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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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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 house framing contractors. 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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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 Baltimore Roofing Company, 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

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Baltimore Insurance Claims Roofing

THE PROPERTY OWNER’S GUIDE TO NAVIGATING A ROOF INSURANCE CLAIM | Four Twelve Roofing

Two weeks ago, a wind storm hit Baltimore. When storms come to town, there is damage to real estate. And no place gets hit harder than your roofing in Baltimore, MD.

If your roof is missing shingles, or you see roof material that has blown down onto the sidewalk, you have a valid claim for a roof replacement. Every property owner should know this.

As a Roofing Contractor, part of our job is to understand the insurance process, and to help our clients navigate this process. For this reason, Four Twelve put together The Property Owner’s Guide to Navigating a Roof Insurance Claim. Homeowners and business owners alike – if you own real estate – this guide is a must read.

 

image of four twelve roofing helping the community Baltimore

We Are Your Expert Roofing Partner Here in Baltimore County

1. STEP 1 – ASSESS YOUR ROOF. 

Roof Replacements can range in cost from $5,000 – $40,000+ for homeowners in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. So if you see damage to your roof structure, it is in your best interest to file a claim. You may be able to get your insurance to pay for a new roof, as opposed to paying the full cost, out of pocket 5 years from now.

2. STEP 2 – FIND A LICENSED AND INSURED ROOFING CONTRACTOR TO WORK WITH. YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN “REPLACE YOUR ROOF FOR THE COST OF YOUR DEDUCTIBLE.”

Across our community, there is some confusion about Step 2. Insurance providers and homeowners’ natural inclination is to shop around for the best price from contractors. When doing your kitchen or bath, yes – this makes sense. But let us shake some new knowledge into your head. Insurance claims are a different game. When it comes to Roof Insurance Claims – Price DOES NOT matter.

As a homeowner, you want to know 2 things when hiring a contractor for an insurance claim:
1) Have they done any insurance claim work (ask them for examples, references)?
2) Can they commit to replacing your roof, for the cost of your deductible? If they say yes, get this in writing and sign a contract with them to represent you through the process. If you’d like a sample contract, reach out to Four Twelve and we can share with you our template.

No matter where prices fall out, know that you as the homeowner have the final say – in that you tell your insurance company who you’ll be working with. And for this reason, you should be focused on finding a contractor who does quality work, has experience working with insurance and who can commit to replacing your roof for the cost of your deductible.

***BE WARY OF CONTRACTORS WHO SAY THEY WILL PAY YOUR DEDUCTIBLE
Insurance fraud is common in the world of storms and roofing. Any roofing companies who tell you that they can lower their deductible or pay you back your deductible, is committing fraud. If you engage in this, you could be liable and exposed to criminal charges, even if you did so unknowingly. So be careful.

3. STEP 3 – FILE A CLAIM

Contact your insurance company and open up a claim for storm related damages. Tell them you would like an adjuster to come out to the site and create an estimate for repairs. If you are signed on with a contractor, they should be able to handle this process for you.

At this point, you should have selected a contractor, based on the criteria above (roof replacement for the cost of my deductible). You will want to know from the adjuster, when they will be coming to your house to create the estimate. It can be helpful in expediting the process, to have your contractor meet the adjuster on site for their 1st meeting. The adjuster’s estimate for damages will be incredibly low compared to the actual cost of the work. This is where your contractor can help tremendously, in negotiating with the adjuster on your behalf. This negotiation can go on for a long time, but if your contractor is present at the 1st meeting it can speed things along.

4. STEP 4 – RECEIVE THE ADJUSTER’S ESTIMATE. HAVE YOUR CONTRACTOR NEGOTIATE ON YOUR BEHALF.

As I mentioned above, your adjuster’s estimate will be a lowball offer. They will either exclude items or put low dollar values on replacement costs. Never accept the 1st offer from an adjuster. Their 1st offer is not the final take it or leave it price, ever.

When the adjuster’s estimate comes in your email, your contractor should negotiate on your behalf. Their goal is to get enough money to repair your property, in a quality fashion, while only having you as the homeowner on the hook for your deductible. If you are paying out of pocket on top of your deductible – your contractor is not doing their job.

The adjuster will prepare their estimate through a software program called Xactimate. This is the universal software program for insurance claims. You want a contractor who works in Xactimate as well. This way the insurance company has no excuses. An “apples to apples” comparison is what the insurance company will look for in determining whether a contractor’s claim is legitimate and professional.

5. STEP 5 – CONTRACTOR FINALIZES NEGOTIATION. CONTRACT IS AGREED UPON AND SIGNED. WORK COMMENCES.

After the negotiation between your contractor and your insurance provider, you should sit down with your contractor and clarify the final scope of work. The contractor may have gotten certain damages funded and certain damages not funded. Based on the money they received, they should have a good idea of what is being replaced and what cannot (based on the funding). You will want to finalize this scope of work, and have it inserted into a formal contract, which you and your contractor sign and agree upon.

After this, you are free to proceed with the work. We wish you luck in this process and hope this guide is helpful. If you have any friends or colleagues, who are in need of insurance clarification – please, share this article with them or refer them to Four Twelve to help with their roof insurance claims and we promise to take care of them.

Four Twelve is dedicated to providing a better offering to the community of Baltimore and we want you as homeowners and business owners to be better informed about how to protect your investments – hopefully through putting the teachings of this article into practice. When it comes to roofing, gutter, skylight, and property renovation needs, you can contact us for help. You may also visit us at 10 E North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218 for a personal consultation. Contact Us Today! 

Call Four Twelve Roofing Today for a FREE ESTIMATE
Baltimore’s Local, Trusted Roofing Contractor.

(410) 989-7343

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Baltimore Construction HeatMap Roofing

HEATMAP (WINTER 2017-2018) | Four Twelve Roofing

 

When growing a small business, sometimes you have to “grind.”

This leaves you little spare time for fun side projects. But today, we’re getting back to the basics – having some fun with this thing.

To keep our friends and family, in the know, on what we’ve been up to over the past couple months, we put together this heatmap – showing all our project work over the course of Winter 2017-18.

The business is growing and so is the intrigue of our project load. Here are a couple of bullet points to summarize the activity we’ve seen over the last few months:

1. We’ve been awarded our first restaurant build out
2. We’ve begun construction on two townhome gut rehabs for an investor in Remington
3. We’ve performed multiple roof tear off and replacements, from Federal Hill all the way up to Hampden

The one commonality we are seeing in our project work, is that the majority of it is taking place in Baltimore City. If you or anyone you know has projects on the horizon, in Baltimore City, we would love if you thought of us. Feel free to visit our website, Four Twelve Roofing, and submit a contact form. We’ll be happy to come visit your home and see if we can be of help 🙂

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Baltimore Construction Roofing

FOUR TWELVE ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF ITS ROOFING DIVISION

That’s right folks, we are officially launching a roofing company. Over the last few months, we have noticed such a demand for roofing, siding, gutters and windows in Baltimore City and Baltimore County – that we have decided to grow out a roofing segment within Four Twelve.

We are not forming a new company – we will simply be doing more roofing, siding, gutters and window work within the purview of Four Twelve’s General Contracting business.

Four Twelve aims to provide our roofing clients with the same experience they have grown accustomed to, when working with our General Contracting team. Quality, timely customer service. And integrity in relationship management.

As we state on our website, and something that has come to be a mission statement for our company – “We aim to build quality homes and manage our relationships from a place of honesty and integrity.” When it comes to roofing, these principles certainly apply, and we think we can benefit our community tremendously through offering a quality product in the exterior home improvement and renovation sector.

Contact your local roofing contractor in Baltimore, MD – Four Twelve Roofing for an estimate today!