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Adding Architectural Interest To Your Roof

There are a few very important details to consider when adding additions to your roof to add interest to the design. Roof extensions, shed roofs, gable roofs, and dormers are all types of architecture that add interest to the home, but they aren’t create equal in cost and effectiveness.

Cost/Effectiveness

Adding additional roof peaks and masses will only complicate your design and cost you more to install and maintain it in the future. You can add interest with minimal additions, so edit and simplify as much as you can to get the effect you want without jeopardizing the efficiency of your roof. You will want as big of roof masses as possible, for the point of having a cost effective, quality roof.

Design

Some design elements are better than others in general and even the way they are executed matters. To discuss this matter, its pertinent to look at each of the design concepts for further information to consider.

Roof extensions can be effective at adding interest to the roof or home, and add space as well. Roof extensions are usually added because an addition of space has been made to the home. The visual appeal is only an added bonus. It doesn’t take much consideration when the addition is made to the front or back of the home. Adding a roof extension to the front or back is pretty easy and visually may look natural, like it was part of the original design. A roof extension added to the sides of the home is where the design gets tricky and may look re-worked, not ideal for re-sale.

A shed roof is roofing that is attached to a high point of the existing roof and slants downward, covering additional space added to the home. Unfortunately, this design element looks less natural and usually looks like there’s obviously been a modification to the home. Submitting your design to your city or homeowners association is a must. Some places have included a shed roof ban because of its perceived tackiness, but in all honesty, the element can “dressed up” and look quite modern. Using the same siding, roofing materials, gutters, and finishes will assist in making the whole picture look uniform.

Roof gables are roofs that run in the opposite direction of the current two sloped roof. One gable can add a ton of interest, but more than one gable are able to be installed. It’s common to see a gable or two facing the front of a home with a window. The original sloped roof then faces front and back, rather than a traditional home which has a roof that slopes on either side. Gables can be as large as the top floor of the home, just additions to the attic space, or other small storage additions in rooms of the home on the top level. This is a natural looking element that easily adds value and interest to the roof.

A roof dormer is like a roof gable except that instead of being an additional space, its much smaller. It usually is just a structure that fits only a window. Like the roof gable, it typically looks natural and adds value to the home.

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Caring For Your Home’s Foundation

The foundation of your home is everything. It’s the base of your entire home. Repairs can cost as little as 500.00, go as high as 10,000.00, and average 4,000.00. Don’t find yourself in a money pit situation by knowing what to look for, and how to maintain your foundation with these 3 considerations.

Consider Exposing Your Foundation

Because material that is right up to your home’s foundation, like a flower bed or just ground with grass seed on top of it, it encourages the holding of moisture near your foundation. This also encourages ground dwelling creatures and bugs to access your home more than if you had your foundation exposed. Exposing your foundation is more healthy for it, allows it to breathe, and there are ways for you to hide it or make it more attractive if you consider it an unappealing option. What is important is that your home maintains its resale value and integrity while you’re living in it. 6 inches of exposed foundation is the minimum amount for adequate breathing.

Water The Foundation In Times If Drought

Yes, it’s true. Most foundation problems are caused by too much moisture causing movement and damage, contracting and expanding. The opposite has its place in reality as well, a foundation that is too dry can also cause damage. During droughts, the surrounding trees and plants will suck up moisture from the ground, including the moisture in your home’s walls and foundation. Too much moisture or not enough moisture can cause movement and damage. This type of damage is hard to detect. The best thing you can do it times of drought is to actually water the home’s exposed foundation as if you would your grass. If you have any questions or concerns about either condition, consult a professional service for an expert opinion such as a licensed home inspector.

Carefully Inspect and Repair Roof and Gutters as Needed

The most important thing to maintaining a healthy foundation is repairing cracks and leaks before they cause considerable and costly damage to your home. Potential issues are from sitting snow and ice on the roof and gutters not performing their job of bringing water away from the home. The added weight on the roof of too much ice and snow, either melting or sitting, can be too much weight to bear on the walls, and further, the foundation. Falling rain, and melting ice and snow should travel through the gutters and at least 6 feet away from the home’s foundation. Inspect the roof and gutters monthly and after storms to catch any damages early. Another inspection necessary to the process of protecting the foundation is getting your plumbing inspected because leaks here can damage the foundation as well.

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Sounds Coming From Your Roof?

Are you hearing sounds coming from your walls or roof? Most of the time, the cause will be nothing too serious and can be easily remedied on your own. Here are common sounds that you might be hearing above you, in your roof or attic.

Popping

Hearing your roof “pop” or “crack” is common and not necessarily something to worry about. This usually happens around winter time, at night as the temperature cools. The most common reason for the popping is because the house’s components are contracting and expanding. It’s usually not serious or a reason to believe there is undue pressure on the house. If you’ve recently added an addition to the home, it will take time for the structure to settle. To be sure there’s nothing serious going on you can further examine the exterior of the roof to make sure there is no puckering or the gutters aren’t protruding from where they should be. Removing excess ice or snow will alleviate some of the noise. To further prevent the noises from becoming bothersome you can re-insulate your roof to buffer some of the change in temperature causing the popping.

Squirrels Running

If you are hearing squirrels running across your home and dropping nuts down the sides, you first have to be sure that they aren’t doing more on that roof. The worst case scenario would be that they are dwelling inside your attic. In this case you can either trap them yourself with supplies from the hardware store or hire a professional. The attic needs to be decontaminated, the insulation replaced, and any holes they’ve been entering filled afterward. If you trap them yourself, you need only drive 10 minutes from your home and safely release them. Be careful because they will bite and scratch if they come in close proximity to you. The next possible worst scenario would be that the squirrels outside are eating rotting would attached to your home. This, however, is easier to deal with. Replace the rotting wood and experience relief from the squirrels. Your local animal control facility can further assist you with questions or services. Squirrels can cause considerable damage to your home and should be addressed immediately.

Nuts Falling

In addition to squirrels are nuts falling from their little hands or trees overhanging your home. Consider trimming or removing trees that hang over the home to provide safety against the falling nuts, squirrel, and potential damage caused by storm.

Bats and Birds Nesting

The first sign of bats and birds nesting will probably be noises within the walls or above you, the roof or attic. Inspect the outside of your home to find out where they’ve gotten inside or if you are only hearing a nest that’s attached to the outside of the home somewhere. Your local wildlife agency can assist you in removal of nests or tell you how you can safely do the same. Be sure you aren’t tampering with any wildlife that is protected by law in your city or state. Once the animals are relocated, you can evaluate the damage done, decontaminate, and board up any points of entry. Chimneys are very common points of entry and it’s helpful to top your chimney with a chimney topper product meant to keep larger animals out.

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Avoid Roofers Who Make These Mistakes

Roofers Who Are Unreliable or Can’t Keep An Appointment

If a representative of a roofing company rubs you the wrong way in any way, it should be noted, but keeping an appointment means more than words can say. If your roofer is late to scheduled appointments, seems unorganized, or can’t give you a decent estimate of when the project will be finished, you might want to get out while it’s still early. Repairing or replacing a roof is a costly and time consuming job that you should feel comfortable handing off to a professional. Voice your concerns as soon as they arise, and check in with your contractor along the way. A good company will care about your concerns and address them as efficiently as possible.

Roofers Who Grossly Underbid

It’s estimated that 90% of roofers underbid jobs. This is not to go as far as to say they don’t know what they are doing in the roofing business, but because they aren’t good at estimating the cost of the job including labor and time, materials, the possibility of hiccups, and clean up. Many companies are simply bidding per square, a good place to start, but not where a bid should end. Unfortunately this mistake could not only cost them, but you. A company may come back to you with a new number, not agreed upon at the beginning, which can be especially frustrating if no contract or agreement has been signed and the work has been started. An even worse scenario would be that a company cuts corners on your project, if even subconsciously, because they aren’t being fully compensated, although it’s not your fault. You want a roofer to estimate the costs right the first time, and put their pride into their work from start to finish. You can avoid this problem by researching companies based on a review and meeting with several to get comparable estimates. Don’t go with the lowest bid! Instead, ask the companies how they arrived at them and their answers might surprise you.

Roofers From Out Of Town/State Companies

When it rains, it pours and for the roofing industry, storms are very profitable; so profitable in fact, that roofers from out of town or even out of state might come to the site of a storm to profit from home owners. They can take advantage of these homeowners who might be left with no other choice due to the demand on local companies at the time. More than anything, the reason you should avoid using even the best out of town contractor or company is because they won’t be around in five years when your roof may show considerable wear and tear and the company will have less responsibility to you than another company would.

Among these things, follow your gut and ask as many questions as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask if changes to the plan or contract will be welcome, if even mid-project.

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The Progression Of Building A Brand New Home

The process of building a home might be different if you ask several different home owners or builders, but the outline for building is generally the same. Experiences might be different across the board because of re-arrangement of tasks due to weather, changes in blueprint or design, or challenges that arise.

Laying The Groundwork

A crew will clear the site for the home to be built; clear the trees, rocks, and sometimes an existing septic system. After that, the ground should be made level and the framework of the foundation and footings of the home are built. If a well will be put in, this is the time the foundation and footings are made for this structure as well. Concrete is poured and left to cure, and any basement plumbing has been put in. Waterproofing measures are made at this time. All construction up to this point will need inspection before carrying onto the next step.

Rough Framing

Rough framing is the skeleton of the house. After the framing is put up it’s covered by plywood or “sheathing” that keeps water from infiltrating the structure and causing the wood to rot or mold while it’s being finished. This is when all the plumbing, bathtubs and shower units, and HVAC (heating, venting, and air conditioning) duct work and vents are put in. Once the roofing is complete, the structure is considered dry and the electrical “guts” can be put in. More inspections will take place on these systems.

Insulation and Walls

Insulation is added to the walls, dry wall is put up, and the rest of the internal fixtures continue to be finalized. Then the exterior walls can begin getting finished. Brick, stucco, and siding is put on the outside of the home.

Finishing Touches

The last of the tasks it takes to build a home can happen almost in any order. This is the time different companies and servicemen can be working on installing driveways and walkways, flooring, countertops, and the last of the bathroom fixtures.

Landscaping and Curb Appeal

If seed needs to be planted for grass, rock beds installed around the home, small bushes and trees planted for growing this will be the last thing before a final walk-through with the homeowner is done.

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Restoring or Getting Rid of Your Old Chimney

Reasons To Remove A Chimney

Chimneys often run vertically through an entire house, causing rooms to be much smaller than they could be. For the price it would cost to hire a professional to remove a chimney (a couple thousand dollars depending on your geographic location and project size), the work is best done by hired help unless you have a lot of time and patience because it requires one-brick-at-a-time type of work. Many brave and determined D.I.Y.ers have successfully removed the chimney brick by brick, but pay for it if they don’t do their research first. The soot itself can ruin close and carpets. A professional will know all the steps to take your chimney out efficiently. Things to consider even after the removal, are repairing your roof where the chimney once was and replacing wall.

Reasons To Restore A Chimney

A chimney adds charm to any house and can raise your resell value if restored and/or modernized properly. One of the most common problems with chimneys is deterioration; damaged or fallen bricks from being under maintained over the years. There maybe cracks in the crown of your chimney that need addressing immediately because it is the access from the outside of the home to the inside and makes the rest of your chimney vulnerable to the elements. These common problems can be addressed by the home owner or a professional, but a professional can give you the best advice on replacements and modern technology that maintains your home and budget friendlier. Like a plumber or roofer, you should always be willing to take the preventative measure of having a professional look over these assets once or routinely just to build the relationship and have their numbers on hand.

Products you should know about that may not be a part of your chimney structure now are, from the outside in…

Chimney Rain Caps

A rain cap is a metal, cage like topper that comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s installed on top of your existing chimney crown and keeps animals such as birds and bats from easily entering the home via chimney. It’s also an added deterrent from rain entering the home and damaging any brick.

Aerolator

An aerolator is meant to replace the heated or cooled air usually used to fuel your fire. The reason you want a different source of air than the air already in your home is because you pay for that air to circulate or be cooled or heated. An aerolator uses air from outside the home to fuel your fires and cut costs.

Crown Coating

Crown coating is a water-proofing lining product that is applied to the inside of the crown and chimney chute to further prevent water and other damage to the brick.

All of these products and processes are things to consider when you’ve got a less than ideal chimney situation in your home. Having or not having a chimney is a matter of preference that is probably split down the middle, so decide what you want and do it right! Either way, you will be protecting the integrity of your home and increasing its value with your effort.

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How To Make Your Roof Last You Years and Years

Whether you are inheriting a roof of a newly purchased home or have just replaced a roof entirely, you will want to maintain the integrity of what you have. Like keeping your car maintained, all that is truly required is a little extra attention to it. Take the following 4 steps regularly to keep your roof doing its job efficiently and most cost effectively.

Monthly Visual Inspection

You don’t have to be a professional to view potential problems with or risks to your roof. Taking time monthly to step outside and note any excess debris, damage, gutter condition, and fungi or growing plant life can insure you catch and fix any issues as early as possible.

Make Repairs Early

Some home repairs can afford to wait. This is not the case with roofs. Damage can spread quickly when the integrity of a roof is made vulnerable, so you’ll want to make repairs or schedule an inspection with a professional as soon as you see a risk during your monthly visual once-over. Even small things such as misshapen shingles should be replaced as soon as it’s seen.

Trim Nearby Trees

Large trees near a home pose a threat to the roof because strong winds and storms can cause a tree’s branches to puncture the roof. Trees pose threats to other parts of your property as well like sheds and vehicles. You’ll want to trim any large outward limbs regularly or call your local tree trim service to ask questions or schedule an inspection. It’s always a great idea to form these relationships early and have their numbers on hand.

Take Care Post-Storm

It’s just as important to inspect your roof after a storm to look for damage caused by wind, debris and tree limbs. Damage can be symptom-less for some time indoors, so it’s important to get outside and see for yourself the condition of your roof regularly and after storms. As previously stated, even the smallest of repairs should be made. Be sure you are seeing the entire roof at each angle so you don’t miss anything! This is how your roof will cost you as little as possible and last you years and years to come.

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Is Your Roof Protected? You Should Consider Investing in Protection…

Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Investing In The Roof Protection Membership

A roof is very essential to your house. You will realize that your roof normally serves many purposes. It normally protects you from rain, snow and so on. It also provides shade during the hotter months. As a homeowner, you should protect your roof all the time. You should ensure that it is in a good condition all the time. However, most roofs are not well taken care of. You will find most of them leaking and so on. This can be detrimental. This can be detrimental. This is the reason why you should join the roof protection membership. Once you join this membership, your roof can be well taken care of. It can be replaced by professionals, thereby giving you some peace of mind. The following are some of the reasons why you should join this membership:

1. Gutter cleaning

Gutters normally get dirty from time to time. They can also get blocked if they are not cleaned in good time. This can damage the walls of your house in the event of rain. However, you can mitigate this problem by joining this membership. You can be assured that your gutters will be cleaned every year by professionals. This can help you a great deal.

2. Discount on repairs.

Roof repair can actually be expensive. This means that you have to dig deeper into your pockets. However, once you join this membership, you can be assured that you will get discounts on repair. You will enjoy 10% repair discount.

3. Priority guaranteed appointments.

If you have a roof problem, you can always contact us and book an appointment. Once you call, you will be served within 24 hours of your call. You will realize that your guaranteed appointment is normally scheduled in one hour’ time-frames. This can help you a great deal.

4. Skylight cleaning

Most homeowners have installed skylights in their houses. You will realize that these lights normally allow natural light to get into their house during the day. However, these lights normally get dirty from time to time. You need a professional to clean them for you. Once you join this membership, you can be assured that they will be cleaned thoroughly. In addition, your skylights be inspected if they have a problem.

5. Large debris removal

You will realize that sticks and large debris on your roof can be destructive. You need to remove them from time to time. However, climbing up there can put you at risk. You require a professional to do the job for you. This is the reason why you should join this membership.

Membership Costs

There is an annual service membership and bi-annual service membership. For annual service membership, you need to pay $17 per month. However, for bi-annual service membership, you need to pay $30 per month. Consider investing in the roof protection membership today and you will enjoy the results.

FOR MORE INFO ON MEMBERSHIPS CLICK HERE

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Something Your Home Inspector Won’t Tell You

Home Inspectors Are Not Roof Inspectors

Getting a home inspector to assess the state of your home doesn’t include him or her going overboard to look for more like roof problems and plumbing or even your AC system. Their list doesn’t cover all that; theirs is just to identify the problem and the rest is left for you to reach out to a relevant repairing company.

deal-breakers-home-inspection-1A home inspector checks the roof from a distance

A roof inspector will do all the dirty work and even risking it to go atop the slippery and collapsing roof. The home inspectors will not do all that. They will just place themselves at a safer distance and let binoculars do the job for them. So, who would you rather, a home inspector or a roof inspector to repair your roof?

Expertise

A home inspector doesn’t go in-depth with learning how to repair some parts of the house like roofing. This is for those looking forward to repairing roofs in the future. This is where the level of expertise differs and the best person for this job should be called upon to check on the roof. Professionalism matters in this field of roof repair lest you want shady job.

Their liability is limited

A home inspector takes the necessary precaution to ensure he or she is not entangled with problems of some areas of the house outside their jurisdiction. They will do everything possible to exclude liability if they render roofing services and the same does not work out. So what’s the benefit? Don’t assume that a home inspector knows everything. Just use that high amount of money to get your house repairs done to perfection by skilled professional.

Job difference

Home inspectors are only meant to put you in the spotlight of how your house condition is and how long it will take before it finally breaks down. Once the home inspector lets you know all that, it is upto the roof inspector to also come to the rescue and repair some damages pointed out by the home inspector. This way, both parties work hand in hand to ensure the roof remains stable and strong to prevent water, cold or snow from dripping into the interior of the house. Home inspectors inspect almost all parts of the apartment while a roof inspector will only pay attention to the roof hence finding it easier to repair and revive it back to normalcy.

Shallow research

Home inspectors also do not carry out a deep study on the roof but instead look for minor rectifications. This is where the problem arises. But for a roof inspector, he will dig deeper to find out the sole reason affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the roof. Having done so, he goes ahead to do the necessary repairs on it; that is their job. This saves you from lots of money as this has been done with hence will not require the client to seek help one week later just because the roof inspector didn’t do so because the home inspector provided assumptions that the roof is good to last 2 years more.

Scams

Some home inspectors are scams and if you fall into their trap, as you bounce back, you will have to start over. The best way to evade all this is to assign each expert to carry out the tasks. Let the home inspector do his job and the roof inspector too so that incase one turns out to be a scam, both areas are not affected because one person did both jobs. Each party did its own responsibility hence reducing any loss that could be incurred.

Waste of money

A home inspector could charge more for a roof inspection and in turn produce a less valuable job. But for a roof inspector, the price might be standardized and even go ahead to do more than the money paid which is a lot better. This way, you get to have quality and value other than the other way round. Roof inspection helps your roof to last longer since the necessary repairs are done promptly hence maintaining its original form.

Home inspectors should do their job and leave the roof for the roof inspectors to do the necessary repairs. This way, all the parts of the house are repaired as they should be. Also, you won’t have to experience the above shortcomings simply because you chose to let the home inspector to do all that for you even though you knew he is not good at some areas.

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How Well Does Metal Roofs Do In Winter?

Performance of metal roofs during winter period

One of the most challenging times for a home’s roof is during the winter months. The snow and ice builds up which can damage the roof. Metal roofing is the best solution since it tends to be energy efficient. It can turn into a nightmare if you experience roof damage during the winter period leaving you without a warm home to take refuge due to the significant damage. The ice and snow are the worst damaging cold weather elements. With a metal roof, the home owner does not have to worry about the destruction that comes with ice.

performance-of-metal-roofs-during-winter-periodAdvantages of metal roofing

Since metal roof has a smooth top surface, the heat that comes from the sun is capable of passing through the snow when the sun shines. Consequently, the ice on top of the roof melts. Since the ice and snow will melt from the bottom of the roof, the snow and the ice will shed very fast from the roof. If the snow accumulates and melts in a uniform pattern along the roof, it means your home is fairly energy efficient. Metal roofs are designed in a special way to shed ice and snow without causing any damage to the gutters. Secondly, metal roof does not allow accumulation of ice dams and heavy snow loads.

Using metal roofing to get rid of ice dams

Ice dams come as a result of freezing weather. They may look quite beautiful since they hang on the eves of the house but they can be very dangerous. They can loosen shingles or tear the gutter which can result in water pouring in the house.

Insulating the metal roof

If your roof is not properly insulated, ice dams can form. In addition, the ice can melt and get in o the house. This insulation maintains consistent temperature and humidity level within a building while helping to conserve energy and expand the life of the roof.

Comparing metal roof with other roofs

Since wet snow can weigh as much as over 62 pounds per square feet, it can be too heavy for other roofs to handle. This can result to the roof sagging. Once the roof bows downwards, there are high chances that it will become weak and can result to leakage. Other roofs tend to accumulate lots of ice and snow. Homeowners can come up with a temporary solution where they can rake off the snow and ice from the roof. They only solve the problem for the short term. However, they are likely to damage the roof with the rake. In addition, they can take the shingles off when they rake the ice and snow.

If you are looking forward to replacing your roof, installation of a metal roof should on top of your priorities to curb the winter season.