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Room Additions

Nine Basic Home Maintenance Tips Guide

Caring for your home is part of the pride and joy of home ownership. Taking good care of your home helps preserve and even escalates the home’s value. However, for most people, home maintenance is a pain in the neck since it needs more time and effort. Nevertheless, keeping your home in tip top shape is necessary to protect your biggest investment and so home maintenance is not an option, but a necessity. It is important that you have an idea on how to make basic repairs and maintenance to your home’s systems and fixtures.
Following is a guide on how to manage the basic home maintenance tasks in your home:
1. Make sure that you know where the control points are. Find out where the main plumbing valves are and the electrical breakers. If you do not have the blueprint of your home, you can hire a professional to identify all of the necessary controls for you. This is an investment that can surely benefit you later on.
2. Ensure that your home is safe by checking on your smoke detectors every now and then. If you find there is something wrong with the detectors, have them checked right away by an electrician. Keep fire extinguishers near the kitchen and bedrooms and make sure that everybody is aware of where they are and knows how to use them. If your home was built before 1978, you may hire a certified hazardous materials inspector to check your home for lead-based paint, asbestos, mildew and molds. For more information about this, check out the Department of Health and Human Services in your area.
3. Do a regular inspection of your home. Be alert on problems such as water in the wrong place or uneven power flows.
4. Find out and understand the life expectancy of the components of your home. Nothing lasts forever, and this holds true to the appliances and gadgets you have in your home. Your fridge has a twelve to fifteen useful life; water heater has ten to twelve years. Your roof should last for twenty years. The carpets probably need to be replaced after eight years and your paint three to four years. The plumbing may last for twenty-five years, and your electrical wiring is safe for fifteen or twenty years and the furnace will remain efficient for twenty years at most.
5. Purchase a home warranty policy. This will help you maintain and monitor your home. The insurance company will do an inspection and provide service for all your major appliances regularly and will charge you only a minimal additional fee for repairs. This is especially important if your home is older.
6. Keep a toolbox to do small repairs by yourself. Make sure you have the correct and complete materials in the kit such as: flat-head and philips-head screwdrivers, lightweight claw hammer, pliers, small hand saw, wire cutters, twine, duct tape, wood glue caulk, stud-finder, electrical outlet tester and a 3-foot straight-edge ruler.
7. You may enroll in a workshop in your local hardware of home depot store to gain some basic skills. The lessons will help you learn how to replace damaged window screens, tighten screws, stop running toilet, replace tile grout, clean the gutters, shut off the main plumbing valve if there is a leak and switch the right breaker in case of power problem.
8. Do not hesitate to call on the professionals if the need arises. Electricians and plumbers contractors are licensed for a reason. They do dangerous and difficult work. Never attempt to work on your furnace or clear out a backed-up plumbing nor re-wire a circuit by yourself. Call these qualified professionals to do the work for you. Look for contractors and handyman services and have their names and contact numbers affixed to the fridge in case of an emergency.
9. Reserve a fund for home maintenance costs. This is necessary when the time comes to replace the roof and major home appliances or if there are immediate major repairs to be done.
Your home is your biggest personal asset; therefore you should ensure that you give it your most tender loving care.…

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Room Additions

Granite Countertops: A Buyer’s Guide

Granite is an attractive stone that adds color and warmth to any room. Granite is a natural stone like marble that is as old as the planet and can be found around the globe. It is an igneous rock that is almost always massive, hard and tough, and therefore it has gained widespread use as a construction stone. It can be found in hundreds of color variations that normally have dazzling flecks of quartz crystal embedded within. Granite is complimentary to any architectural or interior design style from ultra-modern to country.
In ancient times it was utilized in public buildings such as temples. In the past few centuries it was still being utilized for the exteriors and columns of prominent buildings. Then in the 19th century, stone suppliers perfected the polishing of granite making it even more sought after to beautify not only the exterior but also the interiors of grand homes and buildings.
The use of granite for kitchen and bathroom countertops, fireplace facades and flooring has been a top tier choice of the best architects and interior designers for decades. Due to its’ perpetual allure and unwavering strength granite is now in high demand for homes of every socio-economic realm.
Although in high-demand across the board, granite remains one of the most expensive choices for a home’s countertops. The price of granite starts at $60 a square foot installed. The majority of the cost is due to the excavation and transportation as well as the cutting, polishing and installation. Since granite is the hardest stone, second only to diamonds, special equipment is needed to work with the massive sheets that must be cut to specification. This in part is why it is not a recommended task for the do-it-yourself homeowner. Cabinetry must be reinforced to be able to handle the weight of the stone. The slab of granite must be cut to precision and set exactly level. If it is not exactly level then the granite is at risk for cracking during regular use.
If you want the look and durability of granite countertops but can’t afford the cost of solid slabs then consider granite tiles. Granite tiles are made from left over pieces of granite and cost considerably less. The effect can be just as stunning. The do-it-yourself homeowner can easily handle the installation of the precut granite tiles which will also save money by avoiding the high installation cost.
Regardless of if you choose to install or have installed granite slabs or granite tiles your home value will increase. Prospective home buyers and renters are now making granite countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms a priority. Apartment complexes are having granite installed to attract renters and it’s now the number one update that people make to their older homes. Due to its’ incredible durability and beauty, granite is now becoming the norm for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s not a passing fad but a staple similar to a home having a brick exterior that will remain part of a home’s integrity to last a lifetime.…

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Bathroom Remodel

A Little Guide To A Lovely Garden

When it comes time for you to start growing an organic garden, you may wonder where to begin, as there are so many things to consider when buying the right tools and accessories. The tips in this article can provide you with what you need to know to successfully grow your own organic garden.

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.

Remove your garden’s weeds! If you’re not careful, weeds can take over your beautiful garden, ruining it. White vinegar has been known to kill weeds quickly. White vinegar kills weeds. Apply it full strength to any areas where weeds are a problem.

If space is an issue, try vertical gardening. Even with the limited space of condos and townhouses, many people have thriving gardens in the small area they have using vertical gardening. By using trellised gardens one can grow pole beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a small place during the summer, and in the fall a wide variety of greens can be grown in the same space.

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.

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.

Pay attention to zones when choosing plants for your garden. Most plants will come with the zone marked. This is also true of seeds. Make sure the zone corresponds to your growing zone. Though plants may grow outside of their usual zone, they are less likely to be hardy plants.

Don’t plant large shade trees in your yard between the curb and the sidewalk. Large trees have powerful root systems. These roots will crawl under the sidewalk, lifting and breaking the sidewalk pavers. The sidewalk can’t be repaired properly without removing the tree roots, which would damage the tree. Smaller ornamental trees will do less damage.

As you have seen, organic gardening techniques, while various, share many fundamentals. They just vary in terms of plant types and care. All it takes to decide between them is some research and common sense to find the best plants and tools that will work with you, your budget, and your organic garden.…