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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Protect Home for Freezing Weather

Make sure that all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside and kept clear.

Have snow shovels, salt and sand handy to help with snow removal and vehicle traction.

Have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm, both in your home and your vehicle.

Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather.

Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

Ensure that all outdoor hoses are disconnected from the spigot.

Locate your main water shut off valve and learn how to turn it off in the event that you encounter a frozen pipe that bursts.

If you encounter any frozen pipes or home damage, make sure you contact your insurance agent right away and get help setting up a claim. If you can, do your best to protect your home from continuing damage but make sure you protect yourself and your family first.

If worst comes to worst, most home insurance policies have coverage for additional living expenses that will help pay for you to stay somewhere else if your home is damaged from a claim and you cannot stay there. Hopefully, repairs would be minor and not take a considerable amount of time, but most home insurance policies provide money for 1-3 years (depending on the company) of additional living expenses. As always, you should review your coverage and protection once every 12-24 months to make sure you’re covered the way you should be (and the way you think you are) just in case you need to file a claim.

Using Subfloor Ventilation

Subfloor ventilation involves supplying clean air to the subfloor while sucking out stale moist air. A poor version of this type of ventilation will involve placing fans around the building which will direct air into the subfloor. However, with no exhaust, the stale moist air will have nowhere to go. A better ventilation system will draw out stale moist air, which in turn will create negative pressure inside the subfloor thus allowing fresh air to be drawn in. Most ventilation systems use fans, insulated ducting and humidifiers. You can easily find subfloor ventilation systems that are not only efficient but cost effective too.

Different Types Of Subfloor Ventilation

Now that you know how ventilate your subfloor, it would be to your advantage to know the different types that are available on the market.

1. Air vents ventilation. This is the simplest form of ventilation and is made out of bricks. It involves creating vents which are positioned in various parts of the subfloor. The placement allows for damp air to flow out from one side, and clean air to flow in from the other. For this type of ventilation to function properly, it is important that these vents stay clear or any blockage such as dirt or debris.

2. Forced ducted ventilation. This type of ventilation is suitable if your main concern is proofing your house against pests and decay. This type of installation does not involve making any changes to your house. It focuses more on creating more flow of air to areas that are prone to be stale and moist. This system achieves this through the use of special ducting and fans which help in drawing out stale air while drawing in fresh clean air.

3. Powered fan ventilation. This is the most popular form of subfloor ventilation. It works by creating negative air pressure through the fans. The stale air is then drawn out through strategically positioned vents, which also allow in dry replacement air. Most of these types of systems are constant or timed, with the latter being more energy efficient and cost effective. The timed versions means that the system will only operate during warm and dry weather, to ensure that the humidity inside your house remains balanced.

Ventilating Under Floor

A sub floor that is not properly ventilated is an attraction for termites which can destroy the timber supports of your home. This will cause the value of your home to go down. The presence of mould will cause you to develop respiratory problems and you are likely to have sinuses and symptoms of allergies. The area between the floor and the ground should, therefore, be ventilated properly.

Your under floor should not have any vegetation or rubble and should have vents that are spaced evenly. The vents should be strategically located to ensure that there is cross ventilation. This means that clean air should come in from one side and should be expelled from the opposite side. The ventilation that will be needed for your under floor will depend on the location of your home and the type of weather experienced in the area.

Causes Of Dampness In The Under Floor

During the rainy season, flood water may fail to drain properly and may pool against the wall of your home. This water will then gradually soak into your under ground causing it to be damp. You may also have a garden that is right next to your wall and whenever you water the garden, the water will end up finding its way to your under floor. You could also have a pipe that is cracked underground which is causing water to seep into your under floor. If you are living in an old home, there is a possibility that the level of the ground around your home has changed and has interfered with the sub floor ventilation.

Damage To Timber

If your floor is made from timber and your under the floor is damp, the floor boards will absorb the moisture and will expand. Since they are tightly packed on the floor, the boards will begin to rise up as they will find no space to expand. This means that your floor will be uneven. The floor boards can also expand so much that they end up pushing out the frame of your wall. When the timber in your sub floor begins to decay, termites can find a nest there and will feed on the timber thus destroying the structure of your home.

Ventilating The Sub Floor

Depending on the ventilation requirements of your under a floor, you can either use natural or mechanical sub floor ventilation. Natural ventilation is where natural flow of air is allowed to move in and out of the sub floor through vents. Fans can also be used to bring in air from one side and expel damp air from the opposite side.

Wind Up Bedroom Efficiently

• Organize your room: Having an organized room to start off with would prove to be beneficial as you would be able to get ample amount of space. It would also help you pack only the important things which would be dust free.

• Have a checklist at hand: Although making a list of your belongings would seem to be a very immature idea at first, you can trust anyone on this that would seem to be a boom when you start packing up. This is because you would have all things clear as to which ones are important and your top priority. This list would also give you an idea about the amount of packing material you would require.

• Pack mattress and carpets efficiently: Most of the people invest a huge amount of money in buying a mattress as it is a matter of their comfort. Thus, make sure you pack them well so as to avoid them from getting dirty during the transit. Pack them securely in shrink wraps which are specifically meant to protect carpets and mattresses. Don’t worry if you do not have one. The packers and movers would surely be able to help you on this.

• Make use of garbage bags to pack linen covers and pillows: Since garbage bags are large and sturdy they would be the best packing material for your linen covers and pillows. Be sure to seal the bags before transporting them.

• Get the help of your kids: Let your kids take the responsibility of their own room. Involve them in the packing process which would also reduce your burden. Make sure they throw away the things which they no longer use.

These tips would surely make your movement into a new house much memorable a

Tricks Save Space in Home

Use a chest or an ottoman with storage inside as a coffee table – most living rooms have a coffee table but double it up as a storage box and you have a brilliant way of hiding that extra clutter you just don’t know what to do with. Things like magazines, books, remote controls and old photos are just a few ideas of things that you need but don’t necessarily want on display all the time.

Use corner bookcases – there are many areas of the home that simply cannot be used for tables, chairs and other furnishings. However, you can take advantage of wasted space by using corner bookcases. As well as acting as an extra decoration and a bit of character, it provides you with a great way of displaying books, magazines and other decorations without looking untidy.

Put shelving up – if you are tight for space then cupboards are just going to take up valuable space. Instead put up shelves because this offers an extra place to store things but won’t interfere with the amount of available space you have in the room.

Put your things in self storage – if you have items that you don’t really need or use but don’t want to throw away, then self storage is the perfect place for them. Out of your way, you can be rest assured that your goods are being well looked after and that you can access them at any point in the future when you may need them.

Buy a shoe rack – most of us take off our shoes when entering our home which means that the front door is frequently littered with dozens of pairs of shoes. Rather than being greeted with an unsightly heap of shoes every time you enter or leave your house, use a shoe rack so they can all be stored neatly. As well as looking much tidier, a shoe rack can also save you a lot of space and best of all, you won’t be tripping over everything when you walk through the door.

Drywall Repair Materials

Drywall Compound

Also called drywall “mud”, there are two common types of joint compound used to repair and patch: light-weight and all-purpose. Both are easy to work with and retain a room-temperature shelf-life of 9 months. The most important tip for buying drywall compound is to buy enough. For large projects, expect to purchase 4.5 gallon bucket of material.

For smaller projects, you can get away with a one gallon bucket, but you may be paying close to the same amount for a larger bucket. If you think you might have future work in the next 9 months, it is more cost-effective to go with the larger bucket. If not, go with the smaller amount so to not waste any material.

Spackle and Plaster

Many people are confused about the difference among drywall compound, spackle, and plaster. The differences are subtle, and hardly noticeable to the average layperson, but they do exist. Compound, joint compound, or drywall mud all refer to the same product, and used mostly for larger drywall and gypsum board projects that require more durability, namely to cover joints between panels.

Spackle is very similar to joint compound, but used mostly for small household repairs for plaster and drywall. Plaster is a type of wall material found mostly in older or historic buildings. It is a more time-consuming approach to wall repair in comparison to spackle.

Drywall Repair Tools

You can purchase drywall repair kits that come with virtually all the essentials for drywall patching and repair. Kits range in quantity, size, and price, but common ones generally include 2-3 flexible knives, a utility knife, an insider-corner knife, hammer, screwdriver, saw, drill, nails, and screws. But drywall repairs also require additional materials depending on the needs of the project, including:

  • Compound
  • Self-Adhering Mesh Tape
  • Paper Tape
  • Drywall
  • 1×4 Block of Pine Wood
  • Hand Sander
  • Nail Bar
  • Level
  • Hack Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Miter Box
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush or Roller

You can purchase all of the above-listed materials at any local hardware or home improvement store. Ask a store attendant to point you in the right direction, and give advice on the most reliable products. Talk to a licensed drywall contractor for expert advice on household drywall repairs, drywall projects, drywall replacement, and more. They can even take the weight off your shoulders by getting the job done faster, better, and at a price that won’t make you think twice!

Wheelchair Ramp Installation

Installation can be a lengthy process, so you’ll want to make sure that you consider all areas of your home. You don’t want to be calling the technician out multiple times to fit various inclines in different areas of your home!

Here are some of the most common areas:

– The steps leading up to your porch, front door or back door
– The steps taking you from your garage into your home
– Any doors within your home that have raised thresholds
– Exterior doors that feature lips
– The raised threshold between the bathroom floor and your shower
– Your vehicle’s threshold, especially if it’s a larger vehicle like a van or SUV

How Long Should the Incline Be?

Higher entrances require longer ramps. Once you get steeper than a 9.5-degree slope, the incline is no longer safe for an occupied scooter or wheelchair. Ramp installation experts suggest a 4.8-degree slope for maximum safety.

To reach a 4.8-degree slope, the height of your staircase in inches is directly related to the length of your ramp in feet. For instance, if you have two 5-inch stairs – a total of 10 inches – you can expect to have a slope that is 10 feet long.

As you can imagine, higher staircases necessitate longer runways. You may find that your slope needs to wrap around the house or go in a zigzag pattern rather than a straight line. What if you have a small front yard and four 5-inch stairs leading to your front door? Somehow, 20 feet of runway needs to make it up to your home.

Within your home, you may need very small inclines to get over thresholds or into your shower. These can easily be installed or you may consider a portable option. It all depends on how many of your doors have raised thresholds.

How Wide Is Your Wheelchair Ramp?

Installation experts suggest that the width of your incline be slightly wider than the wheelbase of your chair or scooter. Obviously, the device needs to fit onto the slope, but you should also have a safety margin on either side. That way if you weave a little from one side to the other, you won’t go flying off!

All about Home Siding

· Have an understanding of what type of siding will be best for your home and region. You can find this out by talking to local builders or home improvement professionals.

· Ask an installer to come out and determine how much siding your home will need. Or a simple way to get an estimate is to simply multiply the height times the width of each rectangular section of your house in feet, going by what you can measure from the ground, to determine its area. Multiply the approximate height and width of gables and other triangular surfaces and divide each total by two. Then add all the totals. To allow for waste, don’t subtract for doors, windows, or other areas that won’t be covered. Finally, divide the total square footage by 100 to estimate how many squares of siding you’ll need. A square represents 100 square feet.

· Take into consideration the amount for upkeep and cost for the chosen siding. Plastic siding can resemble cedar but will cost more than vinyl and require little to no upkeep. Fiber cement siding is fire and insect proof, but can be subject to water damage; it must be repainted from time to time, though less often than wood. Vinyl siding requires less work of the three and won’t warp or twist, and is lower in price.

· Think about the desired finished appearance of your home, then choose siding appropriately. For instance, on a clapboard-style home, vinyl that is raised ¾ of inch will deepen shadow lines and give the appearance of wood.

· If you want to add more rigidity, then be sure to plan for more foam backing for the insulation.

· You can sometimes minimize how many pieces if siding you need, by choosing to use vinyl siding that comes in 16-foot or longer lengths to reduce the number of seams on long, unbroken walls.

Choosing a replacement from your home’s siding does not have to be stressful. But it will require you do some homework. By using these tips, you can simplify the process. You can make things even easier by talking to local home siding experts and learning what to expect with a particular siding option. Don’t put off getting new siding. Talk to a pro today.

Installing Window Blinds

Blinds can regulate the light that enters the house. The laths can be spaced in such a way that no brightness or just a little radiance can get in. These shades are also available in different patterns, colors and styles. Thus, you can create the desired look in your bedroom, living area, kitchen or dining room. Consider the Venetian, roller, roman, cordless, and mini blinds based on your design preferences. Multiple varieties of materials will enable you to choose one that conforms to your style and budget. Authentic wooden blinds are more expensive than faux wood. There are also aluminum, bamboo and plastic which are relatively affordable. You may choose to cover the windows with blinds thereby keeping the warmth inside during winter and minimizing heating costs. Blinds are also utilized by many as home adornment which is receiving a lot of positive comments lately. While blinds are functional, these window treatments also complement the aesthetic aspect of any home.

You can relish absolute privacy that you may not get from ordinary curtains. The top-down model is an example of blinds that allows homeowners control of privacy. Moreover, blinds are easier to maintain. All you need is to wipe these canopies with a dry or wet cloth occasionally to remove dust or dirt. On the contrary, washing and drying curtains can be difficult, time-consuming and more expensive. When it comes to health and wellbeing concerns, opting for window blinds can lessen the possibility of acquiring eye irritation and headaches. The character of your room or house becomes ideal for surfing and reading books as well as watching television.

Underground Water Tank

The stored water could be used for purposes like watering the outdoor garden or washing vehicles. So this excess stored water can be used for additional purposes. If the normal water supply is used for additional purposes, then there could be scarcity of water.

This stored water could also prove useful in case of emergencies like fire. In case of a major fire outbreak, the stored water could be used for extinguishing it. Many insurance companies also offer discounts in insurance premiums to people who have underground water tanks in their homes. So keeping stored water in your home will not cost you much, but will definitely be helpful during contingency.

In order to purchase subterranean water tank, the following steps needs to be followed.

First of all you need to determine, where will you place the tank in your home. In order to make this happen you have to allocate a space for the tank. You need to have sufficient space for placing the tank in your home.

The second most important factor is affordability. Obviously the larger tanks would be more costly than the smaller tanks. Before thinking about purchasing a large tank, you should determine whether you can afford it or not. You have to also evaluate your requirement. If your requirement of subterranean water is less, than you should purchase a small tank. If the requirement of stored water is more, than a larger tank is required. You will also have to spend money on the piping. You must consider all these factors before making a purchase.

You have the option of purchasing the tank online. You will find various companies selling tanks online. You must select the tank that is most suitable to you in terms of price and suitability. But before making the purchase, you must check the customer reviews. You must purchase only those products which have favorable customer reviews. Generally the reviews given by other customers are correct.