Showing posts with label Home Tips and Guides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Tips and Guides. Show all posts

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Challenge of Finding the Right Remodeling Contractor

The hardest part about doing a home remodel is not actually the remodeling work itself. Most homeowners would agree that the biggest challenge is getting a contractor who is reliable, competent, and who has a good reputation to do the job. Putting in new cabinets, removing a wall, or changing the tile in a bathroom, is child’s play when compared to finding a good contractor who can do the job well from the beginning to the end.



Unfortunately, there are enough stories out there about contractor disasters to fill up a library. Many of these revolve around contractors who started the job, but never finished it. These contractors may say that they need up to three times the amount of money they originally bid for the job in order to complete it properly.

Of course, even with the best contractor, doing a home renovation will involve stress, expense, and unwanted surprises. Yet, the right contractor can minimize the challenges involved, and increase the success of any job.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Step-by-Step Instructions for Installing Pre-hung Doors

If you’re building or renovating a home, installing your own doors is a great way to save a little money. Many builders and homeowners prefer pre-hung doors because they are convenient and fairly easy to install. Unlike a slab door, a pre-hung door is already attached to the frame. All you need is a rough opening to install it in, a few tools, and a little bit of know-how. Although slab doors are a little less expensive to purchase up-front, pre-hung doors can save you time and effort during the installation process. Following these steps will help ensure that you install your pre-hung doors correctly:
  1. Gather Your Tools
Pre-hung doors can be quite heavy, so you should recruit at least one other person to help you install them. Before you begin, gather up the following tools: tape measure, finish nails, shims, hammer, nail punch, utility knife, circular saw (or jigsaw), level, and screwdrivers. You may not need the circular saw, but it will come in handy if you need to trim your doorjambs. Wood putty is important to have on-hand when you are ready to hide the nail holes in your installed doors.

Friday, November 6, 2015

6 Tips for Making Your Construction Site Safer

Working as a construction worker is almost similar to being a superhero. Each day you are entrusted with the responsibility of bearing heavy loads and using expensive equipment. Squatting on scaffolds and riding in cranes puts you so high up in the sky that you have the feeling you are flying. What makes your job extraordinary and enjoyable can also put a lot of stress on you. If you don’t take care, you can incur injuries while working. Here are some safety tips to follow to avoid common injury and stress on the construction site.

1. Lift objects properly

As a construction worker, backaches are your primary enemy. It is easy to get injuries while carrying heavy loads, but you can avoid this hazard altogether. Always bend your knees so that you don’t twist to the side while lifting. For a better balance, put one foot in front of the other.

2. Use ergonomic portable and high-powered tools

Tools are meant to make your work simpler. You may not realize it, but frequent use of poorly designed tools can make you develop conditions such as trigger finger, white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis. Even powered tools can make you develop serious problems due to their excessive noise and high vibration. Thus, as an employer or supervisor, ensure the tools you select for your workers have a long trigger and low vibration levels. For the hand tools, safety coordinators or employers must select those that require less force and don’t put a strain on the hand when held tight. The hand tools must also be balanced, and not conduct electricity or heat.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Laying It Down: Wood Floors

If it seems as if installing hardwood floors is something that should be left to the pros, you might be right. If you want to include complicated angles or a herringbone pattern, hiring installers could be your best bet. However, if you are doing a straightforward layout with interlocking planks, perhaps you could conquer the task yourself. Here’s everything you need to know before you get started on the project.

Materials
Gone are the days of the narrow oak plants you used to see in turn-of-the-century homes. These days, wider planks and larger pieces of wood in general are the norm. Fewer seams in a living space make the room seem bigger, it seems, so that’s the way manufacturers are leaning. Another trend in natural wood floors is unfinished planks; that is, wood that is sanded and waxed but not shined to the high gloss of finished floors. Even painted planks or unusual wood colors such as grey have risen in popularity in recent years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Three Elements of a Good Contractor

If you are considering renovating any part of your home, the first step to getting a project started is to find the renovation contractor you will be working with. How do you go about finding the right contractor for the project? You will have to do your research and make sure that you understand the bidding process. Here are three elements of a good contractor that you should always look for.

Licensing and References
Before you contact any contractor for a bid on your renovation project, it is extremely important to understand the licensing requirements in the area where you live. Then you will be able to check any potential contractors to see if they meet all of the local requirements to do the work your are requesting.

Along with licensing, you should also try to get a couple of references from people who have used them on their own renovation projects. This will give you a first-hand experience on how a typical project will go from start to finish.

Getting a Detailed Bid 
Bids can vary widely. Even the term 'bid' can mean different things to different contractors. To clear up any confusion, a good contractor will let you know whether the bid is a fixed price or an estimate of the work. This will help you with your budget and help to maintain an honest relationship between you and your contractor. To get your renovation budget in even better shape, you can ask your contractor for an itemized list so that you know the breakdown of the total cost.

Checking on Suppliers 
Another way to tell if you are hiring a quality contractor is to ask where your contractor is getting his materials for each job. Then you can go directly to the supplier to make sure that your contractor has a professional reputation within the industry. If a contractor is fair, pays his bills on time and is courteous to his suppliers, you should have no problem with your own renovation project.

While taking estimates, it is important to see how well you and the contractor communicate. If they are difficult when answering questions, the process of working with them may also become difficult.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Brighten Up Your Home with a 3 Step Pressure Wash

Pressure washing your home should be on the to-do list of every homeowner. A good wash is essential to making sure that your paint will remain vibrant and beautiful as long as it should. But, pressure washing is not just an easy chore that you do in the afternoon. Instead, it requires skill and equipment to do it properly, and a good pressure washer is a powerful tool that requires practice before you use it. Most people think that setting up a pressure washer and giving their house a good wash is good enough. However, they don't realize that the one step process isn't enough to fully clean their home and protect their surfaces. A professional pressure washing company, like Renew Crew of Little Rock, knows that there is more than one step that should be considered when you want to make your home look brand new again.


Step 1: Pre-Soak

Just like surfaces in your home, pre-soaking your house can ensure that the dirt lifts right off of the surface when you pressure wash it. When you are considering the cleaner you will use for your pre-soak step, consider what kinds of chemicals are in it, too. Many of these soaps have chemicals in them, and if you are going to be spraying them all over your house, you want to make sure that children and pets are safe. To protect little ones and furry pets, opt for an eco-friendly or biodegradable option. These options clean just like the chemical solutions but without any of the hazards.

Step 2: Pressure

Wash After you have pre-soaked your house, it is time to use a pressure washer. Getting all the dirt off your house should take considerably less time if it has been pre-soaked. Pressure washing your house does not damage it, but it does rinse away any of the dirt that has been trapped in the wood or the siding, which makes your house look clean again.

Step 3: Add a Sealant

 The third step to consider is a finish. Applying a finish can extend the life of wood surfaces by protecting it against weather damage and the sun. It can also seal pores and cracks so that dirt doesn't get into the siding and build up.

The exterior of your house shows it off to the world, and you should clean it as thoroughly as you would clean the inside of your home. Choosing a pressure washing company that understands the importance of keeping your home clean can help you keep your home protected well into the future.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Dust-Free Home

Cleaning the home and keeping it clean doesn’t have to be difficult. However, one of the most troublesome aspects of housecleaning is the dust that collects and clings everywhere. Nothing else is as troublesome as dust. Virtually everything else can be kept clean with minimal effort. Smooth surfaces stay virtually streak-free and other surfaces don’t become dirty unless they’re directly contaminated in some way. However, dust collects constantly as it is perpetually floating through the air. This is especially true for people who live in the desert. There are some ways to keep the home more dust-free and make cleaning easier to manage.

Knick-knacks and collectible items can attract a lot of dust. Instead of displaying them out in the open, it’s wise to place them inside of a collectible display case. Dust has a way of getting into all of the nooks and crannies. When people are cleaning off their items, they can miss this dust that has collected. This can potentially ruin collectible items. Placing them in a display case is an excellent way to keep them dust-free, but it also helps to showcase the brilliance of each item. Items that are kept in a display case have a way of reflecting light.

While screens cant indefinitely keep out dust, they can greatly prohibit a lot of it from entering the home. Place screens over the windows, and it’s wise to install screen doors on the outside of the home’s doors. It helps to wet each of the screens before the windows and doors are open. The dust is more likely to cling to the screens than enter the home.

Keeping a lush garden may be difficult, and it can take time to grow several plants. However, an outdoor garden helps to keep dust at a minimum. The roots of a plant helps to hold down the soil. There is dust in the air, but it can spring up from the ground when the wind catches it. Waiting for the grass and other vegetation to grow takes time. Ground covering takes very little time to grow, and it grows like weeds, which means that maintenance is minimal. This will help keep dust out of the home.

There are other ways to keep dust out of the home. Invest in a strong vacuum cleaner, and use water where possible to clean up items. Enjoy a more dust-free home.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Essentials of Rug Cleaning

Area rugs have a lot of uses. They can fill an empty space, define an area, protects large carpets and much more. They often receive more traffic than other carpets and may receive more spills. Area rugs come in all shapes and sizes and are made from many different fabrics. When you look for a rug cleaner, make sure they know how to clean each kind of rug.

Wool Rugs
Persian and oriental rugs are special wool rugs that have brilliant designs woven into the rug. They brighten any corner and add elegance to the room. Wool area rugs are also available with modern designs and colors. All wool rugs need special handling and should be cleaned by a professional. Persian and oriental rugs need to be vacuumed first on both sides with a special tool so as not to create fuzz. No harsh alkaline cleaner should be used because it can damage wool. Professionals use environmentally-friendly products that don’t leave any toxic fumes to pollute your indoor air quality.

Silk Rugs
Silk rugs are very delicate and require a different method of cleaning from wool, cotton or synthetic. Silk fibers are very resilient, but they stain easily. They may also fade in high traffic areas. Abrasive cleaning will also damage the rug beyond repair. Before selecting a cleaning process, a professional cleaner will analyze your rug to determine if it is pure silk or a silk blend. Sometimes silk is blended with cotton or synthetic fiber.

Synthetic Rugs

Rugs made with synthetic fiber or a blend of synthetic fiber and a natural fiber such as wool, silk or cotton usually come with instructions for cleaning. In some cases, if they are small enough, they can be washed in a washing machine and air dried. If the rug is a blend or large, it should be cleaned by a professional who uses non-toxic cleaners. Professionals will know how to clean a blended rug so it looks like new.

Many people believe that a regular vacuuming keeps their carpets clean. However, dust mites, pet dander and other allergens sink deep into the carpet and cannot be removed with a vacuum cleaning and cannot be seen. If you have a doubt that your area rug is clean, you can pick up one corner and kick it from behind. If a small spray of dust or dirt jumps out on the other side, it is time to clean your rug.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Keep Intruders at Bay: 5 Ways to Enhance Home Safety

Burglars are always on the prowl in search of new victims. In order for homeowners to avoid the wrath of an unwanted guest, they must take the necessary precautions. Here are five ways for residents to make their home safer.

Do not create hiding spots

In an effort to enhance their privacy, some homeowners opt to install a tall fence around the perimeter of their property. Unfortunately, dense trees and tall fences can create a potential hiding spot for sneaky criminals. When looking outside, the residents should be able to clearly see every section of the yard.

Install kick-proof doors
All of the exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand a powerful kick. Contrary to popular belief, wooden doors can be just as sturdy as steel doors. If the cost of a brand new door is a concern, homeowners can also install a reinforced metal strike plate on their existing door. This will help the door to resist a forceful impact.

Keep the exterior well-lit
Studies show that well-lit homes are less likely to be targeted by burglars. The bright lights will certainly help to enhance the effectiveness of a surveillance camera. Ideally, the lights should be installed near the roof of the home. Instead of leaving the exterior lights turned on for the entire night, consider using motion-activated light fixtures.

Monitor the security system
Security system monitoring services such as Alarm Relay offer around-the-clock surveillance. In the event that a burglar trips the security system, the alarm monitoring service will immediately contact the police. This helps families to rest at night with an extra degree of security. If desired, the monitoring service can also keep an eye on the home’s smoke detectors.

Never leave the windows or doors unlocked
Although locking the doors may seem like a simple concept, it is actually one of the best ways for residents to remain safe. Installing a security screen over the windows will provide even more protection.

These five strategies will definitely help to improve the safety of a home. A person's dwelling should be their personal sanctuary.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some Plumbing Problems Need Professional Resolution

Slow or clogged drains are more than a nuisance. They can be indicators of much larger issues such as blocked ventilation pipes or cracked main drain pipes. This is beyond the scope of a DIY project; professional help is required to identify, locate and repair the problem. For houses with septic tanks, it is imperative that drain problems be repaired as quickly as possible.

Calgary drain cleaning companies have technicians who are skilled in investigating the problem and making repairs. They understand problems drains and pipes face in all types of weather conditions. The technician will ask questions about the problem such as the number of drains affected, substances poured into the drain and what DIY efforts have been made to correct the problem, if any.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Getting the Right Window for Your Home

A good window can provide comfort to those who live in a house, make it more attractive to potential tenants or make it more attractive to potential buyers. Modern windows tip out to make cleaning easier and may be more energy efficient. This can help regulate the temperature in a room and keep the amount of heating and cooling systems to a minimum.

Energy-efficient windows may qualify for a tax break for those who purchase them. If a discount is available, it may be possible to recoup the entire cost of the window through a combination of that tax break as well as a monthly reduction in energy usage. Over a period of several years, you may be able to profit from the transaction.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Home Repairs to Make Today

Stop suffering from bad plumbing or a broken air conditioner. Kentucky humidity is bad enough without your house rebelling against you! Here are just four things to start fixing as soon as you notice a problem.

1: HVAC 
Your heating and cooling units are absolutely critical to avoiding seasonal illnesses. Problems within them also have a habit of building up and eventually avalanching into something truly disastrous. Don't take chances with your HVAC.

2: Drains 
When was the last time you cleaned your garbage disposal? How about the drainage traps connected to your dishwasher or bathroom sink? A few minutes of grimy work in the present can save you a lot of stress and repair costs in the future.

3: Pipes 
 The state of your pipes can be a serious issue in the hottest parts of a Kentucky summer. The last thing you want is a bad smell coming from your bathroom when it's 90 degrees outside! When your pipes start clogging or coughing, call for plumbers Lexington KY immediately.

4: Water Heaters 
Water heaters are essential to everything from your shower to your kitchen sink, yet many people try to DIY them instead of seeking professional advice. Don't make the same mistake, not when hundreds in water heating technology is on the line.

If you've noticed any of these problems around the house, don't wait for them to get worse. Contact whatever plumbing, electrical or HVAC repair Lexington that you need in order to get your home back in good working order.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Carpets And The Heat

Your home is a place where you spend time with family and friends, so the home is a place that should be kept clean. Calgary carpet cleaners can come to the home to clean carpets throughout the house. This is a benefit for those who don't have time to clean because of work or school. It can also help elderly individuals who aren't able to get around the house well enough to clean. Safe products are used through the home, and the deep cleaning will rid the carpet of dirt that may have been there for a while.

Another cleaning service that some companies provide is furnace cleaning. The furnace cleaning Airdrie company will examine the filter to make sure it is clean. Someone can replace the filter to ensure that the flow of air is proper. Vents can be cleaned to make sure that there is no debris restricting the air flow. Some companies will clean the outside of the vents in the home as well so that the most air possible can get through the house. This is something that can be done before the furnace is turned on for the first time or after the furnace is ran for a short time so that you can determine if any cleaning needs done.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Many Uses of Dependable Timber Mats

When it comes to matting solutions that are multi-faceted and extremely useful, there are seldom more useful mats than timber mats. Timber mats are exceptionally durable and designed to be used masterfully in a variety of different industries for a variety of different functions. Timber mats are widely used in the following industries:
  • Pipeline industry: Timber mats provide support for pipeline construction.
  • Shoring: Perfect for supporting unstable and dangerous structures.
  • Rescue: Can be used to stabilize objects during rescue operations, especially during natural disasters such as floods.
  • Trenches: Timber mats support trench walls while they’re being dug.
  • Storage: Timber mats are used in securely storing a variety of different objects, including other types of matting.
  • Construction: Timber mats are used in a variety of different construction jobs. They provide optimum support for building and construction that ensure your construction job is flawlessly and safely done.
The many uses of timber mats and the durability of their design makes them an investment that keeps on making your job easier and easier. Using the highest quality hardwoods, you can take solace in knowing you’re getting the highest quality mat around.

If you’re looking for the best manufacturer of dependable timber mats, choose the company that knows quality. Quality Mat Company is the finest producer of timber mats and other matting solutions that are used in a variety of different industries.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Pick the Right Railing for Your Exterior

When most people think of railings, they assume that they are for the interior of a house or building. However, railings are commonly installed on the exterior of houses and other landscapes to add beauty and detail to these areas. Since there are so many options in terms ofhandrails, ranging from aluminum, iron, and steel, it can be difficult to pick the right railing. Fortunately, the following guide will help you make the right decision.

Choose the Right Finish

Arguably the most important decision you will make when you are installing a railing outdoors is the type of material. Most people like to use durable finishes. These include the following:
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Iron
Although wood is less expensive, it can deteriorate faster. It also does not hold up as well during harsh weather conditions. For this reason, it is often best to extend the life of your railing by picking a finish that lasts.

Select Something That Coordinates With the Interior

When you are deciding between finishes and styles, it is important to consider the interior of your home. You want to be sure that the railing will coordinate well with the interior so that the outdoor space serves as an extension of your home. If you interior is extremely modern, then it makes sense to choose a railing that is simpler. You should look for something with a straighter design. However, if you have a country home, a detailed railing might be more appropriate.

Make Sure the Railing Coordinates With the Exterior

It is also important to choose a railing that coordinates well with the landscape and plants in your outdoor space. If you are considering a modern railing with minimal details, it might get lost in a setting with a lot of plants and flowers. You might need something that is a little bolder and more patterned. This might stand out a little more against the texture of your exterior.

Pick the Right Railing for the Length

Another important aspect to choosing railings is to consider the actual length of the railing. If the railing is long, then a larger pattern is appropriate. However, if the railing is shorter, this larger pattern doesn’t make that much sense in such a small amount of space. It might be better to pick something simpler or select a smaller design. This way, your eyes will not get overwhelmed or lost with the design.

Choose the Correct Height

Finally, make sure that you choose the correct height for your outdoor space. You do not want to pick something that is too high or too short. If it is too high, it will close off your space. If it is too low, it might defeat the purpose of a railing. When you are not sure what height looks best, try to look around for inspiration. Other exterior environments can help you select the best option for you.

Once you know what railing is right for your space, you can purchase the parts and install it in your space. You will be surprised how much this simple improvement can enhance your curb appeal. It will also make your indoor and outdoor spaces feel like they belong together.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Keeping Cool

As the heat of summer continues to smolder brilliantly, your need to find cool relief will increase. While going for a swim in a pool or pond can be an exhilarating dose of refreshment, nothing will keep you as cool and comfortable as an air conditioning system.

The only downside is that the cost of keeping an air conditioner running can be quite high, depending on where you live. Move houseplants outside (if you have any). While not nearly as effective as the air conditioner, plants are known to produce a lot of moisture. To lower energy costs, a lot of manufactures continue to develop more energy efficient machines that utilize less electricity to cycle air.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cabinets For Organizing The Garage

When families want to make the most of their garage and get their lives organized, they must have hardware that is going to match the garage, help to organize it and make the garage look great. When people are guests in the house, they will be able to enjoy the garage and find anything they need once it has been stored in the garage. Using the garage in every instance where the family needs storage opens up many more spaces in the home for sleeping, sitting and studying.

When the family wants to change the way that they garage is utilized, they can have large cabinet sets set up against every wall to hold all the things that previously were laying on the floor or stacked in the corners. Rather than trying to put items on shelves and rearranging everything, cabinet sets make it very easy for the homeowners to add storage to the garage that is not necessarily built into the wall.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tips on How to Conserve Energy While Saving Money and Helping the Environment

Conserving energy is a big concern for everyone these days - if not for the sake of helping the environment, then for the sake of saving money on utility bills. One myth about greening your home is that it takes a lot of money to start with or that you have to buy all-new appliances if you want it to make any difference. That's simply not true. Here are six easy ways you can "green" your home without paying an exorbitant amount.

1. Stop Using Paper Towels
You can keep a couple around for emergency spills, but for house cleaning and regular use, go for cloth washrags. Keep a lot of cloth rags on hand so that you always have one handy when you need it, then just toss the dirty ones in with the laundry whenever you do a load.

2. Unplug Unused Electronics
Even when your electronics are off, they can still consume lots of energy if they're plugged in. Save on your electric bill by unplugging your laptop, phone, and even your TV when they're turned off or you're not using them.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Making of Our Retirement Home

I believed we are already secured when we will retire in the future. We already built our retirement home along the beach. We are happy that when we laid the foundation last 2004 and slowly take the time to build  it. I guess, it is 99% finish now. I say 99% because there are still a lot of little things that needs to be done. We are  happy because it is a debt-free home. The little money we loaned from the bank was already fully paid  last 2010. I can't imagine when we build  our home this time,  because all of the materials for building now are  doubled or even tripled the price already. It was indeed a good plan and decision building  our retirement home 9 years ago.

missing home much.
Building your own home requires a lot of planning and money.You also need professionals who will do the job like engineers, electrician,plumber and other experts who can do the job in helping you during the process. You also need to choose the right place and location which is safe for building your home. There are construction companies like waterproofing ottawa who can help you with the laying of your home foundation. If you live in Ottawa, you are welcome to ask for their professional advice with regards to home building and repairs.

A house which is laid in good foundation simply means a durable home. If the foundation is not good,  time will come that you need to do a lot of repairs in the future and this will surely costs a lot of money. If ever you need services like this, you can always contact ottawa foundation repair  and they can surely provide you with your home repair needs.

I am so happy that our soon to-be retirement home was built at the right time and in the right place. It is located in a warm country where we cannot experience cold winter season like in Canada or Europe. When the right time comes, we will surely go back to the country which I always consider my home.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

We Are Ready for Winter, Are You?

I was talking with a friend during our trip to Czech Republic yesterday about the earliest snow I experienced since I live in Europe. I told her that the earliest snow I experienced  in this continent  was last 2012.  The  snow started to fall on  October 28 last year. This year,  the snow came quite later. The first snow fall happenned last November 26  in our area but  it did not lasted for so long.

Our wood pellet oven.
I am happy to say that we are ready for winter. The winter tires in our two cars are already installed. We already ordered 4 pallets of wood pellets for our pellet stove. This is already too much for this winter but we are making it sure that we have enough supplies for our heating furnace. Our wood pellet stove is running 24 hours a day since November. With this very cold winter season in Europe, it is very important that our home is keep warm and comfortable all day long. We are also using electric heaters but we only turn it on when the temperature gets really very cold.

Before winter comes, homeowners must be aware to check their heating system. Some are only checking it at the time they needed it. This is the time when the weather turns cold and they need to turn-on their heaters. For some who don't have a problem with their heaters during the past winters, that is fine but for some who are having frequent problems with it, they must see to it that it is being check before winter comes.

I suggest you take a look at this very interesting page,  HomeServe USA Facebook, as they are always sharing updates and topics about Home Heating Preparedness, Home Tips and most especially topics about electrical, plumbing and HVAC solutions. You can also visit their website for more information especially about  their  services.

I learn a lot of things while browsing their posts  in their facebook page. You will  surely know a lot  with regards to home tips  and guides. I bookmarked their page for  reference in the future.

My Dream Car When I Retire

 Sponsored Post. All opinions are mine. Am I retiring soon? Oh well, not really! Last week, I received a letter from the Retirement Office...