Blog & Tips

Blog & Tips

The 4 Most Important Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor:

Need a contractor? This can be a very difficult decision to make; especially since it involves your most prized procession – your home. Where you go to find a qualified trust worthy contractor can be a daunting task. Do you go to Google, see a truck on the road or at a neighbor’s house, get a referral from a friend or family member, etc, can sometimes be over whelming and it is human nature to want to get multiple quotes on things you need done. Then the real hard part of the decision making comes on which one to choose. I know we all want to the cheapest price for the best quality of work. In our experience cheap prices equate for cheap work. On the other hand, a Value Price for the most of the time equates to a great job for the money paid.

According to “Project Impact” from the Charleston County Area, there are several things they recommend (and we do too)  you do to vet out a contractor:

  1. Do not automatically choose the lowest bidder – Why; goes back to the old saying “if it’s too good to be true, it must be”.
  2. Deal only with licensed and insured contractors – you can verify if someone/company has a license by going to: https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/Contractors/Contractor.aspx?div=69&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
  3. Be sure the company you deal with has worker’s compensation – this will help you mitigate any risks if the contractor gets hurt on your property. Ask to see a copy of this insurance
  4. Make sure the company you are dealing with has been in business for at least 15 years. With the recession in 2008 – 2010, many contractors couldn’t sustain their business. Many of them got into the industry due to the housing boom in the mid-2000s. With the market back in full swing, many unlicensed tradesmen and newly created companies are now entering the market. This can be dangerous for a homeowner.

Remember that Rapid Repairs is here to help you with all of your handyman, home repair and commercial repair & maintenance needs.

Give us a call at 843-573-HELP.

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The 2 Critical Things Every Home Owner Should Know About Their House

After 17 years in the home repair industry in Charleston, SC, we have certainly seen many interesting things in the field. Some of the worst situations that can cause the greatest damage revolve around plumbing and electrical issues. With that said, in our opinion we think there are many things a homeowner should know about their home, but there are 2 things that we feel every homeowner NEEDS to know.

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Racked Windows

Check diagonals to see if window is square.  i.e.: if window is “racked” then one diagonal will be longer than the other and the window will not open and close properly.
Insulated glass usually has a glazing bead on the outside but sometimes it is found on the inside or with no glazing bead and the frame must be disassembled to remove and replace the glass.  Some glazing beads are triangular in shape and is removed by depressing the bead to unlock it.  (Often this type of bead becomes brittle and cracks when removed.  After reinstalling glass if the plastic glazing bead has cracked and new bead cannot be located then caulk new glass in with a high grade butyl caulk.)  The flat glassing bead is removed by forcing it away from the stile or rail.  The short beads must be removed first.

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A Thank You That I Could Not Make Up

Rapid Logo for Website 1.3

Hello,

My name is (removed for privacy) and I want to thank you for your quick service yesterday. Mr. MacArthur quickly arrived at my house and fixed a water pipe leak. He was really like a super hero for my kids and me, because the home warranty service would not fix the leak. Their plumber charged me for coming to the house, but would not cut through the wall to reach pipes. Nothing was fixed and he quickly left. I don’t know what type of residence has exposed pipes, but then again, I am not knowledgeable on this subject. What i appreciated most was the sincerity to help me, shown by the person i spoke with on the phone and by Mr. MacArthur. He was very diligent with the task and wanted to ensure it was fixed properly. I understood any cost i would bear for the service, because he made sure. However, payment was not his focus. My husband is on his way back from a deployment in the Middle East, and i am not so smart about repairs. I was overwhelmed and Mr. MacArthur was so patient with me. Lastly, i am so glad you advertised in the Jewish Voice! I was reading it that same morning and later remembered seeing your ad. With the leak fixed, I was able to turn the water back on in the house and prepare our Sabbath dinner. So, I thank Rapid Repairs very much. Sorry this was long.

– A Valued Rapid Repairs Customer

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How to Make Lap Siding Repairs

When clapboards or shakes are rotten or broken, your home’s siding can no longer do the job it’s meant to do.

Damaged siding lets air, water, dirt, and insects through to the inside. It also allows decay and further damage in the wood around it. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can repair damaged areas or individual shingles yourself, which can save you money and head off problems before they become too serious.

When you notice a bad spot in your home’s siding, repair it as soon as you can.

The damaged board or shake is the only part that must be replaced, and the job goes fairly quickly. Replace the old board with a new one of the same size and shape. Here’s how to repair damaged clapboards (also known as bevel or lap siding):

Step 1:

Wedge the board away from the house by driving wedges up under the damaged board to pull it out from the sheathing below. Look for the nails in this section of clapboard and pull them out. If you can’t remove them with a claw hammer or pliers, use a hacksaw to cut them off flush with the sheathing. To release the top of the board, drive wedges under the clapboard that overlaps the damaged board and remove the nails from the top of the board.

Step 2:

Cut through the board on each side of the damaged area, using a backsaw or a hacksaw. If you don’t have enough room to use a saw conveniently, use a hacksaw blade with one end wrapped with electrical tape to protect your hand. Cut all the way through the board to include the damaged area.

If necessary, move the wedges to make room for the saw, but leave the wedges under the clapboard. When the board is completely cut through on both sides of the damage, the damaged section should pull down and out fairly easily. If it won’t come out, break it up with a hammer and chisel, and remove it in pieces. Be careful not to damage the surrounding boards.

Step 3:

Cut the new clapboard to fit the opening and test it for fit. It should slide right into place, with its top edge under the board above and its bottom edge over the board below. Plane the edges for an exact fit, if necessary.  Slide the new clapboard into the gap, with its top edge under the board  above and its bottom edge over the board below.

Step 4:

When the new board fits well, paint it with a primer coat. Make sure both sides and all edges are covered. Also paint the raw edges of the opening, where the old siding was cut out. Let the paint dry completely.

Step 5:

Set the new board into the opening and adjust it so that it fits perfectly. Nail the board into place with 16d nails, driven through the bottom and through the board above into the top edge. Caulk the edges of the patch with acrylic latex caulk. When the caulk is dry, paint the new siding to match the rest of the house.

Slide the new clapboard into the gap, with its top edge under the board above and its bottom edge over the board below.
Shakes or Shingles

Damaged shakes or shingles are replaced the same way clapboards are. If they’re natural unstained cedar, however, it’s a good idea to take your replacement shakes from an inconspicuous area of the house and to use the new shingles on that spot. This trick eliminates a new-looking unweathered patch in the repair area.

Wedge each damaged shake or shingle out, driving wedges under the damaged shake and under the shakes that overlap it. Pull out or cut off all nails, as above. Then remove the damaged shake. If it doesn’t come out easily, split it into several pieces with a hammer and chisel and remove the pieces. Insert the new shake and nail it into place with 16d aluminum nails; do not use steel nails. If the shake doesn’t have predrilled nail holes, drill pilot holes for the nails to keep the wood from splitting.

Replacing shingles or clapboards as they become damaged will keep your siding from deteriorating quickly and better protect your home from the elements.

Are you experiencing these problems ? Contact Us Today!

 

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