Is a Tub or Shower the Best Option for a Bathroom Remodel?

 

“I have not taken a bath in years” is a favorite saying for some people who only like to take showers. The reality is that many others actually prefer a bath in a tub over taking a shower. Soaking in a tub of hot water and, in some cases bubbles, is just more relaxing than jumping in for a quick shower and moving on down the road. So, the question becomes which will be installed in that bathroom remodel?

If space is an issue, a shower will usually take up less space. If a specialty shower is what is wanted, obviously a shower is the only answer. Most bathtubs simply do not come with all of the fancy shower oriented gadgets even if the tub is equipped to be a shower, also. Showers do not always take up less space than a tub. A big steam shower or one with ports to spray all of your body simultaneously can easily require more room than a standard tub.

Showers also have the disadvantage of creating much more ambient moisture in the room they occupy. If proper ventilation is not installed, mold and mildew can form extremely quickly in those areas compared to a room with a bathtub.

Many people consider a shower to be more sanitary than a bath because you do not take a shower by soaking in water becoming less clean by the minute. In a tub, you sit in the water that you are using to wash yourself. This means by the time that you reach the end of a both, your body is being rinsed with dirty water. Depending on how badly you need the bath, this can result in a bath that ends with extremely soiled water.

The constant flow of a shower over your body and down the drain helps make certain that you are always washing and rinsing in clean water. If you start at the top and wash downward, by the time you reach your feet, you have not only washed those body parts, but all of the grime reaching your lower extremities will have been removed also.

As far as the installation goes, it is not much different to install a shower or tub. Both need water lines and sewer lines ran and hooked up. As far as cost, a cheap shower and a cheap tub are in a similar price range. Both the shower and the tub can move up into high class spending. Specialty showers and gigantic tubs can easily reach thousands of dollars.

In the final analysis, it comes down to personal preference and space. If you have enough room, it does not matter what is installed. Most home owners prefer to install a bath that has a shower built into it. This way, whichever is preferred can be used. Some who prefer baths want a shower now and again. The same is true for those who usually opt for a shower. A good soak in hot water can get rid of a lot of anxieties, aches, and pains.

When thinking about the resale value for the home, having both available guarantees that a sale will not be lost because the buyer prefers one over the other, and the house has the wrong one. If there are multiple bathrooms, then at least one bathroom should have a tub and one a shower or tub and shower combination.

In considering green issues, many will argue that a shower uses less resources than a tub. However, a long shower with a generous shower head can easily discharge enough water for a nice full tub. Conversely, if the tub is only partially filled for a quick bath, it is possible that the bath uses less water and hot water than a shower.

Five Common Ways Building Costs Rise and How to Avoid Them

Many people love a good surprise, but that’s not the case when building a home. While building, surprises can make your costs shoot through the roof. Most home builders agree the ideal situation in building is to create a budget, stick to it and finish the project for as little as possible without sacrificing quality. Some first time home builders fail to think ahead and plan for costs of living and maintenance once the house is complete, though. Many will cut corners while building to save money, not realizing that this can lead to paying more while building and later in higher energy bills, repairs, and other maintenance costs.

Gary Ruth, general contractor and owner of The House That Ruth Built, offers five common ways that first time home builders raise their costs without realizing it.

#1 – Hitting Rock During Excavation

Digging may seem like it might be the easiest task to get an estimate and stick to budget on, but that’s not always the case. When building, depending on the community, you may have to dig for the septic system, basement, phone lines and electrical lines, and some areas are prone to rock. If your contractor finds rock while digging, you can guarantee the price for digging is about to go up. The original estimate and contract you signed is no longer valid and new ones are in order.

They can do a sounding or bore to see how deep the rock is and then give you a new estimate. Ruth said that you should make them stick to the new price. After they give you the new estimate, you will need to sign another contract, and you may opt to pay for time and materials or a fixed rate.

“Never sign a contract for time and materials,” he said. “You want a fixed rate.”

#2 – Electric Wiring

People often over wire their houses. Ruth is building a home that has a foot print of 6,000 square feet and could get by with a 200 amp panel, but he has chosen a 400 amp panel instead. It is wired so that it could support 12,000 square feet commercially. They can run up to 160 circuits on the 400 amp panel but are running 68. The smaller panel would have maxed out every outlet in the home. He said it is a big mistake to max out your circuits, because you may decide later that you want to add an outlet somewhere in the house. The extra circuits allow him peace of mind in knowing that he can add whatever he needs later without any problems. He said that spending a little more on the higher amp panel will save money on energy bills for him in the long run.

“When you max out your circuits, it makes your wiring warm,” said Ruth. “It’s basically an ‘energy leak’. You start losing power and paying more because the energy is going to create heat along the wires, instead of making it to your appliances.”

In addition to the dedicated circuits for the stove, washer and other large appliances, he also suggested that builders put dedicated circuits in sections all over the house for other high energy items, so that when they are plugged in, it will not affect the performance of anything else in the house.

#3 – Self Projects

Ruth said that people often try to save money by doing some projects themselves within the house such as flooring.

“That’s fine,” he said. “But make sure you wait to get estimates on other jobs until you’re finished with your projects or schedule them so they won’t interfere with your contractors.”

He went on to say that while you’re working on your own projects, a contractor’s material costs may go up, resulting in a new higher bid, which raises the total cost of building. For example, hurricane Katrina hit and some material prices went up as they became more in demand.

#4 – Change Orders

“Never have big change orders,” said Ruth. “Every time you change your mind while mid-construction, it means your costs are going up.”

A change order is also called a cost over run and, when financing, a bank will only allow a certain percentage of cost over runs. Every change you make increases build time and costs money.

Ruth suggests two ways to avoid this. He said it is imperative to have accurate plans from the start and stick to them. He also said it is best to make sure to see samples before ordering things such as tile, carpeting and paint or signing any contracts.

“Always ask to see samples -even of work the contractors have done in the past. Once you sign a contract, you’ve ordered it,” Ruth said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re happy with the items/work or not. You signed a contract, and if your changes do not increase the value of the house, the banks will not finance it. You’re going to eat the cost.”

#5 – Choosing the Wrong Financing

Another common mistake, some first time home builders fail to shop around for the best financing. Many go to their home bank for their loan needs, but another bank may offer better options.

“If you’re starting from scratch, you may want to look at the possibility of two different kinds of financing,” he said.

If you receive construction financing, you will have an account with the requested amount and make draws from the account. You only pay interest on the loan while building, and the interest is based off of what you’ve drawn rather than the total amount. The interest rates will be higher on this loan than a permanent loan. When the home is completed, your balance will roll over to permanent financing, and you will start paying on the principal amount, but the interest rates will be lower.

“If you can get a construction loan for 5%, do it,” said Ruth. “Kiss them and offer them your first born child.”

It’s not always possible to avoid surprises, such as hitting rock during excavation, but careful planning and self discipline can go a long way in preventing unwanted costs from popping up. By thinking ahead and realizing when it is important to spend a little more, you can save money while building and after moving in. Ruth said that thinking of living, repair and maintenance costs should be as important as thinking of building costs.

“There’s always someone trying to save 50 cents and spending a dollar,” he said.

Pros and Cons of Slate Shingles

 

There is nothing quite as durable as slate roofing shingles. In fact, if the ASHI Technical Journal may be believed, they may last well past the consumer’s lifetime. So why should homeowners weigh their options carefully before investing in slate shingles?

Durability: 40, 50 or 175 Years?

There is little doubt that slate shingles outlast their asphalt cousins. The writers of the ASHI Technical Journal explain that Virginia’s “Buckingham” line actually has an average life expectancy of 175 years. Even so, there is a bit of a downside to this material choice.

Not every slate shingle is created equal. In fact, Pennsylvania-quarried slate shingles may only come with a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. The disparity has to do with the material’s makeup.

Tip: Match the price tag with the disclosed durability rating. As a general rule of thumb, buy the shingles from a company that has been in business for a long period of time. A fly-by-night outfit will not be around to honor a slate shingle claim some 10 to 15 years after installation.

Weathering: Unfading vs. Semi-Weathering

A slate roof is a long-term investment and remains a stunning asset to the home’s overall appearance for decades to come – if the homeowner chooses the slate roofing shingles with weathering in mind.

Unfading shingles, so the Slate Association explains, withstand the elements and keep looking great and close to their original color hues – they also command a high cost. Semi-weathering shingles can start out looking green but eventually turn brown or mottled.

Tip: Choose slate shingles with an understanding of what their eventual color will be (after weathering), and do not base your buying decision on the current look – unless you are prepared to pay extra for an unfading slate shingle type.

Cost: Material plus Labor

The homeowner in search of a roof replacement material already knows that the slate shingle is the Rolls Royce of roofing materials. With asphalt being the economy covering, tile and slate bring up the upper end. Cornell University estimated in 1997 that a 100-square-foot slate roof area would require an expenditure of $320 to $1,200 for materials alone.

By comparison, asphalt shingles would only cost about $20 to $140 per 100 square feet. What is not disclosed is the need to potentially reconstruct the attic structure to hold the 900 plus pounds of material weight per area. Asphalt, which is much lighter, only places a weight addition of 195 to 430 pounds on the attic.

Tip: When inviting labor and materials estimates, have the roofer also examine the attic and include any additional supplies and man-hours that it will take to prepare the structure for the added weight. I got this from a friend who works for a roofing company in Marietta, so it’s really something that you should ask for beforehand when you are considering a home roof repair.

It is clear that slate roofing shingles are a durable choice for the homeowner who has the funds to opt for the best shingles available and who also does not mind spending a little extra to adequately prepare the underlying structure. For the homeowner with a tighter budget, a slate roof may not be the right choice.

 

Sources:

ASHI Technical Journal: “Slate Roofs”
Slate Association: “North American Roofing Slates”
Cornell University: “Roofing Material Comparisons”

Quick Tips to Selling Your Home Quicker

There is no doubt that selling your home can be a long, drawn out process. In fact, sometimes it takes people years before they even find a buyer who is remotely interested in buying their home. However, there are a number of different things which you can do on your own time around the house in order to help speed up the selling process. Here, we will take a closer look at some of the easy things that you can do.
Un-Clutter Your Home

Cluttered-looking homes are very unattractive to anyone’s eyes. Not only will having a cluttered home make it appear as though you are not taking care of it as good as you should, but if a room is filled with clutter, it will look a whole lot less spacious than it really is. Typically, people are looking for larger, open rooms rather than tiny, compact rooms. If you clean up your home by getting rid of (or hiding) some of the junk that can be found in its rooms, you will be more likely to find an interested buyer.

Clean-up After Pets

If you are someone who owns a cat or dog, chances are that it may shed more than you even realize. Anyone who does not live in your house will be sure to pick up on how much your pet sheds a lot quicker than you. In order to make sure that the shedding that your dog or cat does is not the reason that buyers have not been attracted to your house, you should be sure to vacuum at least twice a week, or as soon as you know that someone is coming to look at it. You should also be sure to clean up any types of stains that may be caused by your animal, as these will be very unappealing to anyone who comes to look at your home.

Don’t Spray Too Much Febreeze

As soon as we know that someone is coming to look at our house, many us would immediately reach for the air freshener bottle. However, many of us do not realize that this can be a huge mistake. Although some of the scents in your home may not be pretty, if you spray air freshener, people will think that the house itself is smelly. Ultimately, this can chase a potential buyer away. Your best bet is not too use any types of air fresheners, or if you decide that you must have to, you should be sure to go very light on the air freshener. Another tip is too do your air freshening early in the day, so that by the time that the potential buyers come to look at your home, there will be no sign that you sprayed anything.

Un-cluttering your home, cleaning up after your pets and making sure that you do not go too heavy on the air freshener can all be huge factors that will determine how quick your home will sell. Not only are all of these three steps quick and easy, but they can influence any potential buyer’s decision in the long run.

Upgrade Your Home

I had a friend who had a friend (lol) who owned a company which was well-versed in flooring and carpeting in the Atlanta area. My friend (we’ll call him Bob) called his friend with the flooring company (we’ll call him jeremy) about refinishing the floors. The floors in his house were old and beat up, and the realtor thought refinishing them would add a lot of value to the home. Long story short, after 3 months on the market, he got the floors done. Within 7 days had an offer for $5k above asking.

The moral of this story is don’t be cheap. Sometimes upgrades will HELP you and make more money than they cost.

Some Characteristics of Excellent and Reputable Construction Companies

You might have observed that a lot of structures nowadays are properly designed and built by numerous building and construction business all around the world. Often, these structures are comprised of concrete and steel. In truth the increase of towering structures along with essential facilities mark or symbolize the success of any place. This would even more mean that the facility of a first-rate city suggests the building and construction of manufactured monoliths that will show to its advancement.

Hot Spots

You can really see this phenomenon in emerging worldwide hot-spots. Building within these locations related larger with much better. Building business continue to develop imposing hotels, sky-high increases, in addition to massive shopping center. These facilities are all related to the icons of the place’s wealth in addition to stature within the International economy. These structures similarly work as business, leisure, and property locations for its visitors, travelers, locals and the expat population.

Eco-friendly

Among the attributes of a trusted and outstanding building company is its dedication to ecological security. The most trusted building business carry out stiff health and wellness procedures in regards to transport, storage, treatment, collection, along with disposal of contaminated materials. They really make sure that management procedures remain in accordance with all the local policies and worldwide requirements in order to ensure that their task will posture no hazardous influence on their staff members, the future building citizens, the public, the neighborhood, along with the environment.

Customer Assistance

Another quality of leading building and construction business is skills and outstanding customer assistance. Leading building and construction companies nowadays ensure that their methods with their jobs are within its custom. This would even more mean that occasion the most normal structures are integrated in accordance with the greatest requirements, from the principle, to the products and devices used, to the whole building procedure, to the quality and security control.

Commercial Construction Company – Large Projects

A commercial building and construction company is one that focuses on non-residential structures, such as stores, public locations, and office complex. They are normally commissioned to construct considerably bigger tasks than property business, and for that reason have tools and products that enable them to scale structures to a fairly bigger size. They can be commissioned by either a governing body or by a personal financier, and can construct anything from a single store to a high-rise building. In this short article, we’ll have a look at a few of the methods commercial building and construction is often represented in daily life.

Store Establishments

A few of the most popular things a non-residential building company will be asked to construct are independent stores. This can consist of franchises like junk food dining establishments or independently owned retail stores. Lots of people planning to start their own business will work with a non-residential building and construction company to develop the store itself for them, and will usually plan the design of the shop with an on staff designer. There are a variety of different employee that can make the procedure of setting out the building and construction of a personal business a lot simpler, due to their level of know-how.

Public Areas

A non-residential building and construction company may also be used by a federal government company to build either a public place such as park or museum, or a federal government building like a court house. The building of public locations is normally a big accomplishment, and commercial building business will frequently use a range of strategies on a single job. For instance, a museum will generally need a designer for the building itself, a landscaper for the building of gardens, and a security specialist for methods to secure important pieces in the museum. They may also use somebody to make the interior appearance great, and different kinds of glassworkers and masons for special architectural functions.

Non-residential building business can often be seen carrying out numerous kinds of building, on practically any kind of building. In truth, the only kind of building they aren’t accountable for is real estate, and much of the building and construction tasks they have been considerably bigger. If you are wanting to start your very own business or wish to get associated with public works, possibilities are you will be handling a commercial building company eventually, even if it’s just to retouch the interior of an existing building. Using a building company’s abilities can make big jobs a breeze to complete.

Commercial Construction Company – Specialists Involved

There are great deals of different kinds of structures that need different kinds of building and construction, but a commercial building company can build practically anything other than real estate, which is delegated domestic building and construction business. Nearly everything you see that isn’t really a personal home is the work of a commercial building company, consisting of independently owned stores, shopping malls, parks, museums, federal government structures, and others. These locations differ so considerably in how they are built and what they include that commercial building business need to keep a big range of experts on hand to complete the different jobs needed. In this short article, we’ll have a look at some typical kinds of labor included in commercial building, in addition to the different kinds of professionals that are associated with many building and construction tasks.

Designers

The most apparent professional that practically every commercial building company job will need is the designer. They are accountable for the design and shape of structures, and supply the basis off which many other experts can deal with. Designers are regularly considered the foundation behind a building, as they have one of the most influence over how the building will work, along with how it has the tendency to look general. Experts connected to designers consist of masons and carpenters, who are accountable for making the designer’s strategies come to life.

Landscapers

Many public works such as parks and museums have big gardens or areas of open land, and while many individuals presume that these are a simple thing to design, it can be quite hard to produce the best kind of sidewalks and turf locations for optimum visual appeal and performance. Landscapers normally deal with a commercial building and construction company to place open area, trees, benches, sidewalks, and other natural functions that make up a big part of every outdoor area.

Plumbing

A commercial building and construction company will typically work with a plumbing, an electrical expert, and an interior designer for the ending up elements of structures. These can be team member of the building company itself, or personal people that are contracted out by the company. They are accountable for providing the building its performance, along with offering a hassle-free but enticing way for people to use the building. There are great deals of different elements present in commercial building and construction, and if they do not all circulation together in properly, structures can come out a catastrophe. The secret to great building is getting everybody to collaborate as a group.

Roofing

Construction companies typically will work with a local roofing company, often times several, in order to get better results. For example, this alpharetta roofing contractor partners with many different construction companies in atlanta and all over the place. They