15. July 2011 14:30
We’ve all heard the saying, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” but often times the construction of a new fence in
the neighborhood causes problems as well.
It is a kind gesture to consult with your neighbors before constructing a fence in your yard. Here are some thoughts to consider. It is important to check your property lines before construction of your new fence. This is a great time to chat with neighbors and mention your the possibility of your new fence. Checking a property line can be as simple as locating the existing pins that were put in place by a surveyor at the time your home was built. If you are unable to locate the pins on your property, it is best to consult with your county records office.
To decrease unexpected problems, safety hazards and costs, notify your utilities before construction. Many states have free assessments and tagging of utilities for construction projects.
If you are working with a contractor, chance are that they will pull a building permit for you. However, if you are a do-it-yourself installer, contacting your local city and obtaining a building permit is an important step that is often overlooked. A building permit serves as permission from your municipality. Every city or county has different rules. Each area has different rules. Though some projects do not require a building permit, most city’s require a permit for major remodeling, new buildings, swimming pools and demolition.
After you have selected your fence, obtained the necessary permits and are ready for construction, you can ask for your neighbors’ thoughts on the project. Consider asking them if there are any times that they would prefer construction not occur. Review your fence selection with them and ask their thoughts on the material, placement and height of the fence.
Though your neighbors may have some negative comments or suggestions about your fencing plan, you should still move forward with what is best for your family as long as it is within the law.
Remember your new fence is also your neighbors new fence. In the end, your neighbors will thank you for including them in your decision and are more likely to welcome your new fence if they are involved in the process.
31. May 2011 12:52
When is the last time you paid attention to your gutters? If you’re like many homeowners, you ignore them
until something goes wrong. But a little routine maintenance can prevent costly problems like these:
• Clogging. Gutters are designed to catch falling water and debris and redirect it from your house and the foundation. But they can’t do their job when they get clogged up with leaves, branches, and those mysterious things like toys and shoes that were launched upward. You should plan to clean out your gutters once a year (twice if you have a lot of nearby trees). Remove all the debris and then hose them out to get rid of the remaining dirt that could block drainage.
• Sagging or loose gutters. When the fasteners become loose or deteriorated, your gutters will pull away from the house’s façade. It’s a very cheap fix—as opposed to replacing the gutters later. Just get up on the ladder and replace the worn hangers and fasteners.
• Leaking. When gutters leak, the water seeps down to your home’s interior and exterior walls and around the foundation, where it saturates the ground and can cause foundation cracks, erode the landscape, and even warp the doorways and floors. When you notice a leak, even a small one, take the time to patch it up so you can avoid long-term—and costly damage to your home. You can also invest in seamless gutters.
Take a walk around the outside of your house once in awhile, particularly after a rain, to inspect your gutters. Check the foundations and the walls of the house to see if they’re experiencing any damage that could come from faulty gutters. And if you suspect a problem, don’t wait. Spend time now on gutter maintenance or spend money later on fixing your house!