5 Deck Ideas that are Game Changers.

5 Deck Ideas that are Game Changers.

 A deck can change the entire look and feel as well as the function of the space in your yard. Modern decking materials allow for creative design option as well as durability. Here are six innovative deck ideas that are game changers: 

Deck Shapes- 

When most people think of decks, they think of a square wooden platform attached to your backyard. However, decks have come a long way in the past several years. They are now being designed in fun ways with great new shapes and designs.  Round decks are a hit for a fun look around a pond or a pool. A rectangular deck can pop by adding zing with angles, and alternating patterns. Go for a larger deck that offers several connected shapes, starting with a rectangular space then adding a circled pergola with bench seating. The shapes are limitless. 

Built-Ins-

Built-ins are the little extra fun spaces that are now being built into modern decks. Sick of hauling out a cooler every time you want to have refreshments on the deck? Have one built-in. Are you an avid reader and enjoy sitting on your deck reading? Consider a small built-in library space with a door that closes to keep the elements off of your books.  Nowadays you can build in just about anything into your deck, including fireplaces, firepits, outdoor kitchens, seating, storage and more. 

 

Railings that Roar- 

Don’t think that a deck railing has to be boring to work. Today’s decks have some pretty impressive railing ideas such as wrought iron, wood, composite, steel, and carved wood posts. Depending on your budget you can go as simple or as elaborate as you would like with the deck railings. Stairs also can have a great flare with products out by companies like SalterSpiralStair.  We can install some very creative ideas- galvanized steel, sunburst style, cable, and even wrought iron designs. 

Upstairs Deck Dependable Easy Care Materials-

Materials have changed in the last several years to become stronger, more dependable and easier to maintain. These scientific changes can make owning a deck a lot easier to keep up. No constant staining and repairs. Stylish composite decking products resist fading, staining, scratching and mold, and won’t rot, crack or warp. Wood decks are now pressure treated with special chemicals to help prevent decay and termite damage. Stains last longer and clean up easier than ever before. 

Overheads and Planters- 

Don’t forget to look up when you are building a new deck for your home. Overheads and custom planters are a great way to add texture and style to any yard experience. Retractable roofing, awnings, overhead lighting systems and more can be added to your deck to create a multifunctional space for both rain or shine. 

Decks do not need to be boring and are limited only by the creativity of the designers creating them. High Quality Contracting Inc has been building decks for decades and can help make your backyard oasis. 

 

 

Deck Building Tips For Homeowners

Deck Building Tips For Homeowners

 

TT-25998_Social_Design_DarkHickory-186_FB_1080x1080_v1The sun is out. The grass is green, and your outdoor space needs a lift. There is no better way to enjoy your summer yard than with a new custom deck. These deck-building tips will provide you with information that assists you in making critical decisions on your project.

We got together with the President of High Quality Contracting, Inc., Nick Wegner, for some great design and upgrading ideas, as well as tips on what to look for in products and deck building contractors.

“When considering a new custom deck, choosing a dependable deck building company is key. They will bring fresh ideas, as well as, they will know their products. “, says Nick. He goes on to say,” The choices with today’s builders and products within the market have become more advanced than years past. “

So, what are some vital deck-building tips?

#1) The Deck Builder Matters- 

Choosing the right contractor is the single most crucial aspect of any home deck building project. You need a company you can trust, with years of experience under their belt. They should be licensed and insured in your state, as well as the references to back up any claims of quality work. You should always check your local Better Business Bureau to find out the contractor’s reputation. Ask them for their licensing information and make sure they can pull permits. Whatever you do, do not hire a fly-by-night friend to do the job. Those projects usually end up costing more in the long run to repair or replace. 

#2) Choose Decking Building Material For Your Needs- 

Think about how you plan to use your deck? Will you often entertain? Is there a pool involved? What needs will a deck require in your climate? With the vast array of materials available, we have broken down a few of the best products available. 

  • Wood- Decking is one of the most popular choices. Natural timbers such as Cedar, Douglas Fir, Hemlock, and teak look fantastic and Southeastern Wisconsin deck builder- High Quality Contracting, Inc. example of outdoor kitchenstand up to Wisconsin elements. When choosing a wood deck, consider staining the underdeck as well. This will boost the life span of your deck by protecting it from the weather and bugs. It also upgrades the look of the deck. 
  • Composite decking is a material that is a mixture of wood fiber, plastic, and a binding agent. This combination creates a very long-lasting, durable deck.   
  • Stone is a natural, sturdy, and attractive option for deck building. It does not splinter or burn and does not need any special maintenance as a natural wood deck would require. Also, when it fades, the stone naturally looks more aesthetic. 
  • Concrete, known for its durability and long life, is returning as a homeowner favorite due to new modern methods. New concrete decking products allow for many eye-pleasing options, such as stamped concrete, which can mimic stone, brick, wood, and other materials.  

#3) Deck Building On A Solid Base-  

The base of your deck is what the entire structure stands on. A safe, long-lasting deck needs solid framing, proper footings, or concrete piers. Furthermore, the design for your deck should consider the earth’s surface, any slops, and the typical weather changes for your area. Incorporate these items into the design process to ensure the best possible base for your new deck. 

 

Southeastern Wisconsin deck builder- High Quality Contracting, Inc. example of lighting#4) Built-In Options-  

Depending on how you intend to use your new deck, it helps decide which built-in options you want to include in your design. If you enjoy entertaining, you may want to consider such items as an outdoor kitchen or an outdoor fireplace.  

Will you have furniture that has cushions and pillows? You may want to consider a built-in storage area. High Quality Contracting, Inc has installed built-in seating with storage spaces, sheds, or storage boxes.  

Accessories can be as straightforward or as elaborate as your tastes. Here are more accessory ideas: built-in coolers, built-in garden planters, a brick pizza oven, firepits, sunken seating, curved seating nooks, a mini library nook with built-in bookshelves that have glass doors on them, architectural shade structures, and built-in pet enclosures. 

#5) Deck Building Lighting Options- 

 Make your deck shine in the night, and provide a warm, inviting place for yourself and guests to enjoy an evening. By adding lighting to your deck, you’re extending the functionality of your investment. When considering what type of lighting to put on your deck, there are a few things to consider: 

  • Choose lighting that enhances the style of the deck. Don’t mix styles such as a modern light fixture style with a traditional deck style. 
  • Light vital areas such as steps, handrails, and doorways. 
  • Light pathways to guide users. 
  • Space out the lighting sources so that all the light is not focused in one place but creates an inviting atmosphere. 
  • Don’t try to light everything. You don’t want to take away from the experience of the night, making it as if you were indoors. 
  • Don’t skip on the outlets in case you want to add festive lighting or other plugins. 

Remember, a custom deck designed with your lifestyle and needs in mind will give you a space that you can enjoy for many years.

If you would like to speak to our custom deck experts, please call (414) 405- 7542 or use the form on our Contact Us page. A deck builder will contact you back as soon as possible.

Southeastern Wisconsin deck builder- High Quality Contracting, Inc. example of outdoor fireplace

 

Can the sun’s heat cause premature roof replacement?

Can the sun’s heat cause premature roof replacement?

asphalt roofing shingles and roofing repair by High Quality Contracting Inc. Roofing Contractor in Franklin, Wisconsin

 

Wisconsin winters can reach below zero temperatures, while our summers average in the mid-’80s. Snow and ice are brutal on your residential roof, but what about the summer heat? How does the heat affect your roof? Do you need a roof repair or roof replacement? We turned to our expert roofing team here at High Quality Contracting Inc. to find out.

The sun produces UV Rays. These rays are beating down on your home’s roof every day. When choosing the color of the shingles, consider the and reflective capabilities. Also, considering the reflective coating of the shingles as some coatings are better and last longer than others. Over time, the sun’s rays begin to fade the color of your shingles, which affects the ability to keep the inside of your home cool.

How hot can your roof get?

The standard asphalt shingle roof that protects most of southeastern Wisconsin’s homes can reach temperatures hovering 150°F plus during our hottest months. During the winter, the same roof will reach temperatures well below zero. In Wisconsin, we have times where we go from freezing to hot in a single week. This expanding and contracting of the materials in the shingles and wood can affect the integrity of your home’s roofing system. This process is called Thermal Shock.

Thermal Shock creates cracks, buckling, and discoloration over time. Due to this sudden rise and fall of temperatures, straining is especially hard on roofing systems older than a decade. As time goes on, home roofs become brittle. The wood and shingles crack, leaving openings for moisture and water to seep in and cause further damage.

Couple Thermal Shock with fierce storms that blow through our counties, homeowners have a recipe for roofing damage that may happen at any time. The key to preventing severe damage to the structure of your home is to stay on top of regular inspections of your roof and taking action to repair any damage found.

The steps to protect your investment are simple, yet many homeowners choose not to do them. These steps are:

1) Schedule an inspection.

Schedule an annual roofing inspection performed by a professional contractor. He/She will know where to look for any defects that may affect your home in the near future. The contractor should go on top of the roof and look for signs of wear, rust, buckling, missing shingles, holes, and damage. As well as an interior inspection to search for moisture and stains from leaks.

2) Clear the area to avoid roof replacement from damage.

Be sure that your roof is clear of any trees or branches that could fall during a storm. If a tree is dead or dying, take it down immediately. Trees are one of the biggest causes of roof damage in Wisconsin.

3) Inspect insulations help determine if a roof replacement is needed or repairs.

Take care of your attic by ensuring it is adequately insulated. You can check this by going into your attic in the middle of the day. Make sure all the lights are off, and then look for light shining through any cracks. Turn on the light and search for damp insulation or water stains. Look for discoloration in rafters, beams, and plywood. If you find any issues, consider calling a licensed, insured contractor like High Quality Contracting, Inc. to come to take a look.

worn old shingles on a roof show signs needing a roof replacement

Worn old shingles on a roof show signs needing a roof replacement.

4) How Old is Your Roof? 

If your roofing is older than a decade or of poor quality, you will want to make sure you have it inspected. Also, consider re-roofing with a higher-quality shingle and better quality underlayment.
Several manufacturers, such as GAF,  make terrific products for roofing systems that were not available even ten years ago. These products are more wind resistant, have excellent UV light resistance, a more formidable water barrier, and a longer life expectancy.

As the heat of Wisconsin’s summer sun beats down on your home, remember to do a few simple tasks to keep your investment and family safe from a damaged roof which will end in needing a roof replacement.  Scheduling an inspection to see if you need a new roof or if you can get by with some repairs is as easy as picking up the phone and calling High Quality Contracting, Inc.

High Quality Contracting Inc. is an accredited Wisconsin Better Business Bureau member with an A+ rating. We are members of the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and 12-time recipients of the Angie’s List Super Service Award.

We also offer special discounts to our servicemen and women.

Please contact your homeowners’ insurance to find out what, if any, discounts are available in the event that you replace your roof. Many homeowner policies offer substantial discounts (5%-30%) if your roof is under 5 years old. Depending on the product you choose, that discount can vary.

At High Quality Contracting, Inc., we offer craftsmanship that you can trust. Contact us today for your roofing inspection. 

5 Kitchen Renovating Mistakes

5 Kitchen Renovating Mistakes

Renovating your kitchen into the perfect space requires planning. Deciding on the ideal placement of counters, sinks, stoves, and cabinets to acquire optimum space usage, as well as choosing the right materials and appliances can be difficult. High Quality Contracting, Inc., are experts in kitchen renovations. We have put together five common mistakes homeowners make when renovating their kitchens to help you avoid them.

1) Not Enough Storage

Often homeowners do not use all of the space that they have available in a kitchen and lose out on opportunities for storage. When designing the kitchen space with the contractor, be sure that every area available is used for something. Sometimes a contractor can open up a wall or build in a shelving unit or closet. Moving counters around or even sicks and stoves can sometimes free up space and eliminate waste.

2) Fixtures and Materials that Date

Following a trend can be dangerous because trends come and go. The average life span of a remodeling trend is two years. Stay away from crazy patterns instead choose fixtures and materials that are classic or clean. These stand the test of time. You can of course upgrade these fixtures and materials to contain the latest technologies, however, avoiding off-the-wall colors and patterns is always best.

3) Poor Lighting & Power Sources

Lighting is an item that many homeowners ignore, yet, can make a massive difference in value and profitability. When remodeling your kitchen, check to make sure you have enough GFCI outlets for things like Instapots, coffee pots, toasters, blenders, and even cell phones. Next, review your lighting options. Would brighter lighting make your kitchen more pleasant? Are there options to dim lights or brighten them? Are the lighting fixtures up to date with the latest technology making your life easier? Now is the time to visit these options. Even the addition of a single outlet can make a big difference in the kitchen. Also, consider USB outlets installed to charge things like phones and iPad.

4) Not Enough Counter Space

Since you will spend a considerable amount of time in your new kitchen, considering the amount of counter space needed is a must. Your design expert at High Quality Contracting Inc, can configure your space to utilize every inch of space available. You will want to make sure you have ample room for cutting, chopping, small appliances, and prep work.

5) DIY Dave

DIY Dave is the guy who watches a few episodes of HGTV and has decided that remodeling a kitchen is a breeze. One of the biggest challenges as a professional contractor is going into a project that has already started on the wrong foot. Renovating your kitchen can be very difficult and costly if you make mistakes. There are no savings to a project there. Often we run into situations where DIY Dave has damaged materials, damaged important beams, or cut into walls and is now way over his head. The solution is always to find a professional to fix it, which makes the overall project cost more than it would have had the homeowner hired a professional, to begin with. Do not be DIY Dave.

Update your kitchen the right way with a professional remodeling expert walking you through it step by step. Don’t take our word for it. Instead, check out some of our many customer reviews and decide if High Quality Contracting, Inc. is right for you. Renovating your kitchen should not be a nightmare, give us a call today.

 

Widowed? Avoid Contractor Scams:

Widowed? Avoid Contractor Scams:

In 2020, High Quality Contracting, Inc. saw a rise in the number of new customers who came to us after another contractor had scammed them. Many homeowners do not know how to avoid contractor scams.

Many of these cases involved widows and widowers who received life insurance payout and were taken for a ride. Older adults are targeted because they usually have a “nest egg” built up or have enough equity in their homes to take out a second mortgage for these improvements. 

High Quality Contracting, Inc. knows how hard you and your loved one worked for your home. Having someone come along and take advantage of your situation is a hard pill to swallow. 

Scams we have found a rise in are: 

  • Substandard work performed, many times not within code. 
  •  High-Pressure Sales tactics stressing the urgency of the work to be performed. 
  • Incompleted work 
  • Inflated pricing
  • Use of low-quality materials  
  • Targeting widows and widowers from local obituaries. 
  • Posing as a building inspector or other city/county official demanding work to be done. Then referring the homeowner to a specific contractor. 
  •  Insisting the homeowner work with their finance company or lender. 

To avoid being scammed, High Quality Contracting, Inc. suggests homeowners do the following: 

  • Verify that the contractor you are considering is licensed and insured. 
  • Check with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau and look for the contractor’s rating. The BBB assigns accredited members a rating from A+ to F depending on the companies past behavior and the number of complaints they have. 
  • Ask family and friends for references to contractors they have worked with in the past and had good experiences. 
  • Check out Angie’s List and look at the contractor reviews. See how other people in your area have rated that contractor. 
  • Get written estimates. 
  • Don’t assume the lowest bid is always the best. Remember that you get what you pay for. Check out the company’s reputation and the products they plan to use. 
  • Get a written contract. Never have a contractor start work on a handshake. 
  • Find out if you need City, County, or any State permits. 
  • Pay down payment to start work in a check, money order, or credit card and maintain accurate records. Never pay in cash. 
  • Use your banking institution for financing.  

Even when we do all of our due diligence, sometimes we still get scammed, but the chances are much lower when you have done your research. 

Further resources include and are not limited to: 

Resources Federal Bureau of Investigation: Common Fraud Schemes

                              www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/seniors

National Consumer Law Center: Home Improvement Scam Alert

www.nclc.org/images/pdf/older_consumers/consumer_concerns/cc_home%20improvement_scams_alert.pdf

Consumer Financial Protection Agency: Considering a Reverse Mortgage?

http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201409_cfpb_guide_reverse_mortgage.pdf

Better Business Bureau:

https://www.bbb.org

Angie’s List:

https://www.angieslist.com

National Association of the Remodeling Industry Milwaukee:

https://www.narimilwaukee.org/

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