Colorado Ranks the Highest for Homeless Veterans

Posted on: November 18th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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Homelessness is a big problem in the Denver metro area, and unfortunately the people who have defended our rights as a country are also struggling to find homes. Even more disturbing is that our great state of Colorado is leading the nation in the number of homeless veterans. It is reported that this is partially due to the fact that Colorado has legalized medical marijuana, which is known to help with issues such as PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, a common problem with individuals returning home from war.

This article from the Denver Post explains more about this problem:

Colorado shows nation’s largest spike in the number of homeless veterans – The Denver Post

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/18/colorado-spike-homeless-veterans/

Image from denverpost.com

While most states saw their homeless veteran populations drop an average of 17 percent in the past year to a total of 39,471, Colorado was one of only eight states going in the opposite direction with increasing numbers, according to the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual report on homelessness, which was released Thursday.

Colorado had the biggest gain of any state with an increase of 231 homeless veterans, a 24 percent rise. Colorado’s homeless veteran population of 1,181 is now nearly as high as the state of New York, which has 1,248 homeless veterans, the HUD report says.

Colorado’s overall homeless population increased by 721, or 13 percent, from 2015 to 2016, the report says. HUD volunteers conducted a statewide survey one night in January and counted 10,555 homeless people. Of those, 7,611 were living in emergency shelters or transitional housing and 2,939 were on the streets.

Between 60 and 70 veterans are entering Colorado each month, but programs for homeless veterans are finding homes for only about 50 a month, said Daniel Warvi, spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read the full post here:  Colorado shows nation’s largest spike in the number of homeless veterans – The Denver Post

Another concern is companies who are hesitant to hire veterans because of negative stereotypes. There is also the apprehension of future deployment as well as not understanding their skill set and how it could be utilized. In this clip, Gen. David Petraeus discusses the benefits of hiring veterans, highlighting their leadership skills and teamwork:

It’s always good to see communities coming together to help others, and in Loveland, CO they are doing just that. A new affordable housing area has been built for homeless veterans and their families. There are similar facilities being built all across the state to help alleviate the problem for these individuals who have given so much to our country:

Affordable housing community for homeless veterans opens in Loveland – 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/affordable-housing-community-for-homeless-veterans-opens-in-loveland

Image via thedenverchannel.com

LOVELAND, Colo. – Several veterans and their families were the first to move into a new affordable housing community aimed specifically at helping homeless vets and people who lost their homes to the Hyde Park Fire and the 2013 floods.

The Loveland Housing Authority helped several families move into the new community, The Edge, Friday morning. An official flag-raising ceremony was held to commemorate Veterans Day and the new community.

The community will house 70 families and is located at the site of the old Crystal Rapids Water Park.

“Our nation is experiencing the highest rates of homelessness by veterans ever,” said Loveland Housing Authority Executive Director Sam Betters. “After the 2013 floods, we accelerated our efforts to get this project financed and built as quickly as we could.”

Read the original post here:  Affordable housing community for homeless veterans opens in Loveland – 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com

If you have ever known someone who is homeless, you know how stressful their life must be. Every night, especially in the colder months, is consumed by finding a warm place to crash for the night. I hope that our state can figure out solutions to this problem, because it is only going to get worse as more soldiers come home from their tour of duty and try to adjust to their new life.

The Best Foundation Choice for your New Home

Posted on: November 12th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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When you are building a home, starting with a solid foundation is huge. If you form this part of your home carefully and accurately, then the rest will follow suit. There are several different types of foundations to consider with your new property such as whether to have a crawl space, a full blown basement, or just the above-ground floors, and these options mainly depend on the style of your home, the location and soil type.

In the following article by Wisely Green, the best foundation choice for your new home is explained further:

What’s the Best Type of House Foundation for Healthy Home Construction? | Wisely Green

http://wiselygreen.com/whats-the-best-type-of-foundation-for-healthy-home-construction/

Image from wiselygreen.com

A house foundation takes the loads from the roof, walls and flooring and transfers them to the soil for proper support. It’s as important as any other element of construction, especially if you are building a healthy home or using green building techniques.

Not only is there the importance of load bearing and proper construction design, but there is also the issue of how to build a house foundation in order to avoid mold growth and other toxicities that can eventually invade the upper levels of a home.

In general construction, the type of foundation is typically chosen based on local climate conditions and construction conditions of the area. However, when choosing to build a healthy house, there is more to consider such as:

  • Moisture control
  • Termite avoidance
  • Healthy materials
  • Soil conditions
  • Radon mitigation
  • Energy efficiency

Read the other considerations here:  What’s the Best Type of House Foundation for Healthy Home Construction? | Wisely Green

There are a few choices when putting in the walls for a basement. You can use concrete block, poured concrete walls, or foam block walls. The latter is very energy efficient and the following video shows a time lapse of the foundation of a home from start to finish. Starting at 4:40, you can see them start to incorporate the foam blocks:

As mentioned above, the location and soil type are critical for you foundation. The most impermeable types of earth aren’t necessarily the best because of the lack of drainage, but sand isn’t a good foundation either. After excavation, the building contractor has to be sure to build up the area with the proper mix of soil to make a solid structure.

This article discusses the importance of using the correct combination of dirt for your property:

What type of soil is good for a foundation for buildings or houses? | Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/what-type-of-soil-is-good-for-a-foundation-for-buildings-or-houses/

Image via SoilsMatter.WordPress

Question: What type of soil is good for a foundation for buildings or houses?

Answer: In both cities and the countryside, selection of sites with the best soil is an important engineering decision in the building process. Whether you live in a house, condo, or apartment, your home is connected to the soil. Your school, the building where you work, the stores you shop in—all of them are built on soil, and often with it.

Building foundations need to be on stable and strong soils. Soils range in strength. Some soils are able to support a skyscraper, while other soils are not able to support the weight of a human. If the soil under a building is not stable, the foundation of the building could crack, sink, or worse–the building could fall!

The strength and stability of soil depend on its physical properties. Soil with good structure is more stable. Clay textures are often more stable than sand textures because they have better structure. However, a mix of particle sizes (and pore sizes) is best for engineering (just as it is best for growing crops). It is also important that soil is stable through wetting and drying cycles, so that expanding soil does not crack roads or foundations. Some clay minerals, from a family called smectite, are more likely to shrink and expand during wetting and drying cycles than minerals from other families, such as kaolinite.

What type of soil is good for a foundation for buildings or houses? | Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

Most people aren’t able to excavate the basement for their anticipated building project. It takes special equipment and knowledge, so you are wise to call a local building contractor to manage this initial phase for you. Done right, you will avoid cracks in the foundation that can cause a domino effect for the rest of the home.

Images from wiselygreen.com, wordpress.com

Opportunities for Construction Employment are Booming

Posted on: November 4th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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The construction industry has made a comeback, thanks to the economy growing stronger. When the housing market reached all time lows in 2012, many construction workers had to search for a new line of work. However, it has gradually made a resurgence and as of 2016 is overall pretty solid. One problem, though, is that the skilled laborers that left for a new career a few years ago have been hard to come by.

According to this article from Construction Dive writer Emily Peiffer, the opportunities for construction employment are booming:

Construction employment climbs to 8-year high as firms add 11K jobs in October | Construction Dive

http://www.constructiondive.com/news/construction-employment-climbs-to-8-year-high-as-firms-add-11k-jobs-in-octo/429799/

Image from constructiondive.com,

  • The construction industry added 11,000 jobs in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. October’s total construction employment of 6,679,000 marked the highest level since December 2008.
  • Within the industry, the residential sector added 4,500 jobs last month, while the nonresidential sector added 6,700 positions, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
  • Year-over-year construction employment was 3.0% higher last month than in October 2015. Average hourly earnings in construction rose 3.2% in the past year to $28.39 in October — almost 10% higher than the average across all private sector industries.

Construction employment climbs to 8-year high as firms add 11K jobs in October | Construction Dive

Las Vegas was hit hard in the housing recession. The number of construction jobs decreased by around 50%. In this video by a Las Vegas local news agency, it interviews a home builder and states that the construction recovery for the area is very strong:

This next article by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) provides stats are interesting as far as what states are adding the most construction jobs and where employment is declining. AGC is an association for the construction industry that provides education and resources for its members. It also compiles statistics concerning the field of work:

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT RISES IN 42 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OVER LATEST 12 MONTHS, WHILE ONLY 23 STATES ADD JOBS FROM MARCH TO APRIL

California added the most construction jobs (49,800 jobs, 7.0 percent) between April 2015 and April 2016. Other states adding a high New Constructionnumber of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (30,100 jobs, 7.1 percent), Massachusetts (13,900 jobs, 10.2 percent) and Georgia (13,600 jobs, 8.2 percent). Hawaii added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year (18.4 percent, 6,200 jobs), followed by Iowa (13.5 percent, 10,600 jobs), Massachusetts and Nevada (10.2 percent, 6,900 jobs).

North Dakota lost the highest percent and total number of construction jobs (-12.9 percent, -4,600 jobs). Other states that lost jobs for the year include Wyoming (-10.0 percent, -2,400 jobs), Alaska (-9.7 percent, -1,800 jobs), Kansas (-5.1 percent, -3,100 jobs), Kentucky (-1.1 percent, -800 jobs) and West Virginia (-0.9 percent, -300 jobs).  Construction employment was unchanged for the year in New Mexico and Mississippi.

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT RISES IN 42 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OVER LATEST 12 MONTHS, WHILE ONLY 23 STATES ADD JOBS FROM MARCH TO APRIL | Associated General Contractors

Always good to hear that our economy is going in the right direction. The states that went down are most likely due to local and regional situations such as North Dakota’s oil boom and subsequent bust. No matter, overall the industry is strong in most states and the future looks bright.

 

Benefits of Using Ceramic Roof Tiles

Posted on: October 29th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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There are so many options for roofing materials, so it is imperative to do your research on the best alternative for your location, style, and budget. One of the most durable choices is ceramic roof tiles. However, there are negatives for installing clay roofing tiles too.

This article from Home Owner Ideas goes over the benefits of using ceramic roof tiles:

The Pros and Cons of Terracotta Roofing Tiles for Your Home | Home Owner Ideas

http://homeownerideas.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-terracotta-roofing-tiles-for-your-home/

Image from homeownerideas.com

Terracotta clay roof tiles are attractive, impermeable and durable. Terracotta is a natural material, made from clay that is fired at a high temperature until it vitrifies or fuses. Vitrification creates a hard, waterproof surface that withstands rain, snow, cycles of freezing and thawing and wears well in coastal areas with salt air. They are fireproof, last up to 100 years or more and are almost maintenance-free. Because they are made from clay, terracotta tiles are easy to recycle and do not harm the environment.

Clay roof tiles are traditionally red, which is a moderately reflective color. Light-colored roofs, also called cool roofs, have higher reflectance and emissivity than dark-colored roofs. More than 90 percent of the roofs in the United States are of dark-colored materials which are low-reflectance and can reach temperatures of 150 to 190 degrees F. Cool roofs stay cooler, sometimes as much as 70 degrees cooler than a dark-colored roof, resulting in lower energy costs and more comfortable building interiors.

With the interest in saving energy and using more environmentally sustainable building techniques, manufacturers have developed fired clay tiles that achieve higher reflectivity and emissivity indices. These tiles, available in many colors including the traditional red-orange terracotta, achieve cool roof values. Several manufacturers produce clay tiles that meet Energy Star specifications.

The original post here:  The Pros and Cons of Terracotta Roofing Tiles for Your Home | Home Owner Ideas

Laying out a roof with clay or concrete tiles can be tricky. If you haven’t done roofing before, you have to think ahead or your roof will not look symmetrical. This video gives a very good step by step process:

You might wonder what the negative points to using these sturdy tiles would be. Even though there are many benefits of using ceramic roof tiles, there are some disadvantages as well. The cost is the paramount issue, but not just the price of the tiles.  The need for reinforced roof trusses is also part of the expense.

This article by Home Advisor describes a few of the downfalls:

Tile Roofing – general info, tips, & local contractors

http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/tile-roofing/#.WBQkCvkrKM8

Image from homeadvisor.com

Obviously, the biggest drawback is its initial installation cost. When compared to asphalt shingles or even basic metal roofing, tile roofs can cost several times as much to put up. They are, however, similar in price to slate roofing–the only other kind of material that can hold up as long or surpass the life expectancy of tile. Additionally, tile roofs (and slate roofs, as well) are not only heavy, but brittle. Not only might they require added structural reinforcement to install, but when a problem does occur, they can be difficult to work on since the individual tiles can break under the weight of a worker.

See the full post here:  Tile Roofing – general info, tips, & local contractors

With all of the roofing materials available, there are many things to think about before making your choice. You might want to get the input of a roofing contractor to help with the decision making process. They would have the experience of working with all types of materials.

Best Types of Material for Building a Deck

Posted on: October 22nd, 2016 by Lori Smith
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Even though building materials have significantly advanced, one of the best types of material for building a deck is still pressure treated lumber. It protects the structure with chemicals preservatives that are forced into the wood keeping it safe from insects and moisture decay. If you are going to tackle building your own deck, this material is the most popular way to go.

This article by Popular Mechanics discusses the five best materials for designing a deck:

Your Ultimate Guide to the 5 Materials That Make a Modern Deck

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/a3490/4275113/

Image from popularmechanics.com

Whether you’re breaking ground this summer or still sketching out the blueprints, it pays to know your options. Five basic types, each with their own aesthetics, maintenance and price range, have emerged. We take a detailed look at each.

1. THE ECONOMIC ANSWER: PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER

Despite all the competition, this ubiquitous green-tinted wood is still the No. 1 decking material sold today. In fact, according to Arch Treatment Technologies, a leading producer of wood preservatives, approximately 75 percent of all new decks are finished with pressure-treated (PT) lumber.

The widespread popularity of PT lumber isn’t surprising: it’s affordable, readily available coast-to-coast, and easy to cut and fasten with nails or screws. Most PT decking is milled from southern yellow pine, and then chemically treated to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs. The two most common sizes of treated decking are 2 x 6s (90 cents per linear foot), and 5/4 x 6-­in. planks ($1 per linear foot). Occasionally 2 x 4s (60 cents per linear foot) are used, but typically only on small decks or railings.

The downside of PT lumber is that it’s not very dimensionally stable, so it has a tendency to crack, split and warp. And routine maintenance is necessary to prolong the life and look of the deck. This will include an annual power washing and an application of stain or wood preservative every two or three years.

Read the rest of the post here:  Your Ultimate Guide to the 5 Materials That Make a Modern Deck

This image from This Old House shows the basic structure of a deck.

Image of a basic deck structure

There are a lot of factors to consider when you are taking on this type of project. You might want to consider hiring a building contractor to help with the design and construction. This is a informative video about planning a deck:

 

A maintenance free alternative for deck building is using composite material, a combo of two different materials that create a stronger, more durable building product. The downfall for using this type of material is the cost, as it is two to three times more expensive. Making the final decision on what materials to use for your deck requires some online research or consulting with a construction company.

Choosing the Best Building Materials

Posted on: October 16th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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There are so many things to consider when you are planning to build or remodel a home. Choosing the best building materials for the location, design, and budget will make the  all the difference in feeling comfortable with your investment. It is hard to think of all the expenses you might incur and many go over budget.

This article lists many of the aspects of construction that must be looked at:

Selecting Building Materials: Make the Right ChoicesRoof of House Under Construction

Basements and Foundations – Is it worth building a basement? That will depend on the slope and soil type of your building site. If it’s suitable, the small added cost of a basement can give you a lot of usable space.

House Framing – Wood framing is most common in the United States. But steel framing and concrete block are gaining in usage. What are the pros and cons of each? What benefits are there with engineered lumber and construction adhesives?

Siding – There are many types, including wood siding, composite siding, fiber cement board, vinyl siding, stucco, and masonry. The cost range is wide and the life cycle is extremely important.

Brick Siding – Brick offers a very long, maintenance-free life. But it can be expensive to construct. What factors affect its cost and how do you guarantee it will look right when it’s installed?

Stone Veneer – All stone we build with today is a veneer. What we call “real” stone is a 4” to 6” veneer of quarried stone. Cultured, man-made stone is only about an inch thick and is adhered to the wall framing. Both types have benefits and shortcomings.

Windows and Patio Doors – You could write a book about all of the options available in windows and exterior patio doors. And I practically have. House windows are highly engineered and sophisticated building components. And, they are a key player in energy efficiency, maintenance, and the appearance of your house.

Read the rest of the suggestions here:  Selecting Building Materials: Make the Right Choices

In today’s world, green materials are becoming more available when purchasing the right building materials. Even though this video is about green materials in general, I think the presentation is pretty witty:

Out of all the potential building materials,wood is most commonly used for construction of a new home. However, there are so many different types of wood, and each has its own benefits for different projects. In this article, the author examines the various types of wood with a description of each:

Building Materials – A Closer Look at Different Types of Wood

Soft Woods

CedarWood Building Materials

Cedar has the quality of density and lightweight to make it an excellent choice in construction. Cedar is resistant to decay and the aromatic oil wards off insects and makes this an excellent choice for closets and other wall coverings.

Cypress

Cypress is found in swampy marshlands throughout the southeastern part of the United States and because cypress wood does not rot when exposed to extremely wet conditions, it is sought after for building outdoor furnishings, docks, or decks. Cypress trees are related to sequoias and redwoods found in California.

Fir

Fir, especial Douglas fir accounts for one fourth of all lumber produced and used in North America. Douglas fir is used in lumber, plywood, house logs and posts, as well as firewood and fencing. Douglas fir trees are also a popular choice for Christmas trees.

Eastern Hemlock

The Eastern hemlock is not a top choice in the use of construction as the wood is full of knots. A popular ornamental tree in landscaping, the wood from the hemlock is used as pulpwood or in the construction of railroad ties.

White Pine

White pine wood is a popular choice for many construction projects from crafts to home construction. Pine wood is inexpensive, readily available, ranges from clear to knotty, and is a favorite choice for cabinetry, woodworking projects of all types and furniture.

Read the whole post here:  Building Materials – A Closer Look at Different Types of Wood

The traditional materials used when renovating or building from scratch will deteriorate over time due to erosion, chemical reactions, and other issues causing wear and tear. Choosing the best options for your location’s climate will increase the lifespan of the structure and protect your investment.

Increasing Rent Prices Along The Front Range…Again

Posted on: October 7th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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It is expensive to rent in Denver as well as all along the Front Range of Colorado. Well guess what? It’s about to get worse. According to Zillow, the popular online real estate company, is warning Denver residents that the prices are about to get higher:

Prepare for rent hikes again, Zillow warns Denver area – The Denver Post

https://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/06/prepare-for-rent-hikes-again-zillow-warns/

Image from denverpost.com

The Zillow Rent index for Denver is at $2,013 a month, the highest of any major metro area not located along a coast, and way above Chicago at $1,643, Dallas at $1,543 and Phoenix at $1,247 a month.

Zillow is calling for metro Denver’s already elevated rents to rise another 5.9 percent next year following a 4.1 percent increase this year. Only tenants in Seattle, up 7.2 percent, and Portland, Ore., up 6 percent, face steeper projected rent increases in 2017, according to the Zillow Rent Forecast.

Nationally, U.S. rents are forecast to rise 1.7 percent in 2017, matching the pace expected in 2016.

Zillow’s forecast, if it pans out, would put even more financial pressures on Denver-area renters, who have found housing costs consuming an ever-larger share of their incomes.

Read the full post here:  Prepare for rent hikes again, Zillow warns Denver area – The Denver Post

This video by Channel 7 in Denver is a current assessment of specific areas in the metro area for the cheapest and most expensive rent prices for a one bedroom apartment. The lower regions are pushing $1,000 but the most popular neighborhoods are well over $2,000. The biggest problem? Wages are not keeping up with these booming costs:

 

Not only is Denver being affected by the rising expenses, all along the Rocky Mountains are experiencing this issue. In this post, the increasing prices all along the Front Range are discussed, specifically in Colorado Springs:

Apartment rents keep rising in Colorado Springs – KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The trend of increasing apartment rents in Colorado Springs shows no sign of slowing down.

Experts said the situation is pricing many people, especially senior citizens and low-income tenants, out of the market.

And they have few options.Colorado Springs CO

According to the latest report by apartmentlist.com, rent costs in the city rose 9 percent during the past year, the fastest rate of growth in Colorado.

Cindy Davis is among many tenants feeling the pinch. Her apartment owners raised her rent for the second time in 18 months.

“It was $910 when I moved in, then it went to $967,” Davis said. “If I were to renew for a whole year, it would be $1,091 dollars for a one-bedroom apartment.”

Davis said she can’t afford the increase and has turned in a two month’s notice to move out.

“I can’t find anything within my price range,” she said. “It’s sad. I’m a professional, nearly 40 years old, single and I can’t live alone in Colorado Springs without a roommate.”

The original post here:  Apartment rents keep rising in Colorado Springs – KRDO

It is a typical story with many individuals in the area trying to find affordable housing in the Denver area. Even though the costs leveled out for a short time, the prediction by Zillow that they are once again trending upward is a little scary. When will it end? For the sake of anyone with a job in the area, hopefully soon.

New Solar Roofing Material

Posted on: October 1st, 2016 by Lori Smith
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced the upcoming introduction of a new solar roofing product. The company making the solar roofing material is SolarCity of San Mateo, California.  Using the same technology for the electric cars, which is a rechargeable battery that can store an impressive amount of energy, this new product will be geared toward roofing residential homes.

In this article by Electrek, more information about the joint project with SolarCity’s CEO Lydon Rive and Elon Musk is disclosed:

Elon Musk announces ‘Solar Roof’ product, Tesla/SolarCity will go after the roof industry | Electreksolar roof panel

While Musk didn’t elaborate on the product itself, he made it clear that Tesla/SolarCity will go after the roof industry with its new products, rather than only installing solar modules on existing roofs.

Right after Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO,  referred to the upcoming unveiling of 2 new products before the end of the year, around the time Tesla and SolarCity are expected to close the merger (Q4 2016), Musk jumped in and said:

“It’s a solar roof, as opposed to modules on a roof.”

Rive then confirmed that they are working on a roof integrated product and Musk added:

“I think this is really a fundamental part of achieving differentiated product strategy, where you have a beautiful roof. It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof.”

After recent comments, there were rumours that SolarCity would unveil a solar shingle kind of product (pictured above), but it’s not necessarily what Musk is talking about here, though a possibility.

The CEO explained that it will open up a new market for the company. Rive added that there are 5 million new roofs installed every year in the US and if your roof is about to need to be replaced, you don’t want to invest in solar panels to install on it since you are about to take it down, but if the solar panels are the roof and you need to redo it anyway, there’s no reason not to go with a power-generating roof. Musk sees a “huge” market for the roofs nearing their end of life.

Elon Musk announces ‘Solar Roof’ product, Tesla/SolarCity will go after the roof industry | Electrek

Along with the unveiling of this new tech roofing product, Tesla is also in the process of trying to purchase SolarCity. The deal has been put on hold due to some shareholder lawsuits challenging the acquisition. This video supplies more details:

The technology used in the solar powered batteries for the roofing material is called photovoltaic, which converts sunlight directly into electricity.  In this post from Archpaper.com, the process of how these powerful batteries work as well as more about the combined effort between the two companies is discussed:

Elon Musk solar roof and Powerwall 2.0 to be unveiled October 28 – Archpaper.com

http://archpaper.com/2016/09/elon-musk-solar-roof-unveil/

Images from archpaper.com

Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk tweeted his plans to unveil a new solar roof product on October 28 in San Francisco. The design will reportedly feature photovoltaic units integrated into the roof itself.

When Musk initially teased the solar roof concept back in August, according to Electrek, he stated that part of his product’s appeal is that customers are left with “a beautiful roof” of solar power cells. “It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof,” Musk said.

The solar roof incorporates Tesla’s Powerwall, a rechargeable battery that stores a significant amount of power— 6.4 kWh, according to Tesla—and is marketed for residential use. The Powerwall can store energy generated by photovoltaics and act as a backup electrical system in the event of a power outage. The new Powerwall 2.0—also to be unveiled on the 28th—will simplify the process of installation and feature a charger for Tesla automobiles.

Read the full article here:  Elon Musk solar roof and Powerwall 2.0 to be unveiled October 28 – Archpaper.com

This tweet states the date for the release of the product:

 

The idea that this new solar roofing material is not something sitting on the roof but is the actual roof itself makes it an interesting prospect. It very well could take the place of many products in use today.

Building Stats for the Northern Front Range Corridor

Posted on: September 24th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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The average cost of buying a home along I-25 is at an all-time high. Well…make that “buying a home west of I-25” is at an all-time high. If you look at housing prices to the east of the major interstate, they are much more affordable.

This article from BizWest.com describes the “eastern” phenomenon along with building stats for the Northern Front Range Corridor:

Homebuyers head east to find best opportunities – BizWestFall in Fort Collins CSU campus

The primary attraction east of I-25 is significantly lower prices than in Fort Collins, Loveland or Longmont. With an average home price of $257,409 based on August sales, buyers in the Greeley-Evans area can save approximately $100,000 compared with Fort Collins, Loveland and Longmont. While the price difference is less dramatic for the towns of Ault, Eaton, Johnstown, Kersey, La Salle, Mead, and Milliken, their collective average price ($321,187), is still 14 percent below Fort Collins, 6 percent below Loveland, and 18 percent below Longmont.

Another dimension of this “eastern” phenomenon is that markets east of I-25 are all experiencing home-price appreciation at double-digit rates — even greater than the cities west of I-25. In Greeley-Evans, for example, average sales prices were up 10.7 percent from August 2015 to August 2016. For the Ault-Eaton-Johnstown-Kersey-LaSalle-Mead-Milliken group of communities, the average was up 12.1 percent. By comparison, Fort Collins and its immediate area — including Wellington and Timnath — was up 6.4 percent, and Loveland-Berthoud was up 1.4 percent. Longmont (both Weld and Boulder counties) was an outlier in this picture, with prices up 11.7 percent.

Read the complete article here:  Homebuyers head east to find best opportunities – BizWest

This infographic put together by Larry Kendall of BizWest.com shows the difference between the real estate closer to the foothills or the mountains, as with Estes Park. The second to the bottom stat has to do with the towns that are the opposite direction of Interstate 25:

 Homes sold and average sales in Northern Colorado

Because Fort Collins real estate prices have increased quite a lot since 2014, more and more people are looking to rent. Development is starting to take place in the area closest to the interstate as opposed to the metropolitan area a few miles away. Why? Because Fort Collins really doesn’t have anywhere to grow by to the east.

This article by The Coloradoan describes some new apartments popping up near to the busy interstate:

330 apartments planned at I-25 Harmony exit

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/money/business/2016/09/13/330-apartments-planned--25-harmony-exit/90306176/

Image from coloradoan.com

With land and water costs pushing Fort Collins home prices near $400,000, and a construction defects law hampering condo construction — often a lower-cost option for home ownership — many residents are still renting, Holsapple said.

Christopher Johnson, assistant director of the Everitt Real Estate Center at Colorado State University, said “a lot of people think of students when they think about apartments, but something like that near such a transportation avenue when you have a market that is functioning like ours might be going after an older group that would be buying but is now renting.”

The site is in the city’s employment zone, which required the developer to get a zoning modification to allow the site to be 100 percent residential rather than complementary to employment.

Harmony 23 is adjacent to about 236 acres being developed by longtime Fort Collins developer JD Padilla of Post Modern Development. Combined, the two projects would develop the entire southwest corner of Harmony Road from Interstate 25 to Strauss Cabin Road.

The original article was posted here:  330 apartments planned at I-25 Harmony exit

At the rate that the Front Range is developing, how long will it be before Wiggins, CO is considered part of the I-25 Corridor? As mentioned above, Fort Collins can really only expand to the east, but the same goes for cities from the north all the way to Colorado Springs and beyond.

Important Tips You Need To Keep In Mind When Hiring A Roofer

Posted on: September 18th, 2016 by Lori Smith
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There are some basic questions you should ask a Front Range roofer, and most are applicable to all contractors. When it comes to areas that are hit hard by harsh and inclement weather, everyone affected wants to get their property repaired and back to normal as soon as possible, creating a shortage of  workers.

This is the perfect environment for  contractors lacking integrity that are willing to take advantage of people in need. In this article posted by KOAA 5 of Colorado Springs, it covers 5 important tips you need to keep in mind when hiring a roofer. Number one is an important topic, as an honest company is sure to protect itself and its clients with the proper insurance:

5 Things You Need to Ask a Potential Roofing Contractor – KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and PuebloHiring a Contractor

Colorado has one of the highest claim rates for hail damage in the country, second only to Texas, so the potential for fraudulent or dishonest business practices is very high. To address this issue, Senate Bill 38 was signed into law in 2012 in order to protect the rights of homeowners.

To ensure you hire a reputable and trustworthy roofing contractor, here are 5 key questions to ask:

1. Could you please provide proof of insurance?

One way that unethical contractors try to keep rates down is by cutting corners on insurance coverage. Roofing contractors are required to carry two types of insurance: liability insurance and workers’ compensation.

Liability insurance protects homeowners in case of unforeseen accidents to their home while workers’ compensation covers on-the-job injuries to workers. If a job requires four workers to complete, the contractor must have all four workers covered under the policy. Otherwise, a homeowner could be left holding the bag for what could be some very costly medical bills.

Read the rest of the tips here:  5 Things You Need to Ask a Potential Roofing Contractor – KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

This video presented by the Better Business Bureau also offers good pointers for hiring a roofer. It’s somewhat discouraging to honest roofing contractors that there are some who are willing to use a situation to their advantage. Checking references, the second tip, is another key to finding a reliable roofing company:

In this post, the first idea the writer from the Boston Globe stresses is to ask around and get references from friends and family. Word of mouth is a huge part of today’s world, especially with social media as part of the picture. If you aren’t reputable, the word gets around fast:

The ultimate guide for dealing with home contractors – The Boston Globe

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/07/27/contractor/TdQR7zhlgbwUdkt5WJ93GP/story.html

Image from bostonglobe.com

Many people will jump on the Internet and search for contractors, but it’s better to start your search by asking neighbors, friends, and family — people you trust. During the peak remodeling season, it’s hard not to notice the parade of construction vans and trucks. Stop by and ask your neighbors about their project, its progress, and how it compares with what the contractor promised.

Only after you’ve exhausted this resource should you turn to the Internet. And then it should be to contact an industry organization for advice such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which lists providers by specialty.

Once you’ve pared down your list to at least four names, do background checks. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to start. It gives businesses letter-grade ratings and offers reviews that include background, licensing, consumer experience, and other information, including governmental actions. Some businesses are accredited by the BBB, which means that they meet the bureau’s standards, “including a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.” The BBB also offers a list of 27 questions homeowners should ask before hiring someone.

Read the original post:  The ultimate guide for dealing with home contractors – The Boston Globe

Everyone has made spur of the moment decisions without doing their research. The problem with roofing is that it is an expensive investment, so take your time to find the roofer that your gut tells you is trustworthy.