Category: Home Improvement

Driveway Paving: Hiring a Contractor to Pave Your Driveway

A paved driveway offers a number of advantages over one that is made of gravel. Not only does it look better but it is also easier to maintain. It also reduces the risk that your car will be scratched by a stone. Paving a driveway is a major job and it is not cheap. Therefore you have to make sure that you know how to find the best contractor for the job. In order to do this you have to know exactly what is involved in paving a driveway so that you know what to look for in a contractor’s bid.

The most important thing that you have to look at when you are having a driveway paved is the prep work. You have to make sure that the driveway is poured on a well prepared base. This is something that you have to make sure that you discuss with your contractor. In most cases the cheapest bids that you will get will be from companies that do not do this part of the job properly. If you choose to use a cheap contractor you will find that your driveway does not last more than a couple of years.

A proper base for a driveway requires that the area be excavated to a depth of at least a foot; this is going to cost you quite a bit of money because excavating that deep is not easy. You will then need six to eight inches of aggregate put in as a sub-base. This is will support the whole driveway so it has to be done properly. The sub-base also needs to be thoroughly compacted and allow for efficient drainage of water. Make sure that any bid that you get from a contractor includes this work and that the depth and the amount of aggregate is specified in the bid.

The next part of the driveway is the base layer; this should be at least two inches thick. It is important to remember when you are getting a bid for your driveway that the bid specify that the base be at a compacted thickness of two inches. If not you may find that they pour two inches of asphalt and then compact it down to a much smaller amount. Two inches is necessary to make sure that your driveway can support the weight of your car.

After the base layer is done the final step in paving a driveway is the top layer which should be at least one and a half inches thick. The important thing here is to make sure that the proper asphalt mix is used. There are broadly speaking two classes of asphalt, class one is used for the base while class two is used for the top. There are a lot of different mixtures within the two classes and the right one will depend mainly on the climate where you live. For this you are largely going to have to trust that the contractor knows what he is doing and will use the proper asphalt. This is why you need to make sure that you work with somebody who has a lot of experience.

On last thing that you should make sure is included in the bid that you receive is the slope of the driveway to allow for drainage. You don’t want water pooling in the middle of your driveway so it should slope down from the center towards the sides. Normally a slope of a quarter inch for each foot of distance is ideal. A contractor will know the proper slope but you want to make sure that this is included in the bid so that there is no confusion.

Actually finding a contractor to pave your driveway should not be all that hard, there are a lot of them. The best place to start is to ask for referrals from people that you know. If you know somebody who has had their driveway paved they could probably recommend somebody. Another option is if you know any general contractors who build houses they could be a great source as they work with paving contractors all the time. The goal here is to make a list of at least five contractors that you can research further.

The next thing that you are going to want to do before you hire a paving contractor is a background check. This you can do with your state Attorney General’s office. They will be able to tell you if the contractor has had any complaints lodged against them; they will also be able to tell you if they are properly licensed. It is also a good idea to talk to the local Better Business Bureau to see if they have received any complaints about a contractor.

The next step is to contact the contractors that you are interested in and talk to them about the work that you need done. The main thing that you are looking for here is to find out how easy they are going to be to work with. You should also be able to get a good feel for whether or not they know what they are doing, it should be pretty obvious if they don’t. At this stage you are also going to want to make sure that they are bonded and insured, don’t even consider hiring a contractor who isn’t.

Once you have verified that a contractor is properly licensed, bonded and insured and that they are somebody that you are comfortable working with you will want to get bids from a few of them. You don’t need a bid from dozens of contractors, three should be sufficient. The big thing is to make sure that the bid specifies exactly what is included. This is why it is important that you know what is involved in paving a driveway so that you can make sure that everything that needs to be included is included. Once you have a few bids you will want to choose the one that will best meet your needs, rarely is this the cheapest one.

For information on driveways in Manchester click here.

What to Expect During Your Home’s Roof Replacement Project

Replacing your roof is an essential part of maintaining your home. A damaged or improperly maintained roof can cause thousands and dollars in damage to other parts of the home. Repairs only go so far, and eventually it will be time to replace your roof entirely. Replacing your roof can seem like a daunting task for the first time homeowner. Choosing between hundreds of professional roofing contractors can be confusing. Thankfully, the project of getting a new roof is not too complicated, and it helps to know what to expect.  

The first step in any roof replacement project is obtaining estimates and choosing a contractor. It’s a good idea to research several companies. Make sure they have good reputations and are licensed in your state. Be sure to obtain estimates from several contractors before signing a contract, as roofing estimates can have a wide range. There are many factors that can influence the cost of a roof replacement. It’s good to know a little about them before you get too involved.  

The size and slope of the roof, the materials being used, and the region of the country can all affect the final cost of the project. A roof that is particularly steep and slippery will cost more to replace than a roof that is more easily accessible. The height of the roof matters as well. Roofs on two-story homes are more expensive to replace than roofs on ramblers or ranchers. This is simply because it’s easier for the workers to access a roof that is closer to the ground. Also, like almost anything, prices vary depending on where you live. Roof replacements cost more in places where the general cost of living is higher. The frequency of roof replacements differs depending on the region of the county as well. Roofs in the Midwest generally need to be replaced more often than roofs in other parts of the country due to extreme weather. Likewise, homeowners in Southern California replace their roofs less often since the weather is usually mild year-round.  

There are several different types of roofs you can have installed. The materials can range in price anywhere from $1 to $40 or more per square foot. The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. These are relatively inexpensive and are usually guaranteed to last anywhere between 20 and 30 years. They come in may different colors to compliment the exterior of your home. Another form of roofing is wood shake, which usually costs $6 to $9 a square foot. These roofs are usually made of cedar and can last 12 to 25 years, but they require almost constant maintenance. Metal roofing such as copper or aluminum can cost $15-$20 a square foot. Tile roofs, such as terra cotta, are generally used in southwestern architecture and cost $6 to $9 a square foot. (Tiles are not recommended in areas with frequent rainfall, as they have a tendency to leak.) A slate roof is the most durable, though it is also the most expensive, and can cost up to $40 a square foot ($120,000 to replace a 3,000 square foot roof). Slate is generally used on upscale homes and can last up to 200 years or more depending on the quality.  

Along with being inexpensive, asphalt shingles require little maintenance, making them the most popular roofing choice for American homeowners. While asphalt shingle roofs are often designed to last 25 or 30 years, the actual life span of your roof can vary depending on where you live. High speed winds, hurricanes, heavy storms, blizzards, and dramatic temperature fluctuations decrease the longevity of your roof. Estimates for replacing an asphalt shingled roof can range from $1,500 to $9,000 depending on the size of the roof as well as location.  

The cost of a roof replacement project varies depending on where you live. A roof replacement costs less in the Midwest than it does in the Northeast. In places where the general cost of living is higher, roof replacements will cost more as well. If you live in the Midwest, you will need to replace your roof more often. High speed winds, tornadoes, blizzards, and ice storms will all wreck havoc on your roof. Temperature fluctuations can also damage roofs. In the desert the temperature can be over 100 degrees during the day and drop to 50 or 40 degrees at night. 20-year asphalt shingles in Arizona and New Mexico last on average only 15 years, due to sustained damage from temperature fluctuations. Homeowners in regions with mild weather can get away with more moderate roof repairs, putting off full replacements for longer periods of time.  

Roof replacement estimates may vary depending on all of these factors (location, materials, etc.). The final cost once the work is completed may be higher than the initial estimate, as your roof may have some unforeseen damage that will add to the final cost . Underneath the shingles, your roof could be rotted or have water damage. Replacing the roof support system can add thousands of dollars to the bill, depending on the extent of the damage. This is a good incentive to keep your roof properly maintained and have it replaced on time.  

When you’re choosing your roofing contractor, ask for references. You’ll definitely want to see examples of their work on local homes. When giving an estimate, a contractor will come to your house to inspect your roof. He’ll come up with a number that factors in the cost of materials and labor, including the cost of stripping and throwing away the old shingles. The estimate should include the cost of removal and disposal of the old roofing material. If not, ask about this to avoid surprises. There is a chance that there will be some unforeseen costs in the project, so it is good to avoid as many of these as possible. After the visit, they will send you a written contract. A contract from a roofing company should include a description of what is to be done, as well as when it is to be done and a schedule for payment. Having it all in writing can protect the homeowner later on. Be sure to shop around before settling on a specific contractor, as prices can vary considerably.  

Once you’ve chosen your roofing materials and your contractor, it’s time to set a date for the project. The actual work of replacing the roof can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the roof. You should plan to have someone at home while the work is being done. If they have any questions or discover any additional problems with your roof, it helps that you are home to discuss things with them.  

Before the workers arrive, it’s good to remove any items that may get in the way of their ladders. Climbing on roofs can be dangerous, even for professionals, so it’s best to stay out of their way. First, the roofers rip out all the old roofing shingles and replace any rotted or damaged wood in the roof. Next they lay a base, and then they lay the shingles. Roof work is noisy. Expect to hear a lot of hammering as well as people running around all over your roof. It’s not really an invasive home repair. You won’t have workmen coming inside your house. As long as you don’t mind the noise, it’s not much of a hassle.  

When the old shingles have been stripped, any un-shingled portions of the roof should be covered with a tarp overnight to protect your home in case of rain or overnight storms.  

Once your new roof is completed, make sure the workers have cleaned up all the debris that has fallen. When a roof is replaced, the workers usually toss the pieces of the old roof onto the ground or into a dump truck as they’re working. Once the bulk of the old material is disposed of, responsible companies will clean up after themselves to ensure customer satisfaction. They usually have a magnetic broom that picks up all the nails and other materials that can be hazardous as well as unsightly. You may find a shingle or two in your yard afterwards, which is perfectly normal.  

When you have roof work done, you should never pay anything up front. You always pay after the job is completed. This is standard procedure. All reputable roofing companies operate this way.  

During your next project, it’s important to have a general idea of the costs as well as procedures. The basic thing to remember is to get several roof replacement estimates before choosing your contractor. Expect professionalism and get references. Knowing what to expect is the key to having a pleasant experience. As an Edmond roofing specialist, we cover a wide range of services, including storm damage restoration and insurance work.

Best PEX Crimping Tools with Reviews

In case you have had the chance to fix or install your plumbing, Hydronics or radiator systems, then you surely must have come across PEX pipes. These pipes are modern alternatives to PVC and copper pipes owing to their amazing flexibility.

When working on these plastic pipes crafted from cross-linked polyethylene tubing, you don’t need pipe benders or welders; all you need to have is a pipe shear and a crimp tool.

The PEX crimping tool is a paramount part of the PEX installation process. It is mainly used to seal and insert fittings on the pipe eg. copper crimps bands and PEX barb fittings.

Due to the important nature of pipe crimpers, it is important to choose the right tool for your needs. This task is by no way an easy one.

This way we spent a lot of time and resources researching the products ourselves, from other users, researchers and product experts in a quest to find the best pex crimping tools best.

In a Rush?

Here are our top 3 products that thought you would be interested in

1.) IWISS PEX Pipe Crimping Tool Kit for 3/8,1/2,3/4,1-inch Copper Ring with Free Gauge&Pex Pipe Cutter for All US F1807 Standards

2) SharkBite 23251 1/2 Inch, 3/4 Inch Tool, Copper Crimp Ring, Pex Pipe Tubing, Barb Fittings, 1/2-Inch, and 3/4-Inch

3) Apollo PEX 69PTKH0015K 3/8-inch – 1-inch Multi-Head Crimp Tool Kit