Chimney on fire

Getting the Chimney Ready for Fall and Preventing a Fire

Learn How to Keep Your Chimney Safe This Fall

Chimney on fireNow that the weather is beginning to cool, chimneys are ready to be lit. Warm and cozy evenings are bliss to everyone when you’re in the comfort of your own home but making sure your key comfort is safe for fire prevention will allow you to enjoy the fireplace when the time comes. From minimizing creosote build-up to scheduling inspections, chimney preparation is a key component to getting your home prepped for the cozy fireplace memories.

Preparing the Fireplace (regular and gas)

It’s not everyone’s favorite task to clean a fireplace, but it’s the first and most important step of getting your fireplace ready for the fall. Make sure to go outside of your home and take a look at the outside of your chimney to ensure that there isn’t any damage to the bricks, no cracks, loose bricks or gaping holes.

After that, make your way inside to clean the interior with a water and vinegar mixture or any fireplace-specific cleaning solution. Go ahead and grab a mask and use a vacuum afterwards to help you remove build up around your fireplace.

Hire a Professional for Inspection

Once you’ve prepared your fireplace for the fall, it’s better to be safe than sorry and hire a professional to come give your fireplace the final “OK” to fire it up. Some things that a professional may be able to catch that a homeowner may miss includes structural damage, broken or soon-to-break flues, and flues that aren’t quite closing all the way.

If you have a gas-burning fireplace, make sure to get an inspection at least every other year to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned. Having a professional find and prevent these issues can be the difference between a pumpkin-spiced sweet holiday or a visit from a team of firefighters.

Choosing the Right Wood

While it’s true that most wood will burn in a fireplace, choosing the right wood is important, not only for enjoyment, but for the health of your fire place.

  • Oak – Is considered the best wood to burn, for lasting longer as well as burns more evenly and hotter. However, to burn well, oak needs to be seasoned well and properly for at least a year after cutting.
  • Maple – Like oak, it is a great choice since it burns evenly and and slowly, creating less buildup and mess. You can use Red Maple, Sugar, or Hard Maple for great results.
  • Birch – Birch gives off a beautiful flame, but it burns very quickly and can cause a larger buildup in your chimney in a shorter timeframe.

Remember, regardless of the type of wood you’re using, schedule to have your chimney cleaned before it gets too cold out so it is ready to go before the first fire of the season.

In Conclusion

In the event that you suffer a fire in your local family home or community, give us a call.

turkery fryer

Char Your Turkey, Not Your Kitchen! 3 Tips to Prepare

Preventing Fires at Thanksgiving

From cooking your bird to creating a cozy atmosphere, there are a ton of fire hazards for the holiday season. Below, we have three tips to prepare for the Thanksgiving season for that warm fuzzy feeling, without a warm flaming kitchen.

Safely Cook Your Turkey in an Oven

When preparing your kitchen for a delectable thanksgiving, Turkey prep is at the top of list. Before actually cooking your turkey or any other food, ensure it is COMPLETELY THAWED to prevent a fire or explosion hazard. Below are a few more useful tips to also to prevent fires:

  • After testing your food, immediately close the oven door
  • Keep your oven mitts and other cloth and paper out of the way of the burners.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, baking soda and metal lids nearby to put out fires quickly.
  • NEVER use water on grease fire

Safely Fry a Turkey

Char Your Turkey, Not Your Kitchen! 3 Tips to Prepare
Char Your Turkey, Not Your Kitchen! 3 Tips to Prepare

Did you just pick up a new turkey fryer kit? We’re excited for you to have a delicious fall dinner and we want to make sure you do it safely!

  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry before you place it in the fryer and stay away from water-based marinades. Any water that mixes with the oil can create a fire hazard.
  • Make sure that your fryer is on a level and sturdy surface outside of a garage and off of a deck.
  • To ensure your don’t overfill your fryer, try to choose a smaller turkey between 8 – 10 lbs. Keep close watch of the fill line from your fryer’s manufacturer!
  • Wear safety gear like goggles and oven mitts and make sure to have a grease-rated fire extinguisher available for emergencies.
  • Never leave your fryer unattended.
  • After your turkey is done, make sure to keep your oil on a level surface and have the oil cool off overnight before you dispose of the oil.

Fireplace, Candles, and Safety

Whether you’re using fireplaces and candles for special events, or to cosy up the atmosphere, it is important to remember that open flames are potential fire hazards. For candles, a few great safety tips to keep your home safe are:

  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Keep lit candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Never leave a candle unsupervised in an unattended room.

For wood and gas fireplaces, always have a professional inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney each year before you begin using it for the season. If you have an electric fireplace, always use the proper cords and make sure it is plugged into an appropriate socket. With these tips, you can ensure that a cozy fire will be a safe and welcome addition to a chilly fall and winter season!

Whether you’re cooking your Thanksgiving dinner the old fashioned way in an oven and on a stovetop, or going rustic with a fryer, there are many opportunities for danger. We’ve outlined 3 tips to prepare for the holidays including cooking your turkey safely in the oven, with a turkey fryer, and included additional tips for decor and fireplaces as well!

If your house or multifamily community experiences a kitchen fire or a fire due to fireplace misuse, call Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc today for a free estimate on repairs and restoration. Our team of experts will be there for you every step of the way, from insurance to completion.

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!

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!

Room with Blue Paint

Low-Budget Home Improvement Ideas

No matter the season, a refresh to your space can create joy with a small amount of budget! With a small to medium-sized budget, you can implement 1 or 2 of these low-budget home improvement ideas each season to have a home that’s always uniquely inspired by you (and can save headaches in the future).

Room with Blue PaintWall Paint

Giving your home some wall paint can be the most creative and efficient way to refresh your space. There is no limit to how particular you can be when finding a color that will pair well with your interior furniture and layout. Once you find that unique palette that best represents your home, you’ll notice the atmosphere can be revitalized.

 

 

Dishwasher for more efficient water useInstall a Dishwasher to conserve water

Outdated dishwashers can wreak havoc on your electricity and water bills. Taking the easy route and investing in an eco-friendly dishwasher can be amongst one of the most immediate cost savers of all. The fun fact? Installing a dishwasher can be done in a single afternoon. No plumber, no electrician and no worries to blowing your expenses on bills.

 

Impactful LightingHighlight with Lighting

Light fixtures have a wonderful way of giving an instant boost of life to any room or area in your space. Finding a unique hanging fixture like a pendant or a chandelier can toss a bit of character and guide the decor of the rest of the room.

Layers of lighting create ambiance, so think of how you can incorporate overhead lighting with lamps and under cabinet lighting for dramatic effects. Look for bulbs with harmonious, warm colors vs harsh white lights.

Window Boxes

Create a European-inspired look with window boxes! No matter the season, adding pops of color beneath your windows outdoors not only refreshes the look of your home and creates an inviting flair, but will also give you reason to open your windows and let the colors from your florals greet your gaze. As a bonus, you may even attract birds and butterflies! 

Look for native plants to your zone and take into consideration whether you receive full sun, full shade, or partial sun to that window.

Closet Organizers for a facelift

Closet organizer

There are many pre-built, inexpensive and easy to install shelving systems that you can use to clean and organize your closets. You can also buy accessories to add onto the system to store smaller items such as shoes, belts, and many more to help utilize more closet space. For the more adventurous types, you can even custom build your own shelving system!

You may not realize how much space is being wasted by shoes, boxes, and other closet items sitting on the floor and how much counter space you can create by using storage bins and storage solutions. They come in a variety of materials and styles from dark wood, to shiny metal, to clean white finishes.

extendable kitchen cabinetry racksKitchen Cabinet Rollout Drawers

Converting your ordinary kitchen cabinets to rollout drawers is a super simple and budget friendly upgrade! Not only will you be able to utilize more of the limited space, but your kitchen will be more organized and easily accessible. No more bending down to search the deep, dark backs of the cabinets! 

In the same way closet organizers create more room, adding the rollout drawers helps pull things off the cabinet bottoms and lets you layer them in a way that reduces clutter while letting you store more!

Conclusion

These projects are simple, but we all know that once you get started, there’s always more to update and create! If you get stuck with your home improvement project or if you have a bigger home improvement or construction project in mind, our local experienced construction professionals would love to make the dream of your space a reality. 
Kitchen with floral backsplash

Choosing the Right Tile for Your Home or Business

Tiling your floors is never an easy job. It requires patience and can sometimes be very time-consuming depending on the type of tile you choose, the shape of the space in which you’re installing tile, if you’re doing it yourself, and how much experience you have.

Tiles can be a great way to reflect your style and personality. Many who live in small apartment rooms or have small space might feel that tiling won’t work in smaller areas, but that isn’t always the case. By choosing the right size and style of tiles, you can create interesting, yet cohesive designs in your home, or even small business.

Tiled Walls and Floors
Tiles can tell your style story, evoke memories, and even add warmth to a space.

How Do Tiles Bring Out The Beauty Out of Your Home?
Have you ever wondered why celebrities invest so much money on tiles? – The reason is that suitable tiles elevate the beauty of your home to a whole new level. Tiled flooring, and even walls and backsplashes, can enhance architecture, draw the eye upward, or even direct the eye away, making a space seem larger than it is.

Tiles can be neutral to blend in with a space, so that the pops of color can be more easily traded out with fixtures and accessories. Whites and creams are great for making a space seem more open and bright and will often blend in with lighter walls to give the illusion of having a larger space.  Darker colors are often chosen for flooring to hide dirt and to make a room feel grounded. Either way, choose a grout to match to help the tiles blend in to the design seamlessly.

On the other hand, you may want your tile to be an art piece or a focal point in your space. Colors can evoke warmth, coolness, or harken back to a different era. The wonderful thing about tiles is that they can help tell the story of your style, for example, bringing in the blues that remind you of your favorite Greek vacation, or a modern avocado green that points to your mid-century modern style.

Love hardwood floors but dislike the maintenance? Did you know that tiles come in a wide array styles that mimic the look of hardwood? Add the upscale natural look of wood without the upkeep it requires.

There are tons of ideas and examples out there!

Measure and Select Your Tiles Carefully
There are many handy tile measurement tools online to help you determine how much to purchase. You can multiply the room’s length by its width to get the total square footage, but depending on the style you choose and the layout of your space, you may need to purchase extra tiling to make the pattern flow correctly.

Tiling is often sold in batch numbers, not unlike yarn and fabric. This is important to note because if you are purchasing the tile, you’ll want to make sure they’re all from the same batch so you can be certain they’ll wear the same over the years and so that the colors will match where the tiling meets. You may need to purchase extra tile up front to compensate for errors, broken tiles, and saving some back for future repair.

Choose the Right Size Tiles for Your Project

Kitchen with floral backsplash
These floral-patterned tiles in a bright white kitchen add a pop of color and visual interest.

In general, smaller tiles look better in smaller spaces, and larger tiles will fill a large space better, though there can be exceptions if the look is designed well. Larger tiles will require less grout and will look cleaner and more contemporary. Smaller tiles will look busier, which is not necessarily a bad thing! Ideally, you want to choose tile that will flow well with the layout of your space.

Smaller tiles can be fussier to work with, but larger tiles may require more complicated cuts to fit around fixtures such as toilets, plumbing, and cabinetry.

Tile Installation
There are heaps of tutorials and DIY instructional videos on installing tile yourself. You’ll want to make sure you are learning the correct method for the type of tile you’ve chosen, the location of the tile (Will it be on a floor or a wall?), and how the tile will be used (Will water be running over the tile? Will it be in a high-foot traffic location?). You’ll also want to be sure you are following the correct steps for specific products, ie purchasing the correct brand and size spacers.

When to Hire a Professional
Tiling a space can be frustrating, but very rewarding. Always take your time to review designs, learn about materials, and follow best practices. If the process of choosing and installing tiles for your home, restaurant, office, or other space seems daunting, you can always call in a professional. Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is staffed by experts in remodeling and restoration! Let the pros talk you through design and do the hard work for you– quickly and correctly! Learn more about bathroom remodeling, or see our client work!

Call (972) 437-0909 today or contact us through our site to learn how Classic Construction can help you with your tiling needs for residential, commercial, or multifamily buildings.

 

Smoke Damage

Soot and Smoke Damage

What is soot and smoke damage?

Though most incidents of soot & smoke come directly from fire damage, even homes and structures that have not been burned can have an issue with soot and smoke damage from nearby fires and other causes. For example; excessive candle usage, defective fireplaces, as well as furnaces can lead to soot & smoke damage. Soot is usually formed by an incompletion of combusted carbon particles, but it can also contain detectable amounts of dust, metals, and chemicals.

Smoke Damage

Chemicals in Soot and Smoke Can Harm Your Health

Did you know that you could be breathing soot without you even knowing it? That’s because soot “particulate” is actually invisible. After a home fire, you’ll want to make sure to avoid the risks commonly associated with exposure – that includes respiratory issues, bronchitis, heart attack and even premature death. If you see the notorious black residue on your walls and around your home after a fire, that will be the easiest way to identify whether you are putting you and your family at risk for health issues caused by it.

Can I Clean It Myself? What Tools Do I Need?

Soot particulate is tough to remove because of its microscopic fine particles. There are quite a number of how-to articles that will give you directions using household chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or other cleaning solutions. While it’s true that those types of cleaning techniques can remove soot with quite a bit of intense elbow grease, rubbing the soot in and having loose particles fly in the air are not just a hassle, but a health risk that most families wouldn’t want to take. Additionally when not used properly these chemicals can be harmful themselves.

When to Hire a Professional

You should hire a professional to clean soot after a house or business fire or if a major fire has happened nearby – the hidden chemicals, soot particulate, and general health concerns that breathing in soot causes are all things that our team has the right equipment for and the right experience to remove without adding any risk to your family or household.

Classic Construction has done many fire damage remediations for residential, multi-family, and commercial properties, are experts. You can trust us to keep your family safe!

If you have had a small fire in your home or business and need soot and smoke damage restoration and remediation, call us at (972) 437-0909 or book a free estimation today!

Burning House
pink bathroom

DIY Bathroom Remodel Tips

Bathroom remodels can be as simple as changing out paint, cabinet fixtures, and other cosmetic features, to installing new electrical components like fans and lighting, to installing and reconfiguring plumbing.

Where to Start

First and foremost, any homeowner should do research before jumping into a project. What do materials cost? Are there specific materials to avoid in a room that has a lot of moisture? Do you have all the required tools and skills? Often, you can find resources in construction and home handyman magazines and websites, as well as detailed how-tos on YouTube. Do your homework! Believe us, you don’t want to end up on a list like this.

pink bathroom
Do you have the skills and know-how to go from this…

Be Realistic With Yourself

Secondly, know your timeline. Too often, bathroom remodels seem like they’ll be simple only for the homeowner to realize he doesn’t have the budget, the skillset, or even the time to complete everything after demolition has started. Half-finished projects tend to linger as homeowners get used to the mess and put off finishing. That’s why only 31% of homeowners have successfully completed their DIY projects without problems – yikes! Set a realistic goal for having it complete, and call in help if you are stuck. https://nypost.com/2018/06/12/youre-not-the-only-one-putting-off-your-diy-projects/

Know Your Limits

The third and most important piece of advice is to know what’s outside of your ability and know when to call professionals. If you’re handy, you might be able to handle smaller tasks, such as installing new fixtures, painting, or even some light carpentry. Bigger remodels might require moving plumbing, repairing or replacing outdated or broken piping, and even electrical work – which can be incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Make sure your general contractor is bonded, licensed, and insured for the type of work they’ll be doing.

remodeled bathroom
to this?

Why hire a professional?

Contractors can often get discounted bulk rates on materials, and being professionals, they can work faster too – sometimes with a team, which can save you money. They are also aware of what permits your area might require for the specific work you need done. The other benefit to hiring a professional, is they know best practices in terms of bathroom layouts and usability and can tailor your idea to a practical design that fits your specific needs.

Feeling overwhelmed by your remodel?

Contact Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc today for a free estimate for your bathroom remodel! We’re licensed, insured, and staffed by experts ready to serve for projects big and small!

Call today (469) 290-8980 or fill out a contact form for more information!