Dream Patio

When the owner of this traditional Italianate, planned an expansion to his home, Helman-Sechrist Architecture and Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. were charged with designing and creating dramatic improvements in the way the home functioned for both large family gatherings, frequent large scale philanthropic events and entertaining during both holiday and summer seasons.

The overall inspiration for the project was born out of a singular goal, which was to make sure the additions and renovations were absolutely seamless with the original architecture, removing the poorly executed modifications from the past, and creating a new holistic expression. The original style represented very traditional architecture and the exterior modifications had to respect this to create continuity. A photograph of the exterior of the home before is on the left. The scale of the project can be seen in the aerial photograph on the right.

In this incredible makeover, many zones for different types of entertaining were created. The previous design was not ideal for backyard entertaining, consisting mostly of grassy areas and open decks and stone patios. The new design introduced much more entertainment and relaxation space.

The overall size, allows for tables to be brought in for philanthropic events, without crowding. The bar and kitchenette on the porch, can be used to serve small events. The indoor kitchen is easily accessed to serve large events.

Addition & pool house project by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

A clear path was needed to guide guests to the outdoor entertainment area. The visually pleasing path was added and was created using Unilock Umbriano and Lineo pavers. Award winning hardscape design and installation by Rustic Rocks; landscape by Thornton Landscape Company, fence by Vinyl by Design.

Pool house addition by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

Echoing the architecture of the home, the new pool house provides a covered area to watch movies and games. Infratech patio heaters, attached to the clear cedar ceiling, allow for comfortable movie watching late into chilly Michiana evenings. The black limestone inset, defines the seating area, and the Napoleon torches cast a warm glow at night. Housed within are the equipment and shower/dressing rooms. A/V by Allegro Home Entertainment.

The sunken patio zone provides a spot to have a seat, away from the crowd, during a summer party and serves as another warming area. This is a popular spot on a cool Michiana evening.

No summer party is complete, without a pool. When hot afternoons and warm summer evenings roll around, a pool is a great way to entertain. The luxurious 20×40 pool, by Bontrager Pools, Inc. features a Hydrazzo “Maui Midnight” superior polished marble finish. “Maui Midnight” creates a deeper/darker hue of blue water. Placed so that it receives full-sun, the pool is equipped with, soothing fountains, an automatic cover and in lieu of a diving board, a diving stone.

The homeowner is pleased with the way the new interior spaces flow to the exterior, creating an indoor/outdoor lifestyle experience that is generally not found in this era of home.

To see additional photos of this project please click on this link.

Architectural design by Helman Sechrist Architecture; Patio design and installation by Rustic Rocks; Photography by Marie Kinney; and General Contracting by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

Luxury Office in Custom Built Lake Home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

5 Things You Need in Your Home Office

By: Anne Colby
Houzz U.S. Editor

When you work at home, even part time, you discover that a makeshift desk area on a kitchen counter or the dining table isn’t the best setup. Having a dedicated home office, even if it’s compact, makes a big difference in comfort and productivity. Once you have chosen a room or area for your home office, here are five must-haves to include in it.

Home office in custom built lake home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

A Comfortable Chair.
If sitting at a desk is a big part of your workday, make sure you have the right chair for the job. This is especially important if you work at a computer. Look for an overall fit that supports your back and encourages good seated posture. Features to look for include adjustable seat, arms and back, as well as legs on rollers and a seat that swivels so you can easily get in and out of the chair and reach for things without straining.

While some people prefer a minimalist desk chair, others like one with more padding and heft. No matter which type you choose, be sure to take stretch breaks and move around throughout the day. And if you have room in your office, include a small sofa or club chair for relaxing or reading.

Home office in custom built home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

Work Surface That Fits Your Needs. The size of your desk or work surface will hinge on the size of your office and budget. Consider different desk types and even creative repurposing of other furniture pieces. Think about how you’ll be working and the items you’ll want to have close at hand. To help keep your work surface neat, invest in attractive desk organizers and plan for at least a few shelves or drawers for things you use or reference less frequently.

A built-in desk allows you to tailor your workspace to your needs. This desk has plenty of counter space for spreading out papers and shelving to hold the owner’s reference books.

A Place for Everything. Most of us haven’t reached the point of having a paperless office, and keeping paper organized is easier with the right mix of drawers, cabinets and shelves. This office has both desk storage and open and concealed wall storage for maximum flexibility. If you don’t have a lot of papers to file or objects to display, a simple cabinet on wheels might offer enough storage.

Student office in home addition by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN
in

Good Task Lighting. A standard ceiling light providing overall illumination is just a starting point for a home office. You also want to include task lighting for reading and other close work. A home office might layer in a desk lamp for task lighting, wall sconces for ambient lighting and natural light from windows. A row of upper cabinets in this home office provides an opportunity for bright undercabinet lighting over the entire desk surface.

Home office in custom built lake home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

Electrical Outlets for Equipment. If you live in an older home, electrical outlets may be limited. Be sure you have enough — and in the right places — for your electrical equipment.

Keeping cords and wiring out of sight is easiest with a built-in desk and storage areas that are flush against the wall. But if you’re planning a floating or freestanding desk, you can use floor outlets and cord covers to keep wiring neat and safe.

And don’t forget to include something that makes you happy or inspires you, whether it’s a sunny window, a treasured artwork or a furry companion to keep you company.

Healthy Living at Home

When life becomes unsettled, it can be easy to sacrifice our health. While observing stay at home orders; neglecting sleep, exercise and nutrition can become quite easy. But there are small steps we can take at home to keep our health on track in stressful times.

Sleep

Getting enough rest is a foundation of good health, but it sure is easy to neglect the nightly ZZZs when life gets busy. A bedroom that feels restful and calm signals to your body and mind that it’s time to downshift from your hectic day.

Create a calm aura in your bedroom, start by tidying your bedroom. Remove anything you no longer use or need. Think books you’ve already read, outdated magazines, empty drink containers, or laundry that needs put away. Keep only those things you use, such as lamps, alarm clock and phone, or that soothe you or bring you joy, such as a photo of a loved one, a small vase or a special book. Having just a few items makes it easier to keep your bedroom clean and dust-free.

Exercise

For all of us, young and old, regular physical activity is important for staying healthy! Compared to just sitting around most of the time, moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function. Regular physical activity can help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety (which many of us may be feeling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150-300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and 2 sessions per week of muscle strength training. Fit in 2, 5, 10 or 20 minutes, however and wherever you can. Every active minute counts! For more information visit Staying Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Nutrition

Clean out the fridge and pantry.  If one has to dig through a lot of items just to gather the ingredients to make a dish, it’s going to be inconvenient to create healthful meals, and it will be easier to resort to less nutritious options.

Don’t let refrigerator clutter be an obstacle. After tossing old and spoiled foods, group the remaining items by category — vegetables, fruits, meats, condiments, breakfast foods — to make them easier to find. If salad is a staple, consider putting all your salad ingredients on a tray or in a small basket so you can pull them all out at once. Similarly, group ingredients for sandwich or juicing — or whatever category you prepare frequently.

Downtime

Schedule time in your calendar for yourself and respect the appointment as you would any other. Decide ahead of time how you’ll spend your “me time,” so that you don’t fritter it away weighing the possibilities

We would like to extend an incredible thank you to all first responders, doctors, nurses and health care providers who are working around the clock to keep everyone healthy and safe. An additional thank you to those working to provide us with our basic needs.

Kitchen with Cool Storage Pt. 2

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

This week we are going to tour the huge walk-in pantry that serves the incredible kitchen we featured last Monday. What appears to be a conventional pantry, hidden behind double doors, is an amazing walk-in pantry. The huge pantry has tons of great storage and houses a Sub-Zero freezer and Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher. We had such fun unwrapping the storage surprises hidden inside!

Entrance to the Pantry.
What appears to be a conventional, shallow pantry, behind the double doors, is anything but. Open the doors, and step inside a marvelous walk-in pantry full of great storage and additional prep space.

Open Shelves.
The pantry is afforded with plenty of cabinets, but is also afforded with open shelves. The owner has frequently used items placed on open shelves, for ease of use.

Open Shelves.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.
Bosch 800 Series dishwasher, Blanco Precis™ undermount sink, and Delta Mateo faucet

Blind Corner Storage.
Many kitchens are plagued with a space that is far from functional. Some may refer to this area as the dead corner, in the kitchen and bath industry, this space is known as the blind corner. 

The homeowner chose the Magic Corner II to bring full accessibility to the blind corner. With two independent roll-out shelves that pull out after being brought to the open portion of the cabinet, this type of accessibility brings about a whole new level of organizational opportunities to the blind corner. To see it in action, watch the video on our YouTube account: Corner Cabinet Storage Solution.

Magic Corner II

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Corner Drawers.
There are obviously several different ways of maximizing that little corner created by a U-shaped pantrties, but few seem better than drawers that slide out conveniently. They definitely beat those deep, traditional cabinets which sometimes force you to get down on all fours to find that extra pot or pan. With versatile modern corner drawers that effortlessly slide out, you will never need to go through the hassle again.

Corner Drawer.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Glide-Out Shelves.
Glide-out shelves were included in the pantry cabinets to maximize storage space, provide easier access, save the owner’s back and simplify clean-up chores. We like that the shelves are of varying height.

Roll-out shelves.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., of Goshen, Indiana, is known throughout Michiana as the premier, upscale, custom home builder and remodeler.  Our award-winning homes are crafted with detail in mind, from start to finish, by our experienced team of career carpenters and construction management professionals. 

General contracting by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.; Architecture by Helman Sechrist Architecture; Professional photography by Marie Kinney.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Kitchen with Cool Storage

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

We fell in love with this cook’s kitchen by Ayr Custom Cabinets when we photographed the gorgeous custom home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

With everything from a huge walk-in pantry to built-in coffee station, this kitchen has it all.

Divided Storage.
Glide-out divided storage is perfect to hold the homeowner’s glass baking dishes, food storage containers and lids. Since the shelves glide-out there is no stooping over to dig and everything is kept neatly organized.

Divided Storage.

Image is property of Martin Bros. Contracting and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Divided Baking Pan Storage.
Divided drawer contains the homeowner’s metal baking pans. We love the space in the front for baking pan lids.

Baking Pan Storage. 

Image is property of Martin Bros. Contracting and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Utensil Storage.
Who hasn’t had to dig through the packed utensil drawer, searching for the utensil they need. This homeowner stores utensils neatly, and no digging required! Added bonus, metal crocks are easily removed, for washing.

Utensil Drawer. 

Image is property of Martin Bros. Contracting and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Cutting Board/Pull-Out Trash Bins
Pull-out cutting board with a built-in compost hole. Conveniently located above the double pull-out trash bins, just pull the cutting board out, cut and swipe.

Cutting Board/Pull-Out Trash Bin.

Image is property of Martin Bros. Contracting and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Coffee Station.
The now you see, now you don’t, coffee station is great for those that don’t want the coffee maker on the counter. The plumbing and electric that serve the coffee maker are tucked behind, and out-of-sight as well. Supplies for the coffee maker are stored in the drawer and cabinet below.

Coffee Station.

Image is the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Kitchen Towel Rail.
The towel rail is to the right of the kitchen sink. There is plenty of space at the bottom for a small dish drying rack, if desired.

Kitchen Towel Rack.

Image is the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Check back next week, when we feature the walk-in pantry.

General contracting by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.; Architecture by Helman Sechrist Architecture; Professional photography by Marie Kinney.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.

Our Favorite Laundry Room Ideas

Our Favorite Laundry Room Ideas

Nowhere is the difference between high-end new construction/remodeling clearer, than in laundry rooms. These once simple utilitarian spaces have become large, decorated rooms incorporating many great features. Features like drying racks, built-in ironing boards, craft areas, wrapping areas, offices, and mudrooms with gleaming machines. Today, we share some of our clients practical laundry room solutions.

Drying rack

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Pull down drying rack. A pull-down drying rack is designed for drying delicates directly on the rack, or for drip drying clothing on hangers. The pictured rack is strategically located over the sink so no messy drips to clean up.

Hanging Rod

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Hanging rod. A must for hanging clothes after removing them from the dryer or for drip drying clothing on hangers. Having the rod located above the sink is ideal. The drips from the clothing just fall right into the sink.

custom-made sink insert

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Custom sink insert. The covered laundry sink provides space for the client to fold laundry in this small, single-wall laundry room.

 custom cabinetry

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Cabinetry, cabinetry, cabinetry. Almost all of our clients want custom cabinetry in their laundry rooms. Featuring things like open shelving for frequently used products and supplies, and plenty of countertop space for folding.

customized storage

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Laundry basket storage. What better way to store your laundry baskets! When a client works with a custom cabinet maker, they are able to design the laundry room of their dreams.

laundry centers

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Master bedroom closet laundry center. What’s more handy than a laundry center in your master bedroom closet. Think of all the steps you’ll save when it’s time to put away your clothes! The master bedroom laundry center shown, features a pull-out ironing board (disguised as a drawer), pull-out folding station and his and her pull-down hampers.

pull-out ironing board

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Pull-out ironing boards. Meet the pull-out ironing board, disguised as a drawer. It’s no longer necessary to take up wall-space to have the ironing board hidden away.

multiple appliances

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Multiple Appliances. Client’s with large families, are opting to build homes with large laundry rooms, featuring multiple appliances. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. also builds homes with multiple-level laundry rooms (especially in lake homes). Multiple level laundry rooms save footsteps, backs and time on laundry day.

multiple purpose laundry room

Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Multiple-purpose laundry rooms. Client’s often opt for multiple-purpose laundry rooms. Think offices, mudrooms, craft-rooms, study rooms, pantries and more.

These are just a few of the laundry rooms in the homes remodeled or built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. Looking for more ideas, visit our website or Facebook.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written consent.

Finding the Right Home Builder

The importance of choosing the right home builder for your project can’t be overstated. Your home builder will be involved in every facet of the process, so you want to establish a great working relationship and an open line of communication right up front. Here is a great checklist to help you select the very best home builder for you:

Custom home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN. Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526
  • Contact your local home builders’ association for the names of member builders: NAHB: Finding A Local Association . You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations. (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. is a member of the Builders Association of Elkhart County.)
  • Make sure the builder has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers. (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. office has been located at 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, Indiana for nearly 50 years.)
  • Find out how long they have been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties. (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. was established in 1965.)
  • Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. has an A+ rating with the BBB.)
  • Make sure the builder has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. carries all insurance and conducts weekly safety training.)
  • Ask the builder/remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won’t, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again. (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. will provide you a list of past clients, a great deal of our business comes from referrals!) 
  • Ask if you can see the builders work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials. (We are proud of our work and will be happy to show qualified parties completed and projects in progress.)
  • Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process, and afterward, as you live in your new home. (We recognize the investment our clients make in their homes; therefore we provide unparalleled service throughout the project.)
  • Make sure the builder/remodeler provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well. (Written contracts are provided on every project; a home warranty and an extensive homeowner manual are provided on each new construction project. Martin Brothers abides by/or exceeds the Indiana Quality Assurance Builder Standards.) 
  • Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better! (Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. will be happy to discuss with you our policy regarding payment. In most instances we pay all suppliers and subcontractors before invoicing a custom home client.)
Custom built lake home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. Image is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. 26262 County Road 40, Goshen, IN 46526

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., of Elkhart County, Indiana, is known throughout Michiana as the area’s premier, upscale, custom home builder and remodeler. Our award-winning homes are crafted with detail in mind from start to finish by our experienced team of career carpenters and construction management professionals. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. serves clients within a 50 mile radius of their rural Goshen, Indiana address.

Find more helpful advice on home building and remodeling at www.nahb.org/forconsumers orhttps://www.nahb.org/en/consumers/homeownership/remodeling-your-home.aspx

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written consent.

What to Consider When Lighting Your Home

A designer offers a few illuminating insights on this key design element

By: Gillian Lazanik via Houzz

Lighting is one of the most overlooked yet important elements of interior design. What’s the point in creating beautiful spaces if there’s not enough light to see them? Lighting is also essential for creating the mood and ambiance of a space. Come up with your lighting plan during the conceptual design phase so your contractor knows ahead of time where to run electrical wiring. Once the drywall goes up, changing wiring is much harder, so don’t leave this consideration until the end. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to lighting your home.

Dining room lighting. Dining Room.jpgEveryone loves to create ambiance over the dining room table. But there are practically as many light fixtures to choose from as there are snowflakes.

When it comes to your dining area, make sure to choose a light fixture that’s the right size for your table. If you can’t find something large enough, consider clustering multiple lights together. I like to ensure that the fixture is at least one-third the size of the table. And make sure you mount it approximately 30 to 38 inches above the eating surface. Also be sure to install a dimmable switch so you can set the mood.

Undercabinet lighting. A simple valance on the underside of your cabinets will not properly hide the cord for lighting. Plan ahead and have your mill-worker build a false bottom to conceal the wires. Another option is to speak with a cabinetmaker about routing a channel to recess LED strip lighting.

Lighting 2.2Track lighting. Track lighting is a great way to illuminate multiple areas with wiring for only one electrical box. There are tons of great-looking track lights available these days, but if you’re not a fan, try recessing the track into the ceiling. It creates a cool architectural detail while keeping the functionality.

Toe-kick lighting
. Don’t think that adding lights to your toe-kicks is a frivolous, aesthetics-only decision. Strip lighting at the underside of base cabinets is a great way to create a nightlight that looks fabulous.


Sconce lighting
. Bathroom sconces are great for illuminating your face in the mirror. They’ll work best if you can mount them close to the height of your face, but if you don’t have the space, a sconce above the mirror will work nicely too.

Lighting 2.3Pot lighting. I like to use pot lights, often referred to as recessed lighting, in certain spaces of a house, but I don’t think they should act as substitutes for indirect lighting, such as floor and table lamps. Pot lights work best in areas where tasks occur, like the kitchen or laundry room. You can use far fewer pot lights in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms.

Bedside lighting. When choosing lights for your bedside tables, make sure you think about how you’ll be using them. Are they strictly decorative or will they be more functional? If you’re using them as task lights, make sure they can swivel for ease of reading in bed.

Stair lighting. This is one of my favorite ways to add lighting to a space. Stair lighting can take any renovation to the next level. They’re not overly expensive and they’re highly functional.

Custom lighting. If you’re having a hard time finding the perfect lighting, you may want to contact a local lighting manufacturer or designer. Like art, lighting is personal and subjective. You might benefit from working with someone to design your perfect fixture.

Looking to build or remodel a home within a 50 mile radius of our Goshen, Indiana location? Call us at 574-862-2142.

Images are the property of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. and may not be used without written consent.

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

By: The Travelers Indemnity Company

When the driveway and walkways are coated in a thick blanket of snow, it is time to get a shovel out for what some consider to be a dreaded chore. But before you tackle the first snowfall of the season, take some time to read these safety snow shoveling tips to help avoid any potential injuries.

Snow shoveling can lead to a number of health risks for many people, from back injuries to heart attacks. The mix of cold temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart,¹ which may increase the risk of a heart attack for some. According to the American Heart Association, even walking through heavy, wet snow can place strain on your heart.

The following tips can help keep you safer when you set out to shovel:

  • Warm up. Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements, such as bending side to side or walking in place.
  • Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce the strain on your body. When lifting snow, bend your knees and use your legs when possible.
  • Choose your shovel wisely. Ergonomically-designed shovels can help reduce the amount of bending you have to do.
  • Lighten your load. Consider using a lighter-weight plastic shovel instead of a metal one to help decrease the weight being lifted.
  • Hit the pause button. Pace yourself and be sure to take frequent breaks. Consider taking a break after 20 to 30 minutes of shoveling, especially when the snow is wet.
  • Consider multiple trips. Consider shoveling periodically throughout the storm to avoid having to move large amounts of snow at once.
  • Keep up with snowfall. Try to shovel snow shortly after it falls, when it is lighter and fluffier. The longer snow stays on the ground, the wetter it can become. Wet snow is heavier and harder to move.
  • Wear layers. Dress in layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while shoveling.

A national study² found that the most common shoveling-related injuries were to the lower back. Cardiac-related injuries account for only 7% of all injuries, but they were the most serious in nature. If you do not exercise on a regular basis, are middle-aged or older, or have any health conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, you should check with your doctor before doing any strenuous shoveling. Consider using a snow blower or snow removal service as an alternative means of snow removal.

Snow and Ice Removal Requirements

Snow and ice not only pose a potential risk to you but also to others. As a property owner, you are responsible for making a reasonable effort to keep public walking areas around your property clear of snow and ice. Pre-treating your walkways and other paved surfaces with an anti-icing product can help make snow and ice removal easier. (Some Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. clients have opted to have radiant heat installed under their walks and driveways.)  

Consider stocking up on ice melt in advance, as it sometimes sells out during long winters. You can store unused ice melt in an airtight container, out of reach from children and pets. Be aware that rock salt can damage brick, stone, asphalt and concrete walkways.

Be sure to check your local codes and ordinances regarding snow and ice removal requirements.

Sources:
¹ American Heart Association, 
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Shoveling-Snow-Health-Hazards_UCM_426562_Article.jsp
² Nationwide Children’s, 
http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/news-room-articles/new-national-study-finds-11500-emergency-department-visits-nearly-100-deaths-related-to-snow-shoveling-each-year?contentid=86424

Custom built luxury home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN 46526

Learn the Lingo of Rooftops

From: Houzz
By: 

When it comes to a roof, knowing a few terms will help you talk to your roofer next time there’s a leak or you decide to reshingle. They’ll also help you discuss a remodel project that includes an addition, skylight or dormer. For the most part, these terms cover the principal parts of a roof and the openings we commonly find going through a roof — creating the possibility of leaks.

Two of the most basic and common roof types are the gable and hip. These are easy to build and economical. Because they shed water and snow easily, they’re well-suited to wet and cold climates around the world.

Aesthetically, gable roofs and hip roofs are quite different.

gable roof wants to stress the vertical; it points upward to the sky. It’s identified by triangular gable ends and a single ridge between two sloping roof panels.

Gable roof example; exterior renovation by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

All four sides of a hip roof slope inward. Its lines stress the horizontal and float in parallel over the earth. These are important distinctions, because the way a house meets the earth and sky tells us a lot about its designer’s intent.

Hip roof example; custom built home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

A few more basic roof parts are the ridgerake and eave.

The ridge is the highest point where two roof planes meet and is generally going to be the highest part of the house. Because of its linear nature, a ridge is commonly referred to as a ridge line. The location of the ridge is important in many localities where there are height restrictions on building, as the height of a house is often measured from the ground to the ridge. For this reason, it’s important to know what the local restrictions are and how these will affect the design.

Ridge line example on estate built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

The rake is the angled element at the gable end of a roof and is composed of the trim and structure (rafters) that extend out from the house. The rake can be finished in a plain, simple manner or in a highly stylized and elaborate way.

Example of rake, custom built home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

The eave is that element of a roof that projects out from the wall of the house and consists of a soffit and fascia. The eave can either be close, or tight, to the wall of the house or quite a distance away. Since the primary function of the eave is to take rainwater away from the walls of the house, the farther out it is the better it can serve that function.

Decorative eave on lake cottage

Learn more about the interior of a roof

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