Do you LOVE designing your dream home?

New-Homes

Are you a Pinterest junkie? Spending hours planning and designing what you want in your future home? Do you wish your current house didn’t look so outdated? You can change what you have now so you’ll enjoy it again and increase the value of your home too!

We have an awesome tool for you to use to freshen up your house! You could update with new roofing or siding and really transform your home to look like the current new construction houses! It’ll help with loving your house again, plus adding greatly to your resale value when you’re ready to move on to your next home.

Quiz: Which home improvement increases your home’s value by 7% while increasing the overall curb appeal and value?

  1. New Kitchen

  2. New Roof

  3. New Bathroom

The answer is 2. a New Roof! According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, you can increase the value of your home by a median of 7% with a new GAF Designer roof!!!

That tool I was mentioning earlier is on GAF’s website. It’s called the Virtual Home Remodeler  and you can choose a home that looks like yours or upload a photo of your actual house, then you change the design and colors of the roof and the siding/trim colors/types. If you get addicted to this tool don’t blame me, just call us to get an estimate for turning your design dreams into your reality!

1-800-519-9894 or online at www.ROCKandTAIT.com

 

Do you have a flat roof on your home?

Have you heard of TPO roofing? Or maybe you’ve seen it on buildings with out really knowing what it was? Primarily it’s seen on large commercial buildings, but did you know it can be used on residential homes too? It can and should! We have gone through training with the TPO manufacturing company to know exactly how to install this great product so we can get it done right the 1st time and offer the best warranty around for it! 
TPO stands for “Thermoplastic Polyolefin” single-ply roofing. This roofing material can be fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted. TPO seam strengths are reported to be three to four times higher than EPDM roofing systems. This is a popular choice for “Green” building as there are no plasticizes added and TPO does not degrade under UV radiation. It is available normally in White, Tan or Gray, but if it’s being used on a very large building many other colors are available including Red, Blue, Green, Brown,  Yellow or even custom colors could be made. Using white roof material helps reduce the “heat island effect” and solar heat gain in the building.
Learn more about the difference in what brands of TPO have been tested and been proven to be the BEST in this 2 minute video! *Hint* Hint* GAF’s TPO is superior!
A flat roof is a roof which is almost level in contrast to the many types of sloped roofs. The slope of a roof is properly known as its pitch and flat roofs have up to approximately 10°. Flat roofs allow the roof space to be used as a living space; in which the homeowner below uses the roof of the garage for a nice rooftop patio area. What a great way to incorporate more living space to your home! This homeowner also had us replace the old worn out fascia board and soffits as well, including removing and reinstalling the light fixture seen below. 
What a transformation that made to their home’s rooftop patio! This will last for many years to come and provide a cooler area to relax during our hot summer months! 
TPO before and aftersTPO before and afters 2
This next home has 2 flat roof areas.  Water was pooling at the edge of the roof in bottom left photo.

This next home has 2 flat roof areas. Water was pooling at the edge of the roof in bottom left photo.

 

That turned into rotting underneath.

That turned into rotting underneath.

Don’t let that water damage happen to your home! Call the experts at Rock and Tait Exteriors to replace your worn out rubber roofing with a much better product that will last for many years! 1-800-519-9894 or online at www.ROCKandTAIT.com 

GAF Master SelectBiggest-Logo with transparant background

Ever need a vacation from your vacation?

Did you enjoy family vacations as a young kid? Whether going to an amusement park, camping, or visiting extended family, vacations were an awesome time of relaxation and nonstop fun for me and my five siblings. I was excited back then to become an adult because adults, I thought, have even more fun than kids! But I’ve found out that being the adult is a lot of work when there are several young kids to take care of. It has gotten to the point that I’m letting go of getting away as a family because I just end up needing a vacation from my vacation.

But sometimes children aren’t the reason you might want to say sayonara to your time of respite. Sometimes it’s your destination that’s causing all the problems. We recently helped a Minnesotan with just that: issues with his Wisconsin vacation cabin. Turns out years of harsh freeze and thaw cycles mixed in with days of downpour took a toll on his neck of the woods. He tried fixing it at least five times before he got sick of dealing with it.

The search for a contractor began. After reading many reviews, he knew that he didn’t have a choice to make – it was obvious who he could trust with his home away from home: Rock & Tait Exteriors. He said he hired us
because he knew we would do it right and do what is needed.

Here’s a glimpse of what we thought we were dealing with:

b1

Falling apart

b2

Worn-out shingles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But once we took off the old shingles, we found this:

d1

Rotting sheathing

d1a

Useless sheathing

d1b

In need of sheathing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got down to business! Here’s a recap of several items we tackled:

*We replaced 12 sheets of sheathing

*Added underlayment over the sheathing to minimize weather exposure

*Dormers were completely torn apart to add sheathing

*Replaced flashing along the dormers

*Kick out flashing installed on both back lower levels

*Metal placed in all valleys and doubled up on back transition

*Replaced the electric pole boot

*Replaced pipe flashing with ultimate pipe flashing

*Added ice and water shield

*Installed a drip edge

*Installed GAF Timberline Hickory shingles

*Finished with the placement of a continuous ridge vent

 

Here are a few pictures of the project:

d3a

Before

d3b

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d6b

Figuring it out

d6a

Making it right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d2a

More problems

d4

Fixing a dormer

 

 

 

 

 

 

d5a

Before

d5b

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cabin-owner will also enjoy a Systems Plus, 50 year warranty against material defects and a 2 year warranty against workmanship problems.

f1

Home sweet home-away-from-home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His vacations used to consist of many stressful patch jobs. But one day is all it took for our focused, GAF MasterElite certified crew to give this Minnesota resident many relaxing years of the best Wisconsin has to offer.

 

A Patio’s Dream Come True

Have you ever experienced the nightmare where you’re about to give a speech in front of a bunch of people but somehow your clothes didn’t make it on stage with you? If patios could dream, that nightmare would look a little something like this:

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Remember this sandpit?

 

The patio area is definitely there waiting to host an entertaining time for a bunch of people in Eau Claire, WI, but it’s not quite as prepared as it should be. Where does your yard stand? Do you have an older patio? Do you have a space that you wish was a patio? Or do you think your home is just fine without one? As you view these photos, dare to dream a little and make believe that this backyard is yours and its project your patio’s greatest dream come true.

Before any work began, these Chippewa Valley residents decided on the size and shape of their future patio. Then, using water based spray paint, an outline was made to mark out its full size. They also browsed through all their color and stamping options, finally landing on 3 colors and 2 patterns.

The first physical steps we took to transform this yard was to broaden the existing area to the spray paint markings and add a wooden frame to keep the cement contained. Then reinforcement steel was added in a grid pattern to increase the concrete’s strength and to help control cracking.

04

Frame and reinforcement steel

Next the entire area was covered in concrete that had been mixed with their 1st color of choice. Fibermesh reinforcement was also mixed into the cement for even more strength and durability. Then the cement was carefully smoothed to the desired level. When pouring concrete near a home it’s best to make it sloping slightly away from it so water doesn’t pool on top the concrete or run off toward the structure.

05

Smoothing the concrete

 

After the cement was properly distributed, a plastic divider was inserted 8 inches from the edge to make a contrasting border. The yellow poles are there to hold up the divider until the border is completed. On the outside of the divider, Adobe Beige Hardener was worked into the concrete to change the color from red to beige: the 2nd color in their design. Then a steel edger smoothed down the surface and around the perimeter.

06

Making the border of the patio

With any concrete project, it’s important to make control joints. It is inevitable that concrete will someday crack because of movement; but you can have a say in where the cracks ultimately form.

07

Control joints cut in

The patio in progress is finally ready for stamping. But since cement is sticky, a powdered release agent was broadcast over the entire surface to make for easier stamping and eventual detailing. It also adds a 3rd color to the surface for accenting and antiquing.

08

Preparing the cement for stamping

In this next photo the men are working the stamps into the concrete: the first pattern.

10

Starting around the edge then through the middle

Once the stamping was finished, the detailing work began. The homeowners thought stones would look great surrounding their patio so they chose an 8×8 stone border design: the second pattern.

11f

Adding an 8×8 stone pattern border

12

Detailing in the center of the patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for some cool lemonade and a hearty meal!
Nothing more could be done until the releasing agent had a minimum of one day to sit.

 

On day 2 the releasing agent was rinsed off and the surface was scrubbed until the desired color was reached. If we had continued to scrub it, more red would have shown through.

13

Rinsing the releasing agent away

In the picture below, these two men are using colored stains to accentuate all the detailing.

Coloring!

Coloring!

The patio is finally exactly how the owners want it! To keep it that way the patio was triple sealed, with a wait time of at least an hour between applications. The third and final seal included SharkGrip, a nonslip additive, for extra traction.

16

Triple sealing the fine art

Remember what I said a few days ago about how stamped concrete will look so good that the house may need a few upgrades to keep up with it? Well, I will let you be the judge on that one – but I will say that if this was sitting in my yard, I’d already have my next ten barbecues scheduled!

17

A patio worth bragging about

18

A job very well done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, when would you like us to drag your yard out of its nightmare and make its greatest dream come true? The possibilities are endless.

Frustrated with your concrete?

Have you ever hosted or been to a barbecue? I know that food oftentimes ends up on the ground and if you’re the host you get the special job of cleanup crew. So, have you ever reached down at the end of the day just to get confronted with this:

IMG_1812

Old concrete slabs overtaken by ants and weeds!

 

 

It’s so bad you can’t even call it “the patio.” You refer to it as “over there.” You also hope that everyone has such a good time that nobody notices what they’re standing on.

Well, let me break it to you gently: they notice. While they’re not going to stop being friends with you over such a minor thing, I know it feels less welcoming to visit a place that isn’t kept in good condition.

 

 

 

 

If this sounds like one of your unfortunate problems, I have a remedy for you:

01

Tear it up and throw it away!

02

Seriously, rip it all up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then turn it into

03

A BIG SANDPIT FOR EVERYONE TO PLAY IN!

 

 

Best decision ever.

Okay, maybe not.

The best decision for that space would be to add gorgeous stamped concrete. But beware, it’s going to look so good your house might need a few updates to match it!

 

 

 

 

 

So now you’ve taken my advice and mentally demolished the eye sore – but now what? Is stamped concrete a do-it-yourself project? After all, youtube has plenty of training videos that look pretty easy to follow. The simple answer is no. Stamped concrete is not a do-it-yourself project (unless, of course, you’re an expert with expert friends to help you!)

There are several things that you should consider before attempting a concrete project on your own:

  • You have to get it right the first time
  • Fixing messed up concrete, aka ripping it out to start over, is expensive
  • Stamping materials are costly to buy or rent
  • If you get frustrated mid-project, you can’t just quit and go back to it a couple weeks later
  • You need to intimately know every step from subgrades and subbases to curing and installing joints
  • What concrete mix is best for your environment
  • What the best sealer available is
  • If cheaper materials will produce the desired end result
  • How good you are at aligning patterns over big areas
  • Your level of patience
  • If you’re okay with the finished product being not as good as you hoped it would be

I found a really helpful site that made me confirm with myself that I am never trying a concrete project on my own! I am so glad that Rock and Tait Exteriors has my back in that venture as well!

Are you wondering about what happened with that project above that looks like a big sandbox? Well, you’re going to have to tune in later this week to see the process and how it turned out!

Why are gutters needed on my house?

Most homeowners don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their gutters, but understanding their importance may prevent costly home repair bills in the future. I had an experience I’d like to share with you about my home:

My family and I were in the market to buy a new home last Fall. We found the one we wanted and absolutely loved. There was one large problem~ WATER! There was water in the unfinished basement. And by water in the basement, I mean A LOT of water; so much that you’d soak your shoes walking around down there. The realtor said we better have someone look at this and get it fixed before we buy it (due to the type of bank loan we were approved for there couldn’t be anything major wrong the the house).Well, luckily I work for the best construction company around, so I had asked my boss, Kane Rockow- co -owner of Rock and Tait, to look over my future investment. I trusted his judgement with my home and he came up with what the problem was as well as a solution: GUTTERS. They were done all wrong. The gutters flowed all the water from the entire house under the back deck and directly next to the foundation. This was a big issue so he gave me a solution we could implement. So we made the offer on the house with a condition that Rock and Tait Exteriors would replace the gutters before the inspection to make sure the basement wasn’t flooded. They accepted and we were thrilled!! Within just a few weeks Rock and Tait’s expert gutter crew were there replacing the gutters and running them correctly. They ran the downspouts away from the foundation and out far enough to disperse the rain into the grass. The basement was dried up and the home sale went perfectly smooth! We’ve been in our home for 6 months now and couldn’t be happier with the job well done on our new seamless gutters. 

Just a bit more information about how gutters work for your home:
Gutters funnel water off of the roof and away from your home, which protects your siding, windows, doors and foundation from water damage. While that sounds important, many homeowners don’t realize how much damage can occur when their gutters are clogged, leaking, or broken. When gutters aren’t functioning properly, rainwater runs off the roof of the house and collects on the ground near the foundation. Heavy rains can result in standing pools of water, which can cause a multitude of problems.

Gutters protect your home from:

  • Home and basement flooding
  • Cracked/damaged foundation
  • Infestations – Mosquitoes and other insects breed in standing water
  • Mold – overflowing gutters create an environment for mold to flourish in crawlspaces and basements
  • Erosion: Topsoil protects the foundation of your home. If water is not correctly diverted away from your home the topsoil will erode and leave your foundation vulnerable.
  • Staining to the exterior of your home fascia, soffit, wood framing and outside walls as well as decks, patios, driveways and walkways
  • Paint damage
  • Rotting/Rusting of exterior building products
  • Damage to landscaping; fungi can damage or kill your flowers and trees

Is your home like the Emperor’s New Clothes?

How protected is your home? Is it prepared for anything nature throws its way? We were recently at a home in Menomonie that certainly wasn’t. The insulation in their young home was fairly poor and the roofing system wasn’t much better: it was like the home was naked. These homeowners were spending hundreds of dollars a month just to keep the place barely comfortable. They decided it was time to get a few quotes and to take advantage of an instant discount and rebate from Focus On Energy and Xcel Energy.

After shopping around, they realized that Rock and Tait Exteriors had the best value for their home. What surprised them most is that our quote was much lower than the solo-contractor’s quote and our quote included fully certified workers, better materials, and longer warranties!

We sent our men over in two shifts: one during midwinter to address the insulation, and the other this past week to install a roofing system.

Here’s a small example of what we did to their home during the first visit.
We turned this:

b5 i b4 i

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

into this:

f5 i

f4 i

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amount of energy being wasted was tested before the project began and after we were done. The post audit revealed that there was a decrease in air loss of 46%! That’s huge!

Our next project was to remove one of the worse roofing jobs we’ve ever seen: there wasn’t even an ice and water shield! To say this home was poorly protected is an understatement.

Once the old roof was removed, we lifted a few boards to install insulation in areas that we didn’t have access to the first time.

Then, we transformed this very worn-out roof

b1 b2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

into this, a system that is guaranteed to last 50 years thanks to our GAF Master Elite certification:

f 1 f3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking with the owners post-roofing project was a pleasure. They were very impressed with the focus and determination of the team that made it possible for their huge roof to be completed in just two days. They were also relieved that the men weren’t chatty like other by-the-hour workers have been in their experience: they were paying for hard work and not for conversation. Further, their excitement over the 50 year warranty was evident as they enthusiastically described not having to worry about their roof until they’re over a hundred years old! Overall, they were super glad they chose Rock and Tait and, given the opportunity, would make the same choice all over again.

There are many things that work against you, don’t let your home’s most basic “clothing” be included on that list. Call Rock and Tait Exteriors to make your home work for you in a clearly visible way.

$250 Rebate from GAF Roofing for Military

Attention: We are able to help get Active Military, Veterans, and Retirees a $250 rebate from GAF – Roofing (a U.S.-based corporation). 

Receive a $250 rebate off your Lifetime Roofing System when installed by a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor!

Thank you for your sacrifice and your commitment.

memorial-day-remember

Call to get your free estimate appointment set up 1-800-519-9894 or online at www.ROCKandTAIT.com and mention this blog posting if you’re an active military member, a veteran, or retired military.

Is summer a good time of the year to insulate my house?

NOW is a GREAT time to update your insulation before summer passes quickly and everyone is trying to get insulation done before winter starts. Plus you’ll see a difference in your cooling costs quickly this summer! Comfort

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

  1. Check to see if your utility company participates in the Focus on Energy program.

     

  2. Call Rock and Tait to set up your energy audit. 1-800-519-9894

     

  3. The Trade Ally conducts a home energy assessment.

     

  4. Review your customized Home Energy Assessment Report. Discuss recommendations with your Rock and Tait building specialist and decide on which home improvements you’d like done. We’ll also help you determine how much of a discount you could receive.

     

  5. We’d take care of making one or more of the home improvements recommended in your energy assessment report.

     

  6. Receive an instant reward on your invoice to help cover the costs of improvement services and products. PLUS if you heat your home through Xcel Energy you would get an extra rebate to match the instant discount!

    33% up to $1250 is the starting discount and could be even more based on your household income/size. 

     

  7. Schedule a post‐assessment with your Trade Ally to retest your home to confirm proper installation of improvements.
  8. ENJOY your energy savings and more comfortable home!

CALL US NOW TO START! 1-800-519-9894 or online at www.ROCKandTAIT.com