I know with snow in the air as I type this it’s hard to imagine spring, but it’s here. Every year Reds Opening Day brings with it spring time and a list of home improvement projects. I know for me personally I need to address some issues with my deck, landscaping and some indoor lighting fixtures. I’m not sure what it is about the winter, but I’m just never in the mood to think about home improvement like I am in the spring. Below I’m posting a few tips that I use to get myself ready for the spring and to get my home “to-do” list out of the way for summer
1. Do a detailed walk around of your home. Every year people find out too late that they have a bee or pest problem. WHY? It’s pretty easy, the bee’s find ways into our homes through areas that we don’t visit too often. So take a few hours and do some outdoor yard clean up and pay attention if you see bee’s or other pests coming and going from a certain place.
2. Don’t kill yourself with a 20 item list. If your list is too big you will not do it because of budget reasons and because it’s just too intimidating. Create a list of 10 items you’d like to accomplish by May 31st and make a goal of knocking out 1-2 items per weeks starting in April.
3. Create a budget!
4. Think really hard before you do something on your own. I’m not saying this just because this is what we do, but because too many times “Do-It Yourselfers” get in over their head, over their budget and injured when trying to tackle these household tasks. I commonly suggest to customers to price out the materials for a project before they try it themselves, then compare that to a quote from a professional. Many times the prices aren’t that far off and the best part is you get to watch baseball while they do the work. Plus, take into consideration the cost to you and your family if you were to become injured during the process, many times the risk out weighs the reward.
For any project you can think of, Home Services Link can help you take care of it. From small items like edging, to a room addition. Home Services Link helps home owners in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky remodel and repair their homes everyday.
It’s that time of year that mos of us are looking at a long list of household items that need fixed. The winter is harsh on our home, winds and snow can cause issues on your roof and gutters. Your windows are probably harder to see out of now. I know on my list my yard is tops, the grass, mulch beds and shrubs all need attention. This all brings me to my point, I learned a long time ago it’s a lot cheaper to pay someone to do it right than to do it myself. Early in my professional career I saw a trainer name Tom Hopkins in person and of the many items that stuck with me, this one did more than other “don’t do something that you can pay someone to do, while you make more money”. Of course there are the items that we all love to do to get out of the home and relieve stress, but then there are those items we should REALLY stay away from.
First, if it involves a ladder, DON’T DO IT! Before you step on a ladder, or roof think about what the cost would be if you got hurt and are out of work for a prolonged period? The dangerous situations many of us put ourselves in make no sense. As I’m typing this I just had a flashback to my early 20′s and I was 20ft up on a forklift, standing on the forks to fix something at work. My father was on the ground really mad about me being up there and I thought it was funny. I was young, stupid and I thought invincible. Thankfully nothing happened, but I can’t stop thinking about “what if”.
So as you start addressing your “Honey-Do” list, I ask you to PLEASE think before you do something you may regret. Not because we do this for a living, but for your family. For any task you think may be better for professional to handle call Home Services Link in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
The following is a great article from Alex Lockstead of Eaton Inspections. It is very timely as the weather warms up. Last year at Home Services Link we had a large number of calls for water in the basement but it had not been raining. This is especially a problem with block foundation because the wall can fill with water before you know you have a problem.
Don’t risk flooding your basement. Most homes today have frost free hose bibs (faucets). If properly installed and maintained, these faucets can remain on during the winter without freezing (the handle is outside but the valve is actually located back inside the house). However, if the faucet does freeze and burst you will discover the leak only after you have unknowingly flooded the basement while cleaning your car in the driveway on that first really warm day.
If the piping for the faucet is located in an unfinished basement then you could inspect the exposed piping for damage. Unfortunately, the pipe is often behind a finished surface and even if it is in an unfinished area the entire pipe is not visible.
You can use the same inspection technique I do to find out if you have a problem. Hold your hand tightly against the bottom of the faucet and turn it on just a little bit. If the faucet builds up pressure and sprays out no matter how hard you hold your hand in place then you are probably just fine (double check inside to be sure). If you can hold you hand in place though and you can hear water running without building up pressure, then don’t let if run for more than a few seconds. This scenario is a good indication that there may a break in the pipe back inside the wall or floor cavity.
Go inside your home opposite where the faucet is located. If it is in an unfinished basement any small amount of water from your test should be visible. If the pipe is located behind a finished surface or if any active leakage is positively identified, call your plumber and keep the faucet off. Further testing or usage in this condition could result in significant leakage.