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FAQ – Can you give me a “ballpark” estimate of the cost to repair?
Yes, I can give you a “ballpark” dry rot estimate, but it will likely be flawed. It has been my experience that this only works out after we have worked together for a while. It takes a while to get to know what you mean by “a little bit”, “not too bad”, “a long time” and all the other descriptions that we have. Your definition and my definition may be worlds apart, if we have worked together for a while, we can come to a (48 comments)
Absolutely! In my 25 years as a General Contractor, I have never charged for an estimate. I have heard that some contractors charge a fee for their efforts, sounds kind of silly to me. If someone is thinking about doing some work around the house, or taking care of some repairs that need to be done, I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to bid. If the contractor isn’t getting enough work to justify giving free estimates, maybe they need to check how they do things.
As a general contractor, we get an opportunity to work for all sorts of clients. The work that we do comes in all shapes and sizes, and levels of urgency. I have been doing property repair and improvement for over 25 years; I have become quite the juggler of construction projects. At any time I can give you a rough estimate as to when we can start. I may be able to slip your small repair in tomorrow. That week long deck project can be started in about a week. Replacing the (8 comments)
I saw these garbage cans put out for pick-up today, and it made me think. This sure looks like a lot of trash in those cans. A lot of it looks like it could have gone into the recycling bin, and perhaps even smashed down a bit. So, how about you? How much garbage are you responsible for?
So you want to add value to your home, great idea!
In my 25 years as a home improvement contractor, I have heard several reasons for improving a home. All of these made a lot of sense to the client, and they were willing to do the work. Adding more space, Preparing for sale, or updating the style of the home are all good reasons to improve your property.
If the only reason you are looking to do a home improvement is to add value, then you may have to take a closer look at the projects (10 comments)
As I was zipping through one of the big box home improvement stores, I can across something that caught my eye. I noticed that the tile spacers in the same box were different sizes. I’m not saying the package was put in the wrong box. The spacers had the same packaging but two different size spacers in each package. Something just doesn’t measure up!
FAQ – Do I need to get a building permit to do this?
It is important that your home improvement project be done properly, with building permits. Building permits allow the inspection of the work being done by the contractor, and provide a level of comfort to the property owner, that things are being done correctly.
This is going to depend on: Where the improvement is located and What is being done.
The requirements for getting a permit varies with the location, contacting the city, county, or town where the job is being performed is the best (12 comments)
Looking out the window this afternoon, we saw an incredible rainbow. Since I couldn’t get the whole thing in the iPhone screen, I used a panoramic merge. The panoramic photograph is a first attempt, but the rainbow was a beautiful sight. We don’t get too many rainbows in late May in El Dorado County.
Whenever you are considering entering into a contract for work on your property, verifying that the contractor has insurance is very important. Verify that the contractor is covered by two kinds of insurance.
General Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Protects You!
General Liability Insurance covers damage the contractor may cause to your property. Workers Compensation Insurance covers the contractor’s employee injuries while working at your property. Without either of these insurance coverages, you may be financially responsible for any accidents or (12 comments)
Yes, I am a licensed general contractor in the State of California. I have been licensed since 1992, without a complaint or grievance filed against me. I take pride in being a licensed contractor and work hard to maintain a clean status. Before getting my license, I had to have several years of qualified experience and knowledge to pass the State Exam.
Did you know that you can check the status of any licensed contractor online?
You don’t even need a lot of information in order to do it. (12 comments)
It was another beautiful day in El Dorado County. While driving through Greenstone Country I had to take a quick photo of one of the small lakes in the community. The colors were just amazing today. The clear blue skies, lush green landscape, and deep blue water needed to be captured. Greenstone Country in Placerville, California
The latest trend in men’s rooms – Waterless Urinals
In an attempt to save water the latest trend in public restrooms is waterless urinals. These units require no water at all; there is a chemical pack in the drain that treats the fluids as they pass through, which is supposed to prevent any odor from returning into the room. The first time for me to see one of these units, I was coaching High School Basketball; part of the school renovation included the locker rooms. In the boys locker room the waterless urinals were installed. High school boys never (14 comments)
Dust and pet hair can get into the darnedest places. I was checking a thermostat that wasn’t working correctly and discovered that the inside of the unit was filthy. How does so much dust and pet hair accumulate in a place like this? I’m not sure, but it did.
Last winter, there was a moisture intrusion problem in an apartment community in the Sacramento Area. I was called out to look at the situation and give an estimate. Water damage is not uncommon during the rainy months but I knew that it could be solved somehow. When I arrived, it was clear that the soil had eroded from the hill and the surface water was flowing at the same height as the concrete slab of the apartment. I recommended that the soil be cleared away from the building, dig (8 comments)
Lightweight concrete deck is a common feature in many apartment communities throughout California. The typical construction of a second story includes standard wood framing with a layer of plywood over the top, creating a slightly sloped flat surface. The edges are flashed to produce metal perimeter that will be filled with lightweight concrete. This area will be hot mopped with tar and paper to water-proof the wood surface below.
So how does the wood rot? A number of things can happen over time; the lumber can twist, the posts (16 comments)
Your ceiling fan can be effectively used year-round. In the summer the blades should be forcing the air down; in the winter it is reversed and forces the air upward. There is usually a small switch to reverse the direction located on the housing. We see ceiling fans running virtually nonstop in many apartments.
The problem with this is that you may not realize how much dust can accumulate on the blades and housing.
It may be time to check and clean your ceiling fan. (12 comments)
Getting an agreement to preform work sometimes takes some creativity to get the client to say yes.There are a few different ways that a contractor can get to the “closing table”. Many clients request estimates from at least three contractors, compare the estimates and make a decision based on what is important to them; usually that decision is price. This can take a while to get to an agreement. The problem is that management needs several bids, while the problem goes uncorrected until getting an approval for the work to begin. Some clients will call because they do not know who (56 comments)
You know you need to get your home looking its best before listing it with an agent. There may be a long list of things to do; painting your home probably needs to be done. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders toward making a home presentable for sale. Do I need to find a contractor who can paint, or can I do it myself and save some money?
Considering Painting Yourself? How large is the area to be painted? How much time do you have to take on this project? Do you have experience with (10 comments)
Most owners have a good idea about whether or not they have dry rot and water damage to their home or business. The area of wood is soft, falling apart, or even missing. When it is discovered, you wonder how you missed seeing it for so long. I’m often asked,
“Where should I look for dry rot damages?”
If you’ve ever seen a home inspection or termite report, rotted wood can happen anywhere water and wood meet. Wood that is exposed to water will eventually lead to (6 comments)
In a country where cash and check writing is getting to be less and less, I have to ask myself if I want to start accepting debit and credit cards. It doesn’t happen that often but I did get asked this week. It wasn’t a deal breaker; many clients would just find it easier to do. I know of many in the trade that find this to be very convenient.
Are you losing business because you do not take credit cards? Can you justify the fees to provide the service? Are (12 comments)
While driving on a winding Highway 49 near Auburn, CA; I got stuck behind a slow moving logging truck. This portion of the highway is not best suited for the large log movers. With nowhere to pass, I just followed the large cut trees. I couldn’t help but think about a post that I had written a few days ago, How much lumber can come from a tree log? Depends on how you cut it. Staring at the ends of these logs and thinking about the cut patterns that awaits them. This made for a quick trip (6 comments)
Every year at this time there is a rush to get our property cleared of fire hazards. The growth of weeds and vegetation that grow up to your property is considered a fire hazard in El Dorado County. All vegetation higher than 6” must be cleared in all areas within 100 feet of the home.
This Year’s Deadline for Weed Abatement is June 11, 2012 (6 comments)
The construction industry can be a very personal relationship. While the construction team may be well qualified and a good representation of the contractor; sometimes it is difficult for the contractor to be away from the project. Imagine agreeing to have a contractor do a $50,000 project and then find out the contractor will be away on vacation.
Of course, the contractor may have his own concerns. He may have full faith (14 comments)
“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
- I shall not fear anyone on Earth. - I shall fear only God. - I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. - I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. - I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
I had the opportunity to stop by the river while driving home today. The American River is much higher than normal, but on the shores of Henningsen Lotus Park the waters are relatively calm. Experts do still warn that the waters are cold and very swift, so if you do venture into the water – Be Careful!
The Henningsen Lotus Park is located in Lotus, CA on Lotus Road near Highway 49. There is a small entry fee per vehicle ($5 for a car) but there is plenty of space inside the park. Check out this (2 comments)
Kristin Hamilton wrote this post on adding value with home improvements. It is important to choose wisely, and Kristin highlights an incredible list of items that add value and make homes more sellable in today’s market.
A “must read” for anyone thinking of making improvements to their home.
Via Kristin Hamilton CDPE, SFR, CHS Realtor Redlands/ Loma Linda Homes for Sale, CA (Keller Williams Realty): What Improvements Can I Do to Upgrade My House That Will Add Value When I Sell?
Most prospective buyers are looking for homes that are move in ready so (8 comments)
The use of your air-conditioning unit will create condensation within the housing cover. As this water accumulates and fills the pan, it will reach the drain and drip out to the ground below. It is important that the drain line allows the water to flow out; a negative slope will force the water to remain full inside the air conditioning unit. Here is an example of what a negative slope drain looks like.
So you have a wood retaining wall that has started to rot and falling apart. It’s time to remove the old wall and replace it, but do I want a new wall made out of wood again? That is a personal choice. Many things need to be considered before making that decision. Cost, installation, suitability, and function are all considerations before making this improvement.
Concrete block retaining walls are a viable choice for homeowners in Sacramento. The choices are numerous; sizes, styles, and colors can make your new retaining wall an integral part of your landscape design. If (24 comments)
How much lumber can come from a tree log? Depends on how you cut it.
We have all seen stacks of lumber and all the different types. Have you ever wondered how the boards were cut from the logs? You may be surprised how the logs are divided up into so many different lumber cuts. This photo shows how lumber is cut from a log at the lumber mill. I found it interesting to see.
If your home was built before 1978, it is likely that there was lead-based paint used. This applies to both the interior and exterior surfaces. You cannot tell by looking at it to make that determination, in fact it may have been painted over several times. This, however, does not eliminate the needs to determine if lead is in the paint, it must be tested to know for sure. We can make some early assumptions to determine if testing is required. The age of the home is probably the most important consideration in determining if there is lead in your (28 comments)
With Certification Comes a Lot of Reading Material – Just to Be Safe!
I passed my Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Certification today, that’s the good news. This also requires a lot of reading material written by the EPA and HUD. Not that that is bad, it is important material; it’s just not all that much fun to read. Better get started…
Attach your deck properly to the building - An inspector's view. - 05/08/12 07:16 PM
I often see decks excluded from both home inspection and termite reports and that can be a problem. Decks can fail and should be included in both of these inspection reports. Reuben has done an excellent job in explaining the importance of proper fastening of the ledger board to the building, check out what he has to say. Personally, I have tried and love the new Ledger Locks, they are quick and very effective.
Via Minneapolis Home Inspections - Reuben Saltzman (Structure Tech Home Inspections): May is National Deck Safety Month, so I'm going to start off this month by writing (6 comments)
Are you safe from the exposure to lead during renovations repairs and painting? Lead based paint has not been available to the public for many years, but there was a time when all paints had lead in it. The lead made for a great finished product, unfortunately the lead can be found in homes today and exposure to it can be harmful. The dust from sanding and demolition of older homes can raise the levels of lead in the air and it has been determined (9 comments)
I was getting into my truck in the parking lot of Lowe’s in Sacramento and I notice that the parking lot had been re-striped. Something caught my eye that seems a little out of place. On closer inspection, I saw that there was a stone that was in the “line of fire” when the lines were sprayed.
“I need to get a dry rot problem repaired before we list our home for sale, when can you start” I have been getting several calls like this one, homeowners wanting to have their home fixed before putting the home on the market. Is this a good idea? I don’t know, call your realtor. I’m not real sure what is driving this trend, but it is something that is growing in the Sacramento area. I have a few opinions about this trend. It is good that the owners want to get the property ready and in tip-top shape from (47 comments)
The late season rains have kept the grasses and vegetation tall and green for the deer in Greenstone Country. Sure, the weather has helped many of the animals here in Placerville, CA but I was able to shoot the deer as I drove past him tonight. Enjoy the weekend!
NBA’s Most Improved Player from El Dorado Hills in El Dorado County
Ryan Anderson, an Oak Ridge High School Graduate in El Dorado Hills, was voted the NBA’s Most Improved Player today. There are many of us here in El Dorado County who has been watching Ryan play basketball since the fourth grade, through middle school and into High School. We saw him go to University of California Berkley, and then drafted into the NBA. He just keeps getting better, now he is the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Congratulations Ryan! (0 comments)
As the weather has gotten warmer the snow pack is melting and the water flowing down the hill has picked up noticeably. This and the recent rains have made for rapid, cold water traveling down the American River and into Folsom Lake. This photo was taken from a walking path in the town of Coloma near Highway 49. (13 comments)
As the sun set today, the clouds have begun to work their way into the Sacramento Valley and up over the foothills of the Sierras. There is a chance of rain tomorrow and this is just an early sign. I hope we will be able to complete that exterior dry rot repair in Folsom before the rains come.
Deck railing can add value to a deck project in Sacramento.
I had been working on the replacement of a large deck project. Multi-level, elevated, stairs, and framing must be redone. We will likely go with a Trex decking, but I wanted to use something different to make it special. I think that the railings could be the answer to the uniqueness that I want.
I had my heart set on a bowl of cereal today. Got the milk out, grabbed a bowl and spoon, and got the cereal from the cabinet. This is all the cereal that was in the box, what a disappointment. I had to deal with some professionals that made me feel the same way. I thought I was going to be getting more than I had received, and was disappointed. Time to grab a different box!
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Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.