Monday, September 28, 2015

Do I have to remove the asphalt shingles from my roof before I install a steel one?


Do I have to remove the asphalt shingles from my roof before I install a steel one?


It is recommended that you remove the existing asphalt shingles from your home before you install any new kind of roofing on it. The reasons are as follows;

  • Asphalt shingles are heavy, adding more roofing material on top of this can add to the weight and might cause problems over time it any snow where to sit on it.
  • Nails or screws from the old roofing can work themselves loose overtime or with the changing temperatures and come in contract with the new roof. This could lead to a damaging of the new roof.
  • It can be difficult to get the steel in straight and level going over existing asphalt, care has to be taken when installing the strapping and new material.
  • You don't get the full picture of the roof sub structure so won't know if there is any damage or rot that requires fixing. 
Even though it is recommended that you remove them that doesn't mean that you have too. When you install a steel roof you usually have to strap the roof over the roof deck to create and air space to help the roof ventilate or breath. This strapping can be done over top of existing asphalt shingles, this give you the air space needed and also keeps the steel roofing from sitting directly against the old roofing.

Steel roofing also sheds snow rather well so that there shouldn't be that much weight from snow loads over the winter, this will help negate the concern for the extra weight added from not removing the asphalt shingles.

New steel comes in one piece so that it runs without a seam from the ridge to the eave, this helps strengthen the roof and has less places for leakage.

Sometimes there is no way around it you have to leave the existing shingles on; budget, customer preference whatever the reason it can be done.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

My plumbing backs up when I use a lot of water, do you think I have a venting issue?

My plumbing backs up when I use a lot of water, do you think I have a venting issue?


You could have a venting problem in your home, but you could have other problems other than in the venting.

You really should call in a plumber to take a look at your entire plumbing system, but since you’re asking me the question then you probably won’t without some knowledge from outside sources like me before you talk to a plumber.

With respect to venting issues what you described could be a venting issue. There are several ways that the venting in your home could be faulty;

If you don’t have a black pvc pipe that rises up through the roof into the air one to two feet you might have a problem.

Even if you have a vent pipe through the roof you might not have venting that ties into all the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.

There could be a blockage in the pipe from animals or something else like a pipe break.

There are other things that could be the problem other then venting in your home;

1. There could be a blockage or break in the exhaust pipe that runs out to your septic tank.

2. There could be something stuck in the baffle of the septic tank, this will slow the flow of water drainage in the plumbing system.

3. If you have a sewage ejection tank it could be faulty. This could cause the waste water to rise up through the plumbing system.

4. There could be a blockage in the plumbing system in the basement below where you are using the water.

As you can see your problem is a little more difficult than a simple venting problem.

Call a plumber and have it fixed properly.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ask Your Renovator How Long Have You Been In Business?

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Why this is a great question to ask a remodeler.

The National Association of Homebuilders estimates that it takes at least 3 to 5 years to create a sustainable building or remodeling business. Most outfits never get there: residential contractors have a failure rate higher than nearly every other business type, surpassed only by restaurants.

Only the strongest competitors survive this winnowing.

Luxury remodeling is even more competitive. The very few companies that rise to the top of this challenging niche are financially sound and professionally managed. They work to exacting quality standards. They know how to keep customers happy during what can be a very challenging process.

None of the top remodelers got there overnight. One only learns to excel at doing complex renovation projects for demanding customers by, well, doing complex renovation projects for demanding customers.

But it's not just a numbers game. Besides having completed lots of different project types for lots of people, the best remodelers make a point of learning something from each job. They spend time at the end of the project analyzing what worked and what didn’t, and they put those lessons to work on future projects. That’s one reason they have risen to the top of their markets.

Another reason is that they stay abreast of industry trends. Like everything else in today’s world, the demands on contractors of all types are growing faster than ever. They include ever-evolving design trends, as well as codes, standards, and regulations that seem to get stricter by the day. Successful, experienced remodelers educate themselves and their staff on these trends and smoothly incorporate them into their business practices.

Depth of experience and a culture of learning have direct benefits for customers. Take, for example, a case where the customer’s desired budget and schedule don’t match their initial vision. The inexperienced remodeler may tend to be overly optimistic. That can-do attitude may be admirable, but if the deadline is a week away, that addition isn’t close to being done, and money is running out, the result for everyone is disappointment and stress.

Top remodelers don’t make such mistakes because they systematically track the time and money required to complete each project type. Over the years, they have learned exactly what can and cannot be accomplished with a given schedule and budget. And they have developed the communication and problem-solving skills to help customers reconcile the vision with the reality.

The experienced professional remodeling company will also have earned the trust of its business partners. A long track record with material suppliers ensures the best prices and delivery schedules.

And because like companies tend to flock together, experienced professional remodelers will have long-term work relationships with the best trade contractors in town, including plumbers, electricians, and HVAC companies. These relationships play a huge role in getting the job done right for a fair price and in a timely manner.

Long after the project is complete and the crew drives away for the last time, these relationships ensure quick responses to warranty requests. In fact, customers can be confident that if a warranty item needs servicing a few years down the road, the experienced pro’s team will be around to take care of it. How many new companies can offer that peace of mind?

The point is that high integrity, great communication skills, and a track record of successful projects and satisfied customers raise the odds of a smooth remodeling process. Hiring a professional company with the resources needed to do a great job, on time, and with minimal stress pays off big in the long run.
Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Building Modern Homes In Wasaga Beach

Building modern homes in Wasaga Beach

A question I receive from a lot of potential customers is if I have built any modern homes in the area?

The answer is yes, we built a very modern Miami Beach style home in the town of Wasaga Beach right on the water with beautiful views of Georgian Bay.

The home towers over the street as it was built into a large sand dune helping to create a basement with a single garage that is at street level, where at the beach side you walk out straight on to a rock patio level with the beach from the large first floor windows.

The home is a 3 story home with the top floor being a large master bedroom loft style with amazing views out over the water and a large covered porch to sit and drink your morning coffee.

In fact there are several balconies on the waterside of the house to take advantage of the amazing views and one small covered one on the street side when you want to be out of the wind from the lake and do a little barbequing.

The exterior of the home is stone and steel with a steep steel roof to shed the snow that blows off the water in the long winters.

Everything in the house is customized to the owner’s wishes. The main stair well is a welder built steel open stringer stairs. It has a metal posts that hold glass panels that make up the railing leading up to the loft in the third floor. The first to second floor railing is a wire metal cage style to encase the stairwell.

The home has all tiled floors which work’s well to help deal with the endless sand that blows into the home when the doors are open to the beach.

The main floor of the home is the second floor with its striking modern kitchen that has all white
cabinetry and a back painted purple backsplash.

Across from the kitchen is the dining room that has a modern gas fireplace that is long and thin, it is set up high off the ground so that it will not be blocked by the dining room table when you are in the kitchen.

The third floor master suite has towering cathedral ceilings that and a ensuite bathroom that is open to above giving the feeling of space and privacy all in one.

The main bathroom on the first floor of the home is unique with double sinks and mirrors beside a tub and a glass shower. There is even a door that leads up to a workout room that is set above the garage.

The house is a testament to how a custom home can truly be made one of a kind.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Want A Renovation Quote On My Cottage Should I Wait Till The End Of The Season?


We were looking for a quote for a renovation for our cottage, should we wait till the end of the season to get one?


Absolutely not. Renovation contractors might be extremely busy throughout the summer season but they are busy doing the work that they quoted in the spring.

Usually contractors around late July and early August are looking for jobs to quote. When you wait until September/October you are actually asking them for a quote at one of their most busiest times of the year for not only work but for quoting.

If you wait until the end of the season to get a quote you will be risking having to wait for the contractor to get back to you with the quote. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait for at least a month depending on the size of the project that you want quoted. A lot of contractors end up so busy in the fall that they aren’t able to quote you the work and then do the job until the late winter or early spring.

If you were to ask for a quote in the early to middle of the summer then you would get an accurate quote and you would have your choice of the timing that you want the contractor to start and finish the job.

My recommendation going forward would be to never wait to get a quote for anything that you want, you can always ask the contractor to schedule you later in the year without having to wait.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Make sure you have a proper design plan before you start your renovation

Proper design/planning and a good contractor when attempting a renovation

I once was called to a home where the new owners wanted renovations completed on a house that was 150 years old. The previous owners of the home had started renovations two years prior but never finished them.

The previous couple had lived in the home as they attempted to renovate it the older home. The whole first floor of the home was in one state of partly completed renovation or demolition with the upper floors still looking like they did when the house was last renovated 80 years ago.

This all ended when one part of the couple decided they have had enough and left. The home was then sold to my clients who called us in to access the situation.

Renovation contractors have a name for drywall dust (especially when the couple attempts to live in the house as its being renovated) it’s called divorce dust.

This attempted renovation was a perfect example what happens when you don’t bother to have a proper plan/design before you start renovating.

It is also a warning to people who want to take on renovating an older home but won’t budget for a contractor to help them out.

The amount of work in the home would take my company 6 to 10 months to complete working everyday 8 to 5 with at least 3 to 4 employee’s and about a dozen different sub-trades. These people that had attempted to do this renovation had been working at it for two years and by the look of it they had about 10 years left.

A prime example in the home of how the planning/design was short sited was they created a master bedroom on the first floor that was large and had an ensuite bathroom beside it. Then it looked like the wife asked for a large closet to be installed. The husband proceeded to remove the main set of stairs to the second floor of the home and relocate them two feet over to give his wife a closet. This meant relocating not only the stairs but all the barring walls around the stairs and the railings up stairs. It also required them to rebuild a new set of stairs that were reversed to the old ones. This idea was thousands of dollars to do and could have easily been avoided if they would have taken some time to draw up a properly planned out master bedroom and main floor layout.

There were many other issues throughout the home that the former owner had attempted and had either failed at completing or had done incorrectly.

The new owners and I worked together came up with a proper plan, design, budget and a schedule. Then we proceeded with the work.

When the home was finished it was unrecognizable compared to the start that it was procured when we first walked in to access the situation.

The moral of the story is that you should take the time to plan out what you want to do before you attempt to do any kind of renovation either on your own or with a qualified professional.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders