All posts by Dan

Rotted Wood on Enclosed Patio Structure

Here is an example of what appears to just be some cosmetic damage in the stucco panel of an enclosed porch that actually turned out to be a lot worse. Once the panels were removed we found structural damage that had to be repaired. If you see rotted wood damage like this, it should be addressed as soon as possible so it doesn’t become a bigger issue and a lot more expensive.

This is a common problem where the outer siding or panels deteriorate and eventually water penetrates the structure and causes structural damage.  The damage can’t be seen until the siding or panels are removed.  Structural damage can be a lot more expensive to repair.

This is especially important these days because of some of the builder quality materials that do not hold up very well over time.  We also see a lot of paint jobs that were not prepared and primed properly.  Preparing wood properly and applying a good coat of primer will insure a high quality, long lasting paint job.  Two coats of paint do not give the same protection as a prime and paint coat.  A good paint job offers a lot of moisture protection to wood.

Fixing a Chimney Leak

When a roof slopes down to a chimney, there can be problems from the force of the rain water running down the roof and hitting the chimney. The water can run up the chimney and get under the flashing or back up under the roof shingles causing a leak. A fix for this problem is to install a cricket (or a saddle) to divert the water off the chimney. We have installed several and have had good success in stopping leaks that could not be fixed with flashing or caulking. You can see how the cricket works by looking at the picture of the completed installation. Water is diverted away from the chimney and down the sides.

Master Bathroom Walk-in Shower

We are seeing a trend in Master Bathroom remodels. Customers are asking for full size walk-in showers. This shower was converted from a bathtub with a small shower stall next to the tub. The shower was used daily and the tub was not being used at all. This arrangement is a lot more practical and uses the limited space in the bathroom a lot more efficiently. The window was a clear glass picture window. Glass block was installed that offers privacy and will protect the window from shower water. The shower door is a frame-less design that compliments the tile. A niche was added on the back of the shower for storage of shower products. Overall, this is a very dramatic walk-in shower.

Front Porch Repair and Re-configuration

This porch is built over the basement and the home owner was getting leaking into the basement from the porch deck. The home owner also wanted to get rid of the curved handrail and square off the porch. The existing handrail was exposed to the elements because it extended out beyond the roof cover. The other goal was to use maintenance free products to minimize maintenance on the porch deck and handrail. Composite tongue and groove decking was used to maintain the architecture of this older home, and a turned spindle vinyl handrail was added. A vinyl handrail was also added to the front concrete steps leading up to the front porch for safety. To prevent leaking into the basement, a membrane was installed under the tongue and groove decking to keep water from penetrating into the basement.

Front Porch on Older Home was Deteriorated and Did Not Meet Current Building Codes

The front porch on this older home in downtown Cincinnati was deteriorated and had become unsafe. Because of its age, it did not meet the current building codes. One of the pictures shows the floor joists disconnected at the steps end of the porch making the porch unsafe. The decking on the porch was all that was holding up the joists. The porch columns were replaced with fiberglass columns that will not deteriorate like wood, but can be painted just like wood. The handrail height and spindle spacing was not up to the current building code, so it was also replaced.

We pulled a permit and re-built the front porch to bring it up to current building codes. Not only is it safer, it looks great and will last a long time.

New Porch Steps

The steps leading from the back door to the patio of this home were not up to the building code and did not have a handrail. We replaced the platform and steps with a new set of pressure treated wood steps with a handrail on both sides of the steps. Not only is this system more attractive, it is much safer.

Once the pressure treated wood cures for a few months, it can be stained with either a clear stain or a solid color stain. Pressure treated wood cannot be painted; it must be stained.

Entry Door Access Ramp

This summer, we built an access ramp in the garage of a home where a very special little boy lives. He is handicapped and the main entry into the home used by the entire family was up a few stairs through the garage door into the kitchen. He was having a lot of trouble getting up and down these stairs. In order to make it easier for the little boy to walk in and out of his house through the garage door, the family asked us to build an access ramp for him. The child was so happy to be independent and use the ramp to get in and out of the house without needing assistance. In turn, the Craftsman on the job was given what he said was the best ‘thank you’ he had ever received – a handmade card that we all agreed was incredible.

Installing a New Entry Door

Installing a new door to your home will not only enhance the look from the inside and out but will also benefit you in the long run. Entry doors can be an eyesore when they start to deteriorate. They can also waste a lot of energy in cooling or heating your home when the glass loses its seal and/or the weatherstrip wears out. Ultimately, a deteriorated door can lead to water damage under the door resulting in more extensive repairs. A newer design door that offers Low-E glass and tighter weatherstrip will provide energy savings and enhance the look of your home. The lower part of the jamb in newer design doors are also made from a rot proof material, thus ensuring the bottom of the jamb is less prone to wood rot.

Repair Facing on Concrete Front Porch

What began as repair work to the stone facing on a concrete front porch, ended up a complete facelift with a beautiful finish. Our initial plan was to repair the original limestone facing that had cracked or fallen from the sides of the front porch. Once we were able to take a close look at the displaced stones and concrete, we found that there was more damage to the concrete behind the stones than was originally anticipated. The original limestone facing could not be repaired, so we removed the old stone and repaired the structural concrete of the porch. The facing was replaced with a phaux decorative stone layed in a brick pattern. The lighter color and smaller size of the decorative stone brighten the facing while also providing a more clean, modern look to the entire front porch.

Missing Roof Drip Edge

This is a Customer that has been experiencing roof leaks in blowing rains.  This picture shows that there is no drip edge on the roof at the gutter.  There is supposed to be a metal drip edge flashing that holds up the edge of the shingles at the gutter and prevents water from running under the roof shingles.  Without the drip edge rain water from blowing rain will get under the shingles and into the house.  This flashing should always be installed when a roof is installed.  In this case we have to install it under the existing shingles which is more of a challenge and increases the cost.  This is another example of trying to save money that ends up costing much more in the long run.  The first picture shows how a roof drip edge is supposed to be installed.

Load Center Door to Hide Electrical Equipment

This Customer had a whole house backup generator installed and there was some additional electrical equipment added to the electrical Load Center for the generator. You can see it sticking out of the wall because it was deeper than the framed wall. We built a frame and a hinged cover to hide the equipment. The cover has a magnetic catch and is opened like a kitchen cabinet door. The door was painted a complimentary color to the wood paneling so it would blend in and not look like it was an afterthought. This really improved the look of the Load Center in their finished basement.

Plumbing Repair Debris Left in Ceiling

We were asked to repair a dropped ceiling in a bathroom in an older home.  It appeared that the ceiling had gotten wet at some time and was sagging because of the moisture.  When we started opening the ceiling to do the repair, the whole ceiling fell in.  A lot of debris was piled onto the dropped ceiling.  We removed all the debris from the bathroom and cleaned up the mess.  What we found in the debris was a section of an old cast iron plumbing stack.  Apparently the stack was replaced at some time and whoever did the work left a section of the stack along with other debris sitting on top of the suspended ceiling.  It’s fortunate that nobody was hurt when the ceiling fell in.  It just made a big mess.

2 hours of Handyman Services for $150

In order to help you get your home ready for Spring, we are offering two hours of a Craftsman to take care of those nagging “to do” list items.  For $150 (a $210 value) you can get a Craftsman for two hours to take care of your “to do” list.  All our Craftsmen are Insured, Bonded, and carry Workers Comp for your safety.  Call today and get an appointment to take care of your “to do” list.

Deck Access Ramp for Dogs

Our Customer had two dogs that were getting older with hip issues and having trouble going up and down the deck steps to the back yard.  We were asked to install a dog access ramp from the back deck to the yard.  We installed the ramp over the deck steps semi-permanently so the ramp could be removed later and the deck steps returned to their original condition.  The goal was to make the dog ramp appear to be part of the deck design and not a cobbled on addition.  The ramp is made from the same deck material and design as the original deck so it would fit into the design.  After the pressure treated wood is cured, it can be stained to match the existing deck stain.