AC: To Repair or Replace? That is the question.

When you start to need multiple air conditioning repair services in Clearwater, you might begin to wonder if it would be smarter to just buy a new one instead of dealing with constant break downs. Well, Total Air is here to help! While there is no universal answer to the question of whether you should restore or replace, there are some obvious signs that can help you decide.

Everyone wants to save money, and when faced with a broken unit, many Clearwater residents ask us whether repairs or replacement would be the more financially responsible choice. Signs that you should call for air conditioning repair include:

  1. Newer system. If your AC unit is relatively new, then opt for fixing it in order to get the most out of your investment.
  2. If you are going to be selling your house soon, it would be in your best interests to mend the unit instead of investing in a new one.
  3. 50% rule. If the cost of fixing it is less than half of the unit’s value, then fixing it will be better as long as you don’t need to call for services more than once a month.
  4. Often times, when your system isn’t exactly new anymore, but it isn’t old either, regular maintenance will help it to last longer and allow for minor fixes. Call your Clearwater AC company to ask how you can make sure your unit lasts as long as possible.

Installing a brand new AC unit is a large investment, which is why you should only do it when absolutely necessary. If your air conditioner is more than 15 years old, frequently breaks down during high use, or is more expensive to fix than to replace, you should consider installing a brand new one.

Total Air, Inc., offers high quality of air conditioning repair services in Clearwater, and their trained technicians will ensure that your AC unit runs efficiently for as long as possible. They offer affordable services and a preventative maintenance plan, which even includes discounts on parts. These technicians want you to be able to enjoy cool air, without emptying your wallet. For more information, call today at 727-822-7700.

What is Universal Design?

The National Association of Home Builders defines universal design (UD) as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” (nahb.org). In short, UD involves creating things so they work the best for everyone and can be applied across all aspects of life, from the sidewalks in Tampa to the dishes you use on your table. However, one of the most important places to institute this style of thinking is in the home.

When considering universal design, especially in home remodeling, there are two categories of changes that are made to the existing home:

Structural Changes

  • No-step entryways and thresholds that are flush with the outside surface, or a ramp for access into the home
  • One-story floor plan to facilitate ease of access, especially for those in wheelchairs
  • Wider hallways and doorways to best accommodate any handicapped occupants
  • Much larger floor space
  • Other possible changes include installing elevators, chair lifts, dumbwaiters, and even pool lifts (which are important for Tampa living!)
  • Non-slip surfaces, especially on floors and in showers
  • Good lighting in homes for the visibly impaired
  • Motion-sensing lighting
  • Lower light switches and power outlets
  • Installation of lever door handles instead of traditional door knobs
  • Old light switches replaced with newer rocker light switches for occupants with arthritic or muscle problems

Cosmetic Changes

This list of features is certainly not all-encompassing, but is meant to show you how changing the makeup of your Tampa home can be beneficial for many people. In the end, universal design is not just about remodeling a house, but rather, making a home the best place it can be for its current, and future, inhabitants.

Are you in the Tampa area and interested in remodeling your home? Consider contacting Greaves Construction to find out more about their universal design home remodeling services. They will be able to walk you through the different features you can incorporate into your home, as well as help you design a home that you’ll love forever. Call 813-985-2739 for details.

How Shipping Container Homes Can Be Used

Shipping container homes are becoming increasingly popular, not only in Florida, but everywhere throughout America. This trend isn’t a fad, but rather an innovative approach to sustainable and green living that offers a number of advantages over traditional homes. Not only does this kind of “tiny living” use recycled materials for construction, but they allow people to significantly reduce the amount of money they spend on their monthly utility bills.

Every year, the U.S. has thousands of steel module containers imported with manufactured goods, but once emptied, they don’t do much else other than take up space, largely due to the fact that it would cost more money to ship them back than it would to just order more. But companies like New Generation Builders have recently found a way to recycle and repurpose these containers to provide people with more durable and cost-efficient homes, as well as offices, classrooms, etc.

How Tiny Homes are Built

These shipping container homes in Florida have all the basic functionalities of regular homes, such as plumbing and electricity, but are built at a fraction of the costs. You can have one built according to the designs of your personal preference, without sacrificing comfort or quality. These tiny homes are built by stacking the steel containers of industrial strength on cement block foundations.

They are a smarter alternative to traditional wooden frames because the steel is not only flood resistant, but fire and mold proof as well. They can be assembled on site, or transported, saving both money and time on construction costs. In addition, many people are becoming more interested in these shipping container homes because of their multi-purpose uses.

Ways to Use Container Homes

There are a wide variety of ways you can use these shipping container homes to improve your life. Some of the most common include:

  • Vacation Homes
  • Offices & workshops
  • Campus housing
  • Apartments/Condos
  • Emergency Shelters

Because these structures are built with the strongest building materials in the industry, offer fast construction and installment processes, and are economically friendly, they are the perfect choice for people in need of additional living/working space who don’t want to invest in major lands of property.

If you are interested in learning more about shipping container homes in Florida, or want to consult with a professional about having one built, give New Generation Builders a call today at 800-759-4459.

How to Find Trustworthy Roofing Contractors

No matter what your needs are, when you start looking for roofing contractors in Tampa, we know the most important priority you have finding trustworthy people to work on your house. Choosing the right roofer takes time, but it will really lessen your worries.

There are many resources available to help you find the right roofing contractors, although it can get overwhelming. We decided to compile a short list of tips to help you get down to what matters the most. We gathered three of the best ways to find a trustworthy company around the Tampa bay:

  1. Being referred by one of your friends, or a family member is always a great way to get in touch with a professional. You will get the opinion of someone you know, and you will be able to see the company’s finished work.
  2. When you start considering specific roofing contractors, check on their experience, accreditation, and insurance. The longer they have been around, the more likely they are to be successful and worthy of your trust. Accreditation and insurance are crucial because of the risks related to roofing work.
  3. Most places offering roofing services in Tampa will include a free estimate. Visit a few contractors to get different quotes on the project your need done. You will be able to get an idea of how much it will cost you, and you will also get a general feeling of the company. Take the time to sit down and look at each company’s services, prices, and any additional work they offer.

If you don’t know where to start your search for a roofing contractor, check out Done Rite Roofing in Tampa. The company has been working with residents of the bay area for over 15 years, and their workers always offer friendly, affordable and professional services you really can trust. Whether you have a commercial or residential roof, from installations to repairs and cleaning Done Rite has you covered. You can visit their website to learn more about the services offered or give them a call at (813) 926-8747 have any question answered and schedule an appointment.

Five Advantages of Carports

Lakeland is not spared from Florida’s well-known hurricanes, so if your home does not have a covered garage, a carport may be the best solution available to you. Living in an area where weather can damage our car’s exterior, it’s important to protect vehicles as much as possible. While adding a garage usually is the first idea when it comes to protection, carports can be a better choice:

  1. Multi-Use: A garage is only for parking your car, and possibly storing other house items, nothing else. A carport offers you a covered area for family picnics in your yard for beautiful grilling days. It can be the perfect shed to allow you to spend time outside while being protected from the sun’s burning rays.
  2. Cost Effective: These are a lot more affordable than building a garage in Lakeland. Whether you are the owner of your home or just renting, these sheds also don’t typically require permits, unlike other big projects, but it is always best to check with your county.
  3. Easy Installation: Getting your new covered area can be as easy as preparing the ground and calling the right installation company.
  4. Semi-Permanent: If you’re not sure how long you will be in your current home, a semi-permanent protection is the good compromise to keep your car safe without having to make any irreversible changes to your house or your yard.
  5. Appeal: Adding a special parking space if you are planning on selling or trying to find tenants for your home will rend it more attractive since people will not need to park on the Lakeland streets.

If we haven’t convinced you a carport is the ideal solution to keep you vehicle safe and off the street, while adding an attractive addition to your yard, visit the Florida Shed Company’s site to learn more about the various design options available. You can use the Carport Estimator to design your own and see exactly what styles, sizes, and colors are available. Or feel free to give them a call at 727-524-9191.

Do I Need Roof Repair?

Signs that your Clearwater home needs a roof repair can be as obvious as a leak, or as subtle as a torn shingle. To keep your home safe, it is best to hire a professional contractor who will perform an inspection at least twice a year. Minor repairs and regular maintenance can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for an entire roof replacement. As a homeowner, you should know what signs to keep an eye out for that may indicate it is time to call for maintenance.

Common signs that you need roof repair in Clearwater:

  1. Cracked or bubbling paint. While it may seem like it is a minor issue that can be put off, leaving this kind of issue untreated for too long can end up costing you a lot of money in damages. It is not just the unsightly appearance you have to worry about. This could indicate that there is moisture coming in from outside, because bubbling in paint mean typically means there is water backed up and just waiting to burst into your living room.
  2. Overflowing gutters. Here in Clearwater we experience a lot of rain storms, and if your gutters are clogged with debris, they will not be able to drain the rainwater properly. This added weight can cause them to pull away from your home, damaging the structure. You also want to regularly check your gutters to make sure there are no grains from your shingles, as this is a sign your roof is beginning to deteriorate.
  3. Rusted flashing. Flashing is the metal that surrounds your skylight or chimney; when it is rusted or cracked, leaks will occur. Call a roof repair company in Clearwater to inspect your flashing to prevent this from happening.
  4. Missing or damaged shingles. Shingles are meant to keep elements out of your home, and if they are damaged or removed, there is not only the chance of water getting into your attic, but the surrounding shingles will be more susceptible to damages as well. When your shingles begin to deteriorate or fall off, it leaves the structure underneath and vulnerable to mold growth and water damage.

While it is highly advised to regularly inspect your home’s exterior, you should never climb up on your own. Use binoculars from ground level to get a closer look, and then call a roof repair company such as Done Rite Roofing. As trusted contractors in Clearwater for over 15 years, Done Rite will be able to help you regardless of how minor or major your structure’s condition may be!

For more information, call Done Rite today at 727-585-8747.

Big Family, Tiny Home: Living small with kids

Recently, the trend of tiny homes has been taking over Florida, and the benefits seem endless. However, many people are under the impression that living small is only suitable for one person who prefers privacy or a couple that doesn’t mind sharing. Nevertheless, brave families have been moving into smaller and smaller spaces, and loving it! In a 1700 square foot home, there is room for each family member to have their own individual space, and while that sounds nice, many families are finding the idea of a smaller, shared, communal space much more attractive.

Closer relationships

In houses where you only have one or two bedrooms and just one living room/kitchen, arguments get worked out much quicker, and sharing becomes second nature. In tiny homes, you learn to resolve arguments earlier because who wants to sit right next to someone they are mad at? You cannot ignore problems and disagreements in 500 square feet, so the only choice is resolution. When there is limited space for toys, children can learn to get rid of what they don’t need, and share what they do. Of course, tiny living isn’t for every Florida family, but it can be the perfect solution for the right family that wants to downsize and save money, while living in a fully customizable small abode.

Enjoy the outdoors

Here in Florida, we have wonderful weather all year round, so you never have to worry about feeling cramped indoors. If the kids are restless, and you need some relaxation, just send everyone outside. Children can learn to explore and appreciate nature, while you can unwind in the shade of your outdoor deck. Because these tiny homes are so customizable, you can create a floor plan to allow for as many windows and sliding glass doors as possible, to fully embrace and enjoy nature.

New Generation Builders

At New Generation Builders in Florida, we have been building tiny homes for more than ten years. We know the joy of living small; when you have fewer monthly bills, you have more time and resources to do what makes you and your family happy. If you want to help the environment in the process, consider one of our storage container houses. With our help, what starts out as an empty metal box can transform into a great new home for your family. For more information, feel free to call us at 800-759-4459.