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.
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.
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.
There’s never been a better time to make your home more energy efficient! The ECO-Link Program is providing reduced rate financing for homeowners making “whole home” and energy efficient improvements to their homes. The Department of Energy statistics show that people weatherizing their homes with energy efficient products save between 10-30% on standard utility bills.
This porch was re-built because the deck was rotting, the steps were in very bad shape, the structure was inadequate, and the concrete outside the steps was rough and uneven. The handrail on the steps is close together to accommodate a member of the household that has issues walking. Now she can hold onto both handrails going up and down the stairs.
You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. With a simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When auditing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.
Locate Air Leaks
Check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check to see if air can flow through these places:
- Electrical outlets
- Switch plates
- Window frames
- Weather stripping around doors
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches
- Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners
Radon is a colorless, odorless, soil gas that can seep into homes through small spaces and openings, such as cracks, concrete, floor drains, sump pump openings, wall/floor joints in basements, and pores in walls. Radon can also enter a home through well water.
According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family’s health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually. Some areas in the U.S. have a much higher concentration of Radon than others. The EPA estimates that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has an elevated level of Radon.
A simple and inexpensive test done by a professional home inspector can determine if Radon is a problem in your home.
Visit Home Team Inspection to learn more!
If you are like me and don’t have a lot of storage space, you have to get creative with ways to organize closets. Here are a few tips to help get your closets clutter free and easily accessible.
- Use plastic bins or zippered clothing bags – contents are visible, you can label them for easy identification, and they allow for easy stacking on shelves. Shelving can be easily installed by the House Doctors if you don’t already have shelves in your closet.
- Stack shoes on a shoe rack to keep them easily accessible and off the floor. Alternatively, you can get a hanging shoe organizer to put on the back of the closet door.
- Put things at higher reach that aren’t used often. For instance; seasonal clothing, guest linens, baby clothes, etc.
- Sort clothing by season and color. Short sleeve, long sleeve, etc. It doesn’t have to be exact, just enough for you to quickly find that black scoop neck t-shirt when you need it.
This door was installed as part of a bathroom remodel in a converted upstairs attic. Because of limited space, we had to fit the door to the odd shaped opening. This door separates the bathroom from a bedroom in the attic. After a shower unit was installed, this was all the space left for the door. The old door was a standard door that was taken apart, milled, and put back together to fit the opening. A rather creative solution to an odd shaped opening.
This customer wanted to have her outdated bathroom completely updated. She hated the old tile and tub colors. She wanted the tub/shower, vanity, commode, and wall tile removed and new fixtures and wall tile installed. She choose to go with brushed nickel fixtures that give the bathroom a classy look. The old wall tile was removed and replaced. A bathroom remodel is a good investment in a home. You can enjoy the bathroom while living in the house, and then get a better price when it is time to sell your home.
This tile was done in a complete bathroom remodel. The tub/shower tile and the wall tile was all done as part of the bathroom remodel. The added trim tile requested by the customer added a nice touch and really makes the bathroom look good.
We were asked to replace a stair and handrail system on the back porch of this house. The old wood stair unit was angled down causing an unsafe condition and only had a handrail on one side. The customer was a senior and was concerned about safety when using the stairs. We removed the old stair unit, installed a concrete pad for the new stair unit to keep it stable, and installed a new custom built pressure treated stair unit. The handrails on both sides make it much safer to go up and down the stairs. There is an concrete porch under the wood stairs. The new stairs were built over the concrete porch. There was no reason to remove the concrete porch as it was still viable.
This porch roof had water damage, as well as evidence of carpenter ant activity in the area just over the post.
Here is the same porch roof with the structural repairs made. The vinyl ceiling covering and aluminum covers are yet to be installed.