From the Owner
Spring is our busiest time of year for Three reasons:
1. Tax returns and company bonuses. Most of what we do is discretionary, even when it is required maintenance on your home. People plan maintenance and home improvement projects when the extra funds are available.
2. The weather. I love this time of year when we can work outside comfortably. Exterior painting, caulking, staining, etc. is best done during moderate temperatures because they apply much better.
3. Psychological. Spring helps us get in a mode of planning and starting what we have put off all winter.
Whatever your reason, let Hands4Hire start that project and check that box off your to-do list this spring. Call us and we will be glad to help with design ideas or budget by giving you a quote.
Hands4Hire Professional Handymen, Inc.
Tips for Planning and Building a Deck
A beautiful deck can be a signature piece of your home and add beautiful exterior living space. Decks serve a variety of practical functions for us. They can ease the transition between our houses and gardens, soften grade changes if the houses lie on slope, and divide the yard into smaller plots that can then be given their own unique styles and treatments.
What do you want the main function of the deck to be? What is your budget and what are the factors that will effect it? Create a basic sketch of the back of the house area showing the house and property layouts as well as foliage that will not change such as trees (show the shading) and garden beds.
A series of small decks connected by wide steps (which can double as seats in party situations) as well as benches are other design features to consider. If you simply want a place where you can step out with your family in the evening, a single deck connected to the house might be more appropriate. Finally, consider privacy - i.e., whether the proposed location would put you in open view of your neighbors.
Pressure treated wood is generally used as the framing material. The decking boards and railing system have many material options.
- Pressure treated wood. 5/4"x6" or 2"x6" boards can be stained a variety of colors. Requires annual maintenance.
- Brazilian ipe - This is a beautiful hardwood product that has a unique look but does require some maintenance.
- Composite materials. More expensive. The quality of these products has improved significantly since inception. Very little maintenance.
- None with stairs along the front - For 1 or 2 step heights this is a beautiful clean look.
- Pressure treated. Most common and economical.
- Composite and metal railings come in a variety of styles. Metal railings are what customers are asking for the most right now.
Building code requirements must be followed even if you are building it yourself. This is important because if and when you sell your home, it will be inspected to code requirements.
A building permit is required by law and will keep you out of trouble. Code enforcement is there to make sure the structure is safe and will not damage the home. The biggest problems I have seen are with the flashing where the deck is connected to the house. Also, railings are
required on decks that sit more than 30 inches above the ground with pickets no more than 4" apart.
My biggest advice to customers is to look around. Take note of the design and materials and then see if it would work with your home. Call us if you have any questions, we would be happy to help!
Hands4Hire Does That?
I often find my customers are amazed that we are so incredibly versatile and can do so many different types of work around their homes. Many customer will initially hire us for exterior wood rot and siding repairs or something basic such as reattaching the shutters on the house and not realize that we are so much more than that. Our technicians AVERAGE 20 years of construction and remodeling experience and between them, there is not much we can't do.
Aside from the basic handyman jobs, we want to make sure that you know we can also do these as well:
1. Tile work. From a basic kitchen backsplash to a bathroom tile makeover we have years of experience and a great portfolio.
2. Custom cabinets. Steve will walk you through options and we will provide a drawing for what you are looking for.
3. Stucco repairs. Either synthetic or natural, Jim has done it all.
4. Exterior door replacements. Patio or front doors. We have done it all.
5. Deck Staining. Our prices are very competitive.
6. Roof repairs. We replace plumbing roof boots and shingle patches and can diagnose problems better than most.
7. Attic fans. A great investment for your home that can pay you back in lower AC bills.
8. Basic plumbing and electrical work. Install a vanity, faucet or bathroom fan. We do it all.
9. Painting. Our prices are very competitive with Hands4Hire quality.
Call us to see if we can help you. If we cannot, I bet I have a trusted contractor that I can send you to.
Is your neighbor planning to build an addition to the deck? Are they selling their house and need some repairs made? Pressure washing or gutter cleaning referral?
If you think that we are doing great work, TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. We would love to help them with their projects. And we would love to reward you for promoting our good work.
"By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade." ~ Desiderius Erasmus
Handy Tip of the Month
How to fix a wobbling ceiling fan?
A wobbling ceiling fan can be an unbearable annoyance. Here are steps to fix that:
1. Clean the fan blades and the motor housing. I use a dry lint cloth.
2. Check the bolts/screws on the fan blades and housing and tighten any loose ones.
3. Make sure the blades aren't damaged and are relatively straight. Many are made of fiberboard that will bend over time. They may need to be replaced.
4. They may not be level to each other. You can measure from the ceiling to the end of the blade. Add washers or pennies, to the higher blades.
5. Call us if you still need help.