How to Save Money on a New Roof

Roof replacement issues are serious whether you are a real estate investor, you own commercial property, or it’s your personal home. This is easily one of the most important repairs to perform and one of the most expensive as well. This can put a serious dent on your bottom line if you’re operating your business from home, and there are often no alternatives. So, what can you do to reduce costs? Here are a few ideas.

Shop Around

The first thing we suggest is that you start shopping around, but don’t go overboard. Look for at least three quotes from reputable contractors. If you want to know what makes a contractor reputable, one of the best ways to do so is to check their track record. Reviews are great, and you can ask for references as well, but one of the best indicators is how well they’re standing with the BBB. If you don’t know what this is, it is a customer advocacy group that allows people to leave formal complaints about a business. Businesses can choose to be registered or not, and the reviews are a bit more credible than those you’d find on Google.

People like advantage-construction.com, for instance, have been registered since 2013 and have amassed an A+ rating during that time. That’s usually a good sign of a team that takes their work seriously. Get a few quotes from services that have a good reputation like this one and ask for details to make sure that there will be no hidden fees.

Handle Some of the Work Yourself

There are many costs that are associated with removing and refitting a roof. One of them is waste removal. If you can manage to handle that part on your own, you may be able to save a few bucks. We’re not saying you should get on the roof and rip out shingles yourself. That would be dangerous and not worth it. Instead, you can arrange for the garbage container rental and fill it yourself. This is something that you can easily do on your own and doesn’t require much effort.

Learn About Different Materials

You also have to make sure that you start learning about different materials before you start searching for a contractor. You want to know which materials are the cheapest, but which ones will give you the greatest returns as well. If you’re using your home as a formal office, you may want it to look great, so you may not want to go for the cheapest option possible. However, if you’re strapped for cash, then asphalt shingles are the cheapest you can find. They won’t last as long but will cost you much less than other options and are cheap to install as well.

Get it Replaced at the Right Time

Roofers are usually at their busiest in the late months of summer and in the fall. So, if you contact them in the spring or winter, you might be able to get better deals. You’ll have more space for negotiation and some will even offer off-season discounts, so take advantage of this.

These are just a few tips that you can use to reduce your roof replacement costs. The most important part is working with a team you can trust and who has your best interests in mind.

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Go Green: How to Choose the Best Solar Panel Installer for Your Home

Have you been putting off getting solar panels because of how much it cost in the past? The good news is that cost is no longer as big of a concern. The cost of solar is at an all-time low and is expected to keep going down in the future.

If you’re trying to find a solar panel installer, this post will help you with your search. Keep reading to learn what to look for when researching companies for solar panels installation.

Find a Certified Provider

A solar installation is a complex build that people can’t just pick up and do without training. You don’t only have to install brackets and solar panels on the roof, either. You have to design a system that will meet the needs of an individual home.

Your solar installers will need employees who can handle every step of the process. Each state has different licensing requirements, so look into your state’s regulations to familiarize yourself with what’s needed.

After you do this, ask your solar providers to provide documentation showing they fulfill your area’s licensing requirements. Since every location is different, don’t settle for someone licensed in another place. If your county has varying building restrictions and your provider doesn’t know about them, you might get stuck with an illegal solar installation.

Verify Insurance

There’s always a chance that an accident happens when someone is working on your solar installation. The problem comes when the contractors you use don’t have any insurance for their employees.

Contract companies are required to hold insurance for employees when they’re on work sites. This insurance covers any damages that occur to your property and for injuries that happen to workers.

It’s bad enough if your property is damaged during the installation process and you need to repair it. However, this isn’t the big problem. It’s when someone injures themself without insurance that you run into real issues.

If someone is injured on your property and isn’t insured, you might be on the hook for damages. If you want to avoid this, make sure anyone you work with has the proper insurance for any issue that comes up.

Ask About Subcontractor Use

You won’t only need to verify the primary company’s credentials you contract to do your solar installation. If your solar installer uses subcontractors to handle their work, you’ll need to confirm their credentials as well.

Credentials aren’t the only thing you need to worry about, either. Your solar provider might not provide the necessary insurance for people they subcontract work to. You’ll need to make sure that every person on your property has the right insurance in this scenario.

If you want to keep things simple, make sure that your solar installation provider employs all their workers themself.

Verify Warranty Information

Even a great installer won’t always perform a flawless installation. Whether it’s because of a worker’s mistake or faulty equipment, there’s still the chance that something will go wrong after your installer finishes the job.

The question is, will the solar firm you work with stand by their work?

There should be a warranty for any work done on your roof that lasts many years. Some warranties last up to 10 years, so try to get as many years as you can.

The other warranty you need to watch for is for equipment. These warranties will likely come from the product manufacturers. Your provider will know what kind of warranty your equipment manufacturer provides, so check with them to see what you can expect.

Ask About Financing

It isn’t always easy to get finances for a home improvement project. Some mortgage companies limit what you can do with refinancing, so you may be looking for other options. The good news is that some solar installation providers can give you the loan you need.

Many solar providers also offer you options if you don’t want to buy your panels outright. They work on a lease structure and will loan you solar panels. It will provide you a way to take advantage of green living without a lot of financial risks.

The leases that providers offer will vary on price and duration. Check your options to see if any make sense for you.

Look for Testimonials

Your solar installer search isn’t complete once you find a company you think can handle the job. Their job is to impress you with their services, so they likely won’t tell you about any problems they’ve had in the past. That’s why you need to find past customers and learn about their past experiences.

Ask your providers for testimonials before you commit to working with them. If they do great work, it shouldn’t be hard to find a satisfied customer to confirm their skill.

Of course, don’t just rely on the testimonials they provide. See if you can find any previous customers yourself. Looking at websites that let you talk to people in your community is a great way to find other customers.

Find Someone Local

Building codes vary a lot between different regions. A contractor experienced in one part of the country might not know what to expect if they come to your location. That makes it beneficial to look for solar companies in your area to handle the job.

If you want to find solar companies near you, start your search on Google. If you type “solar companies” in the search engine, you’ll get a list of local companies.

Your options will show on Google Maps. You can see the distance to your location, their address, and their customer ratings. Doing this is an excellent way of finding a reliable solar panels installation company quickly.

Start Your Search for a Solar Panel Installer Today

There’s never been a better time than now to install solar panels on your home. Now that you know what to look for in a solar panel installer, you can start your search. The sooner the process is complete, the sooner you can stop relying on the grid.

Are you interested in learning about more home improvement projects? Head back to our blog to discover our best improvement tips.

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How to Pick the Perfect Art Piece for Your Home

Have you been staring at blank white walls for too long? Is your creative vision stunted and your decor unappealing? Do you know how to choose art for your home?

Don’t be nervous, because you’re the only judge that matters. There is no such thing as good or bad art. The art that matters is the art that appeals to whatever is burning inside you.

Read on to learn how to select art for your home!

Match Art to the Mood

Do you like bright, eye-popping colors in your bathroom? If you do, you should keep it in mind when choosing art for your home. It can influence the feel of a space.

There’s no wrong answer for how to use your space. For example, bedroom art should be soothing according to some stylists, but that’s someone else’s definition. If dynamic scenes make you smile in your bedroom, you should seek out art that highlights that!

Think About Where and How Your Eye Travels

When you enter your space, where is your eye drawn? Art can help accentuate our natural tendency to choose a focal point. Putting specific art pieces in your line of sight will make them pop and help others admire their full beauty.

If you put art on a wall that people don’t see immediately, it’s not going to be as noticed. But that’s not always a bad thing!

When deciding how to choose art for your home, put your big guns out on the front lines. Save your quieter art for someone who looks for and appreciates it.

Mix and Match Mediums

We’ve been speaking of 2D art on the wall, but other forms of art like sculptures and pottery has a significant place in the home. Selecting art for your home requires a balance of mediums.

If you’re looking at landscape photography, choose a scene that matches the vibe of your furniture as well as the room as a whole. Trust your eye. You’ll know the difference when art creates harmony instead of chaos.

Size Matters

When choosing art for decorating your home, we recommend measuring the space or looking at sizing samples to determine how big the prints or statues should be. There’s nothing worse than a totally oversized piece of art that bullies too much of the space.

If you want art to be the focal point, this doesn’t matter as much. However, consider the harmony of your future room. Big art means less room for other pieces.

Now You Know How to Choose Art for Your Home

The most important note to remember is only you know how to choose art for your home. The best stylists and curators in the world have their unique tastes and can help you get the room looking its best, but you must trust your creative process.

Be sure to check out other articles on our website if you want inspiration to improve your life. Add art (and even rent art for your home) and watch your space transform!

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3 Crucial Factors to Consider Before Tackling a Home Improvement Project

For most of us, our homes are perhaps our most significant investments. As such, we often find ourselves spending a great deal of time and money on making our dwellings not only much more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to live in but to ensure that we minimize depreciation and maintain its value. To get the best value for our money, however, it’s essential to have an objective and pragmatic approach. To this end, here are a few crucial factors to consider before tackling a home improvement project.

  1. Will it fit within the allotted budget?

Not many of us have the luxury of having a substantial amount of resources to work with. In fact, the chances are that you’ll have no more than a reasonable or modest budget allotted for the materials or labor that the home improvement project will require. Before making a decision, it’s always good standard practice to make sure that the project won’t break the bank. After all, the costs of many home improvement projects can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked and no one wants to be left with an unfinished product.

One top tip is to never skimp on looking for cheaper and inexpensive alternatives. Research is often a tedious task that a lot of us would rather do without, but you’ll be surprised at how useful it can be in reducing expenditure for any services or materials that may be needed.

  1. Will the project affect the value of the property?

Since properties are often considered as investments, it makes sense to be certain that any changes or upgrades made do not affect its value negatively. We may not necessarily be thinking about parting with our homes right at this moment, but in the event that we do, it pays to make sure that any home improvements made will allow the property to maintain its value or even increase it. From choosing to have more modern and durable luxury vinyl flooring over its antiquated alternatives or opting to go for energy efficiency through LED lighting or solar panels, it’s always critical to prioritize projects that can benefit the value of the home.

  1. Is it possible to tackle the project yourself?

In this day and age, a lot of people tend to go for a do-it-yourself method of approach when it comes to home improvement projects. It is, after all, an effective way to avoid the high costs that labor and services usually entail. However, it’s always important to be aware of what we can and cannot do. There are times when it’s much more cost-effective to acquire the services of a specialist since it can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes and gives you more time to focus on other areas that may require your attention more.

Home improvement projects may be more common today than they ever have been in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be taken lightly. By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll not only help yourself stay within budget but choose projects that can be much more beneficial to the value of the home in the long run.

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5 ways to protect your floor during remodeling

When you are remodeling your house and you don’t protect your floor, sometimes it can make the job bigger than it needs to be. When you are finished and everything is done, suddenly you realize you have to redo the floor as well because of damage. You might find lumps of plaster or concrete glued to your wooden floor or, even worse, embedded in your carpet. We have all seen it in DIY paint jobs with friends and family, where they were painting the walls, there is suddenly dried paint over the carpet and the edges around the room. You could have rips and grooves torn in the floor when workers move equipment in and through the house. This is one of those issues that is easy to fix with just a little forethought. The easiest way is to put down some flooring protection. We have written out a couple of different things you can use and some things to watch out for. They are as follows.

Plastic film for carpets

Carpet, unfortunately, is one of the easiest things to ruin. If you get too much dust and debris down in the roots or the shaft of the carpet, it can be almost impossible to get out. Use carpet protection film. After your renovation, you really should use a HEPA vacuum cleaner, something that can pull out the smallest of particles, to fully clean the carpet of any small debris. You only want to do that after you have already protected your carpet with plastic film. The plastic film is a bit like a saran wrap that sticks to carpeting. You can lay it down or top the carpeting and protect it from dust and other things that may fall on it and ruin it. It also works well for differently shaped areas such as stairs, as it will just stick to the carpet over the twists and turns. Plastic film will actually give the carpet more traction as well, so there’s less chance of a slip during the renovation.

Paper coverings

Craft paper or rosin paper is a heavy duty paper that you can roll out over the floor surface and tape down with non-residue tape such as painters tape or masking tape. This covering is better used on hard surfaces as it can easily tear on softer surfaces such as carpet. There are also reinforced papers that you can use. These papers have a moisture barrier on the bottom that can protect from spills such as paint or any other liquid. This will give you a time to clean it up without its seeping through. Many people try to use newspaper; however, newspaper is not appropriate for protection in any home renovations. Newspaper is made from the cheapest possible paper which tears very easily. You are better starting with a thicker paper and use a paper that is made for the purpose.

Ram board

Ram board is it for heavy protection. Ram board is generally made from recycled fibers and constructed in a way to make it gas permeable. You can use this as a much higher level of protection on your floor. Ram board is a reusable and very heavy duty. It is made with a special kind of process which allows the vapors from a newly installed floor below it to pass through. This allows you to walk on the new floor while it is still curing and keep it safe.

Corrugated plastic

Corrugated plastic is also a heavy-duty floor protection. This is best used for areas with a more fragile floor, such as tile, marble, or an unfinished wood floor. Dropping a tool on one of these floors may crack or shatter a tile, or marble surface, and make it almost impossible to fix without having to replace that area.

Sticky mats

Not exactly a floor covering, sticky mats still protect your floors. They are a large sticky mat that you would put near all the doorways. As you walk on them, the sticky surface will remove dust and particles from your shoes. There is less chance of your shoes grinding in a small stone you have tracked into the house and into that floor surface. We would not rely on these alone but they are definitely something good to add to the arsenal of keeping it all clean.

If you going to be doing the renovation yourself or you are going to hire a contractor to do it, it is still in very good idea to make sure that everyone understands that all the floor services are to be covered and protected. This protection also extends to other delicate items such as banisters, balustrades, or any wainscoting and might be showing. You get the idea. We wish you the best of luck with your renovation and we hope one of our ideas has saved you some heartache in the future. Good luck with that renovation and may it go smoothly.

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