Dos and don’ts of donating items to charity

Donating gently used household items, toys, furniture, and clothing to charity has many benefits. Such donations can help the less fortunate, while donors can take advantage of tax benefits while decluttering their homes.

There is also an environmental advantage to donating items rather than putting them in the trash. Goodwill Industries International, Inc. says that, over the last few years, generous people have helped to keep billions of pounds of clothing and household items out of landfills.

Organizations that collect donations put them to use in many different ways. A portion of donated items may be sold in charity shops and other retail centers. This provides an avenue for less fortunate individuals to purchase items that are steeply discounted from regular retail prices. Some clothing donations are sold to recycling manufacturers who turn them into rags or industrial cleaning materials. Donated clothing and other items may even end up in the hands of private enterprises, who then sell it in developing nations at costs lower than regularly imported clothing, providing an affordable way for people living in poverty overseas to purchase items for themselves and their families. The organizations then put the money made from such sales toward their operational expenses and to develop programs to continue to help the less fortunate. Charities like Goodwill and The Salvation Army indicate on their websites that proceeds from charity and thrift shops go directly to support education, work and drug rehab programs.

Individuals who choose to donate goods to charity can follow a few tips to ensure their donations go as smoothly as possible.

  • DO walk around the house and gather items that are no longer being used. Look in basements, closets, garages, sheds, attics, and anywhere you are inclined to stash items to get them out of the way. Pay special attention to materials that you haven’t used in months or years.
  • DON’T donate just anything. Ensure that items are in working condition and are in good repair. Don’t give away things with rips or stains. Make sure electronics you plan to donate are operational.
  • DO call first to find out any rules or restrictions regarding donations. Some groups won’t accept items that have been recalled or do not meet current safety standards (think some baby gear). Specialty items like computers, vehicles or mattresses may have specific requirements for donations.
  • DON’T overlook the idea of selling items privately at a garage or yard sale and then donating the funds to the charity. This way the organizations save time sorting and refurbishing donations, and they still benefit from the financial donations.
  • DO see if the charity will pick up large items. Many organizations have their own fleet of vans and trucks and will have specific pickup windows during certain months. This helps make the donation process more efficient, and can reduce the hassle on donors.
  • DON’T forget to receive a market value of the used items donated to the charity and a receipt. This will help you when it comes time to claim charitable donations during tax season.

Reasons To Build A Custom Home

There’s something special about walking over the threshold of a home you designed yourself.  Just like Cinderella’s slipper, a custom-built home fits your lifestyle and your needs perfectly.

While there are numerous reasons to purchase a pre-owned home, today’s Design-Build or built-to-suit homes offer more benefits than ever before.  So, these are the top reasons to build your own custom home:



A home built before 1990 is unlikely to reflect the current needs and desires of most home buyers.  Modern trends such as open floor plans, resort-style bathrooms, professional-grade kitchens, and home theatre rooms just don’t exist in most older houses.  So the biggest benefit of building a custom home is your ability to design it to be exactly what you want.

The house on the Hill or lovingly referred to as the “Sampson house” built by Teakwood Inc.



Building codes require higher energy efficiency standards than ever before, which translates to lower utility bills and less impact on the environment.  New homes now feature tighter-sealed building envelopes, energy efficient windows, thicker insulation, and better air filtration which can alleviate symptoms of those who have asthma or allergies.  Design-Build also allows homeowners to take a whole-house approach rather than adding in elements piecemeal, saving significantly more money in the long run.


We’ve all heard horror stories of older homes that passed inspection but then a year or two later, the roof leaked or the HVAC needed to be replaced.  Design-Build helps eliminate theses surprises. Not only are improved construction methods and cutting-edge engineering implemented, but you also get to choose the best building materials and appliances you can afford.  And many of these elements come with warranties and other guarantees, such as 30-year roof warranties.

Teakwood-Sampson project



More stringent building codes and advancements in technology mean that new homes tend to be safer. Hard-wired smoke detectors, garage doors with infrared beams, air conditioners with environmentally-friendly coolants, and materials with fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) keep your family healthier and safer.  Safety is especially important when building near the coastline.  Designing and building a new custom home allows you to take advantage of the latest innovations in high-wind zone home design and construction.

Teakwood-Sampson project

Built to your standards not cookie Cutter


We build how you want it not a prefabbed home, we work with you every step of the way to make your dream your reality home. Whereas with your big box builders you end up with what everyone else has, choosing from a few floor plans with a few options.  Here at Teakwood we work with you and your lifestyle to design and build the home that work complement your living habits.  ‘Always drop your keys and coats as you come in the door… Let’s plan a cabinet to catch and organize them.’




Pre-owned homes can be modified to meet your standards, but each alteration will cost you.  While changing paint colors and cabinet hardware might not be a big deal, removing walls or laying down new hardwood floors definitely are.  For example, the average kitchen renovation costs between $40,000 and $60,000!  So it’s not unusual for a custom home to actually be more economical than an older home that requires extensive renovations and repairs.

Custom homes offer the latest designs and the safest construction methods, all tailored to your family’s lifestyle.  Why endure the stress and cost of renovations when you can enjoy a home that fits you like a fairytale glass slipper?

We’d love to talk with you about making that fairytale a reality.


Walls Walls Oh My !

Walls can fall into two categories:

  • Load Bearing: A load bearing wall bears a load from up above, usually another floor or roof load.
  • Non-Load Bearing:A non-load bearing wall is built independent of the main load bearing structure of the home. It can be either an interior or an exterior wall, depending on the framing design utilized.

The single most common material used in house framing in the United States is wood; however, steel and concrete are being used regionally. In Southern areas there will be concrete walls partly because of the hurricanes and termites. But most homes still use wood for two main reasons:

  • Wood’s availability.
  • Wood’s Workability.

Wooden Frame Construction

The most common wall built is the wooden frame construction.

  • The  bottom plateis the first portion of framing that sits right on top of the floor system, which is the part that needs to be drilled for anchor bolts that attach the house to the concrete foundation.
  • The studs are attached to the bottom They are specifically spaced and determined by your local building codes. Studs are the vertical walls — the “normal” walls of the house. Teakwood’s standard is 16” on center spacing of the studs. We use 2×4 as our standard as well, but often upgrade to 2×6
    Note: If you have a wall and a long-planned surface, the wall could tend to move outward and to flex. The structural integrity is preserved by using two top plates that are attached together, thereby creating a rim.  The top plates of intersecting walls are also tied in to provide greater rigidity.
  • Sheathing is applied to the exterior of the wall.  The sheathing provides rigidity to the wall segment was well as a sub surface for the exterior finish of the home.
  • The spaces where doors and windows sit are called rough openings. The rough openings have  additional framing at the top to support the load. These supports are called headers, jacks and cripples. Headers are horizontal supports and jacks or cripples run vertically.
    A header spans the top of a window, door, archway or walkway, and it preserves the structural integrity and distributes the weight across and to the sides of a framed rough opening. The header is usually two pieces of 2x lumber (with a plywood sandwiched between) for 2×4 walls the size of the header is determined by the load it is supporting from above.
    And the jack or cripple studs are the studs that transfer the load to the foundation.Now that pieces of a wall have been explained, it’s time to put them all together. Most often walls are assembled on the ground, and then tilted up into place as one single unit. Finally they are anchored to the floor system.
  • Once this process is completed throughout all the walls, the carpenters go through and straighten the walls and make sure they’re square and true.

Some of our clients have written scriptures on the wall

Past clients have created time capsules to leave in the wall cavity.

    • We can also future proof the build with features such As:
      1. Aging owner/Resident
      2. Extra fortification for cabinets
      3. Planning a door for a future addition, but install a window now.