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How to Tips

Top Handyman in St. Louis Tips For Winter Preparedness.

December 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

  • Check for gaps in insulation or crawl spaces that expose pipes to cold air and the risk of freezing and bursting.
  • Have your HVAC system cleaned and checked before cold weather sets in. Don’t forget to change the filter and make sure the humidifier.
  • Block drafts around doors and windows by making sure they are properly caulked on the outside and use weather stripping on the inside.
  • Install storm doors and windows to improve energy efficiency and keep drafts at bay.
  • If you have a fireplace have a chimney sweep clean and check it. Remember to use a CSL log for the first fire, and check the vents.
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and free of debris.
  • Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles that need replacing.
  • Put away hoses for the season and if you can, shut off the water supply at each hose bib.
  • Flush water heater to get rid of build up sediment to increase efficiency.
  • Check smoke and CO detector batteries.
  • Inspect and clean out your dryer vent. (fire hazard)
  • This is also an excellent time to plan and schedule remodeling projects for the spring. For your personal consultation with our design team to help plan out your next project, just call 314-3078355.

Stop Valves, A Must!

January 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We regularly remind people to occasionally turn their shut off valves off and on. A stop valve is one like you have below your toilet, faucets, dishwasher and basement water lines. There is a main shut off valve usually in the basement, if you live in a slab home it is typically out buried in the front yard. The reason for this is to keep them from sticking. After a long period of non use, these valves can get so hard to turn that two wrenches are required and even that can lead to breakage. If you are having a faucet replaced, or replacing parts to your toilet or dishwasher, the water has to be shut off. Or if you have a sudden leak, you will want to quickly shut the water off, particularly if your house is on a slab. If you have a problem turning it off at this point, your only option is to turn the main water off until the leak is repaired. By occasionally turning these valves you can be sure that they are working properly and will not fail when you need them. If you don’t have shut off valves, consider adding them as they are necessary to meet code in most areas.Occasionally these shut off valves can develop a small drip. If this happens, tighten the nut behind the handle will usually do the trick. Also helps to occasionally grease the stem with valve stem grease to keep them pliable. If calcium has developed from non usage I would highly recommend that you have a professional handyman replace them as soon as possible, before a real emergency occurs. Handy helpful tips from St. Louis best professional handyman service! Andy’s Home and Business Repair LLC.

Useful Energy Tips

December 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Winter time is upon us and fuel costs are increasing. Reducing these costs can involve a range of solutions from simple to complex. Hear are a few ways to keeps costs down. Reduce air leaks by caulking around the window frames where they meet the house structure. Replace weather stripping on exterior door frames and replace the sweep at the bottom of the doors. Use expansion foam to seal any gaps from plumbing pipes, around fireplaces and behind the base sink cabinets. Use energy wisely. Keep your water heater setting at about 120*f. Use an insulating blanket to wrap around your water heater. If your water heater is over 10 years old it is probably full of calcium at the bottom. You are wasting energy heating up this calcium. Time to replace with a new energy efficient model. This will pay for itself over time. Lower your thermostat while using the fireplace, to about 55*. Install a programmable thermostat that allows you to lower the heat during the workday and automatically increase the setting when you get home. Choose Energy Star rated appliances when upgrading. Replace your old, builder grade windows with low-E glass windows. They cost a little more than conventional double paned windows, but their effectiveness in keeping wintertime heat indoors will make up for it. As well as keeping cooled air in, in the summer months. Home owners can save up to three quarters of the electricity previously used, by replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescents. Andy’s Home and Business Repair can help you with a professional energy audit and supply solutions to make your home more energy efficient. Call the St. Louis home repair man for you energy audit today.

10 EASY WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR HOME’S CURB APPEAL

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The outside of your home is the first thing to greet visitors and offer an impression of what may be inside. If it fails to inspire by the onset, it lowers expectations for the inside. Spring is the time to ramp up your curb appeal, so here is a list of 10 of the easiest things you can do to spruce up the exterior of your home on a low-budget.
1. Landscaping. Now is the time to take inventory of your homes landscaping. Visually inspect the areas needing maintenance. Prune bushes and shrubs, trees and plants. Weed flower beds and add fresh mulch. Create container gardens and use hanging baskets to add interest and dimension to an entryway.
2. Lawn Check. Reviving your lawn’s grass will instantly boost your curb appeal. Get rid of weeds sprouting in the sidewalk. Get rid of a tree that is blocking the view to your house.
3. Mailbox Makeover. A dingy, rusted or beat up mailbox is cheap to replace and makes a big difference in setting the tone for your house’s exterior. Make sure the style of your mailbox compliments the style of your house.
4. Squeaky Clean Siding. The elements take a toll on siding and it may require a good power washing to clean dirty or stained siding. Rent a power washer and hose down the exterior. You may need a ladder and some soft-scrub. Remember to spray downward as not to loosen any siding and don’t forget the gutters!
5. Perfect for Paint. It isn’t necessary to paint the entire house. Spruce it up by painting the trim and shutters if they have gotten chipped or discolored. Don’t forget the window frames, the porch and around the garage door.
6. Pay Attention to Small Details. It may seem minor, but little touches like new numbers on a house or a new light above the door improve the overall aesthetic of your home.
7. Spring Cleaning. Spring cleaning is not limited to the interior of your home. It’s time to clean out the gutters, wash the windows and move the garbage cans out of sight.
8. Welcoming Walkway. Brick or stone can create an elegant walkway leading up to your home. Try applying a colored concrete surface to an old driveway, then edging with brick or stone pavers. Using symmetry at the entrance is a simple and effective way to increase curb appeal.
9. Light it Up. Adequate lighting at night is a way to add security as well as highlight the architectural elements of your home. Landscape lighting can provide path lighting along a walkway, while porch lights should illuminate the main entrance. Coach lights on each side of the garage are an added touch.
10. Front Door. The front door is an important focal point of the home. If it has been neglected, consider refinishing, painting or replacing it. New hardware to replace rusted handles or an outdated lock set also makes a huge impact!

12″ Floor Tiles Make Small Spaces Appear Larger

March 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

DIY in One Weekend (Handyman in St. Louis)

September 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As summer draws to a close, home owners have home improvement on their mind. If you have been avoiding your do-it-yourself list for fear that home improvement projects will take up too much time, here is a list of projects that can be done in a single weekend.
Replace House Numbers…with oversize numbers in a style that compliments your home’s architecture.
Put Out a Welcome Mat….You can change it with the seasons or use it to show your individuality.
Clean Up The Landscaping…by seeding bare spots in the lawn and pruning overgrown foundation plantings.
Paint The Front Door…Consider a bold color such as high-gloss red, forest green, or black to call attention to the entry or compliment a color on the trim.
Hang a Door Knocker… You can choose from classic designs, bold rings or whimsical motifs.
Put Up Window Boxes… Wood boxes can be customized with paint or stain; synthetic boxes require no maintenance.
Add Some Potted Plants…near the door and along walkways.
Replace the Doorknob… If you stick to the same size as the existing handle, it’s an easy DIY job.
Upgrade the Lighting… A hanging or wall-mounted fixture near the door is like jewelry, and lighting in the yard adds interest as well as security.
Replace the Mailbox…or touch up the rust spots with paint.

Just a few more helpful do it yourself tips from the best handyman in St. Louis. Call us if you need any help.

Easy Home Repairs From the Handyman in St. Louis

August 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Fix a loose door hinge. If the door is shaky, the hinge may be stripped. Spend a few dollars on a “stripped screw-hole repair kit.” Put the metal mesh in the hole, then insert a longer screw. You could save big bucks on new hardware, weather stripping, and even a new door frame later on.
Replace the central air/furnace filter. Make sure the filter is the correct size for the unit and that it isn’t clogged with dust. Regularly changing or cleaning the filter allows the unit to heat and cool your home more efficiently. Make sure to buy an upgraded “heppa” filter or double up on the regular ones for better filtration.
Replace traditional light bulbs with energy efficient ones, called compact fluorescent lighting. They’re more expensive, but can last up to 10 times longer than conventional bulbs. If you replace five light bulbs with CFL’s, you could save up to $60.00 a year.
Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s). Identify electrical outlets near kitchen or bathroom sinks and replace them with GFCI’s tp protect you and your family members from possible electrical shocks.
Replace an old shower head with a new energy-saving, low-flow one. Showers account for 17% of indoor household water use. A new shower head is good for both the environment and your water bills.
Replace you old “big gulp” toilet with a new water saving model.
Replace fence boards. Missing or damaged boards weaken a fence-and your relationship with the neighbors. Check the entire fence and note how many new boards you’ll need, as well as the height and width of each. Make sure to use galvanized screws that won’t rust.
Adjust your water heater temperature to 120*F. You’ll save money and still be able to clean your clothes and bathe without scalding yourself. Insulate your water heater with a water heater blanket. They come pre-cut and will help to keep the water hot, thus saving energy and money.
Keep your gutters and downspouts cleaned out to prevent interior water damage. Install a downspout extender out into the yard to disperse the rain water or install a barrel for collecting rainwater to use in your landscaping or garden.
These are just a few money and energy saving tips from the best handyman in St. Louis.
If any of these projects proves to be too much work, just call Andy’s Home and Business Repair for a free estimate!

St. Louis Handyman’s Tips on Un-sticking a Drawer

August 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This is how to handle a solid wooden drawer that sticks: Slowly move it in and out to “feel” where it’s catching (on one side? along the bottom?). Or pull out the drawer and look for friction marks on the edge or bottom.
Set the drawer on a stable work surface. With 100-grit sandpaper wrapped around a wood block, smooth the sticking spot until some dust is created. Replace the drawer, slide to see if it’s no longer catching. If it is, repeat until the drawer glides freely.
To keep out the moisture that causes swelling and then sticking, seal the drawer, inside and out (though skipping the front), with a coat of polyurethane.
If the swelling is minor, you may be able to get away with just lubricating the drawer-no sanding required. To start, take the drawer completely out and set it on your work surface.
Run a bar of plain soap (like Ivory) or a candle, or a stick of paraffin-any of the three should work well-along the glide or glides on the bottom or sides of the drawer, and along any mating pieces inside the furniture. Also rub some on the edges of the drawer’s sides and bottom.
Replace drawer and move it in and out to work in the lubricant and be sure it’s fixed the problem.

Eco-Friendly Landscaping Strategies

August 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Save some green this season with these budget and eco-friendly landscaping strategies from the St. Louis Handyman….
Use a rain barrel to collect water for your lawn and outdoor plants.
Ditch old gas guzzling outdoor power equipment for battery operated or manual gear.
Choose solar powered landscape lighting over electricity-draining illumination.
Incorporate more hardscaping features into outdoor spaces to reduce your watering and mowing requirements.
Build a raised garden bed to grow your own fresh produce.
And always call the St. Louis Handyman for any of your “handy” projects!

St. Louis Handyman on Outdoor Shower

August 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

August 3, 2009
Hot August, Cool Shower
An outdoor shower is cool for a pool, dock or beach place — and especially for camping.

But it’s even cooler (literally) during these dog days of summer when you’re so sweaty and dirty from working in the yard, on the roof, in the hayloft, in the shop, wherever. You’re filthy and you don’t dare drag all your grime into the bathroom. So you shower in the shade of the old apple tree. Aaaah!

Your outdoor shower could be as simple as draping a hose over a tree limb and turning on the water. Cold but refreshing in August.

More sophisticated hot-and-cold-water units are available as well. Some use solar power to warm the water, some use electric power, and some use propane to fuel a tankless water heater. There are even units that use a standard outdoor-grill propane tank and connect to a garden hose.

And don’t forget that tankless water heaters are excellent for indoor point-of-use purposes too.

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