Answers to Every Day Roofing Questions


One of the most neglected areas on the exterior of a home is the roof.  Many homeowners don’t notice problems with their roofing until it has turned into a real issue.  Maintenance, although important, is not often done yearly, leaving small roof repairs to become major issues.  Homeowners often have a lot of questions by the time they are reaching out to the roofing contractors of Kearns Brothers.  Compiled below is a list of questions and answers to the top roofing questions we are regularly asked when seeking roof repair or roof replacement services. 

How Will I Know It Is Time to Replace My Homes Roof?

The age of your shingle roofing is one of the most tell tale signs your home needs a new roof.  Most shingle roofs have a lifespan of between twenty to thirty years without issue.  Regular roofing maintenance can help increase the longevity of shingles and underlayment.  Older roofs often have visual signs that it is time to consider replacement.  If you notice curling or buckling shingles, missing shingles, leaking, or sunlight coming through attic boards it is time to call the roofing experts at Kearns Brothers roofing experts.

Is a Shingle Roof Something I Can Install on My Own?

Many homeowners think that they can save money by replacing their homes roof.  Although it is possible for homeowners to replace their own roofs, we don’t recommend it.  The process to remove and replace shingles is time consuming.  If roofing materials are left without shingle protection for too long the underlayment will take on moisture which can lead to problems.  Also, let’s face it, homeowners are notorious for getting in over their heads when it comes to DIY projects, especially large scaled ones such as replacing a roof. 

While some home improvement projects can be done in time and are completely possible for DIY homeowners, roofing is not one we would recommend tackling.  Proper roofing is done through years of experience and decades of knowledge, both which the roofing experts at Kearns Brothers offer to homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan.

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

There is a lot that goes into determining how much a roofing expert charge to replace a homes roof.  An accurate estimate will be given once roofers are able to determine the square footage of your home, the type of roofing material that will be used, the number of stories and pitch, accessibility to the roof, time frame for job to be completed/labor, and such all need to be considered.

What Is the Time Frame When Getting Your Roof Replaced?

The same factors that go into determining the cost of a new roof are used in calculating the time frame for installation.  The extent of roof damage and the climate where your home is located also can affect the time frame for having a roof replaced.  Expect a new roof to be installed over the course of a few days.  Some roofs can take a couple of weeks to install but this is rare.

What Type of Material Is Best When Roofing My Home?

Asphalt shingling is the most popular option for homes here in Michigan however there are a number of materials in roofing that homeowners can choose including: asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, metal, tile, clay, slate, and more.  To determine what material is the best for your home talk with the roofing contractors at Kearns Brothers.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • How much will each type of roofing cost to install?
  • How long can I expect my roof to last?
  • Does the roofing material hold up under the most extreme weather conditions in the area?
  • What roofing material will compliment my home best?

No matter whether you are building a new house, having your roof repaired, or replacing an existing roof the experts at Kearns Brothers have you covered.  Not only do we offer a wide selection of roofing accessories, we also offer gutter installation, and offer professional chimney repair, rebuilding, and installation. 

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Does New Siding Increase the Resale Value of Your Home?


Replacing old, worn out siding can have a significant affect on the overall curb appeal of your home, but does it add value?  Is new siding a solid investment when it comes to the return on your investment?  The answer to both is YES!  Updating the siding on your home does more than add to the curb appeal of your home, it adds resale value as well as offering a solid return on investment.  It has been noted by more than one professional real estate association that when it comes to improving the value of your home nothing brings in higher ROI’s than exterior home improvement projects such as new siding and replacement windows. 

There are a variety of siding options from vinyl, fiber cement, and foam-backed vinyl.   Homeowners that make the decision to re-side their homes have steadily increased the resale value of their homes.  Not only does new siding add to your homes curb appeal, it also adds to the energy efficiency of the home which controls energy costs as well.

Updating with Midlevel Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is an affordable, lightweight, almost virtually maintenance-free way of increasing thermal protection to your home’s exterior.  It has been reported that choosing midrange vinyl siding in updating your exterior siding increases the value of your home by upwards of 78% of the cost of the overall project including the cost of the materials and labor.  On average midgrade vinyl siding material and replacement will run homeowners around $11,000 to $12,000.  Adding approximately $8,580 to $9,360 in resale value to the home.

Updating with Fiber Cement Siding

If you are looking to reside your home with a material that is resistant to moisture, fire, termites, and rot, look no further than fiber-cement siding.  Another benefit to fiber cement siding is that it doesn’t flex.  Industry experts report that on average a 1,250 square foot home costs between $13,000 to $14,000 to reside with factory primed and painted fiber cement siding.  This cost includes replacing fiber-cement boards or cellular PVC and trim. The installation of fiber cement siding can increase the overall value of your home upwards of 87% which works out to be an increase in overall value to the home of between $11,310 to $12,180.

Updating with Foam-Backed Vinyl Siding

Another solid choice in siding is the use of foam-backed vinyl siding, otherwise known as foam-core vinyl siding.  This choice helps to create a dense foam barrier between the siding and the home which makes the home less vulnerable to impact from objects and weather.   Foam-backed vinyl siding is considered an upscale material choice.  The average cost for a 1,250 square foot house is between $14,000 – $15,000.  The increase in home value with re-siding a home with foam-backed vinyl is around 78% thus the overall value increase between $10,920 – $11,700.

Overall the trend on an increase in home value when siding has been replaced has stayed steady.  Curb appeal from new siding, updated windows, replacement roofing, and other such exterior home improvements remain winners when investing in your home. 

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Home Improvement In 2019


Not always are the industry trends that we experience centered around the materials we will use or the changes in how the space is utilized.  Sometimes the trends that are called out have to do with the way in which the process of renovating occurs.  In this installment we will look at some not so pleasant trends that seem to be on the rise going into 2019 and how you can avoid falling victim.

DIY Homeowners Will Emerge

To be honest, for contractors, DIY homeowners are both a blessing and a curse.  Yes, one would think that when renovation jobs are done without hiring a professional contractor that we as an industry lose however, in my experience, this is never the case. 

Everyone thinks that with the help and guidance of YouTube and smartphones that they can tackle anything their homes throw at them.  The one thing that happens more often than not, is that even though it is possible for DIYers to physically accomplish a renovation, they flat out run out of time to do it.  There have been many a project that we have been brought to finish that DIY homeowners have run into issues with time management.  Let’s face the facts here, renovating rooms within your home often ends up requiring more time than homeowners have.  Working a full-time job, kid commitments, and keeping up on basic household chores leaves most of us without a lot of downtime.  Although homeowners begin DIY home improvement with fierceness and plan a few weekends to complete them, life gets in the way, the drive stalls, and the professionals come in to save the day.

As a contractor, I always support the DIY movement.  If this trend prevails into 2019 as industry experts say it will I won’t be out of work anytime soon. 

Regret from Missed Execution

This phenomenon is common when working with homeowners who under budget and over inspire with their renovations.  It is not worth starting a renovation when you are already considering ways to cut corners to get the results you desire. Most homeowners, however, don’t heed this warning.  This has become a greater issue over the past few years because of the many sources to draw inspiration from.  With magazines, Pinterest, social media, and the internet in general ideas for renovations are abundant.  What homeowners see in their vision verse what they have budgeted for are often two different things. 

They work to simplify the requests to fit the budget but don’t simplify their expectations for the actual execution. We as contractors struggle to avoid when working with clients whose ideas stretch beyond their budget.  The best suggestions we offer to fend off this 2019 trend from happening to you with your renovation is to wait until you have saved enough that your budget matches your expectations.  Lowering expectations to meet a budget will lead to regret upon execution of the project because it will never be exactly what has been pictured all along.

The one thing that we always stress to our clients when renovating a space, whether it is a kitchen remodel, bathroom modification, or even the installation of new flooring is to envision the final product.  Share that image with us.  As home improvement industry experts, we strive to give clients their dream space and this can only be done if we know what the end goal looks like to them.  If this final picture isn’t realistic with their space, time constraints, budget, or whatever else we work with them towards a solution.  Sometimes it means waiting until the budget is able to accomplish what they want, sometimes it is reimaging the space they have and creating the space they want within it, and sometimes its as simple as drawing a new final picture for them to see. 

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Updating your Curb Appeal When Selling your Home


When it comes to home improvements nothing is more important than your homes curb appeal.  This is particularly true when you have decided that you want to sell your home.  No matter how the house looks on the inside if the outside is a total mess from the curb, buyers aren’t going to add it to their must see list of houses. 

The good news for us is that exterior home improvements are those that get the biggest return on your investment.  Bigger returns on investment often lead to greater home values.  Unfortunately, not all home renovations are treated equally.   Below you will find the top exterior home renovations to give you the biggest bang for your buck!

The Installation of a New Front Door

Having your front door replaced sounds simple and it is however, replacing an old, low-quality door with an ornamental steel door really has an impact on your homes overall value. This single exterior home improvement can net you over 80% on your ROI while really changing the overall curb appeal.

A professional exterior home improvement expert can take your renovation a step further by adding a pediment and changing up the moldings around the doors frame.  These updates not only help to enhance the door itself, they add an overall intensity to the appeal of the front door.

Upgrading Your Homes Front Porch

The front porch of your home is where you welcome your guests and where future buyers will see themselves inviting family and friends inside their new home.  Front porches bring images of sunshine, sweet tea, and overall relaxation.  A front porch addition also works to increase the usable outdoor space of the home. People always consider the addition of a deck however, a new porch can offer up to a 70% return on investment.  Additional seating on a porch is always a great idea but to chance up the overall look consider adding faux stone to enhance the siding and other architectural front porch features.

New Fiber Cement Siding

No matter how many upgrades you do to the exterior of your home if your siding is peeling, cracked, warped, or rotting it can really decrease the appeal of the exterior.  New fiber cement siding is a popular option for the exterior of your home as it doesn’t warp, peel, chip, or rot.  Its increased longevity is a real value to buyers.  Another selling point of fiber cement siding is its resistance to fire and insects.  Homeowners that have fiber cement siding installed can be confident that this is a purchase that will stand the test of time.

Add Lighting Around the House and Landscaping

Lighting is an important aspect both inside and outside of your home.  For optimal curb appeal add lighting elements beside doors, especially the front door, and accent lighting around the exterior of the home. Additionally, landscape lighting should be added to accentuate key features around the yard.  Play off of your usable space with additional lighting to emphasize the size of your lawn.  Even the smallest of yards will seem bigger and more usable when lighting is added to the space.

Replacing Your Homes Roof

Without a doubt your roof is one of the most important exterior elements of your home.  Not only does it protect the structure from the daily climate changes, it also plays a large role in the efficiency of energy throughout your home.  Older roofs often have a number of issues from small leaks to missing shingles.  It is important to have your homes roof inspected yearly.  A roofing contractor is an expert is finding damage we may miss before it becomes something more major than just replacing your homes roof. 

The great news if you do need to replace your roof is that there are an abundance of new materials available in roofing.  Long past are the days when your only option were flat, three-tab shingles. Now-a-days homeowners have endless options in roofing materials including architectural shingles that reflect solar rays!  Long gone are the days where our air conditioners have run all day fighting the heat that is being transferred throughout our homes from the attic that has retained the heat of the sun.  We all know what efficiency adds up to in the long run, additional money in our pockets!

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including:roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Choosing a Contractor for Your Next Home Improvement Project

This is the article to read if you are looking for some great advice on your next home improvement project!  Not only will we discuss tips on choosing a contractor we will throw in some advice on keeping you both communicating throughout.

Be able to articulate exactly what you want:

Being able to articulate your expectations is the most important aspects of any renovation.  Before meeting with a contractor, it is crucial that you know exactly what you want.  Spend time considering your end goals for the project at hand.  Consider how this project flows into future renovations.  Take time to layout a visual representation of what you expect the renovation should look like, the different amenities you desire, your needs vs your wants, etc.  If you can’t explain your goals into specifics, then a contractor won’t be able to translate this into a design.

Take time when interviewing contractors:

It is important to have a clear understand of what you are getting when you hire a contractor.   You should get at least three bids before choosing a contractor, upwards of six is even better as it gives you a clearer picture of what you can expect.  It also allows you to compare services: a six grand from one contractor may get you half of what another contractor is offering.  This will give you a clear perspective on material costs as well as the rates between contractors.  Make sure that all bids are measured equally.  Not all contracts include materials and labor.  When choosing a contractor make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Complete background checks before signing a contract:

No matter who recommends the contractor, even if they used them in the past, it is important to do some basic background checks on the contractors’ credentials.  Not only should you know the company’s full name and address it is important to have copies of both the company’s liability & workers compensation policy’s along with a current state license.  Verify that they are up to date.  This is also the time to investigate complaints and legal actions that are pending or have been previously resolved.

Look into a contractor’s past work:

Not all contractors are created equally there are those that specialize and those that perform more general labor.  When hiring a large company, such as Kearns Brothers, you get both however this is not the case in all situations.  Before you hire an individual contractor, you must understand what they can and cannot do.

Take time to meet up with past clients to see the work they perform.  This is especially important in bigger renovations such as additions, complete kitchen renovations, and large scaled exterior home improvements.  Look at the similarity between each project, the quality of the materials that were used, and overall craftsmanship.  Also investigate how satisfied current and past clients are with the work that is done.  Other qualities to look for in their overall professionalism is the timeliness of returned phone calls, if they keep appointments and are, they on time, do they drive company vehicles and wear uniforms?

There are lots of little ways to make sure you get the renovation experience you are looking for.  It is important to understand that home improvement projects don’t happen overnight, and neither will hiring the perfect contractor.  Take time and have patience; due diligence will make the renovation run smoother than you ever thought possible.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Chimney Questions Answered by The Experts at Kearns Brothers

Chimney care is often overlooked when it comes to maintaining elements in and around the home.   As professional chimney repair specialists there are a few questions that are often asked of us.  Below we will answer the most common questions, concerns, and problems associated with chimneys.

The number one question asked of the Kearns Brother chimney specialists is,

“How can I tell if my chimney is safe to use?”

This is one of those questions that is difficult to answer without actually seeing the chimney. Upon inspection it is common for inspectors to skirt away from the term “safe”.  Instead, a chimney is inspected and if nothing is found a more common phrase to address the chimney’s use is to say that there are no visibly apparent issues that can be noted.  If there is any question to the stability of a chimney, we will call in a certified chimney sweep.  F.I.R.E. certified inspectors are experts and are the most qualified to make a judgment of a chimney’s safety.

How can I tell if my chimney needs to be cleaned or swept?”

Fireplaces: Take a bright flashlight and look up and down the chimney.  Most often the top of the chimney will be cleaner than the bottom for a number of reasons. If you notice a buildup of soot of more than a ¼ inch it is time for it to be swept.

Woodstoves: If your home has a woodstove and you actively use it, you should plan on hiring a professional chimney sweep each year.  If you keep up on cleaning your woodstove there should never be a dangerous level of creosote buildup.  

Gas/Oil Flues: With a gas or oil flue you will need to pull the pipe out of the bottom.  If the system has been operating efficiently, as it should be, there won’t be a lot to see.  The main thing to check for is that the passage is open.  To be safe it is a good idea to pass a brush through the passage.

How can I tell if my chimney is on fire?”

You would think this is evident right?  Chimney fires are scary and can occur with little to know advance notice.  It is important to keep your chimney clean to avoid fires within the chimney.  It can be hard to tell if a chimney is on fire from the inside of your home.  Many people don’t really know their chimney is on fire until a neighbor comes over and knocks on your door to let you know that flames are shooting out your chimney.  When your chimney is on fire it can sound or feel like a freight train flying through your space, sometimes however the sound may not accompany it.  Here are a few signs your chimney is on fire:

  • Are flames shooting out the top of your chimney?
  • Do you see mountainous billows of black smoke coming from the chimney?
  • Can you hear a sound coming from the chimney, similar to a train?

“Is my chimney flue open?”

One of the biggest issue’s homeowners have is making sure their flue is open.  The flue is the passage that moves the smoke out of the home.  If the flue is shut the smoke will fill the room and won’t allow the smoke to flow out.  To check and see if your flue is open you will want to get on your hands and knees to see if the flap within the chimney stack is open or shut.  There is usually a handle on the outside of the pipe that operates the flap.  Have someone help you by moving the handle back and forth until you can see the difference between it being open and closed.

“Could my chimney be blocked?”

A visible check of the chimney will tell you if there is a blockage.  If you have a wood or oil fireplace that is blocked smoke, or a smell of oil fumes will fill up the home, this is a good indicator your chimney is blocked.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

 

Before Any Home Renovations These 8 Things Are Important

Home improvement projects can easily be derailed by the smallest of mistakes.  Ordering the wrong material, an unprofessional contractor, or unrealistic budget, can take a plan and turn it upside down.  As a homeowner it is up to you to be prepared for your renovation.  Here are a few things to consider before taking on another renovation whether you hire a professional contractor such as Kearns Brothers or attempt to DIY.

Understand What You Like

If you have been considering renovations to your home for awhile now you probably have created a number of Pinterest boards for each room in your house.  You most likely have some ideas of exactly what you want your renovated space however, it is important to plan whether your renovation is cosmetic only or if you will be changing the structure of the home.  Structural changes will take a number of specialty contractors working together to ensure the plumbing, electrical, and structure of the home functions properly with the newly renovated space.

Budgeting

The phrase “dream house” wasn’t invented because it exists in real life.  Obviously when renovating, the goal is to create your dream space however in the real world this needs to be accomplished within a manageable budget.  Before you become to invested in any one concept or material take time to check out the costs of materials at your local home improvement center and average labor costs in your area.

Myth vs Reality

Sometimes what we want just can’t happen because it is not feasible in our home.  It may seem like adding a bathroom to your upstairs master bedroom should be simple however, sometimes it because unrealistic because of the budget needed to configure plumbing where it is needed.  Before committing to a project of any magnitude it is crucial to meet with an architect and contractor for insight.  You may decide the idea needs to be scraped or reinvented.

Hire a Professional Contractor or DIY

For all but the simplest renovations hiring a professional contractor is the best option in home improvement.  I can’t express in numbers the amount of times I am called into clean up a mess from a renovation that a homeowner began but just can’t finish.  Before you begin a renovation, consider the amount of free time you have to complete the project at hand.  Not many homeowners have the time for renovations on top of their full-time jobs and general commitments. Enlisting the help of a contractor not only saves you time but often money as well.

Colors and Materials

Another element of renovation that is often forgotten is how different colors and materials that are used with look in the space especially as the light changes.  Place samples of the colors and materials you are looking at using throughout the space you are renovating and walk through the area a few times a day for a couple of days to see if you really love them as much as you think you do.  Oak cabinets may look simply unbelievable in the aisle of the home improvement store but when in your space, light, and surrounded by the colors you desire, oak might just not look like you desired.

Thoroughly Check Out Your Vet

We aren’t just talking about online reviews and testimonials, do research into:

  • Licensing
  • Insurance
  • Workers’ Comp
  • Bond Certification
  • Lien History

After meeting with several contractors, going over their credentials and your project, you should have a pretty good feel for what working like with each contractor.

Detailed Contract

Everyone, contractors and homeowners, are all elated at the start of a new home improvement project.  However, it is crucial to be prepared.  Contracts with any outside professionals, including home improvement contractors, need to be airtight, detailed, and specific to your project.  They should include:

  • A Schedule for Payments
  • Penalties for Missed Milestones (for both contractor and homeowner)
  • Details on All Work to Be Done

Having a detailed layout of what is expected, in writing can save both contractors and homeowners from hassles and headaches down the line.

Timing

If you think of terms that are synonymous with home improvement timeliness is not one of them.  Remodeling is often notorious for requiring more time than what was budgeted.  It could be weather, delays, order issues, subcontractor issues, and more.  The most important aspect is to plan accordingly.  Don’t plan a major family dinner party for the day after you expect your kitchen renovation to be completed.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

2019 Kitchen and Bathroom Trends That Will Stand the Test of Time

It is not likely that you will renovate the kitchen and bathrooms in your home more than once.   Remodeling these spaces takes quite an effort from both the homeowner and contractor.  It’s true that the heavy lifting all comes down to who you hire however behind the scenes you are the one that is executing the rhythm of the entire project.  It is crucial that you, as the homeowner, knows what elements are crucial to have in your new kitchen and bathroom spaces.  This will not only make it enjoyable for you to use as you live there but also more desirable to buyers when it’s time to sell.

There are a number of elements in home improvement that are used to create kitchen and bathroom spaces that are not only luxurious but also functional.  Below are some of the trends we expect to see really take hold in 2019.

No More White… Color! Color! Color!

White kitchens are a thing of the past.  Not only are white kitchens difficult to keep clean, they are visually quite boring.  Fans of bright, bold, vivid colors will be thrilled to bring it to their kitchen and bathroom spaces.  Stark white, boring beige, and neutrals are being replace with brave, daring colors.  Some considerations to help bring this trend to life include:

  • Colored appliances, especially large stoves
  • Painted cabinets
  • Matte black over gray
  • Pops of colors found in shower doors and enclosures

Technology Throughout

The addition of technology is a trend that continues to grow throughout the world of home improvement.  If you don’t take technology into consideration when envisioning your new kitchen or bathroom space, then your renovation will fall short.  Adding technology into kitchens and bathroom spaces can be simple including:

  • Appliances enabled with Wi-Fi – Think ordering your groceries from your refrigerator! Think soap dispenser that can reorder soap when they run out! Think switching music choices in the shower!
  • Integrating Alexa
  • Programmable lighting
  • Smart appliances and gadgets

Unusual and Unique

There aren’t a lot of ways to really explain this concept in kitchen and bathroom remodeling other than to remind homeowners to texture and elements that make people want to know more.  Materials you would not expect used in unique ways including:

  • Industrial metal shelving
  • Big sinks with intricate metallic detailing
  • The use of large, geometric shapes
  • Shapely faucets

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Is Your Home Under-Insulated?

Does your home have enough insulation?  More often than not, Michigan homeowners find their homes do not have the optimal amount of insulation.  9 out of 10 homeowners will have to add additional insulation to their homes if they want to be considered to be “well insulated”.  This occurs because the minimum amount of installation required by code for a home to be inhabitable is less than what is considered to be proper.

Why though would a builder add more insulation if they are not required to?  The more insulation the less profit.  However, as a homeowner we know that not having enough insulation produces higher energy bills.  In order to increase comfort and decrease energy bills it is crucial that professional insulation experts evaluate your home and add insulation in areas that it is needed.

Signs Your House Is Under-Insulated

Different Temperatures Throughout the House

If your home is one even temperature throughout you more than likely have enough insulation in your home.  If different temperatures are felt however, you most likely do not have enough insulation.  An example of this can be felt in a kitchen that is always freezing cold with bedrooms that are steaming.  If this is the case in your home, it is best to have a professional insulation contractor out to evaluate the situation.

Increased Energy Bills

Compare your energy bills over the last couple of years.  If you start to see a gradual increase in energy usage there is a chance that the blown-in insulation within your walls and attic have settled and have become less effective.  When this occurs, there is a chance that your home is not as well insulated as you had hoped for.   Homeowners may not notice a shift in the temperatures throughout their home however an increase in energy bills overtime sure is noticeable.  If heat is escaping through your homes roof and walls, it is time to either replace or add in additional insulation.

Cold Walls, Floors, and Ceilings

Your home should feel warm and dry to the touch.  Check your ceiling, interior walls, and floor, do they feel damp and cold or warm and dry?  If it is cold and wet, then you most likely do not have enough insulation throughout your home.  Exterior walls however, should feel cold as the insulation is keeping your home comfortable by keeping warm air inside.

Chilly Drafts

Homeowners have come to expect that during the winter months they have a few drafts here and there this however, doesn’t have to be the case.  Cold air coming from window frames and doorways can easily be avoided with the addition of extra insulation and the addition of spray foam insulation where needed.  Getting rid of small drafts can help prevent drafts and save on energy bills.

Insulation Contractors at Kearns Brothers incorporated are experts in blown-in cellulose.  We only recommend additional insulation in homes that need it to aid in the comfort level, energy efficiency, and to decrease energy bills.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

 

Home Renovation Preparation

DIY home improvements always have the chance to go terribly wrong because most of us are not professional contractors and therefore really have no idea what they are doing.  In this installment we are going to prepare the average homeowner for what they can expect during the home renovation process.  Whether you hire a professional contractor or attempt renovations around your home there are a few things you will need to do to prepare.

Preparing for Your Homes Renovations

Budget

It is crucial to have a realistic budget when it comes to any home improvement project.  Take time to research the average cost of the budget you are interested in.  Once you know about how much you will need you can start to allocate funds accordingly.

Larger home renovation projects require you to have a substantial amount of money on hand.  If your remodel is not something you wish to cover with cash out of pocket, you can look into a home equity loan or line of credit.  The benefit of borrowing against your home’s equity is that often the interest that you are paying on the loan can be deducted off of your taxes each year, up to $750,000 dollars.  Other options for funding a renovation include a reverse mortgage and contractor financing.

Scope

The scope of your project is another element to consider.  It is necessary to take into consideration your budget and what you want to see completed during your renovation.  Are you considering a complete overhaul of your 1980’s kitchen and hoping to create an open concept where it opens into the living area?  Or are you thinking that a fresh look could be achieved with some freshly painted cabinets with updated hardware?

Your budget needs to be comparative with the tasks that you want to accomplish.  It is important that you work with your contractor to make sure that between the materials and labor your budget is large enough to cover your renovation while having a reserve just in case some aspect of the project doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Materials

Sometimes the materials that you choose are simply out of necessity and exactly what you need to accomplish within a limited budget.  For years you may have dreamed of installing granite throughout your home but as the time approaches the realization of just how much more the cost of the renovation will be with granite vs engineered quartz hits.  You suddenly realize that engineered quartz is quite elegant and helps you get more out of your limited budget.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.