Hurricane Irma Preparedness

This is a continuation from the blog, from Emerald Inspection Service. To read their blog go to:  https://emeraldinspectionservice.blog/  Our blog is about the necessitates and what you may need to do and consider about the storm.  Certain areas in the home will need attention. The perimeter especially. So lets begin.

If you have a generator for back up electric great. If it runs on gas make sure you have the generator outside and a good 30 feet from any window or door and have a plywood with sandbag area around the generator to protect it. Also if you are running extensions cords to the generator. Make sure you have a GFCI device on the extension cord.

Prior to the storm, remove all debris from the roof. Anything and clean the gutters, if you have them. All downspouts need to be clear and if you have extensions make sure the are pointing down hill. If water is overflowing from debris in the gutters and downspouts this will not help matters any.

Your refrigerator is the only thing that will hold temperature for food. After 4 hours and no power, we suggest to dispose of any milk products. Cheese, milk, etc. A lot of us probably have stocked up on beverages. I will personally tell you. Beer and alcohol can wait. We will toast together when the storm is over. As far as ice goes use it for the bare necessitates such as medicine, perishables that can be eaten in 24 hours. If you think of it, use small jugs and freeze before. The water when melted can be used for a variety of stuff and not just drinking.  Your bottled water use only for drinking and hygiene.

For people that have city water this may not apply so much as it does for folks on well water. Remember no electric, no water. Do not use bottle water to flush toilets or mix drinks with.  Get 5 gallon buckets to fill with water or rain water and reuse a gallon jug. Mark the jug halfway. It takes 1 1/2 gallons to flush a toilet for a #2 episode. Do not flush toilet paper or napkins in the toilet. Use a yard bag and keep a tie on it. I recommend for #1 episodes use the outside or a bucket and pour down the toilet. If you have a lot of people you may want to consider getting a 5 gallon bucket and place a yard bag in it. This may not be cozy. But its an emergency toilet. Get a top too.

Windows, we will not tell you how to secure a window with plywood. But, prior to any storm, check the windows. Make sure the caulking is tight. Screens should be secured. If they are loose remove them. Make sure all windows are locked tight and if you have blinds or curtains, close them during the storm. That is your only protection of glass without boarding them up.

When placing sand bags don’t just lay them on top of each other. Stack and step them. For example you may want a single layer, then double layer and triple layer to block the door. This is also a warning sign to let you know when and how the water is rising.

Lastly, any outside grills cover them. Cover the tanks for the propane too. Your lawn equipment you want in the garage and if possible drain the tanks and cover the engine with plastic. (If water gets in the tank you can easily remove it) Motorcycles, I would cover the cylinders if outside and if possible chain down.  And if the pool starts to overflow or its going to be major flooding, drain the pool partially. The pool will capture the water and it can drain. Also it will help with flooding.

If you have any questions please call us 24/7 during any storm. We are here to help our neighbors and we are not greedy when people are in need of this type of help. Thank You. God Bless Florida, and Lets Ride The Storm Out!

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Labor Day

We want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Labor Day Holiday!

And we also wanted to share a tid bit about this holiday and what it means to others.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Drainage

If you have been following our Facebook page  and tweets we wrote about moisture intrusion and drainage. A lot of leaks are due to poor drainage and or lack of maintenance.  So this weeks blog is about drainage on the home and how to help avoid the terrible effects of moisture intrusion. So lets begin.

With the rain season in Florida a lot of us experience areas on the home that get more rain water then others. Some of this maybe the landscaping and some is deterioration of somewhat on the home. Lets start with the roof. the flashing around vents is an actual maintenance item. Then you have the valleys which leaves and debris can be collected and will contribute to water getting in them. And then you have the gutter system. Having a gutter is great but if its undersized then you shouldn’t have any at all.

Alot of Florida homes don’t have gutters because they think that the rain is too heavy to capture. One foot of 5″ K-Style gutter holds 1.2 gallons of water. One foot of 6″ K-Style gutter holds 2.0 gallons of water. For commercial applications, box gutters, can be made in 7, or 8 inches or even larger custom sizes that hold even more water. So this is something to think about. But you are saying, I have good gutters. Now you may need to extend the downspouts. Something to think about is adding a French Drain to the foundation area so to divert the water away from the foundation. This is a major difference between the homes here and up north. A lot of homes with basements always have a sump pump for this reason.

And lastly our driveways and other areas is something to think about as well. Adding a channel drain is a good idea. And keeping an eye on the mulch and landscaping as you do not want the area to be sloped toward the foundation.

So with this in closing. Check with the local building department about re-capturing rain water. It can actually be reused for watering the lawn to even water for toilets. Thank you and if you have any questions about this or any of our services, feel free to check us out at; www.pascoremodel.com or even better call us at 352-437-5300.

 

 

Being A Contractor

I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day Holiday. We enjoyed a few days off and got to catch up with friends and family. While coming back from the holiday we had a few appointments and it amazes me still how some people think they are a contractor. I wanted to share this blog with you. So lets begin.

While doing estimates in the Lutz and Land O Lakes, Florida area a few clients had called previous people for estimates. Some were we can start tomorrow. Some told my clients sure I can take that for you and then show up and the ladder does not reach the window. Come to find out these are just jobbers being recommended on social media. This actually makes me mad. We have companies out there that are completly legit and then the ones who operate sneaky.  Who is going to select a contractor that does not have correct references, license, insurances, and most of all proper tools. If saving a few dollars is one thing but is that jobber or handyman going to be there when stuff fails that they did. NO!  They will address it once, maybe then ignore you, run, hide, change their number or worst leave the state. Now you the consumer are stuck with a messed up job, out of money and hurt. a

The reason for this blog is 2 of our clients almost got scammed. We get it save some money but when you have a small bathroom remodel and the handyman or jobber says we can start tomorrow. I would run. This also concerned our client.

So, to all our followers and future clients make sure you ask the proper questions.

  1.  Do you have pictures and references of your work?
  2. How long in the trades?
  3. What is your schedule like?
  4. Do you have insurance and license and can you provide a copy?                            (this stops the handyman rip offs!)
  5. And lastly, what type of warranty do you provide?                                                          (by law 1 year. PHRR we provide 2 years)

So in closing do not get hoods-winked by people that think they are a contractor. Instead go with one that can properly answer the 5 basic questions to any client.

Remember, at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, we provide all types of home remodeling, repair, and renovation in the Zephyrhills, Holiday, Dade City and Wesley Chapel Florida areas all the time. For more info, contact us at 352-322-2700 or http://www.pascoremodel.com

Thank You.

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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Attic and Insulation

We are writing this blog about a way to save you money on your heating and cooling bills. When we think of our attics we think about  storage and maybe the unknown area of the home. But the attic is really a place for the house to breathe. So lets begin.

Back in the early days the attics were sealed off. The soffit was plywood and you had small vents to control. The area was just there. Then later on, as building technology came upon us, the attics were becoming a storage area. Some were becoming more additional rooms. But this was not helping with the transfer of heat or cool. In your attic, a lot of builders are using blown insulation instead of the traditional rolled insulation. Now, both will give you the same R value, but which is better.

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The rolled type of insulation is your traditional kind and you can usually finish the attic with. The blown type to obtain the same R value you will need higher thickness, like 9″ of insulation through out the attic. Additionally the insulation has to stay pliable. Meaning you can not walk on it. Nor store items on top of it. The advantage of the blown type, it is a bit more economical then the rolled. (I prefer the rolled type as to finish off the attic.)

Now, lets talk about the remainder part of the attic. You have a ridge vent, maybe gable vents and your eaves. Its important to make sure that the vents are not clogged. Additionally, if you have a power vent or cyclone make sure the area is not full of debris. The other vents are important to allow the air flow from ground up. And yes it is normal for the attic to be over a 100 degrees in summer but allowing the other vents to be open it will help cool the home. Remember, you do not want to over insulate your home either. This will cause condensation and possible failure of other elements in the home.

Lastly, the insulation you choose, should be environmental friendly and I recommend that a pest deterrent be applied or is added to the insulation. Varmints will try to get in the attic someway and the insulation with the deterrent will help keep them out.

And we at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, are starting this new service for Zephyrhills, Holiday, Land O Lakes and Lutz Florida. For more information feel free to call us at 352-437-5300. Or look us up on the web at www.pascoremodel.com  Thank You.

 

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.

 

Drapes and Blinds

I know this maybe an un-usual post from a carpenter contractor. But we actually get this request a lot. So lets start with why and what you should install and where. So lets begin.

Draperies and blinds can add value and comfort to any room. When remodeling adding these to your finished room will set the presence just as lighting sets the aviance.  Back in the day our moms would change the drapes with the seasons. The heavy rubber back for the winter and the lighter ones for summer. Then as time changes our windows improved. Here in Florida it still amazes me of builder grade metal windows from back in the day.

So, difference between blinds, drapes, or nothing. Nothing is not an option for privacy unless its a sun room. A lot of consumers like the curtains in the formal living room or dining room. Master bedrooms can go either way. As far as your offices and maybe study,  I definitely recommend placing drapes with a blind, because of the lighting. And we can go on and on with other rooms. The biggest thing is to select a drape or blind system that will incorporate the window with the room. Allow sun and view when wanted. And lastly, what will fit in your budget.

We can help with this for you. Whether you want a blind installed or help choose. Maybe installing new curtain rods with blinds. If you are in Zephyrhills or Holiday. From Eifers to Richland Florida we are there for you. Contact us today at 352-437-5300 or http://www.pascoremodel.com

Pavers

Good Day Everyone and Happy New Year. Today’s blog is about Paver’s. Alot of homes have them. And just recently I had the opportunity to visit an apartment complex that the entire walk way for 12 buildings uses them. In the beginning when they first came popular it was great for a small walk way or patio. Now they have grown in popularity to an option instead of concrete. So lets begin.

Concrete Paver’s have definitely become a source for walks, patios, decorative ways for the landscape and just an alternative feature instead of concrete or a wood plank walk way. Paver’s have a lot of versatile functions and can be economical in certain purposes and then maybe the new walk instead of the traditional concrete or stone ideas.

Homeowners in general will use Paver’s as a do it yourself project for the new patio or walk way in the backyard. And yes its the norm instead of concrete. Now I am not trying to persuade anyone to go with concrete to Paver’s or stone or whatever, the purpose of an idea for your home is to make it unique and appealing to your liking. Yes, I have seen in Florida, California and Maryland many home owners will have Paver’s and one will have a wood patio or concrete deck or the opposite. One will have Paver’s patio and others concrete. And my favorite, concrete patio with Paver’s as a decorative feature with a walkway to the Gazebo. So as you can see there are many options. The cost is a different story. Doing a Paver’s area can be done as a d.i.y. Doing concrete not so much. The prep work is similar and similar in time. However, when you pour concrete you normally need a few skilled people compared to few neighbors to help with Paver’s. Then there is other factors that imply. For example, concrete is permanent and can be painted for decorative finishes. Paver’s, need to be sealed every so many years as concrete just clean. Again the selection is up to the homeowner.

But the one thing that Paver’s require is maintenance and care. If the prep work is not done right you will get weeds thru the joints. Also remember Paver’s are not solid. They move so occasionally they will shift and require new underlayment or need to be replaced due to cracking. This is actually minor. The biggest thing is sealing Paver’s every few years. Paver’s will stain and need to be cleaned and resealed. Alot of homeowners and some contractors will not think about this. Cleaning the Paver’s is not just using a power-washer and then spray some sealant down. Trust me this will not last and you will get a milky coat on them. The process is very unique and companies that take the time to explain the process and are certified are the ones you want to use. They have specialty equipment and will be experienced as well.

So, if you have Paver’s that have not been re-sealed in awhile you may want to look into this process. If you are thinking of the next project for the backyard consider your options. At Pasco Remodel, we have installed Paver’s and cleaned them for sealing. We have additionally talked to homeowners that know the options. For more information contact us anytime. We provide this service throughout the greater Tampa Bay Area. Especially in Lutz, Brandon, Largo and Hudson Florida areas. www.pascoremodel.com or 352-437-5300

Drywall Finishing

Ever wonder why drywall compound takes longer to dry when other times it will dry quicker. This weeks blog is about finishing drywall to a paint-able finish. So, lets begin.

When drywall installers install drywall its important that the drywall is installed correctly. For example, you have finished edges from the factory that are beveled. You want the drywall to be perpendicular across the framing for more rigidness. And you want the drywall to be nailed or screwed every stud and every 12″ on the stud for ceiling joist. What you do not want is the drywall to be placed and not really tight as this will cause cracking in the compound and not adhere correctly.

When the finishers are applying the compound, they may use different types of drywall tape for the best application. For instance, if it is against the drywall that is existing, then you will have a cut edge and its best to use mesh drywall tape instead of paper tape. In the corners you will have papertape to cover the corner. There are other drywall finishing instruments as well depending upon the type of job but lets stick with these 2 for now. When finishing drywall its important that the edges meet up and are as flat as possible. In union school, I was taught, factory to factory and cut to cut edges. This usually applies to most applications. In remodeling most of the time.

Most of the times the drywall finisher will apply the tape and a good first coat to cover the tape. Most drywall finishing will need 2-3 coats depending upon the application. In some cases matching up to existing plaster for a small repair, it may need 4 to really feather it out. But when finishing drywall the real trick is applying just enough so the compound can dry evenly and at a normal rate. Some will leave heat on to help or place heaters in the rooms. Some have used De-humidifiers, some use an instant compound you mix on site. This is all great, but if the wall or ceiling temperatures are not at at least approximately 65-70 degrees then the drying times will be longer. I always recommend to keep the room at a comfortable range so that the drywall compound can dry smoothly. Adding extra heat or keeping the ac on can cause cracking and bubbling sometimes and will delay the process. And yes doing ceilings against the attic the compound may dry quicker due to the heat in the attic.

So in closing, the next drywall task you do whether its a small job or a complete remodel, make sure the room is comfy. Not too cold and not too hot. Make sure the finisher has experience in feathering joints. Ask them when they use a 6 inch knife compared to a 10 or 12 inch knife. And lastly, if you see big hunks of compound applied and its going to take a belt sander to finish stop them. The problems will arrise later on as the seasons change. Sometimes drywall joints will crack when the home is acclimated over time. To learn more,  go to www.pascoremodel.com  or call us at 352-322-2700. Thank You.