Jay Falone's Blog
Flooring can add to the function of your newly finished basement, or it can take it away. Installing the wrong type of flooring material in a below-grade space could leave you open to costly water damage or even the growth of mold and bacteria. Even the best-built basements are sometimes prone to invasion by moisture seeping through concrete walls or up through subfloor materials. This is why it's vital to choose flooring that's specifically designed for below-grade use. If you want a finished basement that's attractive and functional, as well as one that won't require constant maintenance, opt for easy-care materials like those listed below.
Epoxy flooring is a mixture of resin with hardeners added. And if you've ever shopped the local food warehouse or super home store, you've likely seen epoxy flooring. Sleek and exceptionally glossy, epoxy can be applied with rollers over the course of a single weekend, giving you an attractive basement floor that's nearly impervious to damage. It's available in a full range of colors, as well.
Stamped, Stained or Painted Concrete
Another easy flooring option for your new basement involves concrete that's been poured and smoothed with a rake and a squeegee. Afterward, the concrete can be stained or painted any color you desire. It can even be stamped to resemble other materials such as natural stone, brick or tile.
Laminate is a type of flooring that's installed as planks or tiles. It's a manufactured type of flooring that's extremely durable and can mimic the look and feel of hardwood at a fraction of the cost and without the worry of warping should it happen to get wet. Because it's installed in pieces as a floating floor, laminate is easy to repair if a section becomes damaged. Simply pop out the bad plank and replace it with a new one. This may mean removing part of the floor to get to the piece that's damaged, but there's no adhesive involved with laminate, so putting everything back is an easy fix.
Rubber flooring comes in multiple variations, including tiles and rolls. Either is good for basement flooring, but tiles are easy to replace should the need arise. Rubber is super easy to install, and it adds soft comfort to your below-grade space. It's also a great insulator. This translates into a lower utility bill each month. Residential-grade rubber flooring may be comparable in price, however, to other high-end flooring options such as natural stone.
These flooring options are all easy to install yourself, but if you doubt your DIY skills, your local contractor will be happy to help. Your newly finished basement can be a reality this year if you make savvy choices from the floor up.
As a first-time homebuyer, it is important to understand what it takes to discover your dream residence as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
What does it take for a first-time homebuyer to seamlessly navigate the housing market? Here are three tips that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.
1. Make a Homebuying Checklist
The definition of the "perfect" house differs from homebuyer to homebuyer. As such, a first-time homebuyer should allocate the necessary time and resources to determine what he or she wants to find in the ideal home. That way, a first-time homebuyer will have no trouble finding a house that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.
With a homebuying checklist, a first-time homebuyer can move one step closer to making his or her property ownership dreams come true. This checklist can help a homebuyer differentiate between home "must-haves" and "wants" so he or she can narrow a home search accordingly.
Furthermore, a first-time homebuyer can update a property buying checklist as he or she begins to check out houses. And if a homebuyer evaluates available residences, this property buyer can update his or her checklist as needed.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A first-time homebuyer likely wants to purchase a house as quickly as possible. Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help a homebuyer move through the property buying process without delay.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a first-time homebuyer should try to meet with several banks and credit unions. Each meeting will allow a homebuyer to learn about assorted mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to his or her finances.
Moreover, a first-time homebuyer should be unafraid to ask plenty of questions when he or she meets with potential lenders. This will allow a homebuyer to make an informed decision about a mortgage.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to buying a house for the first time, a homebuyer should seek out expert support. Lucky for you, many real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it simple for you to purchase your ideal house.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house for the first time. He or she will teach a first-time homebuyer about these challenges and ensure this property buyer is prepared to take a diligent approach to purchasing a home.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and negotiate with home sellers on a homebuyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even keep a homebuyer up to date about new houses, ensuring homebuyers can pounce on opportunities to acquire great houses as soon as they become available.
For a first-time homebuyer, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But with the aforementioned tips, a first-time homebuyer can accelerate the homebuying process and improve his or her chances of purchasing a stellar house at an affordable price.
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Have you ever gone outside after a patch of cold weather to find long icicles hanging from your roof's edge? These spears of ice are usually caused by an ice dam forming along your eaves or roof's edge and can be dangerous when they melt and go flying to the ground.
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a rim of ice that accumulates when snow melts on your roof and cools enough to turn to ice before it falls to the ground. The result is a heavy buildup of ice that can tear down your gutters and drain pipes as well as cause those huge (and dangerous) icicles. It can even cause water to back up and enter your home. Ice dams are usually the result of heat escaping from the top of your house due to poor insulation. Chimneys and exhaust vents on your roof can also contribute to causing ice dams.
Dealing with ice dams
To keep ice dams in check, it's important to keep the snow from building up on your roof. You can do this with a roof rake or a roof broom without having to climb up on the icy roof. For a long-term fix, it's also a good idea to inspect your roof's edge and the inside of your attic each fall and seal up any cracks or gaps where heated air can escape. In addition, you want to keep as much heated air in your living space as possible for energy efficiency as well as preventing ice dams. That means making sure that your ceiling is secure and insulated and that no air is passing between the two spaces.
If, despite your best efforts, you still have ice dams appearing at your roof's edge, it's best to call in the professionals. Walking around on an icy roof can be hazardous and is better left to those with special training and experience.