Summer Energy Savings Tips

At McAdams Homes, we use building methods and materials to make your home more energy efficient. With the warming summer days coming soon, here are some tips and practices to help you save on energy bills and ease the summer strain put on your HVAC unit. 

Keep your home breezy. An easy way to cut down on cooling costs is by using fans. By using a fan and air conditioner simultaneously, you can raise your thermostat setting by 4 degrees with no change in your comfort. Set the ceiling fan’s blades to spin counter-clockwise to create a cool breeze and remember that fans cool people and not rooms—so use them only in rooms that are occupied!  

Keep the sun out. Your window curtains and blinds can be your best ally against the summer rays. Sunlight coming through your windows will heat up your home, causing you to spend more on air conditioning. To help your home stay cool, keep window coverings closed during the day when the sun is at its brightest and hottest. 

Consider your lighting. Be careful which lights you choose; incandescent bulbs lose approximately 90% of their energy as heat. Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, which operate at a lower wattage and produce only half as much heat. LED bulbs also use 75% less energy and last 50 times longer than traditional bulbs, saving you money on electricity and replacement costs.

Put it off. Here’s a good excuse to put off some chores. Heat-producing tasks such as laundry, using your dishwasher, and cooking can make your air conditioner work harder. Delay these until the cooler morning or evening hours to help keep energy costs down and your living space comfortable. Pop some burgers on the grill or invite some friends over for a cookout. You can enjoy the great weather while you avoid raising the temperature in your home.

Beat the Summer Heat! The 5 Best Places to Make a Splash in Wilmington, NC

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to get out and enjoy the beautiful coastal climate the Wilmington area offers. We are all feeling the need to get out of the house these days. Here are some of our favorite outdoor activities to beat the summer heat. 

Spend an afternoon at Long Leaf Park, centrally located in New Hanover County, a brief drive from downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Stroll around the tree lined paths or watch the kids enjoy the playground. And be sure to cool off on the splashpad. You and your family will surely enjoy the interactive fountains and other water features.   

If you are looking for a complete family entertainment center, Jungle Rapids is the stop for you. Jungle Rapids features a water park with a million-gallon wave pool, lazy river, various slides, and a 7,000 sq. ft. kiddie splash pool, just to name a few of the water features. With a plethora of water activities, Go-Karts and a large arcadewith other indoor activities, there is sure to be plenty of ways for the whole family to cool off. 

Wrightsville Beach is an obvious choice for one of the best places to splash around town. The crystal-clear water and white sand beaches are second to none. While visiting the beach, be sure to stop in to Harbor Way Gardens, situated on the west end of Wrightsville Beach Park. Here you’ll discover a quiet oasis and respite from the summer heat. This one-acre garden allows visitors to rest in the shade of the mature trees while they enjoy native plants and flowers. Set among paved paths, visitors can rest on benches surrounded by large trees and reflect on seasonal flowers in bloom. Kids of all ages can run through the reclaimed water sprouting from the multi-spray Children’s Fountain. 

Community pools are another great way to beat the heat. Robert Strange Pool in downtown Wilmington and the Legion Stadium Pool near Greenfield Lake, offer visitors public swim opportunities that are sure to help relieve that summer swelter. 

Events Are Making a Comeback – Check out What’s Happening in Wilmington, NC

The weather is warming up and we could not be more excited to get out and enjoy it!  We are so thankful that events are making a comeback so there is no shortage of choices of entertainment around town.  The biggest struggle is just choosing where to start! 

Everyone’s favorite Greek Festival is back starting May 14th!  The Drive-Thru Wilmington Greek Festival is the perfect excuse to indulge in some authentic Greek food while learning about the Greek culture, faith and heritage.  It is free to drive thru but impossible to leave without filling up on an entrée or two.  Not to mention their legendary pastries!   

Who isn’t dying to get out and hear some live music?!  And just as soon as the outside mask mandate ends too!  The Port City Music Festival is right around the corner and we can’t wait! This exciting week-long classical concert series is committed to making the experience of great music accessible to everyone. Nationally and internationally known guest artists will join local musicians at various locations around Wilmington performing a wonderful mix of genres that will appeal to everyone!

Want a combination of music, dancing, art and even children’s’ activities?  Then look no further than the Carolina Beach Street Art Festival!  There will be food trucks, arts and crafts for sale, a juggler, balloon artist and crafts for the kids!  Not to mention cooking demonstrations, education programs and so much more.  It’s as if they crammed all that we missed in 2020 into one festival! 

Baseball is back!  The Wilmington Sharks are excited to be back and ready to get their next Championship title; but they need out support! Bring the whole family to enjoy watching The Sharks battle top-notch college players from all areas of the United States.  Games start May 27th and tickets will be available soon!

Kiddos acting like wild animals after being cooped up for so long?  Take them to Family Farm Day and let them hang out with other wild animals and burn off some energy at the Children’s Museum!  This is a chance for kids to get up close and personal with some of their favorite barnyard animals. Children can meet chickens and bunnies and many other four-legged creatures in the courtyard of the Museum. There will be pony rides and a place to enjoy milk and cookies at story time, face painting and more.  The event is free with admission and begins on May 15th

Budget Friendly Projects for Your Home

You don’t need a large budget to give your home a noticeable boost. Whether you’re looking for functional fixes, to enhance visual appeal, or just a small refresh—there are a number of ways to update your home cheaply and easily.

No matter your budget, you can transform any wall into a show-stopping feature wall using a broad range of materials including paint, tile, wood, wallpaper, shiplap and even tape. Items like these are a great way to add color, texture, or both to any space in your home. And because you are decorating just one wall, you can add a lot of style to a room without making it feel too busy. 

Here’s a bright idea…string lights!  Nothing warms up a space like string lights. They add coziness, are painless to display, and are typically very affordable.  They are the perfect addition for any outdoor space!

When it comes to a quick and easy update that makes a massive difference in the style of your kitchen, hardware ranks right at the top. It can be changed out in just a few hours, yet transforms the entire appearance and feeling of a space. Think of how the perfect necklace tops off a plain dress, or how a precisely kicked field goal can win the Superbowl. When it comes to an easy kitchen update, new hardware can transform a space.

Light fixture makeovers are one of the simplest ways to make your individual space trendier, increase its functionality and boost the overall style of your home.  Updating your lighting can have a major impact on your home’s interior design, without making a major dent in your wallet like with a complete home renovation. Get inspired by some of the ways you can update your home’s lighting!  From switching to energy saving LED lighting and picking out a more up-to-date lighting design and fixtures, to additional outdoor lighting elements, there are so many ways to update the lighting inside and outside of your home! Not only will your guests be impressed by the new and improved aesthetics of your spaces, you’ll also be able to save on energy costs when you make the switch to LED.

Our Top 5 Wilmington, NC Coffee Shops

“Coffeeology: Espresso yourself. So many blends, so little time. Take life one sip at a time, and stay grounded. Better latte than never.”

Coffee you say?!  You are speaking our love language!  And we think Wilmington, NC may have some of the best coffee shops around.  Here is a list of our Top 5 favorites:

Bespoke Coffee and Dry Goods: Located at 202 Princess St. in the heart of downtown Wilmington, the atmosphere couldn’t be better!  Not to mention, they make an extremely good cup of coffee. It’s really rich and doesn’t require very much sweetener. That’s if you like a strong cup, anyway.  In addition to coffee, the shop has beer on tap, plus it sells dry goods: clothing, glasses, mugs, hats and more!  Why not feed three addictions at once?!

Folks Café: Folk’s Cafe has 2 locations.  One on Princess St and one on North 4th St. in Wilmington has become well-known with locals, tourists and even visiting celebrities (Emma Roberts tweeted about the iced coffee, and Michael Caine stops by whenever he’s in town). Roasting and selling its own organic and fair trade coffees from around the world, the vibe is junk gypsy.  Both the coffee and non-coffee drinks are creative and tasty, and the authentic empanadas that are first-come, first-served are worth the wait!

Outpost Coffee Co.: The Outpost is located in Wilmington’s blossoming cargo district and tucked into a jigsaw puzzle of shipping containers turned useable space. The Outpost is a drive-thru and walk-up bar and shares an open courtyard with a restaurant called the Mess Hall and the Alcove Beer Garden brewery; you can easily turn a Saturday afternoon into an adventure by exploring all three. Besides handcrafted lattes and drip coffee, the Outpost offers a variety of teas—loose leaf, chai lattes, matcha and a spiced beetroot latte.

Grinder’s Caffe’: With its down-to-earth appeal, spacious couches, tables for seating and baristas who have finessed their trade, Grinder’s is a longstanding favorite among UNCW students. Grinder’s has one of the most extensive menus of the coffee shops in Wilmington. Besides the espresso and drip coffee creations, they have smoothies, milkshakes and frappes with a variation of flavors for each.  Something for everyone!

Bitty and Beau’s:  A top 5 list would not be complete without Bitty ND Beau’s!  Bitty & Beau’s opened in Wilmington in 2016 and has since become a franchise with several intended locations around the country. Bitty & Beau’s hires people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a mission the founders hope will create a more inclusive community that values people with disabilities. The Wilmington location is spacious and has plenty of indoor seating. Their menu is versatile and features frappes, steamers and smoothies.  Yum!

Spring Updates for Your McAdams Homes

There’s something utterly rejuvenating about spring. After months of cold and dreary weather, you may feel an urge to spruce up your McAdams home even if it is brand new!  We are here to tell you to embrace the energy that comes with the new season and make it happen! It can be difficult to know where to begin to give your space a fresh feel but we are also here to help.

A quick and easy way to bring the outside energy in, is to add flowers throughout your home.  From bunches of daffodils and tulips to sprigs of eucalyptus and hyacinths, take advantage of all those flowers at your local grocery store. Decorating with fresh flowers is easy and can be done in every room of your home. Between stunning centerpieces and nightstand-friendly bud vases, there’s no place in your home that couldn’t use a few flowers.

Another way to celebrate the season is to create vignettes throughout your home; fancy word but simple decorating technique!  Decorating for spring doesn’t have to be hard.   Creating a few small vignettes help to make your home look seasonally appropriate without feeling overwhelmed.  There is so much potential in a small vignette.  The first step is to gather some spring related objects.  Don’t lose sight of your surroundings though – you’ll also want to be sure that the objects you use support the style and design of the rest of the room.  Get creative and vary the height and shapes of the objects in a way that compliments them.  Add depth and vary the textures to keep your display interesting. 

Let’s face it: We’ve been spending all winter shut inside without so much as a waft of a floral breeze.  They say smell is the sense most closely tied to memory, which is why certain scents transport us back to a specific time.  Nothing says spring has sprung like the smell of fresh flowers or freshly cut herbs.  A reed diffuser can add a subtle scent and also a decorative touch.  Oil diffusers are also a great choice for a constant room refresher.  Never underestimate the power of a candle or even an air freshener to change the feel of your space as well!

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money or get carried away with seasonal spring items, you can easily refresh your decor for spring with pretty pillows. Changing out pillows and pillow covers is one of the quickest and most budget-friendly ways to give your home a whole new look each season.  Create happy spring vibes with floral patterns or even just pops of fun spring colors.  Think pinks and yellows if they complement your existing décor.   If you love neutrals but still want to add a bit of spring color, green is the way to go.

Spring Blooms Worth Planting in Your NC Backyard

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” –Jim Carrey

We could all take a lesson from the spring flowers during this time!  It’s our time to shine and why not take this opportunity to make out homes and yards reflect that and bring a little beauty into this world?!  As spring approaches some of the season’s first flowers can’t wait to bloom in the beautiful North Carolina sun!  Even when we’ve had an unusually chilly winter, crocuses, roses, and snowdrops fight their way through the cold ground and can bloom as early as late January.

Most spring flowers in our area begin blooming around the end of March. The first of the season include daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, pansies, and irises. Others need more time to develop and enjoy the sun before they’re ready to blossom. Roses, bluebells, lilacs, peonies, and daisies don’t come out until May and June.

With so many flowers blossoming in spring, it’s not easy picking only a few favorites. We love them all, but these seven made our list thanks to their unique looks, lovely fragrances, and special symbolic meanings.  Plus they will look amazing decorating your flower beds and lining your walkways.  Talk about curb appeal!

Tulips!  Spring wouldn’t be the same without the playful beauty of tulips. These bulbous flowers bloom in thousands of varieties, including just about every color and combination of colors possible. They generally represent love, but specific hues do have their own meanings. For example, red tulips symbolize true love, and yellow tulips represent cheerful thoughts. We love mixed bouquets for celebrating Easter, spring birthdays, and other special occasions of the season.

Camellias!  Camellia shrubs bloom every spring with large, gorgeous flowers that are so beautiful they almost don’t look real. In pink, red, or white, camellias symbolize longing, deep desire, and adoration.  Show your appreciation for living in the most beautiful city in North Carolina and plant some camellias!

Lilacs!  Lilac shrubs can grow to be up to 15 feet tall, and their unmistakable perfume can be detected throughout the whole neighborhood when the breeze is just right. Their cascading flower clusters bloom in pink, blue, purple, and white, which represent passion, tranquility, spirituality, and purity.  Show your passion for Coastal NC with lilacs lining your walkway.

Daffodils!  Of all spring flowers, daffodils are the best representatives of spring. Like the season, they also represent renewal, rebirth, and new beginnings. They’re also lovely to admire with their funny, trumpet-shaped blooms in delightfully vibrant yellow, orange, and white.  Hearty and returning year after year, daffodils can’t be beat.

Daisies!  Daisies have classically fresh, white petals with yellow centers, which give them an effortless sort of beauty. They represent childbirth and motherhood, which makes them the perfect choice for a Mother’s Day celebration this spring. 

Azaleas!  We saved the best for last!  Azaleas are another flowering shrub that blooms in spring. They have elegant, dark-green foliage and fluttery flowers that bloom in alluring shades of white, pink, and red. They represent femininity and make wonderful gifts either as potted plants or floral bouquets.

Wilmington, NC Riverwalk Wins National Recognition

“A river is water is its loveliest form, rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart.” -Roderick Haig-Brown

We know how wonderful the Wilmington Riverwalk is, and now so does the rest of the US!  In January, USA Today compiled a list of the top 10 riverwalks and Wilmington was ranked #2!  Personally we think it is the absolute best and there are so many reasons why! 

You will not find a more relaxing and fun stretch of almost 2 miles of scenic views, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.  Following along the edge of the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, the Riverwalk offers breathtaking views of the water, the river bridge and the Battleship North Carolina.  Views of the Cape Fear River can’t be beat and make for the perfect backdrop for photos.  Stretching from Nunn Street to the Isabella Holmes Bridge, the walkway is lined with an assortment of markets, unique boutiques and art galleries.  The Riverwalk is home to outdoor cafes and narrated tours for your dining needs and entertainment. The wooden walkway is in walking distance of some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions like the Cotton Exchange and the 1914 Murchison Building. It is also the loading spot for several river boat cruises including Wilmington Water Tours and Cape Fear Riverboats, where you can relax onboard with a drink in hand and listen to the history of the area told by the boat’s captain. You can also catch a sunset cruise and enjoy live music while you sail along the water.  There is a marina at the north end and even an outdoor concert venue!

The Riverwalk is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free of charge.  Exactly why we think it can’t be beat!  But, if you are interested in scoping out the competition, the full top ten list is as follows:

  1. Detroit International RiverWalk – Detroit
  2. Wilmington Riverwalk – Wilmington, North Carolina
  3. Schuylkill River Trail – Philadelphia
  4. San Antonio River Walk – San Antonio
  5. Smale Riverfront Park – Cincinnati
  6. Waterfront Park – Louisville
  7. Bricktown – Oklahoma City
  8. Mississippi Riverwalk – Dubuque, Iowa
  9. Chicago Riverwalk – Chicago
  10. Charles River Esplanade – Boston

Home, Sweet McAdams Home

“Home sweet home. This is the place to find happiness. If one doesn’t find it here, one doesn’t find it anywhere.” –M.K. Soni

At McAdams Homes, we truly believe that your level of satisfaction is our measure of success.  We guarantee that we will do everything we can to make sure that you have 100% happiness in the entire process!

We start the process with a pre-construction design meeting to make sure that you are aware of all the options we offer.  The hardest part is deciding which one of our amazing floor plans to pick!   All of our single family homes are two stories and range from 1,873-2,381 square feet. All of the floor plans are open concept with large great rooms, many with the option of a fireplace. Depending on your family’s needs, you’ll have the option of 3-5 bedrooms and even a loft area in some plans and 2.5-3.5 bathrooms! There are so many included features that it is almost too hard to list them all! Front load garages are standard as are wood laminate flooring downstairs, stain resistant carpets throughout, brushed nickel hardware, Moen plumbing fixtures, 9 foot ceilings, 42″ cabinets, and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen, and a landscape package that includes irrigation and sod just to name a few of the amazing features that come standard! There are many optional features as well including but not limited to screened porches, alternative kitchen and master bathroom layouts, bonus rooms, formal dining rooms and so much more!

At McAdam’s Homes, we want you to feel happy with not only the features of your home but also your monthly payment.  Affordability is equally as important to us as quality and comfort.  And with floor plans starting at $204,900, there really is no other company that can match our affordability.  Where else can you find brand new 4 and 5 bedroom homes for under $300,000?!

We can sing our own praises all day but no one says it better than our satisfied customers, “Building with McAdams Homes has been the most pleasant experience. They went above and beyond our expectations in every way. They truly care about the homesowners and the product they deliver. They offer a lot of things standard that other builders charge extra for. During our walkthrough we requested some things that we thought was a little over the top, but I figured it never hurts to ask, and they did everything we requested! Blown away by their service and the house they built for us.  We highly recommend using McAdams Homes.” – Chaffin

Top 3 Front Door Colors of All-time

Curb appeal starts at the front door.  A great front door can make all the difference in your homes appearance.   The right color door can make your home look welcoming, add curb appeal and set the tone for what’s inside. It’s kind of like the feeling you get after an amazing haircut and color!  Pick the right hue and set the tone for you whole home.

Now, what color to pick for that pop of personality as you cross the threshold?  The surveys are in and the top three choices this year and of all time are red, dark grey/black and hunter green.  So if you want to stay classic, we just have to decide which one suits your home best!

Red: Whether it’s lipstick, nail polish or your front door, this classic remains in the lead! It works well with both light and white home exterior schemes as well as dark grey and black.  Red is so versatile. From bright to dark it works well with modern to traditional styles and even on red brick homes—but do your best to match the tone. Deep red adds a classic touch and work well with black, grey, green or taupe.  What does having a deep red front door say about you? You are seen as warm, classic and even a little daring!  Pass the paint brush now!

Dark Gray/Black:  Why do we always fall back on that little black dress when we have a special occasion that requires we look our best? Because black makes a dramatic statement and stands the test of time.  The same applies to front door color!  What’s more stately than a solid black front door? If you’re looking for a paint color that connotes seriousness, dark grey or black is the choice for you.  These traditional colors often seems formal, but you can add a playful tone with a modern black door against a colorful exterior. Covered with a shiny veneer, this front door is definitely glamorous—just like you!

Hunter Green:  Another classic that is both earthy and elegant.  You can’t go wrong with a fresh, healthy hunter green hue to welcome your guests into your humble abode!  Deep green looks excellent with red or white washed bricks or any neutral background. It’s better with lighter or neutral trim colors rather than black or charcoal as it will get lost. It’s also beautiful with natural woods or walnut colors.  If you have a dark green door you may be regarded as regal, elegant, peaceful and graceful.