Home Repair & Home Maintenance: Interior and Exterior Spring Cleaning Tips

spring cleaning, home repair, home improvement, home maintenance, home renovations, Property Maintenance, pest controlLiving in Southeast Texas we are don’t have the issues of harsh winters like many of the Northern states. However, we do have nights that we wake up with frost, an occasional snow/freezing rain. As winter draws to a close, we have compiled a list of interior and exterior steps to Spring Clean your home, and get it ready for warmer weather.

Interior Home Maintenance

  • Clean or replace your furnace air filter. Replacing or cleaning your heating/HVAC system air filters will make the unit function more efficiently.
  • Run a test on your HVAC unit confirming that it is functioning properly.
  • Inspect the caulking around your doors and windows. Wet winter weather and cold temperatures can cause caulking to weather and wear. Damaged or weathered caulking can allow moisture inside of walls to cause mold.
  • spring cleaning, home repair, home improvement, home maintenance, home renovations, Property Maintenance, pest controlClean your windows and window screens. While cleaning, you can determine if any windows or screen are in need of repair or replacement.
  • Check/replace fire extinguishers to make sure each meet the current safety standards and are ready for emergency use.
  • Test your smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the non-functioning and replace batteries if necessary.
  • Dust your ceiling fan blades and motors. Removing dust will increase breeze and airflow as the use of your fans increase.
  • Dust and check the wattage of your light bulbs.
  • Have your carpets cleaned. Removing dirt and dust, pet dander and pet hair have accumulated over the winter months. This is a great time to remove any excess allergens as Spring bring new potential allergy components surface.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils to increase efficiency.
  • Reduce the potential of pests. Establish a pest control regime.

Outdoor Maintenance

  • spring cleaning, home repair, home improvement, home maintenance, home renovations, Property Maintenance, pest controlInspect your roof for any damage. Roof damage can cause extensive damage if left unchecked.
  • Clean your downspouts and gutters from fall leaves to direct drainage away from  your home.
  • Trim your trees back within 5 feet of your home, and make sure they do not come in contact with your roof. Tree roots can cause foundation issues, prevent pooling water to dry, and can cause damage if they break off from the tree.
  • Inspect for any wood trim, siding, or structures for dry rot.

Preventative Maintenance Saves Time & Money

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true when it comes to home maintenance and home repair. Overlooking damage to your home can be VERY costly. If you see potential problems or issues that need to be repaired that you cannot do yourself, give us a call at 281-855-3400 as soon as possible to reduce repair costs.

Addressing your Spring cleaning and home maintenance early on will allow you to enjoy more of the gorgeous Springtime weather of Houston.

Home Improvements: 6 Tips on Taking Care of Roof Leaks

home renovation, home remodeling, home improvement, bathroom remodel cost, remodeling, small bathroom remodel, house renovation, home repair,house remodeling,renovation,general contractor,renovation contractor, remodeling contractors,room additions,house additions,home renovation costs,remodel,home improvement contractors,home remodeling contractors,remodeling companies,remodeling contractor,home renovation contractors,renovation company,home improvement companiesIf you’ve got water dripping somewhere inside your home, or have unsightly stains marks on the ceilings, then there’s definitely a roof leak. A roof leak has the potential to become the bane of a homeowner’s very existence. Not only are they highly annoying, they’re also particularly damaging for one’s budget.

The first thing you need to do in order to take care of a roof leak is to identify where the roof is leaking from. Check out the 5 tips below to repair complex roofing and home challenges with efficiency.

1. Replace Shingles

More often than not the reason why a roof is leaking is because the roof shingles have either become worn, have curled on themselves, are broken or completely missing altogether. The best (and only) thing to do in such cases is to replace the damaged shingle with a new one. Carefully remove the torn or rotten pieces of shingle from the place, apply a generous dollop of roof cement or caulk to the bottom and re-attach in place, pressing down on it firmly.

2. Repair Vent Boots

A vent boot is basically the cover which slides on top of the PVC vent or plumbing pipes protruding from the roof. The purpose of these vent boots is to facilitate the waterproofing of the junctions between the pipe and the roof. Made from metal, plastic, or rubber, they can easily become worn out over time. Luckily though, they’re quite easy to remove and replace. You can buy premade vent boots from any home-store, pull the old one off with the aid of a screwdriver or knife, and adjust the new one on top.

3. Reseal Flashing

Flashing is a thin metal strip molded and installed at the various junction points across the roof to waterproof it against leaks. They’re commonly used around vent pipes, chimneys, and skylights installed in the roof. If the flashing seal has come undone, you can easily reseal it with the use of a lead sealant applied carefully around the flashing area.

4. Refit Skylights

Skylights when improperly fit or installed can be the source of a roof leak. A skylight needs to be properly adjusted into place and then sealed with rubber to prevent water from penetrating into your home. In case your skylight is the source of your leaking roof, it’s advisable to have the skylight refit correctly.

5. Patch the Sidings

Wall or window sidings can become old, worn out from the weather, or cracked as time goes by, allowing water to go straight through the flashing and into the house. If you have broken or cracked siding, patch it up by replacing the old caulk with a silicone one, or replace the entire piece of siding entirely. However, if you choose the latter rather than the former, be sure to ascertain correct placement of the siding.

Know When You Need To Call A Professional

Repairing a leaking roof is not to be taken lightly. Simple repairs can escalate into a much larger issue if not properly addressed. If you find yourself over your head of level of comfort, or in a situation that you do not know the proper resolution, it is est to call in the professional. It is much better to ask for help than regret costly repairs in the long run.


Home Remodeling: 5 Ways To Bring More Light Into Your Home

home renovation, home remodeling, home improvement, bathroom remodel cost, remodeling, small bathroom remodel, house renovation, home repair,house remodeling,renovation,general contractor,renovation contractor, remodeling contractors,room additions,house additions,home renovation costs,remodel,home improvement contractors,home remodeling contractors,remodeling companies,remodeling contractor,home renovation contractors,renovation company,home improvement companiesEver found yourself having to switch on the lights during the day since certain parts of your home are too dark and dull? Perhaps, you need to work on ways to improve your home’s lighting. A dark home can appear lifeless and make you feel down especially in those cold winter months. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to brighten up a room and give it a new lease of life.

Apply A Frosted Privacy Window Film

Are you always reluctant to open your blinds during the day because it will expose your home to everyone across the street? Keeping your blinds open will ensure your home gets adequate natural light during the day. One way to prevent the eyes on the street from peeking through your windows is to apply a frosted window film on the glass. This is an adhesive vinyl film that enhances privacy in your home with minimal loss of natural light.

You can even add the film on your next kitchen renovation instead of blinds. It has a classy and sleek frosted design that will instantly add some style to any room whether the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or living area. It mimics the look of specialty glass and adds texture while allowing natural light to pass through your windows. The best part is that it’s very affordable. For an affordable price, you can get the frosted window film for privacy and even get rid of the blinds. The films come in different designs and finishes. Some appear like a stained, mirrored or textured glass. The process of installing a frosted window film is quite simple. No specialty tools needed, in most cases a knife and squeegee will do.

Paint Your Walls

The other way to brighten up a dark room is to apply a fresh coat of paint. Paint on the walls can become outdated and dull overtime. Sometimes the paint color is what’s contributing to the dull and dreary look in your home. White paint usually makes the room brighter and opens up a small space. But if you think white is too plain for your home’s design, you can choose other light color shades that complement your overall look.

Good options include the lighter shades of yellow, green and pink, if your intention is to paint the walls in order to brighten up the space. These colors appear bright and bold especially in open areas such as hallways or spacious rooms. Remember that if you paint a color that’s too bold in a small room, it may make the space appear much smaller. Alternatively, go for the white walls but create color pops by painting items in the room such as shelving and furniture in a different color. Also, consider choosing an ecofriendly paint for your well such as low VOC.

Get Organized

There’s something about having a messy room that makes it dull and dark. One way to brighten up your home without spending much is to get rid of any clutter that’s in the space. It could be bulky kitchen furniture or an appliance that’s never used. Getting rid of items that contribute to mess and clutter can make the area less stuffy and dark. Look for ways to free up the floor space by giving away items that you don’t use or placing them in the attic/basement when not in use. Take steps to maximize the space you have such as getting rid of a bulky bookcase and replacing it with a built-in section to store your books. Consider changing your TV on the wall to free up floor space. Better yet, get the help of a home organizer who will help you if you have no idea where to start.

Tear Down A Wall

If you are willing to go all the way with a complete home renovation, consider opening up the space by tearing down a wall that’s between two adjoining rooms. For instance, you can open up your living area and kitchen by removing a wall that is adjoining these two rooms. When you do this, adequate light flows through the space spreading around to all areas so there’s little chance of having dark areas in the room.

Removing an adjoining wall may appear to be a complex process but it really isn’t. This project can completely transform a home’s entire look and feel. The rooms would not only feel larger but also create a free flow that you’ll certainly enjoy. Make sure you have the necessary building permits and you hire a qualified contractor to take on the project. Wall removal or any form of demolition can be a dangerous process so don’t attempt to turn it into your next DIY project. Get quotes from different contractors and compare them before making the right option.

Upgrade Light Fixtures And Bulbs

Sometimes natural light in your home is not sufficient to make your rooms brighter especially during winter. As you take steps to improve your home’s natural lighting, it’s also fine to invest in light fixtures and bulbs that will suit your needs. There are fixtures and bulbs designed for interior lighting whereas others are meant to be used outdoors. Note the difference and buy the right product for each room/area.

When it comes to interior lighting, perhaps you need to get rid of any compact incandescent light bulbs in your home. These bulbs are not only inefficient but they also have a short lifespan. Consider investing in light fixtures and bulbs that have a high energy rating. CFL bulbs are highly recommended mainly because they have a long lifespan and are energy efficient.

Also, when choosing a bulb for brightening a room, check its lumens other than the wattage. Lumens will tell you how bright the bulb is whereas its Wattage will only give the energy it uses. For instance, a 60Watt bulb can give 600 lumens of light whereas a 30Watt bulb gives 800 lumens. This means that the latter is a better option because it’s brighter and uses less energy.

Remember you can also make changes in your home’s exterior to improve natural lighting in your home. Hire an expert in tree removal Toronto to get rid of any bushes or trees that could be blocking your view or preventing your home from access to adequate natural light.

Five Common Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

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If you’re looking to avoid these common pitfalls at all costs, remain aware of the five missteps below while building your dream bathroom.

Forgetting to Add or Maintain Ceiling Vents

Stepping into a steaming shower or running a hot bath is incredibly soothing, but all that humidity and moisture can take a huge toll on your bathroom’s comfort and hygiene over time. Condensation that permeates your walls can deteriorate paint and grout, while also weakening wooden or overly porous underlayment. Make sure to cap off your bathroom remodel by either installing a ceiling vent, or cleaning your current one to promote sufficient airflow.

Installing Overly Trendy Fixtures

There’s nothing wrong with a little style, especially if you don’t have any plans to sell your home; but if you’re remodeling specifically for that purpose, having a design scheme that’s too trendy could be limiting to future buyers. It’s also important to remember that today’s top designs will likely become tomorrow’s forgotten fads.

Some fixture trends are so momentary and closely tied to a particular time period, that in five years, they may be considered tacky and require immediate replacement. The same goes for overly bold paint choices and accessories. A good strategy is to rely on classically designed fixtures and a neutral color palate that won’t leave your space feeling too personalized.

Using Porous Material to Construct Wall Surrounds and Flooring

Remember, preventing moisture permeation is one of your greatest functional concerns when renovating your bathroom. Avoid furnishing your space with materials that are overly absorbent or particularly vulnerable to water damage, like wood, textiles or porous stone. Too much moisture accumulation will not only lead to frequent repairs down the road, it will also make mold and mildew growth an ongoing concern.

Skimping on Product Quality to Get a Good Deal

It’s no secret that bathroom remodeling can be expensive, and value hunting is certainly a priority; but if you’re going to make such a significant investment either way, why not choose fixtures that are well-crafted and built for longevity? When you don’t consider product quality, you’re essentially opting for several less-expensive renovations over time that, ultimately, surpass the price of a single, high-quality remodel.

Also, depending on how you skimp, you may rack up additional utility costs. For example, if you choose to replace your toilet with a less-efficient model because of its lower price tag, you’ll increase your monthly water bills and greatly reduce the new toilet’s ROI since it won’t add to the overall value of your home.

Rushing to the Finish Line

Bathroom remodeling is a time-intensive process, but it begins so enticingly. In the preliminary stages, it’s all about your vision and planning how to make it happen, but less attention is paid to how complex the task will be.

When most people think about bath renovations, they condense it to several focal areas: the sink, toilet, shower, bathtub, etc. For example, say there’s a family looking to make their morning routines more efficient; tub conversions, in this instance, may be their primary focus, but they may not be paying enough attention to other important aspects of their space, like its lighting or accessibility. By the time they’ve converted their old tub to a new shower, they’re already mentally winding down from the remodeling process, even though there may be other vulnerabilities that need to be addressed, like rusted pipes or, as discussed above, clogged ceiling vents.

Instead of allotting the same amount of care and consideration to these equally crucial issues, the homeowners rush through their fixes and inevitably set themselves up for future costly repairs. Always remember that bathroom remodeling is a marathon, not a sprint; otherwise, you risk being left with an unevenly crafted result.

Though there is a wide range of mistakes a person can make during a bath remodel, you should feel comforted by the fact that they can all be prevented with a little patience and forethought. Sometimes those can be in short supply when you just want to complete a passion project, but staying attentive and adaptable during the process will help you deliver a bathing oasis that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

Flooring vs. Cabinets: Which Is Installed First?

What comes first flooring or cabinets?

We often hear this question when planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel project. Logic would say to install your flooring first and work from the ground up and install the cabinets last. But, in most cases, it is best to install your new cabinets first.

To be honest, it can be done either way. We are going to look at the pros and cons of doing each and let you decide. However, when in doubt, we suggest the cabinets to be installed first.

Pros: Installing Flooring Before Your Cabinets

It is easier to install all of your flooring so you don’t have to cut around cabinets or finish the flooring up to the cabinets. This will allow the flooring install to move much faster. In addition, some people prefer that their flooring run directly under the cabinets.

Many times, cabinets are custom made to the specifications of the kitchen project. Installing the flooring is a great use of time while waiting for your cabinets to be constructed. This is an efficient use of time, especially when project are time sensitive.

If you run into any problem with the floor during your install, it is much easier to fix flooring issues without the worry of damaging kitchen cabinets. Wood flooring is locked together, and tile floor is adhered by mortar, it becomes difficult to replace planks without potentially damaging cabinetry if it is already in place.

Pros: Installing Your Cabinets Before Your  Flooring

The pros for installing flooring first are cosmetic and truly a personal preference. When we examine the cabinets going in first, the reasons can be more strategic to the success of the remodel.

If you install your cabinets prior to the flooring, you will use slightly less flooring materials. This can reduce the cost of the flooring project. Homeowners who have lived in the same location for quite some time, may want to change their flooring before they change out their cabinets. If the cabinets are installed before the flooring, this allows for easy replacement of flooring without removing cabinetry.

So Which Comes First The Flooring or The Cabinets

The choice is up to you. The right order of things is to put the cabinets in first. That’s how it’s done when a new home is built and for good reasons.


Interior Painting: How To Select The Best Paint Finish

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Flat – A non-reflective appearance that helps hide surface blemishes, making walls look smooth. This finish, which cleans easily with a damp sponge, is ideal for:

  • Adult bedrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Formal living rooms
  • Ceilings

Satin – With its slight gloss, this finish offers the benefits of richer look. It works best for high-traffic areas such as:

  • Halls
  • Woodwork
  • Children’s bedrooms
  • Family rooms

Semi-Gloss – This lustrous, durable finish is perfect for areas that get cleaned frequently, such as:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Utility area
  • Closet doors
  • Trim

Gloss – This lustrous, durable finish is great for windows, doors and trim or any area that you would like to highlight and is excellent for:

  • Wood trim
  • Cabinets
  • Doors
  • Furniture

Pearl- A subtle shimmer midway between egg-shell and semi-gloss offering a lustrous finishing touch.

Flat Enamel- A non-reflective appearance that helps conceal surface imperfections while providing some washability.

Matte- This flat finish is great for hiding surface imperfections, while its angular shine helps make walls smooth and washable

Egg-Shell- Great to use for walls, egg-shell finish has a slight hint of shine and holds up better to cleaning.

Low-Luster- A smooth, subtle sheen that’s durable and easy to clean.

Medium-Luster- This higher-gloss finish is perfect for doors and trim.