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AMD Posts

Identifying Carpet Deterioration

orange carpet

Your carpet is a major investment in your home but not a permanent one. Over time, carpet wears down and needs to be replaced. This need can be delayed based on the quality of carpet pad and carpet your purchase as well as the level of care you practice in maintaining the floor. But, no matter what, over time carpet does wear down.

The question is, how do you identify whether a carpet is deteriorating or whether it is just dirty and needs cleaning or care? Here are some factors for identifying carpet deterioration and determining if it is time for new carpet in your home:

(1) Age

Depending on the carpet fiber, most carpets are made to last around 10 years. Durable carpet such as nylon or wool can last up to 15 years if cared for properly.

Proper care includes routine vacuuming and scheduling an annual deep carpet cleaning appointment from a local service. We won’t go into detail on how professional carpet cleaning helps extend the lifetime of a carpet. If you are interested, visit the website of Chem-Dry of Brazos County.

If it’s been 10 years or more since your carpet was installed and you are noticing signs of color fade and wear, it’s a good indication that it is time for new carpet.

(2) Flat

New carpet is resilient and able to withstand foot traffic and pressure. New carpet is able to return to its shape and form after stepped on whereas over time, old carpet will remain flat.

Deep cleaning can return carpet fibers to their original state but if cleaning isn’t successful in doing so, it is a sign the carpet will no longer return to a plush and buoyant state.

(3) Fade

New carpet tends to be bright and bold with a sheen to it after it is first installed. Dirt and traffic can reduce the color and shine but cleaning will return it if the carpet is still in good condition.

If cleaning does not return the color to the carpet then it is likely permanently gone. If you want a bold and colorful carpet you will need to purchase new carpet for your home.

(4) Tears

If you start to notice tears in carpet it is a sign that the durability of the carpet is gone and there is nothing left to protect the fibers and backing from ripping at the seams after traffic or use.

You cannot repair tears in carpet seams and will need to replace the section of carpet or the entire wall-to-wall carpet in the event a tear occurs.

(5) Stains

You will notice that stains are easier to remove from new carpet. This is somewhat due to the manufacturer stain guard and the fact the fibers are healthy. It is harder to remove stains from older carpet and stains that might have been able to be removed in the past will now become permanent.

If permanent stains are occurring across the surface of the carpet you should consider replacing it with a new floor.

How to Extend the Lifetime of Your Roof

home roof

A roof in the best possible shape for the longest possible time is like a return on your investment and reward of all the efforts that you put in!

No matter how big or small is the facility, roof is a huge investment and you can’t think of furbishing it anytime sooner than necessary.

Replacing is certainly expensive but a leaking or collapsing roof is even more dangerous. Hence it is necessary that you put your efforts towards maintaining it in good shape so as to prolong its life. Here are some tips to assist you with the same:

  1. Cleaning the gutters: If you think that clogged gutters can only ruin the side paint or wets the basement then you need to know more. If the gutters are not clean or have build-up of autumn leaves causing the clogging then the overflow can go upward which can wick water into the layers of roof and thus make it weak and leaky. Hence it is necessary that you clean the gutters on a regular basis during fall and spring so as to ensure there is no clogging which can rot the roof.
  2. Prevention against moss and mold: There is a difference between algae and moss. While algae is something which doesn’t damage the roof, moss traps water and thus weakens your roof. Algae can be washed away with chlorine bleach but moss requires strong agents like zinc sulphate. If you keep on cleaning your roof regularly then you may stop the moss from building up but if they have already made their den then you might have to kill moss first. Also, if the moss is quite prevalent in your area then you can install zinc strips on the roof to stop them from coming back.
  3. Reflective Roof Coating: Just like any other coating, roof coating also help in creating a barrier between the uppermost layer of the roof and the damaging elements. Reflective coating helps in increasing UV and waterproof protection on the roof and thus saves from leaks and wearing down of membranes. Also, it keeps the roof cool as it minimises the effect of summertime heat. It slows down the damage process thus adding years to the life of the roof.
  4. Trimming of overhanging branches: Large branches can scrape and abrade the roof shingles especially in stormy weather. Branches should be at a distance of 10 feet away from the roof so as to decrease the growth of the molds and keep the pests away which can gnaw the surface of the roof. Hence trimming of branches can prevent utmost damage.
  5. Inspections: Last but not the least, it is necessary that you consult an expert and carry out proper inspection of the roof at least twice a year. Inspection is the foundation of regular maintenance and this will help you in taking a note of all those precautions which should be undertaken by the roof. This would also help in detection of problems in timely fashion and thus protecting from last minute surprises.

Types of Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertops

We discussed how to choose cabinets in our last post and now it is time to decide how to choose the right kitchen countertop for your home.

The countertop is often a focal point of the kitchen so you want it to be stylish. The countertop also needs to be durable and functional in order to properly prepare meals on it.

You need to know your options before you decide which countertop is right for you. These are the types of kitchen countertops to choose from:

LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS

Laminate countertops are the cheapest choice of the three but are still very high in quality. You can choose from hundreds of colors and styles when determining which laminate countertop to buy. Laminate is also extremely easy to clean and the surface is water-resistant too.

The downside is that there are visible seams between each piece for larger surface areas and laminate is not heat-resistant so you will want to place hot bowls and pots and pans on a cloth.

GRANITE COUNTERTOPS

Granite countertops are stunning and very high-quality. A granite countertop is made from 100% natural stone and is naturally heat-resistant. The surface is extremely smooth too which makes it the perfect surface for baking. The surface is also stain- and bacteria-resistant if sealed correct.

QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS

Quartz countertops are the most durable of the three options. The stone resists heat and bacteria like granite but it does not need to be sealed as it is one large slab. You have less colors and styles to choose from but the construction is the best of the three.

For several years, granite countertops were the clear favorites for new homes and remodels. It is easy to understand why. But in recent years, the quality and style options of laminate countertops have greatly increased to where laminate is now both an affordable and quality choice.

You can save yourself several hundreds of dollars if you are willing to select laminate countertops over the natural stone choices. That being said, it is very hard to argue with the beauty and durability of both granite and quartz countertops.

How to Choose Cabinets

stock kitchen cabinets

A home contractor will need to know what type of kitchen cabinets you want for your remodel. You will need to decide this even before the demolition or the remodel begins because cabinets often need to be custom-made and ordered in advanced.

There are three main types of cabinets to choose from. This post will provide some information on each one in order to help you choose cabinets for your remodel

TYPES OF KITCHEN CABINETS

Here are the three cabinets available for a remodel:

STOCK CABINETS

The name says it all with this type of cabinet. Stock cabinets are in-stock and available to purchase from hardware stores and cabinetry stores near your home. You don’t need to pre-order this type of cabinet but you must understand that there will be limited sizes and finishes available if you choose stock cabinets.

A stock cabinet is a good option for a lower remodel budget but we prefer semi-custom or custom cabinets for a more polished look for your home.

SEMI-CUSTOM CABINETS

A semi-custom cabinet is built to order in various sizes and finishes. You need to order a semi-custom cabinet anywhere from 4-6 weeks in advance of the time you need it and you should expect to pay a significant amount more than the cost of a stock cabinet. You still have to choose from various models in a catalog or online but you can be certain the cabinet will fit your size and style requirements.

CUSTOM CABINETS

A custom cabinet is 100% built just for your kitchen. You can choose the style, the size, the finish and the materials. This is the most expensive of the three but you are purchasing something built just for your home that is high-quality craftsmanship. You should expect custom cabinets to require 4-6 weeks or more depending on the requirements and the cabinetmaker’s schedule.

The most popular choice for cabinets are semi-custom cabinets since they allow some alterations and are guaranteed to fit your kitchen dimensions. If the cost of the remodel is getting out of control, stock cabinets are a good compromise and one way to cut the costs of the total project.

DIY Demolition Tools

circular saw

You can save some money in hiring a home contractor for a kitchen remodel by performing various parts of a home remodel on your own. One piece of the project you can complete is demolition of the current kitchen in your home.

You can save a few hundred dollars or more if you complete the demolition but you will need to rent or own the right tools. Here are the DIY demolition tools you need:

CORDLESS DRILL

You will need to unscrew cabinets and countertops from the wall and base units. A cordless drill is much easier to use as it offers access to more difficult angles and won’t get tangled or unplugged in the process. Most homeowners will already own a cordless drill so you shouldn’t need to purchase this tool specifically for the demolition.

RECIPROCATING SAW

A reciprocating saw has a back-and-forth motion that will cut through wood and nails and help to cut base units and cabinetry in half for easy removal from the kitchen and to the dumpster or recycling bin. You can rent a reciprocating saw from the local hardware store for the weekend of the demolition for a reasonable cost.

PLIERS & CLIPPERS

You will need pliers and clippers to remove appliances from the wall or old nails and screws attached to the various cabinets and kitchen components. You should already have a pair of pliers in your tool bag and wire clippers are available for $10 or less at the hardware store.

SLEDGE HAMMER

This is the fun part. You can use a sledge hammer to know down drywall and the walls of the room. You can knock out kitchen islands with this powerful tool. You just need a little elbow grease.

SAFETY GEAR

Be sure to wear the proper safety gear during your kitchen demolition. You should wear work gloves as well as safety goggles and a hard hat. You can purchase all of this gear at the hardware store for around $20 total. You should not begin the demoltion without this gear as safety should always come first in any home repair or home remodel project.

Questions for Hiring a Home Contractor

home contractor

The home contractor you choose to hire for a home build or home remodel will be the most important decision of the entire project. You want to be sure you are 100% comfortable with the contractor you decide to hire.

You can help ensure you are making the right choice by asking the right questions for hiring a home contractor. If the answers give you confidence, you will know you are making the right choice for your project.

Here are the questions we recommend you ask a contractor before you hire him or her:

“How Many Years Have You Been in Business?”

You want to hire a contractor that has several years of experience in the business. A good home contractor will have had previous experience in various repair trades and should have a resume of several finished projects and satisfied customers.

An experienced contractor will have learned how to set reasonable expectations and timelines and complete a project on time. The number one complaint of customers about home contractors is that the job took longer than estimated. An experienced contractor is likely to have a much better idea of the length of a project.

“How Much Time Will the Project Require?”

This is the number one question for home contractors other than the cost of the project. You must agree on an expected completion date before hiring a home contractor.

“Are You Licensed/Certified?”

This one is a deal-breaker. You do not want to hire a home contractor that isn’t licensed and certified in the repairs and installations they will perform on your home. You can research the necessary licenses for home contractors in your state. Your insurance company is unlikely to cover any work done by an unlicensed contractor.

“Are You Insured?”

This is another deal-breaker. Your home contractor and all employees need to be insured in the various repairs and projects they will complete on the home. You do not want to find yourself being held responsible for any kind of medical or injury costs of the home contractor and his employees.

“What is the Payment Process?”

You should be suspicious if the home contractor wants the entire payment upfront. You should expect to pay a percent up front for initial labor and materials and then additional payments at various milestones throughout the project with the final payment coming once the job is 100% complete to your satisfaction.

“Do You Offer a Warranty?”

Reputable home contractors will offer a warranty for anywhere from one month to one year after their services are complete. We recommend hiring a contractor that offers a warranty for peace of mind long after the project is complete.

“What Does a Day Look Like?”

You should get an idea of what an average day during the project will be like. When will the home contractor and the crew arrive? When will they break and when will they leave? You don’t want to be at the mercy of random schedules and work hours every day if you are currently living in the home.

There are several other questions you might have for a home contractor but the ones we have provided above are a good start and a good indication of what the home contractor will be able to deliver.