Unforeseen circumstances make life interesting for the HOMEfix crew as they remodel Erin & Lance’s kitchen in the Broadmoor Bluffs area.
If you’ve lived in the Pikes Peak region for any longer than 9 months, then you know we have 4 distinct seasons: Summer, Broncos season, winter, and everyone’s favorite… hail. And it is officially hail season in Colorado Springs.
It’s not a matter of if but when hail is going to come. Last year our neighbors down in Fountain got pelted with softball sized hail!
Here are some simple things you can do to minimize the damage that hail can cause to your property:
No matter how hard we try, a final punch list after a basement finish project is inevitable. The larger the project, the larger the punch list. One of the greatest feelings in the world for a basement finishing contractor in Colorado Springs is completing the punch list and introducing the customer to their new ready-to-move-in living space.
Here are 10 common punch list items on basement finishes:
It’s important for a home owner to EXPECT these punch list items, that way they are not completely disappointed or frustrated when they pop up at the end of the project. But it is even more important for a contractor to address these issues early on their own punch list and communicate to the customer that they are aware of them.
Wrapping up a punch list at the end of a Colorado Springs basement finish can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the entire project for both parties involved. Clear communication and realistic expectations can prevent problems before they happen.
Homefix strives to tackle punch list items as quickly as possible by taking a proactive approach to finishing projects.
Before hiring a Colorado Springs roofing contractor to replace the roof on your home, ask them these 5 questions to make sure you protect one of your largest investments:
What is your contractor’s license number?
Make sure they have a contractor’s license to perform roof replacements. If they are not licensed, they will not be able to pull a permit and get inspections on your roof. This will put a lot of liability on you as a home owner and your insurance may not help pay for your roof or offer you discounts on your premium in the future if the work was not filtered through the building department.
Can I have a copy of your general liability and worker’s compensation insurance certificates?
In construction, if it can go wrong, it will. Murphy’s Law is an unfortunate common denominator and can make or break a contractor who does not have the right insurance in place. Make sure they have at least $1,000,000 in general liability and that their worker’s compensation covers roofing.
What is included in the scope of work?
You’ll want to get a complete list of what is included in the scope of work they are going to perform. Are they replacing flashing? Are they replacing pipe jack flashing? Are they installing new drip edge? Are they removing the existing layers of shingles or going over the top? (this is not allowed much any more). What type of dimensional shingles are you going to be installing? What class of shingles are you going to be installing? Ask them to provide a complete list of what they will be doing on your roof. Don’t let them cut corners. Especially if your insurance is going to be paying for it, they need to do it.
How does the billing work?
Questions like: How much do you need upfront? When will I receive the final bill? Who handles the negotiations with the insurance, me or you? How long does it usually take for insurance to pay for work after it’s done? Make sure you are both on the same page before any contracts are signed or work is started.
Do you have an references I can call?
If a contractor hesitates to provide references after you ask for them, I’d hesitate hiring them. Every contractor has made mistakes at some point or another and has customers who hate their guts – it just comes with the business. But it’s how they respond AFTER they have dropped the ball that shows their true character. A Colorado Springs roofing contractor worth his salt will have done everything within his power to make right any wrongs and protect his company’s reputation. Therefore, there should be no hesitation in providing a list of 5 to 6 references of customers he has worked for and who will vouch for his work.
Those are the 5 questions every customer should ask their roofing contractor before moving forward with any work.
It is a common belief that dimensional roof shingles and architectural roof shingles are one and the same. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that there is a slight difference between them.
According to NACHI.org, dimensional shingles were first created in the 1970’s. “They are generally made from fiberglass or organic materials, with some added asphalt. Other minerals are sometimes added to make them more durable and able to withstand the elements.” Before dimensional shingles were introduced to the market, 3-tab shingles and T-lock shingles were the most widely used by Colorado Springs roofing contractors. Leaders in the roofing material industry thought that they looked too flat and wanted to add a layer of depth to them. They put additional layers of shingles in wood shake-like shapes on top of the first layer to give it some “dimension” – thus the dimensional shingle was born.
Dimensional roof shingles have evolved into many different designs, shapes, colors, and sizes. The term “dimensional” is merely the over-arching category that architectural shingles fall into. Put another way, an architectural shingle is fancier designed dimensional shingle.
Most people at first glance on two houses side by side would not be able to tell the difference between a basic dimensional and architectural style shingle – even putting the two shingles side by side you would still struggle to see the differences.
A basic dimensional shingle is slightly more uniform in its pattern of dimensional shapes between the different bundles. In other words, the pattern repeats itself much more often than it does with a fancier architectural shingle.
Architectural shingles because of their more random shape and custom installation are therefore, slightly more expensive.
So the next time someone tries to use these two terms interchangeably, you can be the annoying know-it-all who corrects them and tells them the difference between dimensional and architectural roof shingles.
You’re welcome. 🙂 – your local Colorado Springs Roofing Contractor
The roof of your home has a limited lifespan. How long it lasts will depend on the materials used and how well it has been maintained. For instance, as this infographic from Severe Weather Roofing and Restoration shows (see below), a well maintained slate roof can last for over 100 years. In comparison, some asphalt shingles may last less than ten years. Most roofs fall somewhere in the middle of this range. Average quality asphalt shingles should last closer to 15 years. Sturdy materials such as concrete or tile can last more than 20 years before needing to be replaced. All of these lifespans assume proper care and maintenance of course. A roof that has been damaged or neglected isn’t going to live up to expectations when it comes to its lifespan.
A first step in deciding if your roof needs to be replaced is to consider its overall condition. Start with the most serious conditions. If your roof is leaking, it needs at the very least to be repaired. A qualified roofer will be able to tell you whether repairs are possible or if it is time to replace your roof entirely. Next, look at the planes of your roof. If you see low spots, the support structure of your roof is no longer functional. Either the sheathing that supports your roof’s top materials or the rafters that frame the roof are damaged and no longer able to hold your roof’s weight.
Hopefully, you have not experienced either of these problems with the roof of your home. But if you have, then it is time to call a professional. A qualified roof repair and installation company can help you create a plan to replace your existing roof with a new roof replacement that will serve you for years to come. There’s no reason to wait to replace a failing roof. The cost of replacement will pay for itself in adding value to your home and protecting your belongings from harm. Plus, if you choose the right roofing materials, you may never have to replace your home’s roof again.
In the infographic below, John Anderson of Severe Weather Roofing and Restoration in Loveland CO, helps you easily understand the most important aspects of your roof. If you live in Loveland CO, please give them a call for all of your roofing needs.
And if you live in Colorado Springs, call Homefix: 719-749-1788
Did you know?
Over 50% of the attics in Colorado Springs are under-insulated with an R-value well below what is recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy (Energy.gov).
What is R-value?
R-value is the measure of resistant to heat-flow through a given material. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance.
In other words: Adequate Attic Insulation = Higher R-value = Less Wasted Energy
What’s the definition of “Adequate Insulation”?
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends an R-value in the attic of R-49 to R-60 for residential dwellings in the Colorado Springs region. But most homes in Colorado Springs have an R-value of R-30 or below.
Why does this problem exist?
Why should you Improve your Attic Insulation?
The simple answer: Heat rises. You can spend a fortune replacing windows and doors and installing new insulation in your walls, but none of these improvements will produce the same results that adequate attic insulation will. Your attic is basically a hole in the top of your house. Without proper insulation, the heat will rise straight up through your roof and draw all of the cold air from the small gaps near your windows and doors. But if the heat is not able to rise, it will fill your home and dramatically reduce the heat exchanged from your windows and doors.
Adequate attic insulation can reduce your home’s energy costs by up to 35% and make you feel much more comfortable in your home.
What if you own an investment property? If you don’t pay the utility bill every month, why should you care about providing adequate insulation in the attic?
There are three major benefits of attic insulation that affect your bottom line:=
Your furnace is a complex series of components that wear out over time. Common reasons for replacing or repairing your furnace include cracked heat exchangers, failed ignitors, broken blower motors, and defective motherboards resulting in a $1000 to $8000 service bill. The more times that your furnace has to “go to work” the faster it will start to fall apart. Attic insulation will contain the heat in the home, and prevent the furnace from turning on as often, thereby preserving its life.
While heat rises, there is still a large amount of heat exchange from the attic to your upstairs bedrooms during the summer. By minimizing this heat exchange your AC unit will have to run less times throughout the day.
When attic insulation is installed, the technicians install the proper attic ventilation required by today’s codes. This allows the attic to “breath”. When the attic breaths correctly, it prevents blisters from forming on top of the roof and allows the roof shingles to become more resistant to damage caused by weather-related catastrophes. Adequate attic ventilation also prevents moisture collection and mold growth which can save you from extremely costly restoration expenses.
Attic insulation in Colorado Springs is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect your investment while also adding value to the tenants who occupy the property.
For more information or to schedule a Free Home Energy Evaluation to get an accurate idea on how to protect your investment, call Homefix: 719-749-1788 or visit HomefixCOS.com/energy
Winter is coming! It’s a fact that we cannot ignore. Beautiful white snow, cold winds and ice galore is what we have to look forward to. Unfortunately, along with those things, comes high heating costs, ice issues and chilly drafts into our homes. But have no fear, there are several ways we can combat those issues. With some simple steps, you can ready your home for the winter months and save yourself money on your heating costs.
First things first, seal up your home. There is nothing more frustrating that watching your money slip through the cracks. Literally. New weather-stripping can be a good place to start. Make sure that you have a good seal on all your exterior doors by running your hands along the doorframe when it is closed. If you feel a draft you may need to replace your weather-stripping for a better, more cost effective seal. For windows, caulking any gaps, cracks or holes you may find both interior and exterior. All these things can lead to a big savings.
You also lose a lot of heat, and in turn money, from lack of adequate insulation in your attic. Older homes especially are susceptible to this problem. Building codes have changed so if your home is older, more than likely you do not have the appropriate amount of insulation in your attic keeping your heat in and your costs down. Some older homes may have as little as 6-9 inches of insulation. Ideally, you should have at least 15 inches of insulation or more to make sure your heat stays where it should.
Another way to make sure your home is ready for the winter is to have a furnace tune up. That involves making sure everything is working properly, there are no leaks making your furnace inefficient and that your filters are clean and ready to go for the heating season. A furnace tune up goes hand in hand with making sure your air and return vents are clear of pet hair and not blocked by furniture. This will ensure the warm air is able to circulate and return freely, thus making your heating system work more efficiently and in turn, saving you money.
One very simple and free way you can get your home ready for winter is by flipping the switch on your ceiling fans so they move clockwise instead of counter clockwise. It doesn’t cost a dime and can make a big impact. When the fan moves clockwise, the blades push the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down to where you are. Making you warmer and helping you resist the urge to turn the thermostat up “just a tad”.
There are some additional small ways you can ready your home for winter. Cleaning out your gutters is one that is often overlooked. Blocked gutters make it hard for water (from snow melt) to make its way to the ground. This can cause ice damming. Which in turn can cause damage to your home. Making sure outside faucets are turned off, hoses are disconnected, and any lawn irrigation systems are completely blown out is also important. Taking the time to perform those tasks can save you money and heartache in the long run. There is nothing worse than come spring time, you have a broken pipe due to water freezing in it over winter.
Last but certainly not least is the need to address your sidewalks, driveway and steps. Stock up on sand and salt to combat the ice that will surely come. Repairing cracks in sidewalks and driveways can save you a headache after all the snow clears. Cracks can allow for the elements to put extra wear and tear on your cement. Water expands as it freezes making the tiny cracks you have now into much larger, harder to fix issues by the time spring rolls around. The best thing to do is to stop it before it starts.
Getting ready for the winter months can be easy if you have a plan. Let Homefix take care of your winterization needs and get you on the right track for winter. With a few changes you can impact your heating bill in a positive way. Saving money for the more important things in life; like hot chocolate and ice-skating! Contact us today for a free home energy evaluation!
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