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.

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.

 

fall maintenance

Fall Project Planning

Good Day All! Well now that we are on the eve of 9-11, the storm Hermine and our 1 year anniversary. Lets get back to blogging. As you may had experienced with the tropical storm, some projects may need more attention now. September is the best month to start your project planning for the fall. A lot happens with weather and the seasons changing. So we wanted to share some helpful tips with you to keep in mind that the holiday season is going to be knocking on our back door. So lets begin.

The exterior of the home and yard is a great place to start. Look on the roof for debris and branches. Check your gutters as well. In the next few months we in the Florida area will still experience more storms. Drainage systems must be cleared all the time. While checking around the home, trim back the bushes and shrubbery. A great project may take about 18 inches of width around the stone and place stone as again to assist with drainage away from the home. And if you have a fence, now is the good time to check your fence posts and gates. During heavy rain and wind  these may become out of align.

Now for the interior. These items on any fall maintenance and project planning are always over looked. So we thought we would share. To start, check your all your screening. This includes your lanai or screen porch. Get these repaired as we are entering the fall and will be using more fresh air then a/c. Then clean all your window tracks of debris. During the storm you may had notice some moisture intrusion. This maybe why. Now lets take a look at your bathrooms and kitchen. Check all your caulking and grout. If the caulk does not look fresh, now is a great time to redo it. Ask your self, when is the last time your grout was sealed. Is the grout color turned or black. Again, this maybe a great time to redo this as well.  Lastly, as the cooler temperatures are among us. This is a great time for us to think about up grading insulation in the attic. And checking the drywall for any water stains that may have occurred.

So this may seem alot as far as what to do on your home. But it really is not. Make a list of items that you may see that need attention. If you a bit of help. Give us a call. We will be more then glad to assist you in any manner we can. From Dade City to Holiday and from Hudson to Wesley Chapel Florida we are here for you. 352-437-5300 or www.pascoremodel.com

 

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.

Framing

I wanted to write this blog today about framing. When you look at structures the back bone of the structure is the framing. Whether its metal or wood. With out it you don’t have interior walls and the drywall is not going up. So lets talk about the good and bad jobs of framing.

When you are framing walls, they are usually 16 or 24 inches on center. Floor joists are normally 16 inches on center but can vary from 12 to 24 inches depending the application. And yes your roof trusses are 24 inches on center. Ok that is the basics that you learn as a carpenter the first day on the job.  But over time you learn more and more. I have been doing framing for over 20 years and I like to say I am still learning. But seriously. When a carpenter is framing out for interior walls, structural membranes or just furring strips for a room that is converted to a family room from the 3 season room. The framing membranes have to be straight, dry, not cracked or warped and also have to hold the weight of the item you are placing on the wall. Which means it has to be self supporting or attached with fasteners.

Alot of people think that they can take wood and put it up and call it framed. Not true. The true carpenter will know what to use and how to use certain hardware and how to use even the bad wood for certain items.  Now there is a difference from the true carpenter to just a novice. The novice may not take in consideration the extra prep work of framing the walls. Additionally, as odd as it may seem, using a level for framing walls is not correct. Plumb bobs and tape measure or laser levels.  Lastly, when a consumer wants something framed, they should asked have you done this type of work before. Framing a deck, stairs, or just a small wall. Also framing a wall with wood will not be perfectly level. Close but not perfect. The reason is because the wood will always be a 1/16″ different from each. Check it. The nominal measurement for a 2×4 is 1 5/8 x 3 5/8 but will vary.

So in closing, when framing out an area or hiring someone the quality control on the project of selecting the best framing members is essential. Installing them correctly is also essential because of one reason. With out them being plumb the drywall will not attach right and you will see imperfections.  And also the framers will take pride in building what you want correctly the first time.

We perform framing of all types throughout Pasco and Pinellas County. From Clearwater to Zephyrhills, from Hudson to Wesley Chapel. For more information, call us at 352-437-5300 or visit our website; www.pascoremodel.com

 

Moisture Intrusion

With the rain storm we are experiencing in Florida this week, I wanted to share about water leaks and what you can do to prevent and/or repair the area.

Water leaks are a mess, this we all know. It cost money, time, aggravation and most of all it can ruin some family heirlooms.  So you may noticed water getting in crevis and cracks that you never thought of.  So if you notice after the rain, the water getting in thru windows, maybe water stains on the drywall, or into the garage. Also, if you have a modular home the crawl space is very important to make sure that that area is dry. So, lets begin about this topic.

If you notice water getting in the windows when they are closed there is likely the window seals have expired or the window is not closing all the way. Some windows with the balances control the window to stay closed and used to keep up. The balances may need replacing, the tracks need cleaning, the caulking on the exterior needs to be re-done. This is just few examples of what is occurring. Now if the that is not the case, there is times where especially on modular/mobile homes the water gets behind the siding and can cause damage to the framing and drywall. If that is the case, then normally there is no flashing around the windows or moisture barrier on the sheathing.

So, with heavy rain, we also get roof leaks. If the shingles are about to expire and heavy rain is occurring  this will be a sign to replace the shingles. Additionally, the vents and the flashing on the roof may need to be re-tarred or replaced. Alot of times, with heavy rains, the drip edge and soffit is not secured to the home.

Lastly, we all will experience some water entering the garage. This can be prevented with either sand bags, a drain in front of the door, or the rubber seal not being dry rotted.  Also, gutters on homes will assist with land erosion around the foundation and diverting the water away from the foundation.  Making sure the gutters are not clogged is essential for this rain season.

So, I hope this helps with any issues. Of course feel free to call my office if you notice any issues with your home. We always provide free estimates and schedule our work in a timely manner. www.pascoremodel.com or 352-437-5300 We service areas from Zephyrhills to New Port Richey. From Holiday to Dade City. We are centrally located in Land O Lakes, Florida.

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

#PascoRemodel

New Name Of Company

Well after about a month or so, we have been approved for our new trade name. Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair will be the dba for GK Construction Company, LLC in Florida. Same great service and warranty, just new name. Our new website is titled; www.pascoremodel.com We will be at this time, keeping the same social media pages on Facebook and Twitter, under GKConstruction. Our new Google+ page however, is changed. The community page is,  https://plus.google.com/communities/114235434720673378122?hl=en   and my page for google + under my name, is the following; https://plus.google.com/109878755035015992083/posts?hl=en

So, in conclusion, we will be developing the new website and continuing to offer great service to the #Greater New Port Richey, #Dade City, #Land O’ Lakes and #Wesley Chapel Communities. Feel free to call us anytime at 352-437-5300.