The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April (Spring) Maintenance Tasks

Inspect screens (both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space) for tears and bent frames and clean them with a vacuum.

Clean window screens. Lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow it to dry thoroughly. Clean the inside of the windowsills.

Inspect outdoor structures like decks, pergolas, and trellises for deterioration --especially signs of rot. Use a small awl or screwdriver to probe posts, railings and windowsills for soft spots. If you find any, plan to replace or repair them when the weather turns fair.

Winter settling of your home has occurred. Inspect around windows, doors and check the foundation. Caulk any open joints.

Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the sub floor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry. Find and fix leaks now or pay the price later.

Shut off the water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hoses and examine them and the washers. Replace worn and damaged ones.

Use a spray lubricant to oil the rollers and pivot points on your garage doors. Do not use WD-40, but 3-in-1-type oil is best.

Winter is over. Turn off the water supply (and flip the switch if supplied) to your whole-house humidifier.

6 Rules to For Remodeling Your Home

Some additions or remodels do not pay off. See photo.

Homeowners that have a remodeling project in mind should consider these 6 rules, fresh from Money Magazine, to get the best "bang-for-their-buck" should a future home sale be in the works.

1. Repairs can bring the biggest returns. EVERY potential buyer will be turned away if costly repairs are needed to bring the home up to standard. Spending money to keep it maintained is paramount and is the best return on your investment.

2. Remodeling tops an addition. Updating existing square footage returns a better value than adding square footage.

3. Eco-friendly upgrades can save the homeowner cash. Going green with compact fluorescent lighting, low-flow toilets and showerheads, more insulation, energy-efficient windows, doors, and newer HVAC and water heaters really works and can save hundreds every month. Tax-credits for many of these items make it a great value. Tax credits end at the end of this year.

4. Keep up with technology. Add cable and Ethernet cabling to each room when tackling a project. If you have modular type light switches in one room, change them out in all rooms.

5. Keep up with the Joneses. If most of your neighbors have granite countertops, do the same. You do not want your home to be sub par compared to others in the neighborhood. Keeping to neutral colors helps.

6. In reality, the payback time period is 5 years. If you know your plans are to sell within 5-7 years and you need to update, start now! Remember, keeping the home maintained is the best overall value for your dollar. If you need repairs completed hire a professional. There are many that will sell you short in these trying times.