Category Archives: home

Berkshire windows

Move-In Ready Home Updates

Is your family expanding? Perhaps you’d like to move closer to your job? Whatever the reason, you’re ready to make a different house a home and Tri-State is here to help you in the process.

According to a report from Zillow, homes that are listed in April or May are more likely to be sold faster and for more money. With spring just around the corner, now is the time to give your house some much-needed updates to make sure you get top dollar for your investment.

Curb Appeal.

Did you know installing a new front door can help increase the curb appeal and value of your home by 4.2 percent?! Start by replacing your old front door with a Therma-Tru door from Tri-State – named a “Best Buy” by Consumers Digest.

Once the weather warms up, stop by your local home improvement store and make some updates to your landscaping. First impressions are key, so really wow potential buyers right off the bat!

Windows.

Do your windows need replacing? Right now, homebuyers are looking for energy efficient homes and one way to accomplish this is by installing energy efficient windows. Newly replaced windows that help reduce energy bills are a huge selling point for potential buyers. At Tri-State Home Improvement, you get a double warranty on windows which means it transfers to the next owner!

Roof.

Before selling your house, your home will go through an inspection and they will undoubtedly look at your roof to make sure it’s in good overall condition. The inspector will want to know when it was last replaced and will take a serious look at the structure to make sure it’s sturdy and doesn’t have any leaks. While this is a more costly home update, it may very well be necessary to attract buyers. Depending on the material, most roofs need to be replaced anywhere between 20 to 50 years. Enlist in the help of a Tri-State professional to determine your roof’s longevity with our free estimate.

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2018 Home Décor Trends

Winter is the perfect time to give the inside of your home a little TLC. Take a look at some of the design trends we’re loving for 2018!

Velvet

Velvet is making its way from the runway to your hallway in 2018. It’s the perfect way to add a little functional luxury to your home. Get your feet wet by adding a nice velvet pillow or blanket to your bedroom. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous – splurge on an entire sofa! Either way, your home is sure to be the envy of all your friends with the addition of this elegant, yet comfortable fabric.

Millennial Pink

Millennials can’t seem to get enough of this color! It’s in their hair, on their walls, and in their Starbuck’s beverages, so it’s safe to say this color isn’t going anywhere. Add a splash of Millennial Pink to you walls or accent your existing color with a framed print to wake up every morning feeling refreshed!

Jewel Tones

Looking for another way to feel like royalty? Look no further than adding some jewel tones to your home. Whether you’re into traditional or more boho chic décor, jewel tones are the perfect way to warm up any room.

Copper

Say goodbye to the days where the only ounce of copper in your home was a Moscow mule mug! This metal can be seen all over the place, so you shouldn’t have a hard time incorporating it into your home décor. Pots, pans, planters – you name it and it can be found in copper. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to incorporate this trend. There’s plenty of DIY copper crafts you can make to update your home for less.

Indoor Plants

Breathe some life into your home with indoor plants. Over the years, studies have shown that plants help reduce stress levels and make you feel happier. Don’t have a green thumb? There are plenty of low-maintenance succulents to choose from. Or, opt for a faux plant to add a splash or color and a sense of serenity without the upkeep.

good morning coffee = good morning attitude ☕️🍃

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window condensation

Signs Your Windows Need Replacing

According to data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the average home in the United States is 35 years old, with some of the oldest homes residing in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. While most high-quality windows need replacing after 20 years, different factors could escalate your need for window replacement. Be aware of the signs below in order to accurately assess your current windows to determine whether or not they need replacing.

Do you feel a draft? If there’s a distinct temperature drop when you’re sitting close to your windows, as opposed to the rest of your home, that’s a clear indication that your windows need replacing. Drafty windows could be a result of wear and tear over time, poor installation, seal failure, cracks in your caulk, etc. and your energy bills are likely a lot higher than they should be.

Are you seeing condensation? If you’re experiencing indoor condensation, solutions like turning down a humidifier, turning on a fan, or even moving your plants could remedy the problem.

If the condensation is on your exterior window, products like Rain X (yes, the product you use on your car’s windshield) can help gather the droplets and assist them in the run-off process. The exterior condensation may also be morning dew, in which case letting it run its course is likely the only worthwhile solution.

However, if the condensation is between the window panes, it usually indicates a seal failure and the windows will likely need replacing.

Do you struggle to open or close your windows?  You may be surprised to know that it’s not your muscles preventing you from enjoying some much-needed fresh air, it might just mean your windows need replacing! Windows that are difficult to open or close are likely letting in cool and/or warm air, which negatively impacts your energy bill. If windows aren’t latching completely, you’re essentially lighting a neon “vacant” sign on your home for insects and small critters (such as mice). It can even serve as an easy entry point for home intruders, making it a safety concern for you and your family.

Other warning signs that your windows may need to be replaced include: if they’re hard to clean, if you hear excessive noise inside, and/or if the seal or caulking is visibly damaged.

Choosing the right contractor is just as important as finding the right windows. Proper installation will help prevent air infiltration and costly water damage to your home. If installed incorrectly, your windows may not operate properly. During your free in-home appointment with Tri-State, your window specialist will ask you what you’re looking for in a window or door, show you samples and take necessary measurements.

Call, or click below, to schedule your free quote with a Tri-State Home Improvement professional to find the right type of windows for your home’s needs!

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Different Types of Roofing

A new roof is a big purchase. With the numerous types of roofing and shingles, how do you know which one to choose?

Asphalt Shingles3

Take a look at the homes in your neighborhood, and you’ll likely see a majority of their roofs have asphalt shingles. Far and wide, asphalt shingles are the more used type of roofing. They are relatively inexpensive, however, they have a short lifespan relatively. You can expect asphalt shingles to last 20 to 30 years.

4Slate and Tile

If you’ve traveled to the Southwest states, you’ll be familiar with tile shingles. While these shingles last more than 50 years, they are among the most expensive. They are also much heavier than asphalt shingles. Before you get your heart set on the beautiful colonial Spanish style look of these tile shingles, make sure that your home can structurally support their weight.

In comparison to tile shingles, slate tiles are much more popular in the Northeast. Similarly, slate tile is extremely durable with a life span equal to that of tile. Slate shingles are also on the more expensive side. But if your budget won’t work with real slate shingles, check out synthetic slate. Synthetic slate isn’t quite as long-lasting, but it is just as aesthetically pleasing.

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Wood

Wood shingles can be made from any type of wood. Hardwood, such as cedar, shingles have been known to last as long as 50 years! Their earthy, rustic appearance makes them popular because of the aesthetics, however, they do require a bit of maintenance. Generally, wood shingles are more expensive than asphalt tiles.

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At Tri-State Home Improvement, we only use the best quality products so you can be confident that no matter what type of roofing you decide on, your family will be safe and dry no matter the season. Keeping your family safe and comfortable is our top priority. Ready to get started? Contact us today for a free estimate!

Organizing your Garage 101

Is your garage a thing of organized beauty or a dysfunctional mess? If you haven’t had time to organize and clean your garage, now is a great time to get started! Pick a weekend to tackle this project, and then prepare by reading over our list to help you get organized once and for all!

Don’t forget to get help! Round up your family or even hire an expert if need be! Organizing your garage, depending on how big it is, can take quite a long time on your own.

Decide What to Keep, Donate and Throw Away

When was the last time you got out your rollerblades or your tennis racket? If you haven’t touched it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. Take some time to go through everything in your garage and decide what goes, what stays, and what can be given away.

Once you’ve decided what you’re keeping, group like items together so you can start to organize your belongings in a thoughtful way.

Storing Items

Take advantage of walls and ceiling space. Shelving units high above your head and garage door mechanisms can be a great place to store those seasonal items you only use once in a while. Artificial Christmas Trees and yard decorations are great examples. But don’t be afraid to get creative! Do you keep a roll of trash bags in the garage? Try repurposing a towel holder to fit your trash bags.

Does your family have several recycling bins? Create bin hangers that not only free up some floor space, but also make it easier pick up and move them. Click here for specific instructions on these great tips and so much more!

7With a little bit of work, your garage can look like this in no time! Don’t forget to check the siding and look for any leaks in your garage while you’re cleaning. If your garage has windows, be sure you check those as well. If you find any leaks or other problems that need repair, be sure to contact the Tri-State team!

Home Maintenance Tips for Summer

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Being a homeowner takes a lot of work and maintenance! Do you know where to start cleaning your home this summer? Take a look at our list of summer maintenance tips to help you keep your home in the best shape!

Schedule an air conditioning tune up

An air conditioning tune up should be at the top of your list when it comes to summer home maintenance! A seasonal tune up is the best way to avoid HVAC emergencies and to ensure that you’re staying cool all summer long.

Clean your gutters and inspect your roof

No one likes to clean the gutters, but it has to be done. Regular cleaning will help to prevent clogging and leaks. The best way to clean your gutters is to use a small plastic scoop to remove any of the gunky build up and then, using a garden hose, flush out the gutters and downspout. Be mindful and watch for any leaks in your gutters or downspouts and repair them as necessary.

Inspecting your roof as the season changes will help to ensure that there wasn’t any damage done over the course of the last season and to repair any damages you might find. For a complete list on roof maintenance for the summer, click here to read another one of our blogs!

Inspect and repair your windows

To keep your windows working their best and looking their best you need to know the importance of regular maintenance. Not only do well-maintained windows look better, they keep your home more energy efficient, and enhance the security of your home. The natural elements play hardball with your windows and contribute to their wear and tear. Check out this blog for more information on the best way to clean and maintain your windows.

Use your pressure washer!

Get out your pressure washer, or borrow your neighbor’s, and clean the exterior of your home. Keep your siding and exterior walls looking their best with regular cleaning to remove dirt, stains and any mildew. You can also use a pressure washer to clean your deck!

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Homeownership takes a lot of work, but we’re here to help get you started down the right path! Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent any issues down the road. But should you find a roof leak or that you need new windows, give the experts at Tri-State a call! We’re here to help protect you and your family. Contact us today for a free estimate!

Making an Entrance

It’s time to give your home a face lift, but that doesn’t mean having to undergo a complete overhaul! A new front door can change the entire look and feel of your home. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite doors and front stoops to give you some inspiration!

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Rich Colors and Frosted Glass

Updating to a rich, dark-stained front door immediately gives your home a more modern look. We still love the look of both the light and the dark stain and the variation in windows!

 

Color!22

A bright and colorful door is a great way to bring new life to your home. Bright colors are trendy, bold and unique. Stand out from your neighbors with a new and colorful door!

 

Pick a color that accents the color of your siding and roofing for a completed look.

 

French Doors

Are French doors more your style? French doors are beautiful and give your home a luxurious and classic feel. And with the variety of designs and styles, you can create a completely unique look and feel.

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Don’t forget that you can always accessorize your doors with fun or seasonal wreaths and plants! It’s a great way to show your personal style!

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Feeling inspired? At Tri-State Home Improvement, we only install the quality of products on your home that we would use on our own. That’s why we sell Therma-Tru doors. Whether you’re searching for a contemporary entry door or beautiful French patio doors, search no further than Therma-Tru. Contact the Tri-State team today for a FREE estimate!

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

metal roofing 1

You’ve decided it’s time to install a new roof. Have you considered a new metal roof? If you
haven’t, you should! A metal roof is a great choice for your family’s home for more reasons more than just the aesthetics.

Longevity

A metal roof lasts between 40 and 70 years, when maintained properly—a huge difference compared to the 12 to 20 years you can get from traditional asphalt shingles.

Durability

Depending on the type of metal, some metal roofs can withstand up to 140 mile per hour winds. They also require less maintenance than traditional shingles. They should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required, however.

Safety

Unlike asphalt shingles, a metal roof is not flammable. Should lightning strike your home with a metal roof you can rest easy knowing it won’t burst into flames.

Energy Efficiency

You can reduce your cooling costs by 10 to 25 percent thanks to the solar radiant reflecting properties of the metal.

Environmentally Friendly

If purchasing products that are environmentally conscious is important to you, a metal roof is perfect. They are made of 25 to 95 percent recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable at the end of the roof’s life.

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A new roof is a big investment and one you should do all of your research for. A metal roof is safe, durable, energy efficient, environmentally friendly and has the staying power of 40 to 70 years. Install a metal roof and rest assured that you and your family are safe. Give us a call today or visit our website to discuss metal roof options!

Dry Rot

You’ve probably heard of dry rot and know that it’s not a good thing. But what is it? And how do you know if your home has it? We’ve put everything you need to know together for you here!

Does your home have dry rot?

Dry rot is a fungus that, as it matures, shrinks and cracks the wood in your walls. In the end, it looks like you have cut a bunch of small rectangular cuts out of the lumber.

What does it look like?

dry rot

In more humid areas, dry rot looks puffy and cotton like. “Teardrops” and “fruiting bodies” tend to grow on this fungus. If that’s not gross enough, they produce spores. The wood also crumbles away easily when poked.

Spores

Spores are where your troubles start. They float through the air and cause problems once they come into contact with moisture. Moisture causes the spore to germinate and grow. It develops thin strings of hyphae that join together and form mycelium. Once evolved from the spore, mycelium can take over and area and that is when you get dry rot.

Foundation

Rot threatens the integrity of the foundation of your home. It’s best to start finding a contractor now before it gets any worse.

Fixing it

A licensed contractor is the best—and safest—bet when trying to repair the dry rot areas.  Here are the basics of how your contractor will repair the dry rot

  1. The first step is to expose all of the dry rot, and that means removing the siding, insulation and drywall. All of the damaged wood will need to be removed and replaced.
  2. Next, the contractor will cut out all of the wood that shows damage.
  3. The wood near and around the affected pieces should be treated for the fungus, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced.
  4. Now the wood can be replaced. Again, don’t do this on your own. It’s important to hire a contractor to make sure the job is done correctly.
  5. Get rid of all the damaged wood and put everything back together.

 

Dry rot is no laughing matter and can affect the health and safety of your family.  To prevent dry rot from happening to your home, make sure your wood siding is sealed properly and installed by a professional, have your roof checked annually for damage, make sure your home is properly ventilated and be sure that you don’t have any plumbing leaks. Lastly, if your home has a wooden deck, it should be properly sealed as well.

When you need your roof inspected or need new siding, give us a call at Tri-State. We know how important the well-being and safety of your family is, and we’re here to help!

Signs that it’s time to re-side your home

Replacing your home’s siding probably isn’t number one on your to-do list, but maybe it should be. We’ve compiled a list below of the things you should be aware of when it comes to knowing when to re-side your home.

Frequent painting

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How often are you painting your home? If you’re painting every five or so years, something isn’t
quite right with your siding. You can expect the paint on your siding to last at least eight years, so chipping, peeling and other issues with the paint is a sign of trouble and it’s time to replace it.

High energy bills

A sudden jump in the cost of your heating and cooling bills is a good indication that your home needs new siding as air can escape through the siding. Do a visual inspection of the siding, paying special attention to where the seams meet the roof.

Damaged siding

A visual inspection can point out a number of different issues with your siding.

Rotting and warped boards

Take a screwdriver or some other sharp object, and look for warped or rotting boards. Poke under the siding using the screwdriver to see how solid the under layer is. If you find that it is soft, that means it’s starting to rot and your home is due for a siding replacement.

Holes

Don’t take small holes for granted, they can be a serious issue too.  Holes are generally caused by insects, and if insects have gotten into your siding moisture can easily get in as well.

Holes in siding indicate it's time to re-side your home.

Bubbles

Bubbles indicate moisture is trapped, and this should send up red flags. Siding is designed to keep moisture away from your walls under your siding, so bubbles are a sign that it’s time to replace your siding.

Bubbles indicate moisture in your siding

Peeling paint or moisture in your home

This is another sign that your siding isn’t doing its job and letting moisture in. Bad siding lets moisture seep its way into your walls and affect the walls inside your home.

Fungus and mildew and mold—oh my!

Fungus, mildew and mold is another sign that moisture is in your siding. Not all signs of fungus are a problem, but you should definitely investigate further.

 

Do any of these sound like your home? Protect your home from any further damage and replace your siding when you notice any of these issues. And don’t forget that Tri-State offers free estimates! Contact us today for your home improvement projects!