A trend that’s lowering premiums and growing fast.

Alternative shingles can lower premiums and lessen storm damage.

Modern-day homeowners (thanks to modern technology) are catching on to an emerging piece of wisdom in the construction world: a roof can now provide more than just protection. It can also lower insurance costs, resist fire, resist the impact of hail and enjoy greater longevity.

In other words, the age of traditional wooden shingles (or “shake” shingles) is slowly giving way to alternative shingles that are better for the home and the wallet. And that’s exactly why new-option shingles are fast becoming a trend: there’s no sacrifice on safety, quality, value or aesthetical appeal. It’s a win-win—and then some.

The alternative to wooden shingles: a new tradition for homeowners.

While, of course, several homes still use wooden shingles, an increasing 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.

How you can educate yourself.
If you’re looking for proof or where to begin, start by asking the right questions. You can ask a qualified construction contractor about the non-flammable rating when looking at potential shingle alternatives. You can also ask for options that are class 4 impact-resistant, which may qualify you for insurance discounts up to 30% or more. In certain hail events, insurers are even known to waive your deductible if you use class 4 shingles.

It’s also good to check with your homeowner’s association for the neighborhood standards when it comes to roofs. Older neighborhoods may use neutral tones (which alternative shingling can often match in color). But newer neighborhoods, at a growing rate, are exploring bolder, more colorful options than the earthy monotones of the past. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter roofs. Variety is becoming the new standard.

But above all else, a better roof is all about the insurability and longevity of your home. And that’s something that all homeowners can agree on.

For more information on exploring roofing alternatives and lowering insurance premiums, you can always call the experts at Total Construction serving the metro since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

5 safety tips to protect your home from burglary.

Homeowners typically underestimate how often burglaries occur—and how easy it is to prevent them. With just a few simple steps, you can live more comfortably and carefree in your dwelling than ever before. Read on!

1. Hide the signals that you’re away.

Nothing is more enticing to a thief than an empty home. The obvious solution? Make your home appear occupied. There are countless ways to do so. These are just a few:

Automatic light timers throughout the house.
You can also automate your radio and TV, drapes and curtain openers. Anything is possible. A licensed contractor can quickly install or customize options for your home to disguise your absence.

Have your calls forwarded.
You can also search for an option to turn your phone’s ringer down. And in addition to audio evidence, don’t forget the obvious visual no-nos: never leave notes on your door that broadcast your “away” status and always park your car inside the garage with the door closed.

Save the social posts till you get back.
As exciting as it is to let your friends know you are taking trip, posting updates before or during your trip will indicate you aren’t at home.

2. Make access extremely difficult.

Burglars look for quick and easy access points. So let’s strengthen your fortress:

Use quality doors.
Solid core or metal doors are ideal. And make sure the door locks carry an ANSI grade 1 rating. Once again, licensed contractor can help you with this or any upgrade necessary to better secure your home.

Consider locks that have an internal anti-saw pin that makes it difficult for a thief to saw through the bolt with a hacksaw. Some locks even come with an anti-drill feature. Ask a professional for more details.

Treat doors between an attached garage and the house as outside doors. And give them the same level of attention when it comes to quality.

Make sure tree limbs overhanging your home are cut and never leave a ladder within view that can be used to access your roof or otherwise.

3. Tidy up. Then light it up.

Don’t give burglars anyplace to hide. To ensure this, make sure your landscaping and shrubbery are trimmed. On top of that, a professional can illuminate your property by installing:

Outside security lighting.
Especially at every access door. And as a best practice, the main door should be lit with two bulbs—whether shared in one fixture or separated across two—in case one burns out.

Exterior lighting with motion detectors.
This lighting can be designed to illuminate specific areas or span across entire properties. A contractor can customize it exactly to your needs.

4. Install a home security system.

And be sure to place prominent signage announcing that your property is protected. A contractor can help you explore options ranging from motion sensors, to glass-break sensors and other extremely customizable options.

5. Know thy neighbor—and be kind to them.

A trusted neighbor is extremely valuable. Not only can keep an eye on your home while you’re away, but they can also offer some extra help where needed. For instance, they can assist with one or two odd jobs like mowing, shoveling snow, or picking up the paper if necessary. You can even lend them a trash can which they can set on your curb on trash pickup day. Of course, your neighbors are not your hired hands, but think about it: you’d do the same for a neighbor if they asked—especially one who treats you well.

Of course, there are several additional methods to enhance the safety and value of your home. And it all starts by contacting an expert contractor who can answer any questions—and who’s been serving the Omaha metro for decades.