Monday, May 20, 2013

Kaile's Korner "Doors, Doors, Doors"

Every year, countless homeowners have to decide whether they want to install or replace an exterior sliding door. While most doors manufactured today are of better quality than past generations, there are still important facts to consider when choosing the right door style for your particular home. The central issue to consider is whether you want something that swings or something that slides. Obstruction of view is also another important factor.

Sliding glass doors are popular, but I believe they come with more maintenance issues than, say, a swinging atrium or French door. The two big pluses with a sliding glass door are that it allows for a largely unobstructed view, and it does not require the space of a swinging door. The issues with sliding doors are that regardless of your cleaning efforts, the runners always attract water and dirt. This causes an unsightly area; and the moisture and dirt cause a constant rub on the moving part of the unit- thus prematurely wearing the unit down. Yes, the runners can be cleaned and the rollers adjusted. Just bear in mind that you need to perform more routine maintenance on this type of door unit.

If you have the room, and you do not mind using it for a swinging door, then I believe this type of unit is worth serious consideration. Both swinging atrium and French doors create a less sterile look than do glass sliders. However, with a swinging French door, because of its design, you will have a more obstructed view than that of a sliding unit. Swinging doors also require less routine maintenance. Both sliding and swinging door units allow for screens to be used with them.

As for costs, French will most likely have a higher price point. You can get comparable price points with atrium and sliding doors.

As for installation, all can be a do-it-yourself kind of project.  Square, level and secure are three keys to installation success.  If you attempt this type of installation, you should plan to have a helper for the actual installation and squaring of the door unit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guaging your level of business confidence

Raising a child is a lot like starting a business: both require an unwavering love, commitment (physical, mental and emotional), consistency, personal sacrifice and a financial investment. Children who are born to parents who have not thought out a financial plan, made a strong commitment or agreed on a course of action to develop the child, face the same chance of failure as does a start-up business. On the other hand, well thought out and executed parenting and business plans can become an endless supply of personal satisfaction.

I have always believed that making the decision to start a business should be made with the same level of consideration and seriousness as deciding to bring a child into the world. If you spontaneously jump into a new business or become a parent, chances are your business or child will face obstacles to growth that could have otherwise been avoided.

A major mistake in starting a business is when people undervalue their products or service. Most of the time, undervaluing happens because of a lack of confidence. You obviously have to determine a price point that is competitive. At the same time, do not be afraid to charge a fair price for your product or service. The effects of undervaluing your products or service take a long, long time to overcome, and often times come with a public relations nightmare. If you do not offer quality products or top-notch service, then you should never start a business. The fact you have started a business means you offer a quality product or a top- notched service. Therefore, have the confidence to charge accordingly.

This leads me to the next point I want to leave with you. How do you gauge your business confidence level? Here is a basic litmus test to see if you are operating with a lack of confidence. If your decisions seem counter-intuitive, then chances are you lack confidence. Whether you are raising a child or building a business, you are making a huge investment. Establish best practices and go about your business with confidence.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kaile's Korner "Under cover"

Your roof has you covered. With some of today’s installation efforts as well as the ever increasing affects of the environment, one can expect the roofing industry to boom for many years to come.
For as solid and simple as roof systems appear, they are actually more delicate and complicated than one would think. Here are some roof maintenance/observation tips everyone should adhere to.

•Ventilation - if a roofing system is not properly ventilated, not only can it prematurely break down, but it can cause potential health risks as well as expensive collateral damage. Simply stated - make sure that air has an unobstructed path to flow from your soffet (lower part of roof) to your ridge or gable vents. Inserting a product called proper vent works well as an air channel when you have a ridge vent. Often times, a power fan designed for attic use, works well with a gable vent.

•Keep your fascia/freeze boards clean, painted/stained and free from rot. Typically, once a gutter has been installed over your fascia boards, little to no maintenance occurs to the boards. This is a shame, as it will lead to premature decaying of your fascia boards and often times, said rot will spread into your roof’s framing system. I suggest cleaning your fascia board twice a year, while you are cleaning your gutters. While cleaning, check for faded paint, bare wood etc. If your home does not have a gutter system, check your fascia boards once a year.

•Roof shingles - check for loose, missing or curling shingles on a regular basis. If you have an installation problem, an entire roof can go bad quickly. However, roofing system’s typically go bad over a long period of time. Keeping a constant watch and maintaining as needed, will greatly extend the life of your roof. I also recommend taking a picture of each section of roof every fall if you hire people to shovel or rake snow off of it. If there is a problem with missing shingles, having a before picture may serve you well.

•Always approach roof inspections and work in an extremely safe manner!