Archive for September 2016

Home Improvements Consumer Tips

Kick off home improvement season in Southern MD with easy maintenance projects

(MS) – By Scott McGillivray

attic insulation services in Southern mdAs the days get longer and the weather improves, this is the time to make sure that our homes or rental properties are well maintained. Here are a few do-it-yourself projects to keep your home in tip-top shape:

· Top up your attic insulation. Many older homes have inadequate levels of insulation in the attic that wouldn’t meet today’s building code. Topping it up will help reduce energy consumption and keep your house cooler in the summer months. A great product for this task is Roxul ComfortBatt insulation. It’s easy to install, cuts simply with a serrated blade or bread knife and protects against fire, moisture and mold. Aim for a depth of 16 inches or an R-value of 50. Insulating properly could also provide added benefits, such as improving the longevity of your air conditioner by reducing stress on the unit as temperatures rise.

· Inspect your roof and make minor repairs. Winter in Southern Maryland can be especially hard on a roof. Look for ice, hail or water damage. Replace any cracked or missing shingles and clear any debris.

· Clean your gutters. It’s not glamorous work, but your home’s gutters play an essential role in moving water away from your home and preventing damage. Consider installing gutter guards to ensure your gutters remain functional and free from debris.

· Inspect windows and doors and re-caulk where necessary. Because a proper seal is essential in both heating and cooling seasons, this job should be performed twice a year to protect against drafts and moisture, and to keep insects out. Worn weatherstripping should also be replaced.

Other simple jobs include fixing leaky faucets, repairing and resealing decks, inspecting the foundation and scheduling a checkup for your HVAC system. The key is being honest about what you can handle and, when in doubt, call in the pros.

Scott McGillivray is the award-winning TV host of the hit series Income Property, a full-time real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator. Follow him on Twitter @smcgillivray.

For all your home improvement repairs in Southern Maryland call Boston Construction.

Successful Basement Remodeling

How to ensure a successful basement remodel

Soundproof your Southern MD home

Southern Maryland residents continue to fuel remodeling spending, driven by upward growth in real estate prices and the rising cost to trade up to a larger home. Basement renovations are expected to be a hot trend, as buyers look to maximize available living space rather than move, and as young buyers look to offset the cost of homeownership with potential income suites.

While finishing a basement can be a great alternative to moving — especially if you love your neighborhood – there are some challenges homeowners must be aware of when tackling below-grade living spaces. Choosing the right products is vital to the comfort, safety and function of your new living area. Look for products that help to maximize energy efficiency and protect against moisture, fire and noise.

Here are the top points to consider to ensure a successful basement renovation.

Waterproof it. Check the interior foundation and floors to make sure there are no existing moisture issues, water damage or mold problems. Address any primary moisture issues before finishing the space. Examine grading to ensure water runs away from your foundation.

Insulation is key. Insulation plays a critical role in making your basement feel comfortable, while keeping it safe and dry. For the best results, install a rigid board insulation, like Roxul ComfortBoard IS, against the concrete foundation before you stud the wall. The board is mechanically fastened or adhered to the concrete foundation wall, which prevents thermal bridging through the studs, providing better thermal performance. Finish with a moisture-resistant and dimensionally stable insulation between the studs, like R14 Comfortbatt, to protect against common basement issues such as mold, mildew and rot.

Choose a functional design. Draw out plans, carefully taking into consideration any low ceilings or small windows. Try to incorporate structural features, such as attractive wood beams, into your design. Keep the space as open as possible. Select lighting that provides a bright, airy feel.

Don’t forget to soundproof it. Soundproofing is the ultimate solution to maximize your basement’s quiet and privacy. Whether your newfound space will function as a home theatre, music room, home office or playroom, it will benefit from quality acoustic insulation, like Roxul Safe ‘n’ Sound. Not only is it highly effective, but it’s also easy to install.

Consider fire safety. Since many basements are now being renovated as income suites, fire protection is also a vital consideration. Whenever possible, select building materials with a high fire-resistance rating and look for products that will not off-gas or contribute to toxic smoke in the event of a fire. Include additional exits in your renovation plan and educate yourself on your local fire code.

Before you start your renovation, be sure to check with your municipality to secure the right permits and to ensure that you’re complying with local bylaws and building codes. Finishing a basement can be a smart renovation, if done properly, adding to a home’s value, increasing its function and providing greater enjoyment or income potential.