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How to Choose a Quality Roofing Contractor For Your Home

How to Choose a Quality Roofing Contractor For Your Home

When replacing your home’s roof comes to the top of the must-do list, it’s important to know how to choose a quality roofing contractor. A new roof represents a major investment in your home and only a qualified professional should be considered if the job is to be done properly, completed on time and last a long time.

The first consideration when getting quotes from local roofing contractors is to always check that a company has a valid and current license to do business. It’s also a good idea to see if the company is a member of any roofing trade associations, the local business chamber or has had any complaints lodged against it with the Better Business Bureau.

It is important to choose a company backed by years of experience as well as a permanent location which ensures that the company will stand behind any product guarantee in the years ahead. An itinerant roofing company may offer a cheaper price, but once they are gone after the job is finished, there is no guarantee they will even respond to any questions or calls regarding repairs. It is a good rule of thumb to only consider businesses that have a track record in the local area of at least five years.

Verify that the contractor under consideration for the roofing project has enough liability coverage as well as worker’s compensation coverage for their employees. Be sure that the job will be handled by a foreman and employees of the company rather than sub-contracted to another unknown firm whose expertise or work quality is either unknown or questionable.

Meet with the contractor at your home to inspect the site and ask about the time frame for the roofing project, what warranty is provided, daily work and clean up procedures, the kinds of products recommended for the roof, what the fees involved cover and how payment is required.

Any qualified roofing contractor will be more than happy to provide you with references of past customers who have been satisfied with their work. They can also provide you with the addresses of local roofing projects they have recently worked on so you can see their craftsmanship firsthand rather than just relying on photographs or word of mouth.

Never agree to a contract with a roofing contractor without everything spelled out in writing, including the exact work to be done, the agreed upon dates for starting and completing the project, disposal of any created refuse materials, warranties or guarantees on the new roof, as well as payment requirements.

Compare the bids of three different companies before making your final selection. Don’t agree to make any payments or sign any contracts unless the roofing contractor provides you with a detailed contract spelling out the project and the agreed upon fees. By following the above checklist, your chances of being satisfied with your new roof and its lifespan is greatly improved.…

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Hiring A Fence Contractor For Peace Of Mind

Hiring A Fence Contractor For Peace Of Mind

Your home is your palace and must therefore be protected and well maintained. There are certain things that a homeowner can do on his or her own, and others that are best left to the experienced professionals. For instance, hiring a fence contractor for peace of mind.

This is definitely a big job that requires know-how and stamina, as well as equipment that the average consumer and homeowner simply doesn’t have. This could make the job extremely difficult and time-consuming for anyone thinking of undertaking this project with family members or friends.

On the other hand, the professional who has done this on numerous occasions, is well equipped and has the physical endurance necessary to complete the project with employees. What one must do is calculate all this beforehand, so that they recognize the need for a fence contractor.

Each home improvement project should be completed by individuals or companies that specialize in it, whatever that may be. When fencing the boundaries of a property, there are many things that need to be considered, like the digging, for starters.

This certainly can’t be done manually because of obstacles that lie ahead, like boulders or rocks. Even with machinery, it is difficult to do, especially when there are huge boulders to deal with, which isn’t uncommon in some areas.

Then, there is the skill that comes with positioning each post. There are ways in which to do this so that the fence is sturdy, level and can withstand the changing climate and weather conditions. Without calculating properly, this can result in post sinking or being raised over time with freezing, thawing, and so on. Each post must be positioned into the ground at a certain point, beneath it lying layers of sand and gravel to allow for drainage.

From there, it’s a matter of pouring cement to stabilize it, leveling it every step of the way. Once this step is completed, the rest of the framing must go into place, followed by the panels. This entire procedure may sound easy enough for anyone who is physically fit, but it is a time-consuming and difficult project that could take weeks for the average homeowner to complete when work and other responsibilities come into play. Obviously, the best bet is to go with a skilled fence contractor to ensure quality and longevity. To find the right one at the right price, just do some research and ask friends and family for references.…

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How To Make Your Home Safe For A Young Child

How To Make Your Home Safe For A Young Child

New parents often spend weeks preparing their home for the arrival of their new baby. While there is little your child can get into before they begin crawling, once they are free to move about the house, there is no end to the dangers that lie in front of them. If you are welcoming a new baby into your home, there are a variety of things that must be done to make your home a safer environment that will reduce risks of cuts and bruises, as well as worse injuries. One of the most important parts of your home in which your child will need protection is the exterior. You can make a space a lot safer with a CT fence or Connecticut fence. This is especially important if you have a pool in your yard or if you live near a busy street. If you want to keep your child enclosed in an outdoor area it is important to build a strong barrier that will keep them safe.

If you have stairs in your home, you will need to find a way of blocking these to prevent unfortunate tumbles. Gates placed at the top and bottom of the staircase should be enough to prevent curious climbers from trying to navigate the dangerous pathways. Make sure the gates are installed securely. While they may be a nuisance to the adults in the home, they will make a world of difference in protecting your child from dangerous falls.

Be sure that any shelving or cabinets you have in your home are fastened to the walls which they stand up against. If you have shelves standing freely in rooms, you may want to consider rearranging the furniture until your child is old enough. Little kids may pull on the shelves in an effort to stand when learning to walk or they may attempt to climb on the shelving as they grow. Both of these actions can create a situation in which the shelf is pulled forward, creating an extremely dangerous situation. Another reason to fasten shelves to the walls regardless of the ages of your children is to prevent collapse during earthquakes. If the furniture is fastened to the wall, it will not be jostled during natural disasters.

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous places for a curious young child, so spend a great deal of time baby proofing this room in your home. Be sure if your child can get into lower cabinets there is nothing in them that can pose a danger. A few pots and pans and plastic storage containers pose little risk to tiny exploring bodies. Once your child is older, or while they are elevated in a high chair, be sure they are not within reach of pots on the stove. Turn the handles backward so grabbing hands will not be able to reach. Also remember that the oven may be an inviting handle on which to pull oneself up when trying to stand. Do not leave your child sitting on the kitchen floor unattended if your oven is on.

Finally, be sure to lock up cabinets, pantries, and drawers that contain dangerous substances. Anything that houses medication or cleaning materials should be locked and secured from prying hands.…

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Tips For Keeping Your Dog Contained

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Contained

Dogs like to wander. That’s a simple known fact that many dog lovers are familiar with. Sometimes however, owners don’t want their dogs to be able to wander wherever they please for a number of reasons. When this is the case, they need a way to contain their dog within their own yard or property. Here are some popular methods used for creating boundaries that dogs cannot cross.

Fence

Perhaps the easiest solution to keeping your do contained is to put up a fence around the area where you would like to keep your dog. The fence doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple as a chain link fence. Some might like to put up a fence that looks a little better or at least provides a little more functionality such as a privacy fence. Regardless of they type of fence you put up, it will help keep your dog contained nonetheless. Keep in mind though that if you live in a city neighborhood or subdivision, there may be rules regarding putting up fences so you’ll want to pay attention to those.

Electric Dog Fence

Another great solution for keeping your dog contained within your yard is an electric dog fence. Often times dog owners want to put up a fence, but then again don’t want to deal with the sight of one in their yard. The electric dog fence is the perfect solution in this case because it exists underground so you don’t have an unsightly fence to look at. The dog then wears a collar that lets him know when he is getting close to the fence either with a beeping noise or a slight jolt. After a while, your dog will learn where the fence line is and will not try to cross over it for fear of what might happen.…

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Why Cedar Fencing Is Still the Northwest Favorite

Why Cedar Fencing Is Still the Northwest Favorite

In addition to the typical concerns for would-be fence builders, home owners in the Pacific Northwest must consider the region’s wet climate. The area’s lush flora is supported by rains that can fall for more than half the year. Ideally, then, a fence would be attractive, low-maintenance, and durable enough to stand up to the Northwest’s mixture of rain, sleet, hail, and hot summer sun (sometimes, all in one day!).

Despite the fact that low-maintenance vinyl fencing is available in many styles, most Northwesterners continue to choose cedar for their fence materials. Here are some of the benefits that make cedar the #1 choice for fencing material in the Pacific Northwest.

Environmentally Sound

By purchasing cedar fence material, Northwesterners are choosing to support local value and efficiency. Buying local cedar also benefits the environment: Because cedar is a native tree species, transportation and energy costs are much lower compared to many other fence materials.

Local Tradition

Many desire a look and feel for their home that fits in with the local history. This is why Northwesterners often choose to build with cedar. Indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest highly valued cedar; one native name for the species translates to “Tree of Life”. It was used in nearly everything from clothing to construction to cooking. Homeowners that choose to build a cedar fence are honoring the area’s history with this material.

Considering that Pacific Northwest cedar is considered some of the finest in the world, it’s easy to understand why Northwest homeowners prefer to use it when building their fences. Four major species of cedar thrive in the Pacific Northwest: Alaskan Cedar, Port Orford Cedar, Incense Cedar, and the Western Red Cedar. As far as durability and affordability are concerned, many consider Western Red the best choice for cedar fence material. Pacific Northwest homes most often use Western Red for their cedar fences.

Resistance to Damp Weather

The Northwest’s propensity for wetness requires pickiness when it comes to choosing a cedar fence material. For this reason, cedar is a good choice for its unique weather resistance, especially its ability to withstand heavy rains.

Cedar fence materials are hygroscopic, meaning they take in or release moisture along with the surrounding atmosphere. This ability to “breathe” in moisture means cedar is less likely to warp in wet climates. Cedar also contains a natural insect repellant, and is therefore naturally protected against native insect infestations and fungal rot as well.

Workability

Although it’s 80% as strong as oak, cedar is considered a soft wood. That softness, combined with cedar’s uniform fine, straight grain makes it easier to work with. Cedar is also easy to stain and seal because it has very little pitch or resin; this creates a perfect surface for bonding with stains and sealants.

While there are many great low-maintenance fencing materials on the market, such as chain-link fencing and vinyl fencing, none can beat the popularity of cedar fence material. Cedar fences are durable, gorgeous, and a natural choice for the Northwest, with its lush native cedar trees.

Ambiance

Cedar has a rich, natural color that compliments the natural scenery. For this reason, it looks at home with many different landscaping schemes and home designs. Cedar also exudes a fresh, natural scent that many associate with the Northwest’s pristine wilderness.…

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Innotek IUC – 4100

Innotek IUC – 4100

The Innotek IUC-4100 is the most reliable dog fence system. The collar is a nice size, the collar batteries are rechargeable, and it has a feature that tells you when the collar is fitted properly.

The Ultrasmart Collar

The 4100 has a streamline collar that is nicely contoured to the dog’s neck. It is one of the smaller and lighter full sized collars. There are no controls at all on the collar, so it is nicely sealed, has great waterproofing and longevity. It would be comfortable with this on any dog over 12 pounds, under 12 pounds and you would be better off with the PetSafe Little Dog. The Innotek collar is rechargeable. You set it down on this charging cradle, the light starts flashing red and in 1-2 hours the light goes green to tell you it is fully charged. The charge lasts for about a month, before you need to stick it back on the charger. This feature is incredibly convenient and means you don’t need to keep buying special batteries from the manufacturer. Batteries have a good life span, we have seen collars still going strong after 5 years

The Innotek 4100 has a collar fit feature that tells you when the collar is on correctly. An improperly fitting collar is the most common reason for a dog to not respond to the dog fence, particularly on dogs with long or thick coats. – You put the collar on collar fit mode and then you fit it onto the dog. When you have proper contact with the dog’s skin the collar makes this beeping noise to tell you that you have it on right. The prongs unscrew, and the system comes with short prongs, long prongs and no-correction training prongs. This strap gets mixed reviews, most people would rather it was cloth and had a snap-type buckle like the PetSafe. Some people prefer these polymer collars because they are more durable and are easier to keep new looking.

Transmitter Box

Since there are no controls or buttons on the collar, all the controls reside here at the control box. This is both the strength and the biggest drawback for this system. Since you are adjusting all the settings here, you must have the same setting for all the dogs on the system. This is fine if all your dogs are a similar size. But if your dogs are quite different in size (more than 20-30%) this will not work well out of the box.

Inside the control box, there the following basic controls: – boundary width adjustment knob – this controls how close the dogs can get to the boundary wire – correction strength – you have three settings (high, medium, low or 1,2,3?) and the correction is progressive so the strength will increase the closer they get to the wire – field size – to adjust the system for installations up to 25 acres – battery backup – in the back of the control box, there is a spot for 8 AA batteries that give you a couple of days of power backup for the control box in case there is a power failure.

Accessories

You can use the Innotek 4100 with the indoor and outdoor pods. The indoor pod sends out a circular boundary 2-12 feet, that keeps the dogs away. So you can slip this under a sofa to stop couch surfing, or keep the dog out of a room or stop them going up stairs. The rock, is an outdoor pod, cleverly designed. This works either wirelessly to create a circular boundary, or you can run up to 100 feet of boundary wire off the Rock to keep the dogs away from a flower bed or out of the fish pond. When you use these, wait about a month after your dog has learned the outdoor fence system. That is more important, and we don’t want to confuse the dog or overwhelm them with too many new rules at the same time.

Conclusion

The Innotek 4100 is an outstanding all around system although it has a few limitations. As mentioned earlier, there are better choices for dogs under 12 lbs, or for dogs that are very different sizes. However, for most do-it-yourselfers, the collar fit feature, rechargeable collar and battery backup, indoor and outdoor pod compatibility, and proven reliability of the system makes this a great choice.…

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Choosing Fence Hardware

Choosing Fence Hardware

Your fence may be an important part of keeping your home or business secure. It is crucial that you can use your fence effectively. The right fence hardware can make your fence both secure and functional. Finding the right balance between functionality, security, and aesthetics is the biggest challenge in choosing the hardware that is right for your property.

Many people think of their fence as a security measure. If you hold this perspective, your hardware should be able to add to that security and not take away from the safety provided by your fence. By creating a perimeter around your property, you can limit the traffic in and out of your home or business. The locking system and hinge that you choose are crucial to the security of your fence. Solid, well constructed hardware can keep your fence strong and stalwart against intruders. Having a locking mechanism that is not easily opened can strengthen the security of your fence.

But fence hardware does not have to be all function and no form. These components can also add to the aesthetic of your space. Hinges and gate handles of different styles may compliment your home nicely. A well built fence can be a beautiful addition to any home. Accenting your fence with decorative hardware can further the beauty of your fence and your enjoyment of it.

These components can also be used with specific goals in mind. If you have young children and want to keep them safe from particular elements in your backyard, choosing hardware that extends above their reach may be a good decision.

Please visit the website of the Dallas fence hardware experts at Viking Fence for more information about the right fencing solution for your property.…

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Keeping Your Animals Safe – Automated Farm Gates

Keeping Your Animals Safe – Automated Farm Gates

Sturdy fences and gates are essential for securing livestock on a farm. Automatic gates are an important time saver for farmers as they can open and close the gate at the push of a button. Making the change from a regular farm gate to an automatic farm gate needn’t be a costly expedition. Any existing farm gate can be upgraded to an automatic gate. Simply purchase the desired gate installation kit from your local automatic gate company, install the kit and presto you have a set of modern automatic solar powered farm gates. The available DIY kits mean you won’t have to wait for an electrician to install it for you and you won’t have to pay installation fees, saving you both time and money.

Having a battery operated automatic gate that runs on solar energy is important in a rural area, as they can operate miles away from the nearest mains power. Solar panel technology has advanced greatly over the years and the latest mono crystalline panels ensure that solar panels get full power even during significant cloud cover.

Gates can be secured with a keypad lock and easy push button close system or they can be opened by a remote control transmitter through a mobile phone. The GSM remote control system is programmed via SMS text and can be used to open the gate, garage and any other electronic lock using a mobile phone. This means that farmers can open and close gates at the push of a button from the comfort of their vehicle or mode of transport.…

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The Electric Dog Fence – What Everyone Should Know About Electric Dog Fences

The Electric Dog Fence – What Everyone Should Know About Electric Dog Fences

You might be aware that there are several alternatives available including: electronic fences for dogs, invisible dog fencing and collars, or dog fence panels.

Electric Dog Fences

To start, you will be presented with a choice between a wireless or in-ground electric fence for your dog. We will cover the basics of the wireless option first.

Wireless Dog Fence

This is one we highly recommend simply because of the convenience provided in installing and getting setup quickly. You will be provided with a base system and a collar for your pet. The boundaries are basically set automatically based on the placement of the base unit.

The principle is quite simple. Whenever your dog gets too close, they will hear a beeping from the collar and may receive a slight shock

If they venture beyond the electronic boundary, they will receive a shock, so in a way, they will quickly train themselves. One big bonus of going with a wireless system is you will find it very convenient to take with you on your travels with your best friend.

One thing you must always keep in mind is the transmissions are limited, so if you have a large, or irregular area to cover, you will need another base so the electronic boundaries will overlap each other and provide proper safety for your pet. This situation can also be solved with the other option available.

Underground Electronic Fences for Dogs

Similar to the wireless systems, these will also use a collar programmed to emit a signal which will cause it to beep when your dog comes close to the underground wire. If they venture beyond it, they will receive a shock. Of course, this will require having the wiring put in place in basically any set up you desire.

Two of our most popular systems would include the Innotek or Petsafe brands.…

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You Can Build Your Own Electric Fencing

You Can Build Your Own Electric Fencing

Building your own electric fencing can be a simple task, only if you know what you are doing. It is crucial to appreciate that construction of this fencing can be filled with hazardous consequences, if the job is improperly done. An electric fence is not like an appliance that can be easily plugged in or switched on or off. Although the concept in operation is relatively simple, it requires some careful thought.

If you are considering electric fencing to protect your property, there may be some serious legal ramifications that should first be considered, as it may even be illegal in some regions. If your property is a farm, your fence may be designed to serve different purposes. You may wish to keep animals and livestock within the borders, or your may also wish to keep intruders out.

In addition to the design, the important considerations are the material used in construction of the fence. Smooth steel wire is most commonly used for electric fencing, because of the good conductivity and robustness offered with high-tensile wire. Woven or barbed wire may also be used judiciously, as it is more hazardous, and increases the potential for liabilities. Synthetic or composite materials that are composed of intricately woven, conducting materials are finding increased usage in the construction of fences, and may be suitable in areas where high visibility is desired.

The main concern in the construction and operation of this type of fencing is insulation. The fence must be securely insulated, and direct contact with other conductive materials must be avoided. Contact with vegetation, and direct attachment to wood or metal object should be avoided at all costs. Ideally posts that are buried into ground should be made of plastic, the fence or wire conductive material can then be connected to the posts with the use of porcelain or plastic insulators.

Other important considerations are the source of the electrical energy, and how it will be used. Most fence chargers are of low impedance, and the charge is stored and supplied by solid-state circuitry. These chargers provide controlled and consistent power output, and can be driven either by battery or by main AC power supply. Another alternative is to use solar power to generate electrical energy to charge your fence.

Electrical fences, consume relatively very little power, when they are properly maintained. A fully charged lead-acid battery may be capable of energizing a few hundred meters of this fencing for several weeks. You can also use dry cell batteries if a shorter period is desired. There are regulations that should be followed in the construction and installation of electric fences. Specifications can include the number of posts and the distances between them, and how and where the wires may be tied.

Undertaking the construction, and or installation of this fence can be challenging, and depending on the nature and scope of the job, it can turn into an expensive proposition, if is not handled properly. It is likely not an area where you should expect to gain expertise from practise.…