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Home Renovation Tips

4 Modern Features To Give Your Deck A Contemporary Look And Feel

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Modern Features To Give Your Deck A Contemporary Look And Feel

If your deck is outdated, it may be time to renovate it with new materials like decking and railings. The investment in your restoration may be a good opportunity to change the design and give your home contemporary features with things like glass or metal railings or a dry decking system. Here are some modern features that you may want to consider for your deck to give it a contemporary look: 1. Install New Decking With Hidden Fasteners Or A Dry Deck System To give your deck renovations a modern look, you may want to consider replacing the decking with materials like tropical hardwoods. These materials can be installed with hidden fastener systems to give your deck a clean look with no exposed screws or nails. Another option that you may want to consider is a dry decking system that will allow you to create dry finished space beneath your deck. This is a type of floor for your deck that acts as a roof and allows water to drain off the deck without getting the space beneath it wet. This can be good if you want to add something like an all-seasons enclosure beneath your deck or other space that is covered and dry. You can even add finished space to your home beneath the deck with a dry decking system, which can be a good option for a home remodeling project. 2. Add Metal Or Glass Railings To Give Your Deck A Contemporary Look The old wood railings can go if you want to give your deck a more modern look. Instead of using conventional wood materials for the railings, you may want to consider modern materials like metal and glass. You can even combine the look of metal with glass or use cables to give your deck a unique custom look with clean lines. There are building regulations for deck railings, so you will want to consult your local building authority about what can be done. With glass, you may be required to use a tempered glass, or with cable railings, you may be required to have a certain amount of spacing between cables. There may also be regulations on heights and the types of railings that can be installed on your deck. 3. Continue Your Deck With Addition Platforms In The Garden If you have a small deck, to give your deck design a modern look, you may want to consider expanding it. This can be done by adding features like platforms in your garden that are an extension of the deck area attached to your home. You can even create separate spaced with the deck areas, such as a seating area, spa and cookout area for entertaining. You can also add screen and patio doors to these areas to make the spaces more private. The paths and platforms in your garden can act as an expansion of your home and even be a good place to add a garden house or other outdoor structure to your home. 4. Add A Garden To Your Deck With Planters And Vertical Features If you want your deck to have a modern look, you may also want to include features that help blend it into the natural surroundings. This can be done by incorporating garden areas into your...

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Low Risk Log Cabin: How To Protect Your Log Cabin From Fire

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Low Risk Log Cabin: How To Protect Your Log Cabin From Fire

There is nothing quite as luxurious as having a vacation home. Just knowing you can get away from the city and from work and take a vacation to your second home is a beautiful thing.  A statuesque log cabin inside of a suburban vacation area is the perfect place to go and relax. One item of importance that may keep you from relaxing is thinking about your home’s ability to catch fire. If you want to mitigate your risks while living in a log cabin in a wildfire-prone area, here are some tips on fire protection. Keep the yard raked and the gutter clear One of the smallest yet most dangerous ways that a log cabin becomes prone to catching fire more easily is by having leaves and wood all around the cabin, along with having leaves and branches in the gutters. When you are at the home, be sure to keep too many leaves and other debris from accumulating around the home structure. When you are gone, have maintenance clean the yard and gutters on a bi-weekly basis. Build a metal roof Most log cabins will have a fireplace. Though this is the perfect way to heat the home and relax, this is also one of the ways that the structure can catch fire. Hire a construction firm to replace the roof of your log cabin with metal materials. The metal can be made in different colors and can blend in perfectly with your long cabin’s wood shade. Metal roofs will also not catch fire, making running the home’s fireplace less likely to cause the embers that escape the chimney to cause any blazes. Pave a proper road path Even if your log home is more rural, you want to make sure that you pave a road and a proper driveway. Clearing out this path of trees means that you and your family can easily get out if a fire starts at your home or in the woods nearby. It also means that the fire department will be able to pull up to your home and fight the fire properly, rather than having to navigate a rural area to help put out any fire. Hire a contractor to make a proper driveway and create access to the main road. Live near a body of water Even if you make sure your home is built with fire protection in mind, there is a possibility that a wildfire or a fire at a nearby cabin can set off a chain of events. To help the firefighters and to protect your home, live near a body of water. If no fire hydrants are readily available, you can create a man-made pond near your home. Fire departments are conscious of water availability and can draw from lakes, ponds, and other water bodies nearby. Having water near your house can save your log cabin. For more ideas on fire protection, contact a company like The Safety Team...

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Create Your Own Custom Mural On Your Privacy Fence

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Create Your Own Custom Mural On Your Privacy Fence

Privacy fencing can put your scenery to a stop. Instead of having a plain old fence around your yard, you can custom paint a mural on it. Your yard can be enclosed with a scene from a beach, forest or your favorite setting, characters or objects. If you don’t have artistic skills, you probably think that there is no way for you to paint something beautiful on your fence. Well, with a little work, a homemade projector and some transparency paper, you can do just about anything on your fence. Make the Projector Making a projector requires nothing more than a cardboard box, duct tape, a lamp without a shade and some aluminum foil. The box that you choose should be slightly smaller than the sheets of transparency paper that you have to work with. If it is larger than that, you can cover the extra space around the end of it with aluminum foil. On the backside of the box, cut a hole large enough to fit the lightbulb of the lamp through it. If the hole is too large, you can cover the opening with aluminum foil. When you are done, the lamp will be going in one end and the transparency paper on the other. When the light is turned on, the image on the transparency paper will shine on the surface in which it is directed. Create an Image The image that you choose can be of anything you love. Just remember that the more complicated the design, the more work you will have to do and the greater the risk of it not looking as nice as you would like when you are done. Find an image in a book, on your computer or in a magazine – pretty much any image that you can trace and believe you have the ability to color in once you have it traced. Lay the transparency paper over the image and trace it carefully. Start Working Now, when planning the project, watch the weather before you get started. You need at least a couple of days to get the work done before it rains. Late in the evening, just as the sun begins to go down, go outside and position the projector. Move it forward and backward until you get the image to the size you want. At that point, mark the ground so you know exactly where the projector is positioned so you know where it is in case you have to stop for some reason. Now, use some chalk to trace the image on the fence. Follow up the next morning with the paint starting with the outlines and working to fill the image in after the outlines have dried. After the paint has dried, apply a coat of sealant to protect it from the weather and sun. For more information or if you would like professional assistance, contact Thompson Painting or a similar...

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Three Household Electrical Jobs For Which You Should Hire A Professional

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Household Electrical Jobs For Which You Should Hire A Professional

While taking a do-it-yourself approach to various projects around your home is certainly admirable, it’s important to know your limitations and not try to wade through a job that you shouldn’t attempt. Numerous electrical-related projects apply to this train of thought. Even if you’re comfortably able to perform certain electrical tasks, it’s important to have a healthy respect for your home’s electrical system — and to remember that failing to handle a job correctly can lead to a personal injury or a house fire. As such, you should always think about hiring the services of an electrician anytime you encounter a significant electrical issue. You can count on this professional to do the job correctly and with safety in mind. Here are three jobs that are best handled by an electrician. Changes To Your Electrical Panel Upgrading the electrical panel in your home can have several benefits in your day-to-day life. For example, if you’re constantly tripping a circuit in the kitchen when you run two countertop appliances at once, you’ll have to take the time to use the devices consecutively instead. An electrician can assess the reason for the tripping circuit — likely, it’s outdated or not powerful enough for your household needs — and upgrade it. However, working on this panel is dangerous, so it’s best to hire a professional for this important job. Installing New Lights Installing overhead lights is a physically challenging job, given that you’re constantly reaching up above your head. The graver concern, however, is that this job can involve connecting wires and even running them through your ceiling, which aren’t tasks for the average homeowner to attempt. Leave this hard — and potentially dangerous — work to your local electrician. He or she will get the job done safely and you’ll simply be able to sit back and enjoy knowing that you’ll soon have new lights to illuminate the room. Adding GFCI Outlets If you don’t have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in your bathroom, it’s important to call your electrician to perform this job. These special outlets are designed to quickly negate the electrical current if the circuit comes into contact with water — which can happen if you mistakenly drop a hair curler in the sink, for example. It’s imperative to have these outlets installed correctly, given their importance for household safety. An electrician will be able to get the job done quickly and ensure that the GFCIs work as intended. Contact a local electrician, like K & W Electric Inc, for more...

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Winter HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Winter HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Winter is here and the temperature outside is dropping! Have you done everything you can to maintain your HVAC system this season? If not, your furnace could be struggling. Performing regular winter maintenance on your HVAC system can prevent a furnace breakdown and help you avoid necessary heater repair. The following checklist will help ensure that your furnace is prepared for hard use this winter, so you won’t find yourself stranded without a source of heat. Seal Air Ducts Air ducts have a way of developing leaks over time. This can happen because of events like renovations to your HVAC system and changes made to the duct work. When air ducts develop leaks, heated air from your furnace can find its way into the attic and other unheated parts of your home. This forces your furnace to work harder to deliver warm air to where it needs to go. The harder your furnace must work to accomplish its goal, the shorter its service life is likely to be. To improve efficiency in the HVAC system, start by looking for gaps in the ducts. Check places where ducts connect to one another and in the locations where the ducts enter or exit the walls and flooring. Seal the leaks in your air ducts by taping the gaps with foil tape. Program Your Thermostat Program your digital thermostat to lower the temperature at times when it’s less important for the house to be warm. These times may be at night when you’re asleep or during the day while you’re at work. Have the thermostat raise the temperature at times when you’re at home and wish to feel more comfortable, like in the evening around dinner time. Doing this will prevent your furnace from working harder than necessary to heat your home, and thus will eliminate some of the burden on your HVAC system. Change the Air Filter Your HVAC system relies on an air filter. This one filter cleans all the air that flows through the HVAC system, regardless of whether or not you’re running the air conditioner or the heater. You should be changing your air filter every three months, as long as the HVAC system is in use. This means that if you ran your air conditioner this summer, a filter change is long overdue. To perform this task, remove the old filter from the location between the blower and the return air duct. Replace the filter with a new one purchased from a hardware store or home improvement center. Get a Tuneup   Contact a heating repair person to get a tuneup for your furnace and HVAC system. Your heating repair person can check all the wires, belts, the pilot light and your thermostat to determine whether or not each component of your HVAC system is in good shape. If your heating repair person finds a problem, he or she will make recommendations for repair. For more information about preparing your HVAC system, contact a business such as McLaughlin Air Conditioning Co...

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Tips To Ensure A Smooth Home Remodeling Project

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Ensure A Smooth Home Remodeling Project

When you undergo home remodeling, you can expect a certain amount of disruption in your daily living. When things go awry, however, disruption can turn into chaos or even intolerable living conditions. When working with a construction services professional such as a general contractor, you can and should participate in the process, in order to ensure a smooth home remodeling project. Be Clear on the Timeline At the outset of the project, you should request an estimated completion date in writing from your general contractor. This will help to motivate your general contractor to keep your home remodeling project moving along at a reasonable pace. It will also help to protect you if things go very badly, and the project takes an undue amount of time to complete. Be aware that setbacks and unexpected findings as construction progresses commonly derail rigid project milestones. You should anticipate being flexible and understanding for setbacks that clearly aren’t due to negligence or folly on the contractor’s part. Be Clear about Upgrades or Downgrades Home remodels inherently require lots of decision-making. Since there are so many things to be decided upon, and homeowners have varying amounts of interest in the project, contractors often go ahead and make the decisions themselves. These options may include the number of outlets on the kitchen backsplash, the width or style of baseboards, the style of bathroom toilets, drains or shower heads, and a whole lot more. Your tastes may run differently than your contractor’s, and you need to be clear about any downgrades or upgrades you would prefer. For instance, you may prefer a higher toilet than the standard height or you may want extra outlets on your kitchen island. You may be willing to spend more for wider crown molding, but prefer to cut costs when it comes to the window mantels. Keep in touch with your contractor on all decisions like these, in order to avoid disappointment or surprises later. Bear in mind that your contractor needs to order supplies well ahead of time, so don’t wait until the last minute to speak up. Communication is the key to a smooth home remodeling project. When you and your general contractor both make yourself available for questions and project updates, you will decrease the chances that a problem will arise or worsen. Keep these two tips in mind, and chances are your home remodel will go smoothly. Contact a business, such as Gibson Construction Of Nevada Inc, for more information about home remodeling....

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Three Home Plumbing Issues That Require Quick Action

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Home Plumbing Issues That Require Quick Action

It’s safe to adopt a “wait and see” approach to a number of different issues around your home, but there are many others that if you fail to act quickly can lead to major damage and a sizable repair bill. Where plumbing is concerned, a number of common issues fall into the latter category, which means that knowing the phone number of an experienced plumber is important. Even if you don’t have much know-how when it comes to fixing plumbing repair issues in your home, it’s important to be aware of those that should prompt you to arrange a visit from your plumber as soon as possible. Here are three such issues and how to recognize them. Water Pipe Leak The network of water pipes that runs throughout your home can leak for reasons such as rust or faulty installation. Although this problem can take place slowly, it’s also possible for it to develop quickly. In either case, a common sign of the issue is the emergence of a stain on your ceiling. The stain will often have a slightly brown tinge, which can help you spot it quickly. Call your plumber as soon as you notice this visual cue; the longer you wait to get it fixed, the more water damage your home will suffer. Blocked Drain Pipe The plumbing fixtures in your home such as your sinks, tubs and toilets all converge to a drain pipe where the waste water travels to the sewer. If the drain pipe is blocked, you’ll notice that multiple fixtures are draining slowly or backing up concurrently. Another sign of a blocked drain pipe is the fixture in your home that’s located closest to the pipe can show signs of trouble. For example, a ground-floor toilet might bubble when your dishwasher drains. In addition to the risk of a flood, you’re also facing potential harm because foul odors or even contaminated waste water can enter your home. Running Toilet On the surface, it’s easy to view a running toilet as nothing more than an annoyance. Ignoring the issue, however, will not fix the problem and you’ll soon be facing a higher water bill. More concerning is the fact that because one or more components inside the toilet’s flush box are no longer working correctly, you’re at risk of a flood. If the toilet continues to run and doesn’t shut off, it will overflow and cause damage to your home. Keep an eye on a running toilet, avoid using it and call a plumber as soon as...

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Plumbing Resolutions To Make For The New Year

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Plumbing Resolutions To Make For The New Year

The New Year will be here before you know it! It’s at this time of year that many homeowners make New Year’s resolutions to help them take better care of their homes. These plumbing resolutions can help you take better care of your pipes and help you save money on residential plumbing services in 2016. Stop Using Chemical Drain Cleaner Chemical drain cleaner is bad for the environment and can be bad for some older pipes. Instead, you should use cultures of bacteria and enzymes that eat through organic waste. You can also clear your pipes without chemical drain cleaner in less harmful ways using a plumber’s auger. An auger consists of a stiff cable with a sharp, corkscrew-like end. The cable is inserted into a clogged pipe until the pointed end reaches the clog. Once it pierces the clog, the auger is retracted and the clog is removed. Not only is this method much safer for your pipes, but it can also be cheaper than chemical drain cleaner. Treat Your Garbage Disposal Better Resolve to avoid flushing anything into your garbage disposal that can cause a clog. This includes rinds, stringy foods like celery, coffee grounds, and bones. You can also resolve to start flushing the pipes leading from your garbage disposal with natural products like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. All these products are safe for pipes and can help keep the drain leading from your garbage disposal clear. Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing Frozen pipes can burst, causing floods and massive water damage. The most effective way to prevent this from happening is to keep your pipes warm using pipe insulation. Purchase self-adhesive pipe insulation and attach it to all the plumbing in your home that you can actually reach. This includes pipes in the crawl space, basement, access panels, and in the areas under sinks. Stop Flushing Things that Shouldn’t Be Flushed The only things that should get flushed down your toilet are toilet paper and human waste. Other items like tampons, adult wipes, and flushable kitty litter are all bad for your drains, your sewers and your septic system (if you have one). Even these products that are designated as flushable are not truly safe to be flushed down the toilet. Although they may technically flow down the drain, there’s no promise they won’t get caught in the sewer once they’re down there. Click here for info about how to make the most of your plumbing and what you can do to fix other common...

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Removing Spray Foam Insulation From Interior Materials

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Removing Spray Foam Insulation From Interior Materials

Spray foam insulation is an excellent option for insulating existing homes. Since the foam is sprayed into the walls, ceilings and floors in liquid form, it can be done with minimal damage to the home. Unfortunately, sometimes the insulation can get away from the installers and land on furnishings, trim work, windows and other materials in the home. Below, you will find out how to remove the spray foam insulation if it was to harden on your interior surfaces. Removal from Wood Removing the insulation from wood surfaces requires a delicate touch to avoid damaging the wood. Use a plastic putty knife to remove as much of the foam as possible. Apply some mineral spirits to a clean cloth to saturate the cloth—you want it wet, but not dripping. Lay the cloth over the area with the foam on it and let it rest for 10–15 minutes. The mineral spirits will work to soften the foam. Once the foam has become soft, use the plastic putty knife to gently remove the foam. Repeat this process until all of the foam is gone. Once gone, clean the wood surface with your favorite wood cleaning product. Removal from Vinyl Vinyl windows and doors are a bit easier to clean than wood since you don’t have to worry as much about gouging the surface. Use the plastic putty knife to scrape as much foam away as possible. Apply a bit of acetone to a clean cloth and begin wiping the area. Continue reapplying the acetone to the cloth and wiping away the foam until it is gone. Removal from Glass This is an easy process. Use a flat razor to scrape the foam off of the glass. Just be sure to keep the blade flat to prevent scratches on the glass. After the foam is removed, use your favorite glass cleaning product to clean the glass and remove any streaks and residue that remain. Removal from Fabric If the foam has hardened on fabric, mineral spirits can help to remove it. Before you apply the mineral spirits to the fabric, test it on a small area that isn’t easily visible to ensure that the mineral spirits don’t damage the fabric. If mineral spirits isn’t safe for your fabric, contact a professional upholstery cleaner to do the cleaning for you to prevent causing more damage. These cleaning tips will help to remove the foam insulation that got away from the installers during installation. If you have questions, visit Fortune Insulation Contractors...

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Four Problems You Are Likely To Have With Your Water Well And How To Deal With Them

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Problems You Are Likely To Have With Your Water Well And How To Deal With Them

If you rely on a well to get water to your home,  there are a lot of problems that you are probably going to face. This can be things like poor water quality, equipment failure, and in some cases the well going dry. These problems will not be a big deal if you know how to deal with them. Here are some tips to help you deal with some of the most common water well problems: 1. Dirt And Debris Getting Inside Of The Well Casing When you have a well, dirt can get in the casing during and after the installation process. This can happen due to things like soft soils. The well may need to be flushed when this happened. It is also done when you have a well drilled. You will also need to sanitize your well from time to time to kill off bacteria and organisms in the water. 2. Clogged Water Lines Reducing Plumbing Pressure In Your Home The water from your well can have many different minerals in it. These minerals can cause calcium build up in lines. Eventually, this can lead to the lines from your well becoming clogged with debris. To deal with this, you may need to clean the main line to your home occasionally. It may also need to be replace it when it gets too old and worn. 3. Pump Failure Causing You To Not Have Running Water Another problem that you may have with your well is pump failure. You will eventually have to have repairs and maintenance done to your well pump. You may also have to replace it at some point. Consider the type of pump you plan on using. A submersible pump will make it more difficult to do your own maintenance and may need to be completely replaced. If you use a jet pump, you will be able to do a lot of your own maintenance and easily repair the pump. 4. Shallow Wells Going Dry During Severe Droughts If you have a shallow well, you may have issues with the well going dry during summer droughts. To combat this problem, you may want to consider having the well drilled deeper or having alternative water sources, such as rain collection. The best solution will be to have a combination of water resources to ensure you have the water you need. These are some tips to help you deal with some of the most common water well problems. If you need help with maintenance or repairs, contact a land surveying contractor, like DC Gohn Associates Inc Surveyors & Engineers, to survey your land to find the best places to drill for...

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