DIY Home Repairs

There are a lot of common home repairs out there that people often think only professionals can handle. Before calling up a professional and spending your money, take a look at our list of easy-to-fix DIY home repairs.

Clean faucet aerator

Water not coming out the way it’s supposed to? Your faucet’s aerator screen may be dirty or clogged. You don’t need a professional to clean out the screen. Make sure the sink’s drain plug is closed, then use a rag to screw the aerator open.

Unclog toilet

Nothing worse than a clogged toilet that you can’t unclog with the plunger. Before you grab the snake, grab some dish soap. Pour in about half a cup of liquid dish soap and let it sit. The soap will help everything slide through much easier when you flush[1].

Cover-up ceiling stain

Water stains on the ceiling can be tough to hide without painting the whole ceiling. If the stain is isolated, you can use a spray on product, Upshot by Kilz. This works by matching an aged ceiling and sprays vertically. This way you can just stand and spray up. Just make sure to cover up the walls with plastic and put a cloth on the floor.

You can also try to bleach water stains to reduce how prominent the stains look. Just make a bleach solution with water. Spray the spot and wait a few days for it to fade.

Loose shower head/pipe

Got an unsteady shower head or wobbly pipe? Easy fix, all you need is some expanding foam.

Sticky lock

Are your keys sticking in the lock? Don’t give up on it yet. You can fix it with a pencil. You can rub pencil graphite on the teeth of the key. When you insert the key it will distribute the coating on the lock. This will help the key glide much more smoothly.

Squeaky Door

A door that’s sticking or squeaking, when opened or closed, can be very annoying. An easy less messy way to get rid of the squeak is some petroleum jelly. Just rub some on the hinges and that should help with the squeak.

Do you have other DIY home repair tricks up your sleeve? Share them with us in the comments!

[1] https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/diy-home-improvement/10-minute-house-repair-and-home-maintenance-tips/view-all/

Home Improvement Scams to Avoid

Scams are unfortunately increasing over the years. We all know someone who has either been scammed or been targeted with a scam. The Better Business Bureau showed over 45,000 reported scams in 2018, and those are just the reported ones[1], there were likely many more that went unreported.  The home improvement industry is not immune to scams. Here are some common home improvement scams to look out for and avoid.

Storm Chasers

Not the storm chasers you’re thinking about. Unlike traditional storm chasers, the ones we’re talking about show up after a storm has hit. Home improvement storm chasers or disaster chasers, show up to areas affected by natural disaster to offer their services. These scammers show up and offer cheap and quick services to fix whatever damage your home suffered. After storms, reputable companies are probably very busy and have long lines, so they take advantage of your desperation to do shoddy work. They disappear before you even realize they’ve done more harm than good.

Free Mold Check

Someone shows up at your door and offers to give you a free mold check. Don’t let them in, unless you’ve consulted and specifically set an appointment for a mold check. What usually happens is they offer free mold testing and when you let them in, they always find some mold whether you actually have mold or not. They would offer to fix it for you immediately.  No homeowner wants to be living with mold so you’re more likely to agree to the same-day fix. These scam contractors usually will cause damage instead of actually fixing anything and then disappear with your check before you’re realized the damaged caused.

In some cases, the person is not a contractor at all but rather a burglar wanting to take a closer look into your home. So, remember to be cautious with this and only do a mold inspection with a reputable company that you set an appointment with.

Leftover supplies

These scam contractors show up at your house and claim they have some leftover supplies from a previous job in your neighborhood. They will offer you a discount on the labor and supplies to work on your home. Trusty companies and contractors usually don’t roam trying to find a customer to sell their extra supplies too. Additionally, most contractors know how much is needed for a job and order the right amount. Leftover supply contractors are more likely to do a shoddy job or just take your money and disappear.

Permit Avoidance

If a contractor or company ever suggests not getting a permit for a job that requires one, run. This is a big red flag. This means they don’t want anyone taking a closer look at the job they’re doing. Which means they might be doing a shoddy job. Never cut corners, don’t hire unlicensed or uninsured contractors. If you do, you’ll be paying a bigger price down the line.

Always get everything in writing. From the number of supplies, exact costs, liability, to timeline of the job, verbal agreements are never enough. Make sure you’re covered always, and always do your research before hiring a contractor. Read our blog for more on how to hire the right contractor for your project.

[1] https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us

Roofing Terms Simplified

Searching for a roofing contractor can be stressful enough on its own. Add in complicated roofing terms and it gets confusing. Confusion about the terms makes it difficult to understand what you’re getting. Aggregate? Weep holes? Not sure what any of these mean? No worries! That’s why we’re here. We’re going to simplify it all to make your search for a new roof easier.

Terms:

Aggregate – A roofing system surfacing that’s made from crushed stone or rocks or gravel.
 
Base Sheet – An asphalt or coated felt used as the base for a built-up roofing system.
 
Bitumen – A black sticky mixture, also known as asphalt.
 
Butyl – Rubber-like material used in making sealants, coatings, and adhesives for roofing[1].
 
Cap sheet – A waterproofing membrane added to the base sheet using an open flame.
 
Double Graveling – The application of two layers of gravel in hot bitumen.
 
Eaves – The part of the roof that hangs over the walls of your home. It is the edges of the roof. Gutters are generally installed on the edges of the eaves.
 
Rafters – Support frame attached to a roof deck.
 
Ridges – Where the roof lines intersect at the highest points. On the ridges you will find shingles.
 
Single-Ply Roofing – This is a roofing system with a single-ply membrane.
 
Soffit Ventilation – A vent that allows fresh air in through the attic. The eaves of the roof contain the soffit.
 
Underlayment – Your roof’s base layer that is between the roof deck and the shingles. It is usually waterproof or water resistant. This all depends on the quality and type of the underlayment[2].
 
Weep Holes – Found along the top ridge of the roof, these holes help get rid of any absorbed water.
 
Wind Uplift – Displacement of a roof’s shingles due to wind pressure.
 
 

Winter Home Survival Guide

Winter is finally here and snow is not too far away. Check out these tips to make sure your home pulls through the winter in one piece.

Gutter Cleaning

Ideally, your gutters should be cleaned out in the fall to avoid debris overflow. Before the first heavy snow hits it important to clean debris out of your gutters. When the snow melts it needs to go somewhere. A clean gutter allows the melted snow to flow easily. If your gutter is filled with debris, you risk melted snow and water running behind the gutters and leaking into your walls. Water leaking into your walls can lead to mold growth.

Proper Snow removal

Heavy snow can be overwhelming for a roof, especially when it piles on after many snow storms. It is only logical to try and remove some of that burden by getting rid of some of the snow yourself. However, when removing snow off your roof, it has to be done correctly or else you risk damaging your roof or possibly even hurting yourself.

You want to invest in a snow rake for this, they’re available in most hardware stores. When removing snow, take off a few inches at a time[1]. Don’t dive straight into trying to scrape the roof clean in one go. Remove icicles from the edge of the roof and make sure your gutters are clean. Avoid stepping on the roof if you can. If going on the roof can’t be avoided, hire a professional or always have another person with you as you work.

Attic Insulation to prevent Ice Dams

Before the winter hits its peak make sure your attic is properly insulated. You want it to be comfortable but you don’t want your attic getting too warm either. A really warm attic causes snow to melt at high points on your roof and freezing back up as icicles and ice dams. Ice dams can block your gutters and cause water damage to your home. If your attic is getting warm enough to melt snow in freezing temperatures then you’re probably losing heat and money. It’s important to have a professional take a look at your attic if this is the case.

These are just a few of many ways you can make sure your house makes it through the winter in one piece.

For more home improvement tips, check out our other blog posts.

[1] https://www.mass.gov/service-details/roof-collapse-and-snow-removal-safety-information

How Heat Mirror Helps with Climate Control

Comfort is what makes a house a home. Your home should be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are many factors that go into making your home cozy and warm. Energy efficient windows are one of the factors. The HR40 window system is one of the best windows on the market. Its heat mirror technology is one of the few things that differentiate it from the rest.

How does heat mirror help with your home’s comfort?

Heat Reflection

Heat Mirror film technology utilizes Nano-scale coatings of metal which reflects heat back to its source. This comes in handy in the winter because reflects heat back into your home and it helps in the summer because it reflects the heat from the sun out, helping keep a cool home.

UV protection

Heat mirror blocks up to 99.5% of the sun’s UV rays. The UV protection helps protect your furniture and plants from harmful UV rays. The clear glazing transmits photo-synthetically active radiation and controls temperature swings. This helps your plants flourish and avoids growth stunts.

Additionally, heat mirror keeps you and your family safe from UV radiation while you relax near your windows.

Energy Efficiency

HR40 Windows provide year round comfort for your home. By reflecting the sun’s heat in the summer and reflecting heat back in your house in the winter, it helps control your home’s internal temperature. As a result, you experience less heat loss in the winter.

Please note that for ultimate home comfort, your home should be probably insulated. Heat mirror and the HR40 windows are great for managing and reducing heat loss.

Peoples Products Logo Alt

Knowing You Have the Right Company

A MUST READ

At Peoples Products, we understand that your peace of mind is the only real focus.

We know that satisfaction is the main objective for anyone considering trusting any company to do work for them.

In the days of old, you might simply ask a friend or a neighbor for a good referral. Even in the modern era, that is a practice that still brings many customers to our doorstep today. There is really no warmer way to meet a potential company than to be personally introduced by a friend.

Today’s world offers exciting products and services that are made more readily available through the internet.

 

Finding the right company now involves the internet. Social media, blog posts, direct mail, canvassers who knock on your door, show and event workers who introduce you to new ideas and new concepts are all good ways in which customers and companies could meet. At times, it can also seem like an assault of the senses when we see the many ways products are brought to our attention. A company could make a great product, but suffer from poorly written literature to properly represent it. The same is true in reverse; some less than stellar products come with some of the most professional-looking literature that makes it appear far better than what it should.

For you, the consumer, we know how confusing it all must be.

In our estimation, the best recommendation would come from either someone you know, or by hearing about the experience some of the company’s customers have had.

WHAT TO TRUST

Who is better to listen to about an experience with a company than its customers?

MEET OUR CUSTOMERS!

*Please see what our customers say*

The next step is to look into the company you are considering. Are they properly registered for business? Do they have the necessary insurances to protect you? Do they take care of their customers?

THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

The Better Business Bureau is a serious, and official organization whose purpose is to rate a company, based on consumer experience. It cannot be unfairly abused by competitors or disgruntled ex-employees since they check out each claim for validity. That’s why it’s such a credible resource.

This information is available for your benefit.

THE NUMBER 1 MOST TRUSTED RESOURCE AVAILABLE TO ANY CONSUMER.

*Please see our BBB report*

BBB logo

The Better Business Bureau is the number 1 credible resource available to consumers today.

Angie's List certified logo

ANGIE’S LIST

Angie’s List is another very credible resource. They are especially so because they actually listen to what a customer and a company have to say. If a company was bad, they would never hold a top rating.

Check out our Angie’s List rating:

 Angie’s List Rating

Not all companies are good, and not all consumers are easily pleased. Keep in mind, all companies have inquiries and complaints or they aren’t really doing business. Both companies and consumers can at times be unreasonable. But a formal organization like the BBB deals in the big numbers.

So, let’s do the math. If a company had 30 inquiries/complaints in their backlog, however, they were tested by writing 12,000 agreements to do work, the math works like this:

30 / 12000 = a 99.75% satisfaction rating. While on the surface, 30 inquiries may sound like a lot, it would actually be quite small in the grand picture of experience. And not all inquiries or complaints are of high magnitude either. A 99.75% satisfaction rating would reflect a company who is both tried, and successful in their efforts to satisfy their customers, thus a good signal that they may be worthy of your business. We are proud of our longstanding business record.

 

WHAT TO AVOID

HOW COMPETITORS AND AN OCCASIONAL DISGRUNTLED EX-EMPLOYEE CAN DELIBERATELY MISUSE THE INTERNET TO HURT A COMPANY

It happens to nearly every company. If you google any company name with the words ripoff, problem, or anything else that sounds bad, you’ll usually find something. But is it true?

Unfortunately, there is a notorious side to the internet as well. There are websites, such as ripoff report, Yelp and others that allow anyone to post anything about anyone whether it’s true or not. They refuse to remove anything from their site, regardless of any facts to the contrary, that is, for some, unless money is exchanged.

The vetting process is further complicated by not knowing who to trust online.

It is quite controversial, as the video links below demonstrate.

Learn about RIPOFF REPORT

Ripoff Report Extorts Businesses That Don’t Pony-Up

What is Ripoff Report?

Learn about YELP!

Is Yelp Fair?

How Yelp really works

Yelp hurts businesses who don’t pay to advertise

Yelp is best known as a source for rating restaurants, however today it’s been weaponized by competitors as a tool to take down a company they have trouble competing with. A simple search forYelp Scam” is all it takes to learn how their practices are disingenuous to properly vetting a company.

We knew something was off when we received 5 poor reviews from people living in states we do not operate in. Obviously, something was off. We can only assume that someone made these reviews for less than honorable reasons. Yelp’s business model tries to decide if a review is real or fake, or so they say. So, they only let in reviews from people who are regular “Yelpers” and call all other reviews suspicious.

Take Peoples Products, we send out a Brand Ambassador to visit with each customer we’ve done business with at the 1 year, 5 years, and 10-year marks after installation. My guess is you would be hard-pressed to find another company who goes that far to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.

When we come out, we ask our customers about their level of satisfaction and if they wouldn’t mind reviewing us honesty online. We help to facilitate that review through the use of an iPad when it makes it easier for a customer. Yelp then states, many reviews come from the same I.P. address (the iPad) and calls it suspicious. Yelp discounts the customer’s review, yet they are real customers. Many of those same customers they call suspicious can be found on our website giving full video testimonials. Does that matter to Yelp? Apparently not. I would also add that Yelp has called our office and asked us to advertise with them; the undertone seems to be that they recognize their algorithm is hurting businesses and advertising with them might help. In our view, that’s morally reprehensible.

Competitors disguised as disgruntled customers aren’t serving your purpose of understanding the true merits of a company you may decide to entrust with your business either.

Our advice is to watch customer testimonials to see what people just like you had as an experience with our company.  Visit CREDIBLE websites like BBB and Angie’s List. Listen to a good presentation of product facts, and hear about how some products may differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace.

Hear about exclusive features and product lines you have available to you. Ask many questions to cut through to what you think is important. The right company will respect what you think is important, and I believe you’ll know when you are in their presence.

We hope we are your choice and we’ll work very hard to satisfy your trust in us!

Sincerely,

owner signature

Bill Wilson,

CEO/President,

Peoples Products, Inc.,

Evolutionary Home Energy Solutions, LLC,

Business 2 Consumer Network, LLC

Questions to Ask your Roofing Contractor

There’s a lot that goes into getting your roof replaced. How well things go relies on the contractor you pick for the job. Whether you’re going by referral or research there are some questions you should always ask. Here is a list of questions to definitely ask your roofing contractor before signing anything.

  • How long have you been in business?

    • It is good to know if your contractor has been in business for a while or if they are new and starting out. It isn’t necessarily a negative if they business is young, but if they have been around for a while it is safer to assume they know what they are doing.
  • How many projects like mine have you completed?

    • If your roof or home is unique, you want to make sure they’ve done similar projects before.
  • Are there any completed roofing projects I can see?

    • If they have done similar projects, it is a good idea to get referrals and some pictures of past jobs. This will help build your confidence in your roofing contractor. And you can also confirm that they know what they’re doing.
  • Is the whole crew insured?

    • Your roofing contractor should have liability insurance as well as workman’s compensation. Working on a roof can be dangerous, making sure they are insured protects you from any damages during your roof replacement. It will also give you peace of mind to know the workers are covered in case of injuries during the project.
  • How much experience does your crew have?

    • Experience is important. Sure everyone needs to do their first roof to get experience. But you want to make sure at least 90% of the crew working on your roof including your main contractor has a good amount of experience working on roofs.
  • What licenses do you have?

    • Make sure your contractor is properly licensed by your state to actually work on your roof. Each state is different so it’s important to make sure your roofing contractor has all the right paperwork.
  • Can I have a written estimate?

    • Having a written copy of the agreed estimate and cost of the roof will help avoid possible price hikes during or after the job is done.
  • Can I see the warranty before you start the job? How long is your warranty?

    • Find out how long the job is guaranteed. Are you covered for repairs up to a year or longer? Is the quality of the job guaranteed at all? Every roofing contractor is different so make sure to find out before you sign anything.
  • Does the warranty cover the job or the materials or both?

    • Does the warranty cover the materials or is the manufacture taking care of that? Finding out if your warranty covers the labor or the materials will give you an idea of who to contact if you start having problems with your roof.
  • How long will the job take?

    • This essentially gives you an idea of how long to expect a crew at your home working on your roof. It’ll help you plan your schedule better. Asking about rain dates is important as well. It is good to find out what the plan is when the weather changes.
  • How is the payment going to be handled?

    • Are you paying half upfront or 25% up front? What happens if the job is not done as agreed or on time? If they are using subcontractors are you paying the sub-contractors separate? Are you paying for material and labor or just labor and purchasing the materials on your own? Make sure all parties are clear on how the payment is going to work and what percentage is due up front.

These are some great questions to keep in mind when you’re looking for a company to replace your roof. Feeling comfortable with the process is always important when you are having a big project done on your house.

10 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

  1. Paint

    – Improve your home’s value by painting the rooms in your house. It is cost efficient and a great DIY project for the whole family. Fresh paint helps your home look fresh and updated. Remember, neutral colors are typically more appealing.

  2. Make your home energy efficient

    – An energy efficient home is desirable to potential buyers. Improving your home’s energy efficiency also helps you save money.  It also helps make your home more comfortable for you and your family no matter what the weather is like outside.

  3. Plant a Tree

    – It might take a while to reach maturity but once fully grown a tree can help cut down your cooling costs in the summer[1]. When planted in the right place, a tree can also add to your home’s curb appeal.

  4. Improve air quality

    – Quality air in your home is great for your family’s health. You should update old carpets and other items that may be home to allergens and air contaminants. Not sure of your home’s air quality? Hire an inspector to test your home’s air quality and give you tips on how to improve it. Proper ventilation is also important for improving air quality.

  5. Landscape your yard

    – Adding shrubs and plants can improve your home’s curb appeal significantly. Green plants that require very little water and maintenance add more value. Keeping bushes trimmed and filing in patchy lawns are a good way to give your home a maintained look.

  6. Clean or replace siding

    – If you’re siding is looking old and dingy it’s time to clean them up. If your siding is broken or dented it might be time to replace. Give your home an updated look by cleaning or replacing your siding.

  7. Update kitchen appliances

    – Updated kitchen appliances add value to your home in the long run. Simple things like swapping out old microwaves and fridge for newer more efficient ones add big value to a home.

  8. Improve entrance

    – Your home’s entrance plays a big role in its curb appeal. It is one of the first things visitors see which is more the reason to give it a makeover. Update your front door to compliment your home’s exterior colors and architecture. Invest in an energy efficient front door to help with your energy savings.

  9. Replace windows

    – Replacing windows in your home increases your home’s comfort and value[2]. Getting rid of old windows will help reduce drafts in your house. It certainly contributes to your home’s curb appeal.

  10. Bathroom remodel

    – Simple to complete overhaul bathroom remodeling is a great investment for your home’s value. A refreshed look in the bathroom adds to the overall feel of your home. Simple things like updating wallpaper and old lighting fixtures can help brighten up your bathroom.

[1] https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/repairing/30-tips-for-increasing-your-homes-value

[2] https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/repairing/30-tips-for-increasing-your-homes-value

Vinyl Siding Benefits

Vinyl siding has become a popular choice for many homes in recent years. This is due to the many benefits and advantages it has over other siding types.  Here are a few of the benefits of a vinyl siding.

Energy Efficient

Vinyl siding is generally an insulated siding. Your home usually comes with insulation in the walls but vinyl siding provides an extra layer of insulation. This extra layer of insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.  It helps make your home be more energy efficient because you lose less energy through the walls.

Durable


Unlike wood and metal siding, vinyl sidings can withstand harsh elements. They are made to be durable and last a long time. Vinyl siding doesn’t rot or corrode and can endure heavy winds and even hail[1]! Depending on who you buy from, you can usually get a lifetime warranty on your vinyl siding. The average vinyl siding on the market can last between 25 – 40 years or more depending on the gauge size[2].

Versatile

In addition to their energy efficiency and durability, vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors. Love the idea of wood but prefer the quality of vinyl? No worries! You can find vinyl siding designed to look like wood. Some designs are so good, you have to be touching it to realize it’s not wood. There are vinyl siding options for all the different styles and house profiles.

Low Maintenance

Besides a simple cleaning once or twice a year, vinyl siding requires very little maintenance. It doesn’t need to be painted unless you choose to do so. Because it doesn’t rot or corrode, you don’t have to worry about constantly repairing various sections of it. You can go between 30 to 40 years with very little maintenance. Check out these tips on how to take care of your vinyl siding.

Cost Effective

In addition to being low maintenance and durable, vinyl siding is also a low cost product. It’s one of the least expensive siding materials on the market. Depending on your contractor, installation can be fast and inexpensive[3]. Due to its energy efficient insulation, you also save money on your energy bill.

Do you currently have vinyl siding? Are you interested in switching to vinyl siding? Get a FREE estimate and consultation today!

[1] https://www.vinylsiding.org/vsi-resources/why-vinyl-siding/

[2] https://unitedhomeexperts.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-vinyl-siding/

[3] https://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/building-materials/5-advantages-of-vinyl-siding/

5 Home Prep Tips for the Fall

Chilly days and falling leaves are right around the corner. The last few weeks of summer are the perfect time to get your home ready for fall.

Here are some ways to get your home ready for the fall.

Furnace and Boiler Prep

Colder days means a need for warmer temps indoors. The weeks leading up to fall are a perfect time to make sure your furnace or boiler are ready to go. To be on the safe side, have your furnace inspected professionally for peace of mind. Replace the filters so your furnace runs efficiently. An efficient furnace during the fall and winter save you money on heating costs.

Fireplace & Chimney Prep

If you have a fireplace now is the time to clean it out. A clean and prepped fireplace and chimney helps to avoid chimney fires. Preparing your fireplace ensures that it runs effectively and works well throughout the fall and winter. There are professionals available for chimney cleaning. Get a professional so you can ensure it is done right. Enjoy family time around the fireplace with peace of mind.

Clean Gutters

Before the leaves start falling, clean out what debris you currently have in your gutters. This will help minimize gutter clogging. Be sure to keep up a regular gutter cleaning schedule during the fall. Don’t feel like cleaning your gutter all the time during the fall? Invest in a gutter guard. This will keep debris and leaves out of your gutter, reducing how much cleaning you actually have to do.

Rearrange tool-shed

Put away the lawn mower, hedge trimmers, and other summer tools. Set out the necessary tools and equipment for fall. Set out your leaf blower, rake, broom, etc. Having these things out and arranged for easy access makes your life easier in the fall. You won’t have to go digging and searching when it’s time to rake the leaves or sweep the yard.

Get a Home Energy Inspection

Finally, get a home energy inspection to make sure you’re not losing energy. Leaks and drafts make it hard to efficiently heat your home. To keep your home comfortable without draining your wallet, get an inspection. A home energy inspector usually checks the attic insulation, windows, doors and more to make sure your home is as efficient as possible.

Check these off your list and you’re closer to having your home ready for the fall season. Are there other things you do to get your home ready each fall? Let us know in the comments.