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This is the best editorial for Oklahomans by Oklahomans.

Roofing 101 – Getting to know your roof

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Understanding the elements of your roof isn’t complicated, but it is an important part of being a homeowner. Keep a better eye on any potential roofing repairs by learning these basic roofing terms:

Underlayment – This element is the bottom layer of your roof and is critical in protecting your home. Without this layer, your shingles can’t do their job correctly. The synthetic underlayment is water resistant and helps to protect the attic from water damage, mold growth and rotting deck boards.

Flashing – Flashing refers to metal pieces that protect roof joints and valleys from water collection or seepage. Damaged flashing appears as dented, deteriorated or loose metal and is easily repaired.

Shingles – Shingles are the top layer of the roof and are the first line of defense against the elements. Roofs in Oklahoma are typically made of asphalt shingles that come in different weights and thicknesses, depending on your needs and budget.

Valley – A valley is created by the downward slope of meeting roof sections and helps funnel water from the shingles.

Hip – The hip is an upward angle formed by two adjoining roof sections.

Starter strip – This strip of asphalt roofing adheres to the eaves and provides additional coverage beneath the bottom row of shingles.

Drip edge – Edging that is attached to the border of the roof and lets water fall away from the home.

Maintaining a basic knowledge of these terms will serve you in the long run, and help keep your roof in tip-top shape.

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Do I Have to Have my Patio Slab Re-poured for a New Outdoor Kitchen?

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

It depends on several factors:

  • Is your current patio in good shape?
  • How thick is your patio slab?
  • Does your patio slab slope in any way?
  • Where do you want to place your outdoor kitchen?
  • Will water or gas lines need to be dug beneath the slab?

Typically, patio slabs are not built to withstand the extra weight of an outdoor kitchen. Brick, stone and wood are heavy materials and if you factor in plumbing and appliances then your slab could begin to break down at some point.

Unless you have an extra-large patio, slabs are usually extended to accommodate the new kitchen. This is an excellent opportunity to thicken the slab, and slope or level it out according to the design. You don’t want rainwater running toward your kitchen island, so an imperceptible slope can avoid that drainage issue. Also, positioning the kitchen at least ¼” to ½” higher than the rest of the patio can keep it nice and dry during wet weather.

If your current patio isn’t in the best shape, it will need to be re-poured or repaired before the new kitchen is installed.

A cracking or sinking slab will ruin your new kitchen before it even gets started. So, starting with a proper slab is important to the longevity of your investment.

Most outdoor kitchens require laying water and gas lines to the island. This is how you get water and gas for a sink, refrigerator, gas grill or other kitchen components. If your kitchen will be on your existing patio, the slab may have to be broken up to lay the lines. If your kitchen will be on a newer slab, then the lines can be laid before the slab is poured. This can save time and money.

While there are many factors to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen, an experienced contractor will help you with the technical aspects. If you need a new slab poured, don’t worry. Giving your new kitchen the best foundation possible will protect your wallet in the long run.

The Simple Secret To Enjoying Your Patio Through Winter

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

It can be frustrating to have a beautiful outdoor living area only to be trapped indoors once the temperature plunges. But take heart, outdoor patio heaters can save the day, and extend your outdoor enjoyment well through the winter months. With several available options, you can pick the perfect patio heater to keep you warm and toasty. Here are three things to consider when choosing your heater:


Outdoor heaters come in three configurations; mounted, table top and free-standing. Most free-standing posts are over 6 feet tall and will generate a great deal of heat – up to a ten-foot radius depending on the model. This is the style you typically see in outdoor cafes (Paris anyone?). Mounted heaters come in several sizes and can be attached to decks, brick or ceilings. These are great if you need to save space on a smaller patio. Table-top heaters are small, portable and generate less heat then their big brothers. They are great for camping, or tail-gating. Some models require electricity, so make sure to have a plug-in close by.


Propane or electric outdoor heaters are the norm, and produce varying amounts of heat. Electric heaters use halogen or infrared bulbs and heat up very quickly. Propane heaters use fuel (gas grill) and create 10,000 to 50,000 BTU’s of heat through a flame. Some propane heaters may produce more heat, but you must be careful on windy days.


Depending on your region, propane can be fairly expensive. Therefore, you need to factor that into your cost. Propane heaters can cost more initially, and sometimes in the long run as well. Electric heaters are less expensive and use electricity, albeit, not much. Wayfair has a beautiful collection of both types of heaters with the added bonus of providing customer ratings for each product.

Fortunately, heating your outdoor living area isn’t expensive and is well worth the effort. By using your patio or deck into the colder months, you are getting more out of your home. Winter is a fun time and being able to use your patio without getting frost bite is a big plus for you as a homeowner.

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Tips and Tricks to Light Your Yard Like a Pro

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

The ambiance of outdoor mood lighting can’t be denied. Direct lighting can enhance certain outdoor features while soft illumination allows your manicured landscaping to pop. Create a striking setting that can be appreciated after dark with these lighting tips and tricks.


Draw a quick sketch of your yard and what areas you wish to feature. Decorative shrubs, colorful flowers or growing trees can all benefit from pole lamps or spotlights. Homeowners are very proud of their landscaping efforts and soft lights can put their hard work on full display.

Stone paths are beautiful when bordered with short stake lights. Stake lights come in hundreds of styles and are an inexpensive way to feature paths for mood and safety reasons.

Pergolas, decks and pavilions are gorgeous when laced with string lights. Lanterns also add character and can create the perfect space for evening relaxation.

Solar lights are a great option for homeowners who don’t wish to run electrical wiring. There are no cords involved with solar lights, only a photo-voltaic cell that absorbs light during the day, allowing it to glow at night. Solar lights also come in different styles and don’t require an electrician to run wires.


Most outdoor lighting requires electrical wires to be buried low enough in the ground to protect them from water. A licensed electrician can easily do this, and add an outdoor transformer if needed. However, if you are an excellent handyman, you may be able to connect low-voltage wires yourself. Lowes and Home Depot are excellent at providing guidance for DIY projects. And if you need inspiration, Pinterest is the way to go. Fortunately, there are so many great options for outdoor lighting that the possibilities are almost endless:

  • Torch Lights
  • Flood Lights
  • Spot Lights
  • LED Lights
  • Lanterns
  • Halogen Lights
  • String Lights
  • Lamp Posts
  • Deck Lights
  • Porch and Patio Lights
  • Solar Lights

And don’t forget to brighten up the exterior of your house. Up lighting around your home adds distinction and highlights smart design features like bay windows, or beautiful flowerbeds. With a good imagination and clever design, you can create the perfect lighting package to complement your landscape and your home itself. As the sun sets, your home will come aglow and give you good reason to enjoy your evening outdoors.

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