Outdoor Holiday Light Removal and Roof Inspection Go Hand in Hand

Outdoor Holiday Light Removal and Roof Inspection Go Hand in Hand

January, the month when Americans typically prepare to take down all those outdoor Christmas lights they so painstakingly hung right after Thanksgiving, is the perfect time to be giving their roof a good look over. After all, with the ladder already out and having already risked head and limb to get up there, the situation is ripe for inspecting any roofing issues that might be arising.

One thing is for certain, you don’t want to wait until heavy snows and thick pileups of ice are leading to major leakages. By then the damage is already done. Indeed, a self-inspection of your roof can help you avoid stained ceilings, waterlogged paneling, warped and peeling drywall and a whole host of other home interior nightmares. But now that you’re up there, what exactly should you be looking for?

Here are some tips from a reputable roofing contractor:

Give your roof a thorough visual inspection. You should specifically be looking for external damage to your roof like obvious holes, cracks or missing shingles.

Be attentive for signs of internal roofing problems as well. While you’re putting all those lights and decorations away, scan the area where the ceiling meets the top of the wall in your attic or upstairs for visual indications of water leakage or staining.

Check to see if any of your trees are growing too close to the roof. If so, consider having them trimmed or taken down.

Examine your roof vents. Sleet and hail are particular foes of these roofing components that provide ventilation when the wind blows. According to QueryCat, roof vents “allow air to flow both in and out of the house plumbing system, helping water to flow through the pipes. Working in combination with the vapor traps, gases from the sewer system are vented safely through the roof.”

Do you have a satellite television receiver or antennae mounted to your roof? If so, pay careful attention to the area in which is it situated for possible roofing damage.

Assess the placement of your roofing shingles. Are they lined up properly or do they appear to be slipping?

Have you recently had new gutters and/or leaf guards installed? If they haven’t been installed correctly, your shingles will point that problem out to you. Watch for physical imperfections to your roofing shingles as well as water damage. These issues provide obvious clues to a problem.

What kind of shape is your plumbing boot in? Home repair expert Bob Vila suggests stepping inside your attic to conduct this inspection. “Check around all the vents and plumbing pipes and look for signs of daylight. This would suggest deterioration in the plumbing boot or flashing on the roof above, which could lead to a leak. All the pipes should be checked for moisture, and the valleys where two roofs meet should be inspected as well.”

Taking down your outdoor holiday lights may be an annual task you dread, but now you have some extra incentive to get it done. Couple it with an annual roof inspection, and you could save yourself thousands of dollars in potential home damage repair.…

Guidelines to Hire a Contractor

Guidelines to Hire a Contractor

Home improvement serves as a task itself, however, the contractor/contractors involved can turn a simple task into a large sum of woeful worries. Hiring a contractor may seem like a minuscule feat, but such a myriad of things can go so wrong, so fast.

Marketing referral websites are companies formed to make money, similar to any advertising magazines received in the mail. The only difference is that they air it on popular devices such as television, for the general public to view, and be unduly influenced. In my opinion and personal experience as a client, I have seen disreputable companies represented as credible by marketing engines. As a general contractor myself, I would personally recommend to use these guidelines when hiring a contractor.

1. Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured.

2. Whether you are getting a permit for the job or not, tell them that you are, in order to see the reaction, and if you are told it will only influence the price, it is a good sign, but if he begins to say things such as “It’s a small job”, “You don’t need one”, or “I’ve done so many jobs without permits”, etc. you should be cautious. (In my opinion, sometimes it is okay to do the job without a permit, in order to prolong the job.

The only way to do this though, is if you trust your contractor, and he is using the right materials, guidelines, and knows what he’s doing.

3. If possible, it is recommended to ask to see other work that the contractor has done. Ask about warranties.

4. Inquire to see works in progress, and use this advantage to see the crew.

5. Try to use contractors that people you know have used. This way, you can see work that they have previously done, and can get honest opinions of the contractor and his work, instead of playing guessing games, and reading online reviews that could be fraudulent and misleading.

6. Once the job has been completed, don’t be afraid to openly share your opinions of the contractor. Prove unreal reviews to be false, and alert anyone you know seeking to improve their home, of the contractor and whether they are credible or not. Also, try to file “Rip-off Reports” which allow other people to know/see the true work/reviews of the business. Many disreputable businesses use marketing tools to heavily advertise, and receive jobs, which is how they make their income. Filing reports against them helps to get the word out about their downfalls, and whether or not they are a company worth hiring.

7. Make sure to make a contract with the contractor you have selected to hire, but remember to make sure that everything you are looking for is included in the contract. Remember that having the contract does not insure that your contractor will respect the contract. Make sure the payments specified in the contract keep you comfortable throughout the whole process.

Good Luck!…

Mobile Home Weatherization – Underbelly

Mobile Home Weatherization – Underbelly

By weatherizing your mobile home, you have the largest opportunity to save on heating and cooling bills by addressing the underbelly of the home. Due to the factory construction process by which they are built, they have a large open cavity between the bottom board insulation and the underside of the sub-floor. This cavity is referred to as the “underbelly”. Some homes have larger than others ‘underbellys’. Typically when you are performing air sealing measures on the home, you will get the greatest reduction of air infiltration by filling the void that is the underbelly. There is little to no insulation directly behind the rim joist, which gives the home a broken thermal envelope. Blowing insulation into the underbelly will not only give the home a true thermal boundary but drastically reduce air infiltration by closing the void. This is done by using an insulation blowing machine coupled with approx 100′ of hose. Most big box stores offer rentals of the machines. Blown fiberglass insulation is to be used instead of cellulose. Fiberglass is naturally water repellant which makes it a much better choice by comparison.

Patchwork – The first thing to address before insulating the underbelly is any tears or holes that the bottom board might have. If these are not fixed then there is nothing to hold the insulation up. The most cost-effective way to accomplish this is by using a “Tyvek or Typar” house wrap as your closing material. You can staple this up to the existing material or you can use screws and washers aimed at the bottom of the floor joists. For smaller holes or for sealing up the patches, two-part spray foam insulation works well.

Blowing Insulation in the Center of the Mobile Home – The key to blowing insulation is knowing where to put the material. Mobile homes were designed to have the plumbing lines run through the floor near the heat duct so as not to freeze in winter months. The center of the home, where plumbing lines exist have to be blown with a low density. Do not over-insulate, otherwise the heat from the heat duct cannot get to the pipes, and they will freeze most definitely. You want to install the insulation to where you are filling the cavity but the material still has some fluff or buoncy to it.

Blowing Insulation at the Perimeter – Blowing insulation around the house, including the ends only if they do not have plumbing near, is where you get the most bang for your buck. The perimeter is defined as the outside of the I-Beam sections. Again watch out for plumbing, there is usually a couple of these sections that have plumbing. Blow the insulation to a maximum density, filling the void completely and packing the material in. This is where you stop the air infiltration and radiant heat loss/gain from the bare rim joist. Treat the ends of the center the same, if there is no plumbing.

Entrance Point – Gaining access to the cavities can be done one of two ways. Removing skirting or siding on the exterior and drilling holes through the rim joist is an option. An aluminum pole attached to the insulation blowing hose is typically used to enter the cavity. The other is crawling under the home and cutting holes in the bottom board, inserting the hose directly and patching holes when complete. The both have their pros and cons.

By keeping these ideas in mind, you can easily and confidently weatherize your mobile home’s underbelly.…

Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut – Invest in a New Driveway

Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut – Invest in a New Driveway

The driveway of your house is one of the first things that you or anyone else visiting your home sees. There’s no way of hiding it, and there is no way of getting around the fact that if it is in a state of disrepair, it will make the rest of your property look uncared for and untidy.

One reason that many people end up with aging driveways with cracks and potholes in them is that it seems to be a massive and expensive job to put right. That’s why you should always shop around to find the best deal when you are looking to have work carried out on your driveway. Weigh up all the different options and then make a decision based on your particular wants and needs. Whether you are considering tarmac or a paved driveway, you are sure to improve the look of your property immeasurably.

If you’re not personally bothered about the state of your driveway but are looking to sell your property then it makes sense to have it re-laid before putting the house on the market. Potential buyers could be put off buying your home straight away if they take one look at it and see a messy and cracking driveway. It suggests the rest of the house may also be in a state of disrepair, and who wants to buy a home off someone who has not looked after it.

Whatever type of home repair you are looking into, it is always important to make sure that you look around different companies to make sure you are getting the best deal out there and not spending more money than you need to. You can now find companies online that are dedicated to finding quotes for driveways, helping you to get the very best deals available in your local area. Home improvement price comparison websites make sure that you are only put in touch with reliable and reputable companies that you can trust to get the job done for a fair price.

It’s possible to get quotes for everything from new kitchens to double glazing, so when you have a home improvement project on the cards then make sure you look on the internet to find you perfect partner.…

Cool Garage Ideas For Your Next Project

Cool Garage Ideas For Your Next Project

The garage is an excellent opportunity for personal expression. Nothing says more about a garage owner than the levels of functionality and organization present in a garage, which contribute to the most enjoyable and regular visits to the garage. Vehicle maintenance may not be the most fun hobby for everyone, but for those who care about their vehicles, an organization theme centered on vehicle maintenance is often the most popular.

The automobile maintenance area is not only the center of attention, but also creates a real parking issue. Even if the vehicle is not meant to be the center of attention, there’s no doubt that some large piece of equipment will take its place, which must be moved around on a regular basis. Other vehicles, such as motorcycles, may also require there own “homes” and permanent areas of work or repair.

The floor itself does require special attention, and sealed or waxed floors are the most effective display areas. The most flashy garage displays feature checkered floors, or brightly colored, sealed floors which reflect the needs and functions for daily use of the garage and its resident vehicles. Adding a series of bins and cabinets, matching the floor, will take a garage from storage area to show-room in no time.

Cabinets and shelves need not be purchased at a premium, as they can easily be built out of cheaper materials. Still, there’s no replacement for bins and cabinets which match, allowing tools to be placed according to function, rather than stuffing them into the nook of least harm. Often, the placement of tools and work areas does more for the look and feel of a garage than any cool garage ideas.

Vehicle enthusiasts may not prefer the idea of “decorating” a garage, but there is a lot to be said for visual consistency. One or two bright colors for the floors and cabinets will set off any car or truck, and will encourage others to keep the garage area clean. cool garage ideas are certainly not limited to a paint job, but this is a great start.

Often, the level of functionality determines which ideas are the coolest. Few homeowners are able to maintain a perfectly clean garage, and those who do realize that space remains at a premium, especially if multiple family vehicles are kept in the garage. Dividers, painted lines, and sealed surfaces are the secret to creating unique “homes” for vehicles, items belonging to different family members, and separate work spaces.

The shape of the garage will influence the location of larger pieces of equipment. Moving vehicles may take up the most space, but lawn equipment, drills, and carpentry tools take up a significant amount of space as well. This space should not only be used for storage, but should function as a work area, too. Mobile cabinets often serve as dividers between areas, and can serve multiple functions for multiple tasks and vehicles.

The final touch is always something “extra.” Flower arrangements may be out of the question, but trophies, possessions, prizes, and posters will make vehicle maintenance more interesting and fun. Proudly display rebuilt engines or works in progress, leaving plenty of room for work and functionality. Large power tools may occupy a space of central attention, so long as they do not impede the movement of vehicles.…

Selling a Problem Home in Need of Repair

Selling a Problem Home in Need of Repair

While we would all like our homes to be in perfect condition, this is often far from the truth. For most owners wishing to sell their home, it is common that a lick of paint or some low level DIY be required, but an unfortunate few may have bigger issues with their property, possibly structural, which can potentially cost the seller thousands to repairs in order to bring the property up to a saleable standard.

A common situation is for the property owner to have inherited a property, which may not be in a saleable condition.

In a buyers market such as this, there will likely be fewer prepared to take on a property in need of repair. In a sellers market, there will be more on the lookout for a bargain property, one which they can buy, makeover, and sell for a profit (known as ‘flipping’). In a buyers market, there will be less willing to take the risk of buying one of these properties and may rather buy a property in pristine condition. This leaves the owner to face the cost of repair or not sell at all.

Many professional property developers who previously would have been able to make an offer for this type of property have now left or will only buy property that is in a near perfect condition, as these are a safer investment.

The seller may choose to market their property in such a way as to appeal specifically to those buyers who are looking for a DIY project. Sellers may enjoy success with this option, but caution should be exercised and ideally advice sought from a professional.

If the home owner chooses to try repair and amend any issues, they may face a secondary problem of raising the funds necessary to complete the work. Banks may be unwilling to lend if credit history is poor. Structural issues may deteriorate if left, meaning the repair cost would increase if not attended to or a buyer not found quickly.

What’s a home seller to do when they want to sell their home but it needs repair?

One solution many sellers do not realise exist is that there are companies that specialise in buying precisely these kinds of properties. These property investors will normally offer to buy any residential property, regardless of its condition, and pay the owner a cash sum in a very short time frame, typically within a fortnight.

Naturally, the seller will be offered a price that reflects the condition of their property as the company will need bring the property up to a good enough condition so either they can sell it themselves or offer it out to rent.

The biggest advantages to the seller is knowing that a sale is guaranteed, in a very short time, and that all the usual hassle of selling a home such as legal fees are entirely taken care of by the property buyer.…

The First Choice Should Always Be Quality

The First Choice Should Always Be Quality

Many people are turning to refurbishing as a means of increasing the house’s value, should they choose to move. As the current economic climate is mostly uncertain, refurbishing seems like a healthy choice at the moment. The bathroom has always been known to be a key seller, and many experts advise to upgrade it if they are considering the possibility of moving house in the future.

An item that is increasingly becoming popular in the bathroom is a towel warmer. However, before you decide to make your purchase you should note that the quality of the towel warmer should be an important first consideration. This is particularly the case as it will be subject to frequent exposure to steam from showers and baths.

In other words, do not just be fooled by the looks. As a consumer, naturally we are pulled towards those things that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, your short-lived happiness will soon fade months later once you see that it is rusty and leaking.

The consumer will be better of having a reliable ten year guarantee rather than settling for a quick cheap bargain. It is understandable that the consumer will be concerned about their budget, however long-term quality assurance will be worth paying for.

As an installer you would like to think that once you have done your job, that is it. No one likes to be called back when a customer complains about a faulty appliance. You would much rather look forward to getting referrals to new customers from a satisfied client. You must remember that no matter how good you are at your job, if your product lets you down, then that can change everything. Remember people are more susceptible to remembering unhappy experiences rather than happy ones.

It is important to note that the towel warmer is one of the items in the house that actually needs to be of high quality even when its not switched on. The towel warmer will be hosting damp towels on a regular basis and the bathroom will get steamy from baths and showers. This is why it is essential that the basic construction be of an excellent quality, so you do not face problems afterwards.

It should also be noted that not all the radiators are the same, and you cannot turn a horizontal model on its side and call it vertical. This would not be a good solution. If a radiator is initially manufactured as a vertical model it will give better heat performance and will last in better condition in the long term.

To conclude, the consumer should always remember that whichever style they choose to go for, whether it be minimalist or traditional, quality should always be the first consideration.…

How to Avoid an Oil Mess

How to Avoid an Oil Mess

It is quite a task to keep the garage looking clean, even though most of us make a good effort. Sooner or later something will leak and you will be left with a nasty oil mess. Even though you might think that the area beneath the car is the most vulnerable, if you forget to put a cap on a bottle correctly one of those oil or chemical containers could tip over.

A large variety of products and solutions are needed for everyday and periodic household use. When it comes to the car alone we need brake fluid, degreasers, lubricators, antifreeze solution, engine and transmission oil, the list goes on. It is difficult to try and keep these in an orderly fashion within the garage and often items are balanced on shelves and could spill over creating an oil mess.

The potential for a cleanup job caused by a spill is not restricted to the garage. If we look at our back patio, we see that the barbecue has one of those catch all trays beneath the pan, which is very flimsy and does not appear to have been adequately designed for the job in hand. After an afternoon’s cooking, we roll the grill back to its usual corner and see an oil mess beneath.

As prevention is always better than cure, try to avoid having to clean up an oil mess by fitting an absorbent pad in a vulnerable area. They can be cut into any shape and size and will fit anywhere.

Absorbent pads are designed to last a long time and are made of durable polypropylene. The base of the mat is designed so that it will not allow the contents, up to a gallon of any liquid at one time, to leak to the floor, nor will it slip. Avoid having to clean up an oil mess after a spill by placing one of these mats.

Whilst the garage has its own fair share of accidents and spills, there are other areas in the house that bear watching. For example, the space beneath the kitchen sink is often reserved for a variety of chemicals, solutions and oils. Consider placing an absorbent mat in there before you put any bottles or containers. The mats can be cut to shape and, believe me, will absorb a lot of leaks and spills.

Avoid lasting damage to a service that can be caused by some particularly harsh chemicals by avoiding a spill in the first place. Absorbent mats can be washed easily, replaced and you do not have to worry about them. They will help you to avoid an oil mess.

Don’t spend all your time cleaning up oil mess as prevention is better than cure. Absorbent mats will more than pay for themselves as you will be able to save on the purchase of abrasive chemicals to help clean oil from your concrete floors.…

How Can I Learn How to Be a Handyman?

How Can I Learn How to Be a Handyman?

As the economy grows more and more unstable, learning a trade can be one of the best ways to keep your head above water and maybe even come out profitably. There is little overhead, and you know something useful that not everyone knows how to do. Best of all, there is a recurring need for handymen to keep home appliances and plumbing operating smoothly. None of these things are built to last, at least not without maintenance and repair. That’s where you can come in to help! But how can you learn how to become a handyman? It helps to start with a clear idea of exactly what you want to accomplish, and to follow any and/or all of the following paths:

Self-education: A lot can be said, especially in small town environments, for those who simply know how because they’ve always done it. From an early age, if your father or another adult figure in your life has trained you to use your hands, then it could be that you know just as much if not more than any trained professional about the ins and outs of being a handyman. When you get to larger areas, you have a wider base of people who may need your help, but it could be more difficult landing jobs if you don’t hold the credentials to go along with your training. While self education is good, it is not the only, nor the best, answer.

Education: It is always a good idea to enter into some kind of formal education program for the area, which draws your interest. People trust education, whether at the college, university, or vocational school levels. It may not make you a better handyman to go out and earn one, but it will certainly not hurt, and it can only make you more money in the long run, as well as more versatile. Imagine being able to go anywhere in the world, work for yourself, and not be a prisoner to slave wages!

Apprenticeship: It is usually a good idea to undertake an apprenticeship if you are serious about ever owning your own handyman business. The reason is that aside from accumulating plenty of on-the-job experience, you get the added bonus of seeing how the business end works: things such as billing, collection, and acquiring clients. These skills are highly necessary if you hope to make your passion into a way of life.

Specialize your training: There is always more money to be made in specializing in a specific area such as plumbing and mechanical engineering. Specialists can demand more for their work because they are not victims of the old adage “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.”

If you have a knack for fixing things around the house, then you may want to think about turning your skills into a business. It can be one of the most lucrative things you ever do for your financial future, and it can also give you a calling that you can be proud of.…

Find the Best Cordless Drill – Which Is Which?

Find the Best Cordless Drill – Which Is Which?

Are you one of those sneaking around the hardware store or drying your eyes out surfing the internet just to find for the best cordless drill? Sure enough the web has lots of information in a form of reviews, testimonial, or promotion but it’s really hard to discern what’s accurate or what’s not. To ease your problem, I’ve got here genuine chunks of advice that you can refer to-and guide towards finding the ideal cordless drill around.

When you say “the best” it shouldn’t fall under the average, or below average-it should exceed normal expectations. There are several things you should consider before finally deciding to buy a cordless drill, whether to give it as a present or for your own personal use. Professional or not, you’ve got to check this out and see the differences among cordless drills.

• Check the Power-Speed and Torque Matters

Several Brands are already flooding in the market-it’s undeniable fact that some of them aren’t really worth the try or else you’ll just be wasting your money. Among those brands Bosch deserves a 10 out of 10 star rating since it has a powerful speed of up to 1,600 RPM and torque of 500in/lbs. way too far from other brands and closer to expensive drill brands. With this kind power, you can be sure to work your drills simpler and quicker.

• Is it Durable? The Test is on and the result is…

Again Bosch comes into play when it comes to durability-others say it’s second to none. Ask satisfied owners and you’ll see how they are greatly satisfied with their drills durability. Durashield A� is what Bosch boasts for and it’s really true! It will protect your drill from damage (even cracks) from several falls and drops in as high as 10 feet! Seems amazing huh? Plus it will resist absorption of water and dust thus avoiding early degradation of your tool.

• How about the Batteries? Does it Work Well for You?

The best cordless drill must keep you working without frequent changing of the batteries and stopping in the middle of the work just to charge. Bosch is powered by a Blue Core A� battery which is known to reserve energy and power for up to 50% and cuts your charging time to 30 minutes. It does not heat easily since it has a cooling system and thus preventing unexpected energy loss.…

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