Back to our website

Back to our website
Click Our Logo to go back home

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Homeowner's Guide to Managing a Home Renovation Project

Getting the most from your money in any home renovation project originates from knowledge of the improvement process and hiring the right contractor. With our tough-as-nails tactics guide, you can assure yourself that your home project has the expected outcome. 

Do some research.
             Whether you're about to renovate the interior or exterior of your home, it may help to know what you want before setting your first appointment. Are you looking for a modern or more classic design? What is your budget? What kind of materials do you think you will need? Attending local expos and fairs is a good way to see the latest products all at once from a variety of vendors. Do you have an idea of what you want to update or change in your home? Are you looking for more traditional neutral colors or something bold that makes a statement? Having an idea of what you want helps route the contractor to the type of work and look you have in mind. 

Know your insurance.

            If you have checked out your contractor's references and history you know that you will be dealing with someone with integrity who is ready to help with any issue involved in your project. Most homeowner insurance policies will provide coverage for damage to roofs, siding, windows, doors and other parts of the home depending on the cause. It is also best to check your coverage. You may find that your insurance covers most of, if not all of, the costs involved if there was some damage done. 

What are the terms?

            A contract is rarely a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Read your contract carefully and discuss any concerns you have with your contractor before starting. Remember a good contractor will be willing to sit down with you and thoroughly review all aspects of a service contract and provide satisfactory answers. If you are not confident about part of a contract, DO NOT SIGN IT. Instead, have someone else look it over for you as well. Remember that this is your money, your home, and the contractor is there to help you. Allrite Home & Remodeling's team members are always willing to discuss the details of every project to ensure that your renovation is stress free. 

Hire the best.

            The term "you get what you pay for" is never as valid as it is when dealing with a home renovation. Many people take short cuts hiring a friend of a friend only to find their project incomplete and a nightmare left behind. When checking out contractors for your home renovation you should look for these factors: 
  • Is the contractor licensed and insured?
  • Does the contractor have a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • How long has the contractor been in business?
  • Do they have a guarantee to satisfy the homeowners?
  • Have they been awarded for previous work completed?
  • Check for online reviews of the contractor.

A home renovation project can be stressful, but if you follow these few simple steps you may find that the project goes smoothly without a hitch. Remember that if a problem arises and you have done your due diligence in hiring a quality contractor, do not be afraid to speak up and talk to the contractor right away. He or she will help you to reach a fair and satisfactory conclusion to your concern. 

Allrite Home & Remodeling is an accredited member of the Wisconsin BBB. To see our ratings or leave us a review, please visit our BBB link here: Allrite Home & Remodeling BBB Ratings

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What is the right type of roofing for your home?

What is the right type of roofing for your home?

When it comes to home styles, it seems the variety is almost endless. Homes can be Cape Cod, Art Deco, Bungalow, Craftsman, Contemporary, Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Georgian Colonial, Federal Colonial, French Provincial, Greek Revival, Italianate, Mediterranean and the list goes on.

 It is no wonder with all of these different types of home styles, there would be a wide variety of roofing styles as well. The basic roofing material types are asphalt shingles, composite shingles, wood shingles, slate and metal. So what do you choose for your home?

Style is one factor to consider, but not the only one. Yes, you want your roof to look nice and suit the style of your home, but, factors such as product cost, material weight, installation requirements and lifespan of the product are also important to consider.

Here is what you need to know to make the right decision:

Asphalt/Fiberglass Shingles-  The most commonly used of all roof materials, probably because they are the least costly and easier to install. Asphalt shingles are made from a fiberglass medium that has been blended with asphalt and given a cover of sand-like granules. They come in multiple thicknesses with the thicker being covered in a laminated product. In today’s market, companies like Certainteed ( offer a variety of asphalt shingles that meet most desired looks. They offer Strip Shingles which are the most basic type of shingle for single layer roofing, Dimensional Shingles which offer a multi-layered richer appearance and possible impact resistance.  The Premium Shingle which offer designs that mimic “old-world” roofing shingles like natural slate or natural shake roofing shingles.  Because of the varieties available, you would need to consult your roofing installer as to the lifespan of these products.

Wood Shingles-  These usually sawn or split shingles are mostly made of cedar, redwood or southern pine. Wood shingles have been a favorite in the housing industry for centuries and are still a great option, however, they are forbidden in some areas due to local fire codes. These shingles last normally around 25 years before needing to be replaced.

Slate Roof-  A slate roof is among the most durable and long lasting roofing materials. The average slate roof can last for hundreds of years and are often reused in projects because of its high durability. Several factors need to be considered when looking at slate roofing such as cost and weight of the product. Slate roofs are extremely heavy so making sure that the right company installs the roof and that your structure is solid is imperative. However, a slate roof not only looks amazing, improves the value of your home, but is heat retentive as well. Slate roofs look great on Chateau, French and Colonial style homes. To see a great example of a slate roof visit this link:

Composite Shingles- This product is a great alternative to the wood shingles or real slate roofing, as that the composite shingles are durable and fire retentive. One such manufacturer that makes a great composite shingle is DaVinci. Their roofing product is a good fit on a large variety of homes and offers low-maintenance, durability, a wide range of color options and solid warranties. This is a cost effective alternative to the slate.

Metal Roof-  These surprisingly lightweight roofs are both durable and fire resistant, however, they do require some specialized handling in their installation as some require soldering of seams.  Metal roofs are primarily made of aluminum, steel, copper or copper- alloys. Products usually last 20-50 years with most holding a 30 year paint guarantee. Things to consider when thinking about a metal roof is the fact that they can dent and noise can be an issue. A final consideration, in cooler climate areas, where snow falls often, the release of snow as the seasons change , may cause an “avalanche” effect. 

When choosing a home roofing product, you are best to talk to an expert in the field. New products and materials are always making their way into the market and a qualified Allrite contractor can assure that you get the best possible products for your home installed correctly.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ice Dam Identification and Prevention

Knowing how to identify an ice dam and how to prevent them from happening are key to protecting your roof and home from potential damage during the snowy, winter months. 

What is an Ice Dam? 

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof. It prevents melting snow from draining off the roof into the gutters and off the edges. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

How do you know if you have an Ice Dam? 

Most ice dams form on the edge of your roof, however they might also form in other locations, depending on the style of the roof, orientation of the roof and the slope of the roof. 

  • Check the icicles around the exterior of your roof.  Icicles often precede ice dams. Depending on their size and location, icicles can also be dangerous if they fall off. Whenever possible, and if safe to do so, remove icicles from the exterior of your home. Take precautions to stay safe by not standing directly below them as they are removed.  Sometimes a professional may need to be called in if the icicles are too dangerous to safely remove on your own. 
  • Check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Be sure to check the corners where leaks can start. Water stains or moisture can be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.

  • How do you prevent Ice Dams from forming on the roof?

    By increasing ventilation, adding insulation, and sealing off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof, you will help to prevent the formation of ice dams through out the winter months. 

    • Increasing Ventilation
    A poorly constructed attic or roof assembly can lead to excessive energy losses, ice dams, mold, rot, and lots of unnecessary repairs and problems. The reasoning behind roof venting varies depending on climate, in Wisconsin, a builder would need to take an array of climates into consideration as we have both cold and hot weather at times. For the purposes of this article, we are only speaking about the cold weather reasonings. In the cold the primary purpose of ventilation is to maintain a cold roof temperature to avoid ice dams created by melting snow and to vent any moisture that moves from the conditioned living space to the attic. 
    • Adding Insulation
    Adding insulation on the attic floor and sides help to  keep the heat where it belongs, inside of the house. You should check the R-rating of the products that you're using and try to get the highest R-rating possible. You will want to learn about the differences in the types of insulation and find the one that works best for your home and budget. An insulation expert from S & E Insulation can help you with that decision by providing you with the most up to date insulation on new insulation products. 
    • Sealing Air Leaks 
    There are many places on your roof and home that need to be sealed to prevent leaks and air pockets. Be sure that areas such as flash around chimneys, ducts, electrical cables and vent pipes, exhaust to the outside from kitchen and bathrooms and any sky lights need to be checked and sealed. 
    • Getting a professional audit done
    Not everyone is able to find the air pockets or feels comfortable getting on top of the roof and climbing into the attic to check for leaks and moisture, this is where a professional roof and insulation audit is required. A quality roofing or insulation company such as Allrite Home & Remodeling or S & E Insulation , will take the time to find your air leaks and moisture problems to insure a winter with out ice dam formation on your roof. 

    Monday, November 14, 2016

    5 Impacts that Insulation can have in your home.

    When you are too cold or too hot, getting comfortable in your home can be difficult. The weather plays a huge role in our day to day lives affecting our moods and at times our abilities. For someone with a chronic health condition, weather can have a major impact on our health.
    Allowing the weather into your home through air leaks can cause an abundance of issues including health problems, structural problems to the home and comfort level issues.  Here are five impacts of good insulation in your home: 

     Stay Warmer in the Winter and Cooler in the Summer

    The amount of insulation that you put into your home and the type of insulation used play a key role in insuring that your home is warm all winter and cool in the summer. Some products work better then others depending on t
    he R-value of the product. The R-Value is a measure of thermal resistance, and is used to determine how well the product insulates. The more the product insulates and protects, the higher the R-Value. Asking an insulation specialist, such as one from the S & E team, about specific R-Values can help you determine what course of action is best for your home and your family. 

      Structural Damage to Your Home

     By trapping pockets of air and slowing down the in/out process, insulation keeps the out door air from seeping into your home and the indoor air from seeping out. By reducing the number of trapped air pockets and leaks you have in a home, you are reducing the chances of moisture from being trapped in the structure of your home causing damage and mold. A good way to find out exactly where air pockets and leaks are located is by having an Energy Audit completed by a professional auditor. An auditor will use a number of resources and tools to find the leaks and pockets creating a plan for the insulation team. The Department of Energy has an entire page dedicated to the importance and facts about an energy audit that you can find here

     Improved Air Quality 
    When you have properly insulated your home, you are protecting your home from outside allergens and pollutants that can result in indoor air quality problems. The cleanliness of the air inside of your home is determined by the air flow and conditions which the air moves around. Advancements in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems can help to improve the air quality along with good insulation. When the air quality is poor, families can notice a decline in their respiratory health with issues such as breathing problems, coughing, sneezing and worsened asthma symptoms. 

     Reduction of Drafts

    Another cause for concern that can be reduced by properly insulating your home is drafts through out the space. A draft can cause issues with health and structural damage to the home if moisture comes in through the draft. Nothing worse then cuddling in your favorite chair only to feel a ice cold breeze every few minutes because your home is lacking insulation around a window, door or outlet. 

     Improved insulation Saves Money

    Loss of energy equals loss of dollars. As heating and air conditioned air seeps through the leaks in the home, it forces the HVAC system to work harder to keep up with the loss. Good quality insulation that has been professionally installed to prevent air leaks can reduce home energy by as much as 40% depending on the type of insulation and the R-Value. To learn the variables that come with the different types of insulation product and R-Values, you should contact a professional insulation company such as S & E Insulation. Our staff is fully trained on the latest in products and ratings to help you make a money saving choice for your future. 

    Monday, September 5, 2016

    Exterior Design Trends That Increase Home Sales

    In a recent article by Hearth and Home Magazine, the exterior of your home is a leading driver in the saleability of your property second only to size.

    During a recent study by Harris Interactive, 78% of buyers rank the exterior look of the home as “extremely” or “very important” when determining on the purchase of a house. With statistics like this, it is no wonder that companies such as CertainTeed have developed such a wide arrange of products to choose from to compliment each home style.

    When it comes to designing the new look to your home for sale, there are several trends to keep in mind as you build such as:
    •  Low Maintenance Products:  Consumers are searching for homes that involve little to no maintenance on the exterior siding and design of the home. Long gone are the days of people wanting to paint every year. Instead opt for a good quality, low maintenance siding product that requires only the occasional washing. 
    • Arts and Crafts Detailing: Don’t skimp on the little details that set your home apart from others in the market. Items like wood porches, low- pitched gabled roof, shingled siding, decorative trim and tapered columns all add a certain something to the look of a home.
    • Transom Windows:  These small windows add a lot of character and charm to a home and are relatively inexpensive when compared to the attraction it brings from buyers. Consider adding a Transom Window above an entrance door for a great look.
    •  Sustainable Materials:  As the world becomes more environmentally aware, home buyers are looking for products that are environmentally friendly. Products such as CertainTeeds Cedar Impressions Siding meets the Green Building Standards and are a hot product for home buyers. They contain a minimum of 60% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled material.
    •  Grand Entrances: Double doors entering into a foyer is now a big trend as it offers a new look to the home. Buyers are also still attracted to the single entrance with the sidelights but this trend is fast being replaced. Consider a good quality wood looking door of either Oak or Mahogany that sets off the front entrance and gives the home a feeling of warmth.