Roll Up Garage Door’s

What is one of the first things you notice about a home? The outside exterior, paint color, the garage door? Garage doors are a huge feature when it comes to the exterior appearance of our homes. At the same time the type of garage door we have offers a convenient way to enter and exit our homes as well as store personal belongings, our automobiles etc. Most of us probably have the conventional type of garage door that is maintained by a garage door opening system. However, what about the commercial style roll up door? Believe it or not roll up garage doors are an awesome, easy on the eye and convenient alternative when it comes to installing a new garage door. They often outrank a typical slide up door in durability, maintenance and ease of use.
Recently my neighbor decided to replace is slide up garage door when the opener exhausted and he was in need of a new one. In doing so he also told me he wanted to upgrade the look of his home while he was at it. He decided to install a commercial style roll up door! He told me he had researched the difference in door styles and had spoke with garage door specialists at Parker Garage Doors & More. Parker Garage Doors had a remarkable selection and experts to install the new door. Bill, my neighbor, just had his new garage door installed last week and it looks incredible. The value on his home has gone up as well after having it appraised! My wife now after seeing the neighbors roll up door has enlisted me to start some home improvements. She also wants to look into getting a roll up door as well. She likes the fact it’s easier to maintain thus requiring less money for repairs.
After looking into these roll up style doors I have found that there are more options to chose from then I was expecting! For example there are two main types of roll up doors. The first is a Section Roll Up which basically consists of at least 4 panels. The panels roll and and fold into each other. The second type is a Rolling Steel Door. This is a single panelled door that rolls up all together. It is made from aluminum,fiberglass,or steel. Section panel doors can be made from the same materials also including wood! Fiberglass doors are said to be the most fragile, while wood needs to be refinished every year to maintain durability. Steel is the best material because of it’s weather durability and easy cleaning .
Then there are the colors, and there are many colors to choose from! All in all I have to say that commercial style roll up garage doors are a competitive choice to traditional style garage doors. I think that in the near future we will start to see more and more homes with the roll up doors!

How To Weatherize Your Windows

Winter is quickly approaching and many of us are already kicking on our heaters, or at least contemplating doing it. But the horrendous heating bills from last year are already haunting us and making us nervous as to what to expect this year. Although our heating bills are subject to the weather and what mother nature is going to throw at us, there are some things that are in our control. Insulating your home is one of those things. Insulation does a great job of keeping cool air out and keeping warm air in. If your house is old, chances are you could benefit from adding insulation to your home or at least closing off cracks and crevices. If your home does not currently have insulation in the walls then you would benefit greatly from insulating your walls. However if you do not need insulation in your walls or simply can’t afford to do something like that – try this.

Weatherize Your Windows!

Weatherizing your windows is the process of putting a film over the window frame to make sure hot air does not leave and cold air does not come in. Older homes often let a lot of cold air into the house simple because of outdated designs that are not as tightly sealed as modern energy saver windows. By covering the entire window frame with a film you are trapping any cold air that might come in through the window between the film and the window, keeping it from coming into the house.

These films are not entirely full proof and will stop all cold air from coming into your from your windows, but it will greatly mitigate how much cold air comes in. In the video provided below you will even see that some people will put bubble wrap in between the window and the film as another barrier of insulation. Although that’s a nifty trick, it renders your window useless for the entire winter. But if it’s a window that is never used, then you might want to opt to add that extra barrier of protection.

All products shown in the video can be found at your local hardware store (Home Depot/ Lowes) and the installation instruction are detailed step by step in the video.

Happy Weatherizing!

Make Sure Your Property Has Strong Bones

There is a lot of focus currently on the aesthetics of homes; kitchens, cabinets, bathrooms, and living rooms, but who is focusing on the foundation. The heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing? The stuff you know… that makes your house function, and allows you to stay warm, flush the toilet and turn on the lights. With all the focus on the look of a home, many forget about the functionality. There is this “HGTV mindset” that has people more concerned about whether the counter tops are granite than if the plumbing or electrical is in sound working order. These functional considerations are not as big of a concern for new builds because of modern building standards. However with homes that are 30+ years old, these are much more concerning.

Unfortunately contractors can cut corners during renovations and cause a lot of hazards and future headaches for homeowners. 

We have seen countless spotty jobs throughout our careers as contractors and have fixed more mistakes then we care to talk about. However it’s important that talk about a few of these to save homeowners a lot of potential headache. It’s important to consult with a plumber and an electrician even after you have already consulted with an inspector before you buy a home. Regardless if it’s a third party inspector with a great track record, there is still things that inspectors miss. A friend from Cure All Plumbing out of Tempe Arizona has seen quite a few interesting scenarios in his day. Especially servicing Tempe AZ where many of the homes they are called to have been built 50+ years ago. When serving these homes it’s typically that they will discover patchy plumbing jobs that consist of previous plumbers doing the bare minimum to stop a plumbing issue. Typically this results in the homeowner having to call a plumber only a few months, or a year later. Besides simple negligence on behalf of previous plumbers, the guys at Cure All often encounter plumbing issues, that are simply the result of age. Often times they will experience plumbing back ups or draining issues that are a result of large tree roots that have grown so big that they have grown into the pipes underground or seriously damaged them. This type of thing is common and requires an extensive amount of repair to fix. Sometimes there is also a back up in the public mainline that can cause plumbing issues for properties that feed to that mainline. Sometimes this requires more extensive city maintenance, but many times the issue can be resolved by replacing old pipes that feed directly to these mainlines. All in all plumbing is a vital component to a properly functioning home. A well plumbed home will save you a ton of headache in the future, and can save you a lot of money. Have a plumber that you trust evaluate your your property before purchasing.

Plumbing is not the only thing that contractors will slack on, or cut corners. Electricians are notorious for doing patchy work. The only difference between an electricians patchy work and a plumbers is that an electricians work can be dangerous. Although the placement of electrical outlets in the home, and the limited voltage that is wired to your home can be irritating. Since there can be too few outlets, or oddly placed outlets. As well as not enough power flowing through your home to accommodate modern day appliances, or an increase in power usage because of an addition to your home, such as a garage or shed, or because of a new family member. This can be easily fixed though, even if it might cost you financially. A greater concern for questionable electrician practices is when electricians or other contractors advise on hiding outlets. For example putting dry wall or plaster in front of outlets. This is not only a bad practice, but an extremely dangerous one. Live wires that are masked behind drywall or plaster are a big fire hazard. Unfortunately this practice of building on top of live wires is often unbeknownst to the property owners that occupy the property. Home owners tend to trust contractors that they will complete a job to the best of their abilities following strict guidelines, but that is not always the case. If your home, or potential home has live wires in the ceiling or in the walls that are hidden it is important that is repaired and brought up to code. Although it is an unwanted expense that adds no aesthetic value to your home, it is a necessary expense that needs to be addressed.

Every home owner wishes that there home required no future maintenance after it was built, but that’s obviously not the case. If you are purchasing a home that was built 30+ years ago it’s important that you evaluate the integrity of these core elements, like the plumbing and electricity before purchasing. Even though the granite counter tops sold you, it’s important to make sure the house functions as good as it looks.

Home Improvement – Oh so many ways to improve!

The term home improvement is very broad to say the least. There as so many ways to improve your residential property.  Home improvement has to do with the process of altering, renovating, modernizing, converting replacing or adding to an existing building or structure. It can from 100% complete renovation to simply improving certain areas, such as a kitchen, bathroom, yard, or other external features of a home.

Often times what you plan to do with your property has a lot to do with time, budget, resources and the end goal or objective.

Once you identified a few key factors, exploring your options and what is available is highly recommended. Not doing so can end up costing you in the cost and quality of the improvements.

Here are a few questions to consider thinking about.

What would you like to achieve? Figuring out what are are trying to do, whether it’s a complete kitchen remodel or window replacements is crucial step the process. Your goals, both short term and long term, will be different depending on the overall objective of the project.. Planning to stay in your home for a long period of time versus planning to sell it will result in different ways to look at things.

What type of budget are you on? Remodeling, renovating or any variation of home improvements will either cost time or resources. Some people have more time than money and some people have more money than time. Is this a do it yourself project or a project that will require a professional contractor or help?

What type of permitting will you need? Many types of improvements will require permits to do the work. These permits keep things legal. Different state and even different cities within those states will have different permit laws. Check out your local area to make sure you know what’s going in the legal realm, otherwise it could end up costing you lots off money and a big headache.

Are you performing the improvements in increments? Some people like to start with small projects and work up to larger or other projects. Just make sure that any details that may impact a future project are thought of from the beginning….again a time and money saver.

These are just a few questions to consider as you embark on the home improvement road. Putting energy into your property is not only fun and rewarding but can offer a great financial return as well. If you lean towards the professional contractor route, your contractor should work with you to help identify some of these questions. They will help introduce you to the right ways to go about things, the right materials, products and other information.  If you go the road as a do it yourselfer, you will learn a lot in the process. It will be a rewarding and exciting experience! With the power of the internet, information and websites, including this one, are readily available to research.

Keep up with us to see what other news and info we have to share!

 

Five Questions to ask your potential remodeling contractor

Homeowners hire contractors for different home improvement projects. Regardless of the type of home improvement project you hire a contractor for, there are certain expectations that you need to be met. You need a construction company that is both reliable and trustworthy. The professionals you hire should understand their credentials and the scope of work they will be performing. To avoid making a mistake when hiring a remodeling contractor, here are some important questions to ask them.

Do you have a contracting license?

Contractors get licensed after obtaining certain requirements that relate to certifications, experience, and training. This means that when you get a licensed contractor, you are certain of their qualification for the job. Ask for a copy of the license or license number and verify the validity of the license.

Can I see your insurance certificate?

Asking if the contractor is insured and seeing how the contractor is insured are two different things. Reliable contractors should have both the liability insurance and workman compensation for the job they do. Checking out the certificate yourself will give you the certainty that the contractor is insured in the field you want to hire them.

How will you communicate with me?

This is a very important question you shouldn’t ignore. The communication between the contractor and the client is essential for the success of the remodeling project. Will need to get in touch to raise concerns about the projected as the contractor also gives you updates on the progress of the project. Inquire if the contractor has a specific form of communication and the timeframe for your communication.  

How much will this project cost?

Your contractor should give you the estimate for the project in writing. The estimate should be detailed enough to show the breakdown of the expenses involved. Don’t choose a contractor basing on the quoted estimate. The contractor with the lowest estimate may be using the cheap materials and doing a shoddy work as well. Compare estimates from three to five contractors before you can choose one which is not too high or too low.

Do you offer warranty for your services and materials?

Most professional contractors offer a warranty on their work. It is important to ask for clarity ahead of time to know what the warranty cover and the duration which it will be in effect. It is also preferable to have materials with the manufacturer’s warranty being used.