Total Construction gives WWII vet special treatment with roof

While nothing compares to the great sacrifices our vets have made for our country, the least we can do at Total Construction is provide a minor sacrifice of our own. Take Ted Williams, for example-a WWII Marine Corps veteran and Harlan, IA resident, who needed roof repair in the aftermath of recent hailstorms.

He not only deserved a good new roof, but some special treatment to go with it.

The latest effort in Total Construction’s mission to assist veterans throughout the Midwest, our first step was to provide Mr. Williams with GAF roofing products. These high-end products can only be installed by North America’s top 3% of roofing contractors–a ranking that was hard earned by our company.

Our second step? Gift him with a rebate of $250 and a long-lasting roof warranty.

This is not only a heartfelt thank you for Mr. Williams’ military service, but also a token of our partnership with the GAF’s Roof for Troops promotion, which provides enhanced products and benefits to all veterans and service members, active and non-active, of all branches.

To further lend support to those who have served, Total Construction is also an accepted builder for the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program, which secures further benefits and financial backing to make home ownership more accessible for our servicemen and women.

Ted WIlliams received a new roof with some well-deserved benefits

Total Construction Services would like to thank Mr. Williams for his service to our great nation, so we can enjoy our freedom. At the very least, he should be able to enjoy a sound roof over his home. The same goes for any veterans in need.

If you’re a veteran looking to have questions answered about your home–as well as any homeowner in search of repair from storm damage, hail damage or otherwise–call the experts serving the Midwest since 1987.

To those who serve and have served, thank you.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

5 things to consider when deciding on a new roof

When it’s time for a new roof, it’s also time to know a few tricks of the trade that will make your experience far easier. From enhancing the protective qualities of your roof, to lowering overall costs, you can prepare yourself with these five useful tips.

1) Alternative shingles are becoming the new trend.
While, of course, several homes still use wooden shingles, a growing amount are switching to alternatives that include concrete slate-type shingles and polymer plastic shingles, to name a few—not only for their homes, but for their insurance companies who highly approve. Ask a contractor about the non-flammable rating as well as options that are class 4 impact-resistant, which may qualify you for insurance discounts up to 30% or more. In the event of hail, a class 4 may even, in certain instances, cause insurers to waive your deductible.

2) Qualifications.
When selecting a roofing contractor, nothing outshines the competition like industry awards and local customer testimonials. Seek them both. In terms of quality, if the roofer has achieved GAF Master Elite Status, that already places them among the top 3% in North America. It’s simple: when you research a company, research its honors and distinctions as well.

3) Emergency response.
Another important factor to look for: experience. It’s always good to have a veteran roofing contractor holstered and ready in the event of emergency storm damage. Decades of regional experience show that they can work gracefully in the aftermath of a storm while being especially prepared for everything the local climate can deliver. Another sound indicator of good service? An in-house Insurance Claims Division that works directly with insurance to save you money—while saving you needless paperwork.

4) Double check your home’s insurance policy.
If you live where hail occurs more often—the Midwest being a prime example—a shorter lifespan on a roof is a common occurrence. While most insurance companies offer good comprehensive service, be proactive and educate yourself by looking for any changes in your renewal policy that may include:

  • Refusal to cover roofs over a certain age (like 10 years)
  • Adding a separate hail deductible that’s subtracted from what you’re paid on a hail claim
  • Excluding cosmetic damage like dents in metal roofs, siding, or copper trim
  • Not covering roofs made from obsolete shingles (thus making it different to buy replacement shingles)
  • Doing partial roof repairs instead of replacing your whole roof (possibly leaving you with a patch that’s different color than your original roof)

5) Warranty.
Of course, good roofing companies offer a long-lasting roof warranty, which is a prime indicator that they stand behind their level of quality.

Serving the Metro and beyond since 1987, Total Construction is prepared to handle all your needs—even if you just have questions.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Storm damage? Avoid a waiting list.

If hail or high winds have affected your property, don’t fret—expert repair services are available to you at a minimal wait. Total Construction is operating at fuller strength than ever to address this season’s first wave of major storms. From handling homeowner’s claims across Omaha, to claims across the Midwest including the aftermath in Red Oak, Iowa, our company carries the proven capacity and experience necessary to get you back to normal fast—wherever you live, whenever a storm hits.

Want efficiency? Seek experience first.

To ensure that we can serve you quickly—and complete the job thoroughly—our fleet operates in conjunction with our in-house insurance claims center and veteran estimators. It’s a one-two punch of experience that can expertly address both your property needs and all paperwork that arises. We’re also affiliated with a network of top third party roofers in the nation, giving us greater experience handling emergency situations and providing faster—yet finer—repairs to each home we serve. We can eliminate the obstacles that often cause delays or discrepancies in the repair process. It’s a part of our skillset.

Want more proof? Seek awards.

Total Construction has been serving Omaha and surrounding areas for 27 years. In that time, we’ve been awarded the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award and been honored as a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor—a feat that only 3% of North America’s roofing contractors have ever achieved. Add that to a list of satisfied customer testimonials that continues to grow.

When a storm hits, it’s our duty to inform you that better options are available. Because we’ve seen the grief a damaged home can cause—but moreover, seen the joy when a home is well repaired, on time.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Get ready for summer: De-winterize your home.

The summer sun is coming. Get your home ready.Winter is receding and the summer sun is teasing its way in. Now’s a perfect time to prepare your home with a few simple steps to maximize your comfort and minimize any issues this season.

Test your outside water lines. Turn your outside water line back on and check your outside faucets to ensure they’re working correctly. Reattach your hose and test it also. If there’s a small leak, you can easily repair it using a garden hose repair kit available at most retailers.

Check your home’s exterior. Now’s the time to see how your home handled the winter and preemptively address any needs before spring storms and summer swelter begin their annual barrage. Are there any shingles missing from the roof? Are there loose boards in the siding? Gaps in the windows? Torn or bent screens or any cracking in the foundation? Points where the snow leaked into the home? These are all things that can be promptly solved by a professional contractor before the problem grows more intense along with the weather.

Make sure your attic is properly ventilated. An attic that’s properly ventilated by professionals ensures that undue heat is never trapped in your home (poorly ventilated attics can reach 150ºF in the summer) while also preventing unwanted moisture. When moisture builds, it can form into mildew and molds on your infrastructure—which can sometimes become a health hazard. So let your attic breathe. The benefits may surprise you.

Get your HVAC system checked. Make sure you’re prepared when you revive the AC for another season of cooling. Professionals can check your unit to ensure it’s running correctly, locate any leaks and tune it to run most efficiently.

Test all of your outside electrical outlets. Are they working correctly? Again, a professional contractor can assist if you locate a dud, which may indicate a greater problem.

Know your market. It’s wise to be prepared. With the seasonal changes on the horizon, be sure to have a trusted contractor on hand in the event of a problem or emergency. You can ask your home insurance provider for a list of trustworthy names. But above all, look for someone who receives local awards and real testimonials indicating overall excellence and customer service.

A well prepared home decreases the likelihood of issues during the hot months, but more importantly, enables you to more easily enjoy the summer. After all, isn’t that the point?

If you have further questions on de-winterizing your home, or for anything home-related, call Total Construction any time to speak with a friendly representative.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

6 useful tips to prevent pipes from freezing

Where there's frozen water, frozen or burst pipes can follow.

It’s no mystery in the winter: the main culprit of bursting pipes is frozen water. Namely, how frozen water blocks the normal flow of liquid through the pipes, causing backup and pressure to build. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not expanding ice that actually makes a pipe finally burst: it’s the remaining liquid water finding nowhere else to go but out. Using this knowledge, there’s a few simple tips you can follow now to prevent any watery disasters in the future.

1. Ensure your pipes are insulated. Sure, homes in the north are often equipped with well-insulated pipes. But regardless of latitude, homes throughout the Midwest, especially farther south, should ensure their pipes are properly insulated—especially in vulnerable areas such as attics, crawlspaces and outside walls. If this year’s frigid cold has taught us anything, it’s this: where the cold is less commonplace, so is preparation. So don’t be a victim: avoid costly emergencies by adopting a mindset of better safe than sorry. For advice on insulation, you can always contact a construction contractor.

2. Seal those seams. To keep cold wind away from your pipes, seal cracks and holes in your walls with caulking. Simply walk along the walls of your house and feel for drafts. And for fainter drafts, light an incense stick. When the smoke is offset, there’s a draft.

3. Some doors are best left open. Did you know? Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm inside air from reaching pipes under sinks or in adjacent outside walls. It’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to let warm air circulate around the pipes and prevent freezing.

4. Unfasten your hose. If a hose is hooked up to your backyard or the side of your house, remove it and shut off the valve that leads to your outdoor hose. By shutting off your valve and ensuring all water has dripped out, it removes the risk of a freeze.

5. Don’t hesitate to use your taps. As long as water is running and pressure doesn’t build up, there’s a far lower risk of freeze and pipes bursting. Also, it’s okay to let faucets lightly drip where you believe there could be risk of cold pipes. The slight relief in pressure prevents potential buildup within your pipes.

6. Leaving for a trip? Don’t over-lower the heat. While understandably it saves money to lower your thermostat when you’re away from home, it’s important to not be overzealous and allow your home to cool excessively in your absence. A home kept reasonably warm will ensure pipes share the same cozy condition.

Aside from the obvious pipe burst, a telltale symptom of winter creeping into your infrastructure is lowered water pressure—or worse, no water activity whatsoever when you twist your faucet on. While this requires immediate professional assistance, you can also call a professional ahead of time for additional precautionary tips on how to prevent this worst case scenario.

For the best repair and restoration in the instance of water damage and other incidents, contact a certified construction contractor serving homes and businesses since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

10 smart ways to winterize your home

With the winter freeze fast upon us, there are several opportunities to warm your home easily, effectively, and practically everywhere you look. Here are just a few simple steps to convert your home into a cozy, cost-saving, winter-warding fortress.

1. Seal those seams.
As we know, cold air will find its way into the home however it can—wasting 5% to 30% of your energy use. With the autumn’s falling temperatures, now’s the perfect time to locate those pesky drafts and stop them before the true freeze kicks in. So take a walk throughout your house and spot where the drafts are coming in. Some you’ll feel immediately; others you can detect by lighting an incense stick. You can seal basement seams and cracks with caulk, window seams with plastic insulation kits found at your local hardware store (they’re invisible to the naked eye once applied), and the bottoms of your doors with weather stripping—or even rolled-up towels. Wherever there’s a draft, there’s definitely an option available to dam it up.

2. Look for available tax credits.
You’d be surprised how many energy-efficient upgrades to your home will not only save you money on your bills, but reap in tax credit from the government. Among the many options that could get you cash back simply for having them installed or updated include: Storm doors, windows, water heaters, furnaces, programmable thermostats, insulation and more. When your home is equipped with the proper energy-efficient components by today’s standards, you’ll be rewarded for it in more ways than one.

3. Reverse your ceiling fans.
Most ceilings fans come with a handy switch that makes them spin clockwise instead, which recirculates the rising hot air back down into your living space. This simple trick can cut your heating costs as much as 10%.

4. Change your furnace filter.
It’s important to change your filter once a month to prevent unhealthy airborne particles from infesting the home. There are even modern permanent filters on the market today that can remove up to 99.97% of particles in the air.

5. Shut off or empty your A/C and outer water lines.
Drain any outdoor hoses, remove them, and stow them neatly for next season; shut off the water supply to your outer hose bibs (locate the twist valves on your water pipes near the outer walls of your home to do this); drain any air conditioner pipes and make sure water isn’t pooled in equipment that could potentially freeze.

6. Attic Insulation.
Sounds odd, but a well-insulated attic, especially when done by professional contractor, should actually maintain a cold temperature. Why? If poorly or improperly insulated, your attic will absorb unwanted heat from the home below, which can warm layers of snow on the roof in a stovetop effect. This can lead to untimely melts and ice dams forming near the gutters. Which brings us to the next step.

7. Clean your gutters.
With falling leaves now accumulating atop our homes, now’s the time to clean them out from the gutters. Whether it’s done personally or professionally, cleaning gutters will allow for the proper flow of meltwater away from your home, rather than collecting and causing ice dams, leaks, or potential damage to your roof.

8. Give your furnace a tune up.
To ensure your furnace runs efficiently and flawlessly all season long, call your heating company for a tune-up and maintenance check. The earlier you call the better as colder weather leads to busier schedules for technicians.

9. Dress appropriately.
A light sweater can make you 2 degrees warmer. A heavy sweater? Four degrees. And let’s not forget our blankets. The old-fashioned power of layering, obvious as it seems, will help us resist the temptation to adjust the thermostat or make any impulsive decisions that could be otherwise avoided.

10. The most failsafe option of all: Call a certified professional.
A certified contractor can perform the most thorough energy audits for your home, provide the most thorough, timely advice and address every cold weather situation with veteran experience. There’s no substitute.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

A Miracle Happens in Omaha

Anyone who leaves town for a few days knows the simple joy of returning to home sweet home. But for one woman, it was much sweeter.

Sue V., an Omaha resident who single-handedly raised seven kids in her home, found an opportunity to finance a quick weekend trip to visit two of her sons living out of state. She’d leave Friday, return Sunday. Simple.

But not so simple, given what she knew.

Sue knew that, amidst her priorities of being a good and ever-present mother, she’d still be returning to the same deteriorating home, the same holes in her siding, and the same foundational issues. She knew that her home was falling fast into disrepair, despite recently emptying her retirement in efforts to maintain it. She knew that times were becoming tighter and money harder to come across.

But she didn’t know this: As soon as her plane left the runway at Eppley Airfield, her close friend Joyce from her church and Total Construction CEO, Kevin Jackson, marched a small cavalry onto her property to fix her house. It was a secret operation involving contract workers, construction equipment, good friends and volunteers of all ages, working dawn till dusk to restore a home to a condition as pristine as the heart of its owner.

Part of the project was fundraised among friends. But most of it was just old-fashioned volunteerism and hard work—much the case for Jackson, who donated time to the project despite it being the busiest, most demanding time of year for contractors.

The home’s foundation was repaired. Siding was restored and painted. Grounds were repaved. Qualified workers performed major professional operations while others ran caulk guns where needed. Fences were rebuilt among other things. Home was, for Sue, sweet again.

Sue arrived home late Sunday night when the darkness served like wrapping paper hiding the gift from plain sight—until her daughter reached in and turned on the porch light.

“At first I thought it was the wrong house.” Sue said. “I’ve never had a deck before.” Her friends had been waiting underneath the newly built deck in the meantime with flashlights.

“They surprised me and took me around the house. It was a miracle.”

Her astonishment continued well beyond that evening. “For well over a month every single day I walked around the house to witness it. I am so grateful.”

On a September evening shortly thereafter, Sue hosted a party to thank everyone who had helped. After all: that night, there was no home across the city that was better suited for such an occasion.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Looking for a good construction contractor after storm damage? Contact your insurance agent.

Few things are closer to the heart than home sweet home. So when you’re dealing with damage to your house—whether wind, rain, hail, fire damage, water damage or disaster—you want the repairs done right, on time, and without hassle. Fret not. You can put your insurance company to use, along with a few other rules of thumb, to help you find a proven contractor who will work on your home as if it were their own, and for an honest price.

It’s a numbers game.

We all know that insurance companies, by nature, are careful and sticklers for accuracy. But that’s a good thing. In 2013, they’re measuring ways to satisfy customers even better. They’re scoring customer satisfaction right down to the decimal. That means insurance providers are shortening their lists and becoming stricter on who remains in their network of preferred contractors. Only the best ones make the cut, and as the market only grows more competitive, today’s insurance companies won’t gamble with a contractor who’s anything less than legendary at their specialty.

The driving force behind this trend is called policyholder retention, a.k.a., your happiness as a customer. Your utmost satisfaction is the goal of good insurance, as well as the good contractors they keep in their proverbial rolodex. So if you receive, or request, a list of preferred contractors from your insurance company, you can be assured that they mean good business. Because in 2013, it’s not about who they know; it’s about who produces impeccable results for customers, again and again.

Other signs that lead to stellar contractors.

While insurance is a good start to finding an A-list of construction contractors, here are some other ways to help narrow it down when you need a tried-and-true specialist in restoration, roofing, or repair:

A good reputation.
Has the company earned local awards to prove itself as a standout against the competition?

A solid warranty.This not only signifies a company’s faith in the high quality of its own work, but commitment to the satisfaction of each customer.

Testimonials. While it’s important to find a roofer who’s certified, it’s also important to locate solid customer testimonials that lend credibility to a company’s level of care, friendliness, and timeliness getting the job done. Angie’s List is also a reliable source.

Local dependability. If you’re looking for service in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion or surrounding areas, Total Construction has been a trusted contractor in the metro since 1987. Winner of the 2010 Better Business Bureau Integrity award, we serve each customer’s exact needs and while working seamlessly with insurance companies through our insurance claims department. We believe it’s important to seek the best contractor, and we believe we can compete with the best.

Home Improvements Can Lower Insurance Premiums and More.

Whether it’s roof replacement, new siding or simple repair work, improvements to the home not only increase your property’s value and comfort, but can also decrease your insurance rates. Savvy homeowners can take advantage of this one-two punch to ensure that equity is flowing into their homes–while money is flowing back into their wallets. So if you own a home, or if you’re simply scouting for a new home, the following are some helpful pointers to remember.

A simple phone call could do wonders.

It’s important to realize that, while insurance providers try to be accurate, they’re not always able to see and know everything. If you make an upgrade to your home, whether major or minor, let them know. In one case, a homeowner’s insurance rose 30% at renewal time, prompting him to call his provider. In a turn of events, he discovered that they were unaware he’d hired professional roofers to install a new roof. The result? They decreased his rate to 10% lower than it was originally. One phone call made a difference of 40% in his premium, proving that a little communication can really go a long way. When it comes to the house, if you improve it, announce it.

A few good questions might lead to insights.

Even right now one can look at a home for possible savings opportunities. Here’s one good question to ask: Is the roof new? Nothing speaks better to an underwriter than a roof with proof. New roofs are safer for you, but safer for insurance providers to cover. And if a roof is constructed of impact-resistant shingles, you could qualify for further discounts–especially if you live in a region prone to occasional hail or high winds.

Another good question to ask: How’s the siding?
Insurance companies will check a building’s exterior material before insuring the property–and materials such as brick, stone, and concrete or cementious siding are fire resistant and could attract greater discounts. On the other hand, an exterior such as EIFS siding (which looks like traditional stucco but is actually different underneath the surface) is not as fire resistant, or impact resistant, thereby drawing a higher insurance rate. You can always contact a construction professional to get the clearest answers.

And when you do search for the best contractor, ask them: Are they a Haag-Certified Roof Inspector? Do they hold a current certified installer accreditation from the shingle manufacturer? Choosing the right professional with experience already puts you at an enormous advantage in several ways, including insurance. In fact, that’s worth repeating.

A trusted contractor pays off when it comes to insurance matters.

It’s common knowledge that finding a company with experience and great references is crucial in any roofing, remodeling or restoration project. But here’s a lesser known fact: Working with your insurance provider on any home issue becomes far simpler, and more cost effective, when you hire an ethical construction contractor. They not only work with your best interests in mind, but earn the trust of your insurance company and ensure that all parties are on the same page.

A contractor with a sound insurance claim department can communicate directly and knowledgeably with your provider to reach optimum results. They speak the language insurance companies use, and know which materials will fetch greater cost savings for you. Moreover, a good contractor will work on your behalf and make your satisfaction a top priority–unlike, for instance, a public adjuster who works for a percentage of a settlement which becomes needless money out of your pocket. And by working with a company who has simultaneous expertise on both the construction end and the claims end, you’ll achieve results while avoiding any wedge that a public adjustor can drive between you and your insurance provider, hampering your relationship.

At Total Construction, we’ve served homeowners since 1987 with expertise in roofing, remodeling and repair. We work entirely on your behalf to ensure all projects completed on your home–and the savings you receive–are equally satisfying.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com