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.
Risk: If your house was built 
before 1994 and still has the original plumbing fixtures, you’re using 
30 to 40 percent more water than 
a comparable new home. Because about 70 percent of the water flowing through the showerhead is hot, 
that means higher heating bills too. A basic showerhead can cost just $15 and could pay for itself in reduced water and heating costs after just one month. Calculate your 
savings at epa.gov/watersense/watersense-calculator.
Examples of less frequent home maintenance that should be regularly forecast and budgeted include repainting or staining outdoor wood or metal, repainting masonry, waterproofing masonry, cleaning out septic systems, replacing sacrificial electrodes in water heaters, replacing old washing machine hoses (preferably with stainless steel hoses less likely to burst and cause a flood), and other home improvements such as replacement of obsolete or ageing systems with limited useful lifetimes (water heaters, wood stoves, pumps, and asphaltic or wooden roof shingles and siding.
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.
You're also less likely to be overcharged if your hire a handyman. Unlike a general contractor or specialist who is more likely to price a job based on the estimated amount of time it will take to complete, you only have to pay a handyman for the hours he works, unless you agree on a flat rate. Handymen can keep their rates low because they don't have to pay additional workers, so they have lower overhead costs than contractors or large companies.
There's no national standard or regulation for handymen. Licensing and regulation vary by state. New Jersey, for example, requires handymen who work for a profit to register with the state and carry insurance. California requires handymen to carry a license from the State Contractors License Board to work on any project that exceeds $500 in labor and material costs. Find out before you hire the handyman if he or she has the skills needed to complete your project.

For most people, the home is the biggest investment. Naturally, you want to protect that investment. Rather than waiting for what would have been a small inexpensive repair to grow into a much larger, more costly expense, you need to take preventive maintenance steps. If it has been a while since your home has been assessed, now is the time to have it checked out. Learn how Home Assessments can boost your Kansas City area home’s value.


This summer, they decided to paint the frames black, which cost $900. Mr. Sievers, a special-education teacher, and his wife, a doctor, could have done the work themselves, a solution that do-it-yourself enthusiasts would suggest. But the doors face the street, and the couple wanted the end result to look polished. “My dad and my uncle used to always do home repairs and everything used to come out uneven or crooked,” Mr. Sievers said. So he paid a professional.
Risk: If your house was built 
before 1994 and still has the original plumbing fixtures, you’re using 
30 to 40 percent more water than 
a comparable new home. Because about 70 percent of the water flowing through the showerhead is hot, 
that means higher heating bills too. A basic showerhead can cost just $15 and could pay for itself in reduced water and heating costs after just one month. Calculate your 
savings at epa.gov/watersense/watersense-calculator.
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.
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