Man looking at water damage in cabinets

What to do About Cabinet Water Damage

Man looking at water damage in cabinetsOh no! The worst has happened – your kitchen cabinets are full of water. Not only is the contents of each cabinet wet, but your cabinets themselves aren’t looking good. Water damage is a serious threat to your cabinets, especially wooden ones. However, there is sometimes nothing we can do to predict a leak.

If you find yourself in the position of contemplating what to do about water-damaged kitchen cabinets, read on.

Step 1: Empty your kitchen cabinets

Be sure to empty the contents of all affected cabinets, and surrounding ones too. You never know if the leak might spread to other cabinets. Keep food that was stored in glass or plastic containers, because they should remain unaffected by the water. You should throw away any food in cardboard boxes or paper bags, as the water will have penetrated these.

Step 2: Dry your kitchen cabinets

Once your cabinets are empty of food and any other contents, be sure to get them as dry as possible with thick cotton towels, followed by paper towels. After this, your cabinets should feel dry to the touch, although you might still see evidence of water damage if they are made of MDF or other types of wood.

It is important to dry your cabinets as soon as possible to reduce the chance that they will need replacing. Wet cabinets can become a breeding ground for mold to grow and spread throughout the kitchen, which is unhygienic to say the least!

Furthermore, leaving your wooden cabinets wet will only increase the chance that irreversible water damage will cause the material to crumble. In this instance, you will need to prepare to replace your kitchen cabinets.

Step 3: Remove cabinet doors

This might feel like a waste of time if you have already dried your cabinets, but removing the doors will allow for more air flow and reduce the chance of mold growth.

Removing the doors from their hinges will also reduce the weight being taken by the shelving and flat surfaces, meaning they are less likely to crumble under the water damage.

Step 4: Fully dry with dehumidifier

Once your cabinets are free of water and their doors are off, you can get some high-volume fans and a dehumidifier to target the rest of the moisture. Your cabinets might take around 24 hours to dry under the influence of a few fans and one dehumidifier.

Step 5: Assess the damage

When your kitchen cabinets are fully dry, you will have a few options. If they are made of particle board, the chances are that the water damage has caused them to crumble and you will need to replace them with new units.

If your cabinets are warped with visible water damage, but are still sturdy, you can try screwing in some boards to act as braces to help straighten them out.

If your cabinets are ready to be used again but are still sporting water stains, you can try sanding down the finish before removing the stains with a combination of oxalic acid and water. You will need to brush a couple of coats onto the stains before neutralizing the acid with a solution of baking soda and water.

Written by Jack Vale

New wooden fence along the road in residential area

Fence Building Permits and Regulations

Wood fence regulations and permitsFences are a great way to add value to your property, but building fences can also be challenging. You need to consider the location of your property’s fence and whether you will need to obtain a permit before starting construction. Read on for some helpful tips about fencing regulations.

Permits Vary By Locality

You can build a fence on your property, but some rules exist. The first thing you need to do is check your zoning regulations to make sure that it’s okay for you to build a fence on your property. You’ll also want to keep in mind where the property lines are located so that you don’t end up building over someone else’s land and creating a dispute with them later on.
In addition, your private community might have its set of laws and regulations that determine materials, colors, and even the height of your fence. You might need to apply for a city and a community permit before you start your fence project.

Height and Opacity Requirements Vary

Fences under 6 feet tall usually don’t require a permit. However, depending on the fence location, these regulations might change. Most codes have a maximum height of 4 feet for front yard fences and 6 feet in the backyard. Side yards might have separate rules, but the maximum size is usually 6 feet.

In addition, you have to worry about visibility. Corner lots, in particular, might be restricted to 3 feet or less because they might interfere with visibility from the street to the other roads.

You May Need Neighbor Permission

If you’re sharing a fence with a neighbor, you may need their written consent to build the fence. Most areas don’t require written permission, but others do, so it’s best to get one just in case. Whether or not you share the fence’s cost with the neighbor depends on your agreement and doesn’t have specific regulations to follow.

Fence Distance is Regulated

How close you build your fence to the property line is tricky. If you share property lines with a public entity, you may not be able to build directly on the line. Ideally, you’ll have to get a land survey from the city that determines the property line and where you can build a fence.

New wooden fence along the road in residential areaThings to Consider Before Installing a Fence

Before building your fence, you’ll need to check whether your municipality requires a permit. You’ll need to know where you want your fence built and what allowances for access will be required. You’ll also consider how much area surrounding the site will need to be cleared. It’s best to err on the cautious side and talk to your city regulators to ensure you get all the building permits required for a fence. You can also hire a fence installation contractor to take care of the paperwork and building permits.

Written by Geraldine Orentas

Door Handles Vs Door Knobs

Door Knobs vs. Handles: Which Is Best?

Door Handles Vs Door KnobsIf you’re searching for a new home improvement project, you might consider adding some new door handles or knobs. Believe it or not, this quick home improvement project can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your house. While both have their merits, they have different features that make them more suitable for specific situations.

Handles Are Better for Older People

Door handles are easier to use than knobs, particularly for older people and those with disabilities. Because they’re easier to grasp and turn, handles can be helpful for people with disabilities and older people who may have difficulty with their hands.

Knobs Are Better for Children

Door handles are easier to grasp for children, giving them easier access to opening doors. Instead, door knobs require more grasp and strength to turn, which provides parents with a sense of security. Nonetheless, you might still want to consider installing child-proof locks to ensure your little one doesn’t open the front door.

Handles Have More Styles to Choose From

Handles are available in a wide variety of materials. They can be round, square, or rectangular and smooth or textured. You’ll find metal, wood, plastic, or glass handles. With more options, you have more chances of finding one that matches your home’s aesthetic.

Knobs Provide Additional Security

Door knobs provide better security; this is why they’re used in exterior doors. The only way to break through a knob is to drill or damage the cylinder with a hammer or a wrench, alerting by-passers.

Handles Can Be Easier to Install

Handles can be installed in less time than knobs because they require fewer holes and screws. Plus, since they have fewer parts and mechanisms than knobs do – no knob holes necessary. Most handles can be installed with limited power tools and don’t require a professional.

In Conclusion

Door hardware decisions are more than about the looks of your house. Knobs and handles come in different styles, shapes, and finishes. Both door knobs and handles execute the same function, but their differences can help you figure out which one is best for your house. Still, there’s nothing wrong with mixing and matching them. Some homes have knobs on all exterior doors and leave handles for interior doors, giving you the best of both worlds.

Written by Geraldine Orentas

Pool Building Regulations

Pool Building Regulations

Pool Building RegulationsIs there anything better than taking a dip in your own pool to cool off from the summer heat? If you’ve ever been tempted to construct a pool in your backyard, you’ve probably noticed that there are a number of rules and regulations around its construction that you must follow.

While this can get confusing and vary state-by-state, let’s take a quick look at some of the rules of thumb and common regulations to keep in mind when trying to decide if you’d like to install a swimming pool on your property.

Secure a Building Permit

While this will likely depend on where you’re located, many cities will require you to secure a building permit before construction begins on your pool. You can easily contact your local municipality for the specifics on what you’ll need to do and any fees you’ll need to pay.

The permits you will need can range from a simple residential building permit to an electrical permit, so it’s best to consult with your local government before construction.

Check Your HOA Guidelines

If you are part of a Homeowner’s Association, there may be guidelines and restrictions around whether you can build a pool, how big it can be, or any other rules related to in-ground pools.

Therefore, you’ll want to consult with them beforehand and get your designs approved before you begin construction.
Consult Local Ordinances
Aside from securing a building permit and getting the approval of your HOA, you also will need to check local ordinances related to pools to make sure your designs stay in compliance.

Some cities may have rules around how loud a pool pump can be, or how close your pool can be to other structures on your property, all of which can impact the final design and location of your pool.

Get It Inspected

Once your pool construction is complete, you’ll want to have it inspected by an expert who can determine whether it’s safe for use or not. You will likely need different inspectors for plumbing, structural, and electrical reasons, so make sure to schedule these in advance so they can get done around the same timeline.

With all of these elements in mind, you can determine whether you’ll be able to construct an in-ground pool on your property. It’s important to get all of these questions answered beforehand, otherwise you could get in the middle of costly construction on a pool that you’ll never be able to enjoy!

Written by Bailey Schramm in partnership with fence and rental supply company Viking Fence.


HOA Maintenance Plan Series: Predictive Planning

Predictive HOA Maintenance Planning

HOA-Maintenance-Plan-Series-Predictive-PlanningWhen it comes to HOA maintenance planning and predictive planning, there are many different aspects to be on the lookout for. Being able to spot things such as cracks in walls, or water stains on ceilings are just a few examples of “smaller” issues that can be a sign of a significant problem that something is wrong. Read on to learn all the different signs to look out for not only internally, but externally as well to keep your property in top shape for your residents.

Building Interior Monitoring

To ensure a successful predictive plan for your HOA maintenance, you must build an interior monitoring system to make sure any potential problems will never become a problem. To forecast and anticipate possible concerns in the interior of your home, you need to have consistent maintenance checks on floors, walls, ceilings, and any other building interior aspects of your home.

Exterior Monitoring

Areas to monitor on the exterior of your buildings include residence and clubhouse/office roofs, siding, brick, stucco, or other exterior wall material, windows, foundation, and doors. You may also have external plumbing elements such as pipes and electrical components like fuse boxes. Because harsh weather, hail, freezing temperatures, and the hot Texas sun can degrade materials, it makes sense to frequently walk the exterior of your buildings for cracks, fading, or chipped pieces. It’s normal for exterior elements to wear out quickly, and planning for it can help prevent damage to the interior of your buildings. Water, rodents, insects, and grime are able to make their way inside your property when external damage happens.

Grounds Monitoring

Retaining walls, signage, pools, and other community amenities are all prone to cracks and other issues that can start with a small problem that can become significant and costly problems.

Because these amenities are often overlooked and ignored, they should also be first on the list of a predictive maintenance plan as we’ve found that they’ve also been some of the largest to hit HOA budgets when not given proper forward-thinking attention.

Being proactive allows any potential problems to be observed and immediately repaired – preventing costly repairs, replacements, and dissatisfied resident displacements. Now that you know what to look out for when it comes to predictive planning, keep checking back soon for more on this HOA maintenance plan series.


Who is Responsible After an Apartment Fire in Texas?

Who-is-Responsible-After-an-Apartment-Fire-in-TexasLearn Who is Responsible After An Apartment Fire

The now-famous 4th of July fire at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort worth reminds us how important it is to keep a close eye on fire safety this summer.  If you are an apartment resident, you might be wondering who is responsible for the damages in the unfortunate event of an apartment fire. The huge number of grass fires sparked by our drought conditions might have you fearful that a neighbor’s misplaced cigarette butt or grill embers might spark a flame that takes out your entire building! If an apartment fire happens in your apartment community, here are things you should know about who is responsible for covering what.

What is the landlord responsible for?

When a fire occurs your first thought might be well my landlord is responsible no matter the cause of the fire, but this isn’t exactly the case. Additionally, the landlord’s insurance is only going to cover the building and surrounding premises but not the contents inside the apartment. However in some cases, the landlord may be responsible for all damages, including to your personal property, and those are outlined below. 
Situations where the landlord is responsible due to negligence:
  • The landlord failed to meet applicable fire code standards.
  • The landlord had failed to provide or maintain smoke detectors (which are required by law) caused a delay in the discovery of the fire
  • The landlord stored hazardous material in or around the building that caused or accelerated the fire.
  • The landlord blocked or allowed a blockage of passageways or emergency exits.
Should you find yourself in one of the above-noted situations then your landlord may be responsible for all the damages caused by a fire in your apartment building. The next step is to contact your renter’s insurance company to have a thorough investigation completed to determine the cause of the fire and find out if the landlord is responsible due to negligence. If the investigation determines that the landlord is responsible then their insurance would cover the cost of the damages due to a fire. 

What is the resident responsible for?

As a resident, you might be wondering what you will be responsible for in the unfortunate event of an apartment fire. Although the answer depends based on what was damaged and how the fire started will be a determining factor. Also, making sure you have the right coverage within your insurance plan will be a big factor in this as well. If for example the fire is ruled as your fault due to smoking inside or leaving a hair straightener on, you will be the one held liable.
If it was due to a faulty outlet or worn down apartment appliance, the renter usually isn’t at fault in those instances and the landlord would be the one responsible. If you still aren’t sure who might be held liable in your situation, the best bet will be to contact your insurance provider and discuss the details of your coverage with them. 

Maintain Renter’s Insurance

The best safety net for any resident is to ensure that you maintain your renter’s insurance after you purchase it – if you don’t purchase an annual plan, make sure that your monthly plan is up to date and never lapses.
When you have renter’s insurance and an apartment fire causes you to be displaced and/or damages and destroys your belongings, renter’s insurance is what gives you the ability to provide the ability to stay elsewhere and reimburse you and your family for the lost belongings. Living in Texas and the high risk of fires this summer is a great reminder to make sure that your policy has a loss-of-use provision for fire damage.
Ultimately, determining liability for an apartment fire requires each party to understand the cause that initially started the fire. In Texas, it is therefore of most importance to uphold legal options for these unexpected cases of accidents and obtain renters’ insurance for all parties signing the lease.
If your apartment complex experiences fire damage and/or needs emergency services for fire restoration, call Classic Construction for a quick assessment of the building and to begin working on the property and restore it to its original condition safely and quickly just as we have with Richardson Crossing in Richardson, Texas. 

Commercial Code Inspection: Preventing Bad Building Investments

Commercial-Code-Inspection-Preventing-Bad-Building-InvestmentsPrevent Bad Building Investments by Getting a Commercial Code Inspection

Investing in a commercial property can be exciting in planning for future business. When you find yourself looking into the logistics of what it takes to maintain a new commercial property, permits should be at the top of your list. Unpermitted work can be a daunting flaw in your investment. Thus, causing a huge setback in many of your business plans. Keep reading to learn why you should always get a commercial code inspection done on any property before you purchase.

Lack of Commercial Building Permits Puts You at Risk

Many construction companies operate with a “whatever it takes to get the sale” mindset. Some might even offer to do the work without pulling permits to cut down costs and speed up the construction process. On its face, this might seem like a prudent move, but skipping permits is often a costly mistake.

  • You might find if the general contractor is willing to skimp on permitting, they’re skimping elsewhere. Unlicensed contractors, uninsured contractors, and untrained contractors. These are huge risks to safety for the workers, your employees, and your customers.
  • Previous owners skipped on permitting and your building is out of code. This might result in your business being shut down by the city or county, having insurance claims denied when you try to file, or not being able to sell the building at a later date.
  • You (or the previous owner) want to save on property taxes and don’t pull permits, which might trigger a new assessment. Later, when the property is assessed, your taxes are increased and possibly back taxes will be owed.

What to Ask For When Investing in A Commercial Building

Adding more risk when investing in a commercial building isn’t at the top of any investor’s list. Thus, ensuring that you find a trusted partner to help you navigate and obtain a professional code inspection for the commercial building is a must.

Professionals from our team at Classic Construction are not only well-versed in code compliance for new buildings and reconstruction, but are experts in helping navigate new commercial building investments. This ensures that the property is fully protected from surprises along the way with a professional code inspection.

What to Do If You Find Something Out of Compliance

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of finding something within the building that is out of compliance, the first thing you should do is NOT purchase anything until the situation is resolved and the issue is corrected. The seller should be responsible for bringing the building up to code before ownership is transferred to you. If they are not willing to do so, you might want to walk away from that property. If you choose to purchase it without inspection, you are now the person liable for anything out of compliance.

Reaching out to the building department is another great way to also inform you if there are any open permits on the property. It’s good to note that an outstanding permit that was never properly inspected is just as risky as untrained contractors.

Reach out to us today if you are looking into purchasing a commercial building but aren’t sure if it’s up to commercial code inspection and compliance. Not only is Classic a reputable company, but you can always count on us to get the job done right. On-Time. On Budget. That’s Classic.


When a Power Outage Strikes: 4 Tips to Surviving the Summer Dallas Heat

4 Tips to Surviving the Summer Dallas Heat When a Power Outage Strikes

When-a-Power-Outage-Strikes-4-Tips-to-Surviving-the-Summer-Dallas-HeatWhen a power outage strikes, while scary in the winter, you can always pile on blankets and more clothes. In the summer months, however, you want to take steps to make sure you stay cool and don’t succumb to heat stroke. After checking your breaker box for tripped circuits and reporting the power outage to Oncor, follow these tips to make sure you, your family, and your pets keep cool.

Resources In Your Home

If your power goes out in the summer months, there are several things you can do to help keep cool and protect your food. First and foremost: DO NOT OPEN YOUR REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER! Even just to check. The more you open them, the more quickly the temps will drop and your food will spoil. Outside of that, to keep yourself cool you can do things like donning shorts and sandals or other loose and lightweight clothing, wetting a cloth and dabbing your arms, legs, and face with it, and drinking plenty of water. Another option would be to keep hand-held fans on hand, or in a pinch use, cardboard or paper folded accordion-style to keep air moving. Remember, heat rises, so if you have a multi-story building, stay on the lowest floor!

Resources In The Community

If you anticipate that your power may be out for longer than expected and need to evacuate your property, you may have some local resources available to make sure that you stay cool and safe. The Red Cross Metro East Chapter is a wonderful resource if you aren’t immediately able to find a temporary place to stay overnight.

If you anticipate the power to return within several hours and it’s during the day, you might consider reserving a space at a local co-working office for the remainder of the day. Check out this list of local co-working spaces to find an office/space near you to stay in until your power returns.

Monitoring Your Health

Staying hydrated sounds easy and necessary but when the heat starts to spike it can be easy to become dehydrated within your own home. monitoring your body’s temperature and symptoms can be the key to avoiding heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash. All of them vary in symptoms.
Some tips to keep in mind would be to always wear lightweight clothing and stay in the coolest, lowest levels of your home. Also try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals as these can lead to dehydration.

Checking In On Your Neighbors

Power outages can be a stressful situation during the summer and turn dangerous quickly. If you can, always check in on your neighbors and make sure they have the proper resources to try to beat the summer heat as well. If your neighbors are elderly, be extra mindful that they might need help when it comes to transportation as well, since they will need to get to a cool and safe place. Sharing resources and knowledge with neighbors when available is always recommended so everyone gets through this tough time together.

Now you know 4 great tips on beating the summer Dallas heat in the event of a power outage. Remember to stay calm in this situation and know that there are many great resources available if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate predicament. If you are able to follow these tips as best as possible, you will not only keep yourself safe, but your family, pets, and neighbors as well.


Tips for Multifamily Living When You Lose Electricity in Your Apartment

Lose Electricity in your Apartment? Tips for Multifamily Living When the Power Goes Out

Tips-for-Multifamily-Living-When-the-Power-Goes-Out-in-Your-ApartmentRegardless if you’re working from home, relaxing with your favorite TV show, or enjoying central AC inside of your home, when the power suddenly goes out it is an immediate wake-up call from anything you’re doing. When you lose electricity in your multifamily home, the first thing to do is to reach out to the managers of the property but living in Texas, is this the right step to take? How do you ensure that this is a short time outage or a long term? Where do you go for helpful tips and contact information for your location? These are all common questions and concerns that we will discuss to assist you in what to do when you lose electricity in your apartment. Keep reading to learn some great tips for multifamily living when the power goes out.

Talking to Owners/Managers

As a resident, it can be extremely frustrating and worrisome when your power goes out, especially during the hot Texan summer months. If this is a recurring issue, you may want to consider reaching out to the Property Managers and letting them know that you’ve experienced this multiple times so that they know that it’s not just a one-time issue.

Alternatively, if this is the first time that this has happened to you, your best bet is to reach out to your electricity provider to see if they are aware of the outage. More often than not, if it’s a one-time issue, it’s an outage, whereas an outage that happens often (like for heavy winds, for example) may require your Property Manager to have a general contractor take a look and ensure that this repeated outage isn’t a maintenance and/or safety issue that could cause bigger problems as time passes for the residents and for the building(s).

Talking to Residents

When your power goes out it can be a scary experience, especially if you have young kids who may be afraid of the dark. Your first thought is probably to get every flashlight or candle you have ready and get as much light going as you can. However, this may not be the best approach, particularly since candles aren’t always the safest option. Instead what we recommend is that you take a second to access the situation, go outside and see if only your unit has been affected or if your neighbors are without power as well. If you find that it is only your unit then contact your office or on-site maintenance personnel to have them come out and see what’s going on. If you find that your entire build or complex has been affected then your next step is to check with your power company. Many of them how outage checkers as a way to report the outage in your area. Be sure to always report an outage in your area even if they already know as the more reports they get the more they’ll know how dire the need is. Lastly, just do your best to relax and wait out the situation.

Helpful Links & Contact Info

If you live in an apartment, condo, or HOA community and your electricity happen to go out, here is a quick list of items to check, and places to find information.

1. Check in with neighbors and look outside for street lights and other electric items to see if only your unit is affected, or whether the entire block or community is affected.
2. Look at your breaker box for any tripped breakers. Sometimes they are tripped, but the switch is not moved very far and might be easily missed!
3. Check your email or community bulletin board for notices about electric repairs. Sometimes these notices go to spam, so don’t forget to check there!
4. If you’re a Texas resident check Oncor’s Outage Tracker to see if your area is affected by a storm or other large outage. If it’s not reported, use that page to make a report to get power restored as soon as possible.
5. If you’re not a Texas resident, check your area’s main electrical provider for outage listings or your electric company’s main website.

Now you know the best tips for multifamily living and what steps to take whether you are an apartment manager, owner, or resident when you lose electricity in your apartment. Reach out to our Classic team today for general maintenance contract work and we can also help you find the best maintenance plan when it comes to your multifamily property when you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of an outage.


Is Multifamily Building Maintenance Causing a Loss of Business?

is-multifamily-building-maintenance-causing-a-loss-of-businessPoor Multifamily Building Maintenance Might Be Causing a Loss of Business

As we see more people building a family, multifamily housing marketing is becoming more common in the housing industry. With new builds bringing competition and old buildings maintaining structure, how are these conflicting markets affecting business? The things to consider when looking into multifamily housing range from the cost of living to upkeep and maintenance of the building and the appliances that you’ll be using during the duration of your time there. In this blog, we will be discussing how Multifamily building maintenance may be causing a loss of business.


When it comes to multifamily living, flooring is a huge aspect when considering which apartment is the right choice for you and your family. No one wants to rent an apartment with old and torn-up carpet that hasn’t been replaced in years, so keeping up-to-date on the carpet and making sure it’s replaced after each tenant is essential when it comes to building maintenance. If you have tile or hardwood flooring within the units, making sure they aren’t cracked and outdated will help potential renters to choose your location. Keeping the inside of an apartment current and on-trend is one of the many reasons future renters will gravitate toward your complex.


Depending on how long it’s been since your latest fixture maintenance walkthrough, it’s quite possible that the fixtures may be outdated (or even at times non-existent). Cabinets with no drawer pulls or handles may not be as desirable as brand the new bronze-finish style that’s been popular in new builds. Units that have been rented for a long period of time without renovations may also have residents eyeing newer builds with modern stoves, microwaves, and washer/dryer combos.

As we’ve seen rents rise across the DFW metroplex, we have seen a high churn of residents who may jump from their current residence to a newer one that will charge the same monthly rate that has the latest and greatest appliances and fixtures.

Furnishings & Appliances

It’s a widely known fact that when a family comes together it’s usually in the kitchen! So when your current and future residents gather together you want to give them a space that’s sure to impress. Updating your appliances, cabinets, and more to a more modern feel can help the inner event planner choose your community over a competitor.

Another aspect that makes multi-family living really stand out is giving your residents a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Having a bathroom with a comfortable tub and a vanity large enough to share are key components that you’ll want to think about when updating or building your community. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your residents have a true place where they can relax and call home.

During this tumultuous time for residents and the competition for space, keeping units in a multifamily building is more important than ever. We have heard and seen multifamily residences lose residents in droves just for the lack of maintenance – which as most property managers know is one of the least desirable outcomes for a property.

Reach out to us today for a quote to recommend the best maintenance plan for your multifamily residence to keep your residents happy and attract new residents no matter the season.