Handyman Matters offers industry-first Online Appointment Scheduling Platform via new Website

Consumers can now choose from available time slots and book 24/7!

Handyman Matters’ recently launched website features cutting-edge technology that allows consumers to book their own appointment times with a local office. Designed to increase the convenience of booking an appointment, consumers simply provide details on the project need, estimate the number of hours needed, choose from available times and submit. Handyman Matters offices receive this data live in their calendars and confirm. Check out the website at: www.HandymanMatters.com.

Owner and founder, Andy Bell stated, “Redefining Home Improvement has been our goal since we started nearly 20 years ago. Providing our customers an easy way to book a professional, multi-skilled craftsman for their home was a no-brainer! Our research showed that our customers were looking for a no-hassle and easy way to find a reputable and trustworthy company to work on their most valuable asset, their homes. We just made it even easier to book with us.”

Committed to helping you love your home, Handyman Matters’ locally owned and operated offices provide professional and multi-skilled craftsmen, trained to handle a homeowners’ to-do list or that larger, more critical project like a bathroom refresh or remodel. The unique offering that is the best option for most consumers is the Half Day Package or Full Day Package, which can easily be booked online. Simply, the consumer receives four or eight hours of professional craftsman time, to be used to get projects, touch-ups or that nagging to-do list completed.

Focused on exceeding customer expectations during the scheduling process as well as while on the job, Handyman Matters guarantees their work and offers a “like it’s our home” Promise. Check out why Handyman Matters is different: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DIKDccSp7o

Booking Your Next Home Improvement Project Is Now Even Easier with HandymanMatters!

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 5.19.50 PMCalling a home repair company can be an intimidating experience.  You don’t know who is going to answer the phone (if anyone answers at all), or how friendly or knowledgeable the person you speak with is going to be.

Handyman Matters has always been dedicated to making the process as simple and painless as possible, and now with of our newly updated website, it’s even easier to contact us and to schedule the solution that works best for you.

When you go to www.handymanmatters.com, you have the option of entering your zip code, which will immediately take you to a page listing the location and phone number of the Handyman Matters office that services your neighborhood.

Once there, you can describe the details of the job you need completed in as much—or as little—detail as you like.  You can even schedule the specific appointment time that works best with your own timetable.  You’ll receive confirmation that your request was successfully submitted, and shortly thereafter you will be contacted by your local Handyman Matters office to finalize the appointment.  It’s like having someone holding your hand throughout the process, eliminating the uncertainty customer often experience when requesting assistance.

That’s just the surface of what the new website has to offer.  Check out our Services Page to see the size, scope and details of the jobs we can handle.  It’s conveniently divided by Room, by Area, or by Service, which itemizes the hundreds of different tasks our skilled Craftsmen perform every day.  You’re likely to discover things there that you didn’t even realize you’ve wanted to have repaired, upgraded or remodeled!

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 5.22.39 PM

Choosing an Outdoor Kitchen Design Worthy of Your Summer BBQ’s

There are certain sectors of the home that hold unprecedented potential for entertaining.

A billiards basement, the dining room, a large, open kitchen… It seems like that’s it, and then you step outdoors. For much of the year, a backyard is mostly defined by its taxing upkeep.  It can be hard to remember the glory days of summer, until spring arrives, and you find yourself spending more time outdoors.

With the right additions to your home, anyone can create an outdoor kitchen perfect for warm weather entertaining.  From affordable alterations, to entire upgrades, here are some outdoor kitchen designs for those summer BBQ’s.

Grills

The center of all outdoor kitchens is the grill. The grill that you choose will have the power to shape the rest of your outdoor kitchen design.

  • Charcoal Grill – If you’re willing to clean more and cook longer for the satisfaction of a smoky flavored meat, this grill is for you.
  • Gas Grill – For the less committed griller on the go, easy to use and clean, and fast.
  • Smoker – The crock pot of the back yard. These are for all day BBQ projects, and are ideal for the true foodies out there.
  • Wood Oven – Similar but different. This appliance is more expensive but perfect for the pizza enthusiast looking for a texture a typical grill cannot fully provide.

Seating

Envision a BBQ… where do you see your guests sitting?

Is there a standardized picnic table, or does your outdoor kitchen design cater toward something a little more built in?

Similar to their indoor counterparts, bar and bench seating can be a cozy way to border your outdoor kitchen with guests.

Counters & Bar

Ask yourself how much of the cooking process will take place outdoors.

  • Do you need extra counter space for prep work?
  • Do you want a spot for guests to relax and eat appetizers while you grill?

Counters also provide for a more traditional looking kitchen, building a grill into the rest of the kitchen set-up.

Appliances

The final amenities to your outdoor kitchen design.

  • TV – are you planning on watching the game outdoors? Installing a TV under an awning enables you to have the comfort of the living room, while grilling in the sun.
  • Heat Lamps – Nighttime BBQ’s can experience a drop in temperature. Or perhaps you’re looking to construct more of a year-round kitchen; heat lamps will allow you to grill in any weather.
  • Fire Pit – For the less traditional seating area in your outdoor kitchen there’s the fire pit. Roast marshmallows or have a controlled summer bonfire while eating your favorite grilled dinner.

Need Help?

Looking to create an outdoor getaway within your own home – Handyman Matters can help!

From deck installations, to constructing patios, counters, or cabinets, our craftsmen can work with you to plan the outdoor kitchen design of your dreams.

For a free project estimate just call 866-FIX-MY-HOME.

Complete Guide To Planning Your New Patio

There are more decisions that go into planning a patio than may be obvious at the start.

For example:

  • How important is privacy?
  • What about prevailing winds?
  • How about your gardening interest?
  • Do you want a picture-book effect with borders of colorful annuals, or do you want to spend time just sitting?

Imagine your patio as outdoor living space, not just somewhere to clean mud off your shoes or for haphazard deposits of bicycles, toy and garden tools.

Today, patios are planned as extensions of livings rooms, with sliding door between, providing a physical connection and ready access.

A small patio slab is seldom satisfactory.  Plan one of adequate size even if the project must be completed over a longer period of time.  Make simple sketches on paper and work toward this goal in small steps, if necessary.

The most common type of patio construction is poured concrete.  You can also use brick or other loose aggregates, but concrete is a pretty good step-at-a-time material, because the slabs are usually poured in the form of grids and therefore can be done in stages.  Concrete is durable and fluid enough to be cast in curves and flexible in surface texture and coloring. It’s also relatively easy to maintain.

Take time to consider all the surface options and then proceed with the one that seems most attractive and suited to your intent and the style of your home. Do you plan to entertain a lot of guests?  Will you be putting your barbecuing skills to the test?

Trends In Patio Design

patio design ideas

Here are five hot trends in patio design to help elevate your backyard patio from a nice patch of bricks to your favorite spot to entertain and relax this summer:

  1. Make the backyard a destination: More people are foregoing costly summer vacations in favor of sinking that travel money into creating a getaway spot in their own backyards. Enterprising homeowners are using decorative concrete to create mini theme parks with faux rock water features, sculpted pools with water slides and garden bridges.
  2. Cost-sensible, eco-conscious: Environmental awareness doesn’t have to take a backseat to luxury. Backyard oases must also emphasize eco-consciousness, incorporating environmentally-friendly materials like concrete, which is sustainable. But they also like the organic look and feel that the material can impart. Concrete patios can mimic the look of natural stone – even lava – without the eco-impact associated with quarrying the real thing. Plus, concrete costs considerably less than many natural stone products.
  3. Furniture built to last and last: Anybody can go to the local home improvement store and pick up a patio set. The truly trendy backyard designer turns to permanent backyard furniture, custom-made to fit your yard’s style. Custom concrete furniture can take on any shape, from pool tables and benches to patio tables and planters. It lasts a lifetime and never needs to be painted or refinished.
  4. Light my fire: When it comes to creating ambiance, few home improvements pack the wallop of a fireplace. Outdoor hearths are growing in popularity as homeowners continue to recreate all the appeal of their home’s interior in the backyard. Whether you choose gas or wood-burning, custom designed or pre-cast, adding a fireplace to your outdoor landscape is sure to light up its appeal.
  5. Size – and shape – matter: We’ve all seen patio disasters – the sprawling slab that totally dominates a tiny backyard, or the postage-stamp-sized patio that appears lost in a sea of grass. Homeowners are no longer leaving patio size to chance. Instead, they’re putting a lot of thought and planning into right-sizing their patio to create a living area that meets their needs and fits the profile of their backyard.  Determining how your space will be used and how much you have to work with before you undertake any remodeling will save time and avoid regret later on!

Patio Design Ideas

Whenever you are researching patio ideas there are numerous elements to look at: lighting, furnishings, heating and the types of functions you will want to utilize it for.

Will you be utilizing this outdoor space largely for relaxing or will you use it as an additional living and entertaining spot?

Fire Pit

Patio designs which include a fire pit could make the space not just cozy and relaxing but very exotic also.  A fire pit can be built into the outdoor patio with bricks or stones, or it may stand alone and still have the flexibility to be moved as needed. Most important is the fact that as soon as the sun goes down and the weather is cooler, the special event can still continue.

Water Features

You will discover quite a few patio ideas that also contain beautiful water features. A fountain or small waterfall can also be built with the use of the many unique and gorgeous rocks which are now offered and very easy for almost any homeowner to install. You can to find pre-built water features online or at home improvement stores that anyone can merely set in place, fill with water and plug in. The sound of trickling water sets the ambiance for relaxed entertaining.

Lighting

Light is another yet extremely significant element to think about in patio designs. There are many affordable choices of lighting on the market today. You’ll find several solar or low voltage selections that produce excellent illumination and create plenty of atmosphere for virtually any outdoor living space.

Shade

Shade is another factor to consider in patio design. The form and degree of shading you are going to want depends on the direction your patio is facing and the amount of natural light you want. Canvas awnings are a colorful and affordable way to manage both shade and temperature.

Patio Furniture

The finishing touch will be the pieces of furniture you choose.

Modern patio furniture is very weather resistant and can last for quite a few years. Almost all outdoor patio furniture can be casual and stylish at the same time.

Patios Canopies

patio-canopy

Patio canopies are particularly convenient for residences with a swimming pool, backyard deck, or other large and exposed areas.  For added comfort, privacy and security, manufacturers even offer screen attachments to close off a desired area.  For wide-open patios, canopies effectively allow an extension to the house or even a new room, giving the homeowner wider space and more comfort.

The exposure that patios have to rain, snow, sun and the elements has encouraged canopy manufacturers to come up with varying models of different materials, from retractable awnings to aluminum patio cover kits.

Some covers are made from heavy-duty vinyl and are available in various sizes.  Some companies offer lattice patio cover kits, created primarily for garden settings.  The market includes types made from aluminum material that feels and looks like wood, without posing any of the typical problems identified with wood, including peeling, warping, repainting, or attack by termites.

Other desired features include wind-release protection and awning flexibility.  There are portable and permanent models, created for every type use imaginable.  Combined with appropriate lighting in the evenings, patio canopies bring a festive air to a backyard party or barbecue.

An online perusal can provide a wealth of information regarding the styles and types of canopies available to homeowners these days.

Ready To Plan Your Patio?

Will your patio be a do-it-yourself event, or something elaborate enough to warrant utilizing profession construction services?  Be armed with answers to all of these questions before you undertake the process.  An outside area for relaxation and entertaining can be terrifically rewarding, and therefore deserves a good deal of consideration at the start of the project.

Pet-Friendly Doors & Entryways (5 Different Styles)

Taking the dog out can be a tedious task. Fur children can be the epitome of need, with their bathroom habits, exercise routines, and erratic sunbathing.  If the barrier between the outdoors and the indoors is wholly dependent on you, you’re likely spending a lot of your day opening and closing doors.

Why consider installing a pet door in your home?

There are a variety of benefits for pet and homeowner alike:

  • The pet door allows unfettered access in and out of the house, or just to certain areas of the house.
  • It enables a homeowner to be gone for longer stretches of time without worrying that the dog has access to the outdoors when it needs to relieve itself.
  • Dog doors allow the pet greater access to explore, play, and exercise, making for a happier, freer animal.
  • He or she will have more places to hide and shelter, in case of danger or hazards such as weather.
  • It also provides wider demarcation of protection again other animals, both domestic and wild.  There is mutual protection for both pet and person from visitors, deliverymen and salespeople.

They can also save owners damage and expense, as it significantly decreases the likelihood that a restless or frustrated pet will chew on furniture or have accidents within the house.

Ultimately, of course, pet doors are all about safety, for both you and your pet.  It’s a great stress reliever for humans and animals alike.

Help your animals enjoy the spring and independence by installing a pet-friendly door.

No matter what your entryway situation is, whether it be a screen door, a sliding door, a wood door… even a storm door with pet door is possible.  Explore your options:

Screen Dog Door

Screen Dog Door
image via ImprovementsCatalog

If you only want your pets in the back yard when your home, think about creating a pet door inside a screen door.  This allows you to maintain a barrier between the yard and your home only when you want one, and when you don’t, just close the main door! These kits are also fairly easy to install yourself – you just need a screen cutter and screw driver. One thing to keep in mind though is climate.  Do you live in a warm area? Or will having just a screen door between you and the outside drastically effect your homes temperature.  Screens are ideal for sunny weather areas.

Sliding Glass Dog Door

Yes, it’s possible.  With this option you can retain the heat of your home while also having the ability to block the doggy door off with the front screen.  Unfortunately, glass cannot be as easily altered as screen.  In order to install one of these you will need to replace one of the glass doors with a panel that already has a pet door installed.

Window Pet Door

It’s fairly common that a home would have a window close to the floor.  Many times these will be situated around a door frame, or near a deck.  This can be a more affordable way to install a pet door as you don’t need to buy quite as large of a panel as you would for a door.

Wood Dog Door

Wood Dog Door
image via VissBiz

A saw, a screwdriver, and a standard pet door is all you need to transform this entryway.  Measure out the size of the doggy door, cut around it, put it in, when it’s flush with the door fasten it in with screws.  That’s all you have to do.  It’s fairly DIY, and if you’re looking for extra protection, you can purchase an electric pet door that has the option to lock so you can make your home more secure.

Storm Dog Door

Pet Storm Door

A storm door with a pet door is going to be fairly similar to installing one in a wood door.  The main thing you want to keep in mind when adding a doggy door to something as heavy duty as a storm door is weather.

Not just any pet door will suffice in this situation, you’re going to want a storm dog door that prevents drafts, and something that can be locked and sealed.  Altering a door built for extreme weather necessitates buying a more durable pet door – otherwise you’re defeating the purpose.

Need Help Installing?

Whatever your pet door needs, we can find a solution.  Help your furry friends enjoy the warm weather to come!

For assistance installing a doggy door, or for a free quote, call 866-FIX-MY-HOME.

Pet-Friendly Additions For Your Home (Watch Out, They’re Really Cute)

At Handyman Matters, we love our pets.  Whether they are dogs, cats, fishes, pigs, bunnies, hamsters, birds… pets make the best housemates.

If you didn’t already know, May is National Pet Month in the US, and it’s our free pass to go a little crazy. We’ve decided to pull together a list from our Pinterest of our favorite home additions for dogs.  Forget repairs and home to-do lists, and come indulge in a little puppy pampering with us…

Dog Baths


One of the most functional additions to a home is the dog bath. A great mudroom addition that will keep your pups clean without all the maneuvering. Especially with the extendable shower-head and splash guard, this shower will save pet owners a lot of headaches.

Dog Windows

Pooches are curious creatures. Put them in front of a window, and they could be there all day. But there may not always be window of the correct height for your pup.

Do you have a tall backyard fence because you need to keep in a large dog? Consider a mid fence cut out.

Or maybe you have an especially little dog. Windows of normal height can be complicated to get up to without assistance.  Add extra light to your home by installing a modern, floor level window.

Dog Gates

  

There may be a portable gate, but when it comes to larger dogs, these gates usually fold under the pressure.

For persistent dogs, you will need a sturdier, installed gate.  Whether it be a pop-out wall gate, a hinge gate, or a dutch door, these barriers will help you divide and restrict rooms in your home.

Baseboard Drawers


Yet another use for these cabinet hacks.  Install a baseboard drawer to hold your pup’s water and food dish in place.  You could even use the cabinet above the drawer to store crunchies, chew toys, and other treats.

Porch Potty


For the apartment and condo dwellers out there, the best and most convenient home addition is the porch potty. It’s a faux lawn with a draining system that allows your dog to go without having to go on a walk around the neighborhood.

Dog Mansion

cape cod outdoor dog house

Really looking to go crazy?  Put this awesome outdoor dog house in your backyard. There are other smaller options as well.

For assistance installing your home’s new pet accessory? Give us a call – 866-FIX-MY-HOME.

Tips For Lighting Every Room In Your House

Lighting is a key element that helps make a home. With proper lighting, you are able to perform tasks easily. Proper lighting also makes you feel comfortable, safe and also allows you to enjoy your home to the fullest. Each room in the house has unique lighting needs. Below are the suitable lights for each room to help you with planning.

Living Area

There are several types of lighting fixtures including recessed lighting that work for accent and general lighting needs. They help to enhance the living room’s ambience, accent artwork, dramatize wall textures and also illuminate your living room or playroom.

If you must use a chandelier in a given space, make sure the one you chose doesn’t date your space. Chandeliers are normally brought without considering space and the décor surrounding it. Chandeliers are available in many simple designs including small bulbs, faux candles or a few lights to complex and very expensive crystal varieties.

Regardless of your choice of décor, consider the ceiling height, measure the space and take into consideration how many lights on a circuit are required before installing lighting fixture.

Dining Room

Since the lighting fixture is the focal point of your dining area, it should express your personal style; while at the same time satisfy the general lighting needs. Whether your entertaining and dining style is casual and laidback, or is more formal, go for a fixture that truly reflects you.

Your dining area is the easiest room to light since the focal point of the room is always the dining table. Although chandeliers are normally the most popular, however pendant lights are also very good. You may as well add accent lights or a task lamp if you want to put spotlight on a given accent feature in the room.

Kitchen

Using under cabinet lighting will help prevent shadows on the kitchen counters, while at the same time adding critical light to your workspace. Fluorescent under cabinet lighting sources are also much cheaper compared to other lighting sources. Recessed down lights are the best for open areas over sinks. They can be mounted directly over the sink.

Mount mini-pendants 18 to 24 inches above your work surface to ideally light up your counter dinettes or breakfast bar. A pendant on dimmer, hanging just 24 to 30 inches above the table is the best for task lighting. You may size the fixture to about 12 inches less than the table’s diameter.

LED light bulbs are available in several color temperatures. Higher color temperatures of about 5000k to 6500k are recommended for a kitchen with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI), as high as reasonable to buy. CRI is a measure of how true the colors show up under light of any given bulb. For instance, rays from the sun have CRI of 100. So any other source above 80 represents colors closer to the way they appear in natural light from the sun.

The oven is also a very important place that requires sufficient light. A poor quality bulb in your oven is likely to make food appear under or overcooked. This can in turn throw a nasty wrench in an otherwise perfect meal. Incandescent bulbs are the best for ovens. In summary, your kitchen needs light bulbs that are high in CRI with fairly high color temperatures. The ovens on the other hand need specialty incandescent light bulbs with higher CRI.

Bathroom

The bathroom requires the right tone of light. The compact fluorescent light bulbs with the color temperatures of about 2700k best match the incandescent light, which has for a long time been used to scrutinize ourselves. Since our skin appear better under warm light, experts believe that warm light is optimal in your bathroom. If you are using recessed light over pedestal sink, it’s advisable not to mount them directly over the mirror in order to avoid creating shadows.

You can get rid of shadows by adding wall brackets to the side of your mirror. If your mirror is below 48 inches wide use, vertically mount wall brackets and position it under 75 to 80 inches above the floor.

If the fixture in your bathroom uses exposed lamps, avoid using wattage higher than 40 watts. Fixtures that are clear or with properly diffused glass normally use no more than seventy-five watts. The color corrected fluorescent lamps are supposed to be used when homeowners desire fluorescent fixtures. Crisp while light render skin tone most accurately.

Bedroom

The most appropriate choice for bedroom lighting is warm light because it is more relaxing and restful. Task lighting is usually used on bedside tables but you may also have sconces there too. In addition, you may consider installing accent lights to highlight a work of art or a photo. Dimmer switches are important and should not be forgotten because they allow you to make perfect ambiance in the room.

If your bedroom has sufficient space for nightstand, you may set up two bedside lamps. You can set them up in a style, but make sure that you do not angle the light to shine directly on the pillow, as a soft glow is much more soothing than a spotlight.

If your room is not spacious enough to accommodate nightstand, you can mount two sconces on each side of your bed, so as to have good light suitable for bedtime reading.

Exterior Lighting

Alley Illuminated Lantern Nighttime Old Town Stairs

Use decorative features on walls, along pathways, on posts and entrance foyers. Design of these features is supposed to complement the feel and look of your home and landscape while giving sufficient light for security, safety and functionality.

As you install a wall lantern, be sure to size the fixture not only to the door but also the surrounding spaces. Mount wall lanterns slightly above the eye level roughly at about 60 to 66 inches from the center to the floor. You may select post-top lanterns to match the style of wall lanterns. Post top lanterns which are larger make the best impression if used in a large open space.

Conclusion

Do not be afraid when choosing suitable lights for each room. Sufficient lighting can boost your mood and ambiance in the space. Lighting, just like the color of your room, can help enhance your space and also make it feel warmer and inviting. You can also get more lighting help ideas and suitable lights for each room from lighting stores, online decors, catalogues, fashion blogs and magazines.

Tips to Prepare your Deck for Outdoor Entertaining

Getting your deck structurally sound and safe is just the first step to having a great outdoor space for use in the summer. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure that your deck is not only safe and functional, but that it also becomes the envy of all your friends, and the center of your neighborhood’s summer cookout season. These simple ideas will ensure that, rain or shine, your deck, patio, or porch is ready for anything you, or Mother Nature, throw at it.

1. Enclose your deck with mosquito netting. Netting is ideal for climates that are warm and humid – especially during the hot summer months – because they help keep out insects and pests.

2. Install a fire-pit. Fire pits act as a center focal point for your deck, and they also allow for year-round use during the early spring and fall months when the weather starts to get chilly.

3. Build tiki-torch brackets. Soft outdoor lighting is great for setting the mood and atmosphere of your outdoor space. Brackets allow for a safer way to utilize this fun and alternative form of lighting.

Here’s one option for tiki torch mounting

4. Consider covering, or partially covering, your deck, patio or porch. This will help prevent furniture and outdoor appliances from getting ruined by weather or sunlight.

5. Outfit your deck with comfortable seating and gathering areas. Decks are a place to socialize and congregate – outdoor couches and lounge chairs are a stylish and comfortable way to relax outdoors.

outdoor patio set
There are many options for outdoor seating

6. Build in plenty of storage/counter space. When cooking and grilling outside, storage becomes key for keeping your food and utensils within arm’s reach. Build counter-tops, cabinets and even install a small refrigerator for convenience.

7. Build levels into your deck. A great way to divide your deck space into separate sections for cooking and lounging is to create levels connected by small stairs. This creates not only an eye-catching layout, but adds the illusion of additional space.

8. Turn your deck into an outdoor cinema. A popular choice nowadays for many homeowners is installing a large television into a covered area (in case of rain or bad weather) on the deck.

9. Make space for sound. Installing a surround sound system is a great deck addition for throwing parties and entertaining people..

outdoor speaker in rock (looks like a rock)
Here’s one outdoor speaker option that blends in

10. Upgrade to a stationary grill. A regular grill is a great addition to any deck, yard, or porch, but to really impress the neighbors and cook top-notch food for large gatherings, consider designing your deck with a built-in grill from the start. Not only are they better at cooking than portable grills, they are often larger and can accommodate more food.

Call Handyman Matters today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME to schedule all of your outdoor projects or enter your zip code above to find a location near you!

Need-to-Know Repairs to Prepare your Deck for Summer!

Large barbecue cooker on cedar deck

One of the best aspects of owning a home is the yard that comes with it.  What is better than sitting out on your deck, relaxing, and enjoying the scenery?  Absolutely nothing.  Having an inviting outdoor space this time of year can’t be beat.  Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun and read, host a BBQ, or perhaps throw a backyard wedding or graduation – here are some repairs to consider so you can enjoy all the summer days ahead…

Power Washing

Decks can often look weathered by the end of the winter season.  When grime builds up it can be hard to tell what areas of your deck need to be repaired.  Perhaps your boards are discolored – this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to sand or re-stain your deck.  Start this process with power washing.  A high pressure cleaning is unbeatable when revealing what is a smudge and what is a stain.

powering washing live

Checking For Wood Rot

Checking for rot is as easy as wielding a screwdriver.  With your screwdriver, drive it into the wood, and pop up a splinter.  If the splinter snaps and reacts with the quality of dry wood, you’re in the clear; if it bends and doesn’t really snap, you will need to replace that board.  Make sure to check in the surrounding areas to see if the rot has potentially spread.

Areas of the deck that are in direct contact with the ground underneath are more likely to experience rot because of ground moisture.  If your deck isn’t elevated, it may be worth looking into to avoid future, costly damage.

Panel Replacement

Is your deck surface even?  Walk around, notice if you have any uneven steps, or if you find yourself tripping over cracks.  Warped wood is a common problem for most decks, and can ruin outdoor get-togethers.

You don’t want your company tripping and falling and neither do we.  Luckily this problem has a quick fix, as deck panels screw in individually and can be easily swapped out.

Sanding and Sealing

When it comes to wood decks, maintaining a consistent stain can have a drastic effect on the value of your home.  If you’re noticing discoloration this will help bring it back to its natural color.

  • First, sand your deck to help break down the variance in tone.
  • Next, instead of painting the wood, try a sealant.

Sealing does exactly what it sounds like as it absorbs into the wood to seal in color as opposed to covering it up.  This process will also help to protect your deck from the elements during next year’s winter.

 

Enjoy the sun, and let Handyman Matters do the rest.  We specialize in a variety of exterior maintenance projects, from deck repair or additions, to landscaping, to gutter cleaning… Let us be your ally in achieving the perfect summer home.

Exterior Painting Mistakes To Avoid

If you are a veteran of painting projects in the past, you already have a pretty good idea of some of the pitfalls to avoid.  But here are a few of the less familiar things to keep in mind when undertaking that next paint job:

Pay close attention to the condition of the surface

Is loose paint cracking, or forming blisters?  Is the finish peeling only as deep as the previous film?  This could be an adhesion problem, or something that goes deeper.  In the places that appear dirty, is it actually mold?  A closer inspection will provide clues as to whether you might be dealing with leaks, condensation, or simply poor surface-preparation in the past.

Power washing prior to painting

When washing vertical surfaces, start from the bottom and work up.  This will help prevent streaks from drips.  Be sure you complete an entire plane/wall in one session, and then, before the surface dries, rinse from the top down.  Of course, once the plane/wall is dry and it’s time to paint, then start at the top and work down to brush out any drips.

Get the timing right

Factory-primed doors and siding must be painted within 30 to 180 days, depending on the product.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Stain or prime and paint bare wood immediately after installation.  Pressure-treated wood should be finished when drips of water don’t bead on the surface.

Don’t paint too early in the morning; a good guide is to wait until the grass is dry.  Don’t coat while direct sunlight is beaming on the surface.  This can cause wrinkles in the finish or premature fading of the color.  Paint west-facing walls in the morning and east-facing ones in the afternoon.

Allow time between coats for complete drying.  And don’t wait too long before the next refinishing, or you’ll have more surface prep work to do.

Pay attention to the temperature and elements

Believe the label’s instructions which prescribe limits on humidity and on the surface and air temperatures.  Liquids may crystallize on an uncured finish during frigid temperatures.  Be wary of painting if it’s particularly windy.  Not only can wind deposit debris on the wet surface, but it can also create blistering.

Be safe!

When working in high places, use reliable ladders, scaffolding or lifts.  Don’t trust the rickety ladder you’ve had around forever.  And just as contractors must now deal with stiff requirements while working on older homes, do-it-yourselfers should likewise exercise caution when it comes to removing old paint, which may be lead-based.