Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work – Do you want to water that lawn and landscape with less work and conserve water, too? Learn what drip irrigation costs, and whether a system is right for you.
Those picture-perfect lawns and yards you see on TV or in magazines represent a great deal of effort. Creating and maintaining a beautiful lawn and landscaping means frequent weeding, trimming, pruning – and, of course, meticulous watering. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman: 214-507-3415 on how to make your landscape more efficient. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. None many people realise that a firm lawn is also necessary if you want garden accessories like teak furniture, so it’s crucial to maintain just the right amount or irrigation.

If you water too much, you can flood your less hardy plants … but water too little and they can burn up in the sun.

Watering can be a workout (ask anyone who has hauled a 100-foot garden hose around to their shrubs). And those who opt to use a sprinkler rather than water by hand know that it’s easy to forget to turn it off, which can lead to accidental over watering. Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

An easier and more reliable (not to mention water-saving) alternative can be to install a drip irrigation system to aid in the care of your landscaping. Learn more about these systems, their costs and whether to opt for a DIY version or hire an irrigation professional (like the landscaping castle rock company, to name one example).

What is a drip irrigation system?
This special watering system is designed to save you time, water and money, all while keeping your yard looking fantastic. Drip irrigation systems can be installed in vegetable or flower gardens. They are especially well suited to watering heavily landscaped yards, because a drip irrigation system can be customized to your specific yard’s needs, delivering the right amount of water for each plant.

Drip systems use a network of flexible tubing and can be designed in a variety of patterns. A specially chosen emitter is placed at each plant. This allows a specific quantity of water to be released; a small plant, for instance, would receive less water than a large shrub. Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

Additionally, you can opt for “smart” irrigation. A drip irrigation system can be placed on an automatic timer, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to water. And to avoid overwatering, the system can be outfitted with an automatic sensor, which lets your drip irrigation system know when your yard is at the proper saturation level.

This saves water, because you won’t be running your irrigation system when it’s not needed.
What are advantages of drip irrigation installation?
Drip irrigation is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a low-maintenance and efficient system to water your landscaping. Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

Water is administered right at the root system, which means less runoff.

Drip irrigation is not used for the entire yard, typically, but it can be used in conjunction with a lawn sprinkler system. There can be zones of the yard watered with the sprinkler system, and other areas that rely on drip irrigation. Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

If you’re a DIY enthusiast, it’s possible to put together your own cost-efficient drip irrigation system. Popular options include a tubing system made from PVC pipe or flexible plastic tubing.

An expert gardener who is aware of the specific watering needs of various plants – and is rather handy – probably can whip up a drip irrigation system for $100 to $300, depending on the size of the garden or landscape. Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

On the other hand, there are advantages to having a drip irrigation system professionally installed.
How much does drip irrigation cost?
A large, single-zone irrigation system, installed by a professional, may cost from $650 to $750. If there is more than one garden or landscaping area, it may cost more to install multiple zones. A small zone with relatively few plants may cost as little as $300.

While it can be tempting to save a few bucks and DIY, a professional may be worth the extra cost. Your expert installer will ensure the proper amount of water is released at each individual root system, can connect it to a pre-existing automatic sprinkler system and lay out a plan for your garden so your tubing is taking the proper path.

Also, if you opt for an underground drip irrigation system, a professional can ensure it is properly installed. One of the most common problems with amateur installation is frequent plugging of the drippers, or emitters, due to improper installation. Drip Irrigation Cuts Down Water Usage Yard Work

This ends up costing time and money in the long run, as you have to search out and replace the defective emitters. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman: 214-507-3415 on how to make your landscape more efficient.

Great Mothers Day Gifts

Mothers Day

Great Mothers Day Gifts – Whether your wallet is thick or thin this May, we’ve got some gift ideas that will make – Mom smile. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

Celebrating Mother’s Day is a time-honored tradition, and it’s a perfect opportunity to give your mom a token of your appreciation for all the things she’s done for you. You may decide to take her on a day out, or if you’ve done every trip possible, then deciding to customize memorable gifts may be the perfect option to consider. You can guarantee that this gift would be unique and special for her, but it doesn’t matter what you do, your love for her can never be questioned. No matter if you live across the country or just across town from her, Angie’s List has several ways to help you make Mother’s Day special, regardless of your budget. Great Mothers Day Gifts

Find a florist
If you prefer traditional gift giving, you could take a look at Name Necklace Official for personalised necklaces, but undoubtedly, flowers are one of the most popular Mother’s Day gifts, and where they’re purchased and how they’re delivered can make or break this gesture. Gambling on an internet-only floral company might not be the best bet. Luckily, Angie’s List includes florists nationwide, so with a bit of research you can find a highly rated brick-n-mortar/mom-and-pop option nearby. Great Mothers Day Gifts

Cost: $100 or less

A day at the spa
What woman doesn’t want to be pampered? A break from the daily grind is always appreciated, and there’s no better way than by spending some time at the spa or salon. Great Mothers Day Gifts
Consider getting mom a gift certificate for a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure. Or, splurge for a daylong or half-day package that includes multiple services grouped together. A fun accessory to supply her with for her day at the spa is face socks to remind her exactly who to thank! If your mom isn’t the “spa” type, perhaps a gift certificate covering the cost of her next hair appointment would be the perfect alternative.

Cost: $50 to $250

What Are the Benefits of Paraffin Treatment?
A paraffin treatment is more than just a luxurious addition to a manicure. Check out the many benefits of paraffin wax.

Organize a family photo
Today, everyone with a smart phone thinks they’re a photographer. Yet there’s something to be said about a skilled professional using his or her expertise – and not Instagram – to make you look as good as possible.

Hiring a photographer and actually organizing your family to show up at the same place and time for a family portrait is a gift that will surely make mom’s heart swoon. And remember, you’re not limited to a “studio” shot. Take the session to your favorite park or set up in front of your house – the location possibilities are endless. Just be sure to hire a photographer who has experience taking family photos and who makes you feel comfortable.

You could go the extra mile by framing this photo, or using the picture to make a custom gift. For example, you can Add Your Pictures to Make Perfect Moon Lamp, which is something that your mother will dearly appreciate. Not only is it a beautiful lamp to place on her bedside table, but it’s a constant reminder of the love her children and family have for her.

Cost: $150 to $300

How to Hire a Photographer
Just because someone owns a camera doesn’t mean they know how to use it. Highly rated photographers offer advice for hiring a photographer you can trust. Great Mothers Day Gifts

Create a dream closet
A custom closet can go a long way toward making someone feel extra special. As if she has her own walk-in dressing room with amenities, complete with mini-fridge, sparkling chandeliers and fresh flowers. OK, that might be a tad over the top, but hiring a pro to build a custom closet and organization system for mom may hit the mark. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415

Of course, you’re most likely going to be limited to the s

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pace the current closet occupies (unless there’s a spare room to transform), so the extent of the customization is dependent on locale. But there are a few special touches that even the smallest closet can accommodate, such as a new or improved light fixture, updated shelving, new knobs/pulls, baskets or bins.

How Much Do Custom Closets Cost?
Custom closet systems can boost functionality, add space and improve closet organization.

Upgrade the bathroom
OK, big spender, this one’s for you. If you really want to knock the socks off your mom (and your budget allows it), go for a complete bathroom overhaul. Consider installing a jetted tub or floor-to-ceiling tiled shower so she can experience bathing in a whole new light. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415

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Speaking of light, a remodel is the perfect opportunity to rid a room of dated fixtures and glaring blubs in favor of today’s more modern, softer lighting schemes. Replacing the flooring and updating the wall coverings, whether it’s with a fresh coat of paint or trendy wallpaper, is also an option.

The downside for mom is her bathroom will be out of commission for a while, so hopefully this isn’t the only one in her house. And if you don’t think she’s up for the temporary mess and inconvenience of a master bathroom remodel, what about renovating a guest or half-bath? Spearheading such a project is a gift any mom would appreciate.

Cost: $5,000 to $13,000, on average, depending on the extent of the remodel

Install an Exterior Door

New Year Home Projects

Install an Exterior Door – A pre-hung door comes already mounted to a new doorframe. The hinges are installed and the lockset and deadbolt holes are pre-bored for standard installations. Before removing the old door, it is a good idea to have the new one on hand, for example, like these exterior fiberglass doors. Check it for damage and make sure it will fit. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. These instructions can get daunting and may seem beyond your capabilities, call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman, Contact Us @ 214-507-3415 Visit our about us Page for more information on Ted

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Getting Ready for a New Exterior Door

1. Remove the interior trim around the existing door.
2. Measure the height, width, and depth of the door opening. The new door should be 1/2 inch less than the height of the rough opening and 3/4 inch less in width.
3. Determine which way the door opens. Stand with your back to the hinges and note whether you would open the door with your right or left hand.
4. Select the type of door you will install: wood, fiberglass or steel. Fiberglass and steel doors are more weather-resistant than wood doors.
5. Give this information to a Lowe’s associate, who can help you select the appropriate door for your home.
6. When you get the new door home, read the manufacturer’s instructions. They should provide you with information regarding the removal of the factory-installed shipping braces or clips. Some braces and clips keep the doorframe square during installation. They will also help to clarify terms and identify parts. Install an Exterior Door. These instructions can get daunting and may seem beyond your capabilities, call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman @ 214-507-3415

Remove the Existing Door and Frame
Step 1
1. Carefully remove the existing door’s exterior trim for re-installation on the new doorframe. Some doorframes come with the exterior trim pre-attached so you can discard the old trim. Also remove insulation surrounding the doorframe.
2. Use a hammer and nail set, or screwdriver, to remove the hinge pins and detach the existing door from the hinges. For most hinges, insert the nail set in the hole at the bottom of the hinge pin and strike it upward with the hammer. Keep driving the pin upward until it comes out.
3. Once the door is off the frame, remove the hinges from the doorframe.
4. Remove the screws, or nails, that attach the sill and jamb to the house frame. If necessary, cut the nails off between the jamb or sill and the house frame with a reciprocating saw. Wear safety glasses and be careful not to damage the house frame studs. Install an Exterior Door
5. If possible, remove the small pieces of wood, called shims, from between the door jamb and house frame.
6. Remove the old doorframe from the house frame. You may need to use a pry bar under the sill.
Good to Know
If possible, get help from a friend to remove the old door and lift the new door in place. These instructions can get daunting and may seem beyond your capabilities, call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman @ 214-507-3415

Install the New Pre-hung Door

1. Dry-fit the new door in position to make sure it fits.
2. Inspect the subsill (where the door will sit) to verify that it is square and level. Adjust the subsill as needed with shims following the door manufacturer’s instructions. Also, check that the rough opening is square and plumb. If you’re not sure if your rough opening is square and plumb, call a professional for assistance. Thoroughly inspect the house frame for dry rot and pest damage and make needed repairs before proceeding.
3. Make sure the new door will clear the finished floor. Measure the new door from the bottom of its sill to the bottom of the door. Then measure the height of the existing interior flooring to ensure that the opening door will not hit the flooring. If the new door won’t clear, raise entire the doorframe with a piece of treated wood secured to the subfloor with caulk and screws. Install an Exterior Door
4. Weatherproof the subsill by applying a bead of caulk about 1 inch from the front and 1 inch from the rear of the rough opening, with a wave, or zig-zag, pattern in between. Apply caulk to the underside of the doorsill, too.
5. Working from outside the house, set the bottom of the door against the opening, then raise the frame into place.
6. Temporarily insert new shims near the top of the frame to hold the door. Install an Exterior Door
7. With shims, adjust the doorframe so that it is plumb and square in the opening. Insert shims between the doorframe and studs at the hinge locations. Shims keep the door level, plumb and square in the rough opening. Be sure to have at least 1/8-inch of clearance between the jamb and rough frame.
8. Drive screws through the hinges and shims. Some manufacturers recommend inserting the screws below the shims. Check your manufacturer’s instructions.
9. On the lock side of the door, place shims near the top and bottom of the jamb.
10. Drive screws through the jamb and shims.
11. Check that there is even spacing around the doorInstall an Exterior Doorjamb. From inside, make sure there is even spacing at the door reveal. From outside, check that there is a 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch space between the door and the jamb stop at the top, middle, and bottom. Make any necessary adjustments to the doorframe.
12. Insert additional shims around the frame following the door manufacturer’s instructions. For added strength, place shims at the lockset and deadbolt positions.
13. Remove any remaining shipping braces.
14. Open and close the door, checking that it swings smoothly. Make any necessary adjustments. Some pre-hung doors have an adjustable sill. Check your manufacturer’s instructions for more information.
15. Drive screws through any additional shims to secure the doorframe.
16. Score the shims with a utility knife, then snap off the excess.
17. Secure the sill following the manufacturer’s instructions.
18. Apply minimal expanding spray foam insulation in the gaps around the frame
and allow to dry. Install an Exterior Door
19. After the foam has dried, trim any excess with a putty knife.
20. Reattach the door trim.
21. If the door is not pre-finished, apply a coat of paint or stain as recommended by the door manufacturer.

Remove the door from the hinges and work on sawhorses. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for painting or staining the bottom of the door. Don’t forget to paint or stain the trim, if needed.
Caution
Be careful not to get the foam insulation on your skin. Use rubber gloves for this step. Install an Exterior Door

Create Value Selling Home

Create Value Selling Home – When you are preparing your home for sale, there are many inexpensive improvements you can do to your home that will bring you greater value. Whether you Go here for a property valuation or use a real estate agent’s estimates, you obviously want the maximum value you can get with minimum expenses. You also probably want to do what it takes to help sell your home faster. We have all heard that you should de-clutter, de-personalize and have chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven when it is shown. We also know that if you have unlimited funds that granite, hard wood and stainless steel appliances are all the rage, but expensive. There are also the basic improvements, such as new carpet, but this can still costs thousands of dollars. The following are some inexpensive ways to improve your home with very little cash that we suggest you consider before selling. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

1. Replace Front Door

The national association of realtors does a study every year of “Remodeling Cost Vs. Value Report”* where they rate home projects with the highest and lowers return on investment. Last year the highest return on investment went to replacing your front door (85.6% R.O.I). The first impression is a lasting impression so make it count. A dated front door makes a house look cheap, and a worn front door makes a house uncared for or old. If you cannot afford to replace your front door consider painting it a bold color, maybe using high-gloss paint. If your front door is in disrepair, consider replacing it with a new, stylish door. For a few hundred dollars you can buy a nice door. It is also a nice touch to put a flower pot on each side of the front door with flowers in bloom.

2. Interior Doors

This is also true for interior doors. If you have old dated brown flat panel wood doors, consider replacing them with nice raised panel white doors or paint the existing door to make them look clean and fresh. The basic raised panel hollow-core doors are about $20 to $30 and they come pre-primed. If you want to make an extra good impression, replace the trim the with and an updated style.
3. New Electrical Switch Plates
This is such an easy improvement, but can really stand out. We have seen freshly painted rooms with old yellowed ugly switch plates. Even worse, some even paint over them. New switch plates cost about 50 cents each. You can replace the entire house with new switch plates for about $20. For the entry, living room and other obvious areas, spring for nice bronze or brass plates. They run about $5 each – but make a difference.

4. New Door Handles

In addition to changing doors, consider changing the handles. An old door handle, especially worn gold ones look bad. For about $20, you can replace them with new bronze finished handles. For an added touch you can also replace bathrooms and bedroom door handles with the fancy lever handles (about $20 each).

5. Paint/Replace Trim

If the entire interior of the house does not need a paint job, consider painting the trim. Newer, modern custom homes typically come with beige or light brown walls and bright-white trim. Use a semi-gloss bright white on all the trim in your houses. If the floor trim is worn, cracked or just plain ugly, replace it! Lowes and Home Depot carry a new foam trim that is pre-painted in several finishes and costs less than 50 cents per linear foot. If you really want to create a great first impression, add crown molding in the entry way and living room.

6. The Entry

After the front door, your next first impression is the foyer area; make sure it is inviting. Find a plant, decorative piece of furniture or art that sets the tone for the home. Many older homes have linoleum entry floors. Consider 12″ ³ ceramic tiles, which for a 8ft x 8ft area should cost about $100 in materials, or use travertine.

7. In the Bath

It is amazing how many older homes that have an ugly old shower curtain. An old used shower curtain can be a turnoff and make the home feel dirty. If your shower/tub is nice, buy a curtain that ties back so you can show off your tub and display decorative soaps and candles. If you have shower doors and they are worn and beyond reviving, consider removing and hanging a curtain. If you need to replace a shower door, consider clear glass to make the bath look larger (unless the shower is unsightly then use obscure glass). A new shower door cost about $500. Shower Doors and More will measure and install for about the same price as the door alone. If you need a new vanity they are a couple hundred dollars. Make sure the bathroom is clean, put up decorative towels and soap. So make a trip to Ross, Tuesday Mornings, Fred Meyer or Target and buy some fresh towels, decorative soaps a nice new rod, curtain hooks and a fancy curtain.

8. In the Kitchen

Replacing kitchen cabinets is expensive, but painting them can save you money. If you have old 1970″ ²s style wooden cabinets in a lovely dark brown shade, paint them. Use a semi-gloss white and finish them with colorful knobs. There is no need to paint the inside just organize them well so if they are opened it, is not scary in there! For a considerably more you can replace the cabinet doors and paint them to match the cabinets. Americans spend a major amount of their time in the kitchen so a nice bronze modern faucet looks great as well. They cost around $150 from Lowes or Home Depot but you can shop sales or go to Amazon or eBay for better deals.

9. Window Shutters and Trim

If the front of you home is plain or you have old looking windows, consider adding shutters. You can purchase them in a few colors at Lowes and are easy to install. For a custom color you can purchase them pre-primed. Paint them a color that sets off your house. They do not necessarily need to be the trim color – (if the house is dark, paint the shutters white. If the house is light, paint them dark). You can enhance your curb appeal by just painting the trim of your house. We actually replaced our outside trim and added crown and dental molding and now our standard 80’s home looks more like a craftsman home and the trim really pops.

10. Add a Nice Mailbox and House Numbers

Everyone on the block has the same black mailbox. Be different; for about $35 you can buy a nice mailbox. For about $60 more, you can buy a nice wooden post for it. People notice these little details and buyers love them! Also, buy new house numbers or paint the existing ones to make them stand out. Be creative. Also give the front of your home a good clean and tidy. Prune any bushes, weed any flowerbeds and sweep away any leaves and debris. You might also want to enlist a company like Ross Property Services, who offer pressure washing in Gainesville GA, to come and pressure wash your driveway and front entrance. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

From another article from Plano Texas Handyman – How to Improve Home Value Follow this link to the article

#10: Refurbish the Family Room
Many family rooms are plain, empty and unused spaces that rarely see any visitors. Why let all that space go to waste? Create an entertainment area that will “wow” your guests! Adding a fabulous bar area, seating and beautiful finishes will add character and value to your home.

#9: Put In a Deck
There’s nothing like relaxing on a deck in the summertime with a cool drink in your hand. If you don’t already have one, build one! On average, when a homeowner adds a deck to their home, they are likely to recoup approximately 76 percent return on their investment; however, you don’t want your deck to be too big or too small — it shouldn’t be more than a third of your house. Most decks cost about $10,000, give or take. An appraiser’s No. 1 rule is finding homes that are very similar within a mile away of your home, so matching your improvements to the homes in your neighborhood is very important.

#8: Do a Major Bath Remodel
Transform an ugly duckling into a swan of a master bath by finding more space — but not with an addition. Stealing space can be a better solution if you can find the extra square footage. Open up a closet to make more room, create separate his-and-her areas with separate sinks, or add a skylight to bring in valuable natural light. Updating tub and tile are also good ideas.

#7: Paint, Paint, Paint
Don’t be afraid of paint. It is one of the easiest and inexpensive things to do to dramatically change the look of your home. Here are some tips: If you are not sure about your color sense, bring in a professional color specialist to help. Also, think classic and neutral. Apart from getting the house painted, you can also consider painting your furniture you can look at color ideas for dark brown furniture and get your furniture painted. A future buyer needs to be able to picture his or her things in the room, and too much personalization can prevent that. If your painting skills are below par, hire someone. In the end, it evens out because nothing is worse then a bad paint job. So fight your fear of commitment, and splash a little color on those walls!

#6: Add On to the Attic
Renovate your attic. The space above a garage is often small, dusty and a cramped space and sometimes rarely even used for storage. Why not turn it into a bedroom suite or a creative room? Add as many specialty and custom windows as possible for that precious natural light. Being able to look out from your window when you’re out of ideas is a good way to rejuvenate yourself. Recessed windows, hardwood flooring, built-ins and custom seating are also great ways to add value to your personal space.

#5: Build a Second Floor
Adding a second story can do more than just create square footage. It can bring balance to an uneven house. A flat roof over a garage can be an eyesore as well as a huge waste of space. You could solve both problems at the same time by adding on to the top of the garage. Use all that dead space to build a master suite or a reading room. You will not only add space, but you will also add tremendous curb appeal. Start Now by contacting your local roofing contractor for some ideas.

#4: Keep Rooms Flexible
Does your home have a unique specialty room? No one’s saying you need to give up your “special place,” but it’s important to hold back a little. Too much customization can be a problem if you ever plan to sell your home, so try not to overdo it. Things like hardwood floors, wiring for cable, phone and DSL, and plenty of windows are good ways to customize while keeping the room versatile. Another idea is to make the space one that can easily be converted into a guest suite, studio, family room or a den.

#3: Revive the Kitchen
If you get creative and think about some small changes you can make in your kitchen, you won’t have to spend a ton of money. Take down the rooster wallpaper and paint it a neutral color, for example. More and more buyers are expecting some standard items in a kitchen — things like stainless-steel appliances and hardware. Throw in new light fixtures and you’ve got a great-looking, updated space. Also, some people are looking for gourmet kitchens. Whether they can cook or not, a kitchen is a huge prospect for a buyer. Bottom line: kitchens sell houses, so investing in an improvement in this room is the way to go.

#2: Make Minor Bathroom Changes
Minor changes can be advantageous because they cost less and often net a greater return than the investment. If you have old tile or a dated tub, sink and toilet, consider replacing those items. If you keep the same layout there’s not a lot of expense that has to go into it. Updating light fixtures, linens and accessories are easy ways to breathe new life into the space.

And the No. 1 way to make your home worth more?
Spruce Up the Exterior
It may not be glamorous, but sprucing up the exterior is the No. 1 pick for home improvements that add value to your home. Here is your chance to make a great first impression in the real estate world. If your siding or exterior is in bad shape, your home is going to earn the title of fixer-upper. You can usually judge a book by its cover, so old siding sets the tone for expectations of what potential buyers will find inside the house. Try adding curb appeal and lower maintenance with composite siding. Cement board siding is efficient, it lasts, and it’s no maintenance.w

Common Wiring Problems

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Common Wiring Problems – Here are some common problems you might face, and their solutions. Some of these home wiring issues might result in the need for your entire home to be rewired so have the cost to rewire a house in mind when you are investigating what could be the source of your issue. It’s not just the nation’s power grid that’s antiquated. The wiring inside many houses is also out of date, straining to supply our ever-growing collection of electricity-hungry appliances, lighting, and electronics. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

“The circuits in these older homes weren’t designed to power the many gadgets of modern life,” says Ted with Plano Texas Handyman”. Some wiring problems are just inconveniences. But others can pose serious fire or electrocution hazards. To help you assess the state of your own electrical system, Ted with Plano Texas Handyman has to identified the 10 most common wiring problems he sees, the dangers they pose, and his recommended solutions. If you are unable to use Ted, you can alternatively go onto websites such as https://electricalsynergies.com/electricians-in-green-bay/ to find an electrician that can help you with the below issues.

1. Overlamping
What it means: A light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is designed for.

Code violation? Yes.

Danger level: High. The bulb’s intense heat can scorch or melt the socket and insulation on the fixture’s wires, which increases the risk of arcing – sparks that jump through the air from one wire to another – a chief cause of electrical fires. The damage to the socket and wires remains even after the bulb has been removed.

Solution: Stay within the wattage limit listed on all light fixtures made since 1985. For older, unmarked fixtures, use only 60-watt bulbs or smaller.
2. Uncovered Junction Box
What it means: A light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is designed for.

Code violation? Yes.

Danger level: High. The bulb’s intense heat can scorch or melt the socket and insulation on the fixture’s wires, which increases the risk of arcing – sparks that jump through the air from one wire to another – a chief cause of electrical fires. The damage to the socket and wires remains even after the bulb has been removed.

Solution: Stay within the wattage limit listed on all light fixtures made since 1985. For older, unmarked fixtures, use only 60-watt bulbs or smaller.

3. Lights Flicker When It’s Windy

What it means: Frayed wiring in the weatherhead (the outdoor fitting where overhead cables from the power line come into the house) is causing a short whenever the cables move.

Code violation? No.

Danger level: High. Aside from the annoyance, the frayed wiring can arc and start a fire.

Solution: Contact the electric utility, which may replace the weatherhead at no charge.

4. Too Few Outlets
What it means: Heavy reliance on extension cords and power strips.

Code violation? No; grandfathered in. (Today’s codes require receptacles within 4 feet of a doorway and every 12 feet thereafter.)

Danger level: Minimal, as long as you use heavy-duty extension cords, 14-gauge or thicker. (The thicker the wire, the lower the gauge number.) Undersize extension cords (16-gauge or smaller) can overheat and ignite a fire if loads are too heavy.

Solution: Add more outlets. Expect to pay an electrician about $100 per first-floor outlet and double that for second-floor work. (There will likely be a minimum charge.) This work requires cutting holes in walls and ceilings to snake the wires. Some electricians will patch the holes; others leave the patching to you.

5. No GFCIs
What it means: Increased risk of electrocution in wet areas, such as baths and kitchens. GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters) shut down circuits in 4 milliseconds before current can cause a deadly shock.

Code violation? No; grandfathered in. (Codes today require GFCIs within 4 feet of any sink and on all garage, basement, and outdoor outlets.)

Danger level: High.

Solution: Replace old receptacles with GFCIs (about $12 each). This is a simple job that many homeowners do themselves. Electricians charge about $20 per outlet. (There will likely be a minimum job charge.) Note: As an alternative, GFCI breakers ($25) can be installed on the main panel. But then every time one trips, you have to go down to the basement to reset it.

6. Overwired Panel
What it means: The panel contains more circuits than it’s rated to handle, because too many single-pole breakers (one circuit) have been replaced with tandem breakers (two circuits) in one slot. (Tandem breakers aren’t the same as high-amp double-pole breakers, which take up two slots with one circuit.) A label on each panel specifies how many circuits the panel can accommodate.

Code violation? Yes.

Danger level: Minimal. It may become an issue when the house is being sold and an inspector looks inside the panel.

Solution: Add a subpanel with a few extra slots ($250), or, if you’re planning major home improvements, replace the existing panel with a larger model ($500 to $800).

7. Aluminum Wiring
What it means: You have a type of wiring, used in the 1960s and ’70s as a cheap substitute for copper, that is no longer considered safe.

Code violation? No; grandfathered in.

Danger level: High. Aluminum corrodes when in contact with copper, so connections loosen, which can lead to arcing and fires.

Solution: Retrofit a dielectric wire nut approved for aluminum wire (a pair sells for less than $1) onto each copper/aluminum connection in light fixtures. These nuts have a special grease that stops corrosion while maintaining conductivity. Make sure any replacement switches and receptacles are labeled AL-compatible.

8. Backstabbed Wires
What it means: On newer switches and receptacles, wires pushed in the back are more likely to come loose than those anchored around screw terminals.

Code violation? No. The practice is allowed, even for new construction.

Danger level: It depends. At a minimum, loose wires can cause a receptacle or switch to stop working. In the worst case, they can start a fire.

Solution: Check for backstabbed connections by removing a switch or receptacle from its outlet box. If one is backstabbed, there are likely to be more. Release the wires and attach them to the appropriate screw terminals on the receptacle.

9. Ungrounded (2-prong) Receptacles
What it means: Your house’s wiring has no way to safely conduct any stray current that escapes the confines of the wires.

Code violation? No; grandfathered in. (Today’s code requires grounded circuits and receptacles.)

Danger level: Minimal, as long as you don’t use an adapter to fit a three-prong plug into a two-prong receptacle. Doing so could destroy the device you’re plugging in, and increase the chance of electrocution.

Solution: Replace two-prong receptacles with properly grounded three-prong ones, if wiring allows it. Also, test all existing three-prong receptacles with a GFCI circuit tester to make sure they’re grounded. Rewire any that aren’t.

10. Plug Falls Out of Receptacle
What it means: Worn contacts in receptacle no longer grip the prongs firmly.

Code violation? No.

Danger level: High. Loose contacts can cause arcing, which can ignite dry wood and dust.

Solution: Replace the old receptacles as soon as possible. (A new one costs about $2.) Many homeowners feel comfortable doing this themselves. Electricians will charge about $8 or $10 per outlet, although there’s likely to be a minimum charge for small jobs.

How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly
Make your home safe and comfortable for your furry friends. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

Protect your beloved pets from everyday hazards in your home
Pets are more than just animals. Our furry, feathered, and finned friends require time, attention, and as safe and comfortable a home as we do. “Most people don’t think about pets when buying or building houses-not even the pet owners themselves,” says David Beart of professorshouse.com, a Canadian company that will start building “the world’s most pet-friendly house” at the end of this year. “Over half of all homes have pets living in them, but animals are still an afterthought when it comes to home improvements,” says Beart. “What I really want to get across is much more than just creating the world’s most pet-friendly house,” Beart adds. “It’s about making people think of pets with importance rather than as possessions, or even disposable.” How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly, Call Ted with Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 to add some elements to your home to make it pet Frfiendly.

When you’re planning a home for both you and your pets, consider their particular needs. Think about whether you’re putting your door-dashing dog on a high-traffic street. Will your protective pup go postal on guests? How can you make your multi-story home comfortable for your elderly dog? What common household items are hazardous to pets and not humans? (Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances and hazardous things in their own homes.) Keep reading to learn what you should be looking for, and how a little planning can go a long way to help you streamline your daily routine and keep your pet safe and happy.

All-Fours Inspection
Try to think like your pet to get a sense of what might be dangerous to them. The pros at Purina suggest that the best way to start is by taking “a puppy’s eye-view” of things. You have to put yourself in your pet’s place-and get down on all fours-to take a look around. Make sure you inspect areas that your pet can access by way of climbing or jumping. You’d be surprised at the dangers a periodic inspection of your home can reveal. Here are some hazards to look for (although they may not be all you find):

•Look for choking, strangulation, electrocution, and suffocation hazards. Keep window treatment cords short and cut through any loops, and unplug or cover wires and electrical cords. You will need to check your gas mains as well, it could result in you needing to install a radon testing colorado kit, or a kit from your local area to make sure that your home is healthy for you and your pet.

•Don’t leave human foods and medications where pets can access them. Eliminate “ladders” that curious pets can climb to access elevated areas like countertops and tabletops. Discard perishable trash daily to keep pets from rummaging through it. Between trips to the curb, keep trash odors (and pet temptation) low with baking soda and a tight-fitting lid. One pet-owner favorite is the stainless steel and rubber Vipp Trash Can with foot-pedal.

If pets get into the trash, they can chew chicken bones into shards, get to choking hazards like fruit seeds and cores-and your house is going to be a mess. Note that many fruit seeds contain natural contaminants that can result in potentially fatal cyanide poisoning in dogs: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, caffeine in coffee grinds and chocolate are also toxic, sugar-free foods and gums containing Xylitol can cause liver failure, and nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage. See the ASPCA’s list of Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet. If you think your pet has ingested something hazardous, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 right away. How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

•Make sure indoor plants are varieties that are pet-safe. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Other common, but toxic, plants include amaryllis, poinsettia, mums, and aloe vera. See the ASPCA’s database of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants before bringing a new plant home.

•Pets can often maneuver cupboards open to access home cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, and other hazardous items. Consider latching them shut. Keep rooms where you set out rodenticides and traps off limits to your pet.

•Not letting your pet ingest antifreeze seems like a no-brainer. But, the smell and taste of the stuff is especially appealing to both cats and dogs. In fact, approximately 10,000 pets die every year as a result of antifreeze poisoning from as little as a drop. Keep it stored in a latched cabinet or on a high shelf, and use it carefully, cleaning up any drips or spills immediately.

•Keep your toilet lid down, especially if you use automatic bowl cleaners, to eliminate risk of poisoning. Keeping the lid down also eliminates a drowning hazard.

•The number of cats that fall out of windows is so high, that the veterinary profession has coined the term High-Rise Syndrome. If you must open windows, make sure that screens are sturdy and properly installed. Window guards are not adequate protection for cats, who can easily fit through the bars.

Carving Out a Space
Kittens and pups will sneak into an opened dryer (or other small, dangerous places) the first chance they get. Give them their own space and you won’t have to worry about them seeking refuge where they don’t belong. A hazard-free zone, with a cozy bed, water source, and safe toys will do the trick. Other convenient features include a sink to wash feeding bowls, and adequate storage for accessories. Remember that well-exercised pets are less likely to get into trouble, and more likely to rest well at night instead of barking or whining for attention. If it’s possible, create a pet area in a mudroom with cat or doggy door access to a fenced-in yard, corral, or dog run so that they can head outdoors at their leisure. How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Litter boxes should be placed away from feeding areas and in a place that’s private, but not too isolated. If your pet doesn’t feel safe or comfortable using a litter box, he won’t. Elderly pets should be given an area on the ground level, and weepads should be accessible. Consider placement of ramps to furniture if you allow your elderly pet that kind of access. If you’re not home for most of the day, you’re presented with a special set of concerns: Consider a pet fountain so that fresh water is readily available. Leave your pet with sturdy toys that won’t break to reveal small parts. Interactive treat toys made of high-impact plastic, like the Buster Cube from Doctors Foster and Smith, will keep your pets occupied and stay in one piece. If your pet is especially curious, consider crate training him or blocking off a small, safe area with a baby gate. How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Paw-Safe Flooring and Fabrics
Go with fabrics and flooring materials that’ll make less work for you. Stylish, easy-care leather or ultrasuede can be wiped clean and won’t be dramatically affected by wear. Crypton Super Fabric is a synthetic germ- and stain-resistant option made with pet owners in mind. It’s available in a variety of custom colors and patterns and the Crypton online store offers couture pet beds, “Throver” furniture covers, and decorative pillows.

Carpet isn’t the best choice for pet owners, but if you must go wall-to-wall, choose a color that matches your pet (it’ll mask pet hair) with a performance rating of 3.5 or higher. If you’re going to install a carpet, make sure you look at carpet reviews and find one that doesn’t stain and is easy to clean. The more durable the better. For lightweight dogs, hardwood with adequate urethane finish is a common and easy-clean choice. For heavier dogs, ceramic tile or another nonporous hard surface flooring would be best. See Pet-Friendly Flooring for more ideas. How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Clean Pet, Clean House
Groom your pet yourself, and you’ll save up to $100 per visit to pros. You’ll also spend less time cleaning house. Regular nail clipping keeps scratch damage down, while regular brushing keeps hair in the brush instead of, well, everywhere else. Brush before and after a wash to keep drain-clogging hair to a minimum. Vacuum twice a week with a machine like the DC17 Animal Vac by Dyson designed especially for homes with pets. It features a mini turbine head to lift hair and dirt from upholstery, stairs, and vehicles. The design allows for hygienic bin emptying and includes a lifetime HEPA filter. For a quick clean up, pass strips of packing tape or a wet plastic kitchen glove over clothing and surfaces to pick up stray hairs.

If your pet inherits furniture and flooring that isn’t ideal, then you’ll have to become a master at stain removal and disinfecting. Monitor your pet so accidents can be handled promptly. The longer a stain sits, the harder it’ll be to remove, and your pet will be more likely to sniff out the same spot for a repeat offense. Look for special cleaning products with natural enzymes to break down stains and odors. Pros recommend OdorLogic CleanAway and OdorLogic OxyQuick (for fresh stains). Finally, pay attention to flea and tick prevention and control. If the pests are on your pet, then odds are flea eggs, pupae, and larvae are in your carpeting, bedding, and yard.

Petscaping Your Yard
If you let your pets out into the yard, flea and tick prevention isn’t your only concern. You’ll have to determine whether you need to build or add structures, install invisible fences, and identify toxic plants in your landscape. The ASPCA keeps an extensive database of plants that are hazardous to dogs, cats, and even horses. Some such plants are azaleas, some ferns and ivies, daffodils, and daylilies. Pet-friendly plants include bamboo and, of course, catnip. Search the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants database before you put something in the ground. Insecticides and fertilizers were among the ASPCA’s top 10 pet poisons in 2008, so consider organic gardening. If you are installing a fence make sure you contact a trenching company for the fence footing.

Feeding Time
Buying bulk to save on pet food? Then you have to store it appropriately to avoid contamination and slow the vitamin and nutrient degradation process. Check for tears in food packages before you buy them. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advises against using feeding dishes to scoop food out of packages. Assign a clean spoon or small container for scooping. FDA guidelines for food storage call for leftover wet food to be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and dry food to be stored in its original bag, then placed in a clean, food-grade plastic container, and stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Placing the bag in a container will also keep unwanted insects and rodents away. Note that dry foods are more nutritious and less susceptible to contamination or spoilage than wet foods are. How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Storing bulk food in large trash cans in the garage is a fairly common practice, but this exposes food to temperature extremes in a container that can leach dyes and additives into food over time. Make sure you purchase a special food storage container, or visit a local food establishment to claim a food-grade plastic bucket that’ll soon be headed for the trash heap.

Pet Friendly Kitchens

Pet Friendly Kitchens

Make Your Kitchen Pet-Friendly with a Few Simple Remodeling Tricks – Pet Friendly Kitchens

Pet Friendly Kitchens – According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the APPA around 68% or 85 million families in the US own a pet. While 60.2 million households prefer dogs, 47.1 million own a cat. If you are one of them you know that having a pet is similar to having a child in many ways. While they bring a lot of joy into our lives, they have their own special needs. That is why if you are planning a kitchen remodel you have to take their needs into consideration as well. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

Your pet feeding options also depends on the types of kitchen in which the food is prepared. Most pets can benefit from some design ideas made specifically to make their and your life easier. And while it might take them some time to adapt and master the new space, they are bound to be grateful and show it. Here are some ideas that can make your kitchen remodeling project work to both your and your pets advantage. Pet Friendly Kitchens

Plan for Catastrophes
Open shelves are a huge kitchen remodeling trend these days. But if you have a cat you know that our feline friends wont rest until theyve explored every available and barely available corner of your home. Therefore open shelves are a disaster just waiting to happen. If you are not at home, this disaster might even be dangerous for your kitty.

Glass door cabinets are a good alternative to open shelves. They offer the visual appeal but can keep your cat away from your precious glassware or other items. If you still want to have open shelves just make sure your cat cannot reach them by placing them high. Pet Friendly Kitchens

Design a Space for Your Dog
On the other hand, if you have a dog you know how they love to keep you company at all times. They enjoy spending time with you as you tackle your daily chores. More than anything, dogs enjoy spending time with their owners as they cook, hoping for a treat as an award for their company. But maneuvering in the kitchen, especially a narrow one, with your dog wrapped around your legs can be dangerous. Pet Friendly Kitchens

To avoid this, when planning a new kitchen layout think about creating enough space to safely move around. You might even need to think about blowing out the room wall to create a big enough space. Even better, why not design an area in the kitchen just for your dog? You could add an open cabinet with a bed where your dog can keep an eye on you while you cook and not get in the way. Be sure to check out reviews for dog beds as you want to ensure you get a bed that is easy to clean, and sturdy enough that your dog won’t chew it up, Pupster Passion did a review here which is really useful.

Have a Designated Spot for Dishes
A great addition for any home with a pet is a fixed spot for their food and water bowls. A fixed spot for their dishes means no more accidental spills and messes to clean. Consider smart storage ideas like having a pullout drawer you can easily open when they get hungry and tuck it away when they play or rest. Pet Friendly Kitchens

However, some pets and cats, in particular, are used to an occasional snack throughout the day. In this case consider placing the food and water bowls on a low, open-cabinet shelf. Pet Friendly Kitchens

Flooring Choices
One thing that pet owners need to pay attention to the most when remodeling is flooring. If you have a pet you know that getting Soleil Floors Round Rock to install a stain-resistant floor can save you a lot of trouble. The same goes for scratch resistant floors, an absolutely necessary trait if you want your floor to last.

Best flooring options for a pet-friendly home remodel are by far hardwood, tiles and linoleum. Hardwood is a slightly more expensive option but by far the most durable and easiest to clean.

Interested in a Pet-Friendly Kitchen Remodel in Plano Texas?
Plano Texas Handyman can turn your dream into a real living space. Call Ted at 214-507-3415 to discuss your needs and requirements.

Refreshing Real Estate Listing

open floor plans

Refreshing Real Estate Listing- Has your home gone stale on the MLS?
Yes, the real estate industry in North Texas has bounced back, not only bounced back but is on fire, but that doesn’t mean houses are flying off the shelves in every city. If you have a real estate listing on the market and you’re not receiving any offers on the property, don’t panic. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

Your first instinct might be to lower the price, but before you do so, try some of the following ways to make your house more attractive to buyers. You might often find yourself asking- how you can find a cash buyer for my house– the answer of which is pretty simple. Follow these points enlisted below to find a Refreshing Real Estate Listing.

Be flexible
Selling a house is inconvenient if you’re still living in it. Still, it needs to be show-ready at a moment’s notice. And as the seller, you need to be prepared to vacate the family and pets from the premises for those last-minute showings.

“Make it easy to show, and leave the house each day with it ready to be shown,” says Plano Texas Handyman. “Also, try for a neutral scent in the house. Air fresheners make it seem like you’re trying to hide a smell.” Refreshing Real Estate Listing

Here are some tips from william pitt to sell your home:

Take the house off the MLS
Real estate agents advertise homes for sale to the public and to other agents on the multiple listing service (MLS). When a property sits on the MLS too long and becomes stale, potential buyers often assume there’s something wrong with it and won’t pay it any mind. It might be helpful if more places used a Roofstock rental property calculator to make their listings more enticing for potential buyers but instead many can take other steps to improve the purchasability of their properties.

“Agents should prepare great marketing pieces using professional photography, video and floor plans,” Plano Texas Handyman says. “I make an individual website for every listing highlighting both the house and the area amenities.”

Ask your agent what type of budget they have for including their listings on popular real estate websites, such as Zillow and Trulia. “Our listings stand out and are populated at the top of the search results, increasing exposure by ten times,” Plano Texas Handyman says.

Photos remain a key element in selling a home. With nearly every buyer looking at properties online first, a bad photo can keep them away.

“The agent cannot skimp on photography,” Plano Texas Handyman says. “If an agent shows up to your home and starts taking pictures with a $60 digital camera, tell him to open his wallet and get serious. A wide-angle camera is a must; poor quality pictures will turn off even the most interested buyers.” Refreshing Real Estate Listing

Focus on the details
Home staging and de-personalizing your property is important. You want the house to look like a model home (well, as much as possible) and offer a welcome environment for anyone who steps through the front door.

“The biggest problem is clutter and cleanliness,” Plano Texas Handyman says. “Buyers want to envision everything they own in the home, and if your seller has country ducks and Grandma’s blender on the counter they can’t do that.” Refreshing Real Estate Listing

Staging your home will make it stand out in a crowd.
Luxury requires patience
If you’re selling a home in the million-dollar-or-more range, patience is going to be a necessity.The more expensive the home, the smaller the pool of potential buyers and the longer it’s going to take. Check out www.faristeam.ca and learn from experts how to sell your home.  “The same rules apply; the house needs to be staged, easy to show and have great marketing,” says Faris Team. “If it’s not getting offers in the time frame where similar houses in the same price range are selling, then it’s time to look at the price.” Refreshing Real Estate Listing