What to Check When Renovating a Historic Home

Are you renovating a historic home? Many consumers don’t realize that owning a historic house has a downside. Any renovations and modifications that are done to the property must get approval from the city where the home is located regardless of which registry the house is included on.

Most historic homes are over 50 years old, but keep in mind that an old house isn’t necessarily a historic house. The National Park Service manages the National Registry of Historic Places. This is the official list that makes a home historic, rather than just old. Homes are placed or registered on this list due to age, architectural style, and/or overall significance. In some cases, entire neighborhoods have been designated as historic, and all the properties within are subject to certain restrictions.

Local Laws for a Historic Home

Laws governing the maintenance and restoration of historic homes are at the local level. Some of these rules and regulations are quite restrictive, and owning a historic house can often be a frustrating and expensive experience. It’s impossible to detail every rule/regulation. The final word on what can/can’t be done lies within your specific locality’s rules governing historic homes.

Start by contacting the city where you live. Be aware that if it appears on multiple registries, there may be multiple sets of rules to conform to. If you’re going to live in the home, it also must be brought up to code once work begins. This occurs as part of the permitting process.

Permits

Any modifications to a historic home will likely require permits. Most of the local rules/restrictions revolve around maintaining the aesthetics of the exterior of the home, sometimes even down to the type of landscaping that can be installed. Your city’s development office will be able to provide you with the guidelines and permitting process.

You should be prepared for some of your permit requests to be denied by the city. Understand that you don’t have control over what your house will ultimately look like; in fact, the governing authority has the final word. This means that any additions, changes to architectural style, color palette, and all exterior details will have to conform to current guidelines.

What Kinds of Renovations Are Allowed?

In general, interior renovations that do not impact the exterior appearance of the home may be allowed. It is still best to check with the city before proceeding with your project. Contact Steele Restoration, your local Charlotte roofing contractor for more information about renovating your historic home.

What Is the Cheapest Type of Roof?

Need the cheapest type of roof? Your roof needs repair or replacement and your budget is limited? Are you building or renovating your roof while on a tight budget? If you are, you’ll want to select a roofing style that is affordable and energy-efficient and whose materials are sustainable. You’ll also need the various roofing components to be able to withstand harsh weather elements without running up your utility bills. Finally, these types of roofing should have a robust installation design that will keep them intact for years to come. For all of these advantages, which is the most affordable type of roofing to fit your slim budget? Here is a quick guide.

Roof Shingles

Shingles roofing features overlying materials that offer adequate cover from the elements. Further, it is available in at least 17 unique categories. These include metal, shakes, slate, tile, cedar, and asphalt types. The wooden and asphalt shingles are the cheapest and have the following attributes.

1. Asphalt Shingles

The asphalt shingles rank the best in appearance, affordability, environmental friendliness, ease of installation, longevity, and energy efficiency. Asphalt shingles are the most popular, lightweight and fire-resistant shingles with a lifespan of at least 30 years. More so, most manufacturers will offer a warranty of up to fifty years.

Then, when shopping for asphalt shingles, price is only one of the factors. Compare the hail ratings from the various brands in the market. This rating will give you a clue on the roofing’s durability and resistance. For example, a class 4 rating means your roofing will withstand strong winds or a hail storm. The UL2218 is the highest hail rating available. Asphalt shingles with this rating will remain intact amidst winds blowing at 110 mph.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of colors and styles to complement the style and appeal of your home.
  • They can last up to 30 years.
  • They offer adequate protection at an affordable price.
  • They are environmentally friendly.
  • They are easy to install.
  • They require minimal maintenance after installation.
  • They are energy efficient.

Cons

  • They are not ideal for flat roofs.
  • They may crack due to extreme temperature fluctuations.

2. Wooden Shingles

Do you prefer a home with a natural look at the lowest price possible? Then, go for wooden shingles. Typical wooden shingles use the fire-resistant redwood or cedar materials. Plus, you can spray a fire retardant on the materials. Once installed, wooden shingles can last up to 50 years and require minimal maintenance.

Now, if you spend a substantial budget on insulation costs, you’ll be glad to know that wooden shingles are natural insulators. Hence, opting for this energy-efficient roofing can help you manage your utility bills during winter.

Like asphalt shingles, always confirm the hail rating when shopping for the best wooden shingles brand. Further, check for the wind and fire resistance ratings.

 

Pros

  • They give your home a timeless rustic touch.
  • They offer additional insulation.
  • They use fire-resistant cedar and redwood materials.
  • They are budget-friendly.
  • They are quite resistant to insects.

Cons

  • They are prone to cracking due to extreme weather fluctuations.

 

Conclusion

Both the wooden and asphalt shingles roofs give you great value for the money. Even so, wooden shingles excel in resisting strong winds. And, asphalt shingles offer you better protection against rain and moisture. The roofs will serve you for a long time with minimal maintenance. Need a new roof but also need the cheapest type of roof? Contact Steele Restoration, your local Charlotte roofing contractor for more information on how to get your roof repaired or replaced and stay within your budget.

Ways to Add Beauty and Curb Appeal to Metal Roofs

Want to add curb appeal to metal roofs? When you replace your roof with metal or build a new home and select sheet metal roofing, you’re making a choice for energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and durability. Today’s metal roofs are more appealing than ever. Compared to the boring metal warehouse and barn roofs of 50 years ago, modern sheet metal roofing has plenty of bells and whistles that will add a touch of style and pizzazz to your home.

Features of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs offer a full spectrum of features for the discerning homeowner. One of their top features is energy efficiency. They reflect the sun’s heat back into the atmosphere. This means that your home won’t heat up as much as it will with an asphalt shingle roof. Your cooling costs could be lower, and your home will have a more consistent temperature. Metal roofs are recyclable, and they can be made of recycled materials. This reduces reliance on limited resources. Metal roofs are also well insulated, so you won’t have to worry about hearing every raindrop that lands on your home during a rain shower or thunderstorm.

Choosing Textures and Colors for a Metal Roof

There are metal roofs that mimic the look of clay or slate tiles. Some metal roofs are textured and colored to replicate the look of wood shakes and architectural shingles. However, you don’t have to disguise the fact that you’re installing a metal roof on your home. Many people like the modern, minimalist look of metal roofing. You could choose a smooth texture and set it off with shiny ceramic paint, which offers enhanced durability and longevity for the roofing system. A terra-cotta color for a Spanish style home, red for a log cabin or gray, green or blue for a modern home will enhance the curb appeal of your metal roof.

Chic Adornments for a Metal Roof

You could up the ante when it comes to your roof’s curb appeal by adding some chic adornments. Cupolas are trending for new construction and home remodels. These can be used to disguise a fireplace or furnace flue. They can also be used around a skylight. Finials are another fun roof adornment to consider. If you’re going for an ultra-modern look to your roof, you could select a finial with intricate carvings. Scrolls for your home’s gables and roof peaks are also options for adding decorative touches to the metal roofing system.

Curb Appeal for Metal Roofs

Weathervanes have been part of the American tradition for exterior home decor for centuries. While they’re mostly decorative now, you could consider a fun weathervane for your metal rooftop. Today’s weathervanes have more options than the roosters of yesteryear. You could choose a dragon as the decoration. Cats are also a popular choice for weathervanes. Some other metal weathervane designs for your metal roof include planets, great white sharks and mermaids. Contact Steele Restoration, your local Charlotte roofing contractor if you want to add beauty and curb appeal to metal roofs, especially your roof!

Want a House Like the Rich?

Want a House Like the Rich? You Can Use the Same Roofing Elements

Want roofing elements like the rich? If you are like the ultra-wealthy who can afford to have their mansion built, what are some key elements you would want to include? Here is a sneak peek at some mansions and their key features.

Oprah Winfrey’s Promise Land

When you arrive at Oprah Winfrey’s Monticello, California, mansion, one thing that you will instantly notice is the artwork. You may feel like you have arrived at an art museum before you even enter the house. You will find sculptures from many different periods in her backyard, including one by Francisco Zuniga. The colors found in the garden where the sculptures are found help to draw attention to these works of art as you wander towards the koi pond. Making sure not to distract from the beautiful design, this mansion has a gray roof that serves as a backdrop to the rest of the surroundings.

George Clooney’s Lake Como Mansion

Nestled right on Lake Como’s shores, this mansion blends naturally with the island’s beauty. The outside of the home is covered with vines, which helps it blend in even more. This red clay tile roof gives the house a splash of color while helping to protect it from the elements. In case this home would ever go up in smoke, the red clay tile roof also gives everyone a few more minutes to escape.

George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch Mansion

While George Lucas owns several mansions, his Skywalker Ranch mansion is the best known. This home that sits on a 2,500-acre ranch has many Arts and Crafts movement elements. Lucas says that he is a romantic at heart who believes that he should have lived about 1910. If you could stroll through the home, you would see many pieces of antique furniture. As with other people who made this list, the gray slate roof on this home makes it fit naturally into the environment.

Bill Gate’s Xanadu 2.0 Mansion

Bill Gates took a personal interest in every detail of his Xanadu 2.0 mansion. While the home only has seven bedrooms, it has 24.5 bathrooms. More than 500 Douglas fir trees were cut down to build the outside of this home, and even more were used to create the deck and to make elements for inside this home. It took over 100 electricians to put in all the high-tech features of the structure. The gray roof on this home lets it blend beautifully into its surroundings, yet the dome over the library helps to create a romantic flair that took more than six years to construct.

Roofing Elements Like the Rich

There are many beautiful mansions in the world, but almost all of them contain one common factor. Their roofs are designed to blend into the natural environment. If you are thinking of putting a new roof on your own home, consider which roofing material is best for helping it blend into its surroundings. Contact Steele Restoration, your local Charlotte roofing contractor if you want roofing elements like the rich.

Types of Roof Damage Covered by Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Roof damage from a storm? Replacing a new roof is expensive. When you own a home, you purchase homeowner’s insurance in order to reduce your financial liability against unforeseen circumstances, such as a hurricane or tornado. However, there are a lot of different events that could damage your home’s roof. Here is what you need to know about the coverage your homeowner’s insurance provides for different types of hazards for roofing systems.

Fire

Fire damage to your roof should be covered by all homeowner’s insurance policies. A fire could result from a lightning strike on or near your home. A spark from fireworks or your neighbor’s bonfire could also land on your roof, setting it on fire. If your chimney isn’t properly maintained, it is possible for a chimney fire to spread to your roof. Burning leaves or garbage in your yard could also result in a roof fire. In most of these cases, the fire damage will be covered. However, your policy might limit the coverage to the value of your roof before the fire, rather than the cost of a brand-new roof.

Vandalism

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will also cover vandalism damage to your roof. Vandalism may include intentional damage from mischief-makers that cause roof damage. It also includes damage related to crimes, such as a burglary of your house. Vandalism may also include spray paint, items are thrown on your roof, or vandals climbing onto your roof and damaging it with their bodies or with tools. Your homeowner’s deductible will apply to acts of vandalism of your property.

 

Tornadoes, Hail, and Hurricanes Roof Damage

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and tropical storms are identified in homeowner’s insurance policies as “acts of God.” There is no way to predict that your roof would experience damage, and there is nothing you could do about it. If you live in a hurricane or tornado zone, you may need to have a certain type of roof installed in order to maintain coverage for roof damage. Not all insurance policies will cover hail damage. For example, if your home has a metal roof, the insurance company might claim that the hail damage is only cosmetic. Insurance policies typically don’t cover cosmetic damage. On the other hand, hail can wreck an asphalt shingle roof. This type of damage to shingles is functional. Your insurance would cover the damage, but it might be prorated to the age of your roof.

 

High Winds, Straight-Line Winds and Trees

A tree falling onto your home should fall under the “acts of God” clause in your insurance policy and considered roof damage. However, if the tree was diseased or damaged, and you failed to arrange for proper care of the tree, the insurance company might not cover it. This would fall under the negligent maintenance clause. High winds, including straight-line winds, may or may not be covered. If you want full coverage for a replacement roof at today’s cost, a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance plan will give you peace of mind. Contact Steele Restoration, your local Charlotte contractor, for more information on how insurance will cover your damaged roof.

Things to Consider Before Installing a Metal Roof

Installing a metal roof? If your home is like many throughout the United States, it is likely covered by a roof that has asphalt shingles. However, you have the option of replacing your current roof with a metal one. Let’s take a look at how your life may change by installing this type of product on your house.

It Will Likely Be Easier to Regulate Your Home’s Temperature

Metal does a great job of reflecting the sun’s rays away from your home, and this is typically the case even if it is painted a dark color. Reflecting light away from the home means that it will stay at a more consistent temperature throughout the year. Ultimately, your property will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, which can help keep heating and cooling bills to a minimum.

Metal Can Impact Your Ability to Use Wireless Technology

As a general rule, metal surfaces will interfere with an internet or other wireless signal that tries to make its way throughout your home. Therefore, you may need to purchase a stronger router or place multiple routers throughout your home to get a consistently strong signal.

You may also need to use a cellphone in certain parts of the house when using it to talk to friends or family members. If you live in a rural area, it may be worth using a landline telephone or a wired internet connection. This may help you overcome the limitations of using satellite internet service.

Metal Roofs Tend to Last Longer Than Asphalt Shingles

A metal roof can last up to 50 years or more if it is properly maintained. Asphalt shingles typically last for 30 years if they are properly maintained and exposed to average weather conditions. Metal roofs can typically withstand fire, wind and excess moisture without experiencing a lot of damage. However, they can be easily dented by hail or other heavy objects that fall on them.

Installing a Metal Roof

There is certainly a chance that installing a metal roof will be heavier than the one that is currently on your home. However, the exact weight of your new roof will depend on a variety of factors such as its pitch and the thickness of the panels used. A contractor will be able to give you a better idea of how heavy a new roof will be and provide an estimate as to how much it might cost to install it.

Putting a new roof on your home may mean that you spend less time and money on home maintenance projects for years or decades to come. A new roof may also reduce utility bills and provide your house with additional curb appeal. However, it is important that you consider how a metal roof could impact your lifestyle before making the decision to have one installed. Contact Steele Restoration for more information on installing a metal roof.

The Different Ways to Finance Roof Repair Project

Need to finance a roof repair project? While it can cost thousands of dollars to repair a leaky roof, it is important that you take care of the problem as quickly as possible. This is because allowing water to seep into your home could cause secondary damage that can also be expensive to fix. Let’s look at a few ways to cover the cost of repairing a leaking roof if your homeowner’s insurance policy won’t pay to have the work done.

 

Borrow Against the Equity in Your Home

A home equity loan or line of credit allows you to borrow against the equity that has built up in the property since you purchased it to finance a roof repair project. Home equity loans and lines of credit are secured loans, which means that the lender will put a lien on your property. If you fail to make the payments, you could lose your house. However, many lenders offer flexible payment plans to make loans or lines of credit as easy as possible to repay in a timely manner.

Put Repair Expenses on a Credit Card

One of the advantages of using a credit card to pay for roof repairs is that the balance is unsecured. This means that you won’t lose your house or other assets if you fail to repay the loan. Of course, credit card companies charge interest rates as high as 29.99% on outstanding balances. If you do decide to use a credit card to pay to fix your leaking roof, look to open an account with a company that offers 0% financing for 18 months or longer.

Sell Assets to Raise Funds

It may be possible to sell jewelry that you don’t wear anymore or other personal items you aren’t using to raise funds for a roof repair project. You could also choose to sell a portion of your stock portfolio to obtain cash within a matter of hours or days.

Borrow Money From a Retirement Fund

If you are thinking about withdrawing money from a 401(k), it may be better to apply for a loan instead. You can get up to $50,000 in a matter of days without a credit check or complicated paperwork to fill out. Check with your plan administrator to determine if it offers a loan option as well as to learn more about what the repayment terms are.

Finance a Roof Repair Project

Ideally, you will have your leaky roof repaired or replaced as soon as you notice signs of damage and need to finance a roof repair project. Most contractors will offer emergency service, which means that you can have the problem fixed in a matter of hours or days. Contact Steele Restoration for help with this. We are here for you.

The Different Types of Siding Choices

Siding choices getting you confused? As a homeowner, you might be wondering what type of siding will be right for your house. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for all homeowners and making siding choices. However, many homeowners prefer either vinyl, stone, brick, metal, or wood. These types of siding tend to be durable, and they can be used by homeowners in just about any type of climate. Here’s what you need to know about these products.

Vinyl Siding Is an Inexpensive and Effective Option

One common siding option is vinyl, and this material is used by homeowners in just about every part of the country. While this type of siding can be susceptible to wind damage, it is quite affordable and tends to withstand most weather conditions fairly well. However, it is not considered to be as durable as stone, brick, or metal. If you live in an area that is susceptible to high winds, parts of it may occasionally blow off during bad weather. Consult your local Charlotte roofing company and contractor for more information.

Stone Siding Is Exceptionally Durable and Stylish

Stone siding tends to be very durable, stylish, and will give your home a natural and classic look. Not only that, but there are many different types of siding that you can choose from. For instance, you can choose from cobblestone, feldspar, and mixed type stone siding. Many color options are available as well. However, it does tend to be a bit more expensive than vinyl or metal.

Brick Siding Can Give a Unique and Classic Look

Another great look for your home is brick siding. Brick siding tends to be resistant to water damage, and it also tends to be safe from wind damage. Not only can brick siding look great on your home, but it’s also likely to be durable and great siding choices.

You can even increase its durability and improve its appearance by painting it. A sealant can allow brick siding to become exceptionally durable.

Wood Siding as siding choices

Wood siding can give your home a rustic, cabin-like look and be one of the great siding choices. This can be great for many homeowners, and it’s a look that tends to remain popular over time. Also, you can choose any color of stain for your wooden siding, which can allow you to customize the look any way that you want.

You can get pine, maple, oak, and other common types of wood as siding. There even are composite wood products available, which can be an affordable option. However, conventional wood siding does tend to be a bit pricey.

Metal Siding Is an Affordable and Highly Durable Option

Metal siding tends to be exceptionally durable, and it also tends to be one of the most affordable options for homeowners. While rust can be a concern when it comes to metal siding, there are options that allow you to get siding that will be made out of metal and not rust.

For instance, aluminum siding tends to be fairly rust-resistant. However, it’s important to be aware that any type of metal can be subject to corrosion. Contact Steele Restoration for more information on making siding choices.

Should You Add Roof Flashing to Your Home?

The roof of your home can last at least 20 years before it needs to be replaced. A well-maintained roof can last up to 30 years. One way to preserve its health is to add flashing.

The following is information about roof flashing, materials used, and the benefits of flashing.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Roof flashing is a material that contractors place on a roof to prevent the pooling of water. If you live in a geographic area that experiences a lot of rain throughout the year, this is a great roof add-on. The pooling of rainwater can occur even with one shower. It depends on the roof’s current condition as well as how often it is inspected. Flashing is usually made from galvanized steel. It is thin, and the flashing helps direct the water off the roof.

The pieces of material are placed around features such as the chimney, vents, and skylights. If the water sits over the plane that meets a wall too long, it can easily deteriorate the area. Water is absorbed by just about every material. Materials that do not absorb water usually rust, which results in a different type of damage. Flashing protects the meeting point between the plane and the chimney, for example. The water is forced to keep moving, and in the long run, you are less likely to see indoor leaks.

Material

Flashes are available in several materials including:

  • Aluminum
  • Cooper
  • Steel

Steel is the most popular because it is fairly priced and stands up to the elements well. Aluminum is a good option, but it requires an extra step. To prevent corrosion, it should be coated. Copper is used on many roofs, but its color changes. There are plenty of homeowners who do not mind that the copper discolors into a patina.

Each flash has to be the correct size, otherwise, it will not do its job properly. This is one reason why you are encouraged to hire a trained, professional contractor to handle the job. Flashes are sold in standard sizes. That does not mean that your roof and the spaces that require installation are standard sizes, too. There may be a need for adjusting and cutting. You also have to be sure that any flashing added is up to code on a local and state level.

Benefits of Roof Flashing

Flashing is available in several types like:

  • Continuous
  • Base
  • Counter
  • Step
  • Skylight
  • Valleys
  • Drip
  • Kickout

 

Each type accomplishes a specific task. Continuous flashing acts like an apron. It carries water to the shingles below. Drip edges are great for preventing damage and leaks to the home because it forces the water to drip away from the walls.

Being a homeowner is no small task. In addition to paying off the mortgage, you have to worry about its upkeep. The roof is a vital component of your house, so it is a good idea to ensure it stays in good shape. Contact Steele Restoration for more information about roof flashing and how to make this decision.

Reasons to Replace Your Asphalt Shingle Roof With Metal

Asphalt Shingle Roofs compared to Metal roofing. When you’re upgrading or repairing your home, you’ll need to decide on a roofing material. Although asphalt shingle roofs are the standard in many neighborhoods around the United States, metal sheet roofing is growing in popularity. There are many good reasons to replace your asphalt shingled roof with sheet metal. Today’s sheet metal roofing systems are not the same as yesteryear’s. Here are some reasons to choose sheet metal for your new rooftop.

Authentic Rain Sounds

If you have trouble relaxing in order to fall asleep at night, you might turn to a noise machine. The sound of rain is one of the most popular choices for soothing sounds that help people fall asleep. With a new sheet metal roof on your home, you’ll be able to hear the natural sounds of rain. The engineering used to make sheet metal roofs lead to improved sound effects when it rains outside. You hear the rhythmic tapping of the raindrops. The sound isn’t too loud, but it could lull you into a restful nap or night’s sleep.

 

Aesthetic Appeal of Asphalt Shingle

Sheet metal roofs are available in a rainbow of colors. Perhaps you have a historic home, and a green or red roof would match its architectural details with an Asphalt Shingle roof. Maybe you have a mid-century modern home. There are neutral and bright colors to coordinate with it. If you have a southwest style of home, sheet metal roofs in a deep orange, warm brown or terra cotta color would complement it. Sheet metal roofs are also available in a range of textures. You could select one that resembles wood shakes, slate tiles or a vintage barn roof.

Longer Lifespan

An asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. They also require a lot of maintenance. A missing shingle or a couple of popped nails can quickly lead to a roof leak. With sheet metal, the lifespan with proper maintenance is at least 50 years. A sheet metal roof might be the only roof you ever need to install on your home. The ceramic coatings used in the paints enhance the roof’s durability and help reflect the sun’s energy back into the environment. By installing sheet metal roofing, you can save on your monthly utility costs and the expenses of maintaining your home’s exterior. Make sure to choose a local roofing company.

Environmentally Friendly

Sheet metal is infinitely recyclable. The metal is often made from recycled materials, which requires fewer resources to make compared to an asphalt shingle roof. When a sheet metal roof needs to be removed and replaced, the metal can be recycled into other materials. With an asphalt shingle roof, the underlayment, waterproofing paper, and shingles themselves are typically not recyclable. By choosing sheet metal, you are helping conserve the Earth’s resources. Because the metal reflects the sun’s energy back into the air, your home’s attic or upper floor won’t get as hot. This leads to lower summertime cooling costs and a smaller carbon footprint. Contact Steele Restoration for more information about a Asphalt Shingle Roof for your home.