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Bathroom Renovations: Doing the Job Right

Keeping Your Brick-Faced Fireplace Looking Like New

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping Your Brick-Faced Fireplace Looking Like New

If you have a fireplace that you use during cooler weather, you most likely enjoy the benefit it provides in warming you as well as the enhancement it gives to your living space aesthetically. A brick faced fireplace will need a bit of special care to keep it looking sharp at all times. Here are some tips you can use in the maintenance of your brick fireplace so it looks its absolute best for as long as possible. Remove Loose Debris Frequently To help keep your brick fireplace looking great, it is a good idea to remove any bits of soot, ash, or dust that may have accumulated upon the bricks or the mortar in between them. This can be done with a soft-bristled brush attachment on your household vacuum cleaner. Pay special attention to the interior bricks as these are likely to become dirtier since they are closer to the warmth of any fires you start.  Take Away Any Staining With Ease If there are bricks making up your fireplace that have darkened areas upon them, they will need to be cleaned with a moist solution. A commercial brick cleaner can be purchased from a local home goods store or you can attempt to make your own solution from dish detergent, pumice, ammonia and water. To take the latter approach, mix equal parts of dish detergent and water inside a bowl and add a dash of liquid pumice and ammonia to the solution. The ammonia will aid in softening the grime and the pumice has a slight abrasiveness to help remove stains when you scrub the bricks with a soft-bristled brush. Use a paintbrush to apply the thickened solution to the brick fireplace and allow it to dry in its entirety. Afterward, use a wet scrub brush to remove the solution and the staining completely. Add a Sealant to Make Cleaning Easier If you wish to retain the original appearance of your fireplace bricks, it is a good idea to add a sealant to their surfaces. A sealant made with tung oil in the ingredients will give your bricks a protective barrier that is difficult to penetrate. Simply apply the sealant with a paintbrush or clean piece of microfiber cloth and allow it to dry and harden. You will then be able to wipe off any soot or ash from the bricks with a moist piece of microfiber cloth with ease. For more tips on keeping your fireplace pristine, check...

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How To Properly Maintain Your Gate

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Properly Maintain Your Gate

If you have a gated entrance to your property, you will want to learn how to properly maintain it. This will ensure that the gate will last for many years and that you will not run into too many problems using it. Grease Up The Moveable Parts You will want to make sure that you are taking the time to grease up the moveable parts on the gate. This includes everything from the hinges, locks, and levers. When you keep them greased, they will not get stuck or cause a lot of friction when they are being moved. If they are allowed to create a lot of friction, they will most likely become quickly damaged. Apply A Seal Coat To All Nuts, Bolts, And Screws About twice a year, you are going to want to make sure that you are applying a sealant to the various nuts, bolts, and screws on your gate. Before you do that, you will want to take a moment with some tools to tighten up any loose parts. By doing this, you will not have to worry about any piece of the gate falling apart or beginning to malfunction simply because you let some bolts become detached from the gate. Keep It Clean While you could beak out a sponge and a bucket full of soapy water, you could do it the easier way. Simply power wash the gate on both sides to remove any dirt or grease that has built up on there over time. Since vehicles are stopping and starting right by the gate, there is a good chance that there is more dirt on there than you might realize. If you happen to have a wooden gate and the power washing takes off any wood stain or paint, you will want to fix it after the gate dries. Reapplying more wood stain or paint will not only protect the gate itself, but it will also give it a much more fresh look. These are all things that you should be able to do on your own. If you need a little assistance with them, you should have no trouble finding a skilled general contractor who would be willing to do the work for you. For complex gate systems that may need some repairs done to them, you might want to stick with calling a gate and fence installation specialist, like one from Gibson Construction Of Nevada Inc, in order to get the best...

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You Need More Than a Sump Pump to Ensure Your Basement Is Waterproof

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on You Need More Than a Sump Pump to Ensure Your Basement Is Waterproof

Are you planning on investing in a sump pump for your home? If so, your purchase decision is likely based on the premise that a sump pump will keep water and moisture out of your basement. Perhaps this sump-pump purchase is going to replace an older or substandard one. Many property owners mistakenly think that they only need a sump pump to protect their homes from the devastating outcomes that can occur when water enters the area. Cockroach infestation, mold and bacteria growth, and flooding are all examples of what could happen in basements that are not waterproof.  What a Sump Pump Does A sump pump is an investment that property owners can use to keep copious amounts of water out of their basements. These pumps remove water from the basement and can prevent flooding when they work correctly. Some of them also have alarms on them that notify property owners when a certain level of water has entered the basement. However, some sump pumps are total electric, which means that in a power outage they may not work. Those with battery backup are best. Sump pumps are designed to reduce the chances of basement flooding and minimize potential flood damage in the area, but they do not offer the preventative waterproofing needed when they are used alone. What Complete Basement Waterproofing Does This involves taking a variety of approaches to keep basements protected against water and moisture. When a sump pump removes water, moisture is left behind. A dehumidifier might be used in your waterproofing solution to remove moisture. Perhaps your windows are a source of moisture intrusion. Water wells can be installed to prevent this from occurring. There are also waterproofing solutions that involve applying a substance to basement walls and floors to ensure that moisture cannot penetrate through them and cause damage. If a potential for external damage is noted, waterproof tiles might be placed around the external wall of your basement to protect it and your home’s foundation.  A sump pump is best used in combination with other types of basement waterproofing solutions. Relying on one to prevent water and moisture damage by itself is unwise, especially if you do not have any flood insurance on your home. Even if you have a policy that covers flooding, it important to note the section on sump pumps and what the policy covers. A basement waterproofing professional such as Central Penn Waterproofing is a good resource to use to understand other risks of relying on a sump pump to meet all of your waterproofing needs for your basement. A professional can also inspect your basement, determine whether it has already been compromised by moisture, and determine which areas are at risk for causing you future...

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How To Tell If You’ve Found The Perfect Place To Drill Your Well

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Tell If You’ve Found The Perfect Place To Drill Your Well

If you’re looking to sink a new well on your property, location is one of the most critical factors to ensure that your well is high-producing and safe to drink from. Here are some criteria to help you tell if the spot you’ve chosen is likely to be a good one. Elevation and placement in regard to aboveground water No, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have an operable well if you’re more than a few hundred feet above sea level. What matters here is your well’s elevation in relation to its surroundings. For example, you don’t want to put the well in the absolute lowest spot you can find, since this is likely to be the spot where all stormwater gathers (carrying contaminants with it). The lowest spot will also be the first to flood and the most likely to have a seasonal streambed running along it. However, you don’t want to put your well at the highest elevation possible either, because the higher the elevation is in relation to the water table, the farther you’ll have to drill. Placing the well near a river, but a couple of hundred yards away from it, at a somewhat higher elevation, is usually a good option; there’s likely to be accessible groundwater, but it won’t be contaminated from the river water. Distance from contaminants In addition to keeping your well a ways away from groundwater, you also need to keep it away from other contaminants. It’s always a good idea to take a look at your property and mark down all the possible sources of contaminants that could affect your groundwater. These include silos, feedlots, junk heaps and dumps, cesspools, septic systems, and so on. Be sure your well-drilling location is far away from any and all of these problematic areas. Composition of surrounding soil If different parts of your property have different types of soil, you’ll want to consider the differences while planning where to place your well. Some types of soil (such as soil with many large rocks in it) can be impossible for well-drilling equipment to reliably handle. Super-dense types of soil such as clay and silt may be very slow producers because it’s harder for the water to filter through. Loose, sandy soil and gravel can make great, high-producing wells, but the water table has to be fairly deep in order to adequately filter out contaminants with such permeable soil. These tips can help you self-assess your property to decide whether the spot you were thinking of is actually the best spot available. If you analyze the possible well spots on your property and choose two or three that seem like the best options, you can save time later when the contractors arrive. For more information, contact a water-well drilling company such as Advanced...

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How To Install New Doors

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Install New Doors

The style of your windows and doors is bound to look outdated as the years go by. You will be surprised how door style can have such a big impact on the look of an the entire room. Changing your doors is actually a very simple job in most cases. Most doors are built in standard sizes, so you can find a wide range of replacements. Many home improvement stores even sell the most common door styles. However, if you want a more stylish option, you should order directly from a door specialist. This article explains how to remove your existing doors and install new ones. Don’t Use Prehung Doors First of all, for this project you just want to buy the door. You do not need to buy prehung doors prehung door is one that is already installed within the frame, with the hinges attached. Basically, you attach the door frame to the house frame. This is very convenient for new construction, but not ideal if you are just looking to replace your doors and keep the same casing. Instead, you just want to look for standalone doors. These will not have hinges attached, but they will already have holes to attach the screws that hold the hinges. Not all hinges are the same size, so make sure you buy the right hinges for your particular doors. Also, when you’re buying your new doors, you should buy new handles. Make sure you consider whether or not you want a locking door when buying the handles. Removing the Old Doors All you need to remove the old doors is the hammer and a small screwdriver that will fit inside the hinge. You place the screwdriver into the hinge and knock it up until the pin comes out. Do the bottom hinge first, and then work your way up. If you have solid doors, you might need to have a helper hold them while you remove the pins. Hanging the New Doors First, attach the hinges to the doors, using the provided screws. Then hold the door in place as you hammer the pin into the top hinge. Then, hammer the pin into the bottom hinge. If there is a middle hinge, insert this pin last. Do not attach the door lock and handle until the door is hung. This way you can make sure the strike plate lines up with the lock. The handles will come with detailed installation instructions (each brand and style has different instructions). Just like that, your new doors make any room look more modern, cleaner and more stylish. At this point, you can change your door casing if you want a more dramatic makeover. Contact a company like Crawford Door Sales Of Nevada Ltd for more...

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3 Awesome Ideas For DIY Secret Compartments To Add To Your Home Renovations

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Awesome Ideas For DIY Secret Compartments To Add To Your Home Renovations

If you have valuables you want to keep secure, the bank may not be the safest place for them. In your home, you may want to keep some of the possessions that are most valuable to you safe. When you are doing renovations in your home, you may want to add some DIY hidden compartments (if someone else makes them they are not very secret). Here are some tips to help you create secrete compartments when you are having renovations done to your home: 1. Creating Hidden Drawers For Storage In Stair Steps Hidden space in stairs can be a great solution to hide things, as well as to simply use for storage. When you have your home renovated, talk with the carpenter about building drawers into the stair risers (the vertical board that makes the height of stairs). This can give you a great hiding place, as well as a place to store outdoor things like shoes or garden supplies that you do not want to get wet. In addition, you may want to have a secrete closet made beneath the stairs for more secrete hiding spaces in your home. 2. Leaving Unfinished Space Behind A Full-Height Cabinet For A Hidden Room The cabinets in your kitchen can be a good place for hidden compartments. You may want to consider installing hidden pantry in the kitchen. To do this, talk with the remodeling contractor about making a full-height section of cabinets hinged and leaving the space behind it unfinished. If you do not want contractors to know about a secret hiding space, make sure that this section of the cabinets is free-standing and dismount it later and add the hinges yourself. 3. Secret Compartments That Are Easy To Add To Cabinets And Wood Floors Cabinets have a lot of dead space, which is the unused space in areas like baseboards or where two sections of cabinets meet. This can be a great place to add secret compartments to your home by just removing the pieces and adding hinges or the inside of a drawer. This can also be done with materials like wood paneling or floors. When you cut the materials out, cut new materials that fit tightly, to make the secret compartments more disguised. These are some ideas that you may want to use for secret spaces while your home is being renovated. If you are ready for renovations and new secret spaces, contact a remodeling contractor (like Two by Four Construction LLC) and have them help with designs that give you space to add these...

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FAQ About Protecting Your HVAC System Before And After A Hurricane

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FAQ About Protecting Your HVAC System Before And After A Hurricane

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th. If you live in an area that could be potentially impacted by hurricanes, it is important that you know what steps you can take to protect your air conditioner. To help ensure your system is ready, here is what you need to know.  How Can a Hurricane Impact Your Air Conditioner? Hurricanes often bring high levels of wind, flood water, and lightning with them. All three elements can be damaging to your air conditioner in some way.  For instance, lightning strikes can lead to power surges, which can damage your air conditioner’s electrical wiring. Wind can send flying objects into the air conditioner, which could pierce the unit and damage components, such as the condenser coils. Flood waters can cause a range of problems, including corrosion. What Can You Do? If a hurricane is headed your way and you have a window air conditioner unit, the easiest way to protect it is to remove it from the window. You can replace the unit after the storm has passed.  A central HVAC system requires a bit more work to protect. To prevent electrical surges from damaging it, turn off the electricity to the unit at the electrical circuit panel. The panel is either a plastic, metal, or glass box that is located near the unit. Open it and flip the switch to the “off” position. You should also consider securing the exterior system with hurricane straps. The straps affix to the outside unit and the concrete pad on which it sits so that, even in high winds, it is less likely to be uprooted.  In addition to securing the unit, you need to cover it. You can start with a plastic tarp to help keep the water and other debris out of the unit.  What Happens When the Storm Passes? After the hurricane has passed, inspect the air conditioner system before attempting to use it. While inspecting it, remove any debris that is surrounding your unit. Pay close attention to the lines running to and from the unit.  If you notice any damage to the unit, do not turn it on. You also should avoid running the unit if it was submerged in water. Call an HVAC service technician to further evaluate your unit. A professional inspection can help prevent the need for costly repairs of your...

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Earthquakes Leaving Cracks In Your Masonry? 3 Steps To Repair The Damage

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Earthquakes Leaving Cracks In Your Masonry? 3 Steps To Repair The Damage

If you live in earthquake country, it’s not uncommon to find minor cracks in your brick work. In most cases, those minor cracks can be repaired as a do-it-yourself project. That is, if you get to them quickly enough. Unfortunately, without proper care, those minor cracks can spread. Over time, the mortar around the brick can begin to crumble. When that happens, the structural stability of your home can be compromised. To protect your home, minor cracks should be repaired as soon as you find them. Here are some step-by-step instructions that will help you repair the cracks in your masonry work. Clear Out the Cracks Before you start repairing the cracks around the bricks, you need to clear away the loose debris. Repairing a crack while the debris is still present will weaken the joint. For proper repair, you’ll need to remove crumbling mortar. Supplies You’ll Need Heavy-duty work gloves Safety goggles Narrow concrete chisel Masonry hammer Wire brush Whisk broom Directions Put your safety gear on to protect your hands and eyes. Place the narrow chisel up against the crack. Carefully hit the end of the chisel with the masonry hammer. Continue tapping the hammer as you chisel away at the loose mortar. Use the wire brush to remove the loose mortar. Use the whisk broom to clear away all the debris and dust. Mix the Mortar Once the loose mortar has been removed and the cracks have been cleaned, you can mix your fresh mortar. Masonry mortar can be mixed using a combination of fine sand and masonry cement. Both of these items can be found at your local building supply center.   Supplies You’ll Need Masonry cement Masonry sand 5-gallon plastic bucket Small cement trowel Water Directions Combine the masonry sand and masonry cement in the bucket according to package instructions. Add water, a little at a time and use your cement trowel to mix the mortar. Continue adding small amounts of water until the mortar has reached the consistency of mud. Fill the Cracks For this part of the project, you should spread a drop cloth on the ground around you. This will prevent mortar from getting all over the place. It’s also a good idea to wear old clothes. Supplies You’ll Need Work gloves Goggles Pie-edged cement trowel Mortar mix Directions Dip your trowel into the bucket and get a generous amount of mortar on the tip. Beginning at the bottom corner of the wall, apply a thin layer of mortar along the vertical joints around your bricks. Use the tip of your trowel to press the mortar into the joints. Remove the excess mortar by running the edge of your trowel along the joints. Continue the same process until you’ve filled all the cracks with fresh mortar. Repeat the process on your vertical joints. Earthquakes can really shake up your house. If the recent rumblings have cracked the mortar around your bricks, use the simple instructions provided here to repair the damage. If you find deep cracks in the foundation of your home while you’re repairing your bricks, be sure to contact a masonry contractor, like one from Mara Restoration, Inc. You might have significant earthquake damage that will need to be repaired....

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Four Benefits Of Choosing Bathtub Refinishing

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Benefits Of Choosing Bathtub Refinishing

If you are unhappy with your bathtub, there are two things you can do to fix it. You can either replace the bathtub completely or you can have it refinished. There are benefits to doing both, however, you may benefit more from bathtub refinishing. Here’s why: Saves You Money: First off, bathtub refinishing can definitely save you money over bathtub replacement. Bathtub refinishing will cost less than $1,000 while replacing the bathtub can cost more than $2,000. It’s clear to see that if you are looking to save money, you really only have one option. In the end, you will have a bathtub that appears brand new without having to have spent a great deal of money on it.  Saves You Time: Without a doubt, refinishing your bathtub is going to save you a great deal of time. This is because replacing a bathtub requires many hours of labor done by professional plumbers. These hours can definitely expand to lead to a few days or more of getting the bathtub replaced completely. Bathtub refinishing, on the other hand, can be done in a matter of a few hours and requires no extensive labor.  You Can Customize the Color: When you choose to refinish the bathtub, you have your choice in color. Whereas, if you are replacing the bathtub, you will are limited to the color choices provided by the manufacturer. If you want to change the color at some point, you will have to refinish it anyway. When you refinish your bathtub, you are going to have numerous customization options to get the bathtub look you have always hoped for. Keeping Your Old Bathtub Can Add Value: If you have a bathtub that is unique in design, such as a clawfoot tub, then keeping it instead of replacing it is definitely going to provide its share of benefits. These tubs can easily be refinished without losing their charm, which improves home value, especially if you live in an older home. Potential buyers looking for older homes will look for features like these.  When you know these four benefits of bathtub refinishing, you can see why it’s definitely something to consider over replacing. This is especially true if you have been hoping to change the appearance of your bathroom without going above and beyond on your budget planning. You can easily save over $1,000 while still ensuring that your bathtub appears brand new. For more information, contact companies like Tub Solutions...

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Tips For Renovating And Adding On To An Older Building

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Renovating And Adding On To An Older Building

Business owners trying to save money may consider buying an older building because they can get it at a much lower price. When you own your own building, you never have to worry about paying monthly rent and dealing with a landlord. However, taking into account the cash you will need to spend on renovations is important, because some of them could be expensive. Before you make a final choice about the purchase of an older building, follow these tips for making sure you will be able to afford the renovations. Electrical Systems May Need To Be Upgraded How old your building is determines a great deal about the type of wiring and other electrical components that are in it. Having an older building’s electrical system inspected is crucial for your safety and the safety of your employees. Older wiring might work for the moment, but the last thing you need is old wiring that starts arcing inside the walls, causing a fire. For example, buildings constructed between 1965 and 1973 used aluminum wiring that was not as reliable as copper. Old aluminum wiring could arc faster than other types of metals. Before you purchase an older building, having an electrical system inspection completed by an experienced electrical contractor is extremely important. If the electrical system needs to be replaced, which is likely in older buildings, you will need to factor in that cost to the building’s purchase price. Take A Good Look At The Plumbing System When you visit an older building for the first time, you may notice it smells musty. In some cases, a strong musty odor could be coming from water damaged areas in the walls and flooring from plumbing leaks of the past. Making sure you have the plumbing system in an older building upgraded is important to detect any existing water damaged areas that need to be repaired. If old rotted wood is left unchecked, you could end up spending a lot of money later on making bigger repairs. Hiring a professional commercial plumbing contractor to make an inspection and any repairs is the best way to go. Structural Integrity Matters A Lot Making certain the older building you would like to buy is on a firm, structurally sound foundation is extremely important. The best way to confirm a solid, durable foundation is underneath your building is having an experienced commercial contractor have a look at it. If the contractor finds problems like cracking or high-levels of moisture, you might consider looking for another building. This is especially true if you are looking for an older building for helping to save money for your workplace. The cost of renovating a foundation and replacing materials that have been impacted by high moisture is not going to help you save money now or in the future after the building is paid off. Some older buildings are in great shape and would make the perfect investment for small businesses trying to pay off their own workplace instead of spending along time paying rent. By taking your time to find a building that is structurally sound and has few repair needs, you can look forward to making profits in a rent free...

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