The Professional Choice

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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fall Maintenance

Each season Mr Handyman is asked to complete repairs on some of our best customer’s homes.  Many times these repairs could have been avoided and even eliminated if the maintenance had been completed the season before.  It does not take long for minor neglect in the maintenance to turn in to a huge repair issue.  Here are just a few examples where the neglect of the maintenance has cost the homeowner in a huge way:

Case #1 Neglected Wood Rot
In April 2011, a client asked Mr Handyman to pressure wash and stain his deck prior to having a graduation party the next month.  While performing the requested work we noticed the start of wood rot under a bank of windows.  The estimated repairs would run in the $1000-$1500 range if completed at that time.  In December of 2014 as our customer was preparing to get his home ready to sell he requested we finally complete the wood rot repairs.  The rot had gotten so bad that the wood structural components holding up the whole side of the home had to be replaced, removing and replacing the bank of windows at a cost over $12,000.    
Had this client completed the repairs in 2011 he would have saved around $11,000 in money he sunk into a home he eventually sold.  Had he chose not to complete the work he may not have sold his home. 

Case #2 Soffit and Fascia Repairs
In March, 2015 a first time Mr Handyman customer asked us to perform some repairs to rotted wood along the edge of her forty-year old home.  She had not been diligent in cleaning her gutters every spring and fall and the clogged gutters would back-up and allow water to drain behind and down the edge of the home, where water was not meant to be.  When we opened up the rotted areas it was obvious some pretty shoddy previous work had been completed in the past.  When we discussed her repair options she elected to have us just cover up the fascia and soffit and not to pay any attention to the other underlying issues.  Maybe a similar decision was made before? 

This customer’s choice to go the “cheapest” route to home repairs may be costing her so much more money than if she would have elected to have the repairs completed professionally the first time.  Also the neglect of a 2X per year gutter cleaning has caused her to spend over $1800 in the one repair we completed for her, not to mention a previous repair.     
These are just two of the many, many examples of repair costs that could have been avoided with routine maintenance.  If budget and costs keep you from having the maintenance completed where will you find the funds for the eventual repairs?  In most cases I think people forget about the maintenance or simply do not have the time or expertise to get it done. 

Fall is here.  What can Mr Handyman do for you?  Call 402-502-5212 if we can help.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Energy Savings in the Home

Technology has made great strides in energy efficiencies that may be a great benefit for you as a home owner.  If you have not gotten on the band wagon yet, you could be throwing some hard-earned cash out the window, or at least, giving more to the utility companies than is necessary.

Here is a tid-bit of information to open your eyes to energy efficiencies and help you reduce your electric bill.

CFL Bulb
CFLs or compact fluorescent light bulbs have been around for many years now and both the price and the type of light output have greatly improved.  Many homeowners have enjoyed a decreased energy bill with a swap-out of the most used lighting in their home. 

LED bulbs
LED lighting has become an even brighter star among the available options for lighting.  The energy use for an LED bulb is very small compared to the old incandescent bulbs.  If you were to replace all of your incandescent light bulbs with LED lights you would probably save $15-$25 per month depending on use and number of lights you have. 

If you replace the 10 most used lights in the home with CFLs or LEDs in those sockets, you could save $7-$12 per month of use.  Small potatoes, I know, but over time and with a continued changing out of more of them, you could save even more down the stretch.

Most people do not find the CFL and LED lights to be enjoyable, compared to the warm glow of the old incandescent bulbs, but progress is being made to replicate them.  There are LEDs and CFLs that project a different spectrum of light, which is more appealing to our senses.

A great way to figure up the cost savings for swapping out the electron-guzzling incandescent bulbs for the sleek savers of today is to calculate the energy use for both and compare the figures.  The purchase cost of the newer models is quite a bit higher so factor that in as you swap them out.

You pay your electric bill by KWH, or kilo-watt-hours.  Basically, you are charged for every 1000 watts of energy in an hours’ use.  An example:  You leave your outside lights on all night (5 incandescent, 100 watt bulbs).  If you average 12 hours per night over the course of the month you would calculate as follows: 5X100(watts) X 12 (hours) /1000 (to figure KWH) X 30 (nights).  You would use 6KWH each night X 30 nights = 180 KWH.  Electric rates are around $.10 per KWH.  It would cost you $18.00 per month to light your yard each night with incandescent bulbs.

If you swapped those energy-guzzlers out with an equivalent LED (13 Watts compares to a 100W incandescent in light output) and apply the above calculation: 5X13X12X30/1000 you would see that it would only cost you $2.34 for the month of use.

If you don’t enjoy math, take my word for it, both CFLs and LEDs will save you quite a bit over their projected life span of use.  Call Mr Handyman @ 402.502.5212 if we can help you fix or maintain your home.