Roof Replacement Part 1: Should Contractors Use GAF, Owens Corning, or IKO?

- .  O. C. has a variety of colors and thicknesses as well. Not only does this shingle look like an architectural is supposed to look, but it has a fabric stretched over the nailing strip which they call “Sure-Nail Technology. ” The strip helps prevent nail blow-through from installers and shows them the exact place to nail the shingle down, which helps to prevent improper nail placement. While I’m not a fan of their entry level “Oakridge” architectural shingle (the overlays seem too thin, they don’t look much thicker than a 3-tab shingle to me), I AM a big fan of their “Duration” series ..More

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Window Replacement Part 3: Marvin, Andersen, Pella

- . If you do, stick with the sliders and casements and you’ll get a great value. However, if white on the inside is OK by you, this is the absolute best opportunity to get a big name window at a no-name window price. Since the top sash is stationary, it is called a single hung (not a double hung). I love their sliders and casements. The one caveat is their single-hung; that thing is a nightmare. If you don’t need to clean from the inside, then don’t worry about it. The problem is it doesn’t have the typical tilt-out feature for cleaning; it has a metal peg that you flip out before lifting the sash up. When the sash goes up, the peg should push the sash out of the frame for cleaning but many times the peg flies out instead. Some call it “Renewal Lite” since it is also made of Fibrex. The only option is a white interior, so that takes some people out of the mix right off the bat. Andersen 100 series is a very intriguing window line. That’s not the problem ..More

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How to Inspect Your Own House, Part 8: The Furnace

- .  More on that topic here: Are Annual Furnace Inspections Really Necessary?. Those are the basics, but it’s still a good idea to have your furnace professionally inspected annually ..More

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Top “Feel-Good” Home Inspection Pics from 2014

- . Strong Stairway – it’s quite unusual to find a big chunk of concrete used as the stairway stringer for residential construction ..More

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How To Inspect Your Own House, Part 5: Electrical

- . Side note: these types of testers will not identify all potential wiring problems, such as a false ground or an outlet with both reversed polarity and an open ground, but they’ll probably identify about 99% of the problems that exist ..More

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