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The list for things you should do to your home is endless—change furnace filter, clean gutters, leave a faucet running when it’s freezing out—but there are likewise many things you shouldn’t do. Of course, “set it on fire”, “paint it all black”, and “take off the roof” are gimmes, but we’ve come up with the top 8 items to be avoided that many people already do. Our apologies if you’ve already done one of these (or several).
1. Don’t do your own plumbing. If you already know how to do it, then this is just a list of the top 7 things you shouldn’t do. But even if you are an ambitious and skilled DIYer, just leave this one to the pros. It’s not so much that homeowners can’t do this or can’t learn, but most homeowners are not familiar with the safety requirements laid out in the Uniform Building Code (UBC). Plus, if you mess something up, water gets everywhere and might ruin a great many things. The risk versus reward of this does not play to your favor. If you ever did your own plumbing and you get a water damage call Final Touch Restoration at 631-696-4737.
2. Don’t park in the yard. Now we know what you’re saying, anyone who cares enough about their home to read an article about things you shouldn’t do to them already knows not to do this. But you’d be surprised. Plus we just wanted to let you know that we didn’t miss this one.
3. Don’t remove walls between rooms without knowing if it is a load-bearing wall. Certainly, if you are working with a quality contractor, this professional will know which walls can come down and which can’t. However, if you are doing it yourself, you need to ask an engineer or a solid contractor.
4. Don’t do bump-outs. Bump-outs are when you move a wall out a few feet just for a little extra space (like a bay window, but to a greater degree). The reason not to do this is simple: the cost per square foot of this improvement is so high that you might as well opt for a more sizable addition at a much lower cost per square foot. Of course, if you like the texture of pocketed space, more power to you, but also more cost to you.
5. Don’t do your own electrical. Same as with #1, except that you have the added danger of getting electrocuted. Not a good idea you do not want to create a shortcut that can set your house on fire.
6. Don’t remodel too much. Now you might have so much money that you just need to get rid of it, and if so, might we recommend a few charities that do some good work. However, you need to keep your remodeling within the general costs of your neighborhood. You’ve got to keep the money you put into your home realistic compared to the average price of houses that are similarly sized in your immediate area; otherwise it is extremely difficult to get the return on your investment. If you do want to remodel we offer FREE ESTIMATES.
7. Don’t be the person who doesn’t take care of your yard. Every street or every neighborhood has one, but don’t be that guy! You’ll get the whole neighborhood quietly hating you, making passive aggressive comments, and then one morning you wake up to find the whole block cleaning up your yard, as you stand on the porch in your robe with bed head. Bad yards make the neighborhood look bad and bring property values down, plus they’re an eyesore. If you’re really that busy, hire a lawn service or a kid from the block.
8. Never fool yourself into thinking your pets don’t stink. Because they do. This goes for you, too, small dog people. You might be used to the smell and the shedded hair, but it’s new to your guests. Pets, while lovable, get their smell on everything. If you have pets, you need to clean your carpets and furniture more often than usual (like every 6 months), call us 631-696-4737; Make sure that you open the windows as often as the weather permits, and vacuum as often as time allows. If you are looking to sell, you might need to repaint inside to help with the odor.
Where to Find the Best Fire and Water Restoration Companies
Fire and water restoration companies are an invaluable resource in the hours and days following a fire or flood. The services that these companies can provide you with can save you time and money. It is important to hire a fire or water restoration company within the first 24 hours after the fire department clears your home, as this can prevent secondary water damage like mold and mildew from developing in your home.
Referrals for Fire and Water Restoration Companies-
Getting a referral from your insurance company may very well prove to be the most effective solution. Your insurance provider can recommend a company that they have a good relationship with and one who they know operates under sound business practices. Since the companies have a history of working together, it is easier for all parties involved since policy and procedure is merely a formality. The most important factor of hiring a restoration company is the quality of work they can offer you.
The second most important factor is how quickly they can begin working on your home.
In addition, make sure to look at the qualifications of the contractor to verify if they are licensed to operate as a water damage restoration company and whether they are properly insured. A contractor’s insurance will cover damage to your property that is caused by the contractor as well as injuries that happen on your site during the performance of the job. Before you decide on a contractor, do not forget to ask for a written quote of the job. Most good quality companies use the Xactimate software solution to come up with a repair and restoration cost estimate that matches insurance guidelines.
You should also opt to choose a water damage contractor that has been certified by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC, now knowed as Clean Trust or CT. Having an IICRC certificate means that the company is reputable, meets industry standards and has trained damage restoration professionals.
You’ll also want to check with the BBB. Search the Better Business Bureau website at “http://www.bbb.org”to locate your local bureau. Enter the company’s name on the website to see if they are BBB accredited.
When your research is done and you are interested in 2-3 restoration companies:
Set Appointments- Set up appointments with at least two contractors in order to find the best contractor for you. Here are a few ideas of questions to ask a prospective contractor:
• How long has the company been in business? Final Touch Restoration has been in business for over 20 years.
• How early will work start in the mornings, and what time will workers leave each day? Final Touch restoration will work with your schedule to make you feel in control and comfortable with our company.
• Who will be the contact person if I hire this company? One of the two owners is hands on thru each job we do. We treat your home like of it was ours.
Gather References- A professional will easily give you a list of references and volunteer this information from the beginning of the process.
Final Touch Restoration has a book filled with letters of recommendations. Plus, we have some insurance agents that use us and only us to do all their work.It will be a pleasure to give you their names and phone numbers.
Call References- Call references directly and ask them the following questions:
• Would you use this contractor again if needed?
• Were you satisfied with the results? Was it easy communicating with the contractor?
• Were there any complications? If so, did the contractor respond promptly, was he courteous and did he charge you for any additional work?
• Was a designated foreman available to address your concerns? You want a point person for questions and concerns you have throughout the job.
Get an estimate- Estimates should be FREE and should be given to you in writing and include these essentials:
• The work to be done in detail
• A time frame for the work to be completed
• A firm price
Types of services offered by clean up and restoration contractors:
Fire and smoke damage restoration-
A fire can result in complex damages due to the unique behavior of smoke. A trained professional needs to survey the site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat and moisture impacted the building materials and contents. Hidden damage and odor results when smoke penetrates cavities of the structure. Professionals will be able to investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. Identifying the type of soot present at the site will also reveal what type of damage has occurred.
Water removal and dehumidification-
Professionals will have the equipment and experience necessary to effectively dry, deodorize and disinfect areas flooded or damaged by water. Prepared with an array of hi-tech drying equipment, sanitizing agents, germicides and anti-microbial treatments, qualified restoration contractors will be able to efficiently remove water. They will also have vast knowledge regarding dehumidification and properly lowering moisture levels from your home.
Mold mitigation and remediation-
Unwarranted amounts of mold may present health concerns to you and your family. Previous and untreated water damage can cause mold growth which is another good reason to have any water damage properly treated. Mold mitigation is a carefully regulated procedure and needs to be treated promptly and properly. Improper mold remediation can damage the resale value of your home.
Other services often include-
catastrophic storm response; electronic equipment; document drying; contents claim inventory service; air duct and HVAC cleaning; biohazard, crime scene and vandalism clean up; carpet, upholstery, drape and blind clean up; ceiling, wall and hardwood floor clean up; and deodorization.
So cute and funny!