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Monthly Archives: August 2016

How To: Find Property Lines

For certain construction projects it is essential that the precise bonds between your property and your neighbors are determined. Unintentionally building an extension or fence in your neighbors yard may be very costly and damage good relationship with the folks next door. As the proverb says, "Good fences make good neighbors" and there are methods to figure out where the boundaries are. Some of those methods are low-cost, simple, and adequate to satisfy your concern. Others methods demand skills and will cost a fee and are most likely necessary for certain construction projects. Checking sidewalks and streetlights may provide you with visual clues of where the limits are. Visiting the municipal office that records plats, Local Zoning Department, will provide information on maps that show land division. For houses built more than 100 years ago it might be slightly different, but you can probably obtain a copy of your block and lot plat for a minimal fee. If you can retrace the original surveyor’s steps by locating the starting point, which will be labeled on the plat as either the “common point” or the “point of beginning”. With a long measuring tape, follow the plat, measuring your physical property for the exact dimensions of your lot. Your measurements should correspond with the ones on the plat. KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • Visual clues are good indications of property lines, but if you intend to build or install something on your land, you’ll need additional verification.
  • Before you drive yourself too crazy with the metes and bounds survey, know that the only legally binding method to determine exact property lines is to have a professional survey.
  • If you don’t have a copy of your deed filed with your homeowner records, get one at the register of deeds office, often located within your county courthouse.
"The metes and bounds survey cites a starting point, located at one of corners of your property. From there, the survey will give you detailed directions and distances to help you locate the rest of the corners and boundary lines of your property. It’s similar to a connect-the-dots game, except you do it on foot, not on paper. You’ll need a long measuring tape, as well as a good quality directional compass, moving systematically from point to point." Original Source:

Pliers and Wrenches – How to Choose and Use

Whether you are a professional plumber or one of those people who venture to do some repairs in your home, surely you need some tools for your work to be perfect. Start by purchasing a wrench, also known as adjustable wrench. Available in different sizes, this tool is suitable for regular bolts and nuts. A pipe wrench is used for hydraulic systems, specifically when you dock and turn the threads of pipes. As a result of being adjustable, the tool fits different sizes of parts. The best known type of Allen key has the body profile in shape of an L, which enables leverage during tightening or loosening screws. It is used in screws with hexagon socket fitting. The fit should be perfect without clearance. Thoroughly clean the screw of the internal fitting, removing any kind of dirt. A poorly fitted key can escape and cause an accident. KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • Grooved-joint pliers quickly adjust to grip several different sizes of hexagonal and square nuts and fasteners.
  • To prevent grooved-joint pliers from slipping, always grip the nut so that you're pulling the handle toward the pliers' smaller, adjustable jaw.
  • Combination wrenches come in a wide variety of sizes. Each has an open-end wrench on one end and a box wrench on the other.
"Tools List for How to Choose and Use Pliers and Wrenches: - Grooved-joint pliers - Combination wrench - Adjustable wrench - Pipe wrench" Original Source:

How To Keep Mold and Mildew Away After Flooding

To clean the mold and mildew in your home you need to take some precautions, if you have a serious problem of fungus on the walls, it may be better to seek the help of an expert. Make sure you wear eye protection, gloves and a mask for the face to avoid contact with the spores released by the fungus. Open windows or use a fan. Mold and mildew are the terror of most homes. Not least because they can be bad for your health. But luckily, you can use everyday cleaning products to end the fungi and prevent them to re-appear. In this case, it is important to go straight to the root of the problem. The mold usually grow in warm and humid environments without much air circulation. Since the mold is another type of fungus that can grow on the walls. It is characterized by patches that can spread quickly if not treated. In general, these fungi grow only by the ambient conditions. Other times, they may be the result of a storm or plumbing leaks inside or outside the home. The air conditioning piping, for example, can generate excessive moisture inside walls if it is not properly isolated. To find out if the dark area on your wall is actually mold or mildew, apply a little bleach in spots using a piece of cloth. If the stain clear after a few minutes, you found fungi. If not, probably its walls are just dirty.   KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • There is something that people forget. All it needs is a little moist and a little dark space and it can grow so quickly.
  • It can be there and you won't know at all.
  • Your ceiling fan, very very good make sure you use in an counter clockwise position so it is creating the breeze throughout the house.
"You think everything is clean and all of a sudden a month or so later you see just a kind of white specks and you wonder, it looks like dust on it and it is actually those mold spores that are growing, and sometimes it will be just as white as can be and other times is dark black mold." Original Source:

Faster Is Better – Use Nail Guns Over Hand Nailing

The result of hand nailing versus using a nail gun shows that the downside to hand nailing a roof is the extra labor costs involved. The roofing job will take more time. The roofing material manufacturers say both methods are good however when you ask the roofers their opinions usually fall distinctly into one camp or the other. Some refuse to use nail guns while others swear by them. The first nail gun came into use around 1950 and its use was adopted by roofers all over the country. With nail gun installation, the potential for problems might be higher as holding a nail gun at the wrong angle could drive the nails in at odd angles. Roofers need to change adjustments due to changes in wood type, roofing material and the weather. Different contractor's may have different preferred installation methods.   KEYTAKEAWAYS:
  • The introduction of the Milwaukee cordless nailer lineup offers a variety of high-quality nailers, in the most commonly-used gauges.
  • There are gas-powered nailers available, and some do a pretty good job.
  • When the nailer is turned on, it defaults to sequential mode, which is indicated by steady green lights near the power switch.
"Doing punch list work like that would be an excellent way to use the Milwaukee cordless nailer. It’s very fast and easy to just grab it, power it on, and bang away; not having to mess with a compressor and air hose saves a fair amount of time and aggravation." Original Sorce:

Small Roof Leaks – Major Damage

A small roof leak can cause great headache and be quite costly if not fix promptly. Finding where the leak is can be hard and you might need to find a reliable roofer that will get it right the first time. Minor leaks can cause major damage. Listen to a 60 seconds home improvement radio tip and avoid roofers that give you a list of bullet points with important details missing. Ensure that you know exactly what materials the contractor plans to use. Second-rate supplies maybe cheaper, but at the end you might need additional repair that will cost you a lot of money. KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable contractor.
  • Take a closer look at the estimates you’ve already received. How comprehensive are they?
  • A careful review takes time, but it can save you thousands of dollars—and loads of grief.
"Don’t let your roofer talk you into nailing new shingles over the old ones. You’re better off inspecting the sheathing below and correcting any issues before moving forward. Finally, before you sign the contract, read it over so you understand any liabilities and warranties. If anything goes wrong on the job—or after the crew leaves—you’ll know exactly where you stand." Original Source:

Rain Run Freely – Performing Gutters Maintenance

The gutters play an essential role in protecting the outside of a house, allowing the drain water from the ceiling to the floor. When clogged with leaves, twigs, branches and other dirt or debris, the water does not drain properly and this will eventually cause damage if the problem is not resolved. Gutters need to be cleaned once or twice a year and more if the house is surrounded by trees. If you notice that the water is not flowing in the gutters when it rains, it indicates that they are full of debris or clogged. Whether you try to perform gutter maintenance manually, others rely on instruments like scoops or tongs, it might not be worth risking your life and limbs scaling a full-size extension ladder. Although, in theory, it can be cheaper to clean and maintain your own gutter, there are numerous reasons why hiring a professional service may be the best choice.
  • gutter guard option
  • reduce the amount you spend cleaning and maintaining gutters
  • weight of clogged section pulls down gutters
Continue Reading ... "When you consider the nature of gutter cleaning, and when you think about the very real physical dangers associated with working high up on a ladder, it’s easy to see why so many dread the task."

Quick Tips on Building Your House From Scratch

aadads Owning a house is every persons dream. This is one of the reasons why people wake up each day and work their tails off the rest of it. "Building your own house is a primal urge, one of those universal genetic drives like the need to provide for your family." -Kevin McCloud. Today, millions of families have decided that it is better to build their houses from scratch. Building the house of your dream has the potential to be easier than ever, particularly with so many developers offering a predefined set of floor plans and options. Building your own home gives you the flexibility to have things just the way you would like. Key Takeaways:
  • Plan ahead and execute thoroughly to avoid wasting your time, labor and skill.
  • Building a house from scratch can be dependent on your own skill level. Then it can be exhausting or satisfying or a little bit of both.
  • Research ahead. Learn from the experience of others.
You must honestly assess your skill level if you are to be successful.  Some things can be learned on the fly while others cannot. It’s also been a great cure for perfectionism. It’s impossible to hit every nail squarely, and it’s okay. It’s impossible to get every decision right, let alone control the decisions of inspectors and electricians and vendors, and it’s okay. It’s definitely not for everyone. There are a TON of aspects to building a house that are really not much fun at all, and that range from the simple pain of installing itchy insulation in the sticky summer heat to the equally painful task of navigating senseless bureaucracies.
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