Categories for Tips

Siding Color Confusion?

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When choosing colors for your new home exterior, having so many great options can be overwhelming. Our partner and vendor James Hardie has a great article on how to choose your home colors wisely.

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Click here for more details!

Would Your Home Benefit From A Sunroom?

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A sunroom addition to your home can be one of the best home improvement investments that you can make. Not only will a well-designed sunroom add to the value of the home, it will also provide extra living space and beauty as well. Before beginning construction, you should decide what your needs are as well its projected uses.

Questions to Answer Before Designing Your Sunroom

When you decide to add a sunroom to your home, you will need to decide what you expect from it. Answers to these questions will help you in your planning:

Do you want year round use?

Do you want to use it only during the warm months?

Will you use it as a lunch or breakfast nook?

Will you use it to grow plants?

Do you want it to provide solar heat to the residence?

The answers to these and other questions will decide what type of design you choose for your sunroom.

 

Benefits of a Sunroom

A well-designed sunroom can add many things to a home. The sunroom can mean extra living space, a cozy breakfast nook, and a growing area for plants or a combination of all these things. The sunroom can also provide solar energy to warm the home on sunny winter days. The sunroom can also showcase a view of a garden, patio, or any other restful scenes outside the home.

If you would like an estimate on how to add a sunroom or building addition, Just Say Sela!

 

Save Money On Energy In The New Year

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The good people at Energy Star have some great tips on how you can bring down your energy bills with some simple tips. Of course, the more efficient your home is the more money you save in the long run. If you haven’t converted to the latest green and efficient methods, we are happy to be your guide in helping you as well!

Tackle That Closet for Charity!

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Is getting more organized on your to-do list? You can start with your messiest closet…and have a fun winter home improvement project! There are tons of things you can do to customize your closets for your needs that are fairly inexpensive with high impact. To start, consider adding shelving or and over-the-organizer so that everything has its place in the closet.

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This is also a great time to pare down your belongings and donate things you no longer use or need to a local charity. Tis the season to be generous!

Check out this blog for some great ideas for this project!

 

Five Good Reasons To Go Green With Your Roof

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It’s easy to surmise that a green roof is something that’s good for the environment. However, besides being ecologically-friendly, it can also be an effective way of regulating indoor temperatures and helping homeowners save a considerable sum of money on heating and cooling costs.

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Green roofs first became popular in the 1960s when German homeowners took to using them as a standard component of their houses. However, studies show that the concept of green roofs had already been in practice many centuries ago in some parts of Europe. Today, a steadily growing number of home owners are having green roofs installed.

 

If you’re still on the fence as to whether to install a green roof for your house or not, here are 5 good reasons to do so:

 

1. Green roofs come with substantially greater insulation than regular roofs. In one Canadian study, it was found that during the summer, green roofs help lower cooling needs by 25% and during the winter months, they help lower heating needs by 25%. This means lower energy costs.

 

2. Green roofs last up to three times longer than ordinary roofs. The special components of the green roof give it a high level of protection against extreme heat, making it very durable even during the hottest summer months. With regular roofs, constant exposure to temperatures of more than 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius) can cause fissures and brittleness, but this is not a problem at all with green roofs.

 

3. Green roofs retain much more water than regular roofing materials. In fact, only 25% of rainfall that hits green roofs will eventually run off into the streets and drainage systems below. The 75% is retained by the green roof, to be released naturally into the atmosphere once the weather clears up. The main advantage of this feature is that a lot of floods can be prevented and drainage congestion will be avoided.

 

4. Green roofing is heavily supported by most governments because besides being effective in regulating indoor temperatures, these special roofs can reduce the extreme heat reflected onto the surrounding areas. This benefit is most greatly felt in congested urban areas where houses are built very closely together. When the sun’s rays strike the roofs, a lot of the heat is reflected to the environment and this can cause overheating of nearby power grids.

 

5. Green roofs make a house look much more aesthetically appealing. They also provide a much-needed sanctuary for birds, insects, and other small animals especially in busy cities where gardens and parks are hard to find. In addition, having a green roof on your home will also increase your property’s value by a considerable margin, making it much easier to sell in the market when the need arises.

 

To go green with you roof, give us a call!

Easy Ways To Go Green In Your Yard

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The environment is a hot topic nowadays and everybody seems to be on the green bandwagon. From recycling soda cans, to using canvas grocery bags, to hanging clothes out to dry in the sun, conservation of our natural resources is a daily part of the new century. So what if you have good intentions but not enough motivation to follow through? Are you a lazy environmentalist? Here are some relatively simple tips that will make you feel like you are doing your part to save the earth, with minimal effort and time. Go green!
Place a bucket, pail, or barrel outside your house to collect rainwater. After your receptacle has filled, you can water your indoor plants for free. Or use it to rinse off dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. You could even wash your dog! In order to not attract mosquitoes, don’t leave standing water outside for any length of time. Those pesky bugs lay their eggs in stagnant water, so make sure you use what you’ve collected right away. After trying your hand at rainwater collecting a few times, you might want to peruse the many commercially available rain barrels and purchase one. These barrels can attach to your down gutter and typically hold 40 to 80 gallons of water. If you are really ambitious you can purchase multiple barrels to collect rainwater from different spots around your house and water your entire landscaping.
If you are a coffee drinker, you may be throwing away a valuable garden nutrient every day. Used coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium, calcium and potassium. While organic coffee is best because it hasn’t been treated with pesticides, you can still get the same benefits from non-organic. As a lazy environmentalist, just toss the coffee grounds directly on top of your soil. This is an excellent and free year-round fertilizer. Tomato plants, blueberries, roses and evergreens all thrive on coffee ground fertilizer because of its acidic nature, which also makes them a great deterrent of slugs and snails. So use them around plants that are being eaten alive by these pests. Coffee grounds can be added to composts piles too if you’ve got one started.

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Along with coffee grounds, banana peels, fish bones and egg shells are also great organic matter for your garden and rose bushes. Bury banana peels a few inches in the soil around roses for more vibrant blooms. Roses love fish bones, but be sure to bury these a little bit deeper – at least a shovel head’s depth to keep dogs and other animals from digging them up. Egg shells provide needed calcium to your garden. Wash them out and crush before burying in the soil. You can also circle egg shells around a vegetable plant to deter slugs and snails.
If you read your daily newspaper while drinking your morning coffee, you’ve got another cheap and handy garden helper. Layer newspaper under mulch and it becomes a weed barrier. The newspaper will slowly decompose and fertilize your flower beds in the process. Newspaper is a wonderful, and natural, substitution to the plastic weed barriers available for purchase from your garden store. Newspaper can also be used to get rid of unwanted sod when starting a new flowerbed or vegetable garden. Simply layer four or five sheets of overlapped newspaper directly on top of the sod, water it down, cover with mulch and wait until spring. You will then have a grass-free area to start planting.
Vinegar is a great option to buying toxic, commercially made weed and pest killers or cleaners. White distilled vinegar is cheap to buy and most households already have it on hand. Use a vinegar and water mixture to soak away clay pot stains, spray a mixture of vinegar and compost tea onto plants to protect against disease, or use full-strength on weeds that grow between the cracks of your sidewalks and pathways. A spray of vinegar along door thresholds or windowsills where ants gather will stop them in their tracks. Acid-loving plants flourish with a douse of vinegar and water mixture every now and then. And if you have a cat that likes to use your child’s sandbox as its personal bathroom, vinegar can discourage the practice.
So even if you are ho-hum about saving our natural resources, incorporate one or all of these tips into your daily routine. With little effort, you might surprise yourself and become greener, along with your garden of course!

Need A New Roof?

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Our vendor and partner, Owens Corning has a great video on how to go about selecting the right roof for you!

If you have questions, we are always happy to help!

Give Your Roof A Spring Check Up!

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According to the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) spring is a great time to give your roof a checkup!

Here are the basics:

Clean your gutters of any debris that may have accumulated over the winter – they need to be clear for spring showers.

Check your shingles for any warping, peeling, discoloration and mold. Also see if there any shingles missing.

Check around chimneys and pipes for any gaps or rusting. Also be sure that no animals have started to call your chimney or pipes home after a long winter.

Check your interior walls for water damage – as well as the ceilings. Water damage can signify a leaking roof.

If you need help with your spring check up, we are always here to help out!