NBA free agency is similar to Roofing free agency.

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NBA, NBA, NBA is all we’re hearing this week. Whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook, ESPN, NBC, or chatting in the office. We are on the cusp of our country’s day of birth and it seems the NBA wild west of free agency has overshadowed the conversation. This led me to thinking.

NBA free agency =Roofing free agency? Similarities?

NBA free agency is exceptionally similar to the spring time for roofing companies. A lot roofing companies generally use subcontractors for their work. It’s common. Owner’s generally want to avoid liability, insurance issues, healthcare, avoid training, and etc, so if they can outsource the work they decrease responsibility and save time, not necessarily cost. Many roofing companies seek out roofing crews for Spring, Summer, and Fall work after the snow break. However, not all companies do this. For instance Total Roofing and many proven companies can claim our professional crews who’ve been with us for over 20 years and then some. However, we understand why organizations love subcontractors. There’s many benefits to using subcontractors. This is similar to signing a mega superstar rather than drafting young talent and fostering the talent.

Face it, you’re hiring an individual (at least expected) that can perform the work demands or required craftsmanship. Instantly, roofing organization forgos the need to train a young apprentice, avoid the learning curve/rookie mistakes (mistakes happen), and provide the necessary trade tools. You pay for what you get. That same goes for the NBA. Why hire the services of a 21 year old recently out of college with one year of experience, and has many questions about his game? Especially, when there’s a 28 year old with four years of playoff experience and has proven 3 point shot? You want to eliminate the question marks and be assured of your ROI. Same goes for a roofing crew.

For instance consider the Los Angeles Lakers. This organization is in a state of chaos. They have a small amount of young talent budding in their organization and an aging star who wants to win now (who doesn’t want to win though?). So, the Laker’s chase after LaMarcus Alridge. An under 30, proven NBA superstar, and is in his physical peak for NBA careers.  You acknowledge he’ll give you 20/10/2 a night (points, rebounds, blocks) because of his work log (past seasons) and your team lacks a presence like him. Factor in that the organization is in a WIN-NOW/produce mentality and Laker Nation will shell out the big bucks.

So, they most certainly shell out the big bucks for his presences.

Now flip back to roofing. Roofing companies are as only good as the services they provide and if you have a lackluster crew, you’ll have a poor final product. Instead of the summer meetings, we have our spring meetings. Generally a foreman or leader of a crew comes in to inquire about work.  Well, why did they leave? Ask questions, questions, question, and more questions to the roofers and to your staff. NBA teams complete analytics on their opponents, themselves, market, and almost as much research than NASA. So you’ll have to do the same as roofing company. Ask your company, how long do I want to be competitive? What type of service am I providing? However, if a roofing company was in the same position as the Los Angeles Lakers, we would all recommend the same. Sign young talent, train them, and build a culture. For the longevity of the business that makes the most sense. Unless your organization has the stance of maximizing that particular year then go for the big fish.

Questions for those subcontractors (Basketball free agency questions.)

Why are you no longer with ABCDE roofing company? (mgt woes, bad ethics? Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors?)

What type of products are experienced in? ( Left handed, right handed, shooting off the dribble, what was your role?)

Do you have an address list of jobs you’ve completed in the past? (College resume/statistics, championships)

References? (Coaches, GM’s)

Expectation for salary? (Five year max deal, Player option)

After every signing everyone believes they made the best relationship. Face it, with the resources you had and the research you completed the decision made sense. The same goes for roofing. We use the best information we have and the factor in the direction our management is trying to go. However, with roofing companies we can proudly say we aren’t giving out 5 year $140 million dollars for the services of one person. Our industry is slightly different in regards to the salary cap. Would we love to have a set salary cap and the ability to compensate our hard working installers with millions of dollars, of course! Our team signings won’t receive the NBA type of publicity until we have a roofing television channel, partnership with Dunkin Donuts, and roofers starring in the next “Entourage” movie. So stay tune for the Spring of 2016′.

I have 99 problems, but a gutter isn’t one

Ice, tree limbs, snow, squirrels, bird’s, insect’s, and other debris all have one thing in common: gutter damage. The  accumulation of debris (unless you routinely clean your gutters) causes stress which pulls your gutters off the fascia board. Additionally a loose fascia board you may experience premature roof leaking, foundation problems, or even rotting fascia board. The information below may help you fix these problems rather than call a professional, who’ll recommend new ones.

Beautiful copper gutters. These are great features on houses, but cautious of thieves.

Beautiful copper gutters. These are great features on houses, but cautious of thieves.

We are not selling you gutters, but we’re selling you the industries way of quick-fix solutions.  This can save you money!

The first step to updating your current gutter system is thoroughly cleaning them! After cleaning them you’ll identify failing areas.

Items needed: Hammer, roof cement, correct galvanized nails (gutter systems vary), gloves, access to water, and patience.

1st. Clean your gutter’s

2nd. Real life scenario 

After properly setting up your ladder have another person hand you a hose or a bucket of water. You want to hose or empty a bucket of water in two directions: From the roof and directly into the gutter. The two directions provides you a overview of real-life water scenario’s. After identifying the issues you can begin solving the problems.

Ask these questions during step #2:

  • Is the water going away from the house into the gutter?
  • Are the gutter’s guiding the water to the downspout?
  • Is any leaking occurring?

Common problems and fixtures.

Loose Gutters

If the gutter’s hanging loose consider replacing nail heads with new galvanized 5 to 8 inch gutter screws (make you sure you do your research). Please avoid re-nailing the existing nails!  The prior nails already are underperforming. Over time nails lose their structural diameter from weather element’s and climate change. Additionally preemptive rust occurs regardless whether their galvanized.

Leaking Gutters

After re-anchoring the nails, grab a tube of roofing cement. This work’s well to plug holes and fill bad cuts throughout the gutter system. Holes instantly alter the directional flow of the present system. Gutters are only useful if they direct water away from your foundation, but a hole entirely disrupts the process.  You’ll notice these holes after you clean the system. Sometimes a gutter leak occurs where the pieces meet, so investigate all joints.

We hope these repair tips help you out! As any of our DIY tasks we recommend only adults do the quick-fix methods due to using a ladder and working with sharp metal.  If you have any question give us a call at 708-201-7550.

“This Old House” know’s roofing.

Aside

After reading a few industry expert articles we noticed “This Old House” had a fantastic Q and A article on roof replacement. We believe prior to calling a license contractor you should be aware of potential problem’s and learn about roofing issues. The more informed you are the more likely you’ll have an idea of what need’s to be done and avoid the possibility of getting taken advantage of.  There’s a few Q & A’s posted here, but we recommend checking them all out on their page. Hope this can help you out.  Remember if you have checked the web and need a license professional maybe it’s time to call Total Roofing & Construction. 

Informational

1. Q: How do you know when an asphalt shingle roof needs replacement? Are there clues to look for before telltale water stains appear on our plaster ceilings?

—Pat, Plymouth, Minn.

A: Tom Silva replies: There are several clues, and the biggest one is age. If your roof is more than 20 years old, there’s a good chance it’s due for replacement. But younger roofs can fail too, so it’s a good idea to inspect a roof at least once a year. Don’t use a ladder, though. Binoculars are easier and a lot safer, and you can spot most problems from the ground.

Here’s what to look for: numerous shingles that are lifting up, cracked or missing, with curled edges, or with smooth dark areas, which indicate that the protective granules have worn off. Also, go into the attic on a sunny day and, with the lights off, check the underside of the chimney and the stack vent. If you see little pinhole spots of light, the flashing is shot—another indication that the roofing might not be in good shape.

While you’re in the attic, scan the underside of the roof sheathing for any new signs of water staining since the last inspection, as well as any soft or moist spots, which tend to show up after a heavy rain. If these problems are widespread, it’s a sure sign that you need to call a roofer.

2. Q: A friend recently mentioned in passing he thought some of the “flashing” on my roof looked as if it were in rough shape. Can you explain exactly what roof flashing is?

—Britney, Fort Worth, Texas

A: Tom Silva replies: Flashing is just material—usually aluminum or galvanized steel—that’s used over joints in roof and wall construction to prevent water seeping in and causing damage. Depending on the style of your house’s roof, you probably have it in the valleys, around the chimney and pipes, and around any dormer windows or skylights. Most damage shows up either in flashing that’s deteriorating due to weathering and oxidizing, or in flashing that has come loose.

I can’t say for sure without seeing your roof, but most flashing problems can be patched or repaired fairly easily. Professional roofers typically cut and shape their own flashing from sheet metal, but the most common flashing pieces also come pre-formed and can be applied without much difficulty using caulking or roof cement.

A word of warning: Because of the danger involved, I never recommend people do work on roofs unless they are professionals or they’re used to being on roofs and are familiar with the one they’re working on. So if your flashing needs any significant repairs, consider hiring a contractor to do it for you.

Food 4 Thought: Window upgrade?

One of the most expensive upgrades for your house is windows. As homeowner’s we neglect windows due to the belief “unless it’s broke, don’t fix it.” Well, this attitude will cost you thousands of dollars in heating and air conditioning bills EVERY YEAR. If dollars fail to make you cringe maybe the dangers associated to older windows will persuade you. Older windows tend to be thinner (easier to break), possible exposure to lead (harmful substance), and related to 5,100 injuries from window falling. This report also distinguished that 2/3 of these injuries were toddlers. If you believe I’m trying to scare you into purchasing windows feel free to check out the National Safety Council webpage and yes I am.

The NSC webpage offers great safety advice, but at times undermines the importance of windows. Today’s innovative windows and fall protection systems is an appropriate step in the right direction and many people believe a window’s purpose is only to allow natural light in. Natural light is a benefit, but windows provide other benefits from a better insulated house, cheaper heating & air conditioning, safety, and outdoor connection. An article by ezinearticles.com mentioned

Windows serve as a convenient gateway to the outside world without needing to venture out of your four walls. You can even be sitting at the comfort of your sofa but still get to experience the outside by looking through the window. It is a way you can see what happens outside. It conserves your energy and allows you to know what is going on outside. After all you have no other way to know what happens outside your home”

The description above seem’s a little “hippiesish” yet it’s true. Every company sell you the savings and exterior look, but at the end of the day it’s your medium to the great outdoor’s. As a construction company we believe it’s in your best interest. However, maybe you’re content at the “comfort of your sofa” with a single pane, lead infused window.  If you’re not pleased every time you open a window or deal with paint chipping off, it’s time for a new one. After contemplating whether your house is in dire need first you should check out local tax credit to see potential savings.

Energy star

The reason we believe checking your states energy efficient tax credits before contacting a window expert or home remodeling company is because recently there’s been huge savings. Costs might be covered by the government as well as the contractor who may have a summer special going on.  Historically Midwest states offered tax credit for upgrading to energy-efficient windows, so be aware of these potential savings. An article posted on National Public Radio specifically discusses a llinois case. Take a few minutes to read the story to get a better grasp on the positive effects of window replacement.

Here’s an example of the immediate difference from work by Wilke Window:

Image

Image

The after window below would make any homeowner happy, but the savings associated to this type of upgrade will make them ecstatic. This homeowner understood that windows are a long-term investment and they’ll benefit. The “before” window provides you with that “gateway to the outside world” at the cost of using all your force in opening/closing it and letting air out. Depending on the square footage and age of your house this can be a knockout upgrade.

So maybe you’re considering an upgrade? What’s the first step?

Know your budget and style of window!!!

As much as we’d like to sit here and tell you that heating savings could be as much as 25% we can’t do this because you might be financially strapped. The better windows (energy star qualified windows) can do that 25%, but maybe a triple pane window is out of your budget. Maybe a two pane window is near your budget and a 20% savings is good enough, know your WANT’s.

A few other reasons to consider altering those 70’s windows by Windows4Buffalos:

  • – Functionability
  • – Ease of Cleaning
  • – Appearance
  • – Ability to resist cold weather steam
  • – Filters out UV rays
  • – Decrease fading of upholstery and furniture