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Construction Camera Project Management

Construction Camera Project Management

Construction Camera Project Management

Construction Camera Project Management – Project managers are not the only team members responsible for managing various aspects of construction projects but a critical component in project profitability.. General contractors, project owners – and their teams – are all involved in making decisions that affect quality, costs and timelines on any project. A construction camera that provides time-lapse capabilities, a well-organized photographic record, and live video serves the interests of all these roles by enabling them to see, track and document jobsite activity even when they’re not at the site.

Contact Ted at Monarc Technology to understand the benefits and ways we can improve project management.  Call Monarc Technology at 214-507-3415 or visit our website.  Construction Camera Project Management

A construction camera system should not be considered a spy system, but a management tool to improve project management, construction site communication, supplier communication, quality control, progress and scheduling, and improved project profits.

THE VALUE OF VISUAL INFORMATION IN IMPROVING COMMUNICATION AND REDUCING DELAYS AND ERRORS

Imagine that a general contractor or project manager at the construction site is called over to weigh in on an issue discovered by one of the trades. He’s not going to walk over, close his eyes and listen to a description of the problem. He’s going to look at it. He’s going to see what’s going on in order to make an informed decision about how it needs to be handled.  Construction Camera Project Management

But what if he’s not at the site? Work might be delayed until he can get there or the problem is addressed in a volley of phone calls, voice messages, emails and texts – kind of like listening to a description with eyes closed. Getting a correct and complete read on the issue will depend on how well everyone involved communicates, and any miscommunication or misinterpretation about the problem and the solution can result in costly errors and delays.

A construction camera overcomes this kind of communication pitfall by providing remote jobsite visibility through high-resolution still photos and live video. Whether they’re five miles or 500 miles away from the site, everyone involved can see the work in question and be sure they’re all on the same page when addressing the problem. A user-friendly image archive also allows quick research into the origins and scope of the problem, lending insight and confidence in how it’s resolved.  Construction Camera Project Management

MONITORING QUALITY ROUTINELY TO CATCH ERRORS EARLY

A construction camera makes it easy for teams to keep on top of quality from office computers, laptops and mobile devices. It takes just a minute or two to access the latest images of work done, zoom in on them and verify that work is being done according to plan. And if it isn’t, the ability the monitor quality frequently means that any errors can be caught and corrected early, thereby minimizing costs and delays.

TRACKING PROGRESS FOR BETTER SCHEDULING

Scheduling equipment, crews and materials is tough, especially when so many things can derail even the most realistic timelines. Automatic time-lapse movies and up-to-date high-resolution images give teams the ability to constantly and easily monitor progress at the site. By being able to more accurately predict whether a project is on track for achieving certain milestones, crews, equipment and material deliveries can be scheduled and sequenced more efficiently.  Construction Camera Project Management

MANAGING MULTIPLE PROJECTS EFFECTIVELY

A construction camera doesn’t replace the need for jobsite visits, and it isn’t intended to. Instead, it enables teams to make smart decisions about when investing the time and expense to visit a site is warranted and when a project can be monitored and managed just as effectively remotely.

This makes managing multiple projects at the same, and managing them well, doable. When each project has a camera documenting it, a project manager can monitor and track them remotely. When a project does call for a site visit, the PM can be there and still stay on top of the quality and progress of the other projects.  Construction Camera Project Management

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CONSTRUCTION CAMERA

Though some cameras provide both still photos and live video, still photos are by far the better way to capture projects. Live video is useful when a PM or GC (or anyone else) needs to see action as its taking place, and it’s a good option to have. But overwhelmingly it’s the still high-resolution photos that provide the information, details and ready accessibility users need. They are also what time-lapse construction movies are made from.

  • Super High Definition
  • POE design
  • NEMA enclosures
  • Economic design

The camera should take and transmit images at least every 15 minutes .This interval is more than sufficient to document the important developments and changes in a build or on a jobsite. The images should be high-resolution (from six to 50 megapixels) and automatically stamped with date, time and data on weather conditions at the construction site.  Construction Camera Project Management

The construction camera interface (also known as the user interface) is what enables users to access, view, and interact with the images. The interface should work with smartphones and tablets, as well as office workstations and laptops. Look for features that make it easy to locate and view images from any date and time throughout the project and for the ability to generate time-lapse movies. Built-in time-lapse technologies can include automatic generation, in which the program automatically selects the images and time frame for the time-lapse, and a custom option that lets the user set key parameters to guide time-lapse generation.  Construction Camera Project Management

Finally, while the value a camera brings to a project lies in enabling off-site monitoring and management, how it impacts the site is important too. It should be easy to deploy and require little to no attention from crews at the site after that.

Contact Ted at Monarc Technology to understand the benefits and ways we can improve project management.  Call Monarc Technology at 214-507-3415 or visit our website.  Construction Camera Project Management

Your Smart Home

Your Smart Home

Build a Network for Your Smart Home

Your Smart Home – Build a Network for Your Smart Home – Today’s average home has a plethora of connected devices. And all smart home products, such as laptops, smartphones, TVs, electronic door locks, and thermostats, require a solid, reliable networking infrastructure to function at their full potential.  Plano Texas Handyman has the expertise to install a system to keep your home running smoothly, call Ted at 214.507.3415 today for more information on Build a Network for Your Smart Home or visit our website for all our capabilities.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home. Your Smart Home

Most home networks today are usually comprised of an Internet connection to the house, which links to a wireless router with which everything else—smartphones, smart light switches, surveillance cameras—communicates. This setup functions adequately when the only products connected to the router are laptops and Xbox gaming systems. Today, in many households these legacy devices have been joined by a new generation of connected devices, including media streamers, home automation hubs, cloud storage services, security systems, and other products which the industry has come to refer to as the “Internet of Things,” or “IoT.” As the number of IoT devices on a home network increases, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the network to function well. Problems such as buffering in video streams, latency in music streams, and signals that don’t reach their intended destinations can result. Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Your Smart Home

Thankfully, there are solutions and our company can install these in your home for optimal internet and gaming performance.:

1.  Install a Good Wiring Backbone
A connected smart home generally starts with an incoming cable, fiber, or standard phone line (DSL). This wire connects to a modem and that connects to a router (or combined modem/router) which has Wi-Fi capability. Where that wire enters your home is important. If it comes in far from the central part of your house, like a deep corner of the basement or at the far end of a guest wing, latching on to that Wi-Fi signal is going to be difficult for devices located far from the router.

To solve this issue, leave the modem provided to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) where it is, place a router in a central spot, and connect the two with high-quality Ethernet cable.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.

For devices that stream HD video (as well as other smart home devices), nothing beats the communications reliability you’ll get from a wired connection between the devices and the router. This will involve fishing either Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling to wall jacks in tech-heavy areas like a media room, home office, bedrooms, and a utility room where you might stow A/V and automation equipment. Terminating the wire to an Ethernet jack is straightforward. Match the wire colors to the jacks. Be sure to test the connection with an Ethernet cable tester. In areas where several smart home devices might exist, like a home theater, plan on plugging those components into an Ethernet Switch.

An Ethernet Switch is intended to work in tandem with a router by connecting multiple devices in the same vicinity to your home’s network, and is able pass traffic through as quickly as possible without too much interference. A gigabit switch, like the Netgear Prosafe GS108, when used with a gigabit router will allow you to use your local network at speeds up to ten times greater than the previous generation (10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet). If either of these components, however, is not gigabit rated, the entire network will be limited to 10/100 speeds. So, in order to use the maximum amount of speed your network can pump out, you need every single component in your network (including your computers) to be gigabit compliant.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Your Smart Home

If you are building a new home you should plan on running at least two Cat 6 cables to each Ethernet jack (one for the network and one for future use). Locate these Cat 6 cables in places where you plan on putting your TVs, computers, security cameras, and other devices. And if you plan on adding a home control system, pull a Cat 6 cable to the wall light switch locations, as well. Should you ever replace these light switches with home control keypads, they can be easily wired into the network. Each run of cable is then “homerun” back to a central point, usually in an attic, basement, or garage. Here you generally will locate your router in a rack along with network switches and other gear. Plan to spend between $100 and $150 per cable drop. For a finished home, fishing cabling will be more labor intensive, and therefore, more expensive: between $150 and $500 per cable drop.

2.  We think of your home’s network like a highway system.
A wired network is a multilane highway. Multiple cars can have their own lane and travel at the speeds they want without impacting others. Not so with Wi-Fi. It’s like a two-lane highway. The slowest device dictates the speed of all the others. Invest in a router that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Having the second band (5GHz) helps as it gives you two additional lanes. Also available are routers with two 5GHz bands so you can have a total of four lanes in the 5GHz space.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Your Smart Home

3.  We provide systems for getting better Wi-Fi coverage
Today the most common Wi-Fi standard (third-generation) is 802.11n, which has a maximum speed of 450Mbps (megabits per second). The newest deployed standard is 802.11ac. It has a maximum speed of 1.7Gbps (gigabits per second). The good news is the ac standard is backwards compatible, which means that the devices you currently own (which most likely are n) will work with the newer ac-based wireless routers.

Additionally, Wi-Fi works on two different wireless radio-frequency bands. The most common is 2.4GHz (gigahertz), and the newer and much less crowded is 5GHz. People who live in congested areas, like cities or neighborhoods, will certainly experience interference when using a 2.4GHz router, so be sure to invest in a dual-band model, which supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Routers that support 802.11ac are even better.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Your Smart Home

However, even the best router won’t ensure adequate Wi-Fi coverage, so in many homes it helps to add range extenders (often called repeaters, although they don’t actually repeat) and access points. Range extenders connect to your home’s network and then broadcast a new signal with a slightly different network name (often they add “EXT” to your existing SSID). This will allow you to connect to the web, and stream video or audio to new rooms of the house that your existing wireless signal can’t reach. Range extenders should be placed where a moderately strong Wi-Fi signal already exists to ensure that they can lock onto Wi-Fi and provide a stable extension.

4.  We can add a Network Bridge
Multiple Ethernet ports are built into some range extenders and access points. On range extenders these ports can connect non-wireless devices to your network. This is called a Bridge. Network Bridges can also be purchased separately for the sole purpose of connecting a non-wireless device to your network.
Access points connect to your home’s wired network, thus negating the performance issues of range extenders. They can be set to the same SSID as your main network and can provide a seamless roaming experience. Multiple access points can be added, even outdoors (be sure to look for weatherproof models). This is the preferred way to extend a network.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Your Smart Home

Know Your Limitations
Be mindful of Wi-Fi limitations and understand that the more smart devices you add to a wireless network, the more bandwidth will be used. You can beef up the bandwidth with a high-quality router and complementing it with range extenders and/or access points. Still, Wi-Fi can be finicky so, whenever possible, connect your home’s smart devices via a wired network. Depending on your home, you might not be able to fish wire to every device, but this could still help lighten the load of your wireless network and enable it to function more reliably.

Plano Texas Handyman has the expertise to install a system to keep your home running smoothly, call Ted at 214.507.3415 today for more information on Build a Network for Your Smart Home or visit our website for all our capabilities.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Your Smart Home

Fall Home Improvement Projects

Fall Home Improvement Projects

Fall Home Improvement Projects

Fall Home Improvement Projects, Winter Home Improvement Projects – How did you spend the your time planning home improvement projects? Think about what needs to be done and visualize the final projects.  Fall and Winter is the best time for small home improvement projects.  Home Improvement Projects

Plano Texas Handyman can complete all you Winter Home Projects.  We are experts on home renovation and improvements.  Call today at 214-507-3415.  Visit our website Planotexashandyman.com for all vm        our capabilities.

Having a lazy day once in a while isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re stuck indoors because of the cold, why not turn your snow day into a “go day”? The weather outside may be frightful, but home improvement can be oh so delightful. If you’re feeling the post-holiday blues, here are some simple home improvement projects to get you moving.  Winter Home Improvement Projects, Fall Home Improvement Projects

Do some painting
Did you know that cold weather is ideal for drying paint? The dryness of the winter months actually makes winter the perfect time to paint the interior, so we crack a window, grab our favorite brush and transform the old room into new! Select a bold color and paint an accent wall in your living room. Or add dimension to your bedroom by painting the ceiling. If you’ve really got the DIY bug, use painter’s tape to create stripes or patterns on a wall. Whatever you choose, new colors are a sure way to add visual interest to your walls and bring a splash of sunshine into a drab winter home.  Fall Home Improvement Projects

Change out your light bulbs
This one’s a bit of an investment, but you won’t regret replacing your bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulb. It’s a great way to go green and save money. On average, an Energy Star qualified light bulb will save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime, so don’t let the upfront cost of these bulbs scare you away from making the purchase.  Winter Home Improvement Projects, Winter Home Projects, Fall Home Improvement Projects

Install a backsplash
Backsplashes are to kitchens, as spices are to spaghetti sauce; they’re essential for completing the flavor. If you’d like to kick your kitchen up a notch, a backsplash will help accessorize and emphasize your countertops, cabinets and appliances. For a kitchen that needs color and life, a flashy or textured tile, a subway tile can wake up a plain scheme. For a kitchen that already has personality, sleek, neutral tile can add elegance and unity to the room’s look. If you’re daring in your design, check out Krissy’s post for unique backsplash ideas. And when you’re ready to go, this guide from HGTV can help you figure out how to install your very own tile backsplash.  Fall Home Improvement Projects

Refurbish your doors
Interior doors can have a lot of visual impact on your home. The good news is you can virtually “replace” all of your doors without spending excessively. Here are some ways to make over your interior doors.

Paint them. Dark doors can make your home look more expensive. Colored doors can look much more modern and whimsical than traditional wood.
Change the doorknobs. Updated hardware is an instant fix for outdated doors.
Add molding to flat doors. Molding can create dimension and give an elegant, expensive feel to any run-of-the-mill doorway.  Winter Home Improvement Projects, Fall Home Improvement Projects

Give your closet a makeover
Is organization on your list of resolutions for 2017? Kick off your most-organized year by tackling your closet. If you create a place for everything, you’ll be a lot more likely to put things away. There are so many things you can do to customize a closet for your needs. To start, install shelving, purchase an over-the-door shoe rack and donate all the items that you no longer need, wear or fit into. Check out this post for more ideas to help you get your closet in order.  Fall Home Improvement Projects

Organize your mudroom or Laundry Room
Make messy mudrooms and laundry rooms a thing of the past. If your family’s coats and boots are out of control, use the mess as motivation to rein in the chaos once and for all. Check out my suggestions for organizing your mudroom here, and by the time next winter rolls around, entranceway disarray will be a distant memory.  Fall Home Improvement Projects

By focusing on the inside of your home while the weather is cold, you’ll have a lot more time to tackle the warm-weather stuff when spring rolls around. What kind of home improvement tasks are you tackling this winter? Let us know in the comments!  Winter Home Improvement Projects. Winter Home Projects.  Fall Home Improvement Projects

Plano Texas Handyman can complete all you Winter Home Projects.  We are experts on home renovation and improvements.  Call today at 214-507-3415.  Visit our website Planotexashandyman.com for all our capabilities.  Fall Home Improvement Projects

Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets – Since most kitchen cabinets are not sold with hardware, it’s up to homeowners to decide which knobs and pulls to pair with their selection. This is not always the easiest decision, since there are so many unique styles and finishes to choose from. To help you on your search for the perfect hardware for your kitchen cabinets, here are some tips to follow.  Call Plano Texas Handyman today at 214-507-3415 for more information or visit our website to get a full perspective on our capabilities.  Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

1. Stick with the theme. The hardware you choose speaks to your theme in the same way your kitchen cabinets do. Which hardware works best with different themes? Sleek, tubular pulls complement the streamlined look in modern and contemporary kitchens. Traditional cabinets tend to have more detail and benefit from simple, smooth knobs. French country can benefit from hardware with an antique look, with finishes that comes in gun metal, rubbed bronze and brush pewter.  Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

2. Keep finishes cohesive. You’ll find hardware in a range of finishes from brushed nickel to brass. While mixing and matching the hardware around your kitchen is fine, you should try to maintain the same finish and keep colors as close as possible. Sometimes you’re forced to buy hardware from more than one retailer, but when doing so make sure you keep finishes cohesive.

3. Know when to use knobs over pulls. In traditional and country kitchens, putting a knob on a cabinet is not uncommon. In fact, with many cabinets, knobs may a better option than pulls. How do you know the difference? When kitchen cabinets are ornate or finely detailed, go with a knob rather than a pull. A knob is smaller and simpler and doesn’t take attention away from the design of the cabinets.  Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

4. Consider the color of your kitchen cabinets. The color of your cabinets is as important as the style when choosing hardware. With white and painted cabinets, almost any finish will work but some shades of brown are not as flexible.

5. Be aware of the appliances and fixtures in the kitchen. Pulls and knobs are not the only hardware in your kitchen. Take into account the finish on appliances, light fixtures, and your sink and faucet. While mixing metal finishes is trendy right now in kitchen design, be sure not to overdo it. If the colors clash, it could disrupt the cohesiveness of your kitchen and take away from the beauty of your new cabinets.  Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets

6. Don’t overlook quality. The hardware in your kitchen sees a lot of traffic. Don’t put so much importance on look that you forget about quality. You want hardware to be sturdy, strong and easy to hold onto.

7. Step outside of the box. Your standard hardware will come in finishes like gun metal, brushed nickel, and bronze but it’s okay to go with something out of the ordinary. Glass or mirrored hardware can work equally as well, and can add a creative touch to your kitchen.   Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets.

8. Dallas has a large selection of stores unsurpassed anywhere:

Elliot’s Hardware

Dallas North Builders Hardware

 

Call Plano Texas Handyman today at 214-507-3415 for more information or visit our website to get a full perspective on our capabilities.  Choose the Right Hardware For Your Kitchen Cabinets.

Plano Texas Handyman.

Plano Texas Handyman

Plano Texas Handyman

Plano Texas Handyman – A handyman is a skilled “jack of all trades” who can complete a wide range of repairs or home improvement jobs.  Plano Texas Handyman is truly a jack of all trades with an engineering background and master fix-ologist.  Call Plano Texas Handyman today at 214-507-3415 for more information ar visit our website to get a full perspective on our capabilities.  Plano Texas Handyman.

A handyman, or handyman service, usually charges clients an hourly rate, plus material costs, regardless of the task. Many homeowners compile a list of repairs and hire a handyman to complete the list in a single visit.

The term “handyman” is loosely defined. Some are self-trained, while others have formal training in various aspects of construction and home repair. A home handyman might specialize in a few types of home maintenance, such as painting, carpentry, or tiling, while others may have additional skills such as plumbing and electrical expertise.

There’s no national standard or regulation for handymen. Licensing and regulation vary by state. New Jersey, for example, requires handymen who work for a profit to register with the state and carry insurance. California requires handymen to carry a license from the State Contractors License Board to work on any project that exceeds $500 in labor and material costs. Find out before you hire the handyman if he or she has the skills needed to complete your project.  Plano Texas Handyman.

Do you need a handyman or contractor?
The scope of the job and level of skill required to complete it should determine whether you hire a handyman or contractor.

“When trying to determine who you should hire for a particular job, consider the task,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “If it’s a specialized trade, be sure you hire that tradesperson like a plumber or electrician, for example. If it’s little things that you can do yourself, a handyman is probably the right way to go.”  Plano Texas Handyman.

A handyman is not the best option for a large or complicated project that could take a long time to complete and requires the help of multiple workers. You shouldn’t turn to a handyman either if you need an emergency service for plumbing, electrical or appliance work, unless the handyman is licensed in that trade. If an unlicensed person does plumbing or electrical work, you have no guarantee that the work has been done to code, which could affect your homeowners insurance policy or any claim related to the work. Use a contractor or specialist for remodeling work, room additions and projects that require heavy-duty equipment or licensed professionals like electricians.

Why hire a handyman?
You’ve got an ever increasing to-do list of home improvements like changing out a bathroom faucet, replacing missing shingles on the roof and painting a kitchen wall. You could hire a plumber, roofer and painter who have conflicting schedules and their own service charges, or you could hire a handyman to complete all three projects in one day for one hourly rate.  Plano Texas Handyman.

Because many handymen charge by the hour, a homeowner can save time and money on home improvement projects by hiring one to complete a wide range of projects at an hourly rate. A service charge from a plumber or roofer to come to your home could equal or even surpass the cost of hiring a handyman for a few hours.

You’re also less likely to be overcharged if your hire a handyman. Unlike a general contractor or specialist who is more likely to price a job based on the estimated amount of time it will take to complete, you only have to pay a handyman for the hours he works, unless you agree on a flat rate. Handymen can keep their rates low because they don’t have to pay additional workers, so they have lower overhead costs than contractors or large companies.

Although handymen have less overhead, they do supply their own tools, so there’s no need to invest in extra equipment you won’t use often or at all. However, you will need to supply the materials.

When you hire a contractor or specialist, they usually supply the materials, and often at a markup. If they don’t provide the materials, they may not guarantee a repair, or your choices are limited to what they have in stock. When you choose your own materials, you know how much the product costs, and you can stay within your budget. You also get to choose the manufacturer, finish and register any warranty agreement.

Handymen have been known to do all types of work, from setting up playground equipment and gas grills to hanging holiday lights and decorations.  Plano Texas Handyman.

Ideal jobs for a handyman
Handymen are best utilized for small, “honey-do” types of home repair work. The following projects are ideal for most handymen:

Minor plumbing work: Many handymen are capable of completing small plumbing jobs like installing new fixtures or repairing a leaky faucet. However, complex projects that require relocating plumbing within the home should be left to a licensed plumber.  Plano Texas Handyman.

Caulking: Adding a fresh application of caulk to gaps between windows, doors and siding is a great way to improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs.

Decks and porches: Over time, weather can take a toll on wooden decks and porches. A handyman can replace broken boards, apply a finish or sealant and improve or upgrade your deck or porch’s safety and appearance.

Home Automation: We can fully integrate your home into a “smart home”.  We have extensive electrical engineering experience and can automate your home easily.

Home exterior repairs: If you have minor damage to your home’s exterior, such as a loose piece of siding or a missing shingle, hiring a handyman to repair those items may prove to be more cost-effective than hiring a specialist.  Plano Texas Handyman.

Painting and touch-ups: If you have a small painting job, like a wall, garage door, touch-ups of scuff marks or the repair of small holes with spackle, consider a handyman. But remember, a handyman typically charges by the hour, so larger jobs are better suited for a professional painting crew.

Hanging window treatments, pictures and mirrors and installing light fixtures: These small tasks can be easily accomplished by a homeowner. But if you hire a handyman with the right tools and experience, these wall-mounted items will likely be hung correctly and without damage.

Tips to hire a handyman
Interview several candidates before hiring a candidate. A handyman works closely with you in your home, so you want to pick one that you feel comfortable being around. Use the following tips to help you choose the best one:

1. Define the project. Start by compiling a list of the home repairs you want completed. Remember, a handyman is best used for small jobs such as installing light fixtures, patching drywall and interior painting. If the job requires pulling a permit, or moving plumbing or electrical wiring, consider hiring a licensed contractor.

2. Shop around. Check Angie’s List reviews and interview at least three handymen. Ask how many years of experience they have and their areas of specialization. Request references from homeowners who have hired them. Make sure the potential handyman has the skills and experience to complete your project.

3. Watch out for scams. Avoid handymen who contact you with unsolicited phone calls or visits to your home. You should also avoid any handyman who refuses to guarantee the price of the job or asks for payment upfront. Reputable handymen don’t expect to get paid before the project is completed.

4. Get it in writing. Insist on a written agreement laying out the job details, costs and payment schedule. Be clear about the times you expect the work to be started and completed. It’s extremely important to get all guarantees in writing.

5. Ask for a guarantee. Many handymen will guarantee their work for up to one year. Ask about guarantees before you make a hiring decision, and of course, make sure the guarantee is in writing.

6. Inspect the work. Inspect the completed work before paying the handyman. Make sure that everything has been done to your satisfaction and at the agreed upon price. Most handymen will be happy to explain the finished work because they want you to be satisfied.

Plano Texas Handyman is truly a jack of all trades with an engineering background and master fix-ologist.  Call Planoi Texas Handyman today at 214-507-3415 for more information ar visit our website to get a full perspective on our capabilities.  Plano Texas Handyman.

Smart Home Technology

Smart Home Technology

Smart Home Technology

Smart Home Technology – Home Automation / Smart Home Technology – With one touch, dim the lights, play music, turn up the heat, lock the doors and arm the security system. Check in on your home from your smartphone, no matter where you are. Press a “Goodnight” button that will put your house to sleep, turning off all lights and locking all doors. With Control4, your options are virtually limitless. We examine all the options available to make your home more efficient, more energy efficient, and completely automated at an affordable price.  Smart Homes,  Smart Home Technology

We look at the price of a smart home system detailed by each electronic device. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation. For a small investment of less than $2500.00, you can convert your home into a the most tech savvy home anywhere. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Primary to any home network is the WIFI backbone.  High Performance Home Network – When it comes to home networking, there’s a soup of technical terms, LAN, WAN, broadband, Wi-Fi, CAT5e, CAT6, just to name a few. If you’re having a hard time with these basic terms, you’re reading the right post. Here I’ll (try to) explain them all so that you can have a better understanding of your home network and hopefully a better control of your online life. There’s a lot to explain so this long post is just the first of an evolving series.  Ted with Plano Texas Handyman is an expert in designing and installing High Performance Home Network systems, call us at 214-507-3415 for more information.  Visit our Technology Page for more information or our Website for more information.   Smart Homes,  Smart Home Technology

Plano Texas Handyman can provide you with the envy of the community by automating everyday chores such as, and all these devices can be controlled by your smart phone, Apple I-Phone or Android device:

A.  Automatic door locks
B.  WIFI light switches
C.  Turn your outdoor sprinklers on and off with your Smartphone
D.  Control pool equipment electronically
E.  Put an Automatic mister in your backyard
F.  HVAC cooling / Heating and thermostat controls
G.  Wireless home camera systems, CAT5 home camera systems
H.  Home Theaters and Media Rooms
I.  Plano Texas Handyman installs Business Access Controls to provides authorized individuals safe and secure access in and out of various parts of your business while keeping unauthorized people out. They can range from electronic keypads that secure a single door to large networked system for medium sized business.
J.  Home Automation – With one touch, dim the lights, play music, turn up the heat, lock the doors and arm the security system. Check in on your home from your smartphone, no matter where you are. Press a “Goodnight” button that will put your house to sleep, turning off all lights and locking all doors. With Control4, your options are virtually limitless. We examine all the options available to make your home more efficient, more energy efficient, and completely automated at an affordable price. We look at the price of a smart home system detailed by each electronic device.  Smart Homes
k.  Professionally installed business security systems
l.  Camera Monitoring and Security cameras
m.  Smoke and environment monitors, water monitors, temperature monitors
Smart Home Technology

Wireless Sprinkler Controls – Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation:

Highest-rated, best-selling. The smart watering category leader, overwhelmingly recommended by users.
Easy to control anywhere, anytime. Get complete access to monitor and adjust your sprinkler system from your phone, tablet or laptop.  Smart Homes,  Smart Home Technology

Automatically adapts for weather. Rachio continuously adapts to local weather forecasts and changing seasons, automatically optimizing watering schedules.

Save water and money. Save up to 50% of your outdoor water use while keeping your plants healthy. EPA WaterSense Certified, eligible for rebate options up to 100% of retail value.

Water with precision. Rachio uses specific yard details, advanced watering algorithms and proven irrigation science to create accurate schedules customized to the particular needs of your yard.

Connect with top smart home platforms. Extend your smart home out into the yard. Rachio directly integrates with the best-connected home platforms (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest, and more), so you have more options and more control.  Smart Home Technology,  Smart Home Technology

Wireless Surveillance Systems – Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision (VMS3430)

See in stunning clarity and sharper details with HD cameras and watch live streamed or recorded videos from your computer, smartphone or tablet using Arlo’s free App.

Patented 100% wire-free design and magnetic mounts let you discreetly place cameras where you want and monitor your home from every possible angle.

Night vision cameras with HD clarity even in the dark.

Motion activated cameras and customizable activity alerts provide real-time email or app notifications while home or away.  Smart Home Technology

Indoor/Outdoor weatherproof cameras install easily for DIY security so you can even monitor the exterior of your home.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.

Wireless light Controls – TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch, No Hub Required, Single Pole, Control Your Fixtures From Anywhere

Remote Access: Control your home lighting from anywhere with your smartphone or tablet using the free Kasa app.

Scheduling: Set lights to turn off and on at dawn, dusk, or any time that works with your daily schedule.

Away Mode: Make it look like you’re home when you’re not by having your lights turn off and on randomly while away.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Works with Amazon Alexa: Turn on or off the bulbs connected to the Smart Switch just using your voice with Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap and other supported devices(sold separately), LED Indicator: Find the switch easily, even at night when all your lights are turned off
Input voltage: 100 – 120VAC, 50/60Hz, 15.0A, Maximum Power: 3.68KW.  Smart Home Technology.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.

Home HVAC Controls – Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation

Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).

Auto-Schedule: Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself in about a week.
Home/Away Assist: Nest automatically turns itself down when nobody’s home to help you save energy.

Remote Control: Connect your thermostat to Wi‑Fi to control the temperature from your phone, tablet or laptop.

Farsight: When Nest spots you across the room, it lights up to show you the time, temperature or weather.

Energy History: Check your Energy History in the Nest app to see how much energy you use and why.

Nest Leaf: You’ll see the Leaf when you choose a temperature that saves energy. It guides you in the right direction.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation. Smart Home Technology

August Smart Lock (2nd Gen) – Keyless home access – Control with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or your smartphone (Dark Gray)

No more keys: Open your door and control who comes in – all from your August Home smartphone app.

Easy install: Attach to the inside of your current deadbolt in minutes. Your home’s exterior is unchanged.

Hands-free access: Auto-unlock when you arrive home. Auto-locks after you’re inside.
Feel secure: Share temporary virtual keys with guests & monitor access with 24/7 in-app activity feed.

Remote access: Control your front door from anywhere from your app. Requires August Connect.
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, IFTTT, Wink, Logitech Harmony, Logitech POP, iOS and Android devices.  Smart Home Technology.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Smart Home Technology

Plano Economy

Plano Economy

Plano Economy

Plano Economy – Plano, with a 2017 population of 275,645, is a prosperous place.  In 2016, the City was named the 3rd ‘Best Place to Live in America,’ by Money Magazine. TOYOTA, J.C. Penney, Pizza Hut, Frito-Lay, LIBERTY MUTUAL and Rent-A-Center are just a small sampling of the companies that are all headquartered in Plano. Several technology giants have major R&D operations here including Ericsson, Intel Security, CA, Intuit and Nokia. These companies attract highly skilled workers from throughout the US and abroad.

Plano, unlike other affluent locations, is affordable. It has low taxes, housing prices and unemployment compared to most metros in the U.S. The Plano Independent School District is nationally regarded and provides an education comparable in quality to many top private schools.

In the early 1980’s, EDS founder Ross Perot sought a new home for his company. He purchased 2,700 acres in Plano and created Legacy business park. In 1985, EDS moved to Legacy. That same year, after discussions with EDS customer and potato chip mogul Herman Lay, Frito-Lay located its headquarters there. In 1987, JCPenney announced that it would move its corporate headquarters from New York to Plano. The announcement brought considerable national attention to Plano and signaled that Plano was a prime business location.  The video map below represents a 32 year time-lapse of the growth in the Plano and Frisco area.  Plano Economy


Plano has an unemployment rate of 3.5%.
The US average is 5.2%.

Plano has seen the job market increase by 3.1% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 42.7%, which is higher than the US average of 38.0%.

Tax Rates for Plano
– The Sales Tax Rate for Plano is 8.3%. The US average is 6.0%.
– The Income Tax Rate for Plano is 0.0%. The US average is 4.6%.

Income and Salaries for Plano
– The average income of a Plano resident is $41,902 a year. The US average is $28,555 a year.
– The Median household income of a Plano resident is $82,944 a year. The US average is $53,482 a year.|
– 40% of the Plan Residents earn over $100,000 annually

Educated Workforce – Plano Texas along with their neighboring cities, Richardson, Allen, Addison, Murphy, Parker and Hebron, have some of the most educated people in any metro area.  55% of the workforce in Plano has attained a Bachelors degree or better, 52% in Richardson, 53% in Allen, 54% in Addison, 56% in Murphy, 58% in Parker and 61% in Hebron, a bedroom community of Plano.

In comparison, the U.S. average of residents in the workforce who have attained a bachelors degree or better is 30% and the Dallas Fort Worth area comes in at 32%.  Clearly one of the reasons so many companies have relocated to Plano, Cost of living, clean city, and highly educated workforce.  Plano Economy

This workforce has a highly technical field of study.  26% have a business degree, 15% engineering, 9% mathematics/computers/statistics, 8% science related, and 8% education being the top positions within this demographic.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss an estimate of essential home repairs. You can also visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.

Home projects you shouldn’t ignore for home maintenance

Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

Home projects you shouldn’t ignore for home maintenance – Certain home improvement projects can cost you in the long run if they go unaddressed.

It can be tempting to put off home improvement projects because of financial restrictions or a busy schedules. However, there are some issues that can lead to thousands of dollars in replacement and repair costs if ignored.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss an estimate of essential home repairs. You can also visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.  Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

1. Roofing problems
It’s important to address minor roofing issues before they become significant. Calling a professional doesn’t mean you have to replace your roof; it simply allows you to make an informed decision. If you’re noticing leaking, loose shingles, discolored spots or bald-faced patches, connect with a pro as soon as possible.  Usually a leak can be corrected by simply adding flashing, repairing flashing or adding roof caulk and/or roof cement.

2. Energy killers
If you have energy issues related to poorly installed equipment, and air infiltration from items as simple as door weatherstripping, window caulking, and drafty light and plug switches, these are easy and inexpensive changes and can save you a lot of Money in the long run.  Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

3. Install energy Efficient Lighting
Assuming you have a 2500 square foot home, with a total of 25 – 60W incandescent bulbs (lamps, fans and bath fixtures), 15 – 65W BR40 spot lights (can lights), and 4 – 4′ 40W t40 fluorescent bulbs (closets and laundry).

The total out of pocket cost to replace these bulbs with LED lighting would be approximately $485.00, including professional installation. Installing Energy-Efficient Indoor Lighting Systems.  8 Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

The total annual savings realized based on .11c/kwh would come to $240.00 annually in energy usage, up-front, the payback seems to be 2 years! However, you must consider the longevity and useful life of the asset, LED bulbs last on average 14.7 years compared to 2.1 years for standard incandescent. Essentially, you will have to replace incandescent bulbs 7 times. The bottom line is that over the life of the LED product (14 to 15 years), you will save over $3200.00 in energy usage and bulb replacement.

4. Runaway rainwater
A gutter controls the flow of rainwater from your roof to the ground and away from your home. Not controlling rainwater can damage your home’s exterior, lead to soil erosion and affect the integrity of your landscaping. An additional benefit of gutters: They can ward off insects in your basement or crawl spaces.

 5. Poor insulation
Insulation helps regulate temperature by controlling the amount of heat lost and gained. This allows your home to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Without insulation, half of the energy used to regulate your home’s temperature is lost. Upgraded insulation in your home will add to its comfort level while allowing you to save on energy bills.

6. Leaky faucets and toilets
The longer you allow a leak to continue, the worse the situation is going to be. Monitor your water bill each month — if you notice a significant jump but haven’t increased the amount of water you’re using, it’s time to a call a plumber because you may have a hidden leak.  I have seen instances where a leaky faucet cost a home owner over $5000 in repairs by ignoring the damage that can be done by leaking water.  8 Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

7. Electrical issues
If the culprit isn’t a light bulb nearing the end of its life span, it’s important to connect with a professional. Flickering lights can imply your current wiring was improperly done or is wearing out in some spots. Ignoring this issue can lead to a house fire.

8. Exterior water penetration and damage
If you notice wet drywall, damp floors or any sign of water penetrating the home from the exterior, fix it immediately.  If you have any exterior wood rotting especially door jambs, have them replaced, it will only cause further damage. Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

WATER is the single most damaging element you can introduce into the home, even in small quantities.  NEVER let is go unnoticed and UN-repaired.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss an estimate of essential home repairs. You can also visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.  Home projects you shouldn’t ignore

Smart Home Network

Smart Home Network

Smart Home Network

Smart Home Network – Today’s average home has a plethora of connected devices. And all smart home products, such as laptops, smartphones, TVs, electronic door locks, and thermostats, require a solid, reliable networking infrastructure to function at their full potential.  Plano Texas Handyman has the expertise to install a system to keep your home running smoothly, call Ted at 214.507.3415 today for more information on Build a Network for Your Smart Home or visit our website for all our capabilities.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

Most home networks today are usually comprised of an Internet connection to the house, which links to a wireless router with which everything else—smartphones, smart light switches, surveillance cameras—communicates. This setup functions adequately when the only products connected to the router are laptops and Xbox gaming systems. Today, in many households these legacy devices have been joined by a new generation of connected devices, including media streamers, home automation hubs, cloud storage services, security systems, and other products which the industry has come to refer to as the “Internet of Things,” or “IoT.” As the number of IoT devices on a home network increases, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the network to function well. Problems such as buffering in video streams, latency in music streams, and signals that don’t reach their intended destinations can result. Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

Thankfully, there are solutions and our company can install these in your home for optimal internet and gaming performance.:

1.  Install a Good Wiring Backbone
A connected smart home generally starts with an incoming cable, fiber, or standard phone line (DSL). This wire connects to a modem and that connects to a router (or combined modem/router) which has Wi-Fi capability. Where that wire enters your home is important. If it comes in far from the central part of your house, like a deep corner of the basement or at the far end of a guest wing, latching on to that Wi-Fi signal is going to be difficult for devices located far from the router.

To solve this issue, leave the modem provided to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) where it is, place a router in a central spot, and connect the two with high-quality Ethernet cable.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

For devices that stream HD video (as well as other smart home devices), nothing beats the communications reliability you’ll get from a wired connection between the devices and the router. This will involve fishing either Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling to wall jacks in tech-heavy areas like a media room, home office, bedrooms, and a utility room where you might stow A/V and automation equipment. Terminating the wire to an Ethernet jack is straightforward. Match the wire colors to the jacks. Be sure to test the connection with an Ethernet cable tester. In areas where several smart home devices might exist, like a home theater, plan on plugging those components into an Ethernet Switch.

An Ethernet Switch is intended to work in tandem with a router by connecting multiple devices in the same vicinity to your home’s network, and is able pass traffic through as quickly as possible without too much interference. A gigabit switch, like the Netgear Prosafe GS108, when used with a gigabit router will allow you to use your local network at speeds up to ten times greater than the previous generation (10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet). If either of these components, however, is not gigabit rated, the entire network will be limited to 10/100 speeds. So, in order to use the maximum amount of speed your network can pump out, you need every single component in your network (including your computers) to be gigabit compliant.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

If you are building a new home you should plan on running at least two Cat 6 cables to each Ethernet jack (one for the network and one for future use). Locate these Cat 6 cables in places where you plan on putting your TVs, computers, security cameras, and other devices. And if you plan on adding a home control system, pull a Cat 6 cable to the wall light switch locations, as well. Should you ever replace these light switches with home control keypads, they can be easily wired into the network. Each run of cable is then “homerun” back to a central point, usually in an attic, basement, or garage. Here you generally will locate your router in a rack along with network switches and other gear. Plan to spend between $100 and $150 per cable drop. For a finished home, fishing cabling will be more labor intensive, and therefore, more expensive: between $150 and $500 per cable drop.

2.  We think of your home’s network like a highway system.
A wired network is a multilane highway. Multiple cars can have their own lane and travel at the speeds they want without impacting others. Not so with Wi-Fi. It’s like a two-lane highway. The slowest device dictates the speed of all the others. Invest in a router that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Having the second band (5GHz) helps as it gives you two additional lanes. Also available are routers with two 5GHz bands so you can have a total of four lanes in the 5GHz space.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

3.  We provide systems for getting better Wi-Fi coverage
Today the most common Wi-Fi standard (third-generation) is 802.11n, which has a maximum speed of 450Mbps (megabits per second). The newest deployed standard is 802.11ac. It has a maximum speed of 1.7Gbps (gigabits per second). The good news is the ac standard is backwards compatible, which means that the devices you currently own (which most likely are n) will work with the newer ac-based wireless routers.

Additionally, Wi-Fi works on two different wireless radio-frequency bands. The most common is 2.4GHz (gigahertz), and the newer and much less crowded is 5GHz. People who live in congested areas, like cities or neighborhoods, will certainly experience interference when using a 2.4GHz router, so be sure to invest in a dual-band model, which supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Routers that support 802.11ac are even better.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

However, even the best router won’t ensure adequate Wi-Fi coverage, so in many homes it helps to add range extenders (often called repeaters, although they don’t actually repeat) and access points. Range extenders connect to your home’s network and then broadcast a new signal with a slightly different network name (often they add “EXT” to your existing SSID). This will allow you to connect to the web, and stream video or audio to new rooms of the house that your existing wireless signal can’t reach. Range extenders should be placed where a moderately strong Wi-Fi signal already exists to ensure that they can lock onto Wi-Fi and provide a stable extension.

4.  We can add a Network Bridge
Multiple Ethernet ports are built into some range extenders and access points. On range extenders these ports can connect non-wireless devices to your network. This is called a Bridge. Network Bridges can also be purchased separately for the sole purpose of connecting a non-wireless device to your network.
Access points connect to your home’s wired network, thus negating the performance issues of range extenders. They can be set to the same SSID as your main network and can provide a seamless roaming experience. Multiple access points can be added, even outdoors (be sure to look for weatherproof models). This is the preferred way to extend a network.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

Know Your Limitations
Be mindful of Wi-Fi limitations and understand that the more smart devices you add to a wireless network, the more bandwidth will be used. You can beef up the bandwidth with a high-quality router and complementing it with range extenders and/or access points. Still, Wi-Fi can be finicky so, whenever possible, connect your home’s smart devices via a wired network. Depending on your home, you might not be able to fish wire to every device, but this could still help lighten the load of your wireless network and enable it to function more reliably.

Plano Texas Handyman has the expertise to install a system to keep your home running smoothly, call Ted at 214.507.3415 today for more information on Build a Network for Your Smart Home or visit our website for all our capabilities.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

Plano Texas Handyman has the expertise to install a system to keep your home running smoothly, call Ted at 214.507.3415 today for more information on Build a Network for Your Smart Home or visit our website for all our capabilities.  Build a Network for Your Smart Home.  Smart Home Network.

Updates when selling a home

Updates When Selling a Home

Updates When Selling a Home

Updates when selling a home, Home Improvements when selling a 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 and help sell your home faster. Plano is an incredibly competitive market.  Most all updates will present a suitable return.  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. Create Value Selling a Home,  Home Improvements when selling a home

Call Ted with Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for a complete list of all our home improvement capabilities.  Updates when selling a home

1. Repaint or 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 un-cared for or old.  However, if you have a nice front door and if you don’t need to replace your front door consider painting it a bold color, maybe using high-gloss paint or staining of its stained.  If your front door is in disrepair, consider replacing it with a new, stylish door. For a $300 to $800 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. Home Improvements when selling a home,  Updates when selling a home

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. Home Improvements when selling a home

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. Create Value Selling a Home

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).  Home Improvements when selling a home, Updates when selling a home

5. Caulking, Weatherstrip, and clean windows.

Caulk all your tubs and and showers, make them look freshly new.  Replace the weatherstripping on all exterior doors, it dampens road noise and makes the house seem tight.  Have your windows professionally cleaned, this is a massive improvement that will make your home seem new.  Home Improvements when selling a home

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″ ceramic tiles, which for a 8ft x 8ft area should cost about $100 in materials, or use travertine. Home Improvements when selling a home, Updates when selling a home

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. Home Improvements when selling a home

8. In the Kitchen

Replacing kitchen cabinets is expensive, but painting them can save you money. If you have old 1970′s style wooden cabinets in a lovely dark brown shade, paint them. Use a semi-gloss white and finish them with colorful knobs. Replace the old dated doors with new shaker style doors and paint.  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 Home Depot but you can shop sales or go to Amazon or eBay for better deals.  Home Improvements when selling a home, Updates when selling a home

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.  Home Improvements when selling a home

10. Add a Nice Mailbox and House Numbers

Everyone on the block has the same black mailbox. Be different and 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 make them stand out.  Be creative.  Home Improvements when selling a home, Updates when selling a home

Call Ted with Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for a complete list of all our home improvement capabilities. Updates when selling a home

Ultimate Fireplace

Ultimate Fireplace

Ultimate Fireplace

Ultimate Fireplace – Electric fireplace inserts are a safe, energy efficient, low cost alternative to gas and traditional wood fireplaces. These electric units are available in three types and offer remarkably realistic flame effects. With multiple styles to choose from, here are some of the various things you need to know when considering an electric fireplace insert.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more information on a Wall Mount Fireplace.  Ultimate Fireplace.

Wall Mount FireplaceWall Mount Electric Fireplaces
Clean lines in brushed stainless steel, chrome, gun metal, stone, wood, or mirrored glass finishes will add drama and warmth to any room in your home. While our superior selection includes wall-mounted fireplaces with traditional looking logs, many boast unique flamebeds of glass, rocks or a choice of decorative fill. Each wall-mount model operates with or without the thermostat controlled fan-forced heater so you can take pleasure in the dancing flames year-round. All units plug into a standard 120V outlet making installation a breeze.

Modern & contemporary styling
Supplemental heat for up to 400 sq. ft.
Thermostat controlled fan-forced heater
Included remote control for convenience

Choosing a Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

A wall mount fireplace is an attractive addition to any home or office. Because it provides a mesmerizing bed of glowing embers with a realistic flame effect. Nearly all models include a gentle source of supplemental heat that can be operated independently of the flame. Because it is electric, it can simply be plugged into an electrical outlet and is ready for use. All of these types of fireplaces are safe to use because they are tested to make sure they meet UL standards and are thermostatically controlled.

Making the right choice for an electrical alternative to a traditional fireplace is of great importance when customers are deciding which model to select for their homes. A wall mount fireplace or a small electric fireplace can be the best choice for individuals who have limited space or want to add a modern touch to their home or office. Not only do they provide eye-catching designs, but they can also provide supplemental or zone heat when the weather turns cold.  Ultimate Fireplace.

Accommodation For All Space And Budget Requirements

Electric FireplaceWhether an individual’s living space or business is small or large, homeowners always want to make wise use of their available square footage. These units are especially ideal additions to condominiums, lofts, apartments, single family homes or offices. A wall mount electric fireplace is a space saving device that can add the instant character of a traditional fireplace experience with a more modern twist. Customers can choose from polished or brushed stainless steel, chrome, gun metal, stone, wood or mirrored glass finishes. Also, color options are available in red, black and white. These designs will complement many décor styles. Whether you choose a wall hanging electric fireplace, a freestanding corner fireplace or a recessed built-in electric fireplace design, they will provide four season capabilities and can be operated with or without the quiet heater turned on.  Ultimate Fireplace.

A wall mount electric fireplace is not only a great space saving accompaniment to any décor, but it is economical, too. The patented flame technology allows an individual to enjoy the ambience of a real fire for 3 cents per hour without the heater on and about 8-12 cents per hour with the flame and heating element operating. It is an attractive, space saving supplemental heat source that is great for heating the rooms that are constantly used by the entire family rather than heating the entire house. Each unit provides approximately 5000 BTUs per hour of heat by using a quiet fan to force the heat generated by the alternative fireplace into the room.

Adding A Modern Touch To A Traditional Medium

Fireplaces have been a staple of homes for thousands of years. They have cooked our food, provided heat during colder seasons and have added a cozy touch to our lives. The design of traditional fireplaces hasn’t changed a great deal for centuries. However, applying new technology and modernizing an old medium is of great importance to many people. A wall mount electric fireplace is on par with wall-mounted televisions and digital picture frames. They are inexpensive to operate and easy to install, because there are no ventilation requirements. They provide a low-cost focal point to any room.  Ultimate Fireplace.

A Small Electric Fireplace For Tight Spaces

Electric FireplaceWhile a wall mount fireplace is a modern way to introduce a focal point that is also a small electric fireplace is another great choice if you prefer a more traditional look. It is the perfect solution for tight spaces, yet homeowners do not have to compromise on the heat output. Each unit produces the same amount of heat as their larger counterparts, and they come in a small, space saving designs. They can also be operated with or without the heater. A small electric fireplace can be plugged into any 120 volt electrical outlet, and most units come with remote control capabilities.

Choosing the best alternative of fireplace model for your unique lifestyle is an important decision. A wall mount electric fireplace is the ideal solution for individuals who have little floor space and who want to add a modern touch to their home or office. In the technological world in which we live, they provide eye-catching designs that supply zone heating when necessary. For individuals who want to add the cozy touch of a traditional fireplace but live in tight quarters, a small electric fireplace is the perfect solution without compromising on the heat output.  Ultimate Fireplace.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more information on a Wall Mount Fireplace.  Ultimate Fireplace.

WANT A STACKED STONE FIREPLACE? IT’S EASY.

Center of a Room. Center of a Home.

Stacked Stone Fireplace

Stacked Stone Fireplace

Fireplaces are a natural gathering place, and are often not just the focal point of a room, but often the focal point of the entire home, proving a respite of warmth, conversation, and meditation from the outside world. Experts agree that renovating a tired, worn out, and outdated fireplace has the same return on investment as updating a kitchen or bathroom, but with a much smaller price tag. Natural stone veneer panels are an excellent choice for such a renovation because they are cost effective and incredibly easy to install.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more information on a stacked stone fireplace for your home.  Stacked Stone Fireplaces.  Ultimate Fireplace.

The World’s Finest Corner Detail
Corners are one of the single most important details to choosing any stacked stone veneer for a fireplace. So we poured over every detail and concept for making the perfect corner. After carefully manufacturing and testing one iteration after another, we eventually concluded that – for a thin natural stacked stone veneer to “turn a corner” properly – it had to be crafted using “fingers” that seamlessly interlock…as if they were made that way in nature. There are other ways to finish a corner, such as using trim options, but after renovating tens of thousands of fireplaces we recommend you don’t settle for less than the finger joint system when it comes to this detail.

Color and Design Matter
Whether you’re envisioning a rustic, colonial, contemporary, modern, or Old World space, color and design add up to making your project look just right. Natural Stone Colors vary naturally, which is what makes it an authentic material to incorporate into projects. Our four colors, Ochre, Charcoal, White, and Ivory can be easily adapted into all color schemes and the clean lines of the product are equally well suited to all different types of design.  Stacked Stone Fireplaces.  Ultimate Fireplace.

Build it Right

Stacked Stone Fireplace

Stacked Stone Fireplace

Whether you’re renovating an old brick fireplace, or building one anew, our world-class customer service team will walk you through the right process for you. During a fireplace renovation, you tend to encounter more obstacles than if you are building new. For example, is your existing fireplace built from brick? Is it flat drywall? There are different ways to handle each of these conditions.

Hearth or No Hearth
One of the most common questions about fireplaces is whether or not to have a hearth. Many modern gas fireplaces that use Norstone do not have hearths, but many rustic fireplaces that we work on do. Be sure to peruse our galleries for projects that look like yours to get a better idea of whether or not this is right for you.  Stacked Stone Fireplaces.  Ultimate Fireplace.

Stone Veneer Fireplaces The Easy Way
Fireplace stone veneer allows you to achieve the look of a traditional stack stone fireplace without the thickness and weight of traditional full bed masonry veneer. Whether you just need a stacked stone fireplace surround or want the look to go floor to ceiling, our panel system is a cost and labor effective solution for fireplace stacked stone.  Stacked Stone Fireplaces.

A Timeless Look. An Investment in your Home.
Stacked stone fireplaces when done well offer a timeless look and are proven to hold value making it an ideal home improvement project. Norstone Rock Panels are the choice of many top designers and installers as a premium stone for fireplace renovations and new builds.  Stacked Stone Fireplaces.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more information on a stacked stone fireplace for your home.  Stacked Stone Fireplaces.  Ultimate Fireplace.

Residential Electrical Codes

Residential Electrical Codes

Residential Electrical Codes

Residential Electrical Codes – Electrical codes are in place to protect you, the homeowner. These general guidelines will give you the basics of what electrical inspectors are looking for when they review both remodeling projects and new installations. Most local codes are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), a document that lays out required practices for all aspects of residential and commercial electrical installation. The NEC is revised every three years—2014, 2017 and so forth—and occasionally there are important changes to the Code. So make sure that your sources of information are based on the most recent Code. The code requirements listed here are based on the 2017 NEC. Residential Electrical Codes

Most local codes follow the National Electrical Code (NEC), but there can be variances. The local code always takes precedence over the NEC when there are differences, so be sure to check with your local building department for the specific code requirements for your situation.

Much of the NEC involves requirements for general electrical installation that apply to all situations, but there are also specific requirements for individual rooms.

Bathrooms
Because of the presence of water, bathrooms have very carefully defined requirements. With their lights, vent fans, and outlets that may power hair dryers and other appliances, bathrooms use a lot of power and may need more than one circuit.

The outlet receptacles must be served by a 20-amp circuit. The same circuit can supply the entire bathroom (outlets plus lighting), provided there are no heaters (including vent fans with built-in heaters) and provided the circuit serves only a single bathroom and no other areas. Alternatively, there should be a 20-amp circuit for the receptacles only, plus a 15- or 20-amp circuit for the lighting.

All receptacles in bathrooms must have ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection.

A bathroom requires at least one 120-volt receptacle within 3 feet of the outside edge of each sink basin. Duel sinks can be served by a single receptacle positioned between them.

Light fixtures in the shower or bath area must be rated for damp locations unless they are subject to shower spray, in which case they must be rated for wet locations.

Kitchen
The kitchen uses the most electricity of any room in the house. Fifty years ago, a kitchen might have been served by a single electrical circuit, but today, a newly installed kitchen with standard appliances requires at least seven circuits and often more.

Kitchens must have at least two 20-amp 120-volt  “small appliance” circuits serving the receptacles in the countertop areas. These are for portable plug-in appliances.

An electric range/oven requires its own dedicated 120/240-volt circuit.

The dishwasher and garbage disposal both require their own dedicated 120-volt circuits. These can be 15-amp or 20-amp circuits, depending on the electrical load of the appliance (check the manufacturer’s recommendations; usually 15-amps is sufficient). The dishwasher circuit requires GFCI protection, but the garbage disposal circuit does not—unless the manufacturer stipulates it.

The refrigerator and microwave each require their own dedicated 120-volt circuits. The amperage rating should be appropriate to the electrical load of the appliance; these should be 20-amp circuits.

All countertop receptacles and any receptacle within 6 feet of a sink must be GFCI-protected. The countertop receptacles should be spaced no more than 4 feet apart.
Kitchen lighting must be supplied by a separate 15-amp (minimum) circuit.

Living Room, Dining Room, and Bedrooms
Standard living areas are relatively modest power users, but they have clearly defined electrical requirements. These areas are generally served by standard 120-volt 15-amp or 20-amp circuits that may serve more than one room.

These rooms require that a wall switch is placed beside the entry door of the room so that you can light the room upon entering it. This switch can control either a ceiling light, a wall light, or a receptacle for plugging in a lamp. The ceiling fixture must be controlled by a wall switch rather than a pull chain.
Wall receptacles may be placed no farther than 12 feet apart on any wall surface. Any wall section wider than 2 feet must have a receptacle.

Dining rooms usually require a separate 20-amp circuit for one outlet used for a microwave, entertainment center, or window air conditioner.  Residential Electrical Codes

Stairways
Special care is needed in stairways to ensure all of the steps are lighted properly to minimize the hazard fo falling.

Three-way switches are required at the top and bottom of each flight of stairs so that lights can be turned on and off from both ends.
If the stairs turn at a landing, you may need to add additional lighting fixtures to make sure all areas are illuminated.

Hallways
These areas can be long and need adequate ceiling lighting. Be sure to place enough lighting so shadows are not cast when walking. Remember, hallways often serve as escape routes in the event of emergencies.

A hallway over 10 feet long is required to have an outlet for general purpose use.
Three-way switches are required at each end of the hallway, allowing the ceiling light to be turned on and off from both ends.   If there are more doors served by a hallway, such as for a bedroom or two, you may want to add a four-way switch near the door outside of each room.  Residential Electrical Codes

Closets
Closets come with many rules regarding fixture type and placement.

Fixtures with incandescent light bulbs (which get very hot) must be enclosed with a globe or other cover and cannot be installed within 12 inches of any clothes storage areas (or 6 inches for recessed fixtures).

Fixtures with LED bulbs must be at least 12 inches from storage areas (or 6 inches for recessed).

Fixtures with CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs may be within 6 inches of storage areas.

All surface-mounted (not recessed) fixtures must be on the ceiling or the wall above the door.  Residential Electrical Codes

Laundry Room
The electrical needs of a laundry room will vary, depending on if the clothes dryer is electric or gas.

A laundry room needs at least one 20-amp circuit for receptacles serving laundry equipment; this circuit can supply a clothes washer or a gas dryer.

An electric dryer needs its own 30-amp, 240-volt circuit wired with four conductors (older circuits often have three conductors).

All receptacles must be GFCI-protected.  Residential Electrical Codes

Garage
As of the 2017 NEC, newly constructed garages need at least one dedicated 120-volt 20-amp circuit that serves only the garage. This circuit may also power receptacles mounted on the exterior of the garage.

Inside the garage, there should be at least one switch controlling lighting. It is recommended that three-way switches be installed for convenience between the doors.

Garages must have at least one receptacle, including one for each car space.

All garage receptacles must be GFCI-protected.  Residential Electrical Codes

Additional Requirements
AFCI requirements. The NEC now requires that virtually all branch circuits for lighting and receptacles in a home must have arc-fault circuit-interrupter (AFCI) protection. This is a form of protection that guards against sparking (arcing) and thereby reduces the chance of fire. Note that the AFCI requirement is in addition to whatever GFCI protection is required—an AFCI does not replace or eliminate the need for GFCI protection. Residential Electrical Codes

AFCI requirements are enforced mostly in new construction—there is no requirement that an existing system must be updated to comply with new-construction AFCI requirements. However, as of the 2017 NEC revision, when homeowners update or replace failing receptacles or other devices, they are required to add the AFCI protection at that location. This can be done in several ways:

A standard circuit breaker can be replaced with a special AFCI circuit breaker. This is a job for a licensed electrician. Doing so will create AFCI protection to the entire circuit.

A failing receptacle can be replaced with an AFCI receptacle. This will create AFCI protection to only the receptacle being replaced.

Where GFCI protection is also required (such as kitchens and bathrooms), a receptacle can be replaced with a dual AFCI/GFCI receptacle.

Tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles. All standard receptacles must be tamper-resistant (TR) type. These include a built-in safety feature that prevents children from sticking items into the receptacle slots.  Residential Electrical Codes