A WeatherBuilt Home Performs Better During Storm Season

In the event of severe weather, you can protect your home by considering the “science” behind home building. Building science-the study of the performance of buildings and building materials-has become increasingly important. Building materials are also more advanced, helping builders and homeowners construct more structurally sound homes.

Mark LaLiberte, a building science expert recognized internationally as a distinguished author and consultant, offers consumers these tips:

• Reduce wind impact. For example, 19/32″ thick plywood-one of the toughest, most reliable materials around-can minimize wood panel wind uplift and reduce the risk of damage from flying debris, if the nails are six inches apart and penetrate into the roof framing. Plytanium® Plywood from Georgia-Pacific offers greater impact resistance and holds nails securely. Approximately 80 percent of residential hurricane damage starts with wind entry through the garage doors. Reinforce garage doors with steel bracing and install impact-resistant windows, doors or coverings, such as plywood shutters.

• Resist mold. You can reduce the risk of mold growth in wall cavities by installing paperless moisture- and mold-resistant drywall such as DensArmor Plus™ from Georgia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.stopfeedingmold.com.

• Avoid “overturning.” When wind hits a building, uplift on the roof and pressure on the walls can cause it to “overturn,” or rotate off of its foundation. Tension tie-downs or anchorage to the foundation can help resist overturning during severe storms.

• Reduce the risk of shock. The main electrical panel board (electric fuses or circuit breakers) should be at least 12″ above the projected flood elevation. In areas that could get wet, connect all receptacles to a ground fault interrupter circuit.

• Combine a strong roof sheathing with energy savings. Select a durable roof sheathing that holds shingles firmly in strong wind and can resist moisture damage due to occasional leaks. A roof sheathing with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star qualification can keep your home comfortable while potentially saving on cooling energy consumption.

This article was submitted to us by Flat Rate Roofing in New Jersey.

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Building a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower starts with a Shower Pan Membrane Liner

Installing a custom ceramic tile shower in your home is something a do it yourself homeowner can do with a little upfront knowledge. The most important aspect of a successful custom ceramic tile shower installation is properly installing a shower pan membrane liner. The shower pan membrane liner is used to ensure a leak-proof shower.

Shower pan membrane liners are used to funnel any water that seeps through the floor or wall grout to the shower drain below. The shower pan membrane liner is made up of a flexible type of plastic material that sits below a bed of mortar, and the tile, in the shower floor area.

Prior to installing the shower pan membrane liner, the floor of the shower needs to be pre-sloped to ensure that the water will flow towards the shower drain assembly. The pre-slope is accomplished by applying a layer of mortar to the floor of the shower unit area. The layer of mortar is troweled in such as way as to create a gentle slope from the shower wall edges to the center of the shower where the drain resides.

Once the pre-slope mortar has cured, the flexible shower pan membrane liner can then be installed. There are a couple of types of shower pan membrane liners on the market, with each having their own benefits. With either type of membrane, the homeowner needs to form and fold the material into the base of the shower area and secure it to the sides of the shower wall frame with staples and/or nails. In addition, an opening in the membrane should be cut out to allow the adjustable shower drain assembly to slip through.

With the shower pan membrane installed, the cementitious ceramic tile backerboard can then be secured to the framed shower walls. The backerboard is a rigid material that is ideal for attaching tile in wet areas such as a shower stall.

After installing the ceramic tile backerboard, a final coat of mortar needs to be applied on top of the membrane to protect it and to provide a solid base for laying the ceramic floor tile.

With the final coat of mortar cured, the ceramic tile can then be installed in the shower.

Once the tile and grout have been installed, the shower drain assembly should be adjusted so that the drain height sits flush with the finished ceramic tile floor.

Do you need a custom ceramic tile shower?  You can look at Bathroom Contractor Match at www.bathroomcontractormatch.com

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Don’t Let Your Roof Repairs Go Sky High

Before you go to the expense of calling in a new jersey roofing contractor, see if you can analyze and repair your roof problem yourself. The best possible time to repair your roof problem – is as soon as you realize that you have one and if the weather is calm enough to climb up onto the roof. In fact, this could be further qualified by saying that the best and most economical way to a trouble-free roof, is to inspect the roof regularly, so that you see the problem developing.

A leak from one dislodged tile is a small and inexpensive matter, but if you do not inspect your roof regularly, this will go unnoticed. By the time that you DO notice it, it may be because water is dripping into your spare room! This means that this whole area of the roof structure is soaked, the ceiling will need to be replaced and hopefully the flooring will recover.

Always check your roof after a wind storm, as most roofing is not designed to withstand fierce winds. Scrutinize the tiles for cracks, splits and torn-off corners; also check for lifting. Lifting is a common cause of roof leaks, and can be easily rectified. Be aware of multiple tiles lifting, as this could be a sign that the roofing material is too old and is warping from all the weathering.

Climb into your attic/loft and ensure that any insulation that you have in your roof is not right up against the roof itself. There has to be a gap for air to circulate; also when a roof heats up and there is insulation directly behind it, this heat is thrown back into the roofing and excessive heating like this can damage and warp the roof.

Another weakness in all roofs is the flashing. Flashing is designed to provide a watertight junction between roof materials and structure, especially if the roof projects out or changes design (as with extension roofs). If you are installing a new roof, it is worthwhile to get the flashing ‘inspected’ as it is a common failure area.

Often the simple fact that the gutters, leading into down pipes from the roof, are blocked with leaves and twigs can cause a problem. Roofs must have adequate run off, especially in the areas which may have snow. Water trapped in the gutter will mean that it will back up the roof for a few inches and have time to seep into the edges of the roofing tiles. Not all homes have adequate perimeter protection on their roofs, although this is one good feature to ask for on a new roof.

Quite often homes incur roof leaks all at the same time (often after strong gales winds and torrential rain etc). This can mean that all contractors are busy and you have ‘stop up the leak’ until you can get help.

If you do get a leak, and you have placed buckets under the dripping water, be aware that the leak may be in a completely different place than it would seem. Locating the source is difficult, as water can run along horizontal timbers and appear to be leaking from a place that is sound. Getting up into the attic and actually looking for a wet spot on the roof decking will be an accurate way to tell.

If you can find the spot an emergency patch can be made applying roofing felt and using plastic cement to hold it until you can call in a contractor. You can also attempt to repair it yourself, if it is just a shingle that is damaged. You can carefully prize up the roof shingle by removing the three or four nails that are holding it in place; next, apply a generous coating of tar beneath the tear in question, and also coat the underside of the shingle with a with a coat of tar before putting it back in place. Add a spot of tar to each nail head. Most roofing companies advise against the ‘liquid’ asphalt repair products.

Roofs can also be temporarily repaired using roof membrane and sealants. Care must be taken to clean the roof surface first to ensure that the sealant will stick and keep the leak protected from rain etc. In fact, as long as the roof is clean and dry, the wonder of the 20th. Century – duct tape – can also be stuck onto the roof!

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Do I Really Need a Contractor?

You need to paint the house. Maybe install a new bathroom sink. Or it’s time to replace the inflatable pool sitting in the backyard with a kidney-shaped in-ground pool. But what you need to ask yourself is… do you take on the project yourself?

Well, it all depends. To answer this question, you’ll need to ask three more questions:

•    Do I have the money?
•    Do I have the time?
•    Do I have the skills?

DO I HAVE THE MONEY?

A big factor in any home improvement or repair is whether or not you can afford to hire a professional to do the work or, at least, help with the job. Paying for labor can add to the cost of any project, sometimes doubling it. Right? Like the answer to so many questions – it depends…

It’s possible you might have to spend even more money by not hiring a contractor or subcontractor. If you do a project yourself, you might have to buy or rent tools to get the job done. And you could spend a lot more buying building materials. Many contractors get special deals for buying in bulk or have built up relationships with many suppliers. You might be paying retail while your contractor is buying wholesale. Finally, if your skill level is not up to par, and you have to pay a contractor to come out and fix your mistakes, your costs could shoot through the roof (that you just tried to replace!)

Always consider money when taking on a remodeling or do-it-yourself project. Without access to proper tools, special discounts, or how-to knowledge, you might need a pro to come in and do the job. If it’s a simple project and you have the tools and the skills, then hiring someone else to do it could be the wrong move.

Unless…

DO I HAVE THE TIME?

You always must consider how much time will be involved to finish your construction project. Replacing a faucet might only take you a few hours if you have the tools and talent. But if you’re going to tackle a larger task, factor in how much of your time it will take up. And not just the time you’ll spend actually working on it but the time it will take to find the right price, shop for any special tools and for the materials, and to clean up after your job is done.

Whatever project you have in mind, try to estimate how much time it will take to complete. Once you’ve got your time estimate in hand… double it. Well, not always but unexpected problems always seem to creep up on your that add delays. Many “weekend warriors” will start a simple bathroom remodel that should only take three days. If an unseen problem occurs, the completion date could get pushed to the following weekend. Imagine if this happens and it’s the only bathroom in the house…

If you’re short on time, it might be a good idea to bring in an expert to handle the workload. If you have too much time on your hands… I could use help installing a ceiling fan.

DO I HAVE THE SKILLS?

If you ask anyone who drives a car whether or not they are a good driver, nearly every person will tell you they’re the best driver in the world. They can’t all be right because I nearly got run off the road twelve times yesterday. Some people don’t know they’re the bad driver that everyone complains about. Many people also think they’re exceptionally skilled with tools. “Good with their hands,” they’ll tell you.

It’s a good idea to make an honest assessment of your skill level before beginning any new remodeling project.

The danger of watching too many “home improvement” shows is that the hosts always make it look so easy. They edit it down till each project looks clean and simple and only takes a half hour to complete (with commercials!)

If you are putting new tiles on your shower walls or installing a new backsplash in your kitchen you could be working with expensive materials. A trial-and-error approach or learning on-the-job could really increase your costs.

It might be best to pat yourself on the back, congratulate your ability to find a “Contractor Referral Service”, like ConstructionDeal.com, to help locate the right professional for the job.

ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES?

Sure, there are always alternatives. You can do it all yourself, you can bring in a contracting pro for the entire project, or you can do some of the “dirty work” yourself. To save on the amount of money you have to pay someone else and to save on the amount of time others will be tramping through your home, you could do a lot of the prep work on your own.

For example, if you’re hiring professional painters to paint your house, you could scrape and sand a lot of the paint before they ever get there. Or, if you’re adding a new room to the home, you could handle the cleanup yourself after the project is completed. There are a number of ways to do this “grunt work” to save time and money on the project while still bringing in an expert to do the job right… when it really counts.

A final thing to keep in mind, when doing it yourself – be careful to not void any warranties on labor or products that you own by working on them. If they’re covered, let someone else handle it.

Whether you do-it-yourself or you do-some-of-it-yourself, make sure you think about everything involved in the project. Asking yourself these questions, and answering honestly, could save you time, money, and maybe even a few fingers… those jigsaws can be tricky to operate.  We wish you the best of luck.

If you are trying to find the best contractor for your area, check out Contractor Match, who screens and qualifies contractors.

 

 

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Information Regarding Roofing Permits

When considering any building work to your property it is always important to consider whether building permits are required for that particular work. Without the applicable building permits it is quite possible that the new extension, the new garage or the new roof are not legal. You may be required by county or state law to remove the building work or pay a fairly hefty fine. The state buildings department usually conducts the issuing of roofing permits and any other building permits and your builder or contractor will have more accurate details of the permits you might require and how to go about getting one. You should consult with a contractor first because this can save a lot of time and potential heartache at a later date.

Why is it necessary to have roofing permits?

Roofing permits have been introduced and have become much more stringent in a lot of states to ensure that you are having a suitable roof fitted to your house that will stand up to a reasonable amount of bad weather. The roof on your house is the one thing that protects the inside of the home, the contents and the occupants from serious injury or damage in the event of storms or other prevailing weather conditions so it is important that you have the correct roofing installed to prevent this damage. Roofing permits are granted fairly easily as long as you meet these conditions.

When might I require building permits?

If you are having repairs done to your existing roof it is very unlikely that any roofing permits will be required because you are not changing the layout or the structure of your building in anyway. However, if you are having an extra layer of shingles added to your roof then you should check whether you need roofing permits to complete this project. Also, if you are having an entirely new roof fitted you will definitely need to consult your contractor and ask whether you should obtain roofing permits.

Different states have different regulations.

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you the roofing permits you will require for your new roof because they differ from one state to the next. This is why it is so important that you do the research and find out for yourself. What could be correct for one person could be completely incorrect for the next person. Try contacting your local council or government and checking with them. Tell them that you are thinking of having a new roof fitted and you want to make sure that you are getting the correct roofing permits; they will be able to help you.  If you live anywhere in New jersey, you can check with Flat Rate Construction about roofing permits.  They have performed several roofing jobs and they always include permits in their quotes.

The roof on your house is your first line of defense and is a vital barrier in protecting you and the contents of your home against the elements. There will unfortunately come a time in the life of every roof when repairs become pointless and you are essentially forced to purchase a new roof. When this time does arrive you are better spending as much as you can afford on getting the best roof with the longest life. When you ask for a quote from a roofing contractor try to get an idea of the roofing permits that will be required for the work you want done because without the appropriate ones you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

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Vinyl Replacement Windows Information

Windows are an investment in your home’s real estate value. They add style- both indoors and out. But old, leaky windows can also add to home heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 to 40 percent. And with energy costs inching upward, windows are getting more attention than ever.

Windows come in many shapes, sizes and styles and are made from a variety of materials. Choosing appropriate windows for your home is a significant decision, but don’t get overwhelmed. Know your facts and work with a qualified contractor so you can be prepared for your next window replacement project.

One of today’s most popular and versatile window materials is vinyl. Compared to wood or aluminum, vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free and long lasting. Pioneered by CertainTeed in the 1970s, millions have been installed and the demand continues to grow.

Advanced manufacturing techniques shape vinyl windows into different styles, including single- and double-hung, horizontal sliding, casement, architectural shapes and more, even custom shapes and those with decorative glass.

For energy conscious consumers, vinyl is hard to beat. As an example, CertainTeed vinyl windows with Thermaflect® low “E” glazing system help keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In fact, these windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 15 percent each year and come with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating.

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Toilet Bowl Mop And Toilet Bowl Brush Information

When you think about it, toilets are pretty gross.  Luckily, plumbers love to deal with toilets.  Public toilets can be used up to 100 times a day, that means 100 people are using them.  It is said that whenever a toilet is flushed it releases over 5000 bacteria into the air.  So, when you walk into a public restroom that is well frequented, there can be up to half a million bacteria or virus particles in the air.  Those bacteria can land on handles, sinks, faucets and even the paper towels that you use to wipe your hands after you have washed them.  You can use all the antimicrobial soap in the world but it won’t do you any good if your smearing those dirty germs, bacteria and viruses onto your hands after you have used the soap.  If you walk into a public restroom and it doesn’t look clean my advice is to walk straight out.  If it looks dirty to your eyes imagine how it would look under a microscope.  One of the dirtiest places in a bathroom is the toilet but a toilet can be kept clean very easily with regular maintenance.  If you want to try an experiment don’t clean your toilet for 4 weeks and see what happens.  Slowly right above the waterline a black or brownish ring will form.  If you let your toilet go a little longer before cleaning, that black ring will slowly start to climb in vertical lines toward the toilet rim (by the way, that ring is about 6 inches from your behind whenever you sit down on your toilet).  What is that black ring?  The nasty black ring is bacteria and micro fecal buildup.  A pretty nasty combination when you consider every time you flush your toilet your breathing them in.

There are many things you can do to avoid the nasty black ring on your toilet.  The first is to use a low acid toilet bowl cleaner to kill the bacteria.  The second is to get your self a really good toilet bowl brush or toilet bowl mop to scrub that acid around in the toilet and remove those ugly stains.

Toilet bowl brushes come in many styles but most are made from a material called polypropylene.  Polypropylene won’t mold and can stand up to heat and chemicals.  Polypropylene strands are abrasive and can do a great job at removing the nasty toilet ring.  The two main styles of toilet bowl cleaning utensils are the toilet bowl mops and toilet bowl brushes.  A toilet bowl brush resembles a brush and has a wide stiff polypropylene bristle.  Brushes tend to last a lot longer that toilet bowl mops because the bristle is larger and does not break away from the toilet bowl brush handle.  Toilet bowl mops are meant to be discarded after repeated use and are considered by most to be a disposable toilet cleaning product.  Toilet bowl mops have a ball of polypropylene strands massed at one end to form a light duty scouring surface.  Over time the strands tend to break off and the mop should be discarded.  Toilet bowl mops are usually a quarter of the price of toilet bowl brushes and most are have a plastic handle.

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Tips to increase aesthetic sense of homes

Home decor can be a good experience as long as you enjoy. Apart from professionals, there are thousands of men and women, who enjoy home decoration. It has become a hobby for many of them.

There are various ways and means to develop home decor ideas. For starters, the best way is to buy publications like magazines and catalogues to access information on home decorations. There are a number of magazines and catalogues available at leading book sellers to understand and practice home decor. One can also access the information on the internet by visiting various sites developed and maintained by several professional home decorators or retail stores selling home decoration products and accessories.

Also, professionals pursuing home decoration conduct classes to impart education and skills on home decoration. It is easy to find their contact details in yellow pages, register for training classes and improve knowledge. Practical sessions are also part of the training and gives prospective decorators a first-hand experience.
While decorating homes, two important factors should always be considered. The home decoration should add value to the beauty of the interiors and should generate good opinion about you among all visitors. To achieve these objectives, it is necessary that an amateur home decorator learns the basics.

The basics are simple and easy to carry out. Ensure that there is a lot of space in all the rooms, especially the guest rooms and living rooms. For, visitors and the family members should feel claustrophobic with furniture stacked all around the room.

Ensure that there is adequate penetration of light. All rooms, particularly the living room, should appear bright. The color of the walls should reflect bright colors. Ventilation should be accorded top priority. Avoid window furnishings that affect the penetration of light to a great extent. Stick to light colors that can also enhance the beauty of the room.

It is suggested that wallpaper is avoided in living rooms. Not all categories of people appreciate wallpaper. So, it is better to have plain walls colored in the best possible manner. While choosing colors for the walls, make sure they are universally appealing.

The same applies to bathroom decoration. Avoid cluttering of bath ware inside the bathroom. Create ample space for movement. Showering should not become a turmoil. It should always be a pleasurable experience. Showers are meant to provide relaxation. It is better to have natural scented flowers in the bathroom since it is liked by most categories of people.

Source:  Jersey Home Renovations – www.jerseyhomerenovations.com and www.interiordesign.net

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Tips For Purchasing Shower Curtains Online

When decorating the bathroom, there’s no doubt that special attention gets paid to the sink, toilet, towels, and shower. After all, these are the main staples of the bathroom, and they serve as the main focus (both in function and aesthetics). However, the shower curtain is one accessory that can change the whole look and feel of a bathroom, depending on several factors. Furthermore, the internet has changed the whole experience when looking for a shower curtain by adding limitless options. In this article, we’ll give you some easy tips in shopping shower curtains online that may help to makeover the mundane look of your bathroom.

The first consideration when shopping for a shower curtain should be color and design. The days of solid or clear shower curtains that lack personality are definitely a thing of the past. Today, there are hundreds of shower curtain options available online. These range from basic colors to fun, bold colors dressed up with characters and images. While many of the images featured on shower curtains tend to be water-themed (penguins, fish, boats, rubber ducks, etc.) there are others that know no boundaries. Shower curtains can feature sports teams, animals, or cartoon characters – basically, if you can imagine it, there is a shower curtain for you. However, it is important to choose a shower curtain with the colors of your bathroom in mind. It might be fun to buy a hot pink shower curtain, but it is sure to stick out like a sore thumb if your bathroom is designed in blue and white.

Another factor when shopping for a shower curtain online is choosing the right material for you. You may be thinking that all shower curtains are alike, but that is not the case. Shower curtains come in a variety of materials including vinyl, plastic, cloth, and earth-friendly hemp. It is important to decide which look and feel is right for your family before making a purchase.

It is also important to buy a shower curtain online from only the most reputable web sites. How can you ensure that you are making a safe purchase? For starters, you should only buy from sites that have security measures in place to protect your personal financial information. Encryption services such as VeriSign make it impossible for your information to be hacked into by an outside source. This peace of mind is invaluable when shopping online. It is also best to buy from reputable online merchants that you have either dealt with before, or have knowledge of. Many retail and discount stores offer online shopping that is safe and trusted.

By following these tips in shopping shower curtains online, you are sure to find the perfect shower curtain for the bathroom(s) in your home. A shower curtain can be the first step towards renovating a bathroom look that may be stale, or it can help to enhance an already wonderful environment. Either way, shopping for shower curtains online can be a fun experience that will help bring out the best in your bathroom.

Information Source – ProSkill Construction – http://www.proskillnj.com

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Tips for Buying Kitchen Faucets

A durable and stylish kitchen faucet or bath faucet blends together function and aesthetics. The well made faucet makes life a lot easier. Excellent valve mechanism and more durable finishes boost longevity and looks.

Here are six steps in choosing the right faucet for you:

1. Two-handle designs, generally goes for as low as $50, allows you to regulate the temperature more accurately. Having independent control for the hot and cold water makes adjusting the temperature easier.

The single handle faucets also known as post-mount, generally goes for $75 to $200, operate from side-mounted lever or a top-mounted knob. Most single-handle faucets have pullout spouts.

The cross-shaped design and large wing levers are the more popular designs. However, most faucets have different handles that can be attached to a faucet body for a customized look.

2. If the style of the faucet is important, begin your choosing with the type of finish. The most affordable finish for a faucet is a chrome finish. Usually priced around $60. The chrome-finish has a long warranty on scratches.

The more colorful enamel coatings generally will cost you from $20 to $200 more, and are more susceptible to scratches and chipping. Add 25 to 40 percent more to the price of coated faucets for stainless steel faucets.

3. A PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish is better than usual plated finishes but add $150 to $750 more in costs. The PVD finish is done by vaporizing the metal and glazing it with a scratch-resistant and non-tarnishing film.

Look at brushed chrome, oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel for a rustic appeal. The brushed finish and satin finish cleverly hides scratches.

4. There are more to spouts aside from the standard straight faucets. There are high-arching goose-like spouts, great for filling pots. A pull-out faucet can get you anywhere in a sink with three-bowls. You can go from a spray mode to a stream mode with a touch. There are also restaurant-type models for those extra long hoses.

5. Know that there are four kinds of faucets.

a. The compression valve:

The compression valve uses rubber washers. The compression valve type of faucet will eventually leak but they are typically easy to repair.

b. The ball valves:

The ball valve controls the flow and temperature of the water by using a steel ball. The ball valves are washerless and easy to maintain because of this. Replacing a ball valve is readily affordable and easy to do.

c. The ceramic disk

The ceramic disk is virtually a maintenance free water faucet. It is guaranteed not to wear out but is obviously much more expensive than the ball valve or compression valve.

d. The cartridge faucet

Much like the ceramic disk, the cartridge faucet usually does not need any maintenance. Just like the ceramic disk, it has a hefty price tag.

Regardless of the type of faucet you choose. Always check the warranty and the finish.

6. You may opt for filtering faucets, costing $200 plus, to bring in purified water. Several filters are placed under the sink while others are fitted inside the spout. To set the maximum water temperature, an anti-scald faucet can be used. An electronic faucet with an infrared sensor is also available. They save on water and allow for cleaner handles.

In general, you don’t need to hand over your hard earned money to pay for good quality. Most faucets have the same basic parts and sometimes even the same finish across several price lines.

To have a streamlined, urban look, choose a faucet that is mounted on the wall, this is often used with vanity bowls.

Be sure that your faucet connection matches your sink holes. If they don’t match, you’ll have to provide more drill holes or cover the unused holes using an escutcheon plate.

All faucets in general carry at least one year warranties. Even the low-end models carry at least one year of warranty. Many faucets carry a warranty by the manufacturer that is more than one year.

Good luck choosing the perfect faucet for you.

Source Information:  Delta Faucet – http://www.deltafaucet.com, Jersey Home Renovations & Plumbing – http://www.jerseyhomerenovations.com

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