Installing New Windows

Installing New Windows: What You Need to Know

Are you are living with outdated windows that have lost their luster? Do you no longer have you a clear view to the outside?

If so, it may be time to replace your windows..

Installing new windows can be a good resell investment. So, if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market in the future, it’s worth considering now. It is also a great way to give the exterior of your home a fresh look while increasing your home’s value.

New windows don’t just boost your curb appeal. Additionally, the right replacements can have some awesome energy-efficient benefits. Depending where you live, you may be eligible for incentives or rebates through your local utility company and insurance provider.

The IRS has not given guidance yet, but up until December 31, 2016, you could also claim a tax credit on the installation of new doors. Check with Energy Star for updates.

Read on for a few tips to help make your window replacement process a little easier.

Why replace your existing windows?

Let’s be honest: we are more likely to clean our windows from the inside than the outside. If our homes have multiple levels, the chances of regular cleaning decreases over time.

After years of neglect, residue can build up. This creates an undesirable appearance. If a little elbow grease and ammonia doesn’t fix the problem, new windows may be needed.

Other factors for installing new windows have to do with efficiency. Has settlement of the house’s structure caused issues with the operation of the windows? Do you feel a draft entering during cold months? Is your AC less efficient during summer months?

If you answered yes to these questions, it may be time for new windows.

Outdated windows may be difficult to repair if hardware is no longer available. Or, maybe you simply want something more modern.

Leave it to the professionals

If you have experience in the construction industry, installing replacement windows could be a weekend project that you tackle yourself. Otherwise, leave it to the professionals.

Hiring someone skilled in installing new windows comes with the assurance that measurements are correct and that your framework is intact.

The contractor can also explain the type of windows you have. They can let you know if you will incur additional costs if you choose to go with a different style. They can answer if the existing frame is compatible with the new window, or if a new frame will need to be constructed.

Just in case an issue arises during installation, your contractor will be able to address it immediately.

Is your framing and woodwork intact?

Installing new windows can and should be an easy one or two-day project. The total time spent depends on the number of windows you’re replacing.

One thing you will need to check is the condition of the wood used for the trim and casing. If you detect rotting wood, this will add to the project time and replacement costs.

Older homes were often built with old-growth woods. These woods have longevity. They are known to withstand time and weather conditions.

If you live in a newer home, you definitely want to ensure there are no issues that could cause problems down the road.

Choosing the perfect windows

Are you replacing one window or all of the windows in your home? This could limit your selection.

There are several types of window styles to consider. Take your time and decide which will best fit your budget while beautifying your home.

Awning, Bay, Casement and Picture windows are just a few of the possibilities.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match. You could choose a picture window for the living room or a bay window for the kitchen. Or, go with the popular multi-pane look.

Take some time and do some window shopping to learn about your options. Be mindful of your existing measurements for your window openings.

Ensure the cost of your windows line-up with the value of your home

Yes, installing new windows can increase the value of your home. However, it is an expensive investment.

Do not make the mistake of purchasing high-end windows that will not have a great ROI.

Windows, like cars, have resell markers. Installing high-end windows in a mid-level home is like placing a state-of-the-art sound system into a Pinto. The extra cost will mean little to the bottom line of your appraisal.

In this case, less is better.

Also consider the ROI on changing your window sizes and whether or not it will increase your resell value.

Installing new windows around your schedule

Although it takes less than an hour to install a single window, it could take weeks to receive your order. Add to that the contractors schedule and you may be looking at 3-6 weeks before the project is complete.

Most windows can be installed from the outside, but there are times when the contractor may need to come inside your residence. You will need to insure access to the home to avoid delays.

You do not want to leave your home exposed to the elements. Doing so can create a serious security risk. It may be best to schedule the day off or have someone there during the installation.

Spring and fall may be the best seasons to replace your windows. Installing new windows during months that experience a lot of rain or snow may delay the process.

The bottom line

Installing new windows is a major purchase that will not come with an immediate return, unless you are planning to sell your home in the near future.

The cost-efficiency can be seen on your monthly utility bill. However, it may take some time for your windows to pay for themselves. The greatest benefit you’ll receive is the updated look to your home. The elimination of nuisances of your old windows is another plus.

Some contractors may receive manufacturer and store discounts on window orders.  Be sure to inquire if those discounts are passed on to you. Your windows come with a manufacturers warranty, but you should also get a warranty on the installation.

Davis Contracting is here to serve you and answer your questions.

If you are looking to replace existing windows or install windows in new construction projects, contact us today.

Roofing Company in Greenville SC

8 Questions to Ask a Roofing Company in Greenville SC

So, you want to hire a roofing company in Greenville SC. But, you’re not quite sure who to hire.

Hiring a roofing company is a very important decision. Many people hire the first company they come across and then end up sorely regretting it later.

This is because a poor roofing job can result in leaks and costly roof repairs in the future. If you don’t choose the right company, you may end up spending more time and more money on repairs than on the initial job.

Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.

Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t know anything about roofs, how can I tell good roofing company from a bad one?

Luckily, finding a quality roofing company in Greenville SC isn’t as difficult as you think. You don’t need to be a roofing expert. You just need to know the right questions to ask your contractor.

We’ve got the top eight questions you should ask a roofing company before signing on.

Question #1: Are You Licensed?

Licensing requirements vary by state. In general, however, most states require roofers to be licensed in the state.

Before hiring, research the roofing code requirements in your state and in your city. If licensing is required in your area, only work with roofers who hold a valid license. Make sure that the license applies to the state you live in. And, make sure that the license is up to date.

If you work with a roofer without a license, it will be very difficult to take recourse in the event something goes wrong.

Question #2: Are You Insured?

There are two kinds of insurance you’re going to want your contractor to carry: general liability insurance and workman’s comp insurance.

General liability insurance covers damage to your property in the event of an accident.

It may not seem likely for damage to occur to your property, but think again. A roofer could burn your house down in the process of welding something. (Yes, it has happened!) If your roofer doesn’t have the proper liability insurance to cover this tragic accident, you may be held responsible for payment.

Workman’s comp insurance covers any injuries incurred by your roofers while working on your home. It used to be that companies with less than three employees didn’t have to have workman’s comp insurance. Now, it is a requirement by law.

Still, some roofing contractors skimp on this insurance because it’s pretty costly. But, if one of their employees gets hurt on your property, you could be the one forking over thousands of dollars for medical bills.

Bottom line, make sure the roofing company in Greenville SC that you hire has both forms of insurance.

But, don’t simply take their word for it. You should ask to see an insurance certificate to verify. In order for the certificate to be valid, it should include your name and address on it as proof that you are additionally covered in the event of an accident. It’s never a bad idea to call the insurance company to make sure the certificate is valid and that everything is covered.

Question #3: What Will You Do In the Event of Inclement Weather?

Even if the forecast says sunny for the next two weeks, we all know the weather guy isn’t always right.

If you work in an office or an indoor setting, a small change in the weather probably isn’t something you pay attention to. However, when you’re hiring a roofing contractor, weather should be at the forefront of your mind.

A rain storm that lasts for a few hours could potentially wreak havoc on the inside of your home. Therefore, you want to make sure your roofing company in Greenville SC has a plan in case the weather turns ugly.

You want to hire a company that will have some type of plastic sheeting or tarp on hand in the event of a storm. This will ensure that everything beneath the roof stays dry.

Also, if the storm lasts for several days, the company should be willing to come back and check that the covering is working and staying in place.

Question #4: Do You Have a Local Phone Number and Physical Address?

If your roofing company doesn’t have a full name and physical address, you’ll want to steer clear, as they likely could be trying to scam you.

You need a company that will be able to come back to fix any potential problems, so don’t hire anyone who can’t provide this information.

Question #5: Do You Offer a Warranty?

You’ll want to make sure your roofing company offers two types of warranties: a manufacturer warranty to cover the products themselves and a workman’s warranty offered by the workers installing the work.

The product warranty should be at least 25 years and the workman’s warranty should be for at least one year. Make sure to choose a company that offers both.

Question #6: Will You Remove My Old Roof?

Some roofers will try to convince you that they can save you time and money by inspecting the old roof and shingling over it if all looks well.

However, the only way to tell if the old shingles are damaged is to pull them up completely. Therefore, you don’t want a roofer to work on your house until they’ve completely removed the old roof.

Question #7: Do You Use Subcontractors?

Some roofing companies in Greenville SC, and other places choose to use subcontractors to help complete their work.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, you’ll want to make sure that these subcontractors have all of the same licenses and insurance that your contractors do.

Question #8: Can You Provide a Written Estimate?

While final costs are difficult to pinpoint, there is no reason your contractor can’t provide you with a  rough estimate for your roof repairs.

Doing so will help you avoid any surprises and conflict in the long run. Make sure the estimate includes the cost of removing the old roof, adding the new one in,  and any other likely road bumps that may come up.

Questions for Roofing Companies in Greenville, SC: Wrap Up

Hopefully, this article gives you more confidence about hiring a roofing company in Greenville SC.

If you have any more questions or would like a free estimate for your roofing job, please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

Leaking Roof

9 Common Causes of a Leaking Roof

When you think of a leaking roof, you may think of a missing or broken shingle. But roofs are actually very complex, containing multiple places and pieces within them where something can go wrong.

Leaks can cause serious damage to your home if left un-repaired, so spotting leaks and getting them fixed is important.

Understanding more about the parts of your roof and what causes leaks will help you identify leaks quickly to resolve the issue and protect your home.

Read on, because today we’re going to talk about 9 common causes of a leaking roof.

Cracked Flashings

Flashings are pieces of metal that help redirect water away from joints and crevices in the roof. As an example, there is space that exists between your chimney or bathroom vent and the roof.

Water doesn’t care how small the crack is; it can get inside.

Flashings overlap the crevice to redirect water away from it to avoid leaks. While this material is very durable, it can leak if cracked.

Sourcing a leak isn’t always easy. But in the case of flashing cracks, you may have water pooling in your bathroom vent, stove fan, chimney or other places a flashing was used to redirect water.

Broken Shingles

Depending on the slope of your roof, broken shingles may or may not be easy to spot. But if you have a leak, a broken composite shingle may be the culprit.

On most roofs, it will appear as an oddly placed dark spot on the roof where the underlying material is showing. Shingled roofs are designed with overlapping shingles, so the shingle may not cause trouble at first. It certainly will if left unrepaired.

Some families actually venture out onto their roofs from time to time. A child may decide that the roof is a place to hide from parents and responsibility. Or someone may just want to get away to a quiet place. Regardless, the typical residential roof is not designed for frequent foot traffic.

While walking on the roof on occasion won’t hurt it and may actually help you spot problems, using the roof as an outdoor getaway will cause the roof to corrode more quickly.

Improperly Sealed Valleys

Most houses don’t have those triangle roofs that we drew as kids. Roofs are typically more complex with two or more peaks and the valleys that must accompany them.

These valleys can take a beating because they’re the low point of the roof. All of the water runs down the slope and through the valleys.

Because of this, they need a special barrier in the form of a valley flashing. If it’s not properly sealed or cracked — Voila! — leaking roof.

Cracked Vent Booting

Those pipes that stick up from your roof are vents to permit air and moisture to escape your home. They have a tight rubber ring placed around them called a boot as well as a flashing at the base to prevent leaks.

The booting can corrode and crack over time causing a leaking roof.

Ice Dam Build Up

If you lived in a cold climate, you might experience ice dams. A ridge of ice forms on the roof. This happens because your attic is warmer than the outside air. It partially melts the snow and ice, which runs down the roof and refreezes at the edges.

This dam prevents water from running off the roof. That water pools at the damn and will eventually corrode the roof.

In cold climates, removing this ice is a regular home maintenance task that those of us in South Carolina don’t have to deal with.

Skylight Woes

We love skylights. They allow the sunshine in to the house, which helps to brighten dark spaces. But when improperly sized, not properly sealed or when damaged over time, they can leak.

This could be a leak in the skylight itself or the flashing around it.

Clogged Gutters

Similar to the ice damn effect in very cold climates, clogged gutters can prevent water from properly running off your roof.

Water pools on the roof, which will cause corrosion.

If not cleaned, the gutters may also become heavy and disconnect from the house. Then water runs off the roof, but in non-ideal places which could cause basement or crawl space leaking as well. The lifespan of vinyl siding or other household materials may be diminished by runoff.

Cracked Chimney

Chimneys are typically made of bricks. These bricks are sealed together with mortar.

You may have seen a movie in which brick masons slather that gray paste over the bricks and then lay another layer of brick. This paste hardens connecting the bricks.

This mortar is highly durable. But over time the elements, land settling or foundation issues can cause the mortar, and sometimes the bricks themselves, to separate and crack.

The mortar needs to be replaced to stop the leaking roof.

Condensation in The Attic

So, you’ve repaired the leaking roof and all is well. Then you notice a musty smell from the attic. And perhaps the ceiling shows new signs of a leak.

It may not be a new leak at all. Moisture can become trapped in your attic. When the temperatures change and the inside is cooler than outside, this water will condense like the water on the outside of an iced tea.

This water may be enough to cause a drip into your living space. Or it may cause mold and mildew in your attic.

Blocked vents may be preventing moisture from escaping. They may have collapsed, become damaged, or clogged with leaf debris. Clearing them should resolve the moisture retention. If mold and mildew are severe, those may need separate treatment.

Leaking Roof? Don’t Delay

The roof is your home’s and family’s protection from the elements. While there are many causes for leaking roofs, all roof leaks should be handled sooner rather than later to avoid more serious damage to the home.

If you’ve got a leak, regardless of the cause, we’ve got the solution. We’ll work with you to protect your home. Contact us today for a free inspection.

Local Roofing Company in SC

7 Reasons to Hire a Local Roofing Company in SC

There is maybe nothing more frustrating and scary for a homeowner than having problems with your roof. Beyond the long term issues a roof problem can cause with the value of your home, the damage to property and peace of mind can multiply fast.

What’s worse is that it can be difficult to know where to turn. We have all heard the horror stories of roofing companies who fail to stand by their work, disappear overnight, or pass on their own financial issues to their clients.

Who can afford to add more problems to an already difficult situation? No, for homeowners with issues you need to hire a local roofing company in SC.

South Carolina residents need the best. Here’s why:

1. Lower Cost from a Local Roofing Company in SC

When the average homeowner in South Carolina thinks about hiring a roofing company their mind starts swirling with dollar signs. How can they afford the expense of hiring a professional roofing company?

But with today’s real estate market at all-time highs, you can’t afford not to protect the value of your home. And if you are thinking about saving some pennies by doing the project yourself, think again.

Most homeowners find that hiring a roofing company will definitely save money in the long run. For one thing, as long as your company is well reviewed by the Better Business Bureau you can be sure the work will be done right the first time.

There is nothing worse than the added expense of having to hire a contractor after you have already spent your own money trying to do a job.

A local roofing company in SC that is well reviewed will have the proper tools, employees, and experience to do the job more economically.

2. You Have The Benefit of Referrals

One of the other reasons it is best to hire a local roofing company in SC is that your friends and family will likely have experience with their services. All of us prefer to hire services we know are trustworthy and high value.

With a local provider, you can choose someone your friends and family recommend. Plus, they know you are part of a local network and can’t afford to cut corners or run away in the night.

Great referrals mean you are using a company that stands by their work.

3. Local Support

Like all businesses, there are discount roofing companies out there. The larger organizations can make bold claims about cost savings but do they really stand by their work?

Using a larger chain to order products over the internet is one thing. But can you afford to trust your roofing services to a company without a strong local presence?

You don’t just get the benefit of doing business with local members of your community by hiring a local roofing company in SC. In addition, you know they will have to stand by their work and support you if issues arise in the future.

4. You’re Investing In Your Community

Any service provider can make promises about cost savings and service quality. But if you are never going to see them again what is on the line for the company by making these promises?

We live in a culture that is increasingly suffering from poor customer service. If you try and phone one of the larger companies you may be placed on hold for long wait times or even have trouble talking to a human being.

Choosing a local roofing company in SC means doing business with someone who you will bump into in the grocery store, or see at Little League games.

They have to stand by their work as you will see and do business with mutual friends down the road. Plus, the best companies are always invested in the community.

Buying local means you are getting the best service and investing in the overall economy of South Carolina at the same time.

5. The Best Protection

Anyone who has done business with one of the larger companies knows that you need to watch out for the fine print. You can pay for a warranty only to find that you are not covered down the road.

Some roofing companies use the warranty of the products but don’t stand by their own work. In essence, you are getting short term cost savings without the full protection of craftsmanship.

With a local roofing company in SC, you get the best protection with your work. You can rest assured you are working with a company who is performing quality repairs that will last.

6. Fast Response

If you’ve ever had a roof problem you know it needs to be fixed immediately. With the hoops, you need to jump through with warranties and insurance adjustments the last thing you want it to wait to get on your roofing contractor’s schedule.

A local roofing company in SC can offer fast response and quick support that larger companies can’t

7. The Best Of Both Worlds

The best roofing companies have experience with industry leading practices and products. But they also have a wealth of local experience and support.

By no means should anyone trust their home to a small local company who isn’t bonded, insured, or well reviewed. But a local roofing company in SC with a proven track record offers the best of both worlds.

You get the customer service of a local company and the craftsmanship of an industry expert.

Trust The Experts

There is no doubt that there are more benefits to hiring a local roofing company in SC. But once you know that, which company do you pick?

You need someone who is trusted in the community and is licensed, bonded, and insured. They should have a wide range of experience in residential roofing as well as commercial roofing services.

Davis Contracting can help you with the roof repairs you need.

Don’t wait another day to remedy that long-standing roof issue. You need to protect your loved ones and your property from further damages and protect the value of your home.

Contact Davis Contracting for a free estimate or free inspection now.