8 Tips for Easy Shed Building

You and your family have finally settled on the type of shed you want to build, congratulations. You have most of your materials ready to go and there are a few stragglers still en route, and then you can start your construction work. If you haven’t built a shed or anything from scratch then you should be prepared for pretty much every inevitability, because they are likely to occur.

Having the inside track on easy shed building will make your time in the backyard far more enjoyable. I’m not saying you won’t experience a few setbacks, it happens, but these tips will reduce those problems. Armed with the right tools and the right tips and you’ll find shed building an easy and even an enjoyable task.

Get shed plans to make the job smooth

Since you’ve never built a shed before, you will need very good instructions to guide you through each step of the process. Online you can find plenty of plans for garden sheds, storage sheds or home offices. They range from very expensive to free, so you should be able to find a plan to match your budget. It will take time and patience, but if you’re smart you can get a shed erected without going over budget.

Find out if you need a building permit

One of the biggest misconceptions that new builders have about building is that they simply need to get the materials, shed plans and start building. If only life was so simple. The truth is that most people won’t tell you to check with your local building inspector before you do anything.

Depending on where you live you might simply need a permit allowing you to build an additional structure on your property. Other jurisdictions might require you to file a set of blueprints with the building inspector’s office. It is important to have this information ahead of time so you know what are your limits and expectations.

pick a shed location

Pick a location carefully to avoid future problems

Builders tend to come in two forms: those who choose based on looks and those who are looking for a quick answer. You don’t want to be either of these guys, you want to be the one who listens to what the experts say and chooses based on their recommendation.

The first thing you want is to find a flat spot that mostly stays dry so that you can easily lay a foundation. Avoid excessively moist portions of your property to stave off mold and rot. This is a great tip because for some reason we automatically want to erect our sheds near trees or our neighbor’s fence. Again, we go back to mold and rot when too much moisture builds up on your structure. Just give 3 to 5 feet of space on all sides and your shed will be fine. You don’t want to block direct sunlight from getting into your shed and you want to keep it away from anything that could cause excess moisture which can cause mold. Then there is the issue of practicality. By leaving space all around your building you can easily slide in for repairs or repainting. Keep this in mind as you start your first project.

Save time by getting extra materials

Remember earlier when I said new builders will inevitably make mistakes? Well, this is where having a bit of surplus shed building supplies will come in handy. I’m not saying you need to double your materials because that will explode your budget. But you should make sure you have a few additional planks of wood just in case you make a mistake during the early stages of shed building.

rent a power tools

Rent your power tools

You might also want to practice using the power tools if you are a true first-timer. This will reduce the likelihood you make a big error in cutting. But that doesn’t mean you need to go broke purchasing power tools that you may or may not ever use again. Go to your nearest home improvement store and ask about the rates for renting power tools. You may be able to rent them by the hour or by the day, but as most sheds take only a few days to build the cost of renting will be significantly cheaper than buying.

Get thicker wood for floor

At first glance, the new builder might think they need the same type of wood from the floor to the ceiling. That would be a mistake both for your budget and your experience.

The truth is that your shed floor will see a lot of wear and tear and maybe even exposure to the elements. Sure, it will cost less to get untreated lumber like that often used for construction but it will most certainly root if you use it for the shed floor.

You will need thicker wood, exterior grade wood and maybe even pressure treated wood to make sure your floors hold up over time.

competitive woodworker

Get in touch with competent builder if you stuck

If you’ve never built a shed before then you should most definitely have questions. That doesn’t mean anything other than you haven’t learned the hard way…yet. If you want to make building a relatively easy task then don’t be afraid to chat with other builders. Get advice and tips that they’ve gotten through experience. It will make the process less stressful and limit your setbacks.

Whether it is a professional builder or a professional hobbyist like your neighbor, pick their brains and get the information you need to make your job easier. If you are just learning how to build even really good plans may not be enough to guide you when you feel lost. If you know a professional builder or contractor then I suggest you have them on standby in case something goes wrong.

For example, pouring foundation can often take a turn for the worse as new builders have very little patience. Poorly laid foundation can have a devastating impact on the rest of the structure.

take your time to avoid mistakes

Take your time in order to avoid mistakes

Unless you’ve signed up for a contest to see who can build a shed fastest there is no reason to rush. Instead, take your time. Read and re-read the instructions until you clearly understand it all. Don’t attempt to skip over steps or take shortcuts. Just follow the shed plans and you’ll find shed building both relaxing and invigorating.

Go slowly when building so you don’t make any mistakes that will make the project longer or costlier. You can rush when it comes to decorating or take your sweet time actually filling up your shed with all the junk that no longer fits inside your house.

5 Easy DIY Plumbing Projects to Save Money

Most people don’t realize that some plumbing problems can be handled all by themselves right at home. Are you one of those people? Don’t call the plumber every time there is a problem. Take a look at some DIY plumbing projects you can do yourself and save money in the process!

1. Temporarily Stop a Pipe Leak

A leaky pipe may need professional assistance to completely resolve the issue, but you can temporarily stop a pipe leak and prevent further issues from occurring, like water damage. All you need for this project is a pipe repair clamp that you can purchase online or at a home improvement store. Then, follow these three easy steps:

  1. Stop water flow to the damaged pipe by shutting the valve off.

    Following the package instructions, apply the repair clamp to the pipe.

    Call a plumber to inspect and make any necessary repairs.

    Most of the effort is in steps one and two and even then, it’s not that hard at all!

2. Fix the Leaky Shower Head

You might not think much of a leaky shower head, but would you think again if you knew your shower head was 20% of your water bill, leaky drip not included? No matter how small the leak, it needs to be fixed and you can do it all by yourself! Although more elaborate than a pipe leak, all you have to do is replace the shower handle:

  1. Remove the old cartridge with a cartridge puller.
  2. Remove the following pieces:
  3. Temperature limit stop
  4. Key stop
  5. Stop tube
  6. Trim plate
  7. Carefully remove the retainer clip.
  8. Lubricate the inside of the valve body and the exterior rubber components with silicone grease.
  9. Insert the new cartridge.
  10. Screw back on the trim plate.
  11. Reinstall these pieces in the following order:
  12. Retainer clip
  13. Stop tube
  14. Key stop
  15. Temperature limit stop
  16. Slide the handle on and test the water temperature while monitoring for any leaks.
  17. Once you are satisfied, secure the handle with the original screws.

3. Unclog the Sink

When your sink starts to drain slowly, you know it is in the process of becoming completely clogged. The pipe directly under your sink—the P-trap—may be blocked by objects like hair, food, and other debris. For plumbing companies, unclogging a sink drain is as easy as un-blocking the P-trap:

  1. Have a bowl ready beneath the pipe to catch any water.
  2. Use a wrench to unscrew the fitting attached to the sink drain.
  3. Disconnect the side of the P-trap leading to the waste pipe.
  4. Remove all the debris.
  5. Reattach the P-trap.

4. Stop a Running Toilet

Hearing a toilet run continuously is annoying. On top of the consistent noise, it could be costing you around an extra $200 a month on your water bill. Most running toilets are a result of a poorly sealed flapper that allows water to flow into the bowl from the tank. You can easily fix the flapper yourself by following these steps:

  1. Shut the water off to the tank.
  2. Flush the toilet and hold open the flapper to let the water drain.
  3. Any excess water can be cleaned with a sponge or towel.
  4. Referencing the kit instructions, install the new flapper.
  5. This whole process can cost you less than $5!

5. Replace the Garbage Disposal

If food keeps getting clogged in your garbage disposal or waste isn’t being properly disposed of, it’s time to kick your disposal to the curb. It only takes six steps to properly replace your garbage disposal:

  1. Turn off the kitchen electricity, and disconnect the disposal wires.
  2. Remove the P-trap.
  3. Loosen the hose clamp to disconnect the drain line from the dishwasher to the disposal.
  4. Release the mounting collar to remove the disposal.
  5. Follow the package instructions and Install the new disposal with the new mounting collar that is included.
  6. Turn on the electricity, and test your new disposal.
  7. Having plumber’s putty, a screwdriver, and a wrench will come in handy for this DIY project!

Become Your Own Handyman—or Woman!

You don’t always need to hire a plumber to fix all your plumbing needs. There are a handful of DIY projects you can take on at home to solve issues so that you don’t have to spend money on bigger problems or use the services of a plumbing company. Gather your tools together, and get to work at being handy in your home!

Choosing the Right Roller Blinds for Your Home

Roller blinds have become increasingly popular amongst homeowners. They are incredibly versatile and can help accentuate the decor of any room. Whether you are looking to protect your furniture from sun damage or have a little extra privacy, there are many options to suit any situation.

Before you buy roller blinds online, you will need to accurately measure your window frame and find the right type of blinds to suit your needs.

How to Measure a Window for Roller Blinds

The first thing to consider before measuring your window is whether you want an inside or outside mount. The process of measuring for each mount differs slightly, but an inside mount tends to be the most common approach because it usually offers a more clean look than an outside mount.

For an inside mount, place your tape measure across the inside of the frame from one end to the next. Once you’ve found out the width, measure the inside height from the top of the frame to the base.

If you’re planning on doing an outside mount, you will first need to decide how you are going to fit the roller blinds. This will largely depend on the style of your window frames. If your window has an architrave, place the tape measure along the outside edge of the architrave and measure the width. Then measure the height from the top of the architrave to where you would like the roller blinds to end.

If your windows don’t contain architraves, then the roller blinds can usually be fit to the wall above the window frame. No matter which method you use, always make sure to double check your measurements for accuracy.

Types of Roller Blinds

Roller blinds come in various forms to suit any room in the house. Blackout roller blinds are a

popular choice for bedrooms or home cinemas. These fabrics work well to block out light and reduce heat. Thermal roller blinds on the other hand typically have a heavier material than traditional blackout blinds and are softer to touch. These fabrics are perfect for rooms that require maximum privacy, like the bathroom or bedroom. The thermal lining helps to keep you comfortably warm and cosy during winter, reducing the cost of your energy bills.

For the living area, sunscreen fabrics are an ideal option. Sunscreen roller blinds reduce heat and light while still maintaining the view. These are great for protecting your expensive furniture and floor coverings. If you require the sun protection of sunscreen roller blinds but also want extra privacy in the evenings, then dual roller blinds are the way to go. Dual roller blinds offer the utmost flexibility, giving you great visibility and shade control, as well as privacy. With these blinds, you can choose between creating a private environment with natural light or darkening the room. Dual roller blinds work well in any room in the house.

Advantages of Roller Blinds

It’s no surprise that many people are opting to buy roller blinds instead of window curtains. This is partly because roller blinds are very easy to operate and maintain over time. The upkeep required is minimal, which is ideal for busy families or couples. They are durable and practical, designed to stay in good condition after many years of daily use.

The flexibility of roller blinds is obviously a major plus, allowing you to control how much heat and light you let in, and the amount of privacy you have. You can find suitable roller blinds online for any room in the house and choose from a range of colours and fabrics to complement your room’s decor appropriately.

How to Protect your Carpets and Floors When moving

Moving can be very stressful and there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind when transporting large items in your home. Believe it or not, floor protection is not given much thought and often overlooked.

Moving furniture, home appliances, and boxes by dragging can cause damage in the form of tears, scratches, and dents to flooring. Damaged floors can cost you hundreds in repairs and reduce the resale amount of the home. Therefore, certain steps need to be taken to protect the carpets and floors when moving.

Considering using the following items to protect your floors:

Cardboard

Cardboard is easy to get your hands on and is proven protective measure for your floors during a move. Put large sheets of thick cardboard in heavy traffic areas. Just use your moving boxes that aren’t in good enough shape to use for packing.

Plywood

Hardwood, tiles, and linoleum are very durable but still prone to dents and scratches. When moving heavy furniture, plywood sheets can be laid on these types of floors, providing more protection than cardboard, paper, and blankets.

Bed sheets, blankets, and rugs

Old blankets, bedding, and rugs can be placed on the floor or wrapped around the edges and feet of tables, chairs, couches and other furniture. In case furniture is dropped on a hard floor, the extra protection will help to prevent dents and scratches.

Carpet masking and film

Masking provides protection from dirt and other damages and can be installed by simply sticking to the carpet. The top surface has good friction so that you don’t slip. But they can stain your floor or carpets. Film prevents dirt and soil from getting into the floor.

Shoe booties

Shoe covers should be worn by everyone who helps you to move to avoid dust, dirt and grass stains getting in carpets. Shoe booties are inexpensive and easily slip on and off the mover’s shoe. The only downside is they don’t last long, so purchase an ample amount in advance of your move.

Furniture sliders

One of the best ways to protect hard floors from damage while moving furniture and appliances are furniture sliders. Sliders eliminate or greatly reduce friction between a heavy item and the floor while moving. Simply place a slider under each leg of a piece of furniture and start sliding.

Dolly

Large appliances can also be moved using a dolly with inflatable rubber wheels. You can rent a dolly from local moving companies, Home Depot, and other rental operations. Just make the dolly doesn’t have metal wheels, as they are known to scratch floors.

Doormats

When it is raining or snowing outside, use doormats to prevent mud, dirt, soil, and salt from shoes entering your carpets and other flooring. Doormats also prevent dangerous wet spots that can result in movers slipping and dropping heavy items on the floor.

If you’re worried about floor damage, consider calling on the help of a professional moving company near you. Good movers use coverings and limit dragging items to prevent the floor from getting damaged.

Maintenance Tips for your Important Kitchen Appliances

Many of us presume that we will need to spend money on a professional handyman to fix a kitchen appliance when it breaks down. Either that or just purchase a new one. After all, we wouldn’t last very long without an oven to cook dinners in or a fridge to keep our food cool.

However, a little minor upkeep with you kitchen appliances can prevent a major catastrophe and save you money in the long run. These simple maintenance tips consist mostly of keeping your appliances clean, with some troubleshooting thrown in to nip problems in the bud.

This way, instead of having to find large lumps of money for a new kitchen appliance, you can invest in keeping the ones you already have in tip-top shape.

Refrigerator

Keeping your fridge in good working order is very important, a break down could cost you all of your chilled food. You should maintain your refrigerators gaskets, the vinyl strip that forms a seal between the cabinet and the doors will keep the appliance running properly and it also extends its life.

If you want a long-lasting fridge, it is also important to ensure there is proper airflow through the condenser. Household dust can build up on the condenser coils or fans and this will restrict airflow. This then leads to overheating or failure of the compressor. Ensure you regularly clean your refrigerators condenser coils or fan to avoid this.

You should also listen out carefully for strange sounds that may come from the fan or motor. This could be rattling, squeaking, squealing or buzzing. These may be a sign of an impending failure and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Oven

Oven Cleaning

Without your oven, you’re left to eat an endless array of microwaved meals and cereal. The main key to keeping this appliance in top working condition is to clean up after each use. The biggest cause of damage is left on food that is left to re-burn over and over again after each use.

Professional oven cleaning is the ultimate way to ensure your oven stays spotless. In between professional cleans, clean up any spills as soon as they happen to avoid them becoming baked on and more difficult to remove. Soak the spillages in a solution of baking soda and water or vinegar.

For spillages on smooth top ranges, you should allow the surface to cool and then scrape off with a razor blade before using a recommended cleaner for glass-ceramic surfaces.

Dish washer

This labour-saving appliance a godsend when it comes to saving time. Once you have got used to the help of your trusted dishwasher, you are guaranteed to miss it dearly if it breaks down. The best thing to remember when it comes to this appliance is that what you consider to be normal usage can be damaging over time. Loading the dish washer properly and ensuring regular maintenance checks will help make sure a problem doesn’t develop right under your nose.

When you load the dishwasher, ensure you do it carefully so that you do not damage the racks. They are usually made of steel wire and coated with a vinyl material that can be damaged with rough use. Any kind of dishware that has sharp edges will cut right through the coating exposing the metal wiring and causing it to rust. Develop a method that allows you to load the dishes in the safest and most efficient way.

So, now you are fully prepared with all of the knowledge you need to keep your kitchen running smoothly. The advantage of maintenance is that you are more likely to run into small problems along the way, and you will learn how easy it is to fix them. No longer need you be afraid of handyman tasks!

Tips To Use The Extra Garage Space

The garage is one of the places in a house that is usually not well taken care of. Most people tend to just park their cars and rush inside their homes. The remaining space is used for keeping junk, tools, gardening equipment etc normally.

Some houses have space for two cars but they will be using the space to park just one car, the remaining space would be left for junk and will be usually cluttered. Well, this is a fact and this was how my garage was. I used to park my used Toyota Corolla in one parking space and the next space was used to keep all the unwanted items. However, one day my friend spoke to me and advised me on how better to use the garage space. I liked his ideas and made the change that I wanted, but I would love others to benefit too and hence this article.

Gym:

The extra space for a car is ideal to create a home gym. It will be one of the best places to exercise. Instead of a gym membership you can invest that amount in a good home gym. You need not travel to the gym and waste time and energy, you need to just get into your garage and start your fitness regimen. If you do not wish to invest much you can get weights and a bench and you can start.

Home Theatre:

The extra space in the garage can become a wonderful home theatre. All you need to do is to get a projector and screen and a nice sound system. If you can invest in reclining chairs then even better, you will have a fully functional home theatre with the best picture and sound. It will become a great place to unwind with your family and friends.

Man Cave with Bar:

Get a snooker table and set it up. Also bring a refrigerator and stock it with beer. Get a few bean bags and place them strategically. Now you have a cool place to hang out with your friends. You will want to keep staying there.

Guest Room:

Create a proper guest room in the extra space. Set up the walls, you can do it yourself or get a carpenter to do it. Paint in wonderful hues and set up a bed and there you have it a guest room.

Art Room:

Many artists have set up their art rooms in garages. They are able to think and paint better and in peace. So if you are the art inclined then setting up a nice arts and crafts room would be ideal for your garage.

Office:

Many great companies have had their first offices in a garage. These include Google too. So if you are thinking about becoming the next big start-up, then what better place to start, then your garage. There are many furniture solutions that are available for a small office and you can buy them and start work immediately.

5 Interesting Plumbing Facts You Probably Took for Granted

Plumbing is one of the regular amenities you often take for granted in the home. But how much do you know about this critical aspect of home convenience? Did you know that the early Romans perfected an aqueduct system of equipping their homes with water supply from nearby rivers? Unfortunately, it was fraught with problems such as ridding off used water.

Today, modern plumbing has made things a lot easier. This article will discuss some unusual but interesting facts that will make you look at your drainage system differently.

A plunger cannot resolve every blockage

Plunger

Contrary to pop culture, a plunger is not always effective for toilet clogs. Unless you are particularly good with tools, you could end up worsening the situation and causing an overflow. With the right plunging technique- and tool, you should have enough suction to dislodge the obstruction.

Plunger

In difficult situations, call a professional. It is advisable to have an expert work on your clog than complicate things for yourself or household. If you don’t have one, get an emergency plumber’s number and stick it on your bathroom mirror.

Asbestos could be lurking in your pipes

Asbestos pipe

Asbestos used to be a huge component for construction in the 20th century. It wasn’t until 1999 that it was totally banned in the UK. Unfortunately, traces of the hazardous material are still evident in some homes, especially older properties.

It is advisable that homeowners to carry out checks especially when moving into a new property for the first time with asbestos sampling.

You can save yourself a lot of health issues in future by detecting asbestos in your downpipes and getting rid of them on time,

Water drains clockwise in the Southern hemisphere

Water draining

Many people believe water drains in the opposite direction when you flush. But it is not true, it drains clockwise. If you never gave it much thought before, well there is a science behind it. The Coriolis force which is cause by the rotation of the earth influences the water in your toilet bowl to some extent.

But the real direction of the water depends on the design of the plumbing system. For instance, those tiny water jets inside the bowl could be set in the opposite direction. However, water will naturally flush in a clockwise direction.

Reptiles can swim upstream into your toilet

Snake Toilet

If you have been in denial, I hate to break this to you, but snake and rats can make their way through the sewers and into your water closet. There was an article some years ago about how a 3-foot long snake crawled its way up and into the toilet of a 19th floor toilet in New York.

This can be extremely scary to think of, but it shouldn’t make you paranoid. Modern toilets are being equipped with steeper pipes to prevent reptiles from working their way up. Besides, the probability of this happening is very slim.

A leaking faucet is more serious than you think

The cost of water supply in homes has risen steadily since the last decade. In April 2017, many homeowners saw their water bill increase. It is easy to dismiss a drippy faucet as an insignificant thing, but when you consider what it amounts to you could be losing a huge chunk of money in the long run.

Leaky faucets can also cause secondary problems such as a mouldy under-sink, which is hazardous to health. When you notice a faulty faucet, do fix it immediately.

Were these facts useful? Perhaps you might have heard some before. Share with your colleagues because you never know who it might help.

Top Home Remodeling Ideas

Kitchen Makeovers

You don’t have to replace your kitchen to give it a makeover.

Provided the layout remains functional so much can be done to freshen the look in one of the busiest rooms in your house.

Simply by replacing the doors on the kitchen cabinets, it can create a look of the entire kitchen being replaced.

Replace the tiling in front of the stove with a laminated glass sheet in the color of your choice. It is even possible to get some paint specially made for tiles.

You could change the entire floor without having to go through an entire process of chopping up the tiles and replacing them.

Baseboard drawers

Those baseboards at the bottom of a kitchen cabinet are only covering unused space.

Fit a pair of drawer runners and turn them into a shallow drawer, ideal for baking pans and cupcake tins.

These items will take up less space elsewhere in the Kitchen enabling you to free up the countertops.

Wheels instead of drawers

If the under cabinet drawers in the baseboards don’t appeal to you, why not remove the baseboards entirely and build the kitchen cabinets with wheels on.

Build them to fit snugly under the counter, but so that you can pull them out and have an additional counter top to work on.

This is ideal if you need to move cabinets around the kitchen for practical reasons.

Perfect for homes with specific needs such as where a family keeps kosher.

Accordion Windows to create a serving bar outside in

For those that live in an area where there is substantial warmth in the summer and more so through the year, creating a bar space at your kitchen windows is ideal.

Simply install accordion style windows across the widest window space.

Then build an all-weather counter on the outside accompanied by a set of bar stools.

Now the family can eat at the counter on a warm day while you serve them directly from the kitchen.

Hooks and Rails

If every single kitchen cabinet had additional hooks and a rail attached to the inside it would change the world of kitchen clutter forever.

Little items that cause drawers to feel cluttered can be attached to hooks and rails. These include measuring spoons, kitchen scissors, and peelers.

Staircases

Built in staircases notoriously cause lost space.

The space beneath and behind a staircase often becomes nothing more than a dust trap.

By keeping the space open rather than paneling it up, some novel solutions can be found to making the space useful. Bookcases are a classic response to filling this space but space has depth so there is so much that can be done with it.

It could be turned into a refuge space with mats and cushions where a member of the family can curl quietly to read a book or listen to music. Alternatively, because of the depth, this space can accommodate wine bottles and double up as a cellar.

Busy homes often have pets, but few pets have a space of their own. The under stair space can be turned into a doghouse, with a classic doghouse door integrated into a larger opening panel that enables access for cleaning.

Create a hidden room

We’ve all read those magical stories about castles with hidden rooms and yet you can create on in your own home. If there has been a recent extension built on to the exterior of the house, the entrance to this room could be through the back of a bookcase.

Effectively the doorway is hidden, but by pulling the hinged bookcase away the entrance is revealed.

This concept also works well when remodeling a home to crate access to a cellar by raising the bottom of a staircase to reveal another staircase going down into the basement or cellar.

Playroom

Dead space can be found in rooms with very high ceilings. At the entrance to homes where the staircase leads upwards, there is almost always a dead space because of the height of the ceiling at the foot of the stairs.

This space is ideal to turn into a playroom or quiet corner, especially if the aspect of the property brings the sun into high windows. Building a platform in the space using paneling or railings to keep it safe is a cheap and easy way to add extra living space to a home, especially when the family is still growing.

Lack of space

When lack of space is an issue rather than too much dead space, this can be overcome by cleverly designing a room by introducing an integral platform.

Build a platform that a bed and storage drawers can roll under, be used at night but tucked away during the day.

The platform can accommodate furniture on the platform such as a sofa or a desk and chair with bookcases against the wall.

Check out this Bathroom & Kitchen Home Remodeling Cost Estimator.

Moving to a New Place – Things You Need to Do Beforehand

So you’ve finally found a new home. After looking at dozens of move-in ready condos, you’ve found the one that you really like, at last. Now you might be wondering, “Is there anything I need to prepare before I move in?”

There are still several steps you’ll want to take to ensure that your new home is as wonderful as it can be. Here are some helpful tips to remember:

1. Take care of the basics.

There are some basic tasks that must be done prior to your move. First, you need to arrange for your old utilities to be canceled and set up an Internet service in your new home. Check with the building manager in your new digs if they handle the setup of utilities or if you have to take care of it yourself. You also need to contact your post office, credit card providers, and banks and notify them of your address change.

2. Hire a mover.

It’s a good idea to hire a reputable mover who will see to it that your stuff gets to your new home safe and sound. Call up a few moving companies weeks before your move-in date so you can carefully screen them and make the right choice. You also need to check if they provide boxes for your belongings or if you need to purchase them separately. Make an inventory of all your possessions as well so that you can easily determine if anything goes missing.

3. Inspect your new home before you move in.

Although ready-for-occupancy homes are basically all set up for you to just move in and put all your belongings, you ought to take this unique chance to prep it perfectly. There are things that are best done without obstacles such as furniture and décor around.

Perhaps you can paint the walls/ceilings/kitchen cabinets, or put wallpapers in certain areas. You can also check if you need to install wiring for your Internet service and appliances. Find out if you need to thoroughly clean your new home. Even if it’s brand new, you can never be too sure.

4. Make a Home Inspection Checklist

The checklist should be comprehensive so as to make sure you don’t leave anything out. Examples of tasks to be included on your list are:

1. Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.

2. Install window treatments.

3. Buy fire extinguishers.

4. Purchase new light bulbs.

5. Check the HVAC system.

If you hired a home inspector, take a look at their recommendations and use it as a guide to create your own checklist.

5. Get to Know Your Neighbors

Although this isn’t really urgent, it doesn’t hurt to talk to your new neighbors even before you move in. They can give you tips on where the best pizza place is, or which day of the week the garbage collectors come. You should also check the neighborhood, walk around and familiarize yourself with the shops, schools, restaurants and entertainment centers nearby.

And when you’re all settled in your new place, don’t forget to organize a housewarming party. You don’t have to do this right away. You can wait until a few weeks or even a month after you’ve moved in so that you’ll have enough time to furnish your new home.

Moving sounds like it’s a lot of work and it is. But once you have settled in and everything is exactly as you hoped it would be, then all your efforts will have been worth it.

Fun DIY Yarn Ideas You Can Try Right Now

Yarn is very versatile and you can use it for many kinds of DIY projects. You can create decorative ornaments to give your home’s interior a makeover and you can use it to personalize your items. Additionally, you can find all the different types of yarn online too. Here are some of our suggestions:

Party Table Decor

If you would like to give your party table décor a more unique and interesting look, you can use yarn; the process is quite simple. Just apply some glue and wrap the yarn around your cutlery. You can use multiple colors to make it more attractive, and you can even try to make your own designs and patterns. But take note that you’ll need to remove all that yarn after the party.

Bottles Wrapped inYarn

With this material, you can make a gorgeous vase for your fresh flowers. Find a clean glass bottle, and pick attractive colors of yarn. Then apply glue all over the bottle and start wrapping it with yarn. Snip the end of the yarn and you’re all set.

Yarn Lampshade

Yarn can be used to give your bedroom fixtures a makeover. You can, for example, change the color and look of your lampshade to alter the mood in your bedroom. Select the yarn color you want and wrap the cover of the lampshade. Use more than one color and try to create a nice pattern. Keep your work clean and when you reach the bottom, snip the excess yarn.

Storage Tins Covered in Yarn

One of the best ways to keep your home clean is to neatly organize your things. You need to have a place to keep your belongings. With storage containers, your home won’t look messy. But you shouldn’t just stop there. You can make your storage containers colorful and pretty using yarn. Gather some old tins, and then prepare your yarn, scissors and glue. Apply glue on the tin’s exterior and begin wrapping the yarn starting at the bottom. Be as creative as you can with the design/pattern.

Canvas Wrapped in Yarn

You can use canvas to add a nice decorative element to your home. Canvas wrapped in yarn can be a piece of art that you can proudly display in your living room. You will only need yarn, canvas and scissors for this. It’s best to use multiple colors so you can personalize your patterns.

Pendant Lights with Yarn

You can make an exquisitely designed pendant lamp on your own using yarn, a bowl, a medium-sized beach ball, Vaseline, glue, water, newspaper, corn starch and spray paint. Mix the water, glue and the cornstarch and use the mixture to coat the yarn. Then wrap the yarn around the beach ball and set aside for at least an entire day. Punch some holes in the beach ball and then take it out through the bottom opening. Then use your spray paint for a splash of color.

Wall Art with Yarn

Accessories and decorations can enhance the cozy feel of your home. You can create beautiful wall art with yarn, and lots of it. You also need a sturdy string to keep all the yarn together. We recommend that you pick different colors to make your wall art more striking. There are lots of patterns and ideas you can find online for this project.

So there you have it! Yarn may be very popular for crocheting and knitting but it can be used for many other purposes. Make your DIY projects fun and inexpensive by using yarn that you can conveniently purchase on the Internet.

Top Tips to Optimize Your Home Insurance Coverage

When you’re buying a house, you’re in the process of acquiring what’s most likely the most expensive thing you will ever own in your life. So you need home insurance coverage, just like you need health insurance to cover your medical bills and auto insurance to cover your car repairs and liability.

But you can’t just buy home insurance from any company, because some policies may be more suitable for you. Also, you need to do some things to maximize the benefits you receive. Here are some tips that should help:

  1. Determine the proper amount of coverage. The greater coverage you have, the more you’ll have to pay in premiums. However, your lender may insist that your policy should at least cover the amount of your mortgage.
  2. Make sure you account for inflation. Ten years ago, it may have cost you $200,000 to build your home, but now replacing it may cost $250,000. You have to check each time you renew your policy that the amount of the coverage is still realistic.
  3. Find out how much in deductibles you’re comfortable with. In the insurance industry, the deductible is the amount you have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible, the more you have to pay yourself when disaster strikes, but you may end up paying for lower monthly premiums.
  4. Check if you can get discounts. Some insurance companies may offer both home and car insurance, so getting both from the same company may get you a discount. You may also get a discount if you replaced the roof, or installed an alarm system and more effective deadbolt locks.
  5. Know the claims process. Check if the insurance company pays for everything you’ve lost, or only the items that you replace. Find out if you receive the entire amount right away or you just get a fraction first. Some companies may wait to cover the cost of replacement on when you’ve replaced your stuff, and that could be a problem if you don’t have the money to replace your items first.
  6. Inventory your possessions. When you file a claim, you’ll be required to prove that you own an item. Then you need to verify how much it is actually worth. You can do both simply by using your smartphone to create a video as you through your home. This puts on video record everything you own, as you go through your basement and attic and your closets. If you have a storage locker, inventory the items inside as well.

You can also just make a list with photos for each item. Once you’re done with your videos and pictures, save them online as well as in a safe-deposit box with your home insurance policy.

  1. Put in options that make sense. Aside from the basic coverage, you may also be able to pick and choose from some optional coverage that makes sense depending on where or how you live. Many policies don’t cover natural disasters, but you may be able to get flood or earthquake insurance. Now if you own a pool and you often have neighbors visiting your place, you may want your coverage to include personal liability and medical payments should your neighbors get hurt while they’re visiting your place.
  2. Always call your insurance agent when your lifestyle undergoes a major change. Your needs will change when you get married, and when you get divorced. The amount of coverage may also be affected if you decide to have children, and when your children are old enough to move out.

Your best bet is to find a home insurance company that explains their procedures clearly, so that you know what to expect. Just make sure you do have home insurance coverage—they’re not just for your protection but also for your peace of mind.

How to Decorate a Small Condo

A quick look at real estate listings will tell you there are lots of small condo units available, and they’re quite affordable as well. Still, small condo spaces represent a special challenge for residents because they’re not always easy to furnish and decorate. The more furniture pieces and decorative items you put in, the more the condo may seem small and constricted.

But it doesn’t have to feel cramped at all. With just a few simple decorative tricks, you can make your small condo feel a lot more spacious.

  1. Hang a huge mirror on your wall. Your best spot is the wall that’s opposite a window. The light from the outside will hit the mirror and will reflect all over your space. More light means a greater sense of airiness and space.

You should really try to find the biggest mirror you can hang here. A huge mirror can do wonders for your place, as visually it seems like the mirror leads to another passage through your new home.

  1. Go for predominantly light colors with softer hues. Use them for your floors and walls. Light colors help you feel more relaxed, and they give an impression of more space. These colors can really help make your small apartment or condo feel less cramped.
  2. Make sure that your wall and curtains are the same color. That’s to create the look of an unbroken line, which makes people think that a room is much bigger than it really is.
  3. Put some hints of metallic all over the space. You can have metal light fixtures as well shiny metal lamps. The principle is the same with these metallic touches—they reflect the light as they shimmer, so your space looks brighter and it seems more spacious.
  4. Utilize the corners. With small condo units you can’t really afford to just waste space. You should maximize the space you have, and that starts with placing a chair or a bookshelf in the corners of rooms. You may also want to place a cushy chair in the corner along with the bookshelf so you have an instant cozy reading nook.
  5. Opt for scaled-down furniture. Sprawling pieces aren’t really practical for small spaces. Even if you can fit these huge furniture items, you just make the place look and feel a lot more cramped. But you can find narrower and more petite furniture that’s a lot more suitable for small condos.
  6. Choose airy living room tables. Instead of getting a coffee table made of solid wood, get a table topped with see-through acrylic. The base should be open and made of metal too.
  7. Find furniture items that offer versatile uses. Get ottomans that you can use as a tray or as a chair. Garden stools also offer dual purposes, as they can be used as a seat or as a table.
  8. Pick furniture that also offers storage. Storage is one of the main problems of living in a small condo unit. When you’re acquisitive by nature, you can end up like you’re some sort of hoarder. So you should get coffee tables and ottomans that offer spaces for storage.
  9. Place your furniture on casters. This allows you to move your things more easily so that you can change the look of the place with no trouble. Also, when you have a guest sleeping over, you can just shove the furniture to the wall so you have enough space for a futon.

Small doesn’t always have to feel cramped—with a few tricks, you can make small spaces a lot roomier than they really are!

How to Take Care of Wood Flooring

One of the reasons why hardwood and other types of wood flooring are so popular is because they’re very easy to take care. They don’t trap dust and other allergens, and they’re naturally tough and durable. But just because hardwood is low-maintenance doesn’t mean it doesn’t need any maintenance at all. You’re still going to have to take care of the wood, though admittedly you won’t expend as much effort as with other types of flooring.

Here are some tips that can really help you make sure that your wood flooring lasts for decades:

  1. Keep the water out. Water is the main enemy of hardwood, which is why you don’t really see them used for bathrooms. What this means is that if you see any sort of liquid spill on your wood floor, you have to wipe it up as quickly as you can. If you have potted plants indoors, you should have trays under them so you can water them safely. If it’s about to rain, close your windows so the water can’t get in. If you fail in any of these tasks, the water may ruin the hardwood finish.
  2. When you wipe up the spills, use no-wax wood floor cleaner afterwards. This cleaner can clean up any residue and keep small problems from getting bigger.
  3. Use furniture pads. It doesn’t matter if you don’t rearrange your furniture too often. Eventually, the furniture legs will scratch the floor. So keep your wood floor looking new by using furniture pads on the legs. The bonus benefit is that when you do decide to rearrange your furniture, the pads make it a lot easier to slide the furniture around the place.
  4. Use a long “walk-off” doormat. It’s best if you can somehow make sure that everyone will remove their shoes before they stop on your wood floor. But this isn’t always possible. But having a doormat isn’t always effective because not everyone may use them religiously. That’s why you need a larger doormat. It should be about 4 to 6 feet long, so as people enter your home they can rub off the dirt and grime as they walk in.
  5. Vacuum at least once a week. While the wood may not trap the dust, the problem is that the fine grit in the dust can work on your wood like sandpaper eventually. Without vacuuming, the dust will inevitably wear through the finish of the hardwood.

When you vacuum, don’t use the beater bar or rotating brushes that can mar the wood. Use an attachment with a brush or a felt surface. If you don’t have a vacuum, you can always just use a dust mop. You can also try one of those new microfiber sweepers.

  1. Use area rugs for high-traffic areas. While wood is generally durable, the finish can wear down when you have lots of people walking frequently over certain areas. So, you can use a throw rug for these areas to preserve the finish. Just make sure these rugs don’t have any backing. The backing may be made of vinyl or rubber that traps humidity, which can then ruin the finish of the floor or even stain and damage the wood itself.
  2. Use the right type of restorer for your finish. If you have a polyurethane finish, use a polish that’s specifically designed for polyurethane. You can use more wax if you have a wax finish. Just don’t use wax on polyurethane as well as on varnish or shellac finishes. The wax can interfere with any subsequent finishes, plus it makes the floor dangerously slippery.

Once a year, you can find a pro to do some deep cleaning for your wood flooring. You’ll find plenty of them in Vancouver and all the major cities in North America, so you’re covered!

What to Look for in a Metal Roof for Your Home

If your roof is breaking down, it’s likely you’ve thought about materials and labor for your next roof. If you’re considering metal, start by doing a little research.

Metal roofs can last up to 100 years, with professional installation companies providing warranties of 50 years and longer. Because of their longevity, most metal roofs are less expensive than asphalt shingles in the long term. When it comes to the choices you have while selecting a metal roof for your home, it needs to be done keeping in mind your climate, longevity, material types, and your budget.

The choice of material will help you get the most out of your metal roof. Consider the following options:

Steel

Steel is a hard metal. It can withstand more damage and has a longer life compared to aluminum and other metals. It is economical and is used extensively. Steel can be galvanized, which can make it more durable. But the flip side is that if the finish is not applied properly, it can lead to corrosion from moisture, reducing its lifespan.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a soft metal that is flexible and lightweight. It is more vulnerable to damage and dent, yet does not corrode as easily as steel. Because of its resistance to corrosion, aluminum is a great choice for homes in coastal areas. Aluminum is generally more expensive when compared to steel.

Copper

Copper roofing is very expensive and is not widely used. It does not rust and the protective coating does not need to be applied. Copper is generally used for extravagant homes and buildings.

After choosing the type of material, the next step is to select the coating. This plays a crucial role as it protects the inner material against environmental conditions that lead to corrosion. Commonly used roof coatings are:

Ceramic coatings reflect heat, which helps keep the interior cool. It has superior moisture protection and heat dissipation properties. Most ceramic coatings are made from regular paint with ceramic beads mixed in as an additive.

Silicone modified polyesters or SMPs use polyester resins blended with silicone additives to improve performance. In general, the higher the silicone content, the more durable the finish.

Granular coatings are used if you prefer metal shingles as it gives a textured finish. It consists of crushed stones and granules and acrylic resin. It protects against scratching and denting.

On copper roofs, clear coatings which contain oil are preferred. Oils act as a barrier against moisture and enhance the appearance by providing a rich luster look.

The style of roofing adds a different dimension to the overall appearance. Two of the most commonly used patterns are:

Metal panel roofing has raised ribs and is applied vertically on a roof. Panels offer a contemporary look, and they are often used in mountainous regions.

Metal shingle style roofing: In this style, the roofs are made into layers, one over the other. Shingle roofing is more widely used and granular coatings are preferred.

Many factors should be considered when choosing roofing materials, coatings and styles for your home. Consult with a local metal roof contractor to find the best option for where you live and your budget.

Guide To Buy A Hot Tub

A hot tub was considered an extravagance not many years ago. But now many homes have installed them and though it is a luxury addition, it is one of the best options to relax or to interact with loved ones or to reduce soreness in your muscles. Hot tubs are known by various names such as spa, whirlpool, and Jacuzzi. However, purchasing a hot tub is not easy as there are many brands and the features of each one are different. The following information will help you pick the best hot tub for your needs.

The most common types of hot tubs are the standard or normal hot tub, the inflatable hot tub and the wood-fired hot tub. The standard hot tub is the one that you see normally in most houses. The inflatable hot tubs are popular because they can be moved but you need an electric connection wherever you place it. The wood-fired hot tub does not need any electricity. All it needs is firewood. It is good in a place that has no electricity.

The hot tub requires space and hence you should first ensure that you have the required space to place it. Indoor hot tubs need ventilation to remove humidity, so ensure that you have a room that has proper ventilation etc. Outdoor hot tubs can be placed anywhere in your garden or lawn but the ideal place would be your deck. One important point to note is that the hot tub should be placed in such a place that can handle the weight of the hot tub plus the water combined. If the place is not proper then you could end up with a broken hot tub or deck. The place you place the deck should be strong and should be able to hold at least 2000 pounds weight. Also, ensure that the place you place the hot tub has the required electrical requirements.

Another point to note while buying a hot tub is the size and the shape. Since they come in a variety of shapes and sizes it becomes difficult to choose one. So you need to first decide the number of people who will be using it. A two person hot tub is nice if you have less space and if you have more space you can opt for a hot tub that seats five or even six people. Another option is the shape. If you just have a corner to spare then you should opt for a triangular hot tub as it will be ideal. If you have more space you can always opt for a round, square or an oval shaped tub.

The main reason a person buys a hot tub is due to its impact on muscles as it reduces soreness and also helps in the circulation of blood. This is due to the jets that are in a hot tub. When you are in the market to buy a hot tub, you should check the various jets such as pressure jets, swirl jets, pulsating jets, directional jets. The right jet will provide the required relaxation, so take your time in researching. There are many websites selling hot tubs just search for hot tubs for sale and you will be provided with a list of dealers selling them.

How to Extend the Life of Your Carpets

If you own carpets, you know that they can add a pleasing dimension to any living area. You also likely know that carpets are a chore to maintain – not to mention a major investment.

Homeowners often ask what types and styles of carpets have the longest lifespan. While those are key factors in how long a carpet might last, they are far from the only factors.

Want to extend the life of your carpets? Consider these factors to get the most out of them:

Material

Most carpets contain these fibers: nylon, wool, cotton, and olefin. It has been found that 99% of the fibers used are synthetic. Every material has its own characteristics. Nylon carpets are preferred over others as it has more stain resistance and durability. Olefin carpets are widely used due to their affordability. When it comes to lifespan, nylon stands above the rest.

Proper cleaning

The secret mantra is to blot stains. DO NOT RUB THEM. Rubbing creates pressure and the stain is evenly spread, giving it a gloomy yellow appearance. Rubbing can result in the breakdown of the fibers used in carpets. Clean the stain as soon as possible to avoid absorbance. Stains that have become embedded in the fabric are almost impossible to clean without professional help. Of course, a vacuum cleaner should be used frequently to clean carpets.

This involves cleaning the carpets with hot water. Certified carpet cleaners can clean carpeting according to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

Various cleaning supplements can be used by professionals and homeowners alike to clean stubborn stains.

  • Grease can be cleaned using the dishwashing detergents as it cuts through the grease giving the carpet a glowing look.
  • Melted wax can be removed through professional steam cleaning.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean tough stains.
  • Steam cleaning should be done every few years to clean the carpet inside and out.

High traffic areas

Some parts of the room are used more than others. Hallways and areas around furniture endure constant foot and pet traffic. These areas should be given special protection against wear and tear. Special rigid rugs can be set upon carpets to protect these areas.

Take precautions

Use the following tips to protect your carpets:

  • Do not wear shoes inside. Dirty shoes can ruin a carpet and reduce its life expectancy.
  • Move furniture periodically. Doing this allows the carpeting under the furniture to be cleaned more often and will also lessen wear and tear as high traffic areas are moved.
  • Use an entryway matting with a nylon face and vinyl back to absorb moisture, dirt, and oil around doors.

Keep these factors in mind as you take steps to extend the life of your carpets. A few simple steps and proper care can increase their life expectancy by as much as 20-30%.

It should be stressed, however, that every manmade object has an expiration date. No matter how you well you take care of your carpets, they’ll need to be upgraded sooner or later.

Spice up your Drab Room with Area Rugs

Do you have a dull room you’re looking to improve? How about a boring space that you just can’t seem to pull together no matter how hard you try? Looking for a way to bring some life into a room that hasn’t looked lively for a long time?

The solution might be easier than you think!

One of the best ways to spice up a drab room is to bring an area rug into the space. Area rugs can add pops of color, bursts of fun patterns, or even a sense of refinement that your room may be lacking. But when it comes to using an area rug, you may be at a loss. After all, decorating with rugs can be tricky, and there are ways it can go wrong.

But when you know what you’re doing, an area rug can be a huge benefit.

Check out our tips below to help you put your favorite area rugs to great use in even the dullest of spaces.

rugs

Stylishly Centered

Though you might be tempted to use your rugs as accent pieces, you may want to think again. Accent pieces can be fun and functional both, but with a rug as the centerpiece of your room, you’ll never have to worry about your space looking drab again.

For best results, you’ll want to choose contemporary area rugs that either incorporates the other colors used throughout the room or complements them well. If your room is already looking a little boring, you probably should stay away from neutral tones unless you’re planning to overhaul the whole space.

And just because you’re using your rug as a centerpiece doesn’t mean you have to pick a large rug. Smaller and mid-size rugs can make excellent modern-style focal points in any room, too.

Choose Your Mood

The rug you select and the way you use it will both depend largely on the mood you want to set in your space. Do you want something cool and gentle for a bedroom? If so, you may want to go with rugs in shades of gray, blue, or possibly cream. How about something perky and lively for your kitchen? Yellow, orange, or brighter shades of blue and green can work well for this type of room.

Any room that needs a little extra life and excitement is sure to look great with a colorful rug on the floor, but try not to go overboard. “Whimsical” can definitely become the mood of your room with the right rug to help you along, but take care that you don’t overload the visual weight of the space with too many different colors that may clash.

Don’t Forget the Walls

You can always think way outside the box and use your area rug as a piece of wall décor instead. This may seem a little nontraditional, but decorating with wall tapestries is a style that goes back centuries. This tends to look better with antique style rugs, but there’s no reason you can’t try to pull it off with a more contemporary rug instead if that’s what you prefer. Just remember to follow the rules of rug decorating and choose something that complements or matches your room to be successful.

If you’re looking for an affordable rug, don’t forget to check out websites online to find just what you’re searching for. And if you’ve already got the perfect rug for your space, be sure to try out our tips and see how your room can truly come to life. You never know when just a few changes to the layout of your room’s décor might really add excitement to a room that needs it.

How Your Roof Affects Your Electric Bill

When it comes to indoor temperatures at home, we’re all guilty of the Goldilocks syndrome. Everyone wants to feel as comfortable as possible at home. If it’s too cold we’ll turn on the heater, and if it’s too hot we’ll keep the AC blasting, all to get indoor temperatures just right.

But what if there’s a dark asphalt shingle roof or a metal roof on top of your home soaking up the suns energy all day long throughout the summer? All that heat transfers through to the interior, keeping your home at unpleasantly high temperatures, and keeping you dreaming of walking through the grocery store frozen section for some relief.

While AC is the simple solution for many, it’s terribly inefficient and expensive to cool a home with AC while the roof is simultaneously inviting more heat inside. You wouldn’t leave the AC running with the windows wide open, yet when your roof is made of materials that absorb and retain lots of heat, it’s virtually the same effect.

Energy Efficient Roofs

Fortunately, the technology used in roofing materials has come a long way over the past couple decades, and certain types of roof coating are revolutionizing the industry. 100% Silicone, or solar reflective roof coatings are often referred to as “cool roofs” because simply put, they keep homes much cooler than other types of roofing materials. While asphat, concrete, tile and metal absorbs the majority of heat from the sun, many roof coatings reflect most of the suns heat. Some types of roof coating are so durable and long lasting, manufacturers stand behind them with a 50 year to lifetime warranty, making them a smart investment guaranteed to last for decades.

The best part? Depending on the type of roof you currently have, there is a good chance that roof coating can be aplied right over the existing materials, restoring your old roof and making a costly full replacement unnecessary.

What Types Of Roofs Can Be Coated With Cool Roof Coating?

Flat roofs are ideal coating candidates because standing water is often a problem for flat roofs, while sloped roofs have gravity helping to run off excess water. A high quality roof coating will not only cool down the temperatures inside, but it will create a seamless waterproof barrier over your roof that can withstand even permanent standing water.

Metal Roofs are another type of roof that can benefit greatly from a quality roof coating. It’s extremely costly to fully replace a roof particularly one made of metal, because we must take into consideration dump fees as well as the cost of a higher-end material. With a quality roof coating you can preserve the life of your metal roof for decades more without, replacing it. Do some research on the best type of roof coating for your location’s climate, only apply it over materials recommended by the manufacturer, and consult with a professional roofer if necessary.

Do It Yourself

The best part? Since roof coating is painted on as a liquid and it then solidifies within hours, it’s not too difficult for motivated homeowners to do it themselves.

To make sure you receive the longest possible manufacturers warranty available to you, it’s important to have any roof project completed by a licensed roofing contractor, as most manufacturers only grant a full warranty for their materials when installed by a professional. However, for the homeowner who prefers to cut costs and take matters in to their own hands, roof coating is the best way to save your old flat or metal roof from a full replacement all while setting yourself up to enjoy years of future savings on energy costs.

Roofing Company Maui

Benefits of Construction Site Security

While the robbery of a house is alarming and distressing, even before the structure can be built, theft takes place. We are speaking of a construction site. Construction sites are a hotbed of activity. Workmen, equipment, tools, materials, activity- you name it, it’s all there. It’s a fluid situation and it comes with its own share of issues.

Normally when we have things that are valuable, we try to restrict access to them. It’s only at a construction site that it’s all out there- sand, bricks, timber etc. This makes a site an easy target. A house or building that’s partially built is also vulnerable. It might have partial fixtures and fittings, making it a lucrative space to tap. Sometimes it’s just plain mischief, where an individual may want to willfully damage the property, perhaps shatter a pane of glass or spray paint surfaces, all requiring costly rework. It could be something as simple as kids trying to sneak in on a dare or for a thrill, maybe to smoke up or share a drink or two. Vandalism could be a motive or a quiet venue may be required for something illegal. A construction site post sundown is an irresistible space for any number of reasons.

Whether it’s human negligence or determined thieves, construction sites have their own troubles. Even with a fence and a gate, its safety is not foolproof. Thus, construction site security becomes vital to ensure smooth work progress.

For many people this means manned security- an individual or a team that patrols round-the-clock to help keep the space safe. This can be expensive and impractical because humans can be overpowered. Wired alarms can be disabled as well. CCTVs are highly costly and need constant monitoring and upkeep. What’s more, in the dust and chaos of a construction site, they may not last too long. What is needed is something efficient and economical. A wireless security system is the smartest solution here.

It can cover vast areas, even if they are a kilometer apart. The system can be used across spaces and things- not just machinery, but also building structure and scaffolding. This kind of security keeps an eye on the outside and peripheries too. Since the entire system is wireless it can be installed, removed and repositioned pretty easily. Connect it to an alarm or camera and you can get pinpointed activity. A wireless system also has a huge advantage- it doesn’t need power and telecommunications to work. This is a huge boon during shutdowns and blackouts where the site is especially vulnerable.

If you’re considering construction site security, do keep the following in mind:

  • The provider should have a track record of dependability.
  • The material used for the security should be hardy and of great quality. No shortcuts here.
  • It is monitored at a different location by trained technicians all the time.
  • It is flexible and easy to work with even by the client, when required.
  • If there is a need, GPS tagging should be able to track vehicles stolen from the site.

Construction sites can also be kept safe thanks to wireless security systems.

Some DIY Tips for Repairing a Roof

A small leak in the roof can be one the most disastrous events in the home owner’s life, especially if it is ignored.

Water damage is silent and insidious and causes multiple forms of secondary damage if it is not identified and repaired quickly.

Cracks in windows and chips in flooring can all be covered over for looking at later.

A roof leak does not enjoy the same time considerations.

Water can erode, rot or simply even cause the entire collapse of parts of a home.

There are different signs that may indicate that there is a leak in the roof.

Arguably the most common are staining on the ceiling.

Should staining appear and begin to rapidly spread then urgent intervention may be necessary even.

It is advisable to ignore any consideration to wait until the summer in the event of quickly spreading water stains.

Safety First

Climbing about on the top of a roof to find a leak can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t take precautions.

Be sure to wear rubber soled footwear and use a harness to keep yourself secure.

In fact, when you’re investigating a leak, a harness inside the roof isn’t a bad idea either.

There is always a possibility of unseen rot giving way underneath you as you explore the extent of any damage.

The golden rule of always having a buddy with you applies to anything you do on a roof.

Apart from having someone to help, there’s always a second person in the case of an emergency or an accident.

Don’t leave it until the summer

Don’t delay.

Once you notice that there are signs of water ingress, either by stains on walls or ceilings, you may discover that there is a lack of ventilation to the attic or notice growth of moss or algae on the roof.

If you see some flashing or boots on the roof looking ragged or worn, these are early signs of a leak.

Do not ignore them

Every day that a leak exists in your roof, you could be a hundred dollars poorer for the unseen, underlying damage it is causing.

Spray the roof

Start by spraying the roof with water.

On the outside, you may be able to see where the water is disappearing rather than just washing off into the gutter.

Have a buddy on the inside look for where the water is coming in. based on where the original stains are you may have an idea where to start, but don’t be fooled.

Water follows the path of least resistance so the point of entry on the top of the roof may not be close to where the water settles.

Check for dry rot

Ironically dry rot does not come from too much water, but rather from lack of air.

Areas of the roof may be in spaces where there is little or no ventilation.

Dry rot can often be identified by the roof sagging and shingles becoming brittle and cracking.

Once this sets in, roof components will just crumble allowing the elements in.

To combat this, place a vent in areas where ventilation is poor or that already have a history of dry rot.

Prevent ice build up

In the winter, ice will build up wherever there is sufficient moisture to freeze.

This means that ice can build up under the roof membranes, shingles, and gutters. It will build up all the way to the wall line where the house is heated and creates a drip.

To prevent this, ensure that there is sufficient ventilation. Installing ice shields will enable run off preventing this problem.

Repair/replace roof boots, flashing and ice damping

The moment any damage to the boots surrounding ventilation and heating pipes is noticed, get it repaired.

The few dollars that it costs you to repair these classic points of water ingress will save you hundreds in major water damage bills.

Inspect the roof materials

At least on annual basis, but this is better done seasonally, check the materials on the roof.

Make sure that the shingles still sit well, are secure and firmly in place, with no cracks.

Badly placed shingles will push up and begin to look distorted. Better to replace one bad shingle than an entire roof frame internally.

Look for the leaks

Sometimes leaks can be found before they become obvious.

Check the valleys – the place where two parts of the roof come together. These are high-risk areas and leaks often occur at the join.

The same goes for any place where flashing or boots are part of the roof. It’s easy enough to seal up a simple gap or replace a boot for a few dollars.

Good maintenance will resolve your roofing problems.

By inspecting the roof seasonally, you will be able to identify any potential problems before they happen and quickly pinpoint an issue when one does arise.

Keep the roof algae and moss free, and clean the gutters as often as possible.

These little tasks will prevent a major roof refurbishment before its time.

If you need help in repairing your roof to avoid leaks and further damage, you can call a certified roof repair professional to do the job for you.

How to Organize Your Garage for Optimal Storage

The garage is often a dumping ground. It’s the place we store everything that doesn’t have a home elsewhere. A list of items deposited in a garage may include tools and DIY equipment, exercise accessories, bicycles, car maintenance items, and that fake Christmas tree you hate but can’t get rid of. Usually, items are dumped with no thought to how it is organized, which makes it difficult to find individual items when you do actually need them. For this reason, it is sensible to devise a storage system, so you maximize the available space and create extra room for things you might need in the future, such as tools. If you are looking around your garage and wondering how on earth to begin such an exercise, read on for some useful tips.

Take Everything Out

The best place to start is by removing everything so you can see what you own. There are bound to be items that haven’t seen the light of day for years; items you don’t need and can be thrown out or donated to charity. Begin by removing everything you don’t want or need and then you can see what’s left. Chances are you don’t need quite so much storage capacity as you previously thought.

Storage Solutions

Now that the garage is empty, it is time to organize the space. Think about what type of storage you need. Shelves and cupboards are probably going to be most useful, but these can be fixed or moveable. Modular plastic shelving is useful in a garage, as it is lightweight yet strong. If you have heavy items, look for plastic pallets for shipping, so they can be stored safely off the floor, but still moved if necessary.

Fixed shelving and storage is one solution to a storage problem, but once it is in place, you won’t be able to move it around to accommodate new items. However, it is simple to fix some shelves to the wall, while leaving floor space accessible for a vehicle. Beware of power outlets when fixing storage in place. You will need access to power outlets for DIY and car maintenance, so don’t block them off with cupboards.

Make Space for Vehicles

If you use your garage for storing a vehicle, make sure you leave enough space when fitting storage units. It could be disastrous to spend an entire weekend fixing cupboards and shelves to the walls, only to discover your new SUV no longer fits inside the garage.

Organize Items Intuitively

Once you have shelves and cupboards in place, work out what needs to go where. Organize items into groups. For example, place decorating items in one cupboard, hang tools on the wall, and stack paint cans in a corner, etc. Invest in plastic stacking crates for items that don’t fit in drawers, cupboards, or on shelves. Label crates so you know what is in them. This makes it easier to locate smaller items in a hurry. Stack gardening tools in a round bin or hang them on the wall.

Lastly, make sure your garage is nice and secure if you use it to store expensive tools and gardening equipment.

Removing Snow the Easy Way: 5 Essential Tips

While winters can be downright freezing in some states, one cannot deny that we look forward to the season nonetheless. After all, snowmen, Christmas and family get-togethers also happen during the winter. Unfortunately, not every part of the holiday season feels as cheery, though, especially not on the mornings when you have to shovel snow from the driveway to get anywhere. While professional snow removal services will be needed to take care of major buildups, here are five tips and tricks that will help you handle the smaller day-to-day snow problems on your own.

Table Salt

Table salt is basically just sodium chloride (NaCl), which is an excellent de-icing agent. Find a sock and put table salt in it, now make it into a tight bag of salt before rubbing it evenly on your car’s windscreen at night. The salt will prevent the windscreen from being covered in hard frost during the night. Do not overdo this, though, because sodium chloride can mess up glass surfaces if used too frequently or too generously.

Alcohol

Whether it’s rubbing alcohol or booze, everything works as long as it is mostly alcohol. Spray some alcohol on your frosted windows with precision and then use a piece of cloth or an old towel to wipe it off. This removes frost and cleans up the dirt and grime as well. As an added advantage, cleaning with alcohol will temporarily keep your windows from fogging up as well.

Hot Water

As a perfect example of killing fire with fire (it’s more like killing ice with water in this case), you can also use lukewarm water to melt ice and snow away from your windows, windscreen, doors, locks, driveways, steps, walkways and just about everywhere else. Be careful about the runoff water, though, because if you don’t soak it up with a mop immediately, it won’t take too long before the run off turns into ice itself.

The Leaf Blower

Autumn might be over, but the role of your trusty old leaf blower isn’t over just yet. It can be used as a lightweight snow blower as well. You will need to upgrade to a heavy duty, dedicated snow blower if you have heavier tasks in mind, but even a leaf blower can be sufficient if the snow buildup isn’t particularly heavy.

Make It a Part of Your Exercise Routine

It’s all about perception and you can use perception to your advantage here by making snow removal a part of your exercise routine. If you must shovel snow, know that it’s a good combination of cardio and resistance training. Warm up, wear the right clothes and get into it like you would during a gym session. You will be boosting your health while doing what must be done, turning a disadvantageous situation into one of advantage.

While these tips and tricks will help you handle one of the worst aspects of winter, you should also pay heed to safety as well. Don’t overexert yourself and try not to go outside and shovel snow when the weather is particularly bad. Be clever about it and the holiday season should be just as fun as it’s supposed to be.

5 Air Conditioner Repair Tips You Can Do Yourself

When you have an air conditioner, you know how much work this unit requires to keep maintained. You have to ensure that you take care of your unit like your own child if you want it to survive these hot summers. However, sometimes there are just repairs that you have to do on your unit if you want it to keep working. However, there’s no reason that you’ve got to get a repairman or repairwoman out to deal with the problem. You can easily do it yourself with the below tips and tricks! Keep reading to learn what to do when you face the following issues.

  1. If You’re Unit Doesn’t Work

The first thing you might experience during the summer is if your unit doesn’t work or stops working suddenly. Now, this usually doesn’t just happen without any reason, so be sure to check your breaker box if you have a unit that’s connected to your electrical grid. Most of the times, there might be a tripped circuit breaker that’s caused your AC to turn off. This is most likely going to be accompanied with other electrical outings throughout your house.

  1. If There Is Not Enough Cooling Going On

When your unit doesn’t cool your house enough, this can be seriously frustrating – especially in the middle of summer. There are tons of reasons why this might be happening. When your unit isn’t cooling as much as it should be, this is a big sign that there are some inefficiencies in the system. For example, your coils might be a bit too dirty and not enough air is getting through. Or the temperature could be set too high. Make sure to check the foils and the filter. If either are super dirty, then be sure to clean them off and your unit should be working great in no time!

  1. The Unit Is Cooling, But Your Fan Just Doesn’t Run

Another problem that could arise is when you look at your unit’s internal fan. You could have a problem with the motor or the blades could be damaged in some way. If anything like this happens, then you actually do need to contact an air conditioning specialist if you want to get it fixed.

  1. The Condenser’s Not Working Properly

When your AC doesn’t turn on or isn’t working, then you’ve got to check the outside condenser to see if it’s running. Check the unit to ensure that everything is plugged in and the temperature is set to the correct level. If this isn’t the issue, then you’re going to have to get a professional out to check the entire unit and see what could be wrong. There are just some things that can’t be fixed on your own.

  1. There Are Super Loud Sounds Coming Out Of The Unit

And lastly, there might be some loud sounds that are coming from inside of your unit. This is a big sign that a piece of machinery is loose or broken and needs to be replaced by an experienced professional. Do not try to fix this one by yourself as you might injure yourself or cause more damage to the unit.

And there you have it! Most of these points can easily be fixed by yourself at home. However, when it’s the case that you can’t fix things yourself, then you’ve got to bring in a professional to get it done for you. Sometimes it’s best to have a professional fix your unit for you if you can’t get it done yourself.

Eco Friendly House Cleaning Tips

Eco-friendly house cleaning has become something that more people are aware of, as greenhouse gases and global warming begin to affect us all.

You don’t have to be an eco-warrior or an environmental activist to know that there are cause and effect in everything we do.

While we may not be able to make the decisions that world leaders do about reducing emissions and tackling waste, we can do our bit.

Collectively when many do the same environmentally positive action, the overall effect can be felt for longer and by more people.

Whether you are cleaning a home as part of a service offered by a business or your own home as part of your daily/weekly routine, there are many small things that you can do to make a difference.

Try out these tips and hints to get your home cleanse and keep the environment clean too:

Homemade cleaning materials

When making your own cleaning products, just like previous generations did, you’ll skip out the additional chemicals and keep all the cleaning agents.

A good example is the combination of bicarbonate of soda (also called baking soda depending on where you come from) and white vinegar.

These two are frequently used to decrease and descale almost anything.

When cleaning out ovens and other greasy spaces in the home making a paste of baking soda and water, applying it to the dirty surface and then wiping away with white vinegar works a treat.

Sometimes to get a fresh smell and in particular where limescale and grime build up in bathrooms and kitchens using lemon juice instead of white vinegar is a better option.

This little trick works very well on kitchen and bathroom tiles and ceramic surfaces such as baths and sinks.

White vinegar on its own is a favorite to maintain clean spaces and mixed half and half with hot water in a spray bottle makes an excellent domestic cleaner.

Your windows could not be cleaner after using this magic little mixture either.

E-clothes

Never heard of an E-cloth? These cloths are made of millions of little fibers that pick up the dirt on the surface over which they are wiped, no chemicals required.

Very popular in households where there are allergies and other health issues, these cloths remove the need for artificial cleaning materials and millions swear by them worldwide.

Although they can be quite expensive to buy initially, they will save the purchaser a lot of money over a lifetime.

Not only do they save money, but they’re also saving the planet.

What makes these products nifty is that they are available not only as clothes but as mops too and absorbent sponge like products too.

Steam cleaning

There are many ways to move even stubborn dirt without using chemicals. Steam cleaning is a tried and tested method that has proven to exceptionally successful.

Steam cleaners are available as a simple cleaner or come with several attachments. These make cleaning absolutely anything and everything possible.

This includes anything from carpets, to ovens and bathrooms and even the interior of a car!

Apart from the effect of removing dirt and grime, steam cleaners also sterilize the surface that they clean, so when tackling difficult or very dirty spaces in high hygiene areas, such as a kitchen or a bathroom they are ideal.

A steam cleaner is a one off investment that will pay for itself long after you have surpassed what you would have paid in cleaning products.

For those with a very tight budget, steam cleaners are readily available for hire in almost any city in the world.

Recycle and reuse

That old pair of jeans or the T-shirt that can no longer be worn can be turned into clothes.

Recycle and repurpose other items that might end up in a landfill. Stop using nonbiodegradable items such as sponges with plastic ingredients. Rather re-use old items of clothing to make up cleaning cloths.

Use a HEPA vacuum or any vacuum that is bagless to reduce additional paper going into landfill.

Cleaning Products

When you have absolutely no alternative to buying cleaning products, have a look for those with eco-friendly certification.

These products are biodegradable and gentle on the environment and the other items they encounter.

Available as laundry detergents, kitchen and bathroom cleaners and even useful for drain cleaners.

You can also find all purpose household cleaners that cover cleaning floors, walls, doors, and windows on these shelves.

Overall changing to an eco-friendly approach to keep your house clean is not difficult. It simply requires a change of mindset and a few habits.it doesn’t have to cost more either.

Everything You Need to Know about Drain Pipe Unblocking

The drain pipes in any property play an extremely important role in keeping the plumbing system running smoothly. These drain pipes are designed to ensure that all of the wastewater from your property is carried away into the municipal sewage lines in a safe and secure manner. If the drain pipes burst or begin to leak for some reason, it could lead to serious health hazards. You will need to call a plumber to unblock the drain pipes right away. Usually, a blockage in the drain pipes doesn’t occur right away. In fact, in many situations, it takes several weeks for the drain pipe to become clogged and sealed up completely.

Signs of Blockage

First of all, you should know that there are some pretty clear-cut signs that indicate a blockage in your drain pipes. If you hear a gurgling sound every time you flush the toilet, there’s a pretty high chance that your drain pipes are getting blocked. You will also hear the same kind of noise from the shower drains and the sink as well. Moreover, if water stays in the shower drain or in the toilet bowl for a long period of time before draining, you can pretty much guarantee that there is a blockage. If you are reasonably sure that your drain pipes are becoming blocked, you need to call a reputable company to inspect your pipes.

Unblocking the Drain Pipes

Unblocking drain pipes is not a simple procedure. It primarily depends upon the extent of the blockage and the method that will be used. When you call a drainage repair company, they will first inspect the drain pipes using a miniature camera. Once the exact location of the drain blockage has been discovered, the company will then prepare a way to clean it out.

Drain pipes can be cleaned out using a variety of different techniques. For instance, you can use a conventional plunger to try to unclog the drain pipes. This technique works only if the blockage has formed close to the opening of the drain pipe. In most cases, a jet wash is used to clear the drain pipe of blockages. Water is released into the drain pipe at a very high pressure to completely remove the blockage.

This is arguably the most effective method for removing drain blockage. Unfortunately, if this method doesn’t work, the company will have to resort to tougher measures, such as using strong acids to try to melt down the blockage. This is usually effective if the blockage was caused by a buildup of fat or oily substances in the drain pipe.

In situations where a blockage has hardened and is impossible to remove, the only other option left to the company is to remove a section of the drain pipe and replace it with a new one. Unfortunately, this procedure will cost you a considerable amount of money.

Improve Home Decor with a Fish Tank

When we think of improving home décor we may not always consider a fish tank. It seems like a small thing, normally tucked away on a shelf somewhere to really have an impact. Can we rely on the fish tank to make our home better? The answer is yes.

When we say fish tank, you might think of a typical rectangle or round shaped tank. A few plants, a fish or two going round and round in an eternal fashion and a diver doll that releases bubbles to the surface of the water. The light comes from the roof of the aquarium and its feeble at best. We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that it’s not a great décor choice.

But home aquariums have come a long way from that claustrophobic bowl and the goldfish. Today, the fish tank is going places. Literally. From the table at your home office to the space between two rooms, the fish tank lends itself to every space imaginable.

  • We love the Tetra Waterfall Globe aquarium. At 1.8 gallons, it’s tiny but even then it comes with a little waterfall! The pump filter makes it more than just a regular fish tank. This is easily one of the most striking and aesthetically designed fish tanks and its perfect for a fish or two.
  • If you have a study table or an office where you work out of home, we can suggest the Mini USB LCD desktop lamp fish tank aquarium. This is no ordinary fish tank- it comes with an LCD screen that shows you temperature, date, time and can be set up with sound alarms. It’s a pen holder too. It has plants, pebbles, music sounds, and a USB cable that helps recirculate the water in it. The issue is that it’s too small. A small fish will fit, but will it thrive? Once it starts growing, you will need to think about another tank.
  • If you stay with family, kids or spouse, a small or mid-size tank may be more sensible. The Coralife Fish Tank LED Biocube aquarium is such a gorgeous sight. It’s got cleans lines, is contemporary and has rounded views, automatic lighting just make the whole process worthwhile. It mimics sunrise and sunset and moonrise and moonset light. LED lights, a noiseless pump and a movable lid help make the Biocube one of the most popular choices in the segment.
  • If you want something different and you live in a home with tall ceilings, check out the 55 gallon Vepotek 360 Cylinder tank. Made from acrylic with a shiny steel finish, this fish tank will go beautifully in a modern dwelling. It has a lovely light fixture, comes with pump and filtration system, among other things and is versatile- use it for saltwater and freshwater fish with an upgrade or two.
  • If you’re a serious fish tank person and have the space for it, go ahead with the Triton Cynthia, the 430 gallon aquarium. Definitely the best in the class, it comes with bilateral and filtration, not one but two water pumps, great lighting and air pump. It uses a computer board for controls.

No matter what your need, a fish tank can make your home look lovely.

How to Repair Small Foundation Cracks

Identifying early symptoms of foundation trouble can save you thousands of dollars in repairs. The sooner you spot problems, the easier and less costly they will be to fix.

The most common foundation issue homeowners encounter are cracks in their basement walls. The severity of the crack will determine needed remedies: either a simple and affordable fix you can do on your own or one that requires the expertise of a foundation repair professional.

The majority of cracks will not compromise the structural integrity of your home. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that small cracks – even hairline cracks – can create greater problems if not addressed appropriately. They can be an entry point for water, insects, and radon gas, and eventually may cause structural issues. Cracks wider than 1/16 of inch should be repaired as soon as possible.

Seek professional assistance if you notice any of the following:

  • Cracks that run from the bottom to top of the wall
  • Cracks that wrap around a corner of the foundation
  • Cracks that run horizontally and bulging and curving in the wall is noticeable
  • Growing or recurring cracks

The most common foundation cracks are horizontal hairline cracks caused by settling soil. Vertical and diagonal cracks, meanwhile, result from excessive moisture around the foundation that works its way into the concrete and/or causes soil to expand and put pressure on the foundation wall.

A wide range of materials and sealers can be used to patch small foundation cracks. Take the following steps to make repairs on your own:

1. Choose a sealer

For small and hairline cracks use a vinyl concrete patching compound or a cement mixture if the crack is wide enough. Polyurethane, silicone, latex concrete caulk, hydraulic cement, or epoxy injections are recommended for larger cracks.

2. Clear the crack

Remove loose concrete, paint, and old filling injections from the crack with a wire brush. Use a shop vacuum or air compressor to remove or blow out dust and debris.

3. Make sure the crack is dry

If the crack is wet, use a blow dryer and wait 10-15 minutes. If dry, proceed with the repair. If still damp, it means water is still leaking in, and you will have to wait until it dries out.

4. Patch the crack

For small cracks, apply patching compound or cement mixture with a paint brush. Work the liquid into the crack and then layer with a putty knife or trowel.

For larger cracks, use a caulking gun to apply polyurethane, silicone, or latex concrete caulk. If using epoxy or hydraulic cement, layer with a putty knife and follow instructions on the packaging.

5. Let dry

Once the patch is completely dry, apply waterproof masonry sealer with a paint brush directly on the patch to protect walls from water infiltration. Put on a second coat with large brush or roller, making sure to work thoroughly into the patch.

6. Prevent future cracks

The most effective way to protect your foundation from cracking is to keep excessive amounts of water away from it and the surrounding soil.

Do this by making sure gutters and downspouts are not damaged or clogged and functioning properly. Slope driveways and walkways away from the foundation. Finally, avoid planting shrubs and small trees close to your home as watering them adds more moisture to the soil.

High Tech Home Security

Modern homes have far more security options than those of only a generation ago. Smart homes mean smarter home security options for homeowners. If you aren’t familiar with all of the latest technology, it makes sense to hire a trusted security professionalto walk you through the options and help choose the technology that will be the most beneficial for your family and your home. However, for those who are more familiar with the latest technological advancements, it is possible to completely modify a home on your own with enough research and patience.

Electronic Locks

A lot of modern security features seem like something from a science fiction movie. Electronic locks certainly seem like something one would see in a Star Trek film. Some of them can detect when the owner is walking up to the house and automatically unlock themselves making entry to the home as quick and easy as anything on a futuristic spaceship.

Other models require the person seeking entry to insert a key or to use the keypad to input a code that will unlock the door. Many of the newer models allow owners to create temporary codes that are only good for a few hours or other predefined period. These are ideal for allowing entry for repair purposes, deliveries, or temporary guests without necessitating the owner be home or provide a physical key for people with whom they may not want to have permanent access to the home.

Many people are hesitant to entrust the safety of their family and home to the occasionally temperamental power grid. However, all electronic locks have independent power sources and manual overrides to ensure homes are safe and secure even if there are power outages.

Wireless Security System

Wireless security systems typically offer video and audio that can be viewed in real time or which can be recorded and stored in case it is needed. Many units offer both options. Some of the newest models are all enabled wirelessly which brings down the cost of installation because the complicated electrical wiring is not required.

Another benefit of the more modern systems is the ability to link them with smartphones so homeowners can check the status of their home even if they are at work or away on vacation. While these systems are primarily designed to ensure those who are supposed to stay out are indeed kept out, they can also be invaluable for parents. Placing interior monitoring that is motion activated can ensure children and teens are where they are supposed to be. Some parents may worry this is an invasion of privacy. However, with so many parents forced to work long hours to make ends meet it makes sense to include additional safety measures to ensure children always have an extra set of eyes around to keep them safe.

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells typically have a wireless video component that is something of a hybrid between a full wireless security system and a communications device. Many units will allow homeowners to view who is at their door through an integrated smartphone app. They can then choose to speak in real-time with the person and provide instructions or simply record those who have been at the home.

House Automation

Automating one’s home doesn’t mean that you will enjoy all the bells and whistles available to the Jetsons, although many of them have become available. Instead, it means automating things like when lights come on and go off and if the shades are open or closed. Little details like this are what make a home appear occupied and it can be an invaluable security resource for those who will be away for an extended period.

Automated features are also useful for homeowners who are not planning a business trip or family vacation. When lights have been set to a timer or can be controlled via a phone app, no one ever has to stumble alone on a darkened path to find the right key. This makes coming home safer and more convenient.

While property crime rates have declined in recent years, there are still billions of dollars of losses each year due to criminal activity. It is still vital to for the safety of your family, home, and belongings that the best security measures are implemented.

How to Choose the Right Wooden Blinds for your Home

Wooden blinds are yet to become popular among homeowners across the world but this is only reasoned by its luxurious appeal and a bit of maintenance. Wooden blinds can, however, serve to be elegant additions to any home they are installed in. if your home follows a traditional décor that is themed around old world charm and nature, wooden blinds will be both a functional and decorative addition. The idea of wooden blinds is the same as any other blind, with the only difference of fixed slats that can be pulled up and dropped down. Consequently, if you are considering wooden blinds for your home, do look into the kind of alignment and safety features it provides apart from the appearance of the product.

Sizing your wooden blinds

The first step to go shopping for wooden blinds is to take the necessary measurements. This is where you will need to consider whether the blinds would be installed indoors or outdoors. Also, wooden blinds installed within a frame offer a cleaner look while also allowing you to go for a range of decorations in and around the frame. On the other hand, installing the wooden blinds outside the frame will make the opening look larger and is a preferred way to hide window damages and other ugly marks. The right size of the window blind is necessary to choose between the various off-the-shelf options you might have. However, window blinds are mostly customized according to the requirements of the home.

Slat sizing / styling

Needless to say, the smaller the slats in the blind, the more the number of it! However, more number of slats also offers you a higher degree of control over the amount of light entering your room and your privacy. Since wooden blinds are mostly added to outdoor themed homes, the slats can also be a great way to define the pattern of the décor. You can go for vertical slats, horizontal slats or even a combination of the two!

Energy efficiency

Wooden blinds have proven to work best against insulation and temperature control. Compared to any other material wood acts as a better insulator. Positioned rightly, they can cut off or save heat, as your home demands. Wooden blinds have in fact been seen to offer as much as 45% in insulation. If you are living in a warmer climate, special reflective coating on wooden blinds also adds to the amount of heat that is cut off from entering your house, making the rooms cooler.

Wooden blind safety

Safety is certainly a consideration with a window blind. The most common concerns are accidents caused by cords, chains and ropes coiled around blinds. It will be advisable to go for cordless wooden blinds if you have kids or pets in the house. Many beautiful wooden blinds websites and showrooms, have a variety of ways to customize blinds, for instance, comes with safety cords, and you can even ask for remote controlled cordless blinds. There are a wide range of products in a variety of operating mechanism. Choose what suits your needs well but ensure that safety is a priority.

5 Tips to Choose the Right Tile for Your Bathroom

Choosing the tiles you’re going to put into your bathroom renovation is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make. The tile is pretty much going to define the entire look of your bathroom’s final design. That’s why you should make sure that you have all of the information you need to make the best decision as to which tile you should use. You definitely don’t want to end up with tile in your bathroom that you’re not happy with after a renovation. That’s pretty much just a waste of time and money!

  1. Use Your Dream Tile As Your Starting Point

You definitely have that dream tile that you have always wanted in your bathroom. Whether it’s that colored tile that will look stunning or that certain type of tile that just has a certain look to it, this is something you should keep in mind. Rather than risking not having that tile make the cut, make sure to use that as your starting point. That should be the tile that you most definitely have in the final design. From there, you can choose the other tiles that complement it best.

  1. Always Go With Only Up To 3 Different Tiles

Speaking of different tiles, you are probably going to want some texture in your bathroom by utilizing different styles of tiling. And that’s great! However, you don’t want to go over 3 different tiles in your bathroom. If you do, then it’s just going to look like an eclectic mess that no one wants to go into. It’s best to have a few quality piece of tiling than going all out with many different styles!

  1. Use One Tile As Your Main Event

You should have one show-stopping tile that is your main event in the bathroom. This is the area of your bathroom with tile that’s going to make whoever goes into your bathroom really say “wow”. Make sure to shop around and see which tile says that to you! Then you can use it as your main event in the bathroom.

  1. Think About Maintenance

You should really think about the maintenance of tile in your bathroom before you start installing it. Tile takes quite a bit of maintenance, tile grout and cleaning, depending on what kind of tile you choose. For example, porcelain tiles are much easier to clean than others. That’s going to save tons of time in the future when you don’t have to spend hours scrubbing your tiles just to get them clean.

  1. Think About The Size Of Tiles

And lastly, it’s important for you to think about the size of tiles that you’re using. Many people think that they only have one size of tile they can use and that’s the normal square tile. However, that’s definitely not true and definitely not smart if you want a great design in your bathroom. It’s a great trend right now to mix up the size of your tiles to create some contrast. You can use smaller tiles on the floor of your shower and couple them with larger tiles on the sides of the shower, for example. This is one of the best ways that you’re going to provide more depth to your bathroom and make it look fantastic.

And there you go! When you’re thinking about getting new tile in your bathroom or using it as part of your current bathroom renovation, then you have got to remember the above tips and tricks. These are the things you definitely need to know in order to pick the right tile for your bathroom.

Finding the Right Shipping Container for Home Storage

Shipping containers can be a great home storage alternative. They can store bikes, unused furniture, equipment, and can be used as a workshop. They’re good for the environment if you’re recycling used containers, you don’t have to rent a storage unit, and you can take the container with you if you’re thinking of moving somewhere else.

When it comes to finding shipping containers for home storage, there are a lot more options than you might think. Shipping containers come new and used, in various dimensions, can be bought locally or internationally, and in a variety of colours. These are all options to consider when you’re looking at buying a container for your home.

Where can I get shipping containers?

Shipping containers can be purchased from an increasingly large number of suppliers. If you want to minimise transport (and environmental impact), many local companies have shipping containers for sale, and there’s a large variety available on eBay.

New containers can also be bought locally and internationally from places like Triton Container Sales and Shanghai Metal. Email around and try to get the best quote for you.

What shipping container size is best for me?

Shipping container dimensions vary depending on their intended use. The most common sizes are 20ft and 40ft, but 10ft and 8ft containers can also be found.

Though the length of these models may change, the standard width for all sizes is 2.35 metres, and the standard height is 2.38 metres. If you want something taller, you can opt for a high cube container, which has the same width and length as other containers, but totals at 2.69 metres high.

If you’re planning on adding insulation or extra flooring to your container, a high cube container may be necessary to make up for lost space.

If you want a container that’s affordable and easily transportable, a 10ft or 8ft container may be the best option for you. The average storage unit is 10ft x 10ft, so you’ll have slightly less space at 10ft x 7.7ft or 8ft x 7.7ft, but you won’t have to pay a monthly rate, and you’ll have the convenience of having the container on your own property.

If you’re looking for something bigger, check out the 20ft containers or 40ft containers. The cost is around a thousand dollars more for a 20ft over a 10ft, just a few hundred dollars on top of that for a 40ft container. Keep in mind, if you’re planning to transport the container in the future, or refurbish it, larger containers may cost more in the long run.

Should I buy used?

Used shipping containers can be significantly cheaper than new ones, and have environmental benefits, but they can also cause problems down the line. The floorboards in used containers are usually treated with hazardous chemicals and pesticides that could be dangerous when you’re exposed to them. The paint used on containers can also be dangerous as they’re often lead based and contain chemicals like phosphorus.

You may be able to track the serial number of your container to find out if it has been treated or not, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to check if the container was used to transport harmful items/chemicals. If you’re adamant you want to purchase used containers for storage over a new one, you can strip the paint and remove the original flooring. This can cost money and time, but overall it will still be cheaper than a new container.

Make sure you send out emails to several different options to get the best quote for you (and include delivery costs in your email). Carefully plan what container you want before you make the purchase, and decide you’re willing to buy used. The price of transporting containers from the supplier to your property may not be too costly, but shipping the container back to the supplier can be. This means returns are often out of the question.

5 Reasons Why a Farmer Needs a Winch

For most of us, a winch is something we use to pull a vehicle that is bogged down or incapable of movement for any reason, and while that is one use for a vehicle mounted winch, there are many other benefits to owning a mobile winch. If you are one of the majority who are unaware of the various uses a winch can provide, here are just a few of the reasons why a farmer needs a winch.

  1. Remove Rocks and Large Objects – Sometimes a boulder will become lodged between the axle and the back wheel of a tractor, and rather than spending time with a hammer trying gently to knock it out, simply wrap the winch cable around it and pull it out. This can also work for big rocks that are causing an obstruction to a pathway or track, and if you need some solid power to pull out a tree root, the winch could be just the tool for the job. For those who are not farmers, there might still come a time when you need such equipment, and due to the high cost, winch hire is the best solution, and by dealing with an established supplier, you can be sure of expert advice and service.

  1. Vehicle Assists – All farmers experience bogged down tractors and trailers, and with a winch attached to the front of a vehicle, it is easy to pull the equipment out. Of course, you would require something heavy duty, and by fixing it onto the front of a vehicle, you have the ideal mobile power unit that can be very versatile.

  1. Fence Tightening – By attaching one end of wire fencing to the winch, you can slowly create tension and hold that while nails are driven into the fence posts, giving you excellent tensions, even through long stretches. Pipeline pulling can also make laying out irrigation lines a simple process, and with minimum effort, your lines are ready for connection.

  1. Aligning Heavy Trailers – If you are on your own, it can be frustrating trying to line up a trailer to the connector, but with a winch, you can easily accomplish the task. A farmer might need to move a hay trailer a few metres, and rather than having to hook it up with the tractor, the winch can move it within a few minutes.

  1. Lifting Solutions – With a secure overhead pulley, a winch can be used as a hoist, although you would have to ensure the weight limit is adequate, and also that the pulley fixing can take the weight. Some farmers have been very creative in how they use a vehicle winch, and when you consider it as a mobile power unit, there are many situations when that can be utilised in a farming environment.

If you thought a vehicle winch was for towing only, the farming community have made the best use of this ingenious invention in more ways than one, and it is a vital addition to any farm.

How to Extend the Life of your Septic System

The most common septic system problems that require repair are broken or clogged pipes, drain field failure, and cracked tanks.

The results of these problems can be inconvenient and even devastating for homeowners – not to mention very expensive. Septic repairs can cost as much as $2,000 and the price tag for a replacement system is much more.

The good news is that you take many precautions to protect your septic system and keep it running at peak levels for years to come.

Routine Pumping and Inspections

Having your septic tank pumped and cleaned by a professional every 3-5 years will prevent sludge, oils and other solids from building up in the tank and, thus, lowering the chance of clogs and overflowing.

Similarly, a yearly inspection is a good way to monitor the performance of your septic system and identify problems before they become big and costly.

To stay up to date on septic tank pumping and inspections, keep a detailed record of service, repairs and any other maintenance performed on your system.

Be kind to your drain field

Your drain or leach field consists of a network of pipes that drain into the soil, which then safely removes toxics, bacteria, and other pollutants from the surface.

To maintain the drain field, only plant grass near it and the septic system as deep roots from trees and shrubs can cause damage. Additionally, never drive or park a vehicle or 4-wheeler on the drain field, and do not pour concrete or asphalt over it.

Be careful what you put down the drains

If it can be put in the trash do no dispose of it through your septic tank. The more solids that go into your septic tank, the more it will have to be pumped, and the more likely it will clog and overflow.

Never put any of the following items down your drains or toilets:

  • Food scraps
  • Grease and cooking oils
  • Coffee grinds
  • Paper towels
  • Facial tissues
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tampons
  • Dental floss
  • Cigarette butts
  • Disposable diapers and baby wipes
  • Condoms

Use less water, ifs possible

There are many ways to reduce your water usage and lessen the saturation on your drain field and its soil. Consider the following:

  • Turn off water when washing hands with soap and when brushing teeth
  • Install water saving features on shower heads and faucets
  • Use proper load settings when doing laundry
  • Repair leaky pipes and faucets, and running toilets
  • Run dishwashers only when full
  • Lessen time spent in the shower

Beware of garbage disposals, hot tubs, and water purification systems

Garbage disposals, which shred food scraps, grease, and oils increase the amount of sludge and solids in the septic tank. Make sure your tank is big enough to handle the added mass or avoid using the disposal.

Draining large quantities of hot water from a hot tub or whirlpool into a septic system can overload the tank and drain field, and disrupt the system’s performance. Let the water cool and dispose of it in your lawn, away from the system and drain field.

Similarly, water purification systems pump large quantities of water into the septic system at once and can damage it. Be careful using these water softeners.

There’s no guaranteeing how long your septic system will operate at the top level. But following these tips will be sure to prolong its life and save you frustration and money.

What your Front Door Colour Says About You

Your front door is a place to greet visitors, welcome friends and invite outsiders in. A cheerful colour can illuminate your front porch and turn a drab setting into a charming spot. Choosing the right colour for your front door can be tough, there’s just too many to choose from, but it is one of the most important decision to make when renovating a home.

Architect, property expert and television host of Amazing Spaces, George Clarke said:

Your front door is the face of your home – it’s the first thing people see, so don’t follow the crowd, design your own and really go to town”.

“With your front door you have more freedom to express yourself perhaps picking a colour that you wouldn’t normally choose for your interior walls. Changing the front door is a quick win but a real game changer in terms of how people perceive you and your home”.

Credible phycologists have linked specific colours and hues with specific emotions and personalities – they are feelings and they evoke and what they say about you. That means your front door is saying something, too! Find out if your front door is giving emulating your personality, it might be time to grab the paint and brush.

Black

A black front door tells the world that you are quite serious in your outlook on life. As soon as you cross that black threshold you are entering a space of order and control, full of elegance with everything in its proper place.

It is a popular choice of colour that shouts sophistication and wealth, it is a great choice that works well on lots of different types of homes.

White

White is traditionally associated with purity and calm. Just like the clean lines it creates, white doors begin a guest’s journey into a simple and organised home décor.

A crisp white door is for those who are (or would like to be) organised, neat and clean. Giving the impression that you and your home appreciate serenity.

Red

Throughout history, this colour has always been referred as a signing of welcoming others in “Hello”, “Look at me”, “Yes, do come in”. Red is a bold choice for those who are not afraid of standing out on the street, grabbing the attention of those passing by. You enjoy the attention and try to live life to the fullest, it goes hand-in-hand with entertaining.

Fun fact, did you know that if you lived in Scotland, painting your front door red signified that you had paid off your mortgage?

Orange

It might seem outlandish to some, but orange is a surprisingly popular choice for a front door colour. It is the perfect combination of clean lines with a jolt of colour, symbolising wisdom warmth and a warm invitation into a safe space, whilst giving a bold impression that you are also a social butterfly who likes to leave a lasting impression and you enjoy a good challenge. Yellow

For those who don’t mind standing out, a bright yellow door will bring energy, positivity and joy to your front door. It is a happy colour that screams “Welcome!” and that you’re not afraid of standing out.

This colour is not for the faint-hearted but it tells passers-by that you are definitely an optimist who doesn’t like things to be grey (although, interestingly, yellow and grey do work well together).

Green

An inspiring colour like green is a popular choice for front doors. The colour suggests that those residing in it care about their home and their community.

The colour suggests that traditional values lie within and that its residents are ambitious who strive for personal betterment. It colour is also closely associate with money, finances and growth.

Blue

Like all colours, blue comes in a variety of shades and hues, all giving a different meaning.

A mid to dark blue signifies serenity, stability and calmness, telling visitors that your home is a place of refuge. Many Georgian properties have rich blue doors which are paired well with white painted houses or grey stoned properties.

A light blue is a more unusual shade for a front door, but is a popular choice on many homes by the coast. It tells people that you like things to be fresh, bright and that you are very much an outside person who likes to bring the outside in.

Grey

Although it is not traditionally associated with front doors, grey has become ever more popular, particularly on the front of modern homes.

Dark or pale, it tells people that you are sophisticated, reserved, and like to keep an eye on current trends. A house with a smart grey front door is a very stylish choice and your guests can be expected to be entertained when they step inside.

Four features to enhance your front door

1. Clean lines

Don’t overdo it – keep the front of your home simple and symmetrical. Split the plants out equally on either side of your entrance, whilst any outdoor lighting usually looks better in pairs.

2. Flower Power

You can enhance the entrance of your home with stylish hanging baskets, planters and window boxes etc. Using flowers and shrubs often complements the colour and style of your front doors also.

3. Keep it clutter-free

Keep your doors, pathways, steps and open porches clean. Similarly, if you have a doormat – keep that free from dirt, leaves and other pieces of debris.

4. The details make a difference

Letterboxes, doorknobs, knockers and other door accessories are a good investment. Stick to high quality and door furniture that blends the style and age of your property.

Furnace Heating Problems and How to Resolve Them

There may be this idea that furnaces only develop problems sometime between September and November. The truth is that that often the problem is already there. However, after standing idle during the Summer months, when the furnace reignites, so do the problems with it. When Fall arrives, it may seem to be Christmas come early for the furnace repair companies, but, most furnace breakdowns are preventable.

There are some problems that you can fix yourself, but don’t assume the moment that you have resolved a problem that there wasn’t a second underlying problem as well. So, try a few of the obvious checks first:

  • Check the air filter. If once the furnace has been turned on, it fails to blow air for very long, the probability that the air filter is clogged will be high. Dust build up reduces the flow of air through the system and often is the cause for the furnace shutting off. Ask the supplier or the main local servicing business which air filters are the correct ones for your model of furnace. Should this turn out to be the problem, it would be advisable to book a non-emergency cleaning and safety check, so that any soot in the heat exchanger can be removed.
  • Check the thermostat. One of the most frequent reasons that the furnace appears not to be working is because changes were made to the thermostat when the Spring or Summer arrived. And it was forgotten about. Programmable thermostats are where this is most likely to occur. If the program was changed at the turn of the seasons, all you really must do is change it back, or reprogram it according to your needs. Verify that the thermostat is set to heat, rather showing off or air.
  • Check the circuit breaker. It may seem like a no brainer but a lot of people fail to check this when their furnace won’t fire up after a long summer. It’s possible that the circuit breaker was turned off turning the summer when someone thought they were turning a light on or off. This simple check could save you the cost of a call out fee.

The above three issues can be easily resolved by a little headwork and some DIY. There are times, however, when it becomes a good idea to call in the professionals.

  • The ignition. You won’t find a pilot light in a modern furnace. An intermittent pilot light or hot surface ignition is usually the ignition methods found in furnaces that are installed today. Because they don’t burn a small amount of gas consistently they are far more efficient. The most common form of ignition is the hot surface igniter. This works in a similar way to the filament in a light bulb. As the thermostat senses, a drop in temperature the filament heats up. In the same way that a light bulb won’t last forever neither does the filament on an igniter. Once this is worn you will need a technician to repair the problem.
  • Burner needs adjustment. There are times when despite the ignition being in fine fettle, the furnace simply won’t light up. This sometimes happens when the burner is dirty. When the burner is dirty efficiency drops and can do so dramatically until the problem is addressed. To establish that this is, in fact, the problem the furnace will need to be opened and examined by a professional. Gas appliances present a huge risk for gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have had the foresight to take out a maintenance plan this kind of repair will be covered.
  • Belt and blower failure. When you can hear a loud high-pitched noise coming from your furnace, you may discover that you have a problem with your blower and the belts. Sometimes this can be easily resolved by some simple lubrication. If the belt is worn it will require replacement. Both circumstances will require a qualified technician to take a look and undertake the repair.
  • Lack of maintenance. The single greatest reasons why the annual rush to repair furnace failure has become a clockwork occurrence is because of the lack of maintenance. When annual furnace inspections are scheduled during the year, most problems can be avoided. If you decide to have it done in the late Summer while it’s still warm, you are less likely to have to wait to get it done. There are also plenty of gas maintenance contracts out there, that includes an annual check helping you to keep your furnace functional. This keeps those nasty cold day surprises away.

Pricing your repairs will depend on where you live. The cost of bringing parts in and the distance the contractor must travel will influence the price. Smaller repairs cost around the $100 mark, but beware serious problems can cost as much as $900!

Learn more and check out a detailed guide on how much a furnace repair costs.

Getting Your Home Ready For the Winter Months

Getting your home ready for the winter months is always a wise move. The winter time poses different challenges and having your home winterized will help prevent damage. Also, having a home that is winter ready means that you will save money on your electric bill. Below we are going to learn some tips that will help you get started on the right path.

Consider Hiring a Professional House Cleaning Service

Keeping the outside of your home clean is just as important as keeping the inside clean. But not all homeowners have the necessary tools to get the job done right. Pressure washing a home can be a difficult job that requires powerful machines, long ladders, and other items. While you could go out and buy all these items, it would probably be cheaper to hire someone to do the work for you. Outdoor cleaning companies or handy people that have these tools will be glad to help make the outside of your home look wonderful with a professional pressure cleaning.

Seal Up Those Windows

Windows that are older often have cracks around them, which can let cold air get in and hot air out. This energy loss can really drive up the cost of your heating bill. A quick and easy way to fix this problem is by caulking up those cracks with a sealant. By sealing up windows, it will save you tons of money and your home will be cozier. As a homeowner, you can do this yourself without the need to hire anyone to help you. Caulking and the gun used to apply it can be purchased at your local big box hardware store for just a few dollars. The only other tool that you will need is a moist rag and a ladder, which you probably already have. Caulking is a simple task that can really help save you a lot of money over the years.

Clean Your Gutters

If you have gutters installed, you will need to clean them out before the cold weather comes. Cleaning out gutters will get rid of any trash and debris that has built up over the summer months. This will help them flow freely and will prevent water from building up inside them. When water is allowed to build up, ice can form and weigh down the gutter, causing damage to the entire system. Having a clean gutter system will also help prevent water damage, which can be a serious issue, so make sure that before it gets too cold outside, you clean those gutters out. If you don’t feel like doing the job yourself, you can always hire a company to do the work for you.

These simple tips will help get your home ready for the colder months. Always remember that a little prevention will help protect your home. On the other hand, if you fail to prepare, you just might find yourself out in the cold doing repairs. So why not stay nice and warm in your home this winter by getting it ready in the Fall?

What to Consider Buying a New Furnace

It happens, In the same way, any household appliance eventually sees its last breath so does the furnace. However, it is recommended that before making the decision to spend on a new furnace to consider a few things. Parting with your hard-earned cash can become an emotional experience.

Not so fast

Do you really need a new furnace? Get a professional to come and have a look and establish whether what you’re dealing with is the need for replacement or the need for some thorough maintenance. Take into mind factors such as how efficient the furnace will be after repair and maintenance compared to a new one. This will give you an idea as to whether it’s cost effective to repair or place.

Avoid the lowest quotation.

When the lowest quotation is significantly lower than the others, avoid the contractor. There will be some difference in the quotation depending on the make and model of the furnace as well as the distance the contractor must travel to install the new furnace. A major difference in cost statistically indicates that there are more likely to be repairs and work done to poor installation when the initial cost was very low.

Consider the contractors mark up.

Contractors make their mark up in different ways. A 95% furnace costs the contractor between $300 and $500 more. If the added cost to the mark up is negligible then the more expensive furnace is justifiable. If the mark up is massive, don’t do it. It won’t pay for itself in its lifetime.

Efficiency.

This is a tough one. The more efficient a furnace is, the more complex it will be and therefore more expensive, add to that when it breaks down it will be more expensive to repair. A good middle ground is a 92% furnace with an ECM motor.

Ask for proposals.

Get a few different contractors to provide a proposal with everything that’s included, including the make and model of the furnace that you are being sold. This empowers you to compare the proposals and decide to surround the related costs. Ask the contractor to include any venting changes and plumbing or electrical work that will need to be done.

Choose a major brand.

Going with a major brand or one of their subsidiaries means that there will be parts available and that contractors will be familiar with the machinery. If the brand is new to you, don’t simply believe what the contractor tells you about it. Do some research and check what is being said about. Ask the contractor questions. There may be a special reason why the contractor thinks a certain furnace is better for your needs. You can then follow up your research on that too.

Size of the Furnace.

In the old days, size mattered. Because of the changes in how furnaces are made and new breakthroughs in their construction, it is now very possible that the furnace your purchase will be smaller than the one you already have. Smaller furnaces can heat as well as the older large furnaces so carefully check the size and efficiency ratings of your furnace before deciding on which one to purchase. Size does still matter, except now you’ll be looking for something smaller.

Gas or electric.

You can buy a furnace to run on either gas or electricity. Economically speaking running your furnace on natural gas is the least expensive method. There are other considerations, however. Furnaces that have an electric heat pump, can double up as an air conditioner during the summer. Electric furnaces do on the whole cost more to run than their gas counterparts.

Variable speed blowers.

With a variable speed blower, your furnace will adjust the speed at which the blowers function to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house. This increases energy efficiency and the fuel cost to run the blower. It also avoids situations where the household can get too hot, too quickly.

Consider zoning.

Homes that have thermostats in different areas of the house will be better controlled. Some areas of a house are cooler than others and with single thermostat parts of the house are likely to be either too cool or too hot. When the house is zoned, the temperature is controlled for each zone, thus controlling the need to raise or lower the heating. This is paid back in energy efficiency and again the costs will more than likely repay themselves over the years.

When considering all these factors, the single most effective thing that you can do is to ask for references or find a good HVAC contractor by word of mouth. Look up reviews in local directories and ask your friends or neighbours. Locally you may find one or more persons that recommend the same contractor.

Simple Ways to Create More Space in Your RV

For many people across the country, owning an RV provides them with the freedom and flexibility to travel whenever they want. RV’s provide a unique traveling experience that can be enjoyed by all age groups with many different interests. With that said, there is one thing that most RV owners can agree on, and that’s the fact they could always use more space inside the vehicle.

Whether you lack storage, prep, or entertaining space, there are always tricks you can use that will help you to create more space in your RV. Here’s a look at some of the simplest space-saving tips.

The Right Kind of Furniture

If you are trying to furnish your RV using the same type of furniture you’d buy for your home, then you’re definitely going to run into space issues. Instead, opt for furniture that has been specifically designed and built for RV’s. Special recliners for RVs are great examples of suitable furniture. These are wall huggers, so they don’t take up as much space. Look at cup holders, too, so you don’t need a side table. Many of them offer a modular design so you can easily install them in your RV.

When you purchase furniture that is made for RVs you won’t be sacrificing on comfort, but it does save on space.

Consider Rear Storage

If it’s storage space you’re after, there is no reason you even have to make changes to the interior of your RV. Nowadays, you can easily pick up a rear storage unit that will provide you with extra space. Just make sure that the unit doesn’t get in the way of the tow, which means you may need a hitch extender. This is perfect for storing items you don’t need so much access to.

Be Creative with Your Use of Space

Sometimes, finding more space requires you to look at things in a more creative manner. This means looking past the shelves and drawers that your RV offers and finding other places you can use for storage. The wall and ceiling can offer you additional storage space that helps to get things out of the cupboards and off the tables, providing more space overall.

Suggestions can include hanging baskets for your fresh fruit; storing your spices in magnetic tins on the wall; a hanging mesh net for magazines/toys/dirty clothes; and wall mounting items such as your broom and dustpan, vacuum, flashlights, and anything else you can think of.

Stackable Storage Bins

Of course, storage bins are always a fabulous solution as you can store plenty of items in them, they can be stacked or stored under things, and you don’t have to worry about the items coming loose and rolling around.

Each of these tips is bound to create more space in your RV and will also help to create a more organized less cluttered feel in the space. This means you’ll have a whole bunch more space for relaxing, entertaining and enjoying your vacation.

Expand Your Construction Projects with B2B Collaborations

Building and construction are collaborative businesses. It takes a village, and it takes a collection of various professionals to get the job done. In the world of construction, Business to Business interaction can take on many different forms. Let’s take a look at some of them and the benefits they offer:

Contractors

A general contractor can simplify a builder’s life to such a large extent. The contracting business puts many services at the building site. Whether it’s your building, roofing, flooring or plumbing needs, the contractor can do it all. With the help of subcontractors who are experts in their field, construction happens seamlessly and without headaches. In interest of his business, the contractor will make sure that the work stays on schedule and gets done. From finding the right people for the job, to motivating them to stick to the schedule, he does it all. What’s more, services are covered by insurance, making the site safe in case of accidents and mishaps.

Software

Building software creators use their inventions to offer real-time help to contractors. From admitting initial bids on the property to figuring out budget concerns, planning rooms, scheduling tasks, noting contents of meetings- the software does it all. The benefits of this option are immense. Real time analysis and updating, lesser use of resources with more ease of corrections and emendations, collaborative efforts of all people in the situation- everything is possible with building software.

Mobile and Online Resouces

There are nifty mobile apps and other resources to use when you want to build or remodel. Thanks to the age of the internet, an owner can organize the plan, budget the construction according to their financial situation and also avail of the expertise of contractors to ensure a smooth process. From communication to a place to store documents and photographs, this app does it all.

Design

For many interior designers, their business brings introduces aesthetics to a living or work space. It’s good to have an expert eye advising the builder what would work and what wouldn’t. Plans will help the builder incorporate design aspects into the build. If it’s a remodeling job, then remodelers can also be found.

Materials

Concrete, bricks, mortar, wood, metal, nuts and bolts, rivets, nails, tools- the list of items required for the construction of a building is endless. Sometimes contractors source these materials for the client and the plan requirement. He will procure materials from reputed stores and at the best rates possible. This business to business works for both parties concerned. What’s more, replacements and replenishment is easier with an actual store than an online one.

Equipment

Just like materials, construction requires a whole host of equipment. Mixers, safety protocols, power tools, etc., can be easily procured from one central place.

Apart from all this, there are roofing, landscaping, security, waterproofing and green energy providers whose businesses help builders. Thus, the B2B tool has tremendous advantages for contractors and builders.

Garage Door Complete Buying Guide

If your garage door has finally gotten to the point where you need to replace it, you may be finding that trying to sift through the incredible variety of garage door manufacturers, styles, features, and colors is a daunting task.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve assembled a list of some of the more common garage door features and functionality you might want to look for in your next door.

Security

A frequent point of entry for burglars is the garage door usually because it’s an old garage door that isn’t designed with safety in mind. Many new doors now come with automatic locking functionality that locks the door once it is closed completely.

Safety

Garage doors typically operate by using torsion or extension springs to help balance the weight of the door. Doors that use extension springs may include a safety cable that runs through the springs, preventing the spring from breaking and sending broken pieces flying.

Additionally, many people have been injured by placing their fingers on the joints of a sectional door to pull it down. Many doors now include special pinch-resistant joints to help prevent this.

Weather

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or strong winds, investing in a wind-resistant garage door may be a wise decision.

These doors are specially reinforced and include a locking mechanism that helps prevent the door from being torn off or destroyed during a hurricane, allowing the wind to enter your home and blow your roof off.

Insulation

If your door doesn’t have insulation already, you have two options: Contact a local garage door service company near you, or you can install the insulation yourself. Installing insulation on your garage door can be done as a do-it-yourself job, but we recommend having it done professionally.

An experienced professional can install the insulation correctly and also make sure that your door is balanced correctly after the additional weight is added to the door.

Which Insulation Should I Buy?

There is a broad range of garage door insulation manufacturers including Owens-Corning. The main issue you should be concerned with is the insulation R-value. This is a term that indicates how resistant to heat flow a given piece of insulation is.

Heat moves easily from one area to another without anything to block it insulation acts to block heat and either keep it inside your home or outside of it. In simple terms, a higher R-value indicates a better insulator. Most garage door insulation kits range between 4 and 9 for the R-value whereas doors with insulation built in tend to range anywhere from 5 to 17.5 depending on the door material used.

Insulated Garage Door

You can also consider purchasing an insulated garage door if you want to upgrade your door at the same time, rather than trying to insulate your old garage door. The major garage door manufacturers including Wayne-Dalton and Clopay all offer a range of insulated garage doors to meet the varying needs and budgets of homeowners.

The less-expensive garage doors with insulation built-in tend to be constructed from wood or wood-composite, and the R-value will be correspondingly lower (6 or 7), whereas the best-insulated garage doors on the market currently are typically constructed with steel and have an R-value range from 13 to 17.5.

Wrought Iron Railings can Improve your Home’s Security

Wrought iron railings make a fantastic investment for your home. Not only do they make a brilliant aesthetic addition to the exterior of your home, separating your home from the neighbours’ house and surrounding buildings, they also add that all-important security value to your home.

Wrought iron railings are often thought to be old-fashioned exterior decoration, often used in the Victorian times and no longer having a place in society. However, this thought simply couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, wrought iron railings are more popular than ever!

If you weren’t sure, wrought iron has been slowly replaced by mild steel and is now, as a building material, no longer used. However, the term ‘wrought iron’ is still used in the industry to refer to the alternative mild steel products. Essentially, mild steel shares exactly the same qualities as wrought iron and is used to manufacture, what we call, wrought iron railings.

Wrought iron railings, although made from mild steel, are resistant to rot and weather damage and are, in addition, impeccably strong. What’s more, the railings are available in various designs.

This is why wrought iron railings are so popular. They work well in both contemporary and traditional properties, and offer excellent value for money.

Wrought iron railings can make your home safer

Whether you are looking to protect your home from burglars, avoid any unwanted pet (or child!) escapes or would simply like to feel more secure in your home, wrought iron railings are undoubtedly an ideal solution.

Advantages of wrought iron railings compared to other materials

The ideal advantage of wrought iron railings, in comparison, to wooden fences and aluminium and UPVC railings is, ultimately, that wrought iron (or mild steel) is much heavier and more hard-wearing than these other fence materials. Essentially, wrought iron railings offer a higher level of security in comparison to wood and UPVC, what’s more, they’re guaranteed to last.

Not only are wrought iron railings extremely durable and withstand the elements, they do not differ far in price, in comparison to wood and UPVC. Therefore, if you are looking for the most secure railings possible for your property, wrought iron railings are the ultimate choice.

Wrought iron railings are available as fences, wall top railings, balustrades and more. Therefore, whether you are looking for wrought iron railings for a flat, detached house, beach hut, mansion or other, you will find wrought iron railings that will offer security for your property.

How Can You Keep the Tile-Flooring Clean and Shining?

If you are going to be putting in new tile floor in your home or you currently have tile floor in some areas of your home, then you’re probably thinking a lot about how you’re going to keep it clean. Tile can be pretty tough to keep clean, especially when you have kids or animals running through your home. That’s why you should take the steps right now to learn how to keep it clean before you install new tile on your floor. Keep reading down below to learn more about how you can do just that and ensure your house is sparkling clean at all times!

  1. Use Doormats or Other Rugs to Keep Them Clean

Of course, one of the best ways that you’re going to keep your new flooring clean is to use doormats and rugs throughout your home. These are going to pick up any extra dirt that’s thrown around or dust that may be on the floor. Then, you can easily clean them outside and get rid of that dirt. You should make sure that you put these doormats and rugs at heavy traffic areas of your home to ensure that it catches most of the dirt that comes through.

  1. Be Sure to Always Use Coasters, No Matter What

In addition to tile flooring, you might have tile on your coffee tables or other countertops that you might be using. That’s why you should always be using coasters whenever you have tile countertops or coffee tables. This is going to ensure that you have no trouble with stains on the tiles.

  1. Clean Up Any Spills That Happen Immediately

You should ensure that you are always cleaning up any spills that happen right after they happen. This will help ensure that the spills don’t have the chance to stain the floor. Tiles can easily stain whenever a dark liquid is left on there for too long. Whenever someone in your house spills something, just have a cloth nearby that you clean it up with! If you want some serious cleaning, then think about using a power washer that you might find over at Wash Wisely!

  1. Use A Soft Sponge Whenever You’re Cleaning

The best thing you can do is have a soft sponge around that you can clean off the tile with. You should be cleaning your tile on a regular basis to ensure that everything is clean and nothing stays on there for long. You can just buy some liquid tile cleaner that you soak the sponge in and clean off the floor.

  1. Polish the Tiles on A Regular Basis

If you really want your floor to shine like the hotels that you dream about, then you should be looking to polish your tiles on a regular basis. You will have to do this multiple time with a high-quality polish. However, this is going to seriously make your floor shine like never before!

  1. Use Tile Sealers

If you are going to have tile floorings, then you should know that they can stain pretty easily. The liquids can get down into the tiles and cause some serious discoloration. And this is no good if you want to keep a floor that will impress anyone who comes by. Make sure to use tile sealers that will provide some extra protection whenever there are spills of dark liquids that could stain.

There you have it! When you’re thinking about having tile flooring in your home or thinking of new ways to clean up your current flooring, then you’ve got to keep these tips in mind. They are going to ensure that your tile flooring looks super shiny like the floors of those 5-star hotels you dream about.

Step by Step Guide on How to Use a Motorized Tiller

There are a lot of people out there who have purchased a tiller recently and are finding it quite challenging to use the machine. Well, unlike the traditional methods of gardening, using motorized tiller reduces the amount of energy and time that you need to put in to decorate or remake your garden. The entire process is quite easy, and can be explained in the following simple steps:

  1. Unpacking the Product

This seems to be the most obvious step to begin with, but there are a lot many factors to take into consideration while unpacking the package in which the tiller comes. As many of you may already know, the handling of the product that you order from online websites is a concern, especially when it comes to machines. Therefore, it is important to check for any damages in the body of the tiller like bending of the parts, etc.

  1. Going Through the Instruction Manual

There are a few brave explorers who simply skip this step, and decide to build the entire thing on their own. The problem in this journey of adventure is that, if at any point something goes wrong, then there is a chance you might not know how to proceed further. This is not the only case that is possible, because sometimes, users assemble the entire machine, but in the end, some parts remain. At this point, after the assembly of the machine is done, it would be quite hard to disassemble the entire structure again for adding one important piece. Therefore, it is quite essential to follow the instructions provided in the manual. Also, there are other documents that you must check along with the manual, i.e. warranty card, etc.

  1. Assembling the Tiller

Now, after you are clear with the instructions, and know how to proceed further, you may start assembling the parts of the tiller. In most cases, the blade and the engine/motor compartment comes as a one single unit. The rest of the parts, such as the handle, power cord, wheels, etc. have to be attached by the user. During this step, different types of tillers call for different techniques. For example, the type of tillers which come with foldable handles are a bit more complicated than simple type of tillers. These different types of tillers, and their reviews at TillerAdvisor.com, and many other such websites.

  1. First Run of Your Tiller

Now, we are quite done with the theoretical part, and it’s time to check the performance of the tiller. After making sure that you have assembled the machine properly, connect it to a power source, i.e. electricity in the case of electric tillers, etc. The very first run of your tiller will tell you quite a lot about its performance and durability.

  1. Checking for Performance Issues and Defects

Even though users hardly face any design defects or performance issues, there might be exceptions. Now, suppose if you find a particular defect in the functioning of the tiller, then you have the option of availing your warranty, if it is a manufacturing defect. In such cases, it is important to take action as early as possible.

  1. Maintenance

Well, like in the case of every modern machinery, tillers also have to undergo a maintenance from time to time. But the amount of maintenance required in each tiller depends on the type of tiller that you are using. For example, in the case of tillers that work on fuel, regular maintenance is required. On the other hand, in the case of electric tillers, very less maintenance is required. Also, make sure to have a good supply of spare parts and fuel additives like oil mix, etc. depending on the type of tiller that you are using.

6 Tips to Reuse Household Items to Save The Environment

We all should want to save the environment however we can. It’s up to all of us to take individual responsibility and get out there to do what we can to act sustainably every day. And that’s even super simple to do in your own home! All you have to do is look around and see what kinds of household items you have laying around that you can reuse so that they don’t end up back in the landfills where they’ll stay for thousands of years. Keep reading down below to learn about the top reusable household items that you should know about.

  1. Glass Jars and Containers

The first thing that you can reuse out of your home is all of those glass jars and containers that you go through on a daily basis. If you’re not going to recycle these, then there are plenty of ways that you can use them in your own home. For example, those spaghetti sauce jars or jars of jelly can be used as regular glasses to drink out of. You can also turn them into plant holders for any small plants that you want to grow inside. Try to think of other ways that you can use them throughout your home!

  1. Any Kind of Plastic Containers

There are tons of creative ways that you can use plastic containers throughout your home, rather than throwing them out or recycling them. Plastic stays on the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years, since it’s not bio-degradable. That means that this should be your priority #1. You can use plastic bottles as bird-feeders, as plant holders, or just re-use them to drink water out of! You can also discover more here about where to get your next saw from that you can use around your house when you get rid of all those plastic containers.

  1. Newspapers, Magazines, And Paper Bags

There are absolutely plenty of ways that you can use all of that paper in your life and turn it into something that’s useful or beautiful. You can weave newspaper onto a basket for a newspaper-mache basket. You can use all of those magazines and turn them into a work of art or a dream board. Think outside the box with this one and you’re going to get some wonderful creations going that are both practical and beautiful!

recycle

  1. Clothes, Towels, And Bedding

Be sure to never throw out those old clothes, towels, or bedding that you don’t use anymore. Many people might think that there’s no way that these are going to be useful in the future when they’re past their age, but that’s definitely not true. All you need to do is cut them up and you have plenty of rags that you can use to clean your house with. Or you can make them into a new quilt by stitching them all together!

  1. Seeds

If you are someone who gardens, then why would you not take advantage of the extra seeds that you might have? Let a couple of your plants go to seed and you will be able to save those seeds for the next season. All you need to do is just let them go to seed and put them in plastic bags that are labeled with what kind of see they are.

  1. Laundry Waste

Did you know that those old dryer sheets that you’ve used are also useful when cleaning up dog and cat hair around the house? They are perfect for dusting around, as well. This is a great way to reuse a household product that we know you use all of the time.

There you have it! Each of these points are going to help you use more of the household items around your home that you might have thrown out anyway.

10 DIY Tips to Restore Damaged Furniture

When it comes to restoring your old and damaged furniture, this can be quite a challenge for many people. This is especially true if you’re not particularly an expert in dealing with furniture and making it brand new again. If you want to do this yourself, then there are some important tips that you need to know that we’re going to go through down below. Make sure to follow along and you’ll learn everything you need to know about restoring damaged furniture.

  1. Assess Out the Finish with Mineral Spirits

The first thing that you’re going to need to do before you get started is to assess your furniture’s finish with mineral spirits. This is going to help you determine what exact steps you need to take when restoring this wood piece. Don’t worry – this isn’t going to harm the finish of your furniture. It’s just going to show you what it’s going to look like with a simple layer of spray on finish.

  1. Be Sure to Clean It Up

The next thing that you’re going to have to do is clean up your furniture a bit. Don’t be afraid to take some soap and water and clean off that old dirt and grime that’s been stuck on the surface for years. Scrub hard to get rid of all that gunk and you’ll be surprised at how great your furniture already looks after you finish.

  1. Fix the White Rings

There are some helpful facts out there when it comes to repairing your furniture. One of the best ones comes when you have those white rings on wooden furniture. You want to start off removing them by layering some petroleum jelly on them to sit overnight. This oil is going to help reduce the visibility of the rings and make them less noticeable right away.

  1. Scrape Off the Paint Without Hurting the Finish

If you are dealing with some random splatters of paint on your furniture piece, then it’s OK to scrape off that paint without worrying about any damage to the finish. You can do this by taking a straightedge razor, wrapping some masking tape around the end, and scraping off the paint that way. That’s going to get rid of the paint, but do no harm to your furniture.

  1. Replace the Missing Wood: Applying Epoxy

Next up, fixing the missing wood in your table or chair is going to be easy with some epoxy putty. The great thing about this epoxy is that you’re going to be able to mold it into the shape of the wood and ensure that it looks just like the missing wood.

  1. Replacing the Missing Wood and Finishing Epoxy

Once you have applied the epoxy and let it harden, you can go ahead and sand it away so that it fits the rest of the wood. On top of that, you will be able to add finish to it.

  1. Restore the Color

Using some gel stain is going to do wonders to the color of your piece of furniture. Just wipe some gel stain onto the surface of your furniture and you’re going to see an immediate improvement in the color.

  1. Fix Those Small Cracks

You can use some fill pencils to fill in those cracks that you might have from old nails or just aged wood.

  1. Get Rid of Any Dents You Might Have

A great DIY trick for getting rid of dents in your furniture is to just wet them a little bit. When you add water to wood, those wood fibers are going to expand and bring that dent back to its original shape. How easy is that?

  1. Renew the Luster

The last thing that you’ve got to do is get a fresh coat of finish on there. This is going to help protect the surface of your furniture and give it that shine that you’ve been looking for all along.

Each of these points are going to help you get your furniture back to where it was when you first bought it.

5 Tips for Sprucing up your Garden this Summer

Summertime and the living is easy… Just like the song, it is time to have family and friends over for a barbeque and spend some time outdoors in the warm summer sun. But your garden is looking a little sad after a long winter. So what can you do to get it looking great again and be proud to invite people over to enjoy what summer offers? Well there are a number of different ways to go about it.

It may seem a daunting task but there are a few easy things you could do to make your garden look great again and impress your guest for your first BBQ of the summer. So let’s have a look at five different ways to spruce up your garden and give it new life for summer.

1. Decorate trees with lights

Add a few extra hours to enjoy your new look garden in. How to do you accomplish this? Well, the best way is to string some lights on your tree. This will give your garden a lovely glow and allow you to spend even more time outside during the warm summer nights. What kind of lights would you need for this exercise? Wide angle LED mini string lights are considered the best and most popular for use outside to wrap around your tree trunks and branches.

2. Keep the lawn cut and trimmed

Another must do to get your garden in tip top shape for summer is, of course, cutting your lawn. This can be such a daunting proposition especially if you have quite a large garden. But it need not be a full day pushing a mower up and down in the hot sun. You can get an excellent riding lawn mower to make the task not only quick and easy but fun too.

3. Trim those hedges

Once the lawn is looking like a lovely green carpet, you will need to get those hedges neatened up. To accomplish this easily you should have a hedge trimmer. A hedge trimmer can be used to neaten up those hedges surrounding your now neatly mowed garden. You can trim branches of up to 3 to four inches with these great tools. Trim your hedges into all sorts of configurations to give your garden a formal look.

4. Impress your guests with your own vegetables

Growing your own vegetables will not only impress your guests but also save you lots of money, and it is so simple and easy to do. Plant your own carrots, tomatoes, lettuce or any other vegetable that you regularly consume. Chose a sunny location in your garden, make sure that you space your crops nicely and enrich your soil with compost, also ensure that the patch you have chosen has good drainage. Get your seeds from Amazon and voila, you will have your very own vegetables to serve to your guests.

5. BBQ grills

Who does not love a BBQ on a hot summers evening? Your garden is looking great, lawn has been mowed and looking as if it is a luxurious green carpet, hedges trimmed and the soft ambiance of lights spraying over your pristine garden making it look enchanted. Now all you need is a great BBQ grill to get the job done. There are many grills on the market but you can never go wrong with a Webber, the biggest name in BBQ grills. Everybody will recognize that you have a quality grill whether it is the Kettle Original or the Genesis Premium, it is the one to go with, no matter what kind of BBQ you are having.

Conclusion

Getting your garden in shape for summer need not be as much hard work as you thought. With a ride on lawn mower, great hedge trimmers, and some garden lights for night time illumination, your garden will be the envy of your neighbors, friends and family. Impress your guests with your own vegetables grown in your very own vegetable garden and then give them a BBQ they will talk about for a long time using your Weber BBQ grill. Summer only last so long, so enjoy every minute of it.

Looking For the Best Décor Ideas? Here’s How to Rock with Geode Décor

If you are looking for the best décor design for your home, you are not alone. This is an understandable obsession with most homeowners who are looking for ideas to make their homes more beautiful. Today, home décor goes beyond the aesthetics with many materials being used to make the living space healthier.

Whether you want a total overhaul of your home’s décor or you are struggling to find a décor idea that easily blends with the existing style, geode decor will work perfectly. This is the latest interior décor idea that is now rocking most homes and offices. Geode stone might not have been on your mind but the moment you look at the finished projects, you will instantly go for it.

A Closer Look at Geode Décor

When looking for décor ideas, there are many things to consider. Among these is the cost, ease of installation of the décor, maintenance, health consideration, beauty and versatility of your new décor. Geode stone has lately become a popular décor choice, as it is known not only to revolutionize the appearance of the space where it is used, but also, the minerals contained in the stone boost personal health and well-being of the users. This is a natural stone that is known to boost energy levels for anyone within the same room.

Exquisite Beauty for your Décor

There is more to Geode stone use in décor than its metaphysical quality. These stones are versatile and can be made into a variety of shapes. If you have tailored needs for your décor, you can use Geode stone structures that are made to your specifications. These stones bring an ethereal feel to your living space whether they have been used for the table tops or decorative accessories in your home.

The beauty of Geode decorative pieces is the fact that no one will have the same piece as you. The last thing you want when installing your home décor is to find the same idea replicated at your neighbor’s house. No one geode looks like the other and this means you can create a truly exceptional interior décor without breaking the bank. Geodes are easy to use and they bring instant color and liveliness to any type of space.

If you have always struggled to find the right décor for your home or even office, it is time to try geode stone. These decorative stones will become a focal point of your interior décor and visitors will always come up with questions about them. To complement the decorative pieces, you can add functional furnishings that are not only beautiful but also durable.

Whether you incorporate geodes in lighting fixtures or use them separately, the impact is instantly visible. It is possible to use an entire wall of geodes to create a magnificent living space or incorporate small geodes to your existing décor. They can be used in any room including dining, kitchen, bathrooms, study or any other space.

Go ahead and bring your house to life with exquisitely selected geodes. Your home will always be a delight to return to after a long day.

6 Easy Steps To Drain a Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters are not something you think about until something goes wrong. To safeguard against problems, we recommend cleaning them out every few months.

Draining and cleaning your hot water tank is not just easy, it is important. Over time, sediment builds up in the water heater, causing it to use more energy to heat water. Additionally, the buildup of sediment takes up space in your water heater, allowing less water to be heated. Regularly draining your water heater will ensure hot water at a low cost.

To help you out, we have listed an easy way you can drain your hot water heater.

Step 1: Start by turning the water supply off – both hot and cold.

Step 2: Then turn off your hot water heater. If you use a gas heater, you will need to change the thermostat mode to “pilot”. If you have an electric heater, cut off the electricity from the breaker box. In both cases, make sure that the water heater has been shut off completely to ensure safety.

(Note: Once you have switched off your gas/electric heater, you will have to wait overnight to make sure the water has cooled off completely. As draining hot water is dangerous, and might burn you.)

Step 3: Once the water has cooled down, attach a hose to the tank drain. It will be located near the bottom of the heater. Before you attach it, make sure that the other end of your hose is in an area where the water can drain easily.

Step 4: When you have secured the hose in its place, turn on the hot water tap on the upper level of your home. This will help in draining the water quickly.

Step 5: Open the drain valve on the water heater. This will allow the water to start draining. If the water is still hot or even warm use caution. We suggest wearing thick working gloves. Once the water has drained, turn on the cold water. This easy step will help in clearing out the sediment. Repeat the process until you see clean water running out. If you feel there is something in the way of the valve that is blocking water flow, it is likely sediment build up. If this is the case, call in a professional plumber.

Step 6: Once the tank is properly cleaned and drained, close the drain valve properly and remove the hose. Allow the water heater to fill up with cold water. Go back upstairs, and check the water. Once you see and feel the cold water flowing, close the tap. At this point, it is okay to turn the gas or electricity back on.

These six easy steps will help you keep your water heater tank clean and in good shape. Routinely draining the tank will extend its life and save money on gas/electricity costs. That is just the beginning, as there are endless benefits of keeping your hot water heater well maintained.

6 Ways You Can Spruce Up Your Kitchen on a Budget

An attractive and healthy-looking kitchen is one of the most striking spaces in the home. The condition of your kitchen can add to or subtract from the overall beauty and warmth of the apartment. That is why for many homeowners, the kitchen is the heart of the home.

But if your kitchen is looking worn and outmoded, there are several ways you can bring spruce it up for a modest cost. It takes just a little time, effort and creativity to bring a new life to your kitchen.

1. Repaint with a light, calming shade

Don’t just limit the repainting job to the wall, splash on some new coats on the cabinetry too. Using light and warm shades on the larger open walls and features of your kitchen is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to give your kitchen a quick and eye-catchy makeover.

To make the kitchen space more relaxing and inviting, the choice of color is important. So, avoid loud colours and go instead for a rich, light and calming shade that contrasts well with the ‘busy’ character of the kitchen.

Another creative idea to bring some color and personality to the kitchen is to hang some beautiful artworks or add dainty shelving display or soft furnishings. The good thing is that they can always be replaced or updated whenever you fancy a new look.

Also, getting vintage cookware and dresser with glass doors to showcase your favorite china can bring some charm and classic quality to your kitchen.

2. Make a statement with lights

You’ll be amazed at how much sparkle and vigor dramatic LED ceiling lighting can shed in your kitchen. Hang one or two oversized metal pendants over a table or an island to add extra beauty and give an industrial feel to the kitchen. It will also make that spot serve as a focal point for both task and mood lighting.

3. Buy new appliances

Bringing in new appliances (especially free standing devices) to the kitchen can give it a refurbished look, even if you don’t change the furniture. But you have to ensure it’s the right and needed appliances and they fit well into existing spaces.

It’s also important that you carefully choose the color of the appliances and lighting pendant to synchronize well with the overall new theme and personality of the kitchen and make the room appear larger and warmer.

4. Add a small island (if there’s space for it)

If you’ve got a little more space in your kitchen, consider a small island to serve a multi-purpose use, such as for small tasks, as a relaxing seating zone and mood lighting. You can also utilize this central spot to emphasize the new look and style of the kitchen.

5. Create a feature wall

As well as repainting, using wallpaper is a great way to add color and vibrancy to an old kitchen. You may choose to wall the entire kitchen or still achieve a similar stunning effect by covering a feature wall.

Don’t forget to choose wallpaper that is steam and heat resistant and specially designed for the kitchen.

6. Replace your cabinet doors and handles

If your cabinetry is old and outmoded, simply replacing the doors and handles can make them appear new and modern again, and add a bit of transformation to the kitchen.

You can even decide to incorporate some trendy styles with sleek silver chrome handles or try a mix-and-match with the wall and doors of your cupboards. And if you prefer a country home feel for your kitchen, using inexpensive wood or distressed doors can do the magic.

A Checklist of 8 Things to Do Before Moving into Your New Home

If well planned, moving into a new home can be a fun-filled experience, rather than a stressful one. There’s more to getting a new home address than splurging on that rare and expensive piece of artwork or the latest home gadget to beautify your new apartment.

Here’s a list of important 8 checklist boxes to mark before finally changing residence.

1. Change the keys.

You really can’t be too sure of who else has the key to your new apartment, regardless of what your realtor or new landlord tells you, can you? So to ensure you’re in fact the only person who has access into your home, along with the peace of mind that comes with it, go get new locks installed in your new home immediately.

2. Clean the house.

Yes, your new apartment most likely has been cleaned already; but can it be as if you’d done or supervised it yourself? Cleaning the house yourself is also a chance to use your preferred cleaners, detergents, chemical agents, and deodorants.

3. Call the exterminator to check and get rid of rodents and bugs.

Wherever humans stay, you’re likely to see bugs and rodents – especially if the place is dirty or has been unoccupied even for a short space of time.

So, just before you move into your new flat, hire an exterminator to spray every room and corner for bugs and rodents. Make sure to open the windows to aerate the atmosphere before you move your belongings in.

4. Check for any leaks in the plumbing system.

Normally, this would be checked during home inspection, but it doesn’t hurt to check again. Look for signs of a dripping faucet, a leaking water heater or a running toilet.

5. Change your toilet seat.

Seriously, should you debate this? A new toilet seat to go with a new home sure should make sense. While you’re at it, don’t forget to give your new bathroom a good scrubbing.

6. Install new switches to match your need and style.

A common problem with older houses that have undergone a series of renovations is that they’ll have mismatched, worn or discolored outlets and vents that served the peculiar need of each of the past residents.

One of the simplest and quickest ways to make your new home feel even newer is to install new switches that suit your exact needs and style and give your apartment a feel of uniformity and design theme.

Note, however, that electrical installations and repairs in your home – no matter how minor — remain a specialized area that you should only attempt a DIY if you’re a professional or comfortable working with electricity.

7. Paint the walls and ceilings.

Of all the pre-moving-in touches you make in your new apartment, painting has the most dramatic effect and so is often the last task before finally moving in.

But first, you must prep the walls and ceilings so that they’re smooth and free from damages. Fill any existing holes and cracks in the walls and replace any damaged area of the ceiling before applying the right paint that matches the theme and mood of each room in the home.

Painting the home is a time-consuming task that may require you to hire a professional — except you have a skilled relative or two that can help with it.

8. Hire professional movers.

Hiring professional movers will make your home moving smooth and easier, no matter the distance or a number of things to move. They can help you do all the heavy lifting, coordination and ensure all your furniture, delicate items and even pets arrive in your new home without a scratch at a good rate. In the end, you’ll save money, time and stress.

Finding a Good HVAC Contractor Near You

Icy winters, hot summers, humidity, cloudiness, and fluctuations in temperature are phrases and words that are often used to describe the climate in the US. No wonder, finding a good HVAC contractor is of major importance to homeowners, because they want to feel comfortable indoors all through the year.

The challenge though, is where to start. With the influx of HVAC contractors, it is not easy to find a good one without expert assistance. Moreover, if you are new to the city, you will surely need a little guide. Not to worry, by the time you are finish reading this, you will know how to find a good HVAC contractor.

Where to Look

Its very nerve rocking sometimes to search for a HVAC service; they are just too many. So where exactly do you start to look? And how will you know who’s the expert from the apprentice?

There are several HVAC contractors’ directories that have listings of contractors within your specific area. But before choosing your contractor, we suggest that you check the Prime Buyers Guide first. This guide does thorough research of local businesses to make sure that they are licensed by the state, and that they have insurance to protect you as a consumer. Furthermore, you want to know that when you find a contractor they are trustworthy and will get your job done.

Have you ever heard about Better Business Bureau? This is also a great place to find a good HVAC contractor. At this website, you can check their ratings, which will give you an indication of how they operate. If you find a contractor of interest, make sure to check what other customers say about them before you decide.

The HVAC Contractors Directory is also an excellent source. This directory will provide you with highly rated contractors, who are trustworthy, and reliable. They will also do the research for you; making sure that you get the best contractors.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) can also assist you to find good HVAC contractors in your city and can provide you with referrals.

Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, are also good choices to search for your HVAC contractor. All you need to do is write “Good HVAC contractors in “city” or “HVAC contractors near me” and you will get several results. Make sure you search thoroughly, before choosing one.

Friends and family are also very good referrals. They will lead you in the right direction. Find out which contractor they have used before and if they were satisfied. If so, you can trust their judgement.

Choosing a Good HVAC Contractor

So, you made your search and have found some very good HVAC contractors that serves your area. Now you are wondering, which one to choose. Remember that you need to find a company that will listen to your complaints and respond to you promptly.

Therefore, to choose a very good contractor, you must check for the following:

  • Make sure that they have a good reputation. Consumer review websites will give you unbiased information about HVAC contractors.
  • You need to find out if they are reliable and trustworthy.
  • Find out about the technicians that work with the contractor of your choice. Are they legal to work? are they experts in the field? are they certified? These are some questions that you should ask.
  • Find out which manufacture products they use, then check the quality of the products.
  • You want to be satisfied, so check out if they are committed 100% to customers’ satisfaction.
  • Make sure that the company you chose are professionals. If they have a website, check it out to see their profiles.

Conclusion

Your area has a lot of professional contractors that we are certain will satisfy your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) needs. But do your homework wisely before settling down on the first contractor that comes your way. Search the links mentioned above so that you can make the best choice. This will save you time and money.

We would love to hear from you or if you have a suggestion about finding a good heating and cooling contractor, just mention it in the comment section below and we will certainly take care of it.

How to Install A Water Heater Timer

water heater timer savingsIf you are looking for ways to make your home more energy-efficient, then your water heater should be a part of the process. According to studies done by government bodies you water heater accounts for about 12% of your home’s energy. However, many professionals spend time on convincing people to buy these water heaters without explaining the importance of installing a water heater timer.

Just because professionals are not recommending it, does not mean you can’t do it yourself. Here we give you a complete guide on how to easily install a timer for electric water heaters.

Getting started

First, determine if your water heater is 120 or 220 volts. You’ll know it’s 120 if it plugs into a standard electrical outlet. If that is the case, all you will need is a generic 120-volt timer. Set it and plug it in. But it’s more likely you have a 220-volt heater, which will require the purchase of a 220V water heater timer a #10 electrical wire that is at least three feet long and a wire cutter and stripper.

First things first

Remove the timer from its casing and turn the breaker off that supplies power to your water heater. Then, remove the knockouts that are present on the casing.

Location is everything

Choose a location on a nearby to place your timer, keeping in mind it needs to be close the water heater. Once you have selected a spot, use the casing as a guide to mark the places you need to drill holes in. Drill pilot holes and secure the casing to the wall with screws.

Power cable safety

Use a tester to verify that the water heater is not connected to live electricity. Then, remove the water heaters main power cable. Thread the power cable through one of the knockout holes on the timer casing.

Making the connection

Run the new electrical wire from the timer to the water heater. Strip the installation at least half an inch, and then connect it to your water heater. Place the timer in its casing.

Finishing touches

Strip half an inch of the insulation from the wires that will connect to the timer in the casing. Connect the ground wire to the ground plug under the timer. Connect the other wires to their designated lug, shaping them so that the bare wires do not touch each other. Finish by tightening all the screws. Once you have inserted the clips on the timer, and marked the time, turn the power back on.

The advantage of a water heater timer

A water heater timer will very likely save you money on your electric bills. If you live where electric companies charge more during peak usage hours, using a timer will save you even more. This will have a great impact on your bills, as you will be able to reduce your cost per kilowatt. Apart from saving money every month, you will be helping build a better environment by promoting a green living solution.

For more information and resources on water heaters visit plumber’s websites or blogs.

DIY Home Improvement Project Ideas

Everyone wants a beautiful home that they can feel happy and relaxed in. Remodelling your home doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket either, do-it-yourself projects are great for making your home more comfortable, valuable and functional, on a budget.

It may feel like there is so much you want to do to your home in one go. However, the best way to approach it is to give yourself a weekend to complete one task and try to do 1-2 tasks a month. Slowly but surely, your projects will come together and your house with begin to feel more like a home.

Here are some affordable projects you can do to your home, all without hiring an expensive contractor.

Install a bead board ceiling

It can be a real shame when a beautifully decorated and designed room is ruined by a popcorn ceiling. These are outdated and don’t add that great finishing touch like a bead board ceiling does. You’ll need to purchase a bead board from a local hardware store and measure it out correctly so that it fits your current ceiling.

It’s important to line it up correctly; the best way to do it is to measure twice and cut once. Although bead board is relatively cheap, you don’t want to be ruining slabs by making the wrong cuts. Installing a bead board ceiling is not that difficult and the transformation it brings to a room is definitely worth it.

Create clever storage

A minimalist design is beautiful when done right and also gives a lot more space in a room. If you build compact storage within your cupboards, you create much more space to store things away. It’s a great idea to keep your stuff organised and you can close the door on all of the storage, hiding it away.

Pick up some cheap shelves from a hardware store that are suitable and fit in your closet and arrange them how best fits your needs. You can add in rods for hangers, hooks and pretty baskets for storing random objects. They are all inexpensive objects that will help you make your closet more functional.

Repaint rooms

A great colour scheme can make even a boring room look great and a poor colour scheme can make an amazing room look out of place. Use an online colour palette maker or scroll through Pinterest for inspiration. Once you have decided on your colours, you can give the room a fresh lick of paint.

Don’t forget to prep your walls, patch holes with filler and sand and smooth them down. Preparation is the key to paintwork and as long as you do this part correctly, the outcome with be great. Don’t forget; painters tape for the edges and plastic drop sheets for furniture.

DIY projects

Add decking

By adding decking to your home, you instantly increased the value. Outdoor living spaces have become much more desirable. If you’re not looking to sell your house, it’s also a great place for you and your family to hang out. A decent table and chairs and a good BBQ and you can spend warm evenings outside having dinner and spending quality time with the family.

You do need specific tools in order to install decking like a band saw etc. But it is much easier to install than paving and it’s long-lasting and very durable. Create a deck plan before building and then place in the deck footings and cut and lay your joists. Make sure you prep your deck wood and waterproof the bottom of the planks! Then you’re good to lay your decking and add end caps.

Replace lawns

The main thing that makes a garden look crisp and fresh is a nice, even lawn within a well-maintained garden. It’s common for grass to become brown in patches and be worn away, leaving only mud. Replacing lawns with artificial grass is a great way to spruce up a garden and keep it looking perfect all year round.

Artificial grass is soft and looks almost natural, but it just has that freshly cut look all year round. It requires no maintenance, so you can even get rid of that lawn mower. Visit this website for more information on installing artificial grass in your garden.

Why it is important to undertake a CCTV Drain Survey when buying a new home?

It is important that you carry out a CCTV drain survey when looking to buy a property for many reasons these include;

  • Reporting – A report will be created providing information about the integrity of a drainage system.

  • Home insurance – All reports can be sent to your home insurer they might even request this before your policy is approved.

  • Home buyers – Home buyers may have been requested by the estate agents to have their drainage system inspected before a lender will approve a mortgage.

All surveys undertaken can be provided in a report which can be sent on to lenders and insurance companies in some cases the drainage system may have become damaged by roots or general wear which could ultimately lead to a blockage within the drainage system itself after the drain pipe has collapsed.

What To Look Out For When Choosing An Engineer

You should research your prospected companies before you decide to choose your engineer to undertake a drain survey.

The drainage engineer in question must be approved by the NADC which an estate agent should mention when a home requires a survey to be undertaken before it can be purchased.

Ensure the business is well established and has undertaken surveys in the past.

Pricing: Shop Around

Don’t pick the first company you come across, there are loads of methods to can use to find a well-experienced engineer.

Google Search

Search Google for a CCTV Drain Survey research the businesses you like, mainly look for reviews which will usually be listed with a physical location.

Price Comparison Sites

There are loads of price comparison sites for tradespeople these sites usually have good functionality allowing traders to bid on your job competitively Additionally each trader will have a short bio about them and their company.

Additionally, you’ll see the total number of jobs they’ve completed along with a customer satisfaction rating usually based on pricing, timekeeping, and quality of work.

That’s only a small snippet of comparison sites for trades people, but it’s a great starting point to discover a great trader that won’t let you down.

Another wonderful thing about these sites you will be able to get a baseline for pricing on the job, and you’ll be able to find the cheapest with the best reviews.

By following the above guide, you should be able to find a great engineer at a reasonable price.

Making Contact

Once you have selected your engineer based on pricing and reviews, you should check the NADC’s website to ensure they are the NADC has a built-in directory for its approved drainage engineers.

Selected at CCTV Drain Survey person that is also listed in the NADC’s directory which makes them an approved engineer who can be trusted.

This site also offers a bio about the company and the approved drainage engineers name.

Now you know the engineer meets the criteria you can reach out to them and inquire about pricing and timescales taken to complete a survey.

Sit Back and Relax

Now you have chosen your engineer you can sit back and relax and await your surveys report to be sent to you which you will be able to send on to the relevant sources.

Other Information

If any problems have been found with the drainage system the report will show this in detail. In some instances, the problem with the drainage system may not be a problem to the home owner, in fact some drainage systems are still owned by water companies.

If the problem is with a drainage system owned by a water company they will have resolve the issue with the drainage system at no cost to the current home owner.

Filter the Dirt with Effective Aircon Servicing and Repairs

Air-conditioners are a must in today’s world because of the soaring temperatures and great climate changes. We all love to use an aircon for cooling our homes or offices, at times; however, we forget the basic necessity of ensuring its well-being with effective aircon servicing. Air-conditioners need good servicing, maintenance and repairs to last a long time. Regular check-up and upkeep will help the aircon to cool your homes effectively.

aircon-servicing

What is Aircon Servicing?

Every year, with regular usage, your aircon loses its cooling power and has to be serviced. Regular check-up, maintenance, and cleaning of filters, is called aircon servicing. There are specialists who know the aircons and the way they function, giving them an advantage of being able to clean your aircons efficiently.

When Do I Need to Service?

It is best to undertake aircon servicing before the onset of summers. It is slightly time consuming, hence it is best to do it before the season begins. If you notice low / no cooling, blowing of hot air, dirty compressors, it is time to go through with the cleaning process. Regular maintenance will ensure longevity to your system.

Do I need an Aircon Repair?

When your aircon undergoes a breakdown, either in the unit or the compressor, it calls for aircon repairs. With regular usage, the aircons undergo a lot of wear and tear and eventually there may come a time that it starts showing some signs of damage. This usually would take place when the aircons are not maintained regularly. To avoid expensive repairs, it is best to keep it properly serviced at all times.

If you have been noticing a leaky compressor or a noisy compressor, no cooling or no power supply to your aircon, it most likely needs a good repair. You need to invest in a lot of time and money to get your aircon repairs carried out without a glitch.

Things To Keep In Mind While Finalizing a Vendor

  • You need to ensure that the vendor is highly effective by going through the customer reviews and online reviews, in some cases
  • Understand the charges and compare them with at least 2 or 3 more to make sure you are not paying a high aircon servicing price
  • Make sure the vendor services the brand that you have, as some of them may become obsolete and may be a little beyond repairs
  • Ensure that the handymen are well trained and have valid licenses to carry out any repair work

The team of repairmen is highly efficient in taking care of any type of air-conditioning unit, whether it is a window aircon or a split aircon. There are different methods involved in cleaning and repairing different types of aircons. Most of the companies have a set period of warranty and guarantee that ensures that you do not spend a bomb while getting your repairs and service carried out, initially.

You need to carry out regular aircon servicing in order to avoid expensive aircon repairs at a later stage.

7 Simple and Affordable Ways to Update the Look of your Master Bathroom

It’s true, one of the most expensive rooms in your home is the master bathroom. If installing marble tiles, adding a rain shower, and a clawfoot tub is not in your budget, it does not mean you cannot update the look. There are many affordable ways you can remodel your master bathroom to suit your style and needs.

1.Tile – Tiling can get expensive quickly, especially when you plan on hiring a contractor to do some fancy tile work. It will not matter how cheap your tiles were, the contractor might take up your entire budget. However, if you do wish to save time and money, limit the area you are covering with tile. Install them where they are needed, and paint the rest.

2.Countertops – As the counter space in the bathroom is so small, most people tend to spend on granite countertops. A great way to save money is by picking a color that is not brown, tan, or light beige. As these colors are more popular, which makes them more expensive. Another great way to save money when buying a granite countertop, is to pick out a slab that has imperfections. Choose one that has imperfections where your sink will go.

3.Paint – If you do not have the budget to replace those hideous colored tiles, then repainting them will be the most effective way to go about it. Just make sure that you have a steady painting hand, and all the tools you will need to clean the tiles. First, apply a base coat. Allow it to dry, and then apply the first paint coat. If the tile color is still slightly visible after it has dried, go ahead with a second coat. Use a paint with oil base and satin finish, as humidity levels in the bathroom are high.

4.Fixtures – Updating the fixtures is a great way to change the look of your master bathroom. Simply replace outdated light fixtures, towel racks, sink faucets, and even drawer pulls. These are small investments, but will make all the difference in the world.

5.Grout and Caulk – This is often overlooked, but applying fresh grout and caulk can add a sparkle to your master bathroom. They are the most inexpensive ways to spruce up your bathroom.

6. Redo – If you plan on replacing your old tub and shower, then you will spend a lot of money. You should consider getting them professionally relined, it is much more effective and cheaper. Refinishing your shower fixtures and sink will cost you more.

7. Used – If you start looking for slightly used products you will be able to save a lot of money. Think about all the small costs you will be cutting down on, and now add them all up. No matter how small the difference is, it will make significant impact on the end results. We advise you to check out websites that sell used bathroom fixtures, showers, and toilets. Keep in mind that you are upgrading your bathroom and not downgrading it. Anything that looks too old, or something that won’t fit your bathroom’s theme is not welcomed.

These seven simple and affordable way to update the look of your master bathroom will help you turn your rundown looking bathroom, into a picture worthy master bath. Set a budget, and start shopping accordingly. Only take on work you will be able to finish, and only buy supplies and products that are required.

The Latest Mailbox Trends

The cheery flag of the mailbox is a familiar sight. Most times it brings with it glad tidings- happy news, greeting cards, Christmas wishes. The mailbox doesn’t go out of style; it only evolves to keep up with the times. Indeed from the plain box on a stick they once were, strictly meant only for the business of receiving letters and picking up post, have changed so much! Even the shape of the mailbox is no longer tunneled.

Here are the latest mailbox trends we are witnessing in the world of the mailbox:

  1. The freestanding mailbox

When you look at this mailbox, it appears space-age. Steel gives it strength and the tunnel shape is now a perfect circle with only a slim slot for the letters. Mounted on a post, it’s striking even from a distance and creates a contemporary note for your home or place of work.

  1. The brass mailbox- QualArc

Intact with the cheery red flag, the brass mailbox adds a burnished touch to your daily life. Copper and heavy gauge brass is crafted into shape by the gifted hands of artisans to create a unique look for your space. QualArc comes in three styles- Antique Hammered Copper, Polished brass, and Antique Hammered Brass. The hammered look gives it a more rustic, less fashioned look. If you’re worried about a tarnished appearance, don’t be. As long as you don’t live by the seaside, you should be okay. The patina look is just the right thing for an elegant appearance.

  1. Mailbox and newspaper box

This isn’t new- we know that mailboxes have also doubled up as newspaper holders. But the new mailbox design moves away from the ‘stuff everything in one slot’ idea. The post mounted mailbox dominates the overall style and a little lower is a little box for the newspaper. This style is available in fabulous colors from light grey to vibrant purple.

  1. Vintage mailboxes

Vintage is old-style gorgeous and therefore, a look that’s everlasting. Choose between ornate designs of flowers and eagles to wall mount options and heavily embellished pedestals on which to mount the mailbox. In fact, the Ecco 8 Tower mailbox is Victorian in appearance and has motifs on each of its four sides. The satin black or rust finish is sure to polish up even the drabbest sidewalk.

  1. Decorative wall mount mailbox

A finely chiseled hummingbird, intricate leaves, delicate flowers- imagine any of these patterns on your mailbox and it will make you smile. The aluminum used to make the mailbox makes it rust free and hassle free. It’s vertical and so, great for tight spaces. The design is not merely decorative, it’s practical too. In the floral mailbox, the petals are actually cut out windows and let you see how much mail you’ve received. Form and functionality in one cool design.

  1. Quirky mailboxes

If you really want to up your design, go in for some lovely and unusual designs- maybe a bird, a train or some other mailbox that defines you to a tee.

Choose your mailbox with care and enjoy your letters!

Increasing Your Homes Curb Appeal

In real estate, curb appeal refers to a property’s visual attractiveness when viewed from the street or sidewalk. This is a term that is often used by real estate agents when they’re trying to evaluate or sell a property. When an agent says a house has a strong curb appeal, he means it makes a strong visual impact on anyone viewing it from the outside.

Curb Appeal


In the world of real estate, first impressions matter a lot. A home’s exterior is the first thing that a buyer sees. Thus, if it has visually attractive exteriors, he or she is more enticed to view it. Properties with higher curb appeal get more interest from potential buyers.

If you’re planning on selling your house in the future, increasing its curb appeal would help you command a higher price and shorten its selling time. Here are some simple ways you can increase your property’s aesthetics and thus increase its market value.

Give your property a good wash.

It all starts with a wash. Real estate experts say that a simple wash can add several thousands of dollars to a property’s selling price. So take out that bucket of soapy water along with a long, soft-bristled brush and remove the dirt and dust that have accumulated on the facade of your house through the years. Don’t forget your windows—make sure to wash them inside and out.

Give it a paint job.

A good paint job will help to make buyers instantly notice your property. Prepare to spend a bit of time and effort on this task as repainting your house can be a time-consuming and expensive project. Your best option would be to go with your home’s original color. Keep in mind to not make the color too different from those of your neighbours’ houses as appraisers typically mark down a house’s value when it wildly contrasts from the competition.

Don’t forget the roof.

The roof is one of the first things that both potential buyers and appraisers notice when assessing the value of your house. Take care that you don’t have missing or faded shingles as this will make your house look shabby. An accumulation of dirt, lichen, and moss will also greatly reduce its aesthetic appeal. Have your roof cleaned and repaired to improve its condition and it will up your property’s curb appeal tremendously.

Make the yard neat.

Pull up weeds and trim overgrown bushes. Plant lots of leafy plants and colorful annuals or perennials to add a colorful and vibrant touch to your yard. Make sure to water your grass and plants regularly to keep them looking healthy. You can add a splash of color by setting up a couple of colorful benches around the area.

Mark your territory.

Adding a fence to frame your property is another thing you can do to up its value in the eyes of appraisers and buyers. Not only does it amp up the visual factor to your house but it also adds a level of privacy. Once you have installed a fence, make sure you keep it in clean and good condition.

Take this time to remodel and add features of interest.

You can take this opportunity to add certain features that you think will help to catch the eye of the buyers and up the property’s resale value. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to install a swimming pool in your house, this is your excuse to finally contact a pool builder and have them build one. This helps especially if you live in a high-end residential community and the rest of the other properties around have pools.

We’ve all heard that saying: “It’s what’s inside that counts.” But when it comes to real estate, the outside is just as important as the inside if you have plans to sell your home. You would want your potential buyer to fall in love with your property right from the first glance.

Create The Ultimate Outdoor Area With A Veranda

When the weather is fine, we need to be outdoors to enjoy it. You could go for a walk or a run, hit the jogging track or the hiking trails or just chill out in your house. When the weather is not so good, you can sit in a quiet place and watch it do its thing. How do you bring the outdoors to you? With a veranda.

A veranda is a platform, normally roofed, at the ground floor of a house. It is set outside the house and can come in all sorts of shapes and dimensions. Sometimes it is called a deck, living porch or covered patio. No matter the name, a veranda is useful when you want to enjoy the great outdoors and the weather.

Here are a few things to think about while planning the ultimate outdoor area with a veranda:

  • Roof

You must start with the roof, because it can make or break your experience. Today, they come in many colors and materials. Perhaps a glass roof to watch the stars light up the night sky or to see the snowflakes drift down? It can be done, and the thickened glass will keep your veranda safe and protect you from the elements. Or go for a polycarbonate roof that comes with options. You can also choose some jazzy shades to add that extra comfort.

  • The building

Since the veranda is outside the house, the material with which it’s built has to be sturdy and hard. It may be hit by strong sunshine, rain, snow and winds. Aluminum is a good choice because it looks swank and can be treated to fight corrosion.

  • Window options

You may leave your veranda as an open space or may want to enclose it. The latter makes sense if you want to enjoy your veranda all the time. If you choose to enclose it, you need to think about windows and what kind they should be. Shutters look elegant and can go well with an old world feel. If you have a contemporary house, sliding or fold back screens work well.

  • Gutters

There has to be a mechanism to divert water from the roof. If rainwater or melted snow collects on the roof, it can place pressure on the structure and in the process, weaken it. Gutters are a good way to avert this problem. The gutter can be as simple as a standard or classic design, or you can go for a more elaborate rounded finish. They are easily installed and come with options for covers too.

  • Illumination

Lighting is important when you want to set the right tone and mood. Choose adjustable lights that allow you to dim or bright, depending on the activity. A family game of Pictionary, go bright. An intimate dinner party, do dim. Choosing lights that can be controlled by a remote is a good way to not overexert yourself when you’re relaxing.

  • Heat

Fireplaces are great, but heaters can do the trick too. They are portable and efficient and can warm up a veranda even on a winter day.

Get set to enjoy your veranda!

How to Remove Calcium Deposits from a Showerhead

Hard water can wreak havoc on your faucets and showerheads. Over time, calcium build-up can actually block your showerhead – which can really ruin your morning routine.

As you know, hard water has high levels of calcium, lime, magnesium and other minerals. These minerals pass through your showerhead and once they dry, they leave behind deposits that build up over time.

That build-up can eventually clog your showerhead jets, so you either have no water or just a little water coming out.

Removing those hard water, or calcium, deposits can help keep your shower running smoothly. Here’s how to get rid of that pesky build-up that’s blocking your showerhead.

Vinegar Soak

One of the most effective ways to get rid of hard water deposits in your showerhead is with a good vinegar soak. Both white and apple cider vinegar will work.

There are two ways to use vinegar to clear deposits: a plastic bag, or a bath.

Plastic Bag Method

If you can’t remove the shower head, the bag method is the best option.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A large Ziplock bag
  • White or apple cider vinegar
  • Kitchen twine or rubber band

To get started:

  • Fill the Ziplock bag partially with the vinegar.
  • Tie or secure the bag around the showerhead, making sure the nozzles are submerged completely in the vinegar.
  • Allow the bag to sit overnight.
  • Use clean water and a clean rag to remove any leftover vinegar.

By morning, the mineral deposits should be cleared. You may need to use a toothpick to remove some debris, but most of the deposits should dissolve.

Vinegar Bath Method

If you can remove the showerhead, a vinegar bath can be even more effective than the plastic bag method.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White or apple cider vinegar
  • Large bowl

To get started:

  • Soak the showerhead in a large bowl filled with the vinegar of your choosing.
  • Allow the showerhead to soak overnight.
  • Rinse and reinstall.

Just like with the bag method, the deposits will dissolve overnight. And if there are any deposits left behind, you can use a toothpick to remove them.

Vinegar Spray for Hard Water Spots

Sometimes, hard water can leave behind spots. These spots aren’t as problematic as clogs, but they can still be a nuisance.

If you have hard water spots on your showerhead or faucets, you can use a simple solution of half vinegar, half water to make your faucets as good as new.

Simply spray the solution on the spots and use a clean, soft cloth to wipe it clean.

Other Acidic Solutions

Apple and white vinegar are the best solutions for removing hard water deposits, but you can also use other acidic solutions to remove deposits.

Other acidic household items that are just as effective include:

  • Lemon juice
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Muriatic acid (diluted: 1 part acid and 5 parts water)

You can also use these acids and the vinegar to remove deposits from the faucets and aerators in your home. In most cases, you’ll want to dilute the acid so that it’s safe for use around the home.

Specialized Cleaners

If you don’t have vinegar or you need a super heavy-duty solution, there are specialized cleaners that will remove hard water deposits from your showerhead.

Some of the most popular cleaners include Bar Keeper’s Friend, Lime Away, Bam and CLR (Calcium, Lime and Rust).

Preventing Future Clogs

If you don’t have or want a water softener, you can help prevent future hard water clogs by keeping your showerhead clean. The vinegar tricks listed above can also be used as a preventative measure to keep build-up from becoming a problem.

Keeping your faucets and showerhead free of soap scum can further help prevent build-up and clogs.

If you have very hard water in your home, you may want to consider investing in a good water softener. A water softener will literally soften the water by lowering the levels of calcium, lime, magnesium and other minerals that leave deposits behind. Without a water softening system, you will fight a constant battle with limescale build-up. If you aren’t confident enough to install one then I do recommend getting a plumber to install it.

What Causes Creaky Floorboards?

Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling

There is nothing worse than tiptoeing around your home while people are asleep and hearing a harmony of squeaking floorboards. Nearly all homes have at least one floorboard that groans as people walk over it. You become accustomed to hearing the squeak each time you walk on that plank and avoid the area while your wife is asleep. These squeaks and creaks become ambient noise in a house full of people. However, floorboards aren’t supposed to creak at all. After installing the wood floors the home begins to settle, which creates these distinct sounds. These creaky noises are incredibly annoying for most homeowners, and oddly one of the many things you miss after you have moved out of the house. If your home has creaky floorboards it’s important to understand how heat causes the floorboards to shrink, how loose nails make the floors squeak, and how to fix these annoyances.

Wood holds water for many years after the tree is chopped down and turned into floor planks. The moisture in the wood slowly evaporates until it reaches an equilibrium moisture content, where the moisture in the wood is equal to the moisture in the air. When this happens, the floorboards shrink just enough for them to rub against each other, instead of being held firmly in place. This rubbing causes the unique squeaking sound that drives you mad. The process accelerates during cold winters that force you to use the heat for several months at a time. The unnatural heat circulating the home drops humidity levels below 40%, which causes the boards to shrink.

The constant shrinkage and swelling of your floor boards will loosen the nails just enough to produce a squeaking sound as the wood plank rubs against the nail when weight is applied. The higher pitch of wood rubbing on nails is noticeably different from the groaning of wood planks rubbing against one another. This sound is often heard before you notice there is a nail head slightly raised.

To remedy the symphony of groaning floorboards you must first locate the where the floor is creaking. If possible, go into your basement and have someone walk around above you, so you can locate the exact location of the noise. Otherwise, carefully walk around the floor checking each section where the boards are nailed to the subflooring. For noises causes by shrinking you should lubricate your floorboards with an inexpensive product to add more moisture to the wood.

If the shrinking caused gaps to form between the joists, then you should fill the gaps with caulking. The ideal humidity level for wood flooring is between 40-60%, so save yourself the trouble and keep your house within those parameters. If your floors are creaky because of loose nails, you should hammer in all the nails, and drill screws into planks that had severely loosened nails. If you have found that there are several creaky boards along one specific joist, then you should install a block between that joist and the one next to it.

Tips for Proper Lawn Care

Gardening is a fun hobby that could give you immense satisfaction if done correctly. If you have a sizeable garden and are interested in gardening, know that you will need to invest a considerable amount of your time, money, and energy into it. However, the payoff is great; watching the seeds that you planted by hand grow up into wondrous plants and blossom during the seasons will give you a feeling that cannot really be stated in words. However, you should know that your lawn also requires proper care and maintenance. If you ignore the lawn for too long, weeds will start growing all over it very soon. Here are a few tips that will help you with properly caring for your lawn.

Regular Mowing

Mowing your lawn regularly is very important if you want to keep your lawn healthy. If you don’t get enough time to mow the lawn yourself, you can hire a local landscaping company that offers lawn mowing services to do the job for you. They will send over a worker at the designated times each week or after regular intervals to mow the lawn for you. Regular mowing is essential if you want to keep your lawn in the best possible shape. If you mow the lawn correctly, the turf will grow healthy and will also be resistant to drought. It will also grow to be thick enough that weeds won’t start growing in your garden. However, most people don’t really know the proper method for mowing and often end up doing it the wrong way. Make sure that you time your mowing sessions so that you never remove more than one-third of the grass blades at a time.

Lawn Scalping

Try not to scalp the grass too much, which simply means to cut it down too low. If the lawn is scalped, that could leave it vulnerable to weed infestations and disease. Scalped garden turfs are generally quite sparse and weak and are also unable to fend off disease. Exposed soil generally leads to an influx of weeds and can seriously damage the quality of the grass. If your lawn has shady areas around it, you should increase the mowing height slightly so that your lawn doesn’t suffer from scalping.

Keep in mind that mowing during the daytime when the sun is up in the sky is not really a wise move. During the day, plants carry out photosynthesis and pruning causes a great deal of stress. If you mow the lawn during the day without any shade, it will lose a lot of water and, ultimately, recovery will take much longer. However, experienced gardeners will tell you that you should always mow your lawn when it’s shaded to avoid problems later on. Usually, gardening is best for people who can give at least an hour of their time to it after every three to four days. You will need to check your plants closely and make sure that they are growing up healthy.

The Popularity of Polished Concrete Flooring

Concrete Polishing is a very popular process in the commercial market today, providing increased durability and an aesthetically appealing look. As part of the concrete polishing process, the concrete is ground with varying grits of diamond resin pads. The variety of these pads allows for an assortment of shine, reflectivity, density, and durability characteristics. In addition to the mechanical element of concrete polishing, chemicals such as concrete densifiers and hardeners are used which fill concrete pores and increase the hardness of the concrete slab.

In addition to shine, reflectivity, density, and durability distinctions, the concrete can be stained dyed and restored to give a more decorative look. Another way to increase appeal is by grinding the concrete so as to expose aggregate stone, resembling a terrazzo floor. Saw cuts can also be installed in a variety of patterns, increasing the design possibilities to compliment the setting.

Today, concrete polishing services are offered to government, military, commercial, industrial, and residential customers.

Commercial

Growing in popularity due to its rich look, durable surface, and low maintenance cost. Polishing is a “green” method of densifying concrete to a high luster. Unlike most commercial flooring such as VCT, carpet, tile, its overall cost to maintain is much less per square foot. Polished concrete also has a longer life than traditional commercial flooring. Concrete contractors nowadays can also color or stain your concrete floor to match your existing color scheme. Because their polishing methods use non-volatile organic compounds (VOC), it is classified as a purely “green” material.

Advantages of polished concrete vs. traditional commercial flooring:

  • Polished concrete requires no waxing or other costly routine maintenance.
  • Polished concrete has no unsanitary or unsightly grout lines.
  • The surface of polished concrete is more stable and slip resistant.
  • Polished concrete is stain and scratch resistant.
  • Polished concrete strengthens the floor.

Residential

Polished concrete floors aren’t limited to commercial business, offices, or restaurants. They are becoming more common in residential homes due to the array of rich colors available. Concrete contractors can stain concrete from a soft matte finish to a high gloss finish. The polished look accentuates Spanish, southwest, Tuscan, and old-world architecture.

Polished Concrete vs. Epoxy:

Think about the difference between a granite vs. a laminate countertops. The same applies to polished concrete.

Polished concrete has the following characteristics:

  • Polished concrete will not turn yellow with age.
  • No “dry” time means that polished concrete is ready for immediate use.
  • Polished concrete is stain resistant.
  • Polished concrete will not peel up.
  • Polished concrete is moisture resistant – it breathes and will not trap water or bubble.
  • Polished concrete is a green product – no hazardous waste during preparation or application.

Traditional Lawn Care and Organic Based Lawn Care- What’s the Difference?

Traditional lawn care refers to a program that feeds the grass with synthetic fertilizers and treats weeds, diseases and insects using synthetic pesticides.

Synthetic fertilizers contain nutrient salts that are water soluble and are easily absorbed by plants. The main advantage of water soluble fertilizer is that you’ll see a relatively fast green-up after the first application.

Using synthetic fertilizers has a few drawbacks, though. First, excessive doses of salt interfere with the beneficial soil biology required for healthy plant growth and results in the accumulation of thatch.

Second, since the nutrients are water soluble, there’s a good chance that they may be washed down the drain and end up in rivers and lakes in which excess pollution by nutrients can result in harmful algal proliferation.

Some newer synthetic fertilizers contain plastic-covered water soluble nutrients. The plastic breaks down gradually and releases the water soluble fertilizer into the soil. The plastic therefore makes quick release fertilizer release at a slower rate.

Among the main disadvantages of traditional lawn care programs is that they include regular applications of insecticides and weed killers. If you’re not bothered by these lawn pesticides, then a traditional lawn care service might be appropriate for you. They’re usually affordable and result in a yard without little weed.

If you opt for traditional lawn maintenance, make sure you hire a company that is certified to apply the chemicals. A local company may provide a more personalized touch than a national chain.

Furthermore, hiring a professional to correctly apply the chemicals is wiser than doing it yourself. This is because when you do it yourself, you risk applying the chemicals incorrectly and tracking the chemicals you walk through back into the house and onto the carpet where they may remain active for years.

Biological Lawn Care (Organic Based Lawn Care, Hybrid Lawn Care)

The term organic based lawn care can be quite confusing. While it sounds good, technically it refers to a program that uses fertilizers made up of 25% organic material and 75% synthetic material. The organic material is typically composted sewage sludge, which is a lot cleaner than it sounds and is a good ingredient for the soil.

Most organic based or hybrid lawn care programs are traditional programs with a touch of organic matter. They still use the same synthetic fungicides, insecticides and weed killers.

Therefore, the bottom line is that the soil receives some food and still receives the chemicals. They are an improvement from traditional lawn care services, but they’re not the same thing as organic lawn care services.

If your aim is to have a little more soil improvement than you would with a traditional service, then hybrid lawn care might be appropriate for you. If you want to completely keep pesticides and chemicals away from your family and pets, you may want to use a purely organic lawn service that does not use synthetic pesticides to kill insects, disease and weeds.

5 Tips on Growing an Organic Garden

Once seen as something attempted only by health fanatics and bohemian types, organic gardening has taken the world by storm and is one of the latest trends amongst green-fingered folk in this modern age. The more we realize the unwanted effects of chemical herbicides and pesticides, the more we want to protect ourselves from these artificial fertilizers and genetically modified crops.

By growing organically, you’re taking control. Your edible gardens are full-to-bursting with nutritious foods to you serve, completely free of the bad stuff. It’s a sign of respect to both your fellow humans and mother nature.

Contrary to widespread belief, organic gardens aren’t unfeasible and expensive. Let’s face it. Our grandparents gardened organically, and so did our great-grandparents. It was the way food was grown many moons ago before chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers came along. True, it may cost a bit more as you rid your lawns and gardens from their harmful chemical addictions. But ultimately, as you improve your soil quality, spread compost you’ve made yourself and develop hands-on, sustainable gardening habits, your costs will drop.

What Does Organic Gardening Mean?

Organic gardening means you won’t be using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. In fact, organic gardening goes beyond merely replacing manmade chemicals with those derives from natural sources. It is about witnessing nature’s processes, and mimicking them in your garden as best you can. The real secret is to understand the structure of your soil and to give it what it needs. If ever there was a role in organic gardening, it’s: feeding the soil, not the plant.

1.) Feed the Soil

To get the best results with your new organic garden, you’ll want to make sure the soil is suitably conditioned. You have to eat, and so do plants, so make sure your veggies get lots of fresh nutrients. Good healthy soil helps build up sturdy, fruitful plants. Not only do chemical soil treatments leak into your food, but they can also damage the good bacteria, worms and other bugs in the soil. You can test the quality of your soil using a home testing kit or by sending a sample to your local agricultural extension office. For a fair price, you’ll receive a breakdown of pH and nutrient levels, in addition to treatment recommendations. Generally, it’s best to test in the autumn, and apply any organic nutrients before winter.

2.) Protect Plants without Toxic Pesticides

One of the most common problems in gardens is that plants being attacked by pests. First, you should check to see if the plants are getting enough light, nutrients and moisture. Instead of reaching for the pesticides, foster natural predators in your garden instead – such as toads, frogs, birds and even bats. Often, the best way to fight fire, is with fire. Garden centres will most likely sell a range of helpful insects and creepy crawlies that are recognised to be the sworn foe of garden pests like flies, aphids, mealy bugs, and brown garden snails. Just let these good bugs loose into your garden, and they’ll attack the bad bugs on your behalf. Alternatively, you can use sticky traps, or organic sprays that combine the repellent effects of garlic, onion and hot pepper. Failing that, you could even raise chickens in your garden – they love eating insects for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

3.) Recycle

Recycle drink cups to cultivate tomatoes from seed. As soon as they’re ready to move, simply get rid of the bottom inch or so of each cup and plant directly in the ground. This prevents worms from making a meal of transplants.

4.) Edible Gardens

Edible gardens are becoming increasingly popular, not just in private homes, but also in schools and other communal spaces. Design is important when it comes to creating edible gardens. There are loads of garden specialists who will examine your existing garden space, and advise what could be achieved. If you have poor soil, then you might want to consider installing raised flower beds, which also mean you can grow more in a small space. A lot of shade can make it difficult to grow certain plants, but not impossible, so grow edible plants that don’t need much sunlight, such as root vegetables and leafy greens.

5.) Make Your Own Compost

Create environmental gardens that work in harmony with the natural world. If you’re looking to go organic and cut down on chemicals, then making your own compost making facilities means you can feed your plants and recycle waste. Compost nourishes plants, helps save water, kills weeds, and keeps food and garden waste out of landfills (where it gives off methane), instead of turning rubbish into gold dust! Lay compost around plants, blend with potting soil, use to strengthen struggling plants and much more.

Here’s how:

  • Make sure you have a space in the garden that’s at least three feet square
  • Compost can be in a pile or contained within a homemade pen or bin
  • Lay alternating layers of carbon (or brown) matter, such as leaves and gardening trimmings, in addition to nitrogen (or green) materials, like manure and kitchen leftovers, making sure there’s a layer of soil in between
  • Complete the pile with 10 – 15cm of soil
  • To nurture microbe action, you need to turn the pile as soon as new layers are put in, as well as water to keep moist
  • Good compost can be achieved in just two months (if the weather is cold, it’ll take slightly longer)
  • A well looked after compost pile shouldn’t smell. In the case that it does, add more dry carbon material like straw, sawdust or leaves and turn more often.

How to Install a Bathroom Vanity

Bathroom vanities are the focal point of many bathroom designs so it is important to get the installation right. Installing bathroom vanities yourself isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Anyone with competent DIY skills, focus and a high attention to detail can easily get the job done. First, it’s important to choose a style that fits the overall design of your bathroom. From multi-layered wooden bathroom vanities to simple and small bathroom vanities, there many flexible styles out there that can suit your needs.

To install a wall hung vanity in your bathroom you will need to collect all the necessary tools and protective equipment. Installations of bathroom vanities typically require the use of a hammer drill, a screw driver, screws, a knife, measuring tape, a pencil, a wall plug, a cordless drill and a hole saw. It’s important to wear safety equipment like safety glasses, appropriate gloves and noise cancelling headphones to protect yourself during the process.

Once you have equipment sorted, you can start the process of installing your wall hung vanity. Bathroom vanities can be installed in three main steps which we will guide you through below. You will learn where to position the vanity, how to secure it to the wall and how to cut holes for the plumbing work with a hole saw.

Step 1. Measure Where Your Bathroom Vanity Will Fit

The first thing you need to do is measure the vanity outline. It’s important to be as accurate as possible when measuring spaces for bathroom vanities. Incorrect measurements can mess up the whole process. Using a pencil and measuring tape, make a mark on the floor where you want your vanity to sit. Figure out the location of your waste and water pipes. Measure from the edge of where the vanity will sit to the centre of each pipe. Then, work out the measurements from the back wall to the middle of the pipes in order to see how far across and how far from the walls the pipes can fit.

Step 2. Cut Access Holes in the Vanity for Plumbing Work

Once you have measurements worked out and marked down, the next step is to cut access holes in the vanity for the bathroom taps pipes to fit through. First, remove the back panel from the vanity cabinet. This will make the process a little easier. Then, move your pipe measurements to the base panel and using a hole saw, cut the holes for the pipes. Make sure the centre of the drill aims right at the middle of your markings. It’s also important that your hole saw is bigger than the pipes so when you slide the vanity over the top, it fits easily. Once you have cut the holes, replace the back panel and put the bathroom vanity over the top of the pipes.

Step 3. Install the Bathroom Vanity

Now the tricky part begins. Before you begin installation, make sure to check that the bathroom vanity is level. Then, using a hammer drill, carefully put two screw holes through the cabinet’s back rail and into the wall. Push wall plugs into the holes, cut them to length using a knife and put screws through the cabinet into the wall. Check once again that your vanity is still level. Now all that is left to do is put your draws, bench top, doors and sink into place. Once this is all done, you are ready to call the plumber.

How to Build a Bath Frame

All baths require the support of a well-constructed timber frame. If you’re planning on installing a new bath into your home, you will need to know how to build the bath frame to size, reinforce the frame and install it correctly into your bathroom. Building frames for baths require a lot of care and focus. So, if you want to get it right, follow this step by step guide:

Step 1. Make a Mark on the Wall for the Top of the Bath Frame

After purchasing the required plumbing supplies, the first step is to measure your bath’s height. Add about 80mm onto this and mark that height on your wall studs. This mark represents the top of the bath frame, and the extra 80mm makes room for differences in floor height.

Step 2. To Support the Bath Frame, Install Noggins between the Joists and Wall

Take a measurement of the gaps between each of the wall joists at the height of the line. Using a circular saw, cut a timber noggin to size for each gap, then nail the noggins into the gaps using a nail gun. These noggins will help hold external linings and give the frame extra support.

Step 3. Cut the Sides of the Frame

Position the bath so that one end is sitting 70mm out from the wall. Take a measurement from the wall to the end of the bath, adding another 70mm. Then cut four lengths of timber from both the bottom and top plates of the frame.

Step 4. Mark Where the Vertical Studs Will Go for Your Bath Frame

To mark the position of the vertical studs, use a pencil to trace around an off cut of framing timber. Place a stud at both ends and space out the others evenly on the frame every 600mm. Giving them space like this will make it easier to cover the frame later on.

Step 5. Assemble the Sides of Your Bath Frame

Measure and cut eight studs. Cut them 95mm shorter than the height of your frame to get thicker plates. You could also add 5mm to allow for any variations in the floor’s height. Nail the studs between the top and bottom plates to assemble the sides of the frame.

Step 6. Install Both Sides of the Bath Frame

Position one side of the frame against the wall and place the other side parallel to it. Separate the two sides by about the width of your bath, subtracting 30mm. This allows for a 15mm ledge on each side of the frame for the bath to sit on. Nail the sides into place once you’re satisfied with the position.

Step 7. Construct the Ends of Your Bath Frame

Straighten the outside edge of the bath frame with a spirit level, then measure the distance between the two sides. This will give you the width of the frame’s end pieces. Using this measurement, cut the top and bottom plates on both ends. Cut three studs for each end using the same lengths you used for the studs previously. Then it is time to assemble each end. To do so, nail three studs between the top and bottom plate.

Step 8. Install Each End of Your Bath Frame

For the final step, use a nail gun to secure each end in place. If you find that one of the ends is unsupported by a wall, use your spirit level to ensure its vertical edges are right as you nail it. Finally, put the bath inside the frame. The frame should support all four edges properly.

12 Top Tips for Tiling a Bathroom

Want to save some pennies work on some home improvement projects yourself, such as renovating your bathroom? It’s well worth thinking about taking on the tiling project yourself. Even a novice can do it. The important things to remember are: planning and preparation.

Careful planning when it comes to tile layout is key during a bathroom renovation project. Planning the layout of tiles, right from the very beginning, can really help with everything, including fixture locations, lighting locations, framing changes and niche locations. If you don’t plan, you most likely won’t get what you were looking for.

1.) Determine How Many Tiles You’ll Need

First up, you need to work out the number of tiles required for the bathroom in question (make sure you allow for excess ‘wastage’, i.e. breakages and cuts). Normally, tile suppliers provide guides on their websites when it comes to how many square metres of wall each pack of tiles can cover. So, pair your requirements with this, then allow for an additional 10% to include wastage and spares.

2.) Prepare the Walls

Have you prepared new walls properly for tiling? If not, you may need to score plaster with your notch trowel to make a decent ‘key’ for the adhesive to stick to. For existing walls, some corrective work may be required to make sure the base is level for the adhesive tiles. If you’re not too sure about how to prepare walls for tiling, consider taking an Ntiling course which is perfect if you want to undertake hands-on tiling training and learn about the trade from scratch.

3.) Make a Gauging Stick

To identify where you need to place your tiles, begin by making a gauging stick. Find a length of timber and lay it on the floor. Position a tile along it lengthways, level with one end of the stick, and mark the timber where this tile ends.

4.) Size Matters

Size matters and tiling is no exception! Using larger tiles can enhance the size of a bathroom – the bigger, the better, except when they need to be cut down to fit around corners or in between fittings. The reason larger tiles make a bathroom look bigger is that there are fewer grout joints which reduce the number of lines.

5.) Tile Style

What can have a real bearing on the perceived space in a bathroom is the colour and style of the tile. Light colours can make a room look bigger, which is much the same for tiles. Light-coloured tiles like cream or white can enhance the size of a bathroom, as these colours reflect more light than darker coloured tiles which, in turn, brings more light and space to the room. It’s fine to incorporate some darker tiles into the design, but just make sure you have at least half of the tiles in a lighter colour, so you can still improve the perception of space.

6.) Gloss Tiles

To achieve the effect of a bigger bathroom, gloss tiles can really work wonders. Because the light bounces off the tiles and around the room, the space is increased. The only downside of gloss tiles is that they need to be cleaned more often than matt tiles. But cleaning is very easy – so don’t worry too much.

7.) Mosaic Tiles

Did you know mosaic tiling can make a bathroom look larger? This is because they keep the viewer’s eyes moving, tricking them into believing there’s a lot more space than there actually is. You could even try some mosaic borders.

8.) Bathroom Flooring Tiles

If you want the floor to appear as one big tile, you can plump for unified tiling, which achieves this effect. What it also does is make the surroundings look more prominent, therefore making the room appear bigger. All you need to do is choose large tiles and grouting that’s a similar colour to the tiles, remembering to position the tiles close together.

9.) Use the Same Colour Tiles for the Floor and Wall

By using the same coloured wall and floor tiles as well as similar coloured grouting, this really helps make your bathroom look as if it’s larger than it really is.

10.) Carefully Place Tiles

Remember the saying that wearing vertical stripes makes you look slimmer? The same notion applies to tiles – the human eye will follow the tile line, giving the effect the room is bigger. If you have a narrow bathroom, position the tiles so they’re in lines perpendicular to the longest lines. Your eye will look at the back of the room instead of the side.

11.) Lay Your Tiles Properly

The key here is to position your tiles in the right way so they give the effect of enhancing the space. So, lay your tiles diagonally which will trick your primitive brain into believing there’s loads more space than there actually is – your eyes fix on the diagonal points. Clever, right?

12.) Make Your Ceiling Look Taller

If your bathroom has a low ceiling, you can make your ceiling appear higher by piling rectangular tiles vertically on top of each other. By doing this, your eyes are drawn to the vertical lines that reach up to the ceiling which, in turn, accentuates the height of the wall.

How Large can I Build a Structure in my Backyard?

Even though it may seem like a basic and straightforward question, this isn’t as simple as it seems.

If you are really asking how big you can build without having to worry about permits and paperwork, that is a different issue than having an absolute legal size limit. So whether you are building a structure from scratch, or tackling a renovation job that requires more sophisticated services like concrete scanning, you should know your size limits before you begin.

Without a Permit

For building a structure without a permit, you’ll want to check with your local regulations as it can vary by region and county. A good rule of thumb is that any shed that is not attached to the main home can be 120 sq ft or smaller without any required permits. Some areas requite permits based on different sizes (sometimes taking height into account), or you may require a permit no matter how small your shed is.

This applies to the usual small buildings (i.e sheds) but it may be a different situation for decks, pools or other structures.

With a Permit

Now you can really get creative and build to nearly any size you want, with a few limits of course. For example, a large 2-story garage is certainly a possibility and it’s unlikely you’d want to be building anything larger than that. Again, talk to the council people to find out the regulations for big projects. They may or may not need structural drawings before any permits are issued, which may need you to hire on an architect of some kind to produce the right documents.

When it comes to large buildings, there are more things to consider than just the size. The location of your new construction, in relation to your existing house as well as where it is located in references to boundaries and water ways on your property. Are you planning on adding electrical service to the building, or even plumbing? If you are going to include a number of utilities, you may run into trouble if someone was to decide your new fancy garage is actually a living space. When your property is zoned for a single residential dwelling, then you run into problems. Again, talk to the council office. They should be able to provide you with the details.

Creative Ideas

So you want to do something creative in your yard but can’t really think of any good ideas? Well, you can certainly do more than just a plain garden shed. For your next backyard upgrade, you might want to consider these projects:

  • A deck or raised patio area
  • A new decorative flower bed
  • A fountain or water feature
  • An outside studio (like a shed, but larger with utilities)
  • A climbing play structure if you have kids in the family

When you decide to tackle a new big project, just remember that there is more to consider than just “how big”. Rules will also be different for a deck than they are for a shed or a pool.

Bathroom Renovations Start With Bathroom Vanities

Replacing your bathroom vanity can change the room from the ordinary and add a bit of luxury to your space. We expect to feel relaxed and pampered in our home, and a new bathroom vanity or cabinet reno is a relatively quick and simple way to accomplish this. Here are some tips to consider when buying your new bathroom vanity and cabinets:

Get up in your space: Because bathrooms are generally pretty small, most bathroom renovations will be done for the purpose establish more space, or find a way to use more of the space that you already have. However, the only way to take advantage of your space is measuring every corner, inch and crevice to get accurate measurements. This will allow you to see what is possible before construction, and avoid planning your dream bathroom, only to find out you’re a centimeter too short.

Think about your height, too: Many will measure all around where they plan to put the bathroom vanity, but not think about their own height. While you’re remodelling, why not take advantage of the construction to put in a sink that matches your height. No more bending to the faucet, or arching your back from previous sinks built too low or too high. While style is nice, comfort is an additional feature you will be surprised how many people forget.

What’s your type: Now you can think about what you have in mind for your new bathroom vanity. Think about it all: colour, finishes, storage, hardware — and the material, as well. Think glass, wood and metal are all great options. Don’t forget about style, either. Many vanities can be free-standing, floating, open space and vessel sinks to name a few. It’s enough choice to keep you busy, but the right decision will ultimately come from you.

Understanding your entire bathroom design: If you plan to go big with your bathroom renovation, then there might be more changes than just your bathroom vanity and cabinets. If so, ensure the design makes sense for the room as a whole. Are the wall colours changing? The bathtub or shower? Whether going modern, traditional, or antique, makes sure you’re happy with the entire aesthetic: and your ultra-modern bathroom doesn’t look like it shifts centuries with a turn of the head.

6 Signs to Know That Your Kitchen Needs Remodeling

All of our homes need a bit of a remodel every now and then. And that’s the most accurate in our kitchens. This is the one room in our home where we spend most of our time – cooking meals, preparing our kid’s lunches, and eating that midnight snack that you shouldn’t have.

That means that your kitchen can get a bit boring, dirty, or underwhelming after a while. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can tell that your kitchen needs a bit of a face-lift. Read on below to get the top signs you can tell that you need a kitchen remodel.

  1. Your Worktop Space Is Too Cluttered.

Look around your kitchen. Do you see a ton of clutter? Not enough storage jars to go around? Too many appliances on your countertops that shouldn’t be up there? You just don’t seem to have enough counter space to make your food?

These are all signs that your kitchen could use a serious remodel. If you can’t seem to find enough counter space, it might be time to consider adding additional space or a new island in the middle of the kitchen.

  1. The Kitchen Sink Isn’t Place Appropriately.

You should ensure that your kitchen sink is in the proper place in the kitchen. Wouldn’t you much rather be looking out the window to your beautiful backyard than trying to lean over so you don’t hit your head on those cabinets above?

If your sink isn’t in the right place, there’s a sure-fire sign that you need a remodel.

  1. Your Floor Space Isn’t Ideal.

If you find yourself continuously bumping into things in your kitchen or not being able to efficiently move around, it’s time to rethink your floor space. You should be able to flawlessly move from the cabinets to the kitchen sink to the fridge and to the oven, without as much as a second thought.

Really think about the flow of the kitchen and how you want to move about it. Then get remodeling!

  1. Your Cabinets Are Falling Apart.

The cabinets in your kitchen are not simply just for storage space. They’re for so much more than that! They are one of the most important parts of your kitchen because they show off your aesthetic and style you’re trying to achieve. And if your cabinets are falling off or if the handles look a little worse for wear, it’s time for a remodel.

kitchen

  1. There’s Not Enough Storage Space.

So do you constantly find yourself wondering where all of your storage space went to? Maybe that’s because you didn’t have enough space to begin with! If you’re always dealing with extra things that don’t have a home in your kitchen, it could be a good idea to expand those cabinets or add some new storage spaces with a remodel.

  1. The Flooring Is Looking a Little Worse for Wear.

Having a nice, beautiful, and level floor is one of the most important parts of your kitchen. You may not think of your flooring as having much of an effect on the overall quality of the room, but it’s crucial if you want to impress anyone who comes over. Make sure to think about whether it just needs a good cleaning or an entire remodel of the flooring.

And there you have that! Those are the top signs you should look out for that will tell you whether or not you need a kitchen remodel. If you’re like most people out there who haven’t had a remodel in quite a while, it’s more likely than not that you should give your kitchen a little bit of a face-lift.

Hiring a Skip for Your Garden and Domestic Refuse

Choosing the right waste management company for your domestic waste isn’t always easy. Thankfully, the hard work has already been done for you.

When you only have a small amount of garden refuse or household waste, hiring a mini skip is a perfect choice. These are great if you are redecorating, have a minor building project, or are removing waste from your garden, such as a felled tree, removed soil, or turf.

Regular Garden Maintenance Creates Refuse

Simple maintenance of your garden, especially during the autumn and spring, including mowing your lawn, weeding flowerbeds, and pruning trees and shrubs, can generate more waste than will fit in your regular bins. If you want to avoid having to deal with transporting countless garbage bags full of your garden rubbish by car to your local recycling centre, hiring a small skip from a local company, is simple, convenient, cost-effective, and quick option to make the process of removing the refuse from your garden quickly and easily. For this type of task, look for a skip measuring approximately 2 cubic meters.

If you have a larger project going in your garden, such as re-turfing your lawn, clearing a garage or shed, or felling a tree, you will definitely need to hire a skip. If you will be generating significant amounts of waste, you might consider hiring a skip that is a bit larger than you expect you will need to clear your garden of rubbish. For this a 3 cubic meter skip is perfect.

Renovating a home can not only improve your everyday living space and give your home a facelift, it can also increase your property value significantly. Whether you are replacing your 1970s style bathroom, creating an extra room using loft space, or updating your kitchen, you can get a great deal of satisfaction and pride by doing your own home renovation successfully. However, renovating a home will generate a great deal of rubble, which you will have to ethically and responsibly dispose of.

Hire A Skip

What is the best way to rid yourself of your old bathroom fixtures, boxes of clutter, and old kitchen cabinets covered in dust? Hiring a skip is the smartest solution to deal with waste generated from renovating your home. Transferring the waste you generate by hand to your closest recycling center is not only time consuming, it is impractical. If you have a small car but are replacing an entire bathroom, you will likely wind up hiring a bakkie if you want to be able to dispose of your old bathtub.

Of course, another option is hiring a “man-with-a-van” to come and collect your waste from the home renovation project, but again, you find yourself at the mercy of their reliability and availability, and if you have enough waste that it takes several trips, you could wind up paying a great deal out of pocket. The best and most practical way to deal with the waste generated from home renovation is hiring a skip from a service.

They will usually be able to deliver your skip within a day, and can sometimes even get one to you on the same day, freeing you up so your can concentrate on the project at hand and giving you a convenient location to dump your messy waste materials as you produce them. Once you have completed your project, all that remains is calling up your skip hire company and they can send out someone to collect the skip and correctly dispose of its contents.

Lawn Maintenance: Is Your Lawn Revealing About You?

Taking good care of your lawn is necessary for ensuring that it becomes healthy and resistant to disease, pests, weeds and weather conditions. Lawn care enables your turf to become greener, healthier and consistently beautiful.

Significance of Lawn Maintenance

Your lawn will respond to what you provide and this means that it needs proper maintenance to remain healthy and strong. Neglecting your lawn is likely to lead to adverse consequences such as declining density and increased vulnerability to diseases. Well-drained and nutritious soil is necessary for grass to thrive. Lawns require nutrients, water and maintenance to ensure that they grow and stay healthy.

The type of lawn and ongoing weather conditions determine the maintenance practices such as mowing, fertilization and watering that are most ideal. Maintaining your lawn enables it to recover from the effects of different weather conditions, pests and diseases. This is why it is advisable to schedule regular lawn maintenance every year.

What your Lawn can reveal about you

Along with keeping your lawn in the best condition possible, the appearance of your lawn is a blatant reflection of who you are. Whether it’s a perfectly trimmed lawn or a lawn that is enveloped by weeds, it says a lot about you.

Factors such as proper mowing, adequate water, using suitable fertilizers, aeration, raking and trimming all contribute to an attractive lawn. However, if you choose to let go and abandon your lawn, its health and appearance will be compromised as well as your reputation. Hiring a Orlando lawn service can help you maintain the condition of your lawn.

Lawns and Character Traits

Your yard is an exposed aspect of your residence and many people, including neighbors, potential buyers or tenants, will use it to determine the type of person you are.

  • If your lawn is in good condition, people are likely to conclude that you are organized and responsible. On the other hand, a lawn that shows signs of neglect will cause people to assume that you are disorganized, unreliable and careless.
  • A lawn that showcases excessive growth and weeds that are out of control indicates that you are not a person who likes to handle physical tasks. This lack of interest in taking care of your property is visible through piles of leaves, unruly bushes and general disarray.
  • Well-maintained lawns elicit positive reactions from everyone who comes across them. The curb appeal is hard to resist and anyone who has the chance to view your yard is left with a lasting impression. The conclusion is that you are organized, focused, dependable and successful.
  • Since it is not easy to grow a lawn that is always beautiful, it shows that you are disciplined and committed to your ventures.

Conclusion

Nothing can compare to the fulfilling experience of watching your lawn grow from seedlings into an impressive turf that everyone admires. Your lawn demonstrates your personality and character. Weeds are associated with poor planning while patches of dry land show a lack of consistency. Lawn care gives you the chance to express yourself and ensures that your neighbors do not have a reason to complain about the effect your neglected lawn is having on the appearance and value of the area.

Porcelain Ceramic Tile Is Back in Style

Ultra-thin, large-format porcelain tiles are a new tile type in the industry, and this “thin Porcelain Tile”, as professionals in the industry named it, has been rising in popularity throughout the year. These types of tiles have distinctive mechanical properties and a unique format, and are useful in a variety of situations.

What Is Thin Porcelain Tile?

Like traditional tiles, thin porcelain tiles come in a variety of styles and colors. They are durable, hygienic, and easy to maintain. However, they are much thinner than traditional tiles, ranging from thicknesses of about 2.5 mm for walls to about 6 mm thick for floors.

Just as durable as its thicker counterparts, thin porcelain tile’s narrow profile creates a lightweight and flexible surfacing solution for floors, walls, and countertops. It’s actually one of the most versatile surfacing products on the market, offering a range of advantages, including the ability to install over existing floor and wall tiles (this eliminates having to rip out existing finishing materials in renovation projects, saving on renovation waste and time and money in labour costs).

Thin tiles can be used to finish walls; they can also be used for flooring, kitchen and bathroom countertops, kitchen sinks, and surrounds for fireplaces. Very thin tiles can also be used to finish tables, stairs, doors, and desks.

The tiles can also be used outside for house siding as well as for sidewalks, terraces, driveways, swimming pool surrounds and counters for outdoor cooking areas. What’s more, the colours will remain bright, even after years of sun exposure.

Advantages of Thin Porcelain Tile

Thin porcelain tile’s mechanical properties are some of the best things about it. The majority of brands are 100% natural and recyclable, scratch- and fire-resistant, easy to clean, and waterproof.

Though it would seem that such thin tiles would be brittle, they are actually extremely resistant to damage. Dropping a heavy object on a traditionally manufactured tile can crack it, but thin porcelain tile is extremely crack resistant, a feature of the manufacturing process. They are also very scratch and stain resistant, so anything spilled on them does not have to be cleaned up right away.

Because of their large size, thin porcelain tile is very fast and easy to install. It can be placed over existing tile because the tiles are so thin. No demolition means that it’s not messy, and the work goes quickly because you have fewer tiles.

Thin porcelain tile is also extremely eco-friendly. Since it’s thin enough to be laid over existing floors, fewer materials end up in landfills. The tiles are very durable, which means they’ll last longer, and their light weight means they do not require as much fuel when transporting them. As many of the colours are made from recycled materials, the material itself can be considered green.

When you see these supersize tiles in someone’s house for the first time, you may not even realize you’re looking at tile. Unlike small, traditional tiles with grout lines running everywhere, big tiles hardly have any grout lines, and the few that are there are nearly invisible. This can help a small room appear larger. Used vertically on walls, the tiles can help add height and openness to a space.

Colors, Styles, and Finishing Characteristics

The design capabilities of these super-sized panels are endless and the looks can span the range from sleek and modern to rustic and traditional.

The color offerings of the tiles favor grays, beiges, browns, creams, charcoals, and whites. Some of the tiles are solid colors, but others are patterned, mimicking wood, concrete, textile patterns, metals, and natural stone. The marble-patterned tiles resemble the real thing so well that even a geologist would be fooled.

Surface finishes can vary between soft matte and highly reflective gloss. Different styles of surface finish are available, from completely smooth to an irregular “gentle relief” style, “bush hammered” with a surface that is uniform and bumpy, and containing deeper “hand tooled” gauges to give the appearance of a hand-made tile.

Thin porcelain tile may be a fairly new product, but it is gaining popularity because of its many benefits. Don’t be surprised to see these unique tiles more and more in and on buildings everywhere.

Glass Fencing: Finding Balance in the Yard with this Simple Addition

There are so many things to think about when building or remodeling property. Sometimes projects don’t come together like we had planned and we are left with a hodgepodge of ideas turned into investments that are not complimentary of each other. Making decisions for interior and exterior décor sounds like a fun time, but it can also be overwhelming. For those who like patterns and colorful design, different textures and bountiful embellishment, might want to embrace a simpler side of things.

When choosing fencing and railing systems for the inside and outside of the property, glass is your best option. Glass fences and glass railing systems are not only elegant, but they provide a safe, effective barrier and make it easier to see the rest of the house effortlessly. So if you are one of those people that get a little carried away when redecorating the house, you can try adding frameless glass fencing and dividers to your space to work in creating a less busy atmosphere throughout.

The pool and the hot tub are the hangout zone when the weather is hot! Swimming in the pool in the summer months and relaxing in the hot tub in the winter months means the pool area has a purpose year round! By installing frameless glass pool fencing around the pool and hot tub, and removing out dated solid, mesh, and barred fencing, you will be spending more time in the pool with this upscale addition to the backyard. The thick clear view tempered and laminated glass should be built to standard pool safety codes and gates should have proper closing mechanisms that keep the pool area safe. Glass gates are self-closing and self-latching with the latch placed high enough on the gate so small children are not able to reach. Glass fences and glass gates must be durable and able to withstand weather changes through the colder, stormy months. Also making sure these glass gates are installed properly is vital. Having the ability to install glass fence mounts in concrete, tile, wood, or dirt securely is a major plus when looking for a contractor that can handle the job and get it done right.

Redecorating is surely a rewarding experience. It’s creating balance that usually gets a little tricky. With so many things to keep in mind, style and feng shui, safety and effectiveness, not to mention all the little things that go along with redecorating like hiring contractors, getting supplies, creating a plan, and executing it, sometimes making the decision to simplify things can be the best decision. Glass fencing and glass railing systems installed in and around the home or property might be just what you need. These amazing additions make coming home feel like a breath of fresh air. A design that is free and clear will bring the perfect balance to any space. That gives the designer more opportunity to enhance the décor elsewhere, with less obstructions in the way, there is more to see for everyone!

5 Fun Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen starting to look a bit old and tired? The kitchen is a work area and can quickly go from that lived-in look to a worn-out look if you are not careful. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and it is one of the first things people notice when they visit your home so it is important to spruce it up from time to time.

You also do not want to look at the same boring kitchen, day after day. Make some changes now and then, shake things up and breathe some new life into your kitchen. You do not have to gut it and completely remodel everything. It is time to upgrade your kitchen.

Fortunately, there are a number of fun ways to do that, without breaking the bank. Here are my top 5 fun ways to upgrade your kitchen.

Play with Textures

Be bold and creative, mix things up a little. You do not need to stick to just one or two finishes and surfaces. Use steel, wood, ceramic, stone, granite and a range of fabrics to liven things up.

Go for strong contrasts to make a statement. Experiment with colours and shades. You can even mix and match old and new, there really are no rules.

Add memorable details such as art pieces, a wall mural or decals. A splash back is a fun place to create a dramatic impact.

Don’t forget lighting for a bit of ambiance and effect.

Treat Yourself to New Appliances

Most of your appliances are on display so make them count. Appliances can make or break the appearance of a kitchen. There is such a great selection and variety of styles available these days that you can really have fun with them.

I treated myself to a few new appliances recently and it really made my day. They look great and are functional at the same time.

Go for Fresh, Clean White

Nothing says clean and new like white, especially in a kitchen. Dramatic white tiles, white countertops and appliances create a striking effect and make the room look much larger and more open. You can add the occasional splash of colour here and there for contrast but the overriding theme must be white. Some of my favourite kitchens are pure white.

Be Bold with Colour

Ok, I know I just said go for white but if that is not your thing, go to the opposite extreme. Mix up all the colours you can find and have a bright, busy and appealing kitchen. Go for a few main impact colours but don’t be timid with really going all out and incorporating many different colours. The end result can be really interesting and appealing. Be brave.

Use Open Shelving

Open shelving will create the illusion of space if cleverly used. Try to avoid too much clutter and keep it neat at all times. Use beautiful pieces and collect new ones along the way to display in your open shelves. Make it a functional feature.

Many people hate the idea of open shelving and yes, it is a bit more dusting, but don’t dismiss it out of hand. There are some beautiful kitchens that feature open shelving. Browse a few photographs online to get a few ideas.

Well I trust that gave you a little bit of inspiration. Look around, look at magazines or browse online. There are so many great ideas and different ways you can upgrade your kitchen. Add your own style and personal touches. Don’t be afraid of change. Be confident and imaginative and the results will be worth it.

What is a French Drain and How to Do It by Yourself?

Being on terra firma means you need to pay special attention to ensuring your home is waterproof. One such method is the French drain, named after Henry Flagg French, a lawyer and former assistant U.S. treasury secretary from Concord, Massachusetts, who popularized the technique thanks to his book Farm Drainage (1859).

As a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, French enjoyed more than just rules and regulation. He was an agriculture enthusiast and avidly experimented to increase scientific application to farming, particularly in the study of soil quality. The techniques used by farmer discussed in his published work, despite dating to nearly 160 years ago, still hold true today. The French drain is no exception.

Historical French drains were simply ditches, dug out from an area of elevation to lower ground, and filled in with gravel. At the time, French was constructing drains for his own farm and used roofing tiles in conjunction with a trench. Perforations were later added to these tiles with improvements in the process having been made over the years. French drains are now far more specialized than their predecessor, which is why they remain a popular waterproofing method for not only farmers, but homeowners too.

What is a French Drain and How Does It Work?

A French drain is simply a sloped trench that is lined with fabric with a pipe and gravel running through it. Its purpose is to steer water away from your home or other structures on your property.

French Drain Structure

Water naturally flows downhill, which is the route of least resistance. So during a heavy rain, water will run into the gravel-filled trench before reaching the perforated pipe and flows through the pipe, away from your basement. The water is then emptied out, whether it be on the street or in a drainage ditch.

A DIY French drain is actually quite easy. All it takes is a few materials: water permeable landscape fabric, a perforated plastic drain, gravel or rock, and a shovel.

French Drain DIY

The process of building a French drain is not complicated, but careful attention is necessary. Work should begin on a downhill slope so that the trench can draw water away from your home just by the force of gravity. Before digging, think safety first. Locate any underground cables and pipes that run under the yard.

Then plan the route of your drain. Landscaping paint can help mark out the path. Make sure your runoff water doesn’t empty onto a neighbour’s land. Position it at least one meter away from walls and fences and steer clear of posts and plants like tree roots and shrubs. Depending on your municipality, digging may require paperwork. Consult your municipal office for information on the regulations pertaining to your neighbourhood.

Once the above steps are completed, you can start digging your trench, the width and depth of which will depend on the severity of the drainage issue (consult with a professional). The standard size is about 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide and 46 to 61 centimeters (18 to 24 inches) deep. Hiring a surveyor or a professional specializing in waterproofing techniques to help with the planning stage is one way of ensuring you are on track.

Position the trench so that it is built on a downhill incline and regularly check you are digging in a downward direction. The trench is then lined with landscape fabric. Gravel is added, the pipe is fitted with the drain holes facing down and the opening covered.

French Drain

At this point, you can be creative by adding a layer of decorative stones. Sometimes, people build their French drain at a slight curve to make the space look aesthetic.

Do You Need a French Drain?

This type of drain is an ideal solution for those with basements that are prone to flooding or have a soggy yard.

Basements: In this case, a deep French drain is recommended by professionals. With a trench running around the home’s perimeter, water is swiftly caught before flowing into your basement. Installation is also possible during and after home construction.

Yard: For an uneven yard, the drain does not need to be as deeply placed as in the case of wet basements. This type of French drain runs horizontally at a downhill inclination across the property.

From farmers to homeowners, the French drain has been lending a hand with water diversion for over 150 years. So whatever your waterproofing needs may be, when heavy rains wreak havoc on your basement or yard, this simple, yet effective solution can help. The issues that may surface with a DIY project can easily be mitigated with advice from a professional.

How to Find and Buy the Best Walk-In Bathtub Today

Don’t you always look out for a product that will make it easier for you to carry out a task easier and faster? The never-ending search for convenience has led to the best innovations in human life and one of these devices is the walk-in bathtub. The walk-in bathtub was designed for convenience and also for security purposes in the elderly and the young.

For these reasons, you have to find just the perfect walk-in bathtub. But, how do you find this bathtub?

  1. Referrals and recommendations

The first step to finding information or an item is by asking. Your friends, family, or acquaintances could have most of the information you need about where to buy the bestwalk-in bathtub today.

When the words from these parties are inconclusive, you can take it upon yourself and check the online reviews for the products across the market. These reviews will also widen your knowledge on what is in the market and what will work for your home.

  1. Online stores

Have you realized that every time you type ‘how to find a walk in tub’ you find numerous links to online stores selling the tabs? Well, this is because there are several walk-in bathtub stores without stores physically located in your neighborhood. They have their stores online and you will find a wide variety of tubs online.

Since it can be challenging and even complicated to pick one store over the other, you research on the stores further to learn of their authenticity and the quality of their products.

  1. Visit the local retail stores

Most local retailers have showrooms where you can walk in to and ask about the available models for walk-in bathtubs, their prices, and the styles. Since you will get access to several of these stores in your town and the neighboring towns, it is advisable that you make comparisons before buying to ensure that you have the right bathtub for your home.

However pressed you are or impatient you feel, you shouldn’t settle for just any bathtub available on display. Ask if there are other options and don’t settle for a bathtub that won’t work for you.

  1. Installation services

Whether you buy a bathtub online or from your local store, you must ask if the store offers installation services free. It is only fair for the store to install the tub since they know more about the tub and they will take responsibility for any breakage or problems resulting after the installation. When installation services aren’t offered, then you may consider looking for another seller rather than spending more on installation.

  1. Call the retailers to your home

To meet every customer’s needs conveniently, you will find a number of companies offering in-home sales and consultation. If they are from a reputable company, then you can have them over at your home where they will measure the space and also help you choose the best tub to meet your needs.

In conclusion, you will be able to buy the best walk-in bathtub for your loved ones or yourself if you look at these places and find the right people to work with.

These Bathroom Trends Will Become More Popular in 2017

A recent Houzz survey found that on average people spend 30-60 minutes a day in the bathroom. That’s the equivalent of 8-15 days a year – the same time spent taking a vacation. Imagine how much longer you’d stay in your bathroom if it was renovated and had all of the amenities you’ve always dreamt of.

A bathroom remodel can add significant value to your home and makes everyday life more luxurious. If you’re in the market to remodel, check out these hot bathroom trends that are expected to become even more popular in the coming years.

Freestanding Tubs

Many homeowners have decided to forgo bathtub/shower combos in lieu of installing an oversized shower. But homeowners that have space for a separate tub are opting for one that’s freestanding. Clawfoot tubs have long been a popular and beautiful option, but today there are sleek freestanding tubs that fit in nicely with modern décor.

Before buying a freestanding tub you’ll need to make sure it can fit in the space and also figure out the plumbing. Unlike standard built-in tubs, a freestanding tub has space all around, which leaves the plumbing exposed.

Pebble Flooring Around the Tub

If you’re replacing the tub it’s a great opportunity to add pebble flooring around it. This is a particularly popular trend with freestanding tubs that expose the floor underneath. The pebble flooring feels great under foot and can help to define the space, but keep it in the same color palette as the other flooring so the difference isn’t too stark.

Tile Baseboards

One of the fastest growing bathroom trends, as far as the flooring goes, is tile baseboards. Instead of stopping at the wall and using traditional wooden baseboards, more owners are choosing to trim down the tile used on the floor. It creates a seamless look, provides added durability and makes cleaning a snap.

Wood Tiles on the Walls

Some homeowners are going even further up the walls with tile. One of the hippest shower trends is tiling from floor to ceiling with wood tiles. It’s low maintenance, durable and looks authentic. The high-definition design of today’s ceramic and porcelain tile is spot on and the plank shape perfectly mimics real wood.

Multi-Functional Showerheads

Not so long ago showerheads only sprayed out water, but now they are capable of so much more. Two trends that are catching on fast are showerheads with LED colored lighting and showerheads with a speaker built in. And both types can be controlled with apps. Showerhead speakers can remotely connect with your smartphone to play music form your personal playlist, Spotify or Pandora.

Multi-Jet Showers

You’re also more likely to see multiple showerheads in updated bathrooms. A popular system is to have a large rain showerhead directly overhead and a few jetted showerheads at back level coming out of the wall. Another layout that’s seen in many renovated homes is mounting a showerhead on opposite ends of the shower so you can get sprayed from every angle.

Eco-Friendly Features and Flooring

The eco-friendly trend is still going strong. From the flooring to the lighting, bathrooms are greener and more efficient than ever. Dual flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators all save water and won’t affect the design.

But eco-friendly features can also be high-design. Flooring is a great example. Recycled glass, cork and pebbles are three in-demand options that are environmentally friendly. Concrete is another green flooring option that works well in the bathroom and can be stained with non-toxic finishes.

Floating Cabinets

Cabinets are a statement piece in the bathroom. Over the years there have been a lot of different designs, and right now floating cabinets are en vogue. You may lose a little bit of storage space, but one huge benefit of floating cabinets is that the openness makes the space feel larger.

Continuity, Straight Lines and Clean Design

When it comes to the overall look of modern day bathrooms, in the coming years interior designers expect to see continuity that creates flow, straight lines and clean design. Things will be streamlined, but the use of beautiful, high-end materials will keep the design luxurious.

Clay Faucets and Sinks

Any ceramics artist will tell you clay is a versatile, attractive material that’s underutilized today. But that may be changing. Clay was used to create some of the oldest water containing vessels known to man. Designers are rediscovering the natural material in a big way, and their primary focus is using it in the bathroom. Clay is being used to create unique waterfall faucets and unconventional sinks with serious wow-factor.

Organic and Natural Materials

The examples above highlight another larger trend – the use of natural and organic materials. Homeowners are bypassing synthetic and manmade materials for materials found out in nature. Tubs are being made with real wood, concrete is being used on countertops and cork is providing a comfortable flooring option. These materials are being blended together to create bathrooms that feel cozy but still look elegant.

Landscaping – Keeping your Yard in Good Condition

After accomplishing the challenging task of constructing your home, the next area of focus is your yard. The importance of landscaping goes beyond creating a beautiful yard. There are situations where completing your home puts a dent in your budget and diminishes your ability to landscape properly.

You may consider an attempt to handle landscaping on your own on a tighter budget. However, it is advisable to save money for a worthwhile budget that you can use to spend on proper landscaping. There are various reasons why landscaping is an essential aspect of home construction and maintenance. A landscaping budget will help to make sure that the yard is completed.

landscaping

Landscaping Advantages

Properly landscaped yards around the home are an attractive sight. A beautiful yard enables you to feel comfortable in your home and is bound to generate positive feedback from everyone who comes across it. There are other benefits that are associated with landscaping, including the immense value that it can add to your home.

  • Estimated figures show an impressive range of significant percentages in value increase after professional landscaping. If you ever make the choice to sell your home and your yard ispoorly landscaped, you can expect a drastic drop in the sale price.
  • Another important element of landscaping is that it ensures your backyard will not end up as a lake. This is because landscaping helps to direct how water flows and prevent future problems.
  • Landscaping is also useful for boosting energy efficiency. Proper planning and implementation of landscaping can provide trees that offer shelter and shade, open areas to accommodate build up of snow and shrubs to facilitate cooling.
  • Landscaping enables you to move around your yard easily. With the installation of paths, water and mud will be kept away from your house.
  • You can also install porches and patios to enhance the comfort and serenity of your outdoor area. This enables you, your family and friends to enjoy gatherings and parties.
  • Landscaping projects can be implemented after construction, which is an ideal time to start and make sure that your yard is handled properly. Read about landscaping here.

Landscaping Budget

Landscaping budgets can be used by homeowners to ensure that there is enough money set aside for a landscaping project. This will ensure that when your home is finally completed, there will be a provision for landscaping in the overall budget. Working with professionals is the most effective way to utilize the funding in your budget and guarantee a worthwhile return on your property investment.

Professional Landscaping

Regardless of what aspects you include in your plans, professional contractors have the passion and dedication required to fulfill the landscaping process. The goal is to make sure that the plans you have for your home are ideal for your unique lifestyle and fulfill your specified needs. They will assist you during the planning process while focusing on quality and value for money. Customized landscaping plans will accommodate your needs and provide you with the landscape of your dreams.

Check your Tire Pressure and Increase Your Gas Mileage

Low tire pressure can reduce fuel economy. The tires might lose up to a pound per square inch monthly. The particular inflation pressure figure can be located on the placard of the vehicle which is located on the side door post of the driver, fuel door, glove box door, or within the owner’s manual. Custom wheels and tires might alter normal air pressure specification, so if your tire is customized, have a specialist check them out.

Do not Overload Vehicle

Overloading reduces fuel economy because of increased cargo weight and wind drag. Braking and handling control are also impacted negatively.

Rotate Before You Leave

Consistent rotation helps to accomplish uniform tire wear, thus improving road performance. By rotating your Tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles,your tires will have a longer life and also you’re maximizing your tire investment.

Straighten Up

Accurate wheel alignment offers safe, predictable control of a vehicle and assists tires to last longer and wear evenly.

Bald Tires Is not Beautiful

An absence of tread will affect the ability of the tire to grip the road. Make sure your tires do not have uneven wear, low or high spots or abnormally smooth regions that can reduce traction and intensify the risk of road mishaps.

A Five-Minute Tire Fix

Checking your tread and tire pressure to ensure a proper tire pressure is easy and can pay huge dividends in matters of fuel handling and economy. Do not go by appearances. Make use of a tire gauge to examine it since a tire may be 50% under inflated and not appear flat.

Always try to check tire pressure monthly and before any long trip to ensure a proper tire pressure. Make use of the vehicle manufacturer’s endorsed tire pressure.

Furthermore, check your tire’s tread depth by making use of the “penny test.” Insert the head of Abe Lincoln’s, upside down within the tread. If his entire head becomes visible, it is time to get the tire replaced.

When to Visit the Flooring Store: Repairing Existing Flooring vs. Installing New

Stylish flooring can really transform a room. It’s the difference between mediocre and show home. The problem is that flooring tends to suffer more wear and tear than any other part of a home, so it soon starts to look a bit worn around the edges.

Different types of flooring have different levels of resistance. Ceramic floor tiles will last for many years, as will laminate or solid wood flooring if looked after properly. However, carpets tend to wear down within a few years, and if you don’t look after your wooden floors, they will eventually start to suffer. The good news is that you don’t always need to replace your flooring. In some cases a repair can be implemented, which will restore the floor and give it a whole new lease of life.

Repairing Existing Flooring

Tiled floors can be repaired if the damage is not too great. Say a tile has cracked or chipped, you can easily replace the damaged tile without affected the adjacent tiles.

To repair a small chip, mix a small amount of oil-based paint to match the color of the tile. Clean and dry the area carefully before applying the paint until the color is a perfect match. Finish off with a coat of epoxy resin.

To repair a broken tile, cut the grout and carefully prize the damaged tile away from its surroundings. Clean the floor and make sure all of the old adhesive has been removed before gluing the replacement tile into place.

Wooden floors can be sanded down and varnished if the damage is cosmetic. Solid wood flooring has plenty of scope for a sand and clean, but even engineered wooden flooring has enough surface to allow for a thorough re-finishing. Small areas can be sanded down by hand, but if you want to refinish the entire floor, hire an industrial belt-sander to make the job easier.

Parquet block flooring is repairable in the same way, but individual blocks may need to be lifted and re-laid before being sanded down and re-waxed or varnished.

Laminate flooring is not as resistant to damage as solid wood flooring. Once the planks start to warp, it is usually time to replace. However, if there is only a small amount of damage, it may be possible to replace the affected area with new pieces if the strips are joined using a click-lock mechanism.

When it’s Good to Replace

Where the damage is more extensive, or your flooring is looking very dated, it is time to replace rather than repair. New flooring will rejuvenate a tired looking room. It can also add value if you replace old carpet with new wooden flooring.

Many types of flooring are simple to fit. As long as the underlying sub-floor is solid and level, anyone with reasonable DIY skills should be able to lay ceramic tile, wood or laminate flooring. The tricky bits involve cutting around fireplaces or doorways, but with the right tools, this job is a lot easier. However, unless you are confident your skills are up to scratch, it is better to engage the services of a professional to install your new flooring, especially if you have paid a fortune for a solid wood floor.

Time to Visit the Flooring Store

Once you have made a decision to replace your old flooring with a new product, it is worth paying a visit to your local flooring store. Viewing different products up close will help you decide which flooring is right for your home. It is not always easy to work out whether a particular type of flooring is a good choice when you buy online, so it is helpful to see different products in the flesh. Once you have made your choice, go online and do a price check to see if it is available cheaper elsewhere. If it is, place an order.

If you have decided to invest in new flooring, buy the best quality product you can afford. Flooring is one area where you really do get what you pay for, as the better the quality, the more hardwearing your new floor will be.

Break the Pattern with Hexagonal Patterns!

When you think of hexagons, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind? Do you picture a honeycomb?

A lot of people associate the shape with bees and honeycombs. The interesting thing about the hexagonal structure in honeycombs is that it’s not just by chance—bees specifically build their nests with hexagons because this shape is the most efficient for construction and storing as much honey as possible.

Whilehexagons literally help bees work and thrive every day, we could take this shape and beautify our homes in several ways with hexagonal tiles. They’re versatile in that they could modernize a room or add a vintage touch to it. Find out how you can use hexagonal tiles to break out of a design rut and completely elevate your home.

Use Hexagonal Tiles in Your Kitchen Backsplash

Instead of using subway tiles as your kitchen backsplash, why not experiment with hexagonal tiles? Even by selecting a solid, neutral color for the tile your backsplash would still pop because of the pattern and geometry. Pick glass tiles with a striking color to intensify the richness of the tiles.

Small Hexagonal Tiles for a Vintage Vibe

Smaller hexagonal tiles would provide a busier and more pixelated appearance, depending on what color the grout in between the lines is. This tiling is often chosen for bathroom floors. Some people want to recreate the aesthetic and vibe of a bathroom from the 1950s with small hexagonal tiles complete with a Clawfoot tub.

You can go all out and have hexagonal tiles for your floors and walls, or you could mix it up with hexagonal floor tiles and subway tiles for the walls. Either combination would evoke a charming, old-school bathroom.

Be Bold & Make a Statement with Larger Tiles

Large hexagonal tiles, on the other hand, add more of a modern flair to rooms. You could install hexagonal ceramic tile on one wall or column to highlight a specific area of a room. Take for example your powder room or a small bathroom. By installing ceramic tile on the wall of the sink area, you’ll brighten up a small space and add visual pop.

Mix Various Shades of a Color

Hexagonal tiles in different shades of a color not only look stunning, they add more texture. Create a collage of colors and shades as your backsplash. Mixing shades and colors in your tiles bring out the geometry of hexagons even more.

The Color of Your Grout Can Make a Huge Difference

Grout is necessary to bond tiles. It also plays a big role in the aesthetics of the tiles and whole look of your design. If the grout is close to the color of your tiles, the tiles will look more seamless and subtle. But if the grout contrasts your tiles—think of white tiles and black grout—then the hexagons will be strongly emphasized.

Create Your Own Patterns & Designs with the Tiles

Feel like getting really creative? Position different colored tiles to create unique patterns on your floors. It could be as subtle as designing borders or motifs of flowers. Or you could be elaborate and create vibrant mosaics on your flooring for an intricate and rich appearance.

Take Hexagonal Tiles Outside

These tiles aren’t just ideal for kitchens and bathrooms—they work and look just as good on the patio. Create a rustic and cozy outdoor patio with large hexagonal tiles in warm colors. You’ll want to look for porcelain tiles as they’re durable, easy to clean and ideal for outside conditions.

It can be hard to settle on what materials to choose and how to design your home for looks and functionality. But you don’t have to resort to typical paint colors, tiles or design for your home. Hexagonal tiles are versatile and have been well-loved for years by designers. Maybe the thought of tying in these tiles into your home didn’t cross your mind before. But now that you have ideas on how exactly these tiles can shake up your home, you can make a beeline to the nearest tile store.

Plywood Thickness: Weight-Capacity Correlation

Thickness of plywood is essential in determining which to use for the intended purpose at hand. In general, most plywood only reaches 1 inch in thickness. Plywood panels usually come in ¼ , ⅛, 1/16, or 1/32 inch intervals.

Plywood thickness is important to know for two reasons. For starters, plywood thickness determines strength, meaning the thicker the plywood panel is, the stronger it will be. Stronger plywood panels are able to support more weight, sometimes upwards of several hundred pounds. Thick panels are used in construction purposes, such as in building to support concrete. On the other hand, thinner panels are used when strength is not that important or the plywood does not have to support as much weight.

Looking at a piece of 12 x 36 inch piece of fir plywood, if it was ¾ inch thick, it could withstand 50 pounds. However, if the thickness were decreased to ¼ inch, it could only withstand about 5 pounds (Shaddy, SF Gate). These numbers make it clear just how important it is to determine thickness of plywood, since weight capacity can diminish so quickly with thickness.

The second reason why plywood thickness is an important factor in construction is the fact that it also determines flexibility. In general, the thicker a piece of plywood is, the less flexible it will be. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine the needed flexibility in correlation with weight capacity. For instance, a plywood panel should be thicker if it needs to support more weight. However, it should also be on the lower end of the acceptable thickness range if it also needs to be flexible for some reason, such as uneven building structures and various weather conditions.

Other Factors

Several other characteristics play a role in determining weight capacity and flexibility of plywood. These include the following:

  • Species– Different types of wood will react differently to weight and environments, especially if it is softwood versus hardwood (i.e. softwood will be more flexible, but not be able to withstand as much weight).
  • Layers– Weight capacity increases with the number of layers of plywood. However, flexibility also decreases.
  • Glues– Certain types of glues will help to fortify plywood and make it stronger. They can also help to make the plywood waterproof, which would make them more durable

Flooring that goes with My Bathroom Accessories

It is entirely possible to have flooring that matches your various bathroom accessories, but you most likely wouldn’t want solid wood floors in here. This is because there is always plenty of water that is getting all over the floors in the bathroom, especially if you have kids. However, you can put hardwood floors in the bathroom and use laminate or other types of flooring.

There are plenty of good options for flooring in the bathroom and you can get many different varieties of vinyl or laminate flooring. These types of flooring have different patterns that allow for matching of bathroom accessories including colors and patterns. Any pattern that you want can be found and if not you can get a matching color or a different pattern.

You can also use a variety of different patterns in order to create a different look that would match your accessories. You can find different designs such as flowers, animals, prints and much more in the various selections. Don’t settle for anything less than the best. There is such a wide selection of different items available that you will be able to find anything and everything.

However, because of the nature of the bathroom and the habit of water going all over, you should try to avoid wood flooring, but if you want to have wood flooring, then you can go for a laminate. These laminates resemble wood flooring, but are much easier to clean up and you won’t have to worry about warping or any other staining or damages.

Not only can you use a laminate, vinyl or anything like that, but you can also use some tiles or stones. These would be a bit more time consuming and harder to put in, but extremely worth it. Depending on your accessories you can match the titles and even create different designs with these tiles to match everything. Also, you can use the stones in the same way, especially if you choose to use the smaller versions.

You can make your bathroom your dream bathroom with just a bit of extra work and love and care. Don’t settle for anything that you don’t love and make sure to choose the best selection that you believe matches your accessories. Before you put any new flooring down, make sure that you are choosing the best option and that you are able to take care of it properly, especially wood flooring.

Bathroom Tile Ideas

No matter what the size of your bathroom, some basic bathroom tile ideas can help you do up the bathroom flooring in the best possible manner, and for results worth appreciating.

Bathroom tiles are, in fact, elementary to any bathroom design or theme – and the best part about them is their availability in a wide array of shapes, sizes, patterns and textures. However, the most popular ones are ceramic bathroom floor tile, which is durable, dampness resistant, safe to walk on when wet, and easy to clean.

The addition of tile borders to the solid color ceramic bathroom floor tile411, in a different color to the tile floor, or by alternating more than one colors can be a visual treat, giving your bathroom floor an interesting look.

Yet another bathroom tile idea is to choose a grout color to contrast with the ceramic tile color. If you are using white tiles, you could use blue, red or yellow grout for contrast. Remember that you would need to apply sealers to grout lines in areas of heavy wear, as they can protect and preserve grout colors.

You can also experiment with the layout of the floor tiles, which can be square, rectangle, hexagon and octagon in shape, by placing them in different ways to work out a unique pattern. The color of the floor tile you select should be such that it enhances the space and lighting of the bath area.

The most general of bathroom tile ideas is to try and create a look for your bathroom, which is space and size specific – the bathroom tile and style you zero in on should be contemporary yet a cut above the commonplace style!

Zoli Corporation offers European designs in a wide range of quality bathroom sinks, Kitches Sinks and Vanities. You can also find more information on choosing the best bathroom sink for your home.

Choosing Flooring When Building a Home

Flooring is a practical element in the design of a home. Not only is flooring practical but it adds to the overall look of the home and adds style to every room. This is the reason why choosing the flooring for your home is an important step in the design process. When building a new construction the home being built is fully customizable which means the options are endless. The only downside is, endless options can lead to difficulty making decisions. Here are some things to consider when choosing flooring.

First, budget is a major aspect to consider when selecting flooring. There are several great options in every price range but all in all, it is best to get the lowest price for the flooring that suits your home best. When shopping around look for more affordable options. For example laminate is a nice alternative to hardwood. The ideal and feel is there minus the high price.

Next you want to consider the rooms and what floors you want in those rooms. Flooring in locations of the home such as the entrance, kitchen or bathroom should be easy to clean while laminate and hardwood are a good fit in the living and dining room and carpet adds comfort and warmth to bedrooms. Aside from considering the rooms, flooring should also match the overall style and decor of the space.

Something that many homeowners overlook when installing flooring is the subfloor. Certain types of floors can be installed over various surfaces but in some cases the existing floor has to be removed. When this problem is discovered it sets back the overall progress of the home and results in further expenses.

Lastly, when choosing flooring for a new construction consider your lifestyle and how much wear and tear the floors will undergo. In areas of heavy foot traffic you want durable flooring that is easy to maintain. If you have pets or children you want to choose flooring that is easy to clean.

See If You Are Tire Smart

Significant differences exist between men and women and also among younger and older drivers.

Men are more likely than women to be “tire smart,” according to the survey. About 20 percent of men and 14 percent of women are considered “tire smart.” That means fewer women know to check tire pressure monthly and to check tires when they are cold (before driving). Women know better than men where to find the correct tire pressure for their vehicle: on the driver’s doorjamb or door and in the owner’s manual.

A more stark difference exists between generations. Twenty-seven percent of drivers aged 60 and older are “tire smart” while only 8 percent of drivers 18 to 39 know the basic tips for properly checking tire pressure. The survey was conducted for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers in the U.S.

Safety Risk

Underinflated tires pose a safety risk, waste fuel and cause premature tire wear. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that properly inflated tires can save about 11 cents a gallon at today’s gas prices.

Motorists can Be Tire Smart and Play Your PART.

Pressure

Check tire pressure monthly with a tire gauge and inflate to vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

Alignment

Misalignment of wheels can cause uneven and rapid tread wear.

Rotation

Rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to help you achieve more uniform wear.

Tread

Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions.

Learn More

For further information, visit www.betiresmart.org or call (202) 682-4800.

Helping Your Car Keep Cool In Warmer Weather

• Check Your Battery

If you have an older vehicle or you’ve had your battery for more than three years, you should have it tested. While it is common to hear of car battery failure during the cold winter months, heat is just as hard on your battery. Warmer temperatures can evaporate battery fluid, causing damage to internal plates and speeding up corrosion.

• Top Off Or Change Fluids

Engine fluids are a key component in keeping your car running during the summer months. When fluid levels are low, the cooling effect is decreased and could result in overheating. Check your vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommended fluid type.

• Check Engine Belts And Hoses For Cracks And Wear

Look for leaks and feel to determine if the hoses are firm and pliable. Pay special attention to places where hoses are connected and clamped. Do not attempt to touch any hoses or belts after you have been driving your vehicle, as they will be hot and could cause burns and serious injury.

• Cool Your Engine

Your engine works extra hard during the summer and relies on the cooling system to protect it from overheating. To keep your cooling system in good working condition, you should flush your system and replace the coolant as recommended by the manufacturer. Engine coolant can become contaminated and its protective additives can lose their effectiveness.

You can also try using a radiator coolant additive, such as Purple Ice by premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. Purple Ice is designed to improve your engine’s performance, help prevent overheating and keep the system clean. Plus, it’s compatible to use with antifreeze or straight water.

For more information, visit www.royalpurple.com.

Save Time And Money With Easy DIY Auto Maintenance Tips

* Cabin Air Filter Replacement

The air conditioner is cranked up on those hot summer days. The cabin air filter keeps the air blowing through the heat and air conditioning ventilation system clean, and it should be replaced at least once a year. But in areas of the country where there is a lot of pollen or dust – from dirt roads, construction projects or even arid conditions – it’s a good idea to replace this filter more frequently.

“Cabin air filters are usually easy to install, but installation will vary between cars,” says Tom Taylor, engineer and vice president of RockAuto.com, an online auto parts retailer. “Some filters are behind the glove box, and others are accessed through the cowl panel below the windshield.”

Check your owner’s manual to see if there is information on replacing the cabin air filter, or visit RockAuto.com to find installation instructions provided by filter manufacturers.

* Headlamps And Tail Lights

When a headlamp or tail light burns out, you may be surprised to discover how easy it is to replace these bulbs. For most vehicles, installation of headlamps is from the engine compartment. Just unplug the electrical connector on the back of the bulb, unscrew the large plastic ring that holds the bulb in place and pull the bulb out. Because headlamps are usually halogen lights, be sure to wear gloves or use a cloth to avoid getting fingerprints on the bulb. Oils from your hands can shorten the life of the bulb.

Tail lights are similar – usually you can gain access through the trunk of the vehicle underneath the trim material.

* Wiper Blades

Trying to see the road through a streaky window is almost as bad as trying to see the road in a heavy rain shower. The quality of the blade purchased will determine how long the blade will last and how well it will perform in clearing the windshield of rain.

“It is now easy to choose wipers that are better than what originally came on the car,” Taylor says. “There are longer-lasting blades, winter blades that resist freezing to the windshield and beam-type wiper arms that hold the blade more firmly on the glass.”

Higher quality blades tend to cost more, but drivers will appreciate the durability and clarity they provide.-RockAuto.com is promoting a wiper wholesaler closeout for top-quality blades at extremely low prices. Once you have your blades purchased, just follow the included directions on how to install them.

* Engine Air Filter

These air filters keep the oxygen supplied to the engine’s combustion chambers free of dirt and other contaminants. Clean air is needed to optimize the engine’s performance and extend its life. Manufacturers recommend replacing an engine air filter every 12,000 miles driven.- However, it will also depend on the car’s model and how dusty the environment is. This filter is typically located under the hood in a large, rectangular, plastic air filter housing. Remove the four bolts or clips around the edges and then lift the dirty filter out.

These maintenance tasks are ongoing, but they become even easier with repetition. DIYers save money and time when they handle them at home.

Car Noises And What They Mean

“Getting your oil changed, tires rotated and brake pads checked regularly not only helps keep your car running smoothly, but it also helps keep you and your family safe,” says Matt Myers, senior vice president of claims with Erie Insurance. “It’s also important to check your car’s transmission fluids and get the 50,000-mile and 100,000-mile checks. It might sound like a lot, but regular preventative maintenance is the best way to keep those strange car noises – and accidents – to a minimum.”

Here are six common car noises people hear and what they could mean:

Humming Or Groaning

When you hear humming while driving at faster speeds, it’s a sign there probably is some wear on your tires, which can lead to serious issues. It could be located on the insides of your tires, which is hard to diagnose on your own, but not having it checked is a risk, because the steel belts in the tire might be coming apart.

Growling

This noise could change or even go away when you turn the wheel, but it is usually caused by a defective front wheel bearing. The change in noise could be a result of the shift in the weight of the car as you turn.

Whining And Creaking

You might hear these noises backing up or turning. It could be the result of a ball joint or tie rod seizing up.

Squeaking

This can be a high-pitched, steady annoyance that lets you know it’s time to get your brake pads checked or replaced.

Grinding

This sound means two pieces of metal are touching when they shouldn’t be. This sound could be a multitude of things: brakes, powertrain, suspension or something else. Whatever the case, a grinding sound means you need to get your car checked out as soon as possible.

Hissing

A hissing sound might occur after you turn off your ignition and can sometimes be followed by smoke from under your hood.

The next time you hear strange noises coming from your car, don’t just turn up the radio to drown them out – get them checked by a mechanic. Ignoring those noises today could lead to a dangerous and expensive situation tomorrow.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.

Keep your cool: Don’t Get Stuck On The Road This Summer

Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.

Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn’t separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.

Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.

Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.