If you have not noticed, winter is pretty much upon us. It is cold, things are freezing and there is already snow on the ground and it is not even Christmas. Now may be the best time of the year to consider your roof and all that it is doing for your home. Roofing material is the most important aspect of your roof. If you use the wrong material for your region your roof is not going to last.
So what is the best type of roofing for your region? Where you live helps determine which ty[es of roofing materials are right for your home. There is certainly overlap, but it will help you make a good long-term decision about roofing material.
For those of us in Winter, there are only a handful of roofing solutions available.
1. Composite Shingles and Slate Roofing:
It’s hardly surprising that heavy materials are better at protecting your house against
the challenges thrown by the winter, and tile and slate are the two most popular roofing materials when it comes to withstanding heavy rain or snow. “Composite shingles are a lightweight alternative to Slate and Cedar Shake that is growing rapidly,” according to Brava Roof Tile, leading manufacturer of synthetic roofing systems.
If you’re in need of a durable roofing option for the winter, you should consider the use of composite tile or slate. They offer extra enforcement and security apart from keeping your house warm and comfortable.
Winters can be quite brutal for your house, and you would not want a failing thermostat or a leaking roof during those frigid months. You need to prepare yourselves and your home in advance.
2. Asphalt Roofing:
If you are looking for an affordable roofing for your house, you should opt for asphalt shingles. These shingles use asphalt for waterproofing and are commonly found throughout North America since they are easy to install and do not leave a giant hole in your wallet.
An alternative to Asphalt Shingles is Cedar Wood Shingles, which is also strong enough to brave the high winds, snow, and freezing climate.
3. Cement Tiles:
Apart from fending off the snow and wind, cement tiles also happen to be fireproof, which gives you more reasons to consider installing them in your house, since, we can never ignore the importance of additional safety.
Like the name suggests, cement tiles are composed of pigments, sand, and cement to form one of the most durable roofing material possible. However, before gearing up for the installation of cement tiles, ensure that your building’s foundations are strong enough to handle the weight since a single cement tile weigh the same as three asphalt shingles.
4. Solar Panels:
There are two major varieties of solar panels available for your house, namely Active Panels and Passive Panels. While the Active Panels absorb the solar energy, converting it into heat and electricity, the Passive Panels absorb the hot air and sends it to the heating mechanism, causing the ice and snow to melt off the roof slowly.
While the Active Panel keeps your house warm without having to turn up the Thermostat, Passive Solar Panels can save you quite a few bucks while offering optimum protection from the harsh climatic conditions outside.
5. Metal Roofs:
Metal roofs are hugely popular due to their durability. They can
withstand high wind speeds and heavy snow while the snow and ice slides right off the surface, preventing icicle formation and leaks.
Metal roofs also include snow guards and heating cables, which prevent the sheets of ice from sliding off of the roofs at once. If you manage to insert and insulate metal roofs properly, they should keep you warm through the winter.
Residential metal roofing is usually composed of copper, zinc, aluminum and titanium, making them portable yet robust. These are some of the lightest roofing options available for your home, considering that the heaviest steel roofs weight just 1.5 pounds per square foot after installation.
Hope this article was helpful!
Chances are that the main reason you are replacing your old windows is to upgrade to more energy efficient models. Window companies have improved their offerings so they now help save you money on your energy bills all year long.
But it's easy to become overwhelmed trying to figure out which windows are right for your home. Shopping locally is a good idea. Windows vary by region, so you'll get the best advice from retailers that have experience in your climate. Choosing windows from major manufacturers is also key. They sell a lot of windows and have the muscle behind them to produce quality products.
Remember, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Go cheap and you'll end up replacing your windows sooner than expected. To help you decipher the keys to energy-saving windows, here are some tips.
New window frames made of wood are the most popular and very energy efficient. They are easy to repair and maintain and can be painted to your desired color. They are susceptible to rot and insect damage, but better window makers offer them clad in vinyl or aluminum, or treat them with a water-repellant preservative that makes them last longer. They tend to cost more, but they offer the best look for both inside and outside your home.
With their good moisture resistance, vinyl windows are a good choice. They are equally energy efficient to wood windows if they are insulated. They are also low-maintenance but do fade over time, especially in darker colors, which can also become brittle as they age, so choose lighter neutral colors that you can live with for the long term. You can restore the finish with a soft scrub cleanser should the frames become dull. They're slightly lower priced than wood windows.
These windows are strong but not very energy efficient because they conduct heat. Condensation can form, creating moisture issues, including frosting in winter. Most often, these are the cheapest windows you can buy.
Window frames made of fiberglass are offered by some of the major manufacturers as an alternative to wood or vinyl. They are high maintenance, as they need painting. It's difficult to find them in energy efficient insulated versions, and they are more expensive than insulated vinyl windows.
Composite windows look like wood and most makers prefinish them in a host of colors. They perform well, but you may not like the look of a full composite window on the inside of your home. To solve this issue, some makers use composite materials on the outside of the window and wood material on the inside. Cost is about the same as vinyl windows.
Tips for Choosing Energy Efficient Windows
As much as people say do not judge a book by a cover, people judge and the house is cover. Not everyone's exterior can be as impressive as we want it to be. Needless to say a kitchen is where the judgments face the pages of the book. The kitchen is and always will be the lifeblood of a home. It will be the most used room in any home by far and will continue to require updates as long as your house still stands.
Needles to say your kitchen should represent you. It should be able to fit into your daily needs. Its décor should complement your home’s architecture and set the tone for gatherings that happen there. A lot of factors play into kitchen design, but the first step before choosing appliances or visiting a cabinet showroom is to set some goals for your space.
When Deborah Pierce, principal, Pierce Lamb Architects, West Newton, Mass, works with clients, she works through an organic process that involves addressing each of these key variables:
Things To ConsiderAs you start planning your remodel, consider these factors:
Size (Square Footage). “Every inch of space is important, especially in a small kitchen,” Pierce emphasizes. The size of your kitchen will dictate the layout: Is there room for an island? Does space allow for a prep sink? Where can you squeeze in extra storage?
Will you knock out a wall or extend the kitchen by adding on to your home? How much space can you conceivably add to your kitchen layout? These are questions to consider with a kitchen designer or architect, who can help you devise a solid plan.
Existing Layout. Don’t feel married to your kitchen’s existing footprint. “Windows and doors are seldom in the place you want them,” Pierce says. “They might be on the wrong wall, or in the wrong place entirely.” If you must maintain the windows/doors of your kitchen, you may be locked in to your layout—but there are always ways to modify. For instance, you can add a peninsula to an L-shaped kitchen and create a horseshoe layout that offers more counter space and efficiency. Learn about different kitchen layouts.
As you consider kitchen layout, take time to think about what you like about your current kitchen:
Lifestyle. How will you use the kitchen? What type of cook are you? How do you entertain? Peterson likes to keep the conversation general when first identifying kitchen likes/dislikes, “identifying problems rather than solutions, and wishes rather than details,” she says. “This is because the design will evolve as all variables are considered, and locking on to a specific feature at the start may solve one problem but preclude a better design that solves five other problems.”
For example, choosing professional appliances that take up 80 percent of the space may not allow enough room for cabinetry storage or area to expand a window to let more light into the kitchen.
As Roberta Bauer-Kravette, LEED AP, AKBD and director of Nieuw Amsterdam Kitchens in New York, N.Y., says, “The fastest way to go over your budget is to change your mind on materials and finishes.”
If you have not noticed over the past two years farmhouse sinks have gone from a rare find to the overused trend of the decade. It is not like we have a problem with it either. The farmhouse sink is a wonderful addition to most kitchens. It’s large, functional and stylish, making it the perfect feature for your kitchen. Or is it? Before any new kitchen installation, you should do your research to be sure it's truly the best choice for your space. This is true if you're considering a farmhouse kitchen sink installation. See a few pros and cons of this sink style to see if it’s the right fit for your kitchen.
By: Alex Rubin