Still Working Hard! 1997 - 2020

Proyectos en EspaƱol

Projects Ideas That Can Be Done to Improve Your Home

Saving Money

Making Things Look Better

Help Out Elderly And Physically Challenged

Doors - Eventually, every door needs repair or replacement.


Guide to Adding Patio and Carport Roofs - Beat the heat and rain, add a carport or cover the patio.

Basic Outside Maintenance (Should Be Checked Every Year)

  1. Trim trees that are touching roof quickly before roof is damaged.
  2. Replace old caulking around water faucets, conduits, wires and other things that pass into house.
  3. Replace or add caulking to trim around windows or at brick where water can enter and damage wood.
  4. Change or repair faucets that leak.
  5. Inspect circuit breakers. Flip on and off every year to see if sticking or broken.
  6. Repair hard to open gates in fences.
  7. Check overall condition of roof shingles (or gaskets of the screws on metal roofs). This must be done on roof. I have seen roofs with shingles totally deteriorated that looked good from below.
  8. Check condition of paint. Repaint when chalky but before begins to peel.
  9. Replace siding that is rotten at bottom, letting water into house.
  10. Check that water outlet from AC unit is not stopped up or flooding area where people walk.
  11. Check dryer outlet and exhaust fan outlets to see if stopped up or have bird nests.
  12. Clean leaves out of gutters or roof can be damaged.
  13. Replace loose electrical outlet covers to restore waterproofing.
  14. Install special outlet covers if something is always plugged into outside outlet.
  15. Check that all outside outlets are GFCI protected (may actually be accomplished inside house or at outlet).
  16. Make sure you know where and how to turn off water and that valve still works. Purchase cut-off tool if needed.
  17. Check concrete and other walkways for trip hazards. Broken arms and wrists heal slowly and handicap greatly!
  18. Check that deck and porch railings and steps are sound.
  19. Look for signs of wood chewing insects (termites or carpenter ants.) Termites use mud tunnels from the ground upwards.
  20. Check for places where mice, squirrels, rats and birds can get in. Add insect screens where needed.

Basic inside maintenance (check every year)

  1. Check attic and drywall on ceiling for signs of roof leaks.
  2. Flip circuit breakers on and off to check for sticking. Look for signs of overheating or broken parts.
  3. Check handrails on stairs to see if loose.
  4. Change or repair leaking faucets.
  5. Check for leaks below sinks in kitchen and bathrooms.
  6. Check that old flex metal water lines to sinks are not still in use. Can burst without warning.
  7. Check that water supply hoses to sinks are not too old. If hard and no longer flex, replace.
  8. Check that water valves under sinks or to toilet actually turn off water. New quarter turn ball valves are easier to use and more reliable than older styles.
  9. Check caulking around toilet and check that toilet does not move at floor.
  10. Check that toilet tank to bottom bolts and gasket are not leaking (check under tank at bolts and tank area behind seat.
  11. Check that electrical outlets do not leave cords loose. Replace any that do not grip cord firmly.
  12. Check electrical outlets for window AC units or space heaters. If there are any signs of overheating, the outlet (and possibly earlier outlets in chain to circuit breaker) must be replaced. AC units and space heaters are best used with a dedicated circuit and outlet that is not shared. Consider installing one. It is much safer and AC unit will last longer.
  13. If you have aluminum wiring, outlets and switches must be changed to CO/ALR type. Wiring should be checked extensively and regularly to avoid fires from corrosion and overheating problems. Aluminum wiring can be safe but only if properly retrofitted and maintained. Do not use space heaters or AC units unless that circuit is checked for safety. Do not perform additions or repairs yourself unless you know special techniques for aluminum. Even incorrectly stripping aluminum wire can cause it to snap apart later.
  14. Check caulking around bathtub. Replace if cracked. Check tile grout. If loose or cracked, water enter and loosen tiles from behind. Must be repaired before more damage sets in.
  15. Check ceiling fans to see if loose at ceiling. Most rods are designed to move but box at top must not be loose.
  16. Replace plastic flexible dryer duct with metal type. Plastic type can catch fire.
  17. Check that washer hoses are not leaking. Check that valves still cut off water.
  18. check that flexible gas lines are not bent too far or damaged.
  19. Check that flexible gas line to furnace does not pass through furnace metal shell. This line can be slowly cut by furnace vibrations if it touches shell.
  20. Check that stove has a gas valve that can be reached without pulling out stove (inside the cabinet next to it).
  21. Consider replacing very old garbage disposal. A corroded disposal may seem to work but will be sending whole food down drain which can cause clogs.
  22. Check condition of pull down stairs to attic. Are nuts or bolts loose or missing? Is the wood cracked? Repair or replace if needed. Models with bigger steps are available.