DSL News

DSL News

DSL Construction & Design – Graduate Master Builder

Our own Don Long​, has recently earned the designation of Graduate Master Builder, through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)!

Congratulations, Don!

 

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Why should you hire a GMB, anyway?

According to the NAHB, here’s why!

Looking for an experienced builder to handle your project? Consider hiring a Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) and Graduate Master Builder (GMB).

Both educational designations are designed for experienced home builders.

Like membership in your local home builders association, these designations represent a commitment to the home building industry and to professional business practices – as well as a commitment to learning.

“When looking for a builder, we were worried about picking one with experience and reliability and not just notoriety. Knowing that our builder held the GMB and CGB designations from NAHB helped to put our worries to rest. We got an expert builder and an excellent home.”

CGBs must have at least two years of home building experience and must successfully complete a series of classes specific to the needs of the industry, including business and project management, building technology and safety. In addition, they must demonstrate that they comply with any state or local requirements for workers’ compensation and liability insurance as well hold a contractor or builder’s license if required in your state or area.

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The ultimate symbol of the building professional, the GMB designation is for seasoned builders with at least 10 years of experience. GMBs must successfully complete a demanding curriculum of building industry courses.

GMB courses are more advanced, with in-depth instruction geared toward veteran building professionals.

Both CGBs and GMBs also must sign their respective Code of Ethics, signifying their commitment to excellence.

JDRF OneWalk 2016

We had a great time at the JDRF One Walk this year!

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Hope you will join us next time! Let’s walk toward a cure!

DSL Joins JDRF’s OneWalk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes

Each year, we at DSL Construction & Design join thousands of Houstonians for the JDRF OneWalk to cure T1D – a cause that is very important, and very close to us.

This year’s event is October 22nd. We would love for you to JOIN OUR TEAM. If you are unable to make it to NRG Park, you can also register as a “Virtual Walker”.

Simply click HERE to make a contribution to our team, ‘Drew’s Squad’!

Let’s make Type 1… Type NONE!

 

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DSL Construction & Design – Your Certified Graduate Builder

DSL has always been a proud member of the National Association of Home Builders. Today, we are very proud of our President, Don Long, for obtaining his Certified Graduate Builder Designation through NAHB!!

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This is a big deal! CGB Designee’s must meet the minimum guidelines set by the NAHB, as well as an entrance exam, in addition to attending several in-depth courses.

You can be sure that your Certified Graduate Builder has the experience and knowledge to build your new home.

 

If you are considering building your next home, make sure your builder is a CGB!

Build Your Home on Your Existing Lot

Build Your Home on Your Existing Lot

So, you’ve purchased the land and have been considering building your dream home for quite a while. You may be hesitating due to market conditions or other factors.

We want you to know that 2016 is a great time to build!

Many customers come to us with plans in hand – either from their architect or drawings they have purchased online. Others choose to work with our in-house architect during the entire concept/design phase. Whatever the case, we have the ability to make your dream, a reality.

With over twenty-five years of experience, we at DSL Construction & Design are very capable of building the home of your dreams!

We are proud of the solid reputation we have established in the local community – a reputation built upon unsurpassed quality, integrity, and our customer-centric philosophy. We are a proud member of the National Association of Home Builders, as well as the Greater Houston Builders Association. DSL is a BBB accredited business, having maintained an A+ rating since 2003.

Click HERE take a look at what some of our previous clients have to say. In addition, we are happy to provide references to all of our customers.

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Protect Your Home From Severe Weather

During Mother Nature’s wicked rages, you and your family can evacuate your home or, in less severe conditions, snuggle within its cozy walls. But your house must always face the elements and protect your family and possessions.

Equip your home with the accessories it will need to survive a storm. Don’t wait until the forecast calls for severe weather because, at that point, you may not have enough time to take necessary preparations.

Insurance

Before you do anything else, look over your insurance policies to make sure you’re covered for losses incurred as the result of a natural disaster or brutal storm. Damage caused by flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes is generally not covered by your regular homeowner’s policy, but can be purchased separately. Make lists or videotapes of your belongings as documentation for the insurance company, and keep that documentation in a safe location away from your house.

Wind Funneling: Check your window & door seals

Try to prevent wind and water from entering through windows, cracks, entry doors and garage doors. Wind funneling through your house pushes upward, and could lift the roof, allowing heavy rains to damage the interior of your home.

Especially in hurricane-prone areas it is important to seal your windows and doors as tightly as possible. You can purchase and install special storm shutters to cover your windows.

Or, make your own set of shutters out of ¾ inch marine plywood or metal storm panels. Make sure they overlap the windows on all sides by four inches. Then mark them so you know which window they fit. Don’t forget to make shutters for your skylight windows. Once made, the shutter panels can be stored and used when necessary. These shutters can help protect homes from all rainstorms accompanied by high winds, not just hurricanes.

After you’ve made shutters for all your windows, start working on your doors. If you live in an area that frequently gets heavy storms, consider installing steel entry doors. High winds can easily tear through double doors, French doors and sliding patio doors that have no structural support between the two sides. You may need to purchase and install special hardware to more adequately secure the doors where they meet. Try bolts that fasten the door into the framing at the top and the bottom.

The roof

If it’s in good condition, your home’s roof can shield its interior from the storm outside. So roof work is another essential step in preparing your house to withstand a severe storm. Apply sealing around your home’s chimney or vent pipes. This will help prevent water from seeping into your home. Hire a contractor to check the structural integrity of the roof system.

Clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. If the rain that accompanies a heavy storm can’t run through the gutters and downspouts, it will spill over the sides, landing in areas where it can soak through to your home’s foundation, causing flooding and structural damage.

Flying debris

Next, take steps to protect your home from objects that take flight during a storm. Do a little yard work. Remove all dead and dying limbs from your trees, and secure lawn furniture, trashcans, flowerpots and other yard ornaments. Disconnect and remove exterior television antennas from the roof. Then take all lawn furniture, grills, potted plants and other lawn accessories inside your house. If you can’t secure lawn furniture or other outdoor items, bring them inside as well. High-speed winds could transform any of these objects into flying missiles. Tie down the larger items such as sheds, doghouses, playhouses, swing sets and boats.

Stock up

Finally, stock your cupboards and closets with anything you might need if you have to take shelter inside your house during a summer storm. Keep a battery-operated radio, several flashlights in case you lose electricity, and plastic sheeting to cover exposed areas. And fill your drawers with brand new packages of live batteries for the flashlights. Stash canned foods and other non-perishable food items in your cupboards in case you can’t get out to the supermarket for a while. And pile blankets into your closets in case you lose electricity and your house becomes cold.

When you and your house are prepared, you’re more likely to weather the toughest storm. Taking time now to prepare your home for storm season could save you a lot of money later.

– See more at: http://ghba.org/resources/protect-your-home-from-severe-weather/#sthash.jCklrn8y.dpuf

Property Damage: What To Do Next

Important information for those who have sustained damage:

Contact 3-1-1

If you haven’t done so already, please call 311 to report flooding in your home, business or in the street. City damage assessment teams will begin the process of determining the level of sustained damage. There are three ways to do that:

  1. Call 311 (713.837.0311)
  2. Visit houston311.org and click on “Flooding”
  3. Download the Houston 311 App for Android or iOS

Next Steps

If your car was towed, find where it was taken by visiting www.findmytowedcar.com or call 713-308-8580.
If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.

Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
Take photos of any floodwater in your home and save any damaged personal property.
Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.

Cleaning and Sanitizing to Prevent Mold Damage and Flood Related Illness

Turn off main power if wiring is wet or moldy. Have electrician check the house’s electrical system before turning power on again.
Open the house to fresh air when the humidity is lower outside than inside.
Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture unless mold has already started to grow (fans may spread existing mold).
Use the HVAC system only if the ducts have not been inundated (any forced air central heating ducts that have come in contact with water or mold should be professionally checked).
Remove all wet items such as furniture, rugs, bedding, toys, carpeting, ceiling tiles, drywall and wood by-products. If wallboard is soaked, remove to a foot (12″) above the water mark and discard. Drain walls by removing baseboard and drilling holes near floor. Dry panel-type wall by pulling the bottom edge out from studs. Check interior of the wall for hidden mold.
Remove all wet insulation. Discard all but rigid insulation, which can be reinstalled after disinfecting and drying.
Discard soaked or moldy carpeting. Clean all other items first with soap and warm clean water to remove dirt and debris. Next, sanitize surfaces with one cup household liquid bleach per every 5 gallons of water. Be sure to wear boots and gloves when cleaning.
Discard all possibly contaminated food products – anything not in a water tight container.

Water Testing Recommended for Private Water Wells

Owners of private water wells possibly contaminated by storm water runoff may submit water samples for testing to the Houston Department of Health and Human Services’ laboratory. Owners can take water samples to the laboratory at 2250 Holcombe Blvd. in the Texas Medical Center. For more information, call 832-393-3939.

Filing your claim

You can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps:

Step one:

After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, you can contact your insurance agent or company again. Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • The name of your insurance company
  • Your policy number
  • A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
Step two:

Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.

Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels. Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible. Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.

Step three:

Your adjuster will provide you a Proof of Loss form for your official claim for damages. You’ll need to file this claim with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.

You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss form. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.

More information is available at the following links:

– See more at: http://ghba.org/resources/property-damage-what-to-do-next/#sthash.ZWkQnuL2.dpuf

Don’t Get Scammed: Find a Quality Contractor

(National Association of Home Builders) – There are thousands of legitimate, ethical contractors in business around the country. Unfortunately, there are also scam artists looking to cheat you out of your money who pose as legitimate contractors. These “fly-by-night” operators often show up in communities impacted by natural disasters to try to scam distressed home owners into paying for shoddy repairs or work that they will never show up to perform.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Doesn’t have license and insurance. All professional contractors should be insured and able to show their certificate proving such insurance. Although all states do not require licensing, contractors in states requiring licenses should have it and be able to provide a copy.
  • Asks you to sign anything before you’ve hired them. If they want you to sign an “estimate” or “authorization” before you’ve made the decision to hire the contractor, look out. They may be trying to get you to sign what is an actual binding contract.
  • Doesn’t write contracts. Professionals have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost, and helps clarify how problems will be managed. If you don’t have a contract, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Don’t hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.”
  • Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job. Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. Many home owners have been stranded by paying in full up front. A deposit towards materials is common, but only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor. It’s also suspect you’re asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.
  • Vastly underbids all other contractors. They may have the best price, but that doesn’t guarantee the best work. Such contractors may cut costs on quality, which can end up costing you more when you have to have the substandard work redone.
  • Offers “special” pricing. If you’re told you’ve been “chosen” as a demonstration project at a special, low price, or you’re told a low price is good only if you sign a contract today.
  • Cannot provide customer references. Professional contractors should have current references they can provide from current and past clients — and you should be able to reach those references, not just an answering machine.
  • Difficulty contacting the contractor. Professionals have a physical office, mailing address, phone, and email. They should respond to your queries in a timely manner. Make sure you can verify the contractor’s business address. If they only have a p.o. box, be wary.
  • Tells you to obtain the building or remodeling permits. Professional contractors go to the county or state offices and get permits for their work themselves. Asking the home owner to do it is a sign that they are not a legitimate contractor.

Your best bet is to take your time, do your research and choose someone you feel completely comfortable with. Make sure they don’t have a record of consumer complaints lodged with your local Better Business Bureau. You can also search your local home builders association for a list of reputable contractors in your area.

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– See more at: http://ghba.org/resources/dont-get-scammed-find-a-qualified-contractor-2/#sthash.HaWXn82f.dpuf