Is it Time to Replace Your Roof? When to Repair VS Replace.

When it comes to home renovation projects such as roofing, most homeowners like to employ a “get it and forget it” strategy: pay the roofing contractor, put up with your home being a mess for a few days, and then you don’t have to worry about that old roof, leaky pipe, pesky flooring, or whatever the problem was for a good long time.

Unfortunately, when the time comes time to hire a contractor for large improvement projects like roof replacement, it’s important to stay on top of things.

Here’s how you can tell whether you need a new roof or just a simple repair

The Symptom: Moss or algae growing on the shingles.

The Treatment: It’s up to you! The presence of green lichens or algae growing on shingles is something to be expected as a roof ages and is exposed to regular environmental conditions such as rain. If you have the money to spend and really can’t stand the look of it, you can go ahead and replace the roof, but it’s not a necessity. Those little guys won’t cause any damage that’s not cosmetic.

Moss growing

The Symptom: You’re finding chunks, crumbs, or granules in your gutter.

The Treatment: Wait it out. These granules come from the shingles’ protective outer coat wearing away. The first time you notice these granules, it’s safe to assume their lifespan is about half over. Keep your eye out for other warning signs, but you don’t need to run out and try and find a roofing contractor the second you start noticing these granules. Just be aware that it may be time to start saving up for roofing repairs or replacement.

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Planning Ahead: How to Prevent a Renovation Disaster

Buyer Beware Tips to Avoid a Nightmare Remodeling Project

Home renovation projects can be stressful as they require the foresight to budget accurately. Additionally,  you’re re-organize entire rooms;  perhaps making arrangements to stay at a family member’s home if, for example, you’re renovating your only bathroom. With all these things to take into account, the last thing you need while redoing your home is to have accidentally hired Melvin or, even worse, a scam artist contractor.

According to the New York City Department of City Affairs, reports filed against home renovation contractors rank in the top five categories of complaints received. 

If you want to avoid a home improvement nightmare, here are the top three tips that will help ensure that you hire a reliable, talented, and trustworthy contractor.kitchen remodeling tips

 

Hit the Books (or the Internet)

The logical first step is to ask friends and family if they have any recommendations – you can trust a loved one to be fully honest with you. The next best thing is to use the Internet to your advantage to check that any potential contractors are fully licensed. Don’t be fooled! Licensure status can vary by state or by county.

For your knowledge, New Jersey contractors receive license from the state, while New York licenses are issued by county. This means, for example, that if you live in Long Island, you’ll want to check the status of a contractor in both Nassau County and Suffolk County.

You might be surprised at the amount of people who can have lost their licenses or otherwise drummed up a bad reputation in one county but simply move a few counties over, make some excuses, and obtain a new license, often by changing the name of the company (making it harder to do research on their past track record).internet search

When in Doubt, Call for Backup

In this case, the backup is an architect in addition to a home improvement contractor. An architect is able to provide advice about the design of the home, including the gory details that come with redoing electrical wiring, plumbing, or other tasks that are trickier than replacing a set of shelves, re-flooring, or repainting.

Managing a big project such as a complete bathroom redesign can be difficult for a homeowner to handle, especially if they are unaware of local codes and building regulations. The architect will stay in communication with the contractor and workers to ensure that everything goes smoothly to avoid delays and problems down the line that result from other details slipping through the cracks.

Another tip is to find a contractor who specializes in your project. For example, if your looking to remodel your bathroom consider a specialty company like NJ Bath who specializes in bathroom remodels.

Contract Critique

Don’t sign anything without studying it extensively beforehand. A concise, detailed contract should lay out the schedule of each work, breaking the overall project into sub-projects with deadlines wherever possible, and a corresponding plan for the payment. For instance, it’s important to ensure the use of an escrow account, which is a secure middle ground that holds funds until an agreed-upon transaction is completed.

Another popular tip is to state that you will not pay for anything until the contractor has is finished. If you have any doubts, don’t be afraid to hire a lawyer – again, it’s obviously more expensive than the alternative, but it’s a worthy investment when you risk losing thousands.

Keeping these tips in the back of your mind should hopefully help make sure that the project goes smoothly. Too many people find themselves duped by fast-talking contractors and up losing substantial amounts of money and time, but they don’t even realize what’s happening until it’s far too late, because unfortunately these untrustworthy contractors have likely been in this game for years and know how to deliberate delays without giving off any red flags. That’s why it’s crucial to cover all of your bases and take no chances.… Read the rest

Using a Gas Grill to Smoke Food

Just because you don’t owner a smoker doesn’t mean you can get in on the smoking food craze.

smoking on gas

A gas grill is not just for grilling but you can smoke food as well on it. Here is a method for anyone to follow and do just that without using a smoker!

Steps needed for smoking food on a gas grill

Choosing the right wood

The right kind of wood is needed to infuse aroma and flavor when smoking food. Wood chips from hickory, apple, cherry or mesquite chips although you can use readily available wood pellets for smoking too. Make sure the wood pellets or chips used are food-grade for food safety.

chart for types of wood

Using a smoker tube or smoker box for a container

Get a container for the wood used for smoking; either use a smoker box (tube, metal box, or can) will be placed on the grill. Utilizing a smoker tube is more convenient than smoker box which is tedious a bit. A smoker tube produces better smoke and is more controllable than a do-it-yourself smoker box. Burn ashes must have a container to keep the gas grill clean when cooking food.

Keep it soaked or dry

Soaking the wood chip/pellets a few hours before using the wood chips/pellets for smoking it is needed so you can control the chips. It is best to soak then an hour earlier so it won’t be so too wet but enough for a controlled burn. Dry wood can be used but dampening the wood has a much more flavorful effect.… Read the rest

Home improvement tips: Ways to increase value of your home

Consider home improvement as an investment that will pay you back in the long term. Homeowners often hesitates on spending money to remodel their dwellings but it is important to realize the fact that planned renovation can elevate the worth of your house.

There are many ways in which home improvement can be carried out. However, it is imperative to know where to spend your money. Here are some home improvement tips that can increase the value of your home:

Planning the remodel

home remodel
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Whether you have bought the house or are living there for a long while, planning a remodel is by far the most effective way to increase value of your house. Having an organized approach rather than an impulsive one is important in this aspect.

Get to know about your house and begin slowly. There is no need to rush on the upgrades. Make a list and categorize the things you need to spend on. Have a bigger picture in your mind and consult different experts about it.

Focus on one room at a time

Commit to yourself that one room will be focused at a time. Whether it’s just painting or getting the furniture in place, tackling one room at a time helps to keep the process organized.

Create a list you want to achieve and break it down in different lists. By the end of the day, you will have an effective strategy in front of you to increase the home’s value by several notches.

Kitchen upgrade

Any real estate expert will recommend you to work on the kitchen to increase the home’s worth. Kitchen can be upgraded by changing the paint, polishing the cabinets and incorporating your own creativity in the whole process.

Appliances must be chosen accordingly. It is advisable to make a transition towards stainless steel. Make the kitchen look appealing. Also utilize the modern technology to enhance kitchen’s functionality which will have a long term impact on it’s worth.

Work on the bathroom

Bathroom is unquestionably the most used room of all the places in the house. There is a lot of wear and tear so it important to keep it functioning properly and make appealing upgrades which will elevate value of the house.

Upgrades can be made by targeting the faucet, working on the lighting fixtures, looking over tiles and make sure that it is kept clean each and every time.

Hire a home inspector

Many homeowners undermine the importance of home inspection in this day and age. Whether you are selling your home or not, hire a home inspector. Keep the inspection records to show buyers that it has been maintained throughout. Inspection keeps you motivated to keep your house in an orderly manner. Think it of as a physical thing that only keeps the house healthy and increases its value over time. However, make sure that home inspection is carried out by a certified professional. Read the rest

Simple tips for low cost home improvements

Everyone wants to live in an orderly house. It doesn’t only appear good and attracts more visitors but it has been proven that an aesthetically appealing environment can have positive psychological impacts.

Nevertheless, remodeling projects can cost homeowners a great deal. But there are some exceptions. In this consumerist idea, low cost home improvements can be carried out. There is a wide range of DIY ideas available that can add aesthetics and functionality to the house.

Here are some simple tips that can improve your house in all aspects without putting additional burden on the pockets.

Bathroom mini-makeover

bathroom mini makeover
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Bathroom is one of the most important rooms of your house. You can bring improvements to that place without spending excessive money. Charm and elegance of your bathroom can be improved by changing the surface tiles, enhancing the walls and adding new fixtures.

Remove old fixtures and carry out repairs that are needed. Refresh the old paint and try to make each and everything as smooth as possible. Each and everything will have a reasonable cost.

Adding curb appeal

If you are tired of an unappealing entry then start working on it. It can be transformed completely by making minor changes that will impress the guests, neighbors and make it a very pleasant place to come home.

You can begin with painting and then adding new accessories like light fixture and a mailbox. This can be done easily without any external help. Work on the front door as well. Resort to your creativity and imagination to enhance the overall appearance.

Use wallpapers

Use home wallpapers
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You have been missing on some great things if you have not visited a wallpaper retailer lately. Stores have a wide range of options when it comes to offering wallpapers.

However, there is no need to cover each and everything. Only covering a single wall can have a significant impact. Take a photo of your room, measure the dimensions and take them to an interior designer who can guide you through different options available.

Lighting fixtures

Lighting is an effective way to add appeal to the house. It brightens up the room and makes it look naturally attractive. Given its importance, manufacturers and designers have come up with a wide variety of sizes, designs and models that suits all kinds of places.

You must look for different fixtures in the market. Make sure it compliments with the existing décor of your room. Make sure each and everything is in the right order.

Bath accessories

Bath accessories can be replaced as a part of the home improvement project. Accessories like light fixtures, towel bars and towels can be replaced to make your bathroom look fresh and clean. A specialist is not needed for success in this area.

Remove the old accessories and either repair it or change it completely.

Conclusion

Given the importance of a complete remodel, it is imperative to work on this aspect. Here were 5 simple ways in which it can be done so.Read the rest