Picking the Right Contractor

So it's officially time to replace your roof. Now, how do you pick the right man for the job?? Of course, if you're in the Louisville or surrounding areas, we all know who you should pick (wink, wink). So if you're NOT local, here are some good qualities to look for when choosing a good contractor:

   - Ask questions! If you receive a low bid for the job, ask the contractor how he came up with the number. You're looking for quality service, not cheap work.

   - How long has the contractor been in business? You want a well-established business in case you need them years down the road. You want to know they will be around to assist you.

   - Make sure the company is licensed and insured. That may seem like a silly point, but you could be setting yourself up for trouble if you don't make sure of this.

   - Ask the contractor for references. Also, do your homework and ask around the community to make sure they have a good reputation.

   - Check with the Better Business Bureau. This is where you will find the complaints if a company has any.

   - Look for a contractor with good communication skills. You want to stay informed along the way without any surprises on your bill!

   - Look for a contractor with a written guarantee on the installation. You will have a manufacturer's warranty on the materials, but that won't cover the contractor's installation services.

   - Make sure clean-up is included in the cost.

   - Get a written contract. No matter how great or reputable a company is, you always want to have their word in writing. Unfortunately, an old-fashioned handshake won't cut it anymore.

I hope that helps to at least give you a starting point when narrowing down and picking your contractor for you job! That may be one of the most important decisions you make, because the right contractor will hire the right people, will pick the best materials, and will provide honest work. You have to be able to trust the company you pick! If you need any help with this part, you know the drill... give me a ring!

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Quality vs Price

Some of you may read the title of today's blog and think "well duh, everyone knows you should go with quality over price even if you pay a little more." Well, that's not exactly the case.... everyone DOESN'T know that. Let's give a couple of examples. Shall we re-visit the dramatic saga of my daughter's house flip she bought? Here's their latest issue. When they bought the house, they knew their HVAC system was going to need to be replaced sooner than later. They bought a home warranty in hopes the system would fail within the fist year and home warranty would cover it. After almost a month now of no A/C and multiple denials of the replacement system, they've finally received their official denial from home warranty and are going to have to replace the system themselves. All that to say.... now they have a decision to make. Do they look at quality and get a more expensive system that will last them 20 years? Or do they go with price and get a system that will probably only last 10 and has a higher chance of problems along the way? We all know what I'm going to tell her to do. Now, let's compare that to roofing and other external home repairs.

I always say "Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten." Sometimes, your lowest price will still be a good quality item. Unfortunately this isn't the case a lot of the time. You're going to get what you pay for. With roofing, you have so many different types of shingles and types of roofing to choose from. There is a very basic shingle that is going to be your cheapest option. It doesn't look quite as nice as some of the other shingles and it probably won't last as long. Sometimes, that's genuinely all a person can afford. Don't get me wrong, that shingle is not a "bad" shingle, but the quality of it is going to be far lesser than some of the superior shingles we offer. In the long run, you will be actually paying more because the shingle isn't going to last as long so you will be having to replace your roof sooner; thus, an actual "more expensive cheap shingle," if that makes sense.

Let's compare some more quality vs. price items. I want to hear from you. Comment on my facebook page so we can discuss some of these! Look forward to hearing back from you and having some discussion on this!

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Installing Roofing

Now that we're officially into spring and it's warming up a bit, let's talk about roofing installation. Ok, you've read through my blog, you've narrowed down the type of roof you want, and now it's time to install. Ok... maybe it's more like... You've read through my blog, and now you're more confused than ever on what type of roofing to install because you've seen so many new options that you didn't realize before! Whatever the case, there is a good time and a bad time to install a roof. We are officially in a good time to do it.

The temperature outside must be at least 40 degrees and rising in order to install a roof. It's also not good to be too hot. With that said, Spring is a great time to look at getting your new roof put on! Now don't get me wrong, we will install your roof for you year-round, whenever you decide you want one (you just may have to wait a few days for the temperature to cooperate with us if it's the dead of winter). The only downside to the Spring when installing a roof is the rain.. "April showers bring May flowers" is not our favorite saying in the roofing business, but we all know it's true!

Let me take a step back. I told you the best time to install a roof is when the temperature is 40 degrees and rising. Temperature wise, that's correct. The absolute best time to install a roof is when YOU'RE ready to do it. It's a pretty big decision, especially when insurance may not be covering it and you're having to come out of pocked for the expense. Of course, we all love when insurance companies have to fork over the money, but that's not always the case. If you haven't explored all your options, or you aren't sure on the type or style of shingles you would like, don't hesitate to give us a call so we can walk you through the decisions and process!

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Hardy Plank Siding

Ok, bear with me now! I know I've blogged a good bit about vinyl siding and how much I love it. That has not changed. Vinyl siding is definitely still my favorite siding, but coming in at a close second is hardy plank. You've probably noticed that you will not find hardy plank siding on most newer houses. Newer houses often choose vinyl siding due to the ease of installation and the minimal upkeep. So off the vinyl siding subject and onto hardy plank!

I actually really, really like hardy plank! It's extremely durable and concrete based, therefore, it won't rot. This is a huge deal if you're used to dealing with wood siding, which rots a lot! When my daughter bought her house, at first sight, we weren't sure whether her siding was wood or hardy plank. It can actually be kind of hard to tell sometimes until you get up close and inspect it. If you're curious, her siding did turn out to be wood, which had quite a few areas of rot that had just been replaced. Don't get me wrong, wood siding is pretty good siding, but the upkeep of it is much more involved than these other options.

As with vinyl siding, hardy plank has many styles to choose from. It has a smooth, wood grained, beautiful appearance. Now I'm sure you're wondering about the cost. Hardy plank is more expensive than vinyl siding, but it's still cheaper than brick, stucco, or stone. Though vinyl has many great qualities, it's not superior to hardy plank in every way. Listen to these great qualities of hardy plank:

    - Hardy plank is noncombustible and approved for class 1 fire rated construction (vinyl can melt)

    - Hardy plank is much less prone to damage due to debris or inclement weather

    - Hardy plank doesn't fade as much. Only has to be painted about every 15 years or so, but it's concrete, so it's an easy job

    - It has a lesser tendency to grow mildew, though it's good to have pressure washed annually

So if you've never considered hardy plank siding when thinking about siding for your home, as you can see it's a great option. It's one of the safer and eco-friendly options as well. I hope I've given y'all some good things to think about!

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Energy Efficient Shingles

As you can see from the title, we are talking about a pretty awesome thing today... energy efficient shingles! Of course, we all know, everyone is turning to energy efficiency for everything that we can. Not only do we get a little tax break for choosing energy efficient options, but we know it's better for our environment and better for our wallets. Now, obviously your roof doesn't require electricity, so these shingles aren't technically "energy efficient", more so "energy saving"... but just go with me on the term!

Ok guys (and gals), these shingles are pretty dang awesome. The energy efficient shingles are designed to reflect the sun's energy away from the roof rather than absorb that energy. I know all of you are intelligent people, but just to get my point across I'm going to dumb this down a little. What exactly does this mean for you... Ok... what's the main thing you care about... less money out of your pockets. The shingles heat up less than standard shingles, in turn causing less heat to be absorbed into your home; thus, keeping your house cooler in the summer months and saving you money on air conditioning. Speaking of saving money, a few years ago the government implemented a tax deduction on these energy saving shingles. Of course there will be requirements those shingles will have to meet, but you can  get up to 10% of the cost of the shingles in a tax break!

Now remember, the rule of thumb in general is dark colored items attract the sun more than light ones (shirts, asphalt, etc). It's the same with roofs, even the energy star ones. So if you're living in Florida or somewhere with a hotter climate, I would highly recommend opting for one of the lighter colored shingles. These get better energy star ratings since they do better at reflecting the sunlight. The darker shingles are still made to be energy efficient but they won't be AS effective as the lighter colors.

As with all the other materials we've talked about in the blog, energy efficient shingles come in a variety of colors and styles. It will be hard for you to tell the difference from traditional shingles. You won't have to sacrifice appearance when opting for these shingles. Give me a shout if you have any questions and I'd love to sit down and talk with you about your options. Even if you aren't local, I'm happy to help!

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