Most of us use faucets dozens of times a day without thinking much about them—until they leak, or break, or our cats take up residence in the sink!
Most often the fix isn't as simple as snapping a pic of photogenic felines. Fixing a leak or broken faucet means repairing or replacing it; something Kevin (my husband and our Yellow Ribbon Homes General Contractor) and I have had to do twice in the last month. Both times it turned out to be quite the learning experience.
Seven years ago Kevin built a studio apartment for his mother in an unfinished basement and installed a walk-in tub for her. He's a big researcher, and found one that got great reviews for access, usability, and comfort.
The retractable hose of the 4 piece Roman faucet system developed a leak in the past year which turned out to be impossible to repair. There was no manufacturing stamp on the faucet, and no information on the company website to order replacement parts. Kevin bought a few different sized washers and hoses to attempt repair, but nothing fit.
It turns out the faucet system was made in China using a non-standard size, and the only solution was to replace at all; something that cost several hundred dollars and hours of time online and in stores, not to mention having to rip out the bathroom closet wall to access the plumbing.
We remodeled our kitchen last spring and bought a low profile faucet since our sink is right under a window. I got a great deal at Costco on a Water Ridge faucet with a built-in sprayer that got stuck in the spray position the first time I used it. At first, we could finesse it back to regular mode, but soon, if you accidentally pressed the spray button, you'd be spraying for weeks, until the mechanism decided to release. It could've been a fluke, but it wasn't repairable, since we couldn't really tell it was broken. Thankfully, Costco has a great return policy, so return we did.
It turns out the old adage, "you get what you pay for," is true, a bargain ins't necessarily going to be one in the long run, and brand names are household names for a reason. But, I also don't want to spend more than I have to on a quality product—which is why I was so happy to come across Reviews.com guide to The Best Kitchen Faucets.
Their guide is really thorough and free--no need to subscribe to a magazine or website to access all of it. Their methodology is explained, and they include a huge price range and variety of styles in their guide, to satisfy bargain hunters like me, as well as people who want to make a statement with their kitchen faucets.
You can read their quick 30 second review, details about each featured brand, a section on how to choose a faucet, and even one on faucet care. As a remodeler, I can't wait to use Reviews.com guide to The Best Kitchen Faucets to guide me in choosing my next kitchen faucet. Check it out yourself. (Cats not included.)
The signature of Pacific Northwest winters is WATER, and water can wreak havoc on your house, so take some time to ensure your house is ready to weather the winter.
Kevin, who has become a specialist in repairing residential water damage for clients of our real estate broker, Jennie Wetter, recommends inspecting your property in the rain, or right afterward when water is flowing.
“Water follows the path of least resistance, so you want to make sure nothing interrupts its flow away from the house,” says Kevin. You can find his rainy day inspection list at our broker's blog.