Archive for July, 2012

Installing Gutters and Gutter Guards On Screened In Structures

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Gutter guards on a pool enclosure

Installing gutters and gutter guards on your screened in porch, pool cage or other screened structure may seem like an unnecessary task to the untrained eye. Still, gutters and compatible gutter guards should be installed on all screened in porches and pool cages. Here are just few reasons why and some problems that may arise during the installation process.

Size Of Structure

A screened in porch or pool cage that abuts your home may not seem like it needs gutters of its own. But, any screened in structure of significant size is going to need its own gutter to deal with rainwater runoff and mitigate the damage it causes. The larger the surface area of the screened in structure’s roof, the more water it will collect in a rainstorm. That means more water streaming down off the lowest edge of your porch.  That water needs to be redirected by gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding.

Type of Ground

The type of surface your screened in structure is built on also makes installing gutters important. If your screened in structure is surrounded by grass and soil, gutters are essential. That’s because rainwater that isn’t diverted by a gutter and downspout system will fall in a straight line off the roof, splashing dirt and grime back onto the structure. There is also a good chance undirected rainwater will cause erosion issues. If the structure is surrounded by cement, installing gutters may not be as important but it’s still the smart decision.

Gutter Guards And Screened In Structures

If you’re a homeowner with a screened enclosure or pool cage, installing gutter guards may seem like an impossible task. This is due to the fact that a trough is formed where the screen meets the roof making the most common gutter guard system, reverse curves, unusable on many screened in structures. These types of enclosures often have special gutters too, which makes finding a compatible guard difficult.

Other possible impediments exist too. The center of the structure or enclosure may be taller than the edges. These Mansard-style screened structures are very popular for pool enclosures. The problem with such designs when it comes to gutter guards is that the gutter guard screen drops down toward the gutter just like the roof. This makes the gutter the low point between the guard and the structure means a compatible gutter guards needs an adapted back edge and front lip.

Luckily, there are gutter guards out there that address the difficulties of installing a gutter guard on a screened in enclosure. Gutter guards with a stainless steel microfilter in a flexible aluminum housing can fitted down the length of the gutter’s connection with the structure. These guards’ adaptable backs allow them to be installed under the shingles of a composite shingle roof. If other roofing materials, like Spanish tiles are used, many of these gutter guard types can be installed on the fascia or gutter alone.

Peter Bruzzini is a roofing, gutter and gutter guard expert and loves to share his know how with the blogosphere.

Add Sophistication and Curb Appeal to your Home

Monday, July 16th, 2012
Beautiful home with great appeal

Beautiful home with great appeal

Curb appeal refers to the amount of “wow” factor your home has when observed from the street curb.  It is a sum of a number of elements that, when combined, create a pleasing impact.

Having good curb appeal means there are things about your home that make it stand out from the rest.  Of course, its appeal varies depending on the taste of the onlooker.  Some love quaint Victorian style homes with gingerbread trim, while others prefer the sleek, no fuss lines of a modern home.  No matter your home’s style, if the upgrades you make stay in line with its character, the result will be a “put together” pleasing look.

Whether you’re interested in boosting your home’s curb appeal for your own enjoyment, or to add to its resale value, you’ll want to consider a number of areas such as those outlined below:

Facade:  The façade is the exterior of your home as viewed from the front or sides.  Updating the façade may be as simple as changing the hardware on the doors, updating the house numbers, and replacing the mailbox.  To take things a step further, you can repaint surfaces in modern tones, add architectural details, or have your home completely refaced in siding or stucco. Lightweight natural looking stone or brick veneer products at a touch of elegance, and can be installed directly on existing walls.

Worn or ill suited doors might be a blemish on an otherwise wonderful home. Stylish windows and doors, sometimes with shutters or canopies, significantly add class to a home’s exterior.  Change their appearance with a coat of paint, or entirely replace the door upgrading your existing door with a similar one with a lead glass inserts, or consider “Garden”, “French-style”, “Old World”, or “Iron” doors for added sophistication.  Garage doors vary from interesting “Carriage” or “Craftsman” styles-but, keep your changes and colours fairly in line with the other homes in your community for continuity.

Roofing:  Roofing products vary from asphalt and fibreglass shingles, to rubber-based, clay or cedar shakes.  Each can give your home a unique look.  Bear in mind, however, if you live in a subdivision where homes are close together, it may be wise to stay with a roof style that fits in with the other homes.  You don’t want to draw attention in the wrong way.

Landscaping:  A lush green, weed-free lawn is important for good curb appeal.  Bring a bare or weedy lawn up a level or two with the attention of a trained lawn care professional, followed by regular upkeep.

If your property has areas where water ponds or if it has awkward slopes, consider terracing it with retaining walls of natural stone or timber, with adequate drainage behind them.  Retaining walls can help define areas and add interesting curves and textures to your outdoor space.

Create the footprint of your garden with greenery that looks attractive in all seasons.  Include evergreens and a mixture of deciduous trees and shrubs as foundation plants.  Create interest by varying leaf colours.  Pay attention to what colours the leaves will turn in the fall for even more drama.

Instead of planting in straight rows, plant by following the curved lines of your home. Then, add attention-drawing flowers to the beds or to pots to dress up your yard.

Front Entrance:  You may want to completely redo an existing front porch or change the approach path to the home for practical reasons, or to draw the eye towards the front entrance.  Making your front entrance a focal point can detract attention away from a boxy garage that sticks out.  You may want to add an interesting seating area, creating an inviting visiting area.  Add contemporary or wicker furniture, and surround it with attractive plants.

Driveway: The driveway is often the first thing a person sees when approaching your house.  If it’s cracked and crumbling, it can create an eyesore.  Fill the cracks, or if it’s in the budget, consider repaving it.  You may also consider replacing your driveway with classy concrete pavers or stamped concrete.  Using flagstone for walkways or stairs is an excellent choice for most settings.

Unique Additions:  Unique elements such as attractive latticed fence details, ivy covered trellises, waterfalls, or winding paths lined with landscape lighting, attract attention, making your home more memorable.  Don’t go overboard, however.  Keep extra touches in proportion to your property size.

When boosting your curb appeal, it’s always helpful to get the input of trained professionals, or to hire outside help to create the curb appeal you dream of.  No matter what you choose to do, a good rule of thumb is this: keep it neat, keep it simple and take care of it.  Follow those rules, and you’ll be on your way.