- Time to Bring out the Statisticians?
We at Batton Builders, Inc. had a busy summer. It seems like with the blink of an eye, spring and summer are gone and it is already October. That means it’s time to button up and prepare your home for colder weather.
Last winter, did you notice any places where it seemed like your home was loosing heat? If so, now is the time to speak with a contractor about insulation. For a very reasonable $100, if you are in the Baltimore area, you can have Baltimore Gas and Electric, aka BG & E to locals, come do an energy audit. If you are outside of their service area, check with your own energy provider. Most suppliers like to have energy-wise consumers. Paul Theroux once said, “One thing about cold weather: it brings out the statistician in everyone!” so, don’t hesitate to inquire.
Here is a basic checklist to help you with a few basic tasks which will help prepare your home for winter and give you a little piece of mind.This blog is brought to you by Batton Builders, Inc. “Building Trust with Quality Work.”
- Fabulous Fireplaces
“We no longer build fireplaces for physical warmth we build them for the warmth of the soul; we build them to dream by, to hope by, to home by.” ~ Edna Ferber
The heating season is just around the corner. The advantages of adding a fireplace to any room can not be understated. In a dining room, it contributes to memorable meals, in a living room it gathers family together, in a den it ups the “cozy factor,” and in a bedroom, well, well, well… need we say it can heat things up?
Today we are featuring a few of our favorite fireplaces which have been constructed in homes we have built.
What does your dream fireplace and mantel look like? Let’s discuss it.
- Between a Rock and a Hardspot
When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out. ~David Weatherford
Over the years, we’ve had many very excited potential clients who think they’ve found their ideal building lot. They’ve asked us to come out and look at the plot and advise whether their dream home would be fitting for the spot. Sometimes, there are real challenges which come with the place they’ve chosen but we hate to dash anyone’s dreams, so we strive hard to find a way to make it happen.
Sometimes though – no matter how you look at it, the architect and building contractor is left feeling as if they were between a “rock and a hard spot.” Just sayin…
See you back here next week on this creative space where thoughts
on the building industry get published by Batton Builders, Inc.
- National Construction Week
The third week in September is National Construction Appreciation Week! Our purpose, says Mike Rydin “is to instill pride within the construction industry and inspire the next generation of young people by telling the story of American construction.” The organization has one unified message “I Build America.”
We at Batton Builders, Inc are glad to be part of I Build America simply because of the type work we and our ancestors have done for five generations “in the land of the free and the brave!”
Those who construct homes, churches, hospitals, skyscrapers,roads, bridges, and other infrastructure are all to be recognized and we will celebrate remotely with them!
If you wish to get involved, please visit the website for more information!
- Historic Churches
“We shape our buildings, thereafter, our buildings shape us.” ~ Winston Churchill
We at Batton Builders, Inc. are putting the wrap on a church preservation project at Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Baltimore City. It is known as “the Mother Church of American Methodism.” (pictured)
Scott Batton says “Building churches is part of the legacy of Batton Builders, Inc. which goes back to when my great-grandfather began the business five generations ago.” So, when he was asked to join in on the project at Lovely Lane Methodist Church he felt honored! A few years back another historical church and museum preservation project was added to the history books of Batton Builders which also felt good and right to continue the legacy.
“It’s been interesting to work in a museum environment surrounded by artifacts which document the beginnings of a Christian religion here in the United States. I’ve gotten a short, very condensed overview about some of the items housed inside the structure. There are some very fascinating publications, documents and other archival items that any history buff would appreciate simply because of their age and how they fit into the history of our country.”
Join us again! We appreciate our readers interest in our projects! The construction business is a huge arena and we at Batton Builders, Inc. are proud to say we have had a seat in it for over one hundred years.
(Above Photo- Interior of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, Baltimore, MD)
- What Would Fred Say?
When considering construction problems, this generation of Batton builders still often refer to things their ancestors taught them. Even though some of the advice may seem like it’s from the stone age, Batton builders have been in business so long, many of the principles from the past principals still apply.
Today, a little slant on construction humor is relevant to our two previous blog posts about choosing kitchen counter surfaces. If you didn’t read them, do so, it will make you chuckle at this cartoon little more. If you are a baby-boomer, you are certain to remember Fred.
- Room of the Week
“A kitchen is a good place to be, almost always the best place in the house.” ~ Michael Rhulman
Our previous blog post was about selecting kitchen counters. So today, we would like to feature a beautiful kitchen Batton Builders. Inc constructed a few years ago.
It’s so lovely, we’ve decided to call it our Room of the Week. Who wouldn’t enjoy hanging out here and cooking up a storm?
This blog is brought to you by BattonBuilders.com.
- Decisions, Decisions
So, you’ve got some decisions to make about your new kitchen or your kitchen remodeling project? Just the choices for kitchen counters alone can be overwhelming never mind the floor, cabinetry, lighting fixtures. A little knowledge about kitchen work surfaces can go a long way in helping you to understand the options.
There are utilitarian pros and cons to every finish you could chose. So weigh the options carefully. Here is a link to a website that details the most popular choices in kitchen counters. This information will give you a head start in your decision making and asking to see samples will also be useful.
Still undecided? Sometimes construction decisions become about aesthetics, What is most pleasing to YOUR EYE? After all everyone sees things differently and in the end, you have to please yourself. Aesthetics =the branch of philosophy that deals with the principles of beauty and artistic taste.
- Job Site Sensory Overload
“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”
– Vladimir Nabokov
After their father passed away, Scott Batton’s twin sisters, Jan and Sue, were reminiscing about going with their father to his job sites when they were growing up. Their father, Fred (3rd generation Batton builder), liked showing his children the homes he was building for his clients. And the girls enjoyed seeing them. They also liked climbing up the ladders and walking across scaffolding. At times though, it was scary.
Jan said, “What I liked about going to the job site with Dad was the seeing the layout of the house – where the bedrooms, living room, bath, kitchen etc. were placed in the overall configuration of the house plans.”
“Yeah, that was fun. I have so many good memories of being a builder’s daughter,” said Sue, but, “best of all was the sensory overload I got when we got out of Dad’s pick-up truck and walked the grounds of the job site. In my mind, the smell was good enough to bottle.”
“What smell?” asked Jan. “I don’t understand.”
“Don’t you remember, Jan? That smell of tree roots unearthed and dirt freshly dug up by a bulldozer. It was so pungent. Add to that the smell of the man glitter! There is nothin’ better!”
“Sue, are you having a senior moment or something? What are you talking about? MAN GLITTER?”
Yep, Saw Dust = Man Glitter.
Best Smells in the World – Freshly Bulldozed Earth and Saw Dust. Needs to be Bottled!
Anyone have a good idea for the label?
- Preservation Maryland
The purpose of today’s blog is to share resources for those who have questions about old properties they have purchased or are considering investing in. If you are seeking information about whether a home or structure is in a designated “historic district,” historical societies at the county level can usually steer you in the right direction. For instance, if you need information on a property in Baltimore County, contact the Historical Society in Baltimore County, it could be a good starting place.
A property is considered a “historic property,” according to dyed-in-the-wool preservationists, if a structure was built fifty years ago or more.
Knowing certain terminology used by historians is very useful when talking with a builder. There is difference between restoration, preservation, rehabilitation and stabilization. Preservation Maryland’s website has all kinds of very useful information about heritage fund grants and how to apply for them. There is also information about where to take tours and attend historic preservation workshops. Partnerships and internships are available through their programs.
If you are keen on Baltimore County history, the Historical Society of Baltimore County offers a Sunday series of lectures that are always interesting. They recently brought the Smithsonian Waterways Program to the county, and it was well-attended.
Go to Preservation Maryland on-line. There are fascinating featured stories about really cool restoration projects all over the state such as at the Glyndon Train Station in Baltimore County. An emphasis on Stewardship of Churches on the Eastern Shore is a fun read as is the Reuse Feasibility Study at Winstead Tobacco Packing Plant. Check it out, its fascinating stuff for all you history buffs!