Monthly Archives: October 2011

We\’ve discovered this spring that we have a huge boxelder bug infestation along the south side of our house. They seem to be getting in the house through the gaps in the vinyl siding. We are thinking the company that installed the siding last fall were incompetent and left gaps everywhere. I\’m wondering if this is something we can fix/seal ourselves, or if it would be worth it to have that side of the house resided.

Paula, Sorry to hear about your bug problem. I have the same problem with Ladybugs. I still have difficulty locating the exact area they are coming in. I did replace my windows which help cut down. Unfortunately they will find the smallest hole and come in. I doubt the siding is the culprit, because they would have to get around the siding, sheathing, insulation and drywall. An area that could help as well is to insullate the pockets in your basement where the floor joists meet the concrete foundation, that could help. Check your windows and seal any openings. Other penetrations could be the bath and kitchen vents, those could easily have screens put over the outside. Another possibility would be your vent for your water heater, check that in the basement. Lastly check the attic skuttle hole to make sure they are not finding a way through the roof vents and into your attic and ultimatly in your house. These are areas that can help cut down on them getting in, but it would be tough to totally get rid of them.

Sincerely, Andy Love

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I\’m looking to pull my money out tof the stock market. I\’m tired of watching it drop. I thought maybe I would take a big vacation or two, then realized that money would be gone. So I decided to invest in my house, and enjoy it that way. I want the largest return on my investment. What areas of the home would I get the largest return?

Chuck, the highest return on investment is for sure the Kitchen, with a 40% return on average, second place would be the Bathroom, with a 33% return on average. Third place is the Basement depending on what you do can bring you back 25% on average. Believe it or not Landscaping is the next one at a 20% return. The good news is no matter what you do to your house, all upgrades with get you your money back and then some. Keep in mind your homes worth and what houses in your neighborhood are selling for with comparable improvements. Good Luck!!

Andy Love Ask the Expert.

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Q: Our house was built in the 70s, and I\’d really like to change the look of my kitchen. The cabinets, although in good, solid condition, look dark and dated. What are my options?

Updating a kitchen can be done in several ways. If the cabinets are in good condition, new countertops can change the look of that room, new appliances etc. If the face front doors and drawers are real bad you can do new doors and refinish the exposed wood boxes behind the doors and drawers. To win a copy of the book please leave a comment about this post, in the comments section of this for homework help post by thursday, december 2nd by 11 59 p. Those would be the most economical way to update a kitchen, without going all new cabinets. new flooring can be another option with a totally new paint job on the walls. Best way to start is to visit your local home center and get a plan put in place. Hope this helps, Andy Love.

I live in Silvis, and I received a letter telling me that I will be contacted by Mid American about my Mast on my house that supplies electricity. They said it is too low, and it is my responsibility to get it raised?!!! Can you give me any information on this?

NESC, (National Electrical Safety Code) in a nut shell they are going around and correcting the code from the past. What is happening is people are putting in swimming pools, and large decks underneath these power lines. The code in the past I believe read 8′ or 10′ from ground or deck to power line. The new code is 12’6″ above the ground or deck. These have been slowly been taken care of over the past few years. Only lately have the letters started going out. The power company will reconnect and disconnect your power at the pole. It is your responsibility for the wire and the connection to the house. Depending on how high you have to raise the mast at the house this could cost anywhere from $400.00 to $750.00.  Hope this helps.

Sincerely, Andy Love

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