Preparing your Home for winter: Handyman Solutions for the Cold Season

19/10/2012 Posted in Blog

Leaves are falling and the cool breeze starts to set in. Winter is coming and this only means spending more time staying warm and cozy at home. To ensure that your family stays warm, cozy, and safe this winter, here are a few ways on you can prepare your home. If you are currently juggling a full schedule or if you aren’t that mobile as you once used to be, you may want to assign these tasks to a professional handyman. Maintaining and fixing your house this fall will ensure that it stays in good shape throughout the cold winter months.

Seal the Draft

Prevent chilly hair from getting inside your home by inspecting your property for caulking and weather-stripping. You can find caulking or weather-stripping around entry doors and windows. Try to look for different signs of wear and replace if necessary. Seal any drafty windows with a plastic film. There are kits available in home improvement shops and your local hardware stores. If your house has a basement with a vent or crawlspaces, make sure you close them during the cold months to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Bring Stuff Inside

When the temperature begins to fall below 50F at night, make sure you bring outside items inside. Start with your plants, but be sure to ask your local garden store for specifics. Clear your garden hoses of water and store them in the garage. Outside patio furniture, toys, grills, and other furniture will last longer when kept during winter.

Cement, Deck & Porch Repairs

Cold temperature may lead to cement cracks. When your handyman stops by for a minor repair at home, make sure you ask him or her to also repair concrete cracks on the drive, fix and unsafe stoop, or repair a crumbling walkway. Prevent injuries, falls, and slips by getting an even walkway. Decks, porches, and patios may be due for a new coat of sealant or stain. This prolongs the durability and lifespan of your outdoor space.

Gutter Cleaning & Filter Replacements

Fall is usually the time when homeowners climb ladders to clean gutters, enabling proper drainage of water. This fall, don’t forget to replace the filters of your air conditioning and heating systems to ensure good air flow and minimize allergens inside your home. If you think you are too busy with work or just simply concerned about your safety, make sure you hire a provider for these tasks.

Don’t go up in flames

Do you have a wood burning fireplace? Make sure you have it inspected by a chimney sweeper or professional Westchester handyman before the winter season arrives. Excessive creosote buildup in the chimney flue is a fire hazard. There are chimney sweep providers that provide low cost or free inspections. Make sure you are on the safe side by having it inspected this fall. Don’t forget to change your smoke’s detectors as well.

Winter Season Handyman Solutions

Steps in Hiring a Good General Contractor

15/08/2012 Posted in Blog

Avoid the misery or commercial or residential construction projects by hiring the right contractor for the job.

Without a doubt, finding a general contractor for your residential or commercial remodeling project causes more anxiety and fear than any other phase. How do you know that you have hired a reliable and trustworthy contractor who stands behind his/her work? Yes, there are no guarantees but with a little research, you can improve your chances of hiring a contractor that does a good job. Whether you are looking for general contractors Westchester or NYC contractors follow these helps in finding a good general contractor that will satisfactorily complete the job.

Step 1: Compile a list of contractors in your area.

Ask neighbors, family, friends, and colleagues about their experiences with general contracting services. Write down the names of contractors recommended by your social networks. Ask questions about a contractor’s reputation and their experience in the business. Aside from that, you might want to ask how much they charge and if they stand behind their work. You can also browse through your local Yellow Pages for general contractors in your neighborhood. Don’t forget to look through online resources for general contracting and home remodeling services.

Step 2: Do a comprehensive background research on potential contractors.

Prequalify the names on your list by finding out if each one is licensed and insured for workman’s compensation, liability, and property damage. You can check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for legal issues and complaints against a certain contractor. The Internet is home to hundreds of review sites that will give you first-hand customer comments about a certain company. Perform background checks on each contractor and mark off names that don’t make the cut. You should end up with a list containing three to five professional contractors.

Step 3: Gather bids from your chosen contractors.

Ask each remaining contractor to submit bids and estimates for the job. Get all the bids in writing, and be specific on the work that needs to be done, project time frame, materials, and payment dates. Choose the best estimate that meets your project requirements. Always remember that cheaper doesn’t always been best. Find a reasonably priced bid that ensures high quality materials and workmanship.

Step 4: Meet your potential contractors.

Schedule an appointment to meet general contractors and ask questions about the business. The night before your appointment, prepare a list of questions that you want to ask. How long has the company been in business? Does the contractor have the experience for the job? Does he have previous clients that you can call?

Step 5: Review your contract.

Find a knowledgeable person that you can trust to review the contract. Make sure that the agreement contains every detail about the project, including hidden extras that may add up to the cost. The building permit secured by the contractor should also be included in the contract. The following information should be included in the contract:

  • Name, contact information, and business address of the general contractor
  • Written description of the work that needs to be done
  • Bid based on the job
  • Price breakdowns for both materials and labor costs
  • Start and completion dates
  • Payment schedule
  • Contractor should get the building permit
  • Written statements reiterating any oral promises made by the sales person or contractor (warranties on labor and materials)

Bathroom Safety Tips for the Elderly

17/06/2012 Posted in Blog

The bathroom is considered as one of the most dangerous at home, especially for seniors and kids. Recognizing potential dangers and taking action will keep your loved ones safe. Seniors with mobility issues or disabled individuals need bathrooms that are designed for their navigating and maneuvering needs. Today, experienced handymen are able to create senior-inspired bathroom designs that are fashioned with comfort, ease of use, accessibility, and safety in mind.
When designing bathrooms for the elderly, there are danger zones to avoid, and the tub is perhaps the biggest culprit. The bath tub is usually the cause of many fatal bathroom accidents for seniors. Here are a few ideas on how to make the bathroom safer for elderly family members.
•    Install grab bars along the bathroom wall and in the shower enclosure. If you have a walk-in tub, make sure there are grab bars on the bath tub length wall. Install grab bars along the toilet wall as well.
•    Create safer and more accessible walk-in showers. Glass shower panels are great s for seniors who need wheelchair access. With a wide space for easy maneuvering, walk-in-baths allow for easy washing and bathing.
•    Flexible shower wands with on/off buttons are easier to use than the conventional shower head.
•    Consider buying a raised toilet seat for easy access.
•    For seniors who move through wheelchairs, floating sinks with extra spaces are recommended. The wheelchair can be conveniently parked underneath the floating sink.
•    Employ Westchester handyman services to apply slip proof coating on bathroom flooring. This is a highly recommended finishing coat that will help prevent bad falls and slips.
•    Electrical switches should be located on lower levels of the wall. For unaided and easy rich, senior baths should have lighting switches at a lower level compared to standard ones.
Falls are the primary cause of house-related injuries and deaths for seniors. These simple home installations can make their lives easier, reduce risk for falls, and offer relatives a peace of mind.

Hire Total Contracting Solutions handyman services to create comfortable and suitable bathrooms for the aged.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas: Breezy, Island Inspired Baths

11/06/2012 Posted in Blog

Are you thinking of renovating your bathroom for the summer? Call your local Handyman Westchester specialist today and transform your bath with the help of these island-inspired bathroom remodeling ideas.

Dabble in fun, cool watercolors

A typical island bath gets its inspiration from sandy, white sand beaches and the relaxing azure ocean waters of the tropics. For a breezy color palette, blend sun-bleached neutrals and tropical colors. Begin with a light colored bathroom wall and then choose towels with beautiful ocean hues like teal and turquoise. As soon as you have established a palette of blues and greens, add a designer touch to your bath using a complementary color. A tangerine tray, red coral, or yellow perfume decanter adds a splash of sleek and style.

Accessorize with baskets

Use hand-woven baskets to adorn your island-inspired bath. Stock up on baskets—they are excellent for housing and all types of bath sundries. Small baskets can serve as great catchalls, while a huge bowl basket can be used as towel storage. For bigger items, get a woven dresser for a beautiful hideaway.

Highlight underwater treasures

Beach accessories are readily available these days and you can outfit your bathroom with seashells from tissue box covers to soap dishes. The key is to create a style that can easily match with other accessories. Shell encrusted mirrors make a beautiful statement on your tropical bathroom.

Bask in the candlelight

Candles are great accessories to place near the tub. While coffee, coconut and vanilla are among the popular exports of the Caribbean, gardenia and orange fragrances will truly transport you into tropical paradise. For a personalized island oasis, infuse your bath with lime-tangerine salts. Treat yourself to a mango-kiwi bubble bath or retreat to magnolia bath confetti.

Showcase those seashells

Add a personal touch to your island bath by decorating it with sea glasses, seashells and pictures from your island holiday. Tie a twine around glass canisters and then hang a seashell on every knot. Add a pretty conch shell on the floor like it just got washed by the sand.

Seek the help of your general contractor Westchester specialist in repainting or remodeling your bath. The ideas are endless but don’t forget to have fun in the process!

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