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Basement Remodeling

Property Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance of your property will save you money in the long term and get you a better rent in the short term.

Here are some tips to remember.

Tools for the job

A bad workman blames his tools – a good workman knows how to use them.

You need a comprehensive range of tools so that you are not left empty handed when crunch time arrives.

So what does a good toolkit contain?

A good range of screw drivers of course.

Spanners, hammers and pliers.

Wire stripping pliers, wrench and a large supply of insulation and duck tape.

You’ll also need a handy supply of light bulbs (keep them dry and warm). Washers always come in useful and are a cheap and quick way to please an unhappy tenant with a leaking tap.

Sink unblockers, grout fillers and a collection of different sized screws and wall plugs.

A ladder is always necessary – a solid one if you need to reach the top of a house, (don’t stint here – it’s not worth it), a step ladder will generally suffice in an apartment.

Floors

Look after your floors well – they get the most abuse from inhabitants.

Often with floors prevention is the best solution and saves work and money in the long run.

Doormats are useful at each entrance to prevent excessive dirt getting in and asking people to take their shoes off before entering is not the worst idea in the world. It’s not always practical but it is effective.

Clean floors regularly, at least once a week. Sweep hard floors and clean them monthly with a specialist cleaner that won’t make them slippery. Vacuum carpets regularly and keep a good carpet stain remover handy – treat stains immediately. Carpets should be steam cleaned once a year – phone around for quotes and get the pros in to do it for you. The longer a stain stays in your carpet, the harder it will be to clean. Remember these words as you stare at that two year old red wine stain on your carpet.

Walls

Look, as cute as your kid’s scribbles on the wall may appear to you it will not appear so to the next tenant. And even though those holes in the wall may appeal to your industrial-chic style it’s not everyone’s taste.

Never forget it’s the walls that hold up your apartment or house. So look after them.

Don’t worry too much about surface cracks in the plaster or damage to the wallpaper or paint. These can easily be repaired with new decorations. The thing to really look out for it more intrusive damage to the wall, cracks and damp.

Widening cracks should be looked at by an expert as soon as possible. The earlier you deal with it, the easier and cheaper it will be to fix.

Rising damp or dry rot is also best treated quickly. Pay particular attention to the walls in your bathroom. You want to ensure that moisture and condensation isn’t settling into the walls causing damage.

Windows

Clean windows regularly and wipe down any condensation. Paint wooden windows at least once every three years to prevent weather damage.

Plumbing

Don’t put up with dripping taps, this wastes water and is easy to fix. Check pipes and taps regularly and deal with problems as they arise. If you have bought a house with inferior plumbing, consider getting it replaced before it bursts and damages your home.

Electrical

Basic maintenance like replacing plugs you can do yourself – just remember to switch off the supply when needed. For anything else, including replacing faulty switches, consider getting someone in. Any electrical installations or major work should be done by a qualified electrician.…

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Basement Remodeling

Why You Should Choose A Full Service Contractor Before Your Architect

The basic rule of thumb is if your project costs more than 5% of the value of your house, or if you are making structural changes to the interior or exterior of your home, or if you are making significant changes to the floor plan of your home, you need an architect for your project.
This is the part of the project where the design build approach will add significant value and save you a lot of money over the life of your project. Its best to find a contractor that will work with the architects and have long term relationships with many very good architects. This can get you better pricing for their services for your project than you can by contacting them directly. They will pass that savings on to you.
Once you select the architect you want to use for your project, the contractor will work with them throughout the design process to make sure they are designing a project that fits into your budget. We cannot understate how important this is for the success of your project and we have seen many projects never get off the ground because this step was not followed. Your architect is not paid to tell you no. If you tell him you want something, he assumes you can afford it. The time to determine how much your project is going to cost is during design, not after design is complete.
Once the architect finishes the design it is time to pull permits and build your dream. Proper planning and constant communication are the keys to success.
Before the work is started, you should sit down with the contractor and have a project kickoff meeting. At this meeting you will go over the construction estimate with you in detail as well as present you with a construction schedule so you can make plans to minimize the effect of the project on your day to day life. You will also be provided with a list of items you need to select, the budget for those items (with the contractor discount), and the schedule of when those items need to be selected to meet the construction schedule.
Once we begin construction we will communicate with you about the status of the project however often you like, but we recommend status meetings weekly at a minimum. If something comes up of major importance we will contact you immediately. We will never proceed with work that is different than the original estimate before we have approval from you in writing.…

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Basement Remodeling

In Need Of A Professional Handyman?

A truly efficient handyman is a go-to-guy whom we often need to fix seemingly simple household repairs. The handyman service is quite popular in a place like Austin which has a varied, eclectic population. If you’re in Austin and need the assistance of a handyman then you have no need to worry. There is an Austin handyman who will extend professional help and will be right for your needs. There are many reputed handyman service providers that can be sourced online.
Austin offers you both licensed and none licensed handymen who can provide you a range of services. Licensed handymen can provide you with services like plumbing, gas and electrical system problems. There are a variety of other services that are offered by the handyman in Austin; these services include small-sized construction projects, maintenance of gardens and painting houses. The construction-projects undertaken by the handyman range from small to large scale projects like remodeling your home. The small scale projects range from repairing your floors and changing wall paper to remodeling your bathroom. If the problem is larger in nature than the scope of a handyman, they can get you in contact with professional service providers who specialized in your needs. The handyman can take excellent care of your garden and make it bloom like a professional gardener. The services provided by handymen in Austin may also include house-sitting.
If you want to avoid the costly insurance cover for services provided by a handyman then you should look for a licensed handyman, it being much easier to find an insurance coverage that covers any accidental damages caused during work. A licensed handyman is cheaper to insure as well. So far as payments are concerned, the payment modes differ from one handyman to another. While some handymen are available on hourly basis, others prefer to charge on contract basis for larger projects like floor repair or garden services. The internet is one of the most potent sources of handyman services in Austin but local directories are equally helpful. They register many individual handymen who offer quality services.…

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Basement Remodeling

Spring Cleaning Safety Might Not Seem Important – But It Is!

Spring cleaning safety is something that should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind when conducting a large scale clean of their home. What many people don’t realize is that a huge number of accidents occur in the home while cleaning, which therefore means that a few basic precautions should be taken by those conducting this task. These rules generally only comprise of basic common sense methods though – all of which could help to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.
The most essential piece of information to have when cleaning is what the different hazards are of the various cleaning products that are being used. Many of these comprise of hazardous substances that can not only be harmful when swallowed, but also irritate the skin when they come in contact with each other. Wearing gloves is the simplest way to combat this, as it will make it impossible for the liquid to get on to the hands, with long gloves being best so as to protect the lower arms as well.
Children in the household must be considered as well when using hazardous cleaning products. They won’t be aware of the danger that these can pose, so therefore must be kept out of their reach at all times. Should they get their hands on these, they could end up in hospital or even worse.
When cleaning high areas spring cleaning safety should be adhered to vehemently, due to the fact that falls can cause serious injuries. Most people stand on something from the house in order to reach the highest part of the room and although this isn’t ideal, there are a few steps that people can take to ensure that they don’t fall. These include ensuring that the surface is level, making sure that it is well supported and also not over-reaching when trying to clean something.
Many people use ladders to reach the harder to reach areas, and these also have a number of hazards. The first consideration should be whether the ladder is properly locked in to place, as if it is not it could collapse and therefore cause the user to fall and injure themselves. It should also be placed on a level surface and the user should not exceed the maximum weight capacity for it.
Spring cleaning safety also comes in to play when carrying heavy objects around the home, including the vacuum cleaner and possibly boxes of trash that has been cleared away. One should always remember to allow their knees to take the weight when lifting, otherwise the back could become damaged. An injured back can mean a long period of pain and should be avoided at all costs.
When carrying items, one should also ensure that they only carry what they can manage and that they make multiple trips if the load is too big. Carrying a load that is too heavy will increase the likelihood of falls and therefore of injury.
It is clear to see that there are a number of spring cleaning safety tips that should always be followed. If they are then the homeowner can be sure that they won’t injure themselves – either in a minor way or seriously – throughout the whole process.…

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Basement Remodeling

5 Tips For A Great Kitchen Remodel

Every time a person tackles a kitchen remodel, there are bound to be things that said individual wishes he had done differently. Kitchen remodels can be quite tricky, which is why it is imperative that people read the following list of tips for a great kitchen remodel. After all, there is nothing worse than injecting a good amount of money into a kitchen remodel and then finding out too late that it is not done right or contrary to expectations.
Straight Line Distance
If you have never, ever heard of something called the straight line distance and still want to do a kitchen remodel, then you had better start paying close attention. Getting the straight line distance totally right is very pertinent to a successful remodel. You are advised to always maintain the straight line distance between the fridge, the sink and the cooktop in between 12 feet and 23 feet.
Sink Positioning
Sometimes when people think about redoing their kitchens, they totally forget about the sink, which is a big mistake because it can be central to your kitchen layout and design. So when tackling a kitchen redo, always be certain that the sink stays right in between the cooktop and the fridge inside your kitchen. Of course, there is always the outside chance that the final position of the sink will be subject to plumb lines that are pre-existing.
The Issue of Counterspace
Counterspace can be another issue when redoing the kitchen that oftentimes does not get the attention that it deserves, even though it is very important to the layout and the design of your kitchen. Based on advice from the TLC website, it is imperative that you permit at least 3 feet of counterspace to the right and then 30 inches of counterspace to the left of the sink and the range, if this is at all possible. If this arrangement is not possible due to the size and confinements of your kitchen, then be sure to at least permit 2 feet and 18 inches of counterspace.
Wall-oven and Tall Fridges
For some homeowners, they only dream about putting a built-in wall oven and then a really tall fridge right next to each other. However, you are advised not to do this because it each of these appliances really requires its own landing space on either side in order that safety precautions can be ensured.
Barrier-free Products and Designs
During a remodel of your kitchen, you should give a lot of thought to barrier-free products and design because they are useful. These products and design are friendly to people with hardships, such as the aged, those with disabilities, pregnant women and even smaller children. As a bonus, these types of products and designs will add some much-needed longevity to the kitchen.
Remodeling a kitchen is never an easy thing to accomplish, at least the way that it looks from the very outset. However, if you understand what you are doing-which you should after you have read the list of 5 tips above-then making over your kitchen can be both a rewarding and enjoyable task at hand. At the end of the day, it is all about what works for you.…

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Basement Remodeling

How To Get The Best Furniture At The Lowest Price

You must be careful when shopping for furniture. You want furniture that is going to last. However, don’t pay a ton for new furniture. This article will show you how to get everything you need affordably.

When getting furniture for outside, be sure that it’s constructed well. Inspect every joint to make sure none are weak. If you see weak welds, steer clear of the item. Rather, keep looking for patio sets able to stand up to the elements.

Always fully test any furniture you are considering buying. Purchasing a chair online, sight unseen, is convenient, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll love it once it actually arrives. You might discover that it’s too firm or you don’t like the way the material feels. It’s better to try it before you buy it so that you know you’ll love it.

When purchasing furniture, don’t be afraid of negotiation. Remember that the markup on home furnishings is usually about 20%, so there should always be wiggle-room in the price. If you do not like to haggle, bring along someone who can accompany you.

If you choose to purchase a reclining chair or sofa, be sure it works at the store. A lot of people neglect this step, and as soon as they buy and carry their furniture inside their homes, they discover that something is wrong. Obtaining a replacement can be difficult; therefore, avoid this problem by ensuring your furniture works correctly before buying.

Give close attention to furniture legs before you spend your money. The legs should be heavy and secured to the frame. Wooden legs are much more durable than plastic, rubber, or metal legs. In addition, they will not scratch the floors like these other types of legs will. The legs should be attached to the frame, not just tacked onto the bottom.

If you are purchasing a sofa with a pattern, make sure the fabric is well-aligned. If an item of upholstered furniture is cheap, you may find the pattern askew at the seams. If you get a costlier sofa, get a pattern with perfect alignment. If the quality of the tailoring seems poor, select a different sofa.

Read the warranty prior to making a furniture purchase. It’s terrible to spend a huge chunk of money on a piece of furniture only to discover that damages you believed would be covered weren’t. Knowing the warranty ensures you know the defect is covered.

If someone offers you free furniture check out the condition prior to accepting it. This will keep you from taking a sagging couch that is of no use to you. There are some great used pieces out there that are in great condition, so politely say “no” if you don’t like it, and keep on looking.

Now that you’re aware of the pitfalls of buying furniture, you won’t be wasting your money. After reading this, you should be able to find low-cost, high-quality furniture. Go out and shop today, and remember to have a good time.…

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Basement Remodeling

Organic Gardening And You – Let’s Get Started!

If you are looking to start your own organic garden, there are a few tips that will help you steer clear of the main problems people tend to encounter when they begin their own gardens from scratch. The following article presents general guidelines that will lead you to successful planting.

If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.

Spend the additional money to fence in your garden. You are about to make real investment in time and money to create a garden of your own, but it can all go to waste through the stomping feet of playful children, pets and other small animals. Protect your investment with a small fence that keeps the kids and critters out.

Consider using organic fertilizers in your garden. These are safer than chemical fertilizers, which can build up salts in the ground over time. The salts restrict the ability of the plants to get water and nutrients from the soil. They can also kill helpful earthworms and microorganisms which eat thatch.

If having a lot of color in your garden is what you like but you want a sense of continuity, the best way to achieve this effect is to use two colors consistently among all of your plantings. As you look at your garden, your eyes will be drawn to the continuity of color and the view will feel more harmonized to the senses.

Start with a small manageable garden if you are new to gardening. If you are inexperienced, gardening can be stressful and frustrating. By starting with a smaller size, you keep your experiences positive and your plants under control. Gardens do require work and upkeep on a regular basis so keep that in mind.

If you are not a fan of wearing gloves when gardening but still hate dirty fingernails, try scraping your fingernails in a bar of soap prior to beginning. The soap will keep soil from entering underneath your nails, plus the soap will help keep your nails from cracking or breaking.

Improve the health of your soil before your plant your crops and seed. Three or four weeks beforehand use organic compounds like mulch, fertilizer, and compost to increase the nutrient value and retention of your soil. It will also improve the retention of water, create a soil buffer, and more.

Make your own kneeling pad. Working on the ground can be very hard on your knees. A kneeling pad provides much needed cushioning, providing comfort as well as protecting your joints. If you do not have one on hand, simply find a piece of foam or an old pillow that is two to three inches in depth. Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in a plastic bag to protect it from dirt and moisture and enjoy comfortable cushioning while you garden.

Organic gardens are becoming more and more popular these days. Learning to garden without dangerous chemicals is good for the environment as well, not to mention for your own health. Knowing some basic rules of gardening, as well as understanding your climate and its limitations, will help you sustain your garden long term.…