Archive for July, 2010

Metal Roofing Trim

Friday, July 30th, 2010

With metal roofing, the main body of the roof consists of paneling that may be ribbed, crimped, or otherwise molded for decorative effect and added structural integrity. There are even metal shingle options that are designed to resemble slate, cedar shake, or lapped siding. One thing that all these styles have in common is that they require various trim pieces to finish the roof.

metal-roof-trimEach trim component is designed for a different section of the roof. Valley pieces are installed wherever two downward sloping roof panels meet at an inward angle. Where a sloping panel meets a horizontal segment, transition trim is used. These components along with ridge caps, gambrel flashing, gable trim, and eave pieces are all pre-formed at the angles required for the residential application in question.

Many homeowners also choose to have the fascia provided in metal so that the overall style of the roof blends well with the siding. Fascia and soffits may be specified in a single piece to reduce the risk of leaks and make maintenance easier. The seams where metal meets metal are possible entry points for moisture, so the fewer separate pieces used, the better. Most contractors purchase roofing trim in 10’ segments, but there are a few manufacturers who can provide longer pieces upon request.

Are Marble Countertops OK For Kitchens?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Marble is a popular selection among homeowners who are remodeling and upgrading a kitchen. Whether used for full countertops or just a center island or wet bar, this material is a very glamorous accent. It can blend with metal, tile, and wood with equal ease. The enormous variety of colors and patterns make it a favorite with interior designers. Chefs love the smooth surface for food prep – especially for bread and pastry dough.

Marble Requires Special Treatment

However, kitchens are an area of the home where marble must be treated with special care. Because of the porous nature of this type of stone, it is susceptible to staining and cracking. These countertops should be resealed with a stone care product specifically formulated for marble to keep out moisture. You should also be aware that marble is soft enough to be easily scratched and reacts to even weak acids like vinegar and lemon juice by eroding.

Rolling out tortillas or pie crust on the marble counter is fine, but using it as a cutting board will leave marks. You will also have to be careful to wipe up any spills immediately and always protect the stone surface from hot pots and pans. Use filtered water to clean the counters daily (hard water contains minerals that can cause unsightly buildup). Borax can be used for gentle scrubbing if needed.

marble-countertopSome stone vendors suggest using marble that is not polished to make any accumulated damage less noticeable. However, many end users prefer the shiny look of polished marble despite the greater care that must be taken to keep it in good condition.

Vinyl Siding Components: Soffits and Fascia

Monday, July 26th, 2010

soffitsIf you are having your home’s old wooden siding replaced with vinyl, the question of what to do about the fascia and soffits is bound to come up. The fascia is the trim that is located just under the edge of the roof and caps the ends of the rafters. It can be just plain lengths of wood or it can be ornate. The gutters are often attached directly to the fascia. The soffits cover the area on the underside of the eave overhang. They usually contain vents to the attic and are designed to keep birds and other animals from entering the attic space.

These components are often weather damaged and in need of repair and a fresh coat of paint. Since they are in close contact with the gutter system, any leaks or overflowing water can cause extensive damage. All maintenance work required in these areas should be done before the new siding is installed. Of course, this is a lot of work and not something many homeowners look forward to doing.

Fortunately, siding installation companies offer vinyl versions of these critical components. If the contractor can replace all the exterior wood with vinyl, this eliminates the need for constant maintenance. Unlike wood, vinyl doesn’t rot away, mold, or get attacked by insects. Of course, if your original quote did not include the soffits and fascia, you may not be happy with the increase in the total price. This is one reason to always get an all inclusive quote up front so there are no surprises later.

Battle Of The Gutter Guards

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

If there’s one industry that pulls no punches in calling out the competition on perceived design flaws, it’s gutter guard vendors. The various manufacturers and distributors love to talk about how their own product works great and rarely (if ever) gets clogged. Then, they go on to point out all the customer complaints about competing products. Here’s a sampling of some of the claims made by Leafless in Seattle about typical reverse curve gutter guard designs and why they don’t work as well as they should:

gutter-guardThe surface tension of the flowing water is supposed to guide it over the leading edge of the reverse curve and into the gutter trough. Debris should slide off the edge and onto the ground. However, it is sometimes possible for flexible, waterlogged leaves, pine needles, and catkins to enter into the gutter along with the water flow. Dirt and grit may also enter and create sludge in the gutters.

In addition, nesting insects such as wasps can creep in through the gap where the water is supposed to enter the gutter. If they take up residence inside, it can be very difficult to eliminate them. Although some guards make allowances for the need to clean the system regularly, others make the trough very difficult to access.

According to the folks at Leafless, their system avoids all these issues because it is literally impossible for any animal, vegetable, or mineral to enter the gutter through their fine steel mesh. This claim is backed by a money back warranty if the system ever clogs, so maybe there’s something to it!

Why You Should Use Stainless Steel In A Kitchen Remodel

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

stainless-steelStainless steel is one of the most popular materials for high-end kitchen appliances for a number of reasons. It is one of the best surfaces to choose if you want low maintenance. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion/discoloration and will not rust. It retains its original appearance for many years if cared for properly. Water, mild dish soap, or glass cleaner can be used to keep this metal clean and shiny.

A quick wipe down with a moist cloth will take care of smudges and fingerprints. Unlike wood and plastic which are porous, stainless steel can be sanitized very effectively to remove bacteria – just stay away from chlorine based disinfectants as they may damage the metal surface.

Beyond Appliances

Although most commonly used for refrigerators, stovetops, and sinks, stainless steel can also be incorporated into kitchens in other ways. A seamless backsplash and countertop combination offers a sleek, easy to clean worksurface for a modern kitchen. The sink basin and counter can actually be made of a single piece of metal too – eliminating seams where food and grime tend to accumulate.

Because steel is a very neutral color, it can blend with many different color schemes. If you go with a lot of stainless steel in your interior design, be sure to add some bright hues on the walls or cabinets to keep your kitchen from looking to cold and sterile.