Is Your Home Ready for Fall?
It is almost that time to start doing things around the home to be ready for the cooler months. We all know there is nothing worse than stepping on cold tile with bare feet in the winter! But, good news, you can weatherize your home to keep the cool air out. Along with that, you can do things to your lawn to keep it healthy in winter. Get all the tips and pointers for weatherizing in this article.
Maintaining your homes interior and exterior can be overwhelming. But, like most jobs, its more manageable when broken down into smaller tasks. Thats why we created the 4 Seasons of Home Ownership, dividing seasonal chores into must-do tasks, ones to take on as time and budget allow, as well as a few extras if youre feeling ambitious.
The fall checklist focuses on preparing your home for cooler weather by weatherizing it inside and out, freshening the interior, and doing some yard maintenance chores to ensure a healthy lawn and garden come spring.
Weatherize Your Home
Weatherizing your home means investing a few hundred dollars in the short term, but that small investment can translate into significant energy savings in the long run.
One of the first steps of weatherization is sealing the envelope of your home. Exterior cracks allow outside air and moisture in, leading to high energy bills and problems with mold and mildew. Watch Sealing Outside Cracks on Your Home for details.
During the cold winter months, windows, doors and even electrical sockets can become sources of drafts in your home. Duck Brand has a line of weatherization products, from weatherstripping and socket sealers to roll-on window insulation film, that are inexpensive and easy to install. Watch How to Replace Worn Weatherstripping Around Doors for more info.
If your homes insulation is inadequate, fall is the ideal time to add insulation to your attic, when the temperature is much more bearable. Roxul stone wool insulation is easy for homeowners to cut and install themselves. Stone wool is naturally sound absorbent, water and fire resistant without the use of hazardous flame-retardants, which makes it an environmentally friendly choice for home insulation.
Storm doors and windows provide an added layer of insulation, while still allowing the fresh air in when the weather is nice. Check out How to Add a Storm Door to Your Home to watch our how-to video.
Freshen the Interior
The fall season brings lots of opportunities for entertaining, from football games to the start of holiday gatherings. An easy and inexpensive way to freshen your homes interior is with a little paint.
Your homes trim can take a lot of abuse, and recoating all of it at once can be a daunting task. Try tackling one or two rooms a season, starting with the areas that show the most wear and tear. You can take the same approach to repainting your homes walls. Choose one or two rooms to touch up each season, or give the space a completely new look with fresh colors. Dont be afraid to experiment with different painting techniques, such as creating a striking accent wall with geometric patterns.
Its possible for homeowners to achieve professional results if they have the right tools. FrogTape makes your painting chores go much more smoothly by preventing the paint from bleeding under the tape, so you dont have to waste time touching up mistakes. FrogTape makes painters tape for all types of surfaces, even delicate surfaces that require tape with light adhesion, so your paint lines are always crisp and clean.
Lawn and Garden
Maintaining your lawn is a year-round chore, but some items should definitely be on your fall to-do list. Start by raking the leaves, trimming hedges and shrubs, and removing any dead plants from gardens. Check the trees on your property for any limbs that are growing over the house or interfering with power lines. Its important to trim limbs carefully and correctly, as improper cutting can damage the tree and impede the healing process.
Before storing them away for the season, clean and lubricate all garden tools. Take time to do some lawnmower maintenance, including draining the gas, replacing or cleaning the spark plug and air filter, and sharpening the blade. Finally, if you have a home irrigation system, drain any leftover water so it wont freeze in the pipes during the winter months.
5 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR PROPERTY VALUE WITH TILE
There’s no denying it: When you complete home improvement projects, your property value is sure to increase. And whether you’re upgrading your floors, walls, backsplash, or outdoor space, choosing tile is a no-brainer. Tile lasts for a long time, is easy to clean, and is extremely versatile. It also comes in an array of shapes and sizes, a wide range of colors and tones, and different glazes to give off natural or glossy effects. Whether it’s installed in a simple pattern or a more elaborate design, here are five ways you can incorporate tile into your home to increase your property value.
1. Prepare to Be Floored
One surefire way to see your property value rise is by installing new tile floors. Tile is appealing to many people because it is long-lasting and attractive. If you go with a neutral earth tone and a grout that blends in, you’ll have beautiful floors that will complement any style architecture and decor. Light-colored tile can open up a room and make it feel more spacious, and darker, earthier tile can give a room a cozy feel. If you prefer the rustic look of wood, opt for a tile that mimics hardwood. This will give your space the warm appearance of wood but have the long life cycle and easy maintenance of tile.
2. Add a Backsplash
Another easy way to add a quick wow factor is to grace your kitchen or bathroom with a tile backsplash. Taking your boring, flat wall and infusing it with tile will give the room a new, textured look. A backsplash is often the finishing touch that a kitchen or bathroom needs.
You can opt for unique, accent colors that will give your kitchen an extra pop, or you can choose more subdued tile that blends in with the walls and countertops but gives depth to the room.
3. Take It Up the Wall
If you want to add tile to your bathroom, don’t just focus on the floors. Tiling your shower walls or half way up the wall will give your bathroom a luxurious spa feel. Accent tiles along the border can also add an extra design element or become a key focal point of the room.
4. Make a Grand Entrance
First impressions are everything, and a foyer that conveys a sense of style and quality can impact your home value. That’s why it’s important that your foyer or entry way symbolizes what your home is all about. One way to generate instantaneous appeal is with a tile design in the entryway, such as a large mosaic medallion.
5. Take Tile Outside
Today’s living space isn’t confined to the indoors. Most of us love spending time out in the backyard when the weather permits. While you may have already invested in an elaborate grill or entertaining area, consider adding beautiful tile to your patio or pool deck. Your backyard is an extension of your living space, and a tiled outdoor area will not only appeal to potential buyers, but can increase the value of your home. Once again, versatility comes into play. You can choose hues and patterns that complement your outdoor surroundings and foliage.
Creating a Beautiful Bathroom
After you have chosen the perfect tile for your bathroom floor, backsplash, and/or shower you will want to enhance it with a great vanity. Whether it is a classic piece of furniture you have re-purposed or a custom piece you are installing you will want it to stand out but not take away from your great flooring. Take the tips in this article as a starting point for choosing a custom vanity to make your bathroom stand out.
Interior Decoration Has Become Inevitable
Its indeed one of the basic human traits to derive pleasure and mental satisfaction by way of possessing unique products, which one will not be able to see commonly elsewhere. This attitude is all the more discernible, when it comes to the subject of decorating ones own home. In general, people try all out to adorn their residences with objects that are atypical and exceptionally innovative. Everyone likes to adorn their residence in their own special ways, by satisfying their own whims and fancies, but of course, in utmost eye-catching ways. This is the base reason why one and all prefer to go for customization, while designing and decorating their individual residences. The present generation takes special attention to give clear-cut attention while designing and decoration their residences. Because of this, the process of interior decoration has become a significant factor as far as building construction is concerned. It is a commonly seen trend nowadays across the globe to seek the assistance of interior decorating specialists (just after the completion of the basic structure), to make the place fit for civilized habitation. A professional interior decoration expert, in consultation with the owner of the residence, decides the possible ways to make the spaces more handy and appealing.
Bathrooms are Not Mere Bare Bathrooms Nowadays
Bathrooms and toilets had least importance in former days; they were spaces just for taking a bath or for attending the natures calls. In most cases, these two places were totally different from the rest of the building concerned. With the passing of time, people began to combine these two places, and thus the rudimentary form of the modern bathrooms originated. Even then the place was not given due importance as was given to the main areas. However, in our time, things have changed a lot; it will not be a hyperbolic statement to say that bathrooms have become glamor rooms. These days, everyone considers this space as one of the highly significant areas and tries all out to decorate the place with handy and attractive amenities. Everyone likes to set up as many custom bathroom vanities as possible to add much glamor and uniqueness to their bathrooms.
Points to Take Care While Embellishing Bathrooms
You must make sure to get your order customized; almost all top-rated furniture companies, who specialize in furniture creation, will be willing to create innovative furniture pieces to their customers by taking into consideration all the relevant points. Hence, discuss with your dealer regarding all of your practical necessities and thus bring in more uniqueness within.
It is always good to go for rustic bathroom vanities. In this world of utmost sophistication, if you are able to add a little bit of pastoral beauty within your interiors, surely, that will bring in more allure. By that way, the place concerned will become more eye-catching.
Moreover, it is also advisable to use reclaimed wood for the creation of your furniture. You can, without a doubt, insist on this particular point while creating a work-contract with the furniture company. This will not only produce extra glamor inside the interiors of your residence, but will also support nature. Remember, by using reclaimed wood, you are supporting the movement against the destruction of trees and forests.
Try to find out a specialized reclaimed furniture manufacturing company. Such companies usually collect the needed wood from the old barns, residences, and stables. These timber pieces have high standard and can face any weather, thus giving long service to the users. Hence, always buy your custom bathroom vanities from such professionally run companies.
You will be able to create an authentic uniqueness within your bathrooms by placing reclaimed bathroom furniture. However, try to get the items customized, because, they need, and the available space will be quite different in all residences. Try to derive the precise requirement and place furniture accordingly. For this, you can take the professional advice of experienced interior decorators. In our time, almost all specialist furniture manufacturers will be able to help you with this. You can discuss with them regarding the exact requirements and your expectations. This is the most pragmatic way to phase in the required modernity, but without compromising on the handiness and the allure of the furniture.
You must always bear in mind that making a bathroom practically useful is the prime thing to note while doing the interior decoration of the place. For making this possible, it is very important that you must install handy amenities within the space.
The To-Do List for Home Maintenance You Forgot About
It’s getting to be holiday season and the end of 2016. With all of the hustle and bustle that this time of year brings it is easy to forget about certain projects around the house. If you host family or friends at your house for the holidays you should not only want things to be clean and in great shape but also functional. This list is a great place to start when sprucing up your house this time of year.
With cold weather and the holidays fast approaching, this months to-do list focuses on some of the less obvious, but very important, indoor cleaning and repair tasks to get your home in tip-top shape for holiday guests.
From cleaning your garbage disposal and faucet aerators to fixing squeaky door hinges and sticky locks, our November home to-do list covers the bases without breaking your back or budget. Most of these chores are quick and easy; and, best of all, they take few materials or tools.
So set aside an afternoon in November to knock out this home maintenance to-do list, then sit back and enjoy a cup of hot cider!
To-Do #1: Clean Garbage Disposal
Before hosting a big Thanksgiving party, take a few minutes to clean and freshen up your garbage disposal first. This chore couldnt be easier, heres how.
To Clean a Garbage Disposal:
- Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the disposal.
- Follow it with a cup of white vinegar. The vinegar and baking soda will react to form frothy bubbles.
- When the bubbles subside, pour a pot of boiling water down the disposal and let it sit for about five minutes.
- Turn on the water in the sink and the disposal, and let it run until the disposal is rinsed out.
To keep your disposal smelling fresh, put some leftover chunks of lemon in an ice cube tray, cover them with water, and freeze. Whenever your garbage disposal gets a bit funky, run a few lemon cubes through the disposal for a quick freshen-up.
The ice chunks will scour the blades and scrape away stuck-on debris inside the disposal!
Watch our video on How to Clean a Garbage Disposal to find out more.
To-Do #2: Clean Sink Faucet Aerators
Clogged sink aerators can cause reduced water flow or an unevenly spray when you turn on bathroom or kitchen faucets. This is another easy task using white vinegar, and the hard work is done while youre sleeping!
To clean a faucet aerator:
- Unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet.
- Drop the aerator in a bowl of white vinegar.
- Let the aerator sit overnight.
- The next day, rinse the vinegar off the aerator.
- Screw the aerator back on the faucet, and youre done!
Watch our video on Cleaning a Faucet Aerator to find out more.
To-Do #3: Clean Clothes Washer Water Line Filters
Water lines on washing machines have filters to prevent sediment from getting into the machine. If it seems like your washer is taking longer to fill up, clogged filters may be the culprit. It may be a little awkward to get to the washer water inlets; but once you do, cleaning water filters is quick and easy, heres how.
To Clean Washer Water Line Filters:
- Turn off the water supply valves, located in the supply box behind or beside your washer.
- If possible, pull the washer out from the wall so that you can get behind it. If this isnt feasible, youll need to reach over or behind the washer to get to the inlet lines.
- Unscrew the supply lines from the washer, and locate the filters on the machine inlets.
- Use a spray bottle and small, stiff brush to scrub away any dirt or debris on the filters.
- Reconnect the water hoses, making sure the hot and cold lines are attached to the correct intakes.
- Turn the water valves back on and check for leaks.
Watch our video on How To Clean Washer Water Filters to see how its done.
To-Do #4: Lubricate Door Locks
When youre busy and on the go during the holidays, sticky door locks can really slow you down. Fortunately, the solution is quick and easy.
Pick up a small tube or bottle of graphite at your home center or hardware store, making sure to choose one with a narrow tip for easy application. Graphite is a dry powder, which makes it the perfect lubricant for door locks, since it doesnt attract dust or dirt.
Put down a piece of newspaper or plastic to protect the floor under the door lock, and squirt a small amount of powdered graphite into the keyhole. Insert the key and turn it a few times to distribute the lubricant throughout the lock mechanism, and youre done!
Watch our video on How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock to find out more.
To-Do #5: Fix Squeaky Door Hinges
While youre at it, give some attention to those squeaky door hinges as well. It wont be long before Christmas is here, and you wouldnt want a squeaky hinge calling attention to any sneaky elves!
You can use powdered graphite for door hinges, but the black powder can sift down and stain your floors. For better results, pick up a small container of white lithium grease or machine oil.
To Lubricate Door Hinges:
- Close and latch the door.
- Use a hammer and nail, or a nail set, to tap out the hinge pin.
- Coat the hinge pin with a small amount of white lithium grease or machine oil. A little goes a long way!
- Tap the hinge pin back in the hinge.
- Open and close the door a few times to distribute the lubricate.
- Use a rag to wipe up any extra grease or oil that squeezes out of the hinge.
Watch How to Fix Squeaky Door Hinges to see how its done.
To-Do #6: Test Smoke and CO Alarms
With cold weather arriving and furnaces and fireplaces cranking up, this is a good time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to make sure theyre functioning properly.
Press and hold the test button on the smoke or CO detector to make sure the alarm goes off. Replace the batteries if the alarm doesnt work, or if the batteries are more than a year old, then test again.
Be sure to write the date the battery was replaced on the battery or on a piece of tape stuck to the back of the alarm. Its also a good idea to blow out smoke and CO alarms with canned air periodically to remove dust. Also, be sure to replace any alarms that are over than 10 years.
Check out our article on Fire Safety for Your Home to find out more.
To-Do #7: Check and Repair Bathtub Caulk
Last, but not least, head into the bathroom to give a little attention to the caulk around the bathtub. When the caulk gets cracked or falls out, water can get behind the tub and cause water damage to your homes framing, as well as mold growth.
Inspect the caulk around your tub. If its worn or cracked (or stained and unsightly), its time to replace it, heres how.
How To Replace Bathtub Caulk
- Use a putty knife or chisel to scrape out and remove the existing caulk, being careful not to scratch your bathtub.
- Use diluted bleach in a spray bottle to kill any mold or mildew growing in or around the tub joint.
- Dry the crack completely with a hair dryer.
- Apply a bead of 100% silicone caulk to the joint between the tub and surround. Be sure not to overdo it, a narrow bead of caulk looks better than a wide one!
- Smooth out the caulk by misting caulk with denatured alcohol, or dipping your finger in mineral spirits, and running your finger along the caulk bead. For best results, smooth the entire bead with one stroke. Be sure to put on disposable gloves first!
For more information, check out our video on How To Caulk Around a Tub.
Making Hardwood Flooring Look Great
If you have other types of flooring in your house besides tile and are wondering how to keep it looking great, this video and brief article might help. The type of flooring shown is hardwood. The tips you see in the video can help with all types of wood. Make note of which kind of products to use and how to properly use them so your wood floors look new again!
The first step in revitalizing wood floors is to give the floor a good cleaning. You dont want any soapy residue, so use the cleaner recommended by the product youre using
Once thats dry, you can apply the revitalizer. The revitalizer goes on a milky white, but it will dry clear. Spread it smoothly and evenly and allow it to dry well before any traffic is allowed on it.
Watch the video for details.
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Specializing In: Tile Installation of Travertine, Marble, Porcelain, Granite, Natural Stone, Porcelain Plank, Saltillo, Ceramic, Bathrooms, Kitchens, Glass, Tubs, Showers, Counters, Backsplash, Floors, Walls, Ceilings, Fireplaces, Pools, BBQ’s, Sandset, Flagstone & Pavers, Fabrication, Demolition, Repairs, Custom Homes, Demolition the Removal of Travertine, Porcelain Ceramic, Marble, Granite, Stone, Wood, Carpet, Vinyl, Tile, Bathroom Remodels, Kitchen Remodels, Tile Designs
Materials Often Used in Kitchen Remodels and Bathroom Remodels Travertine Granite Ceramic Porcelain Stone
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