Author Archives: Guardian

What Are Some Energy Efficient Roofing Solutions

Everyone wants to find ways to cut back on their heating and cooling bills such as landlords who own multi-family dwellings. By finding ways to make a roof more energy efficient though, this goes a long way in helping to achieve that goal. So below are some energy efficient roofing solutions which may work for you.

  • If your roof is dark: If your roof is dark in color, it can increase the temperature in your home or rental property considerably. On a hot day, an asphalt roof which is dark colored can reach temperatures of between 150-175 degrees F. This forces any air conditioner in the building to work harder and use more energy when doing this. If the roof is a light-colored roof, however, it can be 50-60 degrees cooler on a roof than its dark counterpart. So one option to make your roof cooler if you don’t want to replace a dark colored roof is to have a contractor apply what’s called a cool roof coating. But if you’ve already considering re-roofing, then you can just go with a lighter color of shingles.
  • Insulate your roof: Most people remember to insulate the attic, but forget about insulating the roof. Now if your roof is insulated poorly, your property will use more air conditioning in the summer to keep the house cool. It will also take more heat in the winter to keep the building warm so you should insulate your roof correctly. Because a roof that’s well insulated by using the right insulation product will drastically help to reduce both your heating and cooling bills. Depending upon where you live will determine what’s the right type of insulation that you’ll need.
  • Choosing the right roofing materials: What is the right type of roofing material that’s needed is determined by what type of building you’re roofing. Plus, the climate is a factor. So wood shingles for a roof in a wet climate will be problematic. while hot dry climates may preclude other roofs for energy efficiency. Whatever type of roofing you and your contractor decide upon, reflective coating being applied may be a good idea depending on what your contractor believes is suitable.

When choosing the right roofing materials, whether you’re just doing a coating; or a re-roofing job, it always helps to talk to a professional contractor first who has good references and the experience.

Types of Siding Replacement for a Multi-family Dwelling

There are different styles of siding that can be used on buildings. The choices are many, and it depends upon what look you want to have for your building. It also depends on how much you want to invest. So below are some different types of siding with their descriptions which can be used on multi-family dwellings.

Wood: Wood was the most commonly used type of siding for many years. Even with the new types of siding out on the market, wood is still the traditional and most versatile choice. With this there are so many choices for wood siding such as clapboard, cedar shingles and wood from old barns, as examples. The bad part about wood is that it won’t resist fire very well, and over time it fades.

Metal: Using metal for siding is something to consider. For one thing, it’s more fire resistant than wood and depending on where it’s sourced, it can be a green option. The most common type of metal used is corrugated aluminum, but steel types can be used as well. The downside is that metal siding dents, and if you use steel siding it rusts in salty environments.

Vinyl: Vinyl siding is both durable and low maintenance, which is great for a multi-family dwelling. It comes is a variety of colors and different designs. It does cost more than some of the other materials, but it also has a long lifespan. It does have somewhat of a plastic appearance though when the siding is the less expensive kind of vinyl design.

Clapboard: This type of siding is also known as lap or bevel siding and is in the wood class. It uses planks of wood which are installed horizontally. One piece overlaps the other one. It’s a common style and comes in variations such as beaded and insulated. Regular clapboard has the simplest appearance.

When deciding what type of siding to put on your rental property, consider all the options based on budget and the long haul.

Why Use a Local Construction Company for Insurance Claim Assistance

There are several reasons to use a local construction company for insurance claim assistance. A building contractor who has an established reputation is familiar with this type of claims process for one thing. The company also can lead you step by step through the process to be sure that your residential or multi-family dwelling is properly restored.

texas-hailInspecting your property

After a hail or wind storm; or after any storm or problem which causes damage, it is advisable to call an experienced general contractor who has such things as roofing and siding experience along with water and fire damage knowledge. Whomever you choose should do a detailed inspection of your property to check for damages according to whatever the problem was. If damage has occurred, then photos should be taken by the company representative, and you should be provided with a report. If there isn’t any damage, then you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your property is safe because an experienced professional did the inspection. If damage has occurred, then an insurance claim will need to be filed.

When damage is found

When damage is found, then you need to call your insurance company to report it. The construction company that you chose as your insurance restoration contractor will be able to help you with this step. An adjuster will be assigned to you by the insurance company then when a claim is reported. The contractor you have chosen will additionally send a field representative to meet with the insurance adjuster at the damaged property. The field representative will go over all the damages that were caused by the storm or event such as a fire, making sure that nothing is overlooked and no damage is unaccounted for by the insurance adjuster.

The results

Once the adjuster has looked over the damage, he or she will give you a claim summary that details what the cost of the repairs or replacements will be. If the difference is below what a fair market price is, then the contractor will negotiate for the difference.

Using a local contractor means you have a professional dealing with another professional who is there to represent your interests.

Why You Should Have a Property Maintenance Contract

Property maintenance is a service that you hire to take care of the maintenance of your rental property such as when you own a multi-family dwelling. A property maintenance service becomes the caretaker of your property and deals with fixing damages and property upkeep. This way your property is maintained in a professional manner, and this frees you up to deal with other things.

What a good property maintenance service company also does is that it provides you with financial stability because you have a set monthly fee, and it saves you time because they deal with property problems when the property needs repairs and maintenance. In addition, they should be insured and bonded. For a monthly fee, the company then supplies the tools, restocks supplies needed to operate the property and repairs equipment; walls and roofs as needed. Some of the details in the service that this kind of company does are listed below:

  • Lawn maintenance and snow removal
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • General cleaning, painting and storm clean-up
  • Facade repairs and power washing
  • Carpentry and dry wall replacement
  • Sign installation and graffiti cleanup
  • HVAC

When you decide to put them in charge of the maintenance of your multi-family dwelling, it frees you from having to oversee anyone that you would have to hire to do each job separately. You also don’t have to invest in costly tools or equipment because the company supplies everything. When you use the services of a property service maintenance company, you have experts that have extensive experience in handling rental property problems and construction issues. There is high efficiency and thorough knowledge about the job requirements which is better than hiring a handyman; or doing it yourself.

Now when choosing what company that you are going to use, you need to choose someone reliable. You also want someone who itemizes all their work. You want someone who will show up when there’s a problem too. You want someone that will live up to the high standards of the best in the industry. So by going through a screening process and checking references, you can be sure that the company which you choose will take excellent care of your property.

By maintaining your rental properties also, you will have a better quality of tenants.

Pros and Cons of Different Roof Coatings

35067309_sIf you own a commercial building, you may want to consider roof coating for the roof. This is because when you coat your roof, it acts like another barrier to protect the roof from the sun’s rays. It does this by increasing the UV protection which also helps to reduce the energy cost of the building. Another thing that roof coatings do on commercial property is to help prevent the ponding of water with varying degrees of effectiveness depending upon the product. So below are the strengths and weaknesses of different coating materials so that you can make an intelligent choice when you do this job.

  • Acrylic roof coatings are good for most climates and are cost effective. It’s water based and is reflective; easy to use and UV resistant. However; acrylics need to be applied when the temperature is 50 degrees or above. Plus; acrylics will also lose mil thickness with the weathering; and in situations where ponding is normal after every rain, it doesn’t do well.
  • Polyurethane roof coating handles traffic and is more resistant to impact than the other coatings. Also, aromatic and aliphatic are the two main types of polyurethane coatings. For a base coat, aromatic coating is usually used because it’s not UV stable. Aliphatic coatings are more UV stable, are cleaner and hold color well, but are also more expensive.
  • Silicone roof coatings won’t get brittle or hard. Furthermore, it’s good in water ponding situations and is erosion resistant. With silicone being moisture cured, the weather being humid even helps with the curing. The down side is that silicone will hold dirt, but when it rains, the rain acts as a cleaner. But because of this; over time, the material will lose its reflectivity. Plus; silicone is difficult to adhere to so when the roof needs redone, you either have to either remove the silicone or use something that’s compatible with it.

Having a coating put on your roof is an excellent solution if feasible, instead of just having a shingled roof. But get the advice of a trusted professional for the right and needed roof application.

Repairing Water Damage on a Multi-Family Dwelling

56577481_sWhen repairing the water damage of a multi-family dwelling, there are some things to consider. First of all, is it a hole or weak spot in the roof that needs patched or does the whole roof need to be redone? Or do you need to replace a collapsed ceiling inside the multi-family building or just repair it where it leaked? Is the building structurally safe or did the damage compromise the integrity of the building? Is the damage from a rain storm; or a more severe storm or flood? Also, do you need to call a professional contractor to access and repair the damage?

So below are the signs of structural damage where you will need professional help:

  • If the building has shifted its position on the foundation; or if there are stairs have shifted and walls now slant and there are broken pilings.
  • If the floors aren’t level or if a crawlspace or the walls of the foundation have caved in or cracked.
  • If the foundation has been undermined by erosion that’s cut into the soil at the bottom of the foundation.

Now if the building has been damaged you need to have these steps taken:

  • Remove the damaged materials and permit the building to dry out. To prevent additional water damage, protect with tarps and other barriers that will contain the water where you need to. Some materials which have been water damaged can be salvaged, but some can’t. Also by reusing materials that haven’t dried thoroughly in repairs, they can buckle or cause mildew problems.
  • You can keep drywall that has only been dampened by rainwater that’s clean. The drywall can’t be sagging, can’t be mildewed and it can’t have lost its smooth texture. However; wet insulation has to be removed immediately from the ceiling, and walls need to dry completely before you can repair them if you are not tearing them out.
  • If any materials can be salvaged, move them to a place that’s dry and secure. Also, you can remove the materials which aren’t salvageable to another area, but make sure you save them until the insurance adjuster sees them.

If handled correctly, damages can be repaired smoothly, but seek professional help for the things you cannot do correctly and to code.

How to Maintain a Sound Roof

When you own a commercial building, having a written roof maintenance plan is important. Because when your maintenance plan is written down, then you have more of a chance to catch areas which need repaired. In addition, there are two steps in a good plan to keep the roof on your commercial property leak free. Plus, you need to make sure that your roof has regular repairs when needed and that the roof is inspected frequently by a professional contractor.

36801614 - flat roof with skylight and hydro insulation membranesSo, how often should you have roof inspections done so regular repairs can be done? Recommendations for inspections are for twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. This will let you catch any roof damage before it gets out of hand. However; if you live in a climate which has severe temperature changes or severely harsh winters, then you may want to inspect it more often. Also, a competent person should check your roof out after having any construction on the roof so you are assured it was done right; or above it and after any major storms. Plus; if you’ve had a fire, installation of any new equipment or vandalism, check the roof for damage. By keeping up with roof repairs, it saves you money in the long run.

In addition, you can do a roof inspection yourself or have a professional roof inspector do it for you. A roof inspector will inspect the following areas:

  • The gutters, drains and scuppers
  • The rooftop units and the penetrations
  • The field of the roof or the surface area
  • The expansions, control joints, roof edges, flashings and terminations

Now if a problem is found and you’re having vetted professionals fix your roof, you can relax knowing that they know what they’re doing. Also, you will receive a warranty guaranteeing the work for a period of time. If you’re handy and can perform the repairs yourself though, you still need to develop an orderly plan for the issues that you’ve identified. In addition, repairs on a roof should be analyzed individually to decide if the job can be done by you or outsourced.

Following a roof inspection plan will save you money in the long run.

Different Types of Buildings Exteriors

When choosing the look for the exterior of your commercial building, what you want is something functional, durable and professional in appearance. Also, for commercial buildings, there are many different types of materials to make your choice from based on design and cost. So below is an assortment of exterior choices for your building:

11741271 - new shopping centerExteriors of mortarless brick will withstand weather damage and small impacts better than materials made of regular brick. Since mortarless doesn’t require a masonry contractor, unlike brick which is mortared brick, it costs less too. Plus, it has a professional, clean look to it.

Real brick or stone can break when it’s hit. However; synthetic stone or brick doesn’t break as easily. In addition, it looks like real brick or stone and is waterproof and flame resistant. So this choice gives the look of stone, but without the maintenance problem that stone or brick have.

Another option is fiber-cement siding. This consists of cement and rough sand mixed in with fiber which improves the durability aspect of it. It actually looks a lot like wood, but it lasts a lot longer than wood siding does.

Exterior Insulation Finishing System also known as EIFS. This material is a combination of insulation and finishing coats that provides a look to commercial buildings like synthetic stucco. When this method is used, it improves energy efficiency and adds extra insulation also. EIFS has a rough touch and has many finish and color options.

Split-face concrete blocks are split in half during the making of them so that they look like rough spoil-face concrete blocks. These blocks come in an assortment of colors and are several inches thick.

Metal siding has low maintenance and is ecofriendly since there’s little waste when applying it. It’s also resilient and fire resistant where even dents can be hammered out as opposed to cracked vinyl siding. Metal siding is usually used on modern style buildings.

In the end, it’s comes down to cost and what you prefer to use when you’re building your commercial building.

General Commercial Tenant Improvements

When you own a commercial building, improving the property can increase the value and attract a better quality tenant; a pretty much known fact. So with just a few improvements, the profit increase on the building rentals can rise impressively, and the resell value will go up too. Therefore; below are some ways to improve your commercial building:

  • Adding more square footage to your commercial property if needed can increase the demand for tenants. With this, you could add more storage, a conference area and additional office space for rental with the conference room. Also, by having a larger parking area; or even a covered parking area, this could help you get an edge on the competition.
  • You can increase the rental space inside. If there’s space which is not being used or there’s wasted space, say an area which is unfinished, it can be converted into profitable space. So a large storage area not being fully used can be cut into smaller spaces and what’s left over, after any needed storage space being taken into account, can be converted into offices.
  • Update your doors and windows because this will improve the appearance of your commercial rental property. So if the windows are poorly designed or outdated, update them into more efficient, state of the art windows. This will increase the natural light, cut down on noise and reduce the heating/cooling bill.
  • If you give the property a new coat of paint, it will refresh the outside appearance without having to do anything structural. Installing siding is another way to give the building a more updated look too. Plus, if you use a professional landscaping service, this can improve the look of the surrounding area outside the building.
  • When redoing the parking area, consider increasing security and the amount of parking spaces. By installing gates and alarm systems additionally it will make prospective tenants and the tenants you already have feel safer. Also, if your area is prone to criminal activity, consider hiring a private guard for the parking area and grounds.

These are just some of the general improvements on your commercial property that you can make.

Attract Tenants to Your Multi-Family Property with Stylist Design

15391773 - circular driveway and sidewalk at brick condominium buildingTenants are expecting more than ever from a multi-family property when renting than the same gym/game room offer in each apartment dwelling place. Also, the floor after floor of apartment sameness is not renting as tenants want diversification. Further to add to the mix, this is the first time in the rental market where two generations, the baby boomers and the millennials, are in the same urban living area with each having different expectations. So the flow of who’s renting just isn’t just one demographic; or the other, but both. This can be an exciting challenge and great opportunity to developers and landlords of multi-family apartments.

First off, in the construction and remodeling of multi-family dwellings the flavor and look of the neighborhoods should be in the grounds and buildings. Also, encouraging a sense of community in apartment dwellers by adding music jam rooms, swim up bars and sports lounges are just a few things landlords may want to think about. Too, more tenants want to have pets so dog parks and dog areas are becoming more prevalent among tenants wants. In addition, bikes are being ridden more as an alternate way to get around town. So developers who add bike racks to the parking areas are getting good feedback. Additionally, electric car-charging stations are being installed in some areas for those tenants who are green minded,

Developers also need to consider walkable neighborhoods where everything that’s needed is within walking distance of the property if the developers intend to rent out the property they build. This would include places to eat, shopping complexes and catering to the nightlife. Also, those who have developed living spaces within the hub of people’s social lives have seen apartment rentals skyrocket as people look to be close to what’s close to their hearts.

In addition, it’s not just the Generation Z who’s speaking up, but the Baby Boomers too. So Baby Boomers are demanding more as far as expectations, as in more closet space and large master bedrooms as well as high end amenities. Balconies are in demand that are big enough for entertaining and dining outdoors additionally.
The rental scene is changing and landlords and developers need to change along with it to be profitable.