”

next spring we could afford to have a furnace installed. But we have never felt the need for central air, the house had good ventilation and is just never uncomfortable during the summer.” For the next few years Richard and Belle worked on Cedar Grove and painstakingly resorted it room-byroom. “We would be a sight on the weekends,’ Belle smiled, “Richard in bib overalls and no shirt and me looking like the hired help. Once three ladies came up on a Sunday afternoon dressed in their best.

In 1948 the Banks moved in with no electricity, plumbing, or central heat or air; and still no central air today. Mrs. Banks remembers, “for the first winter we lived here, I had to have all four fire places burning at all times to keep the house warm. Richard worked for the Charlotte Observer as the culture critic, and he would rise early to chop enough wood in the morning before heading to Charlotte, and I would go from room to room all day stoking and feeding the fires. It wasn’t until the Southern Home


construction began. The house itself is perched on a significant hill and is aligned on the compass, with the floorboards running from north to south. The columns in front are also brick, but covered in stucco. The back of the house is very similar to the front keeping the house not only symmetric, but making no absolute front or back. The interior grand hall has a signature suspended staircase going all the way into the 3rd story attic. The basement buried half below ground is dirt floored and was a cool place for meals in earlier times. Today, it houses the mechanical systems for the house. The attic is full of family mementos, including the famous wooden legs from a famThey thought, as folks sometimes was accumulated. While some do, that the house was open to the goods were sold directly, a lot of public for tours. When I opened the goods were paid with barters, indoor, they ask if the lady-of-the- cluding land. By the time of Hugh house was at home. Their expres- Torrance’s death, he had accumusions were priceless when I told lated a plantation of 1,400 acres. His them, paint on my face, that would son James extended his father’s be me! success and by his death had accumulated a plantation of 3200 acres Mrs. Banks today still enjoys the of land in Mecklenburg County and fruits of all the years of labor at her another 3800 in Tennessee. Richard Cedar Grove home, is still active Banks inherited the house as a diwith friends and community, and an rect descendant of Hugh Torance. active member of the historical society. The house is a Federal style structure. It has a symmetrically balanced facade, two stories, two ABOUT THE HOUSE The story actually begins with the rooms deep and a large hall down property directly to the right of the the center. It had upgraded touches Cedar Grove home. There stands for a plantation house of the area the original house and store (1806- with locally quarried, hand cut 1825), built by Hugh Torance, and is granite for the windowsills, enstill the oldest standing store in trance steps and bases for the North Carolina (see photo next columns. page). Between 1831 and 1833, his son James built the Cedar Grove, James Torance planned ahead for considered one of the finest pied- building the house. 20,000 bricks mont plantation examples in North went in to making of the home and Carolina. The store’s trade was were all hand-fired on the site. He some of the basis for the way land had 12,000 of the bricks ready before 18

Southern Home

ily member in the Civil War. The outside shutters are original hinged shutters of cedar. Cedar Grove House stands as one of the best examples of Federal style plantations homes in North Carolina. The original house and store stand to the right of the property and have a state marker. You can walk the property and tours can be arranged. Cedar Grove house itself remains a private residence and public tours are not available.

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from page 13 1 qt. of water 1/2 tsp. of dishwashing liquid Put the tomato leaves and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let cool. Strain leaves and add dishwashing liquid to the water. Pour the solution into a sprayer, and spritz your plants from top to bottom. This potion repels whiteflies, asparagus beetles, and cabbage worms. Reapply after each rain. Slug Jugs: Instead of the “old way” of placing a pan of beer on the ground for slugs to climb into try this. Bury a glass or plastic jar with a 1-3 in mouth into the ground about 1/2 inch above the soil level. Pour beer into the container. The smaller hole slows evaporation and pets from getting into it. And the container in the ground creates the dark environment slugs love! General Fungicide/Pesticide: Daniel uses “Neem Oil “ as a favorite catch all. It’s a natural seed extract that is diluted with water and sprayed. Usually available at home and garden supply stores. Used for aphids, spidermites, cucumber beatles, fungal disease,; not harmful to all bugs, the harmful ones eat the plant and die.n

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save thousands with

a “Walk About” your home by Jeff Forsha, Professional Home Inspector

shouldn’t: •Siding damage including loose caulking •Mortar cracks •Unsealed holes on exterior •Signs of rot and decay(soft wood) around doors and windows, and at the corners of the wood joints •Torn or damaged crawl space vents •Grades sloping toward the house The Walk About is re- (the grade should drop away from the ally three inspections: home one inch per foot) Gutters and Roof; Exterior Surfaces; and Walk About Three: Crawlspace Crawlspace. You will Take a break for now. Next month, walk around your home we’ll tackle the last frontier, the crawlthree times. Each walk fo- space. cuses on a different section of the home. Finding problems The Fix early means you can fix them, hope- Remember, the reason you are doing fully before they have damaged your the inspection is to find problems so home. they can be corrected. Your Walk About may not reveal any problems. Walk About One: Roof and Gutters But, no home is perfect, so you will Look for common signs of potential probably find something that needs damage: to be fixed. If it’s something simple, •Loose or curling shingles you may want to do it yourself or hire •Leaves and debris in the gutters a handyman. If the problems seem •Staining or damage on fascia be- too daunting, call a home inspector, hind gutter who can evaluate the severity and recommend a course of action for re•Wear on vent pipe boots pairs. •Proper sealing on flashing Common causes of water damage: •Clogged, dirty gutters and down- spouts. •Water and condensation in your crawl space •Roof leaks •Negative drainage around your foundation


efore the autumn leaves drift by your window, before you get too comfy in that recliner watching college football on the big screen television, there’s one last chore to tackle. Spend a few minutes doing your own home inspection, or Walk About, and you may save yourself thousands of dollars in the future. Me, a Home Inspector? You may be thinking, what do I know about home inspection? As daunting as it sounds, simply making this part of your regular maintenance routine will help you identify damage that results from your home’s worst enemy: water. Left untreated, water problems can cause fungi, mold, foundation damage, or roof leaks.

Walk About Two: Exterior Walls and Grading You want to ensure you’re not letting in the outdoors. Inspect siding, bricks, all exterior wood. This includes wood around doors and windows. Look for common signs that water (or something else) is getting in where it

And, don’t forget to schedule another Walk About a few months from now, about the time football season is over. About the author: Jeff Forsha is a Certified Home Inspector, Owner of A-ProAdvantage Inspection Services, n Southern Home


Photo by Urban Building Group

indoors out A

well-designed outdoor living space can maximize your home’s potential by providing a natural extension of your indoor area for dining, relaxation, and entertainment. Whatever the size of your space or your budget, these considerations will help you make the most of your space, providing atmosphere and amenities that truly enhance your family’s lifestyle.

How and When Will You Use Your Outdoor Space Evaluate how your family will use the space – dining, cooking, entertaining, lounging, a play area for your children? Consider how much space is needed for the activity, how much shade/sun is required, time of day, sun angle and time of year you will use it. Incorporating 22

Southern Home

covered areas, ceiling fans, misters, and propane heaters you can comfortably enjoy your outdoor space all year round. An open-air veranda can be a great alternative to an enclosed, screen porch. It provides an open view and better circulation to the yard. You can keep maintenance low by using a natural, sustainable material such as brick in place of decking. Locating an outdoor fireplace within the veranda can add a point for family and friends to migrate to. Flow with Your Home We asked John Morgan of Urban Building Group what are some common mistakes people make when creating an outdoor living space? He replied, “When you think of what you want in your backyard, your initial thoughts can often drift

Photo by Urban Building Group

Outdoor Living Spaces

Photo by Urban Building Group

to a structure too far from the core of the house. If you act too quickly and don’t take the time to consider your unique needs, you end up creating a space that doesn’t get used nearly as much as it could. Keep your space easily accessible, and you’ll use it as much as you do your indoor social spaces.” Outdoor food preparation and dining areas should be located near your kitchen to reduce trips back and forth. Converting a window to a set of French or sliding doors can provide functional and a visual flow between the inside and outside. If you are building a detached structure such as a pool house, consider incorporating full amenities for convenience at the location of the structure. Budget A small budget doesn’t have to mean minor impact. You can start with a small patio for dining, and add more expensive features such as a pergola, outdoor kitchen, television lounge, fireplace, landscaping and lighting. By thinking ahead and having a well thought out plan, you can create a space that meets your needs for many years to come. By creating a master plan for your project you can carve out phases and take on projects as time and money permit. While larger projects requiring building permits are usually best left to the pros there are less complicated improvements you can make to your outdoor living space that are perfect for the weekend warrior. n

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making a house a home A Community Puts Out a Welcome Mat For Homeless Women and Children in Lake Norman Area women and women with their chil- earliest beginnings to now. In dren in this community who need a March 2004, the Hope House FounBy Tom Gardner and hand up, not a hand out. dation gained its official non-profit Fran Mathay


n a quiet Huntersville neighborhood off of I-77 is an ordinary-looking ranch house on four acres of land surrounded by trees. However, looks can be deceiving since this unpretentious exterior has an extraordinary purpose and name – Hope House. For the past three years, Hope House has been a hub of construction activity. The Lake Norman Home Builders Association members and many other community volunteers have provided countless hours of labor and materials to the project. Hope House is symbolic of a community who joined together to build the first transitional home in the Lake Norman area to support the mission of helping displaced 24

Southern Home

When a resident is referred and admitted into the 4,000-square foot house, she becomes a member of a home that has a personal action plan. During her stay of no more than six months, she and her children will live in a clean, safe and comfortable environment in which every resident is responsible for maintaining. During her stay, personal goals will be set and measured. In addition, she will receive employment and educational support and a variety of services to launch her on a personal path toward self-sufficiency. The Beginnings Dr. Lee Beth Lindquist, a family medicine physician at Lakeside Family Physicians in Cornelius, N.C, founded Hope House Foundation with loyal, volunteer assistance from Don King who has been affiliated with Hope House from its

status. Dr. Lindquist and Don King both saw a need in the affluent Lake Norman community for woman in dire straits without a roof over their heads. “They needed a safe place that provided supportive services to get them back on their feet again,” explained Dr. Lindquist, “a place for them to regroup and gain back independence and confidence.” Close to her Huntersville residence, Dr. Lindquist noticed a modestlooking brick ranch house for sale. On closer investigation, she realized the house’s footprint could be converted into a group home. “It was easy to see that with renovation, this house could fulfill our immediate goal with the possibility of future cottage expansion.” After the purchase, the Hope House Foundation was established as a 501-(c)-3 non-profit to be run by a

carefully, appointed Board of Directors with Dr. Lindquist serving as chair. The current Foundation’s board members are Chris Anthony, Owner of Chris Anthony Real Estate/Allen Tate, Geoff Bowen, CoOwner of EFC Builders, Pam Boileau, President of The Marketing Consortium, Bob McIntosh, President of McIntosh Law Firm and Kandi Ranson, Accountant and Partner of Ladd & McCall. The board adopted the Foundation’s mission: “To nurture the well-being, independence and faith of women and their children by providing shelter, services and support.” Then, their daunting task began to change a 1975, single-family ranch house into a twolevel, up-to-code. group home for displaced women and children. Love turns Hope House into home The property had to be rezoned from single-family into a transitional group home that could accommodate up to 12 adults. The Foundation learned to navigate complicated local, state and federal regulations, which was not for the faint of heart. However, they persevered transforming this former private residence into a mission-driven home for women and their children through the generous support of numerous community donors, volunteers, faith-based congregations, non-profits and foundations. The renovation entailed extensive site work, paving, drainage and landscaping. Within the house, there has been structural, electrical and mechanical changes to accommodate the new configuration for two kitchens, two living rooms,

ample dining space, six bedrooms, four bathrooms, carpet and flooring replacement, painting and drywall as well as complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide ramps, bedroom, living and dining, access to the Learning Center and a bathroom/shower for the disabled, two commercial-grade laundry rooms, an indoor children’s play area and an outdoor playground and picnic area. Through a. generous grant from AT&T Foundation, one of the most dramatic changes to this house was turning a large storage area on the lower

level into a virtual classroom for adults and children. This classroom and assembly room has state-of-the-art computers and software for both adults and children to pursue and focus upon educational and employment opportunities. The AT&T Learning Center is their “fishing pole” toward building confidence and self-sufficiency. Another important benefactor, whose contributions are felt throughout the house, has been from the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation. They generously furnished the house with

beds, mattresses, bed linens, pillows, towels, blinds, closet shelving and commercial washers and driers, as well as other necessary household appliances and safety systems. The Next Step Hope House volunteers are now putting on the finishing touches in furnishing the house and beginning the staffing process. Even with the house at 99% completion, volunteers’ contributions are now needed to run the house. “We now need support to maintain this gift to our community,” said Dr. Lindquist. She added, “We anticipate within our first year of operation, Hope House will accommodate approximately 60 to 80 women and children.” A social worker from a partnering, non-profit will initially screen candidates to qualify a new resident. Once accepted into Hope House by its staff, residents are required to earn their keep and share in the responsibility of maintaining a clean and orderly home environment for everyone. In addition, residents must fulfill personal goals set by their social worker and the Hope House staff, which will help them to become independent - one of the core reasons this house was started. A house can be almost any shelter with walls and a roof; but it is people who make a house a home. For Hope House, it has been the community that has put out the new “Welcome Mat.” To learn more about Hope House and become a friend to its mission, v i s i t, contact or call the Foundation at 704-992-1902. n Southern Home


5 Food Mysteries Solved True or False? Eating garlic wards off mosquitoes False. Mosquito "repellent" works by blocking mosquito’s’ ability to smell things that otherwise would attract them, so they ignore you. In the case of mosquitoes, the primary attractants that have been identified are CO2 and lactic acid, though there are other factors. The idea behind eating garlic to ward them off is that the smell covers up the CO2 and Lactic Acid. The trouble is, if you ate so much garlic to accomplish this, you would ward off more than just mosquitoes. The best substance yet found to block mosquitoes' powers of detection is DEET, and while a few repellents are equal over a short term, nothing 26

Southern Home

even comes close in terms of residual repellency. DEET's effects can last for several hours, whereas even the best alternative repellents last at most about 2 hours, maybe 3, if you're lucky and the conditions are right. Garlic is only one of a list of plant compounds with similar "repellent" effects, including citronella, cedar, verbena, geranium, lavender, pine, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, allspice, and peppermint. Again, these substances have a very limited efficacy, in terms of duration, and if you are going to be exposed to mosquitoes for more than an hour or two, you should get a good DEETbased spray or lotion and stick with it. Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested the theory and

concluded that eating garlic didn't work. True or False? Watermelon isn't very nutritious; it's all water! False. Watermelon is mostly water, 92 percent, but it also has its share of nutrients. One cup of watermelon provides good amounts of vitamin C and red watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant that's associated with reduced risk for certain types of cancer.

True or False? Licking ice cream is more satisfying than eating it with a spoon.

True or False? A piña colada can have as many calories as a cheeseburger.

True or False? The antioxidants in raspberries help keep your heart healthy.

True. According to Kay McMath, a food technologist for New Zealand's Massey University, "Flavor in ice cream is released when the fat, which carries the flavor, is warmed to at least body temperature.” When you lick ice cream, it coats the tongue and fully warms the frozen treat. A spoon, on the other hand, insulates the ice cream. There is also the psychological aspect of savoring the treat more slowly -- you just cannot lick ice cream as fast as you can spoon it.

True. Both have about 400 calories. Some of summer's most popular drinks can boost your daily calorie tally substantially. A margarita has about as many calories (367) as a hot dog w i t h cheese and chili (375). Moreover, from a calorie perspective, drinking a wine cooler is like eating a generous scoop of potato salad.

True. Two antioxidants found in raspberries -- anthocyanins (where raspberries get their red) and ellagic acid -- are associated with increased levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health. The yummy berries are also loaded with vitamin C and are high in fiber.

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Southern Home Magazine-Aug  

Southern Home Magazine

Southern Home Magazine-Aug  

Southern Home Magazine