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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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.

 

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

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.

 

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.

Code Inspections

The blog is a few days early but wanted to share an experience about code inspections. The purpose of them and what could happen if you don’t get a permit.  So lets jump in.

When you are doing any type of major remodeling you should obtain a permit. A lot of municipalities will allow the home owners to be the general contractor or home owners can obtain a permit for like kitchen remodeling and other small renovations. Some municipalities will not allow home owners and unlicensed professionals to add new service for electrical, plumbing and or HVAC. So before starting the next remodeling project, check to see if you may need one with the local building department.

To start the local municipality will want permits for new fence, new air condition unit, siding, new windows, bathroom and kitchen remodeling. The reason behind this is because you may have multiple trades involved. For example, when Pasco Remodel, is contracted for a kitchen remodel you have us, probably an electrician and plumber. All aspects of this kitchen have to be fully operational for a final inspection. Think about it. Do you want the cabinets to be not level or the receptacles not energized properly when the contract is done.  Alot of people believe that once you obtain a permit, your taxes will go up due to improvements. This aspect isn’t true. Property taxes increase based on the area and improvements of the municipality. However, if you add an addition, yeah you added square footage to the home. So, you may have a slight increase based on the new square footage of the home compared to previous tax year.

Now, lets say you have the permit and are beginning the project. If its a contractor then they will have everything scheduled for this project. The other trades will have permits and additionally everything will be scheduled by the general or main contractor. This process is the easiest and runs smoothly. But, lets say the home owner is doing the work. OK, no biggy. But if the home owner does not schedule the contractors properly then the job can take months, instead of a few weeks. Also if the home owner is able to allow friends to help and they do not do the work properly and the inspections fail it is up to the home owner to correct the deficiencies performed by friends that are in the trades. This can become very expensive and time consuming. One reason is, the counter-top is waiting to template the counter-top then install it. They don’t want to wait manly because of any liabilities and also inventory.

So, now you may say, well we may need a bit of help to guide us. Home owners want to do the work as they take pride in the home. Contractors may be assigned a small part such as trim or tile installation and then they are completed that evolution. So whats the answer. Well this is how #PascoRemodel is different then other companies. First we can be a construction manager for the owner. Additonally, the owner is also a licensed home inspector in Florida and Maryland. Lastly, plans and review will want a blue print drawn. We can do that if we are the manager or consultant.

So in closing, we meet with home owners all the time that like to be part of the project. We will gladly assist in that phase. Or just be happy to install the trim and call it a day. So remember, before your next building project, consult with someone who is willing to work with you. A small fee for a consultant maybe better then having your place condemned if the work is not done properly.

For more information about this service, feel free to call us at 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web at: http://www.pascoremodel.com  We will gladly perform this type of service in Zephyrhills, Holiday, Hudson and Land O Lakes, Florida to name a few areas.

 

 

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.

Trim Moldings

Good Morning. Today’s blog is about trim. Now for a lot of us we usually think that trim is for decorative purposes. For the most part yes. However, trim molding services actually as a lot of other purposes that we may not know. The reason I am writing this, I had a friends son ask me about this in Tampa, Florida and figured wow, good one. So lets begin.

Trim molding for doors, windows, walls, and flooring have two main purposes. The first purpose is to cover the rough framing or gap as needed for that element. For example, If you have a window that has trim around the edge, it normally is covering the 2×4’s and insulation. Then it is sealed to prevent any bugs or drafts entering the home. This will be the same for trim around door frames, interior or exterior doors.  The second purpose of course as we all know is decorative. Especially, the box style ceiling or the picture frames.

Now lets talk about the trim you may see in a room say a dinning room. The trim placed there is strategically placed that dates back into history. Yes when you walk into a dinning room and see the trim it gives a presence of eye candy to make the room more charming and appealing. The crown molding when it was originally placed in homes was installed to cover the cracks that may appear in the upper corners from the old plaster. Also the trim was placed to help with house keeping. When the trim was originally painted they used oil base paint with a gloss sheen. This in turn helped with cleaning.

Now you have the baseboard trim and the floor trim. Yes both are different. The baseboard trim serves as a purpose to cover any gaps from the drywall when installed. Normally drywall is installed about a 1/2″ off the floor for leveling and if water gets on the floor. Also again, the trim is installed to assist cleaning to collect the dust and protect the walls from moving furniture and the good old vacuum cleaner. Then you have the floor trim. Alot of people do not use this term. Floor trim is the  1/4 round or shoe molding that goes on and is nailed to the baseboard. You only see this trim installed with hardwood or engineered flooring products. The purpose of this trim is only for covering the gaps because the floor product needs an expansion gap which the baseboard trim may or may not cover.

And to save the best for last and my favorite is the chair rail trim. Yes it is just for that. The trim is usually installed about 44 inches from the floor. It is not to cover the seam of the drywall at 48 inches.  As I stated early in the blog, your typical dinning room would have trim placed strategically areas for a reason. Chair rail molding is very dectorative and I feel gives any room, espeically the dinning room a sense of formal appeal. And yes, the trim is supposed to take a beating. Moving the chair and it may hit the trim.

Now, that you have a better understanding about trim molding, I hope this helps anyone. We can talk more in another blog about paint and stain coverings for of different wood trim and engineered trim in another blog. We can proudly install trim in your home in the Zephyrhills, Bayonet Point, Holiday, and Tarpon Springs Florida area.  If you have any questions, please call us anytime at 352-322-2700 or visit our website, www.pascoremodel.com

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.