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Remodeling

Home Maintenance – Extend The Life Of Your Siding

All to often vegetation too close to the home is the reason for dry rot and siding damage. The sad part is this is totally avoidable and almost always happens due to either neglect, misinformation or the belief that your landscaper is taking care of it. In homes with wood siding, trim, or overhangs, this always turns up on home inspection reports.
So where do I start?
Start Simple: check to make sure that all sprinkler heads are at least 18″ from the structure and that the sprayers are pointed away from the home. Make sure that all plants are at least 6″ away from wood siding. Remember moisture is woods worst enemy and the more your siding can breath the dryer it will stay. Make sure that all of your gutters & down spouts are working correctly, effective rain water directing can make a huge difference in only a 10 year period.
Go a Step Farther: Check to see that any brick veneer has all edges caulked so no water can get behind. IVY IS BAD. if you have ivy growing on your home and it is a wood frame structure, you need to cut it down. The feelers from the ivy break through the cracks in the weak mortar of brick veneer and delivers moisture to the wood framing year round. Ivy follows the sun upwards and works its way into roof sheathing and eventually roof composition. If you have an entire brick or stone building ivy can not hurt you until it reaches the roof line, the ivy should always be kept off of the overhang.
Keep It Off The Ground! Wood siding and mudsills need to be a minimum of 6″ above grade when dirt and 2″ above grade when concrete. If you do not have this clearance then you need to dig down the soil grade to achieve this. After lowering the grade it needs to have a grade away from the home of 2″ down for 18″ out. if you don’t have this clearance on concrete, your options may be limited. the first step is to locate the hight of the mudsill. if the mudsill is 3″ off grade or more, then you can just cut the siding 2″ off the concrete and still maintain a good siding overlap. if the mud sill is lower than 3″ then the best bet is to cut the siding up 1/4″- 3/8″ off of the concrete grade with an undercut saw. clean out new gap at bottom of siding and fill with Sikaflex premium waterproof caulking.
Keep It Painted! A good coat of primer and paint every few years isn’t just to keep up with the jones’, it’s also to keep up to date the proper protections against sun and rain.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Here’s a home maintenance schedule to help you and your home get through the summer no matter the climate where you live. Check off our summer home maintenance checklist to keep track…

Keeping cool will entail some work – stay indoors with this summer home maintenance schedule:

Inspect ceiling fans making sure the blades are well balanced and rotating in the right direction for proper cool air dispersal.

Repair stuck or sticking windows and doors.

Spray lubricant or silicone to sliding window tracks to withstand the constant opening and shutting. But first apply a good degreasing cleaner to the track, let it soak awhile and scrub the track with a screwdriver wrapped in a rag.

Replace washing machine hoses if they’re cracked, bulging or a few years old. Ditto for the drier.

Change the air conditioning system filter monthly.

Have chimneys cleaned through and through.

If necessary, spray for insects in gaps and around ducts and outlets.

Lubricate locks, hinges, and latches. Test the alarm system.

Lubricate garage door rolls and guides; ventilate the garage well – you don’t want to melt equipment that can’t handle the heat.

Don’t let the heat distract you – stay on task with this outdoor summer home maintenance checklist

Repair cracks in gutters and downspouts after clearing out all debris.

Mend fissures in the exterior house siding; look for holes that pests might use to get inside.

Touch up paint or stain on the house, any fencing or other woodwork.

Check the driveway – does it require repairs or resealing?

Examine and repair caulking in windows.

Trim trees and shrubs away from home and roof.

Look closely for carpenter ant and termite infestation. Survey trees for insect holes. Treat fire ant mounds with grits or borax.

Repair or replace rotten or peeling patio and deck floorboards – don’t forget to reseal them. Smooth out sharp corners too.

Clean the barbecue and grill; ensure that valves/connections/hoses are working and in good condition.

Inspect outdoor furniture for mildew; wipe it down before entertaining.

Inspect children’s outdoor play equipment. Tighten loose bolts and cover them with plastic protectors.

Eradicate garbage can odor – spray well with water and follow up with disinfectant. Rinse well after 10 minutes and flip over to dry.

Mow the lawn weekly, but not golf-course short – the grass retains water better and soil quality is healthier.

Sadly for summer lovers it’s also time to think ahead to fall. Beat the autumn home maintenance schedule and cleaning rush: find price breaks from carpet cleaners, gutter installers, window washers and heating specialists with , your community connection!…

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Basement Renovations

Log Home Maintenance: Basics You Must Know

Log home maintenance is different from regular homes. It is not to say that it is harder but it is definitely not easier. There are just different issues concerned with log homes or log cabins than the regular concrete walls and hardwood floors in homes.
Dark patches
Dark patches are among the most common issues for logs. This happens because of molds that have grown because of rain splatter. This is easily cleaned up with water mixed with bleach solution. Brush off the molds with an old toothbrush.
Cracks
Cracks are inevitable in log homes, which is why it is important to go over the entire log house once in awhile. Cracks happen because of humidity and the changing seasons. Do not worry about this because it is a normal thing to happen to logs, without any effect on its integrity. There are different varieties of sealants that can help seal the cracks. Just make sure you ask the experts on the appropriate sealant for the log that you have. For bigger cracks there are also solutions that need to cover up the gap. A sealant will do the finishing touch.
Staining
This is not just part of maintenance but it is an important aspect in the construction of a log home. Stains protect the log cabin from disintegration. The maintenance part though is when stain is no longer working. It is just like paint that is already faded, it is no longer the color that you wanted in the first place. For stains, it may not be much of a protection anymore if the stain has already thinned out. Do not worry though because this do not happen over time. It takes a few years for stains to lose its protective touch. To know if the stain is still working, sprinkle water on the log and if the water beads up and runs down the log then it is still doing a protective job. If you have to reapply stain, make sure you clean the entire log home first with water and let it dry for a few days before applying the stain.
Check gutters regularly
In any house, gutters are important to keep water from running all over the paint of the exterior. For a log house, it is even more important to keep off water on the log because it could damage the home. Immersing log in water will cause the log to become weak. This is the same for log cabins, while they are not immersed in water, too much exposure to water may lead to eventual weakness. This is why gutters are very important in log homes, more important than in regular homes. Gutters also prevent logs from darkening. Make sure that run off water are diverted away from the log home. Also, keep gutters clean.
It is not easy to take care of a log cabin especially if this is just a vacation house rather than your regular home. This means that you have to visit the cabin even if you are not yet on vacation. Log home maintenance is the price one has to pay for having such a nice-looking home.…

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Basement Remodeling

Property Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance of your property will save you money in the long term and get you a better rent in the short term.

Here are some tips to remember.

Tools for the job

A bad workman blames his tools – a good workman knows how to use them.

You need a comprehensive range of tools so that you are not left empty handed when crunch time arrives.

So what does a good toolkit contain?

A good range of screw drivers of course.

Spanners, hammers and pliers.

Wire stripping pliers, wrench and a large supply of insulation and duck tape.

You’ll also need a handy supply of light bulbs (keep them dry and warm). Washers always come in useful and are a cheap and quick way to please an unhappy tenant with a leaking tap.

Sink unblockers, grout fillers and a collection of different sized screws and wall plugs.

A ladder is always necessary – a solid one if you need to reach the top of a house, (don’t stint here – it’s not worth it), a step ladder will generally suffice in an apartment.

Floors

Look after your floors well – they get the most abuse from inhabitants.

Often with floors prevention is the best solution and saves work and money in the long run.

Doormats are useful at each entrance to prevent excessive dirt getting in and asking people to take their shoes off before entering is not the worst idea in the world. It’s not always practical but it is effective.

Clean floors regularly, at least once a week. Sweep hard floors and clean them monthly with a specialist cleaner that won’t make them slippery. Vacuum carpets regularly and keep a good carpet stain remover handy – treat stains immediately. Carpets should be steam cleaned once a year – phone around for quotes and get the pros in to do it for you. The longer a stain stays in your carpet, the harder it will be to clean. Remember these words as you stare at that two year old red wine stain on your carpet.

Walls

Look, as cute as your kid’s scribbles on the wall may appear to you it will not appear so to the next tenant. And even though those holes in the wall may appeal to your industrial-chic style it’s not everyone’s taste.

Never forget it’s the walls that hold up your apartment or house. So look after them.

Don’t worry too much about surface cracks in the plaster or damage to the wallpaper or paint. These can easily be repaired with new decorations. The thing to really look out for it more intrusive damage to the wall, cracks and damp.

Widening cracks should be looked at by an expert as soon as possible. The earlier you deal with it, the easier and cheaper it will be to fix.

Rising damp or dry rot is also best treated quickly. Pay particular attention to the walls in your bathroom. You want to ensure that moisture and condensation isn’t settling into the walls causing damage.

Windows

Clean windows regularly and wipe down any condensation. Paint wooden windows at least once every three years to prevent weather damage.

Plumbing

Don’t put up with dripping taps, this wastes water and is easy to fix. Check pipes and taps regularly and deal with problems as they arise. If you have bought a house with inferior plumbing, consider getting it replaced before it bursts and damages your home.

Electrical

Basic maintenance like replacing plugs you can do yourself – just remember to switch off the supply when needed. For anything else, including replacing faulty switches, consider getting someone in. Any electrical installations or major work should be done by a qualified electrician.…

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Room Additions

Nine Basic Home Maintenance Tips Guide

Caring for your home is part of the pride and joy of home ownership. Taking good care of your home helps preserve and even escalates the home’s value. However, for most people, home maintenance is a pain in the neck since it needs more time and effort. Nevertheless, keeping your home in tip top shape is necessary to protect your biggest investment and so home maintenance is not an option, but a necessity. It is important that you have an idea on how to make basic repairs and maintenance to your home’s systems and fixtures.
Following is a guide on how to manage the basic home maintenance tasks in your home:
1. Make sure that you know where the control points are. Find out where the main plumbing valves are and the electrical breakers. If you do not have the blueprint of your home, you can hire a professional to identify all of the necessary controls for you. This is an investment that can surely benefit you later on.
2. Ensure that your home is safe by checking on your smoke detectors every now and then. If you find there is something wrong with the detectors, have them checked right away by an electrician. Keep fire extinguishers near the kitchen and bedrooms and make sure that everybody is aware of where they are and knows how to use them. If your home was built before 1978, you may hire a certified hazardous materials inspector to check your home for lead-based paint, asbestos, mildew and molds. For more information about this, check out the Department of Health and Human Services in your area.
3. Do a regular inspection of your home. Be alert on problems such as water in the wrong place or uneven power flows.
4. Find out and understand the life expectancy of the components of your home. Nothing lasts forever, and this holds true to the appliances and gadgets you have in your home. Your fridge has a twelve to fifteen useful life; water heater has ten to twelve years. Your roof should last for twenty years. The carpets probably need to be replaced after eight years and your paint three to four years. The plumbing may last for twenty-five years, and your electrical wiring is safe for fifteen or twenty years and the furnace will remain efficient for twenty years at most.
5. Purchase a home warranty policy. This will help you maintain and monitor your home. The insurance company will do an inspection and provide service for all your major appliances regularly and will charge you only a minimal additional fee for repairs. This is especially important if your home is older.
6. Keep a toolbox to do small repairs by yourself. Make sure you have the correct and complete materials in the kit such as: flat-head and philips-head screwdrivers, lightweight claw hammer, pliers, small hand saw, wire cutters, twine, duct tape, wood glue caulk, stud-finder, electrical outlet tester and a 3-foot straight-edge ruler.
7. You may enroll in a workshop in your local hardware of home depot store to gain some basic skills. The lessons will help you learn how to replace damaged window screens, tighten screws, stop running toilet, replace tile grout, clean the gutters, shut off the main plumbing valve if there is a leak and switch the right breaker in case of power problem.
8. Do not hesitate to call on the professionals if the need arises. Electricians and plumbers contractors are licensed for a reason. They do dangerous and difficult work. Never attempt to work on your furnace or clear out a backed-up plumbing nor re-wire a circuit by yourself. Call these qualified professionals to do the work for you. Look for contractors and handyman services and have their names and contact numbers affixed to the fridge in case of an emergency.
9. Reserve a fund for home maintenance costs. This is necessary when the time comes to replace the roof and major home appliances or if there are immediate major repairs to be done.
Your home is your biggest personal asset; therefore you should ensure that you give it your most tender loving care.…

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Renovation Contractor

Basic Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance is an inevitable part of real estate property ownership so be sure that you do everything to care for it.
Disasters and emergencies can occur anytime, therefore, planning ahead and being prepared can make a big difference. Being ready whether you are facing a problem this time or not can save you time and money and may even keep you away from disaster. Make sure that your home stays comfortable and safe for your family.
It is always important to get familiar with preventative maintenance for your every day household needs, like electricity and plumbing.
You could spend few minutes of your time to do preventative maintenance but it can certainly keep your family safe from any disaster and can trim down costly repairs in the future. This can also help you avoid repairs and can lessen energy consumption.
Toilet repairs are often easy because they are usually quite urgent. To check if your toilet is leaking, you can pour a small amount of red food coloring to the tank, and check it again later. If the water turned red, you may need to change some tank parts. Another problem that requires repair is a toilet that runs. Once water runs continuously from the tank into the bowl, it makes a hissing sound that wastes lots of gallons of water each day. This can be caused by variety of problems.
If you doubt about you house wiring, get a qualified electrician for a complete inspection and to check if your house wiring needs replacing. It is essential that when dealing with electrical issues, safety must be your top priority.
For your exterior, Roofing should be inspected for damage and tree branches must not touch your roof surface. Gutters should also be checked if there is any leakage or blockage.
Walls are also needed to be checked if there are any cracks and deterioration.
Keep in mind that every item marked as safety issues or priorities on your home inspection report require immediate attention.…

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Renovation Costs

Log Home Maintenance 101

Log home maintenance is very important if you want your log home to last a long time, whether you live full-time in your home or only use it for holidays and vacations.
These homes have a certain charm. They exude warmth, coziness, and laid-back comfort. They inspire a sort of lingering, as if living there somehow calms people down. To preserve its charm, it is imperative that a cabin be given the proper attention and care.
It is best to be organized when it comes to log maintenance. Keeping a schedule will allow you to maximize the care of your home, especially since it is subject to the changes of the seasons, as well as varying weather patterns throughout the year. Regularly checking your log home also allows you to keep track of its state and address problems without too much time passing by.
You can hire a professional to oversee the maintenance of your log home or you can do it yourself. Maybe in the first year or so, you can ask for assistance from a professional, if you do not feel confident about doing it by yourself. A professional company can provide services that include cleaning, and sealing, caulking, sanding, and staining. A professional can help you check for any rotting in the logs, and how to repair it. They can check if there are gaps between the wood and your windows or doors, and they can check your gutters as well. Since wood deteriorates faster under heavy exposure to water, you need to make sure that your gutters are clean and clear. You also need to make sure there are no leaks.
Professional companies can assist you with all these things. They can give you tips on what you can do yourself. You just need to find a log maintenance and repair company you can trust. You can research on which companies are reliable and dependable, most of them have websites filled with information. You can also check out blogs by other log cabin owners. If you can join a network of home owners, you can trade ideas, insights, concerns, and recommendations. The best way to find out if a company does its job well is to see proof of it. Other log home owners can help you with that. These networks are great sources of information. You can find tips, reviews, warnings and referrals among the users.
Log home repair and maintenance companies usually offer an assessment and consultation, during which they can tell you about the state your log home is in, and what repairs and maintenance measures are needed. Ask them about alternatives and options, in case your budget is a concern. Negotiate the price. If you cannot afford the full service they are offering, maybe they can tell you which repairs are most pressing and requires their services and which ones you can do yourself.
Log maintenance is hard work but it is essential. You will not regret the time, effort and resources you put into maintaining your log home.…