How to Get Started in Construction and Find the Best Job

Finding a construction job isn’t hard, as long as you already have a certain degree of skill, training and experience. Great companies like American Pride Roofing hire skilled labor.  However, for graduates who haven’t had much practical training or work experience, the task is much harder. The following are the three most practical ways to ensure a successful start for your career in construction:  
  1. Your first option as an all-time rookie is to register for an apprenticeship. As an apprentice you will get to work and learn alongside highly experienced construction workers, who will help train you, until you are ready for greater challenges and responsibilities. You’ll be able to combine on-the-job training with the learning you’ve done in class to be prepared for the most well-paid jobs later on.
  2. Another great option is to find entry-level construction jobs that pay better than an apprenticeship. Despite being more challenging, they can offer you the chance of making progress more quickly, and they’ll provide you with the necessary skills to climb the ladder to a better paid position in time.
  3. If you want to follow a specific construction career, you can enroll for post-secondary training at a local community college or university of your choice. In the meantime, you can keep sharpening your practical skills by taking up temporary general construction work as well.
As a construction worker, these options might not immediately provide you with the highest payments or most enticing benefits the industry can offer. However, over time, you’ll find that the rewards will be much greater than you can even anticipate.

Considering the Most Significant Challenges in Hiring Construction Candidates

Hiring a skilled construction worker and finding and assembling the right construction team for a specific project can both be difficult tasks. However, as a company owner, there are many practical measures you can take in order to rule out any potential problems and select only the best workers for the job. So let’s take a closer look at what specific challenges you might face on your search for the right candidate:
  • One of the first challenges you can encounter is trying to hire workers at the wrong time. There are fewer available workers in the heart of the season, so the best thing you can do is plan ahead, hire out of season, and offer some good incentives such as better bonuses or early employment and payment opportunities that most companies won’t have in that time period.
  • Another challenge is running into workers that seem skilled and reliable, but as soon as they start working, it becomes clear that they do not possess the skill you’re looking for. To avoid this problem, always check for references and actually call past employers to inquire about the track record of any of your candidates, any licensed Dallas roofing company is more than happy to share this information, as well as other construction companies.
  • Finally, some candidates may just advertise their skills, and inexperienced contractors will buy into that, instead of digging deeper. In order to evaluate a potential employee in full, you also have to consider what their character is like, who they are as a person, and how they would respond in situations where they’d have to put their ingenuity and quick thinking to the task, rather than just using raw skill.

How to Find Good Construction Workers in Dallas

Construction is booming in Dallas, which means that more and more people come to Dallas to seek employment in the industry. If you are currently in the process of setting up an entire construction team or you are looking for only a few people to complete your existing teams, here are a few tips to make the selection process easier:
  • Include as much information as you can into the job ad – the more specific the ad, the more likely it is that the resumes you receive will be relevant for the position advertised. Include details about the type and length of the experience as well as about the qualifications and skills you require and don’t forget to include information that will make the job attractive for good and reliable construction workers;
  • Ask for and check references – it is very important to know what previous employers think about the candidates who send you resumes, so take your time to read the references they provide and to get into touch with previous employers to find out more;
  • Give candidates a practical test to check their professional skills, but focus more on the candidate’s personality and the ability to learn new technologies – the ins and outs of the trade are just as important as attitude and demeanor. Find companies that work well with other companies, for instance a well known skilled Dallas roofing contractor needs to have the ability to work well with the builder in a timely fashion.

Long-Lasting Roofing Products – Options for a Durable Roof

Every roof is different, which also means that the roofing products to be used for the construction need to be selected based not only on design-related criteria, but also taking into consideration aspects of durability, maintenance needs and the climate zone where the building is erected. If durability is what worries you the most, here are the most long-lasting roofing materials used today:
  • Clay tiles – somewhat on the expensive side of the price range, but definitely the most durable roofing material that can serve you and your descendants well for well over 50 years, provided that your tile roof receives the right amount of attention and gets regularly inspected and maintained;
  • Metal – most metal sheets used for roofing come with a warranty of 30-50 years, but in most cases, they last much longer than that, the average lifespan of metal roofs being well over 60 years, they are common in Dallas roofing commercial professionals say;
  • Architectural asphalt – roofs made from this material look great, they work great in any climate zone, they are easy to install, affordable and provide efficient protection for your home for at least 20 years;
  • Asphalt shingles – this cheap, attractive and easy to handle material comes with a warranty of around 20 years.

Tips for Hiring a Dependable Contractor

Dependable contractors are hard to find, but if you start searching for the right one for your building, renovation or minor repair project way before the planned starting date and you take your time to evaluate your options, you can surely identify the perfect fit – here are a few tips how to find a reliable contractor:
  • Carry out a preliminary search to find out about local contractors – use the internet or ask around among your friends to find local contractors;
  • Put together a list with the names and the contact details of the contractors that you found or have been recommended to you, then go online to check the websites operated by the contractors, this is actually the best way when searching for the best local roofers in Dallas;
  • Evaluate contractors based on their licenses, their experience with the type of project you have in mind as well as their reputation;
  • Contact at least 4-5 contractors and request detailed quotes from each of them;
  • Evaluate the quotes you receive not only based on the price, but also on the services included, the completion deadline and the quality of the materials used;
  • Meet the contractors in person to make sure you will be able to work with them – in this phase, trust your instinct and choose the contractor that not only offers the best conditions, but is also a person that you can imagine working with.

Trends in Dallas Construction

Construction trends in Dallas are today moving in the direction of simple, energy-efficient solutions while also observing more and more stringent regulations and short completion deadlines – here are some of the most important aspects considered:
  • Energy-efficiency – Texas climate is generally dry and hot the whole year around, an aspect that calls for special solutions to keep the temperature inside the building comfortable by blocking the heat coming from outside as many of the highly recommended roofing companies Dallas offers will tell you. Roof insulation is a must!
  • Sustainability – the usage natural materials in combination with sustainable building technologies are also more and more popular these days. Solar panels and other sources of renewable energy are increasingly used to cater for heating and cooling needs in a cost-efficient and eco-friendly manner.
  • Metal buildings – using steel panels for the construction of residential buildings is another new trend that is gaining more and more ground – until recently, steel buildings were used only for industrial purposes, but with the modern building technologies available nowadays, steel is becoming widely used for providing cheap, durable and comfortable housing solutions as well.
  • Modular buildings – buildings constructed off-site, then disassembled, moved to the final location and assembled again are also more and more sought for by those looking for an affordable housing solution as well as by those who need an office building or an industrial or commercial facility built quickly.

Prepare Your Home With Proactive Outdoor Maintenance.

Your Guide to Outdoor Maintenance — Southwest

If you live in the Southwest, prevent problems and preserve the value of your property with proactive outdoor maintenance.

The unfailing sunshine that makes the Southwest the envy of the rest of the country also simplifies some routine outdoor maintenance tasks. There aren’t many leaf-filled gutters to be cleaned in most parts of the region, for example, and excessive humidity is rarely an issue.

Still, homeowners from Texas to Colorado to Southern California face challenges that include extremely dry conditions punctuated by brief, torrential downpours, and temperature variations that may swing 40 to 50 degrees between midday and midnight. If you live in the Southwest, here are the crucial outdoor maintenance tasks you should perform to protect your home and help preserve its value for decades to come.

Check for drainage problems

In flood-prone areas, check any drainage swales located on your lot—and look at the space between your house and neighboring ones—to ensure that these crucial drainage areas haven’t become clogged with debris and vegetation. Remove yard waste and any shrubs or plants that may interfere with the free flow of storm water. 

Keep an eye on drainage channels or gutter openings in the street for debris as well. If you notice potential problems, notify your local water works department. Keeping municipal water drainage systems working helps ensure that heavy rainfall will flow off properly, reducing the likelihood of water backing up and damaging your property.

Prune back vegetation

Prune back any vegetation that’s encroaching on the house. Cut back shrubs and bushes so that they’re no closer than 3 feet from siding. Remove overhanging branches so they’re no closer than 10 feet from siding or roofing, preventing them from rubbing against exterior surfaces in the wind. “I’ve seen overhanging palm fronds wear the coating right off roof shingles,” says Upland, Calif., home inspector Jim Turner, a past-president of the National Association of Home Inspectors.

Overgrowth can also present a fire and a flooding hazard; check with local fire officials about exactly how wide an area should be kept clear around your home. In some areas, codes call for up to 30 feet of clear space around your home. Be sure to annually prune ornamental trees and shrubs, which can grow quickly in the ideal conditions of an irrigated landscape in the sunny Southwest.

Caring for lawns

Proper mowing techniques are the best way to maintain turf health. Mow as often as required to ensure that you’re never removing more than one-third of the grass height; removing more than that may shock grass plants. Keep your mower blade sharp to avoid tearing the grass.

Use the mulch setting to return the grass clippings to the soil, where they help the soil retain moisture. Eventually, clippings decompose, providing nutrients for the lawn. “Mulched clippings are better for your lawn than any fertilizer you put down,” says Turner.

Talk to a local garden center or state extension service about a fertilizing regimen you can use to strengthen your lawn’s roots and build disease resistance. Or, have a landscaping company handle the cutting and feeding. Expect to pay $50 to $100 per cut and per fertilizer application, depending on the size of your property.

Calling your Dallas roofing contractors should be part of a regular annual maintenance routine. We suggest planning ahead when needing to schedule inspections. There are also plenty of things you can do by yourself to maintain your home. 

Read the full article here: Your Guide to Outdoor Maintenance — Southwest

Proper Roof Ventilation Means a Longer Lasting Roof

As fall gets closer, preparing your home for winter weather becomes more of a priority. Be sure to make the necessary arrangements early so you don’t have to deal with any damage once the snow comes. Talking to your Dallas roofing company about such arrangements will make this process a lot easier for you and your family.

How to Ensure Proper Roof Ventilation in Your Attic

Is Your Home Properly Ventilated?

Few aspects of your home are as critical to the long-term performance of your roof as the ventilation of the roof and the attic space directly under it. Ever ask yourself “why does my attic smell so musty?” In many cases, the lack of proper ventilation can lead to this musty smell as well as voiding an asphalt shingle manufacturer’s warranty if damage to the roof is a direct result of insufficient ventilation.

Do I Have Enough Ventilation?

Ventilation can be accomplished using various products and techniques. Before we explore how to ventilate an attic space, it is prudent to understand how much ventilation is needed. Ventilation of attic spaces is required by most building codes as well as by roofing material manufacturers and the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association. Most building codes require a ratio of 1/150 — ventilation space to attic floor space. You can also contact your local municipality to check on building code in your area. Let’s look at the following example:

  • Mr. Jones has an attic space that measures 23 feet by 48 feet. This yields a total area of 1,104 square feet.
  • Mr. Jones takes this measurement and divides it by 150 for a total of 7.36 square feet of ventilation space that is needed.
  • Mr. Jones must now take this required ventilation space and compare it against his total ventilation that he currently has for his attic space.

Venting an Attic Space

There are many different options available to provide adequate ventilation to your attic space. As with any array of products, there is no one solution that works best for all situations. A careful comparison of all options is suggested before choosing a final solution to install.

The following is a list of options for installing ventilation into a residential attic space:

  • Ridge Vent — A ridge vent is a ventilation strip that is placed along the ridge line of the home. Prior to installing the ridge vent, a 1″ wide strip of roof decking is cut out along both sides of the ridge line to allow for air movement through the vent. It is important that air movement occurs and is not impeded by any framing members of the home.
  • Soffit Vents/Insulation Baffles — An important part of installing any system of ventilation into your roof system is to make sure that there is a point of entry and a point of exit for air flow. It is important that as a homeowner that you review the soffit areas of the home for soffit vents. The soffit vents allow convective air movement from the soffits of the residence to the ridge vent. In addition, insulation baffles must be installed at the point where the attic floor meets the roof line to prevent the attic insulation from migrating into the cavities and restricting the airflow from the soffit vents.
  • Whole House Fans/Powered Attic Fans — Fans and vents may be installed on the roof system that will draw the air out of the attic space and exhaust it to the exterior. These fans may be controlled by a switch or a thermostat which detects heat build-up in the attic space and automatically exhausts the attic space. There are solar powered options available that should be considered depending upon the location of the fan and the home.
  • Gable Vents — These vents are installed in the gable ends of the home or building. They are normally louvered vents that allow air to be drawn out of the attic space but prevent moisture from rain and snow from blowing back into the home.
  • Other Options — There are various other options that can be installed depending upon the construction of the home. These include louvered dormers, mushroom vents and other options that allow targeted areas of the attic space to be ventilated.

Read the full article here: How to Ensure Your Attic is Ventilating Properly

Use this Guide Each Time You Inspect your Roof

There are lots of things to do when owning a home, one extremely important thing to do is inspect your roof. It doesn’t always need anything done to it, but checking that it is in good shape is important for your safety and the longevity of the roof. If you suspect damage, be sure to call a Dallas roofer to come out and take a look. 

Tips for a Semi-Annual Roof Inspection

Keeping an eye on your roof

Your roof loves you. It must since it’s the roof’s job to literally take a beating to protect your home.

But it is a hard job. Environmental changes of temperature, rain, snow, sleet, ice, ultraviolet radiation, damp shade, wet leaves and any number of factors can take their toll on roofing such as asphalt shingles. Twice a year such as in the Spring and Fall it is a good idea to walk the roof and make a visual inspection of its condition.

You can of course try to gauge condition from the ground using binoculars but better results will happen if you get up on the roof and walk it. Please note that whenever using a ladder to access the roof you should know and apply ladder safety.

Here are some key areas to evaluate when making a visual roof inspection. You’ll want to check the main roof components involving shingles, flashing and gutters.

Check the Roof Shingles:

  • Check the condition of your roofs shingles. Damaged shingles that are loose, curled, blistered, broken or even missing need to be repaired quickly. Carefully lift a shingle and make sure you see roofing underlayment between the shingles and the roof decking. If this critical underlayment is missing the roof has been installed improperly and needs replacement. Without underlayment water damage will continue to occur in your home and to the roof shingles.
  • Shingles that curl up or down do it as a result of being improper installed, due to environmental conditions or age.
  • Buckling shingles are usually caused by lack of roofing underlayment.
  • Cracked or bent shingles often occur as a result of weather conditions, age and general wear.
  • Roof shingles disintegrating from age is a serious problem requiring roof replacement.

  • Check the ridge shingles for cracks or failure. Leakage here can present itself anyplace inside your home.

Read the full article here: Helpful Tips for a Semi-Annual Roof Inspection

Keep your Home Safe with this Checklist

Before you need to call your Dallas roofing contractor, make sure you go through this checklist to keep your home safe all year long! 

Keep your home safe in 2017 with this home improvement and maintenance checklist.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to focus your attention toward your home’s safety. This comprehensive checklist of maintenance and improvements will help minimize the risk to your home in 2017. When you complete it, you will feel confident that you’ve done everything necessary to protect your property, family and belongings for the coming year.

1. Secure your property

More than 2.5 million home intrusions are reported every year in the United States. Additionally, homes without security systems or alarms are three times more likely to be broken into, so if you don’t have a security camera system in place, start looking for one. If you already have cameras installed, consider whether your system is as effective as it could be—2016 saw many home security improvements and advancements. There are numerous home automation security features that improve how you safeguard your home, so take a look at what’s available and see if your home could benefit from an upgrade.

3. Inspect your roof

Check your roof annually for signs of damage or sagging, including buildup of moss or leaves that might cause expensive leaks and water damage. If your roof has shingles that need fixing, purchase a bundle of shingles and some roofing caulk to replace any missing or damaged ones. This is often a cheap fix if you’re able to do it yourself.

5. Update your smoke alarms

Check your smoke alarm system once a month and replace weak batteries as soon as you notice them. Your smoke alarm should also be cleaned yearly—simply remove the batteries, use a vacuum to remove dust buildup and clean its cover.

Read the full article here: 12 Things To Add To Your 2017 Home Safety Checklist – Porch Advice