NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."

 

 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.

 

 

Nailing It Down

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Here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, people often ask us what types of things they need to do to keep their homes well maintained.

And, then there are those people whose houses suggest – in even a casual drive by – that they might not be too aware of how to take care of what is likely their biggest investment – their house.

If you need a good wake up call, remember that most homeowner insurance policies do not cover deferred maintenance.

In other words, if you discover this summer that the caulking on one of your windows wasn’t secure and over time water has seeped in onto your hardwood floor that now needs to be replaced; most likely you are not covered for that. 

Or, maybe all those steamy showers have taken their toll and you realize that you have mold taking over your bathroom. (Although, do check; a few homeowners’ policies cover some severe mold remediation. Oh, but remember that deductible gets paid first!)

When it comes to deferred maintenance – that is, maintenance that has...

This is a great time of year to paint your house – or at least give it a good scrub!

We’d like to help you with a few tips on ways to make it easier. In addition, you may recall that we have tools you can borrow if you need them.

Remember, in our climate most houses need to be painted about every five to nine years. Also, remember that simply washing your house can make a huge difference not only in how it looks now, but also in extending the life of your current paint job.

What to do after you’ve prepped

After you’ve carefully scraped, washed, primed and caulked, it’s time to open up that can of paint!

Just like it’s not ideal to paint in a downpour, it’s also not recommended to paint any surface in the direct sun. Doing so can cause the new paint to “skin-over,” resulting in poor attachment to the siding, even blistering.

Painting in the direct rain or when moisture in the form of fog is expected can also cause problems. You can put a nice coat of paint on during a drizzling day, but it ma...

When you have a home project you want to hire an expert to do, it’s critical to hire the right people. The most important key to having a successful project is to hire a contractor who is bonded, licensed and insured.

We spent a whole column recently outlining why that is so important.

In addition to hiring someone who is bonded, licensed and insured, to set you up for success it’s key to have a written contract including a clear description of the work to be done.

So today we’re going to talk more specifically about the written contract. Once again we’ll mention that we are not attorneys and don’t offer legal advice. That being said, think of us as an experienced neighbor who has worked with many contractors and contracts over the years.

  

Put it all in writing

Besides your name and address, a contract should name the construction company, all of its owners, all pertinent addresses, phone numbers and the contractor’s license number, bonding agent, bond amount, as well as their insuran...

The sweet sounds of songbirds are typically a welcome sign of summer. However, when they move in for the season that means they make a nest.

If you’re a homeowner, you need to stay alert so that birds making their tidy homes don’t disrupt your tidy home.

Some of the same people, who would be horrified to learn of a family of rats living in their basement, don’t think twice about birds nesting in their eaves. But they should!

Some birds, such as starlings, English sparrows and pigeons are exceptional opportunists and should be discouraged from living anywhere in your house or garage.

At best, they might only roost on all the roofs in sight of somebody’s regular handout, all the while depositing prolific amounts of acidic droppings on each roof nearby the food. This poopy environment creates ideal conditions for supporting a healthy crop of roof moss. And worse than that, they can spread harmful diseases and create expensive structural damage to your home.

Starlings introduced from Europe

In t...

During this unprecedented time, each of us has been affected in such different ways. For many, employment and wages have diminished or stopped all together. However, for some businesses and jobs, things have been busier than ever.

While some are scraping to get by right now, some are able to afford to re-invest into their home and their local economy. 

If you have a building job that you’d like to tackle this summer, if it’s in your budget, the work would be welcome to area contractors. It’s that kind of investment that gets money circulating in our community again.

Before you get going, make sure you use a written scope of work and written contracts. We at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor can help you – free of charge – with some basic examples to get you started.

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Whom should I hire?

Our county has plenty of solid, talented and trustworthy builders—and right now many of them are especially eager for steady work. However, sadly, we do hear evidence of some who are neither trustworthy, nor c...

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710 E. Market Street 
Aberdeen, WA 98520

1-866-533-7828 toll-free
360-533-7828 phone 
360-533-7851 fax

Mon - Thu 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Closed Fri-Sun

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