Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 Ways to Increase Your Home's Curb Apeal

Why does curb appeal matter?  Home buyers look at pictures on the Internet and make split second decisions about whether they are going to call their agent about walking through a home. Eighty-five percent of buyers will view your home on the Internet prior to visiting.  Your home won't sell unless you get a potential buyer in the front door.



"When faced with a long list of possible homes to visit, many buyers will first conduct a drive-by inspection before scheduling an appointment.  You may be able to overlook the cracked and stained roof, but real estate shoppers may not," says renovation expert Bill Hippard, president of the non-profit Metal Roofing Alliance .  "Even though it's probably the biggest design surface of your home, most people don't consider the impact a roof has on curb appeal."

Hippard offers the following list of 10 Ways to Increase Curb Appeal.  Even if you're not planning to sell your home, these tips can freshen up your home's exterior, and increase your own enjoyment of your home

1.  Makeover Your Mailbox

Paint or replace your mailbox.   Upgrade to a larger model if your current mailbox is on the small side.  It's a small investment that can add a new design element.

2.  Showcase Your Number

Make sure your house number is bold and easy to see from the street.   You want potential buyers (and any delivery people) to easily find your home.

3.  Add Outdoor Lighting

Consider adding outdoor lighting to your front yard.  Many lighting systems are easy to install and can highlight the architecture of any home.  You'll also help night-time real estate browsers to better see your home, and increase your security.

4.  Replace Gutters and Downspouts

If gutters and downspouts are rusty or falling off the house, replace them.  Gutters help take water away from your foundation.  Leaking gutters could lead to foundation issues, as well as termites.

5.  Dress up the Driveway

Resealing a driveway can bring it back to life.  If the driveway is in bad shape, consider replacing it with stamped concrete or decorative pavers.

6.  Upgrade Railings

Paint or replace dirty and dingy railings or replace them with decorative steel or wrought iron railings.

7.  Inspect the Roof

Review the state of your roof, and determine whether repair or replacement is needed.

You can find a checklist for reviewing your roof without a ladder here 

8.  Dress Up the Front Door

Replace old hardware and give your entry door a fresh coat of paint.

9.  Renew Exterior Paint, Siding and Trim

If your siding is in good shape, power-wash it.  Adding an accent color to the trim can also make a difference.

10.  Add Flowers

Even if you don't have a full planting bed, window boxes or planter pots add charm and color to the front of any home.  Resist the urge to use fake flowers and greenery - they'll look cheap and detract from your home's beauty.

In addition to adding to your home's overall appearance, many of these items will need to be addressed as part of a standard home inspection prior to sale, so you'll be one step closer to finalizing the deal.

For more home improvement tips, including a downloadable checklist for inspecting your roof without a ladder, homeowners can visit the Metal Roofing Alliance at www.MetalRoofing.com




Monday, June 2, 2014

Angie's List Features Metal Roofs

Angie's List, a well-known consumer rating program, recently did a national story featuring the many benefits of metal roofing.

Check out the video from WTXL ABC27 below.  If you have more questions, or would like to find a contractor in your area, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance at www.MetalRoofing.com.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Discover the Benefits of Metal Roofs

This authored article by Paul Kazlov, Owner and President of Global Home Improvement and Metal Roofing Alliance Contractor Member Since 2005, explores the benefits of choosing a metal roof.

When planning any home improvement project, especially roofing, it is vital to look at the features and benefits of every option to determine which product is the best fit for your home. 

When it comes to replacing your roof, many homeowners only understand asphalt roofing and are not aware of the many benefits of a metal roof. To see if metal roofing is the right fit for your home, let’s look at some of the many benefits metal provides.



Energy Efficiency

When homeowners are asked about their home’s energy efficiency, most homeowners focus on problem areas such as windows and doors, but did you know your attic is responsible for 45% of all energy transfer in your home? That’s why it is crucial to have an Energy Star Rated Roof. Metal Roofing uses infrared reflecting paint pigments to keep your home cooler in the summer and a variety of attic insulating options to keep it warmer in the winter
.  
According to the EPA, low-reflectance roof surfaces reach temperatures of 150 to 190°F during hot weather and contribute to increased cooling energy use and higher utility bills. In contrast, "cool metal roofs" with high reflectance and emissivity can stay up to 70 degrees cooler than traditional materials during peak summer weather.

Longevity

One of the main reasons homeowners choose metal roofing is because of its amazingly long lifespan. Metal roofing is designed to withstand the test of time with copper metal roofs and galvanized metal roofs still functioning on homes built over 100 years ago. If you ask of your neighbors they will tell you, you’re lucky if you get twenty years out of an asphalt roof. Metal roofing is designed to last 3-4 times longer than as long a typical asphalt roof, which equates to higher resale value, less headaches and more peace-of-mind.

Wind-resistance

With the recent bouts of extreme weather, it is more important than ever to have a roof built to withstand the elements. Standing seam metal roofs are Miami-Dade County certified and able to withstand Category 4 hurricane winds, which can reach up to 160 mph! Unlike asphalt roofs, which can lose shingles in a mild to moderate wind storm, metal roofing panels interlock across the entire roof to prevent damage to any and all portions of the roof.

Curb Appeal

Many homeowners don’t consider their roof as an integral part of their home’s curb appeal, but they should. The truth is that all asphalt roofs stain and discolor, some in as little as five years, whereas metal roofing not only lasts a lifetime and many offer a long term paint finish and appearance warranty.

Metal roofing comes in a variety of different styles and color options to fit every home and design choice. For example, Metal Tile Roofs gives you the old world look of terracotta, Metal Slate Roofing replicates the elegant and timeless look of slate for less, and Standing Seam, with a rainbow of color choices, is perfect for Historic, Contemporary and Traditional homes alike.

Going Green

As if all these benefits weren't enough, metal roofing is also ecologically and environmentally friendly. Metal roofing consists of 20-40% recycled content and at the end of its very, very long lifespan is 100% recyclable. Every year, 13 billion pounds of petroleum-based asphalt shingles are put into landfills. That number is steadily increasing.

Because metal roofing is five times lighter than asphalt, it can be installed over an existing layer of shingles, without adding an inordinate amount of weight and stress to your home’s structure. This not only helps save the environment but it also helps homeowners save time and money.

With all of these benefits, why choose any other type of roof?


Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and member of the MRA since 2005. Paul writes for the Global Home Improvement Blog and strives to educate people about “green” products such as metal roofing and solar. Follow him on Twitter@PaulKazlov.





Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Hiring a contractor to repair or replace your roof is an important decision. Here are five questions to ask a contractor before you allow any work to be done on your roof:

 1.  How long will the re-roof job take?
There are many variables that can slow down and even stop a job.  Getting a timeline is always a good idea.

2.  Will you need to tear off the old roof or can you re-roof on top of the old roof?

Ask what the contractor recommends.  Many contractors will advise tear off to allow him to inspect the sheathing and expose any problems.

3.  If the old roof needs to be torn off, who will be responsible for hauling away the waste? 


Most contractors charge an additional fee to haul away tear-off debris. 

4.  Will the contractor furnish you with a written contract including detailed payment instruction and total price?

 Always get a written contract.  Verbal agreements are always a bad idea.

5.  Is your company licensed and insured?

Never allow any contractor on your roof who is unwilling to show you a copy of his or her license, and proof of insurance.  You don't want to be responsible for any accidents that may occur.


Need to find a reliable roofing contractor in your area?  Check out the Metal Roofing Alliance's Find a Contractor feature.  

For more information, check out this post.  Angie's List is another good resource.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Considering a Remodeling Project?

For many families considering a remodeling project, a key question is always whether you'll be able to recoup the cost of the project if you sell your home.

According to the 2014 Remodeling Magazine Cost Vs. Value report, the overall trends are looking positive.



"For the second consecutive year, Cost vs. Value data show that the value of remodeling is up for all 35 projects included in the survey. This trend signals an end to the long slide in the cost-value ratio, which began to fall in 2006 and didn’t begin to rebound until last year (see, “Cost vs. Value 11-Year Trend”). For 2014, the cost-value ratio stands at 66.1%, a jump of 5.5 points over last year and the largest increase since 2005, when the ratio jumped 6.1 points to reach its high of 86.7%."
Click on this link for more details from the study.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

Choosing the right contractor to install your roof is just as important as using the right materials.  There are two steps in the process - finding a pool of local contractors, then evaluating them to find the perfect fit.

Step One: Finding A Roofing Contractor
If you're looking for a durable metal roof, the Metal Roofing Alliance should be your first stop.   Our Find a Contractor feature allows you to enter your zip code to find a list of local contractors.


Step Two: Evaluating Roofing Contractors

The Better Business Bureau has a terrific article with tips for choosing a reputable roofing contractor.  Check it out here.


For more information on choosing a roofing material and contractor, check out this earlier post featuring an interview with Angie Hicks of Angie's List (another good source for reviewing contractors).



Monday, February 3, 2014

Roofing Terminology for Homeowners: Part Two

Part Two: Roofing Terminology Explained



Nosing:  Metal flashing bent at a 90° angle and is installed around roof perimeters, curbs, platforms, etc., in order to protect the roofing system.  Nosing should not be used in place of a drip edge.

Penetration:  Any object that pierces the surface of the roof.

Rake:  A slanting edge of a gabled roof extending beyond the end wall of the house.

Rafter:  A rafter is a parallel beam that supports the roof, and is part of the truss.  They are the main frame of the roof. Sheathing is nailed to the rafters.

Ridge:  The highest point of the roof that runs the length of the roof.

Roof Truss:  A truss is a triangular wood structure that supports the roof and gives it added strength.  It takes several trusses to build the structure that supports the roof.

Sheathing:  Also called decking, it covers the rafters.  Tar paper or another type of underlayment is laid on top of it.  Plywood is the most common material used for decking.  Once the underlayment is installed to the sheathing, the roofing materials are ready to be installed.

Slope or Pitch:   The number of inches of vertical rise in a roof, per 12-inches of horizontal distance.

Soffit:  The finished underside of the eaves.  Covers the area between the end of the eaves and the house. 

Square:  One hundred square feet of roof.

Steep Slope:  Generally all slopes higher than 4/12 are considered steep slopes.

Substrate:  The surface that the roof is installed upon.

Tear-Off:  Removal of existing roofing materials down to the roof deck.

Truss:  Engineered components that supplement rafters in many newer homes and buildings.  Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be cut or altered.

Underlayment:  The material (usually an asphalt-base rolled material) laid on top of sheathing before roofing material is installed

Valley:  The less-than 180-degree angle where two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on a roof creating a “V” shaped depression.
Vapor:  Term used to describe moisture-laden air.

Vapor Retarder:  A material designed to restrict the passage of water vapor through a roof system or wall.

Vent:  An opening or device used to permit air or vapor to exit an enclosed structure.