Category Archives: Hiring a Contractor

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.

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.

EPA Lead Certified

EPA Lead Safe Certification Logo


Home Solutions Handyman is lead paint certified! We are fully trained and certified to handle any potential lead paint hazard while working in your home. With one call we can take care of all of your home repair and improvement needs and relieve your concerns about lead-based paint!

New EPA Lead Certification Rule
As of April 22, 2010 the EPA requires individuals conducting lead-based paint activities (abatement, inspection, and risk assessment) in target housing and child-occupied facilities to be trained and certified. All remodeling and repairs done in homes where lead-based paint may be present must now be done by a certified handyman or contractor.

lead paint on a window

Are you concerned about lead paint and how it might affect you?
Lead from chipping or peeling paint can mix with dust and soil in and around the home making it available for young children to ingest during normal hand-to-mouth play. In addition to chipping and peeling lead paint being a hazard, a freshly remodeled home can also be a danger. During the remodeling process, lead dust and lead chips can mix with dust and soil from scraping and sanding old, painted surfaces.

Lead paint in home building was not regulated until 1978, so most houses built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. The older the house the greater the risk is for having lead contamination. Lead-based paint is not dangerous if it is handled properly.

What can you do to help protect your family?
There are other things you can do to protect your family every day.

  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces
  • Regularly wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys
  • Make sure children eat a healthy, nutritious diet consistent with the USDA’s dietary guidelines that helps protect children from the effects of lead
  • Wipe off shoes before entering house

How can lead contamination be prevented during a home repair or improvement project?

1. Contain the work area. The area should be contained so that dust and debris do not escape from that area. Warning signs should be put up and heavy-duty plastic and tape should be used as appropriate to:

  • Cover the floors and any furniture that cannot be moved
  • Seal off doors and heating and cooling system vents

These actions will help prevent dust or debris from getting outside the work area.

2. Minimize dust. There is no way to eliminate dust, but some methods make less dust than others. For example, using water to mist areas before sanding or scraping; scoring paint before separating components; and prying and pulling apart components instead of breaking them are techniques that generate less dust than alternatives. Some methods generate large amounts of lead-contaminated dust and should not be used:

  • Open flame burning or torching
  • Sanding, grinding, planing, needle gunning, or blasting with power tools and equipment not equipped with a shroud and HEPA vacuum attachment
  • Using a heat gun at temperatures greater than 1100°F

3. Clean up thoroughly. The work area should be cleaned up daily to keep it as clean as possible. When all the work is done, the area should be cleaned up using special cleaning methods before taking down any plastic that isolates the work area from the rest of the home. The special cleaning methods should include:

  • Using a HEPA vacuum to clean up dust and debris on all surfaces
  • Wet mopping with plenty of rinse water

When the final cleaning is done, look around. There should be no dust, paint chips, or debris in the work area. If you see any dust, paint chips, or debris, the area should be re-cleaned.

Learn more by visiting www.epa.gov/lead and downloading the “Renovate Right” Brochure.

Is your contractor BBB Accredited?

We have just finished the accreditation process with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB Code of Business Practices represents sound advertising, selling and customer service practices that enhance customer trust and confidence in business. The Code is built on the BBB Standards for Trust, eight principles that summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business.

This Code also represents standards for business accreditation by BBB. Businesses based in the United States and Canada that meet these standards and complete application procedures will be accredited by BBB.

To be accredited by BBB a business or organization affirms that it meets and will abide by the following standards:

Build Trust
Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.

Advertise Honestly
Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.

Tell the Truth
Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.

Be Transparent
Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer’s decision to buy.

Honor Promises
Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.

Be Responsive
Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.

Safeguard Privacy
Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information.

Embody Integrity
Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.

Search the Better Business Bureau’s website for Accredited Businesses

Cheap contractors may cost more in the long run

sloppy contractor work

This was some plumbing that we recently repaired.  The customer had a leak in their kitchen ceiling whenever the bathroom upstairs was used.  What was baffling was that the bathroom had been remodeled about five years ago.  We made some initial repairs that we felt would solve the problem.  The commode was loose because the wax ring had lost its seal, and the tub spout line was cracked leaking into the wall.  Those repairs were completed.  The customer called us back saying the leak was still there.  We opened the ceiling of the kitchen to further investigate and found a mortar base under the ceramic tiles in the bathroom.  The ceramic tile was fairly new and a mortar base is not a traditional method for installing tile these days.  It was done many years ago in older homes.  This house was not that old.  Whoever installed the mortar base got carried away and the water lines were encased in the mortar base.  Not being able to do much from underneath, we had to open the bathroom tile floor and break out the mortar base.  We found this plumbing mess encased in the mortar and it was leaking.  The piece of hose on the plastic line is not anywhere near close to a proper installation and would never have passed an inspection.  Having this all encased in the mortar base just made the whole project to repair this quite expensive.  This shoddy work ended up costing the customer several thousand dollars to get repaired properly.

In the current economy it can be very difficult to justify the investment in getting home repairs done properly, but the cost of not getting the work done correctly can be disastrous to your wallet and potentially can cause someone to get hurt or die. Going with a reputable contractor is the best way to insure that the work gets done properly, safely, and up to code. If you are unsure of a contractor, get references and ask for proof of insurance, and Workers Comp. Check on Angie’s List. Any reputable contractor will be more than happy to meet your request for this information. In the City of Cincinnati, a Contractor has to be registered to get a permit, do the work, and get it inspected. If work requires a permit and you don’t get one, you may find yourself having to pay to undo the previous work and pay to have it done again. There is no savings in that. A reputable Contractor will be able to tell you about getting a permit and help you through the process.