The single largest investment that most of us will make is the purchase of a house. It’s not just shelter- it’s an emotional center for our families. It represents safety, acceptance, and love. It’s home. But as in all relationships, we have to spend a little TLC keeping the relationship with our house healthy!
Here are the top 5 maintenance projects that will make your house love you back:
Paint: Remember that paint only lasts 3-5 years. Paint isn’t just about aesthetics or design trends (although, happily, paint is a great creative way to reflect your personality, both inside and out). Paint is also an important protective membrane for the wood work of your house! Keep your woodwork and walls safe from the elements by refreshing your paint routinely.
Climate control: Make sure that your HVAC is serviced regularly. Service contracts for this important central system are affordable- often less than $100 per year. They include routine seasonal maintenance that will identify and prevent issues that might otherwise escalate to expensive repairs or even replacements. Keeping your HVAC well-maintained also has a positive impact on your energy bills (good for the environment and also good for the checkbook).
Doors and Windows: If your house faces North West, check on your doors and windows each winter. Homes have a higher occurrence of rot, peeling, and leaks if they face this direction. A little weather protection goes a long way with doors and windows
Pest control: Many pests damage your home silently, thoroughly and before you even know they’re there. This is another area where having a routine service contract can prevent major heartache by preventing problems from even gaining foothold.
Rainy Day Fund: When you purchase a house, try to set aside 10% of the home’s worth for repairs and emergencies. Property managers earn this every year, because that’s typically what it costs to maintain a property. Can’t afford a giant Rainy Day Fund immediately? Try to put away 10% of your mortgage each month until you have a great safety net should any major repairs or improvements come up in your home’s future.
Be kind to your house, and it will be kind to you.
What is a general contractor? According to dictionary.com, a general contractor is defined as “the person who contracts for and assumes responsibility for completing a construction project and hires, supervises, and pays all subcontractors”. Simple concept, right?
A good general contractor is no paper-pusher who simply checks on the work of others. A good general contractor spends hours on planning and administration before ever laying a hammer on your house. In a well-managed project, even a simple one, the general contractor will follow a very methodical process to plan the scope of the project, establish the timelines, set a budget, book time with expert resources in various trades, apply for permits, complete inspections- all the while reacting to myriad issues that inevitably come up with any home improvement project. And this all happens BEFORE any “actual” work begins.
Many homeowners are tempted to act as their own general contractor on a remodel project, and sometimes even on home construction. This is not the role to skimp on- not just because of the complexity of most home improvement projects, but because of the enormous body of knowledge and wide network of professional relationships a high-quality General Contractor will bring to your project.
At Vertex Carpentry, I pride myself in the relationships I have with skilled labor and experts of all kinds in the trades. I have decades of experience with construction projects of all size, and the leverage to work through surprises that crop up throughout the construction phase. Close management and tight supervision of even the smallest details are hallmarks of the high quality work that Vertex Carpentry is known for. I am hands-on: every site; every day.
At Vertex, we recognize that budgets are not simply suggestions; we work with customers to create a beautiful custom build, addition or remodel that is exactly what they’ve envisioned for their home, within the scope and timeline we’ve set.
Let us take the headache of managing your project so you don’t have to.
Go to work, and let us do ours.
DIY, otherwise known as Do-It-Yourself, is an ethic promoting the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists. DIY champions the average individual seeking the knowledge and expertise to complete a project they might typically hire a professional to do.
But, at what cost does DIY come when you consider a home improvement project? How do you know when to tackle a project yourself and when to call in an expert?
Examples of DIY projects that often end in success include:
· Creating and maintaining beautiful outdoor spaces and gardens Lots of weekend gardeners love spending time digging in the dirt and seeing the fruits of their labor bloom.
· Painting and custom treatments on your walls. These design details are fun to learn and easy to fix or change as a novice.
When should you avoid DIY, no matter how tempting or exciting the challenge may seem?:
· Home additions or structural changes. These typically have many important considerations that require an expert opinion (engineering, electrical work, gas or plumbing pipes and so on).
· Roof repair. This is rarely a safe undertaking for any homeowner or their homes.
· Outdoor kitchens: It might seem easy enough (a little flooring and a grill-station) but you could end up with a half-finished patio and plumbing gone awry.
Your home is an investment for your comfort and enjoyment and should not be another obligation impacting the limited time you have to spend with family and friends. While you might love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a job well-done (like creating a beautiful outdoor space), you also should consider the expense and headaches of spending your free time on complex projects that are best left to a professional.
Vertex Carpentry has more than 20 years of experience tackling Honey-Do lists of all sizes and scopes. Call us the next time your DIY hobby grows into a major project, and we will free you up to enjoy your weekends again.
As a small business owner, I choose to patronize small businesses. We share common goals and common values like sustainability, quality workmanship, and lasting relationships with our customers. We treasure the unique value of our communities.
What would happen if we all extended that mindset to not just shopping, but to other economic decisions as well: service merchants, auto mechanics, grocers, health care providers, pet services, and even, yes, home improvements?”
According to Independent We Stand, an online community of small business owners, all small businesses share certain fundamental characteristics. A few of my favorite reasons to buy local include:
- Keep Our Community Unique. Locally owned businesses cater to the cultural base of the neighborhood it serves.
- You will get better service. Local businesses tend provide better customer care by giving special attention to each patron they serve.
- Reduce Environmental Impact. Locally owned businesses are more likely to purchase local, resulting in less travel and reduced air pollutants. And, if they’re right down the street from home, your own carbon footprint is reduced as you visit that business rather that travel farther afoot.
- Invest in the local communities and encourage local prosperity. Small businesses, entrepreneurs and experienced workers will more likely live and invest in communities that preserve the characteristics of locally owned businesses.
When you’re making the important economic decision to create, renovate or build your home, find a local professional with a passion for excellence and long-standing customer relationships. More than 20 years ago, I founded Vertex Carpentry on the very principles embodied in the Shop Local movement, and I would love to bring my local mindset, long history of craftsmanship and customer- focused perspective to your next home project.
When a Simple Siding Repair, Isn’t…
The guys are ready to start work this morning on what on the surface appears to be a simple repair job to some chipped and broken siding. This home was run in to and the corner of the siding was damaged, the outside faucet was broken off, as was a PVC drain pipe from a basement sump pump. We were hired to replace the damaged siding. It seems a simple idea, strip off the damaged pieces and add back new pieces to replace them.
One challenge is the siding is over 15 years old, will there be a match available that will blend in?
Luckily the homeowner had some of the original siding saved. Next the siding must be stripped back so that all new pieces will properly attach to the corner flange. They must be nailed together at that flange to hide any nails from being exposed to the elements, or to our sight.
And finally as always Vertex Carpentry goes the extra mile in cleaning up the site, even going as far as pursuing the scraps of debris from the original accident.
“Thanks to Vertex Carpentry for such a fast and professional job”