Ro Caddick-Kilduff's Blog
165 Highwood Dr, Franklin, MA 02038
Thanks to screens, we can enjoy being outdoors without all the dirt and insects. Open windows let the breeze in without letting in anything else, and we can picnic on our screened-in porches without the bug spray. Screens can generally take a lot of wear and tear, but when subjected to winds, weather, and contact with people and pets, they start to break down. Fortunately, they are often easy to repair without costly maintenance. In fact, window and door screen repairs can be straightforward DIY projects.
Screens usually come in either aluminum or fiberglass material. Either of these can be patched if the damage is minor, such as a rip or hole just a few inches in length. Hardware stores sell kits specific to the screen’s make and material for patching small holes. Alternately if you have spare screen fabric on-hand you can construct and apply a patch yourself. Start by cutting an even shape around the rip, like a square or rectangle. Place a piece of waxed paper under the hole so the adhesive does not stick to your workspace. Dab a light layer of an adhesive like super glue or rubber-based glue along the edge of the hole--you could use a toothpick or small paintbrush for this step. Cut a patch out of your roll of spare screen that is about a half-inch larger than the hole. Center the patch over the hole and press it onto the cut edges of the hole, allow to dry completely.
If the damage is larger or if you would just prefer to replace the entire screen, this won’t cost you much time or effort either.
- Locate a clear, flat workspace and lay the screen down flat. Use a flat instrument like a flathead screwdriver to remove the rubber screen retainer spline from the screen’s frame so you can remove the old screen. Check to see if the spline is visibly cracked or weathered. If it is, replace it along with the screen material.
- Measure the screen then cut the replacement screen to size using tin cutters or heavy-duty scissors. Allow yourself a few extra inches on each side to make installation a little easier.
- Center the new screen on the frame and pull it tight over the frame edges. Secure it in place with strong tape.
- Using a screen spline roller tool, fit the screen firmly down into the indentation on the frame while pulling it taut, then use the tool to push the rubber spline back into the indentation over the new screen. Once the spline rests tightly down in the indentation, closely trim any excess screen around all the edges.
If you are constructing a porch or outdoor kitchen and planning for a large amount of screen, you may want to consider using thin posts or vertical slats between large screen ‘windows’ instead of expanses of uninterrupted screen. This lets you take down individual screens to repair or replace instead of more costly, larger-scale fixes.
That bathroom tile once looked terrific, so newly laid contrast between tile and grout. You were so proud to show it off to all your guests.
But over time, grout becomes dull, stained and chipped. Tiles fade and look dated. When they do, it's time to refreshen or replace tile and grout.
If you love the tile, keep it. Refresh the grout to make that tile job look sparkling and new. If not, replace the flooring too. Here's how to refresh or replace tile and grout.
What you'll need
- Margin float
- Earplugs (if using power tools)
- Safety glasses
- Rotary tool (required for big re-grouting jobs)
- Manual grout removal tool with a carbide blade (for smaller spaces)
If also replacing tiles, you'll need:
- Tiles (measured and cut as required)
- Floor scraper
- Drop sheet (for debris)
- Notched trowel
- Thin-set mortar
And we're ready to do this!
Cut away the grout
First, put on your safety glasses. Now use your rotary tool or grout removal tool to loosen the grout between each tile. It should chip away and pull right out.
In either case, work slowly to avoid damaging your tiles. If at any point you feel you've taken on more than you can handle, contact a professional.
Mix & apply grout
Mix your grout in a bucket. Then apply it using your margin float. Let it set for 10 minutes. Then clean the tiles with your moist sponge.
And you're done. Don't your re-grouted tiles look fantastic! It really is that simple. But what if you want to replace the tiles? You'll add some extra steps in front of mix and grout.
Remove your tiles
After removing grout as described above, use a hammer to break a tile to remove it. Be careful not to cut yourself. Now use the chisel to remove the remaining tiles. The floor scraper helps you crack and lift the adhesive underneath.
Do a dry run
Here's a pro tip! Always place your tiles out dry to make sure they fit. Then make any adjustments.
This seems like a waste of time. But unless you've tiled hundreds of bathroom floors, adjustments are almost a certainty. And once you lay mortar, you'll have a limited time to work.
Apply your mortar & place tiles
Apply a thin layer of your thin-set mortar to a small area using your trowel. Then lay each tile over it, evenly spaced. Press down gently but firmly.
After laying tiles in a small area, repeat and lay more tiles until all tiles are laid. Wait 24 hours. Then mix and apply grout as described above.
Enjoy your new floor! And follow our blog for more home maintenance and repair tips.
Everyone covets the annual HGTV Dream Home that's given away each year as part of a sweepstake. But the sad reality is that few winners are ever really able to take possession of their grand home and actually live out their happily-ever-after. There are, however, ways to pick and choose which features of these elegant, over-the-top homes you'd like to try for yourself. That's why we've compiled a list of four luxury home features inspired by HGTV's 2020 Dream Home Sweepstakes. Which one will you try?
1. Golf-Cart Parking Bay
Because it's located on Hilton Head Island, this year's dream home includes an extra bay built on to the detached garage. It's the perfect size and space to park a golf cart, which the locals use to get from place to place. According to Homeguide, the average cost to build garage space is $49 per square foot. To comfortably park a golf cart, plan on building a space that's at least 7-feet wide by 15-feet long. This should cost somewhere in the vicinity of $5,145.
2. Industrial-Sized Ceiling Fan
The dream home features a ceiling fan that's 10-feet wide to help keep the air circulating in a living space that features comfortable seating around a coffee table and fireplace. To purchase your own industrial-sized ceiling fan, you may first need to fortify your ceiling support and your wallet. Even a lightweight, aluminum version weighs a whopping 77 pounds and costs around $4,400.
3. Multiple Porches on Each Level
Like outdoor space? Have you considered adding multiple porches to your existing home? This year's dream home has a porch that runs the length of a single level, completely screened in. There's a porch on the floor above, too. Each features dreamy sliding glass doors that allow guests to transition easily from inside to out. According to Improvenet, expect to spend around $30,000 to construct a wrap-around porch with full screening.
4. Carriage House Garage Doors
They're made of insulated steel, but the double garage doors on the dream home are crafted to look like wooden carriage house doors of old. They're a perfect blend of beauty and energy-efficient construction that you're going to love if you value architectural appeal but don't want to sacrifice your energy bills. Doors such as these start at around $2,000.
Small investments add up to big home improvements. And, over time, you can design your own dream home, using just the best and most functional features of this year's TV version -- features that work for you and your family to save you time or money. And if they also bring you joy and relaxation, that's a bonus.
If you do not know the process for selling a home it can raise your stress level some. It can also be a very unpleasant experience. During the process, you will have to endure a lot of opinions and suggestions that can either help you or end up hurting your efforts when the home sells. If you want to be successful in selling your home, then there are some things that you will want to consider before beginning the journey.
Get the Best Agent
Your real estate agent is called a listing agent. This is true if they are the one that listed your home. If your agent also is helping the buyer, then they can be the mediation between both parties. In order for them to represent both parties they must have approval by agreement of both parties in writing. This is important to know because as your agent they must represent your interests to the buyer. An agent that represents both parties could be accused of having a conflict of interest. When choosing your agent you will want to find one that is able to represent your interests effectively.
Have an Analysis Done on Your Home
It is the price that will eventually sell your home. If you price your home too low, you will end up losing money. But price if the price is too high, and you will make nothing because it will never sell. A comparative market analysis will be done by your agent. It will compare your home to others in the area. It will suggest what your home could potentially sell for. When you finally decide on a price your agent will put that price on the contract. The buyer will have to agree to that price, in writing, for it to become the sale price.
All sellers are responsible to disclose anything that could be wrong with the property. You will have to fill out a form that would list any problems that could potentially be wrong with the property. In this case the law favors the buyer as they are making a major purchase.
Get Your Home Connected
You will want to make sure to advertise your home. Your agent will be able to put the listing out for everyone to see but that is not the only thing you can do. Go ahead and take pictures of your home and use social media to advertise it. The more exposure you give your home the better it will sell. The real estate market is very competitive. If you want to sell your home fast, then you will have to do more than what everyone else is doing to market their own homes. But knowing how to create exposure will sell your home fast.