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Home Renovation

Home Maintenance Tips – Wet Basement

Grading & Drainage
Any system of grading or landscaping that creates positive drainage(moving water away from the foundation walls) will help to keep abasement dry. Flowerbeds, loose mulch areas, railroad ties, and other landscaping items close to the foundation trap moisture and contribute to a wet basement. To establish a positive grade, a proper slope away from the house is 1″per foot for approximately 5 to 6 feet. Dirt should be 6″ to 8″ below wood surfaces and/or sill plates. You should also trim back shrubberies that are close to the home.
Defective or missing Gutters & downspouts
Watch for leaks in gutters and downspouts, If your grading is poor, you should have a downspouts with up to 10′ extension.
Also Check both the top and bottom of downspouts for evidence of debris blocking the water.
Dripping water pipes
Condensation or sweating on the pipe in your basement is forming due to the temperature difference between the pipe and the air. This has an easy fix: Just insulate the pipe!
Drain tile issues
If you get water in your basement after heavy rainfall, and your drain tile isn’t draining much water to your sump pump, you should consider having a contractor over to make sure your drain tile is not missing or defected.
Installing an exterior drainage system at an existing building is the most costly, but also the most effective water control approach. This requires digging up the area around the foundation and rebuilding it similar to a new house installation.
Window well
If you have a window well, make sure the base of it is sloping away from the house, not towards the house.
Foundation cracks
Concrete and concrete block foundations usually develop some cracks, and water can seep through the cracks and in to your basement. If you suspect that there is water seeping through foundation cracks, it suddenly became a job for your contractor.
Cracks less than 1/4″ wide, with or without displacement in any direction, are not likely to be signs of serious failure unless they are active.
Cracks over 3/8″ wide should be examined carefully as an indication of a potentially serious problem.
Cracks that are still active should be noted as major defects. Active cracks will have sharp edges, will break a new painted surface or mortar repair. They indicate a failure in progress and a situation that can grow worse. If you have cracks with sharp edges wider than 3/8″,you should have someone looking at your foundation as soon as possible.…

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Home Renovation

4 Ways to Tackle Home Maintenance When You’re Renting

If you’ve ever rented a house, an apartment, or a tiny little tin-can, you would have some experience in this. Landlords and landladies all over the world engage in their curious enterprise of letting people reside in their property, not out of duty for the greater good, but because there’s good money to be made. So home maintenance becomes a means to an end as far as they are concerned.
• There is no reason to feel unduly outraged if, upon finding some damages in your household that you are not responsible for, the owner does not take immediate steps. Since property as an investment necessarily demands constant maintenance, he or she knows very well that leaving the house in a state of disrepair will eventually do more harm than good. Procrastination is usually attributable to three reasons: miscommunication, budget, and market rates.
• The majority of proprietor-tenant communications is conducted through third parties, such as agencies or middlemen. As conveyors of market signals, most of them consider their job done the moment you signed the contract. Failure to maintain your rented property is usually perceived as your failings rather than an inevitability, and for good reasons at that. While most of us would never deliberately sabotage our own dwellings, there are numerous instances – a failure to report water damage immediately, leaving a dripping tap be, and cranking up central heating beyond their designed capacity rather than insulate the house properly – where tenants have inadvertently aggravated the situation. Always report everything, and keep detailed logs of your correspondence so that you are in a position to lodge viable complaints later.
• The second reason why home maintenance is always left to the last possible reason has to do with the owner’s budget. The property ladder is a very convoluted construction: there are often cases where a downturn has hit the owner so hard he or she is left with negative equity even as the tenant is happily afloat. The need to save up for a down payment and pay fixed-rate mortgage means that sometimes landlords simply do not have the liquidity to send in a team of handymen. They aren’t necessarily poor, but until you’ve paid the rent there is simply not a lot in the kitty for them to buy the new refrigerator or washing machine.
• And the last and most subtle reason rental home maintenance go untended is the market rate for rental properties in the market at large. In a boom, property owners are more likely to focus on short-term speculative gains rather than the dribble of money (as they see it) coming from you. Put bluntly, it doesn’t make too much of a difference to them whether you live there or not.
So if you are struggling to mend a broken flat in the face of an unmovable owner, ditch it all at the earliest possible moment. The relationship between a tenant and a property owner should be a mutually beneficial one, and it is your job to convince them that it is to their interest that their biggest asset will not be destroyed in your hands, inadvertently or otherwise.…

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Home Renovation

Home Improvement Projects Can Be A Pain. These Tips Will Make Your Project Go Smoothly

Adding value to any home is easy if you are willing to do some home improvements. They are also essential if you want your home to be in top shape. There is an abundance of ideas and projects to add value to your home, although some are more complicated than others. Use the suggestions in this article to help you choose your next home improvement project.

You can generate visual detail and disguise imperfections by using textured drywall mud techniques. The process is simple. Once the drywall mud is troweled, you simply grab a brush with bristles, a sponge or an empty plastic bag, and then use whatever you grab to create texture on the drywall mud by dabbing.

You can renew the appearance of your walls by spackling small holes and painting. Go to an improvement store and buy some quality spackle. Only a small bit of spackle is needed to cover small holes. The smallest of holes (like those left by push-pins) will require such a tiny dab of spackle that the ideal applicator is a bobby pin. Whenever the spackle dries, you should use a rigid item, such as a credit card, in order to smooth the hole to ensure your wall is smooth. Then, apply paint to the area. This quick fix will make any small hole disappear in a single day.

Before you buy any supplies, look around for a better deal. If you put down new flooring, it can be expensive and a price comparison is helpful in these instances. Discount supply stores and bargain hunting places are great ways to save money.

Always shut of the gas before you begin a home improvement in the kitchen, near a gas fireplace or next to the boiler. You want to be extremely cautious during this process. You can be seriously injured or start a fire during the project.

There are two ways to replace or change a lock: replacing the assembly itself, or only the cylinder. This part actually does the locking. Simply purchase a cylinder replacement if you misplace your key. If you’re doing it for aesthetic purposes, change the whole assembly.

Putting on a new roof is one of the major expenses of home ownership. Contact a few roofing companies and check references. There are a lot of choices available for roofing, from metal to lightweight tile, although there are still the traditional choices like composite shingles and wood shake. A knowledgeable roofer or contractor can help you find the right choice for your home.

Get creative and use recycled items such as a previously used luggage rack to make a side table. Remove the glass portion of a big picture frame and attach it to your luggage rack by using a strong adhesive. Add some picture frames, a funky lamp and a few interesting books to accent your room with minimal effort and at a low cost.

Focus on the reasons behind your projects when it comes to making home improvements. Think about why you wish to make a particular improvement, and how it may improve your living space and your quality of living. You need to be committed to making home improvements, and it’s important you are putting your time to good use.…

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Home Renovation

Useful Advice When Planning A Home Improvement Project

No matter if you want to add value to your house or just make things look a bit better, it is important to realize the pitfalls you may encounter. Home improvement can be a disaster without the right information. It can take a lifetime to master truly professional home improvement skills. It is not a job for just anyone. This is the reason these tips are useful.

If you plan to purchase a home, be sure to get a professional inspection. By hiring a professional, you can find out what needs to be fixed without simply relying on the seller’s word or what you see. Having a professional that is neutral will also be beneficial to both parties.

Think twice about improving with a personal touch. The more personal your renovation is, it becomes less likely that another person will buy the house for what it cost you to do the work in the first place.

You may want to purchase a combination washer and dryer if you have a tiny house, condominium or apartment. Many combined washer-dryer models can fit in compact spaces or under counters. A combo unit washes the clothes and when done switches to a dryer.

If you have a squeaky floor, try using some construction glue. You’ll have to work from the basement or in the crawlspace but the effort will be worth it. Use a caulk gun and apply glue on both sides of each floor joist.

Plastic 2-liter bottles are an excellent kitchen storage option. They will protect just about any dried goods like flour or sugar. They are also clear, so it is easy to see what is inside. They can be kept in the refrigerator, freezer, or on the shelf. All you have to do when you need the contents is remove the cap and pour.

Find out where the gas shut off is is you are going to do some work in a kitchen. You must be very careful with these types of projects. If you don’t heed our warning, a fire or injury will likely be the result.

If you are in need of a screen for your window, consider making your own. You can get a kit and attach the screen by using a tool that is fairly cheap. Your window may need a special screen type, but you can still make an external screen using adapters.

A great improvement idea for a home with children is to pad sharp furniture. Corner protectors can be purchased from a store, or foam tape could be used to pad these sharp edges on the furniture. Another way to prevent your child from getting hurt is to use tape on any loose wiring.

Some home improvement projects are harder than others. You may even think some projects are downright simple! But if you do not understand how to properly pull them off, you are going to cause a lot more harm than good in your home. What you have just read above offers some great improvement tips. Use it to your benefit.…

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Home Renovation

Learn All about How Pest Control Works

There is no quick-fix solution that solves every pest control problem. Thus, you need to acquire a great deal of knowledge to get the right solution. The following article contains a wealth of information that will get you started.

Always have new homes inspected by a trained professional. There are some signs of pests that are easy to see. Others do not become apparent until you spend some uninterrupted time at home.

Don’t be gullible when it comes to thinking you’re past a bedbug infestation. Bedbugs can go upwards of a year without any food. Because of this, you should seal off any and all access points in your home. Then they won’t have a hiding spot.

Seal food that isn’t being used. If there’s one thing for which pests will make a beeline, it is food, so you don’t want to tempt them. You should also take out your garbage as soon as it is full. Trash is yet another source of alluring smells for the pests and should be avoided at all costs.

Is your home swarming with ants? A simple way to rid yourself of them is to mix up some borax and sugar. The ants will be attracted to the sweet scent from the sugar, and they will be killed by the borax. Just mix a single cup of sugar and one of borax. Put holes in your lid, and then sprinkle it along your home’s foundation.

Keep water from pooling and standing stagnant around your home. This can attract many pests, including mosquitoes. Search for leaky pipes and make sure your plants’ trays are clean. Most pests require standing water to survive; therefore, it is important to remove any standing water.

Pest repellents that are electronic prove very effective. They can be plugged in each room and let off a noise that repels rodents. Although they are audible to humans, they are not harmful to humans or pets in anyway. Rodents hate the noise, keeping them away.

As soon as you notice fallen trees in your yard, eliminate them. Cut the trunk and the branches for firewood. You can sell it, use it, or give it away. However, remember to deal with the stump too. This dead wood will also attract termites.

Pests really like to live in drains. Liquid cleaner or a snake monthly on your drains is always a great idea. Debris can cause mold growth, which provides pests with an excellent living area.

Try using plastic storage for storing dry foods. Many dry foods come in bags and boxes, and insects can very easily get inside of them. Make sure that any food is emptied into your sealed containers right away. Using containers made from plastic can keep pests under control and extend the freshness of foods.

You can now better conquer your pest issues with this information. Identify what kind of pest you are dealing with and use an appropriate solution. You will be so thrilled to get the critters out of your home.…

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Home Renovation

Roofing Tips That Everybody Should Know About

Poor insulation and a leaky roof can be major concerns for all homeowners. The good news is there are many things that you can do on your own. Read through this article if you want to learn what can be done about keeping a roof maintained so that you are sure everything goes well for you.

Inspect your roof once a year at the bare minimum. Spring and winter months tend to damage the roof the most. So, be sure to inspect your roof during or after these troublesome months.

Never attempt to fix a roof when it is raining, snowing, or conditions are icy. A slippery or wet roof could cause you to fall; this may result in a bad injury or worse. Especially if you are all alone on a project, only do work on dry, sunny days.

Before you sign any contract, make sure you ask certain questions of a roofer. One inquiry should be about how many nails the roofer will place into every shingle. If it is three or fewer, that is a bad sign. Ask them about their work, and really consider the answers. Go with another contractor if you’re not happy with their answer.

You want to hire a roofer with several years of experience. Look into who knows them – even ask your family and friends for their opinions. You would hate to hire the wrong roofing contractor because this could result in wasted time and money.

Be sure that your roofer has insurance. If the roofer has no insurance and the property gets damaged, you have to pay for it. You shouldn’t simply ask the contractor if he has insurance and take his word on it. Instead, request proof of insurance so that you can see for yourself whether they have current insurance.

Don’t install new shingles until you’ve gone over your roofing materials. Lots of leaks occur from improper materials, such as nails that are the wrong length or cracked shingles. Ensure the shingles have no cracks and make sure that your nails can secure the shingles to the structure.

Ask your roofer about warranties on his work. One company may offer you a better warranty than another. Make sure you always get your warranty on paper and hold onto it. If you do things this way, you can be sure the terms don’t change after the work has been completed.

If you want to go green when installing your new roof, think about acquiring a living roof. A living roof actually contains layers of soil that can be used to plant a garden or to grow vegetables. While they only work on various kinds of flat roofs in specific climates, they give you great insulation.

You don’t need to always hire a contractor when it comes to roofing, you can do many things yourself. By educating yourself about roofing basics, you can more easily choose the right materials and determine the easiest manner to make the repairs. Follow these tips for the best possible outcome.…