Roof and Interior Restoration in Newport News

“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree”Trees, Joyce Kilmer, 1913

Ah, trees. They give us flowers in the spring, green leaves in the summer, and beautiful shades of red and gold in the fall. In the winter, their bare branches catch the snow and glisten in the sun. They provide a home for the song birds, and shelter our homes from the summer heat. And, sometimes, they  are the cause of our nightmares.

 

During a severe storm with high winds, that some reported as micro-burst tornadoes, our clients in Newport News dealt with the nightmare. The beautiful tree in the front yard came crashing through their home. The tree crushed the roof and rafters, and rain poured into their bedrooms and living room. Luckily, no one was injured, but the clients were facing the near-total destruction of their home and months of repairs.

Our good friends at Inside Drying in Yorktown were first on the scene. They tarped the roof to prevent further damage, and began the process of drying out the home and packing up the clients’ possessions. The drywall was removed from the walls and ceilings in living room and three bedrooms. The floors were removed next. With most of the house reduced to the studs, we were able to assess the situation and develop a plan for the repairs.

 

Working closely with the homeowners and their insurance adjuster was critical at this point. As in any disaster situation, the adjuster will create the initial scope of work for the repairs. This gives us a baseline of what is covered and what the insurance company believes it will cost. Our job is to review this scope, and supplement it with our calculations for the actual cost of materials and labor, and the requirements for the building codes in our area. This usually takes some negotiating, and the adjuster may request a follow up meeting on-site, to review the items that have been added to their scope. Once our estimate was approved, we got to work.

 

The roof was first. The remaining shingles were removed, along with the damaged rafters. New rafters were added where needed, and new roof decking was installed. The homeowner chose CertainTeed Landmark shingles in Resawn Shake. These shingles carry a lifetime limited warranty and a wind rating of 110 mph.

Outside, we also replaced the damaged soffit, fascia and gutters.

 

With the roof restored, it was time to address the interior damage. Since the space was almost completely gutted, we had a clean slate to work with. Electrical and HVAC repairs were made first. New drywall was installed on the ceilings and walls, and painted in the clients’ selected colors. For the floors, the homeowners chose a luxury vinyl plank, which was installed in all the rooms and the hallway. New ceiling fans with light kits completed the repairs.

 

The homeowner left the following comment on our business Facebook page:

“Jim Hicks knows his stuff! If it wasn’t for him helping us through our home repair and dealing with the insurance  company when a tree fell through our house, I don’t know what we would have done!! Jim and his crew did a great job and we love the work they did!!”

 

Start to finish, including several meetings with the insurance adjuster, this project took our team six months. The homeowners’ goal was to be back in their house in time to hand out Halloween candy to the neighborhood kids. Happily, we were able to make this request a reality.

Popcorn Ceilings: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

A popcorn ceiling is defined as a spray-on or paint-on treatment, which has a rough, bumpy texture and is used to hide imperfections, absorb sound, and reduce echoes, especially in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings. Popular in the 70s and 80s, popcorn ceilings have recently been revived in new construction. There are several pros and cons to this:

Pros

  • Texturing hides flaws and imperfections in the ceiling
  • Deadens noise and reduces echoes in large rooms
  • Can cost less than a smooth ceiling, because less prep is required

Cons

  • Hard to clean – cobwebs, dust and dirt attach to the rough surface and are difficult to remove without damaging the texture
  • Hard to repair and, in older homes, may contain asbestos
  • Not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms as the moisture in these rooms can cause the texture to become loose and fall off

 

 

We were recently called in to remove popcorn ceilings from several rooms in a Newport News townhome. The client loved her home, but she hated the ceilings. The popcorn texture was even in the closets and on the garage ceiling!
Luckily, because the home was built in 2001, asbestos was not a concern. The popcorn texture was scraped off, any areas of imperfection were smoothed out, and new paint colors went on the ceilings and walls of these rooms.
In the living room, the client wanted to add crown molding. Because the ceilings are so high, we went with 9-5/8” molding, which created a great focal point in the room. New ceiling fans replaced the original builder’s models in the living room and bedroom, and the lighting was updated in the foyer, dining room, hallway, and bedroom. (Check out that chandelier in the dining room!) The stairway railings and posts were repaired, and they received a fresh coat of white paint.

Removing the popcorn ceiling, adding new crown molding and paint, and updating the lighting made a huge difference in this beautiful townhome.

 

Navigating Disaster Claims and Repairs – What to Expect

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Excerpt: In your typical home improvement project, things move along pretty quickly. The homeowner and the contractor meet to discuss the project, agree on a scope of work and a price, and set a start date. Permits are pulled, materials are ordered, and work commences. The homeowner pays a percentage up front, to cover materials, and makes progress payments until the work has been completed. When disaster strikes – a tree falling on the house, a flood, a fire, etc. – this process can get complicated in a hurry: The homeowner contacts their insurance agent, who files a claim on their behalf,…

Fire Restoration Project in Yorktown

This video is a slide show of the dramatic before and after pictures of a home that was ruined by the faulting electrical wiring of a hot tub on the deck.   Our team put it back together better than it was before.  

Stunning Kitchen Remodel in Newport News, Hidenwood Neighbood

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Excerpt: This is a kitchen we just finished in the Hidenwood neighborhood of Newport News, near Christopher Newport University and James River Country Club.   We absolutely loved this project and our clients!  If you’re interested in the complete list of everything we did on this project it is at the end of this article. In the meantime you can watch the video slideshow or scroll down for the larger versions of some of the pictures so that you can really see the detail in each image!     Our Scope of Work for this Kitchen Remodel Project:  Demolition Demolish…

The Kit Homes of Colonial Place, Norfolk Virginia

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Excerpt: It’s amazing the things you learn and the people you meet on Facebook. I have been working on the homes in Colonial Place, Norfolk for many years. I’ve done slate & shingle roofing, carpentry, home additions, bath remodels, siding , etc…I knew it was a historical neighborhood but I didn’t realize that one of the cool people that I was connected to on Facebook was the Colonial Place Historian! Rose Thornton has written a book about the homes there and has done 100’s of lectures on them! If you love this stuff, like I do, check her post out about The Kit…

This weekend in 2003 Hurricane Isabel hit Hampton Roads

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Excerpt: Hurricane Isabel was the hardest hit that Hampton Roads Virginia has taken from a storm in over 20 years. It caused devastation from Virginia Beach to Yorktown, Virginia. The majority of the damage that we experienced resulted from falling trees. Because of the widespread flooding, many homes in low lying areas have since been raised so that they are not flooded again. This house on Beach Road in Hampton was raised due to the damage it suffered during Hurricane Isabel. The damage inside the home was so extensive that the interior had to be completely restored. To ensure that the trim matched…

Remember Hurricane Irene?

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Excerpt: It was 2 years ago today that Hampton Roads, Virginia got slammed by Hurricane Irene.  It was the hardest we’ve been hit by a Hurricane since Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  If you were here, you’ll remember that Sandbridge in Virginia Beach suffered several tornadoes that were spawned by the storm and Newport News had major damage to an apartment complex due to falling trees. Many low lying areas were flooded and 1.2 million homes and businesses lost power. Three people in Virginia were killed due to the storm Most of the major damage caused by the last several hurricanes have…

Success Profile for Jim Hicks in Hampton Roads Magazine

"I just want to see my smiling face on the cover of The Rolling Stone"

“I just want to see my smiling face on the cover of The Rolling Stone”  (click on image to enlarge)