Tag Archives: deck repair

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…

  • #1 – 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.


  • #2 – Checking for Wood Rot

Checking for rot is as easy as wielding a screwdriver.  With your screw driver, 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.


  • #3 – 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.


  • #4 – 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.  Just call 866-FIX-MY-HOME, or head to our website and fill out one of our free estimate forms!




Home Improvement Projects That Provide the Best Return On Investment

home-improvementWhen you give some thought to doing home renovation and other “touch-up” projects, it’s beneficial to consider both your own immediate needs and desires and also the improvements that will give added appeal to your house when the time comes to list it for sale. Here are some of the best ROI (“return on investment”) renovations you can make to your property:

1. Major Kitchen Remodels (75-85% ROI) .

Buyers want to envision themselves in a gorgeous newly renovated kitchen where they can actually see themselves preparing meals for their friends and family, where the kids nestle into a cozy banquette doing their homework, or where guests mingle around that gorgeous island.

A major kitchen remodel may need to include a new floor plan to improve on a poorly designed work triangle. Replacing cabinetry, appliances, lighting, flooring, finishes and fixtures and perhaps adding new French doors and windows are ways to grab a buyer’s attention. Kitchens and baths tend to be the costliest rooms to renovate, so this can be a particularly appealing selling point.

2. Family Room Additions (75% ROI)

The family room is the second most popular space in the home after the kitchen; most homes already have one, but if yours doesn’t, you can consider transforming an existing room (den, dining room, sewing room) into one. If space and your wallet permit, you can also consider putting an addition on your property. If you have a family room already, you might want to consider brightening it with renovations as French doors, floor to ceiling windows, or even a skylight. Perhaps it’s even possible to add a deck just outside the French doors? And speaking of decks…

3. Deck Addition (72-95% ROI)

Deck additions are quite possibly the best investments these days. They naturally transition the interior to the exterior, expanding your living space. The design can be as simple or elaborate as the home it’s attached to: Multi-leveled or single, built-in seating or casual seating areas, hot tubs, and outdoor kitchens. Decks are more popular than pools and relatively easy to build. Design it to complement the character of your home’s exterior architecture; it should be proportionate to the size of your yard. Be sure to incorporate energy efficient solar or LED lighting.

4. Main Floor Master Bedroom Addition (73% ROI)

Adding a 400 sq.ft. master bedroom suite and spa-like bath provides a private retreat and appeals to many home buyers. The trend is toward first-floor master bedrooms; empty nesters and others who no longer want to tackle stairs prefer to have their bedroom and bath retreat on the main floor level of the home. Immediate access to a gorgeous deck or patio outdoors also adds to the return.

P.S. Creating Home Office Space

There is a marked trend towards creating home offices, space that enables people not just to conduct “office work” at home, but also a sanctuary of sorts, a place free of distraction to pay bills or even to operate their own home-based business. Oftentimes, the least-used room in a house—the den, the spare room—can easily be transformed into a pleasant and productive workspace with a minimum of effort. Increasingly, buyers are drawn towards property that offers this option.

So while investing the time, effort and finances necessary to complete a few home improvement projects, do these with an eye towards what will add appeal to your house, not just for you and your family, but for potential buyers when the time comes for you to move to your next dream home.

Handy Maintenance Tips For Your Home

Home Maintenance TipsFollow these steps to avoid expensive repairs later and keep your home safe and efficient.

  • Check Carpet for Stains, Popping Seams, Rumples and General Damage – Small stains can often be removed using WD-40 (Test for discoloration in an unexposed area first).  Popping seams in small areas can be fixed with a glue gun and frayed pieces should be cut with scissors and covered with glue to prevent further unraveling.  “Rumples” are areas where the carpet has a wavy look.  This can be fixed with a “Knee Kicker” which is a tool with a pad and teeth that grabs the carpet and tightens it by pulling it further over the tack strip at the outside edge.
  • Check Linoleum for Rips, Tears & Curling – For rips, re-glue with the manufacturers recommended glue.  For tears, re-glue with a clear vinyl-seaming adhesive.  Curling means that nothing is holding down the outside edge.  All linoleum outside edges need to be covered and held down by molding, transition strips, adhesive caulk or other materials to prevent curling and allowing water & dirt under the flooring.
  • Tighten Screws & Nails on Decks & Patios – Wood expands and contracts with changing temperatures and weather.  Boards will loosen and warp if not maintained.  To make your deck or patio last longer, tighten screws and hammer protruding nails carefully to make sure you don’t cause the wood to crack by over tightening.
  • Clean & Seal Decks & Railings – Do this once each year to extend deck life. Typically only the top horizontal parts of the railing need attention.  Make sure that once you use one kind of product for this that you continue to only use the same type product every year in the future to prevent any incompatibility problems.
  • Review Concrete for Cracks, Chips & Shifting – For cracks, grind with an angle grinder to a minimum of 1/8” and fill with a DOT spec “Bridge Grade Self-Leveling Caulk”.  Make sure to fill only halfway because it expands as it dries.  For separation between your concrete and a wall of over ½” add a “backer rod” (a foam, flexible rod) to fill the gap and give the caulk something to sit on top of and stick to.  For chips or missing chunks, scrape off any loose material and refill with “Rockite”.  Texture to match the surrounding finish for best final appearance.
  • Test All Smoke or CO Detectors Push the button on the unit to check it – a few minutes doing this each month could save your family’s life in a fire.