Are you playing with a full deck

The weather is nice and our favorite foods are being cooked on the grill as we share laughs with close friends and family. The landscaping is nice and compliments are coming forth along with many people asking “Where did you get your patio furniture?”. All is good until except for one thing, your deck is gray and has lost it’s luster. Let’s face it you’ve put it off for long enough, It’s definitely time.   If you put the decks off for too many seasons, the deck will either be ruined or need much work instead of just maintenance.

Before cleaning the deck one should replace molded, rotted and soft boards, pull loose nails and replace with deck screws. Depending upon what has previously been applied to your deck and what’s the condition of your deck will direct you on which cleaning solution is best for you. Pressure washing without using too much pressure usually does the trick. Thompson has a variety of products for cleaning, staining and sealing. I’m not receiving a check from this company but they do have a great website and products for just about every situation. Staining is not necessary, yet more of a personal preference. Sealing is recommended for it protects from water damage and UV Rays while at the same time helps to resist mildew and maintain the beauty within natural colors

If you feel this is too much of a mountain to climb, there’s two options. Option #1 is you can take one step at a time by learning the basics which will qualify you in the future to perform seasonal maintenance. Option #2 is call up a qualified professional. Good luck with your projects and I’d love to see pictures.

So….You’re cutting corners on me?

As we get estimates for work we desire to get done, we usually either go with a person that has been recommended or the company with the best price that made us feel comfortable as they answered the questions and gave suggestions. Yes this guy is qualified, he knows what he’s doing but how did he get his price so competitive. Is he cutting prices on labor or material?
Most people will not take a cut into their pocket, instead they’ll fill your home with a low-grade material and put a coat of paint or shellac on it and the average won’t catch on until. There’s nothing wrong with this approach but the customer does deserve to be notified and or given options. If it’s rental property the customer may want an economical, cost efficient product yet many people take pride in their homes and may want a mid to high grade product. If your being billed for $2000 in material and your builder seeks a corner to cut as he realize he under bid the job or feared he wouldn’t get the job if the price submitted was too high, your material may suffer in quality before the profit is dug into.
Therefore it’s recommended that you ask for options on the quality of material being put into your project or property. The case may be that you want to cut corners so that you can do more and then in turn you can get the finishing touch pieces you want. Whatever the case may be I say know the ingredients being put in your project as one with many allergies knows or inquiries about the ingredients included in a dish they desire at a restaurant. This way you won’t have to replace what you thought was to be excellent quality products, instead you’ll know what you have to replace and what you shouldn’t have to replace for a while.

Live it, Love it, Alive….

Hard work is not real hard when you love the work that you do. If one hates his work, the day seems long and the creativity will definitely not be inserted as it would if the feelings about the work were the opposite.

On the job site recently I’ve asked three different people what they were doing and got three different answers. All pouring and finishing a concrete slab, yet all having a different outlook due to their vision and passion for what they are doing. One said “I’m doing what the boss told me to do, why?”, another response was “I’m doing what I have to do to feed my family” and the last tells me “I’m pouring the best looking concrete slab your feet will ever walk across”. What is the difference? I don’t think it need be explained, not to say that you have to be enthusiastic about your job to do it right but to say if you love your job your creative energy excels.

If you don’t love what you do, make it what you did and not what you do for a living. Life is short, be the best you .

Valuable friends and friends of value……

I was always told “If you don’t know jewelry, your best friend should be a jeweler” and it makes all too much sense. Recently while setting up to pour concrete a guy came up to me asking several questions, that actually put the importance of the above stated quote in mind instantly. He was under the assumption that he would (alone, by himself) pour an addition onto his driveway by simply mixing bags of quikrete in 5 gallon buckets with a paddle bit . Pouring 2 foot sections every other day was his plan. Needless to say this guy told me he had surgery on his shoulder 3 times and my first response was “Are you serious?”. Concrete is a time sensitive product and it’s not, how should I say this? It’s not to be played with!
I truly understand that the economy has forced us into a zone of DIY madness yet we must know when to say when and again have a network of people that we can help and/or offer value, services advice and so forth too and in turn we must have a rolodex of friends we can call on when these situations arise so that we do not enter blindly. As it’s said if the blind lead the blind together they will fall into a pit.
My words and responses wasn’t with the intentions of gaining a lead (even though I did), my intentions was to give this man more information to leave with than which he came with. Please people do the research and ask questions before getting into a project that may set you back instead of forth. Also don’t hesitate to ask questions of those you hire and those with experience. Let your friends know what you have planned and they may know someone with experience in the required field that may be able to assist for a day rate. Skilled trades, craftsmen and technicians are no different from lawyers and doctors, respectfully. We may give ourselves cough medicine and such but there’s a time when we say I need to go to the doctor, this is truly no different!