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Blog - News on Remodeling, Construction and Restoration

Blog - News on Remodeling, Construction and Restoration (22)

Repairing or replacing a roof is a complicated and potentially dangerous job that you should never attempt yourself. You should contact a roofing contractor if you need any repairs done on your home's roof, but you also need to make sure you hire the right contractor. People are often in a hurry to get a bad roof repaired, so they often make mistakes when they're looking for the right contractor. When you need to have your roof inspected, repaired or replaced, it pays to know some of the more common mistakes people make and how to best avoid them.

Not Researching Roofing Contractors

One very common mistake that people make is not doing the proper research on roofing contractors before hiring someone. This is often because homeowners are in a hurry to have their roof replaced, but since your roof is so important to the structural integrity of your home you don't want to end up hiring a roofer who will take shortcuts or is known for doing shoddy work.

While it may be tempting to go with the first roofing contractor in your area when you have a serious roofing problem, you should never choose a roofer without doing some kind of research. This could be as simple as asking friends and family for recommendations, but it is more likely to involve checking the websites of local roofers or looking for reviews on the Better Business Bureau's website. The Better Business Bureau in particular is a great source if you want to find a reputable roofing contractor with a good reputation. Try to stick to roofers who are accredited by the Better Business Bureau if you can, and arrange a face-to-face meeting with a contractor before you make any final decisions. You should also find out how long they've been in the roofing business. Roofers with more experience are generally more trustworthy and more professional than someone who is just getting started.

Not Obtaining an Estimate or Being Fooled by a Low Estimate

It's very important to obtain an estimate that will give you an idea of the cost and duration of a roofing job, yet many people either fail to obtain an estimate or get fooled by a low estimate. Not having an estimate is bad because you don't know what to expect from a roofing job, and receiving an estimate that seems too low may indicate that the roofing contractor is cutting corners somewhere to keep prices down. The average cost of a new roof in the United States is $6,000 and $8,200, while a roof repair can cost as much as $1,600. You can expect to spend this kind of money on a quality roofing job, so be wary of anything that is too cheap. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Not Signing a Contract

A project that can be as expensive and important as a roof replacement or repair should require a contract. Unfortunately, there are contractors out there who will attempt to work without one. A contract should cover important details such as payment terms, what permits are necessary, warranty information and what the job itself entails. This will protect you and your home if something goes wrong, so always insist in having a written contract, and don't be afraid to have it looked over by a lawyer if you have any questions or concerns.

When you pick a material for a new floor installation, compare the benefits of each option to the role the floor plays in your home. For a kitchen or bathroom project, the advantages of ceramic tile often contribute to the best flooring system.

Limited Time and Money for Maintenance

A tile floor is simple to install relative to counterparts. The material is also easy and inexpensive to maintain. After the installation, you put a sealant over the floor which prevents moisture from penetrating and stains from setting in. With a quality sealant, you just need to perform routing sweeping and mopping to clean and disinfect.

Keep the Moisture Out

A primary reason tile works well in a kitchen or bath is the ability of a ceramic installation to prevent moisture penetration. Tile is bonded together with grout. The tile itself and the compounding agent provide a durable layer of protection.

When you step out of the tub onto a carpet or wood floor, the water causes wearing, damage and even mold build-up. A ceramic floor that is installed by a professional does not suffer these problems. The humidity in a bathroom also causes moisture to accumulate on flooring surfaces. On tile, you either wipe up moisture or allow it to dry.

Great Value for the Money

Tile is one of the most affordable flooring surfaces on the residential market. You buy the individual tiles in bundles to cover the required square footage. Installation is simple and not as time-consuming as it is with other materials. Therefore, you save on labor charges.

If a tile piece breaks, you do not have to pay much for damage repair either. You just cut out the broken piece and put in a new one. You may have a few spare tiles left after the installation.

Create the Design You Want

Tile sizes vary from small six-inch squares up to two-foot squares or larger. You also have the ability to create a single color floor, a two-colored pattern or another intricate design with a blended color look.


For a homeowner on a budget, ceramic tile is the best flooring system for a kitchen or bathroom project. You do not have to invest a lot in materials or installation. You get a quality appearance, moisture protection and design flexibility. Contact your flooring contractor to discuss tile and installation alternatives.

The foundation is the most important structural component of any construction as it offers support and stability to the structure that rises above it. As such, it should be inspected regularly for damage and maintained in the best possible condition.

Concrete residential foundations show signs of wear due to exposure to weather elements such as sun, rain and snow. The other causes include plant root extensions that break into concrete or poor water drainage. The damage manifests itself in the form of tiny holes or gaping cracks. It may seem insignificant at first, but it is necessary to pay attention to them at the earliest to prevent serious structural damage.

Warning Signs

Here are some indicators of a damaged residential foundation:

 A crack on exterior and interior surfaces is the most conspicuous sign of a damaged residential foundation. Cracks also develop on walls and floor tiles.

 The floor tends to slope or appears slightly sunk. To add, it starts separating from the adjacent walls.

 You may notice a cracked or displaced molding.

 Doors and windows are misaligned and do not open and close with ease.

 Doors and windows start separating from the walls and frames they are fitted to.

Repairing Cracks - Small and Large

Restructuring the foundation is one of the available solutions to remedy a damaged foundation. However, there are other simpler and cheaper ways to deal with this ugly problem.

The repair work starts with assessing the size of the crack. The methods of sealing a fissure in the foundation differ according to its size. The smallest cracks are approximately 2-3 mm wide. Cracks develop due the loosening of concrete compound. Concrete flakes, dirt and debris accumulate in these gaps. This buildup needs to be cleaned in order to allow the patching compound or caulk to adhere well. One can use a screwdriver or a wire brush to clean out the cracks.

A concrete caulk or a patching compound is used to fill in the cracks. Many add a latex additive to the compound as it allows the latter to expand with changes in surrounding temperature. Both are readily available at hardware stores. When it comes to filling larger cracks, sand is used as an additional ingredient. The mixture should be spread across the length and breadth of the crack either using a small putty knife or a caulking gun for a neater job. The mixture usually spreads and levels out on its own. If it doesn't, you can smooth it out manually. The cracks should be allowed to dry thoroughly and the surfaces should be unused during this time. Sealing the cracks will prevent the concrete from getting stained. One can use heavy-duty water-based polyurethane for the purpose.

Timely Action is the Key

Owning a house is a big responsibility primarily because of the maintenance aspect. If you want the best results with less money, you should act as soon as you notice any cracks in the concrete. Undertaking repair work at the right time also helps because cracks are easier to heal while they are small in size. When the damage is serious, it is best to call in a professional to handle the case.

The entrance of your home is the first thing that people encounter. Just like the rest of your home, it should reflect your personality and tastes. An attractive entryway can make your visitors feel more comfortable and can promise an entertaining experience once they enter your home. Consider a few important factors when decorating your home’s entryway.

The Door

The type and construction of your front door can make an immense impact on how your house looks from the street. It is essential to the concept of “curb appeal” that not only affects your feelings about the home but also it’s market value. If you have a worn, old-fashioned door on your home, consider replacing it with a new one. Front doors come in a wide range of materials and styles that can immediately give your home an updated look. Steel doors offer the greatest security, and these are now available in a range of designs. If your front door is still serviceable, consider giving it a new coat of paint in a contrasting color from the rest of your house. Choose a paint color that is elegant yet makes a statement. Brick red or Wedgwood blue can give your home a look of distinction and taste. An off-white or soft gray color matches with almost any house color.

Landscaping Your Entranceway

Bushes and shrubs at your entranceway can create a nice transition from the street to your home and provide a bit of privacy as you enter and leave. When choosing plants, make balance your first consideration. If your entryway has many vertical lines, consider shorter plantings that break up the lines. If your entry area is broad and long, consider some tall plants to draw the eye. Use rounded as well as angled plantings to create visual interest. Vary the color of foliage to provide an attractive view.

Hanging Plants

If your entryway offers a porch or overhang, consider hanging planters with trailing plants. The abundance of flowers will give your home a warm and expansive feel that guests will appreciate. Flowers also help to increase curb appeal and give the neighborhood a homey, friendly feel.

Garden Seating

A garden chair or loveseat offers visitors to set a spell and enjoy the area you have created. Place the seat amidst foliage or in a position that allows the person to enjoy plantings. Whatever seating you choose, make it simple in design and comfortable in material. Paint the seating in a color that blends into the natural environment or contrasts in a light-hearted and easy way. Adding an outdoor cushion can help to make the sitting area more inviting.

Personalize Your Entryway

A nice way to put your own distinctive mark on your entryway is to refer to some personal hobbies or interests you might have. If you are a flower gardener, make sure your entryway has some of your favorites on display. If your hobby is cooking, have a small herb garden on display. If your passion is vegetable gardening, you might have a tray of seedlings getting ready for transplanting. Your door might be a display for arts and crafts you create or antique hardware you have found. Find a way to make this part of your home your own. It will make a good conversation starter and allow visitors to know more about you instantly.


Also consider whether your entryway could benefit from some handrails. Handrails are available in a range of materials and add safety for children or elders who visit frequently. Choose a style that suits your overall home design. Install the handrail where it can be within easy reach for anyone who needs a little help negotiating your front steps. A well-chosen handrail gives a look of stability and security to your home.

Finishing a basement creates more living or environmentally controlled storage space in your home. Basement walls are commonly made of concrete, which is a porous material that is not adept at keeping out the cold. Foam insulation panels are ideal for a basement remodeling project because they are waterproof and can help reduce heat loss through the concrete walls in the basement. Proper foam panel installation helps to maximize the insulation’s effectiveness.


If you have leaks in your basement walls then you need to eliminate those leaks before installing foam insulation panels. Adhesive used to install panels cannot cure properly when it is wet, and water trapped behind foam insulation panels can create a mold problem. Any cracks or noticeable leaks in your foundation should be repaired by an experienced contractor. Once the leaks are repaired you should coat your walls with a basement water sealer.


Insulation panels can be fastened to your concrete block walls using adhesive or fasteners specially designed for installing panels into concrete block. You can purchase foam board adhesive or construction-grade adhesive from your local home improvement store. Fasteners make it easier to remove the panels later if you decide to change your basement design, but adhesive can create a tight bond that can do a better job at regulating your basement temperature.

Uneven Surface

Whether you use fasteners or adhesive, you will need your concrete block basement walls to be as flat as possible prior to installation. Foam insulation boards need to be able to sit flush with the entire surface of your basement walls to be efficient. Rent a concrete surfacing grinder from a construction tool rental facility and smooth your walls prior to installation. Always wear protective goggles and gloves when using a concrete surfacing grinder.

Furring Strips

Furring strips are 1/4-inch thick wooden strips that can be attached to your concrete block walls with adhesive to allow installation of foam panel insulation with nails. Some homeowners prefer furring strips because basement wall frames can also be attached to the strips during a basement remodeling project to allow additional stability to the walls. If you intend on using furring strips to install your foam insulation panels, you need to be certain that moisture does not collect on your basement walls under any circumstances.

Basement insulation will save money on heating and cooling your new basement living space. When you install insulation panels to a concrete wall, be sure to follow the proper procedures to get the maximum energy efficiency from your basement remodeling project.

Home decorating is an activity many homeowners enjoy doing. It's an opportunity for them to infuse their own personality into their home. But while most homeowners have an idea of how they want their house to look, many of them have no clue on how to go about it. This is why if you're wanting to decorate your home, such as the kitchen, it's usually a good idea to hire a pro to help you do the job.

There are many benefits to hiring a decorator to help you remodel the different rooms of your home, particularly your kitchen. For one thing, most decorators have had formal education on home remodeling and interior design. They know which elements are going to work well together in your kitchen and which ones aren't going to. They have learned many different techniques of creating space that looks nice and functions efficiently at the same time.

As a homeowner, you want your personal style reflected in your kitchen. A professional decorator will be able to help you do this in a way that's both creative and practical. He can also give you ideas on how to achieve everything you want in your kitchen space without going over your budget, no matter how tight it may be.

In addition to his valuable input with regards to decorating and remodeling ideas, a pro decorator can help you find excellent deals on kitchen appliances, furniture, and decorations. If you are remodeling your kitchen all by yourself, you might have to spend a considerable amount of precious time scouring shops and browsing the Internet to find the right kind of sink or the perfect lighting for the kitchen. With a professional decorator by your side, you can accomplish these tasks in less than half the time.

Any decorator with at least a few years of experience is likely to have developed an extensive list of contacts for sourcing kitchen decorating supplies. A professional decorator will know exactly where to go or who to approach for any of your kitchen remodeling needs. Furthermore, he might even be able to help you negotiate for a much better price than what you can get on your own.

Another benefit that comes with adequate decorating experience is the very low risk of making mistakes. Homeowners who embark on do-it-yourself kitchen remodeling projects may acquire a huge amount of satisfaction upon completing their project but they are also very likely to commit a lot of decorating mistakes. A decorator can advice you on what to do and what not to do so you can avoid making common mistakes, helping you save a lot of time, effort, and money in the process.

Probably the only bad thing about hiring a professional decorator for your kitchen remodeling project is the fee. Still, it's not even half as bad as it sounds. You might have to spend a few extra dollars when you hire a professional decorator, but if you think of all the benefits you can get out of doing so, it's a worthwhile investment. In the end, you'll have the kind of kitchen you want.

Thursday, 01 August 2013 08:05

Why You Should Hire Yourself A Plumber

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Many plumbing jobs around the house appear to be simple and easy repairs. This often leads people to give it a go themselves with a little bit of home DIY. What many people do not realise is that plumbing is a very skilled job. The work that a qualified and well-trained plumber does, is actually an investment in your property. It is in investment that will save you a great deal of possible future expenses. For example, let's take the repair of a toilet. The mechanism inside a toilet is very simple and the components seem fairly rudimentary, and yet if a person attempts to fix their toilet on their own they will no doubt fall foul. They may need a replacement part or will do such an unprofessional job that it will lead to further damage in the future. They will probably have to replace the toilets or hire a real plumber, at some point in the future, to fix the mess that they made of it. The work that a plumber does is going to last a lot longer than any work a person could do on their own with a little bit of home DIY.

So why is a professional plumber a good investment?

The work of a professional plumber will help to keep the house price at its current price (if not increase it). The work of a professional plumber is also of a sufficiently high quality that there will be no need for a re-repair in the near future. Any repair work that is conducted will last a reasonable amount of time. This cannot be said for home DIY pluming, done by the homeowner or an amateur, because their work is usually only a temporary fix and doomed to failure. It may result in parts needing to be replaced, or may result in causing more damage.

Why hire a plumber?

Many people ask why they should hire a plumber. The jobs and tasks that they perform do not seem that difficult when they are observed from a distance. When an electrician is observed working, it is clear that he or she working with a number of complex mathematical calculations. When a plumber is observed working, it seems that none of these complex mathematical equations are present. From a layman's perspective it would appear that the plumber is simply putting together a few pipes. This however is not the case, because what many people do not realise is that putting together a plumbing system involves complex mathematics. The plumber has to account for water pressures within a building.

It is very easy to rig together a rudimentary plumbing system, but that plumbing system would be rife with errors and problems. For example, you may flush the toilet downstairs and have the upstairs taps stop working. For example, all the hot and cold water may stop pumping whenever the washing machine is running. There is also the question of sewerage; correctly putting together a sewerage system of a lot of skill because it always has to be on a downward trajectory. If there is not the least even the smallest trickle heading downwards then water will sit in the pipes and stagnate--which will make the whole house stink. There is also the question of the right types of pipes to use; some high-pressure pipes need to be made of a very strong plastic substance, where as other types need to be made of rigid metal.

Designing the perfect kitchen can take time, and it can often over-power many people#s budgets. If you are looking at redmodeling your kitchen then you need to be focused, and pay close attention to detail, whilst knowing what options your have available that can make that little bit easier when it comes to accessing things.

You need to think about workspaces, storage, gadgets, lighting, your children, and countless other aspects. Trust me, its best to sit and plan in full because once the new kitchen is in, you are going to kick yourself if you find out that you have missed something out.

Tip #1 - 07/01/2013

To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door's clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design as this can save a lot of room and help you store pots and pans out of the way (but easy to get to).

Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won't bang into each other if open at the same time.

Hiring a building contractor can be a tough and tiring task, especially when you have no idea what you need to look out for.

We have been in the industry for knocking on nearly 20 years now, and in that time we have seen it grow. We have seen companies created and folded in that time. It takes something special to keep on top, and that is something that we pride ourselves on.

So what do you need to look out for when hiring a building contractor? Whether that’s in River Oaks (where we are currently working) or right across the US?

Here is our top 10 hit list of things you should take note of:

Avoid Scammers

If the contractor checks any of these boxes, walk away now!

1. Provides credentials or references that can't be verified.

2. Offers a special price, but only if you sign a contract today.

3. Accepts only cash, requires large deposits or wants the entire cost up front.

4. Asks you to write a check in his name (not to the business).

5. Won't provide a written contract or complete bid.

6. Refuses to apply for building permits, and asks you to get them.

7. Offers exceptionally long warranties

8. Proposes to do most or all of the work on weekends and after-hours.

9. Gives you a low-ball offer that sounds too good to be true.

10. Has "Will work for beer" painted on the side of his trucks.

We have recently been working hard in the River Oaks area of Houston, helping people invest their cash into a new remodel job.

One case that we have had so far is a lady who found out that they had a family of mice who had made their way into the house, and setup their own home! She pretty much freaked at this and decided to tear everything out of the house, to find that the Kitchen was the hot spot for this family of mice.

Therefore, as they mice had used the kitchen as their own home she decided that it was time to renovate.

We gutted the whole kitchen and replaced all the units and flooring with new out of the factory products, and added some storage units and a small island.

As they had a few small kids we also kept the cook top out of the way so the kids wouldn’t run into handles, but kept the refrigerator in an accessible area for passerby’s and for those working in the kitchen.

For any kitchen remodel, it is always about planning before anything else. Everything needs to function, as it should.

Call us today, whether you want to have a chat or get some ideas, we are happy to help.

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