Make Sure Your Deck is Ready to be Enjoyed!

Tips from The Handyman Connection

Thank you to Handyman Connection for sharing the following tips.

Collapsing decks is a serious problem.

Decks collapse for a variety of reasons but mostly because they were not built correctly, they have not been properly maintained and because they’re too old.

To make sure your deck is safe, look for these warning signs:

  • Missing Connections – Look underneath your deck for missing connections. A deck needs to be built with metal connectors, nails, screws, and bolts. Make sure all of the wood framing under your deck is tied together with metal connectors and that the deck is connected from the house all the way into the ground with metal connectors. The most critical connection of a deck is the ledger, where the deck attaches to the house. Ledger screws or bolts should be used.
  • Loose Connections – Check to see if any railings or stairs are loose. If they are, repair them immediately. Also, check the balusters on the railing and make sure they are spaced less than four inches apart.
  • Corrosion – Connectors, nails and screws can corrode. Look for red rust or other signs of corrosion. Make sure the hardware you use to replace the corroded metal is rated for the outdoors to resist corrosion.
  • Rot – To test the wood on your deck, stick a screw driver in the area of wood you think is rotted. If it appears soft, replace it.
  • Cracks – Look for deck boards with large cracks. Deck boards or posts with large cracks should be replaced.
    Moisture – Flashing is a metal or plastic guard that directs water away from sensitive areas (where the deck and house meet). This keeps moisture and debris from collecting between the house and the deck’s ledger board. Make sure the flashing is sound and firmly in place. If you see areas that collect water, add or replace the flashing.

New Home Construction Picks Up in Birmingham

According to today’s Birmingham Business Journal, new home construction is starting to pick up in Birmingham.

New home construction in the Birmingham area began to thaw in February, according to recent data from the Alabama Center for Real Estate.

The University of Alabama center said 120 single-family home building permits were issued in February, a 9.1 percent increase over January.

Statewide, permits increased 20.5 percent to 659 issued in February over January, the first increase after a 10-month consecutive decline.

Read the entire article at the following link to the Birmingham Business Journal:

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2011/04/20/new-home-construction-picks-up-in.html

Latest Census Information About Alabama…

The 2010 Census Information has been published for our state, with several interesting trends over the past ten years. Arcara Residential is pleased to have many choices of homes in the areas of growth! Do a property search by area to find the latest listings. Here are a few specific areas that line up with what we are seeing:

  • 2010 Census Showed that Calera and Chelsea both grew by 250%.  Check out Shiloh Creek!

  • The Fastest Growing Cities in the Jeffco/Shelby area were:
    (graphic from the Birmingham News)

  • Trussville Boomed! Population growth in Trussville was 54% over the past decade.  Visit the spectacular Brooke’s Crossing for a beauty in Trussville.

  • The three fastest growing “larger” cities (cities that started the decade with populations more than 10,000) were Helena, Trussville, and Pelham.  We are proud to feature neighborhoods in these areas such as Pelham’s Eagle Cove.

  • Hoover population soared 30% over the past decade.  Hoover’s Mayor Petelos attributes the growth to Hoover being a great place to live and raise a family, with one of the better school systems in the state.  It is amazing that million dollar views are still available in this beautiful city, such as you will find at Southpointe Ridge (with full basements, starting at $299,900). 

More detailed information and analysis is available at http://www.al.com/census/news/index.ssf/index.html.

All information on this website is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed, and may change without notice. Any square footage is approximate.

Property of Arcara Residential, LLC; 771 2nd Street; Helena, AL 35080