Month: August 2020

Homemade Drain Cleaner – DIY or Call A Plumber?  

When there’s a clog in the sink, do you consider a DIY solution, call a professional, or do you reach for the chemical drain cleaner? While chemical drain cleaners are generally advertised as a quick solution for a clog, they can actually be quite harmful. Instead, consider using a simple at home DIY cleaner to tackle a drain clog. These solutions are not only safer to use, but they also don’t risk damaging your pipes with harmful chemicals. Keep in mind that these aren’t as strong as chemical drain cleaners, meaning tough clogs may need professional help. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to call a plumber!

Before looking at DIY drain cleaners, there are a few things to know about clogs and chemical drain cleaners. Understanding the causes and dangers of clogs and why chemical cleaners aren’t recommended will help to both tackle and prevent clogs. You can then decide if a DIY cleaner is for you or if it’s a job for the plumbers.

Common causes of clogs  

Most of the time, clogs are from things that shouldn’t have been flushed down the drain. Other times, namely in bathroom sinks, it’s a matter of buildup in the drain creating a block and affecting the water flow. Either way, several things can cause a clog. 

Bathroom sink clogs

Typically caused when loose hair washes down the drain or a buildup of soap scum develops along the pipe walls. Over time, this either leads to a clog or affects how quickly the water can drain. If you notice slow draining sinks, don’t ignore it. Instead, take the time to clear it before the problem worsens.

Shower clogs

Loose hair is the main culprit in showers, especially if there is no hair catcher to protect the drains. Other culprits are from a buildup of dead skin cells and soap scum or hard water. Without a water softener, hard water has higher amounts of minerals than normal, leading to a mineral deposit buildup in the pipes.

Toilet clogs

Toilet clogs are the more common issues that are caused by flushing feminine hygiene products, toilet wipes, or dental floss. A buildup of these can risk severe clogs, especially if the water flows back into the toilet bowl and causes a flood. Other times the problem is more external and results from old pipes or slow septic systems that need a plumber’s expertise to fix.

Kitchen sink clogs

Flushing grease or oil from pans is the biggest culprit here. Grease will reharden as it cools, which quickly becomes a problem when this happens in the pipes. Even just rinsing food off plates can accumulate in the pipes and cause a blockage.

The best way to avoid a clog is to never flush objects or food down the sink. Screen or hair catchers in any bathrooms can also help catch unwanted objects from going down the drain. However, when a clog does occur, it’s important to understand the risks and how to clear one safely. 

Dangers of clogs  

Clogs are never ideal, but especially when a severe enough clog develops that ends up needing costly repairs. Bad odours aside, blocked drains can have very real consequences. The longer a clog is in place, even a small one, the higher the risk of it creating the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. If left, this can quickly cause serious health issues if the stagnant water infects the clean water.

The risk of leaks is something else to consider as all that trapped water has to go somewhere. The water will start to leak from the pipes themselves, or if the pressure is too much, it can burst and cause a flood. In turn, that can cause even more damage and repair costs, so this is never a desired outcome. Recurring clogs is another thing to be aware of as these may be signs of a more serious problem. It may be that the issue is in the sewer line and that tree roots, trapped debris, or a damaged pipe is the cause.

Risk of chemical cleaners 

There are a few ways to clear a clog depending on personal preference or the severity of the clog. These include using a DIY drain cleaner, buying plumbing tools, or calling a plumber. One thing to always avoid when tackling a clog is to reach for the chemical drain cleaners. While these might clear a clog in no time, they can also just as easily damage the pipes on the way down. Older pipes especially don’t mix well with powerful chemical cleaners that can just as easily eat away at the pipes as well as the clog.

It can also be a personal health risk, including causing eye or skin irritation, if the chemicals come in contact with your skin. Most of the time, a clog isn’t serious enough to need such a strong solution. However, if the clog is that serious, it’s likely better to leave it to a professional.

The DIY drain cleaner way  

A great alternative to harmful chemical drain cleaners is to make your own homemade cleaner.

Most recipes can help clear away minor clogs and use natural and easy to find ingredients from home. These ingredients also won’t damage the pipes, so you don’t have to worry about costly repairs. If the clog has left water in the sink or tub, clear out as much of it as possible before using the drain cleaner. Also, avoid using a sink plunger or a drain snake as either of these can push the clog further back instead. If that happens, the pipes can become over pressured and risk bursting. 

Ingredients  

The great thing about this recipe is that all it only needs three ingredients. Mixed together they can help clear a clogged drain.

Boiling water: about one small pot’s worth (times two for a final rinse)

Vinegar: ½ cup

Baking soda: ½ cup

Be aware that the baking soda and vinegar will foam and bubble a lot, but don’t worry because that is what you want. The chemical reaction of the two will release carbon dioxide, which can help clear up most clogs. 

Instructions  

Step 1: Remove any existing water from the sink or bathtub.

Step 2: Pour boiling water into the drain.

Step 3: Pour ½ cup of the baking soda down into the drain and make sure it goes straight down.

Step 4: Then add ½ cup of vinegar, which will react with the baking soda and start bubbling.

Step 5: Place a cover over the mixture and let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes. If the clog is particularly bad, leave the mixture to sit for as long as necessary.

Step 6: Remove the cover and flush more boiling water down the drain to clear away the last of the DIY cleaner and any residual clog bits.

Other DIY cleaners to try  

There are also other easy to try and use DIY cleaning methods to tackle different types of clogs.  Similar to the first DIY drain cleaner, these all use natural ingredients that can easily be found at home. 

Smelly drains (baking soda and lemon juice)

In this combination, the lemon’s citric acid reacts with the bicarbonate in the baking soda. The result will clear away any bad smells and leave your drains smelling like lemons! Just use half a cup each of baking soda and lemon juice and let the mixture sit for an hour before flushing the drain with boiling water.

Hardened grease (boiling water)

If you poured grease down the drain, don’t worry, because it can still be cleared. Pouring boiling water down the drain will turn the grease back into a liquid and help flush it from the pipes. Start with two litres of boiling water, but keep in mind you may need more depending on the amount of grease.

Bacteria buildup (salt, borax, and vinegar)

Borax is a cleaning product that is useful in removing mould and mildew. Suppose you have a clog that’s been stuck for a while and are worried about residual bacteria. In that case, this combination is the solution. Mix half a cup each of salt and borax and pour it down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Then, let everything sit for half an hour to a few hours. Afterward, pour a small pot’s worth of boiling water down the drain to flush out the pipes.

For any of these methods, if the clog is only partially fixed just rinse and repeat the process! However, if this doesn’t work at all, then consider one of two options: 

1. Dismantle the drain tap to remove the clog at its source (only if you have experience and tools to do so), or

2. Call in a professional plumber. 

Natural drain cleaners have a time and a place, but sometimes a clog is just too serious for a home solution. In those cases, calling a professional is the better choice. Otherwise, an allegedly quick DIY fix risks making the problem much worse. 

DIY risks 

DIY drain repair is only recommended if you have the right experience for the job. Trying to use plumbing tools without experience, like a drain snake or a cup plunger, risks worsening the issue. Drain snakes can just as easily push the clog further down and completely block the pipes. Cup plungers, those used on sinks, have the risk of pushing air instead of water down the drain. Instead of freeing the clog, the forced air can damage the pipes. In either case, there is a risk of an unexpected flood if the pipes burst. Likewise if you’re on a septic system, damaging the septic tank can lead to contaminated water which results in health problems that can vary from minor to severe.

If you don’t have plumbing experience or the clog isn’t going away, don’t continue to try DIY methods. The same can be said for clogs that keep appearing despite preventive care. Either case may be more severe than it seems, which makes a professional’s help the best choice.

Benefits of hiring a plumber  

When a homemade drain cleaner just doesn’t work, turn to a professional plumber instead. Not all tools you can buy to DIY are professional grade, meaning they can make the problem worse. Plumbers, however, readily have all the right tools and experience for the job. One particular method, hydro-jetting, uses high-pressured water to flush the pipes and clear clogs. This is great in the hands of a professional and for troublesome clogs, but only in the right situations. Not all pipes can handle the pressure, so only a plumber will know when it is okay to use. 

Once a clog is found and cleared, your plumber can advise you on avoiding future clogs. Afterward, it’s also beneficial to give those drains a good cleaning, which is something else a professional can offer. 

Professional drain cleaning  

Drain cleaning can be DIYed, but nothing beats a little professional attention now and then. Plumbers won’t turn to harmful and harsh chemical drain cleaners, but they have the right tools for cleaning. As mentioned before, hydro-jetting can clear away clogs, but it also helps scrub the pipes clean of any lingering debris. This will also remove any lingering odours and lower the likelihood of future clogs developing. You’ll also save more money in the long run without the risk of burst pipes or flooding caused by clogs. Plus, it’ll ensure the safety of your home and your health against water contamination from bacteria.

When paired with regular preventative DIY maintenance, professional cleaning only needs to be done once every two years. If any easy DIY drain cleaner can handle the job, then there’s no reason not to use one. However, if a problem creeps up earlier that a homemade drain cleaner can’t solve, you know who to call! 

Find a RenovationFind certified drain cleaning company now!

RenovationFind Certified is a symbol of integrity held by only the most trustworthy companies in home improvement, service, maintenance. 

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Granite vs. Quartz: Compare both countertop materials  

Countertops play a big role in both kitchens and bathrooms and not just for aesthetics or value, but also day-to-day function. In the world of countertop materials, granite vs quartz countertops are typically seen as the top two contenders. Both materials are durable, valuable, and visually appealing. How do you choose between them?

Comparing the two materials will help narrow down the best fit for your home, needs, and budget. But first, there are other factors to consider that will also make the process clearer and more manageable.   

Factors to consider

Each type of countertop material from natural stone to engineered will offer its own unique appearances, benefits, and variations in price. That’s why knowing what makes a good countertop will ensure that you get the right match for your home with benefits that will last for years.

Function and lifestyle  

Function should go hand-in-hand with your lifestyle, and both should be at the top of your list when choosing a new countertop. Do you enjoy hosting friends and family? Are you an avid chef or baker? Or do you enjoy spa days in a luxury designed bathroom? For example, quartz countertops vs granite are perfect for bakers because they are naturally cool to the touch, much like marble. That will make it easier to handle butter or pastries on the surface, without either melting or becoming tacky from the heat.

On the other hand, granite is a visually striking choice, making it perfect for an eye-catching and luxury addition. It is also very durable and isn’t easy to scratch or damage. A good countertop should always complement your lifestyle and not conflict with how you use your kitchen or bathroom.

Budget  

Your budget will also play an important role, especially since natural stone often has a higher price tag. In addition to the cost of the actual material, factor in other expenses like professional installation or any custom work. Maintenance as well, like the cost to reseal a porous surface every few years, must also be factored in.

Prices for countertops tend to vary from low-end to high-end, but don’t always lean towards lower costs. Instead, it may be more worthwhile to pay extra for a higher-end material. Lower quality may not last as long or may be more prone to being easily damaged. Having a detailed budget for your entire renovation, including the countertop, will ensure there are no unexpected future costs or repairs after choosing a material.  

Value or appearance? 

Do you want a new countertop that will have a significant return on investment, or are you choosing based on appearances alone? It may even be a blend of the two, and there’s no wrong answer, but knowing either way will help. When it comes to resale, for example, granite vs quartz is still one of the more popular and desired choices. It has timeless beauty, a wide range of colours and is easy to customize. As a natural stone, no two pieces of granite will look alike either. If appearance is the main focus, however, then quartz is quickly becoming popular among homeowners. Since quartz is engineered, it is even easier to choose a colour that will complement any room’s décor and colour scheme.  

Maintenance and durability

These two factors go hand-in-hand when considering a new countertop, but they also come down to personal choice. Some materials are incredibly durable but require higher maintenance to maintain that robust nature. Other materials are naturally robust, even with minimal maintenance. There is no wrong choice in what you choose, so just factor in your personal preference for any upkeep. Both natural stone and engineered stone tend to be very durable. Still, some types of natural stone need to be resealed every few years.

Granite countertops

Granite is quarried as stone blocks that are then cut and sold in slabs or tiles of varying sizes. As a countertop, granite is often referred to as ‘the king of materials,’ despite recent competition with quartz countertops vs granite. It has been a top contender for many years and will continue to be, especially with the many benefits it continues to offer.

Appearance 

As far as customization and uniqueness go, granite is the best choice. Each slab looks different, so no two pieces of granite will ever be the same. The colour variation among granite is the result of the types of minerals within each slab. In general, granite is composed of quartz and feldspar, with smaller amounts of various other minerals such as mica. A slab with higher amounts of feldspar, for example, will have more reddish hues and highlights. In comparison, one with higher amounts of mica will vary towards thicker veins of black or brown.

Granite also comes in different forms, including slabs, modular, and tiles. Granite slabs are the most common choice; however, they are also the heaviest and require professional installation. Modular are smaller sized slabs that are installed side-by-side and have fewer seams than tiles. This type can be DIYed with the right skills and a second pair of hands if the weight is too much. Lastly, granite tiles are similar to floor tiles, both in appearance and installation. Each piece is smaller and much easier to handle, making it very DIY friendly, and grout is used to seal the seams. If you’re looking for the best value, appearance, and the least maintenance, choose granite slabs for your kitchen renovation.

Durability

Granite is a naturally hard stone, which also makes it highly durable. It is resistant to heat, stains, and scratches to the point where it can even dull knife blades if you cut directly on its surface. However, like any natural stone, granite has inherent flaws and it’s not perfect. A resin-based seal can help protect the countertop from scratches, chips, and staining.

Granite must be sealed once installed to protect it against stains or bacteria. Then, to maintain that stain-resistance, it must be resealed every three to five years. Sealing granite is not difficult and is easily something you can do yourself with products from a granite company. Aside from that, quartz vs granite countertops is similarly cleaned with a soap wash or mild cleanser. Spills should also be cleaned quickly to prevent any stains from settling in.

Considerations

There are some downsides of granite to consider in addition to its many benefits. Poorly sealed granite will lose its effectiveness and protectiveness, which risks stains and bacteria settling into its porous surface. Because granite does need resealing every few years, it is a continuous cost in addition to the initial installation, though a small one. The weight of granite also makes it unsuited to DIYers, so professional help will need to be factored into the overall cost. Granite is usually installed with multiple slabs, which means there will be seams on the countertop. A skilled professional can make these less noticeable, but not all homeowners like this fact.

Quartz countertops

While granite is naturally quarried, quartz countertops are actually a type of engineered stone. There is some quartz in the material, but it is mostly a combination of other types of stone. The materials are crushed together and then combined with a binder. Quartz countertops themselves may be a combination of granite, marble, and other natural stones, with a mix of actual quartz as well. Because of this, it makes quartz an incredibly green choice of countertop. As far as competition goes, quartz is quickly becoming the new favourite, sometimes even over the age-old quartz vs granite countertops debate.

Appearance

Since quartz is engineered, this means it is more readily able to mimic the look of other natural stones. Different pigments and amounts added to the quartz mixture will change its colour and look. Everything from marble, granite, limestone, or concrete can be imitated. Quartz can also come in solid colours that range from neutral whites and beiges to more striking blacks or bright yellows and blues. If you’re looking for something unique, you can make it happen with engineered stone.

Durability

Quartz countertops vs granite are not a porous material. It can easily resist stains and bacteria without the need to ever be sealed first. It is also less prone to cracks and damage in the way that natural stone tends to be. Still, quartz isn’t completely impervious to damage, particularly against heat. Placing hot pots and pans on the countertop does risk it cracking. Thermal shock, as in sudden changes in temperature on its surface, can likewise cause it to crack.

Maintenance 

Thanks to quartz not being porous, it is easier to maintain than granite or other porous stones. Bacteria won’t be a risk either, but still, take care to wipe up any stains or spills quickly. While quartz vs granite is more stain-resistant, it’s not entirely safe against long-term exposure. An additional, daily, soapy wash will help keep it clean generally, and aside from that, it won’t need much else.  

Considerations  

Like granite, quartz also has some downsides to factor in. Despite being engineered, quartz is just as heavy and expensive as granite and other natural stone. As a result, it is not suitable for DIY installation, especially without the right skills and tools. Long-term exposure to the UV in sunlight can also risk fading the exposed parts on a quartz countertop. Quartz will add value to your home, but keep in mind that some people prefer the appeal of natural stone. If you are planning to sell, then that resale appeal is another factor to consider.

Cost comparison

The costs for both granite vs quartz will vary depending on quality, installation, and any added features like edge treatment. Granite slabs, modular, and tiles, will also all cost differently. These price figures were taken from HomeAdvisor reports for granite and quartz countertops.

Granite  

Average cost of granite: $3,250

Low to high end granite cost: $2,000 – $4,500

Per square foot: $40 to $60

Granite slabs: $40-$60 per square foot

Modular granite: $25-$40 per square foot

Granite tiles: $5-$15 per square foot

Quartz  

Average cost of quartz: $3,750

Low to high end quartz: $1,000 – $5,000

Per square foot: $50 to $150

There are other cost factors for quartz countertops vs granite, like the size of the countertop, whether you are replacing old materials or DIYing vs hiring a professional. These will vary for each project, so for a full and accurate estimate, talk to a contractor first.  

Return on investment

Both quartz vs granite are luxury materials with high price ranges to match. However, both materials also offer a great ROI and a guaranteed value boost. As far as investments go, both materials are well worthwhile. In general, granite can boost a home’s value by as much as 25%. As a natural stone as well, granite has a timeless appeal and aesthetic that many homeowners and buyers simply prefer. That said, with all the factors involved, quartz is just as high a contender. As an even more durable and resistant material, some buyers will prefer quartz countertops vs granite. Talk to a contractor or real estate agent to find out what is most popular in your area or with current buyers.

If resale if the main factor, then you want a countertop that will attract the most potential buyers. That said, ROI can also be about an investment towards your lifestyle. If one material suits your home and life better than the other, then you won’t go wrong with that choice. 

Edge treatment

With edge treatment, there are no quartz vs granite countertops differences as both can have the same edge treatment. The benefit of a treated edge is it will further customize the countertop’s overall look. There is a wide range of treatments available, ranging from standard choices to specific cuts that further accentuate each unique stone’s design. The most popular of these treatments include eased, bullnose, bevel, and waterfall. HomeAdvisor offers these price estimates on edge profile types.

Eased: is one of the standard choices of finishes that creates a smoother countertop edge. As a low-cost range, expect to pay $30+ per foot.

Bullnose: is the most classic finish that rounds the edges of the counter, making it popular in bathrooms and safer for children. As a medium-cost range, expect to pay $45+ per foot.

Bevel: cuts the countertop in a 45-degree angle before dropping straight down. That adds a more elegant touch to the final look—another medium-cost range of $45+ per foot.

Waterfall: This style curves the edge in one continuous flow straight to the floor. This is popular on particularly thicker slabs for a more dramatic edge. As a higher-end cost, expect to pay $60+ per foot.

More involved cuts will often cost more and aren’t always included in the initial price for the countertop. Other more standard treatments, like bevel, are sometimes included in the overall cost of a countertop. Before you choose a specific treatment, make sure to talk to your contractor about prices and any included edging.

Which is right for you?

Quartz vs granite countertops are both beautiful, high-end countertop materials that will benefit any home, kitchen, or bathroom. While individually, each one offers some benefits over the other, their overall value can’t be beaten. With that in mind, the final decision really is a matter of personal choice. If you want a low-maintenance, easy to customize countertop, then go for quartz. Otherwise, if the appeal of natural stone and unique qualities of granite appeal to you, that’ll be the perfect match. Above all, factor in your own budget, needs, and whether you are selling or just renovating. If the look and material are right for your unique needs, then you can’t go wrong.

One choice that is absolute for both materials is to leave the installation to the professionals. Quartz vs granite are equally heavy materials and need the right tools, skills, and care to install correctly. A professional can guarantee just that and save the stress and possible extra costs of making any mistakes.

Find a RenovationFind certified countertop company now!

RenovationFind Certified is a symbol of integrity held by only the most trustworthy companies in home improvement, service, maintenance. 

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

The Best Deck Railings Edmonton Has to Offer

With so many materials, colors, and style options, choosing the perfect railing for your deck is no doubt a complicated process. But don’t you worry, we’re here to make the process a little simpler for you.

Choosing the right railing for your deck can make or break your patio’s visual appeal and functionality. If you plan on hosting events in your back yard as the weather warms up, fixing your deck is a must. No deck is complete without the perfect railing to keep you and your guests safe.

Keep reading to find out more about the best deck railings Edmonton has to offer, and which styles are best for your needs.

Why Use Aluminum For Deck Railings?

Aluminum deck railings are durable, low maintenance, easy to customize, stong, and long-lasting. Aluminum is also extremely resistant to temperature and climate changes. It actually gets stronger in the wintertime, as opposed to steel, which becomes weaker as it is exposed to extreme cold. Its climate durability makes it the perfect railing material for Edmonton.

One of the main benefits of using aluminum for deck rainings is its low cost. It is much more affordable than steel or iron. Wood, although cheaper upfront, requires expensive and time-consuming upkeep in the long run.

Customized Deck Railing

Aluminum deck railings can be customized into many different shapes, sizes, and colors to meet your specific needs. You can choose from standard pickets, wide pickets, basket pickets or glass railings to cover your deck area. Within each category, you can choose a specific design that best meets your outdoor railing needs.

One of the best ways to customize your deck railing is to choose a color that works best with your deck. Aluminum railings do come in a variety of colors and can be painted over if you decide to switch up the color in the future. This feature makes aluminum railings the best material for customized railings.

Deck Railing Color Options

When choosing the best deck railing color, think about what type of atmosphere you want to create for your deck. With over 10 railing color options to choose from, you will need to determine which color works best with your decks material and structure.

The color you choose for your deck railing should be determined by the location of your home, the landscape around it, and the desired atmosphere you are aiming for.

For example, if you live in the woods or want to create a natural relaxed environment in your back yard, choosing a neutral color will likely work best for you. If you are looking for a nautical atmosphere choosing a white standard picket along a wooden deck will provide you with the beach mood you desire.

Are You Ready to Fix Up Your Deck with the Best Deck Railings Edmonton Offers?

If you’re looking for a strong, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing deck railing system, look no further. Check out our website and contact us today for the best deck railings Edmonton has to offer.

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

How to Use a Pressure Washer (and When to Call in Handyman Services for Help)

Summer months are excellent for cleaning the siding on your house, your deck, and your car, and there’s one machine that makes these tasks (and many others) quick and easy: the pressure washer.

Whether you’ve bought a pressure washer or are renting one from your local hardware store, there are some principles that are fairly universal across different models of pressure washers.

Pressure washers have either gas or electric motors, and they operate hooked up to a simple garden hose. If using a gas pressure washer, check fuel and oil levels before you start your project.

Attach your garden hose to your pressure washer and turn on your water spigot. Depress the trigger on your spray gun; doing so will bleed all the air out of your lines. Next, turn on your pressure washer and get to spraying.

When using your pressure washer, always spray from top to bottom—whether you’re cleaning your siding or a slightly downhill driveway (if you go bottom to top, you’re going to end up having to wash and rewash).

The trigger on your spray gun does not control the pressure; your spray can only either be on or off. To adjust the pressure you’re using, move closer to or further away from the object that you’re pressure washing. Generally, keep the tip of your spray gun at least six inches away from the surface you’re cleaning, otherwise the pressure could be so intense it can damage soft woods and peel paint. Never point the tip of the spray gun at a person—the extremely high pressure of the water makes it dangerous to humans and animals.

Of course, there are also benefits of making use of professional handyman services. Though a pressure washer can be simple enough to use, due to their extremely high pressure they can also be hazardous. Not only this, but there is the simple factor of time—the day you spend pressure washing your siding clean is also the day you could be spending taking a quick trip to visit nearby family. Plus, handymen who are offering pressure washer services are familiar with the different materials—vinyl siding, wood, concrete, brick, etc.—and are familiar with how to clean them most efficiently and safely.

Need handyman services?

If you find yourself needing professional help, call or text us here at Handyman Connection right away. We’ll give you a free estimate and get you in contact with one of our craftsmen.

The post How to Use a Pressure Washer (and When to Call in Handyman Services for Help) appeared first on Handyman Connection.

Is There Any Way to Avoid Expensive Roof Repair in Calgary AB?

Written by No Payne Roofing Inc.

It’s one of the biggest problems any homeowner will face — a need for roof repair in Calgary AB. True enough, it’s convenient to have a roofing agency near you that can help with all your roofing needs without any frills. However, it isn’t always as easy as it sounds; roof repair in Calgary AB will put a dent on your budget. That is true even if you have a rainy day fund to help you offset the costs.

However, there are ways to avoid huge expenses from roof repairs. Here are a few ones to take into consideration.

Always Have Roofing Maintenance

The best way to avoid problems is to make sure they have no chance of becoming threats in the future. Roof maintenance allows your reliable Calgary AB roofers to inspect and check every aspect and area of your roof. In doing so, they can reveal and identify possible trouble points that can cause you to have missing or misaligned roofing shingles, damaged underlayment, potential leak infiltration points, and more.

Furthermore, roofing maintenance is only 10-20% of the cost of a full-on roof repair service. While you might have to use it twice a year, it preserves the lifespan and durability of your roof and makes it repair-proof.

Use Long-Lasting and Well-Installed Roofing Materials

The best way to preserve the lifespan of your roof is to use long-term roofing materials that have proven themselves to withstand the damaging weather of Calgary AB. A great few suggestions from us are clay and slate tile roofs, which have over a 50-70 year lifespan and can withstand hailstorms efficiently. Both corrugated and standing-seam metal roofs made from either galvanized/galvalume or aluminum are excellent roofing materials that can last beyond centuries.

While these two roofing materials are initially expensive, they’re productive investments. If you plan to stay long in your respective community, consider using these roofing materials for less need for roof repairs.

Be Wary of Unscrupulous Scamming Roofing Contractors

While they’re not a direct threat to your roof, they can leave an irreparable dent on your budget. Unscrupulous scamming roofing contractors will give you a false overview of your roof’s exact condition. In doing so, they’ll advise you to use their services so they can repair and replace different parts of your roof.

True enough, some of these scoundrels know a thing or two about roofing, but they’ll mostly use it to remove or even damage parts of your roofs so they can show you they’ve repaired them. You’re paying them for nothing — so be wary and work only with reliable professionals.

There’s Nothing Much We Can Do With The Weather

Lastly, the weather is inevitably the primary cause of much roofing damage in Calgary. While rainstorms and snowstorms do manageable damage that roof maintenance can resolve, hailstorms and windstorms can deal the most damage to any residential roof. When this happens, you can call your insurer and a dependable roofing contractor to help you.

When it comes to roofing damage, it’s essential to remember that over time, your roof will suffer normal wear and tear. Not even roofing maintenance can prevent this from happening. However, with an estimated lifespan, you can set aside enough from your budget to make sure your property’s roofing does not get compromised.

Need a new roof? Contact No Payne Roofing in Calgary.

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Handyman Connection Recognized As Top Home Repair Company by Qualified Remodeler

Handyman Connection Recognized As Top Home Repair Company by Qualified Remodeler

– Leading Home Repair Franchise Ranked Number One for 10th Consecutive Year by Industry Publication –

Blue Ash, Ohio (August 26, 2020) – Handyman Connection, a home repair company with over 25 years of experience, announced today its top placement on Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 list in the home repair category for the tenth consecutive year. This list showcases the top remodelers of 2020, a direct reflection of Handyman Connection’s continued growth and success. For companies to make the Top 500 list, a high caliber of success must be achieved in metrics including installed remodeling dollar volume, total years in business, industry association membership, industry certification, industry awards and community service.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named a top remodeler of 2020 by Qualified Remodeler,” said CEO and President Jeff Wall. “This award recognizes Handyman Connection’s decades worth of success and we are excited to continue delivering quality service and expertise to customers all across the nation.”

Qualified Remodeler, a leading publication serving remodelers and home improvement companies in the U.S., has ranked Handyman Connection as the number one in the handyman category and seventh nationally on its 42nd annual TOP 500 remodelers of 2020. Since 1978, the QR TOP 500 has tracked the industry’s largest and fastest growing companies. In 2020, the TOP 500 represented $10 billion in remodeling sales volume on over one million jobs.

Handyman Connection operates more than 60 locations throughout 25 states and Canada. For more than 25 years, the brand has offered homeowners across North America a complete resource for professional craftsmanship and exemplary customer service. Handyman Connection offers a variety of services ranging from traditional home repairs to painting, remodeling and more.

Additional information on the Top 500 can be found in the August issue of Qualified Remodeler and the full list at https://www.qualifiedremodeler.com/top-500-2020/.

About Handyman Connection
Since 1991, homeowners across North America have been calling on Handyman Connection for our professional craftsmanship and exemplary customer service. Each Handyman Connection franchise is locally owned and operated, backed by the company that helped launch the industry. Our values are steeped in a long-standing dedication to the people we serve, and truly differentiate Handyman Connection as a home repair company.

The post Handyman Connection Recognized As Top Home Repair Company by Qualified Remodeler appeared first on Handyman Connection.

Rubber Roofing Costs and the Pros and Cons [Full Guide]  

Asphalt roofing is often thought of as the standard choice of materials, but have you ever thought of a rubber roof? Rubber roofing is one of the best options, especially when it comes time to replace your roof. It’s incredibly durable, eco-friendly, and has a long lifespan. Rubber is quickly becoming the new popular choice of roofing so, if you need a new roof, it is certainly worth it to consider.

This guide will breakdown the pros and cons of rubber roofing and, most importantly, its cost. But first, there are some factors to consider that will help with any decisions.  

Signs you need a new roof  

When your current roof starts failing, don’t ignore the signs until it becomes even more severe. Investing in a new roof is a cost-effective choice, especially when considering the long-term benefits and value. With that in mind, keep an eye out for these signs that your roof needs replacing:

Old age: If you own asphalt shingles, do you know how old they are? The average lifespan is around 20 years before the shingles start to fail. When that happens, repairs begin to creep up and may result in higher monthly bills. The same is true for any roof that is reaching the end of its lifespan. If your roof is old, then a newer and more efficient type will be much more worthwhile.

Missing or damaged shingles: If any shingles are missing, it invites the risk of water getting in and causing interior damage. A few missing shingles can be replaced, however, consider the cost of constant repairs versus a replacement. Damaged shingles, such as curled or missing granules, are from years of weather wear and tear. With any extensive damage, it is more cost-effective to replace all the shingles.

Leaks: A leaky roof is never a good sign, but a perpetually leaking roof is a serious problem. Leaks happen for a few reasons, such as clogged gutters, missing shingles or damaged flashing, and can cause costly damage. Catching a leak early and repairing it is important, but don’t ignore constant leaks and repairs. It’s time for a new roof.

Higher energy bills: As a roof degrades, it starts to lose overall efficiency. Every year that the roof becomes less effective against weather damage or preventing air leaks is more money lost. If repairs can’t fix the problem, then it’s time to consider a replacement.

What to look for in a new roof  

Part of making an informed decision about a new or specific type of roof means knowing what to look for. Different types of roofs and materials offer their own benefits but overall some things should always be valued. Colours and style all come later as any roof can provide plenty of customization in that respect. Instead, lifespan, design, climate protection, and maintenance should be top priorities.  

Long lifespan and durability  

This is a two-part factor since you want a roof that will last a long time and still look good over the years. That may mean initially investing a little bit extra into a better style to benefit from a higher ROI. Commonly used asphalt shingles, for example, last between 20-25 years and come in three-tab shingles or architectural shingles. The former costs less, but it isn’t as durable as architectural shingles. Rubber roofing is similar in that its lifespan will vary depending on the type of rubber material used. When it comes to a new roof, always factor in the long-term benefits and not just the immediate costs.

Roof slope  

The slope of your roof will affect what type of roofing material is compatible or is the best choice. Incompatible materials, such as ones that are too heavy for the roof, risk compromising the roof’s integrity. Roof pitch or slope is measured in how much rise the roof has over a 12-foot horizontal distance. Most houses range between a 4-foot height gain for every 12-feet (4/12) to an 8-foot height gain per 12-feet. (8/12). The compatible materials for these slopes include asphalt, wood shingles, slates shingles, rubber, and standing seam metal. These materials are lightweight, so there is no risk of causing structural damage. Flat or low-pitch roofs, those with a slope between 0.25/12 to 3/12, are limited to specific materials because the roof must be able to drain water. In this case, a rubber roof or standing seam metal are the better choices.  

Climate  

Roofs act as the first line of defense for your home against day-to-day weather damage and wear. Everything from rain, snow, hail, and sunlight will impact your roof over the years. For those reasons, choosing the right roof based on the local climate is crucial. In Canada, winter is a particularly important month to take into consideration when selecting a new roof. Heavy snowfalls and temperature spikes may make some materials a worse choice than others. A roof that cannot withstand the local climate will have a drastically shorter lifespan than one that can. 

Maintenance and repair cost  

For any roof budget, always factor in the cost of maintenance and future repairs. Across different roofing materials, those costs will vary and are important to consider. Cedar shingles, for example, will last for 30-40 years, but they also have a higher maintenance demand. Debris must be cleared to keep away algae or moss growth, while untreated cedar tends to weather to a grey colour. Some homeowners enjoy this look, but if you don’t, a stain will need to be reapplied every few years. These minor costs can quickly build up over the years, adding even more to the initial price.

Other materials have little maintenance, but any damage comes will a higher repair cost. Factoring these in will help choose a new roof that won’t have unplanned expenses over the years. Rubber roofs, for example, can last upwards of 50 years and only need minimal maintenance. Most damage can also be easily repaired with a rubber sealant that can be DIYed or left to a professional. 

Rubber roofing  

This brings us to rubber roofing, a material that, while not immediately considered for roofing, has just as many benefits. “Rubber” roofing refers to a single-ply synthetic membrane made from either rubber, plastic polymers, or both. This combination means that the roof is incredibly strong but still flexible enough to not be easily damaged. Unlike other roofing materials, the drawback of rubber is minimal when compared to its many benefits. The overall costs and benefits of rubber will vary depending on the style and the roofing membrane you choose. Rubber shingles are the popular choice for appearances, while the material options range from EPDM, TPO, or PVC. 

Rubber shingles  

Choosing rubber shingles is particularly beneficial if you own a flat or low-sloped roof. Traditionally, shingles aren’t a safe option for flat roofs. There is a higher risk of water becoming trapped between the shingles and causing interior damage. Rubber shingles, however, are waterproof, which makes them the perfect solution. The shingles are also much more resistant to extreme weather, so cracks or curling shingles won’t ever become a problem. Appearance-wise, rubber roof shingles offer all the appeal of traditional shingle roofing. An addition of coloured acrylic paint can let the roof easily mimic any other material for added curb appeal. The shingles can also be installed on both steeply pitched roofs and over an existing roof. That can help cut some of the expenses during the initial installation and still benefit your home for years.

EPDM  

Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) is typically the most popular material for rubber roofs. It has the longest lifespan and lowest rubber roofing cost, making it perfect for a new roof. EPDM is also the oldest choice of rubber roofing, meaning it has years of proven effectiveness and protection. There are downsides, such as its colour, that should be considered. EPDM is a black material, which tends to absorb heat more readily than lighter colours. Some companies offer it in white or grey, but it is an extra expense. The seams are sealed with sealant tape or adhesives, which isn’t as strong as the thermoplastic method of melding the seams of the other rubber materials. With the right care and installation, however, EPDM can last between 25-30+ years.

TPO  

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is particularly beneficial because of its better energy-efficient savings compared to other rubber materials. Unlike EPDM, TPO comes readily in white, grey, or tan. It also naturally reflects sunlight and UV radiation, which helps lower overall heating and cooling costs. TPO is much more flexible as well, so impact damage isn’t a high risk. On the downside, TPO comes in much thinner sheets than EPDM or PVC, which creates more seams. That raises the risk of the seams cracking or leaking, resulting in costly repairs. Still, on average, TPO will last for 15-20 years. 

PVC  

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the third type of available material, is easily the strongest of the three as the seams are welded shut instead of glued or taped. TPO is a thermoplastic and is also welded but requires higher temperatures than PVC. PVC has been used as a rubber roofing material for over 50 years, making it a time-tested roofing material. As a thermoplastic material, PVC will also benefit your home with lowered cooling and heating costs throughout the year. The main downside of PVC, however, is that it tends to shrink over time. This does result in the material becoming more brittle and possibly risking leaks. PVC does have a long lifespan of 25+ years before this becomes a concern. 

Rubber roofing pros 

Part of what makes rubber roofing so popular is the many benefits and long-term value it provides. Where other materials fall short in some areas, rubber is often superior: 

Green choice: Compared to other materials, rubber is one of the greenest roofing options. The energy needed to make it is drastically less than others and it is 100% recyclable.

All resistant: Instead of paying for extra protection, rubber is naturally resistant to extreme weather and elements. It has a high fire-resistance rating, is waterproof, and won’t be damaged by strong winds, harsh sun, or temperature spikes.

Lower repair cost: Rubber sealant kits are readily available to repair any damage to a rubber roof. Rubber roofs can also have a seal applied to the entire roof to extend its lifespan and help prevent any damage.

Less maintenance: Most roofs require at least some maintenance, but rubber roofs barely require any. Either DIY or an annual cleaning and inspection by a professional will ensure the roof stays in top condition.

Rubber roofing cons  

As with any roof, there are some cons when it comes to rubber roofing. The main drawback is the initial rubber roofing cost is much higher than other materials. While the materials last longer and offer great benefits, it’s still a major factor if you have a stricter budget. The second consideration is the installation of a rubber roof. Since labour is also more involved, it can pose a problem when finding a qualified rubber roofer. An experienced professional will ensure the roof is installed correctly and won’t lead to unexpected problems down the road. However, not all roofers are proficient in installing rubber roofs. Before you hire a rubber roof contractor, make sure you choose a qualified and skilled company. 

The cost of rubber roofing  

Keep in mind that rubber roofing costs will vary depending on the labour, installation process, and the type of rubber membrane. Other factors as well, such as the slope and size of your roof, will vary among houses and affect the final cost. In general, HomeAdvisor reports show the costs range as such: 

Per square foot: $3.25 to $14.00

Cost range: $8,000 to $14,000

Average cost: $11,000

A more specific breakdown will vary depending on the type of rubber roofing materials. The three types of rubber membranes, EPDM, TPO, and PVC all vary in cost: 

EPDM cost: $0.70 to $4.25 per square foot

TPO cost: $1.00 to $5.55 per square foot

PVC cost: $0.70 to $5.55 per square foot

Keep in mind that these are all estimates. For the most accurate cost, talk to your roofing contractor. 

Factors affecting cost 

The average cost of a rubber roof will vary depending on a few factors that differ from one house to another. The size, slope, and pitch of a roof, for example, will affect how much rubber roofing is needed and how much it will cost. Rubber is also available in varying thickness levels that range from 40-90 mils. The thickness will affect how long your rubber roof lasts or how well it can withstand adverse weather. A professional contractor will let you know, based on the climate and your own home, which is the best choice. 

Rubber roofs can be installed over an existing roof, but keep in mind there are building codes. Some areas only allow two roofing layers to exist before the entire roof must be stripped before a new roof can be installed. It’s also worthwhile factoring in any future maintenance costs. Annual inspections and cleanings by a professional will help prevent costly repairs or premature replacements and ensure your rubber roof has a long lifespan. 

DIY or professional?  

Roofing, in general, is better left to a professional, and rubber roofing is no exception. A quality installation will ensure that the rubber roof lasts and doesn’t need premature repairs or replacing. A professional will guarantee just that and also ensure your home is outfitted with the right type of rubber membrane. While the initial investment with a professional will be much higher than DIYing, the future ROI will much better.   

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This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

What is faux stone? [Stone Veneer Guide]  

Nothing beats the timeless look and appeal of natural stone, except perhaps its cost. Still, natural stone has many benefits that other materials just can’t beat. Luckily, that’s where stone veneer comes into play as a perfect, cost-effective alternative. You still get the look, value, and even feel of natural stone but at an affordable option.

Before getting into those benefits, however, it’s necessary to ask, what is stone veneer?

Stone veneer  

For starters, stone veneer is manufactured and not quarried like natural stone–despite its realistic appearance. Instead, it is a combination of cement, aggregates, and pigments. The cement adds strength and stability, while the aggregates lighten the material making it easy to handle and install. The pigmentation is what colours the stone to mimic the look of real stone. Even up close, stone veneer is incredibly hard to tell apart from natural stone. 

As a term, veneer refers to a secondary layer, typically decorative, that is applied to an existing surface. Stone veneer then refers to giving the appearance that a surface is made entirely from stone. An interior use, for example, is popularly applied around fireplaces for a striking feature look. Exterior stone veneer is often used on columns in a way that adds elegance and boosts curb appeal.

Stone veneer vs natural stone  

As its name suggests, natural stone is made entirely from quarried stone with no added pigments or aggregates. The varieties in colour, shape, and appearance are the result of each different type of stone. Some of the most popular types include granite, limestone, marble, and travertine. Natural stone can also be carved into different shapes for an even more customized finish. Unlike stone veneers, which is easy to DIY, natural stone needs a masonry contractor to install.

The cost and different ways to use natural stone are the two main differences between it and stone veneer. Natural stone is much heavier to handle, must be transported once quarried, and then professionally installed, making it overall more expensive. The way that natural stone can be used can offer more variety than stone veneer. Thanks to the strength and durability of natural stone, it can be used as a building material, siding, and flooring. Stone veneer is first and foremost a decorative addition and isn’t as strong, so it can’t be used to build or be used for floors. 

Stone veneer vs faux stone  

Faux stone is the term typically used when referring to the interior use of stone veneer. While the terms are used interchangeably, there are differences between the two. The biggest difference is that faux stone is made from lightweight foam. Despite being foam, though, some faux stone panels have a high fire rating, meaning they can be installed around fireplaces. The panels typically come in 2-foot by 4-foot dimensions that are easy to cut and light enough for DIYers to handle. Installation is also just as easy since faux stone uses glue instead of mortar or grout. The downside, however, is faux stone is less durable against impact damage. Since it can be more easily damaged, it does have a lower lifespan compared to stone veneer. On closer inspection as well, faux stone doesn’t look as realistic as natural stone.  

Where can stone veneer be used? 

The great thing about stone veneer is that it can be used in any room and on most surfaces, including metal, wood, and cement. No matter where you choose to install it, stone veneer is always available in various colours, styles, and custom shapes.

Exterior stone veneer  

Exterior application is a highly popular choice for stone veneer, especially when homeowners want to boost curb appeal. Here are a few different ideas and ways to use exterior stone veneer: 

Trim: this is a great way to highlight specific features on your home and still change the overall appearance. Stone veneer around a front door will instantly make it an eye-catching feature entrance. Windows will likewise benefit from a stone trim that will make them pop against the siding. Even veneer applied to the base of a home’s foundation can add elegance and the illusion of height.

Façades: The façade is the part of the house that faces outwards and is most likely to be noticed by passersby. Adding a touch of stone veneer to a façade will add both attention-grabbing curb appeal and a timeless aesthetic.

Backyard grill: Veneer can also be applied in other exterior uses aside from directly on the home. Backyard grills or outdoor kitchens will look stunning with a stone veneer wrap. As a bonus, it’ll also help protect the walls from any splatters or damage!

What is stone siding?  

Stone siding and stone veneer siding are installed and used differently from one another. Stone siding, if professionally installed and well maintained, will last a lifetime. However, it is more expensive as the stone must be quarried and transported and is heavier to handle. A professional mason is also necessary to properly install stone siding, which can further increase the overall cost. 

Stone veneer siding, though, is lightweight, easier to install, and much less expensive. That said, stone veneer isn’t as durable as natural stone siding. While natural stone can be used for full-home siding, stone veneer is typically only installed on specific areas of the house as decoration.

Interior stone veneer 

On the inside, the stone veneer has just as many attractive and value-boosting uses. While the exterior has a focus on curb appeal, the interior is all about design and highlighting features. Thanks to the versatile and customizable nature of stone veneer, there is little limitation to its uses: 

Accent walls: Any room, from the bathroom, kitchen, or living room, will benefit from an accent wall. In the kitchen, install the veneer behind the stove and range hood for an eye-catching backsplash. Bathrooms or bedrooms will either feel cozier or gain the illusion of more space depending on the style and colour.

Kitchen island: Another great way to incorporate stone veneer is to pick a feature in your kitchen and further enhance it. In this case, a kitchen island is a perfect pick. The look of stone will add warmth to the space and create a custom look that will add great value.

Fireplace wrap: You can’t go wrong adding stone veneer to a fireplace as its one of the most classic looks. It instantly transforms the look into an eye-catching and luxurious centrepiece. 

Appearance 

Despite stone veneer being mass-produced, there are ways to give it a unique touch. One way, for example, is to change the appearance of the stone veneer by choosing a more natural design. Depending on where you apply the stone veneer, a different appearance or design may be more beneficial to compliment the space.

Classic: resembles the cut and shape of natural quarried stone. The uneven edges, curves, and slopes make it a great choice around fireplaces or as accents for outdoor kitchens.

Cubic: The rough-cut square shape is another popular choice. The final look is easily customizable with different shapes and colour variation between each piece.

Rectangle: This lends a cleaner and more simplistic appearance that is especially popular for feature walls or backsplash in bathrooms or kitchens.

Mosaic: is a great way to blend different colours or types of stone veneers for a unique finish. The final look is much bolder, so an eye-catching column wrap or a façade siding is a perfect use.

Natural: uses the mortar installation to create a more natural and traditional look. The thicker the layers of mortar between each stone, the rougher and more rustic the final appearance.

Pros and cons of stone veneer

Part of what makes stone veneer so popular is the many benefits it has compared to natural stone. Advancements in its technology and realistic appearance have steadily made stone veneer the new preferred choice among homeowners. Like any material, however, there are both pros and cons to consider before you buy.

Pros

One of the biggest benefits of stone veneer is its long lifespan, which can range from 20 to 75 years. It is also more eco-friendly compared to natural stone, as stone veneer does not need to be quarried. Overall, stone veneer costs less than natural stone. Stone veneer is also heat- and fire-resistant, and incredibly low maintenance once installed. As siding, in particular, stone veneer offers great insulation benefits with an R-value of 4.5. That can help offset heating and cooling bills throughout the year, so you save even more in the long run. According to Remodeling Magazine’s, cost vs value 2020 report, stone veneer cladding can recoup as much as 95.6% of t’s initial cost. So, no matter where it is installed, it’s an investment that is worthwhile and guaranteed to pay itself off. 

Cons

The main downside compared to natural stone, is that exterior stone veneer colouring will eventually fade in the sunlight. While it is easy to DIY inside, any improper outdoor installation brings the risk of water damage, mould growth, and the resulting costly repairs. Stone veneer itself is not naturally water-resistant, so to prevent damage, a special layer must be installed underneath.

Cost breakdown

The final cost of installing stone veneer will vary depending on the size of the project, labour, and overall complexity. Stone veneer compared to faux stone will likewise vary in costs. These figures were taken from HomeAdvisor and Modernize reports.

Stone veneer: $6 to $12 per square foot

Average cost: $13,190

Faux stone: $5 to $10 per square foot

Average cost: As mainly interior use, the average will vary based on project size

In comparison to natural stone: 

Natural stone: $28 to $50 per square foot

Average cost: $91,041

Additional costs for professional installation will vary for each company. The best way to get an accurate cost for your home is to get an estimate from a professional.  

Installation  

Interior vs exterior stone veneer installation involves different processes with varying steps. The main difference in an exterior installation is the extra steps required to waterproof the surface beneath the veneer. The surface must also be code compliant, have no damage, and the surface must be clean before installing the veneer. Two layers of protective water barriers must be installed, followed by a weep screed that lets moisture escape.

Then, a scratch is applied to help the mortar or adhesive glue bond to the veneer. It also serves to further prevent air or water from getting in and protects the surface of the house from weather damage. Then, the mortar and veneer can be applied, followed by a layer of grout. The dry stack method will omit the final mortar and grout layer. With all these steps, it can be overwhelming for a first DIYer to handle. That’s why exterior stone veneer installation is generally best left to the professionals to ensure a safe and quality finish.

With interior stone veneer, the focus is on appearance and style. There is less risk of weather damage or fading over the years from sunlight and wear. That also makes interior installation a much easier DIY project, as the waterproofing steps can be omitted.

Dry stack

One of two methods of installing stone veneer is the dry stack, wherein each layer of stone is stacked on top of the other. Since there is no mortar or grout involved, it helps achieve a much tighter and securely-sealed installation. Examples of this include cubist, rectangle, and mosaic, which are all styles installed with the dry stack method. 

Mortared

Similar to the way that natural stone or brick is installed, this method uses mortar between each layer of stone. Once applied, a final layer of grout is also added. As a result, the appearance is much more rustic and traditional. Both rugged and natural styles use this method.

DIY or Pro?

Stone veneer is generally an easy material to install, but there are times when a professional’s help is best. Interior stone is an example where DIY is possible, especially if you use faux stone. Still, the right tools and some masonry skills are necessary to ensure that each layer is level and that enough adhesive is applied. Exterior installation, however, should generally be left to a professional. There are many more steps and skills involved, especially to prevent moisture or water from causing damage. A professional will also have the necessary tools and help remove any stress from handling the work yourself. If you are adding stone veneer to boost curb appeal or just want to ensure quality, hire a pro. Investing in a professional is never the wrong choice. It will always be worthwhile, much like choosing a stone veneer! 

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This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Install a Dog Door (Without Calling for Installation Services)

With the weather growing warmer, it’s that time of year to be outside, and no one likes the outdoors more than your dog (or cat). And nothing makes outside time for your pet easier and more accessible than a dog door.

Not only will a pet door help your dog (or cat) be more active in the milder months, but it will also give them the freedom to come and go a little more freely (e.g. – if it becomes too hot outside, they can let themselves back inside to cool off). On top of that, pet door installation doesn’t have to be intimidating; with the right tools, you can install your dog door without calling in handyman services.

Consider the size your pet door should be based on your pet (for example, a cat door is going to be much smaller than a German shepherd door). A good rule of thumb is to measure your pet’s shoulders—a pet door should be two inches wider than your pet’s shoulders and two inches deeper than the measurement from the top of your pet’s shoulders to their stomach.

Now, you have a couple of options.

Option #1: Buying and installing a pet door from your local pet store.

Option #2: Building and installing a pet door of your own design.

Like all things, designing and building your own pet door has pros and cons. Pro: it has all the features that you would like (assorted screens, locks, etc.). Con: it is far more time consuming to design, build, and install than a premade pet door.

Regardless of whether your making your own or installing a store-bought door, the basic tools you’ll need are:

·         a drill

·         a jigsaw (or a saw with similar capabilities)

·         a few pieces of sandpaper (to smooth out rough edges)

·         a square

·         a pencil for marking off cuts

·         a tape measure

·         caulk

·         a hammer and screwdriver (for taking the door off its hinges)

Remove your door from its hinges and lay it across a pair of sawhorses exterior side down. Using your tape measure and pencil, mark off the section of the door for the pet door and cut it out with your jigsaw. Attach the interior and exterior halves of the pet door, caulk along the edges for a weather-proof seal, and hang your door back on its hinges!

Need a free estimate on the installation services our craftsmen offer?

Our craftsmen know that while projects like these can be simple enough not everyone has the necessary tools, and that is why they offer installation services. Call or text us for a free estimate!

The post Install a Dog Door (Without Calling for Installation Services) appeared first on Handyman Connection.

Furnace needed for your secondary suite? Leave it to the pros

Adding a basement suite or a garden suite will add value and added income to your home, making it an excellent investment. But when it comes time to renovate, have you considered the HVAC needs of your new suite? Some homeowners choose to install a separate furnace for their rental unit. It’s one area that you don’t want to DIY, so make sure to call in a professional.

Dechamplain Heating & Ventilation in Edmonton provide professional heating and ventilation services. They share why their pros should always handle secondary suite furnaces: 

HVAC codes and permits 

When building a secondary suite, there are specific HVAC codes that must be met. One exception is if you own a pre-existing suite, in which case a single heating and ventilation system for the main house and suite is allowed. Otherwise, for a new suite, sometimes a separate HVAC system must be installed. The right design and installation of any separate ductwork are also necessary to ensure it can support the furnace. Before installing a new HVAC system, though, you need a permit to do so.  

For a homeowner, this entire process can quickly become overwhelming and stressful. When you work with a professional, they’ll handle any permits, building codes, and proper installation. Their years of experience guarantees that your new suite and HVAC system will get installed legally and safely.   

Separate housing room 

HVAC systems in a basement suite or garden suite have to be kept in a separate room. This acts as a safety precaution to prevent any fires from spreading into the living areas. Planning the right storage for the furnace is essential. The walls and ceiling of the room must be fire resistant and installed with ½ inch drywall. If you’re not sure about the best place to build a separate room, talk to your contractor. They’ll help create the best floor plan to accommodate a separate HVAC room. If you have space, the room can double as useful storage for any future renters.

The right size is important 

Do you know what sized furnace you need to accommodate your secondary suite? The wrong sized furnace can lead to uneven temperatures, wasted energy, and increased bills. It can also overwork parts of the furnace, leading to earlier wear and constant repairs. To help prevent any premature breakdowns, talk to your contractor before you buy a new furnace. They’ll help choose the right sized system for your secondary suite and your own financial needs.

Professionals guarantee quality expertise  

Working with a professional always guarantees your investment will be worthwhile. Their experience, knowledge, and skill ensure that any project is completed safely and to legal standards. In addition to installing a new furnace, a professional can help make your suite and home even more energy-efficient. Whether installing new humidifiers, better ventilation, or maximizing the value of a suite, a professional can always help. 

Furnace Replacement and Installation in Edmonton 

As a family-run company, Dechamplain Heating & Ventilation understand the importance of safety in your home. They guarantee that their services will make your home more energy-efficient and secure in all your HVAC needs. From furnace replacements, ventilation, secondary suite installations, and more, they are ready to help.

Contact Dechamplain Heating & Ventilation today!

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