Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is excited to offer a home repair program available for eligible Pinellas County residents! If you are a Pinellas County homeowner and in need of non-emergency home repairs, you may qualify for Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County Neighborhood Revitalization Program. The program is designed to offer homeowners home repairs in four essential repair categories: “Aging in Place” Modifications (ramps or accessibility upgrades designed to accommodate physical mobility limitations), Critical Home Repairs (roof replacement, plumbing, electric, structural repairs) Energy Efficiency Upgrades (insulation, HVAC) and Exterior Enhancements (paint, landscaping). Eligible homeowners will be provided a zero-percent interest loan to cover the cost of repairs, while the loan payment will be tailored to ensure affordability. Please see Home Repair FAQs & How to Apply Section for additional information.
JW were very prompt to reply to our initial quote request in which we described using the master shower caused water to pour down the HVAC return duct and was collecting within the walls and causing water damage on the first floor and in the basement ceiling. We also reached out to see if they could resolve a water issue in a corner of the basement that had become oversaturated during the heavy DC rains this summer causing heavy mold within the insulation and a few rotted studs (in addition to moldy drywall). Josh quickly scheduled a time to come out and take a look at the situation and provided great upfront information regarding what he thought the issue might be (initially believed a ripped rubber liner in the shower), price estimate, and description of the teams they use to work on projects. He estimated 2 workers over 3-4 days for $5,952.00 to $7,936.00 dependent on the severity of the issue and materials required. Once we scheduled the work, Cesar was out on time (a little early every day) from Monday through midday Wednesday. On site Cesar let me know the issue actually seemed to be bad grouting and caulking from the original house flippers. He offered to re-grout the entire shower and re-caulk, then test the shower instead of tearing up the stone tile on the floor. The next day we tested the shower for 10-15 minutes and no leak! Luckily for us the issue was smaller than expected which saved us a lot of hassle and money and I'm glad he opted to try that before blindly tearing up the shower. Beyond the high quality of work in general, a few things stood out in my mind as to how customer-oriented JW is: 1) Cesar constantly checked in if he wanted our opinion on things before moving forward. 2) Within the main leak area, he sprayed anti-fungal solution to prevent residual build up. 3) In the basement leak area, they sprayed base-level drylock to help prevent further issues. 4) We had plans to paint the areas they worked on so we didn't require they to repaint but it was offered to us. When they learned we planned on painting, they primed the area so it was ready for us when we got to painting it. 5) The cleanup crew collected all leftover materials and some extra left by the original flippers. Overall the project came in under budget and under timeline. We were exceptionally pleased with JW and will continue to use them as we need services like theirs.
While you’re at it: If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider getting one. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an Energy Star–rated model can save you about $180 in heating and cooling costs each year. You can buy one for about $40 and install it yourself. It’s a relatively easy job; no rewiring required. On the other hand, these are home improvement projects you should never, ever DIY.
A handyman is not the best option for a large or complicated project that could take a long time to complete and requires the help of multiple workers. You shouldn't turn to a handyman either if you need an emergency service for plumbing, electrical or appliance work, unless the handyman is licensed in that trade. If an unlicensed person does plumbing or electrical work, you have no guarantee that the work has been done to code, which could affect your homeowners insurance policy or any claim related to the work. Use a contractor or specialist for remodeling work, room additions and projects that require heavy-duty equipment or licensed professionals like electricians.
When you hire a contractor or specialist, they usually supply the materials, and often at a markup. If they don't provide the materials, they may not guarantee a repair, or your choices are limited to what they have in stock. When you choose your own materials, you know how much the product costs, and you can stay within your budget. You also get to choose the manufacturer, finish and register any warranty agreement.
Quick-setting drywall compound lets you finish small repairs and fill deep holes in minutes instead of waiting days for premixed joint compound to dry. The small boxes are available in most home centers and paint stores are also easier to store and more likely to get used up than large bags or buckets. Click here to learn how to hang drywall like a pro. Click here to buy drywall compound on Amazon now.
A garbage disposal is a bit scary when it’s turned on and the blades are noisily chopping up kitchen waste. But, if your disposal gets stinky, fear not. It’s easy to clean out the gunk and get rid of the smell. If the splash guard needs replacing, you can do that in 20 minutes! If you need to replace the entire disposal you can replace it yourself.
Need your garage door repaired? Odds are, once you account for materials, labor and unforeseen hiccups, you’ll be writing a check for a grand. Your sump pump died? A new one could cost you around $600 for parts and labor, which doesn’t seem so bad considering the alternative is a flooded basement. But then the plumber might discover that the pipe carrying the water from the house to the street is clogged with years’ of debris and needs to be flushed out. And maybe there’s a blockage somewhere. There you have it: $1,000.
How to DIY it: Clean up any rough edges around the hole, then stick the patch onto the wall over the hole (left). Using the taping knife, spread a layer of joint compound over it and let it dry overnight. Then spread a wider second coat, feathering out the compound on all sides to make the patch blend in. Let it dry, then apply one more coat extending 8 to 12 inches beyond the patch in all directions. After the final coat dries, sand the area with a sanding sponge (a foam block wrapped in sandpaper) until it feels smooth and even. Prime, and then paint.
How to DIY it: This job can be messy, so protect nearby surfaces by covering them with plastic or cardboard. Spray the springs with garage door lubricant (about $7 at home centers). Don’t use oil, grease, or other lubricants. They may be cheaper, or you may have them on hand already, but they won’t work as well and tend to pick up dust and grit—just what you don’t want on moving parts.