There’s a handful of home improvements we do that totally amaze our customers — things they assumed were impossible. One is installing a ceiling fan or light fixture on a totally empty ceiling — no existing light, no electrical box, maybe not even a switch for it on their wall. Have you been wondering how to install a ceiling fan or light to an empty ceiling in your house? Then you have come to the right place.
So, how do we do it? You see, we have on staff a technician named Samantha, who is married to a hapless advertising executive named Darrin Stephens, and when she twitches her nose… Oh, not young enough to remember the TV series ‘Bewitched’? Sorry, my bad.
Well, the truth is that we install these ceiling fixtures by going fishing. But, this time I’m not kidding. We run new wires through your ceiling and walls by ‘fishing’ for them. What this means is that we find or make a hole to shove a wire behind your walls, then try to reach this wire from another place, as far away as possible, and pull the wire through.
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.
Sorry, but I have always had this fantasy of hiring a technician named Gorbachev, so I could hear our customers use that line. But, I can’t seem to lure the real one out of retirement and into a Fix St Louis shirt. Go figure.
Anyway, today we’ll be discussing those yucky walls around your shower or tub. If that sentence made no sense to you, you’re free to go. But for the 99% of you remaining, you know what I mean.
Those walls with those sickly, shiny avocado green squares that are supposed to have dry white stuff between them, but the white stuff is missing in places, or the white stuff is actually now black. Maybe a tile or two are sticking-out, missing, or a bulge of wet drywall behind it is shoving tiles out of place.
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:
I don’t know about you, but I pity the poor people who live in places like Hawaii, who will never know that wonderful feeling of walking in from the outside on a hot, humid St. Louis summer day into an air conditioned room. No, you will never hear me, your House Doctor, preaching about the damage air conditioning does to the planet, how through some bizarre twist of fate its excessive use might lead to pneumonia, or how it costs too much money. So, tell me. If not comfort, what exactly is money for?
But while I may be one of air conditioning’s biggest fans, I am also one of its least faithful fans, as I am also a fan of 3 different types of fans — fans that let people use their air conditioners less often. These are wonder-fans, almost magic fans, because they are fans that will lower your air conditioning bills. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
In my travels speaking with customers and prospective customers, I find a great deal of confusion on what these fans are called, what are their best uses, and whether or not they can be used at the same time an air conditioner is running. So, let’s clear the air by going through each of the 3 totally different types of fans, one at a time.
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.