Contract Planning

Ever wonder about the planning of what goes behind the construction project? Ever wonder why it takes so long at times to get special order items? Well this weeks blog hopefully will shed some light on these questions. So lets begin.

Lets say you want to do them small jobs before you have guests coming into town. Or you like to remodel that bathroom finally. So you have decided to call the local contractor but he is busy. Now you are like ugh. So from there you use a search engine and now you see hundreds of contractors and more search websites for contractors. Where to begin.

Look at the contractor’s websites and reviews. Some people will use Facebook. Some will use the Local Chamber of Commerce, or some will go just pick 3 that are local to them. So you call and let the contractor know the type of work you want done. Hopefully the 3 contractors you called will show up for the estimate. And you start by explaining to them the project at hand. For small jobs they could be a few hours to a couple of days. For the bathroom remodel a bit more. Either way you should get an estimate in about 3-4 days. Some take longer if there is special orders involved or multiple trades. But normally, no more then about 10 days.  Keep in mind you may not be the only client the contractor has proposals for.

So for the small jobs the contractor will prioritize of how they will do the work. If there are parts need to me ordered that will affect the start date. If there is outside work as well, weather needs to be considered. Then for the small jobs the work is started once the contractor has the materials. Sometimes the materials are delayed because the manufacture or supplier is out of stock. When this happens the process just took longer. Now the contractor is at will of the supplier, especially if it is a special order. So once the materials have arrived then the contractor will schedule with their client to perform the work.

But lets take the bathroom remodel. Sounds simple but you normally have 2 or 3 trades involved. If you are redoing a shower our client’s select and purchase the tile. And usually fixtures. Now the tile may take 14 days to get to the supplier. (oh boy) Then we have the plumber. The plumber needs to be notified about what they will be doing and want plenty of time. Again about 14 days. Then lets say the lighting needs to be changed, added or moved. The electrician comes to the project and again they probally like 14 day notice as well. So just from here the project may not start atleast 14 days out. But what if. Seriously the what if factor.

Now lets tell you how Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair will perform these tasks. The initial in home estimate is usually scheduled within 3 days from the initial call. Tad longer if near the weekend. Secondly, for small jobs our planning is simple. If there is materials that need special orders once we receive them a start date is then scheduled. This way we are only at your home once. The worst thing anybody wants is to have the contractor keep coming back. Also this will save you money and time too.

Now lets take the Bathroom Remodel. Normally, the clients want an estimate to see if its in their budget. Yes some contractors will be high and some low. Some may not do the job if it is under a certain amount do to their overhead.  So here is what we do that is tad different. We will figure the contract with the needed materials and trades. We work close with outher speciality trades as we have an understanding what their pricing is. (too a point) This will help the process. Once the estimate is approved from the client. We state. Get all the materials you are providing on site and then call us. Hey, this is your project. So pick the projects you are comfortable with, and not just the economical type. If its gonna take an extra week or so then so be it. Once you have all the materials on-site the contractor should make another visit to make sure all the materials will be proper for the job. (worst thing to happen is to be installing tile and not have another box because there is one box broken.)

Once this process is completed, then the contractor should schedule the other trades and begin the work. Now keep in mind unless the contractor has his own employees nothing is perfect. But normally the schedule should go from start to finish.  So as you can see from the day you start the I want to get stuff fixed around my home to completion it could take about 5 weeks of scheduling. But the wait will be worth the perfection of your new project.

For more information about these projects or others visit us at www.pascoremodel.com or call 352-437-5300. We glady perform projects in Land O Lakes, Holiday, Zephyrhills, and Lutz Florida all the time. We will be more then glad to visit your home anywhere to discuss the project you like to have done.

Thank You and Happy Easter to our followers!

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Self Closing Hinges

Today’s blog is about self closing hinges. When doing inspections on homes this little part is really almost forgotten. So in today’s blog we will discuss where you need them, why you should have them and what they are. So lets begin.

Self closing hinges are a hinge that is designed to be placed in the door where the original manufacture hinge was installed. There are many variations on the market, but for all intentional purposes you want the one that is approximately 3 1/2″ in height. When installing these type of hinges they normally fit into the existing mortised area. A tad bit of chiseling maybe needed near the edges.  Its extremely important to you the size of the existing hinge. Don’t try to by a 5 inch hinge to replace the 3 1/2″ hinge. It will not work.

So why do we have them? These type of hinges are designed mainly for doors that lead into the garage. The purpose of these is to close the door freely, as to not allow any carbon monoxide into the home.  So for example. Lets say you are coming home with the kids and groceries but have to run back out to get to a meeting. Its cold. So you pull in to greet your spouse at the door. Car is running in the garage. You are unloading back and forth with groceries and kids.  The door is open and you just now allowed the carbon monoxide to go into the home. Oh, you just set the CO2 alarm off too.  With these type of hinges the door should not be propped open. (states in the directions) And the door closing will assist to blocking a lot of the CO2 gas from the engine.

You may see these type of hinges on office areas in the home or a room that you may have valuables or guns.  For example, my home office has these type of hinges.

So in closing, these type of hinges are very economical to install and of course we can as well.  Most of them come in different finishes for example, stainless to black copper.  You can get these at the big box store as they are sold individually. (You need 2) Or we can supply them too from our manufacture. We will be gladly to install these at your home in Land O Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, or Dade City Florida.  For more information about self closing hinges or any other type of repairs, please call us anytime. 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web; www.pascoremodel.com Thank You.

 

Differences Between Small Jobs & Handyman

I wanted to take this time to share the difference between what a contractor does when performing small jobs and the local handyman. There is a big difference. Now I am not taking anything away from people who perform odd or small jobs. They may have the experience or are retired. However, there are ones out there that are just not informed or trained properly. The blog this week will inform you the difference and what to ask when selecting someone to do a small job. So lets begin.

We get calls all the time to perform small jobs for clients. Just today we completed a variety of tasks for a property owner who is renting a small town home in Land O Lakes, Florida. The jobs were small and we itemized the billing so the owner knew what he was be billed for. At the end of the day, the renter stated that one bedroom door was not closing properly.  On the initial walk thru it was never mentioned about this. So in attempt to fix the door, we found that the door is a 32″ door and not a 30″ door which would had properly fit the frame. This is an example of a person not knowing the proper way to install doors. Also very un-professional for everybody.  We installed the new door and everything was fine. On something like this contract, the jobs were small and were done correctly. We made sure the renter was satisfied and if they had any questions. After our job is complete we warranty that contract for 2 years, not 1 year as required.  And yes  if there is issues, then we make sure its taken care of. Sometimes hardware fails. Sometimes humidity will play factors and we will have to plan the door down from winter to summer. No charge to the client.

Now lets talk about the local guy. Biggest question is to ask is the experience.. Like I said before, some are near retirement and just want some small jobs to keep busy. That is fine. But in the example above, would he had been able to install the door properly? Or would he cut about an inch off each side and try to make it fit. Another thing to ask people is license and insurance. And lastly, the local guy may not have a warranty. Will he come back if the caulk shrinks up on the tub? If the door swells will he plan it down that 1/16″ if need be?

So in closing, there are handyman that do small jobs but may not be properly experienced or reliable for that job. And there is contractors that do small jobs for clients and will stand by their work. So next time you are looking to hire someone, ask them. After all, the in home estimate is like a short interview. Both parties want to be a good fit for each other. We provide these type of services and others in Dade City, Wesley Chapel, Bayonet Point and Holiday Florida all the time. Feel free to call us at 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web; http://www.pascoremodel.com  Thank You.

Preserving Exterior Wood

Hello all. Well we are now officially into Summer. In the west central Florida area this means rain almost every day. Also, this means the time to take care of the outside projects as the heat will be upon us. This weeks blog is about preserving the exterior wood on your home and backyard.  As I mentioned earlier, the sun can be horrible this time of the year. So I wanted to discuss some easy low maintenance tips to help you out.

First, if you have any exterior wood on the home that has not been painted in the past 4-5 years, you may wanna start budgeting for this. The heat and the rain can cause many issues especially with wood decay, wood rot, and bring on little pests that destroy the wood.  Using an exterior primer for all wood is the key to long lasting preservation. The primer is a thinner sealant and can get into the pores of the wood to help maintain its life. Also, you may need to consider, sanding any loose paint and caulk from the areas prior to starting. Then your top coat of paint or stain needs to be long lasting. Do not go for the cheap budget paint. It won’t last. For a sharp appearance, I always use a top grade paint and usually gloss finish. The gloss finish helps with the sun and rain over time to keep the nice bright look.

Now lets talk about the wood around the landscape. We usually start repairing or installing new fencing, landscaping timbers, or just maintain what we have. With new wood for decks and fencing its important to let the wood acclimate to the climate before staining. I have found out using a sealer in the fall such as a clear coat works well. Then come back prior to summer and stain.  If you have existing wood, then now is the time to power-wash the area. Keep the grime and slime off. If you like the wood look then apply a clear coat stain. If the wood products are starting to show age, then now is the time to maybe apply a light color stain to start to hide the knots and wood decay. If your deck or fence is old and is really aged. A dark stain is the way to go.  This will definitely hide any defects or try too.

Remember, with wood fencing, railings and decks there is more maintenance but the natural look goes along way. For more information about this blog or if you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime at: 352-322-2700 or email at; pascoremodel@gmail.com

We gladly service the Land O Lakes, Trinity, Holiday and Zephyhills Florida area for estimates the next day at the latest. Thank You.

 

Fascia & Siding Boards

Hello everyone. As we are approaching spring we maybe noticing some exterior repairs. Especially about siding and fascia boars. This weeks blog is about that. In addition we will mention about different products that maybe cost effective to help repair certain items. So lets begin.

Depending upon the architecture of the home, we all have different styles of houses. We may have the traditional thick stone or brick that is structural and went on to be a a facade. We may have vinyl or wood siding, very common in many areas. And then we have a new product that came on the market about 10 years or so and that’s a composite type. As industry and manufactures have changed with the time we also have vinyl trim products too. (Yes vinyl decking is from those manufactures) But lets talk about the composite and vinyl style products. Vinyl siding is very economical and is mostly used around the country. The composite has been coming around more and more. They are low maintenance and just as economical, until you have a repair. We have a contract in New Port Richey, Florida to repair/replace the siding that is a composite. The style can be very attractive to the home and economical too. However there are maintenance items that need to be adhered to because of the environment.

For example, a type of siding that is fiber cement siding with wood grain is 5/16″ thick. But it is brittle when installing. The top is more durable then other products. This type of siding may need to be painted in time as routine maintenance. The ends do need more attention. For example, there has to be spacers installed because of moisture and to secure the planking. Additionally, this type of product does not have an insulator like the vinyl products that can be applied too.

There are as well trim boards that are similar. A fiber cement board that is a 1×6 has to be installed to precise level. The best part, these boards aren’t as warped like a true 1×6 primed wood trim board. There are vinyl types as well but a bit more expensive.

So with repairing trim boards, I definitely recommend a composite style. This is because of the durability. The siding, well that is a homeowners preference. We perform this type of carpentry thru out #PascoCounty Florida. For example, Zephyrhills, Holiday, Hudson to Wesley Chapel. If you like to learn more about this type of product, call us anytime @ 352-322-2700 or email @pascoremodel@gmail.com

Project Planning For DIY

As we are approaching  Spring (in Florida it feels like it now), we probably have that small honey do list that keeps piling up. This maybe clean the gutters to some minor maintenance inside the home. With life and work and family sometimes its hard to focus on the home maintenance. Well today’s blog will help you get organized and hopefully complete them tasks. So lets begin.

When starting any project you need to have a check list. This list needs to include items for safety, materials, tools, and clean up. Some people when the start a project just rip in to it and then have 50 trips to #Home Depot or #Lowes. Or, when the project is underway, there maybe a side part of the project that is not seen and now maybe 3 projects are needing to be completed instead of 1. Below is going to be a simple check off list for the Big 4 elements of small home projects.

Safety

  • Always make sure that if you are working on any project that you have proper gloves, safety glasses, if need be a hard hat, proper work boots, and clothing. If you are working under a home in the crawl space you may want a hard hat because of the piping, beams and joists. You may want to think about wearing sandals if you are going to  cut the grass. These 2 examples are to put you in the frame of mind before starting a project.

Materials

  • When we are doing a project, lets be honest do we want to go to the box stores 3 or 4 times. NO. So when doing a project its important to make sure you have all the materials needed. Sometimes, I even buy more then needed and then the UN-used items I do return. So for example, lets say we are going to re-caulk the shower. On my material list, would be caulk, caulk gun, putty knife, safety glasses, razor knife, razor knife blades, scrubby to remove old debris,  and small trash bag. Now this maybe repetitive for safety, and tools. But if you don’t have these items, you will need to get them while picking up the caulk.

Tools

  • Tools is my favorite subject. When you are starting a project, you have to inspect the tools prior. The worst thing you want is not have the right tool for the right task. For example, If you are putting new locks on and want to add a dead bolt, the proper whole saw is 2 1/8″ and not 2 or 2 1/4″. The directions will tell you from the product what you need. This is critical. The wrong tool will (not may) but will make the job harder, longer and may even destroy the product you are working on.

Clean-Up

  • Clean-up is just as important to having the needed materials to the tools to wearing the correct PPE. Some materials when disposing of you may have to use special containers for that product. Also, with the debris from the task, I always like to have the debris in bags and set aside. This way you don’t have construction debris with regular house hold trash. For example, you may had to replace the razor blade in the razor knife to remove the caulk. So, if the debris was separately bagged, there is no chance that somebody can put there hand in the trash bag/can if they drop something and cut themselves on the blade.

These are some highlights of project management. But if you go by these 4 then it will help you to keep them trips down to the store, have the project go smoothly and be safe. Of course, if you have any questions or want us to handle them small projects we can. For more information contact us anytime: 352-437-5300 and ask for our repair department. Or visit us at our webpage: www.pascoremodel.com and schedule your next appointment. For handyman and repairs we will gladly schedule the appointment within a day in the Elfers, Hudson, Zephyrhills and Brandon Florida areas.

 

 

 

Exterior Renovations and Maintenance

This weeks blog is about exterior renovations and maintenance of your home. Depending upon the area you live in, that being Florida where our temperatures dip to a low of 55 degrees at night or up north like Maryland where it dips down to the 30’s, this blog will inform you why now is important to take care of those projects on the exterior.

So, lets begin. No matter where you live we are all experiencing some season change of temperatures. Maybe the heat is used to warm up the home in early morning or windows are being open more because of cooler temperatures. But technically Autumn is the ultimate time to do the exterior maintenance projects and renovations.

For example, a lot of us will have debris in the gutters. This is the time to clean the gutters and maybe you have budgeted the cost for gutter covers. Perhaps you notice the moss on the home and need to get that power-washed and from there have the deteriorated trim boards replaced and some exterior painting completed as well. But my favorite is the soffit and fascia boards.

Cleaning, painting or replacing the soffit and fascia boards are the most protective investment you could do this time of the year to not only enhance your home for beauty but to add value and reduce maintenance in the long range protective.  Now you maybe asking, OK replacing fascia boards are expensive. No they are not and they can be maintenance free.

Fascia boards can be a vinyl product. Using vinyl product this reduces maintenance and adds beauty to the home. Quality carpenter contractors will recommend this product anywhere we live. It can be cleaned yearly and at the same time if you decide to paint it or en-cap it does not rot, or deteriorate. Homes in the north and south can benefit from this. As I am a licensed contractor in 4 states from PA, MD, VA, and FL, every-time I  have said we can use a vinyl product and is easy to maintenance free product, clients have never second guessed me.

Now you may ask great, what about other projects on the exterior.  Well lets talk about windows. All windows will collect debris. Think about it. The balances have grease and grease will be a magent to collect dust and debris. The tracks and the bottom of the sills need to be cleaned. The screens should be washed twice a year to rid of pollen, bugs and bring back the color of the frame.

And lastly the landscaping. While landscaping is not a favorite issue of mine. I will tell you sometimes its best to have one on your speed dial. Here is why. Mulch after years of load on top of load needs to be removed eventually. Some mulch can bring pests into the home and mulch was originally a wood product. Additionally, you can have the landscaper to that odd edging you didn’t want to do to give that curb appeal and they may even through in a bonus lawn cut of the grass.

Below is a small check list of things to start thinking about for your Autumn Maintenance For Your Home. If you have any questions anytime, send us and email or call anytime. Email: pascoremodel@gmail.com or 352-437-5300

Fall Home Maintenance

Rake LeavesIn fall, prepare your home and yard for cooler temperatures, falling leaves and more hours spent indoors.

Outdoor Tasks:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect roof and chimney for cracks and damage.
  • Rake leaves and shred to use as mulch or dispose of them based on local guidelines.
  • Close or install storm windows.
  • Remove hoses from spigots and drain and store indoors, coiled and flat.
  • Store outdoor furniture and cushions.
  • Test snow blower and have it professionally serviced if necessary.

Indoor Tasks:

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set clocks back in the fall. See our carbon monoxide detector buying guide.
  • Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed.
  • Have furnace professionally inspected.
  • If needed, set traps for rodents.
  • Dust blinds and vacuum curtains throughout your house.
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw away outdated food, medicine and cosmetics
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    Your home improvement company with a complete exterior home project completion

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Mobile Home Remodeling

This weeks blog will be about Mobile Home Remodeling and the differences between mobile homes and stick built homes. In Florida, we are known as the mobile home capital. For example in Clearwater, New Port Richey, Hudson and Land O’ Lakes  Florida, that are full of these type of communities.

So, lets get started. A mobile home is a home brought in on a chassis. Some are normally single wide. There are a few that are double wide’s and there becomes a difference mobile homes and modular homes. For reference a modular home is still brought by truck but probably no landing gear and are more modernly built. I wanted to bring up that when remodeling on a modular/mobile home the key points to remember are small in detail but can save you headaches and hassles.

For example:

1. Most of your interior walls will be 2×3 walls instead of 2×4 walls.

2.  The decking is usually made of pressboard or o.s.b. instead of plywood.

3. All  your plumbing drains are P.V.C.

4. Your door lock hardware is different in characteristics and the “off the shelf” hardware at a local store will not fit properly the style of the door. This is for the metal doors and the inserts.

5. For double and triple wide trailers, there is a “Y” used for the ductwork. You will have this to allow the supply air for all ducts. If there is no air on one side of the home, this is the first place to check.

6. Your foundation is setting on concrete block piers. Its always a good idea every so often to check on them, to make sure they are not sinking. Also your ground straps should have tension on them and no corrosion.

7. Carports are usually metal pan roofs. These are a maintenance item and need to be re-coated every 8 years approximately.

So as you can see that there is differences in these homes. When working on a mobile home, double check the item you are replacing. It may look similar as you may see in the store, but a lot of times there is small differences. For more information about this topic or schedule a free in home estimate to take care of those repairs, call us anytime at 352-437-5300 or our website to schedule an appointment, www.pascoremodel.com

fall maintenance

Fall Maintenance

As we are approaching the autumn season, home owners will have the exterior maintenance tasks coming up. Now I know working in the yard or doing other projects is not priority during football season. However, did you know we have a free annual maintenance check list. Yes. We give this to home owners to help guide them along the way to keep up with these tasks.

For example, during the fall we have the raking of the leaves which everyone is used too. But did you think of your outside water faucet? Or what about checking around the foundation for potential leaks and cracks. While you are cleaning the leaves out of the gutters, that may be a great time to have gutter guards installed. Additionally, maybe inspect the roof and flashing around the vents. Did you ever think about the exterior lighting? Adding lights in the garden can help with the frost so it does not kill your vegetables. Also if you have a pond with fish or little fountain now is the time to clean that out before we head into winter.

As you can see, these are just a few of some those items that we need to put on our to do list for the fall season. And Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair is here to help you. We can assist in many items for your exterior maintenance. For a free check list email or call our office anytime. 352-437-5300 or pascoremodel@gmail.com

 

Sample check list below:

1.Roof: Check the roof and around vents, skylights, and chimneys for leaks. Repair as necessary.

2. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation.

3. Gutters: Clean the gutters and drain pipes so leaves won’t clog them and be sure they drain away from the house. (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Drain outside faucets.

4. Fireplace: Clean the fireplace of ashes. (Fall) Check the chimney for loose or missing mortar. Have the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper closes tightly. (Spring) Leave the damper open for improved ventilation if the home is not air-conditioned.

5. Filters: Remember to clean or replace filters once a month, or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood, and room fans. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from furniture and draperies.

6. Safety Equipment: Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice each year.

7. Air Conditioner: (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Remove window air-conditioners, or put weatherproof covers on them.

8. Refrigerator: Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the latch may need to be adjusted or the seal may need to be replaced. In addition, if you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently with clean coils. Also, stock up! A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one.

9. Faucets: Check for leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Replace washers as necessary.

10. Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows. If you added up all of the small cracks where heating and cooling escapes from a home, it would be the same as having a window open. Replace seals as needed.

11. Storm Windows and Screens: (Fall) Take down screens (if removable type) and replace with storm windows. (Spring) Remove, clean, and store storm windows (if removable). Check and patch all door and window screens. Put screens up (if removable type).

12. Siding and Paint: Look for cracks and holes in house siding or paint. Replace caulk if necessary. A carpet knife can work well for cutting away old caulking from house siding. Slice down alongside it from both directions with the hook-like blade, then use the knife to lift out the old caulk bead intact.

13. Check all baseboards and flooring with slab grade homes. This could be a sign of moisture intrustion.

14. Heating System: (Fall) Have the heating system serviced. Change filters.

15. Hot Water Heater: (Fall) Drain the hot water heater. Remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.