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Signs of Improper Electrical Wiring

In the modern age, almost every home comes wired for electricity. Our thirst for power is evident in the array of different gadgets we use around the house. Therefore, proper wiring of electricity is essential to ensure good and safe service. Your electricity could be lost for periods of time with a faulty connection. At worst, poor wiring can be a fire hazard resulting in significant damage or even death of a loved one. Here are a few signs you should watch for to diagnose wiring problems.

  • Switches and wires that are charred or otherwise damaged indicate a short in the system which will generate large amount of heat and corrosion.
  • Melted wire insulation near a connection point can be indicative of poor wiring.
  • Relatively loose wires in the switchbox can be diagnosed by gently tugging. If they come out, then they are not likely forming a good connection.
  • Dulling of screws near the switch indicate a problem with corrosion which may be related to a short circuit.

It’s important to diagnose wiring problems as quickly as possible. Leaving them to chance can result in costly repairs or damage to your home. Should you find a significant problem with the wiring, you will want to bring in a professional to fix the problem. Electrical issues can lead to fatal accidents if you are not trained to properly handle the problem.

What are Structural Walls and How Can I Tell?

A common question many home owners ask is “What are structural walls and how can I tell?”

Structural walls are those walls within a building that carry the weight of the roof and upper floors. Another name is load-bearing walls. All the exterior walls of a home are structural as the roof ends land on those walls. The interior load-bearing walls are not always so easy to identify.

How do you identify an interior wall that is structural?

There are a few indicators you can use:

    1. 1. One way is to go into the basement or crawlspace and see where foundation walls and columns exist. The walls above these areas are structural.


    1. 2. Another indication of a structural wall can be found in the attic or the space between the floors. If there are rafters running perpendicular to the wall, then the wall is load bearing, or structural


    1. 3. If you are on the second floor, look at where walls on the first floor cross that wall. If there is a wall running on the same path, then both walls are likely load bearing, or structural.


    1. 4. Check the floor plans of the building if you have them. Floor plans often indicate which walls are load bearing or not.

If you are still having issues, bringing in a contractor is the best answer. A builder can tell pretty quickly which walls are structural and which ones are not. It is a good thing to do if you ever have concerns.

Building Codes 101: What homeowners should know

What are building codes?

Building codes are rules that set minimum requirements for safety in building projects. These rules are put forward by local, state, and national governments for use by safety inspectors, builders, architects, and engineers. The building codes lay out exactly how some things are to be done and how other things need to perform.

What do homeowners need to know about building codes?

Every jurisdiction in the country has a minimal set of building codes. When building a home or renovating one, applicable building codes should be considered at all times. The homeowner does not need to know the details of the code, but should know enough about when to pull building permits and ensuring inspections are done.

When hiring a contractor or builder, it is important for a homeowner to know if the project will need building permits and inspections. Factor the cost of such items into any renovation or building budgets. Insist that a builder or contractor meet local building codes.

Why is it so important to follow building codes?

First, codes are meant to ensure a home is safe.

Second, homeowners insurance assumes that all work done to a home meets building codes. If the work was not done to building codes, the insurance may not cover damage caused by the non-standard work.

Third, if work is done outside building codes, it may have to be redone later if found by a building inspector.

A good builder can help you navigate building codes.

Common Roof Repairs a Homeowner Should Know

There are several types of roof repairs a homeowner should know about. These repairs not only keep the roof leak proof, but make sure that it stays well insulated. A roof that’s too hot or too cold will raise energy bills more than is necessary during the heating and cooling seasons.

One type of repair is shingle repair or replacement if the shingles are broken, have deteriorated or have leaks. Shingles are repaired differently according to the material they’re made out of. Asphalt and rolled or built up roofing are fairly easy to repair, while clay tiles are difficult to repair, heavy to move, and easy to break. A roof that’s made out of slate also must be repaired with care, as slate is also liable to crack if it’s stepped on carelessly.

Another type of roof repair is the repair, maintenance and replacement of gutters and downspouts. Gutters should be inspected about twice a year, especially after heavy rains and when leaves begin to fall. Gutters must slope at a certain angle to make sure all water and debris are washed out, and if they don’t, they’ll need to be adjusted. Sometimes all the downspouts need are to be snaked out or have water from a hose blasted through them to dislodge clogs.

Flashing may also need to be repaired. Flashing is often made of metal and is bent around fixtures like vents or chimneys or is installed in the roof’s valleys. They’re especially subject to leakage, but can be easily repaired.

Why Use Semi-Gloss Paint in the Bathroom?

Painting your bathroom is a nice way to update the look of your home, but when it comes time to choose the type of paint, you need to think about more than just the color of your towels and accessories. Bathrooms retain moisture, and kids often splatter water when they bathe. You also need to think about humidity. Miami area residents need a paint that will hold up to splashing as well as steam, humidity and fingerprints. That makes most types of paint a bad choice for bathrooms.

Although flat paint offers a pleasing, matte finish, it doesn’t resist moisture. It absorbs it, so it can look spotty when it gets wet. For that reason, it won’t hold up well, and it is difficult to clean. It’s best for low-traffic areas where the walls won’t be touched. The same goes for eggshell and even satin. Although a guest bathroom that’s rarely used might do okay with satin, the higher the sheen, the easier the bathroom will be to clean.

Since a typical bathroom receives heavy traffic, steam and fingerprints, semi-gloss paint makes the best choice. It repels moisture, cleans up quickly and doesn’t look as glassy on the wall as a high-gloss paint would look. It adds only a subtle shine and resists stains as well as moisture. In addition, semi-gloss is durable and holds up well for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom that need to be cleaned regularly.

Kitchen Remodeling

Remodeling your kitchen is a major undertaking, but the effort can be well worthwhile. You may consider having your entire kitchen renovated, or you may want to upgrade only your cabinets, countertops or backsplash. There are several reputable kitchen remodeling companies in Miami whose services can be used to bring your vision of a beautiful kitchen to reality with use. With kitchen remodeling services in Miami, you can easily turn an outdated kitchen into a stunning room that you and your family enjoy spending time in.

Whether you have a smaller kitchen renovation project in mind or you want to renovate your entire kitchen from floor to ceiling, working with top kitchen remodeling companies can help you to transform your existing space into a beautiful space. The process generally begins when you sit down with a designer at one of the top kitchen remodeling companies in your local area. The designer will listen to your ideas for the space, and he can suggest creative design plans that are customized to fit your needs. Reputable kitchen remodeling companies in Miami can help you to explore design ideas for your cabinets, counter tops, light fixtures and more. After your design idea has been firmed up and the materials for your project have been chosen, the installation process can begin. Through the design and installation efforts of your remodeling contractor, your dream kitchen will soon be installed. This is a space that you will love spending time in each and every day for years to come!

Benefits of Granite Countertops

Granite countertops can be a beautiful accessory for many homes and businesses. While granite can be more expensive than other countertop materials, it offers several significant advantages. The following guide explores the many benefits of granite countertops.

Granite countertops are designed to last for a lifetime. While wooden cabinets may degrade over time, granite is a type of rock that is millions of years old. Because of this, granite countertops can easily last for several hundred years.

One of the most common problems with countertops is scratching. If an individual uses a countertop to cut food on a regular basis, it may develop a series of small scratches. In addition, the act of food preparation may dull a countertop over time. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to get a granite countertop back to pristine condition.

In many cases, it’s possible to sand and buff minor scratches out of the surface of a granite countertop. Since most granite countertops are made from the same material all the way through, it’s usually possible to remove at least one millimeter of the top surface of a granite countertop. Once this top surface is removed, the interior beauty of a granite countertop can shine through.

In addition, granite countertops are often designed to resist a wide variety of substances. For example, a regular countertop may be damaged by a hot pan or boiling liquid. With a granite countertop, there’s no need to worry about damage from caustic liquids and other substances.

Home Inspections 101

Buying a home can be a rewarding experience for many people and their families. While purchasing a new or used home can be a fantastic step on the path towards the American dream, it can be difficult to make sure that one is receiving a good deal when purchasing real estate. The following guide explores some of the benefits of purchasing a proper home inspection.

New and used homes can have a variety of problems that will impact their value and safety. For example, many older homes manufactured before 1960 have inferior electrical wiring. Since people used fewer appliances in those times, most homes were built with electrical systems designed to power only a few devices. In some cases, the demand of modern electrical appliances can overwhelm older electrical systems in a home. If this happens, a home may be at an increased risk of a fire or other problems.

In addition, it’s important to make sure that one has a plumbing system checked out by a professional home inspector. While most modern plumbing systems are made from copper and PVC pipes, there are some plumbing systems that are made from inferior materials. In addition, many copper plumbing systems use lead for soldering. Under some conditions, lead can leach out into a water supply. This can expose an individual to an increased risk of health problems.

A home inspector can also check to make sure that the structural foundation for a home is in good condition. This can help prevent expensive repairs in the future.

Common Home Remodeling Mistakes

Remodeling your home can be an exciting moment for you, but there are several mistakes that you are susceptible to make if you are not prepared.

One very common mistake that people make when remodeling their home is not having a set plan or outline before beginning. Take time to write or draw out plans and what you want your home to look like after the remodeling. Many people dive into a project without a plan and that can dangerously backfire on their wallet and excitement in remodeling their home. Some ideas to consider when planning out your remodeling process are the amount of time it will take to remodel, what your budget is, and what materials you would need.

When buying materials, it’s natural to want to save money and find affordable, cheap items to work with. However, one matter to consider is how long your home improvements will last. Cheap material can only be temporary and, next thing you know, you have to upgrade your home again. Splurge a little on quality remodeling items and you’ll be grateful for doing that in the end. If you spend money on low-quality items, you would actually be spending much more later in a short amount of time because you would be upgrading to better quality materials anyway.

Another grand mistake people make when improving their home is not educating themselves on proper home remodeling techniques and information. When going into a home improvement project, it’s crucial to know what you are doing and prevent any errors or delays. Ask for help when you need it and receive guidance before you enter your home remodeling project.

Why Hire a General Contractor Instead of All Your Own Tradesmen?

A general contractor is a professional who overlooks a building project or a remodel. The general contractor is responsible for hiring and scheduling subcontractors such as plumbers, electricians and cabinetmakers. He or she manages the workers and makes sure that the work follows the building plans and adheres to whatever local building codes are in effect. Good general contractors in Miami, will have some years of experience, will understand the requirements of a kitchen or bathroom remodel and will come highly recommended by former clients.

A homeowner in the south Florida area who wants their kitchen or bathroom remodeled can hire their own subcontractors and schedule, supervise and pay them, but this is very time consuming and can be a major headache. A general contractor understands the ins and outs of remodeling in the area. They’re fully licensed, bonded and insured. Unlike many laypersons, they can read blueprints and are familiar with all the building codes. A general contractor will make sure their subcontractors are in possession of all permits they’ll need to work on a customer’s home. They will, of course, draw up a detailed and written contract with their customer.

Most excellent general contractors are in high demand.  It is always good practice for a homeowner to put in a request well in advance of when they want their project to commence.