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Category: Do It Yourself (page 1 of 3)

3 Ways To Prepare Your Home for Winter

Homeowners everywhere know that as soon as cold weather settles in, winter is soon to arrive. Smart owners also know they need to protect their homes and keep utility bills down by doing some home maintenance. Whether you live in Florida, California, or Wyoming, your house needs your help to secure its envelop against harsh weather. Here are three ways to prepare your home for winter.

1. Heating

No matter which type of heating system your home uses to keep you warm, it needs a yearly inspection. Have a technician examine the unit before you turn it on for the long winter’s work. Make sure you change the filters and clean the air ducts of any residual dirt from last year to keep your home allergen free.

2. Windows

During the heat of summer, the wood trim or caulk around your windows may crack and break. Sometimes window panes can get cracked from blowing debris and also need repair. Rather than try and fix the panes yourself, why not call a window repair Dallas TX service? With a quick response, the professionals can get your home sealed up tight.

3. Gutters

Cleaning your home’s gutters allows water to pour down the tubing as snow melts or rain pours, and moving the water away from your home is essential to keeping your crawlspace or basement dry and mold free. Having clean gutters can also keep your home safe from ice dams and icicles that can weigh gutters down or shatter the tubes. Once there is a crack, water can find its way into your home and cause extensive damage.

As the weather cools, performing yearly maintenance on your home can save you some time and money by preventing winter damage to the structure. Take care of your home, and your house will keep you warm and dry all winter long.

Three Ways to Revitalize Your Home

If you own an old or outdated home, chances are you have a few projects you’d like to work on. From a fresh coat of paint to new floors and lighting, there are endless options to help you make your home your own personal sanctuary.

Watch Where You Step

New floors are a great way to update a home and can help make it feel cohesive from room to room. Whether you prefer the classic and timeless look of hardwood flooring in Highland Village, or prefer something less traditional such as laminate or tile, you can really transform the look and feel of your living space.

Refresh With Some Paint

A new coat of paint can do wonders for refreshing a house’s vibe. Whether you want earth tones, cool colors or something bright and cheery, you can really change the atmosphere by choosing a new color palette. Whether you choose one color for the whole home or prefer to use different colors in each room, this is a project you can do yourself if you choose. Add an accent wall or choose decor to add visual interest.

Light It Up

Updating the lighting can make a huge difference in the feel of your home. Although not typically the focal point of the room, old or outdated light fixtures can detract from an otherwise beautifully designed room. Older homes may be lacking in light, so adding recessed, can, track or chandelier lighting can be a great investment. Floor and table lamps can also be beneficial if you are looking for a quick fix.

Updating, renovating or just redecorating a home can be both exciting and overwhelming. With all of the options out there, it may be hard to narrow down the choices. Flooring, paint colors and light fixtures are just a few places to start.

4 Routine Home Maintenance Tasks That Are Often Overlooked

Owning your own home is a big achievement, and it can also be a larger responsibility than you may realize. Make sure you take proper care of your investment by keeping up with these routine maintenance tasks that many homeowners overlook.

Maintain Your Septic System 

Many older homes and those in rural areas have private septic systems to handle household wastewater. Located underground, they filter solids from liquids and ensure that biological waste doesn’t contaminate the surrounding area. While many people don’t really consider the septic system as a household system that needs routine maintenance, taking the time to have it checked every few years could save you a lot of trouble down the road. Septic tank draining and cleaning is something you want to schedule ahead of time, not in the case of an emergency backup.

Inspect Your Roof and Gutters

Your roof is another item that may be out of sight and out of mind. However, you don’t want to wait until a heavy downpour to find out that yoru roof is not up to the challenge of keeping the weather out. Shingle roofs should be checked annually for missing or lifting shingles and areas with excessive wear. The seams and fasteners on metal roofs should be secure and sealed. Gutters should be clean and free of debris so water can be channeled away from your home.

Drain Your Water Heater 

Taking the time to drain your water heater once a year will help keep sediment from building up in the water storage tank and may extend the life of your unit. You can use a bucket or attach a hose to the drain valve and simply open it up. Make sure you turn the water heater off first and allow it to fill before using hot water.

Clean Your Dryer Vent 

Keeping your dryer vent clean can help with a couple of things. First, your dryer will most likely run more efficiently with a clean vent hose. It will also be safer. Dryer lint is highly combustible, so a clogged vent line can be a fire hazard. Pull the dryer out from the wall about once a year and clear out any lint that has gotten past the machine’s filter screen to help it run its best.

3 Things to Know Before Operating a Service Station

As an investor, you may be thinking about owning a franchise to build wealth and diversify your asset portfolio. Vehicle usage has risen steadily over the past 50 years. Owning a service station has great income potential. As you research and plan, here are three things to know in advance.

Location

Location is crucial to the success of your operation.  Visibility from the road, average daily traffic and demographics factor heavily in potential profit. You should also consider competitors in the vicinity. If your service station is the only one around for miles, you could make a lot of money. If there are several direct competitors, it might be harder to generate the revenue needed to stay open. Consider the neighborhood. Will you be in an area where many customers would be inclined to bring their vehicles by for repairs?

Permitting

You will need to secure permits to build a service station and operate it. Carefully consider all the services to be provided. Will customers also be able to fill up on gas and wash their vehicles at your business? An experienced, certified contractor will be fully knowledgeable about permitting requirements, such as a provider of service station construction California. Violation of local regulations could be detrimental to your project and business.

Coordination

You’ll want to work with a qualified contractor. Make sure that the bidder has properly accounted for all project requirements. Don’t just go with the lowest bid. Mistakes in the bidding process can lead to delays and change orders that eat into profits. You also need to contemplate which companies to partner with in terms of franchising and sales. Major corporations usually have conditions that will impact what you can do with your service station.

Owning and operating a service station can generate significant income. It comes with risk and great reward. Thorough planning and location selection, hiring the right contractor and choosing the right companies to partner with can increase your odds of success.

How to Protect Your Floors

From shoes that scuff to pets who scratch, your floors have many enemies. But their most dangerous foe is furniture. Whether you’re trying to maintain a tile, hardwood, or laminate floor, tables and chairs make the worst and most lasting damage. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent them from doing so. Here are just a few.

 

Affix Soft Material to the Legs

Felt pads and gliders do a great job of preventing furniture legs from damaging everything from expensive tile to provenza wood floors. At the same time, they allow for easy gliding of furniture across any floor type.

 

Trim Pet Nails

If you have a dog or cat that routinely leaves scratch marks, consider having their nails trimmed during your next visit to the veterinarian.

Lay Rugs

Although you may not wish to cover up a floor you love, rugs are a foolproof form of protection. What’s more, they can also be removed when entertaining or if you decide on a different method.

Go Shoeless

Most shoes or sneakers can leave unsightly scuffs and streaks on any floor. So take them off and leave them at the door. Politely ask guests to do the same, especially during bad weather.

 

Consider Bamboo

Bamboo strand offers a higher density than traditional wood. Bamboo floors are engineered to handle the most demanding home and commercial environments. It’s one way to head off damage before it even sets foot in your home or office.

 

Don’t Drag

Finally, if you prefer to not take any of the above actions, at least make sure that you never drag furniture across floors. Make an effort to always lift and place your chairs and tables.

Flooring is an investment, and should be treated as such. Whether in your home or office, it’s an investment that demands protection.

Ways to Make Your Home Look Great

Have you been looking around your home recently and thought that you’d like to make some changes? Perhaps you’ve been perusing pictures online and in magazines and found some incredible design ideas. You want your home to look high-end, but maybe you don’t have the budget. Fortunately, you don’t need to have a large budget to get a great looking home. Here are some ideas that can help you make your home look great.

Light Fixtures

Standard light fixtures get the job done, but they often look just like the fixtures you can find in just about any other home. Instead, try adding some custom light fixtures. With custom fixtures, you get lighting and a touch of elegance that is harder to come by.

Hardwood Flooring

There’s something about hardwood floors that screams elegance. It’s a classic that never goes out of style. Several types of woods are used for flooring. You can select a type that best fits your budget without sacrificing appearance.

Crown Molding

Crown molding is a small touch that has a lot of visual power. It can take a room from appearing unfinished to complete. Wider trims tend to have the biggest impact.

Window Treatments

Window treatments are another small touch that can have a huge impact. Without them, your home looks unfinished. With the right ones, your home instantly appears more opulent. Choose materials like linen, cotton, or silk. Or, if you don’t want flowing fabrics, you can choose wood blinds.

Furniture

You don’t have to spend a lot on brand-new furniture to get a high-end look. Instead, there are many benefits to buying second-hand. You can sometimes find great pieces of furniture for much less. You can refinish the furniture you find to look more modern and fit in with your home’s décor.

Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a home that looks high-end. It doesn’t take much to create an expensive look that you (and everyone who steps foot in your home) will love.

Steps Towards a Greener Home and Wallet

Leading a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle at home will help both your wallet and the environment. Here are a few areas to consider.

Switch to Solar Energy

Are you familiar with Solar ITC New Jersey? The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), enacted in 2006, provides a 30 percent tax credit on solar systems installed in residential and commercial properties. Construction must begin before the end of 2019 for the full credit. After 2019, the tax credit tapers off.

The solar energy that you contribute to the grid will be credited against your utility bill. Contact your energy provider for specific information.

Inspect Insulation and Weatherstripping

Improving the insulation in your home will help keep warm air inside in winter and keep the hot air outside in the summer. If you have an older home, your insulation may need upgrading to current building codes.

You should also look around your windows and doors for air leaks. Your utility company can provide you with references to reputable companies to do an energy audit. Any leaks should be sealed with weatherstripping.

Participate in Recycling and Composting

Reducing your trash that goes to the landfill helps the environment. However, it is important that you follow your local government’s guidelines on recycling and composting collection. Just because an item may be marked as recyclable on the packaging, it does not mean that your local jurisdiction can accept it. It is important to follow the guidelines. Sometimes one wrong item or a food-soiled material in a recycling bin will result in the entire load going to the landfill trash pile instead.

Use Green Cleaning Products

You can save money as well as the environment when you use everyday household items such as vinegar for cleaning tasks instead of commercial chemicals. Search online for cleaning recipes. Adding essential oil to the vinegar will give you the pleasant scent that you are used to from commercial products.

Solar energy, insulation, recycling, and green cleaning products are all steps you can take at home to protect the environment and your cash flow.

5 Ways To Sell Your Home in Days

Some homes are on the market for months, and others are sold within days. If the houses are both the same type of home with nearly the same price, have you ever wondered what the difference is that makes one sell so quickly? The answers may surprise you. Here are five ways to sell your home surprisingly fast.

1. Paint Your Walls a Neutral Color

Neutral colors allow the prospective buyer to imagine living in your home. With a fresh coat of paint on the walls, the house looks and smells clean and fresh. Don’t forget to paint the wood trims around doors, windows, and flooring.

2. Put a Fence Around the Property

Buyers with children love established fences around property lines and having a fence can actually sell a house over another without an enclosure. Although they are more pricy, wooden fences like the ones from a fencing contractor Lake County IL are the most sought-after style in home sales.

3. Replace or Update All Your Flooring

Carpets can look dingy after only a year of wear and tear, so replace with new flooring for a radiant look that can sell the home quickly. If your house has wooden floors, polish and re-stain the planks for a striking appearance.

4. Update Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchens are said to sell homes, so update your appliances and let your kitchen sell your house for you. Change out cabinet knobs and polish cupboards for a room that shines. Don’t forget to update the kitchen curtains and clean the window to let sunlight flow into the room and welcome the buyers.

5. Upgrade All the Household Faucets

There are hundreds of faucets on the market, and the styles change almost yearly. Upgrade your faucets for a fresh look that invites buyers to move right in.

Your home doesn’t have to sit on the market for months. Use these five tips to upgrade your house and sell the property quickly.

Three Easy Ways To Secure Your Job Site

If you are a contractor, fair worker or utilities professional, you probably understand the need to secure the job site. It keeps your equipment and the public safe from harm. What simple and effective techniques can you use to get this done?

Fencing

Putting up fencing is the most labor intensive and time consuming security countermeasure on this list, but it is well worth it. Nothing protects better than a barrier. You can either carry your own fencing with you, or rent on site. Either way, you want something sturdy yet lightweight. Another important characteristic to look for is non conductive fence material, especially if you are erecting it around equipment that uses electricity. This should be one of the first things you do, and don’t forget to add a lock.

Signage

An unmarked site can be as confusing as it is tempting for the passerby. If the repercussions aren’t known, people may be more likely to go snooping. Put up large and colorful signage that identifies the area, gives relevant information and warns against entry. It is more effective if printed on a sturdy, reflective surface- that way it can be seen at night, as well.

Security Cameras

Cameras have become more mobile and inexpensive than ever, so it is easy to set up a wireless feed. There are video products that can fit almost any set of circumstances: battery powered, with lighting or motion activated. You can even control or view them from your phone or tablet. Cameras can act as both a deterrent and provide evidence if a crime is committed.

It isn’t hard to create a protective barrier around your work area, so be sure not to skip out on any security measures and regret it later. Once you get in the routine of setting up at the start of every job, you won’t even notice the extra work.

Secrets You Can Use To Sell Your Home Quickly

So, you made the decision, and you are going to move as soon as you get your home ready for the required serious walk-thru buyers, the looky-loos, and the curious neighbors. Although you may believe your home is perfect in every aspect, here are a few ways you can improve your home’s chance for a quick sale.

First Impressions Matter

Paint your door, trim the lawn, manicure your plants, and clear the walkways to create a good first impression in the front yard. But don’t stop there, make sure you manicure the bushes in the back, paint the fence, and call in a tree service Cincinnati to cut back or trim trees.

Don’t Be Restrictive

Yes, it takes a lot of effort to keep your home spotless and clutter free – especially if you have children. However, modern buyers are busy people with a limited viewing schedule. Examining homes may include weekends, evenings, and last-minute drive-by homes. If you make your home available for last minute viewings, the chances of selling can improve greatly.

Remove the Clutter

Moving is expensive, so do yourself a huge favor and add one more expense – a storage container. By removing as many of your personal items from your home as possible, you can declutter your house to make it look light, airy, and open. When trying to sell a home, it is important to take a minimalist approach and clean out the clutter everywhere!

Colors Do Matter

If your teenager had to have a purple room or the man-cave is painted a dark, manly brown, you may want to repaint the walls and consider re-carpeting the floors because colors do matter. A buyer wants to walk into a potential home and see themselves living there. That is why preparing rooms with neutral colors is important to selling quickly.

Help the buyers imagine your house as the perfect place for their family, and you can sell your home quickly. All you have to do is make it a clutter free zone that is available for viewing. You can do it!

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