10 tools every homeowner should own.

Earlier in the year we discussed practical items that you should own such as duct tape and other items, but this article reviews the 10 most important tools all homeowners should own.

  1. Caulk gun ($7 to $40). There are over 100 types of building product’s that are offered in caulk tubes from mortar joint repair, window caulking, bath tub sealant, roof repairs, and more. What good is a tube of caulk without a gun? This tool can last you over 30+ years and save you $1,000+ from calling handyman’s or contractors for easy seals.
    Caulk gun
  2. 30′ Tape measure ($8 to $30). You will need a tape measure if you’re trying to build a table or see if that new couch will fit! This tool will save you TIME and many headaches. The biggest issue with owning tape measures is that they go “MIA” or get “borrowed” by a friend. Measuring Tape
  3. 8′ Foot Step ladder ($120 to $160). If you find yourself switching lightbulb’s while standing on boxes or routinely changing the smoke alarm batteries then a step ladder is definitely worth it. The highest volume of injuries occur from homeowners falling 6′ or less. Step Ladder
  4. Screw Driver Set ( $15 to $100). Every room in your house has a screw! Investing in a new screw driver set won’t break the bank and you’ll be able use it many times. You’ll find yourself needing a screwdriver for repairs, furniture, light switches, and items you wouldn’t even believe. Screw Driver Set
  5. Stud finder with level ($20 to $40). Find yourself hanging photos, televisions, or a bathroom mirror? This tool is worth their weight in gold and will save you the time from making drywall repairs! Stud Finder
  6. Plier Set ($20 to $45). These are great for all mechancial things and emergency repairs such as plumbing issues, emergency car battery replacement, and about all mechanical items that use nuts and bolts.
    Plier Set
  7. Quality Knife or pocket knife ($15). Perfect for opening boxes, cutting strings, or minute items that need altering. We advise either having one on you or leaving it in your tool box.Pocket knife
  8. Hammer ($12 to $32).  You may never use your hammer, it’s true. However, it’s better to have one on site for when that time comes, because it never happens when you want it. Claw hammer
  9. Cordless Screw Driver ($50 to $140). Everything we mentioned does not require electric other than batteries, but a cordless screw driver will make your life much easier!!!!!! This is the only “power tool” that we believe everyone should own. Cordless Driver
  10. Security camera or tool log ($70 to $$$$). This is a joke. However, be ready for a few of your tools to magically disappear. Whether you’re a hobbyist, emergency repair guy, or contractor we can assure you’ll lose a few tools on the battlefront.

 

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Total father’s day gift ideas

Featured

We enjoyed a beautiful day on mother’s day, and wish the same for father’s day!  In addition, we put together a few fathers day gift ideas for dad. Whether he’s the handyman type or an introvert who talks to himself, we got you covered. Maybe your family is not into gift giving, so here’s a few sites to consider cards from bluntcard.com or scribbler.com. 

1. Bradley Smoker® 625W Electric Food Smoker (The cooking dad)

One of the best aspects of warm weather = grilling time! Once this Midwest weather makes up its mind, you can spend time with pops smoking  meat! This featured smoker has over 500 sq. inches for smoking a rack of ribs and vegetables! This is the perfect partner to any gas/charcoal set-up, but even more so with its electric start capabilities. This gift will be the one that keeps giving for years to come!

Smoker.jpg

Company back story: Grilling and cooking is a common thing at the TRC headquarters whether it’s ball game company tailgate, safety day breakfast, and this Friday (May 22nd) our staff will be smoking some Wall-eye from a recent company fishing trip to Ohio!

Company Fishing Trip

Wall-eye fishing on Lake Erie

($219.00 at Menards)

2. Xtend & Climb 785P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder Type I Professional Series, 15.5-Foot $$$ (The handyman type dad)

THE PERFECT tool for any handyman. This ladder can be stowed away in a small closet and without sacrificing storage space. This model allows you to reach 15.5 foot (1 story home, garage storage, light bulbs, and more) and it weighs less than 25 lbs! This might be the perfect addition to leave at your lake house or if dad’s short. Save him the trip from struggling with his 8′ aluminum folding ladder the next time he clean’s the gutters!

Xtend and Climib.jpg

($229.00 on Amazon)

3. 1 Gallon 18 V CORDLESS Air Compressor by RIGID  $$$ (The beach type dad)

They say battery technology is making everyone a big SOFTEE! However, I guarantee the baby-boomers prefer these battery attached devices rather than rummaging for that “one extension cord they seen earlier”! A lot of our installers utilize the new equipment whether its their circuit saws, weed trimmers, leaf blowers, and currently air compressor’s.  The device is practical and easy to transport, also helps save dad from buying a tool he might not personally. Allow him to maintenance his own car tires (save him $2.00 from BP 😉 or bring it on his next trip/beach trip with the kids!

Ridid Air Compressor 2

($189.00 at Home Depot)

4. Google Home  $$$ (The techy dad)

This device almost missed the cut, however it’s a great tool for anyone’s garage or man cave. This device will allow you to play music on command, ask questions about cars, and tell dirty jokes.. The only requirement is a solid WiFi connection. To be honest, the capabilities are endless with this voice in the box as AI gears up.  Don’t allow dad to be alone when you cannot help, allow him to have GOOGLE there. We use ourselves everyday at the office for weather forecasts throughout the Chicago-land and Northwest Indiana areas!

Google Home($129.00 online)

5. Gift Card’s (Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, or the local ACE Hardware) $ to $$$$$ (The dad “that’s tough to shop for dad”)

The obvious go-to. We understand sometimes it’s a lot easier to let pop’s grab the items he needs.

And just remember quality time with your dad will trump any of these presents. However, asking Google Home about recipes as you smoke some ribs is enjoyable too!

Additional Tips:

  1. Great Local Meat Shop for smoking: Rob’s Meat Deli 2123 Northwinds Dr, Dyer, IN 46311
  2. Great gift card shop: CARDPOOL.COM This website is gift card broker, which means you often can get 4 to 10% more in value if you purchase the giftcard on their website.

(BONUS with item 3 every air compressor should come with a pool inflatable)

Unicorn

“Homeowner’s Insurance Policy” information that will give you $50 of value/information

 

We put together a list of 5 insurance policy items to check and have on your policy! If you have 15 to 30 minutes to review your policy please do so.  If you have difficulty finding them ask your agent or contact a local public adjuster for a review! WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS, because these items could provide you upward to $500 to $100,000 pending an insurance claim. In 2017, 1 endorsement netted a client $33,000 (Had Law & Ordinance Clause) and the lack of knowing their policy also lost a client $27,000 (Had an ACV Policy). So it is critical to consider.

These items are specifically to ensure proper protection for your homes exterior products from common Midwest weather patterns! This week alone in Illinois over 30 towns were hit with hail and Crown Point, Indiana received pea-size hail. As, this Indian summer continues it’s critical to be properly protected & insured.

1. Law & Ordinance endorsement

This is extremely valuable if you live in an older subdivision! Many homes throughout northwest Indiana and the south suburbs of Illinois were built-in 1960’s to 70’s, which means many building practices are outdated. A lot of municipalities and building departments abide by 2009/13 residential building codes. It’s not rocket science to understand that 60’s version of framing is not equivalent for today’s standards. If you don’t have this endorsement, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST. A reputable contractor will not reinstall a product back to its original condition, because they could face fines from the village or worst lawsuits.

 

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Vapor Shield – is required by many villages/townships = $$$ for you

 

2. RCV Policy (Replacement Cost)

Pay the extra $$$ on your monthly premium. The difference of $15 to $45 dollars a month for your premium to receive the full amount of recovery IS WORTH IT. The average roof in 2018 dollars was $11,000, which equates to 733 payments of $15 (48 years of premium). So what is a RCV policy 1st?  A replacement cost value policy is a policy in which the insurance pays you the real-time cost and factors no depreciation into your cost. Whereas an ACV policy includes depreciation, for instance if your roof is 10 years old, the insurance companies will deduct 10 years from the value of the replacement cost = less $$$.

 

IMG_9616.JPG

This church had a RCV policy = receiving the full amount for replacement

 

3. Wind & Hail Endorsement

This is exactly what it says. Specifically covers wind & hail damage. Without this endorsement it’ll be VERY difficult to make a claim, because you’re not paying for the ability to claim wind & hail. We advise checking every year, because in storm heavy areas it’s known that clients have “mysteriously” had this endorsement left off.

4. Color matching Clause

EXTREMELY important for premium siding products and older homes. Every insurance provider is different in how they “describe” color matching peril. Example: if your home is 30 years old and only 1 side is damaged, it’ll be very difficult to find a color match for the 3 opposing sides. One company: Nationwide does have a color match clause and will indemnify for matching siding, which is fantastic for the homeowner. Be aware not all companies have this, but can assist in making your home aesthetically better looking without out-of-pocket expenses

5. A reputable insurance company

Do your research and align yourself with an organization with credible history of paying when their at fault. Ideas such as reading consumer reports, ask your neighbors about their experiences, and thoroughly research the internet. A company is only as good as their services!

We featured a recent blog pertaining to companies, in which we’ve worked with and have had good experiences on behalf of our clients! Check it out!

We hope this adds value to your life and possibly your wallet!

 

 

 

 

1 property inspection might secure you an $88,000 insurance claim.

This past week we began installing a new GAF TPO roofing system that we performed maintenance on and performed a periodical roof inspection. We documented the photos and reports in 2015 for our clients. On July 7th 2017 hail damage occurred, but no member walked onto the roof until the following fall (Face it, how many people walk their roofs?). Insurance claim gets filed. The insurance provider denies the claim and affixed the damage to a 2013 date of loss (Passed their filing statute of limitations). Everyone’s confused.

Beecher, Illinois 4.jpg

Phone rings!
The next week we dive into our archives to retrieve our report. We contacted the insurance company and provided our photos and reports that contradicted this “2013 date of loss” finding. Alongside our reports, the clients also had a licensed home inspector review the property. Both reports and NO MENTION OF HAIL nor visual damage noted in the roofing membranes. Upon further review and months of back/forth the insurance organizations eventually agreed to an $88,000 insurance claim settlement.

Something so simple
These inspections often are free estimates and allow you to have a 1st hand account on present issues, concerns, or longevity of the existing products. In addition, to providing you with an honest record, it does the same for your insurance provider. We understand they’ll use their own insurance “reporting” system, but we never recommend relying on the insurance providers to make that decision!


The true costs for our clients homeowners:
1 service repair call – Illinois unlimited licensed roofing contractor (Free Estimate)
1 property inspection – Illinois licensed home inspection ($350.00)

So what’s necessary? 

Perform: ANNUAL and SEMI-ANNUAL PROPERTY INSPECTIONS

A lot of times insurance companies will review your property 2 times during your relationship. The 1st inspection occurs during your initial insurance premium review. The 2nd time often during an insurance claim.  It’s common for these inspections to occur 5 to 15 years apart if damage never strikes your property.

 

What you can do?

  1. Call licensed contractor to perform a property report (Annually) -$350.00
  2. Get a home inspection (Every 5 years) – $350 to $750
  3. Become familiar with storm damage such as hail, wind, & etc. and perform the inspections in-house. Free – Cost of the ladder.
  4. Notify your insurance provider anytime you make significant upgrades to your exterior products (Roof, siding, windows, & anything else) and keep receipts of the MANUFACTURER <- In case they get damaged.
    Glenwood, Illinois.jpg

 

10 tips to know: buying a distressed property

Fixer upper, Rehab Addict, and other shows continue to romanticized the restoration industry, but more importantly the rental/flip market. These shows make for great television for many reasons such as the alluring before/after process, ROI (return on investments), or being your own boss. Yet our goal is not to poach your wallets or scare you off from potential opportunities, but give you some information that these shows often don’t showcase.

  1. Know the municipality codes, permits, and rules before starting the construction (Flip or Rental).

    Costs associated with permits could go as much as $3,000. There are villages and towns that have a fixed rate (3%) implemented in the overall job cost, while others have set fees per the renovation. However, some towns could and will backcharge you for renovations completed without a proper permit/building inspection (HVAC, electrical, etc.).

    • Advice: Allow your contractor to file for the permits. It’ll much be easier and you won’t have to paper chase the contractor.
  2. Avoid pools and decks

    If possible, avoid both of these property headaches. Both items will raise your homeowner’s insurance policy due to the potential risk, while also increasing the home inspector’s No.2 pencil. We strongly advise against a pool if this is a rental property due to maintenance, upkeep, and potential lawsuits pending worst case scenarios.

    • Advice: If it’s an in-ground pool, fill it in with the demo debris with items such as: deteriorated wood, drywall, and biodegradable items will help slash disposal costs.
    • Swimming pools.jpg
  3. Have a good lawyer (Especially in Illinois)

    THIS IS A MUST, if you are be venturing into the rental sector. It’s common to experience one bad apple during your landlord career. Ask any colleague whose a landlord and we assure you they’ll praise the good tenants as if they’re the second coming. The true benefit’s of a good lawyer are: timely evictions, cut future court costs, and provide sound legal advice.

    • Advice: We advise having state specific attorneys rather than using only one attorney. Due to the intricacies of rental law among states and to provide a checks/balances for yourself (more importantly your pocketbook).
  4. 1st screen the potential contractor’s 

    We recommend choosing the contractors before starting the overall restoration. There are general contractors who will seek 6 to 19 bids to get the lowest possible bid, but we don’t recommend this at all. If you’re flipping this property than you know time is not on your side. Every month of waiting for a bid equals: 1 more month of taxes, insurance, electricity, potential exposure to theft, and vandalism.

    • Advice: Review their trade license’s, insurance (is it active), and verify it with the village. Seek references from family and friends.
  5. Always over budget and add 3 months.

    For a peace of mind simply add 5% to the job cost and expect the project to be finished 3 months longer. We are aware that ROI (Return on Investment) is the reason for getting involved and this new venture is not for entertainment. However, projects can get dragged out due to weather constraints especially for exterior contractors, permitting, unexpected building finds, village inspections, home inspections, rental inspections, and more unnecessary politics.

    • Advice: It may be cost-effective to use a general contractor to manage the 1st restoration for yourself. They may already have pre-screened contractors whom are qualified and do quality work. We recommend shadowing and observing from them.
  6. Homeowners Tax Exemption (Rentals)

    This is the most common thing I’ve learned with 1st time landlord’s is they get bug-eyed after they see their taxes increase in the 2nd year. Often, it’s because the village discovers you do not live there.  If it’s not your “true” residential home and an investment property, you’ll more than likely lose the homeowners tax exemption. I agree, various communities taxes such as Park Forest, Illinois – $7,000 a year) are criminal,  but you should know this before investing. DO NOT TRUST ZILLOW OR TRULIA’S TAX RECORDS.

    • Advice: Understand the tax rate of the town especially if the intentions are renting the property. As previously mentioned with Park Forest, Illinois $7,000 a year in taxes = you’re splitting your ROI with the village.
  7. Know your goal (Rental or Flip)

    “Know your goal?” I want to make money! We mean are you renting or flipping the property? This can change the selection of products, colors, flooring, and exterior products you use. If you’re flipping the property you may install more trending products, but if you’re renting you’ll want to be cost conscience on the products to maximize your return. Also, if you’re renting a property you might get by without replacing items until you have too.

  8. Partner with a Lowes Pro, Home Depot, local building supply, or Menards credit card.

    If you can pay cash great, but you’re leaving a lot points/discounts on the table. The benefits of some of these programs: it’s easy to track receipts and previous purchases, which allow you to uncover your true cost on the restoration. Menard’s and Lowe’s often give a 5% discount on items purchased using their Pro-Cards, which can help you. Keep in mind all these building stores have a varying levels of product quality.

    • Advice: If you follow through on #10 by creating an LLC, than you can obtain a business credit card and avoid future personal credit issues.Project lao
  9. Don’t install appliances until you have too

    There’s no rush to install the appliances! We know you’ll probably be purchasing washer/dryers, stoves, refrigerators, and other premium items, but hold off. Theft is extremely high in renovation units and they’ll break in if $1,000 + of appliances is seen. Even if you have an insurance policy on the home, it’s generally not worth the claim. We know kitchens are exciting to see completed, but honestly if you want to fall within your budget and keep a sound mind, hit the brakes on the appliance installation.

    • Theft.jpeg
  10. Create a LLC. for the property

    If you know your goal is to rent the property then you should create a LLC. for the specific property. Consult with your chosen attorney. This is not uncommon, we know many investors that do this to eliminate potential financial risk from the tenants. A Limited Liability Company can protect your personal assets and avoid this side hustle from ruining your future.

We hope this help’s you a little. If you’re interested in venturing into the restoration industry please contact us at Total Roofing & Construction Services, Inc. or  Emerald Managment   Contact us today because there’s much more information and fact’s to be aware before purchasing property.

Is a Honda still a Honda with a Mazda motor? Roofing systems reviewed by Total Roofing

Every project is different! Whether it’s the location of the property, design of the home, color of exterior facade (brick, siding, cedar), or the homeowner’s intentions. The benefits of being in business for 30 years is knowing that ALL client’s are as unique as their projects ;).  These two reasons alone are why we offer different roofing systems instead of utilizing a single manufacturer (what happens if there’s a recall?).

The benefit’s of our multi-verse manufacturer relationships and product awareness positions us to educate/advise you to make the best decision. We understand it’s not your duty to read shingle reviews, industry trends, or be cognitive of breakthrough innovation, because that’s our job. So, we went ahead and featured our top 3 roofing systems that we suggest and are common for our clients throughout the Chicagoland area/ Northwest Indiana.

1. The most complete roofing system:

GAF Timberline Golden Pledge roofing system: $$

The benefit’s of the “golden pledge” system is its durability, entire system warranty, and being created by GAF’s who happens to be one of the largest producer of roofing product’s in North America.  GAF’s research and development have not only created an industry leading asphalt shingle (1st line of watershed defense), but innovative, top of the market accessories to compliment the system. This roofing system comes with a 50-year non-prorated product warranty, 25- year workmanship warranty, and GAF will complete a review of the installation. The best part only 2% of contractor’s in North America can offer such a warranty.

What’s in system?Clock Master

  • GAF Timberline Shingles
  • GAF Weatherwatch (Ice & Water shield)
  • GAF Deck Armor (Synthetic underlayment with permeability ratings)
  • GAF Starter course, GAF Snow Country Ridge Vent, GAF Cobra intake system
  • GAF Timbertex Ridge Caps (Heavy duty ridge caps)

2017: Total Roofing GAF Timberline shingles roof’s: 45 properties with 0 complaints 

2. A windy location, farm lot roofing system

Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration roofing system: $$

We love the OC Duration shingle because of the Surenail technology (OC Patented) that’s been incorporated within the main component: the asphalt shingle. The Surenail technology strip (show in the photo) reinforces the roofing nails & strengthens the bonding agent by its fabric woven technology.  The 130 mph wind rating with a 6 nail installation is why we recommend this for farm houses, 12/12 pitches, mansard roofs, or properties that are located near wind tunnels. Similar to GAF, Owens Corning offers a full line of accessories that are quality and efficient formulating a cohesive roofing system.Surenail technology.png

What’s in a system?:

  • Owens Corning TruDuration Shingles
  • Owens Corning ProArmor Synthetic Underlayment
  • Owens Corning Weatherlock (Ice & Water shield)
  • Owens Corning ridge ventilation, starter course
  • Owens Corning ProEdge ridge caps

2017: Total Roofing Owens Corning roof’s: 90 properties with 0 complaints

3. Color’s & Transparency

TAMKO Heritage Architectural System: $

What does TAMKO mean? Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. This manufacturer is located in Joplin, Missouri. We love this manufacturers color options and product transparency with their 30 year product warranty. It’s uncommon to constantly review your roof’s color, unless you strongly dislike the existing one. The benefit of this manufacturer is the well versed color schematics and varying colors from competitors. We thoroughly enjoy this company for not following the industry trend of “lifetime warranties” and standing by their 30 year warranty mark. This shingle has  a 15-year non-prorated product warranty with depreciating after 30 years (which is still a strong warranty).

What’s in a system?

  • TAMKO Heritage architectural shinglesTAMKO pro
  • TAMKO Heritage starter course
  • TAMKO Ice & Water and underlayment
  • TAMKO ridge caps.

 

2017: Total Roofing TAMKO Heritage: 50 properties with 0 complaints

Other roofing system & product’s we install: Owens Corning Oakridge, CertainTeed Landmark Pro’s, IKO cambridge, and Atlas Pinnacle. These product’s all have a time and place. For instance, we will install a number of Atlas Pinnacle in treed lots or near lakes because of their formulated copper granules technology, which deters algae, life organism’s from growing on the shingles (That yucky green moss!)

Our final notes: Keep in mind every contractor offers a varying level of accessories (#15 lb felt – STOP IT ALREADY), but we listed the above system components you should REQUEST INFORMATION ON. Yes, a complete manufacturer systems tend to cost more than a piece by piece system, but trust the manufacturer’s suggestion. They advertise those warranties when you utilize their components, because do you think a Honda would really be a Honda with a Mazda motor?

The last bit of advice,is that these systems are only as good as their installer’s. Do NOT SPEND THE MONEY on these top products if you’re getting a below the industry standard “workmanship warranty” on the installation (Anything less than 3 years is concerning). An analogy would be like buying a Corvette Stingray and not using premium fuel or synthetic oil. That beautiful vehicle will be breaking down much sooner than your monthly payments!

I hope this article may help you or provide some insight,

Phillip Cooper

 

Homewood Deck

It’s the millennial’s fault, part 1. (Understanding the client’s of tomorrow)

Every day you read “Trump is the downfall of America,” and 6 years earlier you heard the opposing side stating “Obama is the downfall of America,” but if you want to find common ground bring up the millennial generation.  Quite frankly, if America did a yearly poll to unite the left & right, this might be topic where the glue binds. However, we’re not trying to unite the country today nor bate either side, but merely shade light on next group of home improvers: millennial’s.

Generations Defined

First and foremost, I’d like to announce that I’m a millennial (born in 1991) and if you’re not familiar with “millennial’s,” it’s the demographic of people born between 1980 to 1995. According to researchers, the early 80’s and mid 90’s continue to remain as the generational framework. Identifying such groups has been well-documented for generations and central to our capitalistic countries sustainability. These research studies are central to the longevity of large conglomerates and they often finance these studies. These insights give evidence on many things from technology, education, preferences, and much more.

So what do we know about millennial’s and purchasing homes?

Well, if you’re a realtor you better refrain from the age discrimination, because according to National Associations of Realtors, they had the highest share of home buying activity for 5th STRAIGHT YEAR!* Some may ask, how? This generation is now 10 years removed from the great 2008 housing recession and they finally have the “MULA” (#1 Savings – most popular form of down deposit) and (#2 is a gift from relatives/family often boomer generation).

Keep in mind the combination of the 08′ recession, along with the average graduate leaving school with $27,000 of student debt are not the ideal ingredients for homeownership.  However, 10 years removed from the recession has allowed them to save adequately and pay off their debt. So, congratulations on your first-home purchase. Here’s the keys and there’s the problem’s!

The renovation trends are steadily increasing:

The good news is that these well-known basement dwellers are getting the boot from the parents, and spreading their wings in the marketplace. However, the average renovation from millennial is still significantly lower than their peers. The evidence favors a 7% increase in renovation expenditure from 2015, which is positive in a year-over-year review, but much less than their peers.

Average Renovation spend

Reason’s why millennial’s spend less on renovations:

  1. They prefer multi-family housing (townhouses, condominiums, etc.)
    • More HOA costs, less maintenance, and less interest on exterior upkeep
  2.  They favor new development’s rather than fixer uppers. First-time homeowner’s favor – one-stop shop and fewer headaches (sorry Chip & Joanna – magnolia)
  3. Saddled with debt from college & 1st post college vehicle

General contractor’s and home builder’s can give you a first-hand account of these marketplace trends especially throughout the Northwest Indiana Region. In my town alone (Dyer, Indiana), there’s been a huge demand for town houses and multi-family construction. Yes the older generation of millennial’s (80’s babies) have successfully navigated the financial hurdles to purchase their first-home, but there are MANY adult’s swimming against the current.

So, what do these individual’s do? They have to rent or continue to live with their parents. The best way to provide a visual reference is the movie “Failure to Launch” with Sarah Jessica Parker/Matthew McConaughey.

Failure to launch.jpg

Item’s to know as a contractor or home improvement service when working with this age group in 2018

  1. millennial are 7% more likely to pay with Credit Cards
  2. 50% of millennial’s are “hesitant” or “anxious to use a bank loan for a home improvement project (gethearth.com)
  3. 26% of millennial’s are sure they could come up with $2,000 if needed.
  4. Paying with Cash eliminates investment opportunities
  5. 57% of millennial’s feel ” nervous” or “overwhelmed” about buying a fixer upper.

This article is only part 1 of 4 throughout our 2018 blog series pertaining to this specific demographic, because there is way too much information to submit in one article. We believe being educated about your customer’s and their consumer behavior allows us to best present them with products/services.

 

Have you ever experienced a financial generational gap?

My experience:  While working at Hertz Rental Car I once asked an 86-year-old woman  for her Credit Card pertaining to the vehicle’s security deposit (standard company protocol) and I thought she was going to whack me. However, her generation “Silent” very seldomly use credit cards, and she later informed me her only credit card was in a lock box at her house.

 

Information was used from these sources:

Houzz.com, National Association of Realtors.com, Forbes.com, Money.com, and living-proof as a 26 year-old.

 

Spring Training is wrapping up for Total Roofing!

March 29th. That’s the official opening day for the MLB. Which means spring training is winding down. Spring training is the period when professional baseball players hone their craft for 3-4 weeks with their designated teams. I’ll stop right here, because this article has absolutely nothing to with the MLB, but is about Total Roofing & Construction Services, Inc’s.

The midwest exterior renovation industry sorta emulate’s the MLB’s calendar events: winter meetings, spring training, and season (March – Late October). So what does this mean for us? Since we’re located in the heart of the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana we’re used to getting blasted with snow and the frigid cold. So we put together events ranging from field training, safety training, and more during this period. We are blessed to have these tremendous opportunities to improving our processes, skill-set’s, product knowledge, and more importantly provide more value to you!

Spring Training Highlight’s to date:

IMG Conference 2018

Member’s of our team had the great privilege to attend IMG’s (Insurance Mastermind Group’s) 1st ever conference in New Orleans, LA. This conference allowed us to collaborate with 100’s of other contractor’s throughout the nation and learn from niche specialists (attorney’s, public adjusters, and more). In addition, to the breakout sessions and keynotes we also enjoyed ourselves in Bourbon Street!

IMG

Sunrise Windows Partnership & Window Plant Manufacturer Tour

TRC’s owner and project manager’s visited Toledo, OH and Temperance, MI to see our window partner in action. We observed how a vinyl replacement window was built from the vinyl to the creation of the glass. We’re proud to be partnering with such an iconic manufacturer and whose a top 1% window manufacturer.

GAF TPO/TIMBERLINE In-house trainings

As a GAF MasterElite contractor our goal is to continue improving our ability to install the roofing systems and teach our new installer’s how to hone their craft. Throughout March we sent our crews and project managers to GAF’s CARE training facility to learn how to install a premium roofing system.

TOTAL ROOFING SAFETY DAYS – OSHA 10 HOUR CERTIFICATION CLASS

We will be having a 2 day thorough safety class that covers everything from fall protection, 10 hour general construction course, and much more!

GreenSky Financing Partnership

We’ve added an additional home financing vendor to our arsenal to assist our customer’s. We believe this additional partnership will greatly benefit our client’s and offer them further options in making their dreams come true.

Greensky

 

 

49% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, 4 financial tips to stop running that race.

Do you feel like you’re running the financial month-to-month marathon? If so, did you know most of your peers are in the same situation  (I know it doesn’t feel any better, but you’re not alone)! According to a CNBC article finding more than 49% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. Almost half of all people fall in this category!

Hamster wheel

We’re an honest company and this article will not provide “golden advice” or provide you Aladdin’s genie’ x/y coordinates, but reasonable tips that will save cash, and restore your financial confidence for when diaster strikes.

The best financial advice I’ve ever read  – “All decisions you make should help you move from being a laborer to being a capitalist.(1)”  To better emphasize this point I’ll copy the section verbatim. As a laborer, you are paid a wage for your services. It does not matter if you are police officer, factory worker, doctor, lawyer, or clerk. You are paid a wage for doing some form of work. You are exchanging work for money. As a capitalist, you are paid not for the value of your labor, but for the use of your money. This comes in interest, dividends, or price appreciation, but in one way you are being paid to allow others to use your money. (pg. 11 of Your Money Ratios for Financial Security).

Ok, so how’s this help? Well, first we need to figure out why we’re working in the first place and ultimately what we’re trying to achieve with our earnings. If you’re like the 49% of American’s your in survival or stay afloat mode, but this sentence (1) could help you re-identify how you’re spending, saving, or using our resources we work hard for.

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So here’s our 4 financial tips : 

1.(INVEST) Create an Acorn account. This site links to your debit or credit account and round’s up your change to a separate investment account (you pick your portfolio type). It’s definitely a millennial thing, but there’s other advantages as well such as: set-up monthly transfers, incurs interest through investments, and rid’s the old coin jar underneath your bed (which is losing value to inflation!)

  • Theory: $25 a month/$6.25 a week -$15 monthly transfer with change roundup

2. (SAVE) Create an Ally.com account. Create an online savings account (yield’s currently at 1.45%) and give it a nickname – emergency fund, Kyle’s college, or new roofing system. The charges are low and some accounts don’t even have them. This online banking company keep’s your hard-earn money out of sight, while planning for your next expense and start small 5$ a month.

  • Theory: $5 a month/$1.25 a week – $5 monthly transfer

3. (DEBT) Trade your monthly car payment in for a reliable vehicle vehicle and preferably a gas saver. According to an article on the financial website Motley Fool over 40% of American’s have a car loan.  The average monthly car payment was $503 a month (2016)!  $503 a month is almost 75% of the average monthly grocery bill for a family of 4! 

  • Theory: $503 a month/$125.75 a week – No car payment so you’re making $

4.(RETIRE) Common misconception “I can’t survive the month, let alone think about when I’m 70!” OPEN A ROTH IRA ACCOUNT!!!! IF YOU DON’T, PLEASE LET ME USE IT! This allows you to save up to $5,500 a year and invest it in the stock market! It’s all post-tax dollars, so when you withdraw when you enter in retirement and you don’t have to pay interest on the appreciation or dividends

  • Theory: Reallocate 50% ($251.50) of the car loan to a Roth account & rest in emergency account ($251.50)

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Here’s a recap of your 2018-2019 year with these tips

Invest Segment – $300.00 – Acorn.com

Saving Segment – $60.00 – Ally.com

Retirement Segment – $3,018.00 – Roth IRA Account

Emergency Repairs/sitaution – $3,018.00 – Savings account (2nd Ally. com Account)

Yearly breakdown = $6,396 in potential saving’s (excludes interest, dividends, investment decisions.