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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.

 

Color Your World with the Interior Paint Trends of 2019

Chelsea O'Donnell

We’ve seen a fair bit of winter white in the past few weeks, but with spring hopefully on the horizon, now is the best time of year to tackle an interior painting job. Fresh walls not only liven up your living space but they can also add value to a home if you’re thinking about putting it on the market this spring. Choosing one of the latest, of-the-moment colors will help you score major bonus points with potential buyers too. So let’s see what the biggest names in paint are forecasting to be all the rage in interior color for the season.

Pantone is the authority on color, influencing everything from home style to fashion. For 2019, their pick is Living Coral, which in their words is “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” What a description! For me, the color is very tropical, pairing well with bright green and aqua for a Bermudian feel. While maybe not a living room color, I could see this pairing well with a bold, leafed wallpaper in a bright and sunny bathroom.

Next up is Behr, whose color of the year pick is a little more neutral. For 2019, the company announced Blueprint as their top choice in what they call “an honest, approachable color that conjures up the blueprints builders rely on to bring architectural designs to life.” The hue is just that, a mix of blue, green and gray that works perfectly for interior walls, cabinetry, and even a bold exterior siding color. This one is my personal favorite as it’s warm and inviting, yet interesting enough to make a statement.

If Blueprint isn’t your cup of tea, Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year explores the other end of the spectrum with their 2019 pick - Cavern Clay. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Utah and Arizona deserts, Cavern Clay is a rich, earthy terra cotta color that the company calls “ancient, yet fully alive. Bohemian, yet totally refined.” If you like the idea of going with something warm and natural that pairs well with greens but isn’t as bold as Living Coral, Cavern Clay might be your perfect match.

Finally, we have Benjamin Moore, whose color of the year pick is the most neutral and easy to implement into any home. The hue, Metropolitan, is a layered gray which the company says, “emanates nuance, harmony, and extravagant ease. Always adaptable, it softens to matte or shimmers with sheen. It's neutral. It's understated. It just is." Marketing spin aside, the sophisticated twist on gray is really appealing and plays beautifully with warm pink hues or deeper jewel tones. If you’re looking for an alternative to white, Metropolitan is an easy transition that doesn’t offend.

With such a wide range of trending colors, I am excited to hear what you think about the 2019 picks. Would you go bold with Living Coral or is Metropolitan more your speed? Does Blueprint tick the boxes or are you feeling the warmth of Cavern Clay? I’d love to hear from you. Send me a message on Facebook at facebook.com/odonnellbros


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.

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.

Winter Basement Leaks - A Common Problem To Look Out For

Chelsea O'Donnell

I often talk about the importance of proper attic ventilation to prevent leaks but as the winter peaks, the basement takes center stage as the place in the house where water damage will most likely occur.

The temperature often rises after a big storm, making moisture a huge problem for homeowners. Standing water can find its way into your basement through non-structural cracks in poured concrete walls or deteriorated joints in masonry walls. Poorly fitted or old basement windows, as well as utility openings, can also let water in.

The best line of defense against a wet basement is to make sure that the water is directed away from the foundation. Inspect your gutters and downspouts to see if they are working the way they should be and also check to see that the ground right around the house is higher than the rest of the yard. Having the yard grade at its highest around the perimeter of the foundation will ensure water drains away from the house instead of into it.  

If you think your house is susceptible to leaks, you can also use a waterproofing membrane or coating to seal the foundation or basement area. However, if you have regular leaking problems, you may need to have a drainage or sump pump system installed by a professional.

Even if you don’t have a leak problem, the basement can get pretty damp from now through April, which creates the perfect environment for nasty mold and mildew to grow and fester. To get rid of the excess water, I always like to run a dehumidifier in the basement as the weather warms up. A dehumidifier works by pulling the moisture out of the air and storing the excess water in a holding tank. Many people keep dehumidifiers in their basement all year long to control the dampness that can often be felt in underground areas, but I find it especially useful this time of year.

You can find out if your basement is holding a lot of moisture by purchasing a simple five-dollar humidity gauge from the local hardware store. Ideally, you want the humidity to be under 50%. If it’s higher, a dehumidifier might be a good solution. Generally, a unit will come in 25, 30 and 40-pint models, and on average a 25-pint unit will be sufficient to control the moisture in a 1,000 square foot area.

One last word of advice - if you have a dehumidifier or plan on getting one, please be sure to empty it regularly and keep the filter clean. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth and spray bottle will do the trick to keep you breathing freely and ensure a longer life for the appliance.

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 www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.