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Inspect Your Windows for Wood Rot

March 25, 2015

Windows and window frames are prime locations for wood rot to develop. Wood rot is essentially fungi growing and spreading in moist areas within wood.

At a basic level, there are two types of wood rot: brown rots and white rots. The brown rot is (not surprisingly) brown is discoloration and causes the wood to crack in a “cube” like manner. White rot does not have the “cube” cracking. Rather, it takes on an almost fibrous or spongy appearance.

woodrot Inspect Your Windows for Wood Rot

Mr. Handyman highly recommends inspecting your windows (and the area surrounding your windows) for wood rot. Water and moisture are the prime suspects as to the cause of developing wood rot. Nice, clean, dry wood should not rot.

If you notice wood rot around your windows, you should add it to the top of your “To-Do” list as it shouldn’t be ignored. Depending on where the wood rot is located, if it’s not addressed in a timely matter it could lead to permanent structural damage to your home.

Wood Rot Inspect Your Windows for Wood Rot

It’s one thing to fix the wood rot but it’s another whole project to “finish” the job as you need to consider sanding, painting, staining, etc. that makes the repair look like it’s actually a part of the house.

Need help with your wood rot issue? Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

 

Mud Room Ideas for Busy Families

March 13, 2015

Mud Room Ideas for Busy Families

Tired of tripping over boots, picking up coats and searching the entire house for your misplaced purse? Sounds like you need a mud room.

What is a mud room? It’s basically an entryway equipped for busy families that need adequate space for shoes, coats and equipment. If you desire an uncluttered and inviting entryway, then keep reading. And if you think building a mud room is out of your budget, think again. We’ve highlighted four different mud room ideas – from sophisticated to simple – that will help keep your busy family organized and your home tidy.

Full-Blown Built-ins

This is a dream. Imagine a beautiful wood bench with storage space below, lockers for every member of your family, complete with hooks, crown molding and plenty of storage space above. Muddy boots – check. Sports equipment – check. Jealous friends – check. And just because it looks extravagant doesn’t mean it has to break the bank. Contact your local handyman for quote!

03112015 Mud Room e1426106625158 Mud Room Ideas for Busy Families

Photo Credit: wplynn on Flickr

Cool Closet Converter

Get smart with your space. Convert your existing entryway into a mud room by adding a bench and storage space to your coat closet. The beauty of the mud room nook is that you can still hang all of your coats and store all of your boots, but now you have a nice little bench to sit on while you get ready to head out the door – and you didn’t have to sacrifice any space at all!

Add a Hall Tree

For a simpler solution, add an elegant hall tree to your foyer. You still get the storage bench and coat hooks. We even found some “shabby chic” hall trees made out of old doors . If you want to go the DIY route, remember that Mr. Handyman is always ready to help you along the way!

Entry Bench & Hooks

For a quick and easy mud room makeover, buy or build a simple storage bench and hang some hooks on the wall behind it. Take it to the next level by substituting wall cabinets for hooks. This is a great option for small spaces and it still accomplishes the purpose of the mud room – keeping the entryway clean and organized!

Building a mud room is all about getting creative with your space. And if you need help with anything, from designing to building, contact your local Mr. Handyman today. We’re ready to turn your vision into the ultimate mud room!

Ladder Safety Tips for Spring Cleaning Jobs

March 11, 2015

It’s that time of year again when springtime is in the air and your to-do list is getting even longer.  Before you start cleaning out the gutters or washing those hard to reach windows, here are a few ladder safety tips for spring cleaning:

  • Choose the right ladder for the job you are doing.  The style, size, weight capacity, and material of the ladder are all determining factors.
  • Make sure that the ladder you are using extends at least three feet over the roof line or your working service.
    Set up your straight, single or extension ladder at a 75 degree angle. Stand with your toes at the bottom of the ladder and reach straight out to touch the rungs with your fingertips. If you can do this you’ve got the right angle.Cleaning Siding Ladder Safety Tips for Spring Cleaning Jobs
  • Place you ladder on a dry and level surface away from opening doors. Never place the ladder in a puddle of water or in the mud.
  • Check all locks and extensions on your ladder to make sure they are set before you start climbing.
  • Stay off the top step of a ladder and never climb or stand on the rear section of an extension ladder.
  • Keep your balance and never overreach on your ladder.
  • Don’t use your metal ladder near power lines or electrical equipment, fiberglass or wood ladders should be used instead.
  • When you are done with your ladder simply put it away. This will ensure safety for others as well as proper care for your ladder.

If you need help tackling that springtime to-do list or any outdoor home repairs, we would be more than happy to help with those tasks.

Looking for more safety tips, check out our Interactive House and read about baby proofing your home.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Save Space With a Garage Bike Rack

March 5, 2015

Bicycles have become significantly more popular in the past 15 years. According to CNNMoney, 60% more Americans bike to work than they did in 2000. And having a bike in a major metropolitan city is a fiscally smart and healthy option compared to driving. Especially when the median cost of a monthly parking spot is $541, like in Manhattan.

But bikes can take up a lot of space, and the more bikes you have between you and your family, the less space you’ll find in your garage. So whether you have a two-car garage or a studio apartment, a “garage bike rack” is a great storage solution for you and your bike. Keep reading to learn why…

sannyrizkyjatnika Save Space With a Garage Bike Rack

Photo cred: Sannyrizkyjatnika at Flickr.

Saving space and keeping your garage organized is important. Especially during those cold winter months when having covered parking is crucial. Make sure you take full advantage of unconventional space within your garage by storing items up high. For  hanging bike storage, try using this ceiling mount bike lift to save floor space.

DIY Alternative: Save some cash by building your own DIY bike rack solution for your garage. See five fun DIY weekend projects for bike storage.

Alternatively, if you’re like many city dwellers without a garage, there are still plenty of practical indoor solutions for you as well. Mounting your bike on the wall is a great way to save floor space and display your bike at the same time. Many bicycle enthusiasts pay thousands of dollars for racing bikes, so why not display it for the work of art that it is? See here for some creative, artistic ways to show off your bike and keep it out of the way at the same time.

DIY alternative: Instead of paying for a wall mount, try building one yourself– it is a fairly simple and fun project. Click here to find the directions to a DIY wooden bike rack, costing only $10! And for an even simpler project, try mounting two of these Ikea tracks ($5/piece) on your wall and resting your bike there.

Whether it be in a garage or in your apartment, there are endless storage solutions for your bicycle needs. Get creative and you’ll be sure to find the perfect bike rack for your lifestyle.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Poll: Who Is Your Favorite Handyman Character of All Time?

February 15, 2015
ceilingfan

Your wall has a new hole in it. The tub in the master bathroom really needs new caulking. Or maybe the fence needs a new stain. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that you need a handyman.

But before you even pick up the phone, you conjure up an image of who this handyman might look like. Will Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor show up to fix my door? Or will I get an Al Borland type?

Many great handymen have been portrayed on television and the big screen. We want to know, who’s your favorite handyman character of all time? What handyman comes to mind for you?

Choose your favorite handyman from the list below and then share this poll with your friends!

(Sorry Ty Pennington fans, fictional handyman characters only!)


When you call Mr. Handyman, you know exactly what you’ll get: a fully-insured, professional handyman dressed in our signature red shirt. Although some of our technicians think they’re as witty as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, we can’t guarantee any laughs. But we can guarantee that our technicians will be on time and the job will be done right.

Are you a real life Handy Manny? Mr. Handyman is currently seeking skilled service technicians in cities all across the country. If you’ve got the can-fix-it character, and the skills to back it up, check out our job openings at jobs.mrhandyman.com.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Handyman Technician?

February 13, 2015

Are you looking for more than a job?  Are you looking for a career?  Then consider joining Mr. Handyman as a Service Technician.  Our technicians perform a wide range of services to our customers from maintenance and repair to carpentry and handyman tasks. The most important aspect of a technician’s job is the ability to ceilingfan 199x300 Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Handyman Technician?demonstrate “professionalism.”

A Service Technician will have significant contact with customers and should therefore possess the following characteristics and qualities:

Skills

  • Knowledge and industry experience
  • Ability to communicate well with others
  • Ability to execute projects in a timely manner
  • Core competencies in maintenance, repair and carpentry

Values

  • Strong work ethic
  • Honest, ethical, trustworthy personality
  • Creates a safe and fun work environment
  • Enjoys family life and family time
  • Takes pride in a good well doneHM Roof CMYK Copy 300x300 Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Handyman Technician?

Compatibility

  • Desire to be in control of your own income
  • Legally eligible to work in the US
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Pass criminal record screening

Personality

  • Desire to be in control of your own income
  • Enjoys structure  and is able to follow instructions
  • Sincere and pleasant demeanor
  • Works well with minimal supervision
  • Likes variety of work and assisting others
  • Easy-going personality
  • Detail-oriented

To ensure your success at Mr. Handyman, we provide each of our Service Technicians with a company van and cover all associated expenses—this includes gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance. The only thing we ask of our Technicians is that they supply their own tools. We take care of the rest.

Click here to see testimonial videos from other Mr. Handyman Service Technicians!

For more than 15 years, we’ve consistently hired reliable, customer service-focused employees who are both knowledgeable and skilled. If you think you have what it takes to be a part of the fastest-growing handyman company in the world join Mr. Handyman as a Service Technician today!

What Is an Odd Job Anyway?

February 12, 2015

From time to time you may hear home improvement professionals and companies talk about how they help home owners with their “odd jobs” around the house. But what is an odd job exactly? Mr. Handyman can answer that question.

Odd jobs are handyman services that don’t necessarily fall into major trade categories like carpentry.

02112015 Odd Jobs 1024x577 What Is an Odd Job Anyway?

Photo courtesy of Mr. Handyman serving Greater Jacksonville

We consider odd jobs to be services like the following:

  • Changing hard to reach light bulbs
  • Hanging pictures (or animal wall mounts)
  • Power washing driveways, patio furniture, siding, etc.
  • Weatherproofing windows and doorways
  • Furniture or outdoor play set assembly
  • Installing exercise equipment
  • Replacing/repairing ropes on flag poles
  • And the list can go on and on…

Basically, odd jobs are the tasks that home owners ask “Who should I call that can help with ________?” when reviewing their to-do lists.

Do you have an odd job you need help completing around the home? Give Mr. Handyman a call. We can help.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

The Top Home Improvement & Repair Topics of 2014

December 31, 2014

At Mr. Handyman, we love to share home improvement tips with our clients….and with our friends and family… and with strangers in the aisles of home improvement stores. We also share them with the world through this blog. Let’s look back at the most popular posts of 2014:

Installing a Roof Over Your Deck

deck covered with roof 150x150 The Top Home Improvement & Repair Topics of 2014We regularly help homeowners expand the usable square footage of their property by installing outdoor entertainment areas. They range from the basic, such as installing a deck, to the elaborate, such as a full outdoor kitchen. This post about installing a roof over a deck was widely read because it turns the area into one that can be used even on rainy days. We discussed the different types of roofs, including shed, gable and hip, and talked about the safety concerns of adding a roof to an existing deck, which requires proper support be built into the deck itself.

Composite Decking | Reviews of Top Composite Deck Manufacturers

fiberon composite deck 150x150 The Top Home Improvement & Repair Topics of 2014If you are starting from scratch in the backyard, this overview of composite decking materials is the place to start. Many homeowners opt for composite materials instead of wood, as they require less maintenance and last longer. They also resist fading for the most part. And if you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly building material, composite delivers as it mixed with the ground-up wood are recycled plastic products such as shopping bags and milk jugs. In this post, we discuss in-depth products from top composite deck manufacturers, including FiberOn, TAMKO and Trex. If you are considering choosing composite over wood, read up on each products many style options.

Bathroom Remodel Shower Ideas: Many Shower Options for Your Upgrade

glass tile shower 150x150 The Top Home Improvement & Repair Topics of 2014Heading inside the home, we wrote in this post about the many options you have for upgrading a shower. The most important decision you will make involves the material of the shower itself, which can be the commonly used fiberglass, the room-opening glass, and another common and versatile option – tile. Each material has its pros and cons, but you can’t really go wrong with any if you simply like a certain look. We can help you pick the best one for your budget, décor and usage, ensuring your bathroom remains a relaxing space for many years to come. The post also includes photos to inspire your own shower upgrade project.

Pumpkin Carving – 6 Creative Ideas Using Power Tools

jigsaw pumpkin lid 150x150 The Top Home Improvement & Repair Topics of 2014Did you know that you can use power tools to create elaborate Jack-o-lanterns? You can, and we tell you how and offer creative ideas for designs in this post. For example, a jigsaw removes the top of a pumpkin in no time, and special drill attachment called a pumpkin gutter scoops out the guts much more quickly and with much less mess. Bits also work well when adding fine detail. If any of that sounds difficult to you, not to worry; we included video instructions for many of the tips in the post.

Free Pumpkin Carving Templates – Download Printable PDF Stencils

pumpkin pattern composite 150x150 The Top Home Improvement & Repair Topics of 2014Speaking of Jack-o-lanterns, readers love our free downloadable and printable pumpkin-carving stencils. We offer traditional shapes such as bats, ghosts, witches, a cat and a scary jack-o-lantern, and we also have stencils that allow you to create a custom carving with eyes, noses and mouths you can mix and match. This post also includes video demonstrations if you prefer to watch and learn.

Thank you for reading the Mr. Handyman blog in 2014. We look forward to offering you more advice in 2015 and beyond. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Living Room Storage Ideas

December 27, 2014

The name says it all: living room. In this center space of the home, just about all of life’s activities happen. Family members and friends eat—whether popcorn while watching a movie or a dinner to catch up on a favorite show. Drink—cocktails or hot cocoa, anyone? Relax—board game night! And they sleep—who hasn’t napped on a particularly comfy sofa? With all of this taking place, the room risks becoming cluttered with the supplies and accessories these activities require. Keep your living room streamlined with these five storage ideas.

  1. under stairs storage 253x300 Living Room Storage Ideas

    Photo Credit: Ctd 2005 on Flickr

    Turn your staircase into a storage area—Make use of the empty space below your stairs for storage. Not only can you install shelves to hold books and other items, but you also can create an open space behind the shelves for items that do not get regularly used. Bins on lower shelves also make great storage spaces for shoes, purses, umbrellas and dog leashes, things you regularly grab on the way out the door.

  2. Get an entertainment center—While it may be tempting to simply hang a flat-screen TV on the wall, keep in mind what you use with the TV. Sure, CDs and movies can be digitally stored and accessed, but you still need spots for a cable box, modem and gaming systems. Use an entertainment center with closable doors to keep all eyes on the TV, not the many items surrounding it. There are a variety of options, from assembly-required furniture to custom-built cabinetry.
  3. Transform your staircase into a spot for Spot—Many a homeowner has created a den for their pup under the stairs, one with room for a bed, bowls, and bins filled with his toys. Add a gate to crate in a dog who gets too excited when company arrives, giving him time to calm down before greeting guests.
  4. Create a room divider/storage area—In an open great room that extends into a dining area, you can create separation while also adding storage. The shelves can extend extend up, leaving a display space for treasured items, or they can come up to about hip height and sit flush against a sofa, whichever you prefer. Just as with the other ideas mentioned, put bins and other containers to use storing like items. That way, you don’t risk creating clutter.
  5. Add a set of floating shelves—Shelves don’t only come in cases. You can add floating shelves to a wall to create storage that doubles as décor. Favorite books, framed photos and items that remind you of world travels can find a home on these shelves while also representing your life.

Bonus storage idea: While you don’t exactly “store” humans, they do need a place to sit in the living room. Storage benches and ottomans do double duty by containing items and holding up humans. You are already taking up space with seating, so why not smartly use it as storage, too.

Tips for Keeping Clutter at Bay

  1. living room storage1 300x188 Living Room Storage Ideas

    Photo Credit: Mazzali on Flickr

    Use glass fronts sparingly. They can show off treasured items, but be sure to have plenty of fronts you can’t see through available to hide messier-looking stuff.

  2. Vary heights. Whether books or framed photos or vases, different heights leave white space that helps to make an area look less packed.
  3. Embrace bins. As mentioned before, bins, boxes and other types of containers are a great way to keep certain items from view and also to keep them organized. Magazines, knitting tools, video game controllers, you name it, they can get grouped in a bin and stay out of sight.

If you need help making any of these living room storage ideas a reality, we would be more than happy to take on the tasks involved. We can even help brainstorm ideas if you need help with that, too.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Winter Home Maintenance: Insulate, Vents & Programmable Thermostats

December 18, 2014

Are you taking time off during the holidays? If you’re not traveling, put a few items from our Winter Home Maintenance Checklist on your to-do list. You also can outsource the tasks to us instead and spend days off with friends and family.

Insulate the Attic and Any Exposed Pipes or Spigots

insulation attic Winter Home Maintenance: Insulate, Vents & Programmable ThermostatsAre your feet always cold in the winter? Because the warm air seems to get sucked up and out through the attic? You may need to add insulation to the space. If you have previous experience determining the R-value—the capacity of insulation material to resist heat flow—recommended for the ceiling, floor and walls of your type of structure, revisit the formula to ensure you have the necessary products in place. If you have never before done this type of calculation and comparison, consider assigning it to your professional handyman, who can then add insulation to stop the warm air from escaping.

Also unhook and store any garden hoses and install or check and replace insulation as needed on the exposed pipes and spigots. We also recommend shutting off water to those faucets, opening and draining the spigot, and installing a faucet insulator, which you can find at your local home improvement store. A burst pipe from freezing weather will certainly put a damper on the holiday festivities.

Clean and Secure Attic and Dryer Vents

housemouse Winter Home Maintenance: Insulate, Vents & Programmable ThermostatsAlso add to your list a thorough inspection of vents in the home. While it may not seem as important to keep attic vents clear in the winter—air flowing through the attic in the summer helps keep your home cool—it does have its benefits: Most important on the list, cleaning and securing them to keep rodents out. Animals look for warmth in the winter and can easily enter through vents. Remove any debris and install screening to keep the critters out.

While wild animals in the house are a nuisance, a dryer fire can be a catastrophic event. Keeping the vent for this appliance clear is a must. Again, animals looking for warmth may build a nest in the vent or on the vent, if screened, blocking airflow and turning lint in the venting system into fuel that can catch fire and cause serious damage and even loss of life. The most recent stats from the U.S. Fire Administration tally the number of annual structure fires at 15,600 with 15 deaths and 400 injuries.

You can avoid a dryer fire in your home by cleaning the lint filter after every load and more thoroughly at least once a month. Vacuum lint out of the dryer and exhaust pipe at least every six months. Disconnect, clean and inspect the dryer duct and venting at least once a year. We would be more than happy to take over these tasks as repairs to the system, including the exhaust hose, should be done by a professional.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

nest learning thermostat Winter Home Maintenance: Insulate, Vents & Programmable ThermostatsFinally, give yourself the gift of a programmable thermostat for the holidays. Such a device can save you approximately $180! There are even smart thermostats such as the Nest that self-program, if you will. It will learn your schedule over time and make adjustments to save energy. It also can be customized to work best with the particular type of heating system you have, such as gas, electric, oil, propane or heat pump, and it even reminds you to change the system’s filters. To see how much the Nest could save you, it offers a handy calculator on its website.

If you decide to add a programmable thermostat to your home, simply gives us a call to install.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

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