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Archive for July, 2012

How to Deal With Common Contractor Problem

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by Admin

You cannot expect to always have a smooth working relationship with a roofing Clarksville, TN contractor. Sometimes, problems arise and if you experience one, you should know how to handle the situation. Here are some of the common problems you might encounter with a contractor and how to deal with them:

Additional Costs Due to Unanticipated Conditions

Unanticipated conditions refer to rot, termite, damages, and the like which were not observed by the contractor before starting with the project and which are also the reasons why he would ask the homeowner to pay for extra work. The truth is, the homeowner is never to blame for such negligence and he is not supposed to pay for the extra expenses. If you encounter this problem, try to talk to the contractor about it or you can just call off the project.

Delays

It is important that a roofing Clarksville, TN contractor keeps his promise of starting and getting the job done right on time. However, if you experience delays in construction, you should bring the problem to the contractor’s attention. Ask for a clear explanation about the causes of delay. To avoid this problem, always ask contractors to create a schedule of all the tasks that they need to do and the time and date when they can start and finish each task.

Shocking Alterations in the Plan

There are some contractors, architects, or designers that would do away with some parts of the plan and proceed on doing what they believe is better. This may not be a problem at all for some homeowners but it is the opposite to those who might not like the changes. To avoid this problem, gather the team before the project is started and tell them to just stick with the plan.

What to Do

First, hire the best roofing Clarksville, TN contractor you could possibly find. Ask for recommendations, search online, check out lists of licensed contractors, and get at least 3 bids (as the Better Business Bureau suggests). Interview your prospect contractors about their experience and track record. Make sure to hire a legitimate contractor.

Second, establish good communication between you and the contractor by meeting with the core people of the team regularly, especially when planning the project. Make sure that all agreements are well understood.

Lastly, read the contract thoroughly before signing it. A well-written contract must have complete contact information of the contractor, payment schedule, materials and labor involved in the project, building permits, contractor’s licensing and insurance, and warranties from the manufacturers and the contractor.


What Roofing Contractors Would Not Tell You?

Posted on: July 30th, 2012 by Admin

Keeping all the guidelines in selecting the best roofing contractor Nashville, TN does not guarantee that you will indeed work with the best contractor who will agree with all your demands. Remember that your need for remodeling, replacement, or repair jobs is business to roofing contractors—their source of income. Thus, it is just logical to think that they would not disclose everything to you. Here are some of them.

1. ) “I’m not going to hammer the nails myself.”

Contractors are just contractors, and although they may be carpenters or designers in the past, they would not do the nitty-gritty of the project anymore. They would instead let their team do the tasks. All a contractor cares about now is his business and to make sure that everything works fine. Therefore, insist on having the project supervised and meet this supervisor in person. Get to know the people who will be working for you. It would also be better to get yourself involved in the project by meeting with the contractor or supervisor for planning and monitoring.

2.) “I’m a contractor, not a designer.”

A contractor may have good designing skills but he cannot be as good to do designing jobs for the project, unless he can prove you that he still pulls off designing well and show you an impressive, recently updated portfolio. This is because a contractor is already preoccupied with his business and he may not have the time to practice the craft anymore. It is better to choose a reliable designer or architect to work the designs, although asking the contractor to work on it is not entirely wrong.

3.) “I will do everything for you to choose me.”

You may get overly priced by a contractor without you knowing it. That’s because a roofing contractor would typically find ways to make you choose him. However, the Better Business Bureau advises homeowners to get at least three bids before hiring a roofing contractor Nashville, TN. To get a more competitive estimate, you can tell the contractor that you are also considering other options. He would most likely work on giving you a competitive estimate.

4.) “You need to give me some money now because I’m a scam artist.”

Upon signing the contract, you would normally be required a deposit. However, some contractors would demand unreasonably huge amounts. In California, the maximum deposit allowed to be asked from a customer is 10% of the roofing job cost or $1, 000 or whichever is less. Thus, if a contractor asks for more than 10% of the job cost to be paid upfront, it is a red flag for scam.

5.) “I will mark up the costs for materials and labor so I could gain more profit.”

Just like auto dealers, roofing contractors have the tendency for mark-ups. Avoid contractor mark-ups by looking at the list of materials in the estimate and take out all that you can purchase yourself. This will also save you money.


Attic Ventilation for Homeowners: Why is it Important?

Posted on: July 27th, 2012 by Admin

Attic ventilation adds comfort to your home and helps you save on energy costs. But most importantly, it regulates the air movement in your house. How?

During hot weather like summer, the heat coming from the sun directly hits your roof, making the attic extremely hot. This heat travels to the attic floor and then to the lower rooms. Attic ventilation makes your house cooler in such weather as it prevents heat build up. Moreover, you will also be able to save on air conditioning costs.

During cold weather like winter, attic ventilation prevents moisture build up. Remember the basic physics: hot air rises while cool air descends. However, in a cold weather, hot air rises with moist and travels to the attic. If you don’t have adequate ventilation, that hot, moist air gets trapped in the attic causing trusses and rafters to rot and can even ruin the roof insulation. Aside from the natural hot air that rises, some home activities such as cooking, bathing, and laundry also produces water vapor.

Attic ventilation also prevents the formation of ice dams. Ice dams are formed when a warm attic, which is caused by hot air traveling upward the attic, melts the snow on top of the roof. Since the lower part of the roof remains cool, the melting snow freezes again on the edge of the roof, forming ice dams. As the process repeats, water gets stuck in between the ice dams and the melting snow and seeps underneath the shingles, causing leaks.

Attic Ventilation: Getting it Right

Attic ventilation must be balanced by installing adequate and appropriate intake and exhaust vents. Intake vents like the soffit vents allow fresh, dry, cooler air from outside the house to enter the attic, while exhaust vents release hot air. Most roofing experts deem ridge vents as the most cost-effective and most efficient exhaust vent because they don’t need power to operate and they can vent the entire sheathing as long as they are installed at sufficient length.

However, if you’re thinking that installing several vents on your roof is good to release as much hot air from your house, you are wrong. If you have too many exhaust vents installed—for example, a ridge vent and more than a couple of powered fans—they can get the intake from each other, which is air with rain, snow, or dirt, instead of getting it from the soffit vents.

A Nashville, TN roofing contractor can help you choose and install effective attic ventilation system for your home. The Nashville, TN roofing contractor that you’ll be working with must have an experience installing vents in your region. This is because of the possibility that what works best in other regions might not be the same as effective in your region.


Choosing the Right Contractor…and Why Hire One?

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by Admin

Many homeowners fail to hire the best TN roofing contractor. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) are receiving a number of complaints against roofing contractors each year. The fact is, scam artists and storm chasers exist and that’s why you need to be extra careful in hiring a contractor.

Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Experience. Experience counts in hiring a TN roofing contractor. There are some roofing jobs, such as roof replacement and stucco siding installation, that should be done by experts only or those who have experience in doing them. Take your time to research about the contractor’s experience by checking out their previous projects. Make sure that they have enough experience in the type of roofing job that you need. Ask for references or a list of their customers so you can ask about the contractor’s performance. You can also ask the roofing contractor about how long have they been operating in the industry.

License. The local government of Tennessee urges homeowners to hire only licensed roofing contractors. You can check a contractor’s license status online as made possible by the Board for Licensing Contractors. The license has to be in active status and not yet expired. Keep in mind that licensed contractors are legitimate contractors. Contractors with no or expired license definitely cannot work for you.

Contract. The contract is an important part of your working relationship with the contractor. Do not let the contractor start with the project without drafting a contract first. Keep in mind that verbal agreements and promises are useless and can be easily retracted. Some important details that a roofing contract must include are the exact amounts of all the fees and charges involved, types and brands of materials that will be used, tasks that need to be accomplished for the project, warranties, and insurance. You should also insist on having the project supervised to ensure safety and quality of work.

Why Hire a Professional

Many homeowners think that simple roofing jobs are easy and can be done without hiring a professional. However, they may be underestimating the difficulty of roofing jobs. When you do DIY roofing jobs, some areas of concern would be the using right tools and learning the skills needed for the project, following instructions, and knowing and understanding roofing basics. Many homeowners fail in these aspects and that is why, the job sometimes cost too much or took a long time before it was completed. In this case, a homeowner didn’t really save cash and time at all.

Therefore, hiring a professional roofer for your roofing jobs is a better idea. Although you would sometimes have to shell out a lot of money, it will only be a one-time-big-time expense because the solution is long-term. Just make sure that you hire a good contractor by keeping the guidelines above.


All is Wet!: Signs You Have a Drainage Problem and How to Fix Them

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 by Admin

The drainage system around your house includes two important components: gutters and downspouts. These are mainly responsible for channeling water that comes from the roof away from your house. Problems concerning gutters and downspouts should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid experiencing more serious problems. Here’s how you would know that your gutter and downspouts are causing you a drainage problem.

Overflowing Gutters

Vertical water stains on the side of your gutters or on your sidings and peeling off exterior house paint are signs that you have overflowing gutters. Gutters overflow when water cannot flow freely toward the downspouts because of a lot of debris, such as leaves, asphalt shingle granules, and twigs, blocking or clogging the entire trough. Gutters also overflow if they are improperly installed or already sagging due to natural deterioration or heavy ice. Water overflowing from gutters can ruin the curb appeal of your house, as it destroys the exterior painting job, and can also eventually cause your sidings to rot.

You can save on repairs by regularly inspecting the condition of your gutters. Remove all the debris and make sure that your gutters are always clean. You can install gutter screens to keep debris from clogging your gutters. However, you would need to replace improperly pitched and sagging gutters, which would cost you more, especially if you will be needing help from roofing companies Nashville, TN.

Dumping Downspouts

Downspouts can flush buckets of water, especially during heavy rainfall, and you can’t afford this amount of water to seep through the foundation of your house and your basement. This can happen if your downspouts are badly installed near the foundation or they are simply just too short. If you have dumping downspouts, your foundations will have enlarging cracks and you will also have a wet basement.

You can use gutter extensions or downspout diverters to channel water away, at least 10 feet, from the house. If you already have huge cracks on the foundation, call a structural engineer, and not a roofing or building contractor, as soon as possible to fix the problem.

Solutions

Some solutions for a drainage problem are sump pumps, which pump excess water from a basement, and French drains, which are trenches, usually covered with gravel or small rocks, that channel water coming from the surface or the ground away from the house.

Correcting drainage problems may cost you a fortune especially if you will be needing help from roofing companies Nashville, TN or other contractors. However, you can save a lot of cash and time by regularly checking the overall condition of your house. Preventative solutions also cost you money but they are worth it in the long run.


Which Roofing Contractor Do I Pick?

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by Admin

You cannot just hire any roofing Nashville, TN contractor who knocks on your door or you see in the internet. You have to follow guidelines in hiring a good contractor so you would not end up getting frustrated by some sloppy roofing job or worse, encountering a roofing scam.

1. The roofing contractor must be licensed.

Tennessee is urging all homeowners to hire only licensed roofing Nashville, TN contractors. Storm chasers or fake roofers go door to door and perform roofing jobs without a license. Legitimate contractors should have a license. The Board for Licensing Contractors has made it possible for homeowners to look up the license status of a roofing contractor online. The license must not be expired and should be in active status. You can also search from the list of registered roofing contractors provided by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online.

2. Choose a contractor after comparing at least 3 estimates.

BBB advises homeowners to get at least 3 estimates from various contractors. Roofing contractors can vary in prices depending on the materials that they are going to use and the labor cost. However, some estimates are too high or too cheap. In any case, always ask the contractor how did they come up with such estimate. Make a careful comparison of the estimates before choosing a contractor.

3. All agreements must be put into writing.

Having a contract is important. Verbal agreements are nothing as they can be easily retracted. Make sure that all terms that you and the contractor have agreed upon are in writing. These should be clearly stated and not subject to many interpretations. The contract should also say something about the contractor’s responsibility to secure necessary building permits, insurance, and warranties. The contract serves as your protection and the contractor’s if any problem arises.

4. Full payment should only be made at the end of the project.

Do not pay the full amount of the project cost in advance. Fraudulent roofing contractors demand for full payment, or at least 30% to 50% of the total project cost, before they even start to work. You can pay 10% down or $1, 000, but not more than that. Do not also pay in cash. Use your credit card instead in paying the contractor so that if any problem arises, you can easily retract your payment.

5. The homeowner must at least try to resolve any issue directly with the contractor before filing a complaint.

If any problem arises during or after the project, homeowners should try to resolve the issue directly with the contractor first before filing a complaint, as suggested by the Board for Licensing Contractors and BBB. In most cases, roofing contractors are willing to make any changes or remedies to solve the problem.


Watch Out for Fraudulent Roofing Contractors

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 by Admin

All you wanted was a better roof until a roofing contractor who came knocking on your door to offer you a low-cost roofing job did a sloppy work on your roof. You are scornful toward the roofing contractor now as the condition of your roof did not get any better. This is a usual case of a roofing scam. What if it really happened to you? If you don’t want such experience, take note of the following reminders.

I need the money now.

One of the common schemes of fraudulent roofing contractors Nashville, TN is demanding for the payment in advance even before starting the job. They would usually ask 30% to 50% of the total job costs to be paid upfront. This is obviously a scam. Legitimate contractors do not ask for advance payments. The only acceptable reason for paying in advance is when you opt to do so to make sure that the job is done well and on time. Other than that, the roofing contractor cannot demand an upfront payment. If you put a big money down, the fraudulent roofing contractor will either disappear after receiving the payment or do a sloppy job on your roof.

I swear I’ll do it.

Verbal promises are useless when negotiating with a roofing contractor. If they made promises, ask them to put it in writing. All agreements made between you and the contractor must be included in the contract. Otherwise, the contractor can easily retract verbal promises they have made and you would not have any legal reference to counteract such action. In addition, read the contract before signing to make sure that all important details are included.

Your roof looks bad; but we can help you fix it.

Storm chasers are unlicensed roofers from outside your town who would often come knocking on your door to offer you cheap roofing services. They are called storm chasers because they go to places where there are reports of storm or hail damage. Aside from having no license, storm chasers do not also have permanent office address, warranties, and insurance. You might get caught in their trap if you are easily enticed with their seemingly competitive offers. To avoid storm chasers, always ask for the roofing license of whoever knocks on your door.

General Guidelines

Always make sure that the contractor you’ll be working with is legitimate by checking out the online database of Better Business Bureau where registered businesses are listed. You can also check the license status of roofing contractors Nashville, TN by performing a license search in Tennessee’s government website in the Board for Licensing Contractors page.


Quick Fixes for Common Gutter Problems

Posted on: July 20th, 2012 by Admin

Gutters are important parts of your house’s structure. Their main function is to channel the rainwater on your roof away from your house’s foundation. Gutters also lessen the water exposure of the painted parts of the house and help prevent leaks in basements. Because of its location, gutters often encounter problems that need to be fixed as soon as possible.

Clogged Gutters

The most common problem of gutters is clogging. Some people neglect to do regular cleaning especially during the fall or after a storm so it will get clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris. The weight of wet leaves and tree branches will also take their toll on the gutters and cause them to sag and pull away from the house’s structure. You can do your own DIY gutter cleaning from time to time; you can also hire a roofing Knoxville contractor to do it for you, especially if you live in an extremely tall house.

Leaks and Holes

Just like your roof, your gutters can also have leaks and holes if you neglect to do proper maintenance. If the leaks are in the gutter joints and if you have very small holes in your gutters, you can plug them up by using a gutter sealant. Larger holes will require a gutter patching kit which can be bought at the hardware store.

Sagging Gutters

Sagging, sometimes known as warping, can happen to old gutters that have been battered by bad weather through the years. In this scenario, the gutters pull away from the structure of the house and allow rainwater to leak into the foundation. As previously stated, clogging can also cause it to sag. If you have this problem, you will need to replace the broken parts. If you are not much of a handyman, you can contact a roofing Knoxville contractor to fix it for you.

Improper Installation

Sometimes, the problems with gutters is in the installation. One issue that may come up is installing the wrong size of gutter parts because the roofing contractor did not measure the size of the roof correctly. Keep in mind that the size of the roof will affect the size of the gutter system directly. Another installation problem is when the gutters are not slightly inclined. A slight slope is required so that gravity can assist with the water flow from the roof to the gutter to the downspout. If you have gutter installation problems, call the roofing Knoxville contractor to fix it.

For major problems involving your gutters, you should asking your professional roofing Knoxville contractor to give you a hand with the repairs. Remember, sometimes it is best to leave some things to the pros.


Preventing Falls When Working On Your Roof

Posted on: July 19th, 2012 by Admin

Working on a roof is not a job that every homeowner can do. It requires adequate preparation and knowledge for one to successfully and safely do the job. Speaking of safety, roofing jobs are risky and their dangers are fatal. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. However, OSHA also insists that these deaths can be prevented. Here are some safety guidelines you should keep to prevent falling off your roof and help reduce the number of construction fatalities.

The Harness

The harness is one of the most important safety equipment that you should have when working on your roof. Whether you are doing inspection, simple repairs, or a major job on your roof, make sure that you are wearing a harness to hold you. Don’t remove it or disconnect from the lifeline unless you’re done with the job. Moreover, make sure that the harness you are going to use is not faulty or defective.

In addition, cover or protect skylights or any holes and openings on the roof which can cause your fall. Do not also work near them if they are not protected.

The Ladder

There are different types of ladders for construction work. Use the right one for the specific job you are going to do. Secure the ladder and make sure that it is standing on level ground. Always climb the ladder facing it and with your two hands holding each side. Do not overreach, especially when removing snow from your roof or cleaning the gutters, while stepping on the ladder. Do not also work on the top step of the ladder. Otherwise, you could easily fall if you lose your balance.

The Plan

OSHA urges that roofing or construction jobs be planned ahead of time. Know what tools and equipment you will be needing for the job. List down also the tasks that you need to do. Planning also includes inspection and getting estimates of the job cost. Plan also carefully when to do the job. It is important to consider the weather when planning for a roofing job. You cannot work when there are high winds, snow, rain, or storm because the roof surface is slippery and working on top of it is highly dangerous. If you need to do some complicated repairs, hand the job over to roofers Nashville.

Hire professional roofers Nashville if you are not comfortable about climbing up a ladder and working on the top of your roof. In choosing which contractor to hire, check out BBB’s database for a list of accredited and registered roofing contractors.


How to File a Complaint Against a Roofing Contractor

Posted on: July 18th, 2012 by Admin

According to the 2011 national statistics provided by the Better Business Bureau, roofing contractors rank 15th in the number of complaints filed with more than 60% settled. Homeowners can file a complaint against a roofing contractor Nashville, TN if he or she has violated the rules and regulations set by the Board for Licensing Contractors, any provisions in the Consumer Protection Act, failed to comply with the terms and agreements written in the contract, and the like. Nashville homeowners can file a complaint in Nashville BBB or in Tennessee’s Consumer Affairs Division.

BBB accepts a complaint whether or not the business is accredited by it. However, as stated in its website, it does not handle complaints involving employment practices, discrimination, or matters in litigation which are best handled by the legal system or government or private agencies. BBB accepts complaints as long as the complaint met the criteria for complaints acceptance. Homeowners must review this first before filing a complaint.

After the homeowner has submitted the complaint form, BBB will forward the complaint to the roofing contractor Nashville, TN within two business days. The company will be given 14 days to respond to the complaint. BBB usually closes complaints within 30 calendar days.

Meanwhile, homeowners can also file a complaint in the Consumer Affairs Division. A complaint is accepted if the homeowner is residing in Tennessee or if the contractor being complained is operating in the state. The complaint is set up within two weeks after it was filed. The homeowner will be notified once the complaint is set up. He or she could sometimes be referred to a specializing board. In this case, the Board for Licensing Contractors is the closest body to handle complaints against roofing contractors, especially those who are unlicensed. The contractor will be given 21 days to respond to the complaint. Formal actions are brought when there is violation of Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

In filing a complaint, BBB and the Consumer Affairs Division encourage consumers to contact the business and resolve the issue directly with the business first before filing a complaint. Also, for smoother and faster processing, consumers must fill out the complaint form completely, providing all the important details of the complaint concisely but clearly. Copies of documents which can serve as proofs for the complaint should also be attached. Original copies should not be given as these will not be returned anymore.

To avoid troubles caused by an inefficient or unlicensed roofing contractor and the hassle of filing a complaint, homeowners should take time to research about roofing contractors by checking out BBB’s list of registered contractors. They can also verify a roofing contractor’s license by looking it up through the license search tool of the Board for Licensing Contractors in Tennessee’s website.


 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Roof Repair   Roof Replacement   Roof Certification   Gutters & Downspouts  
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Gutters & Downspouts
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