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Build Your Own Shutters

Build Your Own Shutters

It’s easy to build your own window shutters if you want a rustic look for your house. Not too long ago I was looking to build shutters for my home and was trying to figure out what materials to use. At the same time I also had a fence in my backyard that was older and wooden and needed to be replaced. The idea came to me after reading something online how about using the old wood from the wooden fence to create and build shutters for my home. It was just as simple as that.

So if you have some old wooden fencing or you have access to some old wood boards maybe from an old barn, take a look at the material and see if it’s in good enough shape to use for your wooden shutters. It might be that a lot of the wood needs to be replaced or not used, but you can use the wood that’s still in pretty good shape. Of course it may need to be repainted and nails and screws taken out, but all those flaws will give your wooden shutters a rustic look. I even have a good friend of mine who treats the wood with stain and marks them up with different tools to make them appear old.

So after you have your building materials for your shutters, it would be wise to find some plans either online or at the library to follow in order to build your shutters. What I did was just lay three or four boards down on a flat surface and nail a board behind them to keep them straight and in-line. So if you’re boards aren’t too wide you could just do the very same thing. Put three boards on the ground and nail or screw a backboard on the backside. Of course you’ll want to have a board that is both at the top and at the bottom and possibly in the middle in order to support the shutters.

Finally, after your shutters are built you’ll need to figure out how to place them onto your home and around your windows. You will need some screws and some hinges in order to attach them to your home. They hinges all of the necessary if you plan to open and shut the shutters. My recommendation is that if you are going to build shutters you might as well build shutters that are functional and now opening close as you need them. Of course this only applies to certain areas where the weather can be harsh or severe.…

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Home Repair Help With Exterior Water Problems

Home Repair Help With Exterior Water Problems

Maintaining a home can sometimes be a arduous task and any home repair help we can get will help to simplify an otherwise potentially difficult problem. With all the resources available these days, large home centers and the Internet, most of the time we just need a little technical direction and the right tools to help us with our home repair needs such as bathroom repairs, floor repairs, doors, windows, etc.

Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping a place as worry free as possible and protecting our home and investment while saving money at the same time. There are a few simple things that we can do to keep small problems from turning into larger ones. From exterior water drainage to bathrooms and drywall repair, a little observation and techniques can save us much in the long run.

In general, water is a structure’s biggest enemy, inside and out, and will be yours too if steps are not taken to see that it is dealt with properly. Most homes have had the exterior drainage established at the time of construction, but over the years things get in the way or breakdown such as trees, gutters, roofing and even ground sloping changes as dirt and leaves fill in drainages and pile against the house.

The best time to see what is happening with water flow around the house is while it is raining, preferably in a fairly hard rain, yes, that means put on some rain gear and stand under a eave of the house where you think you may have problems, actually go all the way around the house while you are at it, watch what it is doing and you will be amazed at how accurate a picture you will have of what the water is doing and where it is going and then, where it needs to go.

Be sure to look up at the gutters if you have them, by observing them you may see that they are too low or sagging and the water is running over the top of them, they also may be filled with debris and are overflowing. Is water coming out of the downspouts? They may be plugged. Maybe there are no gutters where there should be, especially on the uphill side of the house where the water needs to get around the sides of the house and on downhill and away. Installing gutters there will help remove excess ground water and minimize intrusion into the crawl space.

As far as debris or dirt against the house, there should always be at least 6 inch minimum clearance of foundation showing from ground level to the bottom edge of the main wall or house siding, whatever that may be. Not only does this help in moisture possibly migrating into the lower wall, it will help with insect infestation also. Be sure that the ground is slopped away from the house and if you do not have a real obvious slope, just remember, you can check it out in the rain the next time a good storm comes through.…

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How to Go About Repairing Water Damage in Your Home

How to Go About Repairing Water Damage in Your Home

Repairing water damage is often a difficult and costly process. When your home is affected by flooding, flood damage restoration is imperative. Natural flooding makes this especially important. Flood waters from rivers, streams, and lakes is referred to as black water and can be contaminated, posing serious health threats to you and your family. A professional should inspect your home as soon as safely possible to evaluate the damages. An inspection will tell you what sort of repairs you need to prepare for.

Foundations are often damaged due to rising flood waters. Make sure to have your foundation thoroughly checked for any damages when you begin the process of repairing water damage. You may face the risk of losing your home if your foundation is damaged and you do not repair it quickly. For this reason, a home inspection should be done as soon as possible.

Flooding may also damage walls and internal structures within the house. It may be wise with large scale damage, to hire a professional company to assist in clean up and repairs. You will most likely have to replace carpeting, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and other porous materials that suffer damages.

Water damage repair is difficult or impossible with these items. Surfaces that are not dried extensively can harbor dangerous mold. Buying new items is much more cost effective and saves you many difficult hours trying to clean them.

Most times, home owners insurance will replace these items if your policy covers flood damages. This makes it easier to throw away the damaged items and start fresh. Calling your insurance company quickly will expedite your water damage repairs and clean up efforts.

A lot of hard work and difficult hours are usually involved in repairing water damage. Hiring a company of professional cleaners will help alleviate some of the stress. Make sure to salvage any items you want to keep before the cleaners begin. These companies do not take time to sift through your things and will simply throw it away. Save everything you can salvage and let them dispose of everything else for you.…

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The Best Way To Choose A Moisture Absorber

The Best Way To Choose A Moisture Absorber

When you think of a moisture absorber, what kind of product do you think of? Many people automatically think of a desiccant, those crystals that you find in miniature bags in your typical electronics box. Others think of special products you can buy to hang in your wardrobe, to ensure that mold doesn’t form due to the dampness in the air. Marvelous products alike, but they’re hardly industrial-strength.

When real amounts of moisture threaten your home you need a moisture absorber that you can count on. What happens if you have a particularly leaky basement and you are approaching the start of the rainy season? You had better do something about it now, before mildew and mold filters into your house and starts to circulate in your bedrooms and living rooms.

The type of miniature moisture absorber that helps to keep natural dampness out of sensitive electronics is not suitable for heavy-duty jobs. For something like that, you need a product similar to polypropylene. This has been proven time and again to absorb fairly large amounts of water, let alone moisture in the air.

In tropical environments, householders know that they cannot afford to mess around with mother nature. Here, there is something of a trade-off involved in living in a beautiful tropical climate and coping with the excessive rain which comes along from time to time as a result. Your garage is not a safe place to store any valuable keepsakes or property unless you have moisture absorber products at hand.

The forecast is hot and humid for the summer ahead. This is just a fact of life in the southern part of the country now. A room without air conditioning can be subjected to so much moisture buildup that it can come close to 100% humidity. Further to that, sudden storms can come along very quickly and threaten to overpower our drainage systems.

Your backyard swimming pool may overflow suddenly when summer storms arrive. If you don’t have a good moisture absorber product on hand how will you stop this water getting into the living room area? You will certainly have a big cleanup job unless you’re ready to cope.

Let’s face it – a mop and bucket is no defense against the worst mother nature has got to throw at you. For this reason, moisture absorber products contained within flexible outer coverings were designed to help you keep the storm at bay.

Just remember that you need to keep an eye on any moisture absorber product that you deploy when a storm is threatening. Just be ready to wring it out and replace it periodically so that it can do its job perfectly. Paying attention here will certainly help you out.…

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Home Repair Issues and How to Spot Them

Home Repair Issues and How to Spot Them

For the senior citizens among us, their home is their largest single asset and a source of pride. In many cases, the home is paid off (despite the housing disaster of the past few years, 1 in 3 homes in the United States are owned free and clear, mostly by the elderly). As the homeowner ages, the odds of the home having deferred maintenance tends to increase. The little things don’t get done, or don’t get done timely.

Unfortunately, there are many scam artists out there who are only too happy to help out seniors with their deferred maintenance problems. These scammers can either work off the books for cash, or for larger jobs, attach a lien against the property, ensuring an eventual payout. In this article, we look at the more common home repair scams.

The most common are roofing or driveway scams. These work as follows. There’s a knock at the door, and the scammer explains they were “in the neighborhood” and need work, and noticed that the home in question needs roofing or driveway work. Since they need the work right now, the senior is told that the work is available for a few hundred dollars. Sensing a would-be bargain, the senior agrees. Some work is done, and its’ time for payment. Suddenly, threats and intimidation are used to drive up the cost from the few hundred quoted to thousands of dollars. Fearful and intimidated, the senior hands over the money or writes a check.

Remedy: Don’t hire a home repair company that just knocks on your door. Get an estimate in writing, and pay only written amount agreed to. If the worker becomes belligerent or intimidating, call the police.

Related to this scam is the “asphalt paving scam” that works as follows. A pickup truck of asphalt or other building materials cruises the street. If they see a house that looks like it needs repair, or if there is someone out front, the truck occupants explain that they were working nearby and have some materials left over from the job. Since you need some work done, and there are materials left over, let’s make a deal. After the work is completed, the homeowner learns that the work is half done, or poorly done, and the price paid is much too high.

Remedy: Legitimate companies don’t prowl the streets with pickup truck loads of building materials. Avoid anybody that offers to work for you to dispose of surplus building material.

Finally, many seniors fall for the roof repair scam. In this scam, the scammer knocks on the door of the senior and explains that they had installed/repaired the roof some years earlier, and they were back in the neighborhood to do the required upkeep and repairs. When there’s resistance from the senior, the excuses keep coming until the scammer gets a check. If any work is done, it is superficial repairs that most likely were not needed anyway.

Remedy: most roofing companies do a terrible job following up on past customers, so the odds are long you will be contacted by them in the first place. Second, sending somebody door to door is time consuming and expensive. If somebody comes to your door to do repair work unsolicited, call the police or slam the door in their face.…

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Discover The Secrets To Having Great Curb Appeal For Your Home

Discover The Secrets To Having Great Curb Appeal For Your Home

Even if you have just moved into your home and presently have no intention of selling it, maintaining the curb appeal of your home is very important. Read this to find out why it’s so important and ways to ensure that your home scores high. Let’s start at the beginning.

What is curb appeal? When people drive by your home what is their impression? You can tell when a homeowner focuses on curb appeal – the home looks well maintained, both the home itself and the grounds surrounding the home. When a home looks uncared for there are tell-tale signs. For example, signs of neglect may include chipping paint, a gutter along the front of the house that has become detached and is hanging, overgrown bushes, or overflowing garbage cans in the front near the garage. You may have moved into a home that suffers from these problems, but the sooner you fix them the better. Let me explain why.

Why is curb appeal important? The average time that a homeowner owns a home is 5 to 7 years, so it’s likely at some point in the future that you will be selling your home. If your home always looks unloved with the lawn not cut, the front door looking shabby, or screens missing people will take note. Their impression will probably be ‘if this is how the homeowner cares for the outside of the home, then what is the condition inside the home? ‘ They’ll never know for sure, but they will wonder.

When and if you do decide to sell your home and put the ‘for sale’ sign out front, wouldn’t it be great if people who have driven by your home all those years were excited. It may be that your home has been their dream home, the one they always felt they’d love to move into if it comes up for sale. Maybe they know someone who’d like to move in.

On the other hand, a home that has been uncared for over many years and all of a sudden has been “fixed up” to sell just doesn’t create the same excitement to a passerby. If you keep your home well maintained all along you’ll be spending less money to get it ready for sale. This is true because it is much more cost effective to take care of things that need fixing when they are small problems, rather than letting them become big problems.

What can be done to have great curb appeal? Here’s the principal behind great curb appeal for your home. At least twice a year, perhaps in the spring and fall, take a walk around the exterior of your home and complete a checklist of anything that needs attention. Items to assess include the condition of paint, doors, windows, roof, walkways, and landscaping.

Then prioritize your list, with any structural items going to the top of the list. These structural items are the things that will cost more to fix as they get worse, so take care of them sooner rather than later. As you conduct this twice a year inspection, take a critical view of your home as someone driving by might do. You’ll find that some of the things will cost little or nothing to address, you may just not have thought about them. For example, finding a place for your garbage cans so that they are not visible in the front of the house may be as simple as moving them to the back, or may require installing a small fence to shield them from view.…

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How to Enhance Your Home With Good Home Repairs – Do It Yourself Information

How to Enhance Your Home With Good Home Repairs – Do It Yourself Information

Home repair do it yourself information can save you money every year, and it can also provide you with a very deep sense of satisfaction as you improve your abilities. You can extend the life of the fixtures and fittings in your home, and save both time and money on expensive replacements. Having do it yourself home repair skills also lets you alter the appearance of items, allowing you to create a properly color coordinated and matching set of items in your home.

These skills can also pay off handsomely if you ever decide to sell your home. There is no doubt that one of the greatest influences on the sale price of a home is the standard of the fixtures and fittings, especially those in the kitchen and bathroom. It is not that the new owners could not make the necessary changes, it is just that the richest section of the home buying market just wants to move in with everything already in place. They are often prepared to pay a premium for this.

In theory, every item in your home can be maintained using DIY home repair. The only exception to this is gas appliances, which need to be serviced by someone with the right qualifications. Although there is nothing to stop you from completing the training courses and obtaining these qualifications, it is rather an extreme step to take just to be able to service your own gas furnace. Unless you have an ambition to take up a career in gas servicing, it will be best to leave this to a qualified professional.

Electrical appliances are a different matter, and anyone determined enough can find out how to carry out repairs. The problems come with the fact that so many modern appliances are made very cheaply, and made to be discarded when they stop working. Often, the replacement parts are not even available. In this situation, there really is nothing you can do but replace the item as the manufacturer intended. If you buy a better quality product, there is a better chance that you will be able to repair it.

Maintaining your furniture, and kitchen and bathroom fittings, can be the most rewarding aspect of DIY home repair, and also the most profitable. If you can prevent wear and tear to kitchen units with good maintenance, you can avoid having to replace the units when you come to sell the property. This can save you a lot of time and money. Extending the life of well made kitchen cabinets is easily possible, and it all starts with proper cleaning. If you can prevent grease from building up, you can keep the cabinets in good condition. They can also be easily resurfaced if you are adept at home repair do it yourself.…

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Avoid the Effects of That Worst Storm With a Moisture Absorbent

Avoid the Effects of That Worst Storm With a Moisture Absorbent

While we need a certain amount of moisture in the air just to survive, we need to pay particular attention to excess amounts as they can lead to all kinds of problems in the home. If you live in a certain type of environment, excess moisture can be a seasonal issue and can lead to hefty mold accumulation in your home if you’re not careful. There are certain steps you can take and the use of a moisture absorbent is a good solution.

It would be nice to maintain a perfect humidity within your house without much worry. The truth is that most of us live in a climate where we are constantly trying to manipulate the inside conditions so that we can live a comfortable life. We don’t want to be too dry and we certainly don’t want it to be too moist, it’s a never-ending battle.

Your home is under constant attack from the elements. Over the years we have become quite good at sealing our homes, but the temperature differences and humidity variations between inside and out are sometimes extreme. If moisture builds up, especially in certain rooms, you will need the moisture absorbent to soak up the worst. Your basement or garage can be particularly vulnerable.

By using a water absorbent sock, sometimes known by the name “hurricane sock,” you can help combat dampness, mildew and mold. Homeowners in Florida know how effective these products are at keeping out the worst that can be thrown at them by tropical cyclones.

The moisture absorbent sock will soak up to a gallon of water at a time. If you find that water is coming underneath the door during a major storm, or that moisture is building up on the inside of windows at a certain time of year, then this product can come to your rescue. These are economical and tough products that can be reused again and again. When conditions have improved, the products can be air dried and will be as good as new.

It’s a good idea for a homeowner to have a stock of moisture absorbent products. Not only will you be able to use them during unexpected weather conditions, but you could place them around washing machines, water heaters or other appliances that could leak. It’s much easier to deal in this way then have to mess around with rolled up towels, mops or buckets or constantly have to check to see what is happening.

Conforming to any surface, the moisture absorbent hurricane sock is made from a great, tubular nylon material. Within, super absorbent polypropylene does it’s job for you and these products have been proven time and again when the heat is on.

If you have to deal with a major flooding event, very little can help you unfortunately. However, with wind driven rain water, a moisture absorbent product can provide a good line of defense. In an ongoing situation, you can simply wring them out and put them back in place if needed!…

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Do You Have Water Damage to Your Ceiling?

Do You Have Water Damage to Your Ceiling?

Water damage ceiling repairs are not uncommon, but they may present problems beyond the expectations of most homeowners. If you are faced with the need to repair water damage to a ceiling, be aware that you could be encountering a major project!

In the 1950’s 1960’s housing contractors discovered that they could save themselves large amounts of money by spraying what is commonly called popcorn texture onto ceilings rather than pay skilled workmen to provide a smooth finish on the ceilings of living areas. For some reason, people came to view this abomination (in my opinion)as acceptable, and even desirable.

During the 1970’s, as the dangers presented by asbestos became evident, many varieties of spray on ceiling finishes came under scrutiny and were discovered to contain dangerous levels of asbestos. Although the use of asbestos was discontinued in the manufacture of spray on ceiling textures, there remain many thousands of popcorn textured ceilings in homes throughout the country.

Spray on textured ceilings containing asbestos generally pose no threat to health, provided that they remain solid and intact. However, in a case in which there is ceiling water damage, the risk is considerable.

The primary method to remove asbestos material involves giving it a thorough soaking with water, which is precisely the situation in the case of ceiling water damage. This loosens the bond between the asbestos fibers themselves and the underlying material. If you experience water damage to a textured ceiling and you aren’t positive it was manufactured and installed after 1980, you are facing a risk of asbestos exposure, as the loosened fibers can become dislodged and infest the air you breathe.

If you face such a situation, the first thing to do is to collect samples of the materials from the affected area. This should be done as if you were certain that the samples are positive for asbestos! There are any number of testing facilities on the internet and the Yellow Pages which will test the samples, generally for about $30, with a discount for multiple samples.

These testing labs provide very detailed instructions for the collection of samples, which must be followed to the letter if you wish to prevent danger to yourself and your family.

If your samples test positive for asbestos, you can hire a contractor certified to perform asbestos removal (hiring any contractor not so certified to remove asbestos is illegal), or you can do it yourself, assuming all the attendant risks.

Before undertaking such a task, one would do well to thoroughly investigate the enormity of the undertaking. It’s not for the faint of heart, but there are detailed instructions to be found on the internet.

For my part, if I were considering buying a property containing textured ceilings, I would insist upon testing and professional certification that none of the materials contain asbestos before proceeding. The risks and cost associated with asbestos containing materials are exorbitant, and besides, many people today find that popcorn ceilings are not the most attractive of options available..…

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Home Improvements on Your House

Home Improvements on Your House

Home improvement projects are ways to make your home more beautiful, attractive, cleaner and more cozy and comfortable to stay and live in. They are not just ways to improve or beautify your home, they also assures security and protection. Improving your home offer many benefits, one thing is that it can also be a reasonable investment. Home improvements in addition, can make a house more livable and may even increase the value of your home.

Here are the top most important home improvement projects to help improve your homes:

Home repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home. It also includes home maintenance to avoid problems. Most types of repairs are Do it-Yourself projects, where you can simply maintain and repair it by yourself in order to cut down your repair and maintenance costs. It is best that you handle your home repairs and maintenance because other types may be complicated and usually time consuming and risky because you need to hire professionals or handyman to the job. Home repair includes heating and cooling repair, plumbing repair, exterior home repair, electrical and plumbing repair.

Part of improving your home is energy saving. Normally, energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change. That’s why making your home as energy efficient as possible will reduce carbon emissions and could also save you money on your fuel bills. Insulate your home to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels which add to the greenhouse effect. By doing so, you are actually helping the environment. Insulation is also an excellent sound absorber and can assist in reducing noise transmission through walls, ceilings and floors making your home or your work environment quieter and peaceful.

The most important project in improving a home is security and safety. It’s undeniable that crime is increasing every year and is invading any home even those considered safe communities. Keeping your family safe is always the first priority. Install electronic devices such as home alarm systems for doors and windows. Attach motion detectors that sense movement or the heat given off by one’s body. The most common incident that could happen into your home is fire. That’s why it is necessary to be aware of fire safety measures. Be prepared by installing fire alarm systems, purchase fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.

Improving a home can make you spend hundreds of dollars, but the return on investment is all worth it. A beautiful, comfortable and safe home is what matters most. Anyway, it is a very rewarding feeling seeing the great results of your newly improved home.…