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Make Your First Home Your Own On a Budget

Categories: Buying a New Home, Homeowner tips | Posted: March 20, 2019

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Make Your Home Your OwnYou just got the keys to your new home. The euphoria of being a homeowner is almost overwhelming. You’ve alerted the movers to get a move on. Meanwhile, you walk into your empty home and start visualizing your new life there. You may have decorating ideas, but all of us at McGuinn Hybrid Homes know that those can change pretty quickly once reality jumps in. Check out these decorating tips to make your first home your own and still stay on a budget.

Unpack with care.

Maybe you purged your possessions before you packed up and moved here. Maybe you were so excited about the new space that you brought it all along. Either way, work slowly as you unpack. Think through the way you want your home to look. It’s not just about moving all your things from one location to the next. Your home is very personal and you’ve just bought yourself a fresh start. Make it count!

Hold that thought!

You’ll be tempted to jump right into decorating your new home, your way. But wait just a bit. Before you commit to painting the interior or changing anything significant, live in your home awhile. Get the feeling and the flow. Learn how you “fit” here. What worked in your apartment or previous home might not blend in with your new life.

Make a plan.

Decide on the details you want in your home. What theme matches your taste—modern farmhouse, country cottage, coastal, contemporary, eclectic, vintage, minimalist, maximalist, or something else? Really take the time to think it through.

Build a color palette that will flow throughout your home and reflects your chosen decor. Determine the flow of each room so you can avoid moving your furniture around too much. As you work from room to room, make notes about what you need to do—like getting pillows and accessories in a certain color scheme, changing the wall decor, picking out paint swatches, or replacing a piece of furniture.

Create an idea book, if you haven’t already. Look for photos that inspire you—from an entire room you admire to a single accent, like a lamp, vase, or area rug. Keep adding to your idea book, with paint samples and fabric swatches. Keep your idea book with you, in the event you come across something tempting to add.

Establish a decorating budget.

It’s easy to go overboard when decorating a new home. Little things add up, like the cooking utensils you want all in a specific color and the various items needed for bathroom decor. It’s also easy to make design mistakes—like an area rug or coffee table that’s too small or large. You might experience love at first sight with a sofa, only to find out it really doesn’t work in your living room.

Look at your new household budget as a homeowner. Calculate the amount you can spend on your decorating needs. Determine your priorities. Focus on one room at a time so you experience the gratification of completing one.

Shop creatively.

Now that you have a plan, a budget, and your priorities in place, start shopping. Stretch your budget by browsing in thrift shops and at flea markets. Look at Craigslist, letgo, and Facebook yard sale groups to find second-hand treasures locally. As you’re visiting thrift shops, let them know what you’re looking for and ask them to contact you when something new comes in.

Etsy has one-of-a-kind creations from artisans and craftspeople around the world, often very cost-effective, too! You’ll also be supporting independent businesspeople.

Choose one or two DIY projects that are within your skill set, like repainting a piece of furniture. Avoid any projects where you have to purchase too many tools and supplies.

You can turn everyday objects into decor. A Monopoly board can become a playful shelf with just a couple of brackets. Your favorite t-shirt or slightly damaged sweater will make a snuggly pillow. A basket can be mounted on a wall, with the opening facing outward, to store hand towels in your bathroom. Display your favorite books as wall art. Surround yourself with whatever brings you happiness. This is your home. Dwell in your joy!

McGuinn Hybrid Homes builds communities of new construction townhomes and single-family homes in the Columbia, SC area. Our affordable prices are ideal for the first-time homebuyer. Take a look at our move-in ready homes. Then, let’s talk about finding your first home with us.

 

Minimalism and Tidying Up: Ways to Clear Up and Clutter Out

Categories: Community & Local Events, Home Buying, Homeowner tips | Posted: February 21, 2019

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Clear Up Clutter OutYou’ve probably been hearing a lot about home organization, particularly with the recent popularity of Marie Kondo, best-selling author and expert on decluttering (and who has proclaimed 2019 as “the year of tidying up”). Since your home is intended as your place of joy—and clutter disrupts it—the effort to seek peace in organization is a valuable one. McGuinn Hybrid Homes can help you with some suggestions for pursuing minimalism and tidying up. Follow these ways to clear up and clutter out your home.

Start with a goal.

Just like you wouldn’t build a home without a blueprint, you need a plan for your decluttering adventure. What do you want to achieve? Better organization? More space for other things (furniture, hobbies, a new baby)? A total cleansing of the past??

When you clearly understand your purpose, use it as your focal point. Weigh every choice against how it supports that mission.

Visualize your results.

Now that you know your goal, picture what you want your home to look like when you’re done. If you’re aiming for minimalist design, what do you want to do with the space you create? Minimalism isn’t just about reducing the clutter, but creating functional space. Everything you keep should provide purpose. As you go through the tidying and decluttering process, ask yourself how your possessions contribute to your new and improved decor.

Map out your route.

Depending on the amount of clutter you need to tackle, the process could take more than a few hours. Avoid the urge to wander through your home, randomly grabbing things. Instead, decide on a plan that keeps you focused on one space at a time—like the garage, bedroom closet, or kitchen cabinets. Don’t go on to anything else until one area is completed.

Purge with power.

Marie Kondo promotes the idea that everything should bring joy to your life. Anything less than that isn’t worth keeping. As you move from one clutter collection to another, be ruthless in your choices. If something has been tucked away in a box for months or years, it’s probably going to stay that way. A real treasure needs to be where it can be appreciated. Put it on a shelf, hang it on the wall—display it!

While you rid yourself of the excess, think about places that would welcome and use what you’re discarding. When you can rehome these pieces, you’ll feel a lot better about parting with them.

Here are some suggestions for purging with purpose:

  • Animal shelters welcome donations of towels, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, quilts, and other bedding.
  • Senior centers appreciate books, magazines, games, puzzles, and craft supplies.
  • Books for Soldiers is a great way to give your used books to our service men and women around the world.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and homeless shelters need clothing for people of all ages. BBBSA would also love your used sports equipment, games, and toys.
  • Shelters for victims of domestic violence in your community are helping families restart their lives. Any household items, clothing, and gently used toys are a big help.
  • Local thrift shops turn your discards into income that supports the charitable work of non-profit organizations.
  • Suiting Warriors dresses veterans for success, helping them return to the civilian workplace, so donate your suits and suitable interview clothing to this organization.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore sells donated household goods, furniture, building materials, and accessories, with the profits going to support their mission.

Peruse your donations carefully. Charities are not dumping sites. If your items are broken, stained, scratched, or just don’t work, don’t pass them along to busy volunteers. It’s okay to throw them out.

Once you finish decluttering and tidying up your home, it’s possible you discover that it no longer meets your lifestyle needs. You might be ready for something that offers low maintenance, like a townhome, which provides the spaciousness of a single-family home, without the exterior upkeep. McGuinn Hybrid Homes build communities of both new construction homes and townhomes throughout the Columbia, SC, area. With floor plans from just over 1,400 square feet to more than 3,600 square feet, we can build the energy-efficient home that gives you the minimalist or maximalist style you crave—and check out our move-in ready homes to see what’s available right now. Let’s find you a home that fits you just right!

 

Energy-Saving Tips: Lower Your Bills, Not Your Comfort

Categories: About McGuinn Hybrid Homes, Energy Efficient, Homeowner tips, Hybrid Home | Posted: January 23, 2019

McGuinn hybrid Homes Energy Saving TipsWe’re not even halfway through winter yet. How are you handling the weather? Here in Columbia, SC, we don’t get the severe weather like areas north of us, but it’s still colder than you might expect. At McGuinn Hybrid Homes, we’re always looking for ways to help our homeowners save money by conserving energy. After all, “Hybrid” is our middle name! Here are some energy-saving tips that will lower your bills, not your comfort.

Smarten up your thermostat. Heating costs can soar in the winter. Switch out your current thermostat to a smart thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature from an app on your smartphone. Lower the temperature when you’re gone and turn it up just before you return so you’re not walking into a chilly home. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can reduce your heating bill by 10% when you lower your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a day.

Get your systems serviced. Have your furnace and water heater inspected and serviced by a professional to get the heat and hot water you need without wasting energy. Steps like replacing dirty air filters help the furnace work more efficiently.

Plug the leaks. Check for drafts around windows, doors, switchplates, outlets, vents, and any spaces that are directly connected to the outside. Use caulking, weather stripping, and insulation to eliminate drafts that wastefully suck up energy.

Close your damper. Heat can escape through your fireplace. Inspect the seal on the damper to make sure it is preventing leaks, and keep the damper closed when you don’t have a fire burning. Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before closing the damper.

Use natural daylight. The days are shorter in the winter, but you can still utilize the sunlight you have. Open up curtains and blinds to let the sunshine in during the day. Then close them at night to keep warmth inside.

Shift your fan blades. Warm air rises. Push it back down where you want it by reversing the direction of the blades on your ceiling fan. They should move in a clockwise manner from the ceiling to the floor.

Adjust your appliance temperatures. It’s not just the thermostat that needs adjusting in the winter. Lower the temperature on your refrigerator a few degrees, or switch to the energy-saving feature. You can also reduce the temperature on your water heater to no more than 120°F; wrap a blanket around it to insulate the water heater. Use cold water when washing your laundry, which also happens to protect colors and fabrics.

Unblock vents. Make sure the vents are free of any obstacles, like furniture, plants, or boxes. The system works more efficiently when there’s a free flow of air.

Put motion sensors on your outdoor lights. With the sun setting earlier, you probably use your exterior lights more often. Instead of a timer, use motion sensors to turn on these lights.

Switch to LED bulbs. LED bulbs use less electricity and last far longer than incandescent, halide, or fluorescent. Use this calculator to see how much you’ll save.

Beware of phantom load. Some electrical cords continue to eat energy even when the item it powers isn’t turned on. Phantom load, also known as “standby power” is drawn 24 hours a day from charging cords for electronics, power cords for appliances, and some power strips. On average, a household has 40 electrically powered items that draw power as soon as they’re plugged in, which accounts for about 10% of electricity use. Unplug your microwave, toaster, coffee maker, TV, phone and computer charging cords, computer, printer, and loaded power strips when not in use.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a home that actually performs for you, look at McGuinn Hybrid Homes. We incorporate the latest in energy-efficient home design to protect you, your investment, and the environment. Our communities of single-family homes and townhomes are located in and around Columbia, SC. If you have a particular location in mind, talk to us about building a home on your land.

Tips for Getting Your Home Back to Normal After the Holidays

Categories: Homeowner tips | Posted: December 21, 2018

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Back to Normal After Holidays

Are you one of those people who gathers up the shreds of wrapping paper and ribbons as people are unwrapping their gifts? (Our hands are raised.) Do you feel the urge to take down all the decorations the day after the festivities, or do you like to let the look linger through New Year’s Day? However you approach the aftermath, you could probably use some tips for getting your home back to normal after the holidays. Count on McGuinn Hybrid Homes to share a few.

Sort before you stash.

Before you pack up all of your holiday decorations into the containers where they will hibernate for the next 11 months, look it over. You might have some items that are ready for retirement or to be passed along to someone else. Don’t take up precious storage space with decor that doesn’t excite you anymore. And if you open the storage containers and see decorative accents and ornaments you didn’t even use this season, it’s probably time to part with them as well. Check all holiday decorations and dishware for chips, cracks, and other damage that might render them part of your Christmas past.

Sort your decor according to where and how it will be used, like Christmas tree ornaments, entryway decor, dishes and, serving ware. Small plates and saucers can be stacked with paper or styrofoam plates in between. Pack them in containers that are clearly labeled with the contents; be sure to put the label on more than one side so that you can see it even if the box is improperly stacked in storage.

Wrap your string lights around spools or pieces of cardboard to prevent the tangled mess that is such an unwelcome sight when you’re ready to hang them up. Mark each string with the length and number of lights so it will be easy to grab the right ones next year.

Start your spring cleaning a little early.

After you organize Christmas ornaments and have packed up all remnants of holiday cheer, give your home a good cleaning. You’ll probably find an errant ornament that slipped away, a holiday accent you overlooked—did anyone remember to store the Elf on the Shelf?—and evergreen needles that are hiding in corners. Scrub the floors, dust away the glitter, and scrub spaces like the fireplace hearth and mantel, stair railings, window sills and trim, and other places that were graced with decor.

Empty the fridge and get rid of leftovers and extraneous food items that have been pushed to the rear. Clean the interior shelves and drawers of the fridge. Then, tackle oven cleaning to get rid of all the spills that landed in there over the holidays.

Rethink “normal”.

You’ve already achieved one of the first steps in redecorating. You “de-decorated”—removing decor and furnishings that interrupted the holiday theme. Before you put back everything in its previous place, think about making a change. Spring will be coming, the season of rebirth. Start now by refreshing some spaces in your home. From repainting the trim to changing the color of an entire room, moving the furniture around, or doing a complete makeover, plan on heading back to normal with a new normal. You could even fill in the blanks that Santa left behind, like a chair for the living room, new bedding, or something smart—like a home hub, appliance, or thermostat.

As you’re looking over and through your home, also ask yourself if this is where you want to be during the next holiday season, or even through the summer months, for that matter. If the answer is “no” or “not sure”, and you’re interested in the Columbia, SC, area, McGuinn Hybrid Homes has more tips. We build communities of single-family homes and townhomes that are fully appointed, energy-efficient, affordable, and located in very desirable areas. We have homes that are move-in ready right now, and we’d also like to help you build your dream home on your land. Once you’ve finished your post-holiday clean-up, find inspiration for next year by browsing our gallery and then let’s talk!

 

Tips for Choosing the Right Lighting Throughout Your Home

Categories: Home Buying, Homeowner tips | Posted: December 5, 2018

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Choose the Right Lighting

Your decor reflects style, but it’s the light that creates ambience. From the style to the bulbs, your fixtures set the atmosphere. McGuinn Hybrid Homes can shed some light on the subject by offering tips for choosing the right lighting throughout your home.

The correct lighting will vary from one space to the next, so let’s take a walk through your home.

Entry and foyer

The first impression is made here. What should it be? Classically elegant, a warm welcome, or sleek contemporary? A chandelier is a good choice if you have the space, but be careful to balance the size of the fixture with the area it’s illuminating: too large and you dwarf the entry, too small and it gets lost.

Complementary wall sconces are a good addition to a foyer, lighting the way to the main living area and the staircase. Sconces should be mounted at eye level so that you see the light and not the bulb inside.

Main living area

Lighting an open floor plan might feel like a challenge, but if you break it into zones like you did with the decorating, you can see your way clear to do it right. Overhead recessed lights are great to brighten up the whole room, but be sure to add dimmers so you can control the intensity.

Then, focus on the zones for task lighting. Wall sconces brighten up dark corners. Table and floor lamps bring in style. Again, keep everything in proportion so that your lamps blend with your decor without overpowering it. Remember, a lamp shade is a quick makeover that can do wonders to brighten up the lamp or coordinate floor and table lamps that have different bases.

The dining area in your open floor plan will do well with pendant lights, particularly for rectangular tables. The number of pendants will depend on the size of your table.

The correct size for the fixture is half to two-thirds the width of the table or one foot smaller than the diameter for a round dining table.

For an 8-foot ceiling, hang the lights with 30 to 36 inches between the table top and the bottom of the fixture. If you have a higher ceiling, add 3 inches for every additional foot of ceiling height. The total wattage of your dining room fixture’s bulbs should be 200 to 400 watts.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the most task-oriented space in your home, so plan to utilize a variety of light fixtures here. Recessed lighting is a great choice to brighten up this vital workspace, but you’ll need focused lights on specific spaces.

The center island or peninsula benefits from pendant lights with dimmers, so you can go from bright light when you’re doing prep to a softer one when using it as a buffet. Like the light fixture over your dining room table, the pendants should clear the countertop surface by 30 to 36 inches. This distance is close enough to light up the area without blocking the view. Feel free to move them up a bit if you have taller people in the household.

Mount a fixture over the kitchen sink (unless it’s part of the island) so you have a clear view here. If you prefer, install recessed lighting directly over this space.

Under-cabinet lighting is the unsung hero of the kitchen. How many times have you found yourself trying to measure or chop something without good light?

In all the kitchen fixtures, use a bright CFL bulb so you don’t strain your eyes. It’s always better to have a dimmer switch than a dim bulb.

Bathroom

Here’s another task lighting project. The light you use over the sink is probably brighter than the one you want over your soaking tub.

Today’s bathrooms are trending toward more decor, treating this space like a room, rather than a function. Chandeliers present a popular choice to spark your bathroom’s style. Suspend the chandelier in the middle of a large bathroom, using the right proportions, or directly over your tub if you want to highlight that space. Since this bathroom chandelier provides mood rather than task lighting, use a dimmer switch to get the right glow.

The vanity usually has a fixture above it, but you’ll likely be the victim of overhead shadows that highlight the wrong features when you look in the mirror. Try placing wall sconces on each side of the mirror and recessed lighting that isn’t directly above it. The sconces should be mounted approximately 75 to 80 inches above the floor so the light is casting on you from the side and slightly above. Remember that while soft lights are easy on the eyes (particularly important when you get up in the middle of the night), they don’t reflect accurate skin tones. If that’s important to you, choose a crisp white LED bulb.

Overhead lighting should also be used in the shower and above the toilet.

Bedrooms

Overhead lights are good to provide just that, but since your bedroom is your escape from the rest of the household, you should do more.

Bedside lighting shines the light you need while also accentuating the decor. Choose table lamps, wall lamps, or even pendants to fill this void. Any mounted fixture opens up the area on your nightstand—eliminating the issue of bumping the shade or knocking over the lamp. However, once you commit to installing a wall lamp or pendants, you also commit to the placement of your bed.

If you decide to use table lamps on your nightstand, choose a style where you can easily switch it on and off while reclining.

Don’t forget about closet lighting! Place overhead or recessed lights so you can see your wardrobe choices. In a large, walk-in, make sure the dark corners have sufficient light, too.

2019 lighting trends for the home

In the coming year, we’ll see some style changes in lighting for the home.

Pendants will make a bigger statement than ever in 2019. Decorators are taking a shine to mixing a blend of sizes of pendants, which can replace a chandelier and add definite visual appeal.

Edison bulbs are available in so many shapes and styles right now that they will be showing up in just about any clear fixture—pendants and globes to sconces and string lights.

While certainly not new, the industrial look will manufacture even more popularity. Expect the distinctive look to take on more gold tones—matte, not polished—giving homeowners more choices.

The Farmhouse style isn’t going anywhere either. You’ll see more choices for overhead fixtures, pendants, and lamps—with maybe an influence of industrial style.

Also look for Mid-Century Modern to maintain its strength as a decorating style. The simplicity and clean lines appeal to people who like minimalist decor, as well as those who welcome the retro look and feel.

Maybe you don’t just need a change in your current home, but a new one altogether! For 33 years, McGuinn Hybrid Homes has been pioneering the design and construction of energy-efficient, affordable, single-family homes in the Columbia, SC, region. Wander virtually through our communities of new construction homes and. We also build on your lot, so if you’re not finding the ideal location, let us know! Then contact us to brighten up your home life!

Tips to Get Your Guest Room Ready for the Holidays

Categories: Homeowner tips | Posted: November 20, 2018

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Guest Room for the HolidaysThe holidays are here. It’s the time of year when you try to juggle all the preparation while maintaining a joyful spirit. All year long, you’ve made “To Do” lists for fixing up your home before the end of the year. How have you done with that? Now, time is running out and you’ve got to focus on what you can get done. If you’re planning on overnight visitors, here are some McGuinn Hybrid Homes tips to get your guest room ready for the holidays.

De-clutter the room.

Go into your guest room and lie on the bed. Look around and what do you see? What seems out of place? Is it cluttered? Often, the guest room is where things are stashed when you don’t know where else to put them. Maybe you have your craft supplies in there, or the kids’ excess toys or the closet is filled with clothes that are out of season. What has been tucked away in the nightstands?

If you want to make your visitors feel welcome, don’t put them in a glorified storage closet. Move out the things that don’t belong in a guest room. Use a few plastic bins to pack them up. After the holidays, sort through those bins (don’t even attempt it now!) and decide what to do with everything.

Change the bedding.

Unless you have a steady stream of overnight guests, chances are, the bedding hasn’t been refreshed in awhile. Is it still in good condition? Check out the pillows. Are they still fluffy and fresh smelling? Wash everything, including the mattress pad and bed skirt. Whether or not you decide to purchase new bedding, add a couple of holiday-themed throw pillows to the bed.

While you’re checking out the condition of the bedding, also look at what you’ll be providing for guest towels. Would it hurt to buy a couple of new sets?

Is the mattress comfortable? A memory foam mattress topper can go a long way toward improving the comfort when you don’t want to rush out and buy a new mattress set this time of year.

Make it festive.

Spread the holiday cheer all the way to the guest room. Place a Christmas cactus, poinsettia, amaryllis, or a seasonal floral arrangement on the dresser. Turn on battery-operated candles in the bedroom and guest bath (avoid live flames). Hang some holiday decor on the wall, or wrap up the framed art on the wall to resemble a gift for an easy and festive accent.

You will also make them feel welcome by putting together a goodie basket. Gather up individually wrapped crackers, cookies, granola bars, mints, nuts, and candies. This little bonus helps those visitors who might want a late-night or early-morning snack.

Plan for next year

If you find that your house just doesn’t seem to fit any more, start looking ahead to where you will live next Christmas. Don’t spend another holiday “making do”. McGuinn Hybrid Homes builds energy-efficient, single-family homes and townhomes in the Columbia, SC, area. Our communities span a wide range of styles and sizes, from 1,506 to 4,128 square feet, single-level or two-story. We also have move-in ready homes to start the new year off right. Talk to us about finding the home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

 

Stay Safe and Sane This Halloween

Categories: Homeowner tips | Posted: October 24, 2018

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Halloween SafetyHalloween is filled with spooks and scary stuff. But it should all be in fun, not fear for the safety  of your children. You can stay sane and safe this Halloween by following these tips from McGuinn Hybrid Homes.

Consider safety when choosing a costume.

Some ideas seem great on paper but become hazardous when worn. Before you launch into creating or buying a costume, keep these Halloween safety tips in mind:

  • Black needs bright accessories. If your little witch or ghoul needs to be dressed in black, be sure to sneak in some glow-in-the-dark or reflective tape and give each one a supply of glow sticks.
  • Choose face paint over masks. Any mask could restrict the child’s view. At the very least, masks should be removed when walking and crossing the streets.
  • Test the make-up. Prevent allergic reactions to face paint or other make-up. Before applying any of it to a child, apply a small amount to their arm a few days in advance and watch for signs of a possible problem.
  • Avoid tripping hazards. The costume should fit properly. A long cape or flowing dress looks amazing but could cause a nasty fall.
  • Test the walkability factor. Be sure that any costume you choose makes it easy for the child to walk and bend over without difficulty. We’ve seen too many adorable robots who fall down and can’t get up without help or retrieve candy that they’ve dropped.

Plan a trick-or-treat route.

Decide in advance where you and your family members will be hunting for treats.

  • Choose neighborhoods with street lights and sidewalks. Avoid any areas where pedestrians aren’t easy to see. If you live in a new home community or subdivision, share the fun by visiting your neighbors!
  • Stick to familiar places. Don’t stray beyond the areas where you know the people living there.
  • No short cuts allowed. If you have older children who are trick-or-treating with friends, make sure they know they must stick to the route. Detours could lead them off track, into areas where they don’t belong.
  • Choose a meet-up place. If you want to let some of your older children move on ahead, tell them when and where to meet you. Make sure they have a cell phone so they can check the time and stay in contact. And never allow anyone to trick-or-treat alone!

The bag stops here.

Your trick-or-treaters come home and immediately empty their bag of goodies. Before they launch into a sugar rush, follow some basic rules.

  • Ration the rewards. It’s probably past bedtime, and the last thing you want is a child fueled with a sugar overdose. Give them each their choice of one or two pieces before bedtime.
  • No goodies in the bedroom. As much as they might want to sneak away and horde their haul, this is a bad practice. First of all, kids should learn sharing. There are probably many items in that bag that they won’t want. Encourage swapping and sharing with other household members (of all ages). Secondly, a child with a candy cache in their room can be a dietary nightmare. They’ll eat it whenever they want, spoil their appetite, and likely leave bits and pieces where they become a melted, dust-covered mess.
  • Inspect the treats. Examine every piece in the bag, looking for any opening in the wrappers that could signal the treat has been tampered with, or potentially contain germs. Also, discard all homemade treats, unless you know for sure who made them.

We love seeing everyone dress up at Halloween, including grown-up kids. We also want you to stay safe while enjoying the spirit of the holiday.

To all of our friends and family of homeowners, McGuinn Hybrid Homes wishes you a fun-filled Halloween!

 

Extend the Use of Your Outdoor Space

Categories: Homeowner tips | Posted: September 26, 2018

McGuinn Hybrid Homes Outdoor SpaceCan you feel the weather starting to change? The temperature and humidity have dropped. As we get deeper into fall, extend the use of your outdoor space, to capture to serenity, fresh air, and simple joy of the Columbia, SC, area when a little chill rolls in. As a local homebuilder,  McGuinn Hybrid Homes knows how to to make the most of your home (and lifestyle) any time of year.

Harvest the fall colors

Capture the feeling of the season by bringing an autumn color palette to your outdoor living space. Start with fall container gardens with crimson red, burnt orange, golden yellow, deep plum, and evergreen—asters, mums, petunias, pansies, flowering kale, ornamental cabbage, and succulents. Insert ornamental grasses to add greenery and height  For a little more fall feeling, place pumpkins and gourds, in various colors and shapes, around your porch and patio.

Show your fall colors with other outdoors accents. Change the cushions and pillows on your furniture to a seasonal theme. Toss some throws on the chairs to get cozy.

Spark some warmth

A crackling fire creates a cozy environment on your fall patio. If you don’t have a fireplace, add a fire feature—like a fire pit, fire bowl, or chiminea. Plan your sitting area near or around the fire. Keep your marshmallow-roasting tools and supplies close by so you can make s’more fun outside. Fill large jars with ingredients to make it easy to toast, roast, stack, and munch.

From a flame to flickers, spread candles around your outdoor living area. Set luminarias along the perimeter to shine soft light. Place candles of varying sizes in safe areas to infuse a cozy touch. LED candles give the same glow, and with a remote control, you can spark the flames without getting out of your chair.

Pump up your pumpkin pairing

Nothing says “fall” like pumpkins. Carved or not, these gourds represent a healthy harvest season. There are so many choices for pumpkins—colors, sizes, and shapes—as well as fresh and foam (so easy to carve and keep). Here are some ways to use pumpkins for your outdoor decor:

  • Hollow out a pumpkin and insert a potted plant, like mums. Cluster your pumpkin pots and fill in spots with other pumpkins and gourds.
  • Craft a topiary of pumpkins, winding a vine or garland of fall leaves around it. You can also paint a message or your house number on the pumpkin topiary.
  • Use an awl to poke small holes in a hollow pumpkin—either a pattern, a word, or a letter. Place a battery-operated string of mini-lights inside the pumpkin, and push the tiny bulbs through the holes.

Every season in the Columbia area gives you different reasons to get out and enjoy this beautiful area. Whether you are exploring all the fun things to do or relaxing at home, your life takes you indoors and out. If you’re thinking about making a change where you live, look at McGuinn Hybrid Homes—our communities, floor plans for single-family homes and townhomes, new construction homes for sale near Columbia, and the choice to build on your land. Quality, energy efficiency, creativity, and a close personal connection are standard features. Get in touch and let’s get started!

Design Trends for Home Plumbing Fixtures

Categories: Buying a New Home, Columbia, Home Buying, Homeowner tips, SC | Posted: July 20, 2018

McGuinn Homes Plumbing Fixtures

Home fashions don’t begin and end with paint, wallpaper, and home decor fabric. Every year, manufacturers of everything from appliances and carpeting to cabinet hardware come up with new designs. Design trends for home plumbing fixtures are no different. Styles, colors, and features are updated every year. If you’re preparing to choose details for your new home, McGuinn Hybrid Homes has some design ideas to consider.

Plumbing picks in the kitchen

Your choices for plumbing features encompass many decisions in your kitchen and bathroom: sinks, faucets, shower head, and tub.

In the kitchen, homeowners are looking for deep sinks, most frequently in farmhouse and undermount styles. Although stainless steel remains a popular choice, manufacturers offer many others that enhance the look of your kitchen: composite granite, enamel-clad cast iron, copper, soapstone, fireclay, quartz, porcelain, and solid surface.

For the kitchen faucet, hands-free is a desirable choice, accompanied by the pull-down feature. The black matte finish has gained popularity, as it works with a variety of kitchen styles. Still, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze maintain their position as the top choices in finishes for kitchen plumbing fixtures.

A pot-filler faucet near the stove is a nice option for the busy cook. Save yourself the time of stepping over to the sink while you’re cooking with this convenient feature, which is mounted to the wall and is hinged to pull it back and forth.

Best in bathroom fixtures trends

The spa experience keeps getting better, thanks to so many advances in bathroom plumbing fixtures.

The rain shower head remains one of the most in-demand bathroom plumbing fixtures. These oversized fixtures—picture one as wide as 20 inches in diameter—can be mounted to the shower’s wall or ceiling and provide a gentle but generous flow. You can also add electronic controls to pre-set the water temperature, spray, flow, and even music, if you’ve incorporated that feature into your luxury shower as well.

Bathroom sinks have gone so far beyond basic that they can look more like artwork than plumbing. Wall-mounted sinks lit with LEDs, uniquely shaped basins, and vessel sinks made from wood, stone, glass, and metal add style and luxury to your bathroom.

The bathroom faucet—sink and tub—reflect the same shift toward matte black finishes, oil-rubbed bronze, and brushed nickel, with chrome-plated brass keeping a firm grip on its long-standing choice for this room. The single lever style sink faucet is preferred over two handles, and a water-sensing feature is a good option for conserving water without compromising water pressure.

The tub is no longer a luxury—and you have more choices in bathtub styles, shape, and features than ever before. The freestanding tub presents a beautiful focal point and comes in different shapes, like oval, rectangular, and round. Clawfoot bathtubs reflect the return of this vintage design, and are now available in a wide spectrum of colors. Jetted tubs provide the relaxing spa experience. Walk-in tubs are ideal for people with special needs. Corner tubs accommodate bathrooms with limited space.

Our design professionals are ready to guide you through every detail in your new home. McGuinn Homes builds energy-efficient, single-family homes and townhomes around Columbia, South Carolina. Take a look at our floor plans and communities or take advantage of the option for McGuinn Homes to build on your lot. Your dream home starts here!

Getting Your Outdoor Space Ready for Summer

Categories: Homeowner tips | Posted: June 5, 2018

Outdoor space for summerMemorial Day weekend kicked off the unofficial start of summer. The official date is coming fast, along with the end of the school year. If you have kids, they’ll have more time to spend in the yard, and you’re probably planning some outdoor entertaining while the weather is sunny and inviting. McGuinn Homes has some tips for getting your outdoor space ready for summer.

Start with a really good outdoor clean-up. Approach your outdoor décor the same as you would for your interior decorating. You can’t design a room that doesn’t present a clean canvas. If you haven’t already raked up the yard and garden beds, start now. Pick up any debris. Remove dead foliage from the gardens. Gather up all the yard art, pots, and lawn furniture, and scrub them.

Get colorful. There’s nothing as inviting in an outdoor space as vibrant colors. Your furniture, flowers, pots, and décor should present a summer palette—from coastal coolness to tropical brights. Invest in new pillows and cushions to perk up your outdoor furniture. Add an outdoor area rug to pull it all together. You can also purchase Adirondack chairs in a full spectrum of colors for lawn seating.

Make your gardens portable. Container gardens let you enjoy the natural beauty and color of summer plants wherever you’d like. Large or small, these gardens fill in lonely areas and brighten up your deck, front porch, and patio. Be sure to choose plants that will thrive in the amount of sunlight where you’ll place the garden. And get creative with the containers. Repurpose an old wheelbarrow with a fresh coat of paint and fill it with your favorite summer flowers. Line the drawers of a chest or dresser with plastic, add holes for drainage, and you have a unique container garden!

Define your yard with a pergola. These structures provide the framework for an open-air living space. Perfect for an outdoor kitchen or seating area (or both), a pergola adds definition, and with so many choices of materials, you can go for any look you want—rustic, natural, or contemporary. Place a canopy on top and string lights so you can enjoy this relaxing outdoor living space day or night, and in just about any weather.

Install a water feature. The flowing water adds life to your outdoor space. A waterfall, fountain, or pond can be as simple or complex as you’d like.

Don’t forget the porch. The front of your home creates the first impression for your guests. Give it a summer makeover with new décor. Pressure wash the porch and walkway. Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door. Place one of your creative container gardens by the entrance.

As a local homebuilder, McGuinn Homess loves summers in the Columbia, South Carolina, area—where endless choices for outdoor recreation are so close. We build ccommunities of energy-efficient, new townhomes and single-family homes, as well as building on your lot. Explore the many lifestyle options we present and browse our current selection of move-in ready, new construction homes and townhomes.

Have a safe and happy summer! We hope to see you soon.