ABC Blog

What Can a Handyman Legally Do?

What Can a Handyman Legally Do

What if you could get all of those little tasks on your “honey-do” list completed without having to lift a finger?

Home repairs, maintenance and weekend projects can quickly eat up all your free time. It’s only natural that homeowners are looking for ways to outsource these tasks at the lowest possible price. Depending on the nature of the tasks involved, you may find yourself wondering which jobs are suitable for a handyman and which tasks are better performed by a licensed contractor. Since virtually anyone can call themselves a handyman, you might ask yourself, “What can a handyman legally do?” Is there a real difference between the training and skills of a handyman and a contractor? What type of jobs should you hire a handyman to complete? Some homeowners have an even more basic question: What is a handyman in the first place?

A handyman may be a jack-of-all-trades or … Read Full Post »

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Christmas Tree

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Christmas Tree

During the holiday season, thoughts of yummy food, a fire in the fireplace, warm sweaters, cute boots and spending time with family and friends fill your head and heart. The months around Christmas evoke warm and fuzzy feelings from treasured memories and family traditions. A freshly-cut Christmas tree fills your home with a welcoming, nostalgic aroma. The excitement and anticipation surrounding your visit to find the perfect tree may only be matched by the enthusiasm around the arrival of favorite family members and guests who come to stay. While we prepare to welcome these house guests, we don’t want to have to deal with creepy crawly, uninvited visitors. 

Like any live plant, Christmas trees can suffer from diseases, including root rot, Swiss needle cast and insect infestations. When you bring such a large once-living tree into your home, you can sometimes also bring in creatures who hitch a ride. One of the most common … Read Full Post »

How To Change Central Air Conditioner Filter: Tips And Troubleshooting

air conditioner filter

Air conditioners require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently. Performing routine checks also helps keep your energy costs down and enables you to spot problems early on, which can avoid costly repairs. One of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your unit running at peak efficiency is to regularly change your filter. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 percent to 15 percent.”

How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter

When you weigh the energy savings of having a clean filter against the low cost of a new filter, replacing your filter seems like a no-brainer. Remembering when and how to perform this simple task, however, is another matter. Even if you think you know how often you should change your filter, you may not understand what a filter actually does for … Read Full Post »

ABC Supports American Heart Association’s Heart Walk

Austin Heart Walk

One in seven deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease. Coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke—all heart conditions—represent the number one cause of death in the United States. Over 92 million Americans are living with some type of cardiovascular disease or are experiencing the after-effects of a stroke.

Since 1924, the American Heart Association has been working to fight heart disease through research, public health policy and education. The organization has set an ambitious goal for 2020: to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% and to reduce the deaths from heart disease and stroke by 20%.

Each year, the American Heart Association hosts the annual Austin Heart Walk to bring the community together to have fun, get inspired and support a meaningful cause. The owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services in Austin, Bobby Jenkins, is on the Board of Directors of the local affiliate.

Austin Heart Walk 2017

ABC … Read Full Post »

Austin Trail of Lights 2017: A Complete Guide

Trail of Lights Austin dates

The holidays are marked by fun traditions and memory-making outings. Here in Central Texas, one of the must-dos on many of our holiday lists is the Austin Trail of Lights.  Strolling through two million twinkling lights and 40 incredible light displays can get even the Grinchiest member of your crew into the holiday spirit.

If you have never been to the Austin Trail of Lights, 2017 is the year to see what everyone’s been talking about. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned pro, you’ll want to read our complete guide to this year’s Trail of Lights to know what to expect, what’s new this year and how to make the most of your time at the trail.

Trail of Lights Austin 2017: What’s In Store This Year

The 53rd year of the light show, sponsored by H-E-B, will run Saturday, December 9 through Saturday, December 23. This year’s Trail will include updated … Read Full Post »

Common Plumbing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Common plumbing mistakes

We’ve all been there: something gets dropped down the toilet, your disposal or toilet gets clogged, your bathroom sink gets backed up or the hot water heater starts leaking. Your first thought may be to call a plumber. Immediately, you may find yourself thinking, “That’s expensive. Maybe I can fix it.”

Some plumbing fixes are more difficult than others. If you decide to take on a plumbing repair yourself, you’ll want to make sure you avoid the most common plumbing mistakes so you don’t cause more problems than you solve.

Common Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Before you start looking online for how-to videos, you may wonder which problems you can fix yourself and when to call a plumber. Many home DIY projects can be pretty straightforward—and even satisfying—as you learn something new.

But, then there is plumbing.

How easy is it to fix your own plumbing? Which fixes are manageable … Read Full Post »

How To Clean Pool Cartridge Filters

How to clean pool cartridge filters

If you live in the southern United States, you probably find solace in your pool during the warmer months of the year. Some days, it can seem like the only way to enjoy time outdoors is to spend the day cooling off in your home’s backyard pool.

Still, though, as much as we use our backyard pools, it’s easy to take them for granted. Especially during the summer months, we want to assume our pools will be clean and ready to use at a moment’s notice. While it’s safe to assume the pool’s filter will keep it clean, many homeowners overlook the fact that the filter itself needs to be cleaned periodically. 

How To Clean Pool Cartridge Filters

In this post, we’ll discuss the types of filters you might be using in your pool, how they function and how and when you should clean your filters. Read on to learn the dos … Read Full Post »

Are Roses Poisonous To Cats? Your Questions Answered

Are roses poisonous to cats

A garden in full bloom is a wonderful way to showcase your yard. Roses, chrysanthemums, begonias, tulips and daffodils create a colorful carpet to delight the eye. Gardens add so much to the look of the outside of a home, and whether you grew the flowers yourself, a bouquet on the counter brightens any room. Plants and flowers attract not only your eye, but also the eye of your pets, so it’s important to know which are poisonous to your cats and dogs and which are safe. Plus, how do you keep your pets away from plants, both inside and out? Let’s take a look at these questions and more.

Are Roses Poisonous to Cats? Your Questions Answered

As we know, cats are curious creatures. A leaf waving in the wind or a petal falling to the ground will bring even the most laid-back cat over to investigate. Similar to all types of … Read Full Post »

Pool Maintenance For Beginners

Pool maintenance for beginners

What do many prospective homebuyers look for in a backyard? A swimming pool! Whether you’ve just moved into a new house with a pool or recently had one installed, you know that having a pool requires regular time and attention. First-time pool owners can easily feel overwhelmed with all the details, including what chemicals are needed to maintain a pool. Once you learn the basics, you’ll feel more confident understanding how to maintain your pool yourself.

Pool Maintenance For Beginners

The three Cs of pool care are circulation, cleaning and chemicals. Pay attention to each of these areas on a consistent basis and you’ll be able to prevent any issues before they become costly problems. Before we explore each of these areas, let’s talk about the tools you’ll need to get the job done.

What Equipment Do I Need?

The first thing you’ll want to get is a pool cover. A cover is effective in … Read Full Post »

Everything You Need to Know About Texas Ticks

texas ticks

There are many reasons we love living in Texas. The unfortunate reality, however, is that we share this great state with a small, but potentially dangerous pest: ticks. What types of ticks live in Texas? Where do they live? How can you prevent tick bites? Perhaps most importantly, how do you get rid of ticks? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Texas ticks.

Everything You Need to Know About Texas Ticks

The four most common types of ticks found in Texas, in order of frequency, are the:

  • Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineous)
  • American dog tick (Dermacentor veriabilis)
  • Lone star tick, also known as the northeastern water tick or turkey tick (Amblyomma americanum)
  • Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis)

All four types of ticks are hard-shelled, meaning they have a hard covering over their body. Interestingly, the shell covers more of the body in the male tick than the female.

Ticks go through four stages during their … Read Full Post »