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Festive Fourth of July Recipe

We love the Fourth of July! It’s a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family and celebrate with a cook out. If you’re preparing to host or attend a Fourth of July party, you need to check out this fun and festive treat that you can prepare—people of all ages are bound to love it!

Patriotic Jell-O Cups  

Jell-O is a simple and inexpensive option that everyone will love! The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 1 3-ounce package of blue Jell-O gelation
  • 1 3-ounce package of red Jell-O gelation
  • 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • drained maraschino cherries

You’ll need to gather clear plastic cups before you start as well. Make the blue Jell-O as the box instructs. After allowing the mixture to cool, fill the cup up to one-third of the way with the mixture and then place in the refrigerator to cool.
1234While that cools, mix 1/3 cup of milk and unflavored gelatin into another bowl. Heat the remaining 2/3 cup of milk to a boil and remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of sugar until dissolved. Add the heated milk to the mixture of gelatin and milk and continue stirring until completely blended. Let this mixture cool and then pour it into the glasses that contain the blue Jell-O another third of the way up. Put the glasses back into the refrigerator to cool and set up.

The final step in this recipe is to make the red gelatin as the box describes and repeat the earlier instructions. Before returning the cups to the refrigerator, add a cherry to each and put them back in the refrigerator until it’s party time!

Your guests are bound to love this fun treat! For more recipes for every occasion, check out our Pinterest page! And when it’s time to update your roof, windows, siding or front door to really impress your holiday guests, contact the Tri-State team for all of your home improvement needs.

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!

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!


What you should know about siding your home


Re-siding your home is no small feat, but it’s a great way to give your home a fresh new look. If your family is ready to see your home in a new light, consider re-siding. There are a number of benefits to new siding—check out our list!

Siding is available in different materials

The most popular types of siding are aluminum, wood and vinyl. Not one type of siding is best for all homes, and what type you should have on your home depends on
where you live.

Vinyl is by far the most popular because it can be used in most environments, there is minimal maintenance and it is budget friendly! Vinyl is also durable and versatile when it comes to designing your home’s overall aesthetic.

Siding reduces maintenance costs

Siding is what stands between the elements and your home. Ordinarily, a storm might cause your home damage if it wasn’t sided. However, siding helps to protect your home, therefore saving you money on the cost of repairs.

Siding is easier to clean

Siding can be easily hosed off with a regular garden hose for easy clean-up or with a strong power washer to really clean off the grime. With a power washer, you can use a cleaning agent to help remove mold and mildew, and reduce its growth in the future.

Siding improves the value of your home

You can choose from a wide array of styles and colors to fit your personal style and taste, while simultaneously improving the value of your home. Homebuyers love the idea of little to no maintenance. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the future, investing in beautiful new siding is a great way to get a jump start on getting your home ready to sell.


Is it time for your home to be re-sided? We want to make sure you get the best quality product and service available. Give us a call today for a free estimate quote on your project!

Roof damage after storms

missing shingles

Wind, rain and hail can wreak havoc on your roof. Wind can tear, lift, curl and even remove shingles if powerful enough and hail damages your roof by leaving dents and marks in the shingles and weakening them against rain and sun.

Assess your roof for damage from the storm

After a storm has cleared, take a walk around your home and make note of any damage you can see just be looking at your home. Taking photos along with your notes is ideal.

Check gutters and windows

After you’ve noted any visible damage, inspect your gutters and windows. Sometimes we can’t always see damage that a storm might have caused. If you see dents in your gutters from hail, your shingles might have more damage than you are aware of. On your windows, check the weather-stripping to make sure it’s still in good shape. Make note of any tears in your screens or any cracks around your windows.

Check your attic and ceilings

After checking your roof and gutters, don’t forget to check your ceiling and your attic. Any wind or hail might have caused leaks that can lead to water damage and other issues down the road. Pay special attention to any light fixtures in your ceiling, specifically checking for signs of water.

Call a trustworthy contractor

If you find your roof, siding, or windows has been damaged be sure to call a contractor you can trust. Give us a call at Tri-State to give you a free estimate on repairing the damage.

We want to help keep your family safe and dry this season. Don’t forget to inspect your home after a bad storm. If you find there’s been any damage, give us a call for a free estimate!

Decorating for spring


April is the perfect time to start redecorating for spring! Bring new life to your home with some of our ideas for how to decorate your home for spring.


One of the best parts of spring is the flowers everywhere. Use them to decorate your front porch, or bring them inside to add some color to a room. Plants are a great addition to a room and they help to naturally filter the air in your home—an added bonus!


There is a fine line when it comes to using pastels in home decorating. It’s best to use them in conjunction with bold and bright colors. Yellow, in particular, is a popular color for this spring. You can add pops of yellow by adding a vase of flowers to a room, or using yellow placemats at your kitchen table.


Update your throw pillows or a chair with the fun and springy pattern, like gingham. Use bright pinks or oranges, or go for subtle pastels. Floral patterns are everywhere in spring, and not only in the typical form of just a repeated flower pattern. Floral patterns now include botanical looks as well.  This spring, update your home with floral curtains, wallpaper, or throws. From small scale to giant flowers, there is a variety of different floral options to choose from.

Other ways to update your home for spring

Switch out your bedding. Put away the heavy blankets and opt for cool and colorful sheets and you’ll sleep like a baby!

Try pale colored curtains. Light-colored curtains let more light into your home and can brighten up a room. Be inspired by the beauty of spring and choose a light colored floral print.

Don’t forget to open your windows and enjoy the spring weather! You can’t go wrong with adding some flowers and pops of color. Make it a family event and have your kids join in on the fun! For more inspiration for decorating your home, check out our Pinterest page

Five Exterior Design Trends for 2016

If you’re thinking about updating your home, now is the time! The new design trends for 2016 are sure to make your home look fantastic!

Unique and Artsy Detail

If you’re looking to stand out on your block, unique detailing will set you apart. Large, unique patios, columns with decorative bases, and unique colored accents are spectacular ways to increase your curb appeal, especially when paired with a neutral paint job.

outdoor 1

Low-Maintenance Products

No one wants to spend all weekend doing yard or house work, so the less maintenance involved, the better! Durable products that need little maintenance are a big trend for 2016. Often times having products, like your gutters, last longer is simply a matter of performing regular maintenance on them. Stay on top of your regular home maintenance and you’ll be surprised with how long your products will last. And for items like your gutters, think about investing in guards so that even less maintenance is required.

outdoor 2

Natural Stone and Brick

Sustainability and natural detailing are two trends that are back for 2016. Stone and brick gives a home a luxurious, high-end appearance but requires very little maintenance. These homes are becoming more and more popular.

outdoor 3

Warm Metal Tones

Warm metals such as brass, copper, bronze and rose gold help to compliment your home and the design. Update your exterior lighting fixtures, or replace your old gutters with copper ones! These metals look great especially against a neutral background, or the brick and stone mentioned above.

Low-Maintenance Landscape

Nobody looks forward to hours and hours of lawn maintenance, so just like low to no maintenance decorations are growing in popularity, low maintenance landscaping is becoming increasingly popular as well.  These homes are ideal for both elderly individuals and young families looking to spend less time mowing and doing other yard work.  A smaller yard and a few shrubs that are easier to maintain are perfect. Opting for plants in large urns look great by the front door too!

outdoor 4

These new design trends are sure to make your home stand out on the block and look fantastic! And don’t forget, a new roof, new windows, and new siding is never out of style. If it’s time to revitalize the look of your home, give us a call today for a free estimate!

Roof Maintenance for the Spring and Summer

As winter comes to an end and the weather starts to warm up, it’s time to give your roof a check-up.

What shape are your shingles in?

Use our checklist to check your roof for any potential problems.

1.  Granulation

Take a walk around your home and look for any of the tiny roofing pebbles from your shingles on the ground. A little bit of granulation is no big deal, when you see a lot of pebbles, it’s time to call a contractor.

2. Spotty Coverage

Are your shingles pulling up or cracked? Are there spots that are missing shingles all together? Missing shingles can cause water damage to your roof. Always try to replace shingles as soon as you can once you notice one is missing.

3. Rust

Rust is a sign that the aluminum capping around the roof’s edge, or drip edges, is not working correctly.

4. Moss

You might think that you can just sweep moss off of your roof, but moss is an indication of more issues. The buildup of moss and any algae can damage your roof. Moss will act like a sponge and will soak up rainwater. That water can go under your shingles and soak through the roof underlayment and eventually saturate the roof sheathing below.

5. Cracked Caulk

Cracked caulk can lead to a leaky roof. Check the areas where the rooflines meet as well as the areas around the chimney and vent pipes for any cracked caulk.

Roof maintenance is important year round. You can help prevent large-scale damage by just doing a quick inspection like this every season. If you notice your roof is damaged or if it’s time to replace it, give us a call for a free estimate today!

Exterior Spring Cleaning

After the cold winter months, spring weather is a welcomed relief. And you know what spring means—spring cleaning! When you start working on cleaning, don’t forget about the exterior of your home!


When it comes to cleaning your siding, a pressure washer can make the job quick and easy! The beauty of the pressure washer is that it is scrub free! Adding a cleaning detergent to the reservoir can help to get rid of dirt and mildew. Don’t forget to pay attention to the type of detergent you’re using—these can vary from product to product.


Your deck might not be the first thing you think of when thinking about spring cleaning. However, to keep it looking its best a cleaning every so often is the best thing you can do!

A pressure washer isn’t ideal for cleaning your deck because of the softer nature of the wood. A pump up sprayer is better suited for this type of cleaning. Like you did with the pressure washer, find a deck cleaning detergent and use that in the sprayer. Let the cleaner sit for a little bit, and then use a long-handled scrub brush to further clean your deck. Then you can rinse it and let it dry.


Cleaning your window screens is a great job for a day when the weather is nice. Remove the screens from your windows and soak them in soapy water. Gently scrub them with a soft scrub brush on the flat surfaces. When you’re satisfied, rinse the screens clean with a hose and let them dry.


You might as well clean your windows while you clean the screens! Use a window cleaner with paper towels to clean and dry your windows so they look like new. If you don’t have paper towels, crumpled up newspaper are a great alternative!

Roof Repairs

Winter weather can wreak havoc on a roof. A quick exam of your roof can tell you if it’s time to call a contractor for some repairs. Look for torn or missing shingles, paying special attention to the areas around chimneys, plumbing vents and any other openings on your roof.  Do you have any exposed nail heads? Cover them with a small dab of roofing cement. And lastly, remove any leaves, sticks, and other debris that may have accumulated over the last few months.


Nobody likes cleaning the gutters, but it has to be done. First, remove any debris that has collected. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, rinse the gutters out. Pay attention to your downspouts and make sure they are not clogged. If they are, a plumber’s snake is a great tool to unclog them. If you notice any leaks at gutter joints, use a gutter sealant to repair them from the inside—don’t forget to let them dry first!


One of the best parts of the coming warmer weather is knowing that cookouts and barbeques are in the near future! Now is the best time to clean up your grill. Using a wire brush and some degreasing detergent, remove any rust and grime from the wire racks. Check your burners on a gas grill for any deterioration and clean them.

Once you’re done cleaning, grab some hot dogs and start cooking!

Spring is the perfect time to give your home a facelift! If it’s time to replace your siding, roof, or update your windows, give us a call today for a free estimate!

Exterior Remodeling: Increasing Your Home’s Value

tri-state windows, siding and roofing home remodel

tri-state windows, siding and roofing home remodel

Exterior remodeling is one of the best ways to add value to your home, not to mention increase the curb appeal! Replacing your siding, installing a new roof, and upgrading to new windows are three of the most common changes homeowners make when trying to update their home.


Replacing the siding on your home is likely one of the first things on your list when you think of exterior remodeling. The best siding today gives you an improved level of insulation and performance. New siding can also help to reduce energy costs, make your home quieter, resist insect infestation and keep moisture out. Not only that, but siding is becoming easier to maintain and keeping its color for longer!


A new roof not only looks great, but gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to home value! When it comes to your home’s energy efficiency and longevity nothing is more important than your roof. Another great feature of a professionally installed roof is the warranty, adding value to your home. If you’re thinking of selling your home, a new roof is a huge bonus to a potential buyer!


Don’t let old windows cost you money! New windows are technological wonders providing airtight beauty and energy efficiency at the same time. Not only that, but new windows give you the opportunity to update design and change the style of your home, and require very little maintenance.

Whether you’re looking to give your entire home a face lift, or just looking to work on one aspect of your exterior, Tri-State has everything you need. We only use the best quality products on your home so you can trust that your roof, siding, or windows will perform well and last. The quality and performance of our products is as important to us, as it is to you. Contact Hank and the Tri-State team today!