contact us

Shoot us an email using the boxes to the right.

We will get in touch with you about your project as soon as possible.

Thanks for reaching out!

4637 Guild Trail
Chattanooga, TN, 37409
United States


General Contractor specializing in historic homes, renovation, custom builds, sustain, design, build, Osteen Construction, infill, additions, bathrooms, kitchens 

Super efficient custom cabin in Lookout Valley.jpg




Creating an Affordable Home: Part 1

Kevin Osteen

We recently purchased a home on Guild Trail in St. Elmo that needed some love. It sits in a beautiful location, with a view that’s hard to beat. You can see most of St. Elmo from the front porch, with trees and rooftops for miles. The house sits at the edge of the Lula Lake Land Trust section of Lookout Mountain’s woods, so glimpses of deer, rabbits, foxes, and woodchucks are common. It has off-street parking with a separate laundry and will soon have an open floor plan. The driveway is steep, but once you’ve pulled up, the side yard is only two steps into the single-level house.

This project is very different from our last one. With our last house, 4711 Alabama Avenue, we wanted to create a place for a growing family, matching the beauty and detail of the neighboring homes. Our goal with this home renovation is to keep it affordable, under $165,000, and make it a home that will have instant equity when purchased. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Homebuilders, affordability is a huge issue for builders and buyers alike, pricing low to middle income Americans out of the housing market altogether. NAHB Chairman Randy Noel explains, “…builders across the nation have been warning…that housing affordability is an increasingly serious problem in houses across America.” Our hope is that in offering homes at a lower price point, we can be part of the solution. We think this is a perfect starter home, or a great place for someone looking to downsize. It could be the home that makes it possible for someone to own instead of rent.

This house needed a good bit of work when we bought it and we still have a way to go before it’s done. Initially a tight 3 bedroom, 1 bath, with some former remodel work that had to be removed and redone to make it right, we’ve changed the floor plan to make it into a more functional 2 bedroom, 2 bath, with a dining area. Our goal is to offer a functional home at an affordable price point for our neighborhood, where prices seem to be steadily climbing.

In trying to get this house to market by the end of February for $165k, we are being very careful in picking our finish products and balancing those choices with what we have to do to make the house sound and reliable. Labor and materials costs are continually increasing, so it will be challenging to stick to our budget and get this home to market at that price point and on our timeline.

To date, we have taken care of necessary demolition work, added new footings and piers in the process of leveling the floors, framed in the second bathroom, and started on the new plumbing and wiring. We’re on track so far and feel like the work in the crawlspace (new footings and piers) was potentially the most expensive and time-consuming part of the project. With that behind us, we think there’s a good shot at bringing this in at our pricing goal.

We’re going to share the story of this journey as we get the house up and ready, so stay tuned for pictures and updates of our progress.

Freedom to Age in Place through Voice-Activated Tech

Kevin Osteen

We just recently posted a piece on the general value of tech in aging-in-place ready home. But voice-activated tech may be some of the most valuable out there.

Explains Laurie Orlov, principal analyst at  Aging In Place Technology Watch, “The idea is that you can monitor and manage a chronic disease at home," according to an article from MobiHealth News.  With voice-activated technology that reminds us when and how to take our medication, when doctor's appointments are coming up and where they'll be, and can help us turn lights and appliances galore off and on, not to mention dial important phone numbers if we need help, more and more of the 65+ age group are able to stay at home, rather than face re-hospitalization or move into a permanent nursing home facility. 

voice controlled tech.jpg

Voice-activated tech can be adjusted to comprehend just about any language or level of speech, a huge plus to that side of IoT. According to AARP's Andy Miller, Senior Vice President of Innovation and Product Development, “We were going to launch [an app-based offering], but then we said ‘Why can’t we make this observational?’ I want to take that to voice,” Miller told MobiHealthNews. “Conversations can be making Mom feel good about interaction, and at the same time you can be extracting little nuggets of information. ‘Hey Mom, how did you sleep last night?’ ‘Hey Mom, what did you have for dinner?’ All these little pieces of information that really matter.”

So voice-activated tech offers our parents peace of mind, and us. It gives the 65+ generation more independence, the freedom to choose to age at home, and simultaneously allows their children, their caregivers, the ability to ensure they're safe, healthy, and well cared for. Having the security of that knowledge makes it possible for those of us on the caregiving side to live more freely as well.

Have you had experience with voice activated technology in your home or made it part of an aging in place plan?

Aging in Place Tech Makes Aging at Home Attainable

Kevin Osteen

Making the decision to Age at Home, or Age in Place, means investing time and money into your home. It's an investment worth making to ensure your lifestyle and your preferences continue as you get older. But according to a Washington Post piece, technology has graciously caught up with some specific aging in place needs, making it just a little bit easier and a little bit less expensive to age at home.

Sensors are available that detect movement in the house, letting you or a loved one know that you're okay. Prescription medications can be monitored and properly dispensed with a smart pill counter. Healthcare in general is easier with doctors on call through face time and the like via computer. Security is maintained with smart home technology, keeping us safe from would-be intruders. Electricity, home comforts like air conditioning and heat, appliances, and water can all be managed with smart home tech as well, allowing for hands-free living. 

We all remember the "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up" commercial, but falls are an extremely common, potentially life-threatening (and certainly lifestyle changing) issue in senior homes, and the sooner medical care can find you and assist, the better. Wearable tech can alert emergency services immediately and ensure you're well on your way to receiving help.

Bottom line: aging at home means more than just building and construction changes -- it means making sure your space is set up to keep you safe and comfortable, and technology can be a big part of that.