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"The Sign of Renovation in Your Neighborhood

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Category: Sawhorse Company News
Posted: 8/9/2014
Reasons Why You Should Renovate Your Home
By Luke Peters

Renovating your home can seem like a perilous task to undertake. For many, the idea of renovating their home is nothing short of a nightmare. Of course, there are many reasons why people like to renovate as opposed to move. For those who have raised their families within the bosom of their home, they are keen to stay in it. Renovating can also be a cheaper solution for many, too.


Community Spirit

If you are an active member within your community, you may be loathed to move. This is understandable. Many people have deep roots within their communities, which makes it difficult for them to leave. Do not move. Renovate. This will ensure that you keep your roots firmly in place, as opposed to leaving the community and starting again. Estate agents in Beeston have seen a steady rise in renovations as opposed to re-sale. Strengthen your community ties further, and stay put.

Money Saving Expert

The thought of having more cash is an appealing one. For those who are keen to expand their homes, or families, it can be difficult to know whether to move or to restore. Compiling a simple cost analysis will ensure that you make the right financial decision for you. in theory, it is cheaper to renovate a home as opposed to selling it. Think about mortgage rates, the price differences and solicitors and legal fees when you sell a home. You can find yourself severely out of pocket. With this in mind, renovation makes perfect sense. If you want more house and more money in your bank, the obvious solution is to renovate.

Dream Home

Barbie had the perfect dream house. As a child, you were undoubtedly envious of her beautiful home. In reality, many of us buy what we afford. A Barbie dream house it is not. However, if you are sensible and realistic, you can have your perfect home. Moving house will not ensure that you get your dream home. Renovating will make sure that you have a home that you truly love. Renovating is the key to having the perfect home that you have always dreamed of. For many, having a beautiful home is a labour of love. Your dream home could just well be that labour of love. It will not be a small project to undertake, but it will be worth it in the long haul.

The Future

While you may not want to sell right now, you may do in the future. Renovating your home makes it much more attractive prospect to prospective buyers. Renovating your home now, for you to enjoy in the short term, makes it an excellent option for you. Many of us dream of buying fixer-uppers. Others dream of buying a ready-made home. You can make your ready-made home more viable on the market. When you come to resell, or downsize, you will have a perfect home for others to enjoy. In short, your home will not be sitting on the property ladder for long. 

Posted: 6/22/20140 Entries
Best Sites for Finding Remodeling Ideas Online
By Kurt Jacobson

Best Sites for Finding Remodeling Ideas Online

Choosing to remodel some or your entire home can be exciting, but is also a very stressful time and requires significant amounts of planning. It is important to have a clear idea of what you can afford before you make any purchases or contact a professional contractor for help. Until now, magazines and books have played a pivotal role in helping a homeowner find inspiration for their remodeling. However, these can be expensive, take up a lot of space in your home, and don’t always contain all the information you are looking for. Today, there are an abundance of websites that can provide you with all the information a magazine has to offer, and so much more.

With so many websites available, how do you know where to start? In the end it comes down to personal choice, in the same way that choosing a home renovation magazine does. You may like to start by exploring a few different sites, then further investigating the ones you like the most. To make things easier, we’ve put together some information outlining the key features of several of the most popular home remodeling websites.


Houzz can provide you with an abundance of inspiration and information on a wide range of home remodeling and construction topics. With so much information on offer, it can be difficult to know where to start. Houzz can be overwhelming if you visit the site without really knowing what you are looking for. By having an idea of what you are hoping to achieve from your project before you start, you will easily be able to find what you are looking for on Houzz. Setting a budget can also be beneficial, as it is easy for remodeling costs to somewhat spiral out of control.

Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, Houzz can provide all the inspiration and know-how that you need. You can view an abundance of images and ideas that have been uploaded by others, whether they be of bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms, home offices or external remodeling. In addition to all this, Houzz also lets you contact industry experts and professionals so that you can ask them for advice, quotes, or even hire contractors for your project. Houzz is cleverly constructed in a way to make you feel as though you are part of a network or community of people sharing your remodeling and building interests. It is a useful tool not just for ideas, but also to put the inspiration and fun back into remodeling, and take away some of the stressfulness that can come with home renovations. When your project is finally complete, you can take pictures of your work and upload them to Houzz so that others can gain inspiration from your work. Visit houzz.com.


The best way to describe Pinterest is as the largest pin board in the world, and one that’s open for everybody to pin items to, which can be viewed by anyone else. You can use Pinterest to browse categories of anything you are interested in, from wedding invitation ideas to recipes to home remodeling inspiration. It’s neatly arranged into categories to make searching a breeze, and the sheer number of topics and items available for viewing is fairly staggering.

Pinterest allows you to find a selection of articles, pictures and general information from just about any website you like and “pin” them to your own board. This lets you create a portfolio of images and pages of things that interest you. You can organize, sub-categorize and order them in a range of different ways to make it easier to re-find something at a later time. Pinterest also allows you to post comments with the pages you pin, to remind yourself what you liked about a given recipe or home remodeling idea. Most of the time, pages you pin link back to the website they came from, which makes it easy to find the original source of the information. Visit pinterest.com.

Zillow Digs

Zillow is a real estate data base that has recently branched out to introduce Zillow Digs – a powerhouse in all things relating to home remodeling, construction and renovation. This site allows you to search and view images from the remodeling projects of others, and share the ones you like the most or that you think will work best in your home. What’s more, Zillow Digs can also help you calculate the approximate cost of a project so that you know what you are getting yourself into before you start!

As budgets can often be limiting factors when it comes to home remodeling, this is a powerful feature for such a website to include, and it can ensure that you don’t spend too much time browsing projects that lie outside your price range. Zillow Digs also has a great search feature where you can view remodeling ideas based on the style, budget, color theme, room and more. Visit zillow.com/digs.

Start exploring the websites listed above to find your inspiration and create a plan for your remodeling project. Then when you're ready, give us a call to make your plans a reality with our award winning contracting services.


Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about Norman Oklahoma rental homes.


Posted: 3/24/20140 Entries
Tips for Remodeling your Kitchen
By Matt Hoots

Here is a recent interview with Matt Hoots, owner of SawHorse by Georgia State Homes a real estate resource.


Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Sawhorse provides turnkey Design Build services with a full service design team, home performance assessors, estimators and project managers. Our expertise has won Sawhorse more than 100 national & regional awards.

What is the first thing you tell people who are looking to remodel their kitchen?

We ask lots of questions so we can make sure that we meet their expectation on the design and construction phases. There are many different factors that are involved in consulting with clients to guide them through the design process. Knowing what their budget is for the whole project is important so we can give options that fit within their budget making the design process go quicker. We also need to know what style they are looking for. If they can't describe the style- we show them examples of our work so they can select from our portfolio which kitchens they like the best.

What are some plumbing issues related to kitchens that I should be aware of?

Kitchen, unlike bathrooms, don't have a lot of plumbing in them. If the configuration of the kitchen is staying the same, then we can reuse the existing supply lines and drains in most cases. We usually replace them is the house is older and has galvanized or other dated types of plumbing.

For those who can't afford an entire remodel of their kitchen, but wish to change a few things, what can you suggest?

If the cabinets are in fairly good condition, changing out the countertops and adding a nice backsplace can make the kitchen look completely different. There are also paints and stains that can be added to the cabinets to change the color to a more modern look if the door styles are acceptable. Repainting the walls and new cabinet hardware is another cost effective way to change the look of the kitchen. If the kitchen has lots of problems, then I usually advice our clients to save up then renovate the kitchen all at one time if the other suggested makeovers would not work.

In your opinion, what is the most desirable design element in a kitchen?

Appliances seem to get the most attention these days since they either store or help prepare food. Cabinets and countertops serve a basic function and there are some innovation in style, however the technology in appliances is ever changing to meet client's needs for cooking and storing food.

What is the best piece of advice for someone looking to remodel their kitchen?

Establishing a realistic budget is the first thing that should happen followed by creating a design. Many people like to start tinkering with the construction before they create the design which can lead to an undesired design choice and potential code issue.

What are some wasted areas of the kitchen I can eliminate to create more needed space?

Once way we are able to create more storage space is to incorporate the pantry into the kitchen cabinets. Closet pantries are not that effective since you cannot access all of the items in the pantry that can be hidden at the back of the shelf. Built in pantries using cabinets are much better since you can store food and other items on roll out shelves which gives you good access to the items and the front and back of the shelves.

What are the necessary elements of a kitchen that I should be sure to include in my renovation?

The main components on the nonstructural side of the renovation are appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, backsplash, plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures. Depending on what needs to be completed in order to add the finishes to the kitchen, you make need to upgrade electrical and plumbing to meet the current codes and if you move walls around would need to contend with the structure of the house.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

Our website has an information request form www.sawhorse.net or you can call us at 404-256-2567 to speak with one of our representatives.


Georgia State Homes is the one of the top sites for Georgia Homes For Sale, including Atlanta GA Homes For Sale, condos, multi families, and townhouses for sale. Georgia State Homes also services North Carolina Real Estate and South Carolina Homes For Sale.
Posted: 5/6/2012
Kids Get "Dream Bedroom"
By Sylvia Small

MODA Floors & Interiors served as a sponsor for the annual Agape Bedroom Makeover project. The Agape Community Center, a non-profit organization, provides a variety of programs and services for residents of all ages in the Bolton Road community in Northwest Atlanta. 


The MODA Floors & Interiors team patched and painted the walls, replaced the carpet and purchased furniture and bedding for the four children. MODA interior designer Theresa Minkoff decorated the room based on what the kids described as their "dream bedroom."


In addition to MODA staff, painters and carpenters supplied by Sawhorse Remodeling participated in the bedroom makeover project.

Posted: 4/22/20120 Entries
Earth Day a time to think green at home, too
By Lori Johnston
Global events and volunteer service projects for Earth Day can help communities, but the green-focused celebration also offers a time to look at your habits at home.

Area builders, remodelers, interior designers and real estate agents shared ways to improve energy efficiency -- “acts of green,” as they’re called by Earth Day organizers -- on your own turf. From lighting to heating/air to appliances to accessories, here are their tips for celebrating Earth Day at home:

Heating and air can account for up to 30 percent of your utility bills. Make sure your air filters are clean and Freon is charged to proper levels. These two simple tips go a long way in keeping your energy bills down. -- Curtis Peart, principal, FrontPorch, Atlanta-based residential construction firm and builder of the 2012 HGTV Green Home at Serenbe

In the past there was a push to convert from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent, however, I am encouraging our clients to look at LEDs now as well. We put them in our house, and the light quality is great and they are rated to last up to 20 years while saving energy at the same time. What's even better than energy-efficient lighting is turning off lights and other devices when not being used. By just turning things off, you can save 10 percent or more in utility cost. —Matt Hoots, president, SawHorse, Atlanta-based residential remodeling firm

Fairly inexpensive things that will increase the energy efficiency but not necessarily be noticeable to a buyer are: Install a programmable thermostat, install insulation and install outlet insulators on exterior walls. One thing that will get a buyer's attention and spruce up the kitchen would be to install all new Energy Star appliances. Buyers like new appliances, and Energy Star appliances will save energy and money. -- Randal Lautzenheiser, managing broker, Atlanta Intown Real Estate Services

Use minimal window coverings to maximize natural light. Paint your north-facing rooms in lighter colors to maximize sunlight in the winter months. -- Jillian Pritchard Cooke, interior designer and owner of BEE, an eco-friendly home furnishings store in Buckhead

High-volume, low-speed fans are an excellent solution for the many loft owners in the city who have spacious rooms with high ceilings. These can run a couple thousand dollars with simple paybacks in the two-year range. Otherwise, ceiling fans can save homeowners up to 40 percent of their summer electric bill. The super-efficient Emerson Midway Eco fan costs around $500. -- Burke Sisco, certified EcoBroker with Park Mason Brokers in Atlanta, who blogs at ecohomeguy.com

New pillow covers can freshen up a look. Some of my favorites are old, classic white lace covers that you would find at a place like Scott's Antique Market, or you can even have some made out of curtains, or even clothes. I have jeweled pillow covers that used to be a shirt. -- Naomi Mann, owner, Mann Made, an Atlanta-based sustainable interior design company

Posted: 10/28/20110 Entries
Many parts of old homes can be reused
By Doug DeLoach

The familiar adage “waste not, want not,” lies at the heart of a homebuilding industry trend, which places an emphasis on reclaiming material, fixtures and other components utilized in residential construction, and applying those materials when renovating or remodeling a house or reconstructing on the same lot.

According to an article on ArchitectureWeek.com, nearly half of the energy consumed in the U.S. is attributable in some way to the construction, use, maintenance and disposal of houses. In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that 250,000 houses a year are torn down across the country, representing more than 1 billion board-feet of lumber or about 3 percent of America’s annual softwood timber harvest.

Estimates vary, depending on the builder or developer doing the estimating, but somewhere around 60 percent to 80 percent of the materials in a house — from bricks, siding and electrical fixtures to concrete, roofing and window frames — can either be recycled, reclaimed or repurposed...

Recycling houses is one aspect of a general movement within the industry, which is approaching the point where green building techniques and incorporating environmentally friendlier materials are considered standard operating procedure. The extent to which a house can be “recycled” depends on what a builder-developer is trying to achieve based on the homeowner’s desired outcome.

“As far as adaptive reuse of the house, when we have a client who says they want to tear down a house and build a new one, the first thing we do is look at what’s there and determine whether we can use the footprint,” said Matt Hoots, CEO of SawHorse Inc.

“We ask questions, such as, ‘Can we use the landscaping? How is the foundation dug into the hill? Is there part of the foundation that we can add to?’ ” Hoots said.

From an energy usage perspective, renovating is much greener than tearing a house down, reusing as many parts as possible, and building a new green house on top of it.

“We have the resources and the technology these days to take an existing house and bring it up to current energy code and also make it more energy efficient,” Hoots said.

In renovating a house in Lake Clare, an intown neighborhood between Atlanta and Decatur, the SawHorse crew was able to utilize almost 75 percent of the existing siding by pulling off the original siding, insulating the house, and reinstalling the salvaged material.

“We preserved the look of the house while giving it a freshly renovated look and a new paint job,” said Hoots.

For his son’s school, Hoots constructed a playhouse out of decking material obtained from a client whose deck had collapsed. The playhouse was donated to a charity, which auctioned off the building for a tidy sum.

“Recycling can mean a lot of different things,” Hoots said.
Posted: 10/5/2011
Before, During, After: Remodelers Are on a Video Roll
By Matt Hoots

30 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and before he knew it, Matt Hoots had created nearly 80 videos for SawHorse Design Build and Remodeling, the Atlanta company where he is CEO.

"We like to use video because because it's an easy way to communicate with images and audio," Matt told me yesterday. "Any time we find ourselves repeating the same message over and aover again, we create a video and then refer people to it. A lot of times we've even converted prospects to sales this way."

It's official, remodelers: Video marketing has found its way well into the remodeling and small-business mainstream. You don't need a marketing agency, a high-end editing suite, or even a tech-savvy freelancer or teenage nephew to master it.

Take the video below. Like most of the videos on SawHorse's website and YouTube channel, Matt created it himself in 30 minutes or so using inexpensive video cameras (and still images, in some cases) and Windows Live Movie Maker software. Only a few include kids -- but the cute factor never hurts.

SawHorse videos cover a broad range of topics -- about the company, client testimonials, how solar hot water heaters work, for starters -- and appear in multiple places for maximum viewing, including appropriate spots on the company's website and as pop-ups in company e-letters.

"We just signed a contract today," Matt said yesterday. A big part of the new client's education and buy-in came from video links that he had sent her in response to some of her questions.

He even credits video with helping to keep the company afloat in the past few years. "Honestly, without green work and video and other social media, I don't know if we would have survived."


Posted: 9/20/2011
Ready your nest for fall
By Matt Hoots
Summer in metro Atlanta can feel relentless, extending its balmy grip well into what would be considered autumn in other locales. But now is the time to think about the cold months ahead and steps you can take to both protect your home from the elements and ensure that you heat it efficiently. Whether you make small DIY changes or bring in a contractor for big improvements, you’re virtually assured of both saving money and protecting your home from the elements.

Experts estimate proper weatherization can cut energy bills 25 percent to 30 percent.

One advantage of bringing in a professional is the chance to assess your home’s energy leakage and how best to correct it.

Weatherization contractor and SawHorse President Matt Hoots does a home energy assessment using a blower door fan test to calculate energy loss.

“We can also find the sources of the leaks that are big or small,” said Hoots, whose company then uses insulation, weather-stripping of doors and windows, air sealing and more energy-efficient HVAC as part of its strategy to prepare a home for winter.

Real estate agent Jennifer Spivey had her Old Fourth Ward condo weatherized by Paul Shellem, owner of HomeSeal Atlanta in Suwanee, which offers a whole house appraisal for $400 to $600.

Spivey’s custom weatherization included duct sealing, boxing can lights and blowing in fiberglass insulation. Spivey’s monthly energy bill has gone down but the biggest change is in her quality of life.

“Our house was always dusty and it gave me allergies,” said Spivey. Sealing leaks, she said, “cut down on the dust by 90 percent. The air quality is better.”

Homeowners and contractors point to air quality and comfort issues as frequent reasons for weatherization.

“What gets these homeowners to move is not necessarily the energy savings or even the money that they’re going to get back and save, but indoor air quality and health,” said Brad Turner, head of weatherization at Southface, a nonprofit devoted to sustainable buildings and communities.

Hoots said he rarely has to market his weatherization service.

“Don’t have to,” he said. “They call us when they are uncomfortable. Comfort trumps energy savings.”

Spivey referred her parents, Patti and James Jeffries of Hampton, to HomeSeal. In addition to some energy-saving improvements made by other contractors, the Jeffrieses had their 2,000-square-foot 1986 ranch weatherized by HomeSeal. The couple saw a 25 percent decrease in their monthly utility bills.

The Jeffries had their duct work sealed, blown-in insulation placed in the attic, their windows and fireplace air sealed and their doors weather-stripped.

“It’s amazing when they build a house they don’t seal it where the brick and wall board come together and you’d be surprised at what comes out of there. And what comes in from outdoors,” said Patti Jeffries.

Like their daughter, the Jeffrieses saw benefits to weatherizing their home beyond lower utility bills.

“I also do not see as many bugs. I had spider problems. You’d walk in the living room and find dead spiders everywhere and there were cobwebs everywhere. But since we’ve sealed everything up, they’re not getting in,” said Patti Jeffries, who recommended that homeowners at least weather strip around windows.

Best of all, the same measures you take to winterize your home and make it more comfortable and energy efficient will also save you money when summer rolls back around.

Partnership for Community Action’s weatherization department offers whole house energy conservation services to income eligible people living in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties. The program gives priority to households with the elderly, children younger than 6 and the disabled. The program is funded by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, Atlanta Gas Light, Georgia Natural Gas, Georgia Power, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Complete weatherization services are provided.
Posted: 8/19/2011
Brock Built Partners with Sawhorse by Atlanta Real Estate Forum
By Matt Hoots
Brock Built is proud to announce a new partnership with SawHorse, one of Atlanta’s premier residential remodeling firms. This partnership is designed to increase remodeling business activity in the metro Atlanta area.

SawHorse has been working with customers in Atlanta since 1978. The company provides turnkey design/building services on a wide range of projects. From single-room updates to total home renovations, SawHorse has the expertise to make sure your dream renovation becomes a reality. Because of the company’s commitment to innovation, professionalism and energy-efficient building practices, it has won over 100 national, regional and local awards.

For Brock Built, this new partnership represents an opportunity to provide even more services to customers after they purchase a home. Homeowners can rest assured that they are getting the same level of exceptional service during a remodeling project that was received during the building process.

“We are excited for our new partnership with Sawhorse, Inc. This relationship is a perfect match for our remodeling customers. SawHorse and Brock Built Homes seek the same quality building practices and passion for customer service in this industry” said Kevin Guerrero, Purchasing & Construction Manager for Brock Built.

So if you’re looking to add something extra to your new Atlanta home, look no further than SawHorse.

For more information on new homes, visit the Brock Built website. Fan us on Facebook.

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