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Why Home Improvement and a Startup about local Pros & contractors?

December 8th, 2014

15 smart pros to hire

It’s been a while since I have blogged about anything important.  I guess raising kids and working for big companies and life got in the way.  But, I have recently started an exciting new journey and I want to chronicle parts of it.  I am working for a hot startup in Seattle in the Home Improvement space called Porch.com, it’s the home network for Pros and Homeowners. We are one of the fastest growing startups and companies in the Seattle area.  We have big plans, but for now, it’s where homeowners can choose from a growing list of over 72 services from Seattle home cleaners, Seattle handyman, Seattle plumbers, Seattle landscapers, and Seattle electricians in their locale.  I just linked to Seattle for these pros such as “Seattle Contractors” as most of the readers probably live here in Seattle.

We produce great content on a daily basis for homeowners to make smart home improvement decisions.  Check out this article on how to hire a Home Improvement professional contractor  here is an excerpt:

Congratulations, you just bought a home! Unfortunately you, the realtor and the home inspector have noticed a few issues with the home that should be addressed. Or perhaps your family has some home improvement projects that you’d like to start right away. If this describes your situation, you’re not alone. In fact 53% of homeowners renovate within three months of moving into their homes and spend about $4,550 on various projects. Regardless of which types of projects you need to take on, there are many projects that are far easier to complete when the home is empty. Here are some important home improvement projects that are best to do before you move into your new home.

1. Remove the “popcorn” ceiling

Average cost: $1.50 – $3.00 a square foot

The heavily-textured ceiling treatment, usually found in homes built from the 1950s to the 1980’s, was either sprayed on or painted on. Otherwise known as “popcorn” or “cottage cheese” ceiling, this texture may contain asbestos (white asbestos fibers were added to this texture up until the 1980’s).  If your home was built before the 1980’s is highly recommended to consult a professional before attempting to remove it. A professional contractor or painter will test a sample of the ceiling first before work begins. If the texture comes back positive for this toxic material, you may need to pay a premium for disposal. Removal of asbestos should only be done by a licensed professional due to the toxicity. Removing “popcorn” ceiling is relatively easy: it can be scraped off with a putty knife after spraying the texture with water to soften the material. Although this process is technically easy, it’s terribly messy and is best done while no furniture or humans are occupying the space. To protect the flooring, carpeting and woodwork, plastic sheeting will be hung throughout the space. Once the texture has been scraped off the ceiling should get a coating of mud and then sanded, primed and painted. Depending upon the extent of removal, touch up and painting, this project should take a few days to one week to complete.

2. Remove asbestos

Costs can vary widely and will depend upon the extent of removal.

Asbestos is a word that brings fright to many homeowners. Asbestos, which is derived from a mineral fiber found in rocks and soil, is still being used in some environments today. Because asbestos is an excellent insulator, very strong and can withstand high degrees of heat, it is used in a wide variety of applications such as roofing, ceiling tiles and coatings. Up until 1978 asbestos was commonly used on ceilings to create a heavily-textured coating – this acted as a sound absorber and did a great job hiding imperfections in the ceiling. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos may be found in the following places:

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes

The risk of exposure to asbestos only occurs when the material is dislodged or removed. In other words, remodeling projects that involve demolition should be tested by a professional asbestos consultant first.

3. Remove heated oil tanks

Average cost: $1,500 – $2,500 disposal and removal fee plus any additional permitting fees. Expect to pay more if the tank has leaked into surrounding soil.

Heated oil tanks (HOT) can be found in older homes, many of which were buried underground. Heated oil was common in homes built prior to 1965. Before buying a home, it is always recommended to hire a professional to inspect the tank and the soil. In fact, a qualified realtor would advice against purchasing a home without first performing a soil test. During the home buying andinspection process it may have been determined that your home has an old oil tank on the property. If you are unsure, most oil tanks will have a venting system or a receptacle for receiving oil deliveries. Removal is recommended and in some instances may be a requirement during the sale of a home. Old oil tanks can leak and removal requires the skills of a professional. According toEnvironmental Works LLC “Soil samples are most often requested by a purchaser of a property when an underground oil tank is present and has not been decommissioned and certified…Soil samples are taken in an effort to determine whether a tank has released heating oil to the surrounding soil. Soil sampling procedures are defined by Department of Environmental Quality regulations, which dictate the sample location, collection method, handling, and laboratory analysis.”

4. Replace major appliances

Costs will vary depending upon appliances serviced.

Major appliances like heating and cooling systems, washers and dryers or kitchen appliances can be replaced once you move in. However some of these appliances may require additional work like ducting, ventilation or plumbing. If you have concerns about particular appliances have a professional out to the home for an assessment prior to moving in. This professional can discuss what work needs to be done and can advise how disruptive these improvements may be.

5. Paint

Average cost: professional painters may charge by the square foot, by the hour, or by the room depending upon the scope of the project.

Most homeowners have done enough painting projects to know that it’s far easier to paint a room with no furnishings in it. If you plan on painting many of the rooms in your new home, or plan on any special painting projects, it would be best to accomplish this task prior to moving in. Choose a low VOC paint if possible to avoid long-term off-gassing. Even with a low-VOC paint  you’ll want to make sure your home has been well ventilated before sleeping in the home.

More on Article on Smart Home Improvement click here…

So that is all for now, I have to get back to work!.  My job is to help people find Pros or anyone who needs to address an immediate issue and needs, such as  Seattle roofers, Seattle painters or Seattle remodeling contractors!