Category Archives: Home Improvement

5 Roofing Problems That Need Professional Help

people working on a roofYour roof is literally what keeps your head dry when at home, and in turn, exposure to the elements such as the sun, rain, snow or hail – whatever nature throws at it – can wear it down to a point wherein repairs are necessary.

Sure, there are a million DIY how-to’s all over the internet, but sometimes it pays more to, well, pay.

Letting the pros handle it

Half the battle is knowing what problems you are facing before calling for the cavalry. When it comes to things such as gutter and roof spouting repair, try to take note of the quality of the installation, the age of your roof, and if there are recent weather events that are especially tough for your home.

Regularly inspecting your roof may seem like a laborious chore, but the effort and time you put in checking and taking care of roofing problems before they become a disaster can cut costs on repairs and even save you the expense of replacing your roof entirely.

Signs you need them

And when you do find something wrong, be it issues on the shingles, persistent leaking, or badly installed gutters or roof spouting, repairs are best left to those with skills, experience, and specialities.

Watch out: five signs you need to call for repairs

Here are some of the more obvious signs that your roofing is defective:

  1. Rusting and paint bubbles on any part of the gutter, spouting or anywhere on the roof
  2. Leaks
  3. Poor and slow draining (from blocked, sagging gutter pathways and poor installation)
  4. Curling and buckling shingles (either ‘cupping,’ wherein edges turn upwards, or “clawing,” wherein the middle parts start to rise)
  5. Missing or broken shingles

Whether you have a minor issue that needs nipping in the bud before causing bigger problems or an all-out mess of a roof that needs proper overhaul and restoration, consulting a professional not only saves you the inconvenience and danger of having a less than stable protection for your home.

It also ensures that you will not have to shell out more money for replacements (and do-over’s after disastrous or inefficient DIY attempts) in the long run.

4 Tips to Build Your Cabin without Putting Yourself in Debt

Beautiful cabinSo, you are dreaming of owning a backyard cabin you normally see on TV but scared about the budget. Well, you need not worry. It turns out that there are ways you can build a one-of-a-kind cabin without breaking the bank.

Here are a few suggestions you can try out.

Build a smaller size

The size of your cabin will, of course, determine how much material you’ll need for the project. As you are not going to be living in your backyard cabin for extended periods, it makes no sense to build one that’s too large. Keep in mind that the larger the cabin, the higher the cost of labour and supplies required to build it.

Be ready to compromise

Sure, a handcrafted profile sounds great for your building material, but the cost can be prohibitive. Be ready to take a cheaper option. For instance, machine-hewn wood with a rough look costs much less than the handcrafted log but will still be visually appealing.

As for fixtures and windows, go with the more affordable ones and upgrade later.

For the hearth, consider faux

There’s no need to stress over expensive material when building your cabin’s chimney. Go for manufactured stone instead of the more costly options. No one will tell the difference. A big benefit of using faux is that you don’t need to pour as much concrete as you would need for real rock.

Put off a few things

Sure, there are things that you cannot postpone, like doors and windows. However, you don’t need to finish each room in the cabin at once. Just start with the ones you need the most and finish the rest later.

A limited budget should never keep you from building the cabin you’ve always wanted in your backyard. With some creativity, you’ll find that it’s easy to own a gorgeous cabin for much less than you thought.

A homeowner examining his ac unit

Efficient AC: Lowering Strain on Your Cooling System

A homeowner examining his ac unitWhile you can rely on your air conditioner to handle high temperatures, you cannot expect it to run forever. This makes it important to do a few things to reduce strain or extra pressure on your cooling system. This will help maintain your AC’s efficiency and longevity, along with the benefit of keeping you and your family comfortable indoors.

AC repair experts in St Charles, MO share a few things that can help minimize strain on your air conditioner:

  • Replacing filters. Dirty or clogged air filters will cause the system to use more energy in cooling your abode. Be sure to check, clean, or replace the filter regularly to increase the lifespan of your AC, as well as reduce the overall strain to the unit.
  • Adjusting the thermostat. You don’t have to keep your AC on when you’re away or when there’s no one home. It’s best to adjust the thermostat or invest in a programmable one to arrange an automated cooling schedule. This will not just reduce the strain on your AC, but also lower your cooling costs.
  • Maintain your AC. Have your cooling system inspected (once or twice a year) by an AC repair expert. This is to make sure that all components of your AC are in good working order. This will also help you stay ahead of problems that can compromise the efficiency of your system, and address them before they get worse.
  • Update your insulation. Proper insulation allows the temperature indoors to remain constant. It also serves as a barrier to heat loss and gain in walls, floors, and ceilings. You can benefit from a home energy audit to detect air leaks and find areas where insulation can be improved.
  • Lower heat in your home. This also means decreasing internal load or the workload that your AC has to deal with. You can do this by closing door and windows when your AC is on, using shades and blinds at hottest times of the day, and accomplishing heat-generating tasks (showering or doing the laundry) at coolest times of the day.

Maintain the efficiency and longevity of your cooling system with the aforementioned tips. Don’t forget to hire a pro for routine maintenance or when you notice something wrong in your AC.

Types of Corrosion Resistant Wire Materials Used For Fencing

FencesThe type of fence you choose has a significant impact on the value and appearance of your property. Your objective will also determine the ideal choice for you. A wire fence is one of the best options for those looking for a beautiful fence but aren’t as concerned about privacy.

One of the significant drawbacks of wire fence installation in Sarasota, FL is its susceptibility to rust and corrosion. But there are corrosion-resistant wire materials you can use for fencing. Here are some of your best options:

Galvanized Wire

There are two types of galvanized wire use in fencing; galvanized before weld (GBW) and galvanized after weld (GAW). GBW wires have their zinc coating added during welding; therefore, their joints might not be fully coated. GAW wires are more expensive than GBW, but they offer superior corrosion and rust resistance.

Vinyl Coated Wire

These fencing materials are covered with PVC or polyester after welding. The vinyl coating surrounds the entire wire and protects it from rust and corrosion. Vinyl coated wires come in a variety of colors, but the most common are green and black. This makes them perfect for property owners concerned with aesthetics.

Stainless Steel Wires

These are arguably the most specialized wires available. They are ideally used in coastal areas because of their renowned resistance to corrosion. Stainless steel wires are expensive and highly durable but might not be as attractive as vinyl coated wires.

For property owners looking for privacy, wood and bamboo fences are an ideal option. Bamboo fencing is aesthetically pleasing but has high upfront and maintenance costs. Wood fences have a variety of customization options but are prone to rot and attack by termites and carpenter ants. Regardless of your choice, have the fence installed by an expert to ensure its durability.

Why is Your Gas Furnace Overactive and Cycling On and Off Frequently?

Man fixing gas furnaceShort cycling is an error or malfunction that could cause your gas furnace to cycle between turning on and off for brief amounts of time, typically around four to eight seconds.

If your gas furnace is displaying this behavior, it’s most probably short cycling. Many different things, with the following being the most common, could cause short cycling:

Filthy Air Filters

These could cause backups and restrict airflow, causing the blocked air to stay inside the furnace and boost internal temperature. This, in turn, leads to the furnace being turned off. Due to the warm air not seeping into your home, the temperature stays low and results in additional furnace cycles. Furnace repair specialists in Utah and other states suggest checking your air filters to see if you could still clean them or if they need replacement as soon as possible.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

An improperly positioned or damaged thermostat could result in short cycling. Avoid positioning your thermostat in direct sunlight or close to heat sources to prevent it from getting warmed up, therefore signaling your gas furnace to turn off. Get your thermostat tested regularly to make sure that it’s functioning properly.

Overheating

Most modern gas furnaces feature safety devices for tracking temperature. If this device is damaged or broken, your furnace could overheat and consequently shut off. A damaged heat exchanger likewise discharges heat into areas of your furnace that don’t need it, which causes regular on-off cycles and overheating.

An Inaccurately Sized Furnace

While an oversized gas furnace could heat up your house quickly, it also does so unequally and leads to short cycling. This is because your furnace has to struggle and deliver consistent temperature all throughout your house. In addition, poor insulation could lead to short cycling if you have an oversized gas furnace. You’ll lose most of the heat it produces through cracks, faulty seals, and holes.

Identifying and repairing a short cycling or overactive gas furnace would help keep your energy costs to a minimum and avoid further damage to your HVAC system. It’s vital to identify what’s causing your furnace to short cycle prior to tearing it apart and assuming the worst. When in doubt, consult an HVAC repair technician to help you.

 

A street of family houses

Creating the Outdoor Experience in Your House

A street of family housesSpace is a luxury for many homeowners. If you are one of the few people who own a spacious property, you can make full use of your extra space by thinking outside the box and being creative.

Your home does not end with the four walls of your house. You can enjoy many activities outside, but a fully functional patio or porch would make it more comfortable. If it provides you with shade and cover, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy the indoor and outdoor experience of a house.

Use Your Carport

If the current structure of your house does not have a porch, you should not fret. If you have a carport in Australia’s Sunshine Coast, you can turn it into a special space where you can entertain friends or spend leisurely afternoons.

The first thing you will need is a durable cover to protect you from the elements. You can ask professionals to install a multi-functional carport for you.

But that’s not all what a carport could add to your property. You can get more creative with your extra outdoor space and use it in many different ways:

1. You can create an all-weather parking space for your cars. With a carport, you can park your car under the shade.

2. You can turn that extra space on your property into an extra storage area with an overhead carport.

3. A carport can also provide the perfect cover for an outdoor lounge area. You could place outdoor chairs and tables on those sunny days and enjoy the day.

Whatever purpose you have in mind, a carport can come in handy. Contact your carport suppliers to find out about the types they have on offer. Once you have selected an appropriate carport, you can enjoy spending more time outdoors with your family.

A house in a suburban area

Things to Keep in Mind to Improve the Resale Value of Your Home

A house in a suburban areaYour home is an investment. It may not be obvious, but it fetches more value as the years go by; the value of land appreciates. And just like any other investment, it is your obligation to grow it—to up its resale value.

Upping the resale value of any property may sound laborious, but it is will make sense once you decide to move to another city and get a new home. If you are looking for some ways to do it, here are some of the things you may want to consider.

The Foundations

The home must be stable. Otherwise, it will deteriorate over time. One of the best ways to ensure its stability is by having annual home checks. What you can do at this point is have the concrete foundation repaired by a provider like Van Matre Construction, LLC in Denver. This should also include the major fixes on the basement.

The Interiors

When it comes to interiors, the theme of the home should be uniform all throughout, unless you want it to be eclectic. Other than its aesthetics, you need to inspect the walls, the columns, and the ceilings. Comfort is the priority so make sure that the insulation system is always in good condition. Furthermore, the floor should be examined.

The Exteriors

The curb appeal of the home is also a factor in determining its resale value. So as much as possible, you need to wow the onlookers and property evaluators. This is something that you can do by having your garden landscaped. Check your sidings and replace them with newer ones.

These are just some of the things to keep in mind if you want your home to have a higher resale value. To get the most out of renovations, you have to work with a reliable designer, contractor, and supplier

Size Matters… When it Comes to Swimming Pools

a swimming pool inside a private homePutting a pool on your property gives many benefits to the family. Not only does it mean enjoyment and exercise, but it also means increasing your property’s market value and kerb appeal. However, you should consider the following factors when it comes to choosing the size of your pool.

Small Yard Space

If your yard area is limited, your choices might be restricted when it comes to pool size. You could ask the pool contractor to design one for you, or you could get a fibreglass pool from a Perth manufacturer that could customise one for you.

Even if your yard is extensive, you should plan its design so you could have some space for family picnics, play areas, and even a small garden. Plan a pool that fits only about a third of your yard area.

Budget Concerns

The bigger the pool, the more water, electricity, chemicals, and manpower you need. It’s best to keep the pool to a manageable size that will suit your activities, schedule, and budget. You should also consider your energy consumption in filtering, cleaning and heating the pool. Plan how much you could spend on a pool from maintenance to utility bills.

Maintenance

You might think it is cheaper to maintain and clean a smaller pool, but there are swimming pools that do not require as much maintenance. Fibreglass pools have a gel coat surface that inhibits algae growth. This lessens the need for cleaning it with chemicals.

In Perth, fibreglass pools can be custom-made to fit a client’s demands and needs. These pools are also very durable so you can minimise the incidence of repairs.

You don’t need to have a large pool to enjoy the benefits of having one. You could choose a fibreglass pool so you could customise it according to your property’s dimensions.  Check with expert installers who could advise you on the right kind of swimming pool for you.

3 Considerations for choosing a Wheelchair Ramp

Person sitting on wheelchairMost people have trouble buying a wheelchair ramp because they do not know enough about them. Ascent Mobility says that they must be safe and durable enough for the needs of the disabled.

Here are three considerations to make when choosing a wheelchair ramp:

1. Traction

Whether riding by yourself or have someone pushing the wheelchair for you, proper traction is necessary for adequate footing and wheelchair braking. In that case, it is great to have aluminum tracks as they have non-slip grooved surfaces that sustain traction even in heavy rains. On the other hand, you can use a wooden ramp but it has to be properly cleaned to prevent debris from accumulating. They can also become slippery due to rains so you must be cautious. Alternatively, you can have it fitted with a non-slip surface to sustain traction.

2. Inclement Weather

Depending on your area, your wheelchair ramp may get a lot of exposure to rain and humidity, heavy snow and ice, and salty air. That means you should buy a ramp that can withstand environmental elements in your area. If this occurs, magnesium chloride is a simple and affordable solution.

3. Modular vs Portable

Do you have a friend or relative who comes to your house often and requires a ramp to your house? Chances are you do not need a ramp that is permanently in place as you will only be needing it once in a while. Instead, buy portable lightweight ramps. They are foldable, making them easy to store and move around.

When purchasing a wheelchair ramp, keep the weight capacity in mind. Exceeding its weight capacity may lead to accidents and ramp failures that may compromise your safety. While deciding on the weight, remember to add the weight of an extra person pushing the wheelchair.

Garage door

Garage Door Troubles You Must Keep an Eye On

Garage doorGarage doors are prone to the common wear and tear of regular use. That’s because they are at work consistently all the time, yet building owners or managers ignore them for the most part. That should not be the case.

Garage doors, whether installed at a residential or commercial property, have a very significant purpose. They offer security and protection not just for the vehicles parked in the garage but also for the entire property and the people in it.

As the owner, you must be quick to tell if there are minor problems that could cause major malfunctions in the future. You cannot ignore your garage if it is malfunctioning. If it is guarding a commercial establishment, the responsibility becomes greater because it is an even bigger property to protect.

Make sure that you are sensitive to your garage door’s state and needs as you continuously put it to work. Experts in commercial garage door repair in Salt Lake City offer the following notes about the common issues to keep an eye on:

Not closing or opening properly. If the door is not performing as efficiently as it should or as it has been while it was new, a professional inspection will spot where the problem is coming from.

Misaligned tracks. When your garage door gets off track, the brackets are usually loosened and needs tightening. If you did not resolve this immediately, it could lead to even costlier repairs concerning the springs or the cables and other elements.

When the door opens and closes, it creates loud noises. But, if the sounds are too loud, this is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Make sure to give it the attention it needs.

Garage door troubles must be resolved instantly. Otherwise, it could lead to even bigger problems and costlier repairs.