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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: homeowner

Kick Up Your Hammock Game for Summer Relaxation

Chelsea O'Donnell

This week’s oppressive heat had me daydreaming about relaxing in the cool shade in the comfort of my backyard hammock. If you’re a hammock fan, you know how wonderful it feels to swing freely, dozing effortlessly in the quiet comfort of nature. If a hammock isn’t your bag, it can only be that you haven’t found the perfect one to enjoy. So this week, in the spirit of the last month of summer, I’ve pulled together a guide of my favorite hammocks for every occasion to inspire readers to slow down and relax. 

For the Traditionalist

If you love the look of a classic rope hammock, you can’t go past Pawleys Island. Made in the USA, these hammocks are generous in size and come in a whole bunch of colors in case white isn’t your thing or if you’re worried about it getting dirty. $169. https://pawleysislandhammocks.com

For the Lovebirds

If you’re looking for comfort for two, the Hammock Sky Brazilian Double is a great pick for around the yard. Its solid canvas makeup goes with any decor and is 60 inches wide, making it big enough to easily accommodate two adults. I also love the lifetime warranty in case something goes awry. $50. www.amazon.com

For Serious Comfort

Hammock loyalists know that Hatteras is one of the best brands out there and their pillowtop line might just beat out your bed in terms of comfort. These hammocks look great on a stand by the pool, but I have to warn you, you may never want to leave it. Keep your barbecue close. From $349. https://hatterashammocks.com/products/hammocks/pillowtop

For On-The-Go

Hikers and campers love the Hummingbird which is light, tiny, and easy to hang almost anywhere. For the size of a coffee cup, you won’t believe that this thing holds 300 plus pounds, making it the perfect pack-along hammock for a day trip in the woods. $64. https://hummingbirdhammocks.com/

For Mosquito-Free Comfort

There is nothing worse than climbing into your hammock for a late afternoon snooze when mosquitoes start to attack. This is where G4Free comes in. With their built-in mosquito net, you can enjoy all the comforts of the great outdoors without the pesky bug bites. $28. http://www.g4free.com

For Sunny Spots

Hammocks get faded from too much sun exposure and mold is often an issue too. For a hammock that needs to withstand the elements, the Vivere Sunbrella is worth checking out. Sunbrella material reflects UV rays and is mildew and stain-resistant too. $179. https://www.vivereltd.com/18/brazilian-sunbrella-hammock-double

For Sitting Upright

Lay down hammocks are fantastic for snoozing, but reading the newspaper or even enjoying a cocktail can be a challenge. The Y-Stop Hammock Chair looks and feels like a traditional hammock but its upright design makes it ideal for mornings with your coffee and paper. $45. www.amazon.com

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.



When Wet Winter Weather Brings Unwanted Guests Indoors

Chelsea O'Donnell

I recently received a question from a reader that I thought I’d share with all of you. She asked, “During the winter I sometimes get mice or rats in my house. I assume they are looking for a warm place to settle in and find food, but they aren’t welcome here! How can I deter them this year?”

My reader is right - her rodent problem absolutely has to do with the little buggers looking for a nice warm place to hide out from the winter weather and to grab a meal while they’re at it. Here are a few simple tips to reduce the chances of them making a home in yours.

Firstly, seal off the premises. Make sure doors and screens are always closed tight and look for breaks, rips or holes that lead outside. Generally, caulk is a good sealant, but weather stripping around windows and installing new door sweeps on doors will keep small animals out and will do double duty by helping to insulate your home.

For bigger areas such as the chimney, you can use a thick wire mesh to keep the critters away, just make sure the material is thick enough that it can’t be chewed through. Believe it or not, a mouse can get through a hole the size of a dime, so be diligent in your search for entry points.

Another tip is to make sure you don’t leave any food lying around. Mice and rats are pretty resilient to the cold, but they have to eat to survive and looking for a meal in your house is a lot easier than trying to find one outside. Many pet owners leave animal food out for long periods of time, which makes a delicious meal for a rodent. If a mouse can get into your house, the last thing you want to do is give them a reason to stay. Keep that food, pet or otherwise, sealed up tight.

Finally, watch that wood pile. A lot of people keep firewood stacked up next to a doorway or entry point, giving mice an easy in. Find a safe dry place for wood that’s a bit further from the door to deter unwanted guests.

If your home is susceptible to rodents and you’ve tried to get rid of them with no luck, you might want to consider having the problem dealt with by a pest control professional. There are plenty of traps, sprays, and natural solutions on the market, but using the wrong deterrent might drive pests up into the walls where they can start chewing on wires and causing long term, more expensive damage. A professional exterminator can help you to deal with the problem while keeping both your home and family safe.

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.

Trend Alert - Skylights Are Making a Comeback

Chelsea O'Donnell

Lately, I have had a lot of requests from homeowners who want to cover up their skylights. Once enjoyed for extra sun and brightness, people are becoming increasingly worried that skylights let too much heat and air escape and they believe that covering them over will be less costly than replacing them. While skylights were once the cherry on the top of a contemporary design, they now seem to be falling out of fashion. So what’s the deal on this once must-have home trend? Let’s take a closer look.

Residential skylights became popular several decades ago as people craved more natural light-filled spaces, especially in home styles with high ceilings. The luxury of being able to see the clouds became a bit of an interior design status symbol and their popularity skyrocketed. But today, as homeowners are having to replace their 30-year roofs, the idea of skylights aren’t as appealing as they used to be. In fact, many people think that closing their skylights up would be cheaper than replacing them. Unfortunately, what many homeowners don’t realize is that the work involved in properly covering a skylight is actually much more of an expense than it’s worth.

Today, there are tons of new options to make skylights more versatile than ever before. Many now come with solar panels to maximize energy efficiency and some also offer inclement weather sensors, enabling them to close automatically when the first raindrop hits. Speaking of closing, one of my favorite features of a skylight is the ability to let fresh air in, which contributes to a home’s balance of moisture and overall ventilation. This also enables humidity and stale air to be released, creating a more comfortable natural air flow.

Many people who once loved the idea of skylights now complain that they can’t control the light, which is luckily a problem of the past. Today’s blinds include total blackout and filtering options which are often controlled remotely through solar batteries that don’t need to be hard wired. This gives homeowners much more flexibility in terms of controlling the light that comes into their homes, making skylights a fully customizable feature.

Lastly, of course, there is the question of energy efficiency. About 10 years ago, a law was passed allowing homeowners to receive a tax credit on the purchase and installation of renewable technology products, which means that certain skylights might get you a solar energy rebate of up to 30%. Of course, it’s important to do your homework to ensure that the product you're considering will qualify before you make the purchase.

So before you go trying to patch up the holes in your roof and ceiling, have a look at all the new options available for skylights. Between the versatility, energy efficiency, and the beauty of natural light, this once popular and nearly dying trend is getting ready to see a major resurgence.  

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.