Sprucing up my exterior with siding and roofing replacement

I want the same company to do it all so that everything gets done quickly and efficiently

The exterior of my house really needs some work. I have worked my butt off on the gardens that were over taking the land. I ripped most of them out and a ton of shrubbery the previous homeowner let get away from her. The front shrubs were replaced with softer bushes. My husband then added a side vegetable garden. I favor potted plants over invasive gardens. The backyard shed I painted the siding and replaced the door. My main house has a new front and side door. I also paid for window replacement which has really brightened up the space. Now I am looking at roofing and siding. My husband just wants to paint the siding to be done with it. It is a fuzzy, distressed wood siding look. I hate it. I want something smooth and to have it professionally stained rather than painted. I have been talking to a roofing and siding company. I want to make sure the roof and siding match. Our current roof is very old too. Shingles are starting to blow off during heavy storms. No leaks yet but I know it is coming. It makes sense to replace all the exterior of the house in one swoop too. I want a gray roof and beige siding. I want the same company to do it all so that everything gets done quickly and efficiently. The roofing company and I are both good to go. I just need my husband to split the cost of roofing replacement and siding installation.

Roofing Replacement

Learning how to be a Heating and A/C Tech Once Again

When I moved to this part of the country I knew it was remote, although I had no idea how weird it was from the world I knew.

  • Out here the police are only someone you see when you call, and even then it takes a long time.

There are no nearby stores besides the gas station and my nearest neighbors are miles away from me. Being this isolated means that life is a lot different. I got a job assisting a local guy who I thought was a business, but it turns out he was just a guy who owned a lot of tools. Bob was the closest thing to a heating and cooling tech within 125 miles or so. He was not heating and A/C certified, and in fact had nothing beyond a private school education. He was not licensed as a legal business, did not have insurance, and only worked for money. He was brilliant when it came to fixing air conditioners and heaters, but operated entirely off the grid. As his assistant it was our job to drive the truck, carry the tools, and help out whenever needed, although I didn’t know the first thing about heating and A/C systems. Bob told me it didn’t matter, that you can learn heating and cooling maintenance just by doing it – that’s how Bobby did it! After genuinely working with him for a few months, I guess that despite his lack of education and heating and A/C certification, Bob may be some kind of genius. Heating and A/C systems are incredibly complex, and yet he understands them better than I know how to tie my own shoes.

Contractor

I’ve Been Protecting the Temperature Control Unit in our House

This is a big house, and I have a lot of girls living here.

I put a clear plastic lockbox over the temperature control as a financial measure, because the family was raising the energy bills too much.

As the head of household, I know that it’s my task to decide how cool the big place is. Cooling isn’t free, and it is something our family doesn’t seem to understand just yet. Turning the A/C down just a few extra degrees can raise the utility bills by $130 or more. I love keeping cool as much as most people, although I have a limited budget. This is why I bought the lockbox, to make sure I was the only one who could access the temperature control and change the settings. That worked good for a few years, but recently it was time for a replacement and I got a smart temperature control unit. At first I thought this was amazing because a smart temperature control has so many more options and features than the older models. I abruptly realized that the smart temperature control could be accessed remotely through an app, so our lockbox was no longer doing the work. My girls are more tech-savvy than I am, and they figured out how to change the temperature control settings from their phones. I am not an IT specialist, and couldn’t figure out how to block them, so regretfully I removed the smart temperature control and hooked up the old dial thermostat once again. This is such a downgrade from the smart temperature control, but it’s the only way I have of protecting our investment and our budget.

 

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She Had a Knack for Heating and Cooling Equipment Repair

She took out the air filter, cleaned it, and slid it back into place

I knew Amy was special, even when people thought she was slow. Amy was a baby with expressive eyes that consistently seemed to be studying everything around her. She was late in learning how to talk, how to crawl, and how to be potty trained. I knew that Amy wasn’t slow, she was just a bit different. She developed at a slower speed than other girls, although I knew she would come into her own. When she did, it was in a most unregular way. She was three or four years old when the people I was with and I had a problem with our air conditioning unit. We could only afford one of those small box air conditioning system units that you mount in a window. A local heating and A/C tech came over and spent a few minutes examining our unit before cleaning the HEPA air filter and giving it a tune up. The whole thing took about 25 or 30 minutes, and afterward the air conditioning ran much better. As the heating and A/C tech did his task, Amy sat nearby and studied him very closely. A few weeks later the trouble repeated itself, and that was when I saw Amy trying to repair the air conditioning herself. She remembered every single thing the heating and A/C tech did, and repeated it with uncanny precision. She took out the air filter, cleaned it, and slid it back into place. Then she popped off the side panel using a screwdriver, but before she could reach her little hands inside the air conditioning I pulled her away. After that day, I realized that Amy was quiet and withdrawn, but a genius when it came to mechanical systems such as air conditionings.
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I Fix up and Resell Old Beat Up A/C Systems and Components

I am a self-taught handyman, and I make a living in the junkyards and thrift shops of the town.

  • Around here the group of us friends have something called a “swap meet.” It’s a little bit like a flea market, or a bazaar, where local people set up tables, booths, and tents to sell their crafts.

Some people sell handmade items such as jewelry or toys, and other people sell third hand units or old used clothes. Then you have people like me, who refurbish seasoned or disfigured oil furnaces and air conditioning system units and resell them for a tidy profit, but my sales are dictated by the time of the season. During the summer months I mostly sell air conditioning units, and while in the wintertime the oil furnaces are our top seller. I also work on lamps, hot plates, toasters, blenders, most other family room appliances, and old humidifiers. My tables are consistently fully stocked with little machines I have rebuilt, but the heating and cooling unit is where I make most of our money. Trying to find a quality area furnace for less than a hundred bucks is possible, but nobody can find a portable air conditioning system component for less than $330. I can buy a broken air conditioner for $30 or $40, then repair it and sell it for $175. I make a big profit, and yet the customer still gets a remarkable savings on their air conditioning. It helps that I have a fantastic reputation in the community, so people know that if their air conditioning doesn’t work, they can bring it back and I will take care of them.

 

New HVAC

My Love Has Destroyed the Heating and A/C System

Wendy and I have been together for over 15 years, and she is my best pal and spouse, and I can’t imagine life without her.

All that may be true, but now that she has hit menopause Wendy is going through some fluctuations and I am doing my best to help her, but there is only so much I can do.

She has bad mood swings now, through no fault of her own, and Wendy has never experienced this before. Some afternoons I feel as though I’m married to a weird person, and her internal temperature control is also broken, because she gets cold spells and tepid flashes in equal measure. This has translated to her abusing the actual temperature control for the house as she tries to make herself more comfortable. This is hard for me personally, and I feel as though it’s running the heating and A/C program ragged. She will go from being chilly cold and switching on the heater, to sweltering hot and switching the air conditioning system back on 17 minutes later. It would be one thing to keep the air conditioning going, or even turning it on and off, but I know that switching hastily between heating and cooling will have damaging effects to the equipment. Next week I have a heating and A/C inspection booked so I can get an expert opinion on the state of our system and how to make it run better. If she is taking too big a toll on our equipment, it may be easier to get Wendy a portable electric furnace and A/C component to carry around the condo with her.

Steam boiler

The Drain Line Wasn’t Going to Cooperate With us at All

Last Saturday was our last night working at the diner, and I thought that I would have a slow and quiet night.

However, the sewer line backed up in the lavatory and the people I was with and I had a huge mess.

Someone must have tried to stuff a lot of paper, napkins, or paper towels inside of the toilet. I was called to go to the toilet with a mop and a plunger and I used the plunger several times and I could not get the clog to move. There was all kinds of paper and urine and feces in the bowl and I was trying not to gag, however the smell was entirely frightening. The drain line was not going to budge at all, at least not without any help. My boss contacted a commercial plumbing supplier and the plumber came out to repair the drainage problem while the people I was with and I were still working. The two of us had to make burgers and fries while the plumbing team inspected the drainage issue and the plumbing supplier members had to walk between the office area and the lavatory more than four times. Each time the plumbers walked through the kitchen area I thought about how many germs and viruses and bacteria they were carrying around from the toilet, lavatory, and sewage drain line. It took about five hours for them to finish up with all of the repairs, and they left without cleaning up the mess that they made. I had to spend an hour cleaning the lavatory after the plumbing supplier was done with the repairs. The room should have been professionally sanitized and cleaned after that disgusting plumbing disaster!

sewer line installation

I Had Some Trouble Putting in our Hot Water Heater

Before I retired, I had a lot more energy to get up and go. I have definitely slowed down since I stopped working full time. My spouse says it is better for our health, however I am not so sure it is fine for our mind. I am not as fast as I used to be when it comes to house repairs and problem solving. I knew there was an issue with the hot water heater as the water coming out of the faucet wasn’t genuinely warm. Our hot water furnace was 17 years old and I thought it would be fairly easy to install a hot water furnace on my own. I ordered the items from the hardware store and the guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted to set up an appointment with the upgrade team. It was entirely free to have them install the hot water heater, because I bought the item from the shop. I told the guy behind that counter that I was capable of installing the water gas furnace on my own. I was totally wrong about that and I had a lot of issues. I ended up contacting the same hardware and freight door and I asked the manager if it was too late to request upgrade services. The person told me that it was not too late and she put me on the schedule for the very next afternoon. Two young and buff guys came over to the house and installed the up-to-date water furnace in a few hours. It genuinely would have taken me an entire weekend to do the same job that they completed in a couple of hours.

gas line repair

The Crazy Sewer Line Upgrade Team was Two Hours Late

I started using an up-to-date plumbing supplier for all of our commercial plumbing needs.

As a new corporation, I have to have companies that are responsible and diligent, and I need someone that is going to show up on time and get the job done right the first time.

It’s our name on the line when I contact a corporation to complete the work, and that corporation is there representing me and our supplier in addition to their own. I had to call a supplier to install some up-to-date sewer lines at one of our commercial properties. The sewer line upgrade team was supposed to be at the property at 7:00 am. and I went to the property early to let the crew inside of the building. The sewer line insulation team showed up around 9:15 am. The guys were drinking root beer and eating egg mcmuffins. They did not seem distraught about the time at all and I asked to speak with the task foreman but no one wanted to take responsibility for being in charge of the group. Every single one of the guys said the foreman was on his way, and that was the very last time I used that commercial plumbing supplier. The owner of the company wanted to understand why it’s been weeks since I called. I told him about the incident where the crew that showed up to complete the sewer line upgrade. The owner of the supplier apologized, however I just have a terrible taste in my mouth after the crew showed up late and showed a total lack of respect for our time.

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The Problem With the Tankless Water Heating Device was Electrical

Occasionally, it is really easy to see where a problem is coming from. It always makes our task easier as a plumber when the solution and problem are right in front of us. It’s not always the case when I am working on commercial and residential repairs. I was recently at a residential beach house with a client that bought a tankless water heating plan from our supplier. The tankless water heating plan was not always heating the water. I understood exactly why the customer was frustrated, and I would be miserable as well if the product that I recently installed was already broken. The equipment was not actually broken, as I carefully explained to the customer. The problem, in fact, was due to an electrical issue that was beyond our control. The box was totally overloaded and the people I was with and I told the customer when we installed the up-to-date equipment that this could lead to a problem in the future. The customer had to contact an electric supplier to come out to repair the problem, as it seemed like the water gas furnace was overloading all of the circuitry in the box. I felt that the customer might need to upgrade the electrical box to handle the current from the tankless water heating system. The customer was unhappy with our interpretation of the problem and I told her that I could contact someone else from the supplier to get a separate opinion. She paid the bill for our evaluation and quote and I did not hear from that customer again. I guess that she contacted an electrical supplier to repair the problem just like I suggested.

standard water heater installation