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Home Repair

Winterize Your Home – Stay Warm, Save Money

The seasons are changing and it is time to start those jobs on your autumn “to do” list. Beyond raking leaves and putting the lawn furniture away, ensuring your home is ready for the cold weather to come will save you time and money in the months to come.
1. This is a common sense tip, but if there is an escape route for the warm air in your home, plug it. Go to the nearest hardware store for caulking and weather stripping for windows and doorframes.
2. If you have a fireplace, make sure it is in good working order, whether it is natural (wood) or gas. Double-check your chimney to see if it is clean and unobstructed.
3. Clean your gutters. This prevention task will stop water (and leaves) from freezing in the winter, possibly causing seepage of water into the house. Double-check the downspouts while you are in the area to ensure water is carried away safely.
4. Duct it up! Homes with central heating can lose an enormous amount of warmth before the heated air reaches the vents if ducts are not well insulated and connected properly.
5. Is your attic as well insulated as it could be? No matter where you live in the U.S., a minimum of 12 inches of insulation is recommended to maintain a warm home. If you are adding insulation on top of an existing layer, try to avoid the kind that has a paper-style backing. This may cause moisture problems in the future.
6. For wood stove owners, chimney cleaning should be done at least once over the winter. Check for creosote and ash to prevent damage to chimney mortar and the metal damper.
7. Put a jacket on pipes to keep them warm. If you have exposed pipes, wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. Don’t forget about the pipes visible in basements, crawlspaces and garages.
8. Turn your furnace on early. If repairs are required, it is better to do them before the cold sets in. Here are a couple of checkpoints to address:
* are the thermostat and pilot light working properly?
* does the filter need changing? (a dirty filter impedes airflow)
* are there cracks in the heat exchanger? (possible cause for carbon monoxide leaks)
9. Invest in a programmable thermostat. This will save heat when you are away from home. An ENERGY STAR certified model will also save you money by using less energy.
10. Close doors to rooms that you don’t use regularly. Why heat a room when there is nobody there?
11. Bundle yourself in something warm. Instead of turning up the heat, put on an extra sweater and slippers when you are at home. On the other hand, cuddling with a loved one under a cozy blanket would even be better.…

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Home Repair

When Should You Remodel Your Bathroom?

If you are a homeowner, and particularly if you spend a lot of time in the home, you will probably find yourself wanting to change it up a little at one time or another. You may want the latest trends or you may just want to do something different that you have been looking at for years. You don’t have to wait to do a bathroom remodel until your appliances are broken, pipes leaking or d?�cor is looking unloved. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a really good look you will be thrilled with, from your remodel.
If you have noticed some of these things below, then now would be a good time to consider a remodel project to breathe new life into your home and increase the happiness you feel when walking into the bathroom.
Do I Want To?
In fact, probably the single best reason to do a bathroom remodel is because you want to do it. The remodel can be whatever you want it to be and can fit into any budget you have.
You can find bathroom remodeling experts who will be happy just to give your room a lick of fresh paint or fit a new vanity for you. On the other hand, if you want to totally revamp what is traditionally the smallest room in the house but probably the most complex with all that plumbing pipe work and electrical, then a total makeover of your bathroom is not something to be attempted by amateurs.
Do I Need To?
If you are still wondering if you should go ahead with your bathroom remodel, think about what condition the bathroom is in.
• Is the electrical wiring safe?
• Do you have potentially dangerous mold and mildew growing?
• Does your bathroom have an unpleasant musty smell?
• Are the pipes leaking?
• Is the flooring secure?
• Is the lighting adequate?
• Do the facilities meet all your family’s needs?
• Are you considering selling your home?
The last is a good reason to go for a bathroom remodel, the others make it essential if you are to safeguard the safety and health of your family.
So, the main reason most of us go for a bathroom remodel is because we spend a lot of time in the bathroom and are tired of seeing it look the same old way day after day, year after year. That may necessitate a fairly simple makeover, where you just take the opportunity to add in some of the latest fixtures. But often, you may have overlooked signs that your bathroom is becoming a dangerous place that is unhygienic, unhealthy and a potential hazard. That is really when it is imperative that you set up an appointment with a bathroom remodeling company that can help you not only put right everything that is wrong with your bathroom but also enables you to make your bathroom everything that you truly want it t be.…

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Home Repair

The Resale Value of A Kitchen

One of the biggest questions clients have when considering remodeling their kitchen is “What is the return on my investment?” In other words, if selling the home within the next few years is a possibility, is it worth redoing the kitchen and if I do, will it increase the value of the house once I am prepared to sell. This question can be viewed in several different ways: from a cabinet salesperson’s point of view “absolutely- you should gut the kitchen and add a new one!”; from an everyday person’s point of view- it is a tough question. I have come to a conclusion that it depends on a few variables, including the type of remodel, the nature of the housing market at the time you are considering selling and the cost of the project. If you live in a residential area that has very dated kitchens and you are considering selling in the near future redoing the kitchen has a few advantages:
1. You will get to enjoy the kitchen for the time that you are there.
2. Your house will stand out from the other, more dated homes on the market and WILL sell! If you put a significant amount of money into the kitchen, will that be reflected in the final number you get for your house sale? Maybe and maybe not. Homeowners need to be careful that they are not pricing themselves out of the market with their renovation projects. For instance, if houses in the neighborhood are selling for $300,000 and you decide to invest $100,000 in kitchen renovations to create your perfect “dream kitchen” you will likely not recoup that investment in a short period of time because you have significantly priced yourself out of the market. You will, however, get to enjoy your “dream kitchen” while you are living, cooking and entertaining in your kitchen. Enjoying a space in your home is nearly as important as the return on the financial investment.
A kitchen remodel does not need to cost a hundred thousand dollars to lure in buyers, if that is the intention of the remodel. A few updates, such as new countertops, paint or a cabinet “face-lift” can have a significant (possibility as much as 80%) return on investment.
I have spoken to a few local realtors about this topic and they were torn about whether it was “worth it” to remodel a kitchen for the purpose of selling the home. They did agree that it would “it will definitely make the house sell as opposed to not selling if the kitchen is dated.”The disadvantages to remodeling the kitchen:
1. I am putting a lot of money into a place that I am considering selling and cannot enjoy.
2. What if the potential buyer loves the house but hates my taste in kitchens and doesn’t buy the house because of the kitchen? Yes, you will be investing money into a home that you won’t live in for very long, but you will enjoy the new kitchen for a while. Remodeling the kitchen will attract many home buyers into your home, the right buyer will eventually come through and will love your taste in kitchens.
Final thoughts: why not live in a kitchen that you love at least for a little while before you sell and maybe take ideas from this kitchen remodel and figure out what you do and don’t want in your next home purchase, remodel or custom build.…

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Home Repair

Want To Become A Pro At Gardening? Read On

Now is a great time. You may have many questions and concerns about initiating this, but rest assured that the following paragraphs will give you the answers you seek. In the following paragraphs you will find insights and ideas you can apply to your gardening dreams.

If you notice powdery mildew on your plants, do not buy an expensive chemical. Mix some baking soda and a very small amount of liquid soap into water. Use a spray bottle to apply to your plants weekly until the issue clears up. Baking soda will effectively remove the mildew without damaging your plants.

Transfer your favorite plants indoors to rescue them from the winter frosts. You might want to transplant your most valuable varieties. Cautiously avoid the roots while digging, and put your plant into a perfectly sized pot.

For areas with high alkaline, mix coffee grounds into the soil. Coffee grounds contain plenty of acid to get the soil back to a good balance. You will notice that your vegetables and greens will have a stronger taste.

Get some gardening knee pads if you find yourself kneeling on the ground a lot to do your gardening. Long hours spent in the garden will wreak havoc on your knees. Pick up a good pair of gardening knee pads to help cushion your knees.

You can use boiling water to get rid of weeds naturally. A boiling pot of water is one the best and safest herbicides you can find. Soak weeds with freshly boiled water, just being mindful to not afflict damage on plants you want to keep. Boiling water damages weed and plant roots, so be sure to avoid the plants you don’t want to eliminate.

Be consistent with garden fertilization. Use commercially composted products in your garden to help your plants grow. This will reduce the chance of pathogens. The options for fertilizing are vast and include environmentally sound choices, so no matter which you choose, just be sure to use one.

Planted flowers will benefit from organic materials that are built up to as much as three inches. This will prevent weeds from growing, retain humidity, and feed your plants with the nutrients they need. In addition, your flower beds will have a beautiful, finished appearance year round.

Try to work as efficiently as possible when gardening. Don’t waste thirty minutes looking around for a tool. Prepare them all ahead of time and have them handy before you need to garden, and then put them back in their place when done. Get a tool belt if you need to, or a pair of pants with a lot of pockets.

Keep plastic bags handy to cover your muddy gardening shoes. This lets you be able to return to the garden without interrupting your work.

After reading this article, you should feel better about starting your gardening journey. Most gardening techniques apply to most plants but if you want to grow a singularly difficult flower, find specific information. Hopefully, this article’s tips will turn you from a novice green thumb into a professional.…

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Home Repair

Solid Advice For Growing A Great Garden

It’s always the right time of year to grow produce if you know how to develop that proverbial green thumb. Whether you’re trying to grow basil in your window or corn out in your back yard, here are some quick and easy organic gardening tips you can use to ensure you always have a plentiful harvest.

When planning your home garden, be sure to choose some crops that are typically costly to purchase from your local grocery store. By doing this, you can end up saving yourself a lot of money, sometimes fifty dollars or more every month, depending on the crop. Plus, you are guaranteed to have the freshest vegetables available!

Not only is gardening a great way to grow your own food, but you can also grow your own drink. You can grow apple mint to make a delicious tea or rhubarb stalk to make a tart alternative to lemonade. You should also can or freeze your berries and fruits to make them into soda, hard cider, or wines.

Keep your gardening tools organized. You do not want to trek out to your garden, only to realize you do not have everything you need with you and need to hunt your tools down. Keep small tools in a tool belt that you can grab and throw on easily or keep them in a 5-gallon bucket that you can carry out to your garden, quickly.

If you live in the city, you can still reap the benefits of organic gardening through container gardening. Herbs especially will thrive in indoor pots, as long as they are large enough. Container gardening can be easier than outdoor gardening when going organic, as there is less risk of exposure to insect pests or weeds.

Location is very important to organic gardening. Your garden should be in an area that will get at least ten hours of sunlight during the summer. Prior to starting your garden, make sure that your location does not have any large obstructions that will cast shadows and block the sun. Plants need an adequate amount of sunlight to live.

Use compost to improve the quality of your soil. Compost comes from the breakdown of natural vegetation, and it is organic. It improves the structure of your soil by making it less dense, thus allowing better water permeability. Compost can also be used to balance the pH level of your soil.

Add vines to your landscape. You can get a wide range of plants that are vines. Some ornamental, and some fruit or vegetable varieties. Vines can grow up most fences or structures. Use them to create more interesting landscapes in your yard. Have them grow up an awning, and create shade for you.

Perhaps the most important thing that you will focus on as an organic gardener is your health. It might not start out that way, but once you realize the benefits of going organic, you will start to build healthy habits. Make sure you use the tips here instead of letting them fall by the wayside.…

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Home Repair

Keep Your Pocketbook Happy With These Home Improvement Tips

Are you an expert in the realm of home improvement? Are you able to repair your own home? Read on for tips that can improve anyone’s knowledge of home improvement.

If you can afford it, go for hard wood floors and stay away from laminate. Even though laminates may look like real wood and are easier to manage, they can’t be refinished. This means they’ll have to be completely redone if a new look is desired.

Use common sense when deciding what home improvement projects are right for you. Odd projects, like uninsulated sun rooms in colder areas or an open deck in places where the weather is unbearably hot can give a potential buyer pause. Keep the local climate in mind when beginning a project.

If hiring a designer is out of your budget, start your research. You can find books, magazines and websites with great ideas. You might get just the inspiration you need from a picture in a magazine. These resources can also provide information for less expensive projects that you can do on your own.

Be creative with regards to home improvement and make sure you develop a solid plan. Planning a project will help keep errors to a minimum and will save time. To get ideas look through magazines, watch DIY TV shows and pay attention to the homes of friends and family members.

When it comes to home improvement projects, you need to have the right tools. If you have the right equipment you will ensure you do a good job and it is simple to do. Knowing how to use those tools is just as important as having the right tools.

Consider insulating your residence during your next home improvement project. Weatherstrip your windows and doors, for example. Keeping air out of your home will help your cooling and heating systems work better. This means that you will save money on your energy bills.

Before you install new hardwood floors, consult with a professional regarding the floors that are currently in your home. Sometimes, people find that they have hardwood under their linoleum or carpet that just needs to be refinished. You can end up with a high-quality floor that costs much less.

When it comes to home improvement projects, having fun is essential. Even though you should use care when doing a project, it’s important to enjoy it as well. If you aren’t enjoying the process, mistakes are more likely. Consider hiring a professional if you feel that this is happening to you.

To keep air from leaving through the doors, get some sealant strips and draft excluders. Draft excluders fit underneath a door and stop hot air from leaking out and cold air from leaking in. Put some sealant strips on your door frames too. They can be bought at all hardware stores.

You might know some things about working on your home but it takes some time to know a lot about it. The learning process with home improvement never ends, and you can always improve. Following the tips in this article can help both the novice and the expert.…

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Home Repair

Great Tips And Advice For Organic Growing

As a quick gardening tip, you should seek out accurate information to help you develop the proverbial green thumb. You could spend days searching Internet sites and wandering in bookstores, looking for advice on creating your own garden. This article contains just the advice you need in order to take up gardening. Continue on to them below.

When boiling or steaming vegetables, keep the water that the vegetables were cooked in and let it cool. Use the water to water the garden with. It is packed with all the vitamins and minerals that were in the vegetables when they were cooked and will help the plants grow as a natural plant food.

Plant crops compatible with each other in order to add even more efficiency to your garden. Plant crops that take longer to mature next to faster growing varieties. You can also get ahead of the season by planting cooler climate crops in the shade of larger summer crops. Greens such as lettuce do great in the shade of a large tomato plant.

Stink bugs can damage your garden, especially if you garden in the fall. Stink bugs enjoy gardens, and are especially fond of fruit, tomatoes, beans and peppers. Decrease their presence as much as possible to avoid them wreaking havoc in your garden.

Create a unique visual effect with a hanging basket. A hanging basket full of spring or summer flowers can brighten up a bare wall or a dreary back yard. A traditional hanging basket is made of wire and lined with moss. The moss is helpful in retaining moisture. You can create a spectacular display by not only planting in the basket itself, but by inserting hanging plants in the gaps in the wire mesh. The mesh and surrounding moss with ensure that the plants stay secure.

In addition to enhancing the appearance of your home with flowers and saving money by growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, you now have another reason to take up gardening. Studies have shown that stress and blood pressure levels are significantly reduced when people view nature and plants. Gardening is a great source of pleasure for many people and the end result is one that can help them live a longer, healthier life.

When planting tomato seedlings, be sure to plant them all the way up to the first set of leaves. This allows the plant to grow a larger and deeper root system. The more roots your plant sprouts, the more tomatoes the plant will be capable of supporting and the more flavorful they will be.

Prior to planting your garden, devise a plan. Use this to remind you where certain things were planted, later when they start sprouting. You can also prevent yourself from losing small plants within a large garden.

Knowing what you are doing in the garden can be very satisfying. Your gardening skills can improve if you have the right advice. So be on the lookout for new information and keep developing those skills. Try these tips on your own garden and you might be surprised by how soon you see results.…