Category Archives: Home Design

GAF vs. CertainTeed Roofing Shingles: Cost, ROI – Definitive Guide for Homeowners

GAF and CertainTeed combine for a huge piece of the roofing shingle market. This comparison hits all the important factors in deciding – Quality, cost, styles, pros and cons of each option, warranties and more. Our guide also addresses the return on investment and explains when either GAF or CertainTeed shingles are a better choice for a homeowner.

Let’s put the comparison into perspective right from the start:

CertainTeed, by every measure, is the premier manufacturer of exterior building materials and a winner of the Professional Remodelers Best in Class award.

CertainTeed Landmark series Shingles Roof in Weathered Wood

While most of its lines are upmarket, CertainTeed has begun making less expensive lines like the Landmark Series to compete with value-priced asphalt shingle brands.

GAF, the largest manufacturer of residential roofing materials, makes mostly good-quality shingles with a few lines like Camelot that are exceptional.

GAF Premium Asphalt Shingles: Camelot Williamsburg Slate

CertainTeed didn’t appear worried about cost a decade ago, and it still dominates the “best” category of roofing shingles, though competition is growing.

Most GAF shingles are cost-conscious products that compete with Owens-Corning, IKO, Tamko, Malarkey and similar brands for “basic and better” ranges — niches it ranks first in.

  • CertainTeed: Mainly high-end, high-cost products with some affordable lines.
  • GAF: Mainly affordable shingle lines with some high-end products.

Here are some important qualitative and quantitative details to consider within the larger scope of CertainTeed vs. GAF shingles debate:

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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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Evolution of Modern Home Design and Decor – Home Remodel Ideas & DIY Inspirations

Ever wonder what Millennial homeowners or home buyers want in terms of exterior and interior home design, living space layout, interior decor and other architectural elements of a house? Knowing this can help inform your remodeling choices and ultimately affect desirability and saleability of your home later on. Read on to learn how to please a millennial with your thoughtful choices of home improvements and remodeling upgrades.

millennials-love-diy

Before we get started – Who are these Millennials anyway?

Millennials – those people born between 1982 and 2004 – are gradually coming of age and becoming the new first-time home buyers these days. It may be hard to believe, but the oldest Millennials are now in their early thirties! Of course, whenever a new generation takes over the mantle of first-time home buyer, the housing industry reacts: building and design trends become driven by that generation’s unique preoccupations and interests. (Remember floral wallpaper?)

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modern-home-design-featuring-flat-roof via Gunlock Homes


Even though there’s been a lot of buzz in the media about Millennials moving back in with their parents due to economic pressure and enormous student loan debt, they still overwhelmingly want to own homes when they can afford to. Perhaps more surprisingly, they also represent a significant portion of the home buying market. How significant? Try 35%!

That’s enough to make home builders and home designers pay attention. After all, even if they are currently buying older, cheaper, and smaller homes than their wealthier elders, those same Millennials will be the second- and third-time home buyers of the future – and they’re going to want to buy homes that make them feel comfortable. In fact, in a survey conducted by Better Homes & Gardens, 63% of Millennial survey-takers said that having a customized home suited to their tastes was a top priority. Consequently, anyone trying to sell a house in 2017 probably ought to know what qualities Millennials are looking for in a new home.


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