Category: Handyman Services

How to Make the Most of Your Backyard this Summer

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How to Make the Most of Your Backyard this Summer

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But having a dingy or vapid backyard will discourage you from spending time outside, even in the best of weather conditions. If you, like most other people, prefer spending your time in spaces that are inspiring to you, a backyard that doesn’t reflect your personality will be an immediate turn-off from getting out and enjoying the summer sun. So why not dedicate this summer to creating a cozy reading spot or family area in your backyard? By improving your space backyard space, you’re almost sure to get more from it.

Backyard Improvement Ideas

When you think of it, you’ll soon notice there’s a nearly endless amount of possibilities of things you can do to make your backyard a better place to relax during your free time. But unfortunately you’ll be somewhat limited in what you can do based on your budget and the size of your backyard. It’s also good to keep your family’s lifestyle in mind when making choices. For instance, there’s no sense in creating a barbecue area if no one in your family enjoys cooking outside.

But short list of improvement you can make to your backyard:

  • Swimming pools: You don’t need to add a big pool to your backyard, but if you believe this is something your family will regularly use, it’s a worthwhile investment.
  • Barbecue area: A barbecue area is a great addition to your backyard if you want to spend more family time outside, or if you want to invite friends over for an al fresco lunch at your place every now and then.
  • Fountain: Adding a fountain won’t give you anything new to do in your backyard, but the sound of running water is very tranquil. This makes a fountain a great choice for blocking out noise, and so it can certainly make your backyard a better place to relax with a book.
  • Bird feeder or bath: A bird feeder or bath is a reasonably cheap project that can help you bring more nature into your backyard.
  • Low maintenance plants: If the problem with your backyard is that your garden is uninspiring, it could be worthwhile to look into some low maintenance garden ideas. Not all flowers and plants require a lot of care, and it’s definitely possible to create a beautiful garden without having to spend all your free time maintaining it.
  • Herb gardens: Herbs are very low maintenance plants that smell wonderful and often look beautiful too – just think of red basil or lavender, for instance. But a herb garden (either potted or on the ground) is a great way to get more out of your backyard if you enjoy cooking.
  • Crushed stone beds: A great way to fill bland areas in your garden without the use of plants is to create garden beds with crushed stone and place a few low maintenance potted plants in certain areas for accents. This creates a kind of Zen feeling that’s tranquil and adds personality without requiring too much from you.
  • Trees: You won’t reap the rewards of this straight away, but if you have a big backyard with no trees in it, planting one or two can make a huge different in the long-run. Just remember to do your research and choose a species that’s suitable to your needs.

While there are plenty of other things you could do to improve your backyard, these simple ideas should have you brainstorming some possibilities for your own backyard already.

Your Leisure Area

Most backyard improvements you can make won’t mean much if there’s no space for you to simply sit back and relax while enjoying them. So to get the most out of your backyard, you should definitely have a seating area where you can read a book, enjoy a meal or simply soak in the sunlight from time to time.

Here are some of the things to consider for your own seating area:

  • Deck or patio: Decks look nice and create a very welcoming feeling. A deck or patio is also the perfect place to place any outdoor furniture, like chairs and a table for an outside dining and relaxing area, or pool loungers with side tables to relax with a drink.
  • Seating: Of course you need seating to fully enjoy your backyard, but what many homeowners don’t realize is that it doesn’t have to be expensive garden furniture. You could simply dry stack concrete blocks and place a yoga mat, or a foam camping mattress covered in upholstering material on the stack. To finish this off, you could add some scatter pillows in colors that fit your theme.
  • Shading: If the sun is very harsh in your backyard, it’s always great to add some shading to your leisure area so you can still enjoy the outside without getting burned.

All of these things are good to have if you want your outdoor leisure area to be enjoyable.

Building a Deck or Patio

If you don’t know the first thing about installing a deck or patio, learning to build one will likely take all summer. If you would like to improve your backyard with a deck or patio, but you have no idea how to build it yourself, feel free to call Chimney Sweeps West.

Chimney Sweeps West can help with your installation of a deck or patio; taking away the stress of a project and allowing you to skip right to enjoying the weather, and your backyard, all summer long.

Why masonry chimneys have to meet the 3-2-10 rule

While you may never need to know the 3-2-10 rule in order to build yourself a chimney, knowing why is exists is still interesting. Remember the 3-2-10 rule is the minimum height requirement.

It is widely known that masonry chimneys are required to meet the 3-2-10 rule. This rule means that they must extend 3 feet above the roof penetration on the shortest side, and the top of the chimney must be 2 feet higher than any portion of the building structure within 10 feet. This height requirement for masonry chimneys penetrating or adjacent to pitched roofs has been around for many decades. But why is this? I personally have been working on chimneys since 1997, and have been actively involved in the industry and with industry professionals for the past 10 years. I have asked this question many times, of many different folks in the industry. I have discovered that there is something of a divide in the reasoning behind the 3-2-10 rule.
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Consider a Wood Fireplace Insert to Spruce Up Your Hearth

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You cherish everything about your conventional masonry fireplace with the exception of its absence of heating proficiency. In spite of the fact that you appreciate sitting by the crackling wood fire and noticing the aroma of smoldering wood, you are burnt out on your heating bills expanding every winter. Sadly, a large portion of the heat delivered in your older fireplace is going out the chimney, so you are using different approaches to heat your home, which can get costly. Chimney Sweeps West can help you transform your conventional fireplace into a more effective heating apparatus with another wood insert. We might want to inform you regarding the advantages of a wood-smoldering fireplace insert and also the significance of having this heating apparatus professionally introduced.

The Benefits of a Wood Insert

Increase the heating proficiency of your home and diminishing your heating costs

Since the normal proficiency of a customary fireplace is only 10 percent, it is anything but difficult to enhance with another heating apparatus. You might be astonished at the amount of an expansion you will get from a wood fireplace insert. More up to date wood inserts have a heating effectiveness rate of somewhere around 65 and 80 percent! These inserts have water/air proof fixed entryways and utilize fans to circle the heated air all through your home. They additionally utilize modernization that permits wood to smolder all the more gradually, which gives more heat. This incredibly lessens how much cash you spend to heat your home. You won’t need to purchase as much firewood since you will get longer enduring flames with less wood.

Decrease the measure of pollution

Conventional fireplaces can discharge contaminating outflows that can hurt nature, however the new innovation used to assemble wood inserts permits wood to copy all the more gradually, as well as a great deal more neatly. The U.S. Ecological Protection Agency (EPA) even confirms numerous models of wood inserts as spotless smoldering heating apparatuses.

Enhance the stylistic theme in your home

You will have a wide range of choices of sizes and styles of wood inserts to make a more alluring point of convergence in your home. Whether you incline toward a work of art or contemporary look, Chimney Sweeps West knows you will locate the ideal style for your home stylistic theme.

The Importance of Professional Installation

In spite of the fact that you may consider yourself a jack of all trades, there is considerably more to introducing a wood fireplace insert than simply setting it in the fireplace opening. We emphatically suggest that you have a fireplace professional introduce your wood insert. Your old masonry chimney will be too expansive for your new insert, and to avoid draft issues, you should have a stainless steel liner introduced with the insert that will give an effectively measured vent to the machine. This legitimately measured vent will make your wood fireplace insert work a great deal more effectively and securely than it would with the first pipe in the chimney.

Need to take in more about wood fireplace inserts? Get in touch with us at Chimney Sweeps West to converse with our staff about how this heating machine will spare you cash and increment the heating productivity of your home.

Summer House Maintenance Many People Overlook

2018 Best Ways to Improve Your Knoxville Home’s Exterior

Summer House Maintenance Many People Overlook

Hands of Handyman with a tool belt.

House maintenance is a necessary job. By keeping your house properly maintained, you’ll be saving both time and money you’d have to spend if a problem occurred. House maintenance also ensures your place is always looking at its best.

But there are many areas people often miss when doing an annual check up and repair, and depending on the amount of work that needs to be done in your home, it could take a whole day to get around to all your home repair tasks. If you don’t have time to do your own home repairs, it’s always possible to hire a handyman to do these things for you.

At Chimney Sweeps West in Knoxville, we have a reliable team of handymen to help you survive your summer house maintenance.

Air Conditioning

Summer can be uncomfortably hot and you’re likely to use your air conditioning a lot during this time. To keep your air condition functioning optimally, you need to check and replace the filter. Doing this will help keep the air cleaner and might help to avoid allergies.

If you’re hiring a handyman to help you with your home repairs, you could also ask that he replace any other parts of your air conditioning system that might not seem to be functioning properly and have him clean the air conditioning drain line.

The Water Heater

Water in certain places is often very mineral rich. Because of this, hot water heaters can accumulate sediment build up over time, which shortens the life of the heater and raises your electricity bill. To lengthen the life of your own heater, you can drain it once a year so that sediment can be removed from the tank. But don’t try to drain your water heater if you don’t know how to, doing so could result in burns, electrical shock and damage to your heater. If you’re unsure of how to clean our your hot water heater, it’s better to ask a handyman to help you with the task. You can even ask your handyman to inspect the heater for other problems that could be potentially dangerous.

Inspect Your Driveway

Cracks and holes are prone to forming in driveways. While they don’t really pause a hazard to your health, they are unsightly and can lead to further damage if they’re not repaired. There are various things you could do to improve the appearance of your driveway, such as pressure washing it and filling cracks or holes.

Cleaning Gutters

If you think a few leaves and twigs in your gutters are harmless, think again. Regular gutter cleaning is the single most important key to avoiding major and expensive home repairs.

If you think a few leaves and twigs in your gutters are harmless, think again. Regular gutter cleaning is the single most important key to avoiding major and expensive home repairs.

Cleaning the gutters isn’t always overlooked, but few people like doing it. As a result, gutters often have a lot of organic rubble in them. Keeping your gutters clean helps to insure that water drains from your roof properly when it rains, failing to clean them out could lead to leaks in your ceiling and other undesirable consequences. If you have a fear of heights, then don’t hesitate to call Chimney Sweeps West in Knoxville to help you clean out your gutters.

Window Sealant Replacement

You won’t need to replace the sealant of your windows every year, but sometimes sealant that’s grown old and has started breaking is left without repairing. This is a big mistake, as the sealant is meant to keep the window in place and keep your home free of water leaks and dust. The worst thing that could happen as a result of not checking window sealant and maintaining it, is that one of your windows could literally fall out when there’s no longer enough sealant to hold it in place. Windows don’t often fall out, but it’s not completely unheard of and it would result in broken glass pieces in your yard or home.

Find And Fix Wall Cracks

Cracks in the wall are unsightly and could potentially become problematic in the future. An essential part of your annual home repairs should involve finding cracks in the interior and exterior walls of your house and fixing them. This step is especially important if you live in a brick house, but other houses could also develop wall cracks that could be very harmful.

Check Your Deck

You’re likely to be spending a lot of time outside during the summer, so it’s important to keep your deck in good condition. Problems with your deck might include rotting wood, cracked boards and worn through varnish or sealant. Should there be any problems with your deck. It would save you both time and effort to get a handyman to fix it for your.

Replacing boards and resealing a deck is a task that requires both time and expertise, it isn’t advisable to try doing it yourself if you don’t have any experience working with wood, as you may end up choosing the wrong kind of wooden board or color of varnish.

Roof Repairs

It’s important to look at all the tiles on your roof on an annual basis. Loose or broken tiles can be replaced without having to replace to whole roof, but it can sometimes be necessary to

Water tends to travels before it drips down visibly. Interestingly, a leak can come out twenty feet away from the original leak in a roof.

Water tends to travels before it drips down visibly. Interestingly, a leak can come out twenty feet away from the original leak in a roof.

redo a roof entirely. If your roof tiles are breaking regularly, and often need to be replaced, it might be time to have your roof re-tiled.

There are countless of things to check when doing your annual home repairs, if you feel uncertain about what needs to be done in your own home, feel free have a professional handyman assess and repair your home. Ask to have a complete check and repair done in all the usual problem areas if you don’t know where to start. Handymen know where home repairs are often needed, and will gladly help you find and fix the problems you might not even have been able to think of yourself.

How to Choose a Good Handyman Service

Building a Deck? How to Choose a Good Handyman Service

Spring is here! Great weather, sunshine and the beauty of nature makes it the perfect time to build a deck so you can be outside and enjoy the open air more often. You could entertain guests or sit outside peacefully, listening to birds sing while enjoying a good breakfast. Actually, a deck is an ideal way to experience being outside before even having to change out of your pyjamas in the morning!

But if you’re like most people, you won’t be able to build one yourself. And luckily, you don’t need to; there are plenty of experienced handyman services in Knoxville willing to help you get the job done.

With a large project like building a deck, you’ll have to consider a few things before choosing a handyman service.

General Considerations When Choosing a Handyman

If you’ve never made use of a handyman service before, there are a few things you should know before hiring someone. You might also not be able to hire the same person for a large project like building a deck as you would normally use for small, odd jobs around the house. There are three kinds of handyman services out there.

Licensed Handyman Services

Licensed handyman services are usually quite easy to spot. They usually wear uniforms, drive in branded vehicles and have an impeccable sense of professionalism. These companies are usually quite large and your handyman will be an employee working for the handyman service most of the time.

Unlicensed Handyman Working Within the Law

While unlicensed handymen aren’t always bad, they usually aren’t able to take on very large projects. Using and unlicensed handyman can be great sometimes, but will require better discernment on your part because they might not be as reliable as licensed companies. However, for a project like building a deck, you probably wouldn’t be able to use an unlicensed handyman while staying within the boundaries of the law.

Unlicensed and Working Illegally

These are the shady characters you want to steer clear of. These fellows may charge you a small fortune before even starting the work and, although they’re likely to quote you the lowest price, you should be careful not to fall for the bait. Unfortunately, you’ll probably end up with shoddy work, or maybe even none at all, which will only end up costing you more.

Choosing a Handyman Service to Build Your Deck

Now that you know you’ll probably need a licensed handyman service to build your deck, how do you go about choosing the right one? In the end, it’s probably all up to you, but here are some things to consider.

Do They Have Carpenters?

Decks are usually made from wood, so it’s best to choose a Knoxville handyman service that have some carpenters to help you build your deck. While a Jack of all trades might also be able to get the job done, you’re deck is likely have a nicer finish and last longer before it needs to be repaired if it’s built by an actual carpenter.

Don’t Go Too Cheap

Everybody loves a good bargain, but when you’re choosing a handyman service, you should aim for quality work instead. While a really expensive quote doesn’t necessarily insure good work, a quote that is much lower than most should concern you. When someone quotes you much less, they’re probably going to compensate for the amount you pay less somewhere. You might end up with building materials that aren’t up to standard, resulting in a deck that has to be repaired much more regularly than most. A proper deck will require you to invest a sufficient amount of time and money to have it built.

Choose Someone You Like

It might not seem important, but you really should like the handyman service you choose. After all, these people are going to be at your house while your deck is being built, if you don’t like them, things could get a little strange for you. Talk to the handyman you’ll be working with and get an idea about whether he’s a good fit for your project. If you don’t feel like he considers what you want, choose someone else. You want someone who cares about what your vision is, and who’s willing to do what they can to make it work. A good handyman will tell you when your ideas aren’t feasible, but will still try to give you something you like.

Ask to See Photos

Your handyman service might not have photos of other decks they’ve worked on, but if they do, you’ll be able to get a great idea of what their work looks like. You could also visit websites Yelp, where you might be able to see some pictures and read reviews about the handyman service you want to hire.

Once you’ve chosen a handyman service, be sure to stay involved in the project. The goal isn’t to be overly fussy and complain about everything, but if you don’t keep an eye on what’s happening, the end product could end up looking different from what you initially wanted. If you simply weren’t present and never bothered to ask any questions, you’ll be the only one to blame. Don’t feel shy about asking questions, your handyman will probably understand that you’re interested in the work and would much prefer discussing what you want while work is being done than listening to complaints after work was done without your input guiding the project a little.