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Avoiding Foundation Repair Contractor Scams

Foundation Repair Contractor Scams

foundation repair contractor scamsMost people have never had to hire a foundation repair contractor so understandably there is concern about being scammed. There are unscrupulous contractors in every market so it is advisable to learn how to avoid them. Here are some great tips to follow:

“First, check the company’s workers compensation insurance certificate. Many contractors claim in their ads that they offer insurance, but upon closer review, the specific worker who will be repairing your foundation is not covered. Ask to see the certificate to verify the specific coverage and any limits to the protection.

Next, don’t pay for the job in advance. You might need to pay a small down payment, depending on the size of the job, but asking for a large down payment, or especially full payment, should be a red flag. These unscrupulous contractors often disappear with your money. They may even start the job before they disappear, leaving you in worse shape than before.

You should also make sure that the company you research and hire will actually be doing the work. Many contractors use subcontractors, leaving you with a worker who you have not researched, who hasn’t been screened or drug tested, and whose experience may be questionable.

Definitely get more than one estimate, but don’t fall for the “cheapest price” scam. Of course you don’t want to overpay, and everyone’s looking for a bargain, but beware if the deal looks too good to be true. A contractor may undercut everyone else, but provide you with far lower quality work, meaning that you’ll have to have the work redone in a few years. Hire a company with a long history your community so you can be sure they will be around to honor their warranty if you do have problems down the road.”

Source: Ram Jack of Indiana Blog – http://blog.ramjackofindiana.com/things-consider-choosing-foundation-repair-contractors/

This is excellent advice for avoiding foundation repair contractor scams in any area of the country. In fact, it’s great advice for doing due diligence on any type of contractor.

If you are in the San Antonio, TX area, we highly recommend contacting Foundation Repair Pros San Antonio. These folks are experts in developing economical solutions for any foundation repair issue and welcome a competitive bid environment. You can visit their website here: http://foundationrepairsanantonio.co


Related:  Handyman skills 

Refinishing a Deck the Right Way

How to Approach Refinishing a Deck

Most homeowners choose wood as the best material for deck construction. Although it is attractive and helps a lot in creating just the right ambience for your exterior, wood is susceptible to damage and especially if a homeowner neglects maintenance. Refinishing a deck so many times degrades the panels used to make although it would be necessary if you just purchased a home and feel that everything needs to be refurbished. Described below is the proper way to handle refinishing a deck and tips on what you need to do so that your deck maintains its gloss for longer periods of time.

If you do not have the tools already, you will need a pressure washer and a sander. The power washer should neither be too strong nor too soft; its pressure should be capable of scraping old paint and stains of from the wood. Be careful to read your pressure washer’s manual for proper usage. If you are going to borrow or hire one, ask the owner to guide you on its usage.

After scraping the unsightly patches of old paint and stains off, it is time to embark on getting rid of the small bits of wood which were left sticking up from your deck. Depending on how much abrasion has taken place on it, you can either use a sander with fine grit or one which is relatively rough. Remember, your deck might look good after using the pressure washer on it but if it does not have a fine surface, it would be difficult to apply a protective coat on it.

Like stated earlier, refinishing your deck so many times degrades the wood used to build it. A better strategy would be applying a waterproof coat on it so that it retains it beauty for a longer period of time. There are two basic types of strainers which can be used for this purpose; a homeowner will have an option between water based strainers and oil based strainers. Although water based strainers are cheaper, they are not as durable as oil based strainers which rules them out for outdoor environments. If you need advice on the best brand, inquire from your local home improvement store or consider researching on the Internet.

Note that the strainer should only be applied when the deck is completely dry. This implies that the best season to refinish a home deck would be summer. A deck can also be refinished in the winter season although additional care is needed.

Related:  Kitchen remodeling

Faulty Plumbing: A Danger to the Foundation Repair Project

Real estate investors as well as homeowners who are planning foundation repair projects to put a house on the market would want to increase the value of their property. Working on a remodeling project on specific parts of the house is a wise move. The act of remodeling would increase the market value of the house and never put the seller in a legal dilemma when after a successful sale, problems would come up with the property. Even if there are many possible areas that can undergo remodeling, a homeowner should never set aside the possibility of a faulty plumbing system.

Why should this be taken seriously? To make things easier to understand, a faulty plumbing system could pose a serious threat to the integrity of a house’s foundation. The foundation, as structural engineers may cite, is one of the hardest parts of a house to subject to remodeling, repairing, or rehabilitation. It is for this matter that early detection of plumbing system leaks and damage to the foundation be carried out. How do such leaks affect the foundation’s structural integrity? It is important to know about this before doing aggressive remodeling activities on an area.

Experts will point out two ways on the mechanism of remodeling damage due to plumbing leaks. The first is called as heaving. Soil beneath the foundation slab will have this tendency to rise up when it becomes saturated with moisture. The pressure coming from the rising soil could be so great that it will eventually cause cracks on the slab or bowing on the floor. A heaving foundation is detected by doing an elevation survey of the foundation. Areas that are supposed to be flat which shows signs of uneven surface would indicate heaving. When damage to the floor has reached an advanced level of damage, intensive repairs to the foundation or even complete rehabilitation of the foundation would be required.

While damaged foundation could be easy to notice, there are people who are saying that it is hard to prove. Of course, when plumbing lines go beneath the foundation slabs, visual confirmation of the plumbing leak is impossible. The smell of sewage, rising surfaces on the floor, and cracks on the wall could indicate serious damage to the foundation. While simple repair measures would work in some cases, these don’t work when the degree of damage has already reached a critical point. This is when the foundation has already been damaged by the sinking or rising soil beneath it.

foundation repair projectBefore a repair job could be carried out on a heaving soil or foundation, some measures of rehabilitation would be done. This would involve injecting the affected area with soil, cutting of water supply to the pipes, or a complete slab repair. The remodeling job could only proceed when the surface of the floor has been made perfectly even.

The second way on which a plumbing leak could affect a house’s foundation is through a process called as “middle drop”. It means that the soil beneath the foundation has become so soft that the weight it carries sinks it down. It is like stepping on mud. Soils types that don’t allow evaporation of water are most prone to this process. The sinking process will happen slowly but will become more and more noticeable as the months pass by.

An observer from the outside of a house will notice a visible sag in the roofline if a middle drop in the foundation is happening. The sinking soil will result in tiles that have cracks which start from being narrow to wide as it radiates away from the center. If there is a sewage line underneath a house, it would be the most probable cause of this soil sinking effect.  Areas that have soils which are always hydrated are also prone to middle drop in the foundation.

Those who will hire companies to repair a house’s foundation should also make sure that the plumbing system is repaired. No matter how costly a foundation repair job may be, it would be useless when the source of problem is not dealt with. Repairs done on the foundation could damage a perfectly functioning plumbing system. It is therefore a wise thing to include both the foundation and plumbing system remodeling and repair on the same job order. After the job has been finished, effective home remodeling activities could be carried out.

It is very important that plumbing leaks be ruled out even before foundation repair and remodeling jobs are done. If this is skipped and a leak is detected after the completion of the job, warranties will be voided. A wise homeowner will never overlook this matter when planning to hire a specific home foundation repair company that will fix a house’s foundation. Plumbing leaks present a serious threat to the structural integrity of the foundation. Homeowners should never do a foundation repair job unless plumbing leaks have been ruled out completely.

Related:  Best home repair projects

Kitchen Remodeling on a Budget

Remodeling parts of the house does not necessarily mean there is a need for removing all traces of its old look. Sometimes all that the remodeling project needs are bright and fresh ideas, creativity, and sense of style. A home improvement or remodeling project should not cost a lot of money especially these days since people need to keep up with the economic crisis.

Kitchen Remodeling

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there are a lot of tips and ideas people can use in order to avoid unnecessary and unreasonable expenses. Some will require a lot of effort but most of them give high-end results making the effort worthy. In this article, practical ideas for a cheap and inexpensive kitchen and home remodeling in general will be discussed.

The kitchen is the busiest part of the entire household. It is being used every day for cooking meals, reading the newspaper, dining, and many more. The kitchen should look neat and clean all the time which reflects a sanitized impression that is very important for food preparation. Since kitchen interior designs these days have a combination of style, simplicity, and functionality, more and more people are losing hope of achieving the latest trend for kitchen remodeling especially if the budget is limited. Home remodeling indeed sounds expensive, but who says we cannot use alternatives? Here are some ideas for a practical and cheap kitchen remodeling.

Use paint and take advantage of it

kitchen remodelingChanging the look of the kitchen does not require the installation of a new set of cabinets, countertops or stove. Using paint is the most practical way to redecorate the entire kitchen. If the old design happens to be cozy, try changing it to a brighter look and vice versa. White is the color of pureness and simplicity and to add complement, try coordinating it with any dark color like black for the edges and lining. This is one of the many kitchen remodeling ideas that will surely produce good results.

Forget about matching items

Remodeling the kitchen is the best opportunity to try other styles people never tried before. These days, identical chairs and ornaments are not out of style and it is recommended to play with other varieties. Different colors, hues, sizes, shapes and a lot more can be used, but be careful with this one. Avoid using awkward color combinations for your remodeling project because it will only spoil the idea of being bold and unique turning it to a mismatch. Try assembling a set of mismatched chairs and check if the ensemble looks good on the kitchen. This will eliminate the need to purchase new chairs that are usually expensive.

Add details

Using items with bold patterns and colors can also add details to the kitchen’s new look. For example, printed curtains and oversized lamps. A lot of varieties can be found on the market and the only thing to do is choose which one passes the buyer’s personal preference. These two items will surely help with the home remodeling especially if the paint looks very fresh, simple and neat.

Look for alternative materials

Copper is the most common material used for remodeling a kitchen’s interior. Of course it looks nice and elegant but it is also expensive. If there is a limited budget, this option is not possible. Looking for an alternative such as using metallic laminate is a practical move. It can cut the cost by half and it will give the same effect with the look of the whole kitchen. The most practical people these days spend a lot of their time looking for new, different, and inexpensive materials that they can use not just for the kitchen remodeling project, but also for the whole home improvement and remodeling.

Spend money on small items

In kitchen remodeling, it does not matter how many items we get rid off and how many will be added. Even the smallest item will be noticed and this is where we need to invest. Instead of buying large items such as furniture that are naturally expensive, try buying smaller items such as table centerpieces, vase, and many more.

Home remodeling is such a hard task to do. There will be a lot of planning, choosing, and decisions to make but it will all be worth it once the good outcome shows up. One very important factor with any home remodeling project is to have enough time to think about things. Gathering remodeling ideas from friends who happened to do home renovations recently may be of big help. If no one is available to share their opinion, the Internet can offer a lot of suggestions and ideas which can also be added to the list of design options.

Another alternative is to outsource a small kitchen remodeling job to a local professional. In the Dallas, Texas area one of the best, budget-friendly contractors is Sheldon Sims. He is always happy to tackle even the smallest kitchen remodeling project.

Recommended:  Refinishing a deck

5 Handyman Skills That Are Easy To Learn and Use

No matter how durable or costly a house was built, there will always come a time when repairs need to be done on it. These repairs do not necessarily pertain to major projects such as foundation repair, fence welding and electrical system jobs. These could be as minor as replacing a doorknob, unclogging the gutters, removing rust from metal grills, and many other similar things. Every home repair job needs to be done right and this is the reason why a lot of homeowners would have this tendency to immediately call professional handymen.

There is a good supply of handymen all over the US at the current time. It means that finding and hiring one will never be a problem for homeowners. However, if the cost of services of these people will be put into discussion, it will be apparent that those who want to save money will do it themselves. Some of the home repair job that they would work on really appears to be quite easy. Is it a hard thing to pay $49 just for the replacement of a doorknob when all the materials are already there? Of course it would appear to be a waste of money if a homeowner has the right set of skills to do the job on his own.

Actually, learning handyman skills is not that complicated. There are many DIY sites that provide tutorials on a wide variety of these home repair skills. Of course, there isn’t a need to spend anything on these trainings too. E-books, video tutorial courses, and many other home repair skill training resources could be accessed on the web for free these days. An individual just have to access the right online sources of these things.

Since there are numerous categories of handyman skills that could be learned, an individual could just focus on 5 of the most needed ones. Of course, these should be easy to learn and apply on an actual home repair scenario. Experienced homeowners who are now benefiting from learning these skills are now pointing out which handyman home repair skills newbies should focus on.

handyman skillsIt would be good to start with plumbing skills. The plumbing system of a house is definitely a very important element for the comfort and convenience of occupants there. This system would include water sourcing and distribution facilities and equipment inside a house. Calling in a plumber to take care of a leaking faucet is a waste of money and time. The prerequisite of learning this home repair skill is that correct equipment or tools must be on hand.

Woodworking or carpentry skills come second on the list. This home repair skill could be very handy during those times when wood components of the house are starting to present problems. Of course, getting to create useful items from scratch such as tables, benches, or chairs will be very beneficial too. Learning carpentry could be as easy as watching someone do it or practicing on simple woodworking and repair jobs. If a homeowner wants to build his own mini office in the basement, this skill is very useful.

Landscaping and gardening skills are next. There is no doubt that the lawn and garden part of a home will always need regular attention. If a homeowner has time to spare for this matter, the skill should be learned. Learning how to landscape area within the perimeter of the house is easy. The same thing could be said for getting the grass mowed. Lawn and garden maintenance services might add up to the financial burden on the part of a homeowner. With these home repair or handyman skills learned and used, there is no more need to hire expensive landscape artists or gardeners.

Painting skill is a very useful thing too. While there are tutorial videos that can be accessed online, practice will allow a homeowner to learn how to do these types of home repair jobs correctly and with high level of precision. Paint jobs on the roof, fences, and the interior part of the house could be quite costly. It is a wise idea for a homeowner to do the job by himself if those painting skills are already there.

Locksmith skills might be a bit technical but it is worth learning. Actually, home repair jobs that require this skill could be easy. Getting locks replaced, installing of DIY door security sets, and even rekeying cabinets could be easy if the right tools are there. Of course, there are times when real or professional locksmiths should be called.

Those home repair or handyman skills mentioned above could save a homeowner hundreds of dollars yearly. Of course, this is will be true if such sets of skills will be learned, honed, and used as the needs arise.

Related:  Avoiding Contractor Scams

Best ROI on Home Repair Projects

ROI-Friendly Home Repair Projects

 In the real estate investment world, there are lots of things that need to be learned if success is to be achieved.  An individual doesn’t need to be a professional real estate investor in order to figure out these things. In the case of a homeowner planning to sell a house, getting its value up is one of the first priorities that should be worked on. It is a proven concept that the right home improvement project is the best way to get the value of a house amped up. However, it is to be noted that there are specific types of projects that would readily yield a good ROI.

home repair roiYes, doing a home improvement is an investment which requires that the money spent on it be earned back. The return of investment comes in fast when certain parts of a house are worked on. These projects would cost a lot of money on the part of an owner most especially when the focus is on major structural aspects. A house may look okay for a homeowner or seller but things are definitely different on the perspective of a buyer.

In order to gain the biggest and guaranteed ROI, only the right projects must be focused on. What are these specifically? There are online real estate blogs and forums that could give reliable and updated information about this matter. The real estate industry is always evolving and whatever might be valuable at this point in time might not have the same value 2 to 3 years in the future.

If current trends in the real estate market are examined, some revealing concepts become apparent. A homeowner could focus on very obvious areas of the house for these home repair projects.  In terms of cost vs. recovery ratios, the kitchen would be the first on the list. A lot of industry observers have noted that as much as 80% guaranteed ROI could be expected from kitchen renovation projects. Most buyers see the kitchen as the “heart of the home” since this is where family members will spend those “bonding moments”. If there are divisions or half walls that exist in the kitchen, it might be a good idea to tear it down. The spaciousness of a kitchen is a big convincing factor for buyers (particularly women) to decide positively on purchasing a house.

Bathrooms should also be on the top of a high ROI project list. Industry figures on ROI here have been seen at 70-78%. Getting a toilet bowl, tub, or even the tiles replaced could definitely boost up the ambiance of the area. Prospective buyers pay a lot of attention to this part of the house since their level of comfort while living in a house will depend largely too on the kind of bathroom present. Houses for sale with newly renovated bathrooms are given high market values by real estate appraisers.

The next one on the home renovation list is the provision for a “greener” home environment. It means making a house more energy efficient through the installation of features that would keep it well-ventilated during the hot season and insulated throughout the cold months. The addition of ceiling fan for each room could be a good idea. It is also okay to get those storm doors installed.  Buyers will readily feel the cozy ambiance of a specific house once they go for a site visit. Of course, property appraisers will also give such improvement projects high ratings. In terms of ROI, this specific move has been seen to yield 50-70% returns.

Getting bedrooms renovated or improved will also affect the value of the house considerably. The ROI rate of 73% has been seen lately and this would apply most if an attic bedroom will be added. Converting the attic space into a bedroom is seen as an attractive feature for many real estate property buyers at the current time. If a home office connected to the bedroom could be installed, it will also be a big plus factor on the increase in value and ROI of the whole property. Most people these days bring work at home and this renovation will be seen as favorable for them.

The home repair ROI rates mentioned here are true all over the industry. However, there are local real estate guidelines and trends that would dictate which project would yield the best possible ROI. A homeowner who is aiming to sell a house or get one appraised should consult with the local real estate experts in order to be guided on the right path.

Related:  Foundation Water Leaks

Mandoron Home Renovation and Repair

Welcome to our Mandoron Home Renovation and Repair blog. We will be bringing you some excellent tips and tricks on a variety of topics to help you maintain, renovate and improve you home.  Included will be ideas on plumbing, roofing, windows, foundation repair, flooring to name a few. Come back often!