Category Archives: Do It Yourself

Rain Chains Cost, DIY Options and Styles – Buying Guide 2017

Rain chains demonstrate a beautiful blend of decorative form and useful function. Instead of water traveling from your roof through a closed downspout, rain chains allow you to enjoy rainwater’s pleasing sound and aesthetics, like a babbling brook cascading downward.

Rain Chains DIY Installation

via Hallmark Channel

In Japan, where rain chains had their origin, they are a common element of traditional building design. Gutters are viewed as too utilitarian to use when the function can be handled by something that also enhances the beauty of the structure. That view is spreading, and the popularity of rain chains is growing in North America and around the world.

Our buying guide provides a comprehensive overview of rain chain costs, materials, options, professional installation and diy options, and more. It is presented in the form of rain chains FAQs, so you can quickly access the information you want.

What are Rain Chains?

If you’re unfamiliar with rain chains, or kusari doi in Japanese, lets discuss their anatomy.

  • An adapter or bracket is attached to the gutter in place of a downspout
  • The rain chain hangs from it
  • The chain is anchored by a basin, stake or weight

These three essential components might be sold separately, but many top manufacturers produce kits with everything included.

What are the Most Popular Rain Chain Styles?

There are three rain chain styles:

  • Chain links are interspersed with artistically designed cups or other features such as birds, leaves or flowers at intervals of a few inches to as much as a foot apart. Most rain chain cups have holes in the bottom to allow water to pass through. Other chains are produced with shallow cups, and the rainwater fills the cup and spills over into the cup below.
  • Single links or another type of connector are used to hold each cup to the one above it, so that the rain chain is really a series of cups with little or no chainwork.
  • The rain chain is a series of decoratively fashioned links or loops, often of varying size and artfully interwoven, with no cups at all.

Because of the artistic nature of rain chain design, these three basic styles are produced in nearly limitless variations and combinations.

What Rain Chain Materials are Available?

via Eichler Network

Traditionally, rain chains were crafted from metal, and most still are.

The top rain chain materials are:

  • Copper: This is the traditional material choice of rain chain artisans. The copper must be polished regularly if you wish it to maintain its gleam. Most copper rain chains are allowed to develop an appealing patina finish that changes as the copper ages.
  • Steel: This is another traditional metal. Make sure any steel rain chain you consider is coated or painted to prevent rust, though corrosion is probably inevitable.
  • Stainless steel: This corrosion-resistant metal is often used by itself or in a rain chain design with copper.
  • Aluminum: More affordable than stainless, aluminum is durable and will develop a light patina too.
  • Brass: This material is a staple of plumbing fixtures because it resists corrosion. It’s an attractive choice for rain chains too.

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Roof Repair Cost: Minor & Major Repairs 2017 – Hedging Your Bets

To repair a roof or not, that is the question. Actually, the question is based on whether the cost is worth doing it now, or waiting awhile. In which case, it is more like a gamble. And a wager that each home owner makes virtually every day. Yet, when an obvious problem comes up, such as water trickling overhead, into your living space, the decision is easy: fix the leak! 😉

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missing-shingles

Cost is the reason you, the home owner are reading this article. We do our best in providing up to date information regarding charges for common problems that occur with many roofs. Our goal is to make you better equipped with managing what really is an ongoing wager between your roof and the elements outside, along with the factor of time. Both are in essence sabotaging all the good will, value and lifespan of your roof.

Do nothing between now and the next time your roof needs to be replaced and the odds are against you. Sure you might get lucky, but you have ample opportunity to make your own luck. To be smart with the wager. To keep little problems as little and manage bigger problems with effectiveness.

We have lots of ground to cover. But let’s begin with the primary reason for this article, the expected costs (range) for roof repair:

  • $150 to $400 for minor repairs
  • $400 to $1000 for moderate repairs
  • $1000 to $3000 for major repairs

According to 150Points.com most home owners spend between $300 and $1,100 for a roof repair or an average of $650 to fix a roof related issue.

Going beyond $3,000 is possible, but at that point a replacement roof could be your best bet. The average cost to install a new roof in 2017 for a moderate sized home is $7,500+. While this is the worst case scenario, in terms of cost, it does allow you to start anew. Still, our goal is to keep costs reasonable, while increasing value.

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Flat Roof Repair – How to Repair a Leaky Rubber Roof – DIY Guide

This guide covers the basics of flat roof repair, also known as low-slope roof repair, including:

  • Locating the leak
  • Repairing flat roofing
  • Knowing when replacing the roof is a better option
  • The cost of flat roof repair and replacement

EPDM Rubber installed on a flat roof by GemTile

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If your home or building has a flat roof, then you know that water is its major nemesis and leaks must be aggressively addressed with top-quality flat roof repair materials and methods. We explore whether DIY flat roof repair is something you want to attempt or if it makes more sense to hire a professional flat roofing specialist.

These flat roof repair techniques can be used on the most common flat roof materials:

  • EPDM, aka Rubber
  • Modified bitumen
  • BUR (Built up roofing), aka tar and gravel

PVC roof repair

Note: If you happen to have a PVC or TPO roof leak, such as a leaky seam or a hole/puncture caused by a fallen tree branch or an accidental cut, then you will need to find a qualified specialist equipped with all the necessary tools and supplies; a roll of appropriate membrane and a heat air gun. Look for a company specializing in PVC or TPO.

Locating a Flat Roof Leak

While finding a leak in a flat roof is easier than on a steep-sloped, shingled roof, leaks can still be deceiving. Where water enters your interior space might not be exactly where the leak is, because any water that penetrates a roofing membrane can travel for some distance until it finds a seam in the sub-roof or sheathing and seeps inside.

These steps will allow you to isolate the source of the leak, if it isn’t readily evident when you inspect the roof.

  • From inside, measure the distance from where the leak is visible to the two nearest walls.
  • Use those measurements on the rooftop to create a starting point for your search.
  • Most flat roofs are very slightly sloped to facilitate runoff, so explore from the point of the water’s entrance up the slope, since water runs downhill.
  • Look for punctures, popping screws, rips, worn spots, seam separations, blisters and other imperfections in the membrane.
  • If no damage is found in the membrane, examine nearby vent pipe boots, flashing, caulk around vents and similar structures for damage.
  • When you still cannot locate the leak, call a professional flat roof contractor for assistance and repair.

Caution: It’s always smart to respect ladders and heights, so proceed with extreme care! If you can’t access the roof from inside, use a quality ladder rated for more than your weight, and have a strong adult hold the ladder steady for you. If the roof is icy, even greater precaution is required, or a pro should be called in.

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Repairing a Minor Flat Roof Issue

Warranties for flat roofs can range from 5 to 20 years. If your roof is under warranty, call the contractor that installed it to make the repair. Even if the warranty is prorated for the age of the roof, you might still save money with pro repair. You’ll have the confidence the job was done correctly and have recourse if it wasn’t.

If the warranty is up, then you can attempt the repair yourself. If it holds, you’ve saved money; If not, you won’t make it worse with the methods we suggest, and a flat roof contractor can repair it.

Rubber Roof Repair Tools:

  • Roofing Seams Probing tool
  • Roofing Hand Roller tool
  • Roofing Membrane Cleaner
  • EPDM rubber glue
  • EPDM peel and stick roofing tape
  • Appropriate Ladder with ladder stabilizer
  • Paint brush used to spread the glue
  • Bucket of warm water and clean towels

Other tools you may need will depend on the roofing system in question and a specific problem you’re repairing. The common tools used for repairs include a utility knife ($3-$6), tube of roofing sealant or cement ($4-$6), a caulk gun ($5-$20), a 2” putty knife or brush ($1-$4) and peel & stick flashing ($35-$125/size of the roll).

EPDM repairs require a few specialty items including EPDM glue ($12/tube or $40/gallon), weathered membrane cleaner for older roofs ($12/quart or $25/gallon) and EPDM/TPO primer ($15/quart or $40/gallon).

EPDM Rubber Roof Repair Kit

Did you know? Rather than trying to get all of the above items individually, you can save a lot of time by getting an all inclusive Rubber Roof Repair Kit here

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