Super Bowl Party Preparation Done Right!

by RainF 29. January 2014 04:36

Football brings families and friends over, fun rivalries and cherished memories of great games. The Super Bowl is the pinnacle event in American football and it’s considered a religious day to some people, think die-hard super fans. While a majority of us are guaranteed to watch the event for the game and the crazy commercials that play, we would like to help make your Super Bowl tailgate or party better with a few Super Bowl Sunday preparation tips from a few of us at ProBuilt Steel Buildings.

Do You Have The Right TV?

Having the right TV is one of the top rules of any Super Bowl party. If it’s too small, people will have a hard time following the game. You also want to make sure the sound quality is good so you can hear every play and argue at the TV when you hear a nonsense call by the referee. There are usually special promotions at various electronic stores for big screen TVs during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, you can score a great TV for the game and have a nice new toy for your home.

Big Screen TV

If you can’t dish out the cash to buy a new big screen TV, then you can consider renting a TV for the big game. Check around your town to see if there are rental stores that have Super Bowl Sunday specials, usually there’s one place that will accommodate your needs.

Make Sure You’re Watching the Right Coverage

The next must have at any successful Super Bowl party would be making sure you’re seeing the best coverage you can. Many die-hard fans love to get as much insight to every play as they can and the best way you can do that would be through special NFL Super Bowl packages from your cable or dish provider. If your friends don’t care much about following every detail on a play, then the standard HD CBS broadcast should work for most people.

Food and Drink Fuels the Party

Party Snacks

Make sure you’re prepared with delicious snacks and drinks for your guest. The traditional chips, dip and beer are a must. But throwing some new life into the old game day snack routine; cater wings or mini burgers from your favorite bar will definitely make your event shine. Also, consider different set of drink options besides just beer. Soda, mixed drinks and sweet tea are popular options.

A Cozy Environment Makes the Day Better

So you have your big TV, the best Super Bowl game day package and all the food your guest will want. What else can you need? A dedicated room for any sports event! Many of our customers have transformed our steel storage buildings to amazing man caves, built for the purpose of relaxing and having a group of friends over to watch the game. This is a great way to keep your home clean, but still throw an awesome event. Also, these steel buildings will add value to your property, if you decide to sell. So imagine it as an investment that is providing you a fun space to enjoy.

Post written by Rainier Fuclan
Photo Credit: nep & Zlatko Unger via Compfight cc

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Interactive Tax Refund Map

by BurtonH 27. January 2014 03:48

It’s hard to believe we are just about a month into 2014, with January winding down that means tax season is right around the corner. For most of us we will be waiting for our W-2s in the mail, finding our old recipes and hoping we don’t get audited. While nobody enjoys paying taxes, tax season can be a great time for home improvement projects. Unexpected tax refunds make for a great investment into your home.

While your refund may be about the same every year, have you ever wondered how it compares to the rest of the country? We've put together a map of the average tax refunds throughout the United States. Want to see if your refund is above average, curious about which state has the lowest average refund or which state has the highest percentage of refunds explore the map to find out.

**This map shows data from Federal Tax Returns only for fiscal year 2011**
Click here for a full screen version of the map

Across all 50 states there was a difference of about $1,000 between the highest average refund and the lowest. The national average was $2,719.52 with Connecticut having the highest at $3,217.71 and Montana having the lowest at $2,322.07. Of the over 140 million tax returns filed just over 83% of them resulted in refunds, and the state with the highest total percentage of refunds was Florida with 87%.

Happy with your tax return? This is the perfect time to consider new additions to your home. From storage sheds to carports, full barns to mudrooms, Probuilt Steel offers a wide range of custom steel buildings for you to chose from. Use our quote toolto get started on your next project today!

Map compiled by Burton Hohman

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Keep Your Garage Organized in the New Year

by JillJ 20. January 2014 05:09

If you’ve already given up on your New Year’s resolution to get organized this year, we’ve got a few tips to re-energize you. While it’s tempting to throw all your clutter into the garage, maintaining a clutter-free space allows you to use your garage for its original purpose – parking your car. We’ve outlined four easy steps to tackle your project.

Cluttered GarageTheShape via Compfight cc

Allocate the Time

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to organize your entire garage in one sweep. Allocate chunks of time to make the task less daunting. Even if you only spend 15-20 minutes each day, the time adds up without overwhelming your entire weekend.

Group Like Items

In order to see what you have, group like items together by their purpose. Create piles for sports equipment, tools, seasonal decorations, etc. This will help you quickly identify if you have duplicate items. Do you really need 5 soccer balls or 3 power-washers?

Sort It All Out

Start by cleaning out the existing clutter. Take everything out of the garage and sort it into 4 groups – “Put Away”, “Give Away/Sell”, “Store” and “Trash”. Put all items that need to be moved to other areas of the house or designated areas of the garage in the “Put Away” pile.

Identify items that can be used by others and put them in the “Give Away/Sell” pile. Donate them to local organizations and grab a receipt for tax purposes. Give that old box of Legos to your nephew. Have a yard sale or put items up for auction online.

Seasonal items like holiday ornaments and Halloween decorations go in the “Store” pile. Put all these items in labeled bins and store them away until their needed later in the year. Only store items your family likes and uses. Don’t be tempted to put items in storage area until you find another place for them – that’s how you got in this position in the first place. If you don’t have enough space to store these items and your car in your garage, consider a metal building to store the seasonal items.

Put all damaged items in the “Trash” pile. If you clear out one trash bag per day you’ll have significantly less clutter in your garage within a week or two.

Clutter-free Garage

Maintain – Staying Clutter-Free

Once everything has been put in their designated space, it’s a lot easier to commit to returning them to that place. However, there’s no such thing as clutter-free living. Keep a bin in the garage as a repository for items when you’re short on time. Once that bin is full, it’s time to find a place to put each of those items.

What tactics do you use to keep the clutter to a minimum and maintain an organized garage?

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General

Home Gadget Highlights from CES

by RainF 13. January 2014 04:18

The Consumer Electronics Show 2014 (CES) recently concluded and during the three day tradeshow there have been amazing products that can make your life easier at home. Home gadgets were a big portion of the CES event. From Smart light bulbs to Smart appliances there’s great gadgets you can add in your home or newly built custom steel building.

Let’s check out our top home gadget picks from the 2014 CES event:

  • AwoX StriimLIGHTHow can you improve on the light bulb, you may ask? Add a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker to it! This is a brilliant gadget to save space and provide entertainment without much hassle. The AwoX StriimLIGHT uses an energy-saving LED bulb that fits any standard E27 socket.

  • Ivee SleekHow great would it be to wake up and say “lights-on” or “It’s too cold, Ivee, raise the temperature 2 degrees.” Well, you can do that with the Ivee Sleek, a voice-activated assistant that can interact with a majority of the current “smart home” devices on the market. Think of it as the central unit you can voice commands to use all your new home gadgets.

  • August Smart LockKeys are so analog, wouldn’t it be great if you could unlock your home doors with your smartphone? It’s possible with the August Smart Lock. In addition, to being a keyless way to unlock your home. You can provide access to your home from anywhere, if someone in your family has forgotten their keys somewhere. Finally, you have a detailed report of whenever anyone has entered or exited your home through the August Smart Lock.

  • SmartCam HD Security cameras aren’t the latest in home gadgets and security, but Samsung has developed efficient, HD quality home security cams that will give you peace of mind when you’re away from your home and want to monitor your estate.

  • Chef Collection 4-door RefrigeratorSamsung’s latest addition in kitchen appliances are turning their focus on how a chef would use it. While this refrigerator doesn’t sport any voice activation or Wi-Fi connectivity, it doesn’t make it any less “smart” in its own way. Functionality, space and efficiency all play with each other in perfect harmony. Dedicated spaces for wine, soda, marinades, meats and more are all built into this 34 cubic foot beast. With that much space Samsung wanted to ensure freshness was locked when the doors were close. Using their “Triple Cooling System,” this creates optimal temperatures and humidity for anything you throw into it.

These were our picks for the top CES home gadgets that can improve your home or new steel building. Let us know your favorite toys from the CES event!

Post written by Rainier Fuclan

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General

Protect Your Items From The Frigid Weather!

by RainF 8. January 2014 06:35

The US is experiencing cold weather and I’m sure many of you reading this have seen your friends and coworkers complain about it on Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook Comment
Someone is a bit “cold” about this weather.

While you’re huddled under your blankets keeping warm you might remember about your car sitting out in the snow. Depending on how reliable and old your vehicle is, it might suffer from being left to deal with the harsh elements of Mother Nature. The same is said about your outdoor items such as:

  • Patio chairs
  • Patio tables
  • Grills
  • Potted plants
  • Garden equipment
  • Recreational Vehicles (RVs & Boats)

  Snowed In Patio Set

Photo Credit: yvestown via Compfight cc

The snow fall not only adds unwanted weight on those items, but it also places the items in temperatures far below their optimal storage range. In addition, once the weather starts to get warmer. You’ll have to deal with the snow melting and getting your outdoor items wet. This can lead to unintended damages.

The best way to make sure your possessions are safe and secure would be to store them in a garage or storage building. There are many options for this but we recommend a custom steel building to fit your storage space needs and give you confidence that your storage building will last a lifetime.

Will you be prepared for the next snow storm? Contact us for storage building information and we would be happy to help you out.

Post written by Rainier Fuclan

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General

Interactive Building Code and Permitting Map

by BurtonH 16. December 2013 08:30

Following building codes and acquiring proper permitting are a necessary part to any construction project big or small. Building codes are in place to assure a baseline of quality for new structures, this assures the safety of anyone using or in proximity to the building. Typically, when planning a construction project you, or the builder, would submit plans to your local permitting office, the permitting office would then give you the approval to begin construction. Depending on the scale of the project, an inspector may come to the construction site to assure all aspects of construction are up-to-code.

Buildings codes are typically handled on a state level, but certain counties within a state may have more specific requirements. For example, a county along the coast might require all windows to be rated for hurricane force winds. It is important to check-in with your local permitting office before starting any construction project.

The map below lists general building codes and permitting information for each state.

**The Information in this map is meant for reference only and is not a substitute for contacting your local permitting office**

The permitting process can be time consuming especially for more complex projects that require a county inspector to visit the site. Thankfully, steel buildings require very little labor and usually don’t need engineering. Probuilt Steel has a wealth of experience in dealing with permitting offices around the country, and they will assist you in accelerating any necessary permitting. If you have questions about the permitting process, or would like more information about adding a steel building to your property please contact us.

Map compiled by Burton Hohman

ProBuilt Steel Buildings: Santa Tested and Approved

by AmyM 11. December 2013 03:31
We've been a leading name in custom steel buildings for more than a decade, but did you know that one of our steel buildings may have just landed us on the Nice List? One of our steel buildings is serving as Santa's House in downtown Lake City, Florida, helping to make spirits bright. 
 
Santa's house in Lake City Side view of Santa's house
 How are you using your portable buildings this holiday season?

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Making the Most Out of Your Garage This Season

by AmyM 20. November 2013 08:02

Many people who own garages will be quick to tell you: They can quickly become overrun with boxes, old toys, tools and other items meant for outdoor storage. If there’s too much to store in your garage, you can eventually lose room for the most important thing your garage needs to store – your car.

Organized garage, perfect for storage

Before winter hits and you’re forced to park your car out in the cold, go through your garage and identify what you need to throw away and what you plan to keep. (You’d be surprised how much stuff people have sitting unused in their garages.) Then use the following tips to free up space.


Outdoor clothing storage


If your house is overrun with shoes and boots that pile up by the door, turn your doorway into a makeshift mudroom. Attach clothing hooks to the wall by the door so your family can easily hang their jackets there before entering. This will also help you keep snow and rain water in the garage out of your home. Next, install shoe racks so your family can slip their shoes off by the door before they come inside. If you’ll be wearing boots this winter, make sure the shoe racks are tall enough to let you store those away.

Storing screws, bolts, and other small objects

Create under-the-shelf storage (yes, you read right) by affixing jars to your shelves. Screw the jar’s lid to the underside of a wooden shelf, taking care to attach it securely. Fill the jars with screws, nails, bolts or any other small objects that aren’t too heavy. Screw the jar into the lid and voila – you’ve created hanging storage from recycled jars and an existing shelf.

Pegboard storage

A simple pegboard can provide an easy way to store brushes, pliers and other tools that usually occupy valuable shelf space. Make sure you have different types of hooks so you can easily store items like your hammers, mallets and pliers. If you have small tools like art brushes you want to store on the board, drill a hole in the back of a tin can and hang it from a hook. You can use this tin can to hold small screwdrivers or brushes for arts and craft projects. (The larger brushes should have hooks that will allow you to affix them directly to the pegboard.) This post has a pretty amazing pegboard if you want to see an example of pegboard storage at its best.

Additional shelving

The biggest way you’ll be able to create extra space in your garage is to store things vertically or off the ground entirely. This will hopefully allow for you to create enough storage space that your car will fit inside the garage. One way to do this is to create metal shelves high off the ground. Having metal shelves up high will also allow you to create additional storage under the shelving unit, similar to if you lofted a bed.

Use sturdy plastic bins when storing away your precious items so you can ensure they are protected from the elements and you can see them clearly. You don’t want to store your items away and then not know which box to drag down from the top of the shelf, so be sure to label them in a place that is clearly visible. You can also place bike racks under the shelves if space allows so you can store your bikes out of the way. Depending on how high up your shelving is, you can add in shelving to serve as a work bench. 


How do you keep your garage clean? Are there any organization tips you use to keep it tidy throughout the year?

Photo Credit: elliottcable via Compfight cc

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Saving Time with a Carport This Winter

by BurtonH 15. November 2013 09:57

With each day getting shorter and shorter we thought it would be helpful to look at some ways to save time this winter. While winter does have its perks, like ice skating, building snowmen and snowball fights, nothing beats the feeling of being able to cuddle up in a warm bed a few extra minutes in the morning. As much of the country prepares for the coming snow storms, we thought we would take a look at how much time a carport could save you each morning.

Carports are excellent additions to any home, and can serve a variety of purposes. These outdoor garages can help keep you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, dry in the rain and safe from hail. Even if you already have a garage, a carport can still help save time this winter. If you are lucky enough to have a garage, you could use a carport to cover your driveway which would save time from shoveling the snow in the morning.

For those without a garage, winter means spending less time in bed and more time shoveling snow. Whether you are getting feet or few inches, it can be a major hassle just getting your car ready to drive in the morning. These precious morning minutes could be better spent grabbing an extra cup of coffee or getting your kids to school on time. ProBuilt Steel can design a carport to fit any driveway and any budget. Whether you are looking for full side panels to stop raging blizzards or just a simple canopy to stop a few inches, a carport is the gift that keeps on giving.

Curious to see how your winters compare to other states? Check out the map below.

So you've checked out the map and you don't get any snow, why would you need a carport? Well the great thing about carports is that even if it doesn't snow where you live, they still have plenty of uses. In rain storm, a carport can help keep your trunk full of groceries nice and dry, also the shade of a carport could keep your car up to 30 degrees cooler on a hot day.

From the frigid winters of Northern Minnesota to the balmy temperatures of south beach, a carport may be just the thing to put on your holiday shopping list this winter. If you are interested, the experts at ProBuilt Steel can work with you to customize your carport to fits your needs, and more importantly, your budget.

Map compiled by Burton Hohman

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Preparing Your Home for the Winter Weather

by RainF 8. November 2013 07:41

We’re in the middle of the fall season and it’s time to think about preparing your home for the cold winter weather. Aside from the organizing and decorating you’ll be doing over the next months, there are other items you should check to ensure that your home is ready for the cold weather. Checking these items before winter hits can help you ensure your heating bills stay low while also making sure your appliances will be able to last throughout winter.

Here are some tips to preparing your home and appliances for the warm winter ahead.

Examine Entry Points & Openings

Winter House
Photo Credit: highstrungloner via Compfight cc

The biggest contributor to a high heating bill is poor insulation, which can cause the warm air in the home to escape out into the winter. To prevent this warm air from being wasted, check doors and windows to see if any air is escaping through cracks and gaps. Also check the weather stripping and replace it if is damaged or not keeping enough cold air out.

Furnace, Water heater & Ventilation

Old Furnace
Photo Credit: photofarmer via Compfight cc

Once you’ve checked your insulation, ensure your furnace is functioning properly and there are no foreseeable problems in the future. We recommend you contact a trained technician to inspect your furnace or heating system for an accurate assessment.

In addition, once your furnace has been inspected, replace the air filter to ensure maximum airflow and clean air because doing so can help lower your utility bill by not making your furnace work harder.

Next, inspect your water heater as you don’t want to be caught without warm water in the middle of winter. Drain your water heater and clean out and debris or sediment that may have collected in the tank to ensure the water running through your pipes are clean and easy to heat up through your water heater, since there won’t be anything interrupting the heating process.

Finally, once all your systems have been checked out, you’ll want to make sure the ventilation ducts around your home are open and clear of any obstructions. To do this, inspect all ventilation ducts and clean them out if necessary. In addition, if you have rooms with ceiling fans that have a reverse switch, use that feature and have your fans run on low. Reversing the fan’s direction will push hot air down toward the ground, which will help save on the energy bill.

Check Your Roof

Snow on Roof
Photo Credit: AstridWestvang via Compfight cc

Snow and ice are one of the biggest enemies of roofs; the extra weight and the cold that batters your roof during winter will weaken the shingles or pull them right off. We recommend you take a look at your roof and look for any damaged, loose or missing shingles. If you come across any of those problems, you can do some of those repairs yourself with some assistance from your local hardware store. If you notice large sections of damage on your roof, then it’s best to call a roofer for those repairs.

In addition to checking your roof, it’s best to clean out your gutters. You don’t want water gutter debris turning into ice as this will damage your roof and your gutters over time.

Clean Outdoor Hoses, Faucets & Items

Outside Faucet
Photo Credit: rachaelvoorhees via Compfight cc

If you have a sprinkler system for your yard, now is the time to drain any water left in the lines and shut off the water going to those sprinklers. If left unchecked, you may risk having lines explode when water freezes and expands. You should also drain any outdoor faucets and garden hoses. To do this, find the shut-off value inside your home for the outdoor faucets and just open the faucets till no water runs through.

If you have a lot of items around the yard or backyard, you’ll want to store them for safe keeping. The garage is the first place most home owners go to store their items for the winter, but if you want to keep your car safe from the elements this winter, it may be good to invest in additional storage that can withstand extreme temperatures and weather. A custom steel building would keep your items safe and protected.

Get Your Snow Essentials

Women Holding Plastic Snowshovel
Photo Credit: melodramababs via Compfight cc

After your home inspection the only thing you have to ready yourself is for snow or ice that may build up on your driveway and entrance area. An old fashion snow shovel and some salt should be enough to ensure your pathways are clean and clear for your cars and guest. If you’re trying to save time and not hurt your back in the process, you can invest in a snow thrower, which will clear your driveway in no time.

We encourage our readers to share their own tips for winter readiness. Feel free to comment below!

Post written by Rainier Fuclan

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