Jim's Blog


I like Pinterest Users

I am humbled and grateful that we are well over 1000 when repins and likes are added together. We are also flattered that our followers are edging close to 100.  I know that in the grand scheme of the Pinterest world these are very modest numbers, but it’s a real milestone for us. 

Our most popular boards have been Decks with Pergolas Trellis, Screened Rooms, Wood Decks, Composite Decks, Patio Rooms Sunrooms, Windows and Doors, and Awnings.  In addition to those boards we have Deck Blogs, Patio Rooms Sunrooms Blogs, Awning Blogs, and Window Blogs.

We would like to give a sincere “thank you” to those of you who have deemed our projects and photos worthy of liking, repining and following. 

To any future visitors, we hope you will find our photos and blogs worthy of your time.

 

 

Keywords: awnings  patio rooms  decks  windows  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 28th, 2014    0 comments
The Boring Stuff About Decks You Need to Know

 

A small trellis on a composite deck

The fun stuff about decks is how it’s going to look, the amenities and choosing the right decking materials.

The boring stuff is how the deck is constructed. It’s what holds up the fun stuff.  It’s true that this boring stuff is critical.  If it doesn’t hold up the fun stuff, you will have no deck or worse, you could be injured. 

There are some horrible deck builders out there.  But the horrible deck builders don’t usually make the fun stuff look good either.  In my experience, decks that look great are usually built great.  It is important that you know how your deck is being built.  However, if your deck builder has been at it for a while, and they can provide you with beautiful photos, your deck is very likely to be well built.

 

Keywords: decks  composite  rails  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 27th, 2014    0 comments
The miracle of our new walk-in tub is...

"I don't need help my wife with her bath any more!"

Ed Butler relates his story about how his wife had fallen in tub 5 times before getting a walk-in tub.

Using a walk-in tub has added to Ed's peace of mind. Ed and his wife, both over 80, enjoy the convenience and safety of their new Elegant Walk In Tub.

As is the case with Ed's wife, many who previously needed help bathing can now do it themselves.  This affords a measure of dignity that wasn't available without the tub.  The peace of mind it allows the caregiver is immeasurable.

What health benefits can you expect?  Some of had great results.  For example the hydrotherapy in each tub promotes circulation, reduces arthritis pain, erases muscle strain, balances emotions and soothes the nerves.

While you relax and listen to your favorite FM station your bubbly bath never goes cold.  The simple reason is all tubs include an in-line heater which allows you to set the temperature wherever you choose.

The tub that Ed and his wife enjoy includes a 14 jet air bubble system and a 6 jet adjustable back massage system.

If you would like a brochure, or any more information about the Elegant Walk In Tub, please let me know.

800-800-9343

arch@zoominternet.net

www.archhomeimprovements.com

 

Keywords: walk in tub  product 
Posted by Jim Brown on December 5th, 2013    0 comments
I Visited a Zoo and Got to Pet an Elephant, a Giraffe, and Penguins WOW!

I was raised on a farm so being around farm animals is no big deal.  Petting an elephant IS a big deal.  Folks that haven’t been around farm animals think that 2000 pound Holstein bulls are huge.  When I petted an 8000 pound elephant words seem to fail me.  That’s why all I could think was WOW!

Standing next to the elephant on a warm day, I was cooled by the flapping of her ears.  The trainer warned us not to get to close to them or we could get smacked in the face.

This gentle giant seemed to enjoy the attention as much as we enjoyed petting her.

From there we moved on to the giraffes.  We got to pet them as well as feed them rye crackers.  They definitely enjoyed the crackers.  These friendly animals are amazing to watch.

Petting a penguin is much different than I expected.  Most birds have 14 feathers per square inch.  Penguins have 70.  So petting a penguin was like petting an animal with fur.

To me the most amazing little animal we visited was an aardvark.  This termite eater played like an untrained dog, jumping up on me and having a great time.

This was the most enjoyable time I have had in recent memory.

Adding to that fun time was the fact that the animal handlers seemed to genuinely enjoy working with the animals.

WOW!

 

Keywords: product 
Posted by Jim Brown on August 27th, 2013    0 comments
How much does a deck cost?

 

The only answer to this question that makes any sense is, “It depends”.   

Obviously size is a key. A recent survey on decks showed that they ranged from $891 on the lower end to $54,444 for the top 5%.  Why such a huge difference?  There are a ton of options available.  A good deck builder will discuss all this with you and come up with the perfect deck for you. 

If you choose composite decking, the investment skyrockets.  In some cases the price can be as much as three times the cost of wood. or more.  Of course all composites are not created equal.  In the past composites have failed and the company has gone out of business.  So, selecting a composite that will look good for years to come, and choosing a company with a proven track record can be a challenge.

A wise man once said, “It is better to pay too much than too little”.  What did he mean by that?  By paying too little you can lose everything, as in the case of bad decking with the manufacturer going out of business.  If you paid too much you lose the small difference between what you paid and what you could have gotten another competent builder to put up your project.

A well built deck designed for your lifestyle will be an enjoyment for many years.  Get the advice you need to make a wise selection.

Related:

Should I Chose Composite or Wood Decking?

What is the best time of year to install my project?

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Free Deck Inspection

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Keywords: decks  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on March 1st, 2013    0 comments
Should I Chose Composite or Wood Decking?

You may remember the old commercial for oil filters, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

That’s part of the reason some folks decide to go with composite decking.  The downside of composite is the very significant initial cost. 

The upside is that it never needs sealing.    Sealing or staining needs to be done frequently on wooden decks.  The cost of hiring a professional to clean and seal a deck is substantial.  If you opt to do it yourself you will lose one or more precious summer weekends and you are still investing significantly to obtain a good product to put on your deck.  

Having said all that, a wooden deck is still a very popular and a very good option.  Properly maintained, wooden decks last 20 or more years.  The company that does the pressure treating usually provides a 20 year, or longer warranty against the wood rotting or becoming insect infested.  When maintained properly, wooden decks will look beautiful for years. 

Should you choose a composite deck or wooden deck?  You make the call.

Related:

What is the best time of year to install my project?

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Free Deck Inspection

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Keywords: decks 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 21st, 2013    0 comments
What is the best time of year to install my project?

 

Do you wish you would have installed it last spring? The home improvement industry has done a horrible job of letting people know when projects can be installed. Many of our customers have enjoyed having their projects installed in the winter.

Some projects, such as a wooden deck, actually benefit from winter installation. How? In the winter the wood will dry out more slowly. The experts tell us this will result in less splitting and cracking of the wood. When you have your deck built in the winter you have the added benefit of enjoying it on that first warm spring day.

Most home improvement companies work 'year round. It's true there are days in the winter that we can't work outside, but there are more days that we can.

The answer to our question is "When would you like it installed?" We can install it anytime you're ready!

 

Related:

Should I Chose Composite or Wood Decking?

What is the best time of year to install my project?

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Free Deck Inspection

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Keywords: patio rooms  decks 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 14th, 2013    0 comments
Material Things I Appreciate

A fun look at stuff we don't always think about.

These are in no particular order.                                             

                  A composite deck

1   My recliner- I enjoy relaxing with my feet up.

 

2   My electric blanket-Crawling into a warm bed on a cold night is a luxury I would hate to live without.

 

3   My EdenPURE Heaters-I don’t like to be cold.  We use three of these heaters in our home.  The furnace usually doesn’t kick on until the temperature drops to the teens.

 

4   Today’s transportation system.-I can remember when President Eisenhower first proposed the interstate highway system (Yes I’m that old).  It certainly makes it easier to get from point A to point B.  Automobiles have come a long way too.  I enjoy both the comfort and convenience of my Caravan and pickup.

I am glad to be able to use air travel.  I’m sure that it has improved.  What a hassle it is to go through the airport!

 

5   Today’s technology-I enjoy watching hi-def widescreen TV.  I remember my dad carrying our very first TV up to the house.  We kids had no idea he was getting one.  What a change!

Of course I remember getting our 1st computer.  I was assured if we got the 20 megabyte model that we would never need anything more!

 

6    Indoor plumbing-I know this was invented millenniums ago but I would not like to be without it.  As a kid we always had it, but I’ve been in many homes that didn’t.

 

 7   My deck-What a great place to relax.

 

  8   An attached garage-When I was a kid our garage was down the hill about 300 feet and across the road and from our house.  You can imagine the “fun” it was to carry groceries up to the house through the snow drifts.

That’s my list.  I hope you had fun reading it.  What’s on your list?  I would love to here from you.  Let me know at arch@zoominternet.net

Related: When do you most enjoy your deck?

 

Keywords: edenpure heater  product  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 4th, 2013    0 comments
What Can You Expect When an Arch Home Improvements Representative Visits Your Home?

When we visit your home our goal is to determine if we can do what you want done. 

 

In order to do that, we will ask you a number of questions to analyze your needs. We are there to answer any questions you have. 

 

When we started our business back in 1991 we decided to specialize in a few things.  We don’t do everything. If we can do what you need done, you will have the option of moving forward.  If it’s something we don’t do, we will let you know.  Sometimes we are able to refer you to someone who can do the job.

 

If you decide to move ahead, we will give you an exact no hassle price.


 

Here’s what we leave out.

 

  • Long drawn out sales meetings
  • High Pressure
  • Crazy buy it now discounts
  • Foreign technical talk
  • Confusing Pricing Games

If you would benefit from a visit, please let us know.


Related:

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

How to Choose a Home Improvement Company

 

Posted by Jim Brown on November 28th, 2012    0 comments
How to Choose a Home Improvement Company

I know this sounds like the stupidest statement ever, “Choose one that will improve your home.”  Why do I say that?  It is because home improvement companies are notorious for having bad reputations according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Start your search by checking out their rating on the BBB.  The BBB rates companies from A+ to F.  Companies that are proud of their rating often display it on their home page. 

Next, check to see if there are any customer reviews.   Read these over carefully to gain insights on how things worked out for others.  Companies should have several reviews for you to consider.  Some companies are beginning to put video reviews on their website.  You may find them helpful.

Depending on the project you are considering, photos of past projects may be helpful.  This shows you that the company has done other projects.  One caution, be sure that the photos you are looking at are actually pictures of that company’s work.  I was shocked to find a photo that another company was using to promote their work, was actually our project.  Not only was it our project, but it was our photo!

Another consideration is the showroom.  Do they even have one?  The fact that a company has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a showroom testifies to the fact that the company is stable.  That means that if you need a service call, you won’t get the dreaded, “the number you have dialed is no longer in service.”

A good showroom would include some displays that you may find helpful in making your selection.

Not to be overlooked is the way you feel about the person that is representing the company.  All of us have been fooled from time to time, but in general, our “gut instinct” is usually accurate.

Has this person carefully explained what your completed project will look like?  Do you have a clear vision in your mind of what your completed project will look like?  If you feel uncomfortable don’t proceed.

When you invest thousands of dollars in a project, take the time to consider these points. Your experience should be an enjoyable one.  The results of the project should meet your expectations.  Your home should actually be improved!

Related:

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

What Can You Expect When an Arch Home Improvements Representative Visits Your Home?


Keywords: product  patio rooms  decks 
Posted by Jim Brown on September 4th, 2012    0 comments
When Do You Most Enjoy Your Deck?

Many people enjoy having their first morning cup of coffee on their deck.  Some relish sitting or lying in the sun.  Others love relaxing after a hard days’ work on their deck. 

 

I enjoy meditating on the deck late at night.  After the cares of the day are done and the phone has stopped ringing, this time is incredibly peaceful.  As one observes the star filled sky, a certain feeling of calmness sets in.  Even the sound of an occasional jet streaking across the night sky enhances the serenity of evening.  Folks on the plane are hurrying to some important commitment while you are enjoying your deck.  And now the crickets chime in to serenade you.

 

The peacefulness of sitting on the deck melts away the last traces of insomnia.  It’s off to dreamland.

 

When do you enjoy your deck the most?  I’d love to hear from you!

Related:

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Free Deck Inspection

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME


 

 

 

 

Keywords: decks  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on August 16th, 2012
Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

 

I’ve seen some very bad looking new decks recently.  It got me to thinking, “Why would someone want a deck like that on their beautiful home?”

 

One answer might be that the homeowner just didn’t know any better.  I don’t know any other reason for going with a “cheaper” contractor on a nice home.

 

One example of a bad looking deck was on a home that we may have looked at.  This makes me especially sad.  We obviously didn’t do a good enough job of explaining the differences.

 

Perhaps another reason is more people have jumped into the deck building business with a slower economy.  One homeowner told me that this was the guys first deck job.  It sure looked like it.

 

What is the solution? 

 

You deserve to know what you’re getting.  How can this be accomplished?  Here are three ways.  (1) Homeowners can visit a showroom with a display deck built in it.  (2) A 3-D rendering of their deck has helped many folks visualize their deck ahead of time. (3) Looking at many deck photos of other projects can be of great help.

 

We hope your deck project turns out perfect!

 

If we can help, let us know.

 

 

 Related:

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Free Deck Inspection

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Keywords: decks  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on April 5th, 2012    0 comments
What are the benefits of retractable awnings?

 

Have the sun when you want it or the shade when you need it.  That’s an outstanding advantage of a retractable awning.  In only seconds you can turn your hot patio or deck into a cool shaded retreat.  This “outdoor room” can be 20 degrees cooler than before you pushed the button.  Awnings extend and retract at the push of a button if you choose a motorized model.

Awnings will protect you from the sun, light showers and harmful UV rays.  They protect homes from heat and discoloration of carpet and furniture.

Compared to many home improvements, a retractable awning is very affordable.  There is a variety of styles and sizes available, so homeowners can choose from many price points. 

Options abound!  One of the most popular options is a hood which both protects the awning and gives a ”finished look” to the home.  Another option many homeowners choose is a wireless wind sensor.  The wind sensor automatically retracts the awning when the wind velocity exceeds a preset speed.  The obvious advantage of this feature is protection from wind damage. 

A very popular option is a built-in panel that drops down from the front of the awning.  This see-thru panel blocks the sun when it is low in the sky plus gives protection from the wind.  The many color choices allow homeowners to choose one that perfectly blends with their home.

Awnings have been popular in Europe for years.  Now more and more homeowners in the USA are availing themselves of the opportunity to enjoy their own retractable awning.

Related:

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Posted by Jim Brown on January 30th, 2012    0 comments
What is a Sunroom?

 

Sunrooms are known by many names.  Some folks call them patio rooms, patio enclosures, sunscape sunrooms, sun rooms or Florida rooms.

 

No matter what you call them, sunrooms can be an escape from the ordinary.  Many people make their daily escape to their own sunroom and let the stress of the day melt away. 

 

A lot of  people use them to enjoy their morning coffee.   For some it’s their TV room, for others a place to relax in their hot tub.  You may prefer to just look at the great outdoors while you enjoy being warm and cozy in your own sunroom, no matter what the season. 

 

Your own sun room will keep you bug-free in the summer time as you take your daily vacation in your own home.

 

Sun rooms have many options.  Some folks will choose one of the 3-season sun rooms.  A 3-season sun room will allow you to enjoy it in most months.

 

4-season sun rooms are also available.   4-season sun rooms can be enjoyed year ‘round.

 

You can choose from many other options.

 

We have photographed a few of these sun rooms for your viewing enjoyment.

 

If you have any questions about these projects, call 800-800-9343 or click here.

 

We are happy to come by your home and take a look at your site.

 

Related

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

 

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

 

Posted by Jim Brown on December 2nd, 2011    0 comments
How Much Should Windows Cost?

     

Windows should enhance the overall appearance of a home.

 

The other day a banker friend called me and asked for a “safe” price to figure for replacement windows.  He was working with his clients, and they were trying to budget some home improvements.

 

I know he was shocked by the price.  Why?  Because the under $200 guys have many people believing that you can actually get a window for under $200.  To be fair you can get a window for this price.  It’s just not a window most of us would want, and very few are sold at that price.

 

This ridiculous price does get their phone to ring and that’s their goal.

 

Why wouldn’t you want this window in your home?

 

It comes nowhere near meeting the EngeryStar requirements set by the government for energy efficiency.   They can “doctor it up” to meet these requirements, but you pay much more and you still have a cheap window. 

 

These low-end windows tend to be square and boxy.  Little or no consideration is given to the overall appearance of your home.

 

If you choose to deal with these guys you could find yourself paying for “extras” like hauling your old windows away.  Other “extras” may include proper insulation, exterior aluminum wrap and extra trim work. 

 

If you live in a pre-1978 home the EPA requires lead testing.  If lead is present lead remediation is required. 

 

All this adds to the cost of your window installation.  You should expect a competent window company to give you one total price for your project.

 

Well then, what should you pay for a quality window job?

 

Remodeling Magazine has created a cost vs. value breakdown for many home improvement projects including windows.  These figures come from real estate appraisers and others, not home improvement contractors.

 

Our company, Arch Home Improvements, deals directly with the manufacture which enables us to routinely beat these prices.  But as you study these prices you can see that they are nowhere in the neighborhood of $189.

 

If you have any questions please give us a call at 1-800-800-9343

 

Related: 

 

8 Reasons Why We Don't Sell Windows For Under $200

 

What to Expect From the Under $200 Per Window Guys

 

Reduce Condensation on your Windows

 

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

Posted by Jim Brown on March 19th, 2011    0 comments
Treasure Chest Giveaway a Huge Hit at Home Shows


  

An Arch Home Improvements "Pirate" gave away keys to open the Treasure Chest

During a recent Home Show, Arch Home Improvements gave away keys to attendees.  These keys were used to attempt to open the Treasure Chest.

 

We had two Grand Prize winners during the show.

 

They were Becky Krietemeyer of Shelby, Ohio and Gary Johnson Sr. of Ashland, Ohio.

 

We had a lot of fun with the “Treasure Chest”.  Home show attendees seemed to enjoy taking a chance at getting it open.

 

We have decided to continue to use the Treasure Chest for the rest of the year at the home shows and fairs.  If you attend any of these events, just mention that you saw this blog and we will give you an extra key to try to open the Treasure Chest!

 

Future events will be in Ashland, Mansfield and Wooster, Ohio.

 

Tell your friends so they too can win an extra chance to open the Treasure Chest.

 

Arch Home Improvements installs decks, patio rooms (sunrooms), Sunsetter Awnings, windows, doors, walk-in tubs and finishes basements.  Arch Home Improvements is your local EdenPURE heater dealer.

Related:

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

Posted by Jim Brown on March 2nd, 2011    0 comments
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Deck Building Mistakes Could Cost Lives  

 

 THIS DECK COULD COLLASPSE AND CAUSE
SERIOUS OR FATAL INJURY.    HOW?
 

1.  Improper Support

All that’s holding this deck to the posts are three nails.  If they give way due to rust or stress, injury could occur.

2.  Faulty Attachment

This deck does not have any joist hangers.  If the joist is only attached with nails, the connection could fail, resulting in deck collapse.

3.  Incorrect Post Spacing

These posts are spaced much too far apart to safely support this structure.

Why do projects like this get built?

In most cases it’s not because the builder tried to do a bad job. Normally it’s simply because they don’t have the knowledge or skill to do a good job.  We’ve recently heard of builders that have been using the wrong fasteners with the new type of pressure treated wood.  They simply didn’t know any better. 

Arch Home Improvements specializes in building custom quality decks.

Our installers are knowledgeable professionals with years of experience. Our consultants will show you many photos of our past projects. This will ensure that you make the perfect choice, uniquely designed for your home. We will explain how your deck is built and why we build it the way we do.  See "How We Create the Perfect Deck for You".   We think you’ll be impressed!

 Ask for your FREE guide, “Seven Little Known Secrets for Successfully Remodeling Your Home".

 Related:

Free Deck Inspection

How we create the perfect deck for you

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

 

 

 

Posted by Jim Brown on January 28th, 2011    0 comments
Deck Safety

Free Deck Inspection

 

Don’t be caught dead on an unsafe deck!  We don’t want to be alarmists but deck failures have been on the increase according to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA).  The NADRA states “between 2000 and 2008 there were at least 30 deaths reported as a direct result of deck collapse…”.

 

It is important to take a good look at your deck to make sure it is safe.  If maintenance, repair or replacement is needed it canbe addressed, and you can enjoy the great outdoors safely.

 

If you are concerned about your deck, and live in our area, we will inspect your deck free of charge.  If anything needs to be done to ensure your safety we will make the necessary recommendations.  You can then decide what, if anything, you would like to do.

 

Just click http://www.archhomeimprovements.com/surveys/contact or call 800-800-9343.

 

Related:

How we create the perfect deck for you

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

 

Posted by Jim Brown on May 19th, 2010    0 comments
How we create the perfect deck for you

Your deck is your outdoor room.  You can use it to barbeque, dine, lounge, soak up some sun, entertain or all of these.  You decide!

There are many decking options.  We’ll walk you through the process of choosing the perfect decking for your needs and enjoyment.  Railing options also abound.  Some customers are enjoying the unique rail systems we have put together for them.  It’s your choice!

What about amenities?  You choose which ones, if any, you want.  We’ll help you fully explore amenities such as benches, planter boxes, pergolas (trellis), privacy screens, outdoor lighting, skirting choices, or any other unique feature that will enhance your deck project.  The goal is to make you long to get away to your own backyard.

 

We begin by exploring how you intend to use your deck.  Then, depending on your personal taste, needs, and style, we design the perfect deck for you.  Your deck will be comfortable, beautiful and functional.

With our 3-D computer design, you get an excellent idea of what your deck will look like.

See an example below.

Please allow us to suggest some ideas we have gleaned from years of experience.  Working together we can design your perfect deck!

Get started by clicking http://www.archhomeimprovements.com/surveys/request-a-free-consultation or call us at 800-800-9343

 Related:

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

Free Deck Inspection

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

 

 

Posted by Jim Brown on May 18th, 2010    0 comments
TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

“Ten Crucial Questions to Ask a Remodeler Before He Touches Your Home” is for general informational purposes only.  All rights are reserved by Arch Home Improvements.  Any duplicating is strictly prohibited without the written consent of  Arch Home Improvements.  


1. DO THEY HAVE A SHOWROOM?

Even though you may never even visit their showroom, the fact that a company has invested tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in a showroom shows stability.

http://www.archhomeimprovements.com/photos/welcome-to-the-largest-showroom-in-the-area/page-1

2. DO THEY HAVE UNSOLICITED TESTEMONIALS FROM REAL CUSTOMERS that describe their results with words such as great, beautiful, excellent, wonderful experience, conscientious, special interest, fantastic, fulfilled my dream, very happy and superb. Legitimate companies create happy customers.

http://www.archhomeimprovements.com/testimonials

 3. HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN IN BUSINESS?

80% of home improvements companies are out of business in five years.

4. ARE THEY A MEMBER OF THE BBB?

http://www.archhomeimprovements.com/pages/affliations-and-certificates

The BBB has a listing of most companies. Check to see if they are a member and how many complaints they've had.

 5. ARE THEY A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE?

In general, members of Chambers of Commerce are trustworthy.

http://www.archhomeimprovements.com/pages/affliations-and-certificates

 6. HOW EXPERIENCED ARE THE INSTALLERS?

No matter how great a product is, if it is not installed properly it can't perform properly.

 7. DO THEY INSTALL EVERYTHING?

A specialist that does a few things well will be more of an expert than someone who tries to be all things to all people.

 8. WILL THEY GIVE YOU AN EXACT PRICE OR ONLY AN ESTIMATE?

In almost every case a competent contractor can give you an exact price.

 9. WILL YOU GET A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OUTLINING WHAT WORK WILL BE DONE?

If it's not in writing you have no protection.

10. WILL THEY CAREFULLY EXPLAIN THE QUALITY OF MATERIAL TO BE USED AND WHY ONE PRODUCT IS RECOMMENDED OVER ANOTHER?

Depending on the type of job being done, the quality of the material could make a huge difference in performance, longevity, maintenance, and ascetics.

To contact us for more information CLICK HERE or call 800-800-9343

 

Related:

What Can You Expect When an Arch Home Improvements Representative Visits Your Home?


How to Choose a Home Improvement Company


Keywords: product  awnings  patio rooms  decks  windows 
Posted by Jim Brown on March 4th, 2010    0 comments
Reduce Condensation on your Windows

Why do I get Condensation on my Windows?

 Why is it on the outside?

Outside condensation happens when damp air comes into contact with surfaces that are cool, such as glass. This happens when the dew point in the air is higher than the temperature of the glass. It happens most often in the spring and fall when a warm day is followed by a cooler night.

How does Low-E glass help reduce outside condensation?

Low-E glass reduces the amount of heat that escapes from the interior of your home to the outside glass surface. You can save up to 50% heat loss by using an efficient Low-E coated glass. Since the window is warmer on the outside condensation occurs. This actually shows that the low-E is working properly.

Why is it on the Inside

If there is high humidity in your home, it will form on the coolest surface. That is usually your windows. The warmer the air and the higher the humidity the more the moisture will condense on your windows.

Why does condensation form on the bottom of the sash?

As warm air cools it falls and drops to the bottom of the sash. It then condenses.

How can I reduce the condensation on my windows?

1. Use the exhaust fan in your kitchen, laundry room and bathroom

2. Vent your clothes dryer to the outside

3. Make sure all humidifiers are turned off

4. Use a de-humidifier

  To contact us, or  for more information CLICK HERE or call 800-800-9343

Related:

How Much Should Windows Cost?

What to Expect From the Under $200 Per Window Guys

8 Reasons Why We Don't Sell Windows For Under $200

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

Keywords: condensation  window  windows 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 5th, 2010    0 comments
We are Sunsetter Awning Dealers


Discover America's # 1 Best-Selling Retractable Awnings...



SunSetter Awnings are the #1 best-selling retractable awnings in America. Whether you want push button motorized awnings, manually operated awnings, or a SunSetter Oasis Freestanding Awning, our retractable deck awnings and patio awnings offer you unsurpassed shade, protection and quality, all at exceptionally affordable, discounted awning prices. So much better than canvas awnings! You'll love our strong, waterproof awning fabrics and our luxurious woven acrylic fabric; both with beautiful decorator awnings color choices. You can even make your deck or patio insect-free with a SunSetter Screen Room. We have Window Awnings, EasyShades, and a great selection of awning, deck, and patio accessories too.  Click today for your FREE SunSetter Awning Consultation.

No other awning gives you all the features, benefits and value of a SunSetter home awning. A SunSetter Awning lets you outsmart the weather, save energy, and cut energy costs. It transforms your deck or patio into a beautiful semi-permanent "outdoor room", a shady retreat where you'll love to spend time. It keeps your family and patio furniture cool and protected from hot sun, passing showers, and harmful UV rays far better than a tippy umbrella or other shade device. It can be as much as 20 degrees cooler under your awning. Yet every SunSetter awning retracts back against your house easily when you want to enjoy the sun. Our electric powered motorized awnings open and close smoothly, quietly, and effortlessly in seconds at the touch of a button on our Remote Control. SunSetter Retractable awnings can be installed over any kind of siding, and even under low eaves and overhangs. Your awning can stay on your home all year long. No need to take it down in winter, just retract it. And if your entertaining area is further away from the house or near your pool, the SunSetter Freestanding Oasis is your perfect solution.

So don't settle for an ordinary awning, or a cheap knock-off. You don't have to compromise on beauty, features, protection, or simple reliable operation. Compare our awnings with any others for durability, ease of use, convenience, and cost. You just can't find a better made, higher quality awning, at a better value anywhere, especially with our great discount prices.

We will be happy to install your awning if you wish.

For more information visit http://www.sunsetteronline.com.

 To contact us for more information CLICK HERE or call 800-800-9343

Related:

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

 

Keywords: awnings  shade  sunsetter  retractable  awning 
Posted by Jim Brown on December 20th, 2009    0 comments
What About Price?

Get the Best Price

David Weiss, president of the Cleveland Better Business Bureau, tells us “For the uninitiated, choosing a remodeler can be a daunting task.”  We agree. One reason the choice is so daunting is the different prices you may receive on the “same” project.  We all want to get the best deal, so how can we justify paying the right price?

We’ve heard it all our lives, “You get what you pay for.”  As much as we might wish it otherwise, this statement is generally true.  More than 100 years ago English writer John Ruskin stated, “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.  When you pay too much, you lose a little-that is all.  When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.  The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot-it can’t be done!

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run.  And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”

Weiss, mentioned at the beginning of this blog, further indicates that a remarkably lower price means that the company’s performance will likely be lower as well.

Why is this the case? 

The two main factors in determining the price of home improvements are material and labor.

A low price could be an indication that the materials are cheap or the labor is cheap or both.  Cheap materials are an indicator of inferior quality.  Cheap labor probably means that the person is not a skilled professional.  The results of this can range from unsatisfactory to disastrous. 

Another reason for a low price is that a contractor may never have done a job like yours   and doesn’t fully understand what the job entails.

A low price could also mean that the contractor does not have appropriate insurance or worker compensation.  This omission can expose an unwary homeowner to significant legal risk.  Further, a low price can mean that the contractor has not built service requirements into his pricing.   We get calls from homeowners that can’t get their remodeler to come out to look at their problem.  Sadly, this shows the wisdom of John Ruskin’s advice.

Even worse, there are unscrupulous contractors that intentionally underestimate a price and draft a contract that is “fuzzy”, then up charge at every opportunity.  Weiss said these situations often end up on the desks at the Better Business Bureau.

A good remodeling job is one that can be enjoyed for decades.

So, how can you protect yourself?

Please take advantage of “Seven Little Known Secrets for Successfully and Beautifully Remodeling Your Home!”  Get your FREE download on this website.

To contact us for more information CLICK HERE or call 800-800-9343

Related:

How Much Should Windows Cost?

What to Expect From the Under $200 Per Window Guys

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

8 Reasons Why We Don't Sell Windows For Under $200

Posted by Anonymous on September 1st, 2009    0 comments
We are now distributors for SoftWall Finishing Systems

 

 

Finish your basement using SoftWalls exclusive system

Use SoftWall Finishing Systems for Basement Finishing, Home Theaters and Office and Work Areas

 

Softwalls exclusive and versatile wall system offers a warm, inviting Finishing System not only for basements but for home theaters, commercial space and quiet rooms above grade. 

When using this unique system, the advantages over drywall are many and substantial.  SoftWall eliminates the threat of mold.  It increases the insulation value of any wall and provides 85% acoustic efficiency, which is ideal for home offices, home theaters and commercial use.

SoftWall systems were designed to install in a fraction of the time it takes to finish space with drywall.  The labor saving aspect allows SoftWall applications to compete with drywall on an "installed" cost basis.

SoftWall has been used in commercial applications with great success. The removability of the panels has a great impact on both residential and commercial applications.  Residentially, it means access to the grade walls and plumbing in the event repairs are needed.  In commercial use it makes networking and new wire runs simple and fast.  Quick installation helps make the SoftWall system a terrific value with a quiet, warm and rich look.

For a no-obligation consultation for your project, click here.

Related:

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

Posted by Jim Brown on March 5th, 2009    0 comments
8 Reasons Why We Don't Sell Windows For Under $200

COMPANIES ARE COMPETING TO SELL THE CHEAPEST WINDOW.  WE CHOOSE NOT TO  COMPETE.  WHY?

1.    Our logo states:   "Because Quality STILL Matters".

2.    IF a service call is needed there is no extra charge during the warranty period.

3.     Windows under $200 require more service calls than we have time for.

4.    Our largest source of business is repeat customers and referrals from satisfied customers.

5.    We don't use "bait and switch" tactics.

6.    "Extras" are included in our price.

7.    Our windows meet and exceed "Energy Star" requirements.

8.    If I meet you in a dark alley , I don't want to be afraid

Arch Home Improvements will save you money on utility bills, plus you'll have quality windows installed properly.

Related:

How Much Should Windows Cost?

What to Expect From the Under $200 Per Window Guys

 Reduce Condensation on your Windows

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

Posted by Jim Brown on January 20th, 2009    0 comments
What to Expect From the Under $200 Per Window Guys

 

You've seen the ads, "Double Hung Windows for Under $200". 

We know, almost instinctively, that something must be missing, but we've heard it so often that we could begin to believe it really is a bargain.  It isn't.  What we've heard all our lives, "You get what you pay for," is true for windows.

But, what kind of quality and service can you expect?  Is this the final price of a window you would actually want in your home?

Typically the under $200 windows don't come close to being energy star compliant.  Energy star is a rating set up by the federal government to rate various products on energy use or savings.  Sometimes these windows can be "doctored up" to meet the requirements.  This, of course, comes with a price tag and you still have a low-end window.

One complaint mentioned in "Replacement Contractor", a magazine for home improvement professionals, is that "the low-price guys use bait-and-switch advertising to get a foot in the door, then upsell gullible homeowners."

Another complaint "Replacement Contractor" quoted is "'bottom feeder' subcontractors who will install the product in half or a third of the normal time because they're being paid half or a third of market rate. And another: Low-price companies don't stand behind their product because, should there be a problem, they don't make enough profit to be able to afford to service it once it's installed."

And finally "Replacement Contractor" quotes this, "How could anyone sell a window, at retail, and install it, for less than what manufacturers typically charge dealers or distributors on a per-unit basis?"

"Replacement Contractor" discusses one company's tag line which says "Simply the best for less."  It seems the "The Better Business Bureau" doesn't agree.  The magazine says, "the two organizations have engaged in an ongoing dispute, with the national ...organization finally electing to withdraw from the BBB."

No one wants to pay too much, but English writer John Ruskin said the following:

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.  When you pay too much, you lose a little-that is all.  When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.  The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot-it can't be done!

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run.  And if you do that, you will  have enough to pay for something better."  

So then, how much should you pay for good quality windows that are properly installed?

Another magazine "Remodeling" has some great guidelines, not only for window projects, but for many projects.  Simply go to www.costvsvalue.com and find out what real estate appraisers and other true professionals know windows and other projects should cost.

In many cases we are able to beat these prices.  One reason is that we buy directly from the manufacturer. 

If you have any questions about windows or any other project, I would be delighted to discuss them with you.

Related:

How Much Should Windows Cost?

8 Reasons Why We Don't Sell Windows For Under $200

Reduce Condensation on your Windows

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

 

Keywords: double hung windows  window    windows 
Posted by Jim Brown on January 19th, 2009    0 comments
Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

For more and more people the simple answer to that question is both.  In our climate you can enjoy a patio room for many more days a year than a deck.  However for grilling, sunning, or just enjoying the fresh air nothing can beat a deck.

We recently completed a patio room project that included a small deck.

The patio room above will add many hours of "outdoor living" when the elements are harsh.  Even in relatively mild weather many folks enjoy being "bug-free" in their "outdoor living room."

What would you enjoy doing in your patio room?  Some people like it for watching T.V., enjoying their morning coffee, or just relaxing.  A patio room is also a great place for young ones.  As you can see from the picture gallery, patio rooms can range from basic to stunning.

I have been asked, "What is the difference between a patio room, a sun room and a Florida room?"   There is none.  You can call your room whatever you want.

 

This maintaince free composite deck will be enjoyed for years to come.

The above deck blends in with the new patio room.  The bench not only adds seating area, but it also creates a great perimeter border.  This composite deck comes with a twenty-five year warranty on the material.  It will be enjoyed for many years.

For some folks the answer to the question in our title is both.  We are always delighted to visit your home and discuss the solutions that best fit your situation.

Posted by Jim Brown on August 25th, 2008    0 comments
Composite Decks

As composite decks have increased in popularity the number of manufacturers has skyrocketed.  I recently received a trade publication listing names of manufacturers.  The list was 85 names long.   That list just included the companies that paid to have their names included.

How then can one decide which company to use?  We are familiar with most of the more common ones and will help you make an informed choice.  Just give us a call.

Questions you may have about composite decking could include:

1.  What is the fade ratio?Promo Slide

2.  What colors are available?

3.  Can I use hidden fasteners?

4.  Does the railing color match the deck color?

5.  What is the guarantee?

6.  How long has the company been making composites?

7.  Where is the company located?  Is it a domestic or foreign company?

8.  Is the material recycled plastic or virgin material?  Does that matter?

Composite decks are a great investment but choosing the right one is key.

To contact us, or for more information CLICK HERE or call 800-800-9343

Related:

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS DECK?

TEN CRUCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK A REMODELER BEFORE HE TOUCHES YOUR HOME

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

How we create the perfect deck for you

 

 

Keywords: decks  railings  composite decks 
Posted by Jim Brown on August 22nd, 2008    0 comments
Arch Home Improvements: Because Quality Still Matters
Arch Home Improvements: Because Quality Still Matters
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