Have You Been Checking Your Home on a Monthly Basis?

While you may not realize, there are a number of benefits to performing monthly maintenance checks around your home. It is a worthwhile way to prevent more extensive, more expensive problems from occurring in the future. By regularly reviewing critical areas of your home, or hiring a home improvement expert to check all is running properly, you can catch potential issues and schedule repairs before conditions worsen.

One area we pride ourselves in is bringing honesty and integrity to the Home Improvement industry. That said, we take our customers’ confidence in us seriously. As a result, the expertise and advice we provide to you, our Home Owners, is based on what is best for you, your home, and your wallet. Consider these important reasons for checking your home each month:

Your Home is Your Most Valuable Asset
By keeping up with your home’s minor repairs each month, you are performing a great service to your investment. Rather than waiting until there is an urgent problem, regularly keeping up with minor fixes and home maintenance will help avoid emergency repairs down the road. The minimal cost to prevent problems will seem like nothing compared to the unanticipated price you will pay in the event of an urgent home improvement matter. For example, consider the small expense associated with having an expert check the shingles or tiles on your roof compared to the thousands of dollars it would cost to repair or replace your roof altogether due to a lack of maintenance.

Your Time is Valuable
In addition to saving money, you will also save yourself a giant headache in the future if, you let things go around your home. There is not enough time in a day as it is, so imagine having to squeeze in time to deal with a nightmare home repair, like tearing out walls to replace a leaky pipe that could have been avoided. Now there’s a messy problem to address! Had your plumbing been inspected more frequently, a smaller, less troublesome issue may have been detected sooner

Enjoy the Beauty of Your Home
Maintaining your home on a monthly basis not only helps keep things around the house in order and functioning correctly, it also improves the aesthetics and beauty of your home. No one enjoys seeing cracks in their caulking or holes in their drywall. Spend your time at home with the peace of mind knowing that your place is attractive and at its best rather than stressing about all the things that need to be done.

Our multi-skilled Craftsmen can do it all including tackle your monthly to-do list. Save yourself time, money, and the headache of trying to get to it all yourself. Call or book online today.

 

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“Springify” Your Home!

It’s still Winter out there, but Spring is just around the corner.  It’s a great time to create a list of items and tasks around your home that may be needed when the flowers start to bloom, and the days get longer.  We are here to help you out, so we captured a list of easy items that will help you love your home! 

Deck & Patio’s
Take a look for loose or splintered boards, as well as warped or misshapen boards that will only get worse with the changing of the season.  While doing that, also look for any protruding screws or nails that could be a safety danger.

Your patio or deck may also be in need of a fresh coat of sealant or stain.  This is a project that needs a bit warmer weather. Your deck can always use a nice power-wash to clean it up for enjoyment this spring and summer.

For those of you have that composite decking, look for a lot of the same items as for standard wood decks, but we always suggest you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations how to care for it.

The Outdoor Tune-Up Package may be a great option for those that want or need a little help with their Deck, Patio and Fencing.

Interior Projects
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Bathroom!  Refreshing a bathroom with a simple vanity and toilet upgrade, a fresh coat of paint, or even re-tiling the floor are great projects that may add value to your home while also increasing pride you feel when having friends and families over.

Kitchen Backsplash.  A cost-effective way to transform your beloved kitchen.  With numerous tile options, this is a very popular way many homeowners create that unique feel for their home.  If you find yourself adding this project to your list, consider our Kitchen Backsplash Package, which features the Handyman Matters Collection of mosaic tile!

A quick and easy upgrade, that also can be preventative in nature is to swap out your faucets and handles. While checking for leaks and loose connections, which is always recommended, consider upgrading to a new finish or design.  It’s incredible what a small change like this can do for your home.

Inspect the Exterior of your home.
“It’s always a good idea to walk around your home and property to proactively identify any issues or repair needs.” stated Mark Douglass, Vice President at Handyman Matters.  “Winter and the season can be tough on a home.  Locating areas of concern and addressing it sooner rather than later is advisable.  This could minimize a much more difficult and costlier repair in the future.”

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WHO NEEDS RESOLUTIONS, WHEN WE’VE GOT SOLUTIONS.

At the start of a new year, we’re all aspiring for personal growth and improvement, we’re full of ambition and resolutions. Whether it’s to lose weight, become more active, or get organized, we all have great intentions to make these essential changes in our lives.

Then reality kicks in…work, school, kids, family, and other commitments take over…and before we know it months have flown by and we’ve yet to accomplish a single goal for 2019.

Well, don’t beat yourself up too hard as we can help you cross a bunch of things off your to-do list.

Take-Your-Pick 123_v2With Take YOUR Pick 1-2-3, you can choose one of our pre-built packages, like Organization & Shelving, OR pick two OR three home improvement projects (like installing shelves, tiling a kitchen backsplash, and repairing drywall, for example) to take advantage of our Winter Season Promotion.

Not only will you get the job done properly and professionally, but you’ll also get a GIFT CARD from a top retailer while you’re at it!

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PARTY PERFECTION FOR THE BIG GAME!

You’ve got the word out–the party’s at your place. You found your seven-layer nachos secret recipe that you bookmarked last year, but there’s one very critical problem with your party plans for the Big Game…the 37’’ TV just isn’t going to cut it. With the Big Game quickly approaching, you only have a few weeks to purchase a new big screen AND get that 75” bad boy mounted on the living room wall.

Why not leave it to the experts at Handyman Matters?

Our “Mount a TV Package” is the perfect solution. You buy the TV, and our professional Craftsmen will do the rest! They will assemble the mount and hardware, connect the cables, install a U-Channel* to hide the wires, and professionally mount your television to the precise viewing location of your choice. And that’s it, game on…literally!

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Picture it…everyone hanging out at your house, you & your buddies gathered around, rooting for your team, and the ladies staring at Adam Levine as if he is performing his half-time show right in your living room. Party perfection!

So, call or book a “Mount a TV” package online today, before it’s too late.

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Tackling Some Post-Holiday Projects Around Your Home

The holidays have passed, the decorations are down, the guests have returned home, and we’re still looking at a few more months of cold temperatures and long dreary nights…  It’s easy to let the winter doldrums take hold.  But it’s also a great time to tackle a handful of those household repair projects that you haven’t been able to get to the rest of the year.  And the odds are it will boost your spirits when you can finally cross a few of those items off your to-do list.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Select just two or three projects you’d most like to tackle (as well as the budget and time you have to allot to them), and see these through to completion.  Focus on indoor projects that won’t be delayed or made more complicated by the weather.  Here are some suggestions, ranging from small to larger tasks:

Check doorknobs, hinges, cabinet pulls and drawer nobs around the house that may need tightening.  Change out your furnace filter.  Upgrade your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Reorganize a closet and other storage areas with an eye toward decluttering.

January is a great month for updating your home’s lighting.  Maybe you’ve been contemplating adding recessed lights or under cabinet lights.  Now would also be a fine time to install a ceiling fan.

Organize Your Garage
Organize Your Garage

Organize the garage, the area that most notoriously becomes a convenient dumping ground for everything that you couldn’t find anyplace else to store.  Consider putting up shelves and possibly a peg board for hanging tools.  Inventory those boxes, gardening implements and sporting goods to see what should remain and what needs to go away.  Take the time to clearly mark boxes when you place them on shelves or return them to overhead storage so that you can know at a glance what they contain.  It saves time and reduces frustration later.

Handyman Matters Collection by Surfaces
Handyman Matters Collection by Surfaces

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and your budget will permit, winter is the perfect time to renovate your kitchen or your bathroom.  Go as simple as adding a backsplash, painting walls, adding new cabinets, or if you like, go for something bigger—an entire remodel!  If you’ve got more than one bathroom, then an upgrade is a minor inconvenience, at best.  If you’re looking to change up your kitchen completely, then that will require a little more advance planning.  Ensure that all the supplies are on site and that you have back-up cooking preparations in place before you begin, so that you don’t find yourself stranded in mid-remodel.

The best way to begin any winter home project is with a pencil and a pad of paper.  Conduct a walk-through of your home, identifying and writing down all the things that could use some attention and tender loving care.  Once the list is complete, prioritize the tasks you’ve identified.  As mentioned earlier, pick the two or three that seem most important to you personally, and tackle those.  Keep the list for reference further down the road.  When these upgrades are complete, you can move on to the next items you’d like to see finished.

Handle those chores that you are most comfortable undertaking on your own; if your free time is limited or you have any doubt about your abilities to successfully complete the projects you’ve selected, call in the experts to ensure things are done quickly and correctly.  Your local Handyman Matters office has qualified craftsmen who can efficiently undertake virtually anything you might have on that list.

KEEPING YOUR HOME SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

While the December holidays evoke a spirit of peace on Earth and goodwill toward all, not everyone embraces that philosophy, so just to be sure, it makes sense to take a few extra steps to keep your home and your loved ones safe this upcoming season.

We’ve become pretty well-schooled in the idea of having packages delivered to our offices if no one is going to be home, or having a neighbor bring in any parcels that are left unattended on our porches or by our front doors.  You don’t want items stolen any time of the year, but particularly when these are intended to be gifts.  However, your precaution shouldn’t stop there.

Most folks like to display their Christmas tree in front of a living room window where they can be enjoyed not just by family members, but by neighbors and folks passing in front of your home.  But if you’ve also placed gifts under the tree, this inadvertently creates an invitation to burglars.  Better to either keep the gifts hidden elsewhere or move your tree to a spot away from windows or other places with a view.

If you will be traveling during the holidays, it’s best to notify a trusted neighbor or engage a reputable housesitter to keep an eye on your property while you are away.  Arrange to have someone shovel your walks if it snows in your absence, and rather than discontinuing your mail or newspaper delivery, which can be a signal that no one will be at home, have someone collect these and keep them safe for you until your return.  Put a few lights on a timer, or better yet, have a friend or neighbor come over to leave on different lights on different nights so that a “pattern” isn’t readily obvious to anyone who might be checking out your place.

In this age of oversharing of information on social media, keep your travel plans offline.  Don’t post that you’ll be out of town, or where you are going, or for how long.

One of the best deterrents, of course, is to install a home security system that triggers alarms and that can alert you to any suspicious activity taking place, no matter where you may be when it occurs.  Some of these systems are easily installed with a minimum of fuss; others—hardwired security, for instance—can present more of a challenge, and may require the assistance of a professional service such as Handyman Matters who have Craftsmen well-versed in such installations.

There’s a lot of things going on this time of year that require our attention; worrying about the security of our home shouldn’t have to be one of them.

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ENJOY YOUR JULY FOURTH FESTIVITIES (AND THE REST OF YOUR SUMMER) WITH SAFETY IN MIND

Summer is here, at last, with all of its enjoyable warm-weather activities: picnics, hiking, fishing, gardening, swimming, boating, bar-b-ques, and, of course, celebrating the anniversary of our nation’s independence on July 4th.  And, unfortunately, it’s a fact of nature that all of these are accompanied by a certain amount of risk.  Handyman Matters is here to help you have a safe and wonderful time this summer.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind to reduce the risk of spending any time being treated for injuries from easily avoidable accidents.

PROTECT YOURSELF – Stay hydrated and use sunscreen!  This seems pretty obvious, but it’s ridiculously easy to step outdoors for what you think will be just a few minutes, only to wind up distracted by some task that will have you boiling underneath the sun’s harsh rays without even realizing it.  Both sunburn and dehydration sneak up on you, so don’t give them a chance.

KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS – With the advent of spring and the return of green grass and flowers comes the temptation to spruce up things around your home and yard.  Maybe you’re eyeing a landscaping project, taking down storm windows, cleaning gutters, sanding and re-staining patio furniture, washing all the second-story windows, or something else.  Whether it’s a large project or small, don’t jump in until you’ve fully considered the amount of time you can dedicate to it, as well as your personal skill level.  Don’t compromise the project—or your safety—by biting off more than you can chew.  You’ll wind up frustrated (or worse, yet—with a frustrated spouse!) and a home improvement project only halfway done by autumn, and looking nowhere near the way you pictured it in your head!

BE SAFE, BE SAFE, AND BE SAFE – Don’t mount a rickety ladder to wash windows, clean gutters or to check the condition of your roof.  Don’t undertake any of these or any other outdoor activities when a thunder and lightning storm beckons.  Make sure you alert someone before attempting any task that involves working with power tools or takes you up into a tree or onto a ladder—the statistics on people lying injured while unaware family members are just steps, away are staggering.  Don’t be one of them!

Don’t prune trees or shrubbery anywhere near power lines.  Don’t dig on your property until you know precisely where any utility cables are buried.

BE CAREFUL AND CAUTIOUS IN YOUR CELEBRATING – The Fourth of July holiday comes with some uniquely potential hazards:  grilling, open flames, fireworks, and, in many instances, alcohol.  Adding to the mix are children and pets dashing around, a heightened recipe for disaster.  It’s important to exercise caution and to resist temptation.  Leave the fireworks to the experts.  Don’t leave grills, bar-b-cues or open flames unattended for even a few seconds.  If you are entertaining a small group of friends or family, be vigilant.  Have fun, and relax—just don’t relax too much—it’s the responsibility comes with being a good host.

Handyman Matters wants you to have a summer to remember—but for all the right reasons!  We stand ready to assist you with any summertime projects that can help you enjoy your house and yard to their fullest.  After all, we’re in this for the long haul—we want you to be a customer for life!

You can always reach us by calling 1(866)FIX-MY-HOME.

WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HOME COOLER DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS

Summer brings a lot of great things our way—more daylight, beautiful gardens, cool drinks and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, trips to the local pool, among other things—and it also brings considerably warmer temperatures, particularly inside our homes.  Air conditioning is a blessing, but it’s also a significant energy- and money-grabber.

Here are a handful of other suggestions for cooling your house during those pleasant, but overly warm days.

Energy experts suggest you look for the ways to reduce solar gains—the natural heat your residence collects from the sun.  Conduct an inspection of your windows, particularly the south- and west-facing ones.  Consider putting up awnings or look into installing reflective window film.  The latter not only helps to cool your home in summer, it also blocks the ultraviolet rays that tend to fade fabrics and furniture.  Manufacturers like Indow Windows (www.indowwindows.com) make a window insert that blocks hot summer air as well as reducing exterior noise.

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Planting trees and bushes to block the sun’s heat through windows is a good organic solution, but may require a considerable length of time for these to mature enough to become a solar blocker.  This is a step you might want to take in conjunction with quicker solutions.

Check to see if there are seals or cracks around windows and doorframes.  These permit warmer air to enter in the summer months as well as to escape in the winter months when you want to be retaining as much heat as possible, so fixing these with weatherstripping, grouting or other means addresses two problems in one.

Install efficient lighting that runs cooler.  Only 10 to 15% of the electricity that your incandescent lights consume produces light—the rest is turned into heat.

You can always open your (screened) windows during the summer months, but do so strategically. You may think that opening all of your windows will create a nice cross-draft, but that isn’t necessarily the case.  Instead, open only the windows on the shaded downstairs side of the house and the upstairs windows on the sunnier side, creating a breeze that will carry the cooler air throughout your home.

Avoid using heat-generating appliances as much as possible in the hotter hours of the day.  Do laundry and run the dishwasher in the early mornings or late evenings.  Do as much of your meal preparation as possible in the microwave, or grill outdoors.  Turn off lights when not in use and confine baths and showers to early morning hours.

Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer.  The less difference there is between the inside and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.  Lowering your thermostat while simultaneously running your air conditioning is an energy-burn that forces your air conditioner to work harder than it needs to.

Of course, installing a ceiling fan is a good way to get heavy warm air moving in a room.   Portable fans work, as well, but keep this in mind:  Neither of these actually changes the temperature of the air.  Fans cool people and pets, not rooms.  Leaving a fan running when you are somewhere else does nothing apart from boosting your energy bill.

Need assistance in implementing any of these steps?  Handyman Matters stands ready to assist you with any cost-saving or energy-saving measures you may want to take, as well as any other improvement or repair jobs you are considering having down around your home.

KEEPING YOUR HOUSE SAFE FOR KIDS-AND PETS-DURING THE HOLIDAYS

December tends to be a particularly busy and hectic month with all of its special events and celebrations. Most of us are already aware of a number of the potential dangers that present themselves during holiday preparations, but here are reminders of a few particularly geared towards keeping your children and pets safe.

Pretty decorations are enticing to big and little people alike—and frequently to our four-footed friends, as well. Many are fragile and breakable; some carry the threat of a potential shock or fire hazard; others can be poisonous.

Holly and mistletoe berries resemble candy, but they are toxic. Artificial snow and “flocking” can also look tasty. The fluid inside bubble lights may contain methylene chloride and small children may be tempted to sample the liquid, should one of them break.

“Angel Hair” is a spun glass decoration that looks deceptively soft to the touch, but can cause skin and eye irritation to both kids and to pets—and adults, as well!

Even edible items, left unattended, can be dangerous. Too many cookies or too much fudge or other holiday delights can lead to an upset stomach, or worse. Be sure to clean up immediately after hosting a holiday party. Leftover glasses of alcohol or food that has been sitting out overnight offers temptation to the youngest household members. Remember also that chocolate can be toxic to dogs and should be kept out of their reach.

Children should be warned to stay away from glass-fronted fireplaces and screens in front of a blazing yule log. Likewise, take care when using space heaters. It takes only a second for a burn-related disaster to occur. Remind your kids and any children who might be visiting to keep a safe distance from all of these, and monitor them closely, since—believe it or not—kids don’t always listen to their elders! And when you visit friends or family, keep in mind that other people’s homes may not be as child-friendly as yours.

Inventory your tree and all other decorations to see if any ornaments and other items present particular dangers. Children will naturally want to touch twinkling, flashing or moving objects. Teach them that extension cords and electric lights are no-nos. Burning candles should never be left unattended, especially when investigative youngsters are around.

Kitchens present their own set of challenges. Keep hot liquids and foods away from the edges of tables and counters. Individual baking and cooking ingredients should be kept away from curious little hands eager to sample whatever might be available. Frozen meats should be defrosted slowly, in the refrigerator. And when handling raw poultry, remember to disinfect any surface it may come in contact with, including washing your hands thoroughly afterwards. Nothing puts a damper on a holiday celebration quite like a case of food poisoning.

Keep emergency numbers, such as fire department, police and the National Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222) posted in convenient, easy-to-reach spots for you and for anyone who might be watching the kids while you are away.

Take that extra step to make sure that your holiday celebrating remains a joyous—and safe—occasion for everyone involved. And remember to take time to step back, relax, and enjoy time with friends and family in the midst of everything happening around you.

Remember, too, that your local Handyman Matters office stands ready to assist with holiday decorating as well as all remodel, restore and repair projects taking place around your home.

5 Easy Ways to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

‘Tis the season for having family and friends gather at your home to celebrate what you’re all thankful for. We are here to help you make sure that loving your home is something you’re thankful for.

There are many quick and easy ways to get your home ready for the holidays and ready for entertaining.

  1. Interior Paint: One of the best ways to completely transform the way a room looks is to paint it. You can paint an accent wall, create a nice design or the entire room for that jaw-dropping transformation. Wallpaper is another great way to spruce up your home. Wallpaper is great for bathrooms and to help make small spaces look larger.
  1. Updating Kitchen Backsplash: Your kitchen is the heart of the home and where most people will spend their time when they come over. Why not give your kitchen a quick updated look with a new tile backsplash. There are many options to choose from with mosaics tiles, classic subway tiles, or creating a whole new design with a mix of colors and textures.
  1. Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets: While you’re in the kitchen, why not take the time to refinish those kitchen cabinets while you’re working on the backsplash. There are many colors to choose from to match your style. We can help make sure your style and ideas come together to transform your kitchen into everything you’ve dreamed of.
  1. Renew Your Guest Bathroom: You don’t want your guest bathroom to be drab when you’re hosting a party, so why not take the time to quickly update your space. You can update the paint, add a new mirror or a frame to your existing one, update the faucet and hang some cozy and inviting decorations to the space.
  1. Transform Your Entry Way: The entry way is the first thing your guests will see when entering your home. There are many quick fixes you can do for your home that will make a large impact. Change your entry way light fixture to a beautiful chandiler that will set the tone for the style of your entire house. Update the paint on the walls in your entry way. Or create a gallery of photos to show off your family and style.

Take the time this season to make sure your home is ready for the joy of entertaining. The last thing you want to do is worry about little things you could have done around your home. Take the time now to update, so you can enjoy the holidays worry-free!