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Home Contractors

Tips for Painting an All-Wood Window

Wood is a great material for building windows because it insulates well, is very strong and lasts for years. But without a protective coating like paint, they can be susceptible to rot and decay. Before you begin painting your all wood windows, take a look at these tips and techniques and you’ll be sure to get the job done without any problems.
Prepping the Wood
It’s in your best interests to put down a large drop cloth under the window. You may also want to tape painter’s plastic around the window if you’re planning on painting the inside of the window. Be sure to use blue painters tape and not masking tape as this can cause the paint to bleed through and masking tape can damage drywall and other delicate surfaces.
New all wood windows need to be cleaned and primed before you can begin working on them. A wood cleanser can be used, but basic soap and water work just as well. Never use a degreaser or other chemical cleaners on wood as it may cause the wood to permanently stain, warp or twist.
Sanding the wood is essential to the paint adhering to the all wood window successfully. When the woods surface is pitted and grooved with fine sandpaper, paint can easily bond with the wood fibers and actually become part of the wood. Without this bond, paint will eventually flake off a wood window. Be sure to use fine grit sandpaper and always sand with the wood grain. Be careful when sanding around the window pane as it can permanently scratch the glass if you’re not careful. Wipe away the wood dust using a dry paintbrush or dust cloth.
Apply the Primer
For this part of the project, you’ll need to have a small 2″ latex paintbrush to get at the smaller parts of your all wood window. You’ll also need a quality latex binding primer to coat the window and get it ready to accept your latex paint. Apply a very light coat onto the window. You’ll want to avoid any runs because these can easily seal the window shut, leak into sensitive window parts and make a mess. You’ll need to paint the entire window, so getting right up to the edge of the glass is imperative. Don’t worry if you get a little paint on the glass, it will easily come off later with a razor-blade. Let the primmer dry for at least four hours. Open and close the window every half hour or so to prevent it from sticking shut.
Apply the Paint
Once the primer is dry, you can begin painting the latex paint onto the primer coat. You’ll need to paint the windows using a very light coat of paint to prevent any runs or drips. Once you have the first paint of coat complete, let it dry for at least two hours, and then apply a second and third coat as needed. Open and close the window every half hour to prevent the window from sticking shut. Once it’s all dry, scrape away the excess paint from the window with a razor blade.…

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Home Contractors

Bathtub Surrounds – A Quick and Easy Update

Anyone who has ever attempted to remodel a bathroom knows how expensive and messy a project of that magnitude can be. Bathtub surrounds are an equally as effective and beautiful way of updating your bathroom. Instead of embarking on a complete remodel give your bathroom a facelift by installing a surround. Surrounds are less expensive than complete remodels and take a fraction of the time because they cover the preexisting bathtub walls.
Depending on your abilities you can easily install a surround in as little as one day. The entire install process is so simple and would make a fun do it yourself project. If home improvement projects are not something you enjoy there are many companies that professionally install surrounds. Perhaps the best part about installing a surround is that there will be little mess and inconvenience because there will be no need for demolition or construction. A new surround will adhere directly to your bathtub walls. No messy construction and no time consuming clean up from this project will be necessary! You will not need to worry about damage or mold to the surface underneath because a waterproof seal is created that will prevent any water from leaking through to the surface underneath.
Surrounds are available in scores of shades making it simple to give your bathroom a fresh, updated look. Match a shade to compliment your favorite paint color and have a completely different look in just a weekend. Smooth and sleek acrylic material often used in bathtub surrounds is low maintenance and won’t crack or stain like tiles that are commonly used in bathrooms can. Discolored, difficult to clean tile will be a thing of the past once your easy to clean surround is installed. You will be able to spend less time scrubbing and more time enjoying relaxing bubble baths!
Compared to the cost of a traditional bathroom remodel, a tub surround is a cost effective and efficient way to redecorate on a limited budget. This bathroom makeover project is perfect for those looking for a fairly inexpensive way to improve their home in a short period of time. Those looking to go a step further will be happy to discover that there are liners available for the bathtub to compliment their new wall surround. Basic knowledge and tools, some measurements and elbow grease is all that is needed to begin the transformation!
Within hours your outdated decor will be a distant memory and you could very easily be the proud owner of a beautiful, updated bathroom. It can be a weekend project for you or you could hire a professional to get the job done even faster. Bathtub surrounds are a fairly inexpensive method to transform an old, damaged tub surround in to a beautiful, easy to clean and comfortable tub. Your entire bathroom will have a new look and feel all from this one simple project! Instead of an expensive, stressful bathroom remodel consider installing a bathtub surround, you definitely will not regret it!…

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Home Contractors

Bathroom Remodel Tips: Creating a Relaxing Bathroom

After spending a full day working, going home to a relaxing bath or shower can do wonders at relieving tension and stress. To make the most of the peacefulness in your bathroom, take note of the following bathroom remodeling tips:
Easy on the Eyes
Your eyes are tired at the end of the way. To help calm your senses, choose simple appliances, faucets vanities and floorings. You should consider wood-toned or black cabinets that will go great with more natural type accents. For a more traditional look, choose solid colors and avoid loud patterns.
Keep It Simple
Your life is complicated. Your bathroom doesn’t need to be. Keep your bathroom areas clean and clutter free. This includes counter spaces, vanities and the edged of your shower and tub. For more space, add wall cabinets to hold some of this clutter. You can line shelving with baskets or containers if you do not want fully enclosed cabinets.
Paint Color
The color of your walls can have the greatest effect on the overall serenity of your bathroom. Regardless of how you decorate, you should go with a simple, understated, neutral wall color. That being said, neutral and earth tones work very well. Try to avoid giving your bathroom the sterile look that comes with white or off-white tones.
Strategic Lighting
Your lighting design should be carefully planned and carried out. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a relaxing bathroom design, and should be chosen with care. If possible, utilize skylights and other natural light sources. You can also have waterproofed windows installed that can let light in while offering no visibility from the outside. When it comes to artificial light sources, choose low-light, diffused or indirect lighting for the best results.
Consider Real Plants
There are a variety of live plants that are perfect for inclusion in your bathroom, due to their ability to thrive in low light. Many ivies, African violets, bamboo and ferns often thrive in the humid conditions present in your bathroom. Instead of adding them after you are finished, consider incorporating plants into your original design so that they have a special place in your bathroom all year long.
Decoration
As a general rule of thumb, your relaxing bathroom retreat should utilize as many natural elements as possible. This means reducing the number of artificial decorations that you use. This means using a well-balanced decorating approach, with all elements from countertops to artwork working together. In most cases, less is more in this type of situation.
With a little bit of planning and help from your general contractor, you can turn your bathroom into a relaxing and highly functional space to get ready to meet your day or to relax after everything is said and done. Relaxation is important in the high energy, constantly moving world that we live in. Take some time and create your own oasis to escape to when you need a few minutes to rest.…

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Home Contractors

Stone Countertops Honed

Granite and marble countertops have become the classic choice for the kitchen and bathrooms. For an updated, fresh twist on stone countertops, select a honed finish.
Granite
Since there are so many color options with granite countertops, only the most popular or better looking colors are available in a honed finish. A highly popular granite color for the last two decades has been black. It is available in a wide range of options from the solid-looking Absolute Black granite to the glitzy variety Black Galaxy with gold flecks. Other more exotic black granite options are the largely veined Eclipse that looks like zebra stripes or even Magma Extra with its swirling contrast of black and gold. Any of these stones take on a whole new look with a honed finish. Highly polished Absolute Black, for example, has a modern appearance when installed in a sleek kitchen with stainless steel appliances and maple cabinetry. The same Absolute Black granite with a honed finish in the same kitchen gives the space a more organic or natural feel. By simply using a countertop stone with a honed finish the entire space will feel more casual and comfortable. Countertops have a large impact on any space, whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, or media room.
Travertine
Travertine and limestone countertops are more commonly available with a honed finish instead of a polished finish since it is a more popular selection. These stones are often the countertop of choice for bathroom vanities and utility rooms since they naturally appear more casual than granite or marble. However, a honed marble can have the same relaxed feeling as travertine when done in the right color. There are fewer color options with travertine and limestone than with granite or marble. The color range is light neutrals including beige, tan, and gray, but the patterning in the stone can range much more. Travertine is a type of limestone, which is found in the earth with natural pits or holes that can vary from dime to greater than fist sizes. When the stone is quarried and cut into slabs, these pits are filled to make a suitable countertop. These fills vary greatly in size and shape that determines the overall style of the stone. The large fills have a more rustic appearance, especially with a honed finish.
Soapstone
Soapstone and slate are almost exclusively available in honed finishes. Another popular finish with these stones is a subtle texture called leathered or flamed. These textures have the same eggshell sheen as a flat honed finish, making them suitable for casual and nature-inspired spaces. Soapstone is typically a solid charcoal or gray with little movement or patterning. Although this stone is solid, it has a great deal of character with a honed finish. Slate has more movement and color variation, but has a similar feel as soapstone. These stones are softer to the touch than other natural stone countertops and have an ease about them that greatly compliments other natural materials like wood and metal. Honed natural stone countertops have a softer and more casual feel in today’s homes than the classic polished surfaces.…

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Home Contractors

Log Home Maintenance Tips

Maintaining a log home may feel like a huge project. The longer you put it off, the more work it requires. However, with a little effort each year, you can keep your home looking beautiful for years to come. Here are a few tips.
1) Start with good quality products. Log home stains and sealers are NOT all the same. As a general rule, you will get what you pay for. Most of the economy grade stains are designed to be reapplied every year. While it may seem like its saving a little money up front, it ends up costing more in the long run. On the other hand, most of your high quality stains are made to be durable and last for many years when properly maintained. These cost a little more up front, but save money over the long run. I recommend Sikkens stains if you like oil based, or Perma Chink if you prefer a water base, but there are other quality stains available as well.
2) Cleaning your log home is a must. Most stain manufacturers recommend washing your home at least once and preferably twice each year. This may sound daunting, but it really isn’t that difficult. Begin by applying log wash with a pump up sprayer. Use a soft bristle brush on an extension pole to gently scrub away dirt/dust build up and finally rinse away with a garden hose, or low power pressure washer. (If you know that you will never do this yourself, consider purchasing a maintenance contract with your local stain applicator.)
3) Inspect. While you are cleaning, take a good look and make note of any areas where the stain looks like it might need to be freshened up. If you wait until the stain starts cracking and peeling, it is too late. However, when you first start to notice areas appearing weathered, or dull, apply a light coat on that area. It may be necessary to apply a fresh coat to that entire side of the house to avoid looking splotchy.
4) Finally, if you find that you’ve already let things go too long and the stain has already begun failing, you’re not out of options. If it’s gotten to this point, you will have to remove the failing stain. For years, the only option was chemical strippers and high powered pressure washers. However, today there is a better option. Have a professional cob blasting company come out and remove the stain. Cob blasting safely removes failing stain and brings your log home back down to bare wood so you can have a fresh start. Then, go back to step number one. If steps one through three are followed, step four should not be necessary for many, many years.…

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Home Contractors

The Importance of Regular Home Maintenance

One of the key responsibilities of owning a home is keeping it well maintained. From regularly cleaning the property to ensuring that the structure is sound and that everything works as it should, maintenance can be somewhat time consuming, but offers pleasant rewards for those who take it seriously. Enjoying a greater peace of mind and feeling proud about a home are prominent benefits obtained through the practice of regular maintenance, and homeowners can also avoid potentially costly repairs for issues allowed to worsen over time when proper maintenance is observed. Though these advantages are certainly enough to warrant a serious effort in caring for one’s home, there is still another more important result: greater security. Home security often involves the use of specialized security systems and devices including alarms and cameras, but some of the most effective security measures are actually delivered by a homeowner that takes the time to keep their property well maintained. By understanding how crucial this element is to a safe dwelling, homeowners can prioritize their maintenance tasks and keep themselves, their loved ones, and their belongings safe.
A large part of the positive consequences of keeping a home maintained is the depth of knowledge it lends to the homeowner. Despite their regular use of a home, many people are not precisely aware of how their dwelling is constructed or of how various home elements have been installed. When a homeowner performs their own maintenance, it’s easy to gain a thorough understanding of the most important aspects of the property and to gain insight on various parts of the home. In particular, those who perform maintenance themselves are likely to notice irregularities and potential problems that may lead to making a home more vulnerable to damage or break-ins. From doors that have been improperly fitted or installed to windows that require different kinds of locks or paneling in order to deliver a reasonable level of security, there are many possible problems lurking in and around buildings that may go unnoticed if owners do not regularly practice maintenance. Problems with a property that occur over time can also be easily spotted by homeowners who perform their own maintenance. Those who contract the work out to professionals or allow others to take care of their maintenance needs may never realize that a certain home element has begun to show weaknesses, and thieves and other criminals may take advantage of this.
While security breaches are less likely in homes that are regularly and thoroughly maintained by owners, they can still sometimes occur. During such an event, it’s important to be able to rely on any security features a home may possess, and when a home is properly maintained, achieving this reliability is a simple feat. From specially-installed doors with advanced safety mechanisms to safety features surrounding special entrances for basements or sheds, there are many objects typically used to keep properties safe from intrusion that may fail unexpectedly if they aren’t cared for and deliberately inspected from time to time. When in-depth knowledge of a home is combined with the certainty that security measures are operating as intended, homeowners can better protect their property while also feeling far more secure.
A further important benefit of regular home maintenance is the appearance that such an activity is likely to yield. Well-maintained homes typically look neater, cleaner, and better able to withstand any difficulties that may come their way. While this certainly has benefits for homeowners in terms of providing a sense of comfort, it’s also a great way to warn potential criminals that a home is being watched and that owners have likely taken measures to prevent theft and damage. More traditional security tactics such as employing specialty equipment or purchasing home alarm monitoring service may be of greater help when crimes are actually carried out, but the prevention that quality maintenance can deliver may be responsible for fending off break-ins and trespassing in the first place. Fortifying this move with complementary actions such as keeping lawns and gardens neat, parking cars in front of the house, regularly disposing of garbage, and otherwise giving a home the obvious appearance of being occupied and well-used is a step in the right direction for anyone concerned about the security of their home.
The satisfaction of a job well done is often the handyman’s greatest reward, but when working on their own home, a maintainer has the power to create high-quality security measures that may both prevent crimes and help homeowners effectively respond if such events do take place. Whether maintenance is scheduled as a weekly or monthly activity or homeowners make a point of performing maintenance tasks whenever the mood seems right, taking the initiative and following through on necessary maintenance tasks is absolutely essential for responsible home ownership.…

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Home Contractors

How To Make Your Garden Grow With Minimal Effort

To be successful in organic gardening, you need patience and persistence. A green thumb also helps considerably. This pastime should yield amazing and healthy foods, free of pesticides and other chemicals found in store bought produce. You might think this sounds complicated or expensive. Enjoy the following article that will help you become an expert organic gardener.

A great gardening tip to use is to always select types of plants that are more likely to produce a high yield. Frequently, a hybrid plant will produce a higher yield because of its disease-resistant properties.

Transplanting plants and bringing them indoors can protect them from harsh winters. You might want to transplant your most valuable varieties. Carefully dig around the rootball and replant in an appropriate pot.

When gardening, beware of stink bugs and other insects, particularly in the autumn. They like to feast on all kinds of fruits, as well as peppers, tomatoes, and beans. If they go unnoticed, they can cause large amounts of harm to your garden, so remember to take protective measures to reduce the population of stink bugs there.

Make sure you remove the weeds from your garden! A vibrant garden will be overrun with weeds if they are left alone. To aid in this venture, you might want to use white vinegar. You can use white vinegar to eliminate weeds! Keep a solution of vinegar diluted with water on hand to spray on weeds.

Do not cut your grass too short. If you let your grass keep some height after mowing, it will be able to absorb more sun and moisture resulting in a lusher, greener lawn. When you cut the grass too short, the roots are often not deep enough, which causes your lawn to have dry patches of brown, discolored grass.

When you grow veggies in a garden, you need to ensure they get at least six hours of good sunlight each day. Most vegetables need at least that much sun exposure to grow properly. Some flowers also require direct sunlight for a portion of each day.

Start peas inside in a container, rather than planting the seeds outdoors. Seeds are more likely to sprout when started indoors. They will also be stronger, and better equipped to resist disease and insects. After the seedlings have grown strong indoors, it will be time for you to transplant them to outdoor beds.

If you are a first time gardener, it is important that you follow all of the instructions on all of your tools and chemicals. If you don’t do this, you could cause unnecessary skin irritations, which are very painful. Keep your body safe and follow directions.

The hobby of organic gardening requires patience and effort, with a little help from Mother Nature. When you enjoy this hobby, you can find new opportunities to grow healthy and nutritious foods. It takes a combination of knowledge, skill and experience to become a good organic gardener. The tips you’ve read above will help you towards that goal.…