Contractor Tips Blog

Nov
15

Outdoor Staircases

Posted in Stairs

One of the most important elements to your elevated outdoor deck or front entryway is the staircase. Too often stairs are an afterthought when they can be a beautiful part of the design.  Here are some common options to consider when adding exterior stairs to your home.

Style

The style of your front entry should fit with the style of your home overall.  Whether you have a rustic farm house, a cool craftsman, or a sleek modern home, your stairs are the first introduction to what guests are going to experience when they walk through the door.  Consistency is important.

Materials

Wood is the most common type of staircase added to homes, but they do need maintenance as they are affected by the weather. Brick adds color to traditional home faces and they are easy to maintain and withstand the elements. Stone steps are a classical touch that give a natural feel to your entryway. Metal and aluminum staircases add modern elements to a space.  Also, the choice of railings and balustrade materials can be mixed in staircases to reflect a combination of styles. They may modernize or soften a space to give a more unique look.

The most important part of a staircase is the safety it provides for its user and the flow in and out of the home.  The width and height of the stairs should be considered for the average user.

If you need assistance in choosing the right type of stairs for your next project, consider going to a professional stair company where they can assist you in designing the best staircase for your space.

Posted on behalf of:
Southern Staircase/Artistic Stairs
6025 Shiloh Rd, Ste E
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(888) 510-0342

Nov
8

Top 3 Andriod Apps That Can Help You Stay Organized

Are you constantly trying to stay on track with your daily to-do lists? Whether you have a busy work schedule, manage your family’s activities, have an active social life, or a combination of these time factors, it can be hard to stay organized. Your android smartphone goes with you wherever you go, so why not utilize its capabilities to organize your life? Here are the top three android smartphone apps that can help you simplify your life and make the most of every moment.

  1. Any.Do. Keep your to-do list in check with Any.Do. The simple-to-use interface lets you put your to-do list in groups for today, tomorrow, upcoming and even “someday.” You can also create your own folders for your preferences.
  2. Evernote. Never forget a thought again by updating your android phone with the Evernote app. You can speak or text your thoughts into notes, email from the app and keep all your ideas and plans in one place.
  3. Trello. Manage work or your life with the enhanced organization of Trello. Great for work projects, Trello is used by many companies to manage group projects online. However, Trello can be used for organizing all your life in one spot, with an easy set-up and intuitive system that has many features to offer anyone with a hectic life.

All the apps in the world will not help you if you don’t keep your android smartphone safe and protected. Make sure put new protective gear for your smartphone at the top of your to-do list and stop by a local accessories retailer to get new cases and screen protectors for your organizing lifeline.

Posted on behalf of Cellairis

Nov
8

3 Signs Your Concrete Stairs Need Repair

Concrete steps are a common fixture on many homes due to their durability and affordability. However, even concrete does not last forever, especially when put under undue stress from shifts in the soil beneath them. Most likely you are aware if your concrete stairs need repair, but there are also reasons why certain issues occur. Here are three common signs that you need your concrete stairs repaired.

  1. Separation. Concrete stairs, especially those for a porch or entrance, are a separate piece and can become separated from their destination. When there are gaps between the home and the stairs, it may be due to settling and other problems, either with the house or the stairs themselves. Concrete raising or lifting can resolve sinking stairs, offering better support.
  2. Tilting. Settling is the most common cause of tilting stairs, with the base on one side sinking deeper than the other. Concrete lifting can solve this issue, giving you stairs that are level and safe again for your family and guests.
  3. Crumbling and cracking. Concrete does disintegrate, and cracks are common as it ages. When your steps are cracking and crumbling, they need repair and possibly replacement. Cracks can be filled, but you also want to address the stress that is causing the damage.

Concrete stairs with issues can be a stand-alone issue, or it may be signs of bigger problems that are occurring with your home. It is best to have a masonry expert that can inspect both the stairs and your foundation to ensure that repairing your concrete stairs is not the only issue. If settling is occurring, it may be affecting your home as well, which is a much bigger concern than your stairs.

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

Nov
8

How to Get Bug-Free Soffits

Posted in Insect Control

Are insects finding their way into your home through your soffits? If you have soffits that are older, they may become rotted or damaged, allowing bugs and other pests into your home. Plus, old soffits may not have proper screens on the vents, allowing bugs an open door into your walls and attic. To get bug-free soffits and close the gaps into your home for pests, water and other issues, it may be time to undergo a soffit replacement.

Benefits of New Soffits

The soffits on a home often get little attention, but they are a vital component of your roofing system and impact the appearance of your home. They also provide placement for vents needed for ventilation. When they become damaged from weather or begin rotting away, they leave your home open to bugs, water, mold and other issues. Here are a few benefits of adding new soffits to your home.

  • Stop insect infestations with solid soffits and new screening on vents
  • Improve the beauty of your home
  • Add needed ventilation when needed
  • Control moisture and mold in the home
  • Keep out other critters like mice, rats and squirrels

When replacing soffits, it may also be prudent to replace fascia boards. They are often in similar repair and work intricately together. A new solid surface for your eaves can protect your home and improve the appearance, making it a worthwhile investment.

If you want to stop bugs from using your soffits as a gateway to your home, contact your local roofing specialist that offers soffit and fascia repairs and replacement. You can add beauty and protection for your home with updated soffits, fascia and vents, installed professionally for the best results.

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

Nov
8

Do You Need Insurance for Your Golf Cart?

Posted in Golf Carts

You have insurance on your home, vehicles and many other items you own, but do you have insurance on your golf cart? Many people never think about whether insurance is needed for their golf cart, but it may be wise to consider adding it for your protection. In most cases, golf cart insurance is inexpensive, but may come in handy if there is an accident. There are two main options for golf cart insurance: a homeowner’s endorsement and separate auto coverage. Here is the basics on each type and when they are appropriate.

Homeowner’s Endorsement

In many cases, an endorsement can be added to your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover your golf cart. This is usually used when a golf cart is only used for golfing or on your personal property. This is the least expensive option for coverage, but it is limited. If you use your golf cart as personal transportation on neighborhood streets, a separate policy may be needed for better coverage.

Auto/Vehicle Coverage

Your golf cart can be covered as a separate vehicle, protecting you in the event you are in an accident on the street or off your property. If you have a street-legal golf cart, this may be the best option for covering you when you are using your cart as a personal transportation vehicle. Some homeowner associations may require that you have insurance on your golf cart if you use it on the neighborhood streets.

To find out more about golf cart coverage, talk to your local golf cart dealer. They can recommend insurance agents that offer specialized coverage and other safety features you can add to protect against accidents and make your golf cart safer for use.

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

Nov
8

3 Signs of an Aging Metal Staircase

Posted in Metal Stairs

Do you have a commercial building with an older metal staircase? While metal staircases can last for decades when maintained, they will eventually need repairs, retrofits or replacement. Many metal staircases on commercial buildings are outside and exposed to the elements. When they begin to age, they can become a liability for your business and need repair to keep them safe for your employees, tenants and/or customers. Here are three signs your metal staircase is aging and in need of some TLC.

  1. Rust. Most metal staircases have a protective coating to prevent rust. However, as they age, this coating wears away and the metal is exposed. Spots of rust or corrosion are definite signs your staircase needs maintenance.
  2. Holes in stair treads. If rust does attack the metal, the stair treads are often the first to get holes through the metal. Treads are thinner metal, and the coating wears off quicker, making them susceptible to holes through the metal.
  3. Loose welds. If the railings or stair treads are loose, the welds may be losing their strength. This can become dangerous and prove to be a liability if someone falls or trips on your staircase.

Repair or Replacement?

If you see any of these signs of aging on your metal staircase, it is time to schedule an inspection. Contact a local metal fabricator that specializes in metal staircases for an inspection. They can help determine if you only need repairs and new coating for your staircase, or if a complete overhaul is the best option. It is a wise investment to prevent injuries that could be very costly if you are determined to be liable due to an unsafe staircase.

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

Nov
8

Make Your Siding Sparkle for Curb Appeal

Does your home look dull or rundown due to dirty siding? Mildew, dirt, pollen and other substances can stick to your siding, detracting from the beauty of your home. To make your home look beautiful and inviting, clean your siding and improve your curb appeal with pressure washing. It is a quick way to improve the beauty and value of your home, if you use the right tools and techniques.

Safely Cleaning Siding

Pressure washing can be used to clean most types of siding, but it is important to know the right methods. Too high of pressure or the wrong technique and you may damage the siding or loosen shingles. It is important to avoid certain problems, such as:

  • Getting water inside vents that can lead to water or mold damage
  • Lifting shingles
  • High pressure that can dent or pierce vinyl siding
  • Splintering wood siding or shingles
  • Removing paint from too high of pressure or too close of stream
  • Damage to soffits or fascia boards

While pressure washing can remove the dirt and mildew on your home, it can also cause thousands of dollars in damage if not done correctly. To make your siding look like new, it is best to hire a professional pressure washing service that has the right equipment, cleaners and experience to carefully and effectively clean your siding without doing any damage.

In just a few hours, your home’s siding can look fresh and new again. Contact a local pressure washing service to make your siding sparkle and improve your curb appeal. It can add value to your home and protect your siding from damage, making it a worthwhile investment to maintain your home.

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

Nov
8

Hose Maintenance: Avoiding Line Breakdown

When it comes to keep your product line moving, hydraulic hoses can make or break your productivity. Most machinery requires these hoses to function, yet they are notorious for breaking, splitting and tearing. A lost hose is a common cause of a line breakdown, stopping everything until the hose is replaced. While hoses do have a finite lifetime, there are ways to extend their use and reduce breakdowns due to hose failure with preventive maintenance.

Prevent Outside Damage

One of the leading causes of hose failures is cuts or abrasion from exterior sources. If you check your hoses regularly and notice splices or damage to the outside of the hose, consider adding protection for the hose. A metal sleeve can protect the hose, extending the life and reduce the chance of exterior damage.

Replace Brackets and Clamps

Often hoses wear quickly due to missing brackets or dysfunctional clamps. It is important to inspect hoses and hardware routinely to detect any issues. If the clamps or brackets are not performing, the hose will be exposed to friction and movement that can reduce the amount of cycles.

Use Quality Hoses and Fittings

Often the reason hoses breakdown quicker than needed is due to using fitting and hoses of poor quality or from various suppliers. Finding a top-notch supplier that can provide both your hoses and fitting to ensure they mesh well can extend the lifecycle of your hoses.

In short, performing some visual inspections routinely to replace broken or worn parts, along with using quality hoses and the right hardware can help prevent breakdowns on your production line. Stick to a regular schedule of hose maintenance and you can improve your productivity for higher revenue.

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

Oct
25

Does Your Garage Door Need a Spring Replacement?

Posted in Garage Doors

One of the most common garage door repairs is on the spring or springs that controls the opening and closing of the garage door. These springs take the brunt of the weight and allow for easier movement of these heavy, awkward doors. However, they do have a limited amount of use and do need replacement more frequently than most other garage door components. So, how do you know when it is time to replace your garage door spring?

Unfortunately, there is not a quick and simple answer for when any spring on a garage door will need replacement. They are like timing belts or chains in vehicle engines – they work, until one day they don’t. For cars, they recommend timing belts be replaced as preventive maintenance – having one break can ruin the engine in some vehicles. The same can be true for garage door springs. They should be replaced when they have put on the recommended “miles” or cycles to prevent them breaking and causing damage.

While each type of spring and manufacturer may be different, the average garage door spring is good for about 10,000 cycles. Depending on how often you use your garage door, that could mean about five years, give or take a year. Some springs have extended lifespans, with 60,000 or more cycles, giving you longer between replacements.

The best way to stay on top of your spring and other maintenance for your garage door is to schedule routine tune-ups once or twice a year. This will help ensure everything is kept lubricated and in good working order, which can extend the life of your spring and opening system. Your garage door service tech can let you know when it is time to replace your spring to prevent unexpected failure.

Posted on behalf of: 
Habpro Garage Doors
Dacula, GA 30019
770-985-3355

Oct
15

Trends in Residential Staircases

Posted in Stairs

While stairs are always a necessary piece of a home’s architecture, the design and style have become more and more important.  New styles in staircases can turn them into showpieces themselves. There are many styles of staircases that are on trend today that fit every aesthetic.

Sustainable Stairs

Choosing to make staircases ecologically sustainable is a trend for green home builders.  Doing the research to choose wood that is eco-friendly and beautiful is easier than ever.

Glass Infill

Instead of traditional balusters, consider using glass infills instead.  Using a toughened glass gives a minimalist modern style while allowing light to pass through giving an unobstructed view.

Metal Finishes

Using metal finishes in your staircase design gives a modern touch to your overall look.  Metal balusters may be added to a traditional staircase or wrought iron in a variety of designs can reflect the overall architecture of the home.  And metal is very strong and durable.

Stainless Steel Cable and Tube

Using horizontal steel cable in place of vertical balusters is a new modern look.  Cable and tube was popular in outdoor decking and commercial applications, but it is being brought into homes more often.  It gives a cool industrial look and can also be used with more traditional wood handrails to soften the appearance.  It also allows light without sacrificing safety.

Staircases don’t have to be the monstrosity in the middle of the house. Play them up to be a focal point that you are happy to show off. Find a stair specialist in your area to help you design a staircase that reflects you and your home’s style.

Posted on behalf of:
Southern Staircase/Artistic Stairs
6025 Shiloh Rd, Ste E
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(888) 510-0342

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