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Jobs Around The House To Hire A General Contractor For

Posted by on 11:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jobs Around The House To Hire A General Contractor For

While it’s often ideal to hire a contractor who exclusively does certain types of work, it’s also advantageous to consider hiring a general contractor when you need a variety of projects around the house done. General contractors can certainly specialize in certain areas, but they typically have a knack for being skilled in a wide range of different jobs. This makes your life easier — instead of lining up multiple contractors to handle different projects, your general contractor can take care of a variety of things for you. Here are some suggestions of tasks that can skilfully be handled by your general contractor. Window Installation If you’ve been dreaming of adding a window to one of the walls of your house, your general contractor can turn this dream into reality. Whether you want to brighten up a dark hallway on the ground floor or make a one-car garage feel larger due to the addition of natural light flowing through a window, your general contractor can handle this job. He or she will work closely with you to find a window that suits the look of the space, and then perform the installation over the course of several hours; by the time the contractor leaves for the night, you’ll have your new window intact. Deck Building Many general contractors have built several decks over the years, meaning that this professional is ideal to hire when you want this job done. Whether you want a deck build from scratch or an additional build around your existing deck, the contractor will have an eye for working with you to design a visually pleasing deck, while also being functional and complying fully with the local building code. If you have ambitious ideas for the deck, such as built-in power outlets or lights, your general contractor can also execute your vision. Flooring Installation The installation of flooring is another job that general contractors are typically experienced in. Whether you want hardwood, laminate, tile, or another type of flooring in your home, your general contractor can get the job done to your satisfaction. He or she will also be able to perform the necessary finish carpentry tasks, such as installing new baseboards and door trim once the flooring is laid. If you want an upgrade to your flooring, such as radiant heating coils laid beneath the tile, your general contractor is also likely experienced with this job and can handle it for you. For more information, contact local professionals like Parsa...

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Take Action To Repair Lightning Damage Inflicted On A Sidewalk

Posted by on 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Take Action To Repair Lightning Damage Inflicted On A Sidewalk

Lightning is capable of hitting  more than trees, roofs, and fences. Concrete sidewalks may end up being on the receiving end of  a massive bolt of nature’s electrical power. The powerful bolt might leave shattered blocks of concrete as evidence of mischief. Unlike water or heat-related concrete damage, concrete cracks caused by lightning strikes do not start small and expand over time. The lightning could leave the concrete with a deep, charred hole. Besides repairing the damage  immediately, homeowners must take additional steps to mitigate other problems common to lightning-ruined concrete.   . Keep Damage from Getting Worse Lightning may not likely strike the same spot twice, but the rain from the next storm has the potential to create additional serious problems. The large hole could fill with water. The water will soak into the dirt and spread under the undamaged connecting concrete blocks. Once the underside of these blocks becomes damp, they are at severe risk of cracking when the temperature changes. At the very least, cover up the hole until the wrecked concrete is fixed. Avoid Sloppy DIY Jobs Minor cracks and holes may very well be easily fixed by an untrained hand. The huge gaping holes created by lightning are way too deep to be filled properly by someone with little or no experience. The end result would likely be an ugly and uneven surface that presents trip hazards. A professional cement contractor can restore the sidewalk look by removing all the chunks of broken sidewalk and pouring and smoothing out cement into it. Request Inspections for Added Risks There is another critical  benefit to hiring a professional concrete contractor. The contractor can examine for any further — possibly hidden — damage caused by the lightning. An experienced eye can pick up on whether or not the electrical current traveled underground and created safety risks. For example, if any underground electrical rods were ruined, the contractor could determine the telltale signs and suggest steps for repairs. Those underground rods are designed to keep lightning’s electricity from traveling to the structure of a home. Making sure the rods remain in proper working condition is a must. Preserve Financial Security Not fixing the deep concrete hole left in the aftermath of a lightning strike creates massive liability risks. Imagine someone riding a bike at 15 mph and the front wheel unexpectedly dropping into the hole. A homeowner who does not take steps to quickly fix serious sidewalk damage could be held liable. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for the weather to get better to call a contractor. The second the damage is discovered, place a call to a concrete service. Visit http://www.claggett.net for more information....

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4 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Bathroom Plumbing

Posted by on 12:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Bathroom Plumbing

You likely use your bathroom a lot, whether you are brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or using the toilet. This makes it all the more important that you pay close attention to your plumbing. Without it, you might find yourself in a dire situation where your toilet can’t flush correctly or your shower backs up. When you have other things to do, you can’t risk your plumbing having problems. Do you need to replace your shower? What about other plumbing? These signs will help you determine if this is the case. 1. Your pipes are knocking after you run hot water. Knocking pipes are caused by pressurization of your pipes, loose valves, or possibly high pressure. These issues can cause significant damage, even causing your pipes to shift. Failing to fix a problem like this could result in a leak that causes damage to your home and other property. 2. Your water pressure is too low. Have you noticed that the water pressure in your shower is significantly lower than it used to be? You may not be getting a steady stream, which can indicate something wrong. It could be something simple, like your faucet or shower head being clogged. You may be able to fix this yourself with vinegar. If that doesn’t solve the problem, a professional plumber may need to assess the situation for clogged pipes. 3. Your shower head or faucet won’t stop dripping. Even a slow drip can cause big problems later on. Your water pressure could be too high, which can be adjusted. In some cases, the valve controlling the shower head or faucet breaks. If you do not treat the issue quickly, it can cause significant issues with your shower or plumbing later on. 4. Your shower drains slowly. If it seems that it takes an eternity for your shower to drain, it could be that there is something wrong with the pipes. Some people are able to fix the problem themselves with a pipe snake or a commercial cleaner, but in some cases the problem is beyond easy repair. You may have a broken pipe on your hands. Any time you notice that you have a problem with your pipes, you need to call a professional like one from Marble Works of Minnesota. A plumber will ensure that the problem has not worsened, or indicate that you need to make some changes. You may benefit from a new shower, water heater, or...

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Prevent A Fire In Your Kitchen: 2 Different Types Of Fire Alarm Sprinklers You Can Install

Posted by on 4:26 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prevent A Fire In Your Kitchen: 2 Different Types Of Fire Alarm Sprinklers You Can Install

The most common type of fire in the United States takes place in the kitchen. In most cases, this starts with a fire from the stove, such as when you are frying food. In case this happens in your home, you should install a sprinkler in your kitchen. Below are two different types of fire alarm sprinklers you can choose from that will help you determine what is best for you. Heat-Sensing Sprinklers If you have a regular smoke alarm, it will go off when smoke reaches it. A heat-sensing sprinkler goes off when there is heat because it has heat sensors. This means they will go off much quicker. In most cases, these sprinklers are activated when the flame heat goes up to around  135 to 165 degrees. This gives you much more time to extinguish the flame before it has time to spread throughout your kitchen and the rest of your home. Once the heat reaches the sensors they will automatically go off to put out the fire. This type of sprinkler system is installed on the ceiling Another type of heat-sensing sprinkler is called single sprinklers. This is a collection of sprinklers that go in a line, and are installed on the ceiling. Each sprinkler will be activated individually depending on the heat. Once the set of sprinklers hits the area of the kitchen that has no heat, they will not turn on. This keeps your kitchen from becoming drenched in water, and protects the flooring. If you have appliances and foods that are not located near the fire, they will not be damaged by the water. Sidewall Sprinklers Sidewall sprinklers are installed on a wall. They detect heat from your appliances, such as a microwave and oven vent. Once it detects heat, the sprinkler shoots water out from the side to prevent the fire from spreading. In most cases, these sprinklers are installed near a kitchen sink or the entryway into your kitchen. If you have a very large kitchen, you should install more than one sidewall sprinkler. When you are not using your kitchen, you can put a decorative cover over the sidewall sprinkler so it can blend into your kitchen surroundings. To learn much more information about these sprinklers, contact a fire alarm company. They can come to your home to determine the best type of sprinklers for you, and then install them for you. Once you have them installed, contact your fire damage insurance company, as they may lower your rates. Your home value may also be...

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Understanding Your Water Treatment Options

Posted by on 3:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding Your Water Treatment Options

If you want to filter the water for your home, then you have quite a few options available. To help you narrow down your options, here are some different water filtration mechanisms and their respective benefits: Treatment Unit Location The first decision you need to make is where you want the filter to be. Specifically, do you want your filter to be located at the point of entry or point of use? Point of Entry – This specifically refers to the location where water actually enters your house from either a public water grid or a private water source. A point of entry unit will treat practically all of the water that enters your home and will likely not be visible in your daily life. This can be pretty convenient when everything is running smoothly, since the unit will be out of your way. On the other hand, if there is a problem with the treatment, then it might be a little more difficult to reach the unit, depending on where it is place. Point of Use – These units are more visible and are placed at locations where the water actually becomes usable, such as sinks or refrigerators. Some point of use units attach directly to the water source, while others require manual effort every time you want to treat the water, such as filtration pitchers. While point of use units can be a little more intrusive, maintaining their filters is usually a pretty simple process. Treatment Type Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of water treatment you actually want to use. Basic Filtration – The simplest type of filtration works by running the water through a porous membrane. The pores are big enough to let water through, but will trap most sediment and larger substances. Reverse Osmosis – Pressure is induced to force water across a membrane. The ultimate result is that the water will have low salt and mineral content, which may result in a fresher and clearer taste. Ultraviolet – By subjecting the water to UV rays, a wide range of bacteria will be killed. If you worry about dangerous water and don’t care too much about the taste of minerals, then a UV filtration system might be for you. Of course, you can also pair a UV system with another filtration device to utilize the benefits of both. Softeners – If you want to reduce the hardness of your water, then you want a water softener to eliminate the calcium and magnesium that naturally build up in some...

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4 Signs It’s Time To Repair Or Replace Your Windows After A Storm

Posted by on 8:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Signs It’s Time To Repair Or Replace Your Windows After A Storm

Heavy rainstorms with hail could lead to significant damage to your home, making it important to pay close attention to the condition of your windows after the storm has passed. Your windows are especially vulnerable to storm damage due to their design compared to the rest of the exterior of your home, making a thorough inspection an important task. With the cost of replacing a window between $100-$200, the following tips can help you determine if this would be a good investment for your home.  Cosmetic Damage to the Window Frame If there was a lot of hail in the area, or if dirt and rocks were picked up due to heavy wind, there may be some cosmetic damage to the window frame itself. If there are nicks on the frame or if the paint has been chipped off, you need to address whether you can simply refinish the frames or if the damage is severe enough where the windows should be replaced entirely. Broken Hardware Leading to Security Risks In the case of a heavy storm, the damage could be significant enough to extend to the condition of the hardware. If you’re concerned that the window latches were damaged, it becomes important to get the hardware replaced. This is due to the risk of your home being at risk of being broken into, making it a good idea to look how much hardware replacement will be and what your options are. Cracked or Fractured Glass Panes A common form of damage done to windows after a storm is the glass being cracked or fractured in some form. In order for you to restore your windows to their original shaped, you’ll need to consider if the glass panes can simply be repaired or if the entire window themselves need replacement. Poor Sealing or Other Problems with Air Loss Your windows are the first place that air loss can occur in your home, making the space less comfortable and more expensive to keep cool or warm throughout the different seasons. To determine if sealing needs to be redone, you’ll want to test the sealing with methods such as holding a candle up against the window frame itself to see if the flame flickers. By looking into the condition of your windows after a storm has passed through, you can determine if repair or replacement of your windows is best. Contact a local installer, such as Welty Custom Exteriors, Inc, with any...

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Tips For Incorporating Hand-Painted Mexican Tiles Into A Kitchen Remodel

Posted by on 10:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Incorporating Hand-Painted Mexican Tiles Into A Kitchen Remodel

Looking to add some color and global flair to your kitchen remodeling? Online craftspeople and specialized tile stores sell Mexican tiles that feature bold graphic designs. The tiles are typically small and hand-painted so the cost can add up quickly. But strategic use of the tiles can allow you to enjoy the look without breaking the bank. Here are a few design ideas you can discuss with your remodeling contractor: Backsplash Accent Using Mexican tiles to form your entire backsplash might not work with your budget. Instead, choose a section of backsplash where the tile will make the most visual impact. Behind a black or white stove is a good example, while hidden under the cabinets in a shadowy corner is a bad example. Use white tiles found at the hardware store to create the rest of your backsplash to create the most versatile look. If you want to go truly bold, pick one of the stronger colors of the tiles – commonly reds, yellows, and blues – and use tile in that color to finish off the backsplash. Make sure your cabinets are white if you choose a colored backsplash so the kitchen doesn’t become too busy. Island Accent You can use Mexican tile around the outside edge of an existing or planned kitchen island.  If the outside edge is a couple of inches tall, you might be able to get away with buying small pre-made tiles and simply using a strong, waterproof adhesive to attach the tiles around the edge. Don’t waste the money on Mexican tiles for a side of the island that isn’t visible from the main area of the kitchen. Even having the tiles on two or three sides of the island can brighten up your room and offer an additional point of visual interest.   Don’t have an edge to use? You or your contractor can create one using a bit of crown molding. Over-Cabinet Accent Do you already have several bright elements in the kitchen but want to add a touch of Mexican tile? Consider creating an upper border of tile following the top of your kitchen cabinets. The location ensures that guests will notice the tiles without making the tiles a major statement piece. Make sure your cabinets are a coordinating color to the tiles so as not to clash. Purchase slightly larger tiles than you would for an island accent to make sure the end result isn’t so subtle your guests have to squint to see what’s on the tiles. To learn more, contact a company like Suburban Construction Inc. with any questions you...

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3 Reasons To Replace Your Clapboard Siding With Fiber Cement Siding

Posted by on 10:48 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many older and historic homes have clapboard siding. However, this type of siding will eventually deteriorate and reduce the overall character of your home. When you decide to replace your siding, there are several options available. One of the most durable and attractive options would be fiber cement siding. This type of siding is among the best investments that you can make to the exterior of your home. For starters, you are more likely to get a higher return on the investment. In addition, here are three other benefits of replacing your clapboard siding with fiber cement siding: 1. It Can Leave The Exterior Of Your Home Unscathed From An Outside Fire. If you live in an area where forest fires are common, then you probably have a fire mitigation plan for your house. The last type of siding you need on your home is wooden clapboard. Not only is clapboard siding prone to rotting, but it also serves as fuel to any fire – a forest fire or a home fire. Homeowners may even get a home insurance discount for having fiber cement siding on their home. If you choose to make this exterior renovation, be sure to speak to your insurance agent about potential savings. 2. It’s Cheap, Low Maintenance, And Long-Lasting. On the high end, clapboard siding can cost around $10 per square foot, while fiber cement siding is more affordable at about $4 per square foot. Plus, clapboard siding often needs to be repainted every five years, on average. However, the paint on fiber cement siding can last for at least 15 years. This means that if you opt for fiber cement siding that you will significantly reduce your overall maintenance costs and time spent on replacing or repairing the siding. 3. It Won’t Attract Unwanted Pests, Like Termites. Fiber cement siding is resistant to moisture, rot, and mildew, unlike clapboard, which means that termites won’t be attracted to it. Termite damage is not only annoying, but it is particularly damaging to your home. Pest extermination costs quite the pretty penny, in addition to the costs that are associated with repairing the damage. If you’re trying to sell your home, this can put an indefinite hold on the sale or significantly cut the price that you sell it for if the home is sold with the damage. Fiber cement siding can be made to add charm and additional character to your home while keeping in line with the traditional or historical flavor of the neighborhood. This type of siding can be purchased pre-painted in a variety of colors or pre-primed so that you can add your own color of paint. It can also replicate many different looks, including painted wood. For more information on fiber cement siding, consult with a local home improvement contractor like G & L...

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How To Replace Your Cistern With A Water Heater

Posted by on 7:16 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Homes predating the turn of the nineteenth century often have remnants of a cistern hanging around. However, if you buy a really old home with hopes of restoring it to its former glory, you may encounter a complete cistern still in situ. If the home has been abandoned for years and there is only a septic system, then you will have to start from scratch. This entails removing the cistern, the pump that brought water up into the house, installing a water heater and modern plumbing. Here is what you need to do, if you are paving the way for a plumber to install more pipes. Measuring Your Cistern’s Depth and Planning to Fill the Void If you hope to remove the cistern entirely, measure how deep the cistern goes. Some just fill the space beneath the floor under your kitchen, while others were built to go deeper than the basement floor. Should you happen to have a cistern that goes deeper than your basement floor, you may have to enlist the help of a general contractor to fill the hole with dirt and then create a solid cement floor over that. If the cistern is only as deep as the foundation of your old house, then you can just pull it out and repair the cement flooring. Removing Any Residual Cistern Plumbing Most cisterns required a pump to lift water against gravity into the house. In really, really old farmhouses, this was the pump on the kitchen sink. Later, pumps were powered by electricity and activating them was almost as simple as turning on the faucet. Depending on the age of your house, you will need to remove these cistern residuals in order to install modern plumbing and connect that plumbing to your water heater and a septic system or city plumbing system. Installing Your Modern Water Heater Choose a nice flat floor surface to place the water heater. Use a bubble level on top of the floor and on top of the water heater itself when you put the water heater in position over the spot you chose. If everything is level according to the bubble level, then you can install the water heater. Try to place it as centrally as possible or as close to your water source as possible so the water does not have to travel quite so far to warm up and then head up into the house. If you need additional plumbing to connect other sinks, showers and/or tubs to the water heater, hire a plumbing expert to help. To learn more about water heaters, visit Parkey’s Heating, Air Conditioning &...

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Signs Your Home Has Chinese Drywall

Posted by on 3:42 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Chinese drywall was defective drywall used in many southern coastal homes from 2001 to 2008.  The discovery of the tainted drywall lead to a huge lawsuit in 2008.  The drywall caused extensive property damage and disrupted the lives of thousands of people.  While the case reached settlement, it’s hard to tell how many homes still have the toxic drywall.  In fact, many homeowners bought homes without knowing the danger that lurks behind their walls and are just now discovering the problem.  Here are some telling signs that your home was built with Chinese drywall. Chinese labels on the drywall If you have unpainted drywall in your house like in a garage, basement, or utility room, examine the markings on the drywall panels.  You are looking for any reference to China or Chinese cities including Tianjin, Taihe, Knauf, Taishan, and Beijing.  To recover damages from the settlement, you have to provide pictures of these markings on your wall.   A rotten eggs smell Chinese drywall contains high levels of sulfur, and will cause your home to smell like rotten eggs on a fairly consistent basis if you have it. Electric failures A big warning sign is the frequency of electric failures in your home.  If you have Chinese drywall, chances are your air conditioning unit will work on and off and copper pipes will be blackened and corroded all around the house.  Stoves and refrigerators are also affected by the drywall and will start to fail and then completely shut down after a while.   Poor health of you and your family members The tainted drywall causes headaches, sinus problems, nosebleeds, rashes and asthma attacks.  Children are especially susceptible to developing health problems after living in a home with Chinese drywall.  The lawsuit details that many kids experienced respiratory issues and required hospital stays. Hire a professional and contact the parties responsible If you suspect that the tainted drywall was installed in your home, please contact a building inspector right away.  Don’t try to remove the sheetrock on your own.  If the inspector determines that your home was built with the shoddy drywall, evacuate the premises as soon as you can to be on the safe side.    The drywall needs to be completely removed and a contractor needs to perform extensive remediation.  This includes replacing all the electrical wiring, copper pipes, tiles, carpeting, and bathroom fixtures.  This can cost upwards of $100,000.   If you think you have Chinese drywall in your home, contact the lender that sold you the home, the builder of your home, and your homeowner’s insurance.  The condition of the drywall should have been disclosed to you and many lenders and builders hid this fact from potential homebuyers and continued to sell homes with the toxic drywall. For more information about removing this harmful material, visit Mustang Builders...

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