Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tips for Drywall Repair

You’ve just returned from an awesome vacation. As you transfer dirty clothes from the luggage to the laundry room, you notice that a section of wall near the washer seems slightly buckled.
At this point, it's important to remember a few things. First, drywall is easily damaged by water since it's made from gypsum plaster pressed between two sheets of thick paper.
Second, mold can grow between those two sheets of paper when they're exposed excessive moisture. With the latter, you’re faced with more than an unsightly stain - mold can put you and your family at risk for respiratory problems.
When hiring a contractor to handle drywall repairs, it's essential you select one with the right experience to handle the problem. As a homeowner, there are a few things that you should know to ensure your contractor is professionally handling the job.
When hiring for drywall repairs, make sure that the contractor:
1. Checks for the source of the damage. This includes inspecting the surface, checking for bubbling or chipping areas of paint and for signs of dampness. Dark stains or a sagging section on the ceiling can point to signs of damage to the roof.  If a leak is not addressed immediately, drywall may begin to crack and fall away from the ceiling.
2. Shows expertise in installing the material. Even though drywall is relatively inexpensive, it's not always easy to install. Standard-cut sheets are 4 feet wide by 8 feet long and no more than a half-inch thick. Each sheet must be cut and shaped to perfectly flatten against the framing.
-This process can be a lot more difficult than it might sound because drywall is surprisingly heavy and awkward to handle. Once the sheets are flat against the framing, each panel must then be screwed into joists or studs to secure it in place.-
3. Properly seals the seams. After the first steps are completed, seams along walls must then be taped and screw heads must be sealed. If seams and screws are not sealed well with drywall compound, they will eventually show through the paint on a wall.
4. Applies the finishing touches. A very thorough sanding of the sealed drywall surface is required at the end of the process. Rough spots on the drywall can prevent the final layer of paint from appearing as a smooth surface.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ways to Avoid Costly Repairs

From clogged gutters to broken shingles and mold, home repairs can easily add up — especially with all the precipitation and cold weather this time of year.

The costs of home ownership stretch far beyond mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance.

Inspect Your Foundation
Routinely Unclog Your Gutters
Look For Exterior Leaks
Inspect Your Roof
Change Heating or Furnace Filters
Replace Hoses in Laundry Room
Remove Build-Up in Your Water Heater

Before attempting to do any repairs, learn how to do them properly or better yet, hire a professional, like us. The cost of having a repair done right is cheaper than repairing a "bad" fix.

Steps to Building a House

One of the amazing things about American homes is that the huge majority of them are built using completely standardized building practices. One reason for this consistency is a set of uniform building codes that apply across the country. Another reason is cost -- the techniques used to build homes produce reliable housing quickly at a low cost (relatively speaking). If you ever watch any house being built, you will find that it goes through the following steps:

•Grading and site preparation
•Foundation construction
•Installation of windows and doors
•Rough electrical
•Rough plumbing
•Rough HVAC
•Finish electrical
•Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets
•Finish plumbing
•Carpet and flooring
•Finish HVAC
•Hookup to water main, or well drilling
•Hookup to sewer or installation of a septic system
•Punch list

Many of these steps are performed by independent crews known as subcontractors. For example, the framing is generally done by one subcontractor specializing in framing, while the roofing is done by a completely different subcontractor specializing in roofing. Each subcontractor is an independent business. All of the subcontractors are coordinated by a contractor who oversees the job and is responsible for completing the house on time and on budget.