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Fall 2013 Weatherization News Letter

 

    

Handy News from Hands4Hire

Fall 2013

 
 
DIY Advise from the Pros at Hands4Hire 

Take it from a home repair contractor that has seen it all over the last 9+ years in this profession - There may be more than one way to skin a cat, but there is a right way to do almost every home repair job around the house.  And there are often lessons learned that we wish we didn't have to learn the hard way by making a mistake the first time around.  Some of these will just make your repair easier and quicker, but many tricks of the trade are safety issues that can cause you harm or do real damage to your home if mistakes are made.

Let me give you a run down of some of the most common DIY mistakes that I hear about:
1.  Decided to replace the garbage disposal yourself?  Don't forget to take the plug out of the fitting where the dishwasher drain connect.  If you don't remove it, you will flood your floor the next time you run the dishwasher.  
2.  If you install a ceiling fan where a light fixture is now, don't assume that the box can support that fan.  The box is supposed to be nailed to a ceiling joist but we often find it just hanging there.  And don't just get a remodeler box that secures to the drywall as a fix.  It needs to be nailed in place or a reinforced bar needs to be installed if the fan is extra heavy.
3.  If you plan on blowing in that added insulation on your own with the blower from Lowes, keep in mind that baffles need to be in place along the low end of the rafters so that the insulation doesn't blow into the soffits and clog airflow.  This is a building code requirement that many older homes don't have and adding them can restrict attic airflow and overheat your attic.  Also realize that air sealing your attic ceiling is critical to effectively improving your home comfort and energy efficiency.
4.  Caulking - Exterior, interior, kitchen and bathroom, silicone, acrylic, gutter, roof, fireplace, etc.  You get the picture.  My guys keep over 10 types of caulk on their truck and they only use the best.  There is no use using a low priced brand.  You can't paint over some caulks, and they all have specific applications. Use the right caulk for the right application. 
5.  Pressure washing and staining your deck is a great DIY project.  
  a. My first word of advise is ALWAYS pressure wash before you stain and use a diluted 1:3 bleach solution in a pump sprayer on the surface before you hit it with the sprayer.  The goal is to remove mold and mildew and not strip the old stain.  
  b. Protect what you don't want to get stained with plastic or a tarp. Staining is a messy process.  
  c. Stain with a escape route in mind.  
  d. Keep the new stain color similar to what you have unless you use a stain primer with a solid color stain.
6.  Patching drywall holes is a skill.  Drywall mud is water based and will shrink when it dries so the rule of thumb is to apply 3 coats of mud with sanding between each to get a patch that looks perfect.  My guys use 20 minute mud but it is tough to work with because it sets up so quickly.  My biggest advice is to not add too much.  Sanding takes time and will cause a mess.  Expect the dust to go everywhere so cover up the area around where you will be working.  You can also wet sand, but this is more of a learned skill.  Patch kits only work for small holes; maybe 3"x3".  Anything bigger and you should cut a new piece.  You can put a board inside the hole and screw it in place on the sides to act as a backer for the new drywall.  

The most important advice I can give you is to always be safe and use the right tools and equipment for the job.  Get a taller ladder if you have to stand on that top rung of your step ladder and use the proper cutting tool for the material you are working with.

As always, If you would like to have our pros help you with any of this fall maintenance and repair work, please give us a call and we will assure you that it will be done right.
  
Kind regards,

Chris Woodhouse 
Owner
Hands4Hire Professional Handymen
Hands4Hire Weatherization Experts
 
 
  Home Performance Rebates From Duke Smart Saver Program
 
If you are a Duke Power customer you have probably seen the promotions in your monthly bill promoting rebates for improving the energy efficiency, comfort and air quality in your home.  
If you have been thinking about making improvements to your home, this program will pay you rebates for performing specific weatherization related work. Duke Smart Saver Logo
  • Insulate and Seal ($250) - Your home must have less than 6" (R-19) of blown insulation and must be improved to at least R-30.  The coverage area must be at least 1000sf.  Air sealing must also be done in conjunction with adding insulation.   
  • Duct Sealing ($100) - Sealing your duct connections and registers with a mastic sealant can be the simplest and most cost effective way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. 
  •  Duct Insulation ($75) - Older homes may have uninsulated metal ducts that can be improved but most homes have insulated flex ducts that are not eligible for improvement. 
Visit the website to learn more:  
http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/savings/smart-saver.asp

You must have a BPI certified vendor perform these home improvements and Hands4hire Weatherization Experts is a part of this program.  

One added benefit of performing this repair is that we are required to conduct an energy audit with blower door testing before and after the work to validate that the work was done properly.   
 
 
 
 

Tell Your Neighbors About Hands4Hire 

 

Hands4Hire has been in business for over 9 years and we owe it all to our great customers who continue to use our services and tell their friends about us as well.

And remember we doExpert Handyman Work,Home Energy Audits and Weatherization improvements!

 

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704-896-6379
 
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Energy Saving Facts:

The average home has as much air leakage throughout the house as keeping a window open all the time.   

Unsealed HVAC duct systems will loose between 25% and 40% of the conditioned air in the attic or crawlspace before it even gets to your home.   

A study of 200 homes in NC found that the average HVAC system was oversized by almost 200%.  The result is short cycles that are bad for  the equipment and do a poor job at conditioning the home.  

The department of Energy states that 40% of the energy used to condition your home is wasted through air leakage and poor insulation.     

 

Fall Maintenance Special - Any exterior maintenance

10% off labor 

     *May not be combined with other offers, this offer is not redeemable for cash, cash equivalents, Gift Cards or online Gift Certificates and is not valid on past purchases.  

 

Hurry - Offer Expires: 10/31/13