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Category Archives: Professional Tips

A roof and chimney

Is Your Home Weatherproofed?

By | DIY, Energy Efficiency, Home Inspection, Professional Tips, Seasonal, Winter | No Comments

They say that you take on another full-time job when you become a homeowner. Anyone that has had to do a bit of routine maintenance around the home understands this to be true.

Thankfully, some projects are easier to pull off than others. As long as you make sure that your home is as best protected from inclement weather as humanly possible, you shouldn’t have too many major projects to have to tackle later down the line.

Keeping rain, snow, and ice out of your home is going to be an ongoing battle between you and Mother Nature, but it’s one that you absolutely have to win all the time – 100% of the time – or you’re going to be looking at some seriously sticky situations.

Make sure that your roof is in tip-top shape

Verifying that your home is as weatherproofed as it gets starts with making sure that your roof is in the best possible shape it can be in.

After all, your roof is going to be the very first line of defense between you and inclement weather. It’s going to do the bulk of the heavy lifting to make sure that you stay high and dry every day of the year for at least a decade to come.

If climbing up a ladder and poking around on your roof is not your idea of a good time, Lucas Contracting is here to help. Our Ottawa roofers have the qualifications and experience to ensure your roof is in excellent shape. Preventative measures and small fixes over time will ensure you don’t have to do a complete roof overhaul ahead of schedule.

Check for any exterior damage

You also need to do a visual check of all exterior components of your home (especially your siding) to make sure that it is in tip-top shape as well.

Vinyl siding is very inexpensive and looks fantastic when installed properly, but it’s not exactly the stoutest stuff around. It chips easily when the temperature gets cold, and it gets more than a little bit “loosey-goosey” when the temperature starts to climb.

You need to be 100% certain that it’s going to continue to protect you from outside elements without allowing any weather to get into your home. Any signs of obvious damage or neglect need to be addressed ASAP.

Replace old windows and doors

Finally, you’ll want to think about swapping out all of your old windows and doors to replace them with more efficient and modern options.

This is especially true if your home is more than thirty years old and hasn’t seen any updates. The technology behind new windows and doors has come quite a way in just the last three decades. With an upgrade, you’ll be able to better protect your home from inclement weather, but you’ll also be able to dramatically reduce your energy bill while improving your overall safety to boot. This is definitely the kind of upgrade that your home deserves.

Call Lucas Contracting today for more recommendations on weatherproofing your home for whatever wild weather Ottawa has in store this year.

The Framing Contractors' Experience

The Framing Contractors’ Experience

By | Framing, General Contracting, Home Renovations, Professional Tips | No Comments

Experienced framing contractors are trained in building frames for commercial and residential structures. As a home or business owner, you’ll need a proficient framing contractor like Lucas Contracting who understands municipal regulations, building codes, and mandatory safety regulations. Before hiring the framing contractor, do your homework and determine whether the contractor works closely with steel framing or dimensional lumber. More importantly, conduct additional research to determine whether the contractor is licensed in the field.

A skilled framing contractor certified within the construction industry will understand the essentials for building the ideal frame for your home or business. Continue reading to understand why hiring an experienced framing contractor is a crucial element of moving into your new home or office space.

Knowledgeable in Residential Construction

Knowing why experienced framing contractors are important can be as simple as understanding their work. An experienced framing contractor knows that building a frame for your home is a sophisticated task that requires extensive focus, patience, and attention to detail. While on site, the contractor will first install a sill plate which is often made of lumber and provides the bottom portion of a wall or building. Successfully constructing the sill plate is essential for building the roof, flooring, and walls. To prevent costly mistakes later, an experienced contractor will understand that each step in this process must be completed in order.

Upon completing these initial steps, the contractor will continue the framing project by installing exterior house boxing, subflooring, and roof deck sheathing. These next steps can only be completed successfully if the contractor possess the ability to understand architectural symbols, read blueprints, and coordinate effectively with the rest of the crew. Framing contractors experienced in residential projects typically work with single family, duplex, and multifamily projects as there are fewer units to work with.

Knowledgeable in Commercial Construction

If you’re a business owner, hiring an experienced framing contractor is equally important. Framing contractors trained in commercial construction typically build retail stores, manufacturing facilities, and occasionally large apartment complexes. Generally, only certified contractors hold the experience and credentials to complete these projects, however, all framing contractors must abide by municipal regulations.

A framing contractor’s work requires extensive knowledge and training in construction equipment. Tools and equipment include household maintenance items such as nails, screws, and hammers, which are worn on the contractor’s tool belt. More advanced tools include a variety of different saws, laser equipment, air-powered tools, and scaffolding equipment. As a home or business owner, these tools are dangerous to use without proper certification and training. Knowing how experienced framing contractors work and understanding their value is crucial.

For more information about framing contractors or to hire a professional and experienced framing contractor for your next project, contact Lucas Contracting today.

Damaged roof

What Will Damage Your Roof?

By | Blog, Ottawa, Professional Tips, Roofing | No Comments

Your roof is what protects your home from these weather conditions, animals, other things – but it can take a lot of damage as a result. Staying vigilant about the status of your roof and hiring Ottawa roofers to repair the situation will prevent your home from experiencing leaks, moisture damage, or worse. Here are some common things that are known to cause damage to roofs:

Wind

Wind can lift shingles, which is bad enough. But if accompanied by rain, water can seep through and lead to leaks inside the home. Take a quick peek at your roof from across the street after a big windstorm to see if there’s any noticeable damage.

Ice

The heavy weight of ice on your roof may be a problem. If it freezes along the eaves, snow can get backed up on the roof itself. Once ice starts to thaw, it can lift shingles and cause leakage.

Animals

Animals like raccoons, squirrels, and birds can wreak havoc on your roof. They tear off shingles, rip off vent covers, and peck at wood trying to find food or find a way inside the home.

Tree Limbs

Tree limbs can snap off in a strong wind storm or break under pressure from heavy snow and land on your roof. Tree limbs weigh quite a bit, and they can cause damage when they land. To prevent tree limbs from falling on your roof, hire a company to trim branches that might present a risk in the future.

Tree Debris

Trees seem to shed something all year long, from leaves and pine needles to little twigs. You couldn’t imagine this lightweight debris causing much trouble, but it can pile up as a wet mass on your roof and actually cause some shingles to rot.

Gutters & Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are supposed to carry water safely away from your roof. If they are clogged or damaged, water can back up and wear away at the edges of your roof, leading to rot.

Hail

Asphalt shingles have a protective coating that can be damaged by hail, which makes the shingles vulnerable to other kinds of damage mentioned in this list.

The Sun

The heat of the sun can cause shingles to dry out over time, eventually cracking and falling off the room. Combined with UV damage which reduces the lifespan of the roof, the sun can do a lot of damage.

If your roof has suffered any of this damage, contact Ottawa roofers to repair or replace your roof to ensure decades of durable protection on your home.

Custom Home

The Beauty of a Custom Home

By | Custom Built Homes, Design Inspiration, Ottawa, Professional Tips | No Comments

Are you left feeling cold by row upon rows of cookie cutters homes in your neighbourhood? Do you have a creative spark that you’d like to see reflected in your home? If so, a custom home from Lucas Contracting might be right for you. Let’s explore the beauty of designing and building a custom home:

Your Dream, Your Home

When you choose to build a custom home, you have complete and total control over every aspect of your home, from the dimensions of each room to the slope of the roof to the tile width in the bathroom. Our talented design team can offer plenty of guidance or recommendations if you need some design inspiration, but you have final say over every specification of your brand new custom home. This is your chance to combine all of your favourite elements into a home that is entirely unique, and entirely yours.

Plumbing

When you are renovating an existing home, you are limited by the existing layout of the plumbing systems, unless you want to spend a lot of money rearranging the system. Likewise, in cookie-cutter new builds, you are restricted in this regard. Not so with a custom home from Lucas Contracting. You get to choose where each and every plumbing element is installed, including sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers. Combine the best of form and function without being limited by an existing arrangement.

Flooring

It can be frustrating purchasing a “used” home and having to pay for costly renovations to make the home your own. Pulling up carpet, resanding old floors, trying to live in a home where 50-year old dust is being kicked up. With a custom home, you get to treat yourself. Choose whatever modern flooring option you like (warm and natural red oak? eco-friendly light bamboo?) and sit back while our hard-working team brings it all together.

Never Settle

In “used” homes and model new build homes alike, you are limited by others in terms of size and style. Not so with a custom home. You never again have to settle for living in a home built according to someone else’s vision or style. Purchasing a home is expensive enough as it is, and renovations are costly and take a while. With that much investment on the line, you may as well fully commit to the process with a stunning custom home.

Contact our team to start the process of turning your dream home into a reality. Give us your “wish list” and we’ll get started on building a gorgeous custom home with every detail built according to your exact specifications.

Roof inpection

Why You Should Schedule a Roof Inspection

By | Ottawa, Professional Tips, Roofing | No Comments

Whether you are a homeowner or manage a large-scale commercial or industrial project, roof inspections are tremendously important. Not only can our roofing inspectors diagnose and solve current issues, they can prevent future problems from developing and costing you more money for repair and replacement down the road.

When to Schedule an Inspection

Home and business owners should have their asphalt roofs inspected every three years, while metal roofs should be professionally inspected every five years. Additionally, you should schedule an inspection if you are in the processing of buying a new property. You can make sure there are no hidden problems with the roof that could affect your bottom line once the sale is completed. Also schedule an inspection if you are planning on selling your home. Minor repairs taken before you list your home or commercial building could improve the value of your property.

Exterior Inspection

Our professional team of Ottawa roof inspectors will assess all elements of your roof for damage and warning signs of vulnerabilities. We take many things into account when making our recommendations, like the age of the roof, overall condition, and estimated remaining lifespan. We check the waterproof status of the roof, make sure there are no punctures in the roofing materials and water can properly drain.

We do a physical and visual inspection of the area and conduct thermal readings for signs of damage. We look for common indicators of damage, like cracking, “alligatoring,” blisters, “fishmouths,” ponding, deformed edges, moisture, and corrosion (on metal roofs). Finally, we inspect all associated systems – eavestroughs, fasteners, drains, skylights, flashing, and chimney.

Interior Inspection

Many indicators of issues with the roof are only noticeable on the inside of the home. That is why our Ottawa roof inspectors look for cracked ceilings and water stains on the ceiling. We also inspect the walls for deformity (bowing, warping), cracks, and water stains. We inspect for cracks and leaks around windows. We check the condition of the attic as well. Finally, we inspect the alignment of doors and windows. If they stick or are otherwise warped, it could be a sign of a roof leak.

Based on this thorough inspection, we will make professional recommendations to fix your roof and safeguard the structural integrity of your home or business. Save money in the long run and protect the value of your home or building. Contact Lucas Roofing today for more information or to schedule an inspection from our Ottawa roof inspectors.

weatherproof roof

The Detrimental Effects of Weather on Your Roof

By | Professional Tips, Renovations, Roofing | No Comments

The Ottawa area is home to some unkind weather for most of the year. From the worst of winter snow storms to windy spring days and scorching hot summers, your roof must endure many different weather conditions. Here are some of the effects that weather can have on your roof if you don’t weatherproof:

Temperature Fluctuations

Especially in the spring and fall, temperatures can vary wildly in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. One day it could be -10°C, and the next morning the temperature could approach 20°C. These temperature fluctuations make it hard enough to choose your outfit, but they are even harder on your roof. They can cause micro-tears in the waterproofing membrane of your roof, possibly leading to leaks and water damage. We can repair these micro-tears, or install a new roofing system that is resistant to tearing and cracking no matter the weather.

Hot Temperatures

During hot summer days in Ottawa, temperatures can reach the high 30s. If you have a black asphalt roof, it can’t help but absorb the rays of the sun, causing overheating. If you find you constantly have to crank the A/C during the summer, it may be time to invest in a roof which reflects away sunlight instead of absorbing it.

Heavy Snow

It’s no secret that we often have heavy winter snowfalls here in Ottawa. This snow piles up on your roof and can be quite a load to bear. If your roof has weak support or sagging trusses, it could lead to big problems, including roof collapse in very severe cases. We can repair sagging trusses to protect your roof.

Rainwater

Rainwater can penetrate through your roof and trickle down, causing water damage to your attic or wood beams. Improper installation, poor material choice, or shifting conditions due to wind can cause slipped flashings, cracks, tears, and other problems. We can fix any roof problem to prevent future leaks and keep your home safe on those rainy days.

Wind

Heavy winds can cause shingles to blow off or flashings to shift. This can make your roof vulnerable to water damage from rain, snow, and ice. If your roof suffers wind damage, we can repair it right away before the next round of turbulent weather hits.

You can help protect your roof and home against weather damage by investing in roofing products that are resistant to rain, wind, snow, and hail. Contact our friendly sales team today for more information.

eco-friendly roofing options

Green Roofing: the Eco-Friendly Option

By | Eco-Friendly Options, Metal Roofing, Professional Tips, Roofing | No Comments

When it comes time to choose your next roof, it can be overwhelming to make a decision with all of the different products on the market. Green roofing is an option that is becoming increasing popular for some pretty compelling reasons:

Energy Efficiency

Green roofs provide greater insulation for your home. This helps you keep your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. Research suggests that having a green roof can reduce a home’s air conditioning demands in the summer by as much as 75%. Green roofs also help to reduce the wear on heating and ventilation systems, because they end up being used less.

Cost Savings

Green roof installation is more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles, but it is balanced out by cost savings in gas and electrical bills each year. You can use a Green Roof Energy Calculator online to compute how much a green roof can help you save in energy costs every year.

Durability

When the waterproofing membranes on your roof constantly experience large temperature fluctuations, micro-tearing can result. Because a green roof helps to insulate against these temperature fluctuations, your roof will be much more durable. This means you are less likely to have to deal with costly repairs down the road.

Noise Reduction

Green roofs absorb noise and sound much better than other roofing products. They are especially effective at reducing low-frequency sounds. You can enjoy a better night’s sleep knowing that outside sounds are reduced by 40-50 decibels thanks to your green roof installation.

Environmental Benefits

Green roofs help to improve air quality by capturing pollutants, filtering toxins out of the air, and absorbing CO2. They help to manage stormwater by retaining precipitation, moderating water temperature, managing runoff, and participating in the transpiration and evaporation part of the water cycle. Green roofs help reduce smog production by reducing dust and particulate matter. Finally, green roofs help to moderate the Urban Heat Island effect, also known as the albedo effect, by having one less hard absorbent urban surface.

Home Value

Green roofs are attractive features for prospective home buyers. Make your home stand out against the competition by investing in a green roof. Not only will your home be in higher demand with a green roof, you are more likely to receive higher bids from interested buyers who recognize the environmental and financial benefits of having a green roof.

When you invest in a green roof, you help the environment, your fellow citizens, wildlife, and your wallet. What’s not to love?

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Choosing the Right Roofing Product for Your Home

By | Eco-Friendly Options, Metal Roofing, Professional Tips, Renovations, Roofing | No Comments

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense, protecting the structure of the home and all of your belongings against the elements. There are a lot of roofing products on the market, from the most basic asphalt to metal roofs and solar panels. How do you know what roof to choose for your home? Follow this guide to help inform your decision:

Price

Roofing products range in price depending on the quality, durability, and aesthetic value. The choice is entirely up to you, but the old adage that you get what you pay for often holds true. Traditional asphalt shingles are affordable, but come with drawbacks in terms of wear and longevity. Green roofs are more expensive to install, but pay off in the long run with savings in heating and cooling costs.

Durability

Roofing products have differing lifespans depending on their material composition. You want to choose a roofing product that can withstand harsh Ontario weather conditions without wearing, chipping, peeling, rotting, or leading to leaks and water damage. Metal roofing products can last over a century with proper care, which means your new roof could be the last roof you ever have to purchase.

Appearance

Appearance should be no small consideration when it comes to choosing a new roof. If you have the opportunity to enhance the look of your home, why wouldn’t you? We install roofing products in a wide range of colours, styles, and designs. Whether you like the Mediterranean style of Decra Villa Style metal shingles, or the classic look of wood roofing made with synthetic and eco-friendly materials, you can find a roofing product that suits your style.

Maintenance Requirements

Most of our roofing installations are performed to require the least maintenance possible. Still, some roofing products require more or less maintenance than their counterparts. Wakefield Bridge shingles are virtually maintenance-free, while a green roof with vegetable gardens and vibrant plants will require more labour to keep it maintained.

Environmental Impact

Nowadays, we have the benefit of many eco-friendly roofing options. Euroshield shingles are made out of used rubber tires, finding a way to recycle materials that were destined for the landfill. Metal roofs reflect away sun beams, keeping your home cooler in the summer. Green roofs absorb rainwater and use it productively. If you are eco-conscious, there are many roofing options from which to choose.

We stand behind all of our roofing products. Whether you prefer a traditional asphalt roof, a modern and elegant metal roof, or an eco-friendly green roof, we have the skill and experience to install any new roof and enhance the look of your home.

home renovations ottawa

Pros and Cons of Open Concept Designs

By | Blog, Ottawa, Professional Tips, Renovations | No Comments

There is something very appealing about the idea of knocking down walls and creating an open concept living space. With your kitchen, living, and dining room areas combined in one bright and inviting space, homes can instantly feel larger. Yet, there are also a few drawbacks that might turn some people away. Ottawa contractors advise you to consider these pros and cons before making a decision:

Pro: Keep an Eye on the Kids

An open concept design that merges the kitchen and living room space allows you to watch the kids easily and ensure they play safely while you are preparing dinner. Homemade meals are a good way to gather the family together every night, but in a closed concept kitchen, you are walled off from the family while you prepare meals. The open concept design lets you interact with your kids and still have time for delicious home cooking.

Con: Noises

Walls don’t just separate space; they also help to dampen sound. While open concept designs can look extraordinary, sometimes they show their flaws when it actually comes time live in wide open space without noise dividers. Some people might be annoyed by the sound of the dishwasher running or meals sizzling on the stove.

Pro: Entertain While Cooking

An open concept design is great for entertaining guests. There’s nothing worse than hosting a dinner party yet being separated from the conversation when you’re in the kitchen cooking. This issue is eliminated, and you can join in the fun social talk while preparing amazing hors d’oeuvres and entrées for your guests.

Cons: Visible Mess

On the other hand, untidiness or messiness is easily visible from all vantage points in an open concept design. While you can hide away pots and pans in an enclosed kitchen, not so with an open concept design. Ottawa contractors can minimize this a bit thanks to great shelving options or a breakfast bar that can block the view of the sink, but it’s still something to consider.

Con: Less Effective Cooling/Heating

As visually attractive as open concept designs can be, the larger space means it takes longer for the room to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Smaller rooms can circulate air more efficiently and more speedily heat or cool the space.

Pro: Natural Light

One amazing benefit to open concept designs is the increased amount of natural light. Without walls to block light from outdoors, your living room, dining room, and kitchen instantly feel brighter and airier.

Whether you choose an open concept design or wish to remain with a traditional closed concept, you can have an incredible home renovation built by professional Ottawa contractors.

4 DIY Projects to Avoid

By | Bathrooms, General Contracting, Home Renovations, Ottawa, Professional Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Part of being a good DIY-er is being realistic about your own skills. Avoiding the following projects will protect you from costly errors that will affect the integrity of your home:

Window Replacement

Your windows are not only a design element for your home’s exterior. They also play a key role in keeping your home warm and dry. It might seem simple enough to pop out the old windows and install the new ones, however there is much that can go wrong with window installation starting with the proper measurements. You will have to special order your windows and if you measure wrong this can be a very costly mistake. Very few home improvement stores will allow you to return special order items such as windows. The next issue is improper installation. Poorly installed windows can lead to multiple issues from poor insulation to leaks that can lead to structural issues and even the growth of black mould.

Roofing

You have probably seen roofers tearing the shingles off of neighbourhood homes and thought that doesn’t look so hard. However roofing is not only highly detailed work, it is also highly dangerous. Much like windows, roof replacement is a huge job that requires the job be done correctly to avoid costly damage to your home. As well roof work is very dangerous and can lead to serious injury with one misstep.

Structural Changes

One of the main concerns with structural changes is that it can lead to serious issues in a day, or years from now. When knocking out walls you have to understand how it will affect the overall integrity of your home. Whether you are working in the basement, creating an open concept main floor or want a larger master bedroom, it is best to leave structural changes up to the pros.

Electrical Upgrades

If you figure you are going to upgrade that old knob and tube wiring in your home or add a few more circuits, leave it to the pros. Electrical wiring can cause a fire quicker than you can flick a switch. Without a clear understanding of the proper codes to follow you can make some serious errors in judgment that could literally burn your house down.

When it comes to your home, safety should always be your first priority. If you are considering any of the above projects call a contractor and discuss your options.