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How to Find a Licensed Roofing Contractor

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

licensed roofing contractor

Whether you’re fixing a small leak or completely renovating your home, any alteration to your roof should be done professionally and efficiently – unless you want to come home to an indoor swimming pool one rainy evening. When looking to hire a licensed roofing contractor, there are certain things you should bear in mind. You want someone who will do the job well without breaking the bank. But before you sign anyone’s paycheck, let’s go over a few tips on how to find a licensed roofing contractor.

What do you want done?

When looking for a licensed contractor, you want to be able to talk knowledgeably about what it is that you want done to your roof. Any given roof, flat or sloping, is composed of various materials – including wood, slate, metal, plastic, cement, and asphalt shingles – and often contain several layers. Brush up on the “rooftalk” and know what materials your contractor will need to perform the task at hand. Knowledge is power in the realm of home improvement.

Roof Anatomy

Decking: This is the foundation of your rooftop and is usually composed of plywood or concrete.

Underlayment: The underlayment of a roof is what keeps wind and rain out of your living room. Durable sheets of asphalt-saturated paper are laid out horizontally on top of the decking.

Shingles: In most sloping rooftops, the shingles (or topcoat) are basically the little slabs and tiles you see on top. They’re usually made of ceramic, asphalt, or wood.

Eaves: The eaves are the parts of the roof which overextend past the outside walls. This is where you’ll usually spend time cleaning out the gutters.

Vent Pipe: Almost every roof is equipped with a vent pipe which allows air to travel into the home’s plumbing system for quick drainage.

Verify the Building Codes

Depending on the magnitude of the work which needs to be done, your town or neighborhood might have certain building codes in place which require permits. You don’t want to hire a contractor and buy all the material just to have city officials knocking on your door to shut down the project the very next day.

Explore Your Options

You wouldn’t go in for a surgery with the very first doctor you see – you’d want to explore your options and ask for different opinions. Home improvement is kind of like surgery for your house. Have a few contractors come around to assess the situation and give you an estimate for the entire project. This not only gives you room to negotiate, but also confirms what the problem is and how to fix it.

Verify the Legitimacy of Your Contractor

To avoid a botched job on your roof, make sure that your roofing contractor has a valid working license and experience in the field. You can do this by asking for references from past clients, speaking to past employers, and checking in with the Department of Professional Regulation.

Obtain a Written Contract or Agreement

When it comes to the safety of your home and loved ones, shaking hands just doesn’t do the trick. Before anyone starts hacking tiles off your roof, make sure a signed contract is in place which outlines the details (e.g how many workers will be on site, what materials are needed, duration of construction) and payment schedule of the project while also protecting you from any liabilities.

Ultimate Guide to Home Insurance

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Home Insurance, Real Estate | 0 comments

Home insurance, also known as homeowner’s insurance, is a kind of property insurance designed to protect your home against various forms of damages such as losses occurring to your home. It can also include liability coverage for accidents that may occur at your home or at your hands within the policy territory. Claims due to war or floods are usually excluded from coverage.

How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?

The cost of home insurance depends on how much replacing the house would cost and what additional riders or endorsements are included in the policy. There are also certain factors that affect the cost of insurance. These include the amount of insurance, cost and location of your home. If the coverage purchased is not enough to rebuild your home, you may pay an out of pocket cost as a penalty.

Insurance companies use vendors to get an idea of the cost, but it is still your responsibility to choose the right insurance for you. Some insurers also provide extended replacement add-ons that provide additional coverage if the limit of the original coverage is reached and to protect customers against wrong estimates. The cost of home insurance may be lower if your house has fire alarms and fire sprinklers or is located beside a fire station. You may also get lower premiums if your house is equipped with security systems and insurer-approved locks and wind mitigation features like hurricane systems. Payment is usually made yearly.

Home Insurance Coverage

Home insurance provides coverage on an open perils and named perils basis. The latter provides coverage for all losses except those explicitly excluded on the policy, while a named perils policy offers coverage for losses specifically stated on your policy. A loss that is not listed on the policy is not covered.

Basic named perils provide protection against dangers that may result in a total loss. You won’t be covered in case something happens to your house that is not included in the policy.  If you have an unoccupied or vacant building, you should consider getting this kind of policy. It covers damages caused by fires, hail, windstorm, lightning, smoke, explosion, vehicle or aircraft collision, vandalism, sinkhole collapse, volcanic activity and civil or riot disorder.

Broad named perils provide coverage for six more perils.  Since it’s a named perils policy, the loss should be specifically stated on your policy to get coverage. It covers the most common types of property damage, including falling objects, break-in damage, freezing of pipes, weight of snow and ice, artificially produced electricity, accidental water damage and all basic-form perils.

There is also a special type of policy that offers coverage to all losses unless explicitly excluded. Unlike the policies for basic named perils and broad named perils, the special all risk policy covers all unlisted perils. On the other hand, if something happens to your house and it is not stated on the exclusions list, the policy won’t give you coverage. The perils covered by this policy include flood, earthquake, neglect, nuclear hazard, ordinance of law, power failure, war and deliberate acts.

Helpful Tips when Selecting the Best Inflatable Jacuzzi

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

best inflatable jacuzzi

If you have succumbed to the magnetic allure of a hot tub and have made up your mind to purchase your very own, then you may need some help in finding the right one for you. With dozens of manufacturers to choose from, selecting the best inflatable jacuzzi can seem overwhelming at first. However, by taking into account a few considerations and a little time to work through the details, you are sure to find the best inflatable Jacuzzi that will meet your needs and thrill you for years to come. Detailed below is what you need to do in order to find the right fit:

· Pick a style

Making a decision on the style that will suit your needs is important from the beginning. The style could include whether you desire an outdoor hot tub or an indoor one and whether you are considering building it into your deck outside or have it sitting on your back patio.

· Determine the size

Once you have decided on the style of the Jacuzzi and where to place it, then you need to determine what size will be best for you. If it will just be you and probably one other person, a small unit will do just fine. On the other hand, if you intend to have friends and family join you regularly, then a larger style hot tub will do. As you do so, take careful measurements to ensure that the hot tub will fit in the location that you want.

· Set a budget

It is important to take into consideration what you can afford to spend on a Jacuzzi. If you want one with underwater lights, drink holders, integrated water filtration, water jets and other features, then you can expect to spend a few thousand dollars more. Knowing how much you would like to spend from the beginning will aid you in finding one that is within your range.

· Shop around

With the vast selection of tubs available in the market, you are likely to find one within your price range by shopping around and comparing different models. You will find that the prices can vary by hundreds of dollars if not thousands by choosing a slightly smaller model or going with a few different features. Take time to look at different companies’ models and styles in order to get the best value for your money.

Utilize the internet to your advantage. Making the decision to look beyond your local dealer can save you a lot of money as you may land an excellent deal with an online dealer. The dealer that you buy from should have both fast shipping and professional installation availed to all customers.

Taking the time to consider all the important details will go a long way in ascertaining that you find the best inflatable Jacuzzi for you and your family’s requirements. You will also be in a position to make a wise and beneficial investment not only for your health but also for your home that you will enjoy for a long time to come. There is no better way to end a day’s work than relaxing in a Jacuzzi and allowing it to melt away the stress.

Property Tips That All Landlords Should Know

Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Landlord Insurance, Real Estate | 0 comments

student housing

Investing in property and renting it out to students and tenants can be a great way to pay off your mortgage and make a steady income. Even though being a landlord can have a lot of benefits, there are some issues that landlords come across. It is important to treat renting out your property as a profession, rather than just a mere hobby. It’s easy to get emotionally caught up in things when managing a property, but this can lead to bad decision making. It’s a good idea to look at the maths and make smart financial decisions about your property.

That said, it’s extremely critical for any landlord to get the proper discount landlord insurance. Failure to get the correct landlord insurance could result in a very costly mistake. That’s why it’s strongly advised that your property is covered under the landlord’s insurance policy in case disaster strikes.

It’s vital that your property is insured, so that in the event of a storm, flood or a random accident, you won’t be left out of pocket. A good landlord insurance policy should always include buildings cover and cover your property for damage caused by accidents. A landlord’s rental property is directly related to their income stream. If the property is damaged, then not only will they suffer repair bills and a possible loss in the value of the property itself, but they may also suffer a loss of income while the property is under repair. Having the right cover in place means that any problems can be effectively dealt with.

There are many different reasons why you may rent out your property. You may simply have wanted to invest some spare cash in the property market. Or, you may be a professional landlord with a plethora of properties. Your reasons don’t really matter, getting insurance for landlords is what really matters. It’s important to insure any property that you own. Flood, fire, storm damage and accidents are all possible risks. Other risks also include injuries caused to tenants. You as a landlord may have to cope with all these risks and even more.

If you are unsure about what type of landlord insurance you need, you may take a quick look at our knowledge articles. However, it’s important to mention that a basic landlord insurance policy covers insurance for damage to structures as well as sheds, garages, fences and the like. The basic landlord insurance policy also typically includes general liability coverage for accidents and injuries that may occur on the premises. Because your guests are responsible for insuring their own belongings, your insurance coverage may not include personal property insurance. However, you are leasing a furnished apartment, you may need to purchase contents coverage for the items and belongings in the rented space. If you have a mortgage on the property you may also find that the conditions demand that the correct form of buildings insurance is in place. Finally, when getting a policy in place, you may want to look carefully at exactly what circumstances are covered by a policy. Insurance for landlords can also be arranged at an affordable price thanks to a boom in the market over the last few decades.

Identifying Japanese Knotweed

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Gardening, Real Estate | 0 comments

Japanese Knotweed is also known as fallopian japonica. It’s a large herbaceous perennial plant that fall under polygonaceae family. It is largely found in Japan, China, Korea North America and Europe where it is considered very successful in growth.

It is an offense to grow or cause to grow the Japanese knotweed in the United Kingdom since it is expensive to control, this is due to its damaging properties to buildings and infrastructure. In the United States it is listed as an invasive weed in the following cities; Alaska, Virginia, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, Washington state and Colorado. It grows widely in Japan and used as an edible vegetable (sansai).The young shoots and leaves are extremely sour. The outer skin is fibrous and must be peeled, soaked and boiled after one day.

In order to identify the Japanese Knotweed, understanding its physical appearance is very important. According to Japanese Knotweed Removal in Birmingham, it has a hollow stem of a height of 3 – 4 meters with raised nodes, this make it look like a bamboo (though it is not). The stem nodes are swollen and surrounded by thin papery sheaths. It has strong and invasive root system that can damage buildings, roads and concrete structures. The Japanese Knotweed has a broad oval leaves with truncated base. It has small creamy flowers that are produced towards the end of summer and during the beginning of autumn.

The Japanese Knotweed has also been classified as an invasive species in many countries around the world. The plant is able to recover quickly from difficult conditions i.e. cutting, since it’s able to vigorously sprout from the roots again.

It has close related species that include the giant knotweed also known as fallopian sachalinensis and Russian vine also known as fallopian baldschuanica.The Japanese knotweed is also known with other names like monkey weed, elephant ears, pear shooters, Japanese bamboo and Donkey rhubarb. A hybrid (Bohemia Knotweed) of Japanese knotweed and giant knotweed is also found in the United Kingdom. The base of the leaf joining the stalk is straight on a Japanese knotweed whereas on giant knotweed it is lobed.

The hybrid is in the middle with a slightly lobed base.

It has a large underground network of roots also known as Rhizomes. The rhizomes grow laterally to a distance of 7 meters from the parent plant. The rhizomes appear dark-brown in the outer surface. It snaps easily when fresh but woody when older. New growing rhizomes are white and very brittle like carrots.

Their appearance does not differ according to species but giant knotweed is larger than the other species.

The dormancy of rhizomes can take up to many years but can be stimulated to grow when disturbed.

Through the flowers the Japanese knotweed yields monofloral honey or bamboo honey, this make it more in demand by some beekeepers. Its young stems can be used as food hence helps in the control of its growth. The plant has a slow rate of decomposing, this make it easier to identify after cutting during winter months.

Choosing the Best Homes for Sale in Boerne TX

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Real Estate | 1 comment

Boerne TX Home

There are quite a number of homes for sale in Boerne TX that you can always choose from when planning to acquire one. However, these homes vary based on several factors that you should know beforehand in order to make the right choice. In fact, the decisions made in the process of buying a home are quite important since they have a greater bearing on the kind of deal that you will receive.

Buying a home requires proper planning and adherence to the particular plan. In order to get the best homes for sale in Boerne, TX, the following tips could be of great help;

Set your baselines  

The baseline mainly refers to your terms with regards to costs. Remember, every homes always has a price tag attached to it, depending on the features, location among other elements. Rushing into buying a home without understanding your situation could lead to mistakes, so always take time to assess your budget and requirements well in advance. In case you are unable to come up with a good baseline for the entire process, it is advisable that you seek help from a professional.

Check the available Sizes and designs of homes for sale 

Based on the kind of home that you need, there is always a variety to choose from. From the homes listed, you will find information about the sizes and features of every home, including even photos. It is advisable that you keenly read through the descriptions of the homes in order to determine those that can meet your needs. At this stage, it is advisable you identify a few houses on which you will conduct further assessments before arriving at a final choice.

Consider the location or neighborhood 

To most people the locality or neighborhood is always given precedence because you need a home where you can always feel comfortable in and proud of. However, it is important to note that the designs and prices of homes may vary from one neighborhood to another. Therefore, you should also consider the two elements when sourcing for a home in terms of location.

Check for available offers 

Homes for sale in Boerne, TX sometimes come with different offers that can save you quite a lot. For instance, you may find homes with additional amenities or features at a relatively lower rate. Besides, you can also receive discounts and other cost exemption measures. Such offers could enable you get the best deals when buying a home. However, it does not mean that you should always expect offers.

Understand the terms of sale 

Many people often ignore going through the terms of sale when buying homes. The terms of sale are the pillars of the contract that you will sign in the event that you find an ideal choice from the various homes for sale in Boerne, TX. Therefore, spare a few minutes to read and understand the terms of sale in order to know what is expected on the part of the seller and your own.

Choosing the best homes for sale in Boerne should not end here. You should also make an effort to visit the homes and see for yourself, the right one that suits your preferences, lifestyle and needs.