How to Coat Metal Roofs

Coat Metal RoofsMetal roofs are becoming more and more popular these days because of the benefits they can offer. Roofing experts say that metal roofs are typically made of either aluminum, or copper and steel, which can all be recycled and therefore are environment-friendly and fireproof too.  However, the disadvantage of this is that it is susceptible to water and galvanic corrosion, which results in leakage. As a matter of fact, to keep your home leak proof, you need to coat the ceiling floor every 2 years and touch-up at frequent intervals, especially after storms have deposited debris or branches.

Roof coating is a fluid substance, which when applied to the tile acts as a protective membrane. As a result, it reduces the effects of the heat of the sun, rain, hail and protects from other kinds of damage. It has adhesive properties that enable it to stick to the surface, besides, it also has the ability to retain its elasticity under all kinds of weather conditions. It also helps reduce temperatures which in turn helps lower cooling cost.

Materials needed: roof coating, patching cement, diluted chlorine bleach solution and strong detergent (if needed)
Tools: wire brush, putty knife, coarse sandpaper, stiff-bristle paint brush, paint roller, broom, garden hose.

Coating the Metal Roof

-Look for all types of flaws like blisters, cracked seams, and peeling coats. Seal fasteners and seams with caulk and allow to dry.
-Using sand papers or putty knife scrape off the flaking coat. Clean the drain, vents and the floor of the ceiling to ensure the substrate is free of any foreign matter.
-Remove crusted or powdery rust and treat mildew patches with chlorine bleach. Follow this with power washing with a strong detergent if needed.
-Once the roof is dry, repair splits and patch existent holes and reattach loose screws. Rinse and check for puddling.
-Cover seams, edges of flashing, j-rails and nail heads with patching cement using a stiff bristle paint brush.
-Once dry, prime the substrate with a good quality primer to increase the adhesive quality of the coating.Using a roll-on brush or high volume spray, uniformly coat the floor of the roof. Take special care to ensure that the repaired gaps and cracks of the ceiling floor are well-covered. For best results apply a second when the previous coat is thoroughly dried.

This complete, seamless restoration process seals, prevents leaks and provides a bright white reflective surface that helps cool the entire building envelope. The best time to take up these repairs is early spring when the temperatures are not to high and the humidity is relatively lesser compared to the warm summer months.

Property Investment Tips

Property InvestmentTraditionally, one of the best high return investment options has been investment of money in real estate. While the property prices may go up and down in the short term, over the long term, they have always appreciated substantially. The ownership of a piece of land is an investment you can eventually bank upon, as it acquires value through development of the areas in its vicinity. With the falling of property prices, many people will advise you to stay away from investing in real estate. However, if you look at it from a different perspective, you will see opportunity in this situation.

Properties which were once beyond your budget reach are suddenly within your range. For those of you who have been smart enough to save money throughout the past bearish decade, now is the time to invest and take advantage of the opportunity, which has presented itself. In this article, I shall share some tips on real estate investment for those of you, who are smart enough to recognize the opportunity this recessionary background has presented.

Tips on Property and Home Investment for Beginners

Any investment comes with its share of risks, which cannot be entirely eliminated but lessened through research and planning. Same goes with real estate investment. You have to do your homework and get your research right to end up on the winning side. Here are some tips for beginners.

Know about the Range of Real Estate Investment Options
Firstly, you need to begin with a study of the varied range of investment options in real estate, which you may consider. You may invest in buying residential houses, commercial properties, condos, apartments or purely specialize in land investment. There are a lot of options out there and you need to consider the entire range, to decide which would ideally suit your investment budget and align with your future plans.

Invest to Sell or Invest to Rent out Properties
There is the important decision of deciding whether you buy to rent or buy to sell again for a profit. The former option is open, if you buy residential properties. You can create a regular income source for yourself by investing in rental property.

Otherwise, you also have the option of entering the house flipping business, which is buying old houses, renovating them and selling them back again for profit. You may buy a piece of commercial property, hold it till the prices rise and sell it to make a substantial profit.

It’s All About Location
Remember when it comes to property investment, it’s all about location. The price of any real estate property is largely a function of location. The localities decide the price range and therefore you need to research the price trends according to location, before you make a purchase.

Research & Do the Math
Once you have decided on what kind of property you plan to buy, what purpose you intend to buy it for and are clear about the amount of money you are willing to spend, start researching real estate listings to find properties that fit the bill. Calculate the returns you plan to gain from the investment and the amount of mortgage loans you can afford to apply for.

Networking With Real Estate Agents
A real estate agent can make your job easier in finding properties that are exactly what you are looking for. Creating a good network of real estate agents who can point you towards good investment properties is essential. Real estate brokers can handle the legal affairs associated with purchase and sale of property for you. They can make an offer to owners on your behalf and negotiate on your behalf.

Making Financial Arrangements for the Investment
Once you have decided on the property and made an offer, you need to arrange for the money you plan to invest. A pooling up of your own savings and a mortgage loan if needed, can cover the total investment amount. Talk to financial institutions and mortgage brokers for financing options.

The key to making good investment decisions in real estate, lies in research. For a property, the location is the most important aspect of consideration and all other points come later. Good location, with access to resources in its vicinity, creates an opportunity for eventual growth of property value. With a pooling in of your own savings and a mortgage loan, you can buy strategically located properties and rent them to generate revenue, or sell them as the prices appreciate substantially. You can’t eliminate risk, but minimize it by putting your money into properties with high potential of price appreciation. Get a good real estate agent to advise you and a mortgage broker to assist you in the arrangement of finance.

Packing and Moving Tips

Packing and MovingWhen one is moving to a new home, the chances of breaking or damaging something are high. While many may think that this is a chance that can be taken, we say that it isn’t. However, if one knows the tips on how to pack and move properly, then there can be no room for mishaps. There are professional movers who can help you to move, packing everything away carefully so as to avoid any damage. However, not all companies will strive to carefully put away items for transfer, and that’s where you come in. Let’s take a look at how you should ideally pack your personal belongings, before moving.

Packing and Moving Tips

Plan
Once you’ve decided to move, the first thing you will have to do is to plan the packing process. Never decide your moving date without careful consideration. This will give you a sufficient amount of time to pack, where you can ensure that everything is packed away carefully.

Checklist
Make a checklist of things that need more careful packing first, like dinnerware, items made from glass, or similarly frangible items. Before you start with the packing, make a list of all your belongings. This will help you to pick the size and material of boxes that everything will go into. It is best to have the list pasted on the outer side of the boxes, as well as one list for your reference, so that you know where to look for certain items, whilst crosschecking. It is best to make a computer-generated list, so that it is easier to make changes to it, before making a final draft. Another alternative is to have a notebook on hand while shifting items, so that you can make notes or cross things off the checklist, as you move along.

Supplies
Often people underestimate the quantity of supplies they would need when they are moving. You can either choose to get the boxes from a moving company or get them from the grocer. Find out if you can return the boxes and if there will be any extra charges incurred, should the boxes get damaged during the process. Along with the boxes, you will also need packing tape to secure the boxes. Always keep some boxes handy, as there may be certain things that you may have overlooked. Also, get a labeling machine that allows you to keep tab on what’s in each box, and placing one as you’re done packing it up.

Appliances and Collectibles
It is best to wrap small appliances in either kitchen towels or linen. It is always best to check the manufacturers instructions before you pack bigger appliances, in case specific instructions are entailed. Use old newspapers to line the bottom of the box before you place the appliance in it. You can also stuff clothes on the outer side of the appliance, to protect it from banging against the sides of the box. If there are appliances that can be dismantled, then it is a good idea to take them apart for easy transportation.The same method will have to be used when you are wrapping collectibles as well. It is always best to add a lot of packing around the collectibles, to keep them secure. Always make use of ink-less paper for packing, so that the collectibles do not get tarnished. Also, make use of packing peanuts if you want to skip using so much cloth.

Books
It is always best to use smaller boxes for books, so that carrying them from the house to the moving truck is easier. To save on space, you can use one large box or suitcase to pack away books, magazines, and the like, to avoid it from taking up so much room once it reaches your new home. Whatever you see as convenient, go for it.Electronics
It is recommended that electronic goods be transported in their original boxes; if you discarded them a long time ago, no worries―you can use store-bought boxes and packing peanuts. This will ensure no harm is caused to the goods. Make sure that you mark which side is up and label it as ‘Fragile’, so that handlers know that extra care is needed.

Furniture
If you can dismantle furniture then it is best to take it apart before moving. However, place the nuts, bolts, and screws in a bag that can be packed last in the same box itself. Keep these little important parts in one place, so that you don’t have to run around rummaging through every box looking for them.

If you are moving out of the state, then this moving out-of-state checklist may prove to be quite useful. Once you have reached the new place, make sure you check all the items according to the checklist. If there’s anything you don’t need anymore, now is the time to discard or donate all of it, and not take it with you to your new home. It’s always smarter to plan things ahead and get rid of what you don’t need prior to moving.

Buying an Old House

Old HouseOld homes leave buyers super-impressed with their charm, allure, and character. Also, the exclusivity attached to older homes is one feature which attracts many prospective buyers. However, there are certain pros and cons of buying an old house. As the community in which the old house is located is already established, there may not be any new zoning changes. Also, with old houses, you have the benefit of becoming a part of a close-knit and well-established neighborhood, which a new community may lack.

However, you may incur considerable expenses for repairs and refurbishment. Also, there may be certain health and safety concerns which may need your immediate attention. One may also find that there is little or no scope for renovation in an old house. Here are few advantages and disadvantages of buying an old house.

Pros

Architectural Details
Remember that old houses often have intricate woodwork which was crafted or carved out by carpenters manually, as no modern-day carpentry tools were available. Hence, the architectural details in such homes is often unique and irreplaceable. No two homes will be similar in their look and style, unlike new-age homes. If you are someone who thoroughly enjoys aesthetics and architecture, then old houses are definitely meant for you.

Cost-effective
Old houses are relatively cost-effective. This is because you can get more square footage area for a limited price than you would get in the same amount for a new home. It is often observed that old homes are bigger than the new ones, and one may end up getting a better bargain. You may also get a larger yard than a new home.

Return on Investment
Old homes have always enjoyed a good demand in the realty market. As the area is more and the construction sturdy, many people actually prefer to invest in an old home. It also leads to excellent growth of capital. You will be surprised to see how the price of an old home appreciates with time. Even if you put the house on the market, after a few years, you will still be able to get an excellent return on investment because of the rarity quotient.

Central Location
Nowadays, new houses may be located far away from schools, hospitals or supermarkets. Hence, you have to drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic to reach your house in the downtown. However, many old houses are centrally located, and are within walking distance from these vital places. Hence, buying an old house is a wise decision if you have school-going children or aged people in your family, who may require sudden medical attention.

Rich History
If you have bought a Georgian or Victorian home, it will have its own history to tell. The ambiance will simply leave your guests awestruck. Who knows, you may have an interesting story to share about the house. Not only this, but a rich heritage will also help you to gain better prices when you decide to sell the house.

Large Yards
Old houses often have bigger yards. You can utilize this additional space for having a gazebo or swimming pool. Needless to say, if you intend to undertake some creative landscaping, you will have ample space to experiment. Also, if you have pets, they can have enough space to move around.

Cons

Cost of Repairs and Refurbishments
In all probability, if the house is not maintained properly by the old owner, it will mean you will have to shell out more money for repairs and refurbishment. Especially, if your house is situated in a coastal an area, it can lead to rusting of pipes and plumbing. You may also have to check the roof for leakages. Apart from this, peeling color, non-working appliances and systems, etc., will add to the expenses.

Modification Limitations
In a new house, one can decorate the interiors as per his/her taste. However, you do not have this artistic liberty when it comes to an old house as the cabinet, windows, carpets, landscaping, etc., are all present already. If you are to make any drastic changes or undertake renovation, you will have to bear the additional cost.

Health and Safety Concerns
If you are buying an old home, you can be in for some really unpleasant surprises. There is no way to tell if the house is infested with rodents and pests. Also, one cannot determine for sure if the house is lead-/asbestos-/mercury-free. Also, it may not have a fire or burglar alarm, and you will have to install it separately. Also, it may so happen that the electrical wiring and insulation may have aged and is no longer functional. All these situations may pose health and safety hazards.

Root-cause of the Problem
In all probability, the earlier tenants may have planted trees to create a landscape. Roots of older trees often grow farther below the soil, and hamper the plumbing and foundation of the house. You may never be able to detect such problems by looking at a house, it is only when you actually start living there that such issues surface. It will not only mean a hole in the foundation of your old house but also your pocket.

Storage Issues
With the growing consumerism and increase in earnings, we have become serial hoarders or pack-rats. We tend to hang on to clothes that don’t fit us anymore, the gym equipment that we no longer use, travel bags are left gathering dust, etc. All this requires a huge storage space which is not found in old houses. Many times, these houses have sloping roofs, which cause storage problems in the attic, and you may have to get new customized storage options. And if you own three cars, it is pointless to buy an old house which offers a single garage.

Too Small, Too Soon
Even though old houses were built for large families, they do not cater to the need of a modern-day family. You may find that your 60s home is too small even for a family of 4, especially after the kids grow up. With the growing need for a separate living room, study, bedrooms, guest-rooms, kitchen, etc., an old house may seem like it is too cramped up and lacks space.

Undertake an house inspection before buying it so that you get an idea about the required repairs. Unlike a new home, there won’t be a builder’s guarantee. However, you can then ask the owner to either get the maintenance done or pay you for the expenditure. Old houses have steadfastly faced the test of time without giving in to changes in weather or climatic conditions. Now that you know about the pros and cons of buying an old house, hope you will make the right decision.

Landscape a Front Yard

Landscape a Front YardThe thumb rule for front yard landscape design is to tailor your yard to suit your level of commitment, interest and budget while keeping it tasteful. You can choose to make the yard either welcoming and friendly with natural settings or you can give it a formal, classic look. The thing to obviously keep in mind is that it should blend in with the architecture and style of your home. It is a good idea to plan how you would actually landscape the garden. A sketch of the plans might be a good idea as it helps in identifying the materials required and saves against any wastage and impulse buying.

Laying out the desired access paths to your house constitutes the first step of landscape gardening. As a matter of fact these access paths serve to mark the entire design and shape of the front yard. The predominant focus is obviously the driveways which will be used by you and your guests for driving up to the front door. In addition, walkways to the front and back doors should also be designed.

While designing the driveway, the shape and the driveway paving have to be taken into consideration. While the geometry of the driveways and the walkways may be curvilinear or straight, the driveway paving material is an individual choice. So you may choose a rustic look with loose stones or a firm driveway with asphalt. The driveway pavers can be included for the entire surface or may be used as design elements. You can either choose brick paver designs and patterns or granite and travertine patterns. In addition, decorative borders made of building material can decorate and add style to your driveway. For those wanting a fancy driveway, the natural bluestone set in concrete is an ideal choice.

Add a dash to your landscape by devising a theme. If you would like to deliver a soft, ethereal feel to your garden, it’s time to have a rose garden or a herb garden planned. If creating a tropical rather ‘hard-hitting’ feel to your landscape is the idea, include desert plants and bushes. A theme could also incorporate variegated hues of plants or may consider sporting a custom shade throughout.

This is one area of landscape gardening where you will burgeon with ideas. However selecting the perfect plants is quite a tedious and demanding job. For all those with absolutely no knowledge of gardening and plants, a few basic concepts might help ease you into the job. Choose plants of mature height for the foundation planting. Try to avoid plants which grow in height above your windows. In fact evergreen shrubs are an excellent idea.A good idea for the garden are perennials which bloom year after year and are inexpensive as well as maintenance free. For those wanting a new look each year, try some annuals which give a burst of color for just one season.

While artificial colors do embellish your garden and add style, colorful flowers, shrubs and trees are excellent for beautifying and adding color to the garden. Try out showy plants that produce red leaves for adding splashes of color to your lawn. Add visually stimulating objects, like, a bird house or a bird bath to the garden for attracting interesting wildlife. You can even try to add variety by placing containers of flowers on the front porch or the driveway. A great idea for the front yard is a separate sitting place, like a bench which you can place under a tree. You can also place limestone fountains and sculptures in an open lawn area.

Place a few potted plants and shrubs around the bench and you have the perfect outdoor place to seat your friends and family. So what are you waiting for? Transform your typical patch of grass, mailbox, and garden flag front yard with these creative landscape ideas. Believe me, it will give your neighbors something to talk about for days.

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