Archive by Author

Water Damage: Composite Wood Trim (Part 4)

We like our homes to be unique, to reflect an era or lifestyle that compliments our personality. There are many ways to add unique touches to your homes. You must remember that even though these elements are decorative, they must still need to be maintained.

For years homeowners have had a choice in materials for shutters – wood or one of the new vinyl products that won’t rot. Now we have similar choices for many of the exterior trim pieces. My favorite is Azek which offers a growing selection of trim pieces for the most common types of water damage found:

Read full story Comments { 0 }

UPDATE: Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Windows

Last week I wrote about savings for homeowners in the Stimulus Package. Unfortunately the government web sites didn’t reflect the changes, so I could only describe what was on the Energy Star web site at the time. Here is a quick summary of the changes:

Energy Star's Anatomy of an Energy Efficient Window

Old Energy Tax Credits – 10% of product costs, for max of $500

New Energy Tax Credits – 30% of product costs, up to $1,500

Previously, this credit was over the life of the tax credit (2006, 2007 & 2009) and that restriction no longer appears on the Energy... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Baby Boomers: What They Want in a Home

Happened onto this article, What Boomers Really Want in Housing, at chicagotribune.com and decided if I was interested, you might be too.Here is a short recap of the key points made.

Entertainment Center

What Boomers Want in a Home

Prefer single floor homes with 3 bedrooms Easy maintenance Energy efficiency Quality features like walk-in closets Quality materials like granite counter tops Creature comforts like a built-in bar, wine cellars and multiple plasma TVs

What Boomers Don’t Want in a Home

Grab bars or anything reminds them they’re getting old Universal products for handicapped accessibility

The article went on to talk about the different types of communities baby boomers are... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Steps to Re-Finish Hardwood Floors

Homeowners love hardwood floors but they can be a lot of work, from proper cleaning to removing dirt before it gets ground into the finish. When floors are cared for, they may need to be refinished to bring them back to their original condition.

Everyone Loves Hardwood Floors

Whether you need to refinish one/more rooms prior to putting your house on the market is an important questions. It’s not inexpensive like painting, and not recommended for do-it-yourselfers as you aren’t familiar with the equipement AND you don’t know if it’s been well maintained.

To help you understand what’s involved, here are the... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Protecting Hardwood Floors – Tips for Parents

Some homeowners are starting to get their homes ready to put on the market as spring is quickly approaching. One challenging issue is wood floors and whether they need to be refinished? It is a costly and lengthy (full week, described below) process to sand and refinish hardwood floors.

One of our customers called early. We’ll be out there Sunday, right after they leave for the airport, to move all the furniture in prep for floor refinishing to start on Monday. The fun part of this conversation was how to protect the floors when the kids come¬† home? I recommended buying... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Energy Savings for Homeowners Part of Stimulus Package

The stimulus bill has been passed. More than $50 billion is focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy.¬† While most of the money is earmarked for improving energy infrastructure, government and manufacturing facilities … we all eventually benefit from these investments as the technologies trickle down to new materials for home construction.

Residential Home's Energy Losses

For homeowners, here are the immediate benefits with respect to energy:

Extends to 2010, tax credits for purchase of more efficient furnaces, windows and doors, insulation, etc. Please be careful in planning your investments as there are quite a few limitations. The EnergyStar (www.energystar.gov) web site: Home... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Water Damage: Corner Boards (Part 3)

Typically a handyman focuses on making the repairs a customer requests. With blogging, there is a new dimension as I’m stitching together small stories of our work, that in fact start to present a bigger picture when you look at all the parts.

This is part 3 in a series about the places on a home’s exterior that suffer the most water damage. What are common threads between these elements of exterior home trim? They’re more vulnerable to the elements because they stick out further than the siding or other other components next to them.

The real story behind these (photos below)... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Water Damage: Window Trim (Part 2)

Window Sill BEFORE

Continuing our series on common water damage problems faced by homeowners, we next look at windows. My theory is we see window problems more frequently as they are difficult to paint, and paint is what protects them from water damage.

Unfortunately many homeowners put off the task tooo long. What might have been an easy repair, becomes very costly when multiple windows have to be replaced as the photos below illustrate. The water only needs to penetrate through the protective paint to start the rotting process. It continues, extending in all directions invisible to a visual inspection. The best way to... 

Read full story Comments { 0 }