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Go visit the neighbors or take them to breakfast or dinner. Or, send them a letter. Bring a note pad and take any notes regarding their concerns. Explain that you take pride in your home and will be doing some remodelling. This only helps the neighborhood home values as well as theirs.
Most people have different perceptions and expectations and ways of doing things. It is great when customers research the project they would like to have completed so they can form clear expectations of what they want. Patience is another great quality in a client. As long as the contractor is professional and communicative, it is great when clients are patience in responding to unforseen delays such as weather and product availability.
Yes. It is always recommended to use an electrician. If you have vinyl siding, one important thing to do is also use Jumbo light blocks for the light to mount to. This allows for stability and a nice look.
There are new shingles on the market that are hail resistant, specifically GAF. And, Owens Corning TruDef shingles have a fantastic SureNail strip that gives them extra strength agains high winds. If you are building a home, there are extra steps, especially strapping sidewalls to rafters that can be taken. Miami-Dade Florida building department has some great ideas to this. Depending on where you live, you may face either flood/storm surge, Hail, tornadoes or snow load issues particular to your geographic location. If you go to your local building department they may be helpful.
Depending on the application, spray foam is oftentimes preferable. Closed cell spray foam, applied properly, can also help reduce or eliminate the growth of mold, as long as it doesn't exist already. Spray foam is typically more costly, but has many benefits to include an excellent R value.
Set it where you are most comfortable as that is why you have it. A good idea is to update the thermostat to a programmable version that will run the A/C mostly when you are home and according to your schedule as well as at the desire temperatures. It isn't necessarily recommended to shut off the A/C on warmer days when you are not there as it will have to struggle to catch up when you turn it back on. This would be due to the warmer air in the home and the storage of heat in the walls, ceilings, floors etc in your home.
Oftentimes the attic is the place to start. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation, both intake and exhaust. Check the soffit cavity to make sure you it isn't clogged with insulation. There are formulas for Square foot of attic in relation to ventilation. If you have a vapor barrier in the ceilling a ration of 1:300 sf is ok, otherwise about 1:150 is the rule. Second, check the insulation. All air escaping into the attic should be sealed using spray foam or other sealants. Next, depending on your geographic location, make sure you have plenty of insulation in the attic. Finally, something as simple as installing blinds over windows can be an economical solution to saving on energy costs. As recommended in some of the other answers, an energy audit or getting advice from any number of qualified professionals that are willing to visit your home is the best place to start.
Yes, they absolutely can be painted. Go to your local Home Depot, Sherwin Williams or Lowes for advice and color selection. It is best to remove the shutters first. This will probably make the job easier and you won't have to paint on a ladder if the shutters are located over one story high. Next, check on the anchoring system. If they are connected into say, a vinyl siding, you will probably wreck the plastic, ring shanked, fasteners. You can get these at the above box stores as you will need new ones to re-attach the shutters when you are done painting them. If the shutters are over brick, the removal process is a bit easier as you can simply remove the screws. If this is the case, check the mortar anchors to make sure they are still well intact. Most of all, have fun. These projects can be fun and rewarding if you start with a good plan.
It sounds like the back room of the house was really cold during the winter. One thing to consider is to insulate your house from the outside before using either type of siding. This can be done by the right contractor. Next, what type of siding do the neighbors have? While you want your home to be unique, to a point, this is something to consider. Hardie does give you a more traditional look and will allow you to change the color scheme of your home at a later point if you chooose to do so. While vinyl siding can also be an excellent choice, I would stay away from insulation backed products. To guarantee a good vapor barrier Fanfold insulation board is the better choice. It comes in different thicknesses and is installed before the siding. This allows the contractor to tape the seams and avoid gaps in the insulation. There are two things to consider using insulation board. They typically give you minimum R value for insulation versus removing the exteror cladding and insulating between the wall studs. Second, using a very thick exterior insuation board will probably require trimming out all wiindows and doors. Putting on thick insulation board will, in effect, cause the siding to significantly stick past all openings and may not give you a look that you like. Please visit http://www.croixco.com/ for more ideas and possible answers to your questions. We would also be willing to visit your home to give you some ideas and solutions. Call 847.895.8125
First have your roofer do a visual inspection for obvious areas where water could enter your home. Then, do a simple water test. Have one person look in the attic and one person in the home. Have a roofer go on the roof with a running garden hose. Have the roofer start introducing water at the lowest parts of the roof and work up. Have all 3 people on a cell phone conference line so that if water is seen coming into the attic or home the person on the roof can shut off the water.
Do research on the internet. Then, make a plan. Determine your budget. Qualify a contractor. If you are thinking about an elaborate bathroom, you may want to hire an architect. They can even help you find a contractor, especially one they may have worked with.
In addition to some of the other answers, the Better Business Bureau is another resource to use to begin your search for a contractor. Friends and family may have also had a good experience with a contractor and may be able to refer you. Make sure to use a contractor that has been in business for at least 5 years as a large percentage of contractors fail within 2 years and simply reform under a new name. Make sure the estimates you receive are as detailed as possible. While you don't want to experience prejudice because of your zip code, the cheapest bid usually should be discarded along with the highest bid. Make sure to do your research on-line. While unforseen issues usually do arise in complex projects, a good, experience contractor should forsee many of these. This will help you avoid taking the lowest bid and then paying large add-on and change order upcharges. When asking for references, it is good to get some recent ones, as well as, some from 2+ years back.
Bathrooms, depending on size and complexity, typically range from $4,000 upwards of $30,000+. It depends on many variables. Are you replacing what you have or changing the layout of your bathroom? Here are some options to consider and there is much information to gain by looking on the internet. You can install a standard tub or jet tub. If you install a jet tub, does it have an in-line heater and do you need to increase the capacity of your hot water heater? You can install flooring from the most budget conscious vinyl to in-floor heated tile. Do you want an acrylic surround in your shower space or do you want to install tile or solid surface surround? Single shower head or sidewall spray? You also have the option of Steam shower, but consider ventilation and again hot water capacity. It is wise to do your research on the internet to get ideas and even learn what questions to ask. It would be good to speak to at least 3 experienced and credentialed contractors. Make sure they have been in business and at their location for at least 5 years. You may check out our website at http://www.croixco.com/ and click on our Pinterest account in the upper right corner. Once you have entered Pinterest, look under Bathrooms to see pictures that may give you some ideas.
This should be a simple project. It depends if you are hiring a contractor or DIY. You can use pavers or poured concrete. Either way, one of the key steps is prep. Make sure you use the correct materials for drainage, rock, sand and do the proper levelling and tamping. There are many excellent ideas at Unilok (pavers) or you can even do a poured concrete patio (with colors added) and stamp it with a pattern. Check out your local BBB for a concrete contractor, or if it is DIY do some investigating on YouTube.
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