Rentals in Cleveland, Ohio and Cleveland Contractors: "The Home Mechanics" Blog
  • Welcome to the RPC Blog

    Welcome to Reilly Painting & Contracting, "The Home Mechanics," and Reilly Properties. We are your Cleveland Contractors who also provide rentals in Cleveland, Ohio. We have served Cleveland Heights for 35 years.

    Brook Reilly Photo This blog is edited, maintained, and written by Brook Reilly, a social media and blogging consultant based in Cleveland, OH.

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    "JP and Mike did an EXCELLENT job. They were punctual, polite, thorough, neat, and accomodating. If we were unhappy with anything, they sought to make us happy. In addition to doing the work we requested, they found additional problems, told us what they were, and then corrected those problems after we asked them to. We would be very happy to have them come back to do additional work in the future, when necessary."

    Vincent L.

  • Tips For Selling Your Home

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    These days, we need all the advice we can get to sell our houses quicker and for a good price. We have two lists for you: things buyers do not want to see (some things more surprising than others), and some items you should check before an inspector takes a look.

    Surprisingly, one of the things a buyer does not want to see, unless you live in a state like Arizona, is a pool. An above ground pool can be an eye sore, and an in-ground pool might just be too much work for a potential homeowner to deal with. And remember, you’re going to have to spend money to make money. If your garage or a bedroom is used for storage, you’ll have to deal with that. Buyers want to see a bedroom with a bed in it, and they want to see a garage as a place they can park their car. Read more about buyer turn-offs at Zillow.

    Our advice is not to let an inspector in your house until you inspect it yourself. The more an inspector sees wrong with the house (even little things), the less likely a buyer is to see the value. So what are some things you can look for? Make sure there are no clogs in any of the drains. Yes, you might have to call a plumber, or do a little work yourself, but it will be worth it. Make sure you have a smoke detector on every floor of the house, and check that the batteries are working. If there are any bug infestations, take care of them immediately. Check all your windows and doors to see if they close properly or if there is any creaking. Small things like these add up quickly and can become overwhelming. Go through the rest of the list at Wise Bread.

    Part of the joy of owning a home is that you can do whatever you want with it, to it, and in it. You should enjoy it. But if you want to sell it easily and for top dollar down the road, try to picture how others might react to any renovations, additions or modifications you make. The more specific you get — such as turning your kid’s room into a miniature castle from Cinderella — the harder it will be to sell your home later, and the less return on investment you’ll get. When considering changes to your home, always consider resale.

    Filed under: Common Household Repairs, De-clutter Your Home, Fix That Leak, Home Mechanic Tips, Selling Your House
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    Burnt Out From Work? Here’s What You Can Do

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    If you’ve been at the same job for a while now, chances are you’ve suffered from job burnout, a type of stress even Mayo Clinic is recognizing. Job burnout is different from simply disliking the career you’ve chosen. Its symptoms include lack of motivation, irritability, exhaustion, lack of satisfaction.

    Although the reasons we feel burned out at work vary from person to person and job to job, some common culprits include feeling out of control at work. For example, having little or no say over your schedule or assignments, or having a micromanager as a boss can be triggers. When you’re spending so much of your day at work, that it feels like there’s never enough time or energy to be with your family and friends doing activities that you enjoy, that’s when burnout sets in.

    Once burnout sets in, you might realize that it’s time for a new job. Maybe you’ve been feeling this way for too long and the fact is, you just don’t like the work you’re doing. But if you remember the days you actually enjoyed going to work, and aren’t ready to give up yet, keep reading. It might take some hard work, but you can defeat the burnout.

    One of the main solutions is nurturing yourself, physically and mentally. If you’re not getting what you want out of your job, figure out what it is that you do want and then speak up about it. Maintaining a balance between work life and home life is extremely important. Don’t take your work home with you. Home is for family time and some “me time,” too. Don’t let your hobbies be forgotten. You can do anything – something that relaxes you completely, or something that keeps you busy and makes you feel helpful. A lot of the time, we come home from work and just want to lounge around after feeling stressed out all day. But physical activity plays an important role in so many parts of your life. It gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, and makes you look better, which in turn makes you feel better. Just remember, it’s up to you to de-stress and improve your well-being.

    Read more about conquering burnout at Genuine Curiosity.

    Filed under: Health, Food & Fitness, Home Mechanic Tips
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    Finding the Best Grill For You

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    It’s well into grilling season by now, but maybe you’re still searching for the right grill. The one that makes the most perfect burger, the one that leaves dinner guests wanting more, the one that makes you the King of the Grill. It’s not just a silly dream – it’s an attainable one. The Home Depot recently reviewed some of their favorite options. From smokers to portable grills, you’re guaranteed to find the right one for you.

    The ones above are all charcoal grills:

    If you’re a sucker for the smoky flavor of a charcoal grill, here are a couple of our favorites. The Char-Broil American Barrel Style Charcoal Grill is affordable, making it a great charcoal grill for beginners. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

    The Weber Performer Platinum is a cut above your average American kettle grill. It has a handy gas ignition system for firing up your coals as well as a workspace for platters, tongs, and whatever cold beverage you’re nursing while manning the grill.

    The Char-Broil CB940X Charcoal Grill is a solid choice, made of sturdy cast iron. It comes with a reliable thermometer and 540 square inches of cook space.

    Read more at The Home Depot.

    Filed under: Fun Stuff, Gadgets & Technology, Health, Food & Fitness, Home Mechanic Tips
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    Break Free From Your Cell Phone Contract

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    We all love our cell phones dearly, but honestly, sometimes they suck. No service, sporadic outgoing calls, abrupt battery death, and so on. When these things keep happening, we get fed up. And when we get fed up, we want change. But it’s really hard to change phone contracts just because we want something different.

    Wired is here with some tips to tell us that we do have a chance.

    Keep abreast of the news, and pay attention to those update emails your carrier occasionally sends you, as well as your monthly statements. Any of them could offer a way out. When cellular carriers make what’s called a “material change” to a contract, you’ve got 30 days to bail, scot-free. A material change can be anything from additional service or maintenance fees, adjustments in the rates you’re charged, or changes in discounts applied to your account. If you’ve spotted a material change, you should be able to contact customer service and end your contract.

    Read more at Wired.

    Filed under: Gadgets & Technology, Home Mechanic Tips
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    Habit Builder: The App That Helps You Build Good Habits

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    It’s the middle of the year and your New Year’s Resolutions have probably gone down the drain. But you should never stop working on self-improvement. With the Habit Builder app, you can list the good habits you would like to work on, and it will keep track of how well you’re doing. The amount of days in a row you act on your new habit is called a streak. You’re able to see your current streak and your longest streak. That makes it a friendly competition with yourself. You can even schedule a skip-day and the app won’t even make you feel badly about it. When you don’t do something you scheduled, the Habit Builder will still remind you the next day and start the count over. In other words, it never gives up on you. Habit Builder is your quiet, insistent friend that will help you improve in small, but meaningful ways.

    Filed under: Fun Stuff, Gadgets & Technology, Health, Food & Fitness
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    How Google Will Improve the Nest Thermostat

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    We love Nest, we love Google, and now they’ve been integrated. Google recently bought Nest and is launching its new interactive thermostat this Fall. Just like with your smart phone, all you have to do is say, “Okay Google,” and then tell it what temperature you want. Not only will you be able to speak to Nest, but Nest will be able to communicate with any of your other smart technology.

    If you have LIFX lightbulbs, they will be able to connect with the Nest smoke alarm. If it detects any smoke, the lights will flash to alert you. The Jawbone UP24 knows when its wearer wakes up in the morning. Now it will connected to your Nest thermostat so your home can be a cozy temperature for you when you get up.

    Surely those are just a couple examples of the future of Nest. Google is the expert at knowing what the people need before they even know they need it. I expect Google to soon be the king of smart homes.

    Read the full exclusive at Wired. And remember, if you need any help setting up your smart home, call Your Home Mechanics today.

    Filed under: Gadgets & Technology
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    Keep Your Kids Active This Summer

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    African American Family Playing Baseball

    Most parents don’t have a summer break like their kids do. But it’s important to spend time with them during these few months. This is the time of the year that they get bored more easily, and with less activities to occupy their time, the kids might start to miss you. I know you might be tired when you get home, or if you’re a stay at home parent, it’s easy to fall into a lazy routine of TV and video games. You have to remember that it’s your responsibility to keep your kids busy and active. It does take research, planning, and motivation, but it’s worth it to keep your child healthy and happy.

    Read more at Children’s Wishing Well, for easy, inexpensive ways to make memories with your kids this summer.

    Filed under: Entertainment, Fun Stuff, Health, Food & Fitness, Home Mechanic Tips
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    How to Do What You Don’t Want to Do

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    Yep, it’s Monday, and we’ve all learned to hate it. It’s difficult to get motivated on a Monday. You’re thinking about how relaxing your weekend was, and how it’s not fair that the weekends weren’t made to be longer. But if you’re willing to work on changing that attitude, your tasks will become more doable and your days less daunting. Here are some ideas to get you started:

    1. Think about why you need to get this particular thing done. Even if it’s a menial task, there is a reason it needs doing.

    2. Think about what’s stopping you from doing it, or why you just don’t want to. Are you afraid of not doing it correctly?

    3. Try to erase all of the expectation, the idea that life should be easier. You have to do this, and that’s the reality.

    4. Focus on the purpose, instead of possible results. This will make you more involved and thorough.

    5. Sometimes stuff sucks. It just does. But it’s usually worth it.

    6. Discipline. If you don’t make yourself do something, who else will?

    7. Take breaks. Even if you do a little at a time, you’re getting things done.

    8. Stop your thoughts from trailing off. It’s going to happen, but you’re in charge.

    9. Think about what you’re thankful for. Yes, you might be doing boring work, but you have a job.

    10. Working on the previous steps will help you learn about yourself and help you make changes.

    Find more inspiration at Zen Habits.

    Filed under: Health, Food & Fitness, Home Mechanic Tips
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    Troubleshoot Your Home Before the Trouble Starts

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    If you’re a homeowner, you may not have realized that taking proper care of a house is harder work than you thought. But if you’re determined to keep your house in good shape, there are some preventative measures you can take. You might be thinking, But I really don’t know anything about home maintenance. Well, that’s okay. It takes some time and effort, but it’s simple once you have some guidance. It just so happens that The New York Times would like to help.

    Bob Tedeschi, author of the article, “Looking for Trouble at Home Can Pay Off” asked three experts on inspecting homes how to go about finding issues before they become big problems. Read the article for a simple walk through of the entire house. You’ll feel the pressure slide right off your shoulders, and feel more confident about keeping a nice home.

    Filed under: Basement, Common Household Repairs, Fix That Leak, Health, Food & Fitness, Home Mechanic Tips, Plumbing, Roofing
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    Some of the Best iPhone Accessories

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    Computer World just came out with an article in which they list 10 gadgets made make the iPhone even cooler. I don’t have a smart phone, but seeing these awesome iPhone accessories made me want to get one. Some of my favorites:

    1. Kolibree. I’m kind of obsessed with my oral hygiene. I brush twice a day, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. This toothbrush connects with your iPhone or iPad and maps out your routine, and then gives you suggestions on how to take better care of your teeth.

    2. Koubachi. I don’t exactly have a green thumb, but I love taking care of plants. Koubachi will help me learn about my plants and help me take care of them.

    3. Monkey Kit. We’ve all had this problem: you’re trying to read or workout from your tablet, but it’s pretty much impossible to position it in such a way that is visible or comfortable. The Monkey Kit allows you to put your iPad anywhere with peace of mind.

    Check out the rest of the accessories here.

    Filed under: Fun Stuff, Gadgets & Technology, Gardening & Landscaping, Health, Food & Fitness
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