5 Basic Tips When Choosing Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

Timeless beauty, clean lines, strength and durability as well as the ease of cleaning and the classic look make hardwood flooring the perfect choice for your home.
No matter what your personal style is, there is a flooring choice for you because of the unlimited selection available. But before you rush out shopping for your hardwood flooring, keep these tips in mind.

Set a budget for yourself. Having a wide variety of flooring to choose from is great, but the downside is that it is easy to get overwhelmed quickly, and this makes you very susceptible to overspending. Remember to balance style with quality with your budget when you make your final choice.

Tip #1
You will be wise to match the room with your choice of flooring, whether hardwood or otherwise. For example, do not try to put hardwood flooring in a bathroom, due to the high levels of moisture a bathroom receives.

Tip #2
Different areas of the house demand different types of wood. For example, wood floors that have very light or very dark finishes typically do not fare well in the kitchen.

Tip #3
Choose a hardwood flooring that has an appropriate finish to match your lifestyle. A sitting room that is seldom used will let you get away with a lighter finish. However a hallway or living room will get continual traffic and requires a choice that offers a tougher finish that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

Tip #4
Consider installation – doing it yourself or having a professional installer do it for you? Many people successfully install their own flooring, but only after they have done their homework. It is often easer to hire a professional, but do you due diligence when selecting a hardwood flooring installer. You will want to be absolutely sure that it will be installed correctly.

Tip #5
Choosing the color and style of the floor can be the fun part. Choose a hardwood that fits your personal taste and your lifestyle. The comparatively high cost of the flooring and installation demands choosing a wood that will not go out of style quickly.

Flat Roofing Materials

Flat roofing

There are many resources on how to find a roof leak but, most of the time, homeowners can locate the problem themselves within minutes. After all, if your roof is leaking, who has time to run out to the store and buy a home repair book or even ask someone how to find a roof leak? A leaking roof should be repaired immediately before further damaged is caused to the structure of the roof, itself, or to the home. If a leak is left untreated, the structure will likely be damaged along with some belongings inside your home.

If you wonder how to find a roof leak, it’s not as difficult as you may imagine. Homeowners should first look inside the home for signs of water. The first, and most obvious, would be water spots, standing water or mold. If you have a wet spot on your floor, look directly above to the ceiling for any signs of leakage. Such signs may include water spots, a soft or of sagging ceiling and damp areas anywhere on the ceiling or wall. A water spot on the ceiling would generally start out small, but grow larger with a brown ring defining it’s shape. The longer this is left untreated, the larger the spot will become as the water adds weight to your ceiling.

If a leak is not immediately visible from the interior of your home, consider that the problem area may be more obvious from an outside inspection. Using a ladder or binoculars, look for visual signs of roof damage or other structural problems. If it is raining, or if the roof is still wet from a previous rain, do not walk on the roof under any circumstances. Walking on a wet roof can be especially dangerous for an individual, but also for the structure of the roof itself. During your visual search, look for any debris that may be causing problems with blocking snow or rain from flowing from the roof’s slope. If there is a large presence of ice, this is a good indicator of possible ice damage. Once the ice begins to melt, the water may travel in through the damaged area.

Bad flashings are usually the cause for a roof leak

If possible, examine flashings and the chimney area for any signs of a problem. In addition, inspect any points at which an antenna or satellite dish connects inside the home. Possibly the most obvious damage sign, during the outside inspection, would be missing or damaged shingles. If you have warped or cracked shingles or shakes, replace them immediately. If they are damaged beyond repair, they will need to be replaced completely. If you need to replace one, or several shingles, this does not necessarily mean that the entire roof will need to be replaced.

If you have experienced a storm with heavy winds, look for any signs that debris may have damaged the structure of your roof. The debris may no longer be located on your roof, but the damage that it caused will be. If you are still uncertain about how to find a roof leak, or are uncomfortable with heights or inspecting your roof in general, call a contractor for a professional evaluation. In addition, a contractor can show you exactly how to find a roof leak in the future. When inspecting your roof, take special care when climbing ladders or repairing any problems.

Hiring Roofing Contractors

Home builder

If you are looking into buying a property or a house, or you are thinking bout getting some home improvement projects for your current house you will know that the roof is a very bid issue, no one wants to move into a house that has a roof that will not survive the next winter. Changing a roof, or even making slight changes and fixing tasks for a roof, is something that can really get in the way of normal life, especially if done in winter, or on a rainy season.

So if you are interested in knowing a little more about roofing and the work, costs and ideas behind having a new roof for your house, you should research this area, and make sure that you understand and know the basic concepts before you even meet with a roofing contractor that will confuse you with dozens of terms and names you have no clue about, and above all, with a price list that will probably knock you off your feet.

Building constructors and engineers have devised additional use of roofing – that is for a stylish “capping” of the structures they erect. Nevertheless, the style would only last if the materials used would make the roof sturdy and durable.

Through time, man has devised an array of ways to deal with different materials to build roofs, each with its own strong and weak points relative to conditions of weather and area restrictions. These are what roofing contractors know best.

Roofing contractors often do three R’s in roofing:

1. Renew

Roofing contractors can be relied upon when it comes to installing new shingles. They are considered as experts in putting a new cap for a structure.

2. Repair

Roofing contractors also help to correct the problem and to make things better and safe in a building.

3. Remodel

If able to fix the damage, roofing contractors install additional scaffolds and add-ons to keep any other damage from occurring.

If you are surveying for roofing materials, contact first a roofing constructor in order to provide you with several options. Roofing constructors also need to explain the exact roofing materials you need against the materials they want to give you. Budget allocation also influences the final choice of the material to be used for roofing a structure.

As with all other contractors it is always advisable to try and find other people he worked for and see the results, or at least have a short conversation with the owners of houses this contractor made earlier work on, when you are finalizing the details try and have some kind of paper of agreement that you can both sign and that will hold the basic understandings between you and the contractor.

The Importance of Quality Roofing

Stylish roof

What’s so important about the quality of a roof? Let’s take a bit closer look at what it is we really want a roof to do. First off we want it to be sturdy, we want to make sure that it doesn’t come crashing down on our heads. We want it to be long lasting; we don’t want to replace it on any type of regular basis. We want it to keep out the weather, and elements. Some roofs are inherently designed to let the sun in at certain times and keep it out others. Regardless of what a roof is designed to do, it maintains the purpose of protecting the rest of the entire structure, regardless whether it is a residential home, or a large commercial structure. So it goes almost without saying, the roof of a structure is key in any building design. A roof is a buildings most important structural aspect. Without a good roof, one that functions in a manner compliant to the over all building design and functionality, everything in that structure would be left at the mercy of the fury of nature. To have a grand and beautiful building will eventually lead to unwanted circumstances without a properly constructed and maintained roof.

We construct buildings and homes to keep us and “things” safe from the elements. Imagine the Smithsonian museum with out a roof of any kind. How long would the historical objects contained within last? How long would it take the wind and rain and sun to obliterate those things heralded as national treasures? That might be a bit dramatic, but it does get the point across. We construct sound sturdy roofs to protect us and our things. It has been going on since man first built free standing structures, before the time of Christ. Even back then, the importance of quality roofing materials was well appreciated. Granted the choices were very limited two thousand years ago, but even then they drew on the best knowledge available as well as the best materials to construct the sturdiest and longest lasting roofs possible. Many of those early roof builders must have been doing something right, because many of the roof building practices used back then are still being used today. Including but not limited to Stone, slate, baked clay tile, wood shingles. Today the choices for roofing materials is vast indeed, making the task of choosing the best for a particular type of application even more difficult.

Today’s choices for roofing include a vast variety of materials that include such things as composite materials, plastics, steel or metal, asphalt and yes those mentioned above as well. Stone, Clay tile, slate and wood shingles are still popular materials used in modern roofing.

The roofing mistakes usually made are one of two. The number one mistake made in roof construction is not properly anticipating climatic conditions of the region of construction, or using materials that are insufficient for those conditions. The number two mistake is cutting back on or holding down the cost of roofing to increase some interior aspect of a structure.(this usually happens during general building constructions, and not as a rule during replacement or maintenance). The old adage of “Pay me now or pay me later” defiantly holds true in the types of roofing choices made

Choosing the proper roof really has two aspects, existing or non-existing. Let me explain. If a building is pre-existing, and the roof was constructed of asphalt shingles from its original design, it probably wouldn’t be feasible to opt for slate or clay tile as replacement materials. Why? Because more then likely the frame material of the roof structure was not designed to handle the additional weight of these types of materials, so using such material could be dangerous. Their added weight might cause the roof structure to collapse. Generally asphalt shingles give good protection except under extreme climate conditions.

The second aspect of choosing the proper roofing material is generally considered to be for new construction. In new construction, the choices involved in roofing materials play a key roll in over all project design. Let’s say in someone’s aesthetic design choices, Mediterranean terracotta style shingles seem to be just what is needed. They require little maintenance, last virtually for ever, look great and add just the right touch to the Spanish exterior design of a new home. But the catch here is that new home is being built in northern Minnesota, where it snows … a lot. Now a big decision needs to be made. Having those clay tiles on the roof sure will look pretty, but will add a pretty penny to the cost of construction as well, not just because clay tile shingles are more expensive to purchase and install. It’s because the designed structure will need to be reinforced to handle the extra weight of the tiles as well as snow load for that part of the country. It might be now that those terracotta tile shingles just lost some of their shine. So cost becomes an issue in having the best material.

But with the advent of modern materials there are other options available. There are companies producing composite and metal look alike shingles. Most of these new composite and metal roofing materials are light weight, durable and cost effective. So in new construction, you could have the best of both worlds. Low initial cost, as well as great looking, and functional roofing material.

The Easy Way to Install Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Floor

Installing vinyl flooring is one of those home improvement projects that is well within the ability of the average homeowner to accomplish. It may seem a little intimidating at first, but once you have done just one room you should have the confidence to be able to tackle almost any vinyl flooring job. Here is the easy way to install vinyl flooring in your home.

First of all, your flooring material needs to be as warm as possible when you install it if you want it to go down correctly. So if the weather has been cold outside, it may be a good idea to leave your vinyl flooring in a warm room for a couple of days to let it actually heat up and become more pliable before you actually start to lay it down.

But once you are ready to get started, just simply roll the vinyl out into the room and see how it lays. Usually it’s best to align the vinyl pattern with the most dominant wall, or the most visible wall in the room first and then work out from there. So do that and see how the vinyl fits with the rest of the room. If it all looks like it’s going well, you can actually start to trim off the excess around the room. Just be sure that all areas of the room are well covered before you start trimming.

Generally speaking, a 2 -3 inch overlap is sufficient when you’re trimming in the room. Once you have all of your general trim cuts made, and the excess vinyl has been removed, you can now start to roughly cut in the corners of the room to make sure that the vinyl will lay nice and flat up against all of the walls.

Now here is where a lot of folks have trouble with vinyl flooring. If there are fixtures in the room, like a sink or toilet for instance, they don’t know how to cut around these obstacles. Actually though, there is a very simple and easy way to solve that vinyl flooring problem. What you need to do is to make a paper template of the floor before you lay the vinyl down in the area where the obstacles are.

This paper template needs to be made of very solid and tough paper that will not rip and tear easily. If you use the toilet as an example, you lay enough paper to cover one half of the toilet’s footprint on the floor and cut the paper in so that it fits up nice and tight to the edge of the toilet. Then you use another piece of paper to do the same on the other half of the toilets footprint.

Then you can remove the paper, tape both sides together and it will give you a perfect pattern for the bottom of the toilet so that you can make a good, clean cut on the vinyl that will fit exactly right when you lay the vinyl down. Just repeat this process for each fixture in the room that cannot be removed, like a sink or tub.

Once you have the vinyl cut out in advance for all of the obstacles in the room and generally cut in for each corner of the room, you can now put down your vinyl adhesive and began to install the flooring itself. Be sure to use a utility knife that is both safe and sharp, as a dull knife will create more problems than it is worth. Make your final cuts up against the walls and finalize any trimming that needs to be done around the room fixtures, and you should be done.

Then just be sure to give the floor enough time to dry out thoroughly before opening it up for regular traffic. If you use these suggestions for installing a vinyl floor, it should be a simple and easy task to complete.