Tag Archives: construction

Worn-out roof? Now’s the time to replace it – for less!

You’ve bought extra charcoal, mowed the lawn, and are currently waiting for that garden to finally grow to fruition. It’s officially summer: Time to plan those vacations, and, this year, you may not even cringe as much as you fill up your car’s tank to prepare for a much-needed getaway.

But that good old gas tank may also provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on one of the most important pieces of your house: the roof.

Like that annual summer retreat is to our mental health, current lower-than-average gas prices have given our wallets a much-needed respite, and that’s means great news for anyone in the market for a new roof. Simply put, since roof shingles are mostly composed of asphalt, a petroleum product, they’re currently less expensive – making now the perfect time to upgrade. As oil prices shift, so do the cost of those all-important shingles.

The good news? Summer and its sunny, long days are finally here – and oil prices are down just in time to plan for a new roof, a project that’s a painless two- to three-day task, done right the first time by Malcarne professionals. The bad news? Yes, oil prices are down – but they’re also rising again: Just use your next few car fill-ups as your barometer. But that means there’s no better time than now to cross this project off your list, and to save that spending money for your next long weekend away.

Curious as to how much time you have left with what’s currently overhead? Three-tab shingles are rated for 15 to 25 years, while architectural shingles last about 30-50 years. If you’ve got 10 years or less left on either, now’s the perfect time to call in Malcarne’s experts. And while a leaky roof is a definite sign to trade old shingles for new ones, kick the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage to the curb: The ideal time to replace a roof is when it’s not broken – not when you have a puddle in your living room.

While there, Malcarne professionals can also make your home more energy-efficient, adding insulation, sealing out the weather, and keeping your heat or air conditioning from escaping your home year-round. Plus, it’s easy to add style and design with shingles’ array of shades and colors – it’s an automatic curb-appeal facelift for your home.

Whether your roof is currently leaking, drafty or needing some love, or you’ve got a decade left on its 30-year lifetime, there’s no better time than now to take the plunge on this all-important project. It’s a guarantee that oil – and shingle – prices will rise in the next several years, meaning, like perfect summer weather, low costs for roofing materials will also be taking a vacation before we know it.

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A more comfortable home? It’s a resolution you can keep.

We all go through it: January rolls around, and we make lists of resolutions that we struggle to keep past the first week of the year. But good intentions aside, a new year is a perfect time to say sayonara to the holiday craziness, to recover from parties and gift-wrapping, and to regroup back to a more peaceful pace.

Plus, now that schedules have returned to a somewhat manageable level, it may be time to hit “play” on the home tasks that have been paused from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Maybe it’s planning that addition that will finally give you space to host the holidays next year, or rethinking the attic’s lack of insulation that makes your home heating bills go – literally – through the roof.

For Brenda Sramek, Hyde Park homeowner since 1999, 2014 was the final New Years that she decided to live with flaws that made her home and budget uncomfortable. “Since I purchased my house, it has always been chilly in the winter,” she said. “I got used to wearing layers of clothing in the winter and dealing with it. I was tired of living like that.”

Sramek’s solution? Call in the experts: Malcarne Contracting. “I agreed to have an energy audit with Malcarne and was not surprised at the results,” she said. “It took me a year to decide to have the work done, for no other reason than wondering if the scope of the work would really work.”

According to owner Joseph Malcarne, that’s a great question to ask: Do these energy-saving changes actually save money and make your home more comfortable to live in? The answer’s absolutely yes – if they’re done correctly. With a professionally done energy audit, not only does Malcarne let you know up-front how much the job will cost, but how much you’re projected to pocket each year once energy-saving changes are made.

In October of 2014, Sramek’s home was specially insulated and caulked from attic to basement, and advanced energy panels were installed on her basement windows. “After each work item was completed, I noticed a difference in how often the heat would come on and how long it stayed warm in the house,” she said. “Once the wood tongue-and-groove cathedral ceiling was insulated, it made a huge difference. The room was much quieter – a nice surprise – and so much warmer.”

But Sramek’s love of her home is more than a feeling: It also boils down to black-and-white savings. In 2014-2015, she used 28.5 percent less fuel to heat her home – better than the 25 percent that Malcarne calculated she’d save – and that winter was colder than the previous one. “With all the work being done in the basement, especially sealing up the ductwork, I wondered if the basement would be cold since the leaky ducts were heating the basement,” she said. “It is now toasty and warm – and the basement is heated only by the heat radiating from the exhaust pipe from the furnace.”

Now that the blur of holiday concerts, shopping and gatherings is through, it’s a great time to start 2016 on the right foot. For your home, there’s no better way to do that than with a makeover that can actually help you fulfill your resolution to save more of your hard-earned cash – without pressure from someone who’s looking to make a quick buck.

“I would absolutely recommend Malcarne for the energy-saving work,” said Sramek. “When I had questions, they were answered promptly and professionally. If I had concerns or minor issues, they were resolved quickly, no questions asked. Everyone I had contact with at Malcarne is down-to-earth and a pleasure to work with. Most importantly, I trusted them.”

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Get your Home Ready for the next Power Outage!

You’ve planned all year long: Your tablescape is a perfect combination of golds, reds and oranges, straight off the pages of HGTV Magazine. Your turkey, in the oven since the crack of dawn, would make Martha Stewart jealous. You’ve got two dozen of your closest friends and family on their way in a few short hours. And, thanks to a storm, your power just went out.

Sure, it sounds like an evening-before-Thanksgiving-Day nightmare, but especially if you’re living outside the city, power outages can hit pretty regularly, and for a longer period of time at least once a year. And it’s hard to forget last Thanksgiving’s major power failure in Dutchess County, thanks to the area’s first nor’easter of the year, which left thousands without electricity – and on the big feasting day itself!

That’s when it helps to call in the reinforcements, care of a back-up generator installed by Malcarne Contracting. Think of it as insurance: You may only need it sporadically, but, when you do, you’re not sure how you would have made it otherwise.

Whether it’s the biggest feasting day of the year or a typical cold Hudson Valley winter evening, what do you do when there’s a power failure? If you rewind time just a few short decades, a power failure may have been just a minor inconvenience. But with today’s high-tech toys and gadgets – all needing to be charged all at once, at the most inopportune time, of course – the need to work from home, and chest freezers full of stocked-up necessities, it can be a crisis. Plus, add in the fact that you need to keep the house from plummeting to the same temperature as that chest freezer.

A back-up generator means there’s always sunshine, regardless of the weather. Malcarne can offer several options, including the standard portable generator unit that can be stored in a garage and taken out, turned on manually, and used when the need arises. With this kind of unit, it’s important to remember that it must be maintained and operated regularly, and the gas drained and refilled, to keep it functioning well, or it may not work correctly – or at all.

Your best bet? A whole-house backup generator. Set up with an ATS – an automatic transfer switch – this type of generator needs no upkeep or fuss. After the power goes out, there’s a 10-second lapse before the ATS turns on the generator, restoring power and peace-of-mind to your family’s home. Running on propane, a whole-house generator can have a storage capacity of up to a week.

Best of all, when the power returns, it automatically switches off after two minutes – meaning life as you know it never has to miss a beat. Malcarne fits the generator to your house’s size, and can install it quickly – before those nor’easters start rearing their ugly heads.

All in all, it’s a minor change that will mean a major difference, whether you’re hosting a holiday or need to keep your house running status quo regardless of what the weather guys say. And that’s certainly one more thing to give thanks for this year.

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