Handyman Services: the Best Way to Protect Your Biggest Investment

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Homeowners know just how expensive it can be to keep your house looking good inside and out. In fact, it can often seem like an unending task to keep your home maintained. It’s like magic: as the moment you repair one thing, something else needs your attention. It’s enough to pull your hair out in frustration, especially if you don’t even know where to start!

This is, of course, where handyman services come in. Yes, spending a few extra bucks on having a skilled and experienced Knoxville handyman to come to your house and get things back in working order might seem like a hassle, but it often beats doing it yourself. In the long run, relying on handyman services for regular maintenance can add years (and thousands of dollars in value) to your house Your home is perhaps the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your lifetime, after all — why shouldn’t you protect it?

What Kinds of Handyman Services We Offer

When we say “handyman services”, we don’t just mean one specific facet of home repair or maintenance. A good handyman knows how to do a little bit of everything, which means you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered on everything except the biggest, most complex jobs. And thanks to our connections in the home repair and renovation industry, we know the best contractors for you even if we can’t do it ourselves.

So what’s covered under handyman services? What isn’t! From cleaning leaves out of rain gutters, patching leaky roofs, fixing garage door openers, and landscaping or lawn irrigation to unclogging toilets, installing kitchen appliances, weatherizing windows, and home repairs, a good handyman can handle just about anything and everything thrown at him.

Let Us Save You Time, Money, and Effort

Handyman services are great for anyone looking to get their home maintenance and repair done the easy way. When it comes to jobs you don’t know how to do or ones that you don’t have the time or energy to undertake yourself, leaving it to the experts like us means your home repair jobs go off without a hitch. We’ll get the job done right the first time with no effort on your part.

Our services can often help you save money as well as sanity. do-it-yourself home maintenance can be really expensive, especially if you don’t have much experience in doing the kinds of things we do every day. This can lead to mistakes being made — and mistakes often cost a lot to fix. This is just one way that the price of a good handyman will often be much less than you would end up paying to have it done yourself!

Your Home Is Your Castle – Let Us Keep It That Way

We’re ready and willing to come out and take a look at your next home maintenance or repair project. Call us today to get an estimate for services and you’ll see just how we can keep your home looking like the castle it is!

Finding the Best Handyman Services in Knoxville: A Handy Guide

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When you’re on the hunt for handyman services in Knoxville, it can be a real challenge finding the best contractor for your needs. Your home is your most valuable investment, one that’s crucial to maintain properly, so your choice of handyman is just as important. Whether you need regular maintenance like cleaning the gutters or you’ve got a more substantial repair job, here’s a short but handy guide to finding the best handyman services in your area.

Rely on Word-of-Mouth for Handyman Services

News travels fast, and contractors build reputations quickly. You can often rely on word-of-mouth and online reviews to find a handyman that has done good work for others in your community.

The easiest way to start your search is online! Look up “handyman” or “handyman services” in your area, and you will see a list of options. Take a look at a few, verify their quality by their online reviews, and make a few calls.

Another great place to start your search is at your local hardware store, cafe, or supermarket. Many of these places will have a bulletin board or other space for local contractors to leave their business cards. Not only that, but most hardware store clerks often have personal knowledge of local contractors and the quality of the handyman services they offer, making them a great resource for starting your search.

Narrow Down Your Choice for Handyman Services

Once you’ve got a lead on a couple of contractors, you’ll have to begin narrowing down your choices. This will require some legwork on your part. Your best bet is to contact each contractor and ask them a couple of questions about things like their rates and availability and whether they’re licensed to do the particular work you want to be done.

Some of these questions are situational; if you have a project that needs doing in a hurry, you’re going to need a handyman who’s got immediate availability, for example. Also, different states require different licenses, or sometimes no licenses at all. Either way, asking pointed questions will help you make a final decision as to which contractor’s services you want to use.

Don’t Forget the Estimate

Still not sure if you’ve found the contractor for you? Can’t decide between handyman number one and handyman number two? A surefire way to reach a final decision is to ask for a written estimate for the work you need done. Anyone who’s serious about providing handyman services won’t hesitate to come out to your work site and leave you with a quote for their services. Not only will you see how much the contractor will charge you for the job, but you’ll have a written record of how long the job is expected to take. This is important if you need to plan around the repair or construction work.

Wrapping It All Up

You don’t have to end up pulling your hair out because you’re having trouble finding the best handyman services in your area. Remember to rely on resources like those you can find on bulletin boards in local stores, ask prospective contractors important questions before hiring them, and always get yourself a written estimate before making your final decision.

Following these guidelines will help you find a hard-working, reputable contractor who will get the job done both safely and affordably, keeping your home in good shape for years to come.

Remodeling Services: Making Your House Into a Home

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Whether you’ve just bought a fixer-upper or it’s time to update an existing property that’s seen better days, undertaking a major remodeling can be one heck of a tall order. Things can (and do) go wrong all the time and these mistakes can lead to expensive fixes. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Keep in mind the following remodeling tips, straight from your reliable Knoxville contractor, and you can turn a potential disaster around in no time.

Plan Out Every Detail Before You Begin

Home remodeling is not the time to fly by the seat of your pants. Because of how complex (and potentially expensive) renovation materials can be, make sure to plan out every aspect of a home refurbishment project well before you begin. From paint color and appliance choices down to the type of knobs you want on your new cabinets, no detail is too specific to have locked in beforehand.

Start Remodeling From the Outside In

Our first remodeling tip is to begin any renovation or refurbishment efforts starting with the outside of your property. Need new gutters? Want to update the siding? Have a leaky roof that needs patching? Begin there before moving deeper into the interior of your home. This goes for issues with the building’s foundation, garage, exterior windows, or any other structures like decks and porches as well.

You don’t want to start an interior renovation only to have it grind to a halt because you find out the roof needs replacing!

Work With a Reputable Home Contractor

Unless you’re doing all the renovating and remodeling yourself, you’re probably going to be working with a contractor. This means you’ll need to find one who’s going to charge you a reasonable price for the work that needs doing.

If you don’t have an existing relationship with a home handyman already, you’ll need to find a reputable contractor. Make sure they’re fully licensed and that they come highly recommended by other homeowners they’ve worked with in the past.

Don’t Forget Home Safety With Your Home Remodeling

Planning updates for rooms like kitchens and bathrooms can consume every waking moment, but there’s an important home remodeling aspect that you simply cannot ignore: home safety. In the midst of all the renovation and refurbishment, you need to make an effort to update crucial safety equipment like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers.

Other important aspects include testing thermostat or related climate control systems to ensure they’re working accurately, replacing them with more efficient, modern money-saving versions if necessary.

The Final Word on Home Renovation Projects

If you’re about to embark on a home remodeling project, don’t panic: following this short guide can help you get the job done smoothly, quickly, and without blowing your budget. If you have any other questions about your project, don’t hesitate to get an estimate from your friendly neighborhood home renovation contractor today so you can rest assured you’re on the right track. You’ll have your home looking updated and beautiful again in no time!

How To Fix A Leaky Faucet

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Certain noises are almost universally recognized. Sounds like a person’s laughter, the boom of thunder, or a dog barking in the distance. Of these recognizable sounds, a leaking faucet is one homeowners dread hearing. Many restless nights have been caused by the constant dripping of a leaky faucet. When homeowners run into this problem, they often try to solve it themselves. Sometimes, it’s an easy fix like listed below; other times, you may need to call for backup. Try these tricks to fixing a leaky faucet. If your problem still isn’t solved, fill out our free estimate request and we’d love to help you out.

What You’ll Need:

  • Adjustable Pipe Wrench
  • Basin Wrench
  • Hex Wrench
  • Adjustable Pliers
  • Rag

There are single handle and double handle faucets. Single handle only has 1 control arm for both cold and hot. Double handle has a separate handle for cold and hot water sources. For the purpose of this article we’re going to assume you have a single handle faucet. 

Now, determine the source of the leak. If the faucet is leaking from the spout there is probably a damaged part inside the faucet itself. If the base is leaking it’s probably an o-ring or seal. Locate the water source hose under your sink and turn off the flow of water. Open your faucet handle to remove any remaining pressure in the lines. Place a rag over the drain hole to protect and prevent losing any parts. 

Remove the faucet handle using a hex wrench and remove the metal cap. If the faucet base is leaking, slide the spout off and replace the damaged o-rings underneath. If the faucet spout is leaking, remove the faucet handle, cap, and disassemble the internal parts (or cartridge). Lay the parts out in order and snap a picture with your phone so you don’t forget how to reassemble. While replacing that single broken part is an option, it’s better to replace the entire cartridge. Take your internal parts to the plumbing store and find the correct replacement assembly. 

Follow manufacturer suggestions for installation, making sure to use plumbers grease on any o-rings or seals. Once all the parts have been installed, open the faucet handle and slowly turn your water supply supply back on. Allow any air to bleed out of the lines and shut the faucet handle off. If your leak persists, it may be time to get some help. We specialize in helping homeowners repair leaky faucets. With years of experience in home repairs, you can trust that we’ll get the job done right, the first time.

Pros & Cons Of Wood Laminate Flooring

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There’s never a bad time to consider renovating your home. Many homeowners choose to renovate piece by piece over the course of time. When it comes to renovating your floors, wooden floors may seem like a great option. Wood floors look great, last for decades, and add a strong decorative touch to your home. The problem with wood floors is that they’re far more expensive than other flooring options. Because wood floors can be pricey, more and more homeowners are choosing to use wood laminate flooring instead. For information on what flooring is the right option for your project, check out our article on choosing the best flooring.

What Is Wood Laminate Flooring?

Let’s go over what exactly wood laminate flooring is made from. Comprised of multiple layers laminated together, this synthetic flooring usually has a bottom layer made from plastic and wood fibers. Then, a photographic applique of wood is applied, followed by a clear, protective layer. This technique allows for floors to have near photo-realism with a vast range of potential color, texture, and grain options.

Wood Laminate Flooring Pros

The biggest pro is price. Wood laminate is much cheaper than the real wood alternative. You can buy wood laminate for as little at $1.50 per square foot. Compare that to the $4 per square foot for real wood and that can quickly add up. Installation is also much more straightforward than real wood or carpet. Most laminate is designed with tongue and groove edges so laying and installing flooring is quick and efficient. Laminate is tough, durable, and will resist things like scratches better than hardwood.

Wood Laminate Flooring Cons

Because it is layered plastic and coating, laminate floors can not be refinished. If standing water is left untreated, laminate flooring will need to be replaced. Check the warranty of your laminate flooring to ensure it covers such incidences. Cheaper laminates won’t have such protections.

If you think you’re ready to start the remodeling process, or still have some questions about flooring, we’d love to talk with you. With years of flooring experience, we can help you complete any home project on time and on budget. Fill out our free work estimate to get started today!

How To Replace Bathroom Caulking

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If you’ve lived in your current home for more than 5 years you’ve probably noticed some changes around the house. Paint starts to fade, carpet doesn’t look quite the same, and don’t even get me started on the back deck. The bathroom is no exception to this trend. Because bathrooms are such a high traffic area of the home, they tend to take more of a beating than most rooms. One thing homeowners might start to specifically recognize is bathroom caulking starting to split or fall out. In this article we’ll be going over how you can replace the caulking in your bathroom, start to finish.

If you’d like to employ our professional handyman services to help you, give us a call or fill out an estimate form.

First, let’s go over some things you’ll need:

  • Utility knife
  • Razor scraper or painter’s tool
  • Old rags or paper towels
  • Mineral spirits or paint thinner
  • Bathroom caulking
  • Caulk gun

Now let’s locate the areas that may need to be re-caulked. Because bathrooms can have high moisture levels, caulk around tubs, sinks, cabinets, and even windows may need to be replaced. Generally speaking, caulk should last around 5 years before showing signs of deterioration or splitting. This can depend on usage and moisture content. 

Once you’ve located the spots that need replacing, you want to remove the old caulk and clean the surrounding area. To get started with this, take a utility knife or razor blade and carefully cut along the edge of the caulk lines; trying not to damage the surrounding material. Use your painter’s tools to remove the caulk and scrape remnants away from surrounding material. Depending on how much moisture is in the air, there may be mold or caulking residue left around the area. Grab your mineral spirits and a rag. Put a small amount of spirits on the rag and carefully clean the area. Allow the area to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Once your work area has completely dried grab your bathroom caulking. This can be clear or colored caulking, depending on your preference. Insert your caulking tube into the caulking gun and using a utility knife, cut off approximately ¼” tube tip at a 45 degree angle. This should leave you a small, angled hole for caulking application. Using smooth, steady motion apply a thin bead of caulking to the selected area. The angled tip should allow you to fit caulking into empty grooves easily. Once you’ve applied a thin bead of caulking, take your wet finger and gently smooth the caulk line. Careful not to apply too much pressure. Take a rag or damp paper towels and wipe away any access caulk. Once you’ve caulked all the areas, allow 24 hours for the product to completely set up and dry before using the bathroom.

There you have it! Now your bathroom fixtures are freshly sealed and protected for the next 5 years. Keep in mind, if you have mold issues or sheetrock needs replaced, a simple caulking job may not fix the problem. If your bathroom needs some more attention, fill out my free job cost estimate form to see how I may be able to help you. I have years of experience with home repair and would love the opportunity to work with you. 

Install Floating Shelves

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If you’re looking to add a unique decorative touch to any room, you might want to consider installing floating shelves. Floating shelves are a versatile way of adding storage space while allowing the decorator to include their own personal flair. These shelves can serve a functional purpose for storing books but also serve a decorative purpose if you want to display a small plant or photo frames.

We offer design and installation of floating shelves if you’d like to hire a professional handyman service to help you with your project.

If you’re hanging a single shelf many choose to center it in the middle of the wall or align the shelf on the left or right side. When hanging multiple shelves many homeowners like to stagger the shelf height to give some variety to the decoration. Before getting started on installing the shelves, you’ll want to evaluate the room you’re decorating; ensuring there is enough support for the shelf itself, and whatever it’s holding. For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume you’re mounting the shelves on studs in the wall. Let’s go over some tools and supplies you’ll need:

  • Shelves
  • Mounting brackets or anchors
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil or tape
  • Power drill with bit
  • Level

Use the stud finder to locate studs on your wall. Studs will be either 16” or 24” apart. Mark stud location across the wall using a light pencil mark or tape. Depending on the shelf you’re hanging, more than 2 support brackets may be required. Once studs have been marked, use your tape measure from the ground up to mark how high the shelves will be placed. Pencil mark the height and grab your brackets. Holding the bracket up to the mark you just made, use your pencil to mark pilot hole location. Remember to always use a slightly smaller drill bit than the screw you’re using on the bracket.

Carefully drill your pilot holes. Take your time and ensure the drill bit is going straight into the stud. When you get all the pilots drilled out, grab the screws and a bracket. Attach your first bracket to the wall, ensuring the screws are firmly anchored. Grab your shelf and ask a friend to hold up your second bracket in the marked spot. Put the shelf on your brackets. Using a level, ensure the spot you marked for the bracket attachment will be level when finished. If it’s level, repeat the same steps as the first bracket. Once the brackets have been attached you can mount your shelf as instructed in the packing. After installing all the shelves go back and erase pencil marks. 

These floating shelves will add a unique decorative flair to your home and provide extra storage. If you like the idea of having these shelves, but don’t have time to take on this project yourself, I’d love to help. With years of home improvement experience I can take care of any shelf hanging you have in mind. Fill out my free estimate form to get started today!

How To Repair Drywall Holes

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When you own a home, little accidents are going to happen. Drywall is often the target of these accidents, with little dings and dents adding up over time. Doors get opened too quickly, furniture gets moved around, and toys get thrown. There are endless ways our walls can get damaged, so let’s talk about how to repair drywall. In this article we’ll share some tips to help you with small drywall repair jobs. If you’ve got bigger drywall holes, or need sections totally replaced, you’ll probably need a professional handyman service to get the job done right. If that is the case, fill out our Estimate Form and we’d be glad to help you with your project.

Before you get started, you’ll need to grab tools and supplies to make this process easier. Here are some things that will come in handy:

  • Drywall compound or spackling – You can find this at most hardware stores
  • Putty knife – I prefer to use a 4” wide putty knife for most small holes
  • Utility knife – Great for cutting loose drywall paper or trimming edges before using compound
  • Sanding block or paper – I prefer to use 100 grit when sanding down drywall compound
  • Paint – Drywall compound will need a primer and finish coat
  • Rags – Can be used to wipe off wall before applying compound or clean up after repair

Prep The Drywall Hole

Take your utility knife and trim any drywall paper remaining from around the damaged hole. Next, take your sanding block and level any surrounding abrasions in the drywall. Wipe off the area with a rag and move on to the next step.

Fill the Drywall Hole

Take your 4” putty knife and apply drywall compound to the hole. When applying the compound, move the putty knife in a cross shape pattern across the hole. This will level out the compound within the hole. Remove any excess compound from around the hole and wait for compound to dry. Once the first coat has dried it should shrink down slightly. This can leave a small depression where the hole was, so cover with a second coat of compound. Once your second coat has dried, take you sanding block and lightly sand the hole, making it level with the surrounding wall. 

Paint the Drywall

With your newly patched drywall dry, grab some primer paint and cover the fresh compound. Paint the former hole and a small area surrounding the hole to help with color blending. Once primer is dry it’s time for the finish coat. When applying finish, feather the paint as you move away from the hole to increase smoothness. To feather paint, use a small brush and concentrate your brush stroke near the center of the hole. As your paint away from the hole, use less pressure and blend new paint into the old. When done correctly, this can make a hole appear as if it never happened.

Once you’ve finished painting, your drywall should be good to go. This process can work for most small holes, but anything larger than a quarter should be patched or replaced. When it comes time to fix bigger holes, the process becomes more complicated. If you’ve got drywall repair needs, fill out our estimate form and we’ll be glad to help.

Choosing The Best Flooring

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If you’re remodeling your house or simply want to freshen up the home you’re in, new flooring is a great way to accomplish that. With so many types of flooring, picking the right one can prove challenging. We’ve compiled a list of various flooring types to help you weigh the benefits and potential problems of each. When you’re ready to get new floors installed, we’d love to help. We offer a full line of flooring installation services that can fit any project.

Carpet Flooring

We’re not talking about that light-green, shag carpet your aunt had in her basement; unless you’re into that sort of thing. Modern carpet is comfortable, easy to clean, and durable. When choosing which carpet will be the best fit for your room, consider things like foot traffic, stain-resistance, and density of fibers. If you’ve got a high traffic area, buying a higher grade, denser carpet will help it stand up to wear and tear over time. If you’re looking for stain-resistance, consider getting carpet made from nylon or other synthetic fibers. Along with a large variety of colors and materials, carpet is also one of the cheaper flooring options available. 

Hardwood Flooring

If you want a beautiful floor with a warm, natural appearance, hardwood is a great choice. Hardwood floors are tough, but can also be sanded or refinished when damage occurs. Hardwood can last for decades when properly maintained. The cost associated with using hardwood can be higher because it requires a subfloor and periodic refinishing. If you choose to go with hardwood, there are a variety of material and stain choices. White oak is a popular material because it is durable and accepts stain well. Popular stain choices are dark, honey, grey, and white-washed. Darker floors are rich and beautiful, but show scratches and pet hair; while lighter floors can brighten up a room, but will show dirt and debris. 

Engineered hardwood is also an option for homeowners. This prefinished product is less expensive than hardwood, and doesn’t require a subfloor. Engineered hardwood can be easily installed and even refinished, but is less durable than hardwood. 

Laminate Flooring

This ultra-tough, multi-layered flooring option is a great choice for smaller budgets. Laminate flooring is cheap, comes ready to install, and can even be installed on pre-existing floors. Modern laminate comes in a variety of finishes; ranging from a lighter stone appearance, to dark, rich wood. Laminate is durable and easy to clean, but can’t be refinished and is susceptible to moisture. Because of its durability and affordability, laminate flooring is a popular choice for families with children and pets.

Tile Flooring

Tile floors have been used for thousands of years because of their versatility and durability. Although manufacturing methods have changed, most modern tiles are still made from ceramic and stone. Because of its versatility, tile can be finished to look like stone or even wood. Tile is incredibly durable, but installation is challenging and cleaning grout lines is not easy. Darker tiles will show less dirt and debris, but lighter tiles will make a room appear brighter. We offer tile installation services that will make sure the job is done right the first time.

Hopefully this is enough to get you started on your next flooring project. We’ve covered the basics here, but there are many more factors to consider when choosing the right flooring for your home. With years of flooring experience, we can help you choose and install the perfect floor for your project. Fill out our job estimate form to get started!

Furniture Assembly Tips

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Just about every has bought a shelf, table, or chair from a big box store. This furniture usually come in flat boxes, contains vague instructions, and almost always missing parts. After years of assembling these random pieces of furniture, we’ve learned a thing or two on how to make assembly easier. In this article, we’ll go over some helpful tips for furniture assembly you can use on your next project.

Clean Your Workspace

Before starting any assembly, it’s important to clean and clear your working area. Having a large, open area to assemble furniture means you can spread out parts and not worry about hiding that tiny bag of screws that seems to always go missing.

Grab A Partner

Having someone to help you assemble the furniture can be very helpful, and sometimes even fun. One person can read directions while the other searches for the right part. When you work with someone else the assembly goes by quicker and often times better.

Unpack & Organize

With your workspace cleared, open the furniture box and begin separating contents. Group pieces together by visual similarity. Assembled furniture often comes with various screws, nuts, bolts, caps, and so forth. You can organize these small parts with sandwich bags or cups to keep them from scattering during assembly.

Read The Instructions

We all know someone who refuses to read directions for assembly. While their assembly projects might be completed with no issue, this approach can lead to serious problems when assembling a more complex piece of furniture. When you read the directions begin identifying the listed to familiarize yourself during actually assembly. 

Grab The Right Tools

If you’re buying a less complex piece of furniture, it will often come with the tools needed for assembly; usually a hex key (also called allen wrench). If you’re assembling something a little more complex, you might need a few extra tools to make the process easier. Some helpful tools to have are an adjustable wrench, phillips and flathead screwdriver, rubber mallet, a level, and tape measure.

Take Your Time

Remember that putting furniture together isn’t a race. When you rush through an assembly, something will probably be missed, causing problems with the final product. Be patient and double check your work to ensure the furniture is put together correctly the first time.

Call A Handyman

If you don’t have time to assemble furniture, or maybe you can’t quite finish a piece, calling a professional handyman could be the solution.

Smith Handyman Service has experience with different types of furniture and all the necessary tools to make assembly a breeze. We offer a full line of furniture assembly services. If you need a hand, we’ve got you covered. 

Fill out an estimate form today.