During the process of buying or selling a home, your clients often learn about recommended or required repairs and upgrades. Of course, the first thing homeowners want to know is, “How much will that cost?”
Pillar to Post is pleased to offer their popular Residential Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, which provides estimated cost ranges for repair and/or replacement of the major systems and components in a home. It also includes general guidelines for the life expectancy of those systems. This information can help you make informed decisions when considering home repairs or improvements. Below is just a sampling of a list of estimated costs for hundreds of repairs/upgrades.
Hardwood Floor Refinish $3-$6 / sq. ft
Carpet-clean $125 / room
Ceramic Tile $6-$11 / sq. ft
Kitchen Renovation $7,500 +
Kitchen counter – laminate $45 / lin. ft
Kitchen counter – marble $80 / lin. ft
Alarm System $2,500
Alarm Monitoring $35 / month
Pressure Treated $15-$30 /sq. ft
Custom Designed & Built $55-$80 / sq. ft.
Skylight $800 and up
Casement – replace $50 / sq. ft.
These estimates reflect the average basic costs for supplies and installation of building materials in United States and Canada. Costs may vary depending on regions, upgrades, complexity, and disposal fees.
For complimentary copies of our Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, please contact your local Pillar To Post office, or download from: http://www.pillartopost.com/costguide
Or download the pdf here Repair & Upgrade Cost Guide
Colorado often has weather conditions causing a freeze/thaw cycle which can cause damage to our homes and it’s components. The freeze/thaw cycle occurs when the temperature falls below freezing and returns to above freezing at frequent intervals over a period of time. One of the most damaging effects on our homes caused by the freeze/thaw cycle is called “ice damming”.
What is Ice Damming?
Ice damming is caused when the heat from a house begins to melt the snow on our roof from underneath. This melted snow or water runs towards the edge of the roof. When the roof has an overhang where the heat does not melt the snow it creates a snow or ice dam at the edge of the roof. This dam traps the water and prevents it from flowing freely into the gutters and forces it to back up under the shingles or other roof layers. The freeze/thaw cycle will cause this to continue until a leak or damage to underlying roofing materials occurs.
What can cause the conditions that result in ice damming?
Ice damming can occur for a number of reasons. The most common causes are 1) north facing sides of roof with large overhangs, 2) Improperly ventilated attic spaces, 3) Un-ventilated soffits
How can I tell if I have an ice dam?
One of the main indicators that an ice dam may be forming is the presence of icicles. Although you might find icicles hanging from a roof to be pretty they are most often an indication of a problem.
How do I prevent ice damming?
#3 is one of the recommendations I can help you with. Luckily, repairing screens is so simple it’s crazy not to do it today.
Repairing a plastic or fiberglass screen
Most screens today are made from plastic or fiberglass and small holes can easily be patched.
You can purchase a simple patch with self-sticking adhesive on one side from your local hardware story. The patch comes in a 3″ x 3″ square and can be cut to size. Apply the patch directly over any small hole or cut in the screen and you’re done!
For really small holes you can simply use a small amount of household cement, the patch will be next to invisible.
Repairing metal screens
Although metal screens are much less common they are still around on many homes. But repairing them can be just as easy.
You can purchase a ready made metal screen repair patch or you can cut a patch from an old screen. If you’re cutting a piece of screen yourself it should be at least 1/2″ – 1″ larger on all sides than the hole you’re repairing.
Unravel several strands from the patch and if necessary bend the strands along the edges.
Slip the bent strands of the patch through the screen and fold them over on the opposite side to hold the patch in place.
A small amount of household cement on the ends of the strands may help keep them in place over time.
If you’re screen is damaged beyond repair you can easily replace the screen by following some simple steps. Here’s a link to my blog post that will walk you through the steps.
Begin installing the new spline at a corner. Using the convex (grooved edge) side of the screen rolling tool to push the spline into the groove. Continue around the frame. If wrinkles or bulges appear, remove the spline and reroll. Small wrinkles should tighten up as you get back to the starting corner.
Go ahead, you can admit it, there are home repairs that you have been ignoring. We all do it. I teach home improvement classes, I was a home inspector for over 5 years and I’m a real estate broker and I procrastinate about doing home maintenance, too. We all have busy lives and there are only so many things we can accomplish in any one day. HOWEVER, there are some things that should NOT be ignored or your home can become a burden rather than a blessing.
Anything to do with water
Water is the enemy of your home and can do an incredible amount of damage if ignored for too long. The top three things NOT to ignore when it comes to water are:
the grout between your tiles, the caulk joints between tub or shower pans and walls and any corners or seams. If you see any gaps or cracks take care of them as soon as possible.
If you don’t have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm you should BUY ONE TODAY. Make sure you test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly and replace the batteries at least twice a year. If your smoke detectors or carbon monoxide alarms are more than 7 years old they should all be replaced.
Locate the air Filter. Depending on the furnace design, it can either be located in the blower door unit itself or located between the blower and the return air duct. You may need a screwdriver to help pry open the access panel or blower door.
Remove the filter from it’s support.
Check filter Hold your filter up to light to check for cleanliness. If it’s dirty or you’re not sure either replace it or clean it.
Insert Filter into Furnace. Look at your replacement filter and notice the arrow on the frame that shows the direction of air flow for the filter. Insert the filter back into it’s holding frame with the air flow arrow positioned correctly. The arrow should point towards the blower motor and main part of the furnace.
Replace the access panel or blower door panel.
If you live in the Denver Metro Area and are interested in learning how to do your own home improvement and maintenance. Visit www.workshopforwomen.com for a list of upcoming classes.
“I have a switch at the top of my stairs and one at the bottom that are supposed to turn on an overhead light, but the switch at the bottom only works if the switch at the top is on, what is wrong?”
At least one student in every one of my electrical classes tells me of a problem like this. It might be switches at opposite ends of a hall or at 2 entries to a room. Regardless of the location the solution is the same. It is a very common problem and one that was likely caused by someone who knew just enough to replace a switch but didn’t understand this particular set-up.
First some definitions:
When you have 1 switch that turns on one light (or set of lights) it is called a 2-way switching circuit and uses one (1) single pole switch.
When you have 2 switches that turn on one light (or set of lights) it is called a 3-way switching circuit and uses two (2) 3-way switches.
How to diagnose the problem:
Look closely at both of the switches where you have the problem. In a 3-way switching set up BOTH switches must be 3-way switches. How can you tell the difference? A single pole switch will have the words OFF and ON imprinted on the switch. A 3-way switch will be blank. Both switches should be blank.
Removing the Single Pole Switch:
Determining which 3-way switch is mis-wired:
Wiring connections for a 3-way switching circuit:
Judy Browne, author of this blog, is a residential real estate consultant with more than 10 years of comprehensive experience as a broker, home inspector, teacher, landlord, homeowner, student and handywoman. Judy’s range of knowledge and experience enables her to assist you in almost every area of home ownership.