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Martha Fisher

Alex Graham asked:

May 14, 2014
Jul 20, 2014

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.

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Apr 17, 2014

Solar Panels are increasing in energy generation and energy storage is getting better and better.  You definitely need to make sure that your dwelling is positioned on the property to maximize benefits.  While it is way down the road, make sure to investigate the implications of what happens when the day comes to replace your shingles.  I would make sure you also have adequate insurance in the event the panels are damaged by hail, trees etc. and that you have a comprehensive maintenance program in place should you elect to have panels installed.  You may want to check with your local building code authority and see if you are able to have solar panels on your property other than on the roof if you have enough space.  Just like the VCR, solar panels are coming down in cost and going up in efficiency, so you may want to wait.  If you could have many less panels in the near future, that produce more output, that may be the best choice. Here is a link of many residential applications https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVzpL309ThhkA45xXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0YXQwZXBpBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDQxNl8x?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-745-s&sz=all&va=solar+panels+homes

Feb 24, 2014
Apr 17, 2014

Contact an established mold remediation company.  Mold can be dangerous to your health and you don't want to take any chances.  We run into mold frequently due to just the situation you have.  As seen in the picture, oftentimes the airflow from the soffit into the attic is clogged with insulation causing humidity to be trapped in the attic.  This is another contributor to mold so make sure you don't also have this situation.  We always use a certified and credentialed mold company.  This is not an area you want to cut corners.

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Apr 17, 2014

Do your homework.  You can never ask enough questions.  Take your time.  There is alot of fantastic information on the internet.  In construction, there are many ways and opinions on materials, processes and costs.  Only deal with reputable contractors.   Check their credentials, get references and ask to see work they have done.  With the last down turn in the economy, usually the good contractors are left standing, so use one that has been around for awhile.  You could also hire a construction management consulting firm.  They will know what questions to ask your contractor and can even help manage your project during the building process and confirm the project is on schedule and being executed as promised, using accepted building practices.

Feb 17, 2014
Jun 5, 2014

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. 

Apr 21, 2014
Jul 20, 2014

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.

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Jun 15, 2014

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.

Jun 22, 2014
Jun 25, 2014

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.

John Ramey asked:

Feb 18, 2014
Jun 5, 2014

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.

Mar 26, 2014
Jun 5, 2014

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.

Mark Miles asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Apr 29, 2014

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.

Feb 17, 2014
Apr 1, 2014

Make sure when you have a new roof installed that you check for the proper licenses, insurance & accreditations.  Get recent and old references.  Ask if they are going to use Gutter apron at the eaves and drip edge on the gable.  What type of ridge vent will they use?  Will it have a baffle in it to prevent wind driven snow from entering your attic?  Will they use ring-shanked nails for the ridge vent so the ridge vent nails won't back out over time?  Make sure you understand warranties and the fine print of these, especially the pro-rated portion.  Make sure to address both intake & exhaust ventilation, as well as attic ventilation as all of these properly working will dramatically extend the life of your roof and save on energy costs. A great way to educate yourself is to do searches on YouTube or you can visit our website www.croixco.com for helpful ideas and questions.  Check out our Pinterest page for other great pictures and ideas.

John Ford asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Apr 1, 2014

We always suggest clients spend some time on Pinterest first to narrow down their ideas since there are so many options available.  You don't want to discover what your budget will allow by spending endless hours confusing material selection with company selection.  Next, research online and find 3 good companies to interview, narrowing your search down to one.  It is an involved process so you have to have chemistry with the person you work with.  Make sure they will be available throughout the process, not just for the sale.  Consider all components to the kitchen: appliances, cabinetry, heating sources-gas, electric etc, flooring, flow & lighting. 

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Apr 17, 2014

Check seals on doors & windows.  Replace single pane windows with newer products.  Check the attic for insulation.  Loose fill, blown in insulation is the best.  Make sure to seal any spots where air is escaping INTO the attic first.  Also make sure your attic has both adequate intake AND exhaust ventilation.  Make sure not to clog the airflow from the soffit area and the attic space by using Baffles as seen in the picture.  Check out YouTube for other great suggestions. 

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