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E: Chec offers k out from your local pros.

Knoxville Edition June 2023

Water Works

Solutions for Healthy Plumbing

Water Features to Beautify Your Back Yard

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Inspect roof


Take care of your home with ease. Our experts put together a checklist of all the essentials. Log into the Angi app and get started today. See your list

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CONTENT CREATORS Shelby Godard, Melissa Linn, Austin Surface COPY EDITOR/CONTRIBUTOR Brigitta Shannon Rose DIRECTOR, CLIENT SUCCESS SUPPORT Jeana Wagner MANAGER, CLIENT SUCCESS COORDINATORS Lindy McLain TEAM LEAD, CLIENT SUCCESS COORDINATORS Elizabeth McIntosh CLIENT SUCCESS COORDINATORS Ben Beaty, Chelsea Fink, Kalen Fitzgerald, Billy Jones, Jenna Larson, Jessica Matucheski, Mike Seall, John Seitz

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Your home for everything home. The most important parts of your home are often the ones you think about least. You expect your home to just WORK, right? You flip a switch, and lights come on. You adjust the thermostat, and the heat comes on. Turn a tap to get water, and perhaps most importantly, push a toilet handle to flush. Precisely because these aspects are so easy to take for granted, it causes a grade-A home emergency when one of them goes wrong. That’s why this month’s cover story arms you with the knowledge of what to do in the face of some of the most common plumbing problems, including what you can handle yourself and when you should call in a pro. We’ve also provided a guide to the questions you need to ask your pro to make sure you’ll get the best service possible. By the way, this is why it’s important to find a qualified pro for critical infrastructure such as plumbing. Keeping up with regular maintenance will lessen the likelihood of emergencies. When those emergencies do happen, whether it’s a fixture flooding your kitchen at 2 a.m. or your air conditioner suddenly going out on a 100-degree day, you want to be able to call someone you can count on to arrive quickly, be familiar with your home, and solve the problem in a hurry.

Ready to review a pro? Click here or open the camera app on your mobile device and scan the QR code to sign in.

June 2023

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Cover art: Getty Images

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Our editors answer your most pressing household questions.

What’s the best way to mow my lawn? Once a year, hire a pro to sharpen your blade. When mowing, change your pattern every time to prevent ruts from forming. Overlap each pass by a few inches for a smooth and even lawn. Don’t set your blade too low; taller grass tends to be healthier. Never cut grass by more than a third of its height at any one time. Mow early in the day, after dew has dried, to let your grass gather fresh nutrients during the day.

Built-in furniture and storage spaces are permanent parts of the home, such as a bench seat nestled below a window or a set of bookshelves flanking a fireplace. They provide elegant, sleek solutions when you’re trying to minimize clutter or make the best use of space. They’re a great way to make a space uniquely your own. However, you can’t take them with you if you sell the home, so keep that in mind when making your decision. The cost of built-ins ranges from $500 to $7,350, depending on your scope and ambition. 4


Should I install built-in bookshelves?

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OUR COMMITMENT TO MEMBERS • Angi reviews come from real people like you! To ensure the integrity of our members’ recommendations, we prohibit anonymous reviews, require members to attest that each review is based on a real experience, and investigate any suspicious activity. • Pros cannot pay to be rated, are not allowed to rate themselves, and may not themselves remove ratings and reviews from Angi.

How can I get the most out of my air conditioner? Your air conditioning unit works hard to deliver cool air and remove moisture and humidity from your home. However, it doesn’t have to work alone. You can optimize your home for A/C and help even the odds against the heat with some simple steps. Close blinds and drapes as tightly as possible in order to block the sun’s rays. Avoid running your oven or clothes dryer during the day, as they introduce hot air into the living space. You give your A/C the best chance for success by keeping it in good condition. Change the filters regularly and keep an eye on it for any problems. Call an HVAC pro right away in the event of trouble, to keep small problems from becoming big ones.


How can we help? Email your own home care questions to [email protected] with the subject line “Ask Angi” and we may answer them in a future issue.

• We invite pros who meet our eligibility requirements to advertise a discount in the magazine’s coupon section. A pro must have either no reviews or an average rating of 3.0 stars or above to advertise. We revoke the advertising of any pro whose average rating falls below 3.0 stars. • Angi charges all participating pros a fee that helps offset the cost of sending you the magazine. We also accept advertising for products and services we don’t rate. Those ads appear separately from the coupon section.

CONNECT WITH US Please share your comments about our stories and service. Thank you for being a valued reader. [email protected]

Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Angi assumes no responsibility for the return of any unsolicited materials. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising material. The publisher is not liable to any advertiser, contributor or reader for any errors or omissions in advertising or editorial copy appearing in this publication; however, the publisher will print a correction in the next issue of Angi published after the publisher has been notified of the error or omission, which must be made in writing to the publisher within 30 days of the original publication date. Our magazine contains advertisements from service providers and manufacturers who are eligible to advertise with Angi. While these companies are highly rated by our members, Angi makes no warranties or representations regarding the products or services they offer or the statements made in their advertising. Angi disclaims any liability regarding the same. 5

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June Home Care


As spring shifts to summer, consider these home maintenance tasks to prepare for the season and keep your home in the best shape possible.

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Check Your Trees Keep an eye on your trees this summer. The season sees them in their most beautiful full glory, but summer storms can be a dangerous time for trees. Healthy trees will weather a storm better than unhealthy ones. Signs of good health include a dense roof canopy, strong branches, and a healthy root system. Look around for dead or hanging branches, peeling or cracking bark, and twigs that lack living buds at the ends of branches. Contact a tree pro if you suspect problems.

Keep Cold Air Inside You pay a lot of money to keep your house cool as temperatures rise, and you don’t want to see cool air literally leaking out of your home. Weatherize by sealing up any points of air loss and adding weather stripping to doors and windows. You can do this job yourself, or a pro can handle your whole house for $250 on average. If you have serious problems with air loss and unexpectedly high utility usage, consider an energy audit, which analyzes your home for energy loss and costs about $420.


Look Out for Mold The combination of humidity, rainfall, and tightly sealed homes provides ideal conditions for mold growth. You want to catch mold before it gets out of control, so take steps to prevent it. Moisture control is your best weapon against mold. Make sure exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen run properly. When you notice excess moisture on walls and ceilings, wipe it away promptly. If you believe you have mold, contact a pro to check it out. Mold testing costs $650 on average. 7

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Traditional vs. Tankless Water Heaters Traditional water heater heater tanks tanks have have been been a regular part of homes homes for for many many decades. decades. Water fills a large tank in in your your basement basement or utility or utility room, room, gasgas or or electric electric energy energy keeps it full, and keeps it full, it delivers and it delivers the hot water the hot when water you need it. when you need it. But in recent years, tankless tankless water water heaters, which heat water water on on demand, demand, have received have received quitequite a bit of a bit attention. of attention. Tankless heaters have Tankless heaters a lothave to offer a lotcompared to offer comto their older pared to their cousins, older but cousins, they but alsothey havealso some downsides. have some downsides. Here’s a look at the pros pros and and cons cons of of the two two the most most common common water water heater heater types. types.

LEARN MORE: 7 types of water heaters for homes.

Traditional Tank




• At $1,550 on average and the standard for most homes, costs much less to purchase and install. • Maintenance is easier to hire. Established technology means professionals are familiar with most models. • Provides a high hot water flow rate since the water is always heated. Tankless units are limited in flow by how fast they can heat.

• Often needs to be replaced after 10 years, a shorter lifespan than tankless. • Heats up the water and keeps it hot until needed, making it less energy efficient than tankless and increasing utility costs. • Units are quite large compared to tankless, and if something goes wrong, they can leak a lot onto your floor.

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and uses only the energy required at the moment

Unlimited hot water whenever you 4/26/23 12:14 PM need it.



Tankless PROS


• Heats only the water you need, making it energy efficient and budget friendly. • Requires much less space than a tank. This compactness gives you a lot of flexibility in finding an installation location. • Never “runs out” of hot water. Wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, and then take that relaxing hot shower.

• At $2,200 on average, cost is the biggest downside. However, this is leavened by a longer lifespan. • Requires a pro who is familiar not only with tankless heaters, but the technology of your specific model. • Can involve extra infrastructure, such as rerouting plumbing and gas lines, which is complicated and costly.

HEAT IT UP Find a water heater pro today. 9

ater whenever you

Everyone in a large family can take hot showers in a row with no problem.

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Do a load of dishes, wash laundry, and take 4/26/23 12:14 PM that marathon shower with no problem

Projects That Pay Off

New Entry Door

ROI: 94% Average Cost: $750–$1,600

ROI: 65% Average Cost: $500–$1,500




From a distance, your garage door is one of the most defining elements of your house. After all, it’s a huge door that takes up a lot of front-facing real estate. Upgrading to a more attractive, high-quality garage door brings one of the highest returns on investment of any job. 10




Your front door defines your house close-up just as much as your garage door defines it from a distance. It makes an immediate impression on any visitors (not to mention improves security if it’s a strong one.) You’ll see a good return on your investment by upgrading your front door.


Garage Door Replacement

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(Without a Huge Price Tag)




Although your top consideration should always be whether an improvement makes you happy, keep in mind the return on investment (ROI) your work might bring to your home. Here’s a look at four relatively inexpensive projects with a high ROI.

Replacing Windows

Refinish Hardwood Floors

ROI: 68% Average Cost: $200–$1,300 each

ROI: 55% Average Cost: $1,000–$2,500




Windows make a big difference in both your home’s aesthetic and energy efficiency. While you might not think very much about your windows most days, shiny new windows will definitely give your home a burst of improved curb appeal. Plus, quality windows will last many years.




Hardwood floors are one of the most valued aspects of many homes. However, hardwood takes quite a beating in everyday use, with scuffs, marks, and other damage adding up over the years. A refinishing job makes your hardwood floor look brand new without the cost of total replacement. 11

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Plumbing Problems?

Get Your Pipes Flowing Again. 12

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Like electricity and HVAC, plumbing is one of your home’s most critical parts whose infrastructure you rarely see. Behind your walls, hundreds of feet of pipes serve as the blood vessels of your home, delivering hot and cold water at the turn of a tap. Plumbing is very easy to take for granted. It works perfectly…right up until the moment it doesn’t. Here’s a look at some of the most common plumbing problems and how to handle them. 13

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This may be the most common of all plumbing problems (and one of the most annoying!). Beyond being irritating, it can also cost money; those drips build up over time and waste water. Usually, a corroded valve, loose washer, or bad o-ring is the problem, and it’s a simple repair. If you feel confident DIYing this job, shut off the valve to the faucet and take it apart. In many cases, the rubber O-ring designed to create a seal between the base and spout is cracked, and you just need to get another one from a hardware store and replace it. If you have two handles, each has an internal cartridge to manage water 14

flow. They can wear out over time, and a cartridge repair can be simple. The handle is a moving part, and all moving parts wear out over time. Their screws and bolts may be simply loosening. Check the fixtures and make sure everything is secure. If all else fails, check your home’s water pressure; the gauge to do this is $10 at most hardware stores. Your pressure should be between 45 and 55 psi. Water pressure higher than that can be forcing its way through the faucet. You can DIY this if you know what you’re doing, but asking a pro can be easier and more reliable.


Leaky Faucets

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Slow-draining Tubs and Sinks Sinks and tubs naturally pick up all kinds of residue, such as soap or hair. This can be as simple a fix as using a pipe snake or a homemade mix of vinegar and baking soda. Grease/oil can be a problem as well, especially if you have to use products for curly hair. Hot water and a tablespoon of grease cutting dish soap helps with flushing out the buildup. You can also use a simple plunger to try to plunge out the sink. If you have a double sink, you’ll want a plunger over both drains to create a seal, or else you’ll just push air from one side to another.

Many hardware stores now stock toilet snakes and even one-use serrated plastic snakes for pulling yucky grime out of a sink as well. However, if multiple sinks have the same problem, you might have an issue with your main line, such as a leak, a major clog, or tree roots getting into the line, in which case you’ll need professional help.

SLOW DRAINS? Find drain cleaning specialists near you today to get your water running smoothly. 15

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No Hot Water Instant hot water is another modern convenience we all take for granted. If you turn the tap and only cold water comes out, you probably have a hot water heater problem. Take a look and check that it’s working (and if it’s gas-powered, verify the pilot light hasn’t gone out.) Check your water heater thermostat to verify that it’s set to the correct temperature. Somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees is ideal. Don’t forget to check the simplest options. Hot water heaters rely on electricity, after all, and it could be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker.

Listen for taps or knocking sounds, which are an early sign of sediment buildup, which requires a water heater flush (more on that below). Sometimes, your heater simply isn’t big enough for your use. On average, a 30-gallon water heater is enough for a single person; 40 gallons can supply two; and 50-gallon heaters are excellent for a family. Upgrading your heater is a big step but in some cases may be the best one. Hot water heaters are best left to the pros. Hire an expert to conduct repairs or replacements.

A water heater tank needs regular maintenance for top performance. Over time, sediment and minerals such as calcium and lime build up at the bottom of your heater. At first, this buildup insulates the water from the heat source at the tank’s bottom, causing it to work harder and require more time and energy to heat the same amount of water. Over the long term, this buildup can drop water pressure, burst pipes, and even break open the tank for a nasty flood. The harder your water, the more likely you’ll need a frequent flush, since 16

hard water deposits more sediment. The solution? Flush your water heater once a year. You can do this job yourself, or pay a pro to handle the job. On average, you’ll pay $100–$200 for this service. By the way, tankless water heaters also benefit from the occasional flush. They don’t build up sediment as quickly, since they have no standing water, but scaling and sediment can build up in the pipes. This does take a bit longer than a traditional tank, so it costs closer to $200.


Water Heater Build Up

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How to Flush Your Water Heater You can flush your water heater yourself with no more tools than a garden hose, screwdriver and protective gloves. Take great care when coming in contact with the heater, pipes, and water—it will all be very hot! If these steps seem like more than you’d like to tackle, simply call in a pro to take care of it properly. Turn off the gas or electricity. The manufacturer’s instructions should explain this. Turn the gas control knob to the “pilot” position on a gas heater. For an electric heater, turn off the circuit breaker and disconnect the power supply. 2

Turn off the water supply valve.


3 Turn on the hot water faucet on a nearby sink, and keep it running while you work. This will prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines. 4 Attach your hose to the drain valve. Run it to a drain, driveway or empty bucket. You might need a manual pump if the water heater is in the basement.

5 Open the drain valve with a screwdriver. Allow the water to flow until it stops. If you’re using a bucket, be prepared to empty it frequently. 6 Open and close the water supply valve several times to stir up and flush the lingering sediment. The water will flow quickly, so be ready! 7 Disconnect the hose and close the drain valve tightly. 8 Open the water supply valve. Turn on hot water faucets on all your fixtures to remove air bubbles. 9 Follow the manual to restart your heater. Make sure the tank is full, or you may damage the heating element. 17

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Handle a Flood off water flowing to it, so you can close the flood gates. In the event of a major break that happens beneath the valves, turn off your water main supply valve, which shuts down water to the entire home. This is usually in your basement, crawlspace, or outside near the meter. Next time your plumber is over, ask them to show you the valve. Open windows, add fans and dehumidifiers, and pump out as much water as you can. A sump pump, dry vacuum, or even piles of towels can help. Call a plumber immediately, and get a water damage restoration team on the line.


This is the big kahuna of plumbing problems: a broken line somewhere starts spurting out water, causing a flood on your floor and a general big MESS. Bathrooms, kitchens, and especially basements are prone to flooding. The first step in dealing with a flooded floor is to protect yourself from electricity. Appliances, electrical outlets, and standing water make a dangerous combination. If possible, flip off the circuit breakers going to the flooded room. Next up, shut off the water supply. In many cases, the broken fixture has a valve near the floor that lets you shut


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Clogged Sewer Lines One of the big ones: A clogged sewer line can cause every fixture in your house to back up, requiring immediate professional attention. The early warning signs of a clogged sewer include gurgling outlets, water backing up in your toilet or sink, slow drains, funky smells, or a flooded yard. If you think something is wrong with your line, call a professional drain cleaner immediately. Many sources can cause a clogged sewer. Tree roots are common culprits, as are grease/oil buildup, unsafe products flushed down the line, and broken or damaged pipes. A pro often uses a camera to inspect the problem and determine the solution. Sometimes it’s simple to clear out an obstruction at a cost of around $350; other times, they may need to auger out tree roots. The more complex the problem is, the more expensive the repair, and, in the worst-case scenarios, the line itself might need to be replaced, at a cost of $50–$125 per linear foot. ¢

How to Hire a Plumber •M  ake sure they’re licensed, bonded, and insured. Nearly all areas require licensing for plumbers, and unlicensed plumbing work is not only likely to be substandard, it could come back to bite you when it comes time to sell the house. •A  sk who will be doing the work; find out if the pro giving you the quote will be the one actually doing it. •A  sk if they charge by the hour or a flat rate by the job. •A  sk how they’ll clean up afterwards. This can be a messy job. •M  ake sure they put any guarantee or warranty in writing. •R  esearch local plumbers today! 19

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Nothing spruces up outdoor entertaining like a unique centerpiece. A water feature in your yard can make an excellent conversation piece and provide a customized entertaining spot. Adding a water feature may seem overwhelming, but they may be easier to install than you think. So let’s dive into (pun intended) the ways water features can give your yard a sparkling boost. 20

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Fountains, waterfalls, and ponds: three forms of water features that each have pros and cons.


Some water features can be connected to a basic water source via a hose, but others require a new line to be run out to them, which usually requires the assistance of a licensed plumber. They might also trigger backflow valve inspection requirements, such as those required for irrigation systems in many areas. When planning your water feature, ensure you know what’s legally required.


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National Average: $850–$4,500 Fountains can be among the least expensive water features to add to your yard. Indeed, a small bubbling fountain in a birdbath might cost as little as $50. However, most fountains are larger and cost around $2,600 on average. You can select from various prefabricated fountains made from plastic, resin, fiberglass, concrete, or stone. Plastic and resin fountains are among the least expensive and the easiest to install. A concrete or stone fountain will usually be the most expensive, but it also offers the most striking appearance and the

chance to customize it to your desires. A stone or concrete fountain can be a large round installation, allowing seating around the water and a great central gathering spot. In addition to low cost, fountains offer relatively low space requirements and little need for maintenance. They provide a lovely appearance and a clear splashing nature sound. A fountain usually isn’t enough to attract or maintain life, such as fish or frogs, though it may attract butterflies and birds. 23

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Waterfalls Your average waterfall is probably constructed from concrete, fiberglass, or stone. Like fountains, they can come in small or large sizes, prefabricated or bespoke. They add a dynamic element to your yard and relaxing motion and sounds. You can install a standard waterfall that cascades over rocks into a small pond (more on ponds later) or a “pondless waterfall” that continually recycles the water and leaves no standing water. These have lower maintenance requirements than basic waterfalls. 24

For a truly outstanding and unique appearance, consider installing a water wall. These use steel, tile, concrete, or other materials for a distinctive vertical look, as water continually cascades down. You can customize them with various options, including LED lights or reflective materials, and they stand out particularly in outdoor kitchens or pool areas. However, with prices up to $15,000, a water wall is among the most expensive water features you can install.

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National Average: $1,500–$15,000



National Average: $1,200–$5,500 Of all the water feature options, artificial ponds tend to be costly and require the most maintenance, but they can also offer the richest and most rewarding experience. A small pond, replicating the look of a natural pond, is not a complicated installation. Sometimes, you can dig to find a natural water source, but most artificial ponds use liners, underlayment, and water pumps to keep the water moving and where it belongs. A pump is essential to prevent stagnation and the standing water that attracts bugs. On the higher end, which can cost $10,000 or more, you can install a pond intended to support aquatic life, such as koi or goldfish. Ponds tend to require a lot of maintenance, such as regular inspection of moving parts and pumps. ¢

Maintenance Tasks to Keep Your Water Feature Flowing Cleaning: Drain and clean your water feature every 1–3 months or according to manufacturer’s guide. Algae Control: In addition to regular cleanings, a water agitator inhibits algae growth by moving and aerating the water. Debris Removal: Frequently check for and remove large debris to avoid clogging pump filters. Check Water Levels: Prevent the pump from overheating by checking the water level often. Winterizing: During the chilly months, drain the water and bring pumps indoors. Pro Tip: A landscaping expert is a great resource if you have more questions or need help with your water feature’s maintenance. 25

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When to Hire a Handyperson

Square Away the Jobs

Clear Your Checklist

Some home jobs aren’t big deals or professional repairs; indeed, a lot of them are stuff you could probably take care of on your own, like that leaky faucet or squeaky doorknob. You could take on that to-do list yourself, or save a lot of time and hire a professional handyperson to do the job. With their experience on small jobs, they can do it quickly and more efficiently. A handyperson can take on any job that doesn’t require specialized licensing. Replacing a light fixture or sink faucet isn’t regulated in most states, but once you get into the actual wiring or plumbing itself, you’re getting into territory that calls for a license.

Most handyperson services charge $60–$130 per hour. When hiring, compile a list of all the small jobs you need to get completed around the home. You can make the best use of their time by handling several jobs at once.

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• Assembling furniture and decor • Carpentry and other woodworking • Installing a flat-screen television • Painting • Installing new doors • Hanging curtain rods • Changing light fixtures • Gardening and other outdoor tasks • Replacing tile and grout


Ideal Handyperson Tasks Include:

4/24/23 4:28 PM


Featured Service .............. A2

JUN 2023

Gutter Repair &

Honor Roll ........................ A3


Basement Waterproofing....A4

Heating & A/C..................... A5

Chimney Repair..................A4

The coupon section is designed to help you hire smart and save money at the same time. We invite the contractors and health providers featured in this section to offer a discount on their services or another exclusive member benefit. All offers are valid through the end of the current publication month unless otherwise noted. A pro must have either no reviews or an average rating of 3.0 stars or above to advertise in the magazine. We revoke the magazine advertising of any pro whose average rating falls below 3.0 stars. Please visit before hiring for up-to-date ratings and current Super Service Award status.

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May 8, 2023 10:19 AM

Angi Coupon Section


A-1 Certified Service, Inc Is All Under One Roof!

We are here for your comfort and energy efficiency needs. We provide comfort and energy saving options for your home or business

SPECIALIZING IN: • Air Sealing • Insulation • Duct Sealing, Repair, or Replacement • Heating and Air Conditioning, Sales and Service • 20-SEER Inverter Systems $500 10% OFF Services for Angi Members

Daikin Rebates of up to $1100 are Available with Dakin Fit, Two-Stage or Inverter Systems

Preventative Maintenance $179 Per Unit (Original Price $200, $21 Savings)

We are NATE (North American Technician Excellence), Navien and Rinnai certified. We are a proud participant in the TVA eScore Quality Contractor’s Program.



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Lic #: 30987

May 8, 2023 10:19 AM


Member Care — How can we help you? Email [email protected]

Step 1 of any home project: get the Angi app. Scan to download

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