Tag Archives: Roofing

5 roof replacement tips you can’t live without

5 roof replacement tips you can’t live without

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5 roof replacement tips you can’t live without

There are several reasons to replace your property’s roofing. But whether it’s due to damages caused by a storm or simply old age, a roofing replacement can help maintain your home’s value and provide adequate protection for your family.

However, this is one home improvement project you need to take seriously. It costs a lot to install a new roof, so you have to make the most out of this major investment.

For that, here are the tips you need to get the best value from your roofing replacement.

1. Have the right reasons

Before you get around to replacing the roofing of your home, you need to have a good reason to do so. Damages due to termite infestation or a strong hurricane warrant a costly replacement, especially if these damages are affecting the structural integrity of your roofing. You can also consider a roofing upgrade if you are planning to sell your home. A new roof can have a lasting impression on serious homebuyers.

2. Consider the materials

Once you have the right reason to replace your roofing, you will need to determine the best types of roofing materials to purchase. Regardless of what your roofing is made of, you should always opt for the highest quality that fits in your budget. You do need to consider the cost of upgrading your roof to a sturdier material. If you are planning to replace your hardwood roofing with lightweight steel, you may need to pay more compared to installing asphalt shingles.

3. Look for the right contractor

Considering the fact that you need to replace the entire roofing system, you will need to get help from an experienced roofer in your area. Of course, this would involve searching online or the local directory for renovation companies that are up for the task. But when it comes to quality, it’s still best to ask for recommendations from people you know. You can also do a background check on a local roofer through the Better Business Bureau. That way, you can determine if a certain contractor is worth your trust and money.

4. Consider lifetime value

A roof replacement should last for a very long time. After all, it doesn’t make sense to pay a lot to replace your damaged shingles and framing only to see these deteriorate within three months. For this, it’s important to compare different replacement strategies. This should help you maximize installation and maintenance costs and ensure that your new roof will stay for the long run.

5. Install mitigating measures

Replacing your roofing doesn’t stop with getting rid of damaged shingles and rehabilitating the framing. You also need to reinforce your new roof so it could withstand extreme weather, termites, and time. For this, it’s best to pick designs that hold fast against extreme winds and install added protections against winter frost. These might cost a lot, but the benefits they offer are worth it.

Roof replacement is a great way to make your home standout and not to mention keep your property structurally sound. Following these tips should give you even more reasons to undertake this value-adding home improvement project.


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When it comes to planning home improvement projects, timing is everything

When it comes to planning home improvement projects, timing is everything

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When it comes to planning home improvement projects, timing is everything

PHOTOGRAPHY: Bigstock.com

Any homeowner who has already gone through a major renovation project knows that it can take weeks, months, or even years from the time you decide to sign a contract until the job is fully completed. Lining up the trades, ordering the various stock and custom materials, and going through the permit approval process are just a few of the components that can hold up completion.

Some renos require more prep time than others, while others are best to avoid once winter settles in. Here are four projects that you’ll want to have a lot of lead time to prepare for, or should simply wait until the warmer weather returns.


No matter how small the addition you plan to build is, you’ll almost certainly need to get approval from your municipality for what are known as “minor variances” to existing bylaws. These include setback requirements, restrictions on height, and capping the amount of square footage based on the size of the lot. The City of Toronto has a weeks-long backlog of permit applications waiting for approval from the Committee of Adjustment.

Even if you live in a community that’s processing building permits in a timely fashion, additions require a lot of time to coordinate.

Finally, if you haven’t already broken ground on the foundation, you’re going to have to wait until the spring thaw to do it now.


Window installation companies will tell you they can and do work throughout the year. And, if you have an emergency situation, such as a broken or extremely drafty window, you’re best to get it repaired as soon as possible. The installer will close the door or tarp off the room in question to reduce heat loss.

But if you’re looking to replace your entire home’s windows, you’d be better off waiting until spring. Yes, they can do the installation one room at a time. But mistakes and accidents happen. If a window frame was mis-measured or the glass breaks during installation (and I’ve seen it happen more than once), you could end up with a plywood window while the company tries to get a rush replacement order in.

Plus, the caulking used to seal the frame doesn’t flow or bind properly in extreme cold, and finesse work gets sloppy when you can’t feel your fingertips.

Finally, most of the exterior finishing work is done on ladders. Do you want to take on the liability risk if a ladder slips on the ice, particularly if you haven’t done your due diligence and checked that the company has all the proper licences and insurance?


If you need an emergency roof repair to prevent water leaking into your attic during winter warm spells, get it done as soon as possible. But if your entire roof is due for replacement, but it isn’t imminently critical, at this point you should wait until spring. For one, do you want to risk having your old roof removed just as a days’ long storm rolls into town, leaving your home protected from the elements by nothing more than a tarp?

Also, as with windows, the adhesives and caulking used to seal down a new roof require warmer temperatures to work properly. And, again, even if you’re sure your contractor’s insurance all checks out, would you be comfortable with someone working on your roof in icy conditions?

Landscaping and hardscaping

No legitimate landscaper is going to suggest planting trees or install retaining walls in a snow-covered yard. Once the ground is frozen, it’s impossible to do much of anything outside.

Most landscapers, if they’re not busy running winter snow removal businesses, like to spend the winter months finalizing contracts and project components to break ground once the frost is out. If you haven’t already, now is the time to reach out and start planning your yard for 2020.

CAPTION: Photography courtesy of Margaret Mulligan

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


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Exterior home improvement tips for the fall

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Exterior home improvement tips for the fall

When you think of home improvement projects, it’s easy to get caught up in the interior ideas. Renovating your kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms make home life more comfortable and give the house an aesthetic appeal. Yet, to overlook the exterior of the property would be a mistake.

The exterior of the home is one of the first things people see when visiting your property. It helps to provide a first impression and, therefore, should be invested in on occasion. The exterior is also what provides you shelter from various elements of weather. If you don’t take care of it, your home loses its efficiency and causes expensive problems.

Fall is the perfect time to get started on home improvement projects. The weather is perfect and it’s just before winter when an ill-prepared home can become pretty unsafe. If you’re looking for great ideas to make your home more efficient and aesthetically appealing this fall, consider these exterior home improvement tips below:

Maintain the roofing system

The roof is one of the most essential parts of the home’s structure yet homeowners commonly forget to keep it maintained. Missing or damaged shingles on the roof, however, can cause significant structural damage. Not to mention, clogged gutters can cause flooding, pests, and other issues for the home. Though some people feel safe using a ladder and working on the roof, it is often best to leave this to the pros so no one gets hurt. Have a roofer inspect the roof make any necessary repairs, and clean the gutters so you’re ready for the winter.

Check for pests

Insects and pests are looking for a warm place to stay as the weather gets colder. Since they make their way into your home from the outside, it is a good idea to inspect the perimeter of your home to see if there are any ants, spiders, or other insects. You should also check parts of the property made from wood to see if there are any termites present. If you find signs of pests around your home, contact pest control services like Moxie Pest Control to come treat your lawn and home’s exterior so you’re safe.

Power wash siding and pavement

You may not see the dirt that has accumulated in your house and walkways, but it’s there. You’d be surprised at how much is exposed when you use a power washer. These powerful cleaning devices can wash away dirt and give your home a clean appearance.

Paint windows and doors

Another way to improve the exterior of your home for the fall is to update your windows and doors. If they are old and inefficient, you should invest in more secure ones. However, if they’re just a bit worn down or you’re just looking to change the appearance of your home, you can always apply paint. Use a complementary color to make the rest of the house. For example, if you have a blue house, a red door would really make it stand out. A gray house would look very modern with white windows and trim. If you have a garage door, painting them the same color as your windows and doors is also recommended.

Spruce up the yard

You can’t improve the curb appeal of your property without taking some time to care for your lawn. Start with basic chores like cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and trimming trees and shrubs. You can do this yourself or hire a landscaper and an arborist to assist you. Then, work on improving the look of your front yard. You can put down pavers, install landscape lighting, plant some seasonal flowers, and add some planters.

Porch decor

Fall is one of the best times of year to add some decor to your porch. There are so many decorative pieces you can add to the porch to make it look more appealing. You can invest in outdoor furniture such as a few chairs and a table. You can make jack-o-lanterns with your family, a scarecrow, or add some decorative pieces like a festive wreath, wind chimes, and window decals.

Making improvements to your home’s interior is essential, but don’t overlook the importance of keeping up with the exterior. It’s the first impression people get of your home and also the most exposed part of your property. To improve curb appeal and to keep you safe, it is important to complete home improvement projects such as those listed above.


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What should be Included in a roofing estimate?

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What should be Included in a roofing estimate?

You may spend a lot of time, money and effort optimizing your website for search engines, creating a strong social media presence, running PPC campaigns, or doing traditional marketing to attract potential clients, only for them to be turned off by a poorly prepared roofing estimate.

Potential clients rely on estimates to compare different roofers in terms of what they are charging and the scope of the project. A good estimate that explains the project in great detail ensures potential clients are not worried about surprises such as hidden costs. You can use your estimate to stand out from your competitors.

Get the client’s specific requirements first

Before you pen an estimate, you should first sit down with the client to determine what he/she needs. A one-on-one meeting on site is better than an email or phone conversation since it helps you understand the scope of the job. As an example, a client may tell you on the phone that only minor repairs are required and you prepare an estimate for the same, only for you to visit the site and realize that the roof needs to be overhauled. Your client is not a roofing expert and may overlook some things when it comes to roofing projects.

The one-on-one meeting also gives you an opportunity to agree on the charging method (hourly or per-project), to ask for clarifications on the details of the project and for you to advise the client on such matters as the best underlayment, flashing, shingles, ventilation and other materials to use. Once you have agreed on the charging method, materials, scope, duration of the project, and other details, you will have sufficient information to write an estimate. So, what should be included in the roofing estimate?

Project summary & timelines

A summary of the project is important for both parties since it is something to quickly refer to when in doubt about the project. Include timelines of deliverables here.


Your client will be very interested in this part of the estimate. You should break down cost so that the client understands what he/she is being charged for. A lump sum amount is usually very intimidating. The cost should be broken down into:

  • Labor: Indicate how much you charge per hour and the duration of the project. If you are sub-contracting, factor in these costs too.
  • Demolitions: If the roof needs to be replaced and you are the one responsible for demolitions, include the cost of demolition and that of disposal.
  • Materials & supplies: Include the cost of the different materials and supplies that will be used in the project in the estimate. Break this down such as the cost of the shingles, the ventilation, the underlayment, and so on for your client to easily compare costs.
  • Permit costs: Most roofing projects in Canada require local permits. It is your responsibility to determine all the permits that are required and to determine their cost. Include this cost in the estimate.

Payment schedule

Indicate the method of payment, the down payments, progress payments, the due date for the final payment, penalties for failure to pay on the due date, and provisions for the client to withhold the final payment until the job is completed to their satisfaction.

Guarantee of work

This allows you to stand out from the crowd. Outline your company’s policies when things don’t go according to plan such as workmanship guarantees. You should also include penalties that you will incur should you fail to honor the contract such as should you fail to complete the work on time or to the client’s satisfaction. These guarantees put your client’s fears to rest.

License, insurance, bonding & other information
Clients want a roofing company in Toronto that is licensed and bonded and one that carries workman’s’ compensation and liability insurance and you should include this information on the estimate. You should also indicate membership to any trade organizations, your rating by consumer protection agencies such as the Better Business Bureau, industry awards you may have received, and certified installer status for leading North American manufacturers.

Contact information

This is an important, yet often overlooked, part of the estimate. It allows the client to easily get in touch with you in case of any question.

Other important components of a roofing estimate are:

  • A provision for add-ons or change-orders that could lead to extended timelines and extra charges.
  • A lien release to protect the client from liability should you fail to pay roofing material suppliers or your subcontractors.
  • A termination clause indicating circumstances under which you or the client can terminate the agreement without penalty on violation of the contract terms.


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Video : Vicwest Shingles w/ Jim Caruk

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Video : Vicwest Shingles w/ Jim Caruk


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