Mares & Dow – General Home Contractors https://www.maresdow.com Home Remodels, Skylights, Siding, Foundation Repair Mon, 08 Jun 2020 21:52:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.maresdow.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/favicon-maresdow.jpg Mares & Dow – General Home Contractors https://www.maresdow.com 32 32 Questions to Ask Before Installing Commercial Skylights https://www.maresdow.com/questions-to-ask-before-installing-commercial-skylights/ Mon, 08 Jun 2020 21:13:04 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2827 Are you wondering if it’s possible to install commercial skylights in your business? There are limitless benefits of commercial skylights, including increased productivity and increased overall health of employees. Many businesses-owners have made the switch to natural lighting. There are also risks involved with skylights, such as leaking, unwanted temperature changes, and bad installation. Before Continue Reading

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Are you wondering if it’s possible to install commercial skylights in your business? There are limitless benefits of commercial skylights, including increased productivity and increased overall health of employees. Many businesses-owners have made the switch to natural lighting.

There are also risks involved with skylights, such as leaking, unwanted temperature changes, and bad installation. Before you decide to invest in skylights, ask yourself these questions to know if your business is a good fit for installing commercial skylights.

What is the shape of your roof?

Leaking is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to deciding to install commercial skylights. This fear can be alleviated if the shape of the business’s roof can accommodate lousy weather. A steeper roof allows for water to flow with ease, while a flat roof can trap water and create buildup around the skylight.

If your roof isn’t a preferred shape, it’s still possible to have skylights. Contractors resolve leaking issues by the addition of a waterproof protective layer and sealing joints thoroughly. These newer technologies have allowed for a no-leaking ten-year guarantee. Be sure to discuss your options with your contractor.

How is your Electric Bill?

Ventilated skylights are also an option to provide extra airflow in the workplace. These skylights open to allow air from the outside to come in. During the summer, natural wind can provide cooling in an office.

During the winter, the skylights absorb extra heat from the sun’s light. The skylight can keep the cold out while allowing natural light to warm up the office. Extra ventilation and sun-exposure can save a considerable number of electric bills.

Are you planning on Reselling?

Skylights add massive value to buildings if you are ever planning on relocating or reselling. One of the top priorities for buyers is access to natural light. Buyers will be excited about saving money on electricity.

They will also be excited about the increase in productivity for their employee’s natural lighting has proven to make employees happier and more productive. The aesthetic value of the workplace will also exponentially increase. Natural lighting makes the workplace look much more beautiful. Investing in skylights is a smart choice if you are thinking about reselling in the future.

Are skylights compatible with the climate where you live?

While skylights are useful for ventilation, they can also have the opposite effect. Newer technologies have allowed for less heat and cold exposure through skylights. However, unwanted winter cold or summer heat due to skylights is still a possibility.

The use of glazing technologies such as heat resistant tints and e-coatings prevent additional summertime heating and wintertime cooling, through the skylight. Talk to your commercial skylight contractors about options if you live in a climate prone to extreme weather.

Skylights are a significant investment, and it can be challenging to know if your business is ready to make the switch. Will adding commercial skylights be a good investment for you? Almost any business is right for skylights if they partner with knowledgeable and adaptable contractors. The benefits of adding skylights to a business are many, and your employees will thank you for the new natural light in the office.

Mares Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  As Certified 5-Star Velux Skylight specialists we bring the highest level of commitment to all projects. Contact us today to learn more about installing commercial skylights in your business!

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Which Types of Retaining Wall Do You Need? https://www.maresdow.com/which-types-of-retaining-wall-do-you-need/ Wed, 03 Jun 2020 23:06:38 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2822 Retaining walls can be incredibly convenient in increasing your home’s usable land and might be a necessity for houses on dangerous hills. Weather and erosion can result in a precarious situation for home foundations. If you are thinking of building a retaining home on your property, the options can be overwhelming. Here are some of Continue Reading

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Retaining walls can be incredibly convenient in increasing your home’s usable land and might be a necessity for houses on dangerous hills. Weather and erosion can result in a precarious situation for home foundations.

If you are thinking of building a retaining home on your property, the options can be overwhelming. Here are some of the most common types of retaining walls that retaining wall contractors install in homes.

Anchored Retaining Wall

If you have a limited amount of space but still need a retaining wall, then the anchored wall is the best option. This type is known for being relatively thin and can be built taller. It works well for loose soil and rocks.

“Anchors” made of cables or strips are driven into the ground behind the wall and secure Anchored retaining walls. Even though the wall is thin and tall, the anchors support the wall by being driven into the ground mechanically.

Sheet Piling Retaining Wall

If you need a temporary wall for construction, the sheet piling wall is usually the best bet. Sheet Piling Retaining walls are constructed by driving different sections of the pre-constructed wall into the ground and connecting them to form a wall. The sections can be driven in at different depths to create stability. Construction of these walls is quicker than others.

These are some of the least stable walls because they can not withstand a large amount of pressure. These also don’t work in dense, thick soil. Also, it can be challenging to match the wall to a preferred shape, because the preconstructed sections determine the walls’ shape and height.

Cantilevered Retaining Wall

The most common type of retaining wall is the Cantilever. This wall is heavily reinforced with metal bars running through thick concrete to form the wall and is built in an “L” shape so that the soil keeps the wall standing. This wall is one of the sturdiest options for substantial amounts of soil.

The wall can be pre-constructed off-site or constructed onsite. Cantilevered retaining walls have a stem and base shape for stability. However, it’s essential to account for site-specific concerns for sliding and overturning due to pressure.

Gravity Retaining Wall

The Gravity Retaining wall is known for strength, which it depends on to stand and hold soil. This wall is one of the most flexible options when it comes to building material. However, because of its weight, the wall usually must be massive.

Retaining wall contractors can create a type of Gravity Retaining wall using heavy boxes to create a draining system in which they fill holes with rocks or coarse soil. These are called Crib Retaining walls, and they are an excellent option to reduce the water build-up. Regular Gravity Retaining walls might require a trench and room for extra reinforcement.

There is a retaining wall for any situation that your property comes across, whether you need a drive, more landscaping space, or need to protect your home from dangerous erosion. It’s always a good idea to discuss options with contractors and decide which type of retaining wall is best for you.

Mares Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  We are retaining wall experts.  Contact us today to get started on your retaining wall project!

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3 Things You Need to Know to Make Your Retaining Wall Stronger https://www.maresdow.com/3-things-you-need-to-know-to-make-your-retaining-wall-stronger/ Wed, 20 May 2020 23:37:08 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2813 When building a retaining wall, it is essential to understand the relationship between the wall, the soil, and the water. A retaining wall contractor must account for all three elements, which are in constant contact throughout the life of the wall. When built correctly with water and soil, a retaining wall can last between 50 Continue Reading

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When building a retaining wall, it is essential to understand the relationship between the wall, the soil, and the water. A retaining wall contractor must account for all three elements, which are in constant contact throughout the life of the wall. When built correctly with water and soil, a retaining wall can last between 50 and 100 years.

In general, a quality retaining wall requires three elements:

  • A solid base
  • Compacted soil/base material
  • Proper drainage

Below, we take a closer look at each of these elements and how they contribute to your retaining wall. If you have any further questions or need to consult a retaining wall contractor in San Francisco, feel free to contact Mares & Dow Construction.

Build a Solid Retaining Wall Base

When designing and planning your retaining wall, you may think about how it looks on the front or at the top. However, it’s what goes on at the base of the wall or behind the wall that matters. A poor design at the base can cause the entire wall to crumble, turning it into a high-risk safety hazard. So, it’s at the base that you need to give the most consideration and attention to detail.

Keep in mind that a retaining wall isn’t supporting all of the ground behind it. Instead, it is only supporting the wedge soil, which is the soil that you fill in between the wall and the undisturbed natural soil. This soil tends to slide down the side of the wall or put pressure on the wall. To keep the wall performing well over a long period, consider the following:

  • Use heavier material (large blocks, boulders, poured concrete, or thick timbers).
  • Bury the bottom of the wall slightly into the ground to keep it from being pushed out.
  • Step out the blocks at the end to allow the wall to push into the filler soil.
  • Make sure your base is compact and keep the wall level.

Control the Flow of Water

One of the reasons why a retaining wall is necessary is soil erosion. The culprit is thousands of years of running water that eventually weakens the soil. That same running water can also weaken your retaining wall. Therefore, you must control the flow of water when it rains.

The goal is to either prevent water from trickling behind the wall or control its flow. You can start by ensuring that the topsoil and sod are even with the top blocks. This allows most of the water to flow over the top of the wall. Here are some other tips for controlling the flow of water:

  • Make sure that the fill soil is impervious to block significant amounts of water.
  • Use landscape fabric to prevent the soil from entering the gravel.
  • Use gravel behind the wall to allow for quick water flow.
  • Add a drain tile to allow the water to quickly flow away from the wall.

All of these techniques prevent water from building up behind the wall and adding intense pressure.

Provide Proper Compaction to Relieve the Wall of Pressure

When you think of compaction, you envision a retaining wall contractor filling up a hole and using their boot to pack the fill soil. However, this method only puts more pressure on the wall and may not adequately limit water flow. A better option is to add three to four inches of soil and pack it professionally using a tamper.

A contractor repeats this method until the soil is level with the top of the wall. They also use sandy or gravelly materials, which hold their compaction much better than standard topsoil. With proper compaction and the right soil, you can limit how much water gets behind the wall.

Mares Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and siding experts. We enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel or siding project!

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What to Consider When Planning for a Home Addition https://www.maresdow.com/what-to-consider-when-planning-for-a-home-addition/ Fri, 15 May 2020 00:16:00 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2815 Are you looking to add more square footage to your home? If so, you may be considering a room addition. Adding living space provides more options for your family and adds value to your property. Before you begin your project, you may want to discuss several considerations with your home remodeling contractor. For instance, you’ll Continue Reading

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Are you looking to add more square footage to your home? If so, you may be considering a room addition. Adding living space provides more options for your family and adds value to your property. Before you begin your project, you may want to discuss several considerations with your home remodeling contractor.

For instance, you’ll want to pay special attention during the designing and planning phase. Also, you’ll want to consider building codes, zoning regulations, building outward, or adding a second floor, as well as staying within your budget. By working out the details, your home addition project will go more smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at what to consider when planning for a home addition.

The Design Phase

The most critical stage in a home addition project is the design and planning phase. During this stage, you will work with the home remodeling contractor on several items such as:

  • Drawing up floor plans and the overall design scheme
  • Choosing building materials
  • Creating a budget that you can work within
  • Ensuring a seamless transition between the existing house and the added space
  • Establishing timelines and deadlines
  • Preparing your home for demolition and construction

Blending the new addition with the current structure requires extensive planning and precision if the project is going to be successful. Make sure you allocate extra time for planning and design so that the addition is completed to your specifications.

Building Codes and Zoning Regulations

One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make is thinking that they can do whatever they want with the plot of land they own. However, zoning regulations and building codes prevent homeowners from launching specific projects or remodeling their homes in certain ways.

Before you start your project, your contractor can review all local planning and zoning regulations. They can ensure that you have the necessary space on your property for a room addition. Once you understand the zoning regulation, then you’ll have a better idea of your building options.

System and Structural Integration

Your house contains a vast network of systems that provide comfort and security from the outside elements. Your home’s design is engineered for maximum structural integrity, ensuring that it can support the framework, all materials, and all contents inside.

When you add a new room to the house, consider how it will affect the following:

  • Structural framework
  • HVAC/Air conditioning system
  • Electrical wiring and panel
  • Plumbing
  • Load-bearing walls

If you are building upward and adding a second floor, you need to make sure that the existing framework can support the added load. You’ll also need to make sure that all systems can handle the additional floor space. Will you need to add a larger electrical panel? How will the addition affect your water pressure? Is your HVAC large enough to heat or cool the added room?

Setting a Proper Budget

The average room addition project ranges from $21,000 to $69,000. Umbrella costs can include materials, demolition, permits, and labor. Therefore, before you move forward with your project, you need to know what type of financial commitment it will require.

Your home remodeling contractor can help you determine how much you need to budget for with a bottom-line figure that includes materials and labor. Having a budget and knowing what you are paying for will eliminate any problems that could cause your project to come to a halt.

Mares Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and siding experts. We enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel or siding project!

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Commercial Skylights: Can They Keep Your Team Productive? https://www.maresdow.com/commercial-skylights-can-they-keep-your-team-productive/ Tue, 28 Apr 2020 23:40:09 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2793 According to The Washington Post, 25% of Americans spend their entire day working indoors. That’s a lot of fluorescent and artificial lighting. Does this fact really affect the productivity and output of your business?  The economic and physical cost of working mostly independent of the sun’s light is higher than most might assume. One way Continue Reading

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According to The Washington Post, 25% of Americans spend their entire day working indoors. That’s a lot of fluorescent and artificial lighting. Does this fact really affect the productivity and output of your business? 

The economic and physical cost of working mostly independent of the sun’s light is higher than most might assume. One way to let some natural light back into the workplace is by installing commercial skylights. So, what are the benefits? More than you might think. Here are the four best reasons for investing in skylights for the workplace is a great idea.

Commercial Skylights for Healthier and Happier Employees

Fluorescent lighting is more harmful than we know. While artificial lighting is not directly harmful, it is known to cause temporary and lasting effects. It has been proven that stress levels are related to constant exposure to artificial lighting. Migraines and headaches can also be caused by overexposure to artificial lighting. 

No one goes to work excited to spend another day in a stuffy dark environment. Commercial skylights installers can install a variety of skylights that will enhance an employee’s mood. Also letting in sunlight will increase the natural intake of vitamin D and B12, improving the overall health of your employees. According to the Sleep Foundation, sunlight is known to regulate sleep schedules, making workers better rested.  

Increased Productivity

When employees are exposed to natural lighting, they are more productive, less stressed, and enjoy their work. Vision is better in natural lighting, increasing depth perception, color visibility, and lowering blurriness. Studies have shown that natural lighting increases motivation and focus. 

Customers prefer to shop in businesses with lots of natural lighting. Overall energy levels rise in natural lighting as well. The investment will become worth it as the output coming from your employees improves. 

Greater Aesthetic in the Workplace

Brightening your office space will add beauty to your everyday environment. An aesthetically pleasing space will make employees feel more comfortable. Clients will be more likely to enjoy the time they spend in your business.  

Skylights also add value to the price of a property due to these reasons. Tenants are more likely to be interested in a space with plenty of natural light. 

Economical Advantages

Powering a business is financially and environmentally expensive. Skylights have the ability to save on temperature costs and lighting costs. Depending on where you place your skylights, you can usually save about 30% of these energy costs a month

Certain skylight features include being able to open a skylight to increase the circulation of air. Utilizing the sun’s rays can increase heat in the workplace during the winter, without letting unwanted cold air inside.

Some common worries of installing a skylight include leaking due to rain, and unwanted temperature changes inside of a building. Leaking can be resolved by the addition of a waterproof protective layer and sealing joints thoroughly. In addition, glazing technologies such as heat resistant tints and e-coatings are being used to prevent additional summertime heating and wintertime cooling, through the skylight. 

Commercial skylights are one of the best ways to bring sunlight into your office. Employees will find themselves happier, healthier, and more productive in their day to day activities. Skylights will be an investment in a company with greater output and healthier staff. For a business that’s environmentally and economically conscious, commercial skylights can be the next right move to make. 

How Mares & Dow Can Help

Mares & Dow offers a variety of Velux commercial skylights for your business in the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your commercial skylight needs.

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James Hardie Siding: Why It’s a Siding Contractors Favorite https://www.maresdow.com/james-hardie-siding-why-its-a-siding-contractors-favorite/ Fri, 24 Apr 2020 23:17:00 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2791 Siding protects your home from outdoor elements. If you begin to notice cracking, color fading, or damage, due to water or wind, it may be time for a replacement. It can be hard to know where to find a company whose products will fit all the particular needs of your home.  James Hardie is a Continue Reading

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Siding protects your home from outdoor elements. If you begin to notice cracking, color fading, or damage, due to water or wind, it may be time for a replacement. It can be hard to know where to find a company whose products will fit all the particular needs of your home. 

James Hardie is a highly recommended and acclaimed siding company with unique products and superior services. Why is James Hardie preferred among siding contractors? Here are five reasons why James Hardie is a popular choice for siding. 

Innovative Siding Products

James Hardie has been the leader in innovating unique technology to combat common threats against your home. They are credited for creating fiber cement siding and trim, which are made to withstand more than the average house can handle. 

They also have developed Baked-on ColorPlus® Technology, a finish added to siding and trim to brighten and strengthen the color. This color is made to resist cracking and fading from UV rays, with the ultimate goal of reducing maintenance. 

Dependability

You can trust that your home is in good hands with the developers of James Hardie Siding who are acclaimed for being precise and timely. Their products are designed to withstand natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes. They have also developed siding that will not ignite or spread flames, in case of a house fire.

Their products are designed to last and protect your home from outside forces. They overcome the weaknesses of products made out of wood or vinyl, which are known to easily catch fire and warp from natural weather. 

Reliable Services

You can be assured that when you invest in products created by the manufacturers of James Hardie, they’re going to stay beautiful and strong for a long time. To ensure quality construction, all siding products include a 30-year, non-prorated warranty. 

After studying climate-related effects on trim and siding, Jame Hardie manufacturers created a system called HardieZone®. This feature personalizes what services your house needs, based on the climate that you live in. Even after a long period of time, products that are made specifically to remain strong in your climate will not wear and tear. 

Beautiful Results

The results of James Hardie’s work are nothing short of a complete transformation of your house. Excellent craftsmanship and skill can be expected of every manufacturer involved in improving the siding of a home

James Hardie is also known for being meticulous in detail, knowing that lasting products also should make your home beautiful. The curb appeal that will be added to your home after investing in beautiful ColorPlus®  technology will be undeniable. 

Customer Service

With a commitment to understanding the desires and concerns about a client’s home,  communication is a priority of James Hardie siding. Customer reviews have claimed James Hardie to be attentive, efficient, clean, and prudent. Clients with high-standards have left the experience feeling pleased with their choice and happy with their new home. 

The siding on your home is not only important to make your home appealing, but it is also crucial in the protection of your home against outside forces. James Hardie siding is a favorite with contractors for all of the reasons that are most important when improving the structure of your home.

How Mares & Dow Can Help

If you are looking to use James Hardie siding products, Mares & Dow offers siding installation and siding replacement for homeowners in Concord, CA, and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your siding needs.

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Your Guide to Stunning Decorative Siding Patterns https://www.maresdow.com/your-guide-to-stunning-decorative-siding-patterns/ Tue, 31 Mar 2020 23:56:54 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2783 Today’s siding gives homeowners more options for sparking their creativity and implementing a design that enhances their home exterior. When working with siding contractors, you can complete nearly any project to your specifications, choosing the pattern that is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular siding patterns available today. Horizontal Continue Reading

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Today’s siding gives homeowners more options for sparking their creativity and implementing a design that enhances their home exterior. When working with siding contractors, you can complete nearly any project to your specifications, choosing the pattern that is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular siding patterns available today.

Horizontal Patterns

The most common type of siding pattern is horizontal. This traditional siding may include styles such as beaded, Dutch lap, or traditional lap siding. 

Traditional Lap

Traditional lap siding offers a straightforward, simple, and effective layout that works in almost any home setting. In a traditional lap, each siding board is layered over the board below. The design offers a water barrier and reduces airflow through the siding. 

Dutch Lap

Dutch siding features a groove cut out of the top of each board. It’s similar to a traditional lap but offers more textured contrast across the facade due to the shadow that each board creates. 

Beaded

Beaded vinyl is named for the ‘bead’ or added texture at the bottom of each board. Beads come in a variety of shapes and textures, giving you more choices for your home. Beaded siding is ideal if you want to create a more interesting composition on your wall exterior.

Vertical Patterns

Although horizontal patterns are the most common, you may be looking for an alternative to the traditional design. Vertical patterns may your best bet. They work incredibly well with certain home styles and can accent the eaves across your home’s façade. 

Panel Siding

If you took horizontal siding and made it vertical, then you would get panel siding. Panels are placed over each other to create a uniform flush layout. Panel siding comes in a broad range of colors and textures.

Board and Batten

Most board and batten siding is fabricated from natural wood. The vertical boards are installed on the house. Battens are used to cover any cracks so that the home is sealed from moisture and airflow.

Shake Patterns

Shake patterns are traditionally made from wood. However, today’s shakes offer the same patterns, but different materials such as vinyl or cement. There are endless shapes and designs that form patterns, allowing you to customize your siding design.

There are too many shake patterns to name, but some of the most popular include:

  • Square
  • Round
  • Staggered
  • Mitered corner
  • Octagonal & Hexagonal
  • Fish scale
  • Half cove

When using shake patterns, you can combine more than one shape, color, texture, or dimension to create your own layout. Your siding contractors can work with you to complete your design and implement your ideas on your home. 

What to Consider Before Choosing Your Pattern

Before you land on an idea for your siding pattern there are a few things you may want to consider. First, choose high-quality siding products. Quality vinyl siding can last up to 40 years with ongoing care and maintenance. Next, choose a pattern that truly complements your home exterior. Think about how the pattern will look once the project is complete.

Also, make sure that your pattern provides a proper seal and offers the highest level of energy efficiency inside the home. A decorative pattern may look attractive, but cause your energy usage to skyrocket inside. Last, consider your replacement or maintenance costs over the years. Horizontal siding may require less maintenance but replacement of more sections. In a smaller pattern, you may have more maintenance, but you can easily replace smaller pieces. 

Siding Contractors in San Francisco, California

Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

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5 Ways to Boost Your Home Remodeling This Spring https://www.maresdow.com/5-ways-to-boost-your-home-remodeling-this-spring/ Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:23:00 +0000 https://www.maresdow.com/?p=2785 Now that spring is here, it’s time to move forward with that remodeling project you’ve been thinking about for months. No matter what you have in mind, a home remodeling contractor can help you with your project. Below are five ideas for boosting your home remodeling and improving your home’s value this spring. 1. Install Continue Reading

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Now that spring is here, it’s time to move forward with that remodeling project you’ve been thinking about for months. No matter what you have in mind, a home remodeling contractor can help you with your project. Below are five ideas for boosting your home remodeling and improving your home’s value this spring.

1. Install a Skylight 

A skylight provides an added design dimension to your home while allowing you to benefit from natural light and improved ventilation. Manufacturers now build skylights with heat-absorbing tins, insulated glazing, and low emissivity coatings to reduce summertime heat gain and eliminate wintertime heat loss.

You can also choose automated units with pneumatic devices or electric motors. Newer products now come with moisture sensors to automatically close the skylight if it rains. Skylights are fully customizable to match any roof/ceiling design or dimension. Add a skylight to your kitchen, bathroom, living room, or bedroom.

2. Build a Retaining Wall

If you are looking for a practical solution for reducing erosion or adding structural stability to your yard, a retaining wall may be your best option. If you have an elevated space, a retaining wall can help you maintain the landscape or level out your yard so that you can other features.

Some of the benefits of a retaining wall include:

  • Provides structural support that keeps soil in place
  • Prevents erosion and flooding
  • Adds more functional space to your yard
  • Adds a decorative feature with aesthetic appeal
  • Offers endless design options to suit any exterior design

3. Restore Your Foundation

Foundation problems in your home only get worse over time. They can compromise your home’s structural safety and property value. Foundation repair can restore your home’s integrity and put you back on solid ground. The sooner you address the problem the less expensive and time-consuming the project will be. 

Foundation repair can prevent damage to your plumbing or keep your home from getting flooded. A home remodeling contractor can assess your home’s foundation to determine what work needs to be done and how to move forward with the repair. Foundation repair is a great spring project that yields a high ROI for the duration of the home’s life.

4. Add a Second Story to Your Home

Did you know that it’s possible to add a second story to your home? A home remodeling contractor simply removes the roof and implements the second story to your specifications. A second story gives you more living space without moving or taking up your yard space. 

You can take advantage of the extended scenic view around your home, as you use your new space for whatever you want. Adding a second story to your home also gives you the opportunity to fix any current structural issues with the home. Plus, the added space adds value to your home.

5. Remodel Your Kitchen This Spring

A kitchen remodel is hands down the residential renovation project with the highest ROI. Renovating your kitchen presents endless opportunities to improve the floor plan, design, and functionality. You can update your floor, walls, countertops, cabinets, appliances, and other features. 

A contractor can help you create your design concepts, make recommendations on kitchen products and materials, and guide you through each stage of the project through completion. You can have the kitchen you’ve always wanted this spring.

Home Remodeling Contractor in San Francisco, California

No matter what idea you have for remodeling your home this season, Mares & Dow can help you every step of the way. We offer comprehensive home remodeling in San Francisco, California and the surrounding Bay Area. Call 925.671.9500 today for a free consultation with a home remodeling contractor.

Mares Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and siding experts. We enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel or siding project!

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5 Kitchen Trends for Your Next Home Remodel https://www.maresdow.com/5-kitchen-trends-for-your-next-home-remodel/ Tue, 18 Feb 2020 00:36:12 +0000 https://maresdow.com/?p=2751 Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen may be the one area that requires the most light. However, keeping the kitchen bright can cause an increase in your energy and lighting costs. What’s the solution? How about kitchen skylights? Home remodeling contractors love skylights because of modern design, easy installation, and energy efficiency. Continue Reading

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Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen may be the one area that requires the most light. However, keeping the kitchen bright can cause an increase in your energy and lighting costs. What’s the solution? How about kitchen skylights?

Home remodeling contractors love skylights because of modern design, easy installation, and energy efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at 5 kitchen trends for your next home remodel. Let these captivating kitchen ideas light up your room!

Single, Slender Skylight

If you have a narrow, long kitchen, you may think that there is no room for a skylight. However, the solution is to install a single, slender skylight that spans the room. Long skylights give you plenty of sunlight with balanced illumination that spreads across all four walls and the floor. 

A residential or commercial skylight contractors can easily install a single glass panel into the framework. Best of all, a single skylight makes your kitchen look more spacious. You will love the results!

Trendy Trusses

A current trend in home remodeling is adaptive reuse of existing structures in older homes. For instance, you can create a unique skylight design by preserving the trusses that are already a part of your roof’s framework. Trusses provide stability while giving your skylight an added dimension.

You can either paint the trusses to match your ceiling and skylight or stain them, allowing the natural wood color to complement the other elements of the room.  Trusses offer an affordable option that requires little effort to renovate.

Vaulted Ceilings

Vaulted ceilings create the perfect backdrop for skylights. With elevated design, a vaulted ceiling allows more light into the room while channeling the light in a specific direction. Since the ceilings are often taller, you have more room to expand the windows across a larger ceiling.

The skylights can stand out as a distinct architectural feature while enhancing both the ceiling and the rest of the kitchen. They create an ambiance that cannot be matched by interior lighting.

Match the Skylights with Other Elements

From shapes to shades, skylights present an opportunity to add a decorative element to your kitchen’s layout. For instance, if you have a largely symmetrical kitchen design, home remodeling contractors can install glass that is square or rectangular in shape. Curved lines may call for glass that has a round shape.

In addition, you can also enhance the skylights with bold colors, patterns, or textures around the framework. Add shades that match your countertops, flooring, or décor. When it comes to designing your skylights, the ‘sky’ is the limit.

Add Framework

Just like windows or door glass, skylights offer an opportunity for you to get a little creative with framework patterns and designs. Thin trim adds a subtle touch while providing structural integrity to the glass. Big, bold frames become a part of the overall skylight concept and command attention.

Like trusses, you can customize your framework to match or complement both the glass and your kitchen design. The options are endless. Home remodeling contractors can design and install your framework to your exact specifications.

Contact Your Home Remodeling Contractors in Concord, CA

Mares & Dow offer quality construction and home improvement services for homeowners in Concord and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our skylight products and services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your skylight needs.

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Tips for Cleaning Your Home Siding Effectively https://www.maresdow.com/tips-for-cleaning-your-home-siding-effectively/ Fri, 07 Feb 2020 00:41:00 +0000 https://maresdow.com/?p=2754 Even the highest quality siding requires routine cleaning and maintenance. Siding can accumulate dirt and stains from elements such as rain, rust, animals, chemicals, and pollen. Therefore, you should clean the siding regularly to keep it looking vibrant and ensure that it protects your home. When cleaning the siding, it is important to use the Continue Reading

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Even the highest quality siding requires routine cleaning and maintenance. Siding can accumulate dirt and stains from elements such as rain, rust, animals, chemicals, and pollen. Therefore, you should clean the siding regularly to keep it looking vibrant and ensure that it protects your home.

When cleaning the siding, it is important to use the correct method, tools, and chemicals to prevent damage to the siding material. Using abrasive tools or harsh chemicals can cause the siding to deteriorate, crack, or warp over time slowly. Below are some tips for cleaning your home siding effectively. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Mares & Dow. We are your siding contractor specialists in the Bay area!

Tip #1: Follow Manufacturer Specifications

Every siding product comes with a set of manufacturer instructions on how to care for your siding. There are several reasons why you should adhere closely to the instruction.

First, doing so will keep you from voiding the warranty. Most warranties are voided because of neglect or improper maintenance. Therefore, make sure you read the directions and follow them according to manufacturer specifications.

Second, the manufacturer already knows how to clean the product they developed. They understand what works best with the materials they used to engineer the siding. So, there is no need for you to reinvent the wheel. Simply follow the instructions to get the best results.

Tip #2: Consider Hiring a Professional Siding Cleaning Company

The average rate is $60 to $100 per hour, with an average total cost of $480 to $800 per job. While this seems like an extravagant expense, there are several benefits to hiring a company to do it for you, including:

  • A company has all the tools and equipment necessary to perform a pro-level job.
  • Professionals are less likely to damage your siding.
  • A qualified crew can complete a job in a fraction of the time it takes to complete a DIY job. 
  • Hiring a licensed siding contractor or company will prevent you from voiding the warranty.
  • Professional cleaning helps you maintain the value of your home.
  • You don’t have to buy or rent your own equipment and supplies.

Tip #3: Be Careful with Your Cleaning Solution

If you decide to go the DIY route, then you need to choose your cleaning agent carefully. The wrong solutions can cause your siding to fade, crack, or warp, leaving you with a costly repair. Let’s look at some solutions to use and some to avoid. 

Safe Cleaning Solutions 

  • Water & vinegar
  • Laundry detergent & heavily diluted laundry bleach
  • Simple Green non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner
  • Fantastik, Windex, or Lysol cleaner
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Super Iron Out or Instant Rust Out for rust stains

Clean Solutions to Avoid

  • Siding cleaner with organic solvents
  • Straight bleach 
  • Liquid grease remover
  • Nail polish remover
  • Furniture polish

Tip #4: Use the Right Tools & Equipment

How you apply water or cleaning solution is as important as the type of solution you use. The wrong tools can scratch or puncture the siding while stripping the surface of its natural look.

Ideally, the best way to apply a water/solution mixture is by using a pressure washer. The average rate for pressure washer rental is between $35 and $50 per day. If you add a feature such as an instant hot water heater or a heavy-duty gas washer, the cost can skyrocket to $150 per day. Although pressure washers are easy to use, you may damage the siding if you apply too much pressure. So, make sure you know the right amount of pressure to apply before using the washer. 

If you decide to scrub the siding, then use a soft cloth or an ordinary long-handled, soft-bristle brush. Start at the top of the siding and work your way down to avoid streaking or solution stains. Rinse off the siding using a regular garden hose. Avoid using highly-abrasive scrubbing tools or steel wool.

Contact Siding Contractors in Concord, CA

Mares & Dow offers siding installation and siding replacement for homeowners in Concord, CA, and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your siding needs.

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