Mark Uppendahl's Blog
- Healthy shingles. Roof shingles should not be missing, darkly stained or eroding. Roof shingles should also not be cracked, curled or cupped.
- Dry and clean exterior walls are other potential signs that your house roof is healthy. Wet or stained walls could be a sign that your roof is leaking.
- Ceilings that are free of water spots may be evidence that your roof does not have cracks or leaks. If you spot stains or spots in a room, consider inspecting your roof. See no damage, but the problem persists? It may be time to call a roofing contractor.
- When it rains, even during hard rains, if all rooms in your home, including your basement, remain dry, your roof could be in good condition.
- Age is another indicator that your roof may be healthy. Depending on the type of material your roof is made of, your roof could remain healthy for 15 to 25 years.
- Caulk is solid and not cracking.
- Moss and rust are not seen on the top or bottom of your roof.
- Vent pipes are free of rust.
- There are no dents or misshaped portions of the roof. Hailstorms and heavy snowfalls could cause a roof to dent or become misshaped. Consider inspecting your roof following a hard storm, as high winds, hail damage could lead to more troubling issues. To keep your roof healthy during winter, it’s advisable to leave a light layer of snow on the roof. But, you don’t want to leave several inches of snow on the roof for a prolonged period.
254 Bank St, Harwich, MA 02646
The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior. The outside needs to fit the needs of you and your family. Good landscape design can have a big impact on a home. A high quality exterior allows for outdoor activities and brings more value to your home.
The big question is- who will do the landscaping? You and your family? Maybe you’ll hire a professional landscaper to help you complete these jobs. Landscaping isn’t a simple job. It’s more than adding stones and walkways to the yard and planting or mowing grass. When you want to transform the outside of your home, you’ll need a vision and plans to execute that vision. Here’s just some of the advantages to hiring a professional landscaper:
You’ll Get What You Pay For
These landscaping professionals are just that- professional. You’ll know when you hire them that you’ll be getting high quality work in return for your investment. While you may miss trimming a few branches of a bush on your own, a pro landscaper will get every last leaf.
How Much Will Materials Cost?
It would take time to look for materials that can be used for landscaping. It would also be an out-of-pocket expense for you to include with the time it takes to complete landscaping jobs on your own. Professional landscapers have these supplies readily available to them.
Landscaping Takes Time
If you hire a landscaper, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re also completing a job while you are off doing other things. You’ll save quite a bit of time if you hire one.
Landscapers Know What They’re Doing
When you hire a landscaping professional, they know what kinds of plants that you’ll need to get your desired look. They’ll also know how to care for these plants. You could run into quite a few problems without the proper knowledge and experience. Left on your own, there are many different things that can go wrong while completing a landscaping project. You could place the plants in the wrong order, not have level ground, or end up with a lower quality project than you had originally hoped for. When you hire a professional, you know that a project is being carefully planned from start to finish. If the company doesn't execute it the way you’d like, you can always request that they fix it. If you make a major mistake on your own outdoor project, it’s on you!
There’s many advantages to hiring professional landscaping help. From regular yard maintenance to major outdoor projects, it’s a good idea to have help that knows exactly what they’re doing to save you from headaches at a later time.
Native plantingA big part of natural landscaping is understanding your local plant life. Planting flora that is native to your area is not only helping your yard look more natural but also helping your local plant and wildlife. Often we bring in "exotic" plants and flowers without understanding the ecological issues that can arise from invasive species, both on other plants as well as on the local animals. So what are some ways you could alter your yard to house more local plant life? That depends entirely on your taste and on your local flora. If you live in a coastal, warm area, you might choose a sand or shell path in your yard that leads through tall grasses. If you live inland it might make more sense to choose stones or pebbles for your walkway and a variety of shrubs, flowers, and grasses for around the yard.
Lawn dividersYou won't find any white picket fences naturally occurring in the woods. But nature has its own barriers that can be adapted for use around your property. Vines, trees, bushes, and even rocks can all be used as natural barriers. People have used rock walls to mark of their property for centuries, and for good reason: they last forever (with some occasional maintenance) and they compliment the natural environment of your yard.
Make your lawn livableYour lawn should be hospitable for your plants, your local wildlife, and for you. Using natural wooden benches, tree swings, and maintained paths will make your backyard look like the walkthrough gardens that we see in old English manor houses. But you should also keep in mind the birds, bugs, and other animals that will frequent your yard. By not using chemical insecticides or weed killers you're already helping your local wildlife thrive. But you can attract even more birds by setting inconspicuous feeders in the trees around your yard.
What's to gain from natural landscaping?Aside from looking nice, natural landscaping has countless other benefits. When you're growing plants native to your area you know the plants are predisposed to grow well in your yard. That means less maintenance, watering, and less money spent buying replacements for dead plants. You'll be helping the local wildlife fit in, and you'll be helping yourself by giving your yard a refreshing, natural look.
Finding an apartment or a house that you can afford to rent can take a lot of stress off of you. If the actual apartment or house that you move into looks as beautiful as the model that the landlord or leasing agent showed you,count yourself as fortunate.
The fact is, unless you’re renting a place that has been fully upgraded or newly built, the actual space that you live in probably won’t look half as attractive as the model you were shown, the seemingly perfect unit that you based your decision on where to rent on. That happens with many rental units.
Protect yourself from renting from a rogue landlord
Instead of getting a unit that mirrors the model, you could step into areal estate nightmare. Notice two or more of the below signs where you rent, and it might be time to move.
Structural damages like cracked ceilings, water stains on the walls and discolored carpeting are signs that you’ll likely notice immediately if you move into a rental unit that has been properly maintained. Report these conditions immediately, as they could indicate that there is further damage to the property. Even if you don’t move out, you don’t want the landlord to hold you responsible for the damages. Other signs that you could be dealing with a rogue landlord include:
- Poor to no heat in the apartment or house that you’re renting – And it’s not just that there is no heat or poor heating. When you alert the landlord, she does nothing to repair or replace the heating system.
- Inadequate air conditioning – If you’re paying for central air conditioning or a window air conditioner that the landlord owns, those systems should function properly. A good landlord will make sure that all systems are operating adequately before you move in.
- Unsafe drinking and bathing water – Brown water could indicate that the water is contaminated with a chemical or rust. A rogue landlord may keep telling you that the water will eventually clear on its own.He may also indicate that you have to just deal with the unclean water.
- Mold – Mold can cause you and your family to become ill. Spot mold at your rental unit and you’ll know that the landlord has not been ensuring that the unit is cleaned between leases or as one tenant moves out and another tenant moves in.
- Pests – Cock roaches should not be your co-tenants. Neither should ants, rats, mice or termites.
- Lack of exterior building lights – Poor exterior lighting can attract people who choose to commit crimes. A rogue landlord won’t care enough about your safety to install good lighting, security cameras or an alarm system.
- No interior safety lights in stairwells – If you rent an apartment that has an exterior stairway, this area should be lit when it gets dark.
- Rising rents that are too high to be competitive with area markets – A rogue landlord might raise your rent with short notice. They also might raise rents until the rent is no longer competitive with the market or the type of apartment or house you’re renting.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from a rogue landlord is to thoroughly review a lease agreement. There are several details to include in a rental lease. To protect yourself, in general, you’ll want to make sure that the lease agreement is in writing, and that the agreement indicates who is responsible for repairs. Also, make sure that the written lease agreement states when rents could increase and how much notice must be given before the landlord raises the rent. And ensure that the written agreement states how much the security deposit is, under what conditions the deposit can be withheld and how many days after you move out the security deposit will be refunded to you.