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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States

8605895155

Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

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Articles

O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.

 

Filtering by Tag: furniture

10 End of Summer Jobs for a Fantastic Fall

Chelsea O'Donnell

Summer may be coming to a close, but with the first day of autumn still a few weeks away, there is plenty of time to get your home and yard in tip-top shape before the cooler weather sets in. With the countdown on, I’ve rounded up the most important jobs for you to tackle to get ready for the fall. Let’s get busy!

Clean windows and inspect for gaps.

If you have window A/C units, tackle this job as you’re removing them. Windows are a prime culprit for heat loss, so have a look at all the windows in your home to see if you have any gaps. Small cracks and crevices can be sealed with caulk, but you’ll want to fill larger gaps with insulation or expandable foam. If you have single pane aluminum windows and you’re freezing every winter, it might be time for an upgrade.

Clean and store outdoor furniture.

If furniture is left outdoors during the winter, it will likely crack, split or rust depending on the material.  Before you turn it in for the winter, be sure to clean it well to avoid rot or damage and check for signs of mold and mildew. A thorough wash with hot soapy water or household cleaner will do the trick.

Reseal your deck.

The summer sun can be brutal on your deck, but so is the onset of snow, sleet, and freezing rain that we can expect over the next several months. Protect your wood by removing any leaves, sticks and those pesky helicopters, and follow it up with a good power wash. When the wood is dry, apply a protective sealant to condition the deck and help it stand up to winter.

Inspect your doors and apply weatherstripping.

Just like your windows, your doors are prime areas for air leaks. Inspect the areas around your doors and make sure they are airtight by repairing any old weatherstripping or broken door sweeps. Heating a home all winter costs a lot of money so don’t make it more expensive than it should be. An energy efficient home is a happy home.

Patch that leaky roof.

If the summer rain uncovered a leak in your ceiling or attic, don’t wait to have it looked at. The unpredictable winter can be a disaster for a roof that’s already damaged, so don’t hold out until it’s too late. Often times a small repair can stop the problem in its tracks.

Clean your gutters and check for clogs.

We’re in for a stellar leaf peeping season, but for homeowners that also means a lot of headaches in the clean-up department. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are prepared for the seasonal shed and flush everything through to ensure the water flow-through is up to par.

Get adequate insulation.

If you’re dreading another teeth-chattering winter, it’s time to add some insulation to your home. Over 75 percent of the houses that I visit in our area don’t have enough insulation and because of it, I get too many calls from frozen homeowners wondering what they can do. Insulation is inexpensive to install, can be done in less than a day and adds more to the resale value of your home than any other project. This one is a no-brainer.

Scrub out your garbage cans.

As the cold sets in, our furry friends get more desperate for food and will start visiting your trash looking for a free meal. Their sense of smell is uncanny so make sure your bins are cleaned out and future garbage is bagged properly. You don’t want rodents making their homes too close to yours.

Replace your air filters.

If your A/C has been cranking all summer, it’s a great time to clean and/or replace your air filtration systems. While you’re at it, have a look at all your vents including the dryer and remove any built-up debris. The harder those appliances have to work, the more they are going to cost you.

Inspect the hot water heater.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Check your water heater for any decay or sediment build-up and be on the lookout for leaks or faulty pipes. If you have an inkling that the unit might be on the fritz, call in a pro for a routine inspection. It’s better to be safe than sorry come winter.

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to info@odonnellbros.com with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.

Rent a Pressure Washer for the Day and Clean All Around the House

Chelsea O'Donnell

I think we can all agree that no one likes chores, especially cleaning. This time of year is especially tough since we want our yard and garden to look its best despite the pollen that just keeps on coming. Luckily, I have a trick that will help you make light of all the hard work around the house - heck you might even have a little fun.

The secret, my friends, is the pressure washer! I am lucky enough to own one of these handy machines but you can grab one for yourself for between $30-40 for the day and say goodbye to dirt, mold, and caked on debris. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use it.

The Patio. The winter can be tough on stone or concrete patios and wood decks, but months worth of dirt is no match for a pressure washer. Forget the sweeping and scrubbing - a once over with a 2,000 pounds per square inch machine will have your backyard looking as good as new. If you’re thinking about refinishing your surfaces, make this your first step to get everything as clean as possible. Just leave plenty of drying time.

The Patio Furniture. Once the deck is done, the patio furniture is next. I store mine in the shed over the winter, but even in storage, everything tends to get a bit grimy and moldy with the moisture in the air. I love pulling everything out, wetting it down, and giving it a good scrub with some Spray Nine. Because it doesn’t contain any corrosive chemicals, you can use it right in the grass without having to worry about killing your lawn. Rinse with the pressure washer and your furniture will sparkle.

The Car. A car wash is convenient but they never quite get into the nooks and crannies like you can if you’re doing it yourself. Of course, a manual wash is time-consuming and with the pollen in the air, it’s nearly impossible to keep the car clean for longer than a few days. This is another reason why I love the pressure washer! It gets grease and gunk right off the tires and tough to reach places and it’s so easy and fast! Just be sure to use a lighter setting such as 1,400 PSI so you don’t dent the exterior.

The House. I love vinyl siding because it’s so low maintenance, but it’s not a bad idea to give the house a good spray down every once in a while. A pressure washer can be used everywhere from the roof to the shutters and will make your siding looks like it’s brand new again. It’s just as easy as using a hose, but so much more effective. You can use it on brick or stone exteriors too - and don’t forget the windows!

The Gutters. If you’re getting up on the roof, you mind as well get the gunk out of those gutters. A pressure washer makes this job easy but the clean-up from the ground can be a bit of a mess so make sure that you look for an angled attachment that will help you control the debris. If you can get it all towards the downspout, you can either run it through and down or pull everything out in easier to manage sections.

One thing to remember before renting your pressure washer is that they do come in either electric or gas models. Electric machines are generally reserved for lighter jobs around the house while gas models have a bit more oomph. Before you choose your machine, make sure to chat with an expert at the store about what kind of jobs you have in mind. Too much power might damage your goods; too little will make you wish you stuck to the hose and saved yourself a few bucks.

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions for Bob to info@odonnellbros.com with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.