Ideas for Your Basement Refinishing Project

In most homes, the basement is a neglected space, a dirty, cluttered, dark, damp and chilly place that the members of the household visit only when it is absolutely necessary. However, the space can be relatively easily transformed into a useful space, a comfortable and stylish extension of the living space above the ground – here are some ideas to get you started.

The Importance of a Thorough Assessment of the Basement’s Condition

Basements can be repurposed in various ways, but you cannot determine the best scope of usage until you know exactly what can and cannot be done in your basement. The first step should be the removal of everything that you store in the space – move all the things out to the yard and categorize them in terms of usefulness. You will probably have many items that are in good condition and can be useful for you, but you will also find items that you should donate or sell because you will not use them and you will inevitably find objects that should land in the garbage.

Now that your basement is empty, you can start assessing its condition. Check every inch of the flooring and of the walls, of the ducts, the pipes, the doors and the windows and remedy every issue that you find before you move on. Get rid of any damp patch and damage by removing the floor and by baring the walls if necessary, repair any ducts and pipes that seem to be in less than perfect condition and allow your basement sufficient time to dry before you proceed with the deign step.

basement finishing Centennial

Choosing the Right Materials and Design

Basements can be remodeled to serve various purposes – you can use yours as a home office, a second kitchen, a gym, a man cave, a playroom for the kids, a room where you entertain your guests or a workshop. According to basement finishing Centennial specialists, the design options are as varied as the available functionalities, but there are some important rules that you should not neglect:

  • Use suitable building materials – even if your basement is completely dry now, all basements tend to be a bit damper than above the ground spaces, therefore certain materials that are common in your rooms up there, such as drywall or untreated wood, are not suitable for your basement. Consequently, you must select your materials not only with your budget in mind, but also considering aspects of moisture resistance;
  • Pay attention to light – most basements are dark spaces, therefore designing and installing layered light and lots of power outlets is very important. One of the best ways is to combine recessed lights, task lights and a central source of light in the ceiling.
  • Light colors around the space – it is also a good idea to use light colors on the walls, such as cream, crispy white or an attractive shade of grey or blue. For an attractive space you will need some contrast, too – the best way to achieve that is with some dark colored shelves and some smart choices when it comes to the color of the furniture.

Best Shingles for The Colorado Climate

Climate in Colorado – overview

Colorado has more hours of sun per year than Miami or San Diego. The average climate is typically affected by differences in elevation. Colorado is a mountain state, but a significant percentage of its area is taken up by high plains. Climate variations may occur even within short distances.

Mountain regions are cool and invigorating, with low humidity, which translates into a nice thermal comfort on hot days. In the lower elevations, precipitation is light too, as a result of Colorado`s distance from the Gulf of Mexico and the ocean.

Wind movement is typically moderate to high, with storms prevalent along the mountain slopes and eastern plains, but not so frequent, nor severe.

In the high mountains, winter brings heavy snow, which may cause spring floods, in years of below-normal snow accumulation.

Centennial roofing

Roofing in Colorado

In this diverse climate, the best roofing materials are those providing good protection against wind and UV radiation, as well as materials resistant to heavy snow fall, in the case of houses situated in the mountain areas. However, the climate is not the only factor to take into account when you choose the materials for your roof, so you should consult a local Centennial roofing contractor to help you make an informed choice based on quality and price.

Here are the materials recommended frequently by Centennial professional roofers, with their pros and cons.

  • Asphalt shingles

A white or light roof is a cool roof, which means that it is a very good choice when it comes to reducing the heat build-up. Asphalt shingles in light colors are probably the most popular option in Colorado, due to the quality-price ratio. Nowadays, there are companies on the market that offer traditional asphalt roofing products treated with special paints that help reduce heat build-up even more. These materials reach a degree of solar reflection of 40%. Asphalt shingles can also be coated with granules in reflective colors that make them more durable than regular asphalt shingles, to various weather conditions.

  • Metal shingles

When properly installed, a metal roof should last as long as the house, being waterproof, surviving strong winds and preventing snow accumulation. The metal is resistant to fire, rot, mold and insects. Metal shingles are lightweight and the installation process doesn`t take so long; they can even be applied on an existing roof without the need for additional structural support.

The metal reflects the radiant heat from the sun, preventing the excessive use of the air conditioner on hot summer days. Although the material itself has a low insulation value, many metal roof systems use open air space between the metal platform and the roof, to increase energy efficiency.

  • Solar shingles

A solar shingle is a photovoltaic module encapsulated in a shingle shape, cast from classic materials and having standard size. Basically, it is a photoelectric mini-panel included in a ceramic frame. The materials from which solar shingles are made provide them with high resistance to hail impact and stress produced by snow buildup. From a practical point of view, the advantage of these materials is that they turn the roof from passive to active, generating electricity that will lower your bills.

 

The Best Siding Products for Nebraska Homes

Situated partly on the Great Plains and partly in the Midwest, Nebraska gets humid continental climate in the east and semi-arid climate in the western region, both climate areas being characterized by wide variations in terms of temperatures and in terms of the amount of precipitation as well. The summers are hot and the winters are cold in Nebraska and the state is also located in Tornado Alley, getting several huge storms each year, which also means that the building materials chosen by locals for their homes need to be able to withstand changeable, often very extreme weather and they need to be suitable for high and low temperatures alike. If you are currently in the process of choosing new siding for your Nebraska home, here is a short guide about the materials that work best in the area.

roofing Lincoln NE

Vinyl Siding

The modern, synthetic material called polyvinyl chloride is becoming extensively used for manufacturing building components. The reason is simple: the material is versatile, in terms of usage as well as in terms of design; it is affordable, durable and resistant. Per siding and roofing Lincoln NE contractors, vinyl siding products can protect your home against the elements and against insect attacks for even 50 years without requiring too much maintenance and they also offer thermal protection, especially if suitable insulation is installed between the vinyl panels and the wall. Vinyl is a great choice in terms of added aesthetic value as well – you can find vinyl panels that are made to resemble wood and the products also come in a wide range of colors.

Like any material, vinyl also has some weak points: in extremely cold weather, the panels can become rigid and more sensitive to impact and the panels that get damaged cannot be repaired, they need to be replaced.

Plastic Siding

These siding solutions use synthetic material as well and are in many ways similar to vinyl, but they are stronger, more resistant to impact and they can emulate natural materials much more realistically. Plastic siding is usually more expensive than vinyl panels, but the material used for making plastic panels is much thicker, therefore plastic solutions are not only more resistant to impact, but they also offer better thermal performance. Plastic siding also comes in a wide array of color choices that will not fade for decades.

Fiber Cement Siding

These panels are made from a combination of cellulose, sand and cement, a mix that can be made to resemble wood and is very durable and resistant, too. Cement siding panels are affordable and with proper maintenance – yearly inspections and cleaning and re-painting every 4-5 years -, they can last on your building for at least half a century. What you must pay special attention to if you choose fiber cement siding for your home is to never let the paint and priming deteriorate on the surface of your panels – the special coatings fulfill the role of protecting the material from water penetration, which is especially important in cold weather, when the water changes its volume during the freezing and thawing process and can cause the cement to crack.

Tips for Deciding When You Need to Do A Full Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodeling projects can be of any size, from very small, involving the replacement of some light fixtures or of a new faucet to full remodeling that is extended to floor replacement, electrical work, work done on the plumbing system as well as the finishing work and the installation of new cabinets. The first thing that any kitchen owner who wants to figure out how to improve their kitchen needs to do is to decide on the size of the remodeling, to decide whether the appearance and the functionality of the kitchen can be efficiently improved with some smaller interventions or a complete overhaul is necessary. Here are some aspects that can make the decision easier for you.

The Size of Your Budget

This is a very important factor, the aspect that will determine what you can and cannot do in your kitchen. The smaller the remodeling project, the smaller the costs, but you have several options even if your kitchen needs a complete renovation. Hiring kitchen remodel Denver professionals for each project phase is certainly the most efficient way to get your kitchen renovated, but it is also the most expensive way. Try to figure out the project phases that you can handle on your own, such as the removal of the old flooring or wall painting – this way you can reduce the overall costs if the renovation or you can have financial resources to allocate to materials of higher quality.

Functionality

Evaluate your kitchen from the point of view of usability as well – if you have a dripping faucet, the best way to fix it is to repair the faucet, you don’t need the complete plumbing installation in the kitchen replaced. In many cases, however, determining whether an installation is safe to use and efficient is not always easy – you might need professionals help to make the best decision.

Denver kitchen remodel

The same goes for kitchen furniture, such as cabinetry. Very often, the kitchen cabinet boxes are in great shape, it is only the doors that look worn and old. In these cases, the owners can save a considerable amount of money by replacing or refreshing only the cabinet doors.

Being able to work in a well-lit space is essential for having a functional kitchen, so while planning your remodeling project, pay attention to the illumination as well. The condition of the electric wiring in your kitchen is essential not only for making sure that your fixtures deliver sufficient amounts of light, but also that your kitchen is safe from electric fires and other issues caused by an unsuitable wiring system.

Design and Visual Appeal

Try to figure out how much renovation you need to enhance your kitchen’s appearance. In some cases, a fresh coat of paint on the wall can make a huge difference, in other cases, every furnishing item and installation needs to go. You can reduce your costs significantly if you keep what can be kept and you get rid only of the items that are beyond repair and partial renovation projects also take shorter to complete than more substantial overhauls.

How to Find and Hire Underground Utility Locators in California

If you own property on which you are planning to start construction work or you need to remedy some sort of fault of the underground lines connecting to an already existing building on your property, San Diego utility locating services can help locate lines using state-of-the-art equipment, extensive professional knowledge and experience using advanced technologies. With their services, you can map your property for buried lines if you are planning to start a large-scale building project, but they are just as useful if you just want a new sprinkler system installed. If you think you can use such specialized services, but you don’t know how to identify the best partner, here are a few tips.

 

Look for Experience and Licenses

 

You definitely need an experienced technician to carry out the location work on your property. Using utility locator devices and interpreting the results returned by the devices is not something that you can learn overnight, so make sure the locator you hire has at least 5 years of experience in the business. Underground utility locators in California also need to have licenses and insurances to be allowed to work, so make sure you look for a company that is willing to show you these documents.

 

Look for a Company that Uses Multiple Locating Devices

 

It is very important to hire a utility locator firm that uses multiple devices to locate utilities – you can never know what is buried down there and not all devices are suitable for locating all types of utility lines. Here are some of the most frequently used types of equipment:

 

  • Manhole locators – special devices used for locating metal utility covers,
  • Cable locators – used for identifying telecommunication and electricity cables, these devices can locate even the thinnest cable from relatively long distances,
  • Frequency locators – also used for phone cables, electricity lines and fiber optic cables, these units work by amplifying and reading the frequency of the signal emitted by lines,
  • Magnetometers – these tools are used for locating utilities made from iron and ferrous alloys located close to the surface and very deep as well,
  • Ground penetrating radar (GPR) – one of the most advanced technologies used in utility location, a GPR unit can detect utility lines that other devices cannot see,
  • Machines that use electromagnetic conductivity – these sensitive instruments are also used for metal or other conductive utilities and they are able to penetrate to depth unavailable for other devices.

 

Utility locator companies can detect water pipes, sewer lines, any kind of buried cables including electrical and communication lines and gas pipes and the results returned by the detection process are fast and reliable without being invasive. With help from utility locators, you will be able to mark the area where you want to dig or excavate, thus avoiding costly and dangerous mistakes. Add the convenient pricing charged by these firms for their services and it will become obvious to you how great and useful it is for you to hire a utility locator.