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Extreme spring cleaning

Neil Kelly Company's Handyman Home Repair Team can improve your home's value in many ways
by: Vern Uyetake, Neil Kelly Project Manager Brian McVay (left) and counsultant Thomas Lifschultz check out new windows installed by Neil Kelly at the home of Inga Vaden in Garden Home.

Now that spring has arrived, the birds are back and the convertibles are cruising by with their tops down, you're really starting to notice those home repair projects that you've put off all winter.

Maybe your garage door needs to be fixed. The carpet that was supposed to be so family-friendly isn't. Or your bathrooms all look like a time warp back to 1977.

Enter Neil Kelly Company's Handyman Home Repair Team.

Though Neil Kelly is famous nationwide for its construction successes and progressive green approach to building and remodeling, the smaller (and some not-so-small) projects handled by Neil Kelly's Handyman Home Repair Team involve the same resources and employee know-how.

'Everything we do is always very well thought out,' says Thomas Lifschutz, Handyman Home Repair Team consultant. 'Our projects are just as carefully planned as those in the remodeling division, whether it's a short conversation to fix a broken porch step, or a longer process to figure out where a leak's coming from and fix any damage.'

Lifschutz and Brian McVay, a Handyman Home Repair Team project manager, often see in their work a variety of deferred maintenance problems that can lower a home's value. Their team has worked on everything from a deck or porch made unsafe due to dry rot to kitchen cabinets mismatched in finish that have been poorly installed.

The team can fix it all.

McVay encourages homeowners to be proactive about their home maintenance.

'For example, if you already have our team at your house for repairs, ask for recommendations about other things that could become a problem in the not-too-distant future,' he says. 'Yes, maybe you called us to replace the 50-year-old porch, but in the process, we may discover there's no insulation on your heat ducts or your equally old windows and doors are not energy efficient or secure.'

The Neil Kelly Handyman Home Repair Team looks at each home as a system, with every part affecting another.

While many people think of return on investment in terms of how a repair project increases a home's value, Walt Harwood, vice president and manager of the Handyman Home Repair Team, encourages clients to consider 'return on enjoyment' as well. For example, one of McVay's current jobs involves a 'pull-and-replace' project - removing old kitchen cabinets and installing new ones - and removing a wall to open up the space.

'The homeowners are an older couple who want a kitchen that's more accessible,' Harwood explains.

In line with the Neil Kelly environmental vision, the Handyman Home Repair Team also strives to find what Lifschutz calls 'a greener way.' It may mean using Forest Stewardship Council-certified lumber or properly-installed energy-efficient windows and doors, doing air sealing or even installing LED lights instead of incandescent. But the results are always the same: modern beauty, improved efficiency, and enhanced comfort.

'When you update a home that has remained unmodified for fifteen or twenty years, it's a breath of fresh air,' McVay says.