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Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

How to select residential windows for energy efficiency

Friday, July 29th, 2011

A US government independent report for consumers on how to select Windows for Energy Efficiency is a timeless reference when you are considering new windows for your home. New window technologies have increased energy benefits and comfort, and have provided more practical options for consumers. This selection guide will help homeowners, architects, and builders take advantage of the expanding window market. The guide contains three sections: an explanation of energy-related window characteristics, a discussion of window energy performance ratings, and a convenient checklist for window selection.

  • INSIDE Solar Control
  • Window Energy Rating and Labeling
  • Window Checklist
  • Window Energy Glossary

Selecting the right window for a specific home invariably requires tradeoffs between different energy performance features, and with other non-energy issues. An understanding of some basic energy concepts is therefore essential to choosing appropriate windows and skylights. Three major types of energy flow occur through windows: (1) non-solar heat losses and gains in the form of conduction, convection, and radiation; (2) solar heat gains in the form of radiation; and (3) airflow, both intentional (ventilation) and unintentional.

While technology has improved since this report was written, it’s still recommended reading to educate yourself before meeting with a replacement windows contractor.

Download the Selecting Windows for Energy Efficiency PDF by clicking on the photo below.

energy efficient windows photo

 

Win a new roof in the Ugliest Roof contest

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

gaf ugliest roof contest win a free roofDesigning Spaces and GAF offer the chance to win the ugly roof makeover contest for homeowners!  Enter from now until August 12, 2011.

gaf ugly roof contest image

Cleaning up after your Atlanta contractor is gone

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Atlanta contractor Schantz Home Improvement mitigates damage and project clean up by assessing property protection needs in advance, and implementing protective measures.

We’ve all seen it. Some have experienced it. The Atlanta contractor leaves a mess of the construction site during or after the project. When you compare contractors to hire, this is usually not even on the consumer checklist, however, it’s one of the most annoying things about construction projects. When the contractor is gone, you shouldn’t have anything to clean up, unless there is a discussion with the contractor in advance about special circumstances.

At Schantz Home Improvement, our construction teams have a checklist of procedures for before, during, and after a project is completed. This includes mitigating potential mess and damage by assessing the areas that will be impacted during the project and and providing the appropriate protective barriers, as the type of project warrants. It is a challenge to keep yards clean, especially when peeling off old materials that break into miniscule pieces which may then be spread by weather conditions.

We can’t eliminate every iota of broken up materials, but there is much that can be done to keep your property safe and mitigate the spread of any debris throughout the entire project. When the Schantz team is gone, you’ll be focused on enjoying your renovation or repair, not on cleaning up after the contractor is done.

Equally important, hazardous materials are properly disposed of, as required by law. We all share in the proper care of our planet, and protecting our environment impacts our drinking water and our health. Below is some interesting information about pollution enforcement in our area.

2010 EPA Enforcement Actions Yield Significant Pollutant Reductions in the Southeast

(Atlanta – Dec. 7, 2010) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 announced today that concluded enforcement actions in fiscal year 2010 (FY 2010) will result in the treatment, minimization or proper disposal of more than 9.8 billion pounds of hazardous wastes. Respondents in the Region 4 states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, and on tribal lands will invest more than $420 million in pollution control and cleanup and will implement more than $5 million in Supplemental Environmental Projects. The concluded enforcement actions include more than $15 million in assessed penalties.
”EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment,” said Gwen Keyes-Fleming, EPA Region 4 Administrator. “We are committed in Region 4 to ensuring that pollution problems that impact our communities and neighborhoods are addressed through vigorous civil and criminal enforcement.”

Highlights in Region 4 include the successful conclusion of the Agency’s first case under the National Enforcement Priority for Mining and Mineral Processing with a civil judicial settlement with CF Industries, Inc. of Plant City, FL. This precedent-setting consent decree will require CF to spend over $12 million to reconfigure current manufacturing or waste handling processes and install/operate a Wastewater Treatment Unit and will result in the elimination or treatment of over 9 billion pounds of hazardous waste.

Region 4 is committed to ensuring that enforcement actions achieve measurable results for the environment and the public health in communities that are disproportionately impacted by non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations. To that end, in FY 2010, Region 4 concluded enforcement actions in potential environmental justice areas that will require Respondents to spend more than $237 million to come into compliance with environmental regulations. Seventeen of the enforcement actions concluded in potential environmental justice areas in Region 4 include Supplemental Environmental Projects benefiting communities and populations impacted by non-compliance with environmental laws. Approximately $12 million in federal penalties will be assessed for companies located in these communities.

In FY 2010, the Region 4 Criminal Enforcement Program referred 35 cases for federal prosecution and 1 case to a state court system. Prosecutors in Region 4 charged 13 corporations and 36 individuals with environmental crimes, most of which were felonies. A total of 49 defendants were convicted of environmental crimes. Criminal defendants were assessed over $7.6 million in fines and over $2 million in restitution. In 2010, 26 new investigations were initiated.

As in past years, these results can be viewed using an interactive Web-based tool that highlights many of the enforcement, compliance, and community-based activities that EPA carried out in FY 2010. The website also includes a map that provides the public with detailed information about the enforcement actions taken at more than 4,500 facilities throughout the United States.

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We dug through the EPA site to see more about the direct impact for Georgia.  Here’s what we found:

Region 4 – Georgia

Civil Enforcement
Estimated Environmental Benefits – Commitments to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment:
Direct Environmental Benefits
  • Pollution Reduced, Treated or Eliminated (Pounds) (1)
23,915,000
Investments in Actions & Equipment to Reduce Pollution & Protect the Environment (Injunctive Relief) $11,194,701
Investments in Projects that Benefit the Environment & Public Health (Supplemental Environmental Projects) $5,361
Civil Penalties Assessed $3,304,338
Civil Enforcement and Compliance Activities
Civil Judicial Enforcement Case Conclusions 3
Final Administrative Penalty Orders 57
Administrative Compliance Orders 13

Georgia

John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods Inc., and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods of the Carolinas Inc., Atlanta, GA: On November 9, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods Inc., and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods of the Carolinas Inc., based in Atlanta, GA, have agreed to pay a $350,000 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/314c65c7a62095b285257669005e9d2f!OpenDocument

GAF Materials voted best shingles by Builders Mag 2010

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

GAF Materials Corporation Secures Highest Quality Rating in Builder Magazine’s 2010 Brand Use Study

WAYNE, NJ (07/2010) – GAF Materials Corporation, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has secured the top Quality Rated Brand for asphalt/fiberglass shingles in Builder Magazine’s 2010 Brand Use Study. Sponsored by Hanley Wood, the survey questioned 10,800 builders, builder-developers and general contractors about their familiarity with, use of, and opinions about brands in 81 product categories. Paul Bromfield, Senior Vice President, Marketing states, “GAF-Elk is pleased to be recognized for our high level of quality by the very people who install our product. As a leader in roofing since 1886, we have a long history of focusing on innovation driving us towards continuous improvement efforts – including our Advanced Protection technology. By enhancing the materials we use, we have created stronger, more durable shingles that weigh less and waste fewer natural resources.” GAF-Elk brands garnered the top three spots for quality in the asphalt/fiberglass shingles category, demonstrating the strength and breadth of GAF-Elk shingle lines, each of which is constructed with the Advanced Protection technology. This continuously evolving technology has led to the design of shingles that have improved performance, including superior wind resistance, while being more environmentally friendly due to lower unnecessary material usage. There are many aspects of the approach, most of which are proprietary:

  • Using a state-of-the-art fiberglass mat technology with automated processes that eliminate unnecessary filler weight while optimizing the protective asphalt to deliver performance. This results in a lower weight shingle with advanced protection against cracking, tearing, and severe winds.
  • Using the lowest profile glass mat in North America as well as proprietary processes, binders, and fiber strand orientation for optimal composite performance. Its reduced weight allows a greater percent of asphalt in the top or weathering layer, greater flexibility for bending with fewer cross-sectional mat cracking stresses, and contains higher fiber density making it stronger.
  • The shingles better withstand thermal cracking during severe temperature swings (150°F to 0°F) before the shingle cracks. In one sample, GAF-Elk shingles performed 33% better in thermal cracking than a competitor’s heavier shingle, again proving that performance is not correlated to weight.

With the improved wind performance that Advanced Protection technology has helped deliver, every shingle GAF-Elk now manufactures passes ASTM’s two toughest wind tests: ASTM D3161 Class F 110 mph and ASTM D7158 Class H 150 mph. These Advanced Protection product enhancements were made possible due to GAF-Elk’s world class R&D, which utilized sophisticated computer modeling to map each shingle into 10,000 pieces to predict how the new optimized shingle would perform. This same type of modeling, also known as 3 dimensional finite element analyses, is used by PhDs to design lighter aircraft that last longer. “We are committed to both the creation of superior roofing products and our corporate sustainability initiatives,” continued Bromfield. “This Advanced Protection technology has furthered our progress in both areas.”

About GAF Materials Corporation GAF Materials Corporation is the largest roofing and ventilation manufacturer in North America, with sales of nearly $3 billion annually. The company’s products include a comprehensive portfolio of steep-slope roofing systems (marketed under the GAF-Elk brand) and low-slope roofing systems (marketed under the GAF brand), which are supported by an extensive national network of factory-certified contractors. Its success is driven by a commitment to provide property owners and specifiers with the best and safest choice in roofing and by helping supportive contractors and distributors to build their businesses and avoid hassles.

With a focus on social responsibility, GAF-Elk has developed Advanced Protection shingle technology, which provides superior durability and wind resistance, while reducing the use of scarce natural resources.

The Company also supports the industry through CARE, the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which has provided education to over 100,000 professionals. CARE’s mission is to help professional contractors and distributors build their businesses through sales and management education, and to provide product and installation training to contractors, distributors, architects, property owners, and related industry personnel.

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Schantz Home Improvement Company of Atlanta, Ga. has earned the distinction of being appointed a Master Elite™ Residential Roofing Contractor by GAF. We only use high quality products with superior manufacturers warranties. This, we believe, will allow for years of worry-free enjoyment of your home improvement in your most important investment, your home. When comparing roofing companies, it’s critical to compare materials as well.

What is EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Atlanta Georgia contractors need to comply with new residential renovation EPA rules by April 2010.  The EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule was created for common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition. They can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

The RRP Rule requires that renovators are trained in the use of lead safe work practices, that renovators and firms be certified, that providers of renovation training be accredited, and that renovators follow specific work practice standards.

Does the RRP Rule apply to installing replacement windows, in other words, removing the old sash and installing a new vinyl window in the opening, without sawing or sanding? Yes. Window replacement does NOT qualify for the minor repair or maintenance exception.

Schantz Home Improvement strictly follows all local and federal regulations. Appropriate personnel and subcontractors, if applicable, will all be in compliance with the new rule by the deadline.


Schantz Home Improvement Company wins GuildQuality’s 2009 Guildmaster Award

Thursday, March 5th, 2009
Guildmaster Award 2009Schantz Home Improvement Co.
1530 Howell Mill Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
404-522-HOME (4663)
www.myhomeguys.com

Atlanta, GA,  March 5, 2009

Schantz Home Improvement Company, a leading remodeler in Atlanta, GA, announced today that the company has been awarded a 2009 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer satisfaction. Schantz Home Improvement Company was one of 95 homebuilders, contractors, developers, and home services companies throughout North America recognized for their superlative performance.

“Schantz Home Improvement Company is proud to be included in such an elite group for our superior customer service by Guild Quality.  We pride ourselves in providing the best customer service we can, and will continue to self evaluate ourselves for even greater performance in the future.

We’re excited to recognize the great performance of Schantz Home Improvement Company, said Geoff Graham, founder and president of GuildQuality. Their passion for delivering a superior customer experience shines through in the feedback we received from their customers.

About Schantz Home Improvement Company

Schantz Home Improvement Company was incorporated in 2000 by Greg Schantz, son of John Schantz and grandson of Frank Schantz, previous Presidents of Schantz Homes, Inc.  Schantz Homes, Inc. was founded by Frank Schantz in 1946 in Rochester, NY and continues to build quality home today. Schantz Home Improvement Company follows in the footsteps of Schantz Homes to assure a superior customer experience.

About GuildQuality

GuildQuality provides customer satisfaction surveying and performance reporting for over 500 homebuilders, remodelers, and contractors in North America. GuildQuality collects feedback directly from customers and reports back to the building professional through a web-based service. On average, more than 70% of customers respond to GuildQuality surveys, and their feedback includes rich commentary and quantitative ratings.

About the Guildmaster Awards

Once a year, GuildQuality recognizes exceptional customer service with the Guildmaster Awards. Visit the Guildmaster section of the GuildQuality website to see information about all 2009 Award Winners, or visit the GuildQuality blog to read about the awards qualifications.

Price vs Cost

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

It is easy to be confused when comparing various contractor bids.  In tough economic times it is even more important to choose wisely. Comparing price to cost is critical. Price is what you will pay out of pocket now. Cost is what you will pay over the life of the purchase.  Low bids and even choosing the middle bid can be much more expensive than the high bid. Did you ever buy a shirt that didn’t make it throught the first wash? How about a car that suddenly needed numerous repairs after 50K miles?  I think you get the point.  So how can you judge the right Price? Evaluate your “contractor” not the “bid.” Check online references such as Kudzu and the BBB. Check how long they have been in business through the BBB or verify thier incorporation date through the state registry. Generally past perfromance is a good indicator of future performance.  Walk away from anyone you can’t find extensive information easily through the internet.  There is a reason companies hide. It is a choice, not by chance.

Roofing Contractors in Atlanta Ga

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

September, 2008– There are 1,340 local roofing contractors listed on YellowPages.com. There are over 100,000 articles in Google to help you find one.

According to one article about how to select an Atlanta Roofing Contractor, “Georgia doesn’t hold roofing contractors to any particular standards or require them to be licensed” making it tricky to find a good one.

That’s not the whole picture. Here’s the 2008 policy regarding Georgia Contractor licenses. Excerpt: Re-Roofing of Existing Structures. The following are allowable categories of work which may be completed or coordinated by a Re-Roofing Limited Service Specialty Contractor:

• Rooftop Equipment • Demolition • Remediation

You may be required to hold a contractor license if your company exceeds this scope of work. See here for more details State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors. All work must be done according to local code and ordinances.

End excerpt.

Ok, so we’ve agreed there are 1000’s of possible local service suppliers. How many are GAF Master Elite Certified Roofers? Less than 20. That helps you narrow down your list. GAF Master Elite Certified Roofers meet stringent workmanship and consumer satisfaction standards, plus they provide the most comprehensive written warranties. In other words, these are the guys you want to use when you are spending your hard earned dollars on home repairs, repairs that you want to last for many years.

You’re reading this page so you use the internet for research. Have you used Kudzu to report on any business with good or bad feedback? There are many sites for consumers to place their reviews. We can’t expect our customers to put their reviews on all of them, which leads to fractured information when consumers are trying to compare suppliers. We’ve asked recent customers to put their reviews on Kudzu because they can write reviews not just about us, but other businesses as well, and all in one location.

Read Schantz Home Improvement roof repair customer reviews on Kuzdu.

Don’t be a passive review reader, be part of the solution in developing a guide to finding better services. Don’t just write about Schantz, write reviews on all kinds of businesses you visit. That way we’ll all have much better information on the services we buy and the businesses we frequent. I challenge you to write about three services you have recently purchased right now.

Rising cost of building materials expected to impact all sectors

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Atlanta, Ga.– September 2005

Hurricane Katrina will contribute to the overall increase in building materials nationwide in 2005 and beyond. While government agencies ponder the data to determine the overall impact of Katrina, most consumers are already feeling the impact in their everyday lives, primarily at the gas pump.

Gasoline rates have a far reaching impact in all products. Delivery companies are already tacking on “fuel surcharges” to shipments of materials. Some industry insiders think this is more palatable to consumers rather than raising prices because it’s simple to grasp.

For residential construction, buyers can expect a triple whammy- increase cost of materials, increased disposal fees, and general job cost increases because all operating costs are rising. Some building material costs have risen 20% or more already. Is this the death blow that has long been touted by economic naysayers? Most experts agree that the short term impact will not significantly affect the home improvement market, however with increases of 5-8% or more, new homes sales may be impacted in some markets.

“Schantz has always offered fair prices, ” said Greg Schantz, President of Schantz Home Improvement. “We will continue to provide quotes that are in line with current costs so our customers are not surprised later by additional fees from rising materials costs. Because of the speed in which we complete our work, in most cases we can lock in prices once a contract is signed. For estimates that are not acted on quickly, there may be some fluctuation in final contract costs. Bottom line – fuel costs are going to affect everything in our lives and customers should not hesitate to lock in prices now.”

Schantz Home Improvement Master Eliteâ„¢ Residential Roofing Contractor

Friday, October 1st, 2004

Atlanta, Ga.– Fall 2004

Schantz Home Improvement joins an elite group of contractors with the Master Elite Residential Roofing Contractor Certification. To be awarded this recognition, Master Elite Residential Roofing Contractors have undergone Factory Certification and have committed to specific principles and values in their selling practices, business process and installation methods.

The GAF Materials Corporation products being sold and installed are backed By GAF, America’s Largest Roofing Manufacturer. A commitment to providing you with an effective and comprehensive roofing system that delivers satisfaction for years to come is the hallmark of membership in the extremely select national group of GAF Master Elite Residential Roofing Contractors.

In 2004 there were approximately 700 licensed roofing contractors. Less than 20 (2%) were approved as GAF Certified Master Elite Roofers.

“Schantz has always strived to provide exceptional service, ” said Greg Schantz, President of Schantz Home Improvement. “Now our customers have an added level of comfort provided by GAF and their special warranty program for customers of Certified Master Elite Roofers.”