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!

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

Fall Homeowner Tips and Tricks

Resolutions Every Homeowner Should Have For Fall

With the kids back to school and fall in full swing, now is a great time to start thinking about catching up with things at home. During the summer, you were probably wrapped up in activities and the hustle-and-bustle, and tasks you were thinking of completing may have gotten put off. In fact, you probably don’t give much thought into being a homeowner on a daily basis. It’s second nature to pay the bills, fold the laundry, and put dinner on the table; however, we all know there’s much more to homeownership than that. The longer you’ve owned a home, the longer the to-do list becomes. Don’t let the small tasks like washing dishes and going to the grocery store distract you from tackling home improvements and projects you have put off, especially because as those small tasks are put off, small repairs can become big damage.

Now is a great time to get your goals in place! Here are three resolutions you can prioritize as a homeowner this fall.

Start those home improvement projects

If you’ve lived in your house for a while or if you live in an older home, you’ve probably accumulated and put off a laundry list of home updates either because you haven’t had the money to fund them or you simply didn’t have the time. You’re not alone — the average U.S. household has about nine home improvement projects waiting to be completed. And the longer you wait, the more costly they can become down the road.

This year, take on the projects that you’ve been procrastinating. Research experienced contractors, get quotes, or see what you could save money on by doing it yourself. While these projects might be daunting, some of the improvements you’re avoiding can actually be unsafe if not repaired. Therefore, it’s essential to get them done sooner than later. If money is scarce, you can find comfort in knowing that homeowners can use equity they’ve built in their home to acquire cash to put toward home repairs.

Cut back monthly expenses

Now is the prime time for you to reevaluate your spending habits. Homeowners have a running list of monthly payments from your Wi-fi, phone bills, utilities, to your mortgage payment. Add to that groceries, childcare, transportation, and any other home expenses, you might find that there’s not a lot of money left over to enjoy with your family or even store into your personal savings.

Look into ways that you can minimize your monthly expenses. For minor adjustments in your spending, search for more budget friendly products. For larger adjustments, you can also explore lower-cost options for major services you’re using like your wireless network or cable provider that could significantly decrease your overall spending. You can even consider going green, and investing in eco-friendly light bulbs, appliances, or even solar to not only improve your home but also save money on electricity. Any changes in spending, big or small, can successfully expand your freedom to spend or save with fewer concerns. The money you save can be put into some great low cost remodeling projects or help you redesign your kitchen and bathroom to get the space you have always wanted.

Get organized

Did you know that the typical American household contains approximately 300,000 items? That said, it’s no wonder that our homes get a bit messy every once in a while. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until spring to do your spring cleaning – you can do it way more often and with much less stress!

When you have free time (it could even be just 10 minutes a day), start decluttering by going through one area in your room and setting aside a few items like clothes or household items that are old, worn, or unused.

Some of the things that are easy to part with (they don’t hold much sentimental value) can be resold, recycled, or even donated to a good cause. If there are items that you have a strong emotional connection to, you can store it in a separate location from your main living space, perhaps in the garage (off of the floor and preferably on a rack or shelf to prevent mold growth) or in the attic in a plastic bin for safe keeping. Make sure to keep it tightly closed to protect from bugs or rodents just in case! Remove items you can live comfortably without and look into new and creative storage techniques if you’re short on space. Either way, decluttering is great for keeping your home spic and span and a great way to keep you feeling refreshed in your own home.

In Conclusion

Home ownership is never a walk in the park. With everything on your plate, it’s no surprise that some projects get pushed to the back burner. Take the fall time as an opportunity for a fresh start. Be proactive, get motivated, and find ways to balance life so you can live happily and stress-free in your home now and transitioning into the holidays. If you need help with updates and repairs to your home, call Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc, for fill out our contact form for a quote!

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!

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!
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!

Solar panel maintenance

Post-Storm Solar Panel Maintenance for Homeowners

Solar panel maintenanceSolar panels for the home are growing in popularity and have become increasingly affordable since they first became available for widespread use in the 1970s. Another data point for homeowners to consider when choosing to utilize solar panels is both the time and cost required to maintain them, especially after a storm. There are a few general cleaning tasks that homeowners can perform autonomously but knowing what can be completed on your own and when to call in a professional is essential in maintaining the functionality of your solar panels after stormy weather.

Inspect Your Solar Panels After a Storm

Dirty and cluttered solar panels are less effective in gathering energy, so making sure to inspect them after a storm is critical. Rain is useful in clearing loose dirt and pollen, but if mud and debris land on your panels, they will need to be cleaned as soon as possible. If you’re not sure your panels need to be cleaned, monitor their performance and make sure they are working at full capacity. If not, then cleaning your panels is likely required.

How to Clean and Remove Debris

If you notice that your panels need cleaning after a storm, start by removing debris and checking for damage. Make sure that your manufacturers’ cleaning and maintenance standards are reviewed to see if there are specific requirements for cleaning agents or brushes for your specific solar hardware. If nothing specific is recommended, then using a regular dry brush to lightly sweep away debris and choosing a clarifying soap that won’t leave residue should be sufficient. You can then use a light spraying function on your hose (do not powerwash) to rinse off the panels and dry them with anything that works well on glass. Never step directly onto solar panels when cleaning them, as this can cause micro-breaks in the glass and cause further damage.

Here’s When You Need to Call a Professional

If you’ve removed debris, thoroughly cleaned your panels, and noticed any cracks or severe damage, then it’s time to call a professional. Never attempt to fix any damage on your own, and if no damage is found, but your solar panels still aren’t working at peak performance, that’s also a sign that they may need professional servicing. Solar panels will save homeowners money by reducing energy costs, and there are multiple tax credits and rebates that homeowners can leverage. Panels are easy to maintain and require little maintenance overall but paying particular attention to panels after a storm will ensure that their performance is not interrupted.

Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with FedSteel, a heavy-walled steel vendor.

Tornado

How to Storm-Proof Your Home Entryways

TornadoDepending on where you live, there are some serious precautions you need to take against hail and other debris scattered around by storms and tornadoes. If you live in a state prone to tornadoes, hail or other extreme weather events, you would be wise to check the durability of your doors and other entrances.

The main factor to ensure is that your door or window is strong and can stand up to an impact. For example, there is impact glass used in sliding doors or fiberglass entrances that is capable of resisting a 2×4 piece of wood hurtling into the material at 30 miles per hour.

Which types of windows and doors might give you the best protection against hail and other debris associated with stormy weather?

Stainless steel and aluminum metal

This kind of metal is a tough material that stands up well against tornado-force winds and flying debris caused by tornadoes. They require little upkeep and also are popular due to their aesthetic qualities. Steel can often be molded to mimic the appearance of natural wood, making this a great choice for those who want storm protection alongside a pleasant-looking material.

Fiberglass and sliding glass doors

As touched upon, fiberglass makes a super strong protective entrance when made with impact glass. This kind of glass is designed to withstand forceful impacts from large objects, making them perfect for storms and tornadoes.

Also, fiberglass can be easily molded into a variety of shapes, as well as being paired with realistic wood frames that can add a touch of class to your impact door.

Impact glass can also be used in sliding doors. This is perfect in regions with tropical climates that need plenty of air flow in the home, and where residents regularly spend time outdoors.

windload compliance

Wind-rated garage doors

It is not only your front door that needs protection – your garage is also left vulnerable during a storm or tornado. High wind is capable of pushing your garage door inward, creating potential structural damage to your home if your garage is attached to the rest of your building.

Check your current garage door for a wind compliance label, shown below. If you do not find evidence that your garage door is wind-resistant, it might be best to purchase a new door that can withstand high winds. Alternatively, it is a good idea to reinforce your garage door with metal stiffeners or metal bracing.

Wrought iron doors

Doors made from wrought iron are naturally heavy-set to protect against storms. They can be fashioned into all sorts of patterns by designers, but the most important thing is that they are tough and wind-resistant.

When to call Classic

If you are in need of storm repair or remediation, or you’re simply doing a renovation, call Classic Construction for a free estimate. We’re a team of highly trained professionals ready to help you! We now offer financing through our partners, Heath, and work alongside your insurance company.

 

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!

Remodeled Restaurant

Tips for Restaurant Renovations

Building integrity, roofing, foundation, flooring, walls

Damaged Roof Shingles on a business roofPurchasing a building will require inspection and most likely renovations. This is a great time to knock out major renovations as well as cosmetic updates. Building integrity is a major component not only in making sure you do not experience leaks, electrical issues, or cracks in the walls and ceilings, which can be costly to fix later, but they will give your customers pause. If the outside looks bad… what does the kitchen look like?

Roofing inspections can find leaks and weak spots. Foundation inspections can find small cracks before they get bigger. And major plumbing and electrical upgrades can be less costly when bundled in with a full renovation. Classic Construction has expertise in renovating and restoring commercial buildings for restaurants, or any industry, so your customers feel confident they’re patronizing a clean and safe business. As major renovations are being done, consider updating walls and outdated, crack, or dirty flooring for something clean and new.

Maximize seating areas

In today’s world, it’s important to not only make your restaurant space accommodating, but also flexible. Our team stresses 3 things: 1) Optimization 2) Productivity 3) Profit

Remodeled RestaurantOptimizing your restaurant space can include many different elements that create the space that your customers will overlook but enjoy while ensuring that the floor plan is efficiently managed. It’s important to understand that different types of restaurants (Fine Dining, Fast Food) will have different guidelines and require different layouts based on the type of dining itself. The space between customers during COVID and room for the furniture and staff to move around easily must now also be flexible enough to change at a moment’s notice and with long-term planning when dining areas are fully open and customers are comfortable sitting closer together. Our team can help partner with experts with professional space planning expertise that creates the perfect space based on the type of restaurant you own.

Productivity is important for your business – allowing your staff to move freely without running into each other in the kitchen and in the dining room with a well-laid out floor plan in both areas are the key to ensuring that your staff’s efficiency is top-notch. Even small things like making it clear where the restroom is located can save your staff from being bothered while they need to work on something else – this is one of the small yet highly impactful adjustments that really reduce inefficiencies over time. From the more apparent productivity floor planning and down to the strategic pieces, our team can help brainstorm and create the space that truly maximizes productivity and reduces overall costs.

At the end of the day, profit is highly impacted by the layout of your restaurant. During every step of the way of planning a restaurant’s space, our goal isn’t just to create a beautiful building for your restaurant, but to create the strategically beautiful and creative plan for your restaurant that maximizes your profit and facilitates its growth and success.

Give your staff room to work/keep work areas hidden from guests

When remodeling, you should also consider ample employee work space and keeping it hidden/separate from the guest areas. Not only will this make work more efficient and smooth for your employees, but it also enhances the dining experience of your guests. Things such as custom half-walls so your servers can still see the guests, but the patrons won’t be distracted by the inner workings of the restaurant.

Conclusion

When considering the affordability of starting a new restaurant, remodeling and making sure you are building a safe and comfortable environment for future patrons must be taken into consideration alongside maximizing seating area in the restaurant. At Classic Construction, we can’t purchase a new restaurant for you but we can do help you build integrity by making sure all of your buildings needs are met. Contact us for a free estimate and walk through today!