Friday, July 04, 2014
Posted by TheBuilder at 5:43 AM
Monday, May 19, 2014
Key Steps for Planting Grass Seed and Ensuring a Lush Green Lawn
If you are re-seeding an existing lawn, first cut down the lawn with a mower to as close to the surface of the soil as possible. Then rake up the surface of the soil and grass to enable the new grass seed to be able to work into the soil and existing grass roots. Also remove any sticks or rocks on the soil surface.
Posted by TheBuilder at 10:17 AM
Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Mark J. Donovan
Winter is officially over. Thank God. It's been one heck of a winter. So much for having to listen to the Global Warming politicians and all of their hot air. Now that I think about it, it's probably their own hot air that's been the leading cause and concern for their fears of global warming. Being an Electrical Engineer since my college days I've always believed in James Joule's "Conservation of Energy" law and the related "Conservation of Mass" law by Antoine-Laurent. Basically they mean that the amount of energy and mass in a closed loop system, e.g. Earth, remain constant. Thus, there could be periods of time of increased heat, or cold, on the Earth depending upon various conditional changes in the Earth's closed loop system. Yes, there could be outside forces that influence the Earth, such as the Sun or a meteorite hitting the Earth, but factors such as those are certainly not man-made, no matter how much the politicians try to argue it is. Enough said on that subject though.
The main reason I started to write this blog post was that I wanted to remind people that with the warmer weather it's time to start acting on those outdoor home improvement plans you've been formulating this long, cold winter. Weather you are planning to grow a garden this year or start your lawn off on the right foot, it's time to start buying the seed and fertilizer now. It's also a good time to break out the yard tools, particularly the lawn mower and give it a tune up. If you can't do it, then send it to a shop that can. One of the most frustrating things is to go out to mow the lawn and find you can't start the lawnmower.
Outdoor home improvements are not limited to the yard. Spring is also a good time to take a look at your home's roof and house siding. Check if the asphalt shingles have been damaged during the winter months and if they are in need of replacing. Also check the house siding for damage and whether or not it is in need of a paint job. If so, start ordering paint now so when the weather gets a bit warmer you can tackle the project promptly, before the weather gets too hot.
Check your deck as well. Make sure the deck boards are not rotting and have any popped nails or fasteners. You may also need to refinish the deck, particularly with the brutal winter we just went through.
So get those outdoor home improvement plans out and start to rev your DIY engines. Spring is here and its time to go outside and get to work!
Posted by TheBuilder at 5:59 PM
Friday, October 04, 2013
Pointers to a Excellent Source for Building a Room Addition and Estimating CostsBy Mark J. Donovan
If you are planning a home addition project then you will want to read this article on estimating house addition costs from HomeAdditionPlus.com. It provides a plethora of useful tips and considerations for the homeowner that enable him or her to come up with a back of the envelope estimate of expected room addition costs.
The article also recommends purchasing a Room Addition Contractors Hiring Guide/Bid Sheet that can help a homeowner find the right contractor for the project.
So whether you're looking to add on to your house a new bedroom, family room or sunroom this article on room addition costs is worth taking a look at.
Posted by TheBuilder at 9:38 AM
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Roof Run-Off has Caused the Exterior Apron Trim and Clapboards to Rot Near House Entranceway Steps
By Mark J. Donovan
This weekend I have another home repair project to tackle. I’ll be replacing a 10 foot length of old exterior house trim board and some masonite house siding. More specifically I’ll be replacing a section of my home’s trim apron and couple of rows of house siding that sit directly underneath the front entrance way of my house. Water that runs off the roof and splashes off the granite steps bounces up onto the house siding and has caused some minor wood rot. Approximately a 6 foot section of house apron trim, along with a few rows of house siding near the steps, have become punky and rotted. Hopefully the sill is not rotted behind it. At least from the inside the sill looks in good shape. I expect the sill may be a little damp on the outer side, but I doubt there will be any real wood rot. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
To tackle this project I first need to slide about a 1,500 pound granite slab back from the house. The granite slab is the top piece of the staircase abutting the house entrance. I need to slide it back about a foot so that I can get access to the rotted apron trim. I bought a three foot long crow bar to move the granite slab and have already tested its use. I was able to move the granite slab back a couple of inches with little effort.
Once the granite slab has been pushed back I’ll use a small power hand saw to cut vertical lines in the apron trim for the section I want to remove. I’ll then use a pry bar and hammer to remove the old apron. Once the old apron is out, I’ll inspect for water sill damage and if lucky replace the old apron section with a PVC based trim product known in the industry as AZEK. This material won’t rot and is paintable.
After fastening and painting the new piece of apron trim, I’ll then remove a few rows of the house siding back about two to three feet from the door. I’ll then splice in new pieces of masonite siding making sure to stagger the seams as I work my way up the house.
Prior to installing the new masonite house siding, I will replace the rusted out drip edge that hangs over the apron trim. I’ll also make sure to use a silicone caulk sealer on all cut ends and above the drip edge to prevent any water from splashing up and getting behind the wood.
With any luck I will complete the entire project in a day.
Posted by TheBuilder at 12:31 PM