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September 26, 2011 - One company operates with a plumbing license and one doesn't.  Really, what's it matter?  You've hired your cousin's favorite brother in-law to fix things before. And, other than the gallon of spilled red paint on your new carpet, he's been pretty efficient.  And you are convinced he can fix a leak in the pipe as well as the next person.  At Aunt Suzy's funeral last May his story seemed pretty convincing, "Badges, certificates, and licenses are given out as freely as candy on Halloween." And he just didn't “want to waste his time with red tape like that.”


Stubbornly, he declared to have watched enough maintenance reality TV shows to run his own plumbing business. This attitude of persistence and nonchalance is just one of his family's traits.


However, there is one error in that type of thing. It’s called disaster.


If he's who you plan to call to unplug a backed up toilet or fix the bursting water pipe, you might want to reconsider.


Disaster is often what happens when the kid in the kitchen says she can make the cookies by herself, and the fire department arrives to put out the fire caused by the forgotten cookies in the oven. Except in your plumbing scenario, you have Noah’s ark floating down in the basement because of the broken pipe, and you cannot find the water supply. You call your cousin's favorite brother in-law who retorts, "Water supply, what water supply?"


Yeah, exactly. While some jobs can be done by yourself or with the help of a well meaning friend, it is optimal to have residential maintenance and repair projects completed by a  professional, and verify their license to make sure they have passed Tennessee's state requirements for their trade.


Even if it isn’t plumbing, there is always something around the house you don’t have time for, or that project you cannot figure out how to complete.  


Unable to fit it into the budget? Call the One Call  Home Team, we’ll do our utmost to meet your needs, beginning with a free estimate.


Trust us, we know these waters.


September 15, 2011 - Fall has arrived with all of its autumnal glory and maintenance costs. Chronologically, the seasons rapidly unfold from fall to winter. Winter means winterizing your home, transitioning from one season to another. Winterizing your home should start with thinking about safety first.


1. Check for cracks

Check for cracks around the exterior of your house where cold air can come in, such as windows and doors. 


2. Fill Outside Cracks

Your next step is to get to the hardware store to purchase weather stripping, caulk and foam. The money you save on energy will be well worth the small price you pay for these materials. Then take your check list and plug those cracks and install the weather stripping. 


3. Plug Interior Air Leaks

Do a similar inside audit, checking for air infiltration around windows, doors and switch plates on outside walls. To find air leaks, use a piece of tissue on a toothpick or an incense stick. Air coming in will make the tissue flag wave, or, disperse the incense smoke. Temporary caulking can be used around windows and then removed in the spring. Foam inserts behind switch plates will eliminate that infiltration problem (be sure power the switch plates are turned off when adding insulation).


4. Conduct a thorough Inside Check

Take your Energy Audit into the attic and crawl space. Since insulation gets compacted over the years, adding insulation will help to keep the heat from escaping.


5. Shut off Outdoor Water Supplies

Here’s an important item that should not be overlooked when preparing your home for the winter cold. It won’t save you energy, but it could save you a huge amount of grief and money. Turn off the water supply to outside faucets and even cover them with insulating material. Water damage caused by broken pipes can result in untimely, expensive repairs.


A programmable thermostat that is set to your family’s individual lifestyle can also go a long way to energy savings. Adding storm windows or putting in new energy efficient windows can cut heat loss by 25 to 50 percent, and will also save more money. 


With these precautions, fall isn’t so bad after all.


September 7, 2011

Trimmed and Caulked. Check

Painted. Check


The weekend bathroom project is complete.  At least it was, until your spouse pointed out one problem; the sink.  It isn't hideous, or is it?  It's served you well for nearly a decade.  Still, Honey insists it is old-fashioned and time for an upgrade.  You think, "It's just throwing money down the drain. (clever, huh?), but it's fall and time to think about all the hours ahead, with you cooped up in the house with dear Spouse.  It is best if there is as little friction as possible between the two of you." So you agree to get rid of the sink.


One of the most dramatic ways to quickly change the look of your bathroom or powder room is to install a new sink.  With the unique styles, shapes, designs, materials and colors on the market today, a new sink is an investment that brings style as well as function.


With trusted names like Barclay, cheviot, Dreamline, Kohler, Kraus, Opell, Vigo Industries, etc, you'll have a huge variety of choice in materials, among them cast iron, glass, stainless steel, brass, nickel, copper, stone and many others.  You'll want to keep in mind that hand-painted features will need extra care.  You'll also want to consider that materials like glass and nickel will show water spots.  However, if you wipe them down after each use, it should't pose much of a problem.  For a material that is durable and easy to clean, consider vitreous china, which is crafted from clay mixture and fired to an intense heat to vitrify the clay and fuse the glaze.  The end product is durable, non-porous china with a hard, glossy finish.


You get a happy home and a new sink.  Calling or emailing One Call Home Team for a customized estimate fitted for your individual condition means you save green and everyone's happy!


July 25, 2011 - We all like the fresh, airy breezes that waft their way inside during the summertime. We leave our windows open during the summer more than any other season. However, many people forget that the screens need yearly maintenance to ensure optimal performance. 


1. Clean the Window Screen - Place on a flat surface (such as a porch or driveway), and use mild soap, water, and a bristle brush to scrub away grime and dirt.


2. Maintaining the Window Screen - If you decide to remove the screen for winter, make certain you place it in a plastic bag in storage to protect it, and lay either upright or flat position to protect the frame from becoming bent out of shape.


Simple tips, but they can make your screen last a lifetime!


July 19, 2011 - One of the necessary evils in life is cleaning your gutters. However, if you do twice a year or so (every spring and fall is recommended), it can become relatively painless. The first obvious step is to remove any leaves, twigs, or dirt. It absorbs moisture, creates excess weight, and creates strain on the gutters and even cause the brackets to fall of the gutters which results in extra cost and mess. Overflowing water can weigh down the gutters, or ice in the winter, so you have to be careful.  Even cracking foundations can hint to your gutters. If water isn’t drained away from the house and it pools around the foundation it will expand when frozen and cause cracks which lead to floods in your basement or crawl space.


Of course this can all be happily avoided with a few simple things: a ladder, a hand trowel, and a bucket. Prop the ladder against the house and once you are within arm’s length, begin raking up the debris (wearing gloves is recommended) and place it into the bucket. Some people prefer to tuck a few garbage bags in their pocket and fill them as they work along the gutter. Once they are filled, they throw them to the ground and dispose of them later. 


Once this is done, your gutters are relieved and your wallet is happy even if your sunburn isn’t.

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