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Construction Roofing

Skylight Replacement: Everything You Need To Know as a Baltimore Homeowner

Skylight Replacement: Everything You Need to Know as a Baltimore Homeowner

Skylights – man, the team at Four Twelve gets a lot of questions on skylights and skylight replacement. What are my options? When do I know it’s the right time to replace my skylight? How do I know if it was installed properly or not? To help you get a better understanding Let’s start with the basics. What are the different types of skylights available to YOU as a homeowner in Baltimore? And how do you know it’s time for a skylight replacement? 

Velux VS. Pyramids

When opting to install or replace a skylight, it boils down to two options: a Velux skylight or a pyramid skylight.

A pyramid skylight installed by Four Twelve.
A pyramid skylight installed by Four Twelve in Charles Village on 2/5/19

So, Velux skylights are the modern, highly insulated, flat skylights available for flat roofs as well as shingle roofs. If you want a skylight that has higher insulative properties and a more modern look, this is an option for you. Additionally, Velux offers a special product called “solar skylights” which are remote operated, solar powered skylight option that comes with a 30% energy tax credit.

Meanwhile, Pyramid skylights are the historic, galvanized skylights available for flat roof home homeowners across Baltimore. These come in custom length and width sizes and have options for ventilated or unventilated. People love the ventilated option for creating airflow in and out of the top floor of your home to craft a more comfortable, better-circulated living environment.

When Is It Time for a Skylight Replacement?

There are several attributes of your skylights that may signal it’s time to consider a skylight replacement. Hesitating to replace your skylight can result in damage to the interior of your home, so it’s important to stay vigilant when looking for signs of damage.

Covered Weep Holes

an image of weep holes covered by a previous roofing contractor Four Twelve found upon roof inspection.
Weep holes covered by a previous roofing contractor Four Twelve found upon roof inspection.

Covered weep holes are one of the most common issues we see working in Baltimore City on pyramid skylights. This is often the result of other roofing contractors performing roof repairs, and in the process cover up the weep holes on the side of the skylight mount. One of the key functionalities of a pyramid skylight is the ability to shed water through weep holes at the base of the glass panes where it connects to the galvanized mount. Two things we see that signifies it’s time for a skylight replacement are when roof repairers have sealed up these weep holes with either a strip of membrane or roof cement. These weep holes must be opened in order for the skylight to perform properly.

Cracked Glass

A pyramid skylight with cracked glass found during a skylight replacement.
A pyramid skylight with cracked glass in Charles Village.

Another instance, which may seem obvious, is if your skylight has cracked glass, which is visible from the inside of your home. When these panes are cracked, the skylight becomes a vulnerability and the potential for water intrusion is high, leading to potential paint and drywall repairs down the line.

Rusting Metal

Another sign that your skylight is at the end of its life span is when the galvanized metal has corroded across the structure of your skylight. As a homeowner, one sign you can look for is orange or brown streaks coming down the glass panes of your skylight. Often times when we see this, it means that the galvanized metal of the skylight is disintegrating, and exposing itself to you as the homeowner from the inside. Most times when we see this from the inside and get up on the roof,  we discover that the protective metal structure has begun to flake and deteriorate. 

At Time of Roof Replacement

We also recommend a skylight replacement at the same time of a roof replacement. Often times, if your skylight is old or in disrepair, there is not much sense in keeping it in conjunction with a new roof. Additionally, there are savings in replacing your skylight at the same time as your roof. Once the construction team is at your property, the fixed cost of getting a team out to the site to replace the skylight is significantly lower. This is why we recommend rolling it up into the same project. On top of that, the flashing for your skylight is highly interconnected with the roof install, and ensuring that these are done in conjunction often leads to fewer leaks and less maintenance over the longevity of your roof system.

How Is a Skylight Properly Installed?

Skylights must rest upon a built-in wooden box connected to your roof decking. Often times, we do this with a 2×4 or 2×6 construction. After the box is in place, we will run our roofing underlayment up and over the box system to properly flash the opening. After that, the skylight is ready to be set on top of the box system. Once in place, the skylight will either be mechanically attached with screws or sealed in place with a weatherstripping system that is part of the installation kit.

A protective cricket built during a skylight replacement.
A protective cricket built against a new skylight installation by Four Twelve.

Another detail that Four Twelve folds into its skylight construction process is building a cricket (a water diversion system), on the uphill side of the skylight. We’ve found this detail to be incredibly important for the proper performance of your skylight system. Crickets allow for water to shed effectively downhill and around your skylight, minimizing the possibility of leakage over the lifetime of the skylight system.

Let Four Twelve Help You With Your Skylight Replacement

As roofing contractors in Baltimore, Four Twelve has seen just about every type of skylight damage there is. From cracked glass to covered weep holes, our team has the trained eyes to quickly assess and diagnose the issues plaguing your skylights. Whether you’re curious about a new installation, or simply need help figuring why there’s water leaking in from your skylight, let the team at Four Twelve assist you. Contact us today.

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Roof Repair

5 Tips for Choosing a Baltimore Roofing Contractor

Most of us don’t enjoy shopping around. Whether it’s searching for a pair of pants that fit right, a cup of coffee that fits your taste buds, or a roofing contractor you can trust, shopping can be an exhausting process. The stakes are raised greatly when considering companies to complete hugely important projects on your home. Finding the right contractor often begins with a simple Google search, but deciding which contractor is right for you can be frustrating when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Below you’ll find five things to look for in any Baltimore roofing contractor you’re considering to work on your home.

 

1. Stay Local

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but there are a variety of large contractors that operate in several states. While this may provide the security of a big name, what’s lacking is personalization and communication on an intimate level. Bigger organizations may be more profit-driven, leading them to contract separate aspects of your roofing job to a variety of local contractors instead of just one. This can cause communication to breakdown, leaving you out of the loop in regards to job progress, cost, and any roadblock that emerges along the way. When a personal touch is lost, communication can break down, which leads us to our next point.

2. Prioritize Communication, Not Sales Tactics

Communication is the key to customer satisfaction. Don’t utilize any contractor that is hesitant to communicate, doesn’t answer your questions, or doesn’t provide information about the project up front. Baltimore roofing contractors that communicate with and gain the trust of their clients will have a track record you can look into, and likely won’t use aggressive sales tactics to solicit your services. Roofing contractors going door to door in your neighborhood likely haven’t been able to generate clients organically, a red flag you should absolutely be aware of.

 

3. Insurance Is Key

Any time you’re seeking contractors that work on an enormous personal investment like your home, making sure the contractor has insurance is an absolute must. Mistakes can happen, but you don’t want to pay have to pay the price. If a worker is injured on the job and your contractor doesn’t have insurance, a lawsuit could be coming your way. While it may seem unfair, there is a burden on clients to make sure they’re working with companies that provide a safe working environment. Reputation is hugely important when looking for contractors.

 

4. Read Reviews and Testimonials

Any company can tout its trustworthiness and track record, but those things matter little without tangible evidence to back up the claims. Baltimore roofing contractors can be competitive, but customers opinions can help you better sort through them. Be sure to read through their Google reviews thoroughly in addition to website testimonials. These help you gain a better understanding of what kind of people you’re working with, their track record, and whether they’d be a good fit for your particular needs.

 

5. Avoid Being Oversold and Left In the Dark

Having to search for Baltimore roofing contractors is stressful enough as is. Don’t make the process more stressful for yourself by working with a company that wants to oversell you on every little detail. Often, these contractors use poor communication to your disadvantage. They’ll list out problems without providing any tangible evidence such as photos. They won’t provide you progress updates until they “discover” a new issue to add on to your bill. A good contracting company will only recommend services you need and present you with a suite of options so you can choose a solution that best fits your budget. And if a new problem does arise during the process, you’ll be informed promptly because the contractor is filling you in continuously on the project.

Contractors Tailored To You

Choosing the roofing contractor that’s right for you can be a stressful process, but Four Twelve strives to make it painless and comfortable. We communicate directly with all of our clients to help them through the roofing process, providing them with competitive prices, extensive warranties, and only making use of products that are guaranteed to last long. Give us a call today for all of your roofing needs.

 

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Four Twelve Roofing

Four Twelve Spring Update 2019

Greetings to our clients and friends,

This past year has been huge for all of us at Four Twelve. As our business continues to grow, so do our relationships with our clients all across the Baltimore area. We’d love to take this time to bring you all up to speed on what’s been happening with Four Twelve recently, and where we’re headed in the future.

Community Partnerships

Over the past year, we’ve expanded our work with community organizations that help service low-income residents across Baltimore, including work with the Baltimore City Office of Rehabs and Jubilee Baltimore. We also worked with the Maryland branch of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, providing roofing services to to improve the housing situations of select Baltimore residents. All work through these organizations is backed with 10 year unconditional warranties. We look forward to more opportunities down the road to help Baltimore’s lower income residents with staying dry, warm, and safe.

community partnership project 001

Small Commercial and Residential Projects

Over the year Four Twelve completed over 200 roofing projects across the Greater Baltimore Metro Area. Within this lot of projects were a handful of commercial projects – including some on the main thoroughfares in Hampden and Charles Village. We also completed a large number of residential projects across town – from Highlandtown and Canton, all the way up to Roland Park and Towson.

Our Team

Over the year, fourteen new employees have joined the Four Twelve team, including:

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We are extremely excited with the growth of the Four Twelve team. The more we grow, the better we are able to meet the exact needs of our clients.

Completion of 1600 Barclay Street Project

Four Twelve has successfully exited one of our cornerstone projects of 2017-18, the 1600 Barclay Street development. The final home was sold in February 2019, bringing a conclusion to one of our largest projects to date.


2018 was wonderful year. Thanks to everyone for your business and support. We look forward to continued growth in 2019 and for years to come!

Sincerely,

The Four Twelve Roofing Team

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Baltimore Four Twelve Roofing Roofing Uncategorized

Scope of Work: Framing and Roofing For A Multi Family Home in Baltimore

Apartment Building in Fells Point

Scope of Work: Framing and Roofing

In Spring of 2018, Four Twelve was hired to perform demolition, roofing and framing work on a 6-unit apartment building in Baltimore City’s Historic Fells Point neighborhood. A couple of investors purchased the building, with the intent to turn it into a multi-family investment property and were looking for a framing contractor. We happened to be able to provide framing contracting services as well as roofing contracting services and were hired for the project.

Here is an image from Day 1, showing the Four Twelve team in the midst of tearing off the original roof of the building. When performing historic restoration in Baltimore, oftentimes you run into hairy projects like this, with layers upon layers of the old roofing membrane, sheet metal, and plank boards dating back to the original construction of the property. Four Twelve’s internal team is experienced in working on large scale projects like this, within old homes of Baltimore City. This led to a safe, quick and effective removal and installation of a new roof on this property to start construction.

 

As an Owens Corning preferred contractor, Four Twelve is well versed in shingle and flat roof installations. This project had both shingle roofs and flat roofs, which led to the complexity of the installation. Additionally, Four Twelve was asked to install a new plywood deck on top of the original roof plank boards.

For the shingle roof, Four Twelve installed synthetic underlayment and 25 year Estate Gray Supreme Owens Corning shingles. For the flat roof planes, Four Twelve installed 15 year, Owens Corning DeckSeal self-adhering membranes. Below are photos of the roofing installations in progress on this multi-family roofing project. For both roofs across the house, Four Twelve installed historic galvanized, half-round gutters and full-round galvanized downspouts to help the homeowners and investors attain their CHAP, State and Federal Historic Tax Credits through the construction process – something that is very important when renovating in Baltimore City or Baltimore County.

 

Following the execution of the roofing scope, Four Twelve rolled into the framing portion of the work on this old apartment building. Below is the lumber package arriving on Day 1. We would have walked it down from the lumber supply house – but we’d rather save our energy for the actual building of the house!

 

Four Twelve provided turnkey assistance to the investors and owners of the property – ordering the lumber package and performing a turnkey installation. Constructing everything from stud walls, ceilings and floors – to setting staircases, hand-railings, windows and exterior doors, as well as returning at the end of the project to install bulkheads for HVAC systems and ensure that the building was ready for drywall, through adding additional framing blocking for other contractor to use during their installations. At Four Twelve, this is something we pride ourselves on – offering a service that takes you from Day 1 of your journey (whether it is framing or roofing) and delivering you to the end, without hassle of ordering labor or material – but letting our crews take care of the installation and insuring it is done accurately and quickly.

To execute the framing on this ~5,000 square foot project, it took our team 2-3 weeks.

 

This was a great project for the company. We like tackling larger restoration projects, with interesting design elements, that positively impact our community. As Baltimore City locals, Shea and Sam (Four Twelve’s owners), particularly enjoyed playing a role in seeing this project come to life. The owners experimented with an interesting design – from cathedral ceilings and collar ties, to flat framed walls to gain more space in order to work within the confines of the Baltimore rowhome (not an easy framing project, but one that we are accustomed to).

Below is a photo of Four Twelve’s framing team, installing the cathedral ceilings requested by the property owners for the top floor bedrooms of the apartment building – a feature that added some great character to the design and ultimately yielded a great end-product.

Four Twelve Roofing | Framing Contractor Baltimore MD
Framing Contractor Baltimore MD
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Four Twelve Roofing Framing Contractor Baltimore

Looking for a Framing Contractor in Baltimore?

Whether You Are Building A New Property, Or Renovating An Existing One:
Here is what you need to know about performing a framing project
in Baltimore City or Baltimore County.

What is Framing?

Framing is the act of putting together a property with wood or metal stud construction. You are building the exoskeleton or structural body of the building. In Baltimore, we see both wood framing and metal framing construction techniques (see below for more info on this). Framing can be one of the largest costs of a project – as you are buying a whole lumber package of material and then paying roughly the same amount as that, for the laborers to assemble this lumber package. This lumber package typically consists of studs for the walls, joists for the ceilings and floors, as well as plywood for the exterior facing walls, floor decks and the roof. Having a quality framing contractor for your project in Baltimore is crucial if you are aiming to build a quality construction project. Everything that comes subsequently, after the framing, will depend on the quality of framing. If the framing is not done to a high level – it has the ability to impact the drywall, carpentry and even appearance of paint, as walls need to be straight, plumb and level throughout the house for an optimal installation.

Wood Framing vs. Metal Framing

Typically residential framing projects in Baltimore take the form of wood frame construction. In fact, the majority of framing contractor projects in Baltimore are built with wood framing techniques. In Baltimore, often we only see metal stud framing projects in commercial and institutional build outs – larger scale projects. Wood framing is slightly more expensive, but also creates for more malleability of the product you are using. It is easier to shape, correct and make work for construction projects. Often, this is why it makes a better product for use, in renovation and restoration projects.

Framing Plan Designs

Often times, framing plans are designed by architects, draftsmen or General Contractors before the framing goes into construction. Framing plans dictate where walls should be going, how high ceilings should be, and the general layout of the house, before we hang drywall on the exoskeleton. Architects and draftsmen have options when it comes to designing a framing plan and we have seen lots of different ways to skin the cat in Baltimore. One popular technique that we see in Framing plans, is to use engineered lumber. Engineered lumber is specifically designed by your lumber supplier, to help meet other specifications of your home. Whether you want large cathedral ceilings (engineered truss package), you want a beam that supports heavy loads (LVLs and PSLs), or you want joists that allow for drilling to install HVAC systems within them (TJIs) – there are lots of solutions depending on your project specifications. It is always best when designing a framing plan to consult not only an architect but also a lumber company engineer, to determine what method is best for you, depending on how you plan to build your home.

Identifying a Framing Contractor

If you are looking to build a new home, a multifamily property or renovate a property in Baltimore City or Baltimore County, you may need a framing contractor or framing subcontractor in order to get your project completed. Four Twelve Roofing is a specialist in framing, working as a subcontractor for Generals or as a contractor, working directly with homeowners, property owners or multi family investors. Going directly to through Four Twelve for your framing needs will help you save money on the framing portion of your project, as you will avoid the overhead of a General Contractor. But also it will allow you to ensure your project is supervised and executed with a level of accuracy and professionalism. Four Twelve offers turnkey services – providing full framing lumber packages and labor for installation. We can plan, order and build your new or renovated home all in-house at our company.

Benefits of Hiring Four Twelve for Your Framing Project

With over 20 years of construction experience in Baltimore City and Baltimore County – the management team at Four Twelve knows how to deliver quality framing services for projects throughout Baltimore City and Baltimore County. With experience working on difficult renovation projects, rehabbing rowhomes in Baltimore City – all the way to working on large scale additions and new construction framing projects in Baltimore County – Four Twelve has seen it all. As mentioned before, Four Twelve also has the capability to take the ordering of materials out of your hands, so that you can get a turnkey experience – hassle free, without spending additional money ordering incorrect materials or dealing with the lumber company yourself. And when the project is all said and done – in no time, we can put a roof on your building – as that will be the first thing you want to do as a homeowner or property owner after your framing project – make sure it is all dried in.

How To Hire Us

If you think you want us to take on your renovation, contact us today and we’d be happy to discuss. Once you reach out to us, we will schedule a time to visit your property and discuss it with you in person. If you have never been through a renovation before and are a first time renovator in Baltimore – not to worry – we have a proven process on how to best execute these jobs and we aim to serve you in the best way we know possible. From on site visits throughout the week, to open lines of communication by phone and email throughout the day – we try to simplify the process so that you can enjoy it while it is taking place. So – call us today or email us. We will be in touch shortly to schedule a time to visit your home and discuss your project. Anything is possible – so lets dream it up and build it together!

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Roofing

Our Estimating Process | Four Twelve Roofing

“What is the estimate process at Four Twelve Roofing?”

When our sales reps come to your home, what should you expect?

Today we’re digging into this. Everything you need to know about our
estimates and site inspections, which have made our company best-in-class
in the Baltimore Metro Area for residential roofing.

 

1. Creating a Lasting Solution

When we visit a client’s home, we inspect the whole roof system, free of charge. We want to ensure that every client walks away, feeling educated about their roof system. With a comprehensive plan on how to repair and maintain their roof, for the lowest cost, over the lifetime of homeownership. As a part of this commitment, we inspect gutters, drip edge, penetrations and other roof faces – on top of the areas that are proving immediately problematic.

2. Getting on the Roof

We get on the roof, every single time.

Call us old-fashioned, but there is no substitute for walking a roof and having an expert inspect it with their own two eyes, whether it is pitched or flat roofing. Part of this process is taking photos and videos, to illustrate roof performance, and sharing these with our clients. Drones and satellite photographs are great for measuring, but when it comes to figuring out the true story – we prefer having one of our pros walk your roof.

3. Photos and Videos

How many people have ever been on their roof?
The answer is .. not that many.

For this reason, at every roof inspection we take up to 20-30 photos and videos to best document the state of your roof. We want to show you what it looks like from afar, up close, all the geographical features (chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, you name it!) Our goal is to impart upon you all of our expertise and apply it to diagnosing every facet of your roof, so that we can figure out a maintenance plan together. And when we’re done, we can share these photos with our clients upon request.

4. Same Day Estimates

After getting off your roof, our sales reps go to their mobile office and put together a proposal. We never leave a job site without putting paper in our clients’ hands. Contractors are notorious for being slow to respond. We don’t want to be like the rest – we are determined to provide something better – and part of that is giving you a price the day we visit your home.

5. Pricing Options To Suit Your Needs

Roofing is not black or white, it is shades of gray. What we mean, is that you always have options, when it comes to repairs or maintenance on your roof. At Four Twelve Roofing, we put together options that help your wallet and options that deliver the best quality product available. For every client, we have a solution for you.

6. Respectfulness and Cleanliness When In Your Home

When one of our team members enters your home, it is company policy to wear protective shoe coverings. We may have to step on toys and blankets to get a look around, and we want to keep our construction life separate from your home life. Also, we are grateful for every one of our clients’ business. You will never be pressured into buying product the day we come to your home. No exploding offers. No same day discounts. We want to help. And part of that is creating a roofing solution that is going to last you the life of your home. Check What Others Are Saying About Our Services!

 

Call Four Twelve Roofing Today for a FREE ESTIMATE
Dedicated to Providing Something Better.
Baltimore’s Local, Trusted Roofing Contractor.
(410) 989-7343