Category Archives: Hank

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Budget-Friendly Backyard Updates for Summer

Living in the Midwest, there’s only about a five month period where we can enjoy the outdoors without a winter coat, so it’s important to take advantage of the outdoors while we can! This year, give your backyard the boost it needs and transform it into a retreat that’ll be the envy of the neighborhood with the below tips!


There’s no better place to sip on summer cocktails, listen to spooky stories or simply stargaze than next to a fire-pit. It’s a summer staple that you can add to your retreat in just one hour (according to the Shabby Creek Cottage). Once it’s done, be sure to invite us over for s’mores!

What you’ll need:

  • Stones
  • Lava rock
  • Shovel
  • Level

DIY | The One Hour Firepit

Outdoor String Lights

Living in, or near, a city you lose the ambient twinkle of stars. But, with globe string lights you can create your own night sky. Just a few strands can give your yard a picturesque glow and it can be accomplished for under $60!

What you’ll need:

  • Electric conduit
  • Plastic piping
  • Single anchor pipe straps
  • ½ in. Knock out seals
  • Rust-oleum hammered dark bronze spray paint
  • String lights

DIY | Outdoor String Lights 

Plant Lemongrass

After you’ve been cooped up in the house, you can’t wait to get outside to breathe in fresh air. This year don’t let anything stand in your way of that – especially mosquitos. Instead of burning candles or spraying repellent with harsh chemicals, plant lemongrass in your backyard to keep mosquitos at-bay. No room in your actual garden? Lemongrass can also grow in big pots on your patio!

Or, if playing in the dirt isn’t your thing, consider creating all-natural mosquito repellent candles!

What you’ll need:



  • Mason Jars
  • Floating candles
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Basil
  • Lemongrass essential oil

DIY | Lemongrass  OR DIY | Mosquito Repellent Candles

What Makes Tri-State Home Improvement Different?

At Tri-State Home Improvement, we believe that taking care of people’s homes is a privilege and we enjoy getting to do that. When we started the company, the goal was to provide friends and neighbors with service they could trust. We pride ourselves on doing things differently than other contractors, and focus on methods that save homeowners money both now and in the long run.

Quality Products

We use the best quality products at the lowest price available, and we would never use a product on your home that we wouldn’t put on our own. We carry the number one selling roofing brand in North America, a wide variety of siding, and Berkshire Windows, one of the most respected names in the industry.

Total Warranty

We offer a lifetime warranty on all of the products that we sell and install. In addition to that, our windows come with a double warranty that are good for you and the next owner of the home.

FREE Estimates

The cost of repairing your roof, replacing your windows, or putting siding on your house is expensive on its own, so we give you a free estimate. We want to provide you with the best service we can, and that starts with a complimentary estimate for your project.

Do you have a home improvement project that you need help with? Contact us today to get started!


Common Winter Weather Woes for Your Roof

winter weather

Roof problems only get worse the longer they go untreated. And unfortunately, winter weather can play a large role in causing long-term damage to your roof. Here is a list of the three most common winter elements that can cause damage to your home’s roof and how to fix them.

Every cubic foot of snow piled on your roof adds up to 20 pounds of additional weight your roof needs to hold. The longer this extra weight sits on your roof, melting and refreezing, the heavier it can get. Accumulation of snowfall isn’t as large of an issue for homes with slanted roofs, but for homes with flat roofs, it can amount to a very large problem. For flat roofing systems, the extra weight of this snow can lead to cracking support beams and shingles, potentially causing water damage to the inside of your home. To keep winter snowfalls from damaging your roofing system, Tri-State recommends clearing excess snow off your roof after each heavy snowfall.

Icicles are a common occurrence in the winter months, and as beautiful as icicles on your roof may look, they are a common sign that your roofing system has been compromised. Large icicles are typically caused by poor or missing insulation and commonly form as a result of air leaking from your house into your attic.

To prevent icicles from forming on your roof, try installing heat tape along the seams of your home’s roof. This will help to cut down on the amount of air leaking into your attic, as well as improve your roof’s overall insulation. To learn more about the long-term solutions to prevent icicles from compromising your roofing system, contact Tri-State today.

Ice Dams
You can’t have icicles without ice dams. Building up large amounts of ice on your roof, ice dams can damage the integrity of your roof, resulting in leaks, shingle damage, mold and mildew development and other home issues that come about from leaking roofs. To prevent ice dams from forming on your roof or to fix ice dams that have already formed, check out these three fast fixes.

When it comes to keeping your roofing system healthy all year around, Tri-State is here to help! Remember, leaving roofing problems untreated will not only lead to larger issues down the road, but will also result in a rather large bill. Avoid the pain and hassle and schedule your winter roofing inspection with Hank and the Tri-State gang today.






How to decorate for the holidays without damaging your home

lightsIt’s that time of year again—time to dust off those holiday lights and light up the neighborhood with your festive decorations and holiday cheer! While decorating your home is a beloved holiday tradition, decorating with outdoor lights has the potential to cause long-term damage to your windows, siding and roofing. Avoid the hassle and make decorating more enjoyable with these outdoor decorating tips from Tri-State!

  1. No jingles on your shingles: NEVER hang holiday lights directly from your shingles. If hung from your shingles, these lights have the potential to tear or rip your roofing—especially when made heavier with fallen snow or other debris from your roof. When hanging lights from your roof always attach the lights directly to the gutter using clips or hooks that have been specially made for outdoor lighting.
  2. Avoid the shock factor: When decorating your home, make sure all decorations and lights are hung at a safe distance from power cords and electrical lines. You may also want to make sure that all decorations are plugged into a portable outdoor circuit—this includes any inflatable decorations, as well. This precautionary measure will prevent your home’s circuits from becoming overloaded and eliminate any risk of an electrical fire.
  3. Think of the cleanup: Never pull on your lights to remove them from their clips or hooks. Pulling the lights may get them off your roof, but it will also cause damage to your gutters or windows in the process. Instead of pulling, use a ladder to get at eye level with the lights and gently remove them from their hooks—this will also allow you to keep the lights from becoming a tangled mess!
  4. Call a pro: If you plan on elaborately decorating your home—or even if you feel uncomfortable on a ladder or have areas that are difficult to access—don’t be afraid to call a professional. While it may be an extra expense you weren’t anticipating, ensuring your home’s windows, siding and roofing remains unharmed will save you major bucks down the road.

Outdoor decorating is a holiday favorite for many homeowners! However, before you string up those lights this year, be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep your home in great condition all year long. As always, for additional questions or concerns regarding your home’s windows, siding or roofing, contact Hank and the Tri-State gang for help!

Fast fixes for ice dams


ice damsIn the winter, ice dams on your roof are inevitable. While icicles may look pretty hanging down from your roof, they are a good indication that an ice dam has formed. If an ice dam has formed, it is vital to call a roofing contractor right away; if left on your roof for a long period of time, ice dams can cause leaks and serious water damage to your home. While you wait for a contractor to visit your home, here are a few quick fixes you can try to temporarily solve the problem.

Blow in cold air
Ice dams typically form from melting snow on your roof as a result of heat collecting in your attic and warming the roof. If you want to stop the snow on your roof from melting, try using a box fan to blow cold air into your attic. This targeted dose of cold air will freeze the water that has melted and stop existing snow from melting, as well.

Rake it
If you can’t stop the snow from melting on your roof, remove it. Using a long handle aluminum roof rake, clear off your roof of all existing snow from the safety of a ladder—do NOT climb onto your roof to clear it.

De-ice it
If clearing off the snow does not work, you can always de-ice your roof using pantyhose and de-icer—yes, pantyhose. Fill the leg of the pantyhose with a calcium chloride ice melter and place it on your roof using a roof rake or shovel. Eventually, the calcium chloride will melt through the existing snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters and off your roof.

Remember, even if you’ve temporarily fixed your problem, it is still wise to have a roofing contractor inspect your roof. Contact Hank and the Tri-State gang today to find out how we can help!



Your top five roofing questions answered

Re-roofing your home is a big undertaking, so it’s no wonder you have lots and lots of questions. Tri-State is here to help! Here’s a list of the top five roofing questions answered to help ease your confusion and ensure your re-roofing process runs as smoothly as possible.

1. If my roof leaks, do I need to have it completely replaced?
If your roof is leaking, that does not necessarily mean you need to replace your entire roof. Fortunately, roof leaks commonly occur in one specific area where shingles or flashing have become loose or have fallen off. If this is the case, you will just need to replace the section that is damaged. If your roof is leaking in multiple locations, it may be time to consider removing your old roof and completely replacing it with a new one.

2. How long does it take replace a roof?
The time it takes to re-roof all depends on the size of your home, the weather, the contractor and the inspections needed. Generally, small family homes take a few days to re-roof, whereas large commercial roofs can take weeks or months to complete. As long as you hire a good roofing contractor—like Tri-State—your re-roofing project should move along swiftly and stay on schedule.

 3. How much does a roof replacement cost?
Although the cost varies depending on the size of the home and the scope of the project, a new roof for an average size family home can range anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 dollars.

4. Should I have my roof inspected regularly?
Ideally, you should have your roof inspected twice a year—once before winter and once again     after winter has concluded. Many homeowners wait until they have a leak or have spotted shingles in their yard to have their roof inspected. While it’s always good to call a roofing professional with these issues, a handful of roofing problems could be avoided with regular, professional inspection.

5. What are the most common signs that I need to replace my roof?
The three most common signs that you need to replace your roof are curling or missing shingles, surface cracking and algae and moss growth. If your roof has one or all three of these signs, it’s a good indication that your roof should be replaced.shingles

Still have additional roofing questions? Visit our website or contact us today to learn more—we’d love to help!


Why Royal Woodland Siding Rocks

Looking to replace your home’s siding? When it comes to revamping your home’s curb appeal and bringing your home’s outdoor protection to the next level, Royal Woodland siding from Tri-State is an excellent choice—here’s why!

For starters, Royal Woodland Siding comes in 28 beautiful, UV-resistant colors—guaranteed to give any home the look of luxury. Plus, this siding won’t crack, warp, sag or fade, which means your home will look fresh and beautiful for many years to come—with minimal maintenance required.

In addition to its pleasing aesthetics, Royal Woodland siding is extremely durable and can even endure hurricane-force winds of up to 240 miles per hour! To ensure your home stays looking it’s best for years to come, this revolutionary siding also comes with an Industry Leading Double Lifetime Warranty, including color and hail protection.  And, thanks to its .046 millimeter thickness, this siding is great for homeowners who are looking to reduce the amount of outside noise that enters their home.

With it’s unlimited, unbeatable benefits, this siding is a great option for any home! Contact Hank and the Tri-State gang for visit our website for more information about our Royal Woodland Siding.


Get Your Roof Winter-Ready

Winter weather will soon be upon us—is your roof ready to tackle the snow and freezing temperatures? As you begin to prepare your home—and yourself—for the winter, don’t forget to take care of one of the most important features of your home—your roof. Here’s some simple jobs you can do to make sure your roof is winter-ready:

  • Clean your gutters of debris and install leaf guards to keep your gutters blockage-free. Consistently cleaning your gutters will prevent water and ice from building up and will help reduce the chance of leaks and water damage to your roof down the road.
  • Inspect your roof for damage and deteriorating shingles. Checking your roof for damage before the winter storms hit is a smart idea. Plus, it will give you plenty of time to repair the damage before the weather gets too cold. Remember, any damage you notice should be repaired by a certified roofing contractor as soon as possible.
  • Check vent stacks, chimneys and skylights for potential leaks. If you do notice leaks in these areas, be sure to call a roofing contractor to reseal all the leaks before the first snowfall.
  • Install extra insulation in your attic. Extra installation will help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof and will reduce your chance of water damage and leaks in your home.
  • Extend your down spouts to move melting snow and ice farther away from your home. Basically, thefarther you can move the ice and snow away from your home, the better off you will be.

Don’t forget, if your roof needs repair before the winter season strikes, call Tri-State Windows, Siding & Roofing! Our team will work hard to ensure your roof is ready to handle all the damaging elements the winter weather brings.


Metal Roof

How to hire the right roofing contractor for the job

A new roof is a big investment, which is why you need to make sure you are hiring the right person for the job. Do you know what to consider when choosing a roofing contractor for your home? Tri-State has put together a list of five key elements to consider when hiring a roofing contractor. Take a look!

  1. Insurance: When it comes to choosing a roofing contractor, ensuring they have workers’ compensation and liability insurance is a must. Tri-State recommends asking to see their insurance certificates to confirm they are up-to-date and valid. You could even call the insurance company to further verify their insurance if you want to be 100 percent sure their documents are valid.
  2. Price: You should never choose a roofing contractor based on price. Remember, in the end, you get what you pay for. Plus, customers who choose a roofing contractor based on cost will most likely spend more money on repairs in the long run.
  3. Communication: Communication can make or break the success of your roofing installation. Ultimately, you want to make sure your contractor has an open flow of communication and returns your calls or addresses your concerns in a timely manner. If you aren’t happy with the contractor’s communication upfront, you will most likely be unhappy with their communication down the road, as well.
  4. Safety: Always choose a roofing contractor that is committed to worker safety and education. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor what safety precautions they take or what type of safety training their workers have received. When it comes to safety, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  5. Recommendations: Using customerrecommendations to choose a contractor is a great way to ensure you are hiring a licensed and highly-qualified roofing team.  While you may have some small differences of opinion, using a recommended contractor gives you comfort in knowing the quality of work to expect.

Looking to install a new roof? Tri-State Windows, Siding & Roofing is here to help! Visit our website to schedule your free roofing estimate today or to learn more about the various roofing solutions we offer.

Check out the items on Hank’s wish list!

Hank has started renovating his treehouse, but he still has a few more items left on his wish list to finish the project!

Berkshire windows

Berkshire Premium Vinyl Windows

Hank was thrilled to install Berkshire windows in his treehouse recently. He loves the luxurious look of the frames and the easy-to-clean features that help him keep his view of the yard crystal clear.

And, getting his windows through Tri-State meant peace of mind for Hank. Not only are Berkshire windows durable and cutting edge in their efficiency, they’re also backed by Tri-State’s lifetime guarantee, which extends for as long as Hank is in his treehouse and even to the squirrel that moves in after him!

Add Berkshire windows to your wish list this holiday season, and find out more on Tri-State’s website!


Photo of a home using GAF's Woodland Castelwood Gray shingles

GAF Premium Designer Shingles

Next on Hank’s wish list are award-winning GAF designer shingles to replace the existing treehouse roof. He knows that GAF offers a variety of residential asphalt shingles that are beautiful and durable, keeping him and his home safe from the elements and wowing his squirrel neighbors.

He’s especially partial to the Woodland shingles in Castlewood Gray, but anything in the collection would look wonderful on his house! (He knows because he tried them on with the GAF Virtual Home Remodeler!)

Haven insulated siding

Haven Insulated Siding

Up in the tree, Hank knows he needs siding that can take on the elements it will be exposed to. That’s why he has Haven siding on his list! He knows Haven looks clean and classic without making him sacrifice functionality.

Not only do the insulating features grant him energy-efficient savings, they also dampen outside noise, so he can finally sleep through the bird song and howling winds!

To get all the details on Haven Insulated Siding, visit Tri-State’s website!


Hank is hoping for the perfect holiday surprise, and he knows that Tri-State’s free estimates make choosing the perfect item a breeze! Schedule yours today to get started on your own home remodel wish list!