This winter has undoubtedly taken a toll on Heights yards and gardens. As residents head back outdoors This spring, they can benefit Cleveland Heights’s nonprofit Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) by shopping for lawn and garden supplies at Bremec on the Heights Garden Center, 13410 Cedar Road, between Wednesday, April 22, and Tuesday, May 5.
Home Repair Resource Center
Looking for home remodeling ideas and repair advice? Come to the annual Home Remodeling Fair, presented by Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) in cooperation with the City of Cleveland Heights. The free fair will be held on Saturday, April 11, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cleveland Heights City Hall, and is open to residents of all communities.
Most homeowners want to be safe in their homes, but may be concerned that security measures could interfere with the aesthetics of their houses. To help homeowners make decisions about improved home security, retired electrician and security expert Dennis Meltzer will give a free presentation on "Making Your Home Safer" at on Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m., at the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC).
The discussion will explore options for improving home security, including exterior lighting, security systems, and door and window locks, and what to look for in each. The presentation is open to residents of all communities.
Homeowners interested in adding a home security system using wireless technology can learn how to install and use one on a do-it-yourself basis at a hands-on workshop—DIY Installation of a Home Security System—scheduled for Monday, April 6.
Early applicants will qualify for discounted tuition rates for Home Maintenance 101, the first of four modules in Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) women’s home repair course.
Regular tuition for the module is $120 for Cleveland Heights residents and $150 for non-residents, but a $20 early-bird discountwill be offered for applications submitted by March 13. (Low-income applicants are eligible for reduced tuition rates; call HRRC for details.)
The Home Maintenance 101 course will run from April 1 through May 20, with classes held each Wednesday evening, 7–9 p.m., at HRRC's Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.
Remodeling an older kitchen can present special challenges. In addition to cost considerations, there are special issues involved when making changes to older homes. Homeowners thinking about updating their kitchen may feel dazed and confused by the products and design choices available.
Somrak Kitchens is offering a free Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) presentation to help those planning a kitchen update. Kitchen Design: Products and Design Trends for Older Homes will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. at HRRC’s Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.
Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has scheduled a special event to increase awareness of its programs. On Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., HRRC will present You Can Do It! 10 Simple DIY Repairs at the Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Community Center, 3450 Lee Road in Shaker Heights. The event is free to residents of any city; to make a reservation (suggested), call 216- 381-6100, ext. 16.
Since 1971, HRRC has worked to foster diverse and sustainable neighborhoods by empowering and educating homeowners to repair and maintain their homes. Located and founded in Cleveland Height, HRRC provides program services throughout Northeast Ohio.
Owners of older homes may not be familiar with some of the problems they may face in trying to maintain their roofs. Potential problems include ice dams; roof staining, moss and mold; and finding companies that can repair historic materials such as slate, tile and shakes.
Jack DuShaw of Titan Roofing and Siding will give a free presentation on "Special Problems with Older Roofs" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., at Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), 2520 Noble Road, Cleveland Heights. Reservations are requested. To reserve a spot, call 216-381-6100, ext. 16 or e-mail email@example.com.
As homeowners age, they start to think more seriously about how they might retrofit their homes to allow them to “age in place”—to remain in their current living environment despite potential future changes in mobility. Improving accessibility in older homes, however, is not always easy.
Matt Jenkins, president of Jenkins Painting Company, will share his firsthand experiences remodeling his family home to make it friendlier to those with mobility challenges. His presentation, Remodeling for Accessibility, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 20, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building, 3450 Lee Road, in Shaker Heights.
As temperatures plummet and heating bills start to rise, homeowners can be tempted by ads for replacement windows. Whether they promise dramatic reductions in heating costs, or new, low prices on products, window suppliers suggest that replacement windows will significantly reduce a home’s energy usage. That is simply not true.
While there are legitimate reasons to replace individual window units—for example, if a wooden frame is deteriorated beyond repair—investing in all-new windows is not best way to save on energy costs. There are many less expensive measures that will have a much greater impact on one’s monthly heating bill.
Owners of older homes may be unfamiliar with some of the problems they may face in trying to maintain their roofs. Potential problems include ice dams; roof staining, moss, and mold; and finding companies that can repair historic materials such as slate, tile and shakes.
On Tuesday, Sept. 30, Jack DuShaw of Titan Roofing and Siding will discuss "Special Problems with Older Roofs.” The program will take place at 7 p.m. at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Center, 3450 Lee Road, Shaker Heights.
After an extensive search, the Board of Directors of the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has selected Benjamin D. “Ben” Faller as the new executive director of the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit organization.
A resident of Cleveland and a native of Northeast Ohio, Faller has served as staff attorney and chief housing specialist for the Cleveland Housing Court since 2009, working to expand the court’s problem-solving programs and engaging in outreach and policy work on housing and property issues.
"Home Repair Resource Center is an organization that I have admired for some time, and I am very excited to be to be coming on board," Faller said. "I look forward to the opportunity to work with the staff, board, and supporters of HRRC to serve and empower the community and to grow the organization."
There’s nothing more irritating than hearing a dripping faucet or a “ghost flush” in the middle of the night—especially when these plumbing repairs are so easy.
Participants in Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) Home How-To women’s repair course will learn to do basic repairs like these, and will gain a better understanding of their plumbing and heating systems.
Women can enroll now in the upcoming “Plumbing and Heating” module, consisting of eight workshops held on Wednesday evenings, 7–9 p.m., from Oct. 1 through Nov. 19.
Participants will learn to repair toilets and faucets, snake drains, connect copper and plastic water pipes and plastic drain lines, install and maintain water heaters, and more.
Wesley Walker, coordinator of senior repair programs for Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), talks to older residents about their housing concerns all the time. He urges them to consider whether their current home is the best option for them now and in the future. But, changing one’s living situation is difficult, and there are several factors that should go into making that decision. Walker usually asks the following questions:
- Considering all the costs, including repairs and maintenance on your current home, what type of housing will best fit your budget?
- Can your current home be modified—to fit a wheelchair, for example—if and when you experience changes in mobility?
Homeowners often encounter sticker shock when they need a new water heater. Recent safety regulations have greatly increased the price of replacement units, making it especially difficult for senior homeowners, who must manage on a fixed income, to find the necessary funds.
Looking for home remodeling ideas and repair advice? Come to this year’s Home Remodeling Fair, presented by Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) in cooperation with the City of Cleveland Heights.
The fair will be held on Saturday, April 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cleveland Heights City Hall, 40 Severance Circle. The fair is free, and is open to residents of all communities.
The air will feature “Ask an Expert” tables, where professionals from many repair specialties will answer questions and give advice. In addition, representatives from local banks, community organizations and the City of Cleveland Heights will be available to discuss how they can help homeowners complete renovation projects.
In January, Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) HouseMender University lecture series begins its eighth year.
Launched in 2007, the series provides homeowners with information to help them make good decisions about home repair and improvement projects. Lectures cover how to get quality workmanship when contracting, how to choose materials that best fit a specific situation, and how to decide whether a new technology is likely to meet one’s needs.
Three HouseMender University presentations are planned for this winter:
Does your power go out so frequently that you wonder whether a back-up generator would be a good addition to your home’s electrical system? Given the cost, how can you determine whether that investment makes sense for your family?
Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) upcoming free presentation on the topic will provide some answers. David Graham, from Scott Electrical Services Ltd., will present Should You Consider a Back-Up Generator? on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., at HRRC's Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.
For those planning to update their home’s flooring, it can be a challenge to sort through the many materials now available. Not only do homeowners want an attractive and durable product, but finding a green option has become increasingly important.
Surprisingly, some flooring materials used in earlier eras have re-emerged as eco-friendly products.
For example, homeowners are rediscovering carpeting made from natural materials like wool, jute, sisal and cotton. Linoleum—not to be confused with sheet vinyl flooring—still manufactured from natural materials, is now available in modern colors and designs with a new, more durable sealer.
Heating season is upon us, and it’s time to get ready for the inevitable. A great place to start is with a yearly Clean and Tune by a certified heating professional. Not only should this process include a check of the proper operation of your furnace or boiler, but the technician should address the tuning part, as well.
Think of your car. Would you drive it all year without getting a tuneup? Why, then, would you consider running your heating unit all season without making sure it is operating efficiently? Both your car and furnace are combustion appliances, both burn a fossil fuel, and both can be more expensive to operate if they are out of tune.
Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) believes in giving women the knowledge and confidence to take control of their home repair and maintenance needs. The upcoming Plumbing & Heating module in HRRC’s Home How-To course is a great opportunity for women to get hands-on experience with many common plumbing projects in a fun and nurturing environment.
Participants who register by Sept. 25 can get a $20 early-bird discount. Classes will be held from 7–9 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, Oct. 9 through Dec. 4, at HRRC's Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.
It was messy, sawdust everywhere. It was noisy, with saws, drills, and routers all running at the same time. It was exciting, with eyes sparkling behind safety glasses. On June 5, at Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) Teaching Center, 13 women met to make basic tool boxes during the first carpentry class in HRRC’s women’s repair course.
The class was taught by volunteer instructor John Turner, assisted by his wife Sarah Spengler. From his years of experience, Turner imparted practical tips on working with wood and using hand and power tools. Although many of the women had never before used these tools and techniques, they quickly became comfortable with where to stand, how to hold the tool, where to look to control the cut, and how to make sure the screw goes in straight.
For many people, the prospect of working with electricity is just plain scary. The instructors for Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) Home How-To for Women repair course take the time to explain how to remain safe when doing electrical repairs.
Cleveland Heights homeowner Mary Cushing, who enrolled in the module last year, said that all the classes were helpful. “I learned a lot in every class. I’m no longer fearful of doing easy electrical work myself,” said Cushing.
The upcoming Electrical Repairs module will consist of eight workshops, held from 7–9 p.m. on Wednesday evenings from Aug. 7 through Oct. 2.
With spring upon us, and inspectors preparing for exterior systematic inspections, homeowners should look to their local nonprofit, Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) for assistance.
HRRC has everything a homeowner might need to successfully manage home repairs. From workshops on contracting repairs to tool rentals, HRRC is ready to help.
Some homeowners may not have the resources to handle a large and expensive repair, like roof replacement, where the cost can run into the thousands of dollars. HRRC’s Financial Assistance Programs can help make financing these repairs possible.
I recently attended a senior focus group at the Cleveland Heights (CH) Senior Center. I went because I wanted to hear about the concerns of our city’s aging population. Here’s what I learned: Cleveland Heights residents are die-hard fans—they want to age right here, if not in their homes, in a senior housing facility within the city limits. Furthermore, they are concerned with the lack of senior-friendly housing in the city. They want single-floor living with universal design, close to a bus line and the senior center.
Looking for home remodeling ideas and repair advice? This year’s Community Home Remodeling Fair, presented by Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) in cooperation with the City of Cleveland Heights, will be held on Saturday, April 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cleveland Heights City Hall. The fair is free, and residents of all communities are welcome.
Do you have a ghost that mysteriously flushes your toilet in the middle of the night? Does the sound of your dripping faucet annoy you and increase your water and sewer bills? Does your bathtub drain slowly or not at all? Do you want to use new plastic water lines but don’t know how to install them?
Homeowners can learn to tackle these common plumbing problems and more by attending the upcoming workshops offered by the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC). Class size is limited so that attendees can practice using the tools, materials and techniques required for each repair and receive hands-on instruction from experienced plumbers.
Homeowners concerned about the recently announced sewer rate increases should plan to attend "Sewer Bill Sticker Shock: What Can I Do?"
This free presentation, sponsored by Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), a Cleveland Heights nonprofit, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. at the HRRC Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road. Wesley Walker, HRRC staff member, will talk about how to reduce your sewer bill through cost-saving options and storm water fee credits available from the Northeastern Ohio Regional Sewer District. Attendees will receive a $5 credit toward HRRC's "Building a Rain Barrel" workshop on April 8.
As homeowners age, they may find it more difficult to make home repairs, perform routine maintenance, and deal with a contractor. The nonprofit Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) initiated its Senior Repair Program to provide senior homeowners, age 62 and older, with personalized assistance in assessing repair needs and contracting repairs.
Dellwood Road homeowner Linda Lopez was excited when Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) expanded eligibility for its women’s repair course. When she learned that any woman homeowner could participate in the Home How-To program, she decided to sign up. “I liked the idea of a women’s group,” she explained. “We don’t have to feel intimidated by people who are more knowledgeable or want to go at a faster pace.”
Money management is a sophisticated term for budgeting, which is a necessary skill for successful home buying and sustainability. Current interest rates are low and there are several down payment options for home buyers, making this an ideal time to purchase a home.
Success in purchasing a home requires financial capacity, planning, and education on the home buying process. Here are four real-life steps you can take to improve your chance of success: (1) leverage your financial capacity (in other words, take advantage of down payment programs); (2) negotiate for the seller to pay closing costs; (3) learn the duties and responsibilities required of the professionals involved in the transaction (lenders, real estate agents and brokers, appraisers, and property inspectors); and (4) plan for the upkeep of a home and your ability to sustain homeownership during difficult financial times and the unplanned life events that inevitably will occur.
The Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is partnering with Dominion East Ohio’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program again this fall to encourage homeowners to sign up for energy audits. This is a great value for both homeowners and HRRC. Dominion East Ohio residential gas customers will pay only $50 for the 3–4 hour energy assessment (normally $500), and HRRC will receive a donation from GoodCents (the company providing the audits) for each order placed between Oct. 10 and Nov. 10.
Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has a Financial Assistance Program that can help Heights homeowners with needed repairs to their homes. HRRC offers grants and loans to qualified homeowners.
For instance, a homeowner can get a $1,000 grant toward whole-house exterior painting, masonry step rebuilding, a new heating system or a roof replacement. HRRC offers a $1,500 grant towards furnace replacement or roof replacement for senior citizens who are 62 years old or older.
For four decades, the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has worked hand in hand with residents to keep the houses of Cleveland Heights in good repair, amounting to more than $14 million in home improvements, and benefiting both individual homeowners and their neighbors.
To celebrate this milestone, HRRC invites the public to “Raise the Roof: Celebrate 40 Years of HRRC.” This informal benefit party will be held on June 17, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., at Heights Grill on Lee Road. The celebration will recognize the organization’s history and impact, acknowledge key partners, and look ahead to HRRC’s next decades.
How can homeowners get good repair information without a sales pitch? Home Repair Resource Center offers an annual event for just this purpose. This year’s Community Home Remodeling Fair will be held on Saturday, March 24, at Cleveland Heights City Hall. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m., with presentations from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
If you need a tool to repair your home, check out the tool loan program at Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC). Now Cleveland Heights homeowner-occupants with higher incomes are eligible to borrow tools from HRRC. A family of three earning up to $68,800 can qualify.
Owning a home is a neverending cycle. Fix something, and then something new breaks; fix that and then something else goes. Home Repair Resource Center recommends following a yearly home maintenance schedule to help keep a home in good repair. The center encourages homeowners to work on interior repairs during the cold weather, so that they can focus on the exterior during the warmer months.
This summer, Cleveland Heights homeowner Francine Barnett discovered Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) workshops and was surprised to find how much helpful information they provided. After a class on sidewalk leveling, she raved, “This workshop was very practical, labor intensive and hands-on. The instructor was very knowledgeable and helpful. He was quite focused on the overall process, and on specific problems that arose.”
Spring is my favorite time of year. The grass is green, flowers and trees are blooming, and Mother Nature is coming out of hibernation. It is fantastic—until you do that first real walk around the house. Those rose-colored glasses quickly get put back into their case, and reality sets in. You begin to notice the wear and tear the harsh winter weather has had on your home.
Here at Home Repair Resource Center, we frequently hear tales of woe about contracted repairs. One of the most common problems occurs at the end of a project, when--even though most of the work has been completed and paid for--there are a few small details that the contractor has promised to fix “in the next few days.” Weeks later, they are still unfinished, and the contractor has not responded to your calls. Mild irritation turns to total dissatisfaction with the contractor, destroying all your pleasure in the work that has been done.
One way that Home Repair Resource Center serves the Heights community is through its annual Community Home Remodeling Fair. This year’s fair–HRRC's 16th–will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Cleveland Heights City Hall. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m., with presentations from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Foreclosure is a very serious and stressful situation. The entire country has been affected by this ugly virus. As a foreclosure prevention specialist, I have seen and heard a lot. My job is to fight foreclosure by educating my client, being a communication line between my client and the bank or mortgage company, and to guide my client through the transition process, if needed.
Eighteen single women homeowners will have the opportunity this spring to build their knowledge of basic carpentry, electrical, and plumbing repairs. “Home How-To” is an intensive, six-month program designed to give women personalized instruction and hands-on practice with tools and repair techniques. The 2011 course will be the 14th offered by Home Repair Resource Center, a community nonprofit organization.
There is nothing like coming home to a warm house after a long day out in the cold. To ensure that your heating system is ready for the cold weather ahead, it’s best to fire it up early, to make sure that it is working properly. If not, there will be time to repaire or replace it before the snow starts to fly.
You can save money if you want to. By doing small things and changing some of your habits, you can start to put your pennies into a nest egg that will soon build into real dollars. You’ll find it easier to make these changes if you have a purpose for your savings, such as to create an emergency fund, add to your retirement account, go on a family vacation or pay for holiday fun.
During Sustainability Week (October 2–10), residents will have several opportunities to gain information about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, thanks to Home Repair Resource Center.
From 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4., HRRC will host an open house at its office/teaching center, 2520 Noble Road. Residents are invited to drop in to view HRRC’s facilities and learn about programs to help keep them in their homes: keeping their homes in good repair, keeping their finances in shape, and knowing their options if they face mortgage delinquency.
Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), a HUD-certified counseling agency, welcomes two new additions to its staff: Denise Black and Doris Honsa. They are experienced housing professionals who focus exclusively on providing free foreclosure prevention services to Northeast Ohio homeowners.
Larry Coleman returned with his wife Lisa Lock, to his home town of Cleveland Heights in 2006 after 27 years away, purchasing a house on Scarborough Road just west of Lee Road. Built in 1917, the house had undergone a major remodeling in the 1930’s, with the addition of glass block walls, rounded corners, and other art deco features. Since then, however, the house had been let go, and was now a “serious fixer-upper” with more than 80 point-of-sale violations.
Give your budget a check-up, and reap unexpected savings. Every opportunity to save money on goods and services will improve your financial fitness. Here are several places to start.
Participate in food co-op programs. Some of these programs not only offer discounts on quality food, but provide menus as well. Great Food for All is a faith-based, nondenominational company that provides top-quality food to any interested person, on a monthly basis, through local churches and other nonprofits. There are no membership fees, paperwork, hassles or purchase limits. You can buy a box of good quality food that will feed a family of four for a week for $30. For more information, go to www.greatfoodforall.com.
As we enter home repair season, my phone rings more frequently. The city is alive with a buzz of repair hysteria (as I lovingly refer to it). Violation lists from the city inspectors are on their way to anxious homeowners, and the melting snow has revealed exterior repairs in need of attention. Here are a few tips I can share with residents who may be experiencing some of these springtime rituals:
Don’t put off till tomorrow what can be done today. Home repairs that aren’t fixed sooner rather than later will only lead to more extreme issues down the line. Keep an eye on things. If something doesn’t seem right, get it checked out in a timely manner.
In a letter to the Home Repair Resource Center, one client writes:When I made my decision to buy a home I got encouragement from my lender and my Realtor to get the home of my dreams, at the top of my affordability range
Perhaps you’re wondering, where to get advice on remodeling a kitchen or making an older home more energy efficient.
Try the Home Remodeling Fair on March 20 sponsored by the Home Repair Resource Center. The event will be held at the Lee Road Library. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., presentations begin at 10 and end at 2:15.
In Ohio, property taxes are collected twice per year and are billed at the end of the year in which they are assessed. Thus, taxes billed in December 2009 (and due in January 2010) were the taxes assessed for the first half of 2009. Second-half bills arrive in June and are due in July. Exact due dates are noted on the bill. Residents can pay once per year or in monthly installments, and payments can be withdrawn automatically from a bank account.
A payment is considered late at midnight on the due date. Property owners paying within the next five days are assessed a 5 percent penalty. After that, a 10 percent penalty applies.
It is getting cold outside and many people may find that when they turn their furnace or boiler on for the first time, it isn’t working properly. Home Repair Resource Center offers several programs for people who are in need of assistance. If you find yourself in need of a new heating system or repair, make HRRC your first stop.
The HRRC library is full of helpful resources. There are handouts that explain the different types of heating systems as well as the different efficiency
In the current economic climate, many homeowners are choosing to fix up their homes, rather than considering a move. Home Repair Resource Center, a nonprofit organization right here in Cleveland Heights, offers a variety of loan and grant programs to help make home repairs more affordable and less of a worry, as these two recent examples demonstrate:
Last winter was very tough on roofs and gutters, with the heavy snow and ice buildup. This spring, a young woman with two small children met with one of our counselors to obtain a loan to fix her roof. She was very worried about taking on an additional loan payment because she was already on a tight budget. She was pleased to find that she could qualify for several grant programs that reduced her loan payment by half. Furthermore, she was able to fix her roof and still have an affordable monthly payment.
It all begins when a phony “foreclosure” or “mortgage” specialist contacts the homeowner through phone, direct mail or even a visit to your home. They look good, smell good and promise they can rescue your home from foreclosure in exchange for a fee that can range from as little as $400 to $1,200.
As winter turns to spring, free workshops the Home Repair Resource Center will move from interior to exterior repairs. Classes teach participants what goes into a good quality job, whether you do it yourself or contract the work.
Most classes are held at the resource center’s Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road (two blocks north of Monticello, at the corner of Oxford), on Mondays from 7-9 p.m. Attendance is limited to Cleveland Heights residents. Reservations are requested; call 216-381-9560 to save a spot. For class descriptions, see the resource center’s Web site at www.hrrc-ch.org and select Schedule of Workshops from the list on the left side of the Web page.