How to Tell if Your Gutter System is Failing

Secrets of a Painless Kitchen Remodel You’ve had it. Your kitchen floor is old and stained, your cupboards are so awkward its impossible to keep them organized, your appliances on their last legs. You’ve wanted to remodel your kitchen for years, but you fear you have neither the money nor the time to embark on a lengthy, expensive remodel. 

Never fear. Your kitchen remodel does not have to be a grueling experience. Many homeowners decide to do the work of a remodel themselves, opting to finish the work on evenings or weekends. If you have a high tolerance for disruption and want to get the most bang for your buck, this may be the best option for your kitchen remodel. However, it is probably not going to be painless. Another thing to consider is to hire out all the individual contractors for your remodel yourself. 

For instance, you do the legwork and find a tile layer, you decide who you want to install your sink and garbage disposal and hook up the dishwasher. This may save you some money, but certainly will not save you any time. You’ll spend hours asking friends and family who they used for their kitchen remodel, and you’ll want to also be sure to check references and view samples of their work for each one. When you consider how many different people it takes to complete a remodel-plumber, tile-layer, floor specialist, cabinet installer-to name only a few, you can see that this is a time-consuming occupation. Many people enjoy this process, but others may be more comfortable with having one professional to oversee the entire process of the kitchen remodel. 

If you are pressed for time, and want a relatively painless kitchen remodel, you would be well advised to hire a professional contractor. This is perhaps the number one secret to a painless kitchen remodel. A reputable kitchen remodel contractor can save you hours of time in finding and overseeing individual contractors, guide you in design and configuration choices, and be your hand-holder throughout the entire process. And let’s face it, while there are ways to make your kitchen remodel as painless as possible, it’s still going to be a disruption of your home. Having a professional at your side can ease a lot of the disruption. How to find a kitchen remodel contractor? Word of mouth is always a good starting point. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Get online and check websites. Browse your local yellow pages for foundation repair jackson ms.

Many large home improvement stores offer contracting services, as do smaller, local companies. Talk to several; have them visit your kitchen so that you can discuss the specifics of your remodel onsite. A remodel contractor will give you ideas and present options you might not have thought about. Your next step is to get bids from all the remodel contractors you’ve talked to. Then compare those bids, but there are considerations beyond just price. Did you feel the contractor understood the goals of your remodel? Are your design ideas similar? Do you feel comfortable personally with the contractor? You’ll be spending a lot of time together over the course of the remodel, so this is important. Once you’ve chosen the contractor, he can give you tips on how to schedule and what to expect over the course of the remodel. He’ll be available to answer questions and troubleshoot. Your remodel will be done before you know it-and you’ll be basking in the beauty of your new kitchen.   

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An Introduction to a Home Repair Grant

What is a Home Repair Grant? Home repair grants are a way for people to pay for home repairs that may otherwise remain unfixed. Home repair grants can bring electric wiring up to code, repair or replace septic systems, and add energy-saving features such as insulation and storm windows. Home repair grants are available from a variety of sources, with differing qualifications. The common denominator is, of course, ownership of the home. Proof of income, work completed by a licensed contractor, and a limit to the dollar amount of the work are all considerations that must be made when finding the appropriate grant. Home repair grants, as a rule, are for repairs necessary for safe habitation of the home or to make the home more energy-efficient. Home repair grants will typically not cover painting, home additions, or landscaping. Who Provides Home Repair Grants? Home repair grants can come from a variety of sources. The federal government, through the United States Department of Agriculture, is one provider of home repair grants. Many states and communities also provide home repair grants. While it may seem impossible to find these grants, don’t be discouraged. One way to find local recommendations for home repair grants is to contact your local bank or other lending institution.

Familiar with home repair issues, most lending institutions can point you in the direction of an appropriate granting agency. If your housing situation needs immediate help, you should contact your local municipality. Many communities offer emergency grants for immediate needs, such as a broken furnace or water problem. Who Can Qualify for a roofing Hattiesburg Ms Grant? Home repair grants are typically aimed at those people that would not qualify for a traditional home equity line of credit or personal loan. Whether due to age, income, or credit history, home repair grants can close the gap between a traditional home improvement loan and allowing a home to fall into a state of uninhabitable disrepair. If, after researching your options, you find that you do not qualify for a home repair grant, there are other choices available. The same agencies that provide home repair grants many times will also offer low-interest loans. While there are still stipulations on the types of home repairs that can be implemented with this money, the qualifying process is typically less rigorous than for a line of home equity credit from a lending institution. Will My Home Repair Be Covered By A Home Repair Grant? Home repair grants cover a variety of home improvement projects. Typically projects that are funded by the federal government have stringent guidelines for approval. Generally speaking, a home that has safety concerns, such as outdated electrical wiring or an old porch that makes entering and exiting the house potentially dangerous would be considered for a home repair grant. A federal grant may also pay for adding insulation, repairing or replacing windows and doors, or doing other types of work to make the home more energy-efficient. A federal grant will not pay for a kitchen remodel, adding closets or storage space, or another project that could be considered cosmetic.

In addition, a federal grant will not pay for repairs on a home that will remain questionably habitable even after repairs. State and community level grants have different qualifying standards and vary greatly. While some grants will mirror closely the directives of the federal programs, other grant programs are for a particular purpose. Some programs are aimed at making homes more energy-efficient, more attractive, or preserving original structures. These programs, while still maintaining tough standards for qualifications, can be an excellent way to obtain money if your project lines up with their purpose. Other state and local grant programs are geared toward particular recipients, whether they are first-time homeowners, the elderly or other groups within the population. If you qualify for one of these grants, you may find fewer restrictions on the type of home improvements that you may make. As with any grant program, it is important to make sure that your plans match up with the plans of the grant-making organization before you begin the remodeling process. While it may seem that applying for and accepting grant money limits the options available to homeowners, the reality is very different. Home repair grants are a way for people that would not normally be able to make improvements to their homes to do so. In addition to making their homes a safer and more comfortable place to live, they also increase their property values as well as the value of the neighborhood.

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What to Know Before Removing Old Trees

Sometimes a tree gets to the point where it is necessary to say goodbye to it. It can be a painful choice to make, but sometimes the tree gets too close to the house, gets too diseased, gets an incurable infestation of some pest, or grows too tall and gets close to a power line. If any of these things occur, it’s best to do the right thing and get rid of the tree. Although you might have spent hours and hours getting the tree to where it is today, it is almost dishonorable to the tree to allow it to suffer in bad conditions. Once you have made the choice to remove the tree, you need to plan its removal. I can’t begin to count how many windows I’ve seen knocked out or cars I’ve seen crushed because of poor planning in the tree removal process. Decide what direction you want it to fall, and accurately measure to make sure it will fall completely clear of anything else that it could possibly cause damage to. Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy. Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, you are ready to begin chopping. If you plan on using a manually operated saw or ax, please step back and consider how insane that is.

Chopping down a tree by hand will take you forever, and will not even begin to be as accurate as using a chainsaw. If you don’t have a chainsaw, you shouldn’t even consider doing it without one. Ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has one that you could borrow. If that doesn’t work, rent or buy one from your local home improvement store. Before you start chopping away at the tree, you should wear proper eye and face protection in case any wood chips fly towards your eyes. I had a friend who blinded his right eye while cutting down a tree, so I hope all of my readers do not make the same mistake as he did. Whenever you operate a power tool, always be sure to wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body. When making the cut, you do not want to just cut a straight line into the tree. It is best to cut a sideways “V” into the tree. This is because if you cut the straight line, the tree will end up rolling to one side or the other.

If you cut in a “V”, the tree will be able to fall in the exact direction that you want it to fall. Occasionally it might be a few feet off due to human error during the cutting process, but if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied, you can line it back up with the path you wanted it to take. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour. Removal of the stump can be slightly more difficult. You have several choices; you can rent out a stump chipper that will completely destroy the visible section of the stump. Or you can spend countless hours digging it out. Digging out the stump is much more thorough, but takes forever. If you’d prefer to skip this step you should check out this tree service jackson ms If you have kids this shouldn’t be a problem. Kids often find the thought of digging fun and are excited to go outside and dig all day long with their friends. This was the method I used, and I had the entire stump out within a week. Keep in mind that my stump was about 1 foot in diameter, and digging probably won’t work for stumps much larger than that.

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Basic Guidelines for Cleaning Vinyl Siding

One needs less maintenance when making use of vinyl siding on your homes. However, at one point, you will be confronted with the task of cleaning it. It is not that difficult, but it would definitely take a good deal of your time. Doing this on your own will save you money, and will be a good way to evaluate the current condition of your vinyl siding. Cleaning vinyl siding is usually done by making use of a pressure washer or a power washer. One may buy one, or if possible rent one. In cleaning vinyl siding, use a mild soap or detergent if it is not that dirty yet. There are also detergents or cleaning solutions that have additives to help prevent problems like mold or mildew. Wear safety equipment like eye protection and gloves prior to the cleaning of your vinyl siding.

It is always better to be safe when doing such activities. Watch out for windows and doors during pressure washing. It is advisable to properly seal these portions. And be careful as well not to hit the ground as these may contribute to bringing dirt back to your sidings, and will mean a lot more work for you. When cleaning vinyl siding, make sure to start at the upper portion and then going down to the lower sections of the structure. Doing so will ensure that you will be doing your cleaning on a smooth and organized manner. You won’t have to go back and forth with your cleaning. Cleaning vinyl siding with green copper stains can be done by using a solution that contains oxalic acid and hot water. The granules for this acid can be bought at hardware stores.

A ¾ pound of the acid granules mixed with a gallon of hot water would be an ideal mixture. With your rubber gloves on and using a sponge, apply this solution on the stain and let it stay for around five minutes. After this, you may then scrub it off with the sponge or non-abrasive cloth. Repeat the process as necessary. Using a solution of bleach and water will do the trick when treating mold stains. For rust stains, there are special detergents available in the market today, specifically applicable for use in cleaning vinyl siding. Read the instructions carefully, and follow as per directions. Cleaning vinyl siding by pressure washing and with the appropriate cleaning solutions will help keep these in good condition. By doing so, your vinyl siding will begin to look clean and new again.

Brought to you by pressure washing Hattiesburg Ms

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Types of Contractors in Mississippi

A general contractor is the main contractor you have to hire for a major renovation project. The general contractor though has other subcontractors that he oversees for the renovation of your home. The repair and maintenance contractors you need are very different from the general contractor. Typically the General Contractor does not provide the labor to build the house. The laborers come from the subcontractors or the trades. This may include carpenters for roughens, excavators, flooring, painting, concrete sub, plumber, electrician, roofer, and the finish carpenter. The general contractor hires the subcontractors and holds their contracts. Holding the contract means that they are working for him, they are under contract to him and he pays them directly. When you hire a general contractor you only have a contract with him, not all the subs. The general contractor marks up the subcontractor’s fee a certain percentage of the construction amount. For this fee, the contractor does all the managing and scheduling of the subs. He also pays, provides supervision of the construction, provides dumpsters, port-a-john, insurance and other miscellaneous things involved in the construction project. The contractors make money by charging for labor and by marking up the materials. The general contractor is referred to the generalist and the subs are the specialist. Whenever you need just a specific thing fixed in your home you would always hire a specialist. A specialist would be for an example a plumber or electrician. When hiring someone for maintenance task some people just hire a guy with a magnet advertising on the side of his truck but in reality, he is not licensed at all. This could be people like gutter cleaners, painters or lawn care. Usually using these types does work out but you must be careful because you do not have the legal protection as with using a licensed contractor. It’s just better to use common sense and keep yourself protected by going with someone who is licensed. It’s usually easy to tell the unlicensed contractors or scam artists or possibly someone who is just trying to get in your home. Use wisdom and do your homework to avoid the following pitfalls.

1. Unlicensed contractors often go door-to-door claiming they “just finished a job down the street and we’re in the neighborhood and noticed your roof needs patching.”

2. They may rush you and twist their words stating, “If you act now, you’ll get a special price.”

3. Unlicensed contractors either neglect to pull construction permits or they ask you to do it for them. If you do this, you are assuming liability for the project as well as the contractor’s mistakes.

4. Some states require roofers madison ms to list their license numbers on their vehicles, their estimates, and their advertising. If a contractor has not done that, this is usually a bad sign.

5. If you see a license number in an ad, and it has a different number of letters, numerals, and digits than all the other licenses, this probably means it is a bogus license number.

6. Be wary if a contractor provides only a PO box or cell number. That may mean he does not have credibility in the community and could skip town when people start to complain.

7. Unlicensed contractors often ask for a lot of money upfront if not the whole amount. Consider this a red flag and try not to pay any money in advance.