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Making Dollars and Sense out of Caulking

Preserve Your Biggest Investment – Your Home

When most people think of basic home maintenance, caulking may not make the list. It should. Caulking doesn’t just add an aesthetic finish to your home. The sealing compound is used to close up gaps against air, dust and insects. It provides a seal from the outdoor elements. Also, caulk protects your indoor surfaces by stopping water from seeping into cracks.

If you live in an older home, now is the time to inspect around your windows, doors and bathrooms. Older caulking is prone to peel away and chip, leaving your home exposed to insects and the elements.  Unmaintained caulk also reduces your home’s overall energy efficiency.

According to the Consumer Federation of America, sealing unwanted leaks around your home is an excellent way to cut home energy costs and decrease your household carbon footprint. Also, sealing cracks and crevices around your home puts less strain on appliances and can save time, money and hassle by preventing major repairs. Additionally, increasing the lifetime of homes and appliances also puts less waste and pollution into landfills.

Caulking Can Be Intimidating

Choosing the right caulk from a selection of tubes spread across a 10-foot wall display can be downright intimidating. A single tube of caulk can cost $1.50 to $14. Regardless of what the caulk is labeled, its ingredients are the most important consideration in determining what it’s best suited for. What you want the caulk to adhere to and where you’ll want to use it determine the caulk you buy. types of caulk

Caulking joints around doors and windows requires a sealant that is flexible and long-lasting, adheres to siding (wood, aluminum and vinyl), resists extreme weather conditions and, if it’s not painted over, withstands direct sunlight. To seal flashing around a chimney, the caulk must adhere to masonry, roofing shingles and metal flashing and stand up to the elements unpainted. The warm, wet conditions of a bathroom require that a caulk resist mildew and moisture.

Learn What You Need to Know to Do the Job Yourself – Easily

Don’t let intimidation stop you from taking on a project yourself.  Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam is here to teach you the knowledge you need to choose the right product, and give you the skills needed to get the job done right.  We’re hosting a two-hour workshop dedicated to the art of caulking on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.. You will learn from Darrin Huffman of Builders First Source all of his personal tips and tricks to get your job done right. Also, this will be a hands-on workshop. You will get the chance to work with caulk adhesives up close and put into practice the best techniques to apply it to multiple surfaces.

For more information or to register for Habitat for Humanity’s upcoming “Art of Caulking” workshop, visit our events page by clicking here. You can also email our Education Program Coordinator, Janie Hamilton, at janie@hfhkp.org to register for the workshop.

For more on Habitat for Humanity’s education program, click here.

 

Eliminating Debt for Financial Peace

Habitat for Humanity empowers future homeowners to successfully own and maintain a home. One such way we achieve this is by teaching our Habitat partners about financial responsibility. We use a proven course that started out as a small class taught in a church. From that, Financial Peace University was born. Twenty years after the course was developed, its creator, Dave Ramsey, continues to teach people God’s way of handling money. Lisa, a recent course graduate says, “Dave explains so much about money and how to handle it the way God intended. You will learn a lot about money.”

Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and popular national radio personality. His seven best-selling books – Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, The Complete Guide to Money, Legacy Journey and Smart Money Smart Kids – have sold more than 10 million copies combined.Debt Free Course Graduates

Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small-group activities, the Financial Peace University course presents practical, biblical steps to win with money. You’ll learn how to walk out of debt, build significant savings, and leave a lasting legacy for your family, church and community. You will also learn the truth about credit cards and credit bureaus, how marketing can sway your spending decisions, what insurance you actually need, and how to plan for college and retirement.

The cost of the nine-week course is $75 dollars. Habitat homebuyers get a rebate once they complete all nine classes. Kelli, a current Habitat homebuyer says, “The great thing is you pay for the class, but get back so much more.”

The course is structured around a seven-step plan.

  • Step 1: Save $1000 in a beginner emergency fund
  • Step 2: Pay off all debt, except mortgage
  • Step 3: Put three to six months of expenses in savings
  • Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into retirement
  • Step 5: Save for your children’s college
  • Step 6: Pay off your mortgage early
  • Step 7: Build Wealth and Give

Course instructor, Janie Hamilton, says that each step is achievable, but moving from step one to step seven takes time. “It can takes three to four years before you make it past step three, but it can be done,” Hamilton explains.

The Financial Peace University course is offered twice a year on Monday nights. If you miss a class, you can make it up during the next course offering. Right now, we are in the process of scheduling our winter 2018 Financial Peace University course.

“Tough it out through the foggy moments. The payoff is larger than you could imaging. When you are diligent and listen to God’s command, not only will you change your life, but the lives of people around you. Stay the course.” – Jennifer, 2017 Financial Peace University Graduate

Habitat for Humanity also teaches homeowners other practical skills needed to maintain a home for years to come. Our Master Homeowner Program is the only one of its kind in the country. It was developed right here in West Virginia with the needs of Habitat for Humanity homebuyers in mind, but it’s open to anyone.

For more information on our Master Homeowner Program and how you can learn to maintain your home, CLICK HERE.

Your Future Home

Decent, Affordable & Yours!

Habitat for Humanity Family Partnering with Habitat for Humanity for a decent, affordable home does not mean compromising on quality. All of the houses that we work with homebuyers to build meet all current building codes, and some of the construction materials exceed those standards. Habitat for Humanity saves you money by offering a zero-interest mortgage. Our mortgages are affordable because we use mostly volunteer labor and some construction materials are donated. In the end, you get the final say in the look of your future home. Our homebuyer partners choose the exterior siding, kitchen countertops, flooring and deck stain on all new construction.

Habitat for Humanity houses save you money.

Our homes are energy efficient. The walls are insulated with R-13, three and a half inch fiberglass. We use a high-quality fiber cement siding on the exterior. It comes with a 15 year warranty and is far more durable than vinyl siding. Habitat houses also offer 30 year architectural shingles. When it comes to the walls inside your future home, we don’t cut corners – we reinforce them. We always build using 2×4 walls and then hang half-inch drywall. All of the quality materials we use in construction give our house walls a total R Value of 22.

Other energy-efficient features of Habitat for Humanity houses include:

  • R-38 Blow-in attic insulation
  • 3” closed-cell high performance spray insulation under subfloor preventing outside air infiltration – sealing floors completely from moisture
  • High-efficiency central heating and cooling system designed for minimal outside air filtration
  • Argon filled, Low E Insulated Vinyl Windows

Habitat for Humanity works with homebuyers to make homeownership manageable.

Our houses use arc-fault circuit breakers and outdoor GFCI outlets. Each house is pre-wired for future updates and customization. The water lines throughout our houses use an innovative PEX water system. PEX water lines are single pipes without joints – eliminating places where leaks can occur. All of the PEX piping we use in our houses are connected to a single manifold that is the hub of the plumbing system. The central water manifold distributes the house’s hot and cold water supply in the same way that an electrical panel distributes electricity. Each house has a minimum of a 40-gallon hot water tank.

The houses that Habitat for Humanity works with homebuyers to build are built for convenience and long term durability.

Each house is built with a covered porch. Each house has a washer and dryer hookup. The inside of our houses feature spacious, 40-inch wide closets in each bedroom. We work to put in as much storage as possible – with added storage space in the bathrooms. Each bathroom is outfitted with a seamless shower and bathtub combination that minimizes places for mildew – reducing cleaning time. For added convenience we use Panasonic Whisper Quiet® bathroom exhaust fans. For added security we use steel front and rear entry doors that are all keyed the same and include deadbolts for added reinforcement.

Habitat for Humanity HouseDuring construction, the land that the house is being built on is graded to drain water away from the house’s foundation. Proper drainage reduces the likelihood of foundation problems, mold and odors. After construction, we landscape and seed the lawn. Proper landscaping can prevent sewer issues and provides the added bonus of blocking wind and sun – adding to the overall energy efficiency of the house. We also make sure each of our houses have ample parking space. Habitat houses all have off-street parking for two vehicles.

Habitat homeowners say they feel like they are getting a quality home that is built to last. That’s because Habitat for Humanity builds homes that are decent and affordable without cutting corners. We’re proud to stand by the homes we work with our partners to build.
To date, we have built more than 150 homes in the Kanawha Valley, and we’re building more right now.

If you would like to apply for partnership with Habitat for Humanity, CLICK HERE to take our short pre-qualification quiz — or call Anne Plott, Homeownership Program Director, at 304-720-0141 ext. 12.

Click HERE to make a secure, online financial contribution.