How to Install Siding on a House

To make a huge difference in the looks of a house just add some siding. I will give a few ideas here on how to install siding on your home.How to Install Siding on a House

Before Starting

When planning out the installation try to make sure you stay at the same level all the way around the house if possible. Is best to take the time and mark a level line around the bottom of your home. Some older homes are not very level so would advice checking the vertical level also. If not very straight use one by three furring strips to level the walls. A few packages of shingles will help you accomplish this along with  quite a bit of time. If your walls are straight and in good condition your siding can be nailed to the plywood.


After the walls are leveled and the furring strips applied if needed, then be sure to chalk a level line around your home as a point of reference for starting. With everything level your home will look like a new one when finished.How to Install Siding on a House


You can start by putting on the corners first, and then the J trim around the windows and doors and under soffits. Then  apply the starter strip along the bottom keeping it level from the reference of your chalk line. Your vinyl siding will snap into this starter strip and each row after will snap into panel below it. Nail your siding in center of cut out holes and do not nail tight as the siding needs to expand and contract, also leave a quarter inch of free play from corners and around doors and windows.


Windows and Doors

Usually a drip cap is installed on top of windows and doors. It is cut two inches wider then the windows or doors, and a one inch deep cut is made in it at each end and this piece is folded over allowing the water to run off. The side J trim is cut one inch longer then height of windows, and only a one inch cut made in it which is folded over under the windows sill. This piece goes up flush with top of windows and cut outs on drip cap are folded over it. The bottom J trim is two inches longer then width of window with one inch pieces notched out of it so side tabs can be folded over it. How to Install Siding on a House


Continue installing siding up the wall from the bottom starter strip. |You might have dryer vents or electrical plugs to cut around so always leave a quarter inch for expansion around these also. The cover on dryer vents will usually cover your siding and  little caulking will keep the water out.


If one by three furring strips were used to level house, they are usually spaced sixteen inches apart. So in this case you would be nailing every sixteen inches on your siding. Also don’t forget to put furring strips around dryer vents, etc. in order to match up with the rest of wall.How to Install Siding on a House


When the temperature is warm vinyl siding can be cut with a utility knife, score it first and then fold and snap the vinyl apart. Cut outs can be done with tin snips and a straight cut can be done on a cut off saw, making sure the blade has about sixty teeth or better for a smooth cut.


Siding today comes in a variety of colors, and that choice is usually left to the homeowners. Also siding today can have the appearance of stones or look like real wood or brick. The possibilities today are many, so is best to shop around for whatever you like.


Once installed your house will look like a new one. Siding can hide a multitude of mistakes that you can find on old houses.

If you have any comments.





New Look For Bathrooms

Easy Fixes

Having remodeled a number of bathrooms I will give a few ideas on this subject. If you don’t have a lot of cash is best to go with giving it a clean look, new paint, fix leaky taps, new shower curtain. Things that are easy to do , and give a new look for bathrooms.bathrooms improvinghomevalue

Bathroom Updates

If you have extra money you can go all out with new tiles, tub, toilet, sink and vanity. There are so many different new designs today for these that its best to leave this to the preference of the home owner. tub improvinghomevalue


If you would like new tiles, this is a job that can be done by yourself but often better to hire someone with experience, as it will take some time to do. Try to make sure the tiles are level around the room, tub, or shower as this will give you a very professional look when finished. Also check the tiles, as the last bathroom I did the tiles were white, but a few were off white and not what the customer ordered, so best to check first. A tile saw today sells for eighty to one hundred dollars or more, wear protective glasses when using and watch your fingers. The cement and grout for this can be bought at most hardware stores and price will vary depending on the size of job.tiles improvinghomevalue


Installing new tubs can be an interesting job, some are free standing today meaning not attached to three sides of the walls. Is best to have a plan as to where to set these up in the room. This can also mean finding a new route for the plumbing, not always an easy task, but as I told one customer with your money and my time we can do miracles.tub improvinghomevalue


Vanities for bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes so best to pick one to match up with your room. The plumbing fixtures are also of many different styles and shapes. The last set I installed had to be located above the sink. The spout being about six inches above the bowel with taps four inches above this. This involved rerouting the plumbing to hook up the water. But today with speedways coming in different lengths was not to difficult to connect up. Speedways come in lengths from twelve inches up to six feet.vanity and sink improvinghomevaluespeedways improvinghomevalue


Toilets come in different designs today also, from push button flushes to the older handle type. Many are manufactured to save water by using less and still working well. One thing I recommend when installing these is to use the wax setting seal with plastic extension, and the plastic floor flange that is adjustable, as this is much easier to work with then the solid floor flange. A speedway to hook up the water and its an easy install. Also do not tighten the base of the toilet to tight as you can crack the base-not good. I often suggest to tighten a little at a time as it gets used, and only enough so there is no movement with the toilet.New look for bathrooms, improving home value, 2[1]

Drain Pipes

In many of the older homes there is still the steal drain pipes which have a tendency to get clogged and not work to well. The last bathtub drain I repaired required cutting the old pipe out, and replacing with inch and a half ABS plastic, plus a new trap. The steel pipe must have been installed when the house was being built as it went through the floor joist, and had to be cut out in sections, after removing a part of a ceiling under where the bathroom was located. I used a Makita reciprocating saw for this, a great tool that just never seems to break down. Have had it for about fifteen years along with a saw of the same make.

Excellent tools in my opinion and so handy for this type of work-just need good blades.

saws improvinghomevalue These are just some of the things to give a new look for bathrooms. If you don’t mind doing this sort of work give it a try as it is not really to difficult.

Any other ideas out there  just leave a comment.
 And best of luck keeping your homes up to date.

Preparing Your Home For Winter

Save Energy

With the cold weather coming is a good time for preparing your home for winter. Start with checking your home for any unwonted drafts. Then go around the house and caulk any cracks you happen to find, also a good idea to check around the foundation.


A good caulking to use is Mono Ultra for exterior application, I purchase that at Canadian Tire for about five dollars with tax. A lesson I have learned is not to buy the cheaper variety, as I have seen rain and snow wash it off the house- not good. I presume different countries sell other products so I would recommend trying to get the best, and follow the application instructions on the tube.


Another thing to check for is the seals around doors. If the door is not closing tight against them then your letting cold in and spending more cash to keep the house comfy. If the seals are in good shape then its an easy adjust with a screwdriver for a good fit. If seals are cracked or broken then best to replace with new ones.door seal improvinghomevalue


Windows can let in the cold if there old and just don’t fit well. One of the cheapest ways to block drafts here is buying the plastic shrink wrap that goes on the inside of windows. It just attaches to the inside frame with a tape that’s sticky on two sides, Its not that good looking but does keep the cold out. A kit sells for ten to twenty dollars here in Canada, and is a good investment.    windows improvinghomevalue


If your using wood to help heat your home try to get the chimney cleaned, and have a look at the stove as often the bricks inside it might be cracked and need replacing.Generally a good clean up works  for this. If you have an old stove I would recommend buying a new one as they are much more efficient. A few years ago I purchased a Regency F2400 stove and was surprised at how efficient this was and that it heated my entire house, so I did not have to use any electrical heaters for backup. Its not a cheap investment but in the long run saves you money. stove 003


Check any plumbing that is exposed outside, making sure any water pipes exposed to the elements are drained. When minus twenty or thirty arrives these pipes along with the valves can crack. Also  don’t forget to drain the garden hoses. A little prevention here saves you in the spring when you turn on the water again.


It is good to get gutters cleaned of leaves or small branches in the fall. It keeps the water away from house and ice build up which can do some damage to your home. The roof can also be checked at the same time for loose tin or shingles and caulk around  any vents through roof and chimneys. evestrough improvinghomevalue


Take a look around the inside of your home for drafts, many times the electrical plugs will let in cold air. A quick fix for this is to buy the insulated pads that go just behind the electrical plate, not expensive and a good fix. seal improvinghomevalue

Things to Do

So in the fall is best to go around your home and check everywhere you think a draft of cold air can enter. It will save you money and keep the house cozy, winter is something you need to be prepared for. Any comments just leave a message, take care everyone.

Home Improvements that Increase Value

Roof Repairs

If your home has an older shingle roof and is probably twenty to thirty years old, then most likely shingles might need to be replaced. This is definitely one of the home improvements that increase value.replacing-old-shingles

Checking Roof

Most shingle roofs should be looked at if you see shingles curling up or lifting. A new roof might not be a do it yourself thing, and can be expensive so is something to look into before deciding to renew.cracked-shingles


Having done quite a few roofs through out time, I have seen changes in the way they are installed. One important area today is the underlay. Most roofs have felt paper put down first, overlapping by about three inches as you progress up the roof. A newer innovation is the eves protector, a self sticking membrane that goes on at bottom edge of roof to protect against ice and water backup. This material like the felt paper is three feet in width.membrane-for-roof


Today we apply three rows of this membrane up the roof overtop of the felt paper. Then it is also applied in the valleys and last over the ridges and peaks. Since the membrane is thirty six inches wide we apply it at that width leaving eighteen inches on each side of the center of the roof valleys, then with the metal flashing applied over this. The reason being is that this is one area of many roofs where there is a back up of ice and water due to poor insulation or venting.roof-valley

Membrane Problems

|One problem we have encountered is when the membrane is glued directly to the plywood decking along bottom of roof. When its time to renew shingles the bottom rows are embedded into the membrane and extremely difficult to remove. Personally I would recommend putting down felt paper first with membrane over  it. If there are any other ideas out there on this subject would appreciate the information.membrane-problems

A Few Suggestions

Another suggestion is try to avoid hot days for putting on shingles, as your shoes will mark the shingles-roofs can get very warm. Hard on the shingles and the person putting them on. For anyone attempting this by themselves always work safely, one wrong slip and you could have a real bad day, and if your not comfortable with heights  hire someone that’s qualified and knows what there

Job Done

When your new roof is finished it should last for the life of the shingles, that could be twenty to thirty years depending on quality of shingles. It is not something you wont to do every ten or fifteen years so it pays to buy quality shingles. Also gives you peace of mind knowing there wont be any water leakage entering your home, and also keeps the value up over the years.

Roof work is done, if you have any questions about how to fix your roof, leave me a comment,

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Improving Home Value-How To Renew An Old Floor


Adding a new look to your floors is another way to improve home value for an older new-shine-for-valuehome. Wood floors seem to be one of the more trendy things today, from hardwood to pine or what ever type.

Preparing Old Floor

Having just finished sanding a pine floor that had been painted with a green paint, I can honestly say it consumes a large amount of time. I found the easiest way to remove the paint was scraping by hand first. The floor was twenty five feet by seventeen feet and having found a couple pennies dated nineteen forty one and forty two below the  plywood and old linoleum that covered it, the paint below this was not easy to remove.


The sanding part went well and took very little time to do. As the floor was installed in eighteen seventy or before, a few nicks and cracks seem to just add more character to it.

What Finish To Put On Floor

Having looked over quite a few different products to paint it with. I finally settled on a Minwax Oil Modified Polyurethane. I picked the clear gloss, as I prefer a shine, satin would floor-finishing-for-home-valueleave a duller finish. One thing I found great about this product is that it take two hours to dry, and can be lightly sanded then recoated.The  manufacture recommends three coats, but I did four and it turned out looking great. Also has very little odor and the brushes clean up with water.

A Few Repairs

It was necessary to replace a couple holes on the floor about two feet by three feet with newer pine boards. I have used newer pine boards before in this situation , so through experience I know the newer pine will come to match the older in time.

Something New

Having sanded many floors in the past using drum sanders, edgers, and hand sanders, I decided to try something different. As I do drywall sanding at times and have the disk sander for this, a nine inch model, decided to give it a try. Its not as fast as the drum sanders, but if you take the time it works quite well on the pine floor. A little sanding by hand after and a good vacuum of the dust, then your floor is ready to coat.

If anyone has any new ideas on doing floors, or restoring them drop me a note, always great to get new ideas.



Dont Empty Your Wallet Improving Your Home

There is many ways to keep your house looking good,A Home Well Cared For and to improving home value.  The  one  that’s probably the cheapest  is to just  keep  it  decluttered, everything in its place. Having worked in many homes I have seen it all and am also guilty of a little clutter myself.

Applying A Little Paint

Another way is a new paint job, which does wonders for the look. Its best to patch any holes or screws that have popped out in the drywall. One product I found that works great is Durabond 90, which also seals cracks in ceilings and walls. Once the Durabond is dry you can smooth it out with joint filler, then sand when dry and your ready for paint. I always recommend a primer and two top coats to give a better finish.New Paint


One place used the most is your kitchen, so keeping it up to standards could be new paint also. Changing handles and knobs on the cabinets can improve things. If your appliances stove, fridge, are looking well used, and on a tight budget try a little paint. Also recessed lights in the ceiling seem to be a new trend for kitchens.


In the bathroom try a new shower curtain for a cleaner look, and also a paint job will make a big difference. Any leaky taps are easily fixed with new rubber seals, or new parts. If your ever installing new tiles on the floor I would recommend a floor warming system controlled by a thermostat. These are easy to install before the tiles go down, and sure make the room comfy. New caulking around tub or shower also helps for a better look.

The Outdoors

Keeping the lawns mowed and flowers growing around the place gives a clean look. I always try every few years to apply some paint where ever needed on the outside of house. Planting some trees around the place, whatever kind you fancy, try checking your local nursery, or seek advice from landscapers in your area.

If you have any questions about a project, drop me a note.

Thanks for stopping bye.