Winter’s a beautiful season, giving us more time to stay inside and enjoy the views from underneath cozy blankets. We also eat delicious comfort foods specific to the colder time of the year. However, winter can also be unpleasant. The harsher weather creates catastrophe for homeowners if they don’t prep their home’s exteriors correctly, including their gutters. To reduce the chance of foundation damage in the spring, follow the steps you should take to prepare your gutters for winter.
Inspect Your Gutters and End Caps
Your gutters and end caps—the plastic parts at each end of your drain—need an inspection. Whether it’s you or a professional doing the assessment, you must listen to what the inspector says about the gutter’s condition.
They’ll let you know if there are cracks, leaks, or a heavy amount of debris in the gutters or downspouts. After the inspection, you likely need one part replaced or an entirely new system. The professional will inform you about the cost of replacement parts or a full gutter replacement in Alpharetta.
However, if you don’t hire a professional and want to do this inspection on your own, you should look for these issues:
If you want to check for leaks, pour water through the gutter and observe how it drains through the downspout. Record where water escapes from the most and where it lands. If it’s directly above the sides of the house, it’ll pool later and damage the foundation. So it might be best to get a new gutter system.
Clean the Gutters Out and Scoop out Any Dislodged Debris
Removing debris is something you should do on your own to prevent overflow and clogs. Snow packs onto the roof fast, so keeping your gutters clear can help drain the excess snow once it melts. Since your downspouts are the parts that drain the water, you need to ensure you thoroughly clear them out.
Hire a Professional To Install a New Gutter System
If your home doesn’t have a gutter system currently, or if yours has become damaged to the point of no return, then hire a professional to install a new system. A professional gutter installer knows how to install a new gutter structure onto your home safely. Now, you can worry less about heaps of snow piling and creating a huge mess come spring.
Make Changes To Prevent Post-Winter Damage
It’s also a good idea to install new features to your gutter system. You should consider extending the downspouts so that melted snow travels safely and doesn’t flood the ground. Additionally, leaves can become a hassle to remove from your gutters if you wait too long, so prune your tree branches while it’s still nice out.
The winter season is great, but it’s not fun dealing with the aftermath in the spring. After learning how to prepare your gutters for winter, consider hiring a professional home gutter installation specialist from Bear Mountain Custom Painting. We’re here to help clear out and install a new gutter system to protect your home.
For most homeowners, a home renovation project is a necessity to improve their overall home value and catch up on renovations they didn’t have time to complete before. These necessary repairs can help make the house a better place for the entire family, and to make it even more comfortable, homeowners should replace their windows. Don’t let your windows fall into disrepair! Become more aware of the six signs it’s time to replace your windows.
The Furniture Around the Window’s Fading
When sunlight hits your wall decor, furniture, and carpeting, it can cause the fabric colors, paint colors, and other decoration pigments to fade over time. This typically happens when windows have little to no low-E.
Low-E glass is great to have because it reduces the harm UV rays have on furniture, flooring, and wall art. Switching out your old glass panes for something with low-E film can create a better environment. Additionally, the low-E glass is microscopic, meaning the film will keep heat and UV rays out of the house, so it remains cooler.
There’s Visible Damage
It’s hard to get past the look of your windows’ apparent cracks and breaks. When the damage on a window becomes more apparent, you need to worry about potential access for breaks ins, rodents, and damage from the weather.
A broken window also becomes a safety hazard to kids and pets. Without realizing a window’s broken, children or animals could hurt themselves. Make sure to get your windows fixed to prevent intruders from breaking in and avoid injuries in your household.
Every Day Feels Drafty
How do you know if you have a drafty room? First, let’s explain how a drafty room works. When you’re heating or cooling a room, it can sometimes seep out, and the hot or cold air outside replaces it. When this happens, the space becomes uncomfortable.
Now, how do you determine if the room is drafty? Maybe you just left the ceiling fan on for too long, or you turned the heat up too high. Here are a few signs you have drafty windows and how to find the air leaks.
Signs You Have a Drafty Room
The most common signs of a drafty home are sudden cold breezes and electrical issues. While you might assume it’s a ghost haunting your home, it’s most likely the windows. These indicators prove that your windows have damage, don’t fit well, or are old. Even so, you should inspect the entire house for air leaks.
How To Find Air Leaks
Any time you feel a draft, you should seek out the source. If the source is nowhere in sight, it may be that the ceiling fans are going for too long or the heat’s too high. If these aren’t the causes, you might have an air leak.
You can spot an air leak by checking your chimney, weather stripping, windows, or attic. The attic’s the best place to check first, and then your chimney and windows. If everything else looks fine, but the weather stripping along the windows has damage, you need to change it immediately.
You could easily replace weather stripping at an affordable cost—put additional stripping on the sides of windows and other moveable pieces to keep air from slipping through different parts of the house. If the weather stripping still doesn’t help, you should replace your windows.
There’s No Soundproofing
Some nights, you want a quieter house, but if your windows can’t drown out most of the outside noise, it might be time for an upgrade. It can put a damper on fun gatherings with friends or alone time if you constantly hear neighbors arguing and cars speeding down the street.
If you have one thing that could filter out unwanted noise, let it be soundproof windows. Double and triple-paned windows have enough glass glued together to create additional insulation for your home. Why else should you have soundproof windows? Find out about the other soundproof window benefits below.
Soundproof Windows Save Energy
All you want to do is save a little more on energy consumption; thankfully, soundproof windows can do that. Because of the double and triple glass layer options, the noise reduction reduces by up to 95 percent. Additionally, soundproof panes provide extra insulation for the home to keep the interior temperature consistent throughout the year.
There Are Different Glass Options
Your choice of glass options could never be better. From double-paned glass to mixed millimeter glass, these styles provide enough thickness to keep exterior noise from disturbing the ambience inside your house.
How do you pick a glass style? Since there are many different choices, you need to look at how many materials each uses. A single-paned window will use less material because it’s a cheaper glass to make. The other types, like triple-paned, have more materials, giving the glass more thickness to prevent noise from traveling indoors.
The Style Is Completely Outdated
Windows are the eyes of the home. Sometimes, those eyes may look unpleasant, but having them redone is possible. Fix up your curb appeal by updating the style. Choose a new grille pattern, find a new window sill color, or add shutters to revamp the style, but ensure that you replace your panes.
New windows bring a refreshed look to your home’s exterior and become the envy of every neighbor. If you’re looking for a way to increase your home’s value, get new windows.
The Electric Bills Seem Higher Than Usual
If you’ve raised both eyebrows at your electric bill recently, you’re probably searching for a reason why. One could be the window panes. Sometimes the windows are so damaged or old that they change the temperature of a room quickly, making the HVAC system work harder than usual.
At this point, you should be on the phone talking with a professional Alpharetta window installation service and talking about the signs that you need to replace your windows. After discussing the signs, schedule a time for a worker to inspect your windows and replace them.
Replacing your windows is one of the best things you could do to improve your home’s appearance and increase its value. If you ever need window replacement services in Cumming, GA, Bear Mountain Custom Painting can help you. Contact us whenever you’re ready to hire a professional home improvement company.
Paint trends have come and gone over the last century. From the jewel-obsessed 1920s to the neon shades of the 1980s to the mood-setting colors of 2022, there have been heavy influences on how society decides on trend colors. Let’s explore how paint trends have changed over the years.
A Brief History of Paint Trends
You’re not the only one to think about trending paint colors and themes. Unbelievably, these trends come from everyday influences, like the economy, popular culture, and social media.
From the 1920s to now, the economy has dramatically influenced paint trends. Paint colors in homes during the Great Depression were darker tones of yellow, red, blue, and green. They helped saturate a gloomy world with something fun and reminiscent of times before the economy’s collapse when life was normal.
In the 1950s, pastel colors were the trend when new life was pouring into the States post-war. In the mid-2000s, earthy tones responded to the environment. In the 2020s, we’re seeing more bohemian colors—muted tones that encourage adventure and positive experiences for the new millennium.
Modern Color Trends
At the beginning of the 21st century, before Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook existed, trends spread on the Home and Garden channel and through magazines. The first decade of the 21st century saw an insurgence in paint color trends. During the early 2000’s, many people relied on colors from movies that best represented the earlier millennium, including:
Animal print (zebra and cheetah were all the rage)
From there, we swing into the now and consider the trends of today. Since 2020, TikTokhas been the go-to for keeping up with trends. Many amateur and professional interior designers share their favorite shades and even predict what color Pantone would choose for the color of the year.
So far in 2022, we’ve seen colors like cream and green come onto the scene. They remind us of renewal and a better way to start anew every day.
Looking Toward the Future
What do the colors of the future tell us? The future is uncertain, but we’re excited to learn how paint trends change over the next few years. As trendy colors continue to grace our walls, we’ll keep relying on social media to tell us what’s in store.
It’s possible that color psychology will influence future trends. Color psychology defines color hues as a way to determine human behavior. In other words, if you paint your walls lavender, the room will feel relaxing. Color psychology is the next big influencer that greatly helps with mood setting.
How do you envision your walls in the future? If you want to find out, hire interior home painters from Bear Mountain Custom Painting to learn the best shades for your home. Even if you aren’t sure what colors you’d like, we’re happy to lend advice to help steer your decision!
Various parts of the house need specialized care, such as the roof needing a roofer and the walls needing a painter. Home improvement specialists, such as contractors and carpenters, can fulfill certain tasks. However, these two professionals are often confused for doing the same job. So, what’s the difference between a carpenter and a contractor?
Defining Carpenter and Contractor
Carpentry and contracting professions seem to have some correlation, but they are two different jobs entirely. While both are hands-on, you should first know that carpenters are traditionally woodworkers. A contractor is a general servicer who does a little bit of everything.
A carpenter typically works with wood but also hones skills in cutting, shaping, and installing all sorts of materials in buildings. Whether it’s residential or commercial work, a carpenter must ensure the building’s materials are stable enough to withstand the climate and the structure.
Typically, the contractor runs the entire construction operation. Many of the hands-on tasks you’d expect a contractor to do fall onto other more specified workers, such as painting and roofing.
What Are the Qualifications of a Contractor?
A contractor needs to know what each trade does before they call themself a contractor. Aside from that, contractors also need experience, so hiring someone with at least ten years of experience is ideal rather than finding an amateur who just graduated high school.
From their experience, you can tell how well contractors manage their team, ensure good performance, and follow the proper rules and regulations. Additionally, a competent, trustworthy contractor should know building codes and have the right licensure.
Do Carpenters Only Work With Wood?
Everyone knows carpenters as woodworkers, but they do so much more. Carpenters work with several types of materials and collaborate with contractors to ensure their workers install things correctly, cut the proper dimensions, and use the right equipment.
A carpenter does more difficult tasks than a general contractor who knows the trades, such as installing a roof, flooring, and siding. Hiring a carpenter is ideal if you need a specific home improvement task done.
Should I Hire a Carpenter or a Contractor?
Should you hire a carpenter or a contractor? That’s up to what your project entails. If you have a new build, you will want a contractor to help you out. For specific needs, you’ll need a carpenter. Every project requires either a carpenter or a contractor, and it’s important to know the difference before hiring someone.
If your home needs a new roof, siding, or flooring, contact Bear Mountain Custom Painting. Our carpenters in Cumming, GA are focused on the specific needs of your residence. We’re happy to replace anything in your home, from the roof to the floors. Call or email us for more information.
So, you no longer desire a 9-5 job. You want a job that’s not time-consuming and offers lots of flexibility. When starting a new career, you’ll need dedication, especially in a field such as real estate. Take this as a sign to start learning about flipping houses for a living.
What is House Flipping?
House flipping is a term used to describe real estate professionals who buy homes and buildings and renovate them before placing them back on the market to sell.
What Does a House Flipper Do?
The usual duties of a house flipper consist of independent work focused on researching the current real estate market and finding buildings or homes that have flipping potential. During the typical workday, you’ll collaborate with a contractor who acts as the supervisor.
This job is perfect for those who enjoy direct work and want to be their own boss. However, being self-employed requires you to work full-time, just like a regular 9-5, but you create your schedule. As a prospective house flipper, ready yourself by reaching out to a project manager or a renovation specialist. These two experts can help you plan out your renovation by detailing your needs, such as:
Estimating repair costs
Is House Flipping a Safe Investment Strategy?
Yes, it’s safe, but only if you understand the market. In general, real estate’s predictable. Given that most predictions are based on the time of year, you might find that it’s easiest to predict based on location. Compared to other investment strategies, real estate’s the safest choice, since there are many avenues to capitalize on, including house flipping. In the meantime, find the best time to put the flipped house on the market.
What You Need To Get Started Flipping Houses
Flipping houses is a rewarding career, but it does require steps before getting involved, including researching your market, setting a budget, and finding funds for house flips. Each step’s essential to a successful real estate flipping career.
Research Your Market
The best place to research the market isn’t a faraway place, it’s right where you are right now. Many amateur home flippers can get started in their town. They don’t need to go a city or two over to invest, since that costs more money and energy.
Instead, research locally. Look up the homes in your community and see what the average home sells for, which homes get offers and which don’t. Additionally, think about the community. Is there something about it that pulls a prospective buyer in, such as being close to entertainment, amenities, or a popular destination? If so, focus on that as a reason to invest.
Work With a Real Estate Agent
Once you’ve found a property, make sure it fits your budget. It’s never good to go over budget, especially starting out as a house flipper. The smartest move is to work with a real estate agent. Realtors have access to the MLS system, which is a system that lists all real estate properties that are currently available, as well as all future listings. Use this system to find properties that fit your budget.
Set a Budget
Budgeting is essential, so it’s best to determine this before buying a house. You can create a budget based on the 70% rule—this rule calculates the after-repair value of a home and is easiest to learn. This rule estimates the final repair costs, encompassing how much needs to be done before selling. The repair cost becomes your budget.
Assemble Your Team
Your official renovation team should include professional contractors, carpenters, painters, and roofers. Your team should be trustworthy, know how to use power tools, and communicate well. You don’t need to have your team do every task; you can complete tasks on your own if you have the skill. If not, consider hiring additional team members.
Find Funding for House Flips
You can request funding from anywhere, including hosting a fundraising event for future home flips. However, as a beginner, you should rely on personal loans instead, or a hard money loan. When taking on house flip debt, you’re also paying interest. Once interest gains, your home sale price increases as well, but this is to help break even.
Do You Need a Real Estate License To Flip a House?
No, you don’t need a real estate license, but it does help in some ways. For one, being more knowledgeable about the real estate market and knowing how to pick the best investment breaks allows you take on better opportunities.
How To Find a Contractor for Your House Flip
Finding a contractor is a good idea before starting a house flip. Contractors are jacks of all trades, and that includes project management. Since you want a substantive way to get a good ROI, you’re going to want a partner who helps you get there. Here’s how to find a contractor for your house flip.
Compare All Contractors
Always do your research and compare your options. Just as you would carefully choose a paint color for your home, carefully select a contractor that helps keep the house flip on schedule.
After selecting your choices—pick no less than three potential workers—interview them and conduct background checks on each worker. Doing a background check is important because it shows if they have the experience they tell you they have, and if they’re licensed and insured to do house flips.
Interview Each Bid
A bid appointment is your time to get to know the contractor. Every contractor you meet with, you’re going to get to know them and their work, and how long they’ve been flipping houses. There are a few ways to tell how well you’d collaborate with each contractor. You shouldn’t collaborate with a contractor if they:
Exhibit rude behavior in person and over the phone.
Beat around the bush when answering questions.
Take a while to respond to inquiries.
Don’t communicate issues beforehand.
Don’t have a clear payment schedule.
Ensure They Have the Right Building Permits
Some places require specific building permits before constructing or remodeling a house or building. If your contractor doesn’t have the right permits, they should know who to contact to get them. If they continue to beat around the bush, hire someone else.
After learning how to start a career in house flipping, consider building your team right away. Save more money by teaming up with Bear Mountain Custom Painting, one of the best home improvement companies in Atlanta. Our experienced workers are prepared to help with your house flip.
A home’s siding makes it unique and protects the interior from the elements. If you want to know the signs your siding needs replacements or are curious how often you should replace your house’s siding, you’ll find all you need to know below.
When Should You Replace Your Siding?
Finding the best time to replace your home’s siding differs from how often to change it. The best time for replacements is between early winter and early summer. How often should you replace your house’s siding? Once every 20 to 40 years is sufficient, but that doesn’t matter if the siding is damaged.
Does the Siding Type Matter?
The siding type does matter! Every type affects when you should replace your siding and how often. The time to replace your siding varies on the material, such as aluminum, wood, and vinyl. Here’s a rundown of each siding type and how often to change the material.
Many modern homeowners prefer vinyl over wood and aluminum because it is affordable and eco-friendly. Additionally, vinyl shares a strong resemblance to wood, so it has an aesthetic advantage. For vinyl siding, you won’t need to do much maintenance, but it’s still good to replace it whenever a problem appears. Additionally, when it gets dirty, you should clean vinyl siding promptly to maintain the material.
Wood is a traditional siding material, and it’s still popular among homeowners. It’s versatile and affordable, but it’s also high maintenance. To ensure wood paneling lasts a long time, extensive upkeep is required, such as applying a sealant every five years to protect it from moisture buildup that causes warping, rot, and mold growth.
Aluminum siding lasts a long time, making it one of many best options to use, especially in warmer climates. However, after 15 years, the material begins to decline. Over time, it develops a chalky surface that, while temporary until rainfall washes it away, returns and leaves the house looking outdated.
Once you notice the material fading, or more scratches, dents, or cracks, you need to replace it. It’s possible to replace one section, but you need to do it sooner rather than later to avoid replacing all the siding.
Signs Your Siding Needs Replacements
It’s sometimes difficult to detect siding problems. Take the time to look around for signs of damaged siding and replace it as soon as possible. These are the signs you should look for:
Too many repairs
Cracks and gaps appearing
Rot on any section of the cladding
It’s important to stick to the normal timeframe of 20 to 40 years for replacements, but if problems persist, inspect your home’s siding frequently to increase its longevity. Bear Mountain Custom Painting offers help from professional home siding contractors in Cumming, GA for siding problems homeowners face every day. Contact us to learn more about our siding contracting services. We’re happy to help in any way!