Monthly Archives: November 2016

Proper Roofing Tips

In these demanding times, we need to save money through whichever ways possible. While there are many who install costly ventilation systems, you can also lower your energy bills even with a tight budget. The exteriors of our house hold the key to the in-house temperature. The bulk of the heat gets transferred from the outside to the inside. Since your roof receives the bulk of the sun’s rays throughout the day, the material for roofing must be chosen judiciously.

For Lower Bill, Use Light Color

How many times have you stepped outside in that black outfit and have cursed the blasting sun? Well, the reason is the color of your dress. Black absorbs light and so accumulates heat. The opposite is for white or any light colored cloth. Same thing goes for your home as well. Paint your roof white and you will notice a marked difference in the interior-temperature. This will directly take the load off your cooling systems, thus lowering your electricity bills.

Check the Roofing Material

In the market, there are various types of roofing materials vying for your attention. While some may be cheap, you must be aware of their energy-efficiency. A metal siding painted white will reflect most of the white-rays. Cement tiles reflect more but there is a catch to it. Cements keep the interior cool throughout the day but it takes longer to cool down at night. Here metal roofing scores over others as it cools down much faster. Now, that is a way smarter option than using a dark grey roof which reflects barely 10% of the light, making the interiors, quite insufferable.

In case of roofing, you must be well aware of the installation procedures related to the roofing material. You must be very careful with the installation of the roofs in accordance with the manufacturing guidelines. Following the guidelines will ensure that you get a long-lasting roof and one that is guaranteed.

You can log on to the Internet for browsing through reputed contractors or home remodelers. However, you must be very sure about the type of work and their pricing estimates. Many contractors bill you after the completion of their work. This means that you stand to lose a considerable amount of money. In this case, what you need is a contractor who will bill you before the task is started. This saves you the worry of getting your job done on time.

Best Logo Design Service

You should have seen numerous logo design services but each logo design service doesn’t seem efficient to you as others. Why? Since, an efficient design consultancy takes extra care of its client’s business identity. How? Good services always design their client’s insignia in a way that the client’s corporate identity appear more superior to his/her competitors and portrays each and every aspect of client’s business.

The current period belongs to the e-commerce world; therefore it won’t be a big problem for you to find out the best custom design service. You should review the price and packages of such services to come anywhere near to pick up the best service for your company identity design. After choosing the best service, be very careful about your company design.

Here are some free tips to choose the best designing service:

1. First of all, you should choose the service only that meets up your budget standard.

2. Check out the credibility of the designing firm you have chosen through research.

3. Investigate whether the service providers are experts and have good reputation throughout.

Good designing services consult with their clients on regular basis. Their consultants are punctual and desperate to work. It’s better to tell your consultants about your budget and desire who knows they would make you a cost effective logo. Don’t ever forget that each famous logo has been designed by the professional, so you should avail a logo designing service.

Website Design Service Requirements

Many people use website design services without really knowing what they should be getting for their money, so I thought it would be a good idea to review what website service should be providing you to see if it really does come up to scratch.

Looking at a website services home page, they should really be covering all bases. They should give you a good rundown of their services on the home page, and there should also be pages giving details of how to contact them, and other areas that they can be of service to you, the customer.

The service should give you the option of help in many areas. There is the obvious website creation and design that they will implement for you, of which they can give you simple one page websites to more complicated ecommerce websites. And they should also sort out your domain and hosting requirements if you want them to. Also they should help you with content management on your website. In other words, you may have the basic premise of what you want on your website, and what you want to achieve from your website, but you need someone to come in and provide the filling and get it all down on the website for you.

Search engine optimisation is another area that they should be of use to you, so if you really have not a clue how to go about getting your website seen by potential clients, then this could be a very useful service for you in that they can make sure to set up your website for SEO purposes, and they can also provide ongoing SEO services so that your website will stay at the top of the search engine rankings in the months to come.

They must also have an excellent after sales service, so that they do not leave you high and dry after creating your website but make sure that you are completely happy with the website and the service that they have provided.

So as I mentioned earlier, they should cover all bases for you and provide you with an effective and low-cost solution to your website needs. They should be able to provide you with a high quality service which gives you a multitude of options for your website design, and provide you with advice and back up all the way through the creation and production of the website, and they should provi you with a thorough and continuous after sales service.

DIY Home Improvement Ideas

Many enthusiasts of DIY home improvement differentiate between two specific classes of projects. The first class involves major renovations in the house, including:

o Replacement of floors

o Installation of new insulation

o Installation of a new roof

o Installation of wooden fences around a yard

The second type of DIY are smaller projects that delivers creative pleasure to the ones engaging in them. These small projects typically involve adding small yet useful objects inside the house. Though most of them involve one form of furniture or another, these smaller projects are recommended for those who are just beginning with DIY home improvement.

Small ideas but nice results

Free time, a bit of cash and a lot of good ideas is all you need to think of your own DIY home improvement project. Here are some ideas to get you started:

o Windows- if you’ve been thinking for the longest time that the windows in your bedroom are creepy at night, why not replace them? Contrary to popular belief, it is easy to replace windows. All you need are a few traditional tools like a crowbar and a hammer, or a saw in some instances. Simply measure the window’s dimensions and purchase a window of the exact same size. Take down the old window frame, taking utmost care not to damage the glass. Then simply install the new window sets using window glue and a few bolts or nails.

o Gates- gates can be customized. If your own gate allows it, you may attempt to install name plates on your own gate, to identify your house easily. This would be a great idea especially if you live in a housing neighborhood, where houses generally look alike.

o Extra utility table- If you don’t have enough table when you go out for a yard picnic, why not build one yourself? All you need would be small planks of wood and a little ingenuity. First determine what particular table size you want. After making the proper measurements, simply follow the configuration of picnic tables you see everyday and voila, you have your own picnic table. DIY projects that involve wood are often durable because wood is a sturdy material.

o Floor design- tired of visible scratches on your floor? One way to successfully remedy old floors is simply installing new vinyl. Vinyl comes in a variety of colors and designs so you would be having a lot of fun and choices by simply choosing the design you like. The installation of vinyl is even easier- you simply need contact cement or other forms of strong adhesives to attach the vinyl to your floor. Just find the center of the floor area using a nylon thread and divide each area into quarters. Start with 1 quarter and finish by cutting to size when you reach the edge.

o Wall design- wallpaper is still in. You simply have to know how to install wallpaper properly. First, the walls must be free from dirt, moisture or grease before the application of the adhesive. Let the adhesive dry a bit first before attaching the wallpaper in small, manageable strips. Watch your bedroom or your living room come alive with the new look.

Cost of DIY Home Improvement Projects

Let’s get one thing clear- not all do it yourself projects are inexpensive. More often than not, DIY projects are actually quite expensive, depending on the outcome that you desire. Look at it this way- if you don’t have control over the quality of store shelf products, then the DIY approach inverts the whole picture: you are now in control of the quality and appearance of any project you wish to get into.

If you have a warped picnic table and you wish to replace this with something that would look like it was done by an Italian craftsman in his prime, then expect that the DIY project would be expensive because you want something that will demand quality materials like exotic wood and top rated paint finish.

However, not many people want to invest so much in do it yourself projects- mainly because the budget is not there to begin with. So much can be said of expensive DIY projects, but it doesn’t mean that less expensive projects would yield poor results.

Issues regarding craftsmanship would entirely be credited to the person who has engaged in the DIY project. If you have little creativity or has little understanding of carpentry, then don’t expect that the new railing for your staircase would look like it was built by a highly experienced crew of carpenters.

So what would solve this apparent contradiction between skills, technical-know how and budget? The answer is simple- inexpensive projects that would yield beautiful results but do not require a high level of competence. Below are just some inexpensive and yet rewarding DIY home improvement projects that you can start with if you’re feeling the DIY itch now:

1. Repainting- a fresh coat of paint is always a good thing, especially for old houses. New paint gives a refreshing feel to an area, and improves the aura of a house. If a house has been standing for five years and has not been applied with even a drop of fresh paint since the day its doors were first opened, then now would be a good time to plan for a repainting.

Repainting projects need not be a 10 weekend projects- it does not have to cover the whole expanse of the house. You can start with the porch or the living room – this will take you 2 to 3 weekends.

2. Wood works- even if it sounds daunting at the start, making new furniture for the house (for the family and of course, for your own personal use) is actually one of the most fulfilling ways to jumpstart your own DIY fever. The trick is to always start small.

Not everyone is an expert with the use of wood, saw hammer and nails. This is the reason you should always start small- because in case your project fails, you can conveniently just throw away the failed project without worrying too much about the raw materials that you used. Don’t attempt to build a bed or a large cabinet for all your clothes yet.

A good starting project would be a foot stool that may be used around the house-whether in the study room or in front of the couch in the living room. Get a feel of it and see how it goes from there.

Home Repair and Improvement Costs

One of the biggest unknowns for many homeowners is how to estimate home repair costs. Depending on who writes the estimate, it can be confusing and very difficult to understand exactly what is included and what is the actual amount of money you’ll be expected to pay. I can’t teach you, in one page, to be a professional estimator. It takes years of experience and is a constant learning process. My goal here is to provide you with a basic understanding of the methods used by estimators in for determining costs. It all starts with quantities. How much of each particular product or service do you need?

Breaking Down Repair Cost Measurements
Most things in construction are measured in linear feet, square feet, and square yards. Many of you may already know this.If so, feel free to skip ahead. But, I’m starting from the very beginning for those that may be completely unfamiliar with these terms. Linear feet is the most simple. If you pull your tape measure from one end of a straight wall to the other and it measures: 10 ft 6 in, then you have 10’6″ linear feet of wall. Finish carpenters use linear feet to measure trim, base boards, and cabinets. For example: If you were remodeling your kitchen and replacing the cabinets, you would measure the length of each individual cabinet to determine that you need 18 linear feet (lf) of lower cabinets and 22 (lf) of upper cabinets.

The next type of measurement I’m going to talk about is square feet. This probably the most often used measurement in construction and it’s pretty simple. basically, were multiplying 2 separate measurements. If you wanted to find the square footage of a bedroom floor for example, you would multiply the width of the room by the length. If the room is 12 ft wide and 15 ft long: 15×12=180 square feet. If you need the square footage of a wall in the same room, you would simply multiply length x height. Square feet measurements are used for the majority of household repairs including: painting, drywall flooring, counter tops, and many more. Square yards is another measurement used in cost estimating, primarily for carpet and other flooring. To find the square yardage of an area, you would divide the square feet by 9. So if a room was 10 ft x 9 ft (90 SQ FT) divide by 9 and you’ve got 10 square yards. Measuring for carpet is a little more complicated than finding the square yardage of a room. For more info on that check out our flooring page.

Defining the Scope of Work for Home Repairs
Now that we understand the measurement process a little better, let move on to preparing the Estimate. It all starts with the scope of work. Let’s say we’re going to remodel the kitchen. Make a line item listing each home repair.

  • Replace Cabinets- 18 lf lower, 22 lf upper
  • Paint Ceiling and Walls- 192 sf ceiling, 240 sf walls,
  • Remove Linoleum Flooring- 156 sf
  • Install Ceramic Tile Floor- 156 sf
  • Install Granite Counter Tops- 36 sf
  • Install Ceramic Tile Back Splash- 27 sf
  • Install (6) recessed light in ceiling
  • Install New Appliances- Built-in Double Oven, Glass Cook Top, Vent Hood, Dishwasher
  • Install New Sink and Faucet
  • Stain and Finish Cabinets

Building the Cost Estimate
The simplest method for determining the cost of your project is to have general contractors bid the entire project. Try and line up at least 3 GC’s to give you quotes on the project. Schedule different appointment times for each of them. You don’t want them all there together, but casually mention that you are expecting other bids. Hopefully this will make them more competitive. The following tips may be helpful in the interview process.

  • If you have any questions or would like their input on the project, prepare a list and use it with all bidders. We do this to make sure the process is equal.
  • Decide on a time frame for when you would like their Estimate.(A week to 10 days should be enough time). This will show you something about their ability to do things promptly and meet deadlines.
  • If you want the contractor to include all of the labor and materials in their bids, you need to specify certain items like appliances and flooring to insure you get the quality you want. An experienced, qualified contractor would ask you these questions own their own.
  • Ask them to include an estimated time (# of days or weeks) that it will take to complete the project.
  • Tell them you will need a list of the subcontractors they will be using.(so you can check them out and get lien releases to make sure they have been paid).

After you have completed the interview process, just sit back and wait for the bids. When you receive them, compare them closely to make sure they are equal. Look for exceptions or exclusions in the fine print. Some people may leave out items that were in your scope. This may be OK, you just need to know up front. If you are satisfied with the number of bids you’ve received, select the Cost Estimate you believe suits you best and move forward. If you are unable to get multiple bids, keep reading and you’ll find tips on how to determine if the prices are fair.

If you want to contract your own work, you will need to price each phase of the work and the put it all together to build an estimate of your home repair costs. Let’s begin with any areas of the work you may be planning to do yourself. Maybe your going to do the painting or stain the cabinets. In this case, your only expenses should be materials and any new tools you may need. When making your material list, don’t forget the small misc. items you’ll need. When painting, in addition to the paint itself, don’t forget, caulking, putty, paint thinner, and plastic to cover floors or furniture. These are low cost items, but it all adds up. After you have estimated the material cost, it’s a good idea to add about 10% contingency for mistakes or unexpected problems that arise (there are always a few). Make a line item for each phase of the job you plan on doing yourself.

Now we’re ready to get sub bids for the rest of the home repair costs. Finding the right subcontractors is they key to a smooth, organized project. All it takes is one bad one to mess it up for everyone. Make appointments with subs for each phase of the job. It’s a good idea to schedule appointments with different trades at the same time to get feedback on things one trade may need to do for another. For example: The plumber or electrician may need to relocate pipes or wiring before the carpenter installs the new cabinets. But, as a rule, don’t schedule subs of the same trade at the same time. You need to get a feel for each individual without a competition going on. Give each bidder a copy of your entire scope of work so he knows up front what circumstances he will be working with. He may raise questions you haven’t thought about. Make it clear if you plan on providing any materials or fixtures, such as appliances or lighting.

If you want the sub to include everything, either specify what you want or ask them for an allowance. An allowance is a designated amount of money allowed for a particular item. For instance: if you have a $200 allowance for a ceiling fan, that amount would be set aside in the contract. After looking, you decide that the fan you really want is $329. You would owe the additional $129 to the contractor. If it’s less, you would receive a credit. This is a good way to get estimates, but I would recommend always selecting what you want rather than leaving it up to the contractor, to insure you receive the value that you’re paying for. If you have an allowance, you may be able to save some money by finding bargains on clearance or used items. Once you’ve received all of your sub bids, make your selections and combine the sub bids with the line item prices for the things you’re doing yourself and the total will be the final cost of repairs for your home. It is a good idea to then add 5-10% contingency. There are usually unexpected things that come up. If they don’t, you’ll still have the money, but, if more costs do arise, you will have planned for it.

Checking the Home Repair Costs
The final thing I’d like to discuss about home repair costs is how to determine if you’re getting a fair price. The simplest way is to have multiple bids when compiling your Cost Estimate. If you have the following 4 prices:

$31,000, $22,000, $19,500, $17,900

It’s pretty clear that the market price should be in the $18,000 – $22,000 range and the $31,000 price is high. However you may not be able to get 4 bids. You may only get 1.If you haven’t received enough bids to write an estimate of your home repair costs that you feel comfortable with, you can do some research using the estimating techniques we discussed earlier. Use the footage measurements and make some phone calls or visit home improvement centers to check prices. For example: You need 156 sf of ceramic tile. Call several tile contractors and ask them what they charge per: sf to install floor tile (labor only). After making several calls you determine that the labor price should be about $3 per sf. You know from your previous shopping that your tile is $6 per: sf and misc materials are $.50 per: sf, the following formula can help you check the costs:

Labor $3.00 Materials $6.50

Total sf price $9.50 x 156 sf = $1482.00 %2B 20% O&P = $296.40= Total Price $1778.40

Adding 20-30% for overhead and profit is not unreasonable, but if your using small contractors, you may not need to. If you receive a bid for $3500, it is probably high.This process can be used with many of the items in your Cost Estimate that are priced based on footage measurements. It’s not an exact science, but it can help you know if your in the ball park. The exception would be very small projects. If all your doing is a small bathroom, contractors will probably not bid it by the foot because they can’t make any money that way. It is really impossible to estimate costs for some services, particularly: plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. The only option, even for professional estimators is to use multiple bids. Spend the extra time if necessary. It will be worth it.

I would like to conclude this topic by offering some advice that I have learned the hard way.

  • The cheapest Cost Estimate is not always the best. If you have 3 prices and one is half the amount of the next lowest, be careful. They may have missed something, or very possibly, just don’t know what they’re doing. This is tempting, even for veteran contractors. But, if the sub or GC has under bid the project and can’t finish, you’ve got a big problem. I’ve been on both sides of this and it never turns out good for either side.
  • Don,t lie to yourself. If you’ve gotten your bids and done your research and the Cost Estimate looks like a $20,000 project, but you only have $15,000, it’s still a $20,000 project. Don’t proceed, thinking you will find a way to save $5,000. You may end up with torn up house you can’t finish. Either take something out of wait awhile until you have the needed funds.
  • Finally, make sure your pricing is up to date. Some services and materials can fluctuate greatly for various reasons. If it’s been several months since you did your estimate, check with suppliers and contractors to be sure the prices are still good.

Hopefully, your armed with a little more knowledge and ammunition for preparing you Cost Estimate. Proceed with caution and Good Luck

Quick Tips to Find a Good Contractor

If you want your Home Repairs completed in proper condition and don’t want to worry about paying for the same project twice in a short period of time follow these 3 tips. You will know the importance of getting a free bid, and written guarantee and also why it’s important to have a properly licensed and insured handyman do your repair work.

1. Ask  the handyman if they have the proper licensing and insurance to do the repair work you are wanting done. If you live in Raleigh make sure the licensing and insurance is for that area not some where else. Your contractor having the proper paperwork in this area will protect you from being liable for any injuries that might happen during the actual project.

2. Get some type of guarantee or warranty in writing for the completed work so you don’t have to worry about paying for the same repair service twice in a short amount of time. Ask for if any products being replaced or added have a manufacturer’s warranty like say a window or something like this. Also be sure you get a written guarantee for the actual work performed.

3. Make sure you get a free repair bid for your home project. Don’t pay for a quote. Any company should give a free estimate as a way of saying thank you for even considering them and giving them a call. You will probably be getting more than a couple of bids so why waste money.

Keeping these 3 quick tips in mind like getting a licensed and insured worker and getting a written guarantee will help you make a better choice on who performs your Raleigh Home Repairs or any other cities home improvement projects.

Do Home Improvement Projects in the Slowing Economy

The great influx of people from all over the country and the rest of the world wanting to take a shot at becoming a part of the Big Apple – New York City, have long since caused a problem in the housing market. Today, this issue is faced by NYC homeowners together with the general condition of the economy of the United States; with the growing unemployment and retrenchments, instability in the Wall Street, and the decline in consumer buying. But even so, this time may be just the perfect opportunity to take advantage of and make a reality out f your dream home through home improvement projects.

In the slowing economy, it pays to be able to maximize whatever amount that you allot into your home improvement project. The assurance of success in home improvement does not lie in spending more. Even with less, you can avail of the best value for your money’s worth by spending it wisely.

The key to the success of any home improvement project to boost return on investment is product selection and quality. To achieve the highest quality, it is crucial that whoever works on the project has the right skills and experience. So if you are not a contractor yourself better let a qualified professional take over and not only bring about success of the project but also make the whole experience a great one for you.

As the old adage goes, we should be able to see the light in every situation. In the case of a slowing economy, why is it better to do your home improvement projects now?

1. Now is high time to be getting the best offers and services from a certified New York contractor.

The slow economy has been affecting every business and trade and this includes the contracting industry. To keep their services more attractive, contractors are now offering home improvement services at a much lower price with several promotional benefits.

Thinking that DIY would save them more; many homeowners tend to avoid hiring contractors. But eventually they are faced with more problems and cost. This flawed idea keeps many contractors idle for a time and more than available to answer to your needs. By hiring a qualified contractor now, you would be doing both your home improvement project and yourself a favor. Without a long list of client to attend to, the contractor would be able to focus more on the job at hand going through every stage in the most efficient and timely manner with more attention to details.

2. Buying high quality materials for an affordable price is possible.

As was mentioned, many businesses, if not all, are greatly affected by the slowing economy. Among the most popular strategies to keep the customers coming and buying is through staging sale after sale. This could be the smartest time for homeowners to buy materials and supplies needed for the completion of their home improvement projects.

The slowing economy opens the door to the easier achievement of the key factors to a successful and valuable home improvement project and these are quality and product selection. And by taking advantage of the situation, you would be able to enhance the quality of living of your family as well as add value to your home. Successful home improvement projects would let you live in beauty and comfort even at tough times.

Home Improvement Sales Leads

If you are looking to make money selling improvement products or services for the home, you are looking for home improvement sales leads. You can easily find these leads by searching the internet or using a desktop leads generator, but what type of individuals should you target? For starters, it all depends on whether you are selling a product or service. Keep reading on for more information.

Selling Products

If you run a home improvement store (online or offline) or if you sell construction supplies, there are three types of sales leads you are looking for. These individuals are construction companies, construction workers who do side projects, and homeowners. All of these individuals are someone are within your targeted market because they might be interested in buying the products you have available for sale.

Selling Services

If you run a home improvement service, that might include general construction work or remodeling, you are looking at one large group of individuals; homeowners. To narrow down your results, focus on those who are attempting to sell their homes, those who are advertising they want to buy a home, and those who outright state online “I am looking for someone with home remodeling experience.” These are the individuals most likely to use and pay for your services.

Now that you know what type of home improvement sales leads you should be looking for, how can you find them? Instead of paying a professional to generate leads for you, do it yourself with a desktop leads generator. Many of these programs let you search thousands of websites with one search. Use a related keyword or keyword phrase (home improvement, remodeling, construction, repair, and so forth). Your program will let you see the entire posts online. At this time determine if they are a “good” sales leads and the make contact. Most programs will let you send an email right from the program!

Best Home Improvement Tips

People will do an assortment of home upgrades for their very own homes. Things are gonna go much smoother when the appropriate things and the right instruments are in place. One of the very first things you’ll need to do should be to ensure that you doing the appropriate thing. Also, even if you do not have the appropriate competencies and experience, you can still make it with the right set of instructions and the proper guidelines.

In one of the comments for the Milwaukee 2410-22 M12 Review post, one individual brought up the issue of home improvement tips and hints. To answer that need, here are some wonderful ideas for someone who wants to start with home improvement.

No must for super pricey products – there are a whole lot over priced products out there. Luckily, doing home improvement will not mean that you need to use those tools.. Just do what you could to find what works for you the best. There are gonna be lots of drills out there that you can use, but going for ones that are under $200 will be fine. The most excellent thing for you to do is always to read some user reviews, be very diligent about this and do not do something on impulse alone. You must to make sure that whatever it is you get is worth what you pay for. And, if you already have something in the home, go ahead nd work on those.

Another good tip would be to take it as slow as you could. It could possibly be tempting to take on the big stuff because this is gonna be your first time out and you have to take it slow. I always advice individuals I know to begin slow but aim actually big. It doesn’t mean that just because you are encouraged to begin small, you no longer wish to have big objectives. Keep your plans and at some point you might have the opportunity to reach them.

A third tip is going to involve getting direction. Find someone to help you, or if you wanted to you will get a self-help book. There are lots of DIY guides on the market and you could surely use these guides, some of them will even have blueprints you will use.