Why You Should Have More Windows at Home and Work

The right lighting can play a very important role in a home or work environment. When it comes time to build your home or office, you should consider more natural lighting. The best way to do that is to have an open space with plenty of windows that let sunlight brighten up your home. Here are some of the many benefits that come out of having a building with more natural light.

Mood

Sunlight is a big contributing factor to mood, as many studies have shown. Natural lighting is said to increase production of seratonin, which is the chemical that affects feelings of well-being and happiness. The sunlight peeks through larger windows or skylights and triggers parts of the retina that tell the brain to release serotonin, improving your overall mood!

Energy Savings

Referred to as daylighting, placing windows and sky lights to bring sunlight into a building naturally can increase the energy efficiency of your home or office. One study of commercial facilities found that, on average, annual lighting savings were 32% and cooling savings were 25%. That’s a huge savings—not to mention that windows will look great and add life to your property.

Productivity

Artificial lighting has been shown to decrease productivity and cause negative attitudes at work. Dim artificial lights cause eye strain because you’re working harder just to see. It can also cause drowsiness and decrease worker efficiency. Harsh fluorescent lighting can be too bright and is even a factor for migraines. Having more natural light in your work space is known to make employees more productive and keep them happier, which yields a better overall quality of work.

 

If you’re ready to make the switch to natural lighting, there’s an affordable solution for you! When looking for skylights and windows in Northeast Florida, go to the experts at The Hardy Group. They have the knowledge to place your windows in the best locations possible for maximum lighting and efficiency, and the expertise to install them within budget and on schedule.

5 Things We Learned From Hurricane Matthew

When we were helping the St. Augustine community rebuild after Hurricane Matthew, we saw the damage that was done to the whole city. Homes washed away, cars destroyed, hundreds of thousands in damage done to buildings. We realized it’s important for our community to be more prepared for the next hurricane. Here are some tips to be protected against serious harm coming to you, your family and your property.

 

Be Prepared BEFORE Hurricane Season

One of the most common issues people have is waiting too long to gather supplies, which can put them in real trouble when the storm hits. Often when a hurricane is closing in, stores will run out of supplies and many people are out of luck when trying to buy generators, flashlights, water—even gasoline. If you’re in an evacuation area and the gas runs out in the nearby stations, you could be at serious risk. It’s important to enter hurricane season prepared for the worst, because hurricanes can be unpredictable and you don’t want to be left scrambling for supplies when it’s too late.

 

Protect Your Home

Take preventative measures to protect your home. If your roof has damaged shingles, have them fixed. If there are termites in your walls, take care of it. You can’t afford to have a weakened foundation when the wind and rain starts pounding your home. When you know the storm is headed your way, board up windows properly, retrofit your garage door with horizontal wooden braces and stronger hinges/supports if necessary, fortify the roof, etc.

 

INSURANCE

Property owners and renters in Florida should insure their homes against flooding, something many people don’t know is not part of a typical insurance policy. Even properties that don’t lie next to waterways and beaches can be at risk for floods during a serious storm. Auto insurance is important too, as your vehicles are susceptible to damage from the hurricane as well. Move your car to a safe location if possible and call your insurance company to make sure you’re covered.

 

Don’t Underestimate the Storm

Most of the casualties and serious injuries from hurricanes are to people in evacuation zones who stayed behind. Whether they underestimated the severity of the storm or they had no other option, being in the path of a serious hurricane is nothing to take lightly. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so have an evacuation plan in place ahead of time. There will be many others heading to safety, so know what you need to have together and carry out your plan early on to beat the bulk of the traffic.

 

Work With Someone You Can Trust

Many contractors out there will stack up unnecessary repairs and drive up costs before hurricane season. Don’t get overcharged by a contractor who isn’t honest with you. Whether you are concerned about your home or business, it’s important to work with a professional you can trust. The right contractor can identify and address any issues, as well as make helpful suggestions to make your property more protected. They will always look out for your best interests, including your safety, budget and schedule.

 

The Hardy Group has been serving Northeast Florida for more than 30 years, making us very familiar with hurricane preparation and recovery. Whether you need an inspection, emergency repair, construction services, or just some useful information regarding hurricane safety, you can trust us to be honest and fair with you. To ensure your home is protected, contact us today.

commercial project

Let The Experts Handle Your Next Commercial Project

If you own your own business, it’s important to know that the condition of your office building can have a direct effect on employee morale, customer perception and personal work ethic. Studies show that a nice office can lead to increased happiness for your employees during work. It will also give you a sense of pride knowing that you have a clean and aesthetically pleasing workspace. If you need facilities maintenance, remodeling, or new building construction, call a professional contractor in St. Augustine, FL today. The Hardy Group proudly provides all these services and more.

 

Maintenance

Leaky pipes, mold, rotting wood, etc. are all common problems within an office space. At The Hardy Group, our skilled team of professionals can come in and take care of many different issues that arise. The last thing you want is for clients to come in and see a messy building that isn’t properly maintained. Not only does a run-down office look bad on the surface, but it’s important to repair any damage within your building because the issues could lead to big costs down the road. For example, if rotting wood is left untreated it could eventually collapse the foundation, costing you thousands.

 

Remodel

Does your office need a visual overhaul? Let our team help you. A modern and sleek office can be the difference-maker when you’re trying to land that client or make that sale. When customers/clients come in to your office and see that you put effort into making your office unique and appealing, they are more likely to have a positive view of your business. They are even more apt to trust you because if you treat your business with that much care you’re likely to treat them with similar care. From putting in new light fixtures to indoor/outdoor repainting, even room expansion, we do it all. Don’t remodel your office by yourself. Rely on the professionals to get it done for you in a quick, efficient way.

 

Commercial Construction

It may be getting time for a new office building. Whether you need to build an office from scratch or expand to a new space, contact The Hardy Group. Commercial construction can be a bear. There are often more regulations, higher stakes and more specific needs for a commercial project than for residential. We can help you through the process, from the initial quote all the way until the building is fully finished. Our team builds customized workspaces for people in a timely, cost-effective and efficient manner. We handle all types of commercial construction projects in St. Augustine including concrete block installation, tilt-up concrete structures, steel buildings, frame construction, and more. You can rest easy knowing that professionals with years of experience are handling your project.

 

If you need facilities maintenance, remodeling or commercial construction, contact us by calling (904) 471-5800 or visiting our online form. We would be glad to give you a FREE quote for any of your commercial or residential construction needs.

Hurricane Recovery Guide: First Steps to Take

If you live near the east coast, chances are you or someone you know was seriously affected by Hurricane Matthew. Matthew destroyed thousands of homes in its wake, caused record-breaking storm surges, and produced enough rain to fill a football stadium. It can be overwhelming for homeowners after that type of disaster, but it is important not to panic. Staying calm and having a plan in place will help you greatly reduce stress. There are some initial steps that you can take yourself, and others that will require professional contractors. It is vital to find a contractor that will get the job done right, but will also be fair and sympathize with you during this hard time. However, before you take that step, there are other important things to check off the list. What are the first steps to take after a hurricane like Matthew hits? Read on below…

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buldingvsleasing

The Benefit of Building Your Own Office Instead of Leasing

If you are a business owner and looking to move to a new office, one major question you might have is whether to buy a space and build an office, or lease an existing space. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both, but now is the time to buy instead of lease. The Hardy Group has years of experience building commercial properties, and we know that often the benefits of owning your own space outweigh the drawbacks in the long run.

Be Your Own Landlord
Dealing with a landlord can be a pain. If your office encounters a problem (plumbing, electrical, etc.) you will have to go through your landlord in order to fix it. This is sometimes stressful because not all landlords will handle situations responsibly. If you own your own space, you can solve problems on your own time, and if something needs to be fixed, you can ensure that it gets done when you need it done.

Customize Your Workspace
If you decide to build your own office, you can have control over how the space looks and functions. You have to ability to create a truly unique workspace that looks just the way you want it to. Additionally, you’ll have peace-of-mind knowing that you can stay in your location for however long you want.

Financial Benefits
When you build your own space, you will build equity over time. Eventually, you will be able to use this equity as collateral to expand your business, fix property issues, or even fund your retirement. You will also have tax benefits, and take in annual depreciation deductions on your property. It is important to choose a contractor that will give you affordable prices as well. The Hardy Group will provide a thorough assessment and always give a fair estimate based on your needs.

Take Advantage of the Market
Right now, the cost to acquire real estate is at a historical low. It is a buyer’s market today, and it won’t be that way for long. Take advantage of the market before it has a chance to rebound. Plus, your monthly costs will remain steady if you own the property, so you won’t have to worry about random increases during your loan period.

If you are thinking about making the move to a new office, consider building one instead of leasing. While it is a major endeavor, you can have total control over your place of business and have the ability to really make it your own. Of course, it is unwise to consider building if you don’t have a reliable contractor you trust. The Hardy Group has been providing expert design and construction services in Northeast Florida for over 30 years. They have the knowledge and expertise to build your dream workplace. Contact the Hardy Group at (904) 471-5800 or contact us to get in touch today.

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Challenges of Building a New Office

Building a new office is an exciting time for a business owner! The future is right in front of you, your space can improve the way your business operates, and the hope is that you can turn your investment into profit. But things rarely go as smoothly as planned, and sometimes there are unexpected obstacles that can make life difficult for you. It is important to choose the right contractor who can work with you through it and overcome whatever obstacles get in the way. Some of these obstacles include: Continue reading “Challenges of Building a New Office”

4 things blog

4 Things to Consider Before Building in Florida

Building any new property can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a stressful one if you are not prepared for the process. Construction in Florida presents some unique challenges and there are special considerations to to think about when building. We have been building in Florida for over 30 years and understand what it takes to design and construct a new property. Below are 4 things to consider when thinking about building in Florida.

Flooding

Florida is a low­elevation state that is hit with frequent storms, and no place within the state is more than 60 miles from the ocean. All these factors make flooding a risk when building in Florida. Before purchasing the property, confirm what flood zone the space is in (9ft, 10ft, etc.). In order to receive a building permit and flood insurance, the first floor of the property must be AT LEAST at sea level.

Geotechnical Tests

Before building, a licensed geotechnical firm will come out to determine your soil bearing capacity. The borings are relatively shallow (about 20 ft) and contain information that determines whether or not you can build on a conventional shallow foundation. This process is very important because if the soil doesn’t make the grade the builder must put down pilings as a foundation, which can cost $50,000 to $100,000 more!

Zoning

Zoning is established by the city or county your property is located in. Different zones have different rules for construction which need to be considered. One example of these differences is the length of a property’s setbacks ‒or the distance between it and the street and adjacent properties. Common lengths are 25 ft for a front setback, 10 ft for the sides and 20 ft for the rear setback, but these distances are subject to change based on location.

Homeowners Association

HOA guidelines often have additional requirements and restrictions than that of your particular zone. F or example, which way your garage door might be facing, the colors of home, the style and type of roof, siding, driveway, etc. Homeowners Associations can sometimes make construction a headache for the buyer, so make sure to review a copy of these guidelines carefully before closing on your property.
It is important to consider all of these aspects before building in Florida, as it can be a time­consuming and costly investment. Get the best out of your time and money and work with a builder that is willing to give you quality results at a fair price.

If you are considering building in Northeast Florida, contact us online or call (904) 471­-5800.

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Scary Situation in Seaside of Vilano

Seaside_VilanoWe recently experienced a scary situation at the Seaside of Vilano. The condominium association notified us that a resident’s balcony had fallen. Fortunately, the owners were not hurt, even though they were out on the balcony when it started to fall. The Hardy Group Inc. responded by putting up temporary shoring to support the balcony and conducted an investigation to find out why it fell. We concluded that the reason for the incident is that the nails holding up the supports for the porch joists had become too rusted and could no longer carry the weight of the porch and residents. Continue reading “Scary Situation in Seaside of Vilano”

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Top 5 Things to Look For in an Architect

            When looking for an architect, there are many things to consider in order to find the right one for the job. The field of architecture is an increasingly competitive one. To keep up with today’s competitive world, architects need to find ways to stand out above the crowd and keep people coming back to them for their business. As a client, you want to hire a personable architect who is going to work closely with you to deliver a finished product that meets all your expectations. You want them to build a relationship with you that lasts, and perhaps enlist them for future projects. It is always good to work with someone you trust, and business relationships should be mutually beneficial for both parties. During your search for an architect, it’s important to consider that not all architects are created equal. Here are 5 attributes that you should look for to determine a quality architect.

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St. Augustine Boys & Girls Club

Project Spotlight – St. Augustine Boys & Girls Club

The Hardy Group, Inc. worked with the St Augustine Boys & Girls Club & The Players Championship to design and build a new facility to serve the kids of St Augustine about 5 years ago. The clubs design is very functional and serves as a learning center for the kids 6 to 18 from 2:30 pm to 7pm, Monday through Friday. The design consists of a teen room,  art room, computer room, and a learning center. It also has an indoor gymnasium with 6 basketball courts and two volley ball courts. Outdoor activities include soccer, baseball and two basketball courts.  

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