Inspecting Your Home And Business For Water Damage

Water Damage RepairMost home or business owners assume that water damage prevention is much more difficult than it really is. Fortunately, all it really takes is regular inspections and maintenance of both the exterior and interior of a home or business to greatly reduce any chances of costly water damage. For additional help or information with water damage prevention, any qualified contractor or local water utility personnel should be able to provide you with assistance.

For the Exterior

• A professional roofing contractor should be employed to repair any and all deteriorated or damaged roofing materials.

• Soffits, siding, trim or flash should be checked for deterioration.

• Eaves, gutters, and downspouts should be free of debris to allow water to drain freely. They should also point away from your home or business’s foundation.

• Inspect attic insulation and ventilation to help extend the life of your roof.

• Basements or crawl spaces should be inspected for any signs of dampness or stagnant water. This could be a sign of a plumbing leak or improper damage.

• Keep water pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures or drafts well insulated to reduce the possibility of leaks.

• Disconnect outside hose connections during the fall and winter to avoid burst pipes due to freezing.

For the Interior

• Check your home or business thoroughly for any signs of leaks on ceilings, walls, floors and near appliances that use water.

• Double check water hose connections that run to washing machines, icemakers, dishwashers, and other appliances that might use water.

• Sinks, showers and tubs should be re-caulked or re-grouted to prevent moisture from seeping into tight spaces and creating mold.

• Washing machine hoses should be checked and replaced regularly, especially when there are signs of cracking, bulging or other deterioration.

• All water oriented appliances and equipment should be inspected and well maintained.

• Contain small hot water heater leaks by placing small pans under the leak area to catch water.

It’s important to stay on top of home or business maintenance when it comes to preventing costly water damage. Water damage can lead to the need of mold remediation and even general construction. Contacting a professional can help you prevent water damage in your home or business. It’s an “easy fix,” as long as you stay on top of the situation!

Loft Conversions: A Great Way To Create More Living Space

building a loft in your homeDo you have high ceilings in your home that you feel are no more than an empty and wasted space? If so, you may be losing out on your home’s real potential. Through loft conversion, you can transform unused ceiling or attic space into a functional loft room or living area.

From Wasted Space To Extra Space With A Loft Conversion

The typical vaulted ceiling or enclosed attic space can amount to almost 30% of the total potential space of a home. Unfortunately, this portion is usually left unused.  By building a loft conversion instead of an extension or room addition, you get an additional room without taking away space from your garden or lot area.

Also, as opposed to constructing extensions or basements, building a loft gives you maximum use of your home with lesser disruption to the existing structure.

Remodeling Contractors Are The Cheaper Alternative

In this uncertain economy, more homeowners are turning to loft conversion to address their need for more living space. It’s an alternative that tends to cost less because instead of adding to the house, you will be working within its existing dimensions and foundation.

Build What You Need

The attic space offers a versatile area from which various types of accommodation can be built. Some homeowners want living additional living space, such as a bedroom, children’s playroom, or even an entertainment area. Others prefer to make it an office space. There are also those who just want more storage area.

Building a room addition/loft conversion can be a fun and rewarding experience if you decide to give a personalized take to the room being created. Think about how you would want the room to look. Decide on details like the color palette, space layout, furnishings and other design elements. Always remember that during this whole process, you are the boss.

Increase Your Home’s Value

More space means more money. It is generally believed that having a loft constructed in your home will add a substantial amount of value to your property. Though exact figures are hard to determine, it is said that a professional loft conversion can increase the potential price of a house to approximately 20%.

Constructing lofts has gained popularity among many homeowners over the past years.  Since this is not an “easy” remodel, if you aren’t an adept do-it-yourselfer, it is advisable to seek the services of remodeling contractors to ensure a smooth loft conversion.  With the assistance of a professional, you can see your ideas implemented and a new space created that perfectly suits your needs.

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Tips For Bringing Your Home Up To Date

Tips for updating your homeIt’s amazing how quickly our homes can start to look dated. Even if they were once the height of fashion, they can easily start to feel stuck in the past, and for many people it is enough to make them consider moving, unaware that it is simply the fact that things feel stale that is giving them such wanderlust.

There is plenty that can be done, easily and cheaply, to make a house feel more modern though. A change of paint is always a great way to start. Finding out the colors that are currently in vogue is a great way to instantly transform a room. On top that, interesting and modern artwork and contemporary knick knacks will also instantly bring a room up to date.

Home lighting is also a surprisingly date-specific kind of thing. Older light fittings will instantly date any room, and changing glaring halogens to more subtle accent lighting can instantly change the feel of a room without anything else being needed. Altering home lighting is also easy to research and cheap to achieve, making it one of the perfect places to start if a house is starting to feel jaded.

Wooden floors are also a great way to say modern. Utilizing a wooden floor gives you great scope to include underfloor heating, an investment that will almost certainly pay for itself in terms of how much money can be saved on energy bills. Underfloor heating also helps you remove what are usually unsightly radiators and give rooms more space – another way to make any room feel more modern.

If you can, make as much space as possible, knocking down walls to create more space if it is appropriate. Space and lighting combined will make even the dullest room feel fresh and new.

Design A Room Around Your Favorite Item

design a room around your favorite itemA great way to find inspiration for room design is to find a piece of furniture or art that you love, and build off of it.  For example, you find a beautiful red leather chair with chocolate brown legs that you have to have.  From that one item, you could easily build your entire room design around it.

A popular trend in current design is to use monochromatic colors—different shades of the same color—to add subtle differences that will give your room depth and accent without being jarring.  Additionally, adding white to a darker room will make things “pop” against the darker colors.  Imagine, for example, a white table or floor lamp to create contrast.  And of course, the opposite works if you are dealing with a lighter colored room.

Remember that red leather chair with the chocolate brown legs?  Take a closer look at those legs; perhaps you can find a side table or coffee table with a wood-style or color that will complement the chair.  Conversely, you can also select lighter shades of brown or tan to provide contrast.

The most important thing to remember when designing your room is to do what makes you happy.  Find that one piece you absolutely love, and the rest of the room will fall into place.  Just remember that no room will ever be perfect to everyone, so do what you love.  After all, the odds are that you’ll be spending more time there than anyone else!

Benefits Of Priming Before You Paint

Painting is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to change the look of your home. It’s also a project that even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer can do with confidence. With thousands of colors from which to choose, it’s the perfect way to express your unique style and personality at a fraction of the cost of other home improvement projects. Yet even experienced do-it-yourselfers sometimes neglect the first and most important step in achieving the perfect paint job: priming.

how to paint the interior of your homeProfessional Handyman Matters Craftsmen know that the key to a beautiful paint job isn’t buying the most expensive paint.

They know that one coat of primer and one coat of paint will give them a better, longer-lasting paint job than two coats of paint. That’s why they prime first, then paint.

Paint is formulated with more pigment than resin to provide rich, beautiful color. Primers are resin-rich to provide the ideal foundation for paint. You can’t expect a paint, or a paint-and-primer-in-one product to do the job of a high-quality stain-blocking primer.

our recommended primer before you paint

Having a sealed, stain-free surface is the key to getting the best paint job possible, and this is accomplished by using one coat of primer and one coat of paint.

Here are just some of the benefits of priming before you paint:

  • Priming saves you time and money. Primers are formulated to seal the surface – and when the surface is sealed, you use less paint. No more multiple coats of paint to get an even, consistent finish. If you tint a quality primer, one coat of primer and one coat of paint is usually all you need for a great-looking paint job. Just ask the paint desk to tint your primer toward the color of your paint. Since a gallon of primer is less expensive than a gallon of paint, you’ll save money too.
  • Priming makes paint colors richer. Primers hide previous colors – even the darkest blues and deepest reds – and prevent them from showing through and changing the color of your paint. Your paint colors will be more vibrant and beautiful if you prime first.
  • Primers block stains. Most stains – water stains, crayon and marker, lipstick or nicotine – will bleed right through paint. This is where primers earn their reputation: they seal in stains and prevent them from ruining your paint job. New advanced technology water-based primers take the guesswork out of primer selection because they block all stains – even water stains – so you start your paint job with a clean canvas.
  • You can paint anything if you prime first. If you’ve ever tried to paint a slick surface like vinyl or plastic with paint alone, chances are it just didn’t stick. Primers are formulated for tenacious paint adhesion to all surfaces, so you can paint anything – even ceramic tile and Formica cabinets – when you use a primer as your first coat.
  • Primers make your paint job last longer. Primers prevent common paint problems like cracking, peeling and blistering and your paint will retain its original color longer, so you’ll have to paint less often.

Handyman Matters craftsmen are available to provide a helping hand giving your home interior a fresh new look – whether painting a room or a complete make over.  The professionals at Handyman Matters can help take care of all of your interior projects – no matter how small! Find a location near you or call 866-FIX MY HOME, today.

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.