A 2018 HomeAdvisor survey found that homeowners underestimated the cost of fixing or updating just about everything in their homes. When it came to interior painting, for example, survey participants estimated the work would cost $734. But the national average is $1,744. One of the few items they overestimated was a new toilet — the average is $370, not $405.
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.
How to DIY it: Turn it off by opening the disconnect box (typically located on the outside wall near the unit) and pulling out the disconnect block inside (above). Now take a good look at the unit. If the vents are caked with fuzz from dandelions or cottonwood trees, vacuum the vents. Then rinse the unit with a hose using moderate pressure (the flimsy fins might bend under strong pressure). As you spray, peer down into the unit. You should see water streaming through. If not, the fins are still clogged, so keep rinsing.
Check for cracked housings on plastic roof vents and broken seams on metal ones. You might be tempted to throw caulk at the problem, but that solution won’t last long. There’s really no fix other than replacing the damaged vents. Also look for pulled or missing nails at the base’s bottom edge. Replace them with rubber-washered screws. In most cases, you can remove nails under the shingles on both sides of the vent to pull it free. There will be nails across the top of the vent too. Usually you can also work those loose without removing shingles. Screw the bottom in place with rubber-washered screws. Squeeze out a bead of caulk beneath the shingles on both sides of the vent to hold the shingles down and to add a water barrier. That’s much easier than renailing the shingles.
Home repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home, and is related to home maintenance to avoid such problems. Many types of repairs are "do it yourself" (DIY) projects, while others may be so complicated, time-consuming or risky as to suggest the assistance of a qualified handyman, property manager, contractor/builder, or other professionals. Repair is not necessarily the same as home improvement, although many improvements can result from repairs or maintenance. Often the costs of larger repairs will justify the alternative of investment in full-scale improvements. It may make just as much sense to upgrade a home system (with an improved one) as to repair it or incur ever-more-frequent and expensive maintenance for an inefficient, obsolete or dying system. For a DIY project, it is also useful to establish limits on how much time and money you're willing to invest before deciding a repair (or list of repairs) is overwhelming and discouraging, and less likely to ever be completed.
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