Contractor Tips Blog


Pros and Cons of Smartphone Insurance

Many people spend more on their smartphones than on computers – a new iPhone can cost several hundred dollars or more. Most wireless carriers and manufacturers offer insurance for a premium, giving you protection if you break or lose your phone. While this may seem like a good idea, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before you buy.

Pros of Buying Smartphone Insurance

If you have experienced broken and stolen phones in the past, you may be a good candidate for smartphone insurance. Here are some of the pros of having protection for your smartphone.

  • Multiple repairs. If you tend to smash or drop your phone often, insurance may be a good option.
  • Lost phones. While extended warranties will not help if you lose your phone, phone insurance through your carrier often will replace your phone if lost or stolen.
  • Kid’s phone. Many parents opt for insurance for their kid’s phone, especially if they are irresponsible.

Cons of Buying Smartphone Insurance

When deciding to buy smartphone insurance, you need to make sure the cost is worth the benefits. Some of the cons of insurance include:

  • High deductibles. Maybe you only need to pay $10-15 a month but if you have to pay a few hundred dollar deductible to replace your phone, that is a high cost for insurance. The monthly premiums over two years and deductible can come close to the cost of a new phone.
  • Refurbished phones. Read the fine print – you may only receive a refurbished, not new, phone if you need a replacement.
  • Limited use. Many insurance plans have a limit on how many times you can have your phone repaired or replaced.

If you tend to be careful with your phone, you may want to skip the insurance. This can save you $100-$300 or more per year off insurance (plus deductibles) that you can put toward repairs at a local cell phone shop if needed.

Posted on behalf of Cellairis


Benefits of Gas-Powered Golf Carts

Posted in Golf Carts

Electric golf carts are very popular and have their advantages for personal transportation. However, their gas-powered twins also have their own benefits. When shopping for a golf cart, there is not a right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between electric and gas-powered options. What you need is a vehicle that is best suited for your specifications. Here are the benefits of gas-powered golf carts over electric models.

Longer Distances

The main reason someone would choose a gas-powered golf cart over an electric model is travel time and distance. Electric golf carts depend solely on a battery for fuel – limiting how long and how far you can go. Gas-powered carts can go further on a tank of gas than an electric cart can on a single charge; it is also easier to bring extra gas to take a long ride through the woods with a gas-powered cart. You can stay out all day and night without worrying about being stranded without fuel.

More Horsepower

If you want to use your golf cart for off-road travel, gas-powered is the way to go. Electric carts are fine for flat surfaces and well-groomed golf courses but may have trouble on hills and trails. The extra horsepower offered with gas powered models can help traverse rough terrain and steep hills.

Ready to Go

Electric golf carts need to be charged for several hours before each trip. With gas powered models, they are ready to go as long as you add more fuel.

If you plan to use your golf cart for off-road trips that can include rough trails, gas-powered is probably your best choice. Visit your local golf cart dealer to check out all the different models and options available.

Posted on behalf of:
Top Dog Golf Carts
55055 Hammond Industrial Dr
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 887-7433


Pitfalls of DIY Window Installations

If you are considering replacing some or all the windows in your home, you may be looking for ways to cut costs. While new windows can help improve your home’s energy efficiency and give your home a new look, it is an investment. Before you decide to save money by installing your windows yourself, consider the risks. DIY window installation, especially on older homes, is not as simple as it may seem. Here are some of the pitfalls that can occur with DIY window installations.

Size and Leveling Differences

Houses settle and change over time. If you have a home that is a few or more decades old, it may have been many years since the current windows were installed. You may find that there is a difference in the window size and level of the sill once the old window is removed. This requires expertise to install a new window in an unlevel or different-sized hole.

Leaks and Moisture Damage

If windows are not properly sealed and installed, you have the chance of leaks. These can allow moisture inside your walls that can cause rot and mold. The cost of moisture damage will far outweigh the savings of installing windows yourself versus hiring a knowledgeable contractor.

Lost Energy Efficiency

Many people want new windows installed to improve their home’s energy efficiency. While new windows can help insulate your home better, this is only true if they are installed correctly.

While DIY window installation may be tempting to save money, there are many things that can go wrong. Why take the risk? Hire a quality construction contractor that guarantees their window installations to ensure your new windows are installed correctly.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262


When Was the Last Time Your Chimney was Inspected?

Chimneys play an important role in the safety of your home. Whether you use your fireplace as your main source of heat or only as a cozy option on a cold night, the chimney needs to be maintained. This includes periodic inspections to check the structure for damage or leaks that could be a safety hazard. If it has been many years or you don’t know when your chimney was last inspected, it is time to schedule a chimney professional to perform a complete inspection.

Dangers of Old Chimneys

Chimneys can last for many decades but they do need cleaning and repair. Cleaning can remove the creosote, the resin that can start chimney fires, but it doesn’t repair chimney damage. If there are leaks inside the chimney, chimney fires can occur, even if they have been cleaned.

Another danger of old chimneys is structural damage. Settling and corrosion can impact the stability of a chimney. There are usually signs of deterioration, like leaning, cracks or crumbling bricks, but not always. An unstable chimney could come crashing down, endangering anyone below when it falls.

Professional Chimney Inspections

Every few years it is a good idea to schedule a chimney inspection, especially for chimneys that are decades old. A professional chimney inspector can check the inside and outside of the chimney to ensure it is still safe and structurally sound. If there are repairs that are needed, these can be performed proactively, reducing the risk of fires or collapse.

Home maintenance is almost always less expensive than repairs or replacement, including chimney maintenance. Make sure to schedule routine chimney cleanings and inspections to avoid the risks of chimney fires and deterioration.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924


Cleaning and Maintaining Outdoor Metal Staircases

Posted in Metal Stairs

One of the advantages of metal staircases is the low maintenance required. Even when used outdoors, metal staircases withstand the elements and can last for decades. But low maintenance does not mean no maintenance – to extend the life of your stairs you need to keep them clean and repaired. Here are some simple cleaning and maintenance tips that should be done periodically on your outdoor metal staircases.

Clean Away Dirt and Debris

Accumulated dirt and debris can cause wear on the coating and paint protecting the metal structure of your staircase. Most metal stairs can be easily cleaned with a hose and soft scrub brush or with a low-pressure power washing. This can remove mildew, dirt and other debris, keeping your staircases clean for appearance and to protect against wear.

Inspect Rails, Treads and Supports

Check your staircase for any signs of loose welds or components. Even a slight wiggle or loose bolt should be repaired right away. Repairs to a loose railing or tread can be quickly accomplished and can reduce safety issues, delaying any further deterioration.

Look for Bare Metal

If you find any areas where the paint or coating has worn away, leaving bare metal, it is time for more coating. Metal will rust and quickly deteriorate without protection. Contact a local metal staircase fabricator that offers on-site recoating to restore the protective shield. Your staircase will look like new again and be ready to last for many more years.

Metal staircases are simple to maintain and clean but do need occasional repairs and upkeep. Stay on top of needed repairs and maintenance to make your staircase last for many years.

Posted on behalf of:
LCG Welding, LLC
4625 Church Road
Cumming, GA 30028
(678) 455-5552


How to Perform a Cold Cure Repair for Conveyor Belts

Posted in Conveyor Belts

Conveyor belt rips, gouges or worn spots need repair before the entire belt is damaged and needs replacement. While volcanized repairs are often the closest to manufacturer quality and strength on canvas belts, they require special equipment and time. Metal fasteners can also be used but do not offer the same strength as volcanized repairs. Another option is a cold cure repair, a quick and convenient method for some types of conveyor belt repairs.

What is Cold Cure Repair?

While volcanized repairs use heat and pressure to repair a portion of a conveyor belt, cold cure repairs use a chemical or resin process. This requires no special equipment like vulcanization, making it easier to perform quickly and wherever the conveyor belt is located. There are many different types of cold cures for belt repairs, designed for different materials and applications.

To perform a cold cure repair, the process is similar to volcanized repairs. The damage piece of belt is removed and a new piece of cover or canvas is cut to size. The difference is that chemicals or resin is used to adhere the new belt material in place instead of heat and pressure. The curing time depends on the product used but usually is about 4-8 hours. Compared to the downtime required to bring in volcanizing equipment and specialists, this can save days of missed production in some cases.

Time needed for repairs, whether cold cure or vulcanization, is always a concern. There is always a chance a repair will not hold and the time used will be wasted. It is a good idea to have a replacement belt available for serious damage – replacement time and cost can be a better option than the downtime costs for major belt repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
The King Group, Inc.
6865 Shiloh Road East, #100
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 886-1113


Dangers of DIY Pressure Washing

A pressure washer can be a handy tool to have – you can easily clean your vehicles or driveway with this high-powered tool. When it comes to cleaning your outdoor areas, power washing is one of the best options available for removing dirt and grime. However, there are dangers when using a pressure washer that can put you or your property at risk. Here are a few dangers to avoid with DIY pressure washing.

Wood Cleaning

Spraying off your deck or fencing can keep it clean but too much water pressure can damage wood. You need to know the right setting for your wood to reduce the chance of damage. A high-pressured stream can gouge the wood, permanently damaging your expensive deck or fence.

Roof and Gutters

Many homeowners want to save money and decide to pressure wash their gutters and roof themselves. This can be dangerous and damaging. Any time you are off the ground using a pressure washer, there are safety risks. It can be wet and slippery standing on a roof or ladder – it is easy to slip and fall, causing serious injury. Roof cleaning also must be carefully performed – too much pressure can ruin expensive roofing or even cause leaks.

Removing Paint or Damaging Siding

If you want to clean your siding using your pressure washer, be careful. Too much pressure can remove your exterior paint – that is how painters remove old paint before adding a new color. Pressure washing can also damage shingles or siding, especially soft woods like cedar.

When it comes to cleaning high areas, wood or painted structures, you may want to hire a professional power washing service. They can ensure your surfaces are cleaned correctly and safely, avoiding the damage and injuries that are common with DIY pressure washing.

Posted on behalf of:
Impact Pressure Washing
105 Commerce Drive
Fayetteville, GA 30214
(678) 697-7127


New Phone? Protect It!

New cell phones can cost more than a new TV or computer. If you buy a top brand like an iPhone, you could be spending several hundred dollars or more on your new phone. You want to make sure your new phone will last and protect it against damage. One of the best ways is to invest in protective gear that will reduce the chance of screen damage, the most common issue with cell phones.

Screen Protectors

A screen protector adds an extra layer of reinforcement to protect the glass of your phone. While there are many versions of screen protectors, you want one that is made to last. A screen protector made from tempered glass is considered the best protection for your screen. This can stop scratches and cracks on your phone for years.

A Protective Case

Envelop your phone in a well-made protective case. You can have a stylish case that is also tough to protect your phone if (and when) you drop it on hard surfaces.

Screen Repair Guarantees

There are cell phone accessory stores that guarantee that their cases and screen protectors will last for years and offer a screen repair guarantee with their products. With these “bundles” you get a case and screen protector, plus the peace of mind that if they fail, your screen will be repaired for free.

Buying protective gear is a small price to pay to protect your expensive new phone. Make your first stop after receiving your new phone at a quality accessories store to purchase a screen protector and case to add armor around your phone. It can make your phone last longer and prevent expensive damage to your phone.

Posted on behalf of Cellairis


Is Your Roof Ready for Storm Season?

Posted in Roofing

When severe storm season hits, your home can be at risk for damage. Your roof is the main protection for your house, especially during wind, hail and other extreme storms. Before storm season arrives, it is important to ensure your roof is ready to withstand the elements. Here are a few tips to make sure your roof is prepared to weather the storm.

Look for Visible Damage

Have you noticed water stains on ceiling tiles or loose shingles on your roof? If there is any evidence of roof damage, now is the time to have these issues fixed. Visibly inspect your roof, gutters and attic for any signs of leaks or damage to your roof or gutter system.

Schedule a Roof Inspection

Not all roof problems are noticeable to the naked eye. It is a good idea to have a roof inspection performed by a professional to identify issues that may not be obvious to the naked eye. If there is loose shingles, flashing or drainage issues, these can cause more extensive damage during a severe storm.

Get Needed Repairs

If a roof inspection finds issues with your roofing system, do not delay having roof damage repaired. This can prevent leaks and roof failures during heavy rains and wind storms that are common during the late summer, as well as protect your roof during the winter storms.

Check Your Home Insurance Policy

You should make sure you have adequate coverage for roof and other damage to your home during natural disasters like storms. Contact your homeowner insurance agent to discuss your coverage.

A little preparation can help you ensure that your roof is ready to withstand any big storms headed your way. Contact your local roofing professional to schedule an inspection or repairs to protect your home and roof.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262


Common Problems with Brick Structures

Posted in Masonry

Brick structures can last for decades and are known for their longevity. Many of the oldest building in the country are made from brick, as are many of the chimneys. While brick does last, it often does require repairs and maintenance. It is important to know the common issues that can occur over time with brick structures and catch these issues in the early stages for repair. Here are a few things to look for with brick homes, chimneys and other structures.

Vertical Cracks

The normal fluctuations in weather pattern can cause damage to brick. Expanding and shrinking from moisture changes can cause vertical cracks that need to be superficially repaired.

Brick Deterioration

Both bricks and the mortar can deteriorate and may need surface repairs or replacement as they crumble and crack.

Bulging Bricks

If bricks are beginning to bulge, there is a good chance you have a leak or drainage issue that is causing damage. A gutter may be overflowing water down the side of the building, causing underlying corrosion. You may need a gutter and masonry repair.

Settling or Sinking

When a brick building or chimney begin to settle or sink, it could be the foundation or it could be the bricks. Over time, bricks do compact and will settle under the weight of the structure. However, if it is the foundation, more serious settling could be occurring and damaging the entire structure of the home or chimney. Stair-step cracks are often a sign of foundation issues.

When you notice issues with your brick structure, call a masonry expert for an inspection and repair. If caught early, you can often stop more serious damage and reduce the cost of repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

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