What Happens When County Code Enforcement Doesn’t Protect You?

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What Happens When County Code Enforcement Doesn’t Protect You?

Here’s a scary item that just hit the news recently even though the actual incident is a couple of years old.

So what happens when county Code Enforcement doesn’t do their job?
Short answer- It causes a lot of trouble and sets up a dangerous situation.

As any contractor does, we have our own issues with Code Enforcement. Each inspector does their own thing. Reliance on strict codes is always ‘open to interpretation’. If you complain, they make things worse on you. Etc, etc.

Not only that, but, for the most part, permits represent a revenue source for the municipalities. The more permits, reviews, and revisions they ask for, the more you end up having to pay for them. It’s in their best interests to make the process harder and more expensive for any homeowner or contractor to navigate.

There’s not much you or I can do about any of this, because it’s a retribution-based system. Imagine Soviet Russia  in the 1980’s. If you complain, the bad guys crack down on you and deny everything, unless you grease the right wheels or know someone. That’s pretty much how it is.

But this item is scary!

A local contractor was given permits for multiple projects even though they didn’t have a license? Even worse, they didn’t have a license because it had been denied for some reason?

You have to wonder if there was a simple mistake (four different times!) or who made some money on this deal.

I wanted to tell you about this because it’s one of the main reasons I always get the permits for our projects instead of making a customer do it. You don’t want to go through the process unless you have to.

I suppose another lesson is this- just because your contractor gets a permit doesn’t mean he has a license.

Dave, the guy who hates paperwork but will fill out permit applications for customers


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Turns Out We’ll Do Just About Anything for a Customer

I’m always really proud to say that we won’t do just anything. Some contractors do that, but what ends up happening is that they do a few things really well, and some things really bad.

We prefer to stick to the kinds of projects that we enjoy, we do a lot, and that we do better than most everyone else at a fair price.

Moving hot tubs is certainly NOT one of those things.

But we did it anyway.

Many times our customers give us stuff on projects. Old patio furniture. A nearly new stove, fridge, and huge TV from one. Lots of times fresh veggies from an outside garden.

They give us things because they like us, they bought new stuff for their new sunroom, and also because there’s a bunch of my guys working there who can move heavy objects into the back of our trucks. If no one on the job wants whatever it is, then it goes into the warehouse where another employee snatches it up.

One of our recent pretty awesome customers in Market Common asked if someone wanted a hot tub for free. Haul it off, he said, and it’s yours.

Three hours, six workers, a lot of rope, and a slow pick up truck ride later, it’s in our secretary’s backyard.

On jobs, we’ll stick to what we’re good at. On the free stuff, just ask one of my guys if he wants it. But, please, no more hot tubs.

Thanks,
Dave, the guy who’ll just head over to the someone else’s house to enjoy a hot tub soak


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It’s Almost Hurricane Season!

It happens every year, just like tax day and any other bad news thing you can think of, like an appointment for a physical or something.

But no matter what time of year you read this e-mail, you can’t go wrong if it makes you want to prep for hurricane season.

The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season runs from June through November every year. In recent years, our area has seen several significant landfalls. Hurricanes are interesting in how they affect us. You might have escaped unscathed, might have had trees or limbs in the yard, or could have even lost your roof. However, your neighbor might have experienced just the opposite.

My own experience with the last two hurricanes to hit our area is that the nearby yards flooded, and I lost a few shingles each time. No windows were broken by flying debris, but we installed clear Lexan hurricane panels over all the openings.

Here’s a few things I would recommend to prepare for hurricane season to help get you and your family ready.

1. Put together a disaster box. Here’s a link to a great inventory list for a disaster box- https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit. Once you get it packed, just throw it in the closet or a corner in the garage and hope you never need it.

You can go further and pack Get Home Bags or Bug Out Bags, but the disaster box is a bare minimum. If you want more info on those, just e-mail me back and ask. I used to do contract work for FEMA, and one of our jobs was helping people assemble these.

2. Protect your home. You need to install some type of protection for all the openings in your home, to include all doors and windows. Our company installs several different types, so get in touch if you don’t have this. The most important things to consider for this are that you have the work done before a named storm and know how to use it.

I mention ‘named storms’ because most insurance companies will not help you out if you wait until after there’s a named storm in the Atlantic. Also keep in mind that most insurance companies provide discounts for various types of opening protection, like our Lexan panels.

3. Have a plan. Decide beforehand under what circumstances you will evacuate. Don’t wait on the storm and then decide. In addition, decide where you’ll evacuate and what you will take with you. For any storms that you will shelter in place and not evacuate, plan for that as well, to include water, food, and lighting.

There’s so much more that could go into this, but I didn’t want to write a book length e-mail. If you want more information, feel free to get in touch or come by the showroom.

Your storm guide,

David Powers

You can find us at…

Ocean Breeze Exterior Remodeling – 843-238-4798 – www.oceanbreezeexteriors.com

Our showroom is located at 739 Sandy Lane in Surfside Beach, SC


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Do you have a pile of plywood in your garage?

Plywood strikes again!

I was at a brand new house the other day looking at installing vinyl windows in their screen room, and there it was.

<cue dramatic movie music>

A pile of brand new plywood strapped to the wall masquerading as hurricane protection

It hurts me as a builder to see this.

Here’s why-

  • It’s heavy.
  • It’s the bare minimum to meet code.
  • It only lasts a couple of uses.
  • It warps.
  • It puts a few hundred new holes in your house.
  • It’s ugly.
  • You can’t see outside during a storm.

That’s why we love and enjoy installing clear Lexan hurricane panels on our own homes and yours. Check this one out from the Arrowhead development. You almost can’t even see the panels.

It’s never too late to get ready for the next hurricane season. Do it the right way and give us a call.

Dave, the guy who keeps you safe from the storms


You can find us at…

843-238-4798

www.oceanbreezeexteriors

Facebook

Our showroom located at 739 Sandy Lane in Surfside Beach, SC


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SAFETY NOTICE- Retractable Awnings

Normally I enjoy having a lot of fun with these e-mails or telling you about neat new products, but occasionally I need to update you on safety related items.

We just received the notice below from Sunsetter Awnings. Many of you might have also received it in the mail as well.

Apparently, there have been some injuries reported when people improperly removed their awning covers. I haven’t actually seen the reports, but I’m guessing folks hit the button for the awning to come out but forgot the cover was still attached. Then they tried removing the cover without retracting the awning. And…POW! The awning cover pops off, the awning pops out, and the owner gets knocked off a ladder.

You can see how this could range from a slight injury to something much more serious, especially on an elevated deck in the photo. We installed two awnings on this deck, and it’s a big drop to sea level.

So please be careful if you have a removable awning cover. If you do have one, but would prefer for us to retrofit your awning with a permanent aluminum hood cover, just give us a call. You can see the hood on the photo above.

Thanks,

Dave


You can find us at…

843-238-4798

www.oceanbreezeexteriors

Facebook

Our showroom located at 739 Sandy Lane in Surfside Beach, SC


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Did You Know that Some Trees will Eat Your Gutters?

Captured in its natural habitat- a gutter-eating tree!

I was asked to do an estimate on remodeling an old screen room and came across this rare find.

It’s a Gutter Eater, otherwise known by its scientific name as the Lack-of-Maintenance Naturalis.

Please don’t let this creature invade your backyard!


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New Contest- Send a Pic of My Guys in Action

Here’s a fun contest for everyone.

If you can send me a photo of one of our trucks on the road or at a jobsite, I’ll send you a prize. I guarantee it’ll be worth it, especially if you’re having a project done by us or planning on one soon.

Here are the rules-

  1. The photo can’t be at our office. Way too easy.
  2. Spot my guys on the road or in a neighborhood.
  3. Like our Facebook page and post the photo there with wording something to the effect of “Caught the Ocean Breeze crew in action!”
  4. Message me your e-mail or put it on the Facebook post so I can send your prize.
  5. It can even be at your house if they’re working there.
  6. You can only win this prize once, but for each subsequent entry, I’ll credit you for 100 points in our end of the year referral contest. That contest has a $1000 cash prize!

Now go hunt them down!

Dave, everyone’s fave sunroom guy


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Are Birds Leaving Their, ahem, Mark on Your Outdoor Project?

A past client of ours called in the other day with a special request. We had installed a pergola for him awhile back. The project was perfect, but the birds were making a mess of it by perching on top and using it as a bathroom.

I know. Birds can be pretty inconsiderate like that.

We had a few ideas for him, but I figured some of you might be experiencing the same issue, so I wanted to pass these on to you as well. I’ll list a few of the most common ideas we’ve seen work over the years along with links to them on Amazon. If you’d rather buy local, you can probably find these at a neighborhood hardware store or big box store as well.

Pretty much all of these are DIY items if you have a tall enough ladder, but if you need us to install any of them, just give us a call.

  1. Scare Tape- https://amzn.to/2U4SJnq
  2. Scare Disks- https://amzn.to/2WsT8gj
  3. Owl Decoys- https://amzn.to/2HXag9P
  4. Bird Spikes- https://amzn.to/2WoMIP8
  5. Ultrasonic Repeller- https://amzn.to/2HKcCtA

I hope these help you out,

Dave, the guy that helps you keep the birds away


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The Sunroom is the New Man Cave

For years Man Caves have been found in spare bedrooms, basements, and garages. Now it is finally time for the sunroom to be the new Man Cave!

We have been building sunrooms and enclosing screen porches and patios for over 30 years, and we have seen them take on many uses.

  • Extra dining room
  • Relaxation room
  • Reading room
  • Spot to see the view of the ocean or golf course
  • Office

But more and more we are seeing them turned into man caves. It does not take much extra once our job done, or you can have us do it for you.

Here are the basics I would recommend for a sunroom man cave:

  • A decent size television. This is a necessity for watching sports or zombie movies. Depending on the sunroom type, be sure you buy a TV that’s will hold up out there, and position it so the glare does not affect it at prime viewing times either.
  • A good celing fan. Buy one that looks nice and is big enough to deliver good air movement.
  • Climate control. A new sunroom, especially one that enclosed a screen room was not engineered to run off your home’s AC and heat as efficiently as rooms in the main house. I always recommend additional HVAC so you can maintain your comfort.
  • Comfortable furniture. You don’t have to keep the all-weather patio furniture in there. Drag your favorite chair out there or go buy a new one.

Those are the basics. If you really want to jazz it up, here are a few more recommendations:

If we can help you fulfill your man cave dreams with a sunroom space, be sure to give us a call.

Dave, the guy who has a sunroom with a private infrared sauna in it


You can find us at…

Ocean Breeze Exterior Remodeling

843-238-4798

www.oceanbreezeexteriors.com

Our showroom is located at 739 Sandy Lane in Surfside Beach, SC


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What Happens If You Get Locked Out?

I wanted to tell a funny story to brag on some of our employees.

A customer of ours recently got locked out of their house that we’re in the process of building a sunroom on.

They got home from a trip and couldn’t get inside. The battery to their garage door opener had died. The batteries on their electronic front door lock were dead. The back door that they had a key to had been enclosed in our new sunroom, which was all locked up as well. They didn’t have keys to the sunroom because we were still working on it.

It’s like their house was conspiring against them.

Oh, did I mention that this all happened on a Sunday?

None of us work on Sundays, and you can’t find anyone around the office…usually.

At the moment our customers were sitting in the office parking lot hoping someone might be around, one of our employees drove by. They stopped and asked if they could help with anything.

Less than half an hour later we had someone in the office, pulling their new sunroom keys from the project folder, and getting them inside their home.

It was a weird chain of events that led to this, but a very fortuitous meeting with one of our employees. I’m glad our folks are willing to do things like this, even on their days off.

I’m proud of them for several reasons…

  • It shows that our folks feel an ownership in how the company is perceived and operates. They’re not just employees. They’re valued teammates.
  • It goes above and beyond the normal operations. Off time on a Sunday and they were willing to jump in.
  • It helps keep our clients happy.
  • It helps build our business. I love how things like this turn into referrals. I can just imagine our customers recommending us to their friends and neighbors and saying, “Of course they do great work, but can you believe what they did when…” It makes for a great party story.

I hope we can help you in a similar way if you get locked out or anything else happens. Our folks have even been known to look for escaped dogs and deliver CPR to a customer before.

Thanks for reading!

Dave, the sunroom builder who isn’t a locksmith but loves helping people get in their houses

 


You can find us at…

Ocean Breeze Exterior Remodeling

843-238-4798

www.oceanbreezeexteriors.com

Our showroom is located at 739 Sandy Lane in Surfside Beach, SC


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