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Home Remodeling Tips With Granite Natural Stone

Creative Ways To Use Granite During Your Remodel

remodeling home with graniteGranite is used for so many different things in today’s modern world. This is also because there are so many types of granite, although some are identified as rocks like gneiss or granite, so people may not recognize these types right away.

Granite can be used for backsplash in houses, kitchens, or bathrooms. They can also be used for slab counters with large colorful, and durable pieces. In kitchens, typically, the countertops are made from custom-cut slabs. There has been a substantial increase in demand for granite, so, contractors get the extra equipment to install them.

Many buildings are built with granite blocks. Some sides can be smoothed out of left for a rough look. Blocks of granite that are used in a windowsill and roof lines are always smoothed on all sides. Rough cut blocks are cheaper, but it depends on what look you want to have, so smoothed blocked may be the way to go.

Granite comes in so many different colors like pink, red, brown, green, black, and white. They all still look like granite but have tints in these colors. Sometimes colored granite is used in bathrooms with a specific color scheme, for example.

Crushed granite is also another form of how granite is used. It’s the most common use of granite as a subbase and base. When looking at houses from the outside, sometimes you’ll find the brick. Crushed granite can also be mixed throughout that because crushed granite is also commonly used in road construction. You may not be able to notice granite sometimes, but usually, it is there.

In homes, there is usually extra slabs leftover from your new granite countertops that suppliers do not need. You can choose to pay a little bit extra and use these additional granite slabs from things like a cutting board or shelf.

Another way is if you have a cute table but want to add some life to it, just slap on a piece of granite that is the correct dimensions, and it will look brand new. If you love the table and want a small decoration, you can use crushed granite in a bowl as a cute decoration or use crushed granite at the bottom of a vase with some flowers. Granite can also be used in gardens as garden edging. It adds a considerable amount of beauty. More than wood or stone would. Granite has a nice contrast with your flowers and plants.

Cobblestone driveways have been around for a long time. They are gorgeous and nice looking but very expensive. Concrete is more popular now because of the price, and it’s long-lasting. Cobblestone can also be used for walkways or patios.
Kitchen remodels have been consisting of granite sinks, and it is super trendy. It is a stain, scratch, and heat resistant, which makes a granite sink very durable.
Lastly, granite can be seen on a custom granite fireplace. If a fireplace is outdated or dull, a couple of slabs of granite can be installed over the existing front pieces or mantel. Granite has many more purposes and uses than many know, but it is a gorgeous eye-catching type of stone.

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Construction Defect Expert Witness

defect expert witness

If you have had a recent remodel, or roof replacement, and have roofing defects you need to consult with a professional defect expert. So much goes into remodeling a home, and with so much happening under the surface you need to consult an expert defect witness for guidance when tragedy strikes.

In a world where technology is making things easier and helping industries to become more efficient, this hasn’t translated to some areas of construction. Sadly, the number of construction defect claims are still increasing as a result of defective materials, substances, parts, and more. As competition increases and companies are put under pressure to finish projects not only quickly but in a small budget, the consequences are potentially fatal. 

Construction Defect Claims 

Over the years, we’ve seen a number of construction defect claims whether it’s poor-quality materials, problematic parts, or even an ill-considered design. If we look at materials as an example, a company might choose a cheaper product in order to come in under budget. Even though they’re purchased in good faith, the quality is lacking, and this has the potential to cause injury or even death. 

For example, a low-quality concrete mix could cause air pockets that aren’t removed during the mixing process. If an air pocket survives and then pops later, a worker or resident can get hit with debris. With a poor design, the whole building may crumble. In truth, there are a number of areas where problems can arise. In some cases, it may even be a mistake from one of the workers.

Expert Witness

When any of the above situations arise, it may lead to a claim or even a court case, and this is where we find construction defect expert witnesses. With extensive experience in the field, they understand the building process and therefore, theoretically, what went wrong in a particular case. Depending on the individual, they may have had experience as a construction worker, a contractor, or even developing structures in a major city. 

  • Materials – If materials were the issue, recreating an incident may cause problems. 
  • Parts – If parts, it may be possible to identify defects by reviewing the building after an incident or with routine inspections. 

Normally, it’s best to work backwards from the incident itself to highlight when problems arose. For the expert witness, they have a role in recreating the scene of an accident in order to find a guilty party. If there’s somebody or a business that needs to be held accountable for injuries to a worker, an expert witness will help in this journey. 

Of course, a construction defect expert witness will also focus on finding a resolution. With the opinion of somebody who knows the industry and what accounts for good practice, it may be possible to explain the cause of the incident, the reason why it occurred, and what solution is best. If the worker was injured due to an error from the company or a material that shouldn’t have been used, it might be that the expert witness suggests compensation. 

Working with Lawyers and Other Professionals

Additionally, expert witnesses may also play a role in helping lawyers and other professionals when drafting reports. With their expertise, they can explain construction methods and defects properly. In some cases, the building company may have even bought materials with defects without even realizing. In this scenario, the supplier needs to take responsibility. Therefore, they generally help get to the bottom of cases and find out who is really to blame and why. 

If required, the construction defect expert witness may then present information and details to a jury or judge; of course, this will depend on the case itself!

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Roof Repairs After Storm Damage

Dealing With Roofing Repairs After A Storm

damaged roofA partner of ours has some rental properties in Oklahoma and during tornado season they were blasted with a heavy dose of hail that damaged the roof. Depending on the state you live in, roof damage is common after a storm. Debris can fall from trees, old shingles can rip out of place, and the plywood can become damaged as a result of this.

Post-Storm cleanup brings in a lot of businesses looking to profit on roof repairs and replacement. Dealing with these guys can be a pain in the neck if you aren’t expecting the knock at your door. Basically what happens is roofing companies will send a sales team out into the field to find damaged roofs and offer a free roof replacement by navigating discussions with your insurance company. It’s legit for the most part but just becomes annoying when they all show up from out of state to make a quick buck.

Now that we got that covered, you know where I am going with this. Our partners’ rental property was blasted by hail and heavily damaged, some out of state roofers came by offering to repair the roof for the cost of the insurance claim. Again, this is legitimate but they were dealing with the renter, not the homeowner. The renters deferred them to the homeowner and proceeded to hassle him until he responded. He opted out of working with them and went with a roofing contractor in Oklahoma City that had a good reputation locally and was able to do it for less than claim.

The lessons here is to be cautious, always ask questions, and don’t take the first bid that gets presented to you. From roof repairs, siding repair,  to interior remodeling and solar upgrades, you need to get multiple quotes for your roof before agreeing to the terms of any contracts. Saving money while getting your roof repaired is an added bonus, pocketing some of the insurance money should be a priority for you when it’s time to repair the damaged roof.

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Converting Old Homes Into rental Properties

Turning Old Homes Into Rental Properties

remodeling homes for rentalNot all Realestate deals are turn-key solutions where you can buy and flip within the same month. Some properties require a lot of attention before they can be rented or occupied. There is money to be made in buying rundown homes, fixing them up, and wither flipping them or turning them into rental properties. With that in mind, some new to the process may want to know how that’s done exactly and here are a few basic steps to get you going in the right direction with real estate investments and property rentals.

First, make sure you have the capital to afford the property if you are paying cash, or the credit to acquire a loan that will get you into the property. Getting financed for a rundown property can be difficult if the lender wants to play hard-ball. Aside from the purchase, you will need cash to fix the property up. If you are a hands-on property owner, then you may be doing the labor yourself, if not, you will need to hire someone that can come in and fix the place up. Consider labor, supplies, and dumpster hauling as potential expenses. Again, these are basic steps, those costs can get far greater depending on the condition of the home.

Once the interior is cleaned up and the home is ready to be occupied, you should give some attention to the exterior of the home. Curb appeal will do wonders when trying to get the property rented out. Hire a landscaper to clean up the yard, refresh the paint if necessary, and trim any overgrown trees and shrubs. This will increase the appeal of the home, increase property value, and make your neighbors happy.

Now, let’s assume you the interior and exterior of the home is ready for occupancy, what now? There are various websites not eh internet that will allow you to list your home for rent for a small fee. Another option is to find a local realtor that specializes in this. We would suggest finding an experienced realtor that you can team up with for the long haul. This individual should be able to help you find rental properties to purchase, rent, and sell. This will make the buying, selling, and rental process much easier for you. Depending on the fees involved, the agent may also screen the renters for you, making sure they have a good rental history, credit score, and will respect and maintain your property fr the duration of their occupancy.

If you are a hands-on property owner and you don’t mind being Mr. fix it every time something goes out, then you can manage the properties yourself. However, if you don’t have time to fix a leak, replace a water heater, or update an outdated appliance, hiring a property management company to facilitate that for you is highly recommended. There are property management companies all over the country that specialize in managing commercial and residential properties for homeowners ad business owners looking to remove themselves from the tedious tasks involved with the management process.

Let’s summarize this for easy reading.

1. Get qualified for a loan before you begin searching for a property.

2. Find an experienced realtor to help buy, sell, and rent the property.

3. Find a general contractor for any necessary renovations prior to rental.

4. Find a landscaping company to improve the curb appeal of the property.

5. Hire a property management company to manage the home and the tenants.

Real estate investments are very lucrative, having all your needs in order before diving into this will make your life so much easier. Another suggestion is to find online resources to help you figure this out. Try searching for advice in your local area for the purchase and sale of real estate. There may be a real estate guru in your local area that has the experience to help you make this an investment opportunity that will be lucrative for years to come.

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Remodeling Trends For The Kitchen And Bathroom

If you’re looking to update your home, there are some wonderful trends sweeping the nation right now. Whether you want to focus on the kitchen or the bathroom, we’ve compiled some of the more popular ideas below!

Bathroom Remodeling Tips:

remodeled bathroom

• One Material (Bathroom)

For those old enough to have lived through the 1980s, this is a trend you’ll probably recognize. From floor to ceiling, the idea is that you use just one material for everything. While the most popular option is tile, there could also be a potential for custom concrete, plaster, fabricated natural stone, and other materials.

Offering simplicity and uniformity, this change can have quite the impact.

• Statement Mirrors (Bathroom)

Of course, there’s nothing new about having mirrors in the bathroom. However, standard mirrors are no longer enough. In 2019 and beyond, it seems we can bring out a playful and rule-breaking side with a fancy mirror. While the rest of the room conforms to the straight-line design, a wacky mirror of an unusual shape can add a new lease of life.

For those on a small budget, this is a fantastic trend because it won’t break the bank.

• Freestanding Tubs (Bathroom)

As the world focuses more on self-care and designing a home that suits their needs, it seems there’s a movement back towards the classic freestanding tub. Is this because walk-in showers have dominated in recent years? Perhaps homeowners are craving a good soak at the end of a long, hard week? Whatever the reason, this is quickly becoming a favorite for bathroom remodeling projects.

Kitchen Remodeling Tips:

kitchen remodeling ideas• Smart Technology (Kitchen)

Technology has taken over the world, and our kitchens haven’t escaped this change. These days, more and more people are investing in smart technology for the kitchen and it’s something you’ll see everywhere while looking online and in stores.

When remodeling, you’ll have an opportunity to integrate smart technology with everything from your lighting to the faucets and the fridge. For example, with the faucets, you can add a motion sensor where they switch on automatically as soon as you put your hands nearby. Meanwhile, there are gadgets that start making coffee before you wake up, help with monitoring eggs, and more.

For those of you that like ice cream, consider following the lead of the Cold Stone Creamery franchise in Arizona. They have taken the craft of ice cream making to the next level with frozen granite slabs that they build their frozen concoctions upon. Quora has a great article about a DIY version of building a frozen granite surface. Using smart technology to help you cool the insulated granite slab will be necessary if you want the results that Cold Stone gets. One of the firs things you will need to do is purchase a slab of granite, after that you can hire a granite fabricator to measure your space and make the cuts. Once the cuts have been made, you are ready for installation. This may also require the help of a professional.

• Dark Cabinetry (Kitchen)

For many years, white has been the standard for kitchens. In fact, there were times that we thought this would never change. However, we’re on the cusp of a new trend and we encourage you to join. Slowly, more and more designers and manufacturers are providing sleek black cabinetry for kitchens.

What we love about this trend is that it really brings character into the kitchen; rather than looking the same as every other kitchen in the country, you can go with a black theme and sprinkle pops of color about the room. With an accent piece or a marble island, it provides a focal point and also brings the black cabinets to life.

• Efficient Storage (Kitchen)

As our final trend, we have a resolution to the many storage problems that homeowners have in the kitchen. If you find yourself cramming food or pots and pans into cupboards, this is for you because it looks to utilize the space in your kitchen more effectively. With caddies for pans, drawer dividers, pull-outs, roll-out trays, and other clever designs, you make use of the available space and aren’t left having to store certain objects in other rooms (we’ve all been there!).

There are six of our favorite bathroom and kitchen remodeling trends; will you be following any this year?

Siding Used For Residential And Commercial Properties

Learn More About The Different Siding Used In Construction

wood siding on homeWhether you’re a residential property owner who is looking to quickly give your home a perfect transformation or own a commercial building where you need a type of exterior cladding that requires the least maintenance –siding is a perfect product.

Because of growing acceptance and with its increasing architectural variety the sidings can be found on the exterior of apartment buildings, homes, offices, industries, and other commercial installations.
You should look for a siding material that gives you a nice-looking finished product, protects your building’s structure and weathers well against heat and cold. This guide would help you in finding the siding product that would not only enhance the look of your building but it would also fit in your budget. There are also geographic things to consider. If you live in Arizona and your siding is exposed to direct sunlight all day, then you need to consider materials best suited for that. Washingtonians should consider siding that can handle the rain, and Oklahoma residents should consider siding that doesn’t damage easy from hail and wind storms.

Types of Sidings

There are many natural and artificial types of residential and commercial sidings from vinyl, wood to bizarre type stucco or stone veneer to suit your taste and requirements. Each type has its pros and cons so your decision must be made in a way that not only pleases you but is light on your pocket. In the picture to the left, this home really benefits from the look and feel of wood siding. Not all structures can pull that off, and multi-level homes with it don’t look as good as single level homes. If you are building your home from the ground up, choosing your siding for the first time can be an exciting experience, and even if you are remodeling your home, this can still be an exciting part of the remodeling process. When removing old siding, you will want to be sure that you do it cautiously as insects can nest behind your siding and become a hazard if provoked. This is especially true for bees and wasps.

Vinyl Sidings

Because of their lightweight and long-term monetary savings, vinyl sidings are perfect for nature lovers and green building enthusiasts. Vinyl sidings are being appreciated because of low cost, durability, ease of maintenance, and versatility. Because of its low-installation costs, most homeowners prefer vinyl siding as a solution for their exterior cladding application. They are easier to transport and are recyclable. They are heat-sensitive i.e. they expand and contract due to temperature and sunlight; thus, they are installed using deep channels that take care of their thermodynamic behavior. Although it is not as attractive as a wood siding from a distance, it resembles traditional clapboard siding.

Wood Sidings

If you need variety and versatility in the exterior look of your building, then wood sidings are a perfect eye-catching material. They give your home a perfect natural look which you can’t get from other types of sidings. You can paint and stain it in whatever color you desire.
Although it’s easier to fix and install it requires periodic maintenance depending upon the severity of weather conditions. But most of the modern engineered wooden sidings are quite durable and long-lasting when properly maintained. Wood sidings are a bit costly option than the vinyl siding.

Fiber-cement

If you need a look of a wooden siding but doesn’t want that period maintenance requirement than go for the fiber-cement siding. This type of siding is less prone to weather and are more durable if installed properly. But like wooden sides, fiber-cement sides are also a costly choice. In addition, when choosing fiber-cement as your material, you will want to consider hiring a siding contractor to remove the old siding and replace with the updated material. Unlike vinyl siding, fiber-cement and metal siding can be a little more difficult to install for beginners and DIY enthusiasts.

Metal Sidings

metal siding on homeThey are ideal for modern commercial and industrial buildings. With a variety of material, styles, and colors you can shape your business arena in a way that suits your niche. Steel and aluminum are a common type of materials that are lightweight, easy to shape and install. Steel siding has a problem of rusting so for buildings in coastal areas, it’s not a good type to go with. The aluminum type is perfect for such areas because aluminum forms a hard coating on the surface that protects the siding from degradation.

It’s time to call experts

We are reputable siding contractors with our expertise in all types of residential and commercial siding repair and installation. With our years of experience, we can dramatically transform the exterior of your home or business with our variety and diverse collection of sidings.If you’re looking to find the cheapest of sidings or the best kind of siding for your needs give us a call and our sales rep would be quite happy to help you out.

 

Additional Resources:

Best Siding Options For Your Home

DIY Siding Ideas For Your Home

Cheapest Siding Options For Your Home

Vinyl Siding Installation Manual For Your Home

Best Practices For Installing Siding On Your Home

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5 Pests That Can Destroy Your Home

5 Destructive Pests That Can Destroy Your Home

When remodeling your home you may find some unpleasant pests resting in your walls, attic, floors, or crawl spaces. It is not uncommon for homeowners to live years in their home and never notice that they are lying among nests of insects, rodents, or wild animals. Older homes that aren’t sealed properly will become vulnerable to intruders looking to shelter themselves from the outside elements during summer and winter months. Many of these pests will take up permanent residence if their invasion goes unnoticed. It’s really the last thing you want to come across when you’re tearing down a wall for a remodel as if you need another setback or expense right? Here are our Top 5 nastiest intruders that you can come across in your home. This list is mostly based on the damage they can cause.

Termites

termite control

This is the worst pest problem of all! While rodents can be gross, and annoying, they don’t destroy the structure of your home. The problem with termites is also the fact that they go completely unnoticed behind the walls of your home as they eat through the wood foundation of your home. At least you can hear mice in the walls, raccoons in the attic, and can see roaches crawling on the floors. Termites are next to impossible to notice unless they leave an obvious sign in the trees surrounding the property, the wood trim, or any other part of the structure that is wood. There are some preventative measures you can take before your remodel begins to see if you have termites. This will allow you to get it treated before you begin demolition. Find out if you have termites and create an action plan for termite treatment immediately.

Opossums

opossum removal

Opossums are like giant rats. I lived in Washington State for most of my childhood and they were always climbing the fence line, eating the dog food, or dead in the road. I probably saw as many possums in my childhood as I did squirrels. If you have never seen one up close, then you don’t know how ugly and stinky they are. They reek! They have long rat tails that they use to climb around with and they smell like dirty wet socks. While these rodents may not damage your home like a termite, you definitely don’t want them nesting in your attic. Possum-like to get into the attics of homes and nest up in the insulation. They eat almost anything, pet food, garbage, and human scraps. They take dumps big enough to smell and urinate like a cat. Having something like this roaming loose in your attic is a recipe for disaster. In my opinion, the possum is only second to the skunk on the stink-o-meter. Check your local government websites about catch and release options for rodents in your state to determine if you should catch or kill

Raccoons

raccoons infesting home attic

Coons can be nasty little bandits when they take up residence on your land. Any momma with her young near won’t hesitate to give your dog or cat a tune-up. They shamelessly dig and rummage for food in trash bins, bird feeders, and pet bowls. If there are food sources near your home and then there is an easy entry to your attic area, you can almost guarantee that these rodents will invade the space and make shelter there. Raccoons may be more aggressive in winter months as they seek shelter, if there is even the slightest opening, a pregnant momma will know and tear her way in to find a place to birth her young. Coons nesting in the attic can be dangerous to the homeowner or anyone trying to access the area, they can tear up your insulation, chew through electrical wiring, storage boxes, and contaminate the area with urine and fecal matter.

Bees

bee colony nested in home

Most homes that get infested with bee colonies at least show signs of the problem. Homeowners will hear the buzzing of bees in the wall, they will see them on occasion indoors and outdoors, and eventually, you will see where they are entering the home as they come and go. Bees don’t cause the same kind of damage as termites do, but they can be destructive, and if you are allergic to bee stings then they can be dangerous. There have been bee infestations of the thousands that have nested in the ceiling of a home and created massive nests and honeycomb. The last thing you want to do during your remodeling efforts is take a sledgehammer to a wall that has a hive of 2k bees nesting behind it. If you are mid-remodel and find you have bees then by all means hire a bee exterminator. It’s always possible to relocate the hive if you would rather, I’m sure costs increase the more you handle the colony.

Birds

mud nests

Birds can be a nasty mess, anyone with a large tree in the front of their home knows the kind of mess birds can make on your home and property. If you have a large tree in your yard, or maybe ample patio covering, you may have noticed birds nesting in and around your home. Birds will also burrow into attics and other small openings they can squeeze into. Bird droppings are a disaster, they carry disease, and are very messy. The mess they make is equally as annoying as the non-stop chirping that happens, especially when there are nests with baby birds. There are many ways to keep birds away from your rooftop, finding creative ways to keep them away before they have a chance to nest is encouraged.