Here's a complete re-skin of a deck. Customer was sick of painting so they chose to go with a composite lumber. Luckily for me, the structure of the deck was in great shape so nothing needed to be altered with that. They ended up keeping the old wooden railing for now but I have a feeling that may be in the future. LOTS of angles on this one. I bordered the deck with two rows of decking to make sure none of the end cuts were seen. This added some challenge as I wasn't able to trace the old boards coming off. I think this came out great and I know the homeowner will be happy every year they don't have to paint. This product has a 25 year warranty from fading or staining.
This was a fence panel swap out. Ended up having to replace a couple posts along the way.
This fence was next door to the one above. Always glad when my work sells itself. This one was a slightly bigger project. I replaced a chain link fence so I needed to install all new posts. I am very happy with how it turned out. The back of the property rises in elevation so I stripped down the fence panel and installed each slat separately rather than step the panels. The homeowner was trying to keep dogs in and the panel steps would have had too big of a gap or half of the height buried. I realized after the fact that I didn't use the best fasteners to attach the slats so I went back and added in the hot dipped galvanized nails I should have used.
Here I installed low voltage LED tape lights above and below the cabinet. They are dimmable and controlled by a wireless remote. This brand also offered a "puck light" for more light over the sink, but is on the same circuit as the rest of the under cabinet lights so they will all dim together.
This customer and I went around his house to re-caulked and make sure all of his windows were in good shape. We found that most of the windows were in great shape, especially after twenty eight years, except for exhibit A below. This window for some reason took a beating from the weather. The sashes were fine but the frame and trim was shot. After careful consideration the homeowner decided he didn't need a window there (his neighbor installed a large vinyl fence that blocked the view) so we went ahead with removing it. I found that at one point there were carpenter ants in the wet wood below the window but there were no signs of them still being there. After new framing, insulation, OSB, siding, drywall, paint, and trim it's like it was never there. We ran out of warm weather in the fall so the siding paint will go on this summer. The hardest part of this entire job for me was matching the original stain on the new trim. Purcell's was a lifesaver and they matched it perfectly, the last pictures shows the corner where old met new, if you can't tell which is which I'm not telling!
This is a homeowner special that I can't believe didn't burn the house down. This is in my own home in what used to be our spare bedroom. My wife wanted to move her office into this room so before she moved in I went through the electrical and what I found was amazing. The previous homeowner had run a line from the panel in the garage to feed three 3-light track lights (each with 60w incandescent bulbs, talk about heat output!). There wasn't a single piece of wire that was done correctly in this whole room. Also, while they were in the attic they chopped up the outlet circuit too (I'm thinking they may have tried to run the lights off this circuit first). The first two pictures show the outlet in the wall that fried, and the junction box in the attic that fed that outlet. The blob of black pointed up in the junction box is a melted wire nut. I believe the excess heat in the junction box was caused by copper and aluminum wiring being twisted together (dissimilar metals corrode by galvanic action). The corrosion causes the electricity to not be able to freely pass (resistance) and that creates heat. The purple connectors in the second row are specifically made to separate the metals. The third picture is the triple gang wall box mounted vertically and stuffed with way too many wires. The fourth picture is the wires with the box removed. The wire I'm holding was buried in the wall behind the box and was LIVE! The bottom row shows the new junction boxes I had to use. I prefer no junction boxes but to reuse the feed wire from the panel this was the only way. I removed seven (7) junction boxes to replace them with these two (last pic is everything that was removed). Also not a single junction box was mounted to structure and not one of the track lights had their connections in a box, just wire nuts in the insulation. I am glad this is behind me and I'm glad my family wasn't harmed by someone elses negligence/cheapness. Electrical is nothing to mess with, hire the pros, they're expensive for a reason!
This was the deck on my house, I started tearing before I got pictures. The first few pictures are before and afters. The swing-set was built out of some of the salvageable lumber. The bottom row of pictures shows the shotty construction. I believe the previous homeowner built this himself and I'm positive a permit was not involved. It's interesting to see how much extra work people do while building something the wrong way. The correct way to build this deck would have required a few more holes being dug to the appropriate depth but after that there would have been a lot less cuts to make. The last picture shows the water that holds in the wonderful clay. I started digging around the steps to lift them out (they had settled about 8 inches or more). The next step of this project requires some grading of the soil around the house so I will be lifting the steps out with the equipment I rent to do that work. More pictures to come.
This garage foundation was crumbling. There was two separate parge coats put over the original poured foundation. The first parge coat did not bond well with the original material, either improper materials were used or the prep work was not done correctly. I chipped out about 10 five-galon buckets of material and scraped back all the cumbling material until I found solid concrete to bond the new material to. I then had to patch the gap in the asphalt. The asphalt patch product looks brown when it's wet (pictures) but dries a similar black to the original. This homeowner shouldn't have to worry about this again for a long long time.
This house was only about 8 years old and the garage door trim was starting to rot. Rather than replace with another wood that would eventually rot we decided to use the Azek Cellular PVC trim boards. These will never rot and never need to be painted.
Here we had a case of a Robin making it's way into a bathroom vent and making a nest. Something happened after the babies hatched that caused them to die and make a terrible smell inside the house. After removing the section of duct and cleaning up the mess, the smell went away.
This is my water heater in my house. The age of the water heater was "unknown" when we bought the house but after 8 months in the house it sprung a leak.
Here's the before and after of the trailer lettering. Thanks to Fastsigns on Erie for the great service.
Here's some pictures of a siding repair that turned into whole wall repair. The rain water had been getting down behind the siding for years before the homeowners installed gutters. The damage was all the way down to the framing due to the house wrap being installed incorrectly. I built it all back up and put the house wrap on correctly to avoid future issues. That teamed with the gutters will ensure that wall will be problem free for years to come. I also cut in a couple new 4" vent hoods for the gas fireplaces. The existing hoods were not installed well and the piping had fallen off of them inside the wall, This was allowing the off gases to make their way back into the house and the squirrels to make their home inside the wall. Plenty of work went into this one but I'm proud of how it turned out.
Some shutter replacement and shutter addition shown here. Sometimes the simple things make a huge difference!
This was a fun project. My daughter was having trouble getting around the yard in her new birthday gift from Grandma and Grandpa. The hard plastic wheels just didn't have enough traction so I went and got some mountain bike tires and screwed them on. She can go everywhere now!
Here's a little trim and drywall work in this beautifully pink garage.
You can see the black on the insulation indicating that air is moving through the wall. This is where vapor barriers can help.
Duct tape has many uses but drywall isn't one of them!
This step was too big for the homeowner and too big for NYS code. I added another step to ease the transition. I built them in the "L" shape to help the flow of traffic as you come in from the right side. The homeowner decided on pine for the material and that they wanted to do the staining so I left it all prepped and ready to go.
Here is another siding job that was located about 4 houses down from the last one. However, these homeowners did not make out as well as the last. After tearing through the rot that looked very similar I came across carpenter ants. These are about the worst thing you can find since they can cause damage deep within the structure of the home. I advised the homeowners that I was not equipped to deal with this level of damage and suggested they contact a structural repair specialist. I made sure to seal everything up as best I could with plastic before leaving.
Here we had some gutter issues. The roof had been replaced and much of the asphalt stones had rolled into the gutter slowing the flow of water. The roof is pretty big and channeled quite a bit of water down the valley that then crashed into the gutter and the 90 and would splash out onto the sidewalk. I believe these small repairs will help channel the water down the downspout and away from the house.
Damaged fence, I was able to reuse most of the slats and piece it all back together.
This homeowner converted his first floor heating from electric baseboard to a natural gas forced air furnace. When the house was built they knocked holes all over the place to install the heaters. I was able to patch everything up so it looks like new.