Money Saving Tips for Basement Remodeling

Basement remodeling projects can be done on a budget, but the related costs can easily get out of control if you fail to plan carefully and to spend in a smart and disciplined way. Here are some tips to help you have your cake and eat it, too – in other words, to have the basement that you have always dreamed of without having to break the bank.

Don’t Rush the Project

Giving your project more time will make it possible for you to get the best material prices and to find the best and most affordable contractors as well. Properly researching materials and procedures also takes time and it is essential for the right results.

Things that Are Worth Investing Into

You will need to be prepared that your basement remodeling project will include processes where you will probably not be able to find bargains and you will need the very best materials. Two examples are the components of the electrical system in your basement and the insulation. Having the best switches and outlets, integrated into a well-designed and professionally installed electrical system is essential for the safety and the proper operation of your basement, while insulation of the right type and thickness is crucial for the thermal efficiency of your space.

Create a Design that Is Attractive and Budget-Friendly at the Same Time

Adding walls to separate areas that serve different purposes is the most expensive way to configure your space and it is also a bit dated. Using wide open spaces and adding visual space dividers, such as different flooring materials and textures, different wall colors or a row of shelves is a much more modern and much cheaper way to delimit the space in the basement.

Flooring is also a component on which you can save a lot without compromising quality, comfort and appearance. Given the fact that the most expensive flooring options, such as hardwood, wall-to-wall carpets and cork are not suitable for basements because they are sensitive to moisture, the best option for your space is also one of the cheapest solutions: vinyl. The flooring sheets made from the synthetic material are resistant to heavy traffic and they also come in so many different styles that you can surely find the perfect fit for your basement.

basement refinishing Centennial contractors

Know Your Skills and Your Limits

You might think that the cheapest way to remodel your basement is do all the work yourself and save the money paid to contractors. This is true only if you are an experienced DIYer, not only self-confident, but also skilled and able to handle all the processes required.

A much better way – and also one that saves you a lot of money on the long run – is to undertake only the project phases that you really know how to accomplish and to leave the ones that need in-depth professional knowledge and special tools to basement refinishing Centennial contractors. That way, you might have to pay for the work of your contractors, but you will be ultimately paying for professional work that will serve you well for a long time.

How To Clean Your Roof

The roof influences very much the overall appearance of the building, so the choice of materials used to build or renovate it requires special attention, especially as the roof is also a fairly large investment. Shingles and tiles are now made from increasingly better materials and manufacturers offer long warranties. But what is often ignored is that the roof needs periodic maintenance and cleaning, just like any other building component, to remain in good shape. 

Why do you need to clean your roof?

  1. For aesthetic reasons

The first reason why you must consider cleaning your roof periodically has aesthetic considerations. Regardless the shape and architecture of your building, the roof plays an important role in the exterior design. It does not represent exclusively the element that protects the building, but it also visually influences its overall aspect.

We probably all know that distinct fresh and elegant air of a new building; a significant part of it is due to the vivid colors and shine of the roof. But time puts its mark on it; dust, mud and other debris accumulate on the roof, forming deposits that rain cannot wash completely. Some types of shingles are also prone to the development of moss and other vegetation. As such, the colors of the roof coating materials tend to change and fade over time.

  1. For practical reasons

Besides being unsightly, a dirty roof develops other vulnerabilities that will decrease its lifespan.  Dirt and biological factors may allow serious damage to shingles and the entire roof system. Moss and algae fill the spaces between shingles and tiles, allowing moisture and, eventually, leaks. Dirt also absorbs water and prevents its natural drainage through the gutters, allowing the development of harmful bacteria that you do not want around the house.

Many roofs are built not only to protect, but also to provide thermal insulation for the buildings. If they are covered by dirt, moss or algae, they lose much of this ability.

Centennial rrofing company

How to clean a roof

Centennial roofing company specialists recommend to clean the roof annually, to remove leaves and other debris Attentions should also be given to the gutters and downspouts. If they get clogged because of dry leaves, ice etc., you may experience leaks and also witness the apparition of corrosion. For this reason, it is advisable to include the roof cleaning operation in your annual maintenance schedule.

The surface of the roof should be cleaned with a soft brush and pressurized water (at a low pressure level, to avoid damaging shingles granulations and other protective layers). Use organic detergents, to prevent damaging the roof coating materials and the vegetation around the house.

Periodic cleaning and maintenance of the roof involves lower costs than replacing it. Use professional cleaning services and you will not have to worry about doing this operation on your own or affecting the structure of the roof.

What does a professional roof cleaner offer?

  • eradication of algae, moss, mildew, lichens, and bacteria
  • cleaning dust, mud, smog, soot
  • cleaning the drainage system
  • cleaning dirt and debris fallen around the building
  • protecting the vegetation from the action of chemical agents used to clean the roof

What Is the Most Common Cause of Roof Leaks?

Roof leaks cannot be entirely prevented or avoided – the strong winds associated with tornadoes or hurricanes, very large hail stones, excessive rain and unexpectedly lengthy and heavy snowing can affect even the strongest, best-kept roof –, but there is very much that homeowners can do about the number one cause of roofing leaks: neglect.

roofing companies in Lincoln NE repair leaking roofs

Many building owners expect their roofs to deliver perfect performance from the moment that the installation is complete until the roof is removed for replacement and never do any preventive maintenance until their roof starts leaking, so what can be defined as the principle cause of leaks on any type of roof is the lack of attention, of maintenance and of timely repairs to address roof faults while they are still minor. Here is how neglect can damage your roof and how proper maintenance can prolong your roof’s leak-free life.

The Risks of Dirt and the Importance of Roof Cleaning

Roofs are surfaces on which airborne debris, such as the feathers, the dust, the dried leaves, small twigs and other forms of dirt can easily deposit and accumulate. When it rains, the debris on the roof surface absorbs moisture and keeps it in, preventing the roofing surface underneath from drying properly and sufficiently quickly. Prolonged exposure to moisture can compromise the integrity of the roofing components, causing shingles to deteriorate, damaging the seams, even causing rot or infestations with fungi or algae. If the topmost surface of the roof is weakened, moisture can easily penetrate the deeper layers of the roof as well, damaging wooden components, such as the beams of the support structure.

Fortunately, the damage caused by accumulated debris can be easily avoided with roof cleaning. Choose a day when the sky is overcast and the air is not too hot, climb up on the roof, remove large debris, such as twigs and leaves, by hand or with a broom, then use an air blower to remove dust, too. You can finish the process washing the roof with your garden hose or with a pressure washer, but if you have a shingle roof, don’t use a very strong jet because it might remove the topmost protective layer of granules from the surface of the shingles.

When you are done cleaning the roof, remove the debris and dirt that has accumulated in the gutter pipes, too – clogged gutters that fail to direct water away from the roof and from the walls is just as dangerous for the roof as accumulated dirt.

Inspection and Repairs

Roof cleaning represents a major part of roof maintenance and an essential step for preventing leaks, but it is not all that you need to do. When your roof is clean and dry, you should also inspect it, inch by inch, to locate any faults that need repair, such as cracked or chipped tiles, missing components, curling, buckling or blistering shingles. Have roofing companies Lincoln NE specialists replace damaged components as soon as you can and perform a thorough check of the gutters, followed by thorough cleaning and timely repairs on those components as well.

How to Find a Good Electrician Who Can Truly Help You Out

How To Find The Best ElectricianSo your home was flooded, and many of your electrical outlets and appliances were heavily damaged. You might even be afraid of walking into your home for fear of tripping over a wire or touching a cable that might present an electrocution hazard. Or, alternatively, you might simply have purchased a new home that has some problems with its electrical wiring or features older wiring that has to be inspected more thoroughly by a real expert.


Regardless of the reason, finding a dependable electrician can be essential and even life-saving on occasion. So make sure you follow the tips below, before calling up the first electrician you find in the Yellow Pages.


Expand Your Horizons


The first thing you must do is gather your resources. Where should you look to find the best Littleton electrician, and what should be your criteria for rating them and choosing the best from among them, once you find them?


For the purpose of answering this question, it’s important to check online, especially on local listings and ads, and not just limit yourself to the Yellow Pages or TV ads. Also, make sure you check the company’s credentials, reviews and ratings before you even consider contacting them.


How to Do Your Homework Properly


Research might sound boring at first, but it can mean the difference between finding a cheap and unreliable service and locating the best electrician in town.


The first thing to do once you find a few electrician services is to check their online ratings and reviews as they appear in online directories and on online maps. Also, make sure you check their BBB rating and find out about any complaints that were filed against the company in recent months.


Find the Kind of Electrician You Need


Not all companies can provide you with the type of service you need. So, before you decided to meet up with an electrician, make sure you look up their website and services, and call them up to inquire whether or not they can help with your particular issue.


Some electricians might specialize in commercial projects and have very little experience with residential homes in your area. Others might be better equipped to handle upgrading services, rather than finding illusive problems and repairing them. Keep these considerations in mind when you call an electrician and ask for details about their services.


Important Preparation Tips


Before actually hiring an electrician, it’s important to meet with them in person and discuss a few things. First, be as thorough and detailed as possible about what you need and what items you want serviced. Prepare a list in advance, if it helps, and present it to the electrician before anything else.


Any questions you have about the project, it’s best to ask them in advance – that means before they even give you an estimate. Your questions could help reveal details that you never even thought of, some of which might have a bearing over whether or not the electrician in question can even take on the project in the first place.


Finally, make sure the electrician knows about money-saving electrical fixtures and outlets, and that they are knowledgeable about the newest and most modern ways and standards associated with improving safety and avoiding fire hazards in your home.

Is It Worth the Money to Do A Bathroom Remodel?

bathroom remodel in Denver

If you are considering a bathroom remodel, you are probably wondering whether the improvements that you are planning to do are worth it, indeed. There are two scenarios in which a bathroom remodel is surely worth the investment: if you are planning to stay in your home for at least five more years and if you are planning to sell it soon. However, either of the two scenarios require a different approach – here are some tips for you.

Remodeling for Long-Term Comfort

If the goal of the renovation is to enhance your household’s long-term comfort, you should perform a detailed analysis of your finances and allocate the largest possible amount of money that you can afford – after all, you will be investing into improving the quality of life in your home.

The bathroom is the room that can absorb any amount of money, but it is also the space that can be efficiently amended if you are on a budget, too. Start the process with a design phase – create a roadmap for the bathroom remodel Denver project and include every component in the bathroom that needs to be replaced or repaired, including the plumbing, the electric wiring, the water lines, the flooring and the walls, the fixtures and the furniture.

If you want to reduce the costs, try to figure out whether there are project phases that you can handle safely on your own and look for alternatives to expensive, high-end fixtures and furniture, such as second-hand items or items made from affordable materials.

When it comes to the lighting, look at the offers in stores and online, but don’t forget yard sales and vintage shops either – you can find spectacular items that are in great condition and can be turned into a classy and stylish addition with some sandpaper and paint.

Remodeling for Resale

If the purpose of the remodeling is to make your home more attractive for potential buyers and to add resale value, it is a good idea to consider the amendments that bring the highest return on investment. Get the entire home inspected and address the issues identified during the inspection – start with solving the structural issues and move on to cosmetic aspects only afterwards. Try to figure out whether your bathtub can be refreshed or you need to replace it and consider replacing components that attract the eye, such as the tiles on the wall.

If your bathroom furniture is in good shape, but it looks a little worn, consider replacing only the cabinet doors, or, even better, try to refresh them using some sandpaper, a fresh coat of pain or a roll of wallpaper and some classy knobs. Cabinet remodeling can take a while, but it can be done without any special tools or previous experience and it is great fun as well. If you have easy-to-remove vinyl or linoleum flooring, you can choose to replace it yourself (the process is quick and easy and linoleum or vinyl sheets are inexpensive and available in an incredibly wide range of designs), but if you have tiles or hardwood on your floor, it is a good idea to call a Denver bathroom remodel professional to replace it.

Tips for A More Efficient Heating System

Efficient Heating System

Whatever the type of fuel used by your furnace, the efficiency of your heating system will determine not only how comfortable the temperature in your rooms is in winter, but also the amount you will have to pay for energy. According to statistical data, heating-related costs amount to at least half of the total utility expenses that households need to deal with during the cold months. Fortunately, there are many great ways to improve the efficiency of your heating system – here are a few.

Weatherizing the Home

The weather stripping around the doors and the windows, the insulation on the walls and on the ceilings are essential for maintaining the home’s energy balance without using up excessive amounts of energy.

Check the areas around the windows and the doors for cracks and holes through which cold air can penetrate your home – in most cases, these issues can be quickly and easily fixed with some caulk and paint. The areas around the points where cables and pipes enter the home can also be too large – check them, too, then adjust the size of the holes with some more caulk.

Installing proper insulation can also help your heating system work less by preventing heated air from escaping. Check the insulation in your attic or invest into insulation if the area underneath your roof is not insulated – the improvement will help you reduce heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer.

Pay Attention to Your Heating System

Furnaces and the other components of your system work hard all winter and they need to be regularly inspected and maintained to be able to function at the top of their capacity. The best time to perform maintenance work is in fall, before the cold weather settles in and heaters are turned on. The operations include the cleaning and the inspection of all the important components, the replacement of the filters, if necessary and a thorough testing to make sure everything is perfectly functional. If you feel up to it, you can handle routine maintenance work on your own, but you can also decide to call a professional for the job – most furnace Denver furnace repair company contractors offer maintenance services as well and their rates are very affordable.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

These compact, modern devices are very affordable, while also being great energy savers because they allow homeowners to adjust the temperature in their rooms to the most comfortable levels. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature higher in the rooms that you spend more time in and lower in unused or rarely used spaces and you can also set the time when you want your heater to turn on. The most modern programmable units can be controlled via Wi-Fi and they allow the owner to make adjustments from anywhere, via laptops, smartphones or tablets.

Programmable thermostats are very efficient when it comes to ensuring comfortable temperature inside your home and it is also an excellent device for reducing energy costs the year around, in winter as well as in summer.

How Is Paint Made and What Are the Main Conditions of Preparing to Paint Your Home?

How is paint made and what is it made of? This is one question that eludes many DIY enthusiasts, even if they are extremely proficient when it comes to preparing the paint and actually doing the paint job.

Understanding how the paint is made might not give you superpowers or make you finish your work more quickly, but it can help to avoid many discrepancies and problems that you’d run into otherwise.

The Main Components of Exterior Paint

When considering the main components that make up exterior paint products, it’s important to mention the vehicle, film former, the thinner and the pigment. Each of these parts have specific roles, and there are also additional components worth mentioning, such as thermosetting and thermoplastic mechanisms that are designed to form films through various methods.

In most cases, the vehicle is simply a mixture of a binder or film former substance and water or some other solvent. A combination between binder and special diluent substances is also possible, its purpose being to facilitate the polymerization and film forming processes once the paint dries up.

The diluent or solvent plays a key role in that it dissolves the polymer and determines the viscosity of the mixture. Depending on how thin or thick you want the paint to be, various ratios can be used between the diluent and resin substance, and for oil-based paints, mixtures of different types of thinner and thicker oil might also be used.

Finally, pigments are used to give the paint its color. There are a number of substances that can be chosen for this purpose, some of them – such as titanium dioxide and red iron oxide – also being used as so-called “hiding pigments” to add extra UV protection.

Aside from all these components, you’ll also find that exterior paint is made to withstand the elements more easily and for a much longer time period, when compared to its counterparts used for interior painting. Most types of interior paints use heavy and harmful chemicals that are used to prevent moisture and UV radiation damage, while also keeping most types of fungi at bay. Because of these chemicals, it is strongly discouraged that exterior paint ever be used indoors.

paint color

Preparing Your Exterior Paint

Painting the exterior of your home requires careful preparation, and if you also have to prepare your own paint, then the process might be somewhat more difficult and time-consuming.

Before starting to paint the exterior, you have to be aware of a few factors: how much paint you’ll need, how much of the exterior will be painted, what type of paint you’re using and, of course, what the process is when it comes to preparing the paint.

The main process associated with preparing the paint will typically involve mixing the resin with the solvent and pigment, if you’re preparing your own DIY paint, and just preparing the wall, siding or other surface.

If you want to prepare the surface properly, you will have to wash it and apply primer. If you’re painting a metal surface, it’s usually best to apply an oil-based primer. Once you’re done with that, you will be ready to get started with the paint work.

To find out more details, and gain further insight into the process, call or visit your local Highlands Ranch painting contractor, and ask, “how is paint made and what should I be aware of when choosing or preparing my exterior paint?”

Professionally Installed vs. DIY Concrete Patio – Denver Solutions and Support from Reliable Concrete Services

A patio can be a great addition to any home, and when it comes to building a new concrete patio, Denver experts usually recommend that you hire a specialized company for the job.

But is that always the norm, or could you avoid the expenses involved with hiring a contractor by installing a concrete patio as your next Sunday DIY project? In the following, we will explore this possibility and pit it against the benefits and convenience of hiring a professional concrete service.

Can You Install a Concrete Patio Yourself?

Setting up your own concrete patio is no simple matter. The work involved is extensive, and you will have to buy all the materials on your own, although professional concrete contractors might be willing to give you a few pointers regarding which materials are the best.

The work involved requires far more than just a single day to complete. You will first have to determine where your patio will be located, mark the area and remove all weeds, grass and roots using common gardening tools.

Once you finish, you have to prepare the base and determine whether or not the patio will be level with the ground or slightly raised. Further work will be required to add a layer of gravel and prepare the frame of the patio prior to laying the concrete.

The bottom line here is that, if you have some experience with installing anything like a concrete patio Denver experts will tell you to go ahead and try to install your patio yourself. However, the amount of work you’ll have to put into it, the time lost and the stress and challenges associated with such a project might not be worth it, even if you have the skill and knowledge to pull it off.

The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Concrete Company

Hiring a contractor may cost more, but you can be sure that your new patio will be ready on time, and you won’t have to do any of the work yourself. Aside from that, there are many other advantages to hiring a professional concrete company:

•    Concrete services in Denver have a comprehensive set of steps they follow in building patios, and they can provide you with aesthetically pleasing textures and designs that you’d likely have great trouble with, if you tried them in your DIY project.
•    Any problematic and unforeseen challenges associated with the ground or terrain will be handled much more easily by a professional. In fact, the technicians have probably seen the same problem countless other times, and they know exactly how to deal with it.
•    Most Denver concrete services offer affordable support both for installing patios and managing the maintenance work in the long run.
•    You no longer have to worry about being kept in the loop. Professional concrete company teams will communicate throughout every step of the process with you, and keep you informed about any possible changes.

Hiring a professional concrete contractor will usually be the best option if you want to get the best possible quality with your concrete patio.

Your Home and How To Buy Flooring

Why Choose Vinyl Planks for Your Home and How to Buy Them from Vinyl Plank Flooring Companies

Vinyl planks are becoming more and more popular these days, used more and more not only in commercial or industrial environments, but in homes, too. Vinyl plank flooring companies have developed technologies that make it possible to create vinyl that perfectly replicates wood, stone and other expensive materials, so vinyl planks are nowadays used not only in bathrooms, basements, kitchens and garages, but in living rooms, halls and bedrooms as well.


Why Use Vinyl Planks in Your Home?

No wonder vinyl plank flooring is taking over the residential floor market by storm – it is an extraordinary solution with many benefits:

  • Variety – being made from colored PVC chips, vinyl floor planks can be stained and colored in infinite variations. Some vinyl plank flooring companies use an extra polyurethane layer to make the planks look like stone or wood,
  • Comfort – many vinyl floor planks have a layer of foam inside that serves the purpose of sound absorption and also confers a special kind of softness and warmth to the planks that makes the floor so comfortable to walk on,
  • Easy care – this is one of the features that made vinyl the preferred material for industrial and commercial flooring applications and it is what makes it so suitable for residential use as well. Cleaning and maintaining vinyl floors requires almost no effort whatsoever – you can sweep it, vacuum it, wash it with water and soap, vinyl really doesn’t require any special treatment,
  • Quick and easy installation – vinyl planks are made to click into one another easily and they can be installed simply by placing them on top of the existing flooring, so you don’t need to break and remove anything prior to mounting your new vinyl planks,
  • Affordability – vinyl planks look like wood or stone, but cost only a fraction of the price of natural flooring materials,
  • Durability – on the average, vinyl plank floors can resist for at least 15 years before showing any sign of aging or wear and tear. Vinyl planks can withstand rain, snow and strong sunshine as well, therefore the material is suitable for outdoor usage just as much for indoors.


How to Buy Vinyl Plank Flooring

Beside the color and pattern, there are a few technical details that you should pay attention to when buying vinyl flooring:

  • Make sure you choose material of the right thickness – the thickest vinyl is around 6.5 mm, while the thinnest varieties are around 1.5-2 mm thick. Thicker planks are more expensive, that’s true, but they also provide better insulation and are more durable,
  • Try to find plank flooring that is fitted with a special, super-durable protective top layer that the planks resistant against normal wear and tear, scratches, stains, even to being frequently walked in the most pointed heels.

Vinyl planks are nowadays available in conventional stores and at online vendors as well, so you can have them conveniently delivered to your doorstep without even having to leave the house.

Underground Cable Locators – Why, When and How to Hire Them

The term underground cable locators is equally used for the devices employed for identifying buried utility lines and cables as well as for the companies and the experts that perform the identification with the help of location devices. In what follows, you can read about the benefits of underground locating cables and pipes and about when and how you can hire the right professionals.

Why Hire Professional Underground Cable Locators

Locator companies work with technicians who are familiar with using even the most complex location technologies and are able to interpret the results returned by location devices accurately. They will also use the best solution to identify sub-service utilities – you must know that not all devices are able to locate any type of cables or utilities, some are suitable only for electric and communication cables, others only for metal, while the most advanced devices can locate all sorts of utilities, including concrete and plastic lines and it takes knowledge and experience to know which device should be used on your terrain.

When Hire an Underground Utility Location Service

The best time to hire Orange County utility locating company is in the pre-planning stage. It is recommended to perform the identification of buried lines and pipes prior to starting the architectural design because that way your architect can start working on your blueprints knowing exactly how to place the buildings and how to create the landscaping without interfering with buried structures.

If your blueprints are already finished, but you failed to perform the utility location, that is not a very big problem either, the important thing is to call a utility locator service prior to doing any excavation and digging. If you are lucky, your development plan can be executed as it is, without any major modifications, but if the locator company finds lines that are in conflict with your current plans, you will need to modify the plans before starting construction work.

How to Hire a Utility Locator Company

To be able to hire the best locator company, you need to look for a combination of experience, reliability and affordability. Just do a quick research online and you will find numerous locator services in your area. Continue your research by visiting their websites and check for descriptions of the services they provide, of the technologies they use as well as for testimonials. Check the reputation of the company visiting review and rating sites and online forums – you will be surprised how much useful information is provided there.

When you performed the background check, contact at least three companies for cost estimates. It is a good idea to invite company representatives to your construction site or property to give them a better idea of what they may find underneath. Get the cost estimate in writing before you hire the company – you can even draw up a contract with them for an even more detailed collaboration framework. Request a written report of their findings, too – you will need to show the results to your architect as well as to the civil engineer who is in charge of the construction.