This Blog is dedicated to the notion that fixing things on our homes as well as understanding how they work is a fun, life-long learning process.

Fixing things and remodeling are my passions, If you are interested in remodeling your home, or just happen to stumble upon my site, please spend some time in my world. You’ll be pleased that you did.

The original content contained here is proof that when you are passionate about something it is easy to find stuff to talk about.


Behind the scenes at Levco Care

We are working on setting up our systems for our clients. We have a great idea and a great place to start, I just need to free up the staff to make it happen.


Inspirational Quotes

Surround yourself with people you love and have fun. The rest is gravy. Paul Tillotson (1965 -2016)

I love the smell of sawdust in the morning. Me, renaissance man (8-28-58 Still going strong!)

“Quality construction does not cost- it pays” (as seen on a bumper sticker)

Joist Hangers Use & Misuse

By | Fixing things, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

Joist hangers have been around for around about 59 years, they were developed by Simpson Strongtie for a friend who was looking for a way to secure some boards in a more structurally sound way. Now days there are all kinds for them for all sorts of purposes. There are many things that are intuitive like how to use a saw which reminds me of a joke. The logger and the Salesman A guy was logging on his land using an old crosscut saw to fell trees. A salesman suggested he would love the new chain saw so he left…

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How Energy Efficient is Your Home

By | Energy, Environmental Awareness, Green Remodeling, Historic District Homes, Home Evaluations, HVAC | No Comments

For the past 110 years, we have been in a rush to make sure the hurdle of the new housing stock is built safer, stronger, and more energy efficient than the last code cycle because people dying in tragic collapses and fires is not a good thing, nor is wasting our limited natural resources on poor quality construction techniques. The insurance industry started the trend by suggesting building codes to address huge losses. The codes were adopted by building industry and all of the sub-trades and updated every few years like clockwork over the years. The same cyclic process done…

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Faucets Should Not Leak

By | Plumbing | No Comments

Fixing them may or may not be easy. One important thing to remember is that you need to turn off the water supply to work on them with out the possibility of making a big mess. Every home has a main shut off, (I have not run into one without one) In fact you need to label it and test it before an emergency happens, (Sames goes for electricity and gas). You just need to know where to look. Some have gate valves, other ball valves. I prefer ball valves hands down. Gate valves are prone to failure and cause…

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Braided Steel Water Heater Supply Lines

By | Plumbing | No Comments

As a contractor I get into all sorts of things. It’s like the saying on the shirt. Recently I was called to attend to an emergency, the homeowner had contacted her friend and realtor who happened to have me on speed dial. They were watching water spray our of her braided steel supply line. “The home warranty people can’t get a plumber our here for days”. (Worthless insurance IMHO) I dropped everything and headed out. Damsel in distress Yes, you had a 50-50 chance, it was the hot water side. To no ones surprise both of the gals were spun…

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Failed Toilet Tank Seal

By | Fixing things, Plumbing | No Comments

Toilets with separate tanks have a seal that is usually not an issue. In this situation I was called to replace the wax ring because they found water on the floor near the toilet. Naturally I told them to stop using it until I could get there. I bought a new wax ring kit and responded on the weekend to replace it. As is often the case, I dove right in to replace the wax ring, then paused to evaluate the situation when it did not make sense. I shut off the water and flushed noticing that the tank was…

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Adding a Remote For a Hunter Ceiling Fan

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

We completed a remodeling project that included 3 OFCI ceiling fans with remotes. Sadly, in all the confusion remotes were tossed and naturally so were the controllers. This was unacceptable, so I ordered up the devices and controllers. The Hunter Fan company was cooperative and sent the devices I needed along with some instructions that were lacking. So in the event something occurs I can refer to my own cheat sheet. Here is their video To Make the Remotes Work For fan control: model 99123 Turn power on, Hit the center fan off button and the fan 3 (High) button…

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How We Go About Figuring Things Out

By | Appliances, Problem Solving | 2 Comments

I feel so good when people call me to help fix things. My brother called last night from a clients home where the gas stove was only able to muster one burner, when the next burner was lit the flame was weak and the third one would not light. They had been working on the gas lines in another part of the home which should not have affected this line. I immediately said “look for an obstruction, follow the line back to the source (meter) and you will find the problem”. 10 minutes later he called. All is well, fixed!…

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Electrical Cord Safety

By | Electrical, Safe Practices | No Comments

I am a stickler for good extension cords. OSHA is too, urban legend says they will cut up a cord if they find one on your job sit that is frayed or dangerous in their opinion. I am constantly pointing out problems on job site with our sub-contractors but is it worthwhile? What is the worst that could happen? I suppose electrocution, or a fire. We joke that smoke is what makes electricity work, so our primary objective is to keep the smoke in the wires. Truth is that if you pick up an extension cord and it is warm…

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Electric Water Heaters

By | Electrical, Plumbing | No Comments

Electric water heaters come in many sizes and shapes. (I recently found one in a basement of a 1938 home that looks like a washing machine). Most are cylindrical. They all provide years of service and have gotten much better insulated. This alone is a good reason to replace an old one. If you get over 10 years of service you have gotten your moneys worth. The sure sign of failure is a leak, usually trouble free, they can have some tricky to diagnose issues. Gas water heaters recover quicker as a rule, be sure your heater is ample for…

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Delta Shower Valve Not Getting Hot Enough

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

I had 2 new Delta Shower Valves installed by my plumber and the darn things would to get hot enough. Yes there was plenty of hot water available in nearby faucets. The plumber told my client that there must be something wrong with the valve. On his return they told the client they had to put a part in backwards and that it was as good as it was going to get. Well my friends, that is not good enough for me. The plumber was fired for being an idiot. I attacked the problem knowing that there was a solution…

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