Monthly Archives: March 2016

Installing Aluminum Siding

When using aluminum siding it can give your home more curb appeal and make your home all weather proof. Using aluminum for house siding began after World War II and since that time people have preferred it over other different types of siding. The surface of the siding is often coated with enamel and enables it to have various looks. One look is an artificial wooden surface. Weather plays a vital role in aluminum siding installation making spring and summer the best seasons for installation. Before the work begins it is good to check the weather report because rain will make it a difficult task to do for several days.

One reason that many like aluminum siding is that there are many advantages of using this particular siding, which include:

• It is water and fire proof
• It requires little maintenance as it has few problems such as minor dents and scratches. You can fix these easily by repainting or sanding surface of the siding.
• Unlike steel siding it does not oxidize
• Using aluminum siding installation the exterior walls of your home does not come in direct contact with snow or rain and protect them from algae or fungal growth.
• Aluminum siding is more effective as insulation for your home when compared to vinyl siding and because of this your air conditioner and/or fireplace work throughout the year more efficiently.

Yes, it is possible for the homeowners to do the aluminum siding installation themselves but it would take at least two people to do it correctly and safely. When you purchase the aluminum siding the manufactures will give you an instruction manual as to how to do it, including all the tools you will need. Because the backing surface has to be even you will also have to purchase some type of underlayment like foam board, which is considered the best material to use. You will first have to install these, making sure that you are keeping them straight, with any two adjacent ones overlapping at least two inches.

To finish the aluminum siding installation you will put the sheets of siding on the walls and nail them to the house using the factory-made holes. You need to use only aluminum nails to prevent damage to the siding. Do not fix the siding too tight and on each wall you need to leave a gap of three-fourths inch to fix the corner caps. Once you have installed the siding fit the corner caps on each corner of a wall by sliding the rims under the edges of the panels of siding and then fixing them with nails.

 

Hiring a Contractor – How to Do So Safely

Hiring the right home repair professionals will save heartache, as well as time and money. Follow these tips to do so!

Perform an Interview

Before signing the dotted line for contracted services, ask the important questions. Think of it as an interview to put the mind at ease when hiring a contractor. This will help locate and hire the right professional who is reliable and knowledgeable. Learn the contractor’s experience, what their expertise is and any background they have. Check references and ask for paperwork that proves it to include proper licensing and registration.

Always ask about insurance before having copper pipe repair or electrical work. Verifying they carry insurance is an important step in the hiring process. Before work begins, be sure they have obtained the necessary permits as well.

Get it in Writing

As with any business transaction, a written estimate and contract are very important. Copper pipe repair and replacement should last for a long time, but the warranty won’t be effective if installation is not done right. By having every detail to include materials to be used in writing the home owner is protecting their best interests.

Be sure to get it before work begins. It should lay out all the costs and include a description of the work to be done and a timeline for completion to avoid issues later.

Consider the contract and make sure that everything desired is included to not forget clean up at the end of the job. Trust a gut instinct if it seems fishy. There are plenty of contractors to choose from.

Beware of very low bids, copper pipe repairs and other related jobs are not cheap. This may be a clue that tells the home owner that this contractor is not experienced. Save everything that was put in writing as well as receipts just in case they’re needed later on.

Check Their Background

After the interview, do a complete background check on the contractor; this is one expense that is well worth it in the end. Copper pipe repairs, electrical and other jobs should be backed by certifications and licenses. Ask for references and call them! Don’t brush it by the wayside. See if the company is affiliated with the BBB or Better Business Bureau.

Look for Warnings

There are some signs that when a home owner is made aware of them, they can see them before hiring the wrong contractor for copper pipe repairs, electrical work, or other common construction projects. It pays to be cautious. Notice the pressure tactics to get a home owner to sign a contract. Sometimes, it’s best to hold off on approval for a day or two.

Never pay a large amount in advance, most home owners that are smart will pay in portion as the job goes along. Believe it or not many contractors are shady enough to take off with someone’s money before even starting the job! Be sure to keep a portion in case the job is completed badly. The company should accept checks or credit cards, if they take cash only for copper pipe repairs, for example, then be wary.
In addition, never hire anyone that randomly shows up on the doorstep. If they don’t have enough work to keep them busy then they aren’t a good company. By following these few steps one will gain peace of mind with their contractor hire.

Powering Through the Fire Damage Restoration Process

Your home is partially damaged in a blaze, but fortunately, you will be able to move back in. Undergoing professional fire damage restoration will save you from having to figure out how to dry carpets, drapery, and furniture, remove soot, and repair structural damage. During this tumultuous time, you and your family will be able to take control by following these tips.

Names and Contact Information

Get a folder and a notebook and be prepared to hoard everything related to the fire. Write down the name and contact information of every helpful person you encounter. Continue using the notebook to track financial transactions and conversations with insurance representatives, contractors, and all other related interactions. Be sure to write the date, time, full name, subject, and next steps for each conversation. Put the business cards, reports, forms, contracts, etc. you receive in the folder. Knowing the status of all aspects of recovery will help you feel powerful in a time of despair.

Let People Know About Your Situation

When family and friends hear the news, they will want to help! Tell them what you need and be specific. If your clothing is not salvageable, let them see the specific sizes and types you want. Many people use crowdfunding websites to arrange donations and tell their stories. Some choose registries that allow people to purchase specific items. Use pictures of the damage to show the need. The more your loved ones know, the better they can direct support.

Don’t forget to keep track of donations so you can follow up with thank yous when you are back on your feet. You will also want to arrange a storage space for donated items while you wait to move home.

Temporary Housing

If you do not have anywhere to stay while your home is undergoing fire damage restoration, reach out to local hotels to see if they offer free nights for fire survivors. Take advantage of emergency and recovery organizations. They will help you access a web of connections and available necessities.

Salvaging Keepsakes

You’ve survived physically unharmed, but what about your belongings? When fire damage restoration professionals allow you to enter your home, you will want to find and remove the most treasured items. After photo-documenting everything you can safely approach, remove the items you want to keep in large plastic bags.

When you find documents that are wet and stuck together, float them in a tub of water to separate them. Follow up by hanging to dry or laying out on a flat surface.

Clothing and furniture that may be smoke damaged should be checked by your fire damage restoration consultants to help you decide whether to keep or toss them. You can treat smoke-scented clothing by soaking and washing in a mixture of water and vinegar.

Make Your Claim

After you have photographed your home, make a list of everything you have lost. Think of your house room by room to make sure you are not missing anything. Work with your family to ensure all perspectives are included. Create a table that includes the name, value, approximate date purchased, and retailer for each item. It is preferable to do this in digital form so you can update easily and share with your insurance agent.

Five Important Forms Of Maintenance That No Homeowner Should Ever Overlook

As a homeowner, there are a lot of things that you can do to control your ownership costs. Foremost among these is to practice diligent maintenance. Good property maintenance can prevent minor issues from spiraling out of control. It also give you the chance to spot potential problems and prevent them from ever occurring at all. The following are five things that every property owner should do to protect his or her investment.

Schedule a whole house plumbing inspection at least once per year. During these visits, plumbers walk through the entire house and search for signs of leaks that are hidden or slow. These might be hiding behind your appliances or your drywall. If they aren’t identified and resolved early on, they can cause a considerable amount of property damage.

In addition to preventing water damage, these inspections can also stave off problems with mold. Having unchecked moisture behind your walls can result in the proliferation of mold, mildew and other harmful organisms. Not only will these devalue critical building materials and structures, but they can also wreak havoc on the indoor air quality, which will be problematic for those with chronic respiratory issues.

Have major household appliances serviced. Slow and hidden leaks are most commonly caused by faulty appliance connections. A quick look at the related hoses and other attachments is a great way to protect your flooring and baseboards from preventable floods. Having your water pressure checked can also extend the lifetime of these investments by limiting the amount of wear and tear that they’re subjected to.

Invest in a home warranty that pays for various forms of maintenance assistance. Making sure that you have a feasible plan for taking care of essential upkeep is critical, especially if you are already overwhelmed by the costs of owning a home. These service agreements can be structured to pay for one to two routine visits from plumbers, electricians and appliance technicians among other contractors.

Have a professional landscaper check your backyard for fast-growing tree roots or weeds that could compromise your plumbing system. These can permeate clay pipes at the property exterior and cause whole-house back-ups. You can divert piping systems away from tree roots ad invasive weeds or you can switch dated, clay pipes out with more advanced materials.

Schedule a roofing inspection and annually and have your gutters and downspouts thoroughly cleaned at least twice per year. These efforts will keep your roofing substrate from being constantly subjected to standing pools of water during the wettest months of the year. Anything that you can do to keep water moving efficiently off of this surface will invariably improve its lifespan.

If you have any water features on your property, double check any safety measures that you’re using to ensure continued efficiency. If you don’t have pool fencing installed, make sure to get this critical barricade up to limit liability and check small children. Should one of these structures already exist, have it inspected by a licensed professional to identify any shortcomings or needed repairs.