|Charlie's General Home Tips
Charles Gueli gives us 13 Home Tips to think about that will help improve safety and give a higher quality to our homes.
- If you are having significant problems in your life, hold off on building or renovating.These construction projects can add a lot of stress to your life. You will have to make decisions that will have big financial significance, and your time might be required when your attention is being given to other matters. Illnesses, family issues, problems at work, - there’s no reason to jump into a major construction job right now.
- Stone flooring is usually treated with a sealer / enhancer after installation. This will change the color of the stone or tile (unless the tile is already glazed). If you are planning a decorative palate that includes the flooring, be sure to get a sample from your supplier AFTER the enhancer has been applied. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up repainting your walls.
- Many of today’s homes have hollow core doors. These have inner support rails – one at the bottom, and one running across the middle of the door – about where the center hinge is. Place your doorstop in one of these two locations. If you miss the center rail (which you can’t see) you will probably end up with a hole in your door. An alternative to hollow core doors is foam core doors. These are in the same price range as hollow core doors, but stronger and less prone to puncture.
- When your home has 10 foot ceilings or higher, don’t use the standard height windows and doors. They will make your rooms seem very strange when family and friends visit. Doors should be 8 feet tall (instead of the typical 6’-8”), and windows should be 12” taller than they would be if the ceiling height was 8 feet.
- The tops of the windows should align with the tops of the doors, approx. 2 feet below the ceiling. If you’re dealing with sliding doors, you can use a transom to make up the height you need. These measurements should be clearly stated in the drawing and specifications.
- When you have to paint walls AND install built-in cabinetry, paint the area around where the cabinetry will be first. Then install the cabinets. Then complete the painting. This will eliminate the need for tedious detail painting around the edges of the cabinets.
- Regarding exterior painting, the rule of thumb is to wait until the evening temperatures are 50 degrees or above. Very high humidity can be tough on the product too. In warmer climates exterior painting can be done year-round. Professional painters recommend painting your exterior surfaces every 5 to 10 years, depending on area of the country, type of paint used, siding material, and weather conditions.
- When it comes to selecting which paint to buy, you usually get what you pay for. Better quality paints give you more square footage per gallon, longer life, easier touch ups and better results.
- If your home was built prior to 1978, you probably have lead based paint on your walls. Lead test kits are available at most hardware stores. It is recommended that professionals deal with removal of lead paint. This is especially important if you are scraping or sanding the old paint, as the dust that is created is very dangerous.
- Maintain your clothes dryer. Lint build-up is the leading cause of dryer fires. The accumulation of lint in your dryer and dryer vent reduces airflow and creates a highly flammable condition. Remove lint as part of your regular cleaning routine.
- When adding paneling or other built-in woodwork, let the wood sit in the room for 48 hours before it's installed. This will allow the wood to adjust to the atmosphere, and minimize future expansion and contraction. Also, the softer the wood, the more expansion and contraction will occur. So if you're using pine, you will have more of a problem than if you use oak, or cherry, but price enters into it as well.
- Paint or stain the panels prior to assembling with borders or framing pieces. If you do your finishing after assembly, the unfinished edges of the panels will show when the wood contracts (in the winter months when the indoor air is dryer).
- When you leave for vacation, hold the mail and your newspaper, put a few lights on timers so they give light to various rooms while your away, and leave a few of your drapes open. Not doing these things is like giving burglars the “all clear” sign. Other things you can do are to ask your neighbor to park his car in your driveway while you’re gone, and arrange for the lawn to be mowed.