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Spring Home Improvement Project

Spring Home Improvement Project

 

Initially you need to make a list of the most important things you would like done in your spring home improvement project, once you put it down on paper rank the projects from 1 to 10.  Now which ones can you do and which ones are going to need an expert for?  When hiring an expert make sure you check them out before you hire them.  Start with the BBB (better business bureau) website and search your contractor.  Secondly, do a search on the internet for your contractor as you’ll be surprised how much information you can find out.  Lastly,  it’s time to schedule an appointment with your contractor and get a written bid. This helps in two ways; first, you get a feel for your contractor and their abilities.  Secondly, the written bid lets you get a gauge on how much the project will cost you and also keeps your contractor in check so that the cost does not suddenly inflate at the end of the project. If you’re happy with your contractor and the bid this is the time in which you should schedule the work with your contractor and get an agreement written up which is signed by both parties.  Remember that spring time is the start of the busy season for your contractor so allow plenty of time between scheduling and the actual start of the spring home improvement project.

Deck Builder

Is your deck ready for spring parties?

 

Nothing can ruin a get together faster than a substandard deck that causes harm to one of your guests. Whether it be a hand railing that doesn’t withstand the weight or wood that splinters every time you touch it.  Even if your deck isn’t in that dire need of repair it is always better to do those small fixes now rather than later because those problems just get worse.  Also wouldn’t you rather get complements on the deck rather than be the topic of the ride home talk.  Each spring you should be checking your deck out for rotting lumber and loose screws.  Normal wear and tear itself can cause a deck to become loose and each spring you should get under your deck and check out all the pieces holding it together. Tighten the loose hardware and if you see something not just right call and get a deck builder out there.  When it comes to replacing deck pieces, some are easy to do and others are not. When it’s the latter you should think hard about hiring a deck builder so that you know it’s done right and done now so you can spend more time enjoying your deck and less time wishing that you had never started.

 

Vinyl Removal and Siding Repair

Vinyl siding is an affordable house siding, but it is vulnerable to damage from several environment factors. It can be soft or molten due to extreme heat. During severe winters, vinyl can get very brittle and they can get broken by minor bumps and hailstones. But don’t worry because this is a common household problem. You can perform siding repair like a pro without hiring a contractor. You can also minimize the installation costs.

To do siding repair, you must first be familiar with the parts of a vinyl siding strip. Namely, these are the siding face, nail hem, top lock and buttock. Vertically, strips are connected by matching the top lock of the lower strip and the buttock of the upper strip. The meeting line of the buttock and top lock is the connecting mechanism between the strips.

The key here is to learn how to use the zip tool. It is a small hand-held tool with an especially designed oblique blade. The blade allows it to wedge into vinyl sidings to strip or remove them from the wall. Wedge the curved side of the tool against the overlapping part between two strips. You need to find a somewhat loose part between the sheets. From there, you can slide the zip tool across while exerting upward pressure. This method of siding repair will easily disassemble the lock from the buttock. After doing this for a few inches, you can already remove the entire strip with your hands.

It is also important for siding repair to give nailing allowance for new strips. Vinyl is fastened to the wall by nailing through the elongated holes on the hem. The nailing hem is just above the top lock. It is important NOT to drive the nails too tightly. You need to estimate at least 1/32’’ allowance to allow the siding to “breath.” The strips expand during hot weather and contract during winter. If there is not allowance, the vinyl may buckle or crack. DIY siding repair will save you a lot of money.  If you would like to hire a pro please contact us.

Brick Siding Repair

Tuckpointing is the process of restoring or repairing of a mortar joint. This is a more common brick siding repair process than brick replacement. The mortar joint is a significant part of the wall siding because it bears the forces exerted by the wall and the bricks. It also serves as water-proofing of the wall. It is called tuckpointing because a pointing trowel is used to tuck mortar into a damaged joint. It is fairly easy to accomplish, without even hiring a contractor. However, it requires some patience and finesse.

Masonry cement and mixing sand are the ingredients of mortar. You can change the strength and consistency of the mortar, depending on the siding repair requirements (eg. old vs. new houses). This depends on the ratio of sand and cement. There are also ready-to-use mixtures. You just need to mix them with water. The key here is to come up with a pudding-like mixture that you can slice with your trowel. If you are working on old walls, it is best to consult handyman contractors on the right type of mortar mixture.

You begin this siding repair method by removing loose mortar from the damaged area. You also need to clean adjacent mortar areas for easier repair. You can prepare mortar joints by using a cold chisel or a power tool, like a power drill or wheel. The goal is to chisel out a depth of 0.75-1 inch from the repair area. When using a cutting wheel, simply cut the joint on the center line. If you are using a chisel, avoid striking the brick to prevent cracking.

After the preparation, the actual replacement of the bricks is the fun part. Butter the wall-bound sides of the brick. Then, push the brick with ample pressure, just enough to make the mortar ooze out a bit. Proper curing of the mortar is important to brick siding repair. It will help to spray a little water on the bricks after mounting them. You can also cover the repair area with plastic for a few days. This will aid in curing and producing a durable siding.