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How to Avoid a Bad Experience with a Home Foundation Repair Contractor

Put simply, your situation is going to get worse if you get the wrong contractor to do any foundation repair Houston for you. When you choose the wrong contractor, it is going to be a headache and no one would be happy to deal with such a problem. That said, it is easy to get a good contractor as long as you know what you want and where to look for one.

Following are tips on how to avoid dealing with a bad Houston foundation repair contactor.

Check referrals and the references: Never hire a contractor if you do not know anything about them. You should check the work of the contractor and, if you can, get some references and talk to the people he had worked for in the past. In case someone referred you to a certain contractor, ask that person all the information you can about him – even check the work they did.

Check the history and the reputation of the contractor in the area: you have to have a clear picture of a contractor and the experience they have.  Even an inexperienced contractor may not be a bad contractor in the real world, though the lack of the experience means that you may not expect great work from them.

Read the reviews of contractors online: many people who undertake foundation repair are in the business on their own and people often like to give comments about how a certain company dealt with them and the job.  Look for the reviews that are written by people who used a particular contractor in the past and see what they say about them.

Any contractor for the foundation repair Houston TX has to be fully licensed. You should not let just anyone do the repairs on your home. When a contractor does not have a license, it is likely that he will not have insurance either and it means that none will compensate you if anything goes wrong. When something happens, you could even be the one to pay for the expenses and medical bills. You have to check the qualifications and the license of the foundation repairer before you can hire them.

Sign a contract: Do not let any contractor come to your home and start the pier and beam foundation repair work before you have signed a genuine contract with them. The contract should include the work that is to be done and the full price to pay together with the conditions and the terms of the contract. You and the contractor should sign for such an agreement before the work starts. If this is not done, you should never let the work to start. This is important since it will protect you when there is disagreement or if anyone is injured while a contractor is working on your home. More tips in this link:

You should be aware of every person that you want to hire: It is not right to hire the first person that can see in the newspaper, since this will not guarantee that you will get the best work. It is always a good idea to take time to search for contractors and to do a background check on them before you hire anyone.

What Are the Different Types of Home Foundation Repair?

Foundation settlement and structural movement may lead to some serious problems in the structure of your home and the problems can lead to the sinking of the foundations. Sometimes, you can make simple foundation repair Houston by using the sealant or crack patches if it is just a minor shrinkage. However, if it is vertical movement of the foundation – even slight – then this is a potentially serious problem regarding structure. Such cracks may be the result of sudden forces of nature, heavy frost, soil settlement or erosion. The structural damage requires professionals who are going to use different methods to repair the foundation by piering or slab jacking.

Deciphering which cracks are serious and those which are not: when there is a foundation crack, it is the first indication to homeowners that there is problem with the foundation like a hairline crack. Such a problem can simply be caused by shrinkage as the plaster settles and does not involve the structure. However, problem can be serious if you have damaged concrete block, heavy settlement and cracks appear in the brick wall or in the concrete blocks.  When cracks are as wide as they are long, it means that both or one end of the foundation has dropped or the center of the foundation is rising or falling.  When you find that a crack in the foundation is more than 1/4 inch and that it keeps increasing, you should not try to carry out a Houston foundation repair yourself, but you call a professional to help you to do this instead. More explained in our post here.

Sealants and masonry patches as foundation repair: when the foundation has cracked because of the shrinkage, then the repair should be done using sealants or patches.  Shrinkage cracks generally appear at a corner of a slab foundation; caulk can be used to fill it or hydraulic cement can be sued which may expand as it dries.  Different methods can be used to repair shrinkage cracks easily and cost effectively, especially as there are different types of the products to use. Even if such a crack may not be the issue of structure, it has to be sealed to prevent water permeating into the foundations.

Slabjacking as foundation repair houston tx: The contractor may repair the serious problem of sinking foundation through the use of a process known as slabjacking. This revolves around the filling the space found under the slab so that it can float back to the original place. This involves drilling of strategic holes in a base of the concrete slab and must use a portable pump in order to fill such holes with additives, fly ash and cement.

Pier and beam foundation repair is also known as piling and it is meant to be used on different types of the steel pipe piling in order to correct the settlement of the foundation. The push piers are the section of epoxy-coated and galvanized steel pipe that are driven deeper in the ground through the use of the hydraulic ram.  Helical piers use the screw-like piles with the steel shafts. In order to install the helical pier, the trench should be dug on the foundation and the helix plate has to be attached on the shaft before it can be driven within the soil.

Check out this link for more ideas and informations:

How to Fix A Leaking Water Heater

How to Fix A Leaking Water Heater

Is your warm water heater leaking? If water swimming pools at the bottom of your water heater or drips from the new water tank, observe those steps for smooth prognosis and restore.

Problems Arises

A water heater leaking can indicate any of several problems, starting from free valves to a corroded water tank. In reality, water pooling around your heater does now not usually indicate a leak it could be the end result of condensation.

Insurance Coverage

The first and foremost step to fix water heater leaking is to determine whether or not water is dripping, spraying, or flooding. Begin with the worst of those: spraying or flooding. If your water heater is dripping or flooding, pass down the page. If your water heater has flooded and damaged flooring or different components of your house, make certain to analyze the insurance of your house owner’s coverage policy.

How to Fix A Leaking Water Heater

Turn Off the Valves

If water is spraying from the pipes that deliver the water heater, immediately turn off the valve that controls the flow of water to the entire house, usually placed close to where the cold water pipe enters the valve is usually out of doors in warm climates, inside in cold climates. See a way to shut Off the Water supply.

Supply Valve

In some cases, the valve is placed on a pipe right earlier than the water heater and may have a red handle. To turn it off, rotate the knob clockwise.If you need to know more you can also check out this link: here. If water is spraying from the water heater, flip off the deliver valve above the water heater which can be a lever just like the one shown inside the photograph at proper or, if there may be no supply valve for the water heater, the residence’s water delivery valve.

Electric water Heaters

Leaks from water heater’s heating element gasket. On electric water warmers, leaks can spring from heating element gaskets. turn off the electrical electricity, shut down your water deliver, and drain all the water out of the heater earlier than replacing the gasket as described above. Also, before turning the strength returned on, make sure to turn at the water supply to the heater and run warm water right into a sink in your property to launch air from the water heater tank. Failure to achieve this ought to break your heating element.

Water Is Dripping from the Water Heater

If water is dripping from the water heater, determine going through tankless water heater reviews where the drip is coming from. A couple of the maximum apparent assets of a drip are the strain-relief valve and the drain valve. Much less apparent leaks may be coming from condensation or from leaky fittings replace defective strain-comfort valve.

Temperature-strain Relief valve

It’s pretty not unusual for water to be dripping from the temperature-strain (TP) relief valve, which is designed to release water when it senses extra strain. In some instances, the TP valve itself can be defective if it’s miles, it will want to be replaced right away. If you want to know more you can also visit this site. Seek advice from tankless water heater reviews for instructions on what to do and see a way to replace a Water Heater Valve, or contact a plumber who works with water warmers. A running TP valve is without a doubt important to prevent immoderate construct-up of steam that might cause a water heater tank to blow up.

Replace a Leaking Water Heater Drain Valve

If your water heater is leaking, you may be quick to call in a repair man to fix the problem. However, before you call in reinforcements, consider learning how to fix the problem yourself.

Why Fix It on Your Own

Water heaters that leak are not a new thing or a rare thing. In fact, they leak quite often so instead of letting the maintenance bills pile up, learn how to do it yourself so that when it happens again it will be a quick and easy, and still cheap fix. You will be surprised how simple it is and there is basically no risk involved. Many people see the tankless water heater reviews and think it is time to switch but it is completely unnecessary, and those systems are expensive. People are also afraid of doing their own home maintenance because they are worried about causing worse problems if they mess up that if you mess this up, not much happens. It will probably just keep leaking, and you will have to try again. No big deal.

Patching a Water Heater Drain Valve

When you drain your water heater, often the valve will start to leak- it’s just how things go. They are used so little that this just tends to happen when they are old or not used frequently. If there is not a significant amount of damage, you can get away with simply patching it up. All you need to do in order to patch it is to use a hose cap on it to keep it from leaking. A hose cap is easy to find at your local plumbing and home maintenance and hardware store, just talk to a sales associate there if you have trouble finding it. More details here.

Replacing a Water Heater Drain Valve

When the damage is significant from your water heater leaking you will need to replace the valve completely. Or even if you are not one to just patch something up, and you would rather have a more lasting fix, replacing it is the way to go.

  • First, make sure you drain the water heater, so it is completely empty. It is hard to work on the valve when there is a constant leak going on.
  • Second, unscrew the old leaky drain valve that has temporarily ruined your life. If it is stuck on tight, use a pipe wrench or pliers to assist in the unscrewing process- you will want to turn it counter-clockwise, or it won’t be going anywhere.
  • Third, check out the length of the drain valve and match your new one to its specifications. The best thing to replace it with is a full port ball valve because it works a lot faster and will last a lot longer.
  • Fourth, use Teflon tape on the threads of the valve you are installing in order to prevent future leaks.
  • Fifth, make sure that your new valve is on tight and facing the correct direction.
  • Sixth, fill up your water heater again and make sure that it does not continue to leak. Make sure to keep checking on it for a few weeks in order to make sure that it is a lasting fix.

Now You’re Handy!

Congratulations! If you have completed this process, then you can now officially consider yourself handy. You have not only learned a new helpful skill, but you surely saved yourself some money as well. The process is relatively simple to fix a water heater leaking, which comes as a surprise to many people, so if you haven’t tried it yet, go ahead and give it a shot!

Read more here about water softener maintenance here:

Water Softener Maintenance

We often don’t think much about a water softener or the maintenance that is required when owning one. Besides adding some salt every now and then there isn’t much you need to do so we push the thought to the back of our mind. It’s only when something goes wrong that we really start to think about the system.

About the Water Softener

No matter how many tanks you have or what kind of water softener you have, they all work the same. The “hard” water goes into a resin tank where beads collect the minerals from the water. Without these minerals the water is known as soft water. It then passes through the system to give you the water you desire.

The resin beads occasionally have to be cleaned. On a preset schedule, the softener stops the inflow of water so that the salt water from the brine tank can “clean” the resin beads. It does this by dissolving the accumulated minerals that are on the beads and then flushing them down the drain. This system is called a “recharge” or a “regeneration” and is necessary to keep the resin beads clean so they can keep catching the “hard” minerals from the water.

Types of Water Softeners

When deciding on the best water softener to get, it’s important to look at the different types to ensure all your needs are being met. The most commonly used type is an ion-exchange unit or “cation exchange” as it is also known but there are other types that are also important to understand.

 Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener

This water softener cycles the water through two tanks. The first tank is one with resin beads and the second tank has the brine. It softens the water by substituting sodium for hard minerals like calcium and iron.

Salt-Free Water Softener

In this water softener, a potassium-chloride salt substitute is used instead of sodium. For those concerned with salt intake, this might be a better option. This type of water softener doesn’t reduce the minerals but prevents them from being deposited as scale to the surface of the water. This treatment is not as effective but is better than no water softener at all.

Magnetic Water Softener

This is the more controversial option of water softeners. According to the manufacturers, this device clips onto the incoming pipe and sets up a magnetic field. The electromagnetic properties of the calcium-carbonate minerals will be changed so they are repelled by pipes and each other.

The upkeep of a water softener is not difficult. There are several options out there from the basic ion-exchange to a dual tank water softener so that pesky recharge doesn’t affect your water usage. Finding the best water softener for your needs takes a bit of research and talking to experts. Once you compare prices and features, it will be easy to find the right one for you and your family.

Visit for more informations and help.

The best Methods of Water Softening

waterWater softening primarily entails the process of removing metal cations such as calcium, magnesium that are responsible for hard water, this article cover the best water softeners. The main reason to soften water is to make it more compatible with soap from washing as well as increase the durability of plumbing. Water softening can be done with the use of various methods, but we are going to discuss the best ways. The methods come with advantages as well as shortcoming.

Salt-free water softeners

The best water softener methods, which use NaturSoft media. The media used has calcium carbonate crystals on its surface. This attracts the excess hardness in the water by removing it from the solution and integrating it into the calcium carbonate crystal structure. The crystal grows larger as the water flows, and the granules keep on rubbing as well as fragmenting on the same time. The crystals keep moving in the pipe dissolving the excess hardness.

The method is recommended because of

  • The method does not need any maintained as well as an additional cost as it does not use any potassium or even salt.
  • The essential mineral required in the water are remved
  • The system does not waste any water as it allows 50% of soap as well as detergent hence saving on the washing cost.
  • Its 100% environmental friendly
  • The system increases the lifespan of appliances such as dishwasher, water heater among others.

The method only disadvantage is that it’s not used with hard water with oil or even traces of H2S.

Salt based water softener

The method is described as ion exchange process and is used by people who use salts or even potassium in the removal of calcium as well as magnesium to make the waste soft. The method works by removing calcium and magnesium ions that are responsible for hard water. The hardness ions replaced with nonhardness ions hence the soft water. The method uses sodium in the removal of calcium and magnesium. Read more in our post here.

The effectiveness of the method depends on

  • The hardness of the water
  • Water unit size to be softened
  • The amount of water used
  • The capacity of the exchange media for soft water

The method recommended as it leaves no scaling on the household appliances, hence increasing their lifetime. Clothes washing with soft water from the process always have more delicate feeling, and still the approach reduce soap usage as well as detergent hence lowering the cost of washing.

The disadvantages with the use these methods are

  • The soft water from this method is not used for drinking, lawns, as well as watering plants and gardens due to the sodium salt.
  • The process induces extra cost for maintaining the brine.
  • Reverse osmosis

This method involves passing the water through a semi-permeable membrane which traps out the salts are causing hard water hence soft water. The reverse osmosis process refers water from a concentrated high salinity to permeate to the other high purity stream with the use of pressure to drive the water through the membrane. The impurities and salts are left on the membrane. The primary benefit of the technique is that the process is efficient to remove 98% of all unwanted salts, as well as impurities.

The method has so many cons

  • The methods removal the entire essential mineral needed for drinking water
    75% of the water is wasted
  • The process is very slow and needs a large storage tank
  • The method adds to the cost as it requires regular disinfectant to reduce the growth of bacteria’s

The above technique is not the only one used in water softening as there is the use of magnetic water conditioner that we can’t recommend for use. The first method is the best water softer.

Build a Shed with Windows, Skylights, Shelving

Garden Shed

Garden Shed

Your Storage Space Problems Are Solved With Building a 8-by-10-Foot Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights, and Shelving.

The answer to your problem could be the plans for a 8-by-10-Foot Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights, and Shelving, if you don’t have any space left to store things.

This is a great project for the do-it-yourselfer. I love to do things like this, so beautiful. This makes my old job look like working on a chain gang! The storage area of seventy-one square feet it provides does come at a not inconsiderable price of more than one thousand dollars. During the day it will be filled with natural light streaming through the four large skylights it is built with. Even more features are a rack system that conveniently can be personalized, a window that is shatterproof and two screened vents to let in air but keep out pests. Here are some inspirational photos of what is possible.

Two steel-reinforced high-arched doors provide entrance to the shed through an opening which is 4 feet wide by 6 feet high. They come with an internal latching apparatus for locking the doors. Due to the opening being so wide, storing things in the shed will be easy. The roofing, containing steeply-angled sides, is supported by trusses of the A-frame type, which gives you adequate headroom of six feet and eight inches. The steep pitch makes for rapid drainage whenever it snows or rains. The bottom is constructed of high-density polyethylene which doesn’t chip, crack or peel, so you need have no worries in that regard. It has a bevelled edge, and a surface which will be slip and stain-resistant. If you imagine keeping the shed for the long term, it is advisable to erect it on a level surface like a concrete patio or wood platform, or create a pad with pea gravel or poured cement, or asphalt.

Because of the significant investment it calls for, you should read the reviews for this shed before possibly buying it. Any purchase from an online retailer has got the benefit of free delivery, which takes about a week. It is shipped in a couple of boxes. You could have difficulty working to move the heavy boxes, so get them shipped to exactly where you want to build your shed. Just before you unpack your kit and begin assembling your shed, you must have the pad prepared and in place. When you check out the plans site, you can get set up instructions in PDF form, which will facilitate things for you. It will take you a couple of days at most to erect the shed by following the instructions.

Probably the most difficult part is putting on the roof – especially if you are doing it by yourself. It could actually all be done from the inside, with the help of only a step ladder. You have to line up the plastic panels and screw them in their place. A bit of aid from someone takes away the difficulty and makes it a lot more fun, like assembling a large puzzle. The experience of the folks who wrote the reviews was not consistent, so read carefully to ensure they are referring to the correct shed.

The majority of purchasers of a 8-by-10-Foot Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights, and Shelving report being satisfied with it. The storage space is ample for lots of things, certainly for storing your garden and yard tools.

Winterize to Check for Leaks

Winterize the Home

Winterize the Home

Spring cleaning happens to be something many people do, but probably only a few people understand what it is to winterize your home. Fall means winter season is around the corner, and you should use the occasion to make sure that your house is ready for it. Fall, with the attendant dying out of leafy growth, is an excellent time to examine your residence’s walls, since it will be easier to spot any shrubs that are becoming invasive. Exterior siding is easily damaged by roots and vines that cling to the surface – even bricks aren’t immune – and they should be cleaned off.

When they are no longer needed to do any watering, the garden hose should all be emptied and rolled up to be placed into storage for the winter. The water to the exterior faucets should be turned off, so that they can drain and get dry. When you believe you won’t make use of the garden furniture once again that year, get it cleaned and stored in a dry place. You need to protect any young trees you’ve got with mulch, particularly in their first year of growth. All drainage ditches really should be cleared to enable them to cope with any heavy rains.

Once the weather starts to get colder, it is time to start thinking about fireplaces. Almost everyone requires a chimney sweep at the same time when a cold spell shows up, so call early to beat the rush. In case you use firewood, don’t delay in finding someone and getting a good supply built up. If you make use of a fireplace during the winter, you should check all of your smoke alarms to make sure they are working. Also check the flashing around the chimney, this is a source of many leaks.

As far as outside the home focus on the following: The connections to the Christmas lights may become brittle and crack if you don’t ever take them down, so check them for sufficient flexibility. Check your outbuildings and sheds for rotting boards and make repairs or replace them as needed. When you use storm windows, they must be installed with weatherstripping to be completely weather tight. You need to check if some of the weather-stripping has become dried out from the summer’s heat and should be replaced. The windows usually are seldom opened in winter, so it will be necessary to check the condition of the filters in the range hood as well as the air conditioner returns.

Check the ground around your home to make sure that it still slopes away. In case water happens to drain into the cellar, or the foundation, that can be bad news for your house. The first damage is wet rot, which sooner or later leads to dry rot, and this is definitely something to be prevented anywhere in your home. Regularly inspect your home for warning signs of seepage.

Leaks will not be kept away forever, so check the places where leaks most commonly occur, these being the roofing, the guttering, the downpipes and the interior plumbing. If you find any type of leaks, you should obviously get them fixed. Prevent a draft by covering up air-conditioning units, and look at wrapping exterior pipes, especially if the house is older. After a summer of tracking dirt into the home shampooing the carpets is recommended. While you are at it, you might also thoroughly clean the windows.

Setting a Water Proof Floor in the Kitchen

Tile A Kitchen

Tile A Kitchen

If you are interested in upgrading your kitchen flooring tile is a durable waterproof option. The kitchen is full of wet spills so you want to be sure the flooring you install will stand up to the job needed. Not only are spills common most people have an ice maker in their fridge. These water lines are notorious for bursting and the resulting flood will buckle a wooden or vinyl tile floor in minutes if the leak is not caught.

Not every person feels capable to perform little jobs, but they also don’t want to pay the high prices that are charged to have someone else do them. One of those basic tasks that anybody can do is tiling the kitchen floor.

While not very hard to do, you might think that you can make a mistake that would ruin the job. But this really isn’t true. Tiling floor isn’t physically easy but it is very straightforward. You will be able to save a lot of money by doing this yourself. This will be a simple decision, provided that you know the do’s and don’ts. When you’re ready to go, you need to choose the tile you want. You may be blown away at all the different options you have. There are many different types of flooring based on material, sizing, colors textures and finishes. There are firms that produce tiles in odd sizes so that you will need to buy more tiles from them.

When you select a tile, it is usually based on your own personal aesthetics, you have unlimited options to choose from. But bear in mind, the moment it is done, it isn’t really something that is easy to change. Before you begin tiling, you need to meticulously measure the area, how the tile should be run and to determine how it will workout for waste. The dimensions of the tile might have more or less waste, for example, a 6×6 inch tile may be a greater fit than 4×4 tile. In order to save money, figure it out so there is as little waste as is feasible. If you go around kitchen cabinets, make sure that you diagram your floor to scale so you know exactly how many tiles you need. It is best to move the refrigerator out and tile that spot, rather than leaving it because most of it is never seen.

Always figure on 10% waste for cuts, mistakes, and breakage. If you’re able to perform basic math, you should be in a position to figure out where to begin and how you should layout your floor. You’ll want to get started right, because if you get going crooked, your floor will not look too good. If you can draw a pair of lines that are perpendicular and parallel to the walls, then you should be fine. It is important to end up with a point in the center to ensure the cut pieces on the outside walls will have the same measurement. You never want to simply just start with a whole tile against one wall and then head in the other direction, or the piece on the other side won’t match, more than likely. The moment it is all totally setup, you will be able to begin tiling.

The adhesive you will need is based on the type of floor you possess like wooden sub floor or concrete. If you’re laying tile over wood, a flexible mastic is best. Once the tiles are set and the adhesive has dried, then you can apply the grout, wipe the excess and let it dry and now you have a new floor.

Check out this video below for step by step instructions.


Be sure to check out our post on Winterizing Your Home, for great tips you can use.

Colored Sealant for Decking Upgrades

Freshly Sealed Deck

Freshly Sealed Deck

Everybody prefers to have their house look nice and be protected from the elements, and with a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease, you can do it easily. By using splashes of color, you’ll be able to take your outside deck or patio, and jazz it up. First you will want to make use of a colored sealant to preserve the structure of the deck and give it a face lift. It may well only take your creativity to perk up the outdoor living spaces, by purchasing a few accent pieces that will make a bold statement. In fact second-hand pieces can look new with a little effort and creativity. Continue reading and discover several techniques to make your deck an enjoyable place to gather.

Absolutely nothing you do can help, if your patio needs painting, so the first thing you should do is power wash it, and then give it a new coat of paint or stain. Or keep the natural wood and go with a colored sealer, this is less ongoing work that painting a deck. You should consider the color scheme you want to have. Imaginative use of coordinating colors can have a nice impact and really give your deck a visual lift. Methods to brighten up your outdoor deck or patio are only restricted to your imagination. A backyard deck should look attractive for when you are expecting friends round. You’ll find some affordable furniture that is offered in the colors that match everything you have already chosen.

Perhaps outdated wicker chairs and tables might be brought to life with color matched paint and used on your deck. Perhaps, you’ll feel slightly adventuresome, and paint some kind of pattern, and when you do, use acrylic paint that you protect with a coat of varnish. For any individual touch you can easily custom paint your own design onto the side of a galvanized bucket oblong or container to use as an ice bucket to chill drinks etc. You should keep food apart from the surface, unless of course you are using paint that is safe for food. Use natural objects and settings to inspire your patterns and colors, for instance a seashore theme with pale blues, yellows and greens is eye catching. An interesting effect can be achieved if you paint the slats of a slatted table-top with varying shades of one color. You be the judge of what you want, and use the colors you like.

While you’re spicing up your patio or deck area, why not make other things more vibrant like window boxes, garden sheds and porches? A different way to try to get creative is to fix up colored lighting for your deck area. Strings of colored lights are generally lots of fun together with lanterns both of which can be mounted on trees or wooden beams. Take the time to fix any rot around the base of your deck. A little extra work now can save you costly repairs in the future. Any where you see lattice that is rotted remove and replace the pieces. There are lattice pieces made of durable plastic that you may wish to upgrade to.  Replacing rotted pieces on a window box is essential as is rotting boards on an outdoor shed. Be sure to get to the root of the issue and fix any drainage issues while you are at it.

A lot of people have bought ordinary white vinyl furniture in the past and you may be one of them. To make it match your brand new deck or patio colors you can paint it with a paint specially manufactured for vinyl. New cushions on your freshly painted vinyl chairs are going to complete that renewed look. Selecting your colors cautiously before beginning to get the overall look right is very important. Needless to say, all of us have differing likes and preferences and so color schemes may turn out with pastel shades or vivid and bold colors. Get familiarized with design schemes out there to inspire your own backyard renovation project.

Once you have your deck in top shape you may be ready to move on to an indoor project…tile work.