Welcome. What's wrong with your place?

Making your home the way you want it.
Doors, windows, repairs, general repairs, painting,
and everything to make your home the way you want it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Storm doors..measuring it yourself.

You can measure the opening for a storm door and save yourself some aggravation. The most common standard sizes are 36"wide by 80-81"high for a front door, and 32"wide by 80-81"high for rear or side doors.
 Older homes sometimes vary from these dimensions and shorter or taller measurements will require a special order door and add some cost. Be sure to verify dimensions in more than one place. Use the smallest measurement.

 The exterior trim around entry doors is referred to as brick molding and all measurements should be taken from the inside edges of that trim. I've found that older homes invariably have headers (the top of the frame) and thresholds that have settled a bit and won't be level. A small variation (1/4" or less) usually doesn't cause a problem as minor installation adjustments can be made.

  The newest entry doors seem to be coming in a bit shorter and I've found several that won't accept a standard off the rack storm door. Just under 80" is the absolute  minimum and if the threshold isn't level it's really tough to make a standard door fit.

   I recommend taking time to have a cup of coffee, or other favorite beverage( in moderation of course) and thoroughly understand the instructions. Take your time, check your measurements. You can do it if you're patient.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When to Enlist A Pro?

  Sometimes you can look at an existing thing and see it basically for what it is, or was. Other times you need an ability to see what it could be.

  I have no simple explanation for how we see things differently but it's the adventure of what I do. One of the most interesting parts of changing a home around involves listening to what you want or need and finding a way to make that happen.

  Some things are straightforward and just need to be made sound and functional. Others involve respecting the look and feel of what was original and requires an understanding of older things. (It's where the term "residential archaeology"  came from).

  I've referred elsewhere to how easy it is to underestimate how long it takes to do things. Understanding how things in a home go together goes a long way toward seeing  how it can be repaired or improved.

  If you want to know how to actually do it yourself, and realistically what to expect to run into, I can explain that. If you run into something you don't think you want to do I can do that as well.

  Sometimes you just have to know when it's wiser to have the professional do it. Learning how to do things is really rewarding if you learn how to do it safely. The satisfaction you get from knowing how to improve or change a home is really gratifying.

 In the future I'll go over some observations on what what we think things should cost and what they are actually worth.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do You Have Stories?

  Do you have stories about your home? Funny, frustrating, difficult, or otherwise. Someone may learn something from your experience.

  I was working with a young guy some time ago on a project in the lower level of a home and we were loading out at the end of the day. As he carried a compressor up the stairway he commented on how heavy it was. I suggested he let the air out of it so it was lighter. He did. No change in weight. Go figure.

  He did learn something about my sense of humor that day.

How Long Can It Take?

Some good advice from an experienced carpenter. He said simply, "look at it practically.. and triple your first guess". He was so right. If you figure two hours plan on six. No kidding. It has worked out time and again for me and I've come to realize that so many things come into play.

I often refer to what I do as "Residential Archeology", exploring beneath the surface of things. So much of repairing or improving a home involves finding out what was done at the beginning. Do it right, not over. Much of what needs doing is because someone who came before was in a hurry, or wasn't concerned about who, or what,came after them.

I've seen this many times and it's hard to find something wasn't right from the beginning. It's not your fault but now it's your problem. Figuring  out what to do next to make things right can take a bit of time but it can be done.

Try to be realistic about how long things will take. An honest, tradesman will give you a fair and  realistic time frame.

If you have a question or comment feel free to post it. I'd like to help you figure it out.

Do You Want to Fix Things?

Do you have a question? Such as how do you do this yourself? (Or if it's possible). I'd be glad to help.  I can coach you through something. If I can help you do it yourself, you'll gain confidence and enjoy the satisfaction of improving where you live.

Put your hands on things. You can acquire skills you can use to help your friends and neighbors and build better relationships in the community around you.

Post a question and I'll give you the best answers I can. If I can I'll give you a realistic solution to your problem.

If you decide you don't want to do your project yourself I'll try to give you realistic numbers to get it done and a time frame for the whole thing.

 You want to improve or change (or at least repair) where you live and that's what this is all about.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What This Is About

You want to come home,relax and enjoy where you live and forget the world outside. There are some nagging things you need to fix, or some major changes you'd like to make but time, or know how, or maybe energy and money keep you from getting it done.

So..how can I help you? Explain how to do it yourself? Coach you through the project? Do it for you? Explain what things really cost? Refer you to sources of information so you can do this stuff at your leisure? Glad to help.

Eventually on these pages you'll find simple or detailed instructions, costs, tools, and links to other sites that will help you get this stuff done. Then you can get back to coming home to relax and enjoy where you live without thinking about what you should be doing. You can decide to do it yourself or decide to get it done by others and feel comfortable you've made the right decision.

 More to come.