Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The work starts after the fun stops.

It's funny how you have a lot of friends (well not funny Ha Ha but funny odd) until there is blood, sweat, or tears to be shed on a project. A neat thing about blood, sweat, and tears is you can make more of all of them and it's free. I didn't start out today to rant but I guess I will. I have inner turmoil (surprise,surprise) But I also have a sincere desire to help you get the things done that you need to get done as efficiently as you can. Post here and we can get started. Give me a project you'd be amazed at how much I can come up with.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

You people are wasting a valuable resource....ME!

C'mon already! I know at least one person out there has project happening that they could use free...FREE...advice on. If you are the first to tell me what's going on I will personally research and post about that until you ask me to stop. You don't have to take my advice but it can't hurt to read it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A little on the side please.

Another thing to consider when hiring a contractor is the men he sends over to do the work. Treat them with respect and kindness and they are likely to go out of their way to do a top notch job for you. If the job is going to take a few days you have a chance to cultivate a relationship with some tradesmen you wouldn't ordinarily associate with. This is a good way to develop contacts for projects down the road that you want to do yourself but may need a hand with. Contractors may get mad at me saying this but most bluecollar guys with skills are always looking for a little extra on the side. It's up to you but if it is a little job that your contractor doesn't want to do anyhow most won't mind their guys making some side money if it does not interfere with their regular commitments. I have been in the business for a long time and never had a problem telling an employer when I had a little side work if we weren't swamped. I was normally his best man and he wanted me to be happy some didn't even mind renting me equipment for side work and were just glad to know I wasn't going behind their back. Also if good men show up and do good work a tip is always appreciated and the best time to give is after the work is done but before the clean up is finished. A man whose skills and labor has been appreciated will go the extra mile to clean up and make you happy as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I was thinking.

I was alone with my thoughts and since that is a dangerous place to be I thought I'd bring you with me. Expectations should be clearly communicated and that is true of hiring any pro to perform a service. That is the entire basis for the contract process,to ensure both you and the person providing a service both agree on exactly what is to be done or provided. This also provides legal recourse and protection for both parties should a dispute arise. Now this is true only if the "contractor" is duly licensed, registered and permitted by the state or municipality where you reside. I'm saying this as a way of explaining why things cost so much. All these things contribute to a legitimate enterprises overhead and as such will be incuded in the contract as a cost of doing business. Federal,state,and local taxes, payroll and social security as well as permitting fees all drive up the cost to provide you with a legally binding and protected contract. So don't automatically think you are getting shafted when Joe schmo the ragman says he can do for $20 what a licensed contractor want's $120 to do. Building contractors get a bad rap for price gouging when it is a homeowners responsibility to do some legwork. Insurance...Yours and his also play a huge part in your protection and that of any employees he may have working on your property. His isn't free anymore than yours is. and a chunk of what you pay him goes toward insurance he is required to carry so you don't get sued when his guy smokes his lunch and falls off your roof.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

OMG it's hot!

So let's go inside and do something since you've got the A/C all shipshape. Where to start? I'm gonna start by trying to save a little cash to help pay for frosty beverages when it cools down a little. A good cheap project that you can easily do and may save you money you didn't even know you were wasting is to test the toilet tanks for leaks. A leaking tank is easy to miss because it leaks into the bowl and not the floor. Remove the tank lid and put a few drops of food coloring into the tank and stir. You have just completed the diagnostic part of the project. Go reward yourself with a sandwich and a cold iced tea (make mine unsweet with lemon please). After you finish the sandwich go look at the toilet bowls if there is food coloring in the bowl then you have a leaking tank. So now you change out the flapper valve (the little rubber thingy that attaches to the flush handle). These are about $5-$8 bucks (USD) and simple to install and will make a real difference in your water bill. Good luck

Monday, June 20, 2011

making a house a home.

There is a differents between a house and a home. A house is just a bulding , but a home is were family or friends spends time with each other. Any one can have a home but it takes love to make a home. So making a house a home you have too communicate more, eat with each other (family table) or have some fun make one night of the week a family night with board games.

-guess writer brittany

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm on fire!

A topic of interest here in the sunshine state of FLA is wildfires. Our neighbors in GA have theirs as well and AZ is certainly being tested. On a matter of note unless you are flush and don't need to worry about it insurance requires that you take precautions to protect the ol homestead or they won't pay up. If you have experience dealing with insurance claims then you know this already. Clear the trash, weeds, dead brush and HELLO FIREWOOD! away from the house. I heard a radio program wih an "expert" saying to give yourself a 30' defensible zone. Now I'm not an expert but I know fires and I know houses and 30' sounds ridiculously small to me. I'm pretty sure that it is the public safety people charged with protecting you that come up with this stuff. Just get all the crap off the roof. Get all the flammables away from the house. Use your best judgement but if the tallest tree on your property will fall on the house when it catches fire then it should go.
more later, stay safe

Friday, June 17, 2011


A liability is something that hinders progress. A roadblock to sucess. These are not set in stone. you have every tool at your disposal to render sucessful outcome a certainty as opposed to an abyssmal failure that you will be embarrassed to claim as your own.

Get off your assets

C'mon get moving. The biggest money saving feature you have going for you is the free labor. You have as much of that as you are willing to invest so spend it wisely. Put in the research to find out as much as you can about your project and the best materials to use. Familiarize yourself so you aren't learning on the fly and wasting valuable materials. It's worth the extra time to spend twice as long doing it right once instead of doing it twice cause you couldn't be bothered to do the research. There are far too many resources online for you to need to ask your neighbor the orthodontist how to install a brick patio.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are you a man or a mouse?

It doesn't matter because "The best laid plan of mice and men often go awry"
You can plan all you want but you can't control it all. Some stuff is gonna happen. To paraphrase John Lennon "Life is what happens while you make other plans". At some point ou have to just do it. So no matter the project, plan it, get the material and get started. Be fluid enough in your progress to work through or around obstacles. If you hit a snag that halts progress then seek help. Come here and ask or E-mail at and I'll help you get back on track. If I don't know the answer I know where to find it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

You want what?

A skylight? Are you out of your mind? Skylights always leak right? Plus they let in heat and UV rays that damage the furniture right? Well yes and no. There have been major advances in skylight construction that bring all those problems under control. The problem is knowing that you will have to pay for them and deciding whether the benefits are worth it. A cheap skylight is just that and it will deliver all those performance defects I mentioned. This is an amenity that you simply cannot skimp on or you will be sorry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Size matters!

The size of the shade trees that is. A tree canopy can be a blessing in the summer but a curse in the winter. In order to be effective you need a fast growing variety to get some shade pronto but it needs to be far enough from the house not to damage the foundation as it grows and not to damage the house if it comes down in a storm. You also want the leaves to drop in winter when you want the sun to help warm the house. This means raking leaves if not for you for a teenager with a need for a little spending cabbage.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Solar flares?!

Looks like tere is a major solar event in store for us and you know what that means. Sattelites and electronic devices are gonna be iffy for a while. That mans all of my loyal followers (currently numbering 1 cause I found out I could follow myself) may have touble not staying in touch with me.On the other hand folks should be treated to a light show that otherwise rarely get to see it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How do I do that?

OK you've all seen the $69.95 A/C tune up specials. What they don't tell you is you can do 90% of that for nothing. Take out the filter (you should do this once a month anyhow)Either clean it or replace it. Lay down on the floor and look up where the filter was, these are the cooling coils Vacuum them if you can. If the coils are moist from condensation turn it off and go get an Ice cream. When you come back try again get up in there with a brush if you can. No sharp objects! Now head outside to the outside unit and clear all the junk and debris away from it. Also check out the copper lines running between the systems. One should be insulated and if there are missing patches redo it. About the only thing that an A/C repairman will do that you can't is check and recharge the refrigerent if that is necessary.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cold water works

Wash your clothes in cold water. It works and they make detergent just for that. Hang em up to dry if you need that fabric softener touch then wait till they're dry and fluff with a fabric softener sheet. Besides saving the energy using the dryer if the dryer is inside you saved the energy to overcome the heat the dryer produced. By now this should be becoming tiresome, repetitive and obvious. If you generate heat then you are paying to do so. If you generate heat indoors you are paying twice. Once to generate it and once for the climate control to overcome it.