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!

Squirrel on Gutter

4 Exterior Home Inspections for Spring

Finally, the weather is at a point when it’s not as cold and wet as it was in the winter. That means it’s time to get some spring cleaning done and start inspecting your home for damage caused by fall and winter weather. Here are some tips on what to look out for this spring that may need your attention as soon as possible!

  1. Clean the Gutters: Your gutters should be cleaned out at least twice a year. Now is the time to rid your gutters of the fall and winter collection of leaves and gunk that have been left behind by rain and winds of the season. Keeping your gutters filled with debris could cause damage to your gutters and will put a hole in your pocket. Plan on cleaning them before the heavy rains of the spring come in.
  2. Inspect Your Roof: While inspecting your roof for damage caused by winter winds, look for curled or missing shingles, cracked caulk, or deteriorating roof flashing. If you see signs of damage, call a maintenance professional to help with repairs. Repairing a roof by yourself could be dangerous.
  3. Repaint Your Home: Keep painted areas of your home in good repair by scraping off chipped and peeling paint. If you spot exposed wood, it needs to be covered in a fresh coat of paint as soon as possible or it will start to rot. Begin with a good exterior pressure wash on your house and then look for any chips in the paint.
  4. Clean Foundation Vents: Homes with a crawl space has vents alongside the foundation walls, which provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevents the spreading of mold. Vents also help with preventing critters from entering underneath your house. Remove leaves and other debris with a shop vacuum and replace if you see damage as soon as possible or you may start hearing rats crawling about at night.

If you are in need of a professional for exterior home repair, call Liberty Builders today. We offer a free in-home consultation!

painting wood

Home Exterior Trends for 2018

The exterior of your home is arguably the most important part of your home. It’s the first thing family, friends, and neighbors see when they approach your home. The exterior is also the most important part of your home to keep up so that it doesn’t falter in curb appeal. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of popular styles and trends for the exterior of your home. Here’s what’s trending in 2018!

Color

When talking color trends, your best bet is for your home’s color palette to complement its architecture, along with the landscaping and surroundings. But in 2018, it’s all about making a statement while complimenting those features. Create a combination of light and dark over the exterior rather than using a subtle color palette. Make your home look bold and dynamic by using colors like blue, gray, and black on your siding and mix it with a bold accent like white on your trim to make it pop. And, finally, use a different color altogether for your door. In the example of white on dark, we suggest red or light green.

Texture

Blending different textures and styles is a booming trend for 2018. For instance, use different sizes and styles of cedar shingles in the same color as part of your exterior. If your house was built with brick or stone, they should not be the defining feature of your exterior. Instead, it should be mixed with as many complementary styles as possible to create a dynamic texture but isn’t necessarily defined by it.

Eco-Friendly

A trend for 2018 is something that has been trending for years and that’s reducing your carbon footprint, reducing your maintenance, and just being as friendly to the environment as possible when it comes to your home. When choosing to repair or replace on your home’s exterior, make sure you’re utilizing products and services that cater to the benefit of the environment. This can include anything from using eco-friendly paints to energy-efficient patio covers.

Trends for 2018 aren’t too far off from what you’ve probably been seeing in neighborhoods where remodeled homes are being sold. But there’s definitely a shift toward more dynamic colors, mixtures or siding and textures, and eco-friendliness. If you need assistance with exterior home maintenance, call Liberty Builders today! We offer a free in-home consultation!

Improve the Value of your Home!

As the New Year begins and you look to fulfilling all your 2018 resolutions, we hope that you remembered to include home improvement among them. Home improvement projects that increase the value of your home are beneficial for many reasons, whether you’re looking to sell or stay, raising your home’s value is not as difficult as it seems. Here are some great tips to help get you started.

Make a plan. List all the things you want to change and improve on your home and research how much time and money will go into each project. After that, prioritize your list and focus on your cheaper or easier tasks first and leave the more challenging projects for last, as they may be less easily achievable due to time or cost.

Focus on one room at a time. Rather than working in several projects at once, focus on one, finish it, and then move on. Don’t stress yourself by overworking or leaving no room available for some R&R. Also, don’t forget about the little upgrades that will increase your home’s value such as replacing old faucets, doors, and outlet plates.

Keep up home maintenance. A well maintained home easily improves its value. Prevent mold before it spreads unchecked and stay on top of maintenance issues before they become expensive problems. This includes your home’s curb appeal. Accentuate your walkway or yard with flowers and lanterns and keep lawn and bushes well-trimmed and healthy.

Don’t forget the bathroom. One room that suffers the most over time is the bathroom. Take care of it or watch your home value decrease drastically. Watch out for mold, dirt, and grime as they can become embedded in surfaces quickly. Under-mount sinks are trendy right now so replace your faucet with those. Also, if you can, replace your countertop with marble or granite and replace your overhead lighting with wall mounds to add a relaxed mood.

Whether you’re looking to sell or stay, your home worth will increase dramatically with these simple tips. Your house will look newly renovated and have amazing curb appeal. Call Liberty Builders today, we can help!

Autumn Home Cold

Get your Home Ready for Cold Weather

It recently snowed and we couldn’t believe our eyes! Normally in South Texas, however, the bitter cold doesn’t arrive until January and February, so now is the time to prepare our homes from cold damage. Prepare your home now and don’t delay because if you’re a native Texan, then you know the weather is never predictable. Cold temperatures can damage certain parts of your home and could dig a hole in your pocket. Follow these steps to ensure your home is ready for what the winter brings this season.

  1. Seal windows and doors. Caulk around windows and install weather stripping around your exterior doors. Gaps that are found in windows and doors make it difficult – and expensive – to keep your house warm in the winter. You could save a lot on heating costs by taking on this task before the cold weather hits.
  2. Protect your pipes. Watch out for busted pipes this season as the water in your pipes could freeze. Especially in older homes, it’s a good idea to leave faucets dripping in very cold weather. Disconnect outdoor hoses and store them away, and cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators.
  3. Check the heat. Turn on the furnace to see if it is operating normally. Change your furnace filter before continuous use of your heater.
  4. Clean and store lawn equipment. It’s time to store away equipment usually used for summer days, such as your lawnmower and other motor-operated devices. Empty the fuel tanks because gas can degrade and damage the fuel line and other components. After cleaning, store them in a dry and warm place to avoid winter damage.
  5. Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Soot and other debris can collect in the months that you’re not using them. Make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean before you light up the first log of the winter. When you aren’t using it, keep the flue closed all the way. This will prevent cool air from entering the house.

For more home maintenance tips and other tricks, continue to follow Liberty Builders. If you have any questions or are in need of home exterior services, call us today. We offer a free in-home consultation.

Blue House

Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Every homeowner wants their house to be the best looking one in their neighborhood. Not every homeowner currently has the budget for big home improvement projects. We have searched to find 4 things you can do to easily boost your home’s curb appeal while being on a tighter budget. Follow these tips and watch as your home becomes the talk of the neighborhood.

1. Paint your front door, shutters, and trim. This may seem obvious but a new nicely fresh coat of paint can make your house stand out from all the others.
2. Keep up with lawn and garden maintenance. A fresh cut lawn and a weed-free flower garden with multiple colored succulents will complement your home.
3. Changing or painting lights and door fixtures. Getting or painting fixtures that match in color is a small change that can give your home new life.
4. Power wash your siding, walkways, and porch. Over time, dirt and grime start to build up on these surfaces. A power wash can clean them right up and make your home look brand new.

Whatever you decide to do with your home (sell or improve the exterior look), these tips can help upgrade any houses curb appeal. When you decide it’s time and you have the budget for larger home improvements, call us for a free in-home consultation.

Home Exterior Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Following a summer renovation, we understand that you may not be motivated to decorate your house for Halloween, but don’t skip getting into the spirit altogether. And don’t worry, your Halloween decorations aren’t going to overshadow your beautiful home. You can definitely decorate for the trick-or-treating holiday tastefully and without going overboard. Enjoy something pumpkin flavored and read on for Halloween decorating tips for your home’s exterior.

Harvest: Instead of trying to scare up the neighborhood kids, make them feel the autumn mood by adding pumpkins of different sizes to your yard, along with bales of hay or straw. Consider corn stalks and scarecrows to include in your décor.

Floral: You can also turn your home into a fall attraction by adding a garden. Begin fall gardening by adding fall and winter flowers to your yard. Chrysanthemums are a nice choice and a low-maintenance one, too. Pansies are another fall flower to add. However, if you’re not ready to add a garden to your home, consider a collection of fake floral options. Fill hanging pots and sitting pots with colors of flowers with yellow, orange, and red. Don’t ignore garlands if you want to take it a step below that. Garlands and wreaths are an excellent addition to your door and porch décor.

Pumpkins: Keep it extra simple by placing jack-o-lanterns to your porch. Get the family involved by having a carving night so that you have more than just one pumpkin to decorate your front lawn and porch with.

Scare: If you’re up for the challenge and don’t mind adding some scary decorations, go all out! Spread cobweb all over your porch and even your lawn and bushes. Board up your windows to give your home a look of abandonment. And, don’t forget hanging décor like ghosts, witches, bats, ghosts, and other Halloween themed ghouls.

Have a safe and happy Halloween. Don’t allow yourself to not to have some fun simply because you recently renovated your home. There are many ways to make your home look beautiful no matter what it’s decorated with. Happy Halloween from all of us at Liberty Builders.

After photos of remodel of siding of garage

Liberty Builders Provides the Best Siding Services

What is siding? Also known as wall cladding, siding is the protective material attached to the exterior side of a wall of a house or other building. 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.

There are some requirements that need to be met in order for a contractor to even be considered for the Mastic Elite status. Liberty Builders of Texas exceeds all of them. It is important to note our installers renew their VSI certification every three years, and every single sales person and manager attends monthly product training seminars.

Our entire team is committed to providing you with all the details of the products and services we offer. Your exterior siding project will be in good hands with our highly trained and certified specialists.

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.

Our siding gives your home the classic look of freshly painted wood with exceptional durability. We have a siding option with a truly “authentic” wood grain embossing without the maintenance of real wood. Based on an average-size home, repainting or staining can cost up to $6,000 every four years. Liberty Elite Siding never needs painting, caulking or patching because, unlike wood, it won’t crack, peel, rot or split.

If you are interested in siding for your home, call Liberty Builders of Texas today for a FREE in-home consultation.