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House Improvements

Thrifty Retirement: Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

You’ve lived in your home for many years now. It’s beginning to show its age or perhaps its configuration no longer fits your needs, but you really don’t want to move, to leave your convenient neighborhood, or to be farther from your friends or family. You decide instead to remodel. Finding a reliable, trustworthy contractor is the first thing you must do. The second is to pay attention to what the contractor is doing. This is your home and your money: stay on top of the project.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
Our kitchen had an odd layout and some of the appliances needed to be replaced. I went to an annual remodeling show held in our town and spoke with several of the companies there. I told them all what I wanted, which was to save most of the cabinets, which were in good condition, but to replace just a few to fit the new floor plan I had in mind. I wanted to be able to reuse those we would tear out. I easily dismissed several contractors, as they weren’t interested in a project that wasn’t all new, and I narrowed the selection down to just a couple.
I called one and talked with him. I liked him immediately, but asked for references. I phoned all the references, and to a person, they all had glowing reports. I hired him to do the work in the kitchen and I couldn’t have been happier. He was able to preserve more of the cabinets than I had planned on and had to make only one new cabinet door. I was impressed with his reasonable cost, his excellent workmanship, and his clear concern for the environment, as well as with his pleasant return to fix a couple small blips.
A couple years later when we decided to do a major remodel of our master bathroom, he was the obvious choice. He even used the same crew boss as had worked on the kitchen. I had high hopes and no reservations. However, as the work progressed, I found questions popping up. The crew boss was showing up later in the day, or some days not at all. The job was taking longer than I expected. This wasn’t quite right; that had to be redone. We had ordered a custom-made vanity that was delivered and installed while we were gone for a long weekend.
When I first saw the cabinet, I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It took two weeks for me to pinpoint the problem. The style wasn’t what I had ordered. Where did this go wrong? The estimator blamed the cabinetmaker, and the cabinetmaker said he made what the estimator ordered. Meanwhile, my contractor was left holding the bag, as he was financially responsible for getting me the right vanity cabinet.
My contractor returned several times to fix small things the crew boss had messed up, but it’s been a year now and I still don’t have the vanity I ordered. The contractor is still the nicest guy in the world, but he has already lost money on this job and he still owes me a vanity. Will I ever get it? I don’t know.
The bottom line is that you must stay on top of the workers and the job, even if you know them. Check every day. If you don’t like a specific detail, speak up right away. In my case, it turned out the crew boss was having family problems he hadn’t mentioned to the contractor. His mind was somewhere else while he was working, and my contractor and I both paid for it. When the wallpaper was stripped, instead of washing the old glue off the walls, they painted over it. The floor tiles are not level and have created an uneven floor. The towel racks were mounted too high and had to be removed and remounted. The toilet was not level. And of course, the vanity is still wrong.
I keep hoping to hear from the contractor. I call every couple of months and he always says he’ll get to it. Maybe I’ll be lucky: maybe he will.It appears that your web host has disabled all functions for handling remote pages and as a result the BackLinks software will not function on your web page. Please contact your web host for more information.…

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House Improvements

Three Important Steps to Easy Log Home Maintenance

There are three important log home maintenance steps that need to be completed to ensure that the home lasts a long time and maintains its beauty. While maintenance of any home is very important, maintenance for a log home is especially important to ensure that the structure of the home remains solid and without defect. These three steps can ensure that it lasts a lifetime and longer.
Inspect the Home at Least Once Each Year
One of the most important steps in log maintenance is to inspect the entire home from the foundations to the roof at least once a year. During this inspection, look for anything that indicates damage to the wood or the structure of the walls and ceiling. This can include looking for water damage, insect damage or the like. This maintenance step might need seem like it improves anything, but a visual inspection can ensure that any issues are discovered long before they affect the beauty of the log home or its structure. It is especially important to inspect the areas around the foundation as this is where water can settle and cause problems.
Refinish and Seal the Logs
A great maintenance taste that results in the home lasting as long as possible is the refinishing and sealing of the logs. Ideally this should be done as often as recommended by the manufacturer, refinishing and sealing a log home can be a time consuming task but it should be done at least once every couple of years. Refinishing the logs ensures that they are as beautiful as possible and removes and debris or dirt from the outside of the home. It also ensures that the original luster of the logs is restored. After refinishing, sealing the logs can help hold in their beauty and keep out water and other damaging things. A seal also can increase the beauty of the logs.
Repair Small Problems Before They Grow
The final log maintenance step that ensure the home will last a long time is to fix any small problems before they become large. With a log home this is especially important because wood can show only a small area of damage but have larger problems hidden further in the wood where it is hard to see. So, if there is a problem, addressing it quickly can ensure that larger problems are swiftly identified and corrected as well. When repairing a log home, hiring a professional is always a good idea because a professional has the experience to identify problems early and correct them properly.
There are three main steps to proper log home maintenance. First, always inspect the home at least once each year to identify any problems before they become major issues. Also, ensure that any small problems are addressed quickly and by a professional to make sure that they don’t become larger problems. The final step to maintaining a log home so that it lasts for a lifetime is to refinish and reseal the home as often as possible.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Home Maintenance Tips – Keeping Your Home Secured

Home maintenance tips are essential when it comes to keeping a property in top value. This is especially true for those who are clueless in making their residences free from any form of damage which it may incur through time.
There are many reasons why residences must be conserved today. For one, they must remain comfortable and safe for the sake of our families. No one knows when disasters and emergencies might come. At any time you must be prepared in keeping your family secured even inside the bounds of your home. Moreover, big expenses caused by the need for major repairs may be avoided. As the saying goes – an ounce of prevention is better than cure.
Let us say you need home repair assistance. Here is a reminder to consider before you start with your overhaul project. Take each area or room one at a time. Starting the work all at the same time will just leave your whole house in total disarray, more so inoperative. Never jump to the next spot unless the first spot gets fully repaired. This practice will enable your family to have a resting place even though construction is ongoing inside your residence.
Regular upkeep of your environment is more inexpensive and, at times, more beneficial than replacements. In connection to this, it is important that property owners are aware of home maintenance tips that help combat simple residential problems.
Toilet and wiring failures are two of the most common household concerns which need abrupt attention. Toilets are prone to clogging. Once clogged you would not be able to use them properly. In other instances, there are toilets that run. When the water continuously flows from the tank to the bowl, lots of water gets wasted and bigger plumbing problems arise.
Wiring failures, on the other hand, cause certain parts of the grounded or lacking flow of electricity. Never address wiring issues on your own. Contact an electrician right away. Walls, roofs, gutters are other parts of the house which must be regularly checked. Any damage with your roof can expose your family to the weather and other mishaps. Leaks or blockages in the gutter can get a part of your house flooding. Cracks on walls may signal corrosion. They better be instantly examined before they collapse on your loved ones or before they bring the whole house down.
A house is definitely one of the greatest investments a person can have. With the proper observance of these home maintenance tips, this investment can be secured in the years to come. The good news about this is that home owners need not spend a fortune just to enjoy a well-kept property. There are things that they can do on their own to preserve its value. However, there might come a time that a specialist needs to look into certain maintenance issues. In this case, concerned owners must do a thorough research first about the appropriate service provider who will take care of their needs. With this, they can be protected from signing deceitful contracts.…

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Kitchen Renovation

When You Seek Furniture Information, This Article Is It

Does the thought of shopping for furniture excite you, or are you just overwhelmed? There are many tips and techniques involved in choosing the right furniture for a home. The following piece is full of useful advice in this realm.

If you’re looking for wood furniture, especially older furniture, inspect more than the outside. Check the insides and undersides, including drawers. Many times, this inspection is going to let you make a better assessment of the furniture than you’d get by simply inspecting the surface wood. Also known as secondary woods, you can learn about the wood’s quality and age through these surfaces.

When you search for new furniture, consider your color options carefully. Bright colors may not go well with current and future decor. Choose neutral shades in the big pieces and bold shades in the little ones.

Always make sure you test furniture before you buy it. You might want to get a couch over the Internet, but if you haven’t sat on it, you might be disappointed when it arrives. The couch might not feel good to the touch and the cushions might be a bit too firm for your liking. Therefore, you should always purchase furniture only when you know it is going to suit you.

Don’t neglect trying some haggling when you buy furniture. A lot of furniture retailers mark up their merchandise dramatically; if you negotiate, you can sometimes talk down the price and save up to 20 percent. If you don’t like to barter, seek out an experienced friend or family member to come along and help you dicker.

Since furniture is a big ticket item, try to buy pieces that have many uses and can adapt to your needs. For instance, armoires are great for storing office equipment and supplies. When you aren’t printing, the room seems neat because you are able to close up the armoire.

Always inspect a sofa’s frame. The boards need to be a bit more than one inch in thickness. If the sofa’s board is thinner than that, the sofa will squeak. Test the sofa by sitting on it, pressing on the springs and wiggling on it to find any squeaks or weaknesses in it.

Check online reviews of different manufacturers. Reviews can help provide you with insight about the quality of the furniture as well as the customer service of a company. The information can be invaluable in your decision making process.

Be sure you carefully read over the warranty of any piece of furniture you are considering purchasing. 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. Avoid this disaster from occurring and know what damages are covered by ensuring you read over the warranty carefully.

Does the prospect of buying new furniture make you nervous? Hopefully, you know now that it’s not terribly difficult to shop for furniture and it can be fun, at times. Use all the above ideas whenever you need a new piece of furniture.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Sowing Seeds: Organic Gardening Advice For Your Garden

You desire a vibrant and healthy organic garden. It’s the perfect time to begin! The tips below can help you begin your organic garden.

Turn the handles of your garden tools into measuring rulers. Large handled tools like rakes, hoes or shovels may be used like measuring sticks. All you have to do is lay them on the floor then use a measuring tape to measure their length. Have a marker handy, and mark the distance with it. Next time you are working in the garden, you will have a large ruler at your fingertips!

Plants that climb can hide fences and walls. Climbers have many different uses and spread quickly. They may also grow through tress and shrubs that are already grown, or you can train them to cover your arbor. Some of these plants must have support, and some can attach themselves to something using their stems and tendrils. A few good choices are climbing roses, wisteria, jasmine, honeysuckle and clematis.

The first thing you should do when planning a garden is test the soil. Pay a small fee to have your soil analyzed, and you’ll be glad that you did when you understand what nutrients your soil is lacking. Many offices of Cooperative Extension will do a soil analysis, and it is important to know how to improve soil so that all crops can grow in it.

As fall arrives, it is the time to prepare for planting fall edibles. Instead of a clay pot, show some fall spirit by using a hollow pumpkin to plant your lettuce or kale in. Cut an opening in the pumpkin and scoop the insides out. Then spray the edges and empty inside of the pumpkin with Wilt-Pruf so the pumpkin doesn’t rot. You are prepared to plant after this is done.

Tender deciduous shrubs are very fragile, so protect them. If you’ve got tender shrubs which are potted, you need to protect them from cold weather. First tie together the tops; then take a sheet or blanket and loosely shroud the wigwam. This method is much better than wrapping the plant in plastic, as it allows air to circulate, which can prevent rotting.

Know the perfect time to harvest the vegetables in your garden. Each veggie has its own prime time for harvesting. Many vegetables are best when picked young; baby peas are a prime example. Tomatoes, however, should be plucked from the vine the moment they appear ripe. Remember that the vegetables will taste best if you harvest them at the proper time.

Controlling pests can be quite challenging when trying to grow a healthy, hardy vegetable garden. Since your vegetables are meant to be eaten, refrain from spraying them with harsh chemicals. To safely keep your garden pest-free, keep a sharp eye out. When you are vigilant, you can simply remove the pests from your plants manually as soon as you notice them. Early detection is the best solution to ridding your garden of pests.

You should now feel enthusiastically prepared to enter the relaxing and productive world of organic gardening. No matter how comfortable you felt about the subject, you should be more so now. You can grow an organic garden, now that you have the right tips and information.…

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House Improvements

Kick Pests Out With These Useful Tips

Finding out that you have a pest problem is never fun. Being unaware of solutions can cause your anxiety to grow. Lucky for you, you have found the information that will help you get rid of them quickly. Keep reading and learn how to eradicate household pests.

DO you have a fruit fly issue? The problem may be with your drain. Place plastic wrap over your drain, keep it there for a handful of days, and see if any flies have begun appearing. If fruit flies still appear, scrub around your drain after pouring boiling water. That should keep fruit flies from breeding there.

Attack a pest problem at its source. That means getting rid of what attracted the pests in the first place. Pests may be drawn to your house because water, food and shelter can be found there. Search for and get rid of food scraps, leaks or entry points.

Check your local building authority and ordinances for available options for pest control. If you are trying to sell your house, you might not want to spray pesticides that are illegal. This happens only rarely, but it is still wise to seek out pest control products that are legal and effective.

If you want a real test for detecting a termite problem, use a dog trained to sniff out the bugs. Human inspectors only have the ability to render a verdict on 1/3 of the house. Trained dogs can actually check out your entire home. They smell for methane gas, which is a byproduct of the wood the termites are eating.

Bedbugs hide in a variety of locations, making them hard to completely get rid of. All holes should be sealed before beginning any type of extermination. This will ensure that bugs cannot hide in the holes during the extermination process, only to emerge later.

Look around your house for any cracks or places that pests could enter, and seal them right away. These are just the places that pests love to find as they are looking for ways to get inside. If you close them off, the pests won’t be able to get in.

It is notoriously difficult to eradicate fleas and their eggs once they get into your house, but there are a few things that can work. Start by vacuuming them every day and then using a flea spray. Be sure that you get rid of every vacuum bag that you use as soon as you are done.

It is important to have your home checked for pests on a regular basis. If your home has an underground component to it, you may be susceptible to subterranean termites. Check out your basement and any other underground area.

Electronic pest control can work really well. You plug these little devices in every room, and they make a tiny buzzing sound that keeps rodents away. Even though humans can hear it, the sound does not harm people or animals at all. Rodents do not like the noise and will not stay in the same area.

You should now know enough to start taking action and get rid of the pest that has invaded your home. Use the information you’ve learned here for your war on the pests. Pretty soon, your pests will be gone and your life will be back to normal.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Grow A Healthy Organic Garden With These Tips

In the world of gardening, there are plenty of great resources available to both new and experienced gardeners alike. There are many classes, e-guides, books, videos, magazines, and other resources available. This set of tips contains some of the best advice for helping a good gardener become a great gardener.

When winter arrives, transfer some plants into the house to save them. You might want to transplant your most valuable varieties. Dig carefully around their roots and place them into a pot.

Grow some wheat grass or cat grass next to the plants your cat seems to prefer. Try putting mothballs or citrus on your soil to wards pets away.

When you’re picking vegetables from your garden, choose to harvest them when they are at the peak of ripeness for the best flavor and the most nutrition. It is best to pick vegetables and fruits in the early morning, because they are still full of moisture and nutrients. With only a few exceptions, anything that you’re not going to use right away can then be preserved by chilling in the refrigerator.

If you can’t get mulch for your soil, use wet newspapers. Damp newspapers around the base of your plants will help hold moisture in the ground and protect your plants’ root systems from heat and sunlight. Newspaper is biodegradable, so it will eventually degrade and actually add more nutrients to your soil.

Be careful not to over-water your garden. Giving your plants too much water can actually kill them faster than not giving them enough water. Soil that has too much water in it prevents root systems from growing properly. It can even cause your plants to rot from the bottom up.

Consider getting a soil analysis report for the dirt in your garden. This procedure is relatively inexpensive and can tell you the type of nutrients you should add to your soil in order to have a more productive garden. A local farm supply or co-op can look through the report and guide you on what to buy.

To make your own miniature greenhouse, simply cover a pot with an old plastic bag. This will mimic the humid environment that allows plants inside a greenhouse to thrive. If you’d also like to protect your plant from the weather, build a dome out of a sturdy plastic and place it atop the plant.

To help your tomato plants grow strong stems, blow a fan on them for 15 minutes a day. Exposure to wind is essential to a stem’s development, and giving the plant some extra time to blow in the breeze will only make it stronger. Try using a small, portable fan on a low or medium setting.

After reading these tips, you can begin to understand what it takes to become a great gardener. There is a lot of information to learn and you need to know how to apply it. With this in mind, you can refine your own strategies and goals to help you grow and maintain beautiful gardens.…