Home Repair

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3 Things to Think About When Wiring Your Home:

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Home Repair, Kitchen Design | No Comments

Our lifestyles and daily habits continually evolve to accommodate the latest technology. In new construction, the challenge is to build a home that is wired for technology today and into the future. Orlando Custom HomeBuilder Jorge Ulibarri suggests three things to think about in the design phase to ensure the home’s electrical wiring will meet the homeowner’s needs.

TV Location and Use:

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Think about the locations and uses of each TV. In the planning stage, the homeowner and builder should discuss where each TV will go and whether the TV will require additional components such as a cable box, DVD player or game console.

For example, will viewers watch the TV in high definition?  If so, the TV requires a cable box. Where will the additional equipment reside? In a closet, hidden from view? Or, in a piece of furniture underneath the TV?

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“Typically, most builders don’t include the additional cost of wiring a TV to its components. Determining these prices in the design phase will help the homeowner make informed decisions and stay within the budget,” says Ulibarri.

Phone Use and Location:


Today’s landline telephones no longer require a phone jack at each location to function. Instead, the telephone base station hooks to a single phone jack running the phone line through the power line so all other telephones in the home hook to electrical outlets. Think about where the phone base station will reside. That space must be wired with a phone jack. No other phone jacks are needed in the home. Think about where the additional telephones will go, so that there are electrical outlets to plug into.

Consider a USB Electrical Outlet:

Leviton USB Charger

Leviton USB Charger

One of the latest developments in home automation is the electrical outlet with USB ports for charging technological tools such as tablets, cell phones and computers. Leviton recently introduced a 20 AMP USB Charger Receptacle. It’s a standard receptacle with two USB ports that incorporate a smart chip from Texas Instruments allowing the device to speak with the receptacle to understand what needs to be powered and optimize the power efficiency.


The USB Charger Receptacle fits in a standard box and wires like any other receptacle. “This is an affordable way for homeowners to upgrade their electrical outlets to accommodate today’s technology,” explains Ulibarri. Leviton’s USB Charger Receptacle retails for $20.

For more design ideas and money-saving new construction tips, subscribe to the video series, Trade Secrets by Jorge on YouTube.

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3 Tips To Prevent Water Intrusion in Your Home

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Home Repair | One Comment

As Tropical Storm Isaac dumps heavy rains across the Southeast, it’s testing the ability of many homes to withstand water intrusion. In the excitement of building a home, owners typically focus on the home’s finishes and sometimes neglect to ask about critical products that aren’t visible but work behind the scenes to protect the home. Waterproofing is one of THE MOST important considerations, especially if you live in climates with storm seasons such as Florida.

Here Are 3 Must-Dos to Waterproof Your Home:

Waterproof Exterior Balconies with Flashing & Proper Underlayment:

Balcony built with Flashing installed to prevent water intrusion, by Orlando custom builder Jorge Ulibarri,

Flashing is the L-shaped sheet metal that goes from the balcony deck, up the walls and into the house underneath the door threshold to keep the rain out. Underneath the flashing is a membrane over the entire deck that seals the structure from water intrusion.

Drawing showing how flashing should be properly installed on points of entry to prevent water intrusion

It’s important that a certified company install the flashing according to the manufacturer’s specs and that the materials are top quality.

Build Roof Coverage on All Exterior Doors:

Roof coverage should extend 2-3 feet over all exterior door entryways to prevent water intrusion. All exterior doors should open to the outside. Front door on home designed and built by Orlando custom builder Jorge Ulibarri,

Exterior doors on a home should always open to the outside and have roof coverage over the entry point, at least 2 to 3 feet extending out over the entry point to deflect water and prevent it from entering. In Florida, when it rains, strong winds tend to blow the rain horizontally, which literally pushes water into the home.  If the home’s exterior doors don’t have roof coverings, you can add awnings.

Install a Roof Membrane:

installation of roof membrane to prevent water intrusion

When going over the specs of the home, make sure your builder uses a self-adhesive membrane as underlayment under the roof tile.  This acts as a barrier to prevent water leaks.

For more tips on getting the best buy for your dollar with new home construction, subscribe to the series Trade Secrets by Jorge, available on YouTube

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The Proper Fix for Cracks in the Floor Foundation

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Home Repair | One Comment

Another Home Construction Tip from Trade Secrets by Jorge

Cracks in the home’s foundation are a fact of life. Most homes experience cracks in the concrete slab as the home “settles” over time. Those concrete slab cracks can cause marble, tile, or stone floors to crack and it can be a very costly problem after the flooring warranty has expired. Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri has built homes of all sizes and for all budgets and says the key to preventing floor cracks is to properly repair the slab prior to the floor installation.

“Cracks in the slab do not compromise the floors if the contractor properly repairs and preps the slab with quality materials prior to the floor installation,” says Jorge.

Crack in the Concrete Floor Foundation that Needs Repair

Repairing the Foundation Cracks

After the concrete slab is cleaned and prepped, the contractor should apply an adhesive primer followed by the application of a membrane throughout each crack. Jorge advises homeowners to insist on a quality membrane because cheaper membranes won’t work.

Wire Mesh Adds an Extra Layer of Protection to Prevent Foundation Cracks

Add an Extra Layer of Protection to Prevent Floor Cracks

Jorge adds an extra layer of protection to ensure that the floors won’t crack. “I add a wire mesh between the membrane and the travertine, stone, or marble floors.  This wire mesh reinforces the slab and guarantees the floor will never crack.”

Unfortunately, if the floors already have cracked, you will have to remove the individual damaged tiles or stone and replace them. However, if the contractor has taken the extra protective measure to cover each crack with wire mesh for reinforcement, the homeowner should have no issue with the integrity of the finished floors.

For a step by step description of how to fix cracks in the concrete foundation, check out the latest episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge