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Home Improvement 101

Tips from local businesses that will save you time and money

When you need a roofer and how to find one

With thousands of rooftops built every day across North Texas, companies that can fix them are in high demand.

But how do you find someone you can trust?

“It’s pretty simple,” said Christian Argueta, who owns Hanalex Roofing.

Christian’s tips:
Make sure your roofer is
1. A contractor certified by the shingle manufacturer
2. Insured for liability and can provide proof of it
3. A recipient of an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau“

When someone shows up without [these credentials], it’s a red flag,” said Christian, who worked with a national roofing company for 21 years before opening his own business. 

Once you’ve found an established roofing company, when do you need them?

Christian offers his customers annual roof checks. For the rest of us, he suggests: a yearly look at seals and roof tiles to catch problems before they occur, as well as a check following a hail storm, particularly if the hail stones are golf-ball-sized or larger.

“If you wait until leaks occur inside the home, it’s too late,” Christian said. “The damage has been done.” 

What to look for when looking at rain gutters

Gutters help redirect rain runoff from roofs.

They keep water away from the foundation and funnel it to where the homeowner prefers – a flower bed or into the street.

For All Pro Gutters, in operation since 1972, business is not always about new installations. Sometimes, owner Frank Charles says, a customer just needs repair work for an existing system.

Frank’s tips:
1. Keep leaves and branches out of the gutter. A metal leaf cover or shield can increase the years a gutter is under warranty.
2. Always unclog the down spouts.
3. Seal any corners or areas that are leaking. Use a water hose to check for leaks.
4. Orange- or rust-colored water from the spouts can be a sign of gutter deterioration and signal it’s time for an inspection.
5. If water stands in a certain area after a heavy rain and mold grows in the same area, it is likely time to repair an existing gutter or install a new one.

Is it time to repair the foundation?

What causes foundation issues?


“All foundation repair is due to water – either too much or too little,” said Jim Burton, who has owned A-Plus Foundation Repair since 2010.

In North Texas, the mostly clay soil can swell up to 12 percent of its volume with spring rain and lift a home. Then, when it dries, the house drops.

While many homeowners worry about hairline cracks, Jim says they are common in every home. The time to worry is when there are gaps or jammed doors.

Jim’s tips:
1. Don’t plant trees and shrubs within three feet of your house – roots absorb moisture from soil under the house.
2. Patch mortar cracks around your home each year.
3. Know that any tree within 50 feet of your home can decrease moisture around the foundation.
4. Use soaker hoses close to the house to help keep the foundation moist.
5. Call a plumber to test for leaks every two years to check for unexpected moisture underground.

When do you call a plumber?

The answer is simple: Schedule a visit before a problem arises.

Why? An annual checkup on a home’s plumbing system can help you avoid spending thousands of dollars in repairs.

Pat Skinner, owner of Skinner Plumbing in The Colony, suggests homeowners hire a plumber to inspect the faucets, drains and especially water heaters.

“They (homeowners) wait too long and the water heater floods the house out,” Pat said. “You might as well handle it now before it gets worse.”

Another important tip: If the water bill is higher than normal, check your toilets’ plumbing for leaks first. “A toilet will waste a lot of water, and you won’t even know it,” Pat said.

Pat’s tips:
Call a plumber:
1. when drains bubble or gurgle, even while draining
2. when faucets start to leak
3. when your hot water runs out frequently
4. when pressure in the water pipes begins to noticeably lessen