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How To Stop Birds From Building Nests In Gutters

How To Stop Birds From Building Nests In Gutters

Most people understand the purpose of installing gutters around the roofline of their homes and garages: to divert rainwater from the roof and house to someplace safe, well away from any structures that could potentially sustain water damage. Pretty simple, right? Yet this standard home-maintenance task is one that many homeowners push to the back burner in favor of dealing with seemingly more pressing problems.

Part of the issue is the old saying about “out of sight, out of mind”. This is especially true with gutters, since they are located well above our line of sight. Most people can’t see the debris collecting in their gutters without going to some trouble to do so. Clogged gutters can lead to big problems down the road, however, including water damage, flooding issues, unwelcome visitors like birds and mosquitoes nesting or breeding in gutters, and more.

Following is the lowdown on how to … Read Full Post »

Ask a Handyman: Should You Grout or Caulk Around Tub?

Grout or caulk around tub

Grout and caulk are two completely different substances, each with its own use and function. If you live in a home with an older bathroom, you may use one (or both) to make a repair or install a new bathtub, toilet or fixture. Do you know when you should use grout or caulk around your tub?

Grout is a mixture of water, cement, sand and sometimes fine gravel. This paste can be tinted different colors and is often used between tiles. Grout keeps water out and gives your walls and floors a cleaner look. Grout requires a crevice to “hold onto” and can prevent tile edges from chipping. Since grout doesn’t contain latex, it can crack with movement. Years of use can leave grout looking discolored and dirty.

On the other hand, caulk is silicone, acrylic or latex-based, so it’s both flexible and waterproof. Caulk is strong enough and pliable enough to adhere … Read Full Post »

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 »

Deck Maintenance Ideas and Tips

deck maintenance ideas

Do you have an outdoor deck, but not enough knowledge about how to maintain it? Looking for deck maintenance ideas, or tips on how to maintain a wood deck?

Deck Maintenance Ideas and Tips

Here’s everything you need to know about maintaining your deck throughout the year, so you can continue to enjoy a functional, safe and beautiful outdoor living space.

Why Do Decks Need Maintenance?

Any deck, whether made of wood, composites or any material, is bound to start showing some wear and tear over time. Outdoor decks, after all, are exposed day in and day out to the elements: heat, cold, sunshine, rain, sleet, hail and snow. In some climates, decks might have to withstand inches of precipitation and a thirty- or forty-degree temperature shift all within a single day. As building materials expand and contract with temperature changes and absorb or repel moisture while also withstanding the effects of dryness, … Read Full Post »

Easy Home Improvement Projects

easy home improvement projects

As a homeowner, chances are you’ve been through your share of surprise home repairs—which means you’ve also likely experienced expensive bills, poor service, and unreliable handymen. Unfortunately, those are risks homeowners take when they hire out for home repairs or renovation projects. But here’s the good news: There are a number of easy home improvement projects you can tackle, many of them on your own, without breaking the bank.

Easy Home Improvement Projects

The following project ideas represent just a few inexpensive ways to improve your living space, and many of them offer that priceless sense of accomplishment that comes from doing it yourself. And when you need an improvement or repair that you can’t manage on your own, ABC is here, ready to help.

Update Your Home’s Front Entrance

Want to enhance your curb appeal? Of all the many easy do-it-yourself home improvements, updating your home’s entrance is one of the best … Read Full Post »

Financing Home Improvements: Making Changes Without Breaking the Bank

Making improvements to your home is a great way to boost its overall value while creating a more comfortable, livable space. For many Austin homeowners, remodeling also provides a great way to control energy costs and cut down on utility bills. Unfortunately, many homeowners feel overwhelmed by the costs associated with a remodeling project. If you’re considering remodels or upgrades but don’t know if you can afford them, take some time to explore your financing and savings options.

Exploring Financing Options for Home Improvements

It’s no secret that many home remodeling projects carry hefty price tags. Whether you want to put in a new air conditioning system or need to have a bathtub replaced, you’ll likely need to work with a professional who can complete the work on your behalf. While you will have to pay for the services of a professional, it’s important to remember that you do have great financing … Read Full Post »

Interior Paint Finishes: Do They Matter?

If you’re planning on painting the walls inside your home, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into choosing the perfect paint color. Although the color is important, you should also take your time in choosing a paint finish. The finish that you choose will have a major impact on the final result, so consider the best uses for different paint finishes to make your home look exactly the way you want.


Flat paint is one of the more common choices for interior painting. It has a matte finish, so it doesn’t have any shine to it at all. Flat paint is great for walls that have a lot of imperfections, but it can be almost impossible to clean and isn’t suggested for high-traffic areas or households with children.


As one of the best options for many homes, an eggshell finish has a slight sheen to it but isn’t as glossy as … Read Full Post »

When Should Your DIY Warrior Surrender?

If you love doing your own work around the house, you might not like the idea of hiring a professional handyman to help you with an upcoming project. To save money and keep yourself safe, however, it’s important to ask yourself these essential questions before tackling a big job on your own.

Do You Have the Necessary Skills?

If you don’t have the necessary skills to complete a job well, you might be unhappy with the results, and you could have to spend a lot more money and time redoing the job or hiring a professional to redo it for you.

Does the Project Require Costly Equipment?

Although it’s certainly possible to save a lot of money by doing some of your own work, this isn’t always the case. If an upcoming project requires costly tools and equipment that you don’t have, you’re probably better off hiring a pro instead of spending hundreds or … Read Full Post »

Take That Remodeling Job Outside in Time for Spring

Living in the gorgeous city of Austin can present many wonderful opportunities for exciting backyard parties, family nights, events and more. Why not indulge in your very own backyard? After all, nothing can be more spontaneous and refreshing than being outside, close to the nature and its beautiful elements.

Making practical additions to the exterior of your home and adding just a few backyard touches can both work wonders for the aesthetic appeal and real estate value of your property. When it comes to creating the perfect outdoor sanctuary, the sky is the limit.

A Screened Deck Can Be a Welcoming Idea

Imagine spending lazy afternoons reading on your gorgeous deck while your children are playing their favorite board games. Rain or shine, you’ll be able to enjoy your home and garden without ever being confined indoors. Having a deck, complete with an outdoor mini-kitchen, can be ideal for entertaining family and friends. … Read Full Post »

Is a New Home Addition Worth the Cost?

home addition

The real estate sector is back in business, and MSN reports that property values are increasing at long-term rates once again. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your home with a brand new addition and increase its square footage.

What Does an Addition Require?

Once you flesh out the details with an architect or designer, you’ll want to secure a permit for the new construction. Permit rules vary by city, but your general contractor will help you file the necessary paperwork.

Please note that construction prices vary by company, so the cost of your addition may be higher or lower than the national average. Using a sample 150 square foot addition in Austin, a basic room without plumbing will run about $100 a square foot or a total of $15,000, but you might have to pay closer to $20,000 depending on the windows, doors, and flooring material you choose.

A bathroom addition requires … Read Full Post »