We've all pondered over the eternal question: "Should I do it myself, or should I pay an expert to do it for me?" There's a good reason for that question. Most of us don't have bottomless pockets. If we did, the answer would always be simple: If it isn't fun or pleasurable, pay someone else to do it - of course.
So the real question should NOT be: "Should I do it myself, or should I pay an expert to do it for me?" The real question should be: "Would I enjoy doing this; and/or will it save me time and/or money to pay an expert to do it for me?
The first part of the question is easy enough to answer. If you'd really like to do the project at hand, whether it's a home repair project, like fixing a sliding glass door, or a home beautification project like putting up new curtains on your windows, and you have the spare time, then just go for it.
If your hobby is restoring antique cars, and you like working on engines, then, by all means, have at it.
If on the other hand, you don't mind working with your hands, and you need to fix something around the house, but you've never done that project before (and you'd like to spend your time doing something else) you'll need a little more analysis before deciding.
Consider the following:
- If you did the repair yourself, would you have to buy tools, oils, paints, parts, or gizmos that you may never use again? The factor that into what it will cost you to do the repair.
- If you did the repair would you have to spend time learning how to do something that you'll never do again in a million years? The factor that into what it will cost you to do the repair.
- Going to the store for supplies takes time as well. Especially if you find out you need another blue widget, or that the one you have doesn't fit.
- It's easy to break something when you aren't proficient at repairing it – especially when it comes to glass. You could actually do more damage than good. Imagine trying to change the rollers on a sliding glass door, and breaking the glass.
- Don't forget you'll have to do all the clean-up as well as the storage of the new supplies you'll have to buy. More time and space to consider.
- Many small tasks seem to take specialized equipment or 3-4 hands. Do you have the manpower available to help you if you need it?
- Don't forget that there is a risk that you'll hurt yourself using a tool that you rarely use. Is it worth risking a smashed thumb?
- Do you have an adequate workshop or workspace for the project? It doesn't make sense to put the kids and the family pet at risk, just to save a couple of bucks. Does it?
- Could you spend your time growing your part-time or full-time business, instead of doing handy work? If so, it may be better to invest that time into yourself.
In the long run, as long as you're working with an ethical contractor who provides great service – one who prices his product correctly so as to keep his clients and customers for a long time - it more often than not makes sense to pay the expert. It'll save you time and money, and give you peace of mind as well.
Did you know that a woman invented the modern screen door? Her name was Hannah Harger, from Iowa, and she invented the screen door in 1887. More than likely she was just trying to keep bugs out of her home, and away from her fresh-baked pies.
Nowadays, you can see screen doors and windows on homes and offices all across America, and in fact all around the world. Not only do they keep bugs and birds out of your home, but they are often decorative and can actually enhance the look and resale value of your home.
There are basically two types of screen door materials currently being used: aluminum, and wood. When talking about aluminum screen doors, there are currently two types of construction: roll-formed, and extruded. The different varieties serve different purposes decoratively, and there is also a difference in price.
Roll-formed screen doors are the least expensive because they are made by shaping rolls of aluminum into square tubes. These inexpensive tubes are used to create the frame. Extruded aluminum frames are more expensive to make, but they are also stronger, and can generally be repaired more easily if they ever break.
Wood-framed doors, which are the most expensive, are often custom-made or made in limited production runs. What was once the standard in screen doors, has become a luxury version that is purchased by people who want and can afford the most expensive and unique doors.
Any of the doors mentioned will keep the bugs out, and let clean air in if kept in good repair, but as with anything else, you get what you pay for, so going for the least expensive doors possible is not usually the best solution. Instead, choose a door that will last, and is not frail or flimsy, and you will be happy with your selection for years to come.
Screen window frames are manufactured much the same way as screen doors but are also available in plastic or polycarbonate versions. The mesh screens, also known as bug screens, or insect screens, in both screen windows and doors, are made out of wire mesh, aluminum, fiberglass, nylon, polyester, or other synthetic fibers.
There are currently high-tech versions of screening materials that are made of fiberglass that can screen out the sun providing over 75% of UV protection, as well as mesh screens that are so fine they can filter out pollen and allergens. Ask your installer about all the options available to you before deciding what's best for your unique situation.
Did you know that mesh screens that look silver are telling you they need to be replaced? Rescreening is a quick and easy job for an experienced window and door expert.
Did you know that you could extend the life of your sliding glass doors for years, with proper maintenance? Practicing a few common-sense ideas will save you both money, and aggravation. Here are a few things you should know about your sliding glass doors.
First of all, you'll want to realize that sliding glass doors have moving parts, and that anything with moving parts has the potential to wear down and wear out. The door's moving parts consist of, rollers, wheels, locks, latches, etc. The non-moving parts that come in contact with the moving parts are things like the tracks, the frame, the glass, etc. Many of these things can wear out or break if they're not taken care of properly and maintained on a regular basis.
There is also the potential for doors to stick when parts wear out, or debris and junk build up in the tracks (usually the bottom track). Debris builds up because people and pets step over the track all the time, and drop dust, dirt, and sand from their shoes and feet into the track. Animals and humans also shed hair all the time, and that hair builds up in the track if it's not removed. Not to mention leaves and grass and other things that blow in from outside.
Here's a short list of things you can do to keep your sliding glass doors in tip-top shape for years to come:
• Use a brush or a vacuum attachment to loosen any debris that may be stuck in the track.
• Keep the track free from dirt and pet hair that gets caught up in the rollers by vacuuming the track out on a regular basis.
• Use a nonstick silicone lubricant spray to make sure the door moves smoothly. Do not use just any lubricant (WD-40 is not a good choice for this job).
If the door is in really bad shape because of neglect, damage, or a broken part, taking it off the tracks, and cleaning and fixing the internal parts of the door and the track can often have it working like new. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, this could be a good weekend project. If you're doing it yourself you should be strong and experienced with fixing things, because it can be dangerous dealing with a heavy door, and a large piece of glass. Also, adjusting the rollers can be a bit difficult unless you know what you're doing. If you have a better way to spend your days off, a professional can usually knock out the project for you in no time.
REPLACING BROKEN WINDOW GLASS
When replacing broken window glass, there are a few questions that need to be asked. First, is the window wood, aluminum, or vinyl? Here in Florida these are the three main types and each one has to be approached differently. Next, is the window a single hung, double hung, awning, ect.? Finally, is the window glass impact or non-impact? Clear or tinted?
Wood windows are usually in older homes and the glass is normally single-strength, clear glass that is putty glazed in the window sash. Aluminum windows are a bit different for replacing broken window glass. Normally the glass is set in the frame with silicone and is held in place with aluminum glazing bead to hold it there while the silicone dries. Then there are the vinyl windows. When replacing broken window glass in vinyl windows there are a couple different ways to do so, depending on the type of vinyl window you have. In a lot of the higher quality vinyl windows it is similar to the aluminum windows, there is a silicone or a two sided sticky tape for setting the glass in the frame and a snap bead holds it there firmly in place. Then there are the vinyl windows that the whole sash has to be replaced because that is how they are made.
For the homeowner that likes to do-it-yourself, remember safety first. Use safety goggles and protective glass gloves. If you don't feel comfortable changing broken window glass, you can always Google search the internet to find a professional in you local area or contact us.