Fall home exterior preps

How To Prep Your Home Exterior for The Fall

Fall home exterior prepsFall isn’t just for buying the cutest seasonal decorations for the home! It’s also time to make sure some of the largest structures & features of a home are ready for the season. Here is our list of fall must-have checks to ensure that you’ll be staying warm and that your exterior is prepped while you cozy up with your Pumpkin Spiced Latte after you learn how to prep your home exterior for the fall.

Check for Air Leaks In Windows

Air leaks in windows can be hard to detect, but can have critical results to your home in colder months. The easiest way to check for an air leak is to look and feel around your windows. You can also conduct a flame test with a candle by lighting the candle and tracing the outline of your window. Renting a thermal camera can also help you if you are having a hard time detecting a leak. If you do identify a leak, you can use a caulking gun, putty knife, and weather-stripping to help seal air leaks in the window frame and grilles. If the issue is more significant than a small air leak that can’t be sealed with the above items, you may need to contact a professional to help you replace your windows.

Prep Your Pool

You’ve spent all summer enjoying the pool in this hot Texas weather – now it’s time to prepare to close the pool for the winter. Aside from the usual Fall maintenance of cleaning rogue leaves, you can get a head start on some of these activities to get your pool ready for fall (and prep for winter):

  • Clean Pool Accessories & Store Them
  • Test Your Water Quality To Prevent Algae Growth
  • Lower Your Water Level

Lawn

Though the cool weather will bring gloomy rain to your lawn, maintenance will allow your lawn and garden to flourish throughout the fall & make your life easier when the Spring comes. Keeping your lawn flourishing during the cool season of Fall involves testing your soil, feeding your lawn with fertilizer, removing excess thatch, and more simple tasks. Keep in mind, utilizing whatever you can to maintaining your lawn care will keep your visitors happy and your garden peaceful for when Spring rolls back around.

Conclusion

Ensuring that your home is ready for the fall doesn’t always cross a homeowner’s mind, but you can always count on us to help you be prepared and be proactive about protection your lovely home! If you’re looking for tips for a commercial or multi-family residence, give us a call so that we can prepare a quote to get your property fall ready and safe!

Classic Construction Project in Austin

We’re Coming to San Antonio & Austin!

Classic Construction just announced their expansion to the San Antonio and Austin areas in Texas. Their team of over 40 production managers, estimators, account managers, knowledge experts and leaders are excited to partner with local commercial companies that facilitated the new venture.

How We Can Help

Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc has a long-standing reputation in DFW as a leading contractor for commercial construction, renovations, and restoration after major catastrophes, and we’re looking forward to bringing that reputation to San Antonio and Austin! We work with multifamily communities, shopping centers, restaurants, and all other commercial properties performing maintenance inspections and corrective actions including leak repair, roof repair, concrete pathway and wall restoration, plumbing and electrical. Our experienced team of project managers will oversee your commercial property renovation from beginning to end to make sure all services are performed correctly!

Project In Progress

Our team was recently in Austin performing a leak investigation. Our client was concerned that they may have a construction defect in their stucco, causing potential water intrusion. Our leak detection team used their infrared technology and performed water tests to identify a number of sources where water was entering the building and determined that it was not a construction defect. They repaired the exterior penetrations and replaced the sealant around each of the windows. Follow us on our social media to keep up with our upcoming projects @constructionclassic.

 

Our Construction & Restoration Services for Austin & San Antonio

Take a peek of the wide range of commercial general contractor services that we’re bringing to these vibrant areas – a perfect fit for Property Owners and Managers in the area:

Conclusion – With over 2,000 projects completed in 2020 alone, this family-owned general contractor is pleased to be welcomed and ready to help local businesses and residents with a variety of needs. We can’t wait to share our 90 years of experience with you!

Demolition of the old pathway

Project Spotlight: Valley Ranch Pathway Replacement

We’re starting 20,000 sq feet of asphalt and paver pathway replacement with new concrete at Valley Ranch. They know the importance of keeping concrete walkways level and uncracked. Cracked sidewalks are a trip hazard and a huge liability for property owners. Our clay soild is prone to shifting and cracking over time, which can buckle, crack, and distort concrete. Follow our progress as we give this community a facelift!

Day 1- Demo

French or trench drain

Know Your Drainage Systems for Texas Homes

In Texas, we’re known for extreme weather that can change from one day to the next. While much of the year is dusty and dry, we can have periods of torrential rain, like we did this spring! It’s important to have a proper drainage system if your property doesn’t naturally drain water away to avoid damage to your foundation or even leaks into your home or the (rare) basement. Read on to learn about the different types of drainage systems and how they can help save you from costly repairs down the road.

French or trench drain

French Drains

These types of drains, also referred to as “trench drains”, are definitely one of the most widely known and popular drain systems. The goal is to create a channel for water to empty into an area away from the house, with a goal of preventing water on the ground and on the surface from creating more damage to your home’s foundation – and we all know how finicky a Texan foundation can already be!

Surface Drain to move water from your house

 

Surface Drains (Ditch)

This drainage system speak directly to its name as it consists of shallow ditches that are most suitable for permeable soils, as well as clay subsoils. The purpose of a surface drain is to remove the excess water from the surface of the land and discharge it into a larger and much deeper collector drain. In order to facilitate this excess flow of water toward the larger drains, the field must be given an artificial slope by the means of land grading.

 

Basement DrainsBasement Drains

When soil gets saturated, excess water will collect and put pressure onto your foundation wall or floor, potentially creating cracks and then entering the property if left untreated.

Basement drain systems keep your basement and foundation safe of water damage by pumping excess water away from the area via a sump pump. These systems work by typically installing perforated pipes around the base of your property that will collect excess moisture into a sump pit. After the moisture levels reach a certain point, the pump will activate and begin directing the water away from the foundation. There are exterior and interior types of basement drain systems, but they’re both very similar in installation and function. The only difference is the exterior systems are installed around the perimeter of your foundation while interior systems are installed around the basement floor.

Gutter Systems for water drainageGutter Systems

Gutter systems are a series of metal pipes that sit just on the edge of your roof and catch water and then directs to water to a downspout. Your downspout can point to a surface drain or empty directly into a rain barrel! Even though water is good for your lawn, a large downpour can cause the water to erode the dirt around your home leaving pools of water that can damage your foundation.

It’s important to regularly clean your gutters of debris to avoid clogs. Always install high-quality gutters, as cheap materials will wear out. Many modern gutters come with debris guards!

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many ways to protect your property from water damage, including drainage systems, which direct water away from your foundation. Any good contractor, like Classic Construction, will come do a free estimate and tell you specifically what type of drainage system is best for your home or business. Contact us or give us a call to schedule your appointment!

Putting together an estimate for home damage

What’s the Difference Between an Estimate and an Invoice?

Now that you’ve picked Classic Construction as your contractor, you may have received an invoice that is slightly different from your estimate. From time to time projects start with an estimate and most always begin with with an invoice. At Classic, we want to help inform you on the how we break down our estimates and invoices for when we partner with you as your team of general contractors.

Putting together an estimate for home damageWhat is an estimate?/What is included?

An Estimate is a document in which our estimators outline the estimated costs of repair and restoration. They will walk your property, often with an insurance adjuster, and take notes of materials, damage, and what needs to be replaced.

Then, replacement materials are sourced and priced and those numbers are applied to the notes. The final result is your estimate. This document is useful for getting insurance payouts, for comparing between construction companies (see our blog on why multiple bids can work against you!). From here you can accept the bid, which will then turn into an invoice.

What is an Invoice and What Is included?

An Invoice is a document that our team will give you once your project is completed. It will include an itemized list of your entire project and is the amount that you will be requested to pay. The itemized list includes all of the items that were used to complete your project and any additional fees. This could be things like contractors fees, sub-contractors fees, supplies fees (wood, nails, cement, etc.), disposal fees and so on. The invoice also includes any additional items that came up along the way that were not included on your original estimate. As with any large project there are sometimes things that will pop-up that you can not plan for and these will be reflected on the final invoice.

Why They Can Differ

An estimate is always just a rough calculation for the cost of work needed to be done upon initial inspection. Once your contractor actually gets into the project, it’s not uncommon that the scope of work gets expanded. Whether it be hidden damage that wasn’t able to be assessed or complications during the project, your invoice at the end of the project will be different from your estimate cost.

Conclusion

It can be easy to get estimates and invoices confused with each other, but our team is always here to help if you aren’t quite sure which stage your project is in when it comes to moving forward with it. If you ever have a question about any documents, feel free to reach out to our team any time and give us a call – we’ll always be here when you need us the most!

Stud-framed wall with double header

What To Expect When Removing An Interior Wall

The great news is that nearly any wall can be removed – the question is going to be what can be expected during the removal process and exactly how much funds will it take? The basics of a wall removal process can be rumored as easy to do yourself but this is never the case. When considering removing a wall, you should always call a professional to appropriately assist in checking wiring, plumbing, and other elements that could potentially cause major damage to your special home. At Classic, we want to make the process an easy one for you so we’ve broken down what you can expect during the interior wall removal process.

What Steps Are Involved?

Stud-framed wall with double headerAssessing the wall to be removed is going to be the single most important step in the removal process. Depending on your plans for the space, you may need to completely reroute any electrical lines, gas lines, plumbing and possibly adjust air ducts. Although you might be able to get a good idea of what lies behind your walls based on the current fixtures (cover plates or pipes, for example), you won’t be 100% certain about the structure of that wall until the drywall is completely removed.
It’s definitely best to have an experience contractor assess the wall so that you can get a better idea of the next steps, which may involve additional steps beyond simply rerouting lines – you may need a new beam installed and adjustments to your foundation made to prevent damage to your home.

Load Bearing vs. Non-Load Bearing

So you’ve got the steps now what? Well now it’s time to find out if that wall is load bearing or not. This will determine if you’re ready to grab your hand-dandy sledge hammer and bang away like they do on HGTV or if you should make other arrangements to take that wall down. Non-load bearing walls are simply there to define the spaces in your home or building and do not support the structure at all. Looking at the beams in your attic or basement is the best way to find these walls, if they run parallel (or the same way as the wall) then you’re good to go! Knock that wall down! 
However if the beams run directly into the concrete foundation then woah, stop right there, this is likely a load bearing wall! At this point it’s best to call a pro as there is a lot more to this than just knocking some holes, tearing down sheetrock, and removing the beams. You’re looking at major structural changes, the need of an architect, and more. Your next thought is probably what is this going to cost me? 

How Much Does it Cost?

The simple answer is… it depends. You could be looking at anywhere from $300 to upwards of $10,000. In general, non-load bearing walls will be cheaper to remove than load bearing walls. Whether your home is single or has multiple stories will also affect cost. The removal of a wall may seem like a simple thing, but you also have to consider that the wall may contain electrical, plumbing, or other service lines. Your best bet is to call professionals such as Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc to get a free estimate and let them handle the project from start to finish.

Conclusion

Replacing an internal wall can seem like an easy project – on TV, it takes about 10 minutes! In reality, the surprises uncovered in the structure of the wall and sometimes even in the stability of the home itself can make what seems like a simple project a complete DIY nightmare. Our team of experts at Classic Construction have seen it all and will make every effort to make your space the place of your dreams without the headache or the surprises.
Contact us today for a quote!
House with electric line

Who is Responsible For Electrical Components?

House with electric lineWhen it comes to the ownership guidelines for your homes electrical system, things can start to look all the same. So question is, how do you separate what you are responsible for replacing and/or maintaining versus what components your electrical company is responsible for?
When you live in North Texas, it can be difficult to differentiate the two but keep on reading, we’re going to help you breakdown the difference of what you can save your money on.

Electric Company Responsibility

Your electric company is only responsible for maintaining and repairing the following items:
  • Wooden utility poles
  • Overhead and underground power lines
  • Electric service lines that run between utility poles and to your home
  • Transformers
  • Electric meter
If you notice any damage or suspect something is wrong, please contact your provider and let them send out a professional. Your safety should be a priority when it comes to these items.

Homeowner’s Responsibility

Homeowners or commercial property owners are responsible for maintaining most of the equipment on their property, outside of the above-mentioned electric meter and electric lines running between poles. 
Remember, you should never attempt electrical work yourself if you are not a licensed electrician. Always hire a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician perform maintenance and repairs to avoid hazard and injury.
 
  • The typically hood-shaped cap that sits atop a metal pipe connecting your home and electric service lines is called a weatherhead and is your responsibility to keep in good condition.
  • The wiring in and around your home is your responsibility as a property owner. This includes the wires connecting the weatherhead to the meter as well as the lines leading from the meter.
  • The meter base is the enclosure that houses and protects the electric meter. Typically you can find it on the side of your house, and sometimes in the back. Like gas meters, most cities require an inspection before electricity can be restored after a meter base installation or repair, and the hired electrician must have the new meter base installed and inspected before Oncor can install the new meter itself.
  • Access to your property. Troubleshooting and repairing issues with your electric meter, service line or transformer may require our employees to access your property.
  • Oncor and Oncor contractors are to be granted access to your property for inspection, repair, and maintenance of your service line, transformer, meter, or any other electrical equipment. They generally make all attempts to get permission for access, but in the event they cannot, they might cut locks on gates or scale fences for access. If possible, you should make access 

Trees

Any low voltage lines going from the power line to a person’s house are the home owner’s responsibility. The rest of the lines and the transformer on the utility poll are high voltage and Oncor’s responsibility. 

Trees on your property are your property to maintain and keep a safe distance from power lines. You can contact your energy provider or Oncor for a temporary disconnection while trimming occurs for safety, though there may be costs associated. Oncor also contracts tree trimmers to clear the lines, though, they only trim the areas around the lines and not the whole tree.

Conclusion

When it comes to who should handle what on electrical issues for your property it’s best to always err on the side of caution and hire a professional. Here at Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc. we work with only licensed and insured electricians to ensure that your property is handled correctly and safely. Should you find that you need any type of electrical work call us first! We offer free estimates for any work you may need. Be sure to check out our other services to see how we can help you with all your projects!
Insurance adjuster inspecting abandoned building

Why You Shouldn’t Secure Multiple Bids When Filing an Insurance Claim

How Insurance Claims are Processed

Insurance adjuster inspecting a building

Insurance adjuster inspecting a building

After a loss, or property damage, is reported to the insurance company, the claims department will first call their very own adjusters to assess the damages and provide an estimate on the cost to restore the damage. Sometimes, the insurance will recommend a contractor for you or you might be able to choose your own to complete the work. Wise contractors have worked with adjusters from a multitude of insurance companies and understand how adjusters come up with their estimates in order to help better estimate the final costs and get the best value.

It’s important that your contractor be in attendance when your adjuster comes to inspect the property. While Classic will never overstep or attempt to argue with the adjuster, we will help with the formalities of the meeting and ensure that you get the coverage you need based on the assessment. Our expertise in terms of damage is crucial to getting repairs covered, though the insurance adjuster will ultimately decide what damage is and is not covered by the policy.

The Estimation Process

The estimate process for a storm damage claim is fairly simple! Your adjuster will begin by walking the site and documenting the damage thoroughly and log all of the details into software so that it is well documented. Because adjusters work within the framework of the insurance companies, most expert contractors know exactly the types of constraints that they need to work within to make their estimation as accurate as possible.

Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc uses the Xactimate software, which helps us create a bid that is likely to match the insurance company’s assessment. Our estimators deliver the bids directly to our clients so they can submit the estimate with their claim to the insurance company.

Did you know?

Storms that cause catastrophic damage are oftentimes followed by storm chasers. When dealing with storm chasers, it is important to recognize what damage your property has taken on from the storm and how a professional can help. This knowledge will be useful when storm chasers offer outrageous deals on siding and roof repair that are likely to be of lower quality than what a professional contractor will offer.

Insurance companies may also bring in adjusters from out of state for wide-spread storm damage to facilitate quick turnaround time for the insurance companies and the homeowners. These quick-turnaround adjusters make fast assessments and move on to the next property. These estimates are often low and designed to move the process along quickly.

How Multiple Bids Can Cost You More

Clients will often get multiple bids from different companies to find the best price. Classic is priced fairly and in-line with industry standards, but oftentimes come back higher than competing bids – because we’ve been more thorough in our inspection and will seek to restore an entire structure, not just the cosmetic portion of the damage. We will also justify the full bid to the adjuster so the client doesn’t have to.

While insurance companies are not trying to cheat you out of compensation, they also want to keep their costs at a minimum. When presented with multiple bids, insurance company will always choose to go with the lowest one. This might in turn hurt you if further damages is discovered during the repairing process. Since the insurance company has already agreed to the (lowest) bid, they will not be responsible for any extra compensation that was not presented on the original bid.

Conclusion

It can be difficult to find a partner that you trust to ensure that your insurance claim provides the best case scenario to restore your property back to normal. By understanding the general process, it should help you be better prepared for discussions with your insurance company and any expert storm restoration contractors that would best fit your needs. Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc has the expertise to guide you through an insurance claim to make sure your damage is fairly covered, provided you call us BEFORE you file that claim! Call for a free estimate today!

construction working repairing foundation

What You need to Know About Rain, Heat, and Your Foundation

North Texas is known for a lot of things: Big Sky views, cold beer, tacos, a friendly-population, and… clay dirt. Being located next to the Trinity River has given us very fertile and wonderful soil, great for settling on, but that same soil moves and shifts with the weather. Read on to learn how foundations and sidewalks are affected by our shifting ground.

How Soil Affects Your Foundation

Foundations are susceptible to damage from our dry Texas soil. As the clay or loamy soil absorbs moisture overnight and in the morning, or after a heavy rain, it can expand and swell as it holds water. As the soil dries, it contracts, leaving large ruts and cracks behind. As the soil beneath your house or sidewalk expands and contracts, it shifts the house with it, moving it up and down or shearing it from side to side. This movement will cause your slab foundation to crack, and your pier and beam foundation to slant. Larger cracks can leave voids in the soil, which can cause your foundation to buckle and collapse! As many wonderful reasons as North Texas has for living here, foundation management is a drawback all homeowners have to manage!

How to Spot Foundation Damage

cracks around windows indicate foundation damage

Cracks around windows indicate foundation damage.

Depending on what type of foundation you have, damage to your foundation can show in many different ways. The most obvious would be physical cracks or gaps in your foundation or exterior of the property. If your building has slab foundation, cracks in the floor or walls are also signs that your foundation is shifting. Your flooring will begin to buckle when pier and beam foundations are exhibiting damage. Some more common indicators are stuck doors, uneven house levels or sagging flooring, and gaps around your windows or door frames. You may notice cracks in your sidewalks, concrete patios, or garage floors, which can indicate moving soil and hidden damage to your foundation. Each house or property will react to foundation damage differently, so any early signs of damage should be checked out by foundation experts such as Classic Construction & Restoration.

How to Fix Damaged Foundations

construction working repairing foundation

Inspection and repair early on can prevent costly foundation repairs.

The best way to treat foundation damage is to take action as soon as any indications of sinking or sagging in the concrete is noticed. When you see signs of sinking in your concrete, call a professional! Some home-owners may not notice cracks in their concrete as their homes are lifted on a pier and beam foundation, in which case noticing buckles in your flooring or disoriented windows and doorways is sign to call a pro! At Classic we offer a free consultation to estimate how much damage has been caused to your foundation and how soon it needs to be treated. Stabilizing a foundation with structure problems is not a task that should be taken lightly by utilizing home remedies as you may risk the possibility of causing more harm than good.

Classic Construction is There For You

You can’t stop our heavy spring rains or our dry summers, but as a homeowner or property owner in North Texas, you can do a lot to spot and prevent foundation damage from shifting soil. Call us for your free estimate for foundation or sidewalk repair today! We now offer financing through our partner, Heath, and your project could be funded as soon as today!

cracked Spanish tile roof with hail damage

Hail – When to worry!

Hail happens and you’re often wondering “What the HAIL do I do now?” First take a look at the hail that is falling: the smaller it is the less you have to worry about. However once it hits a certain size your home or business will begin to get damage. Taking a good look around your property to see if there is any obvious damage. Any signs of damage means you should call a professional to come out. Read on to learn about the size of hail and its relation to damage, tips for quickly identifying damage, and on when to call in a professional for inspection and repair!

hailstorm in front of a house

Size Matters!

The damage that your property can receive during a hailstorm is not always dependent solely on the size of the hail, wind has a huge factor to play as well. Though small hail sizes have a less chance of causing serious damage, when the wind speeds increase, these smaller sizes can end up bringing minor damages to window screens and vinyl siding. The severity of your property damage increases as the size in hail does as well—usually ranging from 1-2” and in some cases even above that! When the hail reaches the size of 2” or above is when you have to start figuring out not “if” there is damage to your property but “where” the damage is.

 

Take a Look Around.

You may not have the safety equipment to get onto your roof, but there are ways you can survey for damage from the ground.  Here are some quick tips to safely scout for hail damage:

  1. Do you see damage that seemingly has no discernible pattern? Especially after a storm, random spotting on your roof is a good sign you have damage.
  2. Black spots on shingles, “bruising” of shingles, or shiny spots on shingles. This means the granulated coating has been knocked off, exposing the felt underneath.
  3. Spots on shingles that are soft to the touch, if you’re able to get on the roof yourself.
  4. Cracked tiles on a Spanish-tile roof.
  5. Splits in wood on your roof, shingles that appear split or torn, and dents in metal flashing around chimneys and vents.
  6. Water spots or leaky ceilings inside your home or building.

Why a Hire a Pro?

Roof Hail Damaged Shingles InspectionAfter reading all of the above you’re probably now wondering why to call a professional. The answer is simple, we have the know how to not only identify damage that you can’t easily see but we can also help you navigate the insurance companies red tape to get your business or home repaired faster. Classic Construction is also Master GAF Elite certified (learn more about why this is important ) and can ensure that your roof, where the majority of the damage takes place, is repaired correctly and to code to keep you safe. Knowing why to call a professional is going to be your best defense when it comes to getting any hail damage repairs completed. Classic Construction offers a free inspection of your property after a hail storm hits. You can reach us 24/7 by calling(link to phone number if possible) or contacting via our website (link to contact form on website). 

Conclusion

Storm season in North Texas can be severe, at times, and can last from spring through the fall. In addition to water damage, wind damage, and fallen trees, hail can cause major worries for homeowners and commercial or multi-family property owners. Classic Construction has over 85 years of experience and can get your home or business back to normal in no time. On time, on budget, that’s Classic!

Contact us today for a free estimate or call (469) 290-8980!