What a busy month it has been! October featured the Fall Parade of Homes that went really well for Craig Sharp Homes. We have been extra busy the last 4-6 weeks as we come to year end. In past years the winter months are a bit slower for new construction but we are putting new basements in the ground faster than ever! We are also working diligently to get our current new homes as far along as possible before Winter weather strikes, especially on the exteriors. All of this in addition to our normal end of year paperwork has kept everyone in the field and the office consistently busy.
As we do near Thanksgiving (Just over a week away!) we do take time to reflect on all that we are thankful for this past year, both personally and on the job. There is so much for all of us to be thankful for, no doubt, but in particular here at Craig Sharp Homes we cannot thank our homeowners and business partners enough. Without these two groups of people we could not exist! Our homeowners continue to choose us as their builder and their kind words and referrals are our best advertising and highest praise for our dedication to high quality homes built by the area's top craftsman and back by world class customer service. We are so thankful for the reputation they have helped us build over the past half decade.
Behind all of our luxurious, custom homes is a vast team of knowledgeable vendors and subcontractors that help us turn your dreams into a reality. Again we cannot thank these individuals enough for meeting our high expectations when it comes to building your new home. Without their combined years of experience, innovations, and personal attention to detail our homes would not be the Pinterest quality gems you see today.
Throughout this year we have also been so thankful for relatively favorable weather and a consistent slate of work in which to complete our homes. We have been able to enter into a few new neighborhoods and, with new models and spec homes, really be creative and innovative in our open floor plans, bonus rooms, and other creative uses of space. We have seen a continued push for flexible layouts with great views as well as a growing interest in farmhouse looking exteriors and gray/white interiors. We are glad to be able to bring these new ideas into the Wichita community and help to push the envelope for what is possible in design and decor.
Without a doubt, 2017 was another great year, and while their were setbacks and a few unfortunate circumstances out of our control - as there always seems to be - we are thankful for the experience and knowledge of everyone around us to help work through those bumps and help us continue to learn and adapt. That is probably true of our lives both at work and at home.
"There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. "
Good Morning and welcome back to the Craig Sharp Homes Blog! We hope everyone is having a great Friday, and hopefully you were able to experience the large, vivid rainbow over Wichita today. If you haven't been following us lately or missed a post, use the archives on the right hand side of the page to enjoy our prior topics and posts.
Today we'll take a quick look at some general items all homeowners should be starting to think about as we get closer to Fall and Winter here in Kansas. As anyone who has spent any amount of time here will tell you, the weather is very unpredictable and can change in just a few hours. So while we are continuing to enjoy above average temperatures for September, we know that the threat of Winter is just around the corner. With that in mind, it is important to prepare and inspect your home now - while the weather is nice - to help prevent any issues in the coming months. While most of the items on this list can be DIY, please do not hesitate to consult a professional should you have any questions or concerns.
Pre-Winter Home Checklist
○ Clean gutters are remove sticks, frisbees, and other items from your roof.
Throughout the Summer and into Fall a lot of debris and gunk can make its way into your guttering, especially if you do not have a gutter cover. If you are not comfortable on a ladder, find a neighbor or handyman to help you inspect the gutters for leaks and proper drainage. As snow and ice melt off in the Winter, it is important that the runoff get away from your house and not cause ice dams that can damage your roof. Icicles may look neat, but can be a sign of improper drainage.
○ Caulk and seal all exterior windows and doors
As part of your regular home maintenance schedule, you should inspect your doors and windows to ensure a good seal is present to prevent water intrusion and heat loss. As we discussed in our last post, water is a power force that needs little opportunity to enter your home. While you are out inspecting the exterior of your home, be sure to look around the top, bottom, and sides of your windows for any trouble spots. If you find loose or damaged caulking, it can be easily removed and replaced in less than an hour.
○ Fertilize Your Lawn Before Preparing it to Freeze
As we get deeper into September and October and the daytime temps start to cool off, it is a great time to give your lawn a good feeding. Helping your lawn recover from the stress of Summer and helping it prepare for dormancy over the Winter now will have a tremendous impact on how lush and green your lawn will look next Spring. After you are done watering (before the first hard freeze) be sure to blow out your sprinkler system, detach and drain all hoses or drip lines, and put away or cover any grills, furniture, or other outdoor equipment that will not be used during Winter.
○ Change Filters, Alarm Batteries, and Check Furnace
If you are not changing your air filters every few months, they should at least be changed in the Spring and Fall. This is especially true in homes of allergy sufferers. Changing the air filter is an easy DIY task, just be sure to get the correct size of replacement filter. While you are at your furnace replacing the filter, you can also do a quick visual inspection of the unit for any damage. Now would be a great time to get a tune-up and professional inspection done on your furnace as well, before you need the heat later. Finally, it is a good time of year to change out the batteries in your smoke and CO2 alarms. As cooking moves indoors and we use more gas appliances/stoves in our homes, those couple minutes of changing batteries could save your life.
○ Stock up On Supplies
Finally, if you are our at the hardware store getting items for he above list, you might as well stock up on a few extra supplies for your home that may come in handy. Sand or ice melt for your driveways and sidewalks, extra batteries and flashlights in case of a power outage, a new snow shovel, blankets for your vehicles, and even bottled water are good to have on hand. Hopefully we do not have any major ice or snow storms, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.
While not an extensive list, these items will at least give you a good start. There are lots of other, longer lists available throughout the internet, but the important takeaway is to get out, get eyes on your home, and work to fix any minor issues before they get worse. As always, a weekend of inspection and preparing now while it is warm could save you huge headaches this Winter. Stay safe and stay prepared!
As the waters continue to rise this week in Houston, TX and the surrounding area, our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. As you've probably heard by now, this historic storm dumped not inches, but FEET of water over a short amount of time, with some places receiving three feet of rain in just a couple days. No doubt a storm of this magnitude would be devastating wherever or whenever it occurred, but it is still heartbreaking to see the damage caused by our most bountiful resource. The entire Craig Sharp Homes Team sends our best wishes to everyone involved in this natural disaster, those brave men and women continuing to provide emergency services, and to all those who will help with the clean up and restoration.
Water is one our most basic needs and one of the few elements that can give life as quickly as it takes it away. Floods like those in Houston this past week are ever present reminders of how little control we actually have over our surroundings. Even on a smaller scale of a roof or pipe leak, water seems to be almost magical with its power to destroy and work around or into every nook and cranny. Anyone who has had to trace a leak in their home can tell you that water can travel forwards, backwards, up and down walls, and across several feet of wall before making an appearance. It can be an impressive sight! So what can you do in and around your home to help prevent water issues?
The pessimistic view (or maybe realistic view) is that no home or structure is safe from the power and force of Mother Nature and water. If water wants to get into your home, it will find a way. Whether driven by 80 mph gusts or the swells of a flooded creek, there simply is no guarantee or product available to 100% protect your home - while keeping it livable, accessible, and up to your local HOA standards.
In practice, however, there are steps you can take - and Craig Sharp Homes does - with your home that can help eliminate opportunities for water intrusion.
First is the foundation walls and the support system around them to keep your basement dry. We use only the highest quality foundation crews for all of our basements, but more importantly we use a waterproofing system (in lieu of the standard damp proofing) that completely seals your foundation from the outside as a first barrier against moisture. This system comes with a 10 year warranty that provides an extra level of comfort for your new home. Additionally, we use high quality drain tile back filled with gravel to direct any water near your basement to go around the foundation walls, through the drain tile to your sump pump. As an option, we can add a water source backup pump to your standard sump pump that will keep your pump running in the event of a power outage.
The next level of protection is the site grading and location of your home. Wichita and both Sedgwick and Butler Counties do a lot of work with master drainage plans and new developments to account for storm water runoff, ensuring home are placed in a way as to not be lower than surrounding home, nor too high and thus pushing water off onto their neighbors. As a builder, Craig Sharp Homes must prove through independent, licensed surveyors that your home meets or exceeds the minimum requirements.
Finally, all of our homes are built with the highest quality materials and best building practices from the ground up to help prevent water intrusion into your new home. We use water resistant bottom plates to prevent water damage to your walls and we mindfully wrap your house (and all penetrations) completely in a moisture barrier system. Our expectations and selections of our "base" products, vendors, and subcontractors are always evolving to make sure our homeowners are getting the best quality product, installed by the most discerning craftsman, and backed by a world class warranty. We also work hard to get all of our home "dryed in" as soon as possible. This means getting a home framed, wrapped, and roofed quickly which helps to limit the exposure of the framing and sub floor to the elements, including moisture. While it is not bad for these elements to be exposed, it certainly helps prevent problems down the road if they remain as dry as possible.
In the end, we take all the steps we can to protect a new home from the elements both during construction and for the life of the home through our choices in materials and building partners. While there is no way to prevent what Mother Nature may bring to your neighborhood, you can rest assured that a Craig Sharp built home has the best chance at standing tall after it's over.
If you would like to help the thousands of fellow Americans devastated by Hurricane Harvey, please visit the Red Cross Donation Page here: http://rdcrss.org/2xA7G11
Whether or not you are thinking of building a new home or remodeling your existing one, chances are you have watched HGTV, thumbed through This Old House, or browsed home photos online at Pinterest or Houzz. Maybe all three. It is hard to not lose hours of your evening or weekend thinking of the possibilities with all of the available outlets of inspiration. If you are starting to think about a new home it can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. With so many ideas and possibilities and cool features and new equipment it does not take long to spiral out of control. You may quickly end up with stacks of design magazines and dozens of digital "boards" keeping track of every idea that may end up in your new home.
So where do you start?
The old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words is definitely true, and during the initial stages of designing a home it is helpful for the Craig Sharp Homes team to use those pictures (words) to help guide the design process. More often than not, the pictures, images, and torn out pages of magazines help our homeowners express to us visually their ideas and must-haves that can often be hard for them to put into their own words. With the advent of sites like Pinterest and Houzz, it is easier to find and share the exact image that relays to us what is in your mind's eye. There are rare cases, though, where a homeowner can be overwhelmed with the plethora of ideas and images so they just save everything. Back to the adage - if a picture is worth a thousand words, and our conversation over the design of your new home starts with 10,000 pictures, that is a lot to filter through to narrow down even a basic design or layout for a new home.
The challenge then, for us, is to work with you and guide you through the piles and pins. This can be one of the more difficult phases for a homeowner to go through as it is the point where the thoughts and dreams meet the realities of budget and other constraints. Craig and I can help by offering our advice for what may be appropriate in a given neighborhood or price range, what new ideas we have seen work or don't work, or just simply our opinion as a sounding board. There are many ways we can get a particular look or feel for a homeowner that may be slightly different than what they had in mind, but more budget friendly. We work with you to explore the options and help you choose what works best for your situation.
Typically within a few meetings we can narrow down the scope of a new home through asking the right questions and having honest conversations. In the end, however, it is your home and we can build just about anything. The entire Craig Sharp Homes team is willing to discuss and share our decades of experience with you and offer our insight, but ultimately it is your decision! It is important to never forget this point throughout the process.
So where to start is up to you, but we would encourage you to gather your photos and ideas in one place, if possible, and then start making a list. What ideas are wants, what are needs, and what are would-like-to-haves? As always, our team is more than happy to join you in the process whenever you choose, and we think it is a Sharp choice to make.
To buy or to build: that is the question.
Whether you are looking to get out of renting, putting down your roots, or simply moving to a new city, the decision to buy a home or build one is often a huge decisions. Of course there are many pros and cons to both situations and a wide variance of factors - external and internal - that may weigh in your decision. Before getting started it is always beneficial to meet with a lender or financial planner to asses your current financial situation and prepare for the cost of a new home regardless of whether you built it from scratch or buy it move-in ready. Finally, while this is by no means an extensive list of considerations, we think it is a good start in evaluating what may be the best options for you. In the end, it will be your home so you need to be happy with it! As always, Craig Sharp Homes is available to meet with you and discuss these options in more details, free of charge.
Good Morning and Happy Friday! With the storms passing through last night, the extended holiday weekend should be calm, cool, and perfect for getting together with family and friends to celebrate our country's independence. We hope you and your crew have a very happy, and safe, Fourth of July celebration! If you are shooting fireworks or stoking up the fire pit, be sure to have a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of an incident. Even with all the rain we have had this week a small fire can spread quickly.
This past weekend we were glad to see many of you at the new Reserves @ Sandcrest development for their Open House. There were several hundred people out to see the model homes and enjoy free food. It was great to meet so many of you! We think this development will be a great addition to the northeast Wichita community, and with over 1/2 of the available lots reserved already it would appear you agree! Hard to beat the view and crystal clear waters. If you haven't yet checked it out, we would encourage you to stop by any day from 1-5. Sandcrest is located at the intersection of Hoover and 29th streets.
Home builds continue to progress for Craig Sharp Homes. The rain has been a bit of a battle the last couple months, but we currently have 25 homes under construction. That is a bit down for us lately, but we have also been waiting on new streets to be put in at the Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront. Sewers and utilities are in already, and work has started on the roads. Once they are far enough along we will have 4 more custom homes to start. In total, we are preparing to start about 6-8 more home in the month of July so will continue to stay busy!
If you haven't been following us on Facebook (you should!) you may have missed our recent trip to Tulsa to view a few of their higher end Parade of Homes houses. It was a great day trip where we were able to see about 10 new homes. They were all gorgeous with a ton of exciting ideas and features that you may see incorporated in our upcoming models. These trips serve as a great way to stay in touch with new design trends, color schemes, and materials that are in our region but not necessarily in the Wichita area. They are also a great refresher of new ideas between the annual Builders Show which occurs in January.
Lastly, we are excited to begin work on a new development on the west side of Andover in Butler County. More details and information will come out with the official launch in August, so be on the lookout!
Thanks for staying in touch with us and for checking out our blog, a bit of a long one today! Again we want to wish you all a happy Fourth of July weekend from our entire team, and we hope you stay safe.
Is it too much to ask for the Spring temperatures of May without the record breaking rainfall? Halfway into the month of June and we are already hitting 100 degrees and sweating it out. While we have been thankful for less mud to deal with, I think we could all be happy with cooler temps.
Craig Sharp Homes continues to plug right along with new builds across the area. The new Sandcrest neighborhood in Northwest Wichita is gaining a lot of attraction after the Spring Parade of Homes. They will be having an Open House soon so watch for details on that. The new addition to the Parkway Villas at The Waterfront is also getting closer with utilities mostly done. We hope to see the start of roadwork soon! We have several new custom homes that are ready and waiting in the wings as soon as the new road is substantially completed. Shadow Rock and Cornerstone in Andover are also doing quite well as interest rates remain steady and the market remains solid.
As you'll see in the short video clip above, a new feature of our 3D video software for our new homes is the production of short teasers. You'll be seeing these a lot more on our social media channels to get a quick glimpse of our latest plans and model homes. As always, you can explore the complete 3D tours on our website 24/7/365.
Finally, we know many of you will be at the Air Capital Classic this weekend. We'll be in and out, especially around the infamous 17th green, so be sure to say hi if you see us. Take care and wear your sunscreen if you do get out in the sun this weekend, and of course we want to wish all of the fathers and grandfathers a very happy Father's Day.
This time of year we know there are a lot of farmers and gardeners that look forward to a wet Spring to help their crops grow, but as is often said, sometimes too much of a good thing is bad! Several areas of the state, and especially other states to our South and East, have had way too much rain causing massive flooding issues. We have all been fairly lucky here in the Wichita area on the widespread floods, but April was still out third wettest on record.
As a builder, we like to have rain here and there to help settle backfill around foundations and subgrades under driveways and patios, but with the rain seeming to come every few days the last month or so, it has made it hard for anyone to get new basements or flatwork done! Once it does dry out a bit, us and every builder in town are trying to rush concrete trucks all over town. All part of the business, but one of the leading factors lately to slower production. As is typical of Kansas weather however, it will likely be too hot and too dry later in the year and we will all be asking for a bit of rain.
Hard to believe we are nearly through the month of April and heading into the last weekends of the Spring Parade of Homes! We hope that you have been able to get out and see our homes, along with those of other talented builders from across the area.
Just this week, the award winners were announced for the different price ranges, and Craig Sharp Homes was humbled to receive 11 category awards and one Pick of the Parade! Of our 7 main entries, 5 of them won at least one award. We also had several winners in the design categories which we are very proud of. Our top-quality homes are known for their attention to detail and for the execution of our talented craftsmen in building them, but it all starts with unique design and efficient space planning. Without further ado, our award winning homes are as follows:
Pick of the Parade: 10208 Crestwood in Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront
Effective Design: 2902 Gulf Breeze in The Reserve @ Sandcrest
1701 Greystone in Stonebridge
10208 Crestwood in Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront
2509 Paradise in Emerald Bay Estates
Master Suite & Bath: 10208 Crestwood in Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront
Basement Design: 3209 Parkridge in Fontana
1701 Graystone in Stonebridge
2509 Paradise in Emerald Bay Estates
Kitchen Design: 10208 Crestwood in Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront
Decorating/Merchandising/Color: 10208 Crestwood in Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront
Landscaping: 10208 Crestwood in Parkway Villas @ The Waterfront
We are once again so thankful for the dedication of our homeowners, subcontractors, vendors, and in-office staff to help us achieve these awards. Without them this is not possible! For a full list of award winners, please visit the Wichita Area Builder's Association website by clicking HERE.
This past week, the Wichita Business Journal held their 2nd Annual Real Estate Awards, and Craig Sharp Homes was honored to be awarded in the Top Builder category for residential construction in the Wichita, KS area. Coming off a record year in 2016 where we built over 60 homes, this award is a testament to our time honored foundations of Quality, Craftsmanship, and Customer Care.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve the luxury home market in both Sedgwick and Butler counties, and this recognition is only made possible by our outstanding team of hand-picked craftsmen and our homeowners. Without them, none of what we do is possible!
Eight of our top quality model homes will be open to the public during the Wichita Area Builders Association Spring Parade of Homes, which starts this weekend. We hope to see you there!
Craig Sharp Homes
A top luxury home builder in the Wichita, KS area, Craig Sharp Homes is a family run company with over 50 years of experience providing homeowners with quality service, detailed craftsmanship, and personalized care throughout the home building process.