lower utility bills energy saving

Make Your Home More Energy Saving and Have Lower Utility Bills!

Are your summertime electricity bills high? I mean really high? A friend of mine told me his electric bill is almost $500 a month during the summer. That is outrageous. There are many ways for us to make the best of our home. One of those ways is to make your home more energy saving and start seeing lower utility bills!

Staying cool in the Panhandle Summers is a must. So is saving money!

So to help us both, I wanted to get some professional tips on how to cut and lower our utility bills. I called HVAC expert Nick Zetta! He has cooled off Texans for over 20 years, and is now teaching others how to fix AC units at Vista College in Amarillo Tx.

Staying cool in the Panhandle Summers is a must. So is saving money. If there is anything we can do to help make that happen AND keep the cost down, I say lets do it. After speaking with Nick, he was kind enough to want to help you and I both stay nice and cozy in the heat! He gave me a couple of tips which I want to share with you!


1. Replace your old AC unit, if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old and you need to do some expensive repairs it might be a good time to go ahead and replace it with a new one. Older AC units can use much more electricity than more energy-efficient new ones.

2. Wash your condenser, according to Nick Zetta washing your condenser can cut the amount of energy it uses because the condenser dispenses the heat from in your home and if it is dirty it has to work harder to get the job done.

3. Ventilate your attic, using attic fans and soffit vents can cut the amount of trapped heat in your attic. Remember your attic needs to breath.

4. Window Shades, using window shades or blinds that have different colors using a light reflective shades in summer and a dark shade in the winter can help reduce the amount of heat coming into your home. Also installing new energy-efficient windows can block up to 80% of the heat from coming in.

5. Leave AC on, don’t turn off your ac while you go to work, it can take more energy to get your home cool than to maintain it at a comfortable level.

Here’s to lower utility bills, beautiful summer evenings, and making the best of our homes.

Sometimes it’s necessary to replace a sash in a window, for instance let’s say you were showing your son how to do the Crane Kick from the Karate Kid (I’m just sayin) and perhaps the years have not been kind to you and have rendered you a bit less flexible than you were when the movie came out and you end up doing the scene in the old western where the guy falls thru the window and now you have a bruised ego and a broken window.
So now it’s time to show your son how to do home repair, well we got your back Mr. Ninja stunt repair man, watch this short video and you’ll be able to change that broken sash like a pro.


POWER TOOLS!, 2 words that make anyone from the professional to the DIY weekend warrior dream about building a moat and trebuchet for his castle, or at least think about how cool those power tools would look in your mancave .

When I started in the remodeling industry I was about 15 and I was looking for a summer job,  I found a gig installing aluminum soffit  to the eaves of a home in Odessa Tx.and by installing soffit I mean falling of ladders with such grace as to make an Olympic high diver jealous. At that time I was told to use a hammer and nails to fasten the soffit to the eaves, this meant that after every graceful decent off the ladder I had to pick up hundreds of nails from grass, and by grass I mean working  thru the inevitable piles of dog poop, anyway, apparently the company I was working for did not believe in power tools as this would be far to convenient, either that or they were afraid to let me near them. later that summer I worked for a different company in the same industry who used power drills (and allowed me to use them) to install siding, now when I say power drill I mean the kind with an extension cord that constantly got tangled in ladders and bushes, and the concept of drill breaks (this is when the drill stops turning the moment you let go of the trigger) had not yet entered the sphere of thinking in our crew, at that time you had to get really good at timing the release of the trigger so the screw would make it all the way into the wood without stripping. Sometime after that we got into “cordless power drills” (hallelujah) That’s right, I heard a chorus of angels singing in my head, this is what started my love of power tools, no more tangled cords, and better yet, no more nailing upside down(don’t ask). The next BIG upgrade in power tools in my opinion was the Impact Drill, this made installing big screws easier, it was like going from black and white tv to color tv, now I’m not saying that as a child we didn’t have a color tv, we did, but the audio was the only thing that worked on it but fear not! we had a black and white tv that had no audio, so the only logical conclusion was to put the BW tv on top of the color tv then we had to turn both tv’s to one of the three available channels and thereby we could watch Scooby Doo.

OK, way off track I know, I’m told I have AD….Oh look a quarter! OK, back on track, I have used many brands of power drills over the years, I used to be a die-hard dewalt fan for many years until their batteries started to, how shall I put this…SUCK! I then switched to Makita which I was told had better batteries which they did, so I switched over all my power tools to Makita. Well as time goes by my Makita batteries started to lose power and I may have lost one or two along the way, and not wanting to switch my entire set again,  I went Home Depot to buy 2 new 18 volt batteries, well it turns out that power tool batteries are expensive,  really EXPENSIVE  like $100 each, so being properly stingy I got on my iPhone and tried to find cheaper batteries online but at the time I found none, so I looked around the store and this is what I found, a brand new (duh) 18v impact drill with 2 batteries and a charger for $215, so for an extra $15 I got a new charger, impact drill and 2 new batteries, so to wrap up this insane rambling into a somewhat coherent “Tool Tip” sometimes you’ll be better off  buying a new kit vs tying to buy just new batteries.

I don’t know about you but I’m not sure that was worth reading for that one tip but such is the rabbit trail that my mind travels to its destination.




remodel home exterior

Remodeling Your Home’s Exterior

You just walked outside and noticed that your home is beginning to look a lot like the antique dresser that was in your grandmother’s house. Cracked and discolored on the outside. It is time to get your curb appeal on and take the time to cover the old with something new. You begin to wonder if painting is your only option and will it take yet another coat of paint.


It is time to get your curb appeal on and take the time to cover the old with something new.


What can you do to make your home look new after the wood will no longer hold paint?  Well, i guess you could brick it or stucco it. However, I’m a siding man, so I’m gonna say siding. If you are thinking about dressing up the exterior of your home with some brand new siding, there are just a few things you should consider before moving forward.





If your home is old, it may not have any insulation in the walls. If your home was built around the depression it could very well be missing insulation. They did this back then because times were tough and they could not afford luxuries like insulation. So consider blowing insulation into the empty walls before you cover the walls.


2. WOOD:

Replace the rotten wood (duh)! It may be tempting to save time and money by cutting corners and thinking, no one is gonna know, after all you will be covering the walls, but remember you need a solid base to fasten the siding to. After all, we live in the Texas panhandle that has been known to occasionally get a bit breezy and you don’t want your new siding to blow off next week.



There are many types and styles of siding from steel to vinyl to hardy board each has it strengths and weaknesses. With the steel and vinyl siding, you should never have to paint again! While some hardy boards will not need paint, others will! Also consider that vinyl siding can have form fit insulation making it sturdier and more insulated!


When the right option for you is siding consider these siding tips from a guy who has done this for over 24 years all over the Texas Panhandle including Amarillo, from Dalhart to Pampa to Childress and a hundred other towns.


I always recommend doing your research and if you have any questions drop me a note. I’ll do my best to answer your questions and you can also easily schedule a free estimate. We love helping you make the best of your home.


Buy New Siding


Last summer, the paint was peeling badly on the south and east sides of our house. Those sides get a lot of sun. The sun, combined with exposure to the rest of the weather all year, wears down the paint quickly. It had only been three years since I had the house painted for almost two thousand dollars. My neighbor had vinyl siding installed the previous year, but he said he paid a lot for it. I just wanted a quick, cheap fix so I didn’t think siding was worth it. I landed on doing it myself!


Paint is cheap, right? Not really when you consider the square footage of just one side of a house not to mention 4. Then, don’t forget the primer because the paint apparently does not work by itself. I lugged heavy buckets of paint and primer back from the home improvement store, along with brushes and rollers and rags.


I just wanted a quick, cheap fix so I didn’t think siding was worth it. I landed on doing it myself.



When I first got out the heavy ladder I would grow to hate and got up close, the peeling was worse than expected. My job of scraping the peeling paint just increased. I came to find that scraping is a harder chore than it looks. I spent a full weekend scraping the two sides alone.



The priming took another weekend of climbing up and down the infernal ladder. It seemed like every time I came down I would see a spot I missed. After buckets, brushes, rollers, and sore leg muscles, I got the priming finished.



When the actual painting finally began, it took another weekend to paint the house, and another yet to paint the trim and fix my mistakes. By now I had paint on almost every window and ruined two pairs of old sweats. The end result looks…decent. It looks like a hapless homeowner went cheap.


The investment may be more, but next summer we are having our house wrapped with vinyl siding. To paint or not to paint…I choose not!



The cost of vinyl siding is more than paint, but once it is installed there’s nothing left to do. Take the hose to it once in a while to clean it off. It doesn’t ever rot or peel. And the insulation they install underneath it adds R-value to the walls. The investment may be more, but next summer we are having our house wrapped with vinyl siding. It will add significant value to the place, but I will be most thankful for not having to climb that ladder again.