SHS Insights


Home Remodeling

Hey DIY’ers… Be Careful!

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) remodeling projects are great for handy homeowners who like to take care of their own home. DIY jobs can repair old things, add new features to a living space or perform remodeling projects. The DIY route can be more affordable than paying a professional Charlotte NC general contractor like Shawn Kalgreen’s team at Southern Home Services, but it is not always the best idea.

It is quite understandable that homeowners want to improve their property for minimal costs, and DIY projects may seem like a great choice. There is a downside to this, and most homeowners neglect that the tools they need to finish a job are quite expensive. Often, buying the tools for a job is more expensive than trusting general contractors in Charlotte NC. In addition, many homeowners end up with injuries as a result of DIY projects.

General contractors in Charlotte NC are also experienced with lead, asbestos and other dangers that may be in a home. These substances are commonly encountered in remodeling projects, and they can be lethal. Before attempting DIY remodeling jobs, it is essential to have a home evaluated by a reliable Charlotte NC general contractor. Breathing toxic fumes may save you money in the short term, but it can also cost you a lot in the long run.

Saving money is the major benefit of DIY projects, but what happens when mistakes occur? Even minor construction materials are expensive, and cutting a single piece of lumber to the wrong size can be costly. Contractors in Charlotte NC work with home improvement projects every day, and their employees usually make fewer mistakes than inexperienced homeowners. Some homeowners start small jobs, and they end up turning the project over to a professional in the end. Many DIYers end up spending more money, and general contractors in Charlotte NC are more than willing to help before mistakes are made.


Home Remodeling

Spring Maintenance To Do List #1

It is hard to believe that Spring will soon be upon us (at least here in Charlotte, NC)! Who wants to spend time working on the house every weekend, when you could be out enjoying a warm, Charlotte day doing something you like to do? This is the first in a 10 part series of suggested maintenance tips for your home. Take the steps now to save money on energy bills this summer and ward off big-ticket repairs down the road.

TO DO LIST ITEM #1: Inspect the AC

For between $75 & $200, you can typically find a technician to tune up your cooling system to manufacturer-rated efficiency – and you won’t sweat the first hot weekend with an out-of-commission air conditioner. Call your electric utility company to see whether it offers incentives. Some contractors may offer discounts early in the season for inspections or for annual maintenance contracts.

Note: Dirty filters make air conditioning work harder, increasing energy costs & possibly damaging your equipment. Contractors will put in new filters during a tune-up, buy you should check monthly to see if they need replacing. High performance filters, which cost $10 to $22 a piece at Home Depot or Lowe’s may need changing less frequently.

Air conditioners draw moisture from interior air, called condensate, which must run off outside. If sediment & algae clog the drains, water may back up, making your home more humid or creating water damage. Technicians will check the drains during a tune-up; if they clean t hem out, it could cost up to $100 or more. If you live in a humid climate like we do here in the southeast, you may want to check & clean them yourself periodically. Odd, but intriguing, this video clip shows as the guide suctions algae from the drain with a wet vac.

If you don’t have an A/C contractor that you currently use, we recommend the contractors that belong to Charlotte Home Team: vetted, proven & local to Charlotte home contractors. Also, check Angie’s List for other consumer rated, trustworthy contractors.

Stay tuned for our next Spring Home Mainteance Tip coming soon!