Contractor Tips Blog

Jun
24

4 Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

Posted in Roofing

Most people are more conscious of how the items they use impact the environment. This includes using products that are either recyclable or made from recycled materials. When it comes to home improvements, one of the largest material items you may need to buy is a new roof. If you want to be environmentally-conscious, you will want to choose a roofing material that is either recyclable or made from recycled materials. Here are four of the best environmentally-friendly roofing options.

Wood Shingles

While chopping down trees is not necessarily environmentally-friendly, wood shingles can still be a good choice. They are recyclable and last for close to twenty years. Choose a brand that uses recycled wood for the greenest choice.

Slate

Not only are slate tile roofs beautiful, they can last up to a hundred years. Stone is always recyclable and some slate tiles used for roofing have been salvaged from other buildings, reducing impact on the environment caused by mining.

Metal

Many metal roofs can last for fifty or more years and they are recyclable. Metal roofs are a durable and cost-effective choice when looking at eco-friendly roofing options.

Clay

Insulating, beautiful and recyclable, clay tiles are a great choice for a green roof. These are most popular in the hotter climates as they reflect heat and add an air cushion to insulate the home.

If you want to be eco-conscious when buying your next roof, talk to your roofing contractor about the green options available. Even asphalt shingles come in eco-friendly varieties made from recycled materials. By making an informed decision, you can find the best roof for your needs that will have the least negative impact on the planet.

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

Jun
24

Does Your Deck Need Leveling?

Have you noticed your outdoor deck seems lopsided? Decks are supported by a system of posts that can sink and settle over time. If you deck is unlevel it may also become unstable, putting your family and guests at risk of injury. Before summer arrives and it is time to spend afternoons and evenings relaxing on your deck, it is vital to have your deck inspected and repaired.

Deck Post Leveling

Lopsided decks are often caused by settling deck posts. The some of the support posts that are on the corners and spaced throughout the perimeter can sink, allowing the deck to shift on one side. When this occurs, extra stress is put on the joints and structure of the deck. If not repaired, the deck could collapse and cause serious injuries to your family or guests.

To relevel a deck, first you need to have a foundation or concrete specialist inspect your deck posts and footings. It is likely one or more deck posts, the slab or footings have settled. Once the problem posts are identified, a solution can be recommended. Concrete leveling techniques can be used to elevate the posts back to their original position and add support to prevent future settling.

It is important to have your deck fully inspected for structural safety after you relevel the posts. You will want to ensure that the deck was not damaged and can still support the weight intended once the posts have been leveled.

An unlevel deck is more than just an eyesore; it can be a safety hazard. Make sure to call in a concrete or foundation expert to level your deck before summer to make your outdoor space safe.

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

Jun
24

Staircase Ideas for Small Spaces

Posted in Stairs

A sprawling staircase can be a beautiful feature in a large home but when space is at a premium, you want to limit the size of your staircase. Small spaces that require a staircase need creative options to climb to different levels. Here are some staircase ideas that require minimal space, offering both a functional and stylish feature to your multi-level building.

Steep, Vertical Staircase

Similar to a ladder, staircases can be created to be vertical, requiring only a few feet of area out of your room. These are very steep stairs but are functional and compact. Various materials and styles can be used to match the décor of the home or space.

Spiral Staircases

An elegant option for adding a staircase in a cramped area is the spiral staircase. Metal or wrought iron spiral staircases are popular due to the strength and versatility of these materials – glass can be used with metal to allow light to pass through. Wood can also be used for spiral stairs, but it tends to be bulkier than metal.

Floating Staircases

Stairs that are supported by the ceiling instead of the floor are floating staircases. These can leave more room underneath the stairs and create a open design for a room. Without risers or footing, floating staircases do not block vision or light, which helps make a room seem larger.

Narrow Wall Staircase

A traditional staircase that is narrow and placed against a wall can save space. The area under the stairs can be used to add a small closet, book shelves or storage space.

Staircases can be beautiful, functional and safe without taking up much space. To find the right compact staircase design for your building, contact an experienced staircase designer for customized options.

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

Jun
24

Protecting Public Safety with Custom Metal Crash Barriers

A large motor vehicle can be a danger to pedestrians when it careens out of control or is used as a weapon. In areas where there is high foot traffic or outdoor seating areas, it is vital to protect unsuspecting people from injury caused by vehicle intrusion. Crash barriers are a protective structure used to minimize risk of vehicle collisions with pedestrians in areas near main roadways. The best option is a customized metal crash barrier that can be tailored to deter vehicles from entering highly populated pedestrian areas.

What is a Crash Barrier?

Crash barriers are designed to block vehicles from entering an area. They can be made from cement, wood or metal, and can be found in many different locations. Roadside barriers can deter vehicles from exiting the roadway, especially in dangerous areas near cliffs, on sharp turns or on bridges. Crash barriers used for protecting pedestrians are often located in busy foot traffic areas near roadways. Some common buildings and spaces protected by crash barriers include:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Malls
  • Parks
  • Work or construction zones

Benefits of Customized Metal Crash Barriers

Metal is the most common material used for crash barriers due to its strength, durability and versatility. Metal fabricators can create customized metal crash barriers that are specifically designed to protect people near a building or congregating in an outdoor space. While generic barriers can be used, they may leave some spots unprotected or not meet the safety needs required. Customized metal barriers offer a higher level of protection, decreasing the chance of a vehicle entering the designated area. It is a wise investment that can minimize the risk of injury or death caused by vehicle accidents or terrorism.

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

Jun
24

How to Find the Right Discharge Hose

Many mining, agricultural and industrial manufacturing operations rely on discharge hoses. These heavy-duty hoses need to withstand heavy outflow and be resilient under a variety of temperature and pressure fluctuations. Finding the right discharge hose for your business can help reduce downtime during production caused by hose breaks or leaks. To determine the best size and material for your discharge hose, consider these factors.

Discharge Direction

To prevent kinks or blockages, it is important to have a discharge hose designed for the directional flow. Whether the hose will be horizontal or vertical can impact what hose material is best. For example, rubber hoses are more prone to kinking, which may not be ideal in horizontal applications.

Material Type

For discharging water, a variety of hoses can be used, but it is important to have materials that are mildew resistant. If the material is abrasive, you may need reinforced hosing. Corrosive materials or chemicals must also have customized hoses to prevent leaks and premature wear.

Length and Diameter

How long your hose will need to be and the diameter are both critical when choosing a discharge hose. While there are many standard sizes, often it may be best to have a hose customized for your application. Quality hose suppliers can design and produce discharge hoses of the right material, diameter and length to meet your specifications for improved performance.

To find the best discharge hose for your needs, talk to your industrial rubber or plastics supplier. Often they can design a hose that is customized for your application versus purchasing a standard hose that may not work best for your operation. A customized discharge hose may last longer and require fewer altercations, saving time and money in the long run.

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

Jun
5

How Much Will a Foundation Repair Cost?

One of the most common questions a foundation repair expert will be asked is the cost of a home foundation repair – it is also the hardest one to answer. Foundation problems can range from a small crack that can be quickly fixed to structural problems that can impact the entire home. However, there are averages that can help give you an idea of the range of cost for most foundation repairs.

Foundation Cracks

Small cracks in a home’s foundation are to be expected over time – larger cracks can lead to structural damage. Cracks over one-eighth of an inch can be a sign of a serious problem, but many cracks in foundations can be fixed for less than $1,000.

Leaking Basements

When a foundation is no longer sealed and leaking water, there are a few different options to fix the issue. Waterproofing or sealing your basement can cost $2,000-$6,000, depending on the size and what needs to be done.

Repairing Foundation Problems

When the foundation is settling or needs leveling, repairs can range from mudjacking and piering to underpinning and stabilization. These can start with small repairs that only cost $500-$1000 but can range up to $12,000 and beyond. It depends on how much of the foundation needs repair, the material of the foundation and what type of equipment and labor is required.

The only sure way to know how much a foundation repair costs is to schedule a foundation inspection with a masonry expert. A thorough inspection can narrow down the exact issue and what type of repair will be needed. This can give you the exact cost of the repair needed to fix this important structural element of your home.

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

Jun
5

Troubleshooting an Android Phone That Will Not Turn On

When you turn to your phone for answers and communication, but it is not responsive, it can send your heart into a panic. If you own a Samsung Galaxy or other type of android phone, you need to know how to troubleshoot the issue to bring it back to life. Here are a few tips to help you find the issue and restore function to your android phone.

Charge It

The most obvious answer to why a cell phone will not turn on is the battery. Even if you thought your phone was charged, plug it in for at least 15 minutes to see if it comes to life. If nothing comes on the screen when you press the power button, try charging it at a different outlet or with another charger to rule out a charging issue.

Reset the Computer

Smartphones are computers with hardware and software. Sometimes, like most computers, they can freeze and need a manual shutdown and reset to restore function. If you are sure your phone has a charge, but still will not turn on, try holding the power button for at least 10 seconds – in some cases, it may take up to 30 seconds. This should turn off the phone and reboot the system. You can also remove the battery to do this, but many android devices do not have a removeable battery.

Bring It for Diagnostic Testing

If neither of these options brings your phone back to life, make a trip to your local cell phone repair shop. Many will do free diagnostic testing to determine the problem, giving you the option to have it repaired or decide whether it is time to upgrade to a new device.

Posted on behalf of Cellairis

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

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