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Tree Trimming and Removal, Inc.
Licensed and Insured
NEED A GENERAL CONTRACTOR?
According to a general rule , if your job requires more than three
subcontractors, a general contractor may be a good idea. A general
contractor can free you from such burdens as maintaining a work schedule,
obtaining necessary permits, and resolving disputes with suppliers. He or
she will have more leverage than you do with subcontractors, since you're
only a one-time job. In a tight labor market, that could be important. A
general contractor may get discounts at lumberyards and supply houses to
which you are not entitled. Whether or not these savings are passed on to
you or retained as part of the contractor's fee is something that should be
covered in the contract.
Industry groups recommend that you get a written estimate from at least
three contractors. An estimate should detail the work to be done, the
materials needed, the labor required, and the length of time the job will
take. Obtaining multiple estimates is a good idea. An estimate can evolve
into a bid--a more detailed figure based on plans with actual dimensions.
Seeking more than one bid will increase your odds of paying much less. Once
agreed to and signed by you and the contractor, a bid becomes a contract.
The cheapest bid isn't always the best. Homeowners who accept a rock-bottom
bid may wind up less satisfied overall than those willing to pay more. One
bidder may be using smaller-diameter copper tubing or cheaper tile. He or
she may also be bidding on exactly what you say you want, without making it
clear that your pre-World War II house may also need new wiring and water
lines, which will cost extra.
Make sure all bidders are bidding on the same specifications and job
description. Take the time to choose materials and fixtures yourself, since
you may not always like or agree with the contractor's selections. The term
"comparing apples and oranges" may well have been invented during the
Know your plans. It can be costly to change job specifications after the
work has begun. Revising your plans can add substantially to cost overruns,
with changes resulting in lengthy delays. A less-than-straightforward low
bidder is counting on these changes to make the job profitable.
NEGOTIATING A FAIR CONTRACT
A contract spells out all the terms of the work, helping you and the
contractor minimize misunderstandings and wasted effort caused by poor
instructions. It should include the contractor's name and address, license
number, timetable for starting and finishing the job, payment schedule,
names of subcontractors, and the scope of work to be done.
Other basic items include a specification of materials and equipment needed,
demolition and cleanup provisions, approximate start and finish dates, terms
of the agreement, and room for signatures and the date. Watch out for
binding arbitration provisions that limit
your right to sue in the event of
An excellent addendum to a contract is the contractor's statement of what
isn't included. This will include the assumptions the contractor has made
about your job, such as that the existing wiring and plumbing lines are
adequate, that the homeowner will pay for all trash removal, that the
subflooring is sound, that the existing baseboards and window trim will be
usable, and so on.
Do your homework and specify the materials and brand names of products,
appliances, and fixtures to be used. The contract should also give the
contractor the burden of obtaining building permits. Most municipalities
have a building code; the person who obtains the permit is usually liable if
the work doesn't come up to code.
It's common to pay for a project in stages over the course of the work,
especially as key materials and supplies are delivered. Try to limit the
down payment to 10 percent or less. Contractors who ask for a substantial
amount up front may use your money to hire help to finish their previous
job, leaving you to fume at delays. In some states, it's illegal to require
large deposits. Some projects, however, require deposits on components that
have to be made to order--kitchen cabinets, for instance. In such a case, a
higher down payment may be required and justified.
Your contractor should agree to resolve problems that arise during the
course of work rather than afterward. They might readily fix sloppy
plastering or a leaky roof as soon as it's pointed out but be less willing
to fix it later on. That's a good reason to hold back part of the final
payment until after a job is completed. You can negotiate such terms and
include them in the contract. Withholding the last 5 to 10 percent of the
money for 30 days isn't an unreasonable stipulation.
Never make the final payment until you have obtained signed mechanic's-lien
waivers or releases from all subcontractors and suppliers. These are
basically receipts acknowledging payment for goods and services; they free
you from third-party claims on your property in the event that you pay the
contractor but he or she doesn't pay subcontractors or suppliers.
DOING IT YOURSELF
If you have a fairly uncomplicated remodeling project in mind and think you
can handle it yourself, you will need three things:
Time. Unless you're experienced, chances are you'll take longer to do a job
than a professional carpenter or plumber would. And, unless you're retired,
you probably have something else to do eight hours a day or more during the
week. This could dim some of your enthusiasm for a lengthy stint of
after-work and weekend labor. If your project is in the basement, attic, or
some closet out of the main traffic area, the extra time may not matter. But
if you have put the kitchen or a bathroom out of commission, you could
quickly find yourself working in a pretty anxious family environment.
Talent. Remember, you'll be doing something for the first time that a
contractor has done many times. You'll take longer and probably make more
mistakes than the professional. Most people underestimate the scope of a
building task and overestimate their skills; try to be realistic in your
appraisals of both.
Tools. Figure in the cost of new tools and mileage for trips to the hardware
store in your project estimates. Most projects require specialized tools.
Hanging a door, for example, needs a router, special bits, and setup jigs
for both the hinges and lock sets.
If you have some doubts about your ability to handle a remodeling task by
yourself but still want to be involved and save some money, consider hiring
a contractor who will let you work with him or her as an unpaid assistant.
That way you can take over some of the simple yet time-consuming tasks such
as sanding, puttying, painting, cleaning up each day, or just holding up one
end of a plank. Be sure to work out this arrangement with your contractors
before they bid on the job. Some will welcome your help; others may not.
There are hundreds of good books dedicated to the do-it-yourselfer, offering
step-by-step descriptions, drawings, and photos covering virtually any home
project you may have. Check your local bookstore or library. There are also
web sites that can offer you help. Search the National Association of Home
Builders' web site (www.nahb.com) for the project you have in mind for
'Your home is your castle so why put off making it your castle?'
'A house is no home unless it
contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.' -- (Sarah)
Home Depot's Cattlemen Road store employees cut carpet
for a customer.
Kitchen remodels are among the
most popular home improvements because they offer a great return on
investment while giving you the opportunity to enhance and simplify your
daily routines. If you're seriously considering a kitchen remodel, you've
probably done a lot of research. You've paged through home decorating
magazines, visited websites, and checked out the kitchen sections of the
home improvement stores in town. One sure-fire way to increase your home's
value, while giving your kitchen a new look is by changing the countertop
and backsplash. Changing these can greatly increase both functionality and
Just about every homeowner has at one time or another looked for that extra
special touch - the feature that will make the landscape stand out from all
the rest. There are of course many ways to accomplish this goal, from the
installation of a pond to the creation of a relaxing Zen garden. One of the
best ways to perk up a tired landscape, however, is to install a gazebo. A
gazebo can serve many functions, from a mini oasis to the perfect venue for
informal backyard get togethers. A gazebo can even serve as home to a
luxurious hot tub or spa. Its uses are only limited by your imagination.
The type of gazebo you choose is an important consideration. When choosing a
gazebo, consider what purpose the gazebo will serve. For instance, if the
gazebo is to serve as an outdoor living space, it probably should be an
enclosed model. Enclosed gazebos come complete with windows and doors, just
like a small home in the backyard. Such an enclosed gazebo makes a perfect
outdoor room, and a great romantic getaway as well.
On the other hand, a large oval or rectangular gazebo can be the perfect
venue for outdoor entertainment. These large gazebos come without railings
or walls, and they make a great space for entertaining. These gazebos are
perfect for backyard barbecues, outdoor meals, parties, holiday celebrations
and other large gatherings.
Those who want a smaller gazebo may want to look at one of the many garden
gazebos. These small gazebos provide a great focal point for a beautiful
garden, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including round and
square gazebos. Some come with built in benches, while others can
accommodate ordinary patio or outdoor furniture.
Chris from Sparkle Brite Pool Supply loads customers up
Try the New Government Home Energy Web Site Calculator
Florida House Learning Center
Located on the Campus of Sarasota County Technical Institute at:
4600 Beneva Road South
Sarasota, FL 34233
Phone: (941) 316-1200
Fax: (941) 316-1203
This project was begun in 1990 as an outgrowth of water concerns in Sarasota County. Water efficiency measures are demonstrated throughout the house and landscape, including water collection in cisterns for use in irrigation, greywater reuse, micro-irrigation, and conserving fixtures and equipment.
Energy efficiency is demonstrated through the passive solar design, materials and construction methods; lighting design and fixtures; solar energy utilization, proper plant placement, and the use of low-maintenance plants.
This "healthy" house improves indoor air quality though the use of non- and least-toxic building materials, good air circulation and a dehumidifier "heat pipe" unit to prevent mold and mildew. Radon protection has been built into the foundation, along with termite shields and natural pest control methods. Only the safest and least toxic pest control alternatives and slow release fertilizers are used in the landscape.
Many products in the Learning Center are recycled or have a high percentage of recycled content, encouraging consumers to "complete the loop" by buying recycled. There are also organized areas for recycling, both in the house and the yard.
An important principle of "sustainability" is the support of local businesses, enhancing the area economy and reducing transportation costs and pollution. Local products were used as much as possible.
|Designed for jointing and surfacing hardwoods,
the RIDGIDŽ Jointer-Planer from Emerson Tool Company features a 6-1/8"
blade width, powerful belt drive and heavy-duty, totally enclosed fan-cooled(TEFC)
dual-voltage induction motor for the most demanding applications.
Sealed to prevent sawdust penetration, the one horsepower motor can
easily be converted from 120-volt operation to 240-volt operation. For a
smooth finish, the jointer-planer offers a three-knife cutter head that
delivers 15,000 cuts per minute. An adjustable front infeed table allows
quick depth of cut adjustments. The rear table also adjusts making it
easy to set-up the machine when changing and setting the knives using
the jackscrew knife adjustment.
The jointer-planer offers a 1/8" cutting depth as well as 1/2"
rabbeting capabilities. A large, easy-to-read depth scale lets the
operator know how much material is being removed at each pass. The cast
iron base, table, and fence help dampen vibration while providing added
stability. The large center mount fence can be beveled in both
directions and has adjustable bevel stops at 45°, 90°, and 135°. An
angle gauge, included with the jointer, allows the operator to quickly
set fence bevel angles and stores on-board when not in use. A 45" long
work surface supports long workpieces with precision.
The jointer-planer's built-in dust collection chute / vacuum port
provides quick 4" hose hook-up to a dust collector or wet/dry vac. If a
vacuum source is not used to collect the sawdust, the vacuum port
quickly slides up out of the way and locks to expose a sawdust chute.
Sof-Touch ergonomic controls and knobs make the jointer-planer
comfortable to use. The wide, easy to assemble stand provides a stable
platform and on-board storage for the two push blocks and angle gauge.
The JP0610 is UL Listed and carries the RIDGID Lifetime Warranty against
defects in material and workmanship.
1. Sprays: d-Limonene (Orange Guard)
2. Solid or gel bait stations: abemectin & hydroprene (Raid Max Bait Plus Egg Stopper), boric acid (Harris Roach Control Tablets, PicBoric Acid, others), fipronil (Combat Quick Kill, Combat Roach Killing Gel), and hydramethylnon (numerous brands)
3. Dusts in crawl areas (cracks and crevices): boric acid (numerous brands)
4. Sticky Traps (numerous brands)
Fleas in the Home
1. Dusts in carpet, pet bedding, upholstry: Borate (numerous brands)
2. Pet treatments:
shampoos - d-Limonene (numerous brands);
veterinarian prescribed spot on or internal treatments - fipronil (Frontline), imidicloprid (Advantage) and lufenuron (Program);
sprays and collars - methoprene (Precor).
3. Insect growth regulators sprayed in dry, shaded areas of yard to reduce flea population: methoprene (Siphotrol) or pyriproxyfen (Archer).
Caterpillars on Vegetables, Ornamental Plants and Lawns:
Biological insecticide: Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) (Dipel, Safer Caterpillar Killer, Thuricide and others). Follow label directions.
Fire Ants in the Landscape
1. Mound drenches: d-Limonene (Citrex) or Pine Oil (Insecto 7)
2. Insect growth regulator or stomach poison baits (broadcast application):fenoxycarb (Award), hydramethylnon (Amdro, Maxforce, others), methoprene (Extinguish), spinosad (Eliminator).
Aphids, Soft Scales, Whiteflies, Mealy Bugs, Mites on Vegetables and Ornamental Plants
RECIPE: homemade Insecticidal Soap spray: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
1 tablespoon of NON-DEGREASING liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of water (Use of this recipe increases the risk of plant injury. The degree of injury depends on the type of detergent used)
RECIPE: homemade Horticultural Oil spray:KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil (corn, soybean, peanut or sunflower) per gallon of water. To increase efficiency, add 1 teaspoon of NON-DEGREASING liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of water (addition of soap increases the risk of plant injury)
Fungal or Bacterial Disease Problems on Vegetables and Ornamental Plants
- typically prevented through proper cultural practices
RECIPE: homemade fungicide spray: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon vegetable cooking oil per gallon of water.
Chinch Bugs in Lawns
Available Biological Control: Beauvaria bassiana (Naturalis T&O) beneficial fungus
Available Alternative Insecticide: Imidicloprid (Bayer Advanced Lawn) systemic insecticide
To Top of Page
Watch for our new energy efficient / hurricane impact window
improvements: See story below.
Sarasota Green House Project begins to take
shape with: MySafeFlorida Home Survey, FPL Energy Survey, air duct
remediation, extra insulation, 3 foot overhangs, low volume toilets
and showers, polyfoam hurricane tile, tree canopies, compost bin,
creek irrigation. Watch as this 1973 Sarasota Florida cypress front house
transforms. water and a solar electric grid.
Decorative finishes add texture, style and
originality to any home. Here we take the mystery out of the techniques
used by professional decorators and show you how to put mystique into
your living space.
For the types of decorative finish discussed here, the process involves
first applying an opaque base coat with an eggshell/satin sheen followed
by layers of different color applied in a pattern or thinned as a wash.
(Because flat paint is porous, it doesn't work well as a base coat for
decorative painting, but it may be used as a topcoat.)
Either latex or solvent-based paint can be used, but you must use one
type only. Latex offers the advantage of easier clean-up; however, alkyd
paints slower drying time allows you more time to work the pattern
before it hardens.
These are three types of popular finish techniques:
shown here has been selling furniture for over 50 years. In Sarasota he
was with Robb and Stucky since they opened a store here almost two
decades ago. We shall miss him.
Central air conditioners use electric energy to
pump heat out of your home and dump it outside. They distribute cooled air
throughout your house and remove moisture from the indoor air.
The efficiency of Central A/C units is governed by U.S.
law and regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Every A/C unit is
assigned an efficiency rating known as its seasonal energy efficiency ratio
(SEER). The SEER is defined as the total cooling output (in Btu - British
thermal units) provided by the unit during its normal annual usage period
divided by its total energy input (in Watt-hours) during the same period.
The SEER is displayed on a yellow label affixed to the A/C
unit. Higher SEERs are better. The minimum SEER allowed by law for a central
A/C is 10 for a split system or 9.7 for a single-package unit. The best
available SEER is about 18, while many older units have SEER ratings of 6 or
less. Most consumers should look for a SEER of 12 or higher when buying a
new A/C system.
- Central A/C units are more efficient than window or
through-the-wall units. They are also out of the way, quiet, and
convenient to operate.
- High-efficiency A/C units save money on your utility
- High-efficiency A/C units result in fewer
environmentally harmful emissions.
* Among the 32 to 36 inch televisions the SONY's are highly rated.
* Dishwashers have gotten quieter and more efficient over the years.
Spend $350 to $600, and you'll get one that effectively cleans a dirty load
without pre-rinsing. For twice as much or more, you'll get a quieter
machine, maybe cloaked in stylish stainless steel, with hidden controls. A
dirt sensor found in many middle-range and high-end models is designed to
adjust water use to the amount of dirt to be removed. Also increasingly
common is a sanitizing feature that makes the water extra-hot and is
supposed to provide a better wash. But remember that as soon as you touch a
dish while taking it out of the dishwasher, it's no longer sanitized.
* Replacing an aging refrigerator may save you in electric bills, since
refrigerators are more energy efficient now than they were a decade ago. The
Department of Energy toughened its rules in the early 1990s and imposed even
stricter requirements in July 2001 for this appliance, which is the top
electricity user in the house.
* If you're outfitting your kitchen with a new stove, the array of choices
will probably either delight or bewilder you. There's the choice of
freestanding range (with oven included) or cook top (which requires a
separate wall oven). But even before that choice, you'll need to decide on
gas or electric--or both. If you have opted for an electric range, you face
a choice of smooth top, in which a sheet of ceramic glass covers the heating
elements, or traditional coil heating elements. Complicating matters is the
fact that electric and gas models are beginning to share characteristics.
Some gas models have electric warming zones and smoothtop surfaces (though
they're under the burners, not above, as with electric smoothtops). More and
more high-end models pair gas surface burners with an electric oven.
Cooperative Extension Homepage
About the Department of Energy's Heating and Cooling Model For Evaluating What You Can Do to Make your home more efficient: You plug in the information about your home and the computer tells you how efficient your home is by energy usage.
Don't get boggled by the government jabbler below. Go to the web site and see what you can do to make your home more efficient.
DOE-2 is a detailed hourly building energy simulation tool that utilizes either long-term average or year-specific weather data (air temperatures, relative humidities, solar radiation, etc.) and Building Description Language, or BDL, supplied by the user. The BDL consists of detailed information on the dimensions, materials, and construction of the foundation, walls, doors, windows, ceiling, and roof of a building, through which heat flows; the quantities and schedules of occupants, appliances, lighting, and equipment that generate heat inside the building; the sizes, efficiencies, and schedules of the heating and cooling systems used to condition the building; and, if desired, the local utility rates for the energy sources used to operate the heating and cooling systems . In addition, we make use of the BDL macro language .
DOE-2 is a complex physical model that accounts for the interactions between the weather conditions, building structure, and interior conditions. The first part of the DOE-2 program, the LOADS subprogram, determines the heating and cooling required in the building, given the weather conditions imposed on it. The SYSTEMS subprogram, the second part of DOE-2, calculates the energy used to operate the heating and cooling systems, and the degree to which these systems satisfy the comfort conditions required in the building. The third part of DOE-2, the PLANT subprogram, calculates the energy used to operate central heating and cooling systems, such as boilers and chillers, if such systems are used to feed individual heating and cooling units. Based on the specified utility prices, the ECONOMICS subprogram estimates the costs of the energy resources expended in operating the building conditioning systems.
Once energy use is calculated, we multiply by the energy price to arrive at the final energy cost. Prices for each fuel are defaulted to the average for the state in which the building is located (using the 1994 annual averages reported by the Energy Information Administration), or they can be overridden with custom inputs by the user.
 Birdsall, B., W.F. Buhl, K.L. Ellington, A.E. Erdem, and F.C. Winkelmann. 1990. "Overview of the DOE-2 building energy analysis program, version 2.1D." LBL-19735, Rev. 1. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
 This method is patterned after a method developed by Joe Huang of LBNL.
Home Integrated Pest Management Alternatives
and Home Recipes for Pest Control Urban
Horticulture Extension Agent
This information is offered only as a suggestion and is designed exclusively for HOMEOWNER USE. It must be used with other literature describing additional management practices. Use of insecticides or baits alone, without managing other factors, will rarely provide satisfactory control.
Commercial users MUST be properly licensed before legally applying pesticides.
Many of these options have not been tested by the University of Florida.
Ants in the Home (including Fire Ants)
1. Sprays: d-Limonene (Citrex; Orange Guard)
2. Solid bait stations: fipronil (Combat Quick Kill), hydramethylnon (Advance Dual Choice Bait Stations with sugar and protein baits, Amdro, Combat Ant Control Bait, Maxforce, others), sulfluramid (Maxattrax, Raid Ant Bait Plus, Spectracide Pro, etc.)
3. Liquid sugar baits or bait stations: boric acid (Protexall, Terro II)
RECIPE: homemade sugar-loving ant insecticidal bait drops
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN!
Ingredients: 1 level teaspoon boric acid PLUS 2 1/2 oz. corn syrup or honey. Directions: heat mixture until boric acid completely dissolves. Cool and dilute with an equal volume of water. Use an eyedropper to place dab of liquid in areas where ants feed (do not use more than the above amount or it will be ineffective).