News You Can Use From Leading Edge Homes
May 2014



Things are really busy here at Leading Edge Homes.  But not too busy to answer a question that was posed by a repeat client who is considering granite countertops for her new bathroom.


Guest Vanity/Vessel  

People love their granite countertops, though some now consider them too commonplace and prefer newer choices like quartz or quartzite. But there's another reason some segue from granite. They worry that it will emit radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of rocks and natural stones.


So, are granite countertops a real risk? This is a good time to learn all you can about potential risks of radon in granite, and elsewhere in your home.


Here are some frequently asked questions about radon, with answers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and experts Brian Hanson, a specialist with the National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University, and Robert Emery, DrPH, vice president of safety, health, environment, and risk management at the University of Texas, Health Science Center.

What's the key risk of radon?

It's the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in this country, claiming the lives of about 21,000 Americans a year; and, overall, it's the second leading cause of lung cancer, the EPA says.

Why is radon a possibility with granite?

Like all rocks, granite may contain naturally occurring radioactive elements like radium, uranium and thorium. Some pieces of granite contain more of these elements than others. These radioactive elements are solids, but, over time, they decay into radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, the EPA says.

Are the levels of radon in granite countertops harmful?

Because granite isn't very porous (compared to other porous stones like sandstone) and because large quantities of it aren't typically used in most single-family homes, the radon isn't likely to escape in a significant enough quantity to cause problems, says Hanson. Moreover, kitchens and bathrooms and other rooms that might contain granite are usually well ventilated, which lessens risks, he says.


Emery concurs, saying, "From published scientific literature, it seems that the amount of radon from granite countertops is minuscule. The decision whether to use it or rip it out if it's already in a house you buy really becomes a personal decision about what products you bring into your home-similar to whether to use traditional paints or those with only no or low-VOC compounds."



I hope you feel better about granite countertops now that you have a better understanding of the radon issue.  If you love granite like I do and want to use it on your next remodeling project, go for it!


Enjoy the rest of the newsletter!





Todd Perry
Leading Edge Homes, Inc.


Various Helpful Hints


Below are some interesting home related, and non-home related, hints I received recently from a cousin of mine.  As my daughter always says, sharing is caring... so here you are.





Latest Update on the Boynton Beach Addition


Since the last update, the rough electric, plumbing, and HVAC have gone in, the roof has been completed, drywall has been hung/finished/textured, interior doors and moldings are installed, the exterior has been painted, and the septic system is in place.


Next up is interior painting and installing a brick veneer on the front, exterior wall


 Stay tuned next month for more progress photos.



Did you know... ?
Doing business with an unlicensed contractor can cost you considerably more than the job is worth. To protect the public from shoddy construction and financially unstable contractors, the State of Florida places a significant responsibility on the consumer not to hire unlicensed contractors.

If you knew that the contractor is unlicensed you would be prevented from suing them for any breach of contract (contracts entered into with an unlicensed contractor are unenforceable in the state).

Hiring an unlicensed contractor, knowingly or not, would disqualify you from any potential recovery from the Florida Homeowners' Construction Recovery Fund.

An owner can be subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for hiring a contractor that he knows to be unlicensed.

If the unlicensed contractor fails to pay his subcontractors or suppliers, you may be required to pay them, even though you have already paid the contractor.

Plumbing, electrical, and heating and air conditioning work should be done only by contractors and craftsmen certified in those trades and require separate permits.

Home improvement contractors must be certified by the State of Florida as a General, Building, or Residential contractor.

Roofing contractors are required to be certified or registered by the State.

There is no such thing as a "legal" jack-of-all-trades or Handyman contractor.

If an owner hires an unlicensed contractor and the contractor or one of his employees is injured on your job site you may be held liable for these injuries. Usually unlicensed contractors do not carry liability insurance for damages to your property or worker's compensation insurance if one of their workers gets hurt on the job.
Don't risk disaster by trying to save a few bucks and hiring an unlicensed contractor.  Avoid the hassles listed above and call Leading Edge Homes, Inc., a Florida licensed Building Contractor and Roofing Contractor, at 561-795-2551 to schedule an appointment.
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In This Issue
Various Helpful Hints
Boynton Beach Addition Progress
Did you know... ?
Featured Article
Want to get some really helpful hints for around the house?  Click on the article above to discover some great ideas.
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