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EHRS                         Erie Home Repair Service LLC

Build   Remodel   Repair   Restore


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Posted by bill on January 5, 2016 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (7)


                         You found the split pipe in your basement, frozen by ice cold air blowing in from outside. You want to fix it but you don’t know how to solder. It used to be if you wanted to replace a section of copper pipe or repair a leak in a joint you would have to know how to solder a pipe. Soldering copper when done correctly is relatively easy and creates a strong waterproof joint. However getting the joint cleaned, fluxed, dry, heated enough but not too much can get a little tricky even if you miss just one step or overheat your pipe. Sometimes we would find a pipe that continue to drip. There were a couple of tricks. Push a piece of wadded up bread dough up the pipe to hold back the water, assemble and solder. The other option was to install a compression fitting that uses a nut that squeezes a compression ring between the pipe and the connector. No solder needed. No pipe dope, or tape needed on the threads either. Not bad! But tough to use in tight spaces.



                              The real boom to the do it yourselfers plumbing has been the introduction of the Sharkbite brand fitting. A Sharkbite type fitting uses a steel retaining clip and an O-ring to make the seal. You can use ½” Sharkbite fittings to connect two pcs.of ½”copper, two pcs.of ½”P.V.C., even two pcs. of ½”P.E.X. You can also connect any one of these types of pipe with the other. No soldering, no wrenching, and no tape or sealers. Just cut the pipe, sand or wipe off burrs and push together completely for a waterproof connection. I believe they are fantastic for repairs or new pipe that can be easily accessed in the future. Sharkbite offers a 25 year warranty against leaking. If you have to bury the connection you may want to consider another option. Since 25 years from now you may not remember to change the O-ring.


Doing it right costs less than doing it over!

Erie Home Repair Service LLC




Posted by bill on December 16, 2015 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

                   You're ready to take the plunge and redo the floor in the bathroom. You think ceramic tile may be too cold or too slippery. You love the look and warmth of hardwood but you're not about to spend that much for such a small space, and you do not want to trip every time you walk into the room. So laminate seems like a perfect option. Laminate is thinner, usually cheaper, and looks easy enough to install it yourself.

                  But, having a bathtub or shower where you have laminate flooring just doesn't strike me as a good idea. Many of the laminates are made of materials like pressed wood with a printed material installed over the top. When water, moisture, or humidity gets between the seams, they have a tendency to puff up and soak up water like a sponge. I am sure you have seen a pressed wood sink vanity or shelf unit in a bathroom do that. Some of the manufacturers recommend gluing the seams and sealing the floor when you are done to keep the moisture out. However It would be very difficult to glue just the upper tongue and angle the piece to it together without creating a messy nightmare. This is besides the fact that big changes in temperature cause wood materials to expand and contract. (That is why installers have to leave a gap between the walls and laminate.) When the flooring expands and contracts, the seams will open and moisture will seep in. Once it does, game over.

                  It is this remodeling contractor's humble opinion that laminate floor if used, should be in living rooms, bedrooms and half baths, not in full bathrooms with showers or tubs. There are several new options out there these days that would suit the space better and give a similar look.


Who should I call? General Contractor or Handyman? What is the difference?

Posted by bill on February 25, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)


           That depends mostly on the type of project you need done. A General Contractor typically has his business set up to run larger projects over a longer period of time. His is often registered by the state and carries a large liability policy and is bondable. He may hire an architect or engineer to help with design and planning. His projects may take weeks, months, or years to complete. If he does residential work he is probably not interested in projects less than $5000 since he has to keep his overhead covered. In most cases he is not interested in small repairs. His skilled people are one or two trade professionals and he sends multiple guys to a project to get it completed. Many general contractors started out their business as a handyman business.

           A handyman or home repair person will have his business set up for smaller projects and will have a smaller liability insurance policy. He may or may not be required to be registered depending on the state he is working in. His projects need to be attended to quickly and may only take hours or a week to complete. He can also get in faster to begin work since he is not tied up on other larger projects. A home repair person or handyman will have experience in a variety of trades. He needs to be able to do some plumbing, some electrical, and some carpentry as some smaller projects require multiple trades. Sending multiple tradesman out is inefficient, time consuming and often upsets the home owner. Most handymen are not set up for larger projects and would probably prefer projects under $5000 depending on their skill set and experience.


          Neither way proves competence to complete a project correctly, on time, on budget, or in a professional manner. Only your due dilligence checking into past projects and experience can reduce that risk


Best Wishes,




Posted by bill on January 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

      Finding the best anchor to hang a towel bar may not seem to take much thought until you step out of the shower to grab your towel and the thing rips clean off the wall. There is a pretty easy solution to this problem, that's picking out the right anchor in the first place. We are talking about hanging pictures or towel bars on drywall or late plaster. The earlier plaster had wood lath behind it and will hold a drywall screw pretty well. If you are lucky enough to have both ends of your towel bar 16 inches apart you may be able to hit two studs which would be preferable. Not likely. So we are going to cover 4 different types of anchors for drywall and they are found in the hardware department of your local home improvement store:

For a long time the Ribbed Plastic Anchor was one of the only options for hanging things without hitting a stud.They are very inexpensive. They hold pretty good as long as you make your hole tight to the anchor. Too big, and you may find they just turn when you are trying to turn in your screw. They are really only made to hold about 5 lbs.  

This I believe is one of the greatest inventions of our modern era. Ok, well for hanging towel bars and pictures at least they are. The plastic Ez Anchor actually screws right into the drywall. You just poke the point thru the drywall, put a Phillips screw driver in the head and turn clockwise until it is flush with the wall. Then mount whatever you want with the matching screw provided turning it into the plastic Ez Anchor, and you have something strong enough to hold 35 to 50 Lbs. The big downside is if you hit a wood stud it will bend over and its shot. I never mind if that happens, you can just put the screw right into the stud which is best anyhow.

The Zinc Ez Anchor is pretty much the same as the plastic Ez Anchor with two exceptions. The Zinc Ez Anchor can hold closer to the 50 Lbs, The other advantage is you can actually screw the anchor right into a stud if you hit one.

The last, but not least one is the steel anchor. The steel anchor has been around a long time. It will hold the most amount of weight. The literature says 1 Lbs. But I know they hold a lot more than that. Once they are installed, the only way they are coming out is if you tear out a big chunk of drywall. They are used on plant hooks,Industrial lighting and to secure and over the oven microwave to the wall. The biggest downside to the steel toggle is you have to make a hole big enough to get the closed toggle thru. This can be inconvenient if you are installing something that will show the hole after-wards.

Hope it Helped.

Good Luck,


Drywall Compounds. What's the difference?

Posted by bill on January 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)


           So your looking around your favorite Home Improvement store, hoping find something to patch up that hole in your wall where the bedroom door handle went thru the drywall. What you want is something that will not shrink much, so you don't have to put 5 coats on, while waiting a day for each to dry, shrink, and crack Some muds are made better for setting the tape to the wall, and can shrink to much for the two coats you have to put over it. USG has a green bucket, and many all-purpose muds are like this. USG makes many different products. Here are what you will usually find at your local Home Improvement store.



The Green Lid shrinks quite a bit. But its slippery, great for adhearing paper tape to seams and corners. A little difficult to sand. Not great for coatings after tape.

The Topping Compound with the light blue lid shrinks a little less not quite a slippery, Good for the two coats after the tape has dried. Medium sanding effort. Allow overnight at least to dry between coats longer if humid or cold.


This is my personal favorite. Sheetrock Plus 3 light weight all purpose compound. First of all it's lighter in weight than the other muds.That means its easier to carry and lighter to use. It reminds me of cake frosting. It can be used for in-bedding tape in seams and corners, as well as great for your first and finish coats. Plus3 shrinks very little. Which makes it great for touching up nail holes and nicks. Less shrinking means fuller (straighter) coats on corner bead. It is also amazing for texture. It sticks to the roller better so more goes on the ceiling than on the floor. It drys a very nice white, cleans up easily, and as mentioned earlier, shrinks less so looks almost the same the next day. It does still take at least overnight to dry.


Easy Sand 45 powder that comes in a bag is a little different product. The advantages are its sets up quickly. Which means it can be re-coated quickly. How quickly? Well the labeling gives you a pretty good idea. Easy Sand 45 Set up in approximately 45 min. So you can get taped, first coated, and finish coated in one day! Wow. That's a game changer. If you have a lot to do and it will take you longer than 45 min. to use your first batch, you may want to use Easy Sand 90, or 120. If its a really small repair you could use Easy Sand 20. But be careful this can set up rock hard by the time you get done mixing. It is pretty easy to sand and barely shrinks at all. Which means its great for larger holes and filling in large gaps before taping and coating. Mixing is pretty easy. put 1/4 or 1/2 the bag in a clean bucket and add clean cold water a little at a time and mix until you get a smooth tooth paste like consistency. And use. Be sure to clean up everything as soon as done. If you get lumps in your mix, you can add a handful or two of dried powder and remix. This usually gets most of them out. Also, if you would like it to set up a little faster, you can add warm or hot water.

Hope you find this helpful.

Best Wishes,