OnTheHouse Express

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California Redwood Association
California Redwood Association

GutterBrush
GutterBrush

Kreg Tool Company
Kreg Tool Company

Lennox
Lennox

LouisvilleLadder
LouisvilleLadder

QuietRock
QuietRock

Re-Bath
Re-Bath

Stack-On Products Company
Stack-On Products Company

Westcoat Specialty Coatings
Westcoat Specialty Coatings

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Dr. Roof

Keep the top of your house in top condition. Dr. Roof’s advice can keep you from needing costly housecalls.


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Go Green in the Bathroom with Re-Bath

The new products are manufactured from recycled materials and provide Re-Bath the opportunity to more competitively target the emerging segment of consumers that have become increasingly environmentally conscious and shop products and services that are “earth” friendly. Eco-Bath is a proprietary blend of materials that was developed specifically for Re-Bath. According to Re-Bath President, Dave Sanders, “These consumers tend to have a higher degree of brand loyalty, so part of our goal, in addition to helping the environment, is to tap into this group and create a Re-Bath customer for life.”

Re-Bath franchisees are equally as excited about opportunities the new product line is creating. According to Jason Raahauge, owner of Re-Bath South Bay in Northern California, “The Green concept is big in California. Re-Bath South Bay was the only bathroom remodeler in the last Greenfair and has already been asked to do 6 more events in the next 12 months. The competition is aggressively marketing in our area and we now have an even greater edge on them.”

Founded in 1979, Re-Bath has grown to over 210 franchise dealerships throughout the US and abroad. For almost 30 years, Re-Bath has pioneered and revolutionized the bath remodeling industry and the new Eco-Bath line is another example of the innovative and cutting edge approach the company continues to take.

To contact Re-Bath, LLC call 1-800-426-4573. or visit www.rebath.com


New Years Resolutions for the Home -- 5 Things You Should Take Care of in the New Year

The New Year is a time of renewal. Maybe you're ditching the ice cream and promising to call your mother more often. But when you're making your resolutions this year, don't forget your home.

Unlike traditional personal resolutions that are typically embarked upon cold turkey on Jan. 1, New Years resolutions for your home can consist of a doable list that you will work to accomplish throughout the year.

The last thing that you want to do is sabotage yourself (and your partner or family) by setting unrealistic expectations. Your resolutions should consist of projects that can be accomplished during the year with available resources.

We have taken the liberty of suggesting five New Years resolutions for your home. They consist of five general tasks—in order of importance—that we believe apply to most homes and that you should consider before starting your dream bath or gourmet kitchen.

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SAFETY

The best "home" resolution that you can make in the New Year is to make your home safer for yourself and your family. Check to make sure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed and in good working order. Test them regularly. Check major appliances for proper operation. Fuel-burning appliances should be properly vented to the exterior and gas connections should be checked for leaks. Make sure that your electrical system is safe and in good working order. Flickering lights, burned fuses and popping breakers are signs of a problem. Make sure that handrails, grab bars and other safety devices are properly anchored. Consider hiring a home inspector for a more thorough report.

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PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

One of the best things that you can do for your budget in the New Year is to prevent small maintenance projects from becoming BIG repair nightmares with bills to match. Repairing a leaking roof, sealing gaps in siding, painting bare wood, replacing damaged decking, patching cracks in concrete, caulking around sinks, tubs and showers and other preventative maintenance tasks will keep your home in tip top shape and save you lots of money in the long run.

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CONSERVE ENERGY

Whether you're worried about utility bills or the environment, this is a resolution for everyone's list. Some energy conserving upgrades to consider: install a programmable thermostat; replace incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent lighting; prevent drafts with weather stripping around doors and windows; install low-flow shower heads and aerators; fix leaking faucets; install Energy Star appliances; install energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment; upgrade insulation, and install replacement windows.

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GO GREEN

It's never been easier to be green when it comes to your home. Environmentally friendly building products and materials are available for virtually every category—windows, doors, siding, decking, fencing, roofing, lumber, flooring and insulation, to name a few. Think "green" the next time you make a home improvement purchase. Chances are the material will last longer and you'll feel better about it.

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IMPROVE COMFORT

Your home should be a refuge from the stress of work and the world. We suggest that you resolve to make your home as comfortable as you can for you and your family. This can include adding comfy couches and seating; using a splash of color here and there with paint, fabric or flooring; getting rid of clutter and opening up the space in your home; allowing in more natural light with updated window treatments; and organizing closets and storage. Create a special place in the garden as a retreat. Add a water feature—the sound of trickling water can be very therapeutic.

Stress Reliever!

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We’ve experienced, in the recent past, a devastating terrorist attack now followed by the worst week in the stock market since the great depression. We’ve suffered a double blow to our sense of well- being, we feel less secure, and more vulnerable in our persons as well as our pocketbooks. We really need a boost to our morale.

Here are a few ways training can relieve stress and make us feel better about the world around us: A number of studies show that exercise and fitness reduce the intensity of the stress response, they reduce the increases in blood pressure and heart rate associated with stress. They also shorten the time it takes a person to recover from stress. Weight training, by its very nature, involves stress and recovery. This conditions your body to handle stress, and probably more than any other type of exercise, weight training produces a strong lean good looking body and that is a sure fire way to enhance self esteem.

Remember it isn’t the stressfulness of the situation that’s important, but our perception of that stress. We emotionally deem perception to be reality, and people who feel good about themselves, as a result of weight training, are inclined to perceive negative factors as less stress full than people with a poor self-image.

Warm floors 101, a guide to underfloor heating

You decided to install a ceramic tile floor in your bathroom, but you live in a part of the world where it gets incredibly cold during the winter. Now, when you walk across that floor, your toes curl up from the chill and you are seriously considering major back surgery to eliminate the sensation of cold that travels up your spine.

There is a solution: You need to add a component to the mix known as a "warm floor." A warm floor is a type of radiant heating system that is reasonably simple to install and whose addition can substantially improve your personal comfort on chilly mornings.

A radiant heating system uses a series of electric cables or small tubes of hot water embedded in a concrete floor; or embedded in the mortar or mastic beneath a tiled floor, beneath carpet; or attached to the underside of a wooden subfloor.

Instead of heating air and circulating it through the house, radiant heat warms objects such as tile, carpet, hardwood and furniture.

Tile is the preferred surface as it radiates the generated heat better than the other types of flooring we mentioned.

Folks who have radiant heat swear by it. They say it is by far the most even and comfortable type of heat.

Radiant heating companies claim that less energy is needed to transfer heat directly to people, rather than to fill the entire room with heated air as a forced-air furnace does. We feel that their statement is debatable. Truth is, radiant heating can cost at least 50 percent more than forced air heating.

We agree that radiant heating has its advantages and that it is comfortable and efficient, but there are major drawbacks. Radiant heating cannot be accessed easily for repair. Because it usually is built into the floor, repair or replacement can in many situations require removal of structural parts of the home—a very expensive proposition.

Also, massive use of electricity in most parts of the country is simply not as energy-efficient or as cost-effective as gas-fired heating.

So, keep in mind that although we like radiant heating for special uses, like warming a tile bathroom floor, we feel that much consideration would have to be given before installing it throughout one's home.

A warm floor for a small bathroom with an inexpensive thermostat (not recommended) is about $200. Keep in mind this is exclusive of any other work such as the flooring itself. Warm floors for bathrooms can cost as much as $2,000—again, exclusive of any floor-finishing work. Most folks can figure costs coming somewhere in the middle.

Warm-floor dealers are usually found through flooring stores. You can also find warm-floor contractors by typing "warm floor" into your computer's search engine. Warm-floor manufacturing companies list their dealers all over the country. Type in your zip code and you're there.

Electric heating cables can be embedded in the mortar or mastic under tiled floors. Some manufacturers offer the product in a portable mat that can be quickly and easily cut to fit the irregular shaped room, a useful installation option.

Also, such mats are great for renters because they are portable. Who would have thought that people could take warm tootsies with them during a house move?

By the way, the temperature of the floor in a given room is controlled by a wall-mount thermostat. In the old days these thermostats were nothing more than an on/off switch. Today they have been replaced with highly sophisticated digital controls that improve comfort and reduce operating cost.

For a mortar floor, electric cables are most versatile. First, double-headed nails are driven into the wooden subfloor to a uniform depth (where the nail heads are about 3/4 inch above the floor and about 6 inches apart in two directions—think tic-tac-toe here).

The cable is placed alongside the double-head of each nail and zip-ties are used to hold the cable to each nail. The cable is woven back and forth so that rows of wire, spaced and held at 6-inch increments, cover the entire floor.

Mortar is poured to a depth of about 1 inch, completely covering the wire and the nails. The beginning end of the wire and the ending end of the wire have to end up at the same location and travel up inside the wall to the thermostat. It's that simple.

Tile is then laid over the mortar bed as it normally would be without any special consideration for the warm floor hidden beneath.

Energy-Savings with Metal Roofs

The Same Shingle

In 1903, the asphalt shingle—a cotton rag soaked in an oil based tar and coated with small slate granules—was born. Often called “paper roofs,” the materials were cheap to produce and easy to install. The manufacturing process was simple and the durability of the shingle was determined by the amount of asphalt and granules applied to the top. Over time, as the popularity of low-cost asphalt shingles grew, manufacturers were faced with shortages and increasing prices in oil and materials. Little has changed in the last 105 years and asphalt shingles today are still made with a thin layer of petroleum and limestone granules.

Hot Roof/Cold Roof

Asphalt shingles attract and hold the heat of the sun. Asphalt roofs become hotter and hotter during the day and hold onto that heat long after the sun disappears. Since the asphalt shingle is nailed directly to the decking, the heat transfers into the attic and raises the temperature of the home. As a result, energy costs go up and the lifespan of the air conditioner goes down.

Extreme cold also diminishes the life of the shingle. Granules fall off, edges curl and the inside of the home becomes susceptible to leaks and mold from water in the attic and walls. With the average lifespan of a 30 year asphalt shingle being 12 to 16 years, homeowners are forced to replace the roof more often. While asphalt shingles are cheaper to install, increased energy prices and increased roofing prices add up quickly. 

Savings, Benefits and the Environment

Metal roofing can save energy and last a lifetime. The construction industry calls metal roofing “investment-grade roofing” because of its energy efficiency and long life.

Metal roofing comes in many different styles and profiles. When manufactured and installed properly it can reduce energy use, save money and preserve the environment.

Energy efficient metal roofing utilizes advanced paint systems that reflect the sun from the home and preserve its color as well. Roofs using high quality metal and coatings still heat up in the sun but cool off instantly when it disappears. Some metal roofing—shake, shingles and slate profiles—allow air to move between the shingle and the decking, keeping the heat out of your home in the summer.

High-quality metal roofing can, according to the Florida Solar Energy Commission, save up to 20% on energy costs and come with limited lifetime warrantees against hail penetration, combustion and blowing off in extreme weather

With a metal roof, homeowners save on reroofing and energy costs, but also preserve the environment. Some metal roofs are manufactured from 98% post-consumer aluminum and most metal roofs are 100% recyclable.

A Roofing Inventory

Take a moment to look at your roof—

  • Are the shingles curling, losing granules and blowing up in the wind?
  • Are the shingles streaked with fungus and mold?
  • Are their leaks showing water spots on ceilings and walls?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then consider a metal roofing system to not only beautify your home but also save money, energy and the environment.