54 THE QUEENS COURIER • AT HOME • SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
4 tips to mitigate home improvement costs
Construction material costs in 2018
are up about 10 percent compared to last
year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics data, and some raw materials,
like crude petroleum, are up nearly 50
percent. Labor is also getting more expensive
as construction workers are in high
demand due to the skilled labor shortage.
So, as a homeowner getting ready to
start a project, what can you do to mitigate
these rising costs?
1. Don’t delay
Building materials are projected to
get even more expensive and the project
backlog for some contractors across the
country is up to three or four months.
Waiting to start the process of a home
repair or improvement, especially a needed
one like a new roof, could push off the
repair for months due to the contractor’s
schedule, and only cause the project to get
more expensive as building material costs
continue to rise.
2. Look for low-cost
Home improvement isn’t the place to
cut corners by buying the cheapest supplies,
but in many product segments there
is a low-cost leader - a product or brand
comparable in quality to more expensive
brands, but off ered at a lower cost to provide
the best value per dollar.
3. Choose a reputable contractor
Don’t cut corners when hiring a contractor.
Even if it may be more expensive
upfront, or result in a longer waiting
period for work to start, hiring an experienced
local contractor with a good reputation
can save thousands of dollars in
the long run.
“A good contractor should be able to
show homeowners their license to practice
and a certifi cate of insurance,” said
Rick Taylor, Field Sales Training Manager
for TAMKO Building Products, a leading
manufacturer of asphalt roofi ng shingles.
A bonus, Taylor said, are certifi cations
from the manufacturers of products the
contractor installs, whether it be roofi ng,
fl ooring or cabinets.
“Every company has a best way to
install their products, and being educated
on that preferred installation can go a
long way in the product performing the
way it was intended to,” Taylor said.
A reputable local contractor is more
likely to do the job right the fi rst time and
be more willing to address any potential
problems with the project in the future.
4. Plan, plan, plan
With any home improvement project,
there are many decisions to be made,
both large and small. Making as many of
those decisions early in the process can
reduce project delays or rework. Some
of the decisions that can be made before
the contractor ever starts include establishing
the scope of the project, identifying
potential issues, having utilities mark
lines and deciding what brands to use and
product colors to install.
New home? 6 steps for preventing pests from moving in
Moving into a new home is chaotic.
You’ve got decorating to do, a neighborhood
to explore, and a house to keep
in tiptop shape. Th e last thing you need
in the midst of all that commotion is the
added headache of household pests like
ants, cockroaches or rodents. With a few
tips from Terminix, you can keep your
move running smoothly and ensure no
unexpected pests move in with you.
Look for collecting water
Stagnant or standing water attracts a
variety of pests, from nuisance wildlife to
mosquitoes. It doesn’t take a lot of water,
either - mosquitoes can lay as many as
100 eggs in the cap of a bottle of water.
Try to reduce standing water in sources
such as pots and tires, and be sure to
change out your bird bath at least once
Inspect for openings
Check the exterior of your new house
for structural openings under doors,
near windows and around utility penetrations.
Any openings you fi nd are
essentially an open door to rodents and
arthropods, such as spiders and millipedes.
Reduce the number of pests
entering your home by sealing any
Be wary of trees and shrubbery
Th at fl owering bush might look beautiful
beside your home, but it could harbor
countless pests. Note any tree limbs overhanging
your roof line and any shrubbery
or mulch close to the foundation of your
home. Th ese features play host to many
diff erent types of pests, and having them
touch your house only makes it easier for
pests to enter.
Check for moisture issues
Some pests, like termites, cockroaches
and carpenter ants, love moisture and
are more likely to be found in damp areas
of your house. Check your new home
for any moisture issues. Th is could mean
anything from a leaky roof to plumbing
and seals that should be fi xed.
Look for insuffi cient
screening in key areas
While you’re checking for moisture
issues, you can also look for insuffi cient
screening around plumbing or drains.
Inspect the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry
room to ensure all openings are properly
covered. Otherwise, you could fi nd
your kitchen playing host to pests like silverfi
sh, spiders, ants or cockroaches.
Call in the professionals
Even the most diligent homeowners
may still fi nd themselves with a pest
problem too big to tackle alone. Pest
control professionals such as Terminix’s
trained technicians can protect you and
your new home from any unwelcome
TAMKO Heritage Woodgate shingles TAMKO Heritage Vintage shingles