Asphalt, Concrete Or Paver Driveways-Which Is Best?

Signpost with arrows reading "concrete" and "asphalt"

If you want to install a driveway, then there are many materials that you can choose from. This includes asphalt, concrete, and pavers. Each option has its pros and cons. You should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option before you choose one.

 

 

 

 

Asphalt Driveways

An Asphalt driveway is made out of sand and stone. One of the benefits of having an asphalt driveway is that it is inexpensive to install. It will only take two or three days to drive. Asphalt is a durable option. You can expect it to last 15 to 20 years. Additionally, asphalt driveways can boost curb appeal and do not require a lot of maintenance.

Asphalt does require a lot of maintenance, which can be expensive. You should apply a sealer after six months. It will have to be sealed and resurfaced every three to five years.

 

Concrete Driveways

A concrete driveway is made out of gravel, cement, and sand. It is a durable material that does not require a lot of maintenance. You can expect your concrete driveway to last about 50 years. A concrete driveway looks nice, so it can increase the value of your home.

Concrete can be recycled, so it is environmentally friendly. It is comfortable for you to walk on concrete because it does not absorb a lot of heat. Another advantage is the ease of driveway cleaning

It is expensive to install concrete. It can also take about a week for the concrete to harden. You will not be able to walk on the concrete during this time.

Even though concrete is durable, it is expensive for you to replace it. Your climate is one of the things that you have to consider when purchasing concrete. If you live in a cold climate, then the concrete can crack when it freezes and thaws.

 

Paver Driveways

A paver driveway is made out of brick, concrete, and natural stone. Unlike concrete, you don’t have to wait to walk or drive on a paver driveway. You can use it as soon as it is installed. A paver driveway can also boost the curb appeal of your property.

There are many design options that you have to choose from. You can select different textures, colors, and textures. There are also different pavers that you can mix.

The cost is the main disadvantage that is associated with using a paver driveway. It costs more than asphalt and concrete driveways. However, the advantages of the paver driveway make the cost of it worth it.

6 Tips for Choosing a Carpet for A New Construction

subfloor, padding and carpet in layers

 

The kind of carpeting in a home has a significant impact on the house’s entire aesthetics, class, and style. That’s why you need to ensure that you use the right carpeting for your home. The question is how to make the right choice with so many options available. That’s why we compiled this article with easy tips to guide you through. Here you go.

 

  1. Consider Style

There are a bunch of options when it comes to purchasing a carpet, and each style comes with a unique appearance and feel. Do not fall for the looks. Get one that matches where you plan to install it and consider the care and maintenance it requires. Plush and Saxony are ideal for low foot traffic areas where they don’t need frequent washing since vacuum tracks and footprints appear on the pile. Berberi is thick and durable, hence a good match for high-traffic areas. Frieze and textured styles are also ideal for high traffic since they hide debris and dirt.

 

  1. Fiber Material

Fiber material has a significant impact on the durability of your carpet. Wool could be the best considering that it’s durable, eco-friendly, and soft too. However, it comes at a high cost that cuts off most owners. Nylon is often the favorite of many homeowners since it’s also durable, soft, and available in a wide range of colors. However, it’s more susceptible to stains. Polyester, made from recycled materials, offers an alternative to nylon fibers. They are more cost-effective and are stain-resistant.

 

  1. Padding

The proper padding offers support and extra cushioning to your carpet, lengthening its durability. It also provides insulation and engrosses sound while also protecting the carpet’s fibers and backing from deterioration. Consider foam or rubber for the material, and get padding that blends well with the rug you plan to buy.

 

  1. Care and Maintenance Cost

While appearance can be tempting, your carpet requires proper maintenance and care to keep its good looks. As a result, it’s essential to consider the cost of maintaining the beauty of your merchandise. If possible, buy a carpet that you can personally attend to and maintain.  

 

  1. Price

New carpets come at different prices; hence you can easily find one that fits your needs and budget. Stain-resistant carpets are often some of the most expensive choices. Tile carpeting is a good choice if you have kids or pets due to the ease of replacement. Lastly, you don’t need the most costly options for places like hallways or basement, prone to damages and experience high traffic.

 

  1. Where to Buy

While the choices are numerous, consider purchasing from renowned flooring companies dealing with carpeting sales and installation. They often have experienced staff who can guide you and sell quality goods.

Carpet enhances the natural beauty and comfort of your home. As a result, it’s one of the essential decisions you will have to make for your house. Go for something that fits your needs and budget and matches your home’s color palette and design.

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6 Things to Consider Before Building a New Fence

So you think you’re ready to build a new fence? Are you sure you’ve considered everything? Just in case, we’ve made this quick list of things to consider before you start construction on your new fence.

 

  1. HOA.

If you’re part of an HOA, you’ll want to check if fences are allowed. Assuming they are, there may be restrictions in place about the type of fence you can construct, as well as color and height. There are good odds you’ll need any fence design approved by the HOA board.

 

  1. Curb Appeal.

While it may not matter too much to you if you aren’t planning on borrowing against the value of your home or selling anytime soon, curb appeal is a big factor in the kind of fence you should choose. If you at all plan on selling or if you want to improve your home equity, you’ll want to make sure that your fence has tons of curb appeal.

 

  1. Purpose.

Likewise, you’ll need to consider why you need a fence. If you’re planning on having a fenced-in area for your pets, a chain-link fence may be just up your alley. If you’re planning on having kids play in the yard for the next few years, a privacy fence may be more your style. And if you plan on keeping farm animals, you’ll need to look into the different types of fences that different stock requires.

 

  1. Cost.

You’ve probably heard that fencing is expensive, but that’s just not true. There are so many types of fences from prefab to completely DIY. Regardless, you’ll want to make a strict budget and stick with it – otherwise, it might end up costing you way more than necessary.

 

  1. Planning.

You’ll want to plan out your fence from start to finish. “Measure twice, cut once” comes into play. From where to plant the posts and how deep, to the material you’ll use, to if you’ll hire a crew or not, you’ll want to make sure that you have everything mapped out – literally. Consult with your appraisal office to ensure that you’re putting the fence on your property.

 

         6.Maintenance

The type of maintenance required for your new fence should be considered. Will it need to be stained? Repaired often? Is it made from a low maintenance material? How much will it take to keep it clean? Will it require a professional company to pressure wash?  Visit http://wewashproperties.com/ for more information.

At the end of the day, this is your property and your fence. You know what you need best, and you know what your plans for the future are. But these 5 things to consider can make or break a home improvement project whether you’re planning on selling or not. So plan, budget, consult, and get this fence done!

Tips for Rewiring an Old House

 

If you live in an old home and you want to make it safe or a bit modern, rewiring it is a smart way to do it. Hiring a qualified electrician is a significant investment that you may want to avoid. However, when doing it yourself, it is imperative to remember that electricity is potentially risky. Before jumping to the project, you need to understand how electricity functions to protect yourself and your family.

Here are tips to rewire your old house safely.

 

Take Precautions

 

Prior to starting the task, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to guarantee your safety, and that’s of your property. Use tools with rubber insulated handles. Tools with rubber handles absorb electric shock rather than passing it to you. Also, invest a considerable amount of money on a high-quality current tester.

 

Additionally, put on the light clothing gear and eye protection. Be attentive while climbing up and down a ladder to prevent falls. Before you start the rewiring task, turn off the electric circuit. You can choose to disconnect power on the loop you are working on or at the main switch. Confirm that the electricity line is dead using a current tester. It would help if you only began work after confirming that the line is dead using a current tester.

 

Have A Solid Plan

 

Before rewiring your old house, it is prudent to evaluate the power consumption quantity. You can do this by accessing the current outlets and lightings. By accessing your wiring, you will make informed decisions while planning for updates. It is during the evaluation that you should note down the items that need replacement. Besides, rewiring your house offers an excellent opportunity to add new cables in your circuit. While adding new wires, you should research the correct permits so that you do not exceed the country codes.

 

Pulling Out the Old Wires

 

It is essential to start rewiring your house only after a qualified electrician has inspected it. The fact that the wiring has existed for years doesn’t necessarily mean you should replace it every inch. The qualified electrician should evaluate and pinpoint complicated areas. You might end up saving a lot of your time and money.

 

Placing New Wires

 

Unless you want an overall home renovation, it is not reasonable to replace the existing wiring completely. The best way is routing wires through the attic. Be cautious when drilling holes on walls to prevent damaging plumbing lines or other electricals. If you are placing a new line that branches off to new outlets or additional fixtures, ensure you install a junction box to improve electrical safety.

 

Label breakers and make sure to insert the circuits to the right breaker box. Besides, test the system only after completing your rewiring task.

Play it Safe

If you lack the experience and know-how to take on a wiring project, it may be safer and more cost-effective to hire a professional electrician. Go to  http://lumenselectric.com/ to learn more and get a cost estimate.

How to Choose the Best Windows for Your New Construction

Choosing the best windows for your new house can be very challenging. Windows plays a vital role in providing your home with ventilation, natural light, and security. Before choosing windows for your new constructions, you should make the right decision by choosing the best windows. Here are some of the things that you should consider before you install windows for your home.

Know the Features and Options Available

Windows come in different features, and that is why it is crucial to choose the right windows that meet your needs. It would help if you chose windows that are energy efficient and convenient. Since window technology is still evolving, you should capture the main features that you want your windows to have. You should, however, keep in mind that windows have different purposes, and you should choose the ones that suit your specific needs.

Performance Consideration

When choosing windows for your new home, you should consider what role you want your windows to play. For example, you might wish to install windows that provide more natural light or better ventilation. Before selecting the windows, you should know where you want to place the windows, ideal size and placement, and functionality needs.

Know the Style for Each Room of Your New Home

When choosing the right window, you should first consider the style that you need for each room. For example, Hung windows can be opened from bottom to top, making it easier to clean them. These types of windows can be installed in any part of your home. Garden windows, on the other hand, can be installed in the kitchen since they give your kitchen light and add more space.

Know the Cost for the New Windows

When choosing the right windows for your new home, you should consider knowing their cost. Windows varies in its value based on its materials, features, installation, size, and customization. Windows made of vinyl are cheaper compared to those windows that are made of aluminum-clad wood. Moreover, triple glazed windows can be more expensive compared to the double glazed windows. Also, it can be a bit costly to install larger windows. To get the average price, you consult your window installation company.

Additionally, you will want to keep in mind the cost of keeping the windows clean. Contact a Grand Junction window cleaning company to get an estimate.

Check and Familiarize with the Warranty

Different manufacturers have different warranties for their brands. Before choosing the right windows for your new home, you should make sure you know the things covered by the warranty and the items that are not included. Some companies offer full warranties, while others have limited warranties.

You should know that the more you get informed on different windows, the more you will make the right decision when purchasing windows for your new construction.

How to Hire and Pay to the International Contractors

Most businesses are adopting the practice of finding international talents from outside, but many of them do not understand the legal consequences of establishing cross-border business relations. This will help you identify what needs to be considered into account by your company to build a hassle-free and stable business. An online business employs contractors from a range of countries.

In deciding whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee, a company has to take up all the factors. There will be many factors that may indicate that the individual is an employee, while others will suggest that the individual might be an independent contractor.

Who are International Contractors –

In particular, individuals who are in an autonomous occupation, company or career offering their services to the public are independent contractors as per the IRS concept. The issuer will have the right to determine only the outcome of the job not what is going to get done or how it is going to get done. Contractors are entitled to self-employment tax and there is no need for companies that hire employees to withhold income tax and give benefits.

Let’s look at the below steps for hiring contractors from abroad

Whether your preferred candidate is from another region, the method of recruiting new employees is somewhat different from a traditional system of in-house placement. Skype or some other teleconferencing device may support the entire interview, but you are going to have to ask questions about the remote work situation— specifically about interaction. Don’t make sure to check past experiences and credentials and any other recruit you could.

How to Hire and Pay to the International Contractors

When you employ a foreign worker, you may be concerned about securing work permits. If the employee does not stay for the contract period, you do not have to struggle with permits at all. Furthermore, you will have to get the proper paperwork done and get all the permits if you want to bring an international contractor to your region even if it is for a short duration.

There will be different ways of determining international contractors ‘ withholdings, and it’s important to pay income taxes on time. Failure to pay taxes on time could lead to heavy penalties.

Various methods to pay contractors

  • The best-known way to receive money abroad is through an international wire transfer.
  • Another international payment method that has been developed is a money order. By charging the fee you would like to give including an invoice, this method is very popular among while hiring contractors from abroad.
  • PayPal – one of the most popular internet payment applications to transfer money.
  • Xoom which is owned by PayPal, but provides its very own services to individuals and companies seeking to send funds from the United States.

Wrapping Up

Although recruiting international contractors is certainly different from hiring conventional domestic workers, most employers consider the benefits that make up for the effort needed. If you find a suitable candidate for your business, use the advice above to make ensure that you are prepared properly for the on-boarding process.

What Is a General Contractor?

Also termed as main contractor or prime contractor, a general contractor is vested with the responsibilities of overseeing a construction site, management of the business vendors and communicating the information to all the stakeholders throughout the course of a building project. They act as the intermediary between the builder/developer and the group of subcontractors who execute diverse job assignments such as electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and flooring work.

Structure

A general contractor is an individual or an entity who may hire subcontractors and provide supplies for a given project.

Where are they deployed?

A general contractor can comprise individual partnership, corporation, or any entity or group of entities in business that can execute construction as a contractor. And, they will shoulder total responsibility for the timely completion of the project with the help of the project resources to execute or supervise the work.

General contractors are employed by property developers or property owners to organize and continue the work or diverse types of projects including residential homes, roads, office buildings, treatment plants and government buildings and the like.

They are responsible for hiring subcontractors and overseeing them. They review the architectural plans, purchase building materials, and ensure all deadlines are met.

What Is a General Contractor?

Educational background required

Any individual aspiring to become a general contractor must fulfill the relevant criteria.

The applicant:

  • Should be 18 years or older
  • Must have secured a high school diploma or equivalent qualification duly recognized.
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States as per law.
  • Must have a good work record in the construction sector and should be able to discuss and resolve any job-related issues.

Additional requirement

State governments may mandate each applicant to pass such an exam as may be determined by relevant law. Further, a few states may also make it mandatory to buy a liability insurance cover, read more about liability insurance by clicking here, get Federal Tax Identification Number and submit the address of business with utility or lease bill.

Importance of experience

Real work experience in construction projects is critical to becoming a licensed contractor. You can get experience by working in diverse crafts as a carpenter, electrician, or a plumber. Supervisors experienced in construction are also useful.

Oral and written communication skills

The applicant must have good communication skills (oral and written). This is important because they need to hire and evaluate subcontractors and participate in project negotiations with property developers and owners.

How to get a license?

To get the license, apply for it once you choose an area of work. You need to register your company. You need to pass the contractors’ exam. You may be required to buy insurance and bond as per the rules of the State where you wish to start contracting. Further, your social antecedent must be clean. You can get a Contractor License when you fulfill all these criteria.

To start the job, the applicant must have a contractor license. It is issued to tradesmen having a predetermined level of expertise and experience. These criteria vary across States.

Benefits of license

Though a few states contracting is permissible without a license, having a license will be advantageous for you. You can market yourself to be reliable and trustworthy to hire.

  • The license will make you eligible to work as a legal entity.
  • As you’re licensed, you need to fix electrician, plumbing work, and mechanical work as these types of trades all have license requirements.
  • It will protect you from all potential legal tangles.

Conclusion

Whether you oversee a building or other construction project, you get exposed to the specifications of diverse specialties. All this will enrich your experience, make you employable at competitive remuneration over time.

How To Get The Contractor License

A license is a primary requirement for starting any type of business. Contracting business is no exception. Getting a Contractor license without proper knowledge of the process may get cumbersome and complicated. Plus, the run-around that you may have to experience will run you out of all the enthusiasm you have for your new venture. Let’s walk you through the process of procuring a valid contractor’s license.

Determine the Basic Requirements

This is predominantly something you as an applicant, need to take care of. First things first, determine the nature and scale of business you would be doing. Based on that your license class will be determined. Next check if you would want to add a specialization to your business. Then come the naming and registration of your business. You need to register your company as a proprietorship or a limited company based on which the license will be provided in the name of the registered business. Once all your requirements and company registration documents are ready you can then look into applying for a contractor’s license.

How To Get The Contractor License

Pass an Exam

You may have to sit for a small contractor exam to get a license. Different states have different requirements and the same may vary. These exams comprise of many genera topics based on various business aspects. You may contact the ICC (International Code Council) to know about the exams required in your area. This exam is important as the certificate you obtain after passing this exam is one of the documents required when you apply.

Background Checks and Verification

If you wish to apply for a contractor license you will have to get your background check done by the local authorities. They check if you have any criminal background and provide you with a certificate if you pass the checks. Make sure you retain the Background Check certificate for submission along with the application.

Submit the Application

This is the final and most important step. Ensure that you have gathered all the required documents required to be submitted along with the application forms. Some commonly required documents comprise of; Company name and details, Contracting Class and Specialization, your education and expertise summary, your identification documents, ICC Approved exam passing certificates, Background check certificates, etc. Get in touch with your local authorities and agencies to get the exact details of the required forms to be filled and necessary instructions. Make sure you are filling the forms as per the given instructions. There may be a fee associated with filling and submission of the form. Pay the fees and get an application reference number to track your application.

Wait for It

Good things come to those who wait. And once you have submitted your application you may have to wait a bit but you will eventually get your contractor license. Make sure you obtain a license for each state you want to work in for every state has different regulations. Compliance to the law is the primary reason behind obtaining a license and ensure you are complying with the law of the land at all times in conducting your business.