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Blog2017-05-13T21:58:52+00:00
3108, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Shingles are back!

By |August 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pumpkin Spice Shingles are back!

For a limited time, Sparrow Exteriors is offering $500 in Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts Gift Cards with purchase of a new roof. Conditions apply.

If you’ve been putting off replacing your old roof there’s no better time than now to get it replaced! Sparrow Exteriors has partnered with Hearth to provide financing for those who qualify.

If you suspect your home may have suffered storm damage this season, what are you waiting for? Give us a call for a FREE inspection. Your insurer may cover the cost for a complete replacement! Even if you’ve been denied, call us today. 678.729.7129

2208, 2018

Property Inspection by Drones

By |August 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Property Inspection by Drones

As technology advances new tools become available to assist contractors, insurers, property managers, owners and others in monitoring and inspecting commercial and residential real estate. The introduction of drones in particular has been eagerly welcomed; providing the user with a high resolution bird’s eye view without any serious safety risks, all while offering a toy-like experience for the operator. As a result drones have quickly become commonplace throughout the industry.

The benefits of drones cannot be argued and they are here to stay. However, as with any new technology there is a tendency to over rely on it or have unrealistic expectations as to what it can do.

As insurers across the country begin rolling out drones to survey potential property damage the stage is being set for abuse. While these devices can assist in measurements and identifying severe damages, they simply cannot perform thorough and complete inspections of the building’s envelope (exterior). So while they may be an invaluable tool in seeing where a tree fell, spotting large bruises from hail storms or measuring a roof or line of gutter, they cannot check for everything such as loss of adhesion or fastener pull through due to a wind event. Such damages simply cannot be identified or documented apart from a thorough inspection by a professional trained in identifying them.

Nevertheless, insurers and their adjusters are performing more and more inspections solely via drone and denying claims more and more due to incomplete property inspections.

Both insurance and construction industries will continue utilizing these modern marvels in their operations and both are understandably grateful to have them, but anyone who tells you they are all an inspector needs is either mistaken or intentionally deceiving you. Drones are a tool and should be used to assist an inspector, not replace them.

2108, 2018

TOP 5 Reasons NOT to Have a Cedar Shake Roof

By |August 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

5 Reasons to Avoid a Wood Roof

Who doesn’t love the look of a natural cedar shake roof?

The rich wood grain and rough appearance add instant curb appeal to a home or property. However, most property owners have limited experience with these systems and there is a lot of misinformation out there about them.

Full disclosure: Sparrow Exteriors installs Cedar Shake roof systems and our team knows how to design them to maximize their performance. We love Cedar Shake roofs and offer services from complete installation to repairs, cleaning and oil treatments – so when we make a list addressing the negatives of this type of roof system, you can rest assured we know what we’re talking about.

1. Price

Cedar Shake is far from an inexpensive system. The initial cost of installation has to factor in both materials and labor. While some may seek to cut corners by using non-Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau approved mills and inexperienced labor, this is sure to wind up far more costly than doing it right to begin with.

Beyond the basic cost of materials and labor there’s another issue. Recently, the United States implemented a tariff on all Canadian imported cedar. Sadly, we do not have cedar mills in the States so this effectively increased the cost of Western Red Cedar and other softwood by 20% to 30%. There is no sure way to know how long this tariff will remain in effect, but consumers are already experiencing this significant bump in cost.

2. Maintenance

Wood roofs require a lot of TLC. This requires they be kept free from debris such as pine needles and leaves, have routine repairs to replace curling or split shake, as well as have regular oil treatments every 5 to eight years.

Such maintenance is not only an inconvenience of the property owner’s time, but such work is often costly when performed by professionals.

3. Short Lifespan

Most of the old growth wood has been harvested, so newer cedar shake roofs utilize newer and less resilient wood. Factoring in the unique quirks of our where these roof systems are often installed straight to deck and/or over non-vented attics; a dual climate market where weather relentlessly assaults these systems – and you can expect your cedar roof in Georgia to last between 8 to 20 years.

Of course there are measures we can take to extend this lifespan, such as utilizing a cedar breather substrate and installing number one grade blue label pressure treated shake, but properly designed systems are more expensive.

4. Flammable

While some products are available with fire retardant, wood shake and shingle roofs increase the risk of structure loss due to fire. There risk has been considered so great, that some communities have implemented an outright ban on their use.

Insurance providers are far from unaware of this risk, so ensuring a home with a natural wood roof is often quite costly.

5. Lack of Installer Expertise

From the initial installation, to maintenance and repair there is a significant lack of expertise. We have routinely been called by clients to come out and repair a poor repair attempted by a self-identified professional.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in our service area, Sparrow Exteriors can certainly assist you with such services. However, if you’re not in the greater Atlanta area BE CAREFUL and thoroughly vet a contractor before letting them attempt to service your cedar shake or shingle roof.

If you desire the look of a natural cedar shake roof, but are demanding less maintenance and better performance check out our recent blog:

If you would like to schedule a free consultation regarding your wood roof, we invite to you to call us today and…

1602, 2018

6 Cedar Shake Roof Alternatives You Need to See!

By |February 16th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Six Cedar Roof Alternatives

Do you love the look of a cedar shake roof but hate its short lifespan and high maintenance costs? Here are six Cedar Roof Alternatives engineered to resist fire, hail and high winds while reproducing the enduring beauty of natural wood. Many insurance companies actually offer significant discounts for installing these Synthetic Composite Faux Wood Roofing products due to their long-lasting performance!

Want to jump ahead and see a specific manufacturer or visit them online?

DaVinci Roofscapes @ 1:55
Brava Roof Tile @ 4:38
CeDUR @ 5:41
EcoStar @ 6:46
Enviroshake @ 7:38
Inspire Roofing Products @ 8:22

Sparrow Exteriors is an Atlanta based contractor, providing specialty roof systems. Do you have a favorite? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Which do you prefer, DaVinci, Brava, CeDur, EcoStar, EnviroShake or Inspire?

If you have questions, would like samples or desire an estimate for an upcoming project give us a call today and…

"Trust your nest to the very best!" TM

Sparrow Exteriors provides roofing, siding and gutter service for Greater Atlanta

808, 2017

Beware Managed Repair

By |August 8th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Managed Repair Programs: The Fox Guarding the Hen House

 

Let’s talk about a major conflict of interest harmful to consumers.

Many insurers are adding a specific clause to their homeowner’s coverage that essentially states you have no real say in who does the repair work on your home, the quality of the work or materials or even when it’s scheduled. “Managed Repair” (MRP) also known as “Right to Repair” clauses are becoming more frequent on contracts between insurance providers and their customers. In most cases the impact and limitations are skipped over if addressed at all when new Policies are issued. Under such severe restrictions property owners are in for a terrible shock should they experience a loss and need to file a claim.

Example:  During the course of a lawsuit, a Managed Repair Program contractor took the stand. When he was questioned about why he used a mismatched tile in the middle of the bathroom floor, he answered under oath I didn’t think that the homeowner would notice. He knew that it wasn’t right and that it didn’t make the property owners whole again, but to save money, he cut corners under the authority of the insurance company.

Instead of allowing the property owner to investigate and select a reputable contractor of their choice, the insurer hires cheap laborers to adjust the claim without being trained or licensed. This practice seemingly violates State laws for the unauthorized practice of public adjusting, and constitutes price fixing through the use of set prices that do not reflect current market rates. However, the most detrimental aspect of all this is the incomplete scope of loss and tendency for corner cutting, as these repair laborers team up with adjusters to produce as limited a restoration as possible.

There’s no other way to say it, these programs intentionally promote the underpayment of claims, poor workmanship and unethical business practices to intentionally reduce the cost of claims. This means the initial loss your property suffered may not be as harmful as the insurer’s MRP handling of it.

BIG problems of Managed Repair Programs (MRP):

  • The contractors performing the repairs are controlled by the insurer and looking out for them, not the property owners.
  • MRP is often deceptively presented as being independent from the insurer.
  • The MRP contractor serves to limit the payout, not affect quality restoration.
  • Most MRP contractors are serving as an unlicensed Public Adjuster seemingly in violation of State law.
  • Some of these carriers are engaging in price fixing material costs, forcing property owners to buy materials through them and then profiting from the claim via kickbacks from suppliers and manufacturers. You don’t like this brand? Too bad.
  • The contractors in these programs cut enough corners to offer waiving the insured’s deductible, seemingly placing them in violation of Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act.
  • The insured is forced to use the insurer’s specific contractor while the insurer often does not guarantee or warranty their labor.
  • Insurers are stating if they cannot perform the repairs they will deny the claim.
  • What is sold as an worry saving option is in fact a severe loss of consumer rights.

What can you do to protect yourself and your property?

Do not settle! Call your agent and find out what clauses may be lurking that can come back to bite you. If your coverage includes a Manage Repair, seek coverage with another company immediately.

For a list of the highest rated insurers for customer satisfaction, see our recent article:

The Best & Worst Homeowner’s Insurance Companies of 2017

1707, 2017

The Best & Worst Homeowner’s Insurance Companies of 2017

By |July 17th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Homeowner’s Insurance Companies Ranked

As a restoration contractor we’re often asked which homeowner’s insurance companies we recommend or have the most negative experiences with. Typically, we provide a rather neutral response like “it depends on the individual adjuster” as we can have wildly different experiences with the same company but with different adjuster’s involved. However, there are a handful of insurance providers we have found to be consistently easy to work with and some we’ve found to be persistently difficult to downright dirty in their dealings with storm damage property claims.

Survey Results

Recently Consumer Reports put out a survey based on 7,418 homeowner’s responses to insurance company satisfaction – specifically in regard to claims. Now these ratings are based on national responses and not every carrier listed provides coverage in Georgia; so it does not perfectly mirror our experiences, but apart from a few exceptions it is surprisingly similar.

It comes as little surprise to us that Amica and USAA are in the top two spots, as both insurers consistently provide good customer service and their claims handling is almost always fair. Likewise, it comes as no shock that Liberty Mutual, American Family and Allstate are rated poorly as these providers routinely have arbitrary and moving targets as the means of assessing property damage.

While shopping for homeowner’s insurance most property owners seek out the lowest premiums, or settle for large deductibles or even Actual Cash Value Policies which only cover a portion of the damaged property. This approach often leaves homeowners with insurance that covers very little.

Top Ten Tips:

  1. Work with an independent agent who can compare premiums and coverage
  2. Make sure you have enough coverage
  3. Don’t worry about filing small claims
  4. Consider flood insurance regardless of waterfront
  5. Animal damage may not be covered
  6. The larger the claim the more you’ll need to prepare for a fight
  7. Your credit history will affect your rates
  8. Things you love most may not be covered
  9. *Beware the hail loophole
  10. Even renters need insurance

*Regarding no. 9. the hail loophole: hail was the single biggest peril with 32% of those surveyed said it was the reason for their homeowner’s insurance claim. The standard homeowner’s policy covers hail, but cosmetic damage may be excluded so be sure to ask for a policy endorsement that covers cosmetic damage.

To save the most, be sure to avoid insurers that require special percentage deductibles for hail damage. Example: 2% deductible on a $400,000 home means you’re responsible for the first $8,000 on a hail damage claim.

 

Information provided based on August 2017 Consumer Reports

2803, 2017

Integrity For Sale

By |March 28th, 2017|Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Here’s an interesting issue facing our industry.

Most shingle manufacturers’ have preferred or certified programs for contractors who install their products. According to the terms of many of these contracts, the roofing company is prevented from talking about any negative aspect facing that manufacturer or their products. This makes sense, as they don’t want to certify installers who then leverage that certification against them and in favor of a competitor.

Unfortunately, it also places the contractor in a position where they may be aware of a problem their customer needs to know, but they risk being kicked out of the manufacturer’s program and not only losing rebates but potentially facing a lawsuit.

Not only this, but these manufacturer programs often include prohibitions against the contractor mentioning anything negative about their competitors, no matter how much the client would want to know. Contractors belonging to such preferred programs are essentially barred from even comparing products.

We believe the consumer has a right to know and rather than having our expertise silenced, we have instead resisted enrolling in these sorts of programs for precisely this reason. The truth is every shingle manufacturer has pros and cons. What may be right for one customer may not be right for another. So rather than committing to looking out for a particular manufacturer’s best interests, we’ve committed to our clients’.

If you are replacing your roof and need a straightforward and unbiased review of the various roofing systems on the market, call us today and…

Sparrow Exteriors, the VERY best for your home improvement needs! From roof replacement to house painting, replacing your siding, adding insulation, gutters and new windows, we make it easy.

2402, 2017

Sparrow Exteriors Now Available on Amazon

By |February 24th, 2017|Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sparrow Exteriors now available through Amazon Home Services

Amazon Home ServicesAtlanta roofing company Sparrow Exteriors is a new and simple way to buy and schedule professional services such home improvements directly on Amazon.com. This service is invite only! That means the good folks over at Amazon handpick the best service providers in your neighborhood and require all service pros to be background checked, insured, and licensed if applicable. All services are backed by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied they step in to make sure the job gets done right.

2202, 2017

BRAVA Roof Tile – Synthetic Cedar Shake & Slate

By |February 22nd, 2017|Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

ENGINEERED SHAKE & SLATE OPTIONS

Technology continues to propel the roofing industry forward. Today there are many options on the market for property owners looking for synthetic cedar shake and engineered slate roofing tiles. These systems not only look amazing but are designed to perform.

We’ve previously featured innovators such as DaVinci Roofscapes, Inspire Roofing Products and Enviroshake, but today we’re taking a look at Brava Roof Tiles.

Brava Synthetic Cedar Shake Roofing

Like the aforementioned brands, Brava manufacturers a beautiful imitation cedar shake and slate roof tile as well as an alternative to Spanish clay tiles.

Brava composite shake roofing tiles Atlanta

  • Environmentally friendly composite roofing material
  • Comes in 5″, 7″ and 12″ widths for ease of installation and natural look
  • Varied thickness and stunning “split texture” of natural wood
  • 50 year limited warranty –  longer life expectancy than natural cedar
  • Available in any color or custom color combination
  • Class 4 impact rating – the highest in the industry
  • Available in Class A and Class C fire rating
  • No breakage, no special tools and numerous accessory pieces available

Brava engineered synthetic cedar shake roofing Atlanta

Brava Select Slate & Brava Old World Slate

Brava select composite slate Atlanta roofing

  • Environmentally friendly composite roofing material
  • Natural quarried slate tile texture without extreme weight
  • Lightweight design requires no additional substructure to be install
  • Only composite slate shingles on the market available with fully blended colors
  • Available in any color or custom color combination
  • Class 4 impact rating – the highest in the industry
  • Available in Class A and Class C fire rating
  • 50 year limited warranty – architecturally enhanced roofline
  • Cuts and nails with ease – you can walk on the roof with no breakage issues

Brava slate color samples synthetic roof Atlanta

Brava Barrel Tile

Brava synthetic spanish roof tile Atlanta

  • Environmentally friendly composite roofing material
  • Available in any color combination – all tiles colored throughout
  • Multi-colored barrel tile blends and aged barrel tile coloring blends
  • Class 4 impact rating – 110mph wind resistance – the highest in the industry
  • Available in Class A and Class C fire rating
  • Barrel roof tiles are perfect for areas with repeat freeze-thaw cycles
  • Can be gun nailed or screwed down for higher wind specs
  • All Barrel tile roofing products have a 50-year limited warranty

About Brava engineered shake slate roofing Atlanta

If you have questions about Brava roof tiles and synthetic roofing systems, would like to see samples or need a professional quote, call us today and…

Sparrow Exteriors, the VERY best for your home improvement needs! From roof replacement to house painting, replacing your siding, adding insulation, gutters and new windows, we make it easy.

1902, 2017

Cedar Shake Stain – before & after

By |February 19th, 2017|Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

THE ROOFING MARKET

Asphalt shingles comprise approximately 98% of the residential roofing market. This means cedar shake, slate, concrete, metal, synthetic polymers and all the other roof systems share roughly 2% of the remaining residential roofing market. Most contractors tend to focus on asphalt shingles due to the constant demand for such products and the ease of their installation. This means that homeowners with specialty roof systems often find themselves in need of repair and maintenance service but simply do not know where to turn. While many asphalt shingle roofers will claim they can also install these niche products, consumers are generally uneasy letting the roofer learn on their home.

GOOD NEWS

Sparrow Exteriors is the exception to the rule. We are equally known and respected for our expertise with specialty roof systems and asphalt shingles. Whether you need a small repair, more in-depth maintenance or a complete installation we are here to help you.

RECENT PROJECT

Recently, a sweet Roswell family purchased a home with a large portion of cedar shake mansard roofing. While the shake was only five years old, it’s appearance left much to be desired. They contacted our office and scheduled a free consultation. Ultimately, they had us clean, repair and stain their cedar shake roof, bringing back that rich aesthetic cedar is known for and ensuring it’s lifespan is maximized.

Cedar Shake Roof Clean, Stain - Atlanta

If you have questions concerning specialty roof systems like cedar shake, or need an estimate please feel free to call us today and…

Sparrow Exteriors, the VERY best for your home improvement needs! From roof replacement to house painting, replacing your siding, adding insulation, gutters and new windows, we make it easy.

Sparrow Exteriors specializes in roofing, gutters, siding, painting, windows
and insulation systems in Georgia and the Metro-Atlanta area.
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