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Keeping Home Repair Supplies in Order

Keeping Home Repair Supplies in Order

As any homeowner knows, keeping supplies in order can be daunting when there are so many things that are needed to fix a home. Whether you looking for a way to contain nails and screws or store caulk and glue, it is important to have a system that allows you to put everything in its place. Not only does this help keep your work room or basement looking neater, but it also saves money, because you know what supplies you have and which ones you need to buy.

Try the ideas below for keeping your home repair supplies in order.

Sort It

Before you start purchasing containers and trying to figure out where you are going to put everything, take the time to sort the items you have. Group like things together and pitch any empty containers or broken items, Everything from picture hangers to screwdrivers to extension cords should be separated and sorted.

Contain It

The next step is to find a way to contain everything. Look at the size and shape of each group of items to get an idea for the type of container you may need. You can also re-use items like margarine tubs or food jars to store smaller items like nails and screws. This is a great way to be environmentally aware as well as organized. Other types of containers that work well are handled shower caddies to store caulk or cans of wall patching and small square plastic buckets to hold different types of tape. If you have a pegboard, or can easily install one, they are ideal for hanging items like extension cords, paintbrushes and screwdrivers. They allow you to keep all your items organized on one wall, with possibly a shelf underneath, and have easy access to all your supplies. Do not be afraid to think outside the box and use containers that are intended for other purposes if they will work for your supplies. Craft stores, home improvement shops and even thrift stores usually have a wide range of containers that can help you get organized.

Label It

After you have found a spot for each item, label that spot with what belongs there. For example, label the hook where the extension cords hang so that everyone in the family knows that is where the cords go after use. Labels do not have to be fancy, but they should adhere well to the surface. Dollar stores often have blank printer labels that can be used for labeling items for a fraction of the cost of expensive label makers. Use whatever type of labeling system is going to work best for your needs.

Keeping your home repair supplies in order will give you peace of mind should you need them in a hurry. No longer will you have to hunt around for just the right screwdriver or search for the hammer, because everything will be in its place.…

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Have You Prepared Your Snow Garage?

Have You Prepared Your Snow Garage?

Those of us who live in the far north of our country have learned a long time ago not to fight the precipitation that we know will come. We expect it as the winter months come toward us and we just look at it as a different, if not more challenging way to live. Snow looks great when you can gaze at it out of the window, huddled around a nice warm fire and it does help to make the holiday time more authentic experience as well. We quickly learn that you need to take time to prepare for the arrival of the cold and convert the area that you store your car into a snow garage.

Our way of life in northern climes is an integral part of the weather that we experience during the winter. Our snow garage needs to be prepared for the onslaught and we must continue to function with as little disruption as possible. Don’t store anything on the floor level and relegate everything to the loft or high shelves. Your next step will be to get absorbent mats to put on the floors.

Your snow garage is basically a halfway house between the frigid outdoors and the welcoming inside. You will undoubtedly be able to close the garage door to keep the worst of the frigid weather outside, but understand that there is very little you can do to stop a lot of the snow from finding its way inside this room. This is why you need absorbent mats to capture and retain all of the melting snow before it gets out of control.

When you get ready for the winter season there is quite a lot to do. While this ritual is time-consuming and can be costly, we must take it in stride. Getting snow shovels together with snowblowers available to get rid of the excess layers that form ensures we can get in and out. Ideally it’s best to have a four-wheel drive vehicle as well, or certainly to make sure that you have winter tires, up to the job. The snow garage is the place to keep all these utensils as you position yourself between winter wonderland and safety and warmth.

Absorbent mats will indeed take care of all those solid clumps of snow that fall from beneath your vehicle. As the temperature in this room is slightly warmer than the outside, the snow will melt over time. Without these mats in place, though, just imagine the mess that would accumulate very quickly. With the mats in place, the liquid will simply evaporate.

It does not snow every day of the winter season, except, perhaps if you live in the really far north! When the snow clears, all that precipitation will evaporate from the retaining absorbent mats and you can then simply vacuum them when they are dry to get rid of debris.

The snow garage can be converted back to regular use when the season passes, but absorbent mats are equally as important during the summer. Heavy storms can bring a lot of water in when you return from a drive and during the summer you will also have to guard against potential buildup of nasty mildew and mold.

It looks like we’re in for a long, cold and snowy winter. If you have not done so already, now is the time to convert your way of thinking and to fit your snow garage with those absorbent mats.…

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Should I Hire the Cheapest Contractor? – Pay Attention All Homeowners

Should I Hire the Cheapest Contractor? – Pay Attention All Homeowners

When you go to the grocery store and you’re looking at bananas, you can buy the cheapest bananas and usually get away with it. If you see bananas at one store for $.49 a pound and go to another store in their $.89 a pound, and they don’t look any different. I would buy the cheaper bananas.

In the construction business, it’s completely different. If you’re going to hire a contractor, you had better pay attention to what I’m about to say and try not to ever forget it. You usually get, what you pay for and in the construction business, that is usually what you will get.

I personally have never hired the cheapest contractor and I never will. As a building contractor, home builder, homeowner and anyone else involved in fixing and repairing homes, I can guarantee you one thing, that you will always be able to find someone cheaper.

If you’re truly looking for the cheapest contractor, here’s a great tip for you. Just keep calling on the phone and wasting the contractor’s time as you bring them out to look at your project by the hundreds. Even during good times, you can find someone to do the job cheaper.

I do not recommend hiring the cheapest contractor but I do recommend hiring the most competent contractor who has given you the fairest price. The only way that you will know what a fair price is going to be, is to get at least three bids from experienced contractors.

Never higher the cheapest contractor, if you’re not comfortable with the other contractors who have bit the job, call a few more. Make sure that you’re comfortable doing business with who ever you choose to hire.…

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The Damage of Being a Good Husband – Home Repairs

The Damage of Being a Good Husband – Home Repairs

I don’t know how many homes I’ve visited throughout my three decades in the construction business, but at least two or three times a year, I run into home repair problems created by the husband. Every one of these husbands were trying to fix something on their Honey Do List, but the project didn’t work out the way they had envisioned it.

I like to call this the damage of being a good husband. They purchased all of the tools and have all of the building materials, but really don’t know what to do. Some of them go as far as purchasing a few books, but still don’t understand what they’re looking at.

One of the funniest things that ever happened to me as a contractor, was the time a woman called me to ask a few questions about a siding home repair. I walked her through most of the home repair, before realizing that I had spent over an hour talking to her on the phone. I told her that I needed to get back to my job and wished her the best of luck. She sent me $25 in the mail, I couldn’t believe it.

Another time, the husband said that he would pay anything, just fix it and don’t tell my wife. It wasn’t an emergency, so I went over to the home, where the homeowner had all of the building materials waiting and made the repairs. The husband was too afraid to even start on the project, yet told his wife that it would be done the next day, and it was. That was our little secret forever, unless she’s reading this article and can figure it out.

I hate to see people dealing with problems, but I understand their motivation to make the repairs. They want to save a few dollars, learn something about home remodeling or even tell all their friends what they did. For all those husbands out there attempting to do the home repairs, I salute you and wish you nothing but the best of luck.

However, don’t forget that you can always contact a local contractor, if the home repair looks difficult.…

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Conservatories: Interested In Having One Built For You?

Conservatories: Interested In Having One Built For You?

Are you currently looking for a qualified company to build you a conservatory for your home? Do you know what to look for in a building company before making this very important decision? Building a conservatory is a big job and requires experienced tradesmen who can give your conservatory the exact look you desire, while still following the building codes in terms of safety and durability. Here we will take a look at conservatory construction, including the many options available for these structures.

Historians are quick to note that both the style and function of conservatories, especially as it relates to some of those built in 18th century Europe, has changed dramatically-and not necessarily for the better. What started as a sort of greenhouse to help protect plants during the colder winter months, gradually evolved into a grand structure, a type of sunroom linking the house to the garden. Hosts would often entertain guests in the conservatory, hosting garden parties and treating them to lavish suppers. Conservatories of yesteryear were often beautifully designed with a combination of translucent and stained glass, beautiful stone pillars and hand-carved edifices.

While a conservatory is still considered a “grand meeting place” in many parts of the world, the modern conservatory is used for a variety of other purposes as well. Some enjoy the room as a family room or sunroom, while others take advantage of the natural light and set up office here. Modern technologies and techniques used in building these breathtaking structures have improved so dramatically that the conservatory can literally be used for any purpose “under the sun.”

When looking to hire a builder for your conservatory there are many things you’ll want to consider. For example, does the company have highly trained craftsmen on staff? A conservatory is (and should always be) more than just an adjunct building. A conservatory requires a combination of construction mastery and the fine touch of an artisan. Does the company have a portfolio? Before you hire just any builder for your conservatory project, ask to see their portfolio so you get some idea regarding their previous work.

Whatever your reasons for adding a conservatory to your home-whether it’s for entertaining, relaxing with the family or toiling in the office-you’ll want to pick a company that has a proven track record for success. Conservatory construction companies can be found online and in most local directories.…

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Home Repair Grants – Knowing The Specifications

Home Repair Grants – Knowing The Specifications

People who have little financial capability are awarded with home repair grants, they’ve been blessed. This is because these grants are totally free income to fix their houses with. Yes, they don’t have to pay for it! And you may get it too!

If you are experiencing struggles with earning income, and your house needs necessary repairs, applying for repairing grants could possibly be your last resort. These grants are provided by the government to American residents, who aren’t financially capable of obtaining the resources to do the job.

A yearly budget is set for home repair grants so understanding when the beginning of the funding year will probably be advantageous for applicants. Also, the spending budget is limited, so the authority observes an initial come primary serve policy. So applying early with the utmost qualification will improve your chance of approval.

What are the requirements as a way to qualify for home repair grants? First off, you should be the owner and occupant of the house you need to fix. The government also sorts out who among the applicants need the grant the most. Senior citizens and disabled residents will be the applicants who are priority on the government. Should you don’t belong to this group, it is possible to still apply for grants; even so you may well be at the last of the list.

There are various places where one can look for authorities. If your home is a victim of a natural disaster, the initial agency to think about may be the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Verify their web site for important information regarding specific qualifications or you can look to the local FEMA office and discover what grants are available for you. Another government sector that distributes these grants is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They give out particular grants for senior citizens, disabled persons and needy families.

A great deal of patience is vital when applying for home repair grants as you may not get approved to begin with. Less expensive try again and seem for other accessible home repair grants.…

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Since When is Staying Current on Your Mortgage Not Enough?

Since When is Staying Current on Your Mortgage Not Enough?

Recently, a prominent business magazine published an article about a young woman who bought a home with an FHA loan and made the required 3.5% down payment. This article is one of the most biased and devoid of facts that I have seen in a long time. It briefly describes the process for obtaining an FHA loan and then transitions into attacking a woman using the loan, as well as her family.

The article seems content to continually make unsubstantiated claims with no regard to actual fact. By the brief mention of actual details, it appears as though this woman took out an FHA 203(k) loan. This type of loan allows for the homeowner to obtain money above and beyond the purchase price so that one can make necessary repairs/upgrades to their home. In the case of this woman, when she bought the home, it was “just a ‘box’ with no kitchen or bathroom.”

This loan has allowed her to put both a kitchen and bathroom in place and significantly increase her home’s value. The author has a problem with her saying that her home has increased by $100,000 in value by making the improvements. He calls it “mark-to-imagination valuation” and also says “she doesn’t give any indication about how she arrived at the conclusion that she has made a $100,000 gain in just a month.” Well, apparently the author did not do the research on loan program which he was so eager to criticize. When the appraisal is done for a FHA 203(k) loan, the FHA appraiser gives a value for the current value of the home (which is not the same as the purchase price) and then also a value for what the home will be once the repairs are completed. Additionally, the purchase price of this particular home, having previously been a foreclosed property, was likely less than its actual market value to begin with.

After making some brief claims about the FHA loan program, which were buried under all of the slander, the author then goes on to attack her father. The author recounts a story told by the woman that her father first bought a home and then began acquiring nicer things. The author makes it clear that he thinks the father was not paying for these items, but rather ‘using their home as an ATM.’ Making unsubstantiated claims about someone the author has actually spoken to is objectionable, but making these claims about an unknown family member of a person they interviewed is abhorrent. It is saddening that people like this have a following and are able to influence people’s opinions.

This woman’s decisions are not the business of other people until and unless she begins to affect other people’s lives. Since she has remained current on her mortgage, she is stimulating the economy, not diminishing it. Hopefully, she will continue to invest in the real estate market, stay committed to the responsibility and enjoy the privilege of home ownership.…

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Build Your Own Shutters

Build Your Own Shutters

It’s easy to build your own window shutters if you want a rustic look for your house. Not too long ago I was looking to build shutters for my home and was trying to figure out what materials to use. At the same time I also had a fence in my backyard that was older and wooden and needed to be replaced. The idea came to me after reading something online how about using the old wood from the wooden fence to create and build shutters for my home. It was just as simple as that.

So if you have some old wooden fencing or you have access to some old wood boards maybe from an old barn, take a look at the material and see if it’s in good enough shape to use for your wooden shutters. It might be that a lot of the wood needs to be replaced or not used, but you can use the wood that’s still in pretty good shape. Of course it may need to be repainted and nails and screws taken out, but all those flaws will give your wooden shutters a rustic look. I even have a good friend of mine who treats the wood with stain and marks them up with different tools to make them appear old.

So after you have your building materials for your shutters, it would be wise to find some plans either online or at the library to follow in order to build your shutters. What I did was just lay three or four boards down on a flat surface and nail a board behind them to keep them straight and in-line. So if you’re boards aren’t too wide you could just do the very same thing. Put three boards on the ground and nail or screw a backboard on the backside. Of course you’ll want to have a board that is both at the top and at the bottom and possibly in the middle in order to support the shutters.

Finally, after your shutters are built you’ll need to figure out how to place them onto your home and around your windows. You will need some screws and some hinges in order to attach them to your home. They hinges all of the necessary if you plan to open and shut the shutters. My recommendation is that if you are going to build shutters you might as well build shutters that are functional and now opening close as you need them. Of course this only applies to certain areas where the weather can be harsh or severe.…

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Home Repair Help With Exterior Water Problems

Home Repair Help With Exterior Water Problems

Maintaining a home can sometimes be a arduous task and any home repair help we can get will help to simplify an otherwise potentially difficult problem. With all the resources available these days, large home centers and the Internet, most of the time we just need a little technical direction and the right tools to help us with our home repair needs such as bathroom repairs, floor repairs, doors, windows, etc.

Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping a place as worry free as possible and protecting our home and investment while saving money at the same time. There are a few simple things that we can do to keep small problems from turning into larger ones. From exterior water drainage to bathrooms and drywall repair, a little observation and techniques can save us much in the long run.

In general, water is a structure’s biggest enemy, inside and out, and will be yours too if steps are not taken to see that it is dealt with properly. Most homes have had the exterior drainage established at the time of construction, but over the years things get in the way or breakdown such as trees, gutters, roofing and even ground sloping changes as dirt and leaves fill in drainages and pile against the house.

The best time to see what is happening with water flow around the house is while it is raining, preferably in a fairly hard rain, yes, that means put on some rain gear and stand under a eave of the house where you think you may have problems, actually go all the way around the house while you are at it, watch what it is doing and you will be amazed at how accurate a picture you will have of what the water is doing and where it is going and then, where it needs to go.

Be sure to look up at the gutters if you have them, by observing them you may see that they are too low or sagging and the water is running over the top of them, they also may be filled with debris and are overflowing. Is water coming out of the downspouts? They may be plugged. Maybe there are no gutters where there should be, especially on the uphill side of the house where the water needs to get around the sides of the house and on downhill and away. Installing gutters there will help remove excess ground water and minimize intrusion into the crawl space.

As far as debris or dirt against the house, there should always be at least 6 inch minimum clearance of foundation showing from ground level to the bottom edge of the main wall or house siding, whatever that may be. Not only does this help in moisture possibly migrating into the lower wall, it will help with insect infestation also. Be sure that the ground is slopped away from the house and if you do not have a real obvious slope, just remember, you can check it out in the rain the next time a good storm comes through.…