Show Notes: Plan a Labor Day Deck Inspection – On the House

Show Notes: Plan a Labor Day Deck Inspection

By on August 26, 2017

It’s the “unofficial end of summer” long weekend is coming up; Labor Day. Plan to take a few minutes before you sit back and relax on your deck to give it an “official” end of summer inspection. If repairs are in order, you have enough fall weather ahead to do your fixes.


Home Is Where The Dog Is

A third of millennial-aged Americans (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home (33%) say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home, according to a new survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI). 

Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home purchasers and were cited by more millennials than marriage/upcoming marriage, 25%, or the birth/expected birth of a child, 19%.

Only the desire for more living space, 66%, and the opportunity to build equity, 36%, were identified by more millennials as reasons they purchased their first home. 

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.” 

Among millennials who have never purchased a home, 42% say that their dog – or the desire to have one – is a key factor in their desire to buy a home in the future, suggesting dogs will also influence purchase decisions of potential first-time home buyers.


Savvy Garage Storage As Easy As 1, 2, 3

 If you need more storage space in the garage, what are some of the best options?

 Storage ideas can range from very simple to complex. Whether it’s toys, tools, or recreational equipment, with proper planning and some creativity, you can transform you garage into a functional storage space where every item has its place.

 1. Making the Garage Storage Ready

The garage usually collects so much clutter by the end of summer, a good cleaning to remove unwanted items and any rubbish taking up valuable garage space is in order. It’s easier to estimate the amount of available space and make plans when the garage is clear of clutter.

 2. Safe Garage Storage

It is an extension of the home, so it’s not always as warm and dry as the rest of the house. Check for leaks that may allow moisture in and ruin items in the garage.

Winterizing the garage is also a good suggestion for homeowners. The garage may be colder or hotter than the rest of the home. This means making sure there is adequate insulation and the garage door is working properly. Another suggestion may be adding heat or temperature control.

 3. Simple Storage Ideas

Good Storage ideas that utilize the walls, floor, and ceiling space.


Hooks, shelves, and cabinetry make excellent solutions for using available wall space. Hooks are versatile because they allow homeowners to hang up all sorts of items. Whether it’s a bicycle, gardening tool, or ladder, hooks provide endless options.


Benches that double as storage boxes are a great idea to increase storage for a client’s garage. You can custom build the benches to match the client’s needs. Whether it’s just to store miscellaneous items, like gardening or automotive accessories, adjustments to the bench can help meet their needs.


Utilizing overhead space greatly increases the overall storage space for clients. You can build an overhead rack out of PVC pipe or other materials to store items overhead. There’s also the option of buying overhead racks to stow away bulky items, like totes and bins.

A more creative idea is building sliding storage overhead with bins that easily slide in and out to add or take items as the client needs them.


No matter what type of storage you decide on, there are some tips to help ensure your items are stored properly and safely.

  • Keep chemicals and toxic materials in a locked cabinet
  • Don’t store flammable items near heaters
  • Consider additional storage needs for the future
  • Label all boxes or bins correctly to avoid confusion
  • Always allow sufficient space for doors to open
  • Don’t cover any ventilation systems


Got Used Shipping Boxes?

 Give Back Box® provides vendor services to retailers and charities, giving each and every cardboard box a second life to help people in need. So it is also a ‘green’ solution! Reuse your online shipping boxes in which you received your purchases, or any other cardboard box you may have, to donate your unwanted household items: such as gently used clothing, shoes etc., to make a major difference in the life of another person.

 How it Works

Enjoy your new item. You can now also help another without spending a dime.

Keep this empty box, or grab another which you may have lying around the house or in the garage. Simply print a free shipping label from our their website. Yes, it is totally free!


Now look around the house. Pack items you no longer need into this cardboard box and pack as much as you can. Remember you can download as many FREE shipping labels you want and there is no weight limit. All we ask is that you do not include any liquids, fragile, hazardous or volatile items, or ammunition in the boxes.


There are two options here:

Download an USPS or UPS prepaid shipping label from our website and attach to the box and drop off the box either at the post office or at any UPS drop off location. You can also arrange for USPS to have this picked up from your home. Simply request a pick up when you download the shipping label and leave the box outside for USPS to pick up.

If you don’t have a printer or can’t print a shipping label, send us an email with your address and we will mail you your label. .


Labor Day Deck Inspection

 It’s a good time to give your deck’s structure a close inspection. Pay particular attention to any areas within 6 inches of the ground or close to sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.

1. Look for signs of rot. Probe structural members with a flat-blade screwdriver. Begin by checking stairs, especially where the stringers (the saw-tooth notched pieces that support the steps) meet the ground. Also check each perimeter post. If you can push the screwdriver a quarter-inch or more into a suspect area, you probably have rot.

TIP: Areas of rot that are no bigger than a silver dollar can be removed with a chisel, and the hole can be treated with wood preservative. Larger areas may require the structural member to be replaced. Consult a professional carpenter or builder for an estimate for repairs. 

2. Inspect the ledger. Using a flashlight underneath your deck, pay special attention to the ledger — that all-important piece of framing that attaches the deck to the house. A damaged ledger is the cause of 90% of all deck collapses. 

TIP: The ledger should be attached with lag screws, not just nails. The flashing — the metal cap that covers the top of the ledger and prevents moisture from getting behind the siding — should be free of rust and holes. 

3. Check remaining joists, posts, and beams. Check all the hardware underneath, especially joist hangers, and replace any that are seriously rusted. Probe for signs of rot on the posts and joists. If anything looks doubtful, call in a pro to provide an estimate for any needed repairs.

TIP: If a framing member can’t be easily removed and replaced, reinforce it. For example, if a joist shows areas of rot, you can add a splint of comparable pressure-treated lumber alongside it, attaching the splint with two or three 3-inch deck screws every 12 inches. Then chisel away the rotten area and paint the raw wood with preservative. 

4. Check for cracks or rotten decking boards. Not all cracks are a structural threat, but they’ll get worse with time. If you find damage, replace the piece. 

5. Check the railing. Give it a good shake to be sure posts are not loose or damaged — loose connections may be remedied by drilling pilot holes and adding galvanized lag screws. Look for cracks that, over time, may have developed around fasteners such as nails or screws. To remedy, remove the fastener and seal the crack with an exterior-grade adhesive. Then, drill a new pilot hole and add a new galvanized deck screw.

 Preventive Measures

Now is also a good time to wash and seal your deck if you didn’t get a chance to in the spring. The point is to do it when temperatures are mild. 

Otherwise, to keep your deck in good shape:

  • Trim nearby bushes and trees. They need to be at least 12 inches from the deck to slow mold, moss, and rot.
  • Don’t let leaves and other debris pile up in corners.
  • Move planters, chairs, and tables occasionally to avoid discoloring the decking. Keep nearby gutters and downspouts in good repair.


Down The Lighting Isle

Shopping For Recessed Light Fixtures

Recessed lights, sometimes called can lights or downlights, have three main components: the housing, the trim and the light bulb.

The housing is the actual light fixture. It sits inside the ceiling and holds the trim and the light bulb. If you are doing it yourself, how to know which housing suits your needs:

·       New construction housing is used in new homes or when adding a room onto your house, before the ceiling is installed.

·       Remodel housing is used to install recessed lighting in an existing ceiling.

·       Insulation Contact (IC)-rated housing is designed so that surrounding insulation is not disturbed.

·       Non-IC housing must be installed with insulation at least 3 inches away from the housing.

·       Airtight housing reduces the airflow between the space above (usually the attic) and the room below the light fixture.

·       Shallow ceiling housing is used in ceilings with 2-inch by 6-inch joists.

·       Slope ceiling housing allows space for the light to be angled in a sloped ceiling. Check angles before purchasing.










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