Home Maintenance

Insulation- the Green Way

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Prevost Construction is a proud customer of a great construction magazine,  Qualified Remodeler. This is where we get a lot of tricks of the trade, especially in the Go Green department.
Below, find a great article that identifies the popular types of go green insulation. To view the homepage and to see a complete version of this article, please click on the following link: www.qualifiedremodeler.com 
Green Product Spotlight: Insulation

Johns Manville’s formaldehyde-free fiberglass building insulation offers superior thermal and acoustical performance while improving indoor air quality. Products from Johns Manville’s complete line of formaldehyde-free fiberglass building insulation have qualified for SCS Indoor Advantage Gold + Formaldehyde Free certification from Scientific Certification Systems.
Johns Manville. Type #41 E-Inquiry Form.

fiberAmerica’s Green Seal cellulose fiber insulation product line includes offerings with all Class 1, Type A building materials that are best fit for attic, sidewall and ceiling applications. Made from recycled newspaper, these products are treated with non-toxic, naturally occurring fire retardant minerals and allow moisture to dissipate through the material, thereby preventing mold.
fiberAmerica. Type #42 E-Inquiry Form.

GreenFiber natural fiber blow-in insulation is made from 85 percent recycled-paper fiber specially treated for flame resistance. This natural fiber insulation provides outstanding resistance to heat flow for thermal applications and noise suppression for acoustical treatments.
GreenFiber. Type #43 E-Inquiry Form.

SAFETOUCH Fiberglass-Free Insulation, a product from Dow Building Solutions, is environmentally friendly and incorporates technological developments to promote an indoor environment that is comfortable, healthy and energy-efficient. SAFETOUCH insulation is manufactured from polyester fiber, a percentage of which is derived from post-consumer recycled materials. The product is safe to touch and easy to install.
Dow Building Solutions. Type #44 E-Inquiry Form.

UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation, manufactured by Bonded Logic Inc., is comprised of post-consumer recycled cotton fibers sourced from denim. The UltraTouch line of batt insulation offers R-8 to R-30 thermal values. UltraTouch contains no chemical irritants or formaldehyde.
Bonded Logic Inc. Type #45 E-Inquiry Form.

Sustainable Insulation from CertainTeed is a new fiberglass insulation product meeting the strictest California indoor air quality requirements. The product, which has a low-impact manufacturing process, incorporates recycled materials and a bio-based organic binder. It contains no phenol formaldehyde, harsh acrylics or dyes.
CertainTeed Corp. Type #46 E-Inquiry Form.

Sink & Countertop Combo

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The Iron/Occasions ITB presented by Kohler offers homeowners a complete island solution with the combination sink and countertop! The island features a seamless, integrated trough and a containment rim for enhanced cleanability and a beautiful appearance. The Iron/Occasions Island offers flexible installation options and can be mounted on common island cabinetry or placed on the optional stainless steel base for a modern feel.

The island is guaranteed not to chip, crack or burn. Two cutting boards are included with the island. These paper-based fiber composite cutting boards are low-profile, dishwasher-safe, and scratch and stain resistant. Also provided is a drain cover to give that modern look!

Visit www.kohler.com to pick out your island!

Add an Outdoor Campfyre

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A centerpiece for your outdoor occassion, the outdoor campfyre adds style and heat to your beautiful nights outside.  RH Peterson, Co. created an outdoor campfyre with a variety of selections. The options are endless in choosing realistic designer logs and branches, lava granules and coals, fyre gems or fyre glass.

 The 70,000-Btu stainless-steel burner system features a flame-sensor safety-control system with electronic ignition and remote-control capabilities.

For more information about this product, visit www.rhpeterson.com

Decking Accessories

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Interested in adding a little “something” to accessorize your deck?
Universal Forest Products includes post caps, balusters, and deck lights to add an elegant touch to your outside deck.

These products add style and uniqueness!

Pick out great finishing touches to add to your deck by going to www.ufpi.com

Stone…and we don’t mean diamonds!

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Product of the Day: Ply Gem Stone

Ply Gem Stone is authentically recreated, easy to install, and is affordable. It is molded from real stone but is a lighter weight. There are over 100 stone & brick style and color choices to fit your home’s style and compliment traditional siding!

On Ply Gem Stone’s website you can use their Stone Selector to visualize selected colors and stones on your own home!

Need another reason to check out this product? This product is green approved to meet the National Green Building Standard!

To find out more about this product and begin researching adding stone to your home, visit www.plygemstone.com

Door, Window & Siding Sealant!!!

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Product of the Day

OSI QUAD is an advanced formula sealant that can be applied to wet and dry surfaces on window, roof or siding. Quad resists dirt and dust collection, yellowing and water washout.

OSI Quad is mildew resistant, and both paintable and stainable!
There are over 3,500 colors to choose from to get a perfect match! Finding your color online is simple because they list colors by the manufacturer.

To find your color match and get a reliable sealant, click on the link below:

Alternative to Wood: Go Green!

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Tired of your beautiful deck deteriorating? Check out this product!

As an alternative to wood and lumber, this product is fire safe and made from recycled material (go green!). It stays strong and new after years of weather exposure.  This product is not only used for decks but can be used for docks, arbors and fences!

Check out the link below to find a reliable lumber that lasts a lifetime.


Ugly Side of Snow and Ice

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Most of us in the region woke up to a gorgeous, glistening blanket of snow.  Although we didn’t get much snow, maybe a couple of inches at most, this deceitfully beautiful snow was frosted with a sprinkling of freezing rain thus creating a big white sheet of ice.  I am reminded of the ugly side of snow and ice, the side that causes damage to our homes.

Last winter, we handled numerous service calls regarding homeowners who had water dripping down along their windows. Most of them could not figure out where the water was coming from.   Well, it was from ice dams.

What is an ice dam?  If your home does not have sufficient insulation and poor attic ventilation, heat loss can melt the snow on your roof from the underside.  Temperatures are colder at your roof’s edge, and as the melting snow drips down your roof to the colder edge, it forms a dam.  The dammed water then backs up under your roofing (the shingles) and when temperatures warm, the dams melt and water leaks into your home.

The best way to prevent ice dams is to take some steps to maintain a cold roof.  Yes, you want your roof to stay cold in the winter!

Generally, you are going to have heat loss from the ceilings just below your attic space.  Inspect your attic insulation, playing particular attention to those areas near outside walls.  Address those areas that need attention.

Having an open passage for cold air to flow into your attic helps keep attic temperatures consistent with outside temperatures.  This can be achieved by keeping soffit vents clear with the use of insulation baffles, also sometimes called rafter vents.

Baffles look like this:

and can be found at your local hardware store for under $2 each.

Heat loss can be found from gaps around pipes and electric cables that run through the top plates of the walls in the rooms below your attic.  Seal these areas using caulk or expanding foam from your local hardware store.   Don’t forget about the entrance to your attic.  Use weather-stripping at attic door, or insulate and weather-strip pull-down attic stairs to prevent heat loss.

Recessed lighting in your ceiling below your attic can also be a source of heat loss.  I suggest contacting a professional to assist in insulation around light fixtures to avoid fire hazards.  If you feel like your lighting may be a cause of heat loss to your attic, please contact us to assist you.

Keep attic vents clear.  If heat escapes from your living area to your attic, it will also escape through your attic vent before warming your roof and attic space.  The types of attic vents include attic fans, gable vents, ridge vents, roof turbines, and soffit vents.


Prevost Construction is available to assist you in maintaining your cold roof.

Remember, cold roof maintenance is less costly and stressful then repairing extensive water damage to your home caused by an ice dam.

Number One Question That I Can’t Answer (right away, at least)

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How much would is cost for a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house?

Generally, per square foot, new home costs can range anywhere from around $80 to $200.

This is the MOST frequent question I get when it comes to building a new home, and unfortunately, it is the one question I simply cannot answer specifically – right away, that is.

There are so many variables, it is impossible for anyone to answer this question accurately without first asking several additional questions and gathering much more information.

There is one way I can provide a price right away. If the customer is considering a modular home and has already chosen a floor plan from the catalog, I can provide a very general budgetary number rather quickly.  That being said, there are a number of items NOT included in this very general budgetary number.

What’s NOT included?

– The lot/land

– Installation of Well or Septic, Water or Sewer, and associated Municipal and Tap Fees

– Percolation Tests

– Building and sediment control permits and fees

– Impact Fees

– Electrical and Hook up application fees (the cost of running the electricity from road to home)

– Shrubbery, drainpipes, sediment control systems

As you can probably imagine, the above items can add up to a very substantial amount of money depending on the site location and lot size.  It IS impossible to put even a budgetary number on the above items without having all site information.

So you really want to build your new home.  What are the first steps you need to take before even looking for a builder?

When you begin the process of building your new home, the VERY first thing you must do is determine your budget.  That magic number.   Furthermore, there is also an amount that you will have in mind that you actually WANT to spend.  For example, you maybe able to comfortably work with a budget of $250,000 but you would really rather only spend $225,000.

Second, you need to obtain a letter of pre-approval from your lender.   Generally, your budget will be determined by the bank.

Third, you must determine your “needs” for your new home.  How many bedrooms?  How many bathrooms?  Do need home where everything is on the first floor?  Closet space?

Forth, determine your “wants” for your new home.  How would you like the layout of the home?  Positioning of bedrooms and bathrooms?  What kind of countertops in the kitchen?  What types of flooring would you like?

Truthfully, the most realistic approach to determining how much your new home will cost is to simply work backwards. Start by determining how much you can afford to spend, then be realistic about the size of the house you need, and finally, decide what and where you can afford to build.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside… Prevent Frozen Pipes!

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Each winter, on average, a quarter-million families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted, all because of water pipes that freeze and burst.

Both plastic (PVC) and copper pipes can burst.  A 3 millimeter crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day.  This is more then your average pinhole leak – a burst pipe can be devastating!

Save yourself the mess, money and aggravation frozen pipes cause.

As the end of the Fall season approaches…

Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic as these exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.

Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located.  Air leaks can be found around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Simply use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in.

Heat tape can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior).

Disconnect garden hoses and, if at all possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

When the temperatures dip…

A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.

Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Going out of town?

Do not set the thermostat in your house lower than 55°F.

Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough so that pipes won’t freeze.


Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system, it will be deactivated when you shut off the water.

EEEK!  Your pipes freeze…

Don’t take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber. If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on.

****Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.****

Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Generally, water damage is preferable to burning down your house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water because you could be electrocuted.