Roofing Tips to Keep Your Home Safe

Make Sure the Flashing is Intact – The flashing is a metal lining that is installed into roof joints to seal breaks in a roofline and prevent leaks from occurring. Most roofs have flashing around vents and chimneys. If installed correctly the flashing make use of gravity to send any water off the roof and to the ground. In can be hard for the layman to actually tell if their flashing is in good shape or not, so it may best to have a professional roofer take a look, especially if you have an older roof.

Eliminate Rooftop Debris – Since your roof obviously sits exposed at the top of your house it is bound to accumulate a good amount of debris over time. Excessive amounts of leaves can lead to water pooling especially in the winter, making a roof leak more likely. Moss can also be a real problem and if not dealt with can eat away at the roof and compromise its structure. Have a roofing contractor power wash or otherwise clean up your roof at least once or twice a year.

Clean the Gutters – Gutters clogged with leaves and other natural debris can cause a real problem if left unchecked. A clogged gutter can lead to water backing up and staying there – leading to leaks. If you cannot reach the gutters to clean them efficiently yourself, hire someone to do it for you, it is well worth the extra expense.

Even with all your prevention efforts if your roof does seem to have sprung a leak get it professional help as soon as possible! The longer a roof leak is allowed to continue the worse the damage is likely to be, so do not delay calling in a professional roofing contractor.

Roofing Tips You Really Need

If you are looking to hire a roofing contractor, the very first thing you should ask is how long their firm has been in business. Some things could look great on paper, but if the company is new to the niche, it might still be settling jaggies in their business practices. So, you don’t want to be a company’s guinea pig.

When you install a new boot on any pipe that leaves your roof, ensure they fit in properly. If they are even a little loose, the water can leak inside of them and make you lose rest for a few months. Choose the right size to avoid a lot of potential problems.

Have you checked the contractor’s credentials? Make sure your contractor has a roofing license. They also need to have insurance and other certificates as mandated in your area.

The age of your roof is a good indication of whether it needs replacing or not. 20-year old roofs are typically at the end of their service lives. Therefore, once your roof reaches this age, you need to replace it in order to prevent damage to your home.

What warranty does your roofer offer? This is a matter, where benefits can really differ, so do your homework properly. Also, make sure the estimate is written out and includes documentation of the warranty. This will help you to avoid implementing any changes later.

Always check a potential roofing company’s references. A company that performs well and is honest shouldn’t have problems to come up with at least a few references. If a company tries to avoid this request, you should probably continue looking for a better company. Such attitude can mean that you will have troubles with them in the future.

Be certain to clean out your gutters on a regular basis. If they get clogged up, water might leak into the attic and cause very bad and permanent damage to the roof. So, remember to check your gutters regularly, and conduct an intense cleaning of your roof at least one or two times per year. This way you will be able to keep it in a proper shape.

If you are dealing with roofing on your own, make sure to always double-check all the measurements you make. Regardless of how precise and accurate you are on measurements, one small mistake might result in wasting valuable materials and make you spend hundreds or even thousands dollars more. This is particularly important, when you use expensive items, like galvanized roof flashing.

Roofing Tips

Home goes by a lot of names to a lot of different people. The roof is crucial to the home, and definitely more than in a metaphorical sense! When you own a home, you should understand the importance of maintaining your roof.

Ensure you thoroughly inspect your roof at least yearly. Common seasons for roof damage are winter and spring. With this in mind, you should monitor the state of your roof frequently during these times.

If your roof leaks, wait for it to dry before you find out where exactly it is and try to fix it. A wet roof can become corrupted if you work on it too fast, and it’s quite easy to slip. You will be safer if you wait until the roof dries to fix it.

Don’t procrastinate on replacing shingles. You may be tempted to delay repairs, but you will only end up with worse damage. Shingles should be repaired or replaced at the first sign of damage so that small problems don’t become bigger ones. If you maintain your roof, it’ll last you a long time.

When faced with snow, ice, or rain, it is best to postpone your roofing project. Rain or ice could leave you slipping off the roof. Wait for a clean, crisp day to repair your roof.

When thinking about roofing, never forget to account for the climate. Clay roofing is good for climates that are dry, and they keep the temperature of the house down. However, if your climate is rainy, clay roofs can quickly deteriorate. As always, if you aren’t sure, then you should ask.

You should always first ask family and friends regarding contractors when getting started. Ask others if they’re pleased with their work, with the overall quality of the chosen materials, and if the costs were fair. Also ask how well the contractor cleaned up after the job was done and whether there is a warranty for future repairs.

Don’t pay for the job in full before it’s even started. Normally, you pay 25% or so to start the job. You would hate to spend a lot of money in case their work is sub-par.

It is important to inquire about references from any contractor you are thinking of hiring. Companies with nothing to hide will be capable of showing you plenty of references. If a contractor is hesitant in providing references, it’s probably best to just move on.

If you think you may have a leak, spray your roof with a garden hose. Doing this will help you find out if a leak exists, and will help you figure out where it is. This can prevent unnecessary costs from a professional.

To maintain your roof properly, keep debris away from it. Different debris and materials that build up can keep water sitting in spots on your roof. If water stays on your roof, it can permeate the shingles, causing rot.

Before you hire a contractor for your roof, ask them if their company is part of any industry associations. Reputable firms will be interested in staying up to date with current trends and methods in the industry. If your roofer is not, find out how committed he is to this line of work.

Never permit work to be done on your house by anyone who doesn’t conduct themselves in a very professional manner. A contractor ought to be able to give you a reliable quote, for instance. You want the entire process to be professional to ensure that their work will be too.

Many repair and maintenance jobs are able to be ignored, but not roofing issues. If you make use of the information here, you can avoid trouble in the future with your roof.

Interior and Exterior Painting Tips

When you moved into your house, you may have been met with boring, white walls. What is worse is if you were blinded by horrific colors. When you need to make a change to the walls of your home, there are certain interior painting tips you will find useful. Likewise, after time, you may need a fresh house painting look on the exterior. Exterior painting is more difficult due to the height and scale factor, so it may be wise to hire professional painters. However, useful exterior residential painting tips are provided here as well.

First, prepare your room for interior painting. Remove the furniture, lay down a drop cloth, remove outlet covers, and have a step ladder handy for reaching the ceiling with your roller. When painting over already-painted walls, you will need to scuff sand it first to encourage the paint to stick to the surface. If you are unsure about the housing painting color you chose now that you are in the room, you can do test swatches on different areas of the wall to see how the light affects it. Leave it over night to let it dry and see it in all different kinds of light. As you paint, roll over any drip marks, smudges or streaks that appear to help you achieve a more professional look.

Tips for house painting should only be taken by those with exterior painting experience. Otherwise, leave it to the professional painters. The preparation is the most important part of residential painting. You need to repair and wash all surfaces, remove cracking paint, patch nail holes, caulk the seams and corners, cover dark stains with blocking primer and sand glossy surfaces before you can even get started. Do not forget to remove window screens and all light fixtures and cover all else with drop cloths as well. This preparation, which much be completed before the painting process can even begin, is all performed by professionals if you simply want to hire skilled painters to get the job done.

The colors of your surroundings can affect the way you feel in a room. That is why interior painting is performed by many homeowners. Exterior painting is important as well because the condition and color of the paint on the outside of your home says a lot about you. Overall, residential painting is something that takes practice and bit of hard work, but the end result is nearly always worth it.

Interior Painting Tips

Interior painting home improvement projects can either have you feeling excited at the prospect of doing it yourself or scared that you are biting off more than you can chew. The easiest time to paint a room is when it is empty before you move in, but more often than not painting takes place after moving in to either freshen the room color or to completely change the room color. Sometimes the use of a room changes, such as with the birth of a baby or when a child leaves for college. No matter what the reason for painting the room a few simple tips will make this project fun and successful. These interior painting tips will help you with the important steps of preparing for the task of painting your interior walls as well as tips for the actual painting.

  1. Supplies you will need include: trim brush, full brush, large and small rollers with roller pads, paint tray with liners, blue painter’s tape, a step-stool or ladder and paint. When selecting your paint look for paint that doesn’t have a strong smell if you are sensitive to strong odors. Make sure to have a soft cloth or moist paper towels to wipe up drips on trim or yourself. Wear old clothes!
  2. Prepare the work space and make sure there is no clutter in the room. Move large furniture to the center of the room and smaller pieces out of the room completely to free up working space. Use newspaper to cover the floor of the room or a plastic or fabric drop cloth. Cover furniture with a drop cloth as well or use old sheets, towels, and so on to protect items. Use blue painter’s tape to protect door trims, baseboards, ceiling edges, light switches and outlet covers. Keep room doors and windows open to allow fresh air in during painting and drying.
  3. Begin painting. Place a paint tray liner into the paint tray and fill a third of the way with paint.With a full brush paint the frame of the wall first which includes the top, bottom and corner edges. Paint with trim brush or small roller around outlet wall plates, light switches and door trim. These areas can be the most time-consuming so do them first. Then fill in the main portion of the walls with a large paint roller and blend with the painting already done. Watch for drips as you paint from area to area and go over again with a paint brush or roller to smooth out any drips before they dry. Take a break now and then to relax your muscles.

Accent Wall Paint Ideas to Change the Most Boring Walls

If you are living with a color in your home that you like, but it needs to be fresher and more interesting, what can you do besides repaint the entire wall? You have some great options that are easy, inexpensive and create a professional look.

Many options are at your fingertips. The easiest is to use a technique called sponge painting. It literally is what it says – sponge color over the existing wall and you are done. This is a very easy process with good results but you must use the correct additives to get the look you want. Sponge painting is used to create a soft blending of colors together to give the illusion of color.

You start this process mixing your accent paint color with an extender (purchased at any hardware or paint store), this extends the drying time and makes the paint translucent. Using this product allows you to get the desired effect of the soft blending of colors together. Designer note: I always use a small amount of the wall color along with the other colors, and I never use more than three colors. Don’t be afraid to put color over color for this technique, be sure to work in small areas with wet edges.

A second interesting look that I happen to like a lot is to make stripes diagonally or horizontally on the wall, this time with no paint. For this technique you simply use a polyurethane sealer…a different sheen than the sheen on the walls currently. I often use a shiner sheen, or you could do the opposite if you currently have a shinny walls.

You decided how wide you want the stripes tape them off and apply the polyurethane sealer over every other stripe and you have a finished product. It is subtle yet very striking. Designer note: make sure your lines are straight; it will be very easy to see if they are not. And carefully plan how you lay out the size of each stripe taking into consideration how they will end up at the corners and at the end of the room. Painting tip: to get a perfect edge at the tape line use a small amount of the polyurethane sealer with a paint brush and seal the edges before you start painting.

These techniques will change the look of any room, and they are both inexpensive and fun to do. You can use them to do the entire room or just an accent wall.

Installing Laminate Flooring

Installing laminate flooring is something that you can easily do yourself. Why pay professionals to do it when the instructions for how to install it are printed right on the package. In addition, all the manufacturers of laminate flooring have the directions for installing the flooring available on their websites. There are some differences in how to install laminate floors and installing hardwood floors, but you can use the same tools for both. The first step in installing laminate flooring is to calculate the size of the room and purchase the flooring of your choice.

When installing hardwood flooring, you have to leave the hardwood open for a time so that it can become acclimatized to your home. This is not the case when installing laminate flooring. When reading the directions as to how to install laminate flooring, you will learn that you have to install it as soon as you open the package. You also have to check all the planks before you install them to ensure that none of them are defective. You will get a refund for any defective planks, but not if you have already installed them. If you have difficulty getting the laminate planks to fit together, you should not put them together and take them apart more than three times. This could damage the laminate flooring and mar the effect when you have it completed.

If you are installing laminate flooring in your kitchen, you should have the cabinets in place beforehand. This is not the case when installing hardwood flooring, but you have to remember that the hardwood is solid wood, whereas laminate flooring is made from engineered wood. It does not have the same level of hardness. This means that you will have to learn how to install laminate flooring around the cabinets. This is also why you need to have a saw to cut the planks when you need smaller sizes and pieces to fit around the cabinets.

When installing laminate flooring in the laundry room, you should make sure that you have rubber pads underneath the washer and dryer. This is to make sure that these appliances are level so that they won’t damage your flooring. Although most people do not have laminate flooring in the laundry room, there is no reason why you can’t use this room of the house to learn how to install laminate flooring. You can even practice installing hardwood flooring on this small area before you tackle more visible rooms of the house.

You might be in need of a few tips for installing laminate flooring if you are just learning how to install laminate flooring. If you have to place the laminate flooring around pipes, one tip is to drill a hole in the plank about ¾ to ½ inch larger than the circumference of the pipe. Then cut the plank through the center of the hole and fit the two pieces of laminate flooring together around the pipe and glue them together. When installing laminate flooring, the flooring should extend under the doorframe. If you use a piece of scrap that you have left over, you can use this as a marker for the depth that you need to trim the doorframe.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

If you are in the market for an engineered hardwood flooring, there are several things that you will want to look for. If you do not take your time and choose a quality product, it could end up costing you a substantial amount of money and time. With this in mind, here are a few things to consider when choosing an engineered hardwood flooring.

One of the first things that you want to consider is where you are purchasing your engineer hardwood flooring from. Engineered hardwood flooring is something that is designed to last for many years. In most cases, with the proper care, your new floor should last for 50 years plus if you purchase a quality product. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are shopping with a supplier that provides a product that is properly made and does not cut corners within the manufacturing methods. There are many different engineered hardwood flooring providers in the marketplace and not all of them produce a quality product. Many are happy to take your money and make a sale but have very little expert knowledge within their product. You need to make sure that you do business with someone that has been producing quality hardwood flooring for many years. Try to stay away from some of these companies that tend to spring up overnight. Find a company that has been in the industry for many years with a majority of satisfied customers. Give then a call on the phone and make sure they are willing to give you the advise that you need. Often the smaller family type business has a wealth of tips and knowledge they are willing to share with you and often their prices are better then the larger companies with the fancy web sites and large over heads.

Something else they should consider is the warranty on the product that you are considering purchasing. Many of these hardwood flooring distributors will put extremely long warranties on their products. However, you need to keep in mind that the warranty is only as good as the company that offers it. Do you feel confident that the company that you purchased your engineered hardwood flooring from will still be in business in 50 years? Very few of the large companies are. If not, purchasing a product because it has a 50 year warranty will not do you much good. Therefore, you need to consider the strength of the company behind the warranty before basing your decision on this factor.

Another factor that you need to consider is what the product is made out of. Generally, oak wood flooring is one of the most popular materials available. European oak wood flooring is known for its durability and beautiful grain. With this in mind, oak wood flooring would make a potentially great choice for the flooring in your home. It is harder than many of the other wood species that are commonly used by some of the discount wood flooring merchants out there. Therefore, you should consider purchasing oak wood flooring, the next time you need flooring for your home. When buying an Engineered product always look for a good thick top layer of the natural wood ie European oak. Always make sure it is 6 mm thick and not a thin 3 mm product that is so often offered..

Overall, there is a lot that goes into a good engineered hardwood flooring product. The milling process takes a great deal of care in order to perfect. If you want to find the best flooring option for your needs, you need to take your time and choose a quality product from a quality manufacturer. At that point, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful hardwood floor that will last for many years.

As a family Company jf joinery and jfj flooring go as far back in trading as 1853. The family industry has gone down through members of the family for years and has gained massive working experience inside the joinery and Oak flooring trades. They are forever pleased to offer sound tips on all aspect associated with purpose manufactured joinery for instance, windows,doors and many types of woodwork and joinery for one’s home. They principally work in high quality hardwood within all their joinery and also provide possibly the best Solid Oak and also engineered oak flooring within the market place at present. Their top quality flooring charges will beat almost all firms which advertise on the net and jfj flooring also offer a overnight FREE OF CHARGE transport service throughout the uk on their flooring which is something other companies certainly dont.

Take a look at their internet site or give them a call if you want any help or advise. JF Joinery and JFJ Flooring pride themselves in being a big enough company to supply you the best prices but nevertheless small enough to care and give you that individual personal service that you the customer deserve.

Cleaning White Laminate Flooring Tips

Seriously speaking, cleaning the white laminate flooring is as easy as ABC if you manage to find the right cleaning supplies. You don’t need to purchase expensive products in order to get rid of the dirt and stains. With simple techniques, you are able to have shiny floor most of the time.

Let me share with you some smart tips which you can apply when you are cleaning the white laminate floor.

• Before you start the cleaning job, you are reminded to sweep or mop the floor thoroughly to remove the dust and debris. You must make sure that you sweep or mop with extra care. Hold the broom or mop carefully so that you will not scratch the surface of the floor with the metal or wood parts on the broom or mop. Frankly speaking, since the laminate has a smooth protective coating, you can rub and remove the dust and loose buildup with normal mop.

• In order to make the floor cleaner and shinier, there is an ideal formula which you can make use of. You are recommended to get an empty spray bottle and fill it with special mixture. The mixture consists of one-third of water, one-third of rubbing alcohol and one-third of white vinegar. This mixture is cheap and it can help you to get rid of the dirt easily. However, please keep in mind not to use full strength vinegar because the acidic content may spoil the laminate flooring. For people who prefer ready-made products, you can obtain wood laminate floor cleaner from any local home improvement store at reasonable prices. It will be good if you can avoid using soapy cleansing agents because they will damage the floor in the long run.

• After you have got the mixture ready, you can then spray it on the laminate floor. What you need is just a piece of simple damp towel. Wipe the floor with this towel once you spray. Then use another dry towel to wipe for the second time. Do not wait any longer after you spray. You should not allow any remaining mixture on the white laminate floor because the liquid will penetrate into the laminate and create water stains. Hence, you must use dry towels to wipe up immediately.

Kitchen Design Tips & Updates

Kitchen design can be as simple as a straight countertop with minimalist appliances, or as sophisticated as multiple sinks, dishwashers, cooktops & ovens in islands, under islands, over islands and more. Wine coolers can fit in the space of a dishwasher or be as tall as a pantry. Sinks can be troughs to be filled with ice to cool bottles, little for an entertainment center, double or triple bowls and an infinite variety of materials. Materials vary enormously, you can go green with countertops made of compressed recycled paper, clear glass, concrete, granite, limestone or the old standbys. Even within materials, such as granite, prices vary enormously depending on the exact stone chosen, and you can find some very reasonable and beautiful stone if you look around. There’s an infinite world of possibilities in the kitchen.

First we can start with some design basics. How much room do I need for a kitchen? Well, that depends on what you want in it. At it’s most mini, you could fit a kitchen into a space 5′-4″ x 7′-5″, but there wouldn’t be much beyond some very small appliances without a dishwasher. Let’s look at some standard appliance and fixtures size ranges.

  • Sinks: sinks come in many sizes, depths, materials and prices.  You can get them as narrow as 11″ wide, but you probably want to plan at least a 30″ – 36″ cabinet, which can accommodate a wide range of standard size kitchen sinks from 25″ to 33″ in a variety of styles (drop-in, undercounter, or exposed front cut out).  You will also need to decide if you like a single, double or triple basin sink, as that will impact available sizes. There is also the option of putting the sink in an island, or putting an entertainment sink or trough sink in a secondary location.
  • Dishwashers: dishwashers are pretty easy because they are pretty standard at 24″.
  • Cooking: again we have multiple choices, but sizes are a little easier.  You have a choice of a free-standing or slide-in, in which the unit fits in between two cabinets, which is generally 30″ wide; a cooktop with separate ovens, (either below or in a separate cabinet), which comes standard in 30″ or 36″ sizes and fit into that size cabinet (although you can get professional style rangetops up to 48″); or a professional style range made by companies such as Viking, Wolfe or GE Monogram which range from 24″ all the way up to 60″, and require significant ventilation. If you choose a separate oven in some kind of wall oven arrangement, standard oven widths are generally 27″ and 30″, although they can be found up to 36″.
  • Refrigerators: Choices, choices! Refrigerators are kind of two basic style decisions. Do you want one which is shallow (around 2′) and is known as built-in or counter-depth, or do you want the slightly deeper traditional style where some of refrigerator sides are exposed. The shallower built-in’s generally come in 36″, 42″ & 48″, while the deeper styles can be found just below 30″ wide and up.
  • Faucets: Kitchen faucets, besides an almost infinite variety of styles, materials and colors, also have evolved. Faucets are now available just to fill the pots on your stove, have a choice of pull-out sprayer heads or separate sprayer, single or multiple handles, they are available with remote two button controls for a prep sink which allows for a quick sink rinse or a more complete cleansing flow, and can fit any decor from ultra modern to renaissance.

How much countertop is enough? According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) a total of 158 inches (13′-2″) of countertop frontage (not in corners) is needed to accommodate all kitchen uses. Try to allow a continuous section of countertop of at least 36 inches wide by 24 inches deep next to your primary work area.  The NKBA recommends that you allow at least a 15 inch countertop area next to your oven and on the handle side of your refrigerator.When talking about storage,  the NKBA recommends a total shelf/drawer frontage of 1400 inches for a small kitchen (less then 150sf), 1700 inches for a medium kitchen (151 to 350sf) and 2000 inches for a large kitchen (over 350sf). What does this mean? Does this mean that I need over 100′ of shelves for a little kitchen? Well, yes, but, each drawer or each individual shelf should be counted towards the total. So if you have a 24″ wide cabinet, 30″ high with 3 shelves, you already have 6′ of shelving. And if there were a 24″ base cabinet with 4 drawers, there’s another 8′, so this one 24″ area of your kitchen already has 14′ of shelving.

What is “the work triangle”? The work triangle represents the three major work stations of the kitchen: the cooking area, the refrigerator and the sink. Measuring from the center of each, the maximum total length of the triangle should not be greater then 26 feet with the maximum leg no greater then 9 feet and the minimum not less then 4 feet. At 3D Home Decorator, there are actually 9ft and 4ft arrows that you can place in your floor plans to test distances.

Eating areas are not limited to tables! Islands can accommodate eating areas, cooking areas, washing up areas, or just prep areas. A typical kitchen counter is 34 inches to 36 inches high. A table is typically 30 inches high. So in planning kitchen eating areas, part of an island eating area can be dropped to table height or a table can be built as an extension of an island, left at counter height with stools, or raised to 42 inches for a high countertop eating area, which is often used to hide the work surface of the counter behind it when viewed from the rest of the room.

How much space is ideal between a table and the wall? The NKBA  (National Kitchen & Bath Assoc.) recommends a minimum of 32 inches if no traffic needs to pass. 36 inches will let someone squeeze by, and 44 inches will let a person walk by. If a wheelchair needs to pass, allow 60 inches.

It is best to vent your stove to the outside if possible, but there are recirculating fans which will draw odors from the air if outside venting is not available Do not put cooking surfaces under operable windows. If you are lucky enough to have an operable window above countertop height in your kitchen, place your sink under it instead of your stove. You can put a microwave with a fan combination over your stove, either exhausting to the outside, or recirculating the air.

Do not waste your kitchen corners. Upper cabinets can be decorative open shelving or have a two part door which opens both sides of the cabinets. Blind base cabinets can have lazy susans, which rotate for access, or base cabinets can have shelves which pull out, swing to the side and allow deeper shelves to be pulled out into accessible locations. While it is the hardest to access, the least expensive solution is just to have deep shelves or a simple lazy-susan (the rotating shelves). If you have an L shaped kitchen or island with a peninsula setup, doors can be placed on both sides for accessibility.

Don’t forget the space between the upper and lower cabinets. If you have more then enough countertop, the space between the upper and lower cabinets  (even in the corners) can have tambour doors (rollup doors) which can hide appliances or the space can be filled with open wine racks, leaving half the countertop exposed for the usual purposes.

Cabinets come in all sizes. Base cabinets come in every width from 3 inches up, and depths from 12 inches to 24 inches and larger, so they can fill all kinds of needs. 9 inch and 12 inch base pullouts for soda bottles and cans are wonderful and efficient for filling in narrower spaces. There are  base cabinets with pullouts for garbage and/or recycling, or with shelves that lift up for a Kitchenaid Mixmaster type of appliance. A 12 inch deep cabinet at the end of an island can be used for cookbooks or designed for wine storage. Don’t forget full height pantries, which can have shelves, roll-out drawers, door attachments for spices or other specialty storage. Both lower and upper cabinets can be decoratively open for wine, books, glassware, and more. An 18″ or 24″ base could have a small wine or soda refrigerator built in. There are 6″ high drawer cabinets or open shelves which can fit under your upper cabinets to provide storage for smaller items.  Base cabinets too can have glass doors and fancy faces, which can be used to display special dishes.  With storage at a premium, kitchen cabinets have become very clever about offering maximum efficiency in minimum space.