How to Hire a Good Contractor

Good Contractor

Hiring a contractor for your home improvement projects can be stressful. We’ve all heard the horror stories of work left undone or jobs that go over budget and over schedule. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the process work for you, doing all you can to ensure that you hire a great company. Here are a few things to do when hiring a contractor according to Consumer Reports.

Do your homework. It’s just plain smart to get multiple bids, but beware of automatically choosing the lowest one. Estimates should include products, materials, labor costs, and a timetable, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Check references. A good contractor will have lots of happy, satisfied customers who can tell you how the work is holding up and describe their experience working with the company. Check out these Kansas City customer reviews to see what clients have to say about working with Bordner.

Always get a written contract. The contract should specify what work is to be done, associated costs, a payment schedule, and other details of the transaction.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has any complaints filed against them.This is a great way to tell if the company is reputable. At Bordner, we’re proud to say that we’ve never had a BBB complaint logged against us in the entire 24 year span of our home remodeling business!

Source: How to hire a contractor, Image: Bordner on Facebook

5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

Whether you are planning to sell your home soon or just want to increase its value and add to your enjoyment, curb appeal is an important factor to consider. The way your house looks from the street is the first impression for visitors, neighbors, and potential buyers. With that in mind, it’s important to make that impression count by taking care with the landscaping, walkway, entrance, mailbox, driveway, and other elements visible from the street.

Take a look at some of the best ways to add curb appeal to your Kansas City home, according to Better Homes & Gardens.

  • Replace or upgrade porch railings, keeping in mind the scale, architectural style, and color scheme of the rest of the house.
  •  Incorporate stone. This adds an elegant, textural element to your home.
  • Revamp your driveway. Get rid of cracked cement and have pavers installed instead.
  • Refresh paint or siding. Don’t forget to address any issues with the trim, as well.
  • Replace windows and add shutters or window boxes (only if they complement the style of your home).

At Bordner, we want to help you make your home the best it can be! Check out our 5 D’s of Home Improvement to find out how great curb appeal can help your home stand out.

The Smith’s Roofing Project – with Flat Roof and Skylights

Here you can see the before and after pictures of Mrs. Smith’s home.

Roofing - Before

Before – Wood

 

Roofing - After

After – Architectural Laminate

2 Skylights

The flat roof had previous leaks, so we took precautions to prevent leaks in the future.

Owens Corning Debuts Newer, Better Shingles

There are lots of reasons to love the new Owens Corning Trudef Duration Shingles.  Whether it’s the 130MPH wind resistance, the stronger adhesive, or the lay flat design, you’ll find something to interest you.  We personally love the blow through resistance, made possible by the new industrial strength woven fabric in the surenail strip.  Not to mention Owens Corning is the only manufacturer to offer a LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY that exceeds 50 years!  If you are interested in the Owens Corning Trudef Duration Shingle, Call us for a free estimate today.

The innovative features of Owens Corning™ TruDefinition® Duration® Series Shingles with patented SureNail® Technology offer the following:

Breakthrough Design
Featuring a tough, woven engineered reinforcing fabric in the nailing area that promotes easy, fast and consistent nail gun fastening.

Triple Layer Protection™
A unique “triple layer” of reinforcement occurs when the fabric overlays the common bond of the shingle laminate layers that offers excellent fastener holding power.

Superior Adhesion
Our enhanced Tru-Bond®† sealant grips tightly to the engineered fabric nailing strip on the shingle below.

Excellent Adhesive Power
Specially formulated, extra-wide adhesive bands help keep shingle layers laminated together.

Exceptional Wind Resistance
The industry’s first asphalt roofing shingle engineered to deliver 130-MPH wind warranty performance with only 4 nails. Fewer nails required can mean fewer deck penetrations.

TruDefinition SureNail
33% fewer nails are required for maximum warranty protection, which can mean fewer deck penetrations.

Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Energy Efficiency This Winter

Energy EfficiencyWinter is quickly approaching and with winter comes chilly weather and high energy bills; of course there are many ways to avoid high heating bills.  With the help of Energy Star, we have found some tips to help you heat your home and conserve energy this winter season.

First, make a couple changes indoors and be sure to change your air filter well needed. The air filter should be changed when they begin to appear dirty, or every three months, during the heavy use times like winter when you’ll need to replace the filters more frequently.

Install a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to keep a constant watch over the heat. A programmable thermostat is ideal for homeowners who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. According to Energy Star, proper use of pre-programmed settings on the thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.

Insulate heating and air ducts that move air to and from a forced air furnace, central air, and or heat pumps. Sealing and insulating ducts that run through attics, crawlspaces and basements or garage can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent. Read more tips about insulating your home ducts at EnergyStar.com.

For more tips to make your home more energy efficient this winter, checkout the Bordner Insulation Group Blog.

Planning a Home Remodel

Any  type of home remodel or improvements can be extremely  daunting, with all you have to plan from finding contractor to creating a budget, we understanding just how over whelming it can be. To help we have put together several tips to help ensure that your next home remodel will be a success.

  • Hire a licensed, bonded, insured professional before you start planning the construction or destruction of your house.  If you are planning a large scale project, hire a general contractor who will serve as a project manager and hire subcontractors including plumbers, fabricators and installers and so on.
  • Focus your project and determine whether you need improvements to your homes construction, or a cosmetic makeover.  Make sure you’re bringing in the correct professionals whether it’s an architect, interior designer, or builder before you get started.
  • Be realistic about your remodel needs.  Does your home need an addition for a baby or an older parent? Is your goal to increase your properties resale value? Or is it time to a home make over and to upgrade older styles and appliances?  Planning cosmetic changes is certainly more fun, but before your spend your budget on superficial changes be sure necessary upgrades and repairs to the roof, appliances or safety features have need made. These types of repairs will make your home more comfortable and help you avoid more expensive repairs in the future.
  • Consider going green. Make your home more energy efficient and reduce the average cost of running your home.  When you change a room or add a room, include energy-inefficient appliances and windows, installation, and/or water-conserving plumbing fixtures.
  • Finally prepare yourself and your family for the stress that comes with remodeling. Talk to your contractor about the project timeline and work together to get the job done as quickly as possible. During the construction, keep your eyes on the end result, so that the noise, dust and extra people at your home, won’t be annoying, but a reminder of your dream remodel.

If you’re looking to make repairs to your home, contact the professionals at Bordern Installation Group for assistance.

Improve the Security and Lifetime of Your Entry Door

When it comes to protecting yourself and your family, one of the first areas that you should ensure safety is your front door. With the proper doors, intruders will be less likely to gain entry into your home since approximately 30 percent of break-ins annually happen through a compromised front door. With that in mind,Bordner offers our customers the option of installing ProVia entry doors. These state-of-the-art doors deliver substantial security and sturdiness in comparison to consumer-grade doors.

Take a look at just a few of ProVia’s impressive features:

  • The lock and deadbolt area of the doors are reinforced with a 20-gauge security plate that helps prevent kick-ins.
  • ProVia doors use a 3-point locking system that provides additional security and a better seal than traditional single-point locking doors.
  • ProVia’s 20- gauge steel doors are the strongest residential doors available.
  • Storm doors are constructed with tempered safety glass.
  • Steel doors feature a rigid composite lock block around the lock and deadbolt areas.
  • Optional electronic-keypad door handles and deadbolts for keyless entry.

If you’re in the Kansas City area and would like to learn more about how Bordner can help install ProVia doors on your home today, give us a call at 816-358-2102.

Everything You Need to Know about Weatherstripping

Did you know that up to 15% of the air that your home’s heating or cooling system pumps through your house can escape through tiny gaps around windows and doors if they’re not sealed properly? That’s a whopping portion of your monthly energy bill that’s quite literally ‘flying out the window.’ By using proper weather-stripping to seal up the gaps, however, not only will you potentially be saving on your energy bill but you house will become more comfortable and conditioned air will remain inside. So what’s the best type of weather stripping material for your home? Well with so many different types on the market to choose from, the options can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. So Bordner has compiled a quick reference guide for you, courtesy of This Old House to help you make the right selection for your home.

V Strip (Tension Seal): Durable plastic or metal strip folded into a ‘V’ shape that springs open to bridge gaps. It goes along the sides of a double-hung or sliding window; on the top and sides of a door.

Felt: Sold in rolls, either plain or reinforced with a pliable metal strip. Though inexpensive, it usually lasts only a year or two. It goes around a door or window sash; in the door’s jamb so that it compresses against the door.

Foam Tape: Made from open or closed-cell foam, or EPDM rubber with a sticky back. It’s sold in varying widths and thicknesses, which makes it best for irregular-size cracks. It goes on the top and bottom of window sashes; inside door frames.

Door Sweeps: Flat pieces of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel fitted with a strip of nylon, plastic, or vinyl or a sponge brush to fill the space between door and threshold. It goes along the bottom of the interior side of a door.

If you’re in the Kansas City Area and would like to learn more about how to improve the efficiency of your home’s windows, doors, roofing and siding, contact Bordner.

Photo Credit:  Kristine Larsen

9 Signs Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

Although a new shingled roof should easily last 20+ years, a few different factors, including where your home is located and the climate there, how well the roof was initially installed and how it’s been cared for all affect its lifespan. There’s a chance, for example, that if you live in a warm Southern climate, the moisture and humidity present there can cause more water damage than say a home in the arid Midwest—so there are never any fast and hard rules to calculating exactly what every roof’s lifespan should be. There are, however, some general signs that you can be on the lookout for that can suggest that it may be time for you to replace your home’s roof.Roof

While these signs may be present on your roof, you still may not need a complete roof replacement and there may be a possibility that only a partial area needs to be replaces or even simply repaired. Contact Bordner if you suspect that your roof is showing some of the signs above and one of our trusted professionals will thoroughly inspect your roof and help you determine what’s needed.

Keep an Eye out for Tattered Shingles on Roof Peak

Tattered ShinglesEven the sturdiest of roofs can show signs of damage every now and then from expected weathering and wear and tear. That’s’ why Bordner encourages homeowners to periodically check for signs of roof complications early before they turn into more extensive and costly damages. We’ve found that one of the most common areas for damage to occur is right on the roof’s peak. According to a recent article from HGTV, this peak is where the roof’s two angles meet in order to help keep rain and snow from leaking into the house. Because the ridge cap shingle is bent over the roof, it can deteriorate more quickly than the rest of the roof surface.

Because these shingles shield the crowning of the roof, Ridge cap shingles are frequently made of similar material as the roof. Luckily, if the ridge cap shingles are the first to go, they can be replaced instead of replacing the entire roof. Inspect the roof and ridge cap shingles annually for damage.

If you suspect your asphalt ridge caps are damaged or missing, contact Bordner today for a free estimate on repairs.