Designer Shingles for a Luxurious Home Look

designer shingles, luxury shinglesAt some point you may have to replace your roof. Treat this as an opportunity to aim for a new curb appeal. Nowadays, homeowners have so many options at their disposal. One style is designer shingles, or luxury shingles as some people refer to them.

What Are Designer Shingles?

In the early 2000s, manufacturers began creating multi-layered shingles. These were asphalt shingles with two or more materials bonded together. This gives the shingles a three-dimensional appearance. Common materials include asphalt and fiberglass.

In the years since, manufacturers have released various luxury designer shingle styles. Many styles replicate the appearance of wood, stone, or natural slate. Continue Reading →

The Benefits of a Walkout Basement Deck

walkout basement deck, lower level deckA deck is a mainstay in outdoor home improvement. For the majority of homes, the deck belongs in the patio or back of the house. However, for homes resting on a slope, a walkout basement deck may be best.

What Is a Walkout Basement?

A walkout basement is commonplace in a home located on a slope. Due to the slanted surface, only a portion of the basement is below ground-level. This actually offers many possibilities. For one, the homeowners could add windows for the basement. The whole area is also more usable as an additional bedroom or living space. The addition of windows also increases air circulation and decreases damp conditions that can lead to mold and mildew.

If the slope is steep enough, you can also add a door that leads directly outside. The basement essentially becomes the first floor. This is where an outdoor basement deck enters the picture. Continue Reading →

Fixing a Stuck Gate: What to Do

fixing a stuck gateA fence’s gate is prone to damage due to the many hinges and small parts. After several years of smooth function, the gate may start to stick and become a pain to open and close. We’ll explain why this happens and how fixing a stuck gate is possible using a few basic tools.

What Causes a Gate to Stick?

Misalignment is the biggest cause of stuck gates. In a traditional wooden fence, individual posts can become loose. Wobbly posts adjacent to the gate can lead to tilting and sagging. Wood is also porous and prone to warping, causing hinges and latches to shift.

In metal gates, the pins connecting the gate to the posts may bend or corrode, causing stiffness. Continue Reading →

The Best Decking for an Outdoor Hot Tub

outdoor hot tub decking, jacuzzi deckingA jacuzzi makes for a wonderful outdoor addition. We especially recommend it for homeowners who frequently invite guests. A jacuzzi usually rests on top of a deck. The deck’s surface, therefore, needs to be able to withstand constant water exposure. We’ll discuss the best decking for an outdoor hot tub.

Why Is the Right Decking Material Important?

With a jacuzzi chemically treated water constantly splashes onto the surrounding deck. Is the decking material capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to chlorinated H2O? If the water lingers, the boards will prematurely warp and deteriorate.

Furthermore, jacuzzi water may also contain salt. When the water evaporates, the boards absorb the salt crystals, causing expansion in the wood fibers. The chlorine also wreaks havoc by breaking down the wood’s proteins and causing discoloration. Continue Reading →

The Benefits of a Chain Link Kennel for Pet Owners

chain link kennelWe routinely install chain link fences for Snohomish homes and facilities. However, those woven coated steel wires don’t necessarily have to function as fencing material. More homeowners with pets are requesting a chain link kennel. We’ll explain why this trend is rising.

Why Install a Chain Link Kennel?

Most homeowners believe their existing fence suffices for keeping their dog in the yard. However, you can benefit even more by installing a smaller kennel within your fenced in property. For one, larger-breed canines may easily be able to scale a shorter picket or veneer fence.

We especially recommend kennels for female dogs. Unneutered male dogs have been known to scale fences to mate with a female dog. Breeders may also find a kennel useful because it provides a safe space for the mother to care for her pups.

This also keeps your pet out of certain portions of the yard, such as the patio deck. Dog urine, after all, can cause serious staining on deck panels.

The Kennel also separates your dog from people who need to enter your yard, such as the mail carrier or other delivery agents. Continue Reading →

Consider a Mansard Roof for Your Next Roofing Project

mansard roofA complete roof replacement is a rare endeavor most homeowners will only partake once or twice in their lifetime. So, what kind of new roof is best for your home? A mansard roof is a possibility and one we wanted to discuss, because this is a rather obscure roofing style.

What Is a Mansard Roof?

Mansard roofs are atypical for individual homes, though you may find them on apartment complexes and mom-and-pop shops. Characteristically, the roof is a type of curb roof with four sides and two slopes on each side. The lower slope is almost completely vertical and may contain dormer windows.

We understand that this description is hard to visualize. Just do a Google image search to see pics of a mansard roof. The architectural design originated in Renaissance France and saw a second surge in popularity during the era of Napoleon III. Continue Reading →

Roof Repair Estimates: How Accurate Are They?

roof repair estimatesWhether repairing a leaky pipe or the home’s foundation, don’t expect a 100% precise estimate. The final fee will usually be a bit more or less. With that in mind, how accurate are roof repair estimates? Can homeowners end up paying way over the given estimate?

Factors in a Roof Repair Estimate

At Allied Construction, we always do our best to provide as accurate an estimate as possible. Nevertheless, estimates are still just educated guesses at best. Unforeseen factors can drive up cost as well as lower it.

Here are some factors our roofers take into consideration:

  • Labor and material (the obvious ones)
  • Debris removal
  • Dumpster rental
  • Material transportation

Continue Reading →

The Benefits of a Second-Story Deck

second story deckA deck for the patio is always a welcome option. However, have you considered a deck for the second floor? Aside from a more charming home, the benefits of a second-story deck are aplenty. This is a major renovation that will immediately pay itself off.

Why a Second-Story Deck Is Beneficial

The most obvious benefit of a second-story deck is the additional living space. You acquire more in-home roaming space without taking up extra space in the floor below. Plus, don’t you think it’s just plain cool to have a barbecue on a balcony deck overlooking the neighborhood? This would be an exceptional setting for a social gathering.

Also, should you ever sell the home, a second-story deck is one amazing selling point. Assuming the deck meets building codes, the structure should also raise the property’s value. Continue Reading →

Have You Considered a Curved Deck Design?

curved deckThe patio is the area for outdoor living. Adding a deck really adds to the vibe of an exterior living space. Conventional decks come in a boxy shape with pronounced corners. This is absolutely fine for most homeowners. However, a curved deck design is also available, and might be more appealing to some Snohomish residents.

The Prevalence of Curved Decks

In decades past, curved decks were a rarity; installation also came at an extra cost. Nowadays, though, they’re a lot more commonplace, thanks to the use of PVC and composite panels. Manufacturers can bend and shape these panels much more efficiently than with traditional pressure-treated wood.

Manufacturers heat PVC and composite panels, making them soft and bendable like noodles. This makes all sorts of forms possible, from oval to S-shaped decks. Continue Reading →

Winter Roofing Problems to Watch Out For

winter roofing problemsThe Snohomish area isn’t the coldest region in the U.S. Temperatures, though, do become frigid enough to cause unwanted roof issues. We’ll identify common winter roofing problems and the causes behind them.

Causes of the Most Common Winter Roofing Problems

1. Powerful Winds

Older shingles can rip away from the pressure of strong winds. Loose asphalt shingles can partially or completely peel away. If you see peeling or missing shingles the day after strong winds, then you need to phone a roofer.

2. Condensation

Condensation forms when air comes into contact with a cold icy surface. If the attic below isn’t sufficiently insulated, the environment can become a breeding ground for mold. Adequate roofing ventilation is especially Continue Reading →