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Should You DIY or Call for Help?

One of the joys of being a homeowner is the satisfaction that comes with completing a home renovation or improvement project. However, not every project warrants a quick DIY fix.

The question every homeowner needs to ask is whether to do-it-yourself (DIY) or call in a contractor for professional craftsmanship. Several factors, like money, time, quality of results, and your personal confidence and abilities, impact this decision.

So, should you DIY or use a contractor for your next project? 

Here are some things to consider as you weigh your options

Know Your Resources

The general rule of thumb is to tackle projects you feel comfortable with and have the necessary skill set to complete. For example, you can normally paint a room and save money, but installing tile or building a deck might be out of your tool house, so to say. This is where you may choose to seek professional aid.

Of course, you can increase your chances of a positive outcome if you have the right resources. The internet opens up new possibilities for DIY projects, with plenty of how-to videos and more. It’s easy to learn how to craft molding or build a bookshelf.

However, knowing your resources also means knowing what you can’t realistically learn. Some skills cannot be mastered overnight. You can’t risk having an unsafe home or property, so it’s your duty to hire a contractor in these instances. 

Manage Your Expectations

A huge factor that impacts whether you go DIY or hire a contractor is your expectations. 

Professionals will get you high-quality results that will be long-lasting. A DIYer might be able to accomplish the task, but not to the standard of a professional. You might be able to lay the tile, but it could be uneven.

If you are okay with that, go for it. Otherwise, hire a contractor.

Play it Safe

At the end of the day, you want to feel safe, and you want others to feel safe. If the project has any potential hazards, consider Be Happy Property Services

Potentially hazardous projects include anything with:

  • Lead paint

  • Mold

  • Asbestos

  • Old wiring

  • Polybutylene piping (form of plastic piping that was used in residential plumbing systems from 1978 to 1995)

Other hazardous projects can involve structural changes, like taking out walls or fixing the foundation. You do not want to literally “bring the roof down” – so be safe! 

Consult

If you are swaying between the two routes, consult a professional. Be Happy Property Services offers free quotes. From there, you can weigh the pros and cons to decide 

 

which option works best.

A professional opinion might even shed light on aspects of the project you have not considered yet.

Our team of professionals are licensed, bonded and insured. Look to us to complete those remodel projects you need done – big or small. We also perform commercial maintenance and renovations.

Contact us today to learn more!

#behappypropertyservices #winterizinghome #remodelprojects #winterremodel #whentohireapro #shouldIhireapro #homeremodeling

Now is the time to get started on those remodeling projects

We are almost done with 2020! Time is flying by (why couldn't summer feel like March and go on forever?) and this year will be ending before we know it. Our team is looking forward to closing the year out strong. If remodeling your home has been on your to-do list for a while, now is the best time to get started! Now is the perfect time to begin your home remodeling project. Winter is at our doorstep and once the trick-or-treaters disappear into the night and the snow drops, everything starts to change. So, why is now the perfect time to begin those remodeling projects?  

Finish in time for the holidays

  Summer is known as the busy season for contractors and remodelers, but it’s not until the fall and early winter that most homeowners really start to think about fixing up their home. The thought of family and friends coming to visit for the holidays can really bring into the light how much work needs to be done around the house! As we are staying home more and more, having a comfortable and safe home is imperative. Unfortunately, waiting until late in the game to start meeting with contractors and planning your project can greatly reduce the chances of completion before the holidays. By jumpstarting the project a few months early, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother, more positive experience and allowing for a more realistic timeline.  

There are fewer distractions

  For us Alaskans, the summer months can be hectic – there’s not enough time for family, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. Now that summer is gearing down, take some time to consider the best remodeling options, discuss all of your questions and concerns with your contractor, and take the necessary steps to have your project financed. You also will be able to devote your focus on important design selection items, such as your paint colors, tile, countertops, flooring, and so on. As we have mentioned so many times: there is so much more involved in remodeling than most people realize. While our team of professionals is there to help every step of the way, it’s impossible for any contractor to complete a project if the clients are unable to make decisions when the time comes. The fewer outside distractions you have, the easier it will be to focus on the project at hand. Starting your home remodeling project now can really be a beneficial move. You’ll be less stressed and be able to focus whole-heartedly on the project.  Gearing up your home for the dead of winter is a priority that should be handled now to protect it and your family during the colder months of the year. To get your home prepped and ready, here are some important tasks that you shouldn’t forget.  

Clean Up The Yard

  Before the nastiest of the nasty weather arrives, be absolutely sure to clear away any leaves and debris left behind throughout your yard. Fall weather can be windy, wet, and messy, and those mountains of leaves won’t do you any favors. If debris is left on your lawn or ends up around a storm drain, it can end up damaging your yard and may prevent excess moisture from getting where it needs to be handled by a runoff and drainage system to avoid flooding. If you need help, know that expert handymen are just a phone call or email away; we’re happy to help you tackle your yard work with ease and expertise.  

Clear Out the Gutters

  Do you have gutters? In addition to your yard, the gutters are another priority task to incorporate into your winter prep plan at home. These fixtures prevent all of the moisture from pooling along the roof and close to the foundation of your home, keeping it safe and dry. This leads to a more comfortable, longer-lasting home that needs less maintenance as time goes on. So, if you haven’t already had yours cleaned, now is the time to do so before it’s too late!  

Check Windows, Apply Weather-Stripping

  It is a good time to inspect your windows and doors for any signs of air leaks, damage, or otherwise, as it doesn’t get any easier when it gets frigid out there. Even slight cracks can cause a hefty dent in your utility bills during the winter. If you have any broken frames, have them replaced now before the snow arrives. Also, if your windows require weather-stripping for that extra tight seal, don’t forget to take care of it before the snow hits!  

Repair Stairs, Entranceway & Walkways

  If the stairs, entranceway, or walkways on your property are in any way damaged, it’s a good idea to have them repaired now before the ice and snow arrive. Ignoring these tasks can create a safety hazard for you, your family, and anyone accessing your home. If there are damaged steps or broken interlocking stones beneath a layer of ice or snow, someone can easily get injured. Have any external stairs and walkways fixed before winter by reaching out to experienced experts in clearing away debris and performing proper, reliable fixes,   

Install And Check Detectors

  With the fire roaring during those extra-cold winter nights, you should always ensure that your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. If you don’t have any installed for some reason, do so immediately, as they become an increasing danger during the winter months. Keeping a close eye on safety and wellness is critical in the winter season!   Our team of professionals can take care of just about any outdoor and indoor maintenance projects you need – big or small. We also perform commercial maintenance and renovations. Contact us today to learn more!   #behappypropertyservices #winterizing #remodelprojects #winterremodel #readyforthewinter #endof2020 #realresults #projectsthatmatter #homeremodeling #landscaping

Outdoor Maintenance Time

We know that winter can be painful to even think about. Summers here go by so quickly. And, some of us would rather wait until the first snowfall to face the reality of its arrival.   Unfortunately, that’s never a good idea when it comes to winterizing your home.  The reality is that fall is quickly approaching, and along with that is outdoor maintenance time. Once the leaves begin to change, it’s time to face the music and get your home ready for the onslaught of winter weather before it appears. To help ensure you cover your bases, here are the Be Happy Property Services top must-do fall outdoor maintenance tasks.

Store Summer Items

Any garden equipment, lawn chairs, barbeque equipment, and other summer items should be taken down and put away around mid-season and stored until next year. Also, don’t forget to drain any gas-powered tools before putting them away. We also recommend tidying up your shed and garage to prevent mold and rust from developing.

Apply Weather Stripping & Caulking

After the summer season, your weather stripping and caulking can begin to deteriorate, leaving gaps and cracks along the edges of your windows and doors. Make sure you address this before the first frost and winter dampness hits!  Spend a moment inspecting and reapplying weather stripping or caulking to any areas that are prone to drafts to keep your home air-tight and comfortable. That way, you’re better prepared for the colder seasons of the year and also get the most value out of your heating system.

Repair Walkways

Once the ground becomes blanketed in snow and ice, wobbly interlock and paths can become treacherous. If you have any broken or uneven pathways, stairs, or if your porch requires some maintenance, deal with them now before they get buried in snow.  Having the Be Happy Property Services professionals ensure a smooth, safe way to access all entrances and exits on your property is essential to being prepared for emergencies – including safe escapes in the event of a fire, or on a positive note, welcoming family over the Christmas holidays!

Check Ventilation

Leaves and sticks stuck in your laundry room exhaust? Or, has that tree overgrown and blocked an air vent? When that furnace is on and a sideways blizzard is occurring outside, the last thing you want to do is head out and make sure your ventilation is in working order. We’re talking about exhaust pipes, intake vents and the like, which work to ensure fresh, clean air enters your home and stale old air is filtered out. Otherwise, you could encounter various health and wellness issues, and nobody wants that!

Prepare Your Garden

Finally, if you have shrubs and trees in your yard, now’s the time to trim them and apply burlap to buffer them from the weather. Don’t forget to cut any overhanging branches over sidewalks and areas of your home to prevent injury or damage to your roof and surrounding structures. For a maintenance-free fall season, give us a call at Be Happy Property Services instead of tackling that large list of tasks on your own!  Our team of professionals can take care of just about any outdoor and indoor maintenance projects you need – big or small. We also perform commercial maintenance and renovations. Contact us today to learn more!

Looking for Instant Curb Appeal?

For those of you that are in the process of selling your house, first impressions go a long way. The outside of your home is the first thing potential home buyers will see so it’s important to make it look as visually appealing as possible. Below are a few inexpensive projects you can complete that will provide your home with instant curb appeal:

Give your front door the attention it deserves

Updating your front door is one of the easiest—and most satisfying—ways to boost curb appeal. Here are a few ideas to try, starting with the simplest first:

  • Scrub any accumulated gunk and grime from the front door, screen door, and entry area.

  • Polish tarnished metal fixtures to shine.

  • Replace the lightbulbs in the overhead or sidelight fixtures.

  • Trim any wayward plants or scraggly bushes.

  • Hang a wreath on the door—there are good options for all seasons.

  • Add two potted plants on each side of the entry for an asymmetrical look.

  • Select and install new light fixtures.

Paint the front door 

  • Giving your front door a blast of color can provide excellent curb appeal. Your choice of color is very important so it might be a good idea to get the advice of a professional.

  • Add contrasting molding to make the entrance pop.

Outdoor lighting

Having good outdoor lighting is a huge plus. Consider placing lighting along the sidewalks or driveway. Low-voltage lighting can dramatically improve your home’s nighttime curb appeal, and by lighting walkways and dark corners, it can improve safety and security as well.

New mailbox 

A new mailbox can easily add a little curb appeal.  Hanging plants or planting flowers around the mailbox is a nice touch and can help to make the mailbox stand out.

Set the scene with beautiful landscaping

Plant a tree and cut back large or overgrown bushes. Whether it’s a lush green lawn, a native flower garden, or a beautiful old oak tree, the landscaping surrounding a home accentuates its best features. But if your lawn is run-down, your plants dried up, or your branches close to toppling, it’s time for an update.

Here’s where to start:

  • Trim, prune, weed, and mow everything that’s crying out for attention.

  • Give flower beds some oomph with an attractive stone border.

  • Plant fresh flowers or install a colorful container garden.

  • Plant new trees if you have the room—it’s an investment that will pay off with time.

  • Add outdoor art like sculptures, wind chimes, or a fountain.

Treat your walkway to an elegant upgrade

A neglected, cracked walkway can be transformed into an elegant path with just a little work. Here’s how to give your walkway extra curb appeal:

  • Remove weeds sprouting in the cracks, and fill them in.

  • Illuminate the walkway with low-voltage landscape lighting.

  • Add an attractive stone or flower border.

  • Replace a concrete walkway with contoured brick or stone.

Just remember that no matter how small the update is, it’s likely to have a big impact on your home’s curb appeal.

The only way to get results, though, is to get started!

Completing the projects above can help provide instant curb appeal to your home. 

Contact Be Happy Property Services at 907-336-7434 for an estimate on what you can do to create instant curb appeal. We are happy to help!

#behappypropertyservices #instantcurbappeal #realresults #projectsthatmatter #homeremodeling #landscaping

Outdoor Landscaping Ideas

Outdoor Landscaping Ideas

As our Alaskan days grow longer and temperatures get warmer, families gravitate to the outdoors to relax and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Make the most of your backyard and personalize your outdoor living space with these creative landscaping ideas from the experienced professionals at Be Happy Property Services, with options to suit every type of lifestyle and any size of yard or budget.  

Backyard Landscaping Ideas

 

Install a Fire Pit

A custom outdoor fireplace or fire pit is the perfect combination of beauty and functionality which provides light, warmth, and ambiance to your patio or backyard. Choose from a multitude of design and material options such as brick, stone, or concrete and a fuel source that best suits your needs and lifestyle.  

Build a Raised Vegetable Garden

Poor soil conditions, space limitations, and physical restrictions can be a deterrent to vegetable gardening for many, but a raised bed is the ideal solution that can be configured to suit any backyard landscape. Loose, rich, easily accessible soil stays warmer above ground for an extended growing season with fewer weeds and minimal bending.  

Add Hardscaping

Hardscape is any non-living component of a landscape made from either man-made materials or natural elements such as stone or wood. Whether decorative or functional, hardscaping can help to provide a focal point or add definition to your outdoor space.  Options include:
  • Retaining walls
  • Stone, concrete, or brick patios
  • Walkways
  • Fencing
  • Decks
  • Gazebos
  • Pergolas
  • And more!
 

Be Creative with Lighting

In addition to highlighting key features of your landscape, a well-designed lighting scheme also provides safe secure passage around your property year-round. Choose a variety of different lighting types and styles for best results including string lights, pendant lights, floodlights, and more.  

Create an Outdoor Kitchen

Live the Alaskan summer life to the fullest! An outdoor kitchen lets you join in the fun with the tools and equipment you need to prepare and serve delicious food and drinks from the comfort of your backyard. Choose your components based on your budget, space, and lifestyle, with options that include:
  • Outdoor grill
  • Cooktop
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Wine fridge
  • Sink
  • Bar seating
  • Storage space
  • Task lighting
  • And more!
 

Install Terracing Garden Beds

Turn your sloped yard to your advantage by adding one or more terraces filled with flowers or vegetables. Reinforce the structure with a retaining wall constructed from wood, stone, concrete blocks, or other materials, and complete the look with a set of steps for easy access.

Extend your interior living space with these outdoor landscaping ideas, and create a relaxing oasis where your family and friends can come to unwind, celebrate, and make a lifetime of memories. Contact us to learn more about our wide array of residential landscaping services or call (907) 336-7434 to schedule a free estimate today!

4 Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a clean house, but what if your home isn’t as spick-and-span as you thought it was?  Your floors are spotless and even your baseboards are bright and dust-free, but what about the areas you don’t see every day? Unfortunately, HVAC ducts, the metal conduits that pipe cooled or heated air through your house, are a favorite hiding place of dust, dirt, and other allergens. Ductwork is hidden, after all, and because central air conditioning systems draw air in from outside to cool and circulate through the house, contaminants easily make their way indoors.

WHAT’S HIDING IN YOUR DUCTS?

  • Dust

  • Insulation

  • Fungus

  • Pet Hair

  • Pet Dander

  • Bacteria

  • Dust Mites

  • Mouse Droppings

  • Mold

  • Pollen

Cleaning your home’s air ducts isn’t something you should attempt on your own. It’s a complex process that requires advanced knowledge of HVAC systems as well as specialized tools, so always rely on professionals so that your job will be done correctly and according to the most up-to-date methods and processes. If you’re not entirely confident that you’d know when your air ducts need cleaning, keep reading to learn the telltale signs of dirty ducts!

Giveaways of Dirty Air Ducts

Since your home’s ductwork is hidden behind layers of flooring and sheetrock, you’ll need to keep a sharp eye out for these four signs that your air ducts are getting a little grimy.

 1. Mold has been found in your furnace or air conditioning system.

Your HVAC system needs to be cleaned and serviced periodically—in fact, most manufacturers and HVAC service professionals recommend scheduling two service visits per year. Because both air conditioners and furnaces can develop condensation, mold growth is a possibility, especially if you live in a humid climate. Mold found on your furnace, air conditioner, or air handler unit isn’t a guarantee that your ductwork has been affected, but it certainly increases the chances. 

2. Your home was just built or has undergone a major renovation.

Construction is messy. Even when contractors are diligent about cleaning up and closing off work areas to keep the rest of the house tidy, dust and debris will always find its way in. And unless the HVAC system is not turned on and kept completely covered during the entire construction process (which isn’t realistic for most homeowners), that dirt and dust will make its way into your ductwork. Construction dust can contain some pretty nasty particulate matter that you don’t want to breathe, so don’t wait until you experience respiratory problems to call in the pros.

3. Your home is very dusty, no matter how often you clean.

Dusting isn’t the most entertaining task, but it’s something we all have to do from time to time. If, however, you notice that every flat surface in your house is coated in a layer of dust almost immediately after you’ve put away your cleaning supplies, you probably need to have your ducts cleaned. Take a look at both the supply and return vents around your house. 

Are they visibly dirty and dusty? 

Carefully remove a vent cover and look into the ductwork. 

Is the metal covered in dust?

If your answer is yes to both questions, give Be Happy a call so we schedule an air duct cleaning.

4. You’ve noticed your heating and/or cooling costs climbing. 

Your heating and cooling costs are relatively predictable from year to year. If you receive a bill that is noticeably high, however, or if you look at your records and note that your utility bills are much higher now compared to the same time a year ago, your home’s ductwork might be (partially, at least) to blame. In extreme cases, ductwork can become so dirty that air isn’t able to flow freely and efficiently through your home’s HVAC system. When this happens, your furnace and air conditioner are forced to work harder (use more energy, in other words) to maintain the temperature you’ve set at the thermostat. This extra energy expenditure translates to higher utility bills for you. Beyond removing airflow-obstructing dirt and debris, your air duct cleaning technician will also keep an eye out for leaking ducts. Ductwork is usually installed in a home in sections, and these sections are sealed to prevent air leakage. Over years of use, however, these seals can deteriorate, which reduces the efficiency of your HVAC system. Imagine trying to fill a small cup using a fire hose: You’ll get some water in the cup, but ultimately, most of the water will end up on the floor. Leaky ducts have a similar effect on your home. You’ll still have air moving through your ductwork, but some of that heated or cooled air will end up in the attic, walls, or basement. The bottom line is that when your ductwork isn’t sealed properly, you’re paying for heated air that you don’t get to enjoy. Residential vacuum cleaners and cleaning attachments simply aren’t powerful enough to do the job correctly, and a DIYer runs the risk of doing serious damage to the ductwork.  We understand that this can be an overwhelming time for our customers. While our community is experiencing Covid-19 issues we are offering $20 off all honey-do handyman and remodeling services. We utilize all safety precautions while we serve you and your family. Be Happy Property Services provides safe services you can have confidence in. Call us today for an estimate. New and returning customers, we appreciate you and are here for all your needs.  

Building and Maintaining the Perfect Alaskan Deck

If you are planning on adding a new deck to your home or property or considering repairs to your existing deck, making sure that your plans are in accordance with local codes can help you avoid a fair amount of hassle during this process. Working with an experienced contractor can help you avoid any difficulties with city officials and can ensure the best possible solutions for all your deck needs.

Building Your Dream Deck

We can also design and install a new deck to your precise specifications, allowing you to enjoy the best of outdoor living right at home. Deck additions are a favorite remodeling project. The functionality and value that your new deck will add to your property will surely outweigh the costs. Give us a call today and you'll soon have the deck of your dreams, with a return on investment, that you can't beat.

Maintaining Your Current Deck

Regular maintenance can keep your deck looking great and performing as expected for many years into the future. At Be Happy Property Services we can provide comprehensive deck inspections to identify any issues with the structural or physical elements of your deck. We offer a full lineup of maintenance services that include the following: • Power wash services to clean away unwanted grime and to leave your deck ready for further treatment • Staining and sealing to enhance the beauty of your deck while extending its useful life • Replacing damaged boards and railings to ensure safety and stability for these important elements of your outdoor décor • Complete rebuild projects that can enhance and expand your exterior entertainment spaces while ensuring the most beautiful results for you and your family

The Extras - Entertainment and Lighting

Bringing the indoors outside with covered deck areas, innovative lighting options and audio and video entertainment centers can increase the appeal of your deck throughout the spring, summer and fall. For tech-savvy families, installing a Wi-Fi extender to provide connectivity in your back yard and deck can be a valuable investment in family togetherness in the outdoor setting. To learn more about how we can help you enjoy the most modern and appealing deck possible, contact us today.  We provide services in the Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, and Wasilla areas, and look forward to providing the best handyman and remodeling services to our communities.

An update to our valued customers and community members

Dear Be Happy Customers: The health and well-being of our customers, employees and the communities we serve are of paramount importance. During these uncertain times related to COVID-19, we feel it is important to update you regarding our commitment to provide service and support as well as safety precautions we are utilizing. Communication and transparency are critical now more than ever, so these are the things we want you to know: We are here for you. Some of our services are considered low-contact, including roof replacements, window replacements, and siding installations. When customers do need to interact with one of our team members directly, we will comply with the recommended social distancing practices and will not approach your front door unless requested. We also require our teams to use hand sanitizer before exiting their vehicles prior to entering a client’s property and deep-cleaning tools and equipment. We also understand it’s tough to feel at ease in a time like this, and we are happy to send any information and invoices digitally via email.
How are we responding as a company to COVID-19? To help keep you, your community, our employees and their families safe and healthy, we are taking necessary precautions to ensure that homeowners and staff stay safe in the coming weeks. How are we are trying to do our part for our communities? We understand that this can be an overwhelming time for our customers. We would like to reach out a helping hand. While our community is experiencing Covid-19 issues we are offering $20 off an hour on all honey-do handyman and remodeling services. We utilize all safety precautions while we serve you and your family. Be Happy Property Services provides safe services you can have confidence in. Call us today for an estimate. New and returning customers, we appreciate you and are here for all your needs.
$20 off an hour on all honey-do handyman and remodeling services
We appreciate your continued trust in Be Happy Property Services. For questions or concerns about your particular project, please call us at (907) 336-7434.  Thank you from all of us here at Be Happy Property Services.  
Lawn Care Company in Anchorage

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Lawn Care Company in Anchorage

Caring for your lawn is a lot of work. If you are tired of all the weeding, fertilizing and constant mowing, hiring a lawn care company is a great way to relieve the burden. With the routine care of your lawn out of the way, you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time working in it.
Home Handyman

Spring Handyman Preparation Guide

Winter weather in Anchorage, Alaska, can be wrought with challenges. During an average winter, Anchorage sees over seventy-five inches of snow. That number totals out to over six feet of snow each winter between October (when Anchorage usually sees its first snow of the year) and late March when spring officially arrives. The snow and ice that generally come with winter weather can be very damaging to your home; however, in addition to the damage winter may bring, the arrival of spring can also provide for its own challenges and issues. Spring is right around the corner. One of the best ways to avoid springtime damage is to inspect your home thoroughly for winter damage as the days begin to grow warmer. We are here to provide top-notch property maintenance services that include lawn care, remodeling and handyman services, decks, siding, and fencing.