Tag: Homes

Roof Restoration for Reasonable Prices

What’s the home improvement work you dread most? Anything to do with roofing is probably right up there at the top of the list. Almost all homeowners see roof replacement as a necessary evil – noisy, messy, and expensive. And while roof repair will take care of leaks and similar problems for the short term, how long will it actually help?

An alternative is roof restoration. Roof restoration is the process of renewing and coating your roof so that it will protect your house better and last longer … at an affordable price. Will it work for your home? Find out more.

ROOF RESTORATION VS REPAIR VS REPLACEMENT

First, let’s be clear about roofing terminology:

Roof repair usually involves only a small section of your roof, generally less than 30 percent. It may consist only of a minor replacement (such as a few shingles that were blown off by a severe storm) or may involve removing and replacing a damaged area (rotted wood, perhaps).

Roof replacement means installing an entire roof of new material. Your roofing contractor will have to either do a complete tear-off of your old roof or install the new roof over the existing one.

Roof restoration does not involve removal of your current roofing. Instead, the existing roof is repaired and refurbished as necessary, followed by a restorative, protective resurfacing treatment.

WHEN TO DO A ROOF RESTORATION

Roof restoration is not for every home. Your current roofing must be structurally sound; your roofer must take care of leaks, if any, before proceeding. You get bonus points if you’ve been faithfully performing roof maintenance at least once a year!

Here are the circumstances when you should seriously consider hiring a contractor to perform a roof restoration:

  • When your roof is relatively new, 5 years or more from the end of its expected lifespan.
  • When you plan to sell your house and want to upgrade the roof’s looks and performance
  • When you already have 2 layers of roofing in place and wish to avoid the higher costs of roofing tear-off
  • When your roof is exposed to strong sunlight, making it overly hot in summer

WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO ROOF RESTORATION?

  1. Clean the roof.
  2. Clear off any mildew, moss, or lichen.
  3. Remove rust in the case of a metal roof.
  4. Check seams, flashing, and fasteners. Seal if necessary.
  5. Repair and rebuild the roof, as required
  6. Apply coating.

 

ADVANTAGES OF ROOF RESTORATION

Lower cost. Roof restoration tends to be substantially less expensive than roof replacement – usually about half the cost or less.

Convenience. Roof restoration is less disruptive to your household routines than roof replacement, which is a noisy, messy process, especially during the tear-off phase.

Savings on HVAC. A reflective coating applied to your roof will deflect sun rays and help keep your home cooler. This means you’ll need to use your air conditioning less.

Sustainability. Roof restoration uses relatively small amounts of materials and resources, adding very little to landfills. Roof restoration can be redone every few years if you choose, further extending the life of your roof.

Blog Source: NetworxRoof Restoration Renews Your Roof at a Reasonable Price

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Buying A House In Seattle

What does it really take to buy a home in the Seattle area? There are the skyrocketing prices, of course.

But nowadays, to compete in this feverish market, buyers have to deal with so much more: Pay for damage the seller doesn’t disclose. Decide whether to buy a house just a couple days after it hits the market. Have a six-figure cash nest egg saved up for a down payment and nonrefundable earnest money.

Will you let the old owners continue living in your new house for months after you buy it? Can you compete with a pool of buyers where 1 in 4 people are paying with all cash? Are you ready for heartbreak if you get outbid on your dream home even when stretching to make your highest possible offer?

Our reporting found the average buyer will tour dozens of houses, lose to higher bids about three to five times, and pursue a house for six months to a year before finally getting a home. Many buyers likened the process to a full-time job.

“It was just all-consuming,” said Michael McDermott, who bought a house with his wife in North Seattle last year. “You have to always be on guard and always be ready. It’s such a rabid market that it can get out of control really fast.”

We talked to dozens of people who know the market best — buyers, sellers, brokers and lenders from around the Puget Sound region — to put together a complete homebuying survival guide.

Saving up

The first thing you need to do is have your finances lined up. The biggest obstacle is the down payment — the cash you need to have saved up and ready to spend today. You can get a mortgage loan for the rest of the purchase.

Technically, there are programs that allow you to put as little as 3 percent down. But the market today is so competitive that sellers are looking for buyers to put as much down as possible, and people who don’t put much down aren’t winning bidding wars in competitive neighborhoods. The typical King County homebuyer is now putting 18 percent down (excluding cash buyers — we’ll get to them in a minute).

Here is the cold, hard math: The median down payment on all homes (single-family and condos) in King County just topped $100,000 for the first time, up from about $50,000 just five years ago, according to mortgage tracking company Attom Data Solutions.

That’s an increase of $10,000 a year just for the down payment. Anyone who added less than that to their home-saving piggy bank in the last year is actually further away from being able to afford the median-priced home than they were when they started saving.

To save up a meaningful amount — let’s say $20,000 a year — requires the median local household to stash away about one-fourth of their income for a house. Because that’s not practical, most homebuyers are wealthier or have cash from their prior home sale to use on their next one; others rely on previous savings and gifts (even buyers in their 30s and 40s who thought the days of asking their parents for money were long over).

Getting a loan

OK, now you still need a loan for the rest of the purchase. Unfortunately, the instant you sign up for a mortgage, you’re already kicked toward the middle of the pack of buyers: 23 percent of all local homes are now purchased entirely with cash, according to Attom. Those offers are much more attractive to sellers and almost always win if they are near the highest overall bid.

Buyers that can’t go with all cash need to get preapproved for a mortgage home loan before they can go shopping for a home; it’s the bare essential qualification you need to be eligible as a buyer. But beware: While this is a certificate from a lender saying “we think this person can buy a home,” it’s not a commitment to lend because the mortgage company typically doesn’t verify a person’s financial information at this stage in the process.

To get a leg up, buyers are now going a step further — getting pre-underwritten at the start of home shopping — skipping to the end of the mortgage loan process and having their credit score checked, bank statements verified and assets combed over. This essentially guarantees the buyer is “solid gold” and will absolutely get a loan, removing a key doubt that could make a seller think twice about your bid.

Kyle Bergquist, a lender with Primary Residential Mortgage in Seattle, said about half his clients now get pre-underwritten — which is “as close to cash as you can get.”

“Getting preapproved is nowhere near adequate. We had to get pre-underwritten,” said A.J. Singh, who recently bought a home in Seattle’s Wedgwood area with his wife after having bought multiple properties in a less-competitive environment in Philadelphia. “I didn’t even know this was a thing until we got here.”

Picking a lender

You may think your lender doesn’t matter, but don’t zoom past this part: Buyers who went with big banks often regret it — it can require extra layers of bureaucracy that can slow down a deal, while some local lenders have relationships in the real estate community that can give you an advantage in a bidding war.

Picking your broker

You can find 500 Yelp reviews about your $4 cup of coffee, but there’s surprisingly little information on how to find someone who will help you with your biggest purchase and earn a commission that averages about $25,000 in Seattle and is paid by the seller.

A lot of buyers use referrals. Others simply click on buttons from Redfin and Zillow that appear next to home listings — but beware, those are generally just advertisements from realtors.

You can also test out realtors in the real world by going to open houses. Tobias Nitzsche and his wife were looking to buy a house here last year but found out they didn’t really like the first realtor they picked. Then they ran into Stephanie Spiro at an open house for a home she was listing, and found her to be so helpful and friendly that they hired her for their own home hunt.

Realtors are an extension of the “location, location, location” mantra in real estate: Most realtors have one neighborhood they know really well but things can get dicey if they start venturing into new territory. Look for people who have already done lots of deals in the neighborhood you want.

Blog Source: Seattle Times | How to buy a home in the Seattle area: a survival guide

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Dealing With Common Roofing Problems

Cool Mansion
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Finding the Right Roofing Solution

bright roof

Some homeowners spot a leak and panic that this means they need an entirely new roof. Fortunately, this is not always the case.

Inspecting Your Roof

First, conduct a visual inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars. Focus the lenses and check every inch of the roof and try to cover every angle. Look out for signs of aging such as cracks, curling or loose shingles. Pay special attention to the valleys, vent pipe and all spots that break or meet the roof. The flashing and boots should be intact, undamaged and in their proper places. Likewise, the roof’s edge should be flat, with no signs of wind damage.

You will also need to climb into the attic and check the condition of the wood parts, such as trusses and the underside of the roof deck, if visible and not covered by foam insulation.

There should be no water stains or signs of warping. Check the foam or blown-in insulation for clumps, which are a sure sign of water damage. Note your findings.

Signs That Indicate You Need Roof Repairs

The first question you have to ask yourself is: are the issues concentrated in a specific area? If yes, then you may be looking at some roofing repair work. It could be a dent or a hole caused by wind or a large piece of debris. However, just because this is a relatively minor problem, doesn’t mean you can put it off for later. Given constant exposure to sun and wind, even the smallest hole can expand in a short time causing more widespread damage.

Signs That You Need a New Roof

Setting aside your roof’s age—asphalt roofs that are 20 to 30 years old are typically at the end of their service life—consider your findings. For example, widespread damage such as curling, cracked or loose shingles are signs of aging.

The shingles may have bald spots where the granules have been worn off.

If you noticed pinholes of light while you were in the attic, you will definitely need to have your roof checked by a professional.

Blog Source: Arry’s Roofing Services | Repair vs Replace: Finding the Right Roofing Solution

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Why Your Roofing Marketing is Not Working

gray roof

I’ve always had a deep desire to start my own business and make an impact. In college, I worked for a construction company and I saw how difficult it was to generate qualified leads for their business. They were completely dependent on outside forces like new construction projects and referrals.

When the economy tanked, this caused major headaches for the owner, and the company almost went under. I knew that there had to be a better way, and the Internet was the key. I struggled initially to get results for my clients. What I realized was that I was overcomplicating the process — focusing too much on tactics and not on strategies. After a few flops (and watching my bank account rapidly decrease), I remembered a simple marketing approach I had used years before in college for the construction company. It was counter-intuitive but effective.

I tried it with a roofing client and got amazing results. In 18 months, we’ve turned this strategy into a simple step-by-step guide for roofers who want more jobs quickly. I call it the Automatic Roofing Job Generator.

Using The Automatic Roofing Job Generator, our first client received seven qualified commercial roofing leads in their first week. From those seven, two of them became happy clients, and we’ve seen very similar numbers with every client since. I knew I was onto something, and so I created a webinar to share this new system with as many businesses as I could.

The Automatic Roofing Job Generator

While every business is slightly different, some things remain constant. In speaking to over 200 roofing businesses it became clear that there were seven key frustrations common to them all:

  • Ineffective online marketing. Many roofing businesses spend large amounts of money on ineffective online campaigns without seeing results. Lead generation, particularly online, is a huge challenge for many companies in this space.
  • Reliance on the weather. As a rule, most roofers rely on bad weather to generate demand for their services. However, if the weather is good, then they need other methods for generating business.
  • Lack of skilled labor. The single biggest challenge facing the roofing industry is finding skilled workers. The demographic skews older and the lack of young people interested in the trades affects every roofing contractor.
  • Difficulty with sales. In the past, canvassing and door knocking were the go-to methods for building business. While these methods still work, they’re effectiveness is slipping.
  • Reliance on one or two big clients. Relying on one or two large corporate clients puts roofers in a perilous position. Their over-leveraged position can lead to real problems if the client relationship goes sour.
  • Cash flow problems. Slow pay is a part of the construction industry’s culture, and it’s not something that roofers have a great deal of control over. While they wait for payments to materialize, they have payrolls to meet and suppliers to pay, along with fixed overhead needed to keep the business running.
  • Reaching key decision makers. This is particularly true on the commercial side. Identifying and meeting key decision makers is tough when you are using telemarketing or canvassing methods.

Investment or Expenditure?

The reason we say that a business invests in marketing is that the business is expecting a benefit to come from the expenditure. They want to generate new roofing jobs from their marketing efforts. If that doesn’t happen, the business isn’t investing anymore, it’s spending.

Marketing efforts tend to fail for two specific reasons: First, there’s no real strategy in place designed to bring clients in on a regular basis; and there’s lead-management system in place making it easy to contact and do business with clients.

Old Method vs. New Method

Traditionally, most roofing businesses have relied on old-school lead generation strategies like canvassing, door-door sales, direct mail, storm chasing, local television, trade shows, and HomeAdvisor.

While these strategies still work on some level, they really only reach people who might not be looking for your services currently. These interruption-based, outbound marketing strategies have become less effective at spreading the word as the “noise” level for consumers has increased.

Our world has changed dramatically: People no longer live, work, shop and buy as they did a decade or two ago. And yet, most businesses in this space still try to market like it’s the 1990s. The fact is, consumers no longer want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople. They want to be helped.

Most people now primarily shop and gather information through Internet search engines such as Google. The average information seeker conducts dozens of searches per day and rather than listen to a sales rep, read a spam message, watch a TV ad or fly to a trade show. Most people find it easier to sit at their desks and find the information online.

The new method for lead generation is an actual system that takes your prospects on a journey, building a relationship from stranger to a paying (and happy) client.

It casts a wide net, educating your prospects and providing value first. It allows you to reach people who are actively looking for your services in your area.

This method is also less expensive and yields quicker results than most traditional forms of advertising, thereby making it more cost-effective. And most importantly, it provides value by answering a key question:“How can I help?”

There are four key strategies that make the Automatic Roofing Job Generator so effective. We’ll cover them briefly here:

Strategy 1: Harness the power of Google AdWords

There are thousands of people looking for roof repair, reroof and roof replacement services in your city. AdWords allows you to instantly target interested buyers looking for your services.

Strategy 2: Use unique landing pages and targeted online ads

Creating targeted ads and specific landing pages for each keyword is a powerful way to create a cold prospecting lead generation machine.

Strategy 3: Use free inspections and free estimates

The key thing that makes or breaks a campaign is your offer. By offering free inspections and estimates, you’re opening the door to new business.

Strategy 4: Learn to convert your leads into a cash generating machine

Efficiently responding to leads as they become available is key to making any lead generation strategy successful.

In today’s market your prospects have virtually unlimited options, most of them only a click away. For that reason, competing on price alone is not enough to fuel growth.

In the end, the historically tried and true four P’s of marketing — Product, Price, Place and Promotion — are all being challenged by a simple winning formula — add value first.

Blog Source: Roofing Contractor | Value First: Why Your Roofing Marketing is Not Working

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