How Much Does It Cost to Fix Water Damage in My Home?


Water damage comes in many forms and all of them have the potential to cause serious damage to your home – and wallet. That’s why it’s important to know what the signs of water damage look like and who you should call to help you prevent further water damage from occurring.

Water damage to your home or property can come in many forms. Burst pipes, failed appliances, flooded bathroom fixtures, flooding from outdoors, a leaky roof… the list goes on. The most common type of water damage we see here at Classic Construction is brown, damp mildew spots on ceilings that occur as a result of a roof leak. When a roof is repaired or completely replaced, it’s not uncommon for the contractor to inadvertently miss sealing a tiny hole or two. But these tiny holes can let rainwater and humidity into your home over time, causing these unsightly water damage spots on the drywall of your ceilings.

classic construction water damage caused to window

And drywall is aptly named; it needs to remain dry as moisture results in warping, mildew or rot. If your drywall gets wet, replacement is often necessary.  Depending on the size of the area affected by the water damage, you might be able to cut out just that section and have it replaced. Or, more likely, you will need at least one entire sheet of drywall replaced. And when drywall is replaced, it must also be textured, primed and painted in order to complete the restoration. And if you’re painting, you’ll need your entire ceiling painted so that the colors match….you can see how one little leak can add up to big bucks!

water damage to restroom, cabinets have been removed and walll and pipes are being replacedNow, if the water damage to your home is the result of a burst pipe or flood, the restoration is compounded by the amount of square footage affected. This is because most construction pricing is dependent on the square footage of the area to be repaired. But keep in mind that the type of work or trades involved will also affect the pricing of your water damage repairs.

So for instance, if your entire kitchen floods because of a burst pipe under your sink, the price to repair the water damage would be significantly higher than a leaky roof. A leaky roof repair only requires a leak detection test to determine the source of the leak, some sealant for the roof, some drywall replacement, and some paint in a concentrated area. A water damage repair to a kitchen, if the flooding rises above the baseboards, would require new flooring, new cabinets, new drywall, and new plumbing to prevent the flood from happening again. The flooring, drywall, cabinets and painting would be priced according to the materials used and square footage of the area affected. And if you decided to upgrade any of these things, the price would increase further.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the price of water damage repairs in your home. The last, but perhaps most important, of these is the contractor you decide to use to help you fix the water damage. We’ve mentioned in other blog posts the benefits of hiring quality contractors, but it bears repeating here.

classic construction team using tool to detect water damage in white room while constreuction worker wearing Classic Construction vest is observing on the right cornerThe best contractor for the job is the one who is open and honest with you and with whom you feel most comfortable working. A contractor who can’t explain to you why something should be replaced or how he will do so is probably one who will cost you more money in the long run because he will do it incorrectly the first time around. If you’re looking to repair the water damage as cost efficiently as possible, avoid a smooth talker who talks around the actual problems you are facing.

If you’re looking for a reliable water damage restoration contractor near you, contact Classic Construction today for a free quote. We complete your projects on budget and on time because that’s Classic!

Good Contractors in My Area: What Makes a Contractor Stand Out From His Competition?

When you have a construction project that needs to get done, you want to hire a contractor that can get it done on time, on budget and on a high-quality level. That’s just common sense. But what makes a roofing contractor, a restoration contractor, or really any kind of contractor better than his competition?There are three key traits that set the great contractors apart from the ones you never want to hire again, and they are…LikeabilityThe most enjoyable contractor to work with is the one that you as a property manager, or maybe your HOA Board, actually likes. Construction projects can take a long time and it’s very likely that at least one thing will go wrong, causing problems for you and your residents. Make your job easier by picking a contractor you enjoy speaking with and receiving phone calls from. Most of the time, you’ll find it easier to do repeat business with a contractor you like than one you dread calling, whatever the reason. If you find yourself a contractor that you or your Board “just clicks” with, make sure you also vet them for this next trait.Excellent CommunicationHave you ever met a person you really liked who just never called you back? It’s such a shame when that happens. But this disappointment can quickly become a much bigger issue when it comes to construction. The best contractors will be the ones who take your calls, even when – no, especially when – things have gone wrong. This is a sign of trustworthiness and accountability that you might take for granted until you realize too late how important it is. If you’ve found yourself a contractor you like who answers your calls and emails, hooray! You’re 2/3 of the way to being sure you’ve got a great one. But can he meet the trifecta?Professionally KnowledgeableYou might think this trait should come before communication skills, but if you can’t get the guy to talk to you, you’ll never get a chance to find out if he knows what he’s talking about. And you definitely want your contractor to know what he’s talking about. A likeable guy can con you into hiring him with his charming tongue, then leave you hanging out to dry when the project goes south. The best contractor for the job will be the one you like who communicates well with you and can demonstrate his professional knowledge for you before, during and after the project is complete. And if he truly is the trifecta of contractors, he’ll be able to explain the trickiest parts of the job to you in a way you can actually understand.Here at Classic Construction, we believe in the importance of each one of these traits not just individually, but as a combination as well. If you’re looking for the trifecta of contractors, reach out for a free quote for your next project!

What to Do When a Resident Has a Problem With Construction

Classic Construction, roof being repaired on two story home with yellow tractor and workers below We’ve all had to deal with that one unreasonable resident.

You know the one I’m talking about. He shows up to every meeting, chimes in on every issue, and takes it upon himself to act as the neighborhood watch. Every Board member knows him by name which means that you as the property manager do too. He probably even has your cell phone number!

It can be hard to know what to do when this resident has a problem with construction, but we here at Classic Construction and Restoration, Inc. have over 80 years of experience handling resident/construction conflict.

We’re here to help.

Complaint #1: Noise

Perhaps the biggest construction-related resident complaint is that of the noise. The number one way to help prevent these complaints before you receive them is to make sure your contractor knows that work is only to be done during business hours. Then inform your residents of when work will begin and approximately how long it is expected to last. Most residents understand that when construction is necessary, there will be some loud noises involved. But they do have a reasonable right to expect a quiet, relaxing community after business hours. Try to assure them that you will do your best to provide them this quite time during the construction process.

construction cones blocking walkwayComplaint #2: Detours/Blockades

The second biggest complaint from residents usually involves the inconvenience of having to change up their morning and afternoon commutes. Humans are creatures of habit and having to add an extra 5 minutes to our morning drive is just excessive. (I mean, really!) To help residents adjust, make sure you know in advance where the detours and blockades will be located. Speak with your contractor before construction so that together, you can come to a solution that allows him to complete the work and you to cause the least inconvenience to your residents. And if there’s no way around the inconvenience, let your residents know well in advance about the detours and remind them why it is necessary or why this temporary inconvenience might even be desirable (ie nicer roads, prettier landscaping, etc).

Complaint #3: Jobsite Cleanliness

This complaint is not unreasonable for any resident to have. Messy jobsites are not only displeasing to the eyes, but can also cause problems in the community. Debris in roads and driveways can cause flat tires. Trash could attract nocturnal critters. Carelessly placed equipment can block roads or access to community amenities….the list goes on and on. When you receive a complaint from your residents about the mess the contractor’s crew is leaving behind, take it seriously. Let your contractor know about the issue and ask him to make sure that his crew is cleaning up after themselves daily. Contractors worth keeping should take this complaint seriously as well and strive to improve the condition of their jobsites.

Complaint #4: Quality of the Work

Again, this complaint is not unreasonable at all. Heck, you might even have the same concerns as your residents! If you notice that the work performed by your construction crew is of inferior quality, don’t be afraid to make him aware of it immediately. This is true at each stage of construction. It is better to ask your contractor about the work as you go along and catch some tiny mistakes now before the project is completed. This will save your contractor lots of money and will shorten the length of time you and your residents must deal with the construction. Before releasing final payment to your contractor, you should also make sure you or your residents are satisfied with the work. Most contractors accept this as a business process; if yours doesn’t, you might seriously consider hiring a professional contractor next time.

Managing Construction Projects During COVID-19: HOA Tips

Construction project for Classic Construction HOADue to the nature of the Coronavirus quickly changing the world we live in, the way our residential communities are managed has changed drastically. These days, community managers must determine if a service is essential before they can decide whether they and the board want to move forward with it or not. While determining the nature of needed services as either essential or non-essential is not easy, it is important that these decisions be based on official stay-at-home orders and COVID 19 construction guidelines.

At the time of this writing, residential construction is still considered essential. This means that repairs that need to be made to homes, whether they be single or multi-family, can still be scheduled if certain social distancing and PPE protocols are followed. While this process sounds simple enough – keep 6 feet apart, wear face coverings, gloves, etc – it is easier said than done. Some smaller construction companies might not be able to acquire the gear necessary to perform the work according to these guidelines as the demand for these supplies steadily increases. Or on the other hand, some homeowners might not feel comfortable letting workers into their home without being able to supervise from a close distance.

Again, once the board has decided to move forward with a construction project, you might run into issues with scheduling. Many homeowners might be working from home and do not want to be disturbed by the noise construction crews often make while working. Others might be at high risk of contracting the Coronavirus and therefore not give workers consent to enter their home. In either of these circumstances, the board then has to decide if the construction project is urgent or serious enough to override the desires of the homeowner, if this is even within the board’s power to do so.

All in all, scheduling and performing construction projects is no easy feat in these trying times. Some tips to help you determine whether you and your HOA board should press forward are:

  1. Look to your bylaws and guidelines

If your bylaws state that certain projects must be done yearly, monthly, etc, then it’s probably best that you look into whether you can schedule these services or not. In this event, you should just follow the next tip which is to…

  1. Make sure you comply with CDC guidelines and local ordinances

If you or your board believes that a project must get done, then make sure it gets done in accordance with the law. Just be sure your construction workers understand and follow these instructions as well.

  1. Work with your residents

If you have set forth community guidelines and protection protocols for the safety of your residents, then they will better be able to trust that you are doing all you can to protect them while maintaining their home and community. If you find yourself dealing with a particularly difficult homeowner, try gently explaining to the importance of completing the project and the measures you are taking to ensure their safety. If this fails, you might have to start back at tip number one and determine if this really is an essential job or not.

The Top 3 Ways the Texas Heat and Humidity Can Cause Damage to Your Home

heat damage to Texas home going through inspection with brick layer, Classic Construction employee standing next to a ladder outside of the homeIt’s no surprise to anyone who’s lived here from May to August that North Texas summers are hot and humid. What might surprise you is the damage that the summer heat and humidity can cause to your home. That’s why today, we’re going to share with you the top 3 ways that heat and humidity damage your home – and what you can do about it.

Foundation Damage

Perhaps the biggest threat the Texas heat poses to your home is the threat of foundation issues. Your foundation is designed to gather moisture from the soil around it to help it maintain itself. In the heat, the soil around the base of your home dries up and shrinks away from the foundation, causing an imbalance in the delicate foundational support system. Furthermore, having large trees with large root systems near your home can cause further foundation damage as the roots spread out in search of water. A good way to keep your foundation damage-free is to make sure the soil around your home is continuously moistened by a sprinkler system and to remove any large trees from near your home. You might also consider bringing in more soil if you find that the soil or mulch around your home is already receding.

Roof Damage

heat damage to roof, cracked shingles Here at Classic Construction, we are unusually passionate about regular roof maintenance, and for good reason. Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements, and the heat and humidity in summer can cause damage to your roof that can affect other areas of your home as well. The heat can cause shingles to crack, making them more likely to leak. A good summer shower can come along and then cause unbearable humidity in your attic which, when combined with the heat, can cause the shingles to deteriorate at an even faster rate. The humidity can also cause the insulation in your attic to breakdown. To help prevent damage to your roof, we suggest scheduling regular roof maintenance to keep it properly maintained.

Sealant Damage

heat sealant damage to home roof flashing damage causing the roof to lift up from heat damage to the home. Roof raised a bit to see damageSealant essentially prevents moisture from entering your home or escaping your plumbing. Areas in your home that require sealant include your roof, pipes, windows, doors, tubs, and any openings that lead to the exterior of the home or are near the plumbing. Sealants typically have only a 6-month shelf life before they start peeling or become cracked enough to become ineffective. With the Texas heat and humidity, this shelf life becomes even less. Once moisture enters your home, you can have interior damage from the leaks such as stains on your ceiling or even more serious damage such as rotted wood or buckling hardwood floors. Furthermore, the humidity created by the combination of the leaks and the Texas heat can cause mold and mildew to grow. To prevent any of this from occurring in your home, we (again) suggest regularly scheduled maintenance and a healthy dose of vigilance.

If it’s been a while since you had someone come out and inspect your home for signs of heat damage, reach out to us here at Classic Construction today for a free quote!

Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your North Texas Home for Summer

summer home maintenance, sun shining down on home roof Summer is here! As exciting as warmer weather is, it’s essential that we make sure our home is ready for the change. Below are some of Classic Construction’s top tips to help you prepare your home for Summer.

Inspect your roof

For your safety, you should perform this inspection from the ground to the best of your ability, possibly with binoculars. Check for dents, loose or torn off shingles, and obvious nails sticking out.

Change all your filters

This includes your water, range hood and air vent filters. Summer brings with it all the allergens, so this will help keep your family safe from these annoying particles.

Additionally, you should make sure to clean out your dryer vent. This is massively important to do because it can help you prevent a fire from destroying part or all of your home. Fire restoration services are expensive and time consuming but cleaning your dryer vent is free and takes about an hour.

Check all window and door seals

Summer is a dry season; checking your caulking will help you catch any areas for potential leaks before they cause damage to your home. Consider looking into weather-stripping.

Clean out your gutters

If you didn’t do this between autumn and winter, chances are your gutters are chock full of leaves and debris. When the spring showers hit, your gutters could overflow and cause damage to your home. They could also detach completely from your home from the weight filling them up.

Inspect your foundation

If you have a crawlspace, make sure to clear out and repair your foundation vents as these will prevent mold and critters from taking up residence beneath your home. Look for any visible cracks or shifting.

Inspect any brick or concrete surrounding your home

Moisture is the enemy of brick and concrete. If it seeps beneath your driveway, it can cause cracks and splitting. If water sneaks its way into the mortar between your brick walls, they could crumble and fall apart as well. Check for any signs of moisture seepage in these areas around your home and shop around for an estimate for repairs if you think it’s necessary.

Service your HVAC unit

Despite the costs, we all know our HVAC units are the real MVPs of our homes. They’ve kept us warm all winter and we’ll be expecting them to keep us cool during the summer. Therefore it’s essential to have them serviced by a licensed HVAC professional. You don’t want to wait until the heat of summer to find out you have an AC problem.

Inspect your wood siding, decking, and railing

Winter is harsh on wood. Look for any signs of wood damage or deterioration. If any of your wood is rotted, it needs to be replaced. Also be on the lookout for any signs of termites or other critters. It’s better to have these removed or exterminated before acquiring further damage.

Prepare your pool

If you have a pool, you’re probably already looking forward to using it again. I’m sure you know about the usual cleaning, brushing, chlorinating and debris removal; these are what you usually handle yourself. Make sure you also clean the filter, check the conditioner levels, test your pool equipment, run the pump during the warmest part of the day, and clean your salt cell (if you have a saltwater pool).

When should I hire a contractor for my construction project? 

person-holding-pencil-1388944If you find yourself with a construction project that needs doing, you might be wondering when you should hire a contractor. This can be difficult to know since different types of projects will have different needs. If you’re a property manager or landlord with an angry or persistent tenant, the answer might be “yesterday.” But if you’re a homeowner looking to make upgrades or non-essential improvements, you’ve got time on your side.

In any of these situations, there are 3 main tasks you will need to add to your to-do list before you hire a contractor.

Determine when the work must be completed

Is this an emergency or a wish list project? Emergencies obviously require repairs today, while wish list items can wait. In any event, determine when the work should be completed. If it’s an emergency, you’ll need to move through these steps quickly. But if it’s a wish list project, determine which season would be best to have this work completed.

You’ll also want to be mindful of the construction industry’s busy seasons. The summer season is when many large projects are typically taking place because the lack of rain makes it easier complete a large amount of work in a short amount of time.

Contractors who can get large jobs scheduled are likely to do so in the summer. Large jobs are more difficult to schedule in the spring, fall and winter seasons, so smaller jobs such as leak investigations or interior repairs are more likely to be scheduled during this time.

Determine your budget and scope of work

This is pretty straightforward advice and probably the single most important item on your to-do list before hiring a contractor.

Before a contractor starts demolition on a property or making repairs, they need to have a plan for the work to be done. This is commonly referred to as a bid or an estimate and is where these two items come into play. A bid clearly outlines the work that the client (you) would like to see completed and lets you know how much the contractor expects to be paid for that work. Without a clearly defined scope of work or a budget on your end, you’re likely to overspend and not get what you thought you paid for.

Do your research


contractor renovation project gray-standard-color-book-near-green-eraser-159045Before starting a job, most contractors will submit a formal bid or estimate based on the scope of work and budget you’ve provided them. A good one will work with you and educate you on the price of materials and type of work you’re asking for to make sure you understand why they can or cannot do a certain type of work for the price you’re asking.

When doing your research, make sure you solicit bids from at least 3 different contractors. This will give you a range of price points to choose from, as well as introduce you to a few of the types of contractors you’re likely to encounter. You’ll learn a lot about the values, attitudes, professionalism and knowledge of the contractors while discussing or negotiating their bids with them.

If you don’t know where to start looking for a professional contractor, try the Better Business Bureau.

If you’ve already accomplished these three to-do items, give Classic Construction a call…we provide free estimates and we can do it all on time and on budget.

That’s Classic!

Taking care of your MVP: Why you should get an HVAC system inspection during early summer

Air Conditioner system next to a home, modern clean with bushes and brick wallWhether we know it or not, the HVAC systems in our homes are the heroes we neglect day after day. They keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, all at the touch of a button. And they do it without complaining. We don’t think about how much we need them to work until they break in the heat of a North Texas summer. In order to prevent a summer break down, we have to take care of them.

The best way to do this is to make sure you schedule your yearly HVAC maintenance appointment during early summer.

You might be thinking an HVAC maintenance appointment is a luxury you can’t afford. Let me say this: an HVAC maintenance appointment might run you anywhere from $50 to $100 for the tune up, but a brand new unit will cost you 20 times this or more.

If you’re wondering if you can perform a DIY HVAC tune up, the answer is a
conditional “yes.” There are a few items on the tune up checklist that you can do
yourself.

These include:

 Changing the furnace filter – According to the Department of Energy, this one step can reduce your energy usage by between 5% and 15%, saving you lots of money on energy bills

 Drying out your dehumidifier – the dehumidifier can play a huge role in the efficiency of your HVAC system depending on the time of year. To dry it out, take the outer casing off and let it air out. Once dry, vacuum the entire unit to remove excess dirt and debris.

 Removing obstructions and landscaping around your exterior system-vegetation shouldn’t be allowed to grow within two feet of your exterior air conditioning unit. This is because the unit needs space around it to pull in the air it needs to control the temperature in your home. Make sure to cut back or trim any plants growing around the unit.

 Cleaning the bathroom fans – to make sure these fans run as efficiently as possible, turn the power to the fans off and remove the covers. Wash these in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Using an old toothbrush, clean the fan blades before reattaching the covers.

 Upgrading to a smart thermostat – A smart thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home to be warmer while you’re away and more comfortable while you are home. It might feel like technology is taking over your home, but you might not mind it so much when you get the energy bill.

In order to get your HVAC system in the best, most energy efficient shape of its life, you should have licensed, professional HVAC technician come out and perform a tune-up service.

During this service, the technician will:

 Test refrigerant levels
 Water wash condenser coil for efficiency
 Inspect contractor for proper electrical connectivity
 Inspect capacitor for leakage and wear
 Inspect/lubricate condenser fan motor
 Record amperage draw of compressor
 Inspect and tighten electrical connections
 Inspect service valve for leakage
 Inspect indoor evaporator coil
 Inspect blower assembly
 Calibrate thermostat
 Flush condensate drain
 Evaluate air filters

Handyman adjusting HVAC ceiling air vent. Air flow adjustment for overhead home heat and air conditioning ventilation duct.All of these actions will maintain your AC unit to improve its performance and save you money. And remember, you want to schedule your appointment soon because summer is an HVAC technician’s busiest time of year!

Suggested Community Pool Guidelines for HOA Leaders During COVID- 19

 Community Pool Hoa, blue pool and a railing to enter the poolAs local governments across North Texas start lifting stay-at-home orders, many property managers of HOA and apartment communities are feeling pressure from their residents to open their community’s amenities. This particularly applies to community pools as summer is now upon us.

But there is some trepidation amongst community leaders to do so, specifically
because of the liability issues that arise with their insurance companies. Most
insurance policies are probably unclear on their standards of liability when it
comes to national diseases such as COVID 19 as this is a trial unprecedented in our lifetime.

While we here at Classic Construction do not presume to be experts on what
insurance policies will and will not cover, we can say that we encourage you as a
property manager to speak with the insurance company and determine these
things.

In the meantime, if the pressure from your residents to open the community pool
becomes too great to resist, we have some guidelines that should help you stay in
compliance with the CDC pool guidelines and with social distancing.

First, consider setting up blocks of time for pool access that your residents can
sign up for. This will help you control the number of residents who enter the pool
area at one time and comply with social distancing. Additionally, you might be
able to further mitigate your liability risk by having residents sign a release of
liability waiver before entering the pool area, as well as posting signs reminding
citizens of the social distancing protocol.

Second, consider how you will adjust your sanitation policies to accommodate the
new pool policies. Will you reduce the amount of pool furniture available so that
it can be spaced approximately 6 feet apart? And will you clean and disinfect the
furniture between each time block, or periodically during each time block while
residents swim?

lifeguard at community pool sitting in white chair with red flotie in his lap Lastly, consider the staffing requirements you might have were these policies put into place. While the community might already have a staff of trained lifeguards, we do not suggest asking your lifeguards to perform multiple tasks in addition to watching the pool. This means you might consider hiring staff to document who enters the pool according to your time blocking chart, to collect the liability waivers, and who clean and disinfect all pool furniture and equipment.

If you find that you are able to withstand the pressure from residents to open the community pool, take a moment to consider what repairs can or should be made to your pool area before you do open it. The most common projects we at Classic have performed over the years include repairs to the wrought iron or other
fencing surrounding the pool, as well as surfacing and deck repairs.

Maintenance for Community Managers: How to maintain your community’s playground equipment –

playground slide and stairs with various primary colors With the hot Summer weather drawing near, the kiddos in your community will want to start playing on the playground more frequently. Before they swarm the equipment, check out these CAI maintenance tips for playgrounds.

Clean the equipment
If you’re thinking like a parent or childcare worker, you probably just imagined yourself wiping everything down with Wet Ones. Don’t worry; there is a faster way!

The first thing you might want to do when inspecting the playground equipment in your community is have it power washed. This will not only remove any dirt or mud buildup but also allow you to see any imperfections or damaged areas of the equipment more clearly.

Check structures for insect nests
Lots of insects hate cold weather and to them, the underside of playground
equipment is a good place to build a home. Have your maintenance crew
walk the entire playground area, even the seating areas, and check for insect
nests.

You might this unnecessary because parents should be responsible for keeping their kids from bothering the insects, but there are always parents that are less attentive than you might think. The last thing you want is an angry parent holding
you responsible for their child getting stung by a bee when they’re deathly allergic.

Think “Safety First”
Take this time to have your maintenance crew tighten or replace any loose bolts
on the playground. This is especially important in cases where there are multiple slides or levels to the playground, and if your community is home to lots of children.

If you find any rusty areas on metal playground equipment, or any warped or
damaged areas on plastic playground equipment, consider getting a bid to repair it.

Playground equipment probably isn’t at the top of your Board’s list of priorities
and that’s okay. Just know that to build a new playground set from the ground up,
it can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000. For higher-end communities
that want even nicer equipment, it can cause ten times this much. In the off
chance that your community playground does need some major repairs, know
that it’s cheaper to maintain it than to rebuild it.

playground swing maintenance blue swings

Budget for resurfacing
This is especially important if the playground has wood chips or tire mulch. Even if you don’t plan to completely replace the surfacing, make sure you budget to have it raked and leveled, especially under the swings and slides.

If you’re not sure if you should resurface your community’s playground, Classic Construction recommends reading the Texas Health and Safety Code regarding playground surfacing. You’ll want to make sure your current playground is up to code before worrying about whether or not it’s in good enough condition to leave in place.

Community playgrounds are amenities that do an excellent job of bringing communities together. They get kids and parents out of their homes and into connection and conversation with each other. To make sure your community playground can continue to provide this invaluable service, take some time to schedule the inspection today.