Quick Home Maintenance Tips

If you have been looking for some home improvement tips that won’t take more than a few minutes from your precious time, you are on the right page. This article is for you, especially if you are a busy homeowner. Read on.

Fixing a chair

Are you trying to fix an old chair? If so, we suggest drilling pilot holes and driving screws via the rungs bottom and into the chair legs.

Vinyl Door or Window

If your vinyl doors or windows don’t open properly, the channels may have accumulated gunk. At times, even clean doors and windows may bind. You may spray dry spray lubricant on the target areas and then use a rag to wipe it off. Using oil lubricants is not a good idea as they can catch dirt damaging the vinyl.

Repairing a Shutoff Valve

If the shutoff value is faulty, you can get it replaced. But if you can’t, you should go to the nearby hardware store to buy a good replacement washer. Remove the grit from the valve and fit the new washer. This will fix the problem.

Loose Showerhead

If you want to fix a problematic showerhead or a wobbly pipe, you can use some expanding foam. With the foam, you can encase the pipe and fix it. This will remove the wobble.

Use a Smoke Detector

If you don’t have enough time or money, you may want to cover the ceiling hole with a smoke detector. You don’t need to patch the hole.

Cabinet doors

If your cabinet doors don’t stay shut, all you have to do is use a magnetic door catch. You can also go for a roller-style one.

Squeaky Floors

If you want to repair a squeaky floor, use a stud finder to find the floor joists. Next, you can drive in a screw via a pad, carpet and the subfloor to reach the floor joist. Just make sure that the upper part of the screw has no threads. Ideally, you may want to use trim screws since they have bigger heads. If this is the case, you may want to pull up the screw and then tighten it again.

Remove Water Stains

Before repainting the ceiling, you may want to try out this trick. You can use a mixture of water and bleach and then wait for a few days. If the stain is old, you can try a mold and mildew product. The stain will be gone within 24 hours. This trick may work both on textured and flat ceilings.

Wallpaper Seams

To fix a wallpaper seam, you can soak a rag in lukewarm water and then apply the paste around the seam. You may want to hold the rag for a couple of minutes and then open the seam a bit for more space for the seam sealer. Put the liquid into the gap and then push the paper against the wall using a roller. Then you can use a sponge to remove the sealer.

So, these are some quick and easy home improvement tips.

5 Benefits of Hiring a Qualified Handyman

Some things are best done when you leave it to the experts. In case of your home improvement activity, you would be well served in hiring a qualified handyman. He would have all the skills to work on your home the way you would have wanted. In the deal, you may have to spend some money, but that will be more than a worthwhile replacement for the time you would have spent had you done all of this by yourselves.

Here are 5 benefits of hiring a qualified handyman

* Best skills on display – Let us face it. How much ever we try, we may not be able to get proficient in doing home improvement? Handymen do this job day in and out. They are skilled in this job, and trust them to do a good job with your home improvement activity.

* Save your time – Why do you have to spend 5-6 hours a day for the next week in improving your home? You have an easier alternative in front of you. All you have to do is hire a qualified handyman and consider your job done. In fact, just tell the handyman what he needs to do and carry on with your daily routine as normal.

* Every nook and corner of your home investigated – Only a handyman will be able to explore and identify small mistakes in your home, improving which would be of prior concern to you. Leave that to the handyman. He will ensure that all possible gaps are fixed without delay.

* Long lasting home improvement – A home improvement, however desirable it may be, is time consuming for sure. You definitely do not want to keep improving your homes once a month. Allowing a qualified handyman to work on your home will ensure you may not have to think of another home improvement for the next six months to a year.

* Revamping your home could be difficult. Not for the handyman – Initial days into your home improvement exercise, and you would realize a revamp of your home is necessary. Hire a qualified handyman and consider this tough task done with consummate ease.

This and many more – You would find that hiring a qualified handyman is always handy for you, especially for a specialized job of that of home improvement. It could dent your wallets a bit, but considering the objectives hiring a handyman helps you in achieving, it is worth every cent of it.

Do some research on the Internet and you would find many qualified handymen offering their services to you. Choose one who has established credentials and experience in this domain. Remember, you would be spending some money on hiring the handyman and you obviously do not want them to go waste.

7 Home Improvement Tips For This Winter

The winter is approaching, and you need to be ready for it. You need to get your home ready for the cold season, which is important if you want to make your home energy efficient and comfortable. Check out the following home improvement tips that will make a difference this winter.

Go For an Energy Audit

You can hire a certified professional to get your home rated. The energy rater will conducted an “audit” and test your residence for possible energy losses and other safety issues. Based on the detailed report he will give you, you can make important repairs and make your home more energy efficient.

The professional will also give you some tips to address the common issues with your home. You can then take necessary steps to solve the issues.

Seal The Walls

The seals in the walls allow the air in, which causes fluctuations in the temperature inside your house. You can make a plan and use a tube of caulk to address the problem areas. Aside from this, you should seal the areas where you can find electric boxes on the drywall. Make sure all the tiny holes on the backside of the boxes are sealed.

Seal The Can Lights

Air leaks can occur in the ceiling as well, especially the area on the ceiling where the recessed lights are located. Some can lights are vented so that they don’t get overheated due to the light bulb. What you need to do is remove the can and then seal the perimeter of the can with quality caulk. In the same way, the internal area of the can should be sealed with aluminum tapeto or caulk.

Fill The Insulation Gaps

To find insulation gaps, you should check the outside faucets and air vents for big gaps. These gaps will allow the air to escape from the room in winter. You can use expanding foam to seal these holes.

Your Heating System

Before the arrival of winter, you can get your furnace tuned up. According to experts, the energy costs of an average house are affected by the heating. If your boiler system or furnace is inefficient, your heating bills may rise. Make sure you buy a quality filter.

You can replace the filter to make the boiler more efficient. While this may seem an unnecessary expenditure, it will pay back down the road.

Check Your Windows

Your windows should be suitable for the climate of your home. For instance, if you live in an area where it’s very cold in winter, you may want to invest in windows that feature double-panes insulated glass.

Buy a Smart Thermostat

You can consider installing a smart thermostat. Some advanced models can be operated with a smartphone as well. Programmable thermostats are available in different designs and price levels. These devices allow you to enhance the energy efficiency of your home.

So, you can use these 7 tips for home improvement before the arrival of next winter season. This way you can save some real cash on your heating bills.

Choosing The Right Fence For You

When it is time for a new fence you have many choices to choose from. Choosing the right fence is very important if you want one that will last for years to come. Read this article and learn about the different types of fences that are available.

The first type of fence and perhaps the most common is the common plank style privacy fence. You can find these fences in heights up to 8 feet and they have many advantages. For example they are affordable and they offer a great deal of privacy compared to other fences. The downside to these fences is that they are vulnerable to wind, insects and rot. To extend the life you can get them made with cedar or even vinyl and with posts made from metal.

Another type of fence is the chain link fence. This has the advantage of also being quite affordable and being very durable. The downside to chain link fences is that they offer no privacy whatsoever and that they may not quite fit in with your neighborhoods style.

Wrought Iron is another type of fence that you might be interested in. It has benefits and drawbacks similar to those of chain link fences. It is very durable and offers little in the way of privacy. They are however expensive compared to other fences but they are more likely to make your neighbors happy as they are quite attractive.

The last fence style I will talk about is the picket fence. They are available in wood or vinyl and are an attractive alternative. If made from wood, they are vulnerable to insects and rot but the gap between the planks makes them less vulnerable to wind damage. They also offer little in the way of privacy and are reasonably priced.

Hopefully this has given you something to think about. If you are having a hard time deciding you should consult a local fence builder. They will be able to suggest something that will fill your needs.

Repairing Laminate Floors

The best way to prevent your laminate floors from damage is to take care of them. By utilizing regular maintenance and care strategies you will be able to remove elements from your floor’s surface that could potentially damage their appearance. One way to protect your laminate floors is to sweep them regularly. This will remove abrasive debris that can dull your floor’s finish, cause gauges and discolor them. The second thing that you can do to keep your floors in good condition is to wipe up spills immediately after they happen. This will minimize damage to the floor planks and keep your laminate flooring from warping. Finally you can use a mild detergent or cleaning product to remove stuck on grime. Do not scrape your laminate floors as this will damage their finish.

If your laminate floors get damaged them you should try to address the problem as soon as possible to protect the integrity of your flooring. Repairing laminate floors can be tricky, especially if the damage makes it necessary to replace a plank. The easiest way to replace a plank is to use a skill saw to cut the plank from the floor. When cutting out the plank be careful not to cut too deeply. To fit the replacement plank you will need to cut off the tongue on the plank. After the tongue has been removed you will need to apply wood glue to the edges of the plank and fit it into place. Wipe any glue that floats to the surface. Finally tape down the plank to keep it in place while the glue sets up.

If your laminate floor is scratched or gauged then you can buy a repair kit to fix the problem. Most laminate flooring manufacturers will offer their own repair kits. These kits will have the right color wood putty to fill in the gauges in your floor seamlessly.

Why Choose Concrete Construction

We are always looking for ways that we can add to our home. It might be in adding a specific type of siding or roofing, through updating the landscaping or perhaps by making our driveway smoother and easier to use, but the reality is that we are always on the lookout for something that can help us stand out from the rest.

When it comes to adding a feature that is practical and yet versatile one such option is to incorporate concrete construction elements. Be it a masonry patio, an outdoor fireplace, building a lanai or having an outdoor kitchen, the use for masonry are as numerous and varied as your imagination or budget. And, speaking of budget, because of its durability and ease of maintenance, opting for concrete construction is one of the most budget friendly choices available.

But what is that can be built using masonry? Why, nearly anything you might want! From indoor elements such as gorgeous stained or stamped concrete floors, stairs, or columns to outdoor features like pool side patios, driveways, walkways, garden paths, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces concrete is the perfect medium for all things house related.

5 Ways to Incorporate Concrete Construction:

If you have always considered concrete to be suitable for just the obvious things like driveways or by the pool, you might be surprised to think of it as other home elements. Consider these fun uses of concrete:

  1. Create a custom kitchen counter by using concrete. You can customize everything from the color, the thickness, or even opt to embed personal items in the concrete before it set up for a truly customized look.
  2. Add concrete stepping stones to a garden path Sure you can buy them at your local garden store, but why not create your own shapes, sizes, colors and designs! So much more fun.
  3. Have an outdoor kitchen built, and incorporate concrete elements such as seating, planters, or table tops,
  4. Need help with erosion? Add a masonry retaining wall and keep the dirt and lawn where you want it.
  5. Use concrete to design a raised bed area for your yard

Concrete construction is nothing new, as it has been used in architecture for years. However, we sometimes forget just how perfect it is for so many decorative elements. If you are trying to determine what to do with the appearance of your home or landscape, be sure to consider employing masonry features. You just might be surprised at their versatility. Talk to a local concrete professional today.

10 Doubts You Should Clarify About Builders

From your hard earned money, you have been saving from the day you started working, you are finally capable of planning the construction of your home. But, as you have a set budget and specific demands, you certainly do not want any builder to play with your time, money and emotion.

Therefore, it would be better to walk on the safe side, clarify all the doubts about the local builders. While you plan to hire them, arrange for an interview and ask them about the doubts and concerns you have.

Some of those doubts which you must clarify from your builder are mentioned below.

10 doubts to clarify:

Check Certificate of Insurance:

If he is insured, you will not have to bear the liability and compensation if something happens to him while working on site. Make sure you look for the certificate.

How many years he has given to this industry?

If you have to choose anyone from the list of recommended builders, make sure you ask them this question. It will reveal how expert your builder would be. More the time, more will be the experience and ultimately, you will get the best work!

Does he agree on monthly updates on the completed construction?

As you would pay the money, you have the right to be informed about the completion of the construction every month. Therefore, ask your builder beforehand to keep you updated during the construction.

Does he agree to show his contracting license?

Every city, every county, and every state have a different set of construction parameters to be followed to obtain a license. So, if the builder is a genuine one, he must have the proper license to work in the industry. You must verify the license.

Does he provide you a warranty?

If the chosen builder did not perform well and shown poor workmanship, then you are liable to get it corrected without paying any extra amount. It is your right and warranty is the term that protects it.

Does he provide site clean up after construction?

There are many recommended local builders, who have the site clean service in the checklist. Make sure you also clear your doubts before hiring one of them.

Does he produce the estimated cost in-written?

So, that the builder does not overcharge you in the name of hidden fees, make sure you clear the doubt about the estimated cost. It will safeguard you in future.

Does he store the material and equipment in your home?

It happens that most of the builders tend to store the materials and tools in your home at the end of each working day. You must clear this with the builder so that no future ruckus is experienced.

Does he demand full payment at one time?

No one should clear the total amount of construction in one go. You can give him upfront and schedule the payment according to the step by step completion of the construction project.

Does he provide any compensation if a delay occurs?

If any sort of delay occurs in the completion of the project, would the builder be liable for providing the compensation? If the builder says ‘yes,’ ask things in writing.

You must clear all your doubts regarding these points so that the builder won’t deny later.

Home Repair and Improvement Market Offers a Broad Range of Tools and Services

When one invests in a house, it’s not the last investment one makes on it. Every year, it’ll demand some kind of repair or remodeling — ranging from a small fix to a complete renovation of the house. As a house owner, one also carries the responsibility of home repair and improvement, and one cannot turn a blind eye to it. The fixes and enhancements may include areas like roof, plumbing fixtures, both interior and exterior painting, doors, windows, furnace, backyard, and more.

The home repair and improvement market offers a broad range of tools and services, including do it yourself (DIY) home improvement kits and professional services. One must make a sound assessment of the need to enhance, for example a stair or a backyard, before going for fixes or remodeling projects. Since it requires substantial investment, one must plan the entire repair and improvement project — from the inception to the final. The people using DIY tools to fix something must buy the right kind of quality tools that have been designed to perform specific functions. A number of companies offer a varied range of DIY tools, and before ordering, one must compare the prices of the tools offered by these companies, and also their features.

It’s important to determine the nature of the project and what all it requires before undertaking one. For some projects, one cannot go solo and need a team to accomplish a task. It’s better to assemble a team in advance rather than making frantic calls when in the middle of the project. Also, some home repair and improvement projects need professional help. It’s always a good idea to hire a professional that a friend or a relative has recommended. Repair industry is known for its scams, and one should be careful and take precautions when going for professional help.

Home Improvement Ideas for Every Area of Your Home

With the holiday season now just a memory, perhaps you find yourself with some time on your hands to devote to those big New Year’s resolutions-so you’ve been frequenting the gym, taking Sundays to prepare and freeze healthy recipes for the week and spending more time with your family and friends. But what about all those to-dos on your house that never seemed to get done in 2010?

Whether you’re looking to put your house on the market in 2011 or just want to make some positive changes for your family, here are some great home improvement ideas that will deliver the most bang for your buck that you can spend a winter weekend or two or three on implementing. If you live in a condo building make sure to speak with the homeowner’s association first about any changes you’re planning to make.

Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades

Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms have the highest return on investment. You could replace the cabinetry or install energy-efficient appliances, but a surefire way to immediately up your kitchen’s visual appeal is to replace the counter-top.

For good or bad, the bathtub can be a focal point in your bathroom. If a new tub is in your budget, you could add a new model or a freestanding soaking tub to really increase your bathroom’s luxuriousness factor. Even just refinishing your existing tub can make it look brand new.

Let Their Be Light

Recessed lighting looks clean and doesn’t compromise headroom. It’s easily installed and will instantly brighten the room. You also might want to consider adding new windows or expanding existing ones in order to make a room seem larger and more inviting. Even just adding or moving electrical outlets and switches can allow for easier access to electricity, and improve the eyesores associated with electrical cords being visible throughout the room.

Better Flooring

New flooring is one of the best projects for whatever room you’ve decided to focus on, whether that includes carpet in the upstairs bedroom, hardwood floors throughout the downstairs or a unique tile in the bathrooms. People constantly can see and touch their floors, and prospective buyers will definitely be interested in the quality of your flooring when considering whether to make your home theirs.

Hide Unattractive Storage

If you live in a small space, you might not have a home office that can house an unsightly file cabinet. In that case, you probably have to hide your files in the open. This entails measuring fabric to the length and width of the cabinet and using hook and loop tape to attach the fabric to it. Or you can find extra storage space by using a skirting table, under which you could stack boxes. It pays to be inventive, and the pay off is extra room for your belongings without any additional eyesores in your home.

Your Guide for Finding a Reliable Commercial General Contractor

As you can probably guess, a commercial contractor specializes commercial construction. A general contractor is involved in all steps of commercial construction, and they typically handle both private and public projects, from construction of schools to buildings, commercial spaces and more. They are responsible for overseeing a number of tasks, such as obtaining permits, design, purchases, adherence to codes of the building industry and compliance to state laws and norms.

When it comes to selecting a premier commercial general contractor, you have to be more careful because a lot of money is at stake. In this post, we will talk of the things that need your attention for finding a reliable commercial general contractor.

Start With the Basics:

You cannot work any random contractor you find online. Start by looking for licensed companies that have a good name in the local market. If a company claims to be the best in business or has worked in many projects, they will have enough clients. They should be able to offer references on request, which large tells about their portfolio. You need to understand the nature and range of projects they have completed so far, and whether they can handle your project, keeping the scope and other aspects in mind.

Ask for a Bid:

It is important to contact at least three to four commercial general contractors for the same job. You need to check if their pricing and bid is fair and transparent. Bids are meant to be detailed in all aspects, and you might need to check what’s included in the proposal sent to you and the things that have been excluded. Make sure that all bids are made around the same scope of work, otherwise it would mean comparing applies to bananas, which isn’t the ideal way to move ahead.

Communication Matters:

No matter how small or big your project may be, communication with your commercial contractor is more than important. If you are happy with the bid, ask them about the development process and find reasons why you should hire the company in the first place. The concerned company must explain their approach to the job, so that you can understand their areas of expertise. It is wise to use some of their projects as point of reference in your conversations, so that the overall process of discussion remains on the same line.

Know Their Team:

A contracting company usually has a team of professionals who help in deciding a lot of management considerations. You need to know the team that will be working on your project and whether they are good at maintaining client relationships. Don’t shy away from asking questions, no matter how stupid they may sound, as long as your queries are relevant to the project. You can also ask them about their work ethics and practices and what sets them apart from other companies in the same industry.

Check these things, and finding a commercial contractor shouldn’t take a lot of time.