No Picture
Remodel Kitchen

The Loft and Condo Life – Liberation From Home Maintenance Responsibilities

Young people are climbing a mountain as they forge into adulthood, and sometimes it can be hard to see the summit. Leadership experts agree that having an ability to let go of good things can be a giant step toward reaching things that are better. Nowhere is this wisdom more relevant than in the selection of your first home.
If you are open to living in the city, a condo home can help keep your life simple while offering an opportunity to meet very interesting neighbors. Even if you do not mind yard work in and of itself, is there anything else you would rather be doing? Volunteering your time at a charitable organization? Planning and taking a vacation? Getting enough rest? Spending more time with your family, extended family and friends?
Sometimes first-time home buyers who express interest in condos are told that condos have poorer resale value than traditional single-family homes. This pressures them to take on massive home maintenance responsibilities.
Yet the topic of resale value is highly debated among Realtors and other investment professionals. For condo sellers, there may be more competition in the sense there can be more homes on the market of an equal style. On the other hand, the newer finishes and newer construction of condos can be quite a draw against suburban homes built in the 1970s. Very few home buyers relish the prospect of unpredictable and costly repairs.
The magnitude of home maintenance responsibilities should never be dismissed lightly. Homes usually do an exceptional job of shielding people from nature, but they take quite a beating in the process. Many first-time home buyer education programs are available to explain the responsibilities in detail. There are both expensive projects and dozens of chores that span the entire calendar year. For a very brief list:
• Fall: Mowing and raking grass; caulking walls, weather-stripping windows. Repairing, cleaning and checking furnaces or boilers.
• Winter: Shoveling snow from driveways or alleys, plus sidewalks. When you travel, making arrangements for someone to check your home’s heating system; otherwise, the water pipes in your home could freeze and burst.
• Spring: Repairing roof from snow and ice damage; fertilizing lawn, cleaning and repairing gutters; monitoring basement and foundation for cracks and insects.
• Summer: Painting the entire exterior every three to six years; mowing grass, trimming trees and shrubs; removing weeds and small trees.
As a condo owner, the rewards of these toils are still visible. However, most of them are shared by a substantial pool of homeowners and paid for by home owner association dues. The dues are a monthly expense, but they do work as a built-in savings plan for expensive repairs.
Even professional carpenters sometimes eschew most home maintenance responsibilities by choosing a condominium, rented apartment or townhome. They find this is one way to bring balance into their lives-and that can be a beautiful choice!…

No Picture
Home Maintenance

Be Careful Cleaning Your Water Heater – Home Maintenance Tips

You should always be careful when ever you clean out your storage tanks. I would like to share some home maintenance tips with you that could save you a lot of money. If you’re planning on cleaning out your water heater, to remove calcium deposits, it’s time to start paying attention and to put your thinking caps on.
It was about 20 years ago, and I had just purchased my first home. I was a young general contractor on a mission to maintain the house that I was living in. We bought the house from the government and it had been sitting vacant for a few months as all of the local skateboarders used the swimming pool as a community skateboard facility.
This should give you, a pretty good idea what the condition was of the house. Knowing what I knew, I decided to clean out the water storage tank, even though there wasn’t anything wrong with the water heater. This is where you need to pay attention, especially if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, who’s looking for a few home maintenance tips.
I hooked the garden hose up to the water tank drain valve, but when I went to turn the drain valve on, it wouldn’t budge. I noticed that there was a little bit of corrosion around the water heaters drain valve and this was a good sign, that the inside of the water storage tank could be damaged also.
I got some channel locks and proceeded to turn the drainage valve on, only to find out that I had just broken off the handle. I looked at that drain valve and it was something that I could replace with an ordinary hose bit. This is where things get a little more interesting. When I went to remove the water heater drain valve it was corroded enough to break it into small pieces, with out removing it from the water heater tank.
By the time I had assessed the damage that I had done to the water heater and the water heater drainage valve, it was time to go purchase another water heaters. I purchased another water heater and installed it, but I needed to know how bad the old waters heater was damaged.
I took a saw and cut the waters heater in half, only to find out that the inside of the heater storage tank was clean and there wasn’t any calcium deposits for lime damage. I had just wasted an entire day and spent around $200 for a new waters heater and it just didn’t make sense.
The moral to this story is, “If it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it.” If you have a water heater drainage valve that won’t turn, don’t force it to open. If you do, you could find yourself in the same situation that I was in 20 years ago.…

No Picture
Home Renovation

Home Maintenance Tips – Wet Basement

Grading & Drainage
Any system of grading or landscaping that creates positive drainage(moving water away from the foundation walls) will help to keep abasement dry. Flowerbeds, loose mulch areas, railroad ties, and other landscaping items close to the foundation trap moisture and contribute to a wet basement. To establish a positive grade, a proper slope away from the house is 1″per foot for approximately 5 to 6 feet. Dirt should be 6″ to 8″ below wood surfaces and/or sill plates. You should also trim back shrubberies that are close to the home.
Defective or missing Gutters & downspouts
Watch for leaks in gutters and downspouts, If your grading is poor, you should have a downspouts with up to 10′ extension.
Also Check both the top and bottom of downspouts for evidence of debris blocking the water.
Dripping water pipes
Condensation or sweating on the pipe in your basement is forming due to the temperature difference between the pipe and the air. This has an easy fix: Just insulate the pipe!
Drain tile issues
If you get water in your basement after heavy rainfall, and your drain tile isn’t draining much water to your sump pump, you should consider having a contractor over to make sure your drain tile is not missing or defected.
Installing an exterior drainage system at an existing building is the most costly, but also the most effective water control approach. This requires digging up the area around the foundation and rebuilding it similar to a new house installation.
Window well
If you have a window well, make sure the base of it is sloping away from the house, not towards the house.
Foundation cracks
Concrete and concrete block foundations usually develop some cracks, and water can seep through the cracks and in to your basement. If you suspect that there is water seeping through foundation cracks, it suddenly became a job for your contractor.
Cracks less than 1/4″ wide, with or without displacement in any direction, are not likely to be signs of serious failure unless they are active.
Cracks over 3/8″ wide should be examined carefully as an indication of a potentially serious problem.
Cracks that are still active should be noted as major defects. Active cracks will have sharp edges, will break a new painted surface or mortar repair. They indicate a failure in progress and a situation that can grow worse. If you have cracks with sharp edges wider than 3/8″,you should have someone looking at your foundation as soon as possible.…

No Picture
Renovation Contractor

Log Home Maintenance 101

Log home maintenance is very important if you want your log home to last a long time, whether you live full-time in your home or only use it for holidays and vacations.
These homes have a certain charm. They exude warmth, coziness, and laid-back comfort. They inspire a sort of lingering, as if living there somehow calms people down. To preserve its charm, it is imperative that a cabin be given the proper attention and care.
It is best to be organized when it comes to log maintenance. Keeping a schedule will allow you to maximize the care of your home, especially since it is subject to the changes of the seasons, as well as varying weather patterns throughout the year. Regularly checking your log home also allows you to keep track of its state and address problems without too much time passing by.
You can hire a professional to oversee the maintenance of your log home or you can do it yourself. Maybe in the first year or so, you can ask for assistance from a professional, if you do not feel confident about doing it by yourself. A professional company can provide services that include cleaning, and sealing, caulking, sanding, and staining. A professional can help you check for any rotting in the logs, and how to repair it. They can check if there are gaps between the wood and your windows or doors, and they can check your gutters as well. Since wood deteriorates faster under heavy exposure to water, you need to make sure that your gutters are clean and clear. You also need to make sure there are no leaks.
Professional companies can assist you with all these things. They can give you tips on what you can do yourself. You just need to find a log maintenance and repair company you can trust. You can research on which companies are reliable and dependable, most of them have websites filled with information. You can also check out blogs by other log cabin owners. If you can join a network of home owners, you can trade ideas, insights, concerns, and recommendations. The best way to find out if a company does its job well is to see proof of it. Other log home owners can help you with that. These networks are great sources of information. You can find tips, reviews, warnings and referrals among the users.
Log home repair and maintenance companies usually offer an assessment and consultation, during which they can tell you about the state your log home is in, and what repairs and maintenance measures are needed. Ask them about alternatives and options, in case your budget is a concern. Negotiate the price. If you cannot afford the full service they are offering, maybe they can tell you which repairs are most pressing and requires their services and which ones you can do yourself.
Log maintenance is hard work but it is essential. You will not regret the time, effort and resources you put into maintaining your log home.…

No Picture
Home Renovation

4 Ways to Tackle Home Maintenance When You’re Renting

If you’ve ever rented a house, an apartment, or a tiny little tin-can, you would have some experience in this. Landlords and landladies all over the world engage in their curious enterprise of letting people reside in their property, not out of duty for the greater good, but because there’s good money to be made. So home maintenance becomes a means to an end as far as they are concerned.
• There is no reason to feel unduly outraged if, upon finding some damages in your household that you are not responsible for, the owner does not take immediate steps. Since property as an investment necessarily demands constant maintenance, he or she knows very well that leaving the house in a state of disrepair will eventually do more harm than good. Procrastination is usually attributable to three reasons: miscommunication, budget, and market rates.
• The majority of proprietor-tenant communications is conducted through third parties, such as agencies or middlemen. As conveyors of market signals, most of them consider their job done the moment you signed the contract. Failure to maintain your rented property is usually perceived as your failings rather than an inevitability, and for good reasons at that. While most of us would never deliberately sabotage our own dwellings, there are numerous instances – a failure to report water damage immediately, leaving a dripping tap be, and cranking up central heating beyond their designed capacity rather than insulate the house properly – where tenants have inadvertently aggravated the situation. Always report everything, and keep detailed logs of your correspondence so that you are in a position to lodge viable complaints later.
• The second reason why home maintenance is always left to the last possible reason has to do with the owner’s budget. The property ladder is a very convoluted construction: there are often cases where a downturn has hit the owner so hard he or she is left with negative equity even as the tenant is happily afloat. The need to save up for a down payment and pay fixed-rate mortgage means that sometimes landlords simply do not have the liquidity to send in a team of handymen. They aren’t necessarily poor, but until you’ve paid the rent there is simply not a lot in the kitty for them to buy the new refrigerator or washing machine.
• And the last and most subtle reason rental home maintenance go untended is the market rate for rental properties in the market at large. In a boom, property owners are more likely to focus on short-term speculative gains rather than the dribble of money (as they see it) coming from you. Put bluntly, it doesn’t make too much of a difference to them whether you live there or not.
So if you are struggling to mend a broken flat in the face of an unmovable owner, ditch it all at the earliest possible moment. The relationship between a tenant and a property owner should be a mutually beneficial one, and it is your job to convince them that it is to their interest that their biggest asset will not be destroyed in your hands, inadvertently or otherwise.…