3 Steps To Hiring A Quality Electrician

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

When it’s time to hire an electrician, you’re likely already stressed about the need for an electrician at your home. The last thing you need is to accidentally hire an unqualified team of electrical contractors.

With over 566 thousand electricians in the United States alone, according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, finding the right worker for your home is not an easy feat. That being said, with so many professionals competing for the job, you have variety as a homeowner. Here’s how to choose qualified Gainesville electricians to visit your home.

Look For Reviews And Testimonials

The best way to know if an electrician is worth your time and money is to find out what other consumers have to say. Whether you seek out a decent electrical contractor by networking with friends or browsing pages and pages of Yelp reviews, learning about consumer experiences usually gives you an idea of how professional the contractor is.

First, ask your friends and trusted acquaintances if they had any electrical work done on their house in the past year or so. Even a small job such as a generator installation counts. As long as the person hired an electrician, to fulfill a residential task, he or she is fair game.

Ask that friend about the professional’s job, work ethics, and customer service. did the electrician treat them with respect? Were the contract negotiations straightforward? Was the project completed successfully? Once your questions are answered, you can do further research on a few short-listed candidates.

Check The Business’s Reputation

Every reputable business has a rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB keeps profiles on all of the businesses that register with them. They also keep track of any complaints or lawsuits against any given business that may be put forth by a former customer.

Simply visit the BBB’s website, search for your chosen electrical contractors, and check out their profiles. If their BBB ratings are decent and no complaints were lodged against them, they are likely great candidates.

Ensure State Certification

Is your chosen electrician licensed to work in the state of Florida? Every team of electrical contractors Gainesville has to offer should carry individual state certifications.

State-certified electrical professionals can ensure that your home is serviced according to state specifications. They can also ensure that your electrical meter complies with the regulations and guidelines of the state of Florida.

Are Your Ready To Hire An Electrician?

Now that you know how to seek out qualified electrical contractors, it’s time to find one that meets your needs. Have you short-listed several professionals based on the above steps?

Renovate Vs Remodel: Understanding The Difference

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

The popularity of home redesign shows has risen in recent years. Thanks to the lovely Chip and Joanna Gaines and the uproarious Property Brothers, homeowners are paying more attention to their livings spaces: what can be changed or improved through renovations or remodels? However, it’s important to know the difference between those two words before you go choosing new paint colors and ripping out appliances.

 

Renovate And Renew

 

At its core, renovation involves updating or fixing something that is already present. Though new components will be added in some cases, the focus of renovation is on solving a problem. For example, 98% of U.S. basements will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime; if a recent heavy rain or burst pipe disaster occurs and your basement is now hidden under two feet of water, you’ll need to renovate it to account for flooding repair. At the same time, outdated objects and appliances (such as old toilets, washers and dryers, and sinks) can be replaced with renovation projects.

 

As an added note, renovating often goes hand-in-hand with restoration, which is focused on returning the building to its original state. If your bathroom is being restored to the way it looked in the 1960s, you might want to replace that outdated tub with a more modern shower.

 

Remodel And Change

 

Remodeling, on the other hand, is preoccupied with change regardless of need. If you’re simply interested in improving the look and feel of your basement by adding carpeting, heating and cooling systems, and even an entertainment center, you’ll be pursuing a basement remodel. Generally speaking, remodeling takes a lot more time and effort. The following are examples of remodeling projects to give you a better picture.

 

  • Expanding the square footage of a building
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls
  • Raising ceilings
  • Adding plumbing
  • Adding heating/cooling ducts

 

Fortunately, the general contractors you’ll need to rely on for either situation almost definitely specialize in both. Understanding the difference is more to help you, as a homeowner, with the expectations: remodeling projects often cost more as it requires significantly more materials, and can take a longer time to complete. When you’re aware of the reality of the situation, you’ll be better prepared for the process.

3 Important Reasons to Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

Our homes have numerous ducts and vents, such as the dryer vent that runs from your dryer to the exterior of your home. All other vents are referred to as ducts. For your family’s safety and health, it’s essential to keep these ducts in top condition.

What happens if you don’t?

Routine duct and vent cleaning can prevent serious problems in the future. Here are three reasons to take this advice.

1. Fire Prevention.

The lint screen in your dryer only catches about 25% of the lint that is present. The other 75% accumulates along the walls of your dryer vent, posing a serious fire hazard. Statistics back this up. In fact, 34% of dryer fires in residences are caused by failure to clean the dryer vents, making this the number one reason for such fires. The United States Fire Administration also states that each year, 2,900 dryer fires result in approximately 100 injuries, five fatalities, and $35 million worth of property damages and losses.

Professional dryer vent cleaning and floor vent services performed on a regular basis can prevent this from happening in your home or business.

2. Better Health.

Five to seven times every day, pet dander, dust, chemicals, and other impurities in the air are drawn into your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, then recirculated. As time passes, this recirculated matter builds up in your air ducts, causing potential health problems. This is especially true for individuals with allergies or asthma.

Thorough cleaning of your ducts, including floor vent services, minimizes this issue. The ROTOBRUSH system used by Duct Squads has 90% more vacuum power, enabling them to eliminate the most severe build-up in duct systems and floor vents. Knowing that your family is breathing clean, pure air also gives you peace of mind.

3. Energy Savings.

The annual cost of utility bills for an average family in the United States is $1,900. Cooling and heating account for 54% of that cost. Sadly, anywhere between 25% and 40% of the energy used to cool or heat your home is wasted, according to the United States Department of Energy. Part of the reason for that is because the build-up of impurities in your HVAC system causes it to work less efficiently.

For maximum cost-effectiveness and efficiency, it’s recommended that the air ducts in your home be cleaned every three to five years.

Routine maintenance and cleaning of the ducts and vents in your home, including floor vent services, reduces the risk of dryer fires, improves the air quality in your home or business, and saves you money on your energy bills. When you consider these three reasons for having professional air duct and dryer vent cleaning done on a regular basis, picking up the phone to schedule this service just makes sense.

What’s the Difference Between a 3 Season Room and a 4 Season Room?

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

The 2016 Houzz Landscaping and Garden Trends Study reports that about 50% of homeowners who upgrade their outdoor spaces spend at least six hours there per week. But depending on where you live, lounging in your yard may not be an option year-round. To enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while staying sheltered from the elements, a three or four season sunroom is an excellent room addition. Which home addition design is best for your lifestyle is up to you. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

 

Construction

 

A three season room is a true home addition. It’s often added to an existing patio or deck, which means it is separated from the rest of the house by an external wall. On the other hand, a four season room is constructed to be more integrated with the rest of the home, built in to use the existing HVAC system (which we’ll discuss in a moment).

 

Insulation

 

The insulation — or lack thereof — used in this room addition constitutes the main difference between a three season room and a four season room. A four season room is constructed with insulated walls, floor, and roof, which keeps the room comfortable all year long, regardless of the weather. A three season room may be built with little to no insulation, limiting the times of year it can remain in use. Of course, if you live in a mild climate, a three season room may still be the best option since the outside temperatures will rarely drop to uncomfortable levels.

 

Heating and Cooling

 

A three season room can still benefit from a heating and cooling system, though the unit will operate independently from the rest of the home’s HVAC system. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that the lack of insulation will make it difficult to heat the room during the colder months. Because a four season room is built into the home, the climate can be controlled in accordance with the rest of the house.

 

Ultimately, when considering a home remodeling job that involves a room addition like a sunroom, it’s important to take climate into consideration. Warmer year-found climates don’t require extensive heating in the winter; if you live in an area like this, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the comfort of a three season room. If you need some extra warmth in those colder months, you’ll benefit from the insulation and HVAC capabilities of a four season room.

 

To get started on your home addition today, contact us today. We’re ready to help you create your ideal living space!

 

Importance of Working With Commercial Water Damage Cleanup Services

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

There are dozens of important factors to constantly consider when running a business. If you want to run a successful company, not only do you have to offer a quality product or service, hire hardworking employees and keep them happy, and handle all the logistical and financial aspects of your organization, but you have to address and correct any structural concerns right away, as well.

Water and mold damage, for instance, is a common occurrence that can ruin a company’s structure and finances. According to Farmers Insurance, there has been an uptick in mold-related claims in the last decade — approximately 1,100! It’s imperative for businesses of any kind to work with commercial services that offer water damage cleanup and mold removal in order to avoid costly financial and structural problems.

Even the smallest faucet leak or piping issue can lead to irreversible damage, which is why it’s imperative to act quickly and work with water damage professionals.

Thankfully, though certain commercial services specialize in water damage cleanup, they can offer plenty of additional essential services, as well, including:

  • Fire damage – Smoke and fire damage restoration is key following a serious structural fire. From the mitigation to the reconstruction, fire damage professionals will help get your business back to normal.
  • Mold damage – Mold cleanup professionals will use all-organic and non-chemical solutions to clear your business of this invasive fungus.
  • Storm damage – Even if your business is well protected, an unexpected storm can cause all kinds of damage. Storm damage professionals will help you and your company manage everything after these sudden damages.
  • Emergency plumbing – Plumbing professionals can help your fix everything from a leaky faucet to serious pipe damage and blockages. Neglecting these plumbing problems will lead to all sorts of expensive repairs.

As long as you’re staying on top of your building’s needs and aren’t neglecting any of these issues, your company should be primed for success. If you want to learn more about the importance of commercial water damage cleanup, contact us right away.

 

Plumbing Winterization: 3 Important Steps to Take

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

You may not think about the condition of your home’s pipes very often, but the smallest problem with your plumbing can waste water, cost money, and cause damage. This is especially true with 10% of homes having leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water every day. So to avoid any further issues, winterizing your plumbing should be on your “to do” list. Plumbing winterization isn’t difficult, and it’s extremely important. So let’s take a look at a few important steps to take when you’re completing your plumbing winterization.

 

Have your pipes insulated: This is one of the most important steps you should take when getting your plumbing ready for the cold weather. Local plumbing services can help ensure your pipes are properly insulated. While not all of the pipes in your home need to be insulated, the pipes around the exterior of your home and in your basement should be. Insulation can be the key to avoiding frozen pipe, which can burst and cause flooding.

 

Seal exterior cracks: Before the winter weather gets any worse, you should take a look at the exterior of your home. If you notice any cracks or damage, you should have them fixed immediately. If there is even a small crack, cold air can get inside your home and cause your pipes to freeze. So by filling in any cracks or other damage, you can ensure your home will stay comfortably warm for both you and your plumbing.

 

Disconnect outside hoses: If you still have garden hoses connected to outside faucets, they should be disconnected as soon as possible. If outside hoses are left hooked up, water can continue to enter them and freeze. Once the hose is disconnected, the hose bibs should be effectively drained and covered. If possible, you should also shut off water flow to the hose bibs. Doing this can help avoid outside pipes and faucets from freezing.

 

Plumbing winterization is an important task homeowners need to do every year. With these few simple steps and the help of a local plumber, you can ensure your plumbing will be working properly all winter long.

How To Care For Your Septic Tank

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

A septic system is used to catch all the wastewater that comes from your home. Out of all the homes in the United States, a quarter of them are on septic systems. Septic tanks need to be well maintained and properly cared for to do their job and not run the risk of backing up. So what are the best ways to care for your septic tank and how do you do it?

A septic system should be checked annually to ensure it is running correctly. Septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years depending on how many people are living in the home and how many outputs there are being pumped into it. Having multiple bathrooms, many guests, and a garbage disposal may fill your tank a lot faster so checking should be done more periodically. If you don’t care for your system with proper septic system treatments you could have serious problems with solids flowing into the liquid draining system. You may also experience backups which could end up sending smelly wastewater into your yard and home. If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your plumbing you may need to have someone check into your septic system. If your drains are slowly draining or pooling before they drain it may also be a septic issue that requires septic tank treatment.

Keeping proper records of how full your tank is will help you to know how full it is getting and when you need to act on septic tank treatments. If you find your tank filling faster than you anticipate you may wish to try conserving water. Try not to flush as often when using the toilet. Have family members take shorter showers and smaller baths to conserve the amount of water used. Install low flush toilets and aerators on your taps to reduce the amount of water used. Do not use a garbage disposal if you are on a septic system as it can add up to half of your solid waste within your tank. If you want more ways to start reducing the amount you contribute to your septic system call a local professional to give you more great ideas.

There are certain things you shouldn’t ever flush down into your septic tank to ensure it continues to run smoothly. Here are a few of them:

* Grease, fat, and oils
* Automotive oils and gases
* Cigarette butts
* Nutshells, egg shells, or coffee grounds
* Feminine hygiene products
* Cleaning cloths and paper products besides toilet paper
* Chemicals, medications, and cleaning products

These are just a few of the many items you should avoid putting into your septic system to avoid costly septic tank treatments.

5 Practical Tips For Finishing Your Basement

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

Finishing your basement is not only a big project to improve your personal comfort, but the average basement remodel can have as much as a 70% return on investment, according to Home Advisor. With such significant financial implications, you want your basement to be finished properly by a trusted basement contractor. Know these tips and you won’t miss a thing when you finish your basement.

  1. Be familiar with building codes

    One of the biggest challenges of basement finishing is making sure that it all follows the strict building codes. Knowing these codes ahead of time will help you manage your expectations for the dimensions of the space and you will be able to ensure that your basement contractor is following the codes.

  2. Install effective insulation

    Before you get to the very end of your basement remodeling project, make sure that you’ve properly insulated the space. It is unusually difficult to control temperatures in basements, as any warm air will rise straight to the ceiling. Invest in subfloor panel systems to get sufficient heat in the space and make sure it is well insulated so that the heat stays in there.

  3. Control moisture

    Any basement renovation needs to include ways to control moisture. You can keep your basement dry by building good drainage systems that direct water off your roof and away from your foundation. Make sure your ventilation is moving the wetter air from the bathrooms and kitchen to the outside rather than into your newly finished basement.

  4. Don’t finish the utility room

    While it may be tempting to make the space around your water heater and HVAC unit look aesthetically pleasing, you will be creating problems for yourself down the road. There are specific code requirements for these spaces in their spacing and framing. There also needs to be easy access to them for inspections and repairs.

  5. Think about the flooring

    When you start a basement renovation you’ll likely have a concrete slab, but that can easily be transformed into an attractive floor. As long as your floor is level and dry, you can cover it with ceramic tile, laminate, or vinyl. As moisture levels can cause wood to buckle and split, most basement contractors wouldn’t recommend solid wood flooring.

Finishing your basement is a great project to undertake, but there needs to be some careful planning. Make sure you have your basics taken care of, and you’ll be able to enjoy perfecting your basement design.

 

A Freelancer’s Guide to Home Office Organization

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

As the number of freelance and remote employees in the U.S. continues to grow, creating a productive home office space will become a priority for even more Americans. But it’s not enough to merely establish that office space; you’ll also need to organize your home office to maximize your efficiency. That may seem like a difficult task, but there are actually a number of ways to make your home office work better for you. Here are just a few to consider.

Choose Your Desk and Keep It Uncluttered

Regardless of your industry, it’s likely that having a functional and attractive desk space is a top priority. Whether you require a large table with no bells and whistles or a more contained unit with built-in shelving, you should do your research and find the desk that makes you feel ready to take on anything. Then, you’ll need to make a commitment to keep it clean. The average U.S. executive wastes approximately six weeks every year just searching for important documents that have been lost in clutter. You’ll need to clean up your clutter on an ongoing basis and devise a comprehensive filing system. If you don’t, you may resort to piling up papers all over your desk. You won’t be able to find anything or even work with all that mess, so make sure you can actually see and use your desk each day.

 

Designate and Divide Into Zones

A lot of remote workers find their focus improves when they’re able to divide their workspace up into specific zones. Think about the tasks for which you’re responsible during an average day. You may spend a certain amount of time on the computer, a couple of hours on the phone, and part of your day conducting research or doing a brainstorming session. Whatever those duties are, you should consider dividing up your office space into little areas that serve each of those purposes. Then, invest in some of the best home office organization products (like shelving, storage cube systems, and multifunctional furniture) that will help to support those tasks. This can help to divide up your day and help you tackle every item on your daily list without becoming overwhelmed. Plus, it can get you out of your chair and keep your creative juices flowing.

 

Keep it Comfy and Well-Lit

You can’t be expected to do your best work if you’re in pain or are struggling to see. Before you organize your home office, you’ll want to ensure that it’s furnished properly first. That means you’ll want to get an ergonomically sound desk chair and a comfortable sofa. You might be inclined to cut corners here, but you should actually consider buying more high-end pieces. The more comfortable this furniture is, the more likely you won’t mind spending time in your office. If you’re constantly apologizing to clients for the uncomfortable chairs or you’re dealing with an aching back after working for a few hours, you aren’t going to produce your best work. You should also bring in as much natural light as possible and supplement with energy efficient artificial lighting. You can’t be expected to be productive in a dim room or with lights that hurt your eyes. Make sure your home office is a place you actually want to be in!

 

Add Wall Inspiration and Function

When you go to organize your home office, you may realize that you have very little floor space to work with. If your office area is on the small side or you simply want to maximize what you’ve got, you need to go vertical. Add some shelving and hooks to bare walls to hold tools, books, files, and knick-knacks. This can keep these items off your desk and even allow you to put a unique spin on decorating. You should also add a large cork board or bulletin board to highlight important deadlines, remind yourself of special quotes, or tack up some sources of inspiration. If you’re able to mix decorative elements with ones that actually make your job easier, you’ll be much happier and more efficient.

 

Ready to organize your home office? We’re here to help. For more information on our home office organization products, contact us today.

 

When Disaster Strikes: Protecting Water Purity Before and After Storms

Written by Eric Brophy. Posted in Uncategorized

Natural disasters commonly put residential water drinkability at risk. Hurricanes and rainstorms can overwhelm water treatment plants with an unexpected influx of runoff and flood waters. When this occurs, bacteria from streets, sewage, and other undesirable sources can contaminate the water supply. Even if your home has a private well, storm runoff can bring fertilizer, chemicals, or manure from surrounding fields into your well, resulting in polluted water.

If the forecast indicates a major storm is on the horizon, take action to ensure you’ll have access to potable water throughout the event. Here are 4 steps to protect your drinking water before, during, and after a major storm:

Before the Storm

Fill and Freeze

 

Grab any clean plastic containers you can find, and start filling them with safe tap water. Fill containers until you think you have enough for at least a week, and possibly more if the storm will be significant. The FDA also recommends placing some containers in your freezer, which will keep the water cooler and cleaner for a longer period of time after the power goes out.

Head to the Store

 

The FDA also recommends purchasing a supply of bottled water and larger water jugs at the store. Keep the bottles somewhere floodwaters won’t reach. This method ensures that you have some water in convenient bottles, and is a good backup if your main supply becomes compromised during the storm.

During the Boil-Water Advisory

 

When floodwaters arrive, your area may issue a boil water advisory, which warns residents that the water supply has polluted water which should be boiled to kill bacteria. During this time, stick to your safe supply whenever possible. If you run out, be sure to boil water from the faucet for at least one minute before using it to cook, brush your teeth, clean, or drink.

After the All-Clear

 

After your area has lifted the boil water notice, it is still a good idea to have your own water system tested. If you’re one of the 48 million people in the U.S. who have a private or household well, testing is even more crucial. Water purity experts can test your supply to see if you still have polluted water, and recommend water treatment options. It may take a few months before you’re back to having clean water.

When disaster strikes, accessing basic necessities like clean water can suddenly become a challenge. Use this guide to ride out the storm without facing dangerous dehydration. For more information about water purity and filtration, visit our website today!