5 Ways to Pay for a Roofing Repair

When it comes to owning a home, it’s important to make repairs throughout the year to ensure that the house can continue to remain functional and appealing. The roof is one of the most important essential features on the property to repair to prevent leaks or water damage. If you can’t initially afford roofing repair, there are a few ways to pay for the expense.

Have a Yard Sale

Consider hosting a yard sale that allows you to sell items that are no longer used. A garage sale is the opportunity to not only clean out your home but also make extra cash. For more expensive items like jewelry or electronics, consider selling them online or at a local pawn shop to make more of a profit that can be used to repair your roof.

Refinance Your Home

Refinancing your home is an additional way of creating more room in your budget to afford roofing repairs that are needed periodically. Whether you have a VA loan or an FHA loan, consider refinancing it to obtain a lower interest rate, which can save a significant amount of money over time as you repay your home loan. The FHA 203K Refinance Loan program can be useful when performing the repairs, but you’ll need to consult a financial expert in advance to determine if it’s the right option for your situation.

Finance the Repair Costs

Although it can be difficult to find the cash to pay for the repair, you can finance the cost whether you use a credit card or get a home equity line of credit if the costs are high due to severe damage that has occurred on the structure.

Apply for a Grant

Homeowners who are in need of extra funds can also consider applying for a grant through a local, state, or federal government. Consult the Weatherization Assistance Program, which can make it possible to obtain the funds in full and begin the repairs immediately. Another option is the Section 504 Home Repair program for financial assistance or the Very Low-Income Housing Repair program if you meet the requirements. The interest rates are often low on the grants, which can be a more affordable option compared to using a credit card.

Repairing your roof doesn’t have to become a headache if you’re strapped for cash. By considering your options to obtain the necessary funds, you can cover the cost as soon as possible.

References:

Weatherization Assistance Program | www.energy.gov

VA home loans | LowVARates.com

What is a home equity line of credit (HELOC)? | bankofamerica.com

Leaks, Freaks, and Hurricanes – How to Prepare Your Home For a Disaster

Disasters come in many forms. Here in Florida, hurricanes are definitely on the top of the list of natural disasters. However, other types of disasters can be just as destructive. Let’s look at a few of the more common disasters that could befall you and how to prepare your home to minimize or prevent damage.

Termites

Almost every square mile of Florida is infested with termites. These wood-eating insects cause billions in damage each year. Have your home inspected regularly for termites and take measures to prevent them from nesting in your walls.

Home Invasion

People turn to crime for many reasons. They could enjoy the heady rush of trying not to get caught, or they could be people who are addicted to drugs and will use any means possible to pay for their destructive habit.  Unfortunately, this could mean targeting you to steal your cash and valuables. Keep all doors and windows locked. Install and use a home security system.

Hurricanes

Every part of Florida is vulnerable to the damage that can be caused by a hurricane. Preparing for this natural disaster begins with making sure your roofing is in good condition. Purchase and install storm shutters to keep debris from crashing through your windows.

Electrical Fire

An electrical fire can destroy your home and belongings in a short amount of time. Make sure your home has working smoke detectors. Have your home’s electrical system inspected, especially if the structure is more than a couple of decades old. Faulty wiring, old appliances, extension cords and poorly installed light fixtures are common causes of electrical fires.

Mold Infiltration

Mold will take hold and grow in wet, organic materials. In Florida homes, it is often found on the surface of drywall and wood that has become moist due to water leaks and house flooding. Find leaks and fix them.

Trees Falling on the Roof

The strong thunderstorms that plague Florida can break off branches and even topple entire trees. To prevent the falling wood from hitting your roof, you need to keep trees from growing too close to the house. Have branches trimmed back away from the roof.

House Flooding

Hurricanes and tropical storms can bring floods. However, a leaking water heater or washing machine hose can also bring a lot of water into your home. Make sure your water heater is in good condition and replace washer hoses every few years.

It is better to prepare before a disaster hits your home than getting caught without any preparations made. The time and resources it takes to prepare will minimize or prevent damage to your home.

References:

ADT Home Defenders | Home Security Facts

Insurance Information Institute | Protecting Your Home From Mold

Houselogic | Find and Prevent Electrical Fire Dangers in Your Home

Understanding Storm Damage on Your Home

Storm damage is one of the things dreaded most by homeowners. When it happens, everyone concentrates on evacuating their prized possessions from home and getting to safety. Once it’s over, the structural integrity of the home and its ability to deal with the damage resulting from the storm is compromised, and if not addressed in time, it could lead to the complete destruction of the home. Here are a few things that you need to understand about storm damage restoration on a home.

Assessing the damage

Storms can lead to water damage, wind damage, and damage from debris. After a storm has cleared, it is essential to assess the entire home to see how much damage you have to deal with. Note down the broken doors and windows and the rooms where water has pooled in. When calling in the restoration experts, you will need to give this information to get assistance.

Roof damage

If the wind was strong during the storm, it might have blown off either the entire roof or sections of it. Roofing damage is dangerous because the roof protects the entire house’s interior, improves the stability of the home, andis necessary for effective temperature regulation. Common roofing damage after a storm includes blown off shingles, leaks, and visible structural damage. If something extreme such as a power line or a tree fell on the roof, have a professional check the structural integrity to avoid the roof caving in with people inside the home.

Water damage

Stormwater tends to collect in the basement and other lower parts of a home during a storm. If the roof begins leaking as a result of the storm, the inside of the home could be susceptible to water damage. Try and isolate the section of your roof or wall where the water is coming from. Another major source of water damage after a storm is flooding, which is dangerous because it is categorized as either category two or three. Water damaged which is not assessed or treated in time leads to mold, decay, and rot to floors, structure supports, and more.

These are some of the things which every homeowner needs to know about storm damage. Give us a call if you need any help restoring your roof after a bad storm. We will be happy to help you get your life back in order.

Resources:

Roofing Rennovations | Stormy Weather: Common Roofing Issues to Watch For

Broadco | Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage

Houselogic | What to Do in the First 24 Hours After a Flood

How to Find the Best Contractor For Your Home Improvement Project

Image courtesy of James Hardie

Starting Your Home Improvement Project

Deciding to invest in a home improvement project can be exciting. However, you may want to consider a variety of factors before you hire a contractor. Your main goal for this project is to have the home improvement layout done at an affordable price along with quality results. Moreover, you will also want to keep your ideal layout for the project. If a contractor says it can’t be done, you can try to find other contractors to ask their opinion. An experienced contractor who knows what they’re doing will usually find a way to give the homeowner what they want.

Shopping Around Makes a Difference

The basics can include asking the contractors for free estimates so that you can compare prices with other competitors. By doing this, you are certain to find a low price. While you’re shopping around, it’s also ideal that you look for contractors who are experienced in home improvements. The last thing you want is a new contractor who will make mistakes because of their inexperience. When you’re finding a company that is experienced, remember to look for an established company that has many years in the construction business. Usually, these companies will be licensed and insured to work on construction projects, which is important.

Image courtesy of Reader’s Digest

Making Sure You get Quality Results

One way to ensure that you get quality results from your contractor is to ask for customer references. When you ask for customer references, you may get sample photos of past jobs. This can help you get an idea of what types of jobs the contractors can do for you. It’s also essential that the workers carry the right tools and equipment to do the job. You don’t want a carpenter hammering a nail with a wrench. Consider the number of workers who will work on your home improvement project as well. If you want your project completed by a certain day, you want to make sure the contractor will have plenty of carpenters working on your house.

Knowing the Building Codes

Investing in a home improvement project can be costly, which is why you want to protect your investment. One way to protect your investment is to search for a contractor who knows the building codes, easements, and other essential requirements. When you do this, it can make the entire building process much easier, such as getting the building permits. Another way to protect your investment is to make sure the contractor uses quality materials.

Get the Results You Want With Contracts

In the end, you can have the peace of mind by using contracts. A contract between you and the construction company can seal the deal on what you want. Moreover, you can even put the price in the contracts so that you won’t be surprised by any added costs. However, make sure that you take your time with the contracts along with the final layout that works for your home. Rest assured that when you and the contractor are on the same page, you are sure to get the results you want.

Image courtesy of Alana’s Touch

You Can Tell A Contractor Is Honest From The Contract: Here’s How

Though it is tempting to write that a contractor who agrees to a written contract in the first place is honest, this isn’t always the case. The only thing that can be said about a contractor who refuses a contract is that the prospective client should drop them and move on to one that does make one. However, there are ways that a client can tell that a contractor is honest — or not — from the contract they help to draw up.

They Are Specific

A client should be wary of a contractor who refuses to commit to specific language. Vague language should always be a warning sign in any contract. It gives the contractor too much leeway to pull a bait and switch. All materials used in the job should have the size, color, make, model and the name of the brand in writing.

The Contractor is Bonded and Licensed

A contractor who is not bonded and licensed is also a non-starter. The papers that prove that the contractor is insured, bonded and has worker’s compensation need to be appended to the contract. Make sure you know enough about the regulatory bodies in place so you can tell at a glance if they’re trustworthy.

They Do Not Rush the Client

A contractor who insists on starting the job right away because there is something so drastically wrong with the plumbing/electricity/HVAC system or even the whole house that the job can’t wait is to be avoided. Though most contractors can only estimate how long a job is going to take, the start date and the targeted end date should be written into the contract. They should also be willing to communicate foreseeable difficulties, and be able to explain where their estimation came from.

They Estimate the Final Cost of the Job

Some contractors claim to give prospective client discounts on the job but never reveal what the final cost will be. This is a contractor who should be avoided. There should be very clear outlines in the contract about any costs, and possible discounts, that will be applied.

The Contractor Gives the Client Their Address and Contact Information

The contractor’s address should be a regular street address and not a post office box. They should have a website and a phone number where they can be contacted in case of questions or emergencies. If they do not, the client can suspect that the contractor is working out of their van. That’s not acceptable.

Generally, the Contractor Doesn’t Want All the Money Up Front

Contractors who get all the money up front then don’t finish or even start the job are the villains of countless horror stories. The client should never pay upfront unless the contractor is very well established and offers a 100 percent guarantee.

A clear and detailed contract drawn up between the contractor and a client can save both money and heartache. A big project is stressful enough without the client having to worry about a contractor’s integrity. Now that you know what to look for, you can see why we comfortably call ourselves the best in in the business. Contact us today for all of your roofing needs.

Resources:

5 Signs a Contractor May Not Be Right For You

10 Things Your Contractor Doesn’t Want You to Know

Mistakes to Avoid When Signing Concrete Contractor Agreements

Do You Want to Build Your Own Home?

There are a few advantages to building your own home instead of buying one you find for sale on the market. One of the most significant benefits is that you’re able to create your dream home and design everything just the way you want it. While this can be an incredibly enticing idea, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and unsure about where to begin or what will be involved. By dividing the process up into separate goals, it can be a more manageable objective.

Consider Where Your Land Will Be

This is something you’ll want to consider early if it’s not the first goal you tackle. It may be desirable for you to buy the land out of pocket, depending upon your resources and the size of the plot you hope to purchase. Whether you buy outright or seek financing, there are a few points to consider in selecting the right piece of land.

First of all, you’ll want to ask questions about zoning and the area subdivisions. Some areas may not be zoned for residential construction or may have certain stipulations for building a new home. Such as requiring that the structure consists of a minimum square footage. Additionally, the land may be subdivided in such a way that there won’t be road access. These types of property are often priced to seem like a steal and, unless the borrower asks, he or she may not realize the problem of accessibility.

You will also want to take environmental considerations into account. If there’s a farm nearby, can you and your family tolerate the odors and sounds of live farm animals? Remember that this may be a permanent condition of living in the area. You may also want to have the soil tested for hazardous elements. For example, asbestos is naturally produced in the soil and rocks of certain areas. These are all critical points to consider when buying land for your home, and they can determine whether or not you’re getting a good deal.

Financing Your New Home

Getting a loan to build a home is entirely different from getting a traditional home loan. In fact, there are two types of home construction loans, and it’s wise to understand what each type entails. Your precise circumstances will dictate which loan type is best for you.

Construction to Permanent Loan  

In this type of loan, there’s just a single closing, because of this you will pay fewer fees. However, throughout the construction process, the interest rate is variable, so your monthly payments may fluctuate, depending on the practices of the Federal Reserve. While your home is being built, you’re only responsible for making interest rates. After the house is completed, the lender will convert the construction loan to a traditional mortgage and you will have the option to switch to a fixed interest rate.

Stand-Alone Construction Loan

This process requires you to take out two loans, which means two closings and two sets of closing costs. First, you will take out the construction loan, which pays for the home to be built. Once construction is completed, you will take out a second loan, a traditional mortgage, which goes to pay off the construction loan. The advantage to this loan is that you can live in your current home, during construction, and you may not have to make the full 20% down payment. On the downside, you’re obligated to pay fees on two closings and, if your financial circumstances change, you may not qualify for the second loan.

Building Your Dream Home

Once you’ve bought the land and obtained financing, it’s time to design and build your dream home. You can take one of two routes, as far as designing the home. Traditionally, it has always been the practice to work with an architect to design your home and pass the construction onto a general contractor. However, in more modern times, general contractors can assist in the design of your home with just as much competence as an architect. Working solely with a general contractor can help you save a small chunk of money by cutting out the architect’s fee.

Often, general contractors can perform the functions of the architect, civil engineer, land surveyor, and landscaper. You will have to ask your contractor what services he or she performs and what jobs his crew can perform. Additionally, you may have to hire electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, roof technicians, drywall experts, and other utility service personnel to work alongside the construction crew. You should have already considered the cost and ability of bringing utilities to your home before you bought the land, so these additional costs shouldn’t come as a surprise by this point in the process.

When building instead of buying, it’s crucial to select professional and reliable contractors and builders. Customer reviews and word of mouth are useful methods for finding the most reputable companies. Experts in the field also recommend speaking with several contractors within specific industries and getting estimates so that you have a more clear picture of what it should cost. For example, a roofing contractor will be able to get you a more specific quote and understanding of what is needed rather than a general contractor, so it is critical that you do your research.

Something to keep in mind is that this entire process can take two years or more, depending on your plans for the home. Planning and financial strategizing are especially important when you choose to build instead of buy. While there are many advantages to this option, it also requires more patience and a talent for personal finance management.

Resources:

Build the Custom Home You’ve Always Wanted | The Washington Post

Land Buying Tips | The Balance

Plan Your Subdivision | Vision One Projects

Nuts and Bolts of Home Construction Loans | BankRate.com

How to Choose a Quality Roofing Contractor | Quality Discount Roofing