Residential Remodeling & Maintenance in Omaha, NE – 2019
There’s nothing like the feeling you get when that squeaky cabinet finally glides smoothly closed, the bathroom tile feels smooth under your feet for the first time, or that ugly, chipped door is finally replaced. It’s a unique experience to re-fall in love with your house after dealing with its imperfections for so long.
However, since completing those in-your-face projects feel so good, we may forget to maintain the little things that make life feasible. No one gushes over a brand new electrical panel, but the inner workings of your house need to be remodeled sometimes too! Maintaining the nitty-gritty aspects of a home should be just as important as the decorative decisions.
When planning a remodel, it’s important to know that you will be able to finance your projects all the way until completion. If you can’t pay for your remodeling project out of pocket, we recommend speaking with your bank about taking out a home equity loan or line of credit. Home equity loans and lines give you the freedom to do everything from remodeling your kitchen or expanding your living space to consolidating your bills, but pay close attention to interest rates. At American National Bank, they offer fixed-rate home equity loans, which means low interest and affordable, predictable monthly payments. On the other hand, a home equity line of credit might make more sense for your situation. With American National Bank’s line of credit process, you can draw on available funds from your line of credit, just in case you need them. If you don’t use it, you don’t owe anything. You can go online to American National Bank’s website right now and fill out an inquiry form to find out what loan method fits your financial situation.
One large section of home remodels that often gets overlooked is the electrical aspects. Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2012–2016, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment was the third leading form of equipment involved in these fires (Report: NFPA’s Electrical Fires, 2019). Regular maintenance can help protect your home from devastating fires since eventually the wire insulation inside of electrical parts char and corrode.
Chris Langer, owner of Langer Electric, noted that second- or third-hand homeowners especially need to make sure everything gets done correctly in terms of wiring and electrical panels. “A common issue we see is that old electricians installed large breakers on too small wiring, which causes the wire to heat up way more than it should.” Chris said. “When this happens, it’s a serious safety issue. It’s important to make sure that all your wiring and panels are solid so that serious issues don’t arise.”
As a safety precaution, Langer Electric recently added a special service called Panel Inspection. “It was important to me to make sure that the service was affordable in order to keep the most amount of people safe,” Chris explained. “It’s crucial that people have access to affordable fire safety measures in their home. A lot of people have bad electrical panels in their homes and don’t realize the risk associated with old electrical methods.”
Another aspect of remodeling that Chris helps out with is lighting fixtures. “LED lights are, in my opinion, a necessity in houses!” exclaimed Chris. “They cut down your energy consumption by over 80% and add so much more light compared to incandescent lighting.”
Another behind the scenes component of your home’s structure is its plumbing. Unless your pipe bursts, you probably don’t really think about replacing or checking the plumbing mechanisms of your home. In reality, little issues that people tend to overlook in their water systems can lead to big problems later on.
To divulge more on this topic, we spoke to Lallenia Birge with Big Birge Plumbing. “What we see a majority of the time is that people put off replacing or fixing small parts of their plumbing system, and then it wreaks havoc on the whole system.” Lallenia shared. “Or, sometimes people try to fix things themselves, usually in an attempt to save some money, even though they have zero experience working with plumbing systems. They usually make the problem worse by doing this and end up spending more money than they would have if they had just called in professionals to deal with the issue.”
Billions of dollars go towards fixing property damages each year as a direct result of water damage. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, water damage and freezing accounted for the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States (Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business). Knowing that, it’s eye-opening to learn that 93% of water damage is preventable. Most of the time, water damage occurs because of frozen or leaking pipes or other plumbing issues.
Another plumbing aspect that can be easily overlooked is septic tank maintenance. If a septic tank is not properly taken care of, there can be a lot of damage done. If proper maintenance is not utilized, the damage could cost between $5,000 and $20,000 to fix! Waste could escape the unit and pool on the ground. Not only would you have to deal with fixing your tank and the disgusting smell in the event of this happening, but you’d also have to face some not-so-happy neighbors as well. Luckily, there are maintenance services through companies like Midland Pumping Service who will help prevent any issues from occurring. They do the work, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty.
Aimee Hoffman, office manager at Midland Pumping Service, let us know what homes with septic tanks should expect if they plan to remodel. “If you are remodeling your home, specifically with intentions to add square footage, you must consider whether or not the size of your current septic tank will accommodate a larger home, especially if more bathrooms are being added.” Aimee instructed. “Added space equals potential for a larger number of people to occupy the home, which has a direct affect on the demand put on the system. Contractors, including state-licensed septic installers, as well as county officials and permit providers, can all assist in determining the required tank size.”
Septic tank owners should have their tanks routinely pumped every 3–5 years. If you’re due, call Midland Pumping Service!
Not only can a remodeling project affect the pipes and wires in a home, it can also completely change the quality of air. There is more air pollution inside of businesses and homes than outside because of the lack of ventilations. A little dust may not seem like a big deal to some, but dust acts as a magnet to bacteria, viruses, and dust mites that all are known to cause allergy attacks. The air in your home could be triggering allergy or asthma attacks because of the state of your heating and cooling systems.
Vents with large amounts of dust and dirt in them can actually cause indoor air pollution in homes. Even though many people already have standard air filters installed, these mechanisms only collect 8–10% of dust circulating throughout your home.
We asked Gunnar Guenette with Getzschman Heating for advice on how to deal with dust in the home. Here’s his answer: “A great way to get dust out of your home is to have us come install either one of our Air Scrubber Plus Air Cleaners into your systems filter or to get a UV germicide lamp that we could help you pick out and install. Most people don’t understand that cleaner air isn’t just good for your health but for your bills too. Cleaner systems are proven to run better, which would mean the energy needed to run it would be reduced. This all equals a lower energy bill.”
While air purifiers may seem like an “extra” or something that’s not necessary, they can greatly improve the health of your home and your quality of life.
Once you’ve planned out your perfect remodel plan, checking the key considerations off your list, make sure that you execute it right, and that means being careful and cautious. Theft is very common during home remodels because contractors might leave out expensive materials—materials that you’ve purchased for your house! This is why home security is an important factor to consider when planning a big change in your home.
One way to stay safe while trying to make your dream house a reality is to use reliable contractors. This may seem like a no brainer, but it can be easy to just hire the first one who promises you exactly what you asked for and claims to understand your ‘vision’. It’s exciting and some people tend to get carried away. Always ask your contractors for a set of references and contact them to make sure there were no previous incidents.
Another way to keep your house safe is by updating your security system. Installing cameras inside and outside of your home can deter any shady activity. There are also motion sensor lights that activate with movement. Burglars will feel exposed when a bright light is suddenly flashed on them and will most likely leave. If you don’t have motion activated lights, simply keeping your outside lights on at night will deter potential thieves. If you tell contractors any information about how to get into your home, you should change it immediately, like a key location or garage code.
A recent phenomena happening is outside criminals stealing contracting supplies. In one case, an elderly couple’s newly installed HVAC was stolen and then the replacement was as well. It’s becoming more and more common for people to take preventative measures when they know expensive equipment is vulnerable on their property.
One preventative method is hiring security guards to be on your property while expensive materials are there. We spoke to Spenser Ware, owner of AnyWare Security to learn more.
“It may seem extreme, but it’s becoming more and more common for people to hire us for residential home remodels,” Spenser told us. “We make sure that your materials are secure at all times. We’ve done these types of jobs during workdays or weekends, when the clients can’t be home to monitor themselves. People who hire us normally work in areas where remodel theft has happened before.”
Whatever method you use, make sure your home is safe before, during, and after the remodel process. It can be scary letting strangers into your home, but there are definitely measures you can take to remain as safe as possible. The same applies for the clean up process. Once the contractors leave, you can either pull up your sleeves and clean the disaster zone yourself, or you can hire a professional cleaning crew.
It’s imperative that the remodel zone gets cleaned right away. There could be sawdust, nails, broken glass, wire, and other dangerous debris in or around your home. Some of these materials cannot just be left in that week’s trash pickup. Drywall, wood, paint, and other materials require special pick up.
If the seemingly never ending amount of dust and smell of construction feel like too much, there are actually services to do the clean up for you. 360 Clean is a local, professional cleaning agency that regularly cleans up after contractors in interior remodels. Allisyn Meadows, manager of 360 Clean, offered to tell us more.
“Our service is for anyone who needs help cleaning up after a resident, or even commercial, remodel.” Allisyn stated. “It is actually safer to have professionals complete this task. We’ve done it so many times before, so we’re less likely to step on a nail than the average person! With our experience and equipment, we can get the job done quickly and efficiently. We also have the means to dispose of construction wastes while most people don’t.”
However you decide to clean, it’s an important step of the remodeling process. Unfortunately, it also happens to be the least fun step. The good feeling you’ll get when your project is complete will offset the tedious odds and ends, though. There is nothing like feeling safe and comfortable in a home that fits your the personality and needs of your family.
As houses age and trends change, the demand for residential remodeling services continue to grow. Just remember, before you give your home a facelift, make sure you’ve considered its bones—electric, plumbing, septic, air quality, etc.—and don’t forget about all the awesome professionals we have here in Omaha who are eager to help you every step of the way!