Home Construction: Top it Off

When it comes to roofing materials, thanks to modern technology, times have changed. For example, several years ago T-Lock roofing shingles were largely discontinued by the year 2005. The reasons were lack of demand, less effective material, cost of production and manufacturers ceased production of the T-Lock shingle.

Modern roofing options include asphalt shingles, wood shingles and shakes, metal roofing, concrete, clay, plastic, and fiber-cement tiles, natural and faux slate, and Tesla solar tiles. Many style options include traditional metal roof style and roofing material which look like shingles, shakes, and tiles. Metals used include aluminum, lightweight steel, and zinc. Roof materials made of copper are appealing but they are expensive.

Additional materials include solar tiles, stone-coated steel, slate, rubber slate, and green roofs.  What are green roofs or living roofs? Green roofs are partially or fully covered with vegetation which grows over a waterproof membrane. Additional layers contain soil, a root barrier, and drainage and irrigation systems. Other green roofs use rooftop ponds which treat grey water which is clean waste water from baths, sinks, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and other kitchen appliances. Grey water does not include sewage water or other contaminants. Older versions of a green roof are traditional sod roofs (turf roof) which were commonly used in northern Scandinavia, Ireland, England, Iceland, and other parts of the world and they have been around for centuries. During the Middle-Ages period, from the 5th to the 15th centuries, most houses had sod roofs. About the early 19th century, tile roofs and other roof materials became popular. In the 21st century, they are reappearing as an alternative green roof. People are exploring all types of green roof alternatives. Modern turf roof construction uses bitumen roofing felt combined with dimpled plastic drainage membranes which provide a drainage layer. Turf material is laid over the drainage layer. In Norway, turf roofs are still used.

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Examples of long lifespan roofing materials are shown below.

  • Asphalt Roll Roof has a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.
  • Asphalt Shingles: This type of roof material lasts about 15 to 30 years. More than 70% of U.S. homes have asphalt shingles. But, take into consideration severe weather damage which necessitates roof repair and replacement. Any type of roof material can suffer from severe weather damage such as hail.
  • Composite Shingle Roof will last anywhere from 15 to 50 years and it is a popular roof material.
  • Wood Shingle Roof: This type of material will last up to 25 years.
  • Standing Seam Metal Roof materials have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.
  • Wood Shake Shingle Roofs can last from 35-40 years.
  • Clay (Spanish) Tile Roofs are reported to last up to 100 years. Though, tiles can crack and need replacement. Factor in the type of severe weather, i.e., hurricanes that can cause severe damage to any type of roof material.
  • Slate Roof material is reported to last up to 100 plus years. Again, factor in severe weather damage.

 

Garage Door Repair and Replacement: The Ins and Outs

Garage doors are great when they correctly open or close. However, for the door that sticks and just won’t budge or if it is off the track, that can definitely ruin a good day. Home repair problems are challenging and on the top of the repair list is a malfunctioning garage door. When it is raining and the car is full of groceries, a stuck garage door is definitely trouble.

Most homeowners can identify with this type of situation. Professional repair services will charge from $50 up to $350. There are two types of doors. One type rolls up in sections and the other type swings up in one flat piece. Most have heavy-duty metal springs and metal track secured to the garage wall and door frame with mounting brackets. If the door does not open smoothly, check for loose hinges, brackets, or maybe a pinched track. Tighten all bolts and screws. Examine the track for damage, such as dents or crimping along the track. Check for rust and worn spots and hardened grease. The severely damaged track should be replaced. For uneven or misaligned tracks, try realigning them. Loosen the bolts and screws and realign the track, then, re-tighten the screws and bolts in place and check with a level. This job works well for two people. Clean the tracks by removing dirt, rust, and debris. Ensure the rollers are clean and smoothly roll along the track. Inspect the chain which sits inside the rail connected to the door opener motor housing unit. Springs and hinges should not be damaged, loose or pinched. Replace damaged parts and warped wood that hold the door in place. Use caution when working with torsion springs. They are heavy and powerful. It is not worth risking an injury to save a few dollars on a repair bill. Hire a professional garage door repair service to replace the torsion springs and perform an overall inspection.

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Sometimes the broken garage door problem lies with the automatic opener. Often problems occur between the transmitter and the motor unit. Moisture buildup can cause the opener motor to stop working. Check for electric service problems and transmitter issues. Some door openers will last 10 to 15 years. Safety sensors can be a tricky problem and may need to be replaced. Other common problems are with the circuit board, a bad motor, a broken power unit or wall switch, bad switch wires, old batteries, or a damaged remote receiver. When repairing the automatic opener, be safe by letting others know that the door is out of service. If possible, work with the door down. If working on the door, unplug or disable the electric service to the automatic opener. While the door is being repaired, use proper safety measures. Do not allow others to use the remote button. While repairing the automatic door opener, avoid accidental electrocution. Avoid taking on a task that is more than can be handled with limited DIY experience, hire a professional service repair company.

Choosing the Right Fence: Just Picket

On the fence about choosing the correct material, with many available choices, it is not an easy decision. To make an informed decision, plan ahead and research style and material choices. Many factors, such as climate, purpose, and style of a home, influence the choice of fence material. Add to that building, zoning, and homeowner association regulations also factor into the decision to choose one type of material over another. Popular material choices include wood, metal (aluminum, steel, wrought iron), vinyl, and bamboo. Common metal fences are chain-link, or wrought iron type, with chain-link as the favorite choice. Cost includes a wide range from as low as $9 per linear foot to $35 per linear foot.

 

Each fence type has advantages and disadvantages to explore. Choice is based upon usage and fence type. For privacy and security, i.e., to protect children, pets, or for a pool enclosure, a solid fence panel, of wood or vinyl composition, is a good choice. Some people prefer visibility and like the elegant style of wrought iron type fences made from modern steel which is flexible and less expensive than a traditional wrought iron fence. To find suitable fence material, research online.

Chain Link Fencing

Chain-link fabric is made of galvanized metal with some fences constructed of vinyl covered chain-link fabric. Steel posts secure the fence fabric. Metal wires run in a vertical zigzag pattern and are hooked together giving the appearance of a diamond shape. Chain-link fence is available in 10 to 50 foot rolls. Weather-resistant vinyl covered chain-link fencing comes in green or black colors with bare silver metal as the most common choice. Decorative plastic slats are inserted for aesthetic appeal and privacy. Many homeowners choose this type of fence to protect their pets.

Wood Fencing

Wood fence panels, commonly called stockade fence, are long lasting and widely available. Pressure-treated wood panels and posts last several years longer than untreated wood panels. Pine, Douglas fir, redwood, and spruce wood may be treated with a pressure-treated chemical to prevent termites and fungal decay. Lattice topped panels provide beauty and function. Stick-built fences constructed of individual boards, rails, and posts follow the lay of the land, called racking, easier than preformed fence panels. Preassembled panels come in sections that are 4 to 6 ft. tall and 6 to 8 ft. long.

 

Since the 1980s, vinyl panel fences have become a popular choice. Vinyl, PVC or polyvinyl chloride, fences have low-maintenance and compare in price to wood panels. Many homeowners choose vinyl fence because they are attractive, easy to clean, and do not decay or fade. Vinyl panels are constructed in 4 to 6 ft. tall and 5 to 7 ft. wide sections. Vinyl rails vary from 8 to 16 feet long. Vinyl panels sometimes use racking and stair-step installation to conform to the contour of the landscape.

Concrete Walkways: All You Need to Know

Concrete walkways or sidewalks leading up to and continuing around a property add safety, value, and curb appeal.  Add attractive landscape and instantly a picture postcard comes to mind. Welcome visitors with a beautifully designed lighted walkway and sidewalk system. Designs abound when it comes to creating stylish colored and patterned walkways. While the standard plain gray sidewalk is commonly chosen for safety and budget reasons, adding pattern and color really dresses it up. During recent decades, concrete has gone from utility to creativity surpassing boring and forging ahead to exciting. Afforded by changes in concrete usage and style, landscape and concrete designers have eagerly taken on new challenges.

Most concrete walkways or sidewalks are approximately four inches thick with cost varying from $6 to $12 per square foot.  Obviously, larger and elaborately designed walkway systems will cost more than a simple basic sidewalk. Plan accordingly for budget and schedule changes. Sealing a concrete walkway increases safety value as well as the finished product’s lifespan. For ultimate ROI and curb appeal, find a reputable concrete contractor and hire a skilled landscape and concrete walkway designer. Prior to the project start, check for references, licenses, certifications, and proper insurance coverage.

Concrete steps or stairs, similar to concrete sidewalks and walkways, have surpassed previous standards, style and quality options. One may still purchase a plain standard precast two to five step concrete stair set. However, options have changed with some including solar lighting. A simple three step concrete stair set may be poured using frames or purchased as precast step systems. Common materials and tools will include, safety glasses, gloves, wood for frames, a saw, framing square, tape measure, hammers, shovels, levels, concrete mix, water sprinkler, edger, wheelbarrow, line level, tamper, plumb bob, spade, broom, mason’s hoe, and other necessary tools. When pouring cement, weather permitting, allow four to five days for planning, layout, and curing time. Unskilled DIY homeowners should consider hiring a licensed cement contractor skilled at working with poured concrete and precast step systems. Many options are available and should be explored in order to make an informed decision. Prior to planning and purchasing materials, consult local building codes and homeowner association guidelines. The rise and run of poured reinforced (rebar) concrete steps, similar to precast steps, must conform to local building codes. A building inspector may force removal of non-conforming concrete steps systems.

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Either way, an appropriately poured walkway can add a ton of character and value to your property.  When choosing a concrete company, always look for one that has great online reviews as a bad concrete company can leave your property looking worse than it did before.

 

Easy to Follow Healthy Tips

Staying healthy is one of the easiest things if done correctly. All you need is a bit of motivation and a lot of self-awareness to transcend the many heights of health and positivity in your life. Staying healthy is the new trend and why shall it not be? After all, it works for the benefit of every party involved in the task. You can find a large number of health tips on the internet, all aimed at bringing you towards a satisfactory lifestyle. If you are tired of following complicated health regimes, try switching to the following simple health tips to enjoy the same benefits as that of complicated health diets:

Focus on positivity:

You are an average of 5 people or things you spend the most time with. Do not let your atmosphere and vibe be poisoned with negative thoughts and toxic company. Staying positive and focusing on the good in life is the kickstart towards a healthy and satisfactory life. Tell yourself that you deserve as much good and kindness as you are able to offer others. Instead of focusing on “What may happen”, focus on “What can happen”. A positive attitude is important to avoid stress which is the root cause of all the health problems.

Track your habits:

Keeping a track of your bad habits and working on improving them is the next step to take once you have managed to focus on positivity. Keep a track of the wrong habits which you believe need to be improved. You can make use of technology and meditation to get rid of your negative habits by practicing abstinence and rewarding yourself if you succeed.

Take a good amount of vegetables:

Vegetables carry a good deal of anti-oxidants, minerals, and nutrients. Being a part of natural remedies, vegetables offer natural healing as well as the proper growth of your body. The best way to eradicate the toxins from your body and enhance your health is to start taking good amounts of vegetable regularly. You can either boil the vegetables or eat them raw for amazing health benefits.

Stay hydrated:

Staying hydrated is an expert-recommended tip for all the people who are striving to be healthy. You are supposed to take at least 2 liters of water every day in order to keep yourself hydrated.  You can use several apps to track your water intake.

Sleep early, rise early:

Believe it or not, you can eradicate a great deal of stress from your life just by sleeping on time and waking up on time. Sleeping early and taking at least 8 hours of sleep is essential to maintain a balanced life, proper health and of course, an active mind and body.

Spend time outdoor:

Nature has a healing effect on humans and taking a short stroll on a green pasture works magically for relieving all the stress and negativity from your life. Make a routine to spend at least half an hour outdoors and spend this time relaxing and contemplating about the various aspects of your life.