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Basement Renovations

Worried About The Risks Of Asthma? How Your Roofing Replacement Company Can Help

If you or your children are constantly suffering from asthma, like 21.8 million others in the United States, there might be a hidden danger lurking somewhere in your home. This danger is mold and 4.6 million cases can be directly attributed to dampness in the home. Learn about why it’s important to have an exterior home remodeling specialist from a roofing replacement company come and inspect your roofing and your attic space to make sure your home isn’t an ideal breeding ground for mold.
What Is Asthma?
People who have asthma can have serious problems breathing. This is because the disorder causes the airways to swell, which makes it harder to intake air. An attack can happen at any time, and symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and even a blue tint to the lips or face.
It can be difficult to diagnose asthma because lungs will sound normal when there’s no attack. Because of this, many doctors will provide people who suspect they have asthma with a rescue inhaler that contains a steroid. These steroids often allow an immediate opening of the airways, which eliminates the restriction. There’s no cure, but it’s possible to treat asthma so that sufferers can live a normal life.
Why It Occurs
Different sufferers have different triggers that can cause an attack. Some of the most common triggers include animal hair or dander, dust, weather changes (normally moving from warm to cold), exercise, mold, smoke, stress and common colds. Any of these triggers can cause an attack. The key is to know which trigger you suffer from and do everything you can to avoid that trigger.
How A Roofing Replacement Company Can Help
Mold is one of the biggest triggers plaguing sufferers. Because it can grow unseen in a house, it can be one of the most dangerous triggers. Much of a home’s dampness can be attributed to a roof that’s improperly ventilated and this improper ventilation may encourage the growth of spores. But why is improper ventilation such a big problem?
When a roof is properly ventilated, air can freely circulate throughout the attic. Without it, the air can become humid and stagnant. Stagnant air can condense and the moisture in the air will eventually lead to mold growth on walls, floorboards and more.
If your house doesn’t have attic vents, a roofing replacement company should install them. These vents will pull in air that’s the same temperature as the outside, which eliminates the condensation problem that leads to mildew and spores. If you do have the vents, but they’re not doing their job, a roofing replacement company can recommend that you install fans in your attic or baffles if the problem is insulation that’s prohibiting air flow.
Contacting an exterior home remodeling company for help can eliminate the potential for mold growth in your house. If they do find mildew or spores, you’ll need to contact a remediation company after fixing the cause that led to the growth in the first place. Don’t let your family suffer in silence — you’ll find yourself breathing better and living without the fear of an asthma attack.

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Basement Renovations

Remodeling to Sell Your Home

You may be thinking about a home remodeling project, but you’re not sure you’ll spend more than a few years in your home. Don’t fret. Even in today’s economy it’s possible to remodel a house and still get a good return on your investment (ROI).
Kitchen – Today the kitchen is the center of the home and the focus of every home buyer’s attention. That makes kitchen remodeling projects the king of ROI. Realtors estimate that a good kitchen renovation can yield an 80% to 100% return on the money you invest. In today’s market, an up-to-date kitchen will also make your house sell more easily and quickly.
Bathrooms – Bathroom remodeling projects are usually second only to kitchens when it comes to ROI. Because a dated bathroom can make a whole house seem older, it’s one of the best places to invest your money. ROI for bathrooms averages 70% to 90%, but be sure to consider today’s trends. Many home buyers seek bathrooms that feel spa-like and relaxing, with little touches like multiple head showers or even steam rooms.
Windows and Siding – If you’re thinking about selling your house, consider replacing old windows or deteriorating siding, projects which can yield an ROI around 80%. Many buyers today are thinking about energy efficiency, so consider energy-efficient replacement windows. If you buy Energy Star rated windows, the government will also give you a tax break of up to $1,500.
Attics and Basements – Putting in an attic bedroom or remodeling your basement to create more usable living space can increase your quality of your bottom line. Return on investment estimates for these projects are around 75%.
Simple Fixes – Don’t just focus on big remodeling projects. If you’re planning to put your house on the market any time soon, a fresh look can be as easy as a coat of paint in a neutral color or replacing the pulls and knobs on your kitchen cabinets. Fairly superficial improvements such as replacing worn flooring or dated-looking countertops can also make your home more attractive to a buyer.

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Basement Renovations

Construction Defects Lead to Home Repairs

Most of the construction workers that work on brand-new homes, don’t realize the problems that they could be creating later for homeowners and even the home builders that they’re working for.
Construction defects eventually lead to home repairs and the biggest problem with this is the inexperienced workforce that is building homes today. The new home building process has become mechanized and workers are like robots going through the process.
Most of the labor is skilled at one specific task and if they run into a problem that they’re not familiar with, they often cover it up or leave it for another trade to deal with, only to find out that the problem was never dealt with by anyone.
Today’s homes are being built faster than ever and it seems like they can build a home twice as fast as they could 20 years ago. I don’t really know if the speed that they’re building these homes with is going to create more home repairs in the future or less, but I do know one thing, it’s never good to cover up construction defects that could eventually lead to home repairs.
Home repairs of course eventually lead to financial problems and sometimes these financial burdens turn into lawsuits. Today’s home builders have different methods of dealing with construction defects and sometimes their solutions are simple Band-Aids and don’t really fix the problem correctly.
It’s never a good idea to hire a home builder who uses inexperienced and cheap labor. Find a home builder who only uses qualified construction labor to build your house. This will prevent a lot of frustration in the future.

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Basement Renovations

Can I Really Power My Home With Wind Energy?

The Federal Tax Credits currently available in the US for upgrades for residential energy efficiency are significant enough to have many people thinking about energy efficiency remodeling. There is much discussion around the cost benefits of installing solar energy systems and even geothermal heat pump systems. But many homeowners are still asking, “Can I really power my home with wind energy?” The answer is “Yes!”
When most of us think about wind energy, we flash on images of huge turbines lined up in mid-western or off-shore wind farms. We see pictures of turbines 150 yards in diameter that sit 3000 feet above sea level. But wind technology is advancing daily. In fact, turbine design is advancing so fast that some of the wind-energy web sites are having difficulty keeping up! 
 
Many farms and other residential and industrial facilities in rural areas have been using wind turbines for years to provide all power for their needs. But as interest in powering homes with wind energy grows, new technologies are producing quieter, more attractive, turbines that can be effective at lower elevations. In fact, there are new turbine designs that can be incorporated into landscaping design around homes. 
 
The economics of wind power depend on where you live, how much wind is available on a continuous basis at what elevation, and whether you plan to invest in batteries to store excess energy. The economics of wind power also depend on whether you plan to install a stand-alone system to provide all of your energy needs or you plan to connect to the electric grid serving your area and use a wind energy system to generate power that you supply to the electric company in exchange for free energy. Either way, a small wind system could provide all of the power your home needs with wind energy. 
 
You can now purchase a wind generator from and from several other online retailers. You can also purchase complete wind systems from the manufacturer. At the very least, you can do your homework online before you start talking with a local contractor. Most states currently require that wind power systems be professionally installed by certified contractors. Before you purchase any equipment from any source, you should discuss your options and what kind of systems are working for other homeowners in your area with your contractor.
 
Choices of turbines are generally based on the amount of wind power generated by the system. This is measured in kilowatts. For example, a 1.2kW turbine produces 1200 watts. A turbine of this size installed where there is an average wind speed of 12 mph will produce about 2000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The cost of a wind system usually ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt connected to the grid. The cost could be lower for an independent system not connected to the grid. Turbines are expected to last about 20 years. 
 
In most cases, the installation cost for a 10 kilowatt residential system will be about $35,000 to $40,000. In an energy efficient home, this system could meet all energy needs, eliminating the electric bill. The amount of time needed to recover the cost would depend on current average monthly electric bill (e.g., a home using $200 of electricity per month, would recover $2,400 of the cost each year) and the available purchase incentives. The incentives would begin with the current Federal Income Tax Credit of 30% of the cost of equipment and installation or $10,500 – $12,000. Many states also offer such incentives as investment tax credits, sales tax reductions, property tax reductions, and financing assistance. Many utility companies also offer a variety of incentives, including net metering, to wind system installation.
 
In short, it is entirely possible to completely meet the energy needs of an energy efficient home with a wind power system that could be expected to pay for itself in as little as 10 to 15 years.
Copyright 2009 by ABCD Publishing

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Basement Renovations

Good Remodeling Always Starts With Good Planning

Setting priorities and thinking ahead are crucial steps to ensuring a home remodel project goes smoothly and stays within budget.
Major renovations to your living space can be stressful to say the least. Before picking up a sledgehammer or hiring a contractor, it’s important to “pre-plan” your project, holding the ideal finished product in your mind. Decide upon the look and feel of the renovated room, as well as its function and place in your life.
Even someone inexperienced in construction basics can quickly educate themselves about available products, pricing options, and even design examples. The Internet provides an unlimited source of information regarding where to start, pros and cons to materials and products, color scheme options, material comparisons, quality and pricing, referrals and references (just be sure to choose a credible source).
Perusing local home repair and supply stores can also provide you with visible examples of cabinets, flooring, appliances and more. Remember, there are many design styles, from contemporary to traditional. Take the time to look at all of the different styles available, and determine what seems the most pleasing and can fit best in your home space.
Remember, remodeling is a process that begins with an exploration of solutions, followed by the design and selections phase, and ordering all the items so they are readily available when construction begins. Understanding how the process works helps you build a realistic timeline of completion, which helps ensure all expectations are met.
Even what appears to be a simple remodel can involve many steps, from designs, drawings, selection of appliances and fixtures, city permits, construction, inspections and more. Giving yourself and your contractor enough lead-time helps running through this gauntlet easier – and keeps expenses down. Plan on at least two weeks to gather your ideas and talk with designers and contractors about the project, as well as their costs and availability.
From there, choosing a contractor and pulling off a combined vision can take anywhere from three to six weeks to nine months or more, depending on the complexity of your project. For example, if you’d like to have a new deck or patio ready for the summer, construction needs to begin by spring – but planning should start in December or January. And if you’re expecting to have a whole house renovation ready for the holiday season, or a major kitchen remodel or home addition ready by the late spring, now is the time to start the planning and selection process.
For most people considering a remodeling project, hiring a contractor who also offers a complete design/build component is often the best solution. A design/build contractor will be able to see your project through from start to finish, keeping design, engineering and budget in mind.
The biggest advantage in hiring a design/build contractor is the cost. In most cases, design/build remodelers cost less than hiring two professionals. It also minimizes the project risk for an owner and helps ensure the project will be completed within a set budget.
Another advantage of the design-build approach is the overlap of the design and production staff. With one cohesive team focusing on a project, there is less chance for miscommunication. Potential problems can be corrected earlier in the process, changes can be executed more quickly and the overall time between the design phase and the completion of your project is greatly reduced. Remember, saving time also means saving money.
Design-Build projects, while increasing in popularity nationwide over the last few years and despite the obvious consumer benefits are still outnumbered by their cumbersome cousins, the separate bid contracts. This could be partially due to the lack of qualified companies offering this service and somewhat due to a lack of consumer awareness regarding the design-build process itself. However, recent research has shown rapid growth and development in this often overlooked approach to construction and there’s little doubt in the industry that the design-build template is certain to become standard operating procedure for the majority of projects in the very near future.
Do you envy those organized people who look ahead and get their holidays planned… in summer? They seem to spend less and enjoy the holiday more! Well, homeowners who look ahead and get their 2013 projects into “preplanning” now can feel just as smart as those “Christmas in July” folks. By starting now with a good design/build contractor, you have plenty of time to map out an effective action plan!