|Posted by Brian L. on March 12, 2014 at 4:15 AM||comments (404)|
Let me just say a few words about the maintenance of your new pergola, patio cover, deck or any other wood project that is to be outdoors. It WILL take a minimal amount of upkeep and maintenance to keep it looking new. I know, in this day and age everyone wants something that is 'maintenance free'. Well there is not anything in our lives that is truly maintenance free except maybe the moon and stars.
For example, how many of us would spend our hard earned money for a new car, just to bring it home, and say to yourself that you will never have to change the oil, tires, brake pads, etc. Would you truly expect to park it in your driveway and never have to wax it again for the rest of your life? Of course not!
Just like anything else, you want to keep it looking new and that will take a little bit of good old fashioned maintenance on your part. A coat of water sealer on your wood project will help protect it from the elements. Consider it like this, water sealer is to wood like wax is to a car. A good quality water sealer like Thompsons Water Seal, or Cabots water sealer will keep the wood shedding water like, well like.... water off a ducks back. Not only will it shed water, but they will also help portect against thoses UVA, UVB rays from the sun that want to break down wood and stains. I always like to apply water sealer once in the spring before it really heats up and once again in the fall before the winter weather sets in. A good quality water sealer can also protect your concrete by making sure that water does not get into the miniscule cracks and prevents water from freezing and then chipping your concrete finish. A word of caution though, when you seal concrete it does darken the color slightly and can make it a bit more slippery when snow, rain of ice is on it, so be careful if you have seniors who use your walkway. Test it on a small area first and yes, you can put it over stained wood. So protect your investment and keep it looking good!
|Posted by Brian L. on August 18, 2011 at 1:55 AM||comments (25)|
Picking the right color of stain can be one of the most important decisions you will make for your project. It can also be the most difficult with the many choices of color. Cabot stains has dozens and dozens of color choices and this can be a bit overwhelming to a customer. Most customers have a first instinct to match the color of their house or trim.
I recommend picking a color that will accenuate your home or compliment it. This will make it stand out instead of blending in. It will also make it appear bigger if it is a different color than the home. Taking a little extra time in picking the color of just the right stain will be a wise investment.
|Posted by Brian L. on September 20, 2010 at 4:10 PM||comments (26)|
I stay on budget. PERIOD.
Lately there has been alot of discussion between my customers and I about the importance to stay on budget or rather the lack of concern for other builders to stay on budget.
Ever order a service or product and be given a "set price" only to find out that it will end up costing you more? I pride myself on staying within your budget and will tell you upfront what I can and cannot do. I always tell my customers that other guys know you are only going to build once, so they feel they must make as much money as they can off of you. This never made sense to me because they would make alot more money by having customers that are extremely satisfied and call you back for other projects. My business relies on repeat customers.
I never understood why contractors always overrun the budget on a job and used to think for years that they do not know what they are doing. But lately I have come to realize that they DO KNOW exactly what they are doing, in other words, it is intentional. They get the job part way done, where you already have a significant amount invested and then the price autoumatically gets bumped up. You feel like they are holding you hostage. Not a good feeling by any means.
As long as you are reasonable with the requests you make of your builder and give him a little room to work within a budget, then you will benefit in the end. Don't be afraid to ask about a "top end" price to get the job done and make sure you are in agreement with your builder on this.
|Posted by Brian L. on September 24, 2009 at 4:35 PM||comments (45)|
Recently I had a customer in Garden City ask about pergolas as window treatments. I had never heard of such a thing but was determined to to my best with a little research. What I came across was simply astounding!
Small window pergolas to not only shade your sunny windows but also function as a shelf for plants. What a fantastic idea. With the right plants they could provide some valuble shade and a great look to your home.
I plan on doing a lot of these in the future...