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Tag: average cost

 

Having a garage is ever so convenient! You’ve got a place to keep your car secure and have great storage space. If you’re into repairs and crafts, you probably spend there a lot of time. To some people, their garage is like their own kingdom.

But what if the gates to the kingdom stop guarding it as well as they used to? Most likely, the culprit is easy to detect, and it all comes down to a set of garage door springs. It’s a quiet hero of the whole garage door system, and if this part malfunctions, the best solution is to replace it. This article will give you answers regarding all things related to garage door springs. If you want to learn more, keep on reading!

Types of Garage Door Springs

Let’s start with the basics. Your garage is equipped with one of the following types of garage door spring systems:

  • A torsion spring system uses one or two tightly wired springs, depending on the garage door size. The springs are placed on a steel shaft and run parallel to the door, serving as a counterbalance. It’s an option that’s generally considered to be safe and reliable.
  • An extension spring system is made of two springs that are mounted on either side of the garage door track. When the garage door goes up or down, a mechanism of cables and pulleys extends and contracts them. Experts from A1 Garage point out that while this system is cheaper and easier to install, it’s less reliable and doesn’t last that long.

How Long Do Garage Door Springs Last?

Once again, it all comes down to the type of springs. Typically, extension springs have a life expectancy of 4 to 10 years or between 5,000 to 15,000 up-and-down cycles. Torsion springs are more durable, with the expected lifespan of 7 to 14 years or between 10,000 and 20,000 cycles.

Replacement: When and Why?

Now you know how durable each system is. Mechanical parts, such as garage door springs, undergo the wear and tear process, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. At some point, you’ll have to replace them; otherwise, the excessive tension might be too much, and the springs will break. As a result, the door may come crashing down and seriously injure whoever will be underneath.

There’s a couple of factors that can indicate your garage door springs might be having some issues, and their lifespan might be coming to an end. These include:

  • Imbalanced springs – this one is easier to detect than to correct. Your springs are likely out of balance when you notice your garage door is crooked, closes way too fast, and doesn’t open as smoothly as it used to. What’s more, your garage door may open and close on its own.
  • Excessive noise – if your linear garage door opener starts making a sound while opening or closing doors, chances are the springs are beginning to wear down.
  • Rust – if you see rust on the springs, it’s time to replace them. If you leave them as they are, they could potentially break at any time.

Garage Door Springs Replacement Cost

Again, the cost depends on the type of your garage door springs. Obviously, if you decide to do it by yourself, you’ll have to pay for the springs and any additional tools that can make your task easier. However, it’s a dangerous task, and it would be best if you considered hiring a professional to do it for you.

That being said, a professional replacement cost will vary from $120 for a single extension to $350 for a double torsion. Keep in mind that experts advise replacing both springs, even if only one is broken or damaged. This way is more cost-efficient, and the garage door is more balanced.

How Much Time Will It Take?

Garage door springs have a relatively long lifespan, compared with the time needed for them to be replaced. An expert should be able to do it within 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you want to replace them on your own, keep in mind it can take you more time, especially if you’ve never done this before, and you’re not familiar with all the tools needed to get the task done.

The Bottom Line

Just like any part of your house, your garage door needs to be properly maintained in order to serve its function. In case you notice any wear and tear, or you suspect that the springs’ lifespan might be nearing an end, consider replacing the springs before they break. If they’re broken already, don’t wait! If you’re not comfortable with doing the repairs yourself, hire a professional. A team of garage door experts will have the experience, skills, and tools to do the job safely.

 

 

If you have ever moved houses, then you know that it’s not the most pleasant experience. After all, you need to think about hundreds of things at once – you have to pack everything, put it in the right boxes, so you know what is where, organize a truck to transport it and load it with your things, and once that is done, you need to unload it and unpack everything. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? In most cases, it is.

However, there are some ways in which you can make the whole process a lot easier on yourself – one of them being hiring a moving company. You might be wondering – why would I do that? Well, hiring someone to help you move will prevent you from having to do part of the steps we mentioned above by yourself.

As experts from highestcashoffer.com rightfully notice, “a moving company already has trucks of all sizes to transport your belongings safely, and, if necessary, can safeguard your belongings in a private storage facility.” What’s more, the movers will load and unload the truck, thus saving you the hassle of taking care of it yourself.

Before you can let them do that, however, you need to make a very important decision, which can be quite challenging – especially if it’s your first time doing something like this. You need to choose the moving company to hire. Since we understand the hassle, we prepared a short list of seven things you should take into consideration when looking for one. Want to find out more about it? Well, you will just have to keep reading then.

Recommendations from People You Know and Trust

It’s common knowledge that Google is not the best place to start your research. While it might help you organize your move better, by, for example, giving you examples of a moving checklist, so you’ll know what to do, it is not the right first choice when it comes to looking for moving services.

Instead of searching it up, try asking your family members or friends. Perhaps someone was in the same situation not so long ago and can share their opinion on the company they hired.

Now, you might be wondering – why not google it first? Well, it is not uncommon for people to have a bad experience with a company that has only good reviews. On the other hand, there might be some companies that are still new, and thus not have an established web presence. By asking your loved ones, you might gain some information you wouldn’t if you started from online research.

Good Reviews

Now, don’t be mistaken – we are all for looking for opinions online. However, as we said, it shouldn’t be your first choice, as there are a lot of things you might miss out on. Now that you have probably gathered a few company names from your loved ones, you can use online reviews to learn more about them and their practices.

Keep in mind that, usually, people write a review either when they had a very good experience with the company or a terrible one. However, both of them are important, as they can help you understand what you might be getting yourself into when choosing that particular company.

It’s like when you want to sell your house – you don’t just randomly select a company to help you with that. Instead, you are doing your research, to make sure you are making the right decision.

Successful Track Record

If left to choose between a company that has been around for years or a new company that is just getting started, people would most likely choose the former – unless they know people that can really recommend choosing the latter option.

Thanks to the information you can find online, it shouldn’t be hard to discern a general idea about their practices, and their record with clients. Look at things such as being on time, maintaining the condition of possessions and keeping the rates fair.

License and Insurance

This might sound like a no-brainer but never go for a company that isn’t insured or licensed. While everyone can buy a moving truck and consider themselves a moving company, according to the law, only the licensed and insured ones have the obligation of protecting your property.

When it comes to interstate moves, the moving company has to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, after which they receive a unique USDOT number. You can easily check if the company’s DOT number is valid by searching a database provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The best thing you can do is to look at what licensing laws are present in your state, and whether the company you are planning on choosing abides by them.

Transparent Rates

The price that moving companies give you when you book service is usually just a base rate, concerning how many hours it will take them, and how many movers you will need from them. However, it doesn’t include things like additional packing materials, or additional fees for moving large and heavy objects.

Keep in mind that, generally, the price you are given when booking services of a moving company, is just to provide you with a general idea of how much you will be spending. That’s why it’s important that you ask about any additional fees that might apply, and what are the reasons behind them. If the company is not willing to share that information, it might be best to just choose another one.

Fitting for Individual Needs

Remember – every move is different. Moving a studio apartment will be different than moving a two-story house. However, no matter how big or small, you need to find a company that will be able to accommodate all of your things and meet your needs. Some of the questions worth asking yourself are:

  • Does the company have a moving truck of the right size, that will be able to fit all my boxes and furniture?
  • Is the company able to provide additional packaging materials, such as bubble wrap or moving blankets?
  • Is the company available during the time period convenient for you?

Beware of Fraud

While millions of people move every year, all over the world, there is a chance of being scammed if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Check whether the company has a valid DOT number, active license, or look for an opinion about them online. Be cautious about movers that ask for a deposit – especially if the amount is higher than 20%. If you want to find out more information about how to make sure you are hiring a legitimate company, you can always check the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The Bottom Line

There’s no denying that competition between moving companies is high. There are so many of them that at one point it can become overwhelming – however, that’s also one of the reasons why you should always do your research before hiring one. You probably want to make sure that you are making the right decision, don’t you?

In general look for companies that offer high-quality services, have a proven history of safety, and are reliable. Keep in mind the things that we listed above, and you should be just fine.

 

 

When a person who has worked hard wants to show off the fruits of their labor, they often do it by buying and owning an amazing house. If you’re one of those people, then it’s a good feeling to get recognized through the compliments we receive from our visitors. This kind of appreciation heartens us to give our home a touch up—minimal or extensive.

Most of the time, we often dwell in the kitchen for every particular hour of the day. We drink our morning drink in the coffee table next to the dining table where we eat our meals. We would always dine together with our families near the kitchen. The point is, we often spend more time in the kitchen than one would think. Because of that fact, we all should need to improve how our kitchen looks.

Shop Online

Because of the pandemic that’s putting a halt on our routine activities such as shopping, going online and buying straight out of the internet is the best choice today. From extensive options for product specifications to a wide range of prices, online shopping is the ultimate way to look for stuff during the pandemic. If you have a particular set of wants and needs, then all you need is to narrow down your choices on getting what you really what.

With that said, you can shop for almost anything online. And with “anything,” that includes all the stuff you need for your kitchen’s looks. Here are a few more things to your kitchen that you can get through shopping online.

     1.     Kitchen Cabinets

If you fancy storing spices and utensils in the kitchen cabinet rather than in the countertop, then don’t skip this section. When it comes to kitchen cabinets, the gallery you find on online listings would seem endless, so you have to cut to the chase and rely on recommendations.

Although you won’t be able to physically see the kitchen cabinet you want to buy, pictures will be provided so you can view every detail about it. Shopping online will help you save up on delivery fees. You won’t have to pay labor to move it inside your house. With ready to assemble kitchen cabinets, you’ll also save more money and time in installing them.

     2.     Kitchen Countertops

Coffee lovers would absolutely prefer countertops for their coffee machines. Brewing coffee is more agreeable when you have a pleasant countertop where you would place your favorite cup while waiting for your coffeemaker to finish its job.

A kitchen without a countertop is like a garden without flowers. Sounds absurd, right? Aside from brewing your favorite cup of coffee, a countertop is where you would want to start preparing meals. From chopping the raw ingredients down to garnishing your dish, the countertop is one busy area that you absolutely need.

     3.     Kitchenware

If you already have a good looking countertop, your kitchen wares should also follow suit. A particular section of your kitchen cabinet should be available for kitchenware. Though having plenty of colors inside your kitchen may look good for some, it can get a bit disorienting for some. Having the proper color combinations with your kitchen wares can give your eyes that refreshing feeling.

Customized Purchases

If you are into hands-on kitchen designing, you should get your kitchen customized by a reliable professional. Though you could hire someone to plot your own kitchen, your participation in deciding on the smallest details could be more satisfactory than giving it all to the builder.

From kitchen sinks to wall tiles, it’s your job to have a say on your personal preferences as the owner of the house. If you’re a fan for everything custom-made, there are actual customization shops for kitchen wares that you can check out. Having a place that you help design and conceive is one of the best places to stay in.

Get a Kitchen Remodeling Professional

It is necessary to look into the reputation of the contractor. You need to at least check the kitchen remodeling specialist’s profile as a prerequisite for this undertaking. Remember that your kitchen is your pride booster. You wouldn’t want to trust anyone out of the line.

For homeowners who spend most of their time in the workplace away from home, getting the job done by an expert with an excellent reputation is worthwhile. Giving your kitchen an upgrade demands you to invest a lot of time and money. Making sure that you get the best person to do the job makes sure those investments don’t go to waste.

Takeaway

As a hardworking person, it would only make sense to have a home that’s uniquely you. One of the best ways to make a house look good is by upgrading the kitchen. The tips above will help you get a good looking kitchen that doesn’t sacrifice quality and functionality over looks.

 

7 Factors to Consider When Hiring Professional Roofers

 

Ever seen a house without a roof? Probably not. A roof is an integral part of a house, and without it, your house will be incomplete. The roof protects you and your family against harsh weather conditions. Thus the need to invest in quality and durable roofing systems.

But sometimes we fail to take measures to maintain its good condition. This can cause your roof to deteriorate and not reach its maximum lifespan.

Several factors can affect the lifespan of your roof and lack of maintenance is among them. If you’ve not been maintaining your roof, chances are you’re already having a roof problem and you need a roofing contractor.

Whether you want to install a new roof or want to repair your current one, you must ensure you hire the best roofing contractor.

But finding the right roofing contractor can sometimes be challenging. With the many roofing contractors available, choosing the best contractor can be a daunting task.

You’ll need to have the right information to be able to identify the best roofing contractor. In this post, we’ll highlight the key factors to consider when hiring roofers.

1.       Pricing

Exceptional roofing services do not come cheap. If you’re looking to have your roof maintained, you need to prepare yourself financially. However, this does not mean that it will cost a fortune to repair your roof.

The truth is that there are a lot of roofing companies that charge competitively without compromising the quality. Besides, some roofing contractors offer free estimates which can help you in making the right decision. Thus it is advisable to look for roofing companies that are willing to provide free estimates.

The most important thing is to be fully aware of the hidden charges and unexplained fees.

2.       Local Physical Office

A reputable roofing contractor should have a physical office. If your prospective roofing company does not have an office, you should be concerned.

Be sure to find out the physical address of your roofing contractor and inquire about their staff members. Ensure you can easily access your roofing contractor in case you need any help.

3.       License and Insurance

A roofing contractor should have a license and insurance. With licensed roofing contractors, you’re assured of a perfect roofing job. Licensed roofing contractors have undergone formal training and multiple tests, and so they have in-depth knowledge about the roofing industry.

It is also important to hire contractors who have valid roofers insurance. It will not only protect roofers against workplace injuries but also protect you as a homeowner.If a person gets injured while repairing your roof, the roofing company will compensate them without you being financially or legally liable.

4.       Consider Previous Work Samples

An excellent way to know what to expect from a roofing contractor is to look at their previous work samples and references. To get samples of their work, ask your contractor to provide pictures of their previous work. Also, be sure to look at their portfolios on their website.

Also, let the contractor provide a list of references from their previous clients. Then you can reach out to some of them and ask about their experience dealing with that contractor.  Ask them whether they were satisfied with the contractor’s workmanship and how the roof is holding up now.

5.       Client Reviews

As a homeowner, you can take advantage of the internet to carry out a background check on prospective roofing professionals. You simply type the roofing company’s name and search for online reviews. You’ll access numerous client reviews on local listings.

Websites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages are some of the websites where you can check local roofing contractors and read honest reviews. Don’t just focus on positive reviews; consider the negative reviews as well.

6.       Experience

You’d surely not want to hire an inexperienced roofing professional. Contractors take several years to gain experience in handling various roofing problems.

A roofing contractor that has worked in the industry for many years has undoubtedly performed maintenance on roofs they have previously installed. They are aware of the best practices and the tools to use.

An experienced roofing contractor can handle roofing problems caused by different weather conditions and do it without putting you or themselves at harm.

7.       Roofing Warranty

Another critical thing to check is whether your roofing contractor offers a roofing warranty. A roof installation needs to be accompanied by two separate warranties: Manufacturer’s warranty and workmanship warranty.

Manufacturer’s warranty covers defects that result from roofing material itself, for instance, a roofing shingle. Workmanship warranty, on the other hand, covers installation mistakes.

Reputable contractors should be responsible for their work. The last thing homeowners would like is to pay for a mistake that is not their doing.

 

shed plans

 

With the average price for materials ranging between $17-$24sqft, it can cost homeowners about $2,500 to build a typical 10’x12′ DIY shed. Depending on the size, style, siding, roofing, and extra features such as plumbing, electrical, overhead doors, or solar panels, the cost can soar upwards of $10,000 or more. Then, if you consider what’s being stored inside of your shed? The total value of the structure and its contents can undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows and questions, especially when it comes to being vandalized or totally lost due to a natural disaster or fire.

There are several reasons why homeowners might have a shed on their property. In most cases, these structures are covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy; however, there are also cases where they are not. The biggest mistake that some homeowners make is failing to call their insurance company to see if the new shed and its contents will be covered under their current policy. This guide is designed to help the average homeowner understand how it works with some tips along the way, and without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about shed insurance.

 

What’s Other Structures Protection?

 

Whether you have a shed, detached garage, gazebo, chicken coop, fence, or in-ground swimming pool located on your property? In the world of insurance companies, this type of homeowner’s insurance policy is known as other structures protection. In general, the standard coverage is about 10% of your entire home’s insurance policy. For example, if your home is insured for $150,000? Under the other structures protection policy, your shed and other outbuildings would be insured for $15,000.

It’s essential to call your insurance company or read the fine print in your homeowner’s insurance policy to know what the number of your coverage limits are. The next thing you need to know is the value that your new shed brings to your home? If your new shed has an amount more than what your current coverage limits are, it’s a good idea to have your insurance agent raise and adjust your coverage limits to protect your investment.

 

What’s the Value of Your Shed?

 

DIY sheds generally include just the cost of materials to build it and perhaps a good shed plans from Shedplans.org to work from, but you still need to know what it’s worth before you talk to your insurance company about raising your rates. A simple way to get a rough estimate of your shed’s value is by taking the cost of materials and tripling it. Most professional contractors charge about two thirds above the cost of materials for their labor.

On the other hand, you can expect that most insurance companies will want proof of the structure’s existence and paperwork backing its value, especially if they’re going to write you a check to repair or replace your shed. In cases such as this, it’s always best to have a home appraisal conducted. You can easily find a professional with any appraisal management company. These experts are certified and licensed in their perspective states or countries to determine the value of a structure objectively, fairly, and without bias opinions.

 

Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover the Shed Contents?

 

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will have a set amount of protection for personal property. This also includes the contents stored inside of your shed or other outbuildings. The amount of protection is typically determined by the amount of insurance outlined in your home’s insurance policy. While insurance companies cover certain items stored in outbuildings such as ATVs, lawnmowers, power equipment, garden tools, there may be a limit to what your insurance company is willing to fork over.

On the flip side of the coin, items subject to damage from moisture and humidity like clothing, photographs, and other personal effects, in most cases, wouldn’t be covered by your insurance company. Therefore, these types of personal items should be kept safe in your house to qualify as being insurable under your insurance policy’s protection for private property.

 

Are There Any Limits on Shed Insurance?

 

In the real world, although your shed and its contents are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, it’s wise to talk to your agent about your policy’s stated coverage limits. This allows you to make a few different decisions based on what best fits your needs.

For example, let’s say your shed’s finished value is $5,000, and you’re basically using it for storing lawn and garden tools and supplies with a riding lawnmower that’s valued on the lower end of the scale? In most cases, this will not affect the limits on your homeowner’s insurance policy, which also includes the other structures protection plan. Meaning, your current coverage rates, and limits will not be affected.

 

When Does a Shed Limit Apply?

 

When you have specific items stored in a shed or outbuilding, limits will apply. As an illustration, if you have a $10,000 side-by-side ATV in your shed and a natural disaster or fire occurs? There may be a limit of $2,500 on the entire contents of the shed, including your expensive toy. Other items where restrictions may apply include but are not limited to:

  • Motorcycles
  • Snowmobiles
  • Vehicles
  • ATVs
  • Guns & Hunting Bows
  • Woodworking equipment
  • Expensive power tools
  • Small farm machinery
  • Zero-Turn riding lawn mowers

Pro Tip: To protect expensive items that are stored in your shed, talk to your agent about additional coverage for these specific items. You may discover that it’s best to insure them separately as opposed to raising the coverage and rates on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

 

Is There Anything Else That I Should Know About Shed Insurance?

 

One key component to shed insurance for theft claims is to make sure that you have either a keyed lock or a paddle lock installed on the doors of your shed. Contrary to what you may believe, some insurance companies will not give you a dime if you don’t have a lock on your shed, and theft occurs.

Anytime that you have a question about what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers, contact them and get it to explain to you because the information you need to know is usually contained in the small print that every homeowner hates to read. And lastly, you can certainly benefit from building a new shed yourself, but make sure you are covered.

 

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There is a definite drive from homeowners to integrate more efficient upgrades into their homes. One of the most popular home additions has been to mount solar panel arrays on the roof to help owners go off the grid.

The trend toward a more sustainable and environmentally responsible lifestyle has pushed the popularity behind making your home solar sufficient. Not only can you save a bunch of money on your energy bills, but you can also drastically reduce your carbon footprint when you decide to go solar.

Before you make the switch, there are a few things that you should consider, including getting a new Allstate Home Insurance quote to accommodate your updates. Switching over to solar is not as simple as just mounting some solar panels. Here’s what you will need to know before making the decision to run your home using solar power.

Incentives

One of the largest driving forces behind the solar trend is money savings. Once you get past the initial investment, which can be large, you can enjoy lifelong savings and even make some money back. The great thing about this initiative is that you could even get help footing the installation bill for your solar system.

Check with your municipality and talk to your accountant about available grants or tax breaks for adding solar that you can take advantage of. Making updates to your home to convert it into a more eco-friendly dwelling can actually make you money in incentives.

Warranties

Each solar dealer will have their own guarantees to cover the installation process, but it’s important to understand exactly what their warranties will cover. You don’t want to get stuck with panels that are only warrantied by the manufacturer. Standard warranties should cover your panels for up to 25 years and your inverter for up to 10 years.

Property Value Boost

If you still need more convincing that going solar is right for you, you should know that converting and adding a solar array can increase the market value of your home. Projects like adding solar, a kitchen remodel or developing a home heat recovery system are among the most popular home updates.

Along with saving money on your energy bills, you can expect an increase of up to 4% on your home’s value. This can make for an impressive return on your investment.

Inverters

When you are shopping for the elements of your solar power system you will need to choose an inverter that is best for your array. There are two different kinds of inverters; central or micro. A central inverter will be wired to draw in power from all of your panels at the same time. Microinverters are attached to each individual solar panel.

Size

The most common question that dealers get from homeowners is, “How many panels will I need to run my whole house?”. There are too many variables to answer this question to suit everyone. The number of panels that you will need will depend on the square footage of your home, how solar reliant you want to be and the wattage of your panels.

Any easy way to estimate how many solar panels you will need for your home is to follow this formula. Take your hourly household energy needs and multiply it by the number of hours of prime sunlight that you will get. Then take that number and divide it by the panel wattage.

 

# hourly energy needs  X  Peak sunlight hours

Panel Wattage

  

Conclusion

If you are interested in creating a more self-sufficient and greener home by adding solar, make sure to do your homework before you invest. Get help with funding, learn about the equipment and increase the value of your home with a solar power renovation.

 

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

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.

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.

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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