Renovating Your Popcorn Ceiling – Top Contractor Tips

5 Things You Need to Know About Popcorn Ceilings If you’ve ever watched a home improvement show, the first thing said when the host walks into an older home is almost always “Popcorn ceilings – we’ll have to remove those”. Why does everyone assume popcorn ceilings must go? And what if you chose to leave them? What can be done with them? With some advice from a local painting and renovations contractor, we dive into this interesting topic! What is a Popcorn Ceiling?Popcorn ceiling is a kind of textured finish for ceilings. With a closer resemblance to cottage cheese than popcorn, this ceiling treatment began appearing in the middle of the 20th century. The technique is accomplished by spraying on a texture to the ceiling. The result accomplished several goals – it quickly and inexpensively covered any imperfections in the ceiling, help dampen room noise, and even provided some fire resistance. While popcorn ceilings have gotten a bit of a refresh as interest is renewed in mid-century looks, some people still have questions about its safety and how to care for it.How is it Different From a Textured Ceiling?Homes built today typically have smooth or lightly textured ceilings, as popcorn texturing largely fell out of style for some time. Popcorn ceilings are a type of ceiling texture, but today’s techniques are more subtle than the aggressive and rough blobs that characterize the popcorn look. Texture sprays can be used, or “stomping” can create a pattern on the ceiling as well. Swirls and orange peel are other popular texturing methods that are alternatives to popcorn.What’s the Relationship with Asbestos?When popcorn ceilings were first added to homes, the material used to provide the texture was a fibrous mineral called asbestos. Over the years, it was discovered that this material could end up in the lungs, causing scarring and even lung cancer. Asbestos was banned in 1978, but several companies continued to sell it as a building material until they ran out, well into the mid-1980s. After that paper was substituted for the carcinogenic asbestos. Homes built before 1985 with popcorn ceilings should be tested to see if they pose a risk to the occupants. If they do, a qualified professional should be contracted to come in and remove the material. While it is legal for a homeowner to do it themselves, a qualified professional understands the risks and how to mitigate them for their crews and for the home.What to Do with Water Damage on Popcorn CeilingsWater stains can leave ugly patches on your ceiling, even after the leak is repaired. If your popcorn ceiling has water damage, it’s a simple process to remove the damaged area and replace it – once you know that the ceiling does not contain asbestos, of course. Using a scraper tool, completely scrape the area that is damaged, plus an inch or so around it, all the way down to the drywall. You may wish to paint the area over with a primer paint intended to cover stains, such as Killz. Next, apply popcorn ceiling patch material. As you apply the material, match the existing spray pattern as closely as possible. The patch can be painted to match your ceiling once the area has completely dried.Cleaning a Popcorn Ceiling[googlemaps https://www.youtube.com/embed/ktO8VMdH_04″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”>To clean your ceiling, begin by using a broom or vacuum to remove dust and cobwebs. After it is dusted, you can spray it with a mixture of dish soap and water or bleach and water. First, be sure to test the mixture on an inconspicuous area of your ceiling. If the solution causes damage you may need to use a more diluted version or switch from soap to bleach, or visa versa. Once you have found the right cleaning solution, spray the entire ceiling, concentrating on areas with stains or heavy soil. A second application can be made for particularly tough stains. Do not scrub. Wet popcorn texture can peel away from the drywall. If cleaning doesn’t work, you may consider a fresh coat of paint. How to Paint Popcorn CeilingsPainting a popcorn ceiling simply requires the right tools and techniques for the job to give it a professional look. As with cleaning, be sure to remove as much loose dust and cobwebs from the ceiling as possible before you begin painting. To ensure an even coat that covers the textures, a segmented roller should be used to apply paint. Unlike painting a wall, you’ll want to only go in one direction, not back and forth. This is to prevent damage to the ceiling texture as it becomes wet from the paint. If a second coat is needed, be sure to allow the first coat to completely dry to prevent damage to the texture. Whether you think they give your home a funky, mid-century look or just don’t want the mess, hassle, and expense of removing it, popcorn ceilings can be cleaned, painted, and repaired to improve the look of your home. If you are looking for a general contractor in the Philadelphia area, please reach out to T.J.’s Painting and Renovations Co. 2936191
“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article Renovating Your Popcorn Ceiling – Top Contractor Tips originally appeared on ActiveRain

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Construction Site Security Strategies for 2018

Technology, Strategy, and CostsIn this article, we will talk about some of the new high-tech ways to protect your construction site from theft or other types of capital loss. Outdoor job sites or construction projects left unattended can be a very costly mistake. With that in mind, we want to be able to secure our materials and equipment from anyone who may be a potential thief or hindrance in the progress of the project. Radius Security recently published a helpful surveillance guide for 2018.Losses as a result of weather are materialistic or equipment-based. This can cause costly delays and replacements that get in the way of progress. Making sure to lock up or protect materials in a weather-proof storage area is a wonderful way to avoid this.

But what about thievery? One of the most common of materials we have seen stolen from job sites is copper, among other recyclable metals. Other items frequently taken include equipment and power tools that can be sold for approximately half of the price of the original purchase value.The first type of strategy for security that we are going to talk about is called Geofencing. GPS tracking goes hand-in-hand with this. This type of technology allows you to receive some type of alert, whether it be email or text message, the moment a piece of equipment is moved off of the job site or an engine starts around the workplace during non-work hours.This is highly effective for regulating theft and misuse of both equipment and materials. Geofencing allows you to create your own perimeters and specifications where things cannot be moved away. This is one of the more expensive techniques used to prevent loss from outdoor job sites, as well as indoor, but the security cannot be beaten.
The next security technique we will mention that you may choose to use on your indoor or outdoor job site is the use of security cameras. Well-placed and high-visibility cameras offer not only the sight of the equipment, materials, and individuals in question they also offer a high level of deterrence when spotted by potential looters.When people see security cameras that have been strategically-placed they are 50% less likely to try to take anything from the job site in question. Security cameras can be one of the more cost-effective ways to secure your construction project.This is due to the fact that they can be taken down and placed on different job sites as they are needed. Security guards are helpful, and can respond to instrusion, but they are not as effective as 24/7 video camera technology.One of the most innovative products of modern technology is the keyless ignition transponder chip key that many high-end manufacturers are adding to equipment to ensure safety from theft. Most manufacture designer ignition keys to be the exact same for each piece of equipment. Using a chip transponder key allows for a much higher level of security on both locks and ignition systems.In conclusion, it is up to you to decide what level of protection you need for your security needs. This can be based on your budget and how much you have to protect located on the construction job site.These are some of the newest ways we see technology impacting construction job site security. Some are, of course, more expensive than the older techniques of securing a job site but are far more effective in the long run by saving you money, hassle, and time.

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“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article Construction Site Security Strategies for 2018 originally appeared on ActiveRain

Benefits of a Power Analyzer for Commercial Building Power

Poor quality power in a commercial building can be the source of a myriad of problems. Betweenvoltage sags as swells, over-voltage issues, harmonics, and grounding related problems, businesses canexperience repeated outages and be forced to replace sensitive components and equipment long beforeit’s natural end of life.But this is the route that many maintenance and plant managers find themselves taking. With a lack ofvisibility and knowledge into their building’s power issues, these professionals end up treating thesymptoms, while the real problems continue unchecked. The results are unplanned outages whilemechanical and electrical components are swapped out from failures. These fixes are quick but costly,and they never get to the root of the problem. Machinesense.com recently published a great list of power quality issues that can be solved for larger real buildings.What is needed is a real solution that exposes and addresses the actual issues. Moreover, it would behelpful if that solution went beyond identifying the problem that was occurring and predicted whenissues might occur.Benefits of MachineSense Power Quality AnalyzerEighty percent of issues, such as failed transforms, motor burnout, and blown displays and drives, can be traced back to poor power quality. And 70% of power quality disturbances are caused, not from thenetwork, but from within the business’s location.Using the MachineSense Power Quality Analyzer can make it simple to find power issues internal to acommercial building. Easily installing directly on incoming power lines, it monitors incoming powerconditions and automatically transmits that data to your router for uploading to the cloud.Once uploaded, MachineSense’s powerful software analyzes the data, locating and diagnosing potentialfailures and identifying common line issues. No manual data processing or analysis is required. Instead, the information is processed in the cloud and presented back to you in clear dashboards, available on desktop and mobile devices.MachineSense goes beyond uncovering existing problems with power quality. Using the system’sexclusive Crystalball software, users can set up text and email alarms, alerting the recipients you choose of equipment performance anomalies.It does this using six months of historic and real- time data. Dashboards show the historical data with trend lines for equipment performance.Using this device, you can address the actual power quality problems within your building yourself,instead of replacing expensive, sensitive components or hiring a highly-paid consultant to track downproblems.Plus, you can avoid unexpected outages and downtime as you keep ahead of problems thanks to clear analysis of historical data against real-time equipment performance. MachineSense gives you all the information you need at your fingertips.


Property Listings
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Reviews on Zillow
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“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article Benefits of a Power Analyzer for Commercial Building Power originally appeared on ActiveRain

2017 Hurricanes Cause Billions in Damage to Florida Homes

This was a recording breaking year, but not in the way that coastal homeowners wanted it to be. For the first time in 100 years, two Category 4 or greater hurricanes made U.S. landfall in the same year. The damaged cause by Irma is estimated to reach levels that rival the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The federal government picks up the tab on roughly 60 percent of damage cause by the storms, leaving the other 40 percent to be addressed by state and local governments, insurance, and individuals to foot the rest of the bill. With an estimated average of $28 billion in damage per year, that leaves roughly $11 billion for individuals, insurance, and local governments to absorb. In the case of Irma, that number increases fourfold.A Look at the Hurricane Damage Numbers for FloridaHurricane Irma was a Category 5 storm when it made landfall, and resulted in 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys being completely destroyed. More shocking is that experts state that not one single home in the Keys was left untouched by the storm. Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm by the time Irma hit Jacksonville, the storm surge resembled a Category 3 storm, resulting in flooding and in the St. Johns River reaching record levels. Irma caused other damage to homes beyond total destruction. It’s estimated that 65% of the homes in the Keys suffered significant damage, either from flooding, eroded home foundations, debris, or severe wind damage to roofs and other parts of the homes, as noted by Jasper Roofing in Orlando. Other areas, like St. Augustine and Miami were hard hit as well. At least 15 homes on Marco Island, where Irma first made landfall, had their roofs torn off. In Naples, roofs were ripped off and homes collapsed in the face of 140-mile an hour winds.Hurricanes Damage Property in Three WaysWind is only one of the storm factors that cause damage to property during a hurricane, but it is a significant one. Even in a comparably mild Category 1 storm, homes can experience some damage due to the 74-95 mile per hour winds. When a hurricane reaches Category 5, like Irma, wind speeds exceed 157 miles per hour, leaving severely damaged and destroyed properties in its wake. But wind isn’t the only damaging storm element. Storm surges – when the water rises above high tide levels and combines with the high-speed winds to pound property and land with water – have a significant damaging effect. Water weighs roughly 1,700 pounds per cubic yard, and during a Category 5 storm is thrown at structures, like homes, at nearly 160 miles per hour. A third element is rainfall. Hurricanes are driven by the warm, moist air in the oceans, letting them build up strength. Once they hit landfall, however, the storm’s power source disappears, and the storm slows. While the winds may lessen, it means that the storm itself stalls above land, dumping rain on roads and structures and resulting in flooding according to the experts at DYW Water Damage Restoration. Irma’s devastation to homes and businesses was not unheard of, but was brutal and significant. With the damage caused, with homes utterly destroyed and others pulled apart by high winds, storm surges, and rainfall, it’s not surprising that Florida faces billions of dollars in repairs to structures in the coming months.  


Property Listings
http://www.trulia.com/profile/david-j-caracausa-agent-blue-bell-pa-zg13725j/overview
http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/David-Caracausa_Blue-Bell_PA_13059_828894562
http://historicrealestate.preservationnation.org/viewuser.php?id=2405
Reviews on Zillow
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“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article 2017 Hurricanes Cause Billions in Damage to Florida Homes originally appeared on ActiveRain

Construction Credit Reports That Get Results

In this post, a recommended source speaks to the importance of a good construction credit report. Check out the video below. https://www.bicanet.com/products/construction-credit-report/


Property Listings
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http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/David-Caracausa_Blue-Bell_PA_13059_828894562
http://historicrealestate.preservationnation.org/viewuser.php?id=2405
Reviews on Zillow
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“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article Construction Credit Reports That Get Results originally appeared on ActiveRain

Original Art: The Underutilized Decorating Tool

Your home offers you an amazing design opportunity. Art makes a house a home. Carefully chosen pieces of art reflect a family’s values, interests, and personality. It should not just be an afterthought, but central to your decorating and living process. Original art pieces can help tell the story of your special life. Not only does artwork make a visual statement, it can offer so much more. How do you want people to feel when entering your home? Set the mood with color and design. Consider first impression sightlines. A beautiful landscape portrait or a softly hued abstract canvas in an entryway can be welcoming. Each room in a house deserves consideration. A main living area is often the focus for fine art. Choose something that speaks to you. Both modern and traditional styles can set mood for this busy space. Look through selections in an online gallery such as ArstyHome.com, a great website to purchase original art to see the vast number of choices available. There are many mediums as well. Tapestries, weavings, metal sculptures, and photography can be focal points. Mixing family photos with fine prints and original artworks is an exciting way to tell a visual story. Mixing personal photos with art selections in wall groupings is fun.Sunflower by Ata Alishahi Often homeowners place indoor plants in the kitchen as decor.  Unfortunately, some of us weren’t born with a green thumb. Artwork can solve this problem.  Science has proven that paintings or prints of nature are just as soothing. Green backgrounds work with most kitchen palettes and add life to any room. One large piece is impressive or purchase a few small still lifes that can be rotated throughout the seasons.  Keep the frames simple and crisp for easy redecorating when the area needs a lift. Bedrooms should be relaxing and personal.  Color is the most important factor when decorating a sleeping area. Soft colors, especially blues and greens, enhance sleep. Muted gray and white photographs are also soothing. A current trend is calligraphy interwoven with art design. Many artists are adding inspirational quotes to original artwork. A simple phrase or poem to read each morning gets the day started right. Find something that makes you smile. Keep this in mind when designing a child’s bedroom as well. If you have an older child, allow him or her to view art choices with you to personalize their spaces.Keep the bathroom in mind when selecting artwork. A few carefully selected pieces can change a bland boring room into a delight. Whimsical prints or a fun small sculpture on a shelf make a bathroom more spalike. Coordinate with the wall tone or add bright, bold pops of color. Art does not just hang on the wall.  It can also be very practical. Pendant lighting is an exciting trend that can be incorporated into any room. Artists are creating amazing pieces that function as both light and sculpture. Wall and shelf clocks are also potential art decor. Artists have incorporated clocks into canvas, sculpture, wall hangings and wooden carvings. Tableware is a traditional place for creative expression. Look for bowls, serving dishes, painted kettles and even salt and pepper shakers. Modern twists on tableware are both useful and visually appealing.Furniture is a large piece of the home decorating puzzle. Today there are so many beautiful options. Discover a few original pieces to tell your story. Go big with a set of handmade chairs or select a small unique side table. Even original throw pillows will make a huge difference in the quality of a room. Price is no longer an issue when considering art for your home. Original artwork is priced across a wide range depending on your selections. Large pieces will be more expensive, but it can be practical as well. When purchasing furniture, lights and other functional pieces, first take a look at artist offerings. They quite possibly will fit into your budget and provide a more beautiful option than something from a regular box store. Held fine art giclee by Dina KowalMake your home uniquely your own with the help of ArtsyHome. The goal is to connect homeowners and designers with a diverse group of talented artists from all across the globe. This presents the buyer with tremendous choices not found in retail stores. New pieces are being added continuously. You can keep updated on design trends and discover emerging artists from the comfort of your own home. ArtsyHome is a dynamic website gallery created with you in mind. Contact their team at customercare@ArtsyHome.com or 1-866-892-0510.


Property Listings
http://www.trulia.com/profile/david-j-caracausa-agent-blue-bell-pa-zg13725j/overview
http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/David-Caracausa_Blue-Bell_PA_13059_828894562
http://historicrealestate.preservationnation.org/viewuser.php?id=2405
Reviews on Zillow
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“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article Original Art: The Underutilized Decorating Tool originally appeared on ActiveRain

Real Estate Virtual Video Tours Are a Big Hit

Real estate virtual tours are awesome ways to show a home. As the prospect visually follows the tour they get a much better feeling for what the property is all about. It’s a great idea to start from the front of the home and make your way in, moving from room to room like a pro.Take extra time on the nicest areas of the house, and the spots that are popular like bathrooms, living room, kitchen, etc.. Of course if you are allowed to fly a drone in your area it’s great to swoop into the propery from great heights.Of course if the lawn is full of weeds, and the roof is missing shingles maybe skip that part. Sometimes people like to see the neighboorhood as well so you can fly the drone around to get those shots too. These guys are working on some interesting cool live video streaming solutions that may work great for real estate tours. The bottom line is make sure to get great footage with lots of natural light and you will do great.With recent technology advancements, we are even seeing virtual reality tours! 

 One overlooked addition to your video, especially if it’s narrated, is to add captions. Consider the number of devices that people could be using to watch your video, and where they could be in terms of background noise and inability to hear well. The Benefits of Transcribing & Captioning Online Video ContentTranscription & closed captioning is usually an afterthought. You’ve spent hours shooting & editing your video, and after it’s all said and done, do you really want to sit there and type away monotonously? The answer is yes. Here are some compelling reasons to transcribe & caption your videos.
According to Facebook’s own metrics, videos with an embedded closed captioning track are watched 20% longer than non-captioned videos.
On YouTube, if you add a caption file with an accurate transcript, YouTube/Google will index the transcript. This helps your video’s performance and your video views will go up because Google’s search engine can read the text and get a more thorough understanding of your video’s content. Generally, the more information you can give YouTube/Google the better your video will perform.
In 2013, Discovery Digital Networks decided to caption all of their YouTube content to see if it would boost viewership and engagement. After 14 days their video views went up a staggering 13.48%.
In the United States we have an aging population, which means about 20% of people have some hearing loss. Making your video accessible to more people is a great thing to do. Closed captioning opens up access to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy your content.
When browsing the web people often turn the sound off to avoid annoying sounds & ads. Facebook will auto-play your video with captions if the viewer’s sound is off, this feature will engage more people.
Transcription and captioning services are very helpful in this regard. You could also attempt to do it yourself or train someone in the office, as the skill has become particularly accessible in the last few years. This great list of top software can help you choose which equipment is right for you.Have you had any success with using virtual tours? Let me know in the comments below.

Property Listings
http://www.trulia.com/profile/david-j-caracausa-agent-blue-bell-pa-zg13725j/overview
http://www.realtor.com/realestateagents/David-Caracausa_Blue-Bell_PA_13059_828894562
http://historicrealestate.preservationnation.org/viewuser.php?id=2405
Reviews on Zillow
https://www.zillow.com:443/widgets/reputation/Rating.htm?did=rw-widget-container&ezuid=X1-ZU10bi8j7naksuh_1k6ql&size=wide&type=iframe&zmod=true2936191
“We have known David Caracausa for over 2 decades. The marketing and eventual sale of our house was quick, efficient and painless. It only took about … more “5.0/5.0
by coachjane122869426
“David is the consummate professional. We selected him as our realtor after interviewing other well regarded realtors in our market. He distinguished … more “5.0/5.0
by meheister2435509
“David Caracausa was an outstanding personal representative for my recent home sale in North Wales, Pa. He was excellent in all areas from staging of … more “5.0/5.0
by allan truant

The article Real Estate Virtual Video Tours Are a Big Hit originally appeared on ActiveRain