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.

A Big And Small Energy Saver For Each Room Of Your House

Energy Saving Tips For Your HomeSaving the environment can be an overwhelming task. With everything in the news about how to make your home more energy efficient, it’s easy to become bewildered when thinking about all the improvements you could make. But there’s no need to worry, as you don’t have to make your home into a model for green living all at once.

In fact, if everyone did just a few little things, the earth would see a gigantic benefit, so you can still do your part even if it doesn’t mean retrofitting your entire home. And a few small measures, like taking the ENERGY STAR “Change the World” pledge, can result in you seeing immediate savings.

Some of the world’s leading brands recently teamed up with energy-savings experts to build an energy-neutral house to test earth-friendly practices in Boulder, Colo. Lifestyle experts were then invited to live in The Green House for three days, test its environmentally friendly products and experience the benefits of eco-friendly living.

The main takeaway from The Green House project is that there are a variety of steps you can take, big ones and smaller ones, to make each room in your home more eco-friendly:

Bathroom
Big: Install a low-flow aerating showerhead. Most models allow you to save around 30 percent on water usage without compromising on your shower experience.

Small: Avoid using toxic cleaning products, as chemicals find their way into the atmosphere and waterways. As you run out of old cleansers, replace with nontoxic cleaning products.

Kitchen
Big: Replace your old refrigerator or dishwasher with an energy-efficient model. Look for models that either meet or go beyond ENERGY STAR levels, like a new 4-Door French-door refrigerator that’s 20 percent more efficient than the minimum ENERGY STAR standard. The fridge achieves efficiency through linear compressor technology that alters output based on demand from the refrigerator. This means fewer temperature swings, ultimately using less energy and saving you money.

Small: Plant a garden, as the food out of your garden will be fresher and won’t need to be transported to the store or to your home.

Bedroom
Big: Buy all-natural bedding that is made from earth-friendly materials.

Small: Unplug gadgets like cell phone chargers and unused appliances before going to bed, since they can use energy even when they are plugged in and not in use.

Laundry room
Big: Buy an energy-efficient washer and dryer. Consider a high-efficiency, front-load steam washer machine. It uses more than 50 percent less water per load and is roughly 86 percent more energy-efficient than conventional top-load machines.

Small: Clean your dryer vent after each load, because even a partially clogged vent will hurt your dryer’s efficiency.

Energy center
Big: Invest in a programmable thermostat, which can save you money by automatically managing home temperatures when you plan to be away or while you sleep. Some even can be controlled remotely while you are gone.

Small: Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs.

Garage
Big: If you’re in the market for a new car, buy a gas-sipping hybrid.
Small: Take public transportation. Better yet, where possible, bike or walk on one trip each week where you would usually drive.

Living room
Big: Buy an ENERGY STAR-rated TV that will save you money when it’s both on and off. With very low standby and on-mode power consumption, some new LED HDTVs save only about 7 cents of electricity a day for average viewing of six hours daily.

Small: Unplug your DVD player or other accessories when they are not in use, especially when leaving for an extended time like a vacation.

Whether they are big or small, your energy-saving contributions won’t go unnoticed by Mother Nature or your pocketbook. The professionals at Handyman Matters can help take care of all of your interior projects – no matter how small! Click here to find a location near you or call 866-FIX MY HOME today.

Garage Makeover

clean out and organize your garageIf your garage houses everything but your car, perhaps it’s time to consider cleaning out and reorganizing. Making space for projects, hobbies and storage extends your living space. For some, the garage is the biggest room in the house; why not make it more livable?

From sports equipment, lawn and gardening tools, seasonal decorations and cherished relics that you can’t part with, a roomful can be overwhelming — especially when considering the decision to toss or keep.

Realistically, if you organize everything, you may not have to get rid of anything. This is an opportunity to get the treasure off the floor and out from behind the door. With a step-by-step process you can create an organized, usable garage space and create storage.

Pick a nice day so you can use the driveway to begin organizing. Separate things into piles by group: sports gear, hand tools, fix-it supplies, yard paraphernalia and a junk pile. “Junk” being those things that you’ve hung onto that you “might use someday.” Consider how many years it has gathered dust and toss or donate it to your local charity. The tax savings from your donation might even help pay for your garage make over.

Once you have everything in its respective pile, look at your garage space. Now that you have empty walls and floor space, you can put everything back and hope it stays nice, right? Wrong! You wouldn’t leave pots and pans on the kitchen floor, why leave valuable equipment on the garage floor? Add cabinetry with shelving, drawers and doors to store things properly.

Adding cabinets also creates counter space for woodworking, fixing the car, potting plants or whatever your interest dictates. Modular cabinets can be arranged in and around your large items, like the refrigerator, ride-on lawn mower or band saw to create a space for everything.

Adding cabinetry is more than organization, it’s about lifestyle. You’re taking the most cluttered part of your home and customizing it to create a finished extension of your square footage and adding to your home’s value. The professional craftsmen at Handyman Matters can handle all of the cabinet and storage installation in your new garage space.

Once your garage becomes a clean, organized space you can also use it for garage entertainment. Hang a flat-screen TV and sound system to enjoy football games and work on your project at the same time and have fun in your garage.

Certain companies make heavy duty cabinetry specifically to handle heavy tools, machines and rough conditions typical of the garage. With their unique hanging system, the cabinets don’t sit on the floor so they are level and easy to clean under. Make sure when installing your cabinets that you have done your homework on pound load capacity. Our craftsmen can make the appropriate recommendations for materials and storage that will handle the items you store in your garage.

Once you find how nice it is to utilize your garage space, think about the basement, laundry room, mud room or other space where stuff gathers dust. Handyman Matters can handle all of your home repair and update needs. Springtime is the best time to start cleaning out and updating your home, call 866-FIX-MY-HOME (866-349-6946) to find a location near you.

12 Steps To “Going Green” In Your Home

go green at homeIt’s easy to talk a good game about going green, but not always as easy to walk that talk.  But here, with the assistance Dan Fritschen, the owner of remodelormove.com and a practiced hand at implementing reasonable ways to be greener at home, is a list of easy-to-implement practices and products for reducing your home’s carbon footprint:

  1. Don’t rebuild or remodel from scratch without considering re-purposing what you already have on hand.  Remember to weigh disposal costs and landfill burden.  In the case of cabinets, for example, re-face, don’t replace.  When possible, use other’s cast-offs.  Check out www.freecycle.org to find everything from free cabinets to windows to light fixtures.
  2. Choose sustainable or recycled materials when updating floors.  Farmed oak, bamboo and cork all offer greener, comparatively affordable flooring choices.  Tiles made of ground-up discarded porcelain sinks and toilets also look better than you’d think.
  3. Use Low-VOC paints. These have fewer volatile organic compounds and are easier on the planet.  Also, you won’t get a paint headache while using them.
  4. Opt for green sheets. Linens made of organic cottons are usually pesticide-free.
  5. Save water with every flush. This is an oldy-but-a-goody, and well worth remembering.  If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, then put a brick in your toilet tank.
  6. Consider motion-sensitive lights or put outdoor lights on timers.  Even better, install solar lights outside.  These soak up the sun’s rays all day and give them back at night.
  7. Put dimmers on light switches. For every ten percent you dim the light, you save the same amount in electricity and you double the life of the bulb.  If you dim by 50 percent, you cut your lighting bill in half and extend the bulb’s life five times.
  8. Switch disposable for reusable. Use cloth instead of paper towels and napkins, and washable plastic containers instead of disposable plastic bags for lunch.
  9. Be a borrower and a lender. If you’re going to need a tool or a piece of equipment only once or temporarily, borrow or rent it.
  10. Look for Energy-Star rated appliances. They save on energy bills and are easier on the environment.
  11. Buy antiques or secondhand furniture. The world has enough stuff.  Let’s fix it up and pass it around.