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News - WSC Distinctive Builders



I am saddened and troubled by the recent tornadoes which ravaged many areas of Lake Martin and the surrounding cities.  I know that the great hardworking people of Central Alabama will rise to the occasion and will meet and exceed the challenges ahead.  However, it is my concern that this recent tragedy does not lead to additional hardships and turmoil when it comes to the re-building process.  I have put together a few quick tips to help you in selecting a Contractor to re-build after the damage.

First and foremost ask for a copy of their State of Alabama Homebuilder's License.  Every contractor engaging in any remodeling and building is required to have this license in all Central Alabama Counties.

Second, ask for a written estimate with details.  Sometimes it is difficult to provide all the details, but ask for more than " I think it will be around $80,000.00."  Get an estimate in writing, stating what work will be required.

Third, ask for as copy of their General Liability Insurance as well as Workers Comp Insurance.  This is important to protect you from potential liabilities in the event someone get hurts or damage occurs. Do not let work begin until this proof is provided.

Fourth, ask for a written Contract.  Look for the amount of contract, what work is to be performed, how payments are to be made, and approximately how long the project will take.  The more you get in writing, the better you can understand what is expected.

Fifth,  Ask for references and take the time to call them.  Most people will gladly tell you about their experiences with contractors.

And last, in Tallapoosa County, get the contractor to post the building permit on site (as required).  At least here you will have a Building Inspector who will make some visit.  If there is any work to be done on piers or floating docks, make sure you have a separate permit from Alabama Power.

By far, most of the Builders and Contractors around the Central Alabama area do a great job.  They follow regulations, do quality work, and provide a tremendous service.  They are what has helped make this area great.  But unfortunately, when tragedy strikes,  there are a few who will take advantage of the situation.   I hope you will take the time to look for few points, it could help prevent a second tragedy.


 By Kevin Shubird, May 23, 2011



How you can combat it

By Kevin Shubird


Humidity is Mother Nature’s way of reminding you – you are in the South!  Southern summers can be brutal on those of you with curly hair (like my wife) and cause expensive damage to your home.  Humidity equals moisture, whichu is one of the biggest enemies of your home.  Moisture problems come primarily in three ways:  rain, plumbing leaks, and humidity.  Most problems associated with rain and plumbing can be fixed or managed successfully.  Humidity, like the South, however, is much harder to conquer.  It cannot be seen, although on any typical summer day you certainly feel it. The onslaught is relentless, 24 hours, 7 days a week, continuously.

 Over time the problems caused by excessive humidity range from mold and mildew issues to warped boards and even damage to furniture and valuable items, (not to mention what it can do to your health).  It is not uncommon to see entire wood floors “cupping” as a result of too much moisture in the air.  I have seen mold and mildew numerous times on bathroom ceilings and walls as well as underneath the house in crawl spaces and basements. And over time, furniture begins to de-laminate and paintings and photographs begin to deteriorate also.

How do we stop the attack of the silent enemy?  Well, we must realize that we cannot stop humidity; we can only hope to control it.  And to do that we must fight back on two fronts: in-side your house and underneath if you have crawl space or a basement.  Generally, inside the house the optimal range for humidity is between 40%  and 50%.  Maintaining relative humidity below 50% prevents dust mite infestations, mildew and mold growth and inhibits bacteria. (You can purchase a humidity gauge at most hardware stores for just a few dollars).  Here are some quick pointers:

Inside the house-

  1. Set your  a/c to 77 degrees in the summer (when you are not there) and 65 in the winter. Most air conditioner systems will remove humidity to a reasonable level when running.  Many times homeowners will turn the a/c off or set it at 80 degrees or higher.  This may save a little on the power bill, but over time it could cost you expensive major repairs. 
  2. Use exhaust fans when showering, bathing, and cooking.  This helps to draw out directly the moisture created.  Check to make sure the exhaust fan is drawing air by placing a thin tissue over the vent while it is running.  It should hold to the vent.  Also make sure the fan is vented through the roof and not just open to the attic.
  3. Make sure windows and doors have adequate weather-stripping and are closed tightly when not in use.
  4. Fireplace damper should be closed when not in use.
  5. Consider installing a dehumidifier to help keep moisture down.  There are many models which can be programed at desired humidity levels and will discharge the water outside the house.  Prices range from $299.00 to $3400.00 and can be purchase at most hardware and/or appliance stores.

Crawl space/ basement –

1.  Make sure there is a vapor barrier on the raw ground beneath the house.  One inexpensive and easy way is to lay down a 6 mil roll of visqueen or plastic.

2.  Make sure that the floor joists are insulated with a vapor barrier.  Many times the insulation has a vapor barrier adhered to one side.  Generally the vapor barrier faces the heated and cooled area of the house.

3. Make sure there are no leaking pipes, water lines, water heaters, and a/c condensing units.

4.  Make sure there are no moisture penetrations from the exterior walls or footings.  It is so important that the crawl space or basement be dry.

5.  Consider installing a dehumidifier as mentioned above.  Most wood floor installers recommend a dehumidifier in un-conditioned crawl spaces and basements below wood floor.

Moisture inside and beneath your home is not a good thing and could decrease the value of your home if you develop a  serious mold problem.  It could also lead to serious health issues.  Taking a few minutes to address the potential problem can prevent a lot of heart ache and trouble further down the road.  Remember just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!

If you have specific questions, feel free to contact me at .

Winterizing Your Lake Home Could Save Thousands of Dollars


Even though it does not feel like it yet, Winter will soon be approaching.  For many of us, we tend to lock the doors to our lake house and forget about it until the warm days of Spring begin.  I have seen too many times some of the problems with just “locking” up and leaving- busted water lines, busted water heaters, and roof leaks, just to name a few.  Here are few things you can do to possibly prevent these and other problems from occurring:


1.       Cut off water supply to house

2.       Cut power/gas to water heater

3.       Open outside water faucet on lowest side of house to drain water out of plumbing lines.  Remember to disconnect the water hose.

4.       Turn off the power to any free standing ice machines. 

5.       Open up hot and cold valves on sinks/tub on lowest levels of house

6.       Cut off water lines that lead to docks/piers - drain if possible

7.       Set thermostat to 68 degrees (check filter and make sure it is clean)

8.       Clean roof – get debris out of valleys and off roof (leaves and debris can hold water which can back         up under shingles and cause roof leaks)

9.       Make sure all windows, doors, and dampers are closed tightly

10.       Check around eaves of house to see if there are signs where critters are trying to get it.  If so look closely for openings and seal off.

11.   If you have a dehumidifier, make sure it is set properly and operating correctly

12.   Check for and remove any overhanging “dead”  limbs that could drop onto your roof and trim

13.  Drain water sprinkler system if possible and turn off the auto timers.

14.  Make sure any outdoor showers are drained and properly insulated.

If you choose not to cut the water supply off to your home, make sure all plumbing lines as well as water heaters are wrapped with insulation.  You will need to check under your house (if possible) as well as in the attic and crawl spaces. Pay special attention to outside water faucets and water lines on docks and piers – these tend to freeze very quickly.

Take this list, cut it out and tape it to your refrigerator.  When you are leaving this fall your will have a quick check list that might save you a huge headache (not to mention many dollars)  when you return.

If you have specific questions, feel free to contact me at or (334) 567-4715.

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