DIY Roof Replacement vs. Hiring a Professional
When trying to fix your roof, it can be tempting to tackle the entire project by yourself if you’ve got some do it yourself skills and some friends to help. While it’s true that you can save a lot of time and money by doing some DIY roof repairs, there are times when DIY will suffice and times when it’s a much better option to hire a professional to be sure the job is done correctly.
Knowing when you can handle the job and when it’s time to bring in the big guns is the difference between saving yourself some money and wasting time and energy on a job that won’t do the trick. We’ll break down some of the things to consider so that you know when it’s ok to do it yourself, and when it’s time to pay a professional.
DIY Roof Replacement That’s OK to Tackle
Before you visit the local hardware store and get all geared up for a full roof replacement, try to remember that replacing your entire roof is a big job that takes lots of tools, equipment and expertise. Not to mention loads of time and materials. Depending on how large and complex your roof is, trying to replace it yourself is a massive task.
Instead, if you’re looking to maintain your roof, try to focus on things you can do by yourself or with a few materials and a couple friends. One of the best things you can do yourself to keep your roof in good shape is to thoroughly clean it. We’re not just talking about sweeping some leaves, we mean getting up there and cleaning off debris and gunk that builds up thanks to the elements. This helps to prevent wear and the buildup of moisture, mold, and other damage, plus you can keep critters from nesting on your roof.
Caulking up ventilation and chimney spots is also a fairly safe job that you can handle yourself. As long as you know the proper technique and materials to use, you can keep the seal around your chimney and venting in good shape and prevent leaks at the same time. This will save you money and prolong the life of your roof.
Spot replacement of shingles is also ok to do yourself. That is, so long as you can reach the spots safely and the job isn’t too big. Being up on your roof isn’t exactly the safest job out there and trying to shingle your roof in an awkward spot and without the proper gear is better left to the professionals.
When It’s Time to Hire a Professional
While these simple fixes are great to do on your own and they can save you a lot of money in the process, there comes a point where it’s better to pay a professional to get the job done efficiently and correctly, even if you think you can handle it yourself, unless you are a roofer, you’ll likely find it’s more than you bargained for.
If you require a full roof replacement, then you need to hire a professional. Fixing a few loose shingles yourself is fine, but you need the tools and experience that a professional brings to the table when it comes to the whole roof.
You also want to hire a professional to fix trouble spots and to inspect your sub-roof if you’ve experienced storm damage, tree limb damage, or other hazards. Standing water and other problems will necessitate a proper fix and not just patching a few shingles. In some cases, new wood will need to be put in and then an entirely new section of roof put in, even if the entire roof doesn’t need to be replaced.
If it looks like a roof replacement is necessary, you want a professional on board so that it’s done right and so that you can handle the insurance claim properly. You might save money doing it yourself, but if done wrong, you’ll be back in the same shape you were in before, and getting a claim approved by insurance is much more difficult.
The critical point here is only to tackle DIY projects that are within the scope of your abilities. Once the task gets too big, it’s time to call a professional and get the job done right.
Why You Need a Towing Company to Jump-Start a Dead Battery and Not a Stranger
Having your battery go dead while you’re out taking care of your daily business is a frustrating situation that can leave you feeling helpless. After all, there’s not a lot you can do about it by yourself. A jump start always requires at least two people and two vehicles, and unless you’re carrying jumper cables, you’re still at a standstill.
Asking a stranger is an option in a pinch, but there are several reasons why asking a stranger is a bad idea. In these cases, it’s better to have a towing company come and jumpstart your battery. We’ll break down the dangers of relying on a stranger for a jumpstart and why calling a towing service is a better option.
Strangers Can do Things Wrong and Damage Your Vehicle
Besides the fact that finding a willing stranger that carries jumper cables is a rarity nowadays, the average person isn’t trained in mechanics and properly tests a battery and hooks it up for a jumpstart.
If the battery connectors are corroded, you can actually cause more damage and result in a failed jumpstart. If you have a new vehicle, there are issues with jumpstarting a car as many of the electronics inside the vehicle can be damaged by charging the battery with a jumpstart. In the worst cases, you can wind up with a charged battery and a fried vehicle, which means a much more expensive fix than simply replacing a battery.
Most vehicles literally have computers in them. If you improperly connect the cables or the battery is in bad shape while trying to jumpstart your car, you can damage or even destroy the internal computer, which can cause thousands of dollars to repair.
Dangers of Jumping a Dead Battery
While it may seem like a good idea to jumpstart your dead battery, there’s no guarantee that the jumpstart will take. You could easily find yourself getting in your car, starting to go, and then the battery goes dead again seconds later. If you rely on a stranger to help, you may find the stranger is gone, and you’re left stranded again with a battery that is still dead.
Worse yet is the possibility that a defective battery will explode while being charged. This can cause serious bodily injury or even death if you’re near the battery when it explodes, and attempting to drive with a battery that is defective like this can be disastrous.
A tow truck driver will have the knowledge and equipment to tell you whether a battery is safe or not in most cases, and if a jumpstart is not possible or a bad idea, they can tow you to the mechanic of your choice or to a place to get a new battery so that you can swap out the defective battery and be on your way.
A Towing Service Will Be There Quickly
When it comes to a dead battery, the main benefit of a towing service over a stranger is that a tow service will be there quickly with all the tools needed to get you going again. Finding a stranger can take a long time if you can even find one, and there’s no guarantee that things will go well.
With a towing service, you have the guarantee of speedy service, combined with the reassurance that even if the vehicle can’t be jump-started, there is a professional there who can tow your car to a place where you can get a new battery or the proper repairs that are needed. This is a much safer and efficient option than hoping to find a stranger who can help you out in your time of need.
A towing service can help with a number of roadside issues, and in the event that they can’t fix it, they can take you to someone who can, either the mechanic of your choice or one that they know and can recommend to take care of whatever issues you are experiencing. In the end, a towing service is the safest and most cost-effective option if you have a dead battery or other problem.
What Are the Most Commonly Missed Home Inspection Items?
If you’ve ever had a home inspection done before buying or selling a home, then you probably know that they are a valuable resource for determining the problems and the value within a home. You probably also know what they check for, and some of the common issues found during an inspection.
What you may not know is that there are many things that can be overlooked or missed during a home inspection that can stop a home sale or purchase in its tracks and prevent you from buying the home of your dreams or selling your home and making your next step.
To help you keep an eye out for these home inspection items, we’ve put together a short guide on what is missed and how to go about addressing the problems before they become an issue.
While a standard inspection covers most issues, some require a specialized inspection. Even with a specialized inspection, some problems can be missed or may not be thought to be inspected for. Hopefully, these items we describe won’t be a problem for you, but if you know what they are, you know to check for them just in case your home inspection doesn’t cover them.
Lead in the Home
This is typically found from old paint that was done on or around homes. It can be found on walls, floors, and even outdoor furniture and other items. It is not restricted to interior paint, so you’ll want to check your siding and other areas of your home that are painted.
While this is not a problem for new homes, unless the construction was performed unpermitted, older homes may contain lead paint without the owner being aware of it. If you’re buying a home that is older than 10-20 years, you’ll want to check for lead. This is not always a standard inspection item, so you’ll need to check with your home inspector to be sure.
Mitigation usually involves removing the toxic paint by a professional disposal team that is equipped to handle hazardous material, which can be expensive, but once done, the home can be repainted. It should be completely safe as long as all of the lead was removed.
Mold, Radon, and Asbestos
We grouped these three together because they are all equally as dangerous and often aren’t covered on a standard home inspection. They are also less common problems than some of the others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check for them.
Mold can appear almost anywhere in a home, including inside walls, under crawl spaces, on the ceiling, inside the insulation, and other places. Mold can usually be killed, and the affected area cleaned thoroughly or removed, but pervasive mold will require professional remediation.
Radon and asbestos both require special detection. Radon is a chemical that can seep into a home through ground soil or water that is contaminated and can make people who breathe it sick. Radon is typically a gas, but it can also contaminate water and become toxic through ingestion. Removal involves finding the source and having a decontamination team remove the source and clean the affected home.
Asbestos is a building material that was used in flooring, insulation, and other components for many years. Older homes are still prone to have some form of asbestos in them, and as such, this should be a concern when you have a home inspected. Asbestos removal is similar to the other two, a professional team has to remove the substance from the home, this is usually quite costly as it involves removing the insulation or breaking up flooring and removing it, and then sanitizing the area.
Swimming Pool Defects
This is not a problem for every home, but it is also one that is overlooked for homes that it does apply to. Swimming pools are considered part of a home, and as such, they have to be kept up and functional when the home is sold, or else they can be a detriment to the sale price, rather than an asset.
Having your home inspector check the pool for cracks, cleanliness, and other defects will save you a headache if you’re selling, and save you money if you’re buying.
While these items we’ve listed are ones that don’t always affect every home, and may not be necessary, being aware of potential issues gives you the ability to prevent unforeseen problems.
Our best advice is to perform the most thorough inspection possible to make sure that any and all issues are caught as soon as possible.
Handyman Home Improvements That Can Increase the Value of Your Home
The truth is, there are several improvements that can be made just with the services of a handyman that can increase the value of your home without the need for a renovation. This will offer a greater return on your investment in less time and with less upfront capital than renovations.
To help you get the most out of your home, we’ve put together this post to show you some excellent home improvement options that your standard handyman can do.
Add Extra Space With a Wooden Deck
This is a great way to add extra space to your home. Most handymen can handle basic carpentry, and a wood deck gives you outdoor space to use for enjoyment. It won’t cost near as much as an addition to your home, and you can still get the benefits of the space.
You can add a deck onto the front or back of your home to create a lovely attractive porch. You can build a large deck for outdoor gatherings or even add a deck to the second story to give the upstairs a great view and more room.
There’s the added benefit of curb appeal, which can be a selling feature in and of itself if you choose to sell your home. This, along with the increase in actual value of your home, makes it the perfect addition without spending a lot of time or money on improvements.
Landscaping Improves Value and Curb Appeal
The easiest way to improve the value of your home is with a little bit of landscaping. Something as simple as reseeding your lawn can make your home look better, and improve the value. Minor landscaping is also inexpensive, and a handyman can do most tasks without the need for massive crews and landscaping budgets.
Some new grass, a few plants on the porch or along a walkway, or a bed of flowers improves curb appeal dramatically and can improve the value and the chances of a sale if you’re in the market to sell your home. The added benefit is that it will make your home stand out from your neighbors and may improve property value further by incentivizing your neighbors to make similar improvements.
Other minor improvements can help as well, add lighting to the front door to improve safety and accessibility while also adding value. Replacing the garage door can improve the look of your home and add value for the upgrade. Mounting lighting or a garage door is something that nearly any handyman can do easily.
Upgrade Your Insulation
If it’s been a while since you’ve checked your attic or the insulation in your walls, then having your handyman do a quick inspection is a good idea. From there, you can replace any missing or damaged spots. This will improve the energy efficiency of your home and improve the value at the same time.
If your home is missing insulation, you can install standard foam insulation, and it will improve the temperature and control of the environment of your home dramatically. This is also a great improvement for when trying to sell your home. Buyers will appreciate the added value of new insulation. You can also prevent issues from occurring by keeping tabs on your insulation and updating it as necessary. In the long run, routine checks and replacements are less expensive and require less work than a full insulation job because you didn’t have it inspected.
These simple solutions that any handyman can perform is the perfect way to add loads of value to your home without making a drastic impact on your lifestyle or your budget. That way, you can continue to use and enjoy your home while getting more value out of your investment.
Things to do if You Break Down on the Side of the Road
Most driveways are made of asphalt or concrete. But when looking for a less traditional option, several options can add life and durability. The trouble with most of the options is that there are downsides to installing them in place of a traditional concrete driveway.
A stamped concrete driveway has many of the benefits of other options and none of the downsides. To help you decide if a stamped concrete driveway is the right option for you, we’re going to explain some of the benefits of stamped concrete over the other available options.
Customizable Looks Can Mimic Other Materials
One of the best benefits of stamped concrete over other materials is that there are several patterns that can make your stamped concrete driveway look like whatever material you wish without paying the price of that material.
This gives you the option of having the durability of a concrete driveway while having the look of something different. A stamped concrete driveway can match materials like sandstone, brick, slate, tile, and cobblestone in terms of customization. This can help homeowners that want a driveway that matches the look of their home or ornaments around their yard, such as a brick facade, cobblestone fence, or other accents.
It also makes your driveway stand out from the pack in a neighborhood of similar homes and driveways. This can be an essential feature when selling your home.
Improved Durability and Lifespan Over Other Materials
Driveway maintenance is a significant factor when determining what materials to use. Even asphalt, which is a common material, has high maintenance costs and doesn’t last nearly as long as concrete.
The same is true for other materials as well. For instance, a brick driveway can wear down over time thanks to rain and snow, and eventually, the damaged brick will need to be repaired, or else it can damage your vehicles when you park over it. That’s not counting the horrible look of a cracked brick driveway.
While concrete does wear over time, it has much higher durability, and by using stamped concrete to add color and texture to your concrete, you improve the wear resistance and durability over standard concrete. This makes stamped concrete a superior option and less expensive to keep up over the life of your driveway.
Material Cost and Time of Installation
Another major benefit of stamped concrete is that the cost of installation is comparable to that of standard concrete, with only a slight increase. Many of the other options to get a different look are much more expensive per unit and will require large amounts of whatever material you pick. A cobblestone driveway may look nice, but that’s a lot of cobblestones to complete a standard full-length driveway.
The amount of concrete, whether regular or stamped is the same and with stamped concrete, you get whatever look you choose for the same standard price. Additionally, you get the benefit of knowing that the installation will be done right because it’s the same as a standard concrete driveway.
Another benefit that most people don’t consider until it’s time to start the work is the time of installation. This can impact the overall cost as well as how long you can be without a driveway.
Other materials like sandstone, cobblestone, and brick can take much longer to install than concrete. Concrete can be installed in as little as a day if you’re using a local concrete service that does their own work.
Depending on the material you pick, it can take days or even weeks to get a driveway put in. The material may be on backorder and have to be shipped in from out of state, and scarcity can increase the price even more and increase the time it takes to get your driveway put in exponentially.
Concrete is readily available, and stamped concrete, along with the benefits it provides, is the cheaper and more efficient option.