The Pros And Cons Of Doing Home Renovations Yourself

Fixing up your house by yourself can seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case since it largely depends on your experience.

In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of doing home renovation by yourself.

Pros

Unfortunately, there aren’t many pros besides potentially saving money. Since doing so requires you have the right experience and knowledge to completing the job correctly.

For certain jobs such as painting, flooring and perhaps backsplash tiling, you can get away as a beginner, but that’s about it. And even these jobs can go wrong and end up costing you more money in the long run.

Cons:

We highly recommend that the typical homeowner do not try and do the vast majority of home renovation jobs themselves. Here are some of the reasons as to why.

1. Many jobs are illegal to do without a license!

As well as being illegal, unlicensed DIY on projects such as electrical work or plumbing are dangerous for everyone involved.

When doing anything that alters the footprint of your home, a permit­­­ is required. If you carry out such jobs without one, then wave goodbye to the easy sale of your home. It becomes much more difficult for the sale to go through if the permits are not identified.

In many cases, you may need to redo the job, thus costing you even more money. Hiring a certified contractor means the difficult jobs can get done, and the process of acquiring a permit can be made much easier.

2. Many jobs require specialist tools

If you’re the typical homeowner, it doesn’t make sense for you to have expensive specialised tools in your house. Unfortunately, you need these specialised tools for many technical jobs.

If you were to do the home renovation or remodelling yourself, you’d have to buy these tools, which hardly makes sense if you’re planning on using them only once. Furthermore, if you do go ahead and purchase, it wouldn’t make sense for you to buy the best one since it will usually cost significantly more. Even though it’s more expensive, it’s the best one for a reason. So it’s likely that your project will take longer and won’t be as good as it would be if you were using the best tools for the job!

For contractors, the opposite is true. Since we use these tools all the time, it makes sense to own them and own the best ones. And because we use the tools all the time, we develop mastery of them. This allows us to do the best job in the least amount of time possible, thus saving you money and giving you peace of mind.

3. Doing the home renovations or remodelling yourself is risky

Since you’ll typically lack the experience of a pro, you’ll likely make costly mistakes. Furthermore, if you opted for Cransten, our work comes with a 90-day warranty, which ensures all the negatives of something going wrong are mitigated as swiftly as possible. If, however, you the job yourself, there is no such cover. You’ll have to incur the costs of doing the job incorrectly. And the probability of that is higher since you’re not familiar with the tools you’re using and the job you’re using them for. This also means you cannot guarantee the quality or even if the job will be done. Which you totally can when you use Cransten.

4. Doing home renovations or remodelling yourself will probably take longer

Again, this will apply to the typical homeowner. It’s no surprise that someone who’s done the job perhaps thousands of times will be able to do it much faster than someone who’s doing it for their first time.

5. Doing home renovations or remodelling yourself will probably cost you more!

At the start of this blog, we mentioned that doing the job yourself can save you money. However, that was only true if you were fairly experienced doing that job.

Otherwise, research has shown it can be 200-300% more expensive to DIY! Why? Because people who don’t know what they’re doing tend to make mistakes that someone who’s been there before can effortlessly avoid. To correct those mistakes, that experienced person will need to come in and repair them, which costs even more money than it would if they’d just done it the first time round!

In that case, not only will you incur the costs of having done it yourself, but you’ll also have to incur the costs of hiring a professional to redo it! And this figure doesn’t even include opportunity cost, which is the lost value of your next best alternative. In this case, working on your career or business would probably yield you way more money; therefore, doing anything other than that would lose you that money you would have made!

Ultimately, whether it’s a pro or a con to do home renovations or remodelling yourself depends on the project and your experience level with it.

If you need any help with any home renovation project, we’d be happy to help. Give us a call for a FREE consultation.

Does solar actually save you money?

Will Going Solar Save You Money?

The short answer is yes, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple! While you will undoubtedly save money by unshackling yourself from energy companies and harnessing your own energy. How much you save and when you get your return on investment depends on several factors.

In this article, we’ll be exploring those factors so that you’re perfectly informed to make the best decision for your home.

How much your bills cost

The main costs for going solar are the installation and system purchases.

As a general rule, the higher your bills, the more money you stand to save each month. Ideally, your solar panels would completely offset your energy consumption each month. However, even if that’s not the case, you’ll still be able to reduce your bills as you won’t need as much energy from the grid!

Your roof and your climate

Since it’s a solar panel we’re talking about here, the amount of sun that hits your roof will directly correlate to how much money you’ll save. To maximise your return, having a large roof to harness every last spectrum of light will help.

These two factors can save you money via the net metering system. Any surplus of energy your solar system produces can be returned to the grid. If you have a good deal with your energy supplier, you’ll be fairly compensated, thus saving you even more money.

While it’s true solar panels love sunlight, you’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to live in the sunny south to benefit from solar. Contrary to popular belief, the states with the most solar panels installed are notoriously cold. These include Massachusetts and New York. Why? Because these states tend to have better government incentives due to higher energy costs.

Prices of Solar Panels

On average, installation and product payment have a combined cost of $15,000 to $25,000. Although, prices can be a lot higher depending on how many panels you want to install and the features you’d like to include with them.

The great thing about solar panels is that they hardly require maintenance. The good ones can easily last upwards of 2 decades! (with little change to the amount of electricity produced!)

And for the best prices, it’s best to pick smaller solar companies like us! The recent U.S. Government report found that smaller solar companies ( such as Cransten 😉 ) are $2,000 to $5,000 cheaper than large installers.

Even better, at Cransten, we take pride ourselves in our bespoke solar approach. We look at all the solutions possible to give you the best recommendations for reducing your energy bills based on your unique needs.

We also have the best financing partners within the industry to help you get the best deal possible. Many of our customers have been able to purchase and install high-quality solar panels from us quickly and with $0 out of pocket!

Types of Incentives Available

The government offers homeowners significant solar incentives. For example, a residential federal tax credit allows taxpayers to claim 22% of installation costs for systems placed in service by Dec. 31, 2021. You’ll have to do more research as many of the incentives vary by state. You’ll have to do it quickly, though, as more people opt-in, these incentives will gradually go away, and it won’t pay to wait for too long!

The big advantage of going solar

According to recent solar research by Zillow, they found solar panels can potentially increase the home’s value by 4.1% more than comparable homes with no solar panels. This was after controlling for local market dynamics, and the time of year the house was sold! This translates to about $9,274 of additional income for the median-valued home in the U.S. The value added by solar panels can go as high as 9.9% in some states – which translates to $32,281 of added value!

Why you may not save as much money going solar:

While in the long run, you’ll always save money going solar, thanks to fixed loan payments for the entire duration. And once paid, there are no additional costs; you’re free!

Unfortunately, the opposite is true with conventional energy companies. Prices are constantly increasing each year, and the bill never ends! Various other factors mean you may not be able to save as much money as you could.

The first reason is your roof’s area or anything that reduces it, such as trees in the way etc. If it’s too small, there will be less room for energy-generating panels.

Another factor is if your home’s energy consumption is too high to be compensated by the solar panels alone. However, even in that case, you’ll still reduce your costs.

Lastly, you may not be able to save as much money if you have an unfriendly net metering program with your energy supplier.

At Cransten, we help our customers transition to solar energy super easy and smooth. We’ve helped hundreds of other American homeowners, so we can definitely help you too.

We pride ourselves on always going a step further. Most companies will help you reduce your energy costs. Not only do we do that, we also help you get rid of your energy bills entirely, allowing you to experience true freedom.

If you’re considering going solar, then give us a call for a free consultation!

The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist For First Time Home Owners

Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist:

Performing these tasks will save you a lot of money in the future by preventing problems from escalating. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best part is, many of these tasks are DIY and cost-friendly to perform. 

So, here’s what you should be doing each month to keep your home as pristine as it can be.

HVAC system filters check:  This will depend on whether yours are reusable or disposable. In either case, you’ll want to clean or replace them after around a month, ideally no later than 3 months. 

Check for Toilets and sink leaks. If you see water where it shouldn’t be, that’s your signal to check further.  Even a tiny leak can cost you hundreds of dollars per year! 

  • Check for grout and caulking. Make sure any voids or cracks in tubs or showers are sorted out.
  • Check outside. Inspect for any issues with foundation, vents, gutters or drainpipes and arrange to get it sorted if need be.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test every month and replace batteries every 6 months.
  • Check the kitchen vent hood filter. Make sure it’s clean and replace it if necessary. If you have a chef in the house, you may want to check this more often. 

Each new season brings new challenges; therefore, your home will have differing needs depending on the season. Here’s what to do during each:

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist:

While many of us would rather hunker down during the cold months and await springs return, here are a few home maintenance chores that need attending:

  • Check for drafts. These cause cold air to slip through your doors and windows, thus skyrocketing your heating bills each month. Here’s a quick and easy method to check for drafts: light an incense stick and see if the smoke doesn’t rise but instead blows around; you’ve got a draft. 
  • Cover outdoor air-conditioning units. If they aren’t protected, ice and snow will do a number on them.
  • Check your sump pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement, be sure that it’s on by pouring a little water in the crock to make sure it starts. Many basement leaks occur during spring thaws, so it’s best to check now and be safe. Be sure to check the back-up battery too. 
  • Check that foundation vents are closed. While these are good in spring, summer and fall, closing them during winter will mean more money in your pocket by shrinking your heating costs. 
  • Check for ice dams. These are ridges of ice that build-up at the bottom of your roof. They trap snow and melting water behind them, which can cause the water to infiltrate your roof. We can help to ensure this doesn’t become an expensive cost for you in the future.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist:

Winters are notoriously tough on homes. However, the job isn’t done just because winter’s over! Here are your springtime chores. 

  • Check HVAC. This is to ensure it’s nicely tuned up, ready to provide refreshing and rejuvenating air when it’s needed, which will be around the corner at this stage. This job is best left to professionals as it can easily go wrong and end up costing you a fortune. As always, we can help you out here. 
  • Check seals around doors and windows.  Again, check for drafts. Touch up any cracked caulking to prevent loss of cooled air during summer.
  • Check gutters. Thanks to the ice built up during the cold winter months, gutters will now be loose and saggy. When this happens, they don’t drain properly and will create drainage issues. When this is left for a few seasons, it may cause an unstable gutter that will spill enough water to destroy your foundation’s structural integrity!
  • Check sidewalks and driveways. You’ll want these repaired before they become a major issue.
  • Check your Roof. Winter snow and ice will often damage your shingles, resulting in leaks. The safest way to inspect your roof is with binoculars, don’t go up there unless you’re experienced! You don’t want to be part of the 500,000 group of people injured in ladder-related accidents each year. Roof repairs are best left to qualified contractors like us!

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist:

Since it’s now most people’s favourite time of the year, you’ll be tempted to indulge in vacationing and lounging by the pool. But the work isn’t done yet! Here are a few of your summer chores before you can chill by the pool guilt-free.

  • Test the lawn irrigation system. While these are super handy, leaks in the pipes or connections will cause your water bills to skyrocket. This is a job for a professional, and we’d be glad to help!
  • Inspect your decks. Summer is a great time to reapply a new coat of sealant if the wood is starting to show its age. Be sure to flatten any protruding nails and smooth any rough areas to ensure safety throughout the seasons.
  • Check siding. The best time for pressure washing vinyl or fibre cementing is when it’s warm. Pay extra attention to each piece of siding as you clean it, looking for cracks, soft spots and any other signs of trouble.
  • Trim around outdoor HVAC units. Grass and weeds growing around your units may reduce their efficiency and even cause expensive damage.
  • Inspect foundation and crawlspace. Be sure to schedule a repair from a professional if you see any cracks. Also, after heavy rain, check the crawlspace to make sure there’s no water getting in there.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Before carving up some pumpkins or sticking the football on, reserve a few weekend hours to take care of these autumn tasks:

  • Check the HVAC system. Winter is around the corner; the last thing you need is your safe haven being unable to keep you and your loved ones warm during winter. Hire a qualified HVAC inspector to ensure it’s ready to keep you cosy all winter.
  • Clean gutters and check the roof. Remove all snow and water trapping debris during the winter. If you live in a single-story home, you can easily do this with a partner.
  • Check exterior grade. Make sure any depressions that can trap any water or snow are filled in. Otherwise, they could lead to damp basements, settling or damage to your foundation.
  • Turn off outside hose bibs. Assuming you’re not fortunate enough to own frost-free exterior faucets, you’ll want to shut them off then drain the lines during the winter to prevent freezing.
  • Check the fireplace. Before enjoying your first cosy night around the fire, it’s safest to have a professional inspect the wood stove and chimneys first. After all, 22,300 unsuspecting people each year experience a rude awakening when something goes awry and causes a dangerous fire!

Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist:

Although your house is not getting any younger, there are many things you can do to make sure it ages gracefully. Here they are:

  • Check for signs of termites. The earlier your spot these, the better. Otherwise, if you let a swarm of termites build-up, you’ll be staring at huge expenses. You can use a terminate primer from the EPA if you need help spotting them. 
  • Lubricate garage door springs. Greasing your garage door springs will make it much easier to operate and help it to last longer. It will also get rid of that screeching noise that causes the neighbour’s dog to start barking. 
  • Drain the hot water heater. Throughout its use, sediment will be collecting in the bottom of the heater, causing its longevity to decrease. 
  • Clean clothes dryer exhaust. Over 15,000 house fires are caused by lint build-up! If it doesn’t cause a fire, it will certainly decrease the efficiency, so make sure it’s clean!

Home Maintenance Checklist For Every 2 – 5 Years

Around your houses’ fifth birthday, several issues will pop up. Thankfully, most of these are pretty straightforward and inexpensive to handle. 

  • Replace caulking around windows and doors. Just like everything, unless it’s renewed, it will eventually get too old to do its job effectively. Doing this will also help to keep your home more energy-efficient. 
  • Clean heating ducts. Leaving dust and dirt to accumulate will eventually obstruct airflow and might even cause a health hazard. Call a professional to clean the ducts, repair or upgrade them if needed. We would be glad to help you with this.
  • Get a termite inspection. You should always be looking for any signs of termite damage, ideally every year. But now and again, you want a professional job, so nothing gets missed and instead gets spotted early before becoming major costs.
  • Seal grout. To help prevent water infiltration, be sure to add a fresh coat of sealant to your bath and kitchen tile grout. 

Home Maintenance Checklist For Every 5 – 10 Years

As your home starts to reach its first decade, here are a few items you’ll want to pay extra attention to.

  • Paint the exterior. Unless you’re a well-versed painter, it’s usually best to leave this to a professional.
  • Install a new dishwasher and washing machine. These will tend to last around 10 years. So now will be the best time to replace them. Look out for energy-efficient models as they will save both water and energy, which means more money left in your pocket.
  • Replace the microwave. Microwaves will usually wear out after about nine years. They will need replacing unless you want your food to come out like pieces of cardboard. 
  • Replace the kitchen sink. After around 5 years, steel sinks will start to show their age. Before 10 years, you’ll definitely want to replace them. This job is best left to pro’s as it requires specialised tools and working in tight places. 

Home Maintenance Checklist  For Every 10 – 15 Years

Here are more of the long haulers that will need replacing every 10 to 15 years.

  • Replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Even if these seem to be just fine, we recommend erring on the side of caution since these are the last things you want to fail on you when you need them the most!
  • Replace hot water heater. Gas and electric water heaters typically last around 10 years. We highly recommend a professional for this job.
  • Replace garage door. Depending on the frequency of use, most garage doors will last around 10 to 15 years. This, again, is a job typically best left to the pros.
  • Install a new refrigerator and range. Refrigerators and ovens typically last 13 to 15 years before things hit the fan. Ovens should be installed by a professional; however, you should be OK with a refrigerator, although we’ll be happy to help you out if you insist.

Home Maintenance Checklist For 15 Years And Beyond:

Even after the 15-year mark, there is still more work that needs doing! Since these are the tasks that only need doing a handful of times in one’s lifetime, they tend to cost a lot more and are definitely best left to pros!

  • Check the roofing material. Although the life expectancy of roofs tends to be around 20 to 30 years, it’s always best to ensure they’re still as efficient as they need to be in order to do their job correctly.
  • Replace exterior decks. How often this needs doing will largely depend on your local weather and how often you applied a protective sealant.
  • Install new HVAC units. As always, the life expectancy of your HVAC system will depend on how well they were maintained. Unfortunately, even if you ticked all the boxes in terms of care, they will start to look worse for wear at around 15 to 20 years old, often even sooner. 
  • Replace kitchen and bathroom faucets. After about 15 years, your kitchen and bathroom faucets should have had enough. If you’re a handy homeowner, you should be able to handle this project, assuming you have the right tools. Otherwise, we’d be more than happy to help.

If you plan to live in your home for a very long time or even sell it in the future, this homeowner’s maintenance checklist will help ensure your home is safe and secure or collects the biggest cheque it can should you sell it. 

Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Remodelling Their Bathrooms

Coordination issues

When doing any remodeling job, by far, the biggest mistake we see is poor coordination of all the moving parts. This is especially true when it comes to bathroom remodels, as there are often so many of them.

This includes plumbers to electricians, carpenters, tilers, decorators, all the way to interior designers. Assuming you try and do it yourself, not only will you have to source the materials, but you’ll also have to coordinate all these elements. If you haven’t done this often, this will be chaotic and confusing, which is the perfect breeding ground for time and money-wasting mistakes.

That’s why it’s best to have all of this fully managed by a separate entity so that way you can put your feet up knowing everything is taken care of.

Better yet, have it completed by one organization that plans, manages AND carries out the project with in-house contractors. In that case, one point of contact will simplify communication and resolve mistiming issues via employee accountability. All this makes life that much easier for you.

At Cransten, this is precisely the type of service we offer should you want a brand spanking new bathroom.

Trying To Be Trendy

Another common mistake with bathroom renovations is opting for one that will quickly date your bathroom. The fastest way to do that is by choosing a design purely based on what’s currently trending.

By nature of it being trendy, soon enough, it won’t be, thus leaving you with an outdated bathroom. If you want to keep up, you’ll have to continually fork out fortune after fortune. That is a waste of resources since it’s expensive and not to mention stressful. It’s far easier to simply pick a timeless design that will forever be trendy.

To find out what those timeless designs are and what they look like, check out our blog post here.

Having a timeless design will mean your bathroom is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser rather than a risky shot in the dark. And should you decide to sell your home later down the road, it will mean more money to you (and faster too) since it’s more likely people will buy quicker.

DIY Waterproofing

This is another severe blunder many people make when they decide to undertake a bathroom remodel. In an attempt to reduce costs, they choose to DIY their bathroom waterproofing.

Unfortunately, if this isn’t done perfectly, they’ll be looking at a hefty fine, thanks to the expensive repairing fees.

Additionally, many people don’t realize that when a tiler inflicts a small nick in the waterproof membrane, this can compromise its integrity and result in an expensive and disruptive leek!

It’s best to do things correctly the first time around, rather than having to rip everything up and start again, costing you another fortune.

The best way to ensure this is done correctly (the first time around) is to hire a certified waterproofing tradesman. And, should you decide to sell your home down the line, you would now have the proper qualifications, making the selling process more manageable for you.

At Cransten, you’ll be glad to hear that all our tradesmen are experts at their craft. They all have the appropriate licenses and insurance. We train and vet each and every one of them continuously for quality assurance. We’re so confident about our service that we even have a 90-day warranty on all our work.

If you would like a free consultation on a bathroom renovation or any other home renovation project, please do not hesitate to call us. We’d be glad to help!

5 Bathroom Remodels That Will Never Go Out of Style

Traditional Style:

Traditional style bathrooms typically emphasize comfort, antique style and practicality.

They usually feature polished wood, complementary colors, and the usage of glass, tile, or marble as integral components. Usually, simple colors dominate this design, putting extra emphasis on a neutral tone. The final effect is one of familiarity, relaxation, and invitation.

Modern Style:

Modern style bathrooms have the juxtaposing effect of being bold yet simultaneously simple. They typically feature robust, clean and straight lines and they favour a minimalist approach. Straight lines are the defining feature of modern styling bathrooms and are usually front and centre. Only the best quality materials will do for this type of design, such as stone, porcelain, teak, and marble. To complete the set, modern styles usually have small pops of color, either from art or fresh greenery, to add some modern zazz.

 

Eclectic Style:

Eclectic styling is for the eccentric souls. It’s for the child within all of us that likes everything good. So, it selects all of them at once! Blending them together to form either a giant mess or a new masterpiece, depending on your philosophical perspective. The favourite adage of the eclectic is to expect the unexpected. It’s the opposite of the traditional style, and for the eclectic souls, that’s precisely why it will never go out of style.

 

Beach Style:

Who doesn’t love the beach?

Some love it so much they decided to build a house right next to it. On the other hand, others love it so much they decided to make a bathroom just like it! (well, only as far as it remains a bathroom).

These bathrooms take their inspiration from the sand, ocean and its surrounding beauty. Cool shades of watery blue and aqua are used to create a soothing and relaxing effect. Decorative ornamentation can include jute fabrics, seashells, sand, ocean-themed art, and various complementary colors. Crisp and almost jarring white accents lend a fresh burst of vitality to the bathroom and highlights the cool and subdued blue and sandy hues.

 

Contemporary:

Clean lines, clutter-free expanses of open space, and minimalist adornment are all hallmarks of contemporary style bathrooms. Expect to see plenty of polished hardwood, metal accents, elegant glass and a clean and simple color palette.

 

Light and dark elements are often used together to create a striking visual contrast. Simplicity is at the heart of contemporary styling, but don’t be fooled. Underneath the understated design is superb engineering and attention to detail of the highest order. Pay particular attention to the high-quality door pulls and knobs made from muted brushed metals in addition to countertops and flooring constructed from durable stone, wood, or tile.

Critical Questions To Ask When Requesting Handyman Services Quote

Before getting started with a handyman, it’s essential to know you can trust them to do the job correctly while minimising damages should anything go wrong.

This article aims to help you get smart during home repairs or renovation projects. So, here is your list of questions to ask any handyman service provider before requesting a quote!

 

“Do you have a license and registration?” 

Suppose the handyman is not licensed or registered with the proper government bodies. In that case, you will be left with the shorter end of the stick if the job is not completed to your satisfaction. Being licensed and registered protects you if something goes sideways.

The laws regarding who needs to have the license vary from state to state; for example, in Connecticut, it’s the handyman that requires the license if the job in question costs more than $200.

Because of this wide variation, it would be best to call us for more details regarding licensing and registration requirements. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions. In case you’re wondering, At Cransten, our reach currently extends to the following states: Utah, Idaho, South Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, North Carolina.

 

“May I contact your references?” 

Testimonials are very revealing. To be confident of your handyman’s expertise, ask for previous customers experience before asking for the handyman service costs.

When you do consult the previous references, ask for accuracy, cleanliness, timeliness, and overall satisfaction with the work completed.

You can do even further due diligence by checking for online reviews such as on the handyman website, social media websites or third-party sites such as HomeAdvisor, Google or Houzz.

At Cransten’s, any of our handymen will be happy to share with you previous references to put you at ease. We’re proud of our work’s standards and the reputation we’ve built over the years with our customers. On our website, we have lots of 5-Star testimonials of our previous high-quality work.

 

“What type of experience do you have?” 

Although “handyman” implies broad expertise in every type of repair or home maintenance project. The truth is, most handymen will have varying degrees of expertise depending on the job. So, you want to make sure their experience and expertise matches the job you particularly need doing.

That means If you need your drywall repaired, but the bulk of the handyman’s experience is in electrical work, in that case, you’ll want someone who is a closer match.

 Fortunately, at Cransten, we are your one-stop-shop for everything in your home. Our handymen are skilled in (but not limited to) flooring, tiling, drywall, concrete, fencing, sprinkler repairs, yard installations, commercial property management, tv mounting, bathroom remodels, basement finishes, flooring, carpet, interior painting, exterior painting, power washing, light fixture installations, building decks, custom concrete work, deck staining, door installations, electric repair, skylight installation, cabinet installation, skylight installation, weeding, snow removal, irrigation and drainage, window cleaning, tree trimming, mulching, and almost anything else your mind can imagine.

All our handymen are expert craftsmen at their respective speciality. That means when you enquire for any type of handyman service, we’ll be sure to send the best man for that job.

 

“Do you have insurance?” 

Similar to having licensing and registration, having insurance will protect you, your property and the repairs you’re paying for. Although insurance isn’t required in every state – an insured handyman will be appropriately equipped to address any issues that may pop up along the way. They will ensure all issues are handled, anything from worker’s compensation to liability.

You’ll be glad to know that at Cransten, all our handymen are insured, and they come with quality assurance.

 

“Can you provide a written estimate?” 

An honest and reliable handyman service provider will not hesitate to provide you with written estimates before starting work. A willingness to commit to a price range is a hallmark of reliability and integrity, traits you’ll want in your handyman. Having a written estimate will also serve as proof down the line should anything go awry.

That’s it! Having these questions in your back pocket and using them will put you at ease and ensure you’ve hired the perfect handyman service provider for any job in your home!

And remember, If you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of them!  And of course, any others we didn’t mention in this article.

Feel free to contact us for a free consultation; we’ll be more than happy to help!

DIY or Professional Handyman Repair Service?

Why DIY can end up costing you way more in the long run!

The answer to whether it’s cheaper to do your home repair and home maintenance yourself or hire a handyman services rest mainly on two factors:

  1. The type and complexity of the project
  2. Your level of skill and the time you have available to work on the project

Like most homeowners, you got to be one by virtue of your effort and skill in your area of expertise. That expertise is probably not as a handyman service provider – that title is how WE got to own our homes!

So, while it may be tempting to save costs and do it yourself; instead, research has shown it can be 200-300% more expensive to DIY!.

That means if a project costs you $1,000 to ‘complete’, later down the road you may be forced to cough up to $3,000!

(This doesn’t apply to all jobs though, later in this article, we’ll share with you the job we do recommend you do yourself!)

Why? Because people who don’t know what they’re doing tend to make mistakes that someone who’s been there before can effortlessly avoid. To correct those mistakes, that experienced person will need to come in and repair them, which cost even more money than it would have if they’d just done it the first time round!

And that’s not even including the time and opportunity cost of trying to do it yourself!

While you were spending those hours attempting to repair or renovate your home, you could have been focused on your speciality, the thing the world pays you to do! Doing so would have gotten you way further ahead.

The hours you spent could have been spent studying to improve your skills, or even just to relax and rest, allowing you to rejuvenate yourself and perform at higher levels and feel better doing so!

So leave the dirty work to the handymen while you rest your feet after a hard day at work!

“But I’ll have video instructions to show me how.”

Although a YouTube instructional video can be tempting, promising to save you a fortune. What it doesn’t teach you are the tricks that come with experience based on differing situations.

Another big reason to hire a professional Cransten handyman for your home repairs is the support we provide regarding permits.

Making any significant changes that alter the footprint of your home requires a permit. These include additions, decks, certain fences, certain plumbing and electrical work, and siding projects.

Failure to obtain these permits means waving goodbye to comfortably selling your home! It makes it a challenging proposition, and you may be forced to re-do the work (and pay for it yourself!).

If you decide to hire Cransten handyman service or home repairs, not only will we know whether the job needs a permit or not, but we can the acquisition process easier and faster for you.

As for the types of jobs which require a permit: Windows do not need one if they are being replaced, however, if you’re cutting a new hole, you’ll most likely require a permit. This also applies new doors and to skylights.

Plumbing and electrical work usually require permits. This is true if you’re installing new or removing existing plumbing.

Any job that includes installing a new electrical service to your home will require a permit, even if it’s something as simple as moving an outlet!

A permit is usually not required for fencing, but some municipalities often place height restrictions on non-permitted fences.

Many years have granted us the knowledge to little known tips and tricks to expedite this permit acquisition process a little faster. Therefore, we would be more than happy to assist you in the acquiring of your permit.

Specialised tools

Cransten Handyman service providers come with state-of-the-art equipment for the job. These are the tools which simply don’t make sense for you to buy, let alone buy the best in class if it’s just a one-off job around the house. In this case, DIYer’s buy or borrow acceptable tools for the job, but not the most efficient and effective for the role. Meaning the job takes even longer to complete and unlikely to be the best it can be.

Hiring a Cransten handyman ensures the best tools are used for the job, by the best person to use it, saving you from having to buy any sub-par tools and saving you the time and energy it requires not only to learn but also to use them well!

Now, as promised, not every job will require a permit of course, so here are the ones we recommend you do yourself to save yourself!

  1. Painting
  2. Maybe flooring, but it does depend on your experience.
  3. Maybe backsplash tiling, depending on your knowledge.

Alternatively, suppose you have a handy relative like an electrician or plumber. In that case, they may be able to help you to accomplish the more complicated projects.

If you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of them! And of course, any others we didn’t mention in this article. So, do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff for a free consultation, we’ll be more than happy to help

11 Most Common Reasons People Require Handyman Services

Cransten Handyman

  1. You Need Technical Skills:

If you need home repairs, such as drywall or new wiring, these jobs require a higher degree of technical skills. Trying to do these yourself can have, quite frankly, disastrous consequences and you’re better off hiring a professional handyman to prevent these disasters.

 

Other projects also include electrical, plumbing, or anything involving your overall home systems like heating or air conditioning.

 

Damage to these areas would be expensive and even dangerous. Having the right person with the right technical skills and knowledge is going to save you a headache!

 

  1. You Want it Completed Fast!

Often, home repair projects need to be completed within a specific time-frame. That is especially true when something has unexpectedly broken and is causing some serious damage (not just to your equipment, but to your bank account too).

 

Such a scenario is ideal for hiring a handyman, who can complete the job reliably, impeccably and efficiently. That leaves you time to relax and focus on other important things like enjoying yourself.

 

  1. If The Job Requires Specialists Tools

Just like if you want to sew, you need a sewing machine, the same is true for many home repair projects. You may know what needs doing but knowing is practically useless if you don’t have the tools.

 

While the average home may have some threads and needle, few will, if any, have the complete set of the machinery of a professional tailor. The same is true for a handyman. Cransten’s handymen come equipped with state-of-the-art tools that aid in efficiency, proficiency and safety.

 

It doesn’t make sense for you to buy a machine to fix your shoes or shirt the odd time, you’re better off going to a tailor who’s experienced and has way better equipment than it would make sense for you to buy.

 

The same is true with a handyman. Avoid the annoyance of trying to find, purchase, and learn how to use a specific tool. Hire a Cransten handyman instead.

 

  1. You Want To Save Money!

One of the biggest deterrents to starting home projects or repairs is the money that it will cost you. This is the reason why so often we put this off for months on end.

 

When doing a budget for your project, you have to factor in the materials, tools, time, and anything that always seem to come up unexpectedly.

 

And that doesn’t account for the expanded project scope or any problems you create while doing the project yourself.

 

Hiring a Cransten handyman will save you more money in the long run. We cut out mistakes and know precisely what is needed, so there won’t be any costly surprises popping up.

 

Additionally, an over-looked part of homeownership is all of the maintenance needed to keep everything running smoothly. These, although not particularly glamourous, allow you to anticipate and nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a financial or logistical disaster!

 

That is difficult to do when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Luckily, a Cransten handyman knows. That includes appliances, systems, and even exterior aspects like siding and walls. That is also another way a handyman can save you even more money.

 

  1. If It’s A Multi-Step Project

Some home projects are straight forward and only have a few aspects to them. Others are much more complicated, containing many aspects and requiring several tools. It’s these types of projects that are ideal for hiring a Cransten handyman.

They know tricks and short-cuts to move the project along much faster and smoother.

 

  1. If You Want Guaranteed Results

Another big reason why we put the big (or small) home project off is we’re not sure if we can pull them off. It can be intimidating because it’s not a matter of not doing the project right, but also of causing additional damage to your property (and bank account!)

 

If this sounds like you, then, lay those fears to rest by hiring a Cransten handyman.

 

We promise that the work will be of the highest standards, and if something is not right, we will fix it. We guarantee this.

 

That will bring you peace of mind and knowing the project will be successful makes it much easier to start.

 

 

  1. If You DON’T Want The Stress Of Doing And Managing The Project Yourself

 

Since there is the uncertainty of how things will turn out, any renovation project can bring you stress.

 

Add on top of that the responsibility to complete it yourself, you’ve got the potential for very high-stress levels.

 

If home projects make you sweat just thinking about them, you should consider hiring a Cransten handyman. We make it so easy for you, simply say what you want, and we’ll figure out the rest.

 

This hands-off approach will ease your worries and get you the results you want without the headache!

 

  1. If You Want It Done Safely And Avoid Personal Injury

Home renovation projects can be dangerous, if something goes wrong it can result in a serious injury. Falls, cuts and even poisonings have been known to occur. A well-trained handyman will have the proper know-how and equipment to avoid such an occurrence, giving you peace of mind!

 

There are also regulatory protocols that must be followed. Most states have set standards for areas in the home, like electricity, framing, or plumbing. These standards are known as codes. Each home must follow those codes and be approved before they can be sold.

 

It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to suggest the average homeowner doesn’t have the extensive knowledge of these codes. But you know who does?

 

A Cransten handyman!

 

  1. If It’s A Multi-Person Job

While some projects can be done on your own, some cannot! If you are trying to complete such a product on your own, it can complicate your plans and make it harder and longer to finish. But if you hire a Cransten handyman they will be able to have more than one person available at the time if needed.

 

Often we know something isn’t quite right in our house but we’re not sure what the solution is. A handyman can work as an additional set of eyes for such a problem be a great source of professional advice, almost like some sort of make-shift apprenticeship! This service is invaluable and sets you up on the right track to get the work done correctly.

 

  1. If You’ve Been Putting It Off For Months Or Even Years!

Let’s face it, sometimes there’s no good reason for not completing a home project. You just don’t want to do it. Even if the problem is only getting worse and costing you more money down the road.

If you experience this lack of motivation to work on your home, a handyman is a perfect solution. This allows you to get the project completed without you having to lift a finger.

 

  1. If You Want It To Look Great!

Peeling paint. leaky taps and malfunctioning heating can give visitors to your home a bad impression about the kind of ship you’re running. Similarly, an untidy living space can rub off on your and family, making you subconsciously care less about your home, as a result, put less effort into its maintenance. When you have a handyman on hand to keep the office looking spick and span, you can avoid such unpleasant outcomes.

 

Here Are Some Projects Cransten Can Help You With:

 

·      TV Installations

·      Wall Mounting

·      Drywall

·      Interior Painting

·      Light Fixtures and Fan Installations

·      Fence Staining and Repairs

·      Custom Concrete

·      Sprinkler Installations

·      Doors Repaired & Replace

·      Leak Repairs

·      Concrete Work

·      Sprinkler Repairs

·      Door Repairs

·      Fertilizing and Mulching

·      Sliding Repairs and Replacements

·      Door Installations

·      Fence and Gate Installations

·      Property Restoration

·      Capet

·      Bathroom Remodels

·      Kitchen Remodels

·      Basement Finishes

·      Remodel Designs

·      Home Renovations

·      Home Flips

·      Home Rehab

·      Tiling

·      Floor Installations

·      Countertop Installations

 

·      Cabinet Installations

·      Landscape Design

·      Trim and Molding Installations

·      Deck Rebuilds

·      Deck Maintenance

·      Drywall Repair

·      Painting Touch Ups

·      Small Plumbing

·      Small Electrical

·      Commercial Property Maintenance

·      Toilet and Bathroom Repairs

·      Concrete Sealing

·      Property Turns

·      Faucet and Sink Repairs

 

 

Remember, if you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of them! And of course, any others we didn’t mention in this article.

So, do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff for a free consultation, we’ll be more than happy to help!

Keep your family safe from Fires and Carbon Monoxide by following These Tips

At Cransten Smart Security, we believe that every home should be a haven from the craziness of the world, which is why we do everything we can to add value to you, our beloved customer.

In this article, we’ll be helping you and your family to become confidently prepared in case of Fires or Carbon Monoxide hazards that may arise within your home.

Carbon Monoxide:

Starting with the latter, carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent but deadly killer, it kills over 400 unsuspecting Americans each year and sends a further 4,000 for an unscheduled visit to the hospital.

What’s most sinister about CO poisoning is its speed: it can kill an otherwise lively and buoyant human being within minutes.

Once this poison has got you by its grips, before its completely taken you over – the symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and breathlessness.

During this short window of opportunity, you need to let in as much air as possible by opening a window or a door so life can flood back in. However, this is way too late, and there are better ways we’ll discuss below in this article.

Common Signs You May Have a Carbon Monoxide Leak:

  1. Symptoms only occur when you’re in your home and disappear or get better when you leave.
  2. Others in your home are experiencing similar symptoms – including your pets.
  3. You get symptoms when certain appliances are in use. For example, when the boiler is on.
  4. The pilot light in your home frequently blows out.
  5. Black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires.

  1. Sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers or stoves.

  1. Yellow instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances or flames are not fully formed – for instance, if the flame isn’t all the way round on a gas hob burner.

  1. Flames are not fully formed – for example, if the flame isn’t all the way round on the gas hob burner.

  1. You notice increased condensation on the windows

To prevent things from getting too far gone, simply install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. These should be place at knee level since carbon blends in with the air around it, which is why you’ll want to place it lower.

As always, if you need any help with this, Cransten are always for you – whether you need our expertly engineered equipment, or installation help from our professional and friendly staff, we are here for you.

Cransten Tips for Fire Protection

Firstly, you need to have a plan in place. Large enterprises like Schools and companies all take this seriously and so should you.

is your life not worth the same whether you’re at work or at home/school?

So, have a solid plan in place and make sure everyone within your home knows their role and escape routes should a fire ever arise.

Also be prepared if a fire blocks your designated escape route by having an alternative one. And have an escape ladder to help you get down if a fire should ever start in each second story bedroom.

For example, if the fire rages in the room below, as shown in the picture below, so make sure to have an alternative route prepared.

Since the smoke of a home fire is extremely dense and toxic

it is virtually impossible to see through – so if a downstairs room is on fire, a window will usually be the only way to escape out of a room upstairs.

Be sure to practice your drills a couple of times per year, since being prepared and having a plan of action is the best form of defence should a fire arise.

General Tips for Surviving or Preventing Fires:

  1. Do not plug too many appliances into an electrical outlet.
  2. Make sure that combustibles aren’t too close to fireplaces, stoves or heaters.
  3. Never smoke on soft furniture or fabrics.
  4. Do not use damaged or frayed electrical or extension cords.
  5. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and teach them about the dangers of playing with fire.
  6. Never use extension cords with heating or air conditioning equipment.
  7. Have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers for each floor in your home.
  8. Make sure to close your downstairs doors at night before going to bed.
  9. Make sure that screens or storm windows can be easily removed.
  10. Ensure that you have tools available if windows must be broken.
  11. If you live in a two-story home, you should have an escape ladder for each occupied bedroom

What to DO and NOT to Do in The Event of Fire:

  1. Do not linger getting dressed or hang back to hoard your valuables or look for the family pet. In the event of a fire, there is only 1 valuable and that is your life. So, move it! Seconds count!
  2. Stay low by going on your hands and knees when evacuating the building in order to avoid the smoke. The smoke is actually what causes more initial harm to your body. The toxic flames suffocate you way before the fire scorches you. Which is why seconds count!
  3. Before you open any closed door during your exit, make sure to feel the door first. If it’s warm, be sure to open it slowly but close it quickly if heat or smokes rushes in.
  4. Never go back into the house once you’re out, for ANY reason. Call the fire response once you’re out, not before or during your evacuation.

Smoke Alarms:

You need to have a smoke alarm!

You are 400% more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.

Make sure to have one on every floor in your home and be sure to place it correctly as instructed by the manual.

As a rule of thumb, smoke alarms ought to be placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or six to twelve inches below the ceiling on the wall.

For maximum effectiveness, do not place the alarm near air vents or within 6 inches of where the wall and ceiling meet on either surface.

Make sure to regularly test your alarms to ensure they are working as they should, and if you have a battery powered alarm, be sure to change the battery every 6 months.

Also, note; not all alarms are the same. Some are best for the detection of fast flaming fires, others for the slow smouldering type. You want to be able to detect both types which is why it’s best to have both ionisation (best for fast flaming) and photoelectric (best for smouldering) smoke alarms.

Additionally, we recommend that you install linked alarms, particularly if you have a large house. These go off at the same time to avoid the risk of not hearing the alarms in a distant part of the house.

Furthermore, having 1 or more auto-dispatching sensors like we offer at Cransten, helps in case you ever get knocked out because of smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning!

Fire Extinguishers

Every home should be equipped with at least 1 first extinguisher on each floor. Additionally, the kitchen, garage and ground floor should also have their fire extinguishers.

This is because all fires start small at first and having an easy way to contain them while they’re small, can save lives.

Be sure to select the correct fire extinguisher because there are many different ones for different kind of fires. However, a new type of extinguisher: water mist, is now available, this provides cover for most types of fires including electrical fires.

Which is great because the last thing you need while a raging fire is soaring, is trying to figure out where the correct extinguisher is!

More Ways to Prevent Fires:

Anti-Arson Letterboxes

Arson is a serious problem, each year tens of thousands of arson attacks are committed, resulting in hundreds of people being injured and dozens dying.

The letterbox is a vulnerable area in your home, providing an arsonist direct and easy access. Which is why we recommend installation an anti-arson letterbox. These are designed to contain and eliminate the threat by holding onto any flammable liquid poured through the letterbox, which halts the fire is its track. The automatic extinguisher, triggered by a heat sensitive system, then finishes the job.

Fire Doors in Houses

Another extremely important means of protection in the home against fire is the often-overlooked fire door. Fires can easily and rapidly spread to engulf the entire room within minutes, destroying everything in its path.

A fire door is capable of containing this. These come with hardware including door hinges, frames and seals to make them fit for purpose.

And remember, If you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of them!  And of course, any others we didn’t mention in this article.

So do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff for a free consultation, we’ll be more than happy to help!

Colour and Home decor trends for 2021

Decorating

For a lot of us, 2020 forced us to go back to basics, many even have green thumbs and dough toughened knuckles to show for it.

We expect these primal habits to continue throughout 2021, particularly the rise of indoor plants.

As we spend more time in our homes, it’s natural that we’ll want to improve the air quality and brighten up the mood – which is exactly what plants will do.

The best part is there are plenty of plants that can achieve this for your home, while also being super easy to look after!

Zen Garden Vibes

As our homes also become our workplace, the need for them to become a sanctuary of serenity and peace rises.

Whether you place it on your balcony, your backyard or indeed your home, little details like this will remind you to let go of the worries and just be present.

A phenomenon which explains why this trend is growing and will continue to grow like wildfire.

Let the Light in

Staying with the zen theme, one of the easiest ways to incorporate more peaceful vibes into your home is to let in more natural light!

So, instead of heavy or overly patterned window treatments, try a more minimalist approach and opt for a semi-opaque cotton curtain finished with a tassel trim for a subtle dimension.

If a sense of comfort, calm and centeredness is what you’re after, more natural light will certainly not harm your cause.

Multi-functional Spaces

2020 brought a lot of changes, one of those was to rethink how we use our living spaces. With a lot of us spending more time than ever at home, it makes less and less sense to dedicate large portions of your space to just one purpose – especially in smaller spaces.

So, with this in mind – expect to see creative design solutions to this problem, both DIY and professional.

We predict designs to make dining rooms, living rooms, and even bathrooms to double up as home offices and workspaces!

Clean Work Slate

Once your home has also become your office, you will need to have a dedicated work space. Preferably one that is pleasant and efficient to work at. An easy way to do this is to have an uncluttered, minimalist setup, one that is clean-lined – but still has the space to tuck away all your work tools.

We predict this type of setup will be on many wish lists throughout 2021 and beyond!

Earthy Tones

You may be starting to pick up on the overarching theme for the décor to come in 2021 – a return to nature and earthy inspiration.

This of course also includes colour trends, such as warm and comforting color palettes. So we expect this  trend to apply to many of your interior design choices.

Sustainable Choices

Sustainability choices come in many forms, but the trend we expect to see an unexpected boom is the sustainability within your bedroom, specifically your bedding!

Rest and rejuvenation are more important than ever, and having bedding that’s comfortable, stylish and sustainable can be a major yet simple upgrade to your home.

We recommend looking for bedding made from materials which are hypoallergenic, such as linen, which is also sustainable making it a great choice.

Colours

 

Brave Ground

Deluxe colour experts have chosen brave ground as the color of the year, so rest assured its popularity is set to rise. And when you look at the picture above, it’s hard to disagree with them!

This bolstering shade connects you back to nature and the simple things. It’s warm, earthy and creates a feeling of stability and growth, while also provides a firm foundation for change and creativity in your home.

What’s not to love?

The great thing about brave ground is that it can easily be combined with other hues to totally transform a room. Look at these pictures below!

 

Nourish

Nourish is another colour palette predicted to make waves in 2021.

This particular palette, consistent with the zen theme of this article, encourages us to unplug and be present in the moment. This palette will also revitalise your home while at the same time, nourishing your soul.

Retreat

The final palette we’ll be discussing is retreat. And like its name suggests, it draws on a nostalgic mix of comfort and security.

Its earth-based hues create a harmonious setting, ideal for whether you’re sleeping or eating, working or working out, making it the ultimate palette for flexible living.

Thank you for reading! We hope you were inspired to kick-start some exciting new projects in 2021!

If you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of these!  And of course any others we didn’t mention in this article, so, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation, we’ll be more than happy to help!