Category Archives: home

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

siding 1

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!

Risks of Unlicensed Contractors

unlicensed contractors

Homeownership comes with the cost of maintaining and repairing your home, and can be very costly. In the search for the most cost-effective way to repair your home, you’ll likely come across both licensed and unlicensed contractors. An unlicensed contractor’s bid will likely be lower than a licensed contractor’s, but promising the same work. It sounds like a great option, but the unlicensed contractor could cost you more in the long run.

If you hire an unlicensed contractor for a project, as the homeowner, you are technically the contractor on the job. That means you are liable for any injuries or mistakes that happen on the job! If an accident happens on the job and one of the workers is injured, you are liable for the incident and could end up paying for it, or even being sued.

As an unlicensed contractor, they don’t have the necessary permits and insurance required to do the job. Two of the most common complaints when working with an unlicensed contractor is their workmanship, or running off with the payment without doing the work. Paying for a cheaper, unlicensed contractor can really backfire if they don’t show up for the job, or the work is subpar.

Generally, licenses are required for work that will affect the structural or electrical integrity of a home—that includes roofing! Don’t fall victim to an unlicensed contractor. Do your homework and know what it means to be licensed.

  1. Find out what the licensing requirements are in your state. A contractor must be licensed in the state where the work is going to be done.
  2. Word of mouth is a great way to find a contractor you can trust. Talk to your friends and neighbors who’ve had work done on their homes and had a great experience. They can point you in the direction of a trustworthy source.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for their paper license.
  4. Fact check. Check with the county and state departments that your contractor is licensed and if there have been any complaints made about them. Be sure to get the contractor’s full name, company name and license number.
  5. Make sure your contractor is licensed to perform the work you’re hiring them for. For instance, you’ll want a licensed electrician working on the electrical aspects of your home and not a roofer.
  6. Hiring a general contractor to do the work of hiring specialized contractors for you can be a great help, but make sure whoever he hires is also licensed.

 

We understand that sometimes the lure of a lower bid from an unlicensed contractor can seem appealing. At Tri-State, we want to make sure you and your family are safe in your home and can trust the quality of products used on your home. Give us a call today, or visit our website to get started with a free estimate!

Window Maintenance

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, but we’ve compiled a list of basic maintenance for you to take advantage of!

Cleaning

Cleaning is the easiest step in maintaining your windows. Using a damp cloth, regularly wipe down wooden windows to remove dust and dirt. Be careful not to use too much water!

Vinyl and aluminum frame windows can be washed with a mild detergent. Use a soft scrubbing brush if needed to remove any built up grime. After washing the frames, use a gentle glass cleaner to make your windows shine! Don’t forget to clean the window casing as well as the frame and glass. Keeping the casing clean will help to reduce window jams by keeping the area free of built up dirt and dust.

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Inspection

While you should regularly inspect your windows, a more intensive inspection should be done with every season. Focus on checking the condition of the window frame and sash, making sure to check for rot or moisture. If you have double or triple paned windows, be sure to check for moisture in between the panes. Moisture would mean that a seal has failed, and you should replace it as soon as you can. Pay attention to the weather-stripping on your windows and make note of any cracks or worn areas. Lastly, are there any gaps between your window casing and the wall? You can fix these easily with some latex caulk.

Sealing

The seals around your window play an important role in keeping your home energy efficient. Check for any holes that may be allowing air to come in and out of your home. If you’ve noticed any water leaks, or feel a breeze near your windows, it’s time to replace the rubber seals.

Repainting

Paint helps to protect your windows from the elements, as well as keeping your home looking great! Windows should be repainted every three to four years, but only after they have been thoroughly cleaned. And remember the cardinal rule of painting windows is to not paint over moving parts or a shut window

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Replacing Damaged Parts

Check your windows for any damaged parts. Any damaged parts should be replaced as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that more damage will be caused. Be sure to pay specific attention to damaged frames and broken glass—these should be repaired immediately.

Regular maintenance can help to extend the life of your windows, not to mention they look so much nicer! But, if it is time for you to start thinking about window replacement, check out our website for more information on how we can help get you set with new windows!

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!

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