Saturday, May 28, 2016

New Home / Builder’s Warranty Inspections by SitePro

The Panhandle area continues to grow. As a result, home builders continue to scramble for more and more land and seem to be building homes at a record pace. Owning a home is the American Ideal, but building a home is the Dream of a Lifetime. Unfortunately, for some new homeowners it can become a nightmare.

As a result of extraordinary growth in the Panhandle over the last few decades, builders have grown to rely upon subcontractors who are continually looking for qualified labor. Most of these subcontractors are exceptional and well trained. However, with the record pace of building, it is possible to have workers who are tired, overworked or not as qualified as they should be. As a result, some new homeowners have found that these subcontractors have maybe forgotten to insulate portions of attics, have not installed electrical or plumbing components correctly, or have failed to finish their work such as not installing all the roof tiles needed for a roof. If they do not document these items or catch them before the end of their warranty, the homeowner, not the builder, is responsible for repairing these items down the road when they sell their home and the buyers have an inspection performed.. As a result, these homeowners are faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in costs that could have been avoided with a comprehensive inspection.

By working with SitePro, you can provide your builder with a thorough, detailed written summary of defects that need to be corrected while your home is still under warranty. It’s a good idea to have an independent authority conduct your home inspection. That way you have the peace of mind knowing you have a complete and accurate account of your home’s condition.

There are many local inspection companies who perform these types of inspections, but only a few are as thorough, experienced, or professional as a SitePro inspector. Understanding that a new home can be overwhelming and sometimes fearful, our inspectors take extra time to ask you what issues you are concerned about. We encourage you to be present during the inspection and in some cases follow us so you can see what we see. Whether you follow us or not, we take time at the end of the inspection to walk through the home identifying issues. Additionally, inspectors from SitePro take extra time to point out maintenance issues. Our inspections not only cover the basic items in a normal inspection, we spend extra time looking at systems and structural components to ensure potential issues caused by substandard workmanship are identified and corrected before they become an issue. SitePro inspectors are not only highly qualified in construction trades, building and zoning and real estate, we have an acute understanding of the process as well as typical mistakes that are made over and over by some subcontractors.

Why not REQUEST AN INSPECTION today and have the PEACE OF MIND you always wanted for a fraction of replacing/repairing/installing items in the future?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How to Add an Overhead Light

Scott Caron, master electrician for Ask This Old House, helps a homeowner install a chandelier in a dimly lit dining room. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Shopping List for How to Add an Overhead Light:
- Light fixture of your choice
- Electrical boxes
- 14-2 nonmetallic electrical wire
- Adjustable-length box bar with hanging clip
- Wire nuts
- LED-compatible dimmer switch

Tools for How to Add an Overhead Light:
- Tape measure
- Oscillating saw
- Fish tape
- Pliers
- Screwdriver

Steps for How to Add an Overhead Light:
1. Find an existing power source/outlet.
2. Turn off power supply to work area.
3. Measure the ceiling and locate the electrical box in the center of the room.
4. Mark the outlines for the ceiling electrical box and electrical switch box with a pencil.
5. Use an oscillating saw to cut around the outline of the electrical boxes.
6. Cut a hole with the oscillating saw where the wall meets the ceiling to allow access for the fish tape. You may need to cut additional access holes to fish around joists or strapping.
7. Feed the fish tape into the hole in the ceiling box.
8. Connect the 14-gauge electrical wire to the fish tape and pull it across.
9. Place the adjustable-length box bar inside the ceiling and twist it into place until it’s locked in.
10. Tie the electrical box to the adjustable-length box bar using the hanging clip.
11. Make electrical connections between the 14-2 electrical wire and the wires attached to the light fixture. Tie them together with wire nuts.
12. Place Madison bars behind the electrical switch box to keep it in place. Squeeze Madison bars with pliers to lock them into place.
13. Splice power supply wires to switch wires using pliers and wire nuts.
14. Reconnect the wires to the power supply outlet, cover it with electrical tape, and screw it back into place with a screwdriver. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How To Prep Your Backyard For Summer

Is your backyard summer-ready? Get H&H stylist Reiko Caron’s tips on how to refresh your outdoor space for the warm weather!

Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva takes a homeowner’s salvaged door and uses several tricks to make it fit. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Shopping List for How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening:
- 2x4 piece of poplar

Tools for How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening:
- Drill-Driver or screwdriver
- Hand plane
- Track saw
- Scribes
- Utility knife
- Speed square
- Screws
- Wood glue

Steps for How to Fit a Salvaged Door in an Existing Opening:
1. Remove the hinges from the doorframe using a driver in reverse or a screwdriver.
2. Remove the hinges from the door using a driver in reverse or a screwdriver.
3. Place door in opening and push it up tight to the header.
4. Use a pair of scribes to follow the angle of the gap between the header and the door starting at the widest gap and tracing until the lowest gap.
5. Cut the marked portion of the door using a track saw.
6. Take a small piece of wood and line it up with the top hinge. Mark it 1/8-inch longer than the door to account for the space between the header and the door.
7. Also mark the distance on the wood from the edge of the hinge to the face of the door. Now, that can serve as a gauge for making the hinge points in the doorframe.
8. Now, place the gauge tight against the underside of the doorframe. Using it as a guide, match up the hinge with the edge on the gauge. That’s where you want the hinge to be placed.
9. Drill holes through the holes in the hinge and drive in screws.
10. Mount the bottom hinge by using the same reference lines on the gauge.
11. Close the door and see how it fits into the opening.
12. If there is a gap between the door and the frame on the hinge side, you may have to mortise out the hinges.
13. Next, check the distance between the door and the floor. If there’s a gap, you may have to account for it by adding a piece.
14. Measure the distance between the door and the floor at its highest point. Take that measurement and subtract 1/8-inch and that’s what you’ll want for the added length.
15. To add the extra piece of door, take the measured piece of poplar and glue it to the bottom using wood glue.
16. Then drive in two screws at the bottom to keep it together.
17. Using a hand plane, plane door the piece of poplar until it’s level with the rest of the door.
18. To create a fake seam to match the rail of the door, use a speed square as a straight edge and a utility knife to mark the poplar. Go over the cut several times. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Interior Design – Top Home Improvements For Every Budget

Discover H&H editors’ best advice on how to make the most of your renovation budget.

Editor-in-chief Suzanne Dimma, interiors director Meg Crossley, senior editor Morgan Michener and contributing editor Beth Hitchcock share what they would change in a space based on three spending levels. From a fresh-and-affordable coat of paint to new windows, learn which renovations make the biggest impact. Packed with helpful tips and smart ideas for bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and more, this video will help you decide where to save and where to splurge before you tackle your next home project.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Which Lawn Fertilizer is Best for Your Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn isn't difficult. But, how do you know which fertilizer is best for your lawn and when to use it? This overview video will provide you the basics of lawn fertilizers.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How to Remove Stripped Screws

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares some tricks of the trade for backing out stripped screws.

Shopping List for How to Remove Stripped Screws:
- Tapered wood plug, to conceal screw hole

Tools List for How to Remove Stripped Screws:
- Screwdriver
- Self-locking pliers
- Cordless drill
- Screw extractor

Steps for How to Remove Stripped Screws:
1. Try removing the stripped screw with the proper size manual screwdriver.
2. If the screw head is protruding from the surface, grip it with self-locking pliers and twist out the screw.
3. Use a cordless drill, set in reverse, and left-handed bit to drill a small hole into the head of the stripped screw.
4. With the drill still set in reverse, use a screw extractor to back out the screw.
5. If the screw head has snapped off, use a hollow-boring screw extractor to drill out the entire screw. Fill the resulting hole with a tapered wood plug.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Interior Design – Top 10 Paint Color Trends Of 2016

Discover what paint colors are on-trend for 2016! H&H editors reveal the top 5 colors and top 5 neutrals that made the top of their lust lists. The verdict? Rich jewel tones and primary hues are more liveable than ever, and fresh neutrals promise to warm up your spaces for the year ahead. Plus, we reveal the House & Home color of the year!