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Bathroom Remodel

Your Annual Home Inspection – Good Home Maintenance Practices

There are two kinds of homeowners, those who take care of their homes and those who don’t. Those who don’t take care of their homes are usually homeowners that don’t make enough money and therefore can’t maintain their property. Most of the time these homeowners, would gladly do the maintenance if they had the money, but finances seem to be a bigger problem and this eliminates almost all of the home maintenance that would be required to maintain the house properly.
Even if you don’t have any extra money for home maintenance, you can still do a simple home inspection. I would recommend doing these home inspections at least every three months, and if you can’t do it every three months, try to do it at least every six months and if you’re not interested in doing it every six months, you should do it no matter what at least once a year.
Now here’s the trek to a good home inspection, make sure that you start with a good home inspection checklist. You can find them at your local libraries and even online. Most of the ones that you find for free, aren’t necessarily going to be the best ones and I haven’t found one that should have even been given away for free. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars either or even higher a home inspector to perform this task.
If you don’t know much about home maintenance, I would recommend that you purchase a good home maintenance and repair book. There are plenty of them available and you could always go to your local library or bookstore to check some of them out. I don’t really recommend buying home repair books online, unless you have previously viewed them.
So the key to a good home inspection will be to acquire a good home inspection checklist and try to inspect your home at least twice a year. It’s not a lot of work and soon you will find yourself inspecting your house on a regular basis as you’re walking through it, sitting in a comfortable chair or even when you’re doing yard work.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Home Repair and Maintenance Using Software

Owning a home can be costly – especially if the home is older and requires a large amount of repair work. Luckily, basic repairs and home maintenance can easily be performed by the home owner with just a little bit of know-how, the correct tools and some time.
It is important to recognize the difference between home repairs and maintenance. Home repairs are just that: things that need to be fixed. Leaky faucets, broken floor tiles and inoperative door locks are perfect examples of repair work. Maintenance is slightly different. It is the things we do around the home to keep everything in working order. Oiling hinges, cleaning gutters and waxing floors are all examples of maintenance.
If home maintenance is the all about routines and schedules, home repairs can, with a little bit of forethought, be about creativity and a chance to do something new with your home. For example, a shower that needs recaulking is a perfect opportunity to redesign your bathroom while broken cabinet doors can be looked at as an opportunity to redecorate the kitchen. It all comes down to money.
Designing and laying out a remodel or redecoration of a kitchen or bathroom can ensure your ‘repair’ doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Specialized software is designed to help you choose materials, styles and even help estimate costs – all helping keep you on track and on budget.
This software is easy to use and gives the user access to hundreds of paint colors, three dimensional representations of cabinets and even offers flooring options. By spending a bit of time looking at your options, you may determine that a repair can easily turn into a minor remodel, adding not just functionality and beauty to your home, but value as well.
In today’s economy, it just makes sense to do as much of your home maintenance and repair work yourself and designing a remodel is no different. Utilize design software to determine options, work out a budget and keep yourself on track. If you find a particular ‘redo’ is too costly right now, you can easily work on the changes one at a time or simply save your design for a later date. Turning a home repair into a chance to change the way your home looks and functions is an opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Always remember that the time you spend maintaining your home is time well spent. It could very well prevent a costly repair down the line. Simple repairs like a leaky faucet can be fixed in no time at all – even by the inexperienced. Larger repairs or exciting home renovations take more time and know-how, but can easily be managed by using software designed to help you plan your project out. Home repair and maintenance is an important part of home ownership and it is vital that each homeowner takes the time to take care of business and not be afraid of making changes!…

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Basement Renovations

Asthma and Allergies – Preventative Maintenance For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers

There are multiple ways you can minimize your suffering to Asthma and Allergies. They are really very simple and easy to implement. Maintenance is the answer to most problems and needs to be done on a regular basis. It is amazing how many problems I find during an Environmental Inspection that could have been prevented by the homeowner or renter. We will focus on the following areas:
1 Filtration
2 Chemicals
3 Moisture
4 Duct Work
5 Exterior
Filtration:
1. Look at your filter in place and see if air is bypassing the filter. You can tell that by dirt lines around the edges of the filter. If so, the filter is the wrong size or rated too high.
2. Check to see if the replacing filter changes the airflow of the system. It could be too high a rating.
3. Replace filter if it is affecting the airflow.
Chemicals:
1. Do not store any chemicals in your home. It is important that you properly dispose of any chemicals that have expired. Each City has a place to take expired chemicals and paints.
2. Always dispose of any chemicals that you don’t anticipate using before their expiration. Remember that chemicals slowly leak out the container via the air. A note to the consumer, once the seal is broken, it can leak into the air.
Moisture:
1. Check underneath all sinks for leaks or dripping faucets.
2. Look behind the toilets for leaking toilet or water supply lines. Is the exhaust fan exhausting properly to the outside.
3. Check the edges of the shower door around the bath/shower for any moisture or toxic mold.
4. Look at your ceiling on a regular basis for any moisture stains or visible toxic mold stains.
5. Check the attic and crawl spaces for any moisture or staining that can lead to toxic mold. Do you smell any musty odors in house?
Duct Work:
1. Check to see if any duct work is sweating with condensation on the exterior.
2. Check to see if any supply grills are sweating with condensation.
3. Check to see if any duct work is leaking.
Exterior:
1. Is there any pooling of water around the foundation? This is serious.
2. Keep the gutter system clean of leaves and debris.
3. Check gutter downspout extensions and make sure they are moving water away from the foundation.
4. After a rain storm, check for water pooling on window sills.
5. Check for cracks or any discoloration of the exterior walls. Fix cracks immediately.
If you have any questions about these matters, feel free to call us or visit our website.…

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Renovation Costs

Log Home Maintenance – How to Care for Your Log Home

Log home maintenance is different from care of a conventional home. Here are a few things to consider about staining your log home.
Like any wood sided home, a log home must be protected against the elements. How often this treatment takes place will depend on a few things.
The exposure of the home is important. A home that is out in the open, exposed to the sun and wind will need more frequent maintenance than one that is sheltered by surrounding trees and hills.
The color or pigment of the stain will make a difference. More heavily pigmented stains will last longer than lighter or clearer stains.
Finally, the quality of the previous stain job will have a lot to do with how long the stain will last. If the surface is prepared and coated properly, you will get maximum life from each stain application.
Professional log home care service begins with a visit to your home. A thorough examination of the condition of the exterior walls and any prior protective stain will determine what type of log home maintenance is needed. In some cases, the existing stain can be cleaned and renewed with additional coatings of the same or a similar product. In cases where the stain is unevenly worn, it may need to be completely removed in order to allow for a uniform coating of any new stain product.
This is also a good time to look closely at the condition of the logs themselves to be sure that the material is sound. Pay special attention to areas that water can splash onto the house as this may wear away the stain more quickly and eventually damage the integrity of the walls. Look also for discolored wall areas as this may reveal places that require additional care.
If the home has not been previously stained, the steps to protecting the new wood are as follows: Rinse the walls to remove any contaminants which may prevent good stain adhesion. Apply wood preservative, if none is pre-applied by the home manufacturer. This material can be applied by brushing or spraying. Coat the walls with the semi-transparent stain of your choice. Once again, brushing or spraying (followed by back-brushing) will work.
Fortunately, today there are many high-quality products available to preserve these homes. And these products are safe for both the applicator and the environment. Even the products used to clean the exterior walls have become far more environmentally friendly in recent years.
Log home maintenance is as unique as the home itself. Proper application of stain to repel the water and screen the sun will insure that your home is well protected for years to come.…

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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.…