Solving the “but I recently bought the house” question.

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Every contractor encounters client’s who begin the conversation with “but I recently bought this house” dilemma.  Generally this opening line occurs once the homeowner  discloses an ongoing problem such as: leaking roof, damaged drywall near windows, and etc.  Personally, I’ve already encountered this scenario 4 times and year is not over. So why is it prevalent that many homeowners seem confused about product lifespan or is homeownership not projected properly?

collapsing hosue

Understanding US Housing statistics:

The average individual in the United States purchases between 3-5 homes in their lifetime (starter home, family home, downsizing home, retirement, etc.). Generally this much exposure to properties (under the expectation – not all homes were newly built) mean’s you’ve already had an issue or will experience such an issue in your lifetime. So we provided key insight’s (common knowledge) and a few “nuggets” to prevent calling a contractor a year after the closing. So how do you protect yourself from being like one of my clients?

First thing: Understand what homeownership means:

Review the true demands of homeownership and begin reviewing the expected costs of lawn maintenance, seasonal maintenance, change your books of choice from the Dark Tower to DIY stuff. A great insight is to compare renting vs owning materials.  Keep in mind, a home is similar to car minus the rapid deprecation, but the components that make your house very much depreciate and deteriorate. These items include: AC units, Water heaters, siding, windows, carpet, light fixtures, and roofs!

rent vs buy.png

Second thing: Before buying a LEMON do these items:

  1. Understand your true price and what you can afford (Yes, you can afford the listing price, but what about the soon to be updates). It’s better to avoid being “home broke” and have the ability to save reserves for those future expenses. This doesn’t mean because the bank approved us for the larger loan we should over reach on sq. footage or the home with a pool.
  2. Complete Professional home inspection – eliminate minor headaches or possibly discover huge unknown issues.home inspection.jpg
  3. Ask the “how old” questions: (Roof, siding, windows, door, heater, ac unit, flooring, & more).  Common questions such as these will allow you to compare to the chart provided below and see where you stand.
  4. Read our cheat sheet:
    • Asphalt Roofs – 13 to 17 years in the Midwest (due to harsh elements)
    • Aluminum siding – 50 years
    • Vinyl siding – 25 to 30 years
    • Aluminum windows – 15 to 20 years
    • Vinyl windows – 20 to 40 years
    • Carpet – 3 to 5 years (once fibers are worn & frayed)
    • Exterior doors – 20 years
    • Wood flooring – up 75 years
    • Linoleum flooring – 25 years
    • Garage doors – 15 to 20 years
    • Furnaces – could be 15 to 25 years
    • Water heaters –  10 to 20 years
    • In-ground pool liner – 7 years
    • Skylights – 15- 20 years
    • Contact your local neighborhood contractor for insight. If your curious about the current pricing for a specific product contact the local guy or Total Roofing & Construction ;). A lot of contractor’s provide Free estimates and more times than known will give you advice that maybe worth more. We advise doing this long before you actually need the work completed (6 to 18 months ahead of schedule). This allows you to budget for such a project and not be burden with burning your emergency fund or adding more debt.
  5. Homeowner Insurance Policy knowledge
    • We always recommend reviewing your newly acquired homeowner policy after you make your purchase. This policy is what will protect you from serious issues and your solution to those out-of-blue emergency situations. Important items to understand is your deductible, covered perils (hail, wind, etc.), and claims process.

Third Thing: If you did your research, don’t panic.

If you have completed the recommended tips mentioned above or currently purchasing your fifth home, then don’t panic when disaster strikes. Generally whenever you have sudden damage it’s commonly storm or weather related (covered by your homeowner insurance policy) – contact a company seasoned in restoration work (TRC).

When speaking of interior damage that didn’t arise from exterior damage – water heater, sump pump, furnace, and etc. these are preventable with seasonal maintenance and a planned schedule on replacing such items. If you over spend and don’t budget for yearly renovation then yes, you may be in pickle.

 

Conclusion:

I can attest that all contractor’s will offer you assistance regardless if your a homeowner of 5 months to 50 years. However, we believe these steps can save you ENORMOUSLY before you’re closing on a property or when that  disaster strikes. For instances, the Hurricane Harvey is a sad and frightening situation for many reasons (safety, families affected, shelter, & etc.). However, a question we ask is did all those homeowners have flood insurance or covered peril to protect their damaged homes? A lot of us never consider scenarios such as the Hurricane Harvey, but its better to be safe than sorry.

Hurricane Harvey

If you have any questions please message me at pctotalroofinc@gmail.com

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Junk in the attic?

Have you checked your attic lately? Or maybe you finally began putting those Christmas decorations away in the attic? If not, pull down that hatch and give it a peak.

We advise each homeowner to inspect their attics at least twice a year (Winter & Summer) and not because you’re searching for old family photo’s, but because attic inspections can save you a lot of money. Not only will you save money, but it you’ll also gain a more thorough understanding of your home.

The top five things to look for:

  1. That creepy, dark space is not for STORAGE!
  • An inhabitable attic or garret is first and foremost for air flow.
  •  If you have stuff in the attic, do you need it?

Attic Clutter.jpg

2.    The recommended insulation R-VALUE for an Attic is R-49 to R-60.

  • This R-Value is the recommended northern Illinois & Indiana.
    •  R- 49 is approximately 16.5 inches of insulation!
  •  The average homeowner loses at least 10% of their energy through the attic.

Attic Insulation.png

3.  Does your roof even have ventilation?

  • Do you see any natural lighting inside your attic (soffit holes or roof vents?) because many times a home lack’s proper ventilation if any.
  •  Why? This is how your attic releases it’s steam after seeing all your old boxes.

4. Do you have mold and mildew located in your roof?

  • The photo will show you an example
  • Depending on your ventilation, and humidity a power vent may be necessary to remove excess condensation from your attic.
  • Many remedies can remediate such scenario (Please contact a profession or Team Total 😉 for proper consultation)

5. Does your attic hatch or door have insulation?

  •  This goes back to #2.
  • You can fix this in less than an hour and spend no more than $40,
  • Go to your local department store and purchase insulation board and adhere it to the top of your attic door!

stairway

We hope these tips can help you improve the energy efficiency of your home. If you have questions please let us know and shoot us a message. Our experienced staff has seen it all when it comes to attic insulation and is well prepared for just about any situation. Thanks again!

 

 

The sexiest home purchase you could make.

We understand roofs are not exactly bringing sexy back. Seriously, we’ve been in the industry for 30 years and still waiting for a comment such as “the new roof led to my wife.” We understand those comments are reserved for cars, bars, & churches. However, what do both bars & churches have? Roofs!

A roof is a necessity that protects your home and family from the weather. Also, it increases the overall curb appeal of your home, increases the value, and an opportunity to talk with your neighbor (Thank us later). Plus, if you live in the midwest you understand the importance of a quality roof. Office Space

So, why does everyone cut corners in the researching process? It’s common for homeowners to only look at price today. Prices are important, but do we believe that the price directly correlates with the quality and service our project demands?  All items should be considered in the roof search: certifications, product, service process, and price. Each item deserves your time. However, today I want to highlight PRODUCT. There’s absolutely no reason to install a three tab shingle on your home. NO REASON AT ALL. The only time we’ll suggest it is if you’re working on your kids treehouse, but I’d question your dedication to the treehouse. The average difference in cost between architectural & three tab shingles is usually $800 to $1200. So here’s an example to put it in perspective.

Common conversation between car salesman & potential client.  Interested in any upgrades? New stereo, heated & automatic seats, & backdoor camera. All these upgrades can be yours for an additional $17 dollars a month. Potential customer “what’s sixteen more dollars a month?” Customer later purchases upgraded vehicle and throughout the next 5 years of the loan pays $1,000 for the upgrades.

Car with a lot additions

Fact’s to keep in mind:

  • Car is a mode of transportation
  • Average new car is owned for 10 years
  • Average cost of used car (1-3 year old) $15,000
  • Average cost of new car $32,000

Common conversation between roofing salesman & potential client

Interested in architectural shingles? Aesthetically sharp, 130 mph protected, better hail resistance, & weighs fifty percent more than the economical choice. You can have all these product attributes for an additional $17 dollars a month. Potential customer “umm, not sure about that” and I’ll have to discuss it with the spouse.

Fact’s to keep in mind

  • Roof protects everything inside of your home.
  • Average roof last’s between 20 to 40 years
  • A home is the largest financial investment of most adults
  • Average cost of a roof repair often no warranty & only on roof under ten years $1,500
  • Average cost of a new roof $9,000

A lot of homeowners have installed architectural shingles and insurance companies suggest it. We understand architectural shingles have only been around for 40 years whereas three-tab a hundred years, but it’s time to change. The product is thicker, weighs more, and the sealant technology allows it to withstand twice the wind of three-tab. All major manufacturers GAF, Owens Corning, CertainTeed, & TAMKO stock architectural shingles.

The next time you need a new roof PLEASE demand architectural shingles and if you believe it’s not in the budget look at the car in the driveway. Do you have heated seats, advanced CD player, or back up cameras?

Architectural shingle benefits:

Homewood Deck

Three-tab shingle benefits:

  • Classic appearance.
  • Upfront cost is cheaper than architectural
  • Most economical shingle in the market
  • 25-year warranty

Think you have a roof leak?

           Notice a stain in the ceiling or wall? Maybe stored items in your attic are moist or damaged. Sometimes stains or discoloring (possible mold) could be the result of condensation from your air conditioning system. Make sure to 2x check your unit prior to calling a roof consultant

Before you call a roof specialist conduct your own test! This short video will have you searching for the leak as if you’re Sherlock Holmes.

In our 25 year history we’ve seen some cheesy do-it-yourself video’s as well as poor construction tutorials. However, Danny Lipford’s video provides a great overview in checking for a leak and an easy do-it-yourself check (water hose test). A little about Danny Lipford, he was the host of the radio & television Today’s Homeowner. He’s also been used as the home expert for show’s such as The Weather Channel and CBS’s The Early Show. If you enjoyed his video or have other homeowner questions check out his website or YouTube channel for other tips/knickknacks.

todayshomeowner.com