Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the Jobsite: San Diego Leaky Window and Window Replacement

Recently TR Construction removed an old leaky window from a home in San Diego, CA and replaced it with a new double pane vinyl window.

Sometimes people decide to replace their windows to give their house a new look or because they want to improve their energy efficiency. Energy Star reports that replacing single-pane windows with Energy Star-qualified products can save between $126 to $465 a year in energy costs. Homeowners can also apply for a federal tax credit that reimburses 10 percent of their cost, up to $200.

But regardless of aesthetics or energy conservation, if your window is leaking you will want to replace it soon. A leaky window can damage the window frame and allow moisture to get into your walls; where it can damage the drywall and insulation and cause mold and rot.

If there is possible damage to the window frame, you will want to install what is called a new construction window to ensure that the window will no longer leak. A new construction window is installed by taking the opening down to the studs. The new window is then tied into the home’s stucco or siding. This method allows us to make sure that any damaged wood is fixed and that there is proper insulation and flashing in place.

In these photos we are installing a new construction window in Rancho Bernardo. First, the stucco was chopped out around the old window so that the old window could be removed down to the studs. The area was then prepped for installation of the new window.

Once the new window was installed, the stucco was repaired and properly tied into the existing stucco wall so that it looks as if it were part of the original home.

See a video of the Rancho Bernardo window installation.

TR Construction is a first-rate home remodeling company that specializes in all phases of remodeling and roofing. We service Escondido, San Marcos, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Scripps Ranch, La Jolla, Clairemont, La Mesa, Santee, El Cajon, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, San Diego, Chula Vista, Mira Mesa, Temecula, Murrieta, Oceanside, and surrounding areas.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On the Jobsite: Oceanside, CA Asphalt Shingle Roof Install

Last week at TR Construction we replaced an old wood shake roof in Oceanside, CA with an asphalt single roof.

When replacing old wood shake roofs, the first step is to do a roof tear off down to the skip sheathing. Skip sheathing is a roofing surface that consists of 1”x4” or 1”x5” boards that are installed perpendicular to the rafters and provide a couple inches of spacing between each row of boards. It’s common to find skip sheathing under old wood shake roofs because in the past it was believed that the openings between the wood slats would let the roof breath and make the roof last longer. But we now know that wood shake roofs actually last longer when installed on a flat plywood roof surface.

This particular roof not only had wood shake shingles installed but it also had a layer of asphalt shingles installed on top of the existing wood shake shingles. Once both layers had been removed, we installed 4’x8’ OSB sheathing on top of the skip sheathing. OSB stands for “oriented strand board,” which consists of compressed wood strands bonded together by resin. These boards are much stronger and stiffer than traditional plywood boards.

With the proper full sheeting in place, we were able to continue with the rest of the roofing process. This included installing proper underlayment for an asphalt shingle roof, installing Owens Corning asphalt shingle on the entire roof, installing an Owens Corning ridge vent, reinstalling a solar tube, and installing all necessary flashings. The new roof will last for years and years and looks much better than the existing roof.

TR Construction is a first-rate San Diego roofing company that specializes in roof installations and roof repair. We service Escondido, San Marcos, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Poway, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Scripps Ranch, La Jolla, Clairemont, La Mesa, Santee, El Cajon, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, San Diego, Chula Vista, Mira Mesa, Temecula, Murrieta, Oceanside, and surrounding areas.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Proper Insulation Means Lower San Diego Energy Bills

Temperatures are going up and, unfortunately, so is your energy bill. In the summer, heat naturally flows into your home, and in the winter it naturally flows out of your home. Insulation resists the flow of heat, which in turn decreases the costs of heating and cooling your home.

Many San Diego homes simply don’t have enough insulation to meet today’s energy efficiency standards. Providing sufficient insulation in your home is a cost effective way to reduce your heating and cooling costs. According to the U.S Department of Energy, adding new insulation may pay for itself in just a few short years.

There are numerous places in your home that can benefit from increased insulation. The most cost-effective area to insulate is your attic. We recommend at least installing rolls of R-30 installation inside all the joist cavities. But you can add an additional layer of heat transfer protection by installing another roll of R-30 insulation perpendicularly. Another option is to use blown-in insulation, which can also provide R-30 protection.

Adding insulation to your home not only decreases energy costs, but it provides a more comfortable climate inside your home year round.

If you have any questions or would like a free no obligation estimate, call TR Construction at (858) 537-6490.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why San Diego Roofs Love Asphalt Shingles

In San Diego, shingle roofs are one of the most common types of roofing applications we see. A shingle roof is any roof made of asphalt shingles, also known as composition shingles.

Asphalt shingles are a great choice because they require little maintenance, are easy to repair, and can be used on a wide variety of roofs. They are also very economical because they are relatively inexpensive for the reliable roofing system they provide.

But just because they are economical doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on looks. Asphalt roof shingles come in a variety of textures and colors. You can also find asphalt shingles that mimic the look of cedar shakes, wood, slate, or tile.

Dimensional Shingles 
The most popular type of asphalt shingle is the dimensional shingle. The dimensional shingle lasts longer, is more durable in heavy winds, and is more aesthetically pleasing.

Premium or High Profile Shingles 
Many manufacturers offer upgraded, higher profile shingles that are even thicker than standard dimensional shingles. These upgraded shingles offer higher wind resistance, show more definition, and have a higher profile.

3-Tab Shingles 
About 20 to 30 years ago the 3-tab shingles were very popular. But they lay very flat and are much thinner than the dimensional shingles that are used today.

Owens Corning and GAF are the two major manufacturers of asphalt shingles in the San Diego roofing market. Both Owens Corning and GAF provide limited lifetime warranties on all their dimensional shingles.

To see some examples of dimensional shingles and their wide range of uses, visit

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

San Diego Roof Maintenance

Maintaining your roof is one of the most important things you can do as a homeowner. A leaky roof can lead to expensive water damage, mold, and rotting wood. Immediately fixing any problems can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs.

Here is a roof maintenance checklist that can help make sure you get the most out of your roof. If you need help, give us a call at (858) 537-6490 and we can help you inspect your roof or any roof repair you need done.

              old deteriorated underlayment                        new underlayment
  1. Make sure to keep debris from collecting on your roof.
  2. Remove any accumulated soil where plants may take root. Roots can wreck havoc on your roof.
  3. Trim any tree branches that may be hanging over your roof.
  4. Check for any missing or broken tiles or shingles. If you have a shingle roof, check for any curling, buckling, blistering, rotting, or wear.
  5. Take a trip up to your attic to check for any leaks.
  6. Keep your gutters and downspouts clean. If these are not draining properly water can collect on your roof and cause wood rot or other damage.
  7. Have somebody check to make sure your flashing isn’t damaged. Places you should inspect are around the chimney, pipes, A/C units, skylights, roof top ventilators, and satellite dishes.
  8. If you see any signs of water leakage in your home, be sure to have your roof repaired right away. Waiting can result in expensive water damage and could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of repairing your roof.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Find a Roofer in San Diego

While most people are primarily interested in cost when selecting a contractor for a project, there are also other important factors to take into consideration. Roofing is a lot more complicated than just laying down a few tiles or shingles. A roofing system includes everything from framing, underlayment, ventilation, gutters, flashing, and skylights. Because of this, a good roofer should be well versed in not only roofing, but also carpentry, house and roof ventilation, and millwork.

When looking for a good San Diego roofing company, here are some things to keep in mind:

You will want to make sure that your contractor is licensed. Being licensed requires passing a test to measure competency and shows that your contractor is following local laws. Any dedicated, professional contractor will have a license. Working with a licensed contractor also gives you a related government agency to turn to if there is a problem.

You will also want to take a look to see if your roofer belongs to the National Roofing Contractors Association and holds a good rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Make sure your roofing contractor is insured. The State of California requires all licensed contractors to have workmen’s compensation insurance. If an employee is hurt while on the job, the insurance company pays all the related medical expenses. However, if your contactor does not have workmen’s compensation insurance, you could be liable for medical costs, lost wages, and other related costs.

A license contractor is also required to have a bond insurance policy of at least $12,5000. This is to protect you against any losses in the event that damage occurs to your property or a project is not completed. Many professional roofers also carry a general liability insurance policy to protect you against any losses due to fire, injuries, death, or structure damage.

Any reputable roofing company will be more than happy to give you the name of their insurance carrier. You can then check their coverage directly with the carrier. Before you select a contractor, it is important to make sure your interests are protected.

Go With Your Gut
Make sure you meet with any roofing company that you plan on hiring. Get a feel for their personality and if they are somebody you would like to work with. Do they have a positive attitude? Do they take pride in their work? Are they excited about helping you with your problems? Are they responsive to your calls? Do they get you the information you request?

Good roofers will be willing to take the time to explain any issues or decisions with you. They will not make you feel silly for asking questions or brush over any of your concerns. And don’t forget, if something sounds fishy, it probably is.

Working on a roof can be dangerous. You will want to make sure your roofing contractor is professional and takes the necessary precautions. A dirty worksite can be a safety hazard. Make sure your roofer has a system in place to keep the jobsite clean throughout the entire process. Avoid contractors who plan on just cleaning up at the end. If you have a steep roof, find out if they have experience working on steep roofs and if they use climbing gear.

Good roofers should know their stuff. They should stay abreast of all the latest advances in techniques and materials. Make sure they have plenty of experience working with roofs and that they are well trained. Find out if they employ a permanent crew. Some contractors will hire temporary labor with little to no experience in order to save money.

Make sure that they know the manufacturer’s specifications for any materials used on your roof. Installing something incorrectly can void your product warranties.

It is also a good idea to meet with a professional roofer, not just a salesperson. Salespeople will sometimes promise more than the actual roofing crew can deliver.

Checking References
Before hiring a roofer, make sure you do your homework. Start with a simple Internet search of their name and phone number. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau. Visit websites that may include reviews from previous customers and ask for references from the company. Get their business license number and check with the city or county to make sure they comply with any regulations.

The Estimate

The estimate should be very specific in regards to what work is to be performed and how much it will cost. It should clearly outline any problems and what will be done to fix them.

If you are looking for a good San Diego roofer, please give us a call at (858) 537-6490 and we would be more than happy to answer all your questions.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

San Diego Roof Ventilation

Your roof not only keeps the water off your house; in many ways it also functions as the lungs of your home. A well-designed ventilation system provides a continual flow of air through your attic by establishing a balance between air intake and air exhaust.

A poorly ventilated attic can decrease the life of your roof by damaging wood, shingles, and the felt underlayment that waterproofs your roof. It can even decrease the life of your entire home.

During the summer, excessive heat can build up in your attic causing premature aging of your entire roof system, damage to your wood framing, and damage to your siding and interior and exterior paint.

And then there is the extra load it puts on your air conditioner. A hot attic means a hot house—making your air conditioner work overtime. Making sure your house is properly ventilated will save you money in energy costs. For those parts of San Diego County that get especially hot in the summer, this can add up quickly.

In the winter, poor attic ventilation can cause moisture to build-up and collect under your roof. Once the warm, moist air hits the cold roof it condenses into water. The resulting water can cause wood damage, mold growth, deterioration of your insulation.

Unfortunately, just having vents in your roof doesn’t mean your roof is properly ventilated. In California, building codes require cross-ventilation—two openings to the outside that create a flow of fresh air through your attic. There should be at least 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of attic space.

If you are unsure how your attic is ventilated, it is a good idea to talk to a roof inspector. A roofing inspector can let you know about any weaknesses in your ventilation system and how to improve your ventilation. Often these repairs don’t cost much and can save you a lot of money in the future.

If you have questions about your attic’s ventilation, please call us at (858) 537-6490 and we can help answer your questions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

San Diego Roof Replacement: How Do I Know if I Need a New Roof?

If your roof is damaged, you may be able to repair your roof rather than replace it. This is especially true with tile and shingle roofs when the problem is limited to one area. However, some kinds of roofs (especially on older homes) will have to be replaced.

To determine whether or not you need to replace your roof, you will need your roof inspected by a qualified roofing contractor. But if you would like a little background first, the following will give you some idea of what might need to be done to fix your roof and protect your home. If you have any questions about your roof, feel free to give me a call at (858) 537-6490.

Tile Roofs
Tiles are built to last a lifetime, but the underlayment is not. Because it is the underlayment that waterproofs your roof, it will need to be replaced every 20-25 years. This is called re-felting. Roofers remove the tile from your roof, replace the felt, and retile the roof. In most cases, unless the customer requests otherwise, the existing tile can be reused—saving you the expense of purchasing new tiles.

Ideally, roofing contractors should use 2 layers of 40 lb. paper. In San Diego we have found that many of the roofs that were built over 15 years ago don’t live up to our current standards and were installed very poorly.

Another type of roof we commonly see in San Diego, and the most predominant, is asphalt shingle roofing (more commonly known as composition roofing). This type of roofing system is far more durable than a flat roof or tile roof system. The most common asphalt shingle that we use here in San Diego is a dimensional 30-year or a dimensional lifetime shingle. Fixing loose or broken shingles is relatively easy, but if your roof is over 20 years old and most of the shingles are worn, you will want to look at replacing it.

Wood Shingle
Although they are rapidly disappearing in San Diego, occasionally we see old wood shingle roof systems. These wood shingle roof systems were used over 25 years ago and have not performed very well. They are also highly flammable. New local fire codes have made it so that there aren’t very many left. Given the susceptibility of our area to wildfires, you definitely want your home protected by a Class A fire-rated roof.

Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are not usually repairable. On older San Diego homes, it is common to see flat roof hot mop rock systems where gravel has been applied over tar. Unfortunately, we have found that things like wind, rain, and vibrations move the gravel over time. This exposes the roof to the elements and decreases its life expectancy.

We recommend torch-down roofing for flat roofs. With this roofing system there are embedded granules on the cap sheet that protect the roof and increase the life expectancy. Also, it makes it easier to track and fix leaks. When installed properly, the life expectancy of a torch-down roof is 15 years.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Seven Ways to Get the Most Out of Your San Diego Bathroom Remodel

Anybody who has watched HGTV’s House Hunters knows that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. An old, out-dated kitchen or bathroom can mean the difference between a "fixer upper" and a dream home. And even if you aren’t planning on selling anytime soon, why not remodel now, enjoy it now, and cash in on your investment later?

Although kitchens are now the focal point of any home, bathrooms are a great place to start if you want to increase the value of your home and don’t have the budget or time to tackle a complete kitchen remodel. Whether or not you are looking at completely remodeling your bathroom, here are some important changes you can make that will have the bathroom feeling more like a spa and less like Aunt Fran’s powder room.

Bathroom Mirror
Nothing dates a bathroom faster then that giant, old bathroom mirror glued to your wall. Instead replace it with a framed mirror or a set of mirrors that suits your style. You can even find attractive cabinet mirrors that double as medicine cabinets. This will allow you to get rid of that old recessed, mirrored medicine cabinet without losing storage.

Light Fixtures
We have all seen those old, chrome light fixture bars because almost every track home in San Diego has them. Changing them out for something a little bit more sophisticated and unique can make a tremendous difference. Consider adding a second source of lighting that you can dim while taking a relaxing bath.

Storage, Storage, Storage

Nothing zaps the Zen out of your bathroom faster than shampoo bottles, curling irons, bath toys, and toilet paper rolls. One of the most important keys to creating a spa-like bathroom is to hide away the clutter. Look into installing built-in storage or make sure your vanity has all the room you will need.

Sinks and Countertops

Sinks and countertops get a lot of use and over time they really begin to show their age. Avoid the expense of having your old counters ripped out by having a granite slab cut to fit and installed directly over your existing surface. Sinks are surprisingly inexpensive and can make a noticeable difference.

Top of the line fixtures look fabulous and can cost you a pretty penny, but it also isn’t hard to find economical fixtures that only look expensive. They also make a huge difference—especially if you still have those plastic crystal faucet knobs. If you are looking to splurge a little, fixtures are a great place to do it. They are one of the first things people notice.

When selecting fixtures, make sure everything matches, including doorknobs, faucets, towel racks, and the showerhead. And for some added indulgence, look into installing a new rainfall showerhead.

Paint and Moulding
Paint is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to update any room. Light colors like blues, greens, yellows, or earth tones can make the room look bigger. Bright or dark colors tend to make rooms look smaller. You can also add dimension to the room by adding baseboards, wainscoting, and crown moulding. Adding a bit of architectural interest to your bathroom can make it look less cookie cutter and more custom.

Outdated flooring sticks out like a sore thumb in a bathroom. Luckily new choices in flooring have made it easier and easier to update your floor. When it is in the budget, retiling your floor will last the longest and give you the best wear. But resilient vinyl (or luxury vinyl) is becoming an option that more and more homeowners are turning to. I know that vinyl is often a dirty word, but this new vinyl looks like the real deal. You can find resilient vinyl that looks like everything from tile to marble to wood. And if you always wanted a wood floor in your bathroom, but didn’t want to mess with the upkeep, this is the way to go. Resilient vinyl is super easy to install and can often be installed right over your existing floor.

If you are looking for some ideas for your bathroom and how much things should cost, calling a good San Diego General Contractor is a good place to start.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Five Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen

People often call the kitchen the heart of the home, and with good reason. It is the place where families meet together to cook, eat, clean, plan for the day, and do homework. Having a kitchen that doesn’t work for your family can be frustrating. It is no wonder that most homeowners dream of remodeling their kitchen. If you are sick of walking into your kitchen, here are some good reasons to make a change.

Older kitchens take much longer to clean than newer ones. Old grout can take hours to scrub clean. Dingy sinks require serious elbow grease. Old faucets no longer shine the way that they used to and old caulking is much harder to get clean. Not to mention how much time it takes to scrub your stove! New surfaces are easier to keep clean and new advances in materials and products make things a lot easier to maintain. Remodeling your kitchen can save you a lot of time!

Increase in Value
An outdated kitchen can be a huge buzz kill for home buyers. Remodeling your kitchen will not only increase the value of your home, but will also attract more buyers. Why wait until you are ready to move to remodel your kitchen? Do it now when you can enjoy it!

Fit Your Needs

If you enjoy cooking and entertaining, a tiny little kitchen is seriously going to hamper your lifestyle. If you help your kids do homework while you cook, you are going to need some study space. If you can barely walk around your kitchen table, you are going to want to open things up a bit.

We’ve noticed that in San Diego many of the older kitchens are separated from the living room. Many homeowners have decided to open the space up so that they can visit with family and friends while cooking. It also helps if you need to keep an eye on the little ones.

It used to be that when your home wasn’t fitting your needs, many homeowners just sold their home and found one that did. But with the current housing market in San Diego and around the country, this is no longer a good option. Many homeowners are finding that it makes sense to simply remodel their current home.

Saving Money and the Environment

A new kitchen can save you money in two ways: rebates and a lower utility bill.

Companies and the government are starting to focus more and more on the environment. Because of this they are starting to create financial incentives to update outdated appliances. To find out more about rebates for San Diego homeowners, visit or for those living in the Temecula area.

New appliances can also save you money. New standards mean that many of the newer appliances use less water and less energy. Skylights are also a great option—they reduce the amount of artificial light you need to use.

And besides saving you money, remodeling your kitchen is a terrific way to feel great about your kitchen and about doing your part for the environment

Showing Off
We all want a home that we are dying to show to our friends and neighbors. A dumpy kitchen could mean the difference between inviting your neighbors over for pasta or blushing every time somebody comes to your house. Life is short and you ought to love where you live. If you don’t, then take a look at your budget and start making some changes. Skip the vacation you were planning and eat out less—then put the money towards something you can enjoy for years to come.

If you are looking for more design ideas for your kitchen, call us at (858) 537-6490. Our design team can help you make your dreams a reality.