Archive for August, 2010

Weatherproofing doors and windows

Is the sun seeping in your doors or windows, maybe a cool draft? Rain will be coming soon… Do you want water seeping into your home to damage your entry way or window sills? Of course you don’t want this, weatherproofing doors and windows can be a simple and affordable task and needs to be done. Weatherproofing your home will help you to be more comfortable and will save you in regards to energy cost and other cost that can come along with gaps in your home.

Walk around your house on a sunny day and look at your windows and doorways. What do you see in the cracks of your windows and doors? You shouldn’t see the bright sun seeping through the edges. You should only see a window sill or door gasket protecting the weather elements from entering your home. Sun isn’t out but it’s a breezy day, then check for a draft of air coming through closed doors and windows. If you feel a draft, same issue is at hand. It’s time to weatherproof doors and windows.

Now that you know there is a problem with your doors or windows, what do you do? It’s simple enough and you can do it yourself. That door that has that draft sneaking through, handle it with vinyl or rubber weather stripping. If that doesn’t do the trick, a sweep can be placed on the bottom of your door and will help you with these gaps in your doors if your floor is irregular.

If the problem isn’t your door at all and the issue is with your window then you have other products that will benefit you. You may need to place new sealant along your window pane. If that doesn’t do the trick you can place film over the problem area but this can be more complicated and take more time. If film is what you need, using a hair dryer is best to make the film fit snug.

Check your windows and doors before it’s too late. Months and months of sneaky drafts seeping into your home can cost you in electric bills and can you discomfort or even let unwanted critters indoors. Nipping this problem in the bud is the best thing for all in the family.

Organizing Your Garage

The season is coming to an end and fall is near, this is a great time to get the garage organized. I don’t know about you, but my car has sat curbside or in the driveway all summer. My garage isn’t too cluttered but it needs some work. Come summer the kids are in and out all day riding bikes and skateboards. When the kids are done the bikes and skateboards end up sitting on the garage floor like that of a rug would in my living room. What to do now? It is time for me to get organized.

Come time for fall I store away the summer tools and toys and organize what the new season brings, other toys and tools! Some quick additions to your garage can keep you sane and make things easier for you. Install some hooks and racks to hang up bikes and those garden tools. The tools you don’t need so much store higher or in less accusable places. You will need your rake so place that on a hook that is easy to get to.

Just as hooks and racks are important to organize your garage, cabinets and storage totes are a great addition as well. If in your budget, building cabinets to store away summer toys, summer clothing, and chemicals or other like items is a great idea. To make things safe you can add locks to cabinet doors to keep the kids away from dangerous things. If the budget doesn’t permit installing cabinets, plastic totes will do. For items you know you will not need until spring or summer, place these items in the banisters of your garage. For items you need nearby, place them in totes that are easily accessible and label them accordingly.

Is there more room available then you need in your garage after organizing? A home office or an extra room may be built in your garage. Hiring a professional to do the dirty work is ideal if adding new additions to your home. Do your research if you will be looking into such a project.

Organizing your garage will benefit you in so many ways. Less stress in finding items, less stress in looking at less clutter, and an organized garage is a healthier option due to less dust in regards to allergies and less danger because chemicals or dangerous tools are out of the children’s way. You may even have room to add to your garage afterwards. I’m getting started this coming weekend. What ways can you get more organized?

How to Have a Beautiful Lawn

This is a guest post Written by Monika from Mascus.com. Visit them online to find used lawn mowers and other garden and landscape equipment for sale.

If you dream about a beautiful thick lawn in your garden, there are certain activities that you have to perform: watering, mowing, fertilizing and weeding cannot be forgotten. Caring for the grass won’t take loads of time, but you have to do it on regular basis.

Watering

The best time for watering your lawn is early in the morning (the best time, actually) or in the evening, after sunset. It can and should be watered as well during hot afternoons if you spot the signs of withering. Otherwise, you should avoid it in the middle of a hot day as it is not economical – 30-40% of water will evaporate. The most difficult period and key stage for your lawn is the phase of plant emergence, when you have to remember about regular irrigation. In general, the best idea is to water the lawn rarely but heavily – once a week or every 3-4 days during dry spells. Daily irrigation is unnecessary and leads to developing shallow root system what makes the grass more prone to diseases. The first season is the most difficult; in subsequent years, the grass will be able to survive longer. During first three weeks after sowing, it is best to water manually. Later on you can use portable sprinklers, but it is important to change their setting often, as excessive watering causes leaching of nutrients.

Mowing

The first mowing should be carried out when the grass reaches about 4 inches. It should be reduced to no less than 2 inches. Later you can gradually reduce the height, but keep in mind that you should never cut more than half of the plant. Frequent mowing results in better condition and appearance of the lawn. When the grass is cut regularly, but not too short, the loss of nutrients is limited.

Fertilization

Fertilization contributes to improving lawn color, density, and growth. Properly fertilized grass is more resistant to weeds competition and unfavorable weather conditions. The minerals that are important include: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and iron. The best time to apply fertilizers is when the grass is actively growing, and this is different for warm and cool season types. If you have weed or pest problem, you can buy a mixed combination of fertilizers and the necessary treatments.

Weeding

The best way to fight with weeds is to get rid of them regularly. If there are not many of them, you can do it manually. In many cases simple mowing is enough to prevent undesirable plants grow and seed – for example dandelions or buttercups won’t reproduce if they don’t have a chance to blossom. If the weed problem gets serious you may have to use some chemical weed killers.

Maintain your Central Heating and Air Conditioning

Summer is coming to a close and winter is coming near. We have all been running our air conditioning unit to no end this summer in hopes to stay cool and comfortable. Knowing that we have been running the air conditioner often to cool our homes and businesses we should be looking at the upkeep of this luxury going into the cooler months. It will soon be time to switch our thermostats to a cool breeze to a warm temperature.

A decent air conditioning unit should last a good 10-15 years, more if maintained properly. Proper maintenance means that you physically have to check for leaks or cracks in your unit. It is important to change your filter at least every 4-6 weeks as well for homes with those that suffer from allergies. Keep your outdoor air compressor clean, a garden hose will do the trick. Cleaning the air duct every 3-5 years is standard practice as well; this should be done by a professional.

Okay, we had the air conditioner working well for the summer months and winter is near. It’s time for central heating maintenance. Before it gets cool run your heater and make sure you feel warm air. Change your filter before your first chilly night and check your pilot light if you’re running your heater on natural gas. Your pilot should be a very light blue. Make sure your unit is wired right along with other appliances. An electrician can come in handy here.

If your air conditioning unit or heater seems to be working too hard or not hard enough it is best to seek a professional. HVAC contractors or an electrician can better help you in your central heating and air conditioning needs. Making sure your unit works well and efficiently will help you save money, help you breathe better, and will help you stay more comfortable. Check your unit out soon in order to reap these rewards as well.

Fixing the Outside of your Home

Curb appeal is always something spoken of when it comes to purchasing a home or even when it comes to visiting a home. Curb appeal is something you want when selling your home or when your welcome visitors. How do you know if you have curb appeal? If you need curb appeal, how do you get it?

Looking at your home each day makes you more oblivious to the eye sores or the real beauty your home front really possesses. Walk across the street and take some pictures of the outside of your home to get a good look at what needs to be fixed up and to get an idea of what is working for your home. If you are still lost during this exercise, pull out some pictures of well landscaped homes to get a better idea of what you’re aiming for.

Now that you see that you need to make some changes to give your yard the look you want. What steps do you need to take to make your yard beautiful giving you the curb appeal you desire?

Some simple things you can do:

Fresh paint – Paint the whole house if needed, but you may need to only update the trim to accent your home
Update windows – Are your windows outdated? Maybe you only need better window shading options.

c. Landscaping – This may be as simple as a quick trim to your bushes and some weed pulling, but you may need to do more. Planting flowers or a tree may be ideal.
d. The door and entry way – Is your entry way clean and clear of debris? Do you need a new door, or would a simple new coat of paint do?

These are simple steps to get you headed in the right direction. Giving your home the curb appeal you desire will help you sell your home for a better price if that is what your goal is. If you aren’t selling your home, having curb appeal will set the mood for you and your guest when walking up to your welcoming door.

Remodeling Your Bathroom

House remodeling is a major expense that we do only every several years. Sometimes 2 to 3 decades will pass without anything being remodelled. Once you’ve decided to renovate, there will be a lot to fix up like the kitchen, the flooring, roofing, bedrooms, the bathrooms and landscaping. Bathrooms, although tiny compared to the other rooms can be a costly part of house remodeling.

Bath and toilet fixtures are quite expensive and you will have to install high quality fixtures because it takes too much work to keep changing them. The toilet and sink are permanent fixtures that you can’t easily pull out and replace. Then, there are bathroom mirrors to worry about and dozens of bathroom lighting fixtures to choose from.

Some people prefer to have brightly lit bathrooms while others like dim pin lights to give it a cosier feel. House remodeling companies can show you so many types of bathroom lighting fixtures to choose from that it can be dizzying. Bottom line is you will have a lot of choices to pick from. Bathroom mirrors have to be professionally installed by a glass installer. Glass installers are supposed to be highly skilled at what they do because a badly mounted mirror or glass partition in your bathroom can easily shatter or break.

Most people put a lot of emphasis on the toilet fixture, sink, faucets and shower but neglect to see the importance of the bathroom mirrors and bathroom lighting fixtures. Lighting can instantly change the ambiance and feel of a room. It affects our mood and how functional or how elegant a room becomes. The same thing goes for bathroom mirrors and glass partitions in the shower area.

Glass partitions can be etched, tinted, frosted or clear. You can have folding glass doors or sliding shower doors. Bathroom mirrors can also have etched designs on the sides and have any shape that would be suitable for the overall design of the bathroom. It can be built-in to the wall or come in an elegant frame. Your remodeling contractor can show you samples or take you to the showroom of their supplier so you can see your choices first hand.

Importance of Teaching your Kids DIY

Teaching your children DIY, no matter what the task, can be rewarding and is very important. A small job such as basic landscaping or a large job like remodeling a room both teaches your children great skills they can take with them for a life time and create a lasting memory for all.

Some projects that are ideal to work together with kids are as followed:

Gardening – flower gardens, fruit and vegetable gardens
• Building a tree house or fort – perfect addition for any child and their friends
• Remodeling a room – their room would be ideal
• Basic landscaping – yard work, or building upon your yard
• Building a pond – adding different plants and fish will be beneficial
• Organizing the garage – not only cleaning up, but building shelves as well

Now that we discussed some projects the kids can help you with it’s time to discuss safety. Safety is very important when it comes to children helping out. Make sure you have the right tools and educate your children before starting any DIY projects. Set clear expectation with your kids to start with. Remodeling is fun but no time for goofing off. Constant supervision is a must when working on remodeling projects with children.

Doing DIY projects with your children is important for a few reasons. Working on these projects together has rewarding factors because your children worked hard for the end result and will take care of what was completed because they take pride in their work as you do as well. Working on projects together will build better relationships and you will be spending more time together. You’re also teaching your children skills of team work, mathematical skills, and much more.

Spend time with your children today. Find a task that needs to be done around your house or donate your time and effort in helping those in need of a job well done. Create a lasting experience and memory for your children and yourself. What can you do with your children to teach them the importance of DIY projects?

Summer Home Remodeling Projects

There are many summer remodeling projects you can get started on for the season. The sun is out and it’s not that likely that rain will come down on your parade, your parade being your plans of getting a job well done completed in a timely matter. Now that it is summer and the likely factor is that the weather will be great you have plenty of time to work on remodeling your home with these great projects.

Patios and Decks – It is a perfect time to build a patio or deck. If your home is already equipped with a patio or deck it is a good time to see if your deck needs to be refinished or if it needs any repairs.

a. Siding – The siding of your walls may need to be repaired, repainted or installed altogether. Summer is a great time for this because of the nature of the drier seasons.
Roofing – The drier months are best for roofing as well. Whatever it is that needs to be done, shingle repair, gaps in your roof, or gutter cleaning, there are many projects you can do to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape.

b. Windows – Want to let more natural lighting in by adding windows or enlarging windows, summer is great for this because you can see best how the sun beams on your home. Maybe your satisfied with the amount of windows or your window’s size, it may be best for you to add pizzazz to your home. Installing decorative windows or better shading options may be ideal for you.

Landscaping – Now for the fun stuff, incorporating a flower garden, a pond, a waterfall, or gazebo would be ideal. Sky is the limit here. Make sure you have fun working on the landscape of the outdoors.

No matter what your remodeling project will entail this summer, work smart. Working smart means working in the cooler parts of the day, working with others, and staying hydrated with cool water. Another important factor is to hire a professional if you don’t have the skill set to complete these jobs in a safe manner on your own.

Summer Home Remodeling Projects

Summertime is always a good time to remodel your home. Depending on how much work needs to be done, home remodeling can include, demolition, cutting, sanding and house painting. On April 22, 2008, the EPA issued a rule that requires all contractors to use lead-free paint for house painting and other remodeling projects. The old kind of paint that contains lead was found to be hazardous to our health. During home remodeling, we are exposed to dust particles from lead paint which can cause lead poisoning or lung disorders.

Children are most susceptible to this kind of risk, which is why children’s furniture and toys also use lead-free paint nowadays. Regulations have become stricter now and another rule was passed in April 2010 that requires contractors working on homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 to be certified. They must also follow very specific work practices to avoid lead contamination and the spread of lead paint dust that children may later inhale or ingest.

Our company assures you of a hassle-free and professional House painting service that complies with today’s strict home remodeling regulations. We only use lead-free and non-toxic paint and practice safety measures to ensure a contamination-free environment after each project.

We have eliminated the usual problems that home owners experience during home remodeling projects by doing things right the first time around. It is quite common to discover hidden expenses and shoddy finished work with most contractors. Since 1988, we have gained a reputation of providing house painting services with the best experience in interior and exterior painting. You will be dealing with a stable company that offers home remodeling service before, during and after every project.

Other home remodeling services we offer aside from house painting are deck restoration, construction cleanup, and bird proofing, gutter maintenance, floor care, roofing, pressure washing, waterproofing, caulking, sealing, and window treatments installation, tinting and cleaning.

Backyard Remodeling Activities

Today’s backyard can be a place of leisure or a place to partake in enjoyable hobbies. Many backyards offer both; pure relaxation and fun filled activities. Activities that may speak best to you could be barbequing, playing sports, sitting by a fire, sitting by the water with good conversation, or planting your favorite flowers or vegetables in a nice simple garden. Summer is here and if your backyard isn’t ready for your plans it’s time to plan to remodel your backyard in a way that would set the right atmosphere for your wants and needs.

If you would like to set a relaxed atmosphere there are many backyard remodeling activities that you can work on. Create a pathway leading to a nice pond or waterfall that speaks to your inner needs of peace and quiet. If you want to relax with loved ones and ponds and waterfalls aren’t what you’re looking for, maybe a cabana would suite your needs with a comfy place to sit and unwind.

Some live a life of entertaining and there are many backyard remodeling activities that would better suite the need of yours to gather with friends and family. Build a patio, deck, or a porch that will allow you to entertain these guests of yours. What is backyard get together without food? Adding an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace for warmth and some treats like smores, or building a built-in- grill for a great barbeque would be ideal for those who enjoy entertaining others.

No matter your lifestyle and desires there is always a way to improve your atmosphere. Here I listed some ideas to get you started on created a haven for your lovely home. What remodeling activities would better your backyard experience? Please share by commenting below.