Menu

header photo

At Home

Once you have a house, making it your home takes a little time, thought and effort.  We've come across a few things that may make your life more pleasant and perhaps even easier.  Since there are so many other sites that go into great detail there will be links to them for your convenience, along with advertisers and other things that can help the home owner or even the apartment dweller. 

How to avoid a nightmare with your contractor

Generally, the biggest confrontations with contractors occur over money and scheduling

You might be one of the fortunate people who had a flawless experience adding a room, building a second story or remodeling your kitchen. Thank goodness for your flawless experience, but there are lots of people, including myself, who have made some blundering errors with contractors and builds or just didn't do their homework in advance.

There are many types of construction contracts offered by general contractors. My advice is to read every word, and if you are not a lawyer, hire a lawyer to read the contract carefully.

9 home improvement projects

that are easier – and often cheaper – in the winter

Yard work, roofing and entire home renovations may have to wait until the warmer months. Winter, however, can be prime time for completing certain projects that otherwise would not get done.

For starters, contractors have increased availability since it’s their slowest time of the year. They’re also generally more willing to negotiate on labor costs. Materials – everything from paint to appliances – are also deeply discounted to make room on the shelves for new spring inventory.

Inspectors: A Necessary Evil?

If you are buying and/or selling real estate you will come in contact with building inspectors. I'm not talking about the ones from the local government that tell you what you can and cannot do with your own property along with who can do it. That is a discussion for another day. We are looking at the inspectors buyers hire to check out a piece or real estate before they commit to closing.
 
They can be somewhat annoying even when checking out a property you wish to buy but they can be extremelhy helpful. They are the ones who squeeze into crawl spaces under the house and skulk about in attics so I don't have to. In fact, you will not find me creeping around two foot high caverns dodging sewer pipes, air ducts and the usual assortment of critters that populate such environments.

Other Interesting Sites

DIY Network TV Shows, how to advice, videos, contests and remodeling ideas.

This Old House All sorts of do it yourself information for the homeowner.

Home Advisor Find trusted local pros for any home project.

The Spruce Ideas and Tips to make your bgest home.

Family Handyman A place where you learn to tackle home projects yourself.

Lowes The Blue Store - the place where you can get pretty much anything for you home projects.

Home Depot The Orange Store - the other place where you can get pretty much anything for you home projects.

Top Reasons for a Mortgage Denial

Low mortgage rates continue to push borrowing costs lower this year, but not every consumer is able to qualify. About a quarter of mortgage refinance applications are getting denied, according to a study from LendingTree of more than 10 million mortgage applications.

The top four reasons why applications were denied were debt-to-income ratio, credit history, incomplete application, and insufficient collateral.

Measuring With Light

Laser Measuring for Speed and Accuracy

Years ago when I was a kid helping my father with projects around the house we used a wooden rule that unfolded to the desired length and broke when I bent it the wrong way. It was fragile and sometimes awkward, but in the hands of a skilled workman got the job done nicely. Later, when I began my own projects I started using the ubiquitous tape measure. I still use my FatMax most of the time and still manage to mangle one now and then. But, it gets the job done.

I know lasers have been around for a number of years and for some readers this is old news. However I don't see too many in actual use. Of course they are very good at some tasks and as useful on others as eating soup with a fork. I, like most, use the tape for cutting boards, but using a saw with a laser guide helps you hit your mark.

Keep Those Gutters Flowing

You do have gutters, don't you? They protect the foundation and landscaping, help keep water from penetrating gaps on the siding, and direct water away from sidewalks and driveways. This last item is especially important in the frozen north where the rain can freeze and give the tenants an additional opportunity to fall and hit the jackpot with the help of the aforementioned shyster lawyer.

Trees are great to have on your property. They are nice to look at while they provide shade... and leaves that clog your gutters. There are many approaches to keeping these leaves out of the gutters and downspouts. Just as there is a variety of methods there is a corresponding variety of prices – ranging from simple styrofoam wedges to sophisticated held in place with screws. Let's look at a few of them.