The Truth About Home Repairs

We strive for larger homes but the fact remains that larger the home, greater the number of home repairs. There are several jobs that will need to be attended to around a house, either big or small. Over the years, there are several phases that you will have to go through as part of your home maintenance routine. This is exactly why a lot of homeowners feel that ‘Do It Yourself’ or DIY plans are better than calling in a contractor for every job that needs to get done around the house. But stop that thought right there and think again.

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

When it comes to repairs within your home, this saying is a very apt one. That carpet that needs to be repaired, that leaky tap that needs to be fixed or that hole in the drywall that needs to be patched up should be attended to on a priority basis. It doesn’t take too long for the carpet to get worn out or torn further, the leaky tap to turn into a miniature Niagara or the tiny hole in the wall to turn into a gaping one. If the issues are not too glaring it is more feasible for you to wait for a bit and then call in a handyman and have him handle more than just one job in a single visit.

Easy On The Pocket

Most handymen charge for their services by the hour and it becomes more cost-effective for you to bunch up the tasks rather than have them come in for individuals ones. If you decide against calling in for specialized help for these jobs around the house and decide to handle them yourself, chances are that you will put them off for later. Jobs like this have a tendency of piling up and can prove to be a bigger drain if they pile up or the issues get aggravated due to the delay. Apart from this, some issues are too tricky for you to handle all by yourself. In most cases you will find that a handyman can handle certain jobs as skillful and efficiently as specialized contractors can and the latter charge close to three times the amount that the former will charge you for the same job

When To Choose The Handyman Over The Contractor

The cost-effectiveness factor comes into play here as well since once a handyman is called in, he can also attend to other small issues around the house. However, it is important to understand that jobs such as plumbing and electrical ones are best taken care of by licensed and trained personnel. Some companies provide you with comprehensive services and packages. Check the credibility of the person who will be handling the work and preferably use the services of a reputed home improvement company for all your repair and renovation needs.

Home Improvements on Your House

Home improvement projects are ways to make your home more beautiful, attractive, cleaner and more cozy and comfortable to stay and live in. They are not just ways to improve or beautify your home, they also assures security and protection. Improving your home offer many benefits, one thing is that it can also be a reasonable investment. Home improvements in addition, can make a house more livable and may even increase the value of your home.

Here are the top most important home improvement projects to help improve your homes:

Home repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home. It also includes home maintenance to avoid problems. Most types of repairs are Do it-Yourself projects, where you can simply maintain and repair it by yourself in order to cut down your repair and maintenance costs. It is best that you handle your home repairs and maintenance because other types may be complicated and usually time consuming and risky because you need to hire professionals or handyman to the job. Home repair includes heating and cooling repair, plumbing repair, exterior home repair, electrical and plumbing repair.

Part of improving your home is energy saving. Normally, energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change. That’s why making your home as energy efficient as possible will reduce carbon emissions and could also save you money on your fuel bills. Insulate your home to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels which add to the greenhouse effect. By doing so, you are actually helping the environment. Insulation is also an excellent sound absorbed and can assist in reducing noise transmission through walls, ceilings and floors making your home or your work environment quieter and peaceful.

The most important project in improving a home is security and safety. It’s undeniable that crime is increasing every year and is invading any home even those considered safe communities. Keeping your family safe is always the first priority. Install electronic devices such as home alarm systems for doors and windows. Attach motion detectors that sense movement or the heat given off by one’s body. The most common incident that could happen into your home is fire. That’s why it is necessary to be aware of fire safety measures. Be prepared by installing fire alarm systems, purchase fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.

Improving a home can make you spend hundreds of dollars, but the return on investment is all worth it. A beautiful, comfortable and safe home is what matters most. Anyway, it is a very rewarding feeling seeing the great results of your newly improved home.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

When choosing a contractor, it is important to know as much as you can about the contractor’s qualifications, experience and reliability. These are just a few of the questions you should ask when choosing a contractor for your home improvement or home repair project.

Is the contractor licensed in your state/county/city?

Some states require contractors to have a license, while others will accept trade organization membership, job experience and education credits in lieu of a license. If the contractor is licensed, you can verify their credentials by calling your state licensing board, or by visiting the license boards website (available in most states). Also, the requirements vary from state to state, so it may be helpful to know whether the contractor was required to pass a licensing exam, or simply pay a fee for the license.

Is the contractor a member of any professional trade organizations?

If so, you can verify that the membership is in good standing.

Is the contractor well insured?

Most states require contractors to maintain certain insurance levels as a condition of the license, and you can often view insurance information on the state’s website (in the same place you verify the contractor’s license information). You should verify that the contractor has at least general liability coverage (property and injury), workmen compensation coverage, and automobile coverage.

Is the contractor familiar with current building code requirements?

The contractor should be familiar with building code requirements for your area, and should know what permits will be required.

Does the contractor have references and a portfolio of previous work?

Contacting previous customers is a great way to verify the reliability of the contractor and the quality of work that you can expect. Also, a portfolio of previous jobs with detailed photos can help you see the quality of work that the contractor is capable of.

How long has the contractor been in business?

A contractor that has been in business for several years will generally be more stable, with less risk of sub-standard work or leaving a job unfinished. It can also be helpful to verify the contractor’s financial standing via a bank reference, to insure the contractor will have the means to pay for supplies and materials.

The answers to these questions will be a good start towards finding a qualified contractor to help you with your home repair or home improvement project.

Your Guide for Finding a Reliable Commercial General Contractor

As you can probably guess, a commercial contractor specializes commercial construction. A general contractor is involved in all steps of commercial construction, and they typically handle both private and public projects, from construction of schools to buildings, commercial spaces and more. They are responsible for overseeing a number of tasks, such as obtaining permits, design, purchases, adherence to codes of the building industry and compliance to state laws and norms.

When it comes to selecting a premier commercial general contractor, you have to be more careful because a lot of money is at stake. In this post, we will talk of the things that need your attention for finding a reliable commercial general contractor.

Start With the Basics:

You cannot work any random contractor you find online. Start by looking for licensed companies that have a good name in the local market. If a company claims to be the best in business or has worked in many projects, they will have enough clients. They should be able to offer references on request, which large tells about their portfolio. You need to understand the nature and range of projects they have completed so far, and whether they can handle your project, keeping the scope and other aspects in mind.

Ask for a Bid:

It is important to contact at least three to four commercial general contractors for the same job. You need to check if their pricing and bid is fair and transparent. Bids are meant to be detailed in all aspects, and you might need to check what’s included in the proposal sent to you and the things that have been excluded. Make sure that all bids are made around the same scope of work, otherwise it would mean comparing applies to bananas, which isn’t the ideal way to move ahead.

Communication Matters:

No matter how small or big your project may be, communication with your commercial contractor is more than important. If you are happy with the bid, ask them about the development process and find reasons why you should hire the company in the first place. The concerned company must explain their approach to the job, so that you can understand their areas of expertise. It is wise to use some of their projects as point of reference in your conversations, so that the overall process of discussion remains on the same line.

Know Their Team:

A contracting company usually has a team of professionals who help in deciding a lot of management considerations. You need to know the team that will be working on your project and whether they are good at maintaining client relationships. Don’t shy away from asking questions, no matter how stupid they may sound, as long as your queries are relevant to the project. You can also ask them about their work ethics and practices and what sets them apart from other companies in the same industry.

Check these things, and finding a commercial contractor shouldn’t take a lot of time.

Repairing Loose Carpet

When carpeting is installed in a home, it is stretched over your floor onto tack strips which secure it on the sides. Over time with general use and age your carpet will actually stretch out. This will often show itself as wrinkles and loose spots in your carpeting. So how do you repair these wrinkles, is there a way?

Yes, to get rid of these unsightly wrinkles, you need to have your rugs professionally stretched. If your carpet is less than a few years old, you might actually have a labor warranty that will cover the stretching costs. Before you hire anyone, check to see if your carpet is still under this warranty. If not, you will have to pay for the charges out of pocket. Unfortunately stretching is not cheap because it involves quite a bit of work. The technicians will have to move all or most of your furniture out of a room, detach the carpet from the tack strip, cut off the excess carpet and then reattach it to the tack strips. This can take hours. Expect to pay around $3 to $4 per square yard for this service. That makes 900 square feet of carpet cost around $300 to $400 to stretch. Sound expensive? Well it is but it is better than the alternative.

If you do not have your carpeting stretched the problem will only get worse. The carpet will continue to get looser and the wrinkles will get larger and more noticeable. This not only causes the carpet to look bad but it can also shorten the life of your carpeting. Loose rugs wears quicker than properly installed and stretched carpet. As expensive as carpet is today it makes since to get the problem taken care of soon as possible to prevent expensive replacement costs.

If you are not sure what to do, it doesn’t hurt to call a carpet repair service. Most will be happy to give you a free estimate and can give you recommendations as to how you should proceed. Who knows, you may only need one room stretched instead of your whole house. You do not know until you call.

Save Yourself A Headache By Following This Home Improvement Advice

Quality workmanship is very important when doing home improvement but you must place even more importance on the issue of safety in the manner in which this is done. If you are not sure where to start when it comes to home improvement then this article will give you some tips to get started.

Before thinking of adding an extension to the exterior or interior of your existing home you must first consider how you can use the existing home space in a more efficient manner. For example if you have a cathedral type ceiling, you could quite easily create a loft room for extra space or you could convert an existing attic into an extra bedroom.

When considering home improvements make sure to shop around for the best contractors at the best price. Be sure to get at least three estimates and insist on contacting references of past projects. Most contractors have great pride in the quality of work they produce and will be more than willing to show you photos and give you contact numbers so that you can speak to previous clients.

If you intend making money from flipping real estate, then always begin with the exterior of the home as this is what will give that all important first impression to potential buyers. The outside once-over can be accomplished quite inexpensively if you take the time to think it through carefully. A good idea is to take some pictures of the outside of the home and then mull over it while you are away from the home for a couple of days and ideas will begin to flow more easily.

One good way of reducing expensive maintenance in a home is to do yearly maintenance on your faucets. You will be avoiding those annoying leaks and averting any major breaks too. Even though it can seem like a hassle at the time, but rather concentrate on all the untimely work load you will be saving yourself in the future.

If one takes the time to think laterally you will find there are many home improvement ideas that will enhance the beauty of your home. Replacing the outdated and old looking hardware on your existing kitchen cabinets is not a big job and gives your kitchen a refreshing new look. Starting with smaller home improvement jobs will help increase your confidence to take on larger projects in the future.

A well executed home improvement project adds value to your home as well as joy to your family. Once again, don’t get carried away in the excitement of the home improvement project to such an extent that you forget to keep safety measures in place as well. With that in mind, stop procrastinating and start improving your home.

Best Trees for Indoors

Trees are great things to have in your yard. They clean the air, they give shade and privacy, they are great for climbing and they are beautiful to look at as well. While many trees are just too big to think about growing inside, there are many trees that make wonderful accents to the inside of your home. Here’s just a few:

If you are a fan of the Victorian Era you may have seen pictures or seen movies of the time with parlour palms sprucing up the, well, parlour. The adapt well to low light and humidity and they are on the list of NASA’s 50 Plants That Clean the Air. And face it, they’re breezy and fancy and who wouldn’t want one in their living room in a large ceramic pot?

If you want a touch of Christmas in your home year round, what about a Norfolk Pine? They are essentially baby Christmas trees that love bright light and moist soil. At Christmas time you can decorate them with little bows or fairy lights, but they make a great addition to any room year round.

If you like big bold statements you’ll want a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your living room. These trees have large sculptured leaves that give the air of the tropics without being weepy or wispy. These trees love light but don’t like drafts so keep them away from windows and doors and you’re good to go.

The Ficus is perhaps the most popular indoor tree there is, heck, they even make a fake version that you just dust once in a while and forget about. The real version is actually a weeping fig tree if you want to get technical, and they come in different textures and heights so they’re perfect for any room, any where.

Love the tropics but live where there seems to be perpetual winter? Then what about adding a Majesty Palm to your home? They are fan shaped and have that tropical feel to them and best of all they are slow growing if they aren’t getting strong sunlight. Throw on the heat, watch the palm tree and pretend you’re on the beach, even if it is January and there is a blizzard waging outside.

If you like more of a desert type tree then the Yucca is for you. They have thick woody stems and pointy leaves that come in a variety of blue to blue green colors and have yellow, cream or white tones to them too.

Invest in Your Home by Starting in the Basement

For those lucky homeowners who have basements, making sure you do everything you can to keep that basement clean and dry is vital for the ongoing stability of your home’s foundation and overall safety of your home’s environment. A number of nasty diseases can spawn from mold and mildew run amok in your damp basement. Here are some aspects to consider when doing a little basement waterproofing.

1. Go straight to the top. Water running off your roof can quickly seep into your basement if proper gutters and drain spouts aren’t installed. Gutters that are clogged or missing can cause a waterfall to land right next to the foundation and eventually seep into the basement walls. Check your gutters regularly for clogged areas or leaky spots and take care of the problem fast. You can install a mesh or plastic screen over the gutters to prevent large objects from getting trapped inside.

2. Where does your water run? Your yard should slope away from the house so that rainwater is also running away from the foundation and not toward it. If necessary, re-grade your lawn so that it drops about 6 inches for every 10 feet. If the equipment isn’t readily available to you, contact a lawn care expert to handle this task.

3. Do you have a window well or egress window? During a rainstorm water can easily collect in those wells and act as a holding tank for moisture against your foundation. You should cover those windows wells with a plastic window well cover. These are a few dollars at any local home improvement store.

4. Sometimes the water comes from inside. Cut down on condensation and internal moisture by using a dehumidifier. It’s also best to insulate your pipes and air conditioning ducts. Basement bathrooms can be a real source of mold and mildew buildup. Clean the bathroom regularly and properly ventilate the room so the moisture doesn’t have a chance to collect.

Once you’ve established that your basement is clean, dry and protected, revisit this area of your home regularly to stay ahead of any new problems that might develop. Your home and family will thank you for it.

Know How Acrylic Rendering Can Benefit You and Your House

Rendering has become one of the most acceptable forms of exterior coverage for residences, commercial places along with the workplaces. Whether you want to have a classic appearance to your house or want a contemporary look for your home, there is no better option than to put a cover on the wall. Available in multiple options and varieties, rendering can prove to be a fantastic choice on your part. The most common dilemma arrives when it comes to choosing rendering you wish to incorporate to your walls.

Among the most popular choices, cement rendering and foam rendering are considered to be the first preference of a significant section of people. However, if you think about affordability and quality of work at the same level, consider covering your wall with acrylic rendering. Take a look at the significant benefits that are related to the acrylic rendering before making any final decision regarding it.

Resistant to cracks

This particular type of rendering is known to be the most flexible among all the other options. Unlike cement, it does not just stick to the wall. Weather change is a prime reason that can cause the appearance of cracks in the walls if the material you are planning to use is not resistant to expand in heat. Acrylic is undoubtedly a flexible material that gets extended when the chances of cracks occur. Thus, you may expect a long-term durability from this particular rendering compared to the other options.

Substrate Compatibility

The best part of using acrylic rendering for your walls is it is compatible with most types of wall bases. Be it timber or concrete; the application process remains the same. For this reason, reputed companies associated with render installation or rendering repairs are likely to suggest you this particular product over the other ones. Moreover, you can ask the professionals to apply this specific rendering material on your already painted walls as it will be compatible with the paints as well, unlike most of the traditional renders.

Attractive designs

One of the prime reasons for acrylic render to gain popularity over the other options is you can incorporate different designs and textures in the rendering, unlike its competitors. Carry out extensive research on this issue to know about some of the most popular designs in the market and use a preferable one. Create the finish of your choice on the exterior walls to add brilliance. It will quickly get dried up and sit on the wall firmly making it look uniquely textured.

Increased breath ability of the wall

Going through the attributes of the acrylic rendering will also suggest you that this particular rendering efficiently enhances the breath ability of your wall. Despite being stronger than the other traditional rendering, the mix is prone to get expanded naturally. It does not soak water and cause the occurrence of water leakage through the wall. Being water resistance, it does not welcome bacterial infestation or fungi formation throughout the wall. Therefore, it can be said that choosing acrylic rendering will lead you to switch into healthy living.

Home Improvement May Not Be For Everybody – Tips For Homeowners

Dealing with frustrating repair and improvement projects is an unwelcome prospect for many homeowners. The hassle and frustration they so often experience is not worth the effort they are putting in, so hiring a professional to help them with the more complicated projects is a good idea. Once they decide to do the work themselves, homeowners usually end up regretting their decision and scouring the phone book for a contractor.

With extensive home improvement projects, homeowners are usually best served hiring a contractor. Some homeowners do attempt these projects themselves with some success, but these are often few and far between. Not that they cannot accomplish the project, but the quality homeowners receive from contractors far exceeds what they are usually able to provide themselves. Home improvement is not for everybody, so realizing when it is far above their head is important and helpful in avoiding a costly project. Spending more money than they realize doing the work themselves, many homeowners regret their decision.

The training and experience a contractor brings to the table will help ensure the quality of the project. Helping with the planning and development stage of the project and providing excellent craftsmanship, professionals are able to provide a level of service far better than any amateur trying to pass themselves off as professionals. So when it comes time to choose the best route to take when facing home improvement projects, it is usually best to consider the work of a contractor. It may be one of the best decisions the homeowner can make for their home.