Written by Mark Jenkins

It is your choice!

So here we are, a few days post storm.  High winds, tornados and hail have all impacted our area in a pretty short amount of time.  Now that everyone is safe, the trees are cleared, the roads are unblocked and your power is back on, it is time to assess the damage to your home.

It usually goes in this order:

  1. You analyze the damage to the roof, siding and gutters.
  2. You make a call (or use the app) to your insurance company and they start a claim.
  3. The insurance adjuster comes out (in storms like these, they may not be a local adjuster due to the volume of claims).
  4. You receive information in the following days about what they will repair.
  5. A contractor is notified by the adjuster and you are set up for your repairs.

However, many homeowners don’t realize that they have a choice when it comes to selecting the contractor to complete their work.  Why is this important?

  1. Your local contractor will be accessible well beyond the storm in the event you have a question for them.
  2. After storms like this, many roofing companies come from other states to repair as many roofs as possible.  Once the repairs are done, they are no longer local.
  3. Your local contractor is working on your behalf, not the insurance company’s.  This means that additional damage discovered from the storm that the adjuster may have missed, is pointed out and turned in as part of the claim.
  4. In some cases, contractors that work with insurance companies use all sub-contracted companies to complete the actual repairs.  Your local contract generally has employees of the local company completing the work.

Understand your options and don’t hesitate to let the adjuster and your agent know who you would prefer to complete your repairs.

 

 

Deck in Woodbridge - DURING Genesis Home Improvement
Written by Mark Jenkins

Deck Safety Tips from Genesis Home Improvement

A backyard is an ideal space for making memories, and is made even better by the addition of a deck that is safe, secure and long lasting. A deck is the perfect backdrop for laid-back summer barbecues and sets the stage for quality bonding time with family, neighbors and friends. In the United States, approximately 40 million homes have decks attached, which are no doubt filled with loved ones in the warmer months.

Unfortunately, about half of those decks are in need of repairs—or even a complete replacement. Your deck’s shelf life falls somewhere between 10 and 15 years, and after that it starts to show signs of wear and tear that might spell danger. As an extension of your home, it’s extremely important to make sure your deck is structurally sound and can safely support your family and belongings. Luckily, understanding your deck’s construction and performing regular maintenance is easy—and can prevent a potential collapse.

When evaluating your deck for potential maintenance or safety issues, here’s what to look for:

 

  1. CORROSION. Mother Nature can be pretty brutal. Over the years, the metal connectors and fasteners that join beams, railings, stairs and posts can experience deterioration from exposure to the elements. Wobbly railings and rickety stairs are signs of loose connection points, and corrosion may be to blame. Most dangerous are loose ledger boards, or the part of your deck that connects to the house. If you notice corroded metal connectors, this issue should be addressed immediately.
  2. ROT. Wood is even more vulnerable to the elements than metal. Without the proper weatherproof sealant and regular maintenance, wood can soften and rot over time, making it more susceptible to termite infestations. If beams or boards within the deck structure seem to be sagging, don’t let anyone stand on them until they’re replaced.
  3. CRACKS. Large cracks or splits in wood weaken connections and jeopardize the structural integrity of your deck. Cracks also make wood more prone to rot, so if you spot a crack, especially in one of the structural beams, know it’s a sign of trouble down the road. Having a cracked board or beam replaced isn’t too big a burden, and the sooner you act, the less worrying you’ll do later.

Just as important as knowing the danger signs when evaluating your deck is knowing what a safe deck looks like. So what does a safe deck have?

  1. PROPER LEDGER CONNECTION. A deck shouldn’t be held together by nails alone—especially at the ledger attachment where your deck connects your house. You should see metal fasteners, bolts and structural screws that secure your deck ledger board to your home, preferably in stainless steel or protected by a special galvanized coating to prevent corrosion.
  2.  CONTINUOUS LOAD PATH.  When a deck is built by professionals, they use a method of construction that creates a series of solid connection points. These connection points transfer the load of your deck through its frame to the ground and to your home, keeping your family and belongings safe from weakening forces like earthquakes, heavy winds and snow.
  3. SEALED BOARDS.  To avoid the corrosion and rotting issues discussed earlier, wooden boards should have a protective sealant that defends against moisture and sun damage. For advice about your particular situation (you may be applying sealant to a brand new deck or maybe you’re resealing old boards), consult a professional.
  4. DEBRIS-FREE. A safe deck is free of dirt and debris. Throughout the year, leaves and dirt that make their way between boards can collect moisture, which leads to mold and mildew issues (see: ROT). Sweep your deck regularly to remove debris.

Though you can take action to maintain a safe, sound deck, even the most talented DIYer should let a professional handle any type of major construction project. Licensed contractors are well versed in how to obtain the required building permits and materials, and are familiar with the safety standards to ensure you’re left with a deck that provides safety, security—and of course, many years of fun memories.

Written by Mark Jenkins

Your dream deck design!

With the warm front headed this way, now is a great time to think about enjoying yourself outside on your new deck! Before you build it, there are a few things to decide.  Your new space can be anything from basic to fully customized.

Written by Mark Jenkins

Deck Collapse

“Since 1999 there have been thousands of injuries and at least 20 deaths related to deck collapses.”

Remodeling by Genesis Home Improvement northern Virginia
Written by Mark Jenkins

New Year, New Home?

Are you selling your home this year?

Below are our suggestions to help make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

  • Power wash the outside of your home
  • Repair rotten fascia and rake board
  • Repair soffit
  • Repair rotten brick mold around windows and doors
  • Ensure all shingles on the roof are in place
  • Ensure the gutters are in good condition
  • Repair cracked or damaged siding
  • Fresh coat of paint on interior walls
  • Fresh paint on baseboard, trim and doors
  • Repair drywall in necessary areas
  • Repair hardwood and laminate
  • Replace Carpet
  • Re-grout tile
  • Caulk around bathtubs
  • Repair/Replace broken windows, caulking around existing ones

These items will make your home more appealing and may increase the value too!

Written by Mark Jenkins

Are you familiar with Basketweave Tile?

This bathroom shower was upgraded with 2 niches using basketweave tile, adding a unique look to the bathroom.  Basketweave tile design takes a bit longer to install as each tile is placed carefully to create the desired look.  There are various patterns of basketweave and they can be created in a variety of colors to match your color scheme.  When selecting these tiles, many clients choose a softer paint and floor design to allow the basetweave to be the focal point.  Basketweave tiles are not limited to the bathroom, backsplashes are a great place to add this design in your home as well.

Written by Mark Jenkins

Have you decided on the color of your roof?

This home in Midland needed a new roof.  The homeowners opted for “Atlantic Blue” shingles to accent their home.  The Landmark shingles are a 30-year designer shingle and look nice with their beige siding.  When your home needs a new roof, we are able to take a picture of your home and show you how the various color options would look.  This technology provides you with the peace of mind that you chose the right color for your home.  Choosing a colored shingle is not more expensive than your standard black or grey, unless you are looking at a max-def shingle. Request information today on options for your new roof.

Written by Mark Jenkins

Could this be the door for you?

Any time you are thinking of completing a home improvement, it is important to think about how much the upgrade will pay off if you ever sell your home. Who would have thought that a new entry door would bring added value? According to http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/ cost vs. value is up 82.3% on front entry door upgrades.

Front entry doors must be durable enough to withstand the weather and tough enough to block out would be intruders.  There are several types of entry doors such as wood, steel, aluminum and fiberglass. Fiberglass is our recommendation when selecting a door style.  This is the most durable, maintenance-free option. Fiberglass can be stained to look like wood and can even have wood grain texture. In addition to the benefits already discussed, fiberglass doors are insulated with a polyurethane foam insulation that assists with the energy efficiency of your home.

When it comes to selecting a front entry door, the options can be overwhelming.  However, selecting the right door can make a big difference in your home’s value, your return on investment as well as your energy bills. Additionally, you can enjoy the look for years to come.

 

 

 

Written by Mark Jenkins

Why do churches have steeples?

Steeples are said to be a part of a church’s architecture to draw the viewers attention to the heavens.  This visual, supports the mission of the church.

Next time you are in Bealeton, VA,  check out the updated steeple at Bealeton Baptist Church.  The old, rotten cedar siding was removed and new vinyl siding was put in it’s place. The new siding is a maintenance free update to the church and allows for a new, clean look for the church to continue it’s mission.

 Before Steeple Update

church-steeple-before

 After Steeple Update

church-steeple-after-1

 

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