GETTING YOUR DECK READY FOR THE SUMMER SEASON

As things green up and the air gets warmer, our thoughts turn to the summer months, and to sprucing up our yards and entertaining guests.  If your home has a deck, now is the time to tend to any repairs it may need, and to decide what kind of upgrades you might want to have in place before you invite company to your first outdoor get-together of the season.

The harsh colder months can take their toll on patios and decks, so begin with a preliminary inspection of how well everything came through winter.

Check all wooden surfaces for discoloration, which can be a sign of rot, mildew or mold, issues which need to be addressed immediately if they are found.  Look for loose or broken boards and any nails or screws that protrude.

Conduct a tour of your yard, walkways and decks as if you were a stranger, visiting your home for the first time.  As a resident, you may have become accustomed to the quirks and potential hazards that a guest to your home wouldn’t necessarily notice, so try to view the area through a newcomer’s eyes, looking for the places someone might stumble or trip.  Is there any uneven planking or are there other possible hazards?  Are there crumbling flagstones, bricks or other rock work that could cause an injury?  Is there something on which an unwary guest might bump his head? How well-lit are your yard and deck?  Install a few solar-powered lights along paths and near any possible tripping locations. You want to make sure that everyone who visits will be safe and can enjoy your hospitality to the fullest.

Reseal your wood, if you haven’t done so in a year or two.  Or consider a good power wash to remove accumulated grime and stains.  Once all of the maintenance tasks are out of the way, you can decide what new touches to add so that your deck presents a welcoming and comfortable place to relax. Power Washing_285

Old furniture can look new with the addition of a few throw pillows or cushions.  Strategically placed flower pots add a pop of color a nice fragrance.

String lighting not only brightens an area but lends it a look of enchantment.  Hurricane candles achieve the same effect; just take care to position them where they aren’t likely to get knocked over.  Tiki torches can illuminate an entire yard, adding to the entertainment space.

The sun remains high in the sky until late in the summer months, so provide ample shade with an umbrella table or canopy for you and your guests.  By the same token, the temperature drops rapidly when the sun does the same, so consider ways to ward off the chill.  Deck heating units come in a variety of options—table units, free-standing propane-powered ones, or electric wall-mounted radiant heaters.  You might want to look into adding a fire pit.  Fire pits add charm and atmosphere and provide a great gathering-around spot.

Rather than a portable grill, think about installing a stationary unit.  They’re larger, more attractive, and can generally cook more food at a time if you are entertaining a bigger group of people.

Finally, remember you are designing the deck for yourself and your preferencesAt the end of the day, it should be the place you want to kick back and enjoy yourself, incorporating those special touches that make it a place you want to spend time every summer evening and weekend.

Need assistance in making your yard and deck look its best?  You can always count on the Craftsmen at Handyman Matters to give it exactly the look you would like it to have.

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THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT PROCEEDING WITH DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME PROJECTS

It’s true that a lot of home repair and home remodeling projects are going to require a financial outlay, and the immediate impulse may be to say, “Why pay someone else to do these things when I can tackle them myself?”

It’s a fair question to ask.  But the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends you ask yourself a few more questions.  They offer a quiz on their website that helps homeowners gauge whether undertaking the job themselves really pays off in the long run.  Among them are such points as these:

  • Do you have reliable work habits? Once the project is started, will it get finished?
  • Do you have the time available required to complete the job?
  • Is it a job you can do completely by yourself, or will you need assistance?
  • Are you familiar with local building codes and permit requirements?
  • Do you have all the tools needed, as well as the skills required?

And perhaps most importantly:

  • Will it matter if the project remains unfinished for a period of time?
  • Are you prepared to handle the kind of stress this project will create in your family relationships?

The quiz asks several more questions, but even these few should give you a good idea of the things you should consider before committing to a do-it-yourself project.

You want to keep your home in good shape, not just for comfort and safety, but also to maintain its value.  If your skills are “passable” and your attitude is “I can fix this in the short-term,” or “It may not be pretty, but it’ll work,” then you are approaching a project with the wrong attitude.

A professional handyman has access to many things a homeowner doesn’t: tools, a qualified and dedicated team, and the ability to purchase materials wholesale, to name a few.

Many jobs, like those involving plumbing and electric work, must be performed by licensed professionals in order to be up to code.  Contractors know what kinds of permits will be required and are practiced at getting them quickly; they’ve done this before, many times.

Professional work comes with a warranty, giving you both security and recourse should something not be up to par.  If you’ve done the work yourself and something goes wrong, the time and money you’ve invested is simply gone, and you’re still looking at a job that remains unfinished.

Bottom line best advice:  Be realistic.  This is your home—and the safety of your loved ones, your pets and yourself we’re talking about—and if you have the slightest hesitation or doubt about your ability to complete the job safely and in a timely fashion, it is better left to the professionals.

You’ll come away with a peace of mind that outweighs the cost involved.

Contact your local Handyman Matters office and speak to their Customer Service Representative.  They and their dedicated and professional Craftsmen can help you decide how best to proceed with your home repair and remodeling projects.

There are any number of small jobs that most of us can tackle.  If it’s painting a room, pulling up old carpeting, changing door and drawer handles, rehinging cabinet doors, sanding and staining, landscaping or refinishing wooden furniture, these are things the average homeowner can tackle, and aren’t something that needs to be done on a strict timetable.

But if you’re looking at jobs that will leave an area of your home in disarray for an extended period of time and create any kind of ongoing inconvenience, or if they pose any kind of hazard.

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MAY IS NATIONAL PET MONTH –  FOUR HOME PROJECTS FOR THE PET YOU LOVE

Your pet or for some of you pets are members of your family.  May is the month set aside to Celebrate your Pet and the joy and happiness they bring. There are easy projects around your home you can do to show your pet how much you love them!

Project #1: Install a Pet Door
Adding a Pet Door is a great way to improve the life of your pet and at the same time remove a bit of stress from yours.  When it’s time to go, it’s time to go.  Installing a Pet Door provides the freedom your pet needs (and most likely wants!), to let himself out when the time comes!

There are many types, sizes, brands and qualities of Pet Doors.  You should do your homework to find the right one for you and your home and your pet.  We recommend a quality door, such at Hale Pet Door, for most homes.

When the time is right, consider the Pet Door Package from Handyman Matters.

Project #2: Build a Fence or Repair a Dilapidated one
Constructing a fence around your yard or ensuring a current fence is capable of keeping your pet from wandering away is key to owning a pet.  All pet owners want to ensure their pets are not only safe from getting out and possibly getting lost, but a nicely fenced backyard or pet area also offers your pet their own space as well.

When considering a fence, there are plenty of options, with wood and vinyl being two of the top ones. As always, do your due diligence and choose what’s best for you, your home, your budget, and your needs.

Equally as important, ensure any fence and gates you have are properly taken care of, and any repairs needed are done immediately.  Fence installation, repair and gate maintenance helps to ensure the investment you made in the fence is protected!

Project #3: Update your flooring
Your home’s flooring is another area to consider when owning a pet.  Pets, specifically dogs, can put quite a bit of stress on flooring.   Installing hard surface flooring, like laminate, tile or wood floors is a top choice of a lot of homeowners.

Flooring choices are numerous, so from installing new or repairing your homes current flooring, keeping them up is not only good for you but safer for your pet as well!

Project #4: Build a Ramp
Specifically, for those aging pets, an easy way to make life easier is to build a ramp from a patio or deck so getting to a back yard or pet run is easier on older joints and bones.  When planning for a ramp, always try to consider where to build one, the ramp slope (so it’s not to steep!), and construction materials needed.

To do it myself or hire a Professional?
There are times and places to DIY a project and others when its best left to a professional.  For the sake of your pet, ensure any of the projects listed are done with high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.  Your pet will thank you!

Sometimes it’s the small things between being done right and being done that matter the most!

Dog Door- BEFORE
Dog Door- BEFORE
Dog Door- AFTER
Dog Door- AFTER

Home Projects & Summer – Why Now Might Make More Sense

Over the years, we have noticed a lot of homeowners tend to put off their home improvement or remodeling projects until late Spring or Summer.  It just seems natural to wait for most.  While most homeowners wish to wait, we advise considering scheduling now for one big reason.

All home improvement companies typically get very busy in the summertime.  Well, at least the reputable and good ones, and Handyman Matters is no exception.  That may mean your desired timeframe to start and/or complete a job could be hard to attain.  All locations do their best to have availability but supply and demand simply take over sometimes.

Compare that to the Winter and even into the Springtime, when there is usually more availability, with most locations having more flexibility now than in the summer time.

If you have those home projects and plans in your head or on paper, now is a great time to contact us at Handyman Matters.  Not only can we help put that project into reality, but we can also ensure it’s done right, professionally and with the best quality around.  We even guarantee it!

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PUT SOME (OR ALL) OF YOUR TAX REFUND TOWARD HOME REPAIR

It’s the time of year when many of us are eagerly looking forward to those tax refund checks and entertaining ourselves with ideas of how we want to spend them.  It’s money we’ve worked hard to earn, and now we want to treat ourselves.

Nobody disagrees with that notion, but financial experts advise proceeding cautiously.  And just about everyone agrees that putting some of that money into home repairs and upgrades is not just a sound economic move, but it will boost our spirits, besides!

There are several ways to invest some of that cash on low-cost improvements that greatly increase your home’s value while giving your living space a great facelift.

Give a room in your home a new look with a fresh coat of paint.  It’s a project that can be accomplished in a single weekend, from covering the floors to sanding the walls to final coat, all for just about $150.

Replace old carpeting or other flooring with something more modern and appealing.  Real estate brokers estimate that investing $800 or so for new flooring offers up a return of up to $2000 in your home’s resale value, according to This Old House.

There are a number of ways to increase a home’s curb appeal without spending a fortune.  Rent a pressure washer to clean accumulated dirt and mildew from your house’s exterior.  The cost is about $100 to do it yourself, or slightly more if you decide to use a professional.

Paint or replace your front door.  Primer and paint will run you less than $100.  For about $1000, you can replace the door entirely.  Remodeling Magazine says this is one of the best returns on investment a homeowner can make.  Generally replacing a front door will recoup you more than 90% of the cost.

Painting your home’s exterior can run you into the thousands, but consider painting just the fascia boards (the trim along your roof).  It protects the wood from rot as well as giving your home a sharp new look for around $600.

Experts concur that updating lighting fixtures is another great way to boost your house’s value while giving rooms an entirely new look.   Consider installing a lighted ceiling fan which serves the dual purpose of illumination and circulating air, keeping a room cooler in summer and warmer in winter.  It can generally be connected to the existing cable from the old light.  New fixtures will run you anywhere from $100 to $200 apiece, and the average overhead fan will run you just slightly more than that.

So before you take your refund check and spend it all on a tropical vacation or a new car, take a few moments to contemplate allocating some of that money toward home improvements projects that will give you new pride in your house and boost its value at the same time.

If you don’t feel you’ve got the time or skills to implement any of the above ideas yourself, keep in mind that an expert and reliable craftsman from your local Handyman Matters office can step in and do the job for you without too much added expense.  The odds are, you’ll still have funds left over to enjoy a fancy dinner out and maybe even a weekend getaway!

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10 Small Upgrades to Up Your Home Enjoyment While Increasing Home Value

 

  1. Paint Kitchen Cabinets – Adding a couple coats of paints creates an instant new and updated look in your kitchen!
  1. Lighting & Light Fixtures – Modernize and brighten up simple with upgrades throughout your home.
  1. Change Cabinet Handles or Knobs – Swap out current hardware and handles for new ones with the endless number of options, to add an instant fresh look to your kitchen.
  1. Ceiling Fan Installation – You’ll be amazed by what a ceiling fan can do to help cool or heat your home.
  1. Kitchen Backsplash – Perhaps the quickest way to add elegance, life and beauty to a kitchen.
  1. Add or Upgrade Molding – There are several molding types for your home, like Crown Molding, which immediately adds style, class, and value.
  1. Front Door Freshen-up – A fresh coat of paint or a new door will complement your home’s curb appeal and make your home more inviting.
  1. Upgrade Your Bathroom Fixtures – Both beautiful and functional, quick upgrades to your fixtures brings a bathroom back to life.
  1. Bathroom Caulk – A Fresh New Bead – Removing old caulk and adding a fresh new bead in your bathrooms not only looks much better but also helps prevent leaks.
  1. Flooring Update – Replacing worn carpet with Laminate or Prefinished flooring is one of the biggest upgrades you can make in your home.

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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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LOVE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR HOME

Sometimes the simplest tasks can make the biggest difference. When it comes to fire safety at home, one easy step can make a difference between life and death. You MUST see South Metro Fire Rescue’s video, emphasizing the importance of just one simple step that can save your family’s life in the event of a fire. WATCH VIDEO NOW!>>

Close Before You Doze By South Metro Fire Rescue
Close Before You Doze
By South Metro Fire Rescue

This video perfectly illustrates how the tiniest effort can have an enormous impact. There are other things that you can do at home to increase your family’s safety that requires little to no effort but bring about huge results. Please take a moment to read through the following Home Fire Safety & Prevention Checklist to reduce the number of hazards around your home and ensure you’re taking as many precautions as possible to help keep your family and loved ones safe in the event the unthinkable happens.

Home Fire Safety & Prevention Checklist

  • Are there Smoke Detectors on every level of the home?
  • Are there Smoke Detectors inside and outside all sleeping areas?
  • Are all Smoke Detectors in the home less than 10 years old?
  • Do any of the Smoke Detectors need new batteries?
  • Are there Carbon Monoxide Detectors on each level of the home?
  • Are all Carbon Monoxide Detectors in the home less than 7 years old?
  • Do basement bedrooms have an egress and are they escape accessible?
  • Fire extinguishers – Are there fire extinguishers present where needed?
  • Fire extinguishers – Are the current extinguishers past their expiration dates?
  • Kitchen – Is a preventative shut-off device present at the stove?
  • Kitchen – Is a Fire Suppression System present at/above the Stove?
  • Dryer – has the vent been cleaned in the last 2-3 years?
  • Dryer – have the cords been checked to ensure no issues or frays?
  • Are any electrical switches and/or outlet trim plates warm to the touch?
  • Are GFCI’s present in the Kitchen, Bathrooms, Garage & Exterior?
  • Exterior area review – Do excessive limbs, leaves, or shrubs need to be trimmed or removed?
  • BBQ grill – Does it need to be cleaned, or have excess grease removed?
  • BBQ grill – Are the gas/propane lines in good condition and not leaking?
  • Extension cords used around the home – Are they free from cuts/frays?
  • Flammable liquids – Are they stored away from appliances and heat sources?
  • Furnace – Is it clear from storage items and materials by at least 3’?
  • Water Heater – Is it clear from storage items and materials by at least 3’?
  • Circuit/fuse boxes – Are they clear from storage items and materials by at least 3’?
  • Are fire exits clear of obstruction?
  • Do you have a Fire Escape Plan?
  • Two story home – Is there an escape ladder in the home?

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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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Handyman Matters & Newsweek

Recently, it was announced that we’d been selected as one of America’s Best Companies for Customer Service by Newsweek in 2019.  Not only that, we are the #1 Brand in the Handyman Referral Service and Home Repair category. 

You may be asking yourself, I wonder why Handyman Matters was chosen?  While we believe there is a myriad of reasons, it really comes down to three:

Handyman Matters rated one of America's Best Companies for Customer Service
Handyman Matters rated one of America’s Best Companies for Customer Service

First, we have a meaningful and authentic focus on our customers.   We know you have a choice and we know your home is extremely important to you. Because of this, we developed and implemented a Customer Experience Program inside our company called Service Path.  We designed this program to ensure that we consistently treat you as an individual and treat you beyond your expectations at every point of the Customer Journey.

Second, we possess a TEAM of employees that are aligned with our culture of values & ethics and share in the insatiable desire to do the right thing at all times.  We all believe in our mantra of helping you love your home and is shown by our Guarantee and our “Like it’s our Home Promise”.  Simply put, We Are Different!

Third, our goal is to earn your Trust and become your Home Ally.  This cannot be accomplished by only focusing on making repairs or updating a bathroom.  It also involves your experience with Handyman Matters from the moment you contact us to the moment our Craftsman is leaving your home after completing a job.  Throughout that time, we ensure we communicate along the way and even send “On My Way” Text Notifications so you know when we are on our way.  Sometimes it’s the small things that really count!

Rest assured that we do not take earning this distinction lightly.  Additionally, rest assured that we are not done with continually improving the Customer Experience we will provide our customers day in and day out. 

Thank you for choosing Handyman Matters and for helping us to earn the distinction as one of America’s Best Companies for Customer Service. See the results here.

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