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Basement Remodeling

Simple Methods to Locate and Fix Drafty Spots Where Heat Can Escape

We want our homes to be as comfortable as we can. That is the why we want to make sure that our home is cool inside when it is hot outside and warm enough inside when it is cold outdoors.
The cooling and heating system works well when our house is free from any gaps and leaks that may release unwanted energy. No matter how well we maintain our homes gaps, cracks and leaks will result and not necessarily due to the elements. That is why it is important that we always make time for a regular inspection inside and outside our homes. Do not be so relaxed indoors and neglect signs that may tell us that there are gaps in our walls letting the cool breeze inside.
Have a feel on the wall. Walls covered with wall paper can easily hide cracks. Once in a while, touch the walls and feel any cracks beneath it. Do it from side to side bottom to top. This way you can cover a big part of the wall. If you think that there is a crack, work your way from where it starts and end. Mark the part where you feel the gap and you can tear just the part where there is damage. You can also use light to see if there are cracks on your walls.
Another spot where draft might come in is the electrical outlet. Look at gaps where the outlets are. You can place outlet sealer that is easy to attach. Simply place them behind the plate cover over top the receptacle helping create an air tight so that air cannot come through. The holes in the outlet sealers are made in the exact specification of a standard plug.
If you prefer something even much easier, a can of Styrofoam spray may just do the job. Once you found the crack or gap usually in door panels and window sills, simply spray the can over it and clean the excess with acetone.
The location of your attic stairs can also be a source of air infiltration. It can really affect your heating and cooling system. You can take a foam weather strip that you may use on your doors or windows and install it right along the perimeter where the door of the attic stairs folds up against the opening. This will seal a lot of that air infiltration. Also, some people have used foam board or insulation itself and tried to position it over the attic stairs and that can be a mess. Instead, homeowners can opt to use an attic tent that is also easy to install right by following the attached instructions on the pack.
Making minor repairs on the small leaks in and around your home can be menial, but it can save you a lot of money in the future. Doing a regular inspection and maintenance also assures your home stay in top shape and increases its value in the long run.…

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Home Maintenance

Why a Home Inspection

Most people think that the only time to get a home inspection is when they are purchasing a new home. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many reasons to get a house inspected, including when you’re selling a home, for a home maintenance report, or a new construction inspection.
It doesn’t matter your reason for hiring a home inspector. Having an inspection performed will provide you with invaluable resources about your current property or property you are considering purchasing. A home inspection will allow you to prioritize repairs and identify safety issues that could potentially affect your family’s health and well-being.
Having a home inspection performed when you’re purchasing a new home will allow you to discover any issues with your new home, and let you sign on the dotted line with confidence. It will also let you make negotiation with the seller if major defects are discovered during the home inspection process potentially saving you thousands of dollars, or from purchasing a money pit.
A seller’s inspection is a great marketing tool for selling your home faster, and potentially selling it for closer to the asking price. The biggest advantage to this type of inspection is allows you to find potential problems with the home and have them repaired before a potential buyer wants to negotiate them in the sale price. Lastly it will help from discouraging potential home buyers when they discover potential problems with the home. The only downside to this type of inspection is you the seller will have to pay for it upfront, however the return on this investment will be invaluable.
One of the best investments you can make in your home is to have a home maintenance inspection performed. Most major issues that occur with a home could be repaired for pennies on the dollar if only they would have been discovered sooner. A home maintenance inspection will also help you to prioritize your general maintenance of you home to help insure your home is up to par.
No matter what type of home inspection you are having performed, it is important to understand that it is not a guarantee that there is nothing wrong with the home or that something won’t break, even the best inspector can’t predict the future. That’s why it is imperative that you hire a certified inspector that is properly trained. The last thing you want to do is hire your inspector based solely on price. Some inspectors report with a hand written report, and some report using computer software. Some inspectors are certified and complete continuing education every year, and some don’t. So whatever you do make sure you are comfortable with the inspector you hire.…

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General Article

Gardening Information – Choosing the Best Plants For Your Garden

Gardening Information – Choosing the Best Plants For Your Garden

If you’re like my wife and I you may buy plants on an impulse only to find no place in the garden that really suits them. It is best to survey the garden area and chose you plants and seeds with the exact planting location in mind. Once you have considered the location shop for plants according to how much sun and shade they need,the condition of the soil and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. This process will help buy the best plants for your situation resulting in healthier plants and a more vibrant garden.

If you are unsure as to the suitability of your soil, test your soil to determine the pH level. If you find the soil is poor add some nutrients with fertilizer. Also the alkalinity will help you to decide which plants will do best in that location. The more your plants like the soil you already have the less soil reconditioning you will need to do. Also if you find that you want a few special plants you can use containers with specific soil optimized for that plant. You could avoid a major soil reconditioning program that way.

Once you have investigated your soil and decided which plants you want for which areas of the garden you may want to consider placement in terms of foliage and blossom color, in other words garden design. You could place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look before you plant making certain that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants.

Regarding color scheme, you can get more from your garden and maintain the harmony by planting flowers that blossom in staggered seasons. Choosing flowers that bloom early mid and late season lets you have color longer.

Whats really cool about a garden is if you don’t like what get you can take out plants and add plants at will in fact that’s what makes gardening so addictive.…

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Remodeling Contractors

Four Tips For Keeping Pests at Bay

As a homeowner, you certainly want to do everything possible to keep your home looking its best while also preventing damage. As such, it is essential that you take steps to prevent pest damage from occurring. Not only can pest damage be costly to you as a homeowner, it can also make it difficult to sell your home in the future. After all, a potential buyer is going to be less than impressed if he or she sees damage that was caused by termites, squirrels or other pests. In addition to causing the potential buyer to wonder about how extensive the damage may be, it may also raise questions about the overall condition of the home. Therefore, in order to prevent your home from being damaged by pests, it is a good idea to implement these simple measures.
Tip #1: Remove Excess Water
All pests need water to survive, so one way to control pests is to get rid of unnecessary or excess water. Some key trouble areas you should address include:
* Leaky plumbing
* Remove items that have been water damaged
* Get rid of standing water, such as water that has pooled inside buckets or overturned garbage can lids
* Use gutters to prevent water from accumulating around your home
* Repair cracks in the foundation so water and moisture does not accumulate in your basement
Tip #2: Remove Hiding Places
Pests need hiding places to stay safe and secure – and to escape from you. Therefore, you should block off and remove any hiding places that those pests may use. Some steps you can take to remove and block off hiding places include:
* Caulk any cracks or crevices that you find in the exterior of your home
* Avoid storing items such as paper bags, newspapers and boxes for extended periods of time in your home
* Check boxes or packages that you are bringing in from the outside before you put them in your house
Tip #3: Remove Potential Entryways
Pests will find a way into your home in any way possible. Some ways to block off entryways include:
* Place screens on windows, floor drains and doors
* Block any passageways that may be available through your floor
* Install weather striping on windows and doors
* Seal and caulk any openings in your walls
* Keep doors shut whenever they are not being used
Tip #4: Remove Food
Finally, removing food is an essential step toward keeping pests at bay. Remember, will eat more than just human food wastes. Therefore, be sure to seal your pet food, bird seeds and other foods in containers that cannot be chewed through by pests.
Simply put, you need to make the environment as uncomfortable for pests as possible. Let’s face it – the inside of your home is a nice place to be. Not only is the temperature comfortable, but the indoors is also free from rain, snow and sleet. By keeping food and water put away while also removing easy entry points, you will make it far less likely for your home to be invaded by pests.…

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House Improvements

Why Use Glass Mosaic Tiles for Kitchen Renovation?

Kitchen is the most important place in your house because that is where the entire family sits together to have their meals. Hence, many believe that the most important family discussions happen over the dining table in the kitchen. Hence, we must take good care of our kitchen. On the other hand, women are very concerned about the way their kitchen looks and they would never tolerate that their kitchen looks ugly and is not appreciated by the guests. Hence, many people go for kitchen renovation to make sure they get all the compliments when their guests come home. In recent times people are using glass tiles for their kitchen. Hence, we need to know why glass mosaic tiles are soon becoming so popular especially when it comes to kitchen renovation.
The biggest reason for it is the huge amount of variety in designs and colors. When people are thinking about renovation they are normally thinking about new designs and new colors in their mind. Although some people go for the same bright color but there are many people who would like to experiment and give new looks to their kitchen. Hence, they look out for glass tiles that are available in different colors and designs. Glass mosaic tiles are available in more than thousand different colors and designs and that attracts many women towards it.
Women today have lot of responsibilities on their shoulders and therefore they have very little time for cleaning and maintaining their kitchen. On the other side, bachelors who stay alone don’t have time for cleaning and maintain their kitchen as well. Glass mosaic tiles are easy to clean and maintain and therefore people prefer to use it over regular ceramic tiles. You can simply wipe off the tough stains from the tile without any issues and there is no impact or permanent stain on it. Hence, your kitchen always looks clean and neat even when you don’t pay attention to it.
Kitchen and bathroom are the only two places where you might have to think about water-proof tiles. Glass tiles have water proof qualities and therefore you can be sure that your kitchen will always be dry and clean. You can quickly wipe off the excess water on the tile and that’s it. You don’t have to mop for a long time because glass mosaic tiles are already water proof and they can dry up in seconds.
The chances of slipping is more when there is water. Since glass mosaic tiles are water proof there are no chances of slipping. Some of the glass mosaic tiles have anti-slippery feature that does not allow you to slip even if there is water on the floor.
Kitchen tiles have to be tougher because there are many utensils and gadgets all around. Most of the glass mosaic tiles are scratch proof and therefore no matter how you handle your utensils you will never find a scratch on your mosaic tiles. Hence, your kitchen will always look like newly renovated.…

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General Article

Designing Your Organic Vegetable Garden

Designing Your Organic Vegetable Garden

All types of gardens can be improved by putting some careful thought into your organic vegetable garden design. Gardens can have many different purposes. You may want to have some essential features in your garden for the specific purpose you have in mind. Perhaps a shed, a path or a vegetable plot might fit into your plans. You will have a better idea of the area you have for planting once you can see what the overall plan looks like. You can enjoy all of the fruits, vegetables, or flowers you would like in a garden that is well planned and your plants are in the proper place. Here you will find some useful considerations that are fundamental to success when planning your organic vegetable garden design.

If you have not had a garden before, it is best to start with a small piece of land rather than a large area. Start by growing vegetables that have a short lifespan or are not available in stores where you live. Once you have some experience you can expand to a larger area to match your diet and taste. Grow plants that work well together during the growing season. One crop can be harvested, and another one can be put in its place. The preceding crop can even fertilize the next one.

The climate where you live is another important consideration. Choose plants that mature more quickly if you live in a cold climate where the growing season is short or consider using a greenhouse. Grow vegetables that are well suited for your area. For example, some varieties of dry bean will grow well in more temperate climates but will produce poorly in hot humid areas. Choose the variety that will fit your particular climate, location and soil type for best results.

As you work in your garden throughout the growing season you will notice that some of your plants are thriving and doing very well. You may want to save the seeds from these plants for planting next year, because these are the plants that do well with the climate and soil conditions in your area. You might want to save the seeds from your favorite plants because of their flavor, color or time of harvest. By saving seeds you can get a harvest that will be reliable over an extended period of time.

Factors like soil, sun, moisture and nutrients will have an influence on where plants will grow best. Once your plants are well placed and are healthy you will have the benefit of experiencing fewer problems with pests or diseases. Healthy plants are also able to tolerate adverse conditions such as drought or flood better than plants that are struggling.

Sometimes the best place to start getting ideas for your garden is to look around your own neighborhood. What do you see in someone’s yard that strikes your imagination as you drive by? Public gardens are a good place to visit to get some ideas for your garden. Visiting these places will show you which plants will thrive in your climate. Notice things like plant groupings and color combinations in a garden to get some possibilities for your own planting design. Another good place to look for ideas is in magazines and gardening catalogs.

Gardening can be a very enjoyable and satisfying hobby. You will benefit from your garden for many years to come. Make gardening a pleasurable experience for your whole family.…

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General Article

Landscaping In Dry Climates

Landscaping In Dry Climates

If you are laying out your garden in a dry climate, assuming you have a limited water supply and not large quantities of underground, or piped water, you will have to do some careful planning and research. Dry climates vary greatly from areas where the rain falls seasonally or only once a month or so, to extreme conditions, where rain is seldom seen.

Although generally, dry climates tend to be hot, some regions can become chilly at night and drop below zero in winter. Although you may experience frosts in winter, because of the low water content of the soil, roots and bulbs do not freeze as easily as they do in a wet climate.

Your nearest nursery should be able to help you choose the type of plants suitable for the climate. If you have an indigenous nursery in the area, you will probably find that the local wild flowers and trees will thrive in your garden with very little trouble and the minimum of extra water. Most people choosing this kind of garden tend to mimic the natural surroundings as well, if the wild has a natural beauty that appeals to them.

If, however, you have non-indigenous plants and flowers that you love, you are going to have to arrange them in a way that uses the least amount of water. Here are a few ideas for you to consider when you design your garden:

* Try and re-use all household ‘grey’ water. Direct bathwater in particular to drums or tanks. They are perfectly good for flower beds. In fact, the soap may even remove aphids!

* Set up a rainwater tank to catch whatever water you can from the gutters of your roof.

* A watering system is a great water saver, especially if you use drip feeds or wet hoses under a mulch. Avoid sprayers or micro misters. You’ll waste a lot of water that way to evaporation, especially if the weather is sunny and hot.

* Avoid planting water-hungry plants on a slope. They will dry out faster than other parts of the garden and need more frequent watering.

* If you have a swimming pool, store all the back-wash water for garden use. If you use hydrogen peroxide for purification the water will not harm your plants. If you use chlorine, let the water stand in a drum in the sun for a few days then test whether the chlorine has dissipated. Then it will be fine for the garden.

* If you have a section of the garden for vegetables, herbs or cut flowers, consider setting up a tank with gravity fed water tapped to circles of wet hose that surround it. You will use a fraction of the normal amount of water for a garden and a large tank lasts weeks and gives you lush growth. You turn the tap on only when the soil below the surface becomes dry.

* Remove the lids and the bases of 2 Litre plastic cold drink bottles and bury them base upwards so they slightly protrude from the ground. When the soil is moist a small amount of water will accumulate inside. Using a cotton swab on a long stick, you can test whether the soil is moist and save unnecessary watering.

* Lastly, make use of pavers, stones, logs, and garden rock features. Moisture stays longer below and around them and many plants love growing against and in between them. Use pots with water loving plants in amongst the more drought resistant types and you can create a lovely display. Use mulches of all kinds, suitable for the plants you choose.…