EXOVATIONS named 2013 Market Leader EXOVATIONS was recently contacted by Professional Remodeler Magazine for a front cover photo opportunity after being named 2013 Market Leader by the publication. Kyle Clapham wrote this about EXOVATIONS in the magazine publication, ” Exovations … Continue reading
There are several important questions to ask when choosing a home improvement contractor. Unfortunately, many homeowners are far too busy comparing prices to learn more about the specific skills and qualifications of the professionals they are considering. Without carefully pre-screening companies, however, it becomes possible to lose far more than the money you’ve paid for their services. So, without further ado, here are some essential topics to cover when pre-qualifying a provider before making a financial commitment.
Learning more about the jobs that a contractor has completed in the past is one of the best ways to gauge the amount of artistry and skill that will be applied to your project. You can ask for photos and direct references. In fact, you can even ask permission to view some of a company’s completed work in-person. Many contractors are now hosting comprehensive photo galleries of their past work, right on their professional websites. Touring these images and taking notes is one of the easiest ways to gain confidence in a prospective provider.
The best professionals in this business always offer their clients rock solid contracts. These detail the specifications of the work, including the materials that will be used and a fixed rate on labor. One key feature to ask about is whether or not the company’s standard contract includes a satisfaction guarantee. This guarantee will allow you to get any reasonable corrections, free of charge, without a lot of hassle. Your contract should additionally specify whether or not the provider will be responsible for hauling waste materials away from the project site and whether exterior bathrooms for laborers will be supplied.
It is usually best to let your contractor do all of the necessary shopping for your project on your behalf. These professionals have a keen understanding of the best materials for different purposes and often have access to special discounts from their suppliers. In the event that you’re working with a contractor who is open to you buying supplies independently, then it would still only be worth it if you know that you’ll be able save a considerable amount of cash. If this particular company tacks additional monies onto their bills for their shopping efforts and you have an in at a local vendor, then it would work in your favor. Mark-ups are generally pretty nominal though. That said, it still helps to know how these will impact your total project costs before committing to services. You should also know that property owners who purchase their own supplies often forfeit their customer satisfaction guarantees in the process, as contractors know exactly what works and what doesn’t, and they don’t feel the need to try something out that could jeopardize their success and potentially their reputation.
No matter how pressed for time you might be, getting solid proof that your provider has coverage is an essential part of the hiring process. Without adequate insurance in place, your hiring decision could cause your own homeowner insurance to become voided. Should something go awry, whether it be property damage or physical harm incurred by a laborer while on your property, it could result in financial catastrophe. This makes it vital to hire companies that have general liability insurance with sufficient limits as well as professional liability insurance that will protect you from losses resulting from work-related errors, oversights and omissions. Proof of coverage and verification of coverage limits should never come from providers themselves. This information should instead be provided by their respective insurers, who can keep you updated should lapses in coverage as the result of non-payment ever occur.
A truly knowledgeable provider can help you to save tons of cash over time. These professionals can take your design ideas to the next level by showing you easy and low-cost improvements that will increase durability and provide your property with an additional measure of protection. Thus, before hiring any provider, you must ask whether or not he or she is comfortable with offering professional suggestions. Although you likely have some basic ideas of the results you want, it’s important to have expert assistance in the final stages of planning.
Katherine Donahue loves to write about getting the best deal. Her recent work is about colleges where students attend for free.
Windows can be one of the most expensive elements in the home. And there are many options to consider when deciding to replace or repair your current windows.
There are basically five styles of windows: fixed, double-hung sliding windows, horizontal-sliding windows, casement windows and bay windows.
And then there are many materials to consider.
Watch this video and learn more about available window styles and materials.
video courtesy of
Construction Manager of EXOVATIONS, Chris Craft, discusses an alternative to traditional pressure treated deck framing material.
Fall is here and it’s usually the second time of year homeowners start thinking of vamping up their home’s exterior. The first home exterior game changer typically occurs in the spring after we have all sat inside all winter and dreamed of the possibilities we wanted to change once the first sign of warm weather occurs. For most home owners, time and money are a huge factor in all that we complete during those few short months of “Spring Cleaning”. Then summer arrives, unseeingly quicker than we would like for it to, and some of our “to dos” get pushed to the curb. Fall is a great time to reexamine what it is we didn’t finish in the beginning of the year. Some people are thinking of the guests they plan to entertain for football games, Thanksgiving, and even the Christmas Holidays. This brings me to my topic: Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home. Whether you are looking to add curb appeal for resale value or just make it more appealing for yourself, family, and friends.
The September 2012 issue of Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine has listed their top five things to add curb appeal to your home. I want to touch on those and elaborate on what I know best; home exterior. In an article written by Alma E Hill, it is noted that these are the five key elements in adding value to your home: remove weeds from planter beds and add new mulch and borders, repaint the house, repair porch railings, repair cracks in the driveway, replace a damaged roof with a new one. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes the smallest of changes makes a dramatic impact. Just “cleaning” your exterior and minor landscaping can add pizazz to a dull, dirty, dingy outside. I recommend that you pressure wash your home exterior yearly to maintain a radiant look. This also helps prevent from mold and mildew building up on exterior surfaces that do not see very much sunlight. If you roof has stains or mold spots, be careful not to pressure wash your roof. Pressure washing your roof destroys the granules and can lead to major roof shingle damage. If you notice mold spots, you can spray an application of bleach and water on the area and let it sit. Simply wash it off with water from a hose and skip using a pressure washer on your roof altogether.
After your exterior has been cleaned and looks nice and tidy, make your “to do list” based on what you see. Maybe your paint is flaking or chipped? Maybe a few boards need to be replaced here or there. It’s easier to evaluate what is damaged and not just dirty once you have given your exterior a thorough cleaning. Repainting your exterior is a daunting task, but you may only need to touch up the trim. If you are ever in question, it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional. Changing the color of your trim, garage doors, front door, or shutters can create an intense change that is easy and cheap to do. If you are really feeling bold, consider changing colors, patterns, and textures of your home’s exterior for a thrilling transformation. The possibilities are endless as to simple changes you can make for a jaw-dropping effect. There are several free websites that will allow you to create changes to visualize what differences you can make on your home and if you are really considering a major renovation consider an architectural rendering of the changes before you make any commitments. Many companies offer these for little or no charge. There are also many sites available to browse existing homes to seek ideas from such as Pinterest and Houzz. Capture anything that catches your eye or appeals to you. Chances are, others would be taken by the same look if it is on your home.
Lastly, fall is the time to attend home shows to get more ideas and even pricing for professional services if you so desire to seek the help from someone else. Many home shows have companies that set up displays of their actual work so you can see what you would be getting from them if they were to work on your home. Meet their staff, ask for before and after photos and references, and always check reviews from sites such as Kudzu, Angie’s List, and Google Plus to see what their customers thought of their process, products, and pricing.
Choose Flower Colors to Complement Your Home’s Siding
When you begin garden planning, it’s important to consider how matching the colors of your garden to your home’s siding could improve your house’s curb
appeal. Plant combinations can make or break the aesthetics of a home, so choose a layout and flower colors that complement the color and style of your
Picking out new siding or paint colors
Whether you just bought a new house or your current home needs a facelift, there are a lot of factors to consider. When you pick out new styles and colors
for your home siding, be sure you also take into account the cost of installation and materials, as well as how much upkeep is needed for the different
types of home siding.
If you love the look of your wood siding, maybe you just need a fresh coat of paint. However, now may be the perfect time to consider fiber-cement siding
in a cedar shake or wood style. Fiber-cement siding is a mix of sand, cement and cellulose fibers, available in vertical, horizontal, trim and shingle
styles. This home siding is non-combustible, it resists weather damage well, and you don’t have to worry about termites like you do with wood. If you’re
looking for something that’s lower maintenance than wood siding but not as expensive as fiber-cement, consider vinyl home siding for a fresh new look that
lasts longer than paint.
Once you know what style you want, it’s time to choose a color! If you don’t want to replant the entire garden or redo the patio, looking at adjacent
colors on a color wheel can provide the new style you want while still matching the garden. But, if you’re looking to change up your lawn and garden too,
just make sure your new flower colors match the new siding.
Finding complementing flower colors
As you prepare to boost your home’s curb appeal with some new siding, taking a look at flower colors can help create balance and continuity on your lawn.
If you’ve chosen a light color for your home’s siding, consider vibrant flower colors and dark shrubs for contrast. You can use almost any shade of green
against a white home, and white or pastel flower colors will help draw focus from the house to include the entire lawn. Homes with a darker siding should
be paired with light plants and dark evergreens to create depth. Flower colors like blues, purples and pastels are a perfect match. Complement homes with
brick siding with bright yellow and orange flowers and dark green shrubs.
Creating a design to highlight focal points
An important part of garden planning is choosing the layout. Do you want a structured front yard with a more lush and wild design in the back? Or a groomed
space for neighborhood games with some nice plants on the sidelines? Knowing how you want to use your lawn space will help you create a beautiful and
It’s also important to design your lawn around current landmarks you want to highlight. Plant a path of low profile plants to the entryway, a natural
shelter of pines around the hot tub, or lit accent trees on the edge of the patio space. Use flower colors to accentuate particular areas on your lawn.
Similar plants and colors provide unity, but a little contrast in shapes and colors will draw attention.
Get ready for a season of planting with equipment updates
Before you begin any spring garden planning, make sure you have all the equipment you need. An electric rototiller is a great tool to start a new
flower bed or vegetable garden or to dig up a row for berry bushes, vines or hedges. You may also want to have a string trimmer to help keep the weeds in
line. Check to see that your garden tools are in good condition, change the oil, fill the gas tanks and replace any faulty lawn mower parts, tiller parts or trimmer parts. Keeping your gear
maintained each year will help ensure it’s able to perform at peak efficiency for many seasons.
They don’t call it “Hot Lanta” for nothing… Atlanta, Georgia in early March and temperatures are already flirting with 80 degrees! The trending topic this week for the Atlanta Market on Twitter has included #patios #decks #greenbeer…somehow I believe most of Atlanta found patios and decks all around the city to engage in with cold beverages this week. Aside from the social aspect of the warming temperatures, what other behavior does this weather seem to cause? Most people will tell you that they start thinking or doing house and yard work; inside and out.
I have been with EXOVATIONS® for ten years and I can testify that each Spring we have a rush of calls and inquires about all sorts of Spring projects but our number one project is and always has been decks. These calls range from yearly maintenance calls of pressure washing, painting, and staining to starting over from the ground up. In fact, we spend our Winter like caged animals just waiting on these calls so we can get out and enjoy this sunshine with the rest of you.
Each year new technologies allow for the latest and greatest of anything we can possibly think of. This is also relevant in the decking world. TREX Decking spent nearly four years testing their latest TREX Transcend decking products. They listened to their past customers, current consumers, and potential customers on what it was that mattered most in their deck. Longevity, durability, low to no maintenance, curb appeal, warranty, risk of fading, risk of staining, and overall value were highly taken into consideration. The latest technologies have allowed TREX to present a product with an impeccable warranty to guarantee against fading and staining… so no worries for spilled ketchup, wine, or barbeque sauce during those Summer parties…simply wash the stain off with soap water and it is gone. Never worry about rotting again. Transcend decking is a composite material with an outer shell covering three sides of the board, which is 2 to 3 times thicker than any competitive offerings. The underside of the board breathes to avoid the surface separation some competitors suffer.
Composite decks bring together the best qualities of wood and plastic to create a longer lasting alternative to wood. Plastic shields the wood from moisture and insect damage, preventing rotting and splintering. Wood protects the plastic from UV damage while providing a natural, attractive look and feel. However, not all composite decks are the same. The industry is riddled with inferior product that does not deliver the manufacturers’ durability claims. There is only one brand of engineered decking that EXOVATIONS® has found to have proven product quality and durability backed by a 25-year limited stain and fade warranty. TREX Transcend decking comes in seven beautiful colors and the lighting options are endless.
Don’t wait any longer to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather and the beauty of your home! Let us help you make the most of your outdoor living area this Summer.