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Remodeling

 

A Very Close Look at Metal Roofing – Types, Pros, Cons and Costs

Reroofing your house is a major investment. The choices you make will affect your family’s comfort and the value of your home as well as your bank balance. When researching roofing materials, take a long-term view. Consider not only the initial costs but also the life span, energy efficiency and environmental impact of your final decision. Metal sheet goods and shingles are very versatile and durable materials that compare favorably to other roofing options over the life cycle of your roof.

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The Types of Metal Roofing

The most common types of metal roofing include galvanized steel, aluminum, copper and stainless steel. In general, metal roofing lasts from 35 years to around 200 (Haddock, 2004). In comparison, you may need to replace other materials such as asphalt shingles and wood shakes in as little as 20 years. Metal is fireproof, recyclable and environmentally friendly (Flamholtz, 1984). The primary drawback of metal roofing is its initial expense.

Metal materials are available in rolled sheets, shingles and tiles. Some products feature several color choices. Manufacturers offer stamped and shaped metal materials that resemble cedar shakes, clay tiles or slate as well as the traditional standing-seam panels.

Galvanized Steel Roofing

Galvanized steel roofing is a corrugated sheet metal product that you see on industrial and agricultural buildings as well as on homes. This material typically has a non-corrosive coating, consisting primarily of zinc, that impedes rust (“Corrugated galvanised iron,” 2014).

The pros of corrugated metal roofing include:

• Rust resistant coating
• Lasts 60 years or more
• Lower cost than other metal roofing

The main cons of this roofing material are:

• Industrial-type appearance
• Will rust where coating wears off
• Prone to salt damage in coastal areas

Aluminum Roofing

Aluminum roofing, unlike steel, withstands the corrosive challenges of salt water, so it is a better choice for coastal properties. Aluminum is a lightweight yet softer metal that is subject to denting, so it may not be appropriate in high-wind locations (Vandervort, 2013).

The pros of aluminum roofing consist of:

• Naturally non-corrosive
• Lightweight
• Requires no painting

The cons of this material include:

• Average life expectancy of 35 years
• Soft metal mars more easily
• Higher cost

Copper Roofing

Copper roofing is impervious to rust and does not require protective coatings like galvanized steel and aluminum do. Although more expensive than most other roofing metals, copper is economical in terms of low maintenance and longevity. Copper roofing is particularly adaptable to architectural elements like domes and curved dormers because it is soft and flexible. Over time, the bright penny-toned surfaces develop a greenish patina (“Roofing systems,” 2014).

Among the advantages of copper roofing are:

• Beauty
• Rustproof
• Low maintenance

The cons include:

• Cost
• Easily dented
• Loses luster over time

Stainless Steel Roofing

Corrosion resistant and durable, stainless steel roofing tops such edifices such as the Chrysler Building in New York City. Because of its strength, stainless steel roofing is thinner than some other metal roofing and thus relatively light in weight, so it doesn’t put excess stress on your roof’s understructure. Austenitic stainless steel roofing contains approximately 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. It forms its own protective coating when the chromium reacts with oxygen in the air (“Roofing: the technical guide,” 2014).

The pros of stainless steel roofing include:

• Durability
• Strength
• Low maintenance

Among the drawbacks are:

• Oxidation turns the shiny surface to a dull gray
• Expensive
• One color

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Climatic Considerations When Choosing Roof Materials

Be sure to consider your regional climate when choosing new roofing materials. If you live in a high temperature zone, reflective metal roofing is a smart decision. It repels the heat of the sun before it can make your house intolerably warm. This saves on air conditioning costs.

Some aluminum and steel roofing with optimal solar reflective properties is Energy Star compliant, cutting down on cooling demand during peak usage periods by 10-15 percent (“Roof products,” 2014). In contrast, standard asphalt composition shingles absorb heat and trap it within the home, adding several degrees to the interior temperature. Composition roofing typically deteriorates faster in hot climates too.

In the winter, snow slides easily off metal roofing, reducing stress on the structure and eliminating buildup that could cause destructive ice dams. While some metal roofs do not have as much insulating power as built-up materials like asphalt shingles, they can perform well in cool conditions with adequate insulation.

Environmental Benefits of Metal Roofing

Most metal roofing contains a minimum of 25 percent recycled material (“Energy efficiency,” 2014). Unlike composite roofing, metal roofing is completely recyclable when removed from your home, so it helps cut down on the volume of solid waste in landfills. Because metal products help deflect the heat of the sun, your indoor living spaces require less cooling, saving on energy. In addition, many metal roof products meet or exceed local energy efficiency building standards.

The Final Factor: The Cost of a New Metal Roof

The cost of the roof is likely to be the decisive factor when you make a final decision. In general, metal roof materials cost between two and three times more than standard composition shingles. However, the life cycle cost, including all roof expenses from installation to demolition, is a more practical way to judge what you will pay.

Roofing installers typically charge per “square,” an area equivalent to 100 square feet. An average cost per square for roofing materials and installation is $350, but this varies according to geographic area. For example, a 50 x 30-foot standing seam metal roof in New England costs about 10 percent more than the national average while the same roof in the South Atlantic region costs about 10 percent less (Roof installation prices, 2013).

Low maintenance, energy savings and longevity may more than balance out initial reroofing costs. In fact, the expected life span of a new roof is more relevant in calculating its life cycle cost than the expense of materials and labor (“Calculating the life cycle cost,” 2012). Additional factors that pare down overall cost include energy savings and any tax credits for qualifying materials.

From a life cycle perspective, metal roofing measures up well compared to other materials. With a life expectancy ranging from decades to centuries, an ability to repel punishing solar rays, very low maintenance and complete recyclability, metal roofing turns out to be a wise choice overall for your home, your budget and your environment.
References:

Calculating the life cycle cost of a roof (2012). Buildings, March 26, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/13816/title/calculating-the-life-cycle-cost-of-a-roof.aspx

Corrugated galvanised iron (2014). Wikipedia, April 28, 2014. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrugated_galvanised_iron

Energy efficiency (2014). Metal Roofing Alliance, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.metalroofing.com/v2/content/metal-roofing/energy-efficiency.cfm#recycling

Flamholtz, Cathy J. (1984). Metal roofing pros and cons. Mother Earth News, March/April 1984. Retrieved from http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/metal-roofing-pros-and-cons-zmaz84mazgoe.aspx#axzz35gSpmGMo

Haddock, Rob. Metal roofing from a to z (2004). Interface, May 2004. Retrieved from http://www.rci-online.org/interface/2004-05-haddock.pdf

Roof installation prices guide (2013). Roof Calculator, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.roofcalc.org/roof-installation-prices/

Roof products for consumers (2014). EnergyStar, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.energystar.gov/certified-products/detail/roof_products

Roofing: the technical guide to stainless steel roofing. The European
Stainless Steel Development Association, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.euro-inox.org/htm/p_5_EN.html

Roofing systems (2014). Copper Development Association. Retrieved from http://www.copper.org/applications/architecture/arch_dhb/arch-details/roofing/

Vandervort, Don (2013). “Types of metal roofing materials,” Hometips, July 22, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/metal-roofing-materials.html

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Top HVAC System Efficiency Comparisons for Homeowners

In the list of must-have features in modern homes, a long-lasting and efficient HVAC system ranks up there alongside sturdy foundation and dependable roof. The home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system determines the home’s livability regardless of the time of year. Aside from altering indoor climate to cool it down or heat it up, the HVAC system plays an important role in preserving indoor air quality. However, efficiency is an aspect of the HVAC system that more homeowners are paying attention to. In this post, we wanted to spend some time sharing some research we performed on various HVAC efficiency ratings and data.

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What an Efficient HVAC System can do for your Home

The primary function of the HVAC system is to maintain thermal comfort inside the home. In warmer climates, homeowners rely on the air conditioning system keep their homes comfortable. During the cold season, the heating system ensures that indoor temperatures can be maintained to comfortable and safe levels.

The ventilation part of the system promotes airflow to preserve air quality. It is also the part responsible for eliminating excess moisture to prevent mold development, the spread of airborne diseases, allergens and unpleasant odors.

Controlling indoor temperature also ensures preservation of heat and moisture-sensitive furnishings and accessories. Air conditioning and proper ventilation promote a healthy indoor environment.

Types of HVAC Systems

The design of the HVAC system will vary from one home to the next, depending on the homeowner’s requirements and preferences.

Window Unit

When space is limited or when the home’s design restricts retrofitting with air ducts, window units provide a solution. This enclosed unit includes an air cooling system, an exterior heat exchange and an interior heat exchange. Window units are practical options for smaller rooms, but these installations can interfere with the architectural style, create noise when operating and cause unsightly leaks.

The Split System

The split system consists of an outdoor unit containing the compressor and the condenser while the inside unit contains the evaporating coil. This centralized setup requires a motor blower to force the air to circulate. Most of today’s homes are designed for central air conditioning using the split design with duct work located in the ceiling, basement or attic.

Packaged Air Conditioning

A packaged HVAC system is a pre-assembled unit that can be used to control temperature and ventilate specific parts of the house but not the entire house. A typical packaged unit will have a capacity of 400 cubic feet per minute of airflow for every ton of refrigerant. A larger tonnage means larger capacity, but it will require the installation of duct work.

How to Choose HVAC Systems

A new HVAC system is a big-ticket purchase: The upfront costs are substantial whether it is an all-new installment or a replacement of an existing system. Choosing the right equipment will depend on many factors.

ASHRAE Standards

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers defined the standards for determining minimum ventilation rates, humidity and temperature ranges to make sure that enclosed spaces are fit for human occupancy. The HVAC industry uses the ASHRAE standard to recommend the type of equipment suitable to the given space. In residential buildings, the recommended rate of air change to maintain acceptable indoor air quality is .35 air changes per hour but not less than 15 cubic feet per minute for every occupant.

Home Features Affect HVAC Design

Clearly, the size of the home and its design features has an impact on the choice of HVAC system. A report from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy states that the type of HVAC equipment installed will have a significant effect on system efficiency and maintenance costs. The report emphasizes that differences in local climate will affect choice of equipment.

Load calculation takes into consideration the roof style, ceiling heights and type of insulation among other factors. An oversized system wastes energy but will also run inefficiently because the system will not operate at peak performance. Home renovation guru Bob Vila recommends that the capacity of the system should not exceed 25 percent of the calculated heating load.

Efficiency

For HVAC equipment, SEER or seasonal energy efficiency ratio is an indication of how much energy is utilized for cooling. Higher SEER numbers mean more efficient systems with many of the newer models ranging from 10 to 18 SEER. Currently, 13 SEER is the required minimum in most states. The heating seasonal performance factor or HSPF measures heating pump efficiency.

The DOE’s Energy Star Program provides an additional framework for assessing energy efficiency of HVAC and other equipment. The program mandates the inclusion of an Energy Star label on most appliances. It is the bright yellow label attached to the unit that outlines key features, an estimate of annual fuel usage based on normal use and possible savings based on national energy costs.

Investing in Quality pays Off

HVAC systems come in a wide range of designs, features and prices. Opting for a system that offers longer warranties with a track record for durability and dependability may pay off in the long run even if the initial costs are higher. For these systems, energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs and design features such as quiet operations may be worth the extra costs.

According to CNN.com, the average expected life of HVAC equipment are as follows:

HVAC components: 15 to 25 years
Furnace: 15 to 20 years
Heat pumps: 16 years
Air conditioning: 10 – 15 years
Thermostats: replace as the technology changes

Comparing HVAC Units

Choosing the right HVAC system for your home can be complicated given the range of choices available. The following table summarizes some of the essential features of the more popular HVAC brands.

Lennox Collection American Standard Platinum Carrier Infinity Series Trane Rheem
SEER 25 21 21 20 17
Noise generated by operation(decibels) 59 55 65 72 71
Compressor Parts & Warranty 10-year limited warranty on compressor and other components, but some high-end models offer lifetime warranties. 12-year warranty on compressor and 10 years on other parts. 10-year warranty for the compressor and other parts although premium units may offer lifetime warranties. 12-year warranty for the compressor and 10-year warranty on parts 10-year unit replacement warranty and 10-year parts warranty.
Extra Features Some models offer solar-ready capabilities and Wi-Fi enabled control features. The AccuComfort technology in American Standard HVAC systems is set up to adjust in fractional increments instead of on and off. Carrier units are weatherproofed with Weather Armor Ultra Protection to enhance durability and increase life span. Weatherproofing is standard on outdoor units. Higher-end units offer Comfort Link communications technology that can be configured to optimize performance and provide smartphone management. An onboard diagnostic system and fault history code is standard on some models. The system can be configured to send problem alerts to the thermostat.

How HVAC Efficiency Results in Savings

An efficient HVAC system is an investment that pays back over time. The initial costs will be hefty because it will include equipment and installation costs. Installation expenses will vary depending on the type of installation, geographic location and other restrictions. At the outset, it is important to work with a licensed HVAC contractor experienced in installation and replacement.

To understand how a more efficient system results in savings, consider this hypothetical situation:

A homeowner is trying to decide between a 10-SEER unit and a 14-SEER unit. Based on Energy Star information, the 10-SEER that costs 1500 will result in utility bills of $125 per month. The 14-SEER unit will cost $2300, but utility bills will be reduced to $90 monthly. By spending $800 extra on a more efficient system, the monthly bill is reduced by $35, which means the 14-SEER unit pays for itself in about 23 months.

Other factors such as durability and routine maintenance requirements will also affect return on investment. However, the most important decision factor has to do with how the HVAC system enhances the homeowners’ quality of life and enjoyment of their property.

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References:
http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0072-shopping-home-appliances-use-energyguide-label
http://www.grntch.com/images/ASHRAE_Standard62-01_04_.pdf
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/central-air-conditioning/buying-guide.htm
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/news/0810/gallery.how_long_things_last.toh/4.html
http://www.pdhonline.org/courses/m149/m149content.pdf
http://central-air-conditioning-units-review.toptenreviews.com/

Choosing an HVAC System


http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/52991.pdf

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5 Ways to Modernize Your Pool Area

Are you ready to stop dreaming about creating a personal oasis in your outdoor space and make it happen? These 5 spectacular add-ons and build-ins are virtually guaranteed to turn even the drabbest backyard into a resort-quality retreat:

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1. Swim-Up Bar with a Sunken Patio

With this design option, there’s no reason for anyone to feel left out of the party just because they can’t bear to get out of the pool. A strategically placed bar allows everyone to enjoy a cool, refreshing drink and a little conversation poolside by integrating underwater seating on one side and a sunken patio on the other. Don’t forget an extra-large market umbrella for shade; it will keep your guests and bartender just as cool as that clear, blue water while it adds to the festive atmosphere.

This sleek, contemporary design option is a smart way to use a rolling landscape to your advantage, but it’s also possible to create a dual-purpose bar on even the most level space with a little excavation and sturdy retaining walls. To stay safe, use break-resistant drinkware.

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2. Grottos and Shaded Caves

On the hottest summer days, even the coolest pool water isn’t a match for the unrelenting heat of the sun. Update your pool with a natural-looking grotto complete with a cascading waterfall for a relaxing retreat that will calm your mind while it provides welcome relief from the high temperatures.

Grottos vary from small, cave-like recesses that can shade one or two people from the sun to full caverns with multiple entrances, dramatic lighting and convenient ledges. These areas can provide complete privacy and an exotic atmosphere in addition to protection from the sun.

The most attractive grottos have a natural, seamless appearance that blends in perfectly with the surrounding environment. If your pool area doesn’t incorporate natural or natural-looking stone, you can create this design feature using poured concrete with rock facing paired with complementary boulders and greenery.

3. A Multi-Functional Outdoor Living Space

With today’s modern amenities, there’s absolutely no reason to ever take the party inside. Weather-proof outdoor furniture and carpeting is every bit as attractive and comfortable as anything designed for indoor use, and you can complete your poolside entertainment area with a retractable high-definition TV so that no one has to make a choice between catching the big game or spending time with friends and family around the pool. Position the screen just right and you won’t even have to get out of the pool to view the action.

On cool days or nights, take the chill off with a poolside fireplace or build a fully integrated seating area with a fire pit that extends out into the pool for cozy chats or some quiet contemplation. Even if it’s too cold to swim, this type of add-on allows you to take full advantage of your new outdoor living space.

4. Protective Domes and Enclosures

The clear ceilings and screened walls used in modern pool enclosures protect swimmers from insects and rain without taking away from the natural beauty of a thoughtfully landscaped pool area so that you can fully enjoy your pool even when the weather isn’t picture perfect. Pool enclosure designs range from permanent screened-in structures to fully retractable glass that can turn your outdoor pool into an indoor recreational area at the flip of a switch.

In addition to increasing the time you can use your pool, domes and enclosures protect finishes and prevent leaves and other debris from falling or blowing into the pool to keep your water cleaner and cut down on the time it takes to complete routine maintenance.

5. Waterpark-Quality Slides

Bars, fire pits and grottos are great for the adults, but let’s not forget the young and the young at heart. Nothing’s more fun than sliding into the pool, especially when you consider the many features that are now available. Today’s options deliver waterpark-quality experiences to backyard pools with attractive slides that appear to be carved out of the landscape.

Some of the most sought-after features include free-flowing water inside the slide to reduce friction, waterfalls that drench the slider and curves and drops to add excitement. With carefully-planned lighting, thoughtful placement and a sophisticated design, a waterslide will tempt the biggest thrill seekers in your group while adding to the visual appeal of your modern pool area.

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The Average Cost of a Summer Lawn Care Service

With the arrival of warmer weather, homeowners begin to consider how they would like to care for their lawns during the summer. When they realize that they cannot take care of their lawns on their own and need someone to help them with trimming, watering, landscaping, and weeding their yards, people often think ask themselves what they should be paying for all of these services. A variety of different factors will influence the overall cost that people should be willing to invest in a quality lawn care service. Knowing what these factors are and how they may determine the final price required for lawn care can help homeownerschoose a reliable contractor who is capable of delivering these services.

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The first factor that can determine for what price a person should be willing to pay would be the overall size of the lawn that must be maintained. A smaller yard typically requires less care than a lawn that stretches for a half acre or more and thus should not cost as much to mow, water, weed, or landscape. In fact, the website HomeWyse.com reports that the average price for mowing a yard of any size ranges from 6 cents to 31 cents per square foot. As such, the size of a person’s lawn should be one of the main determinations in how much that individual should have to pay for professional lawn care.

Another important aspect to take into consideration centers on a fair wage for the person doing the work in the yard. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professional lawn care contractors earn on average a wage of $12 an hour. A homeowner should try to match the average wage in his or her area or even pay more if the quality of the contractor’s work warrants this additional compensation.

Along with a fair wage, property owners additionally should consider compensating fairly for additional services, such as tree pruning, planting, weeding, and watering. In fact, many contractors in this industry charge extra for these services to make sure that they are being paid for their additional labor. A person who owns a lawn that is full of trees, flower beds, and gardens can expect to be charged more than a person whose lawn is bare of these additional fixtures.

Contractors in this line of work also take into consideration factors like the weather, the availability of water, and even the timeframe for which the work must be done when formulating a price to charge customers. For example, if the contractor must work during extremely hot weather, that individual may charge more for his or her service. Likewise, if an area is short on water because of drought conditions, the contractor may charge less because of his or her inability to water the lawn due to water use restrictions.

If customers need the work done immediately, contractors in this industry may additionally charge more because of the short notice given before hiring them for the job. Many lawn care professionals schedule their jobs carefully to make sure they meet all of their customers’ demands. However, if a person needs a service done right away, that individual may be charged more, particularly if the contractor must call in other workers to help.

When it comes to hiring professional lawn care services, homeowners often want to know that they are paying a fair price for the services being rendered. These considerations can help them hire a contractor who will meet their lawn care needs without overcharging them. They can also adjust the price as needed by considering variables like the weather and time restrictions.

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The Average Cost of a Having a New Wood Fence Installed

Most homeowners add a fence to their property for security reasons. However, the landscaping feature can also enhance a home’s exterior appearance. If you are a pet owner or a parent, then a fence will help you keep your loved ones safe and restricted to an area where they’ll be easy to find.

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About New Wood Fences

Wood fences are popular because of their aesthetic appeal. In some areas, a wood fence can even increase a home’s value. The cost of installing a wood fence will depend on the type of wood that you select, the size of your property and your residence’s terrain. You can hire a professional contractor to supply the fencing materials and installation crew, or you can buy the materials and complete a do-it-yourself installation. If you purchase the wood personally, then check the lumber for Forest Stewardship Council certification to make sure that the material originates from a properly managed forest site. Responsibly managed forests supply different types of wood including:

• Pine
• Cypress
• Redwood
• Cedar

Pine

Pine is a popular fence material as its composition makes it easy to use. Pine is less likely to swell, warp or shrink. You can expect to pay about $8 to $10 for each linear foot of a pine fence.

Redwood

Due to its natural makeup, redwood will resist rot and termites. The wood option is durable, and it accepts finishing substances easily. Keep in mind that redwood is pricier than other fence lumber types as it costs about $10 to $12 per linear foot.

Cypress

If you choose cypress, then you’ll be installing a visually appealing fence. The wood type is sturdy and aromatic. Cypress wood does feature knots, but they are usually small and compact. In addition, the fencing material features a natural preservation oil that increases its resistance to bugs and deterioration. Your cost for cypress will be around $7 to $10 a square foot.

Cedar

With cedar, you’ll receive a sweet smelling wood that is an appealing reddish color. It is also an easy material to use. The wood type resists decay, and most people find that their cedar fence lasts for many years. The cost of cedar is about $10 to $12 per linear foot.

About Labor Costs

Labor costs for the installation of a privacy wood fence will vary. However, you can expect to pay from $125 to $140 for about 4 hours of labor. When you receive a labor quote, it should include the cost of transporting the equipment and materials to and from your home as well as property preparation before the fence company begins the installation. The estimate will likely include cleanup and debris elimination costs along with setup and minimum hourly fees.

Possible Additional Fees

If you intend to hire a general contractor to organize and oversee the installation of your fence, then you will likely pay about 12 to 19 percent more for the extra service. You’ll also have sales tax on your fencing supplies and materials along with inspection and permit fees. Be sure to check with your area’s local building department regarding certification and construction regulations.

Wood Fence Cost Variations

The cost of adding a fence to your property will depend upon the type of property containment system that you decide to install. For instance, privacy fences are more dense and taller than traditional picket fences. Therefore, you’ll need more wood to complete the installation. Fence enhancements like caps, lattice and decorative gates also increase the cost of new wood fences.

Follow Up Care

Once your fence is installed, be sure to coat it with a weather sealer. Also, consider adding a protective treatment to prevent decay and repel bugs. Keep in mind that your fence will need regular maintenance that involves the reapplication of the substances that protect it. After your fence is installed, you may consider hiring a landscaping professional to finish the look of your home’s exterior spaces. An expert landscaper can also integrate your new fence into your yard’s current design.

Concluding Thoughts

Fencing companies make property containment systems in different types of wood. Therefore, you can select a material that will appeal to your budget, style and patience for maintenance tasks.

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The Average Cost of Adding a New Sunroom to Your Home

A sunroom can enhance your enjoyment of your home and give you additional space for entertaining or just relaxing. However, the term “sunroom” can mean different things to different people. To some, a sunroom involves little more than adding walls and a roof to an existing patio to create an area that will be used only during warm weather. For others, a sunroom is fully climate-controlled to provide comfort year-round and must be built from the ground up. The amount of new construction required and the intended use of the sunroom are the two primary factors that determine the final cost.

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Basic Construction Factors Impacting Costs

The first item on the list of construction elements that can affect cost is the foundation. If no foundation exists, the contractor must excavate the area, install forms, place rebar and pour concrete. A good foundation is essential to a sunroom that is to see year-round use. It is also a critical factor in determining how long the room will last without becoming destabilized by erosion; without a proper foundation, the room can “settle” or sink, causing cracks or gaps to form in the walls.

Sunrooms that are to provide comfort during all seasons will need to be insulated. The amount of insulation needed can affect the construction costs and depends a great deal on the local climate. Obviously, if you are building a sunroom in Boston, where the average temperature in January is 9.5 degrees Farenheit, you will need more insulation that you would to build one in Miami, which averages approximately 68 degrees during January.

Some costs are more reliant upon the intended use of the sunroom. If heating and air conditioning is desired, costs can be higher. An electrician will need to install the wiring for any outlets, lighting or ceiling fans if the sunroom is to double as another living area, such as a den or family room. Since sunrooms typically consist of lengthy expanses of glass, the quality of the windows selected can affect costs. Windows can be single- or double-paned, feature metal or wood frames, and be highly decorative or basic.

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Additional Construction Factors

A sunroom can be basic or upscale. For example, a sunroom with a high cathedral ceiling will cost more than one with a low, plain ceiling. The wall adjoining the house can be finished with drywall or expensive wood paneling. Built-in entertainment centers or bookcases can also raise the cost. Floors can be exotic hardwood, vinyl tile, brick, stone or carpet. Roofing materials need to match the house, or at least blend in for a pleasing appearance, so whether the sunroom’s roof will be slate tiles, fiberglass shingles or wood shakes affects the cost.

Another element that can affect costs is the terrain on which the room is to be constructed. The foundation needs to be placed on level, well-drained soil. If the contractor must arrange for substantial leveling of the site or clear trees first, the costs can be affected. The same is true if the soil is of a type that is too unstable to yield good results and the contractor must excavate and replace existing soil.

Virtually all cities and towns require building permits for sunroom construction. However, the cost of permits varies widely. In some towns, a permit costs well under $100, but in some major cities, the same type of permit can cost several hundred dollars. In addition, local codes may restrict plumbing, electrical or masonry work to individuals holding advanced licenses, and this has the potential to affect final costs.

Typical Costs for Sunrooms

Assuming that you want to build a sunroom of approximately 200 square feet that can be used year-round. Nationally, the cost is between $45,889 and $55,813, with HomeAdvisor.com placing the average at $49,316. This number is for a nice — but not extravagant — sunroom that required a new slab foundation and basic insulation, wiring, flooring, windows, heating and cooling, roofing and finishing. Add a few upgrades or construction challenges, such as those mentioned earlier, and costs can rise substantially, often to as much as $72,000 or more.

On the other hand, if you want to just have a patio surround built, the national average for this type of sunroom is approximately. $22,400. This is assuming that the foundation is already in place and does not need extensive repairs or enlargement. However, because these rooms are not resting on a thick slab foundation, they are difficult to heat or cool, so such sunrooms are better suited to temperate climates. Also, wall insulation is normally not as thick, which can make the room unsuitable in areas that experience cold winters or very hot summers. In addition, the location, size and shape of the sunroom is dictated by the existing patio, which means that you could end up with a sunroom that is smaller than you would like or that does not have the proper exposure to catch the light well.

There are numerous options from which to choose when you decide to build a sunroom. The first step is to decide how you plan to use the room, where you will build it and how large you would like it to be. The second step is to contact a reputable contractor for a quote. Discuss your exact requirements, such as heating and air conditioning, interior and exterior finishing, wiring and upgrades, with the contractor. Make sure that all elements are covered in the bid, including options you have selected, who will bear the cost of permits and the completion time. With the proper planning and choice of contractor, you will be able to enjoy your new sunroom quickly, and for many years to come.

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Four Big-Ticket Home Remodeling Upgrades with Resale Value

Few homeowners are completely satisfied with the layout, décor or overall appearance of their homes. This often leads to big home renovation projects, many of which cost thousands of dollars to complete. As these homeowners spend their savings or take out additional mortgages to finance these improvements, they often begin to wonder whether the renovations will really increase the value of their homes or will simply take all their money.

While the average costs associated with remodeling have dropped 10-15 percent in the past few years, the overall selling prices for most homes has also decreased. This makes choosing renovations that will provide the most resale value even more important.

While small remodeling projects, such as replacing a worn front door or updating to energy efficient windows, still bring the highest returns, there are opportunities for larger renovations to improve a home’s value. These are the top four big-ticket home remodeling upgrades that retain the most resale value:

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1. Kitchen Remodeling Projects
While gutting and completely rebuilding a kitchen is an expense that generally will not pay off for homeowners, a fairly minor kitchen re-do can add up to 83 percent to the home’s value. By simply updating a kitchen with new cabinet doors, newer appliances and high-quality countertops, sinks and hardware, homeowners can provide a new look to their kitchen for under 20,000 dollars. Potential buyers walk into these partially renovated spaces and assume that these changes cost between 40,000-50,000, and they are willing to pay more for the homes.

A good rule of thumb for kitchen remodeling projects is to budget and spend approximately 25 percent of the home’s value. Spending more than this will be putting too much capital into a home that will not be recouped at resale. Additionally, homeowners should be cautious about building ultramodern spaces in traditional homes. Potential buyers like to see updated fixtures, but they also want kitchens that match the style of the home’s architecture.

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2. Bathroom Remodeling Projects
When potential buyers view a home, quality bathrooms are often their second-highest priority. Like renovated kitchens, remodeled bathrooms can look especially high-end, clean and luxurious. These qualities can entice many buyers to pay top-dollar for homes.

Remodeling a bathroom does not have to cost a lot either. Putting just 5,000-10,000 dollars into repainting, tiling and adding high-quality fixtures can truly transform a bathroom into a home oasis that will reap a 60 percent return on investment. Homeowners with multiple bathrooms should choose their remodeling projects carefully. Buyers like the idea of spa-like master suites, and updating guest powder rooms can also impress.

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3. Basement Renovations
Completing an unfinished basement or renovating an out-of-date basement can add significant living space to a home that will be reflected in value at sale time. Because homeowners are simply utilizing space that already exists in their homes to create additional living quarters, remodeling a basement is a surefire way to increase the value of their homes. Unfinished basements that are renovated into fully functional living rooms, extra bedrooms or even man caves can bring a 70 percent financial return at resale time. Of course this dollar amount depends on the square footage of the basement, but even small spaces that are made livable will see financial gain.

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4. Attic Conversions
Constructing an addition or expanding the roof or foundation is a costly renovation project that typically does not offer much in resale returns. However, homeowners that can fully renovate an interior space, such as an attic, spend less money and therefore make more profit when they sell. Because attics are typically used for storage and are then considered wasted space, renovating them to become usable living area can add significant value to homes. Most often these attics are converted into additional bedrooms, sometimes returning as much as 84 percent of the cost in resale value. Older homes are particularly appropriate for attic renovations since many of them have high rooflines that yield larger spaces under the eaves. These areas can become cozy bedrooms, libraries and bonus rooms.

While big-ticket renovations see the highest yields at resale, there are a number of smaller investments that often bring an even greater investment. Remodeling projects such as swapping out an entry door, adding a wood deck or updating a home’s siding typically cost even less than these projects but see more than 90 percent in resale returns. Homeowners who want to see value when it comes time to resell their homes need to carefully pick and choose their renovation projects.

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The Average Cost of Composite Decking

Adding a new deck to your home increases the value of the property, boosts its aesthetic appeal and expands your family’s living spaces. Composite decking is a durable and environmentally friendly option that provides a good return on your home improvement investment.

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Cost of Composite Decking

Decking costs vary by region, material type and the complexity of your deck design. For example, if you plan to incorporate railings, benches, a spa enclosure or a pergola in your new deck, your cost will be higher than average. Currently, the average price for basic composite decking material ranges between $6 and $8 per square foot(1).

Various manufacturers price their composite decking differently. Less costly materials are hollow-core or cellular in construction while higher-end materials are solid throughout. Some manufacturers make their boards wider for added stiffness and stability, which raises the cost. Several companies produce more than one product line, each priced differently.

Comparing Decking Materials

EPA’s Decking Alternatives Cost Calculator provides a reasonable cost comparison of various decking materials. The following totals reflect the average price for a completed 20 x 30 foot deck as of 2006:

• $4,029: pressure treated pine
• $5,121: recycled plastic/wood composite
• $5,745: cedar/redwood

The Average 10-Year Cost of Composite Decking

According to EPA, the 10-year cost of a composite deck is nearly the same as its initial cost because maintenance is minimal. In contrast, the 10-year cost of a redwood deck is almost double its original price due to high maintenance. Similarly, the 10-year price of a pine deck is $9,921 compared to its original price tag of $4,029.

Therefore, when you cost out your decking options over the longer term, you see the advantage of putting a bit more money into low maintenance composite materials. Additionally, your composite deck lasts longer — up to 50 years. In comparison, well-maintained wood decks average only about 20 years before they need to be replaced.

Factors That Raise the Price of Your Composite Deck

Besides the size of your deck, the shape, elevation and the number of built-in features affect the cost. If you plan to take the best advantage of standard lengths of composite lumber, your cost per square foot will be less than if your design calls for dimensions that produce more waste. Lengths may vary according to the product you plan to use, but in general, 8′, 10’, 12’ and 16’ are the standard lengths for decking lumber.

If your design calls for curves or cutouts, additional installation costs will add to the ultimate price. However, since your composite deck is likely to outlast your tenure in your home, you may believe it worthwhile to pay for custom work that adds to its beauty.

Also, if your deck is elevated above the ground or built on terraced levels, your financial outlay will be higher than the cost of a deck on level ground. If your property requires excavation to accommodate a deck, be sure to include that expense in your calculations.

Railings, steps, planters, benches, trellises, gazebos, hot tub platforms and other custom add-ons further raise your initial deck cost. You may choose to include some essential features, such as steps, during construction but to add others, like benches, later as your budget allows.

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Additional Benefits of Composite Decking

Wood and plastic composite lumber provides a number of benefits over natural wood products. Composites are:

• Non-toxic
• Guaranteed not to rot, crack or splinter
• Stain resistant
• Resistant to salt water and fresh water damage
• Permanently stained and sealed
• Mildew and mold resistant
• Insect proof
• Resistant to ultraviolet rays
• Washable and impervious to chemical damage

In addition, composite decking is environmentally friendly. It is made from recycled wood, so it does not impact living forests. It contains waste plastic that would otherwise end up in landfills. Most composites contain no chemicals that could affect rainwater runoff.

Some homeowners prefer the look and feel of wood decking to composite materials. However, manufactures are currently producing more natural-looking composites in more color than ever. Given the low maintenance and longevity of composite materials, they represent a wise home improvement investment.

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Important Facts about Heated Flooring

Hardwood and tile floors have their advantages, such as giving the illusion of more interior space and eliminating stains as seen on carpets. However, stepping onto a cold floor during the winter months has its drawbacks, and the ice-cold feeling you get from your feet to your knees makes you want to crawl back in bed or sleep with your socks on.

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Heated flooring takes away the cold, unwelcome feeling of standing on hardwood and tile floors in the morning and throughout the day. More homeowners now have heated flooring because of its many benefits, one of which includes saving money on heating bills. Heated flooring warms the room and allows you to keep the thermostat on a lower setting.

Five Facts About Heated Floors

1. Not all heated flooring systems are the same.

Radiant floors produce heat in one of three ways: electricity, hot air or hot water. While hot air-based heated floors provide the least energy efficiency, water-based systems offer the most efficiency in heating large and small spaces. The rising costs of utilities makes electric-based heated floors a costly investment in the long run.

2. Heated floors provide even heating.

Heated floors generate consistent and even heating throughout a room. They warm the furniture and the interior space. Normal heating systems turn on and off, providing heat only when the thermostat deems it necessary. Radiant heat continues to provide balanced warmth and minimizes the need to find the right setting on the thermostat.

3. Heated flooring is an allergy-free solution.

Heating systems gather dust and spread it throughout the house. To make matters worse, dust mites live in the ductwork and contaminate the living space and upset your allergies. Heated flooring does not release any allergens and cleans easily with a broom and a mop.

4. Radiant floors work in every room.

Heated flooring keeps the bedroom nice and warm during the winter, but it can also heat other rooms in the house. Radiant flooring works well in the kitchen, the bathroom and any other room with hardwood and tile. Heated floors are not just for new construction; you can have them installed in any room of any home regardless of its age.

5. Heated flooring rarely freezes.

Water-based radiant floors continuously run throughout the winter and rarely freeze unless you turn off the system for a long time. Even under extremely freezing temperatures, the heating system still operates normally at a lower thermostat setting.

Having radiant flooring in your home does more than keep you warm and toasty. It increases the resale value of your home, lowers your electric bills in the winter and minimizes the effect of airborne allergens. You can have heated flooring installed in any room of your home and enjoy its benefits for many winters to come.

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5 Ways to Create Eco- Friendly Inspired Homes

One of the brightest forms of current ecological activity is in the area of metal construction. There are now a whole host of ways that steel buildings can be actively used to enhance and organize all areas of home activity. Versatile and durable, steel constructions are environmentally friendly from the outset. Companies such as Future Buildings now specialize in provided prefabricated steel buildings that are quick to build and create very little waste. Ideal for a whole range of uses, here are five ways that these green designs can enhance a home.

Garages

Steel is the most sustainable of all construction materials and can offer the most environmentally aware approach to home activity. Advanced forms of garages and car ports can be an essential for most families, presenting an ideal amount of space and security. The long-lasting durability of steel is an obvious must for car owners looking to store their vehicle in the safest way. The huge advantage of using a modern steel building for this task is that every design can be individually tailored to each user’s requirements. This can mean a tidy and well balanced garage.

Storage

Practical storage solutions can be an essential element of ecological living.  The best forms of steel constructions can be put up in far less time than more traditional building methods, offering a greater amount of time for designing exactly how best to store items.  Outbuildings and annexes can be a great way of de-cluttering the home itself, ultimately creating more space in and around the house.

Workshop and office

Households and businesses are both beginning to see the advantages of modern steel constructions in the practical form of offices and additional workshops.  A home office can be easily installed on the grounds of a house quickly and conveniently.  Presenting a fully secure location for all working activities, a green office space can make working around the house a well organized – and decisively green – activity.

Garden

The garden is often key to enjoyable relaxation around the home. With the latest forms of steel construction this enjoyment can be heightened even further.  The practicality and ease of use of the latest styles of metal constructions can bring an extra element of forward-thinking to every home garden. Able to safely store gardening equipment and horticultural items, the latest forms of steel construction present the ideal way of looking after the garden in the greenest possible way.  Lighting and heating elements can also be safely installed, allowing the growing and careful cultivation of plants.

Living

The latest styles of steel buildings can be used as beautifully contained guest houses or annexed living quarters. The wipe clean edges of a carefully constructed pre-fab space can help save on cleaning products and detergents. Steel does not rust or require any form of treatment or extra care. The material is certainly the greenest of all available home construction materials, and can make an extra living space both comfortable and perfectly secure. With the most solid of structural supports, a futuristic steel building can make a valuable addition to every home.

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How Long Should New Vinyl Siding Last?

In the 1950s, vinyl siding was first introduced to the market as an alternative to aluminum siding. Siding that is made of vinyl was more lightweight and less prone to dents, and paint lasts much longer on vinyl than on siding that is made of metal or wood.

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The Components
Vinyl siding has two layers. The bottom layer contains synthetic resin and polyvinyl chloride, which is one of the most commonly produced types of plastic in the world.

The top layer is made of titanium dioxide, and this substance provides the siding’s color while acting as a physical barrier against UV rays.

Water
To prevent dirt from becoming embedded and very difficult to remove, a homeowner should use a pressure washer to clean the house’s siding at least once per year.

Water won’t harm vinyl siding unless the water has a temperature of more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. When liquid that has such a high temperature hits vinyl, it will trigger a chemical reaction that can cause some of the titanium dioxide to break up and to fall off prematurely. Furthermore, the heat will swiftly fade the color of any paint that has been added to the siding.

Unlike hot water, rainwater will take many years to remove the color of your home’s siding. A homeowner should install an overhang at the edge of the roof to ensure that a large amount of water, which flows on the shingles during storms, isn’t hitting the siding consistently.

Sunlight
When the majority of homes had aluminum siding, the sun’s rays would heat the thin metal to an incredibly high temperature and cause the siding’s paint to swiftly begin to chip and to come off.

Vinyl is not a powerful conductor of heat, but the sun’s UVA rays, which are the longest UV rays that our star produces, can penetrate deep into the titanium dioxide and cause it to fade when the UV index is higher than 10.

Winter Weather
Snow does not damage vinyl siding, but ice can cause the siding to crack prematurely. When water seeps between the siding during a storm or after you wash the exterior of your home, that water can remain within the siding for weeks.

If the water turns into ice, it will expand. Over time, the constant expansion and contraction of the siding will weaken it substantially, and although the ice won’t cause it to break apart, the frozen water will make the vinyl much thinner and allow a light impact from a piece of hail or a poorly thrown baseball to create large holes in the material.

Hail
Impacts by pieces of hail that have a diameter of more than one inch will create large dents or holes instead of simple scratches, and as a result, a homeowner’s only choice is to completely replace siding that has been damaged by hail.

Scratches And Scuffs
Roofing materials, tools that are used in a garden and pieces of wood can easily scuff siding. These blemishes can only be removed by lightly scrubbing them for at least 10 minutes with brushes that are made of steel or nylon, and scrubbing the vinyl too roughly will create scratches.

To remove scratches, a contractor can use a sander to make the surface smooth again. Next, the technician will apply a filler that is made of wax or silicon to completely eliminate any trace of the blemish.

The Statistics
According to studies that were conducted by Alcoa and the Vinyl Siding Institute, vinyl siding on homes in the United States remains in good condition for 50 years on average, and the majority of companies that manufacture siding provide a warranty that lasts for 20 years to 55 years.

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How Long Should Residential Home Windows Last?

Windows come in a variety of styles, designs and sizes. Years ago, the material used for window frames was limited to wood, but today, you can choose vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass windows. However, wood frames are still one of the most popular material options. Today’s window manufacturers also produce different types of glass to give you a more energy efficient product.

Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows offer energy saving benefits. The material choice is also affordable. Window manufacturers make vinyl windows from PVC, and as a result, the product can vary in quality. Today’s vinyl is a durable product. Also, manufacturers have advanced the window style’s structural design and implemented construction changes, so if you select vinyl windows, then you will have a quality product that can last as long as 15 years depending on your climate. Keep in mind that vinyl windows have a tendency to warp and become unworkable if they are not installed properly. In addition, the material may fail more quickly in areas that experience high summer temperatures and low winter temperatures. The reason for the failure is that the substance expands in the heat while the cold weather causes it to contract. In addition, if you live in an area with extreme summer temperatures, then vinyl window frames in dark colors will likely have more problems than light-colored models.

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Wood Windows
Wood windows are a popular choice for many homeowners due to the material’s diversity. Furthermore, the option should last for 30 years or more depending on your climate and the type of maintenance that you complete on a regular basis. If you live in an old home with the original wood windows, then you can add weather stripping to increase their efficiency. By repairing your old windows, you are helping the environment since you are decreasing landfill waste and using fewer resources to maintain your home’s interior temperatures. Hardwood windows are expensive, but the material is durable. Also, maintenance is simple as the home feature only requires oil. Hardwood windows give you a diverse style because you can paint them or leave them in their natural state. If you choose to install softwood windows, then the material choice will be more affordable than hardwood. However, expect additional maintenance as you’ll need to paint the style or maintain them regularly.

Aluminum Windows
Aluminum is an appealing material choice because it is affordable and stronger than vinyl. Depending on your area’s climate, aluminum windows should last from 15 to 20 years. The material option is best for homes in mild climates due to the failures that frequently occur with the option in more extreme environments. For instance, aluminum windows may suffer from seal failures, glass condensation between the frames and operation issues as the material begins to corrode and break down. In addition, the energy efficiency ratings for aluminum are poor.

Climate Tips
When you begin shopping for new windows, be sure to assess your climate. For instance, wood typically provides the best insulation, but the material can rot. Therefore, it may not be the best choice for rainy or humid climates. Alternatively, when heat transfer and loss is an area issue, aluminum windows may not be the best material choice. However, aluminum is ideal for rainy and humid climates. The substance is also strong, and manufacturers can build aluminum windows to meet the strict building codes in coastal areas. For many homeowners, vinyl is a practical option. Also, the material choice is available in various colors, which lets you select windows that increase the visual appeal of your home. Once you begin considering new windows, assess each style’s U-value as the measurement estimates a window’s ability to withstand heat loss. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC, is another measurement to consider because it calculates the amount of heat that can enter your home through a window.

Tips for Selecting the Best Windows
If your windows are beginning to age, then it may be time to replace or repair them. Keep in mind that windows are a longtime investment, so be sure to select the right material for your area. Also, evaluate the home feature’s glaze and insulation materials to acquire the best replacement results for your residence. When you upgrade your windows, you’ll decrease your utility bills and help the environment.

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The Average Cost of New Siding and other Home Exteriors

Hiring a contractor to install new siding is a large project that can have a bill ranging from $1,500 to $15,000. This huge price range depends largely on the building’s size and your choice of material. Typically, a contractor must come out to your home to give you a customized quote, but you can get an idea of the siding installation cost by looking at an average size home of about 2,200 square feet.

Vinyl Siding
For every square foot of wall surface, vinyl siding costs between $2 and $3. For example, 1,000 square feet would require $2,000 to $3,000 worth of materials. Labor costs are typically based on the region and union laws. In general, you need to add between $50 and $150 per hour for labor. Your contractor usually quotes a flat labor amount, but this can increase if issues arise during installation.

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Aluminum
Stronger than vinyl, but prone to dents, aluminum is slightly more expensive. At $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot, a 2,000 square foot area costs between $5,000 and $7,000 to cover.

It is critical to note that labor and material charges grow substantially bigger when the surface area increases. Installing siding on a small guest house, for example, is significantly cheaper compared to an installation on your main home.

Wood
Natural or engineered wood gives a traditional feel to the home, but you must choose the wood type carefully. Find engineered or treated wood that has specialized coatings to resist decay and insect damage. For a basic wood installation, each square foot costs $5 to $7.50. Typically in square or rectangular shingle shapes, this siding choice is more labor intensive. Because each shingle must be attached separately, the contractor may charge more per hour or increase the amount of hours for the job. Check all the paperwork before you sign a contract with a company to ensure that labor costs have a reasonable cap.

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Fiber Cement
If you want a wood appearance without the maintenance, look for fiber cement siding. Available in a rainbow of colors, this siding has a wood grain and remains resilient against weathering and insect damage. For a 3,000 square foot wall surface, expect to pay between $13,500 and $27,000 for materials alone. Labor may be more negotiable for this siding because of its easier installation pattern.

Stucco
Stucco is a plaster mixture that must be applied to the building’s outside surface. This unique siding lasts for many years with barely any maintenance, but it costs between $4 and $10 for each square foot, not including labor. Although a 2,200 square foot surface ranges between $8,800 and $22,000 for stucco materials, it may be the last siding you ever purchase.

Unexpected Expenses
Other expenses surprise you as the contractor begins the job. If you have not removed the old siding, for example, an extra $1,000 to $3,000 is added to the quoted installation amount. Requesting insulated siding costs significantly more, depending on the insulation and siding type.

Once removed, the contractor may find poor structural wood on your home, such as supportive beams damaged from termites. This wood must be replaced. The contractor could be liable for faulty siding installation if the wood fails under the new material. You must calculate new wood supports and the labor involved to fully complete your siding project.

Asking for more men on the job to finish the installation faster only increases your labor amount because the contractor must pay more per hour to his workers. Any increase in labor and materials will be presented to you. No work can be completed without your approval on all changes.

Adding new siding to your home increases the value significantly, but you must pay for the upfront costs to receive the eventual benefits. Talk to several contractors to get separate quotes for comparison. Choose a reliable contractor that will transform your home’s exterior.

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The Average Cost of Installing New French Doors

There’s an old joke among professionals that when a client asks a question that they don’t know the answer to, they are told to respond, “That depends,” which gives them time to look up the answer. Strangely enough, in the case of giving an estimate for the cost of installing new French doors, “that depends” is probably one of the most honest answer you will ever receive.

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And as much a non-answer as it may seem, it’s true, since there are such a large number of variables that depend on what you want and how extensively you shop, that at first glance there is no better answer. Fortunately, therein lies an opportunity for you to get exactly what you want and for a price you can afford.

There’s Nothing Like French Doors
There is probably very little to compare to the inviting and elegant look of French doors to a home’s appearance. It’s little wonder that in the past few years the demand for French doors has skyrocketed. Quality French doors can be made from a wide variety of materials that not only enhance the look of a home, but can also be made to fit practically any budget. Further, modern technology allows French doors to be made in a multitude of designs that will compliment any decor.

But What About the Cost?
If you have decided that French doors are for your home, chances are good that you have already taken a deep breath and taken a good hold on yourself over the cost. The good news is that not only will the cost not be as difficult to handle as you might first think, but if there’s a silver lining to the current economic outlook, it ‘s the fact that there are many dealers out there on the market who are not only able but willing to make you a good deal. The trick is to shop around and make dealers compete against each other.

Many Ways to Choose
Just as is the case with many home projects, there are many ways to approach having French doors created for your home. First, there are specialty stores who make and install doors. That’s all. Then there are stores who sell doors along with many other items for the home. Lastly, there are carpenters who can create a door made to measure for your home.

All three of these approaches have downsides and benefits all of their own. Again, the trick is to shop around and tell each one what you are doing. You can rest assured that when they know they are competing against each other they will want to negotiate on price in order to get the work.

Cost Ranges
Depending largely on where you are and the market of the area were you are looking, the cost of French doors can range anywhere from $ 375 to $ 505 on the low end, and $ 615 to $ 745 on the high end for the doors themselves. Installation is priced separately, from $ 93 to $ 155 on the low end, and $ 195 to $ 278 on the high end. Of course, much of the installation costs are for labor, but some costs are for materials such as weatherstripping, insulation, and other sundry items.

Stepping Back
Before you decide on which vendor to choose to instal your French doors, you should step back from the job, take a good look at what you are getting, and don’t be afraid of going back for a further round of negotiations with the vendor. You can bet that they will be willing to adjust prices, just maybe not too much. They need to make a living too, but your ultimate purpose is beautiful French doors.

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Request an Estimate from a Local French Door Installation Company – Here!!

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Local Looks – Custom Bathroom Floor Coating in Minnesota

We received a submission from Minnesota. A reader, Sammy Jo, submitted a project that appears to have turned out quite nicely. They wanted to replace the flooring in their bathroom. After examining a few options, they wanted to save money, but had a goal of giving themselves a modern / contemporary look. Once the options were weighed, they ended up deciding to go with a floor coating, similar to what you would sometimes see in garages across America. Here is the bathroom flooring before they started.

Before – Old Tile Floor

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The homeowner did the demolition on the floor by themselves, which saved them money. They then told us that they began to investigate how to install the new floor coating on their own. It turned out that this wasn’t a great idea. So, after some deliberation, they decided to call a contractor. They decided to contract Garage Floor Coating of Minnesota, a local company to them, to come in and finish the project professionally. They told us that going with the professionals was the best solution, especially after seeing the finished product.

We have to agree, the floor looks great! I hope you enjoy them for a long time Sammy Jo from Minnesota!

After – Custom Bathroom Floor Coating

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What You Can Expect the Average Cost of a New Roof in 2014 to Be

As with everything else, the cost of roofing materials and labor keep going up. Planning allows you to create a reliable budget for these big-ticket items. Whether you are interested in the latest technological advances or want to keep your old roofing style and materials, accurate pricing is imperative.

Your local roofing specialists can provide you with additional information about the structure of your home and any special considerations you may have. Skylights, solar paneling, custom chimneys or other building characteristics greatly affect the cost of the project. In addition, the rates are higher if there are multiple layers of roofing material to dispose of and replace.

The most common styles of roofing projects use metal, rubber and asphalt or shingle roofing. The prices of these materials have a tendency to increase in more populated areas. The market and regional popularity also have an influence on the final expense. When obtaining an estimate for your roof, include the following materials and services in your plan to help create a more accurate financial plan:

Metal Roofing
Metal roofs are popular right now. They save on removal fees because they can go on over most existing roof structures. These roofs come in colors that will compliment homes, barns and businesses. Most metal roofs have a 50-year life span. Weather, quality and technical skill play an important part of the actual condition and durability of the life of your new roof. Estimates vary by region and may be higher in some areas.

Northeast: $8.30 to $11.04 per sq ft
$1604 to $2138.70 for 200 sq ft
West Coast: $8.89 to $12.30 per sq ft
$1779 to $2450.00 for 200 sq ft

Rubber Roofs
Rubber roofs are very durable and require limited maintenance. These roofs are generally flat and contain membranes that help draw the water into channels and then into dispersal systems to protect the building and foundation. These roofs use a single sheeting of rubber cut to fit the size of the building. This eliminates seams and reduces maintenance. These roofs usually last about 20 years but most manufacturers only guarantee them for 10 years. Prices for these roofs may increase by as much as 14% due to the complexity of the roofing job.

Northeast: $2.15 to $3.32 sq ft
$373.89 – $738.51 for 200 sq ft roof
Midwest: $2.14 to $3.25 per sq ft
$2148 to $2781 for 200 sq ft roof

Asphalt Roofs
Traditional shingle roofs are found on many different styles of houses, buildings and structures throughout the United States. They are popular because you can easily install a new roof over the top of an existing roof. This helps keep the price down and reduces your landfill waste. The prices will increase about 12% to 15% if you have hired a general contractor to oversee the project.

Northeast: $5.63 to $7.30 per sq ft
$1129 to $1467 for 200 sq ft roof
Midwest: $5.59 to $7.26 per sq ft
$1118 to $1453 for $200 sq ft roof

If these options do not meet your needs, there are other roofing options to consider. Remember, whatever style you choose, there are many things to consider when totaling the price of your roof. Labor and materials are only part of the total cost. Discuss your needs extensively with your contractor. There may be structural considerations, timing issues and disposal concerns once the project is underway. Addressing these subjects early on keep them from becoming a major problem later.

Information Provided by The Roofing Directory

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4 Great Front Porch Remodeling Ideas

The front porch is making a comeback, and homeowners around the nation are giving their front entrances a makeover. You can spruce up your front porch and turn it into a relaxing retreat that you will enjoy anytime the weather is nice, and you may even find yourself sitting on the porch to watch storms that roll through. Here are some ideas for incredible front porch makeovers that you can use on your own home.

Check out the Front Porch Ideas Generator – Visualize Your Own Front Porch Ideas

Protection and Privacy
Most front porches feature wide open space above the railing, and this can leave the area exposed to the elements. You can make this space more private and offer protection from the elements by closing it in with louvered panels and functional shutters.

A contractor can add vertical supports spaced evenly around the porch to hang the panels and shutters. Placing the louvered panels along the roof to make the space feel more private. Mounting the shutters along the railings allows them to be closed against the rain or opened to let a breeze in.

Finish off the area with some gauzy curtains over the stairs. Tie them back to welcome guests in, and then close them when the weather turns cool in the evenings and you want to keep the mosquitoes away. With the protection from the elements, you can add more comfortable furnishings and even a ceiling fan to complete the new front porch.

Dressing up a Small Porch
A small covered porch doesn’t have to be boring. Even a tiny space can become more welcoming when it’s renovated to make it more attractive and important. Make a small porch more impressive by adding key architectural changes.

Simple supports made of wrought iron can be replaced with impressive pillars for a bold look. Choose an elegant hanging light that will add a finishing touch to the ceiling. Have the simple trim around the fascia replaced with exquisite crown and decorative molding. If you have a concrete surface on the floor, hire a contractor to cover it with beautiful natural stones like travertine or marble. You can also soften the look and make it feel more elegant by adding sheer curtains along the exposed walls of the porch.

Go Larger
Small front porches can be expanded to become stunning outdoor living spaces. A gabled roof can be used to provide shade and shelter while adding architectural interest to the building. The porch itself can be extended from a simple area in front of the home to a full porch that extends from one side of the building to the other. If the porch will be very large, you might consider adding skylights to the roof to provide natural light around the front door to the home.

In addition to expanding the footprint of the porch, you can also go bolder with the supports. Replace simple pillars with stunning brick columns topped with bold wood columns featuring decorative trim. Use round Greek-style pillars instead of simple wrought-iron. Paint the woodwork and new supports a contrasting color to help them stand out from the home and become an important architectural detail.

This is also an excellent time to change the shape of your front porch. A simple covered porch is more interesting when the front of it is rounded and extends beyond the roof line. If the porch is near the corner of the house, you can choose an octagonal shape to add more visual interest to the home. If you have a decorative window directly above the porch, consider a flat roof with a railing around the upper part to create a balcony. Even though you will never get to use the decorative balcony, it will still add an elegant touch to the home.

Open the Structure Up
Some people want more privacy, and other people want the front of their home to be more visible. If your front porch has a simple railing that leaves it feeling bland, consider opening up the space by removing the railing. Install more attractive pillars and invest in stunning trim work to add visual appeal, but remove the railings completely to make the house look more open and inviting. Use all-weather furniture because there will be limited protection from the elements. Add interest to the space by using a few potted plants around the patio.

Front porches don’t have to be large to be amazing. Some of the most impressive porches have a small footprint. However, you can make any porch more impressive with these great remodeling ideas. Contractors can help you take a simple front porch and turn it into an important part of your home’s living space. Whether you add natural stone tiles and beautiful molding to your small porch or have it completely remodeled to add square feet, skylights and a luxurious look, you are going to love how the right front porch transforms your home.

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5 Awesome Traits of a Luxurious Bathroom

To change the look and feel of a home without spending huge money on renovations, homeowners are turning to tiles. From country to modern to chic, every type of design aesthetic can be updated with new tiles.

Porcelain Wood Tiles
Porcelain tiles that emulate wood grain are the newest trends available to homeowners (also known as “faux wood”). It has been building for a few years with tiles being introduced as a modern update to wood floors. Now, wood tiles come in different shapes and sizes. From walls to floors to ceilings, porcelain wood tiles are being used all over the home. Mixed wood tiles are the newest trends in wood. Light tiles that appear distressed and aged are popular. It can transform a kitchen or bath into a coastal-cottage inspired home design. It’s the new and improved shabby chic look.

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With the popularity of reclaimed wood, homeowners want that aged patina in their homes, but it can be difficult to find the perfect piece without scouring the countryside personally. Wood tile gives homeowners choices that they wouldn’t be able to find naturally. Colors of porcelain wood tiles range from faded-blue, weathered-gray and light brown to white, rust or tan. Weathered, peeling and distressed wood has hazards like paint chips, lead from old paint or splinters. With wood tile, homeowners get all the good attributes of weathered wood with none of the bad.

Painted Glass
Instead of glass mosaic tiles, homeowners now get a more ethereal tile choice for the bathroom or as a tile for the back splash in the kitchen. The back of the glass tile is painted with the color of choice. This gives the tile a shiny patina that fits in with polished kitchens. High-gloss counter tops and shiny appliances are a growing trend that allows the addition of these stunning pieces of glass. These glass tiles fit in with modern kitchen designs quite beautifully.

In the bathroom, these glass tiles can add to the feel of a seaside retreat. Popular color choices like blue, green or sand can make the homeowner feel like they are in a cottage by the sea. It gives an added dimension that can’t be matched with traditional tiles.

Faux Stone
Homeowners that might want the look of stone flooring without the disadvantages are turning to a ceramic alternative. Faux stone has the timeless appearance of traditional slate, travertine or sandstone flooring with none of the hassles.

Natural stone needs to be sealed against damage repeated through the life of the floor, and still after sealing, it is not completely resistant to chemicals or stains. Something as simple as lemon juice can stain a natural stone floor. Each natural stone tile might be a different color than the next. There’s no real uniformity to the color scheme of the tiles. For some homeowners, that can present a design problem.

Faux stone tiles are easier to install. They are stain-resistant without the constant sealing that natural stone requires. They cost less to buy and to install than natural stone. They are becoming a natural choice for homeowners who don’t want the fuss or expense of natural stone floors, walls or counter tops. Faux stone tiles can be used to create a floor or a wall with uniform color and design.

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The Pros and Cons of Bathtub and Shower Liners

What is a bathtub and shower liner? They’re liners that are made of the same material that your existing shower is made of, without the additional fiberglass backing. In most cases, they’re custom molded to the exact contours of your existing fixture, and slide right on top of the old one without having to demolish part of your home.

Bathtub and shower liners have been around since at least the 1980s, but are now enjoying an increase in popularity in the home remodeling industry. This is because of new advances in technology that have allowed them to become a more viable option by reducing many of the problems that plagued the days of their inception. This does not leave them without their faults, however. Let’s look at some of the reasons to install a bathtub or shower liner as opposed to undergoing a full-scale remodel.

Quick Installation – In most cases, you can call a company that specializes in liners and they can have a technician sent out to gather measurements within a week. After the technician gathers the required measurements, he submits them to the factory that he represents, and they will begin molding your liner as their workload permits. Once it’s ready, the installation crew will come out to your house and install it in a matter of a single day. You can use your shower or tub the same day they install it.

Cheaper Than a Remodel – Electing to install a liner is much cheaper than a remodel. Depending on your choices, the difference can be as little as a few hundred dollars for a liner, or a few thousand dollars for a remodel. Most of your costs will always revolve around your own personal choice in design, texture, material, and how drastically you want to change your bathroom. If you just want to cover a few scratches or chips, a process called refinishing may be right for you.

No Wrecking Ball Required – Most remodeling jobs require no small amount of demolition in order to replace your fixtures. Depending on the size of your doorways, you may have to demolish part of your wall in order to remove your existing tub or shower. This may be as simple as one doorway before you’re lucky enough to squeeze it out of those French doors. Unfortunately, it could be as bad as having to demolish an exterior wall on the second floor in order to remove and replace it with a crane. With a liner, virtually none of this messy business is required.

Cover Stained Walls – Now you’ve installed this lovely new liner, but that wall behind it looks like something straight out of a horror movie. Never fear. The same companies that handle your bathtub and shower liners, also handle convenient wall liners that are made out of the same material. They won’t just cover up all of that mold or mildew, either. Most companies these days will actually use a special industrial cleaner that’s specifically designed to be antimicrobial and prevent the growth of any future mold or mildew before they install the wall liners.

Even with all of the new advances, bathtub and shower liners still have their issues. Nothing is perfect, of course. Here are a few imperfections to consider before making your final decision on your bathroom overhaul.

Water Leakage – Even with all of the tape and caulking that your installation technician will use, there is still a chance that the seal they place on your liner will not be 100% waterproof. If this is the case, water can seep in between the liner and the tub and cause the growth of mold and mildew. Left unchecked, this can actually rot holes in the structure of your tub, causing it to collapse or form holes. All of this takes years to happen, but it’s still worth knowing and being aware of.

That “Spongey” Feeling – If your liner isn’t molded precisely to the contours of your existing bathtub or shower, you may become aware of areas that seem to sink in when you sit or stand on them. When you have these areas, they can easily lead to cracks and breakage in your seals. This can cause, you guessed it, water leakage as described above.

Still Somewhat Pricey – Ultimately, bathtub and shower liners still cost a few hundred dollars or more in order to install. Refinishing costs much less than this, and can more easily cover your cracks and chips.

Ultimately, the choice is entirely up to you. While there are good and bad points to liners, it all depends on how much you want to spend for that look you’re going for.

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The Greenest Roof of All, A Living Roof (aka Green Roof)

As we move further into the 21st century, the general populace is becoming increasingly concerned about the environment and new ways to apply green living to all aspects of our lives. Green living (many ideas available for interested homeowners here). The roofing industry is no exception. There are some products, such as metal roofs, that lower your heating costs. There are others that help by recycling post-consumer products such as tires, milk jugs, waste wood, and various other plastics, though at a slightly higher cost to the customer. There is one option, however, that is by far the greenest both literally and figuratively.
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Called by many, “the living roof,” it’s by far the most environmentally friendly option for your next building project. Not only does it help lower your heating and cooling costs by adding additional insulating layers on to your existing roof, it helps reduce harmful storm water runoff as well. Storm water runoff has recently been discovered to be contaminating no less than 13 percent of rivers, 18 percent of lakes, and 32 percent of estuaries across the United States.

Here are several benefits to having a living roof:

Reduce Energy Usage
The green roof can reduce your heating and cooling costs by adding additional insulation and mass to your roof. The natural evaporation process of rainwater on your roof also contributes to lowering the cooling load on a building anywhere from 50 to 90 percent.

Reduce Storm Water Runoff
By capturing and absorbing rainwater before it has a chance to create runoff in the streets and in the storm drains, it reduces the overall amount of pollution that makes it into the water table. The water that does manage to runoff will have already been filtered by the plants and the soil foundation that they grow from. Streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds can more easily sustain their natural ecosystem without dangerous foreign pollutants.

Helps Absorb Pollutants
Living roofs can help to absorb pollutants such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide out of the air and replace them with pure oxygen. This can be especially helpful in the city and can even lead towards cooling the overall temperature of a city by reducing the heat island effect.

Increase the Life-span of Your Roof
Green roofs provide extra layers of protection on top of your water proofing membrane to reduce the environmental wear and UV damage that it would normally endure. Hail and other such dangerous weather would have little to no impact on the integrity of your roof due to the nature of the construction.

Tax Incentives
There are many tax incentives that are provided to both residential and commercial business owners who choose to install living roofs. New York City and Philadelphia are two such cities that provide tax credits for “greening” your roof.

Of course, nothing is ever perfect, so here are a few downsides to living roofs:

Higher Cost
If you’re constructing a new building, the cost of initially installing a green roof can be higher. Wait, aren’t you just planting a garden on your roof? Not exactly. It’s actually constructed in many layers which are as follows:

  • Base (concrete slab, roof decking, etc.)
  • Sub-Membrane
  • Waterproofing Membrane
  • Drain Mat
  • Soil Filter Fabric
  • Actual Soil Layer
  • Plant Layer

Additional Structural Support
Since it’s carrying so much additional weight, you will have to add additional structural support to meet local building codes and safety standards.

The facts should speak for themselves, and the pros certainly outweigh the cons. A living, green roof is the way to go if you’re really wanting to go green!

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The Average Cost of Installing a New Inground Pool

The idea of your own pool in the backyard entices many homeowners, but not many people realize how expensive installing an inground pool can really be until they see the quotes from the pool companies. Pool installation is a major project that takes significant planning, preparation, time, and – unfortunately – money. But just how much does it cost to install a pool in your yard? On average, you should expect to spend anywhere between ten and fifty thousand dollars, depending on the style, size, shape, and materials used in your pool. Vinyl-lined pools are the cheapest, hovering around the $10K mark, while concrete pools are the ones that will cost you something closer to $50K, based on average size and pricing.

This average cost doesn’t take all of the landscaping associated with installing a pool in your yard, either. While you could technically just dig a hole in the grass, many homeowners prefer to build a deck around the pool for aesthetic reasons and fences for safety reasons, particularly if there are going to be small children playing in or around the pool. These additions can cost you an additional $40,000 on top of a $50,000 pool. So in reality you are looking at a price closer to $90,000 for a large pool, with landscaping and hardscaping to blend in to your back yard.

The good news is that these average prices include just about everything you need to get your pool up and running. Filtration systems, lighting and all of that will all be put in by the pool installers as an inclusion to whichever price you end up paying. They will also fill your pool up for the first time at no extra charge, allowing you to jump in and start enjoying your pool as soon as construction is complete. Of course, one more thing that isn’t included in the price of your pool is all of the flotation devices and other toys that you’re going to want!

All in all, installing a pool is not cheap, but it will undoubtedly raise the value of your home and provide you and your families with hours of entertainment that can’t really be matched by any other household amenity. So if you can afford the cost and have always wanted a pool, go for it!

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America’s Most Popular Fencing Materials and Pros and Cons of Each

You very well may be one of the millions of people around the country that have decided that you want to experience the benefits that are available with installing a fence around your property. However, what fence will provide you with the various amenities that you are seeking from its presence? Are you looking for heightened security and safety for your property? Is it an increase in property value you are looking for? Or are you interested in the look and feel a new fence will provide for your home or business facilities? Whatever your reasons for wanting to install fencing you should first know your options and the pros and cons that the different types of fences have to offer.

While there is a plethora of fencing options available all types fall within three major categories. This includes Natural Material fencing which consists of mainly stone or wood style fencing; Man-Made Material fencing which includes composite and vinyl fencing; and Metal Material fencing such as chain link and wrought iron styles. Throughout the United States people have found the most popular styles of fencing to be wood, vinyl, and chain link. But other than their popularity, what do these fencing options have to offer and what drawbacks do they carry with them?

Wood Fencing
Wood fencing is available in a wide range of styles giving people the ability to find an option that will produce the look and feel they are seeking around their property. This is the type of fencing that was first introduced in the United States as a way of setting up property divisions and securing livestock for early settlers. From split rail fencing to 8 foot stockade fencing, you will find these products available in most any home improvement store in your area.

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For individuals that choose to install wood fencing around their property they gain the ability to paint or stain their fencing to compliment their property. However, it should also be noted that wood fencing does require a great deal of maintenance as it will have to be painted often and protected from the outside elements frequently to prevent it from deterioration. Wood fencing styles can also be damaged due to insect infestations, discoloration due to the sun, and swelling during high levels of rain or snow seasons.

Vinyl Fencing
Vinyl fencing is one of the newest options for fencing that has recently become available. You will find that when choosing to create a fence with this type of material you are provided with the ability to purchase from a wide range of colors, sizes, and styles to match your residential or business building facilities. Made from some of the toughest materials available, vinyl fencing is virtually maintenance free, requiring simple washing with a garden hose or power washing machine to keep it looking new throughout the year. This type of fencing is believed to last for many decades when properly cared for.

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The cost is one of the biggest drawbacks of vinyl fencing as it can be quite costly to purchase. Due to the fact that precision drilling or fitting is required it can be time consuming as well to install a vinyl fence around your property. There are vinyl fencing styles that can be purchased pre-drilled so that you simply bolt the various sections together, but again this can be an added expense that people do not always want to invest in.

Chain Link Fencing
Chain link fencing was created to provide a more economical option to wrought iron fencing. Created from galvanized steel, people could eliminate the fear of having their fencing rust or breakdown due to exposure to outside elements such as moisture, heat, snow, and ice. People found that chain link fencing was easy to install even if they had to do the work themselves. The design of a chain link fence requires that long steel posts be inserted into the ground. The mesh chain link fencing is then wired to these posts allowing for a barrier around the property. This type of fencing is ideal when your purpose for the fence is to keep unwanted foot traffic through your property or to prevent children and pets from getting out of the yard.

While there are many pros to installing a chain link fence around your property, there are some negative factors that should be considered before you head out to your local home improvement store to purchase this type of fencing. The chain link fencing can be pushed out on the bottom if some type of edging is not installed around the bottom of the fence. There is very little privacy that is obtained by the installation of a chain link fence. There are however special mesh strips that can be woven through the links of the fence to allow for limited privacy from the outside world but this is an added expense that many people do not always want to take on. It should also be noted that chain link fencing does allow for children and other people to climb the fence to get in or out so special precautions should be taken if this is one of your main purposes for installing a fencing system.

Regardless of the specific type of fence you choose to install around your property you will find it to be a worthwhile investment should you obtain the specific benefits you are seeking. There are positive and negative attributes of every style of fencing that you will find, but knowing what they are is the key to receiving the satisfaction you are seeking.

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A Leaky Roof is Priority 1 on a Honey-Do List

The last thing you want is your Honey-Do list to turn against you. Even a minor leak in your home can create major damage if left untreated. So, a problem like a roof leak should be addressed with haste.

Don’t Worry, Be Handy

If you’re lucky, you’re only dealing with a small leak, which can probably be fixed without the help of a professional. The hard part about a do-it-yourself project is locating the leak. TheFamilyHandyman.com suggests running water on parts of the roof to find the problem area. If that doesn’t work, the site suggests to removing shingles until the problem spot is found.

If you find one or more shingles that are cracked, This Old House suggests applying roofing sealant under the cracked shingles.1 You’ll need a putty knife to spread the sealant. This Old House offers a couple more tricks, too, to blend the patchwork in with the rest of the roof.

The cause of the leak could be a number of things, such as weathering, loose installation with a television cable dish, or, as Buildings.com points out, it could be due to poor installation and workmanship of your house’s initial roofing project and the lack of maintenance. Inspecting your roof on a routine basis could prevent costly damage to your home and your pocket.

Heavy Metal

If you have a metal roof, the job could be a lot bigger. If the damage covers a large area, you may have to replace entire sections of the roof, something probably best left for the professionals. Smaller leaks can be taken care of fairly easily, though.

Loose nails can easily be pulled and re-nailed, notes HomeTips.com. Rust should be removed with a wire brush, then primed and painted. Any repair will have to sealed with a urethane roof cement or waterproof membrane.

Avoid the Bigger Uh-Ohs

Most manly men take pride in fixing things on their own. But when you’re facing the potential of thousands of dollars in roof repair, you don’t want that sudden “uh oh” to come up. Choosing a roofing contractor to fix your leak takes time, research and, most importantly, trust. The contractor should be bonded and able to give you references from current and past jobs, according to Roofer 911.2

Paying for the repair may sometime be stressful. Little do most people know, but for homeowners without a rainy day fund, there are actually some federal grants for certain home repairs. According to Roof Rocket, Uncle Sam has many grant programs for home owners who are facing a costly fix and can’t afford it.

A BAND-AID for Your Home’s Boo-Boo

While you wait to figure out which contractor to use and how to pay him, every rainy day causes worry and frustration with each drip that penetrates through the walls. It may not be pretty, but in an emergency, keeping a leak in check until the professionals get there only takes a special roof patch, a putty knife or a caulking gun, according to HomeOwnerCare.com. Don’t be afraid to raid the kitchen to use pots and pans to catch any dripping water. On the exterior, use roofing tar, roofing cement or even thick plastic or tarps to cover the problem area for the time being, according to Roofing Tutor.3

The sooner you apply these quick fixes the less additional damage you’ll have.

1. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,219567-3,00.html

2. http://www.roofer911.com/roofing-articles/choosing-a-roofing-contractor.htm

3. http://www.roofingtutor.com/guides/quick-fixes-for-a-leaking-roof.html

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Small Kitchen Space? Why You Should Install Large Kitchen Drawers During Your Next Remodel

Every cooking enthusiast dreams about having a larger kitchen, but many times the budget just does not allow for it. There are many ways to create the illusion of an expensive looking, more open feeling kitchen without having to knock down any walls or break the bank. You can start with rethinking your cabinet drawer size and opting for large drawers rather than standard sized drawers.

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The primary reason why it is a good choice to incorporate large kitchen drawers in your remodeling plans is that they make the space appear larger. If you have many smaller drawers on your cabinets, it can make the kitchen look busy and cramped. The same rule about using larger tiles on your floor to give the illusion of larger square footage can be applied with cabinet drawers. The less that you have going on, the larger the space will appear.

Many homeowners are choosing to install large kitchen drawers because they offer a fresh, contemporary look. Large drawers work nicely with the clean-lined, open concept style that most people desire when doing a kitchen remodel. Small drawers tend to make kitchens appear dated, so if you want a higher-end, updated space, large drawers are an excellent choice.

Another good reason to include large kitchen drawers is that they offer more options for organization. They make it easy to incorporate all the great customizable drawer organizers that are available on the market today. Drawers are not merely for holding flatware and knives anymore. People are choosing large drawers over cupboards for heavy cumbersome items such as cookware and small appliances. The ease in which drawers slide out, allowing a clear view all the way to the back is the reason they are a great option for storing bigger items. There are pegs that can be placed in deep drawers to hold stacks of plates and bowls. Tiered organizers can be used to neatly display every spice in your collection. Large drawers are now the answer to the dreaded question of where to store all those food storage containers and lids.

The addition of large drawers in your next kitchen remodel is a great way to get the look of a large, updated custom kitchen, without breaking the bank and offering more options for storage as well.

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How to Get Competing Roof Replacement Estimates from Licensed Roofers in Your Area

Roof replacement estimates are easier to achieve than ever before. Companies (like Roofing Directory or, of course US :)) bring together networks of roofers and put them through a pre-screening process, which the majority of can be done online. Our company has a network of roofers that spans the entire United States, and in order to achieve competing replacement estimates from local and licensed roofing contractors in your area, all you have to do is fill out the form on the upper right hand side of this page.

We want our readers to know a few fundamentals before going in to their roof replacement estimate process. Check out some of the details we have outline below.

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Sorting Through the Options for Your New Roof
There are many options for homeowners to choose from when replacing a roof, depending on the constraints of the climate, location, taste of the homeowners and even a desire to reinforce continuity of appearance within a neighborhood. Roofing options may include composite, very common, affordable and long lasting; metal, lasts seemingly forever but some homeowners dislike the noise and appearance; cedar shake, which has a rough, informal, rustic appearance; asphalt, which is a classic choice, durable and appropriate for almost any home; and beautiful options like terra cotta tile (common in the Southwest and West) and slate, which can give a home an elegant, stately appearance. There are materials appropriate for every home and every budget, and most professional contractors have the ability to install almost all of the choices.

Know the Roof Replacement Process, Going In
Whether your preference is for asphalt shingles, standing seam metal roofing, tiles, or one of the many green alternatives like eco-shake, the process of replacing a roof is reasonably straightforward: roofers will begin the project by removing the current roofing materials. They will then reinforce, fix, or replace any issues with the sub-roof itself, including sealing any crevices from moisture. When this is complete, they will begin the process of replacing the original by first applying a thin layer of black material over the now-bare roof, which provides provides back-up protection against moisture or other damage that might occur as a result of wind or falling tree branches. The tiles or shingles will then be affixed (accompanied by the rapid-fire noise of a nail gun in the case of shingles).

Following the replacement, most roofing companies will then remove all building materials and rubbish produced by the replacement, providing a dumpster and then removing it when the job is complete. And when the process is complete, the homeowner can relax and stop worrying!

Whether a roof is leaking, has been damaged by falling branches from a tree, or just subjected to the natural course of time and weather, the professionals we work with can provide you with free and competing roof replacement estimates. Based on the estimates that you receive, you can choose the roofing contractor that offers you the best options with the best pricing.

So again, use the form on the upper right hand side of call the number at the top of the site for free roof replacement estimates from local and licensed contractors.

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