Down & Dirty
The Unglamorous, but totally Essential, World of Home Repair
June, 2011 - Issue #80
Isn't it so much more fun to spend one's hard-earned cash on pretty things? I will choose new pillows over pipes any day. (Actually, that is what I did do, and it worked out great - until we had a pipe burst and drip plaster-tinged water all over the previously-mentioned pillows.) The moral of this cautionary tale? Home repairs might not be a glamorous use of funds, but it's a whole lot more attractive than sewage leaking into your home office (Yeah, that happened, too.). Let's get started!

Screen it Off
If eyes are the windows to the soul, and windows are the eyes of your house, then, mathematically, that means broken, ugly screens are bad for your soul (Did I get that right?). Using this flawless logic, retractable screens are your only option for salvation. Save yourself from the screen-door/window blues with a Retractions Retractable Screen System (800-915-2448), which disappear from sight when not in use. These superior-quality, super durable (can stand up to kids and pets!) screens keep bugs out and breezes in.

Clean it Up
And, by up, we mean your second-story windows. And the cobwebs in the ceiling corners that you can't seem to reach. And the two inches of dust on top of your fridge (We both know it's not pollen that's making you sneeze, Buddy.). Cleanliness is next to godliness, we're told, but even atheists must agree that a truly clean home is better for your mental - and physical - health. And, since Spring Cleaning Season has come and gone without you making a dent in the dirt, throw in the (Windex-soaked) towel and hand the job over to the pros at Clean & Bright (433-4035).

Cool it Off
Can you smell that? It's an odor unique to Santa Clarita; the scent of bedazzled flip flops slowly melting onto the asphalt parking lot outside of Target. Alas, shopping for toilet paper should not be your only means of escaping SCV's oppressive heat. Call Ricardo's Heating & Air Conditioning Co. (299-5898) to schedule a 14-point Air Conditioner Tune Up for only $59.99 (normally $149.99) with the coupon code on page 25. Or, if your A/C is pushing a decade or older, it may make economic sense to replace it. GW Richardson Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. (295-0115) is offering up to $1,700 off Carrier Systems. The super-energy-efficient Infinity Air Conditioning System with Puron refrigerant by Carrier is one of the smartest buys around.

Stay cool from the outside in with Tex Cote Coolwall systems. Ten times thicker than ordinary paint, Tex Cote contains special reflective pigments - the same type used by the US government to cool ships and provide both reflectivity and reduced radar signature in Stealth bombers. Due to their ability to reflect light, these pigments can lower surface temperatures by as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit when compared to traditional paints and coatings. This technology is available locally from Cavalier Builders (800-749-5765).

Keep it Dry
Carpet can be a family's best friend - and worst enemy. On one hand, it does a great job of keeping dirt, dander, pollen and mold out of the air. On the other hand, it does this by holding onto all of it, deep into the pile and often down to the padding. Truly Dry Carpet Cleaning, Inc. (476-7775) gets all of these up and out of your flooring without leaving anything yucky (read: toxic chemicals or dirty water) behind. Take 15 percent off any two (already affordable) services with mention of Inside SCV Magazine. See ad on page 20 for details.

Board it Up
Windows can break or crack for any number of reasons (the majority of them, of course, sports-ball related). And, on the off chance that your neighbor's 3 a.m. putting session goes terribly awry, it's good to know that Preferred Glass & Windows (298-2165) offers a 24-hour emergency board-up service. They can also replace that window with the coolest (literally - these babies really keep out the heat!) in window technology.

Make it Shine
Calcium may be good for your bones but it's downright ugly on your pool tile. Pool Tile Saver (510-5778) will remove hard-water and calcium deposits to get your ceramic shining again. They can also fix broken, cracked or missing bricks and tiles. Everything is done without the use of acids or harsh chemicals. Plus, minimal water is drained and most pool work can be completed in a day or less.

Thinking of Selling your House?
Keep your Home Improvement Receipts
If you need more incentive to keep track of your expenditures, here's one: It may make it easier to sell your home. An organized collection of receipts, from big-ticket items like copper repipe to small-fry improvements like new door knobs, is additional proof that you've maintained your home to a high standard. It can also make the disclosure portion of the sale much smoother for you. Talk to a respected Realtor about the best ways to plan - and document - your pre-sale home improvements.
Scott Thompson is a broker and Realtor® with Regal Realty of California; 295-8715
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