Thursday, February 7, 2019

Tips for Finding a Reputable Contractor

Today many homeowners go to the internet to choose a contractor. There are many websites that a homeowner can visit to help with their contractor search. This seems like a great way to find a contractor, but it may not be the best way. Many websites promote contractors who pay to be listed at the top of their site. Although customer reviews on these sites are helpful, top page position on a website does not necessarily mean that the contractor is the most qualified.

Here are some ways to find information to help you choose the right contractor for your project:

  • Google – Reviews on Google can be posted by any customer. The more positive reviews a contractor has, the higher they are ranked. Google searches also provide overall company information like organizations they belong to or ways they give back to the community.
  • Facebook – Facebook reviews can also be posted by anyone. In addition to checking reviews, a company’s Facebook page can provide insight into the company’s culture, community involvement and more.
  • Friend and Family References – The best recommendations come from friends and family members. Ask them if they have worked with a company they love. They will have first-hand experience with a company – from the first call to final payment as well as insight about any service issues.

It’s important to feel good about a contractor and to feel you can trust information you find online. Don’t assume the contractor who appears at the top of a search is the best. Consider these other sources as part of your search.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Fiberglass Insulation – Recycling at its Best

Each day insulation saves energy in homes and businesses throughout the country. Fiberglass insulation makes an even bigger positive environmental impact.

According the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) and its member companies, U.S. and Canadian fiberglass insulation manufacturers used 3.2 billion pounds of recycled materials in the production of its insulation products in 2017. In fact, since the industry’s recycling program began in 1992, NAIMA members have kept an estimated 58.2 billion pounds of recycled materials from local waste facilities.

To learn more about recycling efforts of NAIMA members, visit this link.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Attics and Basements – Where to Insulate and Why

Most homeowners think of upgrading their home’s insulation during fall and winter. This is when homeowners hear their furnaces run, begin to feel the pinch of high energy bills and notice cold areas around their homes. If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s insulation, here are two areas to address:


When air escapes a home it goes up, not out. This makes your home’s attic the first place to start when making home energy upgrades. Upgrading your attic insulation adds a thermal layer that will help maintain your home’s inside temperature. You can go one step further by sealing air leaks in your attic. According to ENERGY STAR, 60% of a home’s air leaks exist in the attic. Insulating and air sealing your attic will help make your home more comfortable and save money on energy bills year after year.

Basement Box Sills

Box sills are the area of the basement where the outside wall of the home meets the joist of the first floor. Box sills are constructed with a thin layer of siding, plywood and foam board. These materials are not enough to prevent energy loss, cold basements and high energy bills. In fact, some estimates indicate that 25% of a home’s heat loss is a result of uninsulated box sills. We recommend adding spray foam insulation to box sills to both insulate and air seal this critical area.

A friendly reminder: Schedules fill up quickly during fall and winter. Be patient when scheduling with a qualified insulation contractor. It’s worth waiting for an insulation expert to review your home and recommend proper energy upgrades.

Have questions about adding insulation to your home? Contact our office. Our team is happy to help!

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Why to Hire a Professional Insulation Contractor

It’s common for homeowners to tackle home upgrades and DIY projects. If you’re thinking of installing your own insulation, think again! Properly insulating a structure is more than throwing insulation into a wall. Our estimators regularly receive calls asking us to fix improperly installed insulation.

Quality insulation involves sealing air leaks and properly installing fiberglass insulation. Air sealing is as important in wall cavities as it is in attics and throughout a home. Improper or incomplete air sealing (behind electrical boxes, sealing wire penetrations, etc.) leads to drafty walls and comfort issues.

After air sealing, it’s important to install fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass insulation must be properly installed to achieve maximum R-value. This includes installing fiberglass batt insulation to completely fill a cavity – from top to bottom, and from side to side. Well trained installers know the best methods for installing fiberglass batt insulation to achieve maximum R-value.

As easy as it may sound, attempting to tackle your home’s insulation on your own can create a list of headaches. Once a wall or other cavity is closed with drywall, outside air can infiltrate the cavity and become trapped inside. This can result in discoloration, frost on your wall, mildew and possibly even mold. Proper installation and air sealing help maintain the integrity of your entire home.

Don’t let the perceived cost savings of DIY insulation end up costing you more in the long run. Hire a professional insulation contractor and have the job done right the first time! Call our office to schedule your free estimate.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Avoid Home Repair Scams – Tips from NARI

Has your home been damaged by summer storms? This time of year, many homeowners become victims of home repair scams. Con artists often show up at a homeowner's door after a disaster, offering an array of services and demanding a hefty down payment up front. They might offer a "great deal," based on using materials left over from a neighbor’s job – but a "great deal" isn't always what it seems. Frequently these fly-by-night operators drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates or set up temporary offices from which they can move quickly once authorities start looking for them.

Here are some tips from NARI Madison to avoid home repair scams:
  • Get the name and address of the company that the person allegedly represents.
  • Get all details of the offer in writing and carefully review it. Be sure you understand everything in the contract. Any verbal promises made are included in the contract.
  • Determine how long the company has been in business and call organizations with which the contractor is affiliated, such as NARI of Madison or other trade associations, to determine the firm's legitimacy.
  • Ask for references and contact each one.
  • Remember that any legitimate company that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you the time to do your homework. Don't fall prey to high pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone."

Homeowners should be especially skeptical if the company:
  • Comes to your door unsolicited.
  • Uses high pressure sales tactics.
  • Requests full payment before completing the work.
  • Gives a post office box without a street address or phone number.
  • Promises to begin and complete the work more quickly and cheaply than any other company.
  • Says they just finished work on your neighbor's house and have just enough materials to do repair work on yours. They might say they can give you a better bargain if you let them do the work today since they have the supplies now.
NARI is a great source for homeowners seeking to hire a professional remodeling contractor. NARI members are full-time, dedicated remodelers who follow a strict code of ethics, observing high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility. For more information, visit the NARI Madison website to find a qualified professional who is a member of NARI or to learn more about the remodeling process.

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