How to Clean the Exterior of Your Home

Spring is the season for fresh starts. That’s the spirit behind “Spring Cleaning” efforts! The last week of March is National Cleaning Week, making it the prime time to get your spring cleaning started.

You know the drill for inside the house: sweep, mop, dust, declutter, disinfect. What about the exterior of your home? Here are some tips for cleaning your home’s exterior, depending on the type of siding you have.

Vinyl Siding

A pressure washer will clean vinyl siding quickly. However, to help extend the durability of the siding, try cleaning with a brush and cloth. Wipe it down from top to bottom, rinsing often. Use vinegar and water for routine cleaning, or if you’ve got more serious stains, use something a bit stronger, like bleach, in the mix.

Wood Siding

Siding made from wood is not as sturdy as vinyl, so it’s best not to use a pressure washer. A mixture of water and vinegar, or bleach and oxygen are highly recommended. After cleaning wood siding, it may be a good idea to use a sealant to protect it from weather. Check with a professional to see if your specific siding needs sealant.

Metal Siding

To clean metal siding, use a soft brush to remove heavy debris and dirt; be careful not to use anything too abrasive that may scratch the paint or metal. Use a mixture of water and laundry detergent to clean. If you want to use a pressure washer, make sure to use the lowest power setting. Be careful not to leave behind any cleaning solution because it may promote corrosion.

Fiber Cement Siding

Whenever you notice any stains or dirt on your cement siding, spot clean it with soap, water, and a cloth! Be careful when using any cleaning products as they can cause corrosion over time. For a gentle clean, use your garden hose to rinse. Aside from spot cleaning your cement siding, most siding can just be cleaned once a year! Add it to your annual spring cleaning checklist to make sure your exterior stays beautiful.

What is a Semi-Custom Home?

A semi-custom home takes an already designed floor plan and customizes elements of it to your specific needs and style. You can choose from a portfolio of pre-designed floor plans to find one that closely matches your family’s desires, then make specific customizations to that floor plan. It’s more affordable than a fully custom-designed home, and gives you more freedom than a standard plan.

You might wonder, what kind of changes you can make in a semi-custom home tailored to your dreams. Here are some of the most common customizations new home buyers request.

1. Interior

Regardless of your floor plan, you can choose your flooring, wall colors, appliances, and light fixtures. These customizations will make your house feel like a home, when you’re surrounded by your favorite colors, textures, and finishes. We’ll provide options to help make the selection process easier for you.

2. Exterior

Just like the interior, you can choose your siding, brick, roofing, landscaping, and more to suit your individual tastes.

3. Optional Additions

Many of our Horizons East floor plans come with optional patios or a larger garage. These types of customizations provide more outdoor family space and help store vehicles, recreational gear, workshop tools or other items.

4. Reverse the Floor plan

If having the garage on the western half of the property isn’t ideal for your land, or your preference, we can quickly reverse a floor plan to better suit those needs.

5. Make it Larger

Need a bigger garage or just a bit more space in general? Adjusting the overall scale of your home is a fairly simple adjustment for an existing floor plan. 6. Small Layout ChangesYou may want to remove a wall or add a fireplace to the living room. We allow for a few small changes to our floor plans so you can fully love your home from day one.

This is just a short list, but you can explore more about building a semi-custom home with our professional team. Contact us today, and we’ll help you start your home-building journey!

Meet the Alleyna

Meet the Alleyna, a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home with over 2300 heated square feet!

The first floor is an entertainer’s dream! A covered front porch is perfect for your morning coffee or watching the sunset depending on the season. Just inside the front door is a dining room and the staircase. You’ll also find two storage closets and a large pantry.


The kitchen is complete with an island and a desk, granite countertops, and a breakfast nook. Take advantage of an optional add-on for a covered back patio off of the kitchen! The breakfast nook spills into the spacious living room, with a cozy fireplace for winter days with your family.

Entertainers will love to host holiday dinners in the dining room; and enjoy plenty of room for mixing and mingling in the open kitchen and living room.


On the first floor, a half bathroom is easily accessible for family and guests. And you’ll find a two-car garage which is perfect for your family’s vehicles and more.

Upstairs, you’ll find the master suite. It is spacious with a generous walk-in closet. The master bath has a beautiful garden tub, double sink, and includes ceramic tile.


Also upstairs, are three bedrooms and a full bath that are perfect for children, guests or office space. The Alleyna has a large laundry room and plenty of storage space.  Take a photo tour below and contact us for more.




kids playing with toys

All You Need to Know About Playrooms

We all need a little personal space. This is true for children, too.

In your dream home, your kids can have their own space to explore the bounds of their creativity. Depending on your layout, you can have a designated room or corner area to function as a playroom.

Here are a few things to consider when making your kids’ play space come to life!


Designate “zones” for different activities and interests

Designating zones for different areas of your child’s interests is an important part of designing a playroom. Your child will be able to read, play, create, and learn all in the same space while staying organized! You can use the same strategy if you have more than one child as well.

Create a fun and safe space for their school work by picking a corner for each of your school age kids; and leave the main area of the room for play! You can use furniture to make these zones obvious—a desk for crafts and homework, a comfy chair for a reading nook, a tent for hiding away, a rug for blocks, etc.

If you don’t have enough space to dedicate a full room to playtime, you can pick an area of their bedroom or the family room where they can play and make lifelong memories.  This designated space helps to contain toys and gives your children a sense of ownership over a space that’s fun for them to do what they do best: play and create.



Along with cheerful giggles and play, come all of the toys! Provide ample age-appropriate storage for books, toys, games, costumes, and anything else they love. A dresser, toy box, or bookshelf are great starting points for playroom storage! Be sure to anchor furnishings that a child could climb to a wall. This will help prevent tipping and accidents.



Playing and creative activities enrich your children’s lives. Use their favorite colors or themes to decorate the space and bring it to life. Hang educational or inspirational art on the walls. Have a budding astronaut?  Put up planets and constellations.  Have a bookworm who loves mysteries? Decorate with a detective theme and “secret compartments.”

Wall art, pillows, and curtains are easy to swap out as your children get older and their interests change.


Functional for Years to Come

The older your kids get, the less inclined they will be to “play,” but that doesn’t mean they can’t use their playroom. Investing in a comfy couch where they can chat with friends or a play video games keeps the space inviting and useful as they grow.

Every child is unique; taking time to tailor an area for their special interests gives them a place to explore, play, flourish, and grow. Teaching them to clean up and keep their belongings in that play space as they grow also helps keep your home tidy. Now everyone can enjoy their own spaces and shared spaces together.

house exterior

Single-Story or Two-Story Living

If you’re considering building your dream home in Coastal Carolina, one of the first questions to ask yourself is if you want a single-story home or a two-story home. As with most decisions, there are pros and cons to both options. Depending on your budget, lifestyle, family, and lot size, you can weigh the advantages and disadvantages when selecting your floorplan.


Single-Story Living

If you have young children, physically disabled or aging family members, a single-story home is likely the safer option. With one level, you won’t have to worry about anyone struggling to reach upper levels on stairs or a loved one taking a tumble. Without stairs, you may also enjoy more usable square feet. A staircase can take up as much as 100 square feet!

Single-story homes are easier to maintain and often more energy efficient. You don’t have to worry about the heat rising to your second floor, so keeping your thermostat regulated will be easier and more affordable. It also can be easier to do laundry and clean since you won’t have to lug baskets of clothes or vacuums up and down stairs.

However, one of the biggest cons to a one-story home is the larger physical footprint on your land. It will be more costly to build the foundation, cover the entire roof, and have plumbing, heating, and cooling systems running the whole length of the house. Depending on the size of your lot, a single-story home may leave you with smaller front or back yards than you’d hoped for.

All-ground floor windows also impact your sense of privacy. You may want to invest in window coverings that increase privacy in bedrooms and baths on the ground floor. You’ll also be sleeping on the same level as your kids, who may feel they have less space or privacy as they get older.


Two-Story Living

Two-story homes have a smaller footprint, so they take up less of your acreage and can be less expensive for excavation, foundation, and roof installation! But, they’re also a bit trickier to engineer.

In a two-story home, you can be sure to get your steps in every day. Making trips up and down the stairs is good for your health. You’ll also get better views of your property from second-story windows.

Having two stories can create more separation in your home, which can be a good thing. You could have all of your bedrooms on the second floor and just your living spaces on the first floor. Alternatively, your primary bedroom could be downstairs, and your kids can have their own territory upstairs with their bedrooms, playrooms, and separate bathroom. Having bedrooms on the second floor also adds a little more privacy from neighbors.

Possible negatives of two-story homes include noise being heard from multiple levels and extra HVAC units or capacity being needed to overcome the heat that rises between floors.

If you’re planning on living in your home through retirement, it’s wise to consider a single-level home. As you or your family ages, getting up and down the stairs may be challenging, and expensive to adapt for accessibility.

No matter what you choose for your family, knowing the pros and cons will help you make the decision that suits you best. Either way, we’re here to help.


Trendy vs. Timeless

When building your dream home, you have a lot of freedom in the design and details. While you’re navigating options for light fixtures, paint colors, and flooring, you want to find the right balance between trendy and timeless designs.

Keeping true to your personal style when designing your home is important. Keep in mind that trends change often, and opting for a super-trendy look in your whole house, may lead to you wanting to redecorate or remodel after a short time as trends fade. Timeless design elements may not be as ‘trendy’, but they will stand the test of time and require fewer changes.  They can also boost resale value, which is an investment your future self will thank you for.

As a rule of thumb, if you want to include trendy design elements in your home, you should make them easily changeable. For items that are permanent, costly, or labor-intensive to change, consider more timeless options.

Choose timeless styles for your flooring, built-ins, ceiling designs, countertops, and cabinetry. You can never go wrong with hardwood floors, stone countertops, and simple ceilings. Once the more expensive and long-term elements are in place, you can decorate and furnish your home with unique pieces.

Great ways to incorporate trends are in items you can change easily! Have fun picking out trendy light fixtures, a bold paint color for an accent wall, unique art, and special hardware. You can swap out a wall sconce or chandelier in a few years if your choices feel dated, and you can always repaint.

At the end of the day, it’s your home! We want you to love it and enjoy it for years to come. Horizons East is here to help make your dream home a reality.

Home Gift Ideas

Building or buying a new home is a huge life event. After saving, financing, finding land, selecting a floorplan, and finalizing so many details, moving into a new home is an accomplishment! It’s also a new chapter. If you know anyone celebrating their first holiday season in a new home, here are a few gift ideas to inspire you.


  1. House Portrait

Personalized gifts are always meaningful. A custom watercolor portrait of their new home is a gift that will fit any decor and become a keepsake.


  1. Our Place Nonstick Pan

This nontoxic, nonstick frying pan is a worthwhile investment, and any homeowner who spends time in the kitchen will get a lot of use out of it. It comes in 11 dreamy colors to match any kitchen style and is designed to replace 8 different pieces of cookware.


  1. Indoor Herb Garden

The kitchen is the heart of any home, and fresh herbs make recipes shine! This small hydroponic garden puts fresh herbs at your fingertips, no matter the season.


  1. Throw Blanket

It’s hard to go wrong with a cozy blanket as a gift! Opt for a luxurious cashmere one from Williams Sonoma (available in 18 colors), or choose a more budget-friendly option like this cable knit throw from Target.

  1. Custom Door Mat

Welcome everyone to their new home in style with a personalized doormat!


  1. Cocktail Shaker and Glasses

For homeowners who love to entertain, gift them a classy cocktail shaker and glass set! Throw in a bottle of their favorite liquor or mixer to make it extra special.

  1. Board Game(s)

Family game night, anyone? Whether gifting to a family of six or a young couple, having a fun new game to add to the shelf is never a bad idea. You can also try it out with them during the holidays, while everyone is together! Shop board games on Amazon.


Whether you’re gifting this holiday season or working on your wish list, we hope these items sparked your gift-giving imagination!

Brittany Exterior

Meet the Brittany

The Brittany Floorplan is a comfortable 1,587 heated square foot home, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. With a spacious two-car garage, an inviting front porch, and a cozy eat-in kitchen, it’s perfect for an active couple or a growing family. 


The living room and kitchen flow into each other, making entertaining seamless. In the kitchen, there’s a dining space for your family to share a meal together or for kids to do homework. For an elevated look, the ceiling in the living room is vaulted, making the already large space feel even more grand. In the summer, dinner or a cup of coffee on the optional back porch, right outside of the kitchen. 



On one side of the living room is the master suite, which has a roomy bathroom and a walk-in closet. It’s separated from all of the other bedrooms to give a couple privacy and a little space from children or guests. On the opposite side of the house, are three more bedrooms and a second bath.  



Whether you have children for those rooms, or use them for office space, crafting or guests, they are just the space for your life to grow. Make one a gym or studio—the possibilities are limitless. As your family grows, the Brittany Floorplan allows for the whole family to gather and to have their own space.  

How Home Décor Can Reduce Holiday Stress

The holiday season is always busy.  It can cause extra stress and wintery weather can mess with your mood. Even though the holidays should be a time of joy, making plans and preparing for the many different activities with family can make it a not-so-jolly time some days.

To help reduce the stress of the season, consider decorating your home for the holidays.  That’s right – decorating for the holidays can reduce stress.

Whether it’s Fall, Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, you have fond memories of celebrating the holidays over the years. Nostalgia from holiday home decor can improve your mood. Put up decorations that remind you of your favorite holiday memories. Rekindle a bit of holiday magic from when you were younger and enjoy the warm feelings this season.

Decorating your home for the holidays can also improve joy. Acting cheerful actually will make you feel more cheerful. The old adage, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” kicks in here. Spruce up your home with festive furnishings that make you smile.  Put on a funny movie or favorite seasonal songs to lift your spirits, and you’ll be feeling more joyful during the season.

Once your home is decorated for the winter season, you’ll have created the perfect environment to make more happy holiday memories with the ones you love. You may want to host your loved ones for holiday festivities to show off your decorating skills. Spending time with those you love most in your home will create lasting memories for years to come.


If you’re decorating for the holidays this year, try some of these ideas:
  1. Use throw pillows to decorate quickly and interchangeably. Invest in a few different festive pillows and toss them around the house on beds and couches. Save space by using pillow covers to easily swap out your decor for different holidays!
  2. Hang garlands around the house. Trailing greenery (faux or fresh), twinkling lights, and more can add miles of holiday spirit quickly.
  3. Opt for festive hand towels. These are functional and can go in bathrooms and the kitchen. Just like throw pillows, you can easily change them out for different holidays.
  4. Hang a wreath on your door. If decorating inside isn’t your thing, but you still want to do something to decorate, a wreath is a quick and easy way to spread some holiday cheer. They aren’t just for Christmas, either!  Shop around to get a fun wreath for every fun occasion on the calendar this year.

Don’t Overlook a Room’s Fifth Wall

When you’re decorating your new home, you fill the space with things that bring you joy. You adorn the walls with art, paint, and family photos. You roll out functional and fashionable rugs and hang curtains to soften windows. An empty space is brought to life with furnishings you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

That sounds like everything, right?

Maybe not. Have you forgotten a key feature in that room?  The fifth wall. Your ceiling!

Ceilings can open up a new playground for interior design. They don’t have to be left white. You can decorate a ceiling much like any other wall — just think about the masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel! You may not want to go that far, but there are options that can make the fifth wall a fun, appealing addition to your decor.


Here are some ways to spice up ceilings in your home.

  1. Match the walls. While many leave the ceiling white, consider painting it the same color as your walls. This can create an extra-cozy, more intimate space.
  2. Install fun lighting. Whether a chandelier, an ornate ceiling fan, or recessed accent lights… choosing a stylish lighting fixture will add spice to a white ceiling.
  3. Wallpaper. Instead of wallpapering an accent wall, place a statement wallpaper on your ceiling. It’s more subtle when overhead, but can add a lot of visual interest to the room.
  4. Add a wooden texture. Wooden ceilings are versatile features in your home, since wood comes in so many different shades, grains, and can be painted any color. Use any kind of wood, from wooden slats to wainscoting for a little extra interest on your fifth wall!


Remember to look up and add a new dimension to your home decor!