Categories
Innovation

Remodel Your Attic for Added Function

A new trend in home improvements is to renovate attic space to add functionality. Repurposing your attic provides a cost-effective alternative to new additions while at the same time allowing you to increase your home’s size and value.

But before you buy furniture for your new attic space, you need to have a plan for your renovation. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure your project goes smoothly.

Can I Remodel My Attic?

The attics in some homes may not have enough room for a remodel to take place. Even if they do, the cost of the remodel versus the size of the area remodeled may not add enough square footage to your home to make the remodel worthwhile. For an attic to be worth repurposing, it should have 70 square feet and a 7.5-foot ceiling.

Additionally, you need to determine if your home is strong enough to support the added weight of the new room. For this, you will need to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the integrity of your home. If your home can handle the added weight of new sheetrock, flooring, insulation, and other material, you can safely proceed to the next step.

Do I Need to Make Structural Changes?

Many cities have specific requirements for certain rooms. For example, some areas require that bedrooms have two entrances/exits. This gives an occupant an additional exit (such as a door or window) in case of an emergency (like a fire). Check your local building codes to find out more.

As part of your structural evaluation, you will want to make sure your roof is leak-proof. A leaky roof can lead to additional damage to your new construction. If rainy weather should occur during your remodel, you may end up with warped boards and rotting blanks.

To avoid purchasing replacement materials, hire a local contractor to inspect your roof and make any needed repairs.  While he or she is inspecting your attic, have him or her also identify any areas open to the outside. Patching these areas will not only prevent leaks and moisture buildup, but will also keep animals from entering your home.

The last structural changes you will need to consider will include the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. Depending on how you choose to design the room, you may or may not need plumbing, but you will want electricity and HVAC available. Contact an electrician and an HVAC specialist to ensure proper installation.

How Will I Use the Space?

Once your attic is prepped for renovation, you can choose to convert your attic into any number of specific rooms. If you want the extra space but you’re not sure where to start, check out the following list for ideas.

Bedroom

Adding an extra bedroom will help you better accommodate your family and your guests. Additionally, an extra bedroom can significantly increase your home’s resale value.

Bathroom

Many families would love to have an extra bathroom in their home, as this prevents overcrowding in front of the bathroom mirror (as well as other unhappy accidents). Bathrooms, like bedrooms, also add to your home’s resale value.

Game Room

Whether you want to make this a place to keep your children’s toys or want a room for adults, a game room offers hours of fun.

Media Room

Use your media room to watch the big game, enjoy the latest blockbuster, or simply catch up on the latest news.

Office

Sometimes you need a quiet place to get work done. In these moments, a home office offers a peaceful place to work.

 

Before you begin making plans to renovate your attic, make sure you thoroughly consider these three areas of renovation.

Categories
Roofing

Passing a Roof Inspection: Answers to Your Pressing Questions

The roof over your head may seem like a simple enough concept. That is, until you really think about what it entails. Support beams, shingles, and a gutter system are a few of the most obvious pieces. Other factors include sheathing, flashing, ice and water shields, and a host of other elements.

With these details in mind, it’s easier to understand the importance of roof inspections. This process is especially important for consumers looking to make a home or business purchase. So, what does it take to pass an inspection? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What do you gain from a roof inspection?

Unlike home inspections, roof inspections are not always required during a sale. Although some cities have guidelines that specify required roof conditions, most do not. With that said, there is a lot to gain from requesting an inspection before making a purchase. Here are a few of the advantages:

  • An estimation of the roof’s remaining years of life
  • A summary of required repairs
  • A roof certificate

When you purchase a home or commercial building with a roof certificate, you obtain peace of mind. This document should ensure that the roof has a life expectancy of at least two to five years.

Who can perform a roof inspection?

In most cases, a home inspector will not be able to perform a roof inspection. To obtain a roof certificate, you’ll need to work with a licensed roofing contractor.

What does an inspector check for?

There are several factors that an inspector will need to familiarize him/herself with. The age, pitch, and layers of a roof will make an impact on the final summary. Previous roof repairs will also play a role. Specifically, the contractor will check the following:

  • Condition of roofing materials-including shingles, trusses, gutters, etc.
  • Chimneys
  • Flashing points
  • Basic integrity of the roof

If any repairs need to be made, the contractor will inform the buyer. A certificate cannot be issued until the repairs are complete.

What are some common repairs to watch out for?

Without regular inspections and maintenance, damages are a given. If you talk to your roof repair person, you’ll find that some of the most common repairs include:

  • Damage from severe weather. Following a hail, ice, or wind storm, a complete roof replacement may be necessary.
  • Worn sealants. If the sealant of your vent pipes has worn down, you’ll need to replace it.
  • Damage from pests. Raccoons, birds, and insects can make your roof their home and cause damage.
  • Poor ventilation. Improper ventilation from the roof to the attic results in heat and moisture damage. From there, damage to rafters, insulation, and shingles can occur.

When left in disrepair, these problems only become magnified with time. That’s why it’s best to address these damages immediately following your roof inspection.

When should I schedule an inspection?

Most experts will recommend a scheduled roof inspection twice every year. This may seem extreme, but for homeowners who like to stay on top of minor problems, it’s the best solution. An inspection in the fall can protect against ice and snow damage. A spring inspection can assess any damages that occurred throughout the winter.

Other situations that require a roof inspection include property sales, purchases, and refinancing.

Moving Forward with Your Roof Inspection

If you have any other questions, it may be time to speak live with a roofing contractor. A professional can help you move forward with the process of having your roof evaluated. Whether you’re looking to buy a new office building or maintain your family’s home, a roof inspection can give you insight into the condition of your property’s roof.

Categories
Maintenance Tips

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning with These Home Maintenance Tips

It’s almost that time of year again-time to clean out that messy hallway closet and dust every nook and cranny in your home. Spring cleaning is a great time to get rid of all the accumulated dust your home may have gathered over the winter season. However, the indoors shouldn’t be the only place that gets a clean sweep. Here are some key home maintenance tips to get your outdoor space ready for the hot summer months.

Roof

Heat from the sun can cause damage to your roof shingles during the summer season. Schedule an inspection every few years with a roof contractor during spring to make sure your roof doesn’t need repair. A contractor can check the flashing around skylights, plumbing vents, and chimney. You can also check the chimney exterior for potential damages as well as clean the chimney flue.

Most homeowners can’t see roof damage from the ground level. However, do your best to look for the following problems to help you determine when you should call a roofing contractor:

  • Shingles that start to buckle, blister, or curl
  • Loose materials around pipes or chimneys
  • Excessive shingle granules in gutters

You can also check your interior walls and ceilings for signs of water damage. Talk with a roofing contractor to discuss levels of insulation as well as treatment options for damages.

Gutters

Gutters that have started to loosen or leak may lead to water damage in the basement. Clean out leaves and debris from the gutter to ensure that water drains away from your foundation. Once you have cleaned the gutters, double check to make sure they’re still securely attached to the roof and haven’t developed leaks from excess water.

Deck

Check your patio deck for warped, stained, or discolored wood. These damages, as well as sharp edges, rotten wood, and splintered wood are signs of weakened seal application.

If you see any of damage to your deck, consider hiring a professional to reseal the wood. You can also pour water on the deck to see if the water beads. This process will help you find out if the previous application is still waterproof. If it is, you can most likely wait until the next spring to reseal your deck.

You should also make sure that there aren’t any rusty or missing nails on your deck. Poor connections may cause insecure and wobbly railings and stairs. Exposed nails can pose a hazard to feet.

Soil

Spring is the time of year to prepare your yard for gardening. Rake leftover winter debris, such as leaves, to make way for your garden. Use a hoe to loosen and churn soil and then mix compost into the dirt for nutrients. If you plan to plant new seeds, follow the directions provided on the back of the seed packet for specific instructions on how to best prepare the soil.

Foundation

After the rainy season in California-between October and March-you should make sure the moisture hasn’t ruined your foundation. If rain enters your home’s foundation through cracks, it could cause severe water damage. Inspect around your house for imperfections or cracks. If you find any, call a contractor for proper treatment.

You can also identify low areas that may cause water to pool during heavy rains. Level these areas with compacted soil. Otherwise, these puddles can cause more mosquitoes to breed in your lawn or further damage your foundation, so it’s important to fill these areas as soon as possible.

Windows and Doors

Heavy rain could also cause damage to windows and doors. Examine these areas throughout your home to make sure you seal all cracks. This will help you conserve energy and save money because your air conditioner won’t have to cool down warm air seeping into your home from outside.

Now that you know the basics to outdoor spring cleaning, get started and always rely on a professional to handle technical repairs and maintenance.