Is your home feeling a bit cramped?

Have you ever loved the home you were in, but it just needed a bit more space? Did the search for a new home begin after you just couldn’t stand it any longer? Or did you throw away everything that hadn’t been touched in a year or more? Well, these Hudson, WI residents decided to stay in their home and keep their stuff: we built them an addition, instead!

House B

House B1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see in the pictures, this home had a rickety, old garage sitting next to it and a fairly worn deck. Our job was to remove all of that and excavate the area. Then we completed the concrete foundation and all the flatwork, including carefully cutting about 6′ of blacktop away from the front of the new garage and installing a 6′ apron tied into the garage and blacktop.

excavating 3

excavating 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once these were completed, we started creating! I don’t know about you, but I think that watching something being formed out of wood and fasteners is super exciting. Take a peak at the framing process:

beginning stage 0beginning stage 2

 

 

 

 

 

beginning stage 3

beginning stage 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few more pictures, but from the inside showing the new windows, the balcony, and the gorgeous entry door:

inside 3 inside 1 inside 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

inside 5 inside 4 upstairs addition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s not forget that we had to connect the new upper addition to the original home! Have you ever tried doing that? It sure feels good to see it completed and to see that it’s flawless!

Connecting Addition House F2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a snapshot, everything we did for this Hudson family is as follows: excavating, concrete laying, flatwork, framing, air sealing, ventilation system, installing windows and a balcony, building the staircase, flooring system, roof truss system, connecting the old with the new, and interior walls. Exterior work includes installing the roof, siding, house wrap, window flashings, soffit, fascia, gutters, and a porch. Of course there are so many details of what went into all of this that I couldn’t possibly write about them all and keep you interested at the same time! So, enjoy the last photo and remember that just because you need more space, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move!

House F

Even though we’ve already done a lot of work, we’re still going back for one more project: insulating! We will be doing a two-part air-seal and installing Cellulose to exceed R50 in the attic and rim joists. We will also spray foam the ceiling of the garage; the crawl space under the garage; and all the top plates, lights, wires, and attic penetrations.

Rock and Tait Exteriors is your one-stop destination for all your home improvement projects, where you pay us to give you peace of mind. And we will. Every time.

 

Don’t ignore it; it won’t go away.

We recently fixed a closet ceiling in an Altoona home that was water-damaged. Before making repairs we figured out where the leak was coming from so we could seal it off. Oftentimes a leak will start somewhere else in the home, but flow over to a different area where it presents itself. So even though this leak was under the chimney, we didn’t want to guess and get it wrong.

We learned that it was, in fact, the chimney cap at fault, so we caulked it with silicone to prevent more damage from occurring. Then we went inside and removed the affected section and the wet insulation. Here’s what greeted us:

ceiling b

Proof of a leak

insulation b

More damage

 

 

 

 

 

 

rimjoist

What the ceiling looked like

rimjoist 1

After the boards were taken off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the area dried, we installed new insulation, a vapor barrier, and the drywall. We finished by texturing and painting it.

ceiling f

Can’t tell anything was ever wrong!

insulation d

Almost done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s important to act at the first sign of trouble, like these residents did, to avoid costly repairs. If we can’t schedule you right away for the amount of time we’ll need to work on your project, then, if possible, we’ll set up a temporary fix until we can. Rock & Tait Exteriors: the family name you can trust.

Don’t let your house scare you this Halloween!!

There are many different things you can do to improve your home such as: new carpeting, painting a room, new kitchen cabinets, a bathroom remodel, a new roof, a new deck or patio area, and insulation.

Wait, did I just say INSULATION?? You don’t SEE the insulation in your home, so it’s very easy to forget how important it is to your everyday life. 

Take a look at these pictures and tell me which one scares you more?!?! 

Giant Spider on a house!Giant Spider on a house!
Infrared photo of a home showing the heat loss

Infrared photo of a home showing the heat loss

The one that SHOULD scare you more is the 2nd one showing the heat loss with an infrared scanner. That’s air you’re paying to heat pouring out of your house. Proper insulation will make such a huge difference in your house by controlling those high energy bills and everyday comfort.

The best way to start making your home not scary anymore is to have a home energy audit. You’ll want to have a certified inspector perform a full evaluation of your home and give you a full written report of what can be done to fix the problem areas. To start just call us here at 1-800-519-9894 or check out our website to learn more and fill out a quick form to get in touch with our friendly office staff! 

Just put a hole in it!

Do you remember the daycare facility’s bathroom I showed you last week? Well, this is what the facility looked like from the outside:facility b

Some of the other areas we worked on were adding a new doorway, updating the existing entryway to meet state regulations, and laying concrete for an entry pad, parking pad, and sidewalk. The first thing that we did was remove some landscaping in order to install the beautiful new entrance. Then we got to work carving out enough wall to make room for the additional door. Here’s a picture story of what was done:

facility d1

The landing pad.

facility d2

Handsomely framed.

Work to be done on the inside.

Work to be done on the inside.

facility d3

New door #1!

Finished on the inside!

Finished on the inside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished on the outside!

Finished on the outside!

 

Take a look at this finished product! The bench adds a great touch to this ancient home and the red really makes the facility stand out. Thanks to Hallie Welding for doing a great job on the stairs and deck!

This project goes to show that sometimes the best way to make something better is to just put a hole in it. Thank you Rock and Tait crews for being very precise and getting this building another step closer to meeting state regulations. Soon these colorful doors will welcome several bright eyed little kids to a new learning experience!

Some antiques should not be preserved.

We’ve all been in a bathroom where we just didn’t want to touch anything. Maybe it was in a local gas station, at a wayside in the middle of nowhere, in a friend’s home or, dare I say, in your own. I definitely know the kind. One of my dear relatives moved into an older home and the sink was literally in your lap as your relieved yourself. There was a shower stall that, even though clean, would make you feel dirtier coming out than when you went in; plus, the bathroom door hit the stall as you entered so you’d have to turn sideways just to get into the bathroom! The ventilation was poor and the walls and floors seemed like they were done a century ago, if you can imagine. I wish I had a picture, but that isn’t something anyone wants to remember.

There is a happy ending! The owner rolled up his sleeves and remodeled that bathroom for months on end resulting in a stunning vision for all who enter. You can even walk straight in with room to spare! But if you don’t have time to spare or have been meaning to start or finish remodeling for months or even years, we’re always happy to help. Just recently we helped someone transform an 1890′s home into a modern daycare facility. One of the areas we tackled was the bathroom. When we walked in, this is what we saw:

the bathroom door!

– The bathroom door -

The cozy bathroom!

– The cozy bathroom -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a good look at those pictures! I really hope yours doesn’t resemble this, complete with a curtain for the door! In the picture of the cozy bathroom, you can see the toilet peeking out on the left, the step-stool in front of the old sink, and the tub on the right. Needless to say, the work was cut out for us. Like clockwork, we tore out everything and got down to business.

BR door d

– No more curtain! -

bathroom d

– Gutted -

Goodbye to the old!

– Goodbye to the old! -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took two guys just a couple of days to transform “yuck!” into “yes!” for these Chippewa Valley residents. It may not be your personal style, but I know you will agree that the finished product is far more comfortable to be in!

- Gorgeous entrance -

– Gorgeous entrance -

- View from inside -

– View from inside -

- Safety rails -

– Safety rails -

- A great sink to wash little hands in! -

– A great sink to wash little hands in! -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Success! -

– Success! -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing you can do to keep your bathroom looking great is to make sure there is really good ventilation. I’m not talking about opening a window in the bathroom, but appropriate venting. The bathroom can get pretty steamy which will, over time, wear on the paint, wood, fixtures, and everything else in there. If it gets really bad, the moisture can even begin to ruin the framework behind what you see. More on all that later, though. We’re just happy that these new owners are content with their daycare’s new bathroom and are another step closer to opening the facility!

 

Don’t let this problem trip you up!

Have you ever been walking down someone’s brick sidewalk and just as the door was opening you tripped over a raised brick that made you go flailing with some gorgeous expression on your face that you’re sure they’ll remember decades down the road? Or maybe you were taking a stroll through a serene park without a care in the world when suddenly your face hit the trail? Maybe not. But I’ve been there; both times. I have heard that “third time’s the charm,” but I’m not willing to take any more care-free chances. I keep a sharp eye on brick walkways if I can’t avoid them!

We recently finished a project for a Chippewa Valley resident on whose walkway you would have found me acting as if I were treading on a spider-infested carpet. Well, maybe not that crazy, but it was brick and needed redoing. Seriously, I’m overreacting. It was a beautiful walkway that just needed a little help!

before 1

However, she called us to address a leaking seam in the foundation of her home, which so happened to be under the brick walkway. We removed the pathway and some landscaping in order to dig about two feet down to get to the defected area.

During 1During 6

 

 

 

 

 

                                                        Once there, we investigated each block to make sure every seam that needed sealing was taken care of. Then we got busy installing a rubberized flexible coating over the wall from the corner to just past the window. Once finished, we put the dirt back where it belonged and leveled out the entire work area.

During 3 During 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brick by brick the pathway was installed, sealed, and perfected. I think you will agree that the completed product is a bit safer than before! To finish it off, we discarded the old, beat-up gutter that was a bit too short and installed a new 6″ clay gutter and 3×4 downspout. Then all the clogged gutters were cleaned out to prevent the several hazards associated with said condition. Overall, it was a great project: the problem areas were completely done away with, we got in some exercise, and our brick-laying skills were honed.

Finished 1

If you’d like to lessen the chance of someone tripping on your property or need your foundation taken care of, you know where to find us. Call today for a safer & drier tomorrow!

It’s very important to choose a contractor who can coordinate all of your home’s construction needs!

Barone adjustedBarone adjusted 2

For this home above, Rock and Tait Exteriors is coordinating the roofing, siding, insulation, and new windows. So far the roofing and insulation are done and the siding and windows are getting started. It’s easy for us to coordinate all of these services since we have all of our own specific crews. We don’t just give out an estimate and then turn around and hire other companies to do the jobs. Some contractors do all of their work that way by outsourcing to the lowest bidders. That can result in lower standards for the work preformed.  It’s not a good thing for your home by any means. You can trust that Rock and Tait uses our own crew members who have been working here for many years with plenty of experience.

Call us today to start with a free estimate! 1-800-519-9894

Find us online at www.rockandtait.com

New-RNT-Services-logoTimberline_HD_Weathered_Wood_Photo_1

Where do I start when my home needs a new roof?

When it’s time to get your shingles replaced I’m sure you’ve done some research about it.

I’ll guess you’ve thought about some questions like this:

  • How much will this cost me?
  • Can I just buy the shingles and do it myself with some buddies?
  • Should I hire a roofing company?
  • Does it really matter which company does the work?
  • Do I need any other projects done at the same time like gutters or insulation?

There are many things to think about with doing it your self or with buddies. One would be how much experience and know-how you all may have. Some things are really best left to the professionals who shingle home’s daily year after year.  Also, the risk of being up on your roof for your own safety is a big thing to think about. What happens if you would get hurt? Recovering from an injury takes time and most likely missed work/income.

So you will probably decide it is better to hire a professional company to do this project. Now, which one? If you open the phonebook there are so many choices…

Things to think about when choosing the RIGHT company for your home:

  • Certified and insured employees  Rock and Tait is certified and insured for working on your home. 
  • Warranties available on the shingles/products they use as well as workmanship warranty  Rock and Tait offers a 10 year workmanship warranty, plus choices of a manufacture warranty up to a 50 year non-prorated shingle warranty which includes a 40 point inspection by the shingle company representative! 
  • Years of experience and knowledge of the correct techniques  Rock and Tait has been in business since 2002 and very successful proving we are doing it right! Plus our crews get continued education with the newest and best training available.
  • Ability to do the job quickly Rock and Tait does most roofs in only 1 day!
  • Other services like insulation and gutters done by the same company   Rock and Tait offers siding, insulation, seamless gutters, windows, doors, skylights, drywall and MORE!
  • Have you had any friends or neighbors use a professional company? Get a referral from a past customer as that will be your best peak into what a company is really like. Rock and Tait has many referrals from past customers of ours. Roughly 40% of our new business is from past customers good word of mouth.

So as you can see Rock and Tait Exteriors fits all of the above very important things to have in a roofing company!

Just give us a call to start with your free estimate appointment 1-800-519-9894 or online at www.rockandtait.com to learn more about our company and to sign up for your free estimate meeting.

GAF Gold Pledge Streng

The Golden Pledge Warranty includes the best underlayment, proper venting, and perfect installation along with a 40 point inspection from a GAF inspector.

Streng adjusted 1

Streng Adjusted 3 We removed the old chimneys that were not in use anymore. Also Rock and Tait replaced the entire roof with new underlayment, ice and water shield 6 feet up, adjusted to proper ventilation, and GAF shingles. ALL DONE IN 1 DAY!!

Are you chummy with your chimney?

I remember, as a little girl, waking up to the sound of my dad throwing wood into the furnace. Soon, a fire would be blazing and heat would be rushed through all the ducts in our home. My siblings and I would each nab a different vent and curl up next to it to get warm. I still get goosebumps thinking about those mornings.

Nowadays, most people don’t need a chimney anymore. Improvements in technology have given us freedom to choose a few different methods to heating and ventilating our home. However, most homes still have their unused chimney. Yes, they are beautiful and little ones expect Santa to come down it at Christmastime, but they’re a big waste of money: your money.

You see, the part of the chimney that is inside your home soaks up the heat that you pay for and pushes that warmth all the way up and out your roof. Did you catch that? The masonry is actually absorbing the heat and spewing it outside! The same is true about summertime air conditioning. Besides wasting energy, chimneys are really good at getting in the way when you’re trying to get a roofing project done, as well as being hot spots for water and air leaks. They’re also high maintenance and occupy a lot of space that could be used to make your home a little roomier.

We do many chimney removal projects every year. Chimneys can be removed to just below the roof or all the way to the basement. It really depends on your preference and what you hope to accomplish. Just recently we helped an Eau Claire resident get rid of her water-leaking chimney to just below the roof. I’d like to tell you the story through pictures, after our professionals protected the landscaping, siding, gutters, and foundation.

 

7388

Standing tall and proud!

During 4

One by one, brick by brick.

During 7

Finally below the roof!

Getting ready to seal it.

Getting ready to seal it.

During 9

Rigid board with foam at seams.

Finished 2

This is the framing

Finished 3

Roof decking is installed!

Finished 4

Home has shingles again!

Perfect!

Perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We guarantee that this home will never have a chimney leak from the roof ever again! The crew had a good time completing this project, no damages were made, and this homeowner will begin to pay less money on energy bills. If you’ve decided that maybe you’re not so “chummy with your chimney” anymore, then welcome to the club! Let’s get this taken care of before any more of your money is wasted on problems like conditioning the air outside your home!

*Special thanks to Tyler B. for the photos!

Concerned about your home’s insulation before winter starts here in Wisconsin?

Insulation and proper ventilation are so important in your home I often find myself talking about it to friends and neighbors randomly. So I thought I’d share here as well.

It’s truly become my passion since I started working at Rock and Tait over 2 years ago. It’s truly amazing what a difference it can make in your home’s comfort and energy bills. I’m in the process of buying a home right now and I know one of the very 1st things I want to have done is an energy audit. It’s so amazing what they will find about how the home is working. It only costs $300 normally and the best money to spend on your home! The test will show exactly what can be done to fix problems with too much moisture in the home (i.e. condensation on windows that can lead to mold growth, peeling drywall in a bathroom, or high humidity in the home) with proper bathroom and kitchen fans vented to the outside. Also, it’s shows where insulation is needed to be added. Normally it’ll be needing an air-seal in the attic. Which means the holes that have cords running through them or recessed lights will have conditioned air just pouring up out of them into the attic. And when they air-seal they use spray foam to completely seal it off and then add  blown in cellulose to an R-50 which will keep you very warm in the winter and cooler in the summer! Plus, basements need proper insulation upgrades too.  The box sills are a common place that needs updating. If there is just fiberglass in there now it’s not doing the job. It needs spray foaming to seal it off.

Rock and Tait handles all aspects of the recommendations that you’ll receive from the energy audit. I know I plan to make my new (older) home energy efficient and working properly! There is no other company I would trust to do these improvements!!

Check out these pictures below showing insulation in attics and basements to get an idea of how they should look.

Then call us to set up an energy audit to get this started! Mention you read this blog!! 1-800-519-9894 

 

Attic blog 3

 

 

 

Before sealing- Air flowing right through the holes  After sealing the holes, no air getting through!

 

Fiberglass insulation- not stopping air filtration Sealed with spray foam