A lot of homeowners go through life with a nagging suspicion they might need more of that pink, fluffy stuff known as ‘insulation’ in their attic. That their heating bills are higher than they ought to be because warm air is escaping from their living areas into the cold attic above. That when they enter Home Depot or Lowes they are supposed to know something about something called an “R” value, before they run away, shrieking and even more confused. That this all somehow relates to a silly Pink Panther animated character, an inept French police detective named Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and an old movie starring Peter Sellers, but they can’t figure out how.
In a recent national survey, it was revealed that when it comes to critical activities adults are most negligent about, ‘not staining their deck’ was ranked at the top, 2nd only to ‘not flossing’. OK, so I totally made that up. But, you get the idea. We know that not staining a deck frequently enough will lead to rotted wood and costly repairs, just as we know that not flossing will lead to rotted teeth and dentists driving late-model cars.
But, staining a deck does not come cheap, so you don’t want to have to do it very often. According to Home Depot, staining a deck costs the average homeowner $600-700. (And this time, I did NOT totally make that up!). The moral here is proper deck maintenance can save you money in the costs associated with staining your deck, just like flossing can save you money at the dentist and save your teeth.
So, here are 7 tips that will allow you to stain your deck less often:
Admit it. It’s a problem, but never a big enough problem that ever got you past the mental paralysis caused by not being sure how to get it fixed, right?
Your windows are hard to open or close, or don’t stay open. They get stuck and you have to use increasingly strange methods you’ve invented over time, that only you know, to get them unstuck. When one of them closes, it’s not quite square, so there’s a small gap where air gets in. Or, how about that window that, when you open and let go, it slams down like a guillotine, and you breathe a sigh of relief that no one’s fingers, hand, arm, (or head?) was there at the time. It’s almost as if some of your windows have personalities, and have decided to be difficult.
Most homeowners have an uneasy relationship with their decks. While they might have a beautiful home, they sometimes wonder why their deck has to look like something Huck Finn hitched to it after floating down the Mississippi River.They may never be at peace that it is completely right – maybe some of the boards have rotted, the top rails are dried-out and cracked, and that wobbly stair rail – is someone going to get hurt by that someday? And then there’s the guilt. If only they stained it its first year…or every five years…or ever at all.
Well, I have good news — you don’t have to love-hate your deck. You can just love it. But, it helps to make sure you’ve got the right one, or convert it to the right one when major repairs are in order. Here’s how to think about decks so you can stop thinking about, and start enjoying, yours.
Basically, there are four types of decks:
I’ve got a true story for those who mistakenly believe the main reason your contractors should carry insurance is in the unlikely event they sue you after getting injured on your property.
One of our Fix St Louis technicians, we’ll call him Dan, was once high-up on a ladder, painting a vaulted ceiling in a front entry way in a large and beautiful home, when it began to slide out from under him. Dan and the ladder went SMACK against the floor but, because he is young and strong, Dan bounced right back-up again, uninjured. At the same time, an opened $30 can of paint fell down with him, streaming paint all over a grandfather clock, stair railing, carpeting, and a hardwood floor.
If you’re like virtually every homeowner, you’ve got 2-3 little things wrong with your house right now. Maybe, they’re not really preventing you from doing anything, like using a sink or going into a room. And, maybe you’ve found ways to work-around them or not think about them. But…they bug you.
It doesn’t look right…it’s not working as well as it should…if I don’t do something, maybe it will get worse and then it will cost me more. They’re always in the back of your mind as a low grade irritation.
So, WHY do homeowners put-off fixing the small stuff? Mostly, we hear 4 reasons: