How to Hire a Contractor

2017-06-16

 

Hiring the right contractor can be the difference between getting the house of your dreams and blowing your savings on a subpar job that’s nothing like you imagined. Unfortunately finding a quality contractor isn’t as easy as it may seem, and choosing the first one you come across isn’t the best way to go about it.

A great contractor will ensure everything is taken care of and can foresee major issues before they arise. The last thing you need is to work with someone who embellishes their services and pulls off more than they can chew. You want the job done right the first time, without any hidden fees or issues.

Luckily, Gentek works with quality contractors across Canada who will blow your expectations away! They meet strict quality, performance and insurance rules to ensure top standards every single time. Check out their elite contractors here.

Here are 5 more awesome tips for hiring a contractor.

Get a Referral

One of the best ways to find an amazing contractor is to get a referral from your family or friends. If someone you know has experience with a great contractor firsthand, then you’re in luck! You can also see for yourself what caliber of work they do by visiting your friend/family member’s house and checking out the end result!

Get Multiple Estimates

Once you’ve done your research and narrowed it down to 2 or 3 of your top choice contractors, meet them face to face and ask them for estimates. Don’t just go with the lowest estimate to save money. You want the job done right, with no corners cut! Make sure their estimates are all inclusive, covering costs for the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If they leave things out to keep the cost down, that’s probably a red flag.

Look at Samples

Samples let you see a contractor’s previous work to ensure it’s up to par for what you’re looking for. You can check out their quality of work as well as their creativity and the variety of work they’ve done. Although this isn’t the only thing you should base your decision on, samples are a good indicator of what kind of job you can expect.

Visit Their Jobsites

You want to ensure you hire a contractor who is going to respect your property. The best way to know this? Visit a couple of jobsites they’re working on currently to see how the contractor works. Is the jobsite safe and clean? Are the workers respectable and careful around the house? If you go with a referral, you can ask them how the contractor treated their house. These are important things to consider when choosing a contractor since they will be in your house for a substantial period of time.

Do Your Homework

Make sure you’re educated when it comes to your home renovations. Know what permits you need and what regulations need to be followed. Your contractor should know and follow all of these. Also check up on your contractor’s certifications. You must hire a licensed, bonded and insured contractor and make sure their credentials are legitimate.

When it comes to hiring a contractor, keep these 5 tips at front of mind! It’s better to do it right from the start than to start all over again after a bad renovation.


How to Pick the Siding Colour for Your Home

2017-06-13

Choosing the right siding colour is key to designing a beautiful home exterior. The colour you choose will impact how you see and feel about your home, and will undoubtedly influence its value. Your siding colour should complement your roof, and other key aspects of your exterior, such as your landscaping and neighbourhood aesthetic.

It’s not a decision that should be made quickly or without careful consideration. Take your time deciding on the perfect siding shade that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Make sure it’s something you love to come home to everyday, and that it suits the architecture of your house as well as its surroundings.

Gentek offers an array of colours to choose from for all your siding needs, as well as custom colour options to ensure you get the exact shade you’re searching for.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to picking the perfect siding colour for your home. Here are our top 4 tips!

Think About Landscaping

Whether you’ve already invested in landscaping for your home, or have something in mind, make sure to add it into the equation when picking your siding colour. Look to your landscape to help narrow down your colour choices. It ultimately depends on whether you want something more natural, sophisticated, or dramatic, but whichever style you choose, your landscape style and home exterior should complement each other.

Consider Your Roof Colour

The siding colour you choose must go with your roof colour. If the two don’t mesh well, you won’t be loving the look of your exterior and the value will likely take a hit as well. If you have a dark roof, a lighter or more neutral siding will provide a nice contrast. If you have a light-coloured roof, a darker, richer siding hue may be the perfect one for you.

Check Out Your Neighbourhood

Take a walk around your neighbourhood to really get a feel for the neighbourhood aesthetic. Unless all the homes in your borough are eclectic and unique, you should consider a siding colour that fits the vibe of your surroundings. You want to pick a shade that looks good in your particular location, while still keeping your own style in mind.

The Big Picture

The siding colour isn’t the only colour you have to worry about when it comes to your home exterior. You also have doors (front and perhaps garage), windows, a roof, a porch, and maybe even other exterior materials such as a brick chimney. It’s crucial to make sure all these colours work together to create a stunning home exterior. You don’t want to mismatch your door and siding colour, just as much as you don’t want your porch colour clashing with your roof.

Choosing the right siding colour for your home isn’t an easy task, but with the right tips and our expert advice, your home exterior is bound to be as beautiful as you envision it.

 


Grayne Engineered Shake & Shingle: FAQ & Painting Tips

2017-06-10

Searching for shake and shingle with charm and long-lasting durability? Look no further. As a natural cedar replacement, Grayne has the beauty of aged cedar without the maintenance. It’s pre-finished and unsusceptible to moisture, making it easy to install and resilient through any climate.

When it comes to design, Grayne is the perfect accent for fiber cement, engineered wood, stucco, or natural cedar. It also offers a cellular PVC trim as a low-maintenance accessory package, so you can customize your home exterior to your desire. For the most authentic look possible, the graining patterns create natural depth, and its sharp edges create a striking aesthetic.

If you’re thinking about using Grayne engineered shake and shingle for your home, there are a few things you should know. Dive in to our FAQ and painting tips to see just how amazing this product is!

FAQ

Grayne is a multi-layer rigid PVC composite, manufactured in the Tapco Franklin Facility near Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s designed to last with rigidity, low thermal-expansion, impact resistance and long term colour protection. It’s not susceptible to moisture, and with a ¾” projection from the wall and cavity back design, it’s strong enough to take blunt force impact from heavy objects like baseballs, rocks, and hail.

Performance

What about wind? Grayne performs remarkably in wind, exceeding 170MPH wind load, so no matter what weather comes your way, Grayne is a sturdy choice. Not to mention, it has achieved a class 1A Fire Rating, which means it passes Flame Spread and Smoke.

Easy and affordable to install, Grayne is backed by a 50-year warranty for manufacturing defects and 5-year warranty on labor. It won’t splinter, rot, or swell and performs exceptionally against nature.

Profiles

The two most popular profiles are 5” Shake and Shingle and 7.5” Red Cedar Shingle, but Grayne offers 6 warm cedar colours. Each of which is made to mimic the natural look of cedar and each offers a unique colour palette and exposure. If you don’t find your perfect match, Grayne is also available in a paintable version so you can customize with any colour you like!

Painting Tips

If you decide to go with the paintable version of Grayne, you must paint the product within 90 days of installation. Make sure you use 100% acrylic exterior latex paint, and if you opt for a shade with an LRV less than 55%, go with 100% acrylic exterior paint formulated for PVC.

Don’t paint it when wet, ensure the surface is clean, dry and dust-free. And make sure you don’t use stain, powder coating or oil/alkyd base paint, as these don’t work with Grayne paintable products.

Your finish coat should be painted following the paint manufacturers instructions. This will ensure the coverage, application methods and application temperature are exactly how they need to be.

Now hop on over to the Gentek site to see what type of Grayne product is best for you!

 


Avoid These Top Renovation Mistakes

2017-06-07

Renovating your home is an exciting endeavor, but don’t let all the excitement blind you to common renovation mistakes. If you’re upgrading your house, you want it to be exactly that, an upgrade. Don’t fall for mishaps that will leave you palming your forehead at the end of the day.

Renovations aren’t always easy, but when done right, they’ll leave you with the home you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re renovating your interior, exterior or both, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for the renovations to go smoothly. Before you get started, take a look at 5 of the top renovation mistakes to avoid and have a happy renovation.

1.Not Going Green

There’s a common misconception that renovating your home with environmentally friendly materials will be way too expensive. But it’s a mistake not to go green. Going green is a smart investment that ensures energy conservation, optimal material use, and products that outlast any others. Gentek offers a range of eco-friendly green products from vinyl windows and patios doors, to an array of siding options. With environmental stewardship in mind, your renovation is sure to be durable, energy efficient and high quality.

2. Cutting Costs on Handiwork

You have to be extremely careful when choosing a contractor these days, and it could be a red flag if the quote for their work is cheap. The last thing you want is a contractor who cuts corners or renovates your home with low quality products. Do your due diligence when choosing a contractor. Ask your friends and family for referrals, and get estimates from multiple contractors before making your decision. Your contractor should be including costs for the specific work they’re doing, including the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If the estimate isn’t all-inclusive, it may be best to look elsewhere.

3. Measurement Mistakes

Make sure you, or whoever is taking the measurements for your renovation, is meticulous. Even half an inch can make a huge difference and jeopardize the look and feel you were going for with your renovation. Whether you’re measuring for cabinets, appliances, a bed frame, or sink, measure multiple times to make sure your measurements are 100% accurate. Taking more time to get specific will save you time and frustration in the long run.

4. Going Too Trendy

The thing about trends is, they come and go. This not only means you may fall out of love with your trendy design in the future, it can also bring down your home’s resale value. Trendy furniture is fine, but when it comes to the design of the kitchen, bathrooms and other rooms with appliances, counters and cabinets, it’s best not to go too wild. 

5. Skimping on Materials

If you’re going to renovate your home, what’s the use in skimping? The truth is, you get what you pay for, and although that doesn’t mean you have to spend your life savings on renovating your house, if you can’t afford to renovate with good quality materials, wait until you can. You may end up spending more money repairing cheap materials, and you’ll likely be underwhelmed with the look and functionality.

Are you looking into a home renovation? Make sure to keep these tips in mind!


Kate – We Are Building a New House

Question:

Kate asks,

We are building a new house and are not sure what to put in the large peak. We have picked out a grey brick for the house so we were wondering about doing a grey cedar siding in both peaks, but we are not sure if there should be an accent. We are open to any ideas, either to do with the brick or if you have any other ideas on what would look good on the house.

Kate 1Answer:

I like the idea of a shake in the gables to add some texture to the home. If they bricks are a light grey, I would go with a darker grey shake in the gable. If the brick is a darker grey, go with a lighter grey shake in the gable. This will create a nice contrast and draw the eye to the attractive cedar shake.

Your closest Gentek Renovators are Ind-Can Aluminum, Langlands Home Improvements, and Fralick Aluminum Ltd. Tell them your Gentek Designer referred you.


Great Windows Need Great Installation Specialists

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Investing in Gentek high-efficiency windows is a smart choice that will pay off for years to come. Once you’ve made that inspired decision, your next one is equally important: Who will you entrust to install your new windows?

That’s where Gentek Premium Renovators come in.

Gentek Premium Renovators are an elite network of independent remodeling specialists, committed to delivering the confidence, quality and value homeowners seek in a professional contractor. Members must earn the right to become or remain a Premium Renovator™ each year, and only those who maintain Gentek’s high standards make the cut.

The fact is, poorly installed windows – even the best quality products on the market — won’t perform efficiently, or last as long as they should. Shortcuts or improper techniques can lead to problems including moisture-inviting gaps, sashes that stick and joints that separate under pressure.

The keys to professional window installation include accurate measurements and careful removal of the old window. The next step is to ensure the new window fits uniformly within the opening, horizontally, vertically and diagonally.

Professional installers attach new windows solidly to your home’s frame. They then add insulation, seal the seams where the window meets the house and complete the job by adding a barrier to promote water run-off.

These are just a few of the key steps in the process, but our goal here is to give you an appreciation for what sets apart a premium installation from a lower-quality job.

Click the ‘Contractor Locator’ tab at www.gentek.ca to find a Gentek Premium Renovator near you.