Tag Archives: Tri-State Windows Siding & Roofing

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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

Make Your Roof More Energy Efficient

There are a lot of reasons why homeowners are turning to more energy efficient products for their homes. Not only will it positively impact your energy bill, but living in an energy efficient home increases air quality, reduces moisture-related issues and can even improve your resale value. There’s a number of updates to make your home more energy efficient, starting with your roof!

“Cool” Roofs.

Southern states that experience hot temperatures have been using this simple, yet effective, trick on homes for years. Homes with dark roofs absorb much more heat than homes with lighter colored roofs, making the indoor temperature much higher. The result? Your home cooling system works harder when its paired with a darker roof, which means your energy bill skyrockets. Lighter colored, or “cool,” roofs reflect the sunlight as opposed to absorbing it, making it a more comfortable and energy-efficient, living environment for you and your family.

Insulation.

Keep warm or cold air out of your home by installing insulation in your attic. Homes that have poor insulation leave room for hot and cold outdoor air to make its way inside which will make your HVAC system work that much harder. An overworked HVAC system will drive up energy bills, and no one wants to pay more than they should.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the energy efficiency of your roof. Whether you’re looking to improve the color, material, insulation, or slope, Tri-State is ready to lend a helping hand in your home improvement process.

Don’t know where to start, or what works best with your budget? Let us take a look and provide you with a consultation, completely free of charge. Fill out our estimate request form and a Tri-State team member will contact you to schedule your free estimate!
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How to Prevent Water Damage on Your Roof

Every year, homes in the U.S. are impacted by severe storms that can leave residents displaced and homes in shambles. In fact, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, losses across the U.S. exceeded $1 billion from weather and climate disaster events in 2017. With spring showers just around the corner, take the below precautions to ensure the monsoons outside don’t make their way in.

Shape up your shingles

The shingles on your roof are doing much more than providing your home with a pleasing aesthetic. Shingles provide your home with a barrier from the elements but they can’t do their job effectively if they’re damaged or missing. One way to know if your shingles need repairing is if you notice debris from shingles in, or near, your yard. Another indication would be to look at your roof to see if you notice any clusters of discoloration. If you’ve noticed one, or both, of these indicators, then it’s time to shape up your shingles.

Keep your gutters cleared

Gutters provide a way for water to make its way off your roof. If your gutters are clogged, rainwater will begin to collect on your roof, making leaks much more likely.

Check up on your attic

You remember that place you rarely visit that houses moth balls and old family heirlooms? Well, you should be visiting it pretty regularly. Make it a point to visit the attic once per week, especially after any severe weather, to make sure the ceiling isn’t damaged. Even if you don’t detect a leak, your attic ceiling can give you other signs that there’s been damage done. Mold, stains or discoloration, warped wood, etc. are all implying that you may have a leak on your hands.

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, prevent your home from enduring more damage by repairing or replacing your existing roof. Or, if you’re still not sure, leave it to a professional! Tri-State Home Improvement offers free estimates for our services, so call a Tri-State professional at 866-583-6700, or, fill out our request form to receive your free estimate!

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Simple Outdoor Home Updates

The arrival of spring means warmer weather and more time outdoors. Whether you’ve purchased your first house or been in your dream home for years, it’s always fun to switch things up by making simple outdoor updates. Making these quick changes will make all the difference.

Change out your address plaque

Some neighborhoods require a uniformed address plaque on all homes, but most times, you’re able to switch it out as you please! This is a fun way to personalize your home and there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Home improvement stores like The Home Depot, Wayfair and Frontgate always have address plaques in stock, or try a more customized design from Etsy!

Wear-in a new welcome mat

It’s the first thing your friends, family and neighbors see when they walk up to your home. So, it’s time to trash the old rag you have greeting visitors and invest in a bright, new welcome mat! If you’re into more traditional matts, try Bed Bath & Beyond, where you’ll find welcome mats with simple, yet classic, designs. Or, if you’re a little more quirky, a simple search for “Funny Door Mats” will result in pages upon pages of results!


Replace your front door

First impressions are everything. “Wow” your neighbors and guests by adding a statement-making door. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or, a Therma-Tru Door from Tri-State, your possibilities are endless. Because there are so many different options to consider, take these style factors into consideration before diving into your project.

If your home is in need of more than a few simple updates, call a Tri-State Home Improvement team member! One of our professionals will come to your home to evaluate your windows, siding, roofing, doors, etc. and give you an estimate at no cost to you. Fill out our form to request your free estimate today!

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3 Ways to Fill Your Home with Positivity

There’s no doubt that winter can leave you feeling tired and even lethargic. It must be something about the cold, short days that leave us feeling drained. While sunlight’s energy is in short demand during the winter months, you can still fight the blues by making these additions to your home.

Plants.

According to The Gazette, incorporating greenery into your home can clean the air, lighten your mood and brighten your home. Adding anything from an indoor herb garden to some decorative countertop succulents can improve your mood significantly while giving your home the pop of color it needs.

Himalayan Salt Lamp.

Another mood-boosting home addition is a salt lamp. Popular with Millennials, these lamps made from Himalayan salt, are said to help with air quality and increase energy levels. The verdict is still out with doctors as to whether or not these salt lamps have measurable health benefits, but they do offer a warm orange glow making it a better, and more calming, light source after-dark.

Aromatherapy.

There have been countless studies linking certain scents with mood-boosting qualities. Essential oils can purify your indoor air while providing you with an extra dose of energy when you need it most. Try diffusing peppermint scented essential oil, as it’s been known to enhance your mood. Not into essential oils? Put a bowl of lemons in your kitchen. According to Reader’s Digest, the smell of fruits containing vitamin C can reduce stress and leave a positive impression on others.

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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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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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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.