Home Improvements Projects: Roof Repair

If I were to speak to ten homeowners, I know that maybe one of them would say that he or she always checks the roof of the home in spring.

We seldom seem to appreciate the enormous strain which is placed on our roofs during the winter. Snow weighs a lot, and even though most roofs can take the extra weight, it is important to check for damage.

Tiles may move or tree branches may fall on our roofs during bad winter storms with us realizing it. Checking how your roof have survived winter is a job which needs to be done as soon as the snow has melted.

Inside Out

It can be a good idea to check your home inside out. By that I mean that you should really get up in the attic first of all. You need to look out for damp spots and darker areas which may indicate you have some kind of roof damage.

It is not only weather that can cause a problem as I found out to my peril one year. After a bad storm, I had not cleared out fallen debris from my gutters. During the winter a family of mice had made their home in the debris, and eventually chewed their way into my attic.

One of my rafters was being used as an access point, and the size of the hole they had managed to completely surprise me. Also, look out for visible sign of daylights. This can indicate a more serious problem, and if your roof is not structurally sound, you need to get the problem dealt with as soon as possible.

Should you use a contractor?

A lot of roofing contractors do offer an inspection service, and there are many advantages to this service. First of all, they are much more likely to be able to recognize signs of damage and the problem may be able to be rectified on the same day if it is minor.

Most importantly of all, they are used to working on roofs and are probably better at moving around the roof than anybody else. Falling off roofs is still a very common accident in many homes, and can lead to some very serious injuries.

Cost of a roof inspection

Most roofing contractors do not charge a lot for this service, and you can expect to pay in the region of $75 for an inspection.

You may not have any serious problems which need to be dealt with straight away, but many roofing contractors are also good at home renovation. They may even be able to give you some ideas on how you can better insulate your roofing space in order to reduce heating bills. That money can be very well spent, and may quickly be offset against potential savings.

Preventative Maintenance

Just like other parts of the home, it is a good idea to focus on preventative maintenance when it comes to your roof. It is just as important to keep your roof clean and well maintained. Doing so may even ensure that your roof lasts that little bit longer. As with other contractors, you should make sure that your roofing contractor is qualified to do the job and have experience of home maintenance and home renovation.

How to Manage Legal and Safety Issues with Your Remodeling Contractor

There are some legal and safety issues around hiring a home remodeling contractor which you should be aware of before you start. Some of them of them are self explanatory, but there are others that are easy to forget about
Legal & Safety Issues with Your Remodeling Contractor
Date Published: 01/31/2015
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There are many things to consider when hiring a home remodeling contractor to work on your home, and two key issues are the legal and the safety aspects of the home addition project. Most of us don’t like to deal with legal issues, and if you are uncertain at all, it is a good idea to seek professional legal advice.

Manage your remodeling

Manage your remodeling

Safety is of prime importance as well. You need to make sure that your property is safe whilst any remodeling or renovation work is going on. If, this is your first home addition or renovation project, there may even be some obvious things which are not apparent at first.

Top Legal and Safety Issues

There are some legal and safety issues around hiring a home remodeling contractor which you should be aware of before you start. Some of them of them are self explanatory, but there are others that are easy to forget about.

1. Pets and Children: Remodeling work does not go hand in hand with kids and pets. If, you are planning to live on site whilst your home addition is going on, you need to make sure kids and pets are safe. Depending on the size of the project, there is likely to be construction traffic and heavy materials being moved around. Kids are curious and always want to know what is going on, and pets can really get in the way. Make sure both are kept away from the work, and have their own safe area to play in.

2. Contract: Is your contract water tight? You need to make sure the contract contains as much detail as possible. It is easy to think that some information is not important, but basically everything is important. Make sure materials are specified and it is also important for the contract to contain a schedule. All professional home remodeling contractors always work to a strict schedule as they have other projects to go to. Don’t be afraid to include penalty clauses. Work running over time can be expensive, and you don’t want to end up paying for extra labor costs.

3. Physical Address: I always recommend checking that your home remodeling contractor has a physical address. It is common for less reputable contractors to use a PO Box, and this is something which should set alarm bells ringing straight away. Check your home remodeling contractor’s physical and legal address as you are more than likely committing a lot of money to your home renovation project.

4. License: Is your contractor licensed to do the work? All professional contractors will show you their license and qualifications. If your renovation contractor is a member of any associations, it is a good idea to check him out. Most of the time it is as easy as looking on the association’s web site, but I always double check the information. Send an email to the association and ask if the contractor is still a member. It may seem that you are being over cautious, but when it comes to home additions you cannot be too careful.

5. Insurance: Does your renovation contractor have the right kind of insurance? There are many different types of insurance in the building industry, and you want to make sure your remodeling contractor has a decent coverage for liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. The insurance should cover accidental damage to your property and injuries sustained to employees. You don’t want to end up footing the bill for your contractor’s employees if they injure themselves. It is easy to fall of a roof or sustain an injury from construction equipment.

6. Payment Schedule: The payment schedule should form part of the contract, but it is always best to agree it before the contract is written up. Some remodeling contractors like to work on percentages, but this is best avoided. It is much better to agree payments at certain milestones of the project.

If you are having a new garage built, you could make an initial deposit payment. The other payments could be “called off” when the floor is finished, walls are up and the roof is on. The final payment should only be made after the project is finished, and any “snagging” taken care of. Only ever pay your renovation contractor when he has finished your home addition to the standard agreed in the contract.

7. Warranty: Is your contractor prepared to offer you a warranty? Most reputable renovation contractors will offer a warranty for their work. The legal requirement for a construction warranty varies from state to state or depends on the laws in the country you live in. It is important to make yourself aware of the legal length of warranty in your state or country. If, your local remodeling contractor is not prepared to offer a warranty, you are taking a big risk with your investment.

8. Environmental Laws: Construction legalization all around the world has over recent years become very strict. It does not only cover site safety, but it now also covers the disposal and handling of materials. Make sure that your house remodeling contractor is aware of any environmental legalization which may affect the project. This may cover anything from finding asbestos, removing lead piping to the safe disposal of chip board.

You may want to do some research on the latest requirements, and discuss this with your home remodeling contractor. Include details of the safe removal and disposal of materials in your contract so there are no grey areas. A home addition project may seem a daunting task at first. In a nutshell, it is a good learning experience for other areas of your life. You can learn a lot of from being involved in a remodeling or renovation project.

However, if you feel unsure about an issue you should always ask for professional advice. Good advice can save you a lot of money, and help you to avoid many pitfalls along the way.

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