Inspect your home inside and out

Your Home Maintenance Checklist For 2021

Inspect your home inside and out

Inspect your home inside and out, including the roof and foundation.

With the new year, and more time spent at home, it’s time to give your property a little TLC and put a maintenance checklist in place. To get started and ensure your home is in good shape, start by looking at these key areas.

Check Up On The Condition of Your Roof

It is important to assess the condition of your roof, and look for any signs of damage and wear and tear. Roofs can take a beating due to the elements, even if your roof is not that old. Look to see if there are any shingles out of place, discoloration, mold, or moss. These can be signs that it is time to get an inspection by a roofing expert to determine if anything needs to be replaced.

Determine If Your Exterior Needs Some Touching Up

 If you are thinking about practical, as well as aesthetic, upkeep on your home, then look no further than the exterior. The appearance of your siding or paint can change the entire look of your house. If your siding is in need of repair or if your paint is fading, then it is time to freshen it up. You can check out exterior home trends for 2021, and then pick out a new or sophisticated material to boost curb appeal.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Sometimes simple maintenance tasks can be forgotten until they start to have negative impacts on your property. For instance, cleaning out your gutters should be something you build into your regular outdoor maintenance schedule. Leaves and other debris can quickly pile up, clog your gutters, and defeat the purpose of having them in the first place. Clogged gutters cause water to dump against the exterior of your home, making it soggy, and water can potentially seep in and cause damage. Most major issues can be prevented if you keep up on your gutters and ensure that they are clean.

Ensure Your Foundation Is Water Tight

Make sure you are taking steps to make your home water tight so you don’t have to deal with water damage down the line. This could involve repairing your retaining wall, fixing cracks in your foundation, caulking around windows and doors, keeping your gutters cleaned out, and reinforcing and repairing drywall can all help make your home impermeable.

Tune Up Inefficient Appliances

It is important to keep your appliances on a regular maintenance schedule. There are many moving pieces to each of your appliances that need to be kept in pristine condition. When something is off or goes wrong with one part it can affect the entire performance of the appliance. You can check into your home warranty options to service your appliances to help them run more efficiently. 

Inspect Your Electrical System

Keeping close tabs on your electrical system is essential for safety and for ensuring your entire home system can function properly. Faulty wires, burned-out sockets, and outdated electrical panels must be addressed immediately to prevent fires. Ensure that your electrical system is up to date so that it can meet demand. Especially now, smart home systems are increasingly popular, and it is critical to ensure your electrical is top notch and can handle automation.

Take Proper Care of Special Materials

If your home has unique or has specialty materials it is important that you take care of them properly. If you have concrete driveways, walkways, stone or tile, ensure that they are not cracking. To keep such materials looking their best, be sure to clean them with the proper solutions on a regular basis.

Inspect and Test Home Safety Devices

To keep you and your family safe, you must perform routine safety inspections of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It can be easy to forget to check your detectors. Take time to check the indicator lights frequently and change the batteries. Also, check that there are enough and that they are installed in the proper locations.

Don’t wait and put off maintenance tasks. As a responsible homeowner, it is essential to keep up on your property not only for safety reasons, but to be able to enjoy your property to its fullest potential. Of course, Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is here to inspect areas such as roofs and foundations, where damage can be hard to spot, but also expensive to repair if problems aren’t caught quickly. Call us at (469) 290-8980 to schedule your inspection today!

 

Living room in a cabin style home with a fireplace and holiday tree set up

Protect Your Home During the Festivities

Living room in a cabin style home with a fireplace and holiday tree set up

As we approach the last weeks of the year, it is essential to protect your home from the festivities and weather that occur. As you celebrate with your friends and family, plan dinners and gatherings to make sure you prioritize your home’s safety. If you are overwhelmed with all the activities that occur, our team at Classic Construction & Restoration has curated a list of ways you can protect your home during the festive season. Please note that if your home experiences any. 

1. Install and Test Smoke Alarms 

Installing and testing your smoke alarms are vital any time of the year but necessary during the festive season. According to the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA), you should install a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. If you have more than one level, there should be a smoke alarm on each level. After installing your alarm, you should test it to ensure that it is working correctly. It is suggested that you test your alarm once a month and change out the batteries at least twice a year. If you need help with installing or testing your alarm, feel free to contact our team at Classic.

2. Have Fire Extinguishers 

Choosing a fire extinguisher and comparing each model to see which is the best can be daunting but can save you and your home from damages or losses. We recommend that the fire extinguisher in your home is an ABC fire extinguisher model and that one be placed on every level of your home and a bonus extinguisher in your garage. The reason behind the UL lettering on the extinguisher is that each flame has a designated letter, and your extinguisher should be rated according to the fire it that is effective against.

3. Ensure your Space Heater is Safe  

As the weather drops, we understand there is a need for space heaters, but one of the biggest mistakes is keeping it on all day long. According to NFPA heating equipment is a leading cause of fire in U.S homes. When you are not in the same room or leave the house, make sure to turn the space heater off. Another commonly overlooked item is keeping the space heater at least 3 feet away from curtains or bedroom furniture or bedding, or other combustible materials.

4. Unplug Electric Blankets 

Electric blankets are also a form of heating equipment that people tend to forget to turn off. According to healthine, most electric blankets that are ten years old or older run a higher risk of starting a fire. If you are using an electric blanket, make sure that the blanket is approved by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). If you are finished using your electric blanket, make sure that you store it properly, and as a safety precaution, do not sit or lie on top of it. 

5. Avoid overloading your sockets

Overloading sockets is something that can easily happen if you are using a single socket and extensions. While extension cords are great to have on hand, you can easily overload it and cause a fire due to overheating. One thing that you can do to prevent this is to limit the number of connected appliances to each socket. A rule of thumb that the National Ag Safety Database has is limiting each outlet to two appliances. 

6. Get your chimney/fireplace inspected 

As we mentioned in our previous blog, Winter Checklist for Your Home, it is important to get your chimney/fireplace inspected before turning it on. A clogged chimney can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is responsible for around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related “injuries” each reported each year.

7. Be cautious of your candles 

Candles are used avidly during this season, and while they provide a sense of comfort and smell, they are often forgotten. If you fail to turn off your candle before bed or leaving the house, it can cost you your home. According to NFPA, candle-caused fires can cause an average of up to $278 million in home damages a year. 

8. Avoid distractions while the stove is on

Preparing dinner for a gathering with friends and family can be a series of ups and downs, but one thing to never forget is to keep collected and be aware of your stove when it is on. If things get out of hand with a kitchen fire, make sure to get out of the kitchen! 

9. Save Classic Construction’s contact information

While you should ALWAYS call 911 if you have a fire emergency, another reliable number to have after the damage has occurred to your house is Classic Construction. We are available 24/7 for emergency services and are ready to help you. You can contact us over the phone (insert emergency number here) or through our website. We are here to help you and when you choose us, know our team is On Time. On Budget. That’s Classic. 

Three roofing contractors removing the old tiles before replacing with new shingles on a home

What to Do When a Resident Has a Problem With Construction

Classic Construction, roof being repaired on two story home with yellow tractor and workers below We’ve all had to deal with that one unreasonable resident.

You know the one I’m talking about. He shows up to every meeting, chimes in on every issue, and takes it upon himself to act as the neighborhood watch. Every Board member knows him by name which means that you as the property manager do too. He probably even has your cell phone number!

It can be hard to know what to do when this resident has a problem with construction, but we here at Classic Construction and Restoration, Inc. have over 80 years of experience handling resident/construction conflict.

We’re here to help.

Complaint #1: Noise

Perhaps the biggest construction-related resident complaint is that of the noise. The number one way to help prevent these complaints before you receive them is to make sure your contractor knows that work is only to be done during business hours. Then inform your residents of when work will begin and approximately how long it is expected to last. Most residents understand that when construction is necessary, there will be some loud noises involved. But they do have a reasonable right to expect a quiet, relaxing community after business hours. Try to assure them that you will do your best to provide them this quite time during the construction process.

construction cones blocking walkwayComplaint #2: Detours/Blockades

The second biggest complaint from residents usually involves the inconvenience of having to change up their morning and afternoon commutes. Humans are creatures of habit and having to add an extra 5 minutes to our morning drive is just excessive. (I mean, really!) To help residents adjust, make sure you know in advance where the detours and blockades will be located. Speak with your contractor before construction so that together, you can come to a solution that allows him to complete the work and you to cause the least inconvenience to your residents. And if there’s no way around the inconvenience, let your residents know well in advance about the detours and remind them why it is necessary or why this temporary inconvenience might even be desirable (ie nicer roads, prettier landscaping, etc).

Complaint #3: Jobsite Cleanliness

This complaint is not unreasonable for any resident to have. Messy jobsites are not only displeasing to the eyes, but can also cause problems in the community. Debris in roads and driveways can cause flat tires. Trash could attract nocturnal critters. Carelessly placed equipment can block roads or access to community amenities….the list goes on and on. When you receive a complaint from your residents about the mess the contractor’s crew is leaving behind, take it seriously. Let your contractor know about the issue and ask him to make sure that his crew is cleaning up after themselves daily. Contractors worth keeping should take this complaint seriously as well and strive to improve the condition of their jobsites.

Complaint #4: Quality of the Work

Again, this complaint is not unreasonable at all. Heck, you might even have the same concerns as your residents! If you notice that the work performed by your construction crew is of inferior quality, don’t be afraid to make him aware of it immediately. This is true at each stage of construction. It is better to ask your contractor about the work as you go along and catch some tiny mistakes now before the project is completed. This will save your contractor lots of money and will shorten the length of time you and your residents must deal with the construction. Before releasing final payment to your contractor, you should also make sure you or your residents are satisfied with the work. Most contractors accept this as a business process; if yours doesn’t, you might seriously consider hiring a professional contractor next time.

Classic Construction condo fire restoration project, new windows, roof and doors have been replaced.

Managing Construction Projects During COVID-19: HOA Tips

Construction project for Classic Construction HOADue to the nature of the Coronavirus quickly changing the world we live in, the way our residential communities are managed has changed drastically. These days, community managers must determine if a service is essential before they can decide whether they and the board want to move forward with it or not. While determining the nature of needed services as either essential or non-essential is not easy, it is important that these decisions be based on official stay-at-home orders and COVID 19 construction guidelines.

At the time of this writing, residential construction is still considered essential. This means that repairs that need to be made to homes, whether they be single or multi-family, can still be scheduled if certain social distancing and PPE protocols are followed. While this process sounds simple enough – keep 6 feet apart, wear face coverings, gloves, etc – it is easier said than done. Some smaller construction companies might not be able to acquire the gear necessary to perform the work according to these guidelines as the demand for these supplies steadily increases. Or on the other hand, some homeowners might not feel comfortable letting workers into their home without being able to supervise from a close distance.

Again, once the board has decided to move forward with a construction project, you might run into issues with scheduling. Many homeowners might be working from home and do not want to be disturbed by the noise construction crews often make while working. Others might be at high risk of contracting the Coronavirus and therefore not give workers consent to enter their home. In either of these circumstances, the board then has to decide if the construction project is urgent or serious enough to override the desires of the homeowner, if this is even within the board’s power to do so.

All in all, scheduling and performing construction projects is no easy feat in these trying times. Some tips to help you determine whether you and your HOA board should press forward are:

  1. Look to your bylaws and guidelines

If your bylaws state that certain projects must be done yearly, monthly, etc, then it’s probably best that you look into whether you can schedule these services or not. In this event, you should just follow the next tip which is to…

  1. Make sure you comply with CDC guidelines and local ordinances

If you or your board believes that a project must get done, then make sure it gets done in accordance with the law. Just be sure your construction workers understand and follow these instructions as well.

  1. Work with your residents

If you have set forth community guidelines and protection protocols for the safety of your residents, then they will better be able to trust that you are doing all you can to protect them while maintaining their home and community. If you find yourself dealing with a particularly difficult homeowner, try gently explaining to the importance of completing the project and the measures you are taking to ensure their safety. If this fails, you might have to start back at tip number one and determine if this really is an essential job or not.

Man repairing wood floor with a hammer his right and a pencil in his hand.

When should I hire a contractor for my construction project? 

person-holding-pencil-1388944If you find yourself with a construction project that needs doing, you might be wondering when you should hire a contractor. This can be difficult to know since different types of projects will have different needs. If you’re a property manager or landlord with an angry or persistent tenant, the answer might be “yesterday.” But if you’re a homeowner looking to make upgrades or non-essential improvements, you’ve got time on your side.

In any of these situations, there are 3 main tasks you will need to add to your to-do list before you hire a contractor.

Determine when the work must be completed

Is this an emergency or a wish list project? Emergencies obviously require repairs today, while wish list items can wait. In any event, determine when the work should be completed. If it’s an emergency, you’ll need to move through these steps quickly. But if it’s a wish list project, determine which season would be best to have this work completed.

You’ll also want to be mindful of the construction industry’s busy seasons. The summer season is when many large projects are typically taking place because the lack of rain makes it easier complete a large amount of work in a short amount of time.

Contractors who can get large jobs scheduled are likely to do so in the summer. Large jobs are more difficult to schedule in the spring, fall and winter seasons, so smaller jobs such as leak investigations or interior repairs are more likely to be scheduled during this time.

Determine your budget and scope of work

This is pretty straightforward advice and probably the single most important item on your to-do list before hiring a contractor.

Before a contractor starts demolition on a property or making repairs, they need to have a plan for the work to be done. This is commonly referred to as a bid or an estimate and is where these two items come into play. A bid clearly outlines the work that the client (you) would like to see completed and lets you know how much the contractor expects to be paid for that work. Without a clearly defined scope of work or a budget on your end, you’re likely to overspend and not get what you thought you paid for.

Do your research


contractor renovation project gray-standard-color-book-near-green-eraser-159045Before starting a job, most contractors will submit a formal bid or estimate based on the scope of work and budget you’ve provided them. A good one will work with you and educate you on the price of materials and type of work you’re asking for to make sure you understand why they can or cannot do a certain type of work for the price you’re asking.

When doing your research, make sure you solicit bids from at least 3 different contractors. This will give you a range of price points to choose from, as well as introduce you to a few of the types of contractors you’re likely to encounter. You’ll learn a lot about the values, attitudes, professionalism and knowledge of the contractors while discussing or negotiating their bids with them.

If you don’t know where to start looking for a professional contractor, try the Better Business Bureau.

If you’ve already accomplished these three to-do items, give Classic Construction a call…we provide free estimates and we can do it all on time and on budget.

That’s Classic!

Pest control contractor working in the flat. Man using pesticide under white sofa to exterminate large black cockroaches. Man is using white suit, glasses and face mask to protect himself.

Pest Prevention and the Benefits to Your Home

Pest control contractor working in the flat. Man using pesticide under white sofa to exterminate large black cockroaches. Man is using white suit, glasses and face mask to protect himself. Pests are called “pests” because they are not only irritating, but they also cause mayhem wherever they are found. So it can be almost disastrous when they take up residence in your home. With the rain we’ve been getting here in North Texas, we would all be wise to seek out some pest prevention methods that we could put into play in order to protect our homes. Here are just a few we found from the Community Associations Institute’s Spring 2018 magazine

And when it comes to pests, our homes need protection. We’ve discussed the damage termites can do to your home in a previous post. Another silent terrorist you want to be aware of is the carpenter ant. 

Why are they called carpenter ants?black carpenter ants crawling on brown tree trunk

Because similar to the way termites eat wood, carpenter ants like to do their dirty work in wood. Both of these pests live and die by destroying the wood in your home. While the destruction caused by carpenter ants is not as severe as that caused by termites, it has the potential to grow into a devastating amount of damage over time. 

As the ant colony grows, it will continue to expand into other wooden elements of your home including framing, support beams, floor joists, posts, ceiling joists, siding and wall studs. Carpenter ants will typically only nest in wood softened by moisture, so pay particular attention to their potential points of entry such as your attic vents, foundations, cracks, electric wires, and plumbing pipes. 

Other types of pests to protect your home against are rodents.

These critters are already unsavory houseguests due to the diseases they can carry, but their indiscriminatory tastes will have you trying to kick them out before dinner once they’ve made their way into your home. Squirrels typically will chew their way through roofing or siding near roofs and under eaves, making their way into your attic. Mice and rats usually eat their way into your home on the ground level.

When I say they have indiscriminatory tastes, I mean they will eat or chew through just about anything! This poses an obvious threat to the belongings in your attic or garage, but more than this is at stake. 

Rodents will cause damage to your home in a myriad of ways through gnawing, nest-building and defecation. They will chew on just about anything that they deem necessary to build their nests. They will chew up wood to create shavings for the rugs. Insulation isn’t safe either as they will burrow into it to create their beds and sofas. They will even chew through wiring around electrical outlets and appliances, thereby installing their very own entertainment room!

Aside from the wood shavings, the damage caused to your home by rodents chewing through insulation and electrical wiring puts your home at risk of catching on fire. Because of this, it’s important to take steps to “pest-proof” your home as best you can. 

Eliminate possible food sources

Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids

Secure garbage in similar containers with tight lids

Keep outside cooking areas clean

Clean up spilled food right away and wash dishes and cooking utensils soon after use

Keep compost bins away from your home

Keep pet or other animal food stored in thick plastic or metal containers with airtight lids

Eliminate excess moisture

Fix up dripping taps and leaking pipes

Make sure your gutters’ down spout deposits water at least a couple of feet from your foundation

Fill or remove any indented areas of your lawn close to your home so that they won’t hold standing water

Seal all the holes and gaps inside and around your home

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mice can squeeze through a hole the size of nickel and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of half dollar. And of course, ants enter through holes we might not be able to see. Keeping ants out can be trickier, but it’s not impossible if you follow the steps below.

Seal interior holes:

Inside, under and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves

Inside closets near the floor corners

Around the fireplace, doors and windows

Around the pipes under sinks, washing machines, hot water heater and furnace

Inside the attic, basement or crawl space

Between the floor and wall juncture

Seal exterior holes:

In the roof among the rafters, gables and eaves

Around windows and doors

Around the foundation

At attic vents and the crawl space

Under doors

Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable and gas lines

While we here at Classic Construction won’t come clean your dishes for you, we can provide you with the best sealant work in DFW. If you need help making sure you catch all the nooks and crannies that need new caulking, contact us for a free estimate today. 

Traces of termites eat wood, Timber beam of door damaged by termite which eat for a long time, The wood home with termites damage in kitchen.

Termite Tip & Tricks: How to asses and prevent termite damage to your home 

Spring is often considered a beautiful season as it is the time of year when nature comes back to life after hibernating during the winter months. We see new flowers, new baby animals and lots of new growth all around us. While all this newness can be exciting, the ugly truth is that spring also brings to life termites and other pests we’d rather not see again so soon.

Termites specifically are nasty pests to deal with because they do most of their dirty work out of view and the damage can be catastrophic to your home. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause up to $5 billion dollars in damage in the U.S. each year!

And it’s not just cosmetic damage; they eat into the very structure of your home. It’s a well-known fact that termites eat wood and many of the foundational elements of your home are made from wood. This includes support beams, floor joists, posts, ceiling joists and wall studs. In addition to their regular fare, termites also enjoy the occasional gourmet meal of plaster, insulation and metal siding. 

Visible signs of termite damage include:Traces of termites eat wood, Timber beam of door damaged by termite which eat for a long time, The wood home with termites damage in kitchen.

  • Discolored or drooping drywall
  • Peeling paint that resembles water damage
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Small, pinpoint holes in drywall
  • Buckling wooden or laminate floorboards
  • Tiles loosening from the added moisture termites can introduce to your floor
  • Excessively squeaky floorboards
  • Crumbling, damaged wood
  • Stuck windows or doors
  • Maze-like patterns in furniture, floorboards or walls
  • Mound of drywood termite pellets, often resembling small piles of salt and pepper
  • Piles of wings left behind after swarms, often resembling fish scales
  • Mud tubes climbing the foundation of your home
  • Flying termite swarms anywhere on your property

If you’re seeing any signs of termite damage to your property, you should definitely call a professional termite company for an inspection because the damage is probably already worse than you think. Termites can live in your home’s foundational elements for a long time before being detected, which means these unseen items have probably already taken on worse damage than those you can see.

A couple of ways to prevent termites from entering your home during the pre-construction phase include pouring a concrete foundation and using pressure-treated wood for framing, etc. These are common in most new homes in the DFW area these days. 

But if you are trying to prevent termites from entering your lived-in home, the number one thing you can do is remove all landscaping and soil from around your home’s foundation and siding. Create a 4-inch barrier between mulch and your home. Keep plants at least a few feet away from siding and windows. Make sure the soil around your foundation is at least 6 inches lower than the siding. All these items retain moisture and moisture attracts termites and their very large families. 

If you have determined that your home already has termites and termite damage, the first thing you should do is make sure those buggers are dead and gone. Consult with a termite specialist to determine the best way to remove these nuisances from your property.

Then, determine which parts of your home are majorly damaged and which parts are only cosmetically damaged. Most cosmetic damages can be handled with some weekend DIY projects. These include sheetrock/drywall repairs, painting, and floor covering replacement (after your foundation and framing have been repaired, if necessary).

Man in pest control equipment with pesticide in left arm spraying pesticide with ergo grip For major repairs, you will need to look into hiring a general contractor. It is not recommended that you try to repair any of the damaged foundational elements of your home mentioned above unless you are a licensed contractor yourself. This is because you might need a more in-depth analysis of the damage in order to accurately assess what needs repair vs what needs replacing. Depending on the age of your home, you might also have code upgrades that might need to be made and a GC can help identify these.