Property Management, Real Estate, Remodel Resources

圍牆舊換新

住獨棟屋 (Single Family Houses)的缺點就是自己要處理維修更換屋頂, 圍牆, 粉刷油漆, 排水, 除草皮等事情, 住公寓 (Condos/Townhouses)的因為有繳住戶管理費 (HOA), 所以這類屋外的事情都是由管理委員會去處理.

一般圍牆的壽命, 跟你選擇的材料, 裝置的方式, 保養的方式, 周邊是否有灑水系統有關.  遇到要換圍牆的時候, 鄰居好不好配合就很重要, 因為費用對分, 如果遇到一邊屋主不願意換, 除非你自己願意承擔整個費用, 或者你要去市府送申訴, 不然的話, 你也沒辦法. 這次我就遇到手上的一個房子要換三面圍牆, 但是後方房子的房東, 認為圍牆狀況還行而不願意換.

上圖是後方房東簡訊給我說他們來檢查看過後拍的照片 (我倒覺得比較像是房東請房客拍的照片), 我問房東太太, 你有近看嗎? 你有搖一下圍牆嗎? 因為我這邊的圍牆看起來很不一樣ㄟ (下圖)

我說我這邊要用四塊木頭頂著, 你那邊的Ivy都快把圍牆壓倒了, 有些部分的木片搖一下就掉了, 而且我這邊已經維修/補釘過幾次了, 現在你跟我說圍牆狀況 “看起來” 還好??

然後他就不再回應我 (這些都是用簡訊). 屋主夫妻二人都是華人 (老公姓Wong, 老婆姓Yau), 住Los Altos Hills, 房屋市值大概三百五十萬美金左右 (他們2008年買的時候是一百八十八萬), 還有一間開了十年的科技公司, 而且剛度了三個月的假期回來, 而他們要負擔的圍牆費用不過八百塊, 所以我不認為是錢的問題, 就是不願意配合罷了. 我也只能先處理左右二邊的圍牆了, 起碼這二邊的屋主都同意換新, 我猜後方要等整個圍牆往我這邊倒下, 房東才會願意換了.
我找了二間圍牆公司來估價, 第一間是 Los Gatos Fence Company.  來估價的人是Andrew, 非常親切友善, 對屋主的問題有問必答. 估價單是隔天email給我們, 不但清楚列出所需材料, 還把價錢算得清清楚楚, 一開始先列出每一邊的價格, 最後還幫你把每個屋主總共要負擔的金額算好, 看了就很舒服.

第二間是Bay Area Fence – 非 常 不 推 薦 Bay Area Fence, 態度不客氣, 估價單是當場用手寫的, 而且價格還比較高. 他當下的態度, 讓我很想叫他走人, 不用給我估價單了.

之前的豪雨, 造成很多圍牆倒塌, 所以圍牆公司都超級忙. 我們三月初估的價, 實際上排到的工程日期是五月初, 他們說慢慢會好一點, 因為之前因為豪雨造成的, 都弄的差不多了.

Los Gatos Fence Company的回電話或回電郵的速度都算快, 而且很客氣. 基本上, 主要的屋主 (這次的案例, 我是主要簽合約的人, 因為我要換二邊的圍牆), 簽好合約, 連同總金額的10%為簽約金寄出, 然後工程日之前要再給50%的費用, 最後的費用等工程完成後付清.  我的做法是, 我付10%和尾款, 我跟二邊的屋主拿到他們的費用支票, 抬頭寫Los Gatos Fence, 然後當作50%費用寄出.

下週一要開工, 這週五PG&E的人就來插旗子, 標示瓦斯管線的位子.

76 ft長的圍牆, 從拆除到新的裝好, 只要一天.  工程做好後, 工人會把所有裁剩下的材料帶走, 雖然還是有留一些木屑, 但我覺得算乾淨了.

新的圍牆裝好後, 等三週, 找個幾天都不會下雨的某個陰天早上或傍晚, 給二邊的圍牆塗上Wood Stain, 算是一個保護膜 (細節如下).

A wood stain helps create a protective barrier that keeps your fence looking beautiful over the years. In general, fence stains get categorized as either semi-transparent, penetrating stains or solid-color stains, depending on the level of pigment in the solution.

Wait at least three weeks before you stain a wood fence you’ve just built that allows the wood to “settle” into its new environment, noting that it also gives the new wood time to open its pores so your stain sinks in more effectively.

The best time to apply stain is in the morning or late afternoon on a cloudy day. Wait for a day when it hasn’t rained for 24 hours and no further rain is in the forecast for the next 24 hours.

When it comes to applying a stain to a fence, you have the choice of brushes, rollers or pads. For the best results with a brush, pick a staining brush that’s 4 or 5 inches wide. If you opt for a pad, the best type for fence staining is a pad with a fluffy nap, such as the pads that are sometimes labeled for use on decks. Finally, if you’re using a roller, any paint roller will do.

Focus on painting from the top of the fence to the bottom to prevent uneven dripping. Follow any product-specific guidelines on the label of the wood stain you purchased, as thickness and coat requirements vary by manufacturer.

In most cases, solid-color stains are like traditional paint and need just one coat to protect your fence. Semi-transparent penetrating stains often need two coats, with the second coat applied approximately an hour after the first coat.

Measure the length and height of the fence to be stained. Multiply the length by the height to determine the total square footage of the fence. If you are going to stain both sides, multiply the square footage by two.

Note the coverage provided by the stain you plan to use. This is usually listed on the side of the can. Different stains offer different coverage, although it is often between 150 and 200 square feet per gallon. Divide the total square feet of fence to be stained by the coverage listed on the can.

For example, if you have 1,000 square feet of fence and the stain says that 1 gallon covers 200 square feet, you would divide 1,000 by 200, which equals 5 gallons to cover the fence. If you get a fraction in your answer, always round up to the next whole gallon.

Make sure you stain and paint your fence, and reapply the stain every 2 years, or the paint every 4 years.

我們拖到7/4才有空上漆, 不過這個圍牆工程總算完成了!!

後註: The Family Handyman出了這篇有關How to Set Fence Posts That Won’t Rot文章, 我想一般圍牆公司是不會多做這些準備步驟, 也許你可以試著要求看看, 我的已經裝好, 來不及要求了.

People, Remodel Resources

SF Bay Area Remodel Trade People

UntitledHere is a list of trades-people and service professionals who I use to serve my clients.  If you have worked with anyone from this list and do not feel you had a good experience, please contact me so I can find out what happened.

[Updated on September 2018]

Arborists 

John Thompson 650-327-8090
Mark 408-723-2948
Mark Barton 408-406-9876

Architects

John Klopf (Klopf Architecture) 415-287-4225
Brett Haven Stocks (BRETTHAVEN Homes) 831-359-3900
Curt Cline (Modern House) 415-596-7281
David Henig 415-205-3900
Joyce Yin 650-937-9711

Carpet Cleaner

Ruben Carpet Cleaning  408-833-9529
Scooters Carpet Cleaning  408-398-6730
Genesis Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Services  408-426-0613

Chimney Clean & Repairs

Dennis Justus (Chimney Clean Company)  408-265-1010
Mister Chimney Cleaning & Repairs  650-597-3165
Royal Chimney Services – Inspections, Repairs, Reconstruction, Cleaning  408-972-2452

Contractors


Jim Humphrey (JH Construction) 408-379-6285/650-949-1452 (met on San Carlos BNI in 2016)
Andy Wong  408-306-3968 (Worked on Michael+Anita’s Bollinger Home in 2017)
Reggie Navarro (Omagio Construction) 650-814-1240 (Worked on EPA for Graeham Wattes in 2016)
Cruz 408-856-5845 (Referred by Pamela Lin/Interior Designer)
Bob Tobiason 408-605-7179
David or Paul 408-665-0354 (Driveway and Pavers)
Oscar Gonzalez (Oscar Gonzalez Construction) 650-483-0498 (何明潔推薦)
Craig Smollen (Smollen The Builder) 415-271-0568 (Work with Curt Cline)

Doors, Mirrors, Screens, Windows Repair

A1 On Track Sliding Doors and Windows   1600 Dell Ave, Campbell  408­-866-0267
Bull’s Glass and Screen Center  1362 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose  408-725-4070
Anthony’s Glass  408-495-2938
The Mobile Screen Guy  1702- L Meridian Ave, Ste 119, San Jose  669-238-0676

Electrician

Matt Sabic (Voltz Electric) 36 Railway Ave, Campbell  408-835-3866
O’Connor & Son’s Electric  650-813-9159
Stanford Electric Works  650-319-7696
Hewlett Electric  408-661-2889
JR Electric  408-512-6059

Flooring
James (Heavenly Touch Stone Care) 408-497-4354 (Concrete Refinishing)

Fence Installation/Repair
Los Gatos Fence Company  408-971-1004
Durham Fence 650-888-2940
Sierra Lumber & Fence  408-286-7071
Meza’s Fence  408-448-2298

Foundation Repair
Ed Jones Jr. (Edward’s Construction) Santa Clara  408-595-2915

Garage Door Repair
Jack Boghos 408-753-0901

Handyman

Lado 510-290-3600 (referred by Jerry Hsieh)
Cruz 408-856-5845 (Referred by Pamela Lin/Interior Designer)
Oscar Gonzalez 650-483-0498 (何明潔推薦)
Edgar Bernal  650-722-1361 (Referred by Liling Tseng)

Housekeeping/Cleaners

Vitalina Diaz  408-504-1405
Ruth Martell  408-591-8645
Amelia Gomez 408-824-3052 (灣區媽媽臉書版推薦)
Drew Sanchez (The Red Carpet) 408-644-4068 (From KW Campbell)

Home Theatre

Randy Duerre (the smart connection) 408-315-2646

Home Inspection  

Compass Home Inspection 408-980-7177

Heating and Cooling Systems (HVAC)

Rick Lopez  408-661-2088
Palo Alto HVAC/Plumbing 650-856-3400

Interior Designer   

Valentina Cirasola  408-732-9782 (Italian Style)
Severine Secret  408-859-9015 (Modern Style)
Pamela Lin (Urbanism Designs) 650-767-0880 (Modern Style)

Kitchen Design 

Atherton Appliance & Kitchens  650-369-1794 Redwood City

Landscape Designers

Lisa Parramore (Living with Japanese Gardens)  650-996-8951
Monika Kafka (mscape design) 408-540-8320 (modern design)



Troy Smothermon (Start Organic) 408-888-1903 troy(at)startorganic(.)org (Veggie Gardens)

Landscape Maintenance 

Boyds Tree Service  408-391-2809
Pablo Ramirez  650-274-3953
Humberto Vazquez 650-518-3108
Blue Ox Tree Service 408-509-8216


Mark Barton 408-406-9876 (Arborist/Fruit trees and Maple pruner)

Sean McGrail  408-761-9415  (Maple tree/Fruit Tree pruner)

Mortgage Brokers
Irene Moustakas (Granite Financial) Cupertino  408-257-1681
Dan Lawson (Opes Advisor) Willow Glen  408-483-5417
David Setti (O2 Mortgage) Campbell  408-605-1848
Maily Smitt (Wells Fargo) San Jose  408-807-1860
Michael Aning (Mosaic Mortgage) Campbell 408-391-2918

Moving Company
Drew Scnchez (D&L Movers) 408-800-6727 (From KW Campbell)
Larry (L and R Transport) Redwood City 650-868-0089

Plumbing

Gordon Mueller  408-234-3877
Palo Alto HVAC/Plumbing 650-856-3400
Bay Area Plumbing & Heating 650-323-6006
San Jose Drain and Main  408-854-2863
Northstar Plumbing & Drain  408-757-8003

Painters
Gil Chae (Prince Painting) 408-529-8848
John Hardisity 831-345-5346
Mike Romito 408-267-4254
Will Fanizzi 408-728-1818 (4th generation painters)
Jesus Malta 408-592-2171

Pool Service
Dave McElaney (Poolside Concierge) 650-465-4195

Roofing

Tony Rainieri (Anthony Rainieri Roofing) San Jose  408-265-8010
Rich Cosmos (specialize in Tar and Gravel) Mountain View  650-400-2414
Bill Hamilton (Hamilton Roofing) Campbell  408-379-1303
Abril Roofing 925-228-0160
Shelton Roofing  650-288-1400

Radiant Heating Specialist (for Eichler Home)

Dan Salzberg  650-965-3777
LaChances  408-986-8189

Screen Door Service
John Lanto (The Mobile Screen Guys) 408-750-4600

Sliding Door Service
Martin Golphin (A-1 On Track) 800-491-5654

Siding (for Eichler Home)
Kevin Mills 650-747-9503
Jeff & Annette Nichols  415-883-5300

Termite and Pest Control

Eric Van Hooser  San Jose  408-536-0550
Proven Termite Solutions  408-929-1992
A & R Termite Control  650-347-9512
MightyMite Termite Services  408-377-3761
Attic Crew  800-558-5857

Windows & Glass Doors

(Palo Alto Glass)  650-494-7000
A Wholesale Window Company  408-654-9410
J & M Windows and Glass  408-371-7255
California Window Masters  408-645-7742
Integrity Windows & Doors  408-225-2600

Window Treatments

Mariko Blakemore (The Shade Store) 1932 Fillmore St, SF 415-848-9179#275  (15% off code “ta-29d89” )


Remodel Resources

砍樹 2 (Tree Removed)

還記得我去年十一月寫了一篇有關砍樹 1 (Tree Removal) 的文章嗎?

Img_0513我們十一月拿到砍樹許可, 請人來估價得知砍我家那棵大樹要五千塊後, 決定找PG&E交涉, 想辦法讓它們負責一部份的費用或是讓他們砍一部份的樹, 這樣我們的負擔就可以減輕, 但也知道這是條漫長且辛苦的路, 而且也沒把握會成功.

Img_9109
我們一月中開始與 PG&E連絡, 在歷經過無數次的電話溝通, 以及派不同人來我家現場勘察, 每一次我都很堅持的對勘察人員說: 你必須把高壓線以上部份的樹砍掉, 而不只是修剪高壓線附近的支幹, 因為他們的修剪法只是讓高壓現附近呈現掏空狀, 但是樹繼續往上長, 也往外長 (往我家屋頂上長), 重量全在我家這邊, 分配非常不均衡, 遲早有一天會往我家倒.  最後, PG&E終於同意以Contractor Assist的方式, Pruned a minimum of 10’ from high voltage lines and branches overhanging lines will be removed to allow certified contractor to remove the rest of the tree.

Img_0521 幾乎每二週就有人敲門, 說是PG&E的人來勘察我家的樹, 每個人看完樹後都說要申請停電才能砍樹, 每次和PG&E那端負責連絡的小姐詢問進度, 她總是說停電申請還沒被允許, 所以還不能砍樹.  老實說 PG&E的小姐的服務態度很好, 每次去電詢問總是耐著性子向我們解釋, 我們也是客客氣氣的請她幫忙催促, 尤其今年初有幾天刮大風下大雨的時候, 更是令人害怕.

Img_0523 終於在數不清的電話連絡後, 於四月底 PG&E 外包的Tree Removal Contractor (Jesus 408-723-7867 英文很好的老墨) 終於出現在我家門口, 說是做最後一次勘察, 並問我們要不要讓他們順便把剩下的樹連根除去 (因為PG&E只砍掉上面的三分之一, 我們還有三分之二的樹幹和樹根), 他們出價二千二, 我們想都不想就答應了.

Img_0656幾天後, 他們早上八點出現在我家後院, 一組四人, 二人爬到樹上, 二人在樹下把砍下的樹枝拿到外面攪碎, 他們花了二天砍掉樹最上面的三分之一, 因為樹支幹很多, 加上電線, 網路線, 電話線都在樹枝幹附近, 加上樹高風大, 所以他們花很多時間小心除去樹枝幹, 他們技術真的太棒了, 除了一堆樹葉掉在後面鄰居的泳池裡, 其他完好無缺.

最後一天他們來了六個人, 因為這一天要除掉那比我家還高的大樹幹以及把樹根挖掉, 看他們一群人分工合作, 仔細計算樹幹高度及倒下來的角度和位置, 連我都替他們捏一把冷汗.  樹幹倒下後, 他們再將樹幹切成數個大塊, 然後在切成數個小塊, 方便我們搬動, 因為我家冬天不燒材取暖, 所以打算把木材拍照上網賣.   

Img_0703看到後院沒了那棵大樹, 心裡真想歡呼, 因為長期被遮掉的陽光, 終於找回來了, 而且 我家最後一個Home Improvement Project – Landscape, 也終於可以開始尋找園藝設計師來討論, 畫設計圖, 擇期施工了. 不過依照 County Planning Department的規定, 我們在樹砍掉後三十天內要再種下一棵15 Gallon 的新樹, 但是我不想隨便種一棵樹, 因為可能和我們最後的庭園設計需求不符, 這下有點傷腦筋.

更多相片請按這裡.

Real Estate, Remodel Resources

Green Living: Government Incentives

Green_living
There is much discussion these days about green building,
environmentalism and minimizing your "carbon footprint." For many of
us, this esoteric conversation seems distant and inapplicable to our
daily lives.

But there can be big savings in green building and green products.

Many states offer tax incentives to those who build or remodel their homes using green building techniques.

Homeowners who choose to remodel or build to increase energy
efficiency and use environmentally friendly products are eligible for
any number of tax rebates and write-offs.

. . . . . Keep Reading

Remodel Resources

砍樹 1 (Tree Removal)

在美國, 要將一棵在自家前後院的樹移除, 可不是屋主高興就可以說砍就砍的, 在Santa Clara County, 如果樹木大小超過37.7 inches in circumference (12 inches or more in diameter) measured 4.5 feet above the ground, or which exceeds 20 feet in height 都有可能需要向County Planning Office申請移樹許可證 (Tree Removal Permit).
Tree_front
Tree_side

我家後院角落有一棵Monterey Pine Tree, 我想大概有四五十歲了, 樹幹底端約110 inches 粗, 高度約30-40 feet (約三四層樓高), 而且就長在電線桿前面.  按照PG&E 修樹的規定: “A general rule of thumb is to create a clearance of 12 feet between the power lines and the canopy of the tree, but may be as much as 20 feet of clearance for fast growing species. 

Tree_back_2
我們住在這裡快六年, 看到 PG&E只將靠近高壓線附近的樹幹砍掉, 造成其他樹幹的生長全往我家和我家隔壁鄰居這個方向長, 而我家後面鄰居看到的都是光禿禿的那一面, 不但不好看, 而且因為不平衡而有安全上的顧慮, 萬一刮大風或有大地震, 那樹一定往我家和我隔壁鄰居家倒, 光想就覺得恐怖.

但是要移除一棵大樹不但要申請許可, 移樹費用也很高, 所以即使我們當初一搬進來就想砍這棵樹, 卻也等了快六年才真的著手進行.  申請許可證不難, 申請費約一百多塊, 先上County Planning Office的網站下載申請書, 照申請書上的規定填寫資料, 移樹原因, 相關照片等等, 然後屋主親自將資料送去County Planning Office, 約二到四週後會有聽證會 (Hearing), 如果經過County Planning Office的調查通過, 加上沒有附近住戶反對, 約一到二週後會收到移樹許可通知, 移樹許可證是二年有效, 在舊樹被移除後的三十天內需要再種下一棵15 Gallon的新樹, 不限位置, 可向County購買, 費用三百塊.

要移一棵這樣尺寸的大樹, 之前我們請二個人來估價, 估$1800 的Steve說一天就會解決, 估$5000的Mike說大概要二天. 

剛好我們鄰居也有一棵比我家略小, 在前院車道旁邊的一棵樹需要移除, 他們在比價後 ($800 vs. $2400) 決定請Steve去移他家的樹, 結果證明You get what you paid for. 他說那是一個差點讓他因小失大的決定, 因為他目睹那個砍樹過程, 好幾次分次砍下的樹次幹不是差點掉在剛好開過的車頂上, 就是差點掉在鄰居屋頂上, 結果最後倒下的樹主幹,  如果風大一點,  或是偏一點點,  就會剛好倒在對面鄰居的屋頂上, 所以他說當整個過程結束後他幾乎虛脫, 而且Steve將砍下的樹支幹留在馬路邊, 還留下一大段底端的樹幹連著樹根沒有挖起, 如果要連根挖起, 則要另一筆費用.  最後我的鄰居說, 如果重頭來過, 他大概不會用Steve, 也絕對不會建議Steve給別人.

經過他的經驗, 我們大概很清楚該請誰來移我家的樹了. 我們之前請過Mike移除幾棵約一層樓高的小樹, 他們整組人的動作乾淨俐落但小心僅慎, 沒有一根樹枝幹掉在鄰居家, 不但將樹砍下而且連根挖起, 還把所有的樹枝幹當場絞碎帶走, 沒有留下任何東西讓我們清理, 所以我想當我們準備好要移樹的時候, Mike會是理所當然的選擇.

Mike Boyd 408-371-5040