Thoughts From Kaufman Homes
Your unparalleled access to the thoughts of Dean Kaufman and the rest of Kaufman homes about home remodeling, home repair, and other trending topics in the residential construction field.
Blog posts tagged in home repair services
Dean and Duane Kaufman, owners of Kaufman Homes, are excited to announce we have developed and will be operating a new company called Kaufman’s Home Maintenance. We have for many years observed people struggling with maintaining their homes as they don’t always know what to do, how to do it and who to call when they need things done. Good news! This new company was developed to relieve the stress of your past struggles!
Kaufman's Home Maintenance, is a professional, full service company dedicated to maintaining your home from top-to-bottom, inside-and-out. Our trained professional technicians use skills to service and maintain and observation skills to spot problems or potential problems and finally documenting, suggesting and providing solutions.
Dripping faucets, chipping paint, overflowing gutters, clogged vents, cracked seals and a sagging roof … ah, the joys of owning your own home!
Regular home maintenance solves these problems and protects the value, condition and safety of your home, but keeping your home properly maintained can be a major pain. Even the most-well intentioned homeowner lets preventative maintenance projects slide only to face bigger and costlier problems down the line.
The torrential downpour in January of 2012 caused a lot of headaches for homeowners and businesses in Salem. I am sure there could be many stories written of instances where the extreme wet weather caused varying degrees of problems.
I was personally aware of a happening where a friend of mine had a good part of their back yard slide down and into the yard of the home below. This was a steep lot with a lot of fill dirt pushed up to the home in a steep angle. The cause of the slide was a leaky and partially broken water pipe that was out of sight out of mind and no one saw the leak. As it sprayed out over a portion of the backyard it soaked the ground and combined with the huge rain, gravity and the extreme weight caused the ground to give away.
When Kaufman Homes was developingThe Villas at Illahe Hills an issue that we had to overcome was the sound of trains that were present behind the homes. Whenbuilding a custom home or remodeling your house choosing the right windows and insulation can not only dampen sound but also increase energy efficiency. You have to take into consideration the site and the surroundings. Just like when you selected the land that you were going to build your custom home, selecting windows or even types of windows in various areas of the house is very important.
Back to the Villas, we took this process very seriously. After much research, talking to sound consultants, window manufacturers and insulation providers, we came up with two very successful solutions. Item # 3 on the list below cut down window noise tremendously. That along with doing blown in blanket insulation instead of traditional batt insulation, almost completely eliminated those two noises. Current homeowners at the Villas” will attest to this.
This is the second part of the blog post series on selecting a home remodeling or custom home contractor. The first post can be found here. In this part of the series we are going to look at what questions to ask potential contractors as well as how to compare estimates from two different contractors.
Asking Questions of potential Contractors
At this point, it is time to schedule meetings with the remaining contractors. This is a great time to learn about the contractor first-hand. Take note on his timeliness, professionalism, personality, and communication style. If there are shortcomings now, you can be certain it will get worse. Maybe most importantly, does it feel like you click?Again, remember to take notes
We get various questions from homeowners regarding the maintenance of their granite countertops. Granite is perceived to be durable and maintenance free, and in most cases that applies to most stone counters, but not all granite is the same. Although granite is extremely hard, some of the minerals in it may be very soft, depending on the type of granite. The type of finish may affect how often the countertop should be cleaned and sealed. A polished finish is more desirable in the kitchen because it is easier to keep clean. Other finishes, such as, honed, flamed, sand blasted and brushed are available but will require more attention to the maintenance of the countertop. Knowing how and when to clean and seal your granite countertops will ensure they will maintain their beauty well beyond the life of your home.
The easiest way to keep your stone looking great is to avoid bad habits that may damage it. Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, soapstone, quartz and solid surface are similar in many ways, but their differences require varying degrees of maintenance.
We are going to be doing a two part series about how to go about selecting the right contractor for you whether you are doing a remodel, building a home, or doing small projects. This is a very important process that should not be taken lightly. We know that there are a lot of unknowns and questions that you have about your project and if you select the right builder they will be able to help you answer those questions. So take your time to read the following post and update we will post in the following week.
UPDATE: Part II can be found here
Going away for a period of time means you are either leaving your home for a vacation or going on extended stay. Either way we all go with concerns for what may happen to our home while we are gone, what services have we forgotten to cancel and how secure is our home while gone. Hopefully the following list will help prepare your home and yourselves for vacation and give you more piece of mind and avert potential problems or disasters. Kaufman Homes can do many of these items for you or do a consultation on the proper ways to do preparation.
- Have newspaper and mail stopped or regularly picked up by a designated person
- Have bottled water service stopped.
- Turn off gas to water heater or turn down temperature to conserve energy.
- Let your trusted yard service company know that you will be gone and to keep their eyes open and give them your cell # or a trusted persons #.
- Ask a designated person to check periodically on your home.
- Make sure a designated person knows where the water main shut-off is located in the event of a broken pipe.
- Set timers on interior lights to deter burglars
- Unplug TV, computer and appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges. Or install a whole house surge protection system.
- Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended vacation. In case of an alarm who will they call?
- Turn off water valves to your washing machine, ice maker and dishwasher
- Take jewelry and valuable papers to a safe deposit box or a personal fireproof safe.
- Call your credit card company and inform them where you will be going so when they see an unusual spending pattern that they don’t cancel or suspend your credit card.
- Turn off your waterfalls or water feature or have a designated person check periodically to see that it is working properly or to feed the fish if necessary.
- Always give phone numbers of where you can be reached on vacation to trusted relatives, neighbors or friends.
- Be willing to reciprocate to those who have helped you while you were on vacation.
- Inform trusted yard Maintenance Company that you will be gone and who to call if have a problem or observe a problem.
- When going on an extended vacation, especially during the winter months, turn off water meter on the street side to keep water meter from potentially freezing. If an extended cold period happens while you are gone, and there is no daily water running through the meter, the stagnant water in the meter and water line gets colder each day and as the cold weather continues it may freeze the meter solid and when it thaws the bottom of the meter is designed to break but water will run on the ground until someone turns the meter off on the street side. If you have an indoor fire sprinkler system do not turn off water meter, but instead insulate the meter by putting insulation on and around the meter.
- Some people suggest leaving an outside faucet dripping but that wastes a lot of water and also freezing weather will cause the dripping water on the ground to build up unnecessary ice.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach non insulated pipes under sinks and where appliances are near exterior walls. This is especially important with older homes which may not have much or any wall insulation.
- Turn off gas to water heater if gone for extended period of time.
So there is the list and the various ways that you could prepare your home for vacation. It is pretty long and we know that people are busy and because of that we are excited to annouce that our Home Repair Services division can easily take on any of these tasks and take more off your plate.
Whether you are wanting to do a home remodel or build a custom home, this is a great list of items to keep in mind. We know that over the years there are lessons that we have learned. The list below are just some of the lessons that we would like to share with you. This list also serves as what you should also be thinking of when starting a home remodeling project or custom home because more often than not, these items don't come up until it is too late to tackle a problem that could have been brought up at the very beginning.
Once you have selected a contractor, and signed the contract, the job is ready to go. The project will be a team effort and you are the main player. There are a few things to know in order to help keep the project going on a positive track.
Every season our Home Repair and Maintenance Team is sent out on calls during the Fall. This is the time of year to prepare our homes for the coming variety of inclement winter weather that we can or will have in Oregon and the Salem area. During the fall we can be lulled into putting off doing these things especially if we have an Indian summer, but this good weather makes outdoor winterizing much easier. Once this inclement weather hits, and rest assured it will, then we are scrambling to do after the fact and by then it may be too late or the weather may make it more difficult or dangerous to do.
Preparation ahead of time sets the soul at ease and does a better job of protecting our family and now you and the family can spend more quality time together.