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Tip of The Month
Create A Family Disaster Kit
I hope your family never experiences a disaster. We can have a debate if natural disasters are in fact increasing, but one thing we can agree on is that the cost is always rising. Having a few items at the ready will ease the initial impact.  The basic necessities of a survival kit are water, food, first aid kit and necessary medicine
1. Water needs are 1 gallon per person per day, a minimum of 3 days supply is      recommended. A bottle of water purifying tablets is a great item to add to your kit.
2. Food staples include canned goods, including tuna, and  chicken, protein bars, protein shake mix, nuts and raisins.
3. First aid kit should include bandages, adhesive tape, latex gloves, first aid  cream, scissors, thermometer, rubbing alcohol, sunscreen, aspirin, anti diarrhea medicine, and any prescription medications your family takes. 
4. Other necessities include toilet paper, liquid soap, garbage bags, paper towels,  flashlight with extra batteries, radio, waterproof matches, extra eye glasses, and    solar phone charger.  

Mission Accomplished!!
Welcome to the DAP World of  Caulks and Sealants
Back in the day there were a couple types of  adhesives and a couple different types of caulk. That world has changed immensely. There are specific types of adhesives for an ever expanding world of  building products. There is also a wide variety of sealants and caulks for every conceivable situation. DAP has been in business for decades and is among the leaders in it's industry. Check out their website for everything you need to know about DAP adhesives and sealants.
Q: Why have a survey when I buy or build a house??
A:  I always order a survey (staked survey) it  is important for a couple reasons. First, it shows you the physical boundaries of your lot/land. Most of the time you can just look from one stake to another and tell if anything encroaches, or is illegally on your land. Secondly, it helps to create a permanent document that places your house, driveway, patio and any outbuildings exactly onto the plat of survey, giving dimensions and distances to the property lines. As I said above, it establishes the boundaries and corners of your lot/land so it would be easy to spot if another adjacent landowner is laying claim to the same piece of land.
Some banks have dropped the requirement for a survey, but I would never purchase a piece of property without a staked survey.

Volume XI June, 2015
Dimension Bible Book Cover
Break The Code!
The Dimension Bible is your code breaker, for the building code. Building codes are in place for several reasons, but in many cases they are very hard to understand. The Dimension Bible solves that. Written in an easy to understand format, it contains much the same information that a building code book does. Easy to understand formulas and charts to help you calculate how much material you will need for your project. Also plenty of information on how to install it. It will become your home repair and remodeling Bible. 

Measurements and dimensions for plumbing, electrical, cabinetry, appliances, carpentry and many more items are outlined in an easy to read format. Also included are formulas to calculate area, volume, unit conversion tables, rafter and header span tables, exterior grading information, and much more. With plenty of room for your own personal notes on every page, this book will be invaluable to you.  READ MORE

Special for June
Use the coupon code NLFS and recieve FREE Shipping on your purchase of the Dimension Bible
Owner Supplied Materials Not As Cheap As You Think

Every remodeling project has a budget and as the consumer you need to manage that budget. One way to manage the budget is to cut costs, which saves money and in essence increases the budget. A thought might be, if I supply some of the materials then the contractor won't make any money on them and I can save money, right? WRONG!

There are expenses that a contractor has that are reflected in the markup of materials. Selecting and picking up the materials are a couple, delivering those materials to the job site is another. There are many other reasons for the markup, which I cover in detail in an earlier article that I wrote titled Profit and Overhead.

Let's look at an example where you the homeowner supply the plumbing fixtures for a project. You went to the local home improvement store and bought the toilet and delivered it to the job site after work Tuesday night so it would be there for the plumber early Wednesday morning. Did you also remember to pick up the wax ring, seat, toilet bolts, caps, and caulk, supply line and shut off valve?

The fiberglass tub unit that you went back for and loaded in the back of your friend's pickup truck at 8:30 last night has a chip in it. Who is going to return it and have it back here ready to be installed after lunch? The list can go on and on.

Those Saturday morning home improvement shows do a dis-service to the consumer, making it look too easy, because they leave out critical parts of the equation. A quality contractor spends a lot of time educating himself about types of materials and their quality as well as suppliers that offer the best price and service.

The builders and remodelers today are just as much managers as they are actual tradesman. They make sales calls, figure estimates, design projects, select materials, coordinate, schedule, and accept delivery of hundreds of items and manage as many as 30 subcontractors during the remodeling process or that of building a home.

An alternative solution to save money on your project might be to work for the contractor by completing various tasks like sweeping up and cleaning the job site nightly or moving material from place to place in exchange for a monetary discount. But, at the same time a contractor might balk at a situation like that because of the insurance coverage. Let's suppose you are sweeping the floor, you step on a nail and are unable to go to your job, who will pay for your lost work time, and the doctor bills? If you're not an employee of the contractor you won't be covered.

Another situation that scares contractors is when a homeowner wants you to use a relative or friend to do some of the work. There are a couple problems with this scenario, one of which is outlined above. A real life example is, your friend comes over at night and puts in 3 outlets and a switch. Several months down the road it shorts out and causes a fire, your insurance company goes after the original contractor only to find out he didn't do the work, your friend did and he has no insurance. You are now held responsible for the damage. You don't have the money to rebuild part of the house, now your mortgage company gets involved, see where this is headed?

The simplest solution is that you go to work and do what you do best, to earn the money to pay the contractor for what he does best.

Know The Cost Before You Call A Contractor ... 2015 Cost vs Value Report

As featured last month... An incredibly valuable report for everyone who is considering a remodeling project.

 Access the 2015 report here

Your June Home Maintenance To Do List
Let Contractor John remind you when it is time to perform maintenance around your home. Our goal is to find and repair small problems before they become large very expensive repairs.
Each month I will include a list of maintenance tasks for you to undertake that month. 
For example in June I recommend you:
  1. Change your furnace filter. Even though you do not use the heating component of your furnace the cool, air of your air-conditioner still makes use of it and you need to filter that air.
  2. Clean and seal your blacktop driveway, and your wood deck. Also, time to power wash the concrete patio and concrete driveway if you have one. Use a good quality concrete repair caulk to seal up any cracks in concrete surfaces.
  3. Now that the leaves are on the trees check and make sure branches are not touching the house or the roof. Trim the branches if they are.
  4. Inspect the chimney inside and out. Pay special attention to the chimney cap and the flashing where the chimney meets the roof. 
  5. On the inside of the house, flip those mattresses.
  6. Lastly, test smoke detectors. If you have individual smoke detectors, meaning not interconnected together, you will have to test each one by pressing and holding the test button. You will know if they are interconnected by holding the test button for 4 seconds after the smoke detector starts beeping and listen for additional beeping from the other smoke detectors.
Product of the Month
This month's featured product solves a problem the affects anyone that paints. How to edge quickly and neatly. 
The AccuBrush system is quick, simple and effective. Rather than talking about it, why don't you take a quick look at the video, or click here to go to the AccuBrush Website and learn about this great new product that makes painting around door and window trim, cabinets and other objects much easier. 
Bonus Product of the Month

I have had a Workmate like this for years and years and it has served me very well. I have used it in the job for remodeling projects in the shop and even for welding projects. Among it's features it has a 1-Handed Clamp system with exclusive clutch design for easy clamping. Front jaw swings up for vertical clamping. Folds for easy storage and carrying. Vise jaws angle to hold wedge shapes up to 8 5/16 in. wide. Swivel pegs hold shapes up to 18-3/4.

  • Sturdy construction holds up to 450 lbs.
  • Adjustable rear jaws give you flexibility to clamp odd shapes
  • Lightweight, portable design folds for easy storage
  • Durable, heavy-gauge steel frame
Rustic Recipes For The Whole Family
Click Here For Printable Version Of Recipie

Apple and Raisin Baked Beans


What is needed to make the best baked beans ever!

  • 2 – 16 oz cans of Campbell’s Pork and Beans, drained
  • ¾ cup KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (original)
  • 1 oz golden raisins (yellow)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ small onion chopped
  • 1 medium Granny Smith green apple peeled and chopped
  • 3 strips of bacon, fried and chopped

Combine all the ingredients together in a baking dish and mix completely. Bake in oven at 350 uncovered for 1 hour.

Serves 6 to 8 people

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."