Top 10 Tips to Save Energy on Heating and Cooling

Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about ways to save on heating and cooling bills. The worst of winter may be behind us, but cold temperatures still plague much of the nation—especially at night when thermometers plummet down to near-freezing…or worse. And during the day things tend to heat up to the point where switching your HVAC system over to the cool setting might be necessary. We’ll go through 10 tricks to help keep your home at optimal temps either way.


    1. Cover Your Windows

Windows, although more energy efficient than ever, can be a primary culprit for thermal transfer. Consider buying insulating drapes that will help to cut down on cold drafts and heat loss without breaking the bank. The same technique is also helpful for keeping out unwanted heat on those warmer days. If your home’s windows are old and poorly insulated, you may wish to consider replacing them altogether with more energy efficient models.

  1. Uncover Your Windows

On the flip side, if it’s cold during the day, open the insulating blinds or drapes to allow the sun to warm the house. You’ll be amazed at the difference this can make in rooms that receive direct sunlight.

  1. Up Your Insulation

As the name implies, insulation is the primary source for insulating your home from cold and heat. The greater the level of insulation, the less your home will be affected by exterior temperature changes and the more easily you will be able to control the temperature inside.

There are many different types of insulating materials and the best choice is often dependent on where the insulation is being placed. For example, insulating concrete is often used for foundation walls, whereas blown-in insulation is usually used in attic spaces.

Keep in mind that heat rises and cold air falls, so the attic is often a prime culprit when accounting for insulation loss within a home. Also, an older home, unless it has been renovated, is often not insulated to the same levels as today’s modern home.

  1. Look for Leaks

A great way to figure out what corrective actions to take is to actually find any air leaks. An inspection of the openings around your home can provide a great deal of insight. For example, take a look at window and door frames. Electrical, plumbing and gas lines that enter the home can also be primary culprits. Basically anywhere on the exterior of the home that had a hole cut so that something could be installed or routed. Are there gaps around any of these opening where air is leaking? A set of expert eyes can be helpful for this and there are companies out there who provide professional energy audits.


  1. Fix the Leaks

Once you or an energy auditor has determined the points of leaks, it’s time to seal them off. What’s used to seal the leaks will depend on where the leaks are. For doors, weatherstripping is usually the most appropriate remedy. For windows, caulk will often work best. Foam spray insulation is usually used around pipes. Each situation will be unique, which is why these fixes are best left to the pros.

  1. Fire Your Fireplace

A fireplace can be an excellent source of heat in those frigid winter months, but when it’s not in use, the chimney is one giant air vent in and out of your home. Be sure to close the damper to block off the flue (and don’t forget to open it again before using). It’s imperative to make sure the damper creates a tight seal, so have a professional come out to service your chimney if this is not the case.

  1. Semi-Annual Service

Once you’ve corrected insulation and air leak issues, it’s time to focus on your home’s heating and cooling units. Getting these units serviced on a bi-annual basis is an excellent way to keep them in top-running condition. If tests prove that there are efficiency problems, consider having the unit fixed or even replaced, which may actually save you money in the long run.

  1. Keep Tabs on the Thermostat

Technology has impacted the way that we do nearly everything. Controlling your home’s temperature is no exception. If your home is still equipped with a manual thermostat, consider upgrading to an electronically programmable thermostat. These thermostats can be set to kick heat and air on and off at certain times of the day. That way, you can let temps fluctuate a little more while away at work, and bring them back to a comfortable temp by the time you get home. There are even some systems that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

  1. Stay Out of Hot Water

Your hot water tank may be using more electricity than it actually needs to. If the water from your faucets is hotter than it needs to be, turn down the temperature on the hot water heater to save some energy. When it comes time to replace the hot water heater, you may even want to consider switching to a tankless (also known as instant) hot water heater. These can be powered by either electricity or gas and heat up water on an as-needed basis. This saves energy by eliminating the need to keep an entire tank warm all the time.

  1. Pick a Pro

Since we’re talking about efficiency, working with a professional will be the most efficient way to accomplish all of the tasks above. Once they come out to meet with you in your home, they may have additional ideas about how to save even more money. Get in touch with a local contractor today.

Custom Metal Roofing

Some information in this article has been sourced by and

Custom metal roofing has taken the country by storm. These days, it appears in both commercial and residential structures. It couples an attractive, modern look with exceptional performance and the ability to last for decades — even in the harshest weather.


No matter your home’s age, size, or style, custom metal roofing is a great selection.


Still, the choice to update the roof shouldn’t be made lightly. After all, the roof is one of the first things any visitor will notice. Plus, the quality of the roof has a major effect on what it’s like inside your home or business, too.

4 Huge Advantages of Custom Metal Roofing

It Lasts Longer

Composite shingles are strong, but nothing out there is better than custom metal roofing. When it is planned, fabricated, and installed by a true expert, it can last five whole decades. It usually needs less maintenance than other options, too.


It Fights Fire and Wind

When a storm hits, wind is the culprit behind much of the damage a structure sustains. A metal roof is a great defense against wind. Additionally, rain and hail bounce right off. Naturally, metal roofs don’t catch on fire, which helps protect against major accidents.


It Keeps Your Home Cool

A metal roof lets you save money on cooling by deflecting large quantities of solar radiation right back into space. Since much less heat reaches and penetrates the building, it’s a whole lot easier to maintain the temperatures you want.


It Improves Structural Strength

By bringing together low weight and high strength, custom metal roofing will assist any building to age gracefully. Less pressure on the foundation improves building safety over time and can fend off major repair issues.

Find Your Local Custom Metal Roofer of Choice

Metal roofing is ideal for a wide range of situations. Still, it has to be installed by experts to truly unlock its potential. Custom metal roofers can fabricate all custom metal roofing materials on-site before installation starts.


That means a more durable – and more beautiful – new roof.

We recommend looking for standing seam 24-gauge galvalume-coated steel panels. These are thicker and more seamless than 26-gauge steel panels that you can get right off the shelf from the hardware store.


The standing-seam process enhances the strength of the panels while giving each one an ideal fit. They simply look better, too: With custom metal roofing, there’s no need for ugly bolts, screws, or fasteners. Standing seam roofs give you a truly sleek look everyone will notice!

5 ways to find great construction jobs

A cornerstone of modern society, construction jobs and professions provide individuals with worthwhile experiences as well as being lucrative professions in most states. Construction is currently one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in United States according to Sageworks financial research. In the Forbes listing of top 10 fastest-growing industries, not only are many of the top positions held by construction-related professions, many fall into several different categories; from residential and electrical, to commercial and engineering. The industry is vast and includes many multidisciplinary skilled-laborers. There are many opportunities for skilled and unskilled laborers to work in this diverse field, but how do you find the one right for you?


    1. Job Searches

Thanks to modern technology, locating businesses looking for workers is not as difficult as it once was. Recent updates to digital platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn have made it easier for workers of any level of experience to connect with construction companies looking for workers; skilled and unskilled. Google recently released Google Hire to allow businesses to “inject” job listings into search results, while Facebook now allows businesses to promote open positions.


    1. On-Site / Word of Mouth

Although it may be intimidating, individuals that live close to or travel past construction areas or construction company offices can often find success by contacting the foreman of the site or speaking with a coordinator/secretary at the office. Visiting a job site is not advisable when work is underway or the construction area is restricted to authorized personnel. However, when construction work is paused or when workers are arriving or preparing to leave, inquiring about job opportunities are often welcome.


    1. Skilled Professional Networks

For construction professionals with prior experience or education in a construction field, there are often a number of resources available either due to having obtained on-the-job (OJT) training or by obtaining/maintaining their education. Skilled construction professions and jobs often require certifications, verified know-how from accredited organizations or professional membership/association such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) which offers a number of benefits, including job listings.


    1. Education

In line with professional networks, pursuing and become a graduate of a degree or certification program often opens doors to skilled labor opportunities that unskilled laborers are unfit to fill. By pursuing the education necessary to perform the tasks of a skilled laborer, you’ll be prepared for the work many fast-growing construction industries need while expanding your network along the way. In many of the educational programs in the construction industry, education centers and businesses focused on construction have agreements that support graduates finding jobs soon after obtaining their degree or certification. These job placement agreements are a win-win for everyone as the educating organization can promote the value of quick placement, the construction organization fills roles with skilled construction workers, and you get a job! The University of Florida is a good example of the value of these types of programs.


    1. Recruiters

Similar to job searches and hiring sites, like Indeed or Glassdoor, recruiters work as middle men and women (or agencies) helping businesses find the right candidate for a position while helping potential candidates find employment that makes the most sense for them. Many of these recruiters and recruiting agencies are great resources for job searches as well as guidance on resumes, interviewing, placement, and other career guidance elements.


Staying Safe in Hazardous Construction Zones

Venturing into a construction zone in flip flops and no hard hat is not a good choice, everyone knows that. However, there are some tips and nuances concerning the construction industry that many new professionals, unskilled laborers, and bystanders may be unfamiliar with when it comes to staying safe in hazardous construction zones.


Watch out for others. Whether its for you as you’re driving a forklift, crane, plow or other construction machinery or the person around these heavy equipment; vigilance is the number one rule. Between 2002 and 2012, 19.5% of all workplace fatalities involved workers in the construction industry. Based on labor statistics, in a 45-year long career, a construction worker has a 1-in-200 chance of sustaining a fatal, on-the-job injury. What leads to these types of injuries and fatalities? Lack of equipment knowledge, mechanical failures, and lapse in attention.


Follow the rules. Although this goes without saying, following the rules is a no brainer. Over the long history of construction, many policies and regulations have been crafted to ensure safety. These policies and rules are the results of many, many accidents that lead to loss of limb, injuries to workers, casualties, and damage to property–so the guidances are often well informed. Just as a school teacher may repeatedly echo the same rules, you see many of the same rules repeated often to build up a second nature to following the regulations:


  • Hard hats must and should be worn in all construction zones

  • Steel toed boots should be worn

  • Reflective vests must be worn where vehicles are traveling close by


Avoid Distractions. As bad as pedestrians are with modern phones and texting while walking/driving, many construction zones have now banded cell phones on the job as workers handling heavy equipment can be easily distracted or jolted by personal cell phones. While the lure to stay “in the know” or be accessible to family and friends may be strong, these types of distractions are a major concern in and out of construction zones. Labelled ‘phone/texting zombies’, these hordes of distracted individuals have become a big issue.


Although businesses carry insurance to cover these accidents, no amount of money or compensation can replace a life.

Inclement Weather and Construction

Although summer will soon be gone, construction projects will continue through the fall and into winter and well into the spring this coming year. Depending on your location, these months have the potential to see inclement weather including hurricanes, snow, rain and high winds. While many things can alter a construction project, inclement weather is something that can have the biggest impact on whether a project is finished on time or if it will need an extended deadline to wrap up.

Whether you are a homeowner who is working with a general contractor to have a new shed built for your tools or you’re a construction manager who needs to plan a new build at a job site, here are a few tips to keep work flowing even when bad weather starts poking its head around the corner.

  • Before beginning any project, especially one that is outdoors, carefully research local weather patterns and check the extended forecast to see if you may experience delays with the work at hand.
  • If you work in an area known for rain, plan for delays or be sure to grab plenty of rain gear ahead of time to cover the area and continue working as planned. Having plastic or storm drainage on site already will be a benefit to the worksite and will allow work to continue as normal even when the rain hits.
  • Plan for flooding if you’re project is in an area prone to flooding. While some projects will inevitably have to be placed on hold if flooding occurs, others can continue if waters have not risen significantly.
  • If you know the area has some rough weather patterns and you expect to see large amounts of rain or snow, plan accordingly and set a realistic time frame for completion as well as cost for the project.

No one can control the weather, and unfortunately it often holds disastrous surprises when we least expect. Planning Home Improvement Tips, Ideas and Projects ahead by keeping an eye on weather trends and checking to see if inclement weather is on the horizon is a good step to take when you are planning to have work done at your home or when you are a contractor who will be starting a new building project soon.

If you need to hire a general contractor and want someone who can be relied on to plan the project around the weather in your area, be sure to speak to Contractors Today to be put in touch with the best general contractors in your local area today.


What to Look for When Closing on a Home

You’ve made it all the way to the end of your dream of being a homeowner. All that’s left to do now is schedule a few inspections, get a good appraisal and sign some paperwork. Right? Let’s not jump ahead so fast in this process. Buying a home is a major investment and as a future homeowner, you need to know that what you’re paying for your home is worth the money.

One of the most important things, and one that lenders often require, is a complete home inspection to check for signs of faulty wiring, plumbing problems, foundation issues and other problems that can be costly or cause damage to the home. Scheduling an inspection is advised even if your lender does not require one.

As a home buyer, you want to be able to move into your new home and get settled in fast. Chances are that you don’t want to have to immediately take upon the task of contacting a general contractor to begin making repairs on things that pop up unexpectedly around the house that you were in the dark about. A home inspection offers a great way to not worry about unwanted surprises and can be a way to back out of the purchase if something major is found. A little general maintenance is to be expected, but finding out you need a new roof immediately or you have a major plumbing disaster waiting to happen can be deal-breakers on the purchase.

To close on your home and be able to feel confident that the decision to make the purchase is wise, you will need to find a quality home inspector and even if you have little time until the closing date is upon you, you need to make time for the inspection and be sure to be present as the inspector walks through the home. Here are some tips for making sure your inspection goes well and the house truly is the one you want to buy.

Check credentials

Before you just pull up a list of home inspectors online, check with friends and family to see if someone you trust can recommend someone. You will want to check credentials to see how long they have been in business and whether they have worked in other housing related fields including electrical, construction or other areas that would help them know precisely what they are looking for. Ask to see sample reports to see the various things they check for when the do a home inspection. Many inspectors will have samples available right on their website as well as lists of things they do during or after a home inspection.

The Extras

Ask the inspector if they check for things including radon, termites, mold or lead paint or asbestos. Most will refer you to a different company for tests including radon or carbon monoxide testing, but some will offer it on their own.

Schedule the Inspection Early

Try to schedule your home inspection early in the day so you will have plenty of daylight hours to spend in the home checking every nook and cranny. Late appointments work as well, but you may find that the later it is, the more chance things may be rushed a little so everyone can get home in time for dinner or to meet the kids after school.

Issues on the Report

If issues that need to be repaired are listed on the report, get together with the seller or the seller’s agent and go over the list to determine which repairs the seller needs to make for the sale to progress and which, if any, you would feel comfortable letting slide or hiring a contractor on your own to repair. If the home inspection finds a cracked foundation or a major plumbing repair, you may want to decline this sale and start your home search over. If it finds repairable problems such as a few outlets that need covers or a leaky sink, these are things that a seller will usually take care of but even if they do not, they are not usually big budget expenses to worry about.

When you are trying to close on a new home, take time for the inspection so you really know what you are walking into. If you are aware ahead of time of the various things that may need to be repaired once you close, you can plan accordingly to hire a contractor and get them fixed fast. Better yet, best wishes to you that your home inspection finds nothing wrong and you can close fast and move in as soon as possible to enjoy your new home for many years to come.

If you need to hire a general contractor to take care of a few issues found on your new home inspection before closing or you are a seller who needs to make a few repairs to get the home up to par for a buyer, be sure to contact Contractors Today to find a great general contractor in your local area.

Installing New Windows and Doors

Do you live in an older home and feel chilly air drifting through the windows and doors? If so, it’s probably a good time to consider having new windows and doors installed to keep the cold air out, the power bills down and the chance that you or those you love won’t have quite so many sniffles this fall and winter.

Sure, there is an expense to having new windows and doors installed, but in the long run, the initial cost for installation can help save money and keep more money in your pocket. You can try to do the installation on your own, but you will most likely find that hiring a professional general contractor to handle the work for you will cut down on time and will ensure everything is installed properly.


When it comes to windows, a good general contractor may be able to repair older windows if you want to keep the original looks of the house but you can also have new windows easily installed to keep the drafts out.

If you prefer to have new windows installed, the cost to purchase the windows as well as install them will far outweigh the expense of feeling drafts and paying for rising heating bills in the winter or cooling bills in the summer. Replacing old windows with new, efficient double-paned windows is a good idea for any home and is the best way to help keep your power bills as low as possible.


Older doors often have plenty of extra space around the edges that allow air to flow directly into the house. Having new doors installed can be a little costly, but they can make a huge difference in the cost you pay for your utilities each month. Hiring a professional contractor to install new doors for you will ensure they are installed the right way and over time, you’ll start to notice just how much you can save from having the work done. If you are doing this yourself, we highly recommend using one of the best cordless drills shown on this website (there’s some GREAT information on this page as well as the entire website).

To combat higher utility bills, it’s also a good idea to use weather-stripping around all windows and doors throughout the year. When you are ready to have your installation taken care of, be sure to talk to Contractors Today to reach the best general contractors in your area to take care of your window and door installation and help you save a little on your utility bills each month.

8 Ways A New Asphalt Driveway Will Improve Your Quality Of Life At Home

Asphalt has been used as a paving option as far back as the late 19th Century. This is testament to just how popular and consistent the use of asphalt has been in modern times. And one of the most common applications for asphalt paving is driveways. If you are building a new home or are looking to simply restore your worn out driveway, asphalt is the way to go. Not only does it look good and is more affordable than concrete and other options, an asphalt driveway will a also improve your family’s quality of life in a number of ways. See what they are below.



  1. Less noise when cars drive in and out of the property

Thanks to the viscous bitumen used to bind the tough aggregates together, surfaces paved with asphalt are some of the smoothest in the world. At home, this means the freedom to cruise in and out of your home without creating noise disturbance every single time. As you may well know, worn driveways or unpaved driveways can interrupt the peace in your home. This is thanks to leaves, potholes, and loose earth getting in the way of your vehicle’s tires. With a new asphalt driveway installed, you can enjoy a tranquil ambience at home even when vehicles are coming and going at odd hours.

  1. Less dust flying into your house

Day in and day out, dust flies around your property and gets into your home. Not only does this dust increase the maintenance work and maintenance costs of your house, such dust also carries allergens that could cause your family illness. And nothing gets the dust flying about more than a vehicle’s tires. An asphalt driveway can help you cut back on this dust menace. Once installed, the newly paved surface will keep the dust from flying about as you drive inside your properly. This may seem like a small gain but it counts heavily in the long run, especially when you think about your family’s health.

  1. Faster entry and exit from your home

Some people are driven to install a new driveway into their homes due to aesthetics or prestige. However, one of the most functional benefits of a new asphalt driveway is the ability to get in and out of your home easily and fast. No potholes, no bumpy rides – just a smooth stretch of flat asphalt. This benefit comes in handy in lots of ways. For example, if you’re late to work, you don’t need to worry about wasting valuable seconds or minutes driving from your garage to the gate. And should you ever be in an emergency that requires you to get in or out of your home with speed, well, that new asphalt driveway will be a life saver!



  1. More space for the kids to play on

When most people think of a new asphalt driveway, they only think about their cars and how they will be able to drive in and out of their homes with ease. This is all well and good. However, even the smaller members of your family – the kids – get to benefit from this new investment too. Immediately your new asphalt driveway is ready, your children will discover that it provides a perfect play area for their bikes, skateboards, hover-boards, and other mobile toys. After all, it’s smooth and devoid of dirt.

  1. Zero vehicle repairs due to bumpy driving at home

Homeowners without driveways will tell you – it costs them in car repairs. All those cumulative minutes of driving over a rough terrain at home do take their toll when it comes to servicing ones vehicle. Shock absorbers wear out faster, tires wear out quick, and the list goes on. An asphalt driveway is, therefore, not just an investment to your home but to your vehicle as well. Compared to a property without a paved driveway, it will save you thousands of dollars in repairs each year. Now that is a great ROI, all thanks to asphalt contractors.

  1. Increased home value when you sell

Even though you may not see it now, there is a slight chance that you may have to sell your home one day. This could be due to a ballooning family, your need to upgrade to a better neighborhood, financial distress, or any other given number of factors. A paved driveway adds value to your home. And if that day ever comes when you need to sell you property, your asphalt driveway will help to raise your asking price by a few thousand dollars. Your driveway will also help make your listing more favorable to buyers, thereby enabling you to sell faster. And that extra cash will go a long way in improving your quality of life even as you move into a new property.

  1. Loads of admiration and compliments from your guests

Everyday happiness adds to one’s quality of life. And sometimes it’s the little things that put a smile on your face and make you happy. Take for example, your friends or neighbors swooning over your property as they congratulate you on your new, beautiful asphalt driveway. Now that kind of admiration, which is almost inevitable if you get a professional asphalt driveway installed, will fill your heart with pride every time. And you can expect that every time new guests come over to visit.

  1. Few repairs, if any, in the long term

An asphalt driveway will last long and will require little maintenance. This is partly the reason why asphalt is used to make the busiest highways all across the country. Typically, your asphalt driveway will last for 15 years or more. If well installed by a professional team of contractors, your driveway can last a lot longer than that. And that is great because you definitely do not want to be forking out money every few years just to keep your driveway functional. So you can look forward to enjoying few repairs, if any, less headaches over the state of your driveway, and even less money wasted for that same reason.


If you need a new driveway that will help you achieve all of these things, check out the listed asphalt contractors on our site or reach out to us for assistance.

6 Factors To Consider When Determining The Size Of Your New Swimming Pool

There are over 10 million swimming pools in the US. And you too can join that number by adding a pool to your home. Doing so will add a recreational element to your home, increase your home’s value, improve the quality of life at home, and more. Now one of the major factors you have to consider any time you want to have a new pool built is size. That is, what size of a swimming pool are you going to build? Your swimming pool contractor can help you with this but here are basic determiners.



  1. What’s your budget?

Any time you’re undertaking a build at home, costs will undoubtedly come into play. And the same goes for swimming pools. Depending on what kind of a pool you want, your costs can easily range from $20,000 to $80,000. Needless to say, the bigger your pool is, the more it will cost. Your contractor can offer you a cost estimate per meter to help with this decision. However, you also need to remember that your new pool will also need a pump, a heater, a chlorinator, and a filtration system. And the bigger the size of the pool, the bigger and more expensive its equipment will be.

  1. How much space do you have to spare?

Another important determiner is the amount of space you have to spare at home. You definitely do not want to take up every inch of outdoor space remaining at home and trade it in for a pool. Remember that a swimming pool also needs some poolside space for loungers and other poolside furniture. You want to remain with some green vegetation to complete your outdoor space. A pool contractor or a landscaper can help you map out your available space to determine just how much spare inch of space you can dedicate to your pool.

  1. What type of pool usage do you wish to enjoy?

The size of your pool can also be affected by the type of pool usage you’re after. And this is because certain forms of pool usage demand that your pool take certain shapes. And shapes can determine just how big or small your pool should be. For example, if you just want a pool where you can soak your feet or escape the heat, then a small or medium swimming pool of any shape will do. However, if you are looking to exercise or train competitively, a lap pool may be better suited to your needs. And lap pools do span in length, something that will require space.



  1. How large is your family?

If you have a family, its size will come into play when determining how large your pool should be. The concept is simple as any swimming pool contractor will tell you; the bigger the family – the bigger the pool. A family with several kids, for example, will need a bigger pool compared to a family that has one or no kids. In the same way, a family comprising of in-laws or parents will need a bigger pool compared to a simple family of parents and children. So talk to your contractor and find out what size best works for your family size.

  1. How often do you intend to entertain guests at the pool?

For many people, a swimming pool is a great place to entertain guests. For others, a pool is reason enough to entertain at any time. If you plan on entertaining guests frequently, chances are that you will need a big pool. After all, parties mean lots of people. And those people will have other people tag along with the. So before you know it, you have a pool party of 25+ people; and they all want to get into the water. Of course, if you only entertain a few times a year, you do not have to get a bigger pool just for those few occasions.

  1. How much do you intend to spend on maintenance?

Not many people consider maintenance when determining the size of their future swimming pools. But they should. What you need to know is that the bigger your pool is, the more it will cost in maintenance. At the most basic level of maintenance, your pool will need to get cleaned. And the bigger it is, the more you’ll get charged to vacuum it. A bigger pool also means a larger filtration system, and more expensive filters. And then there’s power consumption. The pump and heater will consume more power if your pool is bigger. So take note of these maintenance costs before you decide to get an enormous swimming pool installed.


Need more help? Talks to us via our contact page and we’ll be happy to guide you along.