News You Can Use From Leading Edge Homes
April 2013

David Letterman        

Why is David Letterman mentioned in the title of this email and pictured above for the second month in a row?  I had so many clients tell me they loved the lists from last month's newsletter that I have compiled two more lists for you to enjoy.
Have you been following the media frenzy over the ex-soldier and the flagpole he erected at the house he's renting in Hypoluxo without a permit?  The media has chosen to make the Town of Hypoluxo out as the villain - even casting them as unpatriotic.  Right after the story broke City Hall was getting 50 hate calls a day.
The fact of the matter is that the Town has no beef with anyone flying a flag.  A permit is not even required if the flag is flown off the wall of a house.  However, a permit is required for a flagpole.  This is needed so the building department can see engineering and manufacturer's documentation to prove that the flagpole won't fall down on someone or go airborne and through a neighbor's window in high winds.  There's always two sides to every story, plus the truth!  My advice is ask first if a permit is required and avoid a lot of unnecessary headaches.


Speaking of high winds, hurricane season if right around the corner.  Things have been relatively quiet since 2005 but how long can that last.  If you don't have hurricane protection for your house, now is the time to get it while plenty of materials are available.  Leading Edge Homes is well versed on all of the options available to protect your home and can provide and install any type of shutters from removable panels to accordions.  Give us a call at 561-795-2551 and we will be happy to help you.

Till next month...



Todd Perry
Leading Edge Homes, Inc.


Ten Hats Your Remodeling Contractor Wears  
  1. Therapist.  Remodeling is stressful -  there are delays, dust, etc.  Sometimes clients just want to vent about something that happened at work.  If we think we can somehow segue into getting them to finally deciding what calming color they would like us to paint their new bedroom, we'll probably hang in there.
  2. Mediator.  There are many parties involved in a project - homeowner, sub-contractors, inspectors, materialmen.  When disagreements or issues occur, someone has to keep the peace or straighten things out.  Since the contractor has the most at stake, he usually must take on this role.
  3. Marriage Counselor.  Often husbands and wives can not agree on design, window placement, colors, and the many other decisions that must be made on the typical project.  Often times they don't communicate clearly with each other.  A good contractor never takes sides, but coaxes a decision without ruffling any feather.
  4. Financial Advisor.  Contractors are used to dealing with banks, insurance agents, and the mortgage process.  Use their expertise, especially when they recommend having 10 - 20% of the contract price available in a contingence fund to take care of any unforeseen problems that may arise or upgrades you may add along the way.
  5. Secretary.  There are many notes that contractors take before and during a project, not to mention texts and emails that must be acted upon.  A contractor must keep an accurate record of all communications to successfully complete a project with happy homeowners.
  6. Realist.  Clients sometimes get carried away with their wishes before and once a project has started.  It's the contractors job to explain the financial and time implications for each requested change.
  7. Real Estate Advisor.  Contractors sometimes see as many houses in a neighborhood as Realtors do.  They can often tell you if you are overimproving your house, not to mention how much the project you are considering will cost.  Honest ones will tell you if it would be more cost effective to move than improve.
  8. Your Home's Best Friend.  Contractors are very observant people.  If we see a clogged up HVAC filter, we will tell you.  If we hear grinding bearings in a pool or irrigation pump, we will tell you.  If we smell a burning electrical component, we will tell you.  We are "house whisperers"!
  9. Translator.  Engineers, carpenters, block masons, plumbers, electricians, cabinet makers - they all use terms that are foreign to most homeowners.  Contractors speak many "languages" and know exactly when to explain when that look on a homeowners face says "Huh?"
  10. Builder. When not wearing one or more of the hats explained above, contractors get to put on a toolbelt and actually construct something.  Although a cell phone might seem to be our most used tool, we really do know how to use a hammer and circular saw.
Ten Things to Look Out For When Remodeling
  1. Lead based paint.  If your house was built prior to 1978, it may have lead based paint.  If your project involves disturbing more than 3 square feet of wall (interior or exterior), you MUST test for the presence of lead based paint or risk being severely fined by the EPA.  Paint chips are especially hazardous to toddler who may touch the chips and put their hands in their mouths ingesting the poison.
  2. Asbestos floor tile.  Typically 9"x9" up to 12"x12". Even the glues used may contain asbestos.  The danger occur when the flooring crumbles and dust is scattered into the air and inhaled.  This stuff could kill you with a long painful death.  Have the flooring tested by a professional and if it must be removed, hire a professional remediation contractor.
  3. Contractors who say no permit is needed. Other than painting and floorcovering, a permit is typically required for all projects.  Don't get caught and have to pay a fine.  When in doubt, call your local building department and ask.  Inspections are for life safety purposes and protect you and future owners of your house.  Failing to obtain a permit can even stop the sale of your house if discovered.
  4. Water damage.  What seems like an innocent brown stain on the ceiling could be the sign of a roof leak, water supply pipe leak, or an air leak around an A/C register.  Don't disregard this important message from your house.  Investigate the source and make the necessary repairs to avoid major repairs in the future.  Also, if mold has formed, don't disturb the surface or you can send mold spores throughout your house.  Call a mold remediation contractor to avoid respiratory problems.
  5. Termites. If you see mud trails going from the ground up to the floor level of your house, you may have termite.  If you see little wings or droppings along baseboards, you might have termites.  Call a pest control professional before the termites eat up so much of your house that you need structural repairs.
  6. Property headaches.  Before installing a fence, get an updated survey of your property and have the corners staked.  This will avoid issues with the fence encroaching on your neighbor's property.  Before doing a room addition, contact the local zoning department and ask what your setbacks are to avoid submitting plans for a room addition that puit the building too close to your property lines.
  7. Bank problems.  Make sure your bank financing is approved and funded before giving a contractor a deposit on a job.  It would really ruin your day if the financing is not approved, your contractor has already demolished part of your house, and you can't afford to finish the project.
  8. Plan.  Don't draw up plans that don't provide sufficient detail.  If you think that you will fill in the details later, you may be in for some very expensive surprises.  Sub-contractors will charge for what you have left out and you may not have enough money to finish your project.  Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
  9. Cracks.  Both vertical and horizontal cracks in a block wall can spell trouble.  There may be uncompacted soil under the foundation or insufficient support of a tie beam.  Consult with a structural engineer to determine the source.
  10. Illegal wiring.  Many homeowners think they know how to perform electrical repairs.  Although the light or receptacle may work, the repair may be a fire waiting to happen.  If you open up a wall and find spliced wires that are not inside an electrical box, call a licensed electrician.
On A Personal Note...
Blizzard's coming home with my daughter this weekend.  I'm looking forward to seeing how big he's gotten and being on the receiving end of his puppy kisses! 
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In This Issue
Ten Hats Your Remodeling Contractor Wears
Ten Things to Look Out For When Remodeling
Featured Article
So you want to do some remodeling?  Then click on "Ten Things To Look Out For When Remodeling" above before you start.


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