Monday, March 31, 2008

Building a Porch Roof

A porch is a great addition to any home. Do you have one? Planning on installing one? Just having an outdoor porch is only one part of the whole picture. To really take advantage of it, why not put on a porch roof?

You can think of a porch roof as an extension of the personality and look of your home. The ones that work best follow the same architectural mood of the house and the shingles match the home's existing shingles.

In fact, if your home's roof is in need of a face lift and part of your spring ritual this year is shopping for a reliable roofing contractor, you might as well build the porch roof yourself and then have the roofer come and shingle everything at once. The newer architectural shingles are nice.

Of course, at my house, I'm going to have to build the porch first and then put on the roof and the finishing touches...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Use Radon Test Equipment to Protect Your Family

Most people recognize the dangers associated with mold. If they suspect they have it in the home, they simply call for a mold inspection. A high energy bill? Research other energy providers and call for an energy efficiency inspection.

But mention air quality testing for radon gas and you're likely to get a baffled, "Huh?" Radon is a toxic radioactive gas and the risk of exposure can be high in many areas. Radon is more concentrated indoors than out, entering the home in the water system and coming from the soil. But don't fret; there are things that you can do.

The first thing to do is to buy some radon test equipment. Then, run either a short-term or a long-term test. Once the test results are back from the lab, you'll know what your situation is. There are several things you can do to reduce risk factors - the important thing is to get off the fence and get it done. Number one, it will protect you and your family; and number two, if you are planning to sell, the test results will give you an edge in the real estate market.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

French Drain Installation for Storm Water Drainage

The problem that many homeowners face is that their yard, particularly the back yard, was never properly graded by the residential building contractor. The rolling hills might sit easy on the eye, but they can spell trouble in the form of standing water. If this describes your yard designs, you might consider installing French Drains.

How might this unintended pond and water garden affect your property? A wet basement. Basement flooding. Costly foundation repairs. Any of these scenarios can be devastating to your bank savings account. Poof! There goes that tax refund and stimulus package tax rebate!

French drain systems fall in the green landscaping category. With nothing more than a shovel, some landscaping fabric, gravel, construction sand, and grass sod, you can save and increase your residential property value!

And don't forget, gutter downspouts will help to direct rainwater away from those low spots in the first place.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Diagnosis for Refrigerator Repair

Even though refrigerators are some of the hardest working and longest lasting of all major household appliances, they can become cantankerous at times. It can be something as simple as the interior light burning out or something as problematic needing compressor repair or replacement. In any event, you need some solid refrigerator troubleshooting skills for a good diagnosis.

Many of these repairs can be handled by the average DIY type person whether its a compact refrigerator or a monster. Others, particularly the ones dealing with refrigerant charging or refrigerant recovery, can only be tackled by someone licensed to do so.

And if your fridge is still under warranty, let the service person handle it, lest you void your appliance warranty. This happened to me recently when the almost-new compressor went out and had to be replaced. I'm unlikely to buy another Maytag. Most likely my next will be a Samsung refrigerator.

In any event, here is an excellent refrigerator troubleshooting checklist.