Communicating With Your General Contractor

3 Tips to Prevent Trips, Slips and Falls on Your Driveway

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips to Prevent Trips, Slips and Falls on Your Driveway

You probably do not want you, your kids or your guests to have an accident and to trip or slip and fall in your driveway, but you could be unsure of how to prevent these accidents. However, there are actually a few steps that you can take to help prevent accidents from occurring. Give these tips a try to make your driveway a little bit safer. 1. Have Imperfections Repaired First of all, you should pay attention to any imperfections that might surface on your driveway. Whether your driveway is made out of asphalt or concrete, you do have to worry about cracks and other imperfections happening, whether minor or more serious. All of these imperfections can pose a tripping hazard, so make sure that you have them repaired as quickly as possible after you notice them. Not only will this help prevent trips and falls, but it will also help keep your driveway looking better and will prevent the problem from spreading and getting worse. 2. Add a Slip-Resistant Coating Did you know that, if you have a concrete driveway, you can add a slip-resistant coating? A professional will add a little bit of sealer to the top surface of your concrete driveway. Then, clean “grit” will be applied to the surface and will be carefully spread out. Once it dries, you should notice that there is much better traction on your driveway, which can make slips and accidents much less likely. Talk to a contractor like Claggett & Sons Inc. for information about these coatings. 3. Pay Special Attention in the Winter During the winter months, it is important to pay special attention to your driveway if you want to prevent accidents. One good preventative measure is to put out rock salt or a deicing solution any time that you know that there is a forecast for snow or ice. If the storm hits before you’re able to apply the deicer, or if the rock salt isn’t enough, consider taking the time to shovel your driveway or hire someone to plow it. Then, you can help prevent slippery accidents from occurring when it’s cold outside. Your driveway does not have to be a danger zone; there are things that you can do to help prevent trips, slips, and falls. If you follow these three tips, you are sure to feel a whole lot safer when it comes to your...

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Pros And Cons Of Metal Roofing

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of Metal Roofing

Although asphalt shingles still dominate residential areas in the United States, appearing almost anywhere you look, there’s also been an upsurge of interest in metal roofing because of its inherent benefits such as recycled content, reflectivity, and so on. Here are some pros and cons of metal roofing that you should consider if you’re planning to replace your roof soon and are thinking about using a material other than shingles. Pros: As mentioned above, metal roofing generally contains some recycled content, unlike asphalt shingles, which generally are manufactured using new materials. And although asphalt shingles can be recycled, the content is generally not turned into new shingles; instead it’s used for other asphalt products such as roads. Metal roofs can also drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on AC throughout the summer (without drastically increasing the amount you spend on heating during the winter), which also reduces the greenhouse gases that your HVAC system contributes to the atmosphere and the amount of nonrenewable fossil fuel it uses up each summer. Metal roofing even comes in many price points and has extreme durability and longevity. Cons: Of course, nothing is perfect, even metal roofing. Some drawbacks include the price, which is higher than that of asphalt, and the relatively low availability of roofing contractors who install the material. Fortunately, it gets better from there, because as soon as the roof is installed you’ll start saving money on energy bills and so on. There’s also a concern that if your metal roof is installed without a watertight roof deck, hurricane roof damage could result in extensive water damage to your house because the pieces of material are so large that if one of them blows off it leaves a substantial hole, unlike an asphalt shingle. However, you can simply fix this by making sure to install a watertight roofing deck, which is a good practice anyway if you live in a hurricane-prone area. Although metal roofing is probably a wiser investment overall, especially if you’re keen on eco-friendly roofing, it really depends on your situation. Be sure to do a cost-benefit analysis of each type of roofing before you make your decision. Remember that metal roofing prices and lifespans vary widely, with aluminum being one of the cheapest and shortest-lived, whereas copper is the most expensive and can last for actual centuries. And if you still want a more eco-friendly roof but are unsure about metal, you can choose something such as rubber shingles, concrete tile, clay tile, or slate. For more information and options, talk with professional roofing companies, such as Advanced Seamless Gutter & Roofing...

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Upgrading The Master Bathroom In Your Vacation Rental? 3 Things To Add For Maximum Appeal

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Upgrading The Master Bathroom In Your Vacation Rental? 3 Things To Add For Maximum Appeal

Whether it is a couple or a family looking for a place to stay while going on vacation, you want to provide the people who are booking your rental home with features that are extremely appealing to them. A cleverly decorated bedroom for their kids to stay in might be a nice bonus, but they will likely prioritize features like a lovely kitchen for cooking, a front porch, a sunroom, or a luxurious master bathroom. If your master bath has been passable but nothing special, you should look towards making it a premium feature. Walk-In Shower for Two A lot of your guests are going to have a main couple that will take the master bedroom. So, you should provide them with a walk-in shower that has ample room for two people to maneuver with ease. They might be used to a small, cramped shower at home, so the extra room can be a huge perk. It is all about making the guests feel like they are living in luxury when they are on vacation. Whirlpool Tub Another addition that you should not forget about is a whirlpool tub. Adding a whirlpool tub and a walk-in shower can demand a considerable amount of space. But, aside from providing enough room to move around the room and the sinks, you do not need to have a huge, open space available. The easiest way to optimize the space that you consume in the room is to make use of the corners. Put a whirlpool tub in one corner and a walk-in shower in the other corner and you should be fine. With a custom walk-in shower, you can get it made in the exact shape and size that will work for the bathroom. Smart Toilet What is an easy way to impress your guests? To show them something they have never seen before. Smart toilets have been around in Japan for a long time, but they are nearly nonexistent in the states. So you can give your guests a special treat by throwing this addition into the master bathroom. It can provide desirable features such as massaging, air drying, warm seating, automatic flushing, and self-cleaning. At the very least, it will make for a story for the guests to tell friends about when they get back. This could lead to both unintentional and intentional recommendations for staying at your vacation rental. Adding luxurious features is the easiest way to maximize appeal in a master bath. For more information and options, talk with a remodeling service, such as Skerlec...

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Three Questions About Vinyl Siding Addressed

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Questions About Vinyl Siding Addressed

Making the decision to install vinyl siding on your home’s exterior can be a rewarding investment to make in your home. However, it can be fairly common for some homeowners to be uninformed about siding, and this can make it exceedingly difficult to make an informed choice about whether this is a good upgrade for your house. If you are struggling to decide whether or not siding is right for your house, considering the answers to the following few questions may help you to make a more informed choice for your home. Will Siding Have An Impact On Your Home’s Energy Efficiency? Some homeowners may be under the impression that siding is only a cosmetic upgrade to their homes. While it is true that siding can be a low-maintenance way of improving your home’s appearance, it may also be possible for you to enjoy increases in energy efficiency. This is possible by opting for insulated siding. This siding has a thin layer of insulation on the interior, which can help to stop convective heating and drafts from compromising your home’s interior comfort. While this type of siding may be more expensive than standard siding, the heating and cooling savings you can enjoy from this upgrade may offset this higher initial cost. How Do You Wash Siding? One of the great advantages of having siding on your home is that it is extremely easy to maintain. Typically, you will only need to wash the siding once or twice a year to keep it looking great. When washing the siding, you can use a pressure washer to remove any dirt, dust, moss or mildews that have accumulated on the exterior of your house. For those that do not own a pressure washer or are hesitant about getting on a ladder to pressure wash the siding, it is possible to hire a professional siding contractor to perform this work for you. What If You Want To Change The Color Of Your Home’s Siding? Many people invest in siding so that they will not have to paint their homes again. However, if you have had siding installed many years ago or purchased a home with it, you may want to change the color of your house. Luckily, it is possible to paint siding. To do this, you will need to buy vinyl paint that is formulated for use on siding. Failure to use the correct paint can cause it to prematurely peel away from the exterior of your house. While this paint can effectively change the color of your siding, a new coat of paint will need to be applied every few years. For more information, talk to a professional like Leger...

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2 Reasons To Consider A Log Cabin

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons To Consider A Log Cabin

Log cabins are an extremely popular type of home that is suitable for a large number of uses, such as a primary home, remote retreat, or luxurious vacation home. In addition, log cabins can also offer a wide range of benefits that some of the more traditional home designs simply cannot match. Listed below are two reasons to consider building a log cabin. Kit Availability One of the more interesting benefits provided by log cabin construction is that there are a large number of kits available that can allow you to quickly build the home yourself or with the help of a contractor. These kits will often be shipped to you with the blueprints, step-by-step instructions, and all of the necessary materials.  The other benefit provided by these kits is that you can find a large range of available cabin options. For example, you can get a kit that will allow you to build a simple, but comfortable hunting or fishing cabin. Alternatively, there are kits available that can be used to a construct a much larger and more luxurious multi-level cabin to be used as a primary residence. Cost Control Another reason to consider a log cabin is that you will have a lot of options to cut and control costs in order to keep the price down as much as possible. One way that you can do this is by considering all of your log options. For example, you can choose to go with a less expensive type of tree in order to get your logs for as cheaply as possible, but still receive many of the same benefits provided by more expensive log options. Sure, the less expensive logs may not be as aesthetically pleasing as others, but it can often be a good tradeoff when you consider the cost savings. Another way to control your costs with a log cabin is by limiting how much outside labor that you hire. Many people opt to assemble the frame, walls, and roof of the log cabin themselves because it is much simpler than building a normal home and doesn’t really require sophisticated tools. Once the cabin is assembled, you can then choose to hire contractors to provide the wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems to complete the home.  Contact a contractor or log cabin kit manufacturer like Alaskan Barns in order to discuss the many benefits that this type of home can provide. A log cabin home is an attractive option due to the various ways in which you can control the construction costs and the availability of a wide range of cabin...

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Managing Numerous Properties Takes Skill, Organization, And Prioritizing What Is Important

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Managing Numerous Properties Takes Skill, Organization, And Prioritizing What Is Important

When building a real estate empire, it’s important to manage the properties you own with some skill. While it’s possible to hire a management company to make the process easier, some investors choose to make managing their properties their full time job. If you are one of the investors who is ready to quit their day job and focus only on managing your properties, knowing how to manage properties successfully is essential. Prioritize Finding the Perfect Renters When looking for qualified tenants, it’s essential to do more than simply market to the masses. If you are looking for a specific type of renter, then you have to be more strategic in how you market your property to potential residents. Even when you don’t have any openings, it will help your business to stay on the minds of people who might be searching for apartments in a specific area. When people think of you first when they have a friend or family member that needs an apartment, you are less likely to have empty units. Look for Trends in the Day to Day Management of Your Business While you will likely have staff that handles calls, reviews rental applications and organizes any maintenance or yard services that work on your properties, you still need to keep an eye out for trends. When you notice that there have been a number of calls regarding one type of repair, or the lawns of your properties look disheveled on a regular basis, it’s time to step in and rectify the situation. Stay on Top of Your Business Finances Your bottom line depends on a number of factors. If units aren’t filled quickly enough, if repairs are more costly than expected, or you aren’t getting the rent you thought you would for each unit, your bottom line can suffer. If you leave the money management up to staff, there could be problems that you are not aware of until it is too late. While you may want to have staff that handles collecting rent and paying bills for your properties, it’s important to check in on a consistent basis when it comes to the finances of your property. Let Your Employees Know What You Expect When you hire employees to help you manage your properties, be clear right from the beginning about what you expect from them as employees. The clearer you are at the start, the better  trained your employees will be on your expectations. For more information, contact institutions like Cambridge...

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How to Design the Lighting in Your Kitchen

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Design the Lighting in Your Kitchen

Whether you realize it or not, lighting plays a huge role in your everyday life. Light can darken or brighten a color, a face, a room, even accentuate beautiful works of art. Home lighting often goes unnoticed until you enter a home with proper, beautiful lighting. So before you decide to post a selfie stirring spaghetti, it’s best to take a quick look at a few tips on how to take your kitchen from dull to beautiful. Recessed lighting – Sometimes referred to as “can lights”, recessed lighting consists of lights that are recessed into the kitchen ceiling. They not only look sleek, they can go anywhere and, when placed around the perimeter of the room, can help you avoid shadows around islands and cabinets. Perfect for when you’re trying to read a recipe or measuring cup. Be practical in your placement; if the hood over your stove has a light, you probably don’t need another right there. Under the cabinet lighting – Not too long ago, lighting under kitchen cabinets was considered a luxury reserved for only high-end homes. Now, it’s become a must-have in a new kitchen or a remodel. LED is the popular choice and especially strips of LED lights under the cabinet. Be sure to place them in the front section of the cabinet for optimum lighting of the countertops. Strips are also hidden from view, another attractive aspect. Even better, set them on a dimmer and control the brightness. Pendant lighting – This references the lights that are hung from the ceiling with a cord and they are most often seen over an island or sink. They are often very stylish and can range from ornate to simple and colorful. You’ll want to keep the pendants high enough so you can look across them without obstruction and stay within the theme of your kitchen style. Use one with a shade for task lighting, such as over the sink. Kitchens are the heart of the family home. You make your meals there, you talk there, you sneak in there, you fight in there, and yes, you take selfies in there. Lighting is vital to the feel and enjoyment of the room. It is part of the functionality of the room, and placing the lights in the wrong areas will cause shadows and keep you from using certain countertops. Find a lighting scheme that fits your style and watch your kitchen totally transform. If you need help putting in new lights, or are looking for a remodel, consider contact local remodeling specialists, such as Qualtire Plumbing &...

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Three Attractive Window Treatment Options For Energy Efficiency

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Attractive Window Treatment Options For Energy Efficiency

If you are looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, window treatments can be a great investment. These can be inside or outside your home and give you a lot more than just energy efficiency. You can choose from things like curtains and plantation shutters to improve energy efficiency and the look of your home. Here are some ideas to give your home attractive window treatments with energy-saving benefits: 1. Adding Shutters To The Exterior Or Interior Of Your Home The exterior of your home can be a great place to add shutters. These can be traditional plantation style shutters, or they can be more modern roll-up styles. The exterior shutters can also give your home storm protection. If you want to have a nice look for the interior of your home, you may want to consider plantation shutters for areas like kitchens and living rooms. These will be easier to operate from the inside of your home and can be made of many materials, such as wood and vinyl. 2. Using Thermal Blinds To Add Insulation To Thin Glass There are also thermal blinds available, which are designed to improve the energy efficiency of windows without replacing them. These are double-sided types of blinds that help to insulate windows. Thermal blinds can be a great addition to your home if you have drafts from thin glass. You can even use these types of blinds to help improve the energy benefits of modern windows that you have installed in your home. 3. Blocking Sunlight And Improving Insulation With Thick Curtains If you want more of a classic look in your home, curtains can be another great addition to help improve the energy efficiency of windows. Curtains can help to add insulation to windows, as well as help block direct sunlight. This can help keep the heat in your home during the winter months, as well as help reduce heat gain during the summer months. Another benefit to curtains is that they can be used with many of the other window treatments, such as thermal blinds. If you do not like the look of blinds, but want the benefits, you can cover them with thick curtains that have a design that meets your tastes. These are some ideas to give your home window treatments that do more than look good. If you are ready to have some of these treatments installed on your windows, contact a window and door installation service to get the help you need with your windows. Click here for additional...

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7 Types Of Drywall For The Perfect Wall Finish

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 7 Types Of Drywall For The Perfect Wall Finish

Thanks to ease of installation, low cost and natural strength, drywall has replaced plaster as the primary material for residential walls and ceilings in the U.S. While many people are familiar with standard drywall — which consists of a gypsum core coated with heavy paper — some may be unaware of just how many variations of this product are available. Subtle changes to drywall materials and construction during manufacturing results in products that may look very similar, but actually offer very different benefits. Understanding the different types of drywall on the market can help you choose the right product for your project and create a finish that will endure. Moisture-Resistant Drywall Moisture-resistant drywall, also known as green board for its characteristic green coloring, is designed for kitchens, bathrooms and other areas that may be subject to moisture or humidity. This material features wax-coated paper to repel water, and some varieties also have silicone or oils added to the core to resist moisture. Keep in mind that this product is not waterproof, but it does offer greater resistance to moisture than standard drywall. Plaster Board If you like the look of traditional plaster, or you plan to use specialty finishes like Venetian plaster, swap standard drywall for plaster board. Also known as blue board for its blue coloring, this product uses special paper for an ultra-smooth finish that bonds well with plaster compounds. Fire-Resistant Drywall Fire-resistant drywall, also known as Type X, features a denser core with glass fibers mixed in to make the wall more resistant to heat and flames. It essentially takes the fire rating of a way from a standard 30 minutes to a full hour, which means more time to escape and less property damage in the event of a fire. This product is often required by building codes when drywalling stairwells, garages and certain other areas. Impact-Resistant Drywall Many schools and hospitals skip standard drywall in favor of impact-resistant board, also known as high-abuse board. This product is lined or coated with fiberglass mesh to increase the strength of the board, which helps reduce dents, holes and other signs of damage. Sound Board While no drywall product is truly soundproof, sound board — or sound-resistant drywall — helps to reduce sound transfer between rooms or floors. This product alternates layers of gypsum with layers of plastic, specialty glue or other materials. These layers absorb sound while also stiffening the board to reduce vibration. Cement Board While green board is a great choice for moisture-prone areas, it won’t hold up against frequent water exposure. To construct walls behind tiles, such as in the shower, stick to cement board. This product is made of cement, not gypsum, and uses glass fibers for added strength and moisture-resistance.  Phase-Change Drywall Phase-change drywall, also known as heat-absorption drywall, is one of the newest innovations in the drywall market. This product contains tiny chemical capsules that absorb heat by day, then slowly release it throughout the night. When used in passive solar design, this product can help to reduce the demand for air conditioning and heat, saving money on operating costs while reducing the impact on the environment. For more information about drywall choices, talk to a drywall company such as Zip...

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3 Questions to Consider before Speaking with an Awnings Dealer

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Questions to Consider before Speaking with an Awnings Dealer

Choosing the most appropriate awning for your home can be challenging, given that there are multiple options to choose from and that this type of shade can provide sun protection both inside and outside of the home. However, the most important aspects to consider are the material used to cover the awning and whether or not you want your awning to stay in one place all year long. In addition, some homeowners have chosen to install stationary awnings over doors and windows that need that protection year round or to use one or two portable units to move around the house as the need arises. What Material Would Be Best for Your Home? It will be helpful to consult with your awnings dealer about choosing the most appropriate materials for the device. For example, you may think of awnings always having a fabric cover, but if your area is prone to heavy snowfall or high winds, the extra strength that comes from aluminum coverings on a standard aluminum frame is a good idea. Conversely, if the primary purpose of an awning will be to provide shade during long, hot summers, polyester or cotton may be the most appropriate material for your needs, since unnecessary metal may transfer more heat to the area under it. Why Consider a Stationary Awning? Once installed, a stationary awning is a permanent addition to your home. As a result, it is often heavier and sturdier than its removable counterpart, and its design is known to collect snow and other cold precipitation. As a result, you will note that its increased size and durability can make it hard to install. That means that with few exceptions, it is a good idea to plan for professionals to install it. In addition, you should also be sure that the size, material, and precise placement of the awning is exactly what you need, since removing and reinstalling it is not typical. How Can a Portable Awning Benefit You? A portable awning is often the best choice when you want one or two units that can be moved around your home as your physical activities or the position of the sun changes. These awnings are lightweight and freestanding, so few people need any help getting them ready to use. Their reduced weight and ease of movement is a trade off, however, for the lack of support portable awnings provide. They will not do well when expected to stand up to excessive wet or freezing precipitation, and therefore may be better used during the summer. In conclusion, it is not necessary to use either portable or stationary awnings exclusively. They both have several attributes and can make your yard a more comfortable and attractive place to spend time. Find an awnings dealer like to start your...

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