Contractor Tips Blog

Jun
5

4 Efficiency Factors to Consider When Choosing Windows

Windows give your home light and beauty – but you also want them to protect you from the climate outside. Whether it is a hot August day or a cold December night, the more efficient and insulated your windows are, the lower your energy costs for your home. When purchasing new windows, here are four efficiency factors to keep in mind.

  1. Double-paned. Older, single-pane windows do not have the insulative qualities of double-paned windows. The insulating factors are often trapped between these two panes, creating a barrier between the outside air and the air inside your home.
  2. Low-E. When purchasing new windows, consider the emissivity level, referred to in the industry as Low-E windows. This means a special coating has been added to the glass to create low emissivity, reflecting energy back to where it originated. This helps minimize climate-controlled air from escaping or from temperatures outside impacting air inside.
  3. Argon filled. Another efficiency factor is whether the windows are filled with argon gas. This gas helps insulate the windows and is sealed between double-paned windows. This factor improves the thermal exchange rate and also helps with other factors like sound-proofing.
  4. Energy Star rated. If you look for the Energy Star rating, this is a great way to know your new windows have efficient qualities that will help lower energy costs in your home.

Choosing efficient windows can make a big difference in how much you pay to heat and cool your home throughout the year. Talk to your local building contractor about these important efficiency factors when choosing new windows to install in your home.

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

Jun
5

What is the Difference Between a Gas and Electric Golf Cart?

Posted in Golf Carts

The main two types of golf carts are divided by their fuel or energy engine type. Electric golf carts are the standard and have been used for many decades, one of the first all-electric vehicles. Gas golf carts are a secondary option yet have become more popular for use off the golf course due to their versatility. The differences go beyond the type of engine and where you intend to use your golf cart. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to decide which is better for your needs.

How Far/Long to You Plan to Drive?

Electric golf carts are great for short distances and a limited amount of use. Since they require a battery for energy, they can only run for a limited amount of time. Quick trips around a commercial or residential property, or for a round of golf on the course, are perfect for an electric golf cart.

Gas-powered golf carts are better for longer distances and extended use. If you are heading several miles or into the woods on the street or will be using it, gas golf carts are a better option.

What is Your Budget?

Electric golf carts tend to be less expensive to buy and require less maintenance than gas golf carts. For an economical and eco-friendly option, electric may be a better choice.

Do You Want More Amenities?

Gas-powered golf carts are popular for those that want amenities similar to a car. These carts can go faster and farther, so owners also want features for comfort and convenience. If you are looking for more amenities and a custom ride for your cart, gas-powered may be best for your needs.

To learn more about the differences and benefits of both types of golf carts, visit your local dealer to compare the options.

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

Jun
5

Unique Design Options for Balusters

Posted in Stairs

The railings of a staircase offer a beautiful way to enhance the design. Regardless of the shape or material of the handrail, the balusters can be created from different wrought iron, wood or steel, with various designs to compliment the style of the home. Whether your tastes are contemporary or traditional, there are many options in balusters to stylize your staircase and home.

Classic Wood Balusters

Wood balusters have been used for centuries and still continue to be a popular option. Most often, wood balusters are paired with a wooden handrail and newels, but more and more staircases are combining different materials. The baluster design can vary, from a classic, narrow baluster with a round shape, to panels and square options, in many different varieties of wood and finishes.

Wrought Iron Balusters

More and more homes are featuring wrought iron balusters. Even if the handrails, treads and newels are wood, you will often see wrought iron used for balusters. You may see Tuscan scrolls or twisted balusters in a Sonoma style, adding a decorative touch. Of course, wrought iron can be used in entirety for the handrails and treads, as well as the balusters.

Steel or Other Metals

For modern or contemporary staircases, you can see the shine of steel or other metals emerging. Steel balusters combined with glass or other materials, with straight lines and clean angles, is another option for a new look in staircases.

Balusters, along with the other elements of customized staircases, can create a stunning focal point in your home. Discuss the options available to create a staircase that adds aesthetics to your home’s style with a talented and experienced staircase designer. You may be amazed at all the choices available to create a staircase that is unique and memorable.

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

Jun
5

Pressure Washing Service: A Property Manager’s Secret Weapon

Any property manager knows that there are hundreds of small and large tasks that must be done to keep a building and the outdoor areas maintained. From repairing plumbing and maintaining the roof to parking lot repairs and driveway cleaning, there is always something that needs to be done. One way to take several of these maintenance items off the to-do list is to hire a pressure washing service, a property manager’s secret weapon for keeping their property or properties looking beautiful and well-maintained.

Pressure Washing for Property Management

If you manage an apartment complex, several rental properties or a large commercial facility, keeping up with ongoing outdoor maintenance can be difficult. One way to keep up with the exterior cleaning and maintenance is to hire a quality pressure washing service. Even if you have your own maintenance crews for repairs and cleaning, a pressure washing service is mobile and can go wherever you need them while your crew works on other tasks. Some maintenance services to subcontract to a pressure washing service includes:

  • Exterior walls and surfaces
  • Sidewalks and pathways
  • Parking lots and driveways
  • Roofing
  • Fencing and gates
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Pool decks and patios
  • Dumpster areas
  • Vehicle fleets

Many commercial pressure washing services offer maintenance plans, helping you stay on top of your property maintenance and reducing the work for your staff. You know the job will be done right and you will not need to worry about maintaining pressure washing equipment or providing training for this specialized skill.

Make your job easier as a property manager by finding an experienced pressure washing company to become your outdoor maintenance secret weapon.

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

Jun
5

4 Safety Benefits of Bollards

It is common to see bollards around many large facilities and on roadways, but beyond restricting vehicles, what safety benefit do these protective devices serve? Bollards are not just for schools, hospitals and roadways – they are offer safety benefits for many different purposes. Small businesses, public areas and many other spaces can reap safety rewards with the installation of bollards, including these four benefits:

  1. Keeping vehicles off sidewalks and walk areas. Whether on purpose or by accident, cars and trucks can veer onto pedestrian areas and pose safety risks. Bollards physically stop vehicles from entering pedestrian areas like parks, outdoor seating areas, walkways and bike lanes, reducing the chance of death or injury.
  2. Preventing parking. Parking can be difficult to find in urban areas, leading to drivers parking in areas that are not meant for vehicles. This can cause safety issues – bollards ensure drivers do not use a walking or biking area as a parking space.
  3. Block entrance to buildings. Bollards act as fencing to keep vehicles from accidentally or purposely crashing into a building. Whether it is terrorism or a runaway vehicle, bollards keep buildings and the people in them safe.
  4. Directing traffic. Bollards help maintain safe roadways and direct traffic where it needs to go. Bollards can alert drivers of lane edges, bike lanes, drop off areas and other safety concerns, directing them to a safe driving lane.

Bollards come in all shapes and sizes for various uses. Even small businesses and organizations can benefit from using bollards for safety. To learn more about the options for bollard installation and design, contact a metal fabricator that can create custom metal bollards for improving safety.

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

Jun
5

4 Elements of Visually Inspecting a Conveyor Belt

Posted in Conveyor Belts

Ocular or visual inspections are an important part of conveyor maintenance; there are often visual clues that can alert you to a conveyor breakdown before it happens. Performing an ocular inspection should be part of routine maintenance, but you need to know what to look for during your inspection. Here are four elements of visually inspecting a conveyor belt that can ensure you stay on top of preventive maintenance.

  1. Is the belt intact? Start with the overall basics and inspect the integrity of the belt. Are the belt and joints worn, frayed or have any signs of deterioration? Look for residue, metal dust or dirty areas that could be signs of parts wearing down.
  2. Check the moving components. Look at the moving components and bed of the conveyor. Check the pulleys, spindles, rolls, bearings and sliding bed to ensure all pieces are in good condition and complete.
  3. Watch the belt movement. Without product, test the belt movement. Does the belt pull to one side or is it centered? A worn bearing can cause the belt to pull to one side – misalignment of pulleys, rolls and wheels can also pull the belt off-center. Adjust as needed to align the belt.
  4. Inspect product transportation. A conveyor belt can function fine without weight, then have issues under load. Carefully inspect the belt as it is transporting product – look for rubbing or slipping that can cause wear and malfunction.

Periodically doing self-inspections on conveyor belts can identify issues before they cause a belt breakdown that can stop production. It is also important to schedule professional maintenance and thorough inspections to replace parts as needed to extend the lifespan of your equipment and reduce emergency repairs. Just remember, preventive maintenance is always cheaper than loss of production and costly repairs.

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

May
9

Finding and Fixing the Cause of Structural Cracks

Are there stair-step cracks in your brick or a crack forming on a interior wall? Cracks on structural surfaces of your home are more than just an aesthetic issue; they often are evidence of a deeper problem. Before you decide to cover up the crack and forget it, consider what these cracks may mean and what will happen if you do not find and fix the root cause.

Why Walls and Foundations Crack

Cracks do not appear on walls or foundations without reason. It requires stress to create a crack, usually from changes in the structure. The most common reason your chimney, foundation footing or walls will crack in your home is settling or sinking of the base foundation. If one area of the foundation sinks or shifts, it put stress on the structure above it. Cracks are the first signs that structural damage is occurring. If not fixed, the structural integrity could be at risk, endangering the safety of your home.

Fixing Structural Cracks

Hiding a crack with cement or plaster without investigating the cause is a bad idea. The problem is not likely to go away and will only continue to get worse and more expensive to fix. Fixing a surface crack is like putting a bandage over a scratch on a broken arm – it will hide the visible signs but not fix the real issue underneath.

To find and fix the cause of structural cracks, you need a foundation expert to inspect your home. A professional masonry or foundation repair specialist can locate the issues and help you find a solution to protect your home from further damage.

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

May
9

Can Your Water Damaged Phone be Fixed?

Considering how much you use your cell phone, it is almost guaranteed that eventually it will come in contact with water. While a little sprinkle of rain is unlikely to damage your phone, if it lands in a pool or puddle, it may be at risk. The electronic components inside and the battery are easily damaged by water, but you can often minimize the risk of complete failure by acting fast when your cell phone is exposed to water.

Do’s and Don’t’s After Cell Phone Water Exposure

The first thing you want to do after a phone has been submerged in water is remove the battery, sim and memory card. Pat the phone dry with a soft cloth to remove excess water. Air drying with the removeable parts exposed can be the best way to mitigate any damage.

What you should not do is try to turn your phone on or push any buttons. This can push water into your phone. Also, limit moving your phone and do not try to use a hair dryer or heat to dry your phone; this can cause more damage. Wait for at least 24 hours before putting the parts back together and attempting to turn on your phone.

Fixing Water Damage

If your phone does not turn on after waiting for 24 hours, or if it turns on, but is not working correctly, bring it to a cell phone repair shop. It is possible that the phone can be fixed – it may just need a component repaired or replaced. A cell phone repair expert can determine the best options to salvage your phone, or at least the data inside, to minimize the inconvenience and cost of a cell phone water accident.

Posted on behalf of Cellairis

May
9

7 Different Styles of Staircases

Posted in Stairs

Like most design aspects of a building, staircases come in many different styles. Not only are they a functional necessity in multi-level homes and buildings, they can add an element of beauty. The traditional staircase is just the beginning when it comes to options for transitioning the levels of a structure. Here are seven of the most popular styles of staircases that can be used in a building or home design.

  1. Mission. Straight, strong lines are the basis of mission style staircases, made from wood, metal or both. Balusters are integral to the form of this basic style, which is easily customized to fit its surroundings.
  2. Rustic. Using classic materials and designs can create the organic look of a rustic staircase, bringing a earthy appeal to a building.
  3. Southwestern. The southwest has a unique architectural style, as do the staircases that blend in with these buildings.
  4. Tuscan. Elaborate and elegant, Tuscan staircases incorporate intricate ironwork railings and designs to create works of art.
  5. Modern. Glass, stainless steel and metal are the staples of modern staircases, created to offer a sleek texture and streamlined look.
  6. Craftsman. Simplicity with elegance is the basis of the craftsman-style home and the staircases inside.
  7. Traditional. In staircases, traditional style can mean simple or intricate, depending on the home or building. It matches the décor using traditional materials and structure.

Finding the right staircase style can make a substantial difference in the beauty of your home or business. To create the look you desire, finding a staircase designer that can customize a staircase that will blend with your style and enhance the beauty of your building.

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

May
9

Protect Your Roof from Ice Damage

Posted in Roofing

Winters can be rough on your roof. Colder temperatures can bring ice and snow that can cause damage to your roof. Ice dams and heavy snow can put stress on the roof, leading to leaks and other serious roof problems. When winter brings those freezing temperatures, make sure to protect your roof from ice damage that can result in costly repairs or replacement.

Preventing Roof Ice Damage

The key to protecting roofs from cold weather damage is not to allow snow or ice buildup. Snow accumulation can put hundreds of pounds of stress on a roof; it can collapse under the weight of snow. Snow melting and re-freezing can cause ice to form, which can occur under shingles and flashing, as well as create ice dams. Some prevention tips to minimize risks from snow and ice to your roof include:

  • Shovel or remove snow after each heavy snowfall
  • Keep attic well insulated and cool – warmth escaping can melt snow and create ice
  • Clear ice dams, icicles and ice in gutters
  • Watch for evidence of leaks to avoid more serious damage
  • Clean roof and gutters before the cold weather arrives

Ice and snow can cause extensive damage to shingles and flashing, allowing leaks to occur. This can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home, as well as put your home at risk for mold. Preventing roof damage from cold weather is crucial and repairing any issues quickly should also be a priority.

If there are any concerns about damage to your roof from snow or ice, make sure to schedule a professional inspection with a roofing expert. It is best to catch winter damage early and make any repairs needed to protect your roof and your home.

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

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