Buying Your Own Construction Materials and Equipment Versus Using a General Contractor’s Inventory

Brad Burns Uncategorized

There are many things to consider when deciding whether to purchase your own construction materials and equipment or use a general contractor’s inventory. Some factors include cost, quality, and availability. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that must be considered before making a decision.

Option1: Buying Your Own Construction Materials and Equipment

Purchasing your own construction materials and equipment can be more expensive than using a general contractor’s inventory. However, you may be able to get better quality materials and equipment this way. 

You will also have more control over what is used on your project. Another advantage is that you will not have to worry about the equipment being unavailable when you need it.

One disadvantage of purchasing your own construction materials and equipment is that it can be difficult to find what you need. You may also have to purchase more than you need, which can waste money. 

Another downside is that you will be responsible for maintaining and storing the materials and equipment. This can be a hassle, especially if you do not have a lot of space.

Option 2: Using a General Contractor’s Inventory Option

Using a general contractor’s inventory can be less expensive than purchasing your own construction materials and equipment. However, you may not be able to get the same quality materials and equipment this way.

Another disadvantage is that you will have to share the equipment with other contractors. This can lead to scheduling conflicts and delays. Additionally, if the contractor does not have the equipment you need, you may have to wait for them to get it or rent it from another source. 

Tips for Working With a General Contractor

1. Be clear about what you want.

2. Pay attention to the contractor’s schedule.

3. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.

4. Stay in communication with the contractor.

5. Get everything in writing.


Both options have their own set of pros and cons. It is important to carefully consider all of the factors before making a decision. Purchasing your own construction materials and equipment can be more expensive, but you may be able to get better quality materials and equipment this way. 

On the other hand, using a general contractor’s inventory can be less expensive, but you may not be able to get the same quality materials and equipment. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your specific needs and situation.

Tips for Washing Windows Like the Pros

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Windows are one of the most overlooked aspects of home maintenance. A neglected window doesn’t just look bad. It can actually hurt the resale value of your home. Window cleaning is a skill that can take years to master. Luckily, there are things you can do to speed up the process and learn more about the art of window washing. Here are tips for washing windows like the pros.

Timing Is Everything

The primary determinant of how your windows look is the time of year you wash them. Windows are exposed to harsher weather during the colder months, so you’ll need to be more proactive in your washing. The colder the air and the more it’s blown around, the more dirt and grime stay stuck on your windows. You should wash your windows at least once a year, and you’ll want to wash them more if you live in an area prone to rain or snow.

Use the Right Tools

If you’re washing a couple of windows, you probably won’t need anything but water and some elbow grease. However, if you’re planning on doing more than a couple, it’s probably worth investing in some window washing gear. You can choose between a squeegee, a wheeled ladder, or a pole to reach your windows. Some people like to use little water-soaked rags, but the truth is that doesn’t really work very well. The best way to clean your windows is through oxygen-free aspirator action.

Get the Right Detergent

You want to look for an all-purpose detergent that can get the job done. For everyday window washing, you’ll want to choose a powdered or liquid soap free of any bleach or other harsh chemicals. You don’t want to deter the cleaning job by stripping your windows of their natural oils. If you’re washing a lot of your windows as part of a bigger project, you might also want to invest in some window cleaner.

Wash the Streaks Away

You don’t want to spray a lot of water on your windows because that makes them hard to clean. What you want to do is wet the glass before you start washing it. You can do this by using a mister or other spray bottle filled with water. The water will help you avoid streaking and make it easier for you to reach hard to get to places.

Technique Is Key

You may think you know how to clean your windows, but you’re probably doing it wrong. If you want them to look great, you’ll want to follow these steps. Start by using a squeegee or other cleaning device to remove dirt and debris from anywhere on the glass surface. Next, spray your windows with water and use a soapy rag to clean the glass. Switch to a rinse rag and gently wipe away any soap residue. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the look of your windows.

Start in the Top Corners

If you want to get, your windows cleaned quickly, start with the top corners and work your way down. If you start with the bottom, you’ll probably end up using a lot more water. By starting at the top, you’ll be able to skip a lot of steps that are unnecessary once you get to the bottom.

 Use a Wet Rag

If you really want to get your windows clean, then you’re going to want to use a wet rag. Unlike other cleaning tools, a wet rag can get rid of dirt and grime with minimal effort. Just dampen the rag a little and then use it to wipe away dirt. This is a great way to clean especially dirty windows or to remove stubborn streaks.

Know When to Reach for Help

It’s possible to clean any window without hiring a professional. It just takes time, dedication, and patience. However, if you’re not a pro, you may need some kind of help to bring your windows back to their original state. This might mean hiring a window washer or using some of the professional products that you can find in your local hardware store.

The biggest thing to remember when doing a window wash is to use the right tools. This will make sure that you don’t damage your windows and that the job gets done correctly. Also, don’t forget to rinse your windows after you’re done washing them. It’s important to use soap that won’t damage the window. A clean window lets in the most natural light. It improves your mood and helps set the atmosphere for anything from a family movie night to an evening with one of your most cherished loved ones. If you want to learn how to wash windows properly, read through our tips and tricks above.

Back: Brent Sitlinger, Jayne Crabb, Brian McMurtry. Front: Shannon Sitlinger, Paige Sitlinger, McKenna Border

MI Foundation and Penn State raise 33K for Children’s Pediatric Cancer Support

lakesid News & Events

GRATZ, Pa. – Continuing a tradition begun in 2017, the MI Charitable Foundation partnered with Penn State Athletics to raise $33,300 for Four Diamonds during the 2021-22 academic year.

The MI Foundation donated $100 for every point that the Penn State football and men’s hockey teams scored at home this year, and added $1,000 for every team win and $100 for every pin that the wrestling team recorded at home.

For 50 years, Four Diamonds has aided families affected by pediatric cancer. They help cover the medical expenses of children who are receiving care at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. In addition, Four Diamonds also supports pediatric cancer research.

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Modern Home Renovation Trends to Look Out for This Decade

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Home renovations can radically transform your living space. Here are the contemporary renovation trends that offer both style and functionality.

Your Home Office

The next decade is likely to see more people than ever before working directly from home. A good home office space is a must. You’ll want one with a separate door and plenty of storage. Natural light from well-placed windows is also essential to get enough vitamin D. This is a good place for everyone in your family to engage in a personal side hustle.

Bringing in the Outdoors

Another trend that many homeowners in the Finger Lakes region appreciate is the chance to bring the outdoors inside. People feel better when surrounded by greenery. Niches for plants will remain popular. Designers are bringing in skylights in many rooms including the kitchen and dining room. Covered decks and three season spaces that bridge the outdoors and your interior spaces are another way to keep it inviting.

Integrated Technology

Smart home technology will only continue to evolve in the coming years. Homeowners want everything in their homes to work as one. That includes items from a smart thermostat to a smart doorbell. Home designers will find easier ways to connect every room in your house into a seamless whole. They’re also going to add even more energy efficient, green features. Solar panels will come down in price as well as becoming smaller and far more efficient. That will help you reduce your energy consumption and decrease your utility bills.


The days of using things for a few years and throwing them out are fast fading. Home buyers want items that are likely to last a lifetime. They’re willing to pay for more durable cabinets, flooring and other finishing when buying a home. The use of recycled materials is also likely to pay a lasting role. Using such readily available materials will bring down the costs of a home renovation for all homeowners.

7 Easy DIY Projects That Will Increase the Value of Your Home by More Than $5K

Brad Burns Uncategorized

In today’s competitive world, it’s imperative that your property increases in value. Thus, it’s essential to focus on enhancing its curb appeal and making it more energy-efficient and sustainable. Pursuing projects that will improve your home’s value can help you sell your property faster at the price you desire. Many of us get stuck in a rut thinking that we need to invest in expensive renovations or improvements in order for our homes to become more valuable. However, there are DIY ways you can increase the value of your property by more than $5K.

1. Door Replacement

Most homeowners eagerly upgrade their windows, floors, and roofs. However, few think of their door. The door is the main entrance to your property, and it’s very important to have it in good condition. Unfortunately, most doors today are made of wood. They are not very energy efficient and make your property hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. When choosing your door, you should consider the doorway’s orientation. Horizontally-oriented doors are better than vertically oriented doors because they allow less heat to pass through and make your home more energy-efficient. Remember to take advantage of glass doors as these are great for allowing natural light in, which can make your home look bigger.

2. Fence Replacement

Why replace a fence? Whether you have an existing wood fence or an iron one, it’s important that both are in good condition. Fences allow you to enjoy your deck, patio, or backyard without the worry of solicitors or strangers coming in. Garage doors can be replaced by fencing in an already existing garage, which can add value to it. Fencing is important because it improves the safety and security of your home and property. The fence also reduces the amount of noise by keeping unwanted people away.

3. Window Replacement

Replacing old windows can work wonders on your property. Just as with doors, it’s important that you replace windows that are no longer suitable for your home and property. When considering replacements, you should take into consideration the number of add-ons that your home or property has. For example, if it has a basement or an extension, consider having double-glazed windows that will prevent heat loss caused by evaporation. Another great way to improve the energy efficiency of your windows is by making them have variable u-values or low E glass. To further increase their energy efficiency, consider having triple-glazed windows.

4. Roof Replacement

A roof is a primary investment in your property, and it’s important that it’s in good condition. You should consider the shingles. A good roof is a waterproof, durable, and energy-efficient roof. If your roof is damaged, consider getting a roof replacement, this will help you save money on maintenance and improve the value of your property.

5. Lawn and Garden Care

There are many ways you can replace the grass on your lawn. One option is to have a lawn that is covered with boulders or pebbles. Another great way to make your yard look attractive is by having a small garden next to it, which can be easily done by simply adding some greenery and plastic plants to it. Garden care doesn’t have to be stressful, as you can have an automatic irrigation system and garden lights that will take care of the landscaping for you. You may also add a wind turbine, which will produce some electricity for your home while at the same time making your property more valuable.

6. Kitchen Appliance Replacement

Upgrading your kitchen appliances is also a great way to increase the value of your property. You can put in new appliances such as a microwave, dishwasher, gas cook top, and oven. Although some people choose to have stainless steel appliances, you may choose other finishes like black, wooden, or chrome fittings. However, what really matters is that you pay attention to details such as under-counter lighting and integrated cabinets into modern designs that are now available on the market today.

7. Interior Upgrades

Last but not least, it’s important to pay attention to interiors, such as the walls, floors, and cabinets. You may choose from a variety of materials for your cabinets and floors, which include porcelain tiles, laminate flooring, or hardwood floors. It’s always best to coordinate the colors of your floors with those on your walls. There are many ways that you can make your home look more appealing to potential buyers by simply adding some colors to its walls. You may also consider putting in soft carpets or rugs throughout the house to make it more appealing.

In conclusion, DIY projects that you can take up to increase the value of your home are many. You just need to be creative and apply some energy to make your property more valuable. Remember to create a balance between your projects and your budget. When taking up projects, don’t forget that you’re investing in the future of your home.

Top 7 Signs It’s Time to Restain the Wood Materials on Your Deck

Brad Burns Uncategorized

It is common for deck owners to ignore the condition of their wood until it is too late. Many signs point to the need for wood restaining, and some of them can go unnoticed, which often leads to rotting or splitting boards. Here is what to look for:

1. Stains On The Deck

If you find stains on your deck, they might be caused by rotting wood. Ensure to check the wood for soft or rotted areas and have them replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

2. Peeling or Flaking Paint

If there is peeling paint or flaking paint on your deck, it could be a sign of wood rot. This can also happen if you used water-resistant paint and it has not been appropriately maintained. The best way to restore the quality of the original wood is to sand off the paint and restain your deck.

3. Cracks on the deck

It is normal to see a few splinters or cracks on your deck, but if there are lots of them, it’s time to restain the deck. These can often appear after heavy rain or after repeated pressure. If they are not repaired promptly, they could lead to rotting and splitting.

4. Loose or Wobbly Boards

Wood can get loose if it is resting on a joist or other supporting structure. Make sure to check the boards for loose spots regularly. If there are any, have them repaired before you restain the deck.

5. Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are a sign of moisture damage and wood rot. They can appear in moist areas of a deck and can be dangerous to your health. They can also make it difficult for your new paint to stick, so ensure the area is dry before you restain the deck.

6. Old, Grey Wood

Old, grey wood has lost its natural moisture and color. It can be caused by heating or air conditioning systems or exposure to sunlight. Even with proper maintenance, it is likely the wood will fade. You can restore its color and condition by sanding it down and applying a new stain.

7. Curling Edges

Curling edges signify that the wood is drying out and becoming less dense. It can also be caused by exposure to direct sunlight, not enough humidity in the surrounding area, and even improper watering of your plants and grasses.

In conclusion, wood restaining is an excellent way to restore the look and quality of your wood. It is also an excellent way to protect your home, and it adds value to your property. Make sure to have the wood restained by professionals regularly so you can avoid unexpected repairs.

The DIY Process of Installing Shiplap on Your Walls and the Tools You’ll Need

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Something a lot of people often overlook when giving their house a new look is the ceiling. Shiplap is made of wide boards, so when you install it as your ceiling, it makes the room feel even more spacious. Shiplap is a very versatile option that you can customize with paint choices from subtle wood tones to fun pops of color. This post will show you the tools and steps for installing shiplap on your walls.

Tools required

Measuring tape

To get started, you’ll need a measuring tape. Not only will you need it to measure your space, but you’ll also use it to make sure each piece of shiplap is cut to the right length.

Dust mask

This will help protect you from breathing in dust and particles.

Safety glasses

These are there to protect your eyes from dust, nails, or wood flying into them (even if you’re wearing safety goggles) and even from the nail gun recoil.

Circular Saw or Miter Saw

To cut your shiplap planks, you can use either a circular saw or a miter saw. For large areas of shiplap, it’s best to use a miter saw.

Hearing protection

A good pair of earplugs or earmuffs will help keep your ears safe while using power tools.

Chalk line

A chalk line is a small container of powdered chalk attached by a string to a metal reel. When you pull the string tight and snap it, the chalk marks a straight line on the wall or floor. You’ll use it for marking where to place your first row of boards.

Table Saw

A table saw is the primary tool used to cut down your planking and trim it once it&#x2019s on the wall. While you can use a circular saw or hand saw to cut down your wood planks, the precision of a table saw will ensure that your cuts are straight, even, and consistent from plank to plank.

Chop saw

Depending on the width of your shiplap, you will probably use a chop saw to cut it. Make sure you have a 12-inch chop saw with a carbide blade that can cut through both hardwood and softwood.

80-grit sanding sponge

Sanding sponges are flexible, making them easy to maneuver around tight corners. They’ll get into the grooves of your shiplap and help smooth out any rough edges.

Interior paint

Interior paint is a type of paint that is used on the interior walls of homes. It can be made of several different ingredients, but primarily water and some sort of pigment. There are many different types of interior paint, each with its own specific properties.


You&#x2019ll need a paintbrush to get the job done. If you aren&#x2019t using a paint sprayer and plan on a painting by hand, be sure to invest in a quality paintbrush. The bristles should be firm, and they should feel comfortable in your hand.

Paint roller

You’ll need a paint roller to apply the primer and paint to your shiplap. You can use a high-quality thick nap roller for both. Or you can use a thinner nap (1/2 inch) for the primer, then switch to a thicker nap (3/4 inch) for the finish coat.

Paint roller pan

Paint rollers are usually used for walls and ceilings. The roller pan is the flat, rectangular tray that holds the paint you’ll be applying to your room. A typical paint roller pan is made of lightweight metal or heavy plastic.

Putty knife with metal blade

A putty knife is all you need to apply the adhesive, and a metal-blade putty knife is best for scraping the walls clean. If your walls are in particularly bad shape, use a larger putty knife for the first scraping and then switch to a smaller one for applying the adhesive.

Nails and nail gun

You’ll be using nails to attach your shiplap planks to the wall, so either hammer in a nail by hand or use a nail gun. A nail gun is a quick, easy way to install a shiplap. If you’re tackling a small space, you could get away with nailing the boards on by hand. But if you’re covering a large area, using a nail gun will save you time and energy.

1/8-inch spacers

You can use these between each board to create a perfectly even space between each board. The gap between boards is both decorative and serves a purpose in allowing room for expansion and contraction of the wood.

Process of Installing Shiplap

Step 1

Measure the length of the wall you want to install shiplap on. Measure the height of the wall from the floor to the ceiling, which will determine how many rows you will need.

Step 2

Cut a piece of shiplap using your circular saw. Cut each piece about 1/4 inch longer than your measurements for the height and width of your wall.

Step 3

Place a level on top of one end of the first board and mark with a pencil where you need to cut off any excess wood. Cut the wood off with your circular saw before installing it on your wall.

Step 4

Nail a piece of shiplap directly on top of your subflooring with a hammer and finishing nails. Make sure the nail heads are not visible after you install each board by hammering them slightly below the surface level of each board so they are hidden when you install another board over them at the height of your walls (this will allow for space at the top). Cut each board using a saw for a precise cut.

Shiplap installation may be a relatively simple DIY job, but it will undoubtedly require careful attention to detail and patience. Following these steps will help save you time, money, and effort. But don&#x2019t forget that the most important tool for any of your DIY projects is not your hammer or the screwdriver; it is dedication.

5 Ways You Can Reinvent Various Rooms of the Home By Adding Crown Molding to the Ceilings

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Crown molding has been a feature in architectural homes for centuries. And although it wasn’t always used to decorate the tops of walls, it was originally designed to hide the ends of beams, which were placed on top of the heads of doorways and windows. Crown molding can be installed in virtually any room of the house, adding elegance and sophistication to any room it is placed in, as well as adding value to your home.

Add Visual Depth and Dimension

One way that ceiling crown molding can help update the look of your home is by adding visual depth and dimension to any room. The right crown molding can make low ceilings appear higher or high ceilings lower. Be sure to pick out the right color and style of crown molding so that it matches not just with your walls but also with your furniture.

Create Focal Points in Each Room

Ceiling crown molding is a great way to create focal points in each room. By using a different style or color for each room, you can help create a unique look for every area without having to redecorate or repaint. You can also use ceiling crown molding as a transitional piece between two rooms, making it easy to give each space its own distinctive look and feel.

Use Colorful Crown Molding to Add a Pop of Color

This type of crown molding has a two-tone look that adds depth and interest to the space. The upper portion of the molding consists of two flat boards painted white, while the lower portion is made up of two rounded boards painted yellow. A light blue ceiling ties this entire look together for a bright, cheerful design scheme. This would be especially attractive in a child’s room.

Create an Accent Wall with Crown Moldings

A great way to create an accent wall in your home is by installing crown moldings on one side of it. These types of walls tend not to be as popular anymore, but they’re still very beautiful when done correctly. If you don’t want the whole house painted just yet, then this might be something worth considering for now until you decide otherwise (and if ever).

Keep Things Light and Simple with White Crown Molding

One great way to use crown molding is to keep things simple. If you have white walls and an overall light color palette going on in your home, then using white crown molding can really add some beauty without adding any additional color. This can be helpful if you have a small room that you want to not seem so small or if you want a room to look brighter than it normally does.

Take some time to walk through each room in your home and think about how the crown molding might alter its overall look. Once you have selected the right color and material, measure out the length needed for each room of your new home. Remember that some rooms will need two or even three different types of molding to achieve a balanced look, while others may only need one or two different types. The options are limitless when it comes to crown molding. Take stock of what you have to work with, then bring your vision to life using these five tips.

Ice Melting

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Ice melting services are important to prevent accidents caused by slippery roads. This is because snow, sleet, and ice can all become slippery and dangerous when the roads get cold. These complications often occur in the winter and take a lot of drivers off guard, sometimes causing them to lose control of the vehicle. With ice melting services at hand, we can effectively melt any and all snow, sleet, and ice that covers the roads to safely and easily prevent such accidents from happening.

Keep our roads safer

Roads in the winter can be extremely slippery. Snow, ice, rain, and heavy traffic can make driving a lot more dangerous than it should be. We have all seen on the news accidents that happen because someone is going too fast for conditions or has accidentally skidded off the road and hit a pole or tree.

Ice melting services are beneficial to drivers and the general public. Ice melting products help reduce the number of accidents caused by ice and snow on the roadways. Not only is it safer for drivers, but it is also safer for the environment.

Reduce the risk of black ice

Black ice refers to a thin layer of transparent solid that forms on the road surface when the temperature is below freezing point. Black ice is a serious hazard and can cause major problems for drivers, especially when combined with precipitation like rain or snow.

Black ice forms when the air temperatures are below freezing point, and then the water droplets on the road do not have a chance to turn into ice due to the quick influx of heated air from vehicle engines.

Treating these roads with an anti-icing solution helps prevent this dangerous sheet of ice from forming on roadways. By preventing black ice formation, we help reduce the risk of accidents caused by black ice.

It makes it easier for you to drive

One of the main benefits of ice melting is that it makes roads safer. This means that there is less risk of accidents and less risk of damage to vehicles. If you are a professional driver, this can be very important to you, as damaged cars cost a lot of money to repair.

Snow and Ice Services Companies employ snow removal professionals to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, bridges, streets, and other areas. The primary goal in snow removal is to create a safe environment for people who have to walk or drive in the area where snow removal work is carried out.

Why You Should Choose Marvin Windows

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Marvin realizes people spend more time indoors, which opens up new possibilities for how people live and feel. Marvin started as a family-owned and operated lumber company in 1912, and they’ve looked for ways to make lives better by raising the bar and building beauty and quality into their products since then. There are many reasons why people love Marvin Windows, and below are only a few of them.

When you’re looking for windows that provide aesthetics and performance, Marvin windows has the style and type of windows you want. Marvin offers innovative window solutions with industry-leading sizes and an ability to mix and match. Whether the window type you seek is an awning, casement specialty-shape, or something else, there’s nothing like a Marvin window.


Marvin designs their windows to protect your home against the elements with impact-resistant glass. This glass stands up against damage from hurricane-force winds due to two laminated glass layers that help stop debris. When the glass in the window breaks, the laminated layers help the window maintain its overall integrity.


Homeowners look for ways to make their homes more energy-efficient as it helps to keep their homes comfortable and lowers their utility bills. Marvin offers energy-efficient windows that reduce heat loss with thin, transparent metallic oxide layers that suppress heat flow and reflect heat back inside the home. This layer helps to minimize heat loss, and during the warmer months, this layer helps keep cool air inside.

Friend Of Turtles

Marvin’s products meet Sea Turtle Conservation Codes that helps to ensure that newly hatched sea turtles find their way to the ocean. Light and reflection from windows can disorient freshly hatched sea turtles, which causes them to wander inland where they die from dehydration, predation, or run over by vehicles.

Marvin believes in striking the perfect balance between performance and style. No matter where you live and the climate, the high-performing thermal properties help keep your home comfortable all year long. Contact Marvin today so our experts can help you turn your dreams into reality.