Once again, summer came and went in the blink of an eye. Kids are starting to go back to school and we’re starting to notice the loss of daylight in the evening.
Fall is just around the corner whether we like it or not. You may be ready for the season change. But is your house prepped for the temperature drop?
“We’re getting close to the time when homeowners usually think about checking how their heater is working,” says Ed Heller, owner of Heller’s Building. “People forget that they can make their house warmer in a more efficient way. That’s where we come into play.”
Insulated siding and windows are a great investment this time of the year. Once installed, your house can easily keep the cold outside and trap the warmth inside. Plus, you can save money by not having to blast your heater as often.
Don’t think that insulation is the only way to winterize your house. Cement fiber board offers the same aesthetic benefits as wood siding. However, cement fiber board lasts much longer.
“For one, it looks beautiful,” says Heller. “And homeowners love cement fiber board because it’s low maintenance and only needs to be painted maybe once every 10 years. Plus, it’s resistant to rot and termites.”
You can have confidence when you trust your autumn home care to Heller’s. We’re family owned and operated; making sure that your job is done to the highest quality.
For more information about our services, feel free to visit our website or call the office. Heller’s Building provides roofing, siding, remodeling and home addition services. They proudly serve the counties of Bucks and Montgomery in Pennsylvania.
Do you wish you had additional space for your family to stretch out, but can’t fathom the idea of an addition to your home? Have you considered building on a deck to your home?
It may still be a while before the housing market rebounds completely, but a deck may help you maintain your home’s value, or even increase the value of your home a bit.
“We often have homeowners who come to us with the dilemma of wanting more space of their family, but not wanting to put in the large investment required for an additional under-roof room,” says Ed Heller, a Montgomery County contractor and owner of Heller’s Building. “Decks are not only cost effective, they help you maintain the value of your home.”
Remodeling Magazine’s cost versus value report for 2014 found that homeowners in our area of the country were able to recoup 80 percent of the cost of building a deck when they sold their homes. But homeowners who remodeled bathrooms only saw 64 percent of those costs back and those who added a family room only recouped 58 percent of their costs.
Why is that? Quite simple, it’s cheaper to build outside. Adding rooms means wiring, roofing, insulation, etc. throughout the entire addition. You’ll be adding stress to your heating and cooling unit, and may even need to purchase a larger unit that can effectively service the whole house, or consider a small unit just for the addition.
But you don’t have to think of a deck just as a simple collection of wood. Experts like those we employ at Heller’s Building are only limited by your imagination, and budget of course. We can help homeowners build the outdoor spaces of their dreams, complete with electrical and plumbing.
The advantage lies in the cost savings to the homeowner. On average, a homeowner will be able to spend less than half as much on an outdoor living space as they would on an addition the same size. The average price to add a deck on to a home in the U.S. is $100 per square foot, while an addition may be closer to $300 a square foot. Talk about a lot of savings!
So what should you think about before building on that deck?
“We want our clients to get the most use possible, so we encourage them to really think about where the deck should be in relation to the home,” says Heller. “We work with our clients to determine who it will be best to access the deck. For instance, do you find most of your company convenes in the kitchen? Or would you rather direct traffic away from the kitchen?”
Your contractor will work with you to determine the best spot for the door to the outside, based on how you like to entertain family and friends.
The next step is to make sure the deck fits seamlessly into your yard. Local codes will most likely dictate how much of your yard can be occupied by a deck, so be sure you ask your contractor about that. He’ll also know how close to your lot line you can build.
You’ll have to consider things such as where to place stairs, how sunlight during the day will affect your ability to use the space, how your privacy can still be ensured. Some homeowners prefer screened in decks, which allow the space to be used in different weather than an open deck, but add a substantial cost to the project.
So how much should you spend on your deck? In reality, this is a question that can only be answered by you. If you plan to truly use the space as an extension of your home and do a lot of entertaining, a larger deck with more sophisticated features, such as an outdoor cooking area, might be for you.
But keep in mind that the best return reported for the 2014 Cost vs. Value report came from a medium sized deck. A 16 foot by 20 foot deck made of pressure treated wood gives homeowners an average national return of 87 percent.
Decks made of composite material are more expensive, but are easier to maintain. The average national recoup cost is just more than 74 percent. Once you add railings, lighting and other bells and whistles, you may only recoup back 60 percent or so of the cost.
That means that in terms of getting the most back on your investment, it’s best to keep it simple.
What else should you consider?
If hiring a company to do the work, you’ll want to be sure you hire someone who uses the best materials and can offer beautiful craftsmanship. Heller’s Building uses only the finest materials, which ensures your deck can be enjoyed for years to come.
Hurricane season is once again upon us, and before we know it, the storms of summer will arrive. It’s important to have your house prepared for inclement weather, but it’s just as important to have a plan in place should damage occur. Do you have a trusted roofing contractor who can not only repair any damage that might occur, but who also has experience working with insurance companies?
“There is such a thing as storm chasing contractors,” says Ed Heller, owner of Heller’s Building, which employs Montgomery County roofing and siding contractors. “In areas that have been hit hard by bad weather, these contractors descend on the area, offering their services almost immediately after the storm. While some of these may be reputable companies, it’s important that you choose a company you know you can trust and who has experience working through the logistics that go along with insurance company claims.”
Be wary of anyone who is going door to door immediately after a storm. While reputable building companies will be grateful for the work, they will very rarely knock on doors to seek it. Instead, they know the quality of their work and the trust they’ve built with their clients will send work their way.
“We know that the time immediately following a storm can be chaotic and even a bit traumatic if you’ve experienced severe damage to your home,” says Heller. “While we want to offer you help right away, we know that our reputation speaks for itself and when you are ready to seek quotes, we’ll be at the top of your list. We’ll work hard to get your house safe and secure for you, and ensure you get the most from your insurance company to help with the damages.”
Here are some things to look for when choosing a roofing or siding company.
Look for out of state license plates. This can indicate that the contractor might only be in town to seek storm related business. Working with an out of state or out of town contractor can be difficult for you because warranties may not hold up and it can be difficult to track the contractor down in the future should you need their assistance.
Always check the contractor’s licensing. There may be different regulations from state to state, so be sure your contractor is licensed locally and has current workman’s compensation and liability insurance. This will protect you should anything occur during the repair process. If the company doesn’t have workman’s comp insurance and a worker falls during the repair, you could be held responsible. Avoid another insurance claim by doing a little bit of research before hiring a company.
Be sure the company has current roofing insurance. Insurance is expensive, so some companies may try to cut corners in order to avoid the expense.
Check to make sure all the materials the contractor uses are paid for. There have been instances where a company comes into town, repairs houses, and then leaves without paying for the supplies they used, leaving the homeowner to not only pay their bill, but the bill with the supplier, as well.
Be sure the company has experience working with insurance companies. Be wary of insurance company approved contractors, as they will have a financial incentive to save the insurance company money. Hire a company that has your best interest at heart and will help you get the maximum value for your claim.
When in doubt, do your research. Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company is reputable.
It’s important to remember that many insurance companies set a time limit on filing insurance claims, so if you think you have damage, even if it seems small at first, hire a reputable contractor who can help you file a claim right away. Often, if you wait until there is water coming in through your ceiling, it might be too late to get the insurance to cover the costs of repair. When the insurance adjuster comes to assess your damage and approve your claim, it can help to have your contractor there. This way, the contractor can be sure the adjuster give your home a fair assessment.
When working with the contractor, be sure that their quote includes all work necessary to complete the project. Any changes to their initial bid should be submitted in writing and approved before they can expect payment on things outside the scope of the initial agreement.
Storms can be difficult enough to deal with – finding someone to help you repair your home doesn’t have to be. With contracts like those at Heller’s Building looking out for your best interest, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the work being done, or having to haggle with your insurance company to get the most out of your claim.
Your roof protects your home against the elements. To keep rain, snow, wind and heat out, you need to be sure it stays maintained. In addition to the work it does to keep Mother Nature at bay, it’s also an architectural feature that the overall look of your home depends on.
Over time, the surface of your roof can wear down, making it less effective at keeping the elements out. To avoid damage to the inside of your home, you must know when it is time to repair or replace your roof. Additionally, events can arise that can damage your roof, such as a serious storm or fire. So how do you know when it is time to call in the roofing experts?
“There are a few things you should look for,” says Ed Heller, owner of Montgomery County builders Heller’s Building. “Paying attention to the state of your roof can prevent damage to the interior of your home should an issue go unnoticed.”
If your home has an asphalt shingle roof, look for curled or cracked shingles. If the majority of your shingles look like this, your roof probably needs to be repaired. If the roof is more than 15 years old, it is probably time to replace it because it will most likely be showing signs of wear.
Do you have stains on the outside walls of your home, on the rafters or on decking beneath the shingles? This can indicate that wood rot and/or excess moisture. This can make your home vulnerable to the elements. You should call Lansdale roofing contractors to repair or replace your roof.
Excess sagging can be caused by either poor workmanship or a roof that isn’t ventilated properly. If your roof is visibly sagging, it’s time to replace it.
“A new roof should be considered and investment,” says Heller, whose company does building repair and remodeling work. “The average roofing replacement will have a 62 percent return on investment, according to Remodeling Magazine.”
Additionally, a new roof could result in energy savings for you should you opt for a more energy efficient roofing surface.
There are more types of roofing surfaces than ever before, and in a wide range of colors. The experts at Heller’s Building can help you choose between traditional shingles, tiles, wood shakes and metal roofing. Asphalt shingles are their most popular product.
When it comes to choosing a roofing company, you want to be sure you choose one whom you can trust. Heller’s Building has been in business for 25 years. That means they have proven experience. They have the proper licensing and insurance, so you can trust that no matter what accidents or emergencies may arise during the process, your home will be taken care of. But even more than that, they have earned a reputation as a trusted company, with professional courtesy and excellent customer service.
If you think your home may be in need of a new roof, or want assurance that your current roof can continue to protect your home for years to come, schedule an appointment with Heller’s Building today.
The exterior of your home acts as a barrier to protect your home from the elements. It is exposed to wind, rain, snow, heat and much more. Ed Heller, owner of Heller’s Building and a building contractor, explains common issues with siding.
There are several common problems that can arise with wood siding. If your home has window flower boxes, rot can form behind them. Plants, ivy and other vines that grow on the home’s siding can cause problems, and if the siding is too close to the ground, it can cause rot. Your siding should be inspected once a year for fading and peeling paint, rot and splitting wood or protruding nails. Cut back any vines growing on your home as they can trap moisture, eventually leading to rot. Peeling paint should be scraped and the repainted to protect the siding from exposure to the elements.
“Vinyl siding has its own set of issues to look for,” says Heller, whose siding contractors can fix your home in no time. “The siding can become bowed or buckled, and freezing temperatures can cause it to become brittle. If it wasn’t properly installed, it can cause the joints to separate.”
Vinyl siding does not have to be painted, but it should be cleaned at least once a year.
Aluminum and steel siding can oxidize and dent over time, and the color can fade. Aluminum siding wears well on a home, but can be quite noisy. Expansion can cause banging and popping when sunlight warms it.
Some contractors may use caulking with aluminum siding. Regularly inspect it to be sure the caulk isn’t tearing off. If it is, it will need to be replaced. Additionally, aluminum siding is waterproof, but it should not be a moisture barrier. The siding should have small holes along the bottom of each plank. However, if it doesn’t have enough or if the holes are blocked, moisture can trap inside the wall.
“Aluminum siding has become pretty outdated and isn’t regularly available anymore,” says Heller. “I recommend that my clients replace their aluminum siding with a more modern and useful type of siding that can better protect their home.”
You should inspect your home’s siding regularly and have a professional inspect it once a year. A Lansdale siding expert, like those at Heller’s Building, will be able to make any necessary repairs, or advise you when it is time to replace the siding.
When it is time to replace your siding, there are many choices. The most popular are vinyl, wood, aluminum and cement fiber. The experts at Heller’s Building can walk you through the process and help you choose the right siding for your home.
Vinyl siding is great in all weather conditions and easy to maintain. Simply pressure wash it once a year.
Wood siding can add charm to your home and comes in a variety of stains. However, it is higher maintenance and must be inspected annually to identify and repair any damaged pieces.
Cement fiber siding is more durable than wood, but offers the same aesthetics. It is resistant to termites and rot, can be painted and is low maintenance.
“I highly recommend cement fiber siding,” says Heller. “It is a wonderful product that lasts a long time. Homeowners love it because it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. It’s also a very rich looking product, leaving the exterior of your home looking great.”
When you are ready to replace your home’s siding, Heller’s Building can come to you for a consultation, bringing along samples that meet your needs and preferences. Whether your home has new siding or the original siding of the home, proper maintenance is always necessary to keep it looking as good as new, and protect your home from the elements. With proper care on your part, and a little help from the professionals, you can keep your home looking wonderful for years to come, and ensure it is properly protected, as well.
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