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What should you not do when remodeling a bathroom?

Planning a remodel

Starting your remodeling project

Any type of home improvement project can be costly, and next to the kitchen, a bathroom remodeling are the two most expensive. But the process is an investment as you enhance your home and the quality of life within your home. It also increases the long-term value of your home, whether you do the work yourself or hire professional bathroom remodeling services

Okay, we’ve introduced the cost factor, so, before we give you numbers, you’re going to ask “Is it worth remodeling a bathroom?”  and “Does remodeling a bathroom increase home value?”  We can’t give you a one-size-fits-all cost, but there are many different factors to be considered in bathroom remodeling services. The existing bathroom and surroundings, the bathroom size and the scope of work you’re looking to have done.  Still, you’re asking what’s the average cost of remodeling a bathroom? We’re going to give you some average figures, then we’ll get down to answering the questions that will get you a more accurate price range: 

  • A Midrange Bathroom Renovation will cost between $40,000  and $70,000.
  • An Upscale Bathroom Remodel will cost between $70,000 and $90,000.

Notice one is “renovation” an the other is “remodel”. What is the differences? Keep reading! 

The cost for a midrange 5×7 bathroom update, keeping with standard selections and no change to the layout will cost approximately $40,000 to $70,000. You can expect a 50% ROI should you sell your home. 

Renovating a bathroom will typically include electrical and plumbing upgrades, upgrade to designer style toilet and a quality cast iron bathtub with ceramic tile surround. 

A vanity top made of marble or other type of solid-surface with quality cabinetry with quality hardware. Shower control and fitting upgraded to all brass. New paint using a premium quality paint, or wallpaper, new flooring with ceramic or a vitreous tile material. 

An Upscale Bathroom Remodel services will include expanding a small bathroom or creating an owner’s suite to a luxurious environment. For a cost of $70,000 to $90,000, with a 56% ROI, it could include relocating plumbing fixtures, install a walk-in shower, frameless glass enclosure, and tiled walls that include a recessed shower storage with spa-styling water fixtures.

A compartmentalized commode could be created to give the toilet area more privacy and make the bathroom more comfortable. Custom cabinetry with  stone countertops with a stand-alone bathtub would be included with accent lighting and high-end flooring. In the Pennsylvania area where winters are cold, an upgrade of an electric in-floor heating to give you more coziness would be included for that price range of bathroom remodel services.

How do I plan a bathroom remodeling project? 

Here offer 10 steps that professional bathroom remodel services consider to be crucial in planning a bathroom remodel or renovation: 

  1. Measure the dimensions of the bathroom
  2. Sketch a plan of the bathroom design you have in mind
  3. Decide the colors and theme
  4. Source the new bathroom appliances, furniture, plumbing, taps, tiles, etc. 
  5. Keep a running ledger with the cost of each item and where you purchased it. Keep the receipts with this ledger for quick retrieval. 
  6. Determine what professional trades you’ll need to hire, i.e. the electrician, plumber, tile person, etc. Get 2 to 3 quotes on each. 
  7. Make provision for use of another bathroom during the remodel or renovating time. 
  8. Make provision how and where to dispose of old materials. 
  9. Confirm your budget to meet the quotes and incidentals. 
  10. Measure again. Measure twice, buy or cut once. 

What do you pick out first when remodeling a bathroom?

Your colors and theme, then the vanity, countertop, and cabinetry. This is why you need to measure and measure again so you know exactly what size you need. If you need customized cabinetry allow time, up to 10 or 12 weeks in most places. Then you want to choose your flooring and appliances, meaning the bathtub, shower, sink, toilet, etc. 

Then choose the contractors you’re going to work with, get the quotes and estimates in writing, a start date and timeline of the work to be completed. Some contractors may ask for money upfront. Most people will tell you not to pay anything, but many contactors won’t start without some good faith funds put up first. 

What are the steps in remodeling a bathroom?

The following are basic steps in how a bathroom remodel or renovation will go. Professional bathroom remodel services will have different procedures, it doesn’t mean one is right or wrong. Things can vary from house to house. 

1. Out With  the Old Bathroom Fixtures

This is considered gutting the bathroom. If you are partially or totally renovating, most or everything will need to be removed or demolished. You need to have a dumpster on hand or other plans in place for this stuff.  A bathroom remodel services company will have a dumpster usually delivered the day before they start work. You’ll need to check with your local city or government office if a permit is needed. 

How do you gut a bathroom for remodeling?

  1. Drain the toilet and use a shop vac to complete empty it then remove it.
  2. If the bathtub is being removed, cover it up and remove all the tile around it down to the bare studs. 
  3. Remove the insulation with reciprocating saw and gloves, eyewear, and masks. 
  4. Remove the cabinets, mirrors, vanities, floor tiles, baseboards, etc. Save what you can re-use, trash the rest.  

2. Install the New Shower and/or Tub 

After the bathroom, is gutter, you can being installing the new fixtures. If there is any wood rot or water damage under the old shower or tup, you need repair and replace that before you install your new appliances. 

3. Install the New Fixtures & Features

With all the old stuff out, configure the electrical fixtures, install your new lighting, including the GFCIs. 

4. Lay the New Floor Tiles

Use a chalk line to mark the perpendicular reference lines at a ninety-degree angle to the wall with the longest continuous line so that you keep the tiles straight as you lay them down. 

5. Hang New Drywall and Paint or Paper

While you have empty walls, now is the time to install any new drywall needed then paint or paper it. This can take time with the drywall having to be cut around things like the vanity, but one you’ve got it all measured & cut, it will go up fast. 

 6. Install The New Cabinetry and Vanity 

The first thing you want to install is the vanity, including the sink and faucet. Once you have the drain hooked up to the faucet, you can move on to the other essentials such as the mirror, cabinets and the trim around the shower or tub.

7. Connect the Plumbing

You’re starting to recognize a bathroom by now, except for the toilet. Install that crucial part of the bathroom now. 

8. The Finishing Touches and Wrap It Up! 

Install the finishing trim around the mirrors, crown molding, etc. This is time for all the final touches that will make this room your oasis. 

What should I ask a contractor when remodeling a bathroom?

If you decide to hire a professional that does bathroom remodel services, it is important to hire one that you’re comfortable with. You want experienced and trustworthy as much as you want budget minded. Some questions to ask as you comb through 2 or 3 of them before deciding: 

  • How long have you been provided professional bathroom remodel services?
  • Do you have formal training?
  • If not formal trained, where did you get your experience?
  • What professional associations are you a member?
  • Is your license registered with the city, state?
  • Do you have a copy of your insurance?
  • Cam you give me recent references to check?
remodeled bathroom

How can I update my old bathroom without remodeling?

Maybe your bathroom is just tired, or you’re tired of looking at?  Either way, to get it updated, replaced the faucets and fixtures, adding brighter lighting and update the paper or paint on the walls. New curtains over the window, reface the cabinetry or remove the doors and go with the wicker baskets on the shelves. Call 267-622-7158 today for your bathroom remodeling in Philadelphia, PA.

The Importance of Gutter Health

gutter along roof

What are seamless gutters?

Getting a gutter installation on your home was just the first step. The gutters will need your attention from time-to-time if they are going to do the job intended and needed. After your gutter installation is complete, you’ll want to create a regular routine of gutter maintenance and gutter repairs. 

If you have seamless gutters installed, your maintenance requirements won’t be as intense, but we’re going to talk about the maintenance and upkeep of both traditional gutters and seamless gutter installation. So if you haven’t had your gutter installation done yet, read on and you’ll see why seamless gutters are the way to go, even if they are  little more money. 

As we’ve discussed before, a gutter system that is professionally installed and properly maintained is important to the health and well-being of your home. A  gutter system removes water from your roof and sends it out and away from your home through the downspouts. This prevents water leaks and keeps the water from pooling up around the foundation of your home. 

There are two types of gutter systems available: The standard gutter system and the seamless gutter system. Let’s review the differences of the two gutter installation types: 

  • The standard gutters are the ‘old school’ that comes in pre-cut sections that must be joined together during the gutter installation. While they are easy to install, often a DIY project for the handy homeowner, they have joints and seams that require being sealed. Without being sealed, they leak, losing the intended purpose of keeping water away from the foundation. 
  • The seamless gutter system are manufactured as one long piece. This gutter installation is done by professional contractor as one long piece that wraps around your home. There are no joints or seams for possible leaking issues. 

Why seamless gutters?

When considering which type of gutter installation to get, most homeowners prefer to get the best one for the money and the purpose. So, between regular gutter installation or the seamless gutter installation, why is the seamless decidedly the best choice? Or is it? 

This will depend on your budget and your home. The seamless gutter installation will cost more at installation, but the maintenance and upkeep is little to none. A seamless gutter installation will last longer, again, because there is little to no maintenance and upkeep. 

A regular gutter system installation comes in sections that are connected together as they are installed. This creates joints and seams that can potentially have leaks, especially when maintenance and upkeep aren’t performed as recommended. 

How seamless gutters are made?

Seamless gutters are manufactured on-site using a gutter forming machine that rolls sheet metal out, forming the gutter run as the it comes through. The gutter installation is done by securing the formed gutter to the house in the same manner as sectional gutter installations are secured. 

Which gutter material is best?

Seamless gutters are available I aluminum or copper and customized to each home onsite. The conventional standard gutter installation is in sections that are pieced together and snap-in-place with connectors, creating joints and seams. It is those joints and seams that can begin to leak over time, which makes the seamless gutter installation advantages stand out even more.  What are those advantages that make a seamless gutter installation so appealing?

  • Possibility of leaks are greatly reduced.
  • The seams that can be unsightly are eliminated. 
  • The aluminum seamless gutters have baked on enamel that doesn’t require painting. 
  • They are custom made with exact measurements onsite.
  • Seamless gutter installation jobs are completed in a single day.
  • Seamless gutter installation creates a protection for your home. 
  • Seamless gutters are available in several baked on enamel colors.
gutter system with leaves

How long should gutters last?

Like anything else, the maintenance and upkeep can determine the lifespan of a gutter system, whether it is the seamless gutters or the traditional sectional gutter installation. Aluminum and galvanized steel gutters is the more common type and have an estimated lifespan of 20 years on the average. A copper gutter installation is a high-end material option with a lifespan of 50 years or more. 

In addition to being professional installed, the routine maintenance and upkeep is what will give your gutter installation a long life. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer of the gutter material for cleaning, inspection, and maintenance. Keep a record of those cleaning, inspections, and repairs, the more detailed the better. 

When the slightest of leaks starts on your gutter system, address it immediately. Like a plumbing or roof leak, the longer you let it go, the worse it will get as water can do more damage faster than we realize. Using the same contractor each time is always best and with all this information, you’ll have a better idea when you’ll need the next gutter installation job. Call 267-622-7158 today for your gutter installation in Philadelphia, PA.

Who needs a welder?

welder performing task

Welding for your home

May you do or don’t have any idea what welding and fabrication is, perhaps you aren’t interested … right now.  But then, when you least expect it, at some point in your life, welding will become a necessity, even if it isn’t something you directly request yourself. Unless you live in a house made of nothing but cloth, plastic, and wood, there is some form of welding involved. 

It is important to understand why welding is done and how it can affect our everyday lives. Welding is a process of fabrication that fuses two or more parts together using heat and/or pressure. Used most commonly on metal, welding is also done on thermoplastics and even wood, with the completed piece being referred to as a weldment.

If you aren’t sure where welding is used or how welding works, read on as we tell you about the 4 different types of welding and where welding can be done:  

  • MIG Welding: MIG welding is a form of arc welding, using a continuous electrode wire with shielding gas traveling through the welding gun which is protecting against contamination. This type of welding is common in the auto industry to repair exhaust, and in the construction industry for homes and other structures. 
  • TIG WELDING: TIG welding is also a form of ARC welding, using an electric arc made of tungsten, a tough metal that doesn’t burn off or dissolve.  This type of welding is also referred to as fusion with or without a filler metal. TIG welding requires an argon or helium external gas supply and is found in the aerospace and auto industry as well as other industries. Farmers and ranchers use TIG welding for the equipment repairs. 
  • STICK WELDING: Stick welding is excellent for portability and found in the construction and maintenance industries for fabrication and repair, including underwater pipelines.  Using a consumable, protected electrode, it softens and combines different types of metals by heating with an arc. As the stick melts, a protective cover melts and shields the welded area from oxygen and gases in the air.
  • FLUX-CORED WELDING: This type of arc welding, similar to MIG welding in the fact it also uses a continuous wire. It combines a that continuous hollow electrode wire with a base metal and the flux inside the electrode wire is fed through the weld gun to the weld pool. Flux cored welding is used on thicker metals found in the machining industry.

Okay, so where is welding services at home?  

We’ve mentioned welding in different industries, from auto to industrial machinery, aerospace, and waterlines, but where does welding appear in your home? Do you have HVAC in your home? Most of, probably 99% of that system has some type of welding. 

Look the cover you lift off to change the filter, and examine the casing the HVAC system is housed in. Those are all parts that were manufactured separately then welded together. The water heater in your home has welded parts as does the water lines running through your home. The electrical breaker box or fuse box in your home has welded parts they are made from as does your metal garage door and the screen doors on the back and front of your home. 

The ceiling fans throughout your home have welded parts put together with other parts that make these fans. Your dishwasher, refrigerator, stove/oven all have welded parts. Your lawn mower, weed eater, and other gardening and lawn tools have been welded. Each time you open, pick up, or use any metal item in your home, look for the welding. What you may see as a blue collar job is actually an important part of your everyday life. 

focused welding

Why welding is important?

Whether welding is temporary or permanent, doesn’t matter, it has an important element to our lives today.  We aren’t always aware of things where welding is an essential part of of our conveniences. Without welding metals, plastics, even wood,  many things we use day in, day out, would not exist. 

Maybe this has opened your eyes to see where this blue collar job fits into your everyday life, regardless of what your daily activities or jobs consist of, but can you do welding without a welder? Not if you needing to connect two pieces of metal and expect a strong bond. However, there are some alternatives that can work, depending on the type of project you have on hand.

Some of those other options include brazing, which is like welding. It includes taking 2 pieces of metal and using heat to connect them but is using a torch with a filler rod or flux. It does require the use of certain rods with certain metals and may require acetylene and oxygen.There is also soldering, sort of like brazing, but is typically used on circuit boards and electronics, like your HVAC thermostat, your cell phone, computer, television, etc. You can also use riveting to connect two metal pieces together. Riveting is using a cylindrical post and insert it in a hole where the head of that post goes all the way through. This is usually used on in a temporary situation. Call 267-622-7158 today for your welding needs in Philadelphia, PA.

What is the Best Coating for a Metal Roof?

metal roofing

What is the best coating for a metal roof?

There are several different types of roofing for commercial buildings, with commercial metal roofing a common choice for many building owners. There more metal roofing for commercial buildings beyond installing the roofing material though, and this isn’t what the unknowing eye doesn’t see. We’re talking about a coating over that commercial metal roofing

Congratulations on your new Commercial metal roofing! Now, your roofing contractor has suggested a coating for your metal roof, but which coating is the best? An experienced and professional commercial roofing contractor will make sure you have the best and latest information on commercial metal roofing and the various coatings available so that you can make a solid decision.

With that information, you now know that there are metal coatings that will give you optimal performance and results, like a fluid-applied commercial roof coating system. It can prolong a commercial metal roof’s longevity and when the roof coatings are done with any necessary repairs, it will make your commercial metal roofing resistant to almost every element. 

A review of commercial metal roofing coating finds several definitive options, like an acrylic metal roof coating, in different colors. The most common though is a white reflective metal roof coating, especially in areas where the summers are hot. Some of those roof coatings used are:  

  • Sta-Kool 805 Metal-X: A durable elastomeric roof coating that is  formulated for outstanding bonding strength to commercial metal roofing.  
  • Rust-oleum Metal Roof Coating: A popular choice for commercial metal roofing. 
  • Henry Elastomeric Metal Roof Coating: Provides a Dura-Bright finish.
  • Liquid Rubber Waterproof Metal Roof Coating.

It is important to have a professional commercial roofing contractor that is experienced, reputable, and trustworthy. One that knows commercial metal roofing and the different coatings available. Yes, you’re thinking to yourself, “I want a contractor that does commercial metal roofing near me and commercial metal roofing supplies near me for convenience.”, and that is important, but not as important as experience and reputation. 

Is it recommended to insulate under metal roof?

While commercial metal roofing is a durable way to roof your commercial structure, it does have a high thermal conductivity. What can be done about that? Insulate it and there are several options for commercial metal roofing insulation. Your choices in insulation are: 

Fiberglass Batting

A popular choice for all types of roofing because it is inexpensive with a range of various R-values, the thermal resistance measurement. Remember, the higher the R-value number, the better the insulating results.

However, fiberglass batting has its challenges, starting with the installation difficulties. Chapping it around corner, over rafters and wires can be difficult. Fiberglass batting insulation doesn’t offer a good vapor barrier either. Therefore, moisture doesn’t dissipate,  and it loses its R-value. Also, realizing that fiberglass batting consists of miniscule bits of glass shards that can be breathed in if it isn’t installed correctly. 

Rigid Foam Board

The more expensive choice compared to batt insulation because of higher R-values. Provide soundproofing as well as weather insulation but has its challenges as well. Like batt insulation, it doesn’t form well around corners or other tight situations.  Your commercial metal roofing must be vented and have a vapor barrier installed when using rigid foam board insulation because this is not a moisture proof insulation material. 

Spray Foam

Another option that costs more than the fiberglass batt insulation, but unlike the rigid foam board, the R-value is lower. The upside is that it will get into every corner and crack needed, providing a better coverage than the other two options. There are two forms of spray foam insulation: 

  • Closed-cell – the expensive of the two because it has better insulation powers. 
  • Open-Cell the less expensive of the two and has less R-value. 

Keep in mind whichever type of commercial metal roofing insulation you choose it will do more than minimize or stop the transfer of heat. It is also going to be somewhat soundproofing your ceiling against hail, hard rains, and high winds. As to which type of insulation is the best is all dependent on the type of structure you have and the climate it is located. 

Can I put a metal roof on top of a metal roof?

Yes, if the existing commercial metal roofing panels are not severely deteriorated. Obviously, there is a reason you’re having a new commercial metal roofing installed, or you wouldn’t be concerned about installing new over existing. However, you don’t want it so deteriorated that it can’t provide any type of support for the new commercial metal roofing. 

Can a metal roof be repaired?

Absolutely, but if commercial metal roofing repairs are not done correctly, it can cause more problems.  Like any type of roofing system, a commercial metal roofing system requires regular maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. When those repairs are done properly by a professional metal roofing contractor, they can last as long as the rest of roof. However, when they aren’t done correctly, the repair can break and fail, leaving you more problems than you had before. 

sloped metal roof

What are the different types of commercial roofs?

There are four different types of commercial roofing system that are commonly used today: 

  • Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF): An eco-friendly commercial roofing option, popular on industrial and manufacturing structures too. A liquid that is sprayed on and turns to an expanding foam that has been around since the 1960s. Has a lifespan of 50 years or longer. 
  • Single-Ply Membrane: This roofing material is a time-tested commercial roofing option that is also found on industrial and manufacturing structures. These rubber and synthetic sheets are installed and fastened to the structure ballasted, chemically adhered, or mechanically. Different types of this roofing option that can fit different budgets and needs. 
  • Metal Roofing: An old commercial roofing system that is typically a corrugated galvanized steel but also found in aluminum or tin. Lightweight makes installation easy and with the right commercial metal roofing coating, it becomes rust resistant, waterproof and UV resistant. 
  • Built-Up Roofing Systems: For more than 100 years, this commercial roofing material has been used, and known as the tar & gravel roof.  Applied in layers depending on the customer’s budget  and needs.

Call 267-622-7158 today for metal roofing system service in Philadelphia, PA.

What can you make with concrete?

concrete steps

Which is stronger cement or concrete?

Have you ever thought about concrete projects for your home? If you are looking for ways to add uniqueness to your home using a material that most people wouldn’t think about using, concrete projects are a good place to start. You can surf the internet or browse through magazine to find several quick concrete projects. t’s all about what you’re looking for and of course, your budget and time.

Before we answer questions and talk about ideas for concrete projects, let’s discuss the variance between cement and concrete. First, even though the words are frequently interchanged,  the differences between the two are massive and  important, with concrete being the stronger of the two. 

Concrete is made from a combination of aggregates and paste. The paste is made from Portland cement and water and is used to coat the surface of the aggregates. The aggregates are made of both fine and large size rocks. This makes a good material for driveways, foundations, and roadways because of its strength. 

Cement is a durable product, but not with the same strength of concrete. Cement is made from calcium and silica-rich materials, which is prone to crack under pressure. It is an ideal material for decorative, smaller concrete projects but not for projects like driveways, foundations, or roadways where there is heavy foot or vehicle traffic, nor is good for supporting a structure like a house.  

In some cases, rebar is used for strengthening concrete projects that are more than five inches deep, like buildings, driveways, and roads. For a non-commercial or public use, rebar may not be required but if you want to give your concrete project. More reinforcement, there is a wire mesh available. 

What are some good projects to do?

 The sky is the limit when it comes to different concrete projects home ideas. You can create industrial and modern designs or go with a rustic and timeless look. Some cement or concrete projects and ideas to consider: 

  • Pathways and walkways around your home, through the gardens and from the house to the she-shed, garage, or pool house.
  • Create a unique pool deck.
  • Planters for the garden, the front porch, and back deck.
  • Edging for the garden and walkways.
  • Volitive candle holders for the deck using red plastic cups for the mold.
  • iPad holder on the deck or by the pool using a movie popcorn box for the mold.
  • Pendant lighting using two-liter soda bottles for the mold.

Is it easy to make concrete? and How do you make concrete by hand?

If you’re concerned about making your own concrete,  there is pre-mix bags available at any home improvement store but making your own can add to the sense of accomplishment. With the following steps, you’re on your way to home DIY projects that will be with you for years to come: 

  • Crush the limestone into 3-inch pieces or you can purchase it already crushed. 
  • Pour the crushed limestone in a kiln and heat to 2,700°F. 
  • Remove limestone from kiln and after it cools, with rubber gloves on, crumble up the heated limestone. 
  • With a shovel, mix cement and all-purpose sand in even parts in a wheelbarrow.
  • Add 4 parts crushed brick or gravel to the mixture.
  • Add water slowly to the dry ingredients in a 5-gallon bucket. 
  • Using your shovel, mix the ingredients thoroughly. 
  • Wash your mixing tools and wheelbarrow with water house

Regardless of which type of concrete you choose, making your own or mixing it together, the process is easy when you have the proper materials and tools.

concrete brick deck

Is concrete waterproof?

If you’re considering concrete projects for the garden, think again. Concrete becomes a porous material during drying, so no, it isn’t waterproof. The porous material will seep water, staining the concrete. As water seeps in, it starts to wear away the concrete and large pockets of water collect, causing more damage. 

As water soaks into the concrete, it begins to wear away the concrete material, forming large pockets where the water collects, further damaging the concrete project. Water seeping into concrete can also cause staining over time on the surface of your concrete, and it can infiltrate your building and cause significant damage.

Fortunately, products are available on the market that lessens the porousness of the concrete. Some are mixed while the concrete is pouring, and some are applied to the surface. There are specialty concrete coatings that protect the surface from staining and make it UV resistant. 

For those outdoor concrete projects that will be exposed to elements, there are waterproof products. These concrete projects such as sidewalks or exteriors of building to keep them and the curb appeal looking good. If your concrete projects are below the ground surface, it is recommended to hire a professional to waterproof. Call 267-622-7158 today for your concrete project needs in Philadelphia, PA.

What is slate roofing made of?

slate roofing tiles

Is Slate hard or soft rock?

Slate is a homogeneous rock of fine-grain that derives from clay and volcanic has that as composed into shale sediment. It is Jamestown Virginia where archeological digs haves unearthed roofing slate, estimated between 1625-1650 and 1640-1670 and slate roofs were found on homes. However, slate quarrying did not become common until the last part of the 19th century.

Minerals and rocks are measured on the Mohs scale between a range from one, the softest, to ten, the hardest.  Slate rock is in the middle of those ranks at 5.5, making it hard enough to scratch glass or steel.  So, with that in mind, it is easy to see why slate roofs are popular. 

What are the benefits of a slate roof?

Slate is not a roofing material that most people think to have quoted for their home. Why? Because of the cost. Why pay so much for a slate roof when you can have an asphalt roof for a fraction of the price?  Because it is the only roof you’ll ever need!  Other benefits of  slate roofs are: 

  • Aesthetics: The beauty of a slate roof will draw a homeowner’s attention. It is a gorgeous material and the perfect touch for many architectural style homes. It comes in gray, green and red  with different thicknesses, and widths.
  • Durability: Slate is a natural occurring stone, so a slate roof is going to be exceptionally durable and unaffected by weather events and extremes, including high temperatures, high winds,  or even hail. It is a fire-resistant material too, a big bonus for homeowner’s insurance. 
  • Long Lifespan: A slate roof will last up to 75 years with professional slate roof installation and maintained properly.  When you have an excellent corresponding lengthy warranty, a slate roof is a perfect long-term investment for a home that you’ll spend years enjoying.  
  • Minimal Maintenance: With the superior durability and longevity that a slate roof offers, it also offers a low maintenance level.  Since it isn’t typically damaged like other roofing materials, repairs and replacements are few and far between, if every! Mildew and mold resistant is a big plus. 
  • Home Value Increase: Even if the house you install a slate roof isn’t in your forever plan, a slate roof is a great value add to any house. Prospective buyers will appreciate the longevity of the slate roof knowing they won’t have to replace the roof in 10-15 years. 

How do you maintain a slate roof?

 There isn’t much to slate roof details for regular maintenance.  Keeping the gutter system cleaned twice a year is the most prominent thing you need to follow, but that is with any roofing material. Should a slate tile become damaged, replace it immediately and every 5 years, have it professionally inspected.

slate tile roof

How long does a slate roof last?

The average lifespan of  slate roof or tiles can be between 40 years and 75 years. Factors that help determine this is a professional installation by experienced contractor and the quarry the slate comes from can make a difference. Some slate roofs have been around over 100 years. A slate roof is one of roofing material option that won’t require you to have it replaced every 15 to twenty years like asphalt shingle roofing. 

Slate roof is available in two basic types: Hard Slate and Soft Slate. Hard slate is the most reliable and strongest of the two, as the name would imply. It is fire resistant and weather resistant, doesn’t absorb water so there isn’t any concern of it warping. The soft slate roof isn’t as durable but has the overall composition to give you a life expectancy between 50 years and 125 years. It is as fire resistant and weather resistant as a hard slate roof. 

A slate roof structure requires minimal care and maintenance, one of the selling points of a slate roof. So, you buy a house with a slate roof, then you notice some issues. Can you patch a slate roof? First, we want to advise you against doing any repair to a slate roof as a DIY project.  Repairing a slate roof is not easy and without having the experience and knowledge, you could do more damage than good, not to mention the risks involved. 

If possible, have the same roofing contractor that installed the slate roof do the repairs.  Getting the matching type of slate is important for appearance and fitting purposes. Even better, if the slate repair material is from the same quarry as the original slate due to color and durability. While the repairs may be costly, know that this is a beautiful investment to your home and the ROI is great for your enjoyment and knowing that your home has that unique beauty is worth the expense. Looking for slate roofing in Philadelphia, PA? Call 267-622-7158 today!

How do you update an old kitchen?

clean white sink in kitchen

Are you tired of your kitchen?

It has aged well and served its purpose. However, a facelift and update wouldn’t hurt. Kitchen remodeling is one of the biggest things going for homeowners today and for two good reasons: 

  1. Comfort and convenience for you while you live there
  2. When you’re ready to sell, you’ll see a big ROI 

If you’ve never done a kitchen remodeling yourself or had one done, then it can feel like an ominous challenge. With all the online kitchen remodel and design information today, it is easier than you’re thinking. Many big box home improvement stores offer classes, and the personnel in that department are experienced and trained. They are there for help, so ask away!  To get you started, we’ve pulled up some FAQs and provided answers that can help.

When remodeling your kitchen do you do the floors first?

Generally, installing the hardwood floors first is the basic rule if you do a complete kitchen remodeling that includes replacing the cabinets. You need to think through the entire process and discuss your pans with a cabinet specialist and a flooring specialist. If you find one person that specializes in both, awesome! Why is it better to install the flooring first? 

  1. Heights: Standard cabinet height is thirty-six inches above the floor, the same height as the appliances.    
  2. Flexibility:  The cabinetry style won’t last as long as the hardwood flooring style, and they will need to be repaired or replaced over the years. With hardwood throughout, you have the flexibility to change the cabinetry footprint or move the appliances.  
  3. Clean:  You’ll have a cleaner look when you install the hardwood floors first because quarter round won’t be needed as the hardwood flooring flows smoothly under the cabinets.
  4. Safer:  With the flooring done first, you’ll avoid accidentally nicking or staining the cabinetry while installing the flooring and other kitchen remodeling activity.  

What is the cheapest way to update a kitchen?      

If you’re not totally in love with your kitchen, but your shoe-string budget can’t afford a total kitchen remodeling, we have a few ideas to share with you that are easy and, best of all, kitchen remodel for cheap! Mix and match the following, or do them all: 

  1. Get Artsy: Fill that blank wall, the empty space above cabinets, or empty counter space, a piece of random art will give your kitchen a new look in a subtle way. 
  2. Rug It: Even with good flooring in place, a rug will add color and give your feet a little cushion.
  3. Paint It: No, not the whole kitchen, just a little something. Maybe there is that weird little bump out in the wall, or the wall behind the vent-a-hood. 
  4. Paper It: Same with the paint feature, wallpaper can do the same thing and with the peel-and-stick options in wallpaper today, it is so much easier than it used to be. 
  5. Light It Up: No need to worry with hardwiring, a unique table lamp on the cabinets can give a kitchen that warm glow. 
  6. Bar Stool Swap: Swap out the bar stools around your kitchen island or recover the cushions on the current bar stools.
  7. Add Colorful Appliance: Coffee makers, toasters, mixers, all come in bright colors today are equivalent to throw pillows on the sofa, even a brightly colored tea kettle.
  8. Window Treatments: Maybe it is time to update your kitchen curtains? 
  9. Splash with New Backsplash: Thanks to the peel-and-stick process, you can add backsplash easily and fast with no grout! 
  10. Shelf It: Maybe open shelving in the kitchen isn’t your thing, but what kitchen couldn’t use more shelving for storage?! 

How can I update my kitchen without replacing cabinets?

The kitchen is the focal of the home today, so it is used a lot. It can get dated and worn after a few years, but kitchen remodeling isn’t in everyone’s budget. What can you do to update your kitchen without a fortune? 

  • Paint the cabinets and/or walls
  • Replace the appliances
  • Replace the cabinet hardware, countertop, faucet or sink
  • Add pendant lighting

Can a kitchen remodel be a tax write off?

Yes and no. In general, repairs are not tax-deductible, like repairing plumbing under a leaking sink. If the property is your personal residence, then kitchen remodeling is not tax-deductible. 

Here are tax deductions you take on kitchen remodeling: 

  • If a part of home is used for business, it may be a qualified for a home office deduction. However, unless that business is kitchen related, a kitchen remodeling is not going to be deductible. 
  • Home improvements are tax deductible if you’re making them to sell your home and they add value to the property. 
brown kitchen with marble counters

What are kitchen trends for 2020?

Kitchen and Bath shows for 2020 had a lot to share for the trends this year, but we don’t have room to list it all. Here are 5 that we found the most interesting: 

  • Calacatta Marble: If you’re a marble person, you probably know this is the cousin to Carrara Marble. Why is it trending? The veining is more pronounced and gives the kitchen a graphic bold appeal in cool and warm tones. 
  • The Unconventional: Out-of-the-ordinary is going to keep on from the 2010s, even more so! Brass sheets on the backsplash and countertops with  leather-wrapped cabinets. Yup – that unconventional!
  • Simple and Sleek: Simplicity says it all! 
  • Cantina for the Dog: 2020 will be the of the fur babies in the kitchen. They just want to eat with us, but they make as much mess as a toddler in a highchair. Turn a kitchen cabinet into an alcove where they can and contain their mess too. 
  • Green: It is all about environmentally friendly green is smart and the color green goes with any kitchen scheme. 

Is it worth doing a kitchen renovation?

The rule of thumb is to spend no more than two percent of the property value for kitchen remodeling or other big-ticket rooms like the bathrooms. However, it would help if you spent enough to get the max in results. Instead of a high-end renovation, average kitchen remodeling will pay off. Call 267-622-7158 today for kitchen renovation in Philadelphia, PA.

What is the Purpose of Roof Flashing?


Is roof flashing necessary?

To understand the purpose of roof flashing, you need to know what is roof flashing and why do you need roof flashing at all. Roof flashing is the unsung hero of roofing. This thin metal material, usually galvanized steel, is installed by professional roofers to direct water away from crucial areas of a roof. 

For example where the roof plane and a vertical surface meet, like a dormer or wall. Roof flashing is also found installed around roof features, such as chimneys, skylights, and vents. These are areas that are critical to prevent water from seeping in around them intrusions. 

Installing a new roof is a foremost and important investment financially. So, when you do this, you should want the roofing contractor to give you the best job possible that will protect your home and the roof’s integrity. This is what roof flashing does by preventing water from penetrating past the roofing material to the decking and on into the attic. 

In comparison of a new roof, roof flashing is comparatively the inexpensive part of this project and will have the largest ROI when it comes to the roof’s integrity. If your current roof is missing any flashing, or the roof flashing is bent or loose, it is worth  the minimal expense of having a professional contractor repair or replace it as soon as possible. Yes – roof flashing is that important and necessary. 

What does roof flashing look like?

For all the protection that roof flashing provides your roof, it is the simplest material: A  thin metal strip that comes on a roll. It is moisture resistant, mold resistant, and can be made from any type of metal so that it blends with any type of roofing material like aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, or lead.

What are the different types of roof flashing?

Water is the biggest enemy of roofs and roof flashing is the defender. It works with the shingles in preventing roof leaks. However, not all roof flashing is the same, but each one has a critical role in preventing water penetration. The four most common roof flashing types are: 

  • The Drip Edge Roof Flashing – this is installed along the roof’s edge to keep the water from overfilling the gutter system and pushing up under the shingles. Without this roof flashing, your fascia board will mold and rot, then the roof decking will be next.
  • The Valley Roof Flashing – the roof decking then the underlayment are installed, this roof flashing is next and then the asphalt shingles. Valleys are where two sections of different angle roofing meets.  Without this roof flashing, the shingle will rot quickly in the valleys and if not installed correctly, nailed along the edges followed by roof cement, then it won’t do the job it is meant to do. 
  • Vent Pipe Roof Flashing – this is special roof flashing that fits over pipes and vents that protrude the roof. It has a flange on the bottom, allowing the cylindrical shape to fit flat with the roof. Pipes and vents that protrude the roof surface are a critical weak point and when left unprotected, you can expect leaks around these areas. 
  • Step Roof Flashing – a chimney and skylights need this roof flashing around the base of it to keep water flowing past.  

Depending on a house shape and features, all of these roof flashing types may be needed. 

Does flashing go over or under shingles?

Knowing how to install roof flashing is critical in it performing as needed to protect the roof. It is a uncomplicated process to install on roof edges, however, the counter flashing or step-type roof flashing have different techniques. 

Step roof flashing is layered with the shingles, allowing the water to pour down each step as it goes down the roof. Counter-flashing involves two pieces of roof flashing with one being the base piece around the base of the chimney. Then the second piece is embedded into the chimney’s masonry.

flashing around edge of shingles

What is the best roof flashing material?

Aluminum – an inexpensive roof flashing material that is durable and versatile, suitable for various locations where flashing is necessary, including the chimney base, the valleys, and at the walls or  step-up areas. 

You should always have an experienced roofing contractor install, repair, or replace your roof flashing. An experienced contractor that provides roof flashing installation and repair may take short cuts that can end up costing you more money in the long run, especially if it forfeits your roofing material warranty.

Your home is a major investment for you and the roof is a part of that investment. If the roofing and flashing seem expensive, imagine the cost of having mold remediation performed. From loose or missing flashing, mildew, mold, and rot aren’t going to be far behind. For all of your roof flashing needs in Philadelphia, PA, call 267-622-7158.

How to Repair Stucco

completed stucco

Quality Exterior Solutions

What is stucco? Stucco is a popular exterior siding for houses in many parts of the country, typically the Southwest, but it is found in other parts of the country today. The combination of lime, Portland Cement, sand, and water makes an acrylic-polymer finish that contracts and expands with the temperature. Because it goes with the temperature, the need for stucco repair is minimal, although sometimes still necessary. It is the occasional need for stucco repair that we are going to discuss here. 

How long does stucco last?

There is an acrylic-polymer finish on most exterior stucco sidings. It contracts and expands with the weather, which is one reason it is a popular choice among homeowners. There are minimal cracks, it has a lifespan of fifty years or longer, and when it does crack, stucco repairs are easy. 

Because of the application of stucco, and the material it is made from, it is an excellent insulator of both cold and warm air.  A stucco exterior is comfortable and inexpensively maintain, keeps the temperature constant inside your home regardless of the outdoor temperature, making in a tremendous energy-efficient material for homes everywhere. These are the reasons why you’ll find stucco in regions where the summer temperatures are extreme, like in the Southwest. 

From the design perspective, stucco has a finish that is hard to beat because the southwest look is popular today, for exterior and interior everywhere. A smooth and traditional look, stucco can be made to match any color by adding color to cement coats as it is being applied to the house. Many homes have artistic designs carved in exterior coatings or mosaics and murals to give a home a unique look. With these features and the ease of stucco repair when it does have cracks, it explains the popularity of this material.

stucco repair

Is it normal for stucco to crack?

It can be considered as a combination of a good thing and a bad thing, stucco cracks. While stucco repair is easy to do, most people that have a home with stucco siding know that cracks are common and a way of life that you accept. 

However, it is helpful to understand how stucco cracks come about, the different type of cracks, and when stucco repair is necessary:  

The Types of Cracks

Different factors cause various types of stucco cracks. The following will help you identify the signs of stucco damage your home may have: 

  • Hairline Crack:  A very thin crack that is approximately one-sixteenth of an inch or smaller and is the most common stucco crack, especially is newer homes. This crack is from settling and shifting after or during construction.
  • Foam Trim Crack: Stucco has a foam trim, which can crack sometimes, and usually indicates that fiberglass mesh tape was not used during the foam trim installation. So, when the stucco contracts and expands, the foam trim allows the stucco around those areas to crack. 
  • Spider Crack: As the name indicates, this stucco cracking resembles a spider web. This type of crack indicates the stucco wasn’t adequately cured usually because it had too much water in the mixture, the stucco dried too fast, or it was applied in a temperature setting that wasn’t stucco friendly. 
  • Pattern Crack: You may notice pattern cracking on your stucco walls, something of a horizontal, vertical pattern cracking. This type of cracking indicates the lath was installed incorrectly and isn’t nailed on to the wood frame properly. You will continue to have pattern cracking because there is no fix for this other than multiple stucco repair jobs. Fortunately, these cracks and repair go with the stucco appearance.
  • Diagonal Crack A diagonal crack is found around the doors and windows and are caused by seismic foundation changes and shifting. You should perform stucco repair on the wider cracks immediately

How do you repair stucco?

You may be surprised at the ease of stucco repair how to be using the following methodology for stucco repair options. The type of crack will make a difference in how much work is needed. For example, a hairline crack stucco repair is a matter of filling it in to prevent the crack spreading more. Many different products on the market can be used for this type of stucco repair. However, a diagonal crack or patterned crack stucco repair often requires more work or call in experts for a professional stucco repair job. 

To do your stucco repair job, follow these steps: 

  • Use an acrylic caulk for filling gaps. 
  • Widen the crack to a quarter of an inch width.
  • Clean the crack with a wire brush to remove any debris.
  • Using a caulk gun and the mixture of acrylic caulk, fill in the crack
  • Allow the caulk a 24 hour cure period.
  • Use water-based paint to cover the stucco repair job. 

How do you fix crumbling stucco?

When you notice a sizable patch of stucco is bulging, crumbling, or loose, this doesn’t mean your house is falling apart. This is a type of stucco repair that you can do yourself by cleaning the crumbling, defective material, and expose the lath underneath. 

If the lath is rusted, remove it, and any torn building paper underneath the lath. You’ll replace that with new paper nailed on top of the wood sheathing. Use large head galvanized nails or rust-resistant staples. Next, cut a section of metal lath that will fit the area that needs repair and affix it with galvanized nails so that there isn’t a reaction with the cement. 

Either holding the lath out or use two-headed nails to create a quarter-inch of space between the lath and paper 10 to 12 inches from each other.

Now, create a mixture of mortar cement, sand, and water to create a doable mix that isn’t too thick or to thin, a pliable consistency that trowels easily and holds its shape when piled on without sagging. You don’t want it too dry and stiff, or it will crumble again.

Apply the first coat by troweling it on top of the wire mesh so that it is completely embedded and bring the stucco on a piece of metal or wood to the area the stucco repair is being done. Using a trowel, scoop up a good amount and starting at the bottom, apply with a pressure that will force the mortar into the mesh openings. Keep building this coat up until it is ½ inch thick, and the lath is covered. 

After it has reached a set texture, crisscross stroke the surface with a scrap metal piece that has ragged edges. As this coat dries over the new few days, spray a fine mist over it to get proper curing. Then wet the surface and apply the second coat in the same process as described above. This will need to set up to 7 days, still keeping it moist for the first three days. Now apply the final coat by troweling on ta smooth surface that is marginally higher than the surrounding area and let it become stiff before putting a texture on the stucco. 

How do you know if your stucco is bad?

If you notice any of the following things on your stucco cover, call a professional to inspect and advise you what should be done: 

  • Heavy stains
  • Thin cracking
  • Long cracking
  • Stucco wall finish bulges
  • Stucco missing
stucco repair

Closing Words

The great thing about stucco is that almost anyone can do stucco repair and installation! With a little researching and studying, thanks to the internet, stucco is one siding material that any DIY homeowner can do their stucco repair and install on any structure. 

How Do You Fix a Crumbling Chimney?

chimney repair

How Do You Fix a Crumbling Chimney?

If you have a crumbling chimney, you are certainly in need of chimney repair. If the brick is crumbling on your chimney, there are certain things that you can do to fix your chimney. In order to repoint crumbling mortar, you can use a hammer or cold chisel to remove the faulty mortar from the joints of the brick. During this process, it is important to only mix up enough mortar that will last you fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. With the bag of mortar close by, add the mortar into the empty joints. You will need to allow the mortar to dry for about an hour. It will also be important for you to consult with a professional roofer who is experienced with chimney repair. It is always best to have a permanent solution when it comes to your chimney repair.

Do Roofers Repair Chimneys?

If you are wondering whether all roofers are qualified to repair chimneys, you may be surprised at the answer. The more experienced a roofer is at repairing chimneys, the more likely it is for the job to be well-done. That is why it is important for homeowners to be very thorough when vetting a chimney repair company or a roof repair company. If the damage is dramatic enough, a roofer may recommend a chimney repair specialist for the task.

Why Does Chimney Leak When it Rains?

If your chimney is leaking while it rains, you’re likely looking for a few answers as to why. Here is a list of reasons why your chimney is leaking when it rains.

  • The chimney cap. The chimney cap is supposed to protect the top of your flue from water intrusion. The chimney cap also protects your home from animals and debris. If your chimney cap is not properly fitted or broken, the flue and fireplace are vulnerable and exposed.
  • The flue pipe. If the flue pipe is too wide, water can condense and leak at a joint. Wind can also cause the vents to bend and the joints to loosen.
  • The flashing. The flashing around your chimney is critical. Water can infiltrate through any cracks in your flashing or mortar.

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Chimney Repair?

Are you wondering whether homeowners’ insurance will cover your chimney repairs? It’s certainly a viable question. Generally speaking, any chimney work like masonry repair, chimney cover replacement, or damper repair will not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. This is because normal wear and tear are seen as the homeowner’s responsibility. If the damage occurred due to storm damages or other associated coverage, the insurance company may accept the charges. In order to find out if your chimney repairs can be covered by your insurance company, it is important to consult with a qualified roof repair expert. 

Who Do You Call to Fix a Leaking Chimney?

If you are wondering who your best resource is for a leaking chimney, it is important for you to first conduct some research. One of the ways you can start your search is by asking a friend or family member for the chimney repair referral. If that proves to provide a lead, you can then call the chimney repair company or roofing company and discuss the particulars of your chimney. If you are not successful in your initial search, you can also conduct an internet search. Using relevant search terms like “chimney repair near me” you can usually drum up some good resources. It will be important to check the credentials of your final chimney repair selection.

How Repair Chimney Crown

The chimney crown is the upper-most form of the chimney. The purpose of the chimney crown is to allow smoke and fume to vent through the flue. This prevents moisture from getting inside. It is built with wire mesh that is then reinforced with cement. The wire creates the structure, and the cement provides stability and security. The lip of the crown is sloped in order to funnel moisture away from the chimney. In order to repair the chimney crown, you should first consider whether replacing it is a better option. If there is damage that is more significant than a hairline crack, it’s a wise investment to move forward with a chimney crown replacement.

Is Chimney Repair Covered by Home Warranty

A builders’ warranty will usually cover such problems as cracks in a home’s foundation, poor wiring, bad plumbing, and other defects. Whether or not your chimney is damaged as a result of wear and tear or as a result of major structural issues will be clear after a proper inspection has been done.

How to Repair Chimney Flashing

Like the chimney crown, if your chimney flashing is in need of repair, it may be a better idea ultimately to replace the flashing entirely. A consultation with a professional roofer will prove useful.

chimney repair

Can I Repair Chimney Cap

If there are small hairline cracks in the chimney cap then it will be a good idea to repair it with a sealant. Sealing the cracks in the chimney crown will prevent moisture from leaking between the walls and the flue inside the chimney.

If you require chimney repair in Philadelphia, PA, the best time to call is now. Our team can be reached 267-622-7158 and would be happy to help.