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The More You Know

Summer Home Projects You Should Have on Your To-Do List

When it starts to heat up outside, the list of to-dos can seem a bit overwhelming. We’re here to share a few we recommend you keep in mind this summer.

  1. Tend to the Gutters
    • All winter long your gutters have been collecting gunk, leaves and who knows what else. Safely climb up a ladder and either use a gutter scoop or just use your hands to clear any debris from the gutters all the way around your home.
  2. Inspect Your Roof
    • While you already have the ladder out, take a peek at your roof. You know when the best time to catch a leak is, BEFORE it leaks. If you see an issue, you’ll have a few months to address it before it rains next.
  3. Recaulk Trim
    • Again, while you already have a ladder out, look at the caulk around the trim on your home. Depending on where on the West Coast you live, the weather can be rough. Sometimes bad winters or hot summers can lead caulking to fail, which can then lead to rot issues down the line. If you can catch a problem in the early stages, it’ll save you down the line.
  4. Power-Washing
    • Personally, it is one of the most visually rewarding projects you can do with instant results. Spray down outdoor furniture, driveways, your deck, etc.
  5. Sealing Your Deck
    • If you have a wood deck, use a day or two during the summer to repair, clean and seal your deck. It’ll be ready for all of the get-togethers to come year-after-year.

There are always more projects to do and sometimes it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Just take it one project at a time. Know that we’re here to help with whatever projects you’re working on from foundation to finish.

TimberTech Azek Deck Installation

So a few days ago we shared a video about composite TimberTech Decking. What if you choose a PVC based material instead? TimberTech Azek at Meek’s has you covered.

Watch this video to learn the basics about installing TimberTech Azek PVC Decking.

TimberTech Pro & TimberTech Edge Deck Installation

Let’s be real, some of us have had a bit more time on our hands lately and DIY projects fill the time great!

If you’re looking to either redo your current deck or build a new deck from the ground up in composite decking material, TimberTech is the perfect brand for the job.

Watch this video to learn the basics about installing TimberTech PRO & EDGE Decking.

Finding the Right Contractor for the Job

For our customers who are contractors, finding the right contractor for the job is easy. They either look in the mirror or have a buddy who specializes in that. For homeowners, it can be a bit trickier.

We’re here with a few steps to help make the process go easier. We’ve all heard the news stories or seen Facebook posts from friends about jobs that got started and were never completed or photos of “before” compared to torn apart “during” photos with no “after” photos to follow.

When it comes to a project, a good contractor really makes all the difference. It keeps your stress down, keeps your project on a budget and keeps safety at the forefront. A lot of times, contractors can find rotted subfloors, mold damage, unsafe wiring, leaking pipes, and more because they know what should and should not be the norm in a space.

Before you start to look for a contractor, think about the project at hand. What is your end goal? If you’re wanting to update fixtures or repipe a bathroom, you’d want to hire a plumber. If you’re planning to completely gut a home and rebuild from the studs up, you’ll likely need a general contractor or multiple specialty contractors. Knowing that right off the bat, sets your project up for success.

Once you know what you need, ask friends, family and co-workers for recommendations. Chances are, you know someone who knows someone and if they’re sharing their information, they likely did a good job.

Once you get a few, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask to meet at the jobsite. You should feel comfortable with the person you’re hiring for the job. You can ask for references and check them out on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, Google, etc. to get a better picture of the quality of work you can expect.

At the end of the day, you need to be realistic about your availability and your budget. Knowing when you can be around or when they can have access to the space and what you’re willing to spend will be key to ensuring a completed project and keep you sane throughout the process.

If you get five estimates and four-out-of-five are around $5,000 and the fifth is only charging $1,000, chances are, that’s not the one you want to go with. It’s very likely that there are corners they’re cutting or something else at play.

If you’re hiring a General Contractor, you can ask what work will be done via subcontractors versus by their team. You want to choose the right contractor for each project. Obviously, you wouldn’t want a painter doing the plumbing and a plumber laying insulation.

Before the project starts, you do not pay more than 10% of the total and do not make the final payment until the job is actually completed.

Also, make sure you are working with a licensed contractor. They will know that most renovation projects need permits and will keep you in line with local guidelines. In addition, getting a permit means a local inspection will need to be done by the city or county, ensuring the work is up to code.

For larger projects where the contractor is buying all of the materials, you will want to ensure you have a contract and lien releases prior to starting. Let’s say you paid the full amount (which included funds for materials), but the contractor does not pay off the credit line they opened with the store. Now, the company can put a lien on your property until they are paid.

So, you’ve found the right team and prepped your home for the work to come. Keep a “cushion budget” just in case. The contractor cannot see through walls (unless they have wire cameras or x-ray scanners), so there can always be unexpected costs once the project starts. Budgeting for an extra 10-15% keeps you from a shock down the road.

We work with great customers, many of which are builders or pros by trade. You can always ask if we have someone we recommend and see if we have someone in mind.


Prep & Paint Like a Pro!

When it comes to home renovations, there are some that any DIY-warrior can tackle and other where it is best to trust a professional.

If you’re looking to make a change without launching into a full-on reno, changing the paint in your home is a great place to start.

So, you’ve decided you want to mix it up and are ready for the first step.

First, pre-paint, you’ll want to turn on all the lights in the space. Take a peek at the wall up close to find any dents, bumps, holes, etc. You’ll want to mark those minor flaws as you find them.

The easiest way we’ve found, is to just tear a small piece of tape and leave it by the area. We’d recommend avoiding marking the flaws with pen, pencil or marker as that can bleed through the paint.

Once you’ve found the flaws, you’ll be able to repair each spot with spackle or a joint compound. Let that dry, following the instructions on the product you buy. As a final prep-step, lightly sand over the spot to make sure there aren’t any bumps in the new layer.

We find it best to fill, refill and fill again.

Say you have a few small holes. Grab a putty knife and the spackle of your choice. Fill the holes with spackle. Once dry, lightly sand and apply two more coats. If it shrinks, you didn’t mess up. Think of it like a sponge, which is smaller when dry compared to expanded when wet. The same goes for spackle or joint compound.

Say you have a larger hole in the wall that’s more than 1/8 of an inch, still follow the above steps, but a joint compound might work best.

Ok, so you have a giant hole, maybe from the doorknob hitting or maybe it is something your kid accidentally did, what now. You’ll want to pick up an aluminum patch and trim it to the size of hole plus an extra inch on each side. Once you have it trimmed, apply it to the wall and work on at least two, if not three coats of drywall compound.

As a tip, anytime you apply joint compound pre-paint, you’ll want to make sure you use primer. It tends to absorb the paint, which can obviously leave you with a physical spot on the wall.

If you’re applying paint to a fresh, newly drywalled surface, seal the exposed drywall with a stain-blocking primer. Once the primer dries, you can sand the edges of the drywall. Then layer on the joint compound as needed and sand it smooth once it dries.

While you’d never discourage a child’s creativity, let’s just say you’re planning to cover a wall that has crayon or marker stuck on. You’ve tried to clan it off with water and soap, but it’s still there. You tried a magic eraser dry, but no dice. You tried a magic eraser dipped in warm water, but it’s still there.

Now you’re ready to just move on and roll onto the next step. You’ll need to use a special stain blocking primer because a regular primer likely won’t cut it. KILZ or B-I-N are both good at covering marks. As a tip, be sure to roll on the primer so you’re sticking with the same wall texture as the rest of the wall.

Once you’ve done all the above to prep your walls, you’re ready to roll on the paint color of your choosing! This is where the fun really begins.

If you pop into one of our stores, check out the Voice of Color machine or flip through the paint chips. Let’s say that overwhelms you. We suggest, using this approach to pick your color:

  • Warm or cool shade?
  • Neutral or bright?
  • Are you complimenting your old furniture?
  • Are you matching a key piece of art?

Once you’ve thought about the above, pick a few chips and tape them to the wall or get samples and think on them for a bit. Look at the wall with lights on / lights off and in the morning / midday / night to be sure you like the choice before you’re hours into completing the paint job.

Bring in the chip, color sample or item you want the color matched to and someone on our team will mix up your paint.

A general game plan is one gallon per 400 square feet of wall, assuming two coats of paint. If you’re planning to cover a dark gray wall with a light white color, you’ll likely need more paint. When in doubt, ask a team member and they’ll make some suggestions.

So now you’ve prepped the wall and bought the paint. Cover moldings, baseboards, door and window casings, etc. with painters’ tape. Make sure it well-stuck to avoid leaks. Remove all outlet and light switch covers and apply tape over the outlets and switches to protect them from drips.

Now you’re almost ready to paint. Stir the paint and pour it into whatever tray you’re using. Pick the wall you want to start on and go for it!

Use a brush to cut in / paint the corners, near trim, etc.

Use a roller to cover the wall, starting from the top and working your way down in long strokes. Painters recommend a “W” pattern which helps you cover more and avoid roller marks.

Once you can touch the wall without having any paint on your finger, it’s ready for a second or third coat.

A few parting notes on prepping your space. As a safety measure, be sure your space is well-ventilated. Open windows, use fans, etc.

Once you’ve put on the final coats and they’re dry to the touch, remove all painters tape. Wash your brushes with soap and water. For rollers, we recommend using a 5-in-1 painters’ tool along the roller under water to clean it.

Whether you’re just picking a new shade for an accent wall or completely changing your décor, we’ve got the paint and sundries to help you get the job done. Stop in and talk with one of our Paint experts to have them mix up the perfect color for your home.

We’d love to see your projects and share them on our socials, so be sure to tag us @MeeksWestern!

How To Install Fiber Cement Siding c/o Allura

Learn how to install fiber cement siding from Tim Larson, the Product Application Specialist of Allura USA. Tim teaches you how to properly prepare and install fiber cement for homes.

Tim covers everything from how to carry the product, how to cut it, what to fasten it with and of course, how to install it. Check out the video below!

Table Saw Techniques c/o

Have you ever wondered what parts make up your table saw? Have you ever really spent a few minutes imagining all the uses?

Well wonder no more! has delved into the different pieces, what they’re used for and how you can full optimize each cut. Check out their infographic below and read on at

Source: Blog

3 Tips for Better Caulking and Sealing from DAP

Painting your walls can be a lot of work, but following these three tips can help save you from making time-intensive mistakes. Steve Padgett has some useful tips to make a successful paint job.

Before painting, look for all your edges and anything connected to the wall. This is the best time to apply caulk and sealant to make sure everything fits well together. Inspect window sills, frames, molding, trim, and chair rails. You don’t want to paint over a crack and only rely on the paint to make that seal.

To get a more consistent flow from your caulk gun, start at your nearside and push the gun away from you. If you put consistent pressure on the trigger, you won’t have gaps or slumping with your sealant.

Lastly, make sure to patch up any wall holes before you paint, including large nail holes. But, instead of using a sealant, use a spackling paste or wood filler, such as DAP Crackshot or DAP Plastic Wood. Sealants dry to a rubbery texture, which is difficult to sand down.

Lumber Byproducts — Where Do They Go?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the other parts of the tree that don’t make it into your next 2×4? Our friends down at Humboldt Redwood walk us through the byproducts creation process, including the different products that are offered, and how they may be used. To learn more about their operations, please visit


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