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.

Drain Odors

First I want to say yes its been awhile since our last blog. The past few months have been crazy with work, but that’s good. So I promise we will be blogging again as we have before. This weeks blog is about drain odors.  Now you maybe thinking what? So with out further ado lets begin.

Ever walk into a home after coming back from vacation and smell like bad egg smell or musty odor. Ok, now what about if you just getting home from work and smell the same. Now lets add one more scenario to the equation. What about little flies in the drain. So below are going to be some tips and also what maybe causing it. This will apply either on septic or sewer type drains. The only difference is when placing cleaning agents you have to use a septic type cleaner.

Whether you leave for a week or so or you go to work and you come home and smell that drain smell we are all talking about its probably being caused by a few things. If you come home from work and been smelling it by chance you have food in the drain or downstream and partial blockage. This happens and really no alarm. Also this is a sign of what could be a back-up in the drain soon to happen. {Yes, just like our bodies our homes gives us symptoms too} So an easy fix is to get some hot water and citrus type cleaner. If you have a garbage disposal these things always get food under the turntable and will cause the smell too. So run for a good 10 minutes in each drain hot water with the cleaner. If you are on septic an approved type of drain sanitizer as well.

To explain a bit more what happens is that the drain walls collect food particles and stick to the sidewalls of the pipe. So this will produce that smell. Our piping just does that and it needs to be cleaned every so often. Now if you are getting flies, this usually comes from the septic system. Its good to place a drain cleaner approved for septic tanks. Also there maybe small food particles in the trap. Every 6 months its a good idea to remove them and clean them as well. (talking from experience)

Now as far as the smell from vacation cause the house being shut up for a week. Prior to leaving its a good idea to run hot water with a cleaner down the drain for 10 minutes. Then after the last use, some type of citrus type cleaner will help reduce the smell. The cleaner will be in the traps where the actual smell comes from. Then upon returning just flush the drains for a few minutes and poof no more smell.

I hope this little tip helps. And from #PascoRemodel we would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July Holiday. Thank you all again for your support.

 

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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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Drafty Windows

Hello everyone. This weeks blog is about drafty windows. No matter if you are up north or here in Florida we are in the season where we are opening our windows more. So I wanted to share some useful tips about windows & how you may save on that heat bill. So, lets begin.

It does not matter if you have double or single hung windows. If the glass is triple pane or the old lead style glass with the wood frames. Some of us still have a jalious style for the sun room. All windows will allow a small draft in and allow heat or air condition to escape out. Its just the nature of the business. Now don’t be alarmed. Its actually good that it does.

There are a lot of window manufactures out there that say they are energy efficient windows. Some even go to the point of saying we will reduce your energy bill or pay the difference. (I wish that guarantee was around when I was kid visiting family in winter in Western MD back in the 70’s) So lets really take a look at this. A lot of your windows today that are installed are vinyl or wood style framed. You see the metal style when its usually a builder with new homes. And yes there are many different styles from a bow to bay window. A single hung to a double hung. Then you have new construction, replacement and my favorite stucco windows. But not to get too in depth with the manufacturing  the windows in a home allow sun and heat in with a breeze and keep the bad elements out. But you still have a draft.

Well lets start that every window and frame is going to allow a small bit of heat or cold in and out. The one reason is because the framing and installation. The insulation in the framing pocket may have holes in them. Also, the window may not be perfectly level and plum in the opening. The window may have shifted just enough over the years because of usage. Vinyl windows will expand and contract slightly to allow this draft. Again this is good. Think about it. If the frame was all rigid and tight there wouldn’t be that small allowance when the sun expands it or the cold makes the vinyl contract. This is really the gap I am referring that is almost impossible to control. But there are other measures. The window hardware and exterior maintenance too.

The hardware in the window is mainly a balance system. Back in the old days it was a lead weight with rope. Now we have gotten away from that system and have a bit more economical approach. The balances work on weight. So for example the balance has to hold the window sash’s weight.  When this part fails, normally the upper sash starts to seep down. Or the lower sash may not close tightly. This will allow a gap in the window where you will feel the temperature difference. The exterior caulking needs to be maintained too. This will allow moisture to enter the framing area and also allow that heat or cold in.

So here is a quick check to see if the windows need a bit of maintenance. On a hot day feel around the drywall area of the window. If it feels overly warm there maybe some insulation that needs attention or the window may need to be realigned. If the window lock does not latch easily then the tracks may need cleaning or the hardware replaced. And if you see any kind of moisture stains (moisture intrusion) then their is a leak on the outside and maybe from the caulk.

Now in closing, yes replacing the old wood style single pane windows with triple pane low e glass will save you money on utilities. Just remember the cost to install too. For more information call us at 352-437-5300 or look us up at: www.pascoremodel.com We service all of Port Richey, Zephyrhills, Hudson and Holiday Florida areas. Thank You.

We are not handyman!

This blog this week is about a clarification of handyman. Few months ago, when we started to blog we stated that we do “handyman repairs”. These jobs are small jobs usually done at an hourly rate or semi-fixed rate. But we need to clarify @Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair of a certain entity. Handyman. So, lets begin with this.

In several states including Florida, a licensed contractor who has employees must have all license and insurance requirements met with local licensing divisions.  At Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, we have employees, not daily hires.  We are licensed, insured, bonded and have workmen’s compensation insurance. Yes we are expanding and that requires additional licensing and insurance upgrades. When I started my business up north 17 years ago I have always been legal and above legal before terms of government were met. Since the one year anniversary, here in Florida for PHRR, we have had employees and are fully covered by insurance. Clients are covered by liability insurance. The owner, me, is covered with an owners insurance policy. And with that, we offer benefits to employees as well.

A typical “handyman” is one that does a small job that performs normally a verbal contract and is under $500.00 in gross sales with materials. OK, I am not putting these people down. However, as a homeowner hiring a non-licensed contractor the home owner can be fined as well as the handyman. Fines can be up to $10,000.00 or liens against a home. Now onward with what we do that is different to a typical guy in a truck.

Every job we perform, usually has an on-site visit at the home or commercial property to see this entity that the owner or agent wants to have completed. We have specials just as major referral networks but are in house which helps to keep overhead low. For example, a common term is #honeydo list. This is usually some items built into a proposal for a few hours or maybe 3 days. Our proposal is itemized and we do not discuss your budget. We do not use sales tactics. Our new clients normally receive some kind of discount for us to complete the job. Our technicians are fully trained and we go over and beyond the expectations of the client.  And when the contract is completed the owner or representative of the property receive written warranty documentation of 2 years of what is covered under our umbrella.

With this said, there is a difference between a licensed contractor doing small jobs in Zephyrhills or Port Richey and an unlicensed contractor that will go anywhere and does not care. Also a typical handyman will not offer a 2 full year warranty as we do. So when you want your next small job completed, call Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair. We are the “Can Do” Contractor For You! Our office #352-437-5300 or get us on the web at; pascoremodel.com  Thank You.

The Toilet Operations

This weeks blog is about the commode. Ever wonder how it really works? Do you think its a science by itself or just by imagination everything goes together. What if it does not flush properly or the toilet rocks. The tank or the bowl. Do you know the difference. Did you know that the parts of the toilet assembly are very economical to replace and maybe done yourself. So lets talk about the commode or as some call it the porcelain king/queen.

Your typical toilet consist of the bowl and the tank. The bowl is the part that has the water and holds the seat. The tank is usually the part that has the mechanisms to operate the toilet. The bowl has a trap to flush the entities out into the sewer pipe. At the bottom of the bowl you have a flange which needs a wax ring to secure to the flange and prevent sewer gas coming from the sewer. The tank is the essential part of the appliance. In the tank you have a flush mechanism, a flapper with water fill tube and the handle. Under the tank connected to the bowl you have gaskets at various locations to seal the water. Then you have the water supply line.

{Some new tanks have items such as air tanks and different flush mechanisms that will depend on the need of the visit of the commode.}

The tank and bowl can be a very complicated process if you do not understand the process. For example, ever hear the toilet fill up in the middle of the night? Did you ever see small water behind the toilet and not know why? Or. All of sudden the toilet starts to rock, literally like in a rocking chair.. Wonder what causes this? This is caused by failure of the mechanisms and fasteners. The toilet that fills itself is due to the fact that the flapper needs replaced. The time you flush the toilet and the water takes forever is caused by the flush mechanism failing or the supply line has debris in the line. The water that seeps mysteriously is usually due to the gaskets in the tank, the supply line failing or condensation of the bowl. And if you ever see water on the floor when you flush, the wax ring has expired.  These are simple items that can be replaced at a very economical cost. We perform these a lot and still charge our clients a small amount.

But then is the biggy, the rocking of the commode. When this happens its usually 2 things. It maybe the fact that the tank is loose and you need new tank bolts. But if the entire commode rocks, its failure of the bowl bolts. The entire toilet has to be removed from the flange on the floor. A new wax ring is needed with bolts and the flange needs to be inspected. The flange can not have any cracked or missing areas. The bolts need to secure to the flange. If not you will not secure the toilet to the flange properly. Sometimes you have to replace the flange and this will need to be done by a licensed plumber.

So in closing, a leaky or rocky commode is an issue. Some maybe that small job or some you need to consult with a plumber. We have done this type of repair for a lot of clients in Dade City, Richland, Holiday and Wesley Chapel and referred plumbers as needed. For more information call our office anytime at 352-437-5300 or visit our website at; www.pascoremodel.com

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.

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

Tile Grout & Caulk

This weeks blog is about the grout in between your tile. Also the types of caulk you should and should not use. So without delay, lets begin.

The grout between the tile serve many purposes. One is used as a filler between the tiles. Also, it keeps water from getting below the tiles. Not only does grout fill the voids, it makes the floor, wall, or counter-top stronger by bonding the tiles together and preventing the edges of a tile from chipping and cracking.  A common misconception about tile and grout is that grout will somehow assist in stabilizing a tile installation. It does not. Unless you use epoxy grout it will add no significant structural elements at all.

Now that you know a bit of history on grout, it is important that if the grout is for a back splash, floor, or shower wall you have to maintain it. Grout can break down from cleaning chemicals and just plain age. A few tips to maintain grout are listed below.

  • When you are done showering you should squeegee the water off the tile as this will help keep the grout from turning color.
  • Always read manufacturing cleaning instructions. Wrong chemicals can void warranties and also destroy the grout.
  • 2 times a year its good to apply a sealant to the grout. This will help preserve the grout and maintain its color.

Alot of times you will have to re-grout the tile every 2-5 years depending upon the type. Bathrooms typically its every 2 or 3 years. Floors can vary because if they used epoxy or standard sanded grout.  The easiest way to tell is that the grout is flaking and small chips of the grout are coming up.

Now lets talk briefly about the caulk. As any of us have walked thru a home center there are dozens of caulk. Some for painting, some for gutters, some are just for windows. Then you have silicone and some are also have an adhesive mixture.  When we caulk or re-caulk an area we use only silicon caulk. The caulk does not color or break down like others. Also, its made for water protection better. So when selecting caulk, remember to read the tile manufacture recommendations and also the caulk instructions. The caulk tube for $1.98 you probably do not want to use for a wet setting.

In closing, if you have any questions about caulk, grout and tiles, feel free to call or email us anytime. And lastly, at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, like to wish everyone a Joyous Happy Easter.

www.pascoremodel.com     352-437-5300 or 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.