Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Simple Door Adjustments

Doors swell and start rubbing on the jamb for various reasons. Foundations settle, wood framing members twist, bow and absorb moisture and walls rack out of plumb sometimes due to earthquakes. But the primary cause is due to the fact that the top or bottom of the door was not sealed during the painting process. This allows moisture to enter the wood frame from the inside, expanding the door and causing it to rub or even get completely stuck in extreme circumstances.
Sometimes the fix can be relatively simple. If the latch side of the door is rubbing, try this:
  1. If the top side, latch side of the door is rubbing, remove the top hinge pin. If the bottom side, latch side of the door is rubbing, remove the bottom hinge pin. Only remove one hinge pin at a time.
  2. Using a crescent wrench, tighten it around each ear of the hinge that is attached to the door. One at a time, bend each ear slightly (about 1/8”) in the direction of the lock side of the door. Be careful not to bend the ears too much as this can cause the door to become hinge bound – now rubbing on the hinge side of the jamb. After bending each ear, re-insert the hinge pin and operate the door. You may be surprised at how easy it was to fix the problem.
  3. If  the hinge side of the door is rubbing, just reverse the direction in which you are bending the hinge ears.
  4. Add a little lubricant to the hinges and you are done.

Of course sometimes the door will be rubbing at the top of the jamb. In this case, your only alternative is to plane the top of the door. If you are trying to avoid the use of power tools, you can try a sure form rasp or hand planer. Just plane the door a little at a time and then try it until it no longer rubs. Take your time. You don’t want to get in a hurry and plane too much at one time. The door may now close but the fit will look terrible.
After the problem has been resolved, don’t forget to seal the top and bottom of the door with a quality paint. Although you will have to use a drop cloth, there are many creative applicators available that will allow you to apply the sealer without having to remove the door.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Home Inspection

Home Inspection

You are contemplating a purchase of a foreclosed property and want to make sure that the price is right. Realizing that there will be a certain amount of investment that needs to be made in order to bring the home up to your standards, you decide to schedule a home inspection. But who can you trust to give a complete and unbiased report on your prospective new home? Whether it’s an investment property or a home that is to be occupied by your family, you want to have confidence and peace of mind. If you do a search of qualified inspectors or companies, you will find many who are supposedly certified. But who are they certified by? There are numerous online schools and agencies that will certify just about anyone who is willing to pay the tuition or the certification fee.
These schools are very professional and do provide valuable knowledge to their students but the best qualification comes from the experience gained from being in the construction industry for many years. After all, how can someone that has recently been certified by an online school possibly have better credentials than a seasoned veteran of the construction industry that has 40 years of field experience?
Don’t just hire a certified home inspector by thumbing through the yellow pages or conducting an online search. Do some homework and look for a qualified inspector. By qualified that doesn’t mean that they have to be certified. For example, in the state of California there is no requirement for a home inspector to be certified. Although this certification may add to the credentials of a home inspector which in turn may enhance his business prospects, that doesn’t always mean that he will provide the best service. Although some home inspectors do have bonafide field experience, many have limited experience if any. Instead their credentials simply consist of the certification
that has been obtained through some online study course. In other words, they have simply bought their certification. What does this do for you? Sure you will receive a report that seems official but is it a complete review of the property in question?
When choosing an inspector, it is important to thoroughly review their entire scope of work. In other words, what does their inspection consist of? You will notice that some scopes call for only a certain percentage of electrical outlets or plumbing fixtures to be tested. What good is this? What about the one room with the electrical problems that failed to be tested? What about the one sink that leaks? Or the part in the scope stating that the inspector will not walk on the roof but instead will only inspect it from ground level? Are you kidding me? What part of the roof can you inspect from ground level? It goes on and on but the point is that you really have to read the scope of work to know what value you will receive from your home inspection. Always check the true qualifications of your home inspector. Don’t just rely on a certification. You may be disappointed only to find out when it is too late.