No Picture
General

Shopping For Homes? Turn a Nearly Great Home Into a Winner With Some DIY Effort

Shopping For Homes? Turn a Nearly Great Home Into a Winner With Some DIY Effort

Change is hard to accept, we all get used to the way certain things are done and trying to do it differently throws most of us off. The housing market in 2009 is totally different from the housing market of even 10 years ago. I am not referring to prices, although I imagine that is the first thing you thought of, I am talking about the homes that we are buying. We have become used to having multiple bathrooms in every home, kids each having their bedroom from day one and the whole house being color coordinated from the minute we move in. Now if a house isn’t perfect many Americans won’t even look at it.

This is of course part of the attitude that has contributed to the current financial problem. This should mean that we are to smart to keep on wanting the same things but I am sorry to say most people want the house they think they deserve rather than the one they can afford. This means lots of houses with great “bones” are getting left on the market at prices that make them an absolute steal, as long as you don’t mind picking up a paint brush yourself and accept that it will be a few years before you have an award winning lawn.

One of the things that people seem to forget is that while these houses may look a mess now, in a few years no one will even remember them in that light. Your foresight and a few days of sweat and trips back and forth to the DIY center could really pay off for you in the future.…

No Picture
General

Home Repair Or Home Improvement on a Shoestring Budget – A Handyman Service Can Help Save Money

Home Repair Or Home Improvement on a Shoestring Budget – A Handyman Service Can Help Save Money

are As tax refund season is now upon us, more individuals and families are receiving larger refunds than anticipated partly due to minimal tax reform incentives from the current administration. Many home owners will just squander the tax refunds away on expensive toys and luxuries. A few of the wise families will save and make safe investments.

One of the few truly safe investments has been and still is one’s home. It would be foolish to dump all of a tax refund into any one thing, however, a portion of that refund can easily be put towards any variety of home improvement projects. True, the current real estate market is depressed, but history has never failed to show us that property values always come back and any home improvement project or home repair is never a waste of money.

Many common and popular home improvement projects undertaken in the second half of the winter season has been adding a deck, fence, or converting the existing patio into a screened in patio. With the economy experiencing a recession, home owners may attempt to make these projects into a do-it-yourself experience. A majority of the time the experience is learned the hard way.

Fencing, decks, and screen patios are nowhere near as simple as the home improvement books would indicate. Different regions of the country and different ground types require specific methods. An example would be the sandy soil conditions and poor drainage conditions in Florida as opposed to the hard packed ground that granite provides. Building codes can also vary greatly from county to county.

Should a home owner’s budget be thin, one answer to this predicament can be to coordinate with a local handyman company to perform much of the more difficult tasks and labor, leaving the simple final touches like painting or molding to the home owner to complete at their leisure.

The only word of caution to this possible solution is most home repair or handyman service companies will not guarantee their work if the home owner makes any changes to the materials or labor provided. The best solution in this case is for the home repair or handyman company to explicitly explain in detailed writing the guarantee or warranty on materials and labor provided before any services commence. The role of the home owner in any coordinated project should also be spelled out in detail in order to eliminate any potential confusion or disagreements in the future.…

No Picture
General

How To Think About The Cause When Looking For Leaking Basement Solutions

How To Think About The Cause When Looking For Leaking Basement Solutions

Many of our older homes have basements and they can be great additions and functional places for you to use. For example, they could be a getaway for the kids or could be a place to store things rather than the garage. Many of these rooms do suffer from water infiltration problems, however, which can make them unusable if you’re not careful. Therefore we need to look for leaking basement solutions when we have found the cause of the issue.

As you cannot fix anything if you don’t know what is causing it, don’t be tempted to try and apply one of the first leaking basement solutions that you come across.

Do you know whether what water leaking in from the outside, or is it being generated internally in the form of condensation? Do a simple test by applying a piece of aluminum foil to the wall securely and then check back in a week or so. Is the dampness on the inside or the outside?

Many people find that their leaking basement solutions are a lot simpler than they might imagine. For example, have a look outside first and see if the land around your home is sloping inwards toward the wall? If it is, you need to do some landscaping readjustments so that rainwater is channeled away rather than in.

While you’re out there, look at your down pipes and gutters above. They may need to be adjusted and specific channels put in place to once again direct rainwater away from your home to more appropriate drainage areas.

It’s often easy to let heavy shrubbery buildup around our home so that it causes an issue. Moisture buildup in the soil around the house could prevent natural drainage and you do need to let the sunlight get to it productively. This could be one of your external leaking basement solutions.

Remember that dampness in your basement may be caused by sweating or condensation. If you can get a free movement of air in, it will quickly dry out the room, so always make sure that good ventilation is a priority. Can you channel air-conditioning in there; this will help to dehumidify the air?

One of your shortest term options when it comes to leaking basement solutions is to place a water absorbent sock in the affected area. It’s amazing how efficient these can be and how much water they can soak in as you look for longer-term fixes to your annoyance.…

No Picture
General

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Drain and Plumbing System in the Winter

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Drain and Plumbing System in the Winter

For homeowners who live in a region that has cold winters, it is important to take the necessary steps to winterize the home before the cold season arrives. One important system in the home that requires winterization is the plumbing system. When you take the essential measures to winterize your home, you will be able to avoid such problems as frozen pipes and other conditions that can damage the home, cause a disruption in daily activities, and result in an expensive repair bill.

The following are a number of tips to maintaining a healthy drain and plumbing system in the winter:

Insulate Home Plumbing System: It is essential that you protect your plumbing components from the freezing temperatures in the winter. The first thing you should do is identify the locations in the plumbing system that will likely freeze. Once you have located the key drain pipes, you should insulate the pipes. The easiest and cheapest way to insulate your pipes is to cover them with foam insulation tubes. You just have to measure your pipes to get the right dimensions and then attach the foam insulation.

Warm Tape: There is special warm tape available that can be attached to the pipe. This tape, when plugged in, will become slightly warm and keep the pipes from freezing. You can find this tape at most hardware stores and plumbing supply stores. As well, it is important that your basement remains warm to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. You can keep the basement thermostat on low during cold nights.

Winter Vacations: If you take winter vacations, it is vital that you take measures to prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing and bursting while you are away. Before you leave, you should drain the pipes of water and pressure. You just have to turn off the main water shut off valve and open the faucets. This will allow the water and pressure to drain. Keep the water turned off while you are away. You should also drain the washing machine and dishwasher lines to prevent freezing.

Add Antifreeze to Drains: By adding a very small amount of antifreeze to your drains, you will prevent the water from freezing in the pipes. It is important to make sure you add the proper amount allowed and also check to make sure that you have followed the appropriate guidelines when using antifreeze. It is wise to check with a plumber before adding a small amount of antifreeze.

No one likes to come home to discover burst pipes and a flooded basement. If you learn about the various ways of winterizing your plumbing system, you will greatly reduce the chances of having a serious problem during the cold months. It is a good idea to consult with a professional plumber who will be able to provide a number of tips on maintaining the plumbing system during the winter. Understanding how to winterize your home plumbing system and taking measures to insulate the system, including the drain, will make your winter much more enjoyable and relaxing.…

No Picture
General

Beautiful Outdoor Landscaping For Any Household Budget

Creating and designing a garden isn’t that hard. To start, gather information regarding landscaping basics. Information is what you will find readily available within this article. Then you can work on achieving your perfect lawn.

Before you start a landscaping project, draw out how you want the yard to look first. A sketch can help you to visualize the results and have a better idea of the materials you will need to complete the project. It’s much simpler to change your ideas on a drawing than it is to change what you’ve already done in your yard.

When planning a landscape, know the differences between annuals and perennials, and know which plants, flowers and shrubs will work best in a certain area and climate. You should keep seasonal variations in mind when you choose plants, too. It is crucial to be informed about this information if you want the best landscaping results.

Test your soil before starting any landscaping project. When you have the soil tested, you will be able to determine if your soil needs additional material added to it so that your landscaping will thrive. That will assist you in having plants that are happier and a much more successful garden.

Planning to sell your home in the near future? You can see big returns from a small landscaping investment. Pay special attention to the front yard to improve curb appeal, and create a great place for outdoor activities in the backyard.

Although some home owners swear by it, you will find that you can create a very attractive landscape on your own without the assistance of a professional. Doing this House And Garden Magazine could cost you a huge amount of cash. However, it can never hurt to speak with landscaper who can set you in the right direction as far as what you should do.

After reading this article you should stop imagining your beautiful yard and start creating one. By implementing a few of these tips, you can begin the transformation of the yard you live with to the yard you’ve always wanted!…

No Picture
General

Bronze Vessel Sinks – Elegance and Style

Bronze Vessel Sinks – Elegance and Style

Vessel sinks were introduced into the market around ten years ago. Since then, more house owners have been buying them as a welcome addition to their bathroom vanities. The relatively new trend of vessel sinks has received warm reception because they are stylish and functional at the same time. Vessel sinks have also become cheaper. At present, they cost an average of USD 500 in your local and online stores.

Vessel sinks give your bathroom a unique touch. Instead of your conventional white porcelain sink, why not use vessel sinks? They are trendy and they are practical. They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials so you would not have a difficult time picking one (or two) that would compliment your existing bathroom design. Or, if you are just renovating your bathroom or just starting to decorate your new home, there is surely the perfect vessel sink out there to accentuate the theme or bathroom design you had in mind.

If you want a simple and elegant sink for the bathroom, bronze sinks will make a good choice. They will be more expensive, especially those made of the best quality, but they will make a very good investment in case you might sell your house in the future. The ideal placement for bronze sinks would be somewhere like the bar, where they will not be used frequently. They will make a good decoration, but that is not to say that they are not durable.

Bronze sinks last long. Bronze oxidizes superficially, meaning it rusts over time, depending on usage, but only on the surface. The thin oxide layer does its job of protecting the metal underneath from corroding further. Compared to sinks made of glass or porcelain, they will also need more meticulous cleaning and maintenance.

Bronze Sink Designs

Bronze sinks come in hundreds of shapes and designs. Usually, they are purchased with matching bronze faucet. On the Internet alone, you can easily find catalogues and websites specializing on selling vessel sinks made of bronze.

There are the simplest designs such as circular, oval, or square for as low as USD 100. Some have carvings on the rim or sculpted with interesting designs. There are those that come with handles, making them look like artifacts from some ancient civilization. Sometimes, bronze-made vessel sinks come with ragged edges, making them look raw. There is surely one out there that will strike your fancy.

Caring for Bronze Vessel Sinks

Once you have installed a bronze sink in your bathroom, you need to clean it at least once every two or three weeks. Apply a mild Ivory Liquid solution with warm water using a soft cotton cloth. Wipe in circular motions to make sure that you cover everything. Use another piece of dry cloth to thoroughly dry the surface of the sink.

Some manufactures recommend applying a thin coat of clear Trewax on the inside surface of the sink so that it looks glossy and shinier. Remember to avoid using a rough sponge or any abrasive cleaner for bronze vessel sinks.…

No Picture
General

Dare to Repair: Can You Handle Your Water Leak Repairs After Reading This?

Dare to Repair: Can You Handle Your Water Leak Repairs After Reading This?

Want to learn how to handle water leak repairs without calling a plumbing service, or just want to put your new Apollo Precision Tools to good use for small home repairs needed around the house when your husband handyman isn’t around? If you’re interested in putting your ladies’ tool set to good use, then pick up a copy of Dare to Repair : A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home.

Written by two CIA wives who’ve had to make do and learn household repairs while their husbands were away on business, this book is an excellent reference to handling small home projects by yourself or with a homegirl.

Give Me the Specs: How is Dare to Repair Organized?

Dare to Repair is approximately 246 pages of content (the index starts on page 247) broken down into several chapters, as follows: Plumbing, Electricity, Major Appliances, Windows, Walls and Doors and Home Safety. Each chapter discusses the most common home repairs you may need to handle in your home, or learn about through a friend’s experience in their own residence.

Repair Name: Each repair is a subsection within the chapters, sans fancy names that confuse you. In other words, you know what the name of the project is or aims to accomplish, because it is clearly labeled at the top of the page on which the project begins.

General Introduction & Story: Small paragraphs about the authors’ experiences with the home project help ease you into getting the gist of what the project will entail.

Introductory Information: Articulate information about the repair and how it will help improve the quality of life (comfort level) of your home are provided as you transition into getting down to the nitty gritty of getting the job done accurately.

Directions & Illustrations: The directions are written in second-person format with basic illustrations to assist you in identifying key tasks. The narrative guides you through each step so that you don’t get lost, and the pictures include captions that allow you to understand the step(s) it references.

Tools Needed: Usually on the second page under the directions, you’ll see a small, approximately inch-long section that’s sectioned off. This section of the tutorial tells you what tools you’ll need – and includes a nifty illustration of the tool as well.

Sidebar Tips: Several tutorials have sidebars which provide an extra helpful tip that can help you get the job done more efficiently.A�

Who Should Dare to Repair?

Dare to Repair is a great book for any woman equipped with the right combination of spunk, guts and wit to take on almost anything that needs to be fixed in her home. This book makes a great gift and cute pick-me-up for the independent lady in your life.…

No Picture
General

Home Inspection Preparations

Home Inspection Preparations

An important part of the home-selling process is the home inspection. A negative home inspection can be a deal breaker, even after an offer is made. For home owners, the thought of someone going through their house making notes about everything that’s wrong can be nerve wracking. However, there are steps you can take that will help ensure a complementary home inspection and reduce negative comments in the report. The good news is that many of these steps are achievable at either no cost or low cost.

Clean the Home

First of all, give your house a good cleaning. A dirty house gives the impression that it has been poorly maintained. While you are cleaning, make sure to replace the furnace filter and clean the air returns. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, hire a professional to clean them and the chimney. Ensure that access to any areas subject to inspection, such as the crawlspace, attic, garage, and basement are free from obstacles. Remove any dangerous chemicals such as solvents, paints, fuel, and gas from those areas.

Make Repairs

Many of these repairs are low cost. However, when you make repairs, do them correctly and don’t cut corners. Saving a buck here or there may inadvertently attract the attention of the inspector and unnecessarily raise question about your home.

• Test all smoke detectors. If they are battery operated install new batteries.

• Ensure that that all tubs, toilets, faucets, and sinks work correctly. If needed, replace the caulk in bathrooms and kitchen.

• Check and ensure that the bath vents are in working order

• Make sure all the doors and windows work properly. Replace any cracked glass panes or panels as well as damaged or torn screens.

• Confirm that all electrical outlets near sinks and faucets are GFCI rated.

• Double-check that none of the light bulbs are burned out.

• Ensure the masonry walls in the basement are sealed.

• If your basement has a sump pump, check that it works properly.

• If not present, install window wells and covers.

Prepare the Crawlspace

To improve the likelihood of a good report after the home inspector examines your crawlspace:

• Ensure that the crawlspace is dry; remove any moisture from the crawlspace.

• If necessary, install a vapor barrier.

Don’t Neglect the Outside

Investing a little elbow grease into improving the outside of your home can go a long way to making it easier for the inspector and for reducing negative comments.

• Make sure all exterior wall penetrations (anything that sticks into or comes out from the exterior wall) are properly sealed or caulked.

• If you have a deck, make sure that there is proper grading under it.

• Remove any firewood or rotting wood that may be touching the house.

• Repair any broken mortar.

• Paint any weathered exterior wood.

• Put fresh caulk around the doors, windows, chimney, and trim.

• Make sure there is six inches or more of clearance between the siding and grade or mulch.

• Clean the gutters and remove debris from the roof.

• Ensure that the grading makes all water (such as from downspouts) flow away from the house.

• Install metal flue caps and seal masonry chimney caps.

• If you have an asphalt driveway, seal any cracks.

Don’t be surprised if you get some negative comments in the home inspection. No house is “perfect,” and every home gets negative comments. If you have questions or concerns about the home inspection, ask a Rochester, MN real estate agent. Your professional real estate agent can give you valuable advice about getting your home inspected.…

No Picture
General

When Is It Time for Reliable Minor Drywall Repair?

When Is It Time for Reliable Minor Drywall Repair?

Minor mishaps happen everyday. Many times these incidents do not leave any noticeable signs. Other times, something might be permanently changed in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. When this happens to drywall, many people do not know where to turn. But, there is hope. What seems to be major may actually be minor drywall repair to professional home remodeling companies with handyman contractors.

Mishaps

It happens every day to someone, somewhere. Someone is carrying something large over their shoulder. Someone else calls their name. They turn. Crash. In a matter of seconds there is a hole in the wall. Granted, it might not be a large hole. But, it is large enough that people see it. Panic sets in as it appears to be something that is not fixable. But, don’t worry. There is no problem. Call professional handyman contractors for the drywall repair. After a little patching and some paint, that wall will be as good as new. No one even has to know that it happened.

Mother Nature

Perhaps it wasn’t even the kind of accident in which someone was at fault. By chance, torrential rain beat down on the house. Maybe it wasn’t even realized, but later there are rings. The water leaked in from somewhere through the roof and down the wall. Those rings look like they will never come out. That wall will bear the signs of that rain forever. But, never fear. There is hope. The homeowner can call on a professional contractor. They can inspect the wall and find the best course of action. Maybe there is no structural damage. It could be that it only needs a coat of paint. Or, it might need some patching up from the water damage. Either way, a professional handyman can give advice for what would be the best way to restore the wall to the place and color it should be.

Teenagers

They hang posters up all over their walls. Many times they give no thought for what will happen when the posters come off the walls. Most of the time, they just grab the closest adhesive they can find, whatever that might be. Then, when the posters come down, part of the wall peels off with each poster. It can be enough to make their parents cry. But, cheer up. Choosing a professional home remodeling contractor that can come to assess the wall is the first step in remedying the problem. After making an assessment, they can recommend a plan for the restoration of the drywall.

For minor drywall emergencies, contact a home remodeling contractor with handyman services. Let them restore that wall to its former status, or maybe even better than it was.…