Fall Leaves being collected

Fall Leaves, Nature’s Bounty

Autumn is finally here! We’re enjoying delightfully cool weather and that exquisite fall foliage until, of course, the foliage does what it promises it’s going to do and falls all over your lawn and starts turning soggy and brown. Before you get disgruntled about the amount of yardwork you have to do now, here are some tips on how to put those fall leaves to work for you and the yard you work so hard to maintain throughout the year.

Compost

If you love to garden, then you’re in luck. Leaves are a naturally compostable material and an excellent source of what is known as brown compost. To make successful homemade compost, you need equal parts green and brown compost materials, and the green, which could be made up of vegetable scraps and grass clippings, is much easier to come by throughout the year. Often, gardeners resort to old newspapers to make up the deficiencies in their brown compost until fall comes rolling to the rescue. Your compost will become richer, more effective, and your newly planted seeds will be very grateful.

Leaf Mold

The long-term garden planner can take their leaves and store them somewhere out of the way and make a staple of English garden soil, leaf mold. All it takes is a few garbage bags or plastic bins, and a moist place to store them in. As long as the leaves stay wet, fungi will take over, and in about two years, instead of leaves, there’s a mineral-rich fertilizer in their place that will make the soil in your gardens the perfect place for your plants.

Garden Insulation

Leaves also make excellent insulation material for a number of outdoor projects. Any plants that need protection throughout the winter will benefit from a natural layer of leaves that separate them from chicken wire, blankets, or any other insulation material you choose to use. Throughout the winter, the leaves will break down and give the plants some added nutrients, so it’s a win-win situation. And if anyone is looking to experiment with worm bins, leaves can also insulate those.

Mulch

If you have no interest in gardening or raking your leaves, then just mow your lawn, and the leaves will take care of both you and themselves. Leaves are so full of natural nutrients that if you mulch them up with your lawn mower and leave them there, they will feed your lawn over the winter, and come spring time, you will have beautiful, fluffy, green grass. You may want to wait until November to mulch those leaves up though, as a leaf-strewn yard adds a nice creep factor to your decorations on Halloween night.

At the beginning of the season autumn leaves give us beauty, and near the end of the season, they provide our lawns and gardens with the nutrients they need to grow again in the spring. The best part is that they don’t cost anyone a thing for either of those things.

Insulate Your Attic Now

2 Huge Reasons to Insulate Your Attic Now!

Autumn is here and it’s starting to get cold, inside and out. You will inevitably spend a lot of time trying to warm up for the next few months. Many Texans fear this time of year because their homes start resembling the inside of a refrigerator, but there’s no reason to spend the next few months bundling up in every sweater you own whenever you get home from work. There’s a much simpler solution to keeping your home nice and toasty this winter, and now is the perfect time before the cold weather descends.

Heat Always Rises

Science class taught us that cold air stays close to the ground, while hot air rises, and if your house isn’t insulated, it will rise right out of it just when you’re most desperate to keep it inside. This is a common problem, mostly in older homes, but even newer constructions can experience it. If the walls were insulated but the attic was not, a lot of premium heat escapes outside when it’s wanted most. This is easily preventable by the addition of spray foam or sheet layers insulation in your attic, a process that can painlessly be embarked upon during the autumn months when the attic is not unbearably hot to work in, and before too much money in the form of heat has been wasted warming the outside.

The Savings!

Home repair always comes with a price tag, but adding insulation to your attic will save you more money in the long run than not adding it. The Department of Energy estimates that adding insulation to your attic will ultimately save you anywhere between 10 and 50 percent on your current energy bill over your lifetime, as it not only keeps the heat inside the house during the winter, but your AC inside during the boiling hot summer months, and all Texans can attest to how important that is.

If your home is already cold, or has a history of being chilly during the winter months, there’s no reason to wait any longer. Before the truly cold winter months roll in, call your friends at Liberty Builders for a quote on attic installation. We’ll give you a free in-home consultation.

4 Reasons to Hire a Contractor for Your Home Projects

4 Reasons to Hire a Contractor for Your Home Projects

We live in a Do-It-Yourself world. If you search YouTube for how to fix broken roof tiles, you get 12 videos showing you how to repair tiles of various materials. Switch your search to siding replacement and you immediately get 16 videos. It’s perhaps not surprising that so many people choose the DIY route over hiring a contractor, as the phrase DIY tends to imply that the job will prove to be less expensive. Without the proper research, however, that often proves to be a misnomer.

Experience
Just because you can do outdoor home repairs yourself doesn’t mean—one, you can do it well, or two, you should. The main advantage of hiring a contractor to perform maintenance on the outside of your house is that the contractor has the experience for the job that you lack. They will also already have any specialized tools the job in-hand needs, meaning that you won’t have to run to the store to buy or rent a potentially expensive, possibly one-use tool.

Safety
Safety is an excellent reason to choose a contractor over fixing any outdoor issues yourself. Contractors usually work for other companies and have amassed a great deal of experience before going into business for themselves. They will know how not to electrocute themselves when running new electric lines so you can have power outside, and how to properly fortify weakening foundation without causing catastrophic injury to themselves or anyone working for them.

Knowledge
You will run into a surprising number of outdoor home maintenance projects that require permits from the city. A contractor knows whether or not the project you want to start requires a permit, though the responsibility will always lie with the homeowner, so please do your research regardless. Having the expertise of a contractor will give you an added safety net when dealing with the city, because no honest contractor will allow you to proceed with a project without the proper paperwork in order. The cost to you down the line would be very detrimental.

Investment
Hiring a contractor is an investment, because you are paying for their time as well as the materials used, but doing the project yourself is as much of an investment, for you will be investing your own time into when you could be doing something else. No one is suggesting you should hire the first contractor you meet; in fact most contractors will tell you that’s a terrible idea. However, doing ample research into creditable contractors in your area and how much it will cost to do it on your own will save you many headaches when it finally comes time to get your project started.

Call Liberty Builders of Texas for a free in-home consultation today!

one of 6 Popular Window Styles

Replace Your Windows with These 6 Popular Window Styles

If you want to invest in your home, window replacement is an excellent option and an upgrade you might want to consider. Replacing your old windows with new, beautiful ones will benefit your home in many ways. There are countless models to choose from and they each have their own list of pros and cons. If you feel overwhelmed with your decisions, don’t fret. Liberty Builders of Texas is here to help you choose from the list of most popular window types.

  1. Awning. Awning windows are hinged at the top and swing outward from the bottom. The construction of these windows helps to add more natural light and fresh air into your home.
  2. Double-hung. Double-hung windows are a common and popular choice of window. They contain movable upper and lower portions for easy adjustment and improved ventilation, which helps with energy-efficiency.
  3. Single-hung. Single-hung windows are a classic choice for your home. They are stationary and raised from the bottom to allow air into your home.
  4. Casement. Casement windows swing outward with the turn of a handle.
  5. Bay. Bay windows can require additional construction and structural upgrades to your home. They consist of a large window at the center surrounded by double-hung or casement windows. With three-way viewing, natural light won’t be hard to come by. They make an elegant addition to your home.
  6. Garden. Garden windows extend out from the home’s construction and offer the perfect place for growing flowers and herbs indoors.

Windows, doors, and siding are the core products that Liberty Builders of Texas has built the company around. We’re proud to distribute and install Simonton Generations Windows and Doors all around the city of San Antonio. With so many options in color, hardware, grids, and window styles, the possibilities are endless. Give Liberty Builders of Texas a call today for a free in-home consultation.

Home Maintenance Tips for Fall includes cleaning gutters

8 Home Maintenance Tips for Fall

Fall is the perfect time to care for big exterior home repair projects before the shorter days of winter come along to make things more difficult. The hazardous winter weather can limit your time outdoors so make the move now and improve the appearance of your home’s exterior before it’s too late. Liberty Builders of Texas is here to help give you an idea of what to look for when it comes to exterior home care. Check the following items off from your list of fall home maintenance repairs and projects.

  • Care for Trees and Shrubs
    The fall of leaves from existing trees on your property is about to take place. Rake them up, but first, inspect your trees for any dormant or dead areas and trim them away.
  • Examine your home
    Look for signs of damage to your home by taking a walk around your property and inspecting your roof, siding, and foundation. If you spot something out of the ordinary, act on it now before the winter takes effect.
  • Replace your Siding
    Update your exterior paint job before the season changes if you feel your home needs an updated look.
  • Seal Gaps
    Critters, such as mice and raccoons, tend to find shelter indoors during the colder months. Make sure areas like your laundry room, garage, and pantry don’t have gaps and holes that lead outside.
  • Clean the Chimney
    Schedule a chimney cleaning and maintain the cleanliness of it throughout the cold months. Add a cap to your chimney as this will prevent critters from entering your home through the roof.
  • Maintenance the Heating System
    Ensure your heater is in working order before turning it on.
  • Check Weather-stripping
    If the weather-stripping on your windows and doors are damaged, it’s time to replace them to cut energy costs and improve heating in the house.
  • Clean Gutters
    Keep this task on the end of your checklist because after most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, you’ll want to start cleaning your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can damage your roof and siding.

Keep following Liberty Builders for seasonal exterior home maintenance tips! If you’re in need of exterior home repairs, give us a call today.

Insulating of attic with Radiant barrier

Is a Radiant Barrier Beneficial for Your Home?

Radiant barriers are installed in the attics of your home and their primary function is to reduce the amount of summer heat and reduce the cost of air cooling. Could you and your home benefit from having a radiant barrier installed?

The San Antonio’s climate is one of extremes. Help your home’s ability to fight the elements with the Liberty Builders Radiant Barrier. Designed to be maintenance and hassle free, the material used in making Liberty UV Radiant Barrier kept NASA astronauts from losing body heat in the intense elements of space. The Space Shuttle’s outer heat tiles and many other areas contain radiant barrier protection against heat and cold. This same technology is incorporated into our Liberty Radiant Barrier product line, giving you cutting edge materials and performance.

You may also be in need of attic insulation. If energy costs continue to rise, then it’s time to take action. If your home is over ten years old, there’s a good chance it’s not well insulated as it should be. Not having enough insulation results in major energy loss and, whether you realize it or not, your home is constantly leaking energy and most of that energy loss is coming from your attic.

Did you know that up to 40 percent of a home’s conditioned air escapes through the attic? If your cooling and heating energy cost are going through the roof, there’s an easy solution: Adding Owens Corning attic insulation and sealing air leaks can help cut heating and cooling energy bills by up to 20 percent.

Liberty Builders looks forward to helping you lower you’re A/C bills. Keep the heat out and A/C in. All while helping the environment and your pocketbook! Call Liberty Builders of Texas today to get Radiant Barrier installed in your home. Contact us today!

Make Your Outdoor Space More Attractive by adding a backyard grill

5 Features to Make Your Outdoor Space More Attractive

Outdoor features make your home feel attractive, larger, and more expensive. Create an outdoor space to compliment your indoor space. With new and attractive characteristics to add to your home, you’ll be the envy of your neighbors and you’ll have the most attractive house in the neighborhood. Here are five features that benefit your home’s exterior.

 

  1. Outdoor Lighting. Adding outside lighting, other than on your front porch or backyard, boosts your willingness to spend time outdoors and will also make your yard more attractive. Add some magic to your home’s exterior with outdoor string lights installed over your deck or porch, walkway lighting, wall lanterns, or landscape lighting directed path lights.
  2. Gathering Space. Your family and friends will love you for providing a spacious area that is designed for parties and gatherings. Add a permanent feature like a gas fire table, a BBQ area, a pool and/or hot tub, an outdoor bar, or a wooden fire pit.
  3. Landscaping. Treat your lawn well and you’re yard will encourage people to spend more time outdoors. Add color to your landscape with plants and outdoor art. Create a garden, install a fountain, or build a new fence.
  4. Outdoor Structures. Structures help boost the value of your home and provide storage and additional living space to your home. Active-use structures include a patio, deck, shop, gazebo, playhouse for kids, or an area for sports. Storage structures include a shed, carport, and garage.
  5. Covered Area. Covered areas protect you from the extreme heat of the sun and also from the rain. Add a large umbrella to your patio, a sun sail, or an awning and spend more time outdoors.

Liberty Builders is here to help you make your home’s exterior to more attractive. If you need a structure installed at your home, give us a call today.

Add Value to Your Home with new siding

Add Value to Your Home with New Siding

If your home is showing its age, it may be time to get new siding or the value of your home will drop exceedingly. When considering to add siding to the exterior of your home, look out for paint that is faded, chipped, or peeling. One call to Liberty Builders, and the exterior of your home will look more appealing and the value of it will skyrocket.

Look out for signs of bad siding as it can create several problems for a homeowner. Chipped and peeling exterior paint ruins your home’s curb appeal. If you want to put your house up for sale in the near future, old paint will lower the value of your home, or worse, lessen the chances of it selling. Outdated siding also lowers the value of your home.

The best option for improving the look of your home’s exterior is siding. Not only are you giving your home a face-lift but you are adding value to it. Siding gives your home the classic look of freshly painted wood with exceptional durability. While repainting or staining can cost up to $6,000 every four years, siding by Liberty Builders never needs painting, caulking or patching because it won’t crack, peel, or split.

Liberty Builders of Texas is the largest Mastic Siding applicator in the state of Texas and is one of the top dealers in the United States year after year. We are the only Mastic Elite Contractor in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Liberty Builders of Texas has successfully completed more siding installations than any other company in San Antonio. Windows, doors, and garages can sometimes be difficult to work with, but our skilled crews have restored some of the most complex residing projects in the area. If you are interested in our siding services, give Liberty Builders a call today!

Keep The House Cool Without Using Air Conditioning

7 Ways to Keep The House Cool Without Using Air Conditioning

It is hot outside and we still have August left to experience the worst of the Texas heat. Instead of overusing your air conditioning, there are other ways to help keep your home cool for the rest of the summer. Here are some neat tips and tricks for saving money on your energy bill and staying cool inside your home.

  • Keep Blinds Closed. About 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows. By keeping your blinds closed, you can lower your indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and save up to 7 percent. In addition to this, purchase blackout curtains to block out sunlight from seeping through.
  • Keep Doors Closed. Close off unused rooms to prevent cool air from permeating throughout the house.
  • Utilize Ceiling Fans Instead. Ceiling fans use a lot less energy than A/C units and will lower your energy bill significantly. Set them to turn counter-clockwise to create a wind-chill breeze effect.
  • Crack the Windows Open. At night, if the weather isn’t too warm, try sleeping with the windows open for a refreshing night’s sleep. Addition to this step, heat rises so the lower you sleep the cooler it will be. Move the mattress to the floor of the room or even to a room downstairs.
  • Switch out the Lights. If you’re using incandescent lights, make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to make your home a little cooler and to lower your electric bill, too.
  • Minimize the Use of Your Stove. Using your oven and stove will make your house hotter but it’s summer. You should be outside grilling, anyway.
  • Make Some Long-Term Improvements to your Home. You can make some changes that will keep your house cooler such as installing insulated window films or planting trees that will shield your home from the sun.

Stay cool this summer and keep following Liberty Builders for more tips and tricks.

hot sun on a summer day

Painting in the Summer with Liberty Builders

The summer is when most people want to take care of exterior home maintenance duties, like repainting their house. However, extreme hot weather like the type we get down here in San Antonio, is not beneficial to your paint job. Weather has a significant effect on your home’s exterior. As the days get warmer, the sun will have an impact on your home’s paint job among other things.

Humidity and heat have an influence on the time it takes your paint to dry. Don’t paint in the sun when it’s hot outside. Painting in the heat of the sun is not recommended because the paint will dry too fast. This may lead to lap marks, which happen when you paint large areas and it dries too quickly. This leaves striations, a series of ridges, furrows or marks, on the surface, and will ruin the paint’s appearance. Paint in the early morning when it is less hot and allow for double the drying time the paint label states. Also, paint in small sections and not large ones for the best results.

Painting in the damp, rainy environment is not any better than painting in the heat. If you’re having a wet summer (which could be rare for San Antonio), you are bound to fail if you paint over any wet surface. When you paint over a wet area, you seal in moisture and enclose it. When the sun hits the area, it tries to dry the moisture out, causing the paint to life and ruining the paint job. If you’ve ever seen peeling paint, this is a big sign of that. To make sure you’re not painting on a moist area, use a hygrometer to measure the amount of moisture on the exterior surface of a house. For best results, paint on a dry, warm day.

For additional exterior home maintenance tips, keep reading blogs by Liberty Builders.