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Spring Cleaning - drainage edition

Spring is definitely in full swing, and it’s time for some routine maintenance:

Check your home’s exterior drainage. Does rain water flow away from the house? You should not see standing water or puddles for more than about one day. If water stays, or moves toward your foundation you should work through some easy steps to try to fix the problem.

First: Clean out your gutters.  Winter snows and rains have likely knocked stuff off trees and into your gutters.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, you will want to try to build up a slope to help water move away from your foundation.

For more complicated problems, or areas that have concrete and asphalt, call House Right to set up an appointment to evaluate your options.

Daniel Sandmeier
This kitchen is really coming together now!
Daniel Sandmeier
Selling a home - inspection issues

One of the things an inspector will always call out prior to a home sale is the lack of GFCI outlets in the appropriate places. Even when your home was built prior to code requiring them, an inspector will call attention to the fact that they aren’t there.

This Old House has a neat article on how FGFCI outlets work.

If you hire House Right to prep your home for market, we can have qualified electricians upgrade your outlets with GFCI where appropriate, helping your sale go smoothly.

Daniel Sandmeier
Fix this to sell your home!

One of the most common findings on home inspections is a poorly maintained deck. Here in the pacific northwest, the elements can really take a toll on wooden surfaces. At the very least, you should make sure your home has a yearly coat of weather seal and stain to keep it in great shape. If you have neglected your maintenance a little bit, make sure to get your deck checked out before your home goes on the market. It is best for potential buyers to be imagining a glass of wine at sunset, not a dirty weekend of sanding and staining.

Most often, a pressure wash and a coat of sealer and stain is all it takes to bring a deck back to looking great, but in some cases where warping and cracking have occurred, more significant repairs may be necessary.

Here is a good tutorial on how to renew your deck. If this looks like work you don’t want to do, or simply do not have the tie and tools for, give House Right a call. We’d be happy to get that deck spruced up and help your house sell for everything it is worth.

Daniel Sandmeier
The Winter Blues

This winter here in Tacoma has been one for the record books. Literally!

Read more about our crazy winter:

The Washington Post

Seattle Weather Blog

AccuWeather

The thing about record amounts of snowfall, followed by the rain we normally experience in a February is that it can really highlight any routine repairs you may have been putting off. If you found yourself with some unwanted water inside, you should probably give us a call. We would be happy to come out and evaluate what we can do to keep it from happening again.

Daniel Sandmeier
Master Builder Association of Pierce County
Daniel Sandmeier
One thing not to ignore on your home inspection

There are a lot of scary moments in buying a home. Receiving a home inspection report that i20 pages long and filled with information you never knew existed, and certainly never wanted, is a daunting moment.

Over the next few months, I’ll write about a few of the items that get called out on home inspections, and how much you should worry about each of them.

To start with, here is an easy one. If the house you are buying has Federal Pacific Electric or “Stab-Lok” circuit breakers and/or panel, they need replaced immediately.

Long story short, a circuit breaker is meant to “break” a circuit that has over loaded. The Federal Pacific Electric, (Stab-Lok) were tested, and failed to trip a majority of the time.

When a circuit overloads, it can overheat. If it overheats enough, it can cause a house fire.

Don’t mess with these things, get them changed out before you take possession of your new home. Any licensed electrician can do a panel change, and it will need inspected after the work is done. If you’d like House Right to set this up for you, just give us a call - 1-800-619-0775. We’d be happy to help.

More info here: Despite previous safety concerns, this circuit breaker is still in homes

Daniel Sandmeier
House Right is now a Certified Aging in Place remodeler!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            

admin@houseright.org

www.HouseRight.org

800-619-0775

Joshua Simmons Earns Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist Educational Designation

Tacoma WA, –Joshua Simmons of House Right, is now one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a remodeler and project manager with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners or their visitors.

The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and NAHB Research Center, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry — home modifications for aging-in-place.

House Right is based in the South Puget Sound region. House Right is a general contractor that specializes in remodeling for livability, and supporting the real estate sales process.

CAPS graduates include remodelers, builders, designers, architects, occupational therapists and others who help homeowners remain in their homes safely, independently and comfortably as they age.

In three days of coursework, the CAPS curriculum incorporates market demographics, communication techniques, marketing, common barriers and solutions, building codes and standards, product ideas and resources and business management.

CAPS program graduates are required to maintain their designation by attending continuing education programs and/or participating in community service projects.

“I look forward to helping homeowners in Pierce County make the changes they need to enable them to live in their homes for a long, long time,” said [name].

For additional information about the CAPS program, visit www.nahb.org/caps. For more information about House Right, visit www.houseright.org or call 800-619-0775.

Daniel Sandmeier
We love real estate agents!

Your clients have needs:
Hot water heaters that won't pass an inspection, dated cabinets, and leaking windows are scary to home buyers. Getting them fixed right, and on time is a win-win-win for buyers, sellers and agents.

House Right is your answer:

From a replacing the straps on hot water heaters to our current designer full kitchen remodel, House Right is out there getting the work done. 

House Right:  We Fix Everything.

service@houseright.org

Happy Homeowners + Happy Agents = Happy House Right

wa lic # HOUSERL825NC

6817 27th St W # 65356 University Place WA 98464

Daniel Sandmeier
Happy Holidays, and a special Thank You from House Right

Our first year in business is wrapping up, and we couldn’t be happier to have been able to help all our fantastic customers.

We’re currently working on a full basement remodel in Tacoma, having the dumpster dropped off for demo on a Gig Harbor kitchen, and drawing plans for two more big jobs.

Josh is is in the last step of becoming a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. The CAPS program is one near and dear to our heart, and we are excited to be able to show our commitment to helping people get the most our of their home.

We had a logo designed by Maura McMahon. She’s a South Sound / Tacoma local, that has done a bunch of amazing work for the community. Here’s a big version:

HRLogoClr.png

If you want to be as snazzy as House RIght, you should work with Maura, she was very helpful guiding two general contractors through the process of creating a logo.

We may be busy, but we always have time to talk to you about your next project, so get in touch if you need your House to be Right.

Daniel Sandmeier
Fall home maintenance list - Prep for winter

There are a few things every home owner should keep up with. For example, the house I live in has a flat roof, so I spent an hour cleaning all the pine needles off and clearing the gutters the other day, and then set a reminder in my calendar to do it again in about 3 months.

It can be hard to keep track of all the little things that need done around the house though. Here is a short list of things you might want to think about this fall.

  • Now is the time to drain your hot water tank. This prolongs the life of the heater and can help with efficiency and even capacity.

  • Winterize your AC. If you have central air you should cover the outside unit with a tarp or the cover that came with it and make sure to secure it so the wind doesn’t blow it off. Bungie cords can work well for this. If you have window unit air conditioners, now is the time to remove them and store them.

  • Get your furnace inspected at least every other year.

  • Turn off water to outdoor faucets. Also flush hoses, roll and store them. Although they are rare in the Puget Sound, if you have a sprinkler system you should have it blown out.

  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected.

  • If your driveway has cracks, you should consider having it re-sealed. Water will freeze and expand in the cracks, which will make everything worse.

Want a complete checklist of home maintenance tasks to keep you on schedule? Thanks to The Art of Manliness you just need to click download (via google docs).

Daniel Sandmeier
House Right was built to be different.

After 15 years in construction, remodeling and residential rehab, Josh was fed up. He was tired of watching workers take shortcuts, skim over necessary work and rush through their day.

One day, driving home from a job, he called one of his oldest friends and said

“There has to be a better way.”

After 15 years in government management, Dan was fed up. He had already quit his job and gone back to school in business, and was looking for a project that he could believe in. He wanted to build something, to see real results from his work, and to be able to solve problems for people.

One day driving to school, one of his oldest friends called and said, “There has to be a better way.”

They built House Right.

Daniel Sandmeier
Moving into a new house

There are a lot of things on your mind when you finally get the keys to the house you’ve been dreaming about. Although it may not be as fun as picking a color to replace that hideous wallpaper in the bedroom there is one thing you should take care of before anything else.

Change the locks.

You have no idea who has keys and door codes to your new house. Contractors, pet sitters, crazy ex-boyfriends and even the UPS guy might have a way into your new castle.

Call House Right. We can change all your doorknobs and door codes for you, and we can even upgrade them to locks that allow you to rekey them yourself.

Best of all, we can do it before you move one thing in. Moving is stressful enough, you don’t need to worry about who has a key to your new house.

Roof Moss

Keeping your roof clean isn’t just about looks:

As moss grows, it works underneath your shingles which can pull them them away from your roof. When your roof loses the protective barrier provided by shingles, it begins to degrade at an advanced rate. 

The sooner you can remove moss from your Pacific Northwest home’s roof, the longer your roof will last. Cleaning moss off of your shingles and roof can save you a significant amount of money on repairs.

If you begin to see moss (fuzzy green or black stuff), you have a limited amount of time before it has spread across the entire  roof. As it spreads and grows it does extensive damage.  Unchecked moss growth can lead to water inside your home. Water inside your home contributes to mold growth, poor air quality and many other issues.

Of course, you could do this work yourself. Here are instructions from Better Home & Gardens and This Old House.

Don't want to crawl up on your roof and spend a whole weekend scraping moss?  Here are some before, during and after pictures of a roof that House Right just took care of:  

Who should you call?

Knowing who to call when you have a problem isn’t always easy.  It can be even more nerve wracking when the problem is with something in your house. You know you want the problem solved quickly, but you also want good value for your money and the peace of mind that comes from having a job done right. But, where do you start?

Start with House Right.  We have 15 years of experience in residential building and repairs. We can take care of everything from a full house remodel to patching a small hole in your drywall so it looks brand new.

Daniel Sandmeier