Tag Archives: hank on homes

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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!

Fire-pit

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:

Lemongrass

OR

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

DIY | Lemongrass  OR DIY | Mosquito Repellent Candles

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Winterize Your Garage

When the first nice day of spring or summer arrives, everyone is chomping at the bit to get outside. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, or planting the first seeds for your home garden, the adventures often start in your garage. But why only utilize that space for six months, when you can enjoy it year-round?

Take some time this winter to tidy up your garage space with our helpful tips.

1. Utilize your wall space.

Older homes usually come with smaller garages, so if you’re constantly having a rock-paper-scissors war on what can and can’t stay in the garage, it’s time to utilize your walls for some alternative storage.

Instead of investing in a pricy toolbox, get some pegboard from your local home improvement store and hang it on the walls of your garage to store everything from hammers and screwdrivers, to drills and even cleaning supplies. Not only will this free up space on your garage floor, but you’ll also spend much less time sifting through supplies or trying to remember the last place you put your pliers.

Larger items can find a home on your walls, too. Shovels, rakes, leaf blowers, etc. can reside out-of-tripping territory with the use of a mounted tool rack, with some products holding as many as 20 tools!

2. Inspect winter equipment.

Year after year your snow blower lays dormant from the last snowfall of one season to the first of the next. It’s easy to push it out of sight, out of mind when there’s no snow to be seen, but the last thing you, or your back, needs is a faulty blower during the first blizzard of the season.

When the weather turns cold, it’s a good idea to run tests on your winter tools to make sure there are no kinks. If you find any, it’s better to deal with them then, as opposed to when there’s three feet of snow sitting between you and the rest of the world. A simple search in your internet browser for “snow blower tune up” will turn up tutorials and step-by-step guides for you to follow.

If you don’t consider yourself very handy, take your snow blower to a nearby hardware shop.

3. Upgrade the garage door.

Think about your own behavior for a minute. When you come home from picking the kids up from school, from work, the grocery store, etc. which door are you most likely to enter your house from? For many families, it’s the garage door and if you don’t have a well-sealed garage door, a lot of the cold outside air could be cooling your home.

Not only will replacing your garage door help with energy efficiency, it’s also an investment for your family’s safety. A favorite point-of-entry for many burglars are garage doors, with some being able to gain access to your home, family and valuables within a matter of seconds.

A solution to your energy efficient and safety needs would be investing in a steel garage door. This style of door is long-lasting, durable and insulated with polyurethane, or polystyrene, to keep the cold out and the heat in. Steel garage doors also eliminate the way burglars access your home with traditional roll-up garage doors, which makes it a safe and cost-effective investment for you and your family.

Tri-State Home Improvement is an area specialist when it comes to providing you with a safe, energy-efficient, high-quality garage. Our team of professionals provide you with custom solutions and designs to match your existing home and needs. Call Tri-State today, or click below, to access our free estimate on new garage construction!

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DIY Bird Seed Wreath

DIY Bird Seed Wreath

When the weather turns frigid, all you want to do is stay inside. Instead of binge-watching another episode of the latest trending show on Netflix, get off of the couch and get the family involved in making a suet bird seed wreath to hang and enjoy outside of your Tri-State Home Improvement windows. (Courtesy of DIY Network)

What you’ll need:

  • 10-inch metal bundt pan
  • Pliers
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large pot
  • Cooking spray
  • Wire clothing hanger (remove any cardboard or paper)
  • 3 Two-inch strips of burlap, (~24 in.)
  • 3 Blocks of rendered plain suet (available at local bird feeding store)
  • 9 Cups of bird seed
  • ½ Cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • Dried mealworms (optional)
  • Dried fruits and berries (optional)
  • Raffia bow (optional)
  1. Spray bundt pan with cooking spray. Take wire hanger and, with the pliers, make into a circle. Set aside.
  2. Melt the three blocks of suet in your large pot on very low heat, stirring frequently. It’s important that it does not boil!
  3. After the suet is completely melted, add the peanut butter to the pot and mix until melted.
  4. Remove the suet from the stove and slowly stir in the bird seed (and optional mealworms).
  5. (Optional – add berries and dried fruit to the bottom of the bundt pan)
  6. Use a measuring cup to fill bundt pan halfway with suet mixture.
  7. After the bundt pan is half-way filled with suet, add the wire hanger around the center of the pan. Fill the bundt pan with the remaining suet until the pan is full.
  8. Carefully place the full bundt pan in a cold place (like your Tri-State garage!) overnight.
  9. Once the mixture is completely hardened, flip the bundt pan over and gently tap on the pan to remove your wreath.
  10. Braid the burlap together and tie it around your wreath.
  11. Place raffia bow around the burlap and hang your suet wreath from a hook, feeder pole, or tree for your feathered friends to enjoy!

Common Winter Weather Woes for Your Roof

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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.

Snowfall
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
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!

Holiday Décor on a Budget

For many homeowners, the holidays aren’t complete without a home filled with festive decorations. While decorating your home is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, it can also be a major strain on your wallet. Not this year! Here are a handful of holiday décor ideas you can try, even if you’re tight on cash.

Create a killer centerpiece
There’s only one place you need to go to create a great centerpiece this year—the dollar store. While it gets a bad rap, the dollar store is filled with lots of festive and frugal finds—like these glass bowls and ornaments. Put the ornaments in the bowl, add a ribbon or bow, and viola—a beautiful centerpiece. You can even mix in a little fake snow with the ornaments to class it up! centerpieces
 

 

 

Deck the door
Greet your guests with a beautiful and decorative front door. When decorating your door, the sky’s the limit! You can use simple items like tree branches, ornaments and wreaths, or—if you’re feeling really festive—you can decorate using tinsel, ribbon and lights—all items that be found for cheap at the dollar store.
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Don’t forget the tree
Don’t feel like spending a fortune on Christmas tree decorations? You don’t have to—you can make them! These mini tree ornaments were made with cinnamon sticks, evergreen branches and buttons. You can even use items from the outdoors—like pinecones, acorns and branches—to create ornaments, too. The possibilities are endless
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We hope these frugal holiday décor ideas help to spark your creativity and get you excited about decorating! For more holiday décor ideas, visit the Tri-State Pinterest page. Happy holidays, everyone.

 

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!

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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.

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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.