Contractor Tips Blog

Feb
26

Avoid Storm Chasers When You Need Roof Repair

Posted in Roofing

It seems that in every type of natural disaster and other calamities that there are always disreputable people trying to take advantage of the victims. Storm chasers are the bottom-feeders of the contractor industry, preying on those that have had extensive roof and home damage from hail or other types of storms. They sweep into an area after a storm, offering quick and cheap repairs, but the only thing they leave behind is more damage to the victims that give them their money.

Spotting a Storm Chaser

Storm chasers are notorious for blanketing neighborhoods where storms hit and offering their services. They may show up and knock on your door, giving you a flyer or business card with a smile, claiming they can fix your roof damage right away. When storms hit an area, the legitimate roofing contractors are often swamped with calls for quotes, estimates and repairs. Having someone show up to your door can be a relief, but if it seems too good to be true, it often is.

There are a few notable differences that you can spot with storm chasers. For one, they are rarely from the area. They may have a 1-800 number or a phone number from out of state. This is your first clue to do a little more research. Check to see if they are even licensed or insured in your state by making a quick call. Check the Better Business Bureau and see if they are listed at all or have previous complaints.

Storm chasers often take a down payment for roof repairs, then disappear without doing any work. Or, they do repair the roof, but use shoddy materials and methods that do not last. When a leak occurs months down the road, they are long gone, and you are stuck with the repair bill.

Avoid storm chasers by sticking with a local roofing contractor with a solid reputation in your community. You may need to wait a little longer, but it worth the inconvenience to ensure your roof repair is done by someone you can trust.

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

Feb
26

The Blue Carbon Paper History

Many young people will never know the frustration of getting blue carbon paper ink all over their hands when trying to copy a document or create a credit card slip. Blue carbon paper was used extensively in typewriters and documents where several copies were needed for many decades, but it is no longer a staple of the business and retail world. However, for over 150 years, blue carbon paper has been used in one way or another and is still used in limited applications today.

The first version of blue carbon paper was produced in 1823 by Cyrus Dakin, but the idea had been around for some time. As early as 1779, James Watt, a Scottish engineer, was trying to create an inked tissue paper to be used to copy correspondence. Even the version made by Dakin in 1823 was not well-received by the business community, that is until the typewriter was invented in 1867, and a clean, readable copy could be made with carbon paper.

Early blue carbon paper was made by placing a sheet of paper on a slab and covering it with oil, soot and a liquid hydrocarbon. Eventually a machine was created to add a layer of hot wax that eliminated the need to manually brush on the carbon mixture. Although the materials and technology changed over the years, the main concept for blue carbon paper was kept the same for a century or more.

Today, most sales receipts, credit card slips, and other duplicated papers are printed, not copied with blue carbon. The messy blue carbon paper is rarely used in business transactions. However, it still has its uses in industrial applications. Machinery suppliers sell giant rolls of blue carbon paper that are used for machinery calibration and stenciling on glass, keeping this long-standing invention alive and well in some industries.

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

Feb
26

Add Strength to Beauty with an Custom Iron Trellis

Are you looking for ways to create a unique and interesting style for your yard or outdoor space? A trellis can be used in a variety of ways in landscaping and outdoor door design. Wrought iron trellis formations can be custom designed in almost any shape or size. Not only are they beautiful, iron has the strength to withstand the elements and last for many years to come.

Ideas for Outdoor Trellis Uses

Trellises are typical used as a climbing apparatus for vines and plants, often roses or ivy varieties. While this is their primary purposes, they can also be used in creative ways to add interest and function to your outside areas. Here are a few ideas on how to use your trellis:

  • Cover a boring wall. Trellises are perfect for hiding a worn fence or a boring wall that is devoid of style. Use the trellis to create a beautiful wall of green that hides imperfections or adds interest to a dull corner of your yard.
  • Add a divider. Trellises can be staked or anchored into the ground and used to create a divider between outdoor areas. Whether they are stand-alone iron walls or covered in foliage, they can break up your space and even add shade when covered in vines.
  • Adorn entrances. Everyone has seen arched trellises that cover gates and entry ways. Iron trellises are perfect for adorning entrances, whether with an arch or a complete pagoda.

The amazing aspect of an iron trellis is that you can have it designed however you want by a metal fabricator. You can have it made any size or shape, with whatever type of style you desire. Contact a local metal welder and fabricator to explore the options for adding a beautiful iron trellis to your outdoor space that can be the focal point of your yard.

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

Feb
26

What to Look for When Purchasing a Used Golf Cart

Posted in Golf Carts

Whenever you purchase a used vehicle, it can be risky. You never know if there are hidden issues that could cost you more down the road. The same is true of a used golf cart. Even if it seems to be in good condition, there could be problems that are not apparent. Before you purchase a previously-owned golf cart, here are a few tips to help ensure it is a good investment.

  • Age. How old is the cart? If it is more than fifteen years old, you could run into issues getting parts for repairs. Be careful buying too old of a cart as it may not have much life left in it, even if it was lightly used. Most golf carts made after 2005 will have a tracker in place that can tell you the number of hours and cycles it has used.
  • Batteries. For electric golf carts, batteries are one of the most expensive components to replace. Ask about when they were last replaced. If it has been over a year, you can expect that you will need to replace them soon. Also look for bulging or corrosion, signs that the batteries are at the end of their life cycles.
  • Refurbished or used? Many dealers will sell refurbished golf carts that have had maintenance done to ensure they are reliable. Be careful of “as-is” used carts bought from private owners; you may want to have it brought in and inspected to determine the condition by a local golf cart dealer.

Buying a used golf cart can save you money, but you want to ensure it is going to be reliable. Check with your local golf cart dealer to see if they have used models for sale that have been inspected or refurbished to protect your investment.

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

Feb
26

Protect Your Brand with Fleet Truck Washing

How much did you spend to add your logo and colors for your business to your fleet trucks? If you own a business that delivers products or services, your fleet trucks are moving billboards for your business. They can reach thousands of potential customers while out serving your existing client base, making them an excellent way to advertise. However, if the image of your brand and business is hidden under a layer of dirt and grime, you could be tarnishing your image. Make a positive impact by investing in fleet truck washing for your business.

Polish Your Brand

It doesn’t matter whether you have a pizza delivery business or plumbing is your game, if you have vehicles that represent your business, they need to be maintained. Dirt and grime are a constant occurrence on the roads, dulling the appearance of your fleet vehicles and your brand. Fleet pressure washing on a regular basis can help keep one of your best representations of your business clean and professional.

While many businesses will undergo fleet washing every few months, this is not enough to keep your vehicles pristine. Consider finding a fleet truck washing service that will regularly come and clean your vehicles, rain or shine. Ongoing maintenance on a set basis can ensure your vehicles and brand are kept clean and presentable, improving the impression you make on potential customers in your community.

Contact a local pressure washing service that offers fleet truck washing to find out about commercial contracts for routine cleaning for your vehicles. It is a wise investment in your business and brand to keep a professional image rolling down the streets of your city.

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

Feb
26

Trends in Staircase Handrails

Posted in Stairs

One of the most noticeable pieces of architecture inside a home is the staircase.  While it of course must be practical and safe, it can also make a beautiful statement about your home. And one of the most important aspects of the staircase is the handrail design and balusters. The detailing that a handrail has and the materials used in it can make all the difference, and can turn your home from builder’s basic to modern chic.

Some modern trends in handrails today is glass. Rather than using traditional spindles on the staircase, consider filling that space with clear, colored or patterned glass. It allows light to continue through the space and continues the open concept design that people want in their homes today.  A minimalistic metal top gives a place to grasp while capping that industrial look that is so sought after.

Another trend is to mix materials.  Using a traditional wooden rail with a wrought iron baluster is a timeless look. Another option is to use cabling or metal railing horizontally with a wooden rail.  Natural wood softens the industrial look of metal while still updating a space.

Color is also something to think about with staircase design. Contrasting a bright white stair with a very dark handrail, balusters and treads. Very dark browns and black are the new trend in stain and will make a traditional staircase design pop.

Whether you are having a new home built or are renovating your old home, contact a professional to help design a beautiful staircase with a unique handrail design. They add value, sophistication, and a one-of-a-kind statement to your home that won’t be duplicated in your neighborhood.

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

Jan
30

Parts of a Stair

Posted in Stairs

Staircases are a very important part of a home.  Not only can they add to a home’s beauty, their function is essential.  There are many parts of a stair to consider when having stairs installed or replaced in your home, and many codes to consider when choosing your design.

The Parts of the Stair

  • The Tread– The part of the stair that you step on. Make sure that the material chosen for the tread is durable. It will need to hold up to millions of uses and should be a comfortable width for the average foot.
  • The Stringers– the side of the staircase. These are the parts that the tread is attached to. It may be custom made or pre-cut for standard sizes. The wider the staircase, the more stringers are necessary to prevent sagging in the middle.
  • The Riser– the vertical piece that covers the space between each step. Some designs may allow for open risers, but it is important to know the code for your area.
  • The Nose– The part of the tread that overhangs the riser. Usually the nose is rounded and hangs about one inch over the previous riser.

It is important to work with a contractor that is familiar with the codes in your area as stairways have many regulations they must meet. If a staircase is not to code, it may have to be torn out wasting a lot of time and money. Talk to a reputable stair company when choosing the design and installation of your staircase for your home.

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

Jan
25

What Is Causing Your Unlevel Deck or Porch?

Have you noticed your porch or deck is no longer level with your home? This is a common problem and one that can be perplexing, especially if your home’s foundation seems to be in excellent shape and level. Understanding why these exterior structures can become unlevel can help you come up with a solution to fix the problem and prevent further issues.

Why Decks and Porches Settle Faster

Unless they were constructed poorly for the beginning, in most cases, an unlevel porch or deck is caused by settling. The footers that support the deck or porch can settle or sink, often not at the same rate on the opposing sides, creating an unlevel surface. While the house these structures are attached to may remain level, the exposure to the elements is usually why decks and porches settle quicker.

Water and soil erosion are often the culprits of settling foundations and footers. With decks and porches, there is less protection from the elements, allowing more rain and moisture to affect the soil around the footers and supports. This causes quicker settling and can lead to an unlevel structure.

Repair and Prevention

The good news is most decks and porches that are unlevel can be fixed without complete replacement. Often, an experienced foundation expert can elevate the structure to make it level again and repair deck posts that will prevent further settling. In some cases, additional supports need to be added to keep the structure level. Other prevention options include adding a roof or covering that will add more protection from the elements and looking at better drainage solutions.

If your deck or porch is unlevel, have it inspected by a foundation specialist. They can offer repair options and help with prevention methods to protect your structure.

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

Jan
25

Help! My iPad Doesn’t Hold a Charge

Posted in iPhone Repairs

When protected and maintained, an iPad can last for many years, but that is not necessarily true of the battery. Like all batteries, the iPad’s battery eventually holds less and less of a charge. If you have an iPad that barely holds a charge and needs to be plugged in to use, it is no longer living up to the mobility function that makes this device so popular. Here is what you should do if your iPad battery has lost its charging capacity.

Head to an iPad Repair Shop

The first thing to do is to find out for sure it is the battery causing the issue. Sometimes the port where you connect the charger is no longer supplying the electricity needed or there is some other issue. Many quality iPad repair shops will perform a free diagnostic on your iPad to determine what is wrong. If it is the battery, many of these shops can replace it for you.

What Does It Cost to Replace the Battery?

Cost on replacement batteries depends on the model and year of iPad you have but expect to pay more than just a few bucks. If you have an older iPad, you may want to consider your options. You may spend the money to replace the battery on your old iPad and then have something else go wrong. Some iPad repair shops will buy your device for cash, even with a bad battery, giving you money to put towards a new device instead of investing more into an obsolete model.

While it is possible to replace an iPad battery yourself, it is not always easy, and you could damage your device. It is best to bring it to a repair shop and find out your options.

Posted on behalf of Cellairis
(347) 704-2120

Jan
25

DIY Vs Professional Roofing Replacement

Posted in Roofing

Many homeowners are good with a hammer or power tools, fixing many issues on their home with DIY methods. While this can save money on minor repairs, it is important to consider the pros and cons when attempting major installation projects. The roof of a building is one of the most crucial elements for protecting the structure from moisture and weather damage. Before you consider trying to replace your roof yourself versus hiring a professional roofing contractor to save some money, consider what it may cost you in the long run.

Experience and Expertise

Unless you work for a roofing contractor or did this work in the past, it is likely that you do not have the experience and expertise that is vital to ensuring a roofing system will be properly installed to last. A small mistake can be costly and when it is your home that will be impacted, you want a professional that has the knowledge, tools and training to install your new roof right.

Warranty

Many roofing materials come with a solid warranty, but only if they are installed by a professional. Many roofs can come with 20 or 30-year warranties, even lifetime warranties on materials. Doing it yourself may save you money on your new roof now, but if you have problems down the road, you will be the one paying for repairs or replacements without a warranty.

If you want to fix a loose fence board or replace a door in your home to save money, that is great if you have the skills. But when it comes to your roof, it is worth the investment in a professional contractor for installation to ensure it is done right and guaranteed for years to come.

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

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