Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/11/2017

It’s always nice to have a roof over your head, as the old saying goes. Sometimes we don’t think about roof maintenance until it’s too late. Without the proper steps, a simple leak can turn into a big problem with your roof. Roofs can often fail resulting from simple natural wear and tear. Even if you have been doing regular maintenance on your roof, if replacing an old roof is delayed, bigger problems could happen in the future with the structure of your home. There are some warning signs that you should look out for so you know when your roof needs attention. Some signs that your roof may need to be replaced are: Shingles are Curled or Cupped When the edges of a shingle are curled up, it could cause water and debris to get under the shingle and into the roof. This will result in a weakened roof. “Bald” Spots On The Roof Appear If there’s parts of the roof where the granules are missing, it may be time for a new roof. These spots could cause leaks and even eventually cave in. Sometimes the fix could be as simple as changing a few shingles. Other times, the entire roof may need to be replaced. Cracked Shingles Appear Shingles are manufactured for durability. However, if your roof is not properly ventilated, or if debris is not cleared from the roof, it can impact the life of your roof, causing cracked shingles. Cracked shingles are an obvious sign that your roof needs attention. Moss Is Growing On The Roof If your roof doesn’t get much sunlight, moss can grow on the roof. More than a cosmetic issue, moss holds moisture on the roof’s surface. When this moss and held moisture freezes, this can cause damage to the shingles and the granules themselves. The problem with moss is that brushing it off won’t prevent it from growing again. A professional roofing contractor may need to be contacted in this case to get rid of the moss for good. Your Neighbors Are Having Their Roofs Replaced Neighborhoods are generally built around the same time. If your neighbors are beginning to have work done on their roofs, it’s a good bet that you might need some work done on your roof as well. Also, since neighbors’ homes will suffer the same conditions as your home, your roofs could be in similar conditions. Your Roof Has Dark Streaks Algae in the air cause streaks to form on roofs and decks. This is more of a cosmetic issue at first. These algae streaks can be removed using a 50:50 mix of water and bleach which can be sprayed directly on the roof. Don’t use a pressure washer. Instead use a low grade garden hose. This will keep the protective granules in tact. Keep in mind to protect your landscaping from bleach run off as well.




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Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 2/2/2017

Let's face it: you probably have picture frames or decorations hiding some small holes in your drywall. Most people hold off on filling small holes until it's time to repaint the wall. Even then, some people assume you can just paint right over the holes to cover them up. There's a much better way to ensure you have smooth and uniform walls, however. Read on to learn how.

Repairing small holes

If the areas you are attempting to repair are mainly small holes from picture frames made by hooks and nails, there's a relatively easy way to make your wall look like new again.
  1. First, you're going to want to pull out any debris from the whole, including loose or chipped pieces of drywall. This is an important step that many people omit. If you put your spackle or paste in a hole that has loose drywall in it, it could just fall out when it drys.
  2. Next, fill up the whole with spackle and smooth it with a putty knife or any flat surface available to you. Read the directions on the paste to determine how long it will take to dry.
  3. Once dry, sand down the area using a fine-grit sandpaper (at least 120 grit). Rub your hand over the area to see if there are any bumps. Be careful not to sand too hard if your wall is textured at all. Once the spackle is smooth and flush with the wall, you can move onto the next step: repainting.

Repainting your wall

It's good practice to save leftover paint and color samples for the walls of your house. If you've done this, your work here will be a lot easier. When you repaint the area you've sealed and sanded you'll want to paint over the edges slightly to blend it with the paint already on your wall. This will, hopefully, make it so the repaired area doesn't stand out. Remember not to panic when the paint appears darker and more vibrant where the repair is. Once it dries it will more closely resemble the paint on the wall. It may be necessary to put a second coat onto the area, so don't put your paint away just yet. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity to check the walls in the room for any other areas that need to be touched up.

It doesn't look quite the same

If you find yourself staring at the one-inch area of your wall that looks slightly different than the rest, you have two options.
  1. Back away, go do something else for a while and then come back later. Was it obvious to you where the spot was after taking a break? Sometimes artists get too close to their work and focused on details that are only apparent to them. Remember that no one is likely to notice but you.
  2. If it's driving you nuts, you could always use this opportunity to repaint the entire wall. Many rooms now have an "accent" wall, meaning one wall painted differently than the other three. This is a great way to add a hint of color to a room. Find a color that will nicely accent the walls and head to the paint store.
 





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 12/8/2016

Many new homeowners are eager to begin renovations on their home to make it fit the beautiful picture they have in their mind. Unfortunately the aesthetic improvements, while important, are often prioritized over important structural and functional repairs that should be made first. The key to making smart financial decisions for renovating your home is to have a good budget and to stick to it. Home improvements are one of the few expenses that people often forget to budget for, alongside car repairs and emergency medical expenses. If done properly, however, a budget will help you prioritize your repairs so you'll spend your time and money wisely. In this article, we'll explain how to budget for home repairs in a way that works for you and your family.

Understanding your money

To budget for home improvements, you first need to budget for other things in your life. Use an app or website like Mint or You Need a Budget to get a better understanding of how you spend your money. For some, budgeting for home improvements may mean cutting back on other spending areas. Fortunately, these apps break down all of your purchases by categories and help you spend less each month.

Ranking your renovations

If you're dying to update the bathroom but the roof needs to be redone, you should call the roofers first. Some home improvements are a ticking time bomb: deteriorating roofs, poor insulation, HVAC issues, water damage, and safety concerns like fire hazards are all problems that need to be addressed first on your budget. Some will save you money, others could save your life, but all of them are more important than adding closet space in your bathroom.

Estimating costs

Do your research when it comes to the the cost of repairs and home improvements. Once you have a ballpark figure, add it into your budgeting app as a new item on your budget. There is a general rule, when budgeting for home repairs, that you should set aside 1% of the cost of your home for maintenance and repairs each year. However, there are many other factors involved in how much it will cost to upkeep your home like the age of the house, the weather in your area, and how well-maintained the home was before you bought it.

Sticking to your budget

Everyone starts with good intentions, but keeping a budget isn't easy. Thankfully, it has been made much more manageable with the help of apps and websites that link right to your bank accounts. To stick to your home repair budget, make sure you sign up for reminders on your spending and progress. If you're keeping a budget the old fashioned way (pen and paper), put reminders on your calendar each month to check if you're spending too much on home repairs. Another key to successful budgeting it to make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If your significant other plays a role in home repairs, go over your budget together. This will help you keep one another accountable and set priorities that work for everyone.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 11/17/2016

Being handy with minor repairs is a skill that benefits any homeowner. Whether it's tightening a door knob or hanging a picture frame there are certain jobs that you don't want to waste time calling someone to help you do. Furthermore, basic maintenance in the home can save you money on repairs. If you're not the do-it-yourself type who dreams of a garage full of every type of power tool there is, fear not. Today we'll show you the essential homeowner's toolbox that contains everything you need to make quick fixes without taking up much room in your cabinet. 1. Tape Measure From measuring a space to fit furniture in to measuring your child's height against the wall, a tape measure will come in handy often. When shopping for tape measures keep in mind that you'll only need one as long as you pick one that's long enough to stretch across the rooms of your home. 2. Hammer and nails There is an endless variety of hammers to choose from. For simple home repairs or hanging things on your wall, you'll only need a simple nail hammer. This is really a two-in-one as it serves as a pry bar if you need to remove any nails as well. For your small toolkit you don't want a huge box of nails. Buy a small box with assorted sizes. The ones you're most likely to use are small or pin-sized nails for hanging picture frames. 3. Level Your hammer and nails won't be much use if you can't hang your picture straight. 4. Duct and electrical tape So you've got a broken broom handle and want to sweep out the house. It isn't the prettiest fix, but duct tape will save you until you have time to get to the store for a new broom. Duct tape has innumerable uses and if you use enough it will hold. Electrical tape should be used for things like live wires or items that are battery powered. This type of tape is an electrical insulator, so you won't get zapped if you use it properly. 5. Screwdriver set To save space in your toolbox buy a handle with detachable bits that suit any occasion. You won't have to worry about whether to buy a phillips head or flathead because you'll have all that and much more. 6. Utility knife A utility knife with replaceable blades will serve you well whether it's trimming a piece of carpet, cutting wrapping paper, or breaking down cardboard boxes. 7. Wind-up flashlight Chances are if you need a flashlight you just use the built-in one on your cell phone. But if the power goes out and you haven't changed the battery in your flashlight for five years you might be out of luck. Wind-up flashlights are battery-free and relatively inexpensive. 8. Pliers  A small set of pliers will fit nicely in your toolbox and will eventually come in handy. Needle-nose pliers are great for bending small objects and often come with a wire cutter included; another two-for-one space saver. 9. Adjustable wrench Whether it's a loose bolt on a lawn chair or a dead spark plug on your lawn mower, you'll need an adjustable wrench to make the fix. 10. Zip ties  Slightly more elegant and less messy than grouping your cables together with tape is connecting them with zip ties. They're handy because they're easy to put on, quite sturdy, and can be removed with one snip of your scissors.  




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Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 3/27/2014

Are you considering a large-scale home remodel?  Whether you are looking for a project intended to increase your home's value, or you're splurging on a pleasure project for your family, many of you will be turning to contractors to carry out the work that needs to be done.  However, not all contractors are equal.  It is important for you to outline your priorities for the project.  You'll want a reliable contractor that can perform satisfactory work for a reasonable price.  Here's a few tips to help get you started. 1. - Find yourself an insured and licensed contractor.  Don't just pull a number from the classifieds and run with it without doing some proper homework.  Licensing ensures that the contractor in question is qualified to do the work being discussed.  To find out if your prospective contractor is licensed, contact your state license board and check up on them. Insurance is another matter.  Insurance protects the workers the contractor will be employing, and your home from accidents resulting in damages.  Ask your contractor to provide you with proof of insurance.  If they can't provide this, then move on to a new contractor. 2. - Referrals and reviews - Before you strike out on your own, ask your friends and family if they have anyone that they'd recommend.  Many times, the best contractors are found word-of-mouth.  Every contractor on the planet wants his clients to think that he's the best for the job, but results speak for themselves.  Again, make sure any referrals are licensed and insured.  You don't want to take the chance of incurring additional damages to your property due to negligence and accidents.  If no referrals can be found, then check online for reviews of local contractors.  Most reputable contractors will have solid online reviews that are easily accessible.  Contractors that operate their own websites are a plus. 3. - There's no such thing as a stupid question.  If your contractor acts annoyed with you for asking too many questions, then you should probably consider someone else for the job.  Questions to consider asking are - How long have you been in business? - How much will this project cost in total? - Have you performed this type of work before? - What is the protocol if the project goes over-budget? If you don't like the answers given, then continue looking for a contractor you feel comfortable with. 4. - Don't pay too much up front.  Paying up to a third of the total estimate up front isn't unheard of.  This initial payment will more than likely be used to hire employees and buy supplies.  However, be wary of giving the contractor any more money until after your project is finished.  Also, don't be afraid to get a rundown of how that initial payment will be spent.  Be thorough if you want to be.  The contractor should be able to give you a pretty good picture of the project in terms of cost and time. 5. - Get a contract - No matter the size of the project being undertaken, a contract should always be written up.  This will ensure a legally-binding agreement between you and the contractor exists in the event of the unforeseen.  Without a contract, there is no way to hold the contractor accountable in the event he performs an unsatisfactory job.  And trust me...Any hassles you may incur in securing a contract is nothing compared to going to court without one in the event something goes awry.  A proper contract should include the following information.

  • When the project will start and end
  • How and when you or the contractor is in default of the contract
  • How any disputes will be rectified
  • What happens if there is a delay due to weather, available materials, and so on.




Categories: Money Saving Tips  




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